Category Archives: photography

Photographing Outfit Posts in Public

Willfields festival outfit

Outfit posts are a funny thing, aren’t they? I think if you’re a fashion, style or any form of visual blogger you’re always aware of your surroundings, both present and future, and the possibilities that lie within. A quaint back street, a perfect sunset or a vibrant focal point such a red telephone box or wall of graffiti – every location becomes an opportunity to act as a backdrop to your outfit or subject matter.

Of course it’s all very well when you’re alone with a tripod and remote, or a trusty partner/parent/BFF, but what about when your preferred location is buzzing with people? That’s where I found myself when I went to Willfields this weekend – a picture-perfect field that was the setting for a mini festival put on and attended by lots of my friends. Friends who find the concept of documenting outfits hilarious. Friends who have cameras with a zoom setting to capture you as you pose by a tent, trying out your best nonchalant head tilt…

And so it was that Mr Ship-Shape photographed this festival outfit, made up of my cotton ‘Eve’ top from Toast and a few items from the recent Cabot Circus Festival Fashion Style Challenge, while a group of my friends could be heard playing at being paparazzi while giggling in the distance.

When I’ve worked out a format I might write a post on how to photograph outfits in public but for now, here are a few thoughts on the matter:

Even the non-posiest poses can look posed

Finding a quite spot will make you feel (a bit) more relaxed

Laughing through it is your only option

The quicker you shoot, the quicker you’ll stop being stared at

Pretending to flash (your friends, not random members of the public!) can work wonders to lighten the mood

Do you you shy away from having your photo taken in public or are you the first to enlist your non-blogger pals in snapping your style? Share your thoughts in the comments!

‘Eve’ top – c/o Toast / Stonewashed boyfriend shorts – New Look / Red and brown striped cardigan – Mango / Vintage Paisley scarf – Grandma Ship-Shape / Chelsea boots –Topshop / Sunglasses – Primark

New Look stonewashed boyfriend shortsTopshop tan Chelsea bootsVintage paisley scarf and Mango cardiganFestival dressing at WIllfieldsEve buttoned back top from Toast

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Filed under outfits, photography

Lomo Love: Living for the Weekend

Lomo double exposure Colour Neg film

I finally feel like I’m getting to grips with my Diana Dreamer and, to me at least, that’s nothing short of exciting! This roll is another batch of Colour Negative 100 film and it might just be that these shots were taken in sunnier weather, but they definitely feel warmer than the previous roll.

These double exposures were taken on some of my favourite weekends in recent memory. Some were shot at St Pauls Carnival (you can see some more traditional snaps of the event here), one our recent camping trip and several during the May Bank Holiday when Mr Ship-Shape and I took a day trip to Cheddar Gorge. It was there that we managed to set up the shot below – a double exposure taken from the same spot with me in one exposure and the Mr in the other.

Double exposure attempt at Cheddar GorgeSt Pauls double exposure photographsThe view from Cheddar GorgeWeekend camping Lomo style


Filed under photography

A Jolly Weekend in Cornwall

Mousehole, Cornwall - the view from our bedroom

Do you remember yonks ago (ok, about a month ago) when I mentioned my surprise birthday weekend away in Cornwall, and how I’d post up some photos really soon? If you do then the phrase ‘better late than never’ would be applicable here.

Our poor old laptop has pretty much reached maximum capacity on the storage front, so apart from a few lomography shots, it’s taken me a while to make enough room to make space for these holiday snaps. Computer issues aside, the long weekend in Cornwall (and accompanying sunny weather) seems like a hazy memory now but is one that I thoroughly enjoyed. Mr Ship-Shape took me to Mousehole, near Newlyn, which is a tiny pocket of a village close to Land’s End and Penzance.

We stayed in an old Coastgaurd’s cottage and woke up to the sound of the sea each morning, which was blissful. It was a tranquil, foodie ‘staycation’ that I could get used to every birthday! Since this is a photo-heavy post I’ll limit the chit-chat, but the weekend included, in no particular order; walking, photography, criminal seagulls, whole crabs, ice cream, fishcakes, reading, bacon sandwiches, St Ives, lie-ins, art galleries and some of the best seafood I’ve ever eaten…

Mousehole Bird Sanctuary signBoat stranded in St Michael's Mount harbourTasty fish and chips in Mount's BayThe Rum and Crab Shack St IvesEating whole crab at The Rum and Crab Shack St IvesThe view from St Michael's MountLooking nautical and windsweptIce creams in St IvesMousehole harbourOur coastguard cottageSt Michael's Mount Cornwall


Filed under holidays, photography, travelling

Ship-Shape is on Instagram!

Mini lomo 'Evelyn' camera      Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion blog      #myreisslook style challenge

Having recently upgraded from a Blackberry to a shiny new Android phone, one of the things I was most excited about was all the apps I’d have access to (Blackberrys have quite a pitiful selection) and that includes Instagram.

After reading articles that discussed how Instagram could ruin blogging, put an end to digital photography and generally wreck lives, I was a bit sceptical. Would Instagram stop me from blogging regularly or mean I never pick up my DSLR or Diana Dreamer again? That would be a big fat no, so here I am.

If you’d like to follow me on @shipshapebf then please do, though truth be told, I’m more excited about experimenting with all the different effects and filters than accruing hundreds of likes/followers. So far I’ve found a couple of inspiring Instagram posts, the first being from Moi Minnie, who has a really interesting take on using colour (or not, as the case may be) in her Instagram images, and another post from IFB with a host of creative fashion blog Instargramers.

I can safely say I’ll be sticking to capturing Bristol, cake and clothes I’m coveting on camera, at least for now. Yes, it’s cliché, but then I did learn all I know about Instagram from this College Humour video… Are you on Instagram? If so, what filters do you love using and who are your favourite Instergramers to follow?

Magpies & I Nest on Gloucester Road      Silver brougues #OOTD      Pearly King Cakes cupcakes
Top row: Mini lomo ‘Evelyn’ camera in pastel pink; my first Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion Instagram; an outfit I put together for the #myreisslook style challenge. Bottom row: The Nest pop-up shop on Gloucester Road; my sliver brogues, aka happy shoes; tasty looking Pearly King Cake cupcakes at The Nest launch party. 

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Lomo Love: Colour Negative 100 film

Lomography Colour Negative 100 film

Lomography is still very new to me, and unlike digital, it’s a medium that can’t be perfected with the push of a button. Waiting to pick up the film and pulling open the oblong envelope is always exciting, as you can never guarantee quite what you’ll find inside. Although I had great results with Redscale XR film a few months ago, I wanted to experiment with Colour Negative 100 film, which is what these shots were taken on.

The film performs best in bright sunlight, which wasn’t ideal given how miserable spring has been, but I’m optimistic that the next roll will be used in better conditions – yesterday was so warm that I ate lunch outside, so here’s hoping!

These double exposure shots were taken in and around Bristol, and on my recent weekend in Cornwall. The bleeding in some photos is from not unloading the film properly (oops!), but I kind of like the effects.

If you use a lomo camera and have any tips to share then please let me know in the comments!

Lomography Bristol graffitiLomography Bristol St WerburghsLomography Cornwall Colour Negative 100Lomography Cornwall Lomography Tate St Ives, Cornwall


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Mouvements de Femmes: Norman Parkinson by Roland Mouret

Norman Parkinson for Vogue

Last night I journeyed to Milsom Place in Bath to attend the private view of Mouvements de Femmes, the Norman Parkinson exhibition curated by Roland Mouret.

Of all of Bath in Fashion’s events, this exhibition was the one I was most looking forward to. Fashion photographer Parkinson’s images were pioneering back in the 50s and 60s, and a collection of his photographs featured in An Eye for Fashion at Bristol’s M Shed last year. Cliché as it may sound, Parkinson had a unique way of capturing his models on film, which included Jean Shrimpton, Nena von Schlebrügge and Grace Coddington, Creative Director of US Vogue.

For Mouvements de Femmes, the twist was the involvement of designer Roland Mouret. Mouret, perhaps best well known for bringing the world the Galaxy dress, picked the venue (the striking Octagon in Milsom Place) combed through thousands of images – some never displayed publicly before – and created an exhibition to capture ‘how women move’, above and beyond what they were wearing at the time. Mouret made several visits to Bath ahead of the exhibition and even had the venue repainted to fit in with his vision.

Norman Parkinson Bath shoot for VogueNorman Parkinson

The exhibition showcases fashion stories and covers from Vogue, Queen magazine and Harper’s Bazaar, and Mouret chose each image ‘not so much because [they are] fashionable, instead more for how the women moved within them’. Hence the selection of models draped over fighter planes, driving fast cars and playing in a way that hadn’t been seen in fashion magazines before.

Parkinson used Bath as a backdrop for several of his shoots, one of which from ‘A Spring Hat and the City of Bath’, above, featured the grandeur of the city’s elegant architecture and raised pavements.

The Octagon provided the perfect setting for each meticulously chosen photograph and was buzzing with life last night as the city’s finest came to celebrate the opening of the exhibition, which marks the centenary of Parkinson’s birth. Prosecco and a string quartet added to the atmosphere, and the hum of classical music matched the hum of guests, murmuring compliments and leaving the present day for just a moment, to delve into Parkinson’s world.

If you’re visiting Bath in the next few weeks I recommend adding this exhibition to your to-do list. It shows a fascinating cross-section of Parkinson’s work, from the view point of one of fashion’s most prominent designers. If you were there last night or made it to the exhibition over the weekend, let me know what you thought of it!

Mouvements de Femmes runs at The Octagon, Milsom Place, until 12th May. Entry is free and the venue is open Tuesdays –Sundays from 10am – 5.30pm for more information click here.

Milsom Place, BathChampagne at Milsom PlaceNorman Parkinson nudeRoses at Octagon Milsom PlaceOctagon at Milsom PlaceNorman Parkinson shoot in Bath

Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion has been shortlisted for a Bath in Fashion Blogger of the Year award! Please vote for me here. Voting is easy and requires no personal details or fiddly bits like that, so please pick up those laptops, phones and tablets and get voting! 


Filed under Bath, photography

Tim Walker: Story Teller exhibition at Somerset House

Mechanical dolls by Tim Walker and Rhea Thierstein | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionPhotography by Tim Walker. Image courtesy of Rhea Thierstein

‘I don’t want to sound mystical but sometimes when you take a picture something takes over and leads you’ – Tim Walker

One of the highlights of my trip to London on Saturday, and the main reason for going, was to see the Tim Walker: Story Teller exhibition at Somerset House.

For anyone unfamiliar with his work, Tim Walker is a British fashion photographer who creates and shoots scenes worthy of fairytales, truly putting the story into ‘fashion story’ – typically used to define various fashion editorials in magazines. After graduating with a degree in Photography from Exeter University in 1994, Walker assisted the American fashion photographer Richard Avedon before moving up the ranks to become a legendary fashion photographer in his own right. His work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, British Vogue and W Magazine.

The first time I remember seeing a photograph by Walker was in a 2008 copy of Vogue. It was a Tim Burton-inspired shoot (which features in the exhibition) set in the corn fields of Kings Seeds, Colchester. I was blown away by the models (which included Burton and his muse, Helena Bonham Carter), the make-up, the clothes, the sets and the poses.

After that moment I began searching out Walker’s work, oggling manor houses filled with multicoloured balloons and shots of models in gowns with 12 foot long trains, draped off regal-looking stairwells and ladders.

Tim Walker and Rhea Thierstein for Vanity Fair | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionPhotography by Tim Walker. Image courtesy of Rhea Thierstein

Story Teller pulls together some of Walker’s most exquisite fashion stories, along with portraits of British icons such as Vivienne Westwood, the cast of Monty Python and the late Italian fashion writer, Anna Piaggi.

Larger photos have been displayed on the walls of the East Wing gallery, while smaller ones have been purposefully propped up in white-washed creates, as if they had travelled from far and wide (on cargo ships and steam trains) to reach the venue. As well as the stunning photographs, all in simple white frames, there were also props from each shoot on display.

These props, ranging from an insect orchestra to a giant doll complete with gingham dress and curls, were of particular interest as some were made by a friend and former colleague of mine, the insanly talented Rhea Thierstein. Rhea has designed props, sets and costumes for Mulberry, LOVE magazine and Cath Kidston, and it’s props like hers that are intrinsic in bringing Walker’s photographs to life, making his shoots so imaginative and inviting to look at, and adding to the fantasy world that each frame creates.

This exhibition is on until Sunday and is an absolute must-see for photography and fashion fans alike. If you’re based in London then you may already have seen it but if not then what are you waiting for!? Walker’s images are incredible and the exhibition offers the brieft opportunity to step inside those pages of Vogue and see the dream-maker behind the lens.

Have you been to see Story Teller yet?

Tim Walker: Story Teller is free and running until 27th January at Somerset House. For more details on the exhibition, visit the Somerset House website. Thanks to Rhea for letting me use these images.


Filed under London, photography

Lomo Love

Lomography | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion

I’ve loved taking photos for as long as I can remember, and milestones have often been marked with new cameras. For my 18th birthday my parents bought be a manual Pentax K1000, I treated myself to a Polaroid 600 when I went traveling after university, and for my 25th I was lucky enough to be given a Canon DSLR.

For my last birthday Mr Ship-Shape bought me a Diana F+ Dreamer – a lomography camera! Lomography is a medium that I love becuase of the utterly unpredictable nature of the results. When shooting with film you have to give a lot more thought to your subject and composition and with the lo-fi quality of lomo cameras, anything can happen inside that plastic casing.

I was given three rolls of redscale XR film with my Diana Dreamer and was really disappointed when the first roll came back with only half the normal number of prints, that all looked as if I’d held a pair of inferred binoculars in front of the lens. For my next roll I decided to focus on shooting multiple exposures and these are some of the results!

I’m elated with this roll and can’t believe the range of colours that have appeared – from warm oranges to the bleeding neon pink of an almost finished roll. All the images except that of the Clifton Suspension Bridge, below, are double or tripple exposures, and the lovely Photographique, of Clare Street, developed these prints.

This film has restored my faith in redscale and I can’t wait to get out at the weekends and experiment more.

Do you own a Holga, Diana or Fish Eye camera? I’d love to hear what results you’ve had and what different Lomo films you’ve tried.

Lomography | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionLomography | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionLomography | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionLomography | Ship-Shape and Bristol FashionLomography | Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion


Filed under photography

All I Want For Christmas 2012… Photography Gift Ideas

Photography Gift Ideas

Ho, ho, holy moley – it’s nearly Christmas! If, like me, you still haven’t fnished your Christmas shopping yet and are braving the high street this weekend, my Christmas 2012 Gift Guide might just come in handy.


Finding the right present for someone and seeing their face when they open it is always a joy, so over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing my wish lists, ahem, gift guides with you. Yes, I may be borrowing inspiration from what I want to find under the Christmas tree, but I hope these guides will come in handy for you, too.


First up, photography fans. Depending on your budget, the list of kit you could by for a photography fanatic could run into thousands of pounds, but these gifts cover everything from the handy stocking filler (a spare memory card) to the ultimate toy for instant photography fans (the Polaroid Z2300). If you’re shopping for a Holga or Diana owner you could buy them some experimental film, or the photography geek that has everything, this necklace or illustration might do the trick.


I’m off to buy some tinsel and stocking fabric now – see you on the battle field!



Filed under Christmas, photography

Knit One, Purl One

Annie by Amy knitwear

A photo shoot has been mentioned here and there on this blog and on Twitter, so I thought it was time to finally spill the beans and share it with you. A while back the lovely Amy asked me to shot her range of handmade kintwear and the shoot itself took place a few weeks ago.

Amy is a wonderful friend – we actually studied the same course but didn’t meet each other until after we graduated. We watch Gossip Girl together and she’s a must-have companion to take to vintage fairs. A couple of years ago we went to an indoor picnic at the Trinity Centre and both learnt how to knit. We were both a bit rubbish but where I gave up, Amy persevered, and has since mastered every stitch under the sun, knitting hats, scarves and mittens whenever she has a spare minute. The culmination of this is Annie by Amy, her blog and now knitwear label.

I had so much fun shooting Amy’s pieces, despite the rubbish weather on the day. It helps that model Leanne was gorgeous and so willing to go all out to get the right shot. Our friend Naomi also assisted and while the four of us running around Redland must have looked quite a sight, we had so much fun.

Amy has blogged about the shoot here, where you can also find prices for scarves and bobble hats. She can also knit a scarf or hat on commission so do get in touch with her if you want one of these beauties this winter. I’ve got my eye on a camel coloured scarf and a navy bobble hat – which one do you like?

Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion - mittens and Cambridge Satchel Co.Ship-Shape and Bristol Fashion Annie by Amy shootShip-Shape and Bristol Fashion Annie by Amy shootShip-Shape and Bristol Fashion Annie by Amy shootShip-Shape and Bristol Fashion Annie by Amy shootShip-Shape and Bristol Fashion Annie by Amy shootShip-Shape and Bristol Fashion Annie by Amy shootShip-Shape and Bristol Fashion Annie by Amy shoot


Filed under knitwear, photography