Balsall Common’s Claire Keogh is an incredibly talented photographer with a real knack for capturing magic moments forever with natural looking photography:
“I think for me it’s all about people feeling comfortable in front of a camera,” says Claire as she discusses her work:
“It’s about capturing the real people, the emotion, the personalities and the relationships they have and I think there’s different ways of doing that. It has to be natural. Photography is all about the people, it has to be! That’s something I’m really passionate about.”
For Claire, having encountered so many people that really dislike having their photo taken, the idea of putting people at ease is central to her work:
“You do find a lot of people start out as reluctant subjects. I have had quite a few families say they’ve had studio photos done, they had bad experiences in the past and it’s really put them off having their photo taken. The best results come from putting people at ease, creating enjoyable situations, having fun and generally getting them to relax and act naturally.”
“It’s got to be real to make it authentic. You can’t just tell a child to smile at you and think you’re going to get a great shot, they’ve got to be really smiling. If you want to take a picture of children laughing you’ve got to make them laugh.”
On the subject of posed photography Claire has strong opinions:
“That’s the whole thing about my photo shoots, is that I want really want to get across that the experience has got to match the photographs. I want my subjects to remember the emotions from the moment, not how awkward they felt.
“I was asked once at a wedding, do you want the bride and groom to pretend to cut the cake so you can take a photo? And I had to say that’s so NOT what I’m about. I don’t want people to look back at their photos and all they remember is when they look at it, is how awkward they felt pretending to cut a cake. You know they won’t remember the emotion that they felt when they actually cut the cut the cake for real. They will know it’s not real it’s not a real moment and they won’t feel it. They are all real moments in my photography, I’m really quite passionate about that. It’s got to be a real memory otherwise what’s the point of a photograph?”
About Claire Keogh
Claire has lived in Balsall Common since she was 8 years-old, attended Balsall Common Primary School and Heart of England School. Claire’s business is called Poppy K Photography, where she specialises in capturing magic moments that people can treasure forever.
Claire’s talent for capturing magical shots is remarkable given the relatively short time she has been in the habit of roaming with camera in hand. So what was the inspiration?
“My children were my total inspiration. I took them to photo shoots when they were little. But asides from that I was frustrated in trying to capture all the little moments as Mums do, of all the moments of the children growing up. I just didn’t have a very good camera. So I bought a DSLR because I had gained a bit of interest from those photos professional phots shoots and I just instantly became obsessed with it. I was hooked! I just got addicted. I was taking photos all the time.”
After the initial obsession came new challenges:
“I was frustrated at not being able to get the best of the camera’s ability, there is just so much you can do with it. I’d started to be inspired by other photographers, wanting to know more and more. I actually bought a Groupon introductory course on how to use a DSLR in Birmingham and it just totally ignited a spark. And the more I learned and the better I got, the more I loved it!”
Claire’s enthusiasm for sharing her personal photography soon began attracting admiration and wider attention:
“I put lots of photos on Facebook and then friends started asking me if I could take photographs of their children. So I did a bit of that, then more friends would ask. Then somebody contacted me who I didn’t know and that was the first thing that sparked in my mind that maybe up to do this as a bit of a business. She asked me to take a photo of her baby and it began to take off from there.”
Now Claire has a growing fan base for her work and a fabulous portfolio at Poppy K Photography: