photography blog

Carolyn & ross by fran corbett

C & R during a Couples Photo shoot in London

These two were the most gracious of couples. Big smiles and up for moving around the St Paul’s area to find the best light. It was windy and not too warm but they persevered.

How could we pass by the steps of St Paul’s without a photograph. I love these images more FOR all the people sitting around on the steps not batting an eyelid as this gorgeous pair posed for a photo.

15-DSCF4749.jpg

To my right, as I took this photo was a ‘bride & groom’ in the middle of a photo and video session with three photographers. I think we got lucky to get this shot without any tourists and no sign of any cars.

We had some other lucky moments in the ebb and flow of foot traffic across the Millennium bridge but not for long.

35-_DSC2089.jpg

Looking forward to the wedding next year in south west France. Just a joy to photograph within a busy city so imagine what images we might get in beautiful rural France

Cam & Flo by fran corbett

And Ozzie came too

And Ozzie came too

The couple and Ozzie arrived and as I would imagine no one wants a camera pointing at them two minutes after saying a quick ‘bonjour’ I asked the couple to move around, play with the dog.

4-_DSC1521.jpg
I am a little bit in love with him

I am a little bit in love with him

Le Touquet Paris Plage is one of the most beautiful beaches and I was so happy to be able to do a photo session using this location. I loved that the couple asked if they could bring Ozzie too. A rescue dog, who at only 9 months old was the best behaved boy. He wasn’t camera shy at all.


Moving through the dunes and onto the beach, I felt that I could take a few closer shots. The light was by now quite harsh so it was amazing that Cam managed to keep her eyes open at all.

Despite not really enjoying having the camera pointed at her, Cam was incredibly gracious and is going to make a beautiful bride.

14-DSC_3481.jpg

Don’t they make a gorgeous family? I hope that Ozzie will be at the wedding ceremony too?

11-DSC_3472.jpg
32-DSC_3520.jpg

This shot was way harder than you would think. There was part of a branch in the way, they were between me and what suddenly became a busy cycle path and Ozzie wasn’t as interested in creating photos for his Instagram page…..


The Prosecco !! I had an idea to have the couple shake it up, open it, spray it and drink a bit. It didn't quite go as planned.

39-DSC_3522.jpg

Can’t wait to photograph the wedding at the end of August.

February by fran corbett

_DSC4253.jpg

Adventures of my Nikons

February was a busy month. Click, click, click…

We first begin in Essex. Images of the family and scenes & characters from Romford Market. A quick snap at Moorgate. Then on to photograph a 50th party at Venue92, Chingford.

Back to France and a melange of images from wedding venues that I have visited throughout the month.

Chateau Engalin , Castelnau des Fieumarcon , Chateau de Panisseau

And finally, The Nikons out and about just for fun. Capturing the beauty of where I live, kids, friends and some daisies.

Paris by fran corbett

Pere Lachaise Cemetary, Paris

Pere Lachaise Cemetary, Paris

Distorted trees, bent by time (and my camera lens). Veined branches reaching out as for connection. A reflection of their roots, underfoot, meandering amidst the enriched soil.

9-DSC_6870.jpg

Sun flare dissipates between the wood bark and stone mausoleums.

The dead, evanesced (stretching the meaning of this by using it in this context….perhaps) from earlier centuries, crammed together with the recently mourned to make a collective memorial.

Green moss on grey stone.

Cobbled paths.

An unkindness of raven coloured birds, cawing across the sky - unencumbered by glass and metal structures, free from bricked buildings topped with chimneys - a rarity in a City - the trees being the only markers on the skyscape within these walls.

5-DSC_6824.jpg

Did you know that a group of ravens is known as a conspiracy or an unkindness……even treachery? Descriptions that are contrary to the birds themselves - incredibly social animals. The description lends itself to our greatest fear - death. Ravens, throughout lore, being associated with it. Birds of prophecy. They are intelligent and have incredible memories. It seems apt that they make their home here.

Images shot using a Nikon D7100 with a 12-24mm lens. I spent a few hours just wandering around Pere Lachaise cemetery. I cannot wait to return. The best of Paris is here.

Hooked by fran corbett

A few years ago I would not have even entertained the notion that I could be good enough to become a wedding photographer within the same year. This breed of photographers have to be able to do portrait, landscape, group, night time, interior, family, architectural, macro, candid, documentary etc., photography within a stressful and fast paced and everything might go wrong environment.

Whilst they are doing all of these styles of photography, the light is ever changing - this means they are considering exposure, aperture, ISO, metering, focus to meet every condition for every composition - THIS IS HARD - you have to whirl those camera dials all over the place in a second and still be able to get a good shot. You also have to consider what else is going on in the composition of the shot - like background noise of a messy room or a sign post or other people or a car….or another photographer. The Wedding Photographer has to have lightning quick reactions to all of this. You cannot say ‘oh, guys, I didn’t have the right settings during the ceremony. Can we do that again?’ You HAVE to get it right…..or right enough that the mistakes can be edited after. Sound stressful?

They are also considering whether they should use a different focal length, thinking of the wedding timings, managing different personalities, walking into a potential landmine of last minute fears and stresses, family disputes, crying children, hungover adults (wait…….did I get that the right way around?) and knowing that you are working within these conditions for at least 12 hours and the hungover adults will do their best to become hungover all over again.

Batteries, extra batteries, extra extra batteries, SD cards x 70000000, flashes, extra flashes, batteries for those flashes, diffusers, stands, tripods, spare clothes, water, food…………Nervous breakdown Hotline number.

Oh, and then there is the weather. The only control the Wedding Photographer has over this is his or her ability to get creative.

And let us not forget to mention the fact that every other single person attending the wedding is also a photographer so there may be some rough elbowing the smart phones and tablets out of the way to get the shot that you have been paid to get.

Sometimes the venues are miles away. In my case, I might have to drive 4 hours to get there, put in a 12-13 hour day and then drive back.

Sound fun?

Well, entre nous, despite my brain trying to divorce me for over work mid photo, I absolutely, bloody LOVED it.

And

So I did my homework - I ate, breathed, dreamed wedding photography for months and months (am still doing it in fact) and I was lucky. Lucky to have been given the opportunity (thank you to Anneli and the team at La Boutique Events) and lucky to have been given the chance by two great couples at an incredible venue ( Castelnau des Fieumarcon ).

So I had wonderful, calm couples, beautiful venue, stunning weather ( a moaner might complain that the outside ceremonies were in full, bright…….oh so bright…F. 16…….and oh so hot……sun…….but I would never complain…not me), well behaved guests, brilliant venue staff but I appreciate not every wedding can be so.

When the shoes are kicked off - literally and figuratively - and as the dance floor becomes slippery from spilled drinks and with romance exhausted, once you’ve packed up your first camera, second camera, realised that you haven’t eaten in 12 hours, are hot and smelly and are surrounded by jubilant party goers do you find the strength to say ‘ok, let’s try and do some star and night time shots of the venue’………in the dark…..as you must have dark. You trip over everything, you take 40 shots of dark blurriness and THEN at some silly hour go home and think ‘I HOPE that I at least captured the ceremony. I hope that I at least captured the………I hope that I at least captured the….what if none of my cards worked, what if I didn’t even have a card in my camera…..’ and then the editing starts. For me, as a beginner and editing for both Landie and myself (we jointly took 2 million images just to be sure we had 1 good shot) this took me quite some time.

The Wedding Photographer actually has an extremely privileged role. They get to be EVERYWHERE on this day of days. They get to see EVERYTHING (yes, sometimes literally everything). They are witness to every emotion and in full technicolour with surround sound - it’s like watching a screen drama unfold yet you are the director deciding which moments are to be collected. This is your vision of one of the biggest days of somebody else’s life. I find this concept absolutely thrilling and fascinating.

So this blog is a hats off to all Wedding Photographers. You are work horses who continue to smile through the pain and doubt and uncertainty. Have a virtual medal from me and then budge up, as I want to join your ranks.

Wet feet II by fran corbett

Map reading

A lopsided photo of mud from a river bed only confused me further. I was standing on a corner of a small street expecting to see the Canal Saint Martin. Google map had led me a merry dance for around 25 minutes. I could see a skip and a small crossroads.

24-DSC_6915.jpg

Entre nous, when I decided to ignore the map I was disappointed with the canal. Amsterdam it was not.

‘Take my photo’ as I turned around a mobile phone was shoved into my face. The narrow, curved bridge felt isolated. Two men who had previously been in close discussion where I now stood, slouched at one end of the bridge. Pigeons skimmed just above us, blurred in flight against a dirty white sky.

‘Take my photo'. Here. Here ‘ - I took his phone as I felt for my valuables. This felt like a distraction. The tall, dark man stood with his back to the little light that there was. His smudged phone camera struggled against the shadows. I took four and amidst his demand for more full body shots, I descended the bridge. The by standing men shuffled back to resume their meeting. Autumnal leaves flattened onto the black tarmac, ducks shimmied, people on a barge began to slowly dip as the lock activated, traffic edged forwards, the green damp of the canal, facade of a shop front vivid in colour against its environment.

25-DSC_6953.jpg

The Louvre

Congratulating myself at being able to visit the musee without having to queue, I descended into the bowl of humans seeking appreciation of something outside of their time. The glassed triangles were above ground, we in the bowl were not and I had the feeling of walking on the ceiling; a feeling of being upside down.


Walking home

The cardboard bio, sturdy despite the rain and sadly something very much of our time, indicated that this was not in fact a pile of rolled up bedlinen but a day time street dweller whose purpose it was to remain mute and let the capital letters shape the story of how she came to be sat on the chewing gum stained tarmac of Boulevard Voltaire.

I noticed her and decided her story.

I did this three times.


23-IMG_20181127_153700.jpg

place de la skateboarders

Place de la Republique

Crosstown skater traffic conditions on this island within a sea of cars, bikes, coaches, lorries, red lights, hurried pedestrians.


On visiting an exhibition

Sign : You can only buy a ticket online - this was positioned next to those queue barriers joined together by seat belts and next to the open door which had a ticket office. It being 16.00 and the gallery set to close at 18.00, this online ticket thing made no sense to me at all so I thought ‘Sod that. I’m not that interested in Klimt anyway’ and wandered back to the creaking floorboards of number 168.

Creaking floored apartment

Creaking floored apartment


How not to - confessions of a photographer

Do you know a good thing to check when you are standing in driving towards you rain and it is night time and you are on a bridge and it is about 9.30 p.m. and you are at least 45 min walk back to the creaking floors and you probably will need to go to the loo within the next 8 minutes and your camera is definitely not water proof as it teeters on a flimsy travel tripod towards a Paris night scene? What you need to do is to remember to check that you have not knocked your camera onto manual focus without realising it…………………….

DSC_6676.jpg

How not to do nightscapes

I’m thinking of offering a course on this. Let me know should you wish to attend.


On arriving home

Returning home to the Gers to find no electricity and the contents of three bedrooms having a holiday in other rooms but some contents having a holiday somewhere other than this house as a few weeks on, I still cannot find them.