Rachel & Leo’s wedding was charming, relaxed and just the sort of wedding I love. Lots of children running round, an amazing hog roast, genuinely funny and touching speeches; and it was really clear the day was absolutely all about family & friends celebrating the couple’s decision to tie the knot. The wedding took place in Rachel’s parent’s garden where she had grown up. I hope they enjoyed themselves: it looks like they did! I wish both of them and their very beautiful children all the best.
So, I am feeling a bit like Superwoman today. I generally do on Wednesdays because it’s the busiest day of the week and even if I just manage to get through the regular activities in one piece, (which of course I generally do, thank goodness) I feel I’ve accomplished something. The day started as ever with the school run, and today I thought I would follow that by devoting the morning to a much needed clean and tidy up at home. I’d forgotten about the new toddler class I’d agreed to take my youngest to and was reminded by a friendly text from a fellow mummy. So, off we cycled in a great hurry.
My son’s face is a picture when we’re there, the sheer joy is so wonderful to see. Is it too much to take the zoom and SLR to capture it next week? I suspect so but the look in his eyes it utterly magical.
Even though I stopped for coffee with some mums afterwards, I still managed to get home and do most (well nearly most) of the planned tidy-up which was pretty good going really, but after that I baked a cake and looked at Part 3 of my course too. I’m starting on colour now, the theory of which is rather daunting so I keep needing to read over it again and again. Talking of colour, how fortuitous for me that the BBC 4 series, A History of Art in 3 Colours, is currently being shown just as I begin to tackle colour for my studies…how unfortunate I missed episode 1 and it’s not on iPlayer! Why?? Nevertheless, the episode about blue was fascinating the other night. But back to my busy day – I felt like I was on fire. A cake to boot!!!
As always on a Wednesday all three boys and I go swimming at the local gym after school. While the older ones have their lessons I watch the toddler run and jump in the pool over and over again. It’s remarkable how confident he is – but that’s what comes from having older siblings and being made to go swimming most weeks since he was born. He wears arm bands but perhaps not for long!
Today though, I kept wondering about under water photography for the assignment I will have to do for Colour. How would some orange floaty material work with the deep blue of the pool water? Can I get underwater casing for my camera? Does it really protect the camera? Is this something I need to think about more?
You’d think all of that was enough for one day. I certainly do, but Wednesdays keep me on my mummy’s toes. An hour for supper, then we must get the oldest to another activity. Bath time for the little ones when we get back, bedtime and then some work for me.
Tonight I have put together a blog for my recent foray into wedding photography (currently awaiting permission from a couple of parents prior to publishing) and now this blog. Do I dare write up something for college about photographer, Chris Killop? Not sure it would make much sense by the time I got round to it.
I’m glad all my days are not as busy as Wednesdays, I have to say, I couldn’t sustain the Supermum feeling for very long and would undoubtedly go a bit doolally. But I do love that our lives are so full. I know plenty of parents who have one or two days like this each week – and they agree, it’s worth it.
Right! publish; bed. Tomorrow is quieter I think… we’ll see x
So, I’ve just put together an advert! (No – it’s not the picture above.) Never did that before – well, maybe I played around with Microsoft’s Publisher when I first started working as a marketing assistant in the City years and years ago and literally had no idea what I was meant to be doing so sat around pretending I could design stuff, while some people who sat round the DTP desk just four feet away actually were designing stuff because they knew exactly what they were doing. Anyway, I am quite chuffed I managed to do it. The advert is to go in a local school fair programme and I felt it might be a bit much to call on my lovely ex boss’ husband to design another ad for me so soon after he’d put together the one I have going into Contacts, the directory for actors and agents (for which I was extremely grateful.)
As well as getting to grips with Photoshop (not my strongest area as my son so loves to remind me and often) and designing adverts I have recently photographed a wedding for the first time! I can tell you I felt rather sick driving to the venue and spent the hour getting there wondering why on earth I put myself through this – nerve wracking, gut wrenching terror!! In fact, over the last few months I have put myself into various situations where I feel somewhat in over my head and find myself cursing the day that I ever agreed, and in some instances asked, for these situations. Such as when I first worked for an events company just before Christmas – I felt like I had absolutely no idea what I was doing and truth be told I probably didn’t know quite enough. But as they say, if you never put yourself in uncomfortable positions you’ll never get anywhere. I have certainly learned an awful lot by getting into these tricky situations and no matter how nervy I have been it’s always been worth it in the end.
I am busy editing the wedding the photographs and will upload a blog all about it soon. The couple are very local to me…gosh, I hope they’re pleased otherwise I shall had to visit the local cafe and corner shop with a bag over my head.
The other thing I have just managed to finish is Part 2 of the course I started at the beginning of the year, The Art of Photography. I took quite a lot of photographs in preparation, a couple of which I posted here last week, and ended up ditching all of them and starting again. I’ve included a few of the ones I used in the end today so you can see what I do when I’m not photographing children and families. Its quite different and truth be told I’m rather nervous about whether or not I’ve achieved the course requirements but we’ll see. I’ll let you know when I get my feedback!
The sun does appear to be making an appearance today – yay! And enjoy!!
The last week has been a good one photography-wise. I’ve managed to do all the exercises for the module I’m currently doing for The Art of Photography (OCA) and am just about finished with the assignment which feels good. Although I have no idea if I’m going about it the right way since I’m on only on the second section of the 5 part course . Time will tell when it’s marked or commented on. I’m not sure at the moment whether to put my work in to be assessed or not. It’s possible to simply do the assignments for the joy of it, which of course is worthwhile. However, I completed my first degree a long time ago, 20 years ago in fact, so I’ve been debating about whether or not to add pressure to an already full existence by actually trying to go for marks this time round. Perhaps it would be a shame to do all the work and not achieve the grades – we shall see… anyway, here are some examples of images I may include in the assignment. It’s all about lines and shapes.
I’ve also had a couple of family shoots over the last five days which have kept me on my toes. Each one was very different. Working with young children can be challenging sometimes – they don’t always want their activities interrupted by someone sticking a great big camera in their faces and I’ve yet to master the art of it. With my background in teaching drama and my experience as a mother you would think it came easy but it doesn’t! There is so much to think about and it’s a real skill. However, I’m not averse to a few sullen shots either – in fact I think the less jolly ones can show us something very moving and real. I think family shoots can offer a wonderful activity in themselves actually but I wonder if people feel under pressure to provide the photographer with an ‘ideal’ family picture to capture. My task I guess is to encourage a sense of calm and relaxation and enable genuine moments which I’ve then got to record. No mean feat! Here are a few from this week’s outings.
As well as the study and work I’ve been juggling three little boys – now there is a challenge as any mummy and daddy knows. But we muddle along and my oldest has expressed an interest in helping me with my work! In fact, he often comments on anything web or computer related and I don’t think it will be long before he is way more advanced with Photoshop than me – although to be fair that wouldn’t be difficult!
One of my very lovely youngest to finish off this week’s post. Enjoy the weather and long may it last!
Today I am photographing some children for a surprise gift. I won’t be able to post the images here for a while because even though the likelihood of the recipient stumbling across this blog is probably rather slim – you just never know!
However, I have been thinking a lot about all this online self-promotion stuff, Twitter, blogs, Facebook and the like and I think I’ve really got to start getting to grips with it a bit more. A fellow art student recently commented that it was very time consuming and I guess it is but it seems an integral part of any photography venture if you want to get your work out there for any reason, so rather than see it as a distraction I think it helps to view it as crucial. So with that in mind I am going to aim to post a bit more often and also go for a rounded approach – i.e. not just posting examples of work but also personal photos, thoughts about my learning process and decisions and updates on the my development.
Last night I felt compelled to sign up for the advanced wedding module with The Photography Institute. I have one, possibly 2 weddings coming up – something I never really thought I’d end up doing at all to be honest. But it seems like one of the hardest type of photography to get right so I felt the additional cost and work would be justified. I did the main course with the institute last year before signing up with The Open College of the Arts in January to study The Art of Photography. I can’t guarantee all this studying will make me a better photographer, although I sincerely hope it does (and think it has already done so!) but it certainly demonstrates a level of commitment on my part to be as good as I possibly can.
The photo at the top here is of my youngest son. Again, I’ve decided to leave his face as it was rather than wipe away the dirt in Photoshop. For me this will be a genuine memory of how he was when I look back in years to come. I love the lighting and mood in this photo – it really captures his soft and tender side.
I was doing some work this afternoon while the kids were out. When they came home they had other ideas and insisted on posing for some pictures themselves. It was quite a laugh in the end and despite the food all over their faces and clothes I quite like these ones. I decided to leave the food there – it’s real and it’s them. But please don’t feel I wouldn’t be more than happy to take photos of clean kiddies too!
I was quite worried the other day when I was asked to do some photographs at midday as the family needed the photos in a rush and that was the only time they could all get together in time. The forecast predicted the hottest day of the year so far in the UK and so I was rather grateful for the hazy overcast clouds which stayed until we’d finished! Without this cloud cover the strong shadows would have caused all sorts of issues and we’d have had far less choices available to us. So that was good! Nevertheless I realised that I will do my best in future to convince clients that early mornings and late afternoons or early evenings are the best time for lovely light. Not sure how appealing this is for families. As a mother myself the thought of getting my brood together first thing would be rather daunting and who can guarantee a pleasant mood at the end of the day from any of us? However, I know how much difference good light can make to these sorts of photographs. I wonder how insistent other photographers are when choosing a time with clients. Would love to hear about it. In any event, the family are very happy with their photographs and I hope the gifts they are planning will go down well – that I guess is the most important thing!
I should probably add that using a lighting set up with large reflectors is probably the obvious answer but I am convinced that this ends up making the whole process more daunting and less relaxing for people who aren’t used to and may not like having their photographs taken.
When I’m not taking head shots or doing family shoots I am studying The Art of Photography with The Open College of Arts and my latest exercise is to take photographs that depicct movement. There are many ways of doing this but I thought I’d try some slow shutter speeds when visiting the seaside with my boys recently. Here are a few of my efforts.