Today is one of my photography days and it’s going to be a busy one. But I’m feeling pleased with myself, having finished off some vital admin this morning, and it’s not even half past 9! No rest for me though, as I must complete some editing for a recent job, and to end the day, I am looking forward to a shoot this afternoon with a lovely repeat client. In many ways, things might still feel tenuous out there, but businesses do seem to be picking up and I am definitely open! So do get in touch if you are planning to update your website and looking for new photography.
In the meantime, here is an image I look last week when I was off for a few days and we visited the coast – I’ll admit, I could have spent way more time down there!
I have been reading a book by an art critic, who, while conjuring up a thought experiment, contrives to remove all people from all photography. And at the end of a protracted passage where he eradicates everything he professes to be disinterested in in photography, he arrives at images of blank paper on a desk as the only worthwhile consideration. (In fact, the work he refers to ultimately is intriguing and intelligent, and has had a significant impact on the way I think about photography).
I have not mentioned the writer’s name, nor the photographer he highlights as worthy because, while they both matter in certain aspects of my life, what is critical here is that people photography, and in particular portrait photography, is my favourite kind. If I were to do the same thought exercise as the aforementioned critic, I’d get rid of landscapes and still life, and maybe even journalistic images with people running this way or that – and only ever take portraits; the sort where one person and I get together and spend a bit of time with my camera, and not much else. No props, no lights – just the ambient light, perhaps a stool, and the ‘field’ – the space between the subject and me. It will come as no surprise that I very much enjoyed photographing the young man below last week. I hope he also enjoyed the experience and I’m looking forward to more portrait shoots soon!
The last week has been a good one photography-wise. I’ve managed to do all the exercises for the module I’m currently doing for The Art of Photography (OCA) and am just about finished with the assignment which feels good. Although I have no idea if I’m going about it the right way since I’m on only on the second section of the 5 part course . Time will tell when it’s marked or commented on. I’m not sure at the moment whether to put my work in to be assessed or not. It’s possible to simply do the assignments for the joy of it, which of course is worthwhile. However, I completed my first degree a long time ago, 20 years ago in fact, so I’ve been debating about whether or not to add pressure to an already full existence by actually trying to go for marks this time round. Perhaps it would be a shame to do all the work and not achieve the grades – we shall see… anyway, here are some examples of images I may include in the assignment. It’s all about lines and shapes.
I’ve also had a couple of family shoots over the last five days which have kept me on my toes. Each one was very different. Working with young children can be challenging sometimes – they don’t always want their activities interrupted by someone sticking a great big camera in their faces and I’ve yet to master the art of it. With my background in teaching drama and my experience as a mother you would think it came easy but it doesn’t! There is so much to think about and it’s a real skill. However, I’m not averse to a few sullen shots either – in fact I think the less jolly ones can show us something very moving and real. I think family shoots can offer a wonderful activity in themselves actually but I wonder if people feel under pressure to provide the photographer with an ‘ideal’ family picture to capture. My task I guess is to encourage a sense of calm and relaxation and enable genuine moments which I’ve then got to record. No mean feat! Here are a few from this week’s outings.
As well as the study and work I’ve been juggling three little boys – now there is a challenge as any mummy and daddy knows. But we muddle along and my oldest has expressed an interest in helping me with my work! In fact, he often comments on anything web or computer related and I don’t think it will be long before he is way more advanced with Photoshop than me – although to be fair that wouldn’t be difficult!
One of my very lovely youngest to finish off this week’s post. Enjoy the weather and long may it last!