Jillian + Phil = Ennis

Photographing newborn babies is just such an amazing experience. Capturing a life at the very beginning in all it’s newness and wonder. I love photographing babies – there, I’ve said it! Meet four week old Ennis Griffin. First-born son to such lovely parents, Jillian and Phil. Unphased by the occasion, Ennis chose to sleep through most of the session but did wake for a brief period, obviously got bored and dropped off again. Personally, I don’t mind shooting newborns asleep – after all they do sleep a lot so why not capture it? Ennis was photographed using available light – hybrid on film and digital cameras. The black and white pics below were photographed on traditional Kodak film, hand developed and scanned in-house. There is nothing quite like a true black and white film image, digital just doesn’t come close. It also offers the option of creating traditional hand-prints on gorgeous black and white fibre paper in the darkroom later on which are a simply stunning to view.

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Just a Polaroid portrait of Freya

I’m in love with shooting instant film right now; I’ve been using it a bit for personal work and have pulled it out at some recent weddings. There is something so gratifying about having a print in your hand in a couple of minutes. I’ve been photographing a mix of Fuji colour and black and white stock, both producing a 4″x3″ positive print and a negative that can be scanned. It’s like shooting in between medium and large format, a lovely big image area with lovely narrow depth of field. The pic below is just a quick grab taken of my daughter, Freya in pretty average light. The first image is a scan of the positive print.

Polaroid portraiture
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Styled children’s shoot photographed on film

I photographed these children last week on film at a shoot styled by Rachel Hayton from Aspire Photography  on the banks of Coniston Water in the Lake District. It was a fantastic opportunity to use a variety of film stocks exposing in a slightly different fashion and using several different film cameras, each with their own distinctive look.

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Black & white film portraiture

It’s funny how the simplest things can bring so much pleasure. Here’s a couple of portraits I grabbed in our city garden last week of my beautiful children Oscar  and Freya. The weather has been amazing here and they’d been playing under a blanket to shade them from the sun. It took the sting out of the harsh directional light and produced such a lovely even light source.

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Martinhal Beach Resort, Portugal – Family photography

There are few things more rewarding than photographing personal work, especially on film. During the Easter break we headed out to Martinhal Beach Resort, near Sagres on the south western tip of Portugal. The five star hotel and resort overlooks Martinhal Beach and is set within a protected natural park. I can honestly think of no better destination for a family holiday. We’re already counting the weeks until we can return – it really is a very special place.

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Fun family photography at the beach in Scotland – with coats!

We went to the beach at the weekend. It wasn’t super-warm and we kept our jackets on for the duration but that’s Scotland for you! I’ve shot a ton of personal work so far this year – a mix of 35mm & 120 film, mostly shot on standard lenses. So, just for a wee change I photographed this set digitally with a slightly wider 35mm lens – all pretty much wide open to control the depth of focus and isolate the subject from the background. I love photographing at the beach. The light is a little bit cleaner which adds a bit of punch to photographs and the sand bounces light back up in to faces which is really quite flattering – not that kids require that to be honest. creative family photography scotland Continue reading

Some personal work with an Olympus OM1 film camera

Good old Santa Claus came up trumps this year and left me a cracking Olympus OM1 film camera for being such a good boy in 2012! Well, OK then I bought it just before Christmas on Ebay along with a winder and a few lenses. There’s a lot to love about the OM1. It is about the same size as a Leica M camera, way smaller than Canon and Nikon’s offerings of the same period. The viewfinder is without doubt the largest on any 35mm slr – it’s huge and pretty bright. I got it with some decent glass; 50mm f1.4, 35mm f2.8 and a 200mm f4. I love the fact that I can carry the lenses in my pocket without being totally weighed down – they’re tiny, especially the 35. Feature-wise it’s pretty basic, which I love – I used the built in meter for all of these pics below and the shots are consistent throughout. I always shot slightly over what the meter showed which I found matched with what my Sekonic meter read.

I felt a real connection shooting with the OM1 – I guess it reminded me of my first camera, a Nikormat FT2, which was a good bit bulkier to be fair but similar in many ways; for example the shutter speed selector sits just behind the lens instead of on the top plate like many other cameras of the period. Another nice feature (and just like Leica glass) is the aperture dial is at the front of the lens making it a doddle to turn, especially with gloves on. The film rewind release is on the front plate just like a Leica M. The pics were shot on well expired Fuji Superia 400 rated at 800 asa and pushed two stops by RPL. The scans are a bit on the grainy side but I think they suit the  subject matter and the environment OK.

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Family photography on the beach in Scotland

Here’s a small selection of family photography from a day on Elie beach in Fife, Scotland.  The set was photographed using my favourite go-to lens at the moment; a Canon 50L. They were mostly shot between f1.2 & f2 and were processed in Lightroom using a VSCO emulation to sweeten them up a bit. Along side the digital files I shot my Hasselblad H1 medium format camera with Fuji 400H film.  The films will be heading their way to my fantastic lab, RPL in the US shortly and I’ll share them as soon as they’re back. I absolutely love photographing on the beach. The light has a very special quality to it, even on an overcast day. The colour palette is so soft and sand also works well reflecting light back in to faces creating a lovely soft glow. Perfect for photographing kids .


Family photographer Scotland

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