Category Archives for "Photography"

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How to have your portraits

Have you put as much thought into how to have your portraits as you have (hopefully put) into the session itself?

A lot of the time the answer here is a resounding "no". There are lots of reasons why this may be the case, and a major one is not really believing you're going to want them...so why think about it?

As you leave us after your portrait session, we'll recommend that, before you come back to view, you have a think about how to have your portraits. "Imagine," Robin will say "what you're going to do if you see 20 images you like". And you'll laugh, because, really, 20 images that you like? Of yourself? Ha.

Now, I will admit that it is something of a failing on my part if I have, despite much reassurance, failed to convince you that you are going to love your portraits. But sometimes, it's not until you see them that you really understand just how fabulous you are.  It's just how it is.

If you can dare, for a moment, to consider that you're going to have beautiful portraits to choose from that you'll want to take home and look at forever - here's what you need to think about.

How to have your portraits - digitally

You can have your portraits as a gorgeous slideshow, set to music. It's a great option, because you don't have to do any narrowing down - you're getting all of them.
However, if you think a smart tv is one that happens to look really nice, only getting your images digitally may not be your best option.

If you're tactile, and like things to touch, hold in your hand, put on your wall, a USB stick might not be your best option. 

How to have your portraits - for the wall

If you've got a big space above your bed you're just aching to fill with a piece of artwork - go ahead and measure up and we can have something made bespoke for you to fill it.

If, on the other hand, you have a seemingly endless stream of teenagers roaming through your house, and your bedroom is not quite as personal as you wished it was, have a really good think about whether wall art is what you want to take home from your session.

how to have your portraits

How to have your portraits - the best of both worlds

If you think you don't have any space, never mind the right wall space now, but you know that's going to change in the future, consider the mix a portfolio of images gives you.

This way, you'll be getting an album-like presentation box of images, but also the digital files. This way, if you do change your mind about how you'd like to have your images in the future, you've given yourself ultimate flexibility.

​I'll show you all of the different options, and get you thinking about what you'd really like to have from your session, when you come along for your chat beforehand.

Much love,
Anna 
xx

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Instagram? Pinterest? Why we find social media hard

Social media - so useful, so fabulous, so 'what on earth do I need to do next?' 😉

For our business, I really like Facebook (ok, I just really like Facebook and am never off it), but there's a whole wide world of social media that, as a business, I am repeatedly told, we must engage with.

The thing is, there's a reason I like Facebook for our business - it has a feel of a community and we're in control of how people comment on our page and, to a degree, who sees what we post.  This is important when we're sharing client images - which is why a first, faltering step into Twitter failed as I immediately thought 'put our client images on display for any old troll to talk about? No'.

I should also add at this point that we will always check with you that you are happy for your images to be used for marketing - it is not expected or necessary - you can opt out!

Like a protective mother hen, I took a look at the world of Twitter and decided it's best left to others. I stayed with the comforting coziness of Facebook. And so then, we look to Instagram. Surely perfect for photographers to showcase their wares?  A bit like Twitter though, there's a sharing and general 'hashtag-ness' to it that I'm not entirely comfortable with. (OK, I may just be old, I'll admit that, it doesn't tempt me on a personal level either).

What we can do with Instagram, is give a little glimpse into the world that is our studio, and show a little of what it's like to come here for a portrait session. Making sure that, on the whole, we're being careful about the kinds of images shown, whilst hopefully introducing the team to you a little more.

So, if you've seen our recent shout outs for 'Instagram models', this is us getting our heads round what to post, how to post and generally trying to figure it all out. 

Pinterest is different again - for us it's an excellent resource where you, our lovely clients,  can set up boards and share hair and make up looks you'd like to try, as well as images you're feeling inspired by. We've been on Pinterest for a while, and are just starting to get to grips with keeping the boards updated.

I'll be honest - trying to keep up with posting on different versions of social media, plus the website, feels like a challenge. When I'm not comfortable with the type of media, it's an insurmountable challenge (I may yet get to grips with tweeting, maybe just not this year).

If you're a social media addict, find us on the various platforms:
Instagram
Pinterest
Facebook
Twit...nah, let's forget that one 😉

OR, you could just pick up the phone and call me for a chat (01993 862896)- my comfort zone! And I'll tell you everything you need to know about booking a boudoir or makeover portrait session, quicker than scooting around the net.

Much love,

Anna
xx


Before & after for Facebook
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Those back to school photos

The school holidays are nearly over and what's that I can hear, faintly in the distance? I know you love the time with your kids. I know many of you love the return to school just as much. Yes, I think that's a collective sigh of relief I'm just about catching.

Just the one thing left to do, then, pretty much. That school uniform that just cost you a frankly unimaginable amount of money - you won't be getting your money's worth unless you take the back to school photos - not least because, let's face it, it's possibly the first and only time that entire uniform is going to be together as it should be until next September. Might as well have a reminder of it while it lasts!

I guess this tradition started with social media? I'm hoping so, as I don't remember posing at the front gate before my first day back to school. The only time I remember being photographed in school uniform was the annual school photos. I can't say I loved the return to school - not least because my birthday is on the 5th of September - quite often this was back to school day. An injustice I don't feel I'll ever recover from.

So, Facebook will fill with smart children in shiny shoes, heading off to new schools, bigger schools, different classes, new adventures.  I hope you keep those images - that would be a great album of images to have when they're older. 

There's something missing though. Potentially a theme throughout all of the summer holiday pictures too. Because, when you're older, it's not images of yourself as a child you necessarily want to look back on. It's family portraits. You want to see you - but in the context of everyone else in your family too. 

So when you take their back to school photos, yes, photograph the children. Then get your neighbour, who's possibly doing the same thing at the same time as you, to take a picture of you all together. Make sure you keep this photo somewhere safe. Don't lose it amongst the mass of digital images - it needs to be findable!

Much love,
Anna
xx
PS - You may notice I have no image for this blog post. We have no children, going to school or otherwise, and a picture of me and the dog felt random. If you would like to provide one, just let me know! xx


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A photo that means something

I need to make a bit of a confession here - Robin and I don't have lots of photos. I mean, obviously we have 11 years worth of clients' images, but these are stored for you 'just in case'.  On display, at home, we have relatively few images.

The ones we do have, though, really mean something to us. We have wedding photos, some from a holiday in Vegas, and we each have special family portraits.

So what photos do you have that mean something to you? What feelings do they invoke when you look at them? Which are the 'save from a fire' images than simply can't be replaced?

I have on image like this - a photo that means something - a portrait of grandparents. My grandad's in his army uniform, writing a letter and there's an inset picture of my nan, to show that he's thinking about her. 

It's the only photo I have of my grandparents, who both died years ago now. They were big figures in my life and my mum, sister and I even lived with them for a while after my parents split up.

My grandad was the gentlest of souls and to me this shows in the photo. My nan could be fun, strict, scary and loving. She was the absolute centre of grandad's world. He would have been thinking about her, always.

This photo makes me feel nostalgic for my grandparents. It floods my mind with childhood memories. It makes me feel proud of my grandfather and sad for my nan (who suffered from dementia). It takes me back to the '70s & early '80s, even though it's obviously much older than that, because that's the time I had with my grandparents.

Long summers, cold winters, freedom, a smoky house, poodles! I can picture all of these things from my childhood.

It's an image that never fails to give me a rush of emotions, whenever I look at it - despite the fact I see it every day - it never becomes like 'wallpaper' to me, it just has too much meaning.

What is your photo that means something? Do you have several? What emotions do your photos invoke in you? Do you have them on display, to trigger your memories? And are you creating those memories,now, to live on for others?

Much love,
Anna
xx

photo that means something
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Retouching versus Preparation

Ah, Photoshop.  I'm sure everyone's seen those posts on Facebook that show magazine Photoshop fails.

The thing is, Photoshop can be of great use - but sometimes it's better to just not need it.

Some things are unavoidable - got a bruise on your leg that you're worried will show in your images? Don't give it a minute's thought - we can edit that out for you. Something non permanent like that, that isn't really 'you', doesn't need to stay!

If you've got a tattoo you're less than in love with, then let us know.  Robin can pose you to avoid showing your tattoo instead of highlighting it. If it is showing, and you'd rather it wasn't, it could be removed for you if you request it.

Isn't is just typical that you have a major break out of spots the day before your session? Well, firstly, please don't underestimate the work of your stylist - the make up here is heavier than normal day wear, so blemishes are highly unlikely to be an issue in the first place! 

And so we come to hair. If you dye your hair, then please do make sure you've had your roots done before your session.  If there's a big colour difference between your roots and the rest of your hair, this will show in your images and, yes, we can retouch it, but it would be great not to have to.

My own hair is currently a rainbow of colours - our apprentice Elise would run for the hills if faced with trying to retouching my (brown and grey) roots with all of the other colours.

Make sure you've planned your trip to the hairdresser - I'd usually recommend going  a week before. And if you've had a hair disaster then usually your best bet is to reschedule your session - if you don't love your images because you just plain hate your hair there's not a lot we can do to save that situation!

The same applies if you dye at home - make sure you're able to set aside time in the run up to your session, or book your session for a date when you know you'll have coloured your hair anyway.

As far as clothing goes, if your bringing a slip, robe or shirt with you that tends to crease, run an iron over it and fold carefully or bring on a hanger. We don't currently have an iron here and creases (especially on satin) will tend to show (and need retouching). 

If there's anything you're unsure about then just ask at your pre session chat, or call/FB message/email beforehand and I'll let you know whether it's anything you need to be concerned about.

Much love,
Anna
xx