A Girl Named Pearl

Pearl_Westwood(1)

┬áI caught my dad Googling me today, why I’ve no idea however I couldn’t help having a look too. Amongst photos from my blog and cringy shots of me taken when I wasn’t looking at events I found these old photographs of a Miss Pearl Westwood from Springville, Utah. The photographs are on the Brigham Young University library and there are four photos of Pearl and other Westwood’s presumably her family from the 1880s-1920s all taken by George Edward Anderson. I would love to know more about her but there is no more information, she was certainly a fan of fashion wearing a lace up shirt and carrying a patchwork bag. The photographs were taken in a studio with what looks to be a rather odd set design of an oriental screen and wooden fence. I found a little more about her on Ancestry.com born 15th September 1901, to Joseph William Westwood and Nellie Elizabeth Noble. Pearl married John Ford Clark. Pearl married Otis Afton Decker. She passed away on 1986 in Grass Valley, Nevada, California, USA.

I always think names are very interesting, their meaning and associations. Would you have led a different life given a different name? I always remember this story about a man who names his two sons Winner and Loser, a twist of fate perhaps?

Pearl_WestwoodP_M_WestwoodPearl_Westwood_Springville_Utah

Street Style Manchester: Nikes vs Chucks

Dzastina and Lucy 17 Essex ASOS

Dzastina & Lucy both 17 from Essex, favourite shop ASOS

James Manchester Versace

James, Manchester, favourite shop Versace

Claire 27 Manchester, Cow

Claire, 27, Manchester, favourite shop Cow Vintage

┬áTrainers have long been a fashion item outside of the gym, however this summer they have really made an impact from Nike’s to All Stars or ‘Chuck’s’ as the cool kids now call them. If you like it loud and proud go for bright Nikes such as these neon Elastico. Or if you like a more laid back cool Converse might be for you, these star printed All Stars are a fabulous update on the classic. How do you wear yours?

Thea 15 Manchester Cow

Thea, 15, Manchester, favourite shop Cow Vintage

Jodie 21 Wirrel Topshop

Jodie, 21, Wirrel, favourite shop Topshop

Sam 15 Manchester Topshop

Sam, 15, Manchester, favourite shop Topshop

Bren 58 Phillipines Selfridges

Bren, 58, Philippines, favourite shop Selfridges

Street Style Manchester: Happy Monday

Wags, formerly of the Happy Mondays and Black Grape, aged forever young, Manchester, doesnt have favourite shop but is writing a book on phobias

I have been shooting some street style around Manchester for Style.etc magazine and my freelance work and wanted to share some of the images with you in a street style series.

This is Wags, as some of you will recognise  formerly of the bands the Happy Mondays and Black Grape. Wags is a fun guy, really friendly and always up for a chat. I admire his laid back cool look, you can tell he has rock in his blood. Wags was wearing a black suit and white shirt, Clarks desert boots a favourite with Northern rock starts and two coral necklaces. The day I shot this he was helping out his friend on her jewellery stall. We chatted about the book he wants to write on unusual phobias. Wags hates clowns, there was even a song wrote about that, I confessed I find moles hands a bit freaky, they way they look like humans hands, something not right about that.

Published in Vogue Paris

DSC_8070 DSC_8071 DSC_8072

If you read Vogue Paris you will have seen the wonderful Vivienne Westwood feature in their August issue celebrating London. I am thrilled to tell you my photograph of a pair of old Pirate boots was chosen for the spread. Even if you don’t read French the issue is a great one to pick up as the editorials are wonderful.

Merci Vogue, quel honneur.

Pearl goes Back to School: Useful Photography Courses for Bloggers

A few weeks ago I decided to put to use a Groupon voucher I had. After stalking Groupon for a while, obsessively checking for new deals each day I thought the best thing to go for would be something that saved me the most money and also take the chance to do something I wouldn’t usually be able to. I toyed with a few offers but when a photography course came up I knew I had to go for it. I’ve never had any professional photography lessons and I hold my hands up, I was struggling to get to grips with my new DSLR. So on a quite Sunday the week before London Fashion Week I found myself in Piccadilly, Manchester at Manchester Photographic (who don’t just have studios in Manchester by the way).

The one day beginners course was just ┬ú29 with Groupon instead of the regular ┬ú90 – suddenly making something out of most peoples price range very affordable. The day was not just educational, but really fun too. I can’t believe how much I learnt. The tutor was very approachable and took time to make sure everyone got some one-on-one time. I had always been a bit suspicious about Groupon, I wondered if you would get a lesser service since you were saving so much money but I would have been happy to pay the full price the course was so good. Manchester Photographic hold lots of other courses and as a blogger I really think it is worth the investment. The courses I think would really benefit bloggers are below but do check out the website to see the full range. Most people on the course I attended were there just to have fun so anyone can go along be it for professional or amateur purposes. If you want to use your skills for blogging or just for getting better holiday snaps.

  • Beginners and Intermediate levels – no point having that fancy camera if you can’t make the most of it!
  • Photoshop – so you can get to grips with post shoot editing and effects
  • Street Safari – all the tricks of shooting street style photography and also a great first step into something that can be rather intimidating
  • Fashion Intro – from creating glamourous images to tackling client briefs, everything to get you started in fashion photography

As for Groupon, it was so easy to use, you just buy the offer you want and they send you a voucher to redeem with the company holding the offer. Ive signed up to receive emails for deals in my area so I don’t have to scour the site everyday, I can just scan an email and see if anything takes my fancy. All sorts of things crops up from weekend breaks, beauty products, eating out and cooking utensils, it is a real mix.

Here are some of the photo’s I took on the course. As you can see just playing around with simple things such as composition and focus make s huge difference to the quality of your photos. For me learning about Aperture and Shutter speed has made the most difference to my photos – creating that beautiful dreamy background effect and capturing action shots without the blur. Also understanding the rules of composition I now understand why some photos work better than others. Getting to put all my new skills to work the next week at LFW was the best part, I’m sure you will agree that my street style and runway shots from this season are so much better, so much so that many have been used for professional purposes outside my blog – keep your eye on my Featured In page!

Have you ever used Groupon? Have you taken a Photography Course?

Would you like a post on photography tips?