Dressing for an Autumn Family Session

Dressing for an Autumn Family Session
Autumn is a great time for family sessions. Those lovely, warm fall colors and some gorgeous light make for great photographs.

Here are some ideas of how to dress for your Autumn shoot:
1) You are always trying to keep clothes a little coordinated. If it comes to jackets you may not have a set that works for each of you. In that case see if you can swap jackets for sweaters.
2) Denims work really well. If you can all wear jeans it automatically joins you all together.
3) Use layers, scarves, sweaters, jackets and hats can make great outfits.

4) Go for appropriate shows – riding boots, wellies or fur boots are great. If not then sneakers and flats also work perfectly.

5) Try and choose colors that match the fall tones, so think warm browns, burnt orange or natural creams.

Cluan Place, Belfast – 15 years on.

In 2002, I visited Cluan Place in East Belfast for the first time.  I was visiting a couple of homes in the street, – people who were parishioners of a church that I belonged to at the time.  The reason for my visit was to see if their homes had been damaged in the rioting that was taking place at that time.   Cluan Place lies right on one of the Belfast interface lines, ‘peace-walls’ seperating two communities.  In the case of Cluan Place, it interfaced with the largely republican Short Strand area.  In 2002 friction between the two communities was at a height, and there was a constant police presence to keep the warring factions apart.  One of my friends in the street was an ederly man who had found a pipe bomb in his garden; it had been lobbed over the wall from the other side.

Cluan Place_Header

In August this year I had occasion to visit the street again.  It’s fifteen years from my first visit, and I havent been there since, and I wondered how the community and the atmosphere had changed.  was there still that fearfullness, that alertness of suuden attack?  was there a constant police landrover sitting at the single entrance to the cul de sac?

Needless to say, I had a film camera with me.  I never go anywhere without one, so after my visit with one of the residents I did some photographs.  I hope they paint a small picture of life in Cluan Place 15 years on.

The other side of the wall is Short Strand, equally smitten in 2002, – here’s some pictures of the wall from the Short Strand side, and a lovely new building, on the site where the old ‘Picturedrome’ cinema once stood.

If I had to choose my ‘image of the day’ – it would probably be this one, for after all, like life the summer barbecues go on!


August Mini-Models

August ‘Mini-Models’ are all now submitted to our ‘National Child Portrait Competition!’ – Raising funds for the Lullaby Trust to help promote healthy sleep in for babies.

Last month 12 lovely  Mini-models took part in the local competition, between them raising £120 for The Lullaby trust. And here they all are…

Join in here…


Kawasaki Motorcycle

Last week I noticed this lovely 80’s made Kawasaki parked at the unit next to our studio at Dundonald. The Nikon FG20 was sitting on the front seat of my car, – so as usual I reached for it and began snapping.

The camera was loaded with Ilford FP4 (ISO125) Black and White film. I developed it for 5.25 minutes in Ilfosol, to bring up the highlights, and increase the contrast. For an experiment, I pre-washed the film in water for 60 seconds, agitating throughout, then washed again for a similar time after the fix. Beautiful negatives, with acceptable grain.

PreWash Test_BikeIncidentally, I can’t begin to think what the bike rider thought when he came out of the shop next door, and found this old bloke with an ancient camera, down on his knees, taking a suspicious interest in his bike! Perhaps I’ll offer him a print!

Planning an Engagement Photoshoot. 

Perfect Timing for Your Engagement Session
At Portraits2Go.co.uk we suggest you book your engagement shoot as early as possible. Here are some reasons why:

If you are going to use any of the photos for “Save the Date” cards, invitations etc then remember they might need editing, you have to allow for printing time and getting them posted out to everyone – even the far corners of the earth.

We can provide a full print service for photo cards and photo invites by the way, please ask us for details.

While we do have some availability out of normal hours, you probably need to think about having an afternoon off. In fact you might want to treat yourselves to a special day out with your session being part of your fun day.

If you are having a location engagement shoot, remember we might need to re-schedule because of weather. It doesn’t happen often, but you don’t want to be running out of time because of a rainy day.

If you are using your engagement photos for a slideshow at the reception, then remember to choose them well in advance. Some people find choosing the right images can be quite time consuming.

We can create slideshows for you with exciting visual effects and music if you wish. We are happy to include other people’s photographs too if you have them (and have permission).

Getting the Levels Right

Here’s a useful wee gadget I use in the studio. Made by Lastolite, it helps set the white, black and grey points in post capture processing. 

I simply meter the light in the studio, set the camera to the appropriate aperture and shutter speed (usually 1/125th sec) and then take a shot of the triangle thingy. 

In Lightroom, I will then adjust the white and black sliders to show the triangle as perfect white and black. I select all the files then sync the settings. 

That’s it. All the levels in the whole shoot are now set!