Alternative model shoot – Murder Mile Studio London

Ines South on the Chaise Longue

Lazy Days

It’s been a while since I got involved in a good old model shoot, so when my good mate and Wedding assistant Will Graham decided to arrange a shoot in North London, I just had to be involved. An excellent day was promised via the booking of a really quirky studio, a number of excellent models and a few good mates of mine coming along to take part. Read on for more…

Planning for this event started towards the back end of last year. Originally touted as an outdoor event at a couple of quirky London locations with the aim of getting a high class fashion / wedding shoot feel the realisation that we’d be asking models to stand around in fairly thin outfits, outdoors, in early February eventually sunk in – and in order to stop ourselves (and the models) from contracting hypothermia we decided to take things indoors and splash the cash on hiring a studio for the day.

One of the guys – John Lovell – quickly ‘found’ a really interesting looking studio – Murder Mile in Clapton. The rest of us quickly agreed that with the quirky sets and unusual style of the place we’d be able to get some really interesting photographs – and the studio was booked.

Unfortunately the snow then hit, disrupted the travel plans of the models and also hit me hard as I was supposed to be travelling down from Leicester. The day was off. We rescheduled for a few weeks later – which was great as it gave us extra time to prepare clothes, props and ideas which could work with the change in studio.

Eventually the day came and I headed off down to London to meet Will, John, Mit and Paddy, Amelle our make up artist, James King our hair stylist and our models Ines South, Linda Willjamy and Claire Watola. With excellent foresight, Will had overbooked on the models knowing full well that some would drop out on the day – and drop out they did, leaving us with half the models originally booked. Whilst Will ran around like a madman seeing to the needs of the models, MUA and stylist I, as the most experienced studio guy there, set up a few lighting setups – a very simple one light stripbox affair using a Lencarta Elitepro 600 firing through a Bessel 120cm x 30cm gridded strip softbox in a side room with a chaise longue, and a simple two light setup in the bar / diner area using another Lencarta Elitepro 600 firing through a 40cm gridded beauty dish on a boom arm and a Lencarta Smartflash 200 firing through a MASSIVE shoot through umbrella.

After what seemed like an eternity (but, in reality, was only two hours) our first two models were ready and we got shooting. To begin with I was with Mit and John in the side room with Claire, getting some dramatic shots using the chaise longue.

Claire Watola


The combination of the Lencarta Elitepro and Bessel Stripbox combined beautifully with Claire’s gorgeous posing on the chair producing the photograph above. After taking a few shots we swapped places with Will and Paddy who had been photographing Ines in the bar area. Whereas Claire had gone for classic style, Ines was slightly more edgy…

Ines South

One Final Drink

A fellow photographer / filmmaker had donated his gun (not real, honest) and gas mask (which didn’t actually come out to play during the day) as props for us to use and Ines was doing a great job at playing the tortured soul. The massive umbrella was providing some gorgeous soft light, and the gridded beauty dish just added a tiny amount of definition to Ines’ hair.

Before we knew it, our time downstairs was at an end, and we ventured upstairs to the quirkier sets for the afternoon. After spending most of the morning relatively unemployed it was time for Linda to star whilst Ines and Claire changed into a new look.

Linda Willjamy

Step forward...

For the above photograph I’d set up another lighting arrangement, using the Bessel 120x30cm stripbox through my Lencarta Elitepro 600 on the left, a Bessel 200x30cm stripbox through another Elitepro 600 on the right and a Lencarta Smartflash 200 through a 20 degree honeycomb grid directly from above as a hair light. This setup worked well for most of the afternoon, and was integral in my main concept for the day – ‘Heaven and Hell’.

Linda Willjamy, Will Graham and Ines South

Decisions Decisions Decisions

Playing the part of the ‘tortured groom’ was the event organiser, Will Graham. I think he quite enjoyed it really!

Continuing the ‘Heaven and Hell’ concept, and because a couple of the other guys wanted to experiment with other types of lighting I set up my Lencarta Safari ringflash for the below photograph…

Ines South and Linda Willjamy

Hell Hath No Fury

Needless to say, that photograph took a few takes to get a good spread of the red and black petals!

Claire Watola

Mirror Image

Whilst all this was going on, Claire had changed into another classic outfit, and making the most of the massive umbrella, damask wallpaper and ornate mirror we all took turns in getting a few shots as she effortlessly moved from pose to pose.

Linda Willjamy

Are you sitting comfortably?

Finally, as time ran out we managed to get Linda into one last costume change and it was back out with the Lencarta Safari Ringflash to get a few final edgy portraits.

And that ended the day. A long, but really productive day, where the models worked tirelessly, the stylist and MUA provided some excellent looks and the other photographers brought the ideas and inspiration. Full credit to Will for arranging an awesome day!

More photographs from the day can be seen and purchased from my gallery