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Introducing Jacques Bakes Cakes!

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a very interesting woman named Annaleise Jacques, of Jacques Bakes Cakes, a newly formed cake company.  I've been intrigued with the whole cake industry of late.  The artistic merit in many of the creations often catches my eye.  It made me want to photograph them (in truth it made me a little hungry too - unfortunately the cakes I got to photograph were all cake dummies and therefore inedible).


Her cakes are gorgeous and I can see that with Annaleise's character and drive she will have a thriving business in no time.  So as part of my new initiative of creating business links within the community I decided to join forces with Jacques Bakes Cakes to see if we could help each other out. 


To start things off I invited Annaleise to the studio with some of her recent creations so that I could photograph them properly for her.  Photographing products without the knowledge or equipment of a professional can result in incorrect colours along wi…

Intruducing Baby Dolly!

Recently I had the privillege of establising an affiliation with Baby Dolly, specialists in Antenatal Care. Baby Dolly, based in Hinckley and run by founder Lucy Dolly, carries out antenatel courses for both private and NHS clients.  They also conduct baby massage classes.  Their services include such things as TENS and birth pool hire and an online shop for a multitude of useful products for both during and after pregnancy.  They even offer a cool Pick and Pack Labour bag.  It almost makes me wish I could get pregnant again.  Well actually I could get pregnant again but my husband would kill me. 


I was lucky enough to find Lucy through the schools work I do and we just seemed a natural fit.  We can both help each other out by passing on referrals and I can of course also help Lucy with her photographic needs.  So the first task at hand was to provide some much needed team photos which I was all to happy to provide.



Estabilishing relationships such as this is the aim for us in 2011…

My New Column in the Burbage Advertiser

This year I've joined up with The Advertiser and starting from last month I'll contributing with a regular column.  Here I will be providing simple tips and tricks to help the average person improve their personal photography.  Topics will include Understanding Apertures (f-stops), White Balance, Improving Your Exposures (when the camera can't quite get it right) and so much more. 

Here is the first tip from the March issue on finding good light for taking portraits.  And by portraits this doesn't need to mean anything formal.  Looking out for good light is useful even if you just want to take a couple of quick snaps of your kids playing in the garden or out at the park.  This can be useful when on holiday with family or friends.  All too often I see photos on Facebook that could be improved if just a little thought was taken before taking the photo. 

If there is something specific you'd like to learn about then please get in touch and let me know and I will do my …

My Images Used at Focus at the NEC!

I was very lucky this year at the SWPP convention.  I met a number of suppliers and a few of which have turned out to be great contacts.  Two of which have chosen to use my images for their samples for display at Focus at the NEC for this years event.  And I must say it was an honour as well as great fun to see my images on display in such lovely products. 


The first company is Artvue Canvas who chose to use one of my images as a cushion canvas, one of their new products.  The image looked stunning if I do say so myself.  I've been planning to use their services for my next canvas order as I've recently been looking at changing suppliers. 


The second company is an album manufacturer called nphoto.  I had already planned on using this company for the portrait albums I am adding to my offering when I received a phone call asking if they could use my images in two of their sample albums.  In return they are giving me some samples for my studio.  I can't wait to receive them.…

Freddie Returns!

I had another fantastic shoot this week.  We spent an hour or two trying different looks with some different props I recently found at an antiques fair.  I love antiques fairs by the way.  Its a bit of a treasure hunt.  You never know what you're going to find and each prop gives something different to my portraits.  And with each prop is a little inspiration. 


This session was with an existing client so I took the time to do a little experimentation.  I have an old backdrop that I kept meaning to use although never found a way to use it effectively.  But the antique props got me thinking that maybe this traditional backdrop would be the perfect match.  If this didn't work it was being put away for the foreseeable future. 


In this session I used both natural light and studio light.  Our studio has some lovely light coming in through our tri-fold doors.  I always get great results using this light which works very well for young children. 


And then came the processing.  I d…

School Photos Don't Have to Look Like School Photos

About 6 years ago I decided to pursue a career as a portrait photographer. And one of the avenues I took involved school photography. I did so because I saw a need for a change. We have been accepting school photos as they have been for as long as I could remember. My children's photos were looking no different from mine, which were taken nearly 30 years prior. It just didn't feel right, nor did I have any desire to put them on display. They were merely a record of a child's development and growth.

So I set out to change that. At the time a rather large, nationwide chain of studios was doing well with the ever popular white background photography. I couldn't help but think how well that would work with school portraits.




To me the photo still needs to remain a record of a child's growth and development but it should also have an element of fun and freedom. The white background leaves the image free from distractions, and the space in my compositions gives the chi…

More Workshops for 2011!!

This year we've decided to launch a schedule of 5 training events.  Our training is designed as an introduction to lighting and workflow or a confidence builder for those who feel they've lost their way or never really got it straight in the first place. 


The day is split in two with the first half looking at lighting.  We cover high key, mid key and low key set ups explaining each light required in detail with time allowed for each attendee to have a play with the studio lights themselves. 


After lunch we then look at workflow.  We take your through importing and sorting images in Lightroom, making adjustments and enhancements in Lightroom followed by exporting to Photoshop.  We then take a closer look at the imges in Photoshop, going over the ways in which we treat all our images.  This includes the use of Kubota Actions.  


These workshops are running on the following dates:

Wednesday February 16th Tuesday March 8th Wednesday April 13th Wednesday May 18th Wednesday June 15th
If th…

My Associate Panel

As I mentioned in my last blog, I achieved my Associateship in Portraiture with the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers).  I just thought I would share with you the panel I submitted.  Having sat through the assessment I see that there are a couple of images that I wish I hadn't chosen, more so due to not having enough variety rather than the lack of quality.  but overall I am pleased with my submission.















I always thought that once I achieved my Associateship I would be done with qualifications.  Working towards a Fellowship just seems so unattainable.  I don't think I can just sit here not striving towards a goal though.  Besides, my husband has already set 5 year plan.  So I guess I've not seen the end of qualifications just yet.  But don't be expecting any news on this front for quite some time though.  A fellowship is on an entirely new level and its going to take a lot of work.