Hazel Nut

Hazel who? Hazel Nut is a small red squirrel, about 10cm tall with a velvety coat and a big personality. She loves accessories and cake, among many other things.

I’ve always had various fluffy/furry creatures in my life who have had names and personalities and many stories behind them, but it’s something I’ve not shared until recently. Understandable really, some people are far too sensible/busy/clever to be worrying about small squirrels.

However I started to photograph Hazel Nut and post a few photos on my personal Facebook page and she became very popular. Friends started asking me where Hazel Nut had gone when she didn’t show up online. So I decided to give my squirrel her own Facebook page. Photography is all about creativity and applying it to the things you’re passionate about…and one of my passions happens to be the adventures of a small furry squirrel!

If you’d like to join in Hazel Nut’s adventures, you’ll find her here.

(Hazel Nut’s about to go to Paris, the biggest adventure of her life so far……)

Posted in Photo Projects

The Life List

For years now I’ve kept a notebook of all the things I want to do in life, the places I want to visit, the courses I want to do (millinery this term), the challenges I want to have a go at….and gradually I am ticking them off (and adding more of course). It’s easy to say that “life is too short” and then carry on as normal until another New Year’s Eve and then think, ok this year I’m going to do xxxx, then it gets forgotten again in the busyness of life. So for me my notebook is a constant motivator to fit in all these wonderful things so that when I hopefully get to a ripe old age I can sit there happily and feel very satisfied with my years on the planet.

This month I’ve ticked off another thing from the list. I’ve put together my own exhibition of photographs and they’re out there for people to see. It’s not about selling loads or trying to be famous (!), but it’s about that rewarding feeling of doing something that I’ve always wanted to do. It’s also quite revitalising to do something that felt a little bit scary to do and realise that we can be scared and still do things anyway.

If you’re in Leeds looking for a nice coffee and maybe a chocolate brownie, pop to Seven Arts Space in Chapel Allerton to see the photos – details here – the exhibition ends on March 27th. Enjoy!

 

Posted in Life Lessons

Gallery Time

M and I had a day in London and I finally made it to the Photographers’ Gallery just off Oxford Street. I’ve wanted to go there for ages as it’s the largest gallery space dedicated to photography in London. We tried to visit before but it was closed for renovation so it was very exciting to find it open this time. Sadly, however, I was disappointed. I realised that I’d set certain expectations of what I was going to see but it turned out that the current exhibited work wasn’t the sort of photography that I warmed to. One floor was collage photographs made from torn up magazines, another was photographs of left-overs from meals turned into arrangements. The works were very clever and the artists highly skilled, but the photographs just didn’t do anything for me.

So we headed for a cup of tea to decide what to do next. Tea is always a good idea.

I’d read in the hotel about an exhibition of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition and we realised that we weren’t too far away from the Natural History Museum where it’s being held, so a quick taxi trip and we were trotting in past the huge dinosaur skeletons (they never fail to impress) to feast our eyes on some of the most spectacular photographs I’ve ever seen. There were animals and birds captured in all areas of the world. There were amazing patterns of nature in water and earth and a beautiful macro photograph of cells. Especially inspiring were the winning and commended photographs taken by the younger age categories. One boy in the 11-14 category captured a bird of prey soaring below the faint outline of an airplane and he had also photographed the eyes of a hare peeping out over a snowy bank that made a simple but stunning image. You can see thumbnails of these photos and all the rest here http://www.nhm.ac.uk/visit-us/whats-on/temporary-exhibitions/wpy/category.do?category=20&group=2 but to get the full impact do go and see it if you get the chance (it’s on until March 3rd).

It was a great bout of January inspiration!

A quick iPhone shot of Snowy London…

Posted in Impressive Things

Party on…it’s 2013!

What better way to start 2013 than with a photo shoot for 6 lovely girls at a 13th birthday party. Naturals in front of the camera, full of energy and up for lots of fun. One of my lovely friends of many years and her daughter were planning her party…and the idea of a photo shoot came up. I was very happy to help out (would have loved to have professional photos done with my friends when I was 13). With birthday girl’s selection of three types of outfit (casual, going-out and onesies) together with my basket of fancy dress and some good music, everyone got into it. The only trouble is that after making a slideshow for the girls to some ‘One Direction’ tracks I think I’ve become a fan, can’t stop singing them :-). Thank you to Jen and co for a fun start to 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Parties

Competition News!

I was very excited to hear on Friday that I’ve been placed as a runner up in the International Wedding Photographer Excellence Awards. I love working as a family photographer but when I was asked by two friends to photograph their weddings this summer I felt it was a lovely chance to try a new area of photography. I worked my socks off (wedding photography is not for the unfit!) and did my very best to capture gorgeous photos of what were two amazing days. Happily both couples loved their photos which is the best bit.

I was really pleased with my work, so when I read about this competition in the Professional Photographer magazine I thought why not give it a go. I had to submit 5 photos from one wedding so chose a selection from Laura and David’s July wedding in France. They were very lucky with the weather for their wedding day and the light was amazing which let me get the most from the stunning setting. When I heard the news I was really chuffed to have my work recognised amongst other photographers by a scarily-good panel of photographer judges. So enjoy the 5 photos below and another huge thank you to Caroline and Alan and to Laura and David for inviting me into the world of wedding photography!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Wedding Photography

Meetings

One of the things I really enjoy about my photography business is that I get to meet so many lovely people. I photographed this gorgeous little girl who was so attentive in front of the camera at just 10 weeks old, a model in the making! Her parents were warm and welcoming and I also got to meet some of the proud Grandparents, a real pleasure.


  

 

Posted in Family Photography

How To Avoid This Pose

When I was 2 ½ a photographer came to my nursery to take photos. I remember trotting into this room where there was a massive white umbrella and a tripod and a screen thing and I was really scared.  The umbrella in particular was really scary. My mood definitely shows in the photo so credit to the photographer for capturing how I was feeling. And I love the jumper, hand-knitted by my Mum.

I suspect that it’s partly due to this experience aged 2 ½ that explains why I still avoid studio set-ups. I enjoy the spontaneity and the endless think-on-your-feet creative options that are possible outside a studio. I’m very happy running around indoors and outdoors with camera in hand taking photos playing along with the children, but I wouldn’t like to pass onto any little girl or boy the fear of the white umbrella!!

Posted in Family Photography

Have Camera, Will Travel

I finally got to London to photograph three families who’d asked for photos of the children if I was ever down South. And it was a lovely excuse to catch up with friends who I hadn’t seen for too long. The photo shoots were great – being in London there was plenty of green space to have a run around (there are parks everywhere). I got to hang out with some very cool little people and even got to photograph Poppy the dog with her Princess Diana eyes….

  

Posted in Family Photography

The Story

I met up with Laura and David this week to present their wedding photographs. They were very happy and it was lovely to be with them as they watched their wedding day through the photos. Wedding photography is most importantly about capturing the couple, their guests and reflecting the spirit of the day. But afterwards we also chatted about the detail shots and how in 20 years’ time these are the ones that will serve to remind them of the special touches that may have faded in memory. So much thought goes into these details that the photographs in themselves tell a story.

    

Posted in Wedding Photography

Blue Eyes and Smiles

I got to photograph little sweeties Jack and Alice last week. I did a photo shoot of the twins last October and was inundated with smiles. Now that they’re two they had as many smiles and even more energy. They kept busy exploring the garden, popping bubbles, playing catch, practising golf swings (very impressively!) and even found time for a quick sit down and read. They ended up with a dip in the paddling pool as it was a gorgeous hot day. I love to photograph this age group, capturing ‘action shots’ while they enjoy themselves and waiting patiently for those moments when they stop, look and beam at me! I got to meet lots of the grown-up family too so it was a really lovely afternoon.

Posted in Family Photography