Adventures in Photography – 2012 so far

I like taking pictures, but I’m loath to call myself a ‘photographer’. My status is definitely that of an enthusiastic amateur. I’ve never had any kind of formal training, everything I know about photography has been gleamed through a trial-and-error process, youtube tutorials and impromptu lessons from knowledgeable and talented friends. I couldn’t tell you what most of the settings on my camera do, and most of my best shots are happy accidents.

Fast-forward a couple of years since my then-boyfriend got me a second-hand dSLR for my birthday (possibly the best gift I’ve ever had!) and I think I’ve definitely come a way. Work demands have meant that I never have quite as much time for photography as I’d like, but I have done several shoots with both models and friends, as well as taking my camera along to capture adventures and the world around me. I’ve created some shots that I feel really proud of. I still couldn’t tell you what most of the settings on my camera do, but I have a better idea of how I can use them to get the effect I want (even if I can’t verbalise exactly how I did it!). I still place a lot of emphasis on luck and accidental discoveries!

One of my motivations for moving to my current room was the size – it’s big with wooden floors and large windows and is well suited to a small (portrait or 3/4) studio. This excited me muchly. I’m ashamed to say I’ve only used it twice in the 10 months I’ve been here, but I’ve recently had some inspiration and am feeling inspired to do more!

Pretty much all the photography I’ve done in the last 8 months has been personal commissions. I don’t yet feel confident enough to take payment for my photography, I’ve been tending to work on a trade basis (usually I get paid in tasty food!), but working to a brief and a deadline focuses me and forced me to get my arse in gear and get on with it! So here’s a little run-down of what I’ve been up to! Often the shoots were quite a different style to what I’m used to, but it was a great opportunity to try things out and learn. It’s a real  honour when people want to use and keep my photos, it’s quite humbling.

Couples shoot

Two friends of mine who had recently got engaged asked me if I’d take some shots of them, as they said they had few together that they liked. This was a much more natural style than I usually take, but I didn’t static, studio portraits would suit them, a bit too formal! So we went off on a wander to the beautiful and leafy Snuff Mills in Bristol, which provided some nice background texture. It was a brisk and blustery day. Many shots of the couple looking lovingly into each other’s eyes, it was rather lovely and heart-warming. The shots look warm and have some personality to them, they’re hopefully not too sickly sweet!

Naughty (and nice) Shoot

One of my most fun collaborations! A friend asked me if I’d take some photos of her to give to her boyfriend as a surprise for his birthday. She wanted something a bit sexy and said she’d be most comfortable doing this with a friend than a stranger. We spent a whole day dressing up in underwear and corsets and generally being silly, striking poses. The shots ranged from a soft glamour look, a kind of geek-chic and more sensual part-nudes. I think she really enjoyed the experience and apparently his face on receiving the pictures pretty much summed it up! Very satisfying to create something that other people get so much enjoyment out of! I can’t post most of the photos as they’re for his eyes only, but I’ve included a fun one of her in her Rogue (X-Men) outfit.

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