Tag Archives: winter

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.

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All rights reserved © Jane Hilton 2014

…spot my shadow??

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Thank you for letting me do this William Klein…

Halloween at Eden, 2013

Winter at Eden. © Amy Romer, 2013

It seems obvious to call this a photograph a failure as I have not captured the main subject in focus. However if it were not for this blurry figure and her expression, I doubt there would be anything in the frame worth looking at.

The blur speaks of spontaneity and community and we are reminded that lacking a certain amount of control can feel exhilarating in our everyday controlled environments.

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William Klein – In the crowd, 5th avenue, NY 1955

I came across this picture in a lecture last week and it instantly reminded me of the girl at Eden and helped me understand why pictures like this can work so well.

The woman cuts across the frame in the opposite direction to the crowd, creating a busy and dynamic composition. This is complimented by the unusual focus on the background. The woman is reduced to a figure, but we can see all the important information we need – her expression and her class. The fact that she is out of focus gives emphasis to bustling crowd and the action within it; something Klein masters in his street photography.

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Halloween at Eden

As a busy summer of tourism comes to an end in Cornwall, the Eden Project continue to strive, producing innovative workshops for children throughout the halloween half term as well as getting ready for christmas with their purpose-built winter ice rink, proving popular each year.
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All images © Amy Romer 2013
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