Client Work | Weddings & Events

Naomi & Kevin | Civil Ceremony

Naomi & Kevin were married on the most romantic day of the year…Valentines Day!

Ryan & Perrie’s Wedding Day | Hawkstone Park

https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/11/14/perrie-ryan-hawkstone-park/

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Perrie & Ryan were married at Hawkstone Park, and with the help of some extremely talented family & friends everywhere was adorned with beautiful rich rustic autumnal decor.

The Weather Gods were on our side too and i was able to whisk the married couple away up to The Follies for some beautiful photos surrounded by golden tree tops and panoramic views.

 

Steve & Siobhan’s Wedding | Bersham Church & Croes Howell Hotel

https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/09/19/steve-siobhan-croes-howell/

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Steve & Siobhan’s Wedding was so enjoyable from the moment we got there until we packed away in the evening…these two souls are seriously the most chilled, happy & humble couple I’ve ever had the pleasure to photograph. So grateful for every little detail and everyone involved in making their day as special as it was.

The were married at Bersham Church which is incredible and nestled in the beautiful woodland, I joined them on their Big Double Decker bus which transported them there and then back to the Croes Howell who were brilliant and made sure every detail was just perfect.

The pianist entertained everyone inside, the cocktail bar outside kept drinks flowing with the live music in the background and the sun shone all day…..it couldn’t of gone any better!

 

Matt & Vicki’s Wedding

Click here for full blog – https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/09/21/matt-vicki/

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Vicki and I went to High School together, but not seen each other for years since she came to watch me play when i used to be a DJ (…which feels like another life now!) so I was thrilled when she asked me to photograph her wedding.

Surrounded by their family and friends they were married in Ruthin and celebrated into the wee hours afterwards… I don’t think I’ve even seen Vicki so happy and I’m over the moon she’s found her someone who makes her grin from ear to ear.

 

Lewis & Chantelle’s Wedding | Plas Isaf

Click here for full blog – https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/07/24/lewis-chantelle/

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I met Chantelle last year when she travelled from York to meet me, it’s always a nervous and exciting experience for me…. meeting people to discuss being a part of one of the most memorable days of their life! And we got on like we’d known each other for years …..and I was so excited for their big day!!

They got married in the breathtaking Plas Isaf in Corwen, with all the beautiful features of the barn and the wrap around views of the countryside it was the perfect venue.

 

Craig & Lorna | Rossett Hall

Click here for full blog – https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/09/14/craig-lorna-wedding/

Craig & Lorna Wedding-474

How I ended up photographing Craig & Lorna’s Wedding is quite a funny story as we met early last year….whilst both in hospital, both of us struggling to breath or talk we formed a friendship that lead to her coming to find me when Craig proposed to her!

They were married at Northop Church & then went on to enjoy all their celebrations at Rossett Hall….it was a fabulous day from start to finish! So glad Lorna hunted me down after our hospital meeting, we had the best time capturing your special day!

 

James & Susan | Lion Quays

Click here for full blog – https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/06/13/alice-in-wonderland-themed-wedding/

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Neil & Sarah | Lion Quays

Click here for full blog – https://perfectmoments-photography.com/2017/09/11/neil-sarah-lion-quays/

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Neil & Sarah were married at the Lion Quays, Oswestry. I love returning here because it brings back all the memories of my own wedding that we had on a sunny autumn day in October 2010. The grounds at the Lion Quays are beautiful so we were grateful that the rain stayed off for them to enjoy them and the children (…and adults) had lots of fun and games!!

They had a wonderful day with their 3 amazing children, family and closest friends. Here is some of their memories of their special day….

 

Zachary | Baptism

After photographing Katie during her pregnancy and then Zachary’s newborn session I was really pleased to be asked to photograph his Baptism. This is what I enjoy most about photography, getting the chance to meet and stay friends with all my clients and document their families life as they grow up.

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KOOKIE MAGAZINE | 1st Edition

AN INSPIRING NEW MAGAZINE FOR TWEEN-AGE GIRLS

 

I was contacted my Vivien Jones, Co-founder earlier this year to discuss shooting for the front cover of a new feminist magazine aimed at 8-12 year olds that she was in process of putting together with her friend Nicky Shortridge.

When she came round to visit me to discuss her idea she brought this book:

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Fantastic book filled with images of girls from all around the world, strong confident and powerful, it really made me understand the direction that this magazine to be was headed.

Viv had a girl that she wanted me to photograph which i did at her home, the magazine was going to be released in December in both UK & Australia so she wanted the background to be something that would work with that, not too summery but not too wintery either and the aim was to get a natural, fun, relaxed portrait. I brought along my daughter Sophie because she knew the girl who was from her school and she could prance around and be the entertainment and hopefully get some smiles.

I took a whole load of images which Viv looked through and chose the ones she liked (Above SOOC) and sent them away to her team. After a few weeks she contacted me to say they didn’t think that one was going to work and could we perhaps use my daughter instead….and she loved the idea so we scheduled to shoot Sophie in my studio.

Again a neutral background was chosen, there was going to be drawn illustrations, Viv sent me these as reference photos regarding illustrations:

On the day of the shoot Viv brought the clothes she wanted Sophie to wear and asked me to shoot wide making sure i had all of her from waist upwards in the frame because they were going to need the negative space around her for illustrations and text. We went through a few ideas with Sophie holding her hand out when a bird could be sitting then we used a cup and straw that we thought we could perhaps have KOOKIE drawn on with illustrations but then decided against that because of the plastic problems in the ocean etc so that wasn’t something to be endorsed. And then we just let Soph be herself and got some natural shots of her dancing and mucking around.

This is just a small selection of the ones that were sent to the KOOKIE team, all shot in natural light & unedited until further instruction. After the shoot, i put it to the back of my mind so not to get excited about something that might not happen….because it is quite an exciting thought having your daughter in the front of an awesome new magazine….and being the one who shot it! 🙂

In the meantime Viv contacted me to do a headshot for her, she had some interviews lined up over the coming weeks and needed to update it.

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To fund the magazine’s first year they set up a KICKSTARTER Campaign:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/kookiemagazine/kookie-an-inspiring-new-print-magazine-for-pre-tee

This was to raise £50,000 for the first year of production.

Viv then went down to London for some interviews on Sky News & The Wright Stuff:

At the end of October while Viv was in London and i was shooting a wedding in Wales i received an email to say that they were going to use Sophie for the Magazine!! I couldn’t believe it, and it was a good job that it was the night doo of the wedding and not the vows because i really lost concentration for a good 10 minutes!!!

This was the mock up she emailed me and asked me to clean up the image ready for the illustrations.

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On November 1st the KICKSTARTER Campaign hit its target!! 

I finalised the image and sent the edited version to the Kookie Team:

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Then we had to shoot the back of Sophie’s head for the back of the magazine and this was the chosen image:

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LAUNCH DATE IN UK & AUSTRALIA DECEMBER 2017!!

7 Days 7 Composites Challenge | Rules

I decided to set myself a compositing challenge to really force me into fast thinking and fast learning so i decided to create 7 composites in 7 days, taking inspiration from trends that i see often on Facebook like the 7 Days 7 B&W Photos which is circulating at the moment:

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I haven’t found anyone that has done 7 composites in 7 days yet so i decided to set myself some rules:

  • Each image had to be finished within 1 day
  • Only use my children & what i had around my home
  • Be original
  • Combine different lighting techniques, Natural / Strobe / Indoor / Outdoor
  • Edit in Photoshop

And some quick tips from Brooke Shaden:

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(https://www.adorama.com/alc/0014565/article/7-Creative-Image-Compositing-Tips)

Be Strategic About Your Main Shot

Your main shot is the foundation of the image you’re building, and should have as many of your final elements incorporated into it as possible. What you can’t include in your main shot, you’ll incorporate with additional layers. Maybe you want birds in your photo but they were absent on the day of the shoot? Just take separate shots of the birds, and then layer them onto your main image. Compositing is ultimately taking the elements of your story and letting them build upon each other into one integrated piece.

Shoot a Blank Shot

After you’ve finished with your main shot, remove the model and snap a few photos of just the background. Whether it’s a wall, a landscape, or body of water, you want a stand-alone image without the subject of your photo. This way, you can easily remove unwanted elements from the final image in the Photoshop Layers Panel. For example, when you erase an unwanted tree branch from the main shot, the background from the blank shot shows through.

Expand the Frame

Expanded frames are a hallmark of Brooke’s work — and they’re super easy! Simply take extra shots all around the frame of your main image, which you can then stitch together in order to get the appearance of a wide angle. So, why not just move the camera back and crop in? Expanding the frame not only allows you to print at a larger scale, you’ll get great depth of field with the appearance of a wide lens.

Use a Tripod

Hand-held photos are great, but not so much for compositing. If you consistently use a tripod, your photo won’t shift, you won’t lose your angle, and you won’t lose your focus –– all of which are extremely important when adding layers! After all, you don’t want your blank shot to be at a different angle from your main shot. Even a few inches can throw things off, and your images won’t match up.

Maintain Consistency

Using a tripod will help keep your camera steady for consistent framing, but you also need to think about lighting. If the light ends up hitting your model’s face from two different sides because you shot at two different times of day, the final image won’t look believable. So, what kind of light is best to use? Brooke prefers natural diffused light (try right before or after sunset), which is easier to manipulate in post.

Make The Image Believable

Brooke’s photographs might be completely other-wordly, but she stays true to the rules of the world she’s creating. Composited images should still make sense to the viewer –– for example, if the wind is blowing your model’s hair, it should also be blowing her dress!

***

Inspiration

the borrowers

 

Off i go ………..

 

My Plan | Neg 1 & 2

MY PLAN

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Right from the ideas on paper through to the final edit

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All images above from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fyg3BI-Zn0

The gallery above is Kirsty Mitchell’s Wonderland Series. Each image took months to create and i love her devotion to detail and commitment for perfection which really inspires me.

She creates everything from the costumes to the sets and the photographs it as a whole image. I also want to create outfits and props but i also want to become an expert at photoshop compositing. Photographing each element of the image separately and then merging them together realistically in Photoshop.

I do this on a small scale at the moment like in this image:

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During this shoot the parents were telling me about how they had met on a boat so i suggested how nice it would be to have a photo with their baby in a boat. They were delighted by the idea but unfortunately it didn’t quite go to plan because the baby woke up after i did my test shot and i wasn’t able to finesse the set up. In the parents eyes though i had taken a photograph…so i had got the shot!? This resulted in me going home thinking how can i make this work?? I eventually had the idea of changing the background and purchased a digital backdrop from Etsy and spent 3 hours merging them together.

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It turned out to be their favourite image in their gallery, well worth the extra effort and made me realise how important this skill was.

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Another composite that i created, i was asked to photograph the little in her big sisters police hat but unfortunately she was too big to fit in it comfortably so i photographed them separately and then blended them together in photoshop….again it was the clients favourite image in their gallery.

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Lots of photographers offer this service of composited images and this is why it is so important for me to advance my skills in this area. Digital backdrops can be purchased from online sites such as Etsy,  which is where i got the boat backdrop from but they aren’t original as many photographers use them and i want to offer a bespoke service to my clients creating images unlike any others.

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Tracey Willis is a Fine Art Photographer from Bournemouth who creates composites using her animals, i love her work, all her images have such an endearing quality to them . She also offers training which is something that i might look at in the future.

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She created this image by building her scene then photographing it, then the dog & mouse separately and then put them together in photoshop using blending toning and masking to create the final image.

https://www.tracywillis.co.uk/blog1/2017/3/30/the-toymaker

Here is a few more of her images:

https://www.tracywillis.co.uk/blog1/2017/3/30/the-toymaker

Brooke Shaden is another composite photographer that i will be researching, i have purchased her online course (Fine Art Photography : The Complete Guide. http://www.creativelive.com) which i hope will help me a lot with my future compositing.

https://brookeshaden.com/gallery/?page=2&title=the_world_above

One thing that i know from the composites that i have done is that you must get the lighting and composition right otherwise the image doesn’t look right and i really want to experiment and push myself out of my comfort zone to learn new methods.

http://www.ba-bamail.com/content.aspx?emailid=3616

The images i plan to make for my Degree Show will have a fantasy element to the and incorporate nature, possibly animals and definitely my children… it’s important to me to include them in my work, it gives them a little look into my world, i want to inspire them and prove that you can do whatever you want when you put your mind to it.

 

References:

Researching Artists | Brooke Shaden

Fine Art Self Portrait Artist

‘The key to living a happy life is to figure out what makes you happy.’

– Brooke Shaden

 

Brooke Shaden, born in 1987 in Lancaster USA.

Studied English & Film making before settling on photography, she loves to write more than anything, she is a story teller at heart and originally thought she would be a film maker as this would be a great way to express ideas. The long process of the film making soon made Brooke realise that this wasn’t what she had expected and then moved on to photography.

She describes herself as shy and used to find it extremely uncomfortable talking to people, she would spend all her time in her apartment experimenting with her self portraiture and through this she learnt posing, directing, story telling and lighting. She learnt to love her work because it was 100% original and right from her heart. This made her realise what she needed to do, it was empowering & inspiring to be able to express her feelings & fantasies and she wanted to encourage others to do the same.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtihI3CW5to

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Brooke has featured in galleries, interviews, tv, is the author of Inspiration Photography.

She teaches all over the world and is also very excited about her charity work, she runs workshops on story telling to help people express themselves and encourage them to heal.

The Light Space – School For Survivors Of Human Trafficking

 

Her images all have a duality or theme which represent feelings which people can relate to.

I find Brooke’s images to be simple yet layers deep, they are like paintings in an old dusty book and each one different to the next they all represent each other. The square format and colour signature link her images together.

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https://www.creativelive.com/class/fine-art-photography-the-complete-guide-brooke-shaden?via=site-header_0

Conceptual / Unique / Deep / Rich / Dark / Moody / Expressive / Emotional / Mysterious /  Painterly / Magic / Fantasy / Thoughtful / Heavy / Story / Aged / Loneliness 

Something that Brooke mentioned in an interview with SLR Lounge was that she always sees the final image in her head before she starts and i can’t totally relate to this, whenever i can visualise the final product it makes the whole construction easy to work through. She doesn’t actually enjoy the Photoshop Compositing as much because thats what anyone can do but its building the idea and developing that and then the communication that it leads to that excites her.

 

She never has a true black or white point in any of her images, Colour is a hugely important aspect in all her images.

How does colour relate to storytelling? How do other people interpret that colour? It is interesting to study how other people see colour. The answers to these are very predictable but Brooke ran this survey to back up the theory:

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She is very aware of how she uses colour and because of that has a very strong colour signature which she defines as:

 Rich / One Main Colour / Warm or Cool / Earthy

Brooke inspires me with her storytelling through imagery and strong colour signature, i hope to learn more to help me create images to develop my own style. To work towards this i am currently doing her Fine Art Photography Course via Creative Live and i will be documenting this process HERE.

July 2017 Challenge – 1 Image, 1 Video, 1 Blog Post Everyday

Brooke set herself a challenge to create 1 Image, 1 Video & 1 Blog Post everyday for the whole month! I completely understand how difficult this must have been because when i set myself the 7 Days 7 Composites Challenge it was really hard to come up with a new idea everyday as well as shoot, edit & finalise it. I was juggling work and 2 children at the same time though which definitely added to the workload.

In this video Brooke explains how each day started at 4am to leave in the dark to find a new place to test out her ideas. Some ideas worked and some didn’t and everyday she learnt something new, experienced new things and was able to look at the world from another angle. This challenge required dedication, skill, perseverance and endurance…. something Brooke has lots of!

 

Online Referencing:

 

https://ezramag.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/interview-brooke-shaden/

http://brookeshaden.com/about/

https://www.creativelive.com/

Researching Artists | Sarolta Ban

Surreal Photographer & Artist

Seamless-Spotlight-Photographer-Sarolta-Ban-Portrait

Sarolta Ban, born in 1982 in Budapest, Hungary.

Began her career as an artist and jewellery designer before becoming fascinated with the digital world and its possibilities which then took her down the path of creating fine art surreal photographs. Taking inspiration from life itself and its beauty along with a manipulated surreal perspective on it and carefully constructed to give the illusion that it’s real.

She has had her work in many galleries around the world as well as won Artist & Photography Awards.

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http://www.saroltaban.com/fabulae

Heavy vignette / Dark / Moody / Fantasy / Surreal / Old film /  Weird / Cool tones / Desaturated / Deep / humour / Trees / Animals / Children / Monochrome / Contrast / Dramatic /

I see similarities to Brooke Shaden’s work regarding the murky subdued colour palette and texture overlays as well as a regular focus around nature.

She also helps homeless dogs to be looked at in a new light with her Help Dogs Project

http://www.saroltaban.com/helpdogstashkent

She creates interesting fun portraits of the dogs to try and get them new homes.

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There isn’t a great deal of information about Sarolta Ban online, just a few interviews. In https://www.boredpanda.com/surreal-photo-manipulations-by-sarolta-ban/ she says that she is not a professional photographer, she uses FinePix S5600 camera and hopes to one day own a bigger Nikon. She can spend a few hours to several days on each image which can comprise of up to 100 layers.

 

Online Research:

http://www.saroltaban.com/home

https://www.boredpanda.com/surreal-photo-manipulations-by-sarolta-ban/

https://www.artsper.com/en/contemporary-artists/hungary/12337/sarolta-ban

https://jrphoto.wordpress.com/spotlight-interview-surreal-photographer-sarolta-ban/

https://seamlessphoto.com/beinspired/2015/05/sarolta-ban/

https://www.thedodo.com/story-behind-the-shot-help-dog-517146529.html

 

7 Days 7 Composites |Evaluation

I set myself the ‘7 Days Of Composites Challenge’ to force myself to think quickly, use what resources i have around me to shoot, edit each image as realistically as possible and finalise one image per day…and most importantly LEARN MORE PHOTOSHOP ALONG THE WAY.

I planned to do something different on each day regarding background, natural light, flash, bright colours, muted colours to find out what works and what doesn’t.

What I learnt about shooting composites –

  • Shooting a scene in Natural light and then the model under strobe was really difficult to get right, when using Strobe you get a much sharper more contrasting image than if you would in natural light so i had to play with the distance and power of my flash, bouncing it off walls etc to create a more subtle light.
  • As i was using my kids as the models i had to shoot each image of them before they went to school so that i could edit through the day….this wasn’t easy because i had a 10 minute window to get the shot before they had to get ready for school. Although i was happy with most of them, if i’d of had longer then i would of definitely taken more of a variety of images of the one with Owen stealing the grape because i wasn’t happy with the position he was in, but it was the best one out of what i got so i had to use it.
  • The more photos you take the better, get lots of variety in the angles because when it comes to editing if something just isn’t looking right it’s good to have an alternative.
  • If using natural light try and shoot everything at the same time of day, then all the different elements that you shoot will be much easier to merge together because light direction & temperature will be the same.
  • DOF – Making sure the depth of field you use for your scene matches the DOF used on your subject. If you shoot a scene using a narrow aperture 5.6 or more so there is a lot in focus and then shoot the subject with a wide aperture like 1.8 then the focus is going to be falling off the subject when they need to be fully in focus from front to back.

What I learnt about editing composites –

SHADOWS ARE EVERYTHING!!! There is quite a lot you can do to manipulate your image in photoshop but if you don’t get the shadows right, it doesn’t matter if the DOF, Perspective, Colour Toning is perfect if the shadows don’t look right the image will look wrong…..i learnt that…..hours of painting shadows then rubbing them out then trying again and again!!! Even the colour of the shadows is important, i sampled the colour from other shadow areas in the image and used that as my colour which worked well.

I often refer to videos from PHLEARN on Youtube, he shares so many great tutorials for Photoshop so i followed this one for painting shadows:

 

I also found that when i was cutting Soph and Owen from different colour backgrounds that the grey worked best, the white worked great on the first image i did but i think that was because it was cropped really tightly whereas when i photographed Sophie on a white sheet with her mermaid tail on too much light seemed to reflect up off the sheet (perhaps if i’d had a bigger room to shoot in i could of moved the flash further away so it wasn’t lighting everything so much) and so where shadows should have been on her bum/legs/tail there wasn’t much and i really struggled to get her to look right in the sand when i was editing.

My Final 7

Soph & Owen Comp Final SML-2Owen Dino -EditSmelly Sock-FINAL SMLGrapes-SMLMAgic SMLMermaid SMLSOph & Rolo SML