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!
Today I’m talking about us girls – no sexism intended! In my previous post, I briefly mentioned joining an all female photography group, a place where female photographers can feel safe and inspired while offering photography workshops to develop skills, or even just for a chat.
Every month we will be participating in a competition based on a topic or phrase and our first was “Women only” – very fitting to start us off. Mind maps and lists later I had an idea, something a bit out there(“You’re a bit weird, darling. A good weird though!” – the boyfriend said.) but I wanted to stand out, there’s no point in hiding it all away, plus as a push to my confidence I had forced myself to do it. The shoot did not go to plan, I had one specific idea that was not going right, until my last shot where something had finally fallen into place!
Now you might be looking through this post and seeing images I took of Chloe and Maddy and be thinking “This doesn’t look very Women Only to me”, and that’s because I won’t be sharing my image on here. The reason being is it took a lot for me to share it with a group of women I don’t even know, and the people that know me know how hard that would have been. It’s an image that will prompt a lot of debate, and a debate I’m not ready for, maybe one day though!
I did receive a runner-up prize for having confidence in my work, which seems pretty ironic now. The criticism is always something I will struggle with, but hopefully, as I progress I get used to it and don’t take everything to heart. We’ll be going for the win this month!
Oh! So these images of the girls and the reason for them (if you need one) is I was given a new lens for my 22nd birthday. It’s a very exciting bit of kit that has me reaching for my camera bag every day – she says even though she left it at her boyfriends for 4 days, seriously, who manages to leave a camera bag behind? All the images above were taken with it, big thanks to the girls who just wanted a quiet drink but, it was the golden hour and I just needed to practise!!
With things getting slightly on top of me I took the time to look back at some old work, work that I’m still to this day not sure how to feel about, but have been encouraged to share. I know this is personal but I’ve always felt self conscious about my portfolio, and anxious about how others may perceive it but as it’s a Thursday I thought I would keep up with the tradition of Throwback Thursday and share some little bits.
These two were from my first Unit on my college course, a topic based on Urban Landscape and of course, me being me I managed to distort the criteria to suit my love for portraiture. Moving around busy London, being shoved in all different directions, caught in the atmosphere and a lady doing a “duck face” in Carnaby Street made for an interesting day and some real characters.
For those of you that don’t know me, being subtle isn’t my greatest talent so the image above was made even more special by the subject’s attention elsewhere. And who doesn’t love people watching anyway?
Within my Second Unit, I chose to look into pattern, another distorted topic with parts inspired by De Joode’s Wallpaper designs with the help of some lovely models.
These two were to develop my studio skills, the one below being my first attempt at Medium Format Film processing. The quality of 120mm film shocked me, I loved and loathed it, the quality was fantastic as well as the new method I was learning, but the negative sure picked up any dust it could find! This shot of Dannielle was my favourite, after three attempts of removing dust there was only a little speck, but with time gathering dust in my portfolio the shot isn’t as clean as it was, and yet its still one of my favourites.
Further experimentation in the studio got us to work with Shadow Portraits, a fun alternative to the 18th-century Silhouettes.
This week I was lucky enough to collaborate with the talented make-up artists Bex and Beats.
After being away from the camera, and posting, for too long due to exams and just general block, Bex and me finally got round to organising a collaboration. Bex is a Make-up artist, currently doing a degree in Media Make-up, and has some absolutely great ideas. She got her friend Beats to model, another Make-up artist, who works so well with the camera. Bex was the one who came up with the idea of going to a little forest, just to see what we could do. All I can say is what an awesome pairing! Bex had great ideas and Beats was more than willing to put them into action, I was very spoilt.
Two hours worth of Prep resulted in two primary colour concepts by Bex, which certainly put my morning routine to shame. I’ve never seen so much MAC, I say enviously! We then strolled off to the Forest, while it was chucking it down with rain, and managed to find a spot just undercover.
Behind the Scenes:
The joys of impromptu Photo-shoots mean you take a reflector which is only six inches smaller than the actual assistant. Poor Bex.
Always test your equipment before your shoot, I say that regretfully after neither of my flashes worked and had to use my built-in which unfortunately didn’t have the strength.
On to the Photos, I hope you enjoy them. The image above was my favourite from the shoot, my last shot in fact, taken using the old notice board just outside of the forest. For once I shot with colour, which makes a change but I had to show off that fantastic make-up!
I may have spoken too soon with using colour, but I couldn’t resist with some of these shots.
I thought I would start my official posting with a couple of throwbacks, as it’s Thursday. These are mostly my favourites from the past year of A Level, if you have any comments please let me know! (Please note: suggestive nudity)
So these were my first shoots for my A Level Unit 3: Personal investigation. I started looking into women’s body image and how we all feel about ourselves, as a baseline for my unit. I was very lucky to have the gorgeous company of Danni, who I ran up to with the idea of getting her to “strip back” thinking she would say no, but instead she was full of beans for the idea. This filled me with fear knowing I had her trust and I was basically telling her to take her top off in the college studio, which was terribly awkward when we heard a bellowing laugh from the next room, but after I was so happy about how they turned out, and how much fun we had.
I then went on to focus on our opinions of ourselves, even the more obscure ones. Like, you hear “I’m feeling fat today” quite a lot, which I worked with, but also when do you hear someone hating their body for being too skinny? It’s hidden more. (These are just my opinions that sparked my inspiration, no offence intended.)
So as a result I graffiti’d all over Danni’s body, poor girl, and used the same low key set up. (I do love my shadows!)
The one below then became my favourite and one of my final pieces for the Unit.