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.

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Location Lifestyle Portrait, Asur At Dawn

Location Lifestyle Portrait, Asur At Dawn

I’ve mentioned before that for 10 years I was fortunate enough to have a holiday home in Turkey.
On one trip while out shooting at dawn, I captured a  location lifestyle portrait of this chap Asur Teber who was a security guard at one of the beachfront hotels in Gumbet.
He spoke no English but was more than willing for me to capture his picture, in fact, I eventually had to make my excuses to get back for my breakfast as he didn’t want me to stop !.
I arranged to send him a print as I always believe if people have given me their time and ask for a copy of the image it’s the very least I can do and always deliver on that.
Unfortunately, I mislaid his details so I decided to deliver the print the following year to the hotel he worked at.
I was told by the hotel that he no longer worked there, and he apparently lived in northern Turkey and they had no contact details.
I left the prints anyway in the hope they might one day find there a way to him.

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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. While 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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Wooden Horse & Treacherous Tides

Wooden Horse & Treacherous Tides

 

The Bristol Channel can be a treacherous place.
For starters it has the second-highest tidal range in the world, the first is the Bay of Fundy in Canada.
So if that does not catch you out then there is the mud to contend with which claims many a tourist’s cars during the summer months.

I’ve lived along this coast for a large part of my life so I know to give it a lot of respect.
So it was partly this that intrigued me about the Mud Horse Fishermen who go onto the dangerous mudflats to retrieve fish from their nets.

They can only do this as they know the area and tides very well and also have their sledges known as Wooden Horses that keep them from sinking waist deep or more into the concrete like mud.
I had 20 years previous captured an environmental portrait of another of the fishermen but now only 2 survive and I decided to call Adrian Sellick to see if I might be able to capture him for my project Life In A Somerset Landscape
A time was arranged and I met up with Adrian a week later and also his father Brendan who was busy mending nets just a stone’s throw from the beach.

To my amazement, Adrian said he would drive us part of the mile or so out to where his Horse was anchored in his small 4×4 and I have to say I was pretty nervous about that after seeing so many vehicles devoured!
Thankfully I had nothing to worry about and with Adrian’s advise I managed to avoid stepping on the wrong type of mud and being swallowed up and got the shots I wanted before the tide turned.
The final image shows Adrian with his Wooden Horse with Hinkley Point Power Station in the background.

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The 1943 Harley & D-Day Despatch Rider

Inspired by some very old musty prints and tales from my Mum and Dad about living and working through WW2 I set out to shoot some images that represented that era.
Through some research I managed to find a guy called Manny who had collection of WW2 memorbillia (and that’s a huge understatement !) who was also located not far from me.
I also thought Manny would be a great addition to my Life In A Somerset Landscape Project so I gave him a call.

As expected Manny was very passionate about the era and travelled to many of the re-enactments both here and abroad during the summer months.
During our telephone chat he mentioned the authentic 750cc 1943 Harley Davidson he had and a U.S infantryman’s uniform as worn in the D-Day invasion.

At that point the image came together at least in my head
We decided that we create a story where a U.S Army Despatch Rider from headquarters company is delivering messages to and from various units.
The setting would be a forest in northern France and so my next job was to find the location and arrange the logistics of getting Manny and his bike there.

A week later the pre production was finalised and the shoot day arranged.
Manny was a dream to work with bringing authentic maps,rifles,etc giving us plenty of options for many variations I may want to try.

As my work is about quiet moments I worked around the narrative of the rider taking a rest from riding on his dangerous assignment.