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Project Portrait: Day 93

Day 93 of Project Portrait. Next up we have Lucy Fisher – a mum of three, a journalist and a PR whizz to boot. Lucy is one of the first people I have photographed who saw my work through a friend of a friend and got in touch. Apparently it was the blurbs that did it. So here’s my attempt at a blurb about Lucy. I’ve been working on a new series of photos – not quite as idiotically long as Project Portrait – that attempts to cast mothers in a different light. We all have our preconceptions about what a mum would wear, how they would look etc. but I wanted to create a series that took mums out of that context and tried to say something different. I wanted to create something almost painterly. To elevate them to a level that a classical painter would have seen as a worth subject. This is my first in that series. Having only spoken to Lucy for an hour while I built the set and lighting it was abundantly clear that her life is about thousand times more complex and stressful than mine. Juggling a career, a family, a new home, a marriage and an extended family is no mean feat. We also had a chance to talk a bit about our childhoods and the idea for this picture just presented itself to me. I wanted to create something peaceful that Lucy could just be in. Like a bubble I guess. This is the result. I’m really pleased with the result and it was an absolute pleasure to spend time with someone who manages to combine so many different facets of a life and make it look easy. So Lucy, this is my homage to you. Hope you like it. If there are any mums out there that are interested in being part of this project, get in touch.

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Project Portrait: Day 92

Day 92 of Project Portrait. Next up we have Paul Rider. Paul is a creative director at We Are Social. I’ve known Paul for years as we both started at ShortList Magazine together way back in 2007. I remember us sitting on the freelancers desk together in that dingy office in Islington. We both moved to Wired afterwards – and have stayed in touch ever since. Photographing Paul was an absolute joy. We both totally geeked out on our love for beautiful, considered photography – he’s even had his portrait taken by Dan Winters – see my previous shot for more on him. This was taken in the We Are Social offices, which had an amazing array of walls with great textures and muted colours. There were about six or seven photos that I loved during this shoot, but it was this one, and the ever so slightly out of focus face that jumped out of me. It was also a great learning experience as Paul directs photo shoots for a living and knew all the cool ways to frame each shot. I’ve also learned over the past few months that I’m a sucker for photos in focus and even get upset when I’ve used a too narrow depth-of-field meaning parts of people’s features aren’t razor sharp. But with this one, the slight blur adds a lovely warmth to the image that I don’t think I could have got if it had been any other way.

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Project Portrait: Day 91

Day 91 of Project Portrait. Next up we have the lovely Lucy Sparks. Lucy is a solicitor and partner at a family law firm. Lucy got in touch after I asked for help finding new subjects. She’s also a friend of Emily Mags. This photo was shot at her home but I wanted to try and create something dreamy via my new skills with lighting and colour grading. I’ve also been studying a lot of the work of Dan Winters – who is probably one of the biggest photographers in Hollywood. He creates these amazing atmospheres and textures with his shots. This photo is actually my take on Winters’ work with Natalie Portman. It’s also the first shot where I’ve taken my time instead of my normal rush job. I’m pretty happy with the result.

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Project Portrait: Day 90

Day 90 of Project Portrait. Next up we have Leo Bassam – Leo is a front-end developer working on three different companies at the same time. He came down from Stoke-on-Trent for the day and very kindly came by my studio to sit for this picture. This picture kind of represents the next chapter in this project. Leo was the first person I’ve shot using a set of strobe lights I recently bought. So far I’ve been learning how to use sunlight and the lights that I can find wherever I’m shooting. It’s been amazing to do that, and to really push the camera and my ability to find ways of using what I have. But recently I decided to take the plunge and learn how to control light – to become better at creating photos with different looks and feels. So here’s day 1 of that attempt. Leo was also starting a new chapter with all the companies he works on and for, plus it was the new year so it all fitted in nicely. It’s a simple photo, lighting Leo from the front and then adding a gentle purple light on the wall behind. I can’t wait to learn how to light properly. Watch this space.