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What is nice being a member of a camera club or a photographic society is that you get to meet other photographers that you can learn from or teach to which both makes you improve yourself. My first ever photographic society is the Ealing and Hampshire House Photographic Society (EHHPS), I joined the club as it was the closest to my place and just like it a lot even though I'm one youngest members. Most of photographic societies exist for a very long time and their members are members since long time ago, but it's really interesting to join as you will have different points of view and submitting your work into the local competition is always interesting.

Among photographers I've met at the EHHPS, there is Frank Williams that you already know from my photograph called "Attack of the autumn leaves". We've been mates since then and went shooting quite a few times together. Recently I've been getting in touch with Shaun Hodge another great photographer from the same club. After talking about flashguns and photoshoots he invited me to join him shooting for a dress maker friend of his. The shoot would be taking place in Dover and we would have a MUA (Make Up Artist).

I've recently been contacted by several photographers, including Tony Kieu, my cousin in Australia, wanting to start taking photograph of models but just don't know where to start with. As most of us at the beginning, they started to take portraits asking their wife or a family members to pose for them, then, after a little (or big) while both parties can sometimes start to loose interest and the photographer just wants to get into something more challenging: photographing a model.

Taking pictures of a friend, of your wife or of a family member is something easy. It's a person you're going on well with so it's easier to be open and do some crazy things. Meeting and photographing a stranger is something else. For a lot of photographers it can be a really big challenge which can get worse with the time if they don't make the jump and try it.

Hopefully, with the help of the Internet, you can prepare and liaise with models online which makes it easier to arrange a meetup for a photo session.

Nikon Solutions Expo was being held at the Olympia Conference Centre in London on December 9th and 10th, it's showcasing the latest digital imaging products, services and techniques, plus interactive photo opportunities, seminars, tutorials and expert advice.

I found the expo small if you compare it to Focus for example and the seminars and interactive tutorials were basics but I guess it is interesting for consumers that want to discover the product or learn to use the one they just bought and it was an opportunity to try to get some shots of models such as Katie Green the ex Wonderbra model. It was very difficult to get a session with the model as you can imagine the workshop attracted a lot of photographers and only a few could get an individual session. So I had to steal some shots from where I was. Hopefully the workshop was also about off-camera flash using Nikon Speedlights and CLS (Creative Lighting System), I was thus able to use my D300 popup flash to trigger the flashes used at the workshop. I did take care of waiting for the main photographer to take his shot first and while he was waiting for his pictured to be transfered thru WiFi to his computer I took mine :-D

Bernadette Vong

Back to that time, I was still using natural light (natural light is very good, but knowing how to use flash opens a wide range of possibilities and can help in some bad natural light conditions). One of my favorite photography location is Central London, it offers so much different places to use as a backdrop and shooting outdoors is much less boring than shooting in a studio. You have a wider range of backdrops available to you to play with for free from architectures to riverside sceneries. And it's fun to do a photoshoot with a model outdoors and see those curious people gathering around. It can be fun and boost the model but it can also intimidate her/him so depending on who you are shooting you may need to find a quieter environment.

For this photo session, I took Bernadette by the Thames for some urban fashion shoot. The tide was low so we were able to take pictures on the beach.

Some people think the bridge on the top right corner with people going by is a bit distracting and is cutting her head. But I find it interesting though... 


Bernadette Vong

I've met this Cantonese Asian mixed with Portuguese model on tfpmodels.co.uk, she was my first female model and I was her first photographer.

Bernadette is a very stunning model and she has quickly evolved in the modeling industry participating in catwalks, being the first face of Naja Harris a Malaysian fashion label and working for a model agency.

Once I told her about a model contest for the London Paper, she got in the top 20.

Bernadette is also now entering the photography world with very stunning works.

Good luck for you career!

Bernadette Vong's ModelMayhem portfolio

Bernadette Vong's photography work

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