Fine art portraits, what exactly is that you might wonder? I've certainly wondered it myself, particularly when I see this term being bandied about from a variety of photographers, some of whom doing nothing out of the ordinary. Well the dictionary defines Fine Art as the following:
plural noun: fine arts
creative art, especially visual art whose products are to be appreciated primarily or solely for their imaginative, aesthetic, or intellectual content.
an activity requiring great skill or accomplishment.
The Fine Art Portrait is trending highly at the moment. This is something that stands out from average photography and gets noticed. In a world where everyone is a photographer its important for me to do something that people will feel is worth paying for. Phones and consumer level camera equipment being rather incredible these days means most people can capture wonderful snaps of their lives and the people in them. So for me hiring a paid professional is really only necessary if they can create something for you that you cannot do yourself. Which is why I believe its important to create something with imagination, beauty and good use of light relying on great skills that the average person does not have. I have spent years building these skills and countless hours continually honing my creativity so that I can provide pieces of art that can grace the walls of my clients for many years to come.
I've also been collecting ideas and elements for these Fine Art sessions for years now. In Pinterest I've collected poses and lighting ideas, at car boots I've collected dresses, tops, scarves and pearls and at antiques fairs I've collected props and anything that grabs my attention really. I've been using much of it for a while now but it was this shoot that I finally used some of the clothes I've been collecting for older children and I concentrated on creating a truly Fine Art Portrait.
Emily arrived not really knowing what would happen but I would assume she expected the usual big smiles kind of posing, which she gave me instantly while I took test shots to assess the lighting. I had to explain that smiling wasn't essential for this session. As we went along Emily seemed to understand quite quickly and we got everything I wanted and more.
It's odd I know, that someone could want and even prefer portraits without smiles. But this is something I've loved for such a long time. Although I adore photographs of a smiling and happy child or baby there is something that draws me more to a thoughtful, less obviously happy portrait. I will linger longer on a portrait of this nature. Perhaps it tells us more of the person or more of a story, I don't know. But it is certainly more appealing as a piece of wall art than the big smiles sort in my opinion.
And I have to say that these images you are seeing digitally, possibly on a very small screen do not come close to the impact they have as a large printed wall piece. When you see them printed and hanging on a wall it is then that you can really appreciate them as a piece of art.
Thats not to say I don't do smiles. These are included in all sessions where possible. Its just that the subtle smile or the non smiley ones seem to have more of an impact for me. And for shy children or moody teenagers it helps to tell them they don't have to smile for the camera. This also alleviates any cheesy smiles they've been practicing before the session.
Something else I've been toying with lately is the Moving Portrait. I came across this not long ago and I absolutely love it. As a photographer I capture a single moment in time. Ultimately this is what I want to do. I have no interest in video. However, the moving portrait gives just that bit more of a glimpse into our subject. As a memory I think it adds value. I certainly don't want this to replace the still portrait but I do love the idea as an add on, in addition to the printed portrait. I'm still developing my skills and working out the lighting for these. I can't use flash in video so I am currently limited in how I light these and this is an entirely new skill so I'm still working on this concept. Here's an example.
This type of session is probably my favourite of all. I so enjoy working with one person, particularly a child who's of an age where they can understand and be patient for this sort of thing. Although I've always said I prefer a variety of different shoots and of course I still do, this type of session wins out just a little over the rest. Editing these portraits has been a pure joy also. Its times like this when I truly love my job.
If you would like a session such as this please do get in touch. I'd love to do more of this work. You can reach me on 01455 611069, follow this link to our contact us page on our website, or send me a message via our Facebook page here. You are welcome to come in for a free consultation as well so that you get the chance to see large printed portraits in person so you can see for yourself what an incredible impact they have. I look forward to hearing from you.
Meet Leo. Leo is 15 and currently going through an epic transformation that has momentarily turned the lives of himself and those around him upside down. A mum who once had the daughter she always longed for is now coping with the realisation that she will be living the rest of her life with a son instead. When your child is born you have certain expectations of the typical life they will lead but most of us know and accept that it won't necessarily end up the way we imagine. Not every person wants to marry, have kids or be involved with the opposite sex. Most of us have come to accept this and can adjust to whatever comes our way relatively easily. But few of us have expected to have to deal with a change in sex. Its not that we've hoped it won't happen, but just that it never occurred to us that it might. This is a new adjustment that we as a society are being presented with today, just like so many others that have come before. When I first heard that Phoebe
If your child is heading to prom in the next couple of months I'd say there is probably no better time than now to have portraits created of your growing teen. With the purchase of a new (and probably expensive) outfit wouldn't it be nice to capture this milestone with a portrait created by a professional. Across the pond this is a hugely popular time to create portraits, and although I am not American (I'm Canadian) I wholeheartedly agree that this is a special moment to record. My prom was a key memory in my teen years and in fact I myself had professional portraits created also. I think I'll go dig them up if I can, though admittedly I think my mother has them back in Canada. I wonder if I can get her to scan one for me. My daughter is currently making plans for college and in the running is one that will move her away from home, as many others are probably experiencing for themselves, particularly those who are 18. This makes it all the more important to
Well I know there is still a lot not to love but I'm choosing to see the great things about London at the moment. I am having a ball this year visiting London as often as I can. Which is unusual for me since I usually prefer the comfort of my own home, in rural old Leicestershire. Staying home and avoiding people has always been the easy option. But this year, possibly due to the wonderful weather we keep having, has me longing for venturing out. Again, just like my last trip, I headed out with my good friend Panikos Hajistilly . Living in North London he finds it easy to meet up for our shoots. This time though I had more of an idea of the sights I wanted to use as the backdrops for my portraits. With it being spring I was in search of colour, preferably flowers. Admittedly. I didn't quite get what I was looking for. The white fronted terraced houses with pink magnolia trees we did not find unfortunately. But I did make it to Peggy Porchen's which was a must see on m
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Well I finally did it. I bit the bullet and faced my fears and headed to London with a good friend, Mr. Panikos Hajistilly to do my first location shoot. We chose our locations together and Panikos organised a model and brought so much of his gear which he kindly shared with me. And probably most importantly, he showed me how it's done. I was so surprised to see just how much wonderful light was there, just waiting to be used. I am a studio photographer and while I understand the use of studio flash very well, I am very much out of practice and out of my comfort zone with using available light. Its one thing to place lights and backdrops around my subject in the comfort of my studio. Its very different to find the right light and the right backdrop in unfamiliar territory and to place my subject in it. That may sound simple enough but honestly it is not, particularly on a day with no clouds in the sky. One of our planned locations just wasn't possible as a result of the