Putting up some artwork and getting started with the promo video!
Recording for the Promo video!!
Prepping the walls to be painted!!
Time Lapse of the wall being painted!!
Sampling the paints!!
Planning the reveal wall and painting the shelves!!
As many of you know, I am delighted that I will be moving my photography studio to Clifton Village. I am so excited to join the community of businesses in Clifton village, and I thought I would use this platform to share some other local businesses. More than ever before, all these businesses could use all the support that we can give, so follow their pages, visit them when they open and share the love.
Clifton Ceramics & Fine Jewellery
Clifton Village Jewellers
Titcombe Bespoke Jewellery
Belle du jour
Lisa Elliot Floral Design
Hair, Beauty and Cosmetics
Savys Barber Shop
British Barber Company
Atkinsons Health and Beauty Clinic
Restaurants and food
New Emperor Court
The Mall Deli
The Ivy Clifton Brasserie
New Moon Tapas
Nutmeg Indian Restaurant
NOA Sushi Restaurant
Jojo Maman Bebe
Glad Rags and Posh Frocks
Grace & Mabel
The Mews Bridal
SJP interior design
Core and Ore
Cameron Lee Carpets
Clifton Contemporary Art
Clifton Fine Art
The Clifton Club
Rachel and Michaels Antiques
Focus on the Past
The Kitchen Man
Fine Art Studio Portraits
As some of you may know, I was recently asked to speak at University of Bristol's Photography Society. I put together an hour talk about some of my recent Fine Art Studio Portraits Photoshoots and how I go about creating those images and that painterly look.
I started off with a brief explanation on how I put together creative concepts, lighting, posing, composition and planning. Next, I did an in depth explanation of some specific images. I then went on to do a demonstration to show how it looks in action.
I am currently working on a project about self expression. This part of the project was about storytelling. As a portrait photographer, I spend a lot of time expressing my own ideas in the form of photographs, so it is interesting to me to explore the other ways people choose to express themselves.
I spend a lot of time planning a shoot, from themes and concepts to posing and lighting. I usually then adjust and end up doing some completely different images on the day. It is important to plan, but also just as important to experiment and be able to adapt to the model and props on the day.
With these images, I planned to use a rim light further behind the model, but slightly due to space and also the way I wanted to balance the image, I decided to add in an accent light camera right instead.
I used Rembrandt lighting here and my umbrella was much higher than I would usually have it, so that everyone could still see what I was doing! I then adjusted the catchlight and lighting on the bottom half of her face in post production.
I always do more than one setup on the day as a backup for me and, for client shoots, variation for their gallery!
I started off with broad lighting and a large umbrella for this part of the photoshoot demonstration. I knew I wanted the model's hair to have a lot of volume for the paper boats to be visible. I actually wrapped her hair around a cushion - which I usually use for my newborn photoshoots and I am just as surprised as anyone else that this worked! It did start to fall out later on and if I had been doing a shoot in studio, I would be working more constantly with the hair (she had to sit through the talk fairly still before the shoot also).
I changed the lighting to narrow lighting and a much smaller soft-box for the next part of the photoshoot.
The most time consuming part of the editing here was actually removing the straps from her shoulders and taking out the creases in her dress. I added some more images with the flowers for the variation and backup. I also explained that if you don't fancy editing out the straps etc, then you can find a way to be creative about it - I wrapped her long sleeves around her.
We didn't get around to the editing part of my slideshow but I wanted to explain the basic editing process and how the client enjoying the shoot and not feeling forced into poses is the most important thing on the day. It is still possible to work with images that are not perfect in camera. You can see another post about my editing process here: the-ice-princess-my-editing-process.html.
I will follow up this blog post with a blog post on an in depth editing process for one of the images I took at the talk - which image would you all like to see me do this for?
Cassie Rogers Designs contacted me via instagram to photograph her beautiful paper flowers. Her business is also Bristol based and she offers flowers for all sorts of decorations and events. I absolutely loved all her previous work and was very excited to include her stunning flowers in my photographs. I happened to have some lovely models coming to do a creative child photoshoot and decided that these would fit nicely with the photoshoot!
I took some test shots the day before the photoshoot to see how to best light the flowers and how they come out in images. They looked fantastic. I absolutely love how detailed and crips they are. Cassie Rogers Designs really pays attention to the detail and her flowers are so stunning for photoshoots.
The flowers worked perfectly during the creative child portrait photoshoot and really bought the twins together and added to their connection.
I love how the individual fine art child portraits looked and the flower props really made the images pop!
I decided to get a bit more creative with these fine art portrait photographs, to show off the flowers and get a new perspective. I love how the white flower looks so detailed in front of the girls eye and it really draws you in. I also love below how the headpiece came together - we secured it with a mini pony-tail!
As a creative fine art child portrait photographer and editor, I am always experimenting with colour and I absolutely love how this came out in grey also!
Overall, Cassie Rogers Designs was an absolutely amazing local business to work with and I would recommend her paper flowers to everyone - and would love to work with her again in the future!
So I was initially going to write a blog about this image because I love how it turned out. I love how the butterfly and the feathers around her fit with the theme and the image. I love the styling in this. However, having thought about it a lot, I decided this blog would better serve as an example of just how much work goes into creating each individual fine art portrait and how I get to a final image.
Below are two completely unedited images that are part of the composite that made up my final image. I actually used more layers than this, to enhance the shawl, add the butterfly and even change the direction of her gaze (she was looking at me next to the camera as I was holding it to my right).
So how long did this portrait take me to create in total? Planning and outfits aside, I spent about an hour in the studio photoshoot and another two to three hours editing. That's just for this one portrait. I will explain briefly what that editing entailed:
The photos are not all this different from the original, and there are some which are even more so, but I guarantee the work that goes into making an image this refined is a similar process in terms of time and skill. I've shared another example below, where I had the outfit and expression I wanted in camera.
You may wonder why I needed to do all of this editing and not 'just get it in camera'. While I do usually get a lot of what I want in camera, my priority on the day is to create a fun enjoyable experience for all - including and especially the children, some of whom are very young! I tend to prefer to refine the details in post that would affect the mood of the photoshoot. For example above, I knew that I could have covered the t-shirt under Finley's cloak, but I preferred to make sure I captured the pose expression he had at the time and did not wish to ruin that!
Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom allow me to create and enhance outfits and styling, which really helps, especially in family photos, where it is difficult to coordinate outfits to a professional photograph standard on the day eg. consistent colours throughout. These photographs, after all, are intended to be artwork you can hang on your wall for generations to come!
I was very excited to team up with Robyn's Bridal-Hair Occasion-Hair for this photoshoot! This was the first part of three styled shoots that I did with her three daughters. I also did a few sibling portraits with them.
I was very excited to do this shot and am glad I planned the lighting setup in advance! I have a small octobox positioned camera right, slightly further back than the model. It could have benefitted from a strip box camera left at the same level to give her a rim on that side.
These were my main idea for the photoshoot. I wanted to explore the idea of self expression with anonymity.
The first image is titles 'Stepping into the unknown' and I used split lighting to highlight that mystery. Robyn was amazing and when I explained to her exactly what I wanted to achieve and showed her my sketches, she managed to pull of the hairstyle exactly as I had planned.
I adjusted this image afterwards as I wanted her to be looking into the light. As well as this creating a more pleasing lighting pattern on her face, I also love how the message of this image seems more positive as if she is moving forward.
I then got creative with the styling in the image and decided to add these beads and butterflies. I was starting to look at freedom and captivity, which I explore further in my newest project!
I was very excited to work with SJM Beauty Beautique last year to show off her pink rainbow tutus. Having seen photographs of her tutus, I would see they were very beautiful and well made. When the tutu arrived I was even more surprised by just how poofy it was!
I did some flatlays and some studio photographs of Jessica wearing it. It was so adorable and I realised it would be perfect for cake smash photoshoots! Jessica then wore it to her brother Finley's cake smash photoshoot - she even tried to get in the bath with it, but I quickly got it off in time!
I always like to do a range of photographs for small businesses so I also did an outdoor photoshoot when we went on a walk to the woods. It was absolutely the perfect tutu for outdoor photos. Most tutus would probably go unnoticed, but not this one, with all it's poof! I also love how the colour looks outdoors and it was so cute watching Jessica toddle around in it!
When I decided I wanted to do a themed cake smash this year for Jessica's cake smash, I knew I would want to have her in the most adorable outfit I could find. SJM Beauty Beautique was the first place that came to mind and what they put together was amazing! I explained what I wanted and what she sent to me was even better than I imagined.
One of my milestone's clients informed me that she was putting together ideas for her little one's cake smash, I knew SJM Beauty Beautique would be the perfect recommendation for her outfit. It turned out beautifully and I absolutely love what they came up with.
I even managed to get a photo of our little girls in their beautiful dresses together!
I offer commercial and branding photoshoots as well as collaborations with businesses which compliment my photography. Please get in touch for more information.
When planning what to wear for your family photoshoot, it can all feel a bit daunting. So I have put together a guide to help you feel more comfortable and confident in choosing your outfits.
Firstly, It's important to know that I do keep a range of outfits in my client wardrobe, so don't panic if you don't have anything to wear! My wardrobe is constantly expanding, but mostly consists of 0-3 boys and girls formal and fine art outfits, a range of ladies gowns (including maternity), some menswear and other children's sizes. If you have a session booked with me, be sure to ask what I have in your family's sizes.
Important things to remember:
Things that are suitable for a photoshoot (which may not be elsewhere):
This post is specifically for family photoshoots, and I will soon add some posts about how to prepare for newborn, maternity and child portrait sessions. If you have a session coming up, please feel free to let me know your family's sizes and I can let you know what outfits I have in those sizes.
Firstly, I wanted to thank everyone who has supported me, both this year and from the beginning... Everyone who has chosen me to photograph their family and those who believed in me.
I was lucky enough to have started this journey with a solid background in Art and Photography and I am constantly learning and improving. It really is a journey and in such, I have explored many different styles and types of shoots.
What I aim to create is art that is bespoke and timeless. I want all the images to be stunning portraiture that are proudly hung on walls and displayed for the world to see. I have invested a lot this year in training, props and equipment and I truly believe the imagery has dramatically improved.
Having now won three highly commended awards from photographic societies and even been published both online and in print, I can confidently say that the standard of imagery recieved from me is high.
So while the direction of my photography and my business is changing, I look forward to what this next year brings and what I can bring to this next year! I have also written a blog on everything I got up to in 2019 in more detail, which you can read here: 2019 At A Glance.
1. Joined a photographic society
One of the biggest differences of this year was joining The Societies of Wedding and Portrait photographers and I have been making great use of all their benefits. I have submitted to their monthly competitions and even won a highly commended award! I also won a highly commended award for two further images with the National Photographic Society (NPS). I also use their mentor program, which has been a game changer for me.
2. 1-1 Training
The training day I had with Gary Hill (The Art of the Portrait) made me completely revaluate all my previous work! I feel like I can see much more clearly what I need to improve on and how to achieve what I want to before a session. I can plan effectively with lighting and posing and can focus more on connection with subjects during a shoot. Below are two portraits I captured during the training session.
3. Upgraded to Strobe Lighting
One of the first steps to improving my photography this year was to upgrade my current lighting system from continuous to strobe lighting. I did a lot of research into this and decided to go with 'Elinchrome's D-Light RX 4's. They have been amazing and honestly have taken my photography to the next level.
4. Upgraded Backdrops
I also decided to switch from my vinyl backdrops (which are still great as wipe-clean options for cake-smash photoshoots) to fleece backdrops, from Kate Backdrop. I initially bought them as they were able to ship quickly and I wanted a more painterly look. They look so beautiful in the final images and so I have ordered more of them since! The texture is beautiful and they look very painterly. They are also much bigger backdrops, so I can fit many more full length people in family photoshoots than before, and still have room around the edges!
5. Lightroom to Photoshop
For the majority of my work, I have previously been using lightroom. I kept photoshop for making big changes to an image such as swapping faces or newborn composites. I am now moving my whole editing process over to photoshop as, although it is more time consuming, I truly believe I am able to offer a much more refined image through the extra tools on there. I am easily able to enlarge and reframe each image, rather than only being able to crop smaller. Textures, brushes and colour adjustment are also a lot more effective. I could spend a long time explaining more, but instead, I have shown the difference below - yes, they are the same image; I have used parts of other images in photoshop to make the family's pose flow better.
6. Won three awards!!
I felt very nervous to enter competitions this year for the first time! I was really encouraged by the process and that I actually won three highly commended awards this year (two below and one was at the top of this blog)!
I was absolutely thrilled to have my work published in Child Couture Magazine in their December 'Wonderland' Issue.
I submitted some of my images to be featured for the first time this year. I was very proud for my images to be selected and featured by Gallery of Refined Art (on facebook) and Rise International Photography Awards (on instagram).
9. NICU Project
I am still offering completely free NICU photoshoot sessions to parents with babies at St Michael's and Southmead NICUs. I am planning to continue this as long as possible despite things becoming more busy in studio! I love this project as it has helped me make a difference to many parents in such a difficult situation and provided something 'normal' in a circumstance that is far from it! My work there was featured on BBC Radio Bristol (on facebook) and I was also interviewed on their breakfast show.