Shooting Superman | Advertising Editorial Portrait

Firstly, I need to apologise for the sudden lack in updates on my blog.  I had been really good about blogging weekly, even when busy, but the last month or so has just been so busy I simply haven’t had time.  Now, there are other projects and commissions that I could blog about besides this, which happens to be my most recent one.  But, one of the my superman images has received so much attention that I simply had to blog about the shoot.


So, the shoot was actually just a personal project.  Actually, I should say it’s part of a bigger personal project that is rather ongoing…and the details of which will not be revealed fully for awhile.  The funny thing is, that when we did this shoot with Superman, we actually never got around to my personal project portion!  lol…but, we talked and we will do that another time.  Why didn’t we get to it?  Well, I think I under estimated what it would be like photographing superman in London on a Saturday evening.  Not just in London, but in the tourist areas of London!!

Advertising Portrait Photographer


This was one of the first shots of the day, but it wasn’t planned that way.  I should back up and tell you what my original plan was for the day.  Putting aside the images that I wanted for my personal project, I wanted to create portrait images of Superman that would depict film and movie posters, advertising campaigns, and editorial portraits that you would see in books and magazines.  I think we pretty much nailed that with this shot.  There was some shots that I wanted to get before this, involving the iconic Southbank skyline (Big Ben, the London Eye, etc) but I massively underestimated the amount of people in some of the areas that I wanted to shoot in, and how many people would want to stop us and have their photo taken with Superman.  To be honest, I might go back with him and setup a pop up studio to take pictures of strangers with superman, but we come to that later.  Seriously though, everyone wanted their picture with superman, and had our model charged people for that service, he would be a very rich man!  This led us to try and find locations that were a little more secluded, but which still offered the same “feel” that I was looking for.


So we found this street.  Not all that secluded, but just enough off of the beaten path that we were able to set up lights in the middle of the road and take a few photos before we were again mobbed by people wanting their photos taken with superman.  Our superman was amazing throughout the day.  It was the hottest day of the year and he was constantly being mobbed by fans.  Thankfully I was a little smart in organising our shoot later in the day and this shot was taken around 7:30 I think…so it was still hot, but a lot cooler than it had been earlier.


Next we headed towards Big Ben.  I knew what I wanted for the next shot and knew a location that would give us the shot with, hopefully, minimal distractions.  So we headed towards Big Ben and the green across the street.  You would think this is not an ideal location, but you would be surprised how many people just don’t go on that green…probably because they don’t know it’s there.  So we got there, setup lights (with some amazing sunlight on Big Ben itself) and got our shot before superman again went back to his duties of posing with strangers.  😀



Editorial Advertising Portrait Photographer


This is the resulting image.  It is pretty close to what I envisioned in my head, but if I am honest I would probably go about it in a completely different way next time.  I would probably do this one as a composite.  But, lately I have been finding myself trying to avoid composites as much as possible (the first image here is NOT a composite.  Some have thought it is, but it isn’t).  I really wanted that classic Clark Kent opening up his shirt shot with an iconic London landmark in the background.  With where we were at, what better than Big Ben?  Another thought on this is that next time I might head into central London and try the Shard or something like that instead.


After this rather quick setup we headed back down to the Embankment area.  It was still packed with people, so I ruled out getting anything with the Eye in it and decided to try something a bit more grungy and urban.  So we went into the Southbank skate park for a few shots.  We tucked ourselves off into a corner so that we were out of the way of the skaters.  A quick setup of my lights and we fired off of few shots.




Here I just wanted to try and get a nice portrait of superman and I think we achieved that.  I had already nailed my advertising / editorial portrait and now just wanted a more “accompanying” portrait that could go along with an article or feature.  By now it was getting quite late and we decided to call it a day.  We will be getting together again for some more superman shots, and this time I will get my personal project stuff in there.


What do you think?  What sort of superhero shots would you like me to do in the future?