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Portrait Artist - Carole Honeyman-Huff Photoshop - Glyn Dewis Wedding Photography - Jim Davidson Guild Success - Photography Exhibition, Inner Monglia Call the Midwife - Charity Calendar

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Contents 12

Carole Honeyman-Huff Portrait Artist

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Glyn Dewis Photographer : Trainer : Retoucher

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Jim Davidson Wedding Photographer

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Julie Moult Call the Midwife

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Scott Hogg Craftsman, Wedding Photography

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Helen Field Winners Story

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The Image of the Month Gold Awards October 2017

© Mark Harris

© Karen Riches

© Julie Moult

© Lynn Stanfield

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EXPERIENCE THE X1D AT...

38 Eastbank Street, Southport, Merseyside PR8 1ET / 01704 534534 Issue 23

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‘Twas the Night before Christmas‘– The Guild of Photographers version ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house Not a photographer was editing, or using a mouse; Their camera cases were hung by the chimney with care, In the hope that gifts would soon be there; The photographers were nestled all snug in their beds; While visions and ideas danced in their heads; Mrs Guild in her frock, and I in my cap, Had just settled down with a tasty nightcap, Then out on the lawn there was such a clatter, The photographers jumped up to see what was the matter. To the window they staggered, having been on the lash, They tore off their lens caps and got ready their flash, The effect of the wine drunk from a crystal glass, Made it hard to focus on what was there on the grass, Then there in the viewfinder, look what did appear, A miniature sleigh and out of focus reindeer, With a Nikon and Canon hanging around his neck, They knew in a moment it must be ‘St. Tech’. Then out of the Cloud, all his Trade Partners came, He whistled, and shouted, and called them by name: “Now Epson, Now InFocus, Now One Vision and Graphi!! On 3XM, on Profoto, on Zenfolio and Loxley!! To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall! Shoot away photographers! Shoot away all!” Before buttons could be pressed or apertures set, They took to the sky at the speed of a jet. Up to the housetop the Trade Partners they flew With the sleigh full of toys, plus ‘St. Tech’, of course, too, And then, in a twinkling, I heard through the roof The cropping and editing of each little proof. As I drew in my zoom, and was turning around, Down the chimney ‘St. Tech’ came with a loud bound. He was dressed all in textures, from his head to his foot, His clothes were colour popped with a sprinkling of soot; A bundle of gadgets were filling his sack, He looked like a Guild member with that bag on his back. His eyes weren’t quite sharp, the editing, quite scary! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry! He needed skin softening, and maybe a vignette But not a border nor cloning - well, certainly not yet! In his sack I could see Olympus, Sony, and more It was like looking into a large Wilkinson’s store. He had Macbooks and chargers, even a 4k TV, Tripods and Filters – was anything for me? He spoke not a word, but through my viewfinder I could see, He was filling the camera cases, and putting things by the tree Then laying his finger aside of his nose, With one last Flash, up the chimney he rose;

We hope ‘St Tech’ is kind to you over the Festive period, and joking apart, we wish you and yours everything you hope for in 2018! Thank-you for your continued support, Steve, Lesley and all the Guild team

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, as he drove out of sight—

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

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Editor As the end of 2017 draws to a close Creative Light publishes the 23rd edition! It has been an excellent year for the magazine featuring photographers who have shared their photographic stories and journeys. Live life to the full, laugh until your sides ache, look after your health and more importantly remember to switch off that computer at night and have FUN. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Lake Titicaca The waters are famously still and brightly reflective. It is said that Lake Titicaca is the birthplace of the Incas and straddles the border between the mountain range of the Andes between Bolivia and Peru. Lake Titicaca is one of South America’s largest lakes and the world’s highest navigable body of water at 3,800m above sea level.

julie oswin

Surrounding the lake is the Titicaca National Reserve.

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editors choice Laura Spence Awarded Silver - September 2017

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Front Cover The Guardian of the Woods

“From a distance, I could see the roots of my tree, twisted and tangled as would a grand and flowing mane of wild hair, caught by the wind. Such was the impact of this image upon me I realised, in that very moment, that he needed his own persona. I found in my very own back garden, hanging almost forgotten on an outhouse wall, it was the stone face of a green man, the immortal spirit of the woods, who watches over us all and protects us from evil.”

heather burns

The peace and tranquillity of woodland is something I love. When I am out walking, I often see various characters in the trees. During one such walk, I came upon the tree that was to become “The Guardian of the Woods.”

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Portrait Artist

carole honeyman-huff

Q: How long have you been a photographer?

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I’ve been a photographer since the early 1980s, and I was very fortunate to have had the opportunity to study photography in college in Scotland, back in the delicious age of film. I learned to shoot with intent early; it’s incredible how much more you think about where you are going with any given image when you are a student with six sheets of 4x5” film to nail the shots. I no longer have the dubious pleasure of smelling like fixer and the equipment I pack weighs a whole lot less these days. I somehow managed to swim through the murky seas of translating my skill set to digital technology; at times, I was convinced, I’d never make it out alive. It’s like discovering iced gingerbread after eating soggy tea biscuits for a year; after a horrible hate fest with Photoshop, I finally found my feet. I won’t lie, I wanted to shoot my computer regularly and said things my grandmother most certainly wouldn’t have approved.

Q: Have you always wanted to be a photographer or did your Fine Art portrait photography evolve?

My grandfather was a photographer. I hadn’t set out to follow in his footsteps, but I think my college professors were thrilled I changed my field of study; I was an unmitigated disaster as a fledgeling hotel manager. I’m sure I was a complete pain as a student; I wanted to run before I’d even laced my shoes and Secret Squirrel was my middle name. I hated showing works in progress (I’m still that way) and my tutors had to pry assignments out of me with a crowbar. There’s never a day goes by that I’m not grateful for the tenacity of great teachers, Creative Light Magazine

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like Brian Swinburne, who despite my odd little ways, managed to pound ethical principles of this craft into my pesky, wayward brain. I’ve always gravitated toward portraiture. Even in my 25 years as a commercial and editorial photographer, I mainly created portraits for commercial use. There was some frustration involved; a missing ingredient; add to that the massive surge in ‘photographers’ in our realm and the need to constantly justify why I was worth what I was charging; it wasn’t an easy transition into today’s way of doing business. About five years ago, I contemplated rolling up the rug and doing something else for a living. However, I attended a lecture by the wonderful Don McGregor, from Vancouver. As I looked around the room at all the magnificent, large, environmental portraits hanging on canvas, it was like a bell went off; THIS is what I need to be doing. I was quite drastic about this change in direction. Show what you want to sell; that meant I had to get rid of all my gorgeous studio samples of commercial work and prepare new images that better represented the new direction I was moving in. I can tell you that tossing ten gorgeous Whitmire canvases on my backyard bonfire, really forced me to get it together in a way that gradual transition could never have. I’m sure a shrink would have a field day with the nuttiness of it all; but, I know myself – blow up the bridge, or I’d be tempted to take the more comfortable road backwards, which would never have got me where I wanted to go. I’m stubborn like that. I decided to specialise and put my prices up (significantly); refusing to participate in the race to the bottom on price. I was terrified; there are days where I still am. Four years ago, while looking at the work of American photographers Jeff Lubin, William Branson III and British artist, John Lowther, I discovered my missing ingredient; Corel Painter.

Q:

Equipment, what do you use for your photography and the creation of your artwork? I use Nikon gear; I could build a nice wall out of all the little Nikon corpses I’ve accumulated over the years. My current favourite is the D800; it doesn’t take up too much room, and its brain is big enough to get the job done. My go-to lens is the 85 prime; I have lenses that cover the whole gamut of things I shoot, but this one has my heart. I still have my Mamiya 6x7 cameras and lenses and a freezer of film, just in case I take a wild hair and decide to shoot film; but it’s a rare thing these days, and my darkroom is beyond mothballs at this point (I did keep my favourite enlarger though). I have a residential studio, and also take my strobes out into the forest with me when I’m so inclined. I use a variety of modifiers, and I love my vagabond power packs which allow me to take studio light outside with me. In post-production, I rely heavily on my Wacom tablet; using a mouse to do what I do, would be like trying to park a Navy destroyer in the local duck pond.

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The main software I use is Photoshop and Corel Painter. I have a couple of Epson printers here that I use to make Fine Art images on papers like Canson Aquarelle and Hahnemuhle William Turner. The large canvas images, I send out to master printer, Jonathan Penney in New York; my clients love his Fine Art canvas, and it lends itself beautifully to the type of imagery I’m producing.

Q: What advice would you give to photographers about creating stylized imagery?

I try to shoot with intent and never allow myself to get giddy; culling images without weeping and wailing has always been my preference. I only show a few images to my clients. We’ve generally discussed a goal before the session, and I show them what I feel best represents what I think they want to see hanging on their walls. (I have a second folder of other options if for some reason I’ve guessed incorrectly; I’ve rarely had to open it. I’m getting better at reading what my clients mean behind their words, and I don’t just take them literally; or, perhaps I just ask better questions). If I’ve listened to my client, and taken the time to truly understand what they hope to see hanging on their wall, I‘ll be confident enough to cut straight to the chase. Sometimes I ask them to choose an expression from half a dozen frames; after that, I’ll create the painting and pray I hit the bull’s eye and not the neighbour’s fence. I have a couple of courageous clients to thank for this confidence. When I created the little fairy girl with her pet donkey, Lancelot, the client had no idea I was going to put them together in an image. I was there to create portraits of the little girl so that I could create something with her new baby brother. This client has three paintings from this session on her wall, and I know her family enjoy them. I love that my clients trust me to make something they will love and I am sure it helps that if I don’t hit the mark. I don’t expect them to pay for the dud; I’ll go back to the drawing board; wiser and humbled (I price so that if that happens, I’m not going to the poorhouse). Yes, occasionally I paint a lemon; don’t we all? I’ve never lost a client from missing the mark; it’s a team effort, and sometimes people don’t know what they want until they see something they don’t. It starts the right conversation, and the next attempt always hits the spot. Fortunately, it doesn’t happen often. It’s a good way for the client to throw reserve out the window and trust me; and, I feel freer to take risks and chances with what I show them; learning a lot in the process. I’m learning to ask better questions. I think the main thing when creating a stylized image for a client is getting to know their tastes, figuring out the emotion your client wants to re-experience every time they walk past it on the wall; and, a little mind reading. Listen more than you talk and make your talking in service of teamwork; helping your client to frame in their mind what they are genuinely after; and that has nothing to do with the size, price, canvas/paper/metal, and everything to do with ‘what it makes them feel’. In other words; it’s NOT about the photographer’s ego. It’s about fulfilling a client’s hopes, and occasionally


exceeding them. My mantra is: You’re only as good as the NEXT image you make.

Q: Apart from sheer hard work and dedication,

what would you say is the main ingredient in your successful imagery? The client relationship is most definitely the main ingredient; how willing are they to become involved in the process. The more they talk with me, the more comfortable they are in my studio, the more they trust me, the better chance there is of me exceeding their hopes)

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Post-processing and Photoshop, how important is it to your finished image and when did you start to develop the style you use for your work? I use Photoshop and Corel Painter. Photoshop allows me to composite images and prep for painting. I often push my file in strange ways, knowing it will save me time in painter. Things like random blobs of colour from a tree or flower, in a strange place. Anyone looking at my prep files would think I’d gone swimming in a punch bowl; but, when I flip into Painter, I don’t have to fumble, finding the right shade of yellow; I just put my dropper over the random, wayward daffodil. The final touches are completed back in Photoshop, and if the client wants a painted canvas, I send it out to have the surface embellished with gels or oils. (I only have so many hours in my day and that part, I prefer to leave to a wonderful painter that always catches what I’m after from my digital painting and adds the perfect textures in the right spots). Most of my clients prefer the unembellished canvas; perhaps because it’s more affordable? – the Jury is still out on that one.

Q: Developing your market-place, how important was it to create your brand, especially in America?

Creating a brand has been interesting. I struggled, frankly, until I heard the business coach, Luci Dumas, at the International Wall portrait conference, say that ‘you don’t have to create a brand, you have to dig out the brand that’s already inside you’. Oddly, that switch in thinking helped things evolve, and my brand pretty much created itself. You might say I let the feedback I got determine the brand; but, not before thinking about whether or not I agreed with who people thought I was. Now I just have to live up their expectations. I pretty much bucked current trends in America. I market more like an odd little hybrid of old world artist crossed with a clinical protocol. When I want to make some money, I think of the project like a cake. What do I want it to taste like? Then I work backwards: taste, recipe, ingredients, etc. Then, I bake the cake and waft it in front of the nose of the folks I know have sweet teeth. CONTINUED ON PAGE 18

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Q: Are you commissioned to work as a portrait photographer overseas?

Yes. Before I settled in the U.S.A, I was a photographer in The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I spent five years photographing for large corporations, Government, and portraits of the Royal Family; including the current King, Salman (he and his son, the astronaut, were a pleasure to photograph. I have a few exciting object’s d’arte in my studio and home from that exciting time in my career) I still do quite a bit of my work in places other than where I choose to live.

Q: Who inspires you?

My style is nothing like that of those who inspire me. I’m inspired by excellence and pixie dust, wherever I find it. A few of my favourite inspirations: Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk; her beautiful use of light, simplicity and her exquisite images. Angie Lea-Regensberg; Adventuress; following her adventures into the outdoors, no matter the weather and finding serenity and beauty in all moments – that’s inspiring. William Branson III; he sets the bar high in the realm I’ve chosen to play. He creates classic painterly portraits, with class and without the stuffy. John Lowther; a painter never afraid to try new techniques. He reminds me to try new ways of creating portraits and keep my mind open that I may not have found my perfect fit in style, yet. Music, literature and even goofy movies; I find inspiration in so many places. If I followed every beckon by the muse, I’d never finish anything. So, I hog tie the muse and only let her out to play when I’m making the paintings. The rest of the time, she’s better kept on a short ribbon so she can’t float off or disappear down the bunny hole, never to be seen again.

Q: Interesting facts about you?

I spend more time with my giant Irish wolfhound, Fergus and my sweet old golden retriever, Gopher, than I do with humans; I can be a bit introverted at times. When photographers ask “how did you get that?” I usually say, “It was easy; all I had to do was find a way to donate the energy my client needed to conjure up the right ingredients for their cake.” To feed my more serious side, and my overthinking brain, once a week, I sit on a research ethics board; with the mandate to protect the rights and welfare of people participating in medical research. I enjoy that; I’ve been doing it for fifteen years now) It keeps my brain sharp and critical thinking skills well honed.

Q: Favorite place in the world, and why?

South West coast of Scotland, Ayrshire; my other home. It suits my mood and personality.

Q: Favorite food?

Raspberries, definitely raspberries; preferably with a side of good Swiss chocolate.

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Q: The words that describe you? Studiously whimsical. One client told me I was a Machiavellian Elf, as she was writing me a very nice cheque. I think, a lot. Too much, probably. However, as strategic as I am, there comes the point in every moment where an element of wayward, whimsical pixie takes over. I laugh, a lot.

Q: Where next?

Next, I continue to hone my skills and get my work hanging on the walls of people who will thoroughly enjoy them; and, be willing to pay me well. The world of portraits is being redefined faster than any of us can keep up with easily. I hope to carve out a little niche creating for people who want that heirloom, legacy portraits, that their grandchildren will want to keep; but, with a little twist of whimsy about the process. No one will ever fete me as a great artist; I’m no ‘Old Master’; but, I’d like to hope that in years to come, someone’s family member will enjoy a smile, looking at those portraits; feeling a sense of the moment long gone. Thank you for sharing your portrait work with the readers of Creative Light Magazine Carole. We wish you all the very best for a fabulous 2018. - Julie Oswin

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TIP SHEET #4 How to Add Fake Smoke/ Mist to your Pictures

In this tutorial I want to take you through two different ways that you can add smoke / fog into your pictures. Ordinarily adding in smoke would require a smoke machine and whereas they have dropped in price considerably over the past few years, it’s maybe still an expense that some wouldn’t wish to stretch to when considering how often it is likely to be used. A great, and believable alternative way is to add in smoke / mist using Photoshop and in fact Photoshop has had a clouds filter for quite some time now. However the filter does require some extra work to help it look realistic and indeed with a little bit of practice it can be extremely convincing.

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Step 1: Blank Layer Start by setting the foreground and background colours to their default of black and white by pressing the letter ‘D’ on the keyboard. Then add a new blank layer to the top of the layer stack. Now we’ll add the beginnings of our clouds by using a filter so go to FILTER > RENDER > CLOUDS and then click OK.

Step 2: Rectangular Marquee Tool Admittedly at the moment what we have created doesn’t closely resemble realistic smoke or mist. So, choose the Rectangular Marquee Tool from the Tool Bar and drag out a rectangular selection in the centre of layer. Next go to LAYER > NEW > LAYER VIA COPY or use the keyboard shortcut of COMMAND/CTRL + J to create a new layer that includes the selected area and rename it ‘Smoke’. Now delete the layer containing the original clouds filter.

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Step 3: Free Transform With the smoke layer active go to EDIT > FREE TRANSFORM and whilst holding down the ALT/OPTION and SHIFT keys click and drag any of the corner transform handles and enlarge the selection way outside the picture boundaries. This now stretches out the cloud filter effect and gives it a much more realistic look. Press ENTER/RETURN to lock in the transformation.

Step 4: Opacity and Layer Mask Now that we have our fake smoke / mist we need to reveal the underlying picture of our subject. To do this simply lower the opacity of the smoke layer to taste. In this example I lowered the opacity to around the 25% mark. Once done, click to add a layer mask and then with a soft edged black brush set to around 20% opacity paint random brush strokes over the subject to reduce the dense smoke / mist and make it look as though he is stood amongst it.

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Xplosion Brushes Another way we can create fake smoke / mist is using brushes. Now, ordinarily this can be quite a lengthy process to create a brush that is only part way to looking realistic but thankfully there are brushes freely available for us to make use of and one such collection is explosion brushes available from Brusheezy at this link: http://bit.ly/1LfLQhY

Step 5: Download and Install From the link download the free explosion brushes and then from within Photoshop choose the Brush Tool from the Tool Bar and then from the Brush Preset Picker click on the cog icon and from the drop down menu choose LOAD BRUSHES. Then simply navigate to the explosion brushes you downloaded to install them.

Step 6: New Document With the explosion brushes now installed we need to make some adjustments to the settings so that they look even more realistic. Choose one of the brushes from the explosion brush set and then add a new document by going FILE > NEW and from the Document Type choose the name of the file we’ve already been working on and click OK. Choosing this give us a new document with the exact same dimensions. Then go to EDIT > FILL and choose black from the drop down menu and click OK

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Step 7: Brush Shape Dynamics Press X to set your foreground colour to white and then choose one of the explosion brushes from the Brush Preset Picker. Go to the Brush Panel and from here we can make changes to how the explosion brush looks. In the Shape Dynamics tab increase Size Jitter to 100% and Angle Jitter to 100%

Step 8: Brush Transfer From within the Brush Transfer tab change to the Opacity Jitter to 100% and with no other tabs active and changes made, apply a few brush strokes onto the new black document you created to see how the xplosion brush looks. Try brush strokes at varying sizes to see how different the brush looks and if needed / wanted dive back into the Brush Panel settings to make further adjustments. Now with your explosion brush ready you can use it to add to smoke / mist already created using the first technique or use it to create smoke / mist from scratch.

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TIP | Jitter Explained For added realism when using brushes for effects, it’s important that there is variety in each of the brush strokes and this is where Jitter comes into play. Think of Jitter as meaning Randomize and so when we see it such as in the Brush Panel, the higher percentage we increase the Jitter, the more variance there will be each and every time you lift off and re-apply a brush stroke.

TIP | Colour Grading There are many ways to add a colour theme into your pictures to add mood and an atmosphere. The common term given to this is Colour Grading and the method you choose is a matter of personal taste. Plug Ins such as those from OnOne and the Nik Color Efex from Google have presets but there are also simple ways in Photoshop. One such way is a Selective Color Adjustment Layer set to Neutrals from the Colors drop down menu and then using the sliders to dial in a colour grading you like.

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weddings Jim has been a professional photographer for many years with a BA Honours in Photography which he received in 1995. Jim’s passion is recording and capturing what is going on around him and set up a Studio in London during 2000 photographing commercial/editorial work and also covering social photography. With time, Jim moved more and more into social photography. Shortly after Jim married, he and his wife moved out of London to a small village in ‘Constable’ country. Specialising in wedding photography, Jim could tap into his previous experience working in London to bring together all the elements of his background neatly into is current work which he splits between weddings, portraiture and photographing horse racing for one of the major sponsors of the flat season. Jim lives in Suffolk with his wife and three children.

Q:

What have you found most challenging about being a Wedding Photographer?

The work/life balance. I’m very lucky in that I get to see my kids all week long, before and after school. But it’s a struggle to see them packing up for a day at the beach on a lovely summers day and I’m suited and booted and heading out to a wedding.

Q:

Have you always wanted to be a wedding photographer or did your wedding photography evolve?

jim davidson

I always wanted to do photography that involved photographing people. My degree in documentary photography was an interesting foundation but it wasn’t until I started photographing editorial portraits that I really started to enjoy story-telling. When I was a student, I got cornered into shooting a friend of a friend’s wedding. I had no idea what was involved and it was a disaster! I swore blind I would never shoot another wedding again! Thankfully I got into shooting them properly a couple of years later (after some training and experience!) I started from the bottom, shooting weddings to develop my style and gain experience and to make sure it was for me.

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Q: How long have you been a wedding photographer? I have been a full-time photographer for over twenty years now.

Q: Who inspires you?

My family. I have a long list of photographers from friends to the famous who inspire me but my family inspire me to push myself every day.

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Q: What advice would you give to members of The

Guild of Photographers looking to sell or make a living from Wedding Photography? Business first. Make sure you understand what is involved in running a wedding photography business; all the basics from book keeping to time management to the cost of products. Basic business management should be the foundation of everything you do. Don’t try and be everything to everyone, niche marketing will make you happier and by default will make your clients happier. Keep networking, as much to learn new stuff but more to keep your sanity - it can be a lonely business if you are not careful! There’s a lot of funny, entertaining and brilliant people in this industry who are in the same boat as you.

Q: Camera equipment, what do you use for your Photography?

Just switched over to Sony A9s. Amazing for both weddings and racing photography. I’m using Godox flash system which is very intuitive.

Q: Favourite go to lens?

If I had only one lens, it would be 24-70mm. But I do pretty much keep a 35mm on one camera 95% of the time.

Q: What advice would you give to photographers about shooting weddings?

Manage the wedding and the couple’s expectations right from their initial enquiry to make sure you can deliver what they want in a way that suits you. Manage what you need from the couple whether you are completely hands off or very structured and make sure you get it all done efficiently, politely and calmly. I get as many referrals based on how I managed a wedding as much as the photography from it.

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You offer your couples three options based on 7hrs, 9hrs or 11hrs coverage, how does this work for you and your clients? The time limits on the packages are a bit of a misnomer in that they are really - ceremony to 1st dance (7hrs); bridal prep to 1st dance (9hrs); bridal prep to leaving (11hrs). But I find it useful to instil in a client when they enquire about roughly how long each element is. I see a lot of wedding photographers (particularly newer ones) who offer full day coverage as their only option with only one price point. I find that very limiting for both couples and myself. Importantly it sets boundaries as to how long I will be at the wedding so if things run late or they want extra hours, I can charge for that.

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Q: Wedding Albums do you provide them as an

optional extra or as an included option. Do you believe that wedding albums are an important part of the wedding photographers catalogue? Wedding albums are key to wedding photographers. I offer them both as part of a package as well as an optional extra. My clients are split pretty evenly between digital files only and album packages. But of those that buy digital files only, a fair percentage will come back and get an album done a year or so after their wedding. The big issue customers with regards to albums is the cost.

Q: Apart from sheer hard-work and dedication, what

would you say is the main ingredient to your imagery? Enjoy yourself. But get the important stuff first but don’t be afraid to have fun. Always challenge yourself at every wedding, come up with a new idea or image that pushes your comfort zone.

Q: Post-processing and Photoshop, how important it is to your finished image?

Essential. I like clean, punchy, well processed images with out any gimmicks - no HDR; presets etc. I don’t want my images to date and that’s been my style right from when I started. Skin tones and general colours have to be flattering yet real. I try and do everything in Lightroom and use Photoshop for removing unwanted things like fire exit signs etc.

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You provide your clients with a 10x8” proof book. Do you feel that this works better than the online option? The first thing my clients see will be a 5-10min slideshow of their wedding (about 100-150 images). Then a link to their full online gallery. They receive a download link for the digital files (if they’ve ordered those). When I send out the memory stick of images I always send out the preview book. It’s a brilliant way of having something tangible to look through and share with friends. I receive a lot of positive feedback from clients and I sell quite a few extra copies.

Q: Developing your market-place, how important was it to create a brand?

I struggle with the idea that wedding photographers can be a “brand”. Sony, Apple, Nike are all brands. Having said that, I do think it’s important for photographers to have a identifiable qualities, whatever those might be that are important to you. I like to think that if I asked couples what qualities they saw in me when they met me or looked through my site, they would say things like “trustworthy, experienced, calm, funny, reliable, instils confidence, stylish photographer, friendly, relaxed”

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Q: Interesting facts about you? Blah - none! I’m a communal garden Dad who enjoys his job and spends what time he can with his family. Maybe a few years ago I could have bragged about daring adventures but today what really interests me is watching my family grow up happy and healthy.

Q: Favourite place in the world and why?

Dauphine, Paris. Bizarrely one of the most serene and quiet places I’ve ever been too. Central Paris, right in the middle of the Île de la Cité. The island has Notre Dame at one end and Pont Neuf the other, two massive tourist attractions yet when you are in the square, chances are you will be one of only a handful of people there. Tall immaculate buildings either side dull any noise to a quiet hush and the light wraps around the pale brick of the buildings.

Q: Favourite food?

Raw peas picked eaten straight from the pod!

Q: And finally, where next? Find the next thing that interests me and create a market for it

Thank you Jim for sharing an insight into you successful wedding photography business. Wishing you all the very best for 2018. - Julie Oswin

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congratulations Agnieszka Sawicka Qualified Guild Newborn & Baby Photographer December 2017

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Autofocus:

Razor-sharp images and high resolution sensors Autofocus systems are an inherent part of modern digital cameras. Additional autofocus assistants like face- or eye-recognition support the photographer to accurately capture common subjects. However, in the field of creative photography there are a few possible autofocus pitfalls in combination with high resolution image sensors. This applies also to sport-, action and macro photography. It is always an advantage to have a profound knowledge about the autofocus technology to avoid unpleasant surprises later in the post-processing workflow. These issues can often only be detected in 100% view of an image. Only an absolutely correct position of the focal plane guarantees razor-sharp images when using high resolution full-frame sensors. Advanced amateurs and professional photographers often try to separate the main subject from the background by choosing a longer focal length combined with a large focal aperture. Such shooting situations are still a challenge even for sophisticated autofocus systems, particularly when using high resolution image sensors. When shooting portraits it can happen that the nose is sharp, but the eye facing the camera is slightly out of focus. Even if it is perhaps only a minor error of the position of the focal plane, we generally perceive such images as “slightly out of focus”. ©2017 Datacolor Inc. All rights reserved. Datacolor and Spyder are registered trademarks of Datacolor.

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AF fine adjustment In case of SLR cameras the AF sensor is not located on the actual image sensor and is addressed via the mirror. The different optical path could be the cause that the focal plane of the AF sensor and the image sensor don’t match accurately. This effect is known as the “front focus” or “back focus” issue: the focal plane of the image is slightly ahead or behind the targeted autofocus point. Fortunately, this error can be corrected very easily with the assistance of the AF fine adjustment of the camera. Creative photographers who like to work with fixed focal lengths and large focal apertures should make sure when purchasing a camera body that the SLR camera provides an AF fine adjustment feature. There are also supporting tools (for example the SpyderLENSCAL focus tool from Datacolor), which makes AF fine adjustment easy and reliable. Mirrorless system cameras use the actual image sensor for the autofocus and have an advantage because no AF fine adjustment is necessary.

Correct AF point selection Modern AF sensors of SLR cameras can evaluate a lot of information from the subject of the image; mirrorless system cameras can even use the information of the entire image sensor. One might expect that this information almost excludes focus errors. However, only scenes such as faces and eyes are reliably detected. Other image information like for instance the color is predominantly used for AF tracking. If no subject can be detected, the AF sensor’s algorithm usually prefers the point closest to the camera as the optimum initial focal plane, which is not always the best result. For this reason, experienced photographers often choose the initial autofocus point by themself, leaving only the automatic tracking of the subject to the AF system.

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Face recognition and eye recognition The face- and eye-recognition of modern AF sensors are great tools, but as often the devil is in the detail. If the camera only provides facerecognition the autofocus might be too inaccurate. This can lead to issues like the ear or the nose of a portrait image is sharp, but the eyes are slightly out of focus. Although the eye-recognition is more accurate and extremely useful for portraits in most situations, the limits are shown in close-up shots. In case the face is the image-filling subject the usable depth of field is very narrow. These close-up scenarios in combination with high-resolution full-frame image sensors are a huge challenge for the accuracy of AF modules. It is a difference whether the AF point is positioned on the eyelashes, the iris or the skin below the eye. For example, portraits of children’s faces may appear slightly out of focus when the typical long eyelashes of children are blurred. On the contrary, a portrait of an old person full of character may be classified as out of focus if the wrinkles of the face are slightly blurred although the eyelashes might be razor-sharp.

Diffraction and focus stacking When using high-resolution full-frame sensors the issue with diffraction is quite noticeable in combination with small focal apertures. The undesirable diffraction of the light beams at small focal apertures can lead to soft picture results. At first glance the soft images often look like the result of an autofocus error. Unfortunately, a small aperture cannot always be avoided, especially in landscape photography. The problem can be solved in static scenes with “focus-stacking”: The landscape scenery (see the example below) was first exposed with the aperture 22 in order to optimally depict the sun stars of the setting sun on the horizon. In the second shot, the focus point was set on the foreground with the aperture 11. In the subsequent post-processing workflow, both exposures have been combined and a razor-sharp image is obtained over the entire image area.

DIETMAR TEMPS Accomplished media designer and photographer Dietmar Temps lives in Cologne, Germany and has amassed almost 20 years in the media business. His first professional position as a photographic assistant took him through whole Europe and across the pond to America. After that he studied photo and media technology at the Cologne University of Applied Science. Currently he mainly realizes photo and internet projects with the focus on travel photography, social networking and video streaming. On his travel blog he writes about beautiful spots around the world which he visited in recent years. He realized many photo trips to Africa, but also to South America and Asia. On his website a series of photo galleries are available where he presents his photographic work, which also is published in many books, magazines and travel blogs. Contact: Dietmar Temps • Photography and media design • Cologne, Germany dietmar.temps@gmail.com • http://dietmartemps.com

Dietmar about Colour Management: “The calibration is surprisingly easy. The device is really great. The colours are after calibration better and the contrast is slightly higher. The images are simply looking better. After using the before/after function my monitor shows a slight yellow/green colour cast which I hadn’t realized before. Problem: A few of my portraits are now too reddish which I have to retouch again….but now my display is calibrated! My feedback: very good solution!” Dietmar Temps // Travel Photographer and Photo Blogger // Cologne, Germany 50

Dietmar is a Datacolor Friends with Vision Member since March 2017. He is using a Spyder5ELITE+. :

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How to Use Studio Samples to Increase Your Sales An online product catalog is a great sales tool, but nothing compares to your clients seeing the products you offer in person. Here, two photographers share their sample strategies.

CHERYL, THE PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER I’ve found that the best way to increase my print and product sales is to show clients samples of certain products. In my pre-sales consultations, I ask what clients are looking for and then decide what samples to bring with me to the shoot. For most family portrait sessions, I bring a 24x36 wrapped canvas or framed print so clients can see the size as well as the quality of the materials and depth of the colors. I let them take the large wall product home to see where it fits best. Once they see it in their home, they are excited to get one. If they have a young

baby or a smaller place, I’ll bring something smaller such as a 10x20 storyboard or an accordion album. My Zenfolio custom photo phone case is adorned with a great image of my kids and doubles as a marketing piece. I let clients know that they can purchase a case on my site or get one for “free” when they hit a certain dollar amount in purchases. As part of my welcome package, I give clients a visual of print sizes to help them get a better sense of what they will want to buy after the shoot. Ordering samples through my Zenfolio site is easy. I simply select an image, click Buy, and choose from the hundreds of quality products integrated in my account.

Cheryl is a portrait photographer and a mom of two amazing kids. She is part of the Zenfolio Customer Success Team, and her website is Cheryl Steinhoff Photography.

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AMANDA, THE WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHER Being able to show my clients what my products look and feel like has become a key factor to increasing my sales. I bring several samples, such as simple prints, image boxes, mat print folios, and albums, to client meetings. When a bride flips through an album imagining her own day, the product sells itself. I found a nice folio presentation box on Etsy. I print about twenty 5x7 prints for the mats. This is a perfect size to show detail and facial expressions. After clients see the presentation box, they almost always want to buy it, which they can do easily by going to my Zenfolio site, where I have the product in my price list as a self-fulfilled item. Filled with 4x6 prints from your favourite lab, an image box is a perfect product to add to your wedding packages. So go out and show clients your samples! The product sales are sure to follow.

Amanda is a devoted wife and mom to four children. She is part of the Zenfolio Customer Support Team and has been a professional photographer for 10 years.

GET 30% OFF YOUR SITE Use Code GUILD at zenfolio.co.uk/guild Issue 23

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Call the Midwife

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Calendar 2018

Call the Midwife The Miracle in Progress midwives have gone back in time to recreate a 1960’s Call the Midwife calendar for Charity. The photographs were taken by Julie Moult at her Studio, Photography by Jules based in Leicestershire and Rockingham Castle. The Calendar is also in memory of Millie who was one of the babies in the photographs. Millie sadly passed away from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome a few short weeks after the photographs were taken. Millie’s Mum, Choloe said “We decided to go ahead and allow Millie’s photographs to be used for the calendar as it is an amazing cause and we wanted to raise awareness to other parents and we hope her perfect little face makes people smile, like it does for us. And we will be forever grateful for the memories and cherished photographs we now have of our little girl”. “I took Millie along in the hope that she could help out with the cause. We had a lovely morning, thanks to Miracle in Progress and Jules Photography my family feel very lucky that Millie had the opportunity to take part in the photoshoot. A precious memory that we shall forever cherish”. The Miracle in Progress chosen charities are Kicks Count, SANDS and Remember my Baby.

To order copies of the Calendar: Miracle in Progress Hall Croft, Shepshed, Leicestershire Tel: 01509 508 222 Or purchase direct: http://miracleinprogress.bigcartel.com/product/call-themidwife-2018-calendar

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Š Sal Cincotta

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The world is my studio Profoto A1

We created the Profoto A1 with a round head that delivers light that’s both natural and beautiful both on camera and off. It’s also incredibly easy and to use, with superfast recycling and a longlasting battery, so you’ll never miss a shot. It might be the smallest light we’ve ever made, but the creative possibilities are enormous. Discover the world’s smallest studio light at profoto.com Issue 23

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congratulations Sue Dudley Qualified Guild Photographer November 2017

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St Vincent’s Home for the Aged Scott Hogg With more than 17 years of experience as a full time, qualified professional photographer, Scott loves photography with a passion and creates stunning images that capture images that his clients cherish for a lifetime. Focused on his work Scott believes in excellent image quality, classic photography yet fun-filled with a modern twist. The article I have brought to you in this edition is about a recent visit Scott made with his wife and daughter to the Philippines.

W

e decided to visit Bacolod which is a city in the Philippines in March to visit friends and family; however, when I saw people who are living in abject poverty, I decided to turn it into a project to raise funds for the less privileged.

The first place we visited was an orphanage, and we were surprised when we spoke with the children and heard about their life experiences. A little boy of four years old acted like an adult; we later realised why he was so confident because he has been taking care of himself on the street of Bacolod. We also paid a visit to the home. In the Philippines, it is common for the elderly to live with their family, but for some reason, the ones we visited had challenges; this may be because they do not have any family or they were destitute, although the majority of them were well educated. I spoke with a lady who told me that she likes her photograph so much so that she will be using it for her funeral. This statement amazed me, and I think it demonstrates the power of photography. The most profound part of our trip was when I met a homeless mother and daughter. The daughter was suffering from Hydrocephalus, a condition that creates a buildup of water in the skull and can result in the swelling of the brain. At that moment, I felt so overwhelmed and guilty of the life I have in the United Kingdom, I have a home as well as food on my table. I thought that I wanted to give them everything and also my camera but my wife convinced me to keep the camera and use my skills as a photographer to create and build a project to help them. She was right because there is a high tendency of coming across more people who are living in abject poverty. During my trip, I witnessed tenacity and positivity. I photographed kids who are joking and laughing when playing basketball in a graveyard. They live in the graveyard, and the graveyard has turned into a city. I photographed a group of blind people working for a charity to make a living. They provide massages at the main Government Building. The irony of my experience is that I look at the Philippines as a rich country, it is rich in culture and kindness, and this is what I witnessed when I photographed the Sacadas (sugarcane workers). Although they earn very little money and work long hours often in searing heat, they would often ask me if I would like to take lunch with them. Although I was affected by the poverty, I wouldn’t want to portray the Philippines as an entirely developing country. There is a presence of business districts and big chain stores in the country, visiting such country for a holiday is good. The primary objective of my trip is to have an exhibition in Aberdeen, Scotland, my home city. I aim to raise money for St Vincents Home for the Aged. Details of the photographic exhibition will be announced on my Facebook page. - Scott Hogg https://www.facebook.com/scotthoggphotography 68

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The first series of Cameracraft was a quarterly subscription-only magazine, covering three years of important developments in photography from 2012 to 2015 when it became part of f2 Freelance Photographer bi-monthly. A year later, from the November/December 2016 issue, Cameracraft returned as the main title for the magazine though you’ll still find the f2 logo there. Now Cameracraft is back and a new ISSN has been issued, the next edition will lose the f2. We have teamed up with The Guild of Photographers so all their members, professional and enthusiast alike, will receive Cameracraft. - David Kilpatrick

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Helen Field’s Story © Julie Reed

The day I decided to enter a few images for the Ulanqab exhibition was a bit of a strange one.

As is usual for me, I was running against the clock, having been asked to drop my daughter to Stroud Station so she could catch a train to Oxford. I was making my way back home to quickly change before starting a shift with my ‘other’ job when Shane rang to see if I had entered any images, and if not, would I like to do so. The thought hadn’t really crossed my mind because at that time I was experiencing a photography ‘brick wall’. You see, two years ago I lost my sister to cancer. Her illness was sudden and short and when she died so unexpectedly I blamed my wedding photography business for not allowing me to spend time with her in recent years. All I wanted to do was hurl my cameras into the back of the safe and never look at them again. I was still feeling cheated, hurt and most of all guilty. I had lost my mojo for photography, had decided to run down my business and the last thing I intended to do was enter any competitions. I had gone back to work for my former employer and, other than completing work for a few outstanding clients, was enjoying a ‘photography free’ life. Not wanting to disappoint Shane, I asked him when the deadline was. When he said it was that day, I said I wouldn’t have time as I was just about to start a late shift. Shane suggested I went home and had a quick look at some of my private work and email a few across to him. He offered to submit them on my behalf. I looked at some of the equine work I had done using studio lights, checked which ones I’d obtained model release forms for, then winged a few across to Shane to submit. I then forgot all about it. A week or so later, Shane messaged me to say that one of my images had made it through to the next round. I was really surprised but didn’t really think much of it as I’ve never won anything major in my life. However a few weeks later I received another message from Shane to say that my image had won, there was a substantial first prize and the drinks were on me!! It didn’t really sink in until the prize money arrived and I was presented with a Mongolian scarf and the most beautiful book showcasing the images that had made it into the exhibition. Looking at the calibre of the other entries, I still cannot believe that my picture was worthy of a place in the book, let alone winning the competition! It was at that point that Shane unveiled the details about the trip to China and Inner Mongolia in July 2018 and I immediately decided that I needed to do this. https://spark.adobe.com/page/J7AdfpdHzOZ9J/ I have always wanted to visit this part of the world with my camera but being the only photographer in the family, could never convince anyone else to come with me. My husband and daughter have been 100% supportive of my decision to go and knowing that the trip will be organised by ACES in conjunction with The Guild, Photohubs etc, I know I will be in good hands. I am now so excited at the prospect of photographing these vibrant and beautiful countries, that I can hardly contain myself. I have even dusted off my 5D Mk3’s and am planning to get all of my kit calibrated in readiness. I cannot wait for the Photo Adventure to kickstart me back to action. But most of all, I think my sister would be proud….” - Helen Field 72

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Helen’s winning photograph

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infocus photography Insurance

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Infocus Insurance has for decades been a committed supplier of high quality insurance products and services to photographers and videographer’s. We aim to do it with a smile on our faces and to bring a smile to the faces of our customers, especially when things go wrong. As a thank you to all the wonderful members of The Guild for your continued support we are offering 12 months cover for the price of 11. Every year! What you get when you insure with us: • Interest free instalments • Worldwide cover for your photographic & technical equipment • Include Professional Indemnity cover and you’ll automatically get PR help with our ‘Crisis Containment cover’. We’re the only specialist Photography insurer to offer this cover! • Policies underwritten by Hiscox Insurance • Your own personal handler • Also Available: • Home Insurance, designed with you in mind: • Business & home contents • Client home appointments allowed • No Claims Discount up to 25% • Interest free instalments • Low excess • Home Emergency & Home-care included as standard • Pensions • Critical Illness cover • Cyber and Media

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I recently had to make a claim. I would just like to thank you for your help, I was not expecting such a fast turnaround. I am now able to replace my camera that I just wouldn’t have been able to do had I not been insured. I found your staff very helpful. Again, thank you so much” - James Sommerville

‘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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september 2017

Gold Awards

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Social Media for Customer Service 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 Creative Light Magazine

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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: 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

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

Laura Hampton Digital Marketing Manager Impression, Nottingham www.impression.com. w

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congratulations Duncan Graham Qualified Guild Photographer December 2017

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... AND TIME “Shuttertax have a very straight forward and efficient way of working which requires very little effort from me.” We wanted to tell you what a fantastic online accounting service we provide for photographers but we decided to let Guild members tell you for themselves.

“The process of switching was painless and it has made me more productive, saves time and costs far less.”

INVALUABLE “I’ve found Paul's knowledge of tax issues invaluable, and he responds quickly to any questions I've asked. I've absolutely no regrets signing up with Shuttertax.”

NO ‘ACCOUNTANT JARGON’ “Any questions I had were answered fully without the use of 'accountant jargon'.” “He goes out of his way to explain things to me in a way that I will understand and answers my questions quickly.”

UNDERSTAND MY BUSINESS “They both completely understand my business, having "been there, done that!" themselves.” “Paul and his wife know the business too which he tends to keep quiet! They were excellent togs so know what hurdles we all face with running our business.”

PASSIONATE TO HELP “Paul is a brilliant guy, extremely helpful, understanding, and within minutes you will realise that you've found someone who's passionate to help other photographers.”

SAVED ME MONEY “Shuttertax has definitely saved me money in my first year and with Paul's help, I am sure my business will grow and grow.” “Paul took most of the tedium of accounting off my hands, and in completing two tax assessments for me so far, has certainly saved me more money than I've paid Shuttertax.” 88

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NO QUESTION IS TOO STUPID “No question is too stupid, communication is excellent and my tax returns have been painless now for two years.” “Paul patiently and expertly answered every single 'daft question' I threw at him and due to his expertise and patience my self assessment return has now been filed in record time and with the minimum of stress on my part.”


TOP NOTCH SERVICE “Their customer service and professionalism is top notch too, after only a couple of months of working with Shuttertax I can see it has been a great decision and I can highly recommend them.” “Their professionalism and customer service speaks volumes about how they view you as a client.”

FRIENDLY “It felt like talking to a knowledgeable friend who's keen to help, rather than an accountancy firm who only see me as a commercial opportunity.”

UP TO DATE INFORMATION “Paul assured me that I would have up to date account information at my fingertips but without all the hard work getting there.”

ACCOUNTANT WAS CHARGING ME A FORTUNE “I recently switched from a High Street accountant who was charging me a fortune and had me typing up spreadsheets and labelling invoices every month - time consuming and tedious!”

EXTREMELY REASONABLE FEES “They have simplified how information is recorded through the use of QuickBooks Online, providing access to information and reports I didn't previously have.”

“As if their friendly, professional service wasn't enough, I think their fees are extremely reasonable with no hidden costs which have resulted in reducing my accountancy fees by more than two thirds.”

TRANSFERRING IS SEAMLESS “The process of transferring my accounts to Shuttertax has been seamless. I cannot thank him enough and hope he won't regret all the extra transactions I get in as I have more time to focus on the business!”

WOW! “Wow, I wish I’d found Shuttertax years ago!” “I am definitely a customer for life!!”

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congratulations Trevor Ellis Qualified Photographer December 2017

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“No other photographic body offers what the Guild does... get an incredible package of business support, training and mentoring by some of the most respected names in the industry, insurance, legal protection and the rights to use our respected membership logos�

Telephone: 01782 970323 www.photoguild.co.uk

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Creative Light - Issue 23  

Creative Light Magazine brings together people interested in the craft of photography.

Creative Light - Issue 23  

Creative Light Magazine brings together people interested in the craft of photography.