{The Portrait Diaries} Day 22: To fly, to fly

Day 22

I’m excited to be working with an amazing group of dancers at the weekend. I love watching/photographing people in their element so I can’t wait! I started thinking about the last time I shot dancers and it would’ve been about a year ago when I was working for Island Lake Camp.

The kids there are so super talented and as camp is happening right now not a day goes by that I don’t think about them all doing their thing. I took this shot whilst taking my photography class through the gymastics department on one of our walks around camp. This was one of my favourite places to photograph not only because they are all amazing gymnasts and dancers but because there’s no better shooting conditions than a roof with no walls!!

I’d love to be able to dance like this! Wouldn’t you?

Lauren xxx

{The Portrait Diaries} Day 20: Birthday Boy

Day 20-

In a flurry of weddings,editing and planning, the blog has been feeling a little neglected. The withdrawal symptoms are getting too much to take so I’m having a quick break from editing to share the latest of The Portrait Diaries!  Today’s portrait is dedicated to my nephew who turned five today. Can’t quite believe it and struggling to understand where the last five years have gone.

His enthusiasm for life, curiosity and cheeky smile are an endless supply of inspiration to me.

Hope you are all having a great Sunday and check back soon for some exciting things I have to share with you.

Lauren xxx

children's portrait

{The Portrait Diaries} Day 13: “Hello? This is the right side of your brain speaking!”

Day 13

Well it’s a horrible, wet & miserable day where I am! I hope it’s sunnier wherever you are!

Over lunch I was thinking about all the school children who will be having playtime indoors today! Some will be bored and absolutely hate it while others will relish these days.

Last summer, I taught photography at an amazing sports & arts summer camp in Pennsylvania. Some days there would be a sudden down pour so the kids would stay under the shelter of the art barn rather than move onto their next activity. As the majority of them loved art, they didn’t mind as it was a chance to get on with the current work of art they were creating or think up the next project they could work on.

These kids were affectionately known as “indoor kids,” an assumption, though not always entirely true, that anyone who loves art is not a big fan of physical activities or being outside. For the most part I found the kids would just find what they love and stick to it, which is not a bad idea really, though of course they were always encouraged to try new things.

Though I loved the outdoors I think I definitely grew up going through phases of being an indoor kid. Can I blame that on the unpredictable British weather? Maybe, but I don’t think I’d have it any other way. I used to love it when it rained and we weren’t allowed to go outside at playtimes. I loved art and doing anything creative so being stuck indoors was never a problem for me, it was a blessing.

At camp there were so many activities the children could do. There was no technology allowed so they couldn’t opt for playing their Nintendo or Xbox instead. I imagine this is one of the top reasons parents send their kids to camp, so they can really embrace this lifestyle for the duration of their stay. Kids have so much technology thrown at them in these modern times that they can forget the joy of simply creating something.

It is sad to think that some people never really get the chance or allow themselves the chance to be creative. Whenever some one tells me they can’t draw/paint or whatever else, I say…”Can’t or won’t?” Did you get on a bike and straight away know how to ride it? No. It’s about finding something that you enjoy and pursuing it. Over time the skills will come!

That creative part of your brain can influence so many other skills and aspects of who you are. If you try you never know what you might be capable of. More importantly, from being creative you learn to make mistakes and to try again, to problem solve and be innovative. If you can be willing to do things wrong you treble your chances of doing something amazingly right!

For these reasons among many others, it was such a privelege to be at camp and to be in the art department. To see children get really into something, to discover a new talent and to embrace their own creativity. I often wonder what amazing people they will one day grow up to be.

“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” — Mary Lou Cook

{The Portrait Diaries} Day 12: If you go down to the woods today…

Day 12

When I was four, I completely believed I could fly, was convinced there was a monster living in my wardrobe and that I could talk to trees!

At four, the world is full of opportunity & adventure and that’s just in the garden. Go to the woods and the possibilities are endless. Now the world is full of opportunity & adventure even when you’re not four but we start to let that feeling go astray as we get older and lose the magic of childhood.

Photographing children is amazing fun not only because a little part of you gets to be a child again but you can witness them getting totally lost in their own imaginations. My 4 year old nephew openly declares, “MY IMAGINATION IS MASSIVE” while making solar systems out of blu-tac and sending psychic messages to Santa.

Eventually children become conditioned to pulling a big cheesy grin or silly faces when a camera is pointed at them.

My biggest effort/challenge then when photographing children is to create as many moments as possible where you can get them to forget they are being photographed and if this works, BINGO! One all access pass into their magical mystical wonderland.

Lauren xx

{The Portrait Diaries} Day 3: A Wonderful World

Day three of The Portrait Challenge.

I’m enjoying thinking about what I try to capture in a portrait. Sometimes that magic ingredient needed for a portrait happens entirely by accident. Those accidental portraits can make the best images. I definitely don’t think that a portrait has to be a straight on shot of a person’s face and I really want to try to get a variety in this challege.

So here’s my third portrait and the story behind the image. It’s no secret I love photographing babies but this was by no means a planned shot. I was outside in the garden taking photos & this little fella wanted to know what all the commotion was about outside so came up to the window with his Granddad to watch. I had to get a shot of it & I didn’t really expect it to be good or to like it but baby’s are so curious I loved how this image portrays some of that wonder.

Their world is brand new in each and every moment.

Lauren xx

{The Portrait Diaries} Day 2: Captain America

I watched Captain America last weekend and now have a newfound appreciation for my nephew’s fascination with the Captain.

Finally, I get what he is talking about when he chats away about shields getting stuck in doors.

My nephew is a little photographer in the making and much prefers to be taking pictures than being photographed. To be able to get a photo without him putting a hand up in refusal, or insisting on taking a photo of me instead made a nice change. We had set up a little clue hunt for him and had him running all over the house to find clues. The final prize was his very own Captain America costume.

For me this image sums him so much but i’d love to know what you think.

If you were a superhero, who would you be?

Lauren x