Summer is nearly here! And that means the arrival of some beautiful buds blooming in our gardens and surroundings. With the lighter days and fresh flo…
Vanessa Palmer-Vines - June's Photographer
‘What can you tell us about your winning entries into our photography competition?’
The first one, “Get those ears under control, George!” which placed fourth in April’s ‘Motion & Movement’ competition is of my adorable chocolate Labrador and was taken when he was just 8 months old and learning to swim. He had just successfully swum out into Rudyard Lake where we were staying on holiday, retrieved a tennis ball and swam back to the shore for the first time! I was capturing it all on my Nikon D800 and this is my favourite of the shots, detailing all the droplets of water and in particular George’s huge ears!
In May, I placed fourth in the ‘Bright & Colourful’ competition with my image of the book collection of writer Vita Sackville-West and her husband Harold Nicholson who led a very bohemian and colourful life at Sissinghurst during the early to mid-20th Century. SissinghurstCastle & Gardens in Kent is a fascinating place to visit, is now run by the National Trust and with many parts to it including Vita’s famous writing tower, several cottages sprawling around the grounds and even a moat. This image was taken in the drawing room of one of the main cottages, a very dark, heavily curtained room with an imposing fireplace and very old furniture. The book collection here takes up the entirety of one wall, and I was able to capture the image in the darkened room using my camera handheld without flash and with an ISOof 6400.
‘How did you get into photography?’
I have adored photography for as long as I can remember. I was brought up in the 1970’s, when my parents were very keen to capture the minutiae of my brother and me growing up. During that time, they always had their photographs developed into slides and I would spend hours poring over the slides, sitting in the lounge with the curtains closed viewing them on the projector, using the wall opposite as the screen! My parents bought me my first 35mm film SLR when I was a teenager and my love of photography really grew from there. I started out capturing street scenes in the village where we live, landscapes of the surrounding countryside, anything and everything really, including hundreds of the family dog, of course!This would always then be followed by a trip to the chemist with my rolls of film, where there would be an eager hour’s wait for them to be developed! Fast forward twenty-five years and my love of photographyhas not waned. During this time, as we moved into the digital world, I bought myself my first Digital SLR and spent many a happy hour photographing the productions of various local amateur dramatic companies. This experience made me realise that I loved capturing detail, peoples’ expressions, looking at how the light worked, the costumes and the choreography all coming together to capture (hopefully) a perfect image or two. I decided it was time to go back to school and do this thing properly! Following a lengthy illness with M.E., I studied for and gained a professional qualification in photography and am now happily on the path of my dream career, gradually building my business and specialising in portrait and wedding photography.
‘What do you enjoy about photography?’
Absolutely everything! I love looking for images to capture and working out how I’m going to achieve them. I love the spontaneity involved when taking photos and then the realisation that you have captured something special. I enjoy researching for ideas and looking at the work of other photographers, learning something new in the constant quest to become a better photographer. I love being with people and talking with people, so it makes complete sense to me that I love working with people and capturing their most joyful occasions, whether it be a wedding or a birthday party or simply capturing their children at a certain point in their lives, playing and having fun. I even relish the hours sitting in my ‘digital darkroom’ editing images, as this is my quiet time in my office, where there are no distractions and I can concentrate on achieving the best results from my work and providing the best possible service I can to my clients.
‘What are your plans for the future?’
I hope to continue to grow my business, taking on more portrait work and weddings. I am particularly enjoying photographing lifestyle shoots at the moment, capturing low-key, candid shots in familiar surroundings which result in very natural, laid-back and fun-filled images. I am continually striving for perfection and want to add more strings to my bow, so I am considering going back into the classroom, as it were, to complete one or two of the advanced modules on offer to post-graduates. Exciting times ahead!
‘What do you plan to do with your framing voucher?’
I have a few prints that need mounting and framing for my new office and I have already used the voucher from April’s ‘Motion & Movement’ competition to frame a print called ‘A Visual Compendium of Cameras’. Next on the list, with the help of the voucher from May’s ‘Bright & Colourful’ competition, is a print of a photograph by Patrick Demarchelier that I bought recently at the Vogue 100 exhibition, of the supermodel Christy Turlington sporting a very large hat, which I plan to have framed using the same white mount and black frame. Thank you very much, Picture Frames Express!