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Shooting for Cloth Magazine, by Amanda Thomas

1 April 2017

Amanda Thomas is a fashion and portrait photographer working in both London and Bristol. She loves working with sustainable fashion brands and individuals, using creative photography to elevate an emotional connection with style and purpose. Having begun shooting in 1998, she recently celebrated 18 years in the industry. Her work is a hybrid of fine art and editorial styles as she likes to curate an idea and build on it so its fits in with the person and brief. Thomas recently worked with The Princes Trust, giving a talk about her work and the industry, along with a workshop about portraiture. It was sponsored by Huawei in connection with The Saatchi Gallery and their new exhibition ‘Selfie to Self Expression' which has recently launched.

This image was part of a small series for a fashion magazine called Cloth, which was about current catwalk trends whilst creating and customising your own designs and clothing. The ethos and drive for the magazine was to make fashion accessible, authentic and make to make it your own.

The article was a four page feature about the circle skirt. The art director, editor and I wanted to create something that was striking and had a narrative. The coastal location, balloons and muted colour palate were discussed and developed as we wanted a sense of freedom and fun for the feature.

The location was an old Victorian pier on the North Somerset coastline. The weather held out which was a complete blessing as it was well into late autumn. It was a beautiful sunny day with a strong wind which was perfect in creating a sense of movement. Location shoots are exciting and challenging in equal measure as you can only plan around 80 percent of a shoot, whilst the rest is creative problem-solving and bending the rules. One challenge was that we had to prepare the model for hair and make-up in a tiny ice-cream pavilion at the end of the pier. It was early October and out of season, yet some very curious tourists kept trying to come in. The electricity kept tripping out whilst the make-up artist was using a hairdryer and heated rollers. Nonetheless, we all kept the team morale high because creating great work and getting the perfect shot is always worth it.

I shot this with available light since the weather was so good and the clouds provided some softness to the sun. I wanted to have some shadow on the model and clothing to create shape otherwise the shot would have looked quite flat, so there was no need for a reflector or strobe lights.

Further info: Thomas has just completed shooting her first book, a luxury coffee table fashion book called The Capsule Wardrobe, written by Arianna Cadwallader, a fashion and costume designer and Cathy McKinnon, an art director. It will be published in October by Kyle Books.

See more work by Amanda Thomas

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