Portraiture Archives - Page 2 of 3 - John Ferguson Photography
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Bespoke fashion photo shoots


A Boho Inspired fashion photo shoot with Baccara

I’d like to introduce you to Baccara Ashbury. Baccara saw my website and immediately called me to say that she wanted to be in your own fashion photo shoot. Baccara has had some modelled experience some years before and really wanted to try her hand at being in front of the camera again. One of the services I offer at Studio Luxe is a bespoke themed fashion shoot for discerning clients. Whatever your interested, we can make your fashion shoot look fantastic. We settled for a BoHo fashion theme for Baccara and she looked beautiful! I hired a great farm in my area and also hired the most beautiful and funkiest looking VW camper-van in Suffolk. The weather was great, the make-up by Cheri Knock was faultless and the pictures superb, even if I say so myself. So if you fancy starring in your own full on fashion shoot, with top make-up artist and a top hairstylist, then just get in touch and we’ll get together and we’ll put together your own personal photo shoot.

Kelly Rowland, photographed at the Houston film studios, Texas.

Working with Destiny’s Child


During my time working with celebrities and personalities I was very fortunate to have travelled all over the world photographing pop stars, Tv and movie stars, world statesmen and women, even royalty too.

November 2002, I received a call from my good friend Eva Simpson who at the time was one of the trio of young female journalists who made up the 3am girls on the Daily Mirror entertainment pages. She called me and said,’Fergie we got to be in Houston, Texas by tomorrow night, we’ve got a photo shoot & and exclusive interview with Destiny’s Child, can you make it?’

So there we were in Texas, waiting to meet the gorgeous Beyonce Knowles and the rest of Destiny’s Child. After an hour of waiting, along came a group of people who it turned out to be their agents, managers, PR’s, parents and anyone one else you can think of, but not the girls. We were in an enormous warehouse type building which was where the shoot was to take place. To keep a long story short, I gather all the bands touring equipment and used some of the sound engineers recording equipment, I was going to place the girls amongst and around this backdrop. The girls finally arrived and after a moment to greeting each other, I was asked to take over. As with these shoots,I only had 20 mins to get individuals portraits and some groups shots. I could literately feel everyone breathing down my neck, a crowd of at least thirty Americans watching my every move as I directed the at the time the world biggest group Destiny’s Child around my make-shift studio.The pictures turned out great, everyone loved my shots and the Daily Mirror used the pictures over two days in large double paged spreads, which was very cool.

I went on to meet Beyonce again in London the next year, this time I wasn’t so nervous, but she is a true professional, and a dream to work with on both occasions.

I’ve Hit The Big Time…In Suffolk

Faces & Places Article

I was fortunate enough to have been asked to feature in an article for a local glossy magazine based in East Anglia. Faces & Places Magazine wanted to know about my celebrity photo shoots with the likes of Naomi Campbell, Ozzy Osbourne, Jon Bon Jovi, Michael Jackson and so on. Check out the article here: http://www.placesandfaces.co.uk/in-the-frame/

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My Moroccan Adventure in Marrakech

For my recent birthday celebration my wife Julie & I, along with a couple of friends, jetted off to Marrakech in Morocco for a long weekend. Its over twenty five years since I last visited Morocco and things have changed quite a lot over the years. When I last came here there where no EasyJet or RyanAir flights or any other cheap budget airlines to get you here. Then, we travelled down through Spain via Ferry to Morocco on our very small budget, spending a month visiting all the major cities. But after all these years it still remains as fascinating a country for me, as it was back then, especially if like me you love taking photographic portrait pictures. But I’ve got to say Morocco is definitely one of the hardest places in take a good candid portrait, the locals are very reluctant to pose for you. So you end up employing your best street style photographic approach if and when you see something interesting, and in a town like Marrakech its every minute of so. You can also get lucky with some who pose for you, but only after a few coins have changed hands. It’s definitely a place where I would like to come back to for a longer stay, and travel the length of the country which I did all those years before, and who knows maybe I will again sometime in the future.

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‘Fight Town’ comes to Suffolk

I managed to work my way into the ’Trouble in Town’ Boxing event in Ipswich earlier this month. I had a great night photographing the various boxers and trainers. Boxing was one of the first sports I photographed as a young sports photographer. Boxing in this country back in the early eighties was a much bigger affair then, and that’s how my interest in sport came about. I loved the honesty of boxers and the trainers, real genuine people. Its always amazed me how hard each fighter had to train just to compete with another boxers in the ring, let alone be a champion. I know all sportsmen and women have to put in the hard work to succeed in their chosen sport, but boxing is brutal, hard and probably the most physical sport in the world. I’ve been inside a boxing ring a few times, and it’s actually much tougher than it looks! It’s also a great testament to all those boxers who have chosen boxing as a way to either make a living or used it as a route out of the poverty trap, which the majority of boxers around the world have found themselves in. Boxing made a great impression on me from an early age, and a certain Muhammad Ali is my all time sporting hero, a man that I have the utmost respect for, respect not only for his skill as a boxer, or as a brilliant orator, but because for his integrity, standing up for what he believed in, what ever the consequences. I hope you like some my pictures from the evening.

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My visit to the Suffolk Show

This year my wife Julie and I decided to take our two kids to the Suffolk Show, it was our first visit, and I have to say I was more than impressed with the whole thing. It was really good to get a true taste of just what the countryside and towns in Suffolk have to offer.

From older traditional trades like farriers, farming and other agricultural businesses, to hundreds of varied trade stands selling everything from
great foods of all kinds, I bought some of the best cheeses I’ve ever tasted! Locally made clothes designers, art work or all kinds, interior designers, sporting events and of course a great range of local beers and ciders too. The show lasts for two days and quite frankly you definitely need both days to see all that’s on offer, the sheer variety of activities and attractions was huge!

The second day even saw Prince Harry come along to judge the ‘best in class’ farm animals, he probably got to pick out the best strawberry jam in the county too!
He went down really well, coverage of Harry’s visit was everywhere around our town for everyone to see.

We could only go for one day, but will definitely be back next year, here’s a selection of images from my day at the County fair.

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New Promotional & Marketing short Video stories.

With the availability of great high quality HD digital cameras and the current accent on capturing video content for websites, marketing and public relations, its long been a goal of mine to film and produce short stories to further my services in my commercial work. More and more businesses large and small are coming around to the fact of just how important video content is for there websites.

I along with my assistant Ben are currently putting together a series of short video stories entitled ‘Made in Suffolk’ which centres around 4 completely different individuals, but who all have one thing in common, they produce a skill or offer something a little different within the county of Suffolk.

We’re currently working with a really great guy at the moment, 70 year old Jeff Errington, a deep sea diver from his base in Ipswich, Suffolk. Jeff’s works on the giant sea container ships that come in to port at the nearby Felixstowe docks, along with other underwater marine duties such as inspecting ship wrecks, underwater explosives to servicing the massive wind turbine farms in the East Anglia area. We’re putting together a short video documentary and photographic package for his company. Great footage so far, but we’ll need another dive job before we finish the entire video. We’re waiting for the summer months before scheduling another filmed dive as the waters are so dark…this side of the Mediterranean!!

It’s a really fascinating job, deep sea divers up close. Just watching the amount of preparation that goes into each dive was a real eye opener. It goes without saying that Jeff’s job carries a certain amount of danger so making sure every bit of equipment is in good working order can make the difference to a successful dive or one that can lead to horrendous consequences.

We’re in the process of putting together a couple more promotional video’s, and we’re currently in talks with two other small businesses.

Our first finished feature has just been uploaded to Vimeo and centres around the work of garage owner Roger Williams from Wickham Market. His passion is restoring and selling vintage Jaguar C Type 1 sports cars to collectors all over the world.


Click on the image to see my video.


Getting on the Instagram bandwagon. What am I waiting for!!

johnkeatley copyGreat article about something that I’ve neglected for so many years, but not any more! This series of articles as really opened my eyes to a new way of using my photography skills, which can only be a good thing! Watch this space. These images are from a great US portrait photographer John Keatley. Instagram feed: @johnkeatley Best Of Instagram Portrait Photography

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Creative collaboration on Suffolk fashion commission


About six months ago I was asked if I wanted to join up with The Eastern Enterprise Hub http://www.eehub.co.uk/programmes/recreate.aspx  a dynamic group of partners working together to drive entrepreneurship and skills development with high impact across the East of England with the aim of benefiting the region’s economy. My first thought was no, I’m always weary of these kind of local groups, maybe as I’ve seen too many in London who’s sole aim seems only to get enough bums on seats – just to fulfil certain financial obligations.

Cynical I know… probably too many years working with national newspapers!

But once I got over my cynicism, I found in my group a great selection of creative  entrepreneurs from all corners of Suffolk, all looking to push their businesses forward. The Hub gives great support and guidance helping to promote individuals with good business ideas, develop key skills, and providing great commercial expertise. Throughout the year they invite successful Suffolk creative and business entrepreneurs to give advice on how to operate in the creative markets, from developing business and marketing strategies to practical advice from well established Suffolk entrepreneurs. They range from advertising & design studios, accountancy and banking, local council department for arts and events, to social marketing experts. The information I’ve received from the hub in a short space of time as been invaluable and its always enjoyable meeting like-minded creative entrepreneurs who are all on the same path as myself. Its always good to know that your not alone when starting your business, and I’ve met some really good people there.

One of my fellow creative entrepreneurs is Sarah Louise Chatterton. Sarah runs her own fashion label and makes the most beautiful hand printed scarfs and dresses from her studio in Ipswich. http://www.slc-slc.co.uk She had a request from the Times Magazine for pictures of her dresses and scarfs with regards to a up coming Magazine feature. Sarah had seen my work and gushed, “I just love your work!” She’s told me this on a couple of occasions, so naturally when it came to commissioning a good photographer, she just had to come to me! :-)

We found a really cool location, a beautful bird sanctuary tucked away in rural Suffolk, I’m under pain of death if I ever disclosed the whereabouts of this location. All I can say is that it’s truly amazing, with a sandy beach, a fishing lake with wooden jetties, tall grass, swans, rowing boats etc etc, every fashion photographers dream….you gotta check it out. :-)

I took along my Elinchrom Ranger Quadra portable lighting pack, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ul5-UAxmh3Y which is ideal for shoots like this, but I only used the lights for a very short period. Instead I used my big 6×6 silver reflector to bounce light back into the model & the clothes, which worked perfectly. Whenever I can use a reflector, I will always opt for this kind of light.   http://www.sunbounce.com/products/reflectors/big

The model Georgia, was great, she was a little shy at first(she’s 15)but regularly models for Sarah. She has a certain look about her which reminded me of Mick Jagger’s ex-wife Jerry Hall who I had the pleasure of photographing before. http://www.studio-luxe.co.uk/#!/index/G0000Bb2tAHGBi5o

Georgia turned out to be a real star, she really got into her role; a carefree, summer party feel on the beach. The pictures worked perfectly. I wanted to go for a cool filmic look for the post production, as this would bring out the best of Sarah’s textures on her designs. In the end we had over a hundred great images to choose from, Sarah was really happy, I was very happy and I hope the Times Saturday Magazine will be equally happy.

I’m primarily a commercial & editorial photographer, but I just loves fashion photography, it’s always been a great source of inspiration for me. I’ve produced some really nice editorial fashion spreads over the years and its something I’d really like to get more involved in again. Now I’m freelancing in a new part of the country, I’ll be able to push through some really cool ideas. I’m in the process of producing a couple of projects with some other amazing designers over this summer and also over the next couple of years. In-fact after working with Sarah on her shoot, we’ve agreed to collaborate with each other again on future ideas and also setting up other projects with creative entrepreneurs, fashion designers and wardrobe creatives from our region.

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Great modelling portfolio shoot with Jordan Barrow

I had a brilliant time shooting young Jordan Barrow’s new modelling portfolio images last week, he was an excellent client, really committed to the shoot and he knew exactly what he wanted from our day. He was really pleased with the final retouched images, and found it all a little difficult cutting down his choice to only 8 images from over two hundred. 

I’m always on the lookout for new and useful locations in and around my region here in Suffolk. You can throw a stick in any direction and it will land on any number of beautiful countryside scenes, rivers, woodlands to forests to great beaches and coastline areas. But I’m always keen to find something a little different. I noticed a few weeks back on a visit to a friends studio, an old abandoned disused factory near some railway sidings. I just had to take a closer look, luckily I found a part of the fence that had been broken down. These places can be a little dangerous, so you have to be careful when involving other people. I was thankful that it wasn’t too bad for us to work in, the whole place made for a great backdrop, and I knew that it would work brilliantly for a photo shoot. There’s always a danger that these sites could be blocked off at anytime, or the bulldozers would move in and tear down what’s left of the factory within days. So getting a call from Jordan to produced a new set of pictures worked out perfectly.

We discussed the kind of new images Jordan needed for his portfolio. I noticed that Jordan had more studio based images, and images that you could say were geared to a younger street style. So I suggested Jordan should wear a cool looking suit which would look a little incongruous within the scene of the disused factory backdrop. Jordan has a fine collection of cool suits, so I didn’t need the services of a wardrobe stylist this time round. Fashion stylist are worth their weight in gold if you’re wanting a more structured themed look and feel to your shoot. I’ve worked with many fashion stylists over the years in London, mainly on celebrity & fashion editorial shoots, but also on commercial jobs involving products, food, and interior shoots.

Sometimes it can be a little difficult for models, especially male models, to feel 100% comfortable with the camera, especially when there’s a photo crew and others around on set. I suggested to Jordan that we create a theme, a scenario that we could visualise himself in. So I told him imagine you’re an escaped prisoner on the run and he was being chased through this factory. It certainly did the trick and helped concentrate his mind on his role.

Shooting on location really depends a lot on the weather, it was forecasted for rain in our region on our shoot day, but they couldn’t have been more wrong. It was like a high summers day! I shot a combination of black & white and colour images. When shooting in B&W you need to look a little differently at your subject as opposed to when shooting in colour. Jordan has very strong features, I wanted to try to use the shadows and the harsh sunlight around the factory to accentuate his features. I also chose to shoot with my Nikon 800E  instead of my Phase One Hasselblad  because of the environment, and I wasn’t sure how long we would get at the site, so speed was of the essence. I also decided that I’d shoot with my new Elinchrom ring flash which I bought in a sale from the Flash Centre in London, over year ago!  I wanted that really harsh fashion look to the colour images for Jordan. 

After a bit of fiddling and getting to know the equipment I soon started to enjoy the look I was getting from my new set-up. I’ve used ring flashes before but not on location, only on studio set ups. I loved the look we were getting, the images literally popped out from the prints. The B&W images where shot on my Fujifilm X-Pro1 with a 35mm 1.4 lens which is fast becoming my favourite camera, always shooting on RAW(for both cameras)I used the cameras brilliant film simulation mode which offers five different black & white filters to choose from, all producing excellent quality images. All you want before any shoot is a successful outcome, which is exactly what we achieved.