Kim Watson, photographer

July 2014…

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It’s been a busy couple of months since my last update. My July cover shoot for Hong Kong Tatler is out now. I shot Winnie Chiu in her new hotel in Shepherds Bush, London. You can see the behind scenes article by clicking the link below. It was a for the summer issue and true to form we had a grey rainy London on shoot day. The Hotel wasn’t finished on time but it made for a fantastic blank canvas and a great juxtaposition of couture dresses with the construction work going all around us.

http://hk.asiatatler.com/culture-lifestyle/society/behind-the-scenes-with-winnie-chiu

I was invited by Schelay McCarter @ Central St. Martin College of Art and Fashion to show my folio and talk about my work to the Art Direction in Fashion course. It was a great evening where I was very impressed by the amazing work the students had produced. I hope some of the shoots they had organised actually come to life sometime in the future.

I have also just shot some Portraits for The OTC Space Ltd for their website, magazine and conferences material.

Finally I was delighted to be asked by Zoe Jackson founder of Living the Dream Dance Company to shoot the Living the Dream Talent Agency Head and Talent shots. The launch of the talent agency will be sometime this year keep a look out for my son Mylo and all the other amazingly talented kids who are signed up to the agency…

http://www.livingthedreamcompany.co.uk/talentagency.html

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2014…

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Its been a great start to the year. I have had work published in the Spring issue No. 25 of Illusion Magazine – the best Face Painting and Body Painting magazine around today. My work was part of a feature about Katja Kyd , a very talented face painter and friend of mine. All the images were projects we have worked on together in the last year. The article is fantastic and the images look great. You can see the magazine here:

http://www.illusionmagazine.co.uk

Also check out their FaceBook pages here:

https://www.facebook.com/illusionmagazine

I also shot Furniture designer James Petre of Quirky Interiors for a “Country Living” promotional booklet. It was a portrait of him in his work shop. I am still waiting for it to be published, hence no images yet online.

In February I did a shoot with Concert Pianist Reiko Fujisawa for her folio and website. We did 2 days one in the Kings Place concert Hall, London and another day at her home and at Kenwood House. I will be putting the images online very soon for all to see.

Finally I was asked to shoot celebrity Chef – Jason Atherton, for Hong Kong Tatler. It was a 4 page spread about his new restaurant “Ham and Sherry” that had just opened up in Hong Kong. The images are online in portrait folio now and HK Tatler loved the story so much they produced an outtake page on their online magazine.

http://hk.dining.asiatatler.com/features/jason-atherton-photoshoot-outtakes

Lots more exciting things are in the pipeline and as soon as they happen I will let you know.

Thanks for following.

Kimx

 

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Location scouting 2012 – pt 1

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From time to time I am asked by photographers I used to work for to location scout for up and coming shoots that they have planned in the UK. This year I have scouted locations for Annie Leibovitz, Norman Jean Roy and Max Vadukul for shoots they were doing for Vanity Fair, US Vogue and Glenlivet Whiskey respectively. I have scouted the coastline of Cornwall earlier this year as well as specific locations in and around London. These include the Olympic Stadium and site, Dover Street Market, Crystal Palace Mast and Ealing Studios. I always love doing these as you get to see, explore and shoot place that you wouldn’t normally go to.

The location scout in Cornwall was for a potential Louis Vuitton Campaign. I spent a week searching out a specific part of the North Cornish Coast. My only reference was a painting that I had been given. As with all paintings you are not sure whether the location actually existed or whether it was the artist interpretation of the landscape. Anyway many miles were driven, many cliff side paths were trodden and eventually I found a piece of coast line that look very similar to the ref painting in a place called Bossiney Benoath. Unfortunately it was not the easiest location to get to as you have to cross fields then down a pretty steep slippery cliff path and finally climb down algae covered rocks with an aid of a rope to reach the place I wanted to shoot.

Once the photographer had ok’d the location they wanted me to go back and photograph the place with a person climbing out of the water. We managed to find a local Surfer/ instructor/ Lifeguard called Brendan Moore who was able to assist me with this. As a surfer he knew the coastline really well and we spent a day shooting every conceivable angle possible. As with all my location scouts I create a website and then upload them to my server. Unfortunately like many Hotel internet connections this can take a very longtime to do. I waited eagerly for some feed back from the days scout. They loved it but wanted stormy weather. The predictability of the British weather is at best poor and incredibly at the end of of February this year in Cornwall at least it was bright sunshine and blue skies. We decided to wait until the weather got more akin to the time of year. Unfortunately instead of getting stormy it got foggy. A fog that lasted 3 days.

In the end the idea was scrapped due to time constraints and I headed back home.

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Point Blank Music College

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Earlier this month I shot a series of images for Point Blank – voted the Best Music Production and DJ College in London for the last 6 years by T-Scan Awards. They are based in 23-28 Penn Street, London, N1 a stones throw from Hoxton Square and Shoreditch. The College has recently had a face lift with beautiful wooden floors put in throughout the college and a brand new DJ room that has been kitted out and sponsored by Pioneer.

 

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Just photographed some new folio shots for Model Sophie Suri

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Had a great day last Friday, shooting 3 new shots for Model Sophie Suri’s/ @sophiesuir1 portfolio. She needed a cover style shot, a beauty shot and a cool portrait… Great hair and makeup by Elbie van Eeden/ @ElbieMUAHAir.

It’s always so much fun and great working with Sophie. I always get great results shooting with her. She brings a little insanity to an already mad world ;)

Also fantastic to work with Elbie. It’s the first time we have shot together and she’s a very talented Hair and makeup artist on top of a lovely personality. It made the day fly by working with such a great crew!!!

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First job of the Year

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Last week I shot a great campaign for Lakeside shopping centre. The billboard and ad material will be to promote the up and coming Sales. It was a great idea created by Art Director Andy Lennard of BaberSmith involving a family, a swing and some shopping bags. I can’t say more but look out for the Ads at the end of Jan beginning Feb. We shot it at 10b Blossom Street Studios, London – part of the Hoxton street Studios complex. Thanks to Sharon Brandman for sorting out everything, to the BaberSmith crew, Kylie, Rebecca and Claire from lakeside, Jo Burrows my assistant and Sarah O’Keeffe for great hair and makeup.

The shot attached is just some funny shots of the crew and models comp’d together to show the fun we had on the day.

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Lighting Class for assistants @ Spring Studios

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In April last year I was asked by V and Jean @ Spring Studios to teach their in house studio assistants about lighting. I jumped at the chance to pass on some knowledge and brought in Cowboy to help out. Funnily enough we have talked for a while now about how to set up an Assistants class for College Graduates who studied Photography and wanted that first step on the ladder to becoming an assistant. This gave me and Cowboy a little taster on what it would be like to teach such a course… It was a very interesting experience.

We had 10 assistants all with varying degrees of experience. Some had never been on set before, other had assisted but not much and a few had experience, but just wanted to see some lighting techniques. There lay our first problem. What to teach to a class of people with different degrees of knowledge. I had a basic plan and wanted to teach them the basics of lighting through an existing lighting set up.

I started off with the probably the most easily recognisable and lets face it simple lighting set up the Vogue Cover Shot a la Patrick Demarchelier. Having seen first hand the Maestro at work shoot a Vogue Cover I knew this would be a good way to start the class. Here we would go over shooting against white with a clean beauty style light. We could show them how to light a white background using the industry standard trees either side with 2 heads head with Medium white brollies on each tree. Get them to balance that out so they have an even f11 across the back.

Before we got down to setting up the shoot we went through all the gear. From packs, head, stands, softboxes, Octa, Umbrellas, dishes, as many attachments as we could get our hands on and let the students get hands on experience of putting them together, dialling a pack up and down, the do’s and don’ts etc etc. These things are a given to working assistants and it just highlighted how important it is for people starting out in the industry to get their hands dirty and experience the equipment before being let loose on set.

Everyone had a chance to play with the various lighting attachments and we went about showing them how to set up the lights. I drew a quick diagram of what I wanted and then let them try and figure it out. Under the close supervision of Cowboy and myself of course. In the end they did pretty well and gave us a good looking set up. Little tweaks here and there and we were ready to do our test shoot to check exposure. Having not taught before it hit home how difficult it is to be a good teacher. To be informative and interesting and also to allow the assistants to get on with it and try and figure stuff out.

Once we had the lights set and the exposure reading done (Some of the assistants hadn’t held a light meter before) I took a test shot and showed them the reason why we always set up lights and do the test before the talent is on set. I realised I had to break everything down and teach step by step how a photoshoot works. It sounds easy but it is actually something you take for granted because you have done it so many times it’s second nature. But to people who don’t know it’s rather daunting. Take yourself back if you can to the first day you were ever on set…

Anyway everyone seemed to enjoy it and everyone had a go at taking a test shot and see how everything works. Then we had a model come in and we treated the second part of the course like a real photoshoot… just that I had 10 assistants rather than the usual or 1 or 2…LOL.

As much as I would like to have everyone play first assistant it was hard to get everyone to be hands on with the camera and to give them some experience of shooting a professional model I let everyone have 5 minutes with the model. I think everyone really enjoyed this bit and the model was a fantastic sport to do this.

As the day drew to a close we quickly went through constant light sources, HMI’s, Red head, blondes etc etc. I managed to shoot a little bit of video as well which can been scene here:

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The year so far…

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Like most people that I have talked to in the industry, this year seems to be an up and down year when it comes to work… So far it has been an ok year in terms of stills photography. I have shot the 21st Birthday and Spring Billboards for Lakeside Shopping centre which was great. I’m having a meeting with Phoenix Magazine this friday to discuss a possible shoot with them and have been doing my fair share of testing to revamp the folio. I shot a great test with Susan Gossage from FM and Urszula from Nevs. You can see them on my website. All in all I am remaining positive that the work will come in. Sharon my agent is pushing hard my folio and hopefully that will pay dividends somewhere down the line.

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Just finished shooting video for “Wella – Shockwaves”

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I’ve just had a great week shooting video for Wella Shockwaves. We shot 10 models for some podcasts that will be out sometime this year. Amazing location – We shot at The Depository and the House Next Door (Castle Gibson).

Worked with some amazing models and got some brilliant footage!!! I can’t wait to add this to my ever increasing showreel. For those of you who don’t know I shoot soley on DSLR – Canon 5d MKII. Finally got to play with Libtec Jib Arm with incredible results. Will post results as soon as they are ready!!!

Big shout out to our amazing crew. Michael Douglas – Hair Stylist/ Presenter, Andy Abrahams – Producer, Cowboy – Lighting God and my assistant, Joe Chapman – D.O.P, Sam Chapman – Camera Assistant, Paul Cameron – Sound, Aradia Crockett – Stylist, Hanan Touhami – Makeup.

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