Monday, 21 November 2011

I spy...

Meet Max. Max is a Ragdoll cat and totally lives up to the breed name. He is soft and fluffy, sweet natured and prefect for cuddling, which he adores. He has one of the loudest purrs I have ever heard! Another trait of the breed is the colour of their eyes. They are blue, like deep pools of cool water you could just dive into. Gorgeous.

Sunday, 13 November 2011


Meet Henry. He is a bouncy little Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever puppy and he is mine. How could I resist taking some photos of such a little cutie?

I bought him home when he was just nine weeks old. He was a little bundle of fluff who just wanted to chew my foot and missed his brothers greatly. He is about 23 weeks old now and has settled into his 'new pack'. He is clever, quick, playful, naughty, funny, stubborn and eager. He loves peanut butter and sausages (even both together!) and walks. He gets way over excited when he meets new people and dogs and my cats think of him as that great annoying lump in the house, though he is actually very good with them even if he does always want to play when they don't.

Having pets myself I understand that they are part of the family. Pet portraits are one of my passions and photos of a beloved family pet make great gifts. I'll leave you with just one more photo of Henry, for now, but I am sure you will see more of him here as he grows up to be a handsome boy.

Monday, 29 August 2011


Sometimes I get asked to do a photo shoot which is fun with a capital 'F". I was recently asked to photograph a young girl with a big personality and bags and bags of energy. I travelled to a little seaside town called Weston-Super-Mare for a shoot by the sea. The day was overcast but warm and so I suggested we went down to the sea front and found some great spots to take photographs.

 Like most children, this little girl had so much energy and so it soon became clear that standing still and posing was not an option. She was always on the move and so I set up some scenarios to shoot as I wanted to capture her personality. The first shot was taken with the pier in the background and I just love the way she is swinging on the railings, and the second shot was taken on some decking by the sea front. I asked the girl to do some star jumps for me and to make them BIG. She did a fabulous job of them I think!

She was a complete natural in front of the camera and loved having her photo taken which made her a real joy to photograph. The shot above was taken during an unguarded moment when she was laughing with her mum (out of shot to the camera's left). I did take a few that were more posed but this one was my favourite of these  - there is real fun in her expression I think. When we stopped for refreshments I discovered where she got her energy - chocolate cake of course!

I think it is really important to keep any portrait shoot fun and relaxed and so I have always favoured the lifestyle shoots on location, but this little girl made it so easy. We had a blast hanging out by the seaside.

Saturday, 6 August 2011


I come from a background in theatre where I worked in stage management and lighting so I have heard the saying "Never work with children or animals' often enough. So I should know better right? Fact is that I am an animal lover though. I grew up surrounded by various animals and have my own small menagerie, so it is only natural that I love to photograph animals.

Our pets are part of our family and so I offer pet portraits at Imaginography. Recently I had the pleasure of photographing Dori, an extremely affectionate and bouncy spaniel. The shoot was outdoors at a spot where Dori often enjoys her walks with her owners. It took a few attempts as Dori was more keen on exploring everything going on than posing for the camera, but I got some nice portrait shots of her, relaxing beneath a tree. Every few seconds though it was too much for her and she would have to come and see the camera, or her owners. The most important piece of kit to have in your bag when shooting animals (apart from the camera!) is patience. We were certainly rewarded with some adorable photos!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

The Lily Pond

Whenever I go out for the day, invariably my camera goes with me. You never know when a shot will present itself and quite frankly I enjoy taking pictures. It's also good to keep practicing my art and keep pushing myself to improve. This photo of a duck in a lily pond was taken recently on a day out visiting an arboretum. This little pond lay at the end of a path and was surrounded by Japanese Maples. It was a gorgeous day and quite idyllic. I watched the ducks for a while but it was this little one, sat on his own amongst the lily pads that caught my eye.

I was pleased to find out recently that this photo won a bronze award in an International competition. I used my 70-200mm f2.8L and kept the aperture wide to blur the background lily pads.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Beauty on the Wing

I am incredibly lucky to live relatively close to three Bird of Prey & Falconry centres. I adore Birds of Prey and think they are incredibly beautiful to look at and watch in flight. I visit these centres fairly often and of course, my camera is always with me. I thought you might enjoy seeing some of my most recent photographs from recent trips to The International Birds of Prey Centre ( in Gloucestershire and the Cotswold Birds of Prey Centre ( near Moreton-in-the-Marsh. Both are excellent centres, committed to the well being of these birds and their conservation.

On both trips I used my EF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM lens. I find that it is a perfect lens for photographing birds that are perching or being handles as you don;t have to get too close and risk spooking them and it is also great with a x1.4 converter for capturing the birds in flight. I must admit a 400mm (or larger) would be preferable sometimes for catching the birds as they fly but if you watch and catch the moment I have found the focal length I work with to be fine, especially if you know where to position yourself so you can catch the birds as they come into land or catch their 'prey'. Check out the photo of the vulture in flight (above) to see my point.

Other than kit, I recommend patience which is a must when photographing all animals. Try and watch the subject for a while to see how it behaves. I like to try and capture aspects of their behaviour too and it is important to check your shutter speed if you want to try and freeze the motion, however, a little wing blur in flight can give the impression of movement. Take care though to ensure the bird's eyes and head are completely in focus unless you want to blur the whole image in an 'artistic' manner.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy these images and that they might inspire you to go and visit a Birds of Prey centre near to you and take some of your own photos. Remember to always be respect of the birds though as some of the birds can be highly strung. If a bird seems upset, move away until it settles down.

To get the best shots, talk to the staff and ask where is best to stand for the flying displays, but make sure you do not get in the way of the birds flight. I love photographing these amazing birds and I'm planning my next trip back to the ICBP already.

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Castle shoot

My preferred style for portraits is informal and natural and so I mostly like to shoot outdoors using natural light rather than stick to the confines of a studio setting. Of course, the downside to this is that I am not in control of the light and sometimes it can be very changeable! On this particular day the sun was quite strong, causing all sorts of shadows through the trees, but then clouds would cover it and the bright light would vanish in an instant.  The upside though, is that I can photograph clients in cool locations.

These two shoots were taken recently for a writer and the location of a ruined castle was perfect for them. My favourite is the first photograph as I love how the stone changes from the moss and lichen encrusted green and black to the red stone further up the tower. Finding the hole in the wall where the stones had been taken or fallen away was fantastic and just perfect for the shot. It actually made a great place to stand as there was the remains of an old spiral staircase which had obviously been built into the wall at a later date when the castle was further fortified.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Down town

Part of being a good photographer is to recognise that there is always something to learn. There is always a new technique or a different way to do something that adds to your overall skill as a photographer. Last year I decided to book myself on a course with Damian Lovegrove, a well respected photographer and trainer in the UK ( on the Urban Portraits workshop which was held in Bristol.

 We all met at the start of the day in a coffee shop before hitting the streets of Bristol with our lovely model Stina. Damien demonstrated his approach to taking portraits in an urban setting using natural light and off camera flash. The photos from the shoot that I have chosen to share here are all using natural light and were shot on a Canon 50D using a 70-200mm f2.8 or 24-105 f4 lens. (I will share some more photos from the shoot that used flash in a later post).

Workshops like this are great for brushing up on skills or trying new things in a safe environment. It was great looking at the urban landscape and searching out locations that would make good photos. All the things I picked up that day were added to the skills I bring with me when I do a portrait shoot for a client, whether it be for couples, kids, families or a photo of someone special. It's the only way to keep developing as a photographer and to produce a great looking set of photos for the client.

If you are interested in booking Imaginography for a shoot, then please visit my website: Thanks : )

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Chance Encounter at Wells Cathedral

I recently decided to spend a day in Wells in Somerset, which is famous for it's wonderful cathedral and historic past as well as being the main setting for the film 'Hot Fuzz'. I spent a happy day wandering around in the sun, sitting in the Bishops Palace gardens (which are so pretty and peaceful) eating ice-cream and generally acting the part of the sightseer. Of course I had my camera with me to complete the image.

Towards the end of the day I was walking around Wells Cathedral and admiring the wonderful architecture and taking photos when they closed part of it off for evensong, just as I got there. Disappointed I decided to make my way through the cloisters to the cathedral grounds. As I did this a door at the end opened and the choir neatly made their way past me to the cathedral nave. I couldn't resist taking a photo as they approached me through the late afternoon light slanting in through the glazed window arches.

Literally a minute or two later the door at the end opened again and a late chorister came out at a smart pace. Just as he passed me he dropped his hymn books and music. He quickly picked them up and then hurried along to evensong. i quickly raised my camera and captured his moment of haste. I didn't notice at the time but, when I got home I noticed someone was peering around the door into the cathedral nave; presumably wondering where their errant chorister was. As I've said before, for me at least, photography is all about capturing a moment and I was very pleased to capture this one. It has become one of my own personal favourites.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Weddings Past: Liz & Jake ~ 1st May 2010

These photos were taken at the wedding of Liz and Jake in 2010. It was a fairly small and intimate ceremony with family and close friends present to help the happy couple celebrate. I thoroughly enjoyed shooting this wedding, from the bride's preparations (even helping her dress!) right through to the ceilidh and hog roast. The bride and groom were obviously happy and their joy in their day was palpable. It was a fun and relaxed day and this is what I aimed to capture in the wedding photographs.

The weather man had threatened rain but luckily, just as for Prince William and Kate Middleton recently, it didn't rain on their parade and the day stayed dry. I was therefore able to capture them leaving the venue on the red carpet and guests were free to mingle outside drinking rum punch while I took the group photographs.

My style for weddings is relaxed and informal, mixing reportage, candid, detail and formal group photos. I always recommend a few group shots as it's a good record of who was there to look back on, and shows clearly the coming together of two families. I think it's important to get these photos done quickly and with humour though, so that they don't impinge on the day and guests don't become bored!

Happy Anniversary Liz and Jake. May the road continue to rise to meet you on your journey together and I look forward to taking photos of baby Freya!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Tiptoe Through the Bluebells

 The main reason I take photographs is that I love doing it. Plain and simple. I enjoy capturing that moment in time before it is gone forever. I enjoy producing something that is beautiful to look at and that others will enjoy as well as myself. I like the creative process, from deciding on the subject, or location and how it will look, through to choosing the correct kit, taking the photo and uploading it to the computer for post processing. 

 With Easter out of the way and some time to myself I decided to take a trip to the woods and photograph the bluebells. The Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire is home to some of the finest bluebell woods and this year they adorned the forest floor in abundance, stretching as far as the eye could see, into the trees. I found and followed a narrow path through the flowers and happily strolled and snapped away the afternoon.There was not another soul in sight and so I just had the birds and squirrels for company.

I always take along a waterproof backed blanket on trips like these. I have learnt from experience that my penchant for getting down low, often on my tummy, can get me a little mucky and often damp. It was while I was getting low for one of the shots that I found my ankle being assaulted by a wood ant. Apparently I was on it's route and it was letting me know. I quickly retreated before more rushed to it's cause!

I chose to use my 17-40mm wide angle lens for these shots and used minimal post processing afterwards as I like to get things right in camera as much as possible. Hope you like the three photos I have shared here. There are more on my Facebook Page. Just search for 'Imaginography' and why not like the page while you're there too? Thanks! : )

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Smile : )

It's important for a photographer to have a sense of humour I think. It helps us cope with the unexpected and to laugh about it later. Eventually! It's also a vital tool for getting on with clients and helping to create a rapport which is vital for great natural looking photography. A sense of humour can help them relax, make them smile at the right moment, or laugh if your jokes really are that good, (or bad!). It's part of the skills mix that photographers need, especially if they work with people.

It's also important that clients get a sense of who a photographer is as a person and not just the standard of their work. I have many friends who have been disappointed with their choice of wedding photographer because they felt they were intrusive on the day. One friend remarked that their photographer didn't smile once and that they didn't feel relaxed at all. You can tell from their photos too. They look tense. A couple booking their wedding photographer will want someone with them on their day who they can relate to. They are entrusting a virtual stranger to capture their memories. A little humour goes a long way to helping make sure that these are happy ones. There are limits though, no-one wants a comedy act behind the camera (well most, someone might!) so leave the Fez at home!

Anyway, Happy Easter. I thought the little animated video was apt for this weekend. I'm a big fan of Simon's Cat, being a cat owner myself and a little sense of humour helps there sometimes too! Hope you have a lovely Easter.

Thursday, 21 April 2011


Welcome to the world of Imaginography! 

I am a photographer based in the UK and have set up this blog as a way to showcase some of my photographs, provide sneak peeks of shoots I have done and to chronicle my thoughts and feelings on this adventures into photography ~ hence the name of the blog. Come with me on my adventures as I build my photography business and hopefully, bring a few smiles to some faces along the way. 

For now, the photo I have used as my background (for now) is of a lovely model called Stina. You can see her on the Lynx adverts : ) 

Thanks for dropping by and do come back and visit. It would be great to see you here : )