Feature Friday//Anna Bradley Photography//May 12, 2017

This week for Feature Friday we are giving you a glimpse into the life of Anna Bradley of Anna Bradley Photography. She was last weeks winner of the Sun and Rainfall theme! She offers some great information, inspirational words, and the work she shares is stunning! 

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Please tell us about yourself

I am fine art and family photographer based in Buckinghamshire in the UK. I have three children - aged 8, 5 and 2 - who are the main subjects of my personal work although I also take on a limited amount of client work. I am a total black and white addict (although I do sometimes edit in colour too!)

Can you describe your style in 3 words? Why those words?

Natural, honest, personal. Nearly all of my images are taken in very ordinary places and record very ordinary moments and I rarely pose my children (although I will ask them to stay put for a few minutes if the light is right!) They have plenty of boisterous moments, which I do document, but over time I've noticed that my tendency is to photograph them on their own, often engaged in a quiet activity and less aware of the camera's presence. I think this partly reflects my own personality, which is fairly private and reserved, but it is also the moments when I stop and watch and just feel lucky to be their mum! 

What sparked your passion for photography?

My father is also a keen photographer and I learned from him as a child, following him around taking pictures of steam trains! It's been a lifelong hobby but it was only a couple of years ago that I started to take it more seriously, learned to use my camera in manual mode and taught myself how to edit in Lightroom and Photoshop. At that point a whole new world of possibilities opened up - I realised that I could start to capture our daily lives in a way that I hadn't imagined before and the photography bug well and truly took hold.

What's in your camera bag right now?

I have a Nikon D750. Up until recently I was shooting exclusively with a 50mm 1.8 lens although have recently added a 35mm 1.8 to my collection! Both are light enough to carry around on family outings etc. I have a long wish list of lenses though, especially a Lensbaby but also I'd also love to own longer focal length and macro lenses.

What is your dream shoot or project

This is a really tough one to answer as I constantly have a million ideas buzzing around in my head! I love portraiture and would love to work on a project including people from different generations and backgrounds, exploring how complex people's histories and personalities can be. I would also love to travel with my children and capture how new countries and cultures look through their eyes.

What are some of the misconceptions you had about photography and photographers at the beginning of your photography journey? Have they changed, and how?

When I first started to get serious about family photography I thought that the only way to do it was to have people dressed nicely, sitting in a field and smiling at the camera. There is still huge value in these types of images (and I now know how difficult they are to achieve!) but I soon realised that there were many different ways to document life and include all its craziness and messiness. I also thought there was a big gulf between professional and amateur photographers but now I don't think that is true. Social media and communities like this mean that it is possible for everyone to get their work out there if they want to - and there is always scope for learning something new.

What advice would you give to newbie photographers? What advice do you wish you'd been given at the very beginning?

Shoot a lot - and I a mean a lot! It doesn't matter if most of those photos never see the light of day but it is the only way that you will get better and learn about what interests you. Study the work of other photographers, both in books and online, but use this for inspiration and growth not to beat yourself up about not being good enough. Start putting your best photos into a portfolio, whether this in a public space such as Flickr or Instagram or in a private folder. Print and frame your favorite ones. And most of all remember that the only person you need to please is yourself - it's lovely when other people have a positive reaction to your images but as long as they make you feel something then it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks!