Articles of Brexit

Thought Foundation’s latest exhibition is entitled ‘Articles of Brexit’ and displays a range of creative responses to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. I chose to submit twelve of my double exposure photographs to be part of this exhibition, and I was really happy to see how they have fitted in to the display as a whole.

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Whichever side of the issue you stand on, I think we can all agree that these are uncertain times and the exhibition at the Thought Foundation has been a great opportunity for examining Brexit and it’s impact on the UK.

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It was really encouraging for me to see how my works fitted into a group themed exhibition and I thought the overall look and feel of the exhibition was really effective.

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I created these photographs using a Holga 135BC film camera. It is known as a ‘Toy Camera’’ because it is completely plastic, even the lens is plastic. The double exposures were created completely in camera, with no photoshop editing involved. They say “the camera never lies’, but you can make it bend the truth sometimes. I took these images in my local home and work environment so they have a lot of personal meaning to me.

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Thursday 23rd June 2016 was the day Britain was turned upside down. The result of the Brexit Referendum took many of us by surprise, and meant that nothing would be the same again. The run up to the vote proved to be a divisive and confusing time with a widening split developing. This division spread from a national to local level, even to the point where households were split down the middle by opinion. The campaigns from both sides seemed muddled and unclear on any hard facts. This sense of ambivalence does not seem to have subsided, as Brexit becomes a reality rather than an abstract concept.

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I have chosen these images to represent Britain during Brexit because they reflect our divided nation. But if you look closer at these photographs you will see that it is not a clear split down the middle – the edges are blurred and the two sides are not exact mirror images. It is still unclear what each side really stands for and where they overlap on common ground.

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The exhibition continues to the end of November so if you haven’t been in yet then there’s still time to pay a visit to the Thought Foundation at Birtley. Also, on display are Leanne Pearce Billinghurt’s stunning portraits of the four main political players in the Brexit campaign – these are well worth seeing in person, and don’t forget to get a selfie with Jezza!

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Beautiful Beamish

Beamish Hall is fantastic venue for weddings and I was really glad to return there last month for the wedding of Sarah and Barry. The couple had chosen a full day package which meant I could capture images of the bridal party getting ready on the morning.

 

Having this extra time meant I was also able to pop down to the venue and get shots of the groom and his family awaiting the bride’s arrival. It was great to see and document the excitement and anticipation in both locations.

 

As usual I created a mixture of traditional shots with more documentary style footage. I really like the ‘fly on the wall’ effect and being able to capture memories for my clients. For example, I really like this candid shot of the bridesmaids and mother of the bride having one last check in the mirror before they entered the ceremony. It’s the kind of thing the bride and groom may not see in the whirlwind of the day.

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The ceremony took place in the Shafto room which is a beautiful traditional setting, and the reception venue, the Monboucher Suite, was set out in a very classic way which complemented the colour scheme chosen by the couple.

 

 

Although it was quite a windy day the weather was kind to us so thankfully I could get the formal group shots taken outside the venue. There are some lovely quirky features around Beamish Hall which make wedding photos even more special.

 

It was a real pleasure to be part of these celebrations and I’m looking forward to returning to Beamish Hall next year when I will be covering the wedding of Jessica and Chris.

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I’m taking bookings for 2018 now and the calendar is already beginning to fill up. If you are interested in my wedding photography please get in touch by email helentaylorphotos@gmail.com or via my Facebook page.

Treetop Romance

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Alnwick Garden and Treehouse are such magical locations, so it was a real pleasure to cover the wedding celebrations of Victoria and Chris there over the summer. This is the second time I have documented a wedding at the Treehouse so it was great to return to the venue.

Like many of us, Victoria and Chris didn’t feel comfortable with overly posed or choreographed photos, which is why I opted for a more documentary style with their photography. You need to be super observant and one the ball to keep alert for all of the photo opportunities like these ones above. But I love the challenge of this journalistic style, and I think the results are genuine and give a true reflection of the day.

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My favourite photo is this one above of Victoria showing off her new wedding ring, it’s a very touching moment and something you can’t orchestrate the same way in a posed shot.

That said, the Treehouse is a visually stunning venue and you can’t ignore some of the great features there as amazing backdrops. Victoria and Chris were especially pleased with their photos on the rope bridge, which they couldn’t decide resembled an Ewok village or something from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves!

As usual, I always make sure I capture all of the little details that make up the atmosphere of the day. The wedding cake echoed their ceremony at Disney Land and the lego theme for the table decorations was right up my street!

If you’re interested in booking your wedding photography with me please get in touch, 2018 is already filling up fast! You can contact me at helentaylorphotos@gmail.com or via my Facebook page 🙂

There are always flowers…

…for those who want to see them. So said the artist Henri Matisse. Or, to quote that other great thinker, Ferris Bueller; “life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while you might miss it.”

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Today for me was a day to literally stop and smell the roses. The weather has been glorious today and on a trip to Alnwick Garden, after my son had finished jumping in all the fountains, I had a lovely time just pottering around taking photos of flowers.

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Thankfully the place is chock full of pokestops so Beck didn’t mind being dragged round the ornamental garden, which was in full bloom.

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I go here quite a lot at different times of year and there’s always something new to see.

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One thing I love doing is bee spotting, slightly less glamorous than bird spotting I’ll grant you. I just love how fluffy they are when you see them up close

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I’ve started printmaking recently and I think as I spot natural shapes and lines they will give me a lot of inspiration for designs.

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It was literally a riot of colour today, and a great place to enjoy the sunshine.

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I’ve done several weddings in this venue and it really is a photographer’s paradise with all the quirky features and stunning backdrops.

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The Simple Life

northumberland2This weekend has been a time for simple pleasures, and beautiful photo opportunities. I absolutely love the Northumberland coast and with the recent good weather I got a little bit over excited and decided that summer was here and it was time to go camping.

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Thankfully the weather was kind and a stop off at Belsay Hall was a great start to the trip.

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Nothing better than a picnic in the sunshine. Especially when the daffodils are out.

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Next stop was Seahouses where I was too busy spending a small fortune on the 2p machines in the arcades to take many photos. Saturday was spent at Holy Island which is one of my favourite places in the UK.

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I just love the atmosphere of the place, and all the quirky little details like the upside down boats used as sheds.

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The colours and textures are a photographer’s dream. We had a great time here, helping my little boy fly a kite on a walk along to the castle was the highlight for me. I’ve never heard him laugh so much, it’s amazing what joy you can get out of a £1.50 plastic kite!

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Our walk around the Priory was at rather a brisk pace because of the impending tides but I still had time to spot a few nice textures on the jog back to the car!

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A Portrait of the Artist

What makes a photo a portrait? I recently visited the Laing Art Gallery for the chance to see Anthony Van Dyk’s last self portrait, which is now on tour across the country. The exhibition also features a selection of portraits by other modern visionaries and their own take on the idea of self portraits. In a world of snapchat and selfie sticks, it sometimes seems like photography it’s losing it’s status in the art world, particularly with portraits.

Of course, as a photographer I am bound to defend the cause! I believe that a successful portrait is more than just a flattering image. A real portrait shows something about the character of the subject and tells a story in itself. And speaking of stories, my portrait of the writer Daniel James will be featuring in his first novel which is being published in November this year.

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This series of portraits were taken at Ouseburn at Newcastle, a great location for vibrant graffiti, loads of different textures and industrial architectural features. Can’t beat a bit of urban decay!

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I chose a vintage film effect when editing these photos to fit in with the theme of the novel, and to bring out the vibrancy of the backdrop. I love the Pop Art feel of these photos, which reflect the main character of the book. The novel, entitled ‘The Unauthorised Biography of Ezra Maas’, blends fact and fiction to tell the story of a journalist searching for the truth about a reclusive artist.

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The style of photography I aimed for with this project was a sort of hyper reality, mirroring the almost mythical feel of the book. There’s a sense of intrigue and mystery about the portraits, and some feel almost like film stills.

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The last photo from Leazes Park has a Lynchian feel to it, something that really fits in with the style of the novel – although I don’t want to give any spoilers here! The book will be published by Dead Ink in November this year, more details can be found at @thebleedmag or in the following article from the Northern Echo:

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/15228922.Writer___s_first_novel_about_art_world_mystery/

If you are interested in a photo shoot of your own you can contact me at helentaylorphotos@gmail.com or via my Facebook page