Friday, 18 October 2013

Don't use the 'S' word!

Didn't realise it had been so long since I've last said hello. I'm trying so many new things and learning loads of new stuff so I've been very busy and it's hard to choose what to write about next! Some of you may have seen the two photos I put on Facebook about the portrait shoot I went to, organised by my local photographic society so I'll tell you a little about that. 

I actually found out about the society thanks to my partners dad who also has a keen interest in photography. The society runs every Thursday night and at a bargain of £40 for the entire year I had to give it a go. So far I've been to two nights and then an extra portrait night and I'm loving it. I had to obviously drag Lyndon along the first time otherwise nerves would have got the better of me but I needn't have worried. Around 50 people attended made up of a variety of long time attendees and first timers like myself. 

Each week the evenings vary from having extremely experienced photographers share their images and knowledge, to competition nights and more, but so far for me, the portrait night has been the best by far. 
I've never even met a model before let alone being given the opportunity to shoot one, so I had no idea what was in store for me, and what would be involved, but I really, really enjoyed it! The guys in charge set up the black back drop, a few lights and talked us through the positioning of the lights and model, as well as explaining how the wireless flash trigger worked. This was a little trigger that sat on top of our cameras, that basically triggered the large external flash when we took a photo. The guy in charge took a few snaps and then away we went! 
I wasn't sure what to say to the model or what to ask her to do, so I think I ended up saying a lot of random things that I don't really remember but hey it's all good interaction. At one point I remember shouting "SMILE!" and being told "Oh no you used the S word!!" I quickly recomposed myself and shouted "BE SERIOUS!" 
I honestly found it a lot of fun. and learnt a lot as well! Fun AND educational! Anyway, I hope you like the photos I've chosen to put on here. I'm trying out a trial version of Lightroom which is very popular with wedding photographers, so that's why they all look different as I wanted to play around with the different effects. Comments on your favourites (or least favourites!) would be much appreciated! thanks xxx

The first outfit 


I think this one above might be my favourite


thanks for looking!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Being a second shooter

A few weeks ago I mentioned to a friend I was interested in becoming a wedding photographer. She was kind enough to put me in touch with a friend, Jeannie, who's profession is that of wedding photography and Jeannie was even kinder to invite me along to a wedding she was shooting that weekend! I felt incredibly lucky, nervous and excited all at the same time. Having not actually been to a wedding for about a year, I had all sorts of questions running through my mind, but I figured confidence was the best thing I could have. 

The wedding was close to Blackpool and Fylde. I felt calm on the way, knowing that as a second shooter and perhaps as an assistant to Jeannie, the responsibility wasn't entirely mine. I would still need to maintain professionalism, and not get in the way of the main photographer, but help if I could, and it turned out to be a fantastic experience.  Jeannie made me feel right at ease from the start, answering any questions I had, and told me what the day would consist of, so off we went!

Arriving at the church, Jeannie double checked with the vicar where and what we were allowed to shoot. Bearing in mind, at this point I was working with my Nikon 3200, a kit lense and no speedlite (external flash), I struggled a lot in the church to get any photos that weren't grainy due to not being able to use my flash. Having since purchased a speedlite, I'm really excited to try it out in dimly lit areas to see the difference, and this should really help next time.

Jeannie kindly lent me a tripod to use, however having not used one before, I wasn't aware the legs could extend!! So spent most of the ceremony knelt down... Now i realise perhaps why I was getting a few funny looks from the guests. But hey ho, you live and learn! 

After the ceremony, I realised how important it is to be a dominant figure, to earn the respect of the wedding guests so that they will listen to your instructions when necessary. Jeannie wanted to get a picture of all the wedding guests outside of the church. Bearing in mind the road is parallel to the entrance, we were lucky to not have too much traffic that day, as to fit everyone in meant practically standing in the middle of the road! A parked car and a lamppost didn't aid matters either, but you have to work with what you've got. 

Whilst the majority of the guests moved on to the next venue, Jeannie and I went with the newly married couple and a few close family and friends to the band stand on Stanley Park. Here was where I realised how important lighting is. The weather was a combination of on-off rain, and glorious sunshine! Constantly having to alter our settings to fit whichever the weather decided to be, but you just have to work with what you have. You can see the variety of lighting we had throughout the photos.

All in all, it was a great day, I learnt a great deal from Jeannie working along side her, and hope to get the opportunity again.

I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on the photos. 
thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


Thoughts on this one? Not too sure myself. Can anyone guess what I've changed? (not pointing out the obvious monochrome!)