Creative Light - Issue 10

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Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


Olympus Cameras

A new perspective.

*According to CIPA Standard 12/2014.

What has continued to motivate us over the years? Outstanding innovation that generates new perspectives and new possibilities. The new OM-D E-M5 Mark II features the world’s most powerful 5-axis image stabilisation system*, producing breathtakingly sharp images even in low light and shake-free movies, all without the need for a tripod.

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Discover more:

Contents features 24 38 48 52

David Oliver Wedding Photography Karl Redshaw The Planets Laura Hampton Digital Marketing Bill Gekas Portraiture

68 74

Kate Hopewell-Smith Plagarism


Claire Elliott Babies First Year

Vicki Head Craftsman Panel

Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


The Guild of Photographers W

elcome to another exciting edition of Creative Light!

It’s hard to believe another 2 months have gone and we are well and truly into the Autumn!

steve & lesley thirsk

During that time the Guild has been really busy. It has moved its offices to ‘The School of Art’ in Burslem, Staffordshire, the history of which goes back to 1853. Initially part of the Wedgwood Institute, our new home contains three galleries, workshop and studio space so is absolutely ideal!

Steve Thirsk

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The Guild has 3 new Trade Partners - ‘Folio Albums’ who produce fabulous Fine Art and Matted Albums, ‘Kaleidoscope Framing Ltd’ who offer high quality frames and much more, and ‘Loxley Colour Ltd’ who are an award winning professional lab! Customer Service really does matter to all 3 of these companies, hence we are delighted to welcome them “on board”! Our friends at ‘Newborn Baby Posing Limited’ have launched a Newborn Training programme consisting of three workshops plus on-line support and mentoring by Claire Elliott. This will be run over four months starting in January, and has been designed to accelerate learning.

with a social aspect as well. We commissioned them as we want them to be independent once a year regional ‘meet-ups’ for all (and not just Guild events)! We are delighted to say that the Nikon Training School, Guy Gowan and Aspire are actually ‘going on the road’ with the Hubs, adding to all the other exciting training on offer at each event. The first event is now nearly upon us – it’s on 13th & 14th November at the very popular and ideally located Hinckley Island hotel in Leicestershire (only a couple of hours or so from London, Southampton, Bristol, Wales, Liverpool, Manchester and York).

Lesley Thirsk There is even an opportunity to submit for Qualified status with the Guild at the end of it! The full details are on their website. We have recently attended Digital Splash, an amazing event run by Wilkinson Cameras and have been to several Photovision events around the UK where we provide some great training opportunities and meet members. We are clearly here for members so we have even reviewed our ‘pro’ membership over recent weeks. Members get free direct 24/7 access to legal support and a PR crisis hotline, as well as a free debt recovery service, contract dispute cover, loss of earnings protection, data protection cover and Tax Investigation protection and much – even legal cover following a road accident is included. The Tax Investigation protection alone typically costs much more than membership of the Guild which shows the value of membership! Of course, we hope you never need many of these things, but it’s reassuring to know they are there, and should you ever need that support it can be ‘worth its weight in gold’ as one member said! Speaking of the need for support, in this edition of Creative Light Kate Hopewell-Smith has written about plagiarism, having found herself a victim of it. We all want to protect our work and hate hearing of copyright breaches, yet it is clear that some photographers cross the line of ‘inspiration’, directly copying others work including written website content which can take many many hours to create. The article is well worth a read!

You’ll find more details about the seminars, the print competition and everything else on offer in here. The only thing missing is YOU, so we hope you will be there! This edition of Creative Light actually has something of an Australian theme. There is a great article about David Oliver who is regarded as one of Australia’s top ten photographers. He has been a Nikon Ambassador for over 10 years and is a Grand Master of the AIPP There is also an equally fascinating article about Bill Gekas a very inspirational and multi award winning fine art Portrait Photographer, also from Australia. His admiration and respect for the works by the old master painters has influenced his stylistic approach to the craft, as you will see! Finally, believe it or not, it will be Christmastime when the next edition of Creative Light is realised, so it’s worth us reminding Guild members to make use of their discount card to save 7% when shopping at High Street retailers such as Argos, BHS, Boots, Currys, Debenhams and many more. You could save yourself a lot of money over the next few weeks by doing so… - Steve & Lesley Thirsk

We mentioned in the last edition of Creative Light that we had commissioned the first PhotoHub in response to what photographers said they wanted ie high quality local training Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :



A bit of a different image from me this month. Friends of mine know that I love to take images on my iPhone which I do purely for pleasure. I recently visited Rocinha, the largest hill favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The favela is located in Rio’s South Zone and has a population of over 69,000 people. Originally built as a shanty town it soon turned into an urbanized slum. Today the majority of the houses are made from concrete and brick and have basic sanitation, electricity and plumbing. Compared to shanty towns Rocinha has hundreds of businesses, banks, medicine stores, restaurants, bars and cable TV. A fascinating place full of colour and little pathways, I couldn’t resist taking a few images on my phone. This edition of Creative Light features one of Australia’s top photographers, David Oliver. A Nikon Ambassador for over 10 years and a Grand Master of the Australias Institute of Professional Photography. Also, featured is Bill Gerkas a Portrait Photographer who was recommended to me by Guild member Pip Bacon. Guild member Karl Redshaw explains to us how his image of ‘The Planets’ was created and we have a message from Kevin Pengelly, Chairman of the Judges.

julie oswin

If you have a story you would like to share to be considered for Creative Light Magazine then please get in touch with me -

No, you don’t shoot things. You capture them. Photography means painting with light. And that’s what you do. You paint a picture only by adding light to the things you see.” ― Katja Michael

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Š Julie Oswin

Rocinha, the largest favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


front cover ‘Cherries’ A conceptual studio portrait I thought up when we had quite a few cherries during the season. This portrait has colour theory working on it where the colours red and green can work well together. One evening I noticed these red cherries looking great with their green stems but by themselves without the stems they didn’t quite work. I then had the idea of dressing my daughter in a red costume and placing her in front of a green backdrop whilst holding a bowl of cherries. This was a quick and fun shoot we did at home one evening. This image was lit using a 31” octabox as key light, a gridded strobe for background light and a white bounce reflector to bring some detail to the shadow side of the face”.

bill gerkas

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Hempstalls Lane, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs, ST5 0SW. t: 01782 753304 e: w:

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Chairman of the Panel A

s Chairman of the Judges, I thought that it was about time that I would write a column in Creative Light and due to us having one of our busiest years it has taken me a lot longer than anticipated.

For those of you that don’t know me, I run Pengelly Photography with my wife Sabrina, and this year we have photographed 60 weddings, so it has been one of the busiest seasons we have ever had with our wedding photography business. Sabrina and I have two children. Our daughter Chloe has just started at University in the lovely party town of Brighton, she is doing a four-year course on Business and Management. Our son Arron, is a budding footballer, and he is currently with Cambridge United Shadow Academy, has had trials with Norwich City.

Judging, many of you enter the Image of the Month, and as you know some members do not agree with the Judges marks but I can categorically say that I oversee all the marking within the judging system within the Guild, and all the current judges do adhere to strict guidelines. It is not whether a Judge likes or dislikes an image but they look for lighting, impact, exposure, composition, posing, presentation. But, without light you do not have an image.

kevin pengelly

So the fundamental principals of when you are entering Image of Month or Qualifications is to look at the image, remove your emotional connection and the comments made by your friends and family “oh I love that” “ that is fantastic” “wow” etc... You must look at the lighting, look at the composition, look at the posing, look at the presentation. If the image hasn’t been correctly exposed or lit correctly at the start, then don’t try and add an action or a plug-in over the top to try to hide the errors because it just masks the image and we can as trained judges see through that. Currently, we have been busy with submissions for Qualifications, and that is lovely to see that more and more members are trying to qualify within the Guild, and unfortunately we have had some failures but this is basically due to the photographers not being mentored. The reason we always advise mentoring is because all the mentors know what the submission should contain, what the images should portray in their chosen genre. For example in wedding photography the panel of work should not contain detail shots like shoes, flowers, perfume bottles, etc. What we need to see for a Qualified submission is that the photographer knows and understands what they are doing. They demonstrate that they know light, composition, presentation, posing and the photographs contain impact and expression. We have had some good successes and we have seen some lovely submissions, but the successful submissions have been have the photographers who have gone through the mentoring process. We saw a lovely submission a few weeks ago off Vicki Head’s work (featured in the magazine) and her submission ticked all of the boxes. Once you have gone through Qualification, then you can look towards going for your Craftsman. Craftsman is all about a distinct style and area of photography, i.e. portraits, weddings, commercial, etc. These images must balance and still contain the fundamentals of lighting, exposure, composition and placement of the subject within the frame. The panel of work should be balanced, and when viewed by the judges it should clearly show that the panel has been taken by the same photographer, thus showing the distinct style of the individual. I look forward to seeing you all at Photohubs next month in Leicestershire. - Kevin Pengelly

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Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :



MATTED ALBUM Click here to watch our Matted Album video


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FINE ART BOOK Click here to watch our Fine Art Book video

Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


infocus photography Insurance

We’ve got you covered “

Infocus saved my shoot yesterday. They were prompt, efficient and sorted it in super quick time. Can’t love them enough. Thank you.”


ere at Infocus we’re always coming up with new ways to make insurance better and we’ve even enlisted the help of our mascot Flash to try and make insurance fun and understandable for you. Take a look on our website, under the policies section, to find out more: www.infocusinsurance.

Insurance Policies: • Interest Free Instalments • Underwritten by Hiscox Insurance • Worldwide cover for Photographic & Technical Equipment • We are the only Photography Insurance Specialist to offer ‘Crisis Containment’ cover, so if you ever need PR help, we’ve got it covered

Also Available: • Home Insurance for Photographers & Video Makers working from home • Underwritten by RSA Insurance • Interest Free Instalments • Working from home automatically included • Low Excess • No Claims Discount up to 25% • Home Emergency & Homecare included as standard • Free Legal Expenses cover • Contact us today for a quotation – 0161 925 5051 • Critical Illness Insurance • Income Protection Insurance

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Just a line to thank you all for the most professional way you handled my claim. I was delighted with the attitude of yourself and your staff and was grateful for the advice given regarding the procedure and particularly the speed and efficient way you handled the whole thing and kept me informed throughout. Many thanks, Keith Parkes

While I was in Iceland I had a disaster while shooting near Jökulsárlón. I had been on the beach for about half an hour and the sea was calm when a massive wave came out the blue and flattened me like the icy hand of god. My camera was swept out my hands and my bag was flipped and filled with sea water. All told I lost £7500 worth of gear. Infocus have been fantastic from the start, they have been swift to respond, given me a dedicated handler and settled the claim yesterday. If you are looking to renew your content cover I can whole hearted recommend them. Also Iceland is amazing but be careful with your camera. A local photographer told me that “camera manufactures love Iceland, it is the graveyard of gear.” Adrian Spencer 28.2.2014

‘In Focus Photography Insurance’ is the trading style of The Alan Stevenson Partnership Ltd for General Insurance. The Alan Stevenson Partnership Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority no 305785. Registered Office: 34 Victoria Street, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 1ET. Registered in England No 4320605

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PhotoHubs Local photographic Trade Shows and Seminars with a difference!

A Hub - “The effective centre of an activity, region or network” 16 : Creative Light Magazine - Issue 10


hotoHubs are a totally new concept for photographers, created by photographers for photographers!

They involve exciting seminars and workshops by the inspirational – even a Boot Camp! You can meet suppliers on a 121 basis, join us at a social and win amazing prizes in a print competition. There is even an ‘All-Inclusive’ opportunity when your accommodation, food and drinks are ALL included. All that’s missing is YOU..

THE PHOTOHUB SPEAKERS Kate Hopewell-Smith One of the most sought after trainers in the one UK, a Nikon Ambassador and a Panel Member with The Guild of Photographers. She also regularly contributes to photography magazines and is recognised as a voice for female photographers within the industry.

Guy Gowan A legend in the world of digital imaging, work-flow and manipulation. His unique approach and opinions set the agenda for manufacturers worldwide. He has a unique ability to see through marketing spin to be in a position to share what ‘really works’.

Catherine Connor One of the best motivational speakers in the UK Photographic industry. Her endless energy is contagious and uplifting, her manner and training style very inspirational. She delivers business training to photographers with a fresh and dynamic approach

Gavin Hoey A hugely popular freelance photographer, writer and trainer of all things photographic. His ‘You Tube’ training videos have been viewed my millions of people across the world and he regularly writes for photographic magazines and regularly represents Adobe giving training sessions.

Robert Pugh A photographer of celebrities and weddings, a highly regarded trainer and an Olympus Visionary (or Ambassador). All this, despite only starting his photographic business 3 years ago. He regularly runs workshops for Olympus and he loves street photography.

Andrew Appleton An internationally sought after speaker, trainer and photographic judge, Andrew is highly regarded for his comprehensive and creative programme of training courses

© Kate Hopewell-Smith Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


and workshops which he delivers around the UK and across the globe. He also has work published in books and magazines.

Pete Bristo Pete probably has more photographic qualifications than anyone else in the country. Pete has 7 Fellowships to his name, and is a Guild Master Craftsman. He has also won over 100 National and International awards in recent years, including multiple Photographer of the Year Titles.

Julie Oswin A full time professional image maker for around 20 years, Julie holds the distinctions of being both a Guild ‘Master Craftsman’ and a ‘Fellow’ with the BIPP, as well as being a multi award winning photographer including UK Wedding Photographer of the Year no less than twice!

Claire Elliott Claire studied graphic design, photography and fine art before finally deciding that photography was her calling. A Craftsman with the Guild, and one of the UK’s most sought after Newborn and Baby trainers. Her natural capability to get young people to engage with her being her ‘trademark’! Jenny Johnson Jenny from the popular 3XM Solution has an Honours degree in Communications, a Masters in Marketing and a Post graduate Diploma in Digital Marketing. A friendly and inspiring speaker - her knowledge and use of Social Media is exceptional.

Nina Mace The current ‘Children, family and Lifestyle’ Photographer of the Year with the Guild of Photographers. She is well known for her vibrant and bold visual style using the colours of the UK as her backdrops - as well as capturing real smiles, which pack her images with emotion.

Kevin Pengelly Kevin is qualified and much utilised photographic judge, a Guild ‘Master Craftsman’, who has also achieved 2 Fellowships with the BIPP & MPA! He has many awards and titles to his name including Overall Photographer of the Year as well as Fashion and Beauty Photographer of the Year.

© Nina 18Mace : Creative Light Magazine - Issue 10

the photohubs seminars THE FREE SEMINARS “An Insight Into Image Processing Guy Gowan’s Way” “Using Facebook Advertising Effectively!”

Presented by GUY GOWAN


“Be Responsible - How To Run A ‘Growing Up’ Business”


“Using Colour Effectively In Outdoor Children’s Portraiture” “Enrich Your Customer Service”

Presented by NINA MACE


“Live Judging of the Print Competition”


THE 90 MINUTE MASTERCLASSES These exciting sessions are just £20 each to attend OR unlimited access to them is available through the PhotoHub “Day Pass” costing just *** or the “Two Day Pass” which costs just ***

ON THE FRIDAY “Wedding Photography with Micro 4/3’s”

Presented by ROBERT PUGH

“Working with Older Babies and Young Toddlers” “Shoot for Competitions and Qualifications” “Fearless Flash Photography”

Presented by CLAIRE ELLIOTT Presented by PETE BRISTO MBE

Presented by GAVIN HOEY

“Playing With Light Around The Venue!”


ON THE SATURDAY “Concept to Completion”


“Improving Your Wedding Photography Skills”

Presented by JULIE OSWIN

“Starting Out Or Getting Going In Newborn Photography” “Urban Portraits With Speedlights”


Presented by ROBERT PUGH

“Playing With Light Around The Venue!”


THE HALF DAY MASTERCLASSES These in-depth training sessions are just £40 each to attend OR unlimited access to them is available through the PhotoHub “Day Pass” costing just *** or the “Two Day Pass” which costs just ***.

ON THE FRIDAY “Just How Good Could Your Year Be?”


On the Saturday “The Light & Water Workshop”

Presented by GAVIN HOEY

THE GUY GOWAN HALF DAY WORKSHOPS These are the first seminars Guy has run in the UK for several years, and he is flying here especially to deliver them. They cost just £50 each to attend.

ON THE FRIDAY “Image Processing The Guy Gowan Way”

Presented by GUY GOWAN

On the Saturday “Dynamic Range”

Presented by GUY GOWAN

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kate hopewell-smith

boot camp

The Boot Camp ‘The Essential Things You Need To Build & Maintain A Successful Photography Business’ Presented by Kate Hopewell-Smith This intensive 2 Day Training Course is an incredible ‘DO NOT MISS’ opportunity to learn the skills that could have a profound impact on business success! Five years into a very successful business Kate will share her invaluable hard earned knowledge and experience about what boxes absolutely MUST be ticked to succeed. This is an incredibly RARE opportunity to get the inside information to help you drive your business forward! An All-Inclusive daytime only ‘Boot Camp’ package including your attendance, lunch and refreshments costs just £295 for Guild members or £325 for nonmembers. You can also add an evening meal with a complimentary drinks package, one nights accommodation and breakfast at the venue for just £100 more!

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As well as at the Boot Camp you attend any of the other training and be treated as a ‘VIP’ with one of our ‘All-Inclusive’ accommodation & refreshment packages!

There are 2 ways you can do this -

The Daytime Package - This includes a good quality lunch with no limit on the number of courses as well as unlimited tea, coffee, fruit and biscuits throughout the day. It costs £30 per day.

The Ultimate 2 Day package -

With this you shouldn’t need to spend another penny whilst you are with us. You get one of the Daytime Packages above on each day plus in the evening in between you can join us at the PhotoHub social including an evening meal and a complimentary drinks package from the bar, as well as entertainment. Overnight accommodation with breakfast is also included. ALL this costs just £179!

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the regional print competition with valuable prizes At each PhotoHub will be a regional photographic print competition with regional titles and over £1000 of prizes. The winners may also go on to win some that money simply CANNOT buy! The categories you can enter are ‘Weddings’, ‘Newborn and Babies’, ‘People’ (ie Children, Families and Adults) and the ‘Open’ Category. The winner in EACH section will get the relevant regional title, a trophy, certification as well as a valuable and practical prize courtesy of Johnson’s Photopia. The runner-up in each section will get a trophy and certification. Commended entries will also receive certification. The prizes at this event are worth OVER £1200. They are – • A Westcott Icelight (SRP £399) • Sekonic L-478D Meter (SRP £350) • A PocketWizard Plus lll Transceiver (433MHz) Twin Set (SRP £260) • A Billingham Hadley Pro Original bag (SRP £200) The overall winners from each show during 2016 will go into a Grand Final when an overall national winner for each section will be announced as well as an overall winner. Those winners will receive prizes that money cannot buy such as .... A weekend for two in Ibiza on a £50m yacht with the opportunity to photography celebrities whilst there. This includes your flights and accommodation.

“meet the suppliers” We are inviting some select high quality suppliers to join us at the PhotoHubs. On Day One of the PhotoHubs meet-ups there will be 121 opportunities to meet these great suppliers, and on Day Two there will be a more typical Trade Show type approach. We have all been to larger trade shows, to find that we cannot get anywhere near the stand we want. Even if we can get to the stand, all too often the person we need to speak to is busy, which can be so frustrating. Our suppliers feel the same way too - they frequently feel they miss out on the opportunity to invest time in YOU! “Meet the Supplier” is a NEW concept that will allow you to book 121 time-slots with the suppliers of your choice and in your locality. You may want to speak to them as an existing customer wondering how to get more from their services, or you may want to discuss the potential of them becoming a new supplier for you.

last but not least - “the social” We largely work alone so it’s great to get the opportunity to meet-up, so in the evening at the end of the first day of each PhotoHub event will be a social event for the trade and photographers alike. At the social there will be a hot meal plus some light-hearted entertainment – they are the perfect opportunity to meetup, relax, share stories, and most importantly have fun in the process. These socials cost just £30 excluding drinks, but if you’re thinking of having a drink or two and staying over you will be delighted to know that a complimentary drinks package as well as the meal and accommodation are included in our overnight ‘All-Inclusive’ packages.


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Australia’s Grand Master David views life through a lens, and David’s ability to capture incredible images has been recognised not only by clients, but by the photographic profession where he is a Grand Master of Photography in the Australian Institute of Professional Photography, and an ambassador for Nikon and Epson.

Q: Tell me a little about yourself and your approach to your photography, how and when did it all start?

I was born in London within the sound of Bow Bells, so cockney by birth! My first passion in life was to play for West Ham United FC, unfortunately that didn’t work out.

david oliver

My second passion was Photography.

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London Polytechnic offered the course that I wanted but to get a place I required O’levels that I didn’t have. So it was my Dad who suggested that I joined him working at Billingsgate Fish Market and go to night school in the evenings to get the required O’levels. It was 1965. The fish market was right on the river Thames, next to Tower Bridge. Early morning mist on the river mixed with the smog created this extraordinary light, with old street lighting and cobblestones, it was a visual experience that has always stayed with me. So that the Embankment could open to the London traffic the fish market had to be closed by 9:30 am. When the Embankment opened, photographers would photograph

around Billingsgate, the likes of David Bailey, Bill Brandt, Lewis Morely; photographers that inspired me and I remember watching them working. I soon realised that this is what I wanted to do with my life. If you look at my work, you will see where the inspiration came from and visually the early morning soft light has stayed with me throughout my photography. When I first arrived in Australia, I worked in a photographic studio. We worked very hard, day-in-day-out, photographing families, children, couples, groups but using dull lighting, boring backgrounds, weekends I was shooting weddings. It wasn’t long before I became very bored with studio portraiture, just taking lots and lots of studio sessions. It was in 1985 when I opened my studio, and I swore that I would only work on location. Over the years, my work has evolved from working on location to home studies photographing people in their environment. It was at this time that my photography started to fall into place.

Q: Your daughter now works with you as

a Wedding Photographer. Is it easy working with your daughter? Working with Claire, my daughter, has been a tremendous advantage to me as she joined me just as we were switching from film to digital. The actual shooting of digital didn’t affect me; it is very similar. It was the production and work-flow that I struggled with.

of an image) and gives this soft swirly softness effect to my photographs. I use this lens for group shots, portraits and street photography and landscape work.

Q: Lighting of your subjects, what is your

preferred light source and give an insight into what you are looking for when lighting your subjects especially in the bright sunlight of Australia? Photographing people in their own home I use window lighting. I find it is consistent and gives me the soft look that works so well with black and white. Working outdoors, I always schedule the sessions to be either very early in the morning or late in the afternoon. I have found for my style of work that this is the best time to shoot.


Post processing of your images, what is your favourite editing software and why? I use Nik Software. When I discovered Nik, it felt like I had got my darkroom back. If you shoot for the right light and you shoot for your style of photography, it is a very easy to process. Nik Software has my favourite film overlay, colour tones and black-edge borders. All of my images have the finish of a blackedge borders.

When Claire joined the studio, she was keen to learn all about Photoshop and all the relevant software that came with digital technology. Claire left me to the photography while she concentrated on the work-flow. Gradually I was teaching Claire photography and she was teaching me Photoshop, and how to develop my work. The timing couldn’t have been better. Claire joined me in the studio when she was 19 and we have been working together now for 11 years.


If you could have only one lens which one would you choose? When I use to shoot with my Leica, I always loved the 50mm Noctilux F1. That was my favourite lens. So, being with Nikon for the last ten years lens then it would have to be the Nikon 58mm. I have had this lens for 18 months but it reminds me of shooting with the Noctilux. At F1.4, you get that amazing bocca (blur produced in the out-of-focus parts

© David Oliver

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Š David Oliver

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Q: Understanding the basic fundamentals of photography is so important to the development of photographers.

I have been studying all of my life. When I arrived in Sydney, I started with TAFE who offered a range of practical training courses, equivalent to City & Guilds courses in the UK. The TAFE courses were excellent because they taught me all the basics and once I had learnt the basics then it was learning all about how to take great photographs. You are never going to learn that in an institution and you are only going to learn that by studying photographers and great masters. Buy all their books. I have collected 100’s of books and they have always been for me a visual experience. To me, the learning is an on-going study and I never stop learning. I honestly believe that you cannot pick up a camera, take a few flukey shots and call yourself a photographer. You have to know about the history of photography, and one of my favourite sayings is ‘how do you know where you are going if you don’t know where you have come from?” So my advice to photographers is to study the history from the beginning. Learn your craft, find the right light, and use the right lenses that work for you. My style has come together by studying, going to seminars and not necessarily in the area that I work in. I went to study landscape photographers, commercial photographers, photojournalists and the stories and information I learnt from them helped me to develop my style. The most important ingredient in photography is lighting, and then emotion and expression! If you haven’t got the lighting right then how do you move on? You don’t.

Q: In your photography business what do you feel has helped your business to succeed where so many have failed?

We have been in business 30 years and I am still photographing clients that I photographed in the first year. I have never been a super sales person allowing my customers the freedom to choose the images they want. I still, after all these years, have a set of proofs made. Even the younger generation of clients say how nice it is to be able to touch an image. Producing a set of photographs is so different from the modern day photographer who delivers everything electronic by shooting and burning to a disc. We print our proofs on fine art paper. Some of my the clients are probably seeing

© David Oliver Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


themselves in black and white for the first time. So it was respecting those clients from the very start of the business and personal recommendation that has built the foundations of our success.


What do you think makes a successful image and how do you persuade the client to trust you? The most important part of an image, to me, is emotion. One of the first things you should learn is how to get emotion into your photographs. You can’t just turn up at a photo shoot and get the emotional connection straight away. It doesn’t happen and it shows in the finished portrait.

Photographing people in their home environment has helped me to get to know the people very early on and build a rapport. For instance, if I am photographing a person for the very first time and I arrive at their home, I can guarantee the first thing they offer is a cup of coffee. I always accept. Over coffee, I can sit with them and discuss the family and get to know them. That may take half an hour and puts the clients at ease and create a natural rapport and then the photography can start. Personally, the worst thing you can do is get your camera out and start shooting as soon as you arrive.

Q: Your favourite location in the world and why?

Kigali, which is the capital Rwanda, – I was invited there about ten years ago to work on a project called Hope Rwanda which was to give back to Rwanda after the 100 days of genocide that they experienced. I was invited there to give back to Rwanda and teach photography. Photographing the country was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Rwanda was one of the poorest countries at the time; Rwanda is a landlocked country in central of Africa; the diet is a mixture of beans, rice and vegetables, there is very little meat or fish. Rwanda was very atmospheric and life changing. I just fell in love, again with the beautiful light.

Q: What have you found the most

challenging about being self employed? I have enjoyed all the challenges of being selfemployed. My wife is an Accountant and has looked after the financial part of the business. To be honest, the financial side would have been the hardest part of the studio for me without Cathy looking after the accounts

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and marketing. This gave me the freedom to concentrate on imagery and looking after my clients.


What tips and advice would you give to a photographer keen to get into the industry? Passion. It is only the passionate ones that make a successful career out of photography. My advice would be to go back and study the history of photography. Visit art galleries all over the world. Even now, wherever I am in the world, I will make time to find out what exhibitions are on and visit the exhibitions. A few years ago I while I was in Paris I went to see an exhibition of Richard Avedon’s personal work. All of the images were 60x40”, fibre based printed black and white work, the display of work was stunning. I must have queued up for an hour to get in, it was worth it. It was and still is, a life-changing exhibition of gorgeous work that simply blew me away. I bought the book, and I was just mesmerised. The quality of his work, all shot on 10x8” negatives was fantastic. Photographers today are just picking up digital cameras, opening the box, start taking pictures and call themselves photographers. But, they are just not learning the craft of photography and understand the fundamentals. When we started, we were shooting 5x4” plate cameras for commercial work, medium format and 35mm. We had to learn how to expose the image, select the correct aperture and shutter speed, read light and then process films and print the photographs. So my advice would be to photographers just starting out or who have lost their way would be to go back and study a little about the film and maybe experience processing and printing.


Apart from sheer hard work, what would you say is the main ingredient to your success? To be perfectly honest, a little bit of luck has played a part. When I look back at some of the works that I have done. The photographs have all come together with the compositional elements of the images. For me, that little bit of luck or magic plays a part if everything else is in place (correct exposure, lighting, composition) it all comes together. And you know you have the shot, you can feel it when you press the shutter. I am a Council Member of the AIPP (Australian Institute of Professional Photography) and one of my jobs is to look after photographers on their visits to Australia. One of the photographers I looked after, again a bit of luck, was Elliot Erwitt, a Magnum Photographer. The Council didn’t have a clue who he was and they said, “David you know Elliot don’t you, can you look after him while he is in Sydney?” Yes, I will put my hand up for that one. So again that was that little bit

Š David Oliver

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of luck. Elliot and I talked for hours about photography and life. It was such a wonderful time.


Three interesting facts about you?

- Football tragic; - Love the farm I live on which I share with highland cattle, horses, chickens and ducks! - Walking in the early morning mist;

Q: Your favourite food? Italian. Love the simplicity of how easy it is to cook! In your lifetime, you have to visit the country of your favourite food and eat it while you are in the country it is from.


What would you say has been your career highlight to-date? Achieving my Grand Master of Australian Institute of Professional Photography purely based on your work. Also winning the Grand Award at WPPI was a big buzz.

Q: Three words that describe you?

Bright, humorous but can be a pain in the arse!


Where next?

Well, again I am taking the overseas assignments. I run workshops from our farm. I really enjoy the mentoring and training, especially the 1-2-1’s with photographers and putting back and giving back what has been a brilliant career. Nearly forgot, I still love travelling.

David Oliver

“Thank you, David, for sharing your passion and photography with Creative Light. It has been a pleasure talking to you”. - Julie Oswin

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Š David Oliver

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Š David Oliver

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ŠKate Issue 10 - Creative Light Hopewell-Smith Magazine : 35

unplugged weddings Today will be full of memories of pleasure, We have a photographer to capture the moments to treasure. So please relax and watch with your eyes, And let the professional photos come as a surprise. Please refrain from Facebook, Instragram and Twitter, Let the night guests be surprised when they see all the glitter. We hope you enjoy our special day, By living the moment with phones away”. - unknown


eddings love them or hate them are part of our family life and although photography is a small part of the day, the images created form part of a family heirloom, passed down through the generations. Sadly today so many wedding photographs are ruined by guests jumping in front of the official photographer to get their shots. It has become a free-for-all. A rugby scrum of guests with hands in the air holding either a mobile phone, a tablet or cameras. Very few people can see or feel the emotion of the wedding day anymore.

julie oswin

I have been a wedding photographer for over twenty years, and one of my many jobs during the day is to capture the details carefully chosen by the couple, including the magnificent cake created by the bride’s aunt, the bride’s bouquet, those special wedding shoes that Gran bought. The venue, the table decorations, the favours and the wedding breakfast room all pristine before it is trashed. The look on Dad’s face as he sees his little girl in her wedding dress for the first time and how proud he feels as he walks her down

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the aisle. Mum’s eyes filled with tears as she watches her daughter say her vows. Gran with her face beaming as she knows her granddaughter is happy and marrying the person she loves. Not forgetting the little page boy who was that excited that he fell asleep at the back of the church. Then there is the tears, laughter and emotion shared during the speeches, the stories of mischief and antics by the Groom and his Best Man. Even the photograph of Uncle Brian checking out the dance floor with his new disco moves. Wedding photography is and should be all about capturing these special moments for the couple, for their families and future generations. And, that is why I am a wedding photographer and why to me photographing a couple’s wedding day is so important”. When two people get married, it is our job as photographers to capture the atmosphere, the emotion, the tears, the laughter, the personalities, the families and, of course, the couple’s friends. That is a wedding! It is not a photo-shoot for guests using their tablets, mobile phones and to get the first images onto Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Sadly very few guests ‘feel’ or ‘experience’ a wedding day anymore. Engrossed with the back of their mobiles that they miss so much of the wedding. Mobile phones and tablets have become part of our everyday life and, of course, we all use them, but, on such a special day, they should be switched off. It has been reported that the average person looks at their mobile device at least 170 times a day! A photographers job is to capture it all, not as a photo-shoot but with discretion, care and attention to detail. Photographing a wedding is all about making every shot you take count and not ‘spray and pray’ taking 1,000’s of images. If you take too many images, you will get you bogged down with culling and editing. In the days of film, you were limited to how many photographs you could take at a wedding. The cost of processing and printing dictating how many rolls of film you took in relation to the profit margins of your business. With digital technology came the freedom to shoot as many images as you wanted. Today some photographers will think nothing of taking anywhere from 4,000 – 6,000 images! In old money that is between 111 – 136 rolls of 35mm film! The average photographer when shooting on a medium format camera took approximately 100 shots, every photograph had to count because every picture was printed and placed directly into a proof book. Now that is pressure!

© Lynn Stanfield If you are a couple reading this and planning your wedding day then my advice would be for you to close your magazines; logout of Pinterest and Facebook, put down your tablet and your mobile phone. Take a long look at the person opposite you, the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with, then ask yourselves what is important? Stop worrying about the weather, you can’t change it. Don’t stress that your shoes are not quite a perfect colour match for your dress. Don’t be too upset that your best friend cannot attend your wedding or your sister doesn’t like her bridesmaid dress. All of that unnecessary stress is an integral part of the wedding planning. But what the day is all about is that you are marrying your best friend and your soul mate. Wedding’s are all about the celebration of both marriage and family”.

“ It is the wedding photographer’s job is to capture your day for you, not your guests.”

- Julie Oswin

© Julie Oswin Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


the planets Karl Redshaw is a commercial & Sports Photographer, based in Warwickshire. He is a Craftsman with The Guild Of Professional Photographers, an Associate of The Royal Photographic Society and a Licentiate of The Society for International Sports and Leisure Photographers. Creating images that have depth and emotion, Karl is not one to follow the crowd and prefers to focus on his on work rather than follow the latest trends. Karl believes that your emotions and life experiences have an influence on the images you create and strive to make the viewer understand and feel your photography. A man of few words, Karl prefers to let his images deliver the message. Karl’s photography comprises of commissions in the commercial sector, primary architecture, or work that has a high degree of post-processing required. Commercial work includes catalogue and stock photography and Karl will always consider commissions by their merit. I have supplied some tourism outlets and worked for charities such as Meningitis Now.


karl redshaw

he photograph I created of ‘The Planets’ was for promotional purposes, a simple cloud picture, a night sky image for the background. The sky image is simply desaturated and blended over the star picture using screen mode, allowing only the bright area’s to be seen. Tweak, the opacity and levels adjustment, to get the look you want. The colours are added onto a new layer et to blend. In colour, dodge using a soft brush to apply the colours required. It may be necessary to use a blur over this layer to get a more natural looking blend. Please note it is always wise to change this layer to a smart object first so you can refine the blur till your happy. The planets are selections of a texture, which has been spherized using a builtin filter within Photoshop. Bringing the Planets to life is the use of layer styles to add depth and dimension, along with selected shadow placement. The render of the lens flare option has been used to add two different flares, one just behind a planet and the other to top right to provide the impression of an off-screen light

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Š Karl Redshaw

source. The possibilities are endless, and I have completed other versions of the same picture that contain rock formations as if the image is looked upon from the surface of another planet. This is a great exercise and helps with an understanding of blend modes and layer styles. Sometimes we so transfixed on taking the perfect picture we forget we live in a digital world, where the possibilities are only limited by the creator’s imagination. - Karl Redshaw [VIDEO]

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© Karl Redshaw

© Karl Redshaw

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© Karl Redshaw

© Karl Redshaw

© Karl Redshaw

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How’s Business? I

am certain that if you had a pound for every time somebody had asked you, “How’s business?” you would be reading this article on a sun lounger in a spectacular location as it’s a question so frequently asked. I am also sure that your answer often unfolds as, “fine all is well”. However how well is ‘well’? - healthy, fit, fighting fit? What is the real level of your business’s well being? So much contributes to the well being of your business, naturally you are the biggest contributor and Influencer, in fact you are more than likely the business’s best asset. The trick is to evaluate every day how much of the business’s best asset you have used wisely - “ asset you!” Manage the business, discover the best ways to take control of your business, in my experience businesses are all different, one size doesn’t fit all. Being in business can be the best game in town when you play it your way, create your own rules of engagement. Learn how to manage all aspects of the business, you will manage some threads of the business better than others. Nobody can be gifted at everything, give time to working on the elements that challenge you the most. Being in business is far from easy, you practically have to be a magician, mind reader, a creative genius, therapist, excellent photographer and entrepreneurial business leader too. All of these aspects require nurturing, developing and training. I am an avid reader, hunter and gatherer of ideas, as what the business seeks is your attention, and intentional approach to growth and development. We all stride into business with expectations; expectations for our lifestyle and expectations of those we serve. I’m sure we all have a long list of goals, dreams and aspirations. Nothing is achieved without effort and your glorious input. Fulfilling your expectations is I am sure your daily game and this is fed by the following contributors - the financials - monitor how well you are performing, marketing – the visibility of the business in the marketplace, your average sale’s figures, your level of customer service and reputation, and finally your product, your confidence and expertise as a photographer. Five very important factors all making a difference to you and your business growth and happiness. They all contribute to “ how’s business?” - Catherine Connor

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Order online today at Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


The Newborn Photography School newborn baby posing


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he Newborn Photography School in association with The Guild of Photographers is the first school of this kind in the UK. Held at the premises of Newborn Baby Posing the day will include lunch and refreshments. You will also receive a 10% discount code for all products at Newborn Baby Posing. Each workshop is designed to build and progress your confidence, skills and profile as a Newborn Baby Photographer culminating in a Qualification with The Guild of Newborn & Baby Photographers for all candidates. The Newborn Photography School package also includes one year’s membership for nonmembers with The Guild of Newborn & Baby Photographers. Guild members will receive 10% discount towards the cost of the School - a saving of £120. You will need to bring with you a DSLR and lenses plus memory cards. The School is run by Claire Elliott CrGPP, Panel Member of The Guild of Photographers and an Award Winning Newborn Photographer and Trainer. After each Workshop, there will be a Mentoring Session with Claire, and this will include a ten image critique and insight to Guild Qualifications. Each student will be set a personal goal for their work. If, after the course a student is not ready for Qualification the last sessions will be indepth critique sessions with homework set for continued learning.

WORKSHOP 1 - 16TH JANUARY 2016 • • • • • • • • •

Safety First Contact & Parent Preparation Lenses, how to make the right choice Session Styling Shooting Areas Lighting, Metering and Colour Balance Simple Beanbag Posing Making the most of a pose Basics of Newborn Editing

WORKSHOP 2 - 12TH MARCH 2016 • • • • • •

Beanbag Work refresher Solving recurring posing problems Composite posing Setting up props for safe posing Styling refresher Dealing with Newborn Session disappointments

WORKSHOP 3 - 21ST MAY 2016 • • • • • •

Refresher on beanbag and props Post processing Image presentation and products Business Identity and Marketing Keeping Clients Preparing for Guild qualifications

PRICE £1200. Payment on Booking non-refundable but you can re-sell your space if you are unable to attend for any reason. LOCAL INFORMATION Nearest Airport - Manchester Nearest Train Station - Gatley & Cheadle Hulme LOCAL HOTELS De Vere Village Hotel, Cheadle (1.6 miles) Premier Inn, Cheadle (1.7 miles) Newborn Baby Posing Limited, Photography Beanbag & Props Tel: 0161 428 6174

© Claire Elliott Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


Digital Marketing Digital Marketing Manager for Impression and will be writing articles on Google for us. Impression based in Nottingham has a team of 15 digital marketers, website designers and web developers and serves clients across the UK and beyond. Their services include SEO, PPC, content marketing, digital PR and website design and development.

HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR CUSTOMER SERVICE Social media empowers customers. It provides all of us a public medium through which to share our praise or, as is becoming more common, to voice our grievances.

laura hampton

As business owners, we should embrace this. Enhanced communication is a fantastic thing and when our customers feel so connected to our brand that they engage with us on social media, we’re doing a good job.

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Or are we? When it comes to customer service, there are dangers we need to avoid. As our social media customer service improves, there are companies for whom more traditional customer service is suffering.

THE CASE OF FAILED CUSTOMER SERVICE I speak from experience here when I suggest that there are companies out there who have let their traditional forms of customer service suffer in favour of managing their social media. It was a couple of years ago now, so I’ve no doubt they’ve improved by this point, but I had an issue with my

mobile provider O2 and I called them to discuss. When this didn’t solve my problem, I emailed. When this didn’t help, I took to Twitter to voice my query publicly, within minutes, I received my response. Whilst it’s great that the company responded so quickly on social media (and you may have noticed yourself that Facebook is now labelling those companies who respond quickly to requests on their page as ‘quick responders’), it’s a real shame that their other channels didn’t work so efficiently. This isn’t the only case like this. There have been plenty of occasions where companies have failed their customer via their more traditional customer service channels and the customer has only received a response/their desired response when they took their query to social media. It’s a trend that teaches our audience that the best way to get our attention is in a public forum when, especially when it comes to complaints, it’s much better for us to keep those queries out of the public eye.

CUSTOMER SERVICE BEST PRACTICE ON SOCIAL MEDIA Of course, whilst we mustn’t neglect other channels in favour of social media, it’s still important to have a clear strategy in place to help you manage your social channels effectively. In order to make the most of social media as a channel for customer service, there are a number of good practice rules you should be trying to take on board:

it is essential that they are not the only medium for good customer service. People often take to social media to air their complaints because they know it’s a public forum and they expect they will get a faster response, and solution, here because you won’t want them talking about negative things in the open. But the reality shouldn’t be this way. By providing alternative contact methods and being approachable across all of them, you can encourage your audience to interact with you and come to you for their questions and issues across all channels. When we condition our audience to believe that they’ll only get good service by airing their grievances publicly, they’re only going to air them publicly in the future. It’s a key lesson for digital marketing. Yes, we must optimise our social media channels, but it is only through maintaining every single customer touch point that we can provide the customer experience the today’s audiences expect. - Laura Hampton

1. Respond to all questions/ comments within 4 hours if possible 2. Provide an alternative method of communication if the issue needs to be taken off social media - for example, give people an email address or phone number to call 3. Remember your responses on social media are public, so be professional 4. Include in your bio any days/ times you’re not available e.g. This account is manned Monday-Friday

Laura Hampton Digital Marketing Manager Impression, Nottingham w

BEYOND SOCIAL MEDIA Whilst ensuring social media channels are fully managed in a way that enables them to perform customer service well,

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Announcing our latest Trade KALEIDOSCOPE FRAMING LIMITED Stunning presentation is magic, achieving it is not. To excel every time, a photographer needs a partner that understands the parameters of a presentation style but can stretch them to realise unique results. Kaleidoscope provides sophisticated online software for the creative community to design, build and cost a multitude of solutions with ease. This product building process enables bespoke solutions to be stored once and manufactured repeatedly. It is not the typical format for selling presentation products but we are not a typical company! Our core aim is to work with professionals to develop and deliver presentation solutions that stand out. We believe the best results emerge from an evolving mix of art and technology so we use skilled people and precision machinery to create products with flair. We strive to develop personal relationships and exceed expectations through high levels of customer support. If you’re ready to try a different approach, we might be just what you’re looking for. Give us a call and ask for Laura.

LOXLEY COLOUR Loxley Colour have a long history in the photographic industry which has given them the opportunity to see, develop and evolve into the colourful and unique place it is today. It is both a delight and a challenge for Loxley to be part of such a creative market, reinforcing our ethos of providing the best product & services we can offer. Providing new and innovative products for photographers is what gets Loxley Colour out of bed every morning. From their extensive range of wedding albums to their contemporary wall and desk products, Loxley Colour continuously invest time and energy in research and development to bring you, their clients products that can be treasured.

FOLIO ALBUMS Folio Albums grew out of a search for a product that wasn’t available on the market. As an experienced professional photographer, Stuart was looking for digital albums crafted in the UK that would be works of art in their own right and stand the test of time. Next came lots of research and trialling, which certainly wasn’t without its frustrations and setbacks. The approach by Stuart and his wife was straightforward and based on what the couple knew professional photographers were looking for. Folio Albums keep their formats simple, offer leather covers as standard, and are dedicated to fantastic image quality and all-round beautiful presentation. Folio Albums have invested in new production facilities in Yorkshire that have been carefully designed to meet their specialised requirements. Above all, Folio Albums listen to their customers, and use the feedback to create better ways of working and deliver improvements. The company believe that while no-one can ever achieve perfection, they can always take one step closer to it. Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


FineArt Portraiture Born and residing in Melbourne Australia, Bill Gekas is a multi awarded and published fine art portrait photographer. Self taught and by learning the intricacies of photography since the mid 90’s, his admiration and respect for the works by the old master painters has influenced his stylistic approach to the craft. His works have been published in various art journals, books, magazines, newspapers and other media outlets worldwide including BBC, NBC Today, ABC News, Daily Mail and others. Although he occasionally shoots commissioned work, the renowned and exhibited works are primarily of his young daughter portraying a protagonist in a storytelling scene, a universal child. Practicing the art of photography and constantly refining his style.


Tell me a little about yourself and your approach to your photography, how and when did it all start?

bill gekas

I reside in Melbourne, Australia with my wife Nikoleta and daughter Athena, and I’ve been into photography from a young age and have been shooting since the 1990’s, at first with a Pentax K1000 SLR and doing my own darkroom work for a while as well. My approach to photography is always to keep it simple but with careful attention to details. It wasn’t until about 2005 when I bought my first digital SLR camera, and it opened up many more possibilities for me and how I could experiment and try things much faster than using traditional film-based methods.


How did your current style of portraiture evolve?

Before 2005, I was never really interested in the genre of photographic portraiture and was just generally shooting a bit of everything. Over the years, I now realise that this was a good thing as it was broadening my vision and knowledge of details, such as light, composition, framing, colour, tones, etc. which was to be the foundation skill-set to my current style of portraiture. In 2007, I felt my work needed to make that next level technically, and it was when I realized artificial lighting was an area that I had to learn to take my photography to that level. Carefully studying works in the medium of masters paintings and photography work I admired I then applied the strobe lighting techniques and colour theory to recreate that type of atmosphere in my images.

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Š Bill Gekas Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


Q: Your favourite portrait lens and why? Except for a few of my images, I don’t shoot my portraits using traditional portrait focal lengths as I found it doesn’t quite work with my style of work. I’m a wide to normal focal length shooter as I like to get close and also to be able to create surreal environmental type portraits. A lot of my photography has been shot with a standard 2470mm full frame, equivalent focal length type zoom. I am not particular to any lens as I found that all modern lenses these days are more than capable when stopped down; I like to work around f4-5.6. However, if I could only have one focal length, it would probably be a 42mm equivalent FF lens.


Lighting of your portraits what is your preferred light source and give an insight into what do you look for when lighting your subjects. I’ve used many light modifiers with my work from grids to cookies to bare bounced strobe as fill but generally for key lights when I’m shooting indoors in a studio type environment I use a medium sized softbox or octabox around the 28-30” size as a key light. When I am shooting outdoors, I prefer the simple 43” shoot-thru umbrella. Each of these modifiers have their advantages and disadvantages and the environment I shoot in will dictate which type of light modifier I’ll use. I aim for soft transitions from light to dark while still retaining plenty of detail in the darker areas, and I try to avoid distinct terminator lines between light and dark. Using these modifiers as key lights up close to the subject and sometimes using additional strobes for environmental fill achieves this effect.

© Bill Gekas



Personally for us it’s been a big advantage. Photographing young children is always a challenge, and I’ve been very fortunate my daughter took to it enthusiastically from a very young age. The shoot, in general, I always try to make it a fun experience where it’s not about her posing and taking direction but more about her acting out a scene. I found most young children like to act things out and dress up in costumes, and this is something I used in my process, the willingness of her to do what she wants to do as a child and for me to be able to capture a single frame that ties it all together. She’s now eight years old and far more aware of what we’re doing than when she was five. Recently Athena is now more actively involved in the pre-planning the shoot and sits with me during the post production and points things out when I’m working on an image. Something I didn’t quite expect but puts a smile on my face when she pulls up a chair next to me when I’m on the computer.

Post processing is part of the photography workflow and just as important as any other part. The important thing when shooting is knowing exactly what you’re shooting for and shooting with the intention and knowing what you’ll be doing in post production. Shooting with the intention of post processing, however, should never be an excuse for poor camera techniques during the shoot.

Your daughter features a lot in your photography. Has this been an advantage or disadvantage?

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How important is post-processing in your photography and do you shoot purposely for the effects you are going to use?

The raw output file should be as good as what you can get and with this type of planned stylistic approach there are no excuses for poor camera work as you have complete control of all aspects from the pre-production to the technical camera work.


What software, what is your favourite editing software? I use both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for all my work. Lightroom I mainly use for the cataloging,

raw development and slight global adjustments before exporting the image into Photoshop for the more detailed work. I’ve played with other software over the years, but Adobe has it hands down given my workflow requirements.


Understanding the fundamentals of photography is so important to the development of photographers. Where did you start with your photographic education? I’ve never had any formal photography education, and my photography education has been through books and magazines from the 1990’s to learning lighting and post processing techniques from more recent online resources over the last few years. I’ve always believed the technicalities of photography can be mastered in a short amount of time, but the art of photography and learning to see an image is something that can never be taught, but it is instead a lifelong journey of our personal experiences.

© Bill Gekas

Q: In your photography business what do you feel has helped your business to succeed where so many have failed?

I’m sort of fortunate that photography is not my primary source of income and would never want it to be. I successfully own and run a business in the manufacturing sector of the construction industry and although this takes most of my time away from shooting it’s also placed me in a position where I have the freedom to shoot who I want, how I want and when I want. I’ve found it quite liberating to be in a position where I do it not from that of need but because of want.

Q: How did you develop and build your brand. Social media and it’s global reach has been the main driving force behind the whole thing. The internet although can be a double edge sword at times with copyright breaches being the price we sometimes pay for the exposure. Although this global reach is available to all of us, it then becomes up to the individual photographer in what’s interesting they choose to create in order to maximize the potential of the brand.

© Bill Gekas


What do you think makes a successful image and how do you persuade the client to trust you? What happens if they rebel? I don’t shoot many commissioned works, so I haven’t had anyone rebel yet. I’ve found that when somebody approaches me for a portrait then they already know what they’re going to get before the first point of contact with me having done their research, like my style, and they are not coming to me for the usual smiley face portrait. (Although I’ve done some of these in the past for family and close friends). I have also discovered when you become known

© Bill Gekas Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


for a particular style you will attract the customers you want. I always emphasize this to photography students, that you must develop and work on a style that you can be known for as it ultimately this is what will attract the right client rather than just being a photographer for everyone.


If you weren’t a portrait photographer would you be a different type of photographer or be doing something different altogether? If portraiture wasn’t my chosen genre, then I think my interest would be in photojournalism. A stark contrast to what I’m doing now and a kind of imagery which sort of blurs the genre of candid street photography.


Do you shoot all of your work in a studio or a mixture of studio and location? I shoot a mix of indoor studio and on location. I prefer location work as I have more options and angles to work. Location photography gives me more challenges to, and I find the end results can be more dramatic. There’s nothing more satisfying for me than going on location and facing problems and challenges but then finding compromises, problem-solving and then successfully pulling off the shot.


A favourite location in the world and why?

Any coastal location, anywhere in the world as long as it’s on the coast. When it comes to photography, I find many options going coastal and there is something surreal about land meeting sea and sky together.


What have you found the most challenging about being self-employed? Time! There’s never enough hours in the day or days in the week to do everything that I need to do. If I could have a few hours more each day, I would take that over anything else.


What tips and advice would you give to a photographer keen to get into the industry? There’s a lot of competition in the industry at the moment, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get any easier over the years. Like in any other industry competition is a good thing and the photography industry is not unique. It’s bound by the same economic supply and demand laws like any other industry, ironically the same supply and demand laws that we love when they work for us in other aspects of our lives. My only advice to photographers starting out is to learn firstly your craft, create interesting work that demands a second look and then get it out there as much as you can using any online platform, eventually the people that matter will take notice. There is absolutely no point competing on price as that game is a quick race to the bottom; Compete on quality and the uniqueness of your work, the rest of what you want should follow.


Apart from sheer hard work, what would you say is the main ingredient to your success? The support of my family.

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© Bill Gekas

My wife Nikoleta and

Š Bill Gekas

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daughter Athena has been very supportive and quite involved in my work. I honestly believe that having the support of the closest people in your life is an essential ingredient to success whatever endeavour you embark on.

Q: Three interesting facts about you? • I studied IT and network engineering before starting my career with an internet company back in 1997. I left the IT industry shortly after the dot-com bust in 2001. • I don’t watch TV unless it’s a foreign film. • My music library consists of everything from classical to trance to metal, and I listen to whatever my mood dictates.


Your favourite food?

Pizza! It’s one of these foods where even if it’s bad it’s still good if you know what I mean!


What would you say has been your career highlight so far? I’ve had many highlights winning many awards and being published in many media outlets, journals and other publications, but the highlight for me more recently was being a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize and having my work exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra, Australia.


Three words that describe you?

• Logical • Enthusiastic • Diligent

© Bill Gekas

Q: Last question Bill, where next? As long as my daughter is keen, the work with my daughter is an ongoing project, and I still have many more images I’d like to create with her. I have developed a style of portraiture that has become a bit of a signature for me, and although it’s constantly evolving, I’ve found it’s now on a more subtle pace. For the last few months, I’ve started a side project that is completely different to what I’ve been doing and have become known for. It’s a street photography project based in my city of Melbourne. A project that I’ve felt is necessary for my journey as a portrait photographer. A side project that has liberated my complete control of the medium to the opposite side of the spectrum where I’ve relinquished all control. My only control is when I press the shutter and where I place myself. It’s been an eye-opener on many levels, and I regret I didn’t start this project earlier. At the end of it I’m sure I’ll be a better portrait photographer because of it. - Bill Gekas

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‘Silver Leaves’ During our summer holidays we went away for a week and stayed at a beach house down the coast for some much needed relaxation. Well nothing was more relaxing than doing some swimming, fishing and of course being on an isolated beach with some photography thrown in. This image was inspired by the works and atmosphere of French realist painter William-Adolphe Bouguereau 1825-1905. I was aiming for the use of his colour palette to draw attention to my daughter and to create a painterly beach scene portrait reminiscent of a bygone era. This image was lit with a shoot thru umbrella and a small Fuji x100s camera where I used this particular cameras high sync speed ability to create this effect with a wide open aperture.

‘The Curator’ This image was a collaboration between myself and a talented historical costume designer Liesbeth Van Muyden from The Netherlands. The historical costume was specifically designed and made for Athena and looking closely at the pattern of the dress you’ll notice prints of famous masters paintings. The hardest thing for me in the creation of this image was finding a suitable location that would suit the period of the costume as here in Australia we don’t have the historical buildings that are so prevalent in Europe. Fortunately we found a location and some scouting revealed this small corridor in this artists colony which seemed to work well. This image was lit with a shoot-thru umbrella placed outside the window firing in and a bare strobe behind me bounced to the ceiling for some fill.

© Bill Gekas

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Š Bill Gekas

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David Parkinson Interview Wilkinson cameras, is an expanding, private limited company founded almost 30 years ago, in 1986. Managing Director, David Parkinson, has 40 years’ experience in photographic retail starting his career as a “Saturday lad” in a Liverpool store and later working with Wilkinson Cameras’ founder, Frank Wilkinson. When Frank decided to start his own business, David made the decision to join him in his new venture, soon becoming a director and shareholder. Through a policy of offering first class customer service coupled with competitive pricing, Wilkinson Cameras has established a reputation as one of the leading independent photographic retailers in the country, with an award winning team. The business currently operates from 10 retail stores in the North West of England and also offers mail order and online purchasing online at ‘We pride ourselves on first class customer service and value for money – offering full support to our customers before, during and following their purchase,’ said David. ‘You can pop into any of our ten stores, or simply pick up the phone – we’re here to help and advise on all aspects of photography. ‘Whether you’re just starting out in photography or a seasoned professional photographer – our expert staff are always on hand to help.’

wilkinson cameras

Wilkinson Cameras has recently become the official ‘retail partner’ of The Guild, giving support, advice and of course, some great retail offers, exclusively to Guild members.

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In The Spotlight: David Parkinson, MD at Wilkinson Cameras We put David Parkinson in the spotlight and invited Guild members to put forward their questions:

Q: Where do you see your business 5 years from now?

I wish I knew! We live an ever-changing world of technology and trends. What I do know is, that in 2016 we celebrate our 30th anniversary; we have navigated huge changes in photography and the retail landscape during the last 3 decades and we’ll continue to do everything within our power to evolve and adapt to bring the joy of photography to as many of our customers as possible.

Q: What is the future for the camera retailers - there seem to be less and less?

Only the best will survive. As a retailer we strive for constant improvement in all aspects of our service. We offer in house training facilities and continue to expand our range of products to meet the ever changing demands whilst trying to be as competitive on price as we possibly can. Wilkinson Cameras is online, but you also have high street stores. What difference have you seen high street-wise in recent years? The demise of so many other retailers has actually led to our market share growing, both in store and online, as large parts of the UK now have no quality photo retailers in major towns & cities. It is our intention to grow both areas – Online, we have a new website underway to improve the Wilkinson Cameras online experience. Following on from the success of our Liverpool store, we are looking to extend this format into other major cities within the UK over the next few years bringing not only a superb retail experience, but quality training and workshops, hosted by some of the best in the business. Why are you still investing in town-centre stores when many companies are focusing on-line? It’s all about striking a balance. As a consumer, I like to visit my favorite stores, see the equipment, discuss any major purchases and most importantly get the experts’ advice. But, some weeks I’m simply too busy so buying smaller items and accessories is just so much easier online. I’m sure that I’m no different to most of our customers and offering the best of both worlds seems a logical move.


What is your view about Grey imports?

This is an issue we’ve had to deal with for a number of years, however recently we are seeing a greater number of “grey” dealers selling on the UK market from outside the EU, passing the liability of tax and duties on to the purchaser

which I consider underhand. However, I can understand why grey imports look tempting – at first glance they seem to offer such a saving, but this temptation comes with risk! Will the carrier insist on you paying the owed duties before the goods are released? Do you really have the same product content that is designed for the EU market? Is the instruction book in English? What do you do if you if have an issue or the product goes wrong? Will it be worth the same as genuine UK product when you come to part exchange or sell it? Is this too good to be true? Questions you need to ask yourself before pressing the “buy” button. Always read the small print is my advice - don’t be sold a pup or remove all this risk buy from an accredited UK dealer that pays all taxes and duties, only sells genuine products and has the close relationship and support of the manufacture behind them such as ourselves.


Does Wilkinson Cameras offer a part exchange service or a hire service? Yes, both! We’ll happily consider used equipment. We even have a dedicated website – Or you can visit any of our 10 stores. We know your time is precious so you can call or email a store in advance to get a rough quote before making a special trip. We offer a hire service from our stores, from Studio hire in Liverpool to equipment rental including Canon DSLRs and lenses through to Profoto Lighting. All the information is available at - our Try Before You Buy offer means that we’ll refund your hire fee if you buy the same piece of equipment within 30 days of hiring.


What are proving to be the ‘in’ products currently? The new full frame DSLR’s from both Canon & Nikon are selling extremely well. The new Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


EOS 5DS & 5DS R are just amazing, the quality is beyond belief when used with some of the latest optics. If you’re over the age of 50 you’ll remember a film product called Kodachrome 25, probably the finest grain colour transparency film on the market. Many years ago, when digital was in its infancy, I remember being told (probably by a Kodak employee!) that “digital cameras would never catch on as 640x380 resolution was miles away from the resolving power of Kodachrome 25 and digital would have to have to reach 20 megapixels to be equally as good.” Now we have the 50.6MP Canon EOS 5DS! It’s also interesting to see the growth of the CSC/ Mirrorless sector, as many photographers like the idea of a compact and less obvious piece of kit for some jobs and, once again, the quality now being achieved in these cameras is just amazing.

Q: What do customers ask the most?

For advice, and our best price! We have a team of 50 or more staff, most if not all are photography mad! Between us we have (rough estimate) over 750 years’ worth of experience and we’re still soaking up knowledge with every new product and advance in technology! If we don’t know the answers, we’ll find out. As for price we continue to negotiate hard with suppliers to bring our customers the best overall deals we can. However, if you’ve found better offer from a genuine UK tax paying retailer we’re always here to talk.

Q: Are both Nikon and Canon resting on

their past reputation by allowing the likes of Fuji, Olympus, Sony take the lead in mirrorless cameras? Good question, Panasonic, Fujifilm, Olympus & Sony are changing the face of photography but the knowledge and expertise that both Canon & Nikon have means these brands can never be ruled out on the product development front. At present Canon’s and Nikon’s strengths still lie in DSLR systems and they continue to innovate, developing new technologies and maintaining their status as market leaders.

Q: When are you taking delivery the Canon 5D MarkIV please?

What Canon 5D Mark IV!? Rumours and nothing more. I doubt we’ll see a 5D Mk IV in 2015, but watch this space - if or when it happens we’ll have massive coverage across our database and online. Why not sign up to our newsletter or follow us on social media and be first to know the news?

Q: Have Wilkinson Camera’s noticed a drop in the sales of pro flagship cameras like the Canon 1DX, and the Nikon D4s? As both of these flagship models have been

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around for a little while, sales rates have definitely slowed. The introduction of other new models in each of the brands has also had an effect on sales of these models. But, if you’re looking for the Land Rover of the camera world, look no further.

Q: David’s favourite bit of kit?

Mmm! Tough one. It has to be a Leica, the level of skill and craftsmanship in producing a Leica M and M lenses is just amazing. It’s certainly not a camera for everyone (cost aside), nor is it a camera for every situation. But, used in the right hands and on the right subject matter, the finished results are just mind-blowing. A tough one for a retailer - Kit V’s Training .. Which is REALLY more important? Both in equal proportion! The best of everything has to be a balance between having the right kit for your needs and knowing how to use it. This is exactly the reason that new stores will follow our Liverpool model, having one of the largest ranges of kit available to see, touch and test in store complemented by our “Learning Suite” above. We want to inspire and motivate our customers to create beautiful images and enjoy photography. You can view the full calendar of training events at


What do you do in your leisure time?

Leisure time??? When I do have time off I really enjoy cycling, running and travelling, usually with a camera.

Q: I dare you - Are you a Nikon or Canon man?

I’ve had both, but I’m currently using a Panasonic Lumix GX8. Getting to use the latest equipment, from a range of brands, is certainly a perk of the job!


Why has Wilkinson Cameras decided to link with the Guild and what benefits will members see from this new partnership? A great question – The Guild and Wilkinson Cameras share a great number of good old fashioned core values: honesty, integrity, knowledge and passion for photography. At our first meeting, we felt the shared values and aspirations. Members will receive many benefits, including exclusive retail offers, ‘first look’ at ex demo and sale kit, discounts on our training courses, and of course, the support of our team of knowledgeable staff – in store, by phone or online.

“To seal the partnership, I’d like to take this opportunity to launch our first offer to Guild Members – 10% off across the whole range of LEE Filters”.

LEE Filters is the choice for any discerning photographer – LEE’s systems widely acknowledged as the best you can buy. We stock a range of filters, starter kits, holders and accessories including polarizing, graduated and neutral density filters.

Anyone purchasing LEE Filters via the Wilki website can use the voucher code GUILDLEE and enjoy 10% off across the whole LEE product range until 15th November 15. For full details visit Or join us on social media: FB: Wilkinson Cameras (Link WilkinsonCameras) Twitter: @Wilkicameras Instagram: @wilkinsoncamera

- David Parkinson Managing Director Wilkinson Cameras

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kate hopewell-smith

Plagiarism and Pandora’s box


he issue of plagiarism in the photography community has crossed the pond and decided to knock on my door. The case here is different to what happened in the States Doug Gordan and Jasmine Star (both well known photographers and educators) were ‘outed’ for publishing material that was not original. I was made aware of a UK photographer that had blog posts taken almost word for word from my website describing her approach to wedding and portrait photography. It turns out that clicking on her website was the online equivalent of opening Pandora’s Box. First I want to be clear about the extent of the plagiarism that I unearthed using Google and a few SIPs (‘statistically improbable phrase’ which according to the web resource Plagiarism Today are usually between 6-12 words long and completely unique to your work). I quickly found a number of websites where the content was almost entirely my own – from the perhaps obvious words about how I approach shoots, to my FAQs, Pricing and most shocking of all the About Me section. I found the exact words about how I started out on at least 10 websites including a reference to the fact that I have 2 children. I hope that you are all aware that this

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is illegal but from my perspective I am more upset by just how unethical it is. What I unearthed made me both upset and angry and I made a considered decision to confront the problem. I have worked incredibly hard to achieve ‘success’ with my business and I am not going to sit back and let the laziness of others cause damage. I have had some criticism for going public with the problem (negative opinions are part and parcel of having a high profile in the industry) but it really is time to talk about the elephant in the room. Why do so many photographers think that it is ok to copy and paste someone’s words and position them as their own? All of the cases of plagiarism that I found were on other sole-trader photography websites – ie just another me trying to run a business on their own. I am one of the honest photographers who stand up and say ‘what we do is hard’. We have to be good at so many things other than crafting strong images to succeed. We all have to be writers today because of the need to support the imagery with a whole lot of words and then push it all out on our blogs and social media feeds. I am still surprised how many people in the industry comment on what a good writer I am. Despite what many of you think it doesn’t come easily or naturally. Like any other skill I have had to learn what works and put a lot of effort into crafting words. It was exactly the same with my photography because becoming ‘good’ at any skill takes time and practice. So you can perhaps also understand why I was angry about people stealing the sentences that I spent hours honing – trying to ensure that they were on brand, genuine and able to communicate how I feel about the thing that actually matters – the art of photography. Some photographers deal with the problem of written content by hiring copy writers to do it for them. I totally understand that some people just can’t do it themselves and that this can be the solution. If you have taken this approach then you need to be mindful of the responsibility and trust that you are handing over to this third party. You absolutely must check any content that is created on your behalf because you are responsible both legally and ethically for anything that is published under your brand. Of course one of the problems with photography in the UK is the lack of real brands that have been developed professionally and with the necessary investment to deliver individual businesses with a unique ‘personality’ and ‘tone of voice’. Knowing who you are and how you sound will make written communication far easier to produce. Branding is a big subject and we don’t have the space to explore it further here. I’m not naïve enough to think that this monologue will have any great impact on the problem of plagiarism and as the industry gets increasingly saturated the issue will grow. Rather than struggle alone with the pressures of running a photography business make the most of the wonderful support network that you have with The Guild. It would also be timely to just refresh yourselves with the Code of Conduct that they stand by. - Kate Hopewell-Smith

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Simplify Your Life with Zenfolio The ultimate solution for the busy photographer

Meet Tiree Dawson. Lake District-based commercial, food, portrait and wedding photographer, marketing executive, caterer and mother of two, shooting 72 weddings just last year. And as busy as she is, the talented multitasker isn’t the least bit tired. “Rather than being exhausted doing these things, I actually get more energy from it,” she says. Her secret weapon? The photo industry’s no. 1 voted photo hosting and e-commerce solution, Zenfolio. She relies on the platform as her go-to solution to beautifully display her images online and keep things organized. “I literally could not run my photography business without Zenfolio,” she says. So what makes this online platform such a success for professional photographers? It’s the all-in-one solution to present your photos, keep everything in one place and sell more. Here’s how Zenfolio helps grow the photo businesses of 100,000 photographers worldwide.

It helps you market your business with ease. Once you have the look and feel of your website how you want it, it’s important to have a marketing strategy in place, and Zenfolio helps with that. The service offers several ways to market your business without having to hire staff or read up on how to do it yourself. When uploading galleries, the feature suggests SEOfriendly keywords and automatically sends your site to search engine site maps, so it’s easy for others to find you using Google and Bing. It also comes with a visitor sign-in feature to capture people’s contact information, and a list generator and email campaign tool to send promotional or newsworthy emails out to your list. And of course, social media buttons and links are directly enabled. “Social media hasn’t changed my business; it made my business,” says US-based wedding and portrait photographer, Mike Anderson. “I was nowhere before Zenfolio, period,” he says. After finding his calling in photography and leaving the corporate world, Anderson signed up for Zenfolio so that he could have a consistent and seamless way to showcase his work on his social media channels as well as his website. Zenfolio allowed him to build a brand and message on his website that interacts with all of his social media networks, and as a result his business exploded. “I went from shooting four weddings a year to 47 weddings in 2013, 28 in 2014, 44 booked this year so far, and 22 booked already for 2016,” he says. Anderson now has worldwide followers that he attributes to Zenfolio and social media.

“I literally could not run my photography business without Zenfolio.” -Tiree Dawson 72 : Creative Light Magazine - Issue 10

It allows you to build your brand online.

It’s the best solution for photographers on the go.

Zenfolio comes with dozens of design templates and customizations so that you can build the website that best reflects your brand. It also allows you to create your own watermarks, logos and custom pages such as an About page, blog, pricing page and private pages for specific clients—no need to redirect people to an additional site. US-based fashion and glamour photographer Lou Freeman says that Zenfolio serves as the public storefront for her business. “The process of setting up was made much easier with the Zenfolio plan. It is easy for me to work with my clients and share images,” she says. Everything can be done on your dashboard or on the Customized Visitor View, where you can see things how they will look in real time, and can make as many changes as you want before hitting publish.

Zenfolio has not missed a beat when it comes to mobile. With every account comes two free apps: one for you to edit and showcase images to clients—perfect for in-person proofing and sales—and the other, Photo Moments, made specifically for your clients to use. It allows them to instantly gain access to their digital photos, view them in a beautiful presentation, download to their device (if allowed by the photographer) and share them with the world. Mobile shopping is also available, so that clients can shop on the go without having to be on a computer. Zenfolio truly is the one-stop shop for your photography business. Sign up now and get an exclusive 30% off with code ZENGUILD30*.

It allows you to sell the best quality products. Zenfolio partners with One Vision Imaging, the UK’s premier lab, so you have the option to sell the best quality products at prices you set. “With more than 500 products to choose from, my orders increased dramatically to three-fold what I was selling before,” says documentary wedding photographer, Kevin Mullins. Mullins had been frustrated fulfilling his own orders so he began using Zenfolio and saw a dramatic increase in sales and hours saved from using the service. “I would perhaps get one or two large-format orders per quarter, and now I get around seven or eight.” And, for those who don’t want to part with their favourite lab, self-fulfillment is always an option with Zenfolio. You can build your own price lists with an intuitive shopping cart so that the ordering, selling and shipping process is done behind the scenes without the photographer having to lift a finger; unless you want more control over orders, which is an option as well.


30%OFF With code

ZENGUILD30 The 30% discount off is for NEW accounts only, and is applied to the first subscription fee charged. Enter code ZENGUILD30 at checkout to get the discount. Cannot be combined with other offers. This offer expires 31 December 2015.

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Craftsman Vicki Head is a portrait, wedding and commercial photographer based in Lincolnshire. Relatively new to photography, Vicki got her first DSLR in 2012 but has recently attained a first class BA Hons in Commercial Photography and is delighted to have achieved Qualified and Craftsman status with the Guild this year. Prior to becoming a photographer Vicki has had a lot of experience directing plays in the theatre, which she believes helped with this project immensely, along with the support she received from her Guild mentor Lesley Chalmers. Some of these images are currently being exhibited as part of Hulls International Photography Festival and there are plans to exhibit them at one of the National Trust locations next season.


vicki head

he Cluedo inspired project, called Mystery at the Mansion, behind my Craftsman submission was an idea that I had been thinking about for a couple of years. I shot it this year as the final project for my degree but had in mind that it might be suitable for a Craftsman panel. I wanted to create a collection of images that would lead the viewer into playing detective. Where not all the clues may be visible at first glance, or second, or even possibly third. But pictures with gems of detail that could appear even after several viewings. Multi-layered photographs that celebrated not only the board game, but also my home county, by using Lincolnshire locations and drawing Lincolnshire parallels to each of the characters. As in the game where you have to decide whodunit, this collection is designed to make the viewers decide who they think the murderer is. I managed this as an editorial style shoot with narrative, as if commissioned by a magazine or for a book. The project needed huge amounts of planning, preparation and research, as well as negotiation with the three locations, two of which were National Trust properties with many constraints and time restrictions. I bought/ made/ loaned all of the props and costumes for the six models and used a make-up artist for two of the female models. I chose the models to fit in with my vision of how the characters would look. The Cluedo characters were depicted by colour primarily, but also other paradigms such as mustard on the table in the dining room with Colonel Mustard, peacock feathers and jewellery with Mrs Peacock. But there are also other subthemes. All of the locations are in Lincolnshire and I have shown connections to something or someone from Lincolnshire to each of the characters. Some of the parallels are easier to spot than others. As are the weapons, some of which are quite blatant, but others are much more subtle or abstract. And there are also allusions to political allegiance for several of the characters, corresponding to their colours. I thoroughly enjoyed doing this set of shoots, and even got to chat with the daughter of the inventor of Cluedo during my research. So who do you think the murderer is?

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hen I was planning the shoot and deciding which characters would appear in which rooms this one was a no-brainer. With a character called Colonel Mustard he had to appear in the dining room with some roast beef! Gunby Hall and Gardens, where this was shot, has very strict rules about food and drink in the house, as it is actually a museum. I negotiated being allowed to have plates of cold food, with the provision of very wide edged plates. I knew that the chances of spillage were high with a glass of wine (or blackcurrant), so to avoid this I made red jelly in the glass. The weapons visible in this picture are a dagger (not just the knife, there is a dagger on CM’s lapel), a candlestick and also the spanner. The spanner is probably the hardest weapon to spot, I create a recurring spanner design and printed it onto the fabric for CM’s cravat, so, if you look closely it is there. There are also clues to CM’s Lincolnshire parallel here which is the Royal Anglian Regiment, known as the Lincolnshire Poachers. He is wearing a regiment lapel pin and I made his cufflinks out of regiment collar badges. The mug and the silver soldier on horseback also add to the military flavour.

- Vicki Head

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t was quite important to me to try and get a shot of all of the characters together, although I wasn’t totally sure if it would happen, until the actual day, as I only had three hours in this house on a February afternoon, to shoot six of my rooms including this one. Had any of the models not been able to make the shoot through illness or bad weather it wouldn’t have been possible. The weapons in the rooms are on the characters. In addition to the ones on CM and Rev G, Miss Scarlett has a revolver on her necklace and there are also red roses (a link to the Labour party) that are seen in several pictures with Miss S. This room also contains some of the parallels to Miss Scarlett’s Lincolnshire connection. In the game Miss Scarlett is supposed to be an actress, and although there are several famous actresses from the county, I chose Joan Plowright to be the one I used. There is a photograph of Joan on the mantelpiece. And on the side table are a copy of the Stage newspaper and Theatreworld magazine, both with pictures of Joan on the cover. There is also a copy of the book, The Scarlet Letter, which Joan acted in the film version.

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Getting Studio Quality Images Part 1 - Capturing Correctly Nowadays the abilities of us all to capture studio quality shots has been made more available by the reducing cost and increasing quality of digital cameras. Gone are the days of limited ISOs and needing the right film for the right type of shoot as many aspects can simply be corrected or emulated (film grain and contrast for instance) in post processing software such as Adobe Lightroom or the many specific, effect plugins for these parent softwares (e.g. Google / Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro etc). These effects are subjective and good implementation relies largely on the experienced retoucher’s eye to get the best out of the relevant filters and image adjustments without overdoing the end result. Something that isn’t subjective though is the colours of your subject. In some instances latitude can be allowed but when the colour of the subject is crucial (e.g. the football team’s livery, the model’s lipstick or the bride’s gown) then we need to have a solution to solve this colour connundrum. It may seem an easy thing to think that you can recall the relevant colours of your subjects from the day of the shoot, but that’s a big ask. Was it an ivory dress or cream? Was the uniform black, blue or grey? When your living, reputation or simply peaceful homelife depends on getting things correct and it’s all too easy for the dress to be waved infront of you later by an irate customer (or worse, a relative) then you need a solution. Fortunately all we really need to do is have a frame of reference. Initially this was managed by dropping a grey card into your shoots and taking a shot to later set white balance against. Whilst this is definitely a step in the right direction really all you can do in this situation at best is remove any overall colour casts and set your exposure and contrast correctly. If you need to get all your colours spot on then you need a colour chart to shoot that has as wide a range of colours as possible that you know the values for. Fortunately companies such as Datacolor make such charts. Colour Charts have been around for many years but only with the introduction of the simple to use plugin that comes with Datacolor’s SpyderCHECKR have they become practical. Previously you could shoot a chart and take it into your retouching software, but you’d need to know all the colour values for the chart’s patches and then use your retouching tools to adjust the patches to read correctly. In changing the colour readings for one patch you’d inevitably have an effect on the other patches making it either an unending game of chase the colour or you’d have to just decide which colours you needed right and settle for the rest being out of range in order to get that crucial dress or make-up colour just right. BEFORE

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Fortunately the SpyderCHECKR App that comes with Datacolor’s range of colour charts reads all the patches and creates a correction for every reading simultaneously taking the manual element out of the process and simply producing a correction Preset that can be applied to any image within such programs as Adobe Lightroom, Part 1 - Capturing Correctly Photoshop Bridge and Hassleblad Focus. Of course the key thing to remember is to take a new shot of the chart to perform this calibration from, in every lighting condition you are in for the shoot. Fortunately the joys of digital photography mean that this isn’t a waste of film etc, it’s just another shot. More practically, you don’t have to get your subjects to hold the target at the time of the shoot...

If you can get the Formula One driver to position the SpyderCHECKR on the bonnet as he zooms passed, all the better, but realistically as long as you take a shot at some point in the day in that lighting condition, then you have your frame of reference. So don’t despair, if you forget to take a shot in the Church before taking the group scenes outside then just nip back in and take a shot later - just make sure you apply the correct preset adjustment to the relevant images. For personal preference this is one of the areas where Lightroom comes into it’s own. Applying the correction to multiple images shot at the same time is simply a case of selecting all the images and hitting the relevant Preset button. Moreover, you can easily group all Presets for a shoot into a folder and even export and save these with the relevant archived images. Other practical considerations to take into account are useability. Datacolor produce two Colour Charts, the full blown SpyderCHECKR and it’s entry level brother the SpyderCHECKR24. Size does mean everything though as you need to be able to drop these into your subject area without needing to zoom vin to see them in camera and hence give a false meter reading for the scene that you’re shooting. Fortunately both charts have roughly A5 sized cards (one in the case of the SpyderCHECKR24 and two for the SpyderCHECKR) with around 1 inch patches making them easy to capture and use to calibrate your scene even in the biggest group shots. Whilst both are light and easy to stow away in a camera bag, the entry level SpyderCHECKR24 comes with the chart in a robust plastic envelope. The bigger SpyderCHECKR has double the colour patches (with an extra chart specifically for pastel / skin tones) and comes in a hard plastice case that folds in two, ensuring the cards are well protected. This case also comes with a tripod mount to ensure that you don’t just have to lean the chart into your work or ask your subjects to hold it, but instead can be popped in at any stage on it’s mount and dropped into the shoot. But of course the story doesn’t just end with shooting still images. Nowadays we are perhaps at least all starting to dabble with video and fortunately the SpyderCHECKR not only works with its SpyderCHECKR App for stills’ calibration but can also be used with softwares such as BlackMagic Davinci Resolve to calibrate video. Just drop in and capture the chart for a few frames within the filming. Also as the cost of 3D printing is reducing the SpyderCHECKR is also proving invaluable as a reference chart for 3D Scanning as well. When the cost of your ‘Print’ is a few hundred pounds as opposed to the cost of a 2D print, then you really need to get the colour correct! So there’s how to capture the correct colours of your images covered. Of course if you want to retouch your images be able to trust what you are doing is how they will come out in print, on the web or elsewhere then at the very least you need to have a calibrated display to work on or for preference also be calibrating your own printers and paper. For more on this see our next article “Getting Studio Quality Images (Part 2 - What you see is what you’d really like to get... please?)”. Images are courtesy of Tigz Rice Studios ( To see a recording of this Burlesque Photo Shoot with photo, retouching and colour management sessions from Tigz Rice and Richard West with model Talulah Blue please look out for Webinar broadcasts at


“Members of the Guild of Photographers receive a special 20% discount on purchases via the Datacolor Webstore. Please visit and input code photoguild at checkout to have your discount applied. Only one discount code per order.” Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


gold award Congratulations Jenny Hibbert July 2015

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gold award Congratulations Simon Newbury July 2015

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babies, the first year Claire studied Graphic Design, Photography and Fine Art before finally decided that photography was her calling. Craftsman of The Guild, and one of the UK’s sought after Newborn and Baby Trainers. Claire alongside her husband Peter have run a successful Portrait Studio in Country Durham for over 11 years. Claire is a Panel Member, Trainer and Judge with The Guild of Photographers. Claire has the natural ability to get young people to engage with her.


claire elliott

aby photography, in general, is getting more and more popular and photographers are concentrating on just the newborn stage of the baby’s life but there are three main stages of a baby’s life.

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Newborn Photography takes places between five and ten days old, and the best time for me because they sleep well. However, it is not all about capturing the baby by itself and all curled up in a foetal position as there are lots of pleasing relaxed poses that you can do. There is so much more to a newborn shoot, photographs of the little toes, fingers and their little eyelashes. These images look fabulous when placed as a collage of pictures in a multiframed wall product. The shoot is all about providing memories for the family but photographs that are vital are the pictures with the Mum and Dad, some with the Dad on his own with the newborn, and some with just Mum. Often we concentrate so much on the newborn photographs that the family photographs of this time are not taken and the moment are soon forgotten. Stage two of the first year is when the baby can sit up on its own without any support and I recommend this to the parents for the baby to be between six and nine months old. The age depends on the growth stage as all babies are different and some babies are sitting unaided

without support earlier than six months and some can be later. This stage of a baby’s life is an opportunity for a photographer to capture some beautiful smiles, expressions and reactions. Babies play with their little toes, clap their hands, they laugh and can connect with you as a photographer so you can get some great images of this time. Personally, as a photographer this is my favourite stage as the baby has now become a little person. Ask parents to bring along special personal items for the photo shoot, a teddy bear or a particular toy, but preparation is key. Talk to the parents beforehand so that you can fit the ‘special’ toy or teddy bear in with the styling of the shoot. Also, having a conversation with the clients builds rapport between you and the parents. Remember that you can create a beautiful rustic setting of autumnal colours and the parents arrive with an enormous red plastic phone! Create and stylise the theme for the baby but remember to keep it personal. Important to remember that you don’t forget to include the Mum and Dad at this stage. A wonderful opportunity to capture the family and if the baby has siblings then include them as well as a family as this is a moment in the baby’s first year that if not captured is forgotten. The next stage is around the first birthday or when they can walk. There is nothing nicer than getting a photograph of baby walking from Mum to Dad or just walking. Babies at this stage are quite pleased with themselves and the faces are a delight to capture. If you are photographing the baby at their home, you can get the baby walking in the garden, on the path or around the home. Walking in the woods with the family, in the winter you can capture the baby in the snow or with a family pet. As a photographer, this is an opportunity to interact and photograph the expressions of the whole family. You can be creative with these images, you can do a cake smash and celebrate the first birthday with a cake and let the baby dive into it. But again it is about capturing a moment in time, it is not just about the photo shoot but the memories that you are creating for this child and the family. Don’t be shy, get down on your knees and take the shots of the baby from eye-level, talk to the babies, bring out their personalities. Some babies at this age, especially little boys, frown a lot. Be ready to photograph ‘that little frown’ a baby does when either the Mum or Dad says a particular word. Build rapport and trust with the family, get the best out of their child. So it is not just about the newborn stage, or the first birthday but it is about a babies first year. Offer parents buying incentives during the first year to build your client base and the memories captured during that time in a selection of photographs. These images will be treasured by the family for a lifetime. As a photographer, babies first year is so rewarding to photograph. Have fun, get to know your clients, and provide them with a beautiful photographic collection of their baby’s first year. Build a long-term relationship with not only the baby and the parents but of their families and friends. - Claire Elliott Issue 10 - Creative Light Magazine :


congratulations Qualified Photographer Iain Poole September 2015 88 : Creative Light Magazine - Issue 10





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gold award Congratulations Mark Lynham July 2015

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gold award Congratulations Gavin Prest August 2015

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the boys Š 2015 Mark Lynham

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PHOTOGRAPHERS Let the Guild help you with your photography journey like it has done for many others! The Guild is suitable for those in business, contemplating a career in photography, undertaking photography related courses, or even those who simply love using their camera!

JOIN US Professional Membership costs £120 and Regular Membership £90

“No other photographic body offers what the Guild does ... get an incredible package of business support, training and mentoring by some of most respected names in the industry, insurance, legal protection, 1000’s of discounts and much more, including the rights to use our respected membership logos”. Tel: 817400 Tel: 01782 01782 639 500 96 : Creative Light Magazine - Issue 10