Photo shoot with Olive in a stunning new location

Great model + fantastic location = happy photographer

Earlier this year I had the chance to photograph Olive at Belt Craft Studio, she was a real bundle of energy and transitioned from pose to pose so fast she was hard to keep up with. I really enjoyed working with her and the opportunity arose recently to shoot with her at a studio location that is new to me, Dean Valley Studio.

Olive wanted some updated pictures for her portfolio and I had a few, actually many, ideas of how I could make use of the studio’s spaces. First is that the studio is huge, there’s a 9,600 square foot barn with huge high ceilings, a greenhouse on the side that’s 8,000 square feet and then a whole heap of other locations and areas to explore. If you are close to High Wycombe then it’s worth considering. It might be a bit cold over the winter months though.

The pictures…

Click on the thumbnails for larger versions


We started in the big greenhouse, and boy was it warm with the sun out. I used an Elinchrom studio flash and the Elinchrom Maxispot reflector, with a brief change to a beauty dish for some shots. It was great to be able to kill the daylight even if it meant f/18 at 1/200s. The Maxispot is very effective and putting light on models. If you visit Dean Valley you will need to bring a long extension cable if you need to run from mains power.

Moving to another part of the location there is a number of smaller rooms with peeling paintwork and distressed plaster. At least one of them has little in the way of roof so you can end up with sunlight or rain streaming in too. There’s old windows with cobwebs and more, so if your models don’t like spiders than this is not the place for them.

Here I switched over to using the Canon Speedlites, there is the option of a long extension cable to get mains power in the rooms but I was prepared with Speedlites for this part.

I’m looking forward to two things now, the chance to shoot more at Dean Valley to use more of it’s spaces and the chance to shoot with Olive again.

Olive is on the usual modelling site, Model Mayhem, PurplePort and Purestorm

Dean Valley Studio can be reached through their website.


About the author

Full-time photo tutor and photographer. I love to share my knowledge and skills to make photos, videos and teach others. I write books and articles for photo magazines and I always have at least one Speedlite flash in my camera bag