Workshop Wednesdays Vol.44

Workshop Wednesdays vol. 44

This could quite possibly be one of the most exciting weeks in HP’s history… Not only will we be reopening our studio doors this Saturday (look out families that are booked in this weekend – we are VERY excited!!)… We can also confirm that the Big News we keep mentioning is being locked in on Friday – so we will be able to share all of the details with you next week! And the thing that excites us the most in this business is seeing our family portrait creations hanging pride of place in a family home. We don’t often get the opportunity to see the wall art once it has been collected or delivered. For years now I have been planning to visit homes for a quick photo shoot to showcase families with their portraits up on the wall and this is still very much on the “to do” list. However, in the meantime, I am drawing inspiration from Judy and Bill – our Story Of The Week – who, unprompted, sent a beautiful photo of their family portrait canvas on their wall. It honestly made my day – my week even! And it’s something I would love to request from as many families as we can… If you haven’t already, please send us a snapshot of your HP pieces and we will curate a gallery of the finished products that we otherwise may never get to see. At the end of the day – that is what it is all about! We hope you enjoy this weeks workshop that celebrates all things photography…

On the second day of lockdown in Moscow, Red Square is nearly empty at a time when it would usually be crowded with tourists.Photo: Nanna Heitmann/ MAGNUM PHOTOS

Photo For Thought

“It’s like something out of a movie” has been an oft-repeated refrain in the weeks and months since the COVID-19 outbreak upturned the lives of the hundreds of millions in its wake. Perhaps nothing throws that sentiment into sharper relief than real-time images of the world’s most trafficked locales—main thoroughfares, train stations, park playgrounds, urban squares, and, of course, restaurants, offices, concert venues, and places of worship. There is little the coronavirus has not closed, canceled, indefinitely postponed, or moved online, and nowhere is that more evident than in the shared spaces that define communities. Yet as visually striking as these images of empty public places are, it is on the front lines—where everyday heroes show up day after day in hospitals, post offices, fire stations, restaurant kitchens, grocery stores, and farms—that the impact of this disease is most emotionally palpable.

How this pandemic will change our lives is far from clear. What is almost certain, though, is that the ways we gather will never be quite the same. Snapped around the world—from a desolate central shopping street in Cairo to Rome’s Piazza Navona, where even the pigeons appear to have fled—these images offer a stark, cinematic view of the impact of the coronavirus on our landmarks as well as our lives.”


In The News

Iconic Photographer

“The work of a photographer is to reveal hidden things “

– Lee Jeffries

“Lee Jeffries lives in Manchester in the United Kingdom. Close to the professional football circle, this artist starts to photograph sporting events. A chance meeting with a young homeless girl in the streets of London changes his artistic approach forever. Lee Jeffries recalls that, initially, he had stolen a photo from this young homeless girl huddled in a sleeping bag. The photographer knew that the young girl had noticed him but his first reaction was to leave. He says that something made him stay and go and discuss with the homeless girl. His perception about the homeless completely changes. They become the subject of his art. The models in his photographs are homeless people that he has met in Europe and in the United States: «Situations arose, and I made an effort to learn to get to know each of the subjects before asking their permission to do their portrait.» From then onwards, his photographs portray his convictions and his compassion to the world.

“If you will forgive my indulgence, This work is most definitely NOT photojournalism. Nor is it intended as portraiture. It’s religious or spiritual iconography. It’s powerful stuff. Jeffries gave these people something more than personal dignity. He gave them a light in their eyes that depicts transcendence, a glimmer of light at the gates of Eden, so to speak. The clarity in their eyes is awesome to behold, as if God is somewhere in there. He has made these people into more than poor old broken homeless people lazily waiting for a handout from some urbane and thoughtful corporate agent. He infused them with light, not darkness. Even the blind guy has light pouring from his sightless eyes. I think Jeffries intended his art to honor these people, not pity them. He honors those people by giving their likenesses a greater meaning. He gives them a religious spiritual significance. He imbues them with the iconic soul of humanity. I think that’s what he was trying to do, at least to some degree thereof.”


Interesting Read

Christian Dior’s Conquering Eye

Is it just me or does the composition of this portrait remind you of our feature photo this week?!

“Christian Dior was born on January 21, 1905, and had to wait until he was 42 years old to become an overnight sensation—as well as an international one. Dior had worked in the service of others for his first decade in fashion, but then on February 12, 1947, he debuted the first collection, and the echoes could be heard across the Atlantic, and in the pages of LIFE magazine. The story was headlined ” The House of Dior: New French Designer is Surprise Success at First Showing” and it breathlessly

quoted an unnamed American as saying, “God help the buyers who bought before they saw this. It changes everything.”

That story praised Dior for recognizing that his job was to seduce. A year later the magazine did another major story on the designer, observing that he was surprisingly unassuming and polite. He commented, “I’m a mild man, but I have violent tastes.”

The photos below showcase Dior’s seductive designs during his electric decade at the top.”


Story of the week

Anyone that follows our story will know that Stradbroke Island is my favourite place in the world. We were just wrapping up our business for the 2019 year, when Mel asked if I might be available to photograph her family for a very special occasion on Straddie just before Christmas. Yes (was the obvious answer)! The ferry ride over was, as always, just magic – it seems to put the whole world into perspective. We chose Home Beach as our photo location as there is so much variety in backdrop colours and textures and beautiful late afternoon light. I arrived early to map out some ideas for the Borton Family… It was a very special week-long celebration for Judy and Bill’s 60th wedding anniversary. 60 years – what an achievement! 

60 years and still in love

They also had their four daughters with partners and children to celebrate with them. I felt a connection to this family even before we met. As one of four children myself, I respect how difficult it is to make an event like this happen. For each family to take time out of busy lives and travel from around the country to be together. And if the last few months have taught us anything – it’s that we really need to relish in these kind of moments and make them happen when you can.

The stand out moment was easily the Family Tree photo. This portrait came together so naturally and easily, however, I certainly didn’t expect some of the grandchildren to climb as high as they did! Hopefully this will be a long lasting memory for the whole family – I absolutely loved the experience as well. I hope you are all staying safe out there Borton Family and that you can see each other again when the borders re-open. Thank you so much Mel for making this happen – and for Judy and Bill for sending the photo above with the lovely words below.

“Dear Hannah
We want to tell you how delighted we are with the 60 th Anniversary photos you took of our family at the end of December. The photography session was such fun and we really appreciated the lovely way you handled the group, making it an enjoyable experience for us all. Your skills in setting the locations for the photos and creating a variety of moods have resulted in wonderful photos of family groups as well the whole group. Bill and I adore the Family Tree photo on canvas and, as you can see it hangs in pride of place in our home.”

The ferry ride home...

Best Wishes From HP!

Thank you for getting this far! We can’t wait to share our big news with you next week along with some long-overdue updated team shots! Wishing you all a safe and wonderful week ahead.

And if you would like any wall art inspiration, check out this link: 

Best wishes,

Hannah, Olivia, Angela, Nic and Charlie

The Hannah Photography Team