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Lemon Sky Photography
James and Lauren of Lemon Sky Photography
James and Lauren of Portsmouth based Lemon Sky Photography were winners of our recent facebook competions with one of their novel "shelfie" portraits. We were intrigued by their style and way of working so fired over a few questions, which we are pleased to say they were happy to answer!

1. When did you get into photography and why?

James: Photography has been a way of life for as long as I can remember. My Grandfather was a photographer and my Father is a world class professional photographer - appearing in many publications around the globe. As soon as I was old enough to hold a camera, I accompanied Dad to all manner of shoots and assisted him, learning along the way - from weddings to magazine portraits! As a tutor of photography at University, Dad is a fantastic teacher and taught me everything I know about photography.

lemonsky_image_1.jpgLauren: I have always been a "creative" type of person - I'm never happier than when I'm creating something new and beautiful! From drawing& painting to sewing and crafting. I had my first solo art exhibition at the age of 9, followed by two subsequent exhibitions. I naturally went into working as a professional graphic designer and concept artist. I love the creative side of our photography business and enjoy making most of our props by hand! Our hot air balloon and dream catcher prop, for example, or the little upcycled newborn outfits... I just love it!

James and I teach each other everything we know. He has taught me all about photography, and I have returned the favour by showing him the ropes in graphic art... We make a great team, both personally and professionally.

lemonsky_image_2.jpg2. You use our backdrops a lot, what do you like about them?

Haha - yes we do indeed use them a lot! Ordering another roll is always on our "to-do" list. We just love your seamless paper drops and they are the only ones we use. The seamless paper is wonderfully thick and resilient and the variety of colours is incredible... they are thick enough to turn over and use both sides too if needed!

3. What are your favourite colours?

This is a tough one, but we'd have to say Oyster. The soft creamy colour is so versatile and compliments the skin tones beautifully. You can achieve so many different looks with this colour, depending on your lighting and post-processing... we get through so many rolls of Oyster!

4. The image you won with, is really creative. How did you come up with that idea?

lemonskyphotography_shelfie_2.jpgThank you! Well, we just love creating "shelfie" shots. We think when done correctly, they're just so adorable. The concept for this shelfie was actually our client's idea. Her little girl's bedroom is themed and decorated in this style, with the toys up on shelves and the blue clouds wall paper. She showed us a shot of the bedroom and asked if we had any ideas to create a unique and original canvas for her wall and we thought, yep - we can do that!

This shot is a composite, meaning it is made up of many different shots. We always shoot shelfies from above, with the baby laying on his/her back on the floor, as safety comes first at all times. We shot and added in the toys, then added the clouds by hand in post-production. This backdrop is seamless paper in Sky Blue.

5. Your portfolio is very strong, you said you work 50/50, do you both shoot at the same time, or how does it work?

Leomon Sky 3 - Oyster Background PaperThank you, that's very kind of you! Well, how we work depends entirely on the shoot. We are both photographers and we also share the image post processing - we have worked together to develop our own unique style for our images, to keep Lemon Sky's photographs consistent for our clients. Our cosy studio is set up at our home in Portsmouth, which we feel helps put our clients at ease when they visit for their sitting. We learn something new from each other every day! Most sessions, we work side by side, though occasionally we fly solo: The way we work together depends entirely on the shoot itself. For example, I (Lauren) will shoot maternity sessions on my own, as many pregnant women feel more comfortable with a female photographer. For live stage show shots, or promotional company work, James will take care of those. With newborn sessions, James is the photographer, in control of the lighting and photography. I plan out how the session will run (as many newborn photographers will know - it's like a military operation!) and am with baby the whole time - posing and positioning, monitoring their comfort and supporting them safely to achieve "composite shots" (safe shots, where my hands are then removed in post-production to create the final piece). We have our work flow down now to run seamlessly - just a nod from James, or a look from myself and we know what the other is thinking. Professional and friendly, we pride ourselves on providing our clients with a smooth and personal service from start to finish.

6. How did you meet?

Lemon Sky Photography - Oyster Background PaperWe are both musicians too, James is a published singer-songwriter (you can find him on iTunes - search James Tippins) and I (Lauren) am a professional Bass player. We have both been musicians since our teens and have both played in various locations around the globe. We met when James was auditioning for a new bass guitarist and, what can I say - it was love at first sight! We are now parents, living and working together. We are a real team, sharing every aspect of our lives together, from the business side of things to the creative and the parenting - It's fantastic! And we still jam when we can find the time.

7. What's the most important thing in your kit bag?

Aside from our Nikon D7100? We'd have to say the 18-200mm lens (Nikkor 18-200mm DXVR). It's just so versatile and the quality is lovely. From long location shots, to delicate newborn close-ups, it's our go-to lens of choice and we find ourselves using it more and more.

8. What is your website, Facebook page and Twitter account so people can follow your work?

WEBSITE: www.lemonskyphotography.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/lemonsky

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/lemonskynewborn

9. Anything else you wish to add?

We'd like to say a few thank yous if that's ok? Thank you to Baby Art UK for our recent mentoring. To the Guild Of Photographers for accepting each of us as members. Thank you to BANPAS for the amazing work they do in promoting newborn safety in photography - which is the most important thing for a newborn baby photographer to be aware of (if you haven't already, please do look up BANPAS at www.banpas.co.uk ). We are proud to be members of such an important organisation in the world of Newborn Photography. Thank you to Julie Whitehead (independent midwife) for forming a relationship with us and allowing us to display our canvasses and work at your Hub.

And last but not least, we'd just like to say thank you to everyone who voted for our image to win! We are bowled over and are so grateful. Lemon Sky is officially one year old at the end of this month, and it's been a roller coaster of a year for our little company - so we'd just like to thank our clients, family and associates from the bottom of our hearts for your continued support!

Lauren & James x

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