London -Portrait from the beach

This photograph is deceptively simple yet full of magic. Taken on April 19th 2018 during the brief but sweet heat wave we had. One of the things I love about the Uk and London is that because the weather is so generally bad, when it’s good we are very quick to get out and enjoy it.

There are a lot of things I like about this perfect moment photo. The triangle of people in the foreground. One reclining like a joke Venus smoking a cigar, one seemingly playing mosses at the waters edge and the other crouching down possibly taking a photo. A surreal trio. There are others reading and chatting on the sand in the shade of the wall. There’s more. The first pier made of wood is a reminder of the life of the Thames throughout the ages, then Blackfriars bridge built in the steam age and on top of that the rapidly changing skyline of the city of London. Even the busses on the bridge seem to be placed on purpose.

This  is a copy from my Instagram joshuadasnapper feed complete with retro filter.


Archway Photo Choices

London loses a roundabout

The upgrade of the Archway area of north London is almost done. The landmark point of the oldest road in the UK the A1 is no longer a roundabout at the top of the Holloway road. All the old towers have been re-clad and redeveloped into new homes and new offices. Islington council have had events in the new square, consulting with the public over its future use and name. As have Transport for London. The upgrade has included making it all a lot more user friendly for cyclists and pedestrians. The roundabout is now a “peninsular” full of traffic calming measures. A new electronic sign , warning the public of phone thieves , has been installed temporarily in the newly paved piazza.

 There are lots of new photographic angles to be had, shiny new surfaces and facades to be captured, to use the current parlance. As a local photographer working in London doing portraits, headshots and general commercial photography I often wonder which way to photograph my local area. Do I go for gritty reality , glamorous reality or a complete impressionistic fantasy ? The question has a lot of the same elements as a portrait session has. Indeed this is the nature of photography now and in the past. Does a photograph, record or embellish? You decide.  

Below are a few links to some of the groups and companies involved in this very modern and London re-development.

Archway gyratory https://consultations.tfl.gov.uk/betterjunctions/archway-junction?cid=ar...

Interesting article re planning http://www.islingtongazette.co.uk/news/politics/facelift-for-infamous-archway-tower-defeats-town-hall-opposition-1-3738074

Hill House http://www.hillhouse-archway.com

The architects who re clad 1963 block



Portrait possibilities

Using a profesional photographer

What does it mean to say you are a portrait photographer ? Should I have one style or method of approach and dutifully stick to that. What is a portrait in a photographic context. Capturing the essence of a person is an often held up explanation. Yet like drawing or painting a single portrait of a person can only really “capture” a particular aspect of an individual in that fraction of a second . Its a meeting of you and me .

 Some argue it should be serious and straight to camera. I partly agree but only partly. A smile or an unguarded spontaneous moment frequently has the power to reveal much more about a person than a strait forward look to camera pose. Its really horses for courses , context is king and time will distort and change everything anyway.

 Today my advice to clients is –Think about where you are going to use your photos ie context, personal social media profile, connected to your work CV, family photo fun ect then move onto should it look like a studio shot, casual caught moment in daylight and the whole gamut of possibilities . Using a professional photographer gives you the luxury of making choices and asking a professional before you start.



Changes at the Archway

Photographer life and times

OMG its nearly the end of April 2017 and I haven’t done a single blog since last year!

Is this a sign that I have disappeared or merely that things change?

I am coming up to nearly 300 hundred posts on Instagram but hardly a change on my actual website. Have I succumbed to the instant gratification of the age or is it just easier and more relevant to ‘Post” from my phone.

 Heres a screen grab from my Instagram feed. There is one image of the newly refurbished Hill House in Archway part of the massive regeneration of the area which includes a new piazza and the disappearance of the roundabout at the top of the A1 Holloway road. I will try and be a good blogger and post a story about this London development featuring both the good and the bad of the changes.


Reasons to use a photographer

Portraits in the selfie age

Today everyone is a photographer. The combination of the mobile phone and the camera to my mind has revolutionized both talking to people and taking photos and it’s possibly changing language itself. Taking a photo is now a common place form of note taking. It’s so often quicker and easier to take a snap of a menu, shop front ,computer screen…Where does this leave the portrait photographer in the age of the digital Selfie ?

The need to have a good photo of ones self has never been more acute. CVs and social media profiles often require a photograph. The DIY approach to this can only do so much. A friendly Selfie or holiday snap maybe good for your personal friends and family life but not necessarily the best for your working life. Cvs ,job applications and Linkedin need a different approach.

A great way to stand out from the crowd is to have a professional photographic portrait done. Headshot, mugshot or portrait call it what you like we are all adept at “reading” photos. A studio type photograph says that you care about how you look , are professional and when it’s good will tap into that magic of what you actually look like and what you are like.

A great crisp ,sharp, well exposed and correctly color balanced photo portrait is instantly re-assuring to whoever is looking at it. In a short space of time I capture  what you look like and a few extra shots to show your serious and friendly sides. I tend to use a black background as this will help you stand out on a white web or paper page. The higher resolution of a professional portrait has the benefit of being able to be printed on actual paper as well as used on screen. I aim to give everyone a little bit of magnificence worth preserving.


Musings on photography from London N19.

Portrait photographer writes about nostalgia and Instagram

So here we are on a Blog,  wondering what the future of photography offers a freelance photographer  trying to earn a living while keeping an invisible spider on side. This will potentially send me traffic , which I can then convert into actual customers.

The language of the digital age seems to be filled with a brutal poetry. I now longer engage in work, but have a digital workflow managing my assets in an online world. The screen is king and the mobile its domain. Instagram is the favoured knight at the moment .

No longer do I carry around a stack of prints and go- see potential clients. I post to the web and get into chats with people all over the world. One irony of Instagram is that the square format and the range of retro filters,  strongly bring to mind to the Rollieflex medium format film cameras of yesteryear. Many of the filters are actually named after Film brands made extinct  by digital. Another retro aspect is the layout  - rows of three photos  - calling to mind contact sheets , remember them?

I do like the casualness of it though. Joshuadasnapper the alter ego I use.  Using the same platform as stacks of Selfies, babysnaps, wonderful images and total trash,  is kind of liberating and a bit like being in a constant lottery.

By shooting “studio” portraits using professional lighting in your home, or workplace , Josh Pulman Photography gives you an opportunity to have a foot in both the vintage and the digital worlds. I know exactly how stuff was shot in the age of film and exactly what you need to look good in the age of digital.


All change at the Archway

N19 photography blog

London does seem to be in a constant state of renewal, refurb, reinvention and many other phrases of  “re”. The Archway tower and roundabout is also been given the attention of the builders and redevelopers. Archway tower that beacon of browness at the top of that Holloway road is been given a face lift into modern twenty-first century ….browness .The desolate shopping precinct is going to be given new life with posh bars and restaurants filled with residents from the tower .The underground station ticket office has been boarded up and the staff now mingle with the public in the fully automated ticket area. It may not have the glamour and build of the city a few miles south but the photographers have a lot to capture. I have done a few London Photo ops so far this year have a look in the intereiors section and also special effects for a few hand held Lumiere London street snaps

Self Portrait to Selfie


When I first started falling for the charms of photography mobiles were things that hung from the ceiling and blew about in the breeze.Today they are something we all carry about with us all the time to perform a whole load of functions including taking photos and making videos.

The first photograph here is a copy of a printed self portrait. Taken with a camera set up on a tripod, put on self timer, composed and then shot.The film was then processed in a load of liquids,hung up to dry,cut up into sections,contacted and then finally printed onto paper which also went through several liquids .

The second is a selfie video taken with a mobile phone held at arms length,instantly processed and destined to allways be seen on a screen of some kind.

The black and white shot is already a testament to time the video will become that . Thanks to Sol LeWitt :Wall drawing Turner gallery , Margate for the background.

Video Selfie

Things move on


Election time in London

Westminister to Archway

It’s election fever in London town .Who will inhabit the houses of parliament in one weeks time? It’s the last day of April. A greying of the skies . What combination of the red white and blue will in power next week. Meanwhile work on Archway tower carries on apace , what will be the final look of this other infamous London landmark. The last five years has seen London have a building boom some of it good some not so. A lot of flag waving over the changes happening at the site of the Battersea power station, but very few people are going to actually live there. Its filling up with appartments as investments.It will be inhabited by security gaurds looking after the assets of foriegn investors who apparently put cling film on the door handles to keep up the pristine appearance.There will be new buildings to photograph which I will do soon but not a lot of people living a life to shoot.

A portrait photo from north London

Thoughts on a changing London

I discovered this view from North London recently. It’s from somewhere public in N19. Carrying on with a previous blog theme of taking a portrait of a city via its buildings. It seems ironic that while some countries in the world – the US and China spring to mind , see us through the tint of Dickensian and Shakespearean glasses of Ye Olde London the skyline begs to differ. This skyline has seen a massive transformation in the last ten years. It is showing no signs of slowing down. Over the next ten years or so we are due to see about 235 skyscrapers make their dash for the sky in order to accommodate the needs of an increasing population. The world’s property speculators, oligarchs, assorted criminals and various dubious characters looking to launder mountains of cash, plundered in some way from their homelands. London being seen as a stable bet – never having had anything like a revolution or land grab by the state.Quite a portrait. It’s odd too, that this portrait contains the fog of language. In the past, large new buildings became synonymous with their owners’ names – The NatWest tower, Lloyds the GPO ect. Today with the more fluid nature of ownership, we seem to have opted for a more flippant if descriptive range of names – The Gerkin, Cheese grater, Walkie Talkie, Shard. This portrait landscape photo is a bit like a family, in that it’s not quite planned from beginning to end .The new kids on the block give a nod to the elders but quickly move on and do things in their own way, and everyone has to live with each other for ever. Like a portrait photo on a mantelpiece. The tall clock tower near the centre of the picture is where Londons major cattle market used to be. It is about to be renovated complete with a visitor centre for educational purposes. Portrait of London skyline A photo view from N19