Busy, but still have availability

Here at Steve Rolfe Photography we have been very busy over the past few weeks, working with wonderful clients from photographing a Cotswold Manor house to pet images, head shots capturing a wellness retreat and beautiful boudoir photos and of course lots of editing.

That is the beauty of photography no day is the same and we love to work with our clients creating wonderful images that make them happy.

We still have some availability over the next few weeks, so if you have a project or a business that needs some fresh images, then please contact us. Also with autumn upon us we do have some availability to capture some wonderful portrait, family, relationship photos using the backdrop of autumn. Maybe this is something that would be a great keepsake for years to come something special to cherish, whilst we endure this strange year of 2020.

Aylworth Manor B&B Cotswolds

Professional Head Shot
Wellness Retreat
Pet photography

Review

Wow just received this wonderful review. Getting such incredible feedback makes my job so rewarding, thank you

40 for my 40th Update: So as you will know I set myself a challenge of completing 40 experiences to celebrate turning 40. One of those was to try my hand at modelling. I’ve not done any proper modelling other than a few mini promo shoots for campaigns or business imagery. I was rather depressed at the prospect of turning 40 and saw it as a negative rather than a milestone to embrace but never the less I put myself out there. After a compering gig a couple of years I was fortunate enough to meet Steve Rolfe of Steve Rolfe Photography who was there as official photographer. We got on instantly and I knew we’d end up working together at some point. Fast forward to August 2020 and a socially distanced coffee to discuss some business collaborations between our companies. It was as though we’d been mates for years. We were bouncing ideas off each other for over 2 hours. It was only the wind and rain which forced us to bring the meeting to an end. The shoot took place in September at Far Forest Studio near Kiddiminster. As well as creating content for a refresh of my website and business social media, Steve suggested we try some fashion, something I’d always wanted to have a go at. I have to say that we have created some fantastic content which will be hitting the socials in due course. Steve is a photography wizard, I kept calling him that throughout the shoot. He is so easy to get on with, and any nerves I may have started with were soon gone. I was throwing all sorts of shapes and facial expressions within minutes including my trademark resting bitch face. After every pose, camera angle or outfit change, Steve would show me what he had captured so we could critique it and decide whether or not it was what we were trying to achieve. We had lots of laughs but at the same time, the shoot felt professional. Steve listens and reacts accordingly to make sure you are put at ease, feel confident and most importantly you don’t feel that you are too old! It may sound cheesy but I can honestly say that this experience has helped me deal with hitting the big 4-0. I hold both Abi Howell & Nikki Budding responsible for their part in bringing the 2 Steve’s together. Thank you ladies. What has happened since the shoot you say? Well, I have been modelling for online portrait classes and have started building a portfolio as I have been offered paid work… Insane! Thank you Steve for your amazing support and for the opportunities you have helped create. I recommend Steve whole-heartedly and urge you to get in touch with him about your photography needs – family portraits, commercial property, interior design, fashion, boudoir and corporate events (when we can start those up again). And if you’ve got this far, well done. Here’s an image from our shoot. You’ll have to wait for the rest. The moral of this post is threefold;1. Age is a number, not a mindset2. You are never too old to try something new 3. Doing things that scare you can be fun

Six years later

Wow, how quick the last six years have gone.

It only seems like yesterday that I was emptying my desk at the Inland Revenue after a 17 year sentence.

It took me a little time to adjust to my new surroundings as a free man and free to start the next chapter of my life.

I always had a passion for photography and it felt like a natural progression into it as a career. It hasn’t been an easy journey, lots of ups and downs. But I’m so thankful that I have experienced them, as it has made me a stronger person and has made my photography business something that I am very proud of.

During this unusual time for all of us, it certainly makes me appreciate what I have achieved and where I’m heading.

Just wanted to say a huge thank you to all my clients and look forward to our continued work in the future.

Life in Lockdown

Life in lockdown has been very difficult, even for someone who likes to stay at home. The feeling of, let’s head out and do some photography was soon short lived when your dragged back to reality and oh, i can’t.

So I have been spending time going over previous work and just dropping emails to clients making sure they’re safe and well, as it’s times like this when we need to be aware of how people are doing.

I have also find the lockdown has had a significant effect on my creativity and has stifled it a little to much. Whereas I would get a germ of an idea and then the process would formulate in my mind to how and what I could do to achieve the imagery.

With the slow easing of lockdown, we have been able to get out a little more and for me going to nearby woods has been interesting. The smell of wild garlic and the slowly passing of the bluebells has led to some interesting images. Alongwith the wonderful trees offering shade to the wild flowers and a welcome break from the warm sun.

Wild flowers are wonderful to photograph, especially the fantastic dandelion. From a bright yellow flower, to a seed head offering future dandies a life when the wind blows the pods away from the mother flower. I even did a dandie photo diary, going from the swaying yellow head to when the pods were ready to fly.

On other things, my boudoir photography is slowly taking shape, the lockdown has obviously had a knock on effect with this, but things are still happening.

Lock down

It seems like ages since I last posted on my blog.

It’s been a very funny period over the last weeks or months as it is turning out to be. I’m still trying to keep myself busy by going over past images and re-editing images and to try a different look.

But the main thing that has been happening is part of my portfolio is changing. Back in January I decided to change my boudoir side of the business and to give it’s own very special place on the internet. I originally had it under Steve Rolfe Boudoir Photography, because I thought it would be better to keep all my photography together under the same umbrella. But after taking time to analyse how i wanted it to look and where i wanted to go with my boudoir work, I decided to change the name. I was hoping for a more personal feel and touch with the brand, so looking into my own family I decided to choose my grand mother’s maiden name Le Sage. Le Sage is French Huguenot and my family came over from France in the late 1600’s.

So Le Sage Boudoir was born, it’s still in it’s infancy and slowly growing, but obviously with the lockdown things have been a lot slower.

Inspirational journey

How time flies, it only seems like yesterday that I left the civil service to start my new journey. In real time, it was 4 years ago and the year was 2014.

Following a 17 year career sat behind a desk and sometimes banging my head on the desk, I took up their kind offer of redundancy. Yes, it was a huge culture shock and it took me a little time to adjust to the real world, but looking back it was the best thing that I ever did.

For a number of years I had enjoyed spending my weekends, evenings and sometimes even before getting to work taking photographs. I enhanced my skills and knowledge and was even lucky to have a number of images published in both newspaper and magazines. The creativity, inspiration and freedom that I felt taking photos was addictive and one of the incentives why I decided to make photography my career.

I find that inspiration can come from anywhere and for me I can see a photo within a shot that others may not see.

Fast track four years to today, what can I say??

It’s been a great journey so far, met some wonderful and creative people and I’m building a business that I’m extremely proud of.

I couldn’t of achieved what I have, or got my business to where it is today without the help and support from my wonderful wife Sallyann and great friends and family.

Here’s to the next four years and the sky is the limit.

Steve

Natural light

Natural light is a wonderful medium for photography and to me it doesn’t get enough praise or acknowledgement.  Whilst everyone is grabbing their studio lights and lightboxes, I’m looking for the light that nature supplies and offers us.  It’s not for everyone and thankfully not everyone is using it or even aware of it. I have worked in lots of studios and side by side by many photographers and they are frantically grappling for the studio lighting and at times over use them. Lighting from the front, with a beauty dish, lights from the side and one behind the model to lighten the back.

Less is more and that works really well with photography and lighting. Not many local studios have windows, so i only use the one’s that do. Even on a cloudy day you can find enough light to create some truly wonderful images.

If your struggling to get enough light onto your client/model you move them so they are facing the window, you place yourself between the client and light source so you are getting a well lit focal point. If you need to lighten – darken then camera settings can be amended and there is also the use of reflectors. Reflectors are fantastic and even with a small amount of light you can lighten up a face, give a catch light to the eyes.

If you’ve never used or even thought about natural light, give it a try, you maybe surprised with your results.

This image was taken on a fashion shoot, it was a sunny day, but by the shop window it was a little dark, so a positioned reflector offers up a light source.

 

 

 

Love photography

To me photography is my dream job. It’s a truly creative medium and for me it has opened up some different ideas and helped to unlock my creative thought processes. My portfolio is varied and I love every aspect of photography, but one area that I find really interesting and creative is natural light portraiture.

Since starting my business, I’m always seeking to better myself and to create better images and nothing helps to push me further than working with natural light. You have to work with the light and direction of your client is key, otherwise you will not be able to capture the image that you want. Placing yourself between the light source and client is a wonderful way to catch the light falling on your clients face and I especially look to try and get light catches in their eyes. To me eyes are so important and something that has been said many times before, are windows to the soul of the person.

Working with people is extremely creative and you can come up with some great ideas as the shoot goes along. My photo style is relaxed and I find that helps your clients settle, as being in front of the camera can by quite nerve racking. I have numerous clients that have wanted both natural light shoots as well as studio lighting images, but for me the one that tests my knowledge and skill is natural light.

The image below is of Ruby, a wonderful model who I have worked with on many shoots. This was taken at Shadow Studio, Gloucester and is totally shot in natural light.

 

Natural light portrait

How do you choose a photographer?

An interesting question was posed, how do people choose a photographer?

So how do you choose one??

Is it through word of mouth, reviews or just a needle in the phone book?

Photography is an art as well as a service that many people need. It’s a creative process that is both personal to the photographer and the client.

Anyone can pick up a camera or mobile phone to snap away and get an image, but what separates people from artists is an eye for an image. The creative thoughts that can spot the shot in the photo. Whether it’s photographing food, interior design to fashion a true photographer can capture the “money” shot.

Going through the process of picking the right photographer can be a nightmare. It will include looking at their portfolio, as you need to like what they are producing! When you cast your eye over their work you may get a connection and a thought that yes this person will understand my brief and create images that I will be proud of.

Reviews and word of mouth are gold dust, but doesn’t always work as I said earlier it’s a personal thing. Your friend may have had a wonderful experience with said photographer, but you may not gel with them,  they may not get your ideas and vision.

The elephant in the room is price. Photography prices vary and for wedding photography I have seen prices range from £700 – £1700. Again it comes down to, do you like their previous work, do you feel a connection with the photographer? Price always creates a talking point.

As for me and with my photographers hat on, photography is deemed almost as a luxury and trying to price your business can be problematical as you don’t want to appear cheap as that can put customers off and if you have a high price then will that capture the market or put people off?

Putting myself in the shoes of the client. When my wife and I chose our wedding photographer many years ago, we went through word of mouth and looked at what they had done previously and what packages they offered. We had a short list of photographers and used the above checklist to help make our decision. It also helped that the photographer we eventually chose, was friendly, professional, understood our ideas and his portfolio had beautiful images which gave us confidence that he would be able to replicate with us.

Looking back we chose right, as his images of our special day were truly wonderful and he captured everything that we wanted. We were happy with the price and packages that he offered and through his great service we had no hesitation in referring other clients to him.

Hope this has helped in some way.

 

Photography is a funny old game!

I have covered this subject before, but it always seems to come up on a weekly basis. Photography is everywhere, some breathtaking, some that will resonate with you and some that you truly cannot understand and you start to question the photographers mindset.

Whatever scenario, we all fall into it at times, whether were the photographer or the viewer.

One thing we cannot escape is that business and photography are inextricably linked, whether we like it or not, it is here to stay and with the way social media is going it looks to be here for the foreseeable future.

As a professional photographer I find it extremely frustrating at times when people cannot understand the benefits of what a good image can do for a person or a business and you start to think what on earth do I have to do to make them understand.

Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing I can do. There are business people out there that just cannot see the benefits or will carry on using  out dated images.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is that yes it’s disappointing when it happens, but not to beat yourself up over it, they just weren’t meant to be your client. There are lots of truly wonderful people out there that will see the benefits and become a client that will help you grow as a person and as a business.