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:
- 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!
- 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?).
- 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.
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.
Personal Project: Night Photography. This shot was taken at 11.30pm, 8 sec exp, f1.4 ISO 200 50mm lens. Post processing in Lightroom.
Please feel free to share your photos with me.
I’m taking part in a short course called The Body Electric. I wanted to undertake something purely for my own development, I’m aware that it has been some time since my last blog, but hey ho, I Love to be busy!
Starting The Body Electric course has proved a very valuable time to me as a community activist and photographer, giving me wider thought about my community; the role I play within it; how my photography reflects my passion for the Medway area, and to also open my mind to new creative ways of thinking.
The breadth of experience within the room, and willingness of sharing skills and ideas, is wonderful. Some areas of the Medway Towns are sometimes put down in the media, over the recent years I’ve only felt a real ‘can do/will do’ attitude through the people I meet. Don’t get me wrong there are improvements that can be made anywhere and no place is ever really ‘perfect’, but feel that your little slice can be made great and have a knock on effect to the wider area.
We shared lunch today, thinking about our environmental community, many people chose to bring along food to share that they had made themselves, I bought along a vegetarian pasta with pesto made from the spinach in my garden. The visit to the Sunlight Centres Community Garden, and Mens Shed project was inspirational.
I have definately got out of my comfort zone at our full day session today; I just went for a wander with my camera (those of you who know me well, know I like to have a plan of action!) to explore lower Gillingham, a place I hadn’t really visited before. Rambling over the old port train track, to Hillyfields. Amongst the rows of Victorian terraces I stopped at the Orchard on Hillyfields pondering over a cut tree and wrote this:
Hilly fields 09.05.15
Your roots are still there
And part of you to see
An illusion of a grand tree
That you once were, to me
I don’t know what happened
Or how it came to be
That you are there
with your bare bones to see
Amongst this concrete jungle
You are in an oasis of calm
The birds continue their tweeting
As the sun beats down on my arm
There are so many places in Medway
I have yet to see
But for now thanks Hillyfields
Thanks for having me.