Breaking the rules.


Pretty ironic title for me as my wife will tell you that I’m a stickler for the rules. To be fair though I don’t mind breaking a few in photography. It’s my art…… rules. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do this or that as it doesn’t follow the rules of photography. How would they know your artistic vision? I’ve seen a lot of squabbling online over various technicalities over the years. I stay out of it, and I do……….exactly what makes me happy.

So what photography crime have I committed I hear you ask?

Don’t worry it’s nothing too bad……….perish the thought.

I sometimes shoot beauty images with the Canon 17-40L.

I know…………………serious rule breaker.

Why would you choose this wide lens for portraiture?

Why not?



Okay well let me tell you WHY instead.

I light images like this with the large beauty dish. The dish is boomed directly out in front of the subject’s face and tilted down at a fairly shallow angle. I use the sock on it for extra diffusion (I absolutely love the light when modified like this) and I place some white foam core at chest height to fill the shadows. The dish is placed extremely close to the subject at approximately the same distance as the diameter of the modifier itself. So the 22 inch beauty dish is placed at a distance of roughly 22 inches. This is a pretty tight working space as I’m sure you’ll agree. The wide lens comes into it’s own here allowing me to shoot from directly under the beauty dish (with the lens hood literally touching the bottom edge of the dish) now I know this might not be for everyone but it certainly works for me.

A couple of things to note here though in case you were thinking of trying this technique would be to be very careful with keeping the plane of the lens level or flat to the subject………wide lenses can cause a lot of distortion if angled incorrectly and we don’t really want that…..well……unless it’s intentional of course.

The last tip is regarding the lighting. By booming the beauty dish out directly in front in this manner you can adjust the height of the light up and down which in turn will give you deeper or shallower shadows under the nose, lip and chin. Adjust to your own personal taste. It’s easy and effective. This image of Ava was shot against a painted white wall at home.

I hope you like the image and the technique.

I’m getting back to my rule following reality now.

Until next time.




Publication in Twisted Edge Magazine.

It’s always nice to have some work featured in a publication so I was very happy to hear that some images from a set I shot with Miss Kandi K before Christmas were to be published in the February edition of Twisted Edge Magazine.

Here’s a couple of images from the session.



Twisted Edge Magazine

Backdrop by Kate Backdrops here



Getting creative with the lighting.

“Slice” ft Rue Moriah


I love to experiment with lighting during my model shoots and I’d wanted to try this technique out that I’d seen used by the master Joel Grimes for a while.

It’s a relatively simple lighting setup but hopefully you’ll agree that the results are quite striking.

The first step is to get the backlight right. In this case the background is a large octabox placed directly behind the subject’s head. You have to bring the power up just enough but not too much as to blow out the highlights. A good way to check this is to enable the highlight alert on your camera (the blinkies) or if shooting tethered it’s easy to check the highlight clipping on the histogram in Lightroom. Simple trial and error will get you to the right place in just a couple of shots. I particularly like the way light wraps around the subject’s face as a result of this.

Nest step is to establish the main light. For this I’ve used a Canon speedlight inside a Rogue grid to create a tight beam of light. To make it even tighter I fashioned a slit over the front of the grid using two pieces of cardboard and some tape (I wanted that beam of light to be really tight)! I boomed this light directly in front and aimed down at Rue’s face and adjusted it until we got it right.

The black and white edit was intentional to really emphasise the contrast.
I hope you like the image.

Joel’s video on the subject is most definitely worth a watch and can be viewed here

Model//Rue Moriah

Getting down to business.

Studio Session-827-Edit

I’ve been very busy with the camera this past few weeks working on various new projects. Shooting corporate headshots and professional portraits I find both extremely enjoyable and very rewarding. Meeting so many new and interesting people along the way is an added bonus for sure.

More on this particular session later but for now I’ll leave you with this image of Stephen that I shot on location in Coventry at his place of work recently.

Republica is available to shoot headshots, corporate portraits and profile pictures. I think you’ll all agree that everyone should look their best in the business world. I’d like to think that I can help you to achieve that objective.

Please do get in touch to arrange your headshot/portrait session.




Looking back at an old shoot in this post and featuring model Paige Antonia in homage to an image that I used to have on my wall as a student in London (many) years ago!


Pretty cool eh?!

I get my inspiration and ideas from many different sources and to try to make sense of them all I tend to pin them to numerous Pinterest boards which I delve into on a daily basis. It’s either that or keep hundreds of notes and tear sheets all over the place, so with that in mind I can whole heartedly recommend Pinterest for shoot planning.

We shot these images against a grey paper background in a small space at my house. Lit with a 120cm octabox with the grid on and placed to the side of Paige on her right shoulder at almost 90 degrees in the cross light position.


Now obviously we didn’t have Salvador Dali to work with to complete the look but we certainly put our own stamp on it and gave it a hundred percent. Paige is knocking the ball out of the park with this great bit of character acting.

If you were wondering about Paige well she’s a lot of fun to work with and she’s not (quite) as menacing in reality as she might seem in these pictures!


I hope you like this little insight into my shoot process/creative vision………and as always please feel free to connect with me on social media.



Happy New Year

Here’s to a happy and prosperous year ahead to all in 2019.

I’m glad to put the last year behind me if I’m honest after spending most of it recovering from a badly broken knee. You might imagine what an absolute nightmare that was. I’m firing on all cylinders now though and looking forward to my first shoots of the year. January is looking busy with two fantastic model shoots lined up and also some corporate headshots to complete before the month is out. Exciting times.

Anyways as always here’s a few images. In fact these are older images from 2017 which I have given a new look thanks to some fantastic Colour Look Up Tables (LUTS) which I recently purchased from the legend that is Glyn Dewis in his Creativity Pack 3. I do the vast majority of my colouring in Photoshop using these LUTS (with my colourblindness in mind I find them incredibly useful and effective).

The pack if you are interested in checking it out is available here

So these images with the fabulous model Rue Moriah were shot to a military fashion kind of theme and I have reworked them with a vintage styled colouring.

I hope you like them.




Model//Rue Moriah

Rue Moriah Instagram



I recently photographed Madison for her acting portfolio. We shot a variety of outfits and also did a few headshots for good measure.

Madison is a member of PQA (Pauline Quirke Academy) and has recently completed a term in London at West End Kids.

She played a Lost Girl alongside Bradley Walsh and Martin Kemp last year in Peter Pan at The Arena Birmingham and hopefully there are big things to come for her in her acting adventure. I have to admit to a little bias though………as Madison is my niece.

This is a retouched (lightly) headshot which I absolutely love. Lit with my trusty Godox AD360 in a 22″ Beauty Dish with the sock on, boomed directly in front and overhead  Maddy angled down at 45 degrees. There is a white piece of foam core like you can get from Hobbycraft or any similar craft store held just below for fill. I love to use foam core as a fill card, it’s so cheap and so effective. One other point to note here is that this was shot with the Canon 17-40 L at 40mm. I know most of you might say the wide lens is not a good choice for portraits but I like to use it for beauty headshots. It enables me to get right underneath the beauty dish which is (by the way) positioned very close to the model. My rule of thumb is to take the diameter of the dish and position it at that distance from the subject. In this case a 22 inch dish at 22 inches away. I move it up and down on the boom arm to adjust the shadows under the nose, lip and chin to my taste.


Here’s to Maddy and wishing her all the very best in her acting career.

Starnow Madison Millward