Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Art Nude/Boudoir Workshop with Denton Photography (Please be aware this blog includes images of nudity)

Christmas madness has finally taken hold in our house. Icing chocolate reindeer buns at 6.30am was probably the event to tip me over the edge so in an effort to remove myself from the chaos I'm posting some images here from a workshop I did last month.

Boudoir is all the rage right now, and increasingly a popular event for brides-to-be to offer a special surprise for their future husbands.  However, its not exclusively for the young and many in their fabulous forties, flirty fifties or even sexy sixties are seeking out the attention of a good boudoir photographer who can provide a makeover/pampering session and come away with some fabulous images showing off their body at its best.

So when I found out John Denton was offering a workshop down in Dorset I decided it was a must.  As a member of the SWPP I have worked with John before, attending a members' training day earlier in the year (see earlier blogs). John is a well known photographer both as a creative and a trainer. I love working with him as he is open and willing to share his knowledge to those of us trying to get a foothold in this overcrowded industry. He also encourages you to think for yourself and try things, whether they work or not. I have been to some workshops where the stage is set up and you file through one at a time to take your shot without any thought or input to what you are doing.  Nedine of Fera Photography had kindly opened up her studio for the day to a small group of attendees and the beautiful Camilla was there as our muse for the day.  It was a typical November day - damp and freezing cold - but she gave us some great work both indoors and out with blankie and hot water bottle close to hand between shots! These are my images from the day, including Camilla's trade mark test shot pose!

This was my first attempt at nude/boudoir style shots and started with some head shots (above). We then moved on to try different poses in the studio before going outside from some nude shots, finally ending the day back in the studio (after Camilla had warmed up!).

The art of boudoir photography is a wide ranging genre and likely to be interpreted differently by every photographer out there offering this service. 

And finally the test shot - familliar to all who have worked with Camilla!  I take my hat off to her (but no more mind!) for working in such extreme temperatures to such good effect.

Boudoir differs from glamour photography by aiming to produce beautiful, tasteful and empowering fine art photographs capturing the beauty, sensuality and individuality of the subject .  While the client may be dressed in lingerie or partially nude, boudoir photography probably has as much to do with attitude than their clothes, their figure or their age.

I hope to be offering Boudoir Sessions in the near future, but anyone interested in acting as a model for a shoot can contact me and I will happily provide images on disk in return. 

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy 2012!

Now, back to those buns.....
Judi x

Friday, 18 November 2011

Summer Picnic in Suffolk

As the days turn colder summer seems a fleeting memory, but one day in August was a day to remember for Alan and Amanda as they celebrated one year in their lovely new suffolk home.  They marked the occasion with a summer picnic to share with friends and family.  The day was a mixed one - typical of the summer just gone, with sunshine and showers, but nothing stopped the enjoyment of the occasion. 

The rain stopped in time for everyone to enjoy some glorious evening sunshine dancing to the band .  With a marquee and band playing, games for the children and plenty of food and drink on hand it was a lovely way to celebrate their move from London to the beautiful Suffolk countryside.

The photographs captures the spirit of the day and Alan and Amanda will have a beautiful album of memories to remember this special occasion.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Model portraits part 2

Time has excaped me once again and I've been neglecting my blog for too long!  There's so much to post but first to catch up on the second workshop of contemporary portraiture back in September.  Part one covered natural lighting - here part 2 looks at use of flash to give a more creative feel to a portrait.

The first two shots here used side lighting to light the right side of the body - just enough without too much contrast throwing the left side into excessive shadow. The image was shot from ground level to create a backdrop from the sky - slightly underexposing on the sky to bring out the cloud detail and using the side box lighting to light to the subject.

I choose to desaturate these images in lightroom to add to the mood.

The next set of images were taken using the quadra ranger ring flash.  I love this piece of equipment and its effects and am now saving hard to purchase my own!  The set up was simple and shot from directly infront of the subject.   I chose to put these images in monochrome to compliment the subjects outfit and setting.


The final shoot was a creative piece using the oversized chess pieces.  Off camera flash was used, again shooting from a low angle and under exposing the sky to bring out detail.


 The use of studio lighting techniques can enhance a portrait even used in an outdoor location. It brings additional creativity and effects the final mood of the image. Use of post-processing techniques in lightroom or photoshop can further enhance an image. 

Many thanks to John Denton, our model for the day Fredau and The Societies (SWPP)  for running the workshop.  I look forward to incorporating some of the skills and techniques acquired in future shoots.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Model Portraits - natural light

Between shooting and editing its great to squeeze in time for training.  Not only does this get the mojo and creative juices flowing but its also a chance to learn from some of the top photographers in the business. Last week I joined a small group of photographers for a SWPP members day session with John Denton.  John is an established photographer with a hugely sucessful business at both ends of the spectrum - shooting and training.

John works with a number of top models and for this session we were lucky to have the services of Fredau Hoekstra to provide our muse for the day. The morning session covered natural lighting techniques while the afternoon covered use of flash for more creative images - more on that session in my next blog.

One of the tasks we were given was to take 6 head shots (and no more!) of Fredau, putting her in the poses of our choice. My six photos are below and using tips picked up from John, I was very pleased with the results.  A good training session and more skills to bring to my next shoot. I'll be checking the SWPP members board to book my next training date!

If you are interested in a portrait shoot please contact me at judi.checketts@gmail.com to book your session. My rates are reasonable and I keep the session fun and informal!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Man's best friend...

Its been a while since I posted and after a busy summer there's lots to catch up on so look out for more blogs on what I've been up over the next few weeks.  Today I want to share with you some photos taken during the summer when an old friend came to stay with his pet schnauzer Ross.  I've known Ian since I was a teengaer (so a long time!!) and Ross since he was a puppy.  Ian moved to Madrid a few years back when I was still living out in Boston in the States. Like me, he wasn't one to leave his pets behind so his best buddy went too.  Ross is now 14 years old - and starting to slow down.  Earlier this year he was diagnosed with liver disease and Ian thought they only had weeks if not days left together.  Miraculously some pills from the vet have worked wonders for him and Ross has bounced back.  Not a cure, but much improved and enjoying a good quality of life in his old age.

So it was great to see them both over the summer and I decided to get some photos of them both together.  We went for a walk in the woods nearby (the benefits of country living!) and Ross was like a puppy again running through the woods.  I got some great images of them both - and of my boy Jack who found Ross irresistable!!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Design Templates

I love to check out other peoples blogs and am constantly amazed at the creativity and wealth of shared knowledge available.  I have recently become a fan of The Coffee Shop Blog; Rita who runs the blog has created some fantastic frames/storyboards and actions for photographers. Amazingly most of them are free to download.

Here's a couple of examples using the coffee shop colorbar colour palette:

They're great fun but be warned - Rita is right when she's says using them becomes addictive!

The Coffee Shop Blog

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Golden Wedding Anniversary in Dorset

Its amazing just how many wedding anniversaries there are at the end of July - both my parents and my husbands parents also married on the last weekend in July. They of course were teachers and keen to make it the first weekend of the summer holidays which goes someway to expaining the appeal of this weekend. This year it was the turn of Ralph and Freda to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary and great to see two people still happily married and enjoying life together.  They had a celebration with their family & friends which included son Clive and his american wife Lisa - friends of my husband and I from our days when we were living in the USA. 

It was a lovely day, the rain stopped midday and the sun came out which allowed everyone to enjoy the garden which was looking splendid thanks to Ralph's green fingers! We enjoyed catching up with old friends and I captured some great pictures of the couple with their family and friends - some of my favourite from the day are below.