The London 3x3 Portrait challenge

December 04, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

This week fellow photographer Stephen Cotterell set a challenge in London; Create 3 portraits in 3 locations of 3 people in under 30 minutes each!

No preparation, no time to waste. This meant putting everything to the test; the skills and knowledge of photography, opening the imagination, the emotional intelligence to learn a persons story quickly and of course most importantly make it a fun photography experience.

... Challenge Accepted!

 

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I met with 2* other photographers and 3 people at the South Bank centre. I had just 30 minutes in which to find 3 locations and create 3 portraits before bringing them back to base cam to go again with the next person. No preparation, no time to waste. This meant putting everything to the test; the skills and knowledge of photography, opening the imagination, the emotional intelligence to learn a persons story quickly and of course most importantly make it a fun photography experience! I decided to use the opportunity to do just as when I meet a wedding couple or people for a portrait session; this was to be a super fast approach to learning about their story and some how capturing that  story with photographs. (*as it turns out Stephen's challenge was a popular idea and there were 7-8 photographers and equal people turn up for this!)

The first story was with Marina. She has been living in London for some time but is about to move back to Russia. Marina told me it was a long flight and 20 hour train journey back to her home the other side of the Black Sea and she would miss London. So that was the story, Marina in London!
Here are the photos we created and the three chosen for our 3x3 entry. I wanted to captured some of the London scenery but we had to do that within a 5 mins of Southbank Centre in order to fulfil the objectives. The London Eye, Thames and Big  Ben all sum up London pretty well. The final photo of Marina with her shopping bag is partly her idea, she wanted to spin! I thought it made for a great fun photo so it had to go in!
(note: clicking any smaller image will open a gallery to view each individually)

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I next ventured back outside with Prudence from South Africa. This was after 5 mins warming up back at the Southbank centre (at was 4°C outside!) Prudence is new to the UK and has been in London just a few months so far, her first cold winter! As we walked to find a location I learnt more about Prudence and thought her to be quite brave to move to a colder climate, but more than that, a powerful character and strong individual. Purely my thoughts from perhaps a few minutes chatting but hopefully I've expressed that with the photos of Prudence. She certainly was brave to take off her coat in this cold weather! I still think she looks like a rock star and I have asked that when she releases her first album if this is the cover photo please can I have a signed copy (by the way she isn't...yet!). Again this is the photos and locations I used to create Prudence's story and the 3 I submitted.
(note: clicking any smaller image will open a gallery to view each individually)

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Back to the Southbank Centre and all change to meet with Kateryna from Russia. This would be the last session with the light fading very fast, the sun would disappear during this shoot with just the light reflected back in from the  surrounding buildings. Just back from her holidays in the Maldives and so suitably wrapped up warm. Kateryna had me imagining cosy ski resorts or perhaps a snowy New York but she had another good reason to be wrapped up so warm, she has a bump; Kateryna is pregnant! With that in mind I didn't want to be taking her too far as we would have to walk quite quick between locations so we stayed reasonably close to the SouthBank Centre. Of the photos we created these are the three I choose to tell Kateryna's story, and of course the baby on board!
(note: clicking any smaller image will open a gallery to view each individually)

3x3 portrait challenge Southbank London3x3 portrait challenge Southbank London3x3 portrait challenge Southbank London 3x3 portrait challenge Southbank London3x3 portrait challenge Southbank London3x3 portrait challenge Southbank London

 

My Personal Favourites
Thank you to everyone that took part in this and of course to Stephen Coterall for coming up with the idea. There ended up being almost 3 groups of 3 taking part so there were equal photographers and people to create the portraits. I loved the challenge, it meant using all of the tools in the bag, and by that I mean mentally. I only took 2 lenses with me, a 35mm and an 85mm, everything else was imagination and very quick work to seek out a suitable location, direct the person for the portraiture in a relaxed manner so they were themselves and then move on to the next. All in all a brilliant fun challenge, lots of new friends made and most importantly everyone came away feeling great; we barely noticed the cold!

A brilliant fun challenge, goes to show what can be produced with complete strangers in unknown locations in a very short time frame. Could be the wedding photographer challenge as it is pretty much the same scenario!

"There are no Strangers, only friends you have not met yet" ~ W.B Yeats

And finally here are 3 photos that didn't make final curation for the 3x3 but they are  my 3 personal favourites...

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THANKYOU!

Adam de-Ste-Croix
Sainte Croix Photography

SainteCroix.co.uk

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