Category Archives: Claire Wood Blog

July News

 

Hello and welcome to my July newsletter. This time last year I spent a day at BBC Yorkshire refreshing their presenter shots for the iPlayer.  The presenters went through make up by Rachel O’Dell and then came through to be photographed for about 30mins each, in my studio set up (see shots below).  During the day, we took an hour and a half out to dash across the road with presenter Stephanie Hirst, to East 59th, a beautiful looking bar with a roof top area overlooking Leeds.  Here we took more stylised shots of Steph to promote her new mid-morning show on radio Leeds.  Stephanie brought lots of outfit options so we squeezed in three changes to get a variety of looks.

 

 

This was a very busy, jam packed commercial photoshoot for Yodel over four days through Content agency SMRS, based in Manchester.  The photography was to be used on their careers website and also on flyers, pull up stands and print adverts.  The aim –  to photograph Yodel employees at work to attract potential employees to the company.  The shoot took me all over the country from Hatfield to Liverpool.  Here are just a few of the shots.

 

 

Another BBC day, this time for Radio Sheffield.  The station had brought in lots of new presenters for a new type of programme that rotates the presenters week by week.  Some of whom were brand new to the business and so there were lots of interesting characters to photograph, including Magid Magid, then Mayor of Sheffield and now a British MEP.

 

 

These shots were taken during the photoshoot for Yodel.  This is CollectPlus – a delivery service, mainly used by big fashion brands, making it easy to collect, return and send parcels.  The aim here was to capture the working environment of a close knit smaller group of colleagues and to catch some of the branding in the images.

 

 

HB Projects, a construction contractor company with their head office in Bradford -West Yorkshire, got in touch and asked if I could take the head shots of their directors.  With Marketing Manager Jonathan, we decided to use an area with a glass panel and a window to give a fresh, clean and modern look.  Because HB Projects has several offices all across the country, the photoshoot was booked on a date that they all got together for a meeting in Bradford.  Each person had only about ten minutes in front of the camera for their head shot, so everything was carefully set up and planned in advance.  It was also the ideal opportunity to squeeze in a few groups shots while they were all together.

 

 

I went back to HB Projects in Bradford, at a later date, to capture illustrative images for their website.  The images needed to be able to work as a letter box shape to suit their website.  It’s quite a tricky shape to compose to, so I use a little cardboard mask that I hold over the LED screen to ensure each set up works to that crop.  I photographed plans of layouts, employees out on site, as well as more illustrative portraits of employees representing their sectors.

 

 

This was a fun shoot at Gainsborough Old Hall for The English Heritage ‘Members Magazine’.  They have a page featuring various re-enactors and this time it was with a Tudor cook.  The children are readers of the magazine and won the chance to take part by entering a competition.  They were being filmed all day for the magazine’s website.  I stepped in and took over for about 40 minutes to get my shots for the magazine.  I had to re-light the scene, direct and ensure I left plenty of room for the text on the page.  The video is brilliant btw – you can watch it here.

 

 

Thanks for reading – the next one will be along in August. Claire x

May News

 

This time last year I was lucky enough to spend a day with ‘The Yorkshire Vet’, Peter Wright, at his practice in Thirsk for The Sunday Express magazine. I love and adore my job on days like these, not only did I get to follow Peter around all day, but I was also able to observe him being observed by the film crew filming the TV series. The day started with a cat having a few teeth extracted, followed by a trip out to X-Ray a horse’s ankle, but Peter saved the best until last, so I could get the obligatory shot of his arm up up a cow’s bottom! Somewhere along the way we paused to do a few posed portraits.

 

 

It’s always a fantastic surprise when I arrive at a corporate office to find that they’ve designed and decorated the interior with colour and fun. It makes my job easy. I love the quote on the wall. This photoshoot was for Legal Practice Management magazine and features Gary and Andrew from Rradar in Hull.

 

 

I try to do a day a year for free for the charity DEBRA which helps and supports people with epidermolysis bullosa (EB). This was their annual members event get-to-gether which presents lectures and talks on new findings, plus entertainment for the kids. I was scheduled to photograph lots of different people with EB throughout the day for the campaign #FightEB. The location, the DeVere hotel in Reading, was brilliant as it had lots of wall murals to play with that helped to make some interesting portraits. A brilliant day with fantastic people.

 

 

Over to Harrogate to photograph Paul Rawlinson in his coffee shop Baltzersen for Coffee House Magazine. Paul was busy saving the world by making eco-friendly changes to his business starting with eradicating disposable cups and replacing them with reusable ones. We need more Pauls in this world and we also need to remember to carry that re-usable cup with us everywhere we go!

 

 

Over to Alderley Edge School for Girls for another fast paced day covering science, sport VR, maths, playtime, art, climbing, reading, bubble’s and hats! I’m always done in after these days – I don’t know how teachers do it! It is lovely though, going from nursery all the way to key stage 4 all in one day.

 

 

A much more sensible job now for law firm Mills and Reeve, in Leeds to do some new head shots. It’s always a challenge shooting in a city centre when you’ve got loads of gear to drop off and then to NOT get lost in the Leeds one way system while parking the car.

 

 

‘Behind the scenes with the Flying Scotsman.’ This was a nice job with Mandy Appleyard for Candis magazine. It’s crazy how passionate people can be about steam trains, the crowds were enormous! Trying to do shots in the engine was fun but there wasn’t much room and it was quite hot! I got chatting to a lovely lady (pictured) who had brought her brothers ashes to be scattered in the fire of the engine as it chugged along.

 

 

Bye for now. The next newsletter will be along in June.
Cx

Easter newsletter

 

It’s with mixed emotions that I look back on this photoshoot for the BBC’s ‘You, Me and the Big C’ podcast back in March 2018.  I met Rachael Bland, Deborah James and Lauren Mahon in the Alchemist bar in Salford to take publicity images.  They were all really excited and giddy as I took group shots and individual portraits whilst they enjoyed the champagne props.  Then off to the studio to photograph them in action.
When I learnt that Rachael had died so soon afterwards, on the 5th September 18, I was shocked and saddened.  I only met Rachael briefly but she made a big impression on me and she has left an amazing legacy.

 

 

Simply Wigs, a Huddersfield company, asked me to do their corporate head shots.  They wanted to have fun and upbeat profile shots that reflected their brand and their personalities.  They also wanted to make gifs out of the profile shots on the website (where you roll the mouse over an image and it changes to reveal a second image.) And they love their dogs!

 

 

I met Lauren, a Conservation Planning Officer for the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust last February, to photograph her for the front cover of the Women’s Institute magazine.  Brilliantly the location was minutes from where I live in Huddersfield.  We were after a Spring rural look but unfortunately everywhere was dusted with snow (and it was freezing!)  We moved around trying lots of options trying to avoid snow but eventually settled on leaning against an old barn, simple but effective.

 

 

I loved being part of the celebrations for BBC Look North’s 50th anniversary.  The whole studio was temporarily moved back to it’s original location on Woodhouse Lane, Leeds.  This was the first time I’d experienced live TV and it was so exciting!  I was right behind the cameras during the broadcast and got to see how everybody works together to keep everything running perfectly.  The broadcast was followed by a big party with past and present staff and presenters.

 

 

I met Anita and family to photograph her for a Sunday Express Magazine feature over in East Yorkshire.  Anita used to enjoy running and when she sadly lost her sight due to an eye condition she decided she wanted to continue to run.  So with help from the RNIB and her husband Dave who is Anita’s running guide, she has gone on to complete the Great North Run!  Quite an inspiration!

 

 

A day spent in Leeds with Morrish solicitors taking their new head shots.  They wanted to inject colour and personality into the shots.

 

 

Lastly, I went over to Lancashire to photograph Lianna and the team at L. Champ funeral services.  I’d originally photographed Lianna for a feature in Fabulous magazine a few years back and it was lovely to see her again.  We photographed head shots and group shots followed by some more relaxed shots of Lianna where Ronnie the dog wanted to get involved.

That’s all for now.  Claire x

February News

 

Fancy a dip in the February North Sea? It’s never too cold for Jo Moseley, founder of Happy Healthy 50. Jo’s aim is to celebrate, encourage & inspire sporty women over 50!  I loved this shoot for Prima magazine. Especially before and after the ‘cold bit’ sitting in Jo’s dad’s cottage, with beautiful views overlooking Runswick Bay, drinking tea and having a good chat.  Jo was so enthusiastic and such a good sport – not one complaint about the cold and she did everything I asked of her again and again with a smile on her face.  I thought I’d been very clever wearing my wellies and waterproof trouser as I waded into the freezing sea to get the best angles but I got too keen and my wellies flooded. Drove home in cold wet socks.

 

 

This shoot was for a Pets at Home VIP magazine for an article about de-shedding in their Chesterfield Groom Room. My brief was to photograph the grooming process and to photograph the dog before and after in precisely the same position so the image could be spliced to show the difference. Somebody picked the wrong dog! As photogenic and lovely as he was, he was also the giddiest and most enthusiastic model I’d worked with in years! Trying to get him to sit still was a whole team effort!

 

 

I spent a day down in Chalfont St Peter with content agency SMRS for the Epilepsy Society’s recruitment campaign. I met and photographed the residents and the amazing people that work there. We spent the morning photographing members of staff in a studio set up, moved on to photograph the research facilities and then focused on the interaction between residents and staff. The Chalfont centre has a really happy and homely vibe to it.

 

 

A day spent doing head shots for Sewell Wallis, a recruitment company, whizzing between the two locations of Sheffield and then Leeds. A slight twist with this one as the client wanted to achieve 3 different shades of grey backgrounds. Kept me on my toes.

 

 

Over to Manchester for a bit of therapy with psychologist Emma Kenny. I photographed Jess Impiazzi, model and star of ‘Ex on the beach'(?!) for Closer magazine’s ‘On the couch’ feature. I photographed Emma and Jess during their therapy session and then some portraits of Jess and her hypnotic eyes.

 

 

The Holiday Inn in Manchester had a problem! It’s huge floor to ceiling windows sit on a busy bus lane and kept getting cracked from the stones and pebbles thrown up by the bus wheels, costing thousands. The Window Film Company came to the rescue with an invisible protective film. Drum roll…. No more cracks! I photographed the process so they could use it as a case study.

 

 

I went over to York to photograph Leanne for a feel good story in Prima magazine. Leanne is a member of Goodgym, a running club where you run somewhere, do a good deed and then run back. They’ve helped older people with decorating, cleaned up rivers and put bark on a children’s playground. What a fab idea. I’d join if it wasn’t for the running…

 

 

Presenters Harry, Amy and Paul from BBC Look North got talked into pulling a sofa around 50 locations in the region for the BBC Sport Relief challenge. This publicity shoot in York was the first test outing for the sofa and we were all a little dubious when one of the wheels fell off!

 

 

A return corporate headshot mission to my client Enact in Leeds to photograph their gorgeous employees on a mid grey background.

 

 

I really enjoyed meeting Wendy Mitchell and her daughter Sarah, in Beverley, for this photoshoot for Prima magazine. Wendy has early onset dementia and has written a book about it called ‘Somebody I used to know’. She also blogs here. When I photographed Wendy, this time last year, she was really busy with all the publicity for the book. I think her book and blog are really helping to change the way we react to and understand people with dementia in a positive way – she’s an inspiration!

 

 

This shoot for Psychologies magazine’s ‘ Living with Less’ feature made me feel very messy! Jessica Rose Williams was inspired by Marie Kondo to change the way she lives. To declutter and live with less. Jessica is a writer, photographer and minimalist blogger and has a beautiful website. I must say after watching several episodes of Marie Kondo lately the white paint has been out in force at my own house and I’m feeling better for it. I haven’t quite got that pesky folding technique down yet though…

 

 

Bye for now.
Claire x

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