You know those personality tests where they ask you to imagine yourself in a setting and it proceeds to ask you questions about the setting. Well, imagine you’re in the middle of the desert and in front of you is a cube. That’s how my mind works when I think up ideas for my self portraits. Although a lot of my friends would disagree, I am a quiet person. I like to be quiet and sit and think. Like the personality quiz, an image of a place (whether it be a place I have been to, a place I created in a dream, or a place in a movie) will form in my mind’s eye and I focus on it. If I have been there before I will walk around it, going through my memories like a picture book. For the places I have never been, I try to imagine how I would feel walking around it. I use my senses to question the smells, the feel of my surroundings, what I am seeing, the sounds and possibly even the tastes (we’ve all pictured a cake shop from time to time, right?!). I consider the location for my self portraits to be crucial for storytelling. I hone in on what I want my surroundings to look like and will search for the perfect reflection of what my mind has created.
I then become the mysterious cube in the desert. I welcome myself into the location. I consider what I could be doing in the location; am I alone? How do I feel? What am I wearing? The image of myself become imprinted into the location as though I have always belonged there. My body slowly transform into a gesture or pose and soonI have developed my first image for my self portrait series. I continue in the pursuit of the series by exploring the location, finding areas suitable to the story and the character of myself. Where am I going? Am I waiting for someone? For other photo shoots (particularly fashion and portraits) I like poses that are relaxed, in an effortlessly cool manner. I want the location and myself to blend well as though we belong together, like soul mates… I guess.
There is a ladder. How does the ladder interact with the cube? I bring with me a a selection of props or I will try to find props that are already part of the landscape to give the images variety. The concept of using a prop, particularly one from the location, helps to ground my character as though they have an intimate connection. The photos feel less like, “here’s me by a bush” and more “me and the bush are connected and are going to take you on a lil journey”.
I always try to recreate what I see in my minds eye. I ache to create and capture the world that only my mind sees. My mind is always wandering.
Where did June go? Did I miss it?! I swear the days go by so quickly. I can’t keep up! Let’s revisit June. Come and jump in my time machine and let’s go on a somewhat magical journey back to last month. June was a really fun month for me. It was absolutely jam packed with photography goodness! I got to work with lots of lovely businesses, brilliant bloggers and gorgeous couples, so here are my highlights for you!
I kickstarted the month by shooting with the super duper ladies (Rebecca and Kerry) at the Stardust Glitter Bar. We shot at Mousehold woods, along with three lovely models Maisie, Isobel and Vanessa. The girls were transformed into glittery, festival goddesses by the Stardust Glitter Bar. If you have an event, wedding, party or just want to be covered in glitter, I recommend getting in touch with Stardust Glitter Bar.
I had a fabulous time shooting with Yoga Clicks for their new products and look book. I got to work with the team closely, taking photos in Erpingham House, The Cathedral Cloisters and at The Yoga Tree. We had lots of outfits to shoot and the models were perfect for the shoot. At the end of the day I felt like a bit of a yogi, learning all of the poses the models were taught them throughout the day.
I love getting to meet up with my bloggers, have a chat and take some pictures. I felt so fortunate that I got to meet some new bloggers this month to help them with their Instagram and blogs. Here are some of my favourite blogger photos from this month.
Bloggers featured: Styled With Lipstick, Shelley Beth Blog, Beth Atkins & Ginger Natalie
Wedding season is now in full swing! YAY! I started this month shooting Hazel & Paul’s engagement session with their cute pooch Kirby. We went to the peaceful and beautiful Warren Lodge in Thetford on a sunny evening. It was the perfect light for dreamy romantic portraits. Take a peek below.
If you like what you see and want to find out a little bit more about the photography packages I offer, please send me a message here.
If you have been following my work for a little bit you may have noticed I have missed something. I didn’t take a self portrait during June and for a couple of reasons. June was mad for me. I felt like I was doing a million things at once but loved feeling busy as my soul is always restless and aching to create. When time was on my side, I felt low or not confident to put myself in front of the camera. I started this project to promote self love, but in honesty I felt l couldn’t promote what I didn’t feel. I am now feeling like I’ve come through the other side of the negativity and hope to take more self portraits during July.
Sitting at the computer, occasionally glancing out the window, trying to find words that can be written down eloquently and not in haste. My mind is loud but my words are few. I’m frustrated. A platform for creativity should not have restraints to control how creatives express themselves. Creatives should not alter their art for validation.
When I was 17, I used to take my mum’s Olympus FE-280 Digital XD Camera (which made the most exciting electronic twinkling noise when you turned it on - I can still hear it!) all the time to take some self portraits. I didn’t need a jazzy camera to create what was in my mind’s eye. I just needed a camera. Recently I stumbled across some old self portraits which I took as part of my Dreams and Nightmares Project for A Level Photography. I don’t think these photos are perfect, but I am still proud of them. They are so expressive and interesting. All I used was the compact camera and a table light.
I felt inspired looking through these photos. I wanted to grab my camera and my table light (the same one I used in the above photos is still kicking it so I had to bring the old fella back), head into my bedroom and take some expressive photos. I set up my camera and the light, Aaron kindly said he would help me so I gave him some objects to create cool shadows and light flares.
Something didn’t feel right. I felt tired and worn down. I could not find the energy in me to create strange or dramatic poses. I sat. I turned my head from side to side. My hand graced my cheeks a few times. I felt lifeless. Aaron supported me, directing me through it. My mind wouldn’t let me create. It wouldn’t allow me to let go.
The idea of trying to recreate the style of these images was really exciting to me. I remember feeling so free and confident when I took them 9 year ago. But now, being there in that moment felt so alien. It was like I had never been in front of a camera before.
Looking out the window once again, telling myself how petty my thoughts going through my head are whilst knowing deep down I need to let go and get this feeling off of my chest. It has been playing on my mind for almost a week. So… out with it. Last night, Aaron asked me where am I thinking of putting these photos and suggested that I do not upload them to my Instagram as they aren’t typical Instagram posts. He’s right. They’re not “typical” Instagram photos. I couldn’t agree more with him. They are not bright or colourful. They are moody and atmospheric. I remember seeing a video recommending using white backgrounds and using blue tones to fit in with the crowd, but also you do you. I don’t understand how you can be yourself whilst conforming to what everyone else is doing. I guess that is deep down the reason why I wanted to recreate this style of imagery. I wanted to create something which at is core is me. No filters. No conforming. Simply expressing myself freely. I think creativity is so important to defining who you are.
Instagram has been pissing me off to death recently, with it’s nonsense algorithms and adverts being forced down my throat every time I open the bloody app. I used to love opening it up, probably spending a little too much time on it, seeing what my friends, family and clients have been up to. It was a really nice experience to use. But now when I want to see photos of the lovely people in my life I get toothpaste, beer and cat food adverts. Instagram, I know what toothpaste is and if you stalked me properly you would know I do not drink beer and although cats are cute, I am a dog person at heart! The feed is clogged up with adverts so I can no longer see the rubies in the rock. Instagram is like No Face in Spirited Away when he eats everything the workers give him, becoming fatter whilst his consistency transforms into something gloopy. Underneath it all, No Face is enchanting and gentle, with an obsession for Chihiro’s sincerity. I would like that No Face to come back.
I have no strong feelings for these self portraits. I neither love nor hate them. However I do think they are important, as they allow me to see that I am not the same person I was 9 years ago. “I feel I’m anonymous in my work. When I look at the pictures, I never see myself; they aren’t self-portraits. Sometimes I disappear.” (Cindy Sherman) A statement I agree with when I take my own self portraits. However in these images I see myself too clearly. Someone who is tired and frustrated.