03 January 2011

Inspiration for My Wedding, Portrait and Fashion Photography in Liverpool: Fantine

My photographs don't just happen by accident.  My head is just full of ideas of shots I want to create, and these ideas have all been informed by things I see around me.  So I decided to share some of the inspiration with you so that you can understand more about my thought processes, and how I come to create the imagery I do.

The first image I want to share hangs in Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery - one of my favourite places to go, and definitely one of the best art galleries in the UK.  It is a painting I am very fond of and only recently I discovered that my father also loves this piece of work too.  It's a painting by Margaret Bernardine Hall called Fantine, and in the spirit of respecting copyright, instead of doing a copy and paste I am instead directing you to the Walker Art Gallery site to see the image there - Fantine - the painting is of Fantine from the story of Les Miserable at the point where the mother is giving her child up hoping that it will bring her a better life.

What I particularly love about this painting is the lighting.  If I were to produce a photograph lit like this there would likely be criticism for a poorly lit subject, but I believe that Hall specifically chose to light the subject in this manner.  The light is clearly coming from behind the mother, falling on the child, so we know that the story is about the child.  I also interpret the lighting to telling us about the darkness the mother is in as she is about to hand her daughter over to someone else to bring up on her behalf.

I'm not sure how this particular work will influence an image I take, as I don't want to photograph such raw emotion as I see in this painting.  However I do love the inspiration I can take from how light is used to tell the story, and it is this that I look to bring more into my work.

Watch out for the next piece of inspiration from the work of Jack Vetriano.

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