A New Studio – For The Love of Black And White

A History


So yes, that’s me naked shown for the first time on the internet. I think probably my mum took this picture in around 1974, my dad would have processed an printed the image. This is just one of hundreds if not thousands of prints and negatives I have stashed in folders in the attic, much to my husband’s frustration who say’s i’m a horder! My father was an art teacher and went on to become a full time photographer. He had a studio on the Kings Road in London and had commissions for Harpers and Queen and I remember as a young child my sister and I being taken as guests to sit on the front row at the London Fashion shows where he photographed. The two image below show a rather moody picture of my sister and I taken at his Kings Road studio, probably under duress and the promise of sweets. I am still quite impressed with the amount of times my trousers have been turned down. And me and my cousin Anja in Auntie Sue’s kitchen creating with glue.




My father was a black and white photographer, he trained photographers for years running a residential centre for photographers in Wales, he had many exhibitions and became a Fellow of The Royal Photographic Society. My parents divorced when I was 4, the photograph above was taken on the bi-weekly, or perhaps monthly visits to my dad in London where we would stay for the weekend and among games of Monopoly and putting up tents in his flat he would take us to work with him. From an early age I remember burning hand print images in his darkroom on his photographic paper under his enlargers (and wasting all his expensive paper!).

A week one summer I spent bailing in and out of one of his residential courses photographing nudes in his studio. I won’t post them here but I was taught lighting, composition and studio portraiture, we did have other models! The lovely gentleman below, now passed was the father of the chef Mike who used to work  at the centre.



My dad brought me my first camera when I was 10, many of you will have seen it, I still have it and I use it in my workshops to explain aperture and shutter speed, it is a little Pentax ME super. I used to send my rolls of film to  him to be developed and by post he would send my contact sheets back with notes about composition, how to improve the shot or mostly.. what I had done wrong like double exposing the image (happened a lot). I started of course by photographing my pets and still life.



Film Sets and Student Living

It wasn’t really learning, it was just part of life, the smell of fixative and the darkroom was just what going to dads was all about.  I had absolutely no intention of being a photographer, I went to Goldsmiths University in London where I studied Media and Communication but even  there I photographed the MA Film shoots and used their darkroom to process the images! The image below shows Tony Messam on Steadycam who passed a few years ago now and was a lovely man and set stills of Tony Booth with Daniel Newman taken on a MA shoot.




Phil Monk FRPS

My father was a brilliant photographer, and he still has a massive archive of all his work from over the years. I have some favourites, this was of course all before photoshop so the composites are done during processing. If you wanted to purchase any let me know he would love to sell some!



A Black and White History

So you get the idea, as I grew up photography was very much a part of my life and it was all black and white. I have a wonderful ‘photo wall’ at home and it is wonderful to look at the images, many studio portraits, all in simple black and white. A rare family photograph below of my mum, sister and my niece Jess (who is now a mum herself), taken at my fathers studio in Bath.




Naturally Black and White.


I feel naturally drawn to black and white, nothing complicates the image, a studio portrait isn’t the same as a wedding where there are bridesmaids dresses and flowers and cake colour, colour is important here for many reasons. And of course my bluebell and location photography, the colour is part of the image, you wouldn’t want to have a black and white bluebell portrait! With black and white you amplify the light and facial expression, as a viewer you are concentrated entirely on the image in it’s simplicity and that’s what I love.



A New Studio


I did have a lovely little studio based at The Manor in Tur Langton but for a list of reasons I decided it wasn’t right for me. I found myself using the studio very sporadically in-between weddings, events and private location portraits so although I wanted the studio space, I didn’t want it full time, just part time to fit around the rest of my work.


I now have the perfect studio. I have been busy ensuring I have the right permissions from the council, the risk assessments, PAT tests and insurances in place and of course I have been painting and decorating. I now have a very large studio space, based at home in Market Harborough. It is of course my home so it will not be open all the time but available for booking private, beautiful and specialist black and white sessions.

Newborns to Grandparents


Looking at my ‘photo wall’ in the  hallway of my house, I have decades and decades of black and white photographs showing both my family and my husbands family history. Grandparents, toddlers and as they have grown up.. the toddlers babies! So much now is photographed on tiny image sensors which, no matter how many pixels will not render an image of stunning image quality*, a quick filter gets applied and the image either sits in the cloud or disappoints the owner who takes the image to be printed and realises the image on the screen will not translate as well in print or on canvas.


Capturing family and generational portraits beautifully, for display and for family history is something i’m passionate about, my new studio will bring back some of that tradition in photography and artwork production.


If you are interested in booking, sessions are by appointment only and cost £60. This cost covers studio time and all the years above I spent in dark rooms learning how to capture your portrait perfectly! Artwork is additional. Please request my brochure for up-to-date art costs.


I look forward to seeing  you in the new studio 🙂


07773 280492




*If you would like a greater understanding of pixel dimension, image quality and image resolution, book on one of my workshops and I will explain why it is that smartphone manufacturers have blurred the distinction between print quality and image quality to sell smart phones.