Monday, 28 March 2016


This weekend I took on a portrait shoot with special significance, not least for the couple. It is their first, and long hoped for child and so they asked me if I might take some pregnancy portraits for their baby album.

As with all the portrait photography I am asked to do I work informally, and where possible, utilising natural light.
No studio and flashing lights here, just the natural light falling through a netted window, where, by over exposing by a couple of stops, a soft light was able to subtly show the beauty of these natural female curves. Conversely, by under exposing, a much stronger image was achieved, which was ideal for the shots including the dad-to-be, with the reflected light just catching his eyes looking lovingly up to the two beings he loves most.

All being well there are plans for another shoot, a few more weeks further into the pregnancy. Meanwhile, I wish all three of them well.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Selfie Obsession

I can remember someone asking me as little as a couple of years ago, "What is a selfie? But unless you have been locked away for two years in an isolated place for some reason, I will not forgive you if you are still asking that question today. But just in case you have suffered the misfortune of not becoming acquainted with the term, according to Wikipedia (...please don't ask...)
"A selfie is a self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a digital camera or camera phone held in the hand or supported by a selfie stick. Selfies are often shared on social networking services such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter."

And so it was, during my recent visit to Amsterdam, I 'was got' by a selfie obsession too - not with taking pictures of me, heaven forbid! No, I was fascinated by those people actually taking the selfies and yes, I have to admit to taking the odd one or two in the past but not very well. In fact, during the weekend I and my photographer companion lined ourselves up for a quick selfie just for the lark...but I failed completely and utterly! I just couldn't get ourselves nicely positioned in the reversed camera viewfinder and by the time I pressed the shutter button, we were both bored of the whole thing. The picture was so bad, I deleted it and we never tried again, as we both agreed we were much better suited to being the other side of the camera lens. 

As with any busy tourist spot today, it wouldn't be long before a selfie-taker would pop up so I just couldn't resist collecting a series of images of these self absorbed tourists. Dam Square truly was busy on this chilly Saturday afternoon, and it wasn't difficult to merge into the masses to take these pictures without even raising the camera to my eye. Thanks to the innovation of the swing-out viewfinders, it is much easier to go undetected whilst capturing these street shots.

You may recall I promised in my previous blog that I would dedicate
a whole blog to the phenomenon.
So sit back,
scroll down,
and enjoy!

The phones are even sophisticated enough to have a count-down facility so the cosy, collective grimace can be co-ordinated for the snap taken in front of erm, 'Some fancy building in Amsterdam, innit!'

Still lining up that perfect shot!

Yoo-hoo!! Love the hats girls!


Of course it is more important to check for the perfect snap rather than to turn around and admire the impressive
Royal Palace.

What seemed like fun at the time...

...has probably appeared on a timeline and become the embarrassing perpetual memory of the weekend away in Amsterdam.

...aaaand still making sure she had all angles covered.

And just to prove it isn't a female-only habit...

 Anyone can be in possession of a selfie-stick...

Shhh! I will let you into a secret, I have one!! But I have NEVER used it, nor do I intend to either.
I never bought it, I wasn't given it, it just washed up my way - literally - on a Donegal beach last summer, and I kept it as an object of curiosity.

A sign of the times...the selfie times.


Friday, 11 March 2016


A week ago I flew off to a city I had last visited around 15 years ago, and was delighted to be making a return visit. This was to be a pure indulgence visit - not shooting for work but shooting for pleasure, and it was also be an opportunity to meet a lovely Dutch friend of similar situation who is also an enthusiastic photographer with a keen eye.

Leaving the sunshine behind in the UK, I landed into some wintry weather, giving rise to some shots I had not expected to see during my visit.

However, by the next morning, the sun had caught up with us and we spent a fascinating day people-watching in Dam Square and the environs of the De 9 Straatjes.

Here's Looking at You. 1

Here's Looking at You. 2

Here's Looking at You. 3

The Kiss. 1

It was impossible not to find shops with traditional Dutch souvenirs, including the typical blue and white Delft ware which came in all shapes and sizes. Appropriate too that this kissing couple was mirrored for real on the Kees De Jongenbrug - Kees De Jongen (Kees the Boy) being a famous Dutch novel about a boy and his first love, Rosa. However unlike the pottery couple who keep their hands to themselves, this modern day Rosa needed to hang on! (Someone give her a couple of Yellow Pages too!)

The Kiss. 2

The Kiss. 3

Now, for a couple of Dutch cliches...

Bike on the bridge

Bike in the window

In the saddle

Then there were the selfies - loads of them.
Not any of me I might add, I'm rubbish at them.
But everyone else busying themselves with their selfies, oblivious to what was going on around them.

...iiiits selfie tiiime!!! 1

...iiiits selfie tiiime!!! 2

...iiiits selfie tiiime!!! 3

In fact, I got so engrossed with people taking selfies I'm going to dedicate another blog just to the phenomenon.

It also turned out to be a weekend of



Amsterdam Centraal...checking out

...and Automobiles.

Fiat 500...checking up

And why not finish off with some tulips from Amsterdam!