2nd July 2009 – Photoshoot number 3

Written on July 2, 2009 – 10:49 pm | by BryonyParkes |

It’s been some time since I did a photoshoot. I did one with my lovely sister yesterday. I am over the moon with the results! I positioned the set up away from any sun glare after my experience with Photoshoot number 1, used the flashgun properly to spread the light out across the set up, using the flash gun also meant I could use a high shutter speed to slim down any chances of blur and of course having a pretty gorgeous model helped!

I decided, as it was an adult model, and more importantly a relative, I could push the boundaries a little and faff around with different poses and background. I started off with my trusty white background, and then moved onto black which I haven’t used much before in portraiture. I have to say, I preferred the black in these particular shots so will make a point of using that colour more often.

I really enjoyed it, it was great to have a play in a relaxed setting and has reinstated some of my mojo, yippee! The full selection can be found here but following are a few of my favourites. Let me know what you think!

Photos taken at 1/200 and f/4.5, (flash gun used)

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4th May 2009 – Spending some time in the garden

Written on May 4, 2009 – 9:54 pm | by BryonyParkes |

Apologies for not blogging for a couple of weeks. Life and being a parent got in the way. As a result my photo mojo went out of the window for a bit. So what helps get my mojo back up and running? A good photoshoot is what.

So Mum asked if I’d take some shots of her garden whilst its thriving in Springtime, so even though it was a bit rainy I was very happy to oblige.

I’ve decided that it works well if you use a high shutter speed in outside shots, especially as increasing the ISO doesn’t have as much effect on the photo as an inside shot does and also as I wanted a wide aperture range for some serious garden greenery bokeh. I did find though, that when getting really close down to the ground then I had to use a slower shutter speed to get more light in as obviously the light fell in the more shaded areas. However it was good to know that I got the lighting, I understood my settings and although I know the photos won’t be to everyone’s taste, I was rather chuffed with what I came back with and the mojo quite restored as a result.

Here is a selection, of which the first was my PAD for the day (photos taken 1st May 2009):















Photos taken at 1/200 and f/5.6 or f/5.3 except for top right (bluebells) taken at 1/80 and f/5.6.

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9th April 2009 – Photographing your own

Written on April 9, 2009 – 8:20 pm | by BryonyParkes |

Blimey. Photographing your own children is hard. Especially when one is only 10 weeks old! There was hardly enough natural light in the room this morning due to the rainy weather so I decided to brave using the flash again (after last time I used it on some portraits it brought out some horrific shadows). I found that aiming the flash at the window worked best and the wide angle too avoided most shadow problems which was good as it meant I could use a much faster shutter-speed so none of the shots were blurry. On hindsight I think I’d have been better off with a pillow underneath the blanket for the baby and resetting the layout for my 3 year old. I didn’t learn loads this morning as such because I just wanted to update our personal albums really so there’s not a lot of point to this blog post but quite frankly I just wanted to show off my gorgeous girls.










Photos taken at 1/200 and f/5.6

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26th March 2009 – Photoshoot number 2

Written on March 26, 2009 – 7:21 pm | by BryonyParkes |

I did another photoshoot today of a 3 year old which I considered to be quite hard work. It was at her house, so I wasn’t used to the lighting – but am hoping that’ll get easier once I purchase the mini studio lighting kit that I’ve got my eye on. The subject, Izzy, is hugely photogenic and gorgeous but the age  is the difficult bit. Getting a good focus was hard as she (like most 3 year olds) would not keep still and it’s also harder to get this age looking in the right direction. I found that I couldn’t get her into the positions I wanted quite so easily as I had done last weekend, and capturing the natural smiles needed to be done by reportage rather than straight portraiture (if that even makes sense!). I’ve certainly learnt that I definitely need a bigger background for this age group so that shooting can be more natural and taking more of a “go with the flow” approach. I also need a lens that will allow me to shoot further away from them, but still getting up close in the picture.

Still adored shooting Izzy though, she is just gorgeous and Alice’s best friend as well so we did have a lot of fun. Here are a couple of the shots I thought were passable:

Photos taken at 1/40 and f/4.5

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21st March 2009 – The photoshoots start!

Written on March 21, 2009 – 4:11 pm | by BryonyParkes |

First photoshoot today with two lovely girls aged 7 and 4. I’ve known these two girls for nearly 4 years so they are relaxed in my company which was handy. I enjoyed the shoot, found that I got into the swing of putting them into position very easily, however wasn’t having a lot of luck with lighting. As I don’t have any photographers kit, i.e lighting stands, portable flashes or reflecters etc I find that in my living room, the best thing for me to do is take shots in natural light just before midday when it’s overcast. Unfortunately today, there was bright sun streaming in, and I couldn’t avoid it. Nonetheless, it was an experience I’ll learn from. Next time I’ll put a white sheet up over the curtain rail (thanks go to Lisa Fellows for this suggestion) to try and diffuse the glare, and perhaps I’ll set the shoot up in another part of the living room away from the direct light.

Other things I’ve learnt have been positioning wise, I much prefer the shots where they’re back to back, lying on their front, or others I took (which I haven’t displayed below) are with the older girl sitting with the younger girl in her lap and hugging from behind. These fare much better than straight next to each other face on shots I believe. I also like the interactive shots, where they’re playing/giggling at each other as they’re more natural I think.

Anyway, here are a few of the shots I took.

and here as you can see, the lighting issues that I had…

I am pleased over all though, the girls were a delight to shoot, and I’m positive it’ll get easier as I get used to the photoshoot setting, plus as my baby gets older so isn’t so demanding (she cried for a lot of the shoot) and I get more kit. I also think there may be more scope for improving the shots I took today, so I may have another go at some processing.

Edited to add: Photos taken at 1/40 and f/7.1

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