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.
Hip Hip Hooray! It’s my Birthday today! I’m currently in a mystery location where my boyfriend has planned lots of Birthday surprises for me. Follow my Instagram story for updates! He told me on Monday what items I would need to pack and that’s it. I have also included a trusty camera to my bag because you never know when it might be needed!
I’m 26 today. Blimey! How exciting! It’s weird to think that ten years ago I was in high school doing my GCSEs. Wow! Lots of people get really upset or put out about birthdays. They don’t like the idea of getting older and melt down a little bit. I’m quite the opposite. Birthdays are exciting! Another year of experiences, adventures, ups and downs. I enjoy making the most of life and grasping each opportunity with both hands wherever I can.
I hope this doesn’t come across as cliche (although I think it’s unavoidable!) but I really think I’ve learnt a lot about myself and my photography over this year. I’ve come to understand the importance of confidence, personally and creatively. It makes me feel like I have purpose and direction. Photography has given me the opportunity to meet and work with lots of amazing people. It has been soooo much fun! Thank you for making each photo session so bloody amazing! I am having the best time! Life is good.
I have lots of goals and ambitions for this year. I’m hoping to continue to kick it up a notch! I’d love you all to be a part of the adventure, so if you’re looking for some photographs to be taken please get in touch. I am always looking for new faces to photograph, new projects to get my teeth stuck into and new creatives to create magic with. I’d love to hear from you. Please send any enquiries to email@example.com. We’re going to have so much fun together :)
Of course, I couldn’t resist taking some birthday self portraits. My boyfriend told me that he thought I looked like Veronica Lake (aww!) and I started looking at images of her. I love images from this period and I wanted to put my own spin on it. I hung up some material in front of a big light source, put a light in between myself and the backdrop so that I stood out from it more. I dressed up in an elegant dress and put a crown in my hair because I’m the birthday girl! ;) There was a light in front but to one side of me which created the dramatic shadows. I enhanced this in Photoshop and Lightroom before changing the colours to monochrome.
I put out a lil message on my Instagram asking whether anyone is looking for a photographer. My friend Rubina dropped me a message saying she would like some photos taken and asked if Rebecca could do the hair and make-up, which of course, I jumped to the opportunity to work with Rebecca again!
I like to keep things simple when planning a photo shoot. I usually look for a certain colour palette or mood and take it from there. Rubina has really bright, expressive eyes and feminine features which I really wanted to focus on. I asked Rubina to style her own outfits, choosing things she feels comfortable in whilst following a dark colour palette. This was easy for Rubina as she was actually worried that every outfit would be just black! We threw in an injection of colour with a bold green patterned jacket and accessories to match.
For the hair and make-up, Rebecca wanted to show Rubina’s edgy, effortlessly cool side of her personality. She created a Lagertha inspired fauxhawk and matched in with cat-flick eyeliner and a bold red lip. Pairing this with the styling was perfection. Rubina looked incredible!
I chose an alleyway by the Mischief pub as the location for our photo shoot. This isn’t a large area, but I was able to use a good selection of little areas that had interesting textures, a similar colour palette and enough variation to create a story, add progression and unique background features throughout the shoot. In total, we shot four looks and I carefully selected a different location to complement and contrast each outfit. I often walk by this alleyway when heading in and out of the city, so I already knew where I’d like to take the photos before the day of the shoot. This helps me to feel a bit more prepared and shows the team that I’ve considered lots of different elements that will help make killer photos. I also like to hear whether the team have any ideas about where or how to shoot things. New ideas are great for taking the shoot further.
Prior to the shoot, Rubina confessed to me that she hadn’t really had her picture taken before and although she felt in very safe hands with myself and Rebecca, she did feel a little bit self conscious. This is completely understandable. I often take photos of people who are not used to having their picture taken, but once they get in front of my camera they start to relax. I don’t always have the camera in front of my face. Instead I like to have a chat and a laugh, because photo shoots are meant to be fun. On the day of the shoot, I wanted Rubina to feel comfortable, relaxed and enjoy the experience. So we got chatting about what we have been up to, how her journey was to Norwich, the last season of Game Of Thrones (OH MY GOOOOD!) and I knew Rubina and Rebecca were going to see Little Mix that evening so we talked about that and how excited they both were. It was great. When I did have my camera up taking photos, I directed her with really simple poses or gestures. I’d either ask her to do something or I’d show her so that she could copy me. I honestly don’t think she needed much direction, she looked so beautiful and at ease in every shot. Take a look and see for yourself!