Couple kissing in the ocean

Couple Photoshoot – West Wittering Beach, West Sussex – Summer 2016

I love West Wittering Beach in West Sussex. I went here after my own wedding to take a few photographs and I love getting the opportunity to take photos here. Even in the winter. But lets face it, it’s better down the beach in the summertime, and even more so at sunset, so that’s exactly where I took these young lovers last year…

close up of couple on photoshoot

Martha and Tom are a ridiculously cute couple, totally at ease with each other and just happy to enjoy the scenery and one another’s company. I’ve known Martha for just over a year and she’s a lot of fun. So it didn’t surprise me when she starting jumping around – she’s young and beautiful, so who can blame her! As for Tom, well he’s just effortlessly cool. I mean like, we definitely would not have been friends at school. I was too nerdy. So I was chuffed when I got a photo of him looking like he’s walking on water (below)… Probably the coolest photo I will ever take.

Reflection of couple in water

As for the two photos below – I am a massive fan of photoshop actions and matte effects. However, it’s hard to know when and where to use them sometimes. I loved how crisp the photos came out and didn’t really want to edit them too much, but I think this matte effect really lends itself to the shots below. I hope you agree. As for the colours in that sunset – Amazing! If only the evening sky looked that good everyday!

Couple kissing in the sunset

Lavender Photoshoot, West Sussex – Summer 2016

IMG_9082

So – Lavender… I love the stuff. Especially when it’s in season. I even had a few photos of my husband and I taken in a lavender field this year… But enough about moi… Here are some photo of Sarah and Richard that I took in West Sussex in July. And how cute do they look?! I especially love how free and happy Sarah was during the shoot. If I could bottle her happiness and sell it, I would. Richard wasn’t quite as natural in front of the lens as Sarah, but I think he did well at being his cheeky self, and it shows. It was so lovely to spend the day with these two and I hope they feel like they got some good shots of them that really captured their personalities. But crops like this must be harvested and about a week after I took these photos, all of this lavender was gone!

Next year, I think I will book out a slot of time regardless of how many people I have to photograph and invite anyone who would like shots like these to book out a chunk of that time. So keep your eyes peeled around April 2017 when *hopefully* I get some confirmation on times! In the meantime, feel free to contact me if you’d like to register your interest early.

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And below is a lovely, little white butterfly I managed to grab a shot of in amongst the lavender!
Cute ๐Ÿ™‚Butterfly2

Personalised Vinyl Cut

Personalised Vinyl Cut – With NEW FRAME now available

So, if you don’t already know, I am a bit obsessed with cutting things out, by hand, with a scalpel. Mostly, it’s paper, and I’ve been making personalised papercuts for yeeeears! It’s a passion of mine. But it can be extremely time consuming – Not only do I create the design, but the process of cutting can sometimes take hours! So last year, I invested in a plotter cutter! It’s just a small, domestic one, but I am fortunate to work with the big ones at work, so I already knew a lot about how to use a cutter before I got mine.

It’s been aaaamazing! I feel like I couldn’t live without it now! It’s enabled me to open up the design possibilities so much. And this design is the perfect example.

I was commissioned to make this bespoke cut a few weeks ago for a wedding present. The client sent over a copy of the invite they had received from the bride and groom, and I loved the damask pattern used on it. So I decided to incorporate it into the design. The client loved it! But I realised that there was absolutely no way I was going to be able to cut it out by hand… and even even if I was to use the cutter, I realised that it would be impossible to position the paper in between the sheets of glass without it moving around, as it’s incredibly delicate, and the paper often tries to slide around as the air is compressed between the two sheets of perspex/glass. (It’s a lot easier to do with a larger piece of paper – more surface area for it to grip to the glass I suppose!)

My solution? Wall vinyl! It has a sticky backing, and again, I am pretty experienced at using it at work. I realised that not only could my machine cut the intricate design, but the vinyl would stick to the glass, perfectly in place. And it worked! I am pretty pleased with the result and will be offering it as an option for my customers in the future, as it would allow more complicated designs to be created.

Not only that, but I have started using these new frames – The design is sandwiched between two sheets of glass, but I like the structure of the frame as it literally frames the design, and you don’t have to worry about balancing it like the perspex frames.

If you’re interested in commissioning a bespoke paper or vinyl cut for a special occasion, just get in contact with me and I’d be happy to give you a quote! ๐Ÿ™‚

Bespoke Personalised Vinyl cut

P.S. The customer in this instance was Sonal Vyas Mehndi Artist – She’s so talented! Check out her work if you get a chance.

Baby photoshoot

Newborn Baby Photoshoot – 3 Months Old – Spring 2016

Don’t you just love photos of newborn babies? They’re the most beautiful, precious little subjects. A few months ago, I gifted a shoot to a dear friend of mine for her newborn baby, Sam. The shoot took place at their home, which was great as they had lovely bright light in abundance. And Sam was 3 months old. Prior to this, I had only shot extremely newborn babies – I’m talking, just a few weeks old! It can be quite daunting photographing brand new babies, so it was really refreshing to meet Sam – as he smiled back at you!!

Here are some of my favourite photos from the shoot.Sam1

The photo on the top left is so lovely because Sam is resting his head on a teddy that his Grandmother had made before he was born. I think that the little touches like that help to make photos like these just that little bit extra special.

Sam2

I especially like these black and white photos, capturing the finer details of Sam. I nearly died when I saw how adorable his little dimples on his hands were and how precious his head looked in his Mum’s hands. And it was nice to capture baby’s-first-fist-bump with his Dad!

Sam3

It was nice to capture some of the things around the house which will last as long as he is this tiny, like his cute range of shoes, which inevitably, he will grow out of (that breaks my heart!). The decoration in Sam’s room was lovely too because it had all been hand made by his Mum. I hope he looks back at those photos in years to come, maybe when he has his own kids, and appreciates how much effort his Mum went to to make him feel so loved. ๐Ÿ™‚

Sam4And I can’t get over the ‘look of love’ – That moment when a newborn see’s his parents faces and they can’t help but smile! I was so lucky because Sam was definitely a happy, smiley baby. I was really pleased with the results of this. I feel like I captured him at his best and I hope his parents feel the same way.

Overall, this relaxed style of newborn photography, rather than the more staged style, felt more natural to me and I think you can see that in the results. Sam barely cried at all (only when hungry) as he wasn’t being moved into position that he wasn’t used too. And the parents were really relaxed too, in fact, they were the most chilled out parent’s I’ve ever worked with! I think 3 months might be the reason behind it – Parent’s with a baby who’s a few weeks old are still getting into the swing of things themselves and not only that, as you can see, Sam was smiling away like crazy, and brand new babies can’t smile. As a result, the parents and photographer get immediate gratification from the baby beaming back at you, making it a really rewarding experience.

It was a pleasure photographing baby Sam, and I hope to take many more photos of babies like him in the not too distant future ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunset photos

Plan ahead for perfect photos – Book Now for Spring 2017

Well, I never thought I would say this, but I really should of planned ahead in order to allow people to make the most of the wonderful spring environment! I managed to go on a few walks and discover some amazing places to take photos recently… but I’ve only had a handful of shoots in the great outdoors this spring because people weren’t aware that these beautiful locations are even an option! So, I’ve decided that it’s a good idea to put it out there a whole year ahead so you guys can ponder over whether or not you’d like to book a shoot in advance for 2017! Spring really is the most wonderful time to take advantage of the beauty of nature. With flowers in bloom and the sun starting to shine, it really could make for a perfect backdrop to your family photos. Or why not book a romantic shoot for yourself and your partner?

Photoshoot at sunset
Here are some photos I took of my sister in the local rapeseed fields. We had so much fun taking these as the sun was setting and she is now using these images as part of her promotional material for her business. By early June the flowers had gone to seed, so there really is a small window of time, about a month or so, to take advantage of this beautiful backdrop.

I stumbled upon some gorgeous bluebells on a walk too. They had blossomed in late April/early May… So what do you do when you have no one to photograph? Take photos of yourself of course! I set up the tripod and the remote shutter and jumped in amongst the bluebells. Apologies for the vain poses, but overall I am really happy with the outcome! Bluebells often grow this prolifically in woodlands, so it’s definitely a shoot that needs to be done mid-day in order for us to take advantage of good, intense lighting that can get through the dense forest canopy.

Bluebell photoshootI would absolutely LOVE to do a family shoot here in the future – How cute would small kids look playing here? If you would be interested in booking ahead for a bluebell shoot at the beginning of May 2017, please don’t hesitate to contact me – All I’d need is a 10% deposit in advance and I can book you into my diary asap!

Or, why wait ’til 2017? The summer is still upon us
and I have a few dates still available this year.
Contact me if you’d like a shoot for 2016!

Don’t just make memories – Capture them, frame them and relive them every day! If you have any lovely locations you would recommend or want to use for yourself, just let me know and I’ll see what I can do!

Ceramic Photography

Product Photography – Ceramic Studio Photoshoot

A few weeks ago, I visited Clay Station in Southsea to check out some of their courses. Last year, I watched the Great Pottery Throw Down and became a bit obsessed with clay. I don’t know anyone who watched it who wasn’t enlightened to the wonders of ceramics! So I asked to drop by the studio, and thought it might be a good idea to take my camera…

There, I met Ginny, who runs the ceramic studio in the Omega Centre a modern adult learning facility in an underprivileged area of Southsea. I was delighted to learn that she’s an artist at Artspace Portsmouth; I invigilated there at an open day about 10 years ago when my art teacher asked me to volunteer at the event. It was such a great experience, meeting working artists in their studios, so it was lovely to walk down memory lane with Ginny, discussing all-things-arty in and around Portsmouth. I have to say, I am rather out of the loop after swapping over to Graphic Design, and now Photography!

Ginny also provides classes to specialist groups of people on a volunteer basis – like those with terminal illnesses and learning difficulties. I was really touched by the stories she told me about the impact learning to throw clay has on those individuals, and the sheer effort Ginny goes to to keep the place open. As you can imagine, in the age of austerity, it isn’t easy to find funding for places like this (anyone with any knowledge about the creative scene in Portsmouth will know it’s been hit hard by cuts in recent years), and I was really inspired by Ginny’s passion for what she does and how much energy she puts into making a difference to the community.

Ginny agreed to let me take some photos of her in the process of a throw down – and I’m quite pleased with the results!
Ceramic PhotographyI’ve added an invitation to join her courses on some of the photos, as I was so inspired by Ginny’s talk that I thought a bit of social media promotion wouldn’t hurt her cause! The photos without any added extra’s are just ones I liked. I think I take for granted how much I know about promoting a business online. You really should take advantage of Social Media and all it has to offer – it’s essentially free advertising, and with my know-how, it’s easy to produce interesting, dynamic shots, with a call to action, that can promote what you do. I’ve donated these images for Ginny to use, as I know it’s for a worthy cause. Ceramic PhotographyI had fun taking these photos and learnt a lot about the studio and the Omega Centre in the process; I’m hoping to do a throwing course later on this year. In the meantime, I hope these photos will help Ginny to attract people to her studio – It really is an amazing little gem hidden in the depths of Portsmouth (I can’t believe I lived there for 5 years and only learnt about it once I moved away! I literally lived a five minute walk from there!) and I think everyone deserves to know about it! They’re due to hold an exhibition called ‘Clay without borders’ at the Aspex Gallery in Gunwharf on the 17th September – Check it out if you get the chance!

Eliza Rose Product Photography

Product Photography for Small Businesses

I like taking photos of pretty much everything and anything! Obviously, my favourite is portraiture, but I also enjoy a bit of food photography (thanks to my wonderful sister & health-coach extrodinaire who makes the most delicious healthy meals – check her out at facebook.com/thriveshine) and hand in hand with that is product photography – both require similar techniques and set ups.

A few weeks ago, I took some photos for Eliza Rose, a family run business specialising in home furniture and accessories; they’re also pretty great at upcycling old furniture with beautiful Everlong paint – they even run workshops teaching others how to do it! (You can check out the Eliza Rose Website here). I knew the owner, Simone, from school and we’ve worked together in the past – I helped them produce their branding, which is a story for another day! ๐Ÿ™‚

She came to me asking if we could produce some photos for her website and social media promotion that steered clear of the typical ‘white-background-studio-shots’ that you often get supplied from wholesalers – which is a bugbear of mine! There’s nothing more clinical and uninviting than a white background! (Yes, there’s a time and place for it… but not in my photography!)

Product Photography for Eliza Rose

I’m lucky to have a big living room that I am happy to tear apart for the sake of photography and I’ve acquired a few backdrops and knick-knacks that were used to create different set ups. Simone hung out while I was shooting (I tried to shoot ‘tethered’ – which didn’t quite go to plan and is another blog post in the making!), which was really lovely and gave us a chance to catch up! And I really enjoyed taking each product and trying to make the most out of them in an interesting composition. I think, with food and product photography, it’s important to create many layers of texture, so do introduce fabrics and related items that will draw interested to the photo. I like to use a wider aperture to blur out the background while maintaining focus on the subject matter. I really am a massive sucker for highlighting depth of field! I also had the added advantage of easily adding the business logo to the images, as I had already created the logo myself, but it’s a pretty easy thing to do as an added extra for anyone who has a logo for me to use. It’s a great way for you, as a business, to stamp your branding on your products and spread the word of what you have to offer – It only takes two seconds to add a URL too, so why not? I do love a bit of typography, and have been known to add sayings to photos in the past, which is why the rule of thirds usually applies to my photos, leaving a nice space for typography to be added – all of these techniques are on trend for business promotion, so it really is worth looking into investing your time and money into making your products look as interesting as possible!

Product Photography for Eliza Rose

Anyway, hope you guys like the photos. It’s a priority of mine to help out small businesses who are trying to create a more professional look, whether it’s with good branding or photography. I especially enjoyed nattering away with Simone about her marketing ideas, and I’m always here to bounce ideas off of if you’re trying to figure out a plan for yourself! If you’re looking for an overhaul, give me a shout and I’ll see if I can help!

 

Easter 2016 baby photoshoot

Easter 2016 Baby Photoshoot – Baby’s first Easter

Happy Easter baby Photoshoot

Easter is such a wonderful time of year. For me, it’s signifies the transition from Winter to Spring – The long, cold nights are replaced withย warmer temperatures and brighter days. I was asked to do another photoshoot for a good friend and her little daughter, Ivy; She’s nearly one, and Jo had purchased a cute little tutu and had some bespoke bunny ears made especially for her. And then… we let her loose with all the chocolate! It was hilarious to watch – her little eyes kept darting up at her mum, and you could see her thinking ‘Is mum REALLY going to let me eat all this? WHEN is she going to take it off of me??!’. It was a really bright day, so we decided to use the brightest room in the house (with a nice big window) and the set up was very simple; Jo provided the plastic mat and I bought along my damask background, which we stuck up on the wall. All that was left to do was to let Ivy loose on the sweetened goods, and I hope you’ll agree that the results are adorable!

Easter baby photo shoot

As with most of my work, there is a LOT of photoshop work behind this. Not that Ivy needed it, but I do like to try to make my photos look like they MIGHT have been produced in a professional studio. I love photoshop, I really couldn’t be without it. I think I should start freelancing as a photo-retoucher, as I actually enjoy spending hours pouring over every detail of a photo. On another note, I also used my new Lightscoop Deluxe on this shoot – It allowed me to use my camera’s own flash, but still achieve a good amount of light that bounces off of the ceiling and onto the subject. I was pretty pleased with the results! However, I wouldn’t recommend it if you are trying to take photos quickly (which I was – Little babies love to throw their arms EVERYWHERE! So I knew I needed continuous shooting and a fast shutter speed!) but the flash really did slow down my camera, which I found really frustrating. None-the-less, I still managed to capture some truly cute photos of Ivy!

Easter baby photo shoot

Rome - trevi fountain

Travel Photography – Winter Trip to Rome, Italy 2016

I can’t believe it’s March already! The start of 2016 has been really busy for me – I was preparing for, and then going to, a big trade show at the NEC for my full time job, and in late January, I was lucky enough to go to Rome in Italy! It was amazing! Below are a selection of some of the photos for you to take a look at. Fortunately, now that the trade show is over, I have a bit more spare time on my hands, so I’m hoping to take plenty of new photos for you all to look at soon!ย  ColosseumSo, the Colosseum and ancient Rome has to be my favourite part of the city! It was just amazing. I don’t think there’s any other word to describe it! I’m quite a History geek, so the idea of these remains being thousands of years old really appealed to me! ๐Ÿ™‚ We were so lucky with the good weather too! These photos were taken around 9am, so the morning light was gorgeous.

Palatine Hill, The wedding cake and the Pantheon in Rome, Italy

Palatine Hill is the first 3 photos of this second block of photos and is opposite the Colosseum. Once again, it’s lots of ancient ruins, rife with the legacy of how democracy and the Roman Empire began! There’s a mixture of daylight and afternoon photos there. The middle photo, with the light flare, is of ‘The Wedding Cake’ building in the heart of the city. And the next morning, we visited the Pantheon – An amazing building, once created as a monument to the Roman Gods, and then converted to a Catholic place of worship. It’s giant hole in the ceiling (so that everyone could be closer to the Gods) was spectacular.

Food in Rome

It goes without saying that Italian food is amazing. I think the photos speak for themselves. And the Ice Cream? The best I’ve ever tasted. I really would go back just for the Ice Cream.

The Vatican MuseumAs an art fanatic, we also went to the Vatican Museum – The Sistine Chapel was amazing! We went there first as we had been told that the museum is so big, by the time you get to the chapel, it’s packed full of visitors and you’re exhausted. As a result, we had the place to ourselves and we thought it was, well, a work of art! Unfortunately, you can’t take any photos in the chapel, so you’re gonna have to do with these ones instead! We also hung around St. Peter’s Square, but I chose not to go into the Basillica – Being a tourist can get pricey and, as I don’t agree with some of the practices of the Roman Catholic Church, I decided not to part money for it. Pretty much every other Basillica in the city is free to enter and extremely beautiful, so I can’t say I feel upset about not seeing inside ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a very foggy and overcast day – the sky matched the architecture!

Views and Landmarks across Rome, ItalyThe top photo is of the Spanish Steps, close to the fashion and shopping hub of the city, one of the highest points in the city. At the top is a beautiful view and a beautiful basillica! In the middle is a photo of the world famous Trevi Fountain. It was sooo hard to get a good photo of this as it was literally packed with tourists! Overall, I loved the feel of the city, with its shuttered windows, winding streets and bistros around every corner, it was a really vibrant and lively place to be.

As for Rome in general, it is just an incredible city! I definitely recommend you go if you haven’t already! Amazing history, fantastic food, beautiful attractions, friendly people – what more could you ask for? I really enjoyed the opportunity to practice my photography skills and I’m pleased I went. I’m hoping to visit another European city later this year, so if you have any recommendations on where to go, please let me know!

Baby's first christmas photoshoot

Family Christmas Photoshoot – Baby’s first Christmas!

It’s mid November, and the build up to Christmas is in full swing! While I’m burying my head in the sand, trying to avoid the impending sense of urgency to buy presents for everyone, as always, other more logical and organised members of society are planning ahead, and are thinking of the best way to mark Chrimbo 2015 in style! One of my good friends and regular customers asked me to take some photos of her and her family so that she could prepare for the festive season with a family Christmas card to mark the first Christmas for their brand new baby Daughter. And I couldn’t be happier to do it!

…other more logical and organised members of society are planning ahead, and are thinking of the best way to mark Chrimbo 2015 in style!

It’s the first time I’ve ever done a shoot like this before, but boy was it worth it. I was quite fortunate that one of the the parent’s friends had this gorgeous summer house in their garden, full with wonderful trinkets! We dusted off the Christmas decorations and set up the scene in no time, et voila! I got snapping and got some lovely photos that I’m really proud of! I also had fun putting my ‘graphic-designer’ and photo editing skills into practice by adding some out-of-focus light spots, which look aptly like snow falling in the scene; it was fun adding this and I think adds a cool effect to the overall image.

The only downside was that the poor little bubba was teething, so she wasn’t as smiley as she usually is. None-the-less, she still looks incredibly cute, and the photos make for a wonderful keep-sake that the entire family can enjoy looking back at year after year! Thank you to Danny and Jo for letting me take photos of their little family!

I’d love to do more stylised shoots in the future – If you have any ideas in your head that you would like to become reality with my help, just contact me ๐Ÿ™‚

Baby's First Christmas Photoshoot