Upon receiving a request from the Dorset String Quartet, I was tasked with the responsibility of curating a collection of images tailored specifically for their upcoming website, social media platforms, and accompanying blog articles. Understanding the significance of a comprehensive understanding of the client’s identity and objectives, I initiated the project by delving into extensive background research to gain insights into the essence of the ensemble and their artistic vision. This preliminary phase allowed me to grasp the nuances of their musical style, aesthetic preferences, and overarching goals, laying a solid foundation for the subsequent creative process. By prioritizing thorough client engagement and meticulous attention to detail from the outset, I aimed to ensure the seamless alignment of the imagery with the ensemble’s brand identity and messaging across various digital platforms.
The Dorset String Quartet is a group of very talented, classically trained musicians, who perform all over the South West and have a wide ranging repertoire. They can perform at any live event that would value a beautiful performance from some talented classical musicians.
For me classical music always seems to conjure up an atmosphere and imagery that is based in dreams and deep thoughts.
I wanted the images to stand out from the crowd on the web. There are a lot of classical quartets around and I was sure if we could create a unique style, it would improve their visibility online.
I‘ve always admired the work of Annie Leibowitz and incredible photographer from the USA. She puts her subjects in environments that are not always totally relevant to that particular person.
She uses artificial light outdoors which creates a very unique feel and it helps the subject stand out from the background.
I really liked the idea of photographing these people in an environment that is not the norm for a classical Quartet, not in a concert hall or on stage.
The Dorset countryside and especially the beautiful coastline felt like a great place to start. I had been to Swanage recently and loved the old quarry at Winspit. It has amazing stone areas that have been carved away into the hillside and have left stone areas that, to me felt like a natural amphitheatre. After showing the Dorset String Quartet some images from the quarry they agreed it would be a great place to shoot.
I approached the owners of the quarry and they were happy let us to shoot there for half a day. Weather was really important and I knew it need to be a lovely sunny day. We had a weather call two days prior to the shoot day, just in case we had to postpone.
After all I was going to be using high powered flash heads out doors with electricity.
The Dorset String Quartet brought a few different outfit changes , so that they could have more variety in the shots.
I used a diffused battery powered flash heads aimed through a soft box. Using high speed sync I could reduce the shutter speed so that the background was perfectly exposed and I could get that clean studio type lighting on the subjects.
The band were very happy with the pictures and are using them throughout their website and social media.
Winspit is now being used as a location for filming a new Star Wars series.
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