Shooting on site: photographing the Trevor Jones Studio

If you’ve seen a prospectus recently, chances are you’ve seen the work of our fantastic in-house photographer Alex Holland. He’s written a blog post covering photography for this year’s undergraduate prospectus (featuring an airborne me) which gives a great insight into the creative process from concept to completion.

Another big photography project that’s in the works is refreshing the images we have stored up centrally for academic departments. Excitingly for us Content Producers, this means a trip out to help make sure we get the shots we need – this could be a specific image the department has in mind, or ensuring we have a photo of a particular shape for an awkward space in a brochure. Either way, we get to explore the exciting facilities our departments have on offer. 

I had the pleasure of accompanying Alex to refresh some imagery for the Department of Music, focusing on their recording studios and music production facilities – specifically the Trevor Jones Studio. Apart from the terror of being around equipment that could buy me a suburban family home, we had a few other challenges: a dark room, a relatively inflexible setup and a request from our designers for some colourful images for our departmental brochures.

The photographer in his natural habitat

Never deterred by an awkward location, Alex managed to place the lighting equipment strategically and we squeezed him in behind the mixing desk. 

The results were marvellous.

Model’s-eye view: a multitude of lights and equipment, hidden from the camera as much as possible
Camera’s-eye view at more or less the same moment: magic! 

This was a live workshop session, so we got the chance to listen to some of the things that students were working on – another bonus of working out in departments.

It’s always exciting to chat to students and hear their work

As a relatively recent graduate, I also had a go in front of the camera to make sure we got a complete set of the images we wanted. This combination of live and staged images means we have a brilliant range of photos that can be adapted to suit a variety of audiences.

Research student Lynette showing me the ropes

One of our models, Lynette, kindly showed me the basics of the mixing desk, so I could at least look like I knew what I was doing.

Not pictured: Alex pulling faces behind the camera

The one thing you can guarantee is that a shoot with Alex will be lots of fun. He knows how to get a natural smile out of you, even if that means he’s roaring like a lion!

We’re very excited about showcasing our facilities in new and creative ways, and photoshoots with Alex are no exception. Whether it’s adding a bit of colour, fancy tricks with lighting or trying new angles or poses, we’re determined to make sure our facilities, our staff and our students can really shine. It’s an exciting thing to be part of!

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