Mushroom Theatre Company Photoshoot

I've worked with Mushroom Theatre Company students before, and it's always been terrific fun. So when I received a message from Ellen outlining the vision for this shoot I was totally on board. The brief was simple - Gaga. The shoot took place at Equal People Performing Arts Studios in Rayleigh, Essex, which are spacious and well equipped (as well as being staffed by some amazing people!).

I arrived with an hour to set up and hair and make up were already in full swing. Amelia (@ameliasophieball) did an incredible job as you can see from the images. I've worked with her on previous projects, and she really is talented. The original plan was to shoot in a stairwell at the back of the studios. On the way to check it out, we walked through one of the studios which is undergoing some building work and decided that the building work made a great backdrop, as well as offering quite a lot of flexibility for groups and larger set ups.

I unpacked and got everything dialed in just right. It's important to have everything available and to hand quickly, so that I can be flexible and keep up the pace of the shoot - this is particularly important with younger people.

First we shot some individuals and group shots - lots of props and different poses. Then groups of two and finally some group photos. By the final few shots, you could feel the excitement and energy growing - and the attitude in those final shots is incredible.

Every time I've visited Mushroom Theatre Company, the students have shown total commitment to each other and to their school, and that's really a credit to the staff and volunteers at Mushroom Theatre Company - you can find out more about this incredible organisation at

Dorky Techie Stuff

I shot every image with a 5Div, and a Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 II at 1/200s, ISO100 f/7.1. Lights used were an AD600BM, 2 Ad200s and a couple of old Yongnuo speedlights, all triggered with a X-Pro trigger. Main modifier was a (GIANT) silver 2m umbrella with no diffusion, I used a bunch of Magmod modifiers, including gels, grids, spheres and a magbeam for some of the background. I also used an AD200 bounced into a large reflector as a main light in the shots with the umbrella in the background.

Images were edited for exposure and contrast in Lightroom, and gently retouched using dodge and burn and frequency separation techniques in photoshop.