Today’s studio session was a little bit different to what I’m used to, and I wasn’t the only nervous one. Lee “Punisher” Percival was the one stood in front of the lens this morning and he isn’t planning on swapping his gloves for modelling any time soon, although he didn’t take long to relax and bring on his game face.
Lee is a local lad from Disington, Cumbria. He is a mixed martial arts fighter (MMA) and trains at his local club, Tap Out Knock Out. He has been an amateur fighter for around 8 years and has progressed to the professional level in the past year. Don’t be fooled by the moody look of these images though, Lee was a pleasure to work with and was game to go with all my creative suggestions (even when it involved smothering olive oil on his face).
Lee has been given the fantastic opportunity to fight on the show Bellator on the 4thof May, this will be aired on channel 5. Lee is working hard to prepare for this, often training 3 times a day!
I am pleased that I could help Lee on his journey and capture his promo shots. There is still lots to be raised to make this dream possible so anyone who can sponsor every little helps. It’s not often local people get these brilliant opportunities so let’s all show our support and inspire a younger generation of young fighters in the process.
Mam, Mummy, Mother, Ma…
The list is endless but the meaning is the same.
The title is not easy to come by, some people with this name may of battled with infertility, miscarriage, adoption and even the loss of a child. Some may be holding on to their own children, while grieving the loss of their beloved mother. Some may still be longing for this title, so desperately sought by many.
During my drive home from Cheadle after a brilliant training session with the fabulous Gary Hill my creative brain was in overdrive. I was desperate to put my new lighting skills into practise but wanted to make a project out of something meaningful.
Each time I thought of something my mind was brought back to my own Mam. Recently I have been sorting through old photos and realised the person that brought me into the world was generally behind the lens instead of in front of it.
Now in the modern age we do see more images of mothers with their newborn babies, but soon after this one off shoot they retreat back behind the lens, capturing the memories of everyone else. When you hit late teens and in to your 20’s you then find girls begin to get more photos with their mam (usually selfies of some sort or drinking cocktails), but again at big family events Mam is usually taking the photos and avoiding the lens.
My question is why?
I’m not a mother so I don’t really know the answer, but I had so many reasons in my head…
They are too busy making sure everyone else is in the photo, everyone is clean/happy/smiling?
They are doing other jobs and just don’t have the time?
They are taking the picture?
But my mind kept bringing me back to the thought that they didn’t want to be seen, they didn’t feel beautiful enough, they are ashamed of how they look or even that they are too tired.
You hear mam’s all the time saying “don’t get me in I look awful” or “I will ruin the picture”, hearing this always makes me sad. How does it make you feel?
Women are amazing!!! And I want to say you are beautiful enough!
Without them our species would cease to exist, yet day in day out they question themselves and their beauty. A mother is strong, loving and selfless.
We all have one, but how often do we stop to appreciate them? To capture a memory with them? To hug them?
Often we notice the woman missing from the family photos when it is too late to get her in them. I know many amazing mothers out there and sadly many who are no longer here. So this feature is for them.
Stripped back, pure love.
The bond between a mother and a child.
I hope these portraits show the emotional bond between a mother and her child, no matter what the age.
We dedicate a full day to these women who raise us to celebrate and honour the sacrifices they made for us.
You are amazing! Who else can comfort you with a hug, reassure you with a look, support you no matter where in the world you are. Who else would do your washing, cook you dinner, pick you up when you fall, be a constant shoulder to cry on, pull you in to line when you need guidance and fuss about you long after you’ve grown and left home?
Right now some mothers will be gleaming with joy, others at their whit’s end trying not to pull their newly greyed hair from their heads, others will be suffering immense pain that only a mother can feel. Mother’s day is a day for you all.
And specifically Thank you to my amazing Mam and friends for braving being at the end of my lens to create these beautiful portraits.
For more information about booking a family studio session please contact me- email@example.com
Over the past month I have been given the amazing project of capturing Lakes Escapes in their new premise.
Lakes Escapes- Cumbria’s premier live escape room is based in Workington and first opened in 2017. The company is owned by Carol and John Watson who along with their fabulous team of game masters, run the escape games every day of the week. The escape games first home was Peart Road and run successfully there for just under 2 years. In February 2019, after many months of hard work from this dedicated duo, they opened their new premise on Stanley Street.
The concept of the games are that you have 60 minutes to solve a series of puzzles and codes in order to escape. Of course the game master is at hand to provide clues when requested (and please don’t freak out, they don’t actually lock you in the room, we all know how many health and safety rules this would break!). Of course the puzzles aren’t just any boring, old, mundane puzzles, they are themed to match the objective of the room (and might I add very cleverly created by John and Carol). The current rooms available are Baker street, Quest for the throne and Dr Frankenscraft’s Monster – see photos for a sneak peak – no spoilers though 😉 . The rooms have been hand built by the couple and all the details are brilliantly crafted, the time and effort put in to make the rooms feel realistic will not go unnoticed. The reason I believe the business has progressed so will is down to the dedication and commitment of Carol and John, but also the enjoyment they get from watching their customers play (they also travel up and down the country trying out other Escape rooms in a constant bid to develop and improve what they offer here in Cumbria).
John is currently in the process of building yet another room which they hope to open soon, and I know they have many brilliant ideas for the future at their new premise. Other than the amount of space and possibility for several more games, the major perk of the new home for Lakes Escapes is the disabled access. Carol and John both hated having to turn down customers at the old premise due to the lack of access and are overjoyed that they can now welcome all customers to take part in the fun.
The people of Cumbria are always saying they need more to do, and these games are just that. Fantastic for families, parties, time with friends, teambuilding and of course tourists enjoying the Lake District. For more information and to get yourself booked in check out their website https://www.lakesescapes.co.ukor facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lakesescaperooms/.
What are you waiting for? The clock is ticking.
Have you got what it takes to ESCAPE?
These are the best years of your life..
We’ve all heard it before, school days are some of the best you will ever have. To which most of us responded “I can’t wait to leave this place”. Now on the other side it makes sense, it literally is some of the best days of your life. Spending everyday with your best friends. So what better way to finish that time in your life than with a huge celebration.
Prom night is chance to celebrate the end of exams and to have the best time with your friends, before starting the next chapter of your life. The girls had been planning this for months, hair, make up, nails, shoes, the dress and most importantly … Who is going to be my date?
On Thursday 28thJune, I arrived at the Greenhill Hotel Wigton and was amazed. The giant prom balloons caught my eye immediately, followed by a room which was spectacularly laid out (it was like a wedding!). Miss Kinrade, Miss Mulgrew and Mrs Mitchell had put in so much effort to make this night perfect for the pupils, the staff at the Greenhill were also fantastic.
The pupils arrived and I was blown away by what I saw, the girls oozed class. There was such a range of dresses and hairstyles, they were stylish and beautiful. The boys all looked very dapper, all ties pulled tight and top buttons fastened (it has only took them 5 years of nagging to realise what we want them to look like).
Being asked to photograph St Josephs school prom was an honour, it showed my pupils trusted me and saw more to me than what happens in the classroom. The night was filled with dancing and lots of laughter, I’m sure memories were made that will last a lifetime. It was also emotional for me as these beautiful, kind, talented young men and women were once a group of tiny year 7s who I taught as a student teacher, to see them develop and become my year 11s has been an amazing journey and they will all be truly missed.
So although this is an end of an era for you all, just remember …
The future will always be bright when you stay focussed, optimistic and confident!
Good luck year 11, the world is your oyster… go explore it.
Family are everything…
Do you agree?
Way back in January I was given the pleasure of photographing Angela’s grandchildren for her. I had already carried out two mini shoots for this family, but Angela wanted all her grandchildren photographed together. Angela has been a family friend for as long as I can remember and is one of the most loving people I have ever met. Her family are everything to her, as they are to many of us, so having this opportunity to capture these memories for her was an honour.
Photographing children is always so much fun and this lovely bunch were no exception. Amelia, Rebecca, Emily-may and Cameron were already accustomed to the whole process and did a brilliant job at showing Mia the ropes. At first Mia was a little shy but it didn’t take long for her to be giggling away and posing with her older cousins. The 5 of them pretty much ran the show and I just followed their lead and snapped away. Every minute was an opportunity for a perfect shot because of the undeniable love these children have for each other.
One of the most enjoyable things about photographing children is capturing the unique moments which happen in a split second and will never happen again. Having a group who were so full of personality made my job an easy one and it is clear to see that they have a bond which will never be broken. However on this occasion, although all 5 children were brilliant, kind and enthusiastic, there was something else that made this shoot one I will always remember. As I laid on the grass to photograph the group all huddled together on a blanket, the girls were trying to make Mia laugh so we could get a more natural photograph and I got my goose bump moment. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of Angela, smiling from ear to ear, filled with pride and joy watching her grandchild messing around, having fun and making memories. My eyes were filled with tears of joy to be part of such a moment, it is something that will stay with me forever.
Upon getting home and attempting to finalise the gallery I discovered I had a difficult task at hand, there were so many gorgeous images showing the beautiful relationships between these 5 children. I wasn’t the only one to struggle, when the gallery was shared with Angela she also decided she couldn’t choose and insisted she would just have to buy all ninety something images!!!
So here we are now, 5 month later and after some persuasion she has finally made her decision! I agree with her that every image was beautiful in its own way and I am so happy that they can now display them in their homes.
I really do feel for those people who don’t have family around them and I urge those who do to treasure every moment when them.
“Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.” – Michael J Fox
What better birthday present than a photoshoot! Right?
Recently Sarah booked one of my mini location shoots for her boyfriend Josh. This was a birthday present for Josh and the only information he was given was “30mins, in cursed park, with Sarahs 27 year old science teacher”. I’m not sure what poor Josh thought his present was but I don’t think I would of been overjoyed if someone had given me that information as my present haha.
When Josh got out of the car I’m not sure what he thought seeing me stood there with my camera. It took a bit for the surprise to wear off, but eventually Josh and Sarah really relaxed into their photoshoot.
Knowing both of them are members of WADAMs and having seen them both perform on stage, I thought it would be a very dramatical and staged shoot. How wrong was I !!! Both Josh and Sarah were very natural and just went with the flow of things, laughing and joking along and doing pretty much whatever I asked (performers are always good at taking direction).
I had a brilliant time with these two lovely teenagers, they were polite and respectful, but most importantly we had fun. There was an incident where I encouraged Josh to climb a tree and we were all slightly worried whether an ambulance would be required trying to get him down.
I hope you both had a great time and love the results. Thank you Sarah for putting your trust in me and thank you Josh for being a great sport.
DANCING IS MY PASSION, PHOTOGRAPHY IS MY ART
So as many of you know photography is not my only love. Dancing has always been the centre of my world for as long as I can remember. I feel like I was blessed to be brought up with a huge extended family through dancing and love that many people I met through dancing are still a big part of my life now.
Since starting this journey setting up my photography business it has been niggling away at me to take the time to photograph my one other passion. Last Saturday I had the opportunity to take some of my own wonderful pupils on a mini photoshoot. Our dance classes are based in the lovely little coastal town of Maryport so we wanted to stay local and I decided to make use of the harbour side.
We prayed for no rain on Friday and were really blessed with the weather (however I’m sure the girls would disagree). After the pupils’ dance classes ended we bundle the dancers and dance bags into our cars and drive down to the harbour side. Although it was dry it wasn’t too warm (4℃) and the girls were really braving it taking their shoes and socks off. At first, they weren’t too keen, luckily, we were prepared and the sat huddled with their blankets sharing body heat whilst taking it in turns to get their photographs taken (this can be seen from the behind the scenes image).
After a while they really started getting into the swing of things, the girls were offering up ideas and helping create the images they envisioned whilst helping me create the images I hoped for. The girls all had the opportunity to have some single shots taken and of course some group shots.
As the sun started to set we decided to make our way towards the water’s edge, intentions were to get our feet wet a little but toes were already turning blue so we just took a few final shots before the girls dashed off to the cars to warm up.
Teenage years are such an interesting time of life. It’s easy to become egocentric and just keep the focus on yourself but it was so clear watching these girls how much love they have for each other. They are a family and sometimes day to day we fail to see the connection they all have, they encourage each other and compliment each other but most importantly they support each other.
We had so much fun in just a few hours, we all laughed from start to finish. The behind the scenes helpers really kept spirits high when the girls felt too cold to function. When I got in the car to come home from this shoot I sat for a moment and smiled, my heart was happy and I was bursting with pride. Every week I spend hours with these young girls but today I was reminded how special each of them are and what beautiful humans they are all developing into. I’m not saying they are perfect and they sure do push my buttons at times, but they are kind, caring, fun, loving, talented and beautiful individuals, each with their own personalities which make them special to me.
The best part of this whole session was to see the girls sharing the group pictures and telling their social media followers how lucky they are to have an amazing dancing family <3
So, at the end of this I need to say a huge Thank you to all the girls for freezing their butts off and sharing their talent with me. We are already planning our next session for when the weather is a bit warmer and my head is full of ideas!
Thanks for reading x
Credit to my amazing models- Amelia Fox, Anna Woolaghan, Elise Penman, Kacie Winter, Emily-May Allison, Rebecca Fox, Darcy Humes, Ellie Skillen and Faith Traverse.
And the helpers – Theresa Rodney, Loren Moore and Rhiana Humes
So here it is, My first ever blog post!
They say first impressions are everything. So … here goes.
As many of you know I am just starting out on this whirlwind adventure, getting my photography business up and running.
I first started taking photographs as a teenager, many were shots of friends at school and parties, which now hold memories we will all treasure for a lifetime. I also found it important to capture memories with my family (in particular my then baby brother) to display in my room at university. Family are my number one priority and having photographs which show our stories and memories are the greatest treasures.
So how did I get from student with a digital camera to budding photographer starting up a business?
I had never thought about becoming a photographer, I have always been creative but science was always my vocation in life. My first real pull to photography was when photographing pupils from my Mams dance school during competitions. It felt amazing to load my images onto my laptop and see some of the moments I had captured.
From then my camera became like a body part to me, I found myself behind the lens when out walking, at family parties, friend’s weddings and quite frankly whenever I could be without people telling to put the camera down. I spent time taking courses and learning more and more about the camera and the type of images I wanted to capture. A few people really believed in me and gave me the opportunity I needed to start building a real portfolio of both portrait and commercial images (thank you to these people, you know who you are and I am forever grateful to you all for putting up with me while I was learning to perfect my images).
Now 6 month later I have an ever-growing portfolio and many shoots under my belt. When it comes to photography, I am always bursting with so many thoughts and ideas. The rush I feel before, during and after a shoot is a brilliant feeling. Each session brings its own story and special moments, these are what I aim to share via my blog. I believe it is important for clients to not only see my previous work, but to know the type of person I am. Photography isn’t just about holding up a camera and clicking a button, it is a personal journey, documenting a moment in life that will never happen again. This is why I feel it is essential for my clients to trust me and feel comfortable around me.
As a photographer, I love shooting in natural light on location. Watching children explore the outdoors and be free is invigorating, the interaction between families is extremely special and I feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to capture these moments. I have a relaxed approach to my work and aim to make all sessions fun for everyone taking part.
I am currently working as a photographer part time whilst working full time as a science teacher. I am blessed to have a supportive Fiancé, Family and Friends who have pushed me to follow my dreams and I have no doubt will be there to help me every step of the way.
If you want to see some of my work please look at my website www.rebeccarodneyphotography.com
Thank you for taking the time to indulge in my first post.
Have a wonderful week and keep warm on these blustery winter days.