Sam Gavins Photography: Blog en-us (C) Sam Gavins Photography (Sam Gavins Photography) Sun, 24 Sep 2017 21:36:00 GMT Sun, 24 Sep 2017 21:36:00 GMT Sam Gavins Photography: Blog 120 80 Photography Tip 2 - Middle aged women - How to look better in photos. Tip 2 - Middle aged women - how to look better in photos


Last week I talked about positioning and how photographing for above helps improve the skin tone of us middle aged women - no saggy chins or jowly creasing.

This week it's all about exposure.

Please see the examples below. As you can see the one on the left is slightly more exposed than the one on the right. The image on the right with slightly less exposure shows the model's forehead and frown lines a little more than the one on the left. Opening the aperture a touch more not only lets more light in but also softens the subject a fraction more. This can be altered post shoot these days in Lightroom, Photoshop or Camera Raw.




In this case both images were taken with exactly the same camera settings but the image on the left I used my speedlite flash which I bounced off the ceiling to expose the subject that fraction more. If you're wondering what the glass objects to the right of the picture are they are the pendant bauble lights - included in the image for a variation in depth of field - oh and because I like them.

Thank you for checking out this weeks blog.

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) general photographer middle age women photography tips wedding photographer Sun, 24 Sep 2017 21:35:43 GMT
Photography tips - middle aged women - how to look better in photos How to look better in photographs and take better images.

Having reached a significant birthday this year I have many Winchester friends and clients of a similar age who really don't like their photo taken.

Today I am starting a series of 10 top tips: How to make us middle aged women look better in photos - it would be such a shame if in years to come we have very few photos of us for our families to look at.

TIP ONE: Positioning is key.

I have very few photographs of myself for obvious reasons - I'm the one always behind the camera but occasionally my lovely children have caught me slouching with my chin down looking at my phone - ummm not a good look ! This brings me to the subject of positioning. Shooting from above is always more flattering. If you are a 6ft tall photographer then that will help but if not try and stand on something ( I carry a small step ladder with me on shoots). 

The subject will automatically look up and that double chin will disappear. Have a look below at my first model and example of good positioning.

Lisa Boyd of Citrus Coaching asked me to shoot head shots for her newly vamped website, raising the head up lifts up the chin and stretches out the neck and hides any skin folds. Shooting from below isn't good for those of us with challenged elasticity   -   gravity has a lot to answer for.   



Here, I am standing about a foot higher than Lisa, she is subtly looking up but it has helped stretch out any creases she may have. Lisa actually has great skin tone so I'm cheating a bit here but hope my point has been made.

Look out for my next tip - coming soon.   


]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) photography tips positioning well to improve our look in photographs Mon, 18 Sep 2017 12:09:16 GMT
A Choora Ceremony in Reading Bettina's Choora Winchester Photographer travels an hour up the road to photograph a beautiful Indian tradition - The Choora Ceremony Bettina's Choora Winchester Photographer travels an hour up the road to photograph a beautiful Indian tradition - The Choora Ceremony

A wonderful joyous occasion - The Choora. A Choora is a set of bangles that are usually red and white , traditionally made of ivory but now more often made of plastic. These bangles are worn by the bride on her wedding day. The Choora are worn for a year after the wedding day and removed by her in laws on her first wedding anniversary.


The Choora ceremony is held the day before the wedding or the morning of the wedding. The bride's maternal uncles give her a set of choorae (21 bangles in red and white). The maternal aunts assist the uncles in putting the bangles on. The bangles are dipped in a milk and water mixture before putting them on the bride to be. This is followed by the bride being given a red chunni scarf and gifting her with jewellery. The maternal aunts and uncles are given milk to drink.

The next part of the evening is usually the Jaago - this was such fun. Traditionally invitations were not sent out to invite people to the wedding, instead relatives would go around the village the night before the wedding with pots on their heads decorated with oil candles, singing and dancing as an open invitation to attend the wedding. The aim of the night is to make as much noise as possible so decorated sticks are banged on the floor.  At Bettina's celebration it was a great excuse for the DJ to rev up the music whilst the close family relatives stood outside waiting to make a grand entry.

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) choora ceremony winchester wedding photographer travel to reading to photograph indian choora Sat, 16 Sep 2017 16:25:46 GMT
Winchester to Devon with a fellow photographer Winchester Wedding Photographer Goes West to Second Shoot.

Second shooting is the term given to the second photographer at the wedding, nearly always chosen by the primary photographer.

The primary photographer does all the pre wedding work and yep basically all the post wedding work too.

I love both, primary and secondary shooting. It's just another example of the varied life a photographer can lead. Both are wonderful for different reasons. With secondary shooting I love being able to catch those candid shots, try some more artistic moves, not have the pressure but still work super hard. The disadvantage for me is that you haven't got to know the bride and groom beforehand so there isn't quite the same rapport as there would be had you met them for a coffee to discuss their plans or maybe done a couple shoot with them, as well as the email conversations you will have had with them during the months prior to the wedding.  

With this set aside when I was asked to second shoot in Devon I was very happy to go along in spite of it being a 7am start.

The primary shooter had been up into the early hours editing so I chose to drive, two hours and we were in the sticks somewhere in Devon, helped by a strong coffee bought on the A303.

It's nice working with someone else, a photographer's job can be a lonely one at times so second shooting is a great chance to chat and exchange idea's.

The wedding was in a beautiful country church and the weather held out until we got back to the marquee when the heavens opened and barely stopped all day. I felt sorry for the lovely couple, as the games laid out in the field for guests to play weren't used as they were intended and the marquee became very hot and steamy. But my trip from Winchester, Hampshire to the far west had been fun and productive and I would certainly do it again whatever the weather.   

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) wedding photography winchester and hampshire wedding photographer'' winchester wedding photographer heads west Wed, 30 Aug 2017 16:12:20 GMT
Winchester, Hampshire Schools Photography - The Westgate Leavers Prom 2017 Winchester, Hampshire Schools Photography

 One of the most fun nights I have had working over the last couple of months has been The Westgate Leavers Ball at the Botleigh Grange Hotel and Spa in Hedge End Hampshire. In spite of the atrocious weather, rain and strong winds the students still managed to arrive in style. A special mention needs to go to Charlie Damant for standing over me with an umbrella as I dashed to and fro (trying to get in front of the Echo photographer I might add) in an attempt to get a half decent shot of the students in their finery, without getting my kit completely saturated. It must have looked hilarious as we performed a dancing routine of sort from Singin' in the Rain. Thank you Mr. Damant - you star.

I particularly enjoy The Westgate Ball partly because my son goes to the Westgate School in Winchester and I get to see the teachers in a different light as they really get a chance to let their hair down. They are always really game and come up to the studio for posed photographs with and without their ex-students.

What a great bunch of teachers The Westgate has.

I mustn't forget the students themselves, they indeed deserve a special mention. I was so impressed how incredibly polite and considerate they were. Thankfully there was no reluctance on their part when asked to stand up straight, strike a pose or simply smile.

The hour it takes to set up my photography studio and then to take it down and pack away is always worth it. My camera and kit always earns it's money on this night.   

Here's to next year.



]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) hampshire leavers prom photographer prom winchester leavers prom winchester photographer Sat, 26 Aug 2017 20:29:06 GMT
Hampshire Photographer Mum Still on holiday with my family, having time to reflect on the last few months of working mayhem.

Being a photographer is the best job in the world for me, it enables me to fit round my large family and array of animals. Of course everything comes at a price and for me it is working late into the early hours after the meal has been cooked, cleared, homework done (or in our case not done), teenagers dropped off / picked up, only then I can sit down and focus in front of my computer. Love Island - what's that? Every day is different, I relish change, variety (although cliched) is the spice of life. 

Running a business is a challenge in whatever form, even more so when business is not your background. It becomes a huge learning curve. My advice over the last three years would be never to give up and always ask those who with knowledge, advice I gladly give my four children, similar advice passed to me by my hardworking parents. It helps if your work is your passion, giving up now would not be an option- being my own business I have to constantly nurture it, I'm lucky, I love it.


]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) Fri, 04 Aug 2017 10:29:47 GMT
Winchester wedding celebrations head for the trees, Treerunners, Hampshire. It's been a busy couple of months, no time to blog, not much time to sleep either. Now on holiday in Croatia with my family I have time to reflect. One of my favourite jobs that springs to mind is the beautiful wedding party of Karen and David from Winchester, celebrating their marriage with friends and family from all over the world. Treerunners is in Hampshire near Andover set amongst stunning woodland. I arrived as the sun was setting, the hog roast was cooking and guests were already in full party mode. The party area was beautifully decorated in true Karen style - colour all around. As the night progressed and darkness set in the tee-pees changed colour to match the baubles suspended from the ground. Comfy sofas surrounded large pit fires where late in the evening guests sat around chatting, catching up with old friends. At the same time a band kicked off the nights dancing . Some hardy party goers danced until dawn and fell into their tents pitched about 100 metres away. I was long gone by then, already up after a nights sleep to edit my nights work. 

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) ''bride and groom'' winchester and hampshire wedding photographer'' winchester hampshire photographer Fri, 04 Aug 2017 09:42:23 GMT
Meeting up with my wedding clients. Really great meeting up with these lovely two people to give them their pics and discuss albums.

Even better when they make a delicious meal for you. I love my job. Danielle and Rob,I so enjoyed chatting to you both, thank you. 

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) Sun, 21 May 2017 21:38:18 GMT
Bluebells Walking everyday in the woods near our house is a real privilege. There are very few days when I can't get out and walk Lola our dog - it's good for her and for me. Choice; is the beauty of being freelance, I may be up until the small hours editing, working on marketing or emailing clients but I won't care about that when the bluebells start to push up through the mulch and spread their beautiful lilac hue around the woods. Can't wait to capture that wedding couple amongst those stunning bluebells. 

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) Fri, 17 Mar 2017 21:07:43 GMT
Winchester wedding reccy. Lucky to have such a beautiful sunny morning to reccy the venue for a Winchester wedding next weekend. The Great Hall in Winchester is a magnificent aisled hall of the 13th century. It houses one of the greatest symbols of medieval mythology, King Arthur's Round Table.

Lucky to have the whole hall to myself. 

Winchester wedding. The Great Hall.

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) Winchester Hampshire photographer Winchester and Hampshire wedding photographer'', ''bride and groom'' wedding photographer wedding photography Mon, 13 Mar 2017 00:42:07 GMT
Winchester wedding - pre wedding meet Really enjoyable meeting with a lovely couple you are having their wedding in Winchester Registry Office in less than a month.

We chatted over coffee in Eat Drink and Be, one of my favourite coffee shops in Winchester. Looking forward to shooting their wedding with the wonderful backdrop of the Great Hall, The Westgate or even the Cathedral. 

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) Winchester Hampshire wedding photographer Sun, 26 Feb 2017 22:46:31 GMT
Winchester Corporate Photographer - a busy couple of weeks. Really enjoyable couple of weeks. Firstly shooting in clinic for a Southampton consultant for his new website imagery, followed up by shooting him in the operating theatre.  Some interesting shots in theatre, watch this space. Continuing along a medical theme - this week I found myself shooting a speech therapist in action at a local school in Winchester. The children involved in the speech therapy session were mainly from year one, such lovely characters, they became neither distracted nor over excited at being photographed. A credit to their parents, the school and the skill of Talking Outcomes speech therapist Jan Baerselman.   

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) Fri, 10 Feb 2017 23:35:30 GMT
Winchester Wedding Fair at The Guildhall                             What a fabulous venue for a wedding fair - The King Charles Suit at the Winchester Guildhall.

                            Memories came flooding back of my own wedding, the very place we had our reception, a fun 

                            and lively barn dance. 

                            A few of the images I displayed. Chatted to some lovely couples, especially liked the two

                            students who were passing and thought it would be a giggle to crash the party and see what

                            was going free - ha ha - they have only being going out together a short while.                                        




]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) Winchester and Hampshire wedding photographer'', ''bride and groom'' Mon, 06 Feb 2017 22:25:21 GMT
Winchester wedding at the Royal Hotel         

Beautiful, fun and relaxed are my best words to describe the wedding of Martyn and Helen at the Royal Hotel Winchester just before Christmas.

What a wonderful sense of humour this couple have and the love they have for their family and friends and of course themselves was evident the whole day. The weather was pants as it quite often is in December but we manged a quick outdoor shoot before the rain set in. 

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) Winchester Hampshire photographer Winchester Westgate School Leavers Prom wedding photography wedding photography winchester hampshire Sun, 05 Feb 2017 23:52:22 GMT
Winchester Wedding Photographer does corporate Wedding Photographer of Winchester goes corporate.Anchor Maintenance Wedding Photographer of Winchester goes corporate.Anchor Maintenance Great to be back working for the team at Anchor Maintenance again, loved the morning shoot creating a library of images for their marketing team. Very familiar images around their office and on their information brochures from the shoot back in May. Thank you Helena Bissett and  Anchor. 

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) corporate photography wedding photographer Mon, 24 Oct 2016 15:21:59 GMT
Wedding Photographer Winchester, Hampshire Wedding's are one of the highlight's of a couple's life. Being a wedding photographer in Winchester is not only memorable but also a highlight of my working year. Love is definitely all around, not just limited to the happy couple but the guests are always on their best behaviour and smiles are plentiful. 

A huge smile from the bride as she listens to her husbands speech.  Smiles from the guest in spite of the spring chill air - I love it, everyone is happy at a wedding.


]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) wedding photography wedding photography winchester hampshire Sun, 02 Oct 2016 12:49:18 GMT
Hampshire Winchester Wedding meeting  I love the first meeting with the wedding couple, whether it be in their home, the bride's family home, in  a coffee shop or in the case of the meeting on Friday at a school in Winchester. Sitting amongst piles of marking, the pungent odour still noticeable from a hot afternoon of teaching teenagers wherever it maybe the excitement of the wedding couple in this case the future bride is infectious.

The future bride I met on Friday was overflowing with excitement. Bring on the wedding.  


]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) Tue, 20 Sep 2016 12:26:51 GMT
A double wedding A show to rememberWhere is the wedding?

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) Winchester Hampshire photographer school show photography wedding photography Mon, 12 Sep 2016 21:29:37 GMT
A busy summer Summer was kicked off by shooting the beautiful wedding of Natalie and Dean in

the delightful Grade I listed parish church of St. Mary in Headbourne Worthy.

This beautiful church dates back to the 11th century. It was celebrated afterwards at Hotel de Vin in 

Southgate Street. 

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) Winchester Hampshire photographer bridal photography wedding photography Sun, 11 Sep 2016 17:22:12 GMT
Winchester Westgate School Leavers Prom It's been a busy couple of weeks starting off with the much anticipated Westgate Leavers Prom. Non-stop from 4.30 pm the day of the prom until midnight when I finally returned home grabbing only one drink whilst at the Hilton Ageas Bowl Southampton. The students started arriving at 6pm in a variety of vehicles cheered and applauded by their friends and teachers. The girls looked stunning in their amazing dresses and the boys looked smart and sophisticated in a variety of black dinner suits or blue fashion suits. This was my first prom and I would definitely do it again. Next time - a bigger back drop and a picnic supper are needed.

]]> (Sam Gavins Photography) Winchester Westgate School Leavers Prom Thu, 16 Jul 2015 21:46:00 GMT