Editorial Magazine: Shots Magazine

Media: Photography / high end retouching

Shots Magazine Whitehouse Post Production John Smith


Behind the scenes
Shots if you haven’t come across it is a ‘creative connections’ magazine and website [that’s how they describe themselves] http://www.shots.net/.
The likes of David LaChapelle shoot covers for this magazine so a double page spread was a great opportunity to further showcase my editorial photography.
The subject of focus was the worldwide post production company Whitehouse Post Production and its owner / film editor John Smith.
You can view before and after shots above [aspect ratios were changed for the monitors].

I’ve been in several editing suites over the years and they can all look a little the same, so I needed to have a creative concept to get the client excited about the shoot before I arrived.
I settled for an environmental portrait with John facing away from the camera. However, I would take portraits of John and place them in the monitors looking back at the reader.

I sent a mock up I made one evening  with my beautiful wife working at her Mac and they loved the concept.
John has edited films such as Leaving Las Vegas, Sliding Doors, Gulliver’s Travels, commercials and many other works, you can see more of what Whitehouse do here.
I then had the idea that the portraits could be of himself recreating a key scene from films he had edited and make it appear as if he was editing himself in his edit suite.
I ran this idea in my head and came to the conclusion that we only had a short window to shoot in and the set-ups may just take too long.

On the day of the shoot we began preparing for the main shot where John would be editing himself [on blank screens to be filled in later]  when I had the idea for a little movement in the shot and Anna kindly pushed John’s wheelie chair in and out of frame until we had it just right amount of motion blur. Anna also organised the whole shoot and gave me the job in the first place so cheers again Anna.


Before we were about to shoot the different portraits [to be with lots of expressions] John suggested he would be game to re-enact the famous films and commercials he has edited.
John was great to work with and wanted to try every idea, so we had the staff quickly buying and digging up props to make our shoot viable.

The looks we went for were Leaving las Vegas, Gulliver’s Travels, a serial killer TV series and Cubehead a water commercial. We left the vodka bottle pouring shot until last and I used wireless flash and soft box to freeze the water stream, this was a one take shot.
Sliding doors is another John Smith edited film and we thought about going down to the tube station but there wasn’t time so we left this one.
Post production, I wanted to colour grade the images to look like the films they were. This took some time but the result was worth it and then I placed the images into the monitors.
I also had to work with emap magazine guidelines for submissions and shots magazine.

Gear & Tech
Canon 5d mark II
Canon 85mm and 50mm F1.2 lenses
Quantum Q flash with soft box for the Leaving Las Vegas image
Quantum Turbo 2×2
Pocket wizard radio transmitters
I was tethered to my laptop throughout the shoot for client viewing .
Other items such as reflectors, tripods, daylight bulbs with soft box lighting.

Finally, you can pick a copy of the magazine or this back issue and see my work in print for only £160, yes that’s £160 for one single issue.