Laundry Day is highly commended!

My favourite laundry day image has received a highly commended award. This is a shoot that’s meant so much to me, every time I see the photos it reminds me how much fun it was to shoot and edit, it brings a smile to my face every time! Here’s to laundry day – the only thing involving washing to make me smile!

Highly commended award for laundry day portrait of model behind the washing machine window

Business cards

I ordered business cards! Ok, that’s quite a boring intro and this is probably a boring post but, all the hard work over the last six months is starting to pay off so I can’t help but shout!

With the help of a freelance designer and my own imagery, my cards look fabulous, it’s so nice to see the images actually printed, as most of my photography is presented digitally currently.

So I used moo.com – after several recommendations from people. Their website is easy to use, you have fun designs to pick from and their prices are very reasonable. You don’t even need to pay extra for glossy paper, which for a photographer is an important way to make your image pop! If like me you find your favourite image hard to pick or you dabble in a few fields of photography then moo offer up to 50 design changes for free, so I chose 4 images for the back to cater for clients!

And as a nice touch when your box arrives you receive two blue cards to pass on or keep. Mine said “you seem really fun” and “you have cool hair” and is it bad that I hope they hopped onto my website and actually thought that?

Also, enjoy my very late Halloween flatlay!

Moo.com photography business cards with pumpkins

Princes of the Universe Exhibition

A BMW garage is probably the last place I would expect a photography exhibition, and yet a Friday in October I found myself scouring a showroom floor full of tour imagery by Denis O’Regan of the band Queen. I have been brought up surrounded by Queen music, thanks to my parent’s obsession with the band, and enjoy a lot of their music so I went into this with an open mind (and mother in tow).

Flay lay of the princes of the universe programme inside

This exhibition, presented by Off Beat Lounge in association with Dick Lovett, displayed tour imagery from Queen’s golden years, the mid 70’s to their last ever tour with the original line-up in 1986. All by Denis O’Regan who was Queen’s favourite live photographer at the peak of their career.

Denis O’Regan is a fine art photographer who I actually got to meet on the day, which if you read my photography show blog post, you know I don’t do well at. Even my mother had to say I was a photographer. A lovely man who took the time to answer everyone’s questions, whether they were long or short.

His favourite image, after he struggled to pick, is of Freddie Mercury in front of a crowd at Wembley. An iconic image which just highlighted Freddie’s and the rest of the band’s ability to captivate an audience.

Queen photograph by denis O'regan

You can see in the exhibition how photography at the time was changing, with the introduction of colour film you see this come through in the imagery as time went on, which in my opinion was made for the Queen Magic Tour.

Selfie with denis o'regan at the princes of the universe photography exhibition

However, in this world of smartphones and selfies its hard to believe that colour photography at the time was seen as a fad, a phase that would never take off and no photographer would be taken seriously using it. But, I love that Denis ignored these opinions because if it was possible colour catches the euphoric atmosphere even more. Saying this to him, he complimented my ‘professional’ opinion – that makes me a happy lady!

If you have the option to visit this exhibition in it’s last few shows I would highly recommend, the music is so loud it makes you fall in love with the songs all over again and the imagery is just fantastic, it’s time to appreciate film again people! All this is associated with the mercury phoenix trust too, so all for a great cause.

Laundry Day

Do you ever just get the feeling you want to roam around a launderette, on a Saturday, while customers wash their duvets? I have for the last year as I drive past one on my Friday journey home from work. A launderette, I thought apart from Eastenders, who even uses one now?

I contacted the owner of laundramagic, Helena, which was a big deal for me because this was my first official location pitch. This is where you say “what are you scared of? You do this for a living”, well actually a lot of my work was very studio based at the beginning or locations that are convenient to me. The pitch for the launderette was completely new to me, and I hate to say it, social media helped me combat that, I met with Helena through facebook and arranged a meet-up. Hindsight will tell me to create great art you need to get out of your comfort zone. Give up your preconceptions of people and attitudes because people want to be a part of something awesome, and that’s what this was. If only I was this sane.

editorial portrait in the laundrette
It’s at this point where I highly recommend building a Pinterest board showing your ideas. No one tends to understand them until they see the finished result, in this case it’s a load of washing machines in a photo, how is that aesthetically pleasing?
That’s how!

I approached a friend of mine, Bex Sweeney, a makeup artist in Swindon and got a plan together. Filled with wacky and wonderful ideas that then stemmed to, why don’t we just have fun with washing machines as a theme? Original huh?

Portrait of Beats with leaves in the background

Our model Beats returned to work with us, who I originally shot in the image below, how skills change! And we went cameras in tow to the launderette.

 

 

By far the most exciting photoshoot I’ve experienced, customers trailed in throughout the day with socks and pants from the previous week, I met what felt like the entire family of Helena and was made to feel a part of it and the tumble dryers were too hot so were a shutter away from melting the makeup off! Helena was taking photos of the shoot to tell her daughter what was going on who didn’t believe this was happening in her mum’s launderette. I love telling people my ideas because they look at me like I’m insane and I get to prove to them that I am but I also take great photos!

 

Fashion portrait of model laid on the floor in a laundrette

To use the launderette, as payment, we made a donation to Mind, a mental health charity which I would recommend looking into, they do great work.

Colourful portrait with yellow background in laundrettemodel laundrette portraitModel sat on top of washing machines in fishnets and shorts with a yellow backgroundModel posing with her feet on a table in front of a big windowVintage portrait of model standing in front of the washing machines in a laundretteModel holds onto washing machines in a launderette wearing a fur coatfed up model sat in front of a big window in vintage tones

Body Confidence with Lilly

We all know that body confidence is such a big topic, a topic that I love to see how people combat and express, and for a while, I’ve used it at the subject of a lot of my photography without knowing it.

Taking inspiration from Alexandra Cameron who started offering confidence shoots, first with Meg at Wonderful you, I approached Lilly who had written several blog pieces on her attitude towards her body. Her recent post about this shoot was very eye-opening from me as a photographer, the irony is not lost on me where I hate having my picture taken, and knowing my images made someone feel that great made me feel great.

View some of the images below and don’t forget to read Lilly’s post all about how to gain the confidence to do something like this, the complete collection is here.

Be warned, this post may contain bottoms.

Life of Lilly lying on her bed in her green jumperClose up innocent portrait of life of lillyLife of Lilly holding her body with her back to the cameraOverhead portrait of life of lilly lying on her bedLife of Lilly Blogger lead on her bed with her back to the cameraClose up portrait of Life of Lilly led on her bed

 

Living it up with Lilly

Bicester Village is one of the coolest places to roam around and (if you’re normal unlike me) shop, Lilly and I thought we would explore, resist the urge to shop and do a mini photo-shoot. Lilly is a blogger full of brilliant ideas and definitely loves the camera – which makes my job easier.

Take a look at the images from our venture round Bicester Village.

Contact image with a woman holding a phone in a telephone boxfull body portrait of life of lillyLife of Lilly candid portrait on locationLife of lilly lifestyle blogger portrait with blue backgroungLife of Lilly lifestyle close up portraitLife of lilly blogger portrait in front of a green backgroundPortrait photo of Life of lilly sat on a multi coloured boxLife of Lilly Blogger standing in front of a sign for EatLife of lilly blogger portrait in front of sky backdrop

Jade and Tom’s Wedding

wedding portrait of bride and groom with confetti

On Friday 16th September last year, Jade and Tom tied the knot, and I was the lucky one allowed to capture their special day! This post marks their one year anniversary, congratulations to you both.

 

bride and groom kissing while friends cheer

Childhood sweethearts, these two have been together since Secondary School. What an achievement in itself! As well as this, all their friends, from their childhood that have seen them grow up together, helped create such a special day for them both.

4 bridesmaids react to seeing the bride on her wedding day in black and white

Mary Berry eat your heart out!

Naked Wedding Cake wit red berries on top

Bride vs groomsmen for the groom

Situated in the heart of Wiltshire. Wellington Barn provided the perfect backdrop, with acres of fields, beautiful views and a stunning venue to work with.

wedding sunset portrait with bride and groom

Make-up by Freya Pixie Makeup Artist

Hair Styling by Sian Hadden Hair Stylist


Wild wedding bouquets with a vintage filterBride throwing her bouquetwedding sunset portrait with bride and groom kissingBlue bride shoes inspired by sex and the city

Polaroid is back

On my twitter this week you would have seen various tweets from me losing it over Polaroids very exciting, and cryptic, return. Impossible project, who I have been an avid investor of in the last three years, went dark and on 13th September became Polaroid originals.

After the purchase of Polaroid by the family of the Impossible Project, back in may, the long process of re-branding and getting the iconic Polaroid’s name back on the film began.

For those of you who don’t know, back in 2004 Polaroid stopped producing instant film, believing that they had enough to supply, however demand exceeded expectations and by 2008 the film was almost gone. Due to the digital movement Polaroid shifted it’s business plan and would shut it’s factories. With the resources from Polaroid sold off and destroyed, Impossible had to start again, hence the long developing time, quirks in the film, expense and the “Impossible” name. They all believed it to be impossible!

Impossible bought an old Polaroid factory and begun, from scratch, to produce instant film for classic 600 and sx-70 Polaroids again. With the knowledge there was a market out there, just look at vinyl! Starting from scratch their film wasn’t perfect, especially wasn’t instant, but this was part of my love for it. They brought back the Polaroid we all remember, it was expensive but, it was just amazing to see the passion again.

The first instant camera was imagined by Edwin Land’s daughter, at the age of 3, who wanted to see the photo her father had taken of her on holiday straight away. And with that Polaroid as we know it was born. Now 80 years later, Polaroid’s name is back on the instant film products, with a new kid on the block. The new i-Type camera is bringing Polaroid into the 21st century with the one step 2, it looks like a Polaroid camera but it has rechargeable batteries (WITH A USB!), a self timer and powerful flash. A Polaroid for Millennials

This is why I own two Polaroid cameras instead of a Fuji Instax, the Instax can be fun, but the Polaroid has blood, sweat and tears – maybe I’m a bit bitter.

Let’s bring back the Polaroid generation!

I live it I blog it

A couple of weeks ago, Lilly nominated me to post for the #ILiveItIBlogIt series where the subject of your blog post is a personal story that means something to you, or shaped you in some way. I spent quite a while racking my brain for something to tell you, thinking nothing has really happened to me that has shaped me, and then something came to me and it’s more of a chain of events really.

So here is my personal post – with Beth Roach Photography, I always try to give a personal experience so you can get to know the woman behind the lens (Wow bit cringey) but this is something I’ve never really written about.

When I left college I was a determined/stubborn girl who was going to follow her dream no matter what. I decided against the idea of uni, which many of my friends and peers had prepared for, sure that if I was to do any degree it would be photography and to me, it was a waste of money and time when I could go out into the real world and develop my skills on my own.

Soon after the summer was over and people went away, I fell into my “dream” job. A studio where I was actually getting paid to do what I always wanted. I met lovely people, used a camera every day and began to grow as an adult – everything I ever wanted.

As time went by, the job began to be a chore, I wasn’t getting paid on time/in full, I was getting stale in my work and it just started to feel like a sales pitch each day. For someone so young it became a massive burden on me and I just believed that I had to do it because it was my dream.

A year of these feelings took a hold on me, I hated getting up for work, people would think I was taking things for granted – how “easy” it was to get into this industry. For a while I believed them, thinking I was ungrateful and this was just the “real world”.

On a day off, I had gone to the beach with a friend and was due to see an old work friend that evening. I got talking with my friend’s parents about how much I didn’t want to go to work the next day, how my love for photography had gone and how I had failed at my dream. I was a wreck, I had never shown myself so vulnerable to almost strangers before and it was like I’d finally admitted something I’d hidden from myself and others for so long.

Over the next few days, I went back to work, nothing got better and I quit and went back to the job I had at college. Feeling like a complete failure. I was completely taken advantage of for my age, talent and enthusiasm and I was never going to touch my camera again.

It took me a year to fall back into photography, friends and family would nag me and say it’s such a waste that I don’t do it anymore and I always promised I would one day just give me time. And here I am.

As I look back on it now all I can think of is that you are not prepared for this at school or college, you are prepared to get grades and go to uni, but what do you do when you completely lose your way.

Don’t let anyone take your passion, dreams, confidence or enthusiasm away.

Award winning studio portrait

I’ve never entered a photography competition before, mostly out of fear and lack of confidence in hearing what others think of my work. Jess from busy bees photography suggested that I submit an image I created from our photography group last month, an image that I loved the moment I created it, to the monthly national photographic society.

Sceptical at first I submitted it anyway, telling myself that it didn’t matter what anyone thought as long as I loved it!

I received a highly commended award and I couldn’t be happier. It’s given me such a buzz and I would encourage everyone to just push yourself out there, it can do you the world of good and it’s so motivating to create something new! If I can do it, you can!

Red head portrait in low key studio portrait and edge lighting