The Slow Photography Movement | Experiments in Colour: Personal Photo Project | Cambridgeshire photographer, Diana Hagues

If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you will know that I like to participate in various photography projects. It’s become an essential part of my photography for learning or honing new techniques. The satisfaction of seeing the end product and resulting images is always fun and rewarding, but it is the process of exploring the creative ideas and problem-solving that I find most challenging and enjoyable. Skills that, as a family documentary photographer, are important to have because of the unpredictability of how moments can sometimes unfold during a family documentary session. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job photographing families and children!

If you want a little re-cap of the photography projects I am involved with, then they are listed at the end of this post with links to the different topics below. 

The Slow Photography Movement

One project that I do want to expand on a little further is The Slow Photography Movement (TSPM). It was set up by my friend, Laura Aziz, a Sussex-based family photographer who runs Baby, Picture This. The idea of TSPM is to create a slower pace of photography with more mindfulness given to delving and exploring topic themes. It’s a brilliant and clever idea! It is like going to art school and being asked to focus on learning our craft and looking deeper into the processes of creating our images. The topics are studied and discussed over an 8-week period with opportunities to shoot and share our work. 

The beauty of The Slow Photography Movement is that also anyone can join in. You learn at your own pace with ongoing research involved if you wanted. TSPM works as an antithesis to the fast-paced content-sharing that we regularly find ourselves getting absorbed with on social media or to other photo-sharing sites. There is an interesting article written by Tim Wu that looks at the reasons behind why we take pictures and TSPM a bit further, which I'd really recommend reading.

Topic: Colour

The first topic we explored at the start of 2018 was ‘Self’. You can find the images some of the photographers created here

For the last topic, we were encouraged to study ‘Colour’. I thought the ‘Self’ topic was difficult, but colour might have been even harder! When it comes to applying colour in my photography and also in my everyday life, I know I have my own level of comfort in how I use and edit colour in my personal images. However, this project is about stepping outside my comfort zone and hopefully help me improve the use of colour in my personal photography. So I threw myself into the colour exercise, which you will see below quite literally(!).   

We were encouraged to think about Colour Theory and learning how different colours, tones and shades, can affect different moods and feelings. It’s really interesting learning about the psychology behind colour theory.

Here are my experiments in colour below.

Tate Modern, South Bank

What better way to dive into the Colour topic than with a visit to one of the biggest art institutions in London. From large installations to small contemporary artwork, there is a hugely eclectic range to look at and study. Even the space itself that was once an old power station is an environment that inspires and open your mind to the possibilities of what can be created and housed behind its concrete rooms. 

I went to meet up with some friends at the gallery, but with the colour topic on my mind, I made sure to keep my eyes peeled for this when I was wandering around the gallery. Although the bare and grey concrete surfaces immediately hit you as you enter the Turbine Hall, if you look carefully you’ll spot a hint of colour if you look up above you. Or in this case, looking down from the bridge between the Boiler house and Blavatnik building.

Turbine-hall-tate-modern-art-space-diana-hagues-photography

I found colour everywhere else too. Some may not have been as obvious at first glance. I was amused by a young visitor to the gallery dressed in a jacket the same colour as the wall behind him, as well as one of the gallery staff who was taking a break nearby. 

Orange jacket boy in front of orange wall diana hagues photograp
Man sitting on steps texting orange top and wall in the backgrou

Take a look and see if you could identify the other subtle shades of colours and spot the visitors that appear to be camouflaged against the art pieces.

Man standing at window in Tate gallery, London
tate modern boys yellow room art galleries
Heish 365 self-portraits exhibition, Tate Modern London
Black on black

Abstract colour

Back home and after being inspired by my trip to the Tate Modern I attempted some of my own contemporary artwork. For this exercise, I used some colourful pieces of scarves that I picked up from the high street. 

Here is my first attempt:

Scarves on the washing line flying high in the blue sky

Then, I combined the two topics (Self + Colour) from The Slow Photography Movement to create some self-portraits:

Faceless-scarf-portrait-colour-slow-photography-movement.jpg
Layered-scarf-colour-portrait-legs-slow-photography-movement-uk.jpg

Last, but not least, I have submitted this as my final piece for Laura’s blog (coming soon).

Self portraits colour experiments with scarf

What do you think to The Slow Photography Movement? How do these colours make you feel? Leave a comment below to share your ideas and thoughts.

To find out more about the other photography projects I am involved with, click on the links below:

Free 52 project

Self-portraiture and P52 radness

The Two Brothers Project

 

Cambridge Day in the Life photos: Family in Action | Diana Hagues Photography | Cambridge Family, Newborn and Maternity Documentary photographer

You know when you have children. You start realising that life becomes a fine balancing act and you’re doing your best to juggle parenting duties with your spouse, trying not to lose your cool over the kids when they’re not doing as they were told or take their playfulness to the next level.

You might also be picturing what it was like for your parents as you were growing up — imagining what it felt like for them to manage the household and delegating the duties, while simultaneously looking after you and perhaps your siblings. When one parent works away from home for extended periods of time or your family goes on the road, maybe transatlantically moving across countries. The balance of family life is shifted even more. This I have learnt from my own experience of having my dad working aboard and my mum taking on the full-time job of solo-parenting my brother and I, while also running our home. 

Photographing the Perry family for their half day-in-the-life documentary family session reminded me of my own early years. The mother had told me that she had looked into getting some professional photographs of the children done in the past, but because they had moved around different countries in both the U.S. and south-east Asia, she never managed to have the pictures taken. Indeed, I hardly saw any family photographs in the home. 

Now being based back in England, she wanted some photographs of her children while they were still young and have some memories of their daily life captured… Who knows where her husband’s job might take them again? For now, they were glad to be in one place and carry on a normal family life together.

Thank you for inviting me capture a typical Saturday morning for you.

Copy of Breakfast scene boy eating his bowl of cereal with milk moustach
Copy of Mother wiping her boys nose in the park
Copy of dad and his two children share a tender moment together - Diana
Copy of two siblings having a playfight in their home -Diana Hagues Phot
Copy of Conversations at the table during the family mealtime - Diana Ha
Copy of Black and white photograph of girl landing on the sofa
Copy of Playing ball on the stairs in day in the life photo session
Copy of Son giving his mother a kiss goodbye at the door - Diana Hagues

Diana Hagues Photography is a Cambridgeshire-based documentary family photographer, who specialises in creating natural, candid and emotive storytelling family photos. Find out more details about my photography sessions here and to book email Diana hello@dianahaguesphotography.co.uk

A Dear Photographer magazine feature | Details Issue | Cambridgeshire documentary children and family photographer, Diana Hagues Photography

A few days ago a package arrived in my letterbox all the way from America. Inside was an issue of the Dear Photographer magazine - their third publication since they launched the magazine in summer 2017. The magazine was created to showcase photographers’ work from around the world. Photographs that are not only just pretty pictures on a page, but are curated for their work of art and visual narrative. 

Each publication was based on a theme. So far, they’ve had: Epic Summer (launch magazine), Light and Details. 

I was lucky enough to have one of my self-portraits featured in the Light issue earlier this year out of over 13,000 images submitted globally. A surprise in itself as I knew of so many incredible artists who take stunning ‘light’ images in their work. The popularity of this magazine issue was made more noticeable by how quickly it sold out within the first day of it being available.

I didn’t hold my hopes up the second time around when the editors made a call for submissions for the Details issue. This time, out of over 8700 images, I learned that one of mine was accepted. It was an image I had taken from my very first family session. The image is one I have on my homepage and you can view the family storytelling session in my portfolio. The image shows the father putting his hand on his daughter’s back as he supports her during one of her early bike rides. For any parent teaching their children how to learn to ride a bike will know that a child being able to ride their bike is a milestone; a personal triumph for the child and also a proud moment from the parents’ perspective. This photograph signifies this moment. It’s a detail in the narrative of this family’s story. 

It was an honour to see the image placed in the Touch collection and amongst talented artists who I greatly admire and feel inspired by. 

A sincere gratitude to Janel and Adri of Dear Photographer magazine for this feature. Also, to this family and everyone who place their trust in me to capture them in their raw and real moments. It’s details like these that I’d love to preserve for you and make these moments last a lifetime.

Dear Photographer feature May Issue Details
Dear Photographer feature May Issue Details
Touch image in Dear Photographer magazine by Diana Hagues Photog

This photograph of my boys and I was also featured in the Dear Photographer blog

Dear Photographer feature May Issue Details

Diana Hagues Photography is a storytelling and documentary photographer based near Cambridge, specialising in family, newborn and day in the life sessions. I also do commercial photography and photograph events and accept a limited number of weddings a year. Email me at hello@dianahaguesphotography.co.uk to learn more.