The Most Valuable Thing You Own

Eighty-one years ago today this little girl sat in The Waltur Studios, 141a High Street, Walthamstow, London E17 for a portrait.  It was a few days after her First Birthday.

She doesn’t look much like she enjoyed the experience.

I’ve no idea what The Waltur Studios charged my gandparents for this sitting or the couple of prints that survive but I’m sure that to them it wasn’t insignificant.  Given what I know of their circumstances, it wouldn’t surprise me if they went without something else to pay for these.

It was a gift to my generation that it’s now impossible to put a value on.

They obviously thought it was important to get a photographic record of their only daughter on her First Birthday.  In fact, considering the times they were pretty good at taking (and keeping photos).  My Dad have me a whole tin of pics from my Mum’s younger days.  If there was a fire (and everyone else was safe)- this is one of the first things I’d want to save (along with my own pics of my own family).

What makes this one truely unique is that The Waltur Studios printed their details on the back of the print and stamped the date ’26 Nov 1932′.

It’s been our policy to sign, date and identify each of our prints.  They are printed with professional ink and paper which is certified by the manufacturers for over 100 years (assuming you look after them).  I want you and your kids to enjoy these prints just as much as I enjoy having this picture of my Mum

Great Chefs and Good Coffee

Commercial Portrait Photography

I came across this really nice behind the scenes video on F-Stoppers today.  The main set-up shots are a bit conceptual for me but I like the ideal of taking what you know (and can discover) about an individual and creating a portrait that uses that in both setting, lighting, styling and the emotion of the subject.

But at the end Schoeller does a more simple thing with the chefs and a coffee cup – well who’d have thought of that?

I’ve worked with Brendan Cashman since Augustines moved to the Clarion. About the time that that relationship was ending he came to me for a set of profile images.  Unusually he specifically wanted them shot in Studio rather than the more environmental portraits we’d done as part of the publicity for Augustines.

So we shot a range of images and had a lot of fun.  Apart from a truely gifted chef, what’s struck me about Brendan is that he understands how he wants to use images to promote himself and his work.  He’s also very comfortable in front of the camera.

Whenever we’ve worked together before there’s always been coffee and a cigar involved during the ‘briefing’ (we drink, he smokes) so I wanted to include those two elements in some of the shots: they were an essential part of the I considered the Brendan Cashman experience.

For me, Portraiture is about capturing a glimpse of someone character in an image way more than it’s about capturing someone’s physical likeness.  Getting that to appear for you, knowing it when you see it and getting it into the shot are the skills of a good Portrait Photographer.

Halloween Dress Up: Thank You

Thanks to everyone who came in for the Halloween Dress up this year.

So far we’ve raised over €700 for our Children’s Charities.

If anyone still needs to collect prints then just contact me and arrange to call in sometime soon.

We’re also giving prints to anyone photographed at the Ballinlough Spook Parade