Posted on October 6, 2016 by under
Mother & Daughter Portraits, Guildford, Surrey.
Finally, I can show these photos from a lovely mother and daughter portrait session that I photographed back in July. The reason I haven’t posted sooner is because the photos were taken as a surprise birthday gift for this lady’s husband, so I thought it safest to wait until after the event, just in case!
I first met the lovely mum who booked this session when she came along for a 1-1 photography tutorial with me. At the time she’d mentioned wanting to have a portrait session with her daughter and so, on her birthday this July, which happened to be one of the hottest days of the year, we got together to make it happen.
I really wish now that I’d photographed the room when we’d laid out all their clothes, jewellery and accessories, because there wasn’t a clear surface left in the place, and that wasn’t counting my gear and all my makeup artist’s stuff too; I think they brought pretty much the entire contents of their wardrobes, so there was no shortage of choice.
After having some pampering time with hair and makeup artist, Marijelle Moreno, they both took it in turns to have some individual shots done first, and then we got them together for some lovely mum and daughter images. I love the outfits they chose to bring along and their beautiful expressions.
This is something I would encourage all mums to do, as I don’t think they’re often quite as keen to step in front of the camera, but they really should. And what a lovely way to spend some time together, with the added bonus of having a really special memento of the day too.
You can see at the bottom of this post the gorgeous boutique box of matted prints which they ordered, together with a personalised USB drive of their favourite shots. In our digital age, I’m a firm believer in providing my clients with beautiful prints as well as digital images, so they have the best of both worlds.
If you’d like to book a Couture Portrait session with me, then drop me a line at email@example.com or give me a call on 01483 571119 for an informal chat.
The perfect combination of dramatic eyes and lips, with rich blacks.
Posted on July 26, 2016 by under
Pixels Versus Print. Why Photographers Love Printing Their Work
We live in a world where we expect instant results: our phones, cameras and tablets allow us to capture moments and play them back and share them immediately – and all for free. The digital world has allowed us so much freedom to create and send images around the world instantly so that they can be seen by anyone, and I for one would never want to go back to the days when I was just starting out as a photographer and had to shoot on film and wait days to see the results!
However, one of the downsides of digital is that a lot of the time we only ever see images on our screens; and despite the ever-improving quality of our digital devices, there is still a huge difference between viewing pixels and viewing a piece of printed art.
Professional photographers don’t just take pictures: once the client’s session is over, many hours of editing and post-production go towards creating the final image which is stamped with that photographer’s particular style and forms part of the reason why the client has booked them in the first place.
Viewing an image on screen and in print are totally different. To fully appreciate the depth and richness of an image, print trumps pixels every time. Here are some images from a boudoir shoot album which I created for my client and which was produced by the amazing Folio Albums, a British company who make albums for professional photographers only.
The attention to detail, combined with the highest quality materials, mean that each album really is a work of art and forms the perfect showcase for a client’s images. There’s also the wonderful tactile quality which really adds to the whole experience. This one was produced in a beautiful black leather and the images were printed on fine art paper which really makes the colours stand out. Each album is beautifully packaged and comes with its own TLC guide on how to take care of it so that it will last for many years to come. Have a look at this video where Folio Albums founder, Stewart Randall, talks about the ethos behind the company.
Posted on July 5, 2016 by under
Boudoir Photography, Guildford, Surrey.
A boudoir session is something very special, and when a woman books it can be for any number of reasons; the most popular are to celebrate a milestone birthday, especially a 40th or 50th, as a pre-wedding gift for a bride to give to her husband-to-be, or simply as a self-esteem and confidence boost. Whatever the reason though, it’s always, first and foremost, for the woman, helping her to reconnect with her feminine side, increasing her confidence and generally making her feel good about herself, both inside and out.
All my boudoir sessions take place at a beautiful boutique hotel in Guildford. I work with some incredibly talented hair and makeup artists who are experts at making women look and feel special by enhancing their natural beauty.
I love clients to bring along at least 3 different outfits, comprising a mixture of looks. And it’s definitely not the case that a boudoir session always has to be about wearing sexy lingerie or even showing as much skin as possible: the ones from this session were a good mix and we started with some lovely shots in a very simple outfit, worn with a cardigan and a denim jacket on top; these are also great to get women feeling relaxed and comfortable about being photographed.
This session was so enjoyable and the day went really quickly. Here are some of my favourites; there were so many that I loved and my client has very kindly allowed me to share them to show other women exactly what’s involved and why they should book.
Get Your Free Guide to Boudoir Photography
If you’re thinking about booking a boudoir session, but are feeling a bit nervous or unsure, I have a free guide to boudoir photography which you can download when you make a booking or enquiry. Inside, you’ll find answers to lots of the most common questions that women ask, and I hope that they’ll go some way at least to making you feel less apprehensive about booking!
Photographed at the Mandolay Hotel, Guildford
Hair & makeup by Marijelle Moreno
Posted on June 27, 2016 by under
Business Headshots, Guildford, Surrey
If your idea of a business headshot involves studios, lights and formal poses, rest assured, it doesn’t have to be that way.
I tailor each session to my client’s specific requirements. Part of my approach involves using a variety of backgrounds and the other week, despite the rainy forecast, we managed to slip outside for a few minutes.
My brief was to create some portraits that could be used for a LinkedIn profile and also for general marketing and social media.Working with hair and makeup artist, Marijelle Moreno, we created three completely different styles; these were based around a selection of outfits which my client had brought along, and information she’d given us as to the sort of look she was after, based on her business; not too “corporate”, but more relaxed and informal. When I saw what she’d brought, I just knew the bright pink against the green of the trees would work well.
And as for the lighting, the overcast conditions were perfect for creating that lovely soft light that wraps around the face to lend a beautiful luminous quality to the features. So much easier to work with than bright sunshine.
Indoors, I chose the soft window light and a reflector to bounce the light back onto her face to give both depth and shape to her lovely bone structure.
As you can see, a headshot definitely doesn’t need to be boring, and if your business has a more relaxed identity, then I can tailor the images to suit your personal style, thereby offering a much more bespoke service.
Here are some of my favourites from our morning.
If you’re not happy with your current business headshot or if you don’t actually have one you can use, then why not get in touch on 01483 571119 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and get some headshots that will really do you and your business justice.
Posted on June 2, 2016 by under
Business Headshots, Guildford
Research by LinkedIn reveals that a business profile that’s accompanied by a photo is 7 times more likely to be viewed as a page that doesn’t have one, so it’s definitely worth investing in getting it done properly. No longer is it acceptable for a business headshot to be a selfie, or a holiday snap where you’ve chopped off the other person who was standing next to you!
And the more you can plan and prepare for your business headshot session, the better the results: for my female clients this means that one of the most important aspects is their consultation where we decide what outfits will work best, the hair and makeup style they prefer and any accessories they want to bring. I always use a professional hair and makeup artist to give a really polished look.
This lovely client was an absolute joy to photograph and we had a very enjoyable morning; as you can see, she’d brought along three striking outfits in some beautiful colours which really complemented her. Wearing lots of black is definitely not the only option just because you’re dressing for a business portrait; apart from being very draining, it also absorbs a lot of light and can be quite challenging to photograph.
Hair and makeup was done by the very talented Marijelle Moreno who managed to create a different look for each outfit – thank you! All shot using natural light only – my favourite type of lighting.
Here are some of my favourites, although it was very difficult to choose. If you’re thinking of getting some business headshots done, then get in touch at email@example.com – I’d love to photograph you!
A perfectly coordinated and professional look, with just a little black.
Often, all that’s needed is a pop of colour to bring an outfit to life.
A change of location and lighting adds variety.
Posted on April 6, 2016 by under
How to Smile in Photos – Are You a Rictus or a Duchenne?
When you smile in photos, are you a Cheshire Cat or a Mona Lisa? A successful portrait is all about expression: sure enough, you can create the most beautiful light, have the perfect props and outfits, and yet if the person’s expression is not right, all your time and effort will have been wasted.
“A smile is an inexpensive way to change your looks.” Charles Gordy
The genuineness of someone’s smile is actually centred around their eyes, although the mouth is involved too: but this is contrary to what many people seem to believe when they’re in front of a camera – the teeth are bared and the eyes are often blank in the classic rictus grin! So if you hate your smile in photos, it could simply be because you’re trying too hard. When someone smiles naturally and spontaneously, both their mouth muscles and the muscles around their eyes are engaged to varying degrees. Named after the 19th century French neurologist, Guillaume Duchenne, the Duchenne smile, which involves both the eyes and the mouth, is how we distinguish between a real smile and a fake one.
The Eyes Have it. Three Beautiful and Different Smiles Captured on a Fashion Shoot.
For a photographer this distinction is crucial. If I were to photograph my clients without giving them any direction or prompting, the “say cheese” fake expression is what they’d give me: it’s what most people think they need to do when they’re being photographed, and sometimes it can take quite a while to convince them otherwise.
Just Don’t Say “Cheese”. How I Get a Genuine Smile from My Clients
The first thing I get people to do is relax their facial muscles. When they’re being photographed, their faces will have a tendency to tense up as they prepare themselves. By getting them to relax I can also observe what they look like at rest, when they’re not emoting.
I then have the choice of either making them laugh, which is the quickest method, or directing them to look at me and smile with their eyes; I might also get them to think about their favourite person or place, since what’s going on in their heads will be reflected in their facial expressions.
The Three Phases of a Smile
A smile is actually composed of distinct phases, so it’s important that I press the shutter at just the right moment, depending on which type I’m after.
- The Laughing Smile. This is the first phase, which you can see in the left-hand picture. Here, the subject’s eyes and mouth are fully engaged in the act of laughing.
- The Relaxed Smile happens when the person has just stopped laughing, and the mouth has relaxed a little (right-hand picture).
- The Eye Smile. The final phase is the most tricky to achieve, but it’s one of my favourites, since here it’s mostly about the eyes and only a little about the mouth (centre picture). This is when I’m directing my client the most; getting her to look at me with intention and emotion, projecting that emotion in her eyes, with just a hint of a smile in the lips. It can be a really soulful and intense expression which speaks volumes.
So next time you’re in front of the camera, don’t forget to think eyes and then mouth, rather than the other way around!
Posted on March 31, 2016 by under
Headshot Photography, Surrey
Do you think of yourself as a brand? And if you do, how are your business values reflected in the image that you project to the outside world? Are they aligned and consistent?
Business headshots are very much centre-stage now that there are so many social media platforms out there, and as business professionals we need to ensure that we manage our profiles so that they work hard for us. This is why I recently changed my portrait to reflect the type of image which I now create for my clients.
Earlier this year, I did a headshot photography session for Sara, the founder of Bar des Arts in Guildford, and also the owner of a business training consultancy. Sara needed some new portraits for both her website and also her LinkedIn profile, and so we discussed in detail beforehand what hair and makeup style she wanted and also the type of outfits that she’d like to wear. This pre-session consultation is crucial as it prepares the client, the photographer and the makeup artist so that on the day we know exactly the type of look we want to create and don’t end up wasting valuable time.
I worked with hair and makeup artist, Marijelle Moreno, who created a lovely polished look for Sara, and two elegant hairstyles. Sara had brought along an L K Bennett dress in a very striking royal blue and also a chic black and white top which looked very professional.
I love both these looks and the colours of the dress and scarf look great. I also chose to pair some blue earrings with the black top to lift the look a little and add a discreet but essential pop of colour.
The vibrant blue of this LK Bennett dress really works for Sara’s business headshots
Ringing the changes with a different hairstyle and a smart, business-like top.
LinkedIn research shows that if a page has a profile picture, it’s seven times more likely to be viewed as a page that doesn’t have one; food for thought if you’re currently not making the most of yours. All my personal branding sessions for women include the services of a hair and makeup artist and the use of a lovely indoor location in Guildford. If you’d like to refresh your online image, then I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me on 01483 571119 or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted on February 5, 2016 by under
Portrait Photographer, Surrey
A Couture Portrait Session in Guildford
The best part of my job as a portrait photographer is making women feel happy and confident in their own skin. All too often the first thing they say to me is “I hate having my photograph taken”; this is followed closely by “I never look good in photos.” Feeling good in front of the camera is all about confidence. Looking good in front of the camera is all about trusting the judgement of the experts who know how to enhance your best features and light and pose you properly; it’s also about ignoring that little voice inside your head that tells you you’re not good enough – yes you are.
This was such a lovely session and my client had brought in 3 very different outfits – one was for her LinkedIn profile and the other two were gorgeous dresses because she wanted some glamorous portraits to make her feel special. I especially loved the bright yellow one – it was such a cheerful colour on a dull day!
I worked with hair and makeup artist, Sophia Wyatt, who created a lovely look, with beautiful lips and eyes and a sleek bob.
As you can see she looks amazing, and she sent me the loveliest testimonial which you can read below:
A lovely smokey-eyed look created by Sophia Wyatt.
I love a pop of colour and this yellow dress is stunning!
Looking polished and professional for business.
“Anna is one of those amazing people who made me feel comfortable from the first moment I met her. From the first consultation to the big day, she kept me calm and put me at ease during the entire process. I am body conscious and was nervous at the prospect of having any photos taken, but Anna directed each move and image so thoroughly that I needn’t have worried. From the pampering to the pictures Anna was calm and reassuring, and she made me feel beautiful. I am thrilled with the final result, as she captured something in me I did not even realise was there.”
Posted on January 25, 2016 by under
Last November I teamed up with hair and makeup artist, Marijelle Moreno, to take some business headshots in Guildford for one of her clients who needed to update her LinkedIn profile.
My portrait sessions always start with a consultation, either over the phone or face-to-face, as it’s really important for me to find out exactly what my client needs the images for and how she wants to look. Having spoken with Doreen, we’d discussed in detail the type of look she was after (professional, polished and friendly), and I’d advised her on what outfits it would be best to bring along to her session. Generally speaking, I’ll advise a client to bring two outfits, with different necklines and sleeve lengths; solid colours are always the best option as any kind of pattern can be distracting and look too “busy”.
As a natural light photographer it’s definitely nice to have the option of photographing outdoors; being November, I didn’t think this would be possible, but as it turned out the day was really mild and Doreen was even happy in her sleeveless dress! We shot in and around the Yvonne Arnaud theatre in Guildford, which has lots of lovely areas that are perfect for portraits.
Why Makeup is So Important
I think lots of women, particularly those who don’t wear much or any makeup, worry that they’re going to look “overdone”, but a professional makeup artist will always bear in mind that the makeup must be appropriate and that it should enhance your features without drawing attention to itself. With business headshots for women there needs to be enough makeup for it to actually show in the photographs, which generally means applying a little more, but at the same time it has to look real. Marijelle did a great job, and Doreen was delighted with the results.
If you’re thinking of updating your business headshot, what better time to do it than at the beginning of a new year? Give me a call on 01483 571119 or email me at email@example.com and we can discuss what you’d like. Alternatively, you can fill in the form on my bookings page here.
Here are some of my favourites from our session.
Posted on January 22, 2016 by under
Couture Portraiture, A Luxury Photography Service for Women & the Perfect Valentine’s Day Gift.
This year, how about giving your loved one a Valentine’s Day gift that is a bit more personal and special? Something that they can keep and that will lift your spirits for more than a few days? Or how about dropping a few hints and mentioning what you’d like as a gift? This one is guaranteed to outlast the champagne, roses and chocolates.
Book Your Couture Portrait Session Here. Find out more below.
Let a Couture Portrait session bring out your glamorous side!
A Couture Portrait shoot is no ordinary photography session, and the results are no ordinary photographs. Starting with a pampering professional hair and make-up session, you’ll then experience an amazing photo shoot that will capture you at your most beautiful.
Bring along your favourite outfits and be photographed in a way that accentuates and brings out your beauty.
If you have always avoided the camera, why not make this the year you step in front of the lens with confidence and acknowledge to yourself how beautiful you are? This is a service that I am proud to offer to every woman of every age. Here’s what some of them have said to me afterwards:
“I would encourage all women to do this. It does change you, but only for the better. It makes you stronger as a woman through feeling so confident… you truly will love how you look. Thank you Anna for helping show me just what I am capable of.”
“It was brilliant! Awesome feelgood factor experience with experts who really know their stuff in making you feel a million dollars and photos to relive the experience again and again.”
“Anna, there are no words. I have just literally cried with happiness! Thank you so, so much!!!!”
So what are you waiting for? Take the first step now to owning the beautiful portraits that you deserve.
Couture Portrait sessions are £395.00 and include hair, makeup and photography at a discreet location in Guildford. Please note that all products are available to purchase separately. If you would like to book, then simply fill in the form here, and I’ll be in touch!
Have your hair and makeup professionally done to enhance your best features and get you feeling camera-confident.
Bring along your choice of favourite outfits.
During your session you’ll be gently and expertly directed by me, so you know exactly what to do.
So what are you waiting for? Now’s your chance: make this the year you step into the limelight and prove to yourself just how beautiful you are. Book your Couture Portrait session.