So, I’ve just put together an advert! (No – it’s not the picture above.) Never did that before – well, maybe I played around with Microsoft’s Publisher when I first started working as a marketing assistant in the City years and years ago and literally had no idea what I was meant to be doing so sat around pretending I could design stuff, while some people who sat round the DTP desk just four feet away actually were designing stuff because they knew exactly what they were doing. Anyway, I am quite chuffed I managed to do it. The advert is to go in a local school fair programme and I felt it might be a bit much to call on my lovely ex boss’ husband to design another ad for me so soon after he’d put together the one I have going into Contacts, the directory for actors and agents (for which I was extremely grateful.)
As well as getting to grips with Photoshop (not my strongest area as my son so loves to remind me and often) and designing adverts I have recently photographed a wedding for the first time! I can tell you I felt rather sick driving to the venue and spent the hour getting there wondering why on earth I put myself through this – nerve wracking, gut wrenching terror!! In fact, over the last few months I have put myself into various situations where I feel somewhat in over my head and find myself cursing the day that I ever agreed, and in some instances asked, for these situations. Such as when I first worked for an events company just before Christmas – I felt like I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and truth be told I probably didn’t know quite enough. But as they say, if you never put yourself in uncomfortable positions you’ll never get anywhere. I have certainly learned an awful lot by getting into these tricky situations and no matter how nervy I have been it’s always been worth it in the end.
I am busy editing the wedding the photographs and will upload a blog all about it soon. The couple are very local to me…gosh, I hope they’re pleased otherwise I shall had to visit the local cafe and corner shop with a bag over my head.
The other thing I have just managed to finish is Part 2 of the course I started at the beginning of the year, The Art of Photography. I took quite a lot of photographs in preparation, a couple of which I posted here last week, and ended up ditching all of them and starting again. I’ve included a few of the ones I used in the end today so you can see what I do when I’m not photographing children and families. Its quite different and truth be told I’m rather nervous about whether or not I’ve achieved the course requirements but we’ll see. I’ll let you know when I get my feedback!
The sun does appear to be making an appearance today – yay! And enjoy!!
I was quite worried the other day when I was asked to do some photographs at midday as the family needed the photos in a rush and that was the only time they could all get together in time. The forecast predicted the hottest day of the year so far in the UK and so I was rather grateful for the hazy overcast clouds which stayed until we’d finished! Without this cloud cover the strong shadows would have caused all sorts of issues and we’d have had far less choices available to us. So that was good! Nevertheless I realised that I will do my best in future to convince clients that early mornings and late afternoons or early evenings are the best time for lovely light. Not sure how appealing this is for families. As a mother myself the thought of getting my brood together first thing would be rather daunting and who can guarantee a pleasant mood at the end of the day from any of us? However, I know how much difference good light can make to these sorts of photographs. I wonder how insistent other photographers are when choosing a time with clients. Would love to hear about it. In any event, the family are very happy with their photographs and I hope the gifts they are planning will go down well – that I guess is the most important thing!
I should probably add that using a lighting set up with large reflectors is probably the obvious answer but I am convinced that this ends up making the whole process more daunting and less relaxing for people who aren’t used to and may not like having their photographs taken.
Lucie struggled across London on a wet and miserable rainy day; and to add to the misery the tubes were on strike. Many others might have cancelled under such conditions. Lucie is immensely professional though and really knows what she’s doing. It was an absolute pleasure to work with her and I hope to do so again in the future. It would be great to do something a little more adventurous than 10×8 head shots with Lucie – however, I’m really pleased with how these turned out.
Bernard Hughes, talented composer based in South London, needed some updated images for his website and upcoming projects. We spent a lovely sunny morning together where I banged on about how little I know about music – poor guy! But he’s ended up with some images he’s very happy with so hopefully it was worth it.
Having focused on the technical side of things with photography over the last year or so I am now studying with the Open College of Arts where I’m spending much more time and energy concentrating on finding a style that is personal and particular to me (technicalities are still important but it’s the content that really matters now). Taking photographs isn’t exactly rocket science but photographers who have a style of their own, one that is instantly recognisable as theirs are rare – that’s the really hard thing and I suspect there are far, far fewer photographers who manage it than there are photographers. It will probably take years of work and practice to reach that point, if ever, but I feel like I am beginning to get a real sense of the direction I’m heading in, especially in relation to the last two shoots I’ve done.
I am enormously interested in relationships, families, childhood, aging; in a word – life. I’m not entirely sure why I’m using photography as the medium to explore those interests – perhaps it’s because I’m a rubbish drawer/painter and didn’t make it as an actor. Photography isn’t exactly secondary to the very real need that exists within me, that which drives me to explore and understand those interests mentioned above – there must be something about the way you get to control light, the need to find it in the first place and then the voyeuristic nature of being behind the camera and capturing moments in other people’s lives that suits me. But it’s important for me to remember what it is I’m doing with photography.
In the photos I have included here there are some very genuine moments. I love that. I have tried hard to keep the photos real and hope the balance is right. Touching up and editing is an integral part of photography, always has been even before Photoshop came along. But finding the balance for your own particular style isn’t always easy. There’s nothing wrong with very processed work but I’m not sure that’s where I’m at at the moment. Knowing how much to do, or not to do is the trick I guess.
I really enjoyed this shoot with the very lovely Conways. I hope I’ve captured the personality and ‘flavour’ of their family. I feel I’ve achieved at least some of that. The final image is not a formal portrait with everyone looking at the camera but that is what I love about it: the circular shape of the family – all heads creating a sweeping movement which in my mind shows a real continuum, and the loving connection that is so evident between the parents. I think it might be my favourite of the lot.
Addison is such a sweet baby and I love the name! The Traeger family invited me to come and take some photos of their lovely little girl who I have to say is very cute indeed. She was quite patient with me most of the time and rather interested in the camera. Thank you, Addison, for allowing me into your new life for a couple of hours. I am always so pleased to be spending time with little babies and find these sessions incredibly enjoyable.
I thoroughly enjoyed my day at Racepoint Global, based at Westfield, Shepherds Bush, a couple of weeks ago. I was asked to come in and take photos of employees that illustrate their hobbies along with some straight head shots. The hobby shots are going to be added to a space in the waiting area of Racepoint’s office where photographs of all the people who work there are displayed doing something they love. It works really well; and it was good to spend the day finding out how all the people I photographed spend their spare time. What a lot of healthy, fit and very clever people!
I was pretty exhausted by the end of the day which was fortuitous as I was far too tired to have a sneaky trip round all the shops at Westfield Shopping Centre; thank goodness I don’t work there on a daily basis – not sure I’d ever have any money.
I can’t go without saying a big thank you to Sonia Carneiro, Racepoint’s multi-talented office manager. She has assisted on a few shoots in the past and helped me out during my time in Shepherds Bush, and I couldn’t have asked for a better assistant!
Wow – I was thrilled, more than a little nervous, flattered and excited about being asked by Sarah Legge, winner of 2014 Best Wedding Photographer*, to do some head shots for her website.
I hope she doesn’t mind me telling you, but Sarah was quite nervous about being on the other side of the Canon and told me she now understands why some of her clients feel nervous. I didn’t let on that I was also a bit nervy because she’s been doing this a lot longer than me and really knows her stuff, but I was very pleased when she told me that I’d been ‘lovely and a natural behind the camera’. I totally understand her discomfort about being photographed. I used to be an actor and it was really uncomfortable having head shots done. Maybe that’s one of the quite numerous reasons I’m not one anymore!