Annie’s Antics including yesterday’s National Portrait Gallery workshop with Brian Griffin


So my holiday at home is nearly at an end and what a fabulous time I have had!  Meeting up with old friends and new, time with my family, a wonderful admin catch up and planning for the future.  My husband has taken early semi retirement so we have been celebrating his achievement…I am very proud of him!

Great plans ahead!  Oh my goodness my head is ready to burst!

So, yesterday!  A workshop with Brian Griffin run by the National Portrait Gallery at View Tube at the Olympic site near to Stratford (London not avon) as part of the Road to 2012 project

Now many of you may not of heard of Brian but I believe he is a genius!  He turned corporate photography on its head since the 1980’s  and more recently his work from the Road to 2012 project  my particular favourite is called Mayor – Setting out with Ken Livingstone! I would have loved to have assisted Brian that day – just asking Ken to pose like that – wonderful!

I was inspired yesterday and encouraged.  Mainly because all of the things that I believe a photographer should be – I am not alone in that belief.

I had a debate when someone said to me once that photographers are not talented – that it is the camera that does all the work and that anything can be fixed in post production.  That it is the photographer’s vanity to fuss and get the shot right.  I am sorry, but that is such a wrong thing to say! (I can say this now – at the time it made me cry)  To get the shot right in camera is where the skill is, not in the processing of an image – anyone can do that! I  aim that my images are taken to the best of my ability as if I was using film. Yesterday, it was confirmed to me that I am not wrong in my thinking…

Brian said, “you can’t be a good photographer without a sense of humour” and I really believe that is true!  I love to laugh on my shoots, it is contagious!  It is through humour that images can be made, to go with one’s gut feel about how the image should flow and sometimes yes, the ridiculous ideas work!

Why was I inspired?  Well things have been confirmed to me today that a couple of my photographer mentors had said to me and I hadn’t taken it in but I should not look and see what other photographers are doing.  They should not be my inspiration but art should.  To see how the old masters posed people, how were they lit?

Being on facebook I always see images posted by other photographers and it good to comment with encouraging words but I now need to be more disciplined not only to think outside of the box with the way I conduct and direct my shoots but also make an effort and get up to central London more often in order to visit galleries and have a new insight.NPG

We had a time today to “play” and our brief was self portraits and there was a mention of “back of heads” so here we are…. my View Tube in Yellow images.  The couple above were so much fun!  I said “can I take a picture of the back of you head please? ”  They laughed and the lady tried to hide out of the frame but I said “keep peeping!”…

Two ladies putting on suncream

Another self portrait below – Looking forward – not back

Looking forward - not back

Lady with bike

Here endeth the lesson…

… and please visit View Tube to see how wonderful the Olympics is going to be!  Nearest train station is Pudding Lane DLR

This is copyright Annie Armitage – Do not copy.





london and Surrey Mel Larson the Vision coach wearing an orange top and blue trousers sitting having a latte
london and Surrey Mel Larson the Vision coach in the woods wearing a yellow top

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Annie Armitage photographer wearing a denim jacket and standing in front of pink mural