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REBECCA SPENCER DAVE WALL NINA MACE KATE HOPEWELL-SMITH BEVERLEY & RACHAEL FOSTER

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The Guild of Photographers W

e find it hard to believe that this is the last edition of Creative Light this year!

What a year it’s been for the magazine though – It was only launched in April and the first 4 editions have been seen by c100,000 people and the number keeps rising. It’s truly staggering.

steve & lesley thirsk

It’s been an equally eventful year for the Guild too. It’s now five years since we took over as it’s Directors and we cannot believe the support we’ve had. Every year since it has doubled in size and this year was no exception, for the Guild has done that yet again!

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The most gratifying thing about this is the fact that the largest proportion of this growth is down to members (and suppliers) recommendation…We cannot thank-you enough for that! It’s been an exciting year! Not only have we seen the launch of the magazine but we’ve seen many other things too. All our members now get free cloudbased back-up cover with absolutely no limits on the amount that can be uploaded. The data is stored in multiple Data Centres and is subject to military grade encryption to ensure it’s security. Some members have saved nearly £200 from this development alone. The ‘Pro’ Membership benefits have got stronger. Not only do members get direct access to a 24/7 legal helpline, tax investigation protection, debt recovery and contract dispute protection at no extra cost but they now get 24/7 access to a PR team should an event be causing a member problems (on social media for example), and if their reputation is damaged up to £10,000 of PR help may be

Steve Thirsk

at hand! This gives member’s great piece of mind! This year we have also introduced an ‘Event Insurance’ service so members can offer their customers protection against any eventuality (such as a wedding venue closing). This adds hugely to the professional service members can deliver. Panel Member Kate Hopewell-Smith also became a Nikon Ambassador this year, and fellow Nikon Ambassador and documentary style wedding photographer Mark Seymour joined the Guild’s Panel to add a new dimension to it, and has quickly got involved with mentoring and supporting members. Karl Bratby, a master of lighting techniques, three times Professional Photographer of the Year and Fellow with the BIPP also joined the Panel this year, as Creative Light - Issue 5


support by giving away around £10,000 of prizes in a free draw. At least 4 prizes per day including things like all-expenses paid visits to the fabulous Graphistudio Castle in Italy, courses with Mark Cleghorn and at Aspire, products from Photovalue, bespoke mentoring and training opportunities from Panel members freely giving their time, a personal cloud Transporter, plus prizes from InFocus insurance, the Blackthorn School of Photography and the Guild. Our aim is to build on this during the next year giving members even more! Enjoy the magazine … we wish you and yours a great Christmas and a happy and healthy 2015! - Steve & Lesley Lesley Thirsk

did Donal Doherty Creative Photographer of the Year with the PPNI. Donal has brought with him an on-line marketing course which many members are now working together on, to help each other collectively grow and develop their businesses. Another new Guild Panel member is newborn, baby and child photography specialist Claire Elliott, who captures young people’s engagement in a truly exceptional way! Claire’s involvement was very timely as the Guild launched a ‘Newborn and Baby’ sector, so it could be at the forefront of this rapidly growing sector, offering training, support, assessment processes and a relevant Code of Conduct. A new website has been created with an amazing new Search Engine facility, making the public face of the Guild as contemporary as it’s members. This year the average savings per user when using our discount scheme has passed the £900 mark, illustrating that the membership pays for itself several times over!

Would you like to join The Guild of Photographers? Please follow the link and get in touch with us today! http://www.photoguild.co.uk/member-benefits

We’ve also taken great value and high quality training on the road with people like Damien Lovegrove, Andrew Appleton, Kate Hopewell-Smith and Julie Oswin to name but a few. Last but not least we have created a members steering group to ensure we are track with needs. This group will help ensure the Guild is truly ‘the members association’! We’ve finished the year by saying a huge ‘thank-you’ to our members for their Issue 5 - Creative Light

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Š Julie Oswin 2014 4

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Editor Scotland in springtime! I took this wedding photograph at the gorgeous wedding venue, Drumtochty Castle in Aberdeenshire. The bride, her father and the little bridesmaids were waiting for the horse and carriage to arrive to take the bride to the Church. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed this bridesmaid playing with the chess set. I quickly set my camera and as I focussed on the bridesmaid the bride walked into the frame. I took the shot. Within a matter of seconds of the shutter being released the moment had gone as quickly as it came. I love the simplicity of the image, the flow of the bride’s dress and the fact that the bridesmaid was totally unaware I was even there.

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n this issue of Creative Light Magazine we have some really great articles from our very own Guild Members – Claire Elliott on booking a newborn photoshoot, Kevin Pengelly on why it is important to pose the feet correctly, Nikon Ambassador and our Panel Member Kate Hopewell-Smith talks about attitude problems in photography, Nina Mace talks to Creative Light about the importance of Branding. Finally, we some interesting and important legal facts on a Limited company. Christmas is almost here and I would like to wish you all the compliments of the season and a Successful and Happy New Year.

julie oswin

Have you a story you would like to share with Creative Light? Please get in touch with me by email to submit – julie@photoguild.co.uk

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I feel the need to make sure that the new generation of photographers realizes that what we (some of us old timers) endeavour to do in this industry is to continue to show the world that what we do is a craft, an art form. There is no magic bullet for success. It requires dedication and hard work. And if you wish to truly excel at this craft… it requires introspection. A very deep look inside yourself”. ― Joe Buissink

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Front Cover “

tracy lund

This picture was taken in Yellowstone National Park in the middle of their winter season. Battling against temperatures of around –20 everyday made the photography a challenge but it was also a challenge to try and find the wildlife to photograph. At one point in our journey we were approaching some thermal springs when we saw this lone Coyote heading in our direction. I got out of our transport and got myself into position by lying in the snow and composing my shot in readiness for the Coyote to walk into the frame. I wanted to capture the Coyote in its environment so decided not to zoom in too close. My aim was to freeze the frame but still show movement in the picture which I think is captured well with the raised paw. To see these beautiful creatures in the wild is such privilege, an unbelievable experience to observe and a memory I will never forget. Canon EOS 7D, EF 100-400mm, 1/2500 sec at f/5.6

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Snow Wanderer by Tracy Lund www.tmlphotography.co.uk

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Contents features 14

Beverley Foster By Royal Appointment

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Dave Wall Photographing Book Covers

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Claire Elliott Booking a Newborn Shoot

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Theo Rebecca Spencer

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Kate Hopewell-Smith Attitude Problem

Nina Mace Developing your Brand

Limited Company? Know the legal facts

monthly 58 40

Steve Thewis Digi Steve Photography

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Precept Optimum Performance Sales Coach and Training

Kevin Pengelly Posing Hands

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The ‘24 Days of Christmas’

steve & lesley thirsk

£10,000 Free Draw

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The Guild really does appreciate the support of it’s members for making our association something rather special with its strong sense of community. To thank members for their support the Guild is running a ’24 Days of Christmas draw. On each day from the 1st – 24th December at least 4 members win a prize, and on the 24th there are 10 prizes. It’s a free random draw and every member is automatically entered ‘into the hat’. On top of what the Guild has given there are some superb prizes being given away by friends of the Guild including the following...

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THREE TRIPS TO ITALY AND CECONI CASTLE

It’s not easy to condense the Graphistudio world into one single definition. It is a world made of sensations, traditions, culture and Italian style. It is therefore very apt that lucky photographers will be flown over to the stunning gothic Ceconi Castle owned by Graphistudio and located in the North Eastern Alps. A trip around their factory to see their impeccable ‘made in Italy’ quality , accommodation and full Italian hospitality is included.

~ VIEW THE CASTLE HERE ~ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0nBfV3D3r8g

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£1200 WORTH OF GRAPHISTUDIO ‘YOUNG BOOKS’

The elegant line, the purity of the colours, the accolades from the younger generation, make the Young Book an extremely versatile project, iconic and always chic (perfect for young and trend-conscious couples). The ‘Young’ Book range has been created for photographers searching for alternatives and willing to offer a fresh and distinctive service, capable of distinguishing their artistic personality.

PLUS SEVERAL £100’s WORTH OF THE NEW ‘BABY BOOKS’ The stunning new ‘Baby’ Book is inspired by the Young Book and is available in pastel shades perfectly resembling the nature of a baby’s first months. The soft colourings and designs could make this the moment of choice for new parents when choosing their baby portrait photographer’. More about Graphistudio can be found on Graphistudio’s website:www.graphistudio.com/en_GB/home

ON-LINE TRAINING MEMEBERSHIPS (& FREE DOWNLOADS) FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER ACADEMY. PLUS FREE WORKSHOP PLACES WORTH £2,000!

The Photographer Academy is the largest European photography training company with already thousands of Pro Photographers as well as Artists and Hobbyists making use of the award winning training to get inspired or instructed every day. The website is based on video content that captures real photographers at work, with real client shoots or in training films, they pass on their skills. In January, the Guild will be offering members who didn’t win one of these fabulous prizes a substantial discount off the usual annual subscription. The Photographer Academy is run by very experienced Trainer Mark Cleghorn, who also offered some free places on two-day workshops he is running at his new sensational studio in Cardiff! More about Mark and the Photographer Academy can be found on the website – www.thephotographeracademy.com/ 10

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£200 OF PHOTOVALUE OR 3XM PRODUCTS

Since 1981, Photovalue Ltd has been providing professional photographers in the UK and Ireland with high quality slip in photo folders and photo mounts. Through Photovalue. com, they have expanded their product range to offer you the best value and most extensive range of photographic presentation products available on the market. One of these products is the ‘3XM Solution’, which is designed to help photographers make more money from their digital photography. It provides photographers with an all in one tool to manage clients, photo shoots and referral marketing. More about photovalue & the 3XM solution can be found here www.3xmsolution.com/ www.photovalue.com /

A STYLE SHOOT, WEBINAR SERIES AND VOUCHERS WORTH c£1500 FROM ASPIRE PHOTOGRAPHY TRAINING

Aspire is a unique photography training experience that will change the way you look at your photography and your business, forever. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a hobbyist photographer looking to enhance your knowledge, or a seasoned professional seeking to breathe new life into your business – with Aspire’s world-renowned range of seminars and training courses you’ll gain a wealth of knowledge, inspiration and practical knowhow that will take your photography to new heights. More about Aspire Training can be found here www.aspirephotographytraining.co.uk

HIGH STREET SHOPPING VOUCHERS FROM INFOCUS PHOTOGRAPHY INSURANCE

InFocus Insurance are passionate about helping you do your job with the peace of mind that solid dependable insurance advice and protection brings. All types of photographer can apply, whether you’re a journalist, fashion photographer, wedding photographer or studio photographer. They’ve got some of the best insurance policies on the market. More can be found out about InFocus Photography Insurance here www.infocusinsurance.co.uk Issue 5 - Creative Light

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£100’s WORTH OF TRAINING DOWNLOADS FOR LOVEGROVE CONSULTING

Damien learned his trade as a cameraman and lighting director during 14 years at the BBC, working on programmes such as the Clothes Show, Top of the Pops and Casualty. His days off from filming were often spent taking photographs for a variety of top name clients including Peugeot, Motorola, and Adidas. Fifteen years on, Damien has become one of the foremost trainers of photography and entrepreneurial business strategies in our industry. More about Lovegrove Consulting can be found here www.lovegroveconsulting.com/

A PERSONAL CLOUD TRANSPORTER WORTH £149 FROM DROBO EMEA

The Transporter allows you to deliver your own cloud service for file syncing and sharing that is identical to those from popular services like Dropbox and Box, on easy to deploy hardware appliances that you own and control. Drobo makes award-winning data storage products for Small and Medium Businesses and Individual Professionals that provide an unprecedented combination of sophisticated data protection and management features, affordable capacity, and ease-of-use. With over 50 industry awards and hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide, Drobo has demonstrated success solving the three major storage challenges in one device – data protection, capacity adjustment, and application service-level optimization – through patented BeyondRAID™, Thin Provisioning / Reclamation, and the breakthrough Automated Data-Aware Tiering technology. More about Drobo can be found here - www.drobo.com

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THE ‘24 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS’ WAS ALSO SUPPORTED BY MANY OF THE GUILD’S PANEL MEMBERS... ANDREW APPLETON has given a £300 voucher for use against any of his workshops Andrew specialises in photographing people, both in the studio and on location and is a very sought after trainer in the UK and as far afield as South Africa. His courses often sell-out the same day! More can be found out about his training programme here www.appletonphototraining.com/

DONAL DOHERTY has given a 121 mentoring session by Skype and a free membership of Engage. Donal is a former PR consultant for Superbrands and is now an internationally commissioned wedding photographer and the current Fashion Photographer of the Year and Creative Photographer of the Year with the PPANI. He also runs ‘Engage’ an on-line business training programme specifically for photographers. More can be found out about ‘Engage’ here – www.donaldohertyengage.com/

KEVIN PENGELLY has given a 121 Training Day. Kevin is highly respected name in the photographic industry specialising in weddings and portraiture. He is also a rare person, being a Guild ‘Master Craftsman’, and a having been a double Fellowship holder with other associations)!! More about his training can be found here - www.pengellyphotography.co.uk/

MARK SEYMOUR has offered to ‘second shoot’ for a photographer then offer a debrief / critique of the day. Mark is only one of 7 Nikon Ambassadors in the UK and has established a fantastic reputation over twenty years as a leading London wedding photographer, with couples choosing Mark to photograph their special day all over the UK and internationally More about his training can be found here www.markseymourphotography.co.uk/training/

PAUL HALEY has offered a 121 critique / mentoring session. Paul is acknowledged as being one of the most experienced photographic trainers in the UK. A ‘Guild Master Craftsman’ and who has previously obtained the distinction of being a ‘Fellow’ too. He was even one of only three civilian photographers sent with the task force during the Falklands War. More about his training can be found here - http://prgh.co.uk/

JULIE OSWIN has offered a 121 critique / mentoring session. Julie has been a full time professional image maker for around 20 years, and holds the distinctions of being both a Guild ‘Master Craftsman’ and a ‘Fellow’ with the BIPP, and has been the UK Wedding Photographer of the Year no less than twice! More about her training opportunities can be found here www.julieoswinphotography.co.uk/photography-training-mentoring/

CLAIRE ELLIOTT has given a training package worth £400. Claire specialises in Newborn, Baby & Toddler photography and has had a meteoric personal journey. Despite being relatively new to the industry she was one of the Guild Photographer of the Year Competition Award winners last year. She is a Guild Craftsman with an incredible gift of capturing exceptional engagement with her young subjects. More about her training can be found here - www.fmphoto.co.uk

LESLEY CHALMERS has given a critique and mentoring day covering business and images. The primary day-to-day element of her highly acclaimed reputation is her commercial work. She understands that good photography is a great asset and powerful communication tool for businesses and she undertakes high profile commissions throughout Europe. She integrates a love of art and landscape to her work, creating a unique style that results in powerful and striking images More about her training opportunities can be found here - www.lesleychalmers.com/ Issue 5 - Creative Light

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A Royal Appointment Beverley began her early career as a fashion designer after training at Art School where she studied Fashion, Millinery, Art and Design. Coming from an art and fashion background has helped her in her chosen career as a photographer. Looking at light and shade, the human form through both design and life drawing was a great advantage to her although she did not realize it at the time. Beverley and her husband started their photography and video business in 1985; they had a little daughter and two more followed in their formative years in business. Beverley started to photograph weddings in the very early 1990’s. Beverley has always striven to incorporate new ideas and new technology into her business, and when digital came along in 2000, another steep learning curve arrived. Shooting on medium format equipment and film Beverley branched into digital, the journey was both exciting as well as frustrating for her. Beverley is one of just 10 Master Craftsman of the Guild of Photographers in the UK. Master Craftsman is the Guild of Photographer’s highest accreditation. In 2012, Beverley was the Guild of Photographer’s “Wedding Photographer of the year” and has been runner-up three times.

beverley foster

Beverley now works alongside her daughter Rachael, who brings a unique and fresh approach to shooting weddings. Between them, they combine the experience with a young outlook which works well for the business and especially their clients.

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“

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We still cannot believe that it happened... The Queen appeared and all too soon disappeared. With had just 45 minutes to capture this wonderful occasion for our clients, we managed to get some wonderful memories for them and of course for ourselves�.

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THE DAY THE QUEEN CAME TO TOWN We were contacted earlier this year by Paul White, owner of ISP ( International Security Printers LTD ) asking us to cover the opening of his new 8 million pound premises. This company makes millions of stamps not only for the UK but also for many countries around the world. Initially, Paul White informed us that a member of the royal family was to open the plant but as it was early days he was not sure who that would be. For the first time in twenty years, both her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness Prince Philip were to come to Wolverhampton to open a factory. We were so delighted to have this amazing opportunity to photograph probably the most famous couple in the world! The Queen arrived at Wolverhampton Railway Station together with her private secretary and Equerry as well as her lady in waiting and from here proceeded on to the factory with outriders and security very much on show. Greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Mr. Ian Dudson CBE CStJ the The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh were introduced to the owners of the company and then they were presented to the many VIP guests that had flown in from around the world. Guests included the Managing directors of postal services from the UK, France, Luxembourg, and Japan. (The Japanese representative was so nervous about meeting

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the Queen that he spent most of the morning being sick in the gents). The Queen was keen to open the factory because stamps are of great interest to her. Her father King George VI had the largest private stamp collection in the world and his love for philately has been passed onto the queen who still owns this collection privately. One of my favourite stamps was the lovely orange stamp of the Queen mother. We then photographed the introductions to the VIPS waiting and the tour of the new factory. The Queen loved looking at all the displays especially erected for her to view. We could not believe we were looking through our camera at The Queen herself, she was absolutely fantastic, full of smiles and Prince Philip was on full form, joking and smiling throughout the visit. Rachel and I had accompanied the Queen and the Duke around the factory, photographing the visit for our clients. The best moment was when Her Majesty looked right at us and gave us the kindest smile; it was lovely! We photographed the Queen signing the of the Guest Book and unveiling the plaque. The owners of ISP presented the Queen with a special gift and the Duke of Edinburgh quipped “could you post that on!” What a great couple. A lifetime achievement for us both! We still cannot believe that it happened….

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Š Beverley Foster MCGP 18

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52 • MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015

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MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 • 53


Photographing book covers Dave Wall has been a professional photographer for 26 years. His work has predominantly encompassed the commercial side of the industry, but his business also includes Portrait and Wedding Photography. Dave is especially well known however, for his work as a Book Cover Photographer, specialising in horror and crime novels. The last 8 years has seen Dave become one of the top selling stock photographers with his specialist work covering novels for authors such as Tess Gerittsen, James Herbert and Simon Beckett. As well as all this, Dave also works as a trainer, passing on his extensive knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom as an Adobe Influencer and Adobe Community Professional. Creative Light interviewed Dave Wall to gain further insight into all aspects of his work.

Q:

dave wall

How did you start off in Photography and has it always been commercial?

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I instantly went into Commercial Photography on the advertising side as Manchester was a hub for catalogue photography and it was a hive of activity for that industry back when I started out 26 years ago. It wasn’t until I became self-employed that I did any social photography. I’ve done some weddings and portraits but I don’t really like it and by that I mean that as a commercial photographer you’re in command of everything whereas socially, you have to control the general public. This can be difficult at events like weddings… sometimes the guests are just more interested in the bar! I love my job now as a stock photographer. I have the freedom to be as creative as I want to be and shoot what I want, when I want and where I want and get paid for it, which is a great thing to achieve.

Q: How do you go about photographing for the Book Covers and where do your ideas come from?

Lots of places really – movies, music, google, Pinterest… I can be watching a movie or music video and just see it. For example, I’m working on a piece now that I’ve created from something I saw on Pinterest yesterday. My inspiration has to come from a range of places because my stock is very specialist and there has to be a narrative behind every piece. It has to catch the eye and tell a story. Creative Light - Issue 5


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Q: How do you get to all the unusual places to get these images?

In general I use my car and I specifically bought one that has really low mileage because of all the travelling. Having said that, I do go to a lot of rough areas and to get in and out quickly. I bought a scooter so I can literally hop off, take the picture and then hop back on and get out! If I walk around for too long with my camera people start to notice what you’re doing and then sometimes follow you. The scooter enables me to get away from problems like that without people noticing I’m there.

Q: What’s your favourite lens? I’m a zoom boy! I like a wide angled zoom equivalent of a 24x70 usually with Cannon but I find the bodies and lenses a bit heavy for what I need do to. At the minute I’m with Fuji as they’re really light weight but the zooms that I want from them won’t be released for another couple of months. If I had to pick one favourite lens it would probably be my Fuji 14mm as it’s possible the sharpest wide angled lens I’ve ever used.

Q: Do you have a particular genre of Book Cover that you photograph for?

Yes, Crime/Thriller is my thing – everything splattered in blood!

Q: What do you use for blood? I make my own. It consists of corn syrup, red food dye, a dash of green food dye and if it needs to be bit more watery then also a little bit of milk. Then after that, it’s created in Photoshop [laughs]. I don’t think you’d want to search me if you’re a policeman! In my camera bag there’ll be one camera and then everything else from handcuffs, blood, skulls to shackles and hand grenades! My camera bag is practically a murderer’s tool kit!!

Q: You do a lot of lectures on Photoshop and Lightroom, but which do you prefer for your editing?

I use them both equally. I use Lightroom to process all my images and to organise them and then Photoshop for retouching and also for creative editing.

Q: In the area of Commercial Photography, do you have any tips to pass on to Guild Members within this field?

Go above and beyond for the client. If they want ‘X’ then give them ‘X’, ‘Y’, and ‘Z’. Commercial Photography is different in that in Social Photography, you tend to only deal with the client once, whereas in commercial your aim Issue 5 - Creative Light

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is to keep that client. For example, I’ve got three clients that I took on the week I became selfemployed and I’ve still got them today. It’s down to keeping the clients happy at all costs.

Q: In which format do you sell your work? For my commercial work, the copyright stays with me and it depends on the job for which I have a pricing structure. They get to use the images for the purpose that they tell me when I quote them the job. For example, if they want the image for an A4 brochure then that’s what they’re quoted for. If they want it for a billboard then they’re charged extra. I size It accordingly in the format and resolution that they ask for so they can’t crop it badly or print it the wrong way.

Q: How important is your website to you and your business?

I’d love to say it’s super important but for me personally, it’s not. I am however rebuilding it again myself and I do update it regularly, however I don’t get that much traffic through it for the commercial work. As its stock, it goes through the stock agency and not through me. I do have a good web presence but usually, a lot of the people who contact me via the website are for my training.

Q: So overall, what kind of photographer would you class yourself as?

I think I’d class myself as a Commercial Photographer as that’s what I’ve always been. Realistically, I’m a Stock Photographer and Trainer.

Q: What areas of training do you offer? Mainly, my training is Photoshop and Lightroom based because I’m one of the few in the UK who is an Adobe Influencer as well as an Adobe Community Professional. It’s like an invite-only club and there aren’t many of us around. I also do a mentoring programme where I mentor people on Lightroom and Photoshop each month for a twelve month period so that they can further their skills. In addition I offer retouching as a professional service.

Q: How would you summarise you profession as a Book-Cover Photographer?

The book-cover work is very specialist and I think that I’m very lucky that there aren’t many ‘niche markets’ out there anymore and I’ve managed to find one. I started the book covers in 2006 when no one else was doing it and there was only one library in the whole world that serviced that area, now there are about three. Eight years later, I’m quite high up in that area and really it’s down to my determination and that I’ve developed a style that publishers want. - Julie Oswin 26

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“I

had been in London for a couple of days photographing every building possible, as I sell more pictures of windows and doors than anything else. So, I had been taking pictures of all these buildings, doors and windows and whenever I’m doing this I always find the security camera, look up at it and smile so they can see my face and see that I’m not hiding anything. Anyway, I found this big archway with a set of steps at the front of the building and instead of shooting it from the pavement; I set my tripod up on the steps inside the building and photographed it. Then I walked along the pavement and started taking a few photos of the Tate Modern. All of a sudden, this car screeches to a halt behind me and out climb three officers in full gear and point guns at my head! I said ‘Er evening chaps, what’s going on?’ They asked me ‘Have you been photographing things?’ to which I replied, as sarcastic as I am, ‘Don’t you think the tripod and camera give it away a little bit?’ They weren’t impressed, ‘Yeah, funny guy, have you been photographing the building down there?’ ‘Yes, I have.’ ‘Which one?’ ‘Loads!’ ‘You’ve photographed every building?’ ‘No, just the ones I like.’ ‘What about the one down there?’ ‘Which one?’ ‘We can’t tell you it’s a secret.’ ‘Well if it’s a secret, how am I meant to know?’ ‘Everyone knows!’ ‘Well if everyone knows it can’t be a secret’ ‘You really don’t know what it is?’ ‘I live in Manchester of course I don’t know what it is!’ The officers then asked to see my camera, and they looked through the photographs. ‘What do you do for a living?’ It took a couple of attempts to tell them that I’m a bookcover photographer as they didn’t believe it was a real job. After they realised I was being serious and that everything I’d told them added up, they took my details so that if I got stopped again the police would know who I was and that I wasn’t a terrorist or anything! When I got home, I put up a post on my private Facebook page telling my story and posted a couple of the photographs of the ‘secret’ building. A couple of my friends commented on the post and happily informed me that building was in fact MI5”. - Dave Wall

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Booking a newborn shoot FIRST CONTACT Receiving a newborn enquiry is the first opportunity to make the connection with your client who at this stage is usually pregnant and very hormonal. Start creating a bond of trust to start the relationship off to the best start. Be interested, ask about siblings and previous new-born image sessions. This is a great way to start creating ideas for the coming session. I like to stay in touch with my clients, checking how they are progressing and as the due date draws closer I will then start enquiring about styles and colour needs for their session

EXPECTATIONS There will be expectations on both sides. Your client will have high expectations of you and the work you are going to produce for them. She will presume you have all the camera and lighting equipment, props, safety knowledge, and relevant insurances.

claire elliott

You will need to let your client know what you expect of them. You will probably find once you do this they will inform you they appreciate this information especially if they are first time mums-to-be.

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The realistic expectations of the parents and baby do vary. Mums of breastfed babies need not worry about bringing extra milk with them, but maybe suggest they may have to nurse the baby more often than they had been to ensure the baby is happy, full and sleepy while you transition between poses. To the mums of bottle-fed babies, I ask them to bring extra formula and bottles to the session, as the baby may need to have a little extra and maybe go out of routine for the duration of the session. Extra nappies are a must, as they are usually only worn during feeding then discarded. Creative Light - Issue 5


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M

ums usually appreciate advice on clothing too. This advice will depend on your own style of photography and the needs for that particular session. Personally I do advise they bring the baby dressed in a front-fastening and unfussy baby grow, as this is easily removed to get the session started straight away if baby doesn’t need to be fed on arrival.

TIMINGS Personally I do not ask the mums to feed the baby before arrival. I’m not sure how I would feel being told when I could feed my baby so from my own experiences as a mum and from feedback after many new-born sessions. I leave this up to the parents and take it as it comes when they arrive. This may not work for everyone, but you will soon out find what works best for your business. Parents also appreciate a rough idea on how long the session will be. Again this is personal to how you work and maybe the package they have chosen. Siblings are a big part of some newborn sessions and an area I feel very passionate about myself, however I do not like the thought of a bored 2-4 year old roaming board around the studio, so I do suggest they if they can bring an extra family member along to entertain or take away the sibling(s) after the sibling shots. I have never had any problems asking this and usually they agree with the idea.

STYLING The last thing pre-session item I talk about with the parents is styling. Poses and colours for the session is a very exciting part of the consultation for me. From this information I can plan the whole session pose by pose and prop by prop. This way I feel as if I have a plan of action there’s no cause for ‘blockepisodes’ which is common for some session photographers. Realistically, these plans don’t always run exactly, but when one pose/prop isn’t working I just simply move onto the next and having all the right colours and textures at hand makes the transition very quick so I can create a very smooth and seamless session. - Claire Elliott CrGP

http://www1.clikpic.com/fmphoto/

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CLAIRE’S THREE TOP TIPS! 1: Don’t follow colour trends - clients love to have something different. 2: Props can be purchased from lots of different places and prop suppliers aren’t the only places to buy them. Always think of a baby’s safety when purchasing from non-specific suppliers. 3: Its good to be inspired, but don’t copy ideas - make your images unique by adding your own spin on a shot.

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Developing your Brand Nina Mace has been a photographer for the last three 3 years, but before she changed careers, Nina worked in the field of Marketing and Brand Management. Key areas for Nina was managing interesting brands, including Green & Blacks chocolate, Texaco Motor Oils which was a lot more fun than it actually sounds. Nina travelled around the world with the Formula 1 Powerboat team. And a well know toilet roll brand. Creative Light talks to Nina about her journey from marketing and brand management into photography.

Q:

Why is it that you have found so challenging to come up with your visual brand identity?

“I

nina mace

t is a question I have been pondering, and what I have come to realise is the brands I worked with all had a very clear brand proposition, whereas I have still been developing mine, and most importantly that is OK.

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The longer I spend in this industry, the more I realise it is one long journey where you never stop learning. It’s a process – you identify your next challenge and keep working on it. Finally, when you are consistently delivering the shots that you want and are able to put all your technical worries aside, you start ask the question “Is this I really want to do, and do I feel passionate about it?”. I have photographed bumps, babies, children, families, events and weddings. I have run mini shoots, extended lifestyle sessions, six families in one day opposed to one family for half a day, and I am finally clear about who I want to photograph, when, where and what I want the images to say. Therefore, I can now say with some confidence how I want to position myself, and I am willing to invest a considerable sum of money in a Designer to develop my visual brand identity. There are a number of training associations that advocate investing a large sum of money very early on to define your brand. I think it a great exercise to go through for those who can do it. The issue I have come across is that not all photographers can commit that amount of money upfront. The ones I know are often part time (with kids at home), or working another full-time job, and starting to portfolio build at the weekends. So if you fall into this category what are your options? Creative Light - Issue 5


OPTIONS FOR DEVELOPING YOUR BRAND IDENTITY, NO MATTER WHAT YOUR BUDGET: THE D.I.Y. LOGO. BUDGET £0 Designing your logo in Photoshop, this is where a lot of new photographers start. If you have a natural design eye, this could be an option, but I have to be honest I tried and failed miserably. If you do follow this route, adding non-standard fonts can certainly help your logo to look more bespoke, and there are lots of free fonts available if you search online. OFF THE SHELF BRAND PACKAGE OR LOGO. BUDGET £20-£99 When I first started portfolio building and needed a logo, this was what I did. There are a several e-commerce websites that offer logos and branding packages from individuals all over the world. Some are off the shelf, meaning that they could be sold several times over to different photographers, whereas others you can pay to develop a design built on one you have seen and liked. Just search ‘buy photographers logos’ to discover the main sites. WEBSITE OR BLOG-SITE BASED TEMPLATE. BUDGET £200-£400 There are a couple of major companies offering blog site and portfolio system specifically for photographers. You do not need any prior web skills to learn to use this system, and they do give an 110% Money back guarantee. A number of the templates have matching brand kits including logo, colour palette, fonts, and stationery and social media items. It is also a great way to find a Designer that you like if you are considering investing in a bespoke brand identity (see below). The templates are also open to a degree of customisation so you can choose a base that fits you and work from there.

TOP TIPS FOR THE ROUTE YOU CHOOSE To conclude, there is a viable option for you to develop your visual brand identity, no matter where you are in your journey. Whichever option you choose here are some top tips: 1: BE TRUE TO YOURSELF When clients meet you they should feel like your brand is a reflection of you as a person. 2: KEEP IT SIMPLE

INVEST IN AN ESTABLISHED DESIGNER OR AGENCY TO DEVELOP A BESPOKE BRAND. BUDGET £1000+

Clients are buying your images and your style, not a super fancy swirly complicated logo.

I chose to work with a designer who is quite well known in photography circles, having followed her work for the best part of 6 months, and chatting to some other photographers who had worked with her. I chose her because I believed she would work hard to understand me, and deliver a unique, recognisable identity. An established Designer or Agency charges more because they are simply want to:

Photography can be a black hole when it comes to spending, so if you plan to invest significantly in your brand identity just be sure you are ready.

3: DON’T OVERSPEND

• Spend more one2one time with you. • Exploring your values and personality. To create a bespoke visual design including logo, fonts, colour pallets, strap-line. Issue 5 - Creative Light

http://www.ninamacephotography.com/

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www.datacolor.com

Perfect Capture

Taking Control in Three Easy Steps Besides good composition, how else can we improve taking photographs?

Step 1 - White is White… isn’t it? One of the oldest problems with photography is getting the lighting conditions in which you capture your images under control. Today stand-alone light meters are less frequently used to gather your exposure and capture information as digital cameras have evolved to have good metering capabilities in themselves. Whether you choose to use an external meter, which can add extra control and accuracy to the process (but also additional complexity and weight to your camera bag) or want to work ‘in camera’ or maybe just ‘sort it out’ in post-process, two key elements to capture and control at the point of pressing the shutter are the contrast range of your shots and also the white point (i.e. a known white for the shots that can allow you to remove major casts). Find a way of recording this accurately and you won’t need to guess what the conditions were like in hindsight when you retouch your images, you’ll have a point of reference to compare with. In its simplest form, to achieve this over the years a succession of paper or cloth cards have been employed to give you a known target to set your capture parameters with. If you know the colour value of the piece of white card and photograph it in the relevant photo shoot’s lighting conditions, you then have a reference point which you can use to set your capture parameters. In particular with post-process softwares like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom shooting and setting your white point for one shot can subsequently be applied to all other shots in the same lighting conditions in a ‘batch process’. As a basic starting point then for taking control of the colours in your shoots you need a ‘Grey Card’. With cards that have more than one flat grey face though, there is also the ability to set contrast ranges as well. One problem with pieces of card, though, is that they are pretty bulky and can easily get marked and creased. A solution that came along was the expanding, cloth, foldout cards but these too, proved highly susceptible to fading and marking over time. One further problem with flat cards however, is the need to angle them correctly. To get accurate readings the recommendation is to place the card at 45 degrees to the prevailing light. If the direction of lighting is changing or you simply don’t have the time to get this angling correct then a solution needs to be found. Top Tip To this end Datacolor have created the SpyderCUBE. This little gem, as the name suggests, is cubic in shape and only about 4cm (about an inch) in length per side and allows you to balance contrast for your shot like no other solution on the market. Also easier to drop into a photo shoot compared to a standard grey card, this small device can be hung or tripod or lighting rig mounted via its standard spindle mount at its base. Despite it’s compact nature the SpyderCUBE gives you larger blocks of grey to use as targets than many conventional flat cards, with two of the cube’s faces split betwveen a 96% White and an 18% grey triangle. Provided you can see both of these two-toned sides when the cube is either hung or mounted into your shoots, you have a perfect target to set grey balance irrespective of the direction of any lighting or even if it’s changing. As long as the hole on the black face of the Cube is pointing roughly towards you, one of the grey and white sides should be around 45 degrees to the prevailing light. Once you’ve shot the SpydrCUBE simply choose the lighter one of these two-tone, split sides to use in setting the grey balance (white point). The lighter side will have the light hitting it at about the correct angle, the other side will be in shadow. Now use the black face and lighter white triangle to set your shadow and highlight to their known 4% black and 96% white readings respectively. Any out of gamut scintillation (100% white and over) or 100% shadows should only appear on the ball atop the Cube or in the hole at the centre of the black face respectively. The pocketabillity of the SpyderCUBE means it should always be available to shoot.

As clothing detergents often contain a bleaching agent to lighten your clothes colours, make sure you keep your CUBE in its bag to protect it from fading over time.


2. Stay Focussed! Despite what you might think, many cameras and lens combinations, albeit replete with highly sophisticated auto-focus solutions, are not always in true focus when you release the shutter. A survey of around 1500 people conducted at the 2012 Photokina showed around 60% of their camera and lens combinations were actually auto-focussing incorrectly. Ironically, whilst this was patently evident in some cases, it was the combinations that were only marginally out of focus that proved the biggest issue. Where people could see that their newly acquired systems were incorrectly focussing they were quick to get them recalibrated. It was those that were shown to be marginally inaccurate that caused a frequent ‘light-bulb’ moment of realisation as to why, “those portraits had always been a bit soft” or “those sports shots” that you knew you’d got spot on were never quite right.

Top Tip

Fortunately most SLRs over the past few years have introduced a micro-adjustment function to their menus that allows you to adjust the auto-focus for specific camera / lens combinations. All you need is a targeting solution to use to check this and there’s now a few solutions on the market to use to enable this correction. Ranging from Apps for smart phones and tablets to rather ethereal, and flimsy card and paper based devices that seem more fitting as a mobile above a cot than for use by a photographer the SpyderLENSCAL delivers a device that is robust enough to carry around if needed for use with hired lenses or backs, but also easy enough to pop up and very simply allow you to shoot and discover and focus imperfections.

In addition is for those of us working heavily in portraiture or sports photography, the same solution can also be used to set a false focus point slightly ahead of what would be the true focus. By so doing, focussing on the eyes of your model can mean that the tip of the nose is also in focus as the actual focus point is somewhere between the two as opposed to having the focus accurately set and getting a fuzzy nose captured but ears crisp in all their glory.

Simply snap it open and either table or tripod mount and you can swiftly correct your situation.

3. Colour Accuracy Photographers are generally not granted the same latitude that for instance painters are allowed. When capturing images, whilst artistic license sometimes is allowed, when shooting places and people as photographers we are frequently berated if the subjects appear somewhat ‘off colour’. Never more so is this an issue than for Weddings, Sports and Product Photography. Be inaccurate with the hue of the bride’s gown, the team’s expensive livery or the specific colours of the food your shooting and trouble may ensue. More troublesome still is the need to get the same subject looking the same in multiple lighting situations (e.g. in the church, the reception and external shots) or when using multiple cameras. With this in mind, and extending the remit of grey cards to cover more than just white point / grey balance and contrast range, we reach the need for a larger range of known colours to capture. This is delivered in the form of a colour card such as the Datacolor SpyderCHECKR. Allowing you to get that dress, skin tones and any other important hues just right, the multi-coloured target comes in a highly robust plastic case about the same shape and size as a tablet computer. Intentionally not pocketable it’s fold-out design is ideal for shooting from a distance and in particular for group scenes. Tripod mountable or simply held or leant into your location at some point in the shoot, the target comes with plugin software for most image capture solutions (e.g. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop or Hasselblad Phocus) and enables you to set up a calibration preset with the touch of a button to linearise all your shots. As the software knows what each colour swatch should read it can instantly calculate a calibration across the spectrum to remove casts and bring all colours into alignment in virtually any lighting condition. Don’t worry though, you don’t need to ask your brides, grooms or models to hold the target - as long as you shoot it at some point in the same lighting conditions that any group of shots is taken in, you can apply the calibration to the whole group later on. Just make sure you do shoot it in each and every lighting set-up and with each camera you’re using.

Before Colour Target

After Colour Target

So it really is just one stop to get your Pictures looking perfect. To learn more about the products visit: www.datacolor.com/spyder-cp

For those wanting the same solution but at an entry price (around £39.00) the new Datacolor SpyderCHECKR 24 effectively gives you one half of the full device in a card sleeve and you can download with the relevant software plugin to allow you to swiftly and easily create a preset within the likes of Lightroom to correct the colours and tonal range of your shoot with the touch of a button.


Posing Feet

F

or my article this month I am keeping with the theme of posing, but looking at an area which is often overlooked by photographers.

kevin pengelly

I have been involved in a lot of mentoring and this area keeps appearing. It seems many photographers only think about the scene and forget about what makes the bride and groom look comfortable within their pose.

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Feet positioning plays such a huge part for a good pose and it becomes a case of where you have a great looking couple but due to lack of good positioning of the feet, they end up looking awkward and uncomfortable. You only have to look at ball room dancers to see everything is correct about their positioning. Their posture is exact and their stance is fluid due to the concentration upon their hands and feet. This we can apply to photography. As a rule, for any type of photography when posing people, feet come first. The way the bride or groom stand will determine if they are comfortable during the photography and if they are going to look natural in their pose. A sound example for good posing: The bride is to have the back foot pointed away from the camera (at about 90 degrees) and the front foot should be pointed towards camera. The knee should be slightly bent with the weight going Creative Light - Issue 5


onto her bottom, which will turn the bride slightly towards camera which will give a more pleasing and flattering pose. It is not advisable to have the bride standing square onto the camera as this is a less then flattering stance. One of the things I always remember from being mentored by Hoss Madhavi, is what he always used to say to me - “if it can bend, BEND IT!” No, not like David Beckham in football, he is referring to the arms and legs. To further explain, try relaxing one leg and then see how the knee and ankle naturally bend to create that all important natural pose. Once you have mastered this simple posing technique your posing will take on a much more flattering appearance and the bride and groom will also look and feel at ease. This simple technique can also be used for the gentleman but with the guys the legs need to be shoulder width apart to give a more ‘manly’ pose, rather than a feminine pose. So once again it all starts with good feet positioning. Get this right and the rest of posing will fall into place and your couples will look graceful, elegant and above all comfortable. At this time of year, all that is left for me to say is that I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. - Kevin Pengelly

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Introducing G.F Smith Photographic Rewards Our way of saying thank you

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G.F Smith Photographic Rewards is us, giving something back to you. To thank you, permanently. Not a here today gone tomorrow sale, but a permanent thank you.

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For more information or to join today, visit gfsmithphotographic.com/rewards, phone us on 01482 588 037 or email info@gfsmithphotographic.com Creative Light - Issue 5


We are pleased to announce the launch of our brand new website.

Issue 5 - Creative Light

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Theo One of the top ten finalists in the category of ‘People’ in The Guild of Photographer’s 2013 Photographer of the Year Awards was Rebecca Spencer. What made Rebecca’s Image of the Month entries different from the rest was that Rebecca chose to use the same subject throughout, her young son Theo. Creative Light asked Rebecca to tell us a little more about her thought processes for her Image of the Month entries and why she chose to focus on photographing just one subject.

“I

rebecca spencer

feel as a parent we are hard wired to see our children in a way that is different to anyone else. We understand the challenges they face and have a deep appreciation of the joy and sadness they experience as they grow. We notice they look at the world with awe and wonder and sometimes fear and apprehension. We help them grow in independence by gently pushing them out into the world little by little and we are there by their side silently supporting them during all of this.

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Learning to walk, ride a bike or first day at school are all milestones that deserve a photo but as a photographer and as a parent I want my photos to reach a little deeper into the emotions, memory and feeling behind that moment. If at the same time I can provoke an emotional reaction in an external viewer then that for me is an added bonus. When my son looks back through his box of photos when he is older I want him to experience again what he felt like when he was a child. As my subject matter is very personal to me I recognise that it can be hard to emotionally detach myself and assess my photo in an objective way. I have no feedback from clients to go on and as much as I love a number of my photos it can be an isolating experience. My motivation for entering IOM in 2013 was to gain an external professional opinion on my work and to seek validation about the standard of my images. When I started entering IOM in January 2013 I was hopeful that some of my images would be awarded a bronze. What I never expected was just how well my photos of Theo would score and that every image would be awarded a bronze bar or above. One of my images, a particularly personal one of my child, even achieved a Gold bar. Finishing 6th in

the Photographer of the Year (People category) was the icing on the cake and finally gave me the confidence to recognise that others value my photos as well. Photographers like myself who choose to focus solely on personal subjects are in the minority within The Guild and whilst I can happily ignore the business side of photography my need for technical and artistic growth are just the same as the in-business Guild members. Finding a mentor through the Guild has been one of the best educational decisions I have made and over the 18 months I have been working Simon Young I can see how the quality of my images have improved. My motivation for wishing to continue to develop is simple; my photos still fall short of the vision I have in my head. Some of this is about learning new technical skills and some of this is less tangible and more about translating what is in my head into a photo, which I can capture. The ideas in my head are often a feeling, an emotion or a ‘something’ I want to create and I am learning more and more that the best spur of the moment photos are the ones I have previsualised and planned to make them look like I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. In 2014 I have taken a break from IOM and have been working with my mentor to focus on adding new skills like off camera flash to my repertoire. In 2015 I will start working towards my Craftsman qualification where again I plan to use Theo as the subject in all of the photos in my submission. Theo has been letting me take his photo for almost 8 years now and over that time I have learned to adapt as he has matured and grown in Creative Light - Issue 5


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independence. We’ll often plan our photo shoots together now and I find that as long as we have fun during our little shoots then Theo is generally happy to play along. Otherwise bribery goes a long way! Minecraft is Theo’s current addiction and we trade photography time for computer time. I feel that trust between photographer and subject is especially important when the subject is a child. Theo and I have a deal where if there is a photo he doesn’t want me to share then it goes no further than family members. I can guarantee these are always ones where he thinks ‘he looks silly’ in the photo and that normally means a certain expression or occasionally there is something else going on in the photo he doesn’t want his friends to see, like he’s snuggled up with his teddy. Simon Young, who Theo calls the BFG (think Roald Dhal!) is the exception to this rule thank goodness, as I still want to garner feedback on these more personal images. Theo is a quiet child and in his own thoughtful way he does relish the local fame the publication of his photos have brought us. We have had a few photos printed in newspapers and magazines plus earlier this year ITV interviewed Theo and I about our IOM year ) and whilst he was very shy with the interviewer he often asks me to confirm to his friends that he was on TV with a glint of pride in his eyes. http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/ story/2014-02-21/mum-wins-top-photographyprize/ Theo is also a very proud unofficial junior member of the Guild as after our win last year Steve & Lesley kindly send him a certificate and a little gift. He also has stolen my Guild membership badge, cheeky minx! I hope learning a little more about why I choose to focus the majority of my photography time on capturing my son’s childhood may encourage a few readers to more often take time to photograph their own children or grandchildren. After all no one else can capture their unique personalities as well as their own parent and you may learn something along the way that helps your photography business as well”. - Rebecca Spencer

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precept optimum performance

Get the best price for your services

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Precept Mentoring Group specialise in helping ambitious business owners maximise their sales through the use of simple and easily learned techniques. The business was founded by Phil and Ginny Atherton in September 2005 and has coached over 150 businesses since then. The Precept training is based on the latest thinking in the world of sales and sales process, but also adds in key elements of psychology into the way we make our buying decisions.

T

here are so many conflicting issues we face when attempting to get the best price for our work. For example:

WHAT IS OUR WORTH? It can be very difficult, especially with a service that requires a lot of judgement in determining its quality and value, to make a true valuation of our worth. Most of us will tend to underestimate the value that we offer. Now, this is worrying – I know of many people who have lost business because their price was too low; the customer didn’t believe they could deliver the value they were promising at the price quoted, and so bought from a more expensive competitor. WHAT IS THE CUSTOMER WILLING TO PAY? Asking them outright is a valid tactic, but how many customers will answer that question honestly? Yet, without having a sense of their budget, how can we accurately create a suitable offer for them? WHO AM I COMPETING AGAINST? When we are trying to set our prices, and to define our offers it can help enormously if we know who our competitors are. Sometimes a customer will tell us, and sometimes they won’t. Creative Light - Issue 5


WHAT IS THE CUSTOMER LOOKING FOR? This is such an important point, and we need to ensure we develop our questioning skills to the extent that we are able to uncover this information consistently and accurately. Now, would you be interested if I told you there was a short-cut to getting your pricing right – and that short-cut will help you to get the maximum for your service?

THE SCIENCE In order to understand the short-cut and how to use it we need to look at the psychological processes that go through all our minds when we make buying decisions. Scientists have now calculated that, on average, we in the developed world each make 35,000 decisions a day. Yes, you read that right – a day. And that is every day, not just one day after which we go off for a rest. We make 35,000 decisions in a single day and make it look effortless. And then we get up and make another 35,000 decisions the next day, and the next, and the next. Now just thinking about that fact is exhausting. But can you imagine how much effort it must take to actually make all those decisions. So, how do we do it? The answer is we employ 2 very powerful tools. The first is our unconscious brain. By far the most powerful part of our brain is the unconscious part. It can process 20,000,000 bits of information every second (whereas our conscious brain can only handle a mere 250 bits of information per second) and it makes the vast majority of the 35,000 decisions a day that are necessary for our successful functioning in this world. The second is the way that our unconscious brain works. This is an oversimplification for the purposes of explaining what comes next, but our unconscious is able to make so many decisions because it runs a complex series of simple rules over and over again – rather like a very powerful supercomputer. Those rules have been learned by making decisions in the past and reviewing the results of them. When the results come out well the unconscious brain recognises that as a good rule and stores it away to be used again when a similar situation occurs.

our unconscious brain uses a rule that works well for it most of the time. It makes a comparison. It simply says “what can I compare this with that will help me work out its value?”

DECOY OFFERS You can use this to guide your customers to buy a specific thing from you by creating a decoy offer that is very similar to, but not quite as good as, the item you want to sell. Let’s say you have two products that the customer might buy from you, both of which do a similar job, but one provides you with a much higher profit than the other. You want the customers to buy the one with the higher margin, don’t you? This is how you would do it. You create a third product or offer, very similar to the one you want your customers to buy, but not quite as good. When the customers have a choice of three products, they will tend to choose between the two that are most similar. As one is obviously better value than the other, they will choose that one. The product you created was the decoy, and that steered the customer to the product you really wanted to sell. You can also use the decoy technique to encourage your customers to ignore your competitors. Remember, the principle is that we will make decisions by comparing things. The more similar the things are, the more easily we can compare them, and the more likely we are to ignore other options. What could be easier for a customer to compare than two offers from you? Simply by offering your customers a choice you will make it harder for them to consider buying from your competitors.

PERCEPTUAL CONTRAST Another way you can use this principle of comparisons is in a situation where you have a

THE FALLIBLE BRAIN Now, here is the vital bit for us. Those rules will work really well for us – most of the time. But there are certain circumstances in which those rules will not work in our best interests. Circumstances where the situation is similar to a previous one, but not exactly the same. We make a massive number of buying decisions every single day, and an important part of those buying decisions is establishing value. Now, working out the value of something is incredibly difficult to do, especially when valuing a service. So, Issue 5 - Creative Light

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range of products for people to choose from. In his book “Yes! 50 secrets from the science of persuasion” Robert Cialdini tells the story of how Williams Sonoma vastly increased the sales of one of their most expensive bread-makers, simply by adding an even more expensive one into their range. The principle of perceptual contrast means that if we see a very high priced product, that price influences our perception of what is a realistic price for that type of product. So, in the Williams Sonoma case, a large number of people who would previously have thought the top of the range bread-maker was too expensive now thought it quite reasonable because they were comparing it with an even more expensive one.

IN CONCLUSION While it is very difficult to accurately determine the value of your work, or the pricing that your competitors will offer, or the budget that the customer has in mind, you can successfully influence the customer to pay the price that you want to receive by giving him things to compare that make your ideal offer look very attractive. LIKE TO KNOW MORE? If you would like to know about more ways in which you can use psychology to improve your success in selling why not sign up for our free, weekly sales tips. In there we give you a simple idea to try each week. Use the ones that work for you and ditch the ones that don’t. Week by week you will get more and more successful in selling your services. To sign up either go to: www.preceptoptimumperformance.co.uk and scroll down to the “no, not yet” sign-up option or e-mail ginny@precept.uk.com and ask to be added to the list. - Ginny Atherton

Restaurants do this all the time. Next time you go out for a meal, look at the wine list. Many restaurants offer wines at a range of prices, starting with the house wine at the bottom, and working up to the most expensive, “special reserve”. The “special reserve” will often have a really high price tag, much more than the second most expensive wine. How much of the “special reserve” do you think the restaurant sells? In fact the question is irrelevant, because the “special reserve” is actually there to encourage sales of the next most expensive wine. By showing a very high price for the top wine, they make the second most expensive appear less so. This will be the most profitable wine on the restaurant menu.

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Precept Optimum Performance Precept Mentoring Group Ltd, Precept House, 82 Leicester Road, Quorn, Leicestershire LE12 8BB

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spotlight Congratulations Michelle Wiggett Qualified Professional December 2014

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Composition “

Photography is all about light, composition and, most importantly, emotion”. - Larry Wilder

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julie oswin

ince the birth of digital technology, the focus of photography has been directed towards the technical aspects and not so much attention has been given to the artistic and creative side. Buying a digital camera and then expecting to be able to take great photographs straight out of the box doesn’t happen. You will, of course, be able to take acceptable pictures because of the technology built into the camera but the ability to take good photographs comes from the skill of learning the craft.

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Composition. Where do you start? Experienced photographers will tell you the best place to start is the Rule of Thirds. Like all rules, they are made to be broken but before you can make that decision you need to understand how it works. For centuries, the Rules of Thirds is probably the most important part of all composition techniques. Divide the frame into three horizontal and three vertical sections. A ‘hot spot’ is where the lines intersect and cross. Composition is the placement of your subject within the frame, and your subject should be placed in the strongest part of the photograph and not smack in the middle. The grid is a good technique to help you to create a picture, see the examples on the opposite page. Once you have learnt the Rules of Thirds you will then have the confidence to decide when you need to apply the rules and when you can get by without it. Take one of your photography books. Study the photographs, are the Rule of Thirds applied? You will find that the majority of the images do. Once you can see the composition applied to an image you will start to realise that the ‘Rules of Thirds’ is one of the core elements of a photograph.

Guidelines for the Rules of Thirds

When we watch the television, the same rules apply, leading lines, shape are all applied to take

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Š Karl Bratby Issue 5 - Creative Light

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Cropping the image using the guidelines of the Rule of Thirds grid gives impact to the image and balance.

Š Claire Elliott - the finished crop ready for framing.

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the viewers eye along and around the picture to keep our attention. When two people are talking on the screen the camera will focus on the person talking and the other person will be slightly blurred to subconciously keep your attention. A photograph has the framework similarly to that of a film or TV scene to hold the viewer’s attention and to create congruence to the brain Learning to ‘see’ a photograph, how to light it, correctly expose it and compose an image is where we start to build a photograph. A computer doesn’t take a photograph. Spending hours on the computer editing is not photography. There is a misunderstanding of today’s technology that photographs can be ‘fixed’ in the computer; they can be, but you will spend hours sometimes day’s doing it. Photography is a combination of technical expertise as well as creativity; there are no short-cuts; no quick fixes; just sheer hard work and determination. Learn your craft, and use the main elements of composition to guide your photography to the next level. The results and the rewards you will start to achieve will pay dividends. - Julie Oswin http://bit.ly/1w9gFlY © Julie Oswin

© Karl Bratby - correct use of negative space.

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Attitude problem?

kate hopewell-smith

“I

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get to meet lots of you these days – photographers who make the industry what it is now and what it will be in the future. It has been very interesting because I have been exposed to a spectrum of attitude – positive to negative. And the negativity seems to get blamed on the fact that our industry is experiencing a great deal of change. But isn’t that just an excuse? It’s the easy way to explain negativity rather than accepting that attitude is everything. Your attitude governs the way you perceive the world and the way the world perceives you. You might wonder why I’m mulling this one over? The truth is that every other day or so I see or read something that makes me literally shake my head in surprise and disbelief. Sometimes it is related to my business and sometimes I am merely a third party observer – which is so often the case on forums and social networks. For example, recently I was out and about when I received an email enquiry which read, “Hi Kate. Love your work! Could you please provide a full cost breakdown of your collections. Thank you X”. I replied saying thank you for the lovely comment and asked whether they were interested in weddings, portraits or boudoir and they responded to confirm portraits. I had cc’d Becky

(my studio manager) so that she could reply with the information. A little while later I got an email from Becky who, having had some strange sixth sense, had googled the hotmail address and found it linked to a Facebook photography page and business. I wrote back to X and asked if he was interested in a shoot or just wanted the full cost breakdown to compare to his business. I politely caught him out in other words. He responded with an email lamenting the attitude of his clients, the market need for digital images and the effect of the north/south divide. Without an apology about his intent he was asking for my advice on various issues. I responded by saying “If I’m totally honest with you the way you tried to get my pricing information has bothered me – I know photographers do it all the time – but I don’t like it. That’s why I train for myself, Nikon, The Guild and Aspire – because I’m very happy to share my experience and knowledge that way. I wish you all the best, Kate”. His email back to me was something else – but this was my favourite bit “Sometimes it’s nice to share; not everything in life is about money you know? I guess you’re still to learn that though”. Head shake. You see the truth is entirely different. In reality if you are lucky enough to have some influence in the industry you absolutely must be prepared to give back. A positive, Creative Light - Issue 5


generosity of spirit is a pre-requisite to success amongst your peers. Of course I gain financially by writing columns and training but I rarely earn a penny for industry talks, The Photography Show or the camera clubs that ask me to speak. I fill in lengthy questionnaires for students on a weekly basis – in the hope that I will give them a commercial perspective to compare to the theory they are studying. And we don’t get paid for the time we put into the Panel – just in case you were wondering. You see I believe that attitude is a choice –`good and bad things happen to all of us and it’s how we choose to respond that matters. Truly understanding this does mean you are forced to accept responsibility for your situation – you can no longer blame anyone else for where you are and what your business looks like. Log on to any photography forum and someone will be blaming weekend warriors, postcodes, Groupon, burning to disc etc as the reason their business is not successful. Running a photography business is HARD and like restaurants many will fail. I have no doubt that if an outsider was sent in to a struggling photography business Gordon Ramsay style (think Photography Nightmares) they would soon unearth the boxes that are left un-ticked. Think about what those boxes are: technical competence, professional level kit, vision and a good compositional eye, effective branding and positioning, a consistent and recognisable portfolio, business and admin skills, web and social media presence, work ethic , ambition and people skills. That last one really matters – in many ways more than the rest. My clients would tell you that I am always positive and engaged with a real concern for their well being and satisfaction. I don’t always have the right energy to deliver this – of course I can have a negative attitude sometimes because I’m human and stuff happens in my life like it does in yours. When my attitude is less than positive I am aware of it and I don’t answer the phone or respond to my email. I have to shut the world out, maybe edit with music on and get my head back into the right space to run a people business. What I don’t do is log on to a forum and have a moan and a bitch – it’s just not cool and it leaves others with a bad taste in their mouth. I know I am not alone in my feelings about the attitude problem in the industry and some could argue that my role is to be only positive and encouraging. However many people have told me that they value my honesty and this is something I feel quite strongly about. Together, individually, let’s make ‘photography’ a nice place to work”. - Kate Hopewell-Smith

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spotlight Congratulations Tracy Lund Gold Bar October 2014

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spotlight Congratulations Mark Lynham Gold Bar November 2014

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spotlight Congratulations Gavin Prest Gold Bar October 2014

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spotlight Congratulations Chris Chambers Gold Bar November 2014

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spotlight Congratulations Sam Hayward Gold Bar November 2014

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spotlight Congratulations Tracy Lund Gold Bar October 2014

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Do you know... ...as a business owner of a Limited Company what information YOU HAVE to include on your business stationery?

By Law you have to display the following information if you are a Limited Company or face a fine of up to £1000.

companies house

BUSINESS STATIONERY

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This includes - business letters, written orders for goods or services to be supplied, business emails, invoices and receipts issued in the course of the business, written demands for payment of debts arising in the course of business.

BUSINESS NAME A ’business name’ is any name under which someone carries on business other than in their name (as it appears in its memorandum of association)

1: On which documents must the company name be shown? Whether in hard copy, electronic or any other form a company must state its name, in legible lettering, on the following -

1: All the company’s business letters, order ; 2: All its notices and other official publications;

3: All bills of exchange, promissory notes, endorsements, cheques and orders for money or Creative Light - Issue 5


goods purporting to be signed by, or on behalf of, the company;

4: All its bills of parcels, invoices, receipts and letters of credit on all its websites.

2. Must I show any other company details? On all of its business letters, order forms (whether in hard copies or any other form) and any company’s websites, the company must show in legible lettering – • Its place of registration* • Registered number • Its registered office address (even if this is your accountant’s address which is sometimes used).

If a business letter or order form or any of the company’s websites, mentions more than one address, it is recommended that you state which is the registered office address and if it is being wound up, that fact,

5 . What if the company is being wound up? If the company is being wound up, every invoice, order for goods, business letter or order form (whether in hard copy, electronic or any other form) must contain a statement that the company is being wound up.

6. So what happens if you don’t comply ?  If a company fails to comply with these legal obligations, the company itself and every officer (directors etc.) may have committed an offence and be liable to a fine. 

The fine is up to £1,000 for the offence itself and then for continued breach a daily penalty of up to £100. All information can be found here:https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ companies-house

Whenever an email is used where its paper equivalent would be caught by the stationery requirements then that email is also subject to the requirements.

* For companies registered in England and Wales: • Registered in Cardiff • Registered in England and Wales • Registered in England • Registered in London • Registered in Wales * For companies registered in Scotland: • Registered in Scotland • Registered in Edinburgh FOR WEBSITES - The information doesn’t need to be on every page but does need to be displayed clearly somewhere. A company does not have to state the directors’ names on its business letters, order forms and any company’s websites but, if it chooses to do so it must state the names of all its directors. In other words, a company cannot be selective about which directors’ names it shows, it must show all of them or none of them.

4 . Do the rules apply to oversea companies? A company formed outside Great Britain which opens a branch or place of business in Great Britain must register with Companies House and must publicly display similar details to those set out above. Full details are listed in the Companies House booklet entitled “Oversea Companies”. Issue 5 - Creative Light

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spotlight Congratulations Gillian Lloyd Qualified Professional December 2014

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spotlight Congratulations Laura Spence Qualified Newborn & Baby Photographers November 2014

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Damian McGillicuddy, the multi award-winning Professional Photographer and Olympus UK’s Principal Photographer and Educator talks you through how this shot was done.

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KINGSTON CHIQUE

Olympus OM-D EM-1 with M.Zuiko 45mm 1:1.8

My given location was a far from glamourous corner of the John Lewis in-store restaurant in Kingston. The saving grace for me was the lovely long curved wall, this was to become my recessing backdrop to create depth and the prop on which to pose my subject. To achieve this a placed this light to camera left behind the “BIG softie” and set the zoom on the flash for a wide coverage. I let most of the light spill on the wall and allowed just the edge to act as the “kicker” making sure not to strike her nose! This light was metered at f2.5. It’s interesting to note that the light striking the wall, because its more powerful, has a lighter blue hue to it than the light sneaking under the table to the seating, gels can be funny things. Behind the scenes at John Lewis in Kingston

From the behind the scenes image you can see that the location was… not that inspiring, so I used an old trick of throwing a little colour around to give the image an edge and a little more interest.

The final light in the mix was the ambient light in the room. By dragging the shutter I used this light to control the density of the shadows on the subjects face. This image was shot hand held at a 50th of a sec.

Windows

My first light, light “A”on the diagram, was a simple barefaced Olympus FL-50R speedlight fitted with a CTO gel. This light was aimed at the back wall to give a little warmth and depth. I’d measured the ambient at a 30th at f2 so this light was metered at f2.5, just enough for it to take control. My “key” or main light again was an FL-50R speedlight, this time though it was modified by my multi use “BIG softie” light modifier. It was set to camera left, raised until it touched the ceiling and reverse feathered off the background. It was positioned to light the outfit and give a pleasing soft Rembrandt pattern to the mask of the subjects face. This light was metered to f2.8. The Third light, light “B” on my diagram was actually the hardest to place. Once more this was a barefaced FL-50R fitted with a quarter cut CTB gel. I needed this light to do double duty for me. I wanted it to not only act as a “kicker” on the subject and carve her out of the background but I also wanted it to add a cool wash of light on the curve of the wall to separate this from the warmly lit background and offer a greater sense of separation and depth.

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A FL-50R with CTO

Subject

B FL-50R with CTB

Table McGillicuddy “BIG softie” modifier powered by an FL-50R as the “key”

Table

OM-D EM-1 with 45mm

Me

Visit www.damianmcgillicuddy.com to find out about our forthcoming photography events.

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

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spotlight Congratulations Nina Mace Gold Bar October 2014

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“the boys” © 2014 Mark Lynham http://www.marklynham.com 84

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Š Penny Hardie www.pennyhardie.com

merry christmas and a happy new year from syd

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