Tag Archives: portrait

My 2015 in pictures. What I love shooting and why.

Last year I took 55,503 photos.

That’s an average of 152 photos per day or just over 7 photos per hour, which makes me only slightly less trigger happy than the average teenage girl. Considering that much of a photographer’s time is spent prepping, editing and delivering images I can say in all honesty, it’s been a busy year.

As I look back through my 2015 catalog there are some images that jump out at me immediately. Some for their pure form and impact, others because of how they take me right back to the moment they were captured.

This year JonHallPhoto has taken a distinct change in direction and I’ve moved away from weddings and more towards commercial images and video production. It’s a move I’m enjoying and leaves me looking forward to the year ahead.

So in no particular order here are a few of my favourite images and memories from the last year.


JonHallPHoto 2015-7
Andy and Annika – Liverpool Skyline

I love this shot of Andy and Annika at the end of the night. It’s just such a genuine moment. Shot from afar to give them as much privacy as possible, they didn’t disappoint.



JonHallPHoto 2015-18The first of two favourites from the incredible Sophia Carmen. A dancer from the Hammond School. As an ex dancer myself I’m amazed by the strength on show here.

JonHallPHoto 2015-13

A more personal shot here as this is my little nephew Sam. This wasn’t a photo shoot but a family get together and those piercing eyes just found the lens.

JonHallPHoto 2015-12This is the moment a party of Groomsmen decided to attempt their version of The Beatles ‘Abbey Road’album cover. Unfortunately one groomsman just couldn’t march in time. As it turns out that one groomsmen just happens to be the only soldier in the group.

JonHallPHoto 2015-8Here’s a wedding party that knows how to have fun. I became tired with seeing guests queuing up for cramped, automated photo booths to be rewarded with low quality snaps they could have taken themselves. This is how a photo booth should be done. This was a fun night.

JonHallPHoto 2015-16The Little Black Dress shoot – iConquered. The brief was to show the clients of a personal trainer getting ‘Little Black Dress’ ready and these were empowered women at work, in one image. I think we nailed it.

JonHallPHoto 2015-11Another gorgeous image from Sophia, this time with partner Liam. The pure dance shapes they were producing were amazing but lacked an emotional element. After a little direction they pulled out this gem. I think it’s just wonderful.

JonHallPHoto 2015-15Ok so the image may not be all that special but it represents my move into commercial product photography. These ‘ghost’ images look simple but the difference it can make to a professional website is profound. And these are just the still versions…

JonHallPHoto 2015-10This family beach shoot produced a whole series of great images but I love this shot as the boy leads his little sister through the sand.

JonHallPHoto 2015-5I love this shot for the magic of lighting. This was a pretty dull day, windy and a little cold but with a little thought and strategic speedlight placement this sunny summer day was born. Nice.



Chloe’s beauty shoot. Makeup showcase.

I’m always on the look out for talent. When it comes to fashion and beauty photography finding the right make up artist and hair stylist can make all the difference between a good shot and a great one.

When Chloe stepped into the studio it was a great opportunity to see two talented artists at work. In this case the hair styling was provided by the team at Zerofour Hairdressing with make up from Emma Lampkin.

Looking back – Ten favourite images of 2012 and the stories behind them.

I’ve seen a lot of posts from photographers recently titled ‘A year in review’ or ‘2012 in pictures’. Whilst it’s great to see their best work, none of them told me very much about either themselves or the images. I’m not going to give you every shot I consider to be good advertising. Instead here’s a few of my favourite shots from last year and the stories behind them. I hope this tells you a little more about me and my process than just looking at 12 months of photographs.

So, my top 10… though in no particular order

1) Charlotte & Michael at Fountains Abbey

There are so many reasons I like this shot, I love the perspective and depth of the receding arches and I find the repeat of white from the windows and the dress really pleasing. This particular shot stands out in my mind as a reminder of how co-operative and kind people are to brides on their wedding day. There were hundreds of people visiting the Abbey as the weather was glorious and we had wandered away from the reception to get our key shots. Here we walked through admiring crowds, some of whom stood guard to make sure we wouldn’t get strangers walking through the back of the shot. I lit this with a single off camera umbrella top left and knew as soon as I’d pressed the shutter that the couple would love it, and so do I.

Charlotte & Michael at Fountains Abbey

2) Wro there Santa!

Meet the crew from ‘the Wro’, a bar and restaurant in the same town as my studio. They paid a visit at Christmas as part of the West Kirby santa dash for the answer to a riddle, some mulled wine and a mince pie. I had the lights setup from a previous shoot and invited them to pose for a quick snap. I clicked once and it was too serious for santa. ‘Sillier’, I suggested. One more click and this is the result. I love the colour and the spontaneity of this shot, but for me it’s the grumpy pup that makes it a winner, Christmas collar and all.

Wro there Santa

3) Baby Bella’s birthday

This is my Neice Isabella, a beautiful happy little girl who cares far more about helium balloons than expensive presents. When I was growing up my father was a photographer, but everything was on film and I have a very limited set of photographs from my formative years. As I lay on the floor to get this low angle, snapping away and laughing with my family I knew that it would be a different story for Isabella. Each year I make a photo book for my brother and I feel proud that one day Bella might show them to her kids…or their kids. I love my Nikon for the magic way it nails the focus with it’s 3D tracking. Kids can be difficult to photograph and having equipment that gets out of my way and lets me focus on shooting is great. This may be my favourite shot of her so far. The look of amazement when things go up instead of down is priceless.

Baby Bella’s birthday

4) 91 years young

This one is about more than just the image. A previous model of mine asked me if I could take a portrait of her grandmother. The brief was that it’s her 91st birthday and they would love a photo with three generations of the family plus dog. I wasn’t expecting the emotional recall I had when I setup and took this shot. I didn’t get into photography early enough to be able to have a lasting image like this of my own grandmother and it was a real honour to be able to provide this for someone else. I used a small soft box to give the image texture, whilst dropping out the background to give a greater sense of depth to the small room we were in. I really like this image, but it’s in this list because of how important it is to someone else and to be a part of that is a privilege.

91 years young

5) Marine Lake Peir

I took my original version of this shot years ago with my first DSLR, a Nikon D70 with 18-55mm kit lens. To everyone else it was a consumer grade 6.1MP crop camera, to me it was the future of technology and the key to suddenly getting professional images. Now of course I know better. It wasn’t the camera preventing me from getting results like this, it was the photographer.

Original D70 version

When I shot the first version of this I thought it was a masterpiece by my own standards. It was shot at f22 so had horrible diffraction blur, had nothing interesting in the sky and was processed to within an inch of it’s life. As winter drew in this year I decided to have a go at recreating this shot and headed out with the superb 11-16mm Tokina 2.8, D300 and a much sturdier tripod. Though you can’t see it the weather was violent that day, the water is almost never this high and waves were crashing around me. This time the sky was dynamic and the 11mm focal length on DX has significantly changed the look of the pier. A lot has changed for me since the D70. My technique is better as are my camera lenses and equipment. This time I knew it would make a dramatic canvas so I’ve deliberately pushed the contrast and brought out the highlights on the wooden slats to balance the sky.  I look forward to seeing what I do with this when I retake it in years to come.

Pier’s More-than

Continue reading Looking back – Ten favourite images of 2012 and the stories behind them.

Santas. They’re like buses – Christmas decends on the studio

Why are they like buses? You wait all year for one and then four come along at once!
With the opening of the new studio in West Kirby, we’ve been attracting some attention. Not least from this group of Santas who popped in this week as part of a local Santa dash. Tim, Heather and the staff from The Wro Lounge swung by for a mulled wine, mince pie and a quick snap.

A quick pic like this is easy to produce and took us only a minute to do. For impromptu shoots like this there is no charge for the session. Just drop in, strike a pose and buy the images or prints if you want them.

Merry Christmas!

Glossy studio beauty shoot for Sophia

Sophia is a dancer. Dancers make great models.

One of these statements is a fact, the other may just be my opinion. You can judge for yourself.

I studied ballroom dancing in my youth and I love shooting dancers, they are aware of what their whole body is doing and are able to copy poses perfectly if I’m looking for something very specific. This was Sophia’s first time in the studio and in front of the camera but you couldn’t tell.

In preparation for our dance portfolio shoot we spent the morning trying some poses and getting used to the process of setting up and shooting for specific styles with some beauty shots. After a slightly nervous start we soon had the stereo turned up and were snapping away with Sophie hitting some really creative poses.

We shot using a selection of backgrounds using two 70×50 softboxes and a large reflector, putting the new studio runway to good use and allowing us to really control the light spill onto the background. With such a large studio space it’s now easy to create deep black background shots while keeping depth in the images.

I’d say with these edits I’m at my retouching limit. I’ve pushed the glossy ‘perfect’ look further than I normally would to create a glossy image that looks great in print. This is just one style of shoot and edit available. Many styles can be accommodated so call or pop in for a chat about what jonhallphoto @ Nancie Henry can do for you.

Look out for Sophia in the future.

Kids studio portraits, with exclusive outfitting from Los Ninos

Showing off the ‘princess dress’

With the opening of the new studio space at Los Ninos, West Kirby. I am now able to offer even more options for your studio shoot than before.

For that extra special photo shoot, browse what’s on offer from high end labels and choose your favourites for use in your photos, at no extra charge. Choose from exclusive kids brands such as Joule’s, EMU, Spotty Otter, Scotch R’Belle, Mini Melissa, Noa Noa and more, all included in the price of any studio shoot.

The lovely outfits offer a real sense of ‘dress up’ to the occasion and bring a sparkle to the shoot from the start, resulting in some stunning pictures. All ages can be catered for with outfits for baby and all the way up. Of course you can bring along any clothes you like and mix and match as you see fit.

The perfect shot for a stunning canvas

The fun and relaxed studio shoots can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours, with changing rooms and free refreshments available for the mini models. Dads can browse the fine collections from brands such as Scotch and Soda and F&M, while mums discover the ‘shoe vault’ – converted from the buildings days as a bank.

Three package choices are available:

Print Package


  • Two complete outfits for use in your shoot.
  • Private online gallery with direct print ordering.
  • Professionally edited medium resolution web sized images on disc.
  • 5 high quality 10×8″ prints.
  • Full resolution images, prints and books available separately.

Digital package


  • Unlimited outfits for use in your shoot.
  • Private online gallery with direct print ordering.
  • 10 high quality 10×8″ prints.
  • Professionally edited high resolution printable files on personalised disc.
  • Storyboard and multi image canvas custom design service.
  • Prints and books available separately.

Graphistudio complete package


  • Unlimited outfits for use in your shoot.
  • Private online gallery with direct print ordering.
  • 5 high quality 10×8″ prints
  • High resolution printable files on personalised disc.
  • Bespoke storyboards of images ideal for canvas prints or greeting cards.

Plus either

  • 20x30cm custom designed Graphistudio book with smooth or textured paper, hard back or dust jacket.


  • Two 15x20cm custom designed Graphistudio books with smooth or textured paper, hard back or dust jacket.


Further books are available, including sets of parent and pocket books, Ideal for friends and grandparents.

The studio is available 7 days a week. If you would like to book a shoot or have any questions get in touch using the contact page or call 07886 326 623.