NEWS/BLOG

News of latest shoots and the occasional piece on my thoughts about aspects of photography.

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Boudoir Survey Update
19th February 2015 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Firstly, thank you to all those that took the time to complete the short Boudoir survey I recently posted. I did sweeten the deal by offering a £10 discount against any Boudoir package, should the lady want to. And if you're reading this, and would like to participate or just see the survey, please look here.
The reason I asked ladies for their feedback was to confirm (or discover) what were the roadblocks that women had when it came to having a Boudoir shoot so I could finalise my mission statement.
So why have a mission statement?
Well, the first thoughts I had when thinking about such a thing, was 'How corporate!' For those that know me, I'm not particularly the corporate type, but I did think on. I came to the conclusion that it is actually quite important to have a Mission Statement for the simple reason it identifies to any woman what the driver is for my Boudoir packages and tells them why they can benefit from having a shoot. I have always said the ethos behind my Eterno Boudoir packages were primarily to boost women's self-confidence and show to them how beautiful they are......the results of this survey would either confirm or deny this...so let's see what you all said!

The Results...
Have you ever thought about having a Boudoir Shoot? 100% Yes
Have you ever enquired about having a Boudoir Shoot? 100% No

The reasons for not having a Boudoir Shoot (ticking all that apply);
Body Confidence Issues 70%
Body weight Issues 45%
Lack of Confidence/Self-esteem 70%
Price 0%
Partner doesn't like the idea 0%
I don't know how rose like I model 55%
I'm not good looking enough 45%
I don't have a room suitable for the shoot 15%
Other 12%
The survey could be anonymous if required, but I did respond to each lady that left their email details to address how the Boudoir shoots work and how the blocks could be overcome. I will be posting another blog item on this subject in the near future.
So going through the results tells me that the biggest roadblocks women have when it comes to enquiring or booking a Boudoir Shoot are exactly the reasons that I encourage ladies to have the shoots done. That being to boost confidence and self-esteem.
Some of you may have seen my handwritten statement I photographed and posted on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts recently. It was the short version of my mission statement.....
"Eterno Boudoir by Martin J Patterson Photography is a modern portraiture product that helps women of any age and body type see themselves as the beautiful, strong person that they truly are."
What do you think? Are you tempted to give it a go and "Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful?"

A Walk on the Wild Side
28th January 2015 - 0 comments
This shoot was back in November, but has only made it to the blog page because of the need for a bit of Christmas secrecy….you know what I mean?!!
This was the second session of that particular day, the first I wrote about in the piece titled It's that time of year again. They was only an hour or so between the stat times, but they were very different in more ways than one. The first was bathed in sunlight, low hard light to be precise, but that soon disappeared behind some ominous looking cloud in time for session number two. The nature of the shoot also changed too…a young family shoot with three boys under seven…be afraid…be very afraid!
Seriously though, it was energetic (as you would expect), I won't lie, I had to work extremely hard to get and keep everyone's attention, but as you'll see below, it did happen, and it was great fun.
I am a dad of three boys too, so I know what it's all about. At times it was like herding cats, but you know, I think that's half the enjoyment. Sure, working with younger children can be challenging at times, but you have to remember that they are children and embrace that fact to capture the images that records this. I also took great delight in telling myself I wouldn't have to wash the grass stains off the boys jeans!



The pose above is a very good one for families with small children. It gets everyone nice and close and eliminates the obvious height differences.



The key requirement from the shoot was a family group shot (or two), so once I got a few I was happy with it was onto some different photos of the boys as a group and individually, and of course with Mum and Dad too.

It's important to keep family sessions moving quickly to avoid the children getting bored, and while things are changing I like to keep an eye out for any candid or more natural shots. After all, posing is boring for kids, and me for that matter, so I keep 'organised' shots to a minimum, preferring the real and the natural wherever possible.
As you can see from the shots below, the energy expelled to keep the boys entertained was more than worth it. Cheeky and handsome in equal share….fantastic!
The Great Valentine Swindle
23rd January 2015 - 0 comments
In: Blog
The 14th February is on the horizon, the day we, with the help of Cupid, Royal Mail and florists everywhere, celebrate our love for our spouses and partners. Whilst some admire from afar and anonymously (as traditional expects), us married and co-habiting types do it loud and proud to show that we haven't forgotten.
The retail sector, not surprisingly, sees this day as another big earner, where everything from flowers and chocolates through to expensive phones and tablets are branded as the perfect way to show your love. I have my own opinion on that, which shall we say, is a touch on the cynical side.
Bringing this blog piece in line with the photography genre, as you would expect, the same thing happens with photo shoots. Boudoir in particular.
Men are encouraged to buy a shoot package for the woman they love as a pamper session, woman are cajoled into having photos taken in order to furnish their partner with sexy imagery, which of course he'll love beyond measure etc. etc.
These are proffered under the usual guise of the Valentine Special Offer, which of course is much similar to the Christmas Special, just a number of weeks later.
I don't offer any such 'specials' for this most love drenched day in February. As I eluded to before, I have reservations about using certain retail products to show how much you care for someone, although I understand the need to publicise your products from a business aspect. This isn't why I don't subscribe to the Valentine Offer for my Boudoir Packages, not at all. It's not because I'm reluctant to give discounts, in truth I feel I'm more than generous in that respect throughout the year. It's simply because the reason being publicised for having the shoot (I believe) is wrong.
I have been carrying out Boudoir shoots for some time, so I do have an inkling of why women have these shoots done. Before you think I have found the male’s Holy Grail of understanding women, relax. I haven’t. How I know this is simple. I ask.
The publicly perceived 'selling point' of Boudoir is that the shoots are carried out for photos to be gifts for the partner or husband. This promotion technique is used heavily in the United States to persuade women that's why they should book their shoot. I don't know whether this is a cultural difference, or whether it's designed to mask a woman's real driver in having a Boudoir photo session, but whatever it is, in my experience it isn't the case at all.
Before I carry on and deconstruct the argument for using your partner as the reason to have a Boudoir, let me say it is a genuinely acceptable excuse to have it done, especially if the partner is particularly encouraging. I am not saying anyone doing this is wrong, my point is it's less common than people think.
So let me give you a numerical fact to back this up. Of the sixty or so Boudoir consultations I've carried out, the reason given for having a shoot done to give gift products to their partner has has happened on just three occasions, that's 4%. Of those three, two had their shoot, but the other lady didn't because her partner didn't want her to. Incidently, the number of men that have enquired or bought gift certificates for their partner is a big fat zero!
I once had an enquiry from a lady that was very keen to have the shoot done, using the reason that it would be a present for her husband, and she asked him about it. He was happy for her to have the photo session, but wasn't particularly bothered about having photos as a gift. This enquiry didn't even lead to a consultation.
I have also heard one or two stories about women having Boudoir shoots (not with me I might add) as a surprise for their husbands, only to be greeted with, shall we say, a less than positive reaction on receipt of their gift! Lesson learned…you have to be careful with surprises.
I may not be able to write confidently about a woman's reasoning where Boudoir is concerned, but I understand how a man thinks. Of course we're all different, but the views range from the stubborn refusal of letting his partner have a shoot, through to the man which is more than encouraging. These two extremes are the minority, with the vast majority of men (although happy for their partner to have a shoot) are indifferent or mildly interested at best. It's not that we as men don't love our wives/partners, of course we do. It's simply that men in general aren't overly motivated by photos of their partners. A common response would be that they can see their spouse or girlfriend 'like that anytime'. Fair enough I suppose, I'm in no position to question this, but that's the average perception.

What about the other 96%? Why did they book? Well, they cited the shoot was 'for them', which I feel, is exactly how it should be. I believe Boudoir photography should be solely for the woman having the shoot. It's about her self-esteem, her self-confidence, her chance to show to herself that she is beautiful.
So if you want that Boudoir shoot, have it done, for you, and 'Be your own kind of beautiful'

A Full Time Dilemma
13th January 2015 - 1 comment
In: Blog
I'm behind....not for the first time whilst running this business, but I am. I have a website upgrade to do, which is very time consuming, my 2015 brochures are nearly finished, but are two months later than I normal. The reason?...Lack of time. (Isn't it always?) A hugely busy period leading up to Christmas meant I finished later than usual, which of course has a knock on effect....This got me thinking....

There are lots of things that people don't know about me (and why should they know anything?). One of the more common mis-conceptions is that I am a full-time photographer. I was once told, that I had to be a full-time pro because my photos were so good. I did feel slightly embarrassed listening to this, I'm not very good with praise. However, I know that the standard of a photographer's images has very little impact on whether he or she is an amateur or professional, but I digress......
The point is, that being only part-time has obvious restrictions on the amount of time I can spend on the photography business. This includes not only the amount of shoots I can do, but when I can do them, the editing, the general day-to-day tasks, and the not so general too.

. .
Weekday shoots would be an addition to the family weekend ones


When people find out I only run my photography on a part-time basis, the question that usually follows is along the lines of...."so when will be doing this as your main job?"
Of course I'd love too, but would I actually do it? The answer.....? I just don't know.
It's a catch twenty-two situation. I have a steady nine to five job, which supports my family, so ending that situation would be a gamble at best. On the other hand turning the dream to reality
would clearly have benefits from a time point of view. The amount of shoots I could do would increase, the day-to-day tasks would be just that, in the daytime, not crammed into a few hours each evening. The business could be expanded so that weekday daytime shoots could be added to the family weekend ones....well, I won't continue....I already know what I have in mind (just in case) and don't want to let on!


As I mentioned before it's a gamble, and yes, part of it is financial, but that's not the only major factor. It's not whether the hard work is a problem, putting the work in isn't even an issue, when you do something you love, it's easy.
No, for me it's getting the customer support that's the gamble. Photography to most people is, after all a luxury, not a necessity, and building a full-time business in the current climate would be tricky. The other issue is belief. Although I receive a lot of compliments about my work, which is great to hear, I still harbour some frailties in the confidence department. I suppose it's a typical trait of the creative soul, but it does keep me focused on the job in hand, and pushes me constantly to look for ways to improve.....
I know I'm not alone, many, many people make the transition from a paid employee to business owner, with differing levels of success of course. Whether my time will come sooner, later or at all, I guess remains unresolved.....for now anyway.
My 2014
30th December 2014 - 0 comments
In: Blog
It's that time again, where before I look too far forward, I'd like to reflect on what this year has brought to my photographic table.
Looking back over the last twelve months genuinely leaves me sporting a smug grin. The intention for 2014 was progression from a technical point of view, and it's something I'm so pleased I took time out to achieve, after all no-one can afford to stand still. I took a huge amount from the three redhead themed portrait shoots and two low-key Boudoir shoots I managed to squeeze in amongst my regular work.
Talking of regular work, I began in earnest during the first weekend in January with a superb Boudoir shoot in a quaint little cottage, and finished with a raft of portrait shoots at Burgh Castle, as I waded through the annual Christmas rush. In between were visits to an array of places from Gorleston Beach to Herringfleet, with some stunning back gardens on the way. Boudoir was high on the agenda with the shoots from a promo competition being carried out, along with a plethora of ladies enjoying their experience for the first (and some for the second) time.
From start to finish, I have worked with some amazing people both big, small, young and old, and I'd like to thank every single one of you for sharing your time with me. It has been a genuinely rewarding experience photographing such a vast array of different people, and is one of the reasons I love doing this.
Enough of the chatter, I'll let the images to do the rest of the talking.

Lifestyle Portraits
Beginning with the outdoor location shoots and in no particular order...





























































Boudoir
Now it's the turn of the Boudoir shots. Again, in no particular order. There are a few shoots missing here, not every client wants their images shared, to which I have no problem whatsoever. Thank you to all the ladies that have agreed to let me share one of their images online, it is greatly appreciated!























Keep It In The Family
29th December 2014 - 0 comments
With a lot of Christmas presents at stake, this shoot has been kept under wraps until now (no pun intended). A little way back , during the unseasonably warm spell we had in October I did a shoot with a very familiar set of faces. Namely my sister, her partner and their children, who are, of course my niece and nephew. Once again it was the very popular Burgh Castle ruins that was the backdrop for this session. The sun was out and very bright indeed, everyone was happy, which was handy given the task in hand….



Laughs all round as I had just delivered my killer joke


The glint in the eye reflects his personality perfectly.


No words needed for this one.


Always willing to oblige with a kiss for his big sister, I love this little moment captured here!
Boys Boys Boys
28th December 2014 - 0 comments
I always let my family clients know I have children of my own (three boys to be precise), so they are aware that I am used to how kids tick and that they are all different. The most popular question I then get asked is..."I bet you get lots of lovely photos of your boys don't you?"
Wrapped up in my answer is another common statement I get from the parents of the children I have just photographed. "I can't believe how well behaved they were for you!, we always struggle to get photos of them!"
I explain that the simple reason for this is that I am not their parent. In my experience children know what buttons to press when they are in situations with their Mum and Dad that they don't want to be in. And the parents that use my services are no different to anyone else, myself included. So parents out there will understand the potential problems I had facing me when I did a shoot of my three boys recently. My wife wanted up to date individual photos of each of them to hang on a wall at home. So to delivering the photos for her Christmas present involved me on my own with my sons at Burgh Castle to capture the images; one of a 'certain age' (four years old), another who fancies himself as a model and pulls the most bizarre posing faces in front of the lens....what could possibly go wrong?!
I went armed with snacks, fairly smart clothes and crossed fingers. The conditions were almost perfect considering the time of year, with bright, overcast skies, although it was chilly, so I would have to work fast before the younger boys got cold, because that would signal 'game over'.
Despite my initial worries the shoot went off without too many issue. My little one did have a few moments, but on the whole was well behaved. Coaxing my model to keep a 'normal' face was more of a problem, but I managed to get something fairly natural. I did bag a few group shots too, including one on a bridge near the river which I've had in mind for a long time. It's my absolute favourite image from the shoot. Why? Well apart from the composition of leading lines etc. it's the natural expressions of all three lads, something that money can't buy...trust me!!







Boudoir from Low to High (Key)
01st December 2014 - 0 comments
At the end of last weeks Boudoir post, where I shared a number of low key images, I promised to show you a few high key photos taken at the same shoot. The setup was completely different using ambient light and capturing bright tones. The images were taken shooting into the light in front of a window on the models landing. The day itself was as dull as could be, so to get the high key look I was after, I did have the camera set into the high ISO range, the lens almost wide open and had to use my trusty monopod to avoid any camera shake.
The second set of photos were again shot in ambient light, but were taken outside of the bedroom give a candid feel to the shots. Again these are different from my usual type of Boudoir shots, but it's all about keeping to fresh. Of course I will still shoot in whatever style the client wants, it's all about choice after all!
If you are interested in having a Boudoir shoot, please contact me via my Boudoir Page to organise a no-obligation consultation.











Herringfleet Sunshine
01st December 2014 - 0 comments
A few weeks back during our unseasonably warm spell I had this family shoot out at Herringfleet, not on the hills as the car park there is closed to the public, but almost next door on a privately owned area of woodland. It's always great to shoot in wooded areas during the autumn. The colours on a bright day are just fantastic, and luckily we had wall to wall sunshine throughout. There was a bit of a breeze, which made it fun with all the long hair on show, but it was November after all so you have to kind of expect it.
Talking of breezes, this shoot was one too. Three pretty girls to photograph (the parents weren't too bad either) along with beautiful conditions and lovely backdrop…what more could a photographer ask for?









Keeping It Low Key
25th November 2014 - 0 comments
By that I mean the style. I'm certainly not going to keep these under wraps. I carried out the second of my trial Boudoir shoots just over a week ago, and have managed to steal five minutes here and there between processing orders to edit some of the images. The name of the game here was to try out a few different lighting styles. Mainly low key, which I think works superbly for Boudoir. This style throws much of the subject into shadow hiding much of their figure, but accentuates edges and highlights to give a sultry feel to an image. This isn't going to be the only style I will shoot from now on, but it's another choice for my clients, one which I think will be good for the more camera shy ladies out there!
This set of photos was shot in my model's living room with one continuous light. It helped that the ambient light on the day was almost non-existant. Along with the grey clouds and rain showers, it was a boon to be working indoors.
I must say a big 'thank you' to my model for posing for me. You wouldn't be able to tell she was a tad nervous before the we began shooting, but I think she enjoyed the experience overall, relaxing into the shoot superbly well.
Part two of this shoot will reveal some more high-key shots, showing how different styles can be achieved in one house inside an hour!
Should you want a shoot with images like these, please contact me via the Boudoir Web Page to book your no obligation consultation by completing the enquiry form.
Looking forward to hearing from you!










Gorleston Beach - One last time...
23rd November 2014 - 0 comments
…not forever…I will be back there for sure, read on to find out what I mean!

I love photographing families and groups, of course I do, the interplay between siblings and/or parents can be very entertaining and always produce images that reflect this, but individual shoots are always special for me too. They are different in that I can concentrate on the one person and really connect to show their character in the photos captured. This was definitely the case in this delightful shoot that bucked the recent trend of Burgh Castle, in favour of a portrait session at Gorleston Beach. This will be my last portrait shoot here for this year, and I would imagine, it will be late Spring before I get to return for another. Why?
Well, although the light can be stunning at times, Autumn (and Winter) shoots here can be a bit hit and miss because of the windy conditions often experienced along the coast. With the wind normally comes cold conditions, which aren't comfortable for anyone!
The day in question was sunny, unseasonably warm, and a touch breezy, which did cause a few slight delays whilst waiting for the occasional gust to die down, but it was at least workable. As you can tell from the photos below that was the only slight issue. The subject was a well behaved and very photogenic young lady, who just great to work with and made my job very easy indeed. The late afternoon sun gave a very summery feel to the shots I took. This can be seen particularly well in the last contra jour (French for 'against the light') image, with a suitably arty hazy effect of which I am a big fan.

Should you want to book a location portrait shoot in 2015, please contact me now to arrange your consultation via the ENQUIRY FORM










It's That Time Of The Year....Again!
20th November 2014 - 1 comment
I don't like to use the word 'stressful' when it comes to my photography, because, on the whole, it isn't. Instead, I think 'challenging' is more appropriate. What am I talking about? In short, Christmas, or the lead up to it anyway. That's where I am at the moment, nearly at the end, but still into the rush leading up to the big day. The most 'challenging' time of the year for any portrait photographer.
This period is always very busy; shoots to organise, hoping the weather doesn't mess up my schedule too much, strict deadlines for larger than normal print and product orders, all of which has to be carefully balanced with maintaining an online presence as well as the usual necessities of running a business. Although the number I shoots do in such a short space of time rises rapidly compared to the rest of the year, the amount of photos I can share with everyone usually takes a tumble, as we have to keep the shoot a secret until Santa has delivered the resulting products safely under the Christmas tree.
This year, however, has been a bit different. I know for a fact I can show off some recent photos, because the customer is a dreadful secret keeper, but I do have a few that I can share with you all now.....or soon anyway. It'd be no fun to show them all at once would it?
This prize for the most popular location of the year goes to Burgh Castle. Most of my Autumn shoots were carried out there. I'm sure I could drive to it blindfolded by now, although, don't worry, I don't think I'll actually try it!!
So first up is this shoot of three siblings. Two big brothers and a young sister. Take a guess who was in charge for the hour? This was the first session of two on the same day, which meant I started a little earlier than usual. The sun was out and the sky annoyingly clear, which, as any photographer knows, isn't the most ideal of conditions. However, Burgh Castle has some big walls to offer suitable shade, which was a help for the first set of shots, before moving around the area in side the walls to offer some different points of view. This was nice and easy. The two lads were perfect, calm and very laid back, and the little lady was magnificent too. There was a lot of character to capture here, as befits her age, which I think I managed to do. See what you think.....?













Boudoir - A Different view Part II
20th November 2014 - 0 comments
I'll keep the wording short on this, after all it's the photos that count here. Below are three more images from the same shoot as I shared last week. The first two are from the window light set, and the next two using continuous lighting to add the drama...all part of a new way to capture my Boudoir images, which in turn offers more choice for the client. I think this style is particularly good for those ladies that want a sense of mystery in their images. The the expression goes, sometimes less is definitely more!
Once again, if you're interested in having a shoot to capture images like this, please contact me through the enquiry form on my Boudoir Page.








Boudoir- A Different View
14th November 2014 - 0 comments
You may remember early in the New Year, that I said this year was all about developing my photography, and would be taking time out to do some personal projects. That has definitely been the case with my location portraiture. A bit of training and my three redhead shoots have helped no end. The Boudoir however has been a different story. I have managed some training, but the practice shoots have been stuck in the planning stage, until now.....
I have managed to complete the first of three planned shoots, with another booked in for the very near future.
What's it all about? Well, it's an addition to my current Boudoir style. What I don't want is have the same style and shots for every Boudoir shoot I do. Variety is the key, and by evolving my take on this genre keeps it interesting for me and for my clients too. If you look at my gallery, most of the images are considered 'high key', that means, the image is on the bright side of the tonal range, a lot of white and bright lighting. The new images you will see below are completely the opposite. Low key, lots of shadow, with the model's shape sculptured by the minimal highlights in the shot. It fits the Boudoir genre perfectly, which for me is certainly a case of less is more. Less detail, a lot left to the imagination.....in short classy.
Below are three images from the first set of this latest shoot. All were shot with ambient back light and no front lighting, everything was achieved in camera, save a black and white conversion and my favourite toning technique, and hey presto....

Before I finish, I'd like to pass on a huge thank you to my model firstly for volunteering, also for her patience while I worked through the ideas and for the use of her house. It's all very appreciated!!

I really like the results, but I'd be very interested to know what you all think.
Please take a moment to post a comment below.
If you're interested in having a shoot to capture images like this, please contact me through the enquiry form on my Boudoir Page.








Tanya
14th October 2014 - 0 comments
A few weeks back I went off to Herringfleet Hills for the last of my Redhead shoots (for this year anyway). My natural redhead model this time was the lovely Tanya and I was ably assisted by Amy (thank you Amy!). I chose the location purely for the mix of woodland and open ground in close proximity of each other. The slow demise of Fritton Woods means I might be using this place a lot more in the future, so this doubled up as a bit of location swotting, as I tried to find the best areas to photograph in. The first part of the shoot was in the woods before we moved out to the open field area, where I used some tree canopies to create some of my favourite images from the session.
Like most first time models, Tanya seemed a touch shy to begin with, but also like many first time models, it wasn't long before she had settled into the swing of things and actually seemed to enjoy herself. I didn't need to ask if this was the case, as the difference between the first 'warm-up' set of images and the last batch of shots was very noticeable (well, to me anyway!). So onto the photos…

But before we do, a reminder, that if any ladies out there would like a similar shoot, they are available as a Standard Location Portrait Shoot (for details see my Portrait Page)



The first part of the shoot was in the woods, particularly around a huge fallen tree...


..which helped me take shots looking down on Tanya in this image...


and this one where eye contact makes the shot for me.


As the sun was starting to break through the clouds the next two shots were taken under the canopy of a tree...


…where the shade gave me nice even lighting on Tanya's face.


The last shot was at the gated entrance, where I could get Tanya into some natural relaxed poses.
Sisters At Fritton
02nd October 2014 - 0 comments
A shoot with old friends at Fritton Woods. When I say old friends, I'm talking about my god-daughters, who were one of the very first subjects I shot way back when starting out. So photographing them again is always interesting.
Part of how I work involves me taking in the conditions as I walk to the shoot area with my clients. I have locations I frequently work, such as Fritton, which I have got to know very well over the past few years. This means I can concentrate on lighting conditions and not worry too much about where we should be. However, walking through the woods for this shoot left me a bit shocked as to how different the place us becoming, due in most part to the rapid clearing of the area. I just hope it stops before it all disappears.
But onto the shoot itself. The conditions were cloudy, and it was particularly heavy cloud, which isn't the best light for an already shady forest. So we headed for one of the new open areas to make the most of what ambient light was about. The faces in front of me were sure to brighten up the scene anyway!
Both girls were very excited to be photographed, which made my job so much easier. In fact it was a doodle! Minimal direction and beaming faces, it was almost like they had been watching …next Top Model!!


We opened with some head shots…


…some with a favourite hat


A little sisterly hug on a conveniently placed log.


The old shed makes a wonderful backdrop, for a wonderful expression...


..and for the moody look too!
Ruins, Cloud and Matching Shirts.
30th September 2014 - 0 comments
If there's one thing that has become enshrined as an unwritten rule in this country, it is that the Great British weather is a fickle thing. My experience over the past few years hasn't given me any reason to counter this, and has also reinforced the fact that the forecasters don't get it right either. Such an example was just a week or so ago. The shoot in question was at the very popular Burgh Castle Fort, which is now bereft of it's meadow grass, but still offers the potential of wonderful vistas. As I prepared my photo bag for the portrait session, the sunny conditions outside had me quite excited. I know I need to get out more, but I could imagine what I would be working with; wonderful warm light, a low sun, and dare I dream of the fantastic sunset I could use as a backdrop to bring the shoot to a close. With over five years of landscape and portrait photography experience I should have known better. The dreaming in that one moment of weakness caused the clouds to appear and snuff out the sun. Yep, it was definitely my fault! Twenty minutes before the shoot started and the thoughts of a sun filled shoot evaporated entirely. Such disappointments are an occupational hazard, and I've learned to deal with them as they arise. You can never pre-plan images for an outdoor shoot, you simply don't know what you're going to get!

So who were the (un)lucky subjects? I say unlucky, but although I dream of the sun, to be honest, I quite like a cloudy sky. As any photographer will tell you, cloud diffuses the light and makes it much easier to work with. No strong shadows, or squinty expressions makes for pretty pictures. Anyway, my lucky subjects were Paul and his two children Jack and Eva, who were all dressed up for the occasion. Certainly one of the smartest (and handsome) families I have had in front of the camera, with a pretty dress and matching white shirts. It was (as usual) a fun hour. The children were at the older end of the scale, and so no cajoling was required. Young Eva was a real natural model, Dad Paul was more than happy in front of the lens, which is a rare thing, in fact the only real issue was Jack's hair....would it ever be right??
As relaxing as it was capturing the shots, there was an element of time pressure to this shoot, the cloud was heavy, with the threat of mist at any time, so the light began to drop off quickly, so I did have to work fast. We got there though.
My only real problem came back at base, deciding which images made it into the final set. Good looking families do bring their own issues it seems....


All smiles despite the sun doing a disappearing act!


Dad and his girl


One handsome lad....


..and his pretty sister


Mean and moody? There's a glint in their eyes!


This would normally be a sunset silhouette shot, but sadly not on this occassion


Father and son rounding off the shoot..
Back to Burlingham
25th September 2014 - 0 comments
I have to be honest. Woods and forests are funny things, most are ok, some quite frankly give me the creeps and some are just a joy to spend time in. Burlingham Woods comes into the latter category. I have only been there three times, all at different times of the year, and each time I'm overwhelmed with how peaceful the place feels. Anyway enough of my hippy, tree-hugging ramblings, the point is, I love the place so it was great to go back and do another shoot there. Last time I visited was Spring, and the woodland floor was carpeted with wild Daffodils, this time the heavy Summer canopy was still on the trees, giving the place another feel entirely for the shoot....which was another family one; Mum, Dad, daughter and son, (one of which was keener than the other on having photos taken), but with the freedom to roam and enjoy the woods, it's quite easy to change a boy's opinion on being a model! The little lady on the other hand was (I was told afterwards) smitten by the session, loving every chance to pose for the camera. Mum and dad did join in for a few group shots, but typically in these shoots are more than happy to have the kids take centre stage.
It was an enjoyable hour spent walking through the woods, stopping to capture family images, some of which you can see below. Much fun was had by all.


Who doesn't like to have a little lean on a gate every now and then??


I have no idea what he said, but boys will be boys...!


My more than willing model for an hour


A conversation about Minecraft and this is the result


The end of the trail, the final image of the shoot.
Burgh Castle (There and Back Again)
24th September 2014 - 0 comments
So I headed off to Burgh Castle ruins, a popular Summer location for my photo shoots with the intention of a relaxing family shoot with some returning customers....and that's how it started anyway. Mum, Dad and three children who were enjoying the long meadow grass and the beautiful warm sunshine. I was working through the children's shots...then disaster struck, in the form of hayfever. It seems that Burgh Castle is pretty potent in that department, and we had two of the family suffering from red, itchy and streaming eyes, so we had no choice but to abandon the session.
I can't leave a job half done, so once we managed to synchronise diaries, it was off to Burgh Castle again, but this time to a family relative's fantastic back garden. No hayfever issues this time, and the shoot ran like clockwork. The children were just brilliant (and some what excited too) which is always a bonus. What I liked most about this session, was seeing how the children have grown up and changed since the last shoot we did a couple of years back, it's always a nice feeling...


The whole point of the shoot was to update the family group photo, which we managed second time around.


This one from Burgh Castle before the pollen did it's worst.


Peek-a-Boo...!


This shot was easy as pie to get...bless her!
Vicky
14th September 2014 - 0 comments
A beautiful late summer evening at North Beach, Great Yarmouth was the setting for my second 'Redhead' model shoot....and I'm on going to repeat that opening line...'A beautiful late summer evening'. Why the repetition? Well, for my own satisfaction really. The last two such shoots I've attempted were dismal failures in the weather conditions/light department, so this was a pleasant change to say the least.
When I initially imagined shooting redheaded models, this was exactly this kind of evening I was hoping for. So I had no excuses this time, no need to have to try something different from what I had imagined back in March when the idea was born.
Modelling for me on this occasion was the lovely Vicky. She is no stranger to modelling, having done a number of shoots before having to endure my attempt at a photo-session.
The final images were far beyond what I had hoped for, so to say I'm chuffed with how they turned out is an understatement to say the least!
Please note: These kind of sessions are available as a Standard Portrait Location Shoots. Currently priced at £50. For further details or to contact me to book your session click here



We started the shoot around the boating lake near the Waterways…



..before moving onto the dunes North Beach



I love this one, the red hair really stands out against the other pale tones in this image



With such fantastic backlighting, shooting contra jour (or into the light) was a must


I like the contrast of the red against the green of the dunes in this one.


We finished with a faux sunset silhouette.


These kind of sessions are available as a Standard Portrait Location Shoots. Currently priced at £50. For further details see here