sibling portrait in landrover

Posted on in Children photography, Family photography, News, Portrait photography, Sibling photography

Ancestry and National Portrait Gallery competition

Ancestry and the National Portrait Gallery are collaborating to create a Nations Family Album – the first ever holistic visual representation of the British population in photographic form.  So they are inviting the British Public (all ages, backgrounds, cultures) to submit photos of family members (old, recent, together, separate).   The winning entries will not only feature in this online Nations Family Album gallery, but also in an exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery when it reopens early next year.

I am honoured to say that I’ve been elected as one of the four judges on the panel of experts, along with the baritone singer Peter Brathwaite, renowned for his series of photographs on Rediscovering Black Portraiture, the National Portrait Gallery’s Chief Curator, Dr Alison Smith and Simon Pearce from Ancestry.

Themes for the photos are: legacy, belonging, connection and identity – all of which reflect the emotions experienced when looking through old family photos or starting a journey on your family history.   You can submit up to 3 photographs per person.  And the deadline is 11.59pm on 30th June.   For more information, visit the Ancestry website.

I’m really looking forward to seeing all your entries.

Posted on in Animal photography, Family photography

Labrador Puppy Photoshoot

I honestly think that nothing beats a labrador puppy photoshoot.   They are just too delicious for words.   It took all the will in the world not to kidnap the lot and bring them home with me!

The aim here was to capture the ‘mother’ with her puppies before they all left for their new homes.   The puppies’ confined space in the kitchen wasn’t remotely photogenic, and outside wasn’t really an option as they would all run wild.  And then I spied the pram in the hall.

It took quite a bit of previsualisation, planning, setting up, and then training the mother to jump up onto the side of the pram.   And then once they were all in place, I had about 5 seconds before chaos broke loose.  But thankfully that was all we needed!

I love the way it looks as if the mum is really ‘nurturing’ her pups.   The truth is she’s looking for the treat underneath one of her pup’s bottoms!   Crafty!!

 

Alice Temperley

Posted on in Editorial photography, Portrait photography

Fashion Designer Alice Temperley

One of the highlights of being a portrait photographer, is meeting so many interesting and inspiring people.   As such, this latest shoot for Country Life to capture a portrait of Alice Temperley in her new studio in Ilminster, Somerset.

The 28,000 sq ft semi derelict victorian building Alice bought cost the same as one year’s rent in her Mayfair office!  Not only has this move provided her with a lot more space for a lot less cost, it has enabled her to connect with local artisans and producers, which is wonderful for the local community economy.

In due course, Alice plans to convert the rest of the building to include a restaurant, art gallery and a spa.  Somerset born myself, and based in Dorset, it’s great to see this injection of glamour and culture in the West Country.   Now I just need to win the lottery so I can indulge myself with one of her fabulous designer dresses!

 

Morwenna Lytton Cobbold

Posted on in Editorial photography, Portrait photography

Morwenna Lytton Cobbold, Knebworth House

Meet the beautiful Morwenna Lytton Cobbold, out this week’s Best of Britain issue of Country Life Magazine, photographed at home at Knebworth House.

Morwenna has always flicked through each issue of Country Life Magazine  to see who was the latest ‘girl in pearls’.  So when she got engaged to Phil Bush, it seemed like a rite of passage.   However, she chose to wear a stunning Vivienne Westwood dress, with black boots and and a black manicure.

She was a total joy to photograph.  She looked incredible in every single image, my favourite of which you’ll find in the portrait section of my website.

 

 

 

Spring family photoshoot

Posted on in Children photography, Family photography, Portrait photography

Spring Family Photoshoots

Finally, two households are allowed to mix again.   Hooray!   I have been counting down the days to this moment.   This means that I’m officially now allowed out to capture some spring family photoshoots.  My goodness I have missed photographing children and family photoshoots.   Bookings are flying in again now.  I still have a few spaces this Easter holidays but am almost fully booked in the summer half term (with just one slot left).   In fact, July is also already looking pretty busy.   So please get in touch soon if you’re thinking of booking a shoot.  Be it to commemorate lockdown hairstyles, celebrate a birthday, or capture the whole family together again after months of isolation.

To see more examples of my children photography, please visit the portrait section on my website.   Or if you’d like to discuss in more detail, please email me at [email protected] or call me on 07815 750 141.

Teenage Family Photoshoot in Berkshire

Posted on in Children photography, Family photography, Portrait photography

Teenage Family Photoshoot in Berkshire

I love this image from a teenage family photoshoot in Berkshire last summer.   I started with the more predictable angle, capturing his profile, and his hands on the piano keys.   In fact, one of my favourite photographs I took as a student was of a jazz pianist’s hands moving swiftly along the keys.    With a few lovely shots under my belt from the side, I moved around the piano, I spotted his reflections through the lid.   All the elements came together to make a striking, balanced fine art portrait.

Over the last twenty years, I’d like to think that I’ve grown as a portrait photographer.   Whereas to begin with I settled for classic portraits, usually eyes to camera, in lovely natural light, genuine expression etc.   Now I want so much more.   Rather like painting a picture, I seek creative light and backdrops, interesting ways to compose and frame the subject, story telling props.  A painting says 1000 words.    Well, so can a portrait photograph.   This image will remind the teenage boy of endless hours tinkering on the piano.  The good times, the bad times. The peace and tranquility in his home. The freedom to be himself, to compose his thoughts into notes, to grow.  This is not just a beautiful boy smiling at the camera.  It’s a whole decade of memories presented in an array of reflections, light and shape.   I would like to think that this images says 1000 words to this pianist in the making.

Please do visit my portraiture page on my website to get a feeling for the variety of ways I like to capture portraits.   Please contact me  if you’d like to discuss in more detail.

 

 

Dame Esther Rantzen, The Guardian

Posted on in Editorial photography, News, Portrait photography

Dame Esther Rantzen for The Guardian

A real honour to spend Mothering Sunday photographing Dame Esther Rantzen at home for the Guardian.  Best known for presenting That’s Life, and starting Childline (and recently Silverline), she is another of the UK’s national treasures.

I eyed up the swing on arrival, but figured that might be a stretch too far for an 80 year old.   So I explored her garden and decided on three other compositions.   The first was on on a bench in honour of her husband Desmond Wilcox who sadly died in 2000.    It was a short climb up a little hill, in a little copse, surrounded by daffodils.  Bingo!  Lovely set up and lovely light.  Sadly a not so lovely gale force wind too so we didnt’ stay up their for long!  The other challenge was to avoid stepping on the daffodils.  I get so wrapped up in what I’m taking I forget what’s around my feet.  But we to captured some beautiful portraits here,  one of which is in my portrait gallery.

The second two were in her garden and I was again very happy with the results.   As I was leaving,  she said she’d be up for a photo on the swing.   Thankfully we nailed it first time.   I think this photo befits her the best.  Indeed the Guardian chose it to accompany the feature, along with her quote “I’ve become one of the funny old ladies I used to talk to in the street”.   Fun, quick witted, energetic, charming, warm and photogenic.   I hope I can be like that when I’m 80.  God willing I should reach it!

As a Dorset based freelance portrait photographer, I travel regularly throughout the South West.   In particular Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire.   Please visit my publications page on my website for more examples of my work, or please contact me should you wish to discuss a potential commision in more detail.

Winter wedding photography in Dorset

Posted on in Wedding photography

Wonderful winter wedding in Dorset

It was such an honour to be the wedding photographer for Olivia and Jev’s wonderful winter wedding in Dorset. Having photographed her sister Laura’s wedding a couple of years ago, it was lovely to see the family again.  Whilst Laura and Harry had to contend with incessant rain, Olivia and Jev had the covid pandemic! From 150 guests at Tisbury church and a reception at Messums, Wiltshire, to 15 family members in the Shaftesbury Town Hall, and a small family dinner at home. But I have come to the conclusion that small covid weddings are every bit as spectacular as the larger weddings.  They are intimate, personal and charged with emotion.  Perfect ingredients for a memorable occasion.

The day started with the usual bridal preparations, before we set off to the registry office.  Despite the cold and covid, some of their closest friends gathered as a surprise to Olivia to greet them on their exit.   All adhering to the social distancing requirements of course!  Indeed surprised she was.  And not a dry eye was in sight.  After this, we headed back home and raced through the family group photos, leaving time for this quick more informal portrait on the steps outside.  A few drinks and canapes were followed by a delicious sit down dinner, prepared by Victoria Blashford-Snell.    All in all, it couldn’t have been a more perfect day for a more wonderful couple.

If you’re interested in booking me as your wedding photographer, please do email me with your date, location of the ceremony & reception, timings, and approximate number of guests so I can send you a bespoke quote.   You can also see more examples of my work on my website.  Whilst based in Dorset, I travel throughout the UK.

Teenage Portrait Photography

Posted on in Children photography, Portrait photography

Teenage portrait photography

One of the perks of lockdown has been testing out my new Canon R6 on my teenage daughters.   And practising different techniques and styles for teenage portrait photography.   I find teenagers much more relaxed when they can be doing something they enjoy.

I’ve been considering investing in a mirrorless camera for some time now.   But when Canon launched their R5 and R6 last summer, I felt the time had come for me to bite the bullet.  After extensive research, I concluded that the R6 best suited my requirements.  I also invested in two bespoke RF lenses: the RF 24-70mm f2.8 L IS USM and RF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM.   I was quite simply blown away with the camera and both these lenses.  The speed and accuracy to focus were incredible.  And RF 70-200 f2.8 was so light in comparison to my EF equivalent that I could take photos one handed!   And what’s more, the quality is every bit as amazing as my Canon 5D iv.

I have since sold all my old cameras and lenses through a fantastic new 2nd hand camera company called MPB.   They collected all my kit free of charge, offered very fair prices and speedy payment.   An incredibly slick service.   This enabled me to invest in the full shebang of RF lenses, including the RF 85mm f1.2 USM.   Indeed, I took this portrait of Flora with this very lens, at a f1.2.   I love how it throws all the background completely out of focus, despite the fact that this was in fact no further from me than I was to Flora.   I can’t wait to share more images with this incredible new camera and lens.

Please visit my website to see more examples of my teenage portraits.   And please contact me if you’re interested in a family portrait photography session.   Whilst I’m based in Dorset, I travel throughout the UK.

 

Stunning Wedding Photography,

Posted on in Wedding photography

Stunning Wedding Photography

It’s not hard to provide stunning wedding photography when you are blessed with a beautiful bride.   Even easier when she is dressed in one of the most incredible wedding dresses I’ve ever seen.   Bearing in mind I’ve been a leading wedding photographer in the UK for nearly 20 years, I’ve seen quite a few!   The dress was made by the insanely talented Fiona Clare Couture.

Whilst I take a mixture of colour and black & white photos of the whole day, I generally prefer black and white for the ‘classic’ portraits such as this.  I find colour too distracting.  You end up studying the colours of the flowers, or wallpaper etc.  Black and white wedding portrait photography is timeless, classic and captures the mood of the day so much more effectively.   Where possible, I also love to work with natural light which I find much softer.  It also enables me to work really fast, which is one of the key skills for a wedding photographer.

I took this portrait just before leaving for Sherborne Abbey.  We only had a few minutes to spare.  But long enough to lay out her lace coat in a perfect circle.  I love how the tiara mirrors this circle.

Please do visit my wedding gallery to see more examples of my wedding photography.  And please email me if you are interested in finding out more about the packages I offer as a wedding photographer.  Please include your date, location of the ceremony & reception, timings, and approximate number of guests so I can send you a bespoke quote.  Alternatively, you can call me on 07815 750 141 to discuss your day in more details.