I Want A Lemon Tree

Helen and I ventured to Urban Jungle to take photos for her new website launch (very exciting stuff!). Neither of us had been before and we were so freaking excited! We decided to wander around the jungle, walking down aisles of palm trees, bamboo and a whole bunch of plants we had never seen before with our jaws wide open! There was a lot of “ooh look at that!” and “what’s this?!”. We had fun to say the least. We also walked through the covered areas to find a cactus and geods jungle, which eventually took us to the cafe. 

As soon as you open the cafe door you are hit by the incredible smells of home cooking, and if you wear glasses, like I do, you’re hit by a lot of steam and can’t see where you’re going (d’oh!). Entering the main cafe room, you walk through an incredible vibrant jungle, stepping over a bridge where below are fishes swimming around, gradually making your way to a cosy seated corner. It was such an awesome experience walking through the building. I’m still buzzing just thinking about it.

Sitting on our comfy sofas, drinking a cup of tea was so relaxing. However we did have a job to do, so I got my camera out and started snapping away. The day we took these pictures was a gorgeous sunny autumn day, perfect for our trip to Urban Jungle. However, when taking the photos I had to be constantly aware of when the sun was coming out and when it was hiding behind a cloud to make sure the camera settings did not make overexposed or underexposed images. I also did not want Helen to look like she was squinting in the photos, so I was always aware of where the light was falling on her face. One way to do this is to put your subject in one place and walk around them, noticing where the highlights and shadows are. I would ask her to step forward or move in a certain way if the light was not quite right. 

We headed back outside to take some more photos. We walked through the palm trees, looking up I noticed how the light was coming through the leaves. It looked amazing! After I took several photos, I showed Helen on the back of my camera. We stopped on one image and both made a strange pirate-like inhale of excitement “ARGGHH!”. We knew we had the perfect shot. Dreamy romantic backlight + lens flare… perfecto! We couldn’t resist taking several more!

Once we had our fill of back lighting and lens flare we headed back to the cactus jungle and bamboo area. We strolled through the zones, admiring the plants as we went. The light was really even in these areas, but still held it’s warmth. I wanted to keep the same warm tones throughout the photo series so they flowed really well on Helen’s blog. 

Just before heading back to the car, we took some shots in the sunshine so we could really show off how beautifully blue the sky was for a British November day!!! Gawgus! So the light was not too harsh on Helen, I made her step to one side. There was a shadow of a tree casting really interesting, irregular patterns across her. This made the photos extra jazzy! :P 

In the car we started chatting about what our favourite plants were, both scheming about bringing our partners to Urban Jungle with us next time so that they can help with bringing home a plant or two! One day.. maybe! We ended up getting a little bit lost as we were heading home and (conveniently) found ourselves at Next. We couldn’t resist looking around the home department and getting a cheeky Christmas Costa! What a fab day!

Check out Helen’s new website here <3

Evening Portraits With Becki

It is getting darker earlier. The perfect opportunity to take evening portraits! Autumn is my favourite time of the year. I love being surrounded by warm tones, paths covered in leaves and cosy evenings. Heading out with camera in hand, in the evening leads to creating atmospheric, cinematic photos.

I met up with Becki at the Millenium Plain n Norwich. I chose this location due to the vividness of the surrounding street lights as well as the lights escaping the glass front of the Forum. St Peter Mancroft’s grounds consist of trees lit up by amber spot lights, I chose this area to shoot in first. 

We stood amongst the black iron gates and graves, sheltered by the branches of the trees. What might sound like a spooky setting, turned out to be the exact opposite. I was mesmerised by how intense the light was on the trees, so I asked Becki to stand in front of the trees and pointed the camera to shoot up at her. I kept the aperture open wide so that the light on the trees looked soft and dreamy. Becki styled herself in a glittery gold top, paired with a black bomber jacket and black jeans. The dark tones in her outfit makes her contrast the orange glow around her. The photos feel balanced. 

We then moved to the front of the Forum. Becki stood in front of the glass opening so that the light was behind her. I did this to make sure the photos work well as a set. It keeps them all looking coherent with the light always being behind her. The lights coming from the Forum were much cooler in tone than the amber lights at the church. I used Lightroom to warm them up. I also took some photos of her sitting on the steps, with the light gently brushing the area behind her to give the series a bit of variation. We had fun playing with my Lensbaby too. We shot a few photos in front of the forum and the church. I’m so in love with the results! The Lensbaby distorts the image in such a way that makes the light look pulled to the corners. ooh firey! 

We headed to the entrance of the Forum and stood either side of the glass. The glass helped to make the lighting look soft and dreamy, as well as softening the overall look of the image. I love these photos because they have a real cinematic feel. I really like that Becki is looking away in these shots. I think this is what makes it feel so cinematic. Like we’re watching a moment in time… or something like that! ;) 

Why not venture out with me and take some fab evening portraits? Please send me a message here :)

A Close Watch

For my recent published photo shoot, my creative team and I transformed Norwich into the Wild West. How did we do this? Let me explain…

First of all, pick a day where it does not rain… Whoops! We shot this series at the beginning of September and we were having a particularly good week weather-wise. We had planned to take the photos late afternoon - early evening in hope of capturing some really golden images. In fact, I was out only two days before with another team around the same time and we had the most beautiful golden light. I was hopeful we would have the opportunity to shoot in the same light two days later. But ooohh no! The day started off really sunny but as the hours pulled away the skies became greyer and greyer. I met with Arleya and walked to Rebecca’s house to do the hair and make-up. Rebecca’s house is quite close to where we planned to shoot so this made it easier to stop off here first. Rebecca selected warm and red tones for the make-up but decided to keep the look very natural. The look was finished by two plaits. Perfection. 

For this shoot I wanted to challenge myself so I decided to do the styling as well as the photography. I found inspiration on Pinterest to gather my ideas together. I had lots of items of clothing in my wardrobe which were western inspired or could easily be matched up with another item of clothing to make it suitable. I selected 4-5 outfits and paired them with accessories such as hats, gloves, jewellery and glasses. I kept the colour palette simple, focusing on monochrome with hints of blue to make it contrast the backdrop. Arleya got changed in to the first outfit and we walked to the location. 

I thought the location would suit the shoot due to the long yellow grass and rolling hills. It gave us a lot to play with. The location even came with the cutest little black cat. As we started shooting the second look the little cutie had its sights on us. It came trotting over whilst Arleya and I were taking some really dramatic walking shots. It came up to us meowing, rubbing up against our legs and flopping over for cuddles. After a bit of excitement the cat sat down and just watched us, occasionally coming over for more cuddles. When we had taken enough photos we moved over to the next spot, with the cat following us closely behind. She did not leave our side for the entirety of the shoot. 

This is when it started to rain. A little light drizzle to start, nothing to really get upset about. But as the shoot went on the rain did not want to hold out for us. At the end of the shoot I walked home like I had just been swimming in a river!  

When retouching the photos I really wanted the colours to reflect those of the 1953 film Calamity Jane. I love the warm yet muted tones. I used Lightroom to achieve the colouring. I think this helped to transform rainy Norwich into the Wild West. 

Since the shoot, the photos were featured on Whim Magazine.. YAY! Please go take a look at the feature and let me know what you think. I’m so pleased these photos were featured as I have been wanting to shoot a western look for over a year but never had the opportunity to actually shoot it. Arleya and Rebecca are super duper amazing and were fab to work with. I’m so thankful and grateful these photos were selected to be featured on Whim Magazine as a lot of passion and planning had gone into these pictures.