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.
Sometimes clients will say they want to shoot at a certain location or the perfect location will come to my mind when they tell me what they have in mind for shooting. Norwich is a picturesque city with several iconic buildings and streets, but there is a danger of overusing the same locations for photo shoots. Often a location I have previously shot at will be used again for a later shoot with different clients. I don’t want to give out photos that are clones of previous shots I have taken. Instead I try to use the location differently each time.
An example of this is when I shot with Beth, Lucy and Emelia (roughly just over a month between each shoot) in the Cathedral Cloisters. Both Beth and Lucy suggested this location for their shoots and I recommended it to Emelia as it was raining on the day we were shooting so we could be sheltered and the backdrop would look really pretty too. Coincidentally, Beth and Lucy had dresses by Caris Closet which they wanted pictures for their blogs, whilst Lucy and Emelia’s outfits were bright red.
Each person has their own style and personality which I wanted to capture in each photo. I wanted to avoid using the columns and corridors of the cloisters in the same way each time, so I made sure I took the photos using different angles and different sections of the cloisters. However the Cathedral’s architecture is very iconic, and I’m sure a good number of people would recognise it instantly, therefore it is easy for the photos to feel like they are all part of one set rather than three different shoots. I also love placing my subject at the centre of the image, so you can spot this trademark move in most of my photos! I love chatting away to the people I meet and photograph, it helps me to take more honest images of them. I hope that you can get a feel for each of their personalities by looking at their photos below.
I edit my photos in a similar way each time to reflect my own personal style and tastes. I will always add a bit more contrast to the photos, bring down the black tones and pop the red (warmer) tones and deepen the blue tones in each image.. and voila!
I’d love to hear your thoughts… which photos were your favourite, whether you feel stuck taking photos at the same locations, or any questions you may have for me about photography or about life in general!! Send your questions my way!