A Day on Location

Come along with me on a work day as I shoot on location with an amazing team! Apologies for the poor sound quality- it was very windy! You will notice I ask everyone if they are cold constantly, this is because I feel awful and worry about people getting ill.

My team for today-
Hair Jodie Austen @peachystylist
Makeup Sophie Moore @SophieMooreMUa
Styling by Lisa Fifer @stylestarlet
Model Victoria Lindsay Coutts @Victorialcoutts

Some final shots:

IMG_4497scale IMG_4431scale IMG_4035scale

A Day on Location



IMG_0470scaleIMG_0469scale  IMG_0384scaleImages shot by me on location

Obviously, the week my website undergoes an enormous change (more on that later) and I am simultaneously working on 4 different projects with 3 different clients is an IDEAL time to stay up late and edit a bunch of images which didn’t make the cut. Isn’t it?

The top image of Donatella with the billowing skirt wasn’t initially what I had planned for this shoot- we actually grabbed the bit of fabric last minute off the back of the hair stylists door! I think it works though. I like the movement against the stillness and calm of the beach and far off horizon.

I am in the process of prepping for another location shoot happening this weekend and will attempt to vlog it, if I can! I will be back in this space soon with a mini fashion post (I hope!)


Photoshoot Fail

I don’t like it when things don’t go to plan. Especially when those things are my work. I was the victim of a major fail this weekend and I managed to capture it on video-

Join me on a location photoshoot where technical (camera) issues with the main AND the backup camera meant we couldn’t shoot anything. The circumstances were out of our control and although it wasn’t anyone’s fault, you can see from this video that I felt more responsible than I let on. We have been able to reshedule so hopefully that beautiful setting won’t go to waste for a second week!
Today’s team:
Photographer: Abi “Camera Fail” Bansal- abibansal.com @mizzban
Model: Donatella Pegler (instagram: @donatellamodel)
Hair: Jodie Austen @peachystylist
MUA: Sophie Moore @SophieMooreMUA
Honourable thanks to Mr Jo for driving us and his endless patience!
Photoshoot Fail

The value of personal pictures.

L_scale_3 Deejayscale dani1011 abi22VALUE with a Capital V…

Only one of these people pictured is a working model. She hasn’t been doing it long and she is learning every day to become confident and happy infront of a camera. I would go further to say that it is the Photographer she needs to be comfortable with. On a shoot there can be loads of people hanging around- their JOB is to be concerned with how you look and that can be incredibly daunting… even when it is your occupation.

Aside from getting correct exposure, nice composition and all that other stuff, you just don’t get a good picture if your subject is uncomfortable. I’ve watched enough Next Top Model to know that when the model isn’t feeling it that really translates in the picture and nobody cares to invest any time in an uncomfortable model.

But what if it isn’t your job? What if you are just a mere mortal? A while ago, when I was redoing my website I realized that a contact page was key to showing clients what I was about. Every entrepreneur will tell you that a good profile picture is absolutely essential to a dynamic contact page and that if you want to make an impression it is just as important as what you say in the text. People will make a judgement about whether they want to work with you or not based on the conclusions they draw from your image and personal statement. Like it or not, if you want a successful web presence a good photo is a must and it is certainly worth investing in. A professional image says more than how you look, it conveys how much you VALUE your web presence. It is the same as dressing smartly for a job interview, so how much are you willing to invest in your first impression?

One thing people say to me is that I only shoot beautiful people. And they would be right, but not for the reasons you might think. People may think I only shoot beautiful people but I would argue that all people are beautiful and I can see that in everybody. Technically anyone can learn to use a camera and the barriers to this industry are getting lower by the day, the real skill is the one the individual brings to the table, which is to say the personality you bring to each encounter. If I have got a beautiful image of a person who is not a professional model it’s direct evidence of how comfortable they felt in my company. And that is the real skill.

I take on portrait sessions throughout the year, up and down the country, they range from basic to more creative concepts. To book yours please email me at abi.bansal@gmail.com to request an info pack.

The value of personal pictures.

Where I’ve been.

It is a fact of life that your body just won’t accept any undue stress you may put on it. Push it to its limits, expect it to perform excellently at all times and sooner or later it will just refuse. Usually when you need it to be most on form.
This week two things have happened to me, a two day photoshoot taking in five locations around London….. And gastric flu.

Anyone who has had gastric flu, or this terrible bug that is going round will know that the latter is not conducive to intercity travel. Or indeed anything that requires moving, for that matter. The bug literally renders you immobile. On day one, I couldn’t leave my bed for a full 24 hrs. Bolstered by the power I’ve medication I somehow made it to London to complete the job, a really exciting one that involved shooting people in five different areas of the city and taking in some amazing locations.

20120518-094805.jpg I have learnt there is nothing to complain about when you are privileged to be doing what you want in life.. And so somehow I managed to do it, cold sweats and all. I can’t share any images until the project goes to print but I had a great time and met some amazing people. I just hope I didn’t give them my bug!

Where I’ve been.

V&A Photoshoot


This is my first foray into sheduled posting, I tried it once on my last blog and managed to post at 3.16AM and since then I have been wildly unsuccessful, but there you have it.

I wanted to share a couple of shots from my shoot at the V&A last week. I was contacted by the lovely Jude Hunt, who arranged a shoot, surrounded by “artefacts of inspiration”- Well, I put it like that- In reality, the V&A on a Sunday, on the wettest, coldest and rainiest day of the year has so many people in it we were lucky not to be separated from each other by the tide of tourists.

I am very used to how people behave around a camera, I have learnt that people are always a bit nervous to start with and that the best shots usually happen around 30 mins in, when everyone is relaxed. Anyone who has ever worked with me will know I talk a lot, this usually serves the purpose of distracting the subject and (without sounding too wanky about it) making people see through the camera.

So while I am busy breaking down barriers between photographer and subject, that does not include the countless members of the public. I know I cannot moan about a shoot in a public place and really, I’m not. I consider it a skill to make it look as though the place is deserted, otherwise work with the crowds. The thing is, you are never really prepared for how people act around somebody with a camera. I have had people wander into shot, oblivious and hastily tiptoe back out making an exaggerated, pained expression. I have had people stand politely back and observe, or cut a berth around me and my model so wide that it seems to all concerned that we have terrible B.O or something. And then there are the people who believe themselves to be invisible, they walk boldly into shot, often up close to the subject and begin unpacking their sandwiches, talking on their mobile or picking their nose. Very often they will actually LOOK at the photographer for some time, right into the camera, challenging you to take their photo. On Sunday this happened to me with an entire family of hirstute Italians with yellow rucksacks.

But what can you do? I lower my camera, curse the loss of light, tilt my head and adopt a very patient impression.

It’s all you can do.

V&A Photoshoot