Emmerdale’s Barton Brothers for Inside soap Magazine – Jesper Mattias © 2014

A few weeks ago I was commissioned to shoot the four brothers on the British Soap Emmerdale for Inside Soap magazine. The Brief was to get some moody portraits and make them look as good as possible!! The picture editor and myself thought a nice grey background would work and apart form that the only proviso was to keep the lighting constant and get them looking as brooding as possible for the singles and a nice fun group shot of them together. Lighting Wise for the singles I had a play around and initially was going to use a gridded soft boxy at 45 degrees to the side bout the light that was coming out was too harsh and you were losing detail in the shadow areas where you really still wanted some light, so I used a normal soft box and hit them with a Key light (clip light) from behind to just lift the face from the background. A bare head for this rear light was too much so I attached some trace to the front to soften it ever so slightly. The background was lit with a few heads with barn door attachments on them and I tried not to light it too evenly but to have some fall off at the bottom to create mood. I did use a few polyboards which were brought in closer to lighten or darken the face which sometimes is all it takes to get it just right.

The Singles:


Bill Ward - emmerdale

Bill Ward – emmerdale



Michael Parr - Emmerdale

Michael Parr – Emmerdale

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The Group Shot was lit more evenly. I used a large silver umbrella on a large boom above and angles slightly down and a small soft box on the floor a bit further away from them to just keep the fall off of light from the brolly from going too black, again, to have some mood but to still have detail in the shadows. Then it was a case of having some fun, which all four of them did. The post was fairly limited as I got most of it in camera (as you should always try and do!) I tweaked a few things here and there but that’s my technique and I won’t be sharing it here 😉

The Group Shot


The Barton Brothers - Emmerdale

The Barton Brothers – Emmerdale

A really great shoot for a lovely client. Hope you like the images and feel free to comment if you so wish.


Portrait of Journalist Liz Hoggard

I was commissioned to shoot Liz Hoggard who is a journalist. It was to coincide with a feature she was writing on relationships (specifically the one between her partner chris and her friends and Liz). The article was to illustrate the differences between her and her partner and the fact that being a journalist involves being on your phone and attending parties quite a lot, as opposed to her partner chris who doesn’t drink and prefers an early night. I interpreted this visually with the use of props (cocktails on one side, green tea on the other etc…)

I wanted to create as much drama in the lighting as possible yet still give it a clean feel. I used a gridded softbox at the front and positioned it above camera. As there was quite a bit of depth to the image I needed o throw some lighting into the background. I used a head with a orange gel for the background shot (to give a bit of warmth to the bar behind). But the real tweaks came in post. I underexposed the image itself to make sure there was detail across the full range then upped the contrast quite considerable and desaturated the shot. I think it worked really well and gave a depth and texture to the image


Portrait of Liz and Chris Hoggard

Portrait of Liz and Chris Hoggard