Portraiture with Paul Wilkinson

Back in December 2016 i was lucky enough to be able to do a couple days work experience with award winning photographer Paul Wilkinson. As i study photography at University, this was a great opportunity for me to learn and also build relationships and contacts in the industry. The studio, located in a little village in Buckinghamshire called Haddenham, has a definite 70’s theme running through the narrow yet intricate two story building. The ground floor inhabits a viewing room and informal meeting room with a view of the award winning garden that surrounds the building; up the stairs you will find the work room where three dedicated team members organise and manage the business, and finally the studio is located at the end of the top floor; equipped with lighting, flashes, and backdrops, this makes for the perfect portrait studio set up.

Aside from being an exceptional photographer, Paul is also extremely charismatic, fun, and easy to work with; there wasn’t a moment that went past where he wasn’t making someone laugh or smile. This showed me how important it is to make your client feel at ease and to enjoy their time with the photographer. Building positive memories while you shoot is key to making people remember you and most importantly love your photos.

I learnt that light is your best tool. Of course photography would not work without light, but you have to know how to use it. When to use natural light and when to add in studio lights or flash, knowing how to subtly compliment the clients physique, and making sure that the overall composition reflects the needs of the client. While i was at the studio, Paul shot for a woman promoting her health and fitness business, he shot at the charity Hearing Dogs, and for a young couple who wanted keepsake snapshots. As well as never taking a break from his work, Paul has a wide range of clients who he is very dedicated to; every shoot is just as important as the last, and the energy levels continue throughout the day and into the evening.

At the end of my work experience, Paul and the team asked me to come back this July to help run a work placement week for GCSE students. Of course i was flattered to be asked to come back to work for them! The week consisted of teaching four students from a local school the basic skills about how to operate a camera manually, and about the business side of photography.

I was able to use my own knowledge of portraiture, lighting and composition to help the students. I enjoyed this even more than i thought i would. It reiterated how important it is to understand your camera and to know your manual settings inside out. At the beginning of the week the four students had a minimal knowledge of photography and by the end of the week, they were producing work that was of a standard far above their age range.

Paul and I kept going over simple tasks such as going out and focusing on different parts of the camera, like shutter speed, or depth of field. Once they were comfortable with that aspect, we then added in another, until they were able to balance all three components and produce technically great images.

The students saw how Paul operates on a day to day basis; shooting, editing, business and promotion. He was realistic about the pros and cons of the industy and we helped to fuel their creativity and drive throughout the week.

Interiors

I think bedrooms are the most personal space there is. Wether you enjoy decorating or styling your room’s aesthetic, it’s still a reflection of you and your interests. Personally i really enjoy picking decorations, colours and patterns to decorate my room with.

Just over a year ago i completely redecorated my bedroom. I turned it from a dark, dreary place, into a bright and airy space. I replaced the boring cream carpet to washed out pine wooden flooring; I then repainted the walls bright white, and picked black and white patterned damask style wallpaper to go on one wall behind my bed. I already had cream and white bedside tables and dresser, and i also chose a cute Emma Bridgewater design for my bedding.

While picking out these various components, i also eradicated the clutter from my bedroom. I cleared the surfaces and shelves to only essential favourite items; through doing this i found a sense of calm – sounds strange i know – but by going for a minimal look it helped in my organisation and in turn made things a lot easier and quicker for me.

Of course i’ve photographed a few of my favourite parts of my bedroom to share with you. Enjoy!

The Fashion Bloggers

The social media empire is ever expanding; it’s responsible for so much sucsess and young people have been brought up to use things like Instagram to begin their own brands and develop unique styles that kickstart careers.

Fashion is a platform to express individuality and self promotion and we’ve seen so many pages and blogs rise up in followings and publicity, names such as ‘Basement Approved’ and ‘That Pommie Girl’ are becoming more and more popular.

It’s inspiring to see these blogs grow; it makes your own ambitions and goals seem more achievable. As a photographer i am always looking for new projects, people and events to get involved with and although i study Photojournalism, i also have a passion for portraiture and fashion photography.

Friends or friends at University of Leicester are interested in exploring street style and have been inspired by various photographers and bloggers; they wanted to build up a body of their own images, and asked me to help out with a small shoot; they had previously found locations that fitted their aesthetic and I spent a couple of hours shooting them, which was a lot of fun.

I love the photos; it was fun to listen to the looks they wanted to achieve, and helping to visually create their own versions.

Winter Favourites 2016/17

Fluffy gloves, wooly coats and snuggly accessories are actually my favourite things all year round! But as the weeks got colder and colder i thought it was only sensible to make a little more room in my ever growing wardrobe for some new garments.

Being a student in Southampton is great until it gets to below 5 degrees…then being able to walk everywhere doesn’t seem so fun after all! I’m always cold if i don’t keep myself moving, so i invested in a pair of grey mittens. They’re suede on the outside with some detailing on the front, with synthetic fur lining the inside – perfect for my cold hands!

I am loving grey this season and have found that it goes with most of the clothes in my wardrobe…and while i found some mittens to warm my hand, i also need to keep my feet toasty too! I wanted some casual, comfy boots that i could wear with jeans and perhaps a hoodie or jumper. While in Primark on the hunt for a bargain or two, i picked up some dark grey boots, much like Ugg boots. They cost me £5.00 and are the warmest and comfiest shoes i own!

A girl can never have too many pairs of fluffy socks, and this for christmas i was happy to receive a cream, pink and grey pair! They are much longer than normal socks and are perfect for wearing around the house or to bed – i haven’t taken them off yet!

For my final winter 2016/17 favourite things item…is my pink woollen coat by Zara. I have been searching for a smart winter coat for nearly a year and I found it while on a shopping trip in Oxford a few days ago; it’s extremely warm and perfect for my wardrobe. It can be worn with jeans and a casual top, or formal wear such as a high waisted skirt and shirt, i love itdsc_0043

ELLE Inspired Winter trends shoot 2016

It’s finally Christmas. And what better time to embrace the beautiful surroundings and the trends that have come and gone this year.

I wanted to shoot in a location that i knew well, and also one that would compliment the style of the shoot – in this case the gorgeous garments my model was sporting.

Wendover woods is situated in Buckinghamshire in Chivery. The woods are managed well and attract many people across the county to come and enjoy the nature! I thought it would be perfect.

I spent a lot of time choosing outfits and styling my model. I wanted the clothes to look stylish, the high end of street fashion. I applied minimal eye makeup and dark lips and eyebrows as this is one of the most popular winter makeup trends this year.

I was inspired by ELLE and Vogue magazine for this shoot. Their editorial spreads are creative and high end. I wanted to try and execute my own version – enjoy!dsc_0015

 

Evidence

I’m now in the 7th week of my degree here at Southampton Solent University. I can safely say that i’m enjoying my course and uni life and wouldn’t change a thing about it! As you can imagine i have many projects and assignments on the go; but one in particular has stuck out from the rest.

I received a brief to choose a topic to photograph, research and present. I chose Poverty.

Poverty is everywhere. It doesn’t matter which country, city or town you are in; it’s evident worldwide, but you may not always notice its there.

It made sense to focus on areas close to home. While i knew i could easily go out and take pictures of homeless people and their surrroundings i wanted to take a different approach. I wanted to photograph the evidence of poverty.

In poor areas crime is high; violence, vandalism and unemployment is rye. I wandered the streets of Southampton and found areas of dereliction. This can manifest itself anywhere and money has a huge part to play. People, work places and communities are dysfunctional without jobs, drive and focus. Young people turn to vandalism when they have nothing stimulating them to do better for example.

This is clear everywhere; Although we may turn a blind eye because this behaviour has become ‘normal’ it’s a cry for help and i want to document this message.

‘The last Party in Space’

If you’re a fan of trance, house and dance music, if you’ve ever visited Ibiza, or even if you just love to party, I’ll bet you will have heard of Space. Located in sunny St. Josep, Balearic Islands, Space is one of the most prolific and highly awarded clubs in the world.

Owned by Pepe Roselló, Space opened in 1989 and is the home of DJ royalty such as Carl Cox and Rickie Hawtin. Inhabiting 5 rooms this makes Space one of the biggest clubs on the planet. The sound systems are unimaginable much like the prices; it costs about €40 to attend an event in Space alone…but everyone will tell you it’s defiantly worth it. Weekly events include; Carl Cox is Revolution, Glitterbox and Elrow.

Originally Space brought freedom and a diversity of music and cultures to an island that had almost no leeway in terms of creative/musical expression; little did they know that it would be one of the most highly visited tourist attractions on the island, many DJ’s have even asked to play there without being paid. The club became even more successful when they introduced the 22-hour party on Sundays from 8AM running through until Monday at 6AM.

This summer at the end of August I flew to Ibiza to stay with a friend; amongst visiting other acclaimed clubs on the island, nothing could prepare me for Space. I was used to clubs not even a quarter of the size, and playing songs that you hear everyday on the radio. Space is an experience and it grips you as soon as you walk in. I had never heard sound systems of such a high quality, playing music that you cant help but move too. At first I was apprehensive, being in such a foreign place (literally) I was taking it all in, but once 20 minutes or so passed I fully embraced the Ibiza dance scene. The DJ’s are so passionate about their music, which translates to the crowd; everyone was dancing without being conscious of themselves or people around them. Good vibes only.

Although this may sound very melodramatic, Space opened my eyes to music I didn’t even realize I liked! I knew it was something I wanted to experience again, but sadly in case you didn’t already know (spoiler alert) Space has closed and Carl Cox hosted the last party on the 20th September. I know many people are deeply upset as Space has become such a prestigious venue, quite literally the life and party of the island, but rumor has it that Space will reopen in a new venue but until then, watch this space!

 

 

 

 

 

Muse

While i was at college i did a lot of photography work and actually met one of my best friends (Holly) on the course. We helped each other out a lot, and i ended up taking many pictures – mainly portraits – of her over the couple of years.

Some are from projects such as emotion through portraiture and distortion.

I thought i’d share some of my favourite ones on here!