Litha revisited

A couple came to see us about bookin their wedding photography yesterday. The girl, Becky is beautiful, she would make a great sun goddess. Dare I ask…..

Of course I dare!!!

Taking the shoot with Heather a stage further and making more use of the mirror was the plan for today.

Becky and her fiance Sam, turned up at 10.00 this morning all ready for a shoot. It had to be early because the weather forecast is showing that the sun will only last until about lunchtime. Actually, it was clouding up really quickly, we all kept a close eye on the weather and didn’t waste any time getting down to work.

Becky was lovely, she must have been freezing cold but she just carried on. As we walked onto the field I realised that it had very recently been sprayed with manure. Less said the better I think!

The police turned up. They didn’t question what we were doing but they did sit in the car watching us for quite some time. very offputting for poor Becky in a translucent outfit.

Of the two images above the preferred one for me is the top one, it has a nore biblical feel to it which makes it more dramatic. I have kept the little shrine to the sun god and the candle as a symbolic element.



“Leap the bonfire for purification and renewed energy. Ritually, use mirrors to capture the light of the Sun or the flames of the fire.”

The quote above is about the midsummer festival known to Pagans and practioners of Wicca as Litha. The Sun God is at the peak of his powers on midsummers day, after that he starts to weaken until he is finally overcome by autumn and ‘dies’ until the following year when he is once more reincarnated.

It is this element of trying to capture the Sun God while he was at the peak of his powers on Midsummers day that I wanted to create in the photographs. I had a candle in the middle of the flowers to symbolise the sun’s energy. not too successfully though as it kept blowing out. I think the whole thing just looks a bit too pretty. I liked the idea with the mirror though, think I will develop that one further.

The next idea was to use the horse as as symbol of masculine energy, that didn’t work at all! It completely moved away from what I was trying to achieve. Both horse and rider were on edge as they didn’t really know what was going to happen, the lawnmower that fired up in the next field didn’t help either, the horse nearly jumped out of his skin, and so did his rider. Heather and her friend Vicky, who kindly gave up her time to help out, did a great job of keeping him calm. Vicky is just outside the shot holding the other end of that long rein.

Time is a big issue for Heather and she did a great job with the limited time she has. Asking her to model again would be an imposition because she is so busy. Shame we didn’t quite get it in one shoot but such is life.


I remember Richard talking about Rembrant et al painting backgrounds in very dark colours and painting the main subject in far more vivid colours. I can’t say that I consciously tried to recreate that look when I created the set for the Mabon pictures but maybe I was influenced by it. I can see similarities between my pics and this and other Rembrandt paintings. My God!! Me and Rembrandt in the same sentence!!!! I think his pictures may have a little extra something, haha.

Rembrandt The Night Watch (1642)


“The Goddess in this sequence takes on a far more prominent role at this time. As the Sun’s influence over the world declines the Moon’s light and energy become more dominant. The Goddess, in her aspect as both grieving consort and also pregnant Earth Mother, must now stand by and watch the old God slip into the other world and take his place in the cycle. She is the bringer of life and the child she carries now will, come the Spring, be the next incarnation of the Sun God. At this time of year her aspect is bright and clear but she has lost her partner and must stand alone .”

This is the autumn shoot that I did with Tiiu. What a great model, mind you she used to model professionally and it shows!!

Here are a couple of pics from the shoot.


Finally managed to get all of the shoots finished, The spring shoot with Sarah, a new model, was yesterday.

I have never met her before, she came to me through Debbie Hardy of Studio 25 Photography who I went to for my industry advice. Sarah is a beautiful girl who was perfect for the shoot, she turned up with two friends which was absolutely fine, until one of them whipped out a camera! I was a bit put out by that but never mind.

Sarah was great but I think that she was a bit put off by her friends being there as on a lot of the pics she averted her gaze at the last second and she is looking at them rather than at the camera. Darn it! Still think we managed to get the final shot though.

She was joined on the shoot by a chap I know called Brian, who was to be my horned god. The horns ( Hollywood quality, I was assured) looked a bit comedic so I decided not to use them. Brian, bless him did exactly as I wanted him to, but I’m not terribly happy with the result.

The idea with this shoot was that Brian, the horned god, has his wicked way with the virgin in the woods. This extract from an article I found on the internet explains it better.

“The Beltane rite is, in fact, the Pagan version of the modern marriage ceremony. We call it ‘Hand Fasting’. On Beltane Eve, a very long time ago, the young men of the village would go into the woods and don stag horns and skins in a kind of ‘play fight’ with the rutting stags to see which was bravest. The man who got the better of the stags (a kind of Old English version of the bullfight) would take on the roll of the Stag Lord for the Beltane revels on May Day. This is still called the ‘Stag night’.

The Goddess, at this time of year is dressed in white, her head wreathed with May blossoms and with a veil hiding her face. This aspect of the Pagan Goddess represents the young maiden who is about to become the Mother.”

I can’t decide if Brian looks like he’s in the mood for love or like a stalker in this pic: you decide.

Autumn shoot

Finished Set

Today I am shooting autumn again with my professional model. I forgot to tell her she has to be pregnant!

I spent 4 hours yesterday planning, getting things together and building my set. I finished it off in an our or so earlier, the lights have all been tested and everything seems to be fine.  
I have decided to use a large softbox as the key light and a small one as a fill in light. The 3/4 light has a soft yellow gel on it to add a warn glow to her hair – I haven’t tried it out yes ( only me here), it might be a bit much so I’ll see how it goes.

Never work with animals….

Well, after all my preparation, I made a gown Christian Dior would be proud of, scoured the shops and car boot sales looking for a mirror, got the candle, and all the other props together. Battery for camera, check, refector, check – you know the drill.

One hour before the planned summer shoot ie requiring bright sunshine, the heavens opened, the wind blew, it got very dark and then it thundered.

Trying to convince myself that it was only God washing the dust off the grass for me, we set off for the shoot.

Our horse had been bathed, chalked and had his mane plaited neatly especially for us but the weather didn’t get better and the horse was decidedly skittish because of the thunder so we decided to postpone the shoot.

Preparing for tomorrows autumn shoot

Most of this morning has been spent in the studio planning the shoot for tomorrow. It’s quite big production number and getting in all the symbolic elements I want in there is tricky.

Mabon ( the autumn equinox) is the time for the sun god to ‘die’  and descend into the shadow lands. The symbolism is to signify the cycle of birth and death.
The Goddess, now grieving for the dead Sun God, is pregnant with his child, next spring the child she carries will be the reincarnated Sun God.

The cycle for the Goddess is also important: she began at Belthain as the Maiden, has become the Goddess of fertility and soon will become the wise woman teaching the next generation.
The symbolic elements are: oak, autumn leaves and flowers, chrysanthemums, apples, nuts, seeds, acorns and gourds.

winter pics and spooky trees


This is one of the dead trees in my field, it doesn’t look terribly spooky by day so I went out one evening with a flashgun and ran round it flashing (ooh, Mrs!!) while the camera was set to various long exposure settings. The blur in the top right hand corner of the bottom pic is me.


Malissa up a tree

Suddenly realised I haven’t posted any pics from my winter shoots last weekend

Bank holiday Monday and I have two models coming up to do shoots, both for winter, well, if I have to do a big production number on the studio I might as well get the most out of it.
The first shoot was with a girl who hadn’t modelled before, Malissa. What a great girl, listened as I explained the concept and really took it all on board. She was a real trouper.
After the studio shots, I rang the farmer who owns the field next to us to get permission to go in and continue the shoot with his dead trees. Which are better than my dead trees.
Again, Malissa was brilliant. Took my guidance a little bit to much on board and looked a bit grumpy rather than fierce but she gave it everything she had. Fantastic.
Later in the afternoon Gemma came to do her shoot. She also did extremely well, her brief was to imagine herself as the victim of the cruel and often lethal winter storms and winds. I think she did brilliantly, and I’m really pleased with the results.

Rants, raves and ramblings about whatever takes my fancy

The Daily Post

The Art and Craft of Blogging

New Bloggy Cat (NBC)

The joy of happy, healthy, simple living

Vamp It Up Manchester

The urban lifestyle blog for cruelty free beauty, edgy style and veggie reviews

Wish I Were Here

Journeys Through Place and Time

The Wine Wankers

G’day, you’re at the best wine blog ever! We're all about wine; without the wankery.

Susan Lattwein

Writer of Australian romantic suspense

Shelley Sackier

I write books--cuz I love words. Sometimes they love me back.


The Cricket Pages

Hart Helps

explore ways to win the wars waged within the mind

yes even this too will pass

Peace Be Unto Us All...

The Reluctant Retiree

Stories from Garrulous Gwendoline - a baby boomer surviving retirement

Danescourt Camera Club

Teaching Camera Techniques for skill development. All the theory on our Blog to help understand Manual Settings on your Digital Camera

The Blog

The latest news on and the WordPress community.