All that Jazz with Helen

Helen contacted me recently as she wanted to get some photographs for her new website.  The shoot was at Clwb Y Bont in Pontypridd where the first Monday of every month is reserved for jazz.  With various musicians playing a variety of instruments, everyone was just joining in.  I still wish I had learnt to play an instrument when I was younger so it was especially inspiring to see such encouragement and camaraderie amongst them.  Helen on the other hand focuses on singing, with a beautiful style and tone of voice synonymous with the jazzy vibe.  Her rendition of ‘Summertime’ was just a joy.  I could have stayed all night but with the last train beckoning I sadly had to leave.  To find out more about the club lick this link.   

A lovely Testimony from Elisa

The email I received …

‘Hi Sarah

I just downloaded my faves.  I was trying to find out if I can leave a review anywhere but couldn’t find it.  So, as an alternative, I’m sending you one via email in case you wanted to use it on your website (but also if I can leave a review somewhere do let me know!).

I contacted Sarah because I needed new portraits for professionals purposes.  Normally, I am very awkward around cameras but Sarah made me feel at ease instantly with her outgoing and warm personality.  The end result was great – I know I have several lovely and also diverse portraits I can use in my professional life.  I highly recommend her.’

…. isn’t that just the kindness thing to do, thank you Elisa it was a pleasure to meet you. x

It’s been ages …

I was very determined to keep my website up to date with all my work.  However, a little thing called an Masters degree took over my life this last year and literally became number one priority.  There are only so many plates I can keep spinning so posting my ‘news’ fell by the wayside.  I finished my studies a few weeks ago so I’ve picked up the website plate and have started to spin it once again!

Men of Steel

Personal Work for MA Studies

I am focusing on WWI for my current studies and my ‘Men of Steel’ photographic dioramas were created specifically in collaboration with the Steel Remembered project.  I met organiser Suzy whilst I was photographing a conference in Cardiff.  When everyone is eating (not good for photographs) I normally walk around the exhibition stalls.  As I am focusing on WWI I couldn’t help be drawn to their project stand.  In short the project is concerned with the 852 men from the Orb Lysaght Steelworks in Newport who went to fight in the Great War.  The project aims to research the names on the war memorial and gather stories from residents and community groups.  I am delighted to be involved and my work is currently being shown at the Senedd in Cardiff Bay until January 25th 2018.

“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

Aaron Siskind

World War I – MA Photography Project

Shadows of the Great War

As part of my Masters degree in Documentary Photography, I have been working on a project using silhouettes and projections entitled Shadows of the Great War. 

The depictions of life, both in the trenches and on the home front, during the First World War provides the subject matter for The Shadows of The Great War project.  It was inspired by a personal journey following in the footsteps of my great-grandfather, a bombardier, who fought on the Western Front.  Local museums readily displayed found WWI artifacts; a broken comb; a weathered bible; letters home; diaries; rust ridden pistols; condemned razors; silent whistles; boot soles; half buttons; expended bullets but above all, photographs.  It is when the relics were placed within the photographic scene, combined with the men who once owned them, that their purpose and identity was firmly established.

Historic photographs from 1914-18 are used in order to create new fictional narratives by re-appropriating the images for the purposes of storytelling using a silhouette technique. This adaption and manipulation alleviates the notion of creating a means of reality, often associated with photography, as the original details are removed.  The scenes in this project are not historically accurate, nor are they intended to echo the reality of the story.  Where there is no photographic evidence, the scenes merely act as indexical fictions and illustrative illusions, created through inaccuracy, imagination and compilation.

The purpose of the work is to create a visual aesthetic that tells a story in reference to other textual or visual imagery.  Primary research from WWI archives using texts, memoirs and other documents informs the conception of a scene.  Fragmented imagery, both real and imagined merge in the form of the final tableaux to again ‘fix the shadows’ of those that history may have forgot.

Women in their PRIME – a photobook by Peter Freed

American advertising photographer Peter Freed decided to turn the tables on the conventional, unrealistic photoshopped idea of beauty.  His PRIME project began in 2010, and the subsequent book of over 100 portraits of inspirational women gathered enough Kickstarter funding to be published.  Here is a little more about the project and a video.  If you would like to know more about the project visit the website.


“My choice to photograph each subject in black and white with no makeup, retouching or jewelry, was not embraced by every subject.  Yet I believe it resulted in images that portray stark and authentic beauty. Each woman’s insights about the aging process are as unique as their images. By design the reader views her portrait alongside her essay and inevitably makes initial visual assumptions that are often altered as each story is revealed.

The essays are filled with the challenges and opportunities life throws us and the choices made in response to those events. These women uniformly refuse to accept conventional definitions about a woman’s age. It is my hope that in the pages of this book we will learn the names, see into the faces, and hear in their own words details of the journey that has shaped them.”

“The best way for photographers to become rich and famous is to go into another field.”

Bill Jay

“It should be the responsibility of photographers today to free women and finally everyone, from the terror of youth and perfection.”

Peter Lindbergh

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