Blog

Routine

 

Do you ever find that yourself going to work (or studio) and find yourself doing the same thing day in day out? Me too. Recently I found myself questioning my routine of a working day, being self-employed, it’s quite easy getting hooked on the ‘importance’ of certain things such as a website and sticking to a working day. Not only have I written a list of things that I’m going to be changing over the coming weeks but I’d thought I’d try something completely new. I treated myself to a Hoya Infrared filter and it’s wonderfully bizarre. Sometimes you have to remember to really step out of your comfort zone and try something brand new (within or outside of your craft). There are so many little things you need to do to create a strong infrared image from making sure there aren’t any light spots and a working with a new way of editing, it’s a really fun challenge to change things a bit. Sometimes trying something new can really make a difference to your routine and change your mentality towards a normal working day.

Below are a few images I’ve created, I know they are far from perfect but that’s the joy of starting something new. What was the last new thing you guys started, let me know in the comment section.

 

New Project: East, West

In Hanley, Stoke-On-Trent, there is a derelict site called the East-West Precinct that was once a bright, thriving and colourful shopping centre and bus station that had cafes, music shops, restaurants and so on. Unfortunately over the decades, this once grand centre has become nothing but reminders of a bright part smothered in rot and decay. It was officially abandoned around 2013 (this was when the new Hanley bus station officially opened) and has remained standing as a local eye sore. Fortunately for local residents, it is being demolished this year and myself and another photographer (and friend) have been granted permission to document the deconstruction of this grand dismal site. We hope to create something interesting from it, so that the local community can access the images that we produce and will be able to see progress from how it use to look to being an empty piece of land in one place.

Below are a few images of what the old shopping centre currently looks like before demolition

 

New Year, New Designs

This year is going to be one of those where I start as I mean to go on (hopefully), meaning to do something meaningful and productive each day, in terms of marketing and photography in general. So far the main task has been to create mock ups and select images that could be sold digitally to those who would like something a little different to spruce up their desktop or android. This is because the world we live in is surrounded by all things digital and there are infinite ways to access anything online (especially images) so it’s all about experimenting and pushing myself into the digital world in hopes something good will come of it.

Do you guys have the same problem when it comes to your own work? If you’re feeling confident enough to share a few tips then don’t be afraid to comment below.

 

 

 

It’s the Little Things

It has been a year that became manic very suddenly, for better and worse but there are always ups and downs with everyone’s year. Sometimes you find that it’s the small things that make you happy and just breathe that bit easier and feel like you’ve achieved something. We always say things like “I don’t have time” or “I’ll do it later”, this is my favourite but even though there many things that I’ve made excuses for, there’s one thing that’s made me proud this year and that’s sticking to my monthly challenge; doing an unplanned photo shoot at least once a month. This may not seem like a lot but when you’re trying to run a business, have a personal life and try to make some money with different jobs here and there, it can be tricky to fit in time for yourself. It’s important to remind yourself of the reason why you love something and doing this challenge has done just that. Next year, I’m going to do the same but with more planned and challenging photo shoots, to keep pushing and keep learning.

 

what did you do this year that made you feel just a little bit proud, no matter how big or small it is.
Here is an image from every photo shoot this year during this challenge

Milestones

This month was the final shoot for a two-year documentary a small group of us have been involved in. It was a cold and dark ending but also magnificent and inspiring one. The last location we visited were docklands; during the day are slightly haunting and interesting but at night, they’re so magnificent and bright.
The shooting of the last day was relaxed and pleasant, I think we were all at peace (and grateful) knowing this was the last time. Our adventure has had us traveling from Swiss Cottage to Greenwich, the West End to random little back roads that hold precious memories relevant to the project.  Also, this documentary seriously challenges and forces you to improve your photography skills, especially when about 70% of your images are taken out of a back seat car window, it creates some odd looking work sometimes and I love it.

A Dark Challenge

It’s that time of year again when the old clothes and the dark makeup comes out again and new inspirations for photo shoots pop up everywhere. This year I’ve been sure to do one photo shoot a month and have stuck to the challenge (see project page for more information on this). However, October is  special because it brings out my fun side and has got me thinking about going back to my roots in photography a little. Instead of doing just one shoot of something quite random (and often pretty) this month, I’ll be doing at least three dark photo shoots this month, hopefully more. It’s going to be challenging because it’s got to balance out with work and things but it’ll be so much fun to be inspired by the darker time of year.
What inspires you the most at this time of year? Let me know in the comment section.
Here are 2 shoots I’ve managed to do this month (including my first self-portrait), wish me luck for the next ideas.

Infinite City

There has a been quite a build up to this month as it’s the launch of my first ‘solo’ exhibition. I use the term solo loosely as I’ve worked with another artist to create text and poems to go with the work, all of the images however, are mine. It can be quite daunting at times, knowing your work will be on display for all to see for the first time but it’s also really exciting; you can tell when it’s the right time to do something like this because it just feels right; you gain confidence in your work and as long as you’re happy with your work then nothing else should matter.
Infinite City at Centre Space, Spode Museum – 19th-30th September
Sarah Peart, 20, is a professional photographer, and Infinite City is her first solo exhibition. The pictures are the result of her accompanying Richard Snell & Darren Washington when they visited London to make a documentary about Richard’s hometown. Having lived in Stoke-On-Trent all of her life, Sarah found London to be both incredible and overwhelming. She was inspired to create striking images reflecting those moods.
Richard Snell, 72, is a Londoner by birth but has lived in North Staffordshire since 1989. Now retired, he earned his living in a variety of ways, ranging from laboring to teaching. Richard left London to make a new life for  himself but has always missed his hometown. He takes pride in being involved and associated with this exhibition in which Sarah Peart’s photographs, as well as being unique to her style, say so much about London as Richard himself understands it.

recycling

As a photographer, I enjoy taking lots of photos (as you would assume) however, a lot of the time there are many images that are left unused. whether it’s bits from a projects that never took off or just loose photographs from random places. Either way there’s just no real place for them but you don’t want to waste them. Over the last year I’ve been routing through photographs and putting them in all one folder for something different. I’ve decided to recycle old work by cropping them all into squares. I call this Sqauredom; recycle photos when you’re ‘bored’ with a ‘square’ ratio. All images have potential to be part of this personal project, that’s the whole point, it could be most of the image or just a small corner of it, anything can be done.
What would you guys do with your random photos? Mash them together digitally, simply print them or anything else? Let me know in the comment section if you want to share.

 

It’s Like Riding a Bicycle

 

At last, we have our little studio set up, it’s clean, compact and just what we needed. Lately, I’ve been doing so much photography outside it feels like it’s been forever since I’ve properly used a studio. The best thing to do when this happens is to simply start practicing and experimenting with the studio and not just the camera, in your spare time. Even when you have a limited kit for the studio, you’ll find that you can achieve so many different things when you’re re-familiarising yourself with studio lighting and just essentially messing around, in a creative manner. My personal favourites are using natural light (if available) or a simple off-camera flash.  As you can tell the images above, I tend to use inanimate objects in the studio (for control & size purposes). All of these images have been achieved by using a simple off-camera flash with wireless triggers (and a hand made snoot) and I thought I’d share them to show what simple but completely different images you can produce.
Do you guys out there have any preferences or hand made goodies you use when it comes to using studio photography, if so feel free to comment below.

Fixing Photos

When a quiet but productive moment is needed at work at the moment, I find sticking on a pair of headphones and working on fixing old images is quite relaxing, challenging but relaxing. It’s also a great way of learning how to use Photoshop more efficiently without affecting the look of the original image and saving a bit of time. Just think though, about how many memories out there are restored and brought to life once again because we have this ability to digitally restore fix old images to their true form; it’s really quite amazing. Back in the studio, we’re currently doing a restoration job for a friend, so to show you one of the easier kinds of images you can restore, here’s a little snippet of an image that turned out to be one of the more interesting photos that took some time, it was definitely worth it though.

 

 

Photography In Summer

The weather has been amazing (mostly) over the past month so I made of the most of it and did some natural outdoor photography. Often, when it’s great weather you assume that it’s perfect for photography, especially if you don’t often use the a flash. As any photographer can tell you, this is definitely not the case. You have ensure that the sun is t directly facing your camera because it can in fact damage the sensor and it can ruin your shot too. To work around this, I have found taking close up images and having the hood on the camera lens, also going out in the early evening is great as its still light but the sun isn’t overhead.
It’s always interesting when you can simply walk down your street and find yourself seeing things in a new light, you start snapping away; the sun makes us all feel that bit more positive.
If you guys have had your own challenges and solutions when photographing outdoors and very hot weather feel free to comment below.

Inspirations

 

What Inspires You?

Whether it’s a pre-planned shoot, paid work or just general exploration, there is always something to see that can inspire me. Sometimes it can take time to get into the flow of the photo shoot but then something will grab my attention and then magic kicks in and the images just roll out.
What sort of things inspire you when working? Does it range from a specific artist for inspiration, or a location; or does it come from within, your own experiences from life? I personally believe that every piece of art can be inspired by something different, almost every time. Some can be inspired by simple aesthetics of an place or something that feels right in the moment. However, I want to know what things inspire you guys to create your art, whatever medium that may be; please don’t be afraid to comment below i you’re feeling open.

 

My kind of work

Lately, it has been discovered that the style of art photography that I do is the sort that would look smart in places such as hotels or corporate buildings. I’ve unintentionally become a corporate photographer (in a sense). I don’t mind, it’s great really because it shows that there’s a market for everything if you can find it. It is difficult marketing your own artwork that’s quite personal but when something clicks then you just know, that’s the route to take. If any of you reading this happen to be in an office space or know anyone who works at a corporate building or hotel (that could be improved by some customized photography) then feel free to point them in this direction. My work is catered to suit budgets, themes and locations. As an example, here’s what just some of my work could look like in different locations to give you an idea.

Event Photography

When it comes to event photography, no matter where you are, it can have it’s challenges, like any other job. These often consist of difficult lighting or too many people in a confined space. Fortunately these issues can normally be fixed “in camera”, with the help of a good flash and the appropriate lens for the event. There are many reasons why I enjoy doing event photography, I especially enjoy photographing people when they’re more relaxed, after an hour or so at the event. Candid photos show true characters and being able to capture someone’s ecstatic laughter or smile is the kind of thing I look for. So if you’re ever looking for an event photographer who can capture your event in the exact light you need, then don’t hesitate to contact.

Fresh Perspective

It’s a new year and a new start, I know it’s a typical thing to say but it’s also true. After spending some time to get my feet on the ground in the world of self employment, I now have an idea of what can be achieved and what can be developed. All sorts of things can be expanded on from revamping logos to specific business goals for the end of the year. Here’s a few images to give you a look into what’s going to be happening this year.