Striking a deal to get the shot

Alex wasn’t interested in having his photo taken, so I needed a strategy to encourage him to cooperate. Happily, one of the tricks up my sleeve worked a treat, enabling me to get him involved and even capture this joyful portrait. I still don’t know what the official term for this leaping heal-kick is. I’ve always called it a ‘Dick Van Dyke’ as, along with his decidedly dubious Cockney accent, this is what I most remember him for. When I …

Views of the Vale

This was captured at the end of a family shoot. We’d walked through the woods together, which I’ve found to be a really good way to get everybody very relaxed. As we left the woods we came across the edge of a hill, with a monument in front of us and Aylesbury Vale spread out at our feet. It was too good an opportunity to miss… I don’t head out on shoots with a planned shot list. I might have …

Ep.42 Portraits On A Cruise Ship? Things You Never Considered.

It’s just me for this episode: me, a microphone and my musings on creating portraits when on board a ship. When I first encountered the luxury cruise ship that was to be our home and business for the next month, I thought that creating images on board would be a simple extension of what we do here at the studio.  Of course, there are similarities but there are also innumerable unexpected factors to consider. Such as what happens when the …

Composition for book design

When book author Sarah Virág commissioned a set of headshots for her new book, I had no idea how her book designer would use them. In addition, her web designers would also use the images online, and they would be looking for something different. All I knew was that designer-friendly composition was key. Sarah is a confidence coach and writer. Her book and coaching business focus on helping people to have more confidence and live their lives to the full. …

When the puppy has other ideas…

So there I was, lying on the floor one (really) cold December day, capturing portraits of this family walking along with their new puppy. All of a sudden, the puppy hurtled towards me. What to do? React – quickly – and seize the opportunity for a totally different image: this one.   Families who rarely meet up during the year often make the effort to do so over the Christmas period. So, even though it’s too late to make sales …

Video: Indoor portrait of Megan using window light

Capturing a subject and her reflection for a gentle, indoors, window-lit portrait. What can you shoot when stuck indoors on a grey day? We had been planning for sunlight but when it didn’t show up, we took the opportunity to capture this window-lit portrait as part of our reflections series instead. In the video I talk about working with changing circumstances (and less than ideal lighting) and also how you can adjust your position to get a more visually impressive …

Video: A simple spring-themed portrait of Nikki in the studio garden

Bring context to your outdoor portraits by including foreground and background details. Sometimes you want your portraits to convey a sense of time and place. I was photographing our model, Nikki, in our beautiful studio gardens just as the spring colours (and daffodils – bleurgh) were starting to emerge among the flora. I’ve included some of those colours as out-of-focus details in the foreground, while others surround Nikki in the background. As a result, the portrait conveys the garden surroundings …

Video: Easy natural light garden portrait of Nikki

Being flexible when things don’t go quite to plan often results in the best images of all. Ah, British weather. Here’s what happened when all our best-laid plans went out of the window. You can either complain about it or get on with it – we opted for the latter and ended up with a beautiful portrait of our model Nikki, framed by out-of-focus lavender. Sneak behind-the-scenes with us as I talk you though the thinking behind the portrait.