Garage Studios on the Kings Road !


Sunday sees the return of “Frock Me!” the famous vintage fashion fair held monthly throughout the year at Chelsea Town Hall in London. 


With over 50 dealers bringing their stock from not only all over the country but also from as far afield as Paris and Berlin it would be nice to paint an atmospheric picture of  Chelsea early on a Sunday morning. However in reailty a crazy scene unfolds as the queue stretches out onto the Kings road.  At this point there is always the anticipation of who will come through the door , and what outfits will be worn and bought. 


This month there will also be the addition of the Garage Studios element, M.Halls has been asked to document the day and more importantly it’s visitors. We will have a backdrop and some simple lights, and shall be trying to grab people with style and build up a picture of regulars, first timers, buyers, designers and all that visit the fair.


If you are coming along stop and get your style shot, have a chat about Garage Studios and the work we are doing or pick up any of our information. We are never sure who will turn up or who will be happy in front of the camera …other wise wait and see the results on the blog next week.

Band Promo shoot at Garage Studios

One of our in-house photographers DarkDaze saw a band a year or so back at The Great Escape and offered to shoot a promo for them, they got busy, he got busy, all kinds of stuff happened. But then recently they got back in touch and we set up a meeting.

DD wanted to work on an idea that wasnt a traditional promo, something that was more in line with what he was regularly shooting. The band already look great, both on and off stage and we needed something that was show their prescence and style, but also hopefully encourage people to go check them out… We had a brief meeting where we were pretty much given free reign to work some magic, which is great for us, and the band were very willing to really work with our ideas.

2 days before the shoot, option number 1 was abandoned due to some potential set-build nightmares, and after a lot of rambling at Emma Sandham-King, one of the shoot stylists, DD decided on an all grey set, all grey styling… to kinda play on that horrific selective colouring that still plagues screens all over the world, and combine that with a fashion shoot aesthetic.

DD threw the idea over to M.Halls with a list of things that would look good painted grey, such as Flowers and sofa and carpet etc. Using our easy-erect-set©GS09 the night before, we got a living room in place, a very simple set- with hopefully enough attention to the details to pull it off. Matt had tracked down a Bureau, a Fireplace, picture frame etc, gave them a quick dust over with the paint gun and we were already for the next day.

Stevi and Emma of had been given the task of styling the band, sourcing as many grey variations as possible on what the band would normally wear - we can provide stylists for any promo shoot- its an extra cost but well worth it in our opinion, hopefully a good promo will be around for at least 6 months, but normally longer. But a skillful stylist will build on your own image, we dont do ‘make-over’ approaches to this kind of thing…

Tash and DD set about getting the lighting right for this, ideally we wanted a fairly natural soft, directionless and underexposed light into the room, so we sat the softbox on a boom, dropping it over where the ceiling would be. To even this out we had a smaller softbox pointing straight onto the set, slightly left of camera to even this overhead light. On camera left we bounced a wide-angle refelctor into a white board back into the set. (you should be able to see this in the second image below.)

Wide shot of the set/studio

Heels Catch Fire Promo

Heels Catch Fire Promo

We then worked on adding some highlight to each band member to bring them out of the flat set- we used a technique that we normally use on our fashion shoots and used a mixture of snoots and barndoors to bring lines of light. We spent ages killing every shadow in the set- but it somehow looked too artificial so we dropped the height on some of the heads and ended up with some fairly deliberate cross lighting again….

There was a lot that went into this shot, from the initial ideas, sketches, set design and styling, to the lighting and shoot day itself….. if you would like to book or discuss a promo with us then please just drop us a line at we can work to most budgets and as you can see you’ll end up with a promo that can grab a lot of attention and help your band identity.

HotShots! Part Deux - Highlights from the second course with lomokev

Heres just a little example of some of the shots taken on the second HotShots with Lomokev course. The course teaches you how to get the most creative photography from any camera that you are using. It may be a compact film camera or a DSLR but HotShots will teach you lots of fantastic tips and tricks to get you ‘thinking outside the box’ and improve your photography.

We still have a couple of places left on the Sat 20th & 27th June. The next course will be run over a weekend on Sat 15th & Sun 16th August. If you would like to find out more info have a look at the web page here.

Or if you’d like to book a place send us an email to






Many thanks to Maddie & Pete for letting us use their shots from the last course on this page.

Or if you’d like to book a place send us an email to

More Studio lighting tips…with DarkDaze

Last Friday when the studio was all empty for the late afternoon, DarkDaze decided to do a quick shoot with one of our favourite Garage Studios models, Elin.

The challenge in shooting the same model a lot of times is trying to get something different out of the pictures- we didnt have an editorial in mind, and thought about using some Ophelia Fancy items from their new collection but we wouldnt be able to show you them until the collection hits the streets/shops in August. In the end Elin just bought a few pairs of socks with her and some underwear from home- we decided to keep it simple and had her do her own hair and make-up and just keep it very clean and normal.

The pocket wizards and a few of the Bowens had been hired out heads so DD was left with the old cable/sync lead issues- also as the lights he used where ‘snooted’ and turned down very low there was some issues of the lights ‘seeing’ each other and syncing properly. This little problem led to some very direct and simple lighting by necessity. All the images below were shot within 2 1/2 hrs and are very simple but effective set ups.

Elin at Garage Studios

Elin at Garage Studios

This is the simple lighting test (digital) for the final shot on Polaroid- DD’s a strange one sometimes and shot the digital tests so as not to waste the Polaroid film- how times have changed….

This shot is on a black sofa- but is a few feet from a white wall, in a white studio, you can see the the Light, which has a honeycomb modifier in it, is very direct and allows for a great amount of control over any spill light. (the three dots on the side are just on the film). Shooting down low allows the subject to ‘take charge’ of the image and this is heightened by the drama of an all black background.

Elin at Garage Studios with direct lighting

Elin at Garage Studios with direct lighting

In this image with Elin leaning forward a very harsh, direct light hits her face. The light wasnt softened with a diffuser, umbrella etc and so is very high contrast from the honeycomb modifier. The focus is slightly soft as the 340 Polaroid is a Rangefinder that doesnt focus particularly close without use of close-up lens, but the image just holds. The small spill onto the white hold-ups helps keep the viewer in the frame.

The polaroid is shot on a 1200 and is a simple on camera flash aimed into a softbox (the white behind Elins head), note the heavy shadow under the chin, and flash catchlights in the eyes.
Elin Headshot at Garage Studios

The final shot here is on a 50mm lens, shooting straight into a softbox (which is giving the diffused light around the hands and sides of Elins head). DD then pushed more light into her face, a high contrast very direct light. This gives a fairly direct comparison with the qualities of the polaroid. Shooting the light down onto Elins face gives a great shine to her hair, which really helps hold the form of her face, the heavy shadow works in this instance by bringing the face forward and allowing you to focus on the models eyes and mouth.

These are just a few very simple set-ups than can provide effective shots. The only thing we changed through the shoot was smoothing elins hair down in the final shots- but each image has a different ‘feel’ to it.

If you would like to learn more we offer both Studio Lighting and Flash lighting courses on a group or 1:1 basis. Go Here… we also offer model shoots for portfolio. If you need any headshots, bodyshots etc then please mail us at Prices start at £75.

Hopefully you like these shots- never say we dont use our time wisely at GS….