In focus Friday - Inkspirational

01 June 2018

SIG: Documentary

This week Lorraine Poole talks us through this beautifully composed grab shot. Lorraine submitted this image for the April round of the Documentary Group's bi-monthly competition (link) and we wanted to share it with a wider audience.

Hi, Lorraine, can you give us a little background about the shot?

it was literally a grab shot taken in a cafe in Poole, Dorset. I didn’t have this shot in mind, I had stopped for a hot chocolate and a break to be honest. I was in Poole to do a photoshoot to promote some designer leggings with a summer festival vibe (it was a chilly Easter Sunday!). I just loved the way the natural light from the window highlighted the women as they drank coffee and chatted - and those wonderful hand tattoos (I am a big fan of body art!). The young woman in question is a tattoo artist and I loved her look in general however the tattooed fingers around the plain white coffee cup really caught my eye. I love capturing those details that can be so easily overlooked. And as I always have my camera around my neck it was a case of point, focus, shoot.

What was your plan for the day?

My plan for the day was to get some shots of some fabulous models having fun wearing even more fabulous leggings (YEWleggings). As big fans of festivals the girls were all incredibly colourful, vibrant, gorgeous and energetic despite the rather chilly weather conditions. It was all very unstructured and that is just how I like it. I never have a set plan as to what I want exactly its all pretty organic with me.

What’s your routine just before heading out with your camera?

It's very simple (like my style of photography) – double check battery life, check space on memory card (make sure it’s in the camera), basically does the camera still work! Make sure I have a bottle of water, chocolate in case of low blood sugar, my blue disability badge and money for an ice cream.

While you’re out what makes you press the shutter release?

Anything and everything. I love a detail and tend to focus my eye on the smaller picture amongst the bigger picture if you know what I mean. I love Street Photography and always get a real buzz when I capture candid happenings, whatever and wherever that may be. 

Where can we find more of your work?

I have two websites now which I have put together myself, one for my blog (link) and one for my commercial work (link) as well as the usual social media presence – Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn and Twitter.

What do you think photographers don’t do but should?

I think photographers should just do their own thing and not get too distracted by equipment. There is no right or wrong in photography. Do what makes you happy! And respect others in their pursuance of their own art.

Which camera has been your all time favourite and why?

My current camera which is a Canon EOS 6D is so far my all time favourite. Mine is second hand so I got it for a good price (as I don’t have a lot of money to say the least) but the main reason I chose it was because it wasn’t so big and heavy as other similar models. I can have painful wrists and arms due to my condition sometimes so it had to be comfortable for me to use. I am very, very pleased with it and being full frame is a bonus too. 

And finally, what essential piece of advice would give your noviceself? If you enjoy it then never give up (despite the bad days) and always stay true to yourself. Take constructive criticism gracefully and then choose what you want to do with it (if anything). Life is like photography in that you need the negatives to develop!

Great advice, thanks Lorraine.

If you would like your work to feature in a future edition, please email us (docweb@rps.org ).