Tag Archives: Cornwall

Londoners (or anybody willing to travel) – Please support our second year BA(Hons) Press & Editorial Photography exhibition The Long & Short of it. Exhibiting at Calumet, London, 24th March – 17th April. Private View 24th March. Lots of up-and-coming talent, plus free food and booze. I shall be there with canapés…

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Assisting Jane Hilton’s winter fashion shoot for Next and how it helped with my own photography

I recently received Next’s Winter and Christmas catalogue in the post, which at first I thought was odd as it’s definitely not something I’d sign up to but soon realised that it would be the calalogue that featured Jane’s shoots I assisted over summer.

I quickly flipped through and instantly found Heloise Guerin outside St. Paul’s Cathedral and even found my own shadow as I shaded her from the heat of the scorching July morning.

It was the challenges we faced at St. Paul’s where I felt I’d really benefitted from the breadth of knowledge and experience from Jane and her team. Jane apologised for the 6am start but she knew that by 9am, we’d be swamped with tourists and it would be increasingly difficult to shoot. This way, we’d also gain from the morning sun, although we were still shooting up until 4pm because of the difficulties of location shoots – living out of a parked Winnebago whilst scouting for different places to shoot that will avoid the Japanese wedding photographers that seem to be scattered across St. Paul’s shooting rich Japanese engaged couples outside famous tourist attractions in wedding gear bought specifically for the shoot and not worn on their wedding day…(Jane’s curiosity couldn’t help but ask them what they were up to). This along with the normal hold-ups of garment changes, make-up retouching,  etc etc certainly introduced me head first into the world of fashion.

These shoots take an incredible amount of organisation – car passes, parking spaces, drivers, location rights, models, make-up, hair, tethering, equipment, assisting, designing, directing, breakfast and lunch supplies…oh and photographing.  Fashion is certainly a team effort and is incredibly involved.

I don’t think I was really aware of how much I took away from the experience until I had to shoot my first fashion shoot two days ago, which I had really not been looking forward to as a documentary photographer. https://amyromer.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/fashion-shoot/ I instinctively wanted to plan the shoot with Jeff (my model) beforehand, showing him pictures of ideas I had so we could collaborate based on both our experiences. I knew my model would be more experienced than I was as a photographer so their input was hugely important to me. I arranged to be on location at 7am so I had time to scout for a specific spot and arranged for my model to meet us at 8am, so he wasn’t hanging around unnecessarily.  I had every piece of equipment I felt could potentially be needed and my model was in charge of the clothes he wanted to model – a weight gladly taken off my mind. We worked with two assistants and knew exactly where we were going for breakfast after the shoot! Job done and home to Falmouth by 10:30am. I know that without assisting Jane, there would have been several essential elements missing – the most important element being confidence in what I was doing.

A few shots from my first fashion shoot:

Fashion with Jeff MonkmanFashion with Jeff MonkmanFashion with Jeff Monkman

All rights reserved © Amy Romer 2014

So thanks Jane Hilton for allowing me to enjoy fashion.

Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 15.57.31 Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 15.57.41 Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 15.57.54 Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 15.58.03 Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 15.58.13

All rights reserved © Jane Hilton 2014

…spot my shadow??

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Model: Jeff Monkman. Assistant: Rosie McLeod. Dog sitter: Jonny Borders.

To my surprise…I rather enjoyed myself.

Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman Fashion with Jeff Monkman

All images © Amy Romer 2014

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Alternative stories

Although I’m fairly certain I want to use Mortlake Road, these are the other two stories I could potentially use for an editorial spread.


Although I really like all these images separately, they do not link together to form a picture story.

This is from a brief called ‘A Person At Work’, where we were to summarise the title of the brief in one picture. I followed Liam, who is part of the Bennett’s family that own and run Chy-An-Besow Farm, a free-range chicken and rare breed pig farm in West Cornwall.

Liam takes part in the daily running of the farm and so I photographed him during various activities, which does not necessarily form a coherent story for an editorial.

It is possible that I could make a tight edit and only use the photographs of Liam with the chickens and form a story around the free-range element of the farm, but I can’t see how these images will form the story I’d want to tell.


For the same brief – ‘A Person At Work’, I photographed Garry Johnson, an artist blacksmith in East Cornwall. Although I was still shooting for the one picture, I managed to unconsciously create a picture story on Garry and his work.

This shoot took place after Chy-an-Besow and so maybe I was more conscious of moving in close, stepping back and creating more options for myself. I think also because we were in a small workshop, I had more time to think about the different ways of photographing rather than dealing with different scenes and photographing each scene in a few minutes.

I always knew that I couldn’t use the formal portrait but it was a picture I had to take because as he was talking to me the light became diffused and suddenly fell on his face really beautifully so it was an opportunity not to be missed.

Together, the pictures form all the elements to make a portraiture photo story suitable for an editorial format. The formal, the observed, the detail and the environmental.

I think my reservation lies in the story itself. I’m not sure how much I really have to say about artist blacksmithing, in comparison to what I have to say about Mortlake Road, which is a private family story about life-long love and the effects of dementia.

If possible, I think I’d like to do an editorial spread for both Garry Johnson and Mortlake Road. I think it would be interesting to see how I direct the two stories and deal with design, writing and editing.

All images © Amy Romer 2014






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STORMS – A Collective Photography Exhibition, Number 20 Wine Bar, Penryn, 20th February – 20th March 2014

ANYBODY IN, AROUND OR NEAR(ISH) TO FALMOUTH (Yes – including Devon people!! Although on this occasion I would highly recommend the A30 as opposed to any form of barely existing public transport), please come and visit STORMS – A Collective Photography Exhibition, which documents the recent storms which have hit the South West. The exhibition is likely to contain some pretty epic pictures, and there’s one of mine in there too.

The Private View will take place tomorrow, Thursday 20th February at 7pm and the exhibition will be running for one month. Please come and tell all your friends to come too.

Number 20 Wine Bar, Lower Market Street, Penryn, Cornwall


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Christian Orthodoxy in Cornwall – portraits of Father Raphael

For our Christmas assignment ‘The Portrait Element’ I wanted to explore non-mainstream religious ceremonies that people in the UK may not be educated about.

After searching the local possibilities, I was told about the Orthodox Community in Cornwall and apparently the church was close by.

Although Christianity is the second largest religion in the world, seldom do we know about Eastern Orthodoxy in our Western cultures.

I attended the 5th January sunday ceremony – The Divine Liturgy and The Great Blessing of Waters with Father Raphael Hawkes, who gave me permission to photograph him taking the ceremony, giving me an insight to his faith and to Orthodox ceremonies.


All images © Amy Romer, 2014

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Thank you for letting me do this William Klein…

Halloween at Eden, 2013

Winter at Eden. © Amy Romer, 2013

It seems obvious to call this a photograph a failure as I have not captured the main subject in focus. However if it were not for this blurry figure and her expression, I doubt there would be anything in the frame worth looking at.

The blur speaks of spontaneity and community and we are reminded that lacking a certain amount of control can feel exhilarating in our everyday controlled environments.


William Klein – In the crowd, 5th avenue, NY 1955

I came across this picture in a lecture last week and it instantly reminded me of the girl at Eden and helped me understand why pictures like this can work so well.

The woman cuts across the frame in the opposite direction to the crowd, creating a busy and dynamic composition. This is complimented by the unusual focus on the background. The woman is reduced to a figure, but we can see all the important information we need – her expression and her class. The fact that she is out of focus gives emphasis to bustling crowd and the action within it; something Klein masters in his street photography.

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A Person At Work: Stones Bakery, Falmouth


Third and final subject for my first assignment on Press & Editorial Photography at Falmouth University.

Out of the three shoots for A Person At Work, this is the set of images I have struggled to decide which to print to 8×10 and use for my January portfolio.

I think this is mainly because they’re the most consistent set of images. I was hoping that our group crit. earlier in the week would help me decide but it seems that all of us are undecided with equal votes for each.

We did manage to eliminate the 3rd image based on the fact that the baker in the picture was not necessarily a baker within the context of the picture.

I’ve printed the other 3 to 8×10 to see if the increase in size would help me form a decision, as is sometimes the case, but at the moment I’m still undecided.

Any thoughts? Please share.

All images © Amy Romer 2013

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