07th January 2016
I am now available for portraiture and weddings - please see section in main menu or read below:
Alternatively to view other work please click here:


Black & White Large Format Portrait Photography: £125.00

Although I have been a photographer for over 25 years I have, in this time, taken very few portraits. This is due to a number of factors; first and foremost the uncertainty of working with people. There is always a higher risk of failure, of not capturing that person to the best of my and indeed their abilities. The portraits and weddings I have photographed have been a somewhat hurried affair, my natural nervousness both restricting and leading me. I work fast, my hands and eye in coordination, searching for a conclusive viewpoint, attempting to capture a person, indeed a whole wedding, in one final image. If it was possible I would offer myself as a wedding photographer who took just the one image; that image would encapsulate the whole day, the personality of bride and groom, the thrill of the guests, the beat of the music and even the birdsong outside the church. This is, of course, more or less impossible but the desire and thought is always there, as my hands and eyes and quickly fading voice work efficiently albeit hurriedly.

It is not the fact I do not enjoy portraiture. I do. It has been a constant thought nagging away at the back of the mind as I venture out into the landscape, visit ruins, clamber through empty factories. I have taken a number of self-portraits over my career. This was not because I am self infatuated. It is because I am almost exclusively alone when I photograph and when I consider a location would be suitable for a portrait then I only have myself to capture onto film. I have in my head a hundred locations which are worthy of portraiture.

My concerns are that I would not be able to marry the sitter and the location and have decided that first I must get to know my sitter to discover what kind of location they would like and I, hopefully, will have the perfect location for them already stored in the old grey matter only waiting to be unlocked!

There is certain information I will need before the portrait can be taken. I am not after personal soul-searching but I need to grasp of your personality, as I hope you will be able to gather some of mine in the words you are reading now. I am generally a quiet person – my photographs can be considered something equal to this. The ruins and buildings I document are silent, quiet places, mostly now untouched by human sound. I will not be the type of portrait photographer who takes hundred of images. I will not ask you to stand in doorways and pose for the camera in a manner that is unnatural or overly synthetically happy. I do not want false smiles and therefore an uneasy alliance. I want you to feel comfortable. I will take perhaps only twenty– thirty images using a variety of film cameras – both using 5x4 inch sheet film.

I will not be using digital cameras since all my work is in black and white and I still use a traditional darkroom. As you can see from the examples on this site I am also something of an experimenter when it comes to portraiture. I use multiple exposures to lift the portrait into another slightly stranger realm. This work can be seen at best as art-based and at worse amateurish. I naturally wish to avoid the latter but am aware that this is personal opinion.

I intend to take a number of portraits of the sitter. There will be an in situ location portrait, either out in the open landscape or in an urban environment – the choice of the sitter – and also some close-up portraiture. All work will be in black and white. This is the only medium I can work in – unless booking for a wedding (please contact me for details and prices) – since I am not au fait with traditional colour printing techniques and lack the necessary equipment. I will send any colour work for weddings to professional labs where the degree of creatively and control is somewhat limited. All the black and white work is hand printed onto archival quality papers.
Depending upon where our agreed meeting place shall be and a possibly involving a walk, the whole process could take anything from one hour up to three or four. Remember the session should not be viewed as a fashion-shoot, wellingtons and waterproofs are recommended – as too water, a snack or packed lunch. I am happy to come and collect you and instead of spending money on petrol for two cars we can mutually agree a petrol price. A number of photographs will be taken, due to my methods I may ask you to remain still for as long as four seconds. Patience is required! Depending upon the location I may also need to use flash photography but I will use this to minimum effect wherever possible.

Once we part I will then process the films and then make prints from the negatives. I will send scans via email of the finished prints and then a selection can be made. The price of the portrait includes two or three 12x16inch and the same number of 10x8inch photographs. I can enlarge to a larger 20x16inch (Approximately A2) and can also frame but this will cost extra. We can discuss options.
Finally, I am not here to rip anybody off! I am attempting to create a strong portfolio of portraits and due to the price of film/paper/chemicals and the time taken to make these images is expressed fairly in my prices.

Travel Expenses (in Ceredigion): £10.00
Film: 20 - 30 sheets of Black and White 5x4inch negative film: £35.00
Photographic Paper and processing materials: £20.00
Time @ £12.50 an hour: (average 5 hours includes time spent in darkroom) £60.00
TOTAL: £125.00

A deposit of £25 will be required. Payment through Paypal or cheque.

As well as receiving three 10x8 inch photographs and three 12x16inch photographs if you are pleased with the images then I can make extra copies or larger size (maximum is 20x16inch – approximately A2). Prices are:
10x8inch £10.00 each
12x16inch £15.00 each
20x16inch £20.00 each
Framed works in simple 20x16 inch pine/beech frames please add an extra £35.00

I have approached this as a one-to-one experience – something we can both learn from and perhaps form some kind of friendship. I am an easy-going person and although we would meet as strangers, perhaps after a long walk and a few images captured, we would at least get to know one another a little better. I am willing to also photograph groups, be it family portraits or group pictures. This will of course change the dynamic but please do get in touch if this is something you may be interested in.
I should also mention at this juncture that I am not able to photograph in ruined mansions unless a public footpath crosses the front door threshold. Equally so with any other ruins, unless there is a public right-of-way.

Any queries please do contact me using the ‘contact’ in the main menu or simply email me at paulwhite@welshruins.co.uk

A deposit of £25 will be required. Payment through Paypal or cheque.

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