Wednesday, 27 May 2009

A Lovey Afternoon Among Friends

William wandering into shots while he explores the garden

A taster of the kind of of photos we were taking

loads of fun and action
Today's shoot was the lovely Emily and her lovely family. I last visited Emily about three years ago. This was before her double lung transplant and before Willam got more sick, ended up on a list for an urgent small bowel transplant and recieved his own gift of life - a lot has happened since then!! If you haven't already done so, then take a look at Emily's blog for her story.
Emily is loads of fun and has loads of energy. She is certainly living her gift of life to the ful!! The shoot refected this with lots of jumping around and being silly. William was pottering about and being William so it was lovely to watch the two of them and compare it with how things were before their transplants. William was really pleased with the new friends he made and I hope it won't be so long before we see them all again.
It was a very challenging shoot technically with very bright sun, shadows and very blond hair to contend with. The light was at it's best at 5pm when Wills and I had to leave to get home for meds, feed and bed. I must confess to staying a little later than I should have done. I am happy with the results but they do need a bit more editing and processing than usual to correct some of the lighting so, more than ever, the shots you see here and in the gallery are not the finished images. I love learning from the technical challenges I face. On spot, I decided to compensate for the light by setting the shutter speed very fast. That worked well but I had to sacrifice some of the creative features I was seeking. That is fine as I have the images captured but it is why I need to do more work on the editing than usual. So I got home, researched what else could have been done and gave myself a tutorial on exposure bracketing and compensation. I have spent most of the last 3 years and photographing in hospitals so was not fully up to speed on the challenges of a lovely sunny day. I am now ready for the next time. I have also ordered a reflector for ourside portraits. Maybe we will end up repeating this phot-shoot. In the meantime, I am happy with some of the images we have, especially one or two really special shots that you will see for the first time when they are processed and printed and in the exhibition and photo book! I am sure what I am sharing now will give you a flavour of the fun we had and the kind of images that were captured. There are some more in the gallery
I am going to update the stories and news sections on the website over the next few days so do keep on dropping in.
The photoshoots are all emotional in their own way and I really hope this is coming out in the images. I talk about technical aspects of photography and that is important but, above all, it is about capturing and sharing the emotional impact of organ donation and transplants. Yesterday's shoot was fun and uplifting. Over the next few days I have some very different shoots that will be very emotional for me. On Friday, Wills and I are off to Birmingham to meet the wonderful parents of Ubaid Ali. Ubaid tragically died waiting for a liver and small bowel transplant. This is something I find particularly sad and difficult because William received a small bowel transplant and Ubaid was cared for by our transplant team. Ubaid died just as William was being listed for transplant. On Monday, I am meeting a fantastic lady who donated her seven year old daughter's organs when she died suddenly in an accident. Her daughter, Jade, was born around the same time as my daughter, Ellie. This will be the first time I meet a Mum who donated her child's organs. I feel so privledged to be doing this and meeting all these amazing people.

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