I completed my Level 2 City & Guilds in Photo Image Capture this June and I’m very pleased to say with flying colours! I got a double Distinction!

I thought it’d be nice to share with you the work I did for the 2 portfolios submitted at the end of the year and some back ground on them. I won’t bore you with all the written work but have included some to tell the story of the portfolio. I’ll blog one for now and the second at a later date. Let me know what you think! An excerpt from my Statement of Intent:

Intentions/Purpose of the photography to be undertaken
To compile a collective of Portraits of people, portraying their personality in an interesting and quirky fashion.
Reasons for selection of the theme
Photographing people is a huge focus for me. People intrigue me and make me wonder about who they are, what they like, why they do certain things. Often portraits simply show an image of that person. What I hope to do is truly portray their personality within that image.
This project is Rankin & David Bailey inspired. Studying their work I find each and every portrait shouts the subject’s personality out and this is what I hope to do with my portfolio.

PORTAIT
Por-trait
n
1. (Fine Arts & Visual Arts / Art Terms)
a painting, drawing, sculpture, photograph, or other likeness of an individual, especially of the face
2. a verbal description or picture, especially of a person’s character

PERSONALITY
per·son·al·i·ty
n. pl. per·son·al·i·ties
1. The quality or condition of being a person.
2. The totality of qualities and traits, as of character or behavior, that are peculiar to a specific person.
3. The pattern of collective character, behavioral, temperamental, emotional, and mental traits of a person:
4. Distinctive qualities of a person, especially those distinguishing personal characteristics that make one socially appealing.
5. A person as the embodiment of distinctive traits of mind and behavior

 


ERIN
playful
adj
1. full of high spirits and fun
2. good-natured and humorous
Erin – Taken early spring on 12th March, I had spotted the location a week previously and decided to return with the children to do a personality photoshoot as they both love the outoodoors and are active adventurers. It was a dry day, and pretty overcast. This worked well for me as the light wasn’t too harsh and the shadows not too sharp with the clouds acting as a giant softbox.

I selected my 24-70mm f/2.8 lens to enable quick natural photographs without having to change lenses for different focal lengths as the children explored the field. I took this shot at a fairly high ISO for outdoors at ISO1250 because of the light and my camera was set at a medium aperture of f/7.1 to achieve a sharp image. I had a fairly fast shutter speed of 1/640.

The image itself oozes Erin’s character with the slight cheeky smile and matching look in her eye as she peeks through her hair. The POV angle worked well with this. The only thing I would like to have changed would be the light in her right eye, it’s quite dark hidden under her hair but overall I think the image worked very well to achieve a personality portrayal of a very playful but funny 5 year old.

 


JACOB
fun·ny
adj. fun·ni·er, fun·ni·est
1.
a. Causing laughter or amusement.
b. Intended or designed to amuse.
As with the image of Erin, this was taken early spring on 12th March, I had spotted the location a week previously and decided to return with the children to do a personality photoshoot as they both love the outoodoors and are active adventurers. It was a dry day, and pretty overcast. This worked well for me as the light wasn’t too harsh and the shadows not too sharp with the clouds acting as a giant softbox.

I selected my 24-70mm f/2.8 lens to enable quick natural photographs without having to change lenses for different focal lengths as the children explored the field. I took this shot at a fairly high ISO for outdoors at ISO1250 because of the light and my camera was set at a medium aperture of f/7.1 to achieve a sharp image. I had a fairly fast shutter speed of 1/640.

This portrait choice is more candid than the previous. After Jacob was pretend sword fighting with some of the reeds he accidentally whipped himself on the hand with it falling into giggles, I quickly shot the image as he laughed and brought his hand to his smile. From my position in the reeds, the grasses in the foreground set a great feel for the image. I processed this in a high key, pastel style that really enhanced the image, his blonde hair and freckled cheeks.

 


TWIN TWEENS
tween
n.
A child between middle childhood and adolesence,
usually between 8 and 12 years old.
confident
adj
1. having or showing confidence or certainty; sure
2. sure of oneself; bold
Madeline and Abigail are 12 year old twins. They have a fun style with accessories and the attitude to match. I wanted to go for a more urban look for the photographs to suit them better and chose to do a recce near their home in Abington. Taken again in early spring, I chose to organise the shoot for early evening around 6pm for lower sun light and less shadows.

I was aiming for a different mood to those of Jacob & Erin’s photographs so opted for my 50mm f/1.8 lens for softer, brighter images. With Madeline and Abigail being older and more posed than natural I didn’t feel the need for the versatility of a zoom lens and stuck with my prime 50mm. Both were shot at ISO1250, f/2.8 and 1/100

Positioning the girls slightly off-centre to the street sign and in front of the red bricks really made them stand out in a cool and “urban” feel. You can see from the image that the twin on the right is showing the more adolescent side of tween whilst the twin on the left is showing a more innocent middle childhood side. Their hats are a great prop, adding to the confident statement of their personalities.

 


MADELINE & ABIGAIL
ret·ro
n. pl. ret·ros
A fashion, decor, design, or style reminiscent of things past.
chic
adj. chic·er, chic·est
1. Conforming to the current fashion; stylish.
2. Adopting or setting current fashions and styles; sophisticated
With this shot I wanted to produce a more Sally Mann inspired image crossed with David bailey twist. I used a wooden garage painted white that I found on my recce. It worked as a great background with a more rustic and retro look to it.

This was taken in the evening around 6.30pm so I had my ISO set for ISO1250, the aperture wide at f/2.8 for soft sultry edges and a medium shutter speed of 1/100. I got the girls to change from hats to their headscarves for a retro feel. Abigail loves her sunglasses so I suggested she wear these too.

The result of the image is a cool retro-chic posed portrait in which the girls could easily be seen as older and a little more pouty much like Sally Mann’s controversial images do and reminds me quite a lot of David Bailey’s portrait of the Kray brothers. It looks like it could have easily been taken back in back in the 60’s and portrays their eye for fashion on unique retro style.

 


RIA CURLS
Quirky
adj.
1. informal terms; strikingly unconventional
Feminist
adj. of or relating to or advocating equal rights for women
I first saw Ria sat in the park on a sunny day with a friend and their babies. I approached her and asked if I could photograph her for my folio, thankfully she obliged! When we met for our arranged shoot the sunshine of the early spring had diminished somewhat but not completely, leaving bright but cloudy skies.

I found a spot under the trees of the Racecourse and decided to take this image with Ria sitting and me standing above her. This POV enhanced her eyes and facial features. The catch-light makes her eyes sparkle. Shot at ISO400 on my 50mm lens and f/5.6 to give a neutral balance to light and sharp detail and 1/400 shutter speed.

I chose this image because of how crisp Ria’s face is and the brightness of her green hair. It shows her quirky attributes and her hint of feminism that is softened buy the new mother twinkle in her eyes. Being under the trees the ground is dry dirt rather than luscious green grass which enhances her hair further, showing that women can do what they want with their style and don’t have to conform to the norm.

 


ESME
colourful
adj
1. having intense colour or richly varied colours
2. vivid, rich, or distinctive in character
Esme works in a tattoo shop in Northampton where I had my last couple done. I initially went to ask my Tattooist Charlotte if she would be up for modelling for my folio and they both joined in. Being partially covered in brightly covered tattoos and a huge fan of colourful make up I knew it would be an interesting shoot. Esme like many tattoo wearers find beauty in things where beauty is not normally found or classed as a classic beauty, which is why I kept the abandoned tyres in this shot and sat Esme on a rock that was part of a derelict building.

The weather was troublesome, sunny one minute and overcast the next. I shot this on my 50mm lens at ISO800 with a medium-high aperture of f/7.1 to keep the distinct details of tattoos and make up and to prevent the tyres from blurring too much in the background. Shutter speed of 1/320.

Very pleased with the end result and picked this image from the shoot because of the good composition and the tyres! Esme proves that tattooist can be girly, colourful and beautiful. The contrast of her hair against the background works really well.

 

CHARLOTTE & ESME
Alternative
Adj, denoting a lifestyle, culture, art form, etc., regarded by its adherents as preferable to that of contemporary society because it is less conventional.

Charlotte and Esme jumped at the chance of modeling for me when I mentioned a derelict building for the location, enforcing my decision and thoughts on using the manor house for it’s decaying alternative beauty. It was midday so difficult with the sun light. I chose to do this shot in the doorway of the house with the sun streaming through where the roof and floors were missing and backlighting the leaves of the wilderness that had grown inside.

The sun at this point was strong and bright so I adjusted to ISO160 and kept at the mid-high aperture of f7.1 to retain sharp colour and detail, shutter speed 1/320.

The overall feel of this photograph is pleasing to the eye with the colours, the alternative beauty and light. The weeds growing up from the door and the bushes that have appeared over the years inside the house add to the colourfulness of the girls with their tattoos and make up. The position of both Charlotte and Esme work well, with the appearance of coming from inside the building.

 


CLAIRE
bub·bly
adj.
2. lively; animated; excited
3. Full of high spirits;
I scouted this location whilst out walking in Little Houghton, a disused railway that is completely overgrown but the dark brick bridge still standing. Claire and I walked there after taking some shots in the rapeseed fields. It was a warm bright day but and the light was filtering in on this wall where I placed Claire for a few shots.

With the ISO set at ISO100 I chose my 50mm lens at f/2.5 and a shutter speed of 1/500 trying to balance out the harsh sun and give and interesting depth of field with the bricks and Claire’s face.

Mid-shooting Claire burst into fits of giggles and I captured this candid moment between posed shots. It truly captured her giggly and bubbly nature. The image worked much better in black and white than the colour, enhancing her facial features further with her wrinkled nose and dimpled cheeks.

 


JAYNE & DYLAN
cheek·y
adj. cheek·i·er, cheek·i·est
Impertinently bold; mischievous and saucy
proud
adj. proud·er, proud·est
1. Feeling pleasurable satisfaction over an act, possession, quality, or relationship by which one measures one’s stature or self-worth: proud of one’s child
On a gloriously sunny day I took Jayne and Dylan to the rapeseed fields for a summery shoot of Mother and Son.

My camera set at ISO100 with my 50mm lens and shutter speed of 1/400. I kept it at an aperture setting of f/4.5 low-medium to achieve the blur of some of the rapeseed but to retain the detail of colour and detail on Jayne and her son.

This image was one of my favourite of the collection and also Jayne’s. I depicts both Dylan’s cheeky and mischievous personality as well as Jayne’s proud motherly side. With a slight vignette the blue of the sky is enhanced as well as the green of the rapeseed stems. The composition has worked well with me crouched on the floor for a different POV, framing Jayne and Dylan with the rapeseed and sky.

 


JOANNA
vin·tage
adj.
2. Characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal; classic.
Classic & Timeless
cool
adj
6. calmly audacious or impudent
11. excellent; marvellous
I met Jo through our joint appreciation for Vintage VW campervans and was asked to shoot her wedding. The day was particularly hot and sunny, skies bright blue, light and pretty.

I was using my 24-70mm f/2.8 lens for versatility in a busy situation of a wedding for ease of capturing several different focal length shots. Shot at ISO100 with a 48mm focal length, f/6.3 to retain blueness of the sky and detail of Jo’s tattoo without losing too much of the 1960’s campervan in the background. Shutter speed of 1/400. I added slight dark vignette for a more vintage feel.

A successful image portraying Jo’s love for vintage, her cool calm expression under her vintage veil with a hint of rock and roll with her tattoo on show. There is just the right amount for the depth of field to show the campervan without it being the prominent focus of the shot.

 

So that’s it! Portfolio number 1 shared… will post up the other one probably next week. Would love to hear what you think, leave a comment below.

H. x

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