NEWS/BLOG

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

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Brograve Mill (Landscape Shoot)
06th May 2013 - 0 comments
Looking back over my computer hard drive I noticed that during 2012 I only managed one solitary afternoon taking landscape photographs. This was for two reasons, the first being very busy with the portrait work and another the awful weather. I made a promise to myself to get out and do more this year, and I'm already on shoot number three, so far so good!
For this shoot, I teamed up with fellow photographer Terry Lewis, to show him Brograve Mill, which is close to Horsey in Norfolk. I'd visited Brograve on two occasions before, neither which much success. This derelict mill is one which attracts a lot of photographic attention, and this day was no different. There was already a snapper in place shooting images as we arrived. Having checked with him that we wouldn't be in his shot, we wandered further along the cut to shoot the mill from further away. Being mid-afternoon, the light was still a bit flat. so the two chosen images were converted to mono to give them the interest I wanted. Next time we visit will be in the soft evening light, where I hope to bag a fantastic colour shot.




Gorleston Beach - Landscape Shoot
06th May 2013 - 0 comments
I'd bought myself a new set of filters, so I had to try them out didn't I? The weather was bitterly cold, dull and windy, far from ideal for the traditional landscape images, but perfect for long exposures.....
My favourite image from that shoot (or more accurately the only one I've had time to process) was this four minute exposure. Too achieve this I used a 10-stop ND filter and 2-stop ND Grad, along with a warm hat and gloves!!

Simple Boudoir
05th May 2013 - 0 comments
My latest Boudoir shoot was a simple one. By that I mean there was no makeover with this one The client chose to do her own hair and make-up, and, as expected, did a fantastic job. Simple too because all the images were shot in natural daylight, through two windows in the same wall. Just the way I like it.....
Now nerves are always part of these types of shoots, mostly from the client, but I haven't seen anyone so nervous as I did when I arrived for the session. The nerves didn't last long, a bit of a chat, talk through what would happen, and a few shots in, they had disappeared completely. In fact, I would be so bold as to say the lady enjoyed the experience. Looking back after the shoot, she tells me, she wondered what all the fuss was about!







This initial attack of the jitters had me thinking about why many women would love the idea of having a shoot done, but are too nervous to book, or even enquire.
Whenever I post Boudoir images online, it is with the express permission of the client, and is always anonymous. I know this lady is well known locally to a number of people, and she even posted images on her own Facebook page, but a promise is a promise...no names!
I have written a blog piece to help explain the boudoir shoot process and to alleviate some of the issues ladies may have with having a shoot done Boudoir - Too Nervous To Enquire
At Home With Harriet
05th May 2013 - 0 comments
A slightly direction with this baby shoot, in that it featured proud parents as well as young Harriet. Admittedly, I don't do many of these kind of shoots. Not many parents are keen to jump in front of the camera with their new arrival, so it's a nice change to capture images of the family group together.



Deposit Payments
22nd April 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Unfortunately I have had a few incidents over the past six months or so, where I have had clients that have booked a portrait session, cancel at the last moment without a reasonable excuse (such as illness), leaving me unable to fill that slot with another customer on my waiting list.
Whilst I find this frustrating, I feel more strongly that it is very unfair on those people that are waiting for a portrait shoot of their own. Available slots for our Location Portrait Shoots are at a premium, this due to the limited amount of times when conditions are ideal for portrait shoots, so people cancelling at a moments notice only serves to make my waiting lists longer.
Regretfully I will now be asking for a non-refundable deposit payment to secure every booking made. This will be £25 for one-off sessions, and £40 for combined sessions, such as Newborn & Bump.
I have always avoided asking for a deposit payment in the past, but now the weather is improving and daylight hours are getting longer, my waiting list will be growing, and I would hate for people to miss out on a slot because of someone else's inconsiderate behaviour. I hope you all understand why I have had to do this.

Thank you!

Martin
New Boudoir Package Details
01st April 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
We're please to announce two new boudoir photography package to compliment our Simple and Makeover Boudoir sessions.

Group Boudoir Package - From £60 per person* (Minimum age limit 18 years old)
A great start to a 'Girls Night Out' or 'Hen Day', or even just a few friends wanting a pamper and a catch-up, this package is for four to six ladies (for larger parties please contact for advice) in a home location, each will receive a mini-makeover (due to time constraints this is make-up only), an individual mini-boudoir shoot of around 30 minutes, and a free 12x8 print to be chosen from ten fully edited proofs. They will also receive a discount voucher which can be redeemed against a future booking of either our Simple Boudoir, Makeover Boudoir or Makeover Location Portrait packages.

*Prices as follows for parties of; Four £70pp (Total £280) Five £65pp (Total £325) Six £60pp (Total £360)



Mini-Simple Boudoir Package – £75 (Minimum age limit 18 years old)
A scaled down version of our Simple Boudoir Package. A shoot of up to one hour with your free 12x8 print chosen from up to 12 fully edited image proofs.

To enquire or book a free, no-obligation boudoir consultation, please complete the enquiry form on our Boudoir & Makeover Page
Boudoir...To do or not to do?
21st March 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
As you may have seen, I have recently been working with a local burlesque dancer/teacher Frenchie Debonaire on some promotional images. The final shots were published on the performer’s Facebook Fan page, and the attention, fair amount of praise from most that had seen them, was very surprising, and also very flattering. This, however, wasn’t the only result of the images being made public. There was talk and hints from some ladies to have such shots done of their own. This has led me to consider the subject in question, which, I believe, is one of the most beautiful forms of portraiture, boudoir photography.

So what is Boudoir Photography?
The “boudoir style” typically captures sensual or sexually suggestive images of women (or occasionally men and couples) in a photographer’s studio, luxury hotel or the client’s own home. The most common form of contemporary boudoir is to take a number of posed or candid shots of the subject partly clothed in in lingerie, any nudity is normally implied and not explicit.

Why do women want to have boudoir images taken?
Being a man, I have a distinct disadvantage in answering this, so having read through some books, online articles and boudoir websites, it seemed most mentioned reasons are as a present for husbands or boyfriends on anniversaries or wedding days, to show off a new look such as after weight loss or plastic surgery. However, not much is mentioned about the real benefit of a boudoir session as I see it….

Why should women have boudoir images taken?
Whilst working with Ms FD, I have discussed the subject of burlesque, what it is, what classes on the subject actually teach and what the students get from those classes. In an age where ordinary people are often comparing themselves to the latest in vogue size 8 celebrity or male sports star, it is hardly surprising that a lot of people, both women and men have hang ups and insecurities about themselves and in particular their bodies. The biggest result of these classes, therefore, is an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem. Exactly the same can be said about having a boudoir photography session. Women should have these kinds of photos taken to emphasise their beauty, sensuality and their power, with the resulting images bringing an increased confidence and self-esteem.

I have had experience of shooting boudoir images, and have found the women that have had the shots taken say that initially they were very nervous, which is understandable, but afterwards, particularly after viewing the images, did experience the ‘feel good factor’ and some have even said it could become very addictive! Surprising? Maybe, but what could be better than having a pamper session with a stylist/make-up artist, a glass or two of something bubbly followed by a photo session to show how wonderful you truly are?
In short the message is, “Love the skin you’re in and give it a go……what have you got to lose?”
Boudoir...Too Nervous To Enquire?
21st March 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
About a year ago, I posted a blog piece called Boudoir…To Do Or Not To Do? In it I outlined what Boudoir photography is and why I think every woman should have a shoot done. This is fine, but of course it doesn't help in the 'too nervous to enquire' stakes does it?
You see I've noticed this trend. I do a Boudoir shoot, I post some images, the lady in the shots is more than happy, her friends are very complimentary, and I get feedback along the lines of "I love these…I wish I could have some done"…or "my friend wants some of these done, she loves them!!" I ask politely to get them to contact me to arrange a meet….but alas I usually receive nothing….
It's been a bit of a mystery to me as to the high amount of interest I receive regarding the boudoir images from women, and more than a fair few are keen to have them done, but they never actually go so far as to enquire, let alone book. I've asked a few ladies why they think this is happening. There are a few common reasons, but I'll address them later, as I think if I explain the process of our Boudoir shoots, then a few fears maybe dispelled along the way.

Pre-Shoot
Once an enquiry is received, I'll be in touch to organise a no-obligation consultation to discuss the shoot and the processes involved. From feedback I've received from those who have had shoots done, this first stage helped greatly with settling down nerves related to the shoot. The meeting is with myself, Rachel (the Make Up Artist) and, of course the client, and the client's partner, should they so wish to hear how things work. During this meeting, we go through a short questionnaire which will establish, amongst other things, the client's comfort levels, the reasons for having the shoot done, and, crucially, areas of their body which they are and aren't happy with. I also explain in detail how the various shots are achieved, without me see much of anything! The make-over, if one is required, is discussed with Rachel, where the customer's preferences are taken into account. Then I will talk through the shoot itself and what happens. During this part of the meeting, I make sure I outline my professional working practice. This involves my 'no-touch' policy, all my directions will be verbal or, if all else fails, I will demonstrate a pose, much to everyone's amusement. If adjustment of clothing, hair or make-up is required, this is carried out by Rachel, with permission from the client.
Another point that will be discussed is Rachel's other role. She also acts as the female assistant and stays with me until the shoot is finished. If the client opts for a Simple Boudoir shoot, where no makeover takes place, then I will ask that the customer arranges to have a female friend at the shoot location with them during the session. Depending on how the subject feels they can be in or out of the room while the shots take place. I will not carry out a shoot without a chaperone in place. If the client is still happy that she wants the shoot done, it's only at this point will we proceed with the booking.
A day or two before the shoot itself, I will contact the client by email, to outline a few ways to prepare yourself on the day of the shoot.

The Shoot
The day of shoot itself may start with the client feeling a few nerves, but a girly chat with Rachel whilst she has the makeover is the perfect settler. Once our lady is suitably transformed, and before any clothing changes are done, I will go through the poses. This gives the subject a chance to have a quick practice and for me to offer any advice before a shot is taken. I will leave the room whilst the client prepares herself, and will only return once she is in position. I'll then take the shots, and leave the room again whilst the lady dons a robe or something similar to go over the top of their chosen lingerie outfit. This process is repeated again for each location, clothing change or posing set, until the shoot is finished.
Previous shoots tell me once the first set of shots have been taken, the initial nerves have usually evaporated, and the client begins to enjoy the experience.

Too Nervous To Enquire??
Of course everyone is different, what thrills one person, scares the life out of somebody else, so the following reasons are very generalised, but probably resonate with some of you reading this. All of the issues that were raised are perfectly understandable, and I don't intend to belittle them at all, but with a little knowledge of how the shoots function, it might help change minds...

Feeling Exposed
I'll start with the big one…..the most frequent reason seems to be the sheer terror of having to stand in front of a photographer (man or woman) wearing a lot less than they would normally.
I was concerned about this being in front of a male photographer, but the gender doesn't seem to be an issue.
What I say is this….. there are some approaches I use which help this problem. Firstly, be assured everything I do is in a professional manner. I don't gawp or stare. When I'm looking at the subject, I'm viewing the final shot, not trying to catch a sneaky peek at something I shouldn't be. Secondly, as previously mentioned, I direct the subject and explain where and how I want to pose whilst they are still wearing a robe (or similar) over their attire. I leave the room and return once the client is happy, take the shots, leave the room again whilst the subject gets herself comfortable again.
The best solution for this issue is for the client to dress or cover up as much or as little as she is comfortable with. This may change as the shoot goes on, but I leave this entirely up to the subject and never push the boundaries. I have had a lady that has had the entire shoot done in a robe with lingerie underneath. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it's the client's comfort that is important at all times.

My size/shape isn't right for Boudoir....I need to lose weight first.
Sadly this issue will never go away. We've all seen the magazines with images of skinny models adorned throughout them, where we are told to believe that this is the true norm. It isn't. If the client has a particular area of their body that they would like avoided or de-emphasised, then this is discussed at the pre-shoot meeting. Armed with this information, I will pose the lady to suit her requirements.

Honestly, there is no 'right' shape or size for Boudoir, there is only you and the celebration of your beauty.

The 'Partner Factor'….
"I'm keen, but my partner/husband isn't." This is a difficult one. It's natural that a man may be suspicious of another man bearing a camera, shooting what are, after all, personal images of their partner. If this is the case, I would encourage the partner to join in with the pre-shoot meeting, where, I can help dispel the myths of a Boudoir shoot, to demonstrate I am a professional through and through, and show the kind of final images that can be expected. I can also involve the partner in what images they would like to see of their better half. After all, if both the client and their partner are comfortable with the process, then the whole experience will be more enjoyable.

The Photos Of Me Won't Turn Out How I Hoped
There are two sides to this one, firstly, is the self-confidence issue. This is the precise the reason I offer a Boudoir shoots, to reverse that feeling and make the lady feel great about herself. How you look in the shots themselves, is down to our skills as a photographer and make-up artist, then just take a look at our Boudoir Gallery to judge whether we're good enough for you!

Final Word
Shooting any type of people imagery successfully is basically down correct posing, camera work and lighting, coupled with a good interaction between subject and photographer. As a team, we are very approachable and easy going, our friendly, fun style is sure to banish any nerves and turn the experience into something very enjoyable. Every lady that had had a Boudoir shoot with us, has said that they think every woman should do it…so who are we to argue with that?!

If you are interested in having a Makeover or Boudoir shoot done, then please contact me via the Makeover Page, (or comment form below) and I'll arrange a no obligation consultation with. You can discuss the shoot, worries and concerns with us and if you still are not happy, then don't book, no pressure!
Looking forward to hearing from you!!
Weather, Wobbles and Product Lines....
18th March 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Given the current long drawn out winter we're currently experiencing, I can understand perfectly why people are reluctant to want to book up a location portrait session. To be fair, it's not much fun for anyone standing out in a bitterly cold wind trying to look relaxed and happy. From a business point of view, it's another kick in the teeth from Mother Nature. Last spring we experienced a period of very beautiful, warm, dry sunny weather. My initial optimistic outlook for a busy summer turned out to be short lived, with widespread hose pipe ban soon triggering the mother of all wet summers. Great!
I was busy, but I could have been much busier. I received umpteen enquiries with the promise to book "when it stops raining", but it just didn't stop!
The problem I have is this. I specialise in outdoor portraiture, shooting images of mainly children and families. I do this because I have a firm belief that these type of sessions are more relaxing for children and parents alike, due to the fresh air and wide open spaces. Relaxed subjects give us better images, everyone wins…..Only if it rains and blows or is too cold, it isn't fun, and no-one is relaxed...so sessions get postponed.
Once a couple of weeks go past with nothing to show for the booked shoot but a reallocated date, it can be very easy to think about re-thinking my product line.
I can't help thinking that I should offer family studio style portrait shoots along with the outdoor ones. Weather proof the situation. but to be honest, whenever the thought of offering large indoor shoots crosses my mind, I think back to a family portrait session I was part of. I wasn't the photographer, in fact it was before I started up in business. It was a shoot our family were having done as a present for my grandparents, and involved myself, my wife, Mum, Dad, two sisters, brother-in-law, two babies and a toddler…..all in a studio…a very hot, airless studio…..on a rainy day….welcome to Hell! That experience has been etched in my memory, probably forever. The result of me offering anything similar would be a million miles away from my goal of a relaxed portrait session. A family of five squeezed into their front room trying to look happy and chilled??
I think I've got it right. I'll only offers packages that I love to shoot. Babies, boudoir, fine art portraits of individuals are all indoors, absolutely. Anything else and outside we go…all I have to hope for is that it will stay dry on the occasional weekend..please!!
Portrait Session Giveaway
12th March 2013 - 0 comments
Here's how one of lucky Facebook page Liker can win a Standard Location Portrait Package. All you have to do is answer this simple question.....

On Friday 8th March we announced that once we reached 400 Page likes we'd give away a portrait session. We also told you how many likes my page had at that time. What was that number?
a) 386
b) 368
c) 268

To enter:
1. You must have 'Liked' our Facebook page to be eligible. (If you haven't go over to our FACEBOOK PAGE and hit that LIKE button!)
2. Then if you could please complete the comment box below with your name, email address and enter your answer in the comment box. Closing date midnight Monday 25th March. Names of all those that have answered correctly will be entered in to a draw to select the winner. The winner will be notified by email after the closing date.

Please note: no email addresses will be recorded other than to notify the winner.

Terms and Conditions
i The shoot must be taken within a 10 mile radius of NR31 8AX.
ii You must be over 16 to enter.
iii One entry per household.
Adorable Archie
07th March 2013 - 0 comments
My second Newborn shoot in just over a week starred the adorable Archie. Once again my subject was a handsome, well behaved chap who made the shoot very straightforward. Archie was so relaxed, he even dropped off to sleep halfway through, and managed to stay asleep during some shots taken on his Daddy's shoulder.






Back to Burgh Castle
07th March 2013 - 0 comments
Another shoot at the ever popular location that is Burgh Castle Fort. It's a winner because it's within easy reach for a lot of local clients, and boasts wide open spaces for children to run around in, and for me, offers a number of backdrops to keep everyone interested. For this shoot another key reason was it's lack of sand....not everyone likes a beach!
So let me introduce Adam and Ella, with their cousin Zac, who joined me at the ruined fort on a typical grey, cold winter day. Despite the chilly conditions, we all had fun, particularly the gate balancing game towards the end of the shoot, which proved to be more difficult than I first anticipated!!










Meet Teddy
06th March 2013 - 1 comment
Being a father myself, I think it's always special to capture images of a new arrival into the world.....I had the privilege of meeting the very handsome Teddy, who was just eight days old at the time of the shoot. Of course working with young children and babies can be problematic at times, but not in this case. Teddy was one calm cookie, and was more than happy to lay on his blanket while I snapped away....










Brothers, Sisters and Golden Sunlight
27th January 2013 - 0 comments
Fritton Woods in autumn can be is fantastic for colour in the right conditions.
I was lucky enough to do two shoots on the same day at this special location. The sun was very bright and low which made conditions for shooting a touch tricky, but with the use of some shaded spots, I could get even lighting coupled with the superb autumnal backlighting.
Both shoots were booked with the resulting prints to be given as Christmas presents, which is why I haven't posted anything until now.....

First up were sisters Shelley and Kerry, two attractive, grown-up women, this should be easy I thought...!! I spent a lot of the shoot amused by their constant belief that they would look awful on any photo! Of course I knew this just wasn't true, and I think in the end even they were surprised at the results.
The main shot is my favourite image, composition and the beautiful soft backlight makes this a winner for me.











The next shoot was far more energetic, brothers Jaden and Oliver, in their cool get up were experiencing their first taste of posing for the camera. It's always nice to see how siblings interract together. There is always a special dynamic, which, if you are lucky, can produce some wonderful imagery that displays it. I was fortunate enough to capture just that sort of image. The main shot shows the contrasting characters superbly, he cool, calm older brother and his energetic younger sibling.
Quality!!








Burgh Castle...eventually
27th January 2013 - 0 comments
2012 was an interesting study in meteorology, if you like that sort of thing. It also showed the power that a hosepipe ban can have over the weather too, i.e. announce one in Summer and watch it rain for the rest of the year!
This photo shoot was victim to the weather on too many occasions. The first attempt had to be abandoned half way throuth because of the wet stuff, and two rearrangements were postponed before we started. Eventually though it did happen, even then it was very grey and cloudy.
This was a first for me...the first time I'd shot portraits of identical twins. Namely Thomas and Jack, along with little sister, Hannah. I know people close to them could tell them apart, but me? No way!! They were even dressed the same, I mean, what chance did I have??
Still, with guidance from Mum, I got there in the end. Hannah was a star as, like most girls, she couldn't wait to have her photo taken, but the boys were fantastic too. Teenage lads and photo shoots don't generally go hand in hand, boys of a certain age aren't normally too comfortable in front of the lens, so hats off to them...Well done boys!!








Newsletter Subscription
24th January 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
In short, I'm struggling get my updates out to those that may be interested in what I have been and will be doing. This is partly due to an unnamed, large social media site, that seems keen to close down it's free channels in favour of those that need to be paid for.....
So, I'm plannning to start sending out an email Newsletter peroidically to those who want to keep up to date. I can assure you, that it won't be 'War and Peace' every other day, but a few articles every four to six weeks. There will also be the occasional exclusive offer or giveaway for subscribers to the newsletter.
So to subscribe please click on the link below which should ping up an email message to send to me. All you need to do is enter your name and click 'send'. Thank you!
Click here to Subscribe

 
Twitter Competition
24th January 2013 - 0 comments
Prize Draw!! One lucky follower can win a location portrait shoot. Follow us @mjpphotos and Tweet us with #portraitmjpp to be entered!

Twitter Competition Terms and Conditions

The prize is a Location Portrait Package A1 as described on our
Website and subject to the usual terms and conditions.
The session must take place within a 10 mile radius of UK postcode NR31 8AX.
Closing date for entries is midnight 4th February 2013.
The draw will take place during the week following the closing date.
The winner will be notified via twitter shortly after the draw has taken place.
2013 - A Chilly Start
19th January 2013 - 0 comments
Samuel and his mum Natasha were the subjects of my first shoot of 2013. It was a rather chilly affair, snow free, but it certainly felt like winter on Gorleston Beach last weekend. The Easterly wind in this part of the world is particularly lazy, selecting not to go around you, but instead right through you. So the order of the day was to inject a bit of energy into proceedings to keep everyone warm, well except yours truly. I wouldn't have lasted five minutes trying to keep up with my two subjects! A few Mother and Son races seemed to do the job. Despite Samuel coming a close second each time, he was sporting enough to reward Mum with a congratulatory kiss....











Landscape Canvas Competition Winner...
08th January 2013 - 0 comments
As you may have seen recently, I have been running a competition for one lucky winner to claim a free canvas print of one of my landscape images.

To be in the hat I asked you to answer the following question correctly;
Back in September I shot a sunset image of a local mill, which mill was it?
To which the answer was Turf Fen Mill

The winner is Lisa Cowan, who will receive a high quality stretched canvas of up to 20"x14" of the landscape image of her choice, chosen from our Landscape gallery.
Congratulations Lisa, we will be in touch soon with details of how to claim your canvas!

Thank you to all those that entered, please keep checking my Facebook page and this website for future comps and giveaways!!
Happy New Year
31st December 2012 - 0 comments
In: Blog
I'd like to wish all my customers and friends a very Happy and Healthy New Year.
Looking forward to seeing you in 2013!!