Creating a Rooftop Photoshoot in the City of London: A Behind the Scenes Look
As a professional photographer, the idea of capturing the bustling city of London from a rooftop perspective always intrigued me. I knew that the unique vantage point would allow me to showcase the city in a new and exciting way, highlighting the impressive skyline and the hustle and bustle of the streets below. I reached out to my friend, Natalie Wilkins, a renowned celebrity stylist who has styled artists such as Dua Lipa, Alt-J, Birdie, and Alice Chapter, to discuss the possibility of shooting on her rooftop. I was thrilled when she agreed and even sent me some preview photos of the space to give me an idea of what to expect.
The initial concept was to shoot on a rooftop amongst skyscrapers, but as we developed the idea further, we decided to switch the location to Natalie’s rooftop. This provided a more intimate setting and allowed us to focus on the model and the clothing rather than the cityscape. I reached out to several model agencies and creative agencies to secure the perfect model and team of makeup and hair stylists for the shoot. After much consideration, we ultimately selected Omoh from First London Management as our model. Omoh was the perfect choice for this shoot as he has a unique look and a great attitude. He was able to bring the clothing to life and help create the mood we were aiming for. We also enlisted the talents of Amy Conley from Stella Creative Artists as our hair and makeup artist. Amy is a true professional and was able to create the perfect look for the shoot. Alina Travis was also present to film the entire shoot, providing us with a behind-the-scenes look at the process.
Our goal was to create a Spring/Summer 2020 photoshoot, despite the typical cloudy and rainy conditions of London city. We wanted to capture the warmth and energy of the season, and showcase the clothing in the best possible light. To achieve this, I utilized a speed light with a color gel, without any diffusers or light modifiers in front of the light source. This allowed us to create a beautiful sunset scene, even though we were shooting indoors. We began shooting outside on the rooftop but had to move indoors when it started raining. To create a warm and gloomy ambiance, I bounced the light off the corner of a wall. This technique allowed us to achieve the perfect lighting for the shoot, and the final images turned out beautifully.
I always ensure to bring all of my equipment with me on set, as you never know what might be needed. My shooting kit for this photoshoot was basic and straightforward – I used a Canon 5D Mark IV and Sigma 24-70 2.8 Art Series lens, along with a one-speed light flash and color gel. For one look, I switched to the Sigma 20mm 1.4 Art Series lens as there was limited space to achieve the desired angle. This lens allowed me to get a wider angle and capture more of the model and the clothing in the frame.
The entire team had a fantastic time on set, and despite expecting to finish the shoot in 7-8 hours before sunset, we were able to complete it in just 4-5 hours, leaving us all happy but exhausted. As with most of my photoshoots, I personally retouch and color-grade all of my photos. This allows me to ensure that the final images are true to my vision and that they meet my high standards. I will be sharing more in-depth information on my retouching process and workflow in a separate post. This will provide a behind-the-scenes look at my process and will give readers an idea of the amount of work that goes into creating a professional photoshoot.
In conclusion, this rooftop photoshoot in the city of London was a challenging but rewarding experience. The team and I were able to work together to create beautiful images that truly capture the spirit of Spring/Summer 2020. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a talented team, including Natalie Wilkins, Omoh, Amy Conley and Alina Travis. The final images showcase the city of London in a new and exciting way, highlighting the impressive skyline and the hustle and bustle of the streets below. I hope that this behind-the-scenes look at the photoshoot has given readers an appreciation for the amount of work that goes into creating professional images. I look forward to sharing more of my work and process in the future.