Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Impersonating Sue Bryce

that was me the other day. I had spent over three days watching the amazingly talented, glamour photographer, Sue Bryce on Creative Live. She was very down to earth, and made everything look so easy.

I got to thinking- I can do that.

I mean I am a make up artist by trade. And part of the “Sue Bryce” experience is being made up and then photographed using and diffusing light. So I gathered everything I needed, and bought another white board. Sue only uses huge white foam boards, but I couldn’t find any here locally. So I had to make do with much smaller ones for now.


Everything about Sue Bryce reminded me of me. She is dark like me and carrying a bit of extra weight ( see her talking about her kit here). It was like osmosis watching her and I for my shoot became Sue !

I popped on my black wrap around dress and put my hair up and out of the way.

Voila- I was channelling Sue.


I just needed a model. Well that was easy, I have people queuing up to be shot by me at the moment. I knew Amy would be perfect, she had just gone to a burlesque ball and had a lovely new Basque.



I shot in Raw and Jpeg and I am just learning to edit the Raw captured ones. These are just a selection of the images I captured of Amy. I am still slowly working on the others in Lightroom. I keep coming across ones I can’t wait to edit. But I must be patient and knuckle down and learn a whole new way of editing.


This one, below was everyone's favourite over on Facebook, but like I said I have a lot more up my sleeve. Plus I was having problems with my screen calibration, so the colours are off in these and they all need to be re-edited.


I have a Pin board here of a lot of the poses I tried and am going to be trying in an upcoming shoot. I haven’t finished channelling Sue just yet.

Mothers Day

I had my Mothers Day a week early. The weather was so nice the weekend before that we decided to spend the day in London at Columbia Road flower market and a few of my other places.

We asked my mother in law to join us as she had never been.



It was a great decision as the market was nice and quiet, with lots of beautiful things to choose from.

2012 March Columbia Rd marketweb

Chris bought me a huge orchid and some spring flowers.

On the way home we popped into Selfridges. I had seen a glass sweet jar in a magazine that I really wanted. So Tasmin bought it for me as my Mothers Day present. It has too be refilled daily !

2012 March Mothers dayweb

Ryan gave me a beautiful Clarins body cream. It's handy having his girlfriend, now work for the company. Ryan says that's everyone sorted for Christmas and Birthdays ! He also gave me some money to take an online course in Lightroom.

We also walked mother in law to Brick Lane for lunch. We were chatting so much that I took the wrong turning and got lost. Hubby had taken our flower purchases back to the car and rang us from Brick Lane to ask where we were.  So after a few detours we finally found him. But on the way we discovered lots more unusual shops and delights for our eyes. Around every corner our vista changed.

2012 March Columbia Rd marketblog

IMG_9887-001new web



Monday, 19 March 2012

Test from my iPad !

I'm just having a go at blogging from my iPad with a Blogger app. I'm sure nothing will be as easy as using Livewriter.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sue Bryce inspired

For over three days and nights I watched Sue Bryce talk about how she captures stunning glamour style portraits in Australia.

I have been worrying for a while about a self portrait assignment that I have to do, before I get to meet another famous Australian photographer, Barb Uil. There are 14 of us in my workshop. People are flying in from all over Europe. Everyone, but me is a professional photographer .

No pressure them !!!!

A few people were obviously worrying like me about what they could come up with. I had lots of different ideas, but I kept putting it off. When I saw how simple Sues techniques were. I thought I could easily do that.

Sue works with a make up artist, who turns her frumpy subjects into glowing better examples of themselves. Well, as it happens I am a make up artist. I have many strings to my bow. I have oodles of makeup from my old days working with YSL and Dior. In fact I recently made up two friends for a Burlesque ball they were going to.

So in the shower I jumped. Styled my hair with a bit of curl, so it looked different to my norm, and some subtle makeup. Voila. I looked a better example of my normal day to day look. ( my I can’t be bothered look )

Here’s what I came up with.



I also shared these on Facebook and got the typical comment “ What a great camera, Karen “ ergh no, it’s an entry level DSLR. Nothing great about it at all. I did have a great lens on my camera, but essentially it was the techniques Sue Bryce shared and my abilities with my camera that got the shots. Look at the image above. I am lying on a white sheet with a white board below me. I have a reflector to my right and a muslin curtain diffusing the window light.


Also people were saying I was massively Photoshopped, which I really wasn’t. I purposely overexposed my face. I tend to like that look, and it is more flattering to old dears like me. In fact I normally really soften the faces of my more mature subjects. Just letting their wrinkles show through slightly. But I didn’t use this technique at all on my face. My main problems was trying to get rid of the dominate brass bed in the background.

In fact because of my weight gain and that most of my shots are full face, straight on, I looked like a fat chipmunk. If I had great Photoshop skills, that would have been the first thing I would have changed.


  I knew that 14 amazing pros were going to be judging my photography and editing skills. So I didn’t want to embarrass myself, when they met me in person. I think I am yet again the oldest to be on the workshop. So it could have been a fright for them to see the real me in May.

I’m not to happy with the colour in these shots. I am having problems with what I see in Elements and then what it looks like in Picasa. I calibrated my monitor , but I think the problem lays with a recent change to my way of working. Hubby changed it so that I could see two different things on the two monitors I work  from. Great for multi tasking, which I love to do. But it’s only since we did this , that I have noticed the big difference when I edit.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

25 Beautiful Homes

Someone reminded me the other day about our feature in the interiors magazine. I had totally forgotten about it and hadn’t ever checked out any of the editions since the shoot in September.

So today I went in our local Tesco's and picked up Aprils edition. I aimlessly flicked through. There were lots of Edwardian and Victorian homes just like ours. I kept thinking I had spotted ours. Just as I was about to put it down, something caught my eye. It was my spotted cushions and footstool I had made. Typical the magazine were supposed to contact me when our feature went out.

IMG_9856web-001 Aprils is a really great edition, with lots of amazing homes. I think it is the best magazine out there for inspiration for your home. I love it that they are real peoples homes.


I was pleased to see they went with my afternoon tea idea in the garden. I would have been pissed off to have seen me sat in our conservatory.


I still get angry when I see the above shot of our main sitting room. I had told the stylist I did not want a set up with a tea pot and cups, but she insisted. They also piled up a pile of crap old books and a 24 year old baby photo album !

I still think my large coffee table looks better how I style it, with candles and a huge orchid display. But Hubby and Tasmin would love to have the sofas how they dressed them. I put the cushions on so deep you can hardly sit on the sofas. Even Teddy knocks them off to make room.


Tasmin will be pleased to see her room featured. It’s the one room I’d like to redecorate. I want it more colourful and Pip Studios do some lovely bed linen and wallpaper. The only thing is, it’s just like Tasmin used to have in our other houses when she was growing up.

Sunday, 4 March 2012


I received a lovely email from the owner of Grove Cottages to thank me for the blog post I wrote about the cottage Queenie we stayed in. Someone has kindly referred to my blog in their recent booking.

I have been so busy lately with photography that I hadn’t gotten around to sharing some of my images I captured during our little break. It was freezing cold and their was still a lot of snow on the ground.

On the way there we came across, this awesome shop selling old wash tubs. Who knows after JinkyArts workshop I will be no doubt wanting one. Barb has worked with children sat in them numerous times.


Lets hope I won’t want one, I just don't want anymore junk in my home.

I was trying to cover a few assignments for Karen Russell's Photography workshop.

This was for one covering exposure compensation and overriding what your camera thinks is the perfect exposure.


I think this tree looked pretty cool, so I shot it from lots of angles. This was the exposure I took that I felt showed the tree and background at its best. This is SOOC (stright out of camera) which we have to post all our images in on the course. 

This was another one from the same assignment of an image I took in full manual mode.


I used lots of composition styles on this. It covers a rule of thirds and leading lines and tells the story of where we were

On the way back to the cottage on the first day, the sun was setting and I looked to my left and saw the most amazing sight. In a snow covered field were men harvesting turnips.


I got hubby to turn the car around and I jumped out of the car and poked my lens through a hole in the hedge.

I was shooting the seagulls along the sea front and I was tickled pink to have captured this one.



and then I managed to capture this bird as the sun was setting over the sea. IMG_0790-001webHubby stayed in the car while I froze on the sea front to capture all these.




My friend had told me I must check out The Snape Malting's. I googled it and put it on our itinerary. But the internet didn’t do it justice. It was my shopping heaven. I bought one or two things. I must admit.





These suitcases were calling me, but I was  very good and resisted.


But the one thing that kept calling me back was a vintage vase. It was among some of my favourite design pieces by Pip Studios. I have quite a few of their bits, and if they sold clothes I would be dressed in them as well.



So hubby kindly bought it for me. He said there was something about it that even he liked. It is so my home and can sit in lots of my rooms.

We had such a wonderful time on our three days away in Suffolk.

Friday, 2 March 2012

My Publisher.

I have used the photobook company My Publisher several times. I have always been so pleased with the quality.


My plan is to order one every year of my main family photos, and then one or more of special events or holidays.



This one was made to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. It’s filled with images from our afternoon tea party we held on the day of the Royal Wedding. I tried the linen cover this time, but it marks very easily, so I will always order the picture hard cover in future.



I order the  Large Deluxe Hardcover. If you sign up for emails, you get sent LOTS of money off notifications. I have been working on my 2011 book for ages. This week I was sent a 50% off offer, that made me get my finger out and crack on with the editing. The first books I printed have all SOOC images. This time I have edited the pictures, so I will be interested to see how they turn out.

Here is a link to a $20 gift card for readers of my blog.

and HERE is a link to my new 2011 photobook.


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