Babes In The Wood – Photography Shoot

As we continued Carolyn Mendelsohn’s workshop Wandering On The Moors – Compelling Portraits. We were joined by our “mini” models for the afternoon: Anna, Claudia and Emily.

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With thoughts of “story telling” within our photography and further inspiration from my Author partner Rowan Coleman  We discussed how we could bring further narrative into our images. A book was agreed on as a prop and the wooded areas favored as backdrops.

I felt like our first model was an “imp” of the forest conjuring fairies and pixies as she read her stories out loud as the Folk of The Faraway Tree came to listen.

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Day Break Photography Workshops – Ponden Hall

Day 1. Carolyn Mendelhson’s compelling portraiture photography workshops, Ponden Hall.

Day 1. Carolyn Mendelhson’s compelling portraiture photography workshops, Ponden Hall.

Along with the rest of the group we ventured down towards the near by reservoir, gone 6.30am and the sun was peaking through. Still a fairly mild October morning, we scrambled down the reservoir bank and across a somewhat full stream to capture the magical morning light with Kizzy Brown.

The early morning light created an ethereal glow around Kizzy, so worth the early start to create images that were as magical as the atmosphere we shot in.

Wandering On The Moors – Compelling Portraits.

Wandering on The Moors with Carolyn Mendelsohn and other inspiring female humans, or Compelling Portraiture hosted by award winning photographer Carolynn Mendelhson and accompanied by guest photographer: Miss Aniela. In attendance 5 other inspirational females:

  • Gemma Brunton
  • Dani Heavens
  • Rowan Coleman
  • Rebecca LaChance
  • Kay Young

Based in  Haworth, Haworth the home of The Bronte Sisters and the setting for a photography workshop,  Ponden Hall was our base and home for three days,the potential real life inspiration for Wuthering Heights and setting a romantic but dark tone for the photography workshops.

As a photographer, you are constantly aiming to achieve the connection between subject and camera, I  attempt to portray narrative with or without figures within images, one of my first aspirations was to be an Author, I wonder if photography quenches some of that young “story telling” desire. If I am being honest I have never joined any photography workshops since becoming a full time photographer and considered this a huge step. But so many qualities of the workshop appealed to me: the location, the guest photographer (whose work I follow), Carolyn herself and the work she produces and her approach feels familiar and warm.

I keep looking a the images I have taken and tweaking ever so slightly in post processing and It is clear to say, I love them. Time will be spent over a few blog entries to enable reflection.

Bear with me as I take a little journey backwards.

  • Model: Ella McNeil
  • Stylist: Caroline Brown
  • MUA: Lauren Rippin
  • Photographer: CJGriffiths Photography

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Radiator Springs

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So here I am in Radiator Springs drinking expensive hot and cold drinks in custom made drinking vessels and Ben is gasping in amazement at how “well made” Disney has been put together.

 

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I see you Sign – CJGriffiths Photographer

It is so hard not to be mystified by the grandeur of what Disney had created and continues to create. No, I definitely do not want to be sucked in to the candy floss sweetness of it all, but The Americans just kinda do it so well and in a better climate.

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I am checking the architecture out, everything looks so “chocolate boxy”, it looks exactly like it does in the movies. I am basically just walking around the whole place with my camera glued to my face, look an obsessed tourist.

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The more I look, the more I want to take pictures. I am turning Disney into work, I want to just enjoy the moment like a big kid.

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Whenever I go somewhere, I am obsessed with getting expensive drinks. Disgusting really and sorta headache fueled sometimes. We were so worried about how much money we should be spending on stuff and with no idea of strong the pound was against the dollar, we held back, apart from expensive drinks!

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So Radiator Springs? You know where the popular “Cars” film is set ? It was better then any town I had been to. So clean and pristine and with piped music being played into the streets………hold on, whats that?

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Yes – that’s right, this is so Austin Powers, I can barely contain myself.

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We follow the fire engine to the wrong side of the tracks, wondering if we should go on The Bugs Life spinning ride, we arrive at………………………………the most hilarious and too good not to go on twice. Hollywood Tower.

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Again, again, again…….

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Which we did!

 

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We even tried to get on it a 3rd time!

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But it was nearly parade time.

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It is nearly parade time……………………………..

 

Day 1. California Dreams Do Come True – A photographic journal.

I do not want to come across boring, I mean who does…..But this trip really was that made of dreams.

After a ton of time and I mean quite a few years, me and my partner in crime, Ben were able to make it across 3k miles of sea to California. A late honeymoon, supported by a number of amazing people who donated money as a gift to help make our dreams a reality.

Travel to me is like being renewed or reset, a chance to look at other worlds and people and know that life is elsewhere.

Regarding photography, I once read an article about that mechanical instrument the camera, where the writer stated “keep some money back for travel and do not spend it all on equipment” – he was right.

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I never thought I would ever visit Disney Land – it is just not on my bucket list, a child hood fantasy perhaps and not on the “to do” list for California. The first day was supposed to be at The Vans Pool Party – Skateboarding event. But we were so near by, we just thought “what the heck”.

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In there before anyone else – early doors, taking care to notice signage explaining that we could be exposed to cancer or other hazardous chemicals (these signs are everywhere). Strange thing to read when you are entering a famous entertainment centre (America has all their bases covered, there is no way they are going to get a law suit slapped on them).

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So early doors, there was no one about…………..Now I am aware my images are starting off pretty dull and un-creative and ass I start my day but I have slipped into tourist mode and   just capturing anything that looks interesting and it all looks interesting.to be fair. Quite a dull day weather wise too, apparently it is known as “May Grey”! My partner in crime is bemused that I am even trying to take photographs, but you know – its an extension of myself, I cannot help myself, it is a affliction.

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It is all just so American!!!

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I know I am touch with my childhood spirit – but this is ridiculous.

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Even the toilet facilities are attractive – I am looking up at this window and thinking “is this the window with the candle that remains lit for Walt Disney’s return?” I have read about this and I like the level of creepiness.

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OH MY GOD!!!!! M.I.C.K.E.Y……..those Disney Staff are soooooooooo happy. Must be the nice weather.

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Everywhere I looked, I was like: Ohhh, awww , wowwwww. Even though it is all pre fabricated a bit like Facebook and Disney is basically showing off its “highlight reel”, it is difficult not to be impressed.

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The art deco inspired buildings really got me.

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I was being submerged into a fantasy land of Disney characters, colour, twee music and very expensive food and drink as we raced around trying to take everything in.

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I mean. look!! It is Captain America – goddammit!!

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even the shops left me agog!

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We entered Radiator Springs and if you are not sure of the reference, this is the place where the Disney film, Cars is set.

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Where we were prepared to get our kicks.

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A scaled down version of Radiator Springs.

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and the scaled up version.

Am just going to leave it right here – next episode: Radiator Springs and beyond. I am not sure what I expected entering Disney and as the day grew hotter and hotter, I wanted to really put the camera away or thought actually this would be much better if I was here just here to photograph! Because sometimes the want to photograph overtakes being able to take the moment in, luckily the cameras magical ability allows you to take in those moments later….

 

Showzam Circus Festival 2016 Blackpool

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I think I am now on my 4th or 5th year of photographing the very visually pleasing Showzam Circus festival.

Showzam in #Blackpool #UK hosts a variety of street and indoor performances across #TheWinterGardens, #TowerBallroom and #TowerCircus over a 5 day period.

If you were around this year you may have caught sight of wood wind playing chickens or a steam punk werewolf riding his bike through the streets of Blackpool.

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Poor Blackpool tends to get a lot of stick (of rock), the poor mans Brighton, the “uncool” cousin of Manchester. I am here to “blow” the trumpet of Blackpool, christening it with it’s new name “Blackcool”.

 

#Showzam is a mostly free festival currently in its 9th year. See you in 2017.