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Refinement and Completion blog X

Experimentation on set with Sam Mellish

Knowing Sam Mellish personally, who was invited as a guest at Morley College, I offered to help him as an assistant whenever needed. I was very curious to see how a professional sports photographer works on set with his subjects and how he manages an entire photoshoot. Four weeks later, I received a call from Sam inviting me to the official photoshoot for the GB Team diving section at the London Aquatic Centre, and of course, I accepted the invitation. On the day of the photoshoot, I received all the information about what we would need to do.

I was pleasantly surprised to have all the information about the photoshoot. Arriving at the location an hour before the scheduled start of the shoot, we inspected the area to find the suitable spots. I asked Sam if he was okay with me sharing my ideas, and he agreed.

Sam worked with just one flash for all the images, which was pretty basic, but he interacted a lot with the people he photographed, making them feel comfortable. He even showed them some shots on the camera to build their confidence. The schedule wasn't followed at all by the GB Team coordinators, but we both feel like we did a great job. I handled setting up the lighting (all visually, without using a light meter). Also, when it came to portraits, my experience from shooting graduations at Tempest helped me. I paid close attention to clothing, adjusted collars, and straightened shirts to avoid imperfections, and Sam immediately noticed my attention to detail.

Group photos were also taken, and from the beginning, it was mentioned that they didn't want perfectly symmetrical images, using the term "no school pictures." So, I positioned everyone with their feet on a bench and instructed them to hug each other, forming a group.

Once I finished setting up the uniforms and the lights, I took some pictures with my phone and also shot a few short videos, which Sam really appreciated afterward.

The group photos also used only one light source, positioned on the left side.

For the pair mate photos, we used a single light source from the right side. Since it was a rainy day, we waited for the rain to stop to take the same kind of photos for everyone.

In the last photoshoot, I came up with an idea to use a gray cement wall as a background and creatively integrate the GB TEAM logo (see picture), creating a strong contrast. Sam liked my idea right away, and I was pleasantly surprised when everyone acknowledged it as mine. It was really appreciated. Additionally, for this image, I received tags on Instagram from the athletes.

The image was cropped to be used on Instagram.

It was a wonderful day where I felt very appreciated. Sam gave me credit for everything I did and highlighted my creativity. I saw that he works simply without complicating things too much. His editing involves only cropping and adjusting colors. He doesn't use any specific techniques or a light meter everything is done to be pleasing to the eye.

Final pictures Sam Mellish

assistant : Alexandru Radu Popescu

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