Ruins, Cloud and Matching Shirts.

30th September 2014
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..




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