I did a lovely photoshoot last week with lovely, spirited L from Southport and her parents. It was a lovely photoshoot with moments of complete introspection and thoughtfulness appearing occasionally in a very energetic and bouncy shoot. She is a real firecracker with a strong idea of how she wants to pose and I really had to let her work through it to capture those precious moments of calm where she was relaxed and truly herself!
To book your own photosession with photographer Jo Belfield, in the studio or on location at your home or other location special to your family, please call the studio on 01625 429162.
I am aware that in this time of recession / getting over recession we can dismiss good photographs as a luxury item and something we don't need. True, if it's a difference between a portrait and eating then it's obvious which one is the most important. However, photographs have an intrisic benefit towards our emotional well-being. They make us smile and remember a joyful experience.
At Jo Belfield Photography we aim to give you the best of both worlds - you can come and have a photoshoot for £35 with no obligation at all to buy. Under out "Archive for Life" policy we will store your digital images for life. We believe your photographs are your heritage, and if you want prints or framing next week, next month, in 5 years, 10 years or 50 years your images will be there to purchase. So even if money is tight and you can't afford the photographs now, at least don't put of capturing the precious moments which will otherwise fly by.
I recently won a copy of Housework Blues by Danielle Raine in a competition. Having avidly read the book from cover to cover I was pleased to note a section on photographs around the home. Read ahead to find out why Danielle values being surrounded by photographs as your loved ones as a tool to emotional well-being.
"A picture is worth a thousand words. Proverb
I recently embarked upon a full-day of housework. This is not something I do very often. Not because I don't enjoy a clean and tidy home - I do, I love it. However, I find that Great Big Cleaning Efforts mess with my head. There's a very real danger that all the mindless domestic activity will result in a head-space of frustration, despair or low-level fury. (Or on a bad day, all three.) Admittedly there are far worse ordeals to be facing, but I don't think I'm alone in occasionally feeling the strain of home and family maintenance. No, I am not the domestic type. Though I love being at home, (I include pottering on my list of hobbies) and I cherish being around my family, I am not a natural-born homemaker. For me, extended bouts of cleaning and tidying can lead to serious housework blues. So unsurprisingly, on the day in question, my mood was slipping as I picked up the umpteenth abandoned sock. (For some reason, in my house there will be, at all times, a lone sock at large, quite often where you'd least expect it (on top of the TV, the fridge door handle...) and virtually never where you would hope (the vicinity of a laundry basket.) Resigned to my fate, I scooped up the offending footwear with a weary sigh, mumbling darkly about it's owner. That's when I caught sight of my laptop. The lid was open and had gone into screen-saving mode, which displays my family photos at random. I was greeted by the happy, smiling face of Sock Owner. My bad mood vanished in an instant. I smiled and actually felt my shoulders drop as I relaxed. This photographic reality check reminded of what was truly important in my life: my family, the people I love - not the work that comes with them. I immediately softened and forgave the reckless sock-slinging, feeling far less aggrieved with my lot. That single picture was a perfectly-timed reminder of why I have such stuff to deal with - because I am blessed with a family. And even though the endless laundry, cooking, cleaning, tidying etc... does sometimes get me down, I wouldn't have it any other way. (Though I do look forward to bare-feet weather...)
So, after experiencing the powerful role images can play in the domestic trenches, I offer you the following chapter on the subject, taken from my book; Housework Blues - A Survival Guide.
Catch the highlights Pictures and photographs are powerful tools in obliterating feelings of pointlessness. The photographs we take and treasure tend to be of our life's highlights. These are usually the good times; holidays, birthdays, weddings, travels, achievements, etc. Making the effort to frame these and display them all over your home can work wonders on your emotional state and overall sense of well-being. On the days when you feel your life is nothing but housework, catching a glimpse of a photograph can lift your spirits and change your mood. Being visual, photographs work instantly. They are a fast-track connection to those happy moments, express reminders of what life really is all about. But in addition to being an effective antidote to feelings of futility, they also serve to remind you who you are making all this effort for and why. It's hard to dwell on 'what's the point...?' when faced with a fond memory of your loved ones. So fill your home with images of the times you've enjoyed and the people you love. Place some in prominent positions, for regular quick fixes, but also have some in more subtle places - coming across a forgotten photograph during your domestic efforts can provoke a much-needed smile. Swap and change To make the most of these effects, you'll need to move or update your photos or pictures fairly regularly. The brain quickly gets used to familiar sights and, in time, learns to ignore them. So the more often you see an image, the less impact it has. It loses its charm. Simply changing the positions of your photos will encourage you to notice them again, so swap them around as you see fit. Also, keep updating old pictures with new ones. People, particularly children, change over time and though a little nostalgia is nice, avoid living too much in the past. Try to keep a balance of old and new. Living in, and appreciating, the present is undoubtedly the healthiest of mental attitudes - so as wonderful new experiences occur in your life, surround yourself with the photographic evidence. Images of the future You needn't limit yourself to images from the past or present. Why not put up pictures of any places you'd like to go or things you'd like to do? These can be cheering, inspiring and motivating. They can help to lift your thoughts from the drudgery of everyday chores to fun ideas of what life could have in store...beyond housework. A common claim within success psychology is that images train the subconscious mind, which is so powerful, it can actually guide you towards whatever images it regularly receives! So, if you fancy a trip to Paris - stick a picture of the Eiffel Tower on your fridge! Theories abound about how this works, but even without scientific proof, if picturing your dreams for the future makes you feel better about your present situation, just enjoy the magic. Worth the dusting Perhaps you're thinking: more photographs equals more items to dust. Technically you're right. However I believe that the benefits vastly outweigh this fact. Would you rather dust ten items miserably, or a dozen items with a smile? Whilst minimalism may be the easiest decor to keep clean, a house should feel like a home, not just an efficient shell. It is the personal items that make your home unique. In fact - they are what make it home.
On 8th May 2010 Jo Belfield Photography were delighted to be the official photographers for the designer recycling event "Buy My Wardrobe". The event was attended by hundreds of London's most fashion-conscious residents who had the opportunity to buy gorgeous designer clothes from some of London's most famous fashionistas. All the photos from the event can now be viewed at http://www.onlinepictureproof.com/jobelfield/albums/events/82765
Digital images and prints can also be purchased at reasonable rates.
Jo Belfield Photography is pleased to announce a further two awards from the Society of Wedding and portrait Photographers. In the April 2010 competition, we were awarded bronze in both the Glamour and Beauty and the Digital Art categories. Both images featured talented Manchester model DamiLola and were taken during a photoshoot at our studio earlier in the month.
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!