Free 52 Project: October | Freelensing and Creative Photography |  Diana Hagues, Cambridgeshire Family Photographer 

I have to admit that lately I hardly picked up my camera for my personal work. With client photography sessions and also working on behind-the-scenes stuff on my website (more to come soon!), I haven’t felt the urge to take my camera out for anything else. 

Don’t get me wrong. I am not complaining. I find in life that it is all about making a balance. When one side of life is rushing full-speed ahead to get jobs done or manage urgent deadlines, the other side calls for slowing down and making quiet reflection. 

So that is what I have done. I took a step back from making my own photographs to quietly observe and reflect on the surrounding scenes around me. 

As one of the great masters of photography, Elliott Erwitt, said:    

“Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

What wisdom lies in those words. It makes that connection between curiosity and wonder and letting yourself experience fully what you are seeing.

Some freelensed images of autumnal goodness taken last month. When you have finished looking through my images, go to the talented Gwendolyn Athman’s blog to see her beautiful freelensing images. Follow our blog circle around until you come back to here.

children walking in the woods and sunlight through leaves
Two brothers making a little boat with wood and feather
Little boat made of feather and bark
Boy floating his little boat on the river
swans on the river
Autumn grass leaves yellow colour
Autumn light through the plant seed
Self-portait by the red autumn leaves
Children in the pumpkin field
Orange pumpkin
pumpkins lined up by the pumpkin field
Boy wheeling his pumpkins from the pumpkin field
People picking their pumpkins in the pumpkin field

FREELENSING: A retrospective of my freelensing journey | Personal Work | Cambridgeshire Photographer

I was looking at the calendar the other day and it suddenly occurred to me that it was a little more than a year ago since I had begun seriously doing freelensing (yay!). 

A Year of Freelensing

If you haven’t been following my freelensing journey or you are wondering what freelensing is about, then you should read this entry I wrote on my blog last summer HERE. It showcases some of the first freelensed images I took during a month-long photography project delving into freelensing. I also detailed what camera I used and how I adapted my lens, and mindset, in order to enable me to freelens.

What got me seriously hooked onto freelensing though was joining a group of photography friends to challenge ourselves for a month to spend every day doing freelensing. I had talked about the value of doing a personal photography project before, in terms of experimenting new techniques and creativity. But finding a partner-in-crime or your own tribe, who could share the same interest or goals as you, is so invaluable for keeping each other motivated and accountable when it comes to doing a photography project or learning a new skill, such as freelensing.  

Freelensing is not the easiest camera technique to get right. If there is a right or wrong at all. 

In my Freelensing / Freelensing 31 article, I had said at the beginning that one thing I learnt with freelensing is the object of letting go. A year on, I would also add perseverance too. 

The Point of Letting Go

I have had a few photography friends who have dabbled in freelensing (with the lens un-attached from the body of the camera) ask me how I create my freelensed photographs. Or what I imagine they really want to know is how they can get it right every time. 

You cannot get it right every time or indeed even straight away, like some magic you can create as soon as you pick up the camera. So many times I had looked through my camera viewfinder thinking I had got the slice of focus where I wanted and captured the vision in my image, only to see on the back of the screen or back at home on the computer that it hadn’t landed right where I had intended. 

That’s ok. I’ve learnt the point of freelensing is about letting go of perfection and persevering until the little adjustments I make with the lens becomes more intuitive.  

Freelensing is not about creating a sharp image or even a blurry photograph. It’s about taking a very literal image and elevating the image into something else; creating moods and feel to a photograph. During freelensing, I find I slow down more which helps me to observe my environment and feel the moment.

I realise the above description could be applied to a lot of photographic techniques. I am concentrating on just freelensing here, because I know it can be frustrating to see if you are doing it right when you first discover this wonderful camera technique. I am not into fad or photography trends that could quickly make photographs look out-dated one day. On the other hand, freelensing is gaining popularity in the photography world and I love the painted quality it adds to my photographs, like that of the Impressionist painters.

Freelensing Life

Below is a slideshow of images I have selected from some themed freelensing challenges (#freelensinglife) I have been doing throughout the course of this year over on my Instagram account with some other photographers. I have not previously shared these images to my blog, as they did not fit within the narrative-theme that I normally contribute for the Free 52 project. However, doing the Free 52 project and #freelensinglife together, has given me the confidence to explore freelensing further. It has spilled over into other photography work I undertake, which includes using freelensing in my self-portraiture.

To follow this month’s blog circle to our Free 52 project group, go now to my beautiful friend Julie Godbolt and follow along to see what some of these talented freelensing artists have been creating in September. 

Dear Photographer Magazine: BLACK & WHITE ISSUE | Published work | Cambridgeshire Documentary Wedding and Family Photographer, Diana Hagues Photography

With the summer holiday now over and the kids seen off back to school, I have only just been able to sit down and have a proper look through my copy of the Dear Photographer Magazine that landed on my desk last week.

This stunning coffee table magazine features over 120 artists’ photographs inside eight collections. The collections included: The Interesting Composition, Portrait, Movement and The Moments In Time. There were also seven articles written by featured guests artists, who are all beautifully skilled in using the art of black and white photography.   

A portrait of me appeared alongside some amazing self-portrait artists under the P52radness collection. One of my most raw self-portraits and photography I have made so far. It was so lovely and an honour to see this in print after my image was also featured under the Powerful Monochrome P52radness collection in this blog HERE back in the Spring.

Once again, I would like to thank the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Janel Peyton, and the founder & CEO, Adri de la Cruz, for their dedication and hard work to create this magazine. Also for giving a platform to share and support artists in this art form of photography. 

Thank you.

Diana x

Dear Photographer Magazine Black + White issue
Artist Diana Hagues self-portrait in black + white

Let It Teach Us About Us - Some poignant words by artist, Ana Myer, on what a good black & white photo can teach us about us, as well as the moral of a story in a black and white photograph.

An article inside the Black and White Edition of Dear Photograph
Internationally published Diana Hagues Photography, Cambridge U.