Eric Lanlard

Cake-boy Eric Lanlard

Time & Leisure magazine offices were buzzing with excitement when French patisserie TV chef Eric Lanlard arrived laden with boxes of the most exquisite cakes for our October front cover shoot. We are all massive fans of Eric Lanlard who was the star of the show at Time & Leisure’s Food & Drink Awards earlier in the week. He is in high demand and this week he also appeared on This Morning, the day the Queen held the longest reign. Being a TV chef isn’t just about Royal TV appearances and P&O cruises, Eric Lanlard told us he’d been working in the kitchen from 5am but he remained utterly charming throughout the shoot. Our Prince of Puddings left us with the most difficult decision to make, not which image to choose for the cover which is a tricky one, but which one of the most delicious cakes I ever seen to eat first, the team finished the cakes in about 3 seconds.

Pure Family photo shoot

The best thing about photo shoots at home is that your family can simply relax and play, and allow the spontaneous nature of your young family to shine through.

Using the setting of your own home, babies are comfortable and safe, and young children relax as they can be themselves. As a photographer, my job is to help you feel relaxed and enjoy yourselves. I often start by building trust with the children so they get used to my camera, whilst looking for opportunities to be creative, working with the personalities of your children and the things they like to do. Although many of us feel uncomfortable in front of the camera, the nature of the shoot means we often have some fun!

If you have an idea of what you’d most like to capture, we can work out what you want before we start; the intimacy of family cuddles, a series of fun and games, a more formal family portrait, or perhaps a series of other photos you’ve seen.

After the shoot I’ll send you a selection of images from which you can choose your top 10 images. You’ll then receive a set of high quality digital photos on a presentation cd that you can print or turn into a photo book. They are yours to use as you wish, and as many times as you’d like.

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Photoshoot: The Rivers family, 2013

Price £249
Includes a 2 hour photo shoot in your own home, 10 high resolution images (size 10″x8″) on a presentation cd

Many of the families I work with are in South West London, Wimbledon, Putney, Wandsworth, Kingston, Surrey, Clapham & Fulham. And in North London in Islington and Clerkenwell. Find out what they had to say after their photo shoot – read their testimonials.

Book a family shoot

Courtauld Gallery

Walter Sickert makes me sick…

…with excitement. I’ve heard his name, seen his work, but yesterday I saw his Camden Town paintings for the first time and have been totally inspired to start a series of photographic portraits using his signature style.

The main reason for visiting the Courtauld Gallery, London was to check out Richard Serra’s new drawings. His enormous sculpture installation at the Gagosian gallery a few years back was awe-inspiring, but would have breathed more happily in the wide expanses of a park. But sadly Serra’s work stood out like a sore thumb alongside the great ‘masters’. The room was noticeably empty of the Courtaulds typically senior visitors. To be honest I wouldn’t have been bothered to visit the collection if it wasn’t for Serra’s work but the £6 door entry was a snip for what we discovered on the way to the drawings.

Courtauld Gallery

Courtauld Gallery

Walking from room to room it felt like we were at a celebrity party. Every room revealed world-class paintings by the masters. Rooms, filled with Ruben, Monet, Cezanne, Manet, Gauguin and Van Goghs, displayed paintings of enormous significance in a fantastically succinct way.

A family portrait of one of Rubens friends, had such a tender stroke to his painting that none of his other works in the room had. Courtauld Gallery Courtauld GalleryWe spent ages looking at Manet’s – Bar at Folies-Bergere, text books of theories are written about it but nothing beats spending 20 minutes soaking it up. Monet applied his sensational colour work to a French industrial town, refreshingly not one of his iconic water lilies series.

Courtauld GalleryAt first glance Serra’s drawings at the Courtauld aren’t his most inspirational work. They need time, and get better with age, but lack some of the earthy spiritualness that his other work eschews.

The revelation of the day was on the top floor in a dark, discreet, back room where I discovered a small selection of gloomy Walter Sickert paintings. The London based artist lived and worked in Camden Town at the beginning of the last century, he depicted the gritty urban landscapes using his signature shades of subtle grey.

Courtauld Gallery

But it is his use of light that totally captured my attention. His thing was to backlight his subjects. Thin beams of light highlight his models. I wonder what we’re really supposed to be looking at in these paintings. It’s almost as if we aren’t really invited to see what is happening.

Courtauld GalleryCourtauld GalleryI’m so intrigued by his uninviting style which is so contrary to how we taught to create images,  particularly commercial images which are bright, well lit, simplistic compositions to invite audiences in an instance. He even makes beach huts look like a bleak, coal town.

Courtauld GalleryCourtauld GalleryHis beach huts and urban London-scape make me want to revisit the series of beach hut photos I did at West Wittering over the Christmas holidays. I wanted to capture the brightness of the beach huts against the winter stormy skies. But next time I’m going to photograph them on the gloomiest of gloomy days and avoid the stereotyped brightly coloured holiday beach huts, because – who cares? We’ve seen colourful beach huts a thousand times. And for the same reason Richard Serra looks to push boundaries, who was inspired by the visual leaps Cezanne made in his work, he wants to go beyond our understanding of the visual image.

Beach Huts, West Wittering