Ellie J Photography - Where DOES that come from?

June 09, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

A very quick post to give a little bit of history about me and answer a question that puzzles some of my clients - i.e. if my name is Lorraine, why on earth do I call my business Ellie J Photography?

First of all - how long have I been a photographer?  The simple answer is,  I have been a paid  photographer since setting up my business officially at the beginning of 2009.  In reality, I have been taking photographs since I was old enough to hold a camera.  

My dad was a photographer way back in the day when 'digital' was just a pipe dream and happily, I inherited his passion.  I greedily drank in everything he told me, read all of his photography books and, when I was given my very first camera, (a Minolta Hi-Matic), I terrorised my beautiful dog Molly, dressing her up or styling her fur for photos (she was a very patient dog!).

In later years I moved on to Fuji cameras.  When I wanted to step my photography up a bit I had the excellent Fuji S9500 bridge camera which was great, but still not quite enough.  My first DSLR was a Nikon D80 and I was blown away with the quality of the photos I was able to take. I often get asked 'why did I choose Nikon over Canon?' but it was simply the fact that the D80 was the camera I picked up in the showroom, played with and loved!  

I don't get involved with the 'Nikon/Canon' disputes - in my mind, there's not much between the two.  I've stuck with Nikon because, as any photographer will tell you, its the 'glass' (i.e. the lenses) that you tend to have around for ages - camera bodies are upgraded so frequently and now I've built up a decent collection of lenses its easier to stick with Nikon than switch.....although if anyone wanted to buy me a few Hasselblads I wouldn't say no!

I began photographing babies and children after taking my 'little' boy (who is now 23!) to a local high street photographer and being astounded at their hard sell tactics and prices (the company is no longer in business).  I knew I could do what they were doing myself - so that's what I did.  Family soon started asking me to take photos for them, then their friends asked me, then friends of friends - and that's how it all started.  I was happy taking photos for people on that basis for years, but once I had decided to try and make a career out of photography I didn't look back.  In 2008 I undertook studio lighting training with master photographer Ray Davenport.  I also joined the British Institute of Professional Photographers, training with them and receiving mentoring from acclaimed child portrait photographer and Fellow of the Institute, Bella West.  I proudly became a qualified member of the BIPP myself in 2010.

You can't sit still with photography - in addition to technological advances, styles come and go like any other art and fashion trend and if you don't keep up, you'll be left behind.  For this reason, I regularly attend workshops and training days and update my library of information to try and make sure I don't get left behind.  Since starting out on a professional basis, I have also qualified with the Guild of Professional Photographers and become a member of the Baby and Newborn Photography Association (BANPAS, formerly BANP), an incredibly important organisation which promotes safe practice in baby and newborn photography.

So, if you are still awake - that's my story in a nutshell so far.  

Oh - and why Ellie J Photography?  When I was setting up my business I was playing with names.  I didn't want to be called 'Photography by Lorraine' or anything like that - I wanted something slightly different.  I was writing down different ideas based around my initials, when my little girl said "mummy - your initial are L A J (Lorraine Ann Jardim) - that really sounds like Ellie J......".

Thanks for reading!

Excuse the quality!  This is a phone-shot of a photo I took of my beautiful Molly when I was 14.  Taken on my fab Minolta film camera. This photo hangs on my office wall alongside photos of my family. Molly was such a great model, dog and friend - I really miss her :(



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