All posts by sveneselgroth

23 Posts

Norse Projects


On the day of the shoot with Norse projects, I went to meet Kristine Wold, the stylist for the shoot, at her flat in Norrebro, Copenhagen. I had done a bit of location scouting a couple days before, and thanks to a few tips she had given me when we first met, I’d found some interesting spots dotted around her neighbourhood. The area was beautiful – streets lined with beautiful old apartments and peaceful little shops and cafes. At one end it became a little more ‘urban’, with graffiti on the walls and some tattooed fellas who seemed to be having a ‘debate’. I’d just sat down in a pretty café to write an email when no more than 5 minutes later a police van turned up, siren blaring. See more…

My Scandinavian Travels so Far


The Great Belt Bridge linking Scandinavia to Europe.

I am currently holed up in a tiny village in Norway right now catching up on all the activity of the last week or two. Four shoots and several days riding have kept me going flat out so its good to stop and start piecing together what I have done so far. See More…

Maple Jeans


Now that my trip has started, and whilst I am finding my bearings in Copenhagen, I wanted to put up a post about Maple Jeans. Before the trip started I was looking around for 

Scandinavian Fashion Trip


Photography by Luke Richardson


During the summer of 2013 I embarked on a 4 month motorbike trip around Scandinavia, to meet up with some of the regions most exciting fashion labels. I spent my time interviewing the head designers, documenting their work place and shooting their AW13 collections. Whilst on the trip I kept a photo diary which I regularly updated. Please do check it out!

If you have a blog yourself or are from a magazine and would like to cover the trip or one of the brands I visited please feel free get in contact. The trip was all about discovery, finding new and interesting brands and getting to know established ones better.

Here are the brands I visited on the trip:


- Norse Projects

- Rutzou

- Libertine Libertine


- Velour


- Livid


- Uniforms For The Dedicated

- Our Legacy

- Stylein



Togs and Clogs Behind the Scenes Video

My friend Sam Twyman from Envelope Films came along to the Togs and Clogs shoot and put this behind the scenes film together for your viewing pleasure…
See the photographs here.


Some time ago now I did a motorbike trip through the interior of Vietnam from Hanoi in the north to Saigon in the south with the intention of putting together a short video of the trip. The trip was roughly 1000 kilometers on some of the worst roads I have ever experienced. It took a month. It was tough. It was also memorable. On the way I encountered some of the most beautiful and enchanting landscapes I have ever seen. Hit the jump for an account of our experiences, photos, a map of our route and the video…

The Forager

The Togs and Clogs lookbook titled ‘The Forager’ is now online and I can finally talk about the shoot. The Forager, very much a man after my own heart, came to life over the course of a couple of chats with the nice people at Togs and Clogs. This discerning fella will always know which vegetable to be seen with and when. His eye for grocery accessorising is so keen that he may walk around clutching carrots and he wouldn’t catch a second glance, so carefully balanced is his visual demeanour. All outfits were thoughtfully styled by JP Cassidy.  Hit the jump to see more…

Shooting a Fashion Show 2

Earlier this Autumn I covered the Harvey Nichols A/W fashion show. Some of the photos were published in Manchester’s Style Etc along with an interview article (above). The article went to print this month so I can now feature the piece in my blog. Woo!  Hit the jump for more pics and the geeky lighting info…

A Gun for Hire Confesses a Love and Lights up on the Inside

Over the last two or three years I have been cultivating an interest in interior photography. For the fashion photographer it is a bit like taking up golf. It is relaxing, sharpens the reflexes and is well suited to the gentleman with a rather demanding day job. I primarily take pictures of people so it is nice to shoot a subject that sits still for a while. It does beg the question however, why is a photographer who shoots people shooting places? Well its not as unrelated as it seems. I shoot most of my work on location and I often light that location so it looks the way I want. I have become increasingly familiar with interior lighting as a result and when an interior lighting job came my way a couple years ago I took it and achieved the result above. That was for the restaurant in Harvey Nichols Manchester.
Since then I have taken quite a few commissions and ended up doing some pretty cool jobs. I shot the new executive suits at Manchester City Football Club for their advertising package, the interior of Ian Simpson’s penthouse apartment at the top of Beetham Tower, currently the tallest building in Manchester, and the latest exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery. Hit the jump for more pics and geeky lighting info…

Shooting In The Field

I have been doing quite a lot of location scouting recently so I thought I would do a blog post on the subject. It is something every location photographer has to do and is a good way to get out from behind the computer for a day. I usually put on some walking boots and have a good hunt. I like to start early so I can see where the sun starts out and usually carry on till it sets so I can get a good idea of where that is too. Obviously, a leisurely stop for lunch breaks up the day nicely and invariably another pit stop for coffee keeps me going for what usually ends being a 10 or 11 hour day on my feet. Sure its work but there is no need to be uncivilised. Hit the jump for instagram snaps of a recent day out, the thinking behind choosing a location and some rambling about focal length…

Shooting a Fashion Show for Money

Having just undergone the worst blog drought in personal blogging history I thought I would kick things off with a blog on shooting a fashion show. Why? Because I’ve got a few blogs backed up and I have to start somewhere, right? A while ago I was commissioned to shoot the Harvey Nichols spring/summer 2012 fashion show. This is always quite an interesting gig as the brief puts me in several different shooting situations. Hit the jump to see the pics, write up of the day and the geeky lighting info…

A Trip to the Mississippi Delta.

Recently things have been going quite well with regards to work – I have been doing quite a bit of fashion work on behalf of a marketing company, shooting some brands you might have even heard of! Needless to say its been pretty cool because this year was all about getting more work on and that’s starting to happen. Its not all been smooth sailing but things seem to be on the up!  I will be blogging about some of the work I’ve been doing, with lighting info and pics soon.
This shoot was for a couple of musicians collaborating on a duo act called Huckleberry. The makeup was done by Jenny Cadwallader who can normally be found working with her boyfriend Danny Baldwin, an exciting fashion photographer based in London. I have mentioned before on my blog how musicians like leaving things to the last minute – this was no exception. Preparations included calling all my friends to find out if anyone had a straw hat and then convincing Guy (the guitarist) it would be a good idea to wear one. The end. 
If any readers of this blog are looking forward to the bit where we all pack our bags, board American Airlines, land in New Orleans, eat some fried catfish for breakfast and then get shooting on the grand banks of the Mississippi, they will be slightly annoyed to learn that the title of this blog was only a metaphorical tip of the hat to Mark Twain’s immortal character Huckleberry Finn. Please do not be too annoyed because the location still has all the historical and industrial relevance of the mississippi delta, minus, of course, the romantic penning of Mark Twain. Our location? Non other than the Great Manchester Ship Canal. The canal nowadays is completely deserted, which is strange considering only 50 years ago it was the third largest shipping port in the UK. What’s interesting is, its days lying peacefully disused may be numbered, as the canal has been aquired this year by Peel Ports. Their plans include redevelopment, expansion, and an increase in shipping from 8000 containers a year to 100,000 by 2030, as part of their Atlantic Gateway project. According to Wikipedia. So some or all of that may not be true. All fascinating stuff and nothing to do with photography at all, except, I love shooting round that area as there are so many different views to be had as backdrops including my all new ‘Mississippi Delta’ look! Hit the jump to get the geeky lighting info and see the rest of the pics…

Stone-Dri Shoot

I recently did a shoot with on behalf of Manchester Fashion Network for a brand called Stone-Dri. The brief was simple ‘street style’ and near the offices of MFN for ease and practicality. We used the rather handsome Sam Ferns to model, the expertise of John-Paul to style him, and Katrina Urwin from MFN overseeing.  We had about 20 outfits to get through and needed 5 usable photos for each one – and about 7 hours to do it in.  So about a 100 usable photos in total. Katrina also wanted to mix up the locations a bit too. Unsurprisingly today was not a day for complicated light setups. Which was fine as Katrina wanted them to look as if they were taken in natural light. In fact the photo above was taken in natural light only. More on light in a minute though. The day went well, we alocated 10-15 minutes for each outfit and then moved on to the next one. It was pretty intense as i was choosing locations as we went along. It would have been nice to have a few planed in advance but I had no idea really what the light would be doing on the day which is kind of mainly what i look at when choosing locations. As it turned out the light was dim and coming from everywhere! It was great working with a stylist like Jon-Paul – he put some great outfits together and although he paid attention to detail he didn’t fuss too much which could have been disastrous with the time we had.

If you like the styling here Jon-Paul can be contacted at 
Hit the jump to see more pics and get the geeky lighting stuff…

Beetham Tower Event

I have been meaning to blog about this gig for ages now but it took awhile for the pictures to be given the go ahead and then I got busy, but, better late than never! I was asked by the lovely Gwen Oakden who works at Manchester Art Gallery, to cover this event which was held for the Gallery’s patrons and, to be honest, I got pretty excited – for those who don’t know Manchester, Beetham Tower is by far the tallest building in the city and it completely OWNS the skyline here. Hit the jump for more pics and further write up…

Shooting Lions In Manchester.

A couple of weeks ago I was commissioned to shoot Manchester band Let’s Be Lions for their new website. As usual for a band shoot I am emailed a very specific brief and a detailed mood board which has been painstakingly crafted over several months by the band who are completely focused on their corporate agenda.
No that is not at all how it goes down here in Manchester – I got a call the day before saying “Yeah we need some pictures – you know something vibey and nothing too cheesy. Tomorrow.” Ok guys let me just check I’ve got your brief straight here just so I’m not missing anything and I completely fulfill every aspect of it.
- Vibey
- Not Cheesy
- Tomorrow
Obviously with such specific instructions you would have to be a moron not to know what was required at this point, but just to be on the safe side I thought I might home in on some more detail, “Are you looking to do the shoot indoors or outdoors?”

“Hey man whatever you think is best – probably depends on the weather.”


Just when I thought, Sven, you’ve had your brief don’t push your luck, a revelation comes out of nowhere:

“Definitely no hats”

Nightmage gig?! Nope. This is my favorite type of work – I love an open brief. What is really being said (I like to tell myself) is, we trust you to come up with something. This is where the fun starts.  Hit the jump to see the rest of the pictures, write up and of course all the geeky lighting stuff.

Lilly Allen and Sarah Owen’s Lucy in Disguise Launch Night at Harvey Nichols

The next couple of blog posts are going to be regarding work I have been doing recently. Tuesday this week I had the honor of covering The Lucy In Disguise launch night at Harvey Nichols in Manchester. Hit the jump for the write up and pics of the event including the Lucy In Disguise line modeled by Boss Models

Burlesque Shoot In Derelict Mansion 2

At the end of last year I did a shoot with the lovely Helen Batchelor and vintage make up artist Bethany Jane Davies, and I mentioned I would do a proper post on it so here it is. Antwerp mansion in December is an extremely cold place and despite having brought hot tea in thermoses and snacks to keep energy up it was a tough shoot. In fact Helen having spent a good portion of the shoot in underwear managed to catch the flu the next day. Lovely! Never-the-less it was fun to mess around and I try to do a shoot once a month that is a bit different from what I would normally do and is not for money, just to keep the creativity and learning on track. For this shoot I wanted to use some old stage lights I bought ages ago and see how they worked with strobe lighting. Hit the jump to get the geeky break down on lighting set ups…


In the last post I was leaving for an extended trip in Asia with the aim of getting some photos to come back with. As it turned out I became rather distracted with a video project that I want to put together for our trip through Vietnam. While we were there we bought a rather tired out old motor bike and traveled through the interior of Vietnam. I am currently in the process of putting together the footage into a short video which will be posted on this blog when its done, however since I’m new to video editing its takeing quite some time, so bare with me while I labour over the editing. In the mean time I shall be blogging on a few of the things I’ve been up to since I’ve been back. One of the first things I did when I got back was immediately leave again on a trip round scotland. An excellent choice if you like whiskey and castles. Hit the jump to see more…

Burlesque Shoot in Derelict Mansion

A couple of weeks ago I did a burlesque shoot with Helen who has been suggesting we do this for about a year, literally. The question has always been, where? That question was answered a month ago when I went to see a gig at an old derelict mansion near where I live. It was perfect for the job. Unfortunately I have only been able to process a couple from the shoot as it has been absolutely crazy these last couple of weeks. We have been getting ready for a BIG TRIP in east Asia which starts on the 2nd at 9am (yes in 5 hours) plus I had the family at my house for Christmas for 10 days. So no time to blog. We plan on going to Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and to come back in two months with a hardrive full of photographs to start my traveling portfolio. Check back here in March to see the results! Hit the Jump to see more of the burlesque shoot…

A Working Date With Gemma.

As I have mentioned in a previous post, the music world and photography world have many parallel lines and sometimes they converge, providing Gemma and I the opportunity to work together, without taking leave from our chosen profession. Most recently this happened when we covered an event at Epernay Champagne Bar in Manchester for  The National Magazine Company’s 100th birthday celebration. The National Magazine Company is the umberella group that owns such magazines as Esquire, Harpers Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and many more. A rather glamorous evening with champagne flowing, Epernay’s caterers circulating the room with delicate canapés, whilst Gemma’s three piece band added atmospheric elegance, only stopping to allow for some low key speeches and then continuing into the evening. Hit the jump for more photos, my approach to capturing the evening and lighting info…

Shooting A Goat Strobist Style

Last year we spent new years on a friends farm in portugal as you do, and I became aquatinted with a rather lovely goat. You may think me strange to talk of a goat in such fond terms but I can honestly say if I were to have a pet it would be a goat. I can’t speak for all goats as this is the only one I’ve met but she had the daintiness of a persian cat, the doting nature of a labrador and, it has to be said, the stubbornness of a mule. There was quite a bit of post work to do on this photograph which I have only just got around to doing, hence why I’m writing about it almost a year later.

Having decided I had to do a shoot with her we dragged her into the house by her horns, which she did not like at all, but once she was in the house she was immediately content to tentatively wonder around examining the carpet, the sofa upholstery, and Gemma’s legs. Getting her to stand still for the shot was absolutely hilarious as my brother and my sister’s boyfriend chased around the room coaxing it to behave. Funnily enough I think it was merely a communication problem, because when we got her in the position in the photograph she happily held that position for quite some time. In fact, I swear she started posing. Hit the jump for some of the rather amusing attempts previous to this shot and the lighting info.

French Couture Event Sponsored By Harvey Nichols.

Over the next couple of blogs I’ll be posting about a couple of more noteworthy things I’ve been up to this month. One of which was covering an event held by the Manchester Gallery of Costume (this is a part of Manchester Art Gallery in Platt Fields Park for any Manchester readers). It was an event to raise money for the gallery and was sponsored by Harvey Nichols who brought 4 models from Boss Model Management (pictured).

It was a rather swanky event with 60 of some of Manchesters wealthiest women on the guest list. A photographer from Cheshire Life and i were snapping away during the evening documenting the proceedings. Gwen from Manchester Art Gallery who organised the event did a pretty impressive job as the whole place looked amazing with some very spectacular costumes and decor on show.

Shooting For Money.

I have decided to start writing this blog so other photographers can learn from my triumphs and my mistakes and so clients have an opportunity to get to know me a little should they wish to. To the former I hope to be parting with a fair amount of lighting knowledge I have gathered over the years as well, a subject very close to my heart. I’m truly terrible at emailing my poor mum so even if no one else reads this at least she’ll know what I’m up to!