Happy New Year 2019

 

Happy New Year and I hope that you all had a gorgeous and peaceful Christmas.  Here is my January newsletter to kick start 2019.  Around about this time last year, I went up to North Yorkshire to photograph Yorkshire Shepherdess Amanda Owen.  This was my second photoshoot with Amanda and this time it was for Psychologies magazine’s ‘My Life’ feature.  It was an early start so I travelled up the night before and stayed in a gorgeous B&B in the middle of nowhere.  This has got to have been one of my coldest photoshoot’s ever – about-5°!   I had so many layers on I could hardly function.  After a quick cuppa with Amanda, we set straight off on the quad bike up into the hills of Swaledale.  I was perched precariously on the back of the quad bike wondering how on earth I’d come to be doing this at 8 am on a Thursday morning.  Up on the hills it was such a beautiful clear day we could see for miles. After tupping the ram and feeding the sheep we set off back down and I continued to photograph Amanda going about her daily chores and looking after her little ones.

 

I jumped at the chance to photograph Elkie Brooks for You magazine.  Myself and Liz Jones met Elkie in Lincolnshire whilst she was touring with her new album ‘Pearls’ and set up a makeshift studio.  Elkie was surprisingly shy in front of the camera which only made her all the more endearing.  She belted out a few notes whilst being photographed and blew us all away with the power of her voice.  I’ve been listening to her at full blast in my car ever since.  Elkie’s ‘Pearls a singer’ has got to be one of the best songs ever and she only gets better with age – listen here!

 

 

A job to get my teeth stuck into now, working with Dan and Adam from SMRS, for B&Q’s recruitment site.  Our first day was spent in the Watford store illustrating the day to day lives of B&Q employees with reportage style photography.  Paul and crew from Thunder and Lightning covered the video side and interviews.  My job was made easy as the B&Q staff were keen to help with the photography (mostly – some tried to hide).
The second day was spent at B&Q house in Southampton, again taking illustrative images of employees enjoying their jobs and going about their day.  We spent a further couple of days in a studio taking more posed shots of employees on a white background to further illustrate the website and graphics.  I arrived back at home after 5 days away and the kids asked if I’d enjoyed my holiday!

 

This was a really nice job to do for Rachel Clark in Leeds.  Rachel runs Wrapped PR and needed some new editorial style portraits for publicity.  I asked Rachel to bring along a few different outfits so we could get a range of options.  Rachel sourced a great location in the centre of Leeds where we made use of several different areas and then we headed outside to continue the shoot.

 

 

 

Off to Beamish Museum in County Durham for a ‘Behind the scenes’ feature with Candis Magazine.  Mandy Appleyard was in charge of interviews and I stuck to the pictures.  We were made really welcome by Jacki who looked after us and showed us around.  Beamish is an open air museum of everyday life in North East England at the height of industrialisation in the early 20th century.  It’s such a fantastic place with so much going on.  We met, amongst lots of others, the seamstress putting the costumes together, a woman who runs a group for people with dementia and a young member of the team doing a marvellous job of repainting and restoring a carousel.

 

 

A shoot for Broughton’s Coffee House magazine now over in Wakefield.  Again the offers of free exotic coffee flavours were lost on me being an exclusive tea drinker.  This coffee shop (The Hepworth Cafe) is run by couple Shansan and Chris and is located in one of my favourite art galleries – The Hepworth.  It’s a stunning building full of amazing art and is really family friendly.

 

 

Another behind the scenes shoot for Candis magazine – this time at RSPB Frampton Marsh nature reserve over in Lincolnshire.  The weather looks gorgeous on the images, however, it was soooo cold and of course mostly outdoors.  It was really interesting to meet all the birdwatchers and the young volunteers, who have studied for years and are so knowledgeable and enthusiastic about wildlife and conservation.

 

 

Lastly a bit of festive panto fun.  I visited Jay Lusted (middle) to photograph him and his fellow actors staring in ‘The seven dwarfs’ over in St Helens for a magazine feature.  Whilst I was taking this photo, I asked who was playing Cinderella.  After a long silence and 7 puzzled looks, Jay asked if I’d meant Snow White?  Embarrassing…

 

 

Bye for now – My next newsletter will be along in February.
Claire x

November news

 

Here is my November newsletter where we jump back to this time last year.
Firstly, I had a lovely relaxed job photographing Grace-Anne from Needle Law firm in Leeds, for Legal Practice Magazine’s feature about Grace climbing Mount Kilimanjaro. I can end up anywhere in the North of England for my photoshoots but this time we ended up very close to home. I picked Grace-Anne up from Huddersfield station (I spotted her quite easily!) and off we drove to the wild moors of Marsden. I’d asked her to bring some colourful clothes so she would stand out against the background and was thrilled to see she was in bright pink from head to toe!

 

 

This shoot was for Lloyd’s Banking Foundation who make grants to hundreds of small and local charities, investing in their work helping people overcome complex social issues across England and Wales. I visited MRANG in Liverpool, who offer a safe place for refugee women to connect and get support. I did various shots inside and outside but this is one of my favourites by far.

 

 

Jemma Lucy, reality TV star, was fab in front of the camera for the photoshoot with Closer magazine in Manchester. These shots were for their regular feature ‘On the couch’ with TV psychologist, Emma Kenny. Unfortunately it was difficult for Jemma to actually sit comfortably on the couch as she had just had plastic surgery on her derriere.

 

 

I spent a brilliant day in central London with the charity Debra. Lots of people with EB came to be photographed and filmed to help with the campaign ‘#FightEB’. The people and the families were fantastic and all keen to help and tell their stories. I had lots of really great locations right on the doorstep and so I tried to do an inside and outside set up for each person. A busy but creative and inspiring day.

 

 

I photographed Gail for Waitrose Weekend who has started the ‘Horse Box Pizza Company’ in West Yorkshire. Gail caters at lots of different events and I thought her converted horse box was really cute and such a good idea. This shoot made me so hungry so it was lucky that I got to eat the props!

 

 

I really love doing the photoshoots for Well Child with You magazine and this time it was with 16 year old Luis, from Chesterfield, who won the ‘Most Caring Young Person Award 2017’. His brother Theo has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and epilepsy. They have such a lovely special relationship and it really warmed my heart to watch them together. Luis is indeed caring, kind, sensitive and so grown up for his age, watch this gorgeous video to see more.

 

 

Here is a handy example of corporate head shots v reportage style portraits, shot for the same company – Control Group in Cheshire. Of course there are an almost infinite amount of possibilities and variations for corporate portraits and each company needs an individual approach.

 

 

Woman and Home magazine commissioned me to photograph Lisa and her daughter Amelia, who were unfortunately caught up in the Manchester bombings in May 2017. The feature focused on how they are moving forward with their lives. Amelia had started riding lessons and finds being around horses comforting and healing. Amelia is such a lovely young person and has a quiet positivity about her.

 

 

A fun photoshoot now for Fabulous magazine for their ‘Fab does’ article. This time with TV writer Kay Mellor in Angelica Bar in Leeds city centre.

 

 

A behind the scenes look at the Christmas preparations going on at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire for a feature in Candis magazine. Using a mixture of reportage photography and more posed portraits, myself and writer Mandy Appleyard had a whistle stop tour of all things festive.

 

 

A feel good story to end on for Fit and Well magazine about three women in Leeds, Vicky, Kate and Sue who met at Herbalife and become friends. They lost weight together, put a bit back on, then did a triathlon and became fitter in the process. But above all they’ve enjoyed the journey.
My next newsletter will be along in January.
Claire
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News from last Summer

I only met the late James Dunn twice back in 2017 but he made a big impression on me.  The James I met was a strong, brave, kind and enthusiastic young man with a great sense of humour and a loving family.  He didn’t have an easy life because he suffered from Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).  A fellow photographer, he used his skills and his personality to raise money and awareness to help the charity Debra fund medical research.  He very sadly passed away in April this year aged 24.
Here is a link to James’ instagram and website where you can see his wonderful images.  And a link to a film about James made by Tommy Reynolds and videographer Michael.  James was helped to be able to take photographs again by the BBC Big Life Fix designer Jude Pullen.

 

 

In Summer 2017 I started doing the photography for Alderly Edge School for Girls over in Cheshire.  The school has a nursery and a sixth form so I had a wide range of ages to go on. The girls were absolutely brilliant to photograph – so polite, keen and helpful – it’s a wonderful school.  I really enjoy working with Debbie and Philly.  They were there offering support and guidance throughout the day but giving me creative freedom to get on with it.  Here are but a few of the images from a three day shoot. There were too many to choose from so I’ve updated my education gallery with my other favourites – see here.

 

 

Down to the allotment to photograph husband and wife Tim and Sam for a feature in Connect magazine.  We were blessed with a beautiful evening and a compliant friendly hen. Tim is a photographer himself and it always makes me nervous photographing other photographers, however they were both so nice that soon it didn’t matter.  Oh and Tim has a studio for hire in Sheffield – free advert for you there Tim.  Here’s how the images were used.

 

 

This was a lovely job with the BBC for Radio Sheffield.  We photographed presenter Kat Cowan to publicise her radio show which she broadcasts from home while cooking. What a brilliant way to work from home!  It was a lovely relaxed morning and we even got to eat the props (which were delicious).

 

 

Head shots now for Spire Barristers in Leeds with the Shopper Agency for their new website.  Spire wanted to come across as friendly and approachable with clean and consistent head shots.

 

 

I had to brave the heights of Leeds Becket University roof to get this shot of BBC presenter Keeley Donovan for her new role as presenter of Inside Out – Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.  Of course it had to be a really windy day and with Keeley’s long hair it was a constant battle.  With lots of patience on Keeley’s side we got there in the end. I had wobbly legs after the heights though…

 

 

Working with content agency SMRS Manchester I had a few days wandering around the National Audit Offices in London taking reportage style images of people at work.  The aim was to make it look like a fun place to work – which of course it is!  I also took portraits on a white background for the agency to use as case studies.  Film company Thunder and Lightning, who I love working with, covered all the videography.  You can see how some of the images have been used here on the NAO recruitment website.

 

 

So that was my October newsletter that actually should have been out in July.  I’ve fortunately been so busy with work that the newsletter, unfortunatley, had to be put on the back burner, but I promise to improve and hopefully there will be another one out really soon and I’ll be able to catch up and get more up to date.  I’ve just bought a brand new set of lights, which should make jobs more streamlined and mobile and I can’t wait to try them out on my shoot next week.
Claire
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May Newsletter

 

 

Welcome to my Spring newsletter which jumps back to this time last year.  My photoshoot for Grazia magazine’s ‘Digital Detox’ feature with artist Bay Backner in Saltaire was one of my favourite jobs.  For a start, I love photographing artists and creatives.  Then to be presented with a beautiful location and to top it all off Bay managed to look amazing in a paint-splattered blue boiler suit!  Thank you to Bay for such a lovely and relaxed shoot.

 

This was a fun shoot with Kate for Sea Cadets magazine on the river Irwell over in Salford.  I had a great time standing on a bridge calling out my orders to the girls in the boats below in my attempts to get everyone in the right spot.  I’ve never had such well-trained models – these girls are amazing and Kate was inspiring. See the magazine here.

 

 

It’s nearly two years ago that Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox was murdered.  Batley is very close to where I live and like everybody I was deeply affected.  A year later I photographed Jo’s sister Kim, for an article in Grazia magazine. I was nervous and worrying about what to say.  I took a deep breath and knocked on Kim’s door. The door was flung open and I was greeted by Kim’s enthusiastic welcome followed by a big hug.  Kim is such a wonderful, kind woman, full of energy and is working so hard to continue her sister’s legacy with ‘The Jo Cox Foundation’ and the #moreincommon & #lovelikeJo.

 

 

The Scouts are a wonderful organisation doing fantastic work, so I was really pleased to do the photography for a feature in Scouting magazine.  With Art Editor Elaine from Immediate, we visited Lancashire’s School for the Deaf, which runs a scouting group.  The kids were fantastic and there were some real characters.  They really enjoy their scouting classes and had loads of fun.

 

 

This was a second commission for Grazia’s ‘Digital Detox’ feature.  Lina said she hadn’t realised how much time social media was sucking out of her personal life.  After recently moving to Manchester she now uses the freed up time to explore her new surroundings and as a result Lina now spends more time walking, socialising and reading.

 

 

I really do need to start liking coffee – it’s embarrassing on these Coffee House magazine shoots having to ask for a tea instead!  I met and photographed James Sweeting the MD of Lincoln and York over in Lincolnshire (not York).

 

 

A set of corporate headshots for Datel over in Warrington to keep them nice and up to date. Always lovely to work for.

 

 

I photographed Alicia who was at the MEN Arena on the 22nd of May when the terrorist Salman Abedi set off a bomb killing 22 people and injuring hundreds.  It’s one year on now but when I photographed Alicia it was only a few days later. My heart went out to her.  She really didn’t know what to do with herself and couldn’t understand how people were still going about their daily lives as normal.

 

 

It was a pleasure to meet Richard and Jan Bones in Cheshire to photograph them for a Woman’s Own article on multiple sclerosis.  Richard has lived with MS for a long time and was the perfect person to advise Coronation Street’s actor Richard Hawley on his, then, upcoming MS storyline. The two Richards were introduced via the MS Society and have now become friends.

 

 

Down to Loughborough to photograph Sharon who volunteers as a run leader for Poplar running club in her spare time.  This lady put me to shame! She is so fit and active, running back and forth along the route encouraging everyone along. So enthusiastic but in a calm and kind way rather than a Sergeant Major shouty way.

 

 

Helena and her daughter Olivia were lovely to photograph and I was made very welcome.  It was for an S Magazine health case study in East Yorkshire.  Helen battled for years to get daughter Olivia’s rare condition diagnosed.

 

 

I met twins Donna (left) and Nicola (right) over in Stockport. The feature was part of a case study for You magazine about what it’s like to have a twin. Donna was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago and it was really interesting to hear how they supported each other through that difficult time.

 

 

A corporate shoot now for Turner and Townsend in Manchester. Head shots followed by a group shot of the new graduates looking all lovely and smart. The foyer is often a good place for a group image, especially when it’s as snazzy as this.

 

 

After Gillian (left) survived aggressive skin cancer she went on, with friend and business partner Katy, to develop Tancream, a daily lotion with SPF 50, five-star UVA and a gradual self tan plus instant bronzer. I photographed them in a beauttiful location in Easingwold.

 

 

I visited the WI in Marsden with writer Hazel Davies, to cover their special class on Krav Maga, a hard core self-defence class.  In the middle of the shoot I looked around the room and I was surrounded by pairs of women trying to strangle or assault each other with fake knives and guns.  This one is definitely going on my list of freaky photoshoots!

March News

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Hello and welcome to my March Newsletter where we jump back to this time last year.  I met Amanda Blackwell of Joe’s Toes to create some portraits of her for the website and for publicity.  Amanda makes beautiful felt slipper kits that you can order from her website.  I love doing storytelling portraits like these especially if it’s a creative and colourful location (and person!).

 

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Over to Liverpool to photograph Hollyoaks actress Sophie Porley for the Sunday Express Magazine’s ‘In the Closet’ feature.  We had the run of the Malmaison Hotel and made the most of it, even the wallpaper came in handy.  Sophie was lovely to photograph – very happy and easy going.  Sally Rowe was in charge of hair and makeup and Tricia Welch was styling and writing the feature.  I really enjoy working as part of a team.

 

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A corporate headshot photoshoot for Enact Conveyancing in Warrington on a light grey background. I do like a grey background – it’s lovely and soft.

 

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This was a great experience – ‘Behind the scenes’ at Blackpool Tower Ballroom for Candis magazine.  I was there with writer Tori Hywel-Davies on a cold rainy Wednesday and it was really busy.  It’s such a glitzy colourful place where the outside world seems a million miles away.  I was fascinated by the organ (I’ll have to choose my words carefully here) that sunk into the ground and then majestically rose up again!  And glow in the dark shoes – who knew…

 

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This shoot was a whistle-stop tour around the BBC at Media City. I was photographing Steve Brown and JJ Chalmers who are being fast-tracked as BBC sports and events presenters.  We did studio style shots on a white background, then into the Radio 5 Live studio, then the breakfast studio and lastly the sports studio.  It was really fast paced and I think we were all exhausted by the end of the shoot!  Steve found the time to take a photo of me ‘presenting the sports news’ so I could try to fool friends and family that I had a new fancy job – but it turns out nobody I know is that gullible!

 

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A visit to BBC Radio Sheffield to spend the day photographing the presenters on a clean bright white background.  This is the Breakfast team and we literally had to cajole and slide Toby Foster into position at the last minute as he only had about a three minute window in between interviews. There’s nothing like a rush to make people concentrate!

 

 

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It was wonderful to photograph Lysette Anthony for S Magazine – again in Liverpool.  Lysette was heralded as the “Face of the Eighties” by photographer David Bailey.  Lysette is still just as stunning and I think I’ll have to herald her as the face of the twenty-teens as well.  Although it doesn’t have quite the same impact when I say it!

 

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Helen Gilmore was just about to launch her new product Slixir (a hand and polish cream that extends the life of nail polish) and needed portraits for the website and for publicity. Helen invited me to photograph her at home and we worked together on choosing clothes and areas of the house to create editorial-style portraits with the right feel.

 

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Thanks for taking the time to read this, the next one will be along in May.  Cx

Happy New Year

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Happy New Year everyone, I hope you had a lovely Christmas break.  Here’s my newsletter that jumps back to this time last year (I promise to catch up a bit at some point this year!).  Mandy Appleyard (writer) and I went ‘behind the scenes’ at Bettys in Harrogate for Candis magazine.  We both loved this job because we were so well looked after by Laura from Betty’s and because we were treated to chocolates and cakes!

 

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This editorial photoshoot in Manchester for Prima magazine was about women who have had a career change.  Hannah and Jane use to work in the police service but ditched the stress to become painters and decorators (the Primer Donnas).  They looked to be doing such a fab job, I asked them to decorate my lounge.  A very useful photoshoot!

 

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A lovely job for the BBC with Sheffield radio presenter Paulette Edwards.  We did a variety of portraits in the studio and out and about in Sheffield to promote her new show.  Paulette was chilled and relaxed in front of the camera and a joy to work with.

 

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I adore photographing creative people in creative spaces.  Both these features (above and below) were for Woman and Home magazine for an article entitled ‘New Directions’.  Esther (above) now designs the most beautiful glass lamp shades for her company Curiousa & Curiousa in Derby.  I was blessed with a beautiful setting and a very photogenic dog and of course Esther was fab too!

For my shoot with Corinne Lapierre in Leeds who creates and sells felt animal making kits, there was so much to go on.  A beautiful studio space full of colour and creations.  I’d taken my 3 month old puppy along in the car and Corrine was so kind she invited Molly in.
More shoots like these please.

 

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When I was told I was going to be photographing guinea pigs at a care home for Pets at Home I had a bad feeling that these little animals were going to be big trouble, I thought they would be running off in every direction!  Pets at Home employees visit the care home with the animals and encourage the residents to interact with them.  I can’t tell you how well behaved these guinea pigs were.  They stayed exactly where they were put and they didn’t nibble anybody (or wee on anyone!). They were the perfect models – much easier than the humans!  This little boy was the star of the shoot – he was so natural, joyful and knew just how to get his grandad smiling.

 

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Off to York to photograph BBC radio presenter Kay Crewdson (top left) for her new show.  We also photographed Kay round and about in York and then came back to photograph more fabulous presenters. A busy but fun day. A year on and Kay is now away to America – good luck in New York Kay.

 

 

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I was so lucky to meet and photograph Ellie Simmonds for You magazine’s Emotional ties feature.  Such an inspirational woman and so friendly and welcoming.  She was having a media day that day and I was just the first of many shoots. My shoot involved a portrait and then shots of special possessions – I got to hold all the medals!

 

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My second trip to photograph Emma Parker Bowles, this time to feature one of her dogs ‘Little moon’ who is both blind and deaf in an article for You magazine.  Emma rescued him from terrible conditions in a dog pound in California and he now lives with Emma and her other rescue dogs in Yorkshire.

 

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HD Beauty (HD Brows) in Leeds asked me to photograph six of their trained therapists for their social media campaign.  I can’t say I usually give much thought about the state of my eyebrows before most jobs but I found myself nervously obsessing before this shoot!

 

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Photographing BBC presenters Harry Gration and Amy Garcia abseiling from a Hallam University building in Sheffield, for Comic Relief, was a bit of a challenge for a photographer whose not keen on heights!  My job was to get PR shots of each of them getting prepared, abseiling off, on their way down and then to get some shots of them reaching the bottom and celebrating.  Well I have to admit to being totally defeated on the last part of my assignment.  Amy went first and I took the pictures of her on the way down and then I raced off down the stairs and out of the building only to find she had beaten me to it and was already taking off her harness.  I raced back up to the top so as not to miss Harry’s descent.  Over he went and off I raced down the stairs and out of the building to find Harry already celebrating with the crowd of onlookers!  Ah well – I’m not superwoman and at least I didn’t have time to worry about the heights…

 

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A weight loss story in Sheffield for Woman magazine.  Dawn had her make up done by Sherrie Warwick and looked gorgeous for this photoshoot to celebrate her 6 stone weight loss.

 

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A nice simple set of corporate headshots for Thornfields Primary Care training in Leeds now.  I really like a slightly off white background with flattering and fresh lighting. Getting the right expression and tone for the company is always key to headshots working well.

 

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An interesting shoot with American model and Celebrity Big Brother star Austin Armacost for Closer magazine’s feature ‘On the Couch’ with therapist Emma Kenny.

 

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Yes, I know it’s not Christmas anymore but I forgot to include this magazine shoot for Closer on the last newsletter and these three are too cute to leave out.  However hard I tried and however silly I was, I could only ever get two smiling at the same time though.  They will probably be walking now and causing chaos!

 

 

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Bye for now – the next newsletter will be along in March. Claire x

November News

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Good morning all and here is my November newsletter which looks back at this time last year. I thought I’d start with this cold and snowy portrait of shepherdess Amanda Owen and and her faithful sheepdog Kate, photographed for You magazine’s ‘Emotional ties’ feature. This photoshoot was quite an adventure into the very depths of the Yorkshire countryside. I’ve rarely been anywhere more remote and the weather was taking a worrying turn! When I eventually reached Amanda (after getting very lost ) I received a lovely warm welcome and we realised we had gone to school together in Huddersfield. Amanda was in the year above me and I remembered her as the tallest girl in her year. I photographed the still life’s (and her beautiful baby) for the feature while we gossiped and reminisced about high school. The weather was getting worse and worse and it was now snowing heavily so we had to get on with the outdoor portrait quickly. The rush was then on for me to get out of the area before the roads flooded, or the snow settled, as there was no phone signal for about 10 miles in any direction!

 

 

 

 

I loved meeting and chatting to Penny who is a race and social justice activist in Bradford. She is an absolute inspiration and is passionate about her work. I photographed her for Grazia magazine where she talks about how she has suffered from racism since the Brexit vote. She decided to do something positive and made a video called 5 Ways To Disrupt Racism. It’s about how to react when you come across a situation where someone is being racially abused. You can read the full story here.

 

 

 

Mary Storries’ ten year old daughter Rosie May was murdered in 2003 by Paul Smith, a then 17 year old family friend at a family party. As I talked to Mary and she told me about what happened I felt overwhelmed by anger at the injustice of it all. Especially at Paul’s parents behaviour. I don’t know how anyone copes with this sort of loss but Mary and her husband Graham have channeled their energies into creating the Rosie May Foundation. A charity which provides a home for girls in Sri Lanka orphaned by the 2004 tsunami. They have also established separate community programmes in Sri Lanka and Nepal. Read here.

 

 

Another heartbreaking story. Andrea Williams’ daughter Claudia was tragically killed in a car accident. Her boyfriend who has been convicted of careless driving had been consuming alcohol before the incident. Andrea has gone on to raise money for the charity Brake a road safety charity working with communities and organisations across the UK to stop the tragedy of road deaths and injuries.

 

 

This was a lovely shoot for Sainsburys magazine with Lindsay and Nikki in Bury – Lancahire, owners of Granny Cool Marmalade for the ‘people in food’ feature. Tally Bookbinder did hair and make up and we all had a really fun and relaxed morning photographing detail shots and portraits. Lindsay and Nikki were really bubbly so made my job easy. We also went home with free jars of gorgeous marmalade.

 

 

I really enjoyed my time photographing Debbie in Warrington for Woman’s Own magazine. She is such a lovely, gentle woman who notices all the beautiful things in the world. When Debbie was a child her morbidly obese mother took her out of school and overfed her until she reached a weight of 46 stone. Much later in life Debbie underwent surgery for a gastric band and has lost 34 stone.

 

 

This shoot for Ebb and Flow yoga, based in Farnham, was a gorgeous job to work on. Owners Jill and Katy wanted to create beautiful, atmospheric and stylised images of Yoga to launch their new website. A space in central Leeds with exposed brick provided the right look and a team of yoga experts made perfect models. Katy who has trained in graphic design, had a strong vision for how she wanted the images to look – very subtle, cosy lighting with warm tones. We managed to get lots done in a day.

 

 

I had to be a little bit brave for this shoot with Andy and Joe owners of ‘Just Bee Honey Water‘ in Lancashire for Waitrose Weekend. I’m not one of these people who run round screaming if a bee / wasp comes near them – instead I tend to freeze. I was lent the full beekeeping gear, overalls, boots, hat with mesh which made me feel like an astronaut walking on the moon! I learnt it is quite tricky to do a photoshoot whilst wearing a beekeeper’s hat!

 

 

You magazine ran a feature on business partners where one is a mum and one isn’t. My case study was Lucy (mum of two) and Amy who, together, run a fashion company ‘Blonde and Wise‘ from West Yorkshire. I got to roll out some really colourful colorama backgrounds and we all had fun colour co-ordinating the clothes and props (and children).

 

 

I think corporate head shots on a light grey background can look really fresh and contemporary. This was my second shoot for Enact, a conveyancing company, based in Leeds.

 

 

And lastly a little Christmas miracle to cheer you all up. Parents Joanne and Robert were told that they would never be able to have children because they had both suffered from cancer. The couple took 40 pregnancy test’s before they could believe Joanne was actually pregnant. To top everything off baby Henry was born on Christmas Day!

 

 

Hope you’ve enjoyed the newsletter, there will be another one along in January. Claire x

September News

September News

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Hello all, here is my Summer newsletter. This time last year I was lucky enough to photograph Lucy Fallon, Coronation Street actress, at the Lowry hotel in Manchester with writer and stylist Tricia Welch. The shoot was for the Sunday Express ‘In the Closet’ feature where we shoot three different looks along with lots of detail shots of clothes, shoes, jewelry etc… Lucy made my job easy because she was so relaxed and natural in front of the camera (and beautiful of course!).

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Sagar Wright is a recruitment company in Leeds that I’ve shot for several times. They asked me to do another location photoshoot so that they could keep their website up to date. Their website requires very wide images with vector shapes that move across the images as you scroll. Quite tricky to shoot, so I always make a mask for the camera’s viewfinder to make sure I’m getting the composition right. There are some great locations in Leeds city centre and thankfully the weather was kind to us.

 

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At the age of two, Ollie was diagnosed with Battens – a fatal genetic disease. This means that Oliver will suffer progressive neurological impairment and become more and more limited in what he can do. I photographed Ollie and his family for You magazine’s Well Child feature. Ollie’s joyfulness and determination is amazing and I completely fell for this happy little boy. As I was leaving, Ollie came over to give me a hug, which really wasn’t an easy thing for him to do. A video of him giving Prince Harry a hug at the Well Child Awards later in the year went viral. On shoots like these I have to make myself stay as happy as I can and hold the tears for the car journey home. Click here to read more about Ollie – Ollie’s army.

 

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I also photographed Danny Griffiths, winner of the ‘Most inspirational young person aged 11-14’ category who suffers from Epidermylosa Bullosa (see DEBRA), and Brodie Meredith, winner of the ‘most caring child’ category.

 

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And on a lighter note – it was fantastic to photograph actress Rhea Bailey for another ‘In the Closet’ feature. Rhea was loads of fun and I was amazed at how different she looked in each set up. It’s a real joy photographing actresses, as they so easily understand what you need – Rhea was brilliant.

 

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I struggled to keep up with Sarah on this shoot in Manchester for Fit and Well magazine. The feature is called ‘How I did it’ and Sarah got fit through BMF (British Military Fitness) classes. Blessed with gorgeous sunny weather I followed Sarah around a field whilst she did the tug of war, press-ups, squats, star jumps and ran up and down all over the place. Exhausting!

 

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I loved this shoot with Katelyn, in Durham, for Fabulous magazines’ feature, ‘It happened to me’. I met Katelyn, who is only 13, in a cafe along with her parents. She lost her hair at the age of two years old and has gone on to become a wig model. Having access to lots of different wigs means she can really change her look dramatically as and when she feels like it. It was Katelyn’s idea to pose without her wig on. I was really inspired by her confidence and I think she looks really beautiful.

 

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The last master cooper in England. This was for Waitrose Weekend who ran a feature on White Rose Cooperage in Wetherby near Leeds. This was a documentary style job with Alastair and his aprentice where I followed the fascinating process from start to finish and it is such a skilled and labour intensive job. These two are true artisans.

 

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This is Oumie, a Sea Cadet, photographed in Birkenhead for the Marine Society and Sea Cadets – Annual Review. We shot lots of options but this is my favourite. We found a rusting old metal shed with a porthole window painted in this beautiful blue.

 

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I loved this job for Pet’s at Home VIP magazine. The feature was about two rescue dogs from Merseyside dogs home, being groomed at the St Helen’s groom room. Gandalf arrived in a terrible state, caked in dirt and faeces, he absolutely stank and unsurprisingly he was not a happy little chap. The state he was in, quite upset the staff and they treated him with extra loving care. He had to have most of his hair shaved off, his nails which were really long got trimmed back and then he had three shampoo’s and a blow dry. The first time he wagged his tail was during his ‘after’ shots. More here.

 

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Last but definitely not least, this was a bumper shoot with actress Tina Malone for Closer magazine. It was a full days shoot starting at Aesthetically You, in Liverpool, where Tina underwent several cosmetic procedures. I’ve got to be one of the most squeamish photographers around so I really had to psych myself up for this, but it’s a funny thing – I feel so much braver behind a camera and it didn’t bother me at all. We then moved on to a studio where we did the post surgery ‘show off’ shots. Tina is always so much fun to work with and is brilliant in front of the camera.

 

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Bye

Summertime News

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I met Tom and Nicola to photograph them for a You magazine feature.  Their lives were turned upside down 17 years ago when Tom contracted sepsis and had to have all of his limbs amputated in order to survive.  I arrived a little early, knocked on the door and I have to admit I was surprised that it was Tom who walked up and opened the door and showed me into the kitchen.  There’s nothing better than having your expectations challenged.  The article co-incided with the launch of the film ‘Starfish’ which tells their amazing and moving story. Sepsis symptoms.  Starfish trailer. 

 

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Jolie Brearley was sacked after telling her client she was pregnant.  Determined to do something about it, she set up ‘Pregnant Then Screwed’.  The website supports other women experiencing similar issues and is campaigning to give new and expectant mothers six months to pursue discrimination claims. I photographed Jolie and her gorgeous baby boy in Manchester for Grazia magazine. Read here. Fancy signing the petition?

 

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A trip to London to photograph comedian Ellie Taylor for S magazines ‘In the closet feature’.  We did the ‘airplane’ pose, the ‘don’t mess with me’ pose and the ‘I might need a wee’ pose. Job done and train back to Yorkshire.  If you fancy a seven and a half minute giggle click here.

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And off to Withingfields Primary School in Halifax to spend the day chasing these little monkeys around.  Withingfields is such a lovely school in a beautiful setting and the kids were full of enthusiasm to help.  It didn’t feel like work.
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Neomie’s father, Ernst Israel Bornstein, survived the holocaust and wrote a book called ‘The Long Night’ about his harrowing experience in seven concentration camps.  Neomie has dedicated the last few years to the difficult task of translating the book into English.  I had always known the Holocaust was a horrific time in history, but when I met Neomie I could not believe that she was only a little bit older than myself. It really brought it home to me and I couldn’t stop thinking about the effect it continues to have on friends and family of survivors alive today.  I read the book and a few months later photographed Neomie launching the ‘The Long Night’ with a very moving speech in the House of Lords to a packed audience.  An amazing lady.  Read the article here.

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This was a really enjoyable shoot in Sheffield for Fabulous magazine’s ‘It happened to me’.  Jonathan’s life got out of control whilst being hooked on alcohol and drugs before going into rehab in 2007.  His experience has led him to set up Addcounsel  a provider of bespoke one to one care for behavioural health.

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Travelling to Marsden to photograph Paul at Dark Woods Coffee, (coffee roasters) for Coffee House magazine, I imagined flames, steam, huge sacks of coffee beans and trendy mustaches.  As soon as I met Paul however, he launched into telling me how fed up he is of seeing photographs of moody bearded hipster types with tattoos posing moodily next to steaming machines. Then he offered me a coffee. I hate coffee.
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Also in Marsden is a very talented textile designer Anna-Lisa Smith who produces beautiful cushions and throws made of merino wool.  Anna needed a few story telling profile portraits for press articles.  A few months later we did another photoshoot – this time product lifestyle shots for her website (main image only).

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I love doing the shoots for the ‘My Weekend’ feature for Waitrose, a lighthearted look at the various things people get up to at the weekend.  This time it was over to the Seabird centre on the Yorkshire coast to photograph mother and daughter RSPB volunteers.

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And then later on that day over to West Yorkshire to photograph Nick Wood an antique bottle collector for the same feature. His wife must love having her dining room full of bottles!

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Last but not least I spent a couple of hours at Eastburn Primary in Bradford, with Neil from Expo, capturing the children enjoying school life for their new prospectus. It isn’t hard photographing such a happy school.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed reading the newsletter and I’ll be sending another one out in September.
Bye for now. Claire x

May Newsletter

 

Naturists, Cats & Corrie

 

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Hello and welcome to my May newsletter where we jump back to early last year. We start with the gorgeous Brooke Vincent, long time Coronation street actress, photographed in Manchester for S Magazine’s ‘In the closet’. We had a great team led by Tricia Bland, make up by Nealey Leah and I was assisted by Karolina. Brooke was great to work with and I really like the ‘white portraits’. View more of my famous faces here.  

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