Monthly Archives: October 2014

Assisting Jane Hilton’s winter fashion shoot for Next and how it helped with my own photography

I recently received Next’s Winter and Christmas catalogue in the post, which at first I thought was odd as it’s definitely not something I’d sign up to but soon realised that it would be the calalogue that featured Jane’s shoots I assisted over summer.

I quickly flipped through and instantly found Heloise Guerin outside St. Paul’s Cathedral and even found my own shadow as I shaded her from the heat of the scorching July morning.

It was the challenges we faced at St. Paul’s where I felt I’d really benefitted from the breadth of knowledge and experience from Jane and her team. Jane apologised for the 6am start but she knew that by 9am, we’d be swamped with tourists and it would be increasingly difficult to shoot. This way, we’d also gain from the morning sun, although we were still shooting up until 4pm because of the difficulties of location shoots – living out of a parked Winnebago whilst scouting for different places to shoot that will avoid the Japanese wedding photographers that seem to be scattered across St. Paul’s shooting rich Japanese engaged couples outside famous tourist attractions in wedding gear bought specifically for the shoot and not worn on their wedding day…(Jane’s curiosity couldn’t help but ask them what they were up to). This along with the normal hold-ups of garment changes, make-up retouching,  etc etc certainly introduced me head first into the world of fashion.

These shoots take an incredible amount of organisation – car passes, parking spaces, drivers, location rights, models, make-up, hair, tethering, equipment, assisting, designing, directing, breakfast and lunch supplies…oh and photographing.  Fashion is certainly a team effort and is incredibly involved.

I don’t think I was really aware of how much I took away from the experience until I had to shoot my first fashion shoot two days ago, which I had really not been looking forward to as a documentary photographer. https://amyromer.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/fashion-shoot/ I instinctively wanted to plan the shoot with Jeff (my model) beforehand, showing him pictures of ideas I had so we could collaborate based on both our experiences. I knew my model would be more experienced than I was as a photographer so their input was hugely important to me. I arranged to be on location at 7am so I had time to scout for a specific spot and arranged for my model to meet us at 8am, so he wasn’t hanging around unnecessarily.  I had every piece of equipment I felt could potentially be needed and my model was in charge of the clothes he wanted to model – a weight gladly taken off my mind. We worked with two assistants and knew exactly where we were going for breakfast after the shoot! Job done and home to Falmouth by 10:30am. I know that without assisting Jane, there would have been several essential elements missing – the most important element being confidence in what I was doing.

A few shots from my first fashion shoot:


Fashion with Jeff MonkmanFashion with Jeff MonkmanFashion with Jeff Monkman

All rights reserved © Amy Romer 2014

So thanks Jane Hilton for allowing me to enjoy fashion.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 15.57.31 Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 15.57.41 Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 15.57.54 Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 15.58.03 Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 15.58.13

All rights reserved © Jane Hilton 2014

…spot my shadow??

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Fashion

Model: Jeff Monkman. Assistant: Rosie McLeod. Dog sitter: Jonny Borders.

To my surprise…I rather enjoyed myself.

Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman

All images © Amy Romer 2014

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St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014

Last Wednesday I attended the night time senior training session at St Austell Boxing Club in Cornwall to photograph boxing as part of a 10 Part Portfolio I am currently working on for my degree course. Before this, I’d never photographed sports as I’m not particularly interested in sports or sports photography but I found the physical and mental strategies in boxing incredibly rewarding to photograph.

The aim for the portfolio is to have one photograph from many of the elements that make up ‘Press & Editorial Photography’ – News/Event, Sports, Fashion, Mini Feature, Observed Portrait, Lit Portrait, Group Portrait, Creative Standalone, Music, Product/Still Life.

St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014Jimmy Waugh, owner of the club teaches a simple ‘jab-jab-punch’ to students on their first day of training.

St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014

During editing I realised that although I went to St Austell Boxing Club to photograph a sports action shot for the 10 Part Portfolio, I seem to naturally want to tell a story through a set of pictures. This is something I wasn’t doing consciously. You’ll see in the following pictures that there was one particular boxer that I was particularly interested in photographing as he seemed to have a real drive for the sport and was incredibly focused. I’ve managed to make an edit that I think could be used as a mini-feature about him and his boxing. (I’m still to learn their names and will clarify next week!)

St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014St Austell Boxing Club, 15th October 2014Photographing this club has lead me to want to go back and try doing some lit portraits of the boxers moments after they come out of the ring. It will allow me to get to know them better and to continue their story. The energy in the room was something I really can’t describe in words, so I hope that by making photographs of their portraits at this adrenaline filled moment will allow me to understand and communicate the incredible energy I felt in their space.

The shoot will take place this Wednesday so keep an eye out on here for the photographs. 

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‘a poem inspired by a photo’ Robert Vieira – Death’s Birthday

Last night I did my last email check before going to bed (at this stage of the day it’s very rare I have any mail!) and to my surprise and delight I had a message from Robert Vieira with the subject: ‘a poem inspired by a photo’.

I have since learned that Robert has written around 800 short poems over the past 15 years and writes incredibly quickly (to my mind, as it will probably be 30 minutes before I send this blog post!) when he is inspired.

So it is my honour to share Robert’s poem, written on the 15th October 2014 in response to my photograph of Jean from Longevity:

Last Days

Death’s Birthday

My deathing day becomes younger all the time

As we move, more wrinkled, to the ending moment

Time is compressed and one day we will be dressed

In a way that hopefully allows us to see the infant day

The one day old looking back

The day before the end

And we will raise our eyes

Should they still move

To think about the ties of youthful times

When the deathing day was far off

When death only visited the aged

When death was much older

More removed from the leaves in which we walked

Heedless of the portent and the meaning

Of their crispy crunching under foot

Let us gather now the broken leaves of these dry days

And make bouquets for the birth of death

One day someone’s tears will make them memories of green

Copyright © 2014 by Robert Vieira all rights reserved. Image: © 2014 by Amy Romer all rights reserved

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