We didn’t seem to have much of a winter – the only thing about winter that I dislike are the short days and now that the clocks have gone forward it is so lovely to have light at 7pm in the evening.
Usually, January – end of March is a quiet time for me so I make the most of going to photography conventions such as The Societies in London and The Photography Show at the NEC. As you know last year I also went to Argentina to spend time immersing myself in photography, so this year what was I going to do?
This year so far has been the busiest I have ever been for a first quarter and I have had to pace myself as there has been the need to make time to cultivate skills and go out and learn new things in the big world that is photography.
I have loved the work of Carolyn Mendolsohn, her style is very different to mine but also very reminiscent of how I use to shoot when I first came out of college 8 years ago. So it has been a desire of mine to get back to how I used to be and not influenced by the trend of lifestyle photographers but be true to my soul.
Carolyn advertised a Compelling portraiture workshop based in Haworth, Yorkshire and staying at Ponden Hall. This is the second workshop that she has done there and I was very pleased to grab a place as there were only 6 delegates on the course so I knew with access to models and moors it was going to be a great few days. Two days were spent preparing and then photographing models and the other day was spent with Kate Crowley Parker who had come over from the States to share how she photographs her children and also what she does in post production.
My mother in law lives in Poulton-le-Fylde so my first stop off was to see her. I drove to Lancashire on the Sunday evening and stayed at The Shard in Hambleton on the banks of the Wyre and it was cold – so bitter! My cameras were all bagged up so I took the above and below images on my iPhone via Instagram.
I can lack understanding of how long a journey can take and thinking that I was “up north” Haworth wouldn’t be too far from Poulton – 1.5 hours later! Ha!
The meeting place in Haworth was on the church steps and meeting not only Carolyn but also Julie from Ponden Hall and the other delegates was a delight.
Julie gave us a really in depth tour around the Bronte parsonage and the main street, church and church yard. I suppose visiting on a cold, dank, dismal day helped with the atmosphere of the place.
After the tour we then made our way to Ponden Hall which I would love to go back to and stay. What a place! Steeped in history and you do feel you are stepping back in time but with the mod cons of contemporary life.
We were first shown our rooms and mine was called “The Giddings Room” which is a simple double room on the ground floor, for easy access (is it because I am 51 now?) . Mullioned windows overlook the courtyard, original stone flags – warmed by underfloor heating – form the floor, and I had a comfortable kingsize sleigh bed with luxurious bed linen and comfy pillows. The en suite bathroom featured both bath and shower.
After we had settled in we had the most amazing afternoon tea and cake which was all homemade by Julie – the fabulous cook!
Over the next 3 blog posts I will talk about the different days and what I learnt and will show you the images that I took and how I am now bringing the experience into my family and portfolio shoots.
The images above are the tree from my window at dawn and also the Earnshaw room the famous ‘Cathy window’ is here where Cathy’s ghost struggled to get in, desperately searching for her lover Heathcliff in Emily Bronte’s famous novel ‘Wuthering Heights’.
The image below is looking over the moor at sunrise which I must say part of my soul was left there and is calling me back…..
Annie Armitage – Photographic Artist
Annie Armitage is a photographer who specialises in producing timeless images. As one of the top contemporary, family lifestyle photographers in the UK she produces images of pregnancy, newborn, babies of all sizes, families, teenagers (seniors), dogs and also has a commercial side to her business which is predominantly headshots as well as formal but approachable portraits for annual reports or PR purposes and lifestyle images for SME’s portfolios and website.
Annie is based in Kingston upon Thames but is available for commission throughout the UK and Ireland and Internationally. Annie’s main working areas within London and Surrey are:- Kingston, Surbiton, ThamesDitton, NewMalden, Wimbledon, Wandsworth, Clapham, Battersea, Putney, Mayfair, Sloane Square, Holland Park Richmond, Barnes, Fulham, Sheen, Chelsea, Kensington, Hampton, Twickenham, Teddington, StMargarets and throughout Surrey including Guildford, Godalming, Woking, Cobham, Weybridge, Esher, Claygate, Oxshott and Ottershaw
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