24th March 2010 – My first family photoshoot

Written on March 24, 2010 – 9:45 pm | by BryonyParkes |

Firstly, Happy Birthday to me, Happy birthday to meeee! I have had this blog for over a year now, go me :-)

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of shooting a lovely family of Mum, Dad and two gorgeous teenage girls. Such a photogenic family, will always make it easier to get some pretty good shots but I was pleased with how I did. I think I’ve still got a way to go yet before the lighting is 100% but it was a challenge I needed. It gave me the opportunity to use my lights and a bit of logistic thinking with the space I had.

I wanted to make sure that as well as some lovely posed shots, I got some natural ones too of the family being themselves and showing the camera the fantastic nature they hold as a family.

Here are some of my favourites :-)

and one more of the girls together, aren’t they just so pretty?

I am LOVING this photography lark at the moment. Long may it continue!

Photos taken at 1/125 and f/5/6 with flash gun and one studio light (with exception to curtain background)

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25th February 2010 – Meet Florence Elizabeth

Written on February 25, 2010 – 5:31 pm | by BryonyParkes |

Followers of my blog will remember I photographed my good friend Liz’s bump throughout her pregnancy. Well, on the 27th January 2010, the beautiful Florence was born.

Just a sneak peek today, but I’ll update with some more photos soon. Here’s Flo at 4 weeks old:

Congratulations to Liz and Lee, she’s such a cutie xx

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6th September 2009 – Photoshoot number 5

Written on September 6, 2009 – 12:35 pm | by BryonyParkes |

I know I’m supposed to be talking about my new shiny D90, but I remembered that I needed to blog about the last photoshoot I did. So before I go all slushy I had better get the talking about photos taken with my D40 over and done with first.

So, the week before last I did another mini photoshoot with Izzy. I have shot Izzy before, not long after I started doing these photoshoots, and as my friend and the gorgeous Izzy were popping in I asked if I could have a go at something.

Shooting children with a white background I find has always been fairly easy lighting wise. Shooting with a black background is something I haven’t got a lot of experience with and I wanted to give it a try while I was thinking about it. As it turned out, I really struggled with the lighting and wasn’t happy with any of the back background shots. I didn’t mind too much as I only had a few minutes and it wasn’t a proper photoshoot (of my kind), I was just trying a few things out but it did prompt me into looking further into it.

Aiming the flash gun at the ceiling or the window wasn’t as foolproof as I’ve found before when shooting with a white background so I don’t think the black helped. Depending on where I was also affected how the light fell whereas with a white background, I can usually stand anywhere I like. I was a bit confused as the photoshoot I did with my Sister turned out ok with the same set up, so what went wrong?

The aperture was slightly wider this time compared with my sister’s shoot – and I do think, looking back that I didn’t put much thought into the aperture setting with this shoot. As I was using the flash gun, I didn’t need to worry about light getting in, wasn’t after bokeh so why did it need to be that wide? I don’t know. Also, I need to think about my lighting more. I do have some lights after all, I need to buck up some courage and get them out of the bag.

Some of the shots I took are shown below. Please note: These are far from my best work, you’ll see that the lighting is all wrong. I am only sharing them for blogging purposes ;o)



I still couldn’t resist a shot or two on the white though. At the end of the day this one was the PAD and aside from the crop not being quite right as she’s not completely central, I do think I do better on white and prefer white.

I have since found out that with a black background its best to reflect the light away from it as much as possible. Also, as I already know, there needs to be as much distance between the background and the subject but I just haven’t got the space to do this at the moment. White background works well with flash gun as the light is bounced onto subject and background therefore making everything brighter. With a black background, light bounced onto the black isn’t going to work – it needs to be as dark as possible and only the subject lit up. This means I guess, that the flash gun just isn’t going to work as well with the black as it does with the white and it’ll depend on the other lighting in the room as well.

So next time, when shooting on black, I’ll use my studio lights, and a smaller aperture. We’ll go from there. What do you reckon?

Photos taken at 1/200 and f/3.5 (flashgun used)

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30th July 2009 – Random thing about me: Fact 10

Written on July 30, 2009 – 3:44 pm | by BryonyParkes |

I’ve been really looking forward to doing this random thing, what better excuse than this to do a little mini photoshoot with my girls? I don’t need an excuse of course but sometimes it takes something like this to give you a nudge.

“10) My girls are my absolute world. I am constantly wanting to be a better mum”

It’s not that I think I’m a bad mum, I just want what everyone wants: I want the best for my children. They deserve the best childhood and upbringing possible and I sometimes wish I could give them more. They are super girls though, I really am so very very lucky to have such bright and beautiful children. Did you know that the Big One can write her name at the tender age of 3 years old and 4 months? She can also draw her Nanny with curly hair, ear-rings, arms and legs! She can tell you that Mummy starts with M and Tree starts with T. I’m not boasting, this probably all typical 3 year old stuff but I think it’s amazing and I’m incredibly proud of my daughter and watching her develop is so much fun.

We once had a conversation about bees and how they make honey. She told me that the Queen Bee looks after the honey and the other bees go to flowers to get it. I asked her what happens after that? She gave it a quick thought and then told me confidently that then Winnie the Pooh comes! How I howled!

The Small One is only 6 months, but despite some really rough months with Colic and Reflux, she is just the happiest, bounciest baby in the world. When she’s not in pain (which thankfully is hardly ever now) she can beam a smile that would stretch to the moon if it could. She’s starting to learn how to crawl, it’s adorable to watch. She gets onto her hands and her knees, sometimes her hands and feet and her bottom wobbles to and fro as she rocks to go forward. She’s been sitting up unaided since she was 22 weeks old I think, so it’s a lot easier to leave her to it and she’s quite happy to sit there and watch her big sister.

I really enjoyed doing this mini photoshoot, they are gorgeous in my eyes so it wasn’t hard to get a decent picture. Of course I’d say that, and I wouldn’t want to hear otherwise ;o) It was challenging though, it was just me to direct and position them and take the shots at the same time. I finally put some new batteries in the flash gun which helped as well as it wasn’t starting to die on me, and I used my trusty old fleece blankets for the background although space issues meant that there wasn’t as much distance between the girls and the background so it’s not as seamless as it should be. I decided to try the black for a change (I normally only use white for children) I think it works well on this occasion, but wouldn’t like to use it all the time. I know I didn’t get the lighting quite right but that’s ok, cos I’m happy with them enough and will definitely be framing my favourite!



















And my favourite:

I’d love to hire a studio one day, give it a go properly. If I were ever good enough in the future to go Pro then studio photography I think, is what I’d like to do. Weddings for example will definitely NOT be my cup of tea, I have huge admiration for those who do them. I couldn’t hack the pressure of a different venue every time, different lighting, weather problems, trekking kit around with you, dealing with “the annoying guest with the camera” that every wedding always has, not to mention getting it right first time on a day that won’t happen again. If I have a knack for anything I think it’s studio portraits although I may think differently after I’ve taken my 500th shot in a studio! I would love to shoot a wedding one day for the experience, don’t get me wrong but studio shots I think is my forte. I’d love to know if anyone agrees with me, but of course be nice ;o)

Photos taken at 1/200 and f/5.0 (flash gun used)

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6th July 2009 – Photoshoot number 4

Written on July 6, 2009 – 11:41 pm | by BryonyParkes |

This morning my husband’s cousin came to visit and with her came the gorgeous little Chloe. Chloe is 16 months old and an adorable little girl. Definitely very photogenic with a beaming smile. I decided to continue the photoshoot experience and take some photos and fortunately her mother was happy to oblige but it came with a price. As of yet, she’s my youngest model (other than my own little girls) and boy was it hard! It was in her nature to explore of course, her nature to not keep still and stay in the designated area, so when you’re trying to take a decent picture it gets a little bit tricky!

It wasn’t an easy morning anyway as I had other distractions in the form of my youngest daughter Evie and for some reason I just could not get the lighting right. It made me realise that even if I wanted to, I’d never make it pro, the pressure would just be too much! How could I accept payment for photos that I couldn’t guarantee would be of decent quality? I’m so glad this is just a hobby.

I realised that I have a style when it comes to shooting children, I like to get up close. Hardly any of my shots of children are full length – although part of this is probably due to a limited set up in my living room which means it’s rare to get a full length shot and keep the rest of the living room out of the shot. I love children’s faces though, they’re so inquisitive and curious, when they smile, it lights up their face how can I not try to grab that? Having said that, my favourite shots from this morning aren’t the smiley ones, but that’s probably because when she did smile (which was a LOT!) then she was more excited, therefore moved more and it was harder to grab a pristine shot.

Anyway, I was actually disappointed with the shots overall that I did get from the morning, especially after last week’s success with my sister but following are a few of the best shots from the bad bunch I’ll share with you. It’s all experience and supposed to be fun at the end of the day so I’ll take it with a pinch of salt! One thing for sure, it was fab to work with such a cutie, I hope to have another opportunity to shoot Chloe again.




And lastly, the black and white shot – I rarely like black and white shots of children unless it’s a particularly contrasting photograph. The lighting was totally wrong on this one, so I gave it a go in b&w. Funnily enough out of two people I asked, one person said they loved it, and another didn’t like it at all. I’m undecided, the light on the left is just a little bit too bright. I think it just goes to show how different people’s tastes are.

Photos taken at 1/200 and f/5.6 (flash gun used)

The “Random things about me” series will continue tomorrow, watch this space…

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