This place was A-mazing to photograph! So many cool things to see and nice light to work with. We had to be careful as some of the floor boards were rotten or burnt but we managed to get out alive and these are the shots I got.
Nomination for The Contemporary and Avant Garde Photographer of the Year 2017 with The Guild of Photographers.
I was so happy to receive the email telling me that I had been nominated for the Image of the Year in the Avant Garde Portrait category, especially as it was an image taken for a friend working on a project to challenge stereotypes, which I have always been passionate about.
Here is the press release given by the guild for me to send out the wider world in regards to the nomination:
"Local Photographer Gemma Varney achieves international acclaim!
Gemma, a photographer based in Honiton has reached the Final of the fiercely contested Guild of Photographers Image of the Year Competition.
The Guild is a highly respected UK based association for photographers which has members from overseas as well. Each year it runs an on-line monthly photographic competition, judged by internationally respected judges with awards given to the best entries.
During 2017, the competition has attracted around 1200 entries per month from the most talented of photographers.
It has just been announced that from all the entries across the year, the Guild’s Judges have selected JUST 12 images in various genres to go forward to the annual Image of the Year Final. Those selected really are the best of the best, and an image by Gemma is one of those selected as a Finalist!
Guild Director Lesley Thirsk said “One of the Guild’s aims is to drive standards and creativity amongst photographers. Our monthly competition certainly does that, for the standard of the entries we see each month is quite staggering. To have an image recognised by the Guild in the monthly competition is difficult enough, so to have an image selected as being one of the best in a category for the end of year Final is without doubt an incredible achievement, and shows just how talented photographer, Gemma is”
Gemma said “I love photography and put a lot of effort into developing my skills. One way I do that is to enter the Guild’s competition. It drives forward photography standards month after month so it helps me push myself. The images I see getting awards each month are inspirational, so knowing just how high those standards are, to have one of my images shortlisted for the overall Final from the many 1000’s submitted across whole year is really exciting. I couldn’t believe it when I found out.”
Gemma’s image along with the others will now be printed ready for the Competition Final in December, when highly regarded Judges will be coming together from across the country and overseas to choose the overall winner. The final outcome will be announced at a lavish Awards night in a magnificent Jacobean mansion in Cheshire on 3rd February 2018."
I am so excited to attend the awards evening and spend time with my buddy group who have guided me through the image of the month competition. I can't wait to share the joy of my fellow photographers and the awards that they receive.
The image that was nominated for The Image of the Year Award was this one below, you can see more of the images from this session and read about the story behind them on my blog post here.
Jade came along to the Exeter for a studio day with my training company Devon Photography Training, this is where we invite photographers to book in for an hourly session to practice in the studio and also have the option of tuition included in their hourly fee.
We had some time in the morning to take some test shots in the morning which you can see below:
I met Ed at Exeter Tog Up which is a creative's networking meetup running on the first thursday of the month at Samuel Jones on the Quay. Ed's face shape interested me and he has a great, warm personality. I asked if he would sit for me in the studio and thankfully, he agreed on the condition that I would sit for him too. The images he got of me will be posted on my next blog post (I love them!) These are the shots I got of him from our session together.
Which is your favourite image and why?
The above shot is my favourite from my shots of Ed. <3
Rocking the 60's look with his shades and a black and white edit.
I adore the colours in this shot above and the expression in the shot below.
Book yourself or a loved one in for a shoot with me for facebook, professional or dating profile pics or just for a fun shoot and to have some nice images of yourself. Find out more about sessions with me here.
Kevin lives with Cerebral Palsy and is interested in challenging views about movement, nudity and disability. Those who know me know I'm not your average 27 year old, I too enjoy challenging views that are so often portrayed as 'normal' within our culture. (What does normal even mean?!) So when I found out about Kevin's plan in working towards a Performance Training Master's involving improvised dance, nudity, body image and non verbal communication I just knew I had to get in touch!
Kevin liked my work and asked if we could shoot together, he beat me to it! We arranged a shoot at Plymouth College of Art where Kevin is studying and we worked in a Photographic Studio there (which I must also mention was excellently equipped, clean and very professional! - Lucky students!)
We shot with a variety of backgrounds and I took my two strip softboxes as I had an idea of the images I wanted to create. I wanted the photos from this session to fit well within my project on art nude photography which aims to show how all body shapes and sizes can be beautiful through photography.
I also had Kevin's work in mind so we got a good variety of full shots, close ups and emotive photos to suit both of our projects.
Kevin was absolutely brilliant when it came to moving and posing for the camera, he created fantastic shapes and really knew how to move his body for dramatic poses whilst working with the light. We took some photographs with and without his wheelchair for added variety and context.
When I asked about Kevin's Project he gave me this write up to help illustrate his work:
"I will be undertaking a performance training masters involving improvised dance, nudity, body image and maybe non verbal communication.
I began to think about this 2 years ago because once a year I do an improvisational life drawing session at Plymouth College of Art. This began because some new first years were shocked by a nude disabled man, they would not suggest poses. I decided to use the "stop go" dance score from my BA dance training, where I moved until someone says stop, freeze and they draw that pose until someone says go. Within 30 minutes most of them were asking me questions and 2 of them went on to work with motion.
I wrote a proposal for an art festival which morphed in to a piece of potential research, which crystallised my area of exploration. The person that the proposal was written for, did not understand, how many fine art artists find disability and nudity challenging, two other people were enthused and one person felt really uncomfortable even reading my idea. I am really fascinated how people have multiple reactions to disability, movement and nudity, as well as finding these reactions are, often counterintuitive and this is what I plan to examine in my thesis."
It was an honour to work with Kevin and I personally adore the photographs we created. I think many of these photographs would be beautiful printed as large gallery images and I will look at exhibiting the images from this project around Devon and Cornwall in the future.
We hope you enjoy looking through the images as much as we enjoyed taking them, please do leave a comment on the blog post below and tell us what you think.
I decided to start taking art nude photographs because I wanted to show how all body shapes, sizes and ages can be beautiful. I want to get away from the ever increasing modern way of thinking that nudity automatically means sexual, seedy or pornographic.
With my work I am exploring form, light, contrast, shadows and shape. I aim to make beautiful abstract images worth of a gallery or even better, pride of place in your home. Would you share a nude image of you with your friends and family? Before you consider your answer to this question, look through the images in the slideshow below. Challenge the view that nudity is sexual and tell me how you feel after seeing the images in the comments.
Naked is liberating, naked is innocent, naked is normal!
When having Commercial Photographs taken it is sometimes difficult to know what to expect. The Photographic industry and copyright are complicated subjects, here is the Standard Image Usage that I supply all of my Commercial Photography Clients. It is designed to give as much flexibility as possible without the need to renew (and pay more) after a certain time. The only restrictions in place are that customers cannot edit the image content or sell the images on - this is standard practice in Photography as the Photographer always holds onto the image copyright as the author of the work. These restrictions can be lifted but would need to be agreed at the initial consultation stage of the session.
Some commissioned photographs taken of the band 'Beggars Belief' whilst they practiced in Okehampton last month. This is my favourite style of Photography, black and white, noise, movement blur and lots of bokeh with out of focus backgrounds.
Win a free Valentine's mini photo session and your favourite image with our beautiful handmade heart.
It's almost Valentine's day and this year we have a beautiful pink rose love heart as our studio photographic prop, BUT we need a photograph of lovely couple to help us promote our sessions. As a result we are giving away one free photographic session and your favourite image in exchange for using the image for our promotion.
Simply tell us something you love about your partner, share this post on facebook and pop your email address in the form below, the winning couple will be chosen at random on the evening of Tuesday the 7th and they will be notified via email.
Valentine's day mini sessions will be held in my Exeter studio for you loved up couples of Devon, they are £30 for a 15 minute slot and you get your favourite image free of charge (a digital file printable up to A1)
Enter Our Competition for your chance to win...
Our latest maternity and family photo shoot in the studio with Ange Royle and her family.
It was a joy to photograph this little family unit together, we got some group shots and then some single photos of Mum who was expecting at the time. We used the dark brown background with the rose crown to help tie in our colour scheme with Mum. Click to see the whole images.
for a free photoshoot consultation or to book your shoot.
The Devon Carpenter:
South West Tog Up