Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Street Portraits: a Clifton walk

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For a while now I have been heading off for a walk with my camera around the streets. When I do this I only have one aim - to take photos of things that I find interesting. More often than not I find people the most interesting thing out there and I often end up taking portraits. I don't do this in a stand-off candid way, I much prefer to approach people and ask for their permission and cooperation. I tend to take a couple of minutes with them just asking them to do a few different things and then say thanks and move on. I'm always surprised how few people say "no" when I ask them "excuse me, but would you mind if I took some photos of you?" If someone doesn't want me to take their photo that's fine and I move on to find another interesting looking person to enjoy a moment with.

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The photos in this post are from a recent walk around Clifton in Bristol, somewhere I know very well but I still find produces many interesting sights.

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Monday, 24 January 2011

Beauty test shoot

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I am currently doing loads of test shoots and personal work. The most recent example of this is a studio shoot I did with two models from Gingersnap in Bristol: Hannah Pepperall and Edyta Kuchna. A big thanks must go to Christelle Pellecuer for stepping in at the last minute to do the make up and hair.

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Friday, 21 January 2011

A Clift Family Christmas

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This is a little late I know, but still thought it'd be nice to post...

On Christmas day my family normally head out to a quite spot somewhere away from others and cook breakfast over a fire. It's a great way to spend the morning and makes Christmas day that extra bit special.

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Monday, 10 January 2011

So many cats: personal work with Koc-pol cat*PL

Patryk Koc

I've been in Poland recently, and one of the reasons I travelled over there was to spend a day shooting some personal work at a cat breeders. Monika Koc and her family breeds ragdoll cats and they are totally stunning animals. These are by far the most chilled out cats I have ever met - you can dangle them upside down and they just look around with a totally relaxed expression.

Monika Koc

It was a real challenge taking these photos even though the plan for the day was only to take two images. I had to make sure that my composition and lighting set-up was just how I wanted it before I started shooting. I was planning to stitch together quite a few frames to make the final images and it is much easier to do this if the camera doesn't move. Monika's shot was made especially challenging as I had to communicate with Monika via others - she does not speak English and I don't speak Polish. And to top it all we were working with animals, and although ragdolls are very chilled they don't always do what you want them to do. But we seemed to manage and get across my ideas in a haphazard sort of way. The whole shoot was great fun and I loved how involved and enthusiastic everyone was, it's great to be surrounded by such a passionate bunch of people. Monika and Patryk were wonderful subjects, who were happy to try out anything I asked them to do. Everyone there helped greatly by preparing the room sets and making the cats looks beautiful for me to photograph, plus of course persuading them to look in certain directions or do certain things for me.

Below are some behind the scene shots that Monika took during Patryk's photoshoot when she wasn't moving cats around for me.

Olga watching the tethered laptop whilst I take pictures.
Photo: Monika Koc

I adjust my snooted speedlight: I tend to use black card rolled up and stuck with a bit of duct tape to make my snoots. They cost 10-20 pence each time I make one, and work very well.
Photo: Monika Koc

Patryk sits with a very relaxed cat whilst we take photos of him.
Photo: Monika Koc


A huge thanks to Monika and her family for letting us invade her home, to Joanna for her help throughout the day, and to Olga for being not only a wonderful assistant but also a co-driver, animal handler and translator.

Please take time to visit Koc-pol cat*PL online at either their website or facebook page.


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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Thanks to Lou!

Olga

Sometimes certain photographers, less or more well known, have a big influence on me. One of the photographers I keep a close eye on is Lou O' Bedlam, his relaxed and personal portraits have gently seeped their way into my photographic mind affecting me without me really noticing. But some pictures really show this influence, like the one above of Olga on a cold beach in Salcombe in December.


You can see many of Lou's awesome pics over on his flickr page.

Thanks for the inspiration Lou!

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Friday, 7 January 2011

Victoria and Griffin

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I recently did a shoot for Victoria with her horse Griffin. It's great fun doing photoshoots with horses. Trying to encourage them into the right position and pose is not an easy task, but it's really rewarding when it works out. Many thanks to Victoria, James and Sharon for their help.

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If you are interested in having a similar photoshoot then contact me:
Phone/text: 07871175627
Email: info@charliecliftphotography.com

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