Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Alexander McQueen review

As an artist, it is always important to stimulate the mind, to view and appreciate the work of other artists, maybe for inspiration, maybe not from the work itself, but how it is presented.
Last week Bianca and I went to see the Alexander McQueen exhibition at the V&A. We both have an interest in fashion, me as a photographer and B as a stylist/PR. We were both blown away by the exhibition, for the stunning content and the most brilliant and creative way it was curated and presented to the public.
Going into each room was like walking onto a different stage set every time, the lighting was superb, wonderful multi-sensory experiences were to be had. I found myself catching my breath several times with surprise. The curatorial team have really done Alexander's work and life, proud. The show is as dramatic and flamboyant as the man was himself.
If you have an interest in Art, Performance, Fashion, Film, Photography or none of the above, I recommend you look beyond the price tag and book a ticket straight away. It is well worth it.

Find out more about the exhibition here

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Do they know it's Winter?

Leaves in Richmond Park - photographed whilst working on a location music/fashion shoot last week.

Leaves by Tracy Howl
Leaves by Tracy Howl

I Dream a World

Boy on Water's Edge by Tracy Howl
Boy on Water's Edge by Tracy Howl

I dream a world where man 
No other man will scorn,
Where love will bess the earth
And peace its path adorn
I dream a world where all will know sweet freedom's way, 
Where greed no longer saps the soul
Nor avarice blights our day.
A world I dream where black or white
Whatever race you be
Will share the bounties of the earth 
And every man is free
Where wretchedness will hang its head
And joy like a pearl
Attends the needs of all mankind
Of such I dream my world

Words by Langston Hughes

Saturday, 17 January 2015

On Top of The World!

A view from the The Storr on the Isle of Skye - known to many as 'The Old Man of Storr' because of the craggy rock which looks like a face.

All Rights Reserved 2014 Tracy Howl

I climbed the Storr in January 2014 with a friend, we had camped overnight at the bottom, yes right down there at the foot. The wind and rain howled and shook the campervan all night. We set the alarm early, the storm wasn't subsiding so we slept for another hour. Waking up to an eerie calmness which we took advantage of and quickly set off on our way.

When we reached this point, the sun was rising,... a spectacular sight. Scotland and it's islands had already given us a wonderful array of light-show wonders. This morning was one of the best ever. We were rained on, hailed on, snowed on, shined on and blown around ... a lot. But we persevered and stayed there, watching and waiting, enjoying the experience, meeting other photographers until we moved on to our next point of call.

Friday, 12 December 2014


Rise of energy
Even bigger smiles
Break the cycle

by Tracy Howl
11th December 2014

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

When you fall out of love with Photography

What can I mean... fall out of love with photography?

Exactly that!

It may become a chore, it may feel soul destroying, you may feel like you are taking photos for everyone else, not yourself! That's what becoming a professional is all about. You are no longer your own client. The easiest way to deal with this is to take time out, think about what you used to love about photography, what did you take pix of as an amateur? I bet every day was enjoyable because there was no pressure to meet client expectations, take photos of things you would never choose to and deliver to deadlines, Everything was in your own time. When working as a photographer, you don't get your own time. Everyone wants their photos.

What if you are not professional but you have just stopped loving taking photos?

That's OK you know. It happens. It's nothing to feel bad about. Don't think that's it, you should give up! Do you know why you don't like taking photos any more?

Are you scared of the technology? When we moved from analogue to digital, some of us thought it was a revelation, some of us were unsure of what this meant in terms of working behaviour. Some of us were photographers, or darkroom printers or like me, both of these. Some of us embraced Photoshop, some of us ran a mile because we didn't understand it and some probably still don't.

It was different back then, you would shoot a few rolls, use a light-meter to get your exposure, maybe bracket if you could afford to. Film was expensive! Then off you trot to the lab, go get a sandwich and a coffee and an hour later everything was ready to deliver to the client. Job done.

And now, we shoot more than we need to because we can. And spend hours processing and editing. We are overwhelmed with digital files. Constantly told we need to copy here, back up there, otherwise we lose everything. And hard drives have a life. Replace. Renew. What is this fear that the digital age has instilled in us? But I still have all those boxes of negatives and slides? Doesn't make sense does it?

So back to the question.... Do you know why you don't like taking photos any more?

Is something else missing from your life? Do you have an inability to connect with your surroundings. Maybe an unhappiness in life is the reason for reluctance to press the shutter release. That moment in time.... could be one you would rather forget?

If you don't want to take photos, put the camera down. Instead, draw or paint what you see. Or... write about what your eyes feel. Visual love will return. If you feel empty or full of sadness, look at the Great Masters. Often creativity and sadness go hand in hand. An empty mind, a blank canvas has the potential for artistic wizardry. Interpretation isn't always necessary for the viewer. Interpretation isn't always necessary for the artist either.

Every creative should have a muse and every creative should be one.

Go find the joy! Do what you are and you will become :)

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

So what do you get for your money?

Like every photography job, every price can be different. Commissions can range from a couple of hours to all day and evening at some events.

Good photography is not something to be skimped on. Sure there’s cheaper out there but ask yourself, will you get as good quality? Look at it as an investment for your brand, your business or your family. You are not just hiring a person with a nice camera, you are hiring:
*  An Award Winning Professional Photographer with 25+  years experience
*  9 years of intensive college/university courses
*  Up to date knowledge of latest technology
*  Non-stop creativity and energy
*  The ability to listen to what you want, interpret briefs and come up with creative ideas when you may have none
*  Most importantly, work with you to achieve your objectives
*  The ability to get on and just do it! We will have done our research and there’s not much we haven’t shot!
*  Personality – We get on with everyone from Royalty to the cleaners!
*  Using the best professional and tested equipment
*  Fully insured, with public liability, professional indemnity and employer’s liability insurance too
*  A fully enhanced CRB disclosure and Ministry of Defence clearance,
*  Full awareness of Health & Safety Risks and fully respectful of surroundings
*  NUJ, BPPA and IFJ member
*  And when it’s all done, fast turnaround and delivery of your fully edited highest quality images!

Please email me for my rate card or telephone to discuss requirements on 07931 900269