29th May 2010, 8:09pm

Two years ago I had this great plan that I would like to shoot more portraits and that a good way to kick start that would be to submit a portfolio of work and get my NZIPP Q (qualification) in portraits.  So I duly chose the required 12 images and printed them and put them in a cute little folder.  I had been shooting weddings for a while and I thought I had a pretty good handle on the whole portrait thing...my subjects were relaxed and happy, I knew my posing was ok, I knew how to not blow my highlights so I thought I was home and hosed.

Right up until the bit where Bernadette Peters (who was the Portrait Director at the time) rang me and told me that I had been unsuccessful.  I was a bit gutted.  I listened to the comments and went and had another look at the images.  They didn't really look any worse to me now that I knew they weren't 'professional standard'.  But I could see that there was a lack of catch light in the eyes.  And there was some lens flare that served no purpose.  And there was some light that could have been controlled better (it was all hard on a preggy portrait when soft would have been a better choice).

So I did some workshops about light and I experimented on the kids (and occassionally dolls when the kids were not feeling cooperative).  I submitted lots of images for regional judging just to hear what the judge would say about certain techniques.  I studied pictures in magazines and scribbled notes all over them about the lighting.  I hired a studio and spent hours trying to replicate natural light with strobes and reflectors.  And when I thought I had something pretty good I asked hubby Stu for critique...he doesn't take many photographs but he is a damn good judge lol...and he would let me know what was wrong with it.  And I started again :-)

Gradually I collected images in a folder called 'Portrait Q Submission'.  I must confess, a few deadlines slipped by before I finally nailed one down...wrote it in the diary and actually got myself organised for it (with help, as always, from Rach). 

In the meantime I had been appointed as Wedding Director which meant I was actually part of the panel that judged the Weddings Qs so my submission had to extra anonymous and I had to slip out to make some phone calls when I saw mine was next in the pile (I scribed for the Portrait Q panel).  I waited and then walked back in and asked 'So was that one a pass or fail?' and YAY it was a pass.  I was trying to be all cool or I would've totally busted out the portrait Q dance :-)

So for those patient souls who have read all the way through this and are still with me, here are the images I was judged on:


Huge thanks to all my gorgeous subjects...I couldn't have done it without you :-)






22nd May 2010, 9:30pm

I've been very lucky to photograph some gorgeous kids in the past couple of weeks.  These two agreed to be part of a personal project I was working on and so I shot some portraits for them as a thank you...

And Katie Trigg is an up and coming local singer (and family friend) who needed some pics for the cover of her debut album!

And then there is my favourite model, my daughter Caro...


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