We started the month by taking the kids for a long weekend in Aberwystwyth to see some butterflies, catch some waves and of course, eat lots of ice cream.
Jessie & Nick were married in early June at the beautiful High Grosvenor House just outside of Bridgnorth, Shropshire. It was my first time shooting at this venue, but having already visited with the bride in the run-up to the day I already knew what an incredible space it was and would make a perfect location for an intimate summer wedding. With a full day in attendance, I was able to arrive in time to capture the bridal prep until the first dance, and with the weather on our side, and with a couple who were happy to let me whisk them away from their guests throughout the day, we were able to shoot numerous mini portrait shoots against the backdrop of the glorious Shropshire hills. As a business owner herself, Jessie made a point to make sure I photographed as many of the incredibly talented wedding vendors she’d booked, as possible and it was great to finally get to put some faces to the names of businesses I’d only known online. This wedding was a total celebration of the talent we have here in Shropshire, and it was an honour to be among them.
Balloons & sign: @feather.and.fox
Event coordination: @yourstrulyweddingevents
For our latest session for Shropshire Macarons, the main task was to create some 'flying macarons' for a large printed banner to accompany George's new logo design on a banner for his market stall. It's always exciting working with another creative, and being mindful of the graphic designer's needs meant I wanted my photography to be as versatile as possible.
Once the banner shot was complete I set about to create some styled shots, some of which were inspired by our forever-growing mood board and some I came up with myself. Between shoots, I encourage all of my returning clients to send over any ideas and inspiration they may come across, regardless of whether we have any active plans for a shoot. I then send them over to the Pinterest board I keep for that client and then next time we work together I have a personally curated selection of inspo images to work from.
For our most recent photoshoot with Pink Poppy Veils & Accessories, I finally got a grey paper seamless backdrop to accommodate Yvonne's cathedral-length veils and it made the editing process so much easier. As with our previous shoots, we kept the background the same mid-grey shade, to keep a consistent look on her Etsy storefront and social media and included various close-ups of different elements of the veils, from the edging to embellishments and even some close-ups of the different beading varieties, to give customers as much of a detailed look at all of the many different available options, as possible.
Baby Dom was christened at St Mary Magdalene’s Church in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, and WOW, what an absolutely beautiful location it was. Followed by lunch at the Atrium this was a wonderfully local celebration for a totally lovely family, their friends, and their gorgeous little boy was a great way to spend a Sunday.
Eisha & Anthony were married at the Wroxeter Hotel in May, surrounded by family and friends in a super laid-back celebration. I stayed for half of the day, from the prep until the wedding breakfast, but since I wouldn’t be there for the first dance, and since the space where said dance would take place was set up and ready to go, we decide to go ahead and fake it. And honestly, giving the couple a moment (almost) alone, practicing their dance to whatever song happened to be playing on the bar speakers, was so utterly romantic that I am now making it a part of any wedding I photograph, to have the couple practice their first dance while I photograph it.
Venue: The Wroxeter Hotel
Hair: Chloe Bradbury Hair
Cake: Merricakes Shrewsbury
Bridesmaid Dresses: The Only-Way Dress
Latest shots for Law Customs' custom lightsabers. The brief for this shoot was a darker background to contast the metallic sabers and glowing, LED illuminated blades. I also wanted to amp up the scifi vibes by elevating the sabers in a few shots, which I think turned out really cool.
My previous spotlight on white backgrounds proved to be really useful, not only for clients when making choices about the sorts of backgrounds they may want to use in their product photoshoots but also for me as a reference when educating clients on the different forms a white backdrop can take, so continuing right on from that I thought writing up a post focusing on lighting would be useful too.
Without light you can't have a photo, but the ways in which we choose to use light and shadow have a huge impact on the overall impression a subject gives and so the more deliberate we can be in the ways we light a subject or object, the more we can use lighting as a tool to make your images stand out and reflect your brand aesthetic.
Single Light Set-Up
1. Soft Light
Soft lighting is the one that most closely replicates indoor daylight, creating an even light on the subject with soft shadows.
2. Hard Light
Hard light creates hard shadows which create a dramatic contrast with the background. This lighting most closely replicates direct sunlight and is a really popular lighting style at the moment.
3. Flat Light
Minimal shadows with even lighting across the entire subject, flat lighting can be a bit boring for product photography, but the most flattering for portraits and modeled shots because it softens any lines on the skin.
4. Rim Ligh
Another dramatic choice, rim lighting is great for separating the subject from the background, creating silhouettes, and adding colour without lighting the entire scene in one hue.
5. Mixed Light
Using a mix of ambient light and artificial light (in this case daylight from a window and a rim flash) is brilliant when adding a little extra to an otherwise 'naturally' lit shot. In the above image, the window light creates a smooth, bright, even lighting while the rim light throws a highlight onto the label and adds extra highlights to the ripples in the water.
Lighting a subject from behind makes for a glowy, ethereal look which I personally love using when the opportunity arises.
Using natural light is an obvious choice for lifestyle images, though when working with a large number of products or where a large number of images are required, ambient light alone is guaranteed to create consistency issues as the clouds move across the sun and the sun moves across the sky. It is very pretty though.
7. Window light
Perfect for food photography, window light is often enough on its own, though factors such as the weather, time of year, and the space being worked within must be kept in mind as all of them will have an impact on how the light will behave in shot.
8. Outdoor light
Typically more reliable than indoor light but again is more suitable for small numbers of images or shots where lighting consistency isn't important.
9. Widow light pt2
A perfect illustration of the unreliability of sunlight in photography. This shot and image 7 were taken using the same light source, but from a slightly different angle and with a different background. But the time I'd changed the set-up, the sun had moved, the clouds had gone and the lighting was dramatically different. Had I been relying on sunlight alone, the 7th should have been near impossible to recreate should I needed to have gone back to it, and with so many clients coming back to add to their ever-growing collections of products months after a previous session and requiring identical photography to keep their shopfront consistent, natural light just wouldn't be an appropriate choice. HOWEVER it can be recreated beautifully. So if you like the look of natural light, that's okay! We just may need to fake it.
During the bank holiday weekend, we took a little trip down to Oxford to visit the Pitt Rivers Museum. I hadn't been since Chris and I were at college together and it's even more of a spectacular place than I'd remembered and naturally, I couldn't resist taking far too many photographs so thought I'd share them here. Whoever works as a museum staff photographer is living the dream!
In April I decided to put the school holidays to some good use and update some elements of my marketing kit, beginning with my price guide which now includes a far more detailed rundown of all of the different ways we can work together to give your brand a bit of added sparkle. Whether you're a returning client or planning our first ever shoot together, if you'd like to receive a copy get in touch!