A Big Decision

posted in: Personal | 3

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I have lived in Wiltshire for nearly 10 years. I have fallen in love with the countryside, the nearby parks, the local cafes and the amazing tapas bar up the road from us. I have made a good group of friends, built a career in teaching, met my husband, given birth to my beautiful baby boys and this year it became the birth place of my very own photography business, something I have always dreamt of. As many of you may know I grew up in Devon, a place that holds many a happy memory and where my family live. We travel back and forth as frequently as work allows us to, and every time we leave we do so with a heavy heart. This summer my husband and I made a massive decision; we have decided to follow our hearts and move to Devon. My husband is leaving behind a career that he has built up for 8 years, I am saying goodbye to some of my best friends, but despite this we are so excited to be starting our new adventure as a family.

I am confident that moving to Devon will bring a whole heap of exciting opportunities to my photography business. Even though we will be living in Devon I am still very much a UK Photographer and will be taking bookings throughout the south west and further afield. 75% of my wedding bookings for next year are in Devon and I hope that through those I build up a list of contacts in the wedding industry as I have done in Wiltshire. I recently attended a Fine Art Film Workshop during which I made some invaluable contacts in the industry, and some good friends, all of whom I will remain in contact with. As well as an opportunity to develop my photography business I also have a job continuing my passion of teaching photography at a fantastic school which specialises in the Arts.

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Despite all these amazing opportunities, living nearer to our loved ones and giving our boys the opportunity to grow up by the sea there are days when I think “are we doing the right thing” or ” what if our dream doesn’t work out?”. Right now I don’t have the answer to those questions, but I hope in a few months time I will look back on this post and smile to myself.

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I’m sure the upcoming months will be ones of uncertainty, anxiety and excitement and even though there are times when I just want to fast forward 12 months to us being happy settled into our first family home by the sea, I will cherish every moment and take as many photos as possible along the way! Thank you to everyone who has supported us in making this decision and made the whole process a lot easier for us.

 

Renata x

Shaldon, Devon

posted in: Lifestyle, Personal | 1

This summer we spent a week in Shaldon, a pretty little village sat on the mouth of the River Teign opposite Teignmouth. We explored the quaint little streets, sampled some delicious locally caught seafood, ate ice creams and wandered along the beach. Here are a few photos shot on Kodak Portra 400 of our holiday. Enjoy! x
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No. 10 Tea Gardens

posted in: film, Lifestyle, Personal | 0

A few months ago I found out that an old school friend had relocated from Devon to Wiltshire and opened a tearooms on the side of the Kennet and Avon canal. Sensing an opportunity for a catch up and slice of cake, we packed the twins in the car and headed off to Bradford-on-Avon. My husband and I love spending our days off work having family days out in the country and we were not disappointed when we arrived as the location is just stunning. No.10 Tea Gardens overlook the Avoncliff viaduct, where the Kennet and Avon canal crosses the River Avon. It is surrounded by rolling countryside, quaint country pubs and a constant stream of narrow boats cruising by.

No 10 Tea Gardens

No 10 Tea Gardens

No 10 Tea Gardens

No 10 Tea Gardens

We ordered some sandwiches for lunch and enjoyed the view as I spoke to Sarah, the owner, about her complete career and lifestyle change and future plans for the tearooms.

 “I just considered it a dream in the distant that would never happen”

 

“The idea began in a little quaint cafe in Bristol. Euan and I were being naughty and having a fried breakfast and discussing my career path as I had told him that I wanted to leave the Police. It wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, not where I saw myself long term and we were also discussing living together. Euan asked me ‘is a cafe or small business anything you’d ever considered because I have wanted to invest in a small business for some time now’. I nearly choked on my brew because for years I had always wanted to own my own tea rooms and bake to my hearts content. I love tea rooms and love baking but don’t have the business mind to even think where to begin so had never pursued the idea. Just considered it a dream in the distant that would never happen. However, a business mind is something Euan definitely has and he was well up for the venture with me. I couldn’t believe it, not only had I found Euan we were making my dream come true!”

No 10 Tea Gardens

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No 10 Tea Gardens

No 10 Tea Gardens

No 10 Tea Gardens

He got straight on the internet and found the Avoncliff house and tea rooms for sale. It seemed too good to be true but we drove out and saw the place and fell in love with it and the area.”

“it has been highly stressful at times but I am doing what I love to do in a beautiful place”

 

“We moved in at the end of April and opened on the first May bank holiday and it has been non stop since. It has been an enormous learning curve for me to say the least! Going from a desk job in the Police to running your own business in the catering industry couldn’t be much different and I’d be lying if I didn’t resemble a rabbit in headlights at times but I have tackled each issue without any major disaster.”

“From buying the stock to making everything (sandwiches, quiches and all cakes and scones) accounts, banking, paperwork, employment of people, publicity, and the continuous maintenance of things as well as learning the role myself, it has been highly stressful at times but I am so far achieving running the business on my own and have continuous positive feedback of the improvements/changes I have made and how good the food and cakes taste and I am also doing what I love to do in a beautiful place.”

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“I honestly couldn’t of achieved so much in a relatively short time frame without the assistance and continuous support from Euan and my family and close friends. I think it would of been a different story had I not of had that. I can not thank them enough.”

“Plans for the future is a possible extension on the building for more inside space as this is currently limited and to rearrange the lay out of the inside space i.e. Move the kitchen to the back and have a bigger counter space. Replace all crockery for new design, landscaping of the main garden to make the seating area larger and to improve the look of the garden space. Lots of vibrant flowers, a red phone box (to continue the British/London theme) where wifi will be available and some giant garden games. Beyond that I am not sure, perhaps own another tea rooms somewhere maybe. I would however like to purchase a dog by next March to be my tea gardens companion.”

On leaving No. 10 Tea Gardens I was in complete admiration for Sarah for leaving her ‘desk job’ and having the guts to follow her dream. I hope that after reading this you too are inspired and maybe that ‘thing’ you have always dreamed of doing may too become a reality!

You can find out more about No.10 Tea Gardens on Facebook and Twitter here and here. All photos shot on Kodak Gold and developed and scanned by UK Film lab.

 

 

My Adventure with Film

posted in: film, portraits | 1

People frequently ask me why I shoot film when shooting digital is ‘easier’. Granted digital is easier; it’s cheaper, well actually it’s free if you don’t count the cost of editing images, you can instantly see your images and delete any you aren’t happy with. On paper it does seem the better option and don’t get me wrong, there are situations when grabbing my digital camera rather than my film camera works best for me. However, I just love the look of an image shot on film ten times to that of a digital. The colours are richer, the slight grainy look gives it a nostalgic, romantic appearance, the light is just beautiful and has a lovely warm feeling that makes you go all fuzzy. Basically I think film is just stunning.

On a recent mini-break with friends I took some photos of my friend Hannah and her husband Jimmy wandering through a pretty garden in a country estate. Once back from the lab (which I will get to in a sec!) and published on Facebook, Hannah’s comment was “beautiful, it looks all hazy and summery; exactly how I remember it” and that is the main reason why film is just lush- it captures a moment in time perfectly.

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My adventure with film started in Art college, but it’s a very distant memory of dark rooms, chemicals, and very grainy black and white photos that did nothing to wow me. I experimented a bit more in the dark room at uni but again, wasn’t really impressed by the results I was getting. I do love being in the darkroom though, it’s like a little secret world where magic happens. Like Narnia! It’s ten years later and I am teaching Photography in Swindon and I still love the magic of the darkroom. I love teaching my students how to develop their own film, enlarge their photos and watch as they place the photographic paper in the tray of developer and their image appears after a few seconds.

But only this year have I discovered my love for colour film photography. After reading this book I was completely inspired and desperate to start shooting with film again. I borrowed a Canon AE-1 that was donated to college complete with vintage leather case, and bought a roll of Kodak Superior and off I went, and it was a lot harder than I expected. Firstly, in an age of iPhones and digital cameras it was really weird not being able to see the photos. I found myself looking eagerly at the back of the camera!! I had to rely on my knowledge of ISO, aperture and shutter speed to suss out the correct exposure and hope for the best. Secondly, the Canon AE-1 has manual focus which with my dodgy eye sight was interesting to say the least!! But nevertheless I just loved the experience and was so careful not to waste my 36 exposures, which is another thing I love about film- I don’t waste photos. How many of us are guilty of taking about 5 photos of the same thing ‘just in case’. I do it all the time on my iPhone. Not with film. You have to actually use your brain too which is refreshing! Here is the lovely Canon AE-1 and a couple of photos shot on it:

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After a bit of research I invested in my first film camera, a Canon 1V. I am still getting to know her (yes I’m one of those sad people who refer to their cameras as people!!) but so far I am impressed and I just adore the results. I am also enjoying experimenting with different film, so far Fuji 400h is my fave.

Nowadays it isn’t as straightforward as dropping your film into a high street store for developing. I use UK Film lab to develop my photos, but there are loads of others that I will get around to trying as each give different results. I send off the film and 10 days later I receive digital scans straight into my inbox with feedback from the lab on my photos. Lovely jubbly! Here are a few taken on my Canon 1V of the lovely Louise and Derek.

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As I send more and more film off for developing I am becoming more confident shooting with film and I love the photos I am creating. I hope you do too! Please leave a comment below and come back soon to see my adventure with film continue.

 

Renata x

 

 

 

A Little Local Exhibition.

posted in: exhibitions | 0

Tonight I attended the private view of the St Joseph’s annual Art and Photography Exhibition. The work is being exhibited at The Post Modern Gallery in Swindon, a community gallery which is run by the group Artsite. Six years ago Artsite transformed a derelict Post Office in the town centre into artist studios and a gallery space for artists, photographers, schools and colleges to exhibit their work in. This years exhibition includes an excellent range of GCSE, AS and A2 Art and Photography work and is well worth a visit. The exhibition is up until Friday and is being invigilated by the students who would love you to pop in and say hi!

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A Very Pink Maternity Shoot!

posted in: maternity | 0

A few weeks ago on a sunny day in May I took a drive over to the village of Fairford in the Cotswolds to photograph Harriet and her beautiful baby bump. I was in love as soon as I walked into her home as both Harriet and I have a love for shabby-chic furniture and décor. Harriet and her husband Toby are expecting a little girl at the end of July and she is one lucky little lady- you should see the beautiful nursery that awaits her and she has a wardrobe FULL of clothes, in fact I think she has more clothes than me! I cannot wait to meet this little one. All photos are shot on Fuji 400h developed by UK Film Lab.

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A bit about me…..

posted in: gallery, Uncategorized | 0

 

Welcome to my first ever blog entry! If you are reading this you either have an interest in Fine Art photography, have seen my photos on Facebook and want to see more, or are one of my long suffering friends whom I have pestered to read my blog. Either way, welcome!

I’ll start with a bit about me……I love anything with a floral pattern. My favourite colour is duck-egg blue and my house is a duck-egg blue shrine. My husband loves restoring old furniture which is handy as I adore everything shabby chic. I love tapas, wine, carrot cake, caramel lattes, in fact I’m a bit of a foodie. I’m a mummy to 10 month old twin boys who keep me very busy.I was born in Yorkshire, grew up in Devon, and have lived in Wiltshire for the past 9 years. I love the countryside, the seaside, and shopping in quirky little towns.

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As many of you know I LOVE photography, both on a personal and professional level. For the past 5 years I have taught Photography at a secondary school in Swindon, and I absolutely love sharing my passion for the arts with others. There is nothing more satisfying than introducing a student to an artist or photographer’s work and seeing the inspiration it gives them, or showing students how to develop their own photos in the darkroom, that magical moment when the image appears on the photographic paper. Priceless. However since being on maternity leave I have reignited my own passion for taking photos and have picked up a film camera for the first time since college- showing students how to load film into a camera doesn’t count! I am in LOVE with film photography, the reasons why I will explain in a later post, but for now I will just say that it is truly beautiful.

This year I have taken the decision to launch Renata Fry Photography alongside teaching, being a mummy and a wife. It is something that I am super excited about hope you will be too. I plan to document the building of my business through this blog with the aim to maybe help or inspire other ‘creatives’ like myself who are toying with the idea of starting their own business from scratch.

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I want to keep this entry short, but please come back soon and I will tell you a bit more about myself and my love for shooting film. I want to end this blog entry by saying a massive “thankyou” to two people. First of all to my friend Charlie of CKB Photography who has inspired me to do this as well as being really, really helpful- her blog is awesome too. Sometimes a girl needs a little push in the right direction, as well as some words of encouragement!! Secondly to my wonderful husband Scott who is supporting me 100% in my new venture. Thank you.

Thanks for reading, see you again soon

Renata x

 

 

 

 

 

 

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