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

Welcome to my blog - hopefully I've updated it recently. If not, it's probably because I'm too busy - sorry!

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!

Wiltshire wedding

June 29, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Charlie and Ric got married in Chippenham Register Office back in April. It was a small family affair, but that didn't make it any less special. The bride wore a yellow short length vintage dress that was perfect for a spring wedding. 

Wedding at Chippenham Register OfficeWedding at Chippenham Register Office

On the way down the stairs after the ceremony I quickly took a few pictures making the most of the lovely window light on the stairs.

Wedding couple portrait taken using window lightWedding couple portrait taken using window light

The wedding breakfast was at Calcot Manor. A perfect place to get some lovely outdoor photography.

Bridal couple fun portraithaving fun at Calcot Manor Bride and groom natural light portrait in front of treeWedding couple portrait

We also had a quick photo session back in Hullavington to make the most of the late afternoon sunshine - the first of the day!

Bride and groom portrait back lit by the sun, in front of a willow treeBride and groom portrait


Vintage portrait session

June 29, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Howard and Sue wanted pictures taken for a display at the Violette Szabo museum in Wormelo in Herefordshire. They are dressed as Violette and her husband, Etienne. A very sad story: Etienne was killed in the war 3 weeks after marrying Violette. Violette went on to have a baby, but then joined the SOE and on her 2nd mission was captured, tortured and inprisoned. She was shot 3 days before the end of WWII, aged just 23. A very brave woman.

Violette and Etienne Szabo re-enactmentViolette and Etienne Szabo re-enactment I love all the effort that Howard and Sue have put in to be as authentic as possible, from the map handkerchief that could be stuffed down clothing if necessary to hide from the enemy, to the 1940's spy camera. A really interesting afternoon!

Vintage portrait photographyVintage portrait photography

The full length picture will be shown at an exhibition at the Violette Szabo museum in Wormelo in Herfordshire.


Narrow lighting versus broad lighting

June 28, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The way you light a face has a big impact on how we see it.

Narrow lighting (an example is shown below) is achieved by photographing the side of the face away from the main light. In this case the light is coming from an open doorway; the background appears almost black because the room behind is much darker than our model's face. 

An example of narrow lightingAn example of narrow lighting

Narrow lighting makes the face appear slimmer as the eye sees what is lit; shadow can be a good friend! 

With broad lighting the face is photographed on the side of the face that is lit; an example is shown below:
Broad lighting a faceBroad lighting a face

Martha looks gorgeous in both pictures, but you can see how the face appears broader when it's fully lit. 

Children generally look great with broad lighting, but more often than not most adults will appreciate having narrow lighting on their faces. The same applies to a body - if it's lit then the eye sees it, so if you want to fool the eye for a flattering image then use narrow lighting. 

I teach this and many other aspects of portrait photography on my Portrait Training day courses at Lacock Photography.

Photography training

May 05, 2017  •  1 Comment

We recently had the first of this year's portrait training days at Lacock Photography, and this time Martha modelled for us. She is a keen photographer herself so it was interesting for her to see what we were doing and to be on the other side of the lens. The April weather was beautiful - real summer warmth, and it made the whole experience even more enjoyable. As usual, we started off in the training room and then we walked around Lacock, stopping when potentially good lighting and background opportunities arose. Because of the nice weather it was REALLY busy, and one of the tourists asked if Martha was someone famous!

Practicing photographing people using a young female modelPractice with modelsMartha in Lacock bus shelter


Practicing photographing people using a young female modelPractice with modelsBeautiful back light with a fill in reflector giving the eyes a catch light

For this picture we placed Martha with the sun behind her, giving her hair lovely rim lighting. To light the face we then used a reflector to camera left, as can be seen in the catch lights in her eyes. 


Practicing photographing people using a young female modelPractice with modelsModel photographed in a doorway using natural light

The cluttered background of the training room becomes dark as Martha has much more light on her than the background. We remembered to turn the lights off, which helps a lot!

Practicing photographing people using a young female modelPractice with modelsA high key portrait using natural light

This was taken in Lacock bus shelter using available light! You really don't need studio lighting to get good results.

Thanks, Martha, for giving us some great picture opportunities and we look forward to seeing you again at Lacock Photography next month.