A Photoshoot with a Goth Girl

Photographing a girl with green and purple hair. An opportunity too good to miss.

I love photographing people and the more interesting the person is, the more I look forward to the shoot. I was given the opportunity to work on an editorial type photo shoot with a Goth/Cyber Goth girl called Tori. The brief was for edgy, professional photos with an alternative urban theme. This would require some thorough planning and the challenge was on to find the right location.

Scouting for the location.

In my experience, the more you plan out a photo shoot, the better the results will be. The location is one of the biggest factors in getting the best photos. The setting needs to compliment both the model and the concept. The better the natural light is, the easier it is to get amazing results. Also a key factor with a location is the amount of space you have to work in. You don’t want to be too close to your model and end up having to use a wide angle lens to get your shots because these can be less than flattering if used incorrectly. It also helps to have plenty of space if you are setting up lighting or other studio equipment.


I ended up putting on my walking shoes and I grabbed my trusty working camera and a backpack. I set off on foot around Central Auckland City as I wanted to get a first-hand feel for where the best location would be. In a city full of people, it is amazing how many locations you can find that are not busy. I walked around, going into alley ways and buildings, taking reference photos as I went.


Through this process, I found some great locations but nothing stood out until I came across an old building that was housing some people who were renovating it. Being cheeky, I talked to the team that were doing the renovations and they were very excited about the idea of having a photo shoot in their project. They even made me a great coffee. The thing that grabbed me the most about this spot was the beautiful quality of the light. I set a date with the renovation crew when I could photograph and not get in their way.


The Shoot

After checking  my reference photographs, I had roughly planned what areas I wanted to photograph and also what priority the photographs would be. I also had an idea about what perspectives I would be photographing from, and what I wanted to achieve with each unique spot. One important thing is to try and be flexible and organic with your photography. If you see something that looks really great that you had not planned for while taking your photos, just go with it. Sometimes the best pictures are not scripted.


Tori arrived, and after the formalities of the model release documentation, we began the shoot. The light was simply breath taking. It was so good that initially I didn’t need any extra lighting. It seemed that every photograph was a winner, and it is truly exciting when all of the planning comes together so well.


We moved around the locations on the property and photographed for about 3 hours with some breaks in between. My assistant Gareth Marsh was my life saver in terms of moving lighting, setting strobe levels, and prepping gear. So here is a big thank you to Gareth. Also thanks to the renovation crew on site, who did their best to accommodate us and made great coffee too. I did end up giving them a little gift too for being so helpful.
For more photos of this shoot, check the Professional Photos fashion page.



The key to the success of this shoot is certainly in the combination of planning, a great model, and the right location. A good location can transform your photographs from pretty good, to professional. Find the best spot you can for your photographic endeavours. Not somewhere that is simply good enough. Also it pays to be a little cheeky sometimes and ask. The worst that can happen is that you are refused in which case, you move on. If you have been a little forward in asking about a location, make sure that you show people who are accommodating you, respect. Also a gift of appreciation means you may be able to go back again.



Most of all have fun with your photography. Because if you are having fun, then so is your model, and it shows in the results. If you want to learn more about shooting fashion or editorial work, I am available in a mentoring capacity, so please feel free contact me regarding rates. Also if you want a portfolio or portrait photography session, contact me with your requirements and you will be photographed as if you are going to be in a magazine.

Get out there and get inspired to take your own photos! Or contact me about having your photo taken. The best time is now!

All the best and see you next year!

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