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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March Newsletter

Marching back

 

Hello all, welcome to my March newsletter which jumps back to early last year and starts with a lovely mother and baby story for the Sunday Express Magazine.  Emma Parker Bowles talks about her journey to becoming a mother to beautiful Olive.  Tally Bookbinder (make up) and I had a gorgeous day out in Yorkshire and got lots of cuddles from Olive and from Emma’s four dogs.

 

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Another mother and daughter editorial photshoot for You magazine.  Writer Joanna Moorhead talks about the inspiring and ongoing influence of Charlotte Bronte on herself and her daughter on the bicentenary of her birth.  It was so cold that day – my models did amazingly well not to look frozen.  Thankfully, we got to have a good look round the (warm) Bronte Parsonage Museum in Howarth, West Yorkshire, without any other visitors being present.  It felt as if the Bronte’s had only just left.

 

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I met Jessica, with make up artist, Sally Rowe for an editorial photoshoot for Fabulous magazine in Lancashire.  Jessica was very sadly widowed when she was 12 weeks pregnant with her third son.  Whilst obviously going through an incredibly difficult time, Jessica’s strength and determination to give her sons a happy, safe and colourful childhood full of love, shone through.

 

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This was such a fun shoot for John Brown’s VIP Pets at Home magazine about pet friendly days out in Cheshire.  I love working with animals and Peggy the dog was one of the best behaved animal models I have ever worked with (and she’s not even a professional!). She would happily stay put wherever you placed her – she was so chilled – not a whiff of diva about her at all. Oh and owner Helen – she was pretty good too.

 

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Carol, a family law adviser based near Leeds, contacted me directly to book a head shot.  I set up a mini studio in her house and we shot quite a few options – a lovely relaxed couple of hours.  Carol has used the portrait to illustrate the ‘about me’ section of her website.

 

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A gorgeous father and son shoot for Fabulous magazine over in Harrogate, which kept myself and Tally on our toes. This little boy was a live wire and so full of beans, a happy soul and with his father’s endless patience, we got lots of good shots.

 

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I loved this shoot with Expo for Southfield School’s new prospectus. Southfield felt like such a warm, safe and caring environment and it provides invaluable support for young people with special needs. The staff and teaching assistants do such a marvelous job and the kids all looked to be having a lot of fun.

 

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The WellChild photoshoots for You magazine are one of my favourite jobs that come round each year.  I love meeting the kids and although their lives are often difficult and full of so many challenges their courage and determination is amazing and inspiring.  Here are three of the winners of the inspirational child category for 2015.  Toby, Nellie-Mai and Kieran – you can watch gorgeous YouTube videos about their stories here: Nellie-Mai. Toby.

 

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That’s all for now, but I’ll be sending another one out soon.  All the best – Claire.

Autumn 16 news

Autumn news

Happy HalloweenA woman stood on a white background wearing a black jumpsuit

 

Hello to you all. It’s a little later than scheduled but here is my new newsletter – hope you enjoy it.

Lisa Riley took a break from her hectic ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ panto schedule at the Alhambra and squeezed in a cover shoot for Woman magazine at a studio in Bradford to celebrate her weight loss. It started at 8am, two days before Christmas and she was
full of energy, happy and easy to photograph. A pleasure to work with.

 

A montage of nine images of nhs staff caring for patients in a hospital environment.

 

A fast-paced, feel good day of photography for Whiston and St Helen’s Hospital charity in Lancashire with Sarah from Plum marketing. We covered nearly every department from chemotherapy to the neonatal unit and it was an eye opening emotional roller coaster of a day.

 

A montage of four images featuring pupils in a school environment.

 

Another fast-paced day at Newland school for girls in Hull with Neil from Expo.  The girls were all brilliant and eager to help with the photography for their school prospectus and website.

 

A montage of six images. Head shots of employees of a company against a city background.

 

Corporate head shots now, for CTI, a company that organises corporate travel. Everyone was very friendly and I managed to squeeze in two options, the city skyline (thank goodness it was a rare sunny day in Manchester) and a grey background. It’s always nice to have a choice.

 

A montage of six images. Headshots of employees against a grey background.

 

Meet Ruth Anderson, an amazing woman who contributed to the fabulous success the British cycling team had at the Olympics in Rio! Ruth is their lead psychologist and I photographed her for the the Australian Catholic University alumni magazine – which must be my most long distance commission yet! The GB team were whizzing round the Velodrome at frightening speed during the shoot.
two images of a woman at a cycling centre.

 

Pobble is an organisation that works with schools to inspire and motivate children to improve and love their literacy. Part of what they do involves taking over a school for a day and giving energising and exciting literacy lessons. When they came to a school in Manchester they asked me to photograph the day. Every child was captivated by their energy and their stories, so it wasn’t hard to capture some wonderful expressions.

 

A montage of images of pupils and teachers in a school environment.

 

I travelled to Stockport to photograph Paula for Prima magazine. She was part of a case study on ‘shapemakers’ – women who have started their own health or fitness company. Paula has started the ‘No.1 Ladies Fitness Agency‘ and has a fitness room at home. She had no trouble managing to hold various poses like this for ages!

 

A woman exercising with gym equipment in a fitness environment.

 

 

A corporate photoshoot now for SRCL, a medical company based in Leeds. We started with the head shots and then moved on to reportage style photography of a meeting and training situation.

 

four people sat round a table in a business environment.A montage of six images of corporate head shots of employees.

 

Last March, Nicky Beard’s husband Mike was killed when his bicycle was involved in a collision with a school bus. Struggling to come to terms with his death and make sense of it all for herself and her two children she spoke to Grazia magazine shortly before last Christmas.

 

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A corporate job now for Seven and Alliance Healthcare’s Team Talk magazine, with reportage style photography of the people and processes. I really enjoyed this job and feeling involved with the hustle and bustle of a busy, positive and highly organised company.

 

A montage of 3 images. Documentary style shots of a despatch area in a company.

 

Lastly, here’s a photo for those of you who aren’t quite supermodels, who maybe have a few lumps and bumps in the wrong places but are all the more interesting for it.

 

Pumpkins

 

Speak to you soon

Claire
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June News

June Newsletter

Hello everyone, here is my June newsletter which starts with my images of Peter Jones being used in Vauxhall magazine – I love the way they’ve laid it out across the dps. Thanks to Chilli Media for syndicating my images.

 

Corporate photography of Peter Jones. Business Man. Yorkshire, Huddersfield

 

Now jumping back to September and October I was really pleased to be asked to shoot for ‘The Official Ferrari Magazine’. It’s a beautiful annual magazine produced by Conde Nast, celebrating a year in the life of all things Ferrari. My contribution was to photograph Craig Walton, the service manager at JCT600 in Leeds who is particularly good at his job. Fingers crossed next year they’ll send me to Italy!

 

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Designer Caroline Ogden asked me to do the website photography for Roach Bridge Tissues near Preston. I love working with small businesses to illustrate their processes, tell their story and to highlight what makes them special through photography. Caroline and I also shot most of the images on their home page too: http://www.roachbridgetissues.com/

 

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I’m always thrilled when I get to photograph a whole feature for a magazine as it’s lovely to see the results sitting well together.  This article was for Woman magazine and features the stories of the children behind poster campaigns.  I photographed Beth and her son Dougie at an amazing children’s hospice in Sheffield (Bluebell Wood) and then we photographed the rest of the mums and their children at a gorgeous hired location in Birmingham working as a team with the picture editor, stylist and make up artist.  The children were all fantastic and took stardom in their stride.

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And now a photoshoot for Pet’s at Home VIP magazine with a trip to Chesterfield to photograph dog groomer Sophie Dalney.   Sophie was fantastic and was very relaxed in front of the camera – the same can’t really be said for her clientele!  However with patience, perseverance and Sophie’s natural and calming way with dogs, we got there in the end…

 

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SMRS, an agency in Manchester which specialises in promoting places to study and places to work, commissioned myself and videographer’s Paul Morricone & Tim Rawson to capture the atmosphere and culture of working environments within Swinton Insurance offices for their recruitment site.  I enjoyed the freedom of this documentary style job – just wandering around with my camera waiting for the right moment.

 

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This was fun – behind the scenes at Channel 4’s new format of ‘Come dine with me’.  I adore going behind the scenes of just about anything (because I’m so nosy) and it was great to see how this show is put together.  It was really quite fast paced but the team worked so well together – calmly bringing all the aspects together at just the right time.  The contestants were a fun bunch of previous winners so they were used to the cameras.  On this type of job you have to know the right time to step in and get what you need and you have to step up and take control while the production crew try not to stamp their feet impatiently…

 

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Ah – the lovely BBC Radio Manchester sports team looking all glamorous and polished.  They are a really friendly bunch. Jack Dearden (on the right) is one of my favourite presenters to photograph.  He always comes along very snazzily dressed, and he’s such a natural charmer in front of the camera.

 

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I was approached by the charity DEBRA to do a local photoshoot.  DEBRA is the national charity that supports individuals and families affected by Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB) – basically a condition where the skin just falls off.  I remembered having watched the documentary ‘The boy whose skin fell off’ – about Jonny Kennedy and how moved I had been and so I was glad to have the opportunity to do this job for free.  To be honest I didn’t know how Riley was going to be – I thought the constant pain would mean he would be uncommunicative and introverted.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!  Riley is a gorgeous, chatty, cheeky boy with a fab sense of humour. I really enjoyed spending time with him – he is an inspiration.

 

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And lastly, for Closer magazine, a portrait of therapist Emma Kenny and her husband, who in conjunction with Closer, have launched a well being website ‘make your switch’.  The website looks amazing and is packed with good advice.  It even has Dr Hilary Jones as ambassador for health – what more could you want?

 

editorial portraiture

 

Thank you for reading my newsletter – the next one will be along in August. Bye for now.

Claire.

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Spring newsletter

Hello Spring

 

Last Saturday was spent photographing Mr Bloom in the morning and a naturist campsite in the afternoon!  And that is why I never get bored of my job…
Luckily for the nudists Spring has arrived and warmed the weather a little so nothing turned blue or dropped off.

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Newsletter from Claire Wood Photography

A Happy New Year

Hello everyone and a very late Happy New Year!  Welcome to my newsletter which looks back to last May and June and kicks off with a really enjoyable shoot for Sainsbury’s Money Matters magazine with Seven.  They do say never work with animals or children, so to put the two together just seemed like asking for trouble, however this shoot was quite literally a walk in the park – very chilled.  Gorgeous weather, beautiful location, and my two models were little well behaved stars – Rosie and her dog Rusty a Hungarian Vizsla.

 
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November news

Hello everyone, hope you are all keeping well.  Here is my newsletter looking back six months up to April and starts with a shoot for ‘VIP’, the Pets at Home magazine.  I photographed Michelle Turnbull over in Blackpool for a feature about her business ‘The Barking Bakery’ where she makes healthy amazing looking treats for dogs.  Michelle sent me home laden with her baking which brought a new meaning to the term doggy bag 🙂
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