Claire Frances Photography

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Hello, I'm Claire Frances a Lifestyle Portrait Photographer situated in Hertfordshire.

I have four main loves in my life... family, friends, photography and sport. The camera is part of my life when it is with is my point of view.

There has always been a creative streak in my family.  My mother a fantastic florist and watercolour artist and my uncle was an enthusiastic transport photographer in the fifties and sixties.

 I enjoy being entrusted with a brief and take pride in my work.  For me it is a privilege to photograph someone. 

I like to work with all sorts of interesting people .  Words, gestures and feelings can be fleeting but a photo can  capture human emotion and translate that moment in that given time... into an everlasting picture.

Claire Frances Interview Spring 2016

What do you like best about photography?

I am captured by the way we see people and the way other people see people or the world.  I love learning from the great photographers of past and present.  I enjoy analysing their work and comments which all hold such value and wonder to me.

I also find presenting images to clients really nourishing.  As the photographer you know what you were thinking when you took it and what it represents to you, but how a viewer reads the up to them.

Three words that describe your shooting style?

Beautiful simple and honest.

Is it possible to see beauty in imperfection?

Yes.  Also, it is worth saying that photography can take you beyond what your eyes can see if an image has enough impact.

What do you like most about the art world?

I like to look at a picture or painting and silently see if it talks.  I like the historical value to the works over the years and how one person can see something  and somebody else may interpret the same thing very differently .  Art experts fascinate me with the knowledge and historical stories that highlight things in the painting or picture you may have first overlooked or not understood.   

In paintings and photography I also like fast read images that are quick to flag up the intention and message.

Unlike sport, there are no rules sometimes wrong is right and right is wrong.  It helps you see the world around you like you may never have before.  It encourages you to really see your surroundings.

What is important to you?

Light  and context is everything in photography.  I like to capture skin tone and complexion in a flattering way.  For me gaining somebodies trust is important.  I like to talk to people on a one to one basis.  I like to find out what they want and then reverse engineer it so that the images meet the brief.  

Fantastic image acquisition also is of importance to me.  Delivering a bespoke finished framed image to a client is my favourite thing to do.  A client who enjoys having their photo taken is always a joy and those who may be a little more shy are always fun to work with too as we can really achieve flattering images which they may have thought would not be possible .

I like to listen to the clients feedback on the finished images , every individual has personal favourites for personal reasons.  There is nothing more satisfying than experiencing the subject falling  a little bit in love with the camera during the shoot  and  the finished images.

When showcasing my portfolio I like the viewer to look at an image and feel or want to be part of the scene .   

When preparing the finished collection it is important I bring lots of moments together and get to the heart of the meaning.  Once the client has their own set of images I value the narrative to a collection of photos.  

I want the photos to create a feeling in the viewer that surpasses time and gives them the feeling it is living and breathing again.  For me, it is important to give my clients  a piece  of  memorabilia which has a sense of place which also reflects the people present and the moment they were in.  

It is vital  to get the shots that I know work, but equally, I like spontaneous shooting.  If I am comfortable I know I need to think creatively again, capture what I see and make it unique!  I make time to do this as it is very important to me to have pride in my work.

Backing up work will always be very important! Ensuring the photos I have taken of a clients session  or event is a responsibility I  take very seriously. Making sure the images are secure  is a critical and time consuming part of my post prodution workflow.   

Finally, it is important to me to convey the message "I am going to try and do right by you".

What do you think are your strengths?

I care.  I am reliable.

I can read and concentrate on an event  to capture the responses for the candid off guard natural images.   I like to watch people love and live life and anticipate moments that are worth recording.  At events I like to get a quick sense of who the people are and try to capture characteristics and gestures.

I can adapt quickly in changing circumstances. 

Discipline. Benchmarking quality. It is important  to want to pick up the camera everyday even though it is my job.  I will never loose the enjoyment photography gave me before it was my profession.

I will persevere in difficult shooting conditions and will be determined to make the best picture I can in challenging or changing situations.

Preparation, planning and time management.  I strive to make things as seamless as possible.

Organised work flow.

Using Contact Sheets.

Figuring things out.

Do you use second shooters?

I have a list of preferred colleagues and it's great to collaborate with likeminded, reliable fellow professionals on bigger commissions and events.

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