Compelling portraits inspired by the Brontës in Haworth, Yorkshire

Compelling portraits inspired by the Brontës in Haworth, Yorkshire

I believe self-development is vital to keep myself on top of new developments and trends – there’s always something new to learn. So during the first few months of every year, I take time out to stimulate my creativity with new inspirations. Last year it was Argentina. This year I stayed closer to home and took myself off to the Yorkshire Moors and Brontë Country for Carolyn Mendelsohn’s  Compelling Portraiture course to create compelling portraits inspired by the Brontës in Haworth, Yorkshire.

I love Carolyn’s work. I mentioned in a previous blog post  that it reminds me of how I used to work. I wanted to recapture some of that spirit rather than be influenced by current trends in lifestyle photography.

The course was held at beautiful Ponden Hall, whose library the Brontë siblings used to visit.

As well as two days with Carolyn, photographing adult and child models on the incredibly atmospheric moors, one day was spent with American photographer, Kate Crowley Parker. Kate had flown in from The States to talk to us about how she photographs children and about her post-production techniques.  I found Kate’s photographs of her children very inspiring: strong rather than pretty, they are certainly compelling!

Of course, the surroundings – the moors and the hall itself – were incredibly stimulating and provided very striking backgrounds. It was easy to see how they influenced the Brontë girls and not hard to imagine them wandering around.

I was particularly fascinated by a window in Ponden Hall that Emily had drawn with a hand coming through it. It’s called Cathy’s Window because it inspired her to write Wuthering Heights.

But the most important lesson I learnt from the three days was how to create more compelling images of children.

We worked in a very different way to how I normally work with children. It’s not always about letting them loose and photographing them doing their own thing. Sometimes a child’s beauty can be captured when they are being still and contemplative – they don’t always have to be smiling to be endearing.

There’s a lot more direction in taking this type of portrait of a child than I’m used to but it’s still about understanding how to capture a moment. So on a very sunny day for instance, that might mean being brave and using the sun for backlit portraiture.

I was so pleased with the atmospheric images I created over the two days. The course has inspired me to do a 365 shoot of my son Peter, which you can read about in the next newsletter. If you want a sneak preview take a look at my Facebook page and follow me on Twitter @Anniegolightly.

Models: Hannah Muirhead, Joshua Brand and Rachel Hayton
Stylist: Caroline Brown
MUA and Hair: Lauren Rippin

Chidlren: Oliver, Charlie, Maddie and Mabel


This is me amongst the heather taking shots of Hannah!

Annie Armitage – Photographer

Annie Armitage is an established photographer who specialises in producing timeless images. She has had her business over 9 years and as one of the top contemporary, family lifestyle photographers in the UK she produces images of pregnancy, newborn, babies of all sizes, children, families, teenagers (seniors), dogs and also has a commercial photography side to her business which is predominantly headshots as well as formal but approachable portraits for annual reports or PR purposes and lifestyle images for SME’s portfolios and website.

Annie is based in Kingston upon Thames and the area that she does photography in the following areas :- Central London, Kingston, Surbiton, ThamesDitton, NewMalden, Wimbledon, Wandsworth, Clapham, Battersea, Putney, Richmond, Barnes, Fulham, Sheen, Hampton, Twickenham, Teddington, St Margarets and throughout Surrey including Godalming, Woking, Cobham, Weybridge, Esher, Claygate, Oxshott and Ottershaw, Surrey

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To contact Annie about your requirements – please go to the Contact form on her website or alternatively email her at or call her on 07711 391919

All rights reserved. Please do not copy. 2015



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