Photography studio, gallery and training complex


Good Clean Fun

Remember the 1980s Levis 501 tv advert that launched the model Nick Kamen and put “I heard it through the grapevine” back in the charts? Well we’ve arranged a shoot inspired by that very commercial, in a suitably retro-looking launderette in Birmingham with two great models, one male, one female. on Monday 20th October, 9-11pm. It will be a small group so lots of help on hand if needed, and places are just £50.

The models I’ve lined up are PERFECT for this shoot so it promises to be a great shoot.

Does this jog your memory?


There’s already only a couple of spaces left so get in touch soon.

Time To Downscale?

Apart from my very first digital camera – a Fuji “bridge” camera – every camera I’ve owned since I (largely) turned my back on film has been a Nikon DSLR. I can’t deny the merits of the Canon DSLR system and I’ve long coveted the lovely retro styling of the Fuji mirror-less range. BUT, I have pretty much always been openly dismissive of any other non-DSLR, considering them to be very much sub-DSLR.

But last week I had the opportunity to try one of Olympus’s OM-D Micro Four Thirds cameras and I began to realise it might be time to rethink my prejudices.

The following images were taken during a Fotofilia Studio Evening last Thursday as jpegs and are, apart from a very minimal amount of contrast adjustment, “straight out of the camera”. The model is pro boxer Ryan “Tank” Aston.

Boxer Ryan "Tank" Aston

Boxer Ryan “Tank” Aston

The camera is an Olympus E-M1 fitted with a 12-40mm (equivalent to 24-80mm) f2.8 lens, shooting on it’s top jpeg setting. It is no exaggeration to say that I was AMAZED by the image quality. Here’s another…

Ryan "Tank" Aston.

Ryan “Tank” Aston.

There are various picture style settings. These were shot in the “natural” setting. But these cameras also have some great in-camera picture styles so I tried one using the “grainy film” setting. Again, this is straight out of camera…

I’ll be posting more images taken with this system soon and weighing up how it compares with my Nikon system. So far though, it looks as though my Nikon is in danger of being listed on ebay.

Find out more about the spec of the E-M1 here

A Curious Place For A Bear

A recent Fotofilia Sunday morning “Urbex” shoot saw our little group squeezing through a wire fence and exploring a lovely (photographically anyway) old former industrial building in the Black Country. We’ve since found out a little bit more about this location and it’s previous use but to tell you that might be giving away a bit too much – we’d rather keep it to ourselves (and the many photographers who’ve been here since it fell into disrepair). I’m especially keen to use this location again for some other Fotofilia events, but in the meantime, here are a few images from the morning…

And here’s something I really didn’t expect to find when wandering around a dark ruined building with my torch…

Creepy. And speaking of torches, I thought I’d add a few light trails to my shots…

If you’d like to join us for the next adventure at this great location, we have an art nude shoot coming up very soon and I reckon that this complex of buildings will provide an inspiring and varied backdrop. Have a peep at the website for details…

Studio in The Street: Kat

Now here’s something we haven’t done in a while – take our two Bowens 400 heads and battery pack out onto the streets of Birmingham Jewellery Quarter on a Summer’s evening. The “Studio in the street” workshop started off in the relatively shaded narrow alleys of the area (it was still quite sunny, even after 7:30pm)…

Once the light levels began to drop, we headed into wider streets, doorways and under bridges…

Our model for the evening was Kat (Kathryn Victoria), a favourite at Fotofilia for several years now. Kit-wise, the battery pack doesn’t get used very often but it never fails to surprise me how well the charge lasts: with five photographers shooting for 2 and a half hours, often with two flashes, the battery was depleted by only 25% by the end of the event. And to think I bought a second battery – it’s never been out of the box.

From The Floorboards Up (part 2)

January was a very busy month for us at Fotofilia. We spent many hours redecorating the studio from top to bottom, threw away a LOT of stuff, and transformed our redundant former gallery room into a second studio space – we even had to pull up and trim a few floorboards. Here are a few more photographs of Fotofilia as it is now…

The lobby


Lobby and corridor

The kitchen

And here is Studio 2…

The graffiti walls

Studio 2's forest mural wall and aluminium chequer-plate wall

In addition to the graffiti walls, chequer-plate wall and the forest mural, there is a plain wall which can accommodate colorama rolls. The idea behind the second studio space was to provide as wide a range of creative possibilities as we could and with another background area to be set up in Studio 1 in the coming weeks, we think we now have plenty of inspirational settings for our shoots/hirers.

Studios 1 and 2 can be hired individually or together.

From The Floorboards Up (part 1)

We re-launched Fotofilia back in February but I’ve just got around to taking some pictures of the studio as it is now, with “Studio 2” up and running and available for hire. Here’s a few of the pictures starting with Studio 1

Studio 1

Studio 1

Studio 1

…and the dressing room (that runs off Studio 1)…

Studio 1 dressing room

Studio 1 dressing room

I’ll post some images of Studio 2 in my next post.



Showing Them The Door

I saw this cool idea on Facebook (thanks to Dave Rudge!) and decided I’d like to share it with you. I was reminded this afternoon when I saw one of these doors in a skip. Hope you like…



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