"I've absolutely no idea if Grace Kelly could sing"
"Well given how stunning she looked it would be unfair if she had a world-class singing voice as well"
"Well you're an opera singer and I bet I could take a picture of you that looks like her"
My photoshoot with the mezzo soprano Alison Cripps was off to a flying start! Of course I wasn't really suggesting I could make Alison look identical to Grace Kelly - why would I want to do that? Portraits should try to show the underlying character of the person and certainly not make them into something they are not. In my mind it was more that the photographic style of the period portrayed by those iconic Hollywood pictures would suit Alison and portray her as the glamorous opera singer that she is.
So did I succeed? Well that's for you to judge ...
Would I photograph you like this? Well possibly, but only after we had discussed what style would best tell your story. Everyone is different and every photoshoot is unique, only that way can we create an image that is 'really you'. Would you like to work with me to tell your story through an image - then please do get in touch.
Judging a book by its cover or, in this case the circumstances in which it is turned into an audio book, is fraught with danger. Audiobooks read by Matt Addis such as 'Servant of Death' and 'Ordeal by Fire' have been a real tour de force and I jumped at the opportunity this week to witness him recording 'The Devil You Know' at Isis Publishing in Oxford.
Influenced perhaps by visions of the Abbey Road music studios my anticipation of a brightly lit studio and control room with loads of space was very far from the mark. The reality was a small cupboard like studio barely big enough to fit a chair in and a control room where sound decks and computer monitors vied for what little desk space there was with heavily marked up scripts.
But just as great photographs don't require the very latest equipment to create them neither does a great audio book require an expansive studio. The only thing that matters is the people and their dedication to creating great art. Whether it is the author, Sophia Holloway writing a fantastic book; the actor, Matt Addis giving voices to the characters; the sound engineer, 'Wolfie' using his technical wizardry; or all the other staff at Isis Publishing - each has a part to play in creating a successful book.
If the laughter, from the recording engineer, at some of the scenes in the book are anything to go by this audiobook should be a great success. The Devil You Know is currently available as an e-book and paperback and the audio book version will be published in November 2018 by Isis Audio.
The importance of always carrying a camera was brought home to me this week when I got caught up in a blizzard in London - The Beast from the East as the papers are calling it. On this occasion it was short lived and, within half an hour had given way to bright sunshine with glorious opportunities for some great images. Rather than be content with a straightforward picture I did quite a lot of work on it to achieve a more artistic and impressionistic look that I think suits the atmosphere and conveys the experience better.
The wonderful Art Deco building in the background is 55 Broadway that was built as the Headquarters for London Underground.
Not working in a studio is no barrier to creating beautiful and sophisticated portraits. In fact working in a client's home can produce better results in my opinion because the person is far less stressed having their photograph taken in familiar surroundings than they would be in an unfamiliar studio. Having a relaxed and confident attitude contributes far more to a fantastic portrait than any amount of studio equipment.
Take for example this very sophisticated looking portrait.
It could easily have been taken in a full sized studio but in fact this was the behind the scenes set-up.
So it really is possible to get fantastic images with a very simple and portable set up. Why not give me a call on 07734 417908 or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) so we can discuss how I could take some great portraits of you and your family?
With the days getting shorter and Autumn nearly on us there is one great advantage for the landscape photographer - getting up for dawn pictures doesn’t need an unfeasibly early alarm! The time around dawn is my absolute favourite time for getting the best light for stunning landscapes - far better in my opinion than sunset. The low light combined with some early mist is hard to beat.
Not that every trip yields worthwhile images but you certainly won't get them if you stay in bed - tempting though that is when the alternative is to get up before it is light. This morning, however, was absolutely fantastic and well worth the effort of an early start.
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