In 1997 I created my first photographic book. Yesterday I photographed it. It is amazing to see how well those photographs have lasted in their little book, bought in Florence in 1997! I still find it extraordinary that I am doing what I dreamed of then – creating photographic art in books.
The album has lasted a lot better than my newborn photos, taken on my phone in the hospital, never saved and sadly lost to posterity. That’ll learn me.
Digital photography has allowed us to fly creatively, but sadly too few photographers know how to produce quality prints. Some are even harking back to film – I suspect this is an anachronistic fad mostly inspired by inexperienced photographers who do not know how to create high quality digital prints. I spend a lot of time finding the best retouchers and printers so as to ensure that the quality of my prints is as fabulous as possible.
There is a sensuous pleasure to a book. I don’t want you to have a disk of wedding photographs that sits on your shelf gathering dust until in a few years it is obsolete. So when ever you buy a print or an album, I will GIVE you the digital negative as a first anniversary present.
Below: My first photographic book, aged 14 in 1997
OK, well not quite ALL my clothes…
This is a post about boudoir photography. A lot brides love to book a boudoir shoot before their wedding, when they’re looking their best. However, I had a mini boudoir shoot in January, when I was feeling fat and depressed after Christmas. And I’m so glad, because it turned out to be the best pick me up ever.
The idea was to have a little play around with techniques with fellow photographer Catherine Price. And Nina came along to help with the make up and hair. The challenge was to see if we could make each other look gorgeous against all the odds.
The day before I had no sugar, no alcohol, I got my eyebrows shaped and I went to the gym. That was the extent of my efforts. I didn’t even have a chance to get my roots dyed!
As with all my studio shoots, I made sure we had some treats. (below)
Catherine bravely went first in the make up chair. We both found it incredibly strange to be the other side of the camera.
my before and after (above)
It was the darkest January day I have ever seen. We used daylight balanced lights, which are great because they both look good AND they make you feel as if you’ve spent the day in the sun, which is just what you need in January.
above; pillow fight!
And then it was my turn! And it was such good fun. I really felt fabulous by the end of my photoshoot. You should never wait until you’re looking ‘perfect’ or your ‘best’ to have your photoshoot. Have it done whenever you like, because you will feel wonderful afterwards.
To book your boudoir photoshoot call me on 07977 538424 or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me via my website http://www.fionacampbelllondon.com/#pages/Contact
Many thanks to Nina for the hair and make up, http://www.fionacampbelllondon.com/#pages/Nina%20%20-%20Make%20Up%20Artist and to Catherine Price for the photographs and the modelling. www.facebook.com/iheartboudoir And apologies to David for stealing his shirt
Very pleased to announce that I am headed to Cambodia with Harper’s Bazaar, to create a travel story for them with words and pictures.
I love Harper’s, so I’m always very happy to write for them, and I’m looking forward to discovering Cambodia.
From my archives, reworked. A little summer fantasy! This is what I’m dreaming of, at the moment:
Have you ever been blindly in love? So blind that you only saw your lover’s best side? An idealised version of themselves that totally missed all their faults.
I’ve been reading ‘How to be a free range human’ by Marianne Cantwell and loving it. She writes about how to create the career that you love, a subject close to my heart. She recently sent me this:
“When a prized ceramic bowl develops cracks, the cracks are filled with gold. Instead of throwing the piece out and saying “it’s not good enough anymore” (or just turning it to the wall and hoping no one notices) the cracks are highlighted. What’s more this process – called kintsugi – increases the worth of the item and make it into an even more valuable piece of art.
You see, in their eyes, the life of the bowl, and the lines in the process of its becoming, are part of its beauty and value.
The same is true for you.
In an airbrushed, glossified, image-managed world it can be easy to forget that the most successful (yet happy…), impactful and just all round lovely-people-to-be-with don’t buy into the perfect gloss image.
Instead they are the ones with the most glaring imperfections (yet we hardly see as imperfections any more because they have owned them rather than hidden in shame. Slid into their own skin and made ‘that thing’ a part of who they are, not something to hide).” – Marianne Cantwell
I believe that God (the Universe if you prefer) looks at us and sees our beauty with great clarity and love. He sees our faults too, and challenges us on them, to help us become more beautiful. But above all He looks at us and just sees us as utterly wonderful, beautiful, funny people. He sees our potential and he sees our being – a being that He created.
Today, ask God to help you see yourself as He does. Get ready for an adventure!
My mother is a porcelain restorer. She painstakingly puts broken porcelain back together – sometimes when it has been shattered into 1000s of pieces. I think God restores us too.
She is so busy restoring all the porcelain of Oxfordshire that she hardly advertises. In fact, I think the people of Henley must throw it at each other, because she is endlessly busy. However, I’ve decided to put her on the web. Introducing my mother: Margaret Campbell, Porcelain Restorer, nr Henley-on-Thames. Enquiries 01491 638618. Say I sent you. Ring during office hours or risk the wrath of an artist. Prices start from about £35 I think.
My mother has an amazing engagement ring. Fashioned from my grandmother’s diamond, Irish jeweller Graham Harron added gold, rubies and emeralds to echo the shape of the Giants Causeway where my parents lived. The wedding ring fitted to the engagement ring so that when you put the two together they became complete. So romantic! You can see Graham Harron’s work here http://www.grahamharrongoldsmith.co.uk/design.html That ring is pretty awesome, I realise now, and being an artist she designed it herself. It reminds me of the waters and the wild of County Antrim, where I was brought up. The marchioness of Walderhurst with her egg sized ring might even have envied it. My mother is in fact a goddess. BUT as a child I hated that ring because it was so massive that it was always catching my skin.
A landscape of the peace maze in Northern Ireland. Available for purchase via my online gallery http://fionacampbelllondon.tifmember.com password: ‘see’
When you get engaged you face a barrage of questions, opinions and advice. When’s the big day? Have you found a venue? What’s the dress like? It can be overwhelming.
One way round this is to keep your betrothal quiet until you have made a few plans. Pick your date, pick your venue, and have your engagement shoot THEN tell your friends with some fabulous pictures. (OK I would say that but engagement shoots are fantastic!) That way, you can deflect their attention with gorgeous pictures and protect yourself from the barrage of questions.
I am loving this round up of engagement rings from Harper’s Bazaar. In case anyone needs to know, my favourite is the aquamarine one… ‘Santa Baby, there’s one little thing, a ring… I don’t mean on the phone…’
I’d love to hear your tips and memories of getting engaged. How was it for you? Comment below! You know I love comments. And if you have recently got engaged, congratulations! Email me on fiona email@example.com to enquire about your engagement session.
There’s something about creating a family shoot. For me it’s about knowing that I’m capturing a magical time in a family’s life and helping them to remember the wonder of it all (which gets lost so easily in the drudge of daily life). I like to think that the photos on the wall will inspire them in their life together and to imagine that in years to come they will look through their album and remember all the good times. I like to create a series of beautiful portraits, creative images and reportage images that evoke the family. Today, I present you some of the images from my shoot with the stunning Masterson family. And Buzz the dog, who it turns out has a photo face. I have at least two photographs of him where he is making exactly the same face for the camera, just like a celebrity with a ‘Hello’ face. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets his own chat show any day now.
Incidentally I have totally fallen in love with bunnies after this shoot, and plan to get a couple in the spring. See what you’ve done, Jeanne and Keith?! xxx
So, I was a bit surprised when everyone went mad for my instagram snaps of flamingoes. And then a Californian singer starlet wanted prints for her house, which instagrams don’t really stretch to. Luckily the light held for three days, so I was able to go back and create this. And if you listen to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake while you’re looking at it you might find that the flamingoes start dancing. Try it. You can check out my instagram feed at http://instagram.com/fionacampbellphotography
There are a limited edition set of these available to purchase as framed or mounted prints. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing either an individual image or one of a set.
Many thanks to London Zoo for letting me in after the last bell so that I could capture the flamingoes roosting. They were very curious about me and as you see they are eyeing me rather sternly.
Gong Li and I met at the Hilton in Paris. I arrived to find the actress and her translator waiting for me, together with hundreds of baby chicks cheeping in the bar – it was Easter and the Hilton had laid this on to celebrate. It was all part of the surreal experience. Gong Li was quite impenetrable at first, but with perseverance we clicked and she opened up about her life in Beijing. My favourite memory of our conversation is of us bonding over shoes. She eschews high heels, only donning them if she has to walk down a red carpet. For the interview she wore grubby converse.
It was amazing the way the actress could turn on a pose for the camera.She wasn’t expecting me to photograph her, but she was happy to pose. There was no need to direct her, she just switched on this dreamy, slightly lustful look with a sparkle in her eye. I love this shot, taken in situ, her face offset by the oriental patterning behind her and the pattern on her dress.
You can read the full text of my interview and portrait shoot with leading Chinese actress, Gong Li, on the Telegraph website here http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/asia/china/740832/Gong-Li-and-the-city-of-forbidden-pleasures.html
Gong Li at our interview:
A scan of the article as it appeared in the Telegraph.