Magazine Christmas cover Photography

Great Results Despite some Grumpy Weather

I was contacted by an Auckland Magazine editor about doing a Christmas cover shoot. The plan was to take photos of both a red and a white car symbolising the Christmas colours on sunny day (in New Zealand Christmas is in summer.) with a nice christmas type tree in the back ground.

The models turned up as a sexy Santa and two elf helpers and they are the editor and the car owners themselves so well done on organising the props to the editor.


Actual final cover design may have varied to the one shown.

The shoot was quite a tough one because we were a little pushed for time and the weather was very changeable. The worst thing was the wind that was incredibly strong and cold with rain showers coming through. That meant that we would shoot for a few minutes, race back to the cars and get warm. Review the photos and the go out and shoot again. Much respect to the models for putting up with the cold esp to “Santa” who was not wearing very much.

I was shooting with the 24-105mm F4 lens as it is nice and sharp with a good range. For some shots I went wide angle just to see how they looked. That worked well for some of the car shots. The lighting was a problem due to the strength of the wind. I mounted the flash on a tripod for more stability but even that manged to blow over. I need to invest in heavier sand bags.

The resulting photos were well received and given the conditions I am very happy with the results. If the weather was more settled we would have time to set up poses and mess about more creatively but I guess that sometimes you have to work quickly and conservatively to get the job done to minimise discomfort. Also if it was a perfect world the shoot would have been later in the day to make use of better lighting conditions but never mind.

Thanks to all esp “Santa” for their hard work and a special thanks to Peter, Tony and their partners for the cars and a big thanks to my assistant Gareth who was invaluable on the day.

Below are two shots taken almost at the same time. One by me using the wide angle and exposing for the flash. The other was taken by Gareth just before the flash fired and it gives you an idea about how close you get when shooting wide angle. You do have to be just a little careful when getting close to people’s faces when shooting wide because it tends to make their noses look bigger. Thanks for photos Gareth Marsh.


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