Portraits • Headshots • Plymouth, New Hampshire

Shaking Things Up: Tending to Creativity

Last week, I spent time in England, shaking things up and tending to creativity. When I teach my photo classes, students ask how I stay creative. I tell them that it’s essential to me to enrich myself with travel and culture, to visit museums, study art, and see architecture and historic sites. From early in my career, I have also found photographers around the world whose work I admire and I’ve gone to spend the day (or week, or longer) with them. There is no end to learning, creativity, and inspiration – no matter what our level.  

Last weekend, I met up with photographer friends David Shoukry and Siorna Ashby, joined by lovely model Astrid Flint at David’s studio, English Photoworks. David showed us how he thinks about wardrobes and color, and how he designs sets and lights in his small studio.  We made different sets and and played with light, color, and movement, while photographing Astrid. We all had a wonderful, creative day!

Portrait of a woman, seated, wearing a red ruffled top, with layered backdrops
Behind the scenes at David Shoukry's studio, English Photoworks / Finished portrait of Astrid, seated and leaning on a desk, wearing a red top
Behind the scenes photo of NH portrait photographer Maundy Mitchell, photographing at English Photoworks in Corsham, England
Behind the scenes photo and finished black and white portrait - Model Astrid Flint photographed by Maundy Mitchell as a guest at English Photoworks

David’s dog, Lucy, wanted to be a part of everything, too. I happen to have a Basset Hound of my own at home and I know that they require hugs.

Behind the scenes photos of Maundy Mitchell, a guest photographer at English Photoworks, with David Shoukry's Basset Hound, Lucy.
Portrait of Astrid, with light tones
Behind the scenes photo of a camera in foreground with model in background and a final portrait from that set (pink)
A black and white photo of a woman dancing, with blurred "motion"

On other days, I visited the Roman Baths, Corsham Court, Lacock Abbey and the Fox Talbot Museum, the birthplace of photography. Here are some cell pics!

First, the Roman Baths:

Four cell pics from the Roman Baths, in Bath, England
A photo of a Roman statue and a photo of the Roman Baths
Three photos - a bust - view from above the Roman Baths (hot springs) and a view from water level with a stone bench in the foreground
Three photos of busts found at the Roman Baths
Three busts found at the site

Next, I visited Lacock Abbey, which included the William Henry Fox Talbot Museum (“The Birthplace of Photography”). Lacock Abbey was Talbot’s home, and it was here, in 1835, that he captured the world’s first photographic negative. This tiny image of a window would change the world; it was the first time an image could be fixed on paper and reproduced.

Photos of the outside of the William Henry Fox Talbot Museum and Lacock Abbey
Photo of "The Latticed Window," the first photographic negative (at the William Henry Fox Talbot Museum) and two photos of the actual latticed window at Lacock Abbey
“The Latticed Window,” the world’s first photographic negative, and two cell phone photos of the actual window.

Lacock Abbey has an 800-year-old history. It’s also home to a nice collection of paintings, and the grounds are beautiful.

Some of Lacock Abbey's portrait paintings
Some of Lacock Abbey’s portrait paintings
Lacock Abbey gardens, exterior, and shadows

Lastly, Corsham Court. It was built in the mid-18th century to house Sir Paul Methuen’s large collection of 16th and 17th century Old Master paintings. The house is still occupied by the eighth generation of the Methuen family, so no photography is allowed inside, but it’s an impressive, inspiring collection! There are works by Van Dyck, Carol Dolci, Filippo Lippi, Reynolds and Rossi, among many others.

Corsham Court
Exterior side of Corsham Court with sheep in the distance, and closer view of the sheep
Corsham Court gardens and peacock