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


Boudoir Photography - Why it's for you
01st November 2015 - 0 comments

It's one of the most recent 'must haves' for women, appearing on many bucket lists, on things to do before I reach (insert milestone birthday here) lists and is gaining popularity daily. It's everywhere, but is still a complete mystery to many. It's frequently misunderstood, but helps women in ways that you wouldn't believe.
So, what is this 'it'?
Read More
Summer Part 5
11th October 2015 - 0 comments

The location may have been the same as the previous shoot I shared with you, even the weather was fairly similar, but the average age of the 'children' involved wasn't.... In fact they can't even be classed as children anymore. That in itself gives the shoot a whole different feel. I can interact verbally for starters and don't have to jump around in a deranged manner to get a reaction.

So we wandered around the beautiful ancient site, avoiding the strong breeze and strong low sun, to capture some family shots, and individual ones too. It was a genuinely relaxing hour or so I spent working on this shoot. I really lovely family who were all open to my direction, they even laughed at my weak attempts at humour…..well once or twice anyway!

With family shoots, it's always the parents that are happy to let the kids be photographed individually, but we can't be having that, can we? I got Mum to take centre stage on a few occasions, and I have to say, she was a natural in front of the camera. It's no surprise her children were equally as good too!

I quite often take this shot with the parents in the background, but flipped it around this time. I think it works really well…a little twist on the norm!

Summer Part 4
07th October 2015 - 0 comments

A family shoot at Burgh Castle is the subject of this latest instalment of my Summer blogs. A fine day, a fair walk through long meadow grass, two small children, mum and dad and a man with a camera….what could possibly go wrong….?

Fortunately, nothing went wrong. Why should it? I often hear the expression "Never work with children or animals" from parents after (or during) a shoot, particularly if they feel that their children aren't quite 'performing' as they think they should. To be honest, it never really bothers me. Children are children, they shouldn't have to 'perform' for the camera.

What my shoots are about is capturing personality through the lens. You can't expect direct eye contact from all or smiles on cue, I think you have to accept the moments for what they are. A record of a short period of time you spend with a family. Sure working on a shoot with younger children can be somewhat unpredictable and, to the casual observer, almost chaotic, as parents and photographer jump about like demented beings to catch attention, distract and cajole, but isn't that the fun part? It certainly is for me, and it beats an hour at the gym too!
This shoot followed the description above….much noise and hullabaloo, a lot of laughs, smiles and giggles…just perfect.

Summer Part 3
28th September 2015 - 0 comments

For this shoot (or more accurately shoots) I was back to Gorleston Beach to update the family album for yet another returning customer. This one was split over two sessions to accommodate the family diary, and each were similarly in conditions, which helped knit the two shoots together from an image point of view. A typically English summer evening greeted us on both occasions, dull with the threat of rain, nothing out of the ordinary! To be honest, they are my favourite conditions for a shoot. The clouds diffuse and flatten the light which gives an even light on the subjects….the only thing I had to deal with was the ever present breeze, again nothing out of the ordinary!

As ever with family shoots, there are elements of calm and activity to add variety to the images captured. A race between siblings is always entertaining, and the level of competition is always high. I can't divulge the result of the races I witnessed, I wouldn't want to start any arguments!

Boudoir Blog - Lady In Red
19th September 2015 - 0 comments
I tend to pick up much of my work through word of mouth, recommendations, and images seen through my social media platforms. With my Boudoir work is almost definitely always the case. It's quite a big step for many women to even pluck up the courage to enquire let alone go through with a shoot, quite often the deciding factor in having a Boudoir session themselves is that they have seen someone they know has had a shoot and enjoyed the experience too.

This shoot was no different. The eagle-eyed amongst you may recognise the backdrop to one of two of these photos, as this lovely lady's sister was the subject of a photo shoot earlier this year. I'll let you look through my boudoir gallery and news/blog section to see if you can spot who it is!
Although the location was the same, and there are similarities (requests of 'I would like a shot like that' etc) I tried to make the shoot feel different. After all, everyone is unique and to do a carbon copy of a previous shoot is not what I am about, and certainly not what the client would want!

Earlier the weather was very cloudy and dull, meaning I was looking at having to use artificial lighting for the photo session, but thankfully the sun did appear, meaning I could work with my preferred ambient lighting to produce these boudoir shots.

Shooting into the light helped produce the high key feel to the image above. Over exposing the background to white makes the whole shot far more simple in composition.

I love this particular image. It's a subtle twist on the classic 'lying down' pose, and the red lingerie just accents it perfectly.

Not looking at the camera is a must for some people. Not everyone feels comfortable looking into the lens, the Boudoir genre is perfect for these types of images.

If you are interested in a Boudoir shoot, please contact me through my Boudoir Web Page. There are also links to my brochure (which contains all the information you will need) and to the Boudoir gallery so you can see how fantastic many other ladies look in front of the lens.
Summer - Part 2
16th September 2015 - 0 comments

Next up I switched locations (and counties) heading off to Oulton Broad and, more specifically, Nicholas Everitt Park for a shoot with another returning customer. (there's a bit of a theme building here..) This shoot was a casualty of rain a week earlier, but eventually we met up to update the family album.

You really can't win with the weather. After suffering strong breezes and grey skies for much of July, this shoot rewarded me with unbroken skies and strong, low sunshine, meaning there was a bit of rethinking and reworking of positioning the subjects at times.

The brief was 'one or two' shots of the whole family, with a majority of the shoot to concentrate on the children. No problem, quite a common request. Not often do the parents want to be centre stage, or even on stage at all. Working with children can be 'interesting' at times, often unpredictable, but honestly is the most rewarding aspect of this job. Bringing their various characters out in the photos gives me the biggest buzz, and, in a way, is fairly straight forward, especially with the younger ones. There is no pretence, or concerns about self-image, what you see is what you get.

Summer - Part 1
13th September 2015 - 0 comments
Summer - Part 1
The summer…well what we had of one. Spring, quite frankly was a non-event, at worst it was and cold and windy, at best cold and breezy, so not much was done in the way of location portraits. I guess that is the way of things when you're relying on good outdoor conditions in this country. So I waited patiently for the warm weather to appear, but even the summer has been frustrating. A perpetual nagging wind (or strong breeze) which showed no songs of relenting. It was challenging to say the least, but of course not every day was a write-off as you'll see…

Back in July was a trip to Burgh Castle and a shoot for a family visiting from Singapore….(just wondering at this point if I can mention 'international' anywhere on my photography CV?) They were technically a returning customer, having bought a location photo shoot for their sister-in-law as a gift, and liked the photos so much they booked me for their shoot when they visited good old Norfolk.

Due to the time constraints I had to pick an evening for the shoot a few days in advance and hope that a weather postponement didn't rear it's head. Our luck held and away we went. Two brothers, Mum and Dad and Grandparents (not pictured here) too all enjoying the beautiful scenery and evening light. A bit of fun with the kids, and Mum and Dad even managed a few shots together in peace and quiet, fantastic. I thoroughly enjoyed the hour or so I spent with the family, so relaxed and happy to try things to help the photos show a bit of zing.

You can see more of my 2015 summer shoots soon, just keep your eye open for Part 2, which follows very soon.
Boudoir Packages - Updated Packages and Pricing
19th July 2015 - 0 comments
I'll be honest. Since starting the Boudoir packages I've struggled on where to pitch them. When I say 'pitch' I mean, pricing and products. People that know me understand that my driver behind the photography business I run is to produce fantastic images and photographs for my customers, money is my secondary concern, but being a business it's something I unfortunately have to consider. It's a balancing act between charging the right amount to suit my clients and their budget, and to suit me and all the work, time and overhead costs that go into producing the final photos. Boudoir itself also throws up the often heard question "What do you do with the images?" Do you display them, put them in a book in the bottom drawer or have them on your hard drive for viewing when you want to?
To answer those questions (and more), I decided not to second guess my 'marketplace', or as I like to call them, friends of my business, but instead I thought I'd ask them outright.
So I ran a brief survey, with eight cunningly thought up questions to ascertain the popular thoughts and requirements of my Boudoir community to see where they thought the package and prices should be.
Before I rattle on more, I'd like to thank all those that took the time out to help in this matter. Your answers were a great help to me, and very much appreciated.
The following price/package content has been based on the feedback I received. Although two packages have increased slightly in price, I feel have the value of the packages in terms of what you get for your money has improved greatly.

Proposed Pricing and packages (from 1st August 2016):
All package prices include: Boudoir consultation at the client's home prior to the shoot date, 20 miles travel costs, online private photo gallery for one month, image/product consultation after the shoot (if required).
Payments can also be received in three interest free instalments prior to the shoot date if required.

Eterno Breve (Mini-Shoot)
Price: £80.00
Shoot duration: up to 90 minutes.
Products as part of package: Five digital images c/w print licence and one 12x8 photo print.
(Note: Our budget package, the existing Breve package is for one hour with one 12x8 print OR one digital file only)

Eterno Intimo (Standard-Shoot)
Price: £175.00 (introductory price £135.00 until 30 Sept 2015)
Shoot duration: 2 hours
Products as part of package: Fifteen digital images c/w print licence and three 12x8 photo prints.
(Note: Our existing Intimo package includes two 12x8 prints OR 2 digital files)

Eterno Ultimo (Deluxe-Shoot)
Price: £300.00 (introductory price £270.00 until 30 Sept 2015)
Shoot duration: 2 hours
Products as part of package: Twenty-five digital images c/w print licence, three 12x8 photo prints and A5 lay-flat 'Little Black Book' containing your images.
(Note: Our existing Ultimo package includes digital images OR black book and no prints.)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the proposed package/price changes. Comments can be left below. That won't appear on here unless I approve them, so if you'd like them kept private, please say. Thank you!!
Portrait Blog - July 2015
06th July 2015 - 0 comments

Last Autumn I did a family shoot out near Herringfleet, which featured this young lady. Whilst editing the shots, I became more and more amazed on how natural she was in front of the camera, and what a wonderful expression she has too. You may (or may not) have noticed the images I choose to post online aren't always the big, happy smiley shots that parents (Mum's in particular) crave. Of course, I'm not adverse to a smile in a shot, it's just that I like the enigmatic expression, you know the one; the Mona Lisa look, the one which challenges the viewer to work out what the subject is thinking. To me, that kind of look in a photo or image is priceless it draws the viewer in again and again. So, keen to have THAT expression as part of my portfolio, I asked Mum if I could do another shoot with said young lady. Mum agreed and so here we are.
I chose my favourite portrait location, Burgh Castle, purely because the time of year promises the most stunning backdrops when the sun is setting, but this is good old Great Britain where the weather very rarely plays ball. Instead I was faced with a heavy cloudy sky, and no real sun. The breeze was light, which was some consolation, but my dream conditions remained just a dream! I may have mentioned this before now, but I always let the lighting conditions determine the editing style, even if I have a pre-conceived idea before any shots are taken. In cases like this I think monochrome shots work really well, with muted colour edits to add a different style.

Accompanied by Mum and big sister, we wandered through the Castle area down to the footbridge which leads to the nearby marina. There the shoot started (and stopped several times to let walkers pass by) using the bridge as the prop to try a variety of poses. We then headed up to the beautiful meadow grass areas inside and outside the fort walls, to finish the photo session. My model was superb (once again) and blessed the images with her wonderful expression.
The last few shots of the shoot were a bit of fun, where I was being 'shot at' with some flower heads from the meadow. Always nice to see a smile too…..

Share The Love - The Shoot
05th July 2015 - 0 comments

Some of you might remember that I ran a spot competition near to Valentine's Day called 'Share The Love'. Basically I announced the competition with no warning and participants had just 24 hours to enter by naming a friend, partner or spouse who they thought would love (and deserve) to have a Boudoir shoot. They also had to give a justification as to why they thought their nominee should win the shoot and the digital images that made up the prize.
The winner was Kelly, who was nominated by her husband. During the consultation for this shoot Kelly admitted that she didn't know what hubby had said to justify why she should win. Even now I'm not sure if he ever revealed this, so I won't divulge them now, but rest assured it was more than enough the claim the prize.

The shoot took place, as most of my Boudoir sessions do, at Kelly's home. I had to add light to the bedroom where the photos were being taken as the ambient light was well below what I needed, so out came the Lupo DayLED to illuminate the lovely subject of the shoot. At this point, I'd like to mention the size of the room we were shooting in for this session. Our model was concerned that the room wouldn't be big enough for the photos to be taken in. That said, it was around the average size space I have to work for boudoir shoots. Very few bedrooms have the luxury of being big spaces, so please don't be concerned that your room size may not be adequate, you'd be very surprised at what can be achieved in any area.

I was very impressed with Kelly and her attitude to the session. By her own admission she doesn't feel comfortable in front of a camera, however I didn't get that impression at all. Once the initial nerves had cleared I thought she came across as a pretty confident woman, trying things I didn't think she would have done after listening to her at the consultation. So well done to you Kelly. It just shows that it's all a state of mind, and that Boudoir isn't the scary prospect it might seem before the shots are taken.

Molly - Part 2
03rd June 2015 - 0 comments
The first time we saw Molly grace these pages was after her Boudoir shoot back in April. You may or may not know, that I have sponsored Molly for her entry in the Miss England Regional Finals for Norwich & District. At that time she was looking forward to her pageant. SInce then, I'm pleased (and proud) to say that Molly was placed second in the main event and won the regional Miss Social Media section, which I'm sure you'll all agree is a fantastic achievement. Molly has managed to go one better than this, by becoming England's Social Media Queen for 2015 AND qualified for the semi-finals of Miss England.
You can keep up with and help support Molly by following her Facebook Page Molly Spinks - Social Media Queen 2015

So onto the shoot. I chose Caister Beach, as it's local to Molly and a place I love to photograph. The evening was sunny and we were rewarded with some nice soft, warm light, and also a chilly breeze! Well, this is the UK, and I suppose we should count our blessings. Despite being cold, Molly did really well, once again she came across brilliantly on camera and was very relaxed and natural model.

The setting sun gave a warm feel to the shots captured, so it would be ludicrous to not show some off, but I do love the black and white images from this shoot too.

I'd like to thank Molly for modelling for me in both this and the Boudoir shoot, and wish her the best of luck for the Miss England semi-finals on 5th July in Newark.

This is one of a number of female location shoots I have coming up over the summer months. It's much like a Boudoir shoot in that it can be a great confidence booster for those ladies that feel Boudoir isn't for them. So if you are interested in having a location portrait shoot with me please view the Portrait Information webpage for prices, details and a contact form to organise a no-obligation consultation.
Red Is The Colour
29th April 2015 - 0 comments
My latest shoot was another Eterno Boudoir first….a redhead model, complete with a four poster bed. How could it possibly go wrong? (it didn't of course!)

It was an interesting start to the session, with yours truly being compared to Will Ferrell of 'Elf' fame. (I have never worn an elf suit in my life, so I think it must have been the hair….) Once the shock of being a lookie-likee was over, we settled into the photo-shoot, things moved along nicely. I used my Lupo light throughout, as the dull conditions outside meant ambient light was at a minimum. Using the continuous light tends to give a different feel to the images, and with the subject's red hair the shots turned out to be quite unique in style.

My model was great throughout the session; she posed really well, and I thought was really natural in front of the camera. This sounds like a small thing, but the posing of her hands was brilliant. It's quite a difficult aspect for people that haven't modelled before to deal with, as 'bad' hands can ruin an image. Well done to her!
My original edit was to be a set of colour images, purely because of the redhead aspect, but I tried a film type faded black & white edit on a few shots, which I think worked really well. I think stripping away colour from a photo is always a great way to capture the model's personality.

Until next time...

Outdoor Portraits - A Location Guide
22nd April 2015 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Where to go?
I am often asked to advise clients on where to have their shoots. There are a number of reasons people will prefer one location from another, these include personal reasons and attachments to a specific location.
To help customers select their location, or indeed book their shoot at the right time of year, I have complied a list of locations along with the details and pros and cons. This list isn’t exhaustive by any means, there are many other possibilities, I have shot in other places requested by various clients such as back gardens and open spaces local to them, but the following ones are the most frequently visited for my outdoor location shoots.

Best conditions for your shoot
Along with location, the actual conditions at the shoot are important to the final images produced. Whilst it is impossible to control weather, the chances of preferred conditions can be increased by selecting the right time of day for shoots to take place.
The most photogenic of conditions can be found during what photographers call the ‘Golden Hour’. This is the hour or so leading up to sunset where the light is usually very warm and soft. If this isn’t achievable or practical for the client, then the most favourable conditions are still, bright and overcast. Then any location can be used successfully. As a rule I will avoid shooting in the middle of the day, particularly in the summer when the sun is high in the sky, preferring late afternoon or early mornings, when the sun is much lower, making shooting much easier.,

Burgh Castle (Roman Ruins)
Description: Wide open fields with views of the Broads which have with long meadow grasses in summer.
Short grass from September to April. Other backdrops include the local Church and a small footbridge for something different.
Best time: Summer Evening.
Pros: Quiet, very picturesque, with multiple backdrops. Great for children to have a run about.
Adequate parking.
Cons: Not a place for Hayfever sufferers in Summer
The site is very exposed so windy days and bright sunny days can be a problem
There is a ten minute walk to the photo location.
Excess mileage cost: None

Gorleston Beach (Cliffs)
Description: Beautiful beach at the base of sandy cliffs with several location spots for different sets of images, including the cliffs, dunes and of course the sea.
Best time: Summer Late Afternoons/evenings.
Pros: Multiple backdrops. Quieter than the north end of Gorleston Beach.
Adequate parking. Short walk to the photo location
Cons: Can be windy and exposed. Can be busy on fine days making scenic portrait shots difficult.
Excess mileage cost: None

Similar to Gorleston Beach is Caister Beach (near Second Avenue)
Description: Similar to Gorleston in that there are several location spots for different sets of images, including granite reefs, dunes and the sea. There are also cliffs to the north, but there a ten minute walk to reach them.
Best time: Summer Late Afternoons/evenings.
Pros: Multiple backdrops.
Adequate parking. Short walk to the photo location
Cons: Can be windy and exposed. Can be busy on fine days making scenic portrait shots difficult.
Excess mileage cost: None

Great Yarmouth North Beach
Description: Beautiful beach with a wide expanse of sand dunes. The dune system gives areas seclusion, giving the impression of being on a deserted beach.
Best time: Summer Late Afternoons/evenings.
Pros: Quieter than South Beach and those areas near the piers. Secluded spots. Adequate parking. Short walk to the photo location
Cons: Can be windy and exposed. Limited back drops.
Excess mileage cost: None

Fritton Woods
Description: Mainly coniferous forestry site with limited open areas and a few different backdrops. Autumnal colours from September. The woods are fast disappearing, so how long this area remains as a viable photo-shoot location remains to be seen.
Best time: Late Autumn Afternoons.
Pros: Picturesque Autumn backdrop. Quiet. Sheltered from all but the strongest winds.
Cons: Limited off-road parking. Walk to the location is along dusty/muddy paths. Limited backdrops.
Popular with dog walkers and their occasional 'gift' they leave behind.
Excess mileage cost: None

Herringfleet Hills
Description: Two distinctly differing areas (woodland and open grassland) very close to each other.
In certain spots there is the backdrop of Herringfleet marshes and the Smock Mill.
Best time: Late Summer Evenings for grassland/ Late Autumn through to Spring for the woodland.
Pros: Multiple backdrops close to each other. Quiet. Locations are close to Car Park
Woodland area has fantastic trees to use for photo sets.
Cons: Limited Parking. Exposed area (grassland)
Excess mileage cost: None

Burlingham Woods
Description: A Variety of plantations joined by footpaths to explore. Each one has a different feel to it. Copious amounts of wild flowers in Spring.
Best time: Spring for display of wild Daffodils late Spring for carpets of Bluebells. Autumn for
Pros: Multiple woodland backdrops. Quiet. Some locations are close to car park.
Cons: Can be muddy in places. Very shady when trees are in full leaf.
Excess mileage cost: £5-00

For more information and to book your location shoot for 2015 visit my Portraits Page
20th April 2015 - 1 comment
Now those regular followers may notice one thing different about this item, that is that I have named my model. Usually they remain anonymous, but this shoot was a bit different…
I was asked by Molly to be her sponsor for her entry into the Miss England -Norwich & District Regional Final, which of course I was delighted to do. Details about the competition can be found on the Miss Norwich web page.
Part of the comp is a Beauty with purpose section, where the finalists have to raise money for a charity. Molly has completed two events already along with others in the near future. If you would like to sponsor her please visit her Just Giving Page
In return for my sponsorship, Molly would help me out by doing some promotion work, and as I take photographs the solution was simple… get Molly to model for me.
This Boudoir is the first of two shoots, the next one will be a location portrait shoot, so watch this space for that one.

Molly was an absolute star throughout; she took direction brilliantly, and was confident and so natural in front of the camera, it really made my job so very easy.
The only problem I had was whittling down the number of images to a handleable amount….there are some shots on the cutting room floor which could have easily made the final set, but part of the job is making decisions, and they're not always easy!
I would like to pass on a huge thanks to Molly for modelling and her Mum Rena for chaperoning. It was a really enjoyable hour (and a bit) because of you both.

If any is interested in having their own Boudoir shoot, please contact me through my Boudoir Page to organise your no-obligation consultation.

2015 Boudoir Blog - March
29th March 2015 - 0 comments
This lucky lady's mini-Boudoir shoot was a gift from her sister, and indeed shot at her sister's house too, as well as being supported through the photo-session by the said same only a sibling you can imagine the mood in the room. From where I was standing (and also kneeling and crawling) the atmosphere was great. Very light-hearted and jokey, which helps enormously with nerves. Now I know the client felt out of her comfort zone, as is usual, and of course perfectly understandable, but she handled things really well and showed no signs of nerves. If I'm honest, I think she relaxed into the shoot very well and quite quickly. Being a mini-shoot of just an hour it soon flew past, which was a shame, but all good things must come to an end.
Just a quick note on editing here….Although I do plan my Boudoir shoots for sets and poses, I never really have a fixed idea on the final mood of the image with regards to the edits. Normally it's a mix of colour images and black and white. My mono images are kind of a standard, but the colour is very dependant on the model, the room and of course the light. The edit I went for here are slighlty desaturated images but with a warm feel, which if truth be told, was what I saw at the time of the shoot.

What the client thought.
I usually post these testimonials at a later date, but fortunately have the chance to share this one on the blog, so here goes….
"Thank u Martin for helping me begin to find who I am.
My shoot was bought as a milestone birthday gift & a confidence boost into the beginnings of a new life chapter.
With very little self esteem, I was completely out of my comfort zone, but Martin, professional to the end, made the whole experience very relaxing & I can't believe the amazing results are actually me!
Thank u so much Martin, you have a true artistic talent."
Ditch The Mirror!!
27th March 2015 - 0 comments
In: Blog
My Boudoir shoots are all about boosting confidence and showing a woman just how fantastic they really are. I've read those kind of words many, many times over the years when I've written about Boudoir shoots. I won't apologise for that, because it is genuinely what I believe and does truly work....however....there will always be some women that still have body 'issues'. Now, I'm not going to belittle anyone's idea of how they see themselves. It's quite natural, all be told, looking at yourself in front of a mirror, there's plenty of time to spot and fret about flaws and imperfections. But what is perfect anyway? Is there such a thing? I doubt it. In fact I know there isn't. We are all unique, we are all different, so comparing yourself to others and your own idea of perfect is always going to end in tears, isn't it?.
Easier said than done I know, but we shouldn't we just listen when others pay us a compliment or are positive about us? I think never see yourself as others do.
Practically every woman I have photographed will list at least two things they don't like about their bodies, or indeed how they look, but does anyone actually notice? When I leave a Boudoir shoot, I'm never left with negative thoughts about the client or model. Instead I'm always struck by a positive; beautiful eyes, gorgeous smile, bubbly personality, they were fun, funny, smart, clever....etc etc. the list goes on, and I know I'm not alone in this. When you hear women talking about their friends and how they look it's the same thing, positives, "ah she's beautiful", "I wish I had her looks" ladies....give yourselves a break.....ditch the mirror and listen to what others might just be surprised!!
2015 Boudoir Blog - So it begins...
03rd March 2015 - 0 comments
After being busy on other aspects of the business during January, I got to shoot my first Boudoir of 2015 a week or two back. I travelled over the border to a sunny Suffolk with my trusty assistant Amy to capture some beautiful boudoir shots. On arrival I was greeted by a very happy and clearly relaxed lady, who, dare I say it, seemed quite excited by the prospect of the shoot. There were no signs of nerves here. As always it was fun as we worked through the photo set, plenty of chat and laughs throughout. The two hours soon flew by.
Conditions outside were bright (for the most part) and aided by a nice big window to let that glorious light in, I was able to shoot most of the images using my favourite ambient light. I did finish the shoot with some low key images, which I have recently started to incorporate into my Boudoir sessions.
Although I do have a shoot plan for each session, there is always scope for one or two opportunities as they arise. Amongst the more 'standard' poses were a few 'different' shots which I absolutely love. It only takes a slight change of angle to give a shot a whole new feel, and that was definitely the case here.
Enough chatter…onto the images, after all that's what you're really interested in!!

This lady preferred to avoid eyes to camera….

..which works really well in Boudoir.

This is a classic Boudoir pose, one which is requested by nearly every lady having a shoot.

One of my favourites from the shoot. The subtle, warm tones are beautiful and the pose is just fantastic.

One of the low key images I took to close the session.
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 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'