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I take an interest in individuals that follow their passions for a career, spending time developing unique and ancient skills and ways of working.
The personality of the individual is tied into their practice, and the time they spend developing their skills shines through.
In this case, I was lucky enough (after a bit of pestering from me) to spend a few hours shooting Pippa Murray, a bespoke woodworker and furniture-maker, in her studio just outside London.
Winding through muddy lanes and passing looming tractors, I came across a beautiful old cow shed in the middle of a working farm.
On entering the innocuous building, I was greeted by the smell of sawdust and the sight of menacing-looking tools.
From that moment, I knew I was in for an interesting and unique shoot.
I was looking to shoot a professional portrait, one that depicted her as a creative individual, but also showed the aesthetic nature of her studio.
In these portrait shots, I used flash lighting to highlight some interest in the background, and larger static lighting to highlight the subject.
As you can see from the window in the above photograph, the weather outside was pretty horrible, so there was no natural light, but it did provide a contrasting, gloomy atmosphere.
For the subject lighting, I used a large soft box at a high angle, replacing the strip halogen lights in the studio.
While still pestering Pippa along the way for extra time (I had found true inspiration from my subject!), she gave me permission to shoot while she continued working.
She was, at the time, creating a bespoke table for a client. All of the hand-sketched concept plans and technical drawings were laid out in front of us as she demonstrated how to use some of her tools: scary-looking power tools coupled with intricate files and chisels for sculpting the finer details.
There was a purpose and a place for everything, in the epitome of organised chaos.
I have always loved photographing people in their environment. It gives a new dimension to the image, adding context.
I am always on the look out for others who, like Pippa, work somewhere beyond the office, and are passionate about what they do.
So if you are, or know someone who fits the bill, and wouldn’t mind my company for a few hours, please feel free to get in touch.
It doesn’t matter where you’re based - land sea or air - I’m always looking for a new challenge.
For more images in this series, please visit www.heffersphotography.com or find me on social media @heffersphoto