Defying Limitation – Creativity from Afar

Remote shooting has presented another way for creatives to work together from anywhere in the world, via tethered screenshare technology. I started offering this method in April 2020 during the pandemic, and have run hundreds of sessions since, now in addition to my in-person work, continually improving my set-up to allow a highly creative experience for the photographer or artist.

I can help and guide anyone through the process, giving input where needed, for a fulfilling collaboration (the same as in-person shoots).

This alternative method of working together from afar may sound like an odd, impossible concept. At first I thought so too. How can you possibly achieve high quality results and be truly in your role as creator when you’re miles away from your subject? Well – I have tried it from both sides and I continue to be impressed by what’s possible. The key is in the communication and collaboration. Making a picture in this method is different, but you still have a very active role, and a huge amount of control and choice in the process. It is a challenging exploration of artistry, fusing the experience of model and photographer in a unique and considered way.

Although this method was born from limitation, photographers and artists have continued to book remote shoots even after the pandemic, as an opportunity to work regularly with models they may not usually be able to, and bridge the gap where travel is an obstacle.

 

What is this wizardry?

In a nutshell – I tether my camera to my laptop, then share my screen and YOU can control the camera, see what the lens sees via live view, take full resolution images, and we communicate over video call. The jpeg and RAW images are sent to you after the session to download and edit in your own way.

The program I use to screen share is ZOOM. You may install this on your computer too, but it’s not strictly necessary – all you need is to click the Zoom link I send to you and it will open up in your browser (you don’t need an account yourself).

Below is an example of the Canon Utilities control panel with live view that will be shared to your computer screen, featuring drop-down menus to change the shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and move-able box to fix the focus where you want it…


 

The Process

Here is what happens when you book a remote photoshoot with me…
– A date and time is scheduled, and deposit paid (via bank transfer, Paypal or Wise). We discuss plans, aims and inspiration over a few emails.
– The day before our session I provide you with the Zoom link.
– Once the Zoom link has opened, we will be able to see and hear each other on video call, and I will share my screen with you.
– On your first remote session I give an extra 10 minutes to introduce you to the controls and make sure it’s all running smoothly.
– I will pass on full control over the settings and pressing the shutter button, with my DSLR camera tethered to my laptop.
– You can give direction or suggestions for the angle/height of the tripod, composition and framing to your liking, and we can work together on the ideas, posing and styling for a complete collaboration!
– We can pause and takes breaks, review the images, chat and build rapport like a ‘normal’ shoot.
– After the session, I upload the RAW and jpeg images to a Dropbox folder and provide the link once the upload is complete, usually only 1-3 hours later (you don’t need a Dropbox account, you can do a simple direct download).
– You can then edit the images in your own way / share with the world / use for art reference images etc. Voilà!

 

I supply: myself and my experience, my home location, studio backdrops, furniture and props, styling, full frame camera, lenses, tripods, laptop, tethering, liveview software.

What does the photographer need?

1. An internet connection
2. A computer or laptop (ideally with a mouse) to sit comfortably at, with audio on
3. To log into the Zoom link at your allotted time.

 

MY HOME STUDIO:

My current backdrop area is (W) 2.5 metres x (H) 2.3 metres. The depth of the shooting area is 5 metres. The room has large windows along the wall to the left as you view it, and a nice bright reflective ceiling. The natural daylight is wonderful, but can also be reduced, defined or removed by closing the curtains. I also have a range of continuous lighting options.

MY KIT:

Canon 6D Camera (full frame)
Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L Zoom (the main lens I use for remote shoots)
Canon 50mm f1.4
Canon 100mm f2.8 L USM Macro (great for close portraits)
Spare fully charged batteries
Tripod
Reflector

LIGHTING:

– Natural window light – best between 9.30am – 4pm. Longer in the summer! (GMT London time)
– Medium size Softbox with daylight bulbs for soft or dramatic lighting effects.
– LED lamp with changeable colours and GVM RGB video light on stand
– Pink neon tube to use as a colourful side light (off camera) or hold as a prop.
– Medium size Reflector with stand (white, silver, gold and black sides).

 

The below images show the daylight lamp softbox which can be placed on a stand or hung from different ceiling points, and mixed with other continuous lighting (lamp behind for glow, or LED lights for added colour)…

(centre image by Andy Shears, right image by Ross McKelvey)

 

How much can be achieved per booking?

As a general guide for my set-up I suggest 1-2 concepts/genres/backgrounds per each hour you book.
Within each concept we can try out different angles, crops, lighting and adjustments to the background and styling. Please bear in mind, although it only takes a few minutes to change the backdrop, it does take longer to move in furniture, build new sets, and change dramatically from one style to another in terms of clothing/accessories/make-up and mood, so don’t forget to leave some time for this in your shoot plan.

If you would like a more elaborate background, I’m happy to pre-build parts of a set in advance, but then we can also use your input and opinions to refine the details (choosing fabrics, ornaments, clothing etc) as we build something together to our combined taste and vision.

 

GENRES & CONCEPT IDEAS…

These remote shoots really can be ANYTHING you make them, I’d love to hear your suggestions. Remote work really thrives with a starting-point vision and enthusiasm to explore.
The modelling genres I work in are Portraiture, Fashion and Artistic Nude. A few concept ideas below to inspire your imagination…
– Eye-catching portraits against a dark or light backdrop
– Themed Styling: Bohemian / Grecian / Pre-Raphaelite / Old Hollywood / 20s / Boudoir / ?
– Using paintings / poems / dreams as inspiration
– Classical or dynamic nude shapes
– Slow shutter speeds with movement and blur
– Vibrant/quirky/futuristic fashion with LED lighting
– Experimental and surreal effects in front of the lens (using crystals, ribbon, glass bottles, plastic, autumn leaves, etc)
– Darker, haunting, emotive themes
– Plain background with a variety of poses for digital artwork/composites
– Custom reference images for artists
– It’s also possible to create film, polaroid or wetplate from exposing from the screen – either in live time or from the digital images after the session. Such an exciting fusion of old and new techniques!
Don’t forget to look in my REMOTE portfolio gallery for examples of what’s possible, and to suggest your concepts and ideas too.


WARDROBE, BACKDROPS & PROPS…


I have a Styling Gallery for easy viewing, allowing you pick the backdrop/s you want to work with in advance, and any clothing or accessories that catch your eye.
The collection includes… Diaphonous robes, tops and skirts, bespoke corsets, elizabethan neck ruffs and high-neck blouses, grecian and bohemian styles, headdresses, fabrics and many props (including fans, parasols, masks, candleabras, lanterns, vases, dried flowers, old suitcases, hand mirror, old books and curios).  SEE IT ALL HERE

You are also welcome to order or send any specialist props/outfits of your choice , to reach me in advance of our shoot, provided all additional costs are covered. An artist once sent me a beautiful shawl (which I returned afterwards), and fresh flowers or other props can be arranged to bring your vision to life!

 

Testimonials

Ivory Flame is a joy to work with and was able to translate my directions and what I was looking for superbly. Her expertise and experience as an international model shows in the results and I’m immensely happy with my photographs from the shoot.” – Julie Cochoron, Ireland
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“I was quite sceptical about this type of shooting initially, but I have to say it was remarkably easy and straightforward. Highly recommended!” – Ross McKelvey, Ireland
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“Ivory gave me a guided tour of the controls and we were ready to shoot, with a great range of props, costumes and backdrops which I had previously chosen.
I have to say the the whole experience was far better than I could have imagined resulting in pictures that I have only been dreaming of. Ivory’s input was perfect and critical for the success of the shoot. I cannot praise her enough and highly recommend her to all photographers. I am certainly looking to do a second shoot and continue with exploring more experimental approaches and I am now an advocate of remote shoots because of my experience with Ivory.” – RLux, UK
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“I had the absolute pleasure of working with Ivory Flame today via remote shoot from her beautiful home. Her pre-comms were exceptional and even though this was my first remote shoot as a photographer, her guidance and patience put me at ease right away.” – Lena Selkin Photography, UK

 

Remote Rates…

My remote rates at my home studio start at £170 for 2 hours, with discounts for 3 and 4 hour sessions. Although booking 2 hours is common, personally I recommend booking 3 hours for a more relaxed, productive and rewarding session where we have plenty of time to deeply explore concepts, take breaks, discuss art and things we enjoy as well as create and refine our results to an exceptional level.
There is additional fee per session for International customers.
Please send a message for more information.

Events & Special Themes

Occasionally I run themed remote events, where you can book 1 or 2 hours (or more) with a much more elaborate set and styling, for you to capture in your own way.
I also arrange some remote shoots at other studios and locations.

Upcoming Availability 2024 (Times in GMT – London, UK)

June
Tues 25th
Weds 26th
Thurs 27th (after 2pm)

July
Tues 2nd
Weds 3rd
Thurs 4th

Terms and Conditions

– Securing a date with a 50% deposit acts as a confirmation and commitment to the shoot with me, and this payment is non-refundable. If you urgently need to postpone due to unavoidable circumstances – I will hold on to the deposit and we will reschedule at the next convenient date for us both. In the unlikely event I have to postpone due to unavoidable circumstances, I will offer to reschedule the session or refund you if no future date suits. The balancing payment should be sent the day before our shoot.
– The copyright of the images will belong to the photographer.
– You are free to use the images in your portfolio, social media, personal publications, galleries and competitions. I’m happy to sign a digital model release where needed and for further permissions, please email this in advance for me to review.
– I ask all photographers to please make it clear (where possible) when publishing to their portfolio or on social media, that the image was taken remotely. It can be mentioned in the caption, post, or as a #remotephotoshoot hashtag. This not only spreads the positivity on remote shooting, it also contributes to overall model safety and transparency within the community.
– I ask that the images we take are not added to any adult orientated pay-site / members site, patreon or onlyfans. In some cases where content is strictly artistic, I may give permission, but please check with me first.
– I reserve the right to remove any nude shots that may be accidentally too revealing before sending the files via Dropbox.
– No recordings of the screen-share or video call should be made (please let me know if you wish to capture a screenshot for a blog or post).


Please feel free to contact me to ask any questions and to plan your remote session.
Email: info@ivoryflame.co.uk

Thank you for reading and I look forward to connecting with you.

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