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Since my little boy's birth back in August '11, I've nearly disappeared from the photography world. Being a parent is tougher than one can think, you don't realise it until you are actually experiencing it, but what a joy!

As mentioned in my previous post, I've, in the meantime, move to Australia, taking my little family to the sunshine and closer to the family (New Caledonia). A bit before the move I've restarted shooting again with Andy & Jane's family and then in Sydney with Tahnee a model from ModelMayhem and for Golfers in IT.

Hopefully, I will be posting more shots and blog about my Aussie's experience.

I've been introduced to Celine and Julie through @fabiennehb, a Twitter friend organiser of the Apero Blog, a meetup group for French bloggers in London. The two sisters asked me to take some portraits of them as a gift to their parents in France. We went to a studio in Kennington and I went for a high key theme for these two young and dynamic french girls.

The slideshow has been created with iPhoto on a Macbook Air 11", this small laptop has enough oomph to run Lightroom for quick pre-editing, the software even loads up faster than on my desktop, this is thanks to the SSD drive which is very fast.

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I've been contacted by Tanya to get some portraits done of her and Chinh.
We went to central London by Westminster and started to walk and shoot our way to the London eye passing before Big Ben. As the sun was setting, the sky got interesting when mixed with the Christmas lights. I didn't need to use any tricks to make the sky blue as it was naturally tinted with the late afternoon light. But I used a quarter CTO (orange) gel on the SB-900 to warm up a little bit the skin tones. Anyhow, I then used a full CTO gel and set my camera WB to tungsten to add more saturation to the blue ambient on the last pictures on the alley in front of the London Eye. At some point, we played with a slow shutter speed and zooming the lens to create some effects on the background Christmas lights.
Thanks to Shaun Hodge for giving me a helping hand with the lights.

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Kimberly - Children's portrait photography

Over a year ago, I've been contacted by Andy and Jane. They wanted some photographs of their daughter Kimberly who was 4 months old at the time. My wife and I went to their flat for a great photo session. Kimberly was a lovely baby and she has now grown up into a cute little girl full of energy. Andy and Jane re-contacted me a month ago for a last minute photoshoot as it is rare they can have a free weekend when we can organise a shoot. Again my wife accompanied me, she's great helping me during the shoot, making the kids laugh, checking their hair, chatting with the parents... After fantastic brunch composed of Dim Sum, we started doing some environmental portrait in Kimberly's room and then went in a nearby park. It was such a great experience and you could see how much love there was between the parents and the child.

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I have joined the SWPP less than a year for few of the advantages they offer to their members such as discounted insurance rates and discount on annual convention. But finally I submitted my work for assessment applying for the Licentiateship qualification. I wasn't rushing for this as I joined the Society as receiving distinctions or qualifications doesn't prove a lot, what's more important is that your customer are please with your work, receiving an email from them saying how please they are with your work is way more satisfying than any distinction from any society you can be member of. But nonetheless, after a while I just wanted to see how fellow photographers would perceive my work. So few weeks ago I submitted a set of photographs for appraisal and accreditation. This week I received a certificate attesting that I was awarded with the "Licentiateship of photography" distinction, this is recognising me as producing images of professional standards and of consistent quality.

Here is the set of photographs submitted in the Portrait category:

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This is a preview of my photoshoot earlier today.

I've been introduced to Jane and Andy via a colleague. Last year Andy called me to see if I could come over to their place to take some shots of their 4 months old daughter, Kimberly. They were such a nice people, my wife and I really enjoyed their company and the photoshoot went great.

Earlier this week, Jane sent me an email telling that Kimberly is now 18 months! Wow, time really flew by so quickly. Jane invited us to come over for a chinese brunch (Dim Sum!!) today and asked me for another photoshoot to update their family album. Again it was a real pleasure to see them again and see how quick Kimberly has grown up.

After some shots in house, we went in a park nearby for a little walk and some autumn shots.

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Two years ago I asked my wife to marry me, and fortunately she said 'Yes!' :-D At D-Day -1, we met our neighbor on his door step and told him we were going to get married tomorrow. To his surprise and then to ours, he told us that we are sharing the same wedding date and that on our wedding day it will be their diamond (60th) wedding anniversary! What a coincidence, isn't it?

Mr & Mrs Greengrass are a lovely couple, but very sadly Joan, his wife, passed away about a year later.

This year, for our second anniversary we started the day by bringing some cakes and knocked on his door and proposed him to share a breakfast with us. We stayed for couple of hours before heading for our afternoon with some friends.

Ron then has invited us to join him for a lunch one Sunday at the West Middlesex Golf Club. I took the opportunity to take a headshot of him, something I should have done few years ago, and offered him some large prints for him and his family and friends. Ron was very pleased with the result and saying it is "the best portrait of me". Which pleased me a lot, not because I took it, but because I was able to bring a smile to his face and bring something pleasant to him. Last Friday we were invited to the Golf Club race night, it was the first time my wife and I were betting on horse and dog races :-D we brought back £4 lol... Ron was showing his portrait to his friends in the membership, proud.

Have any of you have similar experience where you have done some little things that brings a lot to someone?

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About a year ago, I met a Sheila in a bus as I was going back home. As we were discussing about photography, I put my camera on the seat and showed her some of my work on my iPhone. I didn't realize the bus has arrived to my stop so got caught by surprised and jumped out of the seat grabbing all my stuffs: bag, lightstands, reflector etc... And guess what? I forgot my camera on the bus! I really hated myself at that time. But my lucky star was shining on me that evening, Sheila was just a very honest person and called me back from the number on the card I gave her earlier! I'm glad to see there are still some people like her in this world!

So to show my gratitude, I offered Sheila to have her portrait done. It took us about a year to come up with a date that suits both our agenda.

Came the day, I went to Sheila's place and did the photoshoot in her flat. It was a great experience and we both enjoyed the quick photoshoot at lunch time.

Sorry for the long radio silence. After our holidays in Montpellier (France) that has started with a 4 days of nightmare trying to get into a plane: 3 flight cancellations, 12 tickets! I got sick with a very long and painful cough. But it seems to go away slowly now.

Back in September last year, I went to Paris for some training and to meet the Strobist@Paris meetup group. After the meetup, when all other photographers have gone home for dinner, I stayed around and waited for the sunset to see if there would be any photographic opportunity. I wasn't disappointed.

As I was wandering around I met a group of teenagers and proposed to take their pictures. They were over-excited and accepted the offer. They are a group of friends that live in the same town, dancing and doing music together. They are now a little association that regularly meetup in a room in their school and around Paris, especially here at "La Defence"

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