A big goal for me for the second half of this year is to up my portrait game. When I was putting together my photography website, I realised that as almost all of what I'd been shooting this year was family sessions I didn't have much of anything else to publish. I love family sessions, a lot, but I never set out to be just a family photographer. While I don't want to shoot everything and anything, I want to be a little more diverse and be able to flex my creative muscles in ways that fulfil me.
I learnt a few years ago that I don't really love shooting headshots. I do take on a few, but only the more creative ones, without strict rules and regulations (I don't do well with rules!) but what I really want to be doing more of is totally creative portrait sessions. Where not every image is a standard 'headshot' but more tells a story of a person, a place and a our time together. I believe 100% that you have to 'do the work you want to be hired for' and so I knew I had to start going out on my own and making the kind of portraits I wanted to see on my portfolio. I put a call out on Instagram a few months ago for anyone who was interested in collaborating on this kind of shoot with me. I put up some examples as inspiration, and got some great messages from people who were really keen to get behind my lens. I did pre-warn them I'd probably makes them head into the bushes!
One of the women who contacted me was Nonki, and I'm so glad she did! I'm so humbled by the beautiful people that I've connected with on Instagram, who take a leap of faith and put themselves out there to meet and shoot with me. It makes my heart happy. Nonki and I met up last night and headed to Brockwell Park for 8pm to catch the Magic Hour - the summer is so great for post baby bedtime shoots, Amen! Nonki was so lovely, super cool, relaxed and really at ease in front of the camera. We had such a fun time, but sadly the sky was too cloudy to get any of that magic golden light that I love so much. It was really out of my comfort zone to shoot a portrait session like this, but I loved it a lot. I could definitely have woven some more story-telling elements in there, but I'm excited to improve on that with each shoot.
These photos were taken in the walled garden in Brockwell Park, I really recommend a visit for a peaceful place to walk around or sit and read your book. I love the idea of using these shoots to document some of my favourite places in London, a little love letter to them and the city if you will.