The Garden

As a portrait photographer I photograph faces almost daily. Over many moons in this field I’ve noticed a pattern: almost every time a woman arrives make-up free, ready for the artists to do their job, she apologies for her face. “You’ll have to forgive my face - I’m not wearing any make up” seemed to have become something of a standard opening line at the beginning of such a large number of my shoots. It wasn’t long before I was noticing this in day-to-day life, too, and on more than a few occasions I found the same words tumbling from my own lips. We’re not talking about particularly insecure individuals, nor are we talking about people who usually cake themselves in products. There seemed to be some unsaid rule that unless women were wearing make up, we were somehow below par. 

Naturally, there had to be a photographic project in this. 

I grew drawn to the idea of reversing my usual set-up for photo shoots. I’m most often found creating pictures amongst wild and untameable nature with a beautifully made up model. This formed the basis of the concept behind The Garden. The idea was to create an entirely fake 3D flower garden - the floral equivalent of a made up face - and photograph the bare faces of women amongst it. My plan was not to persuade women to go make up free forever, neither was it to suggest that make up or the work of make up artists is any less wonderful than we know it to be. I was merely curious to see how this reversed photo shoot would look aesthetically and to put it out there that a make up free face is nothing to apologise for, but something to be celebrated. The project was announced, with the promise that the images would be edited overall but no facial retouching would take place besides removing what was impermanent (a pimple, a stray eyelash…). Twelve women came forward and, over a period of twelve weeks, in twelve sittings, we captured The Garden. 

Thank you to Louise, Alice, Jessicah, Bexie, Anna, Charmaine, Kitty, Emma, Lara, Danielle, Laura & May letting me photograph your beautiful faces for this series. Also a big thanks to the lovely folks at Shropshire Cat Rescue for loaning some of the smaller flowers, and to Anne, Barry, Molly, Joanne & Charlotte for joining the backdrop painting party!

LGC Meet Up - Cannock

Over the last few years I have been to a handful of photography meet ups and left each one feeling inspired and overwhelmed by the amazing humans I’ve had the joy of spending time with. Last year, the marvellous Michael Savage and I co-hosted our first UK meet up for the Let’s Get Creative project, and for any other photographers who fancied joining the fun.

We originally intended to head to Cannock Chase, but feeling uncertain as to who may arrive later on and whether they’d find us, and due to the lack of bus info at the station, we instead wandered through a rather photogenic nature reserve armed with the world’s most incredible picnic and several smoke bombs. What started as a group of mostly strangers quickly became a group of friends. It wasn’t long before we were wading through a stream, climbing trees and throwing talc around (what can I say…artists are wild).

Thank you to everyone who came to the Cannock meet up. I had an amazing day and I hope you all did too.

To anyone hoping to join future photography gatherings, keep a lookout on my facebook page - there will be more!!

And a few favourites of the more candid pictures I took throughout the day, just because :]

Links to the work of the talented souls who attended the gathering:
Anna / Ana / David / Bristy / Sam / Michael / Siyana / Jay / Shaheen / Matthew / Kristina

Brooke Shaden’s London Gathering

Back in August I made a little trip to London to join what must be around 100 amazing photographers at a little evening gathering hosted by the pretty incredible Brooke Shaden. A few hours in the company of these wonderful folk was not nearly enough. Here are a few portraits I took during the evening.

And a few (ok, quite a lot of) snapshots from throughout the evening…

June 2014, In Pictures

Aside from travelling and client shoots, I barely touched my camera in June. Enjoy a blog post full of Scandinavian travel photographs. More to follow.

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