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Why spontaneous photoshoots rock! - shooting with Ellie Mae Mallinson

Updated: Nov 8, 2020

A walk through of my model street fashion shoot session with Ellie in manchester - complete with bts footage, camera details and editing process.






I had the opportunity to shoot with the amazing Ellie Mae Mallinson on a free style/unscripted "type"of shoot. We had previously discussed doing a street shoot on the streets of Manchester but no specific plans were made with regards to the location or theme of the shoot overall. I just told Ellie , "get some stuff to wear in a bag and lets go and shoot in Manchester!" next thing..she turns up with a suitcase full of "everything" as if she was heading for terminal 1. Not being Manchester residents we found ourselves at Manchester's most expensive car park, the Arndale Centre! The plan was to park up and go wondering the streets of Manchester for suitable locations, but little did I know, the car pack would be the "suitable" shooting location.

“ I'll be honest this shoot was not planned at all, I just told Ellie , "get some stuff to wear in a bag and lets go and shoot in Manchester" next thing..she turns up with a suitcase full of "everything"

Here is why I love spontenious shooting! No pressure! everything and anything goes! No disappointments if the preferred location is not accessible for whatever reason! very forgiving for experimental shooting!

In this case, as we were making our way to the lifts via the empty parking spaces on the top floor of the car park when we were stopped in our tracks by the bright yellow signage and road markings around the car park and Ellie goes, "Oooh i brought something Yellow in my bag!"and just like that! everything clicked into place. She quickly went and got changed while I got my lighting and camera gear set up. On her return I took a few test shots and quickly made the decision to shoot in a natural light. I have shot Ellie previously in both natural and artificial lighting and she looks good with both lighting techniques. But given that; I wanted the shoot to have a natural street vibe feel to it, I took the decision to shoot in natural lighting; we were shooting in a fast paced car park environment and therefore shooting with flash lights would have slowed down the shoot and meant carrying around unnecessary gear etc.


what's in your bag?


I used a Sony A7Rii coupled with the sigma 35mm Art f1.4 and also the 50mm Art f1.4. If I'm going to be honest, the majority of the images were shot with the 35mm wide open at f1.4, 1/100 and ISO 125. As much as i love the 50mm equivalent; I rarely ever use it given the type of work I do.

Let the shooting begin!


The reason why I'm a fan of shooting with Ellie is her ability to react fast and compliment my shooting style, angles and naturally position herself appropriately relative to the direction of the light. This made my job a lot easier as all i had to do was concentrate on framing the shot and make her laugh ( yes I'm funny). Remember, this shoot was not scripted at all, "lets try this" was the phrase frequently used during the shoot, what's the worst that could happen? We set out to have a fun no pressure unscripted shoot, we knew this would be experimental more than anything...so we just did exactly that! We shot for the hell of it, embraced mistakes and learned from them in the process!

"Remember, this shoot was not scripted at all, "lets try this" was the phrase frequently used during the shoot, what's the worst that could happen after all"



Post Processing


Most of my raw images are usually colour graded in Lightroom and taken into Photoshop for skin retouching where applicable. However, in this case Ellie's skin and makeup was near enough perfect and I found no need what so ever to retouch her skin. All the images where batch colour graded in Lightroom only! Which made this by far the fastest editing session I've ever done! Below is a small selection of the shots we created from the shoot!

Please share your experiences good or bad shooting unscripted..would be interesting to hear your experiences.




#Ellie Mae Mallinson #Fashion #Street #Manchester #Black and Yellow #Urban

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