Thanks to this quote from William Wordsworth, I have finally found the time and the inclination to catch up on my blog, but seeing as it is some 6 months since I’ve committed my thoughts to print, it’s not fair to inflict my readers to a blog of epic proportions, so I’m splitting it up into manageable chunks!
It never ceases to amaze me that despite feeling as if I have not had many opportunities to make photographs this year, when I look back at my catalogue of images I’ve had far more than I realise. Since my last blog in March I’ve clocked up eighteen different photo-shoots in one form or another, that’s three a month, not bad for someone who claims to have very little free time, just imagine what I could do if I improved my time management!
So my first catch up blog revolves around those shoots where fashion is the prevalent theme.
I do consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to call upon young friends to support my efforts to improve my photography, none more so than Rachel, Amelia, Georgia and Jaime, all of whom are in my view, self-possessed and confident young women who blossom in front of my camera.
One bright spring in April, I hired a local studio and together with Rachel, spent a wonderful time creating a variety of looks on a very small budget indeed. I am an avid user of e-Bay and often spend time looking for clothing or props for a photo-shoot, but I don’t like to spend more money than necessary! Having checked my accounts, all the images below were styled for less than £50. When I feel I’ve done with the outfits, they’ll go back on e-Bay and I’ll find something new.
Of course, no blog would be complete without a few images from a day out with Damian McGillicuddy. Attending one his Big Shoot Experience days at the start of May saw me in a post-apocalyptic setting with models Portia, Jess and James. School’s Out? You’re not kidding it was certainly one of the more unusual locations I’ve worked in.
It is always nice to be called upon to supp0rt my friends in return and when I received a message from Amelia asking if I could help her create some photographs in support of her final ‘A’ level project I immediately said yes. The brief was very clear and straightforward, we needed to create a variety of images representing both classical and contemporary dance styles. On a pretty grey day, I packed my camera bag and we headed to the local church hall where we proceeded to bring the world of dance and movement to life.
I have the most fabulous backdrop the purchase of which was a bit of a well-earned gift to me a few months back, and it provides a lovely feel to images. Most of the static poses were lit with just a single speed-light and soft-box, and I introduced a second flash-gun for the images where Amelia leaped with grace and poise across the hall, to ensure I froze the movement sufficiently.
Next up was a test shoot with a new face. Introduced through a mutual friend, Georgia is making starting to make her way on the pageant circuit and Lisa (Georgia’s Mum) thought it would be a good for her to experience a photo-shoot in preparation of things to come. I like Sunday mornings in Mold, it’s quiet and has some great locations. Georgia had never done this type of modelling before but it didn’t take long for her to relax in front of the camera and with Lisa’s help, holding reflectors, lights and even me on occasion we made some cool images together.
I’m very also fortunate to be involved with the Welshot community which affords me further chances to refine my photo skills and they regularly host fun-filled events for photographers of every age and inclination. The Steampunk inspired event in May was a brilliant if exhausting day out (I am a mature photographer now don’t forget!). Sebastian, Radha, Hazel, and Rachel were as always a delight to work with. I love these days for the social aspect as much as the photography and I am always pleased with my images.
May was clearly a good month for photography. Another couple of hours with Rachel saw me tackle ‘Hollywood’ inspired lighting, the styling was spot on thanks to Rachel, but I definitely need more practice with the lighting. All was not lost however, as I resorted to my own favourite, natural light and created some of my all-time favourite images of the lovely Miss G.
Next up, another Welshot event, this time a Narnia inspired theme. I wrote the Welshot blog on this particular day, head on over using the link here and take a look if you are interested…Narnia
As the June edition of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar hit the doormat, my good friend and fellow photographer Tim Charlesworth and I arranged an evening up Hope Mountain with Georgia and Jaime with the aim of creating some Boho -chic inspired images. No flash required just natural light and a reflector. The late evening summer sunshine provided some very special light indeed.
One of the best things about the summer is that my perennial model, Rachel is home for the holidays (although I use the term home loosely here as she has a habit of jetting off to foreign climes!). However when she is available, she is very happy to stand in front of my camera and listen to me ramble about f-stops and shutter speeds. An inexpensive prop from Primark (a £4 hat) gave me inspiration and we set off on another photo-adventure. A meadow, a roadside verge filled with ox-eye daises (and tooting of horns from passing lorries), a local parkland, and a bus-stop, all natural light locations produced what you see here. It is to Rachel’s eternal credit that she doesn’t bat an eye-lid wherever we end up!
Another Sunday, another Welshot event! The weather nearly stopped play, but as you’ll see in the blog,Liverpool Fashion, the delegates and models are a creative bunch and a fab day was had by all.
Last but not least for this post, a quick resume of a very messy and creative photo-shoot with the ever-patient Rachel. Inspired by an article about the Holi festival and a number of images which popped up in my Facebook feed I just had to have a go. This kind of shoot comes complete with a health-warning, do not try this in a confined space, flour travels at an alarming speed when thrown by an enthusiastic model!
Two flash-guns, a black back-drop and a large hay barn (courtesy of my sister-in-law and her husband) meant we could make as much mess as we liked and there was no tidying up to do.
Incidentally, all of these images are taken using either my Fuji XT-1 and XPRO-1 (also known as my toy cameras by some of my friends!!), my usual retorts being (i) size doesn’t matter and (ii) it’s not what you’ve got, it’s how you use it! My favourite lens is the 50-140mm, especially good for portraiture and as I’ve recently learned, energetic flour shoots!
As always, big thanks to all my friends, too numerous to mention, who join me in my photo-fun, none of this would be possible without you!
Until next time