“Our Brenda” in Suffragette City.

Last year my portraits exhibited at the Getty Images Gallery and Lloyds of London. One short listed for Portrait of Britain. Magnum Photography called my work, “Highly Rated.” I love to explore gender diversity and authenticity, but I also photograph for individuals, families and do corporate work. So if you need head shots that reveal the true person, web photos that build the humanity in your brand, I am your woman!

I am a feminist, so imagine my excitement when award winning barrister Sally Penni  (centre) asked me to shoot an event for her on International Woman’s Day. She founded Women in the Law, a networking group that promotes career progression through personal development.  I adore Sally, she is a very impressive woman. So brilliant, in fact, that she had convinced Baroness Hale to speak at the Women in the Law Annual Dinner. The first ever female President of the Supreme Court  was in Manchester at the splendid Midland Hotel  to join  Northern lawyers celebrating in suffragette city!

A whole team of women were preparing for the event whilst I tested my lighting, trainers and flats were exchanged for heels ( except me – photographers shun heels when working!) and the drinks reception began. I took this calm moment to shoot a lot of the younger lawyers as they are the future and I knew that when Lady Hale arrived I would be following her instead. It was important to me to represent a diverse group of women and capture them networking.

I was introduced to Lady Hale by Sally and we had a quick chat before I stepped back to photograph her with guests. This is the part of my job I love. I study people’s faces, linger over their expressions, read their eyes. Shall I tell you what I saw? Lady Hale has a face that divides into two halves. She has ethereal beauty. She may smile warmly, yet her eyes may tell a very different story of piercing intelligence. She sees into people. I am sure that if you have stood in front of her in court you will have realised that she reads you very perceptively. I found her fascinating. An empowered woman, rather like meeting an ancient Goddess and experiencing awe and a touch of fear! Her keynote speech was powerful and she makes no apologies for wanting a fairer world where women have the same opportunities as men. If you want more details check out her recent 2018 Christabel Pankhurst Lecture.

I was invited to dinner, my companions were great people, the food was excellent and the live music fabulous. Which brings me to the title of the story. Lady Hale was as, “Our Brenda” and I realised that to the women in that room Brenda Hale is a person to embrace as our own. She campaigns for women, inspires women, mentors lawyers and proves that women can defeat all barriers. I hope that my dinner companions work together to make the judiciary more diverse and equal and I am pretty sure “Our Brenda” would tell them to get on with it!


Be true to you.

Allie x

The Getty Images Gallery Exhibited 2017.
The Lloyds of London Exhibited 2017.
“Intimate Portraits” Published in America by Joyce Tenneson.
British Photography Awards 2017, Short List.
Magnum Photography Awards 2017 “Highly Rated.”

Inspiring Women on International Women’s Day!


Tonight, the 8th March is International Woman’s Day and I am to photograph the “Women in the Law” Annual Dinner. The highlight for me will be meeting a self declared feminist, who has promoted diversity on the bench and was is the first ever female president of The Supreme Court. Baroness Hale is described as a feisty woman and as a special bonus the Daily Mail is not so keen on her progressive views, so I am liking her before we have even met! Brenda Hale taught Law at Manchester University for 18 years so it is fitting that she will be celebrated in our city for International Women’s Day 2018.

I was invited to photograph the event by Sally Penni who is award winning Manchester Barrister and campaigner for Women’s equality. Like Brenda Hale she promotes diversity and is an awesome force of charm, intelligence and energy. I met her when she interviewed me at Didsbury FM and she can hold a room!

This will be the first job that my daughter has assisted me on so it is rather fitting that she gains some work experience (she is an A level student) at The Midland Hotel with a room filled with amazing women! Book me for your corporate events, web images and head shots.

A Portrait Commission in 5 Steps.

You wouldn’t buy a wedding dress from the Pound Shop or “guess your size and hope is really is silk”  online. You would look for a shop or designer whose style you love and ask them to tailor one just for you. It would fit like a glove and be unique! A portrait as a private commission works the same way.

Step one:  Look for a style that moves you. Does my work speak to your heart? Do you want  idealised images or aim for authenticity? Now ask for a quote and tell me what you want – a large framed print, canvas, book or digital images.

Step two: Time to meet up to chat. You need to look at my work, choose some you like and talk together and share ideas. I will make time to get to know you and work out what you value.

Step three: Having agreed a plan I begin work looking for the right location, do some test shots and check the light. This could take a lot of time! I may also need to get permission to shoot in that location, lots happens behind the scenes. You may also want styling, hair, make-up arranging.

Step four: The shoot will take at least half a day – longer if you need to. This includes set up time for me – you will not be in front of the camera for four hours! It will then be edited and re-touched before you view the images to select one.

Step five: I will handle the printing at a specialist lab and you only receive the finished goods. If you wanted it framing that is my job too. You will not be charged extra as it was all agreed at the beginning.

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