work in progress by Garage Studios assistant Zoe Baker

I have started shooting a series of portraits testing out different lighting set ups. The first shoot I did I wanted a tight head and shoulders shot which had a lot of contrast, so I used a couple of grids, one as my main front light, the second as a highlight from behind. To soften the front light I also added some diffuser in front of the grid. There was quite a heavy fall off shadow under the chin so I got Ed to hold a silver reflector to bounce the light back up to fill in that shadow.

The second of the series I wanted to achieve a completely different look and feel to the shot, with softer lighting and less contrast. I set up one 6 x 4 large softbox as my main light with a smaller 3 x 3 softbox as my backlight.

Afterwards, I tried to go for a different style, changing the lighting set up and introducing a dark grey backdrop. I moved the small softbox around to be my main light and then put a beauty dish in as my highlight. This meant i would still have a very soft light coming from the front but a harsher contrast wrapping around the side of him. I re-shot one of the dance shots I really liked from the previous lighting set up, as I thought it would work much better with a darker backdrop to lift it and bring Daveed forward in the shot, using the beauty dish to add a bit harsher contrast to define his body. This ended up being my favour shot.

If you want to check out more of my work check out :

Introducing… Brighton’s newest digital media space

Garage Studios are pleased to announce an exciting new venture, and a new direction. We have been fairly quiet online of late, and we can now finally reveal what we have been working so hard on for the past 4 months. But first;

…over the past 3 years of Garage, we have learnt a huge amount, not just about photography, but also the demands of running a business. We’ve developed and delivered top quality training courses, and built up a strong client list. In this time many hundreds of you have attended and completed our courses, and we have turned several of our students into successful full time freelance photographers. We have really loved watching your progress and dedication, not just to your own photography, but also in helping us run a successful business. We could not have got this far without you, and everything from our big set build productions, to our guest lecturers, USA photographer run workshops and courses has owed some success to the community involvement that has flourished here in Brighton.

We have distilled all of these elements into a brand new venture with an even stronger line up of in-house photographers, outside tutors, and a fully developed program of courses. After 3 years listening to your feedback, reading your testimonials and seeing your work, we like to think that we know what makes us unique, and have tried to keep that at the core of our exciting new studios. Despite numerous offers to take this business to London we just love being in the heart of Brighton.


Since the 4th July 2011, we have been building a bespoke studio and training space with our new business partner. We think you will be as excited as we are, as its been designed from the ground up with photographers, our students, and clients in mind. The build is near completion, and soon Brighton will be able to boast of the biggest combined photography Studio and Training centre in the UK. Having consulted with everyone from London based photographers, to stylists, MakeUp Artists, clients, models, and runners, we’ve created a space that works for all your needs, and are confident that this will be a great space for all Brighton creatives.

All work in progress images by Sam Hiscox

The studio space is located within sight of Brighton train station, in a fantastic building. Inside we have built 3 studios.

Studio1, 11m x 10m for set builds, for the client you need to impress, or if you just want to shoot in the best studio facilities outside of London. Studio 1 is also set up for filming, with 3 phase and a distribution board for film/audio/lights.

Studio 2 is approx 4.5m x 8m and is perfect for Lookbooks, full length portraiture, teaching and small set builds.

To ensure there is always somewhere to shoot for your budget we have added Studio 3, a 4.5m x 4m headshot, portrait and product studio.

In addition to this we have also built a dedicated Darkroom space so you can shoot, dev, and print all under one roof.

We have special rates for further education students as well as people who have are attending any of the soon-to-be-announced new courses. Our aim is to get you into the studio and to explore the unlimited possibilities that studio photography has to offer, and we have a pricing structure that makes our services accessible to all.

Those of you who have previously attended our courses in the Winter will be delighted to know that we will also have a dedicated teaching room. No more will you have to sit and shiver in our studio on uncomfortable plastic chairs! This space can also be hired for client meetings, workshops and comes equipped with a digital projector. If you get hungry or feel your photographers/models energy is flagging, we also have a nicely equipped, custom built kitchen.

If you still need more to tempt you in, we are pleased to announce a new relationship with both Profoto and Bowens for all your lighting needs, catering for every eventuality from studio to location, generators, battery packs and the latest models of remote controlled, or Mac controlled heads. The only limit in how you use them will be your imagination.

Taking on advice from the best tech crew we could find, we have installed a lightning fast network with the option to back up and archive your shoot on our servers, and we will also be expanding our system of Macs, Monitors and retouching booths for hire.

We will also be making a few exciting announcements about new tutors and some fantastic photographers that we have signed who will be shooting for us. But that’s quite enough for now…… thanks for sticking with us, continuing to support our business and work with our photographers. Hopefully we can show this in giving Brighton the media space that it fully deserves.

Upcoming Course Dates

As the evenings start to get darker and the days a little colder (not that they’ve ever been that warm this year) here’s a good reason to stay inside and get your creative juices flowing. Over the next few weeks we have a couple of fantastic courses running to inspire everyone from complete beginners with a passion for photography, to those of you with a solid base of camera knowledge looking to learn studio lighting techniques

All of our courses are taught with a very hands on approach, and groups sizes are kept small to allow more time for individual attention

Image by Sian Davey - Past Creative Photography Student

CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHY - Beginning Thursday 29th September £285

This eight week course run on a Thursday evening from 7.30 - 9.30 pm aims to help you find your individual style and voice as a photographer, focusing on the work of many influential key photographers such and Diane Arbus, Nadav Kandar and Stephen Shore, and the methods they employ to create visually arresting images. Each week you will be set a project to be completed in between sessions, which will then be critiqued in a group environment, helping you to understand and progress with your ideas.

STUDIO LIGHTING PART ONE - Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th October £300

This course will help you to become fully confident in using Studio equipment, light meters, lighting a room, lighting a subject and working with a model giving you the confidence to experiment with set-ups of your own. We provide tutor, model and Lighting Assistant all weekend and encourage you to shoot as much as possible to get over the fear that some photographers have of studio lighting.

For more information on either of these courses call 01273 609600 or email

London to Brighton Photography Talks

It’s just over a year since the first Mini Click talk was held in Brighton, and since then these monthly free talks have built up quite a following, including interesting talks with a diverse range of local photographers

In celebration of the first birthday of these events, Jim Stephenson and Laura Pannack have teamed up to curate a fantastic event at the Old Market in Hove on Wednesday 1st September.

Maja daniels taken from the series “Into oblivion”

The focus of the event is an open panel discussion with some of the Uk’s best and brightest photographers, including Hin Chua, Maja Daniels, Ben Roberts, Laura Pannack, Jason Larkin, and Ewen Spencer. Door open at 6 and tickets are £5

If you would like more information on the evening follow this link to Jim’s site.

Digital Photographer issue 113

Of all the magazines with Photographer and Digital in the title, (there really are quite a few now) we are in issue 113 of Digital Photographer which arrived in shops today.

We have been blown away by being given the double page image feature for the article, which includes work and interviews with Magnum photographer Steve McCurry, ANTM judge and photographer Nigel Barker and L’Iris D’or winner Alejandro Chaskielberg, and Garage Studios’ Kevin Mason.

The article is about making images that launched a career or caused a change of thinking with each photographer. Kevin chose to talk about his set builds which was a phase he went through around 2 years ago, and looks set to return to soon with the promise of a new state of the art studio which he has designed and is currently being built in Brighton. (More news on that very soon- but Brighton its nearly ready…) We’d love it if you go and buy a copy, as its a good read also there are a whole stack of people credited in the magazine without whom these shoots wouldn’t have been possible such as M.Halls, Natasha Alipour-Faridani and many more.

If that wasn’t enough of a reason then there is also a Portfolio article on man-of-the-moment Perou of Dirty Sexy Things ‘fame’ but also more importantly to us a pivotal UK photographer, and he dishes out some excellent advice on getting into the industry and how he has managed to make his work in demand for so many years. The man is a legend, and if you are keen to understand how to combine commercial work, iconic images and clients demands, you won’t go far wrong by reading what he has to say.

Thanks DP, for including us in this issue. It was fun to look at old work again and try and remember what on earth we were thinking at the time.

To see Kevin’s current work go to Kevin Mason.