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Rangefinder Magazine

April 29, 2016

Rangefinder Magazine – Editor’s Pick


I had an image which was chosen for the Editor’s Pick in Rangefinder Magazine July/August 2015.  I’ve always been a fan of Rangefinder Magazine, and it’s been a long-life goal of mine to have a feature with them.  I was honoured when the opportunity came knocking.  The interview for The Portrait Issue of Rangefinder Magazine Editor’s Pick is below;

Why was this image taken?

This image was from a series of portraits taken to showcase Claire Pettibone’s Still life collection for a local bridal boutique.

Where was it shot?

It was taken at The Botanical Gardens in Sheffield, inside the glass house. Surrounded by botanics and flooded with natural light.

What camera, lens , etc used?

For this shot I used my canon mark III and 85mm Sigma lens at 1.4

What do you love about this shot?

The composition, the way that her eyes are closed – this conveys a sense of wonder and feeling from her, the soft focus (gained by wide open aperture) presents her with a delicate characteristic and innocence – her face and freckles are also in soft focus, making her dream-like, her tousled hair represents her youthfulness and beauty. Every time I look at this image it tells me a story, a story of beauty and innocence, it’s a story of the soul that has been captured.

How does this convey your signature style?

This image is soft, romantic and ethereal, which are words I often use to describe my style. I like to shoot in natural light settings, wide open and use my 85mm for portraits. It’s important for me my images tell a story, that every viewer can relate to when looking at my images – whether it be a story of beauty, of love, joy, or pain, for me it’s about capturing the soul of a person and a piece of them that we can all see in ourselves.

Is there anything you can say from a technical standpoint on how it was done or what you think makes it a standout? I forgot to ask, you shoot digital and convert to black and white, or you also shoot film?

Although the concept for this particular shoot was to showcase bridal wear, I always feel it’s also important, as a photographer, to let the moment take you and to capture what you see in your vision and how it makes you feel as an artist. And this is how I created this image. I saw this image in my mind before I took it and I felt it taking shape. I got Sarah ( the model) to face the light and I stood at an angle and shot slightly from above and very close, allowing all the light onto her face. Whilst directing her I chatted with her and when I knew she felt comfortable I asked her to close her eyes. Taken with 85mm at 1.4 at 400 iso and 1/320 sec.

I feel this image gives a sense of mystery and wonder and has captured the spirit and soul of Sarah, and could tell a story to almost every viewer, I feel a combination of these things is what makes this image stand out.

I shoot both film and digital. I graduated in 2004 with a degree in film photography, and this has heavily shaped and influenced my style and how I shoot today. When shooting digital I like my photography to look natural, and have plenty of detail – and when editing I like my work to embrace a film-like quality and feel to it.


You can find the online feature here: www.rangefinderonline.com/features/portrait/Editor-s-Pick-Botanical-Beauty-by-Jess-Petrie

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