Afternoon portraits - Learning to shoot portraits with the sony A7iii

Afternoon portraits - Learning to shoot portraits with the sony A7iii

think it’s safe to say that we grew a great love and trust using our Canon systems over the years. It was quite a surprise when the Sony A7iii came onto our radar. It’s not that we were all canon or nothing, I’m sure there’s not much between each different system (ok maybe you would disagree with me on that, I know it’s a pretty weighted subject) but in all honesty, over the years we’ve shot with digital and lots of different film cameras and there was just something special about the images that were coming out of the Sony that we just couldn’t ignore.

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Living a more sustainable life.

Living a more sustainable life.

Our good friends Matt and Beth live here. They grow their own veg and fruit, have a home for chickens…. and are making efforts to have a more sustainable life. Not in a big noisy way, just because it works for them.

When and where do you make the steps towards a life that ‘feels’ more considered, more real, more thoughtful about the world we live in, and the choices we make to making it a better place?

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How to photograph children in a natural way.

Let’s be honest here, photographing kids as beautiful as they are, can be a bit tricky at times. If you have children yourself, I guess you’ll already know that it’s tough to catch them when they are not mid sentence, running around, face planting or even grinning at you like a loon. (always a favourite)

BUT, there are ways to make it a little easier.

Here are our tried and tested tips for taking better, more natural photographs of children.

1 - Find a location first

Location scouting may sound a bit dull but actually it’s a good excuse to get outside and test how a place could work for you. All you need is something that’s not miles away from the house/car/food but with somewhere they can run free and with some good bits of light. Finding it first means you can gently navigate as you go along.

2- It’s not about you

As soon as you realise that children aren’t really so bothered about who you are, where you’re from or which camera you’re using (unless it’s a polaroid.. most kids LOVE a magic camera!) it’s much easier to connect with them. Taking more soulful images needs you to be ‘with them’ watching their emotional and physical cues. Take yourself out of it, watch, listen and allow the child to guide you.

3- Choose your light and play around with it

Rather than running frantically from one location to another, use your energy to really keep your eyes open for areas with different light. Allow the kids to run free while you look around, then ask one at a time for them to come over and take a few portraits. From one spot, it usually only takes a few small re-adjustments to find ‘backlight’, ‘harsh light’, ‘dappled light’ and ‘even light’ under the shelter of a tree.

4- Tell a story

While they are running around free, follow along. Take images of their hands reaching out, feet in the wet grass, hair flowing freely in the wind. Somehow kids usually kinda like how haphazard and non structured you are, and in turn it earns their trust. Take a wide shot to show how small they are in contrast to our big world then move in closer to shoot different elements of their faces, shoulders, finer details that create a full picture.

5- Make it fun and free feeling

Most children will love the chance to connect with the outdoors and be free of restraints for awhile. That also means parental restraints too. If you can have a little talk to the adults (or yourself if it’s your own family) before hand and let them know you don’t really care what their kids do, as long as they are ‘themselves’ and ‘natural’ and allow them to feel comfortable that you will guide them. This way, the whole family can enjoy the experience and have lasting memories of being outdoors, wild and free.

6- Enjoy it

It’s not often we’re able to allow our children this time to just be themselves. There are so many expectations on them that it can be an absolute joy to watch and capture their uninhibited, natural souls in this way. These days are fast and fleeting. Grab every chance you get and enjoy immersing yourself in how they see the world around them.

We're going to Brighton to meet some farmers

On the 2nd and 3rd of October we’re off to Brighton!

We’re not actually going to meet any farmers, just a lot of great Photographers and photography suppliers and we’ll be running our WILD + FREE Portrait class there on Tuesday the 2nd October.


Yes.. it is this year, just a few weeks away now!

If you’ve not heard of the Photography farm and what they do there, then it might help you to pop along to their site and see the wonderful work they do in educating photographers from all over. You can visit their site here

Here’s what they say in their own words about their FARMERS MARKET ALTERNATIVE TRADE SHOW

‘FARMERS MARKET is setting out to shake up the photo/video Trade Show formula; to create a space where you will want to hang out, meet with your favourite companies or discover some fantastic new ones’.

Sounds pretty good right?

There’s going to be so much to learn and some incredible people to learn from, hop on over and take a look!

plus.. we’ll be there :)







How to create a cohesive colour palette for Instagram

One of the elements of our photography that we are both in huge agreement about is how cohesive our colour palette is. We love nothing more than working out how each image works in its own right and at the same time, forms a set of images for our website, blog, and instagram that flows and keeps our audience in tune with what we will create. 

It's an odd thing to think that if we happen to throw a picture of someone in a purple t-shirt into our feed that it would throw the people that enjoy following us, but it seems it has a lot to do with what is expected and what they come along to us to see and feel. 

Here are a few ways to help keep your images more in unity with each other and keep people coming back to you to see more!

 
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In our Photography Coaching we talk a LOT about finding your style, it's so important to figure out as soon as you can the kind of images that draw you to them, and which patterns and similarities they have. That way you already know which photographs to take and how they will fit together. 

It could be worthwhile to save just 10 of your own favourite images and have them laid out so that you can see how they work together. Keep looking for similarities in colours and tone too. You could use an app like planoly or UNUM for this.

Shooting in the same kind of light each time, using similar backgrounds, certain pops of colour here and there or even a space where you just use one of your brand colours with words over, will all help you to have a more cohesive feed.

Once you have these images, you can start to work on an edit that gives them even more unity. 

For our images we have the saturation turned down on our greens and yellows, which gives our feed a much more calm feeling, we also throw a little bit of rust in there every now and again.  You may prefer a much warmer or cooler palette. Whichever it is, try to find an editing style that brings everything together.

 
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VSCO is one app we have used for the longest time and it has some great presets that can instantly help your overall brand look. Why not try these - 

Neutral Toned | DOG1, F3, L1, LV1

Warm Toned  | A6, M5, A3, A10, C2, C6, C7 & E4

Cool Toned  | H5, H6, HB1, HB2, P4, & SE

 
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Another tool we love at the moment is light room for your mobile. from your main light room presets on your desktop, you can save your favourite presets and edit on the go!

It’s never as complex as it first seems -

Look out for similar colours to shoot within your grid

Keep to the same preset, just maybe change a few of the sliders such as exposure, highlights and shadows to fit your other images.

Try to shoot in the same kind of light if possible. (this is good for flatlays ect)

Happy Instagram story creating!

 


 

 

 

 

 

Winter hashtag project

It wasn’t such a long time since we (in the UK) were still trying to figure out how little clothes we could get away with wearing, whilst still going about our daily things. The British heatwave certainly made being outside a joy didn’t it?

Think, one layer of clothes maximum and some open shoes.. or no shoes, who needs shoes anyway? We’re definitely the family that prefer to feel free.

Anyway, it came as a bit of a shock after weeks on end of heat, to finally really feel the chill of September. It was on Sunday morning of the 9th to be exact. I stuck my leg out of bed and quickly recoiled it when I felt that familiar chill. Either that or I was about to be pulled out of bed with it by a 2 year old.

One of the things we notice most about winter, being outdoor photographers mostly, is that it can at times, limit our creativity. Years of rearranging shoots, harbouring big plans and being let down by the rain, or snow, or fog.. or it just being too blooming grim. Living in Yorkshire can really put the literal dampeners on when you step outside into sideways wind and rain. Regardless of how much enthusiasm you have, you can’t make Yorkshire look like it’s something you would like to prance around in with no coat on. Neither does it usually look like one of those far away places with all the warm sandy tones and hazy heat. It just ain’t happening.

BUT

What happens if we turn it on it’s head a little bit. What happens if we stop trying to create something that isn’t, and embrace the winter?

You know what, it is cold a lot, usually wet a lot, and the rain can still seep in through the seams of even the best waterproof if the wind has it’s way.

but how about we’re a bit more real about it all? I’m sure we all have a story to tell. A cosy scene that lights up when you think of your warm and happy place or something that takes advantage of those dark and sometimes dreary tones?

We want you to come along with us this winter and b*gger the weather, learn to live with it a bit more and see what we can make with it. Think Wuthering heights and layers of fabric, warm bright hats against dark grey skies and pots of hot tea steaming against a wooded backdrop. Feel the cold against your cheeks and the colour coming into them. Remember what it’s like to feel alive and outside.

Connecting with nature and getting as much vitamin D into our bodies is just one way to keep ourselves happy and healthy this winter.

If you’d like to join in and celebrate feeling alive this season, come along with us and post your creations to #gooutsidethiswinter

We’d love you to.

 

Don't panic - Booking a last minute wedding can actually be a good thing

Is it really worth all the lengthy stress of planning your wedding well over a year? I guess it may work in your favour if you just LOVE to plan and are excited about the prospect of lists after lists, long deliberations and the chance to sample loads of cake.

But if you’re like us and have a busy life already and the thought of adding ‘wedding planner’ to your endless daily tasks sends you into a mild panic, let me tell you, it can TOTALLY be planned in just a few months.

Some of the best most connected with each other weddings we have photographed, have been the ones that haven’t had too long to plan. Somehow they mostly focus on the act of marriage and what that means to each other, rather than all the other things that start shuffling into the mix when you have months and months to think about it. The most relaxed wedding days have been those that have mostly come together out of the couples ‘real’ likes for things, their hobbies, favourite places to hang out and favourite kind of food to eat. I can quite honestly say that your wedding doesn’t need to be a pinterest inspired one. It’s the things you really want and have time to plan, that you’ll care about more on the day.

Our day ended up being planned in just 3 months. We’d had a rough few months and decided that we didn’t want to be planning it forever so at the end of March 2015 booked the registrar and were married on the 26th June the same year. I know, totally crazy right? You could say we had it easy, I guess we did already know some of our suppliers and had spent years shooting other peoples weddings and spent lots of time deliberating who we wanted there and how we wanted it to be.

Here’s a little bit of advice for you -

Listen to your friends recommendations, if they’ve had a good experience, it’s likely you will too.

If there’s somewhere local you like to eat, be brave and ask if they would cater for you. Not all things wedding need to have the price tag attached.

Spend more time in the beginning talking to each other, writing down the things that you really enjoy doing, the kind of style you like, music. Go out to eat, sit at home and sample drinks. Make it an enjoyable non stress inducing thing.

If you do feel the need to trawl the internet, find a blog or supplier list you like reading the words to. The ones that seem honest and down to earth. Same if you look on a suppliers site or see a wedding story on a blog you like. Hunt those people down and get in touch. Check if you can speak to them over the phone, that way you’ll get one of those natural gut feelings whether or not they are for you.

Try not to over complicate your guest list. SOMEONE SOMEWHERE will be missed out. It’s ok. We had some people at our wedding three years ago that we haven’t seen much since for one reason or another, and some that didn’t come along that we now see everyday. It’s life and it changes and that’s ok too.

Not all dresses/suits/flowers need months of preparation. Find someone less ‘commercial’ and ‘flouncy’ eeek.. sorry, but it’s true. Find someone who is passionate about making awesome clothes and personally get in touch. Our friend Hayley from Glory days now sells her dresses in different sizes so win win! or go buy a suit or dress from the high street if it looks good. There’s so many more brands these days that don’t make it such a big deal.

In the end for ours, the location, the dress, the flowers, the photographer, (essential obvs) the music (all important) the food, the entertainment and tent/teepee.. all came from local people. We tried our best not to fuss too much about it and realised that it just wasn’t worth the worry.

Of course there were elements which gave it our own style and feeling, but in the end, and on the day, the most that mattered were our people and us making that commitment and of course seeing everyone enjoy themselves. It was all pretty emotional.

So if you’re on the fence about booking something last minute, I can honestly say from our own and from experiencing others, just DO IT.

You won’t regret it!

Here is Catrin and Geraints wonderful day in Wales.

A few wonderful suppliers we know are -

Hayley at Glory days bridal

Fiona at Firenza floral design

Rings Element jewellery or Trumpet and Horn

Styling Hannah Bullivant

Be still my wild heart

 

“We are here to love hard and true. Here to give ourselves over to the rush and bliss of it all. Here to offer our patchwork hearts over and over again. Here to feel and fall and hurt and bleed. Here to say yes and to choose wholeness and to break anyway and to do it all again.” 
― Jeanette LeBlanc