{Brighton Music Promo Shoot} The Victory Dolls Part Four: Working Girls

Well here it is the fourth and final instalment of my shoot with The Victory Dolls.

I have a bit of a door fetish and so I was very excited when we managed to work an amazing yellow door into the shoot! The working girls outfits were my favourite and an opportunity for a bit of fun. Despite the heat the girls were still smiling and looking amazing. We strolled down Brighton streets and the girls sung as they biked along in the sunshine. It was like being in a movie. 

 They really are very talented and now have me listening to 40s and 50s tunes as I edit. It was a fantastic era both for music and fashion which has really inspired me. Thanks Vicky, Emma & Catherine for being such a pleasure to work with. Let’s do it again soon! Wishing you every success and looking forward to seeing The Victory Dolls go far!

Lauren xxx

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{Brighton Music Promo Shoot} Part Three: Tea & Cake at Blackbird with The Victory Dolls

Welcome back to part three of The Victory Dolls shoot!

As if photographing three beautiful girls in gorgeous vintage clothes in Brighton wasn’t enough to my whet my creative appetite, we then had a break from from the blazing sun and took a tea break at Blackbird. (The best tea rooms in Brighton, if not the whole of England!)

The Victory Dolls looked right at home in the old-fashioned interior of the traditional tearooms and I felt as if I had truly gone back in time!

I love looking at old photographs and the walls were covered with them so I was in heaven. You could just picture the people from those photos sat in such a place many years ago enjoying tea and cake. We were looked after well and made to feel very welcome so a big thank you to the lovely staff at Blackbird for your great service and letting us take photos in your lovely shop.

Next time you’re in Brighton, make sure to find Blackbird in the South Lanes and have a cup of tea and very generous slice of yummy cake! Even their ladies’ room is amazing! Blackbird are also on Facebook! Go like ’em up! And laurenbythesea too if you’re not already following, it’s the best place to see what’s going on in Lauren land. Make sure you’ve got a nice cup of tea and at least a biscuit to hand because you’ll definitely want one after this…

Lauren xxx

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{Brighton Music Promo Shoot} The Victory Dolls Part Two: A Kemp Town Audience at Brighton’s Smallest Pub

From the vintage heaven that is To Be Worn Again we made our way to Kemp Town and The Hand in Hand, Brighton’s smallest pub. The girls performed and quite an audience gathered to enjoy their renditions of Under The Apple Tree and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy amongst others. They even started taking requests and one lovely man was so impressed he took the band’s details for future events he organises.  

So the pub was buzzing and the word is spreading about The Victory Dolls and their talents. Have you heard them yet? You can hear some clips here where more tracks will be regularly added.

Here they are with amazing pianist Rich Morson doing their thing. How awesome do they all look? 

Lauren xxx

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{Brighton Music Promo Shoot} Victory Dolls Week Part One: Vintage Prep in the North Laines

Just over a week ago I had the joy of photographing three beautiful Brighton-based ladies collectively known as The Victory Dolls. A 40s harmony group brimming with enthusiasm, you could photograph them all day. So that’s exactly what I did!

Brighton holds a very special place in my heart as I used to live there and it’s full of creative and talented people. This was a shoot of epic proportions and so I knew I wouldn’t be able to fit it all into one blogpost. Just too much vintage yumminess to be shared!  I have broken it down into bitesize portions and I therefore officially proclaim it to be VICTORY DOLLS WEEK at Laurenbythesea HQ.  *Cuts virtual ribbon*

The first instalment includes the pre shoot preparation and choosing clothes from the amazing To Be Worn Again in Brighton’s North Laines. Why not pop along to www.thevictorydolls.com to listen to their lovely harmonies as you browse.

Thanks lovely readers. Check back tomorrow for more!

Lauren xxx

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I’d love your feedback, any favourites or comments, please share below xxx

{The Portrait Diaries} Day 23: Working Girls

Okay today I have a special treat. Not just one portrait but three!

These are hot off the press, taken at the weekend during a vintage photoshoot with Brighton based 1940s girl band The Victory Dolls.

They looked so fab that I can’t stop smiling whilst editing them. I have made some of them black and white to give them a 1940s feel. I’d love to know what you think so leave a comment below and make sure you give The Victory Dolls a listen.

Lauren xxx

The Victory Dolls, Laurenbythesea Photography, vintage Brighton shoot,
The Victory Dolls © Laurenbythesea Photography

Sun, sea & singing {sneak peek}

Yesterday was a glorious day! Not only was the sun high in the sky but spirits were also high at Victory Dolls HQ while they prepared themselves for their promo photo shoot. You’ll have to wait til I’m finished editing to see the locations we shot and the fab different vintage getups the girls wore. Seriously AMAZING!! Make sure you come back and see.

For now I am dying to share a quick sneak peek of 1940’s girl band The Victory Dolls. Here are Vicky, Emma & Cath with their lovely pianist Rich at The Heart & Hand, the smallest pub in Brighton, where they silenced a brimming pub with their stunning voices and beautiful harmonies.

I will tell you more about the lovely ladies when I share the shoot with you but if you’d like to you can hear more of The Victory Dolls here. They will blow your mind!

Lauren xxx

The Victory Dolls, Heart In Hand pub Brighton, Laurenbythesea Photography
The Victory Dolls, Heart In Hand pub Brighton, © Laurenbythesea Photography

{The Portrait Diaries} Day 8: Who’s your muse?

Day 8

Wow. I’m actually quite surprised at where this portrait experiment has taken me so far.

I’m quite a thinker anyway, an over-thinker some might say, yet only 8 days into this challenge it feels like I wasn’t thinking at all before.

I’ve always enjoyed taking pictures of people over landscapes and scenery but posting these portraits has really started me thinking on a deeper level about what kind of portraits I delight over. I keep coming back to my portraits of musicians. Why did this not stand out to me before? I’m not sure, maybe as I’m not a musician myself it wasn’t that obvious. But the beauty of a portrait of a musician is seeing their passion coming alive right in front of your eyes. Musicians take it to another place , they go somewhere else, they connect to whoever or whatever their muse might be and it makes them shine.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”- Howard Thurman

I’ve always had close friends who are musicians and I never really believed that to be intentional but now I’m starting to wonder whether it is a subconscious thing. I like the idea that we naturally surround ourselves with people that inspire us. It should be that way anyway. I feel really lucky and I am overwhelmed with gratitude at the people who I have had the chance to know and the opportunities I have had to capture people in the process of expressing themselves. In doing so they help me to express myself too.

To those people I thank you, from the bottom of my heart,  for doing what you do. Please keep doing it!

Lauren xxx

{The Portrait Diaries} Day 5: Read Between the Lines

Day 5.

From one musician to another. I’m not obsessed I promise (well only with photographing people doing what they love) I really wanted to pick this portrait for today’s post because I was browsing through the whole shoot a few days ago and this is the one that always jumps out at me. It’s from a shoot about 6 months ago with amazingly talented harpist Alexander Thomas. (@alexthomasmusic) This is probably my absolute favourite image from the shoot and you can see more here.

Although his face is sort of obstructed you can still see the emotion on his face through the harpstrings and it is seeing that and feeling that connection at the time I was taking the photo which is what makes me love photographing musicians. Alex hadn’t expected to necessarily play his harp on the shoot but just be photographed with it. A while into the shoot I asked him to play a little and wow, the sounds literally travelled on the wind and echoed all around us. I’ve never heard anything quite like it. It was heavenly and incredibly inspiring . So I suppose I’m realising that’s one of the biggest factors for me in my favourite portraits. What the person is doing or what you ask them to do can make or break an image. 5 days in and I’m already learning, I like it!

I’d love to hear what makes a great portrait for you. Get in touch or comment below.

Lauren xx

Working with other creatives

For a while I’ve been meaning to write about a shoot I did recently that featured the biggest musical instrument I’ve ever seen- a giant harp!

I’ve always wished I could play an instrument. When I first got really serious about photography about 4 years ago I was lucky to have many talented friends who were musicians & it played a big part in my path to becoming a portrait photographer. There’s nothing better than watching people doing something they love, it really is inspirational. Getting to photograph it is something really special. An honour.

I feel the same way about watching performers. Whenever I go to the theatre I am overcome with emotion & my eyes always well up when the cast take their curtain call. I guess it’s a kind of empathy, I feel so pleased for them that they are doing something they love & using their God-given talent.

Of course I could take lessons if I was that adamant about learning to play an instrument but I don’t really feel it’s for me right now. I do believe that every one of us has it within them to be great at something. Everyone has the ability to create… so while I focus on the photographs I’ll leave the talented Alexander Thomas to create the music.

I first met Alex Thomas back in 2008 when we both lived in Brighton & Alex was studying for his Masters in Music. We did a shoot on Brighton beach & then worked together again when I shot a music video Alex featured in back in May.

So here, with him in his element & me in mine, is a selection of images from our shoot. Hope you enjoy them and I’d love to know what you think.

Until next time, Lauren xx