Real people, real moments, real stories; capturing life's most precious moments.

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What a difference the light makes

October 18, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Last Saturday I took some pictures of Mayella, who is in the process of building a new website for her healing business. The pictures had to be natural looking, show Mayella's spirit and sense of fun and also, of course, to make her look good! We went to Lacock as I know the good spots for background and light as I teach portrait photography there with Lacock Photography.

For this first picture I got Mayella to turn her face towards the light; the shading on her cheek gives good definition and helps to narrow the face. The shade of a tree takes away light from above. 

Portrait photographPortrait photograph

We then moved into the open and I put the sun behind Mayella. To give sparkle to her eyes I shot through a metallised reflector to light the face. 

Back lit portraitBack lit portrait

What a different shot! The light is softer and more even which is good for more mature subjects. The sun makes the hair appear white. The background is far enough way to make it appear soft and diffused. The reflector is an important part of getting the light right, but you could use anything that reflects light back into the face - even a white t-shirt on the photographer would help! 

For this next shot we walked down to the stream in Lacock and had a little play. Hands are often difficult to photograph well - what do you do with them?! Leaning against something helps, especially if your model also leans towards the camera which makes for a flattering picture. 

Relaxed style photographyRelaxed style photography

On our way back to the car we walked up an alleyway at the top of the village and stopped by the gate for a picture. The light here was good, but not quite where I wanted it, so I asked Mayella to look towards the light and laugh hysterically - it sounds ridiculous, but you have to wait until a natural laugh takes over - try it! I moved Mayella around  so the background bushes would frame her. The lighter background gives depth to the image. 


An example of narrow lightingAn example of narrow lighting We had a lot of fun taking these images, and many more, and Mayella loved Lacock, which she had never seen before. I look forward to seeing them on her new website. 

Bath Botanical Gardens wedding

September 14, 2017  •  1 Comment

Last Friday I photographed a wedding in Bath Botanical Gardens. I was really looking forward to this wedding as the location is fabulous - so luxurious, verdant and romantic! However, the day started with the rain just pouring down. With the promise of a free lunch I persuaded my sister to come along to be my umbrella holder and we arrived with 4 white golf umbrellas for the wedding party photography and 4 multi coloured umbrellas that I borrowed to try and get guests to come outside for photographs.

As soon as Leilai arrived just before 1, the sun came out and it stayed out the whole time I was there - it was the most perfect afternoon! 

Wedding photography in BathWedding photography in Bath The ceremony was in The Minerva Temple which only holds around 35 people, so there was a gazebo outside to seat the rest of the guests. Access to the couple was not easy but I love this wide angle shot showing the newly married couple and the family in the temple.

Wedding ceremony in the Minerva TempleWedding ceremony in the Minerva Temple I apologise to the guest with the bald head whom I accidently clobbered with my lens hood whilst trying to find a good vantage point. He and his neighbours then got the giggles during a quiet bit of the ceremony! 

As the weather was so beautiful the drinks were served outside and there was plenty of opportunity to get pictures of the guests enjoying themselves and the lovely surroundings.

Minerva Temple and marqueeMinerva Temple and marquee

I plan to start the group pictures shortly after everyone has had a drink, but am always ready to jump in and take any pictures that the bride wants!

Bride and friendsBride and friends

I love taking the confetti throwing pictures - we organise 2 lines of guests and ask the bride and groom to walk through, with guests throwing the confetti up in the air and not, hopefully, straight at them. 

Confetti throwingConfetti throwing I'm always on the look out for taking unposed pictures of the bride, especially, as posing can sometimes look fake. This is one of my favourites. The colours of the flowers in the herbaceous border of the Bath Botanical Gardens really compliments Leilai's flowers. The flowers were from The Wild Bluebell florist and were beautifully fresh and natural and totally complemented the Botanical Gardens.

Natural bride photographyNatural bride photography

I always make sure there is time to take the bride and groom away for a few relaxed, posed pictures and we were spoilt for choice in the gardens.


Bride and groom walking awayBride and groom walking away

I love taking "walking away" pictures with the couple looking at each other. Getting movement in the dress always looks amazing and the connection between the couple is important.

Bride and groom seatedBride and groom seated Bride and groom in parklandBride and groom in parkland Romantic bride and groom photographyRomantic bride and groom photography Bride and groom posingBride and groom posing Bride and groom close up pictureBride and groom close up picture

Such a lovely couple and such a lovely location, especially when the weather is good! 

Rainy day photography

September 07, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

When it rains, most of us put our cameras away and hide from the wet weather. I know I miss many opportunities because I don't want to get the camera wet and/or I don't think pictures will look good. But everyone has pictures of lovely sunny days, blue skies and fluffy clouds - let's try and do something different! On our holiday in Denmark last recently we had the lovely sunny weather with fluffy clouds, and I took lots of pictures of family members socialising and playing.

Toddler balancing on rocking horseChild photography

But some of the clouds were a little darker and heavier and brought some heavy downpours and we got caught in a heavy shower; there wasn't time to get Isla out of her pushchair so Jane made sure the umbrella stayed over her and the pushchair. The older children came and hid under the umbrella because it was exciting and they were all so happy... apart maybe from Jane!

Children hiding under umbrella in rain stormRainy day photography

I slowed down the shutter speed to make the rain trails show up and took several pictures of the hilarity of a bit of rain! 

Easy natural light photography

August 30, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Last weekend I was taking pictures of Kate and George and little 6 month old Jonah. With it being August the light is strong outside so to make sure that Jonah (and his parents!) were able to comfortably open their eyes, I positioned them on a chair by an open doorway, to get some lovely directional light. This was one of the resulting pictures:

Natural window lit baby portraitBaby natural light photographyThe warm tones of the background are a bit too fiery for my taste!

Whilst the lovely warm colours of the interiors are quite friendly feeling I think they were too distracting. One way around this is to turn the picture into B&W:

B&W photography of 6 month old baby on father's lapBaby photography WiltshireTurning the picture to B&W gets rid of colour distractions.

I was still not happy with the distracting background; whilst I wanted an informal picture using natural light I wanted a bit more focus on the baby, so I used my white pop up background and propped it up behind Jonah and Kate:

Baby photography WiltshireBaby photography WiltshireBeautiful mother and baby portrait Much better! You can use any clean sheet or large bit of card or foam to give the same effect. 

Baby sitting on mother's lapBaby photography WiltshireA plain white backdrop helps to concentrate the eye on the subjects. A mother and baby cuddlingBaby photography WiltshireA little baby cuddle! B&W family portraitBaby photography WiltshireFamily portrait

Try to experiment with window light in your home - the light can be amazing! 



Why I love this picture

July 04, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Good wedding photographs are triggers for bringing back so many memories from your wedding day; this wedding was very much a DIY wedding - with the bride working so hard in the months leading up to the wedding making dresses and decorations and organising lots of games for the reception. The bride's dress was made from old tablecloths found in charity shops - it was a work of art!

On the day the weather was perfect and it was such a fun, joyful wedding. I love this picture as it shows the alternative nature of the bride! Jodie and Adam love their jumping pictures, so of course we had to do one with the bridesmaids. I chose this location, with the sun behind, so that the girls could open their eyes. The dark green hedge means that their dresses show up really well. And I love the streams of sunlight coming through - perfect! 

Bride and her bridesmaids jumping with sun streaming behind them. Jumping for joy!