Fine Art Child and Teen Photography Guildford Surrey

Not long ago I talked about an inspirational morning I spent with Chris Harper FBIPP in the beautiful surroundings of The Bell Inn at Ticehurst on the East Sussex/Kent border. Most professional photographers live in a bubble and we should never underestimate the value of getting out and joining our peers whenever the opportunity arises. Aside from being motivational, we all need the right kind of company at times. Generally speaking we spend much of our working lives in an office behind a computer, dealing with admin, processing and retouching, and the many other desk-based tasks which can make up at least 80% of our working life. Isolation is a common side effect and a consequence of this can be self-criticism and the belief that you alone are suffering for your profession. This isn’t true, and every professional photographer I’ve met has expressed the same feelings.

As I’ve said so many times before, we never stop learning. I’ve gained many top industry awards over the years for my portraiture but I never shake off the feeling that I have barely started to explore my craft. Given the chance, I’ll leap at an opportunity to observe or work alongside photographers who explore more niche areas of portraiture. It’s the very best way to be inspired and motivated.

Dorset based Bella West FBIPP is renowned for her exclusive and beautiful fine art child portraiture (not just of children in fact, but of people). I have always loved Bella’s work and it was a real treat to have time with her. And of course to be given the chance to photograph our wonderful model India, who was a delight. The brief was to create naturally lit environmental portraits using found interior locations. Environmental portraiture is of course as much about places as it is people, bringing the two together will tell a story.

Sessions like this are one of the many benefits of belonging to a leading photographic institution, in this case the BIPP.

I am constantly asked about my equipment and therefore will add the usual brief commentary on kit. On this outing I was using my usual setup of an Olympus Micro 4/3 body and a couple of my favourite portrait lenses, the Pana 35-100 f2.8 and the Leica 25 f1.4 Summilux. In my day-to-day work I have to be able to create large prints, often around 30 inches wide, so excellent optics are a prerequisite. The IQ of today’s modern Micro 4/3 cameras is not in question and I benefit greatly from their small size and low weight. I spend much of my working life on my feet carrying stuff for hours at a time and like many photographers I’m disinclined to bear the heavy burden of large pieces of equipment.


Today’s tip:

In high contrast photographs we’ll often find ourselves having to lift the shadows during postproduction. No matter how good your camera’s sensor, and even at low ISO values, this results in noise. Often converting the photograph to black-and-white is the best answer