Yeshen Venema


Workshops, events, the shoot highlights, locations and behind the scenes stories from Photographer Yeshen Venema.

PopUp Shoots at Cockpit Arts

PopUp Shots from Zoe Miller, Terri Leahy and Teresa Georgallis. Cockpit Arts, Depford. 30.9.13

It's not just shops that pop up, now it's photo shoots too! I must admit the first one with Crafty Fox in Camden was a bit nerve-wracking, but I was so energised by the experience. Taking myself out of my comfort zone and adding a time limit for the shoot meant I had to make quick choices about lighting, surfaces, background, props and composition with products I'd not seen in advance. 

One of my clients, Terri Leahy, recommended I try this concept at Cockpit Arts in Depford, with such hotbed of creative designer/makers we were sure there would be some interest.

Setup at the Education Space, Cockpit Arts Depford.

Setup at the Education Space, Cockpit Arts Depford.

I set up in the corner I knew would get the best light throughout the day with a simple infinity screen of white paper. This gave me a clean background on which to build layouts for each product.

The Education Space at Cockpit Arts, Depford

Gear: I brought a continuous Lencarta softbox (daylight rated), laptop tethered to my camera, 40mm and 100mm lenses, a few types of grey card, reflector boards, plus a small box of props.

First up in the morning was Teresa Georgallis, a designer specialising in woven fabric. Opening up a lovely leather suitcase, Teresa brought out a selection of beautiful blankets. After shooting them in groups we used the suitcase to create a series of banner images (sized to Facebook's dimensions of 851x315px). 

Textiles from Teresa Georgallis.

Next it was the turn of Josie Shenoy who brought some of her illustrated cards and notebooks featuring very intricate designs, printed on excellent card stock (take note makers - you can really stand out by using high quality materials). In order to capture the details on the illustrations I used a macro setting and went in close.

Notebooks by Illustrator Josie Shenoy. Cockpit Arts PopUp Shoot. 30.9.13

After lunch Zoe Miller's wool scarves and purses got their turn in front of the camera. Sometimes when I see a product I just know it's going to photograph well, these purses just had beautiful, complementary colour tones paired with an elegant design.

Lambs wool purses from Zoe Miller

The products I shoot don't often make me laugh, but Terri Leahy's soft toys always bring a smile to my face! We had so much fun at our previous shoot creating fake backgrounds for her characters... but that's another story. After shooting a few simple images of the toys, Terri also wanted some shots of her at work in her studio space - this is something makers often forget, it's crucial to show behind the scenes and show how your products are made. This is what sets each of you apart, your own personal story.

Terri Leahy and her creations at Cockpit Arts.

To complete the day was Nadia-Anne Ricketts with a sampling of her 'Beatwoven' range, inspired by the meeting of weaving and sound. Each piece featured a sound wave woven into the fabric - talk about an original idea! The late afternoon sun was just right for highlighting the gold detailing on the cushions. This was a great example of taking advantage of natural light at a particular time of day.

Beatwoven cushion from Nadia-Anne Ricketts. Cockpit Arts PopUp Shoot.

Thanks to Terri and all at Cockpit Arts for this opportunity!

So, the second PopUp shoot was a great success and two more will follow...

Sunday 27 October with Crafty Fox at The Dogstar, Brixton (fully booked):

Monday 28 October with Cockpit Arts at The Education Space, Holborn (Cockpit Arts studio holders only):

Follow @yeshen on Twitter for updates and info on future PopUp Shoots. Get in touch if you're interested in these events.