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Lifestyle Portrait Melanie Deegan Sculptor

Lifestyle Portrait Melanie Deegan Sculptor

After quite a large gap last week I continued with my project Life In A Somerset Landscape.
using the power of social media I posted out a request for people who might fit the project and wished to have a lifestyle portrait in the project.
I must admit I underestimated the response I would receive and now have some amazing people lined up for the project including a Gamekeepers, Storytellers and even an Astrophotographer with his own garden observatory!

Have to say I feel pretty excited and blessed to have such a diverse group and interesting people wanting to spare their time.

The first person I captured was an amazing sculptor called Melanie Deegan based at an old chicken farm near Langport.
Melanie’s work was simply amazing her website can be found here

Her studio is a very simple and cool old commercial vehicle (well the rear end of it) situated outside the old chicken barn.
After and chat about her work we set up the shoot and captured some images and were all done in less than 30 minutes.

The biggest enjoyment in shoots like this for me apart from the enjoyment of capturing and creating the images is definitely meeting some wonderful generous interesting people.

View Life In A Somerset Landscape Gallery

 

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Fisherman Portrait, St Ives Harbour Lodge

I have fond memories of holidays as a child in Cornwall here in England.
As I grew those holidays continued with friends and I eventually found myself living in the area for a brief time.
It was around this time (the early 1990s) that I started a project to capture portraits and images of Cornish fishermen.

It mystified me why I got so deeply drawn to this subject to the point that I wondered if I had spent a previous life chasing Pilchards!
Nearly all of the images were captured on film including this 5×4 portrait below.

Having lived in St Ives for that short period I got to know the town fairly well and knew of these buildings on the harbour called lodges.
From what I learnt the lodges were used as meeting places for local fishermen.

One day while I decided to venture inside the Lodge and found several charismatic old gentlemen chatting.
I’m unsure how things progressed from there but I do remember grabbing my 5×4 plate camera and shooting a couple of portraits.

Unfortunately, this retired fisherman’s name escapes me without digging out my old film notes but by pure chance, his hat perfectly matched the interior of the lodge.

One day I may continue this project and also wade through the many rolls of film to digitise the project into some kind of coherent collection of work.

 

St-ives-lodge-fisherman-

Advertising Photography Shoot For Receipt Bank

Advertising Photography Shoot For Receipt Bank

 

Back at the end of November last year I was contacted by my client Receipt Bank and asked to look over a location-based advertising photography brief they needed shooting.

To give you a brief overview Receipt Bank produce an app that allows business owners to easily scan their receipts avoiding spending valuable time manually entering them into spreadsheets.

The brief was simply to capture three business owners at their places of work with the final images being printed on the walls in Receipt Bank’s London offices and potentially other media.

Having worked for many years with the Creative Director Stuart shooting Cars, Lifestyle and other Corporate work it’s fair to say we have a good understanding of one another.
This was one of the reasons the brief was pretty loose and we could adapt things slightly on the day as we felt fit.
This is not a bad thing when shooting on location which can often be a little unpredictable compared to the sanctuary of a studio but also because due to tight schedules we were unable to scout the locations personally beforehand.

 

1st Location Rowdens Chartered Accountants

All the locations were based around the Chichester area of Sussex which logistically made sense as we were looking to capture everything in one day.
The first stop was Rowdens Chartered Accountants where we were to Photograph Penny one of the directors of the company.

Lighting smallish areas with low ceilings like an office can be tricky especially if you’re a fussy bugger like myself!
Luckily Stuart knows this and allowed me time to adjust the lighting until I was happy.
My approach to lighting, especially in these situations, is to keep it simple and persevere.

The actual shoot was completed within around 10 minutes.
I don’t wish to keep people on set any longer than needed especially if capturing corporate work when people are sparing time in a busy schedule.
Another reason to work swiftly is sometimes I will get a person who is not fully comfortable in front of the camera which I add was not the case with Penny or anyone else we captured on the day.

 

Receipt Bank Accountant in Office

2nd Location MJO Forestry Limited 

The second location was at MJO Forestry Limited where we met proprietor Marc Odin and his wife.

MJO is a family run business who manage local West Sussex woodlands.
We decided to initially photograph Marc in the woods with one of his state of the art machines and this worked well.
However, upon returning to MJO’s yard we noticed an old rather dark wooden building which turned out to be the sawmill.
Both Stuart and I immediately decided this was too good a location not to shoot and this ultimately became out the second image.

This is another reason to remain flexible on Advertising / Commercial photoshoots as you never know when something better offers itself up.

Receipt Bank Forestry Business Owner In Mill

 

3rd Location Whitby’s Photo-Video Limited 

Our final shoot of the day was at Whitby’s who were another family-run business.
Whitby’s specialise in photographic printing and camera sales and we were going to have to shoot while their compact fully decked shop was open for business.

It was this point that I was glad that I had kept to my approach earlier of keeping the lighting simple as there so was no way I was going to be able to set up multiple lights here especially while the shop was open to customers.
We waited for a short time for a lull in footfall into the shop (they were pretty busy!) and we captured the images but not before Mark the owner closed a sale to Stuart for a camera for his kids!

Mark the proprietor was a real character and once again my job for the day was made very simple and fully enjoyable to complete.

Receipt Bank Photography Store Owner

Post-production was very straight forward although I did decide to very subtly re-colour some items in each image to match Receipt Banks brand colour of Orange.

I also decided to create a 2.5d Parallax video from one of the frames I captured of Marc in the Mill which can be found below.

Life In A Somerset Landscape Photography Project

Life In A Somerset Landscape Photography Project

A Somerset Photography project started back in 2012.

I started Life in a Somerset Landscape as a personal project with the aim to capture various people and wildlife in the Somerset landscape.

The images are inspired by the county I grew up in and in which I learnt my craft starting back in the late 1980s

I’ve always been drawn and somewhat intrigued by the history of the land and the people who work it and wildlife that lives there so the project simply evolved from that.

The images are approached by me either simply documenting what I discover while others are created to produce a vision I have for that particular location or person within it.
The project is ongoing as I have time to pick it up and continue.

View project Life in a Somerset Landscape

Do you know of someone or somewhere in Somerset that you feel should be included? Please email me and let me know. simon@simonplant.co.uk

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Mud-horse-fisherman-Hinkley point

Swan Taking Off Over Somerset River

Swan Flying Over Somerset River

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Banjo player maize field

 

 

Lifestyle Portrait Photography, Capturing Mr Butt.

Lifestyle Portrait Photography, Capturing Mr Butt.

Mr Butt window cleaner Captured in Burnham On Sea Somerset circa 1993.
I can’t remember the exact year I did this lifestyle portrait but I do remember running home in excitement like a big girl to grab a 5×4 camera to do the shot!.
I had wanted to create a lifestyle portrait of this lovely chap for a while and I finally seized the opportunity.
I set up the large format camera hastily (well as hastily as you can with a 5×4) in front of what I felt was a perfect backdrop for colours.

A large-format camera is not something you would use for most of my work as a lifestyle photographer but the quality of tone and detail is simply amazing.

Mr-butt-burnham-on-sea-lifestyle-portrait

Unveiling Of Alp Yanki

Today sees the sale of our home in Turkey finalised which to be honest leaves me slightly sad.We bought the property close to Bodrum around 8 years ago as an investment and, as a result, made many friends in the area and my many trips created many happy memories (and images) but it’s simply run its course and it’s time to move on.

 

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Bluegrass Inspired Banjo Shoot

Inspiration to create images comes in many forms at least for me.nWhile retouching some work the other week I decided to randomly listen to something completely different from my normal playlists on Spotify and put on some Bluegrass music. One track in particular hit a chord (pardon the pun) which as you may expect from the Bluegrass genre contained the Banjo.

 

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Corporate Portraits At Dillington House

It was only in September that I found myself on location shooting at the beautiful Hartham Park house near Bath.
This week I was at another beautiful historic house called Dillington which happens to be only a few minutes from the studio.

Dillington House

I had received a call from an online events company called Choose Your Event who needed some corporate Portraits for a magazine feature they where appearing in.
As CYE are based on the grounds of Dillington House (and a client of the company) it was arranged for us to use the house for both interior and exterior images we had planned.

Behind The Scenes


For the interior we chose one of the many rooms and it’s impressive fireplace to position the directors Ben & Simon Gray and to reflect some of the room back into frame and help set the scene.

 

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When it came to the exterior we where once again spoilt for choice but I decided on a couple of simple set up’s one of which was to show the famous golden local Hamstone and windows of the property.
As with all photography the best images are often those that are kept clean & simple even if sometimes they are far from simple to produce.

Behind The Scenes

 

 

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You can view the CYE Group website and their services  Here

A Lifestyle Portrait, Keeping The Ambience The Dark Art Of Weaving The Withy

A Lifestyle Portrait, Keeping The Ambience The Dark Art Of Weaving The Withy

While on a shoot capturing some images for my personal project Life In A Somerset Landscape at Withy growers P.H Coates I came across this very dark but atmospheric room.
In it three guys where busy working in the dim light and plenty of banter was being exchanged in their strong Somerset accents especially when I was introduced to them followed by the words photographing you where mentioned!

It wasn’t a Landscape… but the room had a rustic historic charm and bags of atmosphere and I could visualize the final lifestyle portrait image complete with Matthew Godfrey one of the guys who skillfully weaved wicker fences in the room.
The image was going to be a tricky one to attempt to capture in one frame due to the dim light and the fact there were elements I wanted to be visible to help tell the story without over lighting and killing the whole ambience of the place.
It’s one of those moments when seeing the final image and having extensive knowledge of photo retouching techniques allowed me to harvest all the images I would need then combine them in post-production without a huge amount of system time.

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