Golds, Seascapes, and Bears – Oh My!!

March Awards 2013 – Golds


Keeping pace with my target for 2013 (at least 1 Gold award a month), March saw me win 2 Gold awards and have 2 images Highly Commended.  Three of those four, were all from a shoot I did with Norwich post sadcore band Hello Bear.  The other image was of a blue hour seascape that I took whilst we were on a long overdue holiday in lovely Cornwall.  I case you aren’t aware of what these awards are I am talking about, I am a qualified member of the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (I don’t photograph weddings though) and every month they have photo competitions in various categories.  The Gold award images are put towards the end of the year awards, and Gold awards are very hard to get.  In March 52 Gold awards were won through the various category out of 1000’s of entries.


Award Winning Band Portrait Photographer – Bears


We might as well start with the 2 Gold awards, and they both fall under my specialty of band portrait photography.  Let’s first look at the two images, and I will go into a little detail on each one.

Award Winning Band Portrait Photographer

This image won Gold in the Portrait Avant Garde category for the month of March.  Hello Bear wanted a band portrait that would portray their new, self described look of “post sadcore”.  We shot it on location at a recording studio in Norwich.  The studio had aluminium sheets up on a couple of the walls and I thought they would make the perfect backdrop for these band portraits.  It provided a good, but fitting, contrast to the band members black and white outfits.  Simple, grungy, and perfect really.   I used a simple three light setup for this and didn’t really have to do a whole lot of post processing except tidying up the metal background and getting rid of some distractions.  This band portrait does have a little bit of a My Chemical Romance feel to it….or that could just be me that thinks that!

Award Winning Contemporary Band Portrait Photographer

This image was taken before the previous image.  This was the original concept for the main band portrait image that was going to be used to show the bands “post sadcore” look and sound.  It was a simple enough shot, same setting as the previous one, same lighting, same everything…just a different pose and composition!  This image won Gold in the Open Avant Garde category for the month of march with the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers

Commercial Portrait Photographer

Along with the overall band portraits, we also did some individual portraits on the day.  Personally, of all the images I took that day this is my favourite one…still is if I am honest.  Just something about it that I love!  This image was Highly Commended in the Monochrome category for the month of March.  It might have won Gold in a different category, I am not sure.  To me it’s perfect!  It captures everything we wanted to say on the day.  Same setting as above, same lighting, same everything!  One of my favourite band portrait shoots of the year!

Seascapes – Oh My!!


So those images were actually all taken back in January.  I just haven’t been allowed to post them anywhere until recently due to them being used in an album.  The image you are about to see was taken only a couple of weeks ago while I was on holiday in Cornwall.


Cornwall Seascape


I don’t get to photograph many landscapes, or seascapes for that matter and I was delighted while we were on holiday to have the time and location to get some much needed shooting in!  This coastal scene was literally a 100 yard walk from the front door of the cottage we were staying at.  Funnily enough, I had been out shooting some different seascapes during golden hour just before this.  I packed up and headed back inside.  I came outside about 30 minutes later and noticed the moon was out.  Grabbed my tripod and gear and headed out to take this photo.  This photo was High Commended in the landscape category for the month of March, and for being more of a band portrait photographer and not a true landscape photographer I am quite pleased with that result.


So there you have it.  Golds, seascapes, and bears!!  😀


All three of the band portraits were shot on location, so don’t forget about my Cambridge location portraiture workshop in May!


Please leave comments and questions below, and definitely share around!  If you don’t share this, I will have the Bears come for you!  😀