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Charlotte - Spring 2013

A couple of weekends back Charlotte and I wandered over to a lovely spot in the village we live and shot some portraits. The sky was fairly grey, but flowers were in bloom and it felt like SPRING! Here’s a few of my favourites. My thanks as ever to Charlotte for being a (largely) uncomplaining hottie who lets me take her photograph.

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Afterwards, to celebrate (I’m not sure what we were celebrating), we had an ice-cream from a Mr Whippy van with a hilarious Italian National Anthem chime. Mmmm!


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Kio - Baby Photography

I occasionally shoot other subjects, aside from weddings. It’s partly out of interest, and partly because I believe that variety keeps my eye in and helps improve me as a photographer. Above all, I enjoy the diversity. These were shot last year for some lovely people from my girlfriend’s side of the family, and as anyone who has had me shoot for them on a friends/family basis will tell you, are long overdue. I tend to be rather slow getting to any personal work! Apologies to all and sundry on that front, I humbly beg forgiveness.

I bring a similar approach to children’s portraiture as I do to weddings, preferring to let kids be, largely doing their own thing rather than endlessly posing and contriving situations that they wouldn’t sit still for anyway. I also like to shoot in environments children know and are comfortable with. For little ones that often means home. We are all at our best when we relax. Anyway, here’s a few favourites from the session which was in honour of Kio’s first birthday:

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Christmas Presents - Creative Portrait Session Voucher

Christmas seems like a long way off (to me at least) but the shop windows, the high street and my car thermometer are beginning to convince me that winter is well and truly on the way. People often ask me if I offer gift certificates or vouchers for portrait photography, particularly around Christmas time. With that in mind, today I’m launching a straightforward ‘Creative Portrait Session’ voucher that entitles the recipient to a 90 minute photoshoot with myself. It can be used for couple sessions, kids shoots or simply by individuals who’d like some great photographs and includes all associated editing, online preview gallery, an image disc, at least 50 edited images and a framed photo of your choice all for £199.

Christmas presents always involve much brain wracking in my house and I often feel like it’d be nice to give something less generic and with more soul. To some extent this is the best of both worlds. It’s a gift that’s all about preserving memories and creating something distinctive and unique but it doesn’t involve endless well-intentioned effort, sticky back plastic, pritt stick, and an inevitably mediocre outcome*. So, if you’re looking for something a bit less generic this Christmas and want to upgrade the soulful and homemade vibe, why not get in touch and purchase a Creative Portrait Session Voucher.

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*At least I know that’s what it’s like whenever I try and make home made christmas cards for my girlfriend… Apologies and kudos to those who are skilled in these areas!

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Portraits - The Hasselblad Sessions

Back in December I spent a Sunday afternoon shooting portraits of some friends on my newly-acquired Hasselblad. I promised mince pies and mulled wine in exchange for some free time and the use of their luscious faces! I promptly reneged on this promise by completing forgetting about the MASSIVE stack of mince pies in the cupboard. Thankfully no one considered this a major slight and no warm grape juice was spilled. In all seriousness it was a really valuable experience. It gave me the chance to shoot a bunch of film, in similar conditions on a variety of stock. It helped me get familiar with the 500c/m’s working process, to improve my Hassy technique, to expose lots of rolls that I could then practice developing and to essentially ask, and then answer, a lot of questions about the process of using the camera to create portraits. As the day progressed I got a LOT quicker at changing film. At first it was a slow process, but practice makes perfect(ish) and things definitely sped up as we moved along.

I developed the majority of the b&w myself, in T-Max developer (1+9), while the colour was handled by the good folks over at 2020 Photographic in Farnborough. Everything, both b&w and colour was also scanned by Mark at 2020. These are a selection of my favourite. Thanks so much to everyone who came along and lent me their visages! I might look into doing something similar next year, perhaps in a rented studio somewhere. If you like these, badger me about it nearer Christmas 2012!


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Gemma @ Box Hill

Back in November you may have seen a couple of images from my session at Box Hill with Gemma. I meant to post a fuller selection but Christmas and wedding work kept me busy! I met Gemma at a wedding fair she was attending with her family. I’m always on the lookout for ‘anti-models’, people with no modelling experience but lots of je ne sais quoi. Gemma was a perfectly example. She came and had a chat to me and seemed really interested in my work but it was only after she’d moved on to other areas of the show that I had a moment to consider how well she fits my anti-model brief. Thinking I’d missed a great potential subject I spent the next hour rueing my slow-moving wits. Luckily Gemma and her family came back into the room for another circuit so I had the opportunity to ask her whether she’d consider letting me photograph her.

Many of the people I ask to model for me either politely decline (generally out of shyness, I’d have myself believe), or initially agree before changing their mind once the shock of being approached out of the blue wears off. I don’t blame them. Society conditions us to be camera shy and a one-to-one shoot with a virtual stranger tends to pique many peoples insecurities. I was therefore extremely glad when Gemma emailed a couple of days later to confirm that she was interested in arranging a shoot.

I always say to people that I ask to model for me that the aim is to have fun and to take some great pictures. I’ve approached them because they have unique faces/shapes/personalities and as long as they rock up and promise to do their best to have fun and enjoy themselves then we can’t go far wrong. If I ever approach you in the future, remember that I’m doing it because I think you’re awesome. If there was an exam to pass, you’ve already passed it. The photoshoot is just the after-party. You bring you, I’ll take care of the photographs!

Despite being really cold (Box Hill is seriously exposed) we had a great time and Gemma was superb in front of the camera. The reason I like working with non-models is because they don’t react to the camera by presenting a considered, well-practiced countenance. Instead we see people as they really are with less artifice and more soul. My whole photographic ethos rebels against excessive artifice and I get a real kick out of what I deem to be ‘honest’ photography.

Anyway, enough chat. Here’s a selection of some of my favourites from the session. My thanks to Gemma for being such an awesome subject and for being brave and saying yes!


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The Hasselblad Sessions

Last Friday I received my new Hasselblad 500C/M from my good friend and film camera demigod Dan Scott. This is my first foray into medium format film and it’s all rather exciting. Definitely a step away from my usual working method. As I am in possession of a new and rather spectacular camera I figured it might be fun to do some short sharp portraits for friends and family. The thinking is thus:

- You give me 15mins of your time.
- We spend that time shooting 12 square-format (6x6) frames of your good self. It is fun.
- I will endeavour to give you some cracking images of yourself.
- You have helped me familiarise myself with my new camera and it’s particular ‘working method’.

Sound like a plan?? If you think it does, then get in touch. This Sunday (18th Dec) - between 11am and 1pm - you are most welcome to join me at chez Hart for a short photographic gallivant followed by a mince pie and a tipple. It shan’t cost you a dime, and only a little of your time. Hey that rhymes.

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If you’d like to come along, do give me a call or drop me an email and let me know your preferred time. I’m happy to carry only later if the demand is there, but I plan to be working in 15 min blocks. The first one will be 11.00-11.15 and then 11.15-11.30 etc etc. The sessions will all be shot in the studio (aka the garage) not pretty, not particularly well heated but very workable nonetheless. I considered renting my local studio, but sadly they are not open on weekends. The camera is best suited to individual portraits (particularly in the studio), but I can probably squeeze two people into the frame if needs must. I’d would however suggest individual portraits. The in-focus area with this format is quite narrow and therefore my initial experience is that it is well suited to single subject images.

Hasselblad, for those not familiar, is one of the most revered names in the camera industry. Hasselblad’s went to the moon with Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong and are also more than capable of producing out of this world images while firmly planted on terra firma. Which is good. If Leica’s are the Aston Martin’s of the camera world, Hasselblad probably represents Rolls Royce. They’re best known for their medium format SLR cameras. Medium format basically refers to a much bigger bit of film than we’re generally used to. The film cameras we all had back in the 90’s were mostly ‘35mm’. This referred to the long edge of the film, which was roughly 35mm in length. The full area of the frame was specifically 36mm by 24mm. The square images the Hasselblad takes are 56mm by 56mm - much larger. This results in a more detailed image and being square, a different compositional ethic.

I’ve only shot one test roll on the camera so far (12 frames) but here are a couple that I quite liked.

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I hope to hear from some of you in the next few days. It’d be AWESOME to have you round. You’re more than welcome to stick around till the end of the sessions if you want and we’ll have a sit-down and a chat. If you’d rather do a flyby, that’s totally fine. Drop in, have some pics, grab some christmas flavoured pastry and have a chit chat! See you Sunday.

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Gemma - Sneak Peek

Today I shot a session with Gemma over at Box Hill. Twas freezing. She was a trooper. Here’s a sneak peek of a few favourites.

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Johanna

I know Johanna through the sport coverage I do for Royal Holloway University. Injury aside, she's one of the Lady Bears Basketball teams core players. She was awesome enough to model for me and was positively excited about the prospect from the moment I first asked her. Johanna's from Sweden, but like most Scandinavians she's amazingly bilingual. Guilt-inducingly so!

This series was shot at Virginia Water, one of my favourite spots for a shoot due to the variety and space it allows. Here's a few of my favourites from the session. Thanks Jo!




















































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