Monday, 31 October 2011

Victoria Baths - the return!

I am not sure where to start with this post! I am exhausted from the workshop on Saturday - but I did not want it to end....

Earlier this year I  organised a workshop for photographers at the amazing Victoria Baths in Manchester and I knew that I would have to go back again, it is such a special place and is being lovingly restored by volunteers . 

So I announced another date and was really pleased that people seemed to be as excited as I was to go back. I arranged amazing models, make up artists, borrowed clothes from the very talented designer and off we went!  

I want to thank a number of people who made the day possible,

Neil, and all the volunteers at Victoria Baths, for having the passion and the drive to bring this beautiful building back to life - head to the website and have a look.       Victoria Baths

To the amazing models, Zana, Kayleigh Jo, Jenny Brook and Flo, who worked so hard and made it very easy for the slightly nervous photographers in the group!

To the make up artists, Persis - who came at the last minute, Abi, Anghared and Victoria. Can I just say a very special thank you to Victoria, this was her very first job after finishing her training - talk about being thrown in at the deep end!!!

To Amy Saville - who is the very talented and lovely designer who gave us the fabulous clothes for the day - head over to her Facebook page and say Hi!          Amy Saville Bespoke dressmaking

To my long-suffering family who put up with my stress levels in the few days before any of the workshops, who know when to leave me alone , when to hug me and when to just put a very large glass of wine in my hand!

And finally...... yes this does feel like an acceptance speech at the Oscars, but bear with me! - I would like to say a huge thank you to all the photographers who came along, you are a talented bunch, your willingness to share always amazes and inspires me, and I will keep organising days like these for as long as you want me too , because I love seeing that lightbulb moment when you try something new, I love seeing people getting excited about photography, and of course I adore the fact that people bring cake - thanks Dawn - you can come again!

Here are some of my images from the day - click on them to see them bigger


I am off on a little trip tomorrow to check out a new location - so watch this space - and please leave a little comment if you like, its always lovely to know that you have stopped by 

Friday, 14 October 2011

Casey - part 2 - contains mild nudity!

Here is part 2 of Caseys photoshoot - as I mentioned - she was very keen to try something new and we did discuss trying some art nude shots. Now this is a brave thing for anyone to do - but Casey was even braver as she was prepared to do this is in the Lake October!

I decided to keep the images as simple as possible, both in the set up and also in the processing and editing of them, the landscape and the subject needed to speak for themselves

I adore these images - I love the contrast between Casey and the slate in the cave, I love that she became part of the amazing landscape, but most of all I love the fact that she trusted me to be part of this experience.

Please feel free to leave comments - Casey was very brave to let me use these images on the Blog and she would be so pleased to hear what you think xxx

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Caseys photoshoot - an amazing day x

I met Casey about 18 months ago at Yew Tree Barn where she is the manager of the Gallery, we started chatting as I wanted to take some photographs  of the random items that are stocked in the reclamation yard! Casey told me that she had done some modelling for photography workshops in the past and to cut a long story short she came along to the Photocamp that I organised for a crazy bunch of female photographers earlier this year and she was amazing, even in the wind and the rain she was a true professional and worked with all the girls to enable them to get great images.

We have kept in touch and become firm friends - she modelled again for me recently on one of the Walkabouts....the one where she was sat on a haystack in the field....the same haystack that I tried to jump onto - hurt my hip and fell off the other side! Casey was the one who has the amazing outfit, tutu, long socks, pink cashmere jumper and a teddy bear!

So when Casey got in touch to commission me to do a special photoshoot with her I jumped at the chance. Her brief was simple, she wanted images that reflected her personality, images that were completely different to anything she already had, and the most important part of the brief was that this had to take place in Cumbria, around the Langdales, the area that is so special to her and where she calls home. We discussed outfits and locations and I headed up to meet her on a very dark and wet morning. E had a few ideas but decided to allow ourselves to be influenced and inspired by the weather and the surroundings, the skies were dark but the area was just full of colour, the trees were still green in places but there were also patches of autumnal colours, reds and oranges and every shade in between.

We started in a beautiful patch of woodland near Caseys childhood home, I wanted to get some strong head shots which I adore doing, and I love the first few images of her with her walking boots on - she loves being outdoors, climbing , walking, exploring and so I feel that we had started to capture her personality in the images

We moved on to a completely different setting - the amazing Cathedral Quarry, a huge cave with a floor to ceiling pillar in the middle. We nearly didn't go in as there was a large keep out sign - apparently the cave had been closed for a few days as a film crew were shooting scenes for a new film 'Snow White and the Huntsman' due to be released next year and starring Kristen Stewart - of Twilight fame, Chris Hemsworth - from Thor, Bob Hoskins and Charlize Theron!!!! There were also rumours that Anthony Hopkins and Eddie Izzard were there too!  Fortunately (???!!)they had all left and we had the cave to ourselves - Casey had talked about trying to get some art nude images and so this was the perfect location with the most amazing light coming through and the gorgeous colours of the slate.

There was a slightly scary moment where Casey felt something go past her leg while she was in the water - she saw something orange swimming by - on closer inspection we found a couple of goldfish happily swimming around!

We do have to apologise to the wife/girlfriend of the chap who came in half way through the shoot - he was really interested in what we were doing - but she was not too keen on him staying any longer than he had to!!!

After leaving the cave , we headed up towards Blea Tarn, bit on the road up to it we were stopped by security guards and told we had to go a certain way and avoid the other road as the cast and crew of the film were still on the hills! Now I get very excited about stuff like this, I always wanted to be a location scout for films and be part of the whole excitement of filming how do you think I felt when we turned a corner to see..........

The helicopter was getting the aerial  images and the cast - including 7 dwarves were in the ridge directly in front of us! 

So we headed down to Blea Tarn and chatted with the location crew for a while who were a little bemused that Casey was planning to get in the tarn for the last photos of the day - we did meet a lovely chap from the crew who lent Casey his fleece! We wandered down to the water thinking it was quite isolated - when the helicopter flew over and  landed next to us! By this time Casey was in the water, wearing just the lovely chaps fleece, getting ready for the last few shots and turning slightly blue.... then the helicopter took off - dipped low enough to splash Casey - the pilot waved and smiled and headed off!

And just when we thought the day could not get any more surreal - Casey tuned round to see an old friend of hers - driving a quad bike being followed by about 8 sheepdogs! 

What can I say - this is what I adore about photography - new people, new locations and the most amazing experiences - if you book a photoshoot with me then I will work really hard to make sure that you love the experience as much as you love your images ! 

Click on any of the images to see a larger version - and please leave a comment if you like this  xxx

ASPIRE photography course

About 3 years ago I was quite happy photographing landscapes, waterfalls woodlands and wildlife were my subjects until one day I was on a landscape photography course and realised that something was missing from the images....people! I had lost my confidence photographing people and decided that I needed to do something about it. I came home and researched the best place to do this and found a course in the Lake District with Contemporary Photographic Training....I spent a glorious day photographing children and have never looked back since! 

This year I have started to develop this little business and invested in training, my background as a teacher means that I am a strong believer in lifelong learning. As part of my ongoing development I spent 4 days last week at ASPIRE , a fabulous training school for photographers which is run by Catherine Connor and her talented team. 

So what did I gain from this experience? For 4 days I was inspired by the group of people who were on the course with me, and I know I have made new friends, I had the chance to be taught be leading professionals in the fields of photography and business, I learned a hundred new skills at least and I also put on about a stone with the amazing food every day! 

I got the chance to spend time with the ASPIRE team and the fantastic delegates on the course, and then spent the evenings at the lovely bed and breakfast Tythebarn House with Diana and Vic who really looked after me all week - thank you to everyone who was involved.

Heres some of the images from the week - thanks to the great models who let 8 slightly hyper  photographers point their cameras at them! And another thank you to Gary Walsh from Gary Walsh Photography, who made me giggle all day and Stewart Randall from Randall Photography who truly is a genius with digital workflow.

© Jo Rutherford Photography
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