A quick look back before a big launch forward…

This week has been all about setting new goals for Ross Willsher Photography and thinking about all the exciting shoots I have coming up over the next 12 months. However, with the festive season arriving and departing – as ever – in such a blur, I haven’t had a proper chance to reflect on my successful first year as a professional photographer. Therefore, I think I can afford a quick look back at some my photographic highlights from 2016 before turning my attention to new challenges and successes that lie ahead.

I am lucky enough to shoot both commercial photography (headshots, food, products & events) as well as wedding and family photography, so my workload is diverse and I get to meet a wide range of interesting people as a result. That also means whittling down my favourite images was pretty hard to do. Therefore, I have chosen my favourite shot from each genre of photography I had the pleasure of shooting. I hope you enjoy this (extremely brief) overview of what I do. If you are looking for professional photography – be it to capture personal memories or to market you business – please do get in touch. I pride myself on taking images that reflect the individuality of my clients.

Website Shot

Working with the friendly professionals at Limeberry Catering was one of my highlights of 2016. The team are dedicated to delivering high quality service & produce and in doing so they make my job very easy. They also put an equal amount of work into their premises to ensure that each of their venues have the perfect atmosphere for an exquisite dining or drinking experience. I love the vibe at Bottle Bureau in Chelmsford – its dark walls and dimly-lit tables (along with a fresh and funky drinks menu) make this a must-visit bar. The team are also responsible for The New London and The Ship Inn – both of which I have had the pleasure of photographing and can recommend just as heartily.

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Wedding Shot

As wonderful as they always are, weddings can be chaotic and crazy occasions. The planning alone can be extensive and exhausting and the day can be over in the blink of an eye. My job is to not only capture all the wonderful and magical memories of the day but  to create images that serve as a reminder of what the occasion is really all about. The very essence of every wedding day is simply two people in love. I think that this photo sums it up perfectly.

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Headshot

Ah headshots…suited and booted, crossed arms and bright white background time eh? Well…probably not if you’ve booked me! I like to do most of my headshots outdoors when possible – not only does it provide more interesting and vibrant backdrops, it also helps my clients to relax and forget their emails and Outlook calendars for a short time. I feel strongly that your headshot should reflect not only your brand but also your personality. Jeannie from Real Revolution Healing is a yoga instructor who likes to offer her clients an escape from hectic city life during her workshops and classes. To reflect this, we shot her portraits in the countryside as the evening sun was golden and this was the result. I love how the light, the colours and Jeannie’s expression all work together to bring a sense of warmth to the photo.

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Food Image

I love food photography. It’s something I definitely want to do more of in 2017. Colours, textures, shapes; food photography offers it all. However, photographing food can be a lot more challenging than people think – you have to ensure the images make the food look appetising and fresh; with enough shadow to create depth and texture but not too much that the lighting is too harsh. Obviously the colours are the first thing that hits you about this image but I also love how the composition isn’t overly perfect. Some of the spices have overlapped into each other giving a sense of movement and culinary creativity.

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Family Portrait

Before I became a photographer, I spent 10 years working with children with special educational needs. I’m so happy that as a photographer I still get to work with children and young families as they can be the most rewarding shoots of all. Again, I like to do these shoots outdoors as it helps everyone to relax and results in a set of images which tell much more of a story. Often we will take a walk around a venue and stop at various locations to take a range of group and individual photos. I think forced smiles on perfectly behaved children make boring images! Muddy hands, cheeky grins and the odd strop make far better memories in my opinion. This image sums up my approach to family portraits – beautiful locations, natural smiles and moments that can be treasured on living room walls for years to come.

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Street Image

Street Photography is simply “people-watching” with a camera. I love trips to the city to capture entertaining images of the everyday things people do. In the image below noone is screaming or shouting, there’s no romantic moment or comical character. However, I just love the moment-in-time captured and the questions one could ask on viewing it. What is the lady so engrossed in? Where have they been to and where are they going? Of course, we will never know..but it won’t stop us speculating!

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Event Capture

Events can be great fun to photograph – in 2016 I photographed concerts, Hollywood-themed balls and even a Santa’s Grotto. However, one of my favourite images from last year was this shot from the Peterborough Memory Walk in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society. I take a similar approach to weddings and event photography – letting much of the action unfold organically and capturing natural moments as they happen. My event photography is all about ensuring the shots capture the magic of the day so the they can be used to promote future events for businesses and charities. This shot highlights how much fun you can have raising money for a great cause.

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These are just some of my highlights of 2016 and you can see more of my work on my websites below.

Weddings and Portraits – www.rosswillsherphotography.co.uk

Commercial – www.rosswillshercommercialphotography.co.uk

Thank you for reading. Click here to contact me if you would like to know more about how I could help you capture memories or promote your business in 2017. Who knows – maybe you will feature in my “Best of 2017” blog.

I hope you have a fantastic 2017 and I look forward to working with you soon.

Ross

Ross Willsher is a social (weddings and portraits) and commercial photographer based in Chelmsford and covering Essex and London who is passionate about creating images as individual as you are.  His work can be viewed at www.rosswillsherphotography.co.uk / www.rosswillshercommercialphotography.co.uk 

facebook.com/rosswillsherphotography | @RWIllsherPhoto | instagram.com/rosswillsherphotography

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A quick look back before a big launch forward…

Meet The Flower Arranger – positive vibes & incredible designs.

In the second post in my blog series on exciting Essex businesses, I chat to Sapphire Bates AKA The Flower Arranger about inspiration, creativity and seizing the moment.

Sapphire’s creativity and unique sense of style and fun was evident as soon as I stepped into her Colchester-based studio to photograph her at work. Surrounded by a multitude of motivational quotes and sayings, I snapped away as Sapphire worked her magic. Over the course of the morning, I witnessed the transformation of a freshly delivered array of flowers into a set of stunning floral arrangements that no doubt dazzled all of the bride’s guests at the following day’s wedding ceremony.

I was intrigued to find out a little more about the girl known simply as The Flower Arranger…

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Tell me a little bit about your floristry background and how you became The Flower Arranger:

I ended up in floristry very randomly, I definitely had no idea that this would end being my career path. After finishing a fashion and business course in London I had ruled out fashion but was certain I needed a job that was creative. I decided to do some work experience with a friend of a friend who ran a wedding florist. I ended up spending several years at Lily and May in Brentwood where I became a qualified florist and learnt pretty much everything I now know.

I then took time out from working to travel some of the world, whilst sat on a beach in Thailand thinking about what job I was going to go back too and how I would pay my bills. I just thought why work for someone else why not just start up on my own? …and here I am today with The Flower Arranger.

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I notice that your studio is beautifully adorned with quotes of positivity and inspiration – is their a particular quote that sums up your personality and approach to what you do? 

That is such a hard question. I think positivity is so important, you have to believe in what you do in order to make it work. If I had to choose a quote to sum up my life personally I’d probably say ‘life is short’ because it so is! I have it tattooed on my arm as a daily reminder to take risks and take every opportunity be it a new personal adventure or business related.

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Your creations are stunning – would you describe your designs as having a certain style and if so, what would you define this as?

I think I definitely have my own style of flower arranging however I’m not sure exactly how you’d sum it up. All of my work features a lot of texture and colour. I love playing with shapes and mixing things up, breaking the rules of floristry a little to make something truly unique.

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What are the current trends in wedding flowers and do you seek to embrace or differentiate from these ever-changing styles and looks?

There a few different trends that are currently populating wedding flowers – roses in a soft nude and pale pink tones is one of them. I think a ‘wild’ and natural look is also very in right now, brides are being very creative and bold with their wedding flowers which is amazing, your wedding day should be unique to you!

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Tell me a little about how you work with brides to design their wedding flower packages. How do you ensure a balance between meeting their set brief and maintaining your own creative ideas and input? 

I meet with all of my brides in person at our studio in Essex to sit with them and look through our portfolio and have a browse on Pinterest. I think it’s really important to work closely with my clients to ensure they are really involved in designing and creating the flowers for their day.

My amount of input with creative ideas completely depends on each couple that I meet some have all their ideas already and just need me to help make them real and others have absolutely know idea what they are after and I then help to come up with designs that fit with the feel of their day.

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What advice would you give to couples who are choosing their wedding flowers?

Research before you meet with you florist, have a look at different florists on instagram and Pinterest to get an idea of the kinds of flowers and styles that stand out to you. Always work with a florist who’s work you love and who is happy to help you figure out what you are after because it can be hard to choose your wedding flowers if you don’t know anything about flowers.

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If you are as impressed with Sapphire’s creations as I am, do check out her website at www.theflowerarranger.co.uk. You can also keep up to date with The Flower Arranger by following her on Social Media;

www.facebook.com/theflowerarranager | @TFA_Sapphire | instagram.com/theflowerarranger

Thank you for reading. See you next month.

Ross Willsher is a social (weddings and portraits) and commercial photographer based in Essex who is passionate about creating images as individual as you are.  His work can be viewed at www.rosswillsherphotography.co.uk / www.rosswillshercommercialphotography.co.uk 

facebook.com/rosswillsherphotography | @RWIllsherPhoto | instagram.com/rosswillsherphotography

 

Meet The Flower Arranger – positive vibes & incredible designs.

Who? What? Why?

 

A little bit about who I am, what I do and why I do it…

Hello and welcome to my new blog. Having set up Ross Willsher Photography earlier in the year, I have been extremely busy with a whole range of shoots and projects in recent months and so I thought that the best way to keep everyone updated on my goings on would be to start this blog.

In future posts I’m looking forward to sharing images from recent shoots and photography sessions (both professional and personal) as well as providing useful tips and tricks to help you to take better photos whether you are in front of or behind the camera.

However for this first post, I thought I would keep it simple and talk a little bit about myself, my background, the types of photography that I specialise in and why I love being a photographer.

Some of you may know me from a lifestyle family portrait or wedding shoot, whilst others of you may know me from my commercial photography such as headshots or event coverage. There may also be one or two of you who enjoy following my personal street photography portfolio. So below you will find a brief biography and some examples of the range of photographic services and skills that I love working on, as well as details on how you can contact me if you wish to find out more.

Based in Chelmsford, I work across Essex and in London as a social (weddings and portraits) and commercial photographer. In July this year I completed three years of studying for my City & Guilds in Photo Imaging at Morley College in London. During this time I completed 5 projects with Distinction and developed my skills in lighting, composition, posing people and most importantly, using photography t0 tell a story.

In my pre-photography life I worked with children with special educational needs and across the health, social care and charity sector and I love the fact that photography allows me to continue to meet a diverse range of individuals. People skills are an integral part of my job (no one likes a rude photographer!) and so my experience in working with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures comes in really handy no matter which type of photography I am working on. In the relatively short time since starting my business I have already met some fantastic people and captured some incredible moments. It has been hard work selecting my highlights from this year but after much debate I have finally selected my favourite…

Wedding moment

I enjoy posing people and making sure that every important guest is captured looking their best on the special day. However, anticipating and capturing a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it-moment” feels so rewarding and this image sums up the feel-good vibe of Kat’s Wedding at Preston Priory Barn.

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Portrait shot

It was a cold freezing winter morning at Hylands Park on the day of this shoot but Sally, her sister Erin and mum Clare braved the elements and were fantastic in front of the camera. I love the beautiful backlight in this shot as it creates a golden magical glow and with Sally’s photogenic features everything adds up to a really stunning photo. I think Sally’s smile here was helped by the prospect of a warm drink and a tasty treat in the cafe that was promised straight after the session!

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Headshot 

The name’s…West…Peter West. Opera singer Pete channeled his inner Bond for this stylish headshot session which resulted in some really classy promo shots for use in concert programmes and event brochures. Headshots are all about capturing a particular element of your personality and I enjoy helping people to relax in front of the camera and bringing out the unique side of you that you want the world to see.

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Event photograph

Photographing concerts and events is not without it’s challenges – the lighting can be quite dark and you sometimes only have one chance to capture the critical moment in a scene or presentation. You also ahve to make quick decisions about what to include in the shot and what to leave out.  In this shot it would have been easy to zoom in on the central character and focus on her pained expression. However, the inclusion of the other two performers adds balance and context to the shot and tells much more of a story.

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Street scene

Street photography is all about anticipating, seeing and reacting to what is happening around you. It’s about finding emotion, expression and / or humour in everyday life. I took this shot in New York during a recent holiday. Having spotted the poster and the two gentlemen underneath, I waited for the gestures of these men to mirror the sentiment of the quote before pressing the shutter. For me, street photography is a hobby but it also develops my skill in reacting quickly to events unfolding around me – an essential skill for all of my professional projects.

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Action shot

Hailing from the Cotswolds, I’m a bit of a country boy at heart and I’m a big fan of equestrian sports (spectating only – my riding days are firmly behind me). I took this shot at Chelmsford City Racecourse in March and I love the colour and the sense of motion evoked by the kicked-up dirt.

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Product shot

Product shots are a little like headshots in that it’s all about finding the lighting and composition that compliments the product and shows it off to it’s fullest. Here, the shot was all about colour and I used natural light coming in from a nearby window to bring out these colours and make the fruit pop out from the dark background.

New Website (17 of 29)

So you now know exactly what I do and the style in which I like to do it. If you would like to find out more about me or there is anything in particular you would like me to blog about in future, please do get in touch.

You can email info@rosswillsherphotography.co.uk, call 07590 520 539 or fill out my contact form online. I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading – have a great week.

Ross

http://www.rosswillsherphotography.co.uk

http://www.rosswillshercommercialphotography.co.uk

http://www.facebook.com/rosswillsherphotography

@RWillsherPhoto

Who? What? Why?