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So you think good studio photography needs an expensive studio and expensive gears? Think again!

The portrait on the left has been taken in a little cottage up in Snowdonia (Wales). I've had a break there with my wife and her mum. On the day we had planned to go out shooting some portraits for them, it was raining cats and dogs! So we had to go back to the cottage and have some tea and biscuit. But I didn't want to end the day without any picture, so we decided to turn the cottage's living room in a budget home photography studio and use what is available as backdrop. So here I was using the doors, kitchen and white wall and my standard strobist kit.

I started with photography in June 2005, buying a SLR camera Canon EOS 350D to replace a lost Sony DSC-P71. I wanted to buy it cuz my parents were coming to visit me in Montpellier (South France) from New Caledonia.

At the time I only shoot in natural light, believing that was the only way to have very nice pictures with natural look, flash's light being to harsh. The only time I've shot with flashes were in a studio for one of my models, Bernadette Vong thru a softbox to soften the light

Austin Dinh

I've met Austin on ModelMayhem.com (like most of the other models I've worked with). He needed to update his actor portrait portfolio and so I've helped him.

We went to Central London by the City Hall trying to get some urban portraitures. Austin is Vietnamese and has a strong look in his face. It was great working with him and we got some really nice pictures. I like the variety of scenery that Central London offers. Those different backgrounds helps to give different feelings and moods to the photographs.

At the time I was still using only natural light using a home made silver/golden reflector to fill the shadows. I didn't know at the time that you could also use it in some situation to create a nice rim light around the subject to separate him/her from the background. This came later on with the experience and that is why I've joined websites such as modelmayhem.com or supermodels.com, they allows you to build up a nice portfolio and your skills. It's a nice collaboration between the photographers and the models: pros meet pros, pros meet amateurs, amateurs meet amateurs... Highly recommended if you want to improve your portraits and PR skills.


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


Jammy James

Jamil is a very versatile and motivated model. His portfolio is constantly updated with new shots in differents styles (including outfits, facial expressions, hair cuts/colors etc...). Jamil has a special facial bone structure that catches light in different ways, if you know how to handle it, it will give great results.

Jammy's ModelMayhem portfolio


Sky Bliss

Sky is a very professional UK based model that has worked in many countries: Singapore, Israel, Athens,South Africa,India, Phillipines, Finland and Sweden.

It was very easy to work with Sky as he has strong experience in modelling and acting.

Sky Bliss' website

Sky Bliss' ModelMayhem portfolio


Abdul Rehman Mirza

Abdul was the first model I've met on ModelMayhem.com. It was back in Sept. 2006 few month after I landed in London moving away from France. I was trying to get into a new area of photography and was trying to build up a portfolio.

At that time I was still thinking that the best light was the natural light as flash photography always gave me bad results. So natural light was the way to go.

This first model photoshoot with Abdul did open a door to the TFP / TFCD (Time For Print / Time For CD) modelling world of photography.

Abdul is now retired from modelling, but you can still see his online portfolio and website:

Abdul's ModelMayhem portfolio | Abdul's website

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