Lizzie Churchill | Fashion Photographer

5 reasons to shoot film

My first ever camera was film and I absolutely LOVED it. Okay, so it wasn’t your usual 35mm SLR and it was automatic, but I had to load film myself and getting my negatives/prints back without having a clue what they’d look like was the best. For a long time I’ve wanted to shoot more film (having been digital for 5 years) so I started to purchase and gather some film cameras to get me going which began with a polaroid One300 and non-other than an underwater Canon A1! After snapping away for the last year or two I decided to get more serious; I decided to not only capture day to day life, but to capture film for my client shoots too!

During this whole process and following fellow photographers who also shoot film, it dawned on me how much I truly love the craft, the techniques and its evolution over the years; so I’d like to share with you my reasons why you should all shoot film, (or at least have a go at it!) and what it can teach you:

1. Fundamental - Light - drawing. It’s the epitome of film photography. Capturing an image on light sensitive film and processing the negatives. If you’re a photographer starting out, or just want to practice the art then understanding that light will control everything about what you capture is key. If you can shoot film, and know what will be suitable for what environment then I can guarantee you’ll have a better understanding when using anything! Manually adjusting settings to get your exposure spot on will be your starting point.

2. Patience - It’s currently far too easy to snap away taking multiple shots of the same thing, ‘just in case’ (guilty), to auto-focus, or ‘straighten up later’ but with film, from the moment you load, adjust your settings and develop it takes a huge amount of patience and this is something I think we all need to practice! Slow down, stop, and think. What is it exactly what you want to capture, because you’ve only got 24-36 frames on your film! Whether it’s your models positioning, dust shifting through morning sunlight or waves shattering into a shower up the cliffs your timing, patience and setting are key. You really have to get it right, or you’ve lost another frame. This has helped me hugely with quality and composition as I have no shots to waste. You want to capture the best, not the most, after all you want to nail it it one shot, not 50.

3. Style - Playing with your settings will allow you to understand your camera better; do you love a shallow depth of field with those soft backgrounds? (yes!) Do you love the particular colour in a certain film? What is it you want to capture and share? I shoot with a low aperture ALL the time - that’s what gives me my own identity, and I love working with Kodak Portra 160, Ektar and TRI-X. The muted tones, perfect blue and contrast in black and white film are all what I look for so experiment, try new things and enjoy the process!

4. Theraputic - If you’re lucky enough to have access to a dark room, I cannot tell you how therapeutic, relaxing and satisfying it is to develop and enlarge your own work. Watching the shapes and faces emerge from a blank piece of paper is like watching magic. It’s the true craft of photography!

5. Nostalgia - If not for anything else, just do it for the nostalgia! Remember the excitement of collecting your prints, or rifling through the attic looking back at childhood memories? The grain and colour that screams authenticity and a period of time you remember as true as the moment it was taken. No photoshop, no filters, just a captured memory in a truly original form.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not hear to preach or claim I’m a film expert, but having fallen in love with it all over again, I hope that’s exactly what I become!

So on that note, I’d love to share with you all some frames from one of my recent shoots with Corinne Evans for Azura Bay.

If I’ve inspired you to dust off your SLR, purchase some Kodak or practice on your polaroid, then please do share what you’ve captured with me! Tag me on my Instagram or send me a message!

Lizzie

x


St Ives Food & Drink Festival

I was lucky enough to spend my weekend at St Ives Food & Drink Festival for the second year running (covering the event) and this year was like nothing I’ve seen before on Porthminster. The crowds were HUGE with roughly 7,000 people coming through each day and you can see why when there were over 30+ food stalls, drink stands, local produce and an incredible line up of performers and chef demos to keep the whole family entertained in the sun. I mean, what can be better than a food festival, in St Ives, on a beach - my favourite things all in one place!

Wondering around the site, you’re nothing short of options whether you’re looking to sit in the sun with some Tarquins or take front row seats for a spot of shanty singing (my favourite) but the main highlight of the weekend has to be the calibre of chefs that were on-hand for demos ALL day each day. From fresh linguine, gluten free muffins or Korean prawns, there was something for everyone to follow or relate to in the kitchen. Winners of Masterchef AND Great British bake off made an appearance as well as local chefs and influencers across the country so if you’re a food lover, consider yourself a dab hand in the kitchen or wish you were then there’s no excuses not to have come down to check out their talents. 

So with the sun shining, the stages set, and the gates open, it was all go!

First demo dish of the day was created by Ben Tunnicliffe from Sennen Cove

Fish and asparagus dish by the wonderful Nathan Outlaw.

It was great to see Steve Backshall make an appearance between filming as well as meeting and chatting to the multiple produce and artisan creators inside the tent. I also managed to catch up with Ben Quinn from Woodfired Canteen as he took over the beach for his incredible fish taco demo, showing us all how easy it really can be to eat fresh, outside!

Crab rolls by Mitch Tonks from the Seahorse, razor clams by Jack Stein and fresh linguine from Jeffrey Robinson at the New Yard restaurantTrelowarren.

Sunday morning saw the sun make an even bigger appearance as the food stalls prepped and dressed ready for the new day ahead, creating a sensory overload as I wondered around the site first thing.

Singapore Lobster by Simon Allott from Rick Stein, Porthleven.

Gluten free Muffins by Masterchef winner Jane Devonshire.

Beautiful looking dishes of wild garlic and cockle linguine, sticky Korean fried prawns and tuna poke by Gizzi Erskine & Sophie Michell.

And to finish we have the incredible Simon Hulstone from Elephant Restaurant in Torquay with his colourful plates. None of this line up would have been possible without Kim Somauroo and Laura Field so a huge, huge thank you to them both for pulling together and styling such an amazing set with inspirational recipes. I cannot WAIT to see what is produced next year but I have a feeling it’s going to be bigger and better than ever so keep up to date and follow all news and events over on the official St Ives Food & Drink Festival website.


Live Life Honestly

A few weeks ago the lovely Emma from Live Life Honestly came down to Cornwall for the weekend so we could shoot some beautiful new imagery for her website and social pages; we were fortunate enough to set up base at the beautiful Seavista B&B for our healthy, coastal living vibe that worked even more perfectly than we could have imagined!

Emma and I wanted to capture bright, clean and crisp images with a nod to natures’ healthy, botanical goodness. Not only would this portray her ‘green’ lifestyle it would provide her with attractive, brand appropriate frames with complimentary colours that suggest life!

So with a rough mood-board of colours, tones, textures and outfits, we worked in and around our self-catering lodge at Seavista for that ‘lived in’ vibe that would give Emma’s audience an idea of how her average day would look like. Smoothies, colourful dishes, blogging and a healthy relaxed atmosphere was key and I’m pretty sure it’s exactly what we captured!

Considering this shoot was the first time Emma and I had met, we instantly clicked. It was like we’d known each other our entire lives; conversation was SO easy, our work ethic complimented each other and we pretty much just shared the same enthusiasm, ideas and positivity for our futures and…well, life in general.

As a photographer, it’s so so great that not only do I get to meet so many awesome people, but that an amazing amount of them are like minded, have built their own businesses and have an inspirational amount of grit and passion for all that they do. I’m proud to call these people my friends and look forward to meeting many more of you as I continue to create content, capture your lives and share stories with you all!

To celebrate Emmas’ soon-to-be new website, I’d love for you to all check out her very own e-book of recipes she created in just 48 hours so you can get a taste (get it) of what’s to come when everything goes live! You can find it here or follow the link direct from her instagram!

Enjoy,

Lizzie

And some behind-the-scenes snaps too!


Secret Garden

With shorts, summer dresses and sandals now at the forefront of our minds I’m super excited to share with you all some floral, spring vibes to inspire you from my latest shoot with Corinne Evans and Azura Bay for their S/S17 collection!

I think we can all agree that Spring time in the UK is a pretty significant time; blossom appears, magnolia flowers and with a whole host of colour, palms and that smell of fresh-cut-grass we all seem to forget about the winter, dig out our flip-flops and plan for warmer climates. And so with this, we decided our spring inspired shoot should portray exactly that! 

Where were we going to find a garden that boasted a typical British tea-party aesthetic AND Med Vibes? Corinnes’ Gran’s house, of course! And I’m not kidding when I say this garden had it ALL. Chair swing? Check. Mediterranean corner? Check. Giant palm…..uhhh, check! Having this diversity meant we had no trouble arranging and planning each piece and outfit so that it had it’s own ‘set’!

Once again, Aura Bay supplied us with the most beautiful lingerie that is not only ethically made but comfortable, flattering and well, classy! I really think that all women will love this collection as there is honestly something for everyone! I’ve already got my eye on a few pieces and have considered buying the pyjama shorts to wear in the day. I mean, why would you only wear them round the house?! Ha! 

For the shoot itself we didn’t exactly have the sun on our side which actually worked in our favour; the overcast sky providing us with gorgeous diffused light that’s so familiar to us all on those fresh spring mornings where there’s a chill in the air and that low mist that you just know will burn off into the hottest day!

So now imagine yourself, waking up on that morning wearing a beautiful silk pyjama set, prepping for the day ahead with a coffee in hand and a croissant or two!


An engagement with: Kia & Harry

Imagine hoping on the ferry from your home town across the bay to St Mawes to meet a couple that feel like life long friends; then spend the next few hours hanging out and snapping photos of how adorable they are. Well THAT was exactly my day a few weeks back! It’s days like these were I realise how utterly lucky and happy I am to not only live in Cornwall, but to be working here too meeting amazing people and capturing their lives whether they live here or are just visiting.

Kia & Harry have been visiting Cornwall for years - taking advantage of any bank-holiday and spare weekend they can and staying with Harrys’ uncle in St Mawes. So it only seemed fitting that I met them in the idyllic little coastal town on the South Coast to trace their steps from past trips and capture the beaches, streets and seafront that have now become a part of them as a couple…almost a tradition perhaps.

St Mawes really leant itself to the shoot and despite not having the sun that shown its face for two weeks straight previously, we still had the most beautiful pastel canvas behind us and a calming atmosphere as we walked between each spot that had been suggested and discussed over coffees first thing.

Keeping the shoot relaxed and informal - with only slight direction from me here and there - Kia & Harry not only have some beautiful candid shots of them in their favourite little Cornish corner, but were able to practice and get a feel of what it’s like to be in front of the lens before their wedding day (Can’t wait to see you in June guys!). So apart from the fact that they were absolute naturals, they now know how I’ll be working on the day, what kind of poses we’ll be capturing AND it’ll feel so much more relaxed having met me and hung out for the day.

So here they are! The most fun loving, friendly and genuine cool cats you’ll meet!

That last image! When your friends walk round the corner so you have a quick group shot.

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