Tag Archives: Photography

What’s the best camera? It’s a simple answer, really…

As you can imagine because we are photographers, we are asked about “…what’s the best camera…” all the time. Of course, there are many answers to that question because you have to factor in the budget and level of technical functions required and, and…. that’s usually when you get brain freeze!

Chicago/ Marsha

Marsha in “Chicago – The Musical”

So, maybe this anecdote will help with the answer to this question. Recently, our daughter was in her school musical and of course lots of people took photos of the event itself and backstage. It was one of those times when the camera phone just wasn’t enough either for the parents or the students to capture the magic on the stage and the camaraderie that built up backstage.

But what do you do when your ‘good camera’ has no power or, worse still, no space left on your card just as you are ready to use it? It’s hugely frustrating and then photographs that you really want of a very special event end up being snapped on a phone. And that really won’t cut the mustard for life’s big occasions like weddings, communions or school plays & musicals – trust me on this one.

So, you know that way you have a ‘process’ around your mobile phone? You always know where the charger is, you back it up regularly, and if you’re like me, you charge it up in the same place every night. We create processes around the things that are important to us at home or at work.

It helps to take the time to create a process around your camera too. Download, file and date your images soon after they’ve been taken (and back them up if they are very important). It’s worth learning how to do this properly, and it really is easy to do. It helps to quickly check that the images have all been saved properly and, if they have, then you can safely clear or format*  the card in your camera so it’s empty for the next time. Take out the battery & place it in the charger somewhere that won’t be a nuisance (like, not in your kettle plug).

Then, the next time you grab your camera as you walk out the door,  it will be fully charged with a clean card and ready to go.

By the way the very best camera is the one you have with you – fully charged with a clean card and ready to go. And I know that you knew that.

*Format is the technical term for clearing your card and making it ready to accept files in a camera. You can find out all about your own camera on the manufacturer’s website and on numerous photography websites.

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Filed under Cameras, Family Life, Humour, Life, Photography, School Musical

Children & Animals – all in a day’s work.

There’s an old adage about never working with children or animals. But children and animals are at the very centre of our portrait work, so that adage can’t apply here.

To be honest there are occasions when things don’t go according to plan. Or to be more accurate – sessions do go pear-shaped.

One client recently captured a classic moment in the camera room and I’m showing it to you here along with my photograph of the same family with their pet – who also decided to lie down on the job!

All in a day’s work..

The real work of capturing small children at their best involves managing these situations and coming through them with a smiling & happy child.

Sometimes a child can be feeling unwell, sometimes they can be tired (so picking the right time of day for young children is really important) and sometimes we are being treated to a performance.

The skill is to know which scenario we are dealing with. Then we work with the child & their family and manage the child back into the picture or else to defer the session and try again another day. The latter is thankfully a very rare situation.

The years of experience we have helps us take a child from melt-down to portrait magic. The melt-downs are usually just storms in a teacup which can be diffused very easily with a bucketload of  patience.

The little girl on the floor in this picture was sitting up with her sisters within the following few minutes and we have beautiful, happy images for the family.

How did we do it? Well, that is one of the secrets of our success.

Children? Animals? All in a day’s work.

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Filed under Humour, Life, Photography

Doesn’t everybody take pictures nowadays?

The easy answer to that question is yes. The actual answer is yes – people do take pictures and this story is a classic example of how ‘taking’ pictures is not enough sometimes.

We have a company called the Old Photo Hospital and we literally provide intensive care for all kinds of photographs. Mostly you’d think our work involves really old photographs or really damaged prints and usually it does. But this week, we have worked on a ‘salvage’ operation that need never have happened from an event that took place very recently.

Imagine a couples’ 50th Anniversary party. It’s a very special event. We won’t all get to celebrate such a day, because, such is life. The lady in the relationship came in to me to help her create something she really, really wanted but no-one organised for her – a photograph with all of their grandchildren at their party. You’d imagine that would be easy to do. Even if a professional portrait couldn’t be arranged surely, with all these cameras everyone has, someone would take that picture for her? But nobody did. She arrived in to me with an assemblage of files, prints and discs from which we have gleaned an image of almost every child and created a montage around a photograph of the couple and even that image was cropped from another shot – not even one picture of the couple together on their own was taken. Most of the photographs were taken on cameras at such low quality settings that the images won’t print well, . Some were taken on phones and these are truly underwhelming. I offered to photograph the couple and the children here – but it really mattered to this lady that the photographs had all been taken on this one day.

It would have been so easy to give this lady the only thing she really wanted for her anniversary, for probably quite a lot less than the price of all the other gifts she got but didn’t really need or want. Now money couldn’t buy the gift because the time has passed.

It’s one of those simple things – that popular belief that there will be loads of photographs of every aspect of every event in our lives. For one lady this week, that has not turned out to be the case.

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Filed under Anniversaries, Generations, Photography