Newborns 2017 Photo Competition

I will be entering this competition and i am currently deciding on which image/s to enter.

More information about the competition is here –

http://newborns.childphotocompetition.com/register/

There is an option to submit 1 / 3 / 5 Images.

So far i have chosen this one and i will be submitting my final images this week.

Aniela hat

 

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Safety Within Newborn Photography

There has been a huge rise in newborn photography in the past few years and as with anything that is becoming popular there is always more and more experimentation happening to create new and interesting artwork.

But what many people don’t realise is that these incredible images of babies hanging from tree branches or propped in a basket holding their head up aren’t just one image. They are a composite of 2 maybe 3 or even 4 images. And it is really important for new and emerging baby photographers to be aware of this and they should not even be attempted without training.

There is a good article about safety and compositing images here –

http://babypropshop.co.uk/photography-tutorials/composites-and-newborn-safety

The trend of ‘composites’ has really taken off. There is so many digital backdrops that can be purchased on places like Etsy and Creative Market to really add something spectacular to your images.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 13.22.36.jpg

I recently had a newborn shoot and during that we were chatting and it turned out that the parents had met on a boat so i thought it would be lovely to do a photo of their baby in a little boat. We had one in the studio so i set it all up but unfortunately once i put their little boy into it he woke up after i did the test shot (it was coming to the end of the session and feeding time) so i didn’t get chance to perfect his pose and the angle of the boat / background etc. But the couple were so excited about this photo of him in the boat and i knew it was awful and that i needed to think of some way to rectify it.

Thankfully i found an image on Etsy that i purchased and with the amazing tools in photoshop i was able to do a composite using that and my original image.

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 13.28.26

_SRH4398-Edit

I put the two together to create this –

Baby Sullivan beach

I had to flip him horizontally so the light & shadows matched the direction on the background image. It took a couple of hours because there was some really critical erasing around the flag and material draping across the boat as well as colour correction.

But it was worth the effort because it was their favourite image out of the whole gallery 🙂

Debbie Booth – BabyBloom Photography, Bolton, Uk has a good example of one of her composites that she has done –

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 13.15.06

And i think it is great that photographers are keen to show people that these type of images are done using an assistant and several images put together. Hopefully it might educate people in the process and stop them from attempting them and putting babies safety at risk.

Another one that i have done recently as it was requested by the client, was a photograph of their baby in their daughters police hat. This had to be done as a composite because the hat itself isn’t stable to put a baby in. So i photographed it on its own, and then put some black material over the Mum who was holding the baby underneath and i positioned her forward and in the same position as if it was in the hat and then i put them together in Photoshop.

Aniela hat

 

Progress Since | Newborn Workshops

** For confidentiality reasons i am not allowed to discuss or share online what i have been taught on the workshops so i will just be showing examples of how they have improved my work **

Since attending Jillian Greenhill’s newborn workshop, The Newborn Retreat, Dewdrops Real Time Workshop & Kelly Browns Newborn Bootcamp i feel like i have improved, but i am still not creating the images i want to. I want to increase my vintage prop collection because thats the type of style i am drawn to and i feel like i have still got a lot to learn about the editing process to really take my images further. And my confidence in posing has improved a lot but i think i would benefit from a refresher course at some point so i have started saving up for that.

Below is one of the images from the workshop where Jillian set up & posed the baby and then we photographed them (the images are unedited) and then i have put my own recent work below to it as a comparison to show how i’m using the techniques in my current work.

_srh4154 Jillian Greenhill – Workshop Image (Unedited)

Calla Lucia-13Calla Lucia – Recent Newborn image – Perfect Moments Photography

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 12.38.39Amy McDaniel Dewdrops Photography Real Time Workshop

Aniela hatAniela Elsie – Recent Newborn image – Perfect Moments Photography

 

heidi hope workshopImage from Heidi Hope – Newborn Retreat | Going With The Flow

AnielaAniela Elsie – Recent Newborn image – Perfect Moments Photography

 

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 12.42.39Image from Kelly Brown – Newborn Photography Bootcamp

Screen Shot 2017-05-02 at 12.27.18Ieuan – Recent Newborn image – Perfect Moments Photography

I am really pleased with how i am improving….but there’s always room for more 🙂 And i know that what i should be doing now is concentrating on getting my work noticed and i hope by doing my Dissertation on Creative Marketing it will help me with attracting more of the clients that i want.

SEO

SEO … my nemisis!! Well up until recently anyway! I was so frustrated with the limitations of WordPress.com because i can’t use any SEO plugins like Yoast which is supposed to be really good …But i have been putting the hours in re-wording every page, tag, metadata so that NEWBORN, BABY, CHILD, FAMILY, WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER features everywhere and i am blogging and getting clients to leave reviews on my Facebook, Google page & FreeIndex. All which link to my website…and its working!!

So without paying for SEO i am now on page 1 of Google when you type in:

Newborn Photographer Wrexham / Baby Photographer Wrexham / Child Photographer Wrexham / Family Photographer Wrexham / Wedding Photographer Wrexham / Photographer Wrexhamnewborn photographer wrexham - Google Search.pdf

 

 

Creative Marketing

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This weekend i had a table at the Nearly New Sale in Overton Village Hall and I designed a banner and postcards which i had made for the occassion.

It is ran by the local Playcentre, selling lots of baby / children’s clothes and toys etc and attracts a hoard of Mums and Dads so i thought this would be a perfect opportunity to advertise what i do.

I gave out lots of my postcards and also had 3 pregnant Mums request more information on my newborn sessions so i’m really pleased with that and will be following up all my leads this week. There is similar sales in the local villages, one of the organisers told me that there is one in Hanmer so i will be contacting that one next to see if i can attend.

* * *

New product for a growing fashion – BABY SHOWERS

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It is a gift box containing all my maternity / newborn session information and a voucher which can be for any amount, friends can all chip in together to purchase an amount and then the gift box is given at the Baby Shower which the Mum To Be can then use for whichever package she wants. I have this advertised on my Facebook, Instagram & Bigcartelshop

Haze – Colour Flow | Production Process

RESEARCHING NON NARRATIVE FILMS

I have never had experience with this type of film before so to develop my personal research i began my search for Non Narrative shorts films on Google which lead me to Youtube, some i have listed below that are all quite different to each other in regards to content:

Non-Narrative film – Gareth Roberts

Exit 12 – Short Film

Danger Mouth – Short Non Narrative Film

Presage — A Non-narrative Film

Mortality – Non-Narrative Short Film

Creative Media Directions – Non-Narrative Film

Also films from:

karen-heald1a

Karen Heald

“painterly, poetic, non-linear video narratives created by myself and fellow collaborators. The films showcased are experimental, minimal and complex. The body of work intertwines video, performance and installation. They are films that respond to the history or culture of a specific location or concept”

Karen Heald  (2015). Available: http://www.karenheald.co.uk/films. Last accessed 29th March 2017.

* * *

After exploring lots of these films my understanding was that they are:

random / weird / calming / scary / meaningless / meaningful / emotional / annoying / dreamlike / distorted / frustrating / intriguing / simple

I was filled with quite confusing emotions throughout so first I looked into what describes a Narrative Film –

  • Storyline
  • Cast
  • Soundtrack
  • Scripted Dialogue
  • Acting
  • Costumes
  • Motive

So a non narrative film is a method of storytelling but without any of the above. They have a poetic & dreamlike quality, containing things that we consider mundane captured in a non controlling way.

Gloria Janet. (2015). narrative vs non narrative. Available: http://www.mediafactory.org.au/gloria-tanuseputra/2015/05/02/243/. Last accessed 29th March 2017.

narrative / non narrative. Available: http://www.centerforhomemovies.org/narrative-vs-non-narrative/. Last accessed 29th March 2017.

* * *

PRE PRODUCTION

Exploring Ideas For a Non Narrative Film

Digital Textures

  • industrial scenes
  • sun moving across buildings
  • cars on a busy road / motorway– slowed down / sped up
  • City Lights changing

Colour Flow

  • Movement of water
  • Oil dripping down something / use coloured lights to change the colour of the oil
  • Food colouring dripped into water
  • Film the Sky – clouds moving across blue sky
  • Out of focus – moving in and out of focus on colourful objects

Move Me

  • Nature shots
  • Time Lapse / Flower at different times of the day
  • Melting Ice Cube or Ice cream / outside / different locations
  • Leaf, blowing around

Sound Bites

  • Film things around the house, edit in time to music
  • Kettle Boiling
  • Tap running / Dripping Tap
  • Clock ticking
  • Close up shots (macro) of household objects

For the Non Narrative film that I have chosen to make I have taken my inspiration from 2 of the videos that i watched:

foliage

Connor O’Brien – Creative Media Directions – Non-Narrative Film, I liked the idea of having relaxing music with foliage.

interior interior

And Karen Heald & Alana Tyson. (2015). Interior Interior. Available: http://www.karenheald.co.uk/films. Last accessed 29th March 2017. I loved how calming and relaxing it made me feel…watching something so simple as moving fabric, it was hypnotising and made me want to watch more. But not to find out what was going to happen, it was satisfying in a detachment way, i didn’t feel the need to look for meaning in it, i could just watch it … similar to how i felt when i watched other Non Narrative films. 

* * *

PRODUCTION

How do I choose what to film…surely ‘choosing’ to film ‘something’ makes that the subject of my film and therefore a narrative ?

I did come across an in-depth breakdown from Dartmouth.edu website that the non-narrative characteristics consist of these 4 main categories :

Categorical / Rhetorical / Abstract / Associational

Non-Narrative as a formal system. Available: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~film01/nonnarrative.html.  Last accessed 4th April 2017.

The whole concept totally baffled me and the only way for me to get past that was to go out with my camera and film…. all I knew was that I wanted to do something for the Colour Flow with ambient music & nature.

Equipment:

Nikon 750 & Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art Lens

I filmed everything that was already there, untouched, unplanned and in its most natural state in and around my house outside.

After filming lots of childrens feet bouncing on a trampoline, clouds, plants & leaves I decided to concentrate on an area that isn’t of any interest….just the green weeds & grass around my garden, using a shallow depth of field moving in and out of focus slowly. And the sun was quite low in the sky by this point and this is my favourite light.

With everything that I have filmed in the past (Narrative based) my main priority has always been to make sure I get my focus spot on, but for this I decided to do the opposite and have some blurry areas because there is less importance for that accuracy. And naturally flowing in and out of focus would adapt itself to a dreamy look. The footage has to be put together with Ambient music over the top so I did my best to move as slowly as I could holding my breath most of the time, I aimed to get a fairly smooth fluid camera pan like in Karen Healds’ Interior Interior but it turned out to be much more difficult than I thought.

There was a mixture of footage, hand-held panning & camera sat on the ground / shoe / scarf. I could of used the glidecam to stabilise my camera or stabilise it in post production but i chose not to, i wanted the footage to have a slight natural movement to it so that it was raw & natural which suited the subject. I filmed different areas of my garden, concentrating on the mundane weed and anything that was green because that was the colour i had chosen for the brief – Colour Flow.

* * *

POST PRODUCTION

Using After Effects I put all my footage together, I do find it very time consuming because with every playback it has to render the section which really quadruples the editing time. I think for what I needed to do I should of used Premier Pro to save some time. Nothing fancy went into the edit, there is no colour correction, no fades, nothing done to any of the clips, all I did was slow them down by 200%. Again, i wanted to keep it as simple & natural as possible.

The ambient music was a track I found on Youtube:

Arnav Srivastav. (2013). Royalty Free Background Music – “Roads To Oblivion” (Background Music for Films). Available: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dufE2Ravrrw&list=PLUxc0pGFdGiGzK64w3-UJn0dlU8rzuFmc. Last accessed 29th March 2017.

MY NON-NARRATIVE FILM | HAZE

* * *

MY CONCLUSION

I set out to create a non narrative film with a very hazy idea of what i was actually doing and after spending a while i managed to remove myself from planning every little aspect that goes into a project and began to think in a less constructing way. This was one of the main issues that i had to deal with, getting into the mindset of filming in a non-narrative way,  almost without purpose but not completely.

I’m still not sure that any film can be classed as 100% non-narrative because the creator has chosen what to film & the content the want to include. Or is it the viewers interpretation of what they are watching that becomes the narrative? But nevertheless it opens up an unsolved subject which can only lead to exciting experimentation by all creators.

I feel like i have extended my learning by experimenting with something i have never done before and it has made me look at film in a different light. There is more depth to a film when you explore it from a different perspective. I am really pleased with my first attempt at this type of film and it has left me slightly addicted so i will definitely be making more.

This project has helped me look at how I approach film for the future and I feel that i have achieved all the learning outcomes for this assignment by:

  • Researching & planning
  • Working through problems & finding solutions
  • Using the correct media & techniques
  • Working to a brief
  • Evaluating the process along the way, learning and making notes of how I could have improved.

Flora & Fauna Photography Exhibition

Flora & Fauna comp

I entered a few of my images below into this competition. I love this early morning light along with the hazy background. With every photo i take i am always aiming to shoot super early in the morning or just before dusk. I love creating backlit dreamy images. These were all shot in the field next to my house early one morning … before i took the kids to school –

Just Nettles sml

Morning Light sml

Sparkling Leaf sml

If you click here there is a youtube slideshow with all the entries.

Gavin Hoey | Lighten Up @ NEC

Gavin Hoey – Live Stage

In 30 minutes he showed us so much, he is great to watch and has so much enthusiasm for what he does.
He had a model standing in front of a matte black Lastolite backdrop, to begin with he used One Pixapro strobe with a small octobox very close to her on a 45 degree angle.

This gave very nice results, of light across her face with shadows on the other side and there was no spill onto the backdrop. When i have used my studio strobes and placed them in this set up I always have an ugly spill of light on my black vinyl backdrop which I have to correct in photoshop afterwards do I was very interested to find out why this didn’t happen with him. He went through a process of using different props like flashlights….

…smoke / wind but his lighting pretty much stayed in the same distance from the model he just moved it around her and his camera settings stayed the same F8, 1/250, ISO 200.

His images SOC appeared on the screens either side of the stage and they were incredible, and they looked like magazine quality and they hadn’t been edited.

So after the show we went to speak to Gavin to pick his brains about our set up and he suggested it could be a mixture of different things – our backdrop might not be matte enough and that is why it’s giving off a glare, we might need to move our light closer to the subject because the inverted square rule might apply so the closer it is to the subject the darker our backdrop will appear & to try feathering our light more. We really appreciated him giving us his time and some pointers and we can’t wait to get in the studio this week to practise!