April Salsa Bachata Social Club’s Party

Another month has flown back and I was back to the Yates in Reading on Friday to photograph yet another Salsa Bachata Social Club‘s party! Easter theme this time with lots of bunny ears and fun, fun, fun all around.

Here is a small selection of my favorite photos from that evening, the rest will be shared on Facebook as usual.



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Posted in Commercial Photography, dancing, Events, Photography

Professional Business Portraits. “Indoors or outdoors?” – that’s the question.

If you are thinking about updating your business head shot you might be wondering if it’s better to have it done in the studio or outdoors, and that is a very good question!

Business portraits need to be done on neutral (non-destructing) backgrounds,  that is why they are usually done on flat backdrops. Formal corporate head shots will often be done on a dark grey backdrop, whereas business casual head shots are usually done with a white, light grey, or blurry background.

There are photographers who specialise in “natural light photography”, and there are studio based photographers. The end result is usually quite different, so which one should you go for?

Studio Photography – pros

Philip headshots-6078

The main advantage of having a business portrait done in the studio, is that it’s not weather-dependent. In the UK the weather can be very unpredictable, and as we all know it rains a lot! That means you might have to re-schedule your outdoor shoot several times, while studio shoot will produce a guaranteed result any time of the year and any time of the day.

The second main advantage of shooting in the studio is that there is total control over posing and lighting. In the studio you can create a much greater variety of looks, by changing lighting set-ups, background and poses. Also it’s much easier to change outfits when you are inside. And of course it’s always warm indoors, while outdoors you could be too cold or too hot.

In addition to it in the studio the privacy is guaranteed, there is no chance of having a stranger passing by and distracting you.

Outdoor Photography – pros

Philip headshots-6151The colours outdoors can look wonderful and the beautiful effect of the blurred background is something that is much easier to achieve outdoors.

Natural light can be very soft and flattering (if done right), so you can look very relaxed and natural in the outdoors setting. On a sunny day if the sun is behind you, you could create a very nice rim light effect on the hair.

For people who are very uncomfortable being in front of the camera, an outdoor shoot might appear more appealing than a studio shoot.

Questions that you should ask yourself.

  1. What kind of look are you trying to achieve?

A relaxed, natural look can be created both outside and in the studio. If you need to look quite formal and if you want a simple, flat backdrop, you’ll definitely want to shoot indoors with a professional lighting setup. If you want a more relaxed, natural portrait, and the weather is permitting to do it, an outdoor shoot can be a great alternative.

      2. What would best reflect your profession?

If you mainly work outdoors (i.e gardener, football coach, etc), then a portrait in your work environment could possibly tell your story better. While a shoot in a studio can pretty much create a business portrait (formal or informal) for any other purposes.

The portraits below were done on the same day with about 10 minutes apart, and as you can see they look very different. Which one appeals more to you?

If you need any help with your decision or have any questions, please do get in touch with me (asya@ablphotography.co.uk, tel: 07793937192).

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Posted in Business Photography, Commercial Photography, Photography, Uncategorized

March 2017 – my favourite photograph of the month

March has been one of the busiest months in the history of ABL Photography. I was spending many days photographing events in Henley, while business and family studio shoots took place at their normal pace. There were several gorgeous children with the most charming smiles, so it was not easy to choose the best one, but I finally decided on this happy image of the brother and sister have fun posing with one of my new frame props. I love this image as smile comes up on my face every time I see it.

happy brother and sister by ABL Photography-2014

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Posted in Child photography, Family Photography, Photography

Asya’s ten non-technical tips on flower photography

I love this time of the year, much milder weather and so many flowers in bloom everywhere – just walking around and smelling the aroma in the air is so wonderful.  I am sure I am not the only person who feels the desire to take photographs of the beautiful flowers around.

There are plenty of resources on line on flower photography, and most mention some technical aspects (ISO, depth of field, shutter speed, types of lenses etc.). So I’ve decided to write a blog for people who don’t want to invest the time in understanding all those things, but still want to improve the images that they take, be it with a DSLRs, compact cameras or mobile phones. By following these 10 simple tips I can guarantee that you’ll get images that will bring you joy and you’ll be proud to share with friends.

Tip 1. Stay away from the bright sun light

It’s best to use natural light for flower photography, as flash makes flowers look flat and spoils the colours. However direct bright sun light is even worth than flash, as it simply washes the colours out and makes your image overexposed. So it’s best to find solid shade or wait for the moment when the sun is gone behind a cloud and take your photograph at that moment.

In the example below the bud that I was photographing was in the shade, so we can see all the details and the true colour of it, while the flowers in the background were under direct sunshine and are overexposed (too bright, so details are lost).

flowers by ABL Photography-3397

Tip 2. Get to the same level  as the flower

If the flower is on the ground, you need to get down to the same level as the flower. If your flowers are on the window, you just need to get a bit lower to find the right view point.

It’s very easy to just take a picture of a flower from wherever you are, but when you get lower, you can discover some beautiful new angles and create more interesting images.

flowers by ABL Photography-3389

Tip 3. Think about the background

It’s always better if the background not busy, ideally reasonably solid colour – like the green leaves and blue sky in the examples below. Sometimes by moving slightly you can pick a better background for your photograph.

Here is an experiment with my orchids at home, these same flowers on the window, against red kitchen wall and against my black studio backdrop – look totally different.

Tip 4. Less is more

I have a very beautiful magnolia tree in front of my house, and it looks like this.

flowers by ABL Photography-3411

There is nothing wrong with taking a photograph of the whole tree, but it’s kind of “nothing special” and everyone does it. It’s only when you get to zoom in and capture the details of individual flowers, it becomes a lot more interesting.

flowers by ABL Photography-3395flowers by ABL Photography-3395-2flowers by ABL Photography-3401

5. Play around with colours

Vibrant colours look great, so look for different colour combinations. For example, the magnolia shot below was taken from my balcony and there were some blue and yellow flowers on the loan underneath it, so I think it give this image just a little extra kick. The sunflower is just colorful as it is, so looks great just was captured.

6. Zoom right in & fill the frame

Zooming right in can help create very unique artistic images, Don’t be afraid to get into the middle of the flower and capture some interesting details that human eye won’t necessarily appreciate without the zoom.

7. Keep you camera steady and beware of the wind

England is a windy place and if you are taking photos outdoors, it’s likely that the flowers that you’d like to capture will be shaking. You need to be patient and wait for the wind to stop, or if there is no chance of it, take your flowers indoors and take photos near a window.

I had to wait to the wind to stop to be able to take the shot below, otherwise it would not have been as sharp. Also it’s good to lean on something to help keep your hand steady, the least shake it is, the better chances you’ll have of getting a sharp photograph.

flowers by ABL Photography-3404

8. Think about composition

It’s always good to picture your images in your mind first before you click on the button. Composition can make all the difference, so try different things and find the one that really catches your eye.

flowers by ABL Photography-3408flowerby ABLPhotography-3378

9. Take multiple shots

We are so lucky with digital photography, it does not cost any more to take extra shots. So please never just go away with one, try a few different things, change the angle, change your height,  change what’s in the shot – sometimes a very small changes makes all the difference.

10. Have fun!

At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong way to do it. Someone may read my blog and say that everything I say is wrong… I don’t mind. I love taking photographs and they are purely for my own pleasure. Just do what makes you happy! Break the rules if you want to, at the end of the day this is is for your pleasure and enjoyment – if you like it, then it’s good enough!


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Posted in Personal, Photography

Mayor’s Charity Dinner in Henley-on- Thames

On Saturday night I photographed a very beautiful and memorable event – Mayor’s Charity dinner in the Henley Town Hall. The evening included games, raffle, live and charity auction, guest speaker Lord Hall of Birkenhead and entertainment by Elysium III. Incredible venue and so many stunning details – it was a pleasure to be part of it. Here are some images from that evening:

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Posted in Events, Photography

Karate instructor in my studio

What a busy week yet again: a birthday photo shoot, several family photo sessions and a very fun shoot with a Karate instructor for his new website and flyers.

Here are some of the images from the session.

And here are some fun ones with Photoshop generated effects, just to make the images a bit different and have stronger impact.

Matt will be running Karate classes in Twyford starting in May this year. Here is the link to Twyford Karate Academy website.

And here is the flyer with all the details (and my photograph of the instructor on it):

Twyford Karate Academy

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Posted in Business Photography, Commercial Photography, Photography

Henley Youth Festival – highlights

Over the past two week sI have been very busy photographing various events at the Henley Youth Festival. I love going to different places and discovering new things, especially when there is art, theater and music involved. This is an amazing event, run entirely by volunteers, and I felt very privileged to be part of it.

Here are the photos from some of the events that I’ve covered:

The Young Shakespeare Company in Nettlebed School

The Gig Night at Lovibonds Brewery.

The Junior Proms in Shiplake College.

The Senior Proms in the Kenton Theatre.

Squash at Badgmore Primary School

Young Dancer at the Kenton Theatre

Art Exhibition and Prize Giving at the River and Rowing Museum

On-line galleries for the evening and dance events are available for the parents, and details will be communicated to the parents by the event organizers.

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Posted in Events