Tagged: photographer

Memories from Home No 6: Music

Welcome to my 6th blog on Memories from the Home: I’m (Blog No 5) continuing the theme of sounds in the home; this time Music evoking memory and supporting connections to deceased loved ones.

Action for happiness day May 2020 shared this picture recently and it seemed and appropriate time to share my thoughts about Music and its importance to me, within the context of memory, grief, connection and the family home.

Music has always been an important part of family fun and socialising.  My Nan was a keen piano player, playing by ear, ‘on the bontempi‘ as Grandad would always say, as children we would always make up our own radio shows, put on plays, and singing performances for our Grandparents.  My family are now in bands.

In organising my Grandparents home after they had died, at the time I didn’t have the storage for their vinyl collection, but knew I wanted to keep it.  A lot of the vinyl was the likes of Bing Crosby, other readers digest collections of the time, plus other big band swing music such as ‘Are you listening’ by Harry Roy and His Orchestra -why not have a listen here.

Nan had a great love of big band music, and there was a lot of military bands in their collection, as well as other music that I don’t recognise.  Those of you who own Vinyl records know, there is such a beauty in the tangibility of the whole process, taking the vinyl out of the sleeve, ensuring not to touch the surface of the vinyl to ruin it in some way, preparing to play.  When I want to listen to them, the process, the action is potentially the same as if when my Grandparents were listening to them.  I love the crackle of the vinyl, the little jumps every so often, the gentle whir of the turn table, the click of the resting arm.  I don’t recall them listening to this specific album, but I now always have that tangible process to imagine them going through the same actions as me and listening together in their home, perhaps remembering dancing together when they were younger.  Through music and the physicality of these objects I am making new meanings and continuing connections explored by such writers as Unruh and Riches & Dawson.  The collection is now organised in my home, with those I’m more likely to listen to on display, and others safely stored away.

Do you have a music collection, gifted to you by your loved ones?

Nikki

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If you want to join me on my journey through my PhD research; my focus is expanding towards creativity and how we use creative expression as a way of navigating and exploring grief at home. You can always contact me, if you wish to be involved in my research.

 

Memories from Home No 4: You don’t have to be an artist

Welcome to my fourth blog post in this series of ‘Memories from home’ this blog follows on the ideas of blog 3, in using art and creativity after a bereavement in navigating grief.  My previous blog explored the concept of Flow – being totally absorbed in a creative process in exploring and making meaning.  I used photography as a way of creatively exploring and connecting with memories of my Dad.

Artists have used paintings, photographs, and writing as a way of exploring and presenting ideas and reactions to death, grief and bereavement for many years.  As well being interested in modern artists using art in exploring and sharing feelings around grief and loss,  I am becoming drawn to those who used forms of art in creativity but didn’t necessarily consider themselves an artist, appreciating that you don’t have to be an artist to be creative.

Thinking around this theme was explored at an online death cafe I recently attended, some sharing that they didn’t identify as an artist but used art and creativity in exploring their feelings of grief, and in a loss of ways of being, of which we are, it feels, all experiencing currently due to the global pandemic.  It was hoped that sharing their poetry, paintings and through other artistic media, helped them individually to explore feelings and make sense of the world, as well as a hope that it reached out and helped others.

Participants of my Masters Research were a mixture of those who identified as being an artist, and others who used creativity and art that emerged organically after a family members death.  One participant said following the death of their Mother, that ‘I think I have to write, I don’t write because of her and I don’t paint because of her.  It’s like I do it and i’m incredibly fortunate that I found it, or it found me, whatever it is’.  Another used the art of writing as a way of imagining and writing a different connection after the death of their Mother, ‘ I didn’t start writing until after…….I felt I could write what I liked, I wrote myself a better mother’.

I photograph a lot everyday, documenting my life, either through my DSLR or a quick snap on my I-phone.  Photography has often helped me work through a thought process, difficult task or for pure pleasure, and when having to organise my Dad, Nan and Grandad’s homes after they died, documenting how me and my family were doing this, was second nature to me.  It gave me, as well as a documentary of that time, which on occasions was a blur, a snapshot on which to reflect and remember as part of my, and my families legacy.  It allowed me to see all the house trinkets and objects that contained memories, some of which weren’t possible to keep.  Recently my Mum told me that she was ‘happy that I had taken those photos’ as they (my family) may not have thought to do, so and was an important thing to have.

Did you feel the need to create art after the death of a loved one?

Nikki

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If you want to join me on my journey through my PhD research; my focus is expanding towards creativity and how artists and others use creative expression as a way of navigating and exploring grief. You can always contact me, if you wish to be involved as a participant in my research.

I look forward to seeing your shares and stories with me through my Facebook page.

 

Memories from Home No.3: Creative Flow & Fools

Welcome to my third blog post in this series of ‘Memories from home’ (catch up here on one and two).

This weeks research has brought me to concepts of ‘Flow‘, either in leadership, creativity or in pursuit of happiness the term Flow explored more recently by Professor Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi.

Flow in creativity is a process of exploration between what is known i.e. a rock and an exciting place, where you find yourself creating, being totally absorbed in what you are doing.

Csikszentmihalyi suggests that there are key factors that are needed to support this way of thinking and being:

How Does It Feel to Be in Flow?

  1. Completely involved in what we are doing – focused, concentrated.
  2. A sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality.
  3. Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done, and how well we are doing.
  4. Knowing that the activity is doable – that skills are adequate to the task.
  5. A sense of serenity – no worries about oneself, and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of the ego.
  6. Timelessness – thoroughly focused on the present.
  7. Intrinsic motivation – whatever produces flow becomes its own reward.

I came across similar ways of thinking through such writers as Piotr Stzompka and Sarah Pink.  They both write about the use of visuals in social research, Stzompka referring to it as a ‘Third Sociology’ what happens in society between structures and actions.  I liken these to Flow, being ‘in-the-zone’ having focus, time in finding new ways to approach creativity and explore feelings in a safe space, to find or process new meanings.

I can attribute to what I experienced through my photography after the deaths of three family members within a period of four years, as being in a state of flow as a way of navigating my grief.  I gave myself time to fall into a process of being, photographing and reflecting on the objects and memories I had from my family members.  I had my skills as a photographer, someone who was bereaved, focus and time to connect through flow.

The one object that I felt most at Flow with was my Dad’s watch.  I would spend hours photographing, filming, touching, wearing alongside my own smart watch, listening to the ticking, imagining, smelling the leather and old aftershave.  I contemplated the passage of time us both living alongside one another in digital and analogue, the symbolism of death and ending when the ticking stopped like a heart beat, I knew it would happen one day, instigating another loss of something of him.  

I chose not to replace the battery as it would not be ‘of him’, and think of it like Triggers Broom, if you’ve seen the Only Fools and Horses sketch of the well maintained Broom, he’s explaining he’s had the same broom for 20 years, but essentially is made up of a number of ‘new’ parts! 

Have you been in flow when creating something?

Nikki

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If you want to join me on my journey through my PhD research; my focus is expanding towards creativity and how artists and others use creative expression as a way of navigating and exploring grief. You can always contact me, if you wish to be involved as a participant in my research.

I look forward to seeing your shares and stories with me through my Facebook page.

Memories from Home No.2: Touch and Tin

Welcome to my second post of this little series of ‘Memories from Home’ blog.

In my Masters research it was important for participants to have items that they could physically hold such as photographs, and other objects in their homes, as well as using other senses (smell for example) when remembering a loved one.  These interactions through touch sometimes fleeting in the everyday, were important in maintaining ongoing memories and connections to their loved one.  The object or photograph either gifted to or bought by the participant, was often kept in prominent or useful places in the home maintaining a sense of their loved one in their everyday, a tangible presence in absence of the person.

I became fascinated through my visual recording of the interviews, how objects and photographs brought to the table for discussion (literally in some instances as we spoke over coffee and dining tables), were touched and presented, often with fondness and care.  The way items were presented to me supported participants anonymity, enabling me to take photo’s of the objects either directly on tables or held in someones hands.

The Pudding Tin

Fray Bento’s is a Scottish food brand whose pies were a staple of my Grandparents.  This tinned delight of Steak and Kidney or other meaty varieties (or now I’ve looked into being a vegetarian they now have Veggie Balti and Cheese and Onion Pies now -going to give them a try!) graced the lunch time plate, with a healthy dollop of mash and veg.  My Grandparents were a traditional couple having a ‘big dinner’ at lunchtime, so when my family and I used to visit, usually arriving around this time, we were greeted by these kind of smells of hearty filling dinners.  Food in big tins or plastic pudding containers is something I will always associate with my Grandparents.  When organising their home after they died, I was gifted their white and blue tin plates, and a tin bowl, something that would be desirable as vintage now!  My Grandparents would use this tin bowl for collecting the scraps ready for the compost bin, good home made mulch for the runner beans.  I now use this tin bowl everyday in my kitchen for the same purpose, it’s battered, the colour faded, and dented, but still fit for the same purpose.

The tin bowl is not in a prominent place in my home, or in a cabinet for display, it is a functional item, that is touched, emptied and washed everyday, but none the less is an important touch connection and ritual as a reminder of my Grandparents.

What items do you have in your home from a loved one, that you use everyday?

Nikki

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If you want to join me on my journey through my PhD research; my focus is expanding towards creativity and how artists and in the everyday use grief as a way of creative expression.  You can always contact me, if you wish to be involved as a participant in my research.

I look forward to seeing your shares and stories with me through my Facebook page.

Memories from Home No.1: Mirror

My Masters (and now expanding to PhD) focussed on everyday home objects and photographs that are kept after a bereavement in a family.  I’m interested in what memories and stories, objects and photographs evoke, and why people choose to keep certain items around them in their homes.

I’d encourage others to share home photographs and objects in a similar vein that we have in our home now, that may relate to a loved one, or kept as a memento of a holiday for example.  I’ll be sharing items from my home and archive and will include a little story about the associated meanings, memories and anecdotes I have, occasionally linking to readings that I’ve found useful, and you may too.

In the current global climate, many of us are working from and spending more time in our homes, and thinking this would be a good time for us to come together online as a community, sharing our memories, stories, objects and photographs from our homes. Connections to everyday objects and photographs that are important, valuable (not necessarily in a monetary way) as well as enriching our lives.

Mirror

Those of you who have been following my blog and Masters journey, will be familiar with this mirror:

It belonged to my Grandparents, gifted to them as a Wedding present back in 1958.  It has 12 sides, held by a short chain and circle, with clips attaching the mirror to the backing, something vintage now, definitely of the time, I’ve done some research into the manufacturer, most likely to be G-plan:

It was always a feature in my Grandparent’s home as long as I can remember, in the house they lived in from when I was young until I was 36.  As kids we would dance and sing in front of it, put on Nan’s scarves and put makeup on in front of it.

I’ve been reading Brian Dillons ‘In the Dark Room’, and in his ‘Things’ chapter he talks about the wider associations to a kept object, going beyond what it is at face value, similar to the writings of John Berger who wrote about memories being non-linear. Objects and photographs allow us to focus on recall of memory, however not always working in a linear way, i.e different associations to an object or photograph at different times.

Sometimes the evoked memories through the object or photograph go far beyond the initial memory;

The mirror for me is symbolic as reflecting our family life, sharing the laughs and the sorrows, birthdays, the room in which it was hung, the other objects and photographs that surrounded it like a shrine of my family history.  The smells that filled the room, the pie and mash dinners, fish and chips, tomato ketchup that sat opposite it on the table, the sweet smell of cake, hairspray and atrixo hand cream.  Beyond the room in which the mirror was hung, was an ordinary terraced house that sat in an estate, in the early days had a conifer in the front garden, a short walk to the river.  The mirror, now over 60 years old now sits in my home, reflecting my life, in my terraced home.  It shares and reflects the people in my life, those who visit, the couple who visited me during my Open House, who had lived in my house some 40 years earlier.  What memories the mirror could tell if it could speak.

I’ll be writing a blog soon on my Masters Research, and those wanting to join me on my journey through PhD; the focus is expanding towards creativity and how artists and in the everyday use grief as a way of creative expression.  You can always contact me, if you wish to be involved as a participant in my research.

I look forward to seeing your shares and stories with me through my Facebook page.

Until next time.

Nikki

 

 

 

Photos through my door – Rochester West By-Election

The Rochester West by-election is coming soon, and I’ve had a number of promotional leaflets through my door for our local parties. Before I put them in the recycling bin, I thought it would be fun to see how the different parties are using photography to promote their candidates. I have tried not to look at their policies or political views or read the content in the leaflets. Instead I have attempted to give a rounded interpretation and analysis of their use of photos.

Conservative Candidate: Alan Kew

The Conservative leaflet shows a tilted, informal headshot taken on St Margarets Street. Alan’s stance is slightly turned to the left looking direct at the camera. Although not confrontational, as it might be if he were facing straight on to the camera, he has a relaxed smile. It seems to have been taken on a smart phone, giving a wide frame and low picture quality, he is also slightly out of focus. It does however give a leading line drawing the viewers eye down St Margarets Street, metaphorically enforcing that Rochester is the focus of this campaign.

The off-set fold of the front page invites you to explore the inner content. Inside are a number of posed and informal shots. A mixture of  ‘in situ’ or ‘in action’ photos demonstrate the candidate supporting various campaigns in the area. The photos in green spaces suggest Alan is ‘out-and-about’ and active in his local area, however some, for example the photograph of the candidate in the green space with his foot on the white barrier, feel somewhat staged.

The last page shows three further ‘in situ’ photographs of the candidate with a local shop keeper and former candidate for the area. This contrasts with the informal layout of the first page. The catalpa tree photo is perhaps the most relaxed photo with Alan in a traditional male pose standing off centre with his hand in his pockets.  This could either be interpreted as being relaxed or disinterested.

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Overall the photographs within this leaflet are relaxed and informal and although they connect to build a story of the areas the candidate supports, it feels visually overloaded.

Liberal Democrats Candidate: Martin Rose

Martin’s front page portrait echoes the informality of the Conservative candidate, this time taken in a green space. Although I would not advise standing straight on to the camera, he has something in his hand, which somehow breaks the barrier, making it seem less confrontational. He is positioned at the centre of the photograph, the leading line is a path in the middle, which similar to the Conservative candidate, leads the viewer’s eye back to central Rochester. He is centred between two trees, nicely avoiding the foliage sprouting out of the top of the head look. Martin has a relaxed and friendly smile.  I would surmise this was taken on a smart phone or basic digital camera, on an overcast day, as it slightly out of focus and quite dark. It would have been great to see the photo a bit brighter.  Martin appears to be ‘out-and-about’ as he has his Liberal Democrats badge on and the photograph is taken by someone else. It is also good to see a younger candidate.  There is one other photo on the page linking to a support campaign, and a stock photo from the Liberal Democrats, suggesting more of the overall aims of the party as opposed to the achievements of the individual for the community, as illustrated on the Conservative leaflet.

Overall, the portrait on this leaflet is the most friendly, relaxed and welcoming, with a smaller number of other photos indicating the wider party views.

Labour Candidate: Alex Patterson

The first thing that struck me about the Labour Candidates leaflet is it is well thought out. The front page is dominated by the River Medway with a ‘hero’ shot of Alex looking into the distance. I would suggest this has been taken by a professional photographer, due to the framing and use of depth of field.

This photo reminded me of a promotional leaflet for a theatre production (not dissimilar to the poster for David Tennant in Don Juan in Soho last year). The candidate is the focus of the promotion. Alex appears well groomed, wearing professional dress. I would, however, liked him to make a little more eye contact with the camera. This appears to be from an organised shoot, rather than an ‘out-and-about’ campaign shot.

IMG_4755

Overall the photographs in this leaflet are of higher quality that the other candidates,  and a case of quality over quantity. However, from the visuals I am unsure from this what campaigns the candidate has supported.

UKIP Candidate: Rob McCulloch Martin

Rob’s portrait is also informal, it appears to have been taken as a ‘selfie’. It has been taken from below which doesn’t result in a very favourable angle, this main photo on the leaflet appears to have been stretched giving a ‘fish eye’ appearance, with a better smaller version on the reverse. The candidate is ‘in situ’ at a polling station, with additional photographs on the reverse indicating some issues the party are supporting locally. As with the Liberal Democrats leaflet there doesn’t appear to be any direct visual link to the achievements of the candidate.

Green Candidate Sonia Hyner

Sonya’s leaflet was the last to arrive. I wasn’t sure whether I would receive one, given the Green’s environmental concerns, however was pleased to see it has been printed on recycled paper. Similar to the Conservative, Liberal and UKIP candidates, her portrait is informal and slightly off centre. She is looking directly down the lens with a slight head tilt and relaxed smile. It appears this has been cropped from a larger photo used on the Green’s website. In the source photo her pose looks stilted, but the crop on the leaflet is much more favourable. The exposure of the photograph is spot on the website, however it hasn’t translated well on the leaflet, which could be due to the paper. As this headshot is the only photograph, like the Labour leaflet, there is little visual information about the campaigns the candidate has supported.

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Final thoughts…

All the leaflets use photography differently their candidates displaying their party colours. Each puts their own twist on their photos, using hero shots, snapshots, informal, ‘selfies’ and ‘out and about’ photos. A leaflet is an easy way for candidates to get across their messages, the photos used create the immediate visual connection with the person behind the campaign. The parties have put forward four white male candidates and one white woman, I would have liked to have seen a bit more diversity.

Given the timescale for this campaign it is understandable why some of the photos may appear rushed, this highlights a need for a quality stock of photos, taken at events and regular organised photoshoots.

Top tips for election candidate photos:

  1. When possible use a good quality digital camera. A smart phone is great for those ‘out and about’ shots, but not selfies, always ask someone to take it for you.
  2. Consider using one of the many basic editing software apps to get your smart phone photos just right.
  3. Take photos in the location you are representing. Even better in a green space, they create and healthy feel and usually have better light.
  4. Remember to take photographs when your campaigning or supporting events. This will help you to build up a ‘bank’ of stock photos, to use in your promotions and help you tell your story when needed.
  5. Natural light is a must, most candidates have used outdoor photographs, however ensure you are making the most of your chosen light conditions 
  6. A relaxed genuine smile always brings life to your photos and helps you connect.
  7. If you are unsure about what pose styles work for you, try them in a mirror. Ask a portrait photographer or search for some tips on the internet.
  8. Add interest and creativity to your photos by using leading lines and being creative with depth of field.
  9.  Don’t be afraid to play with the layout of your photographs, cropping when necessary. Sometime a badly framed photo can be saved by a good crop.
  10. Where possible work with a professional photographer whose work you know and like for those quality shoots.

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 Nikki

 

 

 

Since last summer……..

Fellow artist Tracie Peisley who heads up Pandora’s other Box womens artist group in Whitstable, dropped me a line recently to ask if I would like to give an update on my work since Exhibiting for the Skin project at the Horsebridge Centre in August 2016 to the group.

I had a think and decided to write a blog as I haven’t for a while, regular blog followers will know I usually do an end of year wrap up blog.  The Skin project/exhibition was a pivotal moment in my confidence in displaying work in a larger gallery, of course I have always been involved in Medway Open Studios, and submitted work for galleries before with other artists, but this point really gave me a thought of well, yep I think I can do this by myself.

I’ve had a number of commissions over the past year, and at the beginning of the year I started my research for my Masters application, which I am delighted to say I have had my interview, and been offered a place to study an MA by Research in October this year!  Exciting and scary in equal measures,  I haven’t undertaken any Higher Ed studies since my BA in 2001. Naturally I wanted to ensure a large element of the MA would include visual research, so photography, my passion, will form a large part of that.  My last MA Blog, was great to get my thoughts rolling and will be concentrating on elements of Identity through photography, including affirmations through (or not) sharing of photos on social media platforms, decisions of parents to (or not) share photographs of their children also on social media, and what (if any) effect this has on their identity.  I will be looking for individuals, and families to be involved, so if you would like to be then please drop me a line on my contact me page. Needless to say the MA will take a large proportion of my time over the next 2 years, but Nikki Price Photography will be running as usual.

I am currently in middle of Medway Open Studios #MOSAF2017 and my studio (the front room of my Victorian terrace) will be open for the final weekend 22-23rd July 11-3.  This year as with every year I try something completely new, and I have made 10 pieces exploring double or triple exposures both in camera and in Photoshop.  Many of the photographs include water, and reflections, and are quite peaceful contemplative pieces. A couple of wonderful visitors have compared one piece in particular to being like the work of Paul Nash or Peter Lanyonwhat a great compliment!  I saw Paul Nash’s work last year at the Tate, so this may have had some kind of subconscious influence.

I have also been concentrating on my ‘Altogether’ exhibition at Sun Pier House Tea Room 3-28th September 2017.  This is a collection of pieces of positive body image, using everyday (non model) nude subjects, photographed in non-traditional places.  Like my MA, this exhibition seems a natural progression for work that I have been producing since 2013, the pieces for ‘Altogether’ have been taken over the past year, and include locations such as derelict buildings, marsh land, nature reserves, and in the studio.  I want to portray an image that individuals could relate to, ‘real’ bodies without the furnishings of Photoshop or designer clothing, taking it right back to the basics of who we are fundamentally underneath, Human.  I have found this series of photographs a real balance, of ensuring the importance of the message, affirmation of my own skills, sympathetic to my subjects and the audience eye.

A great round off to this week has been shooting for Last British Dragon UK Film Company headed up by fantastic film maker James Crow.  James invited me to take photographs of the band formerly known as Bucks Fizz, The Fizz during filming their video for their come back single.  What a great day and a nice bunch.

 

Think that’s plenty to keep me busy for the moment.

Nikki

Flower Photography at home

I was delighted to be contacted by Julie Davies to collaborate on a blog.  Julie lives up to her name of being The Florist that teaches, providing online tips for you to do exactly the same in the comfort of your own home, or face to face in workshops.

It felt very natural for me to write this blog as a way of my skills sharing series, with top tips to enable you to take photos of your floral creations at home.  There are a variety of other scenarios in which to take photographs, for example out in landscape with wild flowers, in workshops, sheds, markets etc, perhaps this is room for another blog!

Although the photos you see here have been taken using a Canon 6D, the following will give you some pointers for ‘point and shoot‘ cameras, or using a smart phone, both of which can work just as well, particularly if you are uploading small versions of your photos onto websites or social media.

  1. Position your flowers next to a large window; this will help maximum natural light which is better than using the orange tinge of household lights, (there is always the option to shoot outside).
  2. If you have a macro / flower symbol setting on your camera, use it!  It will let you bring out the finer details of those gorgeous blooms.nikki-price-photography-flower-2
  3. Don’t forget to ‘set the scene‘ if you are wanting to show how you work on your flowers through your photos, pop some scissors, oasis, ribbon etc on a wooden block (a kitchen chopping board will do just fine if you have one), everyone loves a story.
  4. Keep the background to your photos simple, after all you want to highlight how beautiful your floral creations are, white (or black) card can work and help with bouncing the light into those harsh shadows.
  5. Take the photos using interesting angles, the rule of thirds can be helpful, however, be creative and use a variety of angles in your shots to show off those blooms.
  6. Using your macro setting on your camera, shoot ‘through‘ a bouquet to focus on one particular flower that takes your interest.nikki-price-photography-flower
  7. Similarly as above; take one flower out of the bunch and make it the star of your show!
  8. A little post production may help bring out the best in your photos, so if you have photoshop, or other editing software, don’t be afraid to use it.  Photoshop express on the i-phone is fab.

I hope these tips have been useful and if so I would love to hear from you, so why not drop me a line through my contact me page.

2016 What a Year for Nikki Price Photography

Those of you who caught my round up of 2015, will know how pleased I was to see that year grow for Nikki Price Photography, and have been so delighted that my business has once again gone from strength to strength in 2016.  A sincere and heartfelt thanks to all my clients, models, and everyone who has supported Nikki Price Photography. Testimonials from client shoots have reaffirmed that you love my informal style of photography too!  So once again thank you.

2017 is bringing some fantastic opportunities for me (watch this space!) and I’m already being booked throughout next year for your gorgeous events, and family shoots.   If you need a photographer for your product, portrait, event, or other shoot, drop me a line on my contact me page or via nikkipricephotography@gmail.com .

I have loved looking over the past years photoshoots, commissions and projects, here are some of my favourites:

Cafe Sunlight – Food Photography

I am immensely proud to have worked with so many fantastic creative and charitable organisations this year such as Cafe Sunlight

Cafe Sunlight is based in the Sunlight Centre Gillingham, and the team invited me to take photographs of their hot food offer for parties and conferences; as they wanted to refresh their website for their London events.  The food produced by Chef Dave was fantastic as you can see below, and the team were a delight to work with.

Top tip for indoor food photography using flash: have some white card or white fabric handy to make the most of the flash, bouncing the light back onto your gorgeous food, avoids harsh shadows.

Exhibitions

Exhibiting more of my work this year, has been a thrilling but scary experience!  I took part in Medway Open Studios with my ‘Hidden forms in nature theme’, which sparked lots of interesting chats with visitors.  I was also proud to have interpreted work by Poet Dan Simpson in the Wordsmithery Heretics exhibition/performance.  I produced a layered photograph which contained a self portrait, woodland and a glacier, it was good to pushed my boundaries.  I was also involved  ‘In the footsteps of the Pilgrims’ exhibition at St Mary’s Church Burham, one of my favourite churches near my home town. I exhibited 2 photos, both taken at night of the Church, I was extra pleased about this as one of the pieces sold and is now winging its way to America to a family who emigrated there from Burham over 20 years ago.  The exhibition that had most impact on me was the Pandora’s Other Box ‘Skin’ exhibition at the Horsebridge Centre.

Top tip for exhibition photographs: have a plan for your final pieces but don’t be afraid to change it! Playing through your plan; will often bring forward ideas you may never have thought of.

Event Photography

I have loved working with local youth groups, artists, and Rochester Literature Festival this year.  A highlight was working at Woodlands Youth Centre MC and DJ workshop for young people, lead by MC artist Harry Shotta.  The young people loved the opportunity to try out their MC skills and my only regret is that I didn’t have time to try DJ’ing! A poignant event for young people I had the privilege of photographing was the Tryangle awards at the Central Theatre Chatham, the first time I had been on that stage!

Towards the end of 2016 I was pleased to photograph the See and Create launch, headed up by Artist Chris Sacre.  The launch, at Nucleus Arts Chatham, was a great opportunity to learn about his Arts Council funded project aimed at Deaf families providing accessible workshops and other events in 2017.

Top tip for photographing events: sturdy shoes with no heels! and a wide angle (F1.4) lens make for a good shot particularly in low light situations and shoes with no heels make for quiet movement over wooden floors, nothing worse than a photographer with squeaky shoes!

Family Photography

Family photography is one of my favourites, meeting new people and providing some gorgeous informal photos for you is a pleasure. It is a delight to be invited into someones home to capture moments at a party, outdoors with mum (and dads) bump shoot, or in the studio with you and your little ones; I received some great feedback on your shoots.  I also ran a competition for a family shoot this Autumn as I had missed out on taking some great photos in the autumnal leaves last year.

Top tip for photographing families: particularly those with small children/babies; ensure you have a rough plan in your head about the shots you want to achieve, and take your time, feeding and changing stops need to be factored in!

Everything else!

I have put this section to wrap up the year for all those things that would seem a little lonesome on their own, but gives you a flavour of everything else I get up too!

I’ve started my series of skills sharing blogs, and ran nature photography workshops with young people in Grain.  My business is also now live on Gravesend.co.uk business listing pages, a particularly significant direction taking Nikki Price Photography into North Kent.

Although I am not a wedding photographer, I do make exceptions for very small number of intimate weddings each year; Garry and Vicky’s was just that, a lovely family and friends relaxed wedding, in such a beautiful setting, it was a pleasure to be part of their day.

Nikki-Price-Photography-informal-wedding-kent-medway-knowle-house-higham-

This years short documentary/business info films include The Right Step Dance Company and my own personal short about Time which had its launch at Seasonally Effected a cultural open mic night back in November.

Personal Projects

Being a photographer I don’t ever really stop taking photographs, after all its what I love the most.  I’ve usually always got my i-phone on me to take snaps or love to take the 6D out for a spin when I feel the urge.

Since 2013 I have been thinking about and producing photographs for a body image project, celebrating the nude without over processing in photoshop. The bulk of work is growing, with more shoots to take place in the new year (when the weather warms up a bit!); this (or some elements of it) will form part of my solo exhibition (so sorry no sneak peeks here!), more news to come on that one throughout 2017.

Last on the list -but not least! some photos of my Christmas day morning stroll around the West End of London, with my partner and pooch.

Thanks for reading my blog, and your support throughout this year.  Here’s to another great year of photography.

Nikki x

How I go about taking a photo….

As you know I love sharing my completed and ongoing photography projects with you, whether they are through commission or personal, working on both for me is such a pleasure.  I have wanted for a long time, to share more about the planning and processes I go through in order to capture that ‘best shot’.

Light.co contacted me and said how much they enjoyed my previous blogs and asked if I could write a blog about how I go about creating so many great images, so…..what a perfect opportunity to do just that.  Light Co are keen to get more photographers sharing their stories of how they go about creating that great image so if you want to do get involved contact them direct.  Their new camera does look very interesting, kind of a DSLR capacity but with the convenience of a phone, it uses a multiple lens system to shoot the scene at once and then they are put together in a DSLR quality photograph.

Personal projects; these start as little creative balls that bounce about in my head, sometimes they come from inspiration of other artists work online, or face to face in galleries.  Other times they are the ‘wake first thing in the morning and have to keep a sketch pad next to your bed’ kinda shots that you know you just have to take or you’ll burst! My submissions for the Skin Exhibition this year at the Horsebridge Centre were like this, I had pictures in my head of exactly how I wanted these photos to look (after months of thinking about it!).

Commissioned projects; Clients contact me to book shoots as they like my informal style, our initial meeting is more of a friendly chat, them letting me know what they want, and me explaining how this can be achieved.  It is the trust clients have in me (through my years of courses, practice, and self taught skills), that I love the most, its about collaboration, enabling me to have full creative reign with the photos, but within their requirements.

For a start point, what you choose to photograph, is unique to you, from your gut/your place of instinct, you have chosen to press that shutter at that exact moment for a reason.

It is difficult to think of just one shot to describe to you, so you may find the following process useful:

  1. Sketch (stick women are fine!) some initial ideas of how you want your particular photo to look, what camera are you using? I have upgraded to a Canon 6d, there are so many ‘point and shoot’ cameras out there, including ones on mobile phones, which provide good quality photos.  What lens do you want to use (I love to work with my 50mm lens) taking into consideration of things such as depth of field.  I get fully absorbed in my mind of what exactly I want to shoot sometimes over many hours!
  2. Shoot time – key tip if you are shooting all day, or out on location (If its a shoot for a client, I will undertake a pre-shoot to familiarise myself with the location), wear comfy shoes! remember a strong stance will help the shot if you are working with a heavy full frame camera.  Many must do photography tips mention the basics of the rule of thirds, this is a good starting point to set up your photo but as the saying goes ‘aren’t all rules meant to be broken?’.  Your golden shot may not come immediately, so having patience to get to it, is important, equally if you feel that you aren’t getting that ‘one shot’ then move on to the next, particularly if you are time limited, my night photography shots are very much like this; setting up in the evenings in the cold and wind, but patience and perseverance will reward you.  Have a try also mixing up your photo orientation; play with portrait and landscape shots.  Basic edits on phones can be undertaken by in phone or downloadable apps, I have Photoshop Express on my iPhone, and use lightroom and photoshop for more in-depth edits on the Mac (I could go into this much more, on another blog perhaps?).
  3. Have fun – I can’t emphasise this enough, taking photos professionally or personally is a pleasure.  Always try new things and push yourself to those shots which are out of your comfort zone, some accidental photos and mis -fires in the studio have provided me with some of my most favourite shots!

Here are just some of my top recent photos:

Products: A great shoot with the Sunlight centre cafe team.  This shot was taken under studio lights, 1/125 f5.6 iso 100, with my 24-105 lens.  Post processing in Lightroom.

nikki-price-photography-product-food

Portraits: Working with the fabulous Sullivan family.  This shot was taken in early light 1/200 F5.6 iso 320 with a 50mm lens. Post processing in Lightroom.

nikki-price-photography-portrait-family

Personal Project: Night Photography.  This shot was taken at 11.30pm, 8 sec exp, f1.4 ISO 200 50mm lens. Post processing in Lightroom.

nikki-price-photography-night-stars

Please feel free to share your photos with me.

Nikki