Category Archives: Uncategorized

Artist Portraits Photography

It so happens that the artist portraits I’ve photographed for the Richmond Art Society are of people my age. Which is to say, not young. Well, most of them are, and I think all the more interesting for it. Painting and drawing can be a ravenous time-eater, so most people don’t really take it up as a hobby until their children have grown up and they’ve retired. The dedication people bring to art is immensely impressive, as is their art!

These artists portraits were taken the ‘Featured Artist’ page of the societies website. The society stages two exhibitions each year and a substantial lecture programme.

See more of portraits and other people pictures here.

Get in touch to talk about getting your portrait photograph taken.


Family Photography in Their Home

Kingston family portrait

Doing family photography in their home is a real privilege. You’re being granted access to take pictures of the most precious thing, and being invited into an almost sacred place. The family and the home. Treat them both with the utmost respect and consideration. But remember you’re there for a reason and to do the job properly you need to take a degree of control and be prepared to assert yourself.

Family photography at home has to be fun, or no-one’s going to smile! Children will always be the most wary, if not downright suspicious so it’s important to speak to them straight away. That means a smile in your voice as well on your face. Ask the children for their advice about the best place to take the picture, who should sit where, who’s going to be the most naughty! Get ready to start taking pictures as quickly as possible, while the kids are still curious. Be prepared to move the furniture around to create a setting for the picture. Ask for the washing to be moved out of the shot if you need to, and then get on with it. Sometimes one parent isn’t very keen on being in the photograph. If they’re not going to smile don’t make too much effort to win them round. Instead, make them the brunt of your jokes, the kids will love it. Once and they’re laughing, most parents will too!

Here I am photographing Talya Stone’s family, she’s given me permission to show these pictures here, and this is the fabulous post she wrote about the shoot on her Motherhood – The Real Deal blog.

 

Here’s my post on How to Get Your Family Loving Photography


All these images are included with permission.

Deck the Walls of Teddington

Some of the local artists displaying this week in ‘1 of 1’ on Teddington High Street. As the poster says, affordable art perfect for Christmas presents.

 

7 Steps to Getting More from Your Photographs

man and woman with drink problems photography southwest LondonI propose a new figure of speech – ‘It’s like finding a jpeg on a hard-drive’ instead of the outmoded ‘needle in a haystack’.  The idea comes from the difficulty I’ve encountered when looking for a particular image on a computer.  I know it’s in there somewhere but……

Just imagine if you could open a hard-drive like a desk draw. It would be like entering a cavern jam-packed with vaguely labeled piles of boxes filled with imprecisely labeled folders stuffed with ambiguously labeled documents. Maybe you’re in luck – you find the box of photographs – every photograph you’ve taken. The good, the bad the indifferent, the white frames, the black frames, the blurry frames, the pictures of your feet and pictures of the sky. Somewhere in there is that lovely shot of your sister you took the day before the aliens abducted her to the mothership.

In reality the situation is probably worse with pictures in several places. Some left to moulder for years on the camera’s memory card, some on your phone, others on the tablet and a few attached to emails from friends.

Falkirk containers

Digital Jugglers

I’ve just described the chaos that is my ‘library’ of roughly 60,000 images. Most are in folders named according to the job.  Since I deserted the proper path of film and sold my soul to the digital devil that’s been good enough. But there are dozens of folders now, it’s getting to be un-manageable and can be impossible to find a specific image if I don’t remember where I put it.

Delete the Duds

A  former work colleague told me that he saved every image he took because the failed pictures say as much, in their own way as the successful shots. He might have a point as an artist; I’m more of a photo-tart. I’d rather let go of the letdowns to save the card and drive space, not to mention the time transferring data between the two.  I suggest that when you take a break from the grinding hard work that is photography, you flick through your shots and dump the failures. That might just mean technical failures such as out-of-focus, burred or incorrectly exposed. You could also exercise some editorial judgment and get rid of the shots that don’t live up to you expectations as well, but I prefer to leave that till I’ve seen them on a computer screen and then do a big cull.

something unknown in the ancient woodland

Tag, Tag, and Tag again

It doesn’t actually matter where the files are physically stored on the hard-drive if they are well tagged, you’ll always be able to find them quickly using the tagged terms and the file data such as the date and even time. The best time to tag them is when they are transferred from memory card to computer. Generic terms can be added automatically to each picture, like ‘California holiday’ ‘Christmas’ ‘Christening’. There are many image management tools that enable you to do it, I use Adobe Lightroom, which is fantastic or there’s iPhoto or Picasa. These will become the software you use most often not just for managing a collection but for post-production too. Again I have give Adobe Lightroom a plug, it’s effective, easy and economic.

black and white abstract photograph of plastic bottles

Good Habits Save Time, Money and avoid visits to the doctor

Most of my pictures are utter rubbish, but I want to keep them. Just in case. Now if I can get into a better digital habits by fine-tuning my image management workflow, then the occasional good photograph I take is less likely to get lost under all that digital dross!

late for class

  1. Decide on a folder and subfolder structure.
  2. When the clocks change remember to reset the clock on the camera. It’s another useful search parameter.
  3. Use image management software to tag images as you transfer them from memory card to computer.
  4. Back up your library on two other drives, one of which is in another building.
  5. Enjoy flicking through your folders from time to time, and while you’re there add more tags and delete more crap.
  6. Share your pictures more – make greetings cards, have a print on the wall, compile an album etc. Otherwise what’s the point?
  7. Be less lazy.

Trevor Aston works in Richmond, Southwest London and Surrey as a portrait, event and editorial photographer.

Whizzfit Energy-Intensive Promotional Video

event photographer Richmondpromotional event photographer Richmond Surrey London-5517I have to confess, when I first met Angus Effemy (Whizzfit.com founder) and he told me about the Dodgeball tournaments he organised, I really had no idea what Dodgeball was. Turns out, the name’s a give away! That was at least 18 months before Angus got in touch. We’d had a conversation at a networking event about how video could work on Whizzfit’s website, I was impressed that he remembered! Angus works with Lisa Woodward of Icing Consulting to help his marketing, we’d all met at the same business networking event. Lisa wrote a brief for the video and I wrote a treatment in response. It was great to be working with people totally determined to get the job done properly, not just done!

So off I drove one Sunday to Reeds School in Cobham, Surrey to film a Dodgeball and Nerf Afternoon. The unprepossessing sport hall was energised from the moment the first children arrived. They just ran and ran for the sheer joy of it!

Angus is brilliant at controlling the room and instigating the fun, getting the children and the adults involved and committed. He has a repertoire of games, all variations on the notion of dodging a ball. The adults, all parents of the children, were getting at least as much fun out of it as the youngsters!

I’d have loved to play the Nerf War with my son and his mates when they were younger. No, actually I’d still like to do it now they’re teenagers!

Tea in the Garden – Photography at an Event for a Charity

Being the photographer at an event for older people is always fun. Older people are as concerned about how they look in a photograph as anyone else, but it’s more about whether they’re smiling enough, not just vanity!

In a rich place like Richmond it’s easy to forget that are still people in need. The Richmond Charities is a charity based in the London Borough of Richmond-upon-Thames with its origins dating back to 1600. The charity aim to provide housing to elderly residents who are in need of an improvement in their living conditions. They have several lovely Almhouses in the Borough and from time to time hold Afternoon Tea in the gardens.

 

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PA of the Year 2015 – Award Event Photography

I loved being the posh frocks photographer at 116 Pall Mall, London for the PA of the Year 2015 Awards event. Staged by Exec PA magazine and with categories from Best Event Organiser to Best Boss, it was a glamorous affair at the home of the Institute of Directors.

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WINNER PA of the Year – Louise Hartley, AstraZeneca

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Bishops Move – Corporate Photography

Bishop’s Move in Crawley, Sussex needed more photography of it’s business. They wanted pictures of corporate moves for inclusion in pitch documents so they borrowed an empty office nearby and parked a lorry in front of it.

corporate working workplace photography

 

Bishop’s Move has over 160 years experience in the removals and storage industry. Established in 1854, they have a network of branches across the UK offering customers a comprehensive range of professional moving house, business relocation and international shipping services.

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Catastrophe at The Apothecaries’ Hall in London – Event Photography

Ebola, Earthquakes and Medivacs; Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine

Apothecaries' Hall main staircase event photographer Trevor AstonAttentative audince Apothecaries' Hall event photographer Trevor AstonI was the photographer at the Apothecaries’ Hall in London for this event organised by the Medical Journalists Association.  The hall is beautiful and the ancient home of The Worshipful Society of Apothecaries.  The talk, organised by the Medical Journalist Association was given in the Great Hall.  Dating from 1671 the Great Hall has fantastic, dark Irish oak panelling with a carved screen at the south end of the room and a minstrels’ gallery at the north end.  Every time I needed to change position to photograph I walked on tip-toes across the very creaky oak floor, but I still sounded like a ghost creeping round a country house in the dead of night!

The Apothecaries’ Hall is also home to the world’s only Faculty of Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine which trains medical professionals from around the world to respond quickly to natural disasters, outbreaks of disease and battlefield injuries as well as longer-term emotional trauma.  At this meeting chaired by Lawrence McGinty, men and women who tackle some of the most challenging medical emergencies talked about life on the frontline of healthcare.

One of the privileges of being a photographer is getting to see things, getting to hear things or in this case, both!

Professor Richard Williams event photographer Trevor Aston

Professor Richard Williams, an international authority on psycho-social aspects of disasters based at the Humanitarian and Conflict Research Institute (HCRI) at Manchester University.

speaker Gillian Dacey Apothecaries' Hall event photographer Trevor Aston

Gillian Dacey, formerly with Public Health England, who has been at the forefront of fighting Ebola and is a specialist paramedic dealing with earthquake victims trapped under rubble.

Air Vice Marshal Aroop Mozumder, Commander, Defence Primary Healthcare, President of the Faculty of Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine based at the Society of Apothecaries.

Air Vice Marshal Aroop Mozumder, Commander, Defence Primary Healthcare, President of the Faculty of Conflict and Catastrophe Medicine based at the Society of Apothecaries.

Trevor Aston works in Richmond, Southwest London and Surrey as a portrait, event and editorial photographer.

Home is where the dust is

commercial business photography Richmond upon Thames London-7989commercial business photography Richmond upon Thames London-7945A home is more than a pile of bricks and mortar, at least it is once it’s been lived in for while; absorbing something of us, our breath and our dust. So what happens when we go?  How long does it take for that bit ‘us’ to fade away?

The question came to mind as I was making my way around a flat in Epsom, photographing it’s empty rooms for the developer just before the renovation begins. The rooms were empty, but I wasn’t photographing an empty space, it was the lounge where they’d sat on the sofa and watched TV, the bedroom where they’d slept, the bathroom sink where they’d brushed their teeth, the kitchen cupboard where they kept their teabags and tins of soup. commercial business photography Richmond upon Thames London-7951 I didn’t know why they were no longer living there, but I had a strong feeling.

In the lounge I spotted a small note stuck to a wall.

 

 

 

Then I felt knew at least one thing; that this had been home to Suzy’s Daddy.

commercial business photography Richmond upon Thames London-7997

 
Trevor Aston works in Richmond, Southwest London and Surrey as a portrait, event and editorial photographer.