Manchester Fashion Editorial - Sports Luxe

The last few months of 2014 were fantastically busy - lots of new clients and great new work being built with existing clients. All of which meant little time for personal work and no time to blog. I guess you can't have everything...

I'd been wanting to do a sports based fashion shoot for a while mixing high street with high end, so below is a fashion editorial shot at Loft Studio in Manchester towards the very end of the year. 

Photography & Styling  Jay Mawson
Makeup  Paula Maxwell
Hair Vera Mai Ha
Model Ksenija @ Industry

Manchester Beauty Editorial

In my mind there's two types of beauty photographs. The first type is ubiquitous - when they're well done and perfectly retouched they look great - but you struggle to remember them. They all look the same, all blend into each other. Ultimately, they're the same shot taken over and over. The second type are basically any beauty shot you can actually remember. Beauty doesn't mean you can't have emotion and impact.

So when I was approached with the concept of creating images based on eighties Athena posters (anyone under 30 might need to Google them...) it sounded interesting...I can remember Athena posters after 30 chances are the photographs would be...interesting.

There were taken on a characteristically wet Manchester afternoon sometime last week...

Photography - Jay Mawson

Hair & Makeup - Paula Maxwell

Model - Ksenija Selivanova


Male Underwear Shoot

Commercial Photography in Manchester

A few weeks ago I had probably the busiest period of photography since I picked up a camera. Rattling up and down the M6 between London and Manchester I think I shot somewhere in the region of a dozen commercial shoots in just over a fortnight. This is the job that started the first week - working in Manchester with a great team for a proudly British brand, British Boxers (you can read their story here).  A beautiful lifestyle shoot showing their new range of male stretch trunks and Double Dapper nightwear on the envy-inducing physique of Boss Model's Gavin Fawcett. Art direction came from the charming Josh Taylor, the lovely Hester Brodie made sure the garments looked perfect and grooming was expertly taken care of by Ms Paula Maxwell.

Then - shoot wrapped - it was early to bed before the red eye to London. The next day's shoot was something quite quite different - but I'll come to that one when it's released...

The United States of Manchester - Fashion Editorial

Once in a blue moon I get to post my photography before anybody else. There's lots of reasons why this never usually happens. For commercial work it goes without saying that you wait for the images to be released, but for personal work it just slips out there. During the shoot the team will Instagram behind-the-scenes shots, previews or 'sneak peeks' get trailered onto Twitter and blogs, models want to use the images in their books for a 'last minute casting' and before you know it the shoot is old news, fragmented parts of the whole drifting around cyberspace in a digital fashion jigsaw.

So this time I'm going to post this first, in it's entirety, as it was meant to be seen. A Friday indulgence.

It's a compliment to Manchester's diverse and vibrant businesses that I was able to shoot this all within 5 minutes walk of my flat. A little corner of the USA in M1. And for that, thanks are due to Gorilla (Manchester's best brunches bar none), Black Dog Bowl (bowling dragged into the 21st Century via twisted 1960s Americana), Bauer Millett (Corvettes, Camaros, Rollers & Alfas? Like a fantasy garage) and Harry Hall Cycles (for the beautiful mint green frame with white wall tyres...).

You might want to pop a pair of shades on...

Photography - Jay Mawson

Styling - Kerry Saxon

Hair & Makeup - Emily Clarkson

Model - Ksenija Selivanova @ Industry

Bridal Editorial in Manchester

I just don't get enough time to do proper full blown bells-and-whistles tests. The exciting ones - full team of people, cool location & great styling. It's a good thing. As much as testing should always remain something every photographer should be doing, if it's the only thing you're doing you start to worry. Come to think of it, there's generally a lot of worry involved in being a freelancer.

Anyway. We were lucky enough to have access to Artisan for a morning to shoot this - and had three hours to shoot which made it a race against time to get wrapped before they opened. Nothing like a bit of pressure to keep you moving.

The beautiful bridal gowns that Ksenija wears were from Jean Jackson Couture - Rebecka and Flic were a total pleasure to work with from planning through to arranging the venue and styling the gowns on the day. The main man himself - Reuben Wood - from Reuben Wood Hair & Beauty Salon created the fantastic hair with assist from Steve, and Karl Collins provided photographic, moral and emotional support. The beautiful bridal makeup was from Caroline Shuttleworth

I didn't want to shoot a standard bridal shoot - not on my day off and not when I had the opportunity to get creative on a test - I wanted something to emphasise how strong, beautiful and sexy bridal wear actually is. 

This is a picture post - so enough with the preamble.


A Guide to Social Media Credits for Photographs

Adding effective image credits to your photographs on social media


It's 22˚C outside. Sticky city hot. But no sun because this is, after all, Manchester. I have a coffee (always), a new table to work at and 30 minutes downtime to put some thoughts down.

As my blog posts often do, this relates to test shoots and is less relevant for commercial work. It's about the currency of credit rather than that of Her Majesty.

Basically, we all test for three main reasons. Creative itches, speculative pitches and maintaining social visibility. The first is easily satisfied. The latter is easily frustrated. So here's a handy cut-out-and-keep* guide to how to do the small things that keep everybody happy and feeling warm inside. Because believe me - nothing creates quietly festering resentment in somebody like giving a day to creating something beautiful and then being socially erased from the end result. Rarely will the person actually say anything incase they come across as a diva. They'll just remember it next time you ask them…


Read More

Editorial Fashion Photography - Manchester

Recently I've been more and more seduced by everything late 70s/early 80s. Beautiful warm colours, soft edges...I don't know, blame Instagram.

A pile of Cokin filters

A pile of Cokin filters

It's something I don't think you can produce in post. Nothing authentic anyway. But can you capture it with a digital camera? Well, nothing to stop you trying.

Filters (the real ones, not the Instagram variety) are kind of out of favour at the moment. Everything has to be sharp. Clean. Which means that you can pick them up for next to nothing in most second hand camera stores. Or from pretty much anybody who owned a camera more than 10 years ago.

Same pile of filters...

Same pile of filters...

So, armed with a pile of random filters - tobacco grads, star filters, prismatic filters, fog filters - and not an Amaro, Sierra, Toaster or Hefe in sight - I set about a test with the beautiful Caroline B from Boss and the ever amazing Paula Maxwell from, well, Manchester.



The test was an editorial beauty shoot. Self publish, Be Happy :)

Photography & Styling - Jay Mawson
Hair & Makeup - Paula Maxwell
Model - Caroline B @ Boss Model Management 


Boda Skins

This month I was delighted to work again with luxury leather label Boda Skins and see how much the brand had grown and matured over a short space of time.  Their classic takes on a wardrobe staple are designed in Manchester and traditionally crafted in the hills of Turkey , so it was fitting that we shot the campaign images under Manchester's characteristically grey light...

Some behind the scenes images just beg to be shared

Some behind the scenes images just beg to be shared

We worked with two great Manchester models, Charley Rose at Nemesis and Kattreya at Next plus the charming US men's fashion blogger & creative director Adam Gallagher. Hair and makeup was taken care of by the fabulous Paula Maxwell. Here's a small selection of photographs from the day...