Photo Session with Patricia

When I photographed Patricia last year, she was 77 years young, she had finished her chemotherapy and hair was already growing back.

I remember the time when she started the treatment she shaved her hair off, she was brave and couldn’t care less what other thought of her. Her son also saved his hair off to support her.

Before and After

I went to her house for the consultation, we went through the wardrobe together, I helped her to pick the right clothes for the shoot. She was a little nervous and also excited about the shoot.

On the day of the shoot, her son brought a bottle of wine, we ended up dancing and laughing, had a smashing great time.
Patricia’s portrait won a Bronze Award at The Portrait Masters in USA, it made me so happy!

Here is a video clip for the behind the scene of Patricia’s shoot.

Dressmaking, adding gorgeous dresses to studio wardrobe

I never thought I would learn dressmaking and enjoy it so much. My job gives me a massive amount of opportunity to be creative and learning new things, I’m so grateful to be able to do the job that I love everyday.

This sky blue dress was made from stretchy cotton, thick, strong and very comfortable to wear.

The idea beginning with I want my clients to have the opportunity to experience the dresses and gowns that they don’t normally wear, something more of fashion red carpet, something not for every day, something for a black tie event. I also want to have the dress can fit all sizes and the possibilities of changing to different style, so I was searching online but it’s a bit difficult to find something nice and suit all sizes and shapes. So I decided to design and make it myself.

I picked up information about dressmaking and found some really nice fabric that I absolutely love. My design not only fits different size, shape and ages but also make everyone look super gorgeous in it! 🙂
So far I’ve made several dresses in different colours and fabric, it was fun and joyful time making beautiful dresses. Then I asked my friends to come to the studio to try on the dresses for me. Here are some samples, absolutely love this infinity dress.

It’s a beautiful experience to be professionally photographed, styled and pampered. To discovery the possibilities and the different side of yourself, it’s beautiful.

Artist Portraits for Art Exhibition Incontri

It was real fun to photograph four artists and all of them utilize different media to express their art. I think artists are the most playful, they were like children in my studio. I photograph babies and young children and babies every week, so I’m well trained.

I often get the compliments, “Amanda, you are very patient.” Yes, I am and I think playing is a way of life, the way we learn new things, the way we live, laugh and have fun.

Here are some “Behind the Scene” photos when we were having the photo shoot.


Getting their makeup done.


They were curious about how makeup artist Martina and I work together. We were adjusting the makeup 🙂


When I photograph another photographer, I often got photos taken also. XD That was Enzo photographing me.


Discussions with Enzo about photography while shooting.


The artists managed to find toys in my studio to play with while I was shooting. They were just like children, very playful and fun to be with.


Photographing Josette, this was the second time I photographed her. She is beautiful as usual. And the guys managed to make her smile all the time.

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Shooting and giving instructions for posing.

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Thanks Enzo for the lovely photos of me shooting.


Discussing ideas with Josette and Samuele.


It was a pleasure to photograph artists. These four artists each everyone has their own unique work.

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Josette Fenech, a Maltese abstract painter, her main media are acrylic and canvas.

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Enzo Giummarra, a Sicilian photographer, using shadows as his main subject in this exhibition.

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Samuele Ventanni, an Italian artist, work on different fabric media.

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Emanuele Ventanni, an Italian artist, painting on wood.

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The four artists’ exhibition, ‘INCONTRI’ is an art exhibition that brings together four unique artistic expressions. It is also a meeting point for local and foreign artists, where art meets science. This Art Exhibition is in collaboration with RIDT in aid of Brain Research, a charity exhibition.

The exhibition in University of Malta Research Trust, Valletta, from 9 April to 22 April.

A shoot with Darrin Zammit-Lupi


Darrin is an excellent photographer, his most renowned work is ISLE LANDERS which covers the stories about the migrants from Africa. His work is a part of European history.

He had an solo exhibition last year in December. Before the exhibition, the magazine Sunday Circle wanted to do a story about him and they needed some good portraits of him.  The magazine already has some photographers who they work with but they thought about Darrin is a very good photographer and being in the field for so many years, they asked him if he would like to recommend someone to take the portraits for him.

Darrin asked me.

One day I met Darrin, he told me about the magazine and said, “Would you do it?” Imagine the good old 17th century Dutch painter Rembrandt, asked another painter to paint his portrait. How stressful the painter would be? Darrin didn’t want to put pressure on me, he said to me that it would be o.k. if I didn’t want to do it, he would understand.

“Of course I’ll do it. I’m glad that you ask me.” I said.

“That’s great.” Darrin seemed relieved.

I took the job happily. I am confident about what I do. I can take good portraits for everyone. If I fail, I would try it again and again.

We had fun during the photo shoot. David from Sunday Circle came to the shoot, input their ideas and it was great. David and Darrin are friends for a long time, they joked a lot and it was fun. There were shots when Darrin holding his camera and looked through the view finder. He had the chance to click away and it was like two photographer’s duel — we both were shooting.


Syrian refugee for NRC Photo: Darrin Zammit Lupi

There was a moment that the two guys were whispering and I was concentrating on adjusting my camera setting. Later Darrin sent me a footage and found out he was taking a video. It was funny, here is the link to the video:

(If you can’t see the video, click here.)

Darrin, Sunday Circle and I are all happy about the result. I was glad to see they chose the same one as I would choose to be the cover photograph.


After the magazine was published, Darrin got so many good comments from women, so many swear words from men. ( According to what Darrin said, the swear words mean well and they were compliments.) His colleagues were calling him, “James or Bond.” It lasted about a month people still were talking about Darrin’s portrait.

One day a client who knows Darrin came to my studio, I showed her the magazine cover of Darrin, she said me, “I thought it’s Darrin’s self-portrait. It’s your work? Well done Amanda.”

I think it’s another way of a compliment. 🙂

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For more information about Darrin’s work:

Darrin’s website:



Portrait ideas – Free Posing

Free posing is one of the difficult things to do in front of camera.

Most of my clients are not professional models, usually I give a lot of instructions to help them to pose. Where to put the hands, the way they look, chin, neck and shoulder, I pose them to the most flattering position to compliment their features. Of course, I use posing and lighting to thin them down and to create the most attractive shape of their body.

But it’s a wonderful feeling to have free posing images. It’s natural, casual and fun.

So normally I use the dancing method, I ask them to dance in front of camera. And the dance I teach them to do is super simple, basically I just ask them to swing, swing to the left and swing to the right.

The way I dance here is a bit more like free style dance. I love dancing and I love to see the movement in the images, freeze the beautiful moments.

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Behind the scene.

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Classic Portrait shoot set in outdoor – easy and simple set up!

This is a simple outdoor shoot set up for a classic black and white portrait shoot with a black background.

How simple?
You only need 3 things for the studio set up.
1 light stand
1 flash
1 softbox

Location: Anywhere without strong wind. (So the softbox will stay put!) I set the studio by a small fishing port. The street lamp can help with the camera focusing.

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Behind the scene with the classic look B&W portrait set up


Lighting by the flash, no ambient light.

When the day is getting dark, in the late afternoon, choose a place where is in the shade.
Set your camera at the highest shutter speed sync with the flash, adjust you aperture until the exposure goes right down, lower than Ev -2. So you won’t pull any street light into the shot.

My camera setting:

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With this shot, I added another flash to lit up the back of her hair.


Any thought or question you can leave it in the comment. 🙂