London :: Kevin Mark Trail Shoot in Camden Town

September 13, 2010 | Editorial Photography

Anytime I’m traveling to a new place I am always on the look out to shoot some portraits. I put a call out on Twitter last week for musicians in London who might be looking for some new shots and fellow photographer, Romain Kedochim, came through with a great connection to artist Kevin Mark Trail. Kevin is currently working on his second release. You’ve heard him if you’re into The Streets. He’s performed and recorded with them on tracks such as Let’s Push Things Forward. Also, a big thank you goes to Sylvester Nicholson for helping out on the shoot and finding this awesome location to work with.

And for the sake of consistency… Here is the opening shot in B&W.

And now for something completely different… I’m working on another “stranger portraits” project while I’m here. Here is one from today.

Cheers, Zack


  • Sachin Khona said on September 13, 2010

    Great set Zack!
    Love the B&W’s and the final portrait..
    Can you tell us more about the “stranger portraits” project you mentioned?
    When will you be back in London?



  • zack said on September 13, 2010

    @Sachin – It’s just a series of street portraits I am working on while I’m here. Portraits of strangers… Stranger Portraits.

    I did something similar in NYC last year.


  • Nasir said on September 13, 2010

    Excellent. Please would you shoot some video like you did on the NYC stranger portraits project?

    I’d love to hear the mix of accents :-)


  • Stephen said on September 13, 2010

    I’m always amazed by the stuff you produce, Zack. My photos somehow seem to be only be an exercise in sympathetic magic. (sad face)

  • claude etienne said on September 13, 2010

    Hi Zack,

    Loving the black and white. I really like the first photograph. The location has a gritty quality, and it doesn’t look staged.

  • Paul Pratt said on September 13, 2010

    Great series of shots Zack. That trashed car is a great find but boy is that classic Citroën cool!



  • Charlemagne Obana said on September 13, 2010

    I’m digging the wig shop. Lurve this set.

  • Mars said on September 13, 2010

    Hiya Zack,

    Was shots 5&6 taken with natural light or did you use the 28″ Softbox for that widow light wrap on the face?

    Nice one mate!
    Cheers Mars

  • pixtiva said on September 13, 2010

    I’m just wondering about how you lit the interior of that junker…

  • zack said on September 14, 2010

    @pixtiva – The interior of the car shot was light coming through the torn up rag top of the roof and then a small amount of flash coming through the driver’s side back window with a 28″ softbox for fill.


  • pixtiva said on September 13, 2010

    Hey… Wait a minute…

    What’s with those BRICK WALLS?

    Or is this kinda like the “what happens in Vegas” bit?

  • zack said on September 14, 2010

    Oi. Brick walls in London are way better than brick walls in America! :)

    It’s one things to have a bit of brick in a shot… it’s another all together to have him leaning against a brick wall without anything else of interest!

    Do note though it would have been great to find that car closer to a stucco wall. :)


  • Matheson said on September 13, 2010

    The image of Mark in the car is absolutely brilliant. I don’t mean to gush and I don’t claim to be an expert, but that is honestly the best image I have seen in a long time.

  • Glyn Dewis said on September 14, 2010

    Great series Zack; the B&W works really well for the ‘Smoke’ … aka London :)

  • said on September 14, 2010

    Wow, it is so weird to see Camden Town without the market and its people.

    Are those lit with speedlights?

  • Carl Spring said on September 14, 2010

    Was this hot shoe flashes? Or did you take along a little more power?

  • zack said on September 14, 2010

    @Carl – Just a single hot shoe flash on each of them except for the one with the mannequins. That was available light.


  • Kieren said on September 14, 2010

    Great shot in the car Zack, can’t wait to see more portraits of strangers around Camden. Some really interesting characters there!

  • David Kelly said on September 14, 2010


    Great shots of Kevin & the old gent – I really like the colour version of the opening shot.

    So was the old gent someone you just happened to bump into in Camden, when you stopped off for a little liquid refreshment? 😉

  • Michael said on September 14, 2010

    Love the B&W in the car!

  • Marios Karampalis said on September 14, 2010

    Exceptional work.
    A lot of interesting concept!

  • Jason Lykins said on September 14, 2010

    Ok, now for a serious question… What did you say to make him laugh for the third shot… I’ve seen/heard some of your antics before to get natural reactions like that. What did you ask of him? Maybe what his favorite stripper name was… Or maybe some other crazy off the wall question that provokes laughter and general crazyness. Love to know. Jason

  • zack said on September 14, 2010

    @Jason – He was laughing at the environment he was standing in. I think I asked him to look serious and that set him laughing.

    @Tim – I was using the 28″ Westcott Apollo on most of these.

  • Ashley said on September 14, 2010

    Your watermarks are Genius!

  • Tim Skipper said on September 14, 2010

    Awesome portraits. Curious as to what type of light and modifier you used on Kevin.

    It is excellent light very soft

  • Jim said on September 14, 2010

    You’re B/W are always sooo badass. love them.

  • M. Clay said on September 14, 2010

    Very nice compositions. His personality was captured very well too.

  • Daniel Caro said on September 14, 2010

    It needs a little more brick wall…

  • IPBrian said on September 14, 2010

    Awesome as always Zack. Personally I like the color version of the lead pic over the B&W, but it may be because I saw it first. I just find that particular color palette too nice to give away to B&W. Its muted, but oh so nice!

  • Steve Coutts said on September 14, 2010

    The “Now Open” shot. BOOM! Gorgeous!

  • Andy said on September 14, 2010

    Love the first one. Softlighter?

  • zack said on September 14, 2010

    @Andy – Nope. Cloudy light coming in from the open roof of the car and just a smidge of fill from the side from a 28″ Westcott Apollo softbox.


  • Edd Carlile said on September 15, 2010

    Old gentleman is my favourite.

  • Nico said on September 15, 2010

    Very nicely done…
    Especially the one with the Citroen DS in the background :-)

  • Dennis V said on September 15, 2010

    Hello Zack,

    I really love your style of photography, looks simple (…isn’t…i know) and clean, quiet, smooth pictures. I’ve tried to copy a little bit of your style and try to make it my own….that’s a hell of a job, but worth trying. Motivational stuff! Thanks.

  • Josh said on September 15, 2010

    Hey zack, I live an hour and a bit away from london and would like to do a shoot there. Though i don’t know london very well other than the boring site seeing locations. is there anywhere you found in particular that is interesting for doing some fashion/portrait shoots?

  • zack said on September 16, 2010

    @Josh – I live across the ocean from London and have found multiple places to shoot! Get off a tube stop. Find the main roads of a neighborhood. Start walking away from the main roads and start heading down the back alleys and side streets. Locations galore.


  • Brian said on September 15, 2010

    Business question–when you actually seek out a subject for a portrait like this, are making money or doing TFCD? Do you give the subject any licensing rights to the photos?

    They look great!

  • zack said on September 16, 2010

    @Brian – I do these kinds of things on a TFCD kind of basis. They help me by expanding my book and my experience and my network and they get usage of the photos for press and print.


  • Chris Bergstrom said on September 16, 2010

    Awesome work Zack!!!

  • Surly said on September 16, 2010

    Love it. The opener is better in color.

  • stephane said on September 17, 2010

    Hi Zack, an other great serie! The full subject and serie are full of lessons for me. Concerning the last portrait, I love to take street portraits of strangers, so did you approach the old man, asked him, or did you just find a way to shot unnoticed. Please continue to inspired all of us!

  • zack said on September 18, 2010

    Street portraits – Usually just shot available light BUT I only shoot in light that is good… and I like to approach people and ask permission. Part of the fun is meeting people and hearing stories.


  • Franck ERNULT said on September 18, 2010

    Wow, these are some amazing portraits.
    And the last image is incredible. Do you light your subjects for your “Stranger portraits” project??

  • Jim said on September 18, 2010

    Hi Zack!

    Business question: there´s any secret place to find artists/groups who want to make a photobook when you´re a newbie?


  • zack said on September 18, 2010

    @Jim – Nope. Hardwork, determination, and networking. You have to go find the type of people you want to shoot to build your book. Model Mayhem, Twitter, FAcebook etc are tools to use to find those people but at the end of the day building your book is completely on your shoulders. Don’t ever let anyone think they can do it for you or make it easy. (IE – Portfolio building workshops)


  • Stephane Offort said on September 18, 2010

    You are a real generous man Zack! The pics are great and following a bit of your explanations i start to see here and ther how you did and the effect it bring: Thank yuo so much!!!
    The last portrait is so nice, I love to take protrait but did you spoke with the old gentelman before or did you just took the photo unnoticed.
    Please just go on for beauty and inspiration sake! (soory for my english I am a frenchy)

  • ardean said on September 18, 2010

    love The Streets. Saw Mike Skinner perform live a few years back in T.O. [O.P.M – ya baby!]

    ‘BUT I only shoot in light that is good…’

    something i have to remember when scouting for location shoots. i find that i can ‘find’ the light randomly – street shooting etc, but when i plan a location shoot, the light is not there – and then I’m left hanging.

    Question: when you plan location shoot’s, what do you do when the ‘light’ is not there?

  • zack said on September 21, 2010

    @ardean – If the light is just not there then I bring it with me for my location work. That’s why lighting is so important to me because it lets me shoot in places where the light isn’t that great. For street work though I like to be quick and nimble and just shoot available light. I imagine I’ll do some street shooting in a completely opposite way at some point with a big battery pack and octabank. That should be fun.


  • Scott Urista said on September 20, 2010

    Zack, absolutely -love- your pictures. Newbie photographer myself, and found your site after seeing your amazing ‘guest blogger video’ on youtube. It blew me away. Then found your Onelight DVD, which taught me more in a few hours than in the previous 10 years combined.

    Anyway, I’m a transplanted American living in North London now, no idea if you’re still in Ol’ Blighty or not, but if you are, I hope you’ll let me (and an others around!) buy you a pint while you’re here!

  • Erin said on September 20, 2010

    That first one is gooorgeous- the light, framing, the way his skin tone works with the other colors…
    and the wig shop is just fantastic too! Makes me smile!

  • Todor said on September 21, 2010

    I love the softness of the light on all the pictures in this set and they look as though they did not even go through any photo editing! As they look so natural.
    Well done.
    I look forward to your next visit to London and I will definitely be putting my name down for the one light workshop!
    Best regards

  • Scott Urista said on September 21, 2010

    Arrg! Zack,sorry; didn’t realize my comment was in the moderation line. Could you please delete comments 50 and 51 (hopefully #48 gets through )

  • Carla Gates said on September 21, 2010

    Love these Zack! The wig shop is bomb! I attended your one light class in LA in August…(I was the one moving to Atlanta). Absolutely loved it, thank you so much! Definitely want to go to some of the social connects you mentioned now that I’m here! How do I get on a list for them?

    Thanks again!

  • Samuel Dobbins said on October 5, 2010

    Absolutely love anything and everything you’ve done B&W.

    I do, however, have a question for ya. It’s a simple question, with a plethora of angles for which it could be answered from, so here it is:

    Watermarks? Obviously you shoot high profile subjects, you’re shots are unique enough that someone can almost determine who shot it without knowing, but what about all those other people? I can’t say I’ve seen a photo with a watermark on your blog in the year and a half that I’ve been frequenting it, so I have to ask…what is your stance on watermarking online photos?

  • zack said on October 5, 2010

    Samuel – They are watermarked. You just have to find them. :)

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