Category Archives: portrait

Is this you?

We’re introduced at a networking meeting and a professional rapport was established. I viewed the photographers website and checked out their online presence. All the people in the images must be professional models as they all look great/at ease with their poses

Emails are exchanged. Hard questions have to be faced. What do I want? How can this ever work? All the what if’s………………? I really don’t like my photograph being taken. I need to do this but I’m really not comfortable in front of the camera.

Time and date agreed, deposit paid, confirmation received – there’s no backing out now!

The dreaded day arrives, I have a plan, take it steady, arrive calm and relaxed – not. What a calamitous morning, heavy traffic encountered all the way to the shoot (Oh the irony, strike me down now!) running late. What do I wear – grabbed a selection of shirts – some are slightly smaller than I remembered!

I arrive at the venue and I’m greeted at the door, my nervous laughter mixed with babbling small talk – explaining the small shirts – why? What  do we want to achieve – professional, friendly, approachable? All the while my insides are churning like a washing machine on spin cycle!

A backdrop, big lights with reflective umbrellas, but strangely an air of calm slowly begins to descend over me. The offer of a coffee delays the impending failure / gory experience. This is not going to work, how can I look good in a picture?

Lights, camera and action! Seated on a posing block, the heat radiating from the lights is akin to basking in the midday sun. Calming, soothing words of guidance, helping me find a comfortable position. Slight tilt of the head, right hand onto thigh and just drop those shoulders. I interact with the photographer and their assistant, use my hands, my expressive side showing through. Big smile, drop the chin, a serious look. A slurp of coffee between poses, hey, this isn’t too bad!

Wow, I have a best side, but I knew that all along and this is all feeling so much better than I had anticipated. And relax.

I’ve been sat here for thirty minutes already and time is flying by. All change and into the “smaller than I remember shirt” . I do believe that I can carry this off. The talking continues, adjusting position, lean forward from the waist, turn my face a little and back the other way.

And it’s over. Gather my things, the images will be ready within ten working days and I can view them in a password protected folder. Choose the ones that I prefer and they will be mine.

On reflection, that was a goods experience. I left feeling a lot better about how to be myself in front of the camera. Gone is the awkwardness and the toothy grimace masquerading as a smile.

Having a professional take the shots is so much more than someone just pressing a button. They can understand you and get the best out of you. That is when great shots are achieved.

 

Image copyright Penny Morgan Photography.

‘I could never be on stage!’

The driving factor of networking is to engage with people, promote your business and build those trusted relationships for future work.  Being amongst 30 – 40 people together in a room, grabbing a coffee just to separate a little from the throng and watch. Listening to one conversation while eaves dropping on three others in your periphery. All kinds of folk, suited and booted, leopard print heels, jeans, casual shirts and the odd donkey jacket.

The organisers are making introductions, surreptitiously moving the participants in the ever changing dynamic of the room. PA, PR, building management and a holistic health practitioner is just brushing the surface of the gathered expertise. The noise, the communication, the body language, to be heard and observed. You could interject with a yes or no, a nod or a smile. Listening to people, don’t we all like to talk about ourselves? Looking for common ground, shared ethics and views, commonality is the driver.

But what has being on stage got to do with any of this? 

What if running your own business or a valued member of a bigger organisation could be likened to being in the best production you’ll ever perform in? You don’t have to learn a script, you already know it inside out… it’s the business you work in… and being yourself. Your personality, the way you dress, stand, behave and share your skills and knowledge of what you do, all tell an unfolding unique story of authenticity, honesty and personal leadership. How many of the connections you make leave you wanting to hear more, like you might in a gripping production?

Stop the room and bring a camera in, many of the participants will melt into the wings and tuck themselves away from the forefront, they will appear distracted and their demeanour will change. But helping people to be themselves, help them get over their apprehension and nerves, in front of the greatest audience they could wish for, is all the camera is facilitating… something we here at PMP Towers have made part of our own unique production.

What’s your experience networking and do you find it easy to be yourself?

Image copyright of Penny Morgan Photography

The ‘Elephant’ in the room… a photographers focus.

So for the last two years, I’ve talked about getting to grips with changing how we feel about being photographed. Discovering just how many dislike it and/or the results, has been both eye opening and yet strangely not a surprise.

After developing the program ‘Love Your Image’, to help people who don’t like being photographed change this mind-set, has been an interesting and rewarding journey. Just about everyone thinks it’s a good idea and most will talk about it on a ‘general’ level, but how open would you want to be to discuss this subject on a much more personal level? No so much I find. Often what we don’t like about our image may feel somewhat trivial or connected with vanity and nobody really wants to admit to being vain? I hear so many different stories of why people don’t like their photograph taken, but if you are in business, can you afford to be an Eeore about it?

Being aware of your ‘Mind-set’ is being applied to many things these days and how you present yourself in images IS hugely important. Therefore so is changing your mind-set in front of the camera… and change it YOU CAN… this is something that is within an individuals reach regardless of how you have felt… perhaps for many years? With the right help and guidance you can do this.

To change how you feel and be among a growing group who have learned to ‘Love Their Image’ has MANY rewards. It’s neither trivial nor vain to decide to address this and the benefits are considerable.

The first step of the journey is:

  • Learning and understanding ‘why’ we arrive at such an attitude.
  • Useful tips on ‘how’ to be in front of the camera and why they work!

… and when you feel brave enough…

  • A photo-shoot – that only you see the results, until you are ready to share.
And that’s just the start, to making it a permanent change.

This doesn’t ask anything more of you than a willingness to be open minded to change.

So consider this… and its nothing to do with your size… can the ‘Elephant’ in your room be ignored any longer…?

Elephant In The Room

Photograph copyright of Penny Morgan Photography

What is Valentine’s Day?

Flowers, a card and a meal out? It’s origins belie a mixed history. The day of romance is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but it’s beginnings can be found in the Roman holiday of Lupercalia. This was a pastoral festival held on 15th February to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility.

Ancient rituals have been adulterated with a modern commercial twist. 

The special day falls on a ‘school night’ this year so do we crack open a bottle of fizz? Fuzzy head at half past week! We have realised that we are officially a ‘Coople’, a term used in an illustration by the very talented Jessie Cave. It goes something like this… Jed & Emma have been together for 9 years. They are one of those infuriatingly happy and committed cooples who live for the moment someone asks “how did you meet?”

Deep down we all like the high we get from making others feel special, but how we feel about ourselves is where that happiness truly stems from.

Enjoy February 14th, whether you’ve planned for it or not.

Image copyright of Penny Morgan Photography

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Profile photography day – 17th May 2016

Another head shot day is set for 17th May, at The Bury Farmers Club and in conjunction with The Best of Bury St Edmunds.

If you would like to update, refresh, or have brand new profile images, take advantage of this day. You can stay ahead of your competition buy having great profile photographs that represent you and your business – suitable for print, website and social media!

Individual sessions will be up to three quarters of an hour and you can book your session time by getting in touch and reserving a space. Your shoot will include 3 high resolution images of your choice from the edited selection. These will be available to view in a private online folder and always the option to purchase more if you wish. Choices will be made available to download from the website.

Special prices for this day are £90 for Best of Bury members and £100 for non members – prices include VAT.

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To book your session, contact me by email – design@pennymorgan.co.uk, or phone 0845 257 2038.

Deposit payment of £50 will be required to secure your session and payment details will be provided together with a VAT invoice.

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A – Z Photography tips and information … ‘E’

‘E’ is for ‘err… a bit of a delay since the last in this series, however I’m back on it now!

So ‘E’ firstly is for ‘exposure’. Do you understand what exposure means and is determined by on your camera? Let me clarify/simplify it a little for you. Three main things determine the exposure of shot:

Aperture – discussed under ‘A’
Shutter speed – will be discussed further on
ISO – or your cameras sensor speed and sensitivity.

‘Over’ exposed mean your image has had too much light allowed in and the results will be too bright and ‘under’ exposed means just the opposite – not enough light allowed in resulting in your image being too dark.

If you leave your camera on ‘auto’, this decides on the above three settings for you, according to the composition you are framing up. Understanding how to gain a good exposure also involves getting your head round your cameras metering – which I will cover further on.

Have attached a couple of very random examples of both over and under exposed images.

Over exposed Over exposed

Better exposed. Better exposed.

Under exposed. Under exposed.

Better exposed. Better exposed.

 

‘E’ is also for ‘expressions’ – in my opinion capturing a natural expression in people photography, is what rates a successful image and one that people will like of themselves, whether it’s smiling or serious. There can be a very fine line between a truly natural expression in a person and the one that displays a degree of tension, stiffness, or just not appearing quite comfortable. This is why many people like images of themselves when they didn’t know a photograph was being taken and their attention was elsewhere. Many many times, I see people become quickly uncomfortable as soon as a camera is produced!

So consider this, among other reasons, it can be a self perpetuating thing. You see an image you don’t like of yourself and next time you’r e in front of a camera, consciously or not, tension creeps in and you don’t know where to look or how to be – indeed, you may put on a brave face, but inside are wishing the whole process was over… and it shows! So you see yet another image of yourself you’re not particularly happy with and so it repeats itself – you just resign to thinking you don’t take a good photograph.

But, who was in charge of the camera, did they try to put you at ease and guide you how to stand/pose? The feeling ‘uncomfortable’ only likely crept in when the camera appeared (unless you were already not in the best of moods)!

People are a lot more photogenic than they think!! 

 

A – Z Photography tips and information… B

(B) is for black and white – sometimes the success of a shot is in its simplicity and removing the colour can aid this and change the focus. Plus, mixed with the right lighting (covered under ‘L’) it can bring a great ‘mood’ quality to the image, shown below in a small selection of very different examples.

Black and white photographs

(B) is also for… background – not so obvious, to the point it’s easy to forget them altogether – especially when you are concentrating on your foreground image! Then you end up with objects suddenly appearing in your finished composition that you hadn’t seen at the time of capture! A telegraph pole sticking out the top of someone’s head is never a good look!

So look out for them! A shifting of the camera or your position (often quite small) can save the whole composition of your image. The photo below of the young lady sitting on the beach is a simple example, positioning her in between two upright posts in the background that have strong shadows. If you have a tricky background, observe if it’s possible to use it to your advantage, i.e. frame your image with the background… or move altogether and get another angle.

There are other factors to consider with backgrounds covered further on in the series, so watch out for those 🙂

Background example
I’ll try and remember to refer back to comments mentioned under previous letters that may be relevant to another tip 🙂

 

A – Z Photography tips and information… starting with A

Thought it would be worthwhile and interesting to create an A to Z of photography tips and information… in bite size chunks, not too technical or long winded. While I’ll cover some photography ‘jargon’ and try and make it as ‘non techie’ as possible, will introduce a few less obvious things to consider… all relevant and my own take on the subject.

So (A) is for… aperture (an obvious one)! Very simply, this is the hole in the lens that allows the light through to record your image onto the sensor of your camera. Measured in something called ‘F’ stops, these just represent a ratio between the diameter of the aperture (hole) and focal length of your lens. The lower the ‘F’ stop number, the bigger the aperture (or hole) and more light gets allowed in – the higher the ‘F’ stop number, the smaller the aperture and less light gets allowed through.

(A) is also for ‘angles’ – an important part in the composition of an image. Just one example below regarding portrait images – notice body angles, face angles… angles are all over these images, all creating an interesting an appealing position, BUT, kept in perspective and looking natural. The same angles are not right for everyone in a given situation and it’s important for the success of a shot to find those that best suit your subject… even if you are taking a selfie!

TipsInfo(a)

Subscribing to the blog will keep you up to date with the next letters and more pieces of the information puzzle will fall into place – enjoy your camera… 🙂

You can Love Your Image…

Sometimes blogs can be a bit like waiting for a bus… however…!

In January of this year I gave a talk on a very common subject, but very little discussed – those who dislike being photographed and think they’re not very photogenic.

If you think it’s all down to you and there’s nothing that can be done… think again and read on. The cause can be very different from person to person, but the result is very similar.

Hear me out… it’s not all down to you and there is something you can do about it.

Imagine being completely comfortable in front of the camera and not let it become a repeated challenge to your self esteem.

I’ve launched a specially designed experience to help you explore this further and discover a fresh new outlook and confidence.

Click on the image to read more, or, the following link, for full information on the website – LOVE YOUR IMAGE:

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et in touch if you would like to learn more:

Telephone: 0845 257 2038

Contact: Via the website

 

Awesome Autumn 2014 promotions…

Well it’s been a long and busy summer, with shoots as varied as I can remember!

I have a bag full of blogs waiting to share with you, but in the meantime have launched a couple of Autumn promotions.

The first is so important to those of us in business and was recently reminded by a clients quote… a strong indication that good profile photographs can draw people to you.

“I get a lot of compliments on the photo’s that you did! I ask all my clients where they found me and a good majority of them reply from my website.  They chose me because they like my photo and I look approachable! ” 🙂

I will be arranging the first session dates in the next week if you would like to take advantage of this promotion.

Click on the image, or, the following link for further information – LATEST PROMOTIONS.

Head&ShouldersPromotion

The second is making the most of our lovely autumn colours that have started to appear and a great opportunity to enjoy some valuable downtime to yourself or with your family.

I won’t mention the ‘C’ word yet, but a promotion worth considering if you would like gift ideas!

These shoots will be arranged and held at a beautiful outdoor Suffolk location – flexibility with our lovely British weather will be allowed for!

Click on the image to read all the information.

Awesome Autumn promotion
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ou can get in touch via email, phone, or my website for any further information.