New Pictures PLUS Behind The Scenes: Sleeping Beauty

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: November 12, 2013

Category: General

Hi Everyone,

Thanks for stopping by.

Ok so today I’ve some new pictures to share with you from a recent Commissioned Shoot / Assignment.

The assignment was to produce promotional / commercial images for a Theatrical Production of Sleeping Beauty and was all shot on location at the De Vere Hotel, Rickmansworth. All members of the cast and crew were present including Singer Jonathan Ansell and Actor John Lyons most recognised for being David Jason’s side kick in TV Police Drama ‘A Touch of Frost’

Now I’d never been to this particular hotel before and in fact the first time there was on the day of the shoot and it turned out that the room we were shooting in had a very modern decor as opposed to the ‘Oldie Worldie’ feeling I was expecting hoping for.

Here’s an out of camera shot of one of the pictures with Jonathan to give you an idea what the starting point was:

Here too is the same kind of shot with Actor John Lyons as the King and Sleeping Beauty…ermmm Sleeping 🙂

Allotted time for the shoot meant it was going to be full steam ahead; just 1.5 hours to shoot all the must have shots of the cast and crew in various locations around the hotel and all requiring lighting.

So at this point a BIG thanks to my friend JJ Jones for coming along to assist on the day and did a SUPERB job!!!

Here’s a couple more pictures from the shoot; the first to illustrate the difference it makes getting your model/subject to lean forward at the waist when being photographed from a low angle.

In ‘A’ Jonathan is standing up straight and in ‘B’ Jonathan is leaning quite far forward at the waist but the result is that it makes him look like he’s standing up as normal; simple but effective…

And here’s a picture of the Wicked Witch character that I lit with 2 lights; the main coming in from a low angle aimed upwards to give that ghoulish / spooky lighting to the face:

Here’s another picture of Jonathan; lighting kept simple for speed i.e. Large Shoot-Thru umbrella to the front and Strip Box to camera right (used to add highlights on one side as I was going to be adding in a fake light source to one side during the retouching)

Retouching Sneak Peek
Here’s a look through the retouching steps that went into the pictures at the top of this post where the Prince (Jonathan Ansell) and the King (John Lyons) are next to Sleeping Beauty;

Anyone who has seen my “Successful Shoots…Guaranteed” talk will know that I’m really into planning everything out before the photo shoot; something that turned out to be vital for this shoot due to not being able to visit the venue or meet the cast and crew beforehand.

Part of the planning process for me involves creating Moodboards and I’ve mentioned about this many times before but just to give you an idea here’s a look at what I collected beforehand to help me out:

Having this series of pictures in my head before the shoot (in particular the classic picture of Sleeping Beauty on the bed) helped me to focus in on what was going to be possible once it became apparent what the room I was shooting in was like. Knowing the picture I wanted beforehand made lighting the scene a lot easier knowing what to use, where to position it and why in relation to what the light would represent in the final picture i.e. highlights would end up being from the light coming in through the window that was added later.

I’m thinking of holding a 2 hour webinar in the next couple of weeks where I take you through all the retouching steps so you’ll be able to see exactly how everything was done and why.

If this is something you’d be interested in drop me a line to or leave a comment below.

In the mean time if you missed it earlier here’s a video we recorded at the end of the shoot to give you a feeling for what the room was like and the lighting I used:

And here’s a group shot of the cast and crew with myself and JJ taken by a willing grabbed passerby at the hotel:

Right that’s all from me for today so have a good one and if you’re at the Bishops Stortford Camera Club meeting tonight I’ll see you there.


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  1. Morgana

    Brilliant! 🙂

  2. DaveT

    Great insight into what the photographer has to do to make it all come together. I find these posts so informative and interesting. Thanks Glyn!


  3. Mike Mac

    Love it 🙂 would definitely watch the webinar 🙂

  4. David Kelly

    Ace work as always Glyn.
    Very interested in seeing how you pulled it altogether (especially the creative work on adding windowed background & light) so a webinar would be great.

    Great tip about about angled posing btw.

  5. Philip

    Nice work, as always, Glyn! Count me in for the webinar!

  6. Glyn

    Thanks for the comments everyone and yeah I’ll let you know re the webinar asap.


  7. Pierre

    Any Costs of the Webinar ?
    When ?

    Brilliant Job by the way 🙂

  8. Steve

    Great work as usual. Very interested in a webinar.

  9. Kev Stanton

    Hello Glyn! What iPad app are you using for your Mood Board?

    • Glyn

      Kevin…It’s just called Moodboard in the App Store.

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