Street portraits are what I really want to do when I finish my degree as personal projects, I have a long way to go becoming confident when shooting on the street but I feel that my final degree show and degree book will go someway to building my experience working with random strangers on the street, interacting with them and getting to now them over time or in a short period of time.
These are some of the Portraits for my final degree show, these are people who i see on the streets and that for one reason or another appeal to me. I obtained Model release forms off everyone who will feature and I also obtained a short quote from them to give something of them away to the people who look at the book.
Id like to expand of street/documentary portraits and learn more and more about producing books and possibly self publishing as this is the area I would like to progress in when i finish the degree.
I am already looking at self publishing and book design courses via redeye for when I finish.
Magnum and Lens culture are the competitions that seem to have prestigious guest judges, awards and exposure and I will always enter their competitions.
2017 Lens culture and Magnum photographic awards has a number of categories and I have entered one of my degree portraits under the portrait category.
I received notification from Magnum that my photograph has been selected to feature on their competition gallery. This in itself is an achievement for me as I entered last year and didn’t make to the gallery.
I will continue to review competitions such as this and enter where possible.
They have a prestigious panel of judges to include for 2017, Alec Soth, David Hurn and Susan Meiselas.
I looked on www.lensculture.co.uk under the gallery and my submission is there which i am really pleased with – I will share on FB.
Whilst I have covered weddings in this blog already, I feel its imperative to my development and learning to keep adding to my portfolio and therefore building up new clients, new work and a stronger portfolio of wedding images.
I was contacted by Emma who was getting married on the 8th April at Norbury church in Hazel Grove. I advised her that I would be delighted to photograph her wedding. I was really pleased with the results, my confidence was stronger than any wedding before and even with challenges of extremely sunny weather i feel my images were strong and are starting to look like a style on my website.
Currently I don’t really email clients and any offers I have on shoots will be put on my Facebook page, however as i grow and develop I want to be aware of certain things with regards email.
In a session with Ian (lecturer) we found out the following, which as yet I haven’t tested out.
- Tuesday and Wednesday are the best days to contact people via email and gain their attention. Mondays are peak and Friday is wind down.
- Do not use spam characters in the subject line or contents as this will not get through to the right person. !@£ etc etc.
- Do not use any swear words
- Personalise the email with a Dear Mr Smith etc
- Always have a punchy title to the email that they want to open – such as Tuesday Photography Itinery
- Dont waffle, emails should be simplistic and straight to the point.
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I’ve recently spent time with a local magazine editors in Ancoats, Manchester where I have been challenged with various photography projects in a studio as well as field based work.
Proper produce a quarterly magazine which is sold all over the World as well as various merchandise from collaboration projects and their own proper projects.
These are some photographs I took in a studio with two soft boxes behind me to each side, the mugs were quite reflective due to the plastic and clear material so I placed colour card beneath and behind them so you could focus on the print on the mugs. I also used a model to hold the mugs as a different take on their usual photographs, they liked this angle.
These photographs were used to promote sales of the mugs on their social media sites.
I will continue to work with Proper in 2017 onwards for various projects and hope to shadow with their lead photographer Ray Chan (who is also a Stockport photography graduate). They often take photographs of people on the street in various clothing brands and this is where I feel I can help them in the future.
I have practiced lighting in the studio at uni, working with the mugs in a cove and top lighting them and using a red head light for harsh shadows. There are so many different techniques for photographing the mugs but as with my style I prefer natural ones with the use of the hands as above.
Following ongoing contact and exchanged emails with Dougie Wallace I watched his new short documentary on BBC4 called ‘what do artists do all day’. This was a brilliant insight into his work, style and confidence working in the wealthy areas of London. Dougie Wallace is a photographer who inspires me greatly and works in a similar manner to American photographer Bruce Gilden.
Another photographer with whom really inspires me is Martin Parr – he featured in the programme as they have become friends and Martin Parr buys prints from Dougie on a regular basis.
I am always on the look out for new programmes about photography as they can be watched and re watched in order to learn more about them and how they and why they create their work.
Britain in Focus was another very good programme looking at Science and technology and how this effected the work of photographers such as Roger Fenton.
Dougie Wallace with Martin Parr
Hannah Farrell was a guest photographer at University and came in to talk to us about her work, the competitions she entered and won that excelled her career and to also take a look at our work.
Hannahs work was really interesting to me, she mixes modern portraiture with vintage magazine styles including vintage pornography photographs and incorporates them with structure and still life to make quirky installations with representations to the female and male form. Her work has a great depth and the way she has presented exhibitions really made me think about my own work.
Hannah took a look at my work and was interested in what i was doing, she gave me some really useful information when it came to discussing my book idea, including providing me with some writing she had done for a similar project.
I was inspired enough to email Hannah and arrange to help her in her studio in a few weeks – she provided me with the details of another photographer to contact also. I have done this but no response as yet.
So today – Sunday 19th March 2017 I went to the annual photography show in Birmingham. The show is full of talks from practising photographers giving tips on lighting/cameras/studio set ups/weddings/baby shoots/ social media and business and fashion. I went to quite a few of these presentations and talks as they were really inspiring.
I also got the chance to look at new innovative photography studios such as a rotating mini product studio which captured photos at 360 degrees around product.
My main aim of the day was to look at presentation ideas for my show, look at various print and paper options as well as other ways of presenting an image. It was a really successful day and I’ve come away with many new ideas.
I’m really keen on getting to see as many working photographers as I can following meeting Bruce Gilden in 2016 at the Photography show in Birmingham.
I am a member of Redeye photography network who will send regular updates on events/competitions and courses in and around the North West. Recent talk I went to was Portrait/documentary photographer Laura Pannack at the University of Manchester. https://www.redeye.org.uk/
I also visit the Art Galleries in Manchester frequently such as City Gallery, Whitworth and Home.
Strange and Familiar at City Gallery – Bruce Gilden and portraits through decades.
Birmingham Photography Show – 2017. I am going on Sunday 19th March as great way of working with other students, meeting professionals, taking part in workshops and meeting book makers etc.