I thought it was time I seriously got back into some blogging activity after a long time away from the site! I have regularly been dipping into other people’s blogs and posts to see what’s going on out there and found some really interesting (and at times entertaining!) bloggers and material so I’m kind of inspired to start putting some of my stuff on here again.
In terms of the photography, I feel I’m now much more accomplished, both technically and artistically, a development that’s been helped over the last couple of years by a move to wholly embrace the Fujifilm ‘X’ series of professional spec Compact System and Mirrorless cameras. Somewhat dubiously, I made a pledge to try to collect every model in the range – simply because of their superb retro design and ‘cool’ handling capabilities. It was a futile, and very expensive, exercise as just as I had one model ‘in the bag’ Fuji go and launch a new or upgraded version. That makes collecting the older models cheaper, as many photographers trade theirs in for the newer versions but the credit cards do take a bit of a beating all the time! I have therefore taken to collecting one model from each of the different sub-ranges in the ‘X’ series which makes a collection of six cameras in total so far. Yes – I do use them all from time to time, keeping one ‘rangefinder’ and one mirrorless in the bag at all times and then changing over to another model every few weeks.
The XPro1 ‘flagship’ professional model is one of the cameras I have but I would say that is the one I have had the most difficulty getting to grips with, having a slightly more advanced menu than the others. However, the XE2 carries the same sensor as the XPro1 and is a much simpler (and in my mind nicer looking) camera to use so that is the one which now gets the most use.
I also have the pro-spec XT1 and its smaller sibling, the XT10, both of which are superb little cameras and have been put to use in some of my professional model shoots. Bringing up the rear in terms of mirrorless bodies is the now obsolete XM1, an entry level enthusiast camera with lightweight plastic body which doesn’t feature any kind of viewfinder. I last incorporated the XM1 on an indoor natural light art-nude shoot and was really impressed with the results – as good as any from the bigger, more ‘grown up’ cameras in the stable!
Which brings me onto some of the material I now find myself shooting. Apart from continuing to work with musicians and performers, I’ve found a niche working in various genres, tending to be drawn towards natural beauty in numerous guises – gardens and nature, young women and art nudes. I would say they are connected in some ways, the over-riding factor being the beauty of aesthetics. The approach photographically is also much the same, although shooting garden wildlife can be fraught with unpredictability at times – but then so can working with demanding and emotionally charged models…
I’ve recently launched a garden photography website looking to work with writers and publishers for illustrating gardening media publishing projects, as well as catalogues and guides etc. I also have a passion for gardening so combining these two interests makes sense and I do find this part of my work extremely satisfying – probably because gardens and plants have their own way of ‘talking’ to you but unlike humans, don’t talk at you!
Shooting art-nudes is an extension of the beauty portraiture work and is also incredibly satisfying. I find the challenges of working in this particular genre make the production of good quality work particularly enjoyable. I tend to work with models who are not so accustomed to posing in a formal shoot situation and two of the ladies I had the pleasure to work with had never really done any nude work before so it was a wonderful journey of discovery for both them and myself.
With that in mind, I am constantly looking for new faces to collaborate with so if there are any young ladies out there who are based in South-East England and who might wish to ‘have a go’ at any kind of portrait, boudoir or tasteful art-nude modelling I would be happy to discuss further. I guarantee absolute confidentiality and, in order to maintain my reputation and integrity as a professional, nothing is ever published or shared without the express permission of my subjects. My modelling website is www.foto-kraft.weebly.com which will give an idea of some of my styles but I will be posting samples of my work on the blog here as well.
That’s all for now – some sample shots will be added (again) over the next few weeks so I hope everyone will enjoy them and continue to comment and add feedback whenever possible.