2016 - Portraits in Review

02nd January 2017
In: Blog
Happy New Year!!
It's that time of year again when I have a quick look back at the past 12 months, before moving excitedly into 2017, and whatever photo opportunities it may bring.
In previous years I've shown you all sorts of huge lists, but to challenge myself (and my powers of decision making) this year I went for my top five….after not too long trying this number, I realised I'm not so good at being brutal, so changed it to my lucky seven…before we head to the images here's a brief summary of MJPP in 2016.

Portfolio Building

Although I continued with my family photo sessions as usual throughout 2016, my focus was switched slightly towards Senior Portraiture, and a number of model calls to boost my portfolio. It's another sub-genre of my family portraits which I'm offering in 2017. I'm not a huge fan of the American invasion that we are gradually suffering, but this idea (with my British twist) is one I do quite like…well love really! I've linked the blog posts for each of the sessions featured below, including the senior sessions, so you can find out what they are all about.

Business Improvements
I implemented a lot of changes to MJPP in 2016. Many behind the scenes, with others more obvious. I introduced my new pricing and collection setup with the final adjustments being rolled out in the Spring of 2017.
Part of my workflow was modified to streamline products ordering for my clients, I now offer in-person proof reveals with product ordering with every client session. It was introduced to help customers pick exactly what they wanted, with me on hand to offer advice. It actually saved my clients money!
2017 will see more improvements which i will keep you posted on in due course

Onto the images. They, as tradition dictates, will be in reverse order.

No. 7
This close-up of Olivia, a senior portrait starlet. shot on a breezy Gorleston Beach.
I chose this shot because I am a big fan of close crops because you see the subject's eyes and whatever they are revealing. This image is all about Olivia's fantastic blue eyes and her wonderful personality shining through them.

Read all about this photo session in this blog post called simply 'Olivia'

My obsession with redheaded models continued in this session featuring Amber. I had the huge privilege of photographing Amber at the wonderful gardens at Somerleyton Hall.
It's the contrast between Amber's beautiful red hair and the purple flowers and the background make this image sing for me. Her facial expression is great too, bordering on enigmatic.

Images and words about Amber's photo session can be seen here

Back to another Senior photo session, this one was with Emily at a very popular haunt of mine, Burgh Castle Roman Fort.
Why did I include this image? Simplicity. This image is typical of what I strive for in a portrait image. Simple, relaxed and uncluttered. It's all about the person in front of the camera, and, as I mentioned before, revealing a bit of who they to the photo's viewer. This beautiful shot of Emily ticks all the boxes for me.

Further photos can be seen in the accompanying blog post Another Stunning Senior

An extended family photo at Gorleston Beach. This session was great fun to be a part of. There was a time when a session like this would have filled me with a bit of fear, but those days are long gone. Experience is a wonderful thing!
How did this shot make it into my top 7? I won't lie, even using all my tricks in a session, as a photographer there is always a need for a bit of luck when a group contains a few younger children, you just never know what will happen. I need not have worried, the children were spot on throughout, without that happening this fantastic group shot of three generations walking towards me would never have occurred.

Read the blog post Family Is One Of Nature's Masterpieces

Another Senior session image makes an appearance, this time Abby and her shoot at Gorleston Pier. All these senior sessions featured girls that have had no modelling experience, and all did tremendously well, including Abby.
I moved away from my more traditional natural outdoors backdrops (woods, meadows and beaches) to an urban feel, using the various areas around the Pier at Gorleston. Like a vast majority of my shots, this one was thought up on the spot. The bandstand uprights provided a frame in which Abby could stand, allowing her to do what she does best, look wonderful.

See more of Abby's session in An Urban Twist

Clara kicked off my senior portrait sessions earlier in the summer, in an interesting hour at Fritton Woods. I admit that I was unsure whether these shoots would work, but any doubts were knocked for six after this.
Clara was just brilliant, and was so easy to photograph. read the blog post A Run For The Sun to see what we had to contend with during this session. One of which can be seen in this image…mozzies. Clara's pose and expression, and indeed the feel of the whole image is intriguing and stands out from a very strong set of shots.

I had to finish with this wonderful family image taken at Burgh Castle in the summer. The late evening lighting was just perfect, and gives the shot a beautiful warmth. The star of the photo is clearly the little lady starting her travels. The initial set up was a relaxed group shot, with our girl sat nicely on Dad's knee (I did get this one in the bag) but then she decides that standing up and going for a walk is more fun. Who was I to stop her? It's those situations that you have to be ready for, the unplanned, 'in-the-moment' images are to be embraced.

See more of the this stunning family session in A Beauty At Burgh Castle

Something A Little Different

As well as the Senior work, I carried out a couple of interesting commissions that I was asked to do and found difficult to turn down. They aren't my normal kind of shoots, but certainly I enjoyed doing them.

First up is a wedding…yes, I know, I don't do weddings, but I was asked very nicely (and repeatedly) by Emma to photograph her big day. I couldn't refuse now could I? It was a great day,which I (and everyone ) enjoyed immensely, and if the truth be told, I enjoyed photographing the day too. Although I'm not so sure I would want to do too many more weddings!!
I've added a few of my favourites from the day

Next are my environmental portrait sessions with Sue. She contacted me to record her progress before competing in two body building events. I loved these sessions, and would certainly look to be doing more environmental work in the future, and not just gym and workouts either.

You can read more about the training shoots here in A Lady That Lifts and A NABBA Novice No More.

Looking forward….
I have a large number of enquiries and some bookings already for the New Year which I'm excited about carrying out. However I will be running a limited number weekend sessions in 2017 as I look to add further value to the personal service I already offer my clients. Enquiries and bookings can be made via my contact page. Looking forward to seeing you in 2017!

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