Hi. My name is Claire Porter and I run Wilhelmina Photography. I'm a wife and a mother of three lovely children aged 16, 11 and 5. When I'm not taking photos I work as a healthcare assistant in my local hospital where I have been for 21 years.
I had never attempted a double exposure until recently.
A double exposure is defined as ‘the act or process of recording two superimposed images on a photographic medium, usually done intentionally to produce a special effect’.
I have seen quite a few amazing results produced by people, mine on the other hand are not wonderful. I lack the skills in Photoshop to be able to produce something mind blowing and my camera unfortunately doesn’t have the function to do it in camera but I enjoyed trying all the same.
I am not sure if I will do more double exposures but it was fun trying.
You could say that we are a family of collectors. I collect so much in fact that we are running out of room to store everything.
I have collections from Wool to Cameras! I crochet, that is my excuse for having around 8 bags of wool stashed under the stairs. My husband despairs of me, but he to is a collector. He has collections of books, records, cd’s and DVDs.
This may explain some of my eleven year olds tendencies to hoard. Where as our collections are kept neat and tidy and put away, my daughter hoards, in a way that suggests with her autism that she has attachments to objects most of us wouldn’t attach ourselves to, like paper and things you or I would throw away.
In my collection of things I have lots of photo albums old and new. Some are family albums from my mother in law who sadly passed away recently, ranging up to the most recent photos of my children. I think in the age of the computer people tend to forget to print out photos and just have them saved onto their computers. I like to print them, put them in an album, feel them as I’m sat looking at them, pointing out all the different people and things to the children.
Photographs are so important and no good to anyone locked away on the computer.
Like Street photography I am rather unaccustomed to Artificial Light. I don’t really use it and I don’t really know how to use it!
I generally use natural light either indoors or outdoors.
There are four common types of artificial light sources used for photography today
4. studio strobe
For the photos in this blog post I used incandescent light. I could have just used off camera flash but to be honest I find it pretty harsh to use indoors. Instead I set up a box and bribed my 16 year old son to sit for me. These days there’s no other way to get him in front of a camera.
I think the lighting in a few of the pictures is a bit harsh but its all been a learning curve for me. I made the room darker so I could concentrate on using only the artificial lighting. I moved it around to different spots to try and get it in the best spot.
These I think are the better ones of the bunch. Not technically perfect but not awful considering I really didn’t have a clue.
As I sit here writing this, Sky Arts ‘Masters of Photography’ is on in the background. Although a lot of my dreams involve Photography and what I could achieve I have a bigger dream.
I started my job at the age of 17 in my local hospital. I never planned to work there it just happened. I needed a job and that was what was available.
My first job in the hospital consisted of working in Theatre Sterile Services, setting up and sterilising the theatre instruments for the surgeons. I loved it. I loved learning all the difficult names of the surgical instruments and I picked up how to set up the trays in their specific orders really quickly. I even got to go around to theatres on occasion and watch some of the surgeries take place. Despite this I always felt that something was missing. After chatting with one of the theatre nurses I realised that what was missing was contact with people. Working in TSSU was lonely and I’m afraid I’m a talker and I was missing having people to chat with.
I decided then that I would like to try working on the wards and became a Health Care Assistant. My dream of being a nurse was born!
Looking after people and being able to comfort them and look after them in their time of need gave me a great sense of personal achievement and not only made me feel good about myself but helped me realise that in life we have to go for what we want when we can because life is precious. It can end before we are ready, before we have had a chance to do all the things that we dreamed of doing.
After a few years of being a Health Care Assistant I decided to try to bring my qualifications closer to being a Nurse. That didn’t happen. Before I could start my NVQ I found out I was expecting my first child so had to give up my chance of furthering my career.
I continued on the ward after my maternity leave and again a few years went by and when my son started school I decided to try to further myself more. That’s when I found out after five years of fertility treatments that I was pregnant for the second time. I had to put my nursing dreams on hold yet again.
It was around this time that I found out I had an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s Syndrome. It explained why I was finding my job difficult and after diagnosis I had to reduce my hours down at work. My dreams were slipping farther and farther away and at that point I was just concentrating on helping to support my family with a wage coming in.
A few more years later I was diagnosed with MS on top of the Sjogren’s. That was it for me. I thought my dreams were completely over. I had a third child during this time and now 21 years after first starting at the hospital I am still working part time as a Health Care Assistant.
After years of working really hard and thinking that my dream of getting even a little bit closer to nursing was over, I had my yearly meeting with my boss’s. In this meeting I became closer to my dream once again. My boss’s praised me on my knowledge and my care and have suggested that I further myself by going for a higher job which will include being able to do a lot of jobs to assist the nurses that I can’t do at the moment like taking bloods and putting cannula needles in for intravenous drugs. My dream isn’t completely lost. I feel that I am finally once again able to believe that it is possible.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. This is part of a blog circle so please pop over to Elizabeth of Its Still Life Photography and take a read of her take on Dreams/Dreamy. Please click here
Landscapes aren’t a problem but when it comes to portraits I always feel as if I am doing something wrong. I feel as though I should be asking everyone if it’s ok and when that includes a whole street of people that is a bit difficult.
I took a walk in my city, Winchester in Hampshire which is in the UK. I love living here. It is one of the most beautiful places to live and steeped in a world of history.
One of the most famous landmarks is that of the Cathedral. Winchester Cathedral is known as one of the largest in Europe.
The city is also home to the University of Winchester and Winchester College, the oldest public school in the UK still to be using it’s original buildings. The college is over 600 years old.
The College is used quite a lot in TV and film productions, Les Miserables being one of them.
Alfred the great was king of Wessex (now called Winchester) from 871-899. Alfred successfully defended his kingdom against the Viking attempt at conquest, and by the time of his death had become the dominant ruler in England.
Another part of Winchesters history is that of Jane Austen the great novelist. Tucked besides the Headmaster’s house of Winchester College at 8 college street is an unobtrusive mustard coloured building. If it wasn’t for the blue plaque above the door it would be easy to pass by this ordinary house. It was here that Jane Austen spent the last few weeks of her life.
As well as all the historic spots of Winchester just taking a walk down the back alleys and side streets brings so much beauty and there are a lot of beautiful looking houses and buildings including the Pilgrims school and quaint bookshops.
Winchester itself is a Market town and has a Market all year round. The Christmas Market is especially beautiful. On every corner you will find a coffee shop or somewhere to sit and have lunch and relax.
We have an assortment of street entertainers and big issue sellers. One sticks out in my mind as well as the minds of most Winchester folk. I wish I new his name but unfortunately I don’t.
Come rain or shine this man makes the people in the town centre smile. He jokes around, and just generally brightens your day. He stands outside The Abbey Bank. Not only does he sell the Big Issue he raises money for charity. This year for Children In Need he dressed up and said anything he made that day he would donate to the charity. The Bank that he stands outside of said they would match whatever he made. In the end the combined amount was somewhere in the range of £5,000.
We have many buskers and street entertainers that make your shopping experience in the town centre all the better.
I think all these combined aspects are what made Winchester number one on the list as the best place to live in Britain.
This is a circle blog so please pop over to http://wp.me/p6Jjj3-gYand read their blog post and leave them some love! Thank you.
So for me the theme Restore is about restoring myself, my friends and my family.
After the loss of my Mother in Law at the beginning of the year it has opened my eyes to the fact that over the past couple of years I have forgotten to take care of myself. Not only that, I have also become distant from my friends and family. This was not intentional of course but things in life just took over. I used to visit my mother in law twice a week at the nursing home she was in. With out her here I suddenly have this free time that I can use to restore my life.
My family is very important to me but over the past few years things have just taken over and got to me in a big way. My gorgeous littlest one Molly has had a lot to deal with in her little life. Not only does Molly not sleep but she has been diagnosed with Hypermobility and Hypotonia with a possible diagnosis of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and autism. The not sleeping part has led me to stop really caring for myself as much as I should have. It has been known recently to see me walking around without my make up on! This is not like me. I wear my make up always. I haven’t been eating properly and my emotional/mental state has not quite been what it should. This though is all going to change. Since my Mother In Law has past I have realised I need to pick myself up, dust myself down and start over. I need to make sure I get out more. Meet friends more and take care of me!.
Over the past couple of weeks I have begun to restore my friendships and meet more friends. Even if that’s just been for a coffee.
My best friend of all time doesn’t live in my City and it’s been around six months since I have seen her. This is mainly from me putting off meetings because I have been busy with my family. It has been so lovely to have her drive down to see me and take me out for some lunch. This is one friendship that doesn’t need to be restored. No matter how long it’s been we continue like we have never been apart. We have been friends for 27 years though so that helps!
Thank you for reading. This is a Circle blog so please pop over and give some love to Elizabeth Wilson at
Hello all. Thank you for accepting me to blog with you. A little about me to start with. My name is Claire Porter and I am the owner of Wilhelmina Photography I started Photography around three years ago but have always had an interest. I do a lot of other Arty things including crochet, sewing and baking.
I am 38 years old and married. I have been with my husband for 18 years. We have 3 children, Matthew who is 15, Paige who is 10 and Molly who is 5. Paige is diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and we also think Molly may have this although she is not yet diagnosed.
I live in the UK I speak with a typical British accent, quite posh lol.
December has been a particularly difficult one so far. Molly was seen by a physiotherapist and diagnosed with severe hypermobility and hypotonia. Specifically poor central core muscles. She is being referred to the Orthotics department and to the Orthopaedics.
I needed to do something fun with my photography this month to ease my tensions as on top of the Autism and other health issues of my children I myself am sick with Sjogren’s Syndrome, MS, fibromyalgia and arthritis with stomach issues, swallowing issues and eye problems. I decided to do a Christmas composite as I have never done a composite before. Once I did one I couldn’t stop.
At the moment we are also dealing with my mother in law who has a brain tumour and is in a nursing home. She is 90 and has had a wonderful life but it is difficult to watch her go through this. Even more difficult for my husband who’s father also passed away from a brain tumour.
Apart from My family and photography I work as a healthcare assistant at my local hospital. I have been there for 21 years now. I am only part time these days but that is enough for me.