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Category archives: Portrait

I don’t enter awardsvery often...

MPA award winning images Bride looking up to camera surrounded by her bridesmaidsMPA award winner young boy with his ponyMPA award winner Little girl in bluebellsMPA award winner studio portrait of a young boy in bracesMPA award winner studio shot of a baby laughing in black and whiteIt’s been four long years since I have entered a photography competition.  TBH (to be honest, if you’re over 40), I’m rubbish!  I struggle with the selection of images, then I struggle with the IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH curse and finally I hate not coming away with a win…  This year I decided I’d be more proactive on the competition front and for starters I’d enter the MPA North East Region awards (The Master Photographers Association (MPA) is THE qualifying body for professional photographers).  For the North East regions awards I decided that I’d use social media to help me with my selection (that means you, if you like or view my stuff).  So I went through my recent posts on all platforms (including views on Instagram stories) and gathered a mix of portrait and wedding images that had the most likes and views.  With my collection complete I sent them via the internet to North East MPA headquarters and waited for judgement night.

I’m aware as a professional photographer that judges of these competitions are looking for more than emotive images that parents love, the judges are looking at great lighting, hand positions, composition and overall image quality.  The outcome of this little social experiment is that a great image is a great image.  The judge awarded me a number of awards of excellence and the overall winner of DOCUMENTARY WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR for the North East Region 2018.  So I’d like to buy you all a drink (obv a joke that I threw in to make sure you’re still reading) and I thank you for your continued support of OUR (mine & Lynn’s) little photography business on Norton High Street.  If you’ve not been in for a while, maybe it’s time you had some new family or children’s portraits taken.

Roseberry Topping Session…the hills are alive

Listening is the new way to be heard. Before I book a portrait location session I will speak to my clients and plant a few creative seeds, do you have a location that’s relevant to you, do you have a favourite place you like to go walking or do you have somewhere in mind for your shoot? Then I stay quiet and listen, this is normally when the magic happens and I’ll take some notes as they are sharing ideas with me. I’ll then use my knowledge of the area to fine tune creative options. When we arrive at our chosen location I will be guided 100% by my clients to the best vantage points and when we reach the location, I’ll look at lighting and composition and what works best for me as a photographer.
A recent session with Amanda and Andrew up by Roseberry Topping was a good example of listening. When we got up there apart from me being shattered (these two set the pace of Olympic fell runners, if fell running was an Olympic sport), I have been up by Roseberry Topping a number of times with my camera, but Amanda and Andrew walk up here quite a lot and they knew of some beautiful vantage points. Once we reached these areas, I was able to tweak things to suit my agenda. The outcome is images that they love at a location that they love and that makes me happy. I’ve also now got some more lovely options to share with my next session up there…

young couple holding each other by Roseberry Topping
I keep an open mind with every portrait session I book as I’m continuously trying to grow creatively.

Pure Portraits Teessidechildhood is the shortest season

Pure Portraits are about capturing the heart and soul of your child, using no props or distractions. It’s about styling and lighting, but most importantly to me it’s about taking a timeless image of your little one that will give you years and years of pleasure…

The session takes place in my fully equipped studio on Norton High Street, just outside Stockton on Tees.

Introducing Henry, he loves pasta and angel delight (not in the same bowl).

studio portrait of 5 year old Henry

Pure Portraits Teessideat Gary Walsh Photography

PURE – more than beautiful and nobody compares to them.

Pure Portraits are exquisitely lit, striking, dramatic and timeless. The eyes become windows to the soul and the end results are evocative and highly personal.

Combining the light quality of  Michiel Sweerts paintings and sometimes including meticulously lovingly placed personal family storytelling artifacts like Hans Holbein the Younger’s The Ambassadors.

To create a Pure Portrait we (photographer & parent) need to develop an idea together, from clothing, hair and any storytelling family artifacts (I will cover this more in depth when we one to one) you want to include.

The creative styling, quality of light, professional hand painted canvas backdrops, composition and artistic editing will all result in a timeless portrait.

I have sourced a small selection of bespoke wall art that will perfectly compliment your timeless portrait and a week after your session we will look at which options best suit your images. Anyone who knows me and my business will tell you there is no hard selling, only advising you on what looks best.

For more information about products and prices, please contact us…studio portrait of a young girl holding a silk rose with a timeless expressionportrait in my studio of a ten year old girl in colourstudio portrait of a young girl using a wind machine timeless

 

Vincent and his humans…mam & dad

The first time I worked with Gary it was on a surprise location shoot at Crathorne Hall for my dad.  It took a while for me to settle because my mam brought my ball along and I love my ball.  Gary kept trying to get me to lay down, but when mam has my ball, I’ve got only one thing on my mind, until she gets the treats out and then I’m all over the treats.  The grounds at Crathorne hall were smashing and the steps upto the lawn were fantastic for running up and then back down and then up and then back down. I sensed we were here for more than a run out so with the help of treats and my ball going missing, I decided to lay down for a minute.  The next thing I remember was lights flashing and Gary the photographer becoming very excitable and animated.  I like to think I gifted him a couple of great poses (see below).

I decided to work with Gary again, this time with my mam and dad.  They are getting married, which means I’ll finally have one surname. The proposal happened in Stokesley just off the High Street, which is were we met for our shoot.  If I’ve learnt one thing about working with a professional photographer it’s that it’s all about good light.  So while he faffed on with his lights, I made a start on the treats.  When Gary was ready I gave him three of my best poses and then I’d had enough.  Luckily he got a great shot of me, it’s not too bad of mam & dad.  I’d definitely work with Gary again and I’ll pass his name onto all my pals, Vincent…

dog portrait outdoors at Crathorne Hall portrait of engaged couple with their dog Vincent taken on location at Stokesley

The One With The Engagement Picture…

Photographer: “I’m sorry is the seat uncomfortable?”

Chandler: “No I am.”young engaged couple holding hands and looking at each other. taken outdoors at Middleton Lodge. I don’t work with models, I work with real people and some of them are not too keen on being in front of my camera.  In fact most people I photograph open the conversation with, I don’t like having my photograph taken (I’ve learnt not to take this to heart).

When I photograph people regardless of age and gender, one of the most important things I can give them is time.  Knowing when to make a start taking pictures is one of my skills.  With some subjects it works to start straight away and not faff too much and with others it might be a 30 minute chat followed by a 10 minute shoot.  My people barometer hardly ever fails my decision when to get started.

I love people, I love hearing about their lives, sharing TV boxset banter and quickly putting them at ease.  I never take people out of their comfort zone, with poses which don’t suit or reflect their personalities and I never ever ask people to smile (unless I’m looking for a forced grimace look).  The background and lighting can all be perfect, but if the subject looks uncomfortable then for me the picture is ruined.

My camera becomes almost secondary on a shoot (I still take it with me though) as I find it more important to communicate and be 100% authentic with people.  I always tell my subject what composition I’m trying to achieve and how much of them is in the frame.  As the photographer I have a good idea of how the final image will look and I think it’s important to let people know what I’m trying to achieve, but flexibility is important too. If I’m too focused on what images I want from the session, that won’t allow me to think outside the box.

I love my job and it’s important that my subjects pick up on that.  If I’m giving 100% then the law of reciprocity dictates that they will give 100% back…

For more information on my wedding & portrait photography, please email studio@garywalsh.co.uk

How important is your image?professional studio headshots

If a great online presence is important to you, then I don’t need to tell you about the value of a professional headshot.  Your clients are looking for people they can work with, not logos and paragraphs of text.  When they see the people behind the business, trust is building before you’ve even met.  A fantastic headshot can very quickly tell your clients that you are friendly, approachable and professional.  It doesn’t have to look like a passport picture and it can be taken in an office/studio or location environment.

Prior to having your photograph taken I like to find out a bit more about you and your brand, this helps with clothing and location selection.  I think it’s important that your brand message and your headshots are telling the same story.

My role as the photographer is to quickly get people to relax in front of my camera, coach my subject on how to minimise their perceived imperfections and finally to shape their face using the best light for their individual shape and weight.

All selected images are polished to perfection (not in a false plastic skin kind of way).

prices for headshots are from £90 and includes a gallery of proofs and a single high res retouched digital file.

Please contact the studio for more information…

selection of professional headshots taken in the studio at Gary Walsh Photography

All You Need Is Love…love is all you need

This post is from the Butcher (a real live juggling mum) and not the Block (ME), Sarah has said some lovely things and in these days of transparency, I must add that no money changed hands, but we did exchange group hugs after their family session…

Since photographing our wedding, we’ve booked a family (as we two are now four) photoshoot with Gary each year – and the photos are just getting better. Gary’s a phenomenal photographer; as well as being technically brilliant, he can read people quickly, and use his talents to respond to a situation capturing that special je ne sais quoi in a split second – themz skills! But what’s more is our relationship is growing – mine and Mike’s slightly stiff, camera shy awkwardness is ebbing away, resulting in more relaxed shoots, and photos that truly capture ‘us’.

We firmly believe that our annual shoot is worth investing in. We come away with treasured keepsakes that track the development of our family. They’re carefully considered, and meaningful compositions – curated, I suppose as Gary is more than your ten-a-penny jobbing photographer, he’s an award winning artist who’s earned his stripes.

So good is his work that, unlike the two billion plus photos taken every day, and left to die an undiscovered death in cyber space, one walks away with hard copy, tangible portraits from a Gary Walsh photoshoot! ACTUAL PHOTOS that one can choose a frame for, and hang on a wall – fancy that! I may jest, but the value of print over pixels, of a real photographer, with a real camera, and years of training, compared with the mobile phone wielding untrained eye amateur is just immense. The joy brought about through a properly printed physical object – a quality, carefully crafted image is simply immeasurable, and worth every penny.

Where to start? Well, we’ve done studio shoots when the children were babies, and location shoots to a couple of our favourite places. Keen to make our most recent studio shoot different from the last I thought about what’s going on in our lives right now. With two small children, and hubster working away a lot, the family unit can feel a bit fraught at times, but we’re managing, because we’re stuck together with love.

This sentiment gave me an idea for our not-quite-matchy-matchy jumpers and jeans photoshoot ‘strip’. I got thinking about the way lives evolve, about the tough times, and about holding it all together. I’ve got a Pinterest board called ‘Fashionable ways to Help Families’ – https://pin.it/HdQpb9r, on that board I’d pinned a couple of jumpers, proceeds from the sale of which go towards the charity Help Refugees.

I bought one for Mike with CHOOSE LOVE emblazoned across the chest. It was designed by Katharine Hamnett, creator of the 80’s slogan t-shirt, who has donated her slogan CHOOSE LOVE – a twist on her iconic CHOOSE LIFE slogan t-shirt, to the Help Refugees campaign. My LOVE jumper came from the Selfish Mother blogger‘s online shop, and I had the childrens’ LITTLE LOVE/BIG LOVE jumpers printed by the very loved up couple in Personalize, Great Ayton.

CHOOSE LOVE is a powerful statement on many levels, I believe that choosing love is a choice we make, and the concept offers perspective. As a charity Help Refugees offer aid to the most vulnerable people currently reaching Europe’s shores… they say,
“We are all children of migrants and refugees. Civilisations fall apart when we stop caring for our fellow men.”

I say sometimes we all need a reminder of the love we hold dear, and a reminder to thank our lucky stars! Sometimes you can’t quite afford to do something, but sometimes your heart tells you that you can’t afford not to. Life is short – choose love – seize the day!

TO DO LIST:
• Choose love – show love!
• Call Gary to capture that love – 01642 355205
• Support Help Refugees: his CHOOSE LOVE jumper – https://chooselovetshirt..co.uk/?cgi=1 her LOVE jumper – https://www.thefmlystore.com/pages
• Keep on lovin!

Autumn Portraits in and around TeessideTeesside Location Portraits

panoramic image of a young boy stood in the woodsOur research and development team (that’ll be me) has been working hard on new lighting and shooting techniques for my location portrait sessions.  This shot of Owen was taken this morning in a wooded area on the outskirts of Norton, Stockton on Tees.  I had my sandbags holding down my lighting stands, thanks to Ophelia (the hurricane, not my new assistant).  This new technique makes Owen pop in the panoramic frame. I’ve also got a couple of other new ideas that I’ll be posting over the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile back at the studio, my ambassador of buzz (me again) has found some beautiful new frames, using textured chunky bevelled mounts and archival quality prints, which means they won’t fade a week after hanging them up in your hall.  I can’t wait to show some gorgeous samples to my Autumn Portrait Parents or APP’s for short.

If you’d like to book a location session, please ring the studio 01642355205 or email studio@garywalsh.co.uk Most of my location sessions are taken in private or quiet corners around Teesside, but I’m happy to travel if you have a location area in mind.

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