Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Vintage fashion is such fun!!!

There has been a real revival in interest in the fashions of the 1940's and 50's. I am sure we are looking back with rose tinted spectacles and seeing only what is best and most glamourous, but there was something about those times which is now seen as very special, quite sexy and cool. There is a growing trend in burlesque shows such as Club Noir in Glasgow, a fabulous night out for the adventurous among you!

I recently organised a pinup shoot with Kayleigh, as part of a makeover project. Supplying hair styling, makeup and vintage dress Kayleigh was transformed, and looked every inch the part. I love the look, and really enjoyed creating these images. Thanks to Nicola and Caroline at FairytaleFaces. And a special thank you darling and "mwah!" to Kayleigh.

Sandy xx

Friday, 5 April 2013

One day you'll be very old and wise, and you'll wish you had photographic evidence of yourself as you are, right now, today, this second.

It is part of the photographer's art to relax people in front of the camera, and to know about light, angles, poses and all of that. However, it is difficult to overcome what Gemma Burgess calls "cameraphobias". In a very amusing article in the March 2013 edition of Tatler (which I read while having my hair done recently by the lovely Douglas, at Douglas and Lee on Bath Street, Glasgow) Ms Burgess discusses all those personal issues we all carry about why we just don't take a very good photograph. Mostly as a result of thoughtless comments by so called friends.

Luckily she also provides a few tips on how to overcome this problem - strike a pose - with reference to a few of today's better known celebs and catwalk types:

" Paris Hilton, whatever you think of her, knows exactly how to pose. If she's photographed alone, she arches her back, crosses one leg over the other, puts her hand on her hip, and - and this is key - turns her upper body 90 degrees to the camera. Then she tilts her chin to right down, swivels her eyes up and around to the lens, and smirks. (You just tried to do all that while reading this, didn't you?).

Knowingly or unknowingly, Poppy Delevingne took the petrifying Tyra Bank's advice to heart and 'smizes' (smiling with her eyes) her heart out: no eye-crunchingly huge grins here. poppy also knows exactly what angle to twist her head to show off her devine profile to best advantage, and rather than the paris cross-leg, she likes to keep her ankles together but force her knees as far apart as possible to make her already gamine legs look Moss-like.

Alexa Chung invariably crosses one leg in front of the other - and it doesn't look as though she needs to wee. She also uses props to vary her poses: she'll slip her hand into her pocket, or hold her handbag in front of her body. the result is casual, cool and chic. and it makes her arms look thinner. Like she needs that.

Verdict? The secret to the perfect pose  - and saying adieu to cameraphobia - is to appear completely unaffected whilst actually working your Spanx off. Build a repertoire of poses that you can pull out automatically everytime someone says 'cheese', like the Little Teapot: put one hand on your waist, hold your purse/drink/friend with the other, twist your shoulders slightly, press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, point your chin down, look up to the camera, exhale through your nose and smile.

If that doesn't work, just remember this: one day you'll be very old and wise, and you'll wish you had photographic evidence of yourself as you are, right now, today, this second. "

Other advice is available elsewhere on the Internet, and from your friendly, professional photographer.

The full article 'I'm ready for my close-up' How to look good in photographs, by Gemma Burgess, is published in the March 2013 edition of Tatler.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Art and Architecture

Architecture, for me, is art. It is sculpture on a large scale and can be appreciated for its beauty.

Glasgow has a fantastic heritage, which prospered greatly from the trade over all over the world. While there has been some deterioration and decay, what remains is some of Britain's grandest buildings. In the spaces that have been created from some of the old buildings being removed modern structures have emerged. I love that the Clydeside is now being invested in and the new architecture is inspirational, especially in the evening when these structures are thoughtfully lit for photographers. But the imposing buildings in and around George Square, including the City Chambers are also very impressive. Add a model and the images can be stunning.

I hope you agree.


Winter Weddings in Scotland

Photographers are obsessed with light and so they should be, but they do complain about it constantly; too much, not enough, in the wrong place, wrong colour. In Scotland we are blessed with beautiful long summer evenings (sometimes, one or two) and I have shot late into the evening in July under only natural light. The flip side of that is winter weddings. More and more couples are choosing to be married in December and January, for a whole host of reasons. Natural light is at a premium, with the sun setting as early as 3.30pm.  Understanding how to overcome prevailing conditions - harsh sun light, fluorescent or tungsten indoors, a heavily shadowed doorway - is what makes a competent photographer, the minmum one would expect from a paid professional contracted to provide a service. The manipulation of light is what creates that stunning image. It is that subtle alteration or addition that a dedicated artist adds.

Speak from the heart to be heard ...

“You've got to dance like there's nobody watching,

love like you'll never hurt,

sing like there's nobody listening,

live like it's heaven on earth,

and speak from the heart to be heard”

William W. Purkey

There are lots of different versions of this quote. It has found its way into popular culture and song lyrics. William W. Purkey is a Professor of Education. During a varied career he has also been a park ranger and bomb disposal expert in the United States Air Force. He uses this quote to end speeches. I like it for lots of reasons - it sort of sums up what I want to do with my art, my photography, the people I meet and share my life with.

Like Purkey I have had quite a varied career, which has allowed me to travel widely and to have some truly memorable experiences. Along the way I have developed a few skills. I was very fortunate in 2006 to be given the chance to completely change paths. I have always had an interest in art and photography, and it seemed like the most obvious, thrilling, challenging and scary thing to pursue an ambition to create beautiful images and delight some people along the way. Since that time I have steadily developed a successful photography studio and have been certified by both the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) and The Photographer Academy, run by Mark Cleghorn. More importantly I have had a wonderful time with some fantastic people. It is a genuine privilege to share someone's wedding day or to capture pictures of a new baby. It is also so exciting to capture something totally unique, producing digital fine art from concept to framed print.I work throughout Scotland, where life's journey has pitched me for just now with a wonderful husband and a boisterous dog, and in my native South Africa. I am always happy to discuss ideas - coffee, biscuits and no obligation - whether about weddings, portraits or fine art.

I look forward to hearing from you.


0141 884 2250