An 18th birthday portrait
I feel like I’ve really only been a photographer for a short time (in fact 25 years), probably because it is quite transient in the way that work develops, changes and different doors open and close. It’s a constant discovery which I relish and is paramount to remaining fresh and excited about my work.
I’m feeling a little old this week though, I had an enquiry from a young lady I photographed when she was six – to photograph her wedding this summer. “But you’re not old enough to get married..?!” That little girl in bunches who I don’t recall saying a word to me throughout the entire shoot, has flourished into a most beautiful young woman and I’m to photograph her again, hopefully with a little more narrative between us!
In addition, this week bought Evie to the gallery. Having calculated that the last time I took Evie’s portrait was on her family farm, in the summer of around 1999 (1999!) when she was a spindly little toddler, just 3 years. Despite being so long ago, I remember the shoot, the location and what Evie and her brother were wearing vividly – I remember the two of them lying on top of large rolls of straw – those were the days when I took my steps everywhere with me to get some height, had a tendency to shoot in questionable bright sunlight as against back light. And of course, it was all taken on film – maybe I’ll search out the negs to scan and take a look.
So I was delighted that as part of Evie’s 18th birthday, her mum commissioned me to have a couple of hours creating a small portfolio of images – and we had a lot of fun. with brilliant resident makeup artist, Beth Cox, on hand to help Evie shine. Evie is quite naturally beautiful, exudes a kind and soft confidence which translates into her portraits.
Using the Bell Tower as a base, we took some time to use locations in and around the grounds here, some lovely low key light on the staircase, the backdrop of the Blackmore Vale and views over Dorset.
It has got me thinking what a great gift for a young person, something that will be with them forever at a time in their life where they are just venturing into the world as an adult but also can form part of their family heirloom. On my part it was just wonderful to spend some time with Evie, to work with someone who has such natural poise and style.
Happy Birthday Evie! xx