NEC | The Photography Show 2018

Third year attending The Photography Show with Kamila and every time we go we stay for longer and it still isn’t enough time!


We travelled down on friday night and stayed in the IBIS Styles Hotel which is just a few minutes walk from the NEC. The hotel is lovely, we had food and drinks in the restaurant after we arrived…. and were up early ready to get to the Show as soon as it opened!

It was really busy, hundreds of eager faces to test and buy all the new gadgets on offer. We had quite a tight schedule regarding the talks that we wanted to attend so it didn’t leave much time for browsing on the saturday.

I didn’t take a DSLR because they both need their sensors cleaning:

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I didn’t have any idea that they were that bad until I was photographing this flower against the light backdrop…. HECK!!!

I had my Samsung S8 and the intention to either buy a compact camera for vlogging or get a Gimbal for my mobile. During both days at the show I took mainly videos on my phone so most of the images in this blog aren’t great quality because they are screen grabs from the vids.


Yearly photo in front of the Nikon sign of course!


Saturday 10:30am Helen Bartlett – Great Family Photos and How To Take Them

This was our first talk on the Canon Live Stage. Helen has run a successful family photography Business for 14 years. She specialises in Black & White Photographs and really tries to capture life and personality in each of her images. She discussed what photos meant to her, the ones that she treasures most from her childhood were the ones that tell a story and documented that time not the staged photos. This is what she has focused her business around and she gave us an insight into how she does it.

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11:00am Tom Barnes – Portraits Under Pressure

Tom was on the Live Stage and was demonstrating how quickly you have to work in a commercial setting, sometimes only getting up to a minute with the model to get the photograph. He was really funny, very honest, and it was interesting to find out how he would work with a model in such little time. His lighting set-up consisted of 4 lights (2 facing the model from behind and 2 at the front that he can use together or separately) and a black & white reversible backdrop, this all had to be set up ready to go as soon as model arrives because he explained how they often come with a PR and they will give you limited time so you have to be ready to shoot from the get-go.

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11:30am Simeon Quarrie – Turn Your Passion Into A Living

I attended Simeon’s talk last year so I¬†was keen to see him again. He always gives a great talk and engages with the audience by asking what we want to know. He is full of enthusiasm, loves his job and is passionate about bringing his visions to life.


He talked about how creating behind the scenes videos increased his social media followers and his client base. People like to know what goes on and what they are paying for.


AND I finally got to meet Helen Sloan, the head photographer for Game Of Thrones.


I am a massive fan of the series and was so disappointed when I only caught the end of her talk last year so I was keen to get a front row seat this time. When she finished I managed to speak to her and asked if she would consider someone (me lol) for work experience. She explained that unfortunately HBO won’t allow it, because of the nature of the filming they are in dangerous scenes & sets. They aren’t prepared to insure anyone that assists on work experience….. GUTTED! But hey, you don’t get if you don’t ask do you! She took my details and said that if anything else comes up or if she knows of anyone that needs a hand on set closer to me she will pass on my details.



The 2 days at the show were fantastic, we always have so much fun, I’d love to be there everyday it’s on…. maybe next year! ūüėÄ

I came home poor but a happy woman¬†with lots of lovely goodies, backdrops, baby props and blankets…. and a gimbal for my mobile!


…… Looking forward to next years show already!!

Film Crit | The Shape Of Water


I went into this film without watching the trailer or reading any reviews at all. I’m so glad I did because I think if I knew the plot beforehand it would have spoilt this one a bit. It was great to experience surprise and this was the general pattern of my thoughts throughout the whole film:

“what??…….oh wow……..ah……..what’s that??……why are they doing that!…….omg…… really!……no waaaaaaay……….ew!……….yes!!!¬†

There really was so much going on and so many hidden ties and references I think I’d really need to watch it again to absorb more.

It was set in America during the 1950’s, lots of references to black and white inequality – the black couple not being allowed in the cafe, separate seating on the bus, the hosing on the news, the Boss’s attitude.

In the beginning the pace was really slow but not in a boring way, there was lots of puzzle pieces being laid out.

Beautiful cinematography, lots of low-key lighting, dark moody, green tone throughout. There was water in almost every scene – the opening scene, bath, boiling eggs, rain, cleaning, bathroom, tank, glasses of water for pills, the spy meets in the rain. There was also an emphasis on human sounds – footsteps and chewing etc and clocks – time running out.

Even though most of what happened was wrong and evil it was balanced with the gentle approach and the love of two beings.

Elisa was different, mute, innocent, kind, lonely & lost. She was drawn to the fish / merman / God perhaps because it seen her for who she truly was and not her flaws.




What shocked me – Elisa masturbating in the bath (….not quite sure there was a need? well obviously there is a need haha but not necessarily in this film), the cat’s head being eaten and Elisa having sexual relations with the merman/fish.

What I loved – The lighting and attention to detail. When she was first making contact with the merman/fish with the eggs & music, The look of pure content when the neighbour opened the bathroom door to find her cuddling the merman/fish. The gurgly noise the merman/fish made when he was happy.


If I was to sum it up in one word it would be difficult – WEIRD is definitely on the tip of my tongue but as strange as the story was, the way it was shot and directed I have to say it was simply – BEAUTIFUL! The Director Guilllermo del Toro is a genius!

Cinema | Bladerunner 2049

23rd October 2017 @ ODEON, Eagles Meadow

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Unfortunately I was only there for a small part of the film because I had to pick my children up from school.

To describe what I watched in keywords:


The music was so intense and loud and immersing and then there was stark contrasts of silence where you could hear a pin drop and so much attention was paid to the tiniest of details like the slow breathing through a mask, a pan bubbling on the stove, the sounds of clothes and shoes when he walks.

Cinematography was unbelievable, almost every frame was a picture in itself. I’m really looking forward to watching the rest of the film when I get the opportunity.