Tagged: photography

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

 

 

 

MOSAF19….& the end of the Masters is in sight

Wow! It’s been such a while dearest readers since my last blog, plenty of things keeping me busy.  Medway Open Studios and Arts Festival (MOSAF) 2018 was a great platform for me at the start of my Masters, working through my initial ideas for the photo part of it and getting some fantastic feedback and critique from my visitors.

MOSAF 2019 was a ‘taster platform’ of my final batch of photographs to exhibit before choosing the final 4 for submission in September (formats have been chosen, more of this to come!).  I had some great conversations with visitors around my research subject of exploring Personal Loss, Memory and Family, with photographs and objects after a bereavement (more info about it here).  I am interested to see if there are any common themes shared that reflected my own experiences of loss in the family, and if there were any similarities in which objects and photographs we keep and the memories we share. My research has helped me navigate my own grief and the whole process has been, (as my research participants have told me), a good thing to ‘Hold space’ for others to also have that time for dedicated conversations.

The exhibition included 10 photos of both my family photos and others from my research participants, accompanied by their written memory about each object or photograph.  Here is a taster of one of my exhibited photos:

Vase with wilting Flowers

A Vase sitting on the sideboard that was bought as a Wedding Gift for my Grandparents.  The flowers wilting, losing their glorious bloom, the room lays silent, soon to be empty, a whisper in the echo of a memory.

[Grandparents home 2016]

I am also pleased that visitors to my MOSAF19 exhibition felt able to share their memories if they wished they could leave their thoughts on my memories corkboard.  I loved chatting with all my visitors about this subject as I had done interviewing the participants for my research. A big thank you to all my MOSAF19 visitors and participants.  If you would like to get involved in my future research, or just want to get in touch to share your views then contact me here.

In the week of MOSAF19 I was interviewed on BBC Radio Kent as part of their ‘Phone Tracker’, (2.28 in) this gave me a great platform not only to promote my exhibition but to also talk about my research. It’s amazing what points you can get across in 4-5 minutes!

So, what’s next?

I have the summer to write up my research and prepare for my MA exhibition, and very happy to have the ‘time off’ I’m quite enjoying this final stage. I don’t think I’ve had this much time off in summer since I was 14 years old, so I’m going to make sure this happens with much self-care as well as study.  I’m also going to be enjoying taking more photographs, joining up with a few like-minded ‘togs for some photo walks, and may treat myself to a new lens or two!

I am, as ever, passionate about living well and ensuring that we have great photographs to keep along-side our memories, this is what our loved ones will cherish, I know I do.

On reflecting my research which I have really enjoyed doing and so passionate about someone said to me recently ‘Nikki you won’t get time like this again, so make the most of it’, and I plan to do just that.

Thanks to one of my visitors for this photograph:

 

5 Months Masters Milestone

What a great start to my Masters, and Nikki Price Photography will still be running in a business sense, but I’ve decided to take a small step back to concentrate on my studies.  This choice of course isn’t an immediate concern for me as I’m not directing my time a million miles away from where my passion lies, and I have some smaller projects in the pipeline for 2018.

I’ve realised in writing this blog, that I had two pre-loaded draft blogs on:

  • a literature list (in an attempt to encourage myself to write as I go along)
  • and a two month review of where I am with my research

I won’t repost the whole blogs but here’s a little flavour for you:

The thing I’ve found with research and reading around a subject you are so passionate about, brings up all kinds of the thoughts and processes.  I’ve found myself in a natural ‘rabbit hole’, wanting to keep delving into subjects and getting more and more excited about where it is leading me.  I have been writing using good old fashioned paper and pen, and often let my thoughts wander having ‘revelations and ideas’ at times, so I always try to keep my observation journal on me.  In many ‘how to’ guides I’ve seen advice like ensure you diarise time to just think, which I think is sound advice!

Great thinking places I’ve found are (I’ve also got Lauren Elkins Flaneuse book waiting in the wings to be read so hoping for some further inspiration):

  • on a train  -journeys over half an hour are best (great for when I travel to Uni)
  • in a cafe – always a bonus for a long lunch
  • in the shower -all best ideas are made here aren’t they?

So where am I now?

Three months further into my reading and I feel I’m getting to that research niche in that shadow, my thirst for knowledge and reading is growing, like I commented to my supervisor, ‘I loved that book so much I felt like I inhaled it!’ (speaking of Annette Kuhn’s Family Secrets).  I’ve completed my first presentation and was comfortable doing it.

My research (no matter how wide I am reading at the moment) keeps pulling me to: using family photography (memory and narratives) as a means to researching Identity, Belonging, and Loss.

So in photography’s core concept of the ‘Rule of Thirds’ here are my top three (boy this has been hard!) key readings that have made a huge impact on me so far, and would encourage you to read them:

Annette Kuhn (1995) Family Secrets

Taking Autoethonography to the next level with this book, a straight talking 360 degree analysis of the authors family photographs, allowed me to think more about the ‘face value’ of the immediate photograph.  This read has enabled me to think more about my childhood photographs, particularly those during my senior school years and to analyse them within the wider social context at that time, and my family unit.  Kuhn’s reflection on her school uniform echoed that of my own, mother buying the size up so we ‘would grow into it’ (I’m sure many families consider this!) coming from a single parent family.  I was also the first in my family to go to University, and all the expectations and feelings that surrounded this.  Kuhn’s father was the photographer and yet it was her mother who was the instigator for the photos of Kuhn in various home made outfits, mirroring a matriarchal perception of mother as the nurturer, time keeper, and recorder of childhood moments.  This also ignited my love of concepts of time travel, and awareness of time using photographs to allow us to metaphorically travel/connect with different points of time, Marc Triver notes that ‘a room needs a clock to denote the passing of time’ P185 in Berger’s book;

John Bergers (1967) Understanding a photograph

I read Bergers book at the same time I watched his 1972 BBC series of Ways of seeing.  Both have completely transformed not only the way I am thinking about and analysing my own work, but art I see in many places.  My connection to of art is greater, taking a 3 minute ‘dedicated’ time to ‘see’ work that I find of particular interest to me, looking deeper into what the artists message was, the context in which it was made, and having that critical reflection.  I particularly enjoyed Berger’s diagrams on ‘Memory’  and its ‘non-linear’ way of looking at a photograph, in that recalling memories from photographs although constructed in a very chronological/linear way (in a hard copy of an album Birth through to before Death), the process of understanding/seeing a photograph happens in a very “radially”  way “that is to say that an enormous number of associations leading to the same event” (P59).  This allowed me to think that a photograph isn’t simply a static moment in time, but an artefact to revisit again and again, to enhance or obtain different meanings from it as Berger says “The appearances of the event photographed implicates other events,  It is the energy of these simultaneous connections and cross references which enlarge the circle beyond the dimension of instantaneous information” (p91) i.e. a photograph allows for more interpretation, beyond what you can initially see.

The great thing about Berger’s work is his no-nonsense straight forward talk, and written words, that I find very accessible, de-mystifying the arena of ‘art’.

Roland Barthes (1982) Camera Lucida

Probably the key three things to come out of Barthes Camera Lucida is his analysis of the ‘Winter Garden’ (p63) photograph, the Punctum (p27) and Studium (p28).  In his analysis of the Winter Garden, Barthes was searching for his mothers true identity, connecting with who she was before he was born.  He suggested that ‘the photograph doesn’t necessarily say what is no longer but only for certain was has been’ (p85), in the case of his mother, she was at the Winter Garden, that is for certain, looking at the concepts of photographs moving across time, this would allow Barthes to  now ‘see’ his mother as she was then.  Although strange for me to say perhaps from coming from a visual perspective, I found the beautiful thing about his analysis and his connection to the photo was that there was no copy of it for the reader to see, as he notes ‘this photograph only exists for me, for you it would be nothing other than an indifferent picture’ (p73).  The Punctum; that something within the photo that pricks your interest, and the Studium; allowing time to contemplate the photo, have been two simple concepts but inspirational ideas.

Along with Berger and Kuhn’s books this has changed the way I am seeing, I have revisited past work and family photographs, to really ‘see’ what is contained within. For Example; my Punctum in this Family photograph is the red coat I am wearing.  This photo was in a collection kept by my late father, I didn’t recall the moment it was taken until I saw the photo, and the red coat immediately stood out to me ‘pricking’ my interest, the spending time (studium) to analyse it further.

 

Nikki

 

 

Body Image my beginnings & #altogether reflection

I began taking photos of nudes as part of celebrating our bodies without photoshop in 2013, models consisted of friends and I took part also if I wasn’t prepared to be photographed in this way, how could I expect anyone else to be?

I wanted to make my models as comfortable as a possible, so in doors (whether that was at my home or theirs) under studio lights (interfit) with a plain background was my preferred shooting style.  At the beginning I think I was more obsessed with getting the lighting right, and using a ‘stock’ of gathered poses for all my models.  I was quite apprehensive to start, I’d never photographed anyone this way before, and I wanted to ensure that my models were in a safe and relaxed atmosphere.  As a photographer I think it isn’t just about the technical aspects shutter, its about rapport with the people you have in front of your camera, and a vision to be thinking of the next great shot.

I am unsure how I feel about those 2013 photos now, it was undoubtedly a great stepping stone to get me into thinking about this project more,  but that is the good thing about the start of a new project you can develop it, and it will often lead you to places you hadn’t thought of. Models volunteered for various reasons; not only as they believed in the cause; but to also visually share their journey with their body at that moment in time. It was truly humbling to hear about their stories from eating disorders, mental health and post baby body to name a few.

Not just women:  Perhaps the most prominent thing about the start of this journey was men volunteered to be included, having strong feelings about the way mens bodies can often be misrepresented in the media.  One of my favourite actors Wentworth Miller was sadly subject to a body shaming meme in 2016, this upset me with social media hounding the guy when he wasn’t feeling his strongest mentally, I needed a response to this.

nikki-price-photography-man-sunset-portrait-nude

My volunteers said they were very nervous before, but after the shoot they appreciated that it was a very empowering experience.

In September 2017 my ‘Altogether’ exhibition at Sun Pier House Tea Room was in full swing.  This was a collection of pieces of positive body image, using everyday (non model) nude subjects, photographed in non-traditional places.  This exhibition seemed a natural progression for work that I have been producing since 2013, the pieces for ‘Altogether’ have been taken over the previous 18 months, 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.

nikki-price-photography-male-portrait-nude“Didn’t have time to write a comment in the book but here’s some thoughts. What struck me most about your photos (apart from the lovely pictorial qualities – lighting, composition etc) was the way that the people in them seemed relaxed and confident – happy in their bodies. This gives the pictures a calm, self-contained feeling at odds with the fact that here are naked people in places where otherwise they wouldn’t normally be naked. I’m guessing that this probably comes from your relationship to them, their trust in you and your approach as a photographer. This makes the photos very different than just nude figures placed in unusual places and takes it away from what you might call “art” photography into something more personal and much more interesting.
So, just as well I didn’t have time for the comment as I seem to have written a short essay. Looking forward to where this takes you.”

-Dick Perrin Film maker and Photographer

 

“I don’t usually like photography Nikki, but love what you have done”

-Peter Reed Painter

“Nikki Price is, in my opinion, is one the major talents to emerge from the Medway scene. Her visual images show a genuine love of humanity.”
—Bill Lewis

“I’m not a model in this series but have modelled for Nikki before and can 100% confirm she is a wonderful photographer to work with, she really makes you feel at ease!”

– Charlotte

Some of the responses from the comment book from my #altogether exhibition Sun Pier House

‘Viewing the photographs still provokes old feelings that conflict’

‘Incredible honesty…amazing composition too’

‘Very rich we are so programmed’

‘Really beautiful work’

‘Beautiful poetic’

nikki-price-photography-female-portrait-nudeThank you to everyone who participated, supported, and followed my work on this topic so far.

Watch this space as there will be more on the topic of identity in the future, and next week I’ll be doing my usual yearly round up of photographs so stay tuned!

Nikki x

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