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  • Hello!

    Welcome to my blog about all things in my photography bubble, plus the odd bit about who this 'girl behind the camera is'...

    I'm an international fine art wedding & lifestyle photographer, based in the Midlands.
    I have a massive passion for photographing you & your memories in the most sensitive way possible. I capture true moments on location, by creating a fun experience & keeping 'natural memories' in mind... I love to hear your thoughts so feel free to drop me a line :)

{Personal} Exploring Black & White

My husband showed me a website the other day – he thought I would find it interesting and he wasn’t wrong! It completely inspired me to look into black & white images a lot deeper than I ever have done before. It featured photographs taken by the incredible photojournalist, Sebastião Salgado. And since coming across his work, I just can’t stop looking at it! But why!? I will try and explain my thoughts below…

by Sebastiao Salgado

by Salgado Sebastiao

by Salgado Sebastiao

by Sebastiao Salgado

by Salgado Sebastiao

by Sebastiao Salgado

I think it’s obvious to say that Salgado has incredible photographic vision and that he works his camera perfectly to show us how he sees. His subjects are vast and his photos take you to so many different areas and times. But what I find myself doing when looking at his photos, as well as many other black and white photographs from other photographers, is that I look into them. I find myself searching for more within the photo; the details, the story, the surroundings, the why’s, who’s and when’s … I want more! And I feel that with all the images being black & white, a lot of the immediate information is tucked away behind a colourless mask, forcing us to look a little deeper…

As we all naturally see in colour, I feel we take for granted the amount of information that colour immediately feeds to our brains. Think of a banana for instance; we expect them to be yellow or green because we already know that that’s the colour they naturally are. But if we were to walk past the banana stand in the supermarket, and there was a red banana, we would immediately question it. Suddenly everything we know about bananas is taken away from us – Is it edible? Can we touch it? What’s wrong with it?!

When looking at black and white photographs, our brains help us identify the subjects within the image as we already know key facts about the subjects – I see a black and white photo of an oak tree, I know that the leaves are green, an orang-utan is ‘orange’, the gaps between the white fluffy clouds are blue. But in black and white images, the confirmation of this information has been taken away. Meaning our brains are unnoticeably working a teeny bit harder on gathering the information about a black & white image.

If we were to see a photograph of a crowded street scene, and someone was wearing a bright red coat in a sea of brown coats, our eyes would be drawn in around that coat. It would distract our gaze. If the same photo was in black and white, the red coat would be ‘lost’ and our eyes would wonder around the image more. We would be less distracted and work out more information for ourselves.

And this is what I LOVE about studying black and white images, and even whilst watching an old black & white film…

I let my eyes do the walking, and I keep my brain chasing my ideas and thoughts around before it stomps down on the facts and leads me into believing how it is! There is so much to see in black and white, you have to work at it and discover it for yourself.

I took some experimental photos the other day to explore all of this a little further. I don’t really know what I’m doing with it all yet, but the most important thing is that I’m enjoying it!


21/03/2014 - 4:47 pm

C - Rachel, you never cease to amaze me, well said and done!

Wedding Albums

I’m really excited about my new b-e-a-utifu range of photobooks that I can now offer to my clients…


I’ve been trawling photography trade shows and websites for over a year now trying to find a book maker that speaks my language. I love quality, the way it feels, the way it opens, the touch of the paper, the print quality, the options available to my clients and the options available to me, the photographer… and once I landed on this new supplier I was instantly sold. I had found my perfect match!

Some other good points which sold them to me?
* They are made from sustainable sources, meaning they are eco-friendly.
* The paper is completely recycled, yet you wouldn’t think it to look (and stroke!) it.
* None of the materials used in the manufacturing process are toxic.
* They are all handmade and quality checked by real life people… robots can take a hike!
* They are built to last, they feel rugged and scream to be opened. Even the glue won’t yellow over time!
* HD Printing – they are printed in archival inks that remain strong and crisp, even in the fold of the book.
* You can have your names (or your chosen book title) embossed into the cover.
* Cover material options are cotton, silk or leather… with plenty of colours to chose from.
* They are supplied in a lovely canvas pouch to keep them cosy when not being used!

Feel free to contact me if you’re a client of mine (or if you’re thinking about booking me…!) and would like to look, touch or even sniff it! You won’t be disappointed 🙂

I took these photos of my first sample that arrived last week. It’s a lovely sized 8×8″ covered in cotton…


08/08/2014 - 4:43 am

Cavin - Rachel,

This is beautiful. Mind sharing your vendor? I’ve looked through 30+ vendors and I can’t find the one.

16/08/2014 - 9:35 am

Rachel Lilly - Hi Cavin 🙂 I use Folio Albums – – they really are lovely!

2013 Flashback

Firstly, welcome to my brand new blog! I’m a wedding photographer based in Malvern, Worcestershire, but will travel anywhere to capture your special moments. I’ve recently changed my business name from ‘Dimond Photos’ to ‘Rachel Lilly Photography’ – Dimond was my maiden name, then I got married to my wonderful hubby, Chris Lilly 🙂 I thought it was about time I changed my working name too whilst I was now known locally as Mrs Lilly!

I wanted to jump straight into my new blog so I thought I would give you a flashback of the last few weddings I shot in 2013. It’s a collection of some of my favourites (which was very difficult to cut down!!), from the beautiful to the hilarious… don’t worry, the bride who’s veil flew off in the wind got it back and it served her well for the rest of the day! The weather was pretty bonkers throughout the year which gave me heaps of experience in difficult situations, even when an umbrella collapsed and trapped me inside it (much to the bride & groom’s amusement)!!

I had such a fun year building up my business and working with so many fantastic couples. 2014 is looking to be a pretty exciting year too, including a wedding on a boat followed by weddings in Florence, then Crete! Watch this space for the photos to follow from the shoots I’m booked on from now on…

I hope you enjoy these photos for now, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me  🙂

See you soon, Rachel x

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