Shooting With Harry Neelam – PART I


I have been photographing women for over 33 years – since I started my business in 1980.
Or even longer, if you count that my first ad appeared on the front page of the newspapers when I was 17.
It was shot on a twin-lens Rollieflex.
Using Plus X 120 film!

[My girlfriend at the time was my model.  She was 16 and posed for free, of course.  Hey, I was 17.
I made enough money to take her on a half-decent date.]

Since then I have done a ton of International corporate work, commercials, magazine covers and fashion editorial work – all usually involving female models.
As they say  “When you do just one thing for a very long time, you get very good at it”
And I may have learnt a thing or two over the years.
Maybe. ;-)


My self-defined style is Fantasy, Fantasy Glamour
and Hyper-Glamour.

I like to show women as strong, in control and empowered.
Many women have actually said this to me – and said that’s why they like my style.
I didn’t know I was doing that until it was pointed out to me – by women.
But there you go.

I have found that I always admired confident, self-sufficient, independent women.
Those who have built lives and careers, businesses and families.
Those who could deal with the ups and downs of life with resolve, humour, sheer gutsiness and courage.

This, I suppose explains my themes of Fantasy Women, Warrior Women, Women with Swords and weapons, Women as the ideal Avatar.

I also like to shoot dance-styled poses and fashion poses influenced by dance – and here I mean classical ballet.
Although I do use contemporary dance as well.
You will often see my nudes in ballet shoes en pointe or in ballet mode.

A lot of my work crosses over into various genres of classical and contemporary art, some of it into fashion editorial and includes fine art nudes and street art and street fashion.
I tend to favour bright, happy, saturated colours on the one hand or pastels and desaturated pale palettes on the other.
Of course, the purity of black and white and tints on B&W.


I love art

Art Nouveau and Art Decor. Surrealism and Modern Graphics.

I play with the textures and colours of Klimt, Van Gogh and Chagall.
I love the fussy intricate stylings of Alphonse Mucha.
I mimic the pop-art of Andy Warhol and Roy Liechtenstein from time to time.
I love Georgia O’Keefe.
And Salvador Dali.
I take inspiration from fantasy artists like Luis Roja and Boris Vallejo.
Orientalism is another major influence.
Noir movies drove my early stylings. Specially Hitchcock.
Kill Bill and Sin City have added to my repertoire.


There are many influences

but you now know how I approach your shoot.

There may have once been a frustrated artist in me wanting to break out – but he quietened down at some time.
But that comes out in my photographic work – for better or worse.
You may like it – or not.

I don’t take a formulaic approach to my shoots – each shoot is planned and storyboarded individually.
But within the planned and detailed shoot there is always room for spontaneity and any wild ideas we hatch on the spot.
That’s what I do and what you will get if you shoot with me.

You will have to set aside a day to shoot with me – preferably arriving bright-eyed and fresh having had a good (8-hours of) sleep the night before.
We will shoot for several hours.
Between 5-7 hours which includes discussions, planning, set changes and makeup/hair as required.
And don’t forget the champagne (or cocktail) breaks. Lunch, snacks etc.



So you want to shoot with me?

If you are a woman, your chances of having a shoot with me are very good.
It doesn’t matter to me what your age is, what your height or weight is or even what you think you look like.
I promise to make you look the most beautiful you ever have.

So, if you want to shoot with me, there are two simple ways you can make this happen:

1 . Book a shoot, or,
2. Participate in one of my complimentary, ‘no-cost-to-you’ artistic shoots for my gallery projects.


The FIRST is easy enough to understand:  BOOK – PAY – SHOOT.

– Book a shoot for a day &  time convenient for you – obviously a day which is  open and available in my studio.
– Pay the fees and everything will be organised for you and flow from there….
– Roll up for the shoot; [how a shoot works is explained here]
– Have a real ball shooting; and later,
– Get the images you have chosen.
– Enjoy them forever – display them, show them off, use them on social media and on your folio.
It is all clearly detailed on the shoot pages of my Harry Neelam Studios site:


The SECOND is a lil bit more complex.
The easy to understand bit is that you get a FREE shoot. 😉
So, why would I offer you a free shoot if my normal fees are upwards of $3850.00 per shoot?
What’s the catch?
Yes, there is one.

I give you a free shoot if you suit my current new concepts for art gallery work.
I am always trying new ideas and concepts, experimenting and playing with new tools, equipment, lenses, lights, materials, costuming, accessories, jewelry or props.
You can see this happen if you follow my blog and social media pages.
You will suddenly see me shoot a prop or accessory or concept with a few models in quick succession.
So, I get a willing collaborator & subject to experiment on – and you, the model get some amazing images.

All the best, even the most famous, photographers do this.
So do musicians, scientists, artists, ballet dancers, technologists, everybody practices their craft – and should.

These conceptual test shoots give you almost the same treatment as if you were booking in for a paid shoot – with minor exclusions;
You are treated with the same respect and affection as if you were a paying client.
You are wined and dined with the same food and drink as normal clients – champagne, sparkling, wine, cocktails, beer, chocolates, etc.

The difference is, you can’t simply book in at any time you feel like it.
I offer these shoots no more than two to three times a year to test out my new concepts and themes or whacky ideas for my personal work and Art Gallery Exhibitions.
I put out casting calls and you have to be on the ball and apply for those particular casting calls, if you qualify with the shoot requirements.

How do you do that? Well,
1. You can sign up for my models newsletter here, and,
2. Follow my ‘ Brand-H Photoblog‘ where I regularly post casting calls;
3. Add me on Facebook: and,
4. ‘Like’ my page:
5. Follow me on Twitter: and,
6. Keep an eye out on StarNow and/or ModelMayhem where I post these calls from time to time.

READ PART II of the Models Guide to Shooting with Harry Neelam here >