Winter shoot in Hampstead Heath

Happy New Year to everyone. Welcome to 2012.

For me, the New Year brings lots of new possibilities to meet new people and opportunities to take more photos.

The first such opportunity was on Saturday – a rather chilly late afternoon shoot with Felicity who, despite it being really chilly, was a fabulous subject for a Winter photoshoot. Hampstead Heath in North London was the location and the Winter setting sun the backdrop.

These are just a few of the photos from the day

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Bianca and Brad’s Big Day

I was asked to cover the wedding of Bianca and Brad at Wandsworth Town Hall recently. This is my first wedding, and at times, it is fair to say I am not sure who was experiencing the greater nerves – the couple or myself!

But the day was beautiful, and I was able to capture it in photographs for the happy couple.

These are just a few of the photographs from their big day.

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Outdoor maternity photography

Lucie and I arranged to take photos of her very lovely bump – but rather than the usual maternity shoot, with the kind of photos you might have seen time and time before, we arranged an Outdoor maternity shoot in Richmond Park, south London.

Location photography is exactly that – taking you out of the studio and into a location that is special to you – and this certainly worked incredibly well with Lucie as we found several really fantastic places within the park to take photos. The result was a set of beautiful photographs that were completely different to those normal images. Judge for yourself…

Posted in Bump and Baby, Children and Family portraits, Portraits

And the winner is…!

Congratulations to Dee for winning our Caption Competition!

This was Dee’s winning entry

Dee has won herself our first prize – a £100 voucher!

Thank you to everyone who took part and to all those who voted.

Posted in Competition

Grace at the River Thames

I recently had the very great pleasure of photographing a local young dancer, Grace, along the River Thames.

The shoot was fantastic, we had superb light and managed to shoot a variety of outfits and locations along the river – often to the bemusement of passers by and swans alike.

Here are a few of the shots from the day.

If like these shots and want to arrange your own location photoshoot at the river, or another of your favourite places, then contact me to discuss your ideas and what I can do for you.

Posted in Just for you, Portraits

Never work with children? I disagree!

On a recent workshop I attended, I had the very great pleasure of being able to photograph Helen, Rebecca and Ryan.

Now the saying goes, “Never work with children” and there were times where I wondered whether the adults were entertaining the children more than the children were being models, but there is no doubting just how cute the photographs came out of both the children and the lovely family.

Why don’t you judge for yourself?

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Why use a professional photographer?

These days it seems as if everyone with a DSLR camera can take a photograph and pop it on to Facebook. What follows is a procession of family and friends complimenting that person’s photographs and suddenly they’re a photographer.

Why would you then pay a professional photographer to take portrait photos of yourself rather than rely on your friend and their camera? After all, their photographs looked great on their Facebook profile.

There are many reasons why a professional photographer is a better option.
When you commission a professional photographer, you are not just paying for the final product, the photographs. You are paying for their time – and not just the time they spend with you on the day, but the time they have invested in themselves to get to the level that they are. You are paying for their training, their equipment, their know-how and ability to not just take an image, but to make you look at your best in that image. To frame, compose and expose it correctly – not just lit by the sun, but rim light or back light. You’re paying for their experience, their ability to make you feel at ease, relax and just be yourself.

They will advise you on what to wear to make sure you look your best, and perhaps more importantly, advise you on what NOT to wear.

It’s also true to say that while a photograph is taken on the day of the shoot, that’s not where it ends. Before a professional photographer will give you the final product, they would have reviewed, sorted, edited and enhanced those photos to ensure that every last detail is perfect. And I don’t mean “red-eye correction” – a professional photographer wouldn’t have made that error in the first place. Part of the fee you are paying is to pay for the time of the photographer in post-production, creating a product for you that is not just a photograph, but a timeless memory and experience.

Yes, there are no doubt cheaper – even free – methods of taking those photos. But the odd adage of “you get what you pay for” rings true in photography. Not everyone knows what makes a great photograph, but everyone can recognise a poor photograph.

So before you ask your sister’s boyfriend to take a photo of you in his mom’s front garden, consider what a professional photographer might be able to offer you. And you may be surprised at the cost too!

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Chloe and David at Epson Downs

I recently had the very special privilege of undertaking a photoshoot with Chloe and David at Epsom Downs race course.

Despite changeable, windy conditions, we managed to get some fantastic shots of a beautiful couple in a beautiful location.

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Learning with Damian McGillicuddy

Of all the things to spend your cash on as a photographer, training is always a vital purchase. No matter how experienced you are, staying in touch with trends and improving your skill with the camera is paramount to producing the very best possible photo. So with this in mind I have embarked on an ongoing training program with Damian McGillicuddy, Master photographer. Whilst this was just the first sesssion, it’s always a great result when you can visibly see the quality of your product improve, and you’re able to replicate what a more senoir photographer is doing.

I am eagerly awaiting continuing this course with Damian and seeing further improvement in the future.

Here are a couple of shots from the first day.

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Photography – The Clue Is in the Name

I love photography. I didn’t know that I did until about 15 months ago – but now I really do know that I do, and all I find myself doing is wanting to learn more.

There is so much to learn – about the nature of photography, the equipment, the subject you’re photographing, the lighting, composition, posing – oh the list is endless – believe me, the list is endless, and it’s a huge amount to learn.

But if you want to learn the very basic rule, the very fundamental nature of the art, then look no further than the name itself – PHOTOGRAPHY. Without wishing to bore you with technicality, the word derives from two Greek words – Photos and graphein. Photos means “light”. Graphein means “to write” or “to draw”. So quite literally, “photography” is to draw or to write with light.

So how does that matter …? Well as a photographer myself I now find that when I have a camera in my hands, I am asking, “how can I draw with the light available?” – “WHAT can I draw?” and “How will I get the best drawing?”

When I first moved from the automatic settings of my camera and used the manual settings, I was immediately met by new-fangled words and ideas – aperture, shutter speed, focal length. And while being initially overwhelmed, I soon managed to muddle through and make sense of all, thanks to my understanding of the word photography.

It’s very simple – how are you going to get the light you see into the camera and onto the sensor using the lens and shutter? Is the light too harsh – must I adjust the size of the aperture – so that my drawing is softer? Do I need to have a fast shutter speed – to have an instantaneous drawing, or will I elect a slower shutter speed, allowing motion to flow over my drawing? DO I want everything to be crystal clear and sharp, or do I want blur and different depths to my light drawing?

And very quickly you start to understand what it is that you are trying to achieve with photography and this contraption called the camera. You are trying to control the light using the tools your camera provides you so as to produce the best drawing you can.

Once I understood that, I understand the very basic premise of photography. Yes I can shoot studio, location, I can shoot still life or fast paced sport – the subject doesn’t matter. It is how I am going to draw the image that I must begin with, and by understanding “photography” I am better able and equipped to put light to sensor and create a drawing.

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