Creating the Photograph: Simeon Quarrie’s “Until Your Love Frees Me”


Editor’s Note: Creating the Photograph is a new series that we’re starting where we interview photographers all about the photo that they shot and talk to them about how it was achieved. The results are some knowledge passed onto you. Want to be featured? Email chrisgampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com

We found Simeon Quarrie via Profoto’s Twitter, and fell in love with some of his work. He primarily works in the wedding photography world, but his own vision and approach is closer to commercial and fashion photography. He is now becoming recognized more in the commercial world and the photo above really demonstrates his creative vision.

Here’s his story. And if you’re interested check out more in our Creating the Photograph series.

lens rental


The Concept


The idea originally formed about 8 months ago. I make a concerted effort to generate ideas as they are are central to my style. At the time, I was on the Underground in London. I remember the precise moment. I opened my little sketch book and just started to draw. A number were watching as my hand movements became more frantic and as I became more excited as the clarity of my idea sharpened.

At this stage I am not interested in logistics or feasibility. I worry about that later, otherwise, in my experience, the ideas become less exciting. If I had thought about logistics, I wouldn’t have attempted this series.

Much of my work involves working with couples about to get married. When I showed Lalita and Nikki an early sketch, they fell in love with the concept. Logistics for creating this series was extremely stressful and intense. The outfits were designed and put together by me with the help of the Lalita.

I work with both still and moving images, so I wanted the frame to appear as if it were a still from a film.


Canon 5D MK III

Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L

Profoto lights x 2 (3ft Octa, 1 Zoom reflector with a blue gel)

Lightroom 4

Color Effex 4 (for detail)

Photoshop CS5 (for sharpening)

Eye-fi Card synced with an iPad

Smoke Machine

The Shoot


With this series, I wanted to complement the natural light as much as possible. I orchestrated the scene using natural light and then added the drama by exaggerating the light slightly with Profoto strobes.

The camera was set to f4.5 1/125 at ISO 1250. I warmed up the white balance using the Kelvin setting in camera.

The couple and the models were positioned and directed and then the rope was carefully placed. Props were placed.

I shot preview JPEGs to the SD Eye-fi Card and sent to my iPad so that I could see a larger frame and critique the image as I shot. RAW files were shot to the CF card.

In the shot, I wanted it to look as if Nikesh cautiously starts to cut the girl he desires free. He checks to see if the way is clear. Then I zoom in to see him look his girl in the eye. The couple were worked hard like professional models.

I have seen others write there own interpretation of this image. That’s what I love. Everyone sees the story differently and some of them are better than my original idea!

I had a team of 11 including myself and the models to make this series happen.

Post Production

This part is actually very boring. I don’t do much. I used Lightroom 4, then Color Effex 4 for detail and Photoshop CS5 for sharpening.

You can check out Simeon’s other pages such as his twitter, his personal Facebook page and his production page.

The First Two Images of the Series



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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.