Natural Light Photography

I love to work with natural light. For the last four years I have been specialising in natural light photography and with every shoot I am still learning. You are working with nature, the light changes all the time and it helps you to become a better photographer as you are always checking your camera settings.

You make sure the images you take are lit correctly. For me the key aspect are the eyes, to make sure they are nicely focused, as they naturally draw the eye of the viewer. Black and white also lends itself so well to natural light and I prefer it to colour images. My image below was taken under scaffolding on a natural light shoot in Bristol. The model is the wonderful Ruby D and I have worked with her many times. I look to capture her eyes and features clearly and leave the background slightly blurred, so the viewer is naturally drawn to the person. The white sunglasses really help to add a little more to the image and the suit jacket is a juxtaposition with the surroundings.

 

I am always looking for new clients that would love to experience a natural light photography experience. So if this is something for you, then please drop me a line on my contact page and let’s get it arranged.

 

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.

Cotswold Life June edition

I am proud to announce that the world of the Little People has been featured over two pages in the current edition of Cotswold Life magazine.

Thank you to them for promoting our world of the Little People and generating more publicity for www.littlepeoplemedia.com

 

Beautiful photography sells

A lot of interior designers and hoteliers carry on using old images to market themselves, their projects and locations and either haven’t got the budget to pay for a professional photographer or fail to realise how detrimental poor images can have on a business. With social media being so key it’s the perfect opportunity to highlight your wonderful talents and your beautiful settings. A lot of customers shop with their eyes and when viewing a hotel, they are often misled by poor and sometimes incorrect images. To encourage your clientele and to boost further custom and bookings then paying for a professional photographer can almost pay for itself, when you have a website full of stunning and well thought out images.
Here at Steve Rolfe Interior Photography, we not only take beautiful photos of rooms as they are, we also style them, a suit or dress laid out on the bed, a pair of shoes at the bottom of the bed, to offer the viewer that extra look of how inviting it looks.

Everyone’s a photographer

Since the mobile phone was created, the camera has become better with every passing year and with every updated handset. The phone cameras are sometimes better than the point and shoot cameras and are so easy to use and we have them with us at all times. Even I as a professional photographer use my mobile camera to take images and can see the benefits and shouldn’t knock it, as if you have an eye for an image then regardless of what your using to take the photo, you should be able to capture an image that your happy with. A quote once said that “You are only as good a photographer with the camera that you have to hand” which is so true.

Another benefit to a mobile phone camera, It’s so much easier to upload photos to social media sites.

The days of the well known photographers of the 60’s and before where they were treated like pop stars has gone, as nowadays everyone has a camera. But one thing that hasn’t changed is that for a special occasion or you want some wonderful images of you or your company then the professionals are the ideal people to contact. We have studied our profession as an art form, we understand light and how it falls, placement of subject to bring out the best images and the creative visions that allow us to think outside the box.

 

Client referral

Recently I had a photo shoot with a wonderful client. My client had specific ideas of what she wanted from the shoot and what Images she was seeking.

So that I knew what her likes and ideas were, we set up a joint Pinterest account so images were shared between the two of us. I found this invaluable as it helped me to understand exactly what was expected on the shoot.

“I had my photos done again a couple of weeks ago and I’m so pleased with them! I intend to use some of them on marketing materials and some of them on other stuff. So much thanks to Steve Rolfe who made it relaxed and did everything I asked for.” Rachael.