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Gorgeous Playgroup Portraits and One Very Important Lesson

Each year I get the pleasure of photographing little ones at their playschool. Its not an easy age group to photograph since they are all usually rather frightened of the strange person holding a camera and flashing lights at them. But they are an age group that is full of character. Each one is different (some more challenging than others). When I am able to make a connection though, it is hugely rewarding.


This lovely young lady knew exactly what to do and I was able to capture loads of her. She gave me that beautiful serious face as well as loads of happy smiling ones. I'm actually a really big fan of the serious ones so she was a dream.


Although these portraits are different to my studio portraits I still always try to bring out the best in the children with a little of what I put into my studio work.  For me posing, lighting and styling are still important elements. I just can't take the time to do as much as I would for studio portraits, nor is it possible to consult wi…
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5 Reasons you Should Consider Getting a Professional Headshot

Headshots, or profile pictures are becoming a requirement of so many tools we regularly use or reference today. From Facebook to Linked In, Instagram to Twitter and often any website that represents a company for which you work or own will have a place to include a photograph that is meant to show your audience who you are. And how you present yourself there will tell your audience so much about you.


1. A profile picture is your first opportunity for your audience to see you. Its often the first impression you make and we all know you only have one chance at a first impression. A professional photographer has the skills to show you in the best, most suitable way to give a great first impression.

(These headshots were created for recruitment firm Optima UK who asked to have their logo placed behind them. I think it makes these headshots quite eye catching and they should do their job well.)

2. Using a professional to create your headshot will convey your professionalism to your audience.…

4 Merits, 3 Finalists, 2 Awards and a Masters!

This past week at the Societies of Photographers Convention in London was just about perfect in every way. As always I look forward to this event with mixed emotions. As a judge and speaker anxiety levels can be high. And I always know that through both working and socialising it can be an exhausting experience that is often hard to get through. However the high I finish on is simply incredible and worth all the sleepless nights and hard work, in large part due to the incredible people with whom I get to spend this week.

(Photo Credit: Mike McNamee - Sitting on a panel)
(Photo Credit: Mike McNamee - The entire judging team including print handlers)
Being amongst the judging team just gets better and better each year. It is very intimidating sitting on that panel and being resposible for assigning a score and then often providing a critique to substantiate it however the rewarding feeling when doing it well is immense. I know I am still a relatively new judge but hope I can improve each…

A Most Wonderful Portrait Session with 3 Lovely Ladies

This was a dream session for me. Not only did I have 3 beautiful young ladies, but they also brought with them a fantastic wardrobe and their very own hair stylist too (mum owns her own salon). So all the elements for beautiful portraits were there. And I was thrilled to get this opportunity.


Its easy to think of having portraits when you have a new baby or when you get married or have a special family occasion where you get the entire family portrait done. But its less often that people think of having their growing children photographed. After all I suppose, they are photographed at school. I even do some of those school photographs. However, those portraits are made in less than a minute per child and they are assembly line style portraits while they are wearing their school uniform. They are never going to be as special as what can be created with unlimited time and outfit changes in the comfort of a private studio.


Its in this environment that I can take the time to talk to the …

Another Lovely Teenage Portrait Shoot

As I've been saying for a while now, this is my current favourite age group. Although I still love children of all ages I just feel most comfortable working with older children and really want to encourage more families to have their older children photographed. This to me is just as important an age as the earlier years as now they are actually leaving childhood behind and becoming fully fledged adults. Its a real milestone in their growing up. I had photographs taken at the same time of my life and I cherish them, although mine were much more traditional in nature.


As per usual we discussed before hand the type of portraits we could create. This young lady also plays guitar so of course I had to do some shots with it. Including such props helps them to be themselves and enables me to capture them just playing (or pretending to play) which means they can be very comfortable and not worrying about the camera or how they look.


I love the way the light is falling on her face in the …

School Photos Are Not As Easy as You'd Think

Every year I do a load of school portraits and I rarely get the chance to share them as I never share anything without permission. Gaining permission is just that bit more difficult when you don't meet face to face with many parents. So I just don't bother. But this year I thought I'd give it a go and get some permissions as they are just too lovely not to share.

(You know you got it right when you show Mum and she gets tears in her eyes - this family has been coming to me for years now and I love watching them grow) 
School portraits give me a chance to work very differently than usual. In some ways its not how I like to work at all but in others its a chance for a little freedom. You see for me, I like to be a perfectionist with my work. And being such can be draining. This usually means creating just a few really great portraits for my studio clients and having all the time in the world in which to do so. With school portraits on the other hand, there is only so much I c…

Chicago (the Musical) Inspired Portraits

Every now and again I like to do some portraits for personal growth. I use this time to try new things and to just have fun in the studio. Ashleigh is one of my daughter's dance teachers and someone who helped me come up with posing ideas for Kenzie when she modeled for me on the Bowens stand at the Photography Show back in March. So I thought why not invite Ashleigh in to do some dance portraits for her. And this is what we came up with.

Ashleigh not only teaches but still performs regularly and is currently preparing for this season's Panto down south. So when it came to her portraits we wanted something that both suited her style and would lend itself well to something a little dramatic. The first thing that came to mind for Ashleigh was Chicago. So some searching online for inspiration and this is where it got us.


My vision involved black and white, high contrast, spot lights and smoke. Seeing as it was my first time using smoke pellets I have to say I am quite pleased wit…