Friday, 18 October 2013

Don't use the 'S' word!

Didn't realise it had been so long since I've last said hello. I'm trying so many new things and learning loads of new stuff so I've been very busy and it's hard to choose what to write about next! Some of you may have seen the two photos I put on Facebook about the portrait shoot I went to, organised by my local photographic society so I'll tell you a little about that. 

I actually found out about the society thanks to my partners dad who also has a keen interest in photography. The society runs every Thursday night and at a bargain of £40 for the entire year I had to give it a go. So far I've been to two nights and then an extra portrait night and I'm loving it. I had to obviously drag Lyndon along the first time otherwise nerves would have got the better of me but I needn't have worried. Around 50 people attended made up of a variety of long time attendees and first timers like myself. 

Each week the evenings vary from having extremely experienced photographers share their images and knowledge, to competition nights and more, but so far for me, the portrait night has been the best by far. 
I've never even met a model before let alone being given the opportunity to shoot one, so I had no idea what was in store for me, and what would be involved, but I really, really enjoyed it! The guys in charge set up the black back drop, a few lights and talked us through the positioning of the lights and model, as well as explaining how the wireless flash trigger worked. This was a little trigger that sat on top of our cameras, that basically triggered the large external flash when we took a photo. The guy in charge took a few snaps and then away we went! 
I wasn't sure what to say to the model or what to ask her to do, so I think I ended up saying a lot of random things that I don't really remember but hey it's all good interaction. At one point I remember shouting "SMILE!" and being told "Oh no you used the S word!!" I quickly recomposed myself and shouted "BE SERIOUS!" 
I honestly found it a lot of fun. and learnt a lot as well! Fun AND educational! Anyway, I hope you like the photos I've chosen to put on here. I'm trying out a trial version of Lightroom which is very popular with wedding photographers, so that's why they all look different as I wanted to play around with the different effects. Comments on your favourites (or least favourites!) would be much appreciated! thanks xxx

The first outfit 


I think this one above might be my favourite


thanks for looking!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Being a second shooter

A few weeks ago I mentioned to a friend I was interested in becoming a wedding photographer. She was kind enough to put me in touch with a friend, Jeannie, who's profession is that of wedding photography and Jeannie was even kinder to invite me along to a wedding she was shooting that weekend! I felt incredibly lucky, nervous and excited all at the same time. Having not actually been to a wedding for about a year, I had all sorts of questions running through my mind, but I figured confidence was the best thing I could have. 

The wedding was close to Blackpool and Fylde. I felt calm on the way, knowing that as a second shooter and perhaps as an assistant to Jeannie, the responsibility wasn't entirely mine. I would still need to maintain professionalism, and not get in the way of the main photographer, but help if I could, and it turned out to be a fantastic experience.  Jeannie made me feel right at ease from the start, answering any questions I had, and told me what the day would consist of, so off we went!

Arriving at the church, Jeannie double checked with the vicar where and what we were allowed to shoot. Bearing in mind, at this point I was working with my Nikon 3200, a kit lense and no speedlite (external flash), I struggled a lot in the church to get any photos that weren't grainy due to not being able to use my flash. Having since purchased a speedlite, I'm really excited to try it out in dimly lit areas to see the difference, and this should really help next time.

Jeannie kindly lent me a tripod to use, however having not used one before, I wasn't aware the legs could extend!! So spent most of the ceremony knelt down... Now i realise perhaps why I was getting a few funny looks from the guests. But hey ho, you live and learn! 

After the ceremony, I realised how important it is to be a dominant figure, to earn the respect of the wedding guests so that they will listen to your instructions when necessary. Jeannie wanted to get a picture of all the wedding guests outside of the church. Bearing in mind the road is parallel to the entrance, we were lucky to not have too much traffic that day, as to fit everyone in meant practically standing in the middle of the road! A parked car and a lamppost didn't aid matters either, but you have to work with what you've got. 

Whilst the majority of the guests moved on to the next venue, Jeannie and I went with the newly married couple and a few close family and friends to the band stand on Stanley Park. Here was where I realised how important lighting is. The weather was a combination of on-off rain, and glorious sunshine! Constantly having to alter our settings to fit whichever the weather decided to be, but you just have to work with what you have. You can see the variety of lighting we had throughout the photos.

All in all, it was a great day, I learnt a great deal from Jeannie working along side her, and hope to get the opportunity again.

I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on the photos. 
thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013


Thoughts on this one? Not too sure myself. Can anyone guess what I've changed? (not pointing out the obvious monochrome!)

Sunday, 29 September 2013

A week away in the Sun

Lyndon (my partner) and I booked our holiday to Kos back in January so we've been waiting a long time for it, but I hadn't bought my Nikon DSLR back then. Since my purchase back in June, I've been keen to capture new and different things, so our holiday to Kos (as well as intending on being a relaxing one) felt like a great opportunity to capture some images I can't necessarily in the UK. These last few weeks prior to going, have had me really excited about what I might see. The holiday didn't start so relaxing when I realised I'd forgotten all my bikinis, and bruised the bridge of my nose after swimming into a step on the first day.. But after that we had a fantastic time; trying the local Gyros and kleftiko, getting lost wandering through the streets of Kos Town, and we also managed a day trip to Turkey. You can actually see it from Kos as it's only 11miles away! When we found out one of the Seven Wonders of the World was in Bodrum, I had to go get some snaps. I guess that means I'll have to go see the others now! I'm not usually your stereotypical tourist who loves all the cultural sites and views but I also had to get some of the amazing sunset from our balcony, alongside a few of the harbour and more. 

Scroll down to have a look :) Any comments for tips and advice on the pictures I've taken would be great. 

Heres the sunset from our apartment 

 Not quite sure what this building was, but I liked it
 These grasshoppers were huge! 
 The Turkish flag
 Lazy Bones
 Some of the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Our hotel pool at night

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

In the beginning

Hello again! Thanks for coming back!
I guess I should probably tell everyone about how long I've been interested in photography for and a little about why I have begun this.. quest, into photography.
Being also very new to blogging, I'm struggling a little with how to even start this and explain! So I'll do my best. Sometime in the last 6 months, my interest in photography changed. I guess I should given you that standard line that most photographers probably say

"I've always been interested in photography, ever since I could hold a camera I was snapping everyone and everything I could!"etc.

I guess that's kind of true. My friends from university will certainly agree, and the 10,000 photos i've accumulated on facebook also backs this up. Before university I loved my disposable cameras. Especcially the underwater ones! Probably didn't take the best shots with those, but I sure had fun with them and I still have a suitcase of printed photos that i've brought with me to the 9 houses I've lived in, in the past ten years. At the age of 18, at university, was when I purchased my first digital camera. Thankfully, I bought insurance, as my ability to accidently break a camera was at it's peak, and I therefore worked my way through about 7 or 8 digital cameras. I've certainly learnt to look after my cameras a lot better since then, although I still buy insurance just in case. My cameras ranged from Canon, Nikon, Fujifilm and more, (other makes are available!) which gave me a flavour of what I liked best, and at the age of 24, I guess I just decided that it was something I wanted to take more seriously, and why not! So I made the decision that for my upcoming 25th birthday, with the help of friends and family, I was given enough money to purchase my first Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) camera.

Choosing a beginners DLSR camera:
Making the step from a standard £60-80 digital camera to a DSLR camera was a big step for me. I wasn't sure where to begin, and I certainly didn't want to rush this decision as I planned to spend a few hundred pounds. I knew I wanted either Nikon or Canon- personal preference and for me, as much as it annoys my partner, I base a lot of my purchases on reviews by other people. And thats what I did. I spent a few months whilst saving and waiting for my birthday, reading review after review until I had narrowed it down to two. I figured there was no point going into Dixons etc and looking at them, because as a beginner, I wouldn't have known what I was looking for, and I'm one of those people that worries about looking silly in the shop! I also didn't want it to have looked obvious I didn't know what I was doing and end up getting sold a camera that wasn't right for me. So lots of reading later, I ended up with the Canon D600 and the Nikon D3200. Now it was time to go to the shop. I won't bang on about this for too long. I'm not writing this from the direction of "this is what should you do because I did it and now I'm a pro!" because that would be ridiculous. Many others may feel comfortable just heading to the shop and asking lots of questions, but I think as a beginner, it's easier to look online first. I think I'm starting to babble, so I'll get to the point: I bought the Nikon D3200, and so far, we're living happily ever after - see photo to illustrate happyness. This was my first blog about my quest to become... a photographer? We'll see. I'll pop some photos on the next blog of the fun i've had with it so far and you can see what you think.
Thanks for reading! :)
Alice Newton xxx

Please forgive the poor quality of the photo as obviously to take a  picture of me with my camera.. I cannot use this camera! And instead have an awful digital camera (I won't say which one!) to attempt a quick timed photo of me I've also just gotten out of bed. 

Sunday, 15 September 2013


Hello there. My name is Alice Newton, and I'm here to tell you about why my photography is going to take the world by storm!
Ok, perhaps not.

I've started this blog, to document and record my journey from, I guess "nothing" in the photography world, to.. well I don't know what the ending is yet.

See I've read lots of photography blogs and they are all fantastic to see how well people are doing now they are a professional, or perhaps now they are so involved with their hobby that is photography, maybe they can't remember how they got there.

So, I figured I would start a blog now, while I'm still learning, in the hope that maybe others might be interested in what kind of things there are that help someone along their photographic journey.

I hope you enjoy reading :)