Tag Archives: Portraiture


Stephanie and Rachel Dunne are identical twins from Rugby, Warwickshire. Despite living in separate parts of the country until May 2014, the two sisters are still very much one unit. Stephanie (left) moved to Exeter in 2011 to seek independence for herself but after the loss of their father in May 2014, she moved back to Rugby to be closer to Rachel (right) and their family.

These are all pictures I’m going to have to live with for a while before making an edit of 6 for a fully captioned 6-part picture story.

I will be posting up different variants of 6 and showing how they could work in the few weeks time.

Hope you enjoy this very loose edit.


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First draft of double page spread

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 14.19.07

Screen shot 2014-05-15 at 14.16.47


The content

As discussed on March 1st in the article ‘Choosing a Story’, I think of the five images selected for the story, Jean on the stairs has to be the establisher. It’s a visually striking picture that entices you into the story. The second most important is Hugh and Jean on the bed as it introduces you to the couple and their bedridden existence. The other three are important in terms of telling the story but are more detailed shots, which are talked about within the text.

I wrote this story back in December for an issue of 205dpi magazine and have found myself editing it slightly, partly through criticism of my own writing but partly because I hadn’t really explained who I was in relation to Hugh and Jean and hadn’t made it clear enough what was going on in some of the detail pictures.

Originally, this story was called ‘Mortlake Road’ but I have tried to be less objective and more suggestive and elegant with my choice of word(s) for the headline. ‘Longevity’ seems the perfect description for Hugh and Jean and I have tried to use design to mimic this by loosening the tracking.

I will need to play around with Figures. I can either direct you to the pictures within the main body of text ie (top left), or I can create a design element for them. The space on the far right could work well for this although I’m enjoying the negative space I’ve created in that column.


The design

This design is based on a selection of elements I found myself being particularly drawn to during my editorial design research. My aim is to produce two double page spreads that borrows these elements to create a clear vision for my work that can communicate the story clearly whilst looking attractive on the page.

You can see here that I like the design to be simple and minimalist with plenty of negative space, simple type faces and clean shapes. Whilst designing, I found myself being very aware not to create a design element purely for the sake of design, but to make sure that it had a benefit to the story or to the editorial itself. For example, I have named the editorial ‘Documentary Photography’ (invention clearly not my forte), and have given it an Issue number. This is something you would find in any art editorial and allows me to think about design. However, when I started placing elements such as lines around the design, most of the time I deleted them as they seemed to have no purpose and distracted me from the content.

As I seemed to be drawn to the establishing image leaking itself across onto two pages, I have started with this design. It gives a clear area for the headline and standfirst, it looks crisp and I don’t have to worry about the issues faced when placing text over the top of an image.

The lines around the quote I think help the quote stand out and are therefore justified. They also look aesthetically pleasing as the lines match the thickness of the crisp capitals of Futura Light.

Having assessed editorials to look at how many typefaces they use on average, I found that generally editorials use no more than three typefaces. Often, they use two but will use a few various typefaces from their font family, as opposed to using different fonts altogether. In my design, I have used three fonts: Lixus Libertine and Minion Pro for the main body text and standfirst and Futura for the other elements.

I particularly wanted to link the headline to the title of the editorial, page numbers, website etc because it tightens up the editorial gives it a stronger brand (were it real) and I used Futura for this because it seems to be a versatile font that is crisp and modern but classic at the same time.

A note of Futura:

Following the Bauhaus design philosophy, German type designer Paul Renner first created Futura between 1924 and 1926. Although Renner was not a member of the Bauhaus, he shared many of its views, believing that a modern typeface should express modern models rather than be a rivial of a previous design. Futura was commercially released in 1927, commissioned by the Bauer type foundry.

While designing Futura, Renner avoided creating any non-essential elements, making use of basic geometric proportions with no serifs or frills. Futura’s crisp, clean forms reflect the appearance of efficiency and forwardness even today.


It is interesting to see that I seem to have chosen a typeface that mimics what I’ve been saying about avoiding ‘non-essential elements’ with its efficient, crisp appearance.



Next I will be showing various versions of this design. The changes are subtle but nevertheless important!


All images © Amy Romer 2014

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A few characters at the fortnightly Cornwall Carers meeting, The Memory Cafe, Newquay, 6th May 2014


I’d arranged with a support worker from Cornwall Carers to attend this meeting in Newquay in order to meet some of the carers and guests of the Memory Cafe, in mind of a new project I’m hoping to start for my PEP 140 module.

The memory cafe offers support and activities for guests who have memory difficulties as well as their family members or carers.


Activities are geared towards stimulating and sharing memories, generating conversation, and enjoying the company of others. All in an informal atmosphere, with tea and cake refreshments.


Guests who are carers have the opportunity to discuss all aspects of caring amongst themselves and with access to  guidance and support from professionals if required.



A natural leader and a widely loved lady, Eileen is a big contributor to the carers meeting as well as being a carer for her husband.


Jenny could hold the attention of the whole room with her very dry sense of humour and elaborate stories. There were definitely a few occasions I had to put my camera to let out my laughter.


I found the meeting to be a great deal of fun. We all made badges with our names on to help everybody remember each others names. We then took part took part in a quiz, which was used as a tool to trigger memories from historial events or names of flowers etc. This was really successful but despite that, the group was mostly lead by pure conversation with one another; telling stories, sharing memories and generally lots of  laughter.



All images © Amy Romer, 2014

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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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Identity crisis in Photojournalism

Identity crisis in Photojournalism

Are Photjournalists truly appreciated in the public eye?

“Anyone can get lucky with a few pictures, just like pretty much everyone has one or two dishes they’ve mastered in the kitchen,” said Brooklyn-based freelance photographer Scout Tufankjian, who has documented President Obama, the Haitian earthquake and Arab Spring. “That doesn’t mean that they can produce solid, compelling and ethically produced stories on demand. I make great hummus and kibbe. That doesn’t mean I’m capable of running a restaurant.”

“For many photojournalists, Hart included, the problem is not the iPhone, which is merely a device, after all. The problem is that using it—or any camera, professionally requires an understanding of visual storytelling, which is about sequencing and patience, framing, knowing what to exclude as much as what to include.” 

Quotes taken from:  ”Identity crisis’ in Photojournalism’, American Journalism Review.

Article by Jackie Spinner, December 2013. 

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Mr. Zbieranowski.



An evening in the studio with Mikey Zbieranowski and Jon Denham experimenting with modifiers is an evening well spent. Not to mention a great excuse to photograph some more portraits.

Very slowly I’m feeling more confident about lighting subjects and creating a lighting environment that has the potential to house a successful portrait. 

Soon it will be time to start thinking like this…

‘…to reveal the individual before his camera, to transfer the living quality of that individual to his finished print…Not to make road maps but to record the essential truth of the subject; not to show how this person looks, but to show what he is.’

Edward Weston

© All images Amy Romer, 2013

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More studio portraiture


pierre2 print

All images © Amy Romer 2013

A good session of practicing some classic portraiture lighting. After slowly building up the use of multiple lights and reflectors, these were my favoured outcomes – simple butterfly using a softbox above and to the right, a second flood added to lighten the left side of the background and pick out the head and shoulder outline by ‘tonal interchange’ and on this second image, a hair light to pick out the outline of his hair and bring him forward out of the background.

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