Friday, 14 December 2007


I have made some great photographic finds on the internet, people I never would have known about had it not been for my computer. These photographers may never be known outside of a smallish group of followers but they have bought me inspiration and joy through sharing their work.

Apart from the photographers I love and visit often - whose links are listed at the side - I have discovered the following

Elizabeth Soule - her series, Little Zoo is gorgeous and makes perfect use of the SX-70

Bosse Blomqvist - Bosse uses vintage cameras and coats his own glass plates to make some amazing photos

Katie Cooke - Specifically her pinhole work which is beautiful

That's just for starters, enjoy!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Wide Open

I am swinging wildly between excitement and terror at the moment. I have made the massive layout of buying studio lights and then realised that my digital camera doesn't have a PC sync socket, so I've had to buy a hot shoe attachment for it. D'oh! What kind of a professional am i?

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Deed done

So, this is scary. I have finally handed my notice in. I have 3 months left to work and then I'm out on my own in the big bad world of freelancing.
I've been putting it off for a while now but everything seemed to fit into place last week and make it possible for me to hand it in.
I know there's nothing like bills to pay to concentrate the mind and I guess I'll really find out if I can cut it, or at least not lose money.
I have lights to buy and contacts to make and I can't wait to get on with it.

Friday, 16 November 2007

The key to it all

Not sure what the key is, or even what it unlocks but I'm sure there must be one.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Double Vision

Another shot from the Sputnik camera, not a stereo picture but a mistaken double exposure that I really like. It's pure fluke that Joseph seems to be playing baseball with himself, while perfectly framing Adam.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Get yer glasses on

The first film through my Sputnik Stereo camera that actually works. Hoorah! So, put on your 3D glasses and be amazed.
I still have a lot to learn about getting shots that work but it seems to me that the more defined the layers of depth in your photograph, the better the 3D works.
This is the best shot of the lot.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Monday, 8 October 2007

German CD covers

I have had my first sale via picture agency, Trevillion, so I'm very excited. I've been with them for just over a year and have about 15 images in their library. The shot above will appear on a CD cover in Germany. It just goes to show that it's really worth doing that kind of thing speculatively because otherwise my photos would have been sitting on my hard disk doing nothing.
So now I intend to shoot more, with Trevillion in mind, and have some fun visualizing book and cd covers that I could take. It all takes me a step closer to living the freelance life...

On a completely different note, you should check out the first ever Filmwasters podcast. At 55 minutes long, it feels fairly daunting but it's so much fun to listen to that the time just flies by. I loved hearing about what all my friends over at FW are up to and be party to some really intelligent discussions about photography.

Monday, 24 September 2007

Ever feel like a robot? If I was one I'd love to be as cute as this one - it belongs to my son, but I'm constantly commandeering it to photograph because I love it so much. My only hang up is that it's eyes aren't very expressive, so I cut I some new ones from sticky paper for this shot. It's yet another photo that I plan to make part of a set - I seem to start lots of these sets and finish very few of them, perhaps I'll make it with this idea.
On the work front, I have been asked to run two 1 day pinhole workshops for A level photography students. I did one of them last year and it was great fun. We turned a room into a camera obscura and then made pinhole cameras and developed the results in a tiny art stock cupboard. Hope fully this year will be as productive and enlightening for students whose main experience of photography has been digital. I certainly learned lots from it.

Friday, 14 September 2007

Working late and unpostable film

Work has been absolutely manic of late - resulting in 13 hour days and lots of angst. I haven't done half enough photography and I'm missing it madly. I recently acquired a Sputnik stereo camera (I'm blaming Cam) and I've put a couple of films through it but nothing worth posting yet. The first film I shot was all double exposures because I didn't wind the film on 2 shots every take. The second film I experimented with using a close-up lens and it put the offset between the 2 negs too far out to use. So, I'm working on a third film, which will hopefully render some postable images.
On the upside, I have had my first paid for photograph published this week in Junior Baby and Pregnancy magazine. You can see it on my Tearsheets blog . I used my trusty Rolleicord and a closeup lens to take it, as the Art Editor likes the vintage camera vibe. It's a dream for me to be paid to take photos with my Rollei, so that's what I'm working towards.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

New Horizons

I recently borrowed Mark's Horizon and had great fun trying it out and thinking panoramically.
I love working with new cameras and finding out their quirks and perks.
This is an early version of the Horizon with no aperture settings and 2 shutter speeds (slow and not quite so slow). This meant that most of my film was overexposed despite using a 100asa film in UK weather. I did get a couple of shots I liked though, this one of the Tour de France being one of them. To get the motion of the cyclists passing left to right I had to hold the camera upside down so that it panned along with the bikes - which meant I got even funnier looks than usual.

Monday, 3 September 2007


I'm very excited because I've been working on some jewellery that I now have for sale at Etsy. It uses my sweet photographs on shrink plastic - I used to use an earlier version of it when I was younger - which makes a durable, hard plastic that you can use for pendants and earrings. I had real difficulty putting a couple of them up for sale because I've grown so attached to them. Especially this one

Anyway, check them out and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

I'd rather be here...

Vernazza, Cinqueterre.
I'm feeling a little low today as I heard that my entry to the Schweppes Portrait prize didn't get in. I shouldn't be surprised, there were over 6,900 entries, but a tiny part of me thought that I had a chance.

So, I'm wishing my day away, sorting out travel photography to send to various travel mags and agencies. Makes me want to go on holiday again.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Going Live

Hoorah! To coincide with the article in Black and White Photography magazine, I have launched my website:
I'm hoping to be able to direct potential clients to it and keep it up to date with my new work. It has been designed by my good friend Mark Warner, to be simple and elegant. I'm so excited, I could lay an egg...

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

In Print

I can hardly believe it, but my image of Kate and an article about a darkroom workshop I did with an amazing printer has finally made it into Black and White Photography magazine. It is so wonderful to see the image in print, along with 2 others that I'll post later. Back in June I spent a day up at Lighthouse Darkrooms with Mike Crawford, which was really useful and opened my eyes to the art of printing. Before, I had always felt guilty if I needed to spend very much time making my print look 'right', feeling that if you need to work too hard at it then the negative isn't good enough. However, watching Mike tease out the finer details of my image and give it a look and feel that, I'm ashamed to say, I had never imagined could be achieved, was a revelation.
For me, the joy is in the process of taking the photo: visualising, setting up, making all those choices about camera and film, pressing the button. I love the anticipation too, waiting to see if you got that perfect shot. By the time it comes to printing I've moved on, I'm thinking about the next image. So now I guess I can see just how important it is to follow through so I'm going to try and do it from now on. Or, at least, get Mike to do it for me...

Thursday, 16 August 2007

Ahhhh! That's better. Apart from the 14 hour delay on the way home, Spain was good. I spent the holiday getting to grips with my new digital camera, a Pentax K10D, and I'm starting to enjoy using it. It's not a patch on my Rollei though, so I'm hoping not to get overtaken by the digital 'ease of use' phenomenon and keep wasting that film.

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Taking a break

Holidays! I love 'em. I'm just about to go to Spain for 10 days and I am so excited. I can't wait to unwind, stop thinking too much and having to organise things. But, at the same time I'm already worrying. What cameras should I take? How much film? What if I get there and I haven't got the camera that would get me that perfect shot? I always go away hoping to bag some amazing holiday photos and then I spend the whole time concerned that I haven't. So, this time I am determined to go and not stress about 'the shot', I WILL have fun. Now, 3 cameras and 10 tonne of film should just about cover it...

Tuesday, 31 July 2007

All Fingers and Thumbs

Another plate image. This was a still life with forks. I have 2 boxes of these glass plates waiting to have new life breathed into them.

Ooo, I've just had a shivery premonition that I'm going to end up in an episode of CSI, where someone plants my fingerprints on a crime scene and frames me for a murder I didn't do. I hope it's the original one, I like Grissom.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

Wish me luck

On Friday I took a trip down to London College of Communication and dropped off my photograph for the Schweppes Portrait Prize. I didn't expect there to be quite so many people there, it was a little off-putting but quite exciting too. I've always been the sort of person who enters competitions, not because I ever think I'll win them but I just can't resist them. Still, I guess I wouldn't enter if I thought there was absolutely no chance at all. You've got to be in it to win it right? So, there I was queueing up with my portrait along with all the other hopefuls this year. You never know...

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Just what you didn't expect

I love this blogging lark, it's so nicely laid out, it makes everything I write look interesting...

I'm thinking about starting a mini-series with these images. They were made from glass plates that I loaded into my Rollei plate adapter, exposed and then developed, only to discover no image but this wonderful abstract. This shot should have been a close up of a pile of white napkins. I love the idea that the latent image never appeared but that I still made my mark on the plate. For me, it speaks volumes about artistic intent and unexpected outcomes.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

talking and listening

Do you ever get the impression that you're talking but no-one is listening? I'm not just thinking about this blog but life in general. I often feel like I spend so much time and effort, working on websites, contributing to forums, trying to sell postcards and convince people to put on exhibitions - sometimes I get fed up with doing all the chasing... Just once I'd love someone to call me up and say "Hey! Really like your work, what to put on a show for us/ publish a book/ earn loads of money?" Hmmm, not likely I guess. I'll just keep talking.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

Making lists

In order to try and become a freelance photographer I have had to take stock of what I want to and am able to do. With two young children at home I have limited time at the moment, which will change once no. 2 goes to school (another year). So I have lists and lists of ideas for money making schemes that will take up minimal time. Given that I love photography and want to be taking photos all the time, this isn't too much of a chore, but I also have to be realistic. Here is my current list:

1. Picture agencies
2. Selling prints (via Etsy, exhibitions etc.)
3. Selling postcards (Etsy, local bookshops and artshops)
4. Environmental portraits
5. Competitions
6. Running workshops (school's activities weeks)

These 6 things are all ideas that give me scope to work when I am able to and yet, hopefully gain some income. I'll post some more lists tomorrow. My notebook is full of them.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

The First Post

OK, just for the record, my life is not particularly exciting. Please do not expect posts about weekend climbing trips or bungee jumping. What I can offer is some words and links about my passion: photography.
At the moment I am spending time and money on trying to become a freelance photographer. I seem to be spending a lot of money on kit, portfolios and products and not recouping very much at all. I don't mind paying out too much because I have a part-time job that I quite enjoy, but it's in London and it takes me an hour and a half to get there, which is a pain.
I don't know if I'm going to make in the world of photography but I am, to some degree, an optimist, so I can only hope...

In the meantime, here is an image to get started with: