Studio Day with RANKIN

His name truly deserves to be uppercase.

Rankin Studio Day PhotographyStarting out in photography can be a lonely business. And if you ever saw how many different Photography related Facebook groups I’m in, you’d probably laugh awkwardly or judge me just a little.

Asking my family for advice on my work is one thing, but seeking genuine advice and support from fellow professional photographers is often invaluable. Invaluable and almost impossible without putting yourself out there. Which shouldn’t be hard as you’re a photographer but, it’s surprisingly a lot more difficult than than you would think.

That’s why when I stumbled across the UKBFTOG group by chance on instagram and then on Facebook,  it really felt like a light had been switched on. Since then, I’ve found the opportunities that are presented to the group, the life-savings tips, and the amazing people I get to meet keeps rolling in and this particular day was a little bit epic…


In the 90s, RANKIN was pretty unstoppable. In his own words: “name someone famous, I probably shot them”. As a British Photographer in the music and fashion worlds, he was leagues ahead in terms of creativity and consistency and he continues to be a powerhouse now after an impressive 3 decade long career.

When you’re researching photography styles, flawless headshots and aesthetics galore, RANKIN’s work will continue to pop up proving his legacy and dedication to the music, photography and fashion industries.

Myself alongside 14 other like minded female photographers got the opportunity to meet RANKIN at his infamous studio in Kentish Town. The day was not only insightful, but a lot of fun! It felt like we got to know a side of him that not many get to experience. His honesty about his career, lessons he learned (often the hard way) and his generosity with his space and time was endearing and made us all feel seen. Not only did he take our headshots (a surreal experience in itself) we were able to roam his studio freely, which consisted of a games machine, a photo booth and a penthouse (where he used to live!) The views from the all glass home was stunning and most of us couldn’t resist our own cheeky little photoshoots.

Portrait Photography - RANKIN Studio

Something that really stayed with me from the studio day was how RANKIN made me feel when in front of the camera. I often don’t get the chance to step in front of the camera to be directed by someone else, so to say I was nervous would be an understatement. But there was something about the way that RANKIN made you feel. He looked at what I was wearing to encourage me how to stand, he asked me what my best side was (heck, if I know!), he made me laugh – I instantly felt comfortable.

More often than not, Photographers of all genres can forget about the subject’s feelings. We are led into the trap of focusing on what we want to capture, the time constraints we may have, the lighting etc. Which is why for me working with babies, children and even new Mothers has been quite powerful – you simply can’t dismiss or move passed their feelings, it all has to be taken into account. RANKIN beautifully stripped it back to basics with this simple fact: “your model is your collaborator, you are working together.”

Forever grateful that I was in that room, talking with likeminded individuals and learning from the very best. As a photographer, I’m always learning and finding new ways to challenge myself, spark new ideas and essentially grow.

Checkout my Instagram Reel from this awesome day.

Do not be surprised if you read another blog from me about this side of my photography journey soon.

Shani x

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