Jo Belfield Photography had a great time in the Cheshire village of Rainow photographing the gorgeous model Alix Dillon for a punk styled photoshoot. We were ably assisted by the amazing make-up talents of the lovely Vicki Oulton and ended up with some of my favourite images to date.
Jo Belfield Photography had the pleasure of photographing Michelle Kay who runs the web development company Your Webstar . The original use for the photographs were as corporate portraits, but when Michelle decided to apply to go on ITV's Tonight programme it was one of those photographs she chose to send them.
Michelle duly appeared on the programme talking indepth about women over 35, their self-image and their careers. The photograph was apparently well-received by the TV Company and appeared in a number of scenes too.
Congratulations Michelle! We always knew you were a Web star but now you're a TV star too!
I took models Katy Tyrell and Steven Mathers into Macclesfield to meet make-up artist Louise Kennedy. We did a photoshoot based around a very familiar part of the town and I was very pleased with the results. I love shooting on location and being inspired by not only the models and the clothes but also the architecture and surrounding landscape and how these four elements interact together.
Okay, so whilst you can catch up with me at @JoBelfield on Twitter, it would not seem I am a habitual blogger. So the next few entries are a little catch up of some of what I have been up to over the last few months....
I was lucky enough to photograph the fabulous Manchester band Twilightrobin at the Mind Body and Boogie festival 2009 in Bollington. I have been following this band for a number of years now and their music just gets better and better. Photos here are top: Alex on Bass guitar, Middle: Phil on lead guitar and bottom: Ben on vocals.
I took this shot from the road the other day whilst going on an evening photowalk. I am really happy with the tones of this image. I am working towards BIPP accreditation in architectural photography so there may be plenty more buildings to come!
I took this photograph as I knew the owner was interested in seeing any photos I came up with, but I hadn't been happy with previous attempts. I like this faux watercolour version. I am also going to do a black and white version on another one of the photos - I just haven't quite got round to it yet! I hope the owner likes it!
Any photographer will tell you that the key to a good photograph is good light and natural light is probably the best there is. So make the most of the long summer days by organising an outdoor portrait - either in your garden or at the location of your choice. Make the most of the light evenings and the summer holidays to preserve the memories of those golden summer days with a family or child portrait surrounded by flowers, grass, fields or fountains - it's all up to you! If you are interested in organising a photoshoot, please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will admit I am not fond of the "norm" when it comes to school photography. Sitting in front of a camera and lights is not the most comfortable or natural experience for anyone and since it is a natural and relaxed pose is what makes the best photos, the typical studio set up is something I shy away from. There are times it has it's place - for achieving a certain look or lighting effect, especially for commercial work or when using models, but for most of the time, especially when photographing children I prefer a much more familiar environment.
In an attempt not to get the strained smiles of typical school photographs and create pictures that you will be proud off I prefer to capture the children being themselves. So the best things to do are to let them play and act like they usually do whilst the photographer either blends into the background whilst photographing or alternatively I become familiar to them and they are happy to interact with the camera.
When I go to a nursery, playgroup, or toddler group to do a photoshoot I take the individual photographs hand held so there is no tripod to get in the way. I DO use a tripod for whole class pictures but otherwise I like the flexibility of angle and movement that handheld photography provides. It is much easier for me to interact with the children, get down to their level and engage them in the process and it makes for better pictures in my opinion.
If you would like to discuss a photoshoot at your nursery, preschool, playgroup, mums and tots group, or class please contact me by emailing email@example.com. I work in the Macclesfield / South Manchester area mostly but will consider going further afield.
As a mum I know that the moments that are the most precious are sometimes not the most obvious. They are not always the high days and holidays, the birthdays, parties, or the family get togethers. Those are all important times to capture and preserve photographically. But equally important are those quiet, close moments when you and your family can just be yourselves and celebrate that special bond between you. That's why I want to preserve those moments before you - so in years ahead, in times of hurried growing, learning and exploring you can remember a time when there was you and your small child enjoying a moment of peace and tranquility.
One of my favourite shoots was for The Little Apple Tree in Bollington. The owners are helpful and friendly and the gifts and interiors items on display are gorgeous! Perfect for gifts or to give you or your home a little touch of luxury for the Summer! Items by Jan Constantine, Emma Bridgewater and Cath Kidston are all stocked.
Sorry, I have suddenly gone very quiet! This is due to a number of factors but mainly due to the hard disk on my laptop packing up - it has takn me a couple of weeks to get it fixed. Also I have been doing a commissioned portrait job - my first paid job - which has taken up most of the last fortnight. It has given me the idea of setting up a photography business so watch this space. I have also been doing some freelancing and have at least made favourable contact with a couple of magazines.
Tomorrow I am doing a consult for a maternity shoot for a friend. We will be doing the actual session on Friday. I am so looking forward to it - in the meantime I have been doing my research and I have stumbled upon the amazing Jennifer Loomis - the creator of outstandingly beautiful fine art maternity photography. Inspiring!
I love candid photography. Far more than any that is posed. I love street photography for this reason. just catching those gorgeous moments an people in their natural environment being, well, themselves. As soon as you stop to ask people if you can take their photo or they spot a camera pointing at them then that naturalness is completely lost and the photo unobtainable. That is why I love this nifty gadget though I have yet to get one and try it out. I do think calling it a "spy" lens is really misleading. I have no intention of spying on people with it. It just makes you less obvious and the arty, beautifully composed, carefree shot / candid slightly less likely to be ruined by being observed!
Katherine Elizabeth Lewis and Nik Perring have been collaborating on a compilation of 20 photographs and stories they'e inspired. The book is being sold to raise money for the Alzheimer's society and is to be launched at the Waterside Cafe, Bollington on Sunday May 24th, 7 pm, with authors doing readings, signed framed images for sale, and, of course, the book! The Alzheimer's Society will have a representative there with information about their activities. Canalside Radio is recording the readings, etc., to brobe adcast later. All profits from book and image sales are going to the Alzheimer's Society. More information at www.eastofnorth.com.
Added to the Shutter Sisters One Word project: Share. This was a sharing experience - it is rare we have a ceilidh in the village (I think the last one was 4 years ago at the last festival!) It was an event tremendously enjoyed by the people that attended, we shared dancing, music, laughs and most of all a sense of Community which is what it's creator, the late Dr John Coope, wanted the Festival (and his other arts organisations in our little village) to foster.
Tom Hardwidge's blog has got me thinking - how do you know when a photo is good or not? There are some that I think "yes that's exactly it!" but others where I wonder if I have pushed the bounderies a little too hard, gone a bit loopy with the post-processing and I truly have no idea if it's any good or not. These are 2 photos that I feel that way about. They remind me of pen and ink drawings (I was a huge fan of Mervyn Peake's pen and ink drawings when growing up) but I wasn't sure whether I had just gone completly over the top! People liked them when I put them on Flickr - what do you think?
Ok. So I'm a girl. I like pretty things. And shopping. And photography. So what if I could find them all in one place? Would I be in heaven? Yes I certainly think so......
I have just discovered - courtesy of the wonderful Shutter Sisters - that bright, fashionable and girly camera accessories are now available from Etsy.com and (the so fab it's even named after me lol) The Photojojo Store.
So there you go - Camera straps - the smart girl's alternative to shoes....Or that might be pushing it!
Edit: Found the gorgeous camera straps at etsy.com at last so the link has now been edited to go directly to them!
I have been following with interest, and a fair amount of alarm, the case of Greek photographer Periklis Antoniou, who was arrested after taking a photo on the London Tube. The photograph, albeit of the inside of the carriage with a wide lens, included a 17 year old girl whose father complained about the photograph to the police, despite Antoniou deleting the photographs when confronted by the girl's mother. The photographer was charged with breaching Section 5 of the Public Order Act 1986, for causing 'public harassment, alarm or distress' to the father arising out of the picture taking. On Monday he was cleared in a hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court, following due to lack of evidence that the photographer had breached the Act.
Further details can be found on the Amateur Photographer site here.
I was trying to think of an image for Love Thursday , so I was thinking of things that I have loved recently. One thing that thought of was the amazing sculptures by Becky Waite. They are beautiful colourful concoctions made from discarded plastic bottles and bright, stunning embroidery. I stumbled across them at the truly magical Secret Garden at The White Gallery and grinned with pleasure as my youngest interacted with the shimmering dingle dangles. So I suppose this Thursday's "Love" for me is two-fold....love making art out of what would otherwise be rubbish and love the interaction between kids and art!
The recent fair at the Bollington Festival provided me with an unexpected treasure trove of photos. But perhaps the most valuable treasures were the subjects themselves. As it happened I was there as the fair was quietening down, the queues pretty much gone and the stalls starting to pack up. Suddenly I found myself with a handful of willing models who moonlighted as fairground staff. The images this impromptu photoshoot produced - candid, down to earth, unexpected, slightly skewed by the transformation of gaudy colours to grainy black and white - are some of my recent favourites and I hope to revisit theme sometime in the future to explore it further.
It took me 33 years to discover that I was a photographer. A happy accident that arose out of a chance encounter with some awesome amateur photography on www.flickr.com and the rescuing of my used-for-holidays-only point and shoot from under 2 years worth of clutter in the dresser drawer. I went outside to have a play and take a few creative photos and started on a journey that has absorbed me for the last 10 months. I haven't travelled alone by any means. I have met many fantastic photographers allong the way - some virtually and some in person - some in my village and the surrounding area and some on completely different continents. I am grateful for how talented, supportive, enthusiatic, nurturing and generous with their advice, praise and criticism these people are. I am also grateful for the support of my hubby and kids - who only occasionally get crabby that I take twice as long to walk anywhere now that I am constantly stopping to take a photo or complain about their portraits being taken every five minutes.
I am continually gobsmacked by how the lens can transform the mundane in our world - the buildings we ignore because we're not going there we're going HERE and the flowers, weeds, debris and tiny details that we'd miss if we weren't looking for them. At the minute I am generally quite limited in the geographical area I shoot in. I don't drive and I have to be back home for nursery andd school runs so there isn't a wide area for me to shoot in. So my Canon D450 has become my constant companion. My everyday haunts are then photographed and then photographed some more, and finally when the obvious angles have been done and dusted there is the looking for something else, the looking for the tiny too-easily-missed details, the looking for something extraordinary in the ordinary. I am surprised the little things I find, the things that I would never have noticed if I hadn't been looking for something beyond the bricks and mortar and tarmacadam we pass everyday. Constantly amazed, constantly challenged, sometimes thrilled, sometimes disappointed and certainly always learning.
I am a female photographer and mum to two boys. I specialise mainly in fashion and contemporary portraiture. I have a large studio in Macclesfield, big enough to undertake most commercial projects and create some fantastic images!