Siân T. Blog - Tog Tales
Documenting the creative process - Poiesis Music Shoot
15th October 2019
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of working with the fine gentlemen shown above, while they were recording their first ever session together at AJA Studios in Surrey. Executive Producer Paul wanted to document this coming together of three immense musical talents and to achieve a raw, timeless series of images showing the energy, mutual admiration and creativity of the day. The images would be used for the group's new website and on their marketing materials.
Initially I simply wanted to blend into the background, to observe the goings on and to be a fly on the wall. We started with shots of each musician doing their thing, aiming to pick up the warm glow of the studio (which is a wooden building surrounded by woodland) and the essence of the instruments which are a mixture of home made, natural materials and high tech.
These images are not at all staged. You'll see things like water bottles and snacks in the shots that for a corporate shoot would be removed. But this is documentary and I wanted the honesty and reality of that, to truly reflect the experience of being here, in this place with these people. Creativity is messy and spontaneous and these images capture that vibe.
Images of the guys working together were high on the priority list but we wanted it to feel genuine and at this point in the day they were working on the technical set ups, finding the right balances and sounds. They were also getting to know each other a bit and I didn't want to interfere so I worked around what they were doing, taking care to catch the moments where they were all together or in pairs in the frame. I didn't want to be part of their creative process, only to observe.
Character portraits were a key need from this shoot. Paul was keen to show the virtuosity of each musician in his own right and to capture their different personalities and approaches - this difference being a key reason why they had come together to see what they could create. To get great character portraits I needed to interact a bit more, throw out some controversial comments to get some reactions. They can think I'm nuts as long as the shots are good!
Finally, the guys were so inspired by the studio's woodland location they wanted to head out for some cover shots amongst the trees, which were looking rather autumnal in the early spring. Being an overcast day, the light was beautiful and diffuse and the colours in the trees gave a warmth which I later enhanced in photoshop for a more vintage look. These shots may one day make an album cover - which is an exciting thought!
After the shoot I also took some time to capture some textures and details in the woodland so that these could be used for backgrounds and atmosphere in the final website.
I want to say a massive thank you to Executive Producer Paul Cameron at Beats Production for hiring me for this job and to Poiesis Music for being the nicest folks to work with.
You can see more photos, read about the guys and hear the track that was recorded on this amazing day over at;