Friday, 27 May 2016

Foto Inspiration Friday - Amazon Prime Music

Welcome to 'Foto Inspiration Friday', the series in which I not only use a rarely used alternate spelling of photo for the sake of alliteration, but I share with you anything and everything I find inspirational, be it a person, an image, a song, a quote, a place, a pizza...ok, maybe not a pizza but you get the point. The focus of this weeks 'Foto Inspiration Friday' is Amazon Prime Music...well, your music streaming service of choice!

Whilst I'm not a fan of the delivery side of their service...I could do a whole series on Amazon Logistics poor service...I have always being a fan of other aspects of Amazon, such as their selection, their Amazon Prime Video service and most recently, the Amazon Prime Music service.

Like a lot of creatives I find music can be a source of inspiration and Amazon Prime Music has a lot to offer, all of which is 'free' to prime members...if you ignore the membership fee to be a Prime member. They have a vast selection, including the modern stuff most of which I don't listen to, the 'alt' stuff I listened to as a teen, show tunes, movie soundtracks, loads of Beatles, Stephen Lynch (very funny man, can be hard to find in the UK, check him out!), classic rock, if you're into getting ridiculed Nickelback, and much much more!

In future posts I'll no doubt get into specific songs I find inspirational, for now I just wanted to share the fact that I find music in general inspirational , and where I listen to it.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Where When How Wednesday - Danny Molyneux

Welcome to 'Where When How Wednesday'. In these weekly posts I'll be interviewing creatives about their journey into the creative world, their works, and what makes them tick. This week I'm interviewing Danny Molyneux a talented photographer based in Manchester.



Hi Danny, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. Let start at, well...the start. When and how did you come about getting into the world of photography?

"For me it started way back in the 1980s when digital only ever applied to watches and all camera required something called "film" to record the images, not an SD card.

At the tender age of 16 I got a Saturday job in the local computer shop, selling games for the Sinclair ZX-Spectrum, the Vic 20, and the Commodore 64. The shop was an annexe from a much larger photographic retailer. Occasionally I would wander in to the camera store and took an interest in the cameras that were on sale there. I was far too poor to be abel to afford any of the cameras on sale there, but would often view them with envious eyes. 

Mum developed an interest in photography, and owned an Olympus OM-10 SLR. Then one day she came to upgrade it to the OM-30, and I inherited the superseded model. I was on my way. This is where I learned about aperture and shutter speed. Film speed, or ASA (ISO to the digital kids) was a choice you made in the shop and were stuck with for 24 or 36 shots and had to be planned in advance. 

I only ever used to take snapshots with the camera. Film and developing and printing were expensive, and so didn't use the camera very much. 

Then of course the advent of digital came along, and reignited my interest. I invested in a Canon 300D, the first affordable DSLR. It broke. A few years later I decided to have another go. I invested in another Canon, the 500D and tried my best to get better."



Photography can have it's share of problems. I personally have a particular problem with self confidence. This confidence issue can and has caused me issues with my photography. Do you find any aspects of photography particularly challenging?...

"I don't think it's a secret to anybody who has interacted with me via social media that I too have my struggles with confidence. I've blogged about some of my confidence issues with respect to photography here, here, here, and mentioned it on Twitter and PurplePort many times. This has certainly been the biggest challenge for me, but I do feel that over the past 12 months I've made continual progress, step-by-step, getting better and better as the weeks have gone by, and made improvements with each photoshoot. 

Issues like this won't be fixed overnight, but improvements can be made and I have done all I can to get better. My photoshoot this weekend with an incredible model, Stephanie Dubois, was incidentally, in the same studio as my first photoshoot almost exactly 12 months before. It was a really good experience for me, not only because Stephanie is a superbly talented model, but it was also good for me to see just how far I have come in the past year and to gauge my own personal improvement. I am better, both as a photographer, and as a more confident person. A happy time for me right now."



In my series 'Foto Inspiration Friday' I share the people, images, places etc that I find give me inspiration. Who, or what, or where do you draw inspiration from?

"From the people around me in this modern virtual world mostly. The photography community on modelling sites like Model Mayhem, Madcow Models, and PurplePort, from photo sharing websites like Flickr, 500px, and Pinterest. I'm friends with many creative people, make-up artists, "art" artists, models, photographers, stylist, on Twitter and Facebook. I read a lot of photography blogs and watch lots of YouTube media relating to photography. The images that I see on my computer screen fill me with inspiration on a daily basis.

I don't have an ego as far as my photography goes. I'm ok, but I'm not one of the best. I'm happy about this. It means I have a lot to learn. I get filled with inspiration and want to become better. I'm enjoying the learning process."


Sometimes images hold a special significance to us. It can be the first image we ever made, if can be an image drawing attention to a cause close to our hearts, it can simply be an image of someone we love. Do you have an image or images that hold a special significance to you?

"Any photograph of Mrs Dan, my truelove."



Photography sometimes leaves you open to scary or funny situations. What's the scariest or funniest situation you've found yourself in because of photography?

"Every time I work with a model I'm usually pretty scared. 

Just kidding. I was initially terrified, but I have to say, hand on heart, that each and every model I've shot with has been an absolute delight and brought something different and unique to each photoshoot. I would encourage anybody who want to improve their photography to work with an experienced and talented model. This is the secret to improvement.

If you want a specific example of something both scary and funny, then I really can't look any further than my very first photoshoot with a wonderful model by the name of Sinopa Rin. I was absolutely terrified in the build up to the photoshoot; no clue what I was doing, no idea what to do, intimidated, scared, nervous, and terrified. Well of course I needn't have worried. Ms Rin was a delightful and charming person, an accomplished, experienced, and of course beautiful model. She held my hand, figuratively speaking, shooed away the nerves, made me laugh so much and so often, and helped me through the day, and she's been helping me ever since. I feel blessed to have made such an ally in the photography world."



We've talked about your start in photography, we talked about your current work, let's quickly chat about the future. What have you got coming up this year, more of the same? any special projects? And in regards to a more long term plan, where are you hoping your creative journey will take you in the years to come?

"No plans other than to get better. I do feel that I have made progress, and am better now than when I started, but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Practical experience has been such a wonderful improvement tool for me, and I shall continue along my path, loving every step of the journey. Onwards and upwards."


We can't really talk photography without discussing gear, so...what is your 'go to' equipment that you find yourself gravitating towards the most on shoots?

"I love portraits, and so find myself preferring a slightly longer than standard focal length. For a photoshoot my two favourite lenses are an 85mm prime, and a 70-200 zoom. On my last photoshoot I used these two lenses exclusively, despite taking 6 different lenses with me. I'll generally use the 85mm open wide when shooting with natural light, and the 70-200 when using strobes. Of course I don;t always stick to this, but this is a general rule of thumb for me.

I like to do a lit of street photography. Occasionally I'll take different lenses with me for this, but once I put my "nifty fifty" 50mm lens on the front it just doesn't come off. A great lens for most occasions.

I've also recently "invested" in a prism. About a fiver from ebay. I've been playing with this a lot recently. Not got many images I've created with it in my portfolio yet, but I love some of the results and I have some images I'm really proud of ready to upload. Watch this space ..."



Now for the shameless self promotion part of the interview...where can people find you and your work?

"People want to see my pictures? Really? Well, of you really want to have a look you can find my work scattered about here:

My blog : http://dannymol.co.uk
PurplePort : http://purpleport.com/portfolio/dannymol
Flickr : http://www.flickr.com/photos/dannymol
Instagram : http://www.instagram.com/dannymolyneux
Twitter : http://twitter.com/computerdan
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/dannymolphotos
Please say hello to me on any of these platforms. Virtual visitors are always most welcome."


I'd like to thank Danny again for taking the time to answer a few questions for me, be sure to check out all of the links for more of his work.

Image subjects & creatives, in order of appearance: Image 01 - Model: Sinopa Rin, Image 02 - Model: Harley Monster MUA: Nina Kurzweil, Image 03 - Models: Lydia Lawton & Lillith Studio: Nyx @ Studio 13, Image 04 - Model: Katarina Marie Mannequin, Image 05 - Model: Bryher Dickson, Image 06 - Model: Mrs Dan.


Ian
http://facebook.com/guffoggthegeek
http://twitter.com/guffoggthegeek

Friday, 20 May 2016

Foto Inspiration Friday - Digital Rev

Welcome to 'Foto Inspiration Friday', the series in which I not only use a rarely used alternate spelling of photo for the sake of alliteration, but I share with you anything and everything I find inspirational, be it a person, an image, a song, a quote, a place, a pizza...ok, maybe not a pizza but you get the point. The focus of this weeks 'Foto Inspiration Friday' is Digital Rev.

Whilst not strictly your 'normal' source for fueling inspiration as such, Digital Rev certainly fuels your GAS. I should probably point out, for the uninitiated, when I say GAS I don't mean the reason people leave the room after you've eaten Mexican, I mean Gear Acquisition Syndrome. The majority of Digital Rev's content is gear reviews and comparisons, with them testing out a plethora of gear from all over the price spectrum...from your plastic fantastic £100 nifty 50 to the 100mp £38439 Phase One Alpa.

As well as the gear reviews they do various challenges, when the bloody producer decides to give them one...they need to do more challenges, they're very amusing. As well as the challenges for Kai and the gang, they also run a series called 'Pro Tog Cheap Camera Challenge' which does exactly what it says on the tin.

If you're looking to buy gear and want to see reviews before you do, or you just want to see what's out there I highly recommend Digital Rev. They offer a lot of useful information and decent reviews all wrapped in comedy and ineptness...a perfect delivery system for information if you're like me!


Ian
http://facebook.com/guffoggthegeek
http://twitter.com/guffoggthegeek

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Where When How Wednesday - Starglider Photography

Welcome to 'Where When How Wednesday'. In these weekly posts I'll be interviewing creatives about their journey into the creative world, their works, and what makes them tick. This week I'm interviewing Stu of Starglider Photography based in Maidstone, Kent.



Hi Stu, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. We should probably start at the beginning, when and how did you come about getting into the world of photography?

"Wow! Okay, so for 16 years I was an actor. No, I'm not kidding either! I didn't make it big, but for a time I did do enough to live off of it. I am also a huge film lover too, and towards the end of my acting career I was basically mucking about with my acting friends, making short videos. It would usually end up me directing the shorts and it was that along with my love of film that I thought about film school.

So I looked into that, and quickly realised that there was no way I could afford to go to film school. So I looked at photography instead. Similar principles except that one was moving image and the other was stills. I had a very small interest in photography in the past but it wasn't until I actually started that I got totally hooked."


Photography can have it's share of problems. I personally have a particular problem with self confidence. This confidence issue can and has caused me issues with my photography. Do you find any aspects of photography particularly challenging?

"For me it's purely transport and time. That is the one thing that is holding me back now. I don't drive and even if I could where I live doesn't have car parking space. If I had a car or more time away from the day job to try out other things I know my abilities and quality of work would greatly increase. It's something I am working on though!

Confidence can be troubling and I have seen its effects on both models and photographers but for me my acting past has essentially eliminated any sense of embarrassment or worry about trying stuff. But really all I can say to those people is do it. Don't overthink anything. If you have an idea and you have someone to help you create that then go for it. Even if it fails, you will learn a lot from that failure which in turn makes you a better person."



In my series 'Foto Inspiration Friday' I share the people, images, places etc that I find give me inspiration. Who, or what, or where do you draw inspiration from?

"If I had to draw from one place more than anything it would be films. Quite literally as I write this I am watching the Paul Hogan film Crocodile Dundee, and it is rich in some very interesting fashion styles that has piqued my interest.

Other times it can be random. I do try not to be too influenced by anyone really, and I have no idea of the names of the big names in the industry except for David Bailey and Terry Richardson (the latter I personally think isn't that good really from what I've seen). Sometimes I can wake up in the morning and think of an idea."



Sometimes images hold a special significance to us. It can be the first image we ever made, it can be an image drawing attention to a cause close to our hearts, it can simply be an image of someone we love. Do you have an image or images that hold a special significance to you?

"Probably the one image that has a special significance for me is my Spiral Staircase shot. It was a rare time where I had a specific location, plan and model and everything just worked. It's not the most technically tricky shot I have done, nor was it physically the hardest shot to do, but it just 'worked'. Everything about it was just perfect for me, and on portfolio sites it is by far my most popular shot."


Photography sometimes leaves you open to scary or funny situations. What's the scariest or funniest situation you've found yourself in because of photography/modelling?

"The moment I read this question I knew exactly what story I needed to tell. So I had wanted to do an urban nude street shoot. I loved the idea of a nude model wandering the empty streets of a usually busy town centre. I had it all planned out, model sorted, time, places and day. Sunday morning in early September, starting around 6.30am. From my research that was going to be the quietest time to do it with still good light.

So there we were; me, the model and an assistant I had with me on one part of the location. There had been the very rare person wandering by - usually a weary clubber who was hungover and making their way home, head down and quiet, almost embarrassed - but on the whole all was well. The model was a trooper and didn't care. I even had to tell her to stop posing when someone walks by.

So as she's stark naked posing away, an elderly gentleman entered the area we were at, war medals on his chest, dressed smartly, making his way to what I can only surmise would be church (or some other important function). Of all the people who would kick up a fuss I would've bet a million pounds it would be him.

We all stopped dead, waiting for the inevitable and as the old man was about to turn a corner and leave our location he stopped and turned. 'This is it' I thought. He opened his mouth and said,

"Can I get a 6x4 of that?".

We couldn't breathe from the laughter for a bit."



We've talked about your start in photography/modelling, we talked about your current work, let's quickly chat about the future. What have you got coming up this year, more of the same? any special projects? And in regards to a more long term plan, where are you hoping your creative journey will take you in the years to come?

"I do have a few ideas rolling around in my head at the moment. A couple of darker, more macabre shots. I call those mini-projects though as they are essentially one setup and can be done fairly quickly. As I said earlier transport is the main issue, but I have been wanting to go further afield and do more location stuff. I have bookmarked on my PC all the travel companies for that!

But the main thing I'm looking at is going back to my first love - film. Now that DSLR cameras are very good at extremely high quality video I am wanting to get back to making shorts. I have done a couple of early test videos which came out well and I have other ideas in the pipeline."



We can't really talk photography without discussing gear, so...what is your 'go to' equipment that you find yourself gravitating towards the most on shoots?

"Haha, I have such basic stuff it's scary! Okay so I have just the one camera - my Nikon D3200. It's such a nice easy camera to use and quite light too. I have the stock 18-55mm lens which I have to say does a pretty damned good job a lot of the time! I also possess the AF-S 35mm 1.8 lens too, which I whip out when doing more portrait work.

When I first started back in around 2006 I bought the Portaflash VM336 lighting kit from Jessops. And in January of this year (2016) I replaced them with the Lencarta Smartflash 2 studio kit, which I am extremely impressed with. For anyone who is starting out and wants a good deal, I highly recommend the Lencartas.

But yes, that means that for nearly 10 years I had been making do with a studio lighting kit that was so simple. The flash recycle times you measured in seconds and it had three settings, low medium and high. And that was it! But it only goes to show that as long as you work hard and know how to use lights properly you can get a lot of use out of them!"



Now for the shameless self promotion part of the interview...where can people find you and your work?

"http://purpleport.com/portfolio/starglider
http://www.instagram.com/stargliderphotos
http://twitter.com/stargliderphoto
http://www.facebook.com/stargliderphotography"


I'd like to thank Stu again for taking the time to answer a few questions for me, be sure to check out all of the links for more of his work.

Models in images, in order of appearance: Jenny Bee, Leanne Leawood, Nicole Hadley, Sammi Jo, Anna Rose, Marilyn D.


Ian
http://facebook.com/guffoggthegeek
http://twitter.com/guffoggthegeek

Friday, 13 May 2016

Foto Inspiration Friday - Back Next Week

Just a quick post to say this week there shall be no 'Foto Inspiration Friday'. This Saturday is my birthday so I'm having Friday off too to make a long weekend of it...

Normal service should resume next week!


Ian

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Where When How Wednesday - Rara Goes Roar

Welcome to 'Where When How Wednesday'. In these weekly posts I'll be interviewing creatives about their journey into the creative world, their works, and what makes them tick. This week I'm interviewing Rara Goes Roar, a talented model based in Plymouth.



Thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. We should probably start at the beginning...when and how did you come about getting into the world of modelling?

"I got into this by pure accident as I started all this on the other side of the camera. I was doing my A-Level in Media and Photography and part of the assignment was to take photos for a magazine cover and I required a model. I was willing to pay them so that I could get the best images but when they turned up, they just wouldn't do what I asked, which was do a nice smile down the camera and a couple fashion shots. So I instead set up the camera and lights and took photos of myself. The photo's weren't terrible and as a joke, I posted the images on a Facebook group, not expecting much to come out of it. Instead, I woke up to 100+ friend requests, messages and notifications from people wanting to shoot. I did a few TF shoots (all images I hope never see the light of day) until I started shooting with some amazingly talented people. That's how I got hooked and took it more seriously."



Photography, modelling and their related skills, as with most things, can have their share of problems. I personally have a particular problem with self confidence. This confidence issue can and has caused me issues with my photography. Do you find any aspects of modelling particularly challenging?

"I think what has been most challenging out of modelling was getting ill with Septicaemia last year, where it took over my face. I managed to somehow still get shoots but I didn't look good and I ended up getting some serious abuse from those in the industry, some who made such thoughtless comments. I now have to deal with the scars which are very much fading, but it knocked my confidence."



Most things, especially online, tend to fall into specific genres and/or gets described as being a specific style. The trouble with this is it's quite subjective, the style someone views an something to be can often differ to the style the person creating it views it as. How would you describe the work you are putting out there?

"I think my work is quite unique in its style. I am not one thing or another and that is what I love about it. I have tattoos which would come under alternative, but then I have a "cute" face which isn't alternative. I like to mix things up a bit, so do some bridal boudoir sets with a  storm trooper mask. Its all fun for me as long as I get to have a giggle along the way!"



In my series 'Foto Inspiration Friday' I share the people, images, places etc that I find give me inspiration. Who, or what, or where do you draw inspiration from?

"I don't know how I get inspiration because I always just think of things. Its a really odd concept I guess but because I have a really creative mind (unfortunately I just can't draw), I tend to just write down ideas as soon as I think of them and come back in a weeks or so time and see if I like them again. Because it is summer though, I am really getting ideas of the whole "summer boho" look, so all hippy and gypsy with henna and beach hair. I would love to do some images like that this year!"


Sometimes images hold a special significance to us. It can be the first image we ever made, it can be an image drawing attention to a cause close to our hearts, it can simply be an image of someone we love. Do you have an image or images that hold a special significance to you?



"This photo means the most to me, taken recently by the wonderful Madliz (Liz Coles). This is a photo of myself and my partner. I have always wanted us to do a shoot together and I was so surprised when he said yes. This photo reminds me every day that no matter how bad or upsetting things get, he is always by my side to hold me and make me feel better."


Photoshoots can sometimes leave you open to scary or funny situations. What's the scariest or funniest situation you've found yourself in on a shoot?

"Oh I have had some really scary times on shoots as well as funny. I guess I have had a very creepy shoot when I was shooting on the outskirts on London where we were in a abandoned factory. Now I freaking hate huge buildings like this as you have no idea who is around and in here, we could hear chanting, like people genuinely chanting something. I was on my own for five minutes and literally hated it because I had no idea who was around! I have also shot around an abandoned asylum and things there got creepy too!"



We've talked about your start, we've talked about your current work, let's quickly chat about the future. What have you got coming up this year, more of the same? any special projects? And in regards to a more long term plan, where are you hoping your creative journey will take you in the years to come?

"Oh I am planning on touring a lot this year as its my last proper year modelling before I start my degree. I am also hoping to get into the final of British Beauty for the Great British Tattoo Convention in London. I am doing my first tattoo show as well with my sponsors Cap'n Jacks Tattoo Shack. I am also doing a few make up courses to try and get better at doing make up. I would love to do a few beach shoots this year to unleash my inner hippy! Long term wise, oh I like to see where this whole thing takes me. I don't plan things like that but I want to enjoy this journey as much as I can!"



When I speak to photographers I ask about their gear, it's only fair you get to geek out too...do you have any go to items you can't live without?

"Oh that is easy- lingerie! I am an absolute sucker for good lingerie and must buy 5 new sets at least every month. I was lucky to have been given an Agent Provocateur set on a shoot and it was the most stunning set going."


Now for the shameless self promotion part of the interview...where can people find you and your work?

"I am currently everywhere so here are the links instead-
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/raragoesroar
Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/rara_goes_roar_model
Twitter- https://twitter.com/RoarRara
YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgJz38JhuyCxqIrBsbY5j0w
WordPress- https://raragoesroarmodel.wordpress.com
Purpleport- http://purpleport.com/portfolio/raragoesroar"


I'd like to thank Rara again for taking the time to answer a few questions for me, be sure to check out all of the links for more of her work.

All images used with photographers permission. Creatives involved, in order of appearance: (Image 1 & 2) Photographer - Ayad Al-Adnani, (Image 3 & 4) Photographer - Liz Cole MUA - Tracey Graham, (Image 5) Photographer - Liz Cole, (Image 6 & 7) Photographer - Ed Choo.


Ian
http://facebook.com/guffoggthegeek
http://twitter.com/guffoggthegeek

Friday, 6 May 2016

Foto Inspiration Friday - Star Wars

Welcome to ' Foto Inspiration Friday', the series in which I not only use a rarely used alternate spelling of photo for the sake of alliteration, but I share with you anything and everything I find inspirational, be it a person, an image, a song, a quote, a place, a pizza...ok, maybe not a pizza but you get the point. The focus of this weeks 'Foto Inspiration Friday' is...come on, I'm a geek and it was Star Wars day Wednesday, is it that hard to figure out? It's Jar Jar...I'm sorry, I was trying to be funny but try as I might I couldn't bring myself to say it!

I'd like to point out, I find the proper three (episodes 4-6) an inspiration, not the god awful prequel trilogy. Also, it's the original release, not the umpteen re-edits Lucas has spewed out over the years with bad cgi, and the highly offensive switching of Sebastian Shaw for Hayden Christensen in the end scenes of Jedi.

Star Wars I suppose is more than an inspiration, it's kinda the reason I am a photographer today. Watching Star Wars was the first time I ever contemplated the notion that I would love to work in the creative industries. Admittedly at the time it was probably not photography, I loved drawing as a kid, but at the end of the day it's what sent me down the path that resulted in where I am today. Watching it was the first time it dawned on me that you could think an idea, or world, or creature, and make it reality...there's something insanely awesome about that!

I tried writing this post a few times, hence it going up later than my 'norm', and it always ended up obnoxiously long, gushy, and a little tossy. For that reason I am simply going to leave it at this...and tell you to go watch A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Where When How Wednesday - Anna Baldwin

Welcome to 'Where When How Wednesday'. In these weekly posts I'll be interviewing creatives about their journey into the creative world, their works, and what makes them tick. This week I'm interviewing Anna Baldwin, an incredibly talented make-up artist based in Bridgend, Bridgend County, Wales.



Hi Anna, thank you for taking the time to answer some questions. We should probably start at the beginning...when and how did you come about getting into photographic make-up?

"I never originally set out to have a career in makeup. I grew up with ambition to be a fashion designer.
After studying for a degree in fashion design and working in the fashion industry for a few years I later went on to do teacher training, teaching art and textiles at secondary school level but after I gave birth to my son in 2011, I decided I needed a career which allowed me to be flexible with my working hours whilst still being able to use my creative flair.
I had always been a keen makeup enthusiast and often my friends and family would ask me to do their makeup for them too which I enjoyed so it made sense for me to train as a makeup artist.
I went on to train at The London School of Makeup and from there started to work on photoshoots with my sister who is a photographer."



Photography and it's related skills, as with most things, can have it's share of problems. I personally have a particular problem with self confidence. This confidence issue can and has caused me issues with my photography. Do you find any aspects of your craft particularly challenging?

"Confidence for me is also an issue. I find people compare themselves to others too much. But I think it's important to remember that we are learning all the time....no one is perfect not even the pros! Trends change, new products come out so we constantly have to update ourselves with the industry. Everything is a learning curve, but you can only get better with practice and experience."



Most things, especially online, tend to fall into specific genres and/or gets described as being a specific style. The trouble with this is it's quite subjective, the style someone views an something to be can often differ to the style the person creating it views it as. How would you describe the work you are putting out there?

"I like to think that my work has a distinct style. I have been known for my use of colour and many people book me for this particular aspect of my work. 
I love anything that's colourful, sparkly or embellished. I often like to mix my eye shadows and pigments just as an artist would mix their paints to create new colours or simply to see how one colour would blend with another. 
We know that colour stimulates our brain. When we view a piece of art, we take it in through the colours we see because they invoke within us certain emotions, making the claim that everyone sees it differently a reality.
To me makeup is not just about making a woman look beautiful but about creating a work of art. The face is my canvas. That is the reason why I chose to specialise in photographic makeup as opposed to commercial makeup artistry."


In my series 'Foto Inspiration Friday' I share the people, images, places etc that I find give me inspiration. Who, or what, or where do you draw inspiration from?

"As I work full time as a makeup artist I'm constantly researching and finding inspiration for new projects so to keep my work fresh.
Most of my inspiration comes from my love of art, nature, travel and fashion; often taking inspiration from the catwalk.
I love following the work of other makeup artists too such as Alex Box, Val Garland and Pat McGrath. If I ever became half as talented and successful as these artists I would die a happy woman!"



Sometimes images hold a special significance to us. It can be the first image we ever made, it can be an image drawing attention to a cause close to our hearts, it can simply be an image of someone we love. Do you have an image or images that hold a special significance to you?

"I have many images that are quite special to me, especially photographs of my son who inspires me everyday to be better.
But if I had to pick an image related to my work, it's probably an image from the first time I worked backstage at London Fashion Week. I had spent many years in university tearing out pictures from Vogue of the catwalk shows for my work, but when you eventually see your own work featured on the catwalk the feeling is just amazing, even though it's just the makeup that's mine and not the outfits it's still equally a very proud moment."


Photoshoots can sometimes leave you open to scary or funny situations. What's the scariest or funniest situation you've found yourself in on a shoot?

"One of the first photoshoots I ever done on purpleport was a location shoot on a beach. So as it was nice sunny day and the middle of summer I thought I would wear my sandals. We did the shoot and on the way back we walked up this pebbled cliff to get to the car. As we were walking up I caught the strap of my shoe and it snapped off. So I had to walk all the way to the top with one shoe on!! When we got to the car, the model kindly let me borrow a pair of her shoes. For the remainder of the shoot I had a pair of size 7 shoes on my tiny size 3 feet...I did look quite ridiculous and the photographer and model both found it hilarious. 
Then to make make matters worse a few weeks later I had another shoot with the same photographer. Again I had a different pair of sandals on. Just as I went to step off the train, some idiot stood on the back of my shoe and when I lifted my foot up I snapped the ankle strap!! I had to turn up to the photographers house with one shoe on!! I don't think he quite believed it when he saw me with my one shoe on again. So every time we shoot together now it's become a bit of a joke, he always says...have you got sensible footwear on today?...oohh look you have two shoes!!"



We've talked about your start, we've talked about your current work, let's quickly chat about the future. What have you got coming up this year, more of the same? any special projects? And in regards to a more long term plan, where are you hoping your creative journey will take you in the years to come?

"I'm trying to focus this year by ticking off all the models and photographers on my bucket list. In May I'm going up North for a few days to work and then June I'm working with some photographers down South. So I have some awesome shoots lined up with some amazing photographers and models over the next few months that I'm so excited to share.
I'm also continually working back and forth in London too, so much so that I've been looking at property in London with the prospect of moving there this year, well that's the plan anyway if not this year then sometime in the new year.
My career focus this year is to continue to work on my portfolio to a high standard so that hopefully one day I can get signed by an agency and go under PR management, so that I have the opportunity to work on some amazing projects and get the chance to do some celebrity work too."



When I speak to photographers I ask about their gear, it's only fair you get to geek out too...what's your go to products/brands you can't live without?

"There's a few items in my kit I can't live without, this includes MAC Fix+ spray, strobe cream and cream colour base as a highlighter, Illamasqua's hydra veil primer and gel sculpt contour stick and my Nars bronzer in the shade Laguna and Nars blusher in the shade orgasm. These are my go to items for a flawless complexion."


Now for the shameless self promotion part of the interview...where can people find you and your work?

"PurplePort: http://purpleport.com/portfolio/makeupbyanna
Model Mayhem: http://modelmayhem.com/3711522
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/anna_baldwin_mua"


I'd like to thank Anna again for taking the time to answer a few questions for me, be sure to check out all of the links for more of her work.

Images used with the permission of the photographers. Links to creatives involved, in order of appearance: Photographer: Jake Hicks Model: Sinopa Rin, Photographer: Laura Jane Model: Arabella, Photographer: Laura Jane Model: Scarlett Fox, Photographer: Laura Jane Model: Heather May Corvid, Photographer: Regardez-Moi Model: Jaimee Rae, Photographer: Laura Jane Model: Alisa Rae.


Ian
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