Shooting Grunge – Model

After weeks of truly rubbish weather it looked like we were going to have a break on the last day of the year.  We were wrong.

hastings photographer

It had been too long since my last location shoot and I was going into withdrawal, so we decided to go ahead anyway.  Luckily for me Helen is a true professional when it comes to arriving on set prepared and going with the flow.  We decided to embrace the windy and wet conditions and go a little wild and real with styling….shooting grunge in Sussex.

Our chosen Hastings location worked great to protect us a bit from the weather, but more importantly (because the end results are what count) to add to the slightly grungy look we wanted.  Helen’s wind whipped up hair looked just right.

wind whipped hair

redhead model hastings

The challenge of location shooting is working with what you’ve got to create awesome photographs.  As long as you work the light right, style the model accordingly and shoot appropriately for the location any type of weather looks good.

Love the results!

model photographer sussex

hastings model portfolio grunge

Contact me, your go-anywhere Sussex photographer, for model portfolio photography anywhere in Sussex or Kent – it is an amazingly varied part of the world that offers endless opportunities to create awesome photographs.

Join me on Instagram @janeallanphotography to see loads more photos from model shoots.  (


Fashion in a Car Park

I wanted to get a gritty, attitudey (if that’s a word), but still oh so cool and chic, look to this fashion shoot in a car park.  As a Sussex photographer, I’m always on the lookout for locations local to me in Sussex.  When you start looking you’d be amazed how many there are.  Everywhere.

biker jacket

For a while now I’ve had my eye on a crash barrier in a car park.  As you do.  It was perfectly angled for a shot with the early morning winter sun coming in low and backlighting my model.  I always prefer to backlight my images, rather than blind my models, but not only for that reason – I like soft light.  Bright direct sun onto the face can be so harsh.

leather jacket fashion

Now I’m going to contradict myself, because we did turn the shot around and have the sun behind me.  I asked Jade to keep her eyes shut in between shots and then open briefly to look straight down the lens with a bit of attitude to suit our shoot style.  I love the contrast.

street fashion

Jade did brilliantly, and looking at the photos you’d have no idea that she was in fits of giggles between each perfectly composed shot.  I really should resist cracking jokes when we’re trying to be cool and serious.

biker fashion shoot


For more information on model portfolio shoots with me, your friendly Sussex photographer, click here.

Join me on Instagram @janeallanphotography to see loads more photos from model shoots.  (



The World Is My Studio


A few months ago I started thinking about stuff.  Now I’ve made an enormous decision and I could’t be more excited!

This may come as a bit of a shock to anyone who has been to my studio as you’ll know how beautiful it is and how much I love it.  The thing is, life happens and it gets a person thinking.  I’ve decided I need a change.

For years now I’ve been living like a bat.  I’ve been working away indoors all day, emerging only at the end of the day.  Every day.  Very often I’ve worked in little light as when I’m processing a shoot on my computer I can see better when I don’t have lots of light flooding in.  I know – in a studio that has so much beautiful natural light I’ve spent most of the time shutting it out.  Because that makes sense!?  I’ve loved every minute of working in my studio, but now I want be in the light.  So, I’m giving it up.

As of the end of January I will shoot mainly on location.  Amazing locations.  Not just at the local park.  Beautiful places that just work as a backdrop to an awesome portrait for families and children, fashion and model portfolio photography, actors’ headshots and business profile photographs.  I will continue to photograph boudoir as I really do enjoy the way a boudoir shoot can make a woman feel truly gorgeous and desirable.  I’m setting up a boudoir studio at home and will be taking a limited number of boudoir bookings.

I will be out there in the gorgeous sunshine, the rain and even the wind.  Early in the morning and in the beautiful golden hour at the end of the day.  I will be shooting in amazing locations that I’ve sourced, because I like their beauty, ruggedness or even industrial scruffiness.  I will shoot anywhere, but you will most often find me in the Sussex, Kent and Surrey countryside or the amazing urban spaces of London.

Actually, I’ve already started.  And I am ridiculously excited about the journey!

Contact me to start planning your beautiful memories and career catapulting portfolio, profiles and headshots.

start to finish

Why you need an experienced wedding photographer


Brides and grooms pray for wall to wall sunshine on their wedding day, but their wedding photographer dreads the concept. What?!  Find out why you need an experienced wedding photographer.

Yes, really, in the UK wedding photographers are more accustomed to shooting in overcast or at least partly cloudy conditions and, while beautiful blue skies look great in a photo, the harsh shadows created by direct sunlight will have many a wedding photographer scratching her/his head in frustration.  On a bright sunny day we look around for shade cast by a building or dense tree. Without it we really need to start thinking.

I like to shoot into the sun by positioning the bride and groom or group with their backs to the sun so nobody is squinting into the sun, they don’t have harsh shadows across their faces and they are nicely backlit.

Another major challenge is wind.  I’m happier with a rainy day than a really windy day.  It very, very rarely rains constantly all day long, so at some point in the day there will be an opportunity to nip outside and get some shots.  Wind on the other hand is usually constant and really messes with hair and clothing.

Now, add wind to a bright sunny day and the fun really starts for a wedding photographer, because as surely as eggs are eggs the wind will be blowing in the wrong direction.  You want to shoot into the sun, but the wind is coming from behind the bride and groom or group, which makes the ladies look like they’re moshing at a heavy metal concert.  Not a good look for a wedding.

Dave and Jade’s wedding in Brighton on a gorgeously hot, sunny day in May that was also incredibly windy is a perfect example.  The venue was a beachfront hotel with the sun shining straight onto the front of the building with no outside space at the back of the hotel for photographs in the shade.  We’d planned photographs in the bandstand, but as luck would have it a wedding was taking place there at the time that we’d set aside for photographs.  So, that left only a very crowded, very sunny, very windy beach.  What do you do?

Cue well trained assistant who battled the wind holding a scrim (frame with lightweight, translucent fabric spread over it) above her head to diffuse the bright sunlight and cast a soft shade over the bride and groom sitting on the pebbles, thereby eliminating harsh shadows.  I shot from above them aiming down to cut out crowds in the background.

You work with what you have.  In this case that also meant including the crowds, because it was rather lovely that the beach erupted with applause for the newlyweds when we first appeared.

And then finally….you never give up.  You step outside after the wedding breakfast and speeches are over and you find that most people have gone home, the wind has died down and you’re into the “magic hour” or “golden hour”.  That time of day photographers love, when the sun is lower in the sky and the light turns a beautiful golden colour.

And you get the shot.