I’ve always taken photos, but what’s actually much more important I’ve realised, is how much I’ve always loved simply looking at and observing things around me. When others might get bored, I could happily sit and watch a bird, for example, collecting sticks to build its nest, or the sunlight behind two dogs chasing each other in the park, silhouetting them into a piece of nature’s art, or looking up when walking round a city centre and noticing the shape of the rooftops perhaps.
In the same way that we can listen but not really hear, what matters to any visual artist is not just looking, but really seeing. Anyone and everyone can take a thousand pictures a day with the power and capacity of the modern smart phone in their pocket, and indeed our lives are saturated with images.
This is why I really connected to this excerpt from an interview with the highly-regarded female photographer, Tessa Traeger:
She says that for professional photographers, ‘it has been quite something for us all to take on board this whole thing of everybody having a nice camera.’ However, she feels this has enhanced rather than reduced what she does. ‘Back in the day, I would tell people what I did at parties and they would say, ‘Oh you must have a good camera.’ Now everyone does, so there is a better general understanding that it is what you see and how you compose and produce the shot that makes the difference.’
There is no substitute for the mind, the eye and the vision of the person holding the camera, and, even if not everyone likes the result, it’s what makes each photographer’s work interesting and unique.
With my portraiture I want to see my subject, and grab the essence of what I observe about them. During a shoot, I aim to work with calmness and honesty, and the time should be relaxed but fun! I’m striving, with the end result, to capture not just a face but a real, engaging, three-dimensional personality in the final images.
I’m available to work in any London location, or further afield. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or comments, it will be great to connect!
What people say
Sue is a great photographer. She did my maternity pictures as well as my daughter's 6 month photo session. She's great at working with both adults and babies, was able to get my daughter to smile a lot. I loved that she worked with the baby's (and our) mood so didn't try to force anything. Just had the camera ready to capture our most natural moments - and the results were absolutely wonderful. She's very relaxed and easy-going behind the camera, which is exactly what you want during a photo-shoot. We couldn't be happier with the pictures Sue has taken of our family over the years.
It was the first time for me having professional photos taken, and Sue was awesome with me. I’m not that girl who is comfortable with pictures or the shoot. But she was very patient with me. Sue explained to me how to be a model in just a few hours. It wasn’t just a shoot, we talked about everything and when I was talking or walking on the street she took photos of me, she knows how to make me feel confident with her and me.
Also, she is the nicest women I’ve met, and if I had to do the shoot again, I would!
Like a lot of people, I really don’t like having my photo taken. But I needed some professional photos for my website and social media.
I called upon Sue because I’d seen some of her work and really loved it, and after our first meeting, I knew she’d be the right person for me because we were on the same wave length.
We had the same ideas about what sort of photography would work well for a yoga and massage website - but more importantly, what sort of photography would portray me as a yogi/massage therapist in a light that conveyed what sort of message I wanted to get across to existing and potential clients.
When it came to the photo shoot itself, Sue made me feel incredibly comfortable.
It felt natural instead of staged, and her energy and humour made me feel so at ease.
I am far from a natural in front of the camera, and have always believed that I am not very photogenic, but Sue had so many great ideas and the end result was absolutely stunning.
Not only did she create beautiful and professional photos, but she boosted my confidence at the same time.
Thank you Sue, you are an extremely talented lady xxx
I had a great photo session with Sue, and I can honestly say it was one of the best headshot sessions I’ve had in over 15 years as a professional actor. In my experience, headshots sessions can be difficult, awkward and uncomfortable, but Sue made it fun and relaxed, which in turn resulted in a great set of pictures, which I felt really captured me and my casting range. I would without hesitation recommend Sue – she has a talent for putting subjects at ease and a great eye for capturing personality.
Sue has an innate ability to help people feel comfortable in front of a lens. Her strong and patient presence allows for the person who's being photographed to take the space and time that they need to "do their thing". Her photographic style is clean and does justice to the person who's having their photo taken. I highly recommend her work!
Photography sessions can be gruelling, full of self-consciousness, awkward power dynamics and an impossible quest for perfectionism. With Sue Devenish-Meares there is none of this. She is warm, kind and gently persuasive and an hour or two with her passes as a happy experience, complete with much laughter AND a sense of achievement.
When she delivers the photos, it is almost a bonus that there are so many good and appropriate ones that it is hard to choose the two or three you want for your purposes.
I have worked (played?) with Sue on two sessions now, one in an overgrown cemetery and one in the streets and parks of Hackney and I have been delighted with the results: crisp, bright, imaginatively backgrounded shots in which my personality really comes through, largely because I was so relaxed in Sue’s company.
Just tell Sue what you want from your photographs and she will give you all you ask for and more. A true professional.
Photo-shoots are not my natural thing, they make me feel uncomfortable and uneasy. Being told to relax and smile is the last thing I could think to actually relax in front of camera!
But with Sue, I really enjoyed our afternoon session moving with flow in nature and being naturally captured. I am a yoga teacher and I flew through my sequence in natural light and I could just focus on my body movement and breath, while Sue was discretely taking pictures of me from various angles. The outcome was absolutely stunning. It just looks like me being my pure self not pretending and shot with beautiful focus and editing. Sue is so generous with so many pictures from one session.
Sue is friendly and made me feel so relaxed as she is so relaxed and laid back. I would definitely recommend her for your professional photo shoots.