A recent magazine cover shoot sent me 123 miles northwest to the beautiful Welsh coastal town of Dolgellau. The Royal College of Nursing publish the HCA magazine aimed at Health Care Assistants across the U.K. and I was commissioned to photograph their next cover. Of course the Welsh weather played a part and it rained most of the way during the three hour journey. I arrived at Dolgellau & Barmouth District Hospital a little early and I was greeted with rainbows, patches of blue sky and a sense that maybe the heavens will be kind for an hour or so.
I was there to meet Bethan Turner who works at the hospital and was recently awarded the RCN Wales, Health Care Worker of the year 2014 for her innovative ‘Welcome Brochure’ for patients. She is also committed to lifelong learning and has recently completed her Assistant Practitioner Level 4 qualification. This, as well as her collaborative approach to incorporate the Healthy Hearts campaign into her brochure, made her a perfect role model for the article and front cover. After a quick introduction I explained the brief of the cover was with a rural setting backdrop. Bethan and her daughter knew of an abandoned hotel with beautiful views across the hills and off we went! As we traipsed over fields and five bar gates the rain started again! I started to have that sinking feeling that photographers get when the weather is not being kind. But … briefly the rain stopped and gave way to a patch of blue sky that appeared over the mountain. Just enough time to try to get the cover shot! With the light fading at the end of the afternoon, we dashed back and headed inside the hospital for a few more shots to finish.
I always enjoy portrait photography, partly due to the people I meet and Bethan was no exception. With a quick goodbye, off I went 123 miles southeast back to Cardiff.
The first camera I ever used was my parents 1970s Polaroid. It was perfectly packaged in a brown ‘carry all’ box with a silver clip (yes that’s me and the box in the picture)! It used to knock my legs when I walked but I still insisted in carrying it around my neck everywhere. Roll on a few years later …. and although that camera has long been confined to history, I still have an affinity to the Polaroid. I recently bought a 440 Land camera as Fuji are still making the 100C film and for other types of Polaroid you can also buy the 600 film made by the Impossible Project. A pack of 10 pictures costs a little over £10.00 for the 100C for Land Cameras and 8 pictures about £16.00 for the Polaroid 600 film . Unfortunately no photography shops in Cardiff seem to stock the film I need. Thank goodness for Amazon!
If you are interested in finding out more check out the new products from Polaroid or the amazing story of the Impossible Project, and Fuji’s Instax. Long live instant film!
I have been working on a series of abstract photographs based on the backdrops of TV talkshows. I used to love watching Terry Wogan as a kid, and secretly wish it was back on screen. Oprah Winfrey, possibly the most famous stateside and of course Parky had very long careers and set changes. The colours of their sets gave the mood of the show. Most of the time we don’t notice, but … it sets the scene. Daytime shows are bright and light, evening shows are normally dark and more moody. I have acquired nearly every colour made by Lee light filters and I’m trying different combinations to re-create unique photographs. Here are a few of my latest creations.
When I was contacted by Tracy from the Flower Lodge in Rhiwbina, Cardiff to photograph some bouquets, I jumped at the chance. I love having fresh flowers in my home. My Mum worked as a florist when she left school so I have grown up with flowers in every corner, in every vase. With Valentine’s Day a few weeks away, the red rose bouquet really helps to say it all with flowers. The red rose has a deep symbolic history from Greek mythology where it was tied to Aphrodite, to Christian virtue, to literary giants Robert Burns and William Shakespeare. If you were wondering how many to buy, here is some consensus on the meaning behind the quantity;