26 January 2011

Mad Men Themed Wedding

Ahhh, I think I've nailed it - this is my new style of blog images and I chose Laura and Michael's wedding to test with because I just loved the way that Laura so cleverly worked to the Mad Men theme she had chosen.

21 January 2011

100 Women of Liverpool

I am looking for 100 Women of Liverpool - women who are simply fabulous, women who are achieving amazing things with running their own business, women who are making a difference even on a small scale within their community, women who are incredible carers or have lived through trying times with a smile on their face.

Do you know any Women of Liverpool who you admire?  I am photographing 100 women - everyone involved will walk away with a copy of their photograph ready to frame as a thank you for helping me to photograph 100 Women of Liverpool in 2011.

Please get in touch if you think you are an amazing woman, or if you know of an amazing woman who I should photograph.  There are only two simple criteria - firstly they must live in Liverpool or the surrounding area, and they must have a story to tell, however local, however small, because of the difference they make.  Maybe they just smile everyday and bring a smile to your face, or maybe they simply make the drinks at a coffee morning for the elderly, bringing cheer into their lives.

Help me find 100 Women of Liverpool - please get in touch today!

12 January 2011

Inspiration for My Wedding, Portrait and Fashion Photography in Liverpool: Jack Vettriano

In the second of my series on the work that inspires my wedding, portrait and fashion photography in Liverpool, let's look at the artist Jack Vettriano.  I love his work, the way he uses light, the styling of the set where he creates the image, the colours (which are apparently achieved by the way that he paints all his canvases orange before he begins work).  Vettriano is a self taught artist, and meets with disdain from some in the art world, however he has had a powerful impact on the public - many people know his work "The Singing Butler" with the couple dancing on the beach, a butler holding an umbrella over their heads as they waltz.

It's hard to pick out one particular image of Vettriano's that has inspired me most as I love so much of it.  But one that perhaps explains a style and approach that I love to create in my own work is Days of Wine and Roses where a girl sits at a table, a glass of red in front her, a cigarette in her hand, and her face half hidden by the brim of her hat.  I love the questions that Vettriano leaves unanswered in the painting - who is she sitting with (the hint is there in the half drunk glass of wine opposite her and the serviette slung lazily across the arm of the chair), why have they met, what is she thinking, why does she look pre-occupied in her thoughts.  

In the spirit of protecting copyright, here is the link to the painting, Days of Wine and Roses by Jack Vettriano, rather than copying it into my own post.

Other paintings that he has created take us straight into another era, but all have a connection through the questions they leave the viewer asking as they observe the unfolding story.  Another painting I adore is The Temptress, where we see only the legs, feet and hand of a woman, glasses discarded on the table, a clear attitude in her pose.  Vettriano creates a story through objects, the position of the people within the painting and in relation to one another.  It is clear that he puts a great deal of thought into the execution of each set before he paints the subject.  In my own photography I look for things that need to be included in the image, or expressions that need to be exchanged in order to tell the on-looker the story unfolding within the image.

More to come in the weeks ahead on what inspires my photography - if you haven't heard of the paintings that I use to demonstrate my inspiration I hope you will follow the links and can enjoy the works that mean so much to me.

The Liverpool Wedding Show, Knowsley, January 2011

This weekend it's the biggest wedding show in the Liverpool, if not the North West, with The Liverpool Wedding Show - plenty of fabulous exhibitors and thousands of brides visiting makes this a very popular wedding show in Liverpool for both the brides and the exhibitors.  We are very excited at Zoe Photography that we will be there exhibiting, and looking forward to meeting brides getting married in 2011 and 2012 ... and I'm sure there will be one or two looking at getting married in 2013 too!

And don't forget to visit our sister stand, City Girl Makeover Photoshoots, next door but one, where Sian Louise Auld Makeup will be showcasing our boudoir photography in Liverpool, makeovers, wedding makeup, and gifts for mums and bridesmaids.

As if that's not enough, we also have a shared stand between City Girl and Zoe Photography - Posy and Lace is vintage, vintage style and vintage inspired gifts with wedding umbrellas and parasols, plus beautiful brooch bouquets, vintage tea sets, jewellery and beautiful pressed glass.

We look forward to seeing you there on Saturday 15th or Sunday 16th January at The Liverpool Wedding Show, Knowsley Safari Park.  For more information visit the show site.

If you want to make the most of your visit you may find this useful - Getting the Most Out of Wedding Shows

11 January 2011

Telephone and Internet Problems

We are currently experiencing a problem with our telephone line at the exchange and BT are struggling to fix it.  Please call on 07792 650 742 if you get an engaged tone on the landline, and please accept my apologies if I am not responding on my emails as fast as normal.  Without internet I am doing things on the iPhone and at home, so it's proving a little slow.  Sorry.  I haven't had an update from BT since 3pm but as they'd promised a repair by the end of the day I am now starting to assume that the repair has not been successful so far.

08 January 2011

2011 New Year's Resolutions

I don't usually do new year resolutions - I am more of a challenge setter at any time of year.  But I guess some of those challenges are resolutions.  So here is a list for 2011:

  1. Laugh at life - my life that is - as if this is the only life I have. Actually, as I don't believe in an after life, I guess it is the only one I have!
  2. See the good in everyone - after all, no-one gets up each day intending to be horrid to others, so maybe by seeing the good in them I can see beyond anything I don't like in some people.
  3. Tell my mum about the happy memories I have of my childhood - like Tubby the Tuba, walks around the Botanic Gardens, listening to her sing as she cooked, and the button tin.
  4. Find a way of organising things that works better for me.
  5. Create a dawn shoot.
  6. Don't hold back with some of my ideas for fabulous shoots.
  7. Make time for coffee everyday.
  8. Master off-camera flash so I didn't waste my money on buying that bit of plastic called the ST-E2!
  9. Book New York - very excited - and eat Breakfast at Tiffany's.
  10. Get the shower fixed.
  11. Finish painting the hall - yes, ALL the woodwork!
  12. Improve my use of light in my images.
There, 12 challenges or resolutions, one per month of the year.  That should be manageable.  So let's see how I do then!  I've started well - I've made time for a coffee everyday so far this year.

03 January 2011

Inspiration for My Wedding, Portrait and Fashion Photography in Liverpool: Fantine

My photographs don't just happen by accident.  My head is just full of ideas of shots I want to create, and these ideas have all been informed by things I see around me.  So I decided to share some of the inspiration with you so that you can understand more about my thought processes, and how I come to create the imagery I do.

The first image I want to share hangs in Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery - one of my favourite places to go, and definitely one of the best art galleries in the UK.  It is a painting I am very fond of and only recently I discovered that my father also loves this piece of work too.  It's a painting by Margaret Bernardine Hall called Fantine, and in the spirit of respecting copyright, instead of doing a copy and paste I am instead directing you to the Walker Art Gallery site to see the image there - Fantine - the painting is of Fantine from the story of Les Miserable at the point where the mother is giving her child up hoping that it will bring her a better life.

What I particularly love about this painting is the lighting.  If I were to produce a photograph lit like this there would likely be criticism for a poorly lit subject, but I believe that Hall specifically chose to light the subject in this manner.  The light is clearly coming from behind the mother, falling on the child, so we know that the story is about the child.  I also interpret the lighting to telling us about the darkness the mother is in as she is about to hand her daughter over to someone else to bring up on her behalf.

I'm not sure how this particular work will influence an image I take, as I don't want to photograph such raw emotion as I see in this painting.  However I do love the inspiration I can take from how light is used to tell the story, and it is this that I look to bring more into my work.

Watch out for the next piece of inspiration from the work of Jack Vetriano.

02 January 2011

Boudoir Photography in Liverpool

Boudoir photography doesn't have to be about showing it all - I much prefer it when boudoir photography is about sensuality rather than sexuality - and going by the reactions that the man in the girl's life has to the boudoir photographs I take, I think most men prefer sensuality too.  I look for ways to bring in an artistic approach into the picture, creating photographs that you'd be proud to have on your wall, something you'd be proud to present to your fiance as a wedding gift.

The best time to have your boudoir portrait session is around 3 to 4 months before your wedding.  You can arrange to have the disk of images so that you can make up your own album to give to your fiance, or you can leave it all to us at Zoe Photography.  We recommend that you also have your hair and makeup done professionally so that you can enjoy the full pampering experience, and we can arrange this for you.

Prices start from £250 (usual price £300) with hair and makeup and a disk of images for boudoir photography sessions booked in Liverpool before the Royal Wedding on 29th April 2011.  Our boudoir photography sessions are slightly longer than our regular Makeover Photo Shoots as we want you to be able to relax from fully clothed to as many or few clothes as you are comfortable wearing for your boudoir portrait session in Liverpool.  Albums can be created for you from £100.  Call 0151 708 5838 to book your boudoir portrait session now.