Birmingham Loves Photographers produces a series of ‘In Focus’ features where photographers from around the second city can submit photos and a maximum four line description on the chosen topic.
This In Focus is on the topic ‘Portrait Photography’
Portrait photography for me is allowing the viewer to see something they wouldn’t normally see, be that a hidden character, inner strength or vulnerability. This portrait was shot in infrared hence the unusual colour shift and wax like skin, which is typical of IR photography. James Tate
Although I appreciate and like contemporary portrait styles, my own limited portrait work is very heavily influenced by the work of 40’s and 50’s portrait photographers such as Horst and Karsh. Their work, particularly their lighting, never ceases to amaze and inspire me. This was one of a couple images I produced a while back seeking to emulate their style. It was shot on film and then printed by hand. Richard Southall
As a photographer I feel the main ingredients when taking a portrait are trust and rapport with your subject. I want to convey my subject’s personality and spirit. This shot was taken when I worked with a homeless charity in Birmingham. Portrait photography is about building a connection with someone and understanding that person or place. Portrait photography should lead the audience into a silent narrative with the images. Maria Reaney
This is my father. He’s brought me up through my teenage years, and without him I wouldn’t be able to be the person I want to be. I took this photo because I’d caught him in a rare moment of calm contentedness. Lauren-Jade Gilbert
A portrait is the search for the essence of a subject. It often includes the face, especially the eyes, seeking out a naturalistic effect. This is a conceit: there is nothing natural about a three-lamp lighting scheme or silver disc reflectors. This image emphasises the constructed nature of portraiture through the medium of fantasy, while still endeavouring to capture that essence: a contradiction of poise, sexual confidence and, well…what exactly? Arrogance? Shyness? Karl Held
It’s important to me that portraitphotography is not intrusive or a display of technical virtuosity or an alienating and deforming construction of the photographed person (put your arm there, eyes left, now 3h of make up), but just focus on the individual as the individual is that very moment. portraitphotography should “go” to where the other person is with the photographer being as restrained as possible and photographing only what one is able to see. as a way of maybe getting to know someone, to appreciate the gift that the other person is, just a tiny momentary glimpse of at/into the life of the other person. [this is a photo of Stan (I asked him whether it’s ok to use it for this purpose and he allowed it), taken with olympus om 1 & rollei retro 100 film & developed by the better half.] Flowerville
Photographing friends is something I sometimes find challenging Jonathan Cherry
I love photographing people - it is literally my favourite thing to photography - problem is I keep running out of people I know to photograph. So I decided to take to the streets and photograph someone I don’t know. I got this rather touching portrait of a father and his baby. The power of father compared to the fragility of the baby made this rather interesting to me. Dave Cox
This is a recent portrait I took of two students visiting England from Germany. I love this image because it shows the girl’s natural beauty (as I haven’t really edited it too much). This image speaks to me even though there isn’t a lot of activity happening in-frame. It just shows that images can move people without being over complicated and that keeping things simple is just as effective.. Andrea Chance-Hill
UK Rap artist Diamond White wanted a few portrait shots for promotial purposes, he is a colourful character and has that ‘urban’ rap artist look. So the back streets of digbeth as backdrop we took some shots while talking about our different musical tastes.
I love doing portrait photography as you can get to know the person you are shooting, the more you talk the better the ideas and shots can get. Rob Farrell
I was pretty much brought up by my grandmother. This is one of her crazy stories. It was my first roll of black and white. Richard P J Lambert
This is Scrumpy’s favourite chair in his garden because he can keep an eye on everyone and everything - and only he gets to sit in it! James & Kat Crockford
I’ve never really liked photographs that are too thought-out or set up, the most inspiring portraits for me are those that capture a moment with the subject almost unaware, even at times the image can appear posed, there’s nothing artificial about them – simply people being natural, often in their own environment. I actually prefer more candid documentary shots where you get past the public persona, often showing something much deeper. Lee Basford
As I walked the streets of London, camera in hand, this chap shouted out to me; ‘You want to photograph something real then photograph ME, I’m the real eastender’. So I did. Lisa Doubleyou
I guess if there’s any truth to the belief that a photograph can steal
a soul, it’s through portraiture. Fran Lane
The reason I like portraits is that they tell a story. Sometimes that story is clear, sometimes not. Sometimes it’s about the person, sometimes there’s a bigger message; sometimes it’s about what that person holds in their hand or where they are in the world, sometimes the face speaks for itself. That said, what I love about portraits is that sometimes the story is totally ambiguous, and will be different for everyone who views the picture. Sometimes more questions are left asked than answered; who is this person? What are they waiting for? Where are they going? Where have they been? I like that we don’t know who this person is or what she is waiting for; in this case the story is in the mind of the viewer, and never answered. Jill Evans
He slowly takes off his clothes, folding them neatly in a corner of the room. We don’t have much time because he has to collect his daughter from a piano lesson in a little while. He asks me how he should pose and I ask him how it is he’d like to pose. After the scenario, he ensures everything is back in its neat rightful place. Helen Flanagan
If you are photographer from Birmingham and would like to be featured in our In Focus feature on ‘Portraits’ then please either email with the details below (if I have already contacted you) or send your email through Ask Me and I will get back to you
Send one Portrait photo of your choice and no more than four sentences describing your thoughts on the subject or the photo you have taken.
Deadline for submitting pictures is Midnight on the 9th June
Birmingham Loves Photographers will be producing a series of ‘In Focus’ features where photographers from around the second city can submit photos and a maximum four line description on the chosen topic.
This In Focus was on the topic ‘Street Photography’
I find street photography so fascinating and challenging, as documenting the every day, is relatively simple, but to do it and make the image interesting, funny or say more than a few words is a challenge. The challenge is what I love. I like how the guy with the white hair looks all hero like with his jacket opening out, and the younger bloke on the left is preoccupied with his phone, wearing a T-Shirt saying “With no power, comes no responsibility”. The hero isn’t even in focus.. but I still like the shot.. he’s an unsung hero! :)Mr Khan
I love how street photographs tell a story by capturing candid moments of every day emotion. The photo was taken last September by St Phillip’s Cathedral and summed up the following quote for me…
City life is millions of people being lonesome together (Henry David Thoreau)I’m fascinated by street photography but need a bit more practice - it’s also interesting about the ethics of it (you’ll notice my photo shows no faces!).Helenography
My street photography takes in what’s on the street, not necessarily the people, but signs of their presence. I like to shoot what is abandoned or left behind, whether it be the bicycle chained to a drainpipe waiting to be used again, the wrecked car, the graffiti artists tag or the discarded drinks can. The bicycle image typifies its location of Oxford with old stone architecture and streets full of students on cycles at every turn. Ken Harrison
A large part of my work is botanical so I really enjoy the contrast of taking photos in an urban environment. I’m fascinated by lines, patterns and angles and I like to capture movement. I love architecture and I’ve always been a people watcher so it’s great to combine the two to create interesting pictures. Louise Holgate
I like how street photography captures coincidence. A camera shutter has opened just at that right moment, recording some peculiar moment in history that could have well been lost or disappeared before you had time to do a double take. Craig Bush
I truly love street photography; how naked, honest and real it is. The photograph I have chosen exemplifies this, it was taken in a pub in Lozells The location in its self is an everyday place but the photograph conveys sincerity, the components are a creation of a second home for these men and women; from the stag, the old fire place, the curtains, It does not feel like a pub as it is untainted and authentic. Nick Priest
Street photography is about shooting people in a candid way, and catching people unawares. My example shows this to a degree, capturing Gordon Brown on one of the last few legs of his re-election campaign. I see it as a street photo as I was walking around Tynemouth, turned into another street, and there was this large crowd waiting for him. The photo captures the rush of the moment when he was walking along the street struggling to greet everybody because of the crowds and press. Timothy Cornbill
Street is probably the only time I shoot candidly, it’s often a quick shot. I could spend time framing and waiting for the right time - but then the candid moment has passed. For me Street is a natural photograph, you capture life, movement and surroundings. Street asks more questions than it can answer. Take the image - A quick look would lead you to think something has been written/sprayed - but the truth is I was passing the subway as he walked through. He was picking something up off the floor. Stephen Cooper
The streets are the place to ride and the place to watch others race. The Newport Nocturne is run from dusk, raced under floodlight and across the cobbles of the town centre. As a photographer you stand on the side of the street trying to get to the heart of the action and capture the moments of the race. Keeping racing on the streets is crucial to keeping it alive Rob Rowlands
This photo was taken in New York in 2003, shot ‘from the hip’ while crossing the street. Fran Lane
I will be doing a series of In Focus features on styles of photography, asking contributors to this blog to submit photos specific to the topic and then, in no more than four sentences, give their take on the topic.
This is also a way to getting round to those who I have not yet had time to full features on yet and share our ideas of photography in Birmingham.
I thought Street Photography is appropriate right now due to Take To The Streets now being displayed at Snow Hill Plaza.
So if I have already contacted you then please email me, if you have one, a Street Photography photo of your choice and no more than four sentences describing your thoughts on the subject or the photo you have taken.
Deadline for submitting pictures is Midnight on the 25th