Creative Light - Issue 58

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Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Contents 8

Through the Lens of Time Steve & Lesley Thirsk

18 28 48

Pickups for Peace | Ukraine Mick Ryan

62 76

Lights, Camera, Photoshop Actions Simon Newbury

92 108


Landscape Photography of Scotland Stuart Waugh Using LinkedIn’s Creator Mode

Jeff Brown

More Than What You See Charlotte Bellamy Guide to Christmas Food Photography Emma Dunham Staging Property Photography Peter Morgan

: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

EDITOR’S CHOICE Peter Benson Silver Award - October 2023 Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Promaster, Wilkinson Cameras most comprehensive range of photo & video essentials. 4

: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

EDITOR Julie Oswin Welcome to the latest issue of Creative Light, the Guild of Photographers’ Online Magazine. As we bid farewell to 2023, we are thrilled to bring you a collection of articles and features that encapsulate the essence of photography and the creative process that fuels it. In this final edition of 2023, I have endeavoured to provide a platform for seasoned professionals, budding photographers, and enthusiasts alike. My aim? To create a space where you can share your experiences, learn from others, and find inspiration in the myriad ways that photography touches our lives. There is a very moving article written by Mick Ryan on his Humanitarian Road Trip to Ukraine. His words paint vivid pictures that will transport you to places far beyond your immediate surroundings, reminding us of photography’s power to tell stories and evoke emotions. Stuart Waugh offers an insightful look into his craft for those interested in landscape photography. His article is not just about capturing beautiful vistas; it’s about understanding the landscape and forming a connection with it. As we approach the festive season, we also bring you tips on how to capture Christmas food photography with Emma Dunham. This delightful feature will inspire you to see and photograph your Christmas feast in a new light. In addition, Jeff Brown shares his expertise on leveraging LinkedIn as a platform for photographers. His article provides practical advice on how to use this professional networking site to showcase your work and connect with potential clients. Last, but not least, there is the heartwarming story behind the Guild of Photographers owners, Steve & Lesley Thirsk. Their journey with the Guild over the last fourteen years is nothing short of inspiring. It’s a testament to their passion for photography and their commitment to nurturing a community of photographers. Creative Light Magazine aims to inspire your own creative journey. With something for everyone in this issue, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed curating it for you. So, sit back, relax, and let the pages of Creative Light illuminate your path towards photographic excellence. - Julie Oswin, Editor

Front Cover - Issue 58 Tim Burgess Superb image captured by Guild Photographer Tim Burgess. Received a Silver Award in the Guild’s Image of the Month competition - September 2023. A perfect front cover image taken in Dartmoor National Park.

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


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: November | December 2023 - Issue 58



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Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Through the Lens of Time:

Steve & Lesley Thirsk’s 14 year Journey at the helm of the Guild of Photographers The Story Behind The Guild: The Guild of Photographers was born over time and carefully crafted from a shared passion for photography and a desire to create a supportive community for photographers. The Guild’s roots can be traced back to when photography was still developing as an art form, and the need for a collective voice became increasingly apparent. Over the years, The Guild has evolved into more than just an association; it’s a family where every member is valued, every achievement celebrated, and every challenge faced together. We’ve grown from a group of wedding photographers into a diverse community of professionals and enthusiasts alike, all bound by our shared love for this beautiful art form.

Photos by Gary Hill

The Journey of Steve & Lesley Thirsk: Fourteen years ago, Steve & Lesley Thirsk embarked on an exciting journey when they took over The Guild. They have steered The Guild towards new horizons with their combined business management experience and shared passion for photography. Under their leadership, The Guild has flourished into one of the most respected photography associations in the UK. They’ve worked tirelessly to create an environment that encourages learning and growth while maintaining a strong sense of community among members. Steve & Lesley have always believed in the power of education. They’ve introduced numerous workshops, seminars, and training programs designed to help photographers hone their skills and stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the photographic industry. They’ve also established various awards and recognition programs to celebrate the outstanding work of Guild members. But their journey hasn’t been without challenges. They’ve had to navigate the rapidly changing landscape of photography, adapting to new technologies and trends while staying true to the Guild’s core values. Their unwavering commitment to the Guild and its members has been a constant source of inspiration. 8

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Q: When you took over the reins at the Guild of Photographers 14 years ago, what was your vision for the association, and how has that vision evolved? Lesley: “We both wanted to give photographers support, opportunities and knowledge sharing as well as a sense of community – things that I would have loved, that weren’t available to me when I started my photography journey and business many years ago. We also wanted to continue having standards and skill-based benchmarks based around the history of crafts or guilds, which could also be promoted to those wanting to use a professional photographer. Whilst a lot of things have changed or evolved over the years, our vision remains the same.”

Q: Building from just 80 members to over 2000 members within a few years is a significant accomplishment. What strategies did you employ to attract and retain such a diverse community of photographers, including both professionals and enthusiasts? Steve: “Our website says, ‘the people behind the camera matter to us’, which has always been at the heart of what we do. When we relaunched the Guild, we aimed to make it multi-faceted and as bespoke as possible with things like 1-2-1 Mentoring, Personal Support and Advice. The most pleasing part of the Guild’s growth is the fact that it has mainly done so through recommendation by members attracting like-minded people.”

Q: Can you share some key milestones or challenges you faced during the growth of the Guild, and how did you overcome them? Steve: “The growth mentioned above was probably our biggest challenge. We started with manual processes (e.g. IOM entries were sent to Lesley and attached to emails). We had to source and move across to some automated processes, such as our competition website, and we’ve had to upgrade websites three times so far, which is a huge task. Also, as things grew, we needed staff and a panel of judges to help us. We’ve been blessed to work with some amazing people over the years, many becoming personal friends.” Lesley: “There have been lots of Milestones - our first Guild website, our very own Creative Light magazine, introducing our monthly competition and hosting our first Awards night with 21 guests and three Awards. The Covid-19 Pandemic was a huge milestone, too, as we then introduced Webinars and, of course, recorded an Awards night in our living room in snippets/sections, piecing it all together to go live on Facebook for our members in 2021 (that was a significant challenge, too, as we’d never done anything like it before)” I still love the outtakes from that which we shared of course! I could name many other things, too, as there is so much that I’m proud of.” [WATCH THE OUTAKES HERE]

Q: The Guild offers various services, including training, webinars, workshops, seminars, IOM (Image of the Month) and a mentoring system. How do you balance providing these diverse offerings while maintaining a cohesive vision for the Guild? Steve: “Whilst all these things may seem diverse actually, they are really linked elements to help, motivate and inspire photographers on their personal journeys.” Lesley: “I see each aspect as a teaching block to help with personal development. I was in the Education system for over 30 years, and many special children passed through my watch. They arrive at school in the first September of their school life, and with an assortment of learning tools and support, they progress through tests and SATS, on to GCSEs and potentially A levels, then Degrees. In some respects, the Guild can be seen in a similar way to that. We have webinars packed with learning, plus we offer mentoring and feedback on images. Through the Image of the Month competition, members can challenge themselves and have their images graded by our very experienced judges, and we have qualification opportunities, too (Craft linked, obviously, as we are a Guild). We have many members who have become stronger photographers through these tools.”

Q: In what ways has the photography industry evolved since you took over the Guild, and how has the association adapted to these changes? Steve: “Wow, what an interesting question! When the Guild was initially formed in the 1980s, it was the Guild of Wedding Photographers, so it covered no other genres. There was no website, no emails, no mobile phones, just Newsletters posted to members and a ‘Manual of Guidance’ showing ‘correct’ posing. At that time, professional photographers mainly used Medium Format film cameras, and many enthusiasts used continued... 35mm cameras. Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Lesley started her photography business and joined the Guild in around 2000, and her tool of choice then was a Pentax645. When she became a Master Craftsman a few years later, part of the process was having albums assessed, and at that time, albums were primarily photographs with mounts over them. Digital then started to come to the fore and digital cameras were embraced by professionals and enthusiasts alike, as was editing software and digitally designed albums giving far more creative opportunities! When we took over and relaunched the multi-genre Guild of Photographers in 2008, the database was on floppy discs… and now the use of Artificial Intelligence is growing rapidly. How much things have changed in almost 15 years! Obviously, the Guild has embraced technological changes over the years – particularly communication and online-based. Our industry will continue to evolve in the years to come, but the heart of photography will remain the same – it’s about people with a passion for capturing a moment in time. Our role within the Guild is to support those people, so actually stays constant, whatever the changes.”

Q: The Image of the Month (IOM) competition is a flagship event for the Guild and its members. How has it inspired the members and contributed to the overall growth and reputation of the organisation? Lesley: “The IOM is one of the best things to come out of the Guild. Little did I know how big it would get or how many photographers would want to enter this competition, which started in 2012. We started it for several reasons - We wanted to push and inspire people and, at the same time, have Photographer of the Year titles based on a year’s work rather than a single image, and we deliberately have several recognition levels so people can see their progress. We also wanted it to be a confidential process; hence, members now have private areas on our competition website. Some people enter simply for fun, others to get promotional content for their business. Some want to know at what level they are and learn by entering and getting feedback from some of the best Judges in the industry. Then there are those challenging themselves to get the Photographers Bar, maybe a Title, or get into our Yearbook. It does not matter why people enter it; everyone will do it for their own reason, and it’s only themselves they are competing against. We typically get 1000-1500 entries a month, so judging all these entries and the associated behind-thescenes work takes three weeks – hence, the 21st (our results day) is such an important and passionate day every month. Believe it or not, I’ve overseen almost 150,000 images since the IOM started, and I’m proud of every entry! It can be nerve-racking to enter, and obviously, not everyone will want to enter the competition, but everyone can only be inspired by the entries! I am one very proud ‘Mama Guild’. From ‘little acorns’ comes to mind… I cannot wait for our next Awards Night in February!”

Q: Can you elaborate on the role of mentoring within the Guild? How does the mentoring system work, and what kind of impact have you observed on photographers who participate in it? Steve: “This is another great thing to be proud of. Our great Panel really do aim to ‘Pay It Forward’ through our mentoring programme, and there are two things I particularly love about it. First, it’s a confidential in-person 1-2-1 undertaken online tailored to the Photographer, wherever they are on their journey. Because it’s in-person, questions can be asked, and demonstrations of tweaks are shown! Secondly, we’ve seen the difference mentoring makes. Just one session can make a huge difference to a photographer’s work, and it can help push people to levels they didn’t believe they would ever attain. Every person who acts as a mentor has been on the same journey as the photographers they speak to. It has taken them years of learning to get things right and wrong along the way to get where they are. Through our mentoring, photographers can tap into those years of experience and accelerate learning.”

Q: Are there any specific success stories or notable achievements of Guild members that you find inspiring or representative of the Guild’s impact? Lesley: “There are many people that have inspired Steve and myself with their personal journeys; we wouldn’t want to name any individual people, but it’s very clear we are privileged to be part of an amazing community where people support each other and pay it forward too!”

Q: The Guild caters to both professional photographers and enthusiasts. How do you balance meeting the needs of these two distinct groups within the same community? Steve: “Everyone is a photographer on a personal journey, so belongs to the same community in our eyes. Of course, people have different needs, but they can ‘cherry-pick’ what they want from all the different elements the Guild offers.” 10

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EMMA POPE GOLD AWARD September 2023 Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Q: What advice would you give aspiring photographers looking to join the Guild or pursue a photography career? Lesley: “Prepare and learn! Absorb as much information as you can to help you navigate your own photography journey. Listen to those who have already done it and have lots of experience to share and educate yourselves, e.g. Training courses, online courses, webinars, etc., to get as much knowledge and skills as you can cope with, then go forward with your own style. The Guild may not be for everyone, but it is a starting point and will be with people throughout their journeys”.

Q: As a married couple, how do you navigate the dynamic of being both life partners and business partners in running the Guild of Photographers? Steve: “Earplugs and drink! I say earplugs as Lesley can touch type at speed but has a noisy keyboard she loves too much to change, and we can have a glass of Vino when it’s ‘us time’ at the end of a day. Joking apart, I have no earplugs. We are very different people, and on a day-to-day basis, we pretty much have different roles within the Guild based on our strengths and interests. We may be in the same office, but we are usually (though not always) working on different things. Somehow, it just works (well, most of the time)

Q: What is your favourite location in the world and why? Lesley: We have been very lucky to visit a number of amazing places around the world. We both love lakes and mountains, so Austria or Italy to relax, though seeing the Valley of the Kings in Egypt was a trip we’ll never forget.

Q: How do you relax after a busy day? Lesley: “A walk along the local canal or sitting in the garden when the weather permits. I love crafts, too. Sometimes, I don’t think we get enough opportunity to relax, and that’s our fault.” Steve: “Our garden is my go-to place in the warmer months, but you can’t beat a good movie in front of a fire in the colder ones, and it goes without saying we love time with family and friends.”

Q: What is one thing you hope every member takes away from their experience with the Guild? Lesley: “For me, it’s knowing that we have done our very best for them! We allow every individual to learn and equip themselves to go further in their photography journey. Perhaps more importantly, I hope they know the Guild is there to help, assist, listen and advise, no matter how big or small the question or problem is!”

Q: Finally, what is Christmas like for you both? Lesley: “Christmas is the most magical time, and we both adore it! Our house is full of decorations we’ve collected together over the years, and everyone remembers the places we’ve visited on our travels. The Christmas movies, songs and jumpers are on from the beginning of December, if not before, and we particularly love family time over this period. We are blessed with four wonderful young grandchildren, so we are seeing the magic of Christmas through their eyes, too!” Steve: “Lesley has said it all, really. As an aside, we have given our children Advent Calendars with a different family photo behind each door this year. Every day, when a door is opened, it results in a smile and a happy memory from the past year – it’s so important to print! We should all do it more! Doing that will be my New Year’s resolution.” *** “ The Guild of Photographers is more than just an Association; it’s a vibrant community of passionate individuals who believe in the power of photography to capture the beauty of our world. A big thank you to Steve & Lesley for sharing such an amazing insight into their journey with the Guild of Photographers. I am sure that as they look back on their journey, Steve & Lesley are filled with pride and gratitude. They’re proud of what the Guild has achieved and grateful for the opportunity to serve a community they deeply care about. But they’re not resting on their laurels. They’re excited about the future and are committed to leading the Guild towards even greater heights.” - Julie Oswin Editor, Creative Light Magazine 12

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Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :



: November | December 2023 - Issue 58 Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :



: November | December 2023 - Issue 58


Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


PICKUPS FOR PEACE Mick Ryan P4P, or to give it its full title, Pickups for Peace, is a Scottish charity set up by Scottish farmer Mark Laird, who also owns crop farms in Poland and Ukraine. Their main aim is to send help and support to Ukraine in the form of donated pickup trucks, medical supplies and anything else that will fit in a pickup truck! With that in mind, I’ll take you back to a conversation I had with a good friend of mine, Rupert Shaw, a deer farmer based at Gledpark in Galloway, Scotland. Sitting in Rupert’s garden on a fine sunny late afternoon, watching Rupert’s son and my daughter light fires, enjoying themselves without a care for the world and its problems, I’d just cracked open my second bottle of IPA when Rupert turned to me and announced, “I’m going to Ukraine, I’m driving the pickup and donating it” I took a swig. I replied, “I’m coming with you.” Seven weeks later, I’m standing on the platform at Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, waiting for an underground train to Liverpool, filled with excitement, a little trepidation and wonder of what the next six days would bring. It was the start of a 1,500-mile trip by trains, boats and automobiles that would take me into the heart of Ukraine. Little did I know after stepping off the train at Liverpool that the next three hours would become the hardest part of the journey!!! My aim was to get to Hull, where the ferry to Rotterdam leaves from, and meet with Rupert, who was driving his pickup from Scotland. I’d done my research and bought my tickets Liverpool to York, York to Hull, easy and have an hour to spare. Two hours later, I’m in Manchester Piccadilly, desperately trying to get a phone signal and find out how I would get to Hull after a whole raft of train cancellations!! I eventually got through to Rupert, telling him to divert to Leeds to pick me up, as that is as near to Hull as I could manage, almost four hours later. 18

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After a fabulous Sunday roast on board, we settled in our cabins and tried to sleep on the overnight ferry, as the next morning was the start of a mammoth drive through the Netherlands, Germany and Poland. Our target destination was an interesting hotel just outside Wroclaw in the South of Poland, and with a few stops here and there, it would take us the best part of thirteen hours. Passing Utrecht, Aersfoort, Apeldoorn and along A1 towards Germany, I was struck by the amount of green corridor bridges that crossed over the motorways from one forest to another, the same in Poland too; it left me wondering why we can’t do that here in Britain. In all those miles of driving, I only saw one dead animal on the road, and that was in Ukraine. Into Germany, the fast cars of the autobahn past

Hanover and onto Magdeburg, turning right towards Leipzig, thus avoiding the traffic nightmare of Berlin. On past Dresden, a beautiful rainbow delighted the late afternoon sky, giving us a hint of the coming weather. The dark arrived as we approached Poland, as did the rain and a motorway closure!! The one major drawback with using satnav is they don’t recognise road closures in time!! We had a lovely detour through East German villages, Western Polish villages, and farmland, and I swear we went back into German territory more than once!!

After completing document checks, Rupert and I joined 40+ like-minded people in a convoy to the border; it hadn’t escaped us that in a few hours, we would be driving into a warzone with the risks that came with it; we were ready. It was, after all, why we had come.

The 120-mile drive to Wroclaw from the border was wet, very wet; the rain was coming down in biblical proportions, and it was obvious we would make it to our hotel at 11 pm, thus missing restaurant opening hours. We stopped at a Polish service station in the middle of the back of beyond; we didn’t speak Polish, they didn’t speak English and trying to find out what the flat breadcrumb-covered meat was was like a scene from a comedy sketch!! Finally, after my impressions of a chicken and a pig were amusingly received, I opted for the chicken!!

All location settings on our phones were turned off, and a self-imposed ban on social media was put into place as we passed through border control and into Ukraine. Here, we were met by police who escorted us during the 2-hour drive into Lviv and the final destination for our Pickup journey.

The Hotel, Palac Krobielowice, 15 miles from Wroclaw, was reached just after 11.30 pm, where we met a few of the other drivers we would be travelling in convoy with after entering Ukraine the following day. The hotel was fascinating and started life as a 14th-century defensive tower!! A fortified mansion and once being the residence of the Prussian Field Marshall who defeated Napoleon Bonaparte at Waterloo! After breakfast and a briefing to all drivers on where to meet before going in convoy to the Polish/Ukrainian border, we set off on the sixhour journey to a Netto car park a mile from the Ukrainian border. The rain returned, making driving conditions pretty treacherous for most of the 350mile journey. That didn’t seem to deter the speed of the Polish drivers, and along the way, we witnessed the aftermath of at least ten serious road traffic accidents but no traffic jams!! Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Along the way, we passed villagers waving Union Jack and Ukrainian flags, the most ornate churches and tiny houses with huge allotment-sized front gardens, a throwback to the collectivist era of the Soviet Union.

We entered the outskirts of Lviv in the late afternoon, the blue lights and sirens of the police escort leading us through the city traffic as pedestrians stopped and stared with appreciative waves and gestures as our vehicles rumbled across the cobbled streets and into the city centre and the municipal square where we came to a stop, our final moments in the vehicles we’d called home for two days and in Rupert’s case, been driving for ten years.

We walked the few hundred yards to our hotel. We were struck by the sheer beauty of the historical city that has gone through so much conflict from being under the rule of Austria, Germany, Poland, and Russia and now belonging to Ukraine. We were met with a drinks reception at the hotel, and the evident appreciation of the locals created a buzz as we all made new friends and shared the different experiences of our journeys.

We were brought back to reality when we were given a safety briefing in case of air raids and shown the bunkers to make our way to if the air raid sirens were sounded. We were also informed of the midnight curfew in operation. Nobody is allowed on the streets after midnight till 6am. This really brought it home to me that we were in a war-torn country, and the risk was real!!

After a pleasant night’s sleep, no air raids and a hearty breakfast, we made our way to where the vehicles had been parked the night before for an official handover. We were greeted by a bank of TV cameras, reporters, local politicians, business owners and military personnel; this was a big deal and the feeling that we had actually done something to make a difference filled us with pride. After all the dignitaries were done, we were all handed a bottle of Ukrainian Vodka as a thank you (which didn’t last the long journey home!!) and invited to a guided tour of the city. 20

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The guide, a Ukrainian academic, took us on a journey through centuries, relaying stories of oppression and injustice and explaining why the Ukrainian people are such a formidable and proud force. We were in an absolutely beautiful city, rivals to Prague, Budapest, and Krakow in their architecture and charm.

We ended the tour with a heart-wrenching trip to Lychakivsky Cemetery. This historic cemetery is the site of a memorial to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army, which fought for independence against both the Nazis and Soviets up until the 1950s. However, the most moving part of the cemetery which borders the main cemetery is the military cemetery opened at the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine, called the Field of Mars, a field that lay empty for years now has over 1,000 young men from Lviv buried there and the number increases weekly. Each grave is decorated with the Blue and Yellow Ukrainian flag, and some are also decorated with the black and red flag of the Ukrainian army. I watched a single butterfly flutter amongst the flowers on the graves coming to rest on the grave of a young man born in 2001. There was a constant stream of young and older women visiting the grave site, one particularly standing out to me as I watched her visit four graves, taking time at each before moving on to the next. It was a very sombre moment of which I’ll never forget and cemented the reason we were there.

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: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


The afternoon was spent visiting a potato farm in the Ukrainian countryside, which is an essential part of local food production. A missile in a field shot down the night before again brought the reality of life in the whole of Ukraine at this present time.


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Our last evening in Lviv was taken up attending a magnificent gala dinner where local officials, military personnel and local business owners all spoke about their gratitude for our visit. The Guest of Honour, Chief of Lviv’s air defence, expressed his thanks to the military for the donated vehicles and our time and fundraising. He went on to tell us just how important pickups were in their usage for quickly crossing rough terrain, their adaptation for carrying troops, and as field ambulances. Lately, he told us a lot of them would have anti-missile guns mounted on the back and deployed around power stations and power supply areas to defend against Russian drones and missiles that were attacking the supply of power in the whole of Ukraine with the aim of plunging the country into darkness and cold during the long winter months. He told us the importance of taking this message home with us and continuing to raise funds and supply pickups. The evening ended with each of us being given a wall plaque expressing The Ukrainian’s gratitude of our help with the Army and Humanitarian aid. During that night and the following morning, as if to cement the thought the whole of Ukraine was under attack, we experienced three air raids, one at four am, the next at 7am, and the third one struck at 9am as people were making their way to schools and colleges. When the last air raid struck, I was out with my camera taking shots of a few areas of the city and was amazed at how calm people were when the warning sirens and public addresses were being made. It struck me in those few hours just what my parents and grandparents had gone through during the Second World War. It was time to leave Lviv and head home via a trip to Krakow via a bus to the border and a coach to Krakow, where we unwound for a few days before catching a flight back to Liverpool and driving Rupert back up to his farm in Scotland. Over 3,000 miles later, the experience will live with me forever; I’ll probably do it all again sometime in 2024. P4P has run ten convoys to date, delivering 264 vehicles and £2.35m of aid. The need is as great as ever. - Mick Ryan | Guild Member Find our more about Pickups for Peace by visiting their website - Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :



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Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Spotlight On Stuart Waugh

My journey in the photography industry began around 40 years ago working in photographic retail. Where I trained and became a specialist in 35mm Cameras and lenses. Unfortunately, life got in the way, and I left photography behind for many years, working in the building and transport industries. Thankfully, my passion was reignited, and I returned to photography initially as a hobbyist, but I quickly found myself going back to college to deepen my understanding by learning more about modern-day photography and post-processing. Since then, my passion for photography has only grown; I first did work as a wedding and product photographer before I found my niche in landscape photography. In recent years, I joined the Guild of Photographers, which has been a fabulous photography experience, gaining not just the photography awards but also making many new like-minded friends. Then, I started my Photography business called “Jaggy Thistle Photography”. Now, I mainly lead photography workshops in Skye & Glencoe. I still, to this day, get asked to do wedding photography, but I’d much rather be out in the wild with my camera and helping others learn the joy and mindfulness that come with photography..” - Stuart Waugh


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Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Q: What drew you to focus specifically on capturing the landscapes of Scotland? What drew me to specifically capture the landscapes of Scotland was simply that I had this stunning scenery all around me and felt a compulsion and a responsibility to capture that and share it with others. The vistas are so beautiful that I am always excited to go and shoot, even when that means getting out of bed at 3 am and driving around 2 hours just to take a picture! The rewards are always worth the effort.

Q: How would you describe your artistic vision or style in capturing landscapes? As far as artistic style or vision, I don’t really believe that I have one. However, many people have commented on the three-dimensional nature of my photographs and how I manipulate light. So, in a way, that has become my trademark, so to speak.

Q: Do you consistently seek to capture particular elements or themes in your work? It may seem cliché, but I have always been drawn to bodies of water and mountain ranges, particularly when combined. I’ve always been drawn to capturing their natural beauty and simplicity. 30

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Q: Scotland offers a diverse range of landscapes. Are there specific locations that hold a special place in your heart for photography? Glencoe and the Isle of Skye are places I hold dearly in my heart as they offer some of the most staggering, beautiful landscapes and amazing light I have ever seen. It also helps that I have a deep geographic knowledge of the best photography locations in these locations that have never disappointed.

Q: Can you share a memorable experience or story from one of your favourite shooting locations? As mentioned, one of my favourite locations is Glencoe, and for anyone who doesn’t know Glencoe, it can be very wet and boggy; after all, most of it is moorland! You soon realise that so-called waterproof boots and gortex don’t stay waterproof for long! So, my friend Dave and I decided a good pair of wellies was needed. The following week Dave turned up very proud of his freshly purchased wellies, convinced he was invincible to all things water. We had only just started off when Dave unwittingly stepped into an almost waist-deep bog hole. Once I was able to compose myself, I eventually helped him out, but unfortunately, his brand-new wellies were lost. Very fond memory indeed!

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: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Q: What is your absolute favourite location in the world? My favourite location in the world has to be The Quiraing on Skye’s Trotternish Ridge. You find the most outstanding sunrises here, which make for beautiful compositions; the amazing light is to die for!

Q: What challenges do you face as a landscape photographer, and how do you overcome them? Some of the toughest challenges I have to contend with are the erratic Scottish weather and the insane early rises necessary to capture a beautiful sunrise. Fortunately, these days, we have many weather apps that help mitigate the problems that weather can cause; of course, you still get caught out some days.

Q: On the flip side, what are the most rewarding aspects of capturing Scotland’s landscapes? If you are willing to make the effort and surpass these challenges then the reward is just mind-blowing beauty waiting for you to discover and photograph.

Q: What equipment and camera gear do you typically use, and how does it contribute to your photography? I used to be very equipment-minded and always had to have the latest camera, but quite a few years ago, I realised that it’s not about the camera; it’s about making an effort! You truly will get out of photography whatever you are willing to put in, no matter what sort of equipment you use! Now, I still use my old DLSR Nikon 810, which I love because of the sheer simplicity of the camera. I fear the day I need an upgrade. I don’t use an expensive tripod either; I use a sturdy tripod with spikes, and I use 4 x Lee filters, A polariser, 0.9 and 0.6 soft Grads, a little stopper and, most importantly, my pair of wellies.

Q: Do you have favourite techniques or camera settings particularly effective in landscape photography? I don’t have any favourite techniques; I use a system of work on location, which involves finding the composition and then taking a shot, usually on aperture priority, exposing it for highlights. Then put the camera on a tripod take another shot, put the filter on the lens take a shot, put another filter on the lens, and take a shot, during all of this I am constantly re-composing and finding different elements while getting some shots in the bag, I’ll then switch to fully manual and manipulate shutter speeds and aperture etc to suit what I want. Good knowledge of your lenses, depth of field and hyperfocal distance is essential and makes for easy photography. This allows me to work fast and gain a few more compositions whilst the light is at its best.


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Q: Scotland is known for its unpredictable weather. How do you adapt to changing weather conditions during a photo shoot? Scotland is known for its unpredictable weather, but as we say, hang around for ten minutes, and it will change again. Even if the weather isn’t adverse, it has delivered some of my favourite shots! You have to make the best of what life gives you sometimes.

Q: How does the quality of light in Scotland influence your photography, and do you prefer certain times of day, seasons or weather conditions? The quality of light in Scotland is quite amazing; the quality and ever-changing light keep me going out time and time again. I usually only do landscape photography through autumn, winter, and spring. It is undebatable that the best time of day for all landscapes is sunrise and sunset.

Q: Can you share your post-processing workflow and how you enhance your images in the digital darkroom? My digital darkroom skills are something that I am constantly endeavouring to improve as they are

one of my weakest qualities. My Photoshop skills are limited, and I need to work on this (I have been saying that for some years). I have a decent knowledge of Lightroom which I use to ensure that I always find the proper balance and exposure of my photographs. I will also use Topaz Denoise, followed sometimes by some Nik Collection apps for speed, then into Photoshop for a final clean-up and some dodge and burning.

Q: Best buy photographically for under £50? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, That’s without any doubt a pair of wellies, but be warned about the deep holes! In all honesty, I have a pair of fishing waders that I use religiously. This might seem like a silly answer, but they are the best thing ever for getting into some great spots that other photographers don’t.

Q: Do you believe in preserving the natural essence of a landscape in post-processing, or do you enjoy experimenting with creative edits? I do believe in trying to preserve the natural essence of the landscape. In my humble opinion, there is way too much editing that occurs these days. Although there is a time and place for it, I

am traditional in my ways and always try to edit as little as possible in my landscapes. However, as aforementioned, I’m not particularly confident in the digital darkroom, so maybe I’m just being old school!

Q: Who are some photographers or artists that inspire your work? I am Inspired by Ansel Adams and his dedication to photography. His commitment and passion for photographing the gorgeous Yosemite National Park despite the difficulty with the heavy and robust cameras at the time. One of the photographers I studied at college, although not exactly a Landscape photographer, was Margaret Watkins; while an assistant in New York, she developed her method of portrait photography, taking an approach that was influenced by Renaissance paintings and psychological portraits with soft focus, delicate lighting and intimate resemblance to photographs of Naddar from the late 19th century. Her work is amazing and definitely worth checking out. Finally, my photography students always inspire me. I love watching them learn and experience that moment of understanding. Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Q: Could you recommend any artwork or books that would influence a creative process? In keeping with my earlier answer, Margaret Watkins and how she was able to draw from other art forms and bring that into her photography is always something I have tried to emulate

Q: Do you have any ongoing projects or specific goals for your landscape photography planned for 2024? I’m planning a long European road trip in the spring with lots of photography along the way. Also, I’ll be doing more in the Guild, potentially gaining a Master Craftsman. Certainly, I will do more IOM and plan to create a new buddy group. Please feel free to contact me if you’re interested!

Q: How do you approach creating a cohesive body of work or a photography series for your projects and or IOM? It is always a troublesome task trying to curate a cohesive body of work but the main aspects that I try to identify in my photographs are leading lines between each photo. This is hard to quantify, but when people look at my body of work, they can see the connection between one photograph and the next, whether in colour, texture or anything else.

Q: What advice do you have for aspiring landscape photographers, especially those who may be starting in the field? My advice would be not to get hung up on camera gear; sit down and make a list of around 20 locations, keeping in mind sunrise and sunset; if you have a good number of locations, then if you plan to go somewhere and the weather is poor you’ll have other options to go elsewhere! Learn composition and intimately know your camera; sleep with it! The natural light won’t wait while you fiddle with your buttons; you’d be surprised how quickly the light goes off while you’re fiddling! Set your alarm! Get up and get out; you’ll be glad you did. Talk to other photographers you meet when you’re out; most of them will be helpful and will happily give you tips. If they don’t, you can always reach out to me; I’m always happy to help an aspiring photographer. Finally, do IOM and join a Buddy Group; it will bring you on tremendously! Remember you need to be in it to win it!

Q:Are there any lessons you’ve learned throughout your career that you wish you knew when you started? It would be to find your niche in photography and do what you love. Don’t do it as a job; do it because you love it, and it will love you back.

Q: Favourite food? South Indian garlic chilli chicken with a garlic coriander naan, nothing better after a chilly day.

Q: Three words that describe you? Honest, Straightforward, Patient & Cheeky, guess that was four!

Q: Where next? On my European road trip, I hope to see and photograph the Dolomites, which is truly one of the most gorgeous locations in Europe. Apart from that, if I only knew what tomorrow would bring! 2024 will bring plenty more opportunities for us all. You need to be brave enough to take them when they come! - Stuart Waugh Thank you so much for sharing such a fabulous insight into your Landscape photography. - Julie Oswin, Editor


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: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Celebrate your photography

with stunning Wall Calendars from CEWE As print experts we believes photography is not only about capturing moments, but an art form deserving of being showcased – and our A3 and A2 Wall Calendars can help you do just that…

Printing photographs helps us see them in a whole new light. To this end, CEWE regularly collaborates with photographers such as Christie Goodwin, Chris Hall and Neil Porter, who share our passion for print. We also work alongside key organisations including the Guild of Photographers and the Photographic Alliance of Great Britain to help showcase the beautiful ways in which photographers can display their skills with its products.

organised by the Warwick Wildlife Trust and CEWE, and seen his photographs exhibited at Brandon Marsh, Porter delved into the CEWE product range and chose to commemorate his shots with an A2 Photo Calendar. CEWE A3 and A2 Wall Calendars are now available on 100% recycled paper, which is described as a groundbreaking blend of beauty and sustainability. A 250gsm silky semi-matte paper, its brilliant white base enhances print fidelity and brings out the best in your photos.

A case in point is the range of A3 and A2 Wall Calendars from CEWE – with now being the perfect time to get producing one of your own for 2024. As a CEWE brand ambassador, Coventry-based photographer Neil Porter, who has captured the world through his lens for over a decade, has done just that.

Transform those fleeting moments into permanent art with CEWE Neil Porter very much agrees. “It’s not just a calendar, it’s almost a piece of art,” the photographer enthuses of the finished product. As a testament to the profound impact the printed image has, he adds: “I’ve opted for the largest format available in A2 because I believe that has the most impact.” As the pictures on this page indicate, A2 truly allows the exceptional quality to shine.

Having secured a top spot for submitting his images to a photo contest


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“It is not just a calendar, it is almost a piece of art” Neil Porter

“I’m a massive fan of printing images as opposed to just viewing them on a screen. They are much more eye catching. So it was gratifying to print out a selection of my pictures.” CEWE is not just a printing company, but also your creative partner. Especially when it comes to transforming your own magical moments into permanent, lasting art. Capture the beauty around them, explore the CEWE product range and select the best size of calendar to let their photography shine in print. It’s time to make every month a masterpiece with the impressive selection of A3 and A2 Wall Calendars.

Check out the following video for a closer look at the creation of Neil Porter’s A2 Photo Calendar with CEWE, plus some top tips.

Click to watch our Interview with Photographer Neil Porter video

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Find out more on


: November | December 2023 - Issue 58


Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Image credit: Grahame Smith



: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

R ‘UNIQUE’ TRINITY RANGE Elevating your portraiture to exquisite heights, our Trinity and Trinity ‘Solo’ products are loved by everyone who’s seen them. With dozens of colours and style combinations to choose from, this elegant product will compliment your photography to perfection. Unavailable on the High Street or anywhere else in the industry, the Trinity Range really can help to differentiate you from your competitors.

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Angela Gisby Qualified Guild Photographer November 2023


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Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Using LinkedIn Creator Mode to Grow Your Photography Business Jeff Brown, The Photographers Mentor In this article I’m going to explain how LinkedIn creator mode works, how you can use it to get more eyes on your content and attract more people to your profile.

WHAT IS LINKEDIN CREATOR MODE AND WHY SHOULD YOU USE IT? Creator mode is essentially a way of showcasing you as a content creator and a thought-leader in your niche, very similar to Facebook’s new Professional Mode that many photographers including myself are now utilising on their Facebook personal profiles. Would you believe that only around 1% of the 950 million of LinkedIn worldwide users actually create the entire newsfeed content? This means that ultimately competition is low so you have a greater chance of being seen and people engaging with your content than you do on other social media platforms. LinkedIn classes someone as a content creator who posts around 16 times a month. So, with only four posts per week, you can really start seeing your content getting out there and been noticed. Another thing to remember is that LinkedIn posts tend to have much more longevity than posts on other platforms, I often see my own content still getting comments and likes two or three weeks after it was created.

HOW DOES CREATOR MODE HELP YOU PROMOTE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS? The whole purpose of creator mode is to encourage users on the platform to be more active in discussions, follow one another and build relationships. By switching to creator mode on your LinkedIn profile you’ll encourage more people to “follow” you and when they follow you they will by default have the potential to see your posts in their newsfeed. This way you can grow your network organically through the newsfeed and build relationships with your content my commenting and engaging with your followers, this is something I do myself on a daily basis, both on LinkedIn with creator mode and with Facebook using Professional Mode. There is no point in having a large following if you don’t have anything to say or post regular content, people will soon forget about you if you aren’t appearing in their newsfeed. The purpose of any social media platform is to be visible, build relationships and stay front of mind, so when your followers do need the services of a photographer, you’ll be the first person they think of.


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SWITCH ON CREATOR MODE AND UPDATE YOUR PROFILE If you head to the Resources Section on your profile, you’ll see an option to switch on creator mode, you can also switch it off from he should you wish too. When you switch on creator mode a few changes will happen to the way your profile appears to other users these are:

1: Follow – rather than connect, by default.

The first big change that you’ll notice is that the connection area changes from connect to follow. People don’t feel that they need to send you a connection request, they can just follow you.

2: Follower count displayed. Your follower count is shown on your profile. This immediately gives people an idea of how well you are trusted and helps to establish your authority on the network.

3: Talks about hashtags. This is where you can highlight areas of content that you talk about that would be of interest to your ideal clients. I’ll go into hashtags in detail in the next section.

4: Featured section moves up. Your featured section is now at the top of your profile below your banner area. This way you can give people more useful and valuable content right at the top of the page.


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Since I’ve had LinkedIn creator mode switched on, I’ve noticed my follower count has really gone up. Literally every week, hundreds of new followers come along and follow my content. You’ll notice from the screenshot above that my follower count is displayed in the header section of my profile. This means that when you start to get a decent-sized follower count, people can quickly see that you’re considered worth following, that you have authority in your niche. I now have over 60,000 followers. So, if somebody finds my profile, they’ll immediately realise that I really know my stuff on LinkedIn and they can see that I’m very active. The next thing you’ll notice is my “talks about” hashtags. The purpose of these is to let people know what it is you talk about and the type of content you create. You’ve got to be careful with your “talks about” hashtags because you want to be picking hashtags that are relevant to your ideal clients, not to other photographers. In my case, I’m trying to reach photographers, so I’ve got the word ‘photography’ in there and ‘photographybusiness’ because that is what I talk about, and the type of hashtags they are likely to follow. I also use the hashtags LinkedIn and Success because a lot of my content is related to business success and tips for using LinkedIn more effectively. However as a photographer you don’t want to make all your talks about hashtags photography related, because these aren’t the type of hashtags your ideal clients will be following. You need to think about want they’d like to see in their own newsfeed. For example if you’re a branding photographer and you’re connecting with business owners and entrepreneurs then these people could potentially be following hashtags likes of #business #branding #marketing #entrepreneurships #success #positivity #networking and even geographical hashtags relevant to their own location such as #London #Scotland #NewcastleBusiness.


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You can add up to five talks about hashtags, these can be changed so don’t worry if you add yours then feel you need to go back and alter some of them. Below, I’ve used an example from food photographer Sue Todd, Sue is very active on LinkedIn and generates a lot of enquiries from the platform. Sue works with businesses in both the food and drinks industry, so as you can see the hashtags she uses aren’t all photography hashtags, they are relevant to her ideal clients and also the type of content she creates on the platform.

The next part that changes with LinkedIn creator mode turned on is your featured section moving up to below your profile header section. With the featured section, you can add different pieces of media. In my own featured section, I’ve uploaded my Six Steps to Success brochure. This is all about my programme, it’s a 15-page brochure. It’s a great PDF that gives my followers all the information they need to know and my prices. The other thing I’ve included is a link to my online diary. When clients click on this, they can go across to my online diary and book an appointment for a free mentoring call with me. There are some great advantages to including your brochures, diary link or website service page in the featured section of your profile. Most social channels want to keep you on their site, and LinkedIn is no different. If you use outbound links in your posts, so if you say check out my website and then put your website link, or if you said book a free consultation call and then put a Calendly link, that is going to reduce the organic reach on your post because you’re sending people away from LinkedIn. However, if you load these up to your featured section, you can reference them in your posts instead. You can tell people that if they’re interested in finding out more about your services, they should check out the brochure in your featured section or suggest that they book a call with you. continued... Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Below is an example from Newcastle Headshot Photographer Darren Irwin, who gets a tremendous amount of bookings from LinkedIn. You can see he’s used is featured section to include a handy article about why you need a Professional Headshot on LinkedIn and he’s also added a direct link to his booking diary to schedule in a studio appointment.

WHY IS LINKEDIN GREAT FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS? I’m a massive advocate for photographers using LinkedIn to build thriving and incredibly successful businesses. LinkedIn has allowed me to grow a following of over 60,000 photographers and has helped most of my mentoring clients transform their businesses, positioning themselves as the Go-To-Photographer in their niche. All you need is a fully optimised profile, posting the right type of content that connects with your ideal clients. You just need to get your profile sorted, show up each day and be consistent. Don’t try to sell. Instead, help, motivate, inspire and be yourself, then you’ll start to see BIG results. A lot of photographers worry about the type of content to post on LinkedIn, believing it has to be purely business. Well that’s just not the case, LinkedIn is all about building relationships and being authentic, you can share personal stories too, I do at least once or twice a week and they get a lot of engagement. I post photographs from my hikes, days out on my motorbike or cities I’ve visited. But most importantly I tell stories. Think “Who, What, Where, When and Why”, with every image post you make, tell your followers a story and they’ll love it. Even better ask a question at the end of every post you make and you’ll soon start finding that your followers will respond to your questions in the comments. Check out some of my own recent posts and you’ll see how I do it. LinkedIn does prefer longer form content, so try to aim for 1000 – 1500 characters, more if you need it to tell your story. When writing longer form posts be sure to break them up into 3 or 4 line paragraphs with line space returns to separate your content and make it easier on the eye. Don’t be afraid to use emojis too, they are great for drawing attention to certain areas of your post. But most important of all start every post with a compelling headline that draws people in, you want them to click on the “see more” and start reading. Your images draw attention but it’s the headline that sparks peoples interest to open your content and read it.


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THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S MISSING “LINK”EDIN. LinkedIn really is my preferred channel, and I know both that it works and HOW it works, so much so that I wrote a book, especially for photographers. This is probably the ONLY LinkedIn book just for Photographers. This is the 3rd Edition 2022 of my book – I revise it each time there are major changes on the platform; it’s doubled in size since its last edition in 2019. You can find my books on Amazon by just searching The Photographer’s Missing Link.

- Jeff Brown The Photographers’ Mentor

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Christopher Storey Qualified Guild Wedding Photographers November 2023


: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


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: November | December 2023 - Issue 58


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: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :



: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


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: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


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: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


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Photo: Sarah Dowdall QGP Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


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it’s a feeling

Charlotte Bellamy Have you ever wondered why you pause in front of some images – be they photographs or paintings or, in fact, any other form of art at a gallery and not others? Have you ever read a book and not been able to put it down, because you feel like you have become part of the story? Do you know what every one of these pieces has in common? They will have touched you with emotion, and you will have identified with the artist – that’s what has happened. And if you manage this in any form of art you create, you should be justifiably proud. When we all learn photography, we are taught the technical information. How to use depth of field, shutter speed, exposure and ISO. We then graduate to understanding how a ‘correct’ composition can be achieved, looking for balance and learning rules that create an image that reads well. Don’t get me wrong, as a photographer tuning your craft, you must understand how all these elements work and how to use your camera. But, as a mentor, you would not believe the number of individuals I work with who feel they are ticking every box of everything technical that they have learned but feel something is still missing. Something that I believe is taught woefully late, if at all during learning how to take photos. I AM TALKING ABOUT BRINGING EMOTION AND FEELING TO AN IMAGE. The basis I work from when I teach, regardless of subject matter, is the need to know ‘why’ you want to do something. I promise you, if you ask yourself this simple question next time you pick your camera up, you will be able to direct the result with greater meaning and feeling. Let’s look at two images opposite. I love both these images, but they were taken some seven years apart from each other. In that time, my use of the ‘why’ in my photographic process is standard. When I made the first image, it did not exist. How - while making the first image, I was still learning the ICM technique. My thoughts moved around to how I could move the camera around to create a blur. How should I put the horizon in the middle or on a 3rds line, and how I needed and could create a leading line? Of course, I noticed the colours and the beauty, but they were probably subconscious. Why - making the second image, I no longer needed to think about technical questions. I knew the ‘how’ settings of my camera to work with and had moved past making technically correct images. When I made this second image, I stood on the edge of the loch and asked myself ‘why’ I wanted to make the photo and what it was that I wanted to show. It was all about translating the landscape in front of me using the ICM technique to share the feeling with others. Standing there, I gave myself the time to figure out why I felt the desire to make the photo. At that time, I recognised the rounded and rolling shapes of the mountains the flat water edged by water reeds. I noticed the way the light travelled across the water as the clouds above moved in the sky. Standing on the side of the loch, it was silent; I felt in awe of the landscape. I wanted to share all this in an image. Interestingly, I notice how similar these two compositions are as I write this! Ten years of learning techniques and compositions and how they help an image are always remembered! They become something I do without thinking, freeing me to bring feeling and emotion to my images. 76

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When I started on my craftsman journey ten years ago, my mentor set me an exercise on bringing ‘soul’ into my images. For those of you thinking about embarking on a qualification, I can’t tell you how valuable an extra pair of eyes is to look at your work as an outsider. Lesley Chalmers identified that there was little to improve technically, but there was much room for improvement in the ‘feeling’ department. So, I was to make images purely for feeling, not composition! That was hard, but I embraced the challenge. You are probably reading this and thinking ‘how on earth do I do this with my images’. Let’s have a look at a couple of exercises you can try to give it a jump start.

Exercise One. Forget the Camera – Leave your camera in the bag and sit in front of your subject or in the location you want to take images. Take a moment to look around you and recognise what you are experiencing with all your senses. Then, get a notebook out. Record absolutely anything you are noticing – this could be colour, light, shapes, textures, or physical or emotional feelings. What do you hear? Can you smell anything? - If you are photographing food, tasting it can be really beneficial (bring on the cakes). This need not take more than five minutes, but I promise you, if all of this information fills your head before you start taking photos, it will release into the images you create. If you are photographing a flower, what is it specifically you notice – colour, form, feel, beauty? A landscape – has something in the landscape caught your eye, or is it the lines or the way the light is falling? Dogs – is it the character or softness of fur or energy that exudes? I love it on workshops when I encourage this exercise to start. I never have six photographers lined up facing the same direction! I always offer ten minutes and have to call the group back. They disperse and explore ways to make the location their own. They are not after recording what they see. They are after crafting an image that shows others what they are experiencing.

I want to give you an example of how this can change how you photograph. The following three images are from South Africa. The first picture is the type of landscape image I would always have taken to record the location, and show what it was like. However, the following two images show you what I actually noticed. When I took the time to become aware, I saw the tiny green shoots among the burnt black and charred ground next to the path. It was the slightly smoky smell that hung in the air. And it was that everything else was dead except for the grass shoots. These were the elements that I tried to bring out in my two ICM images. 78

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In the sand dunes on a Norfolk beach, I went specially to photograph the beach huts. I’m looking for that classic beach huts at sunset shot. But it was the colour of the beach huts that matched the sky and a tiny clump of white flowers in the dune grass that caught my eye. I wanted to bring the feelings of being among the huts, in the dunes, and the elements of wild and human combined.

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The sand seems to shiver and shimmer in silver slithers. Like it is tarnished antique glass, rippled, imperfect but mesmerising, these were the few words I noted on my phone when I made this image, trying to depict how the sand flats stretched as far as the eye could see and seemed to shiver silver in the bright sunshine.


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Exercise Two. Ignore the End Image I find that if I remove expectations from image-making, I get far more reactive images. Too much overthinking can kill my creativity. You may find using your mobile phone is great for this exercise, as most of us don’t assign mobile phone photos as important or valuable as those made with our ‘proper’ cameras. This is a follow-on exercise from the 1st. Once you have an idea of what you are noticing, try translating that into your image. Don’t get hung up about composition. If you noticed colour and texture – make up your mage about that. If you noticed the light, make it about that, but don’t worry how much more. Treat these images as little sketches. Make the images for this exercise with absolutely no plans to share them. It is the act of making images with an awareness of why and what you noticed, not who might like them on social media which is the most important thing here. I see blue skies, clouds, gaps between the ropes, billowing, wind, flapping, high curves, natural materials—a feeling of looking up, eternity and space. I hear the wind in the rigging and sail – energy, power. My sketches try to capture all of this.

I see an old log that I have visited for ten years, gradually decaying. I notice the intricate patterns, the beautiful colours and details. As I trace my finder over the ridges it seems to dance and wiggle. The bark itself is hard, but the lines are of a soft, flowing, rippling nature. My images aim to capture the intricate beauty and colour of something you could easily miss.

The next time you go out with your camera – leave it in its bag for the first ten minutes! Take that time to look, see and feel. Take the time to immerse yourself in what you are going to photograph - then make your images. Be brave and react to what you want and how you want to. Even if another soul never sees these images, your work is in progress and homework. When you put this into practice, and it becomes second nature, and you choose to share, the connection that others will have with your images will be accentuated. - Charlotte Bellamy

Charlotte will be running a workshop at the Guild of Photographers Awards Weekend Photohubs Event - 2nd February 2024 - get more details on the PhotoHubs Website Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Datacolor Introduces Spyder X2 Print Studio

The Spyder X2 Print Studio is tailored for photographers who demand total control over their entire photographic workflow, from image capturing through editing and display, plus printing. The kit includes: the Spyder Cube for managing exposure and white balance with greater precision than a grey card, the Spyder X2 Ultra for accurately color calibrating monitors and projectors (including high brightness models) in less than two minutes, and Spyder Print, for optimizing print results, allowing you to create multiple custom printer profiles. 82

: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Spyder X2 Print Studio

Spyder X2 Print Studio is available now through Datacolor, Amazon or other authorized retailers. For more information about Datacolor and the all-new Print Kits, visit Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Jo Hawkes Qualified Guild Photographer November 2023


: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :




3 digital issues a year of the award-winning JRNY magazine for just £6 Use code: PHOTOGUILD


: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Eva White Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Peter Saltiel Qualified Guild Photographer November 2023


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Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Emma Dunham The Foodies Photographer Emma is an award-winning photographer with over 17 years of experience as a Professional Photographer, specialising in food and drink products and all things peoplerelated. She loves bringing your food to life by delving into the psychology of what makes customers want your food! She creates beautiful custom imagery that ties the emotion of your food and your team into gorgeous storytelling visuals that tie your entire business brand together. Emma helps business owners and entrepreneurs increase their visibility through a beautiful bank of bespoke images to attract their ideal clients. Website: LinkedIn: Emma Dunham Food Photographer and Mentor Instagram: emmadunham.foodphotography Facebook: Emma Dunham Food Photography


: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


A Guide to Setting Up a Christmas Food Photography Shoot for a Client CLIENT BRIEF: FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY SHOOT Objective: Capture high-quality, visually appealing images of our new line of festive dishes and beverages. The photographs will be used for marketing materials, social media campaigns, and our website during the upcoming festive season. Requirements: Capture a diverse range of dishes, including traditional Christmas meals, desserts, and speciality beverages. Emphasise vibrant colours, textures, and intricate details of the food items. Ensure the images reflect a festive, warm, inviting ambience that aligns with our brand’s identity.Provide both horizontal and vertical compositions to accommodate various marketing platforms. Once the client has given us the brief of what they are looking for, we need to delve inside their minds to ensure we deliver what they are thinking. There is a lot of prep work before the shoot to ensure we have asked all the questions to nail it on the day.


The mood and theme are triggered by how we set the shot up, so when you ask questions such as: are you aiming for cosy, rustic vibes or more modern and elegant aesthetics? We can start to build a picture

in our heads. The mood and emotion you want people to feel when they look at your Christmas food images are super important. So, create a Pinterest board, share it with the client, and add images that meet the brief. Allow the client to delete any of your ideas they don’t like so you are super clear on how they want their shoot to look and feel.


If the brief is Christmas food, then ensure the dishes epitomise the essence of Christmas. When looking at what the client is wanting photographed, you need to ensure it is going to be visually appealing with vibrant colours and textures, that enhance their appeal. If not, you need to add colour through garnishes, herbs, spices and extras on the table to ensure the food pops. Jot down every dish and what is needed in terms of extra ingredients and accompaniments so you can be realistic on how many different foods you can shoot in the day. Ask the client to mark them in order of priority and manage expectations that not all dishes may get photographed if there are problems on the day. Once the client has listed their dishes, put a timing next to it, so you can see how achievable the list is. 94

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Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :



: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :



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Your client needs to decide if they are working their brand colours in to the shoot, or if they are going for Christmas themed colours. These are the Christmas colours that you can offer them. Red, Green and Gold This classic combination represents the traditional Christmas palette. Silver, Blue and White A cooler and more serene colour scheme, evoking a winter wonderland. Red, White, Beiges and Greys A minimalist yet cosy scheme often associated with Scandinavian Christmas decor. Emerald Green and Gold A rich, luxurious and regal combination, focusing on the elegance and opulence. Candy Cane Red and White Inspired by the iconic candy cane, it’s bold yet playful and cheerfully vibrant. Clients Brand Colours If they choose to use just their brand colours, you will need to work harder with the props and set to create a Christmas feel to the food.

4: SETTING THE SCENE The client may have restaurant tables, a bar or area in mind that they want you to shoot from. This has to work with the colours they have chosen or a delicate sivler, white and blue theme will look out of place on a dark wood table. You need to discuss with the client and keep referring back to the colour scheme you have chosen or you will not get the correct ambience. Here are some options to offer them:

Wooden Surfaces

- Rustic Wood - weathered or reclaimed wood planks for a cosy and rustic look. - Dark wood - rich, dark wood surfaces for a sophisticated and elegant backdrop. - Large chopping boards – in a colour wood that matches your theme.

Fabric Backdrops

- Red Velvet - luxurious and deep red velvet fabric for a lavish backdrop. - Green fabric - Green fabric or velvet for a classic Christmas colour scheme. - White fur – for a winter wonderland look and feel. Think Narnia! - Silver shimmery fabric – for a glamorous, snowflake look. - Festive tablecloths or runners – with Christmas patterns like plaid, snowflakes, or reindeer motifs.

Wrapping Paper

- Festive Patterns - Patterned Christmas wrapping paper for a colourful & playful background. - Subtle Prints - Neutral or metallic-coloured wrapping paper with subtle patterns for a sophisticated touch.

Textured Surfaces - White or Light Marble Slabs - with intricate detail for a modern and elegant winter wonderland. - Black or Grey Slate – for a moody, shadowy Christmassy feel. Season Scenes - Snowy Landscapes - Artificial snow or snowy scenes to create a wintry feel. Customised Backdrops - Hand-Painted Backdrops - Custom-painted backgrounds with winter scenes, Christmas motifs, or abstract designs. - Digital Backdrops - Digital images or screens displaying snowy landscapes or Christmas scenes.

Natural Settings

- Evergreen Branches - Pine branches or garlands as a backdrop for a natural and festive ambiance. - Winter Landscapes - Outdoor settings with snow-covered trees or landscapes (if shooting outside) - Christmas tree landscapes – choose a room with a beautiful Christmas tree and use this as your backdrop (if shooting inside) Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


5: LIGHTING Now the idea of the set is coming to life, you can decide how to light it. In most instances I would say to you that it doesn’t matter whether you use artificial light or natural light for your food images, as long as you are lighting them well. On this occasion, I am going to say predominantly you will be better using natural light for your images, forone very good reason. Having external lights in your images get bleached by artificial strong light. You many need to factor in these lights: - Fairy lights/String lights - create a soft, magical glow around the food setup or gentle, diffused illumination in the background. - Tea Lights – Placed in the set up to add a seasonal glow. - Candelabras or Candle Holders - Elegant candle holders with tapered candles can add a refined touch and soft lighting to the scene. - Lit Christmas tree - if shooting near a Christmas tree, incorporate its lights as a soft, warm background glow. - Decorative LED lights - Use specific Christmas-themed LED lights, such as those resembling snowflakes or stars, to add a unique touch. Flaming Desserts - For a dramatic effect, capture a Christmas pudding or dessert with a lit flame using a t- orch or match just before shooting. So if it works with the client, find a well-lit space, preferably near a window to utilise natural light. Set up your shooting area with a clean, uncluttered backdrop and use reflectors to bounce a little extra light in where needed.

6: PROPS AND DECORATIONS The stage is now set with the colours, food and twinkly lights so now you can see how you add all the other elements to the set to combine the mood and atmosphere. Ask your client about: - Plates and Bowls - You may be working with the clients crockery, so you need to ensure you know what the colour of these are, so you can advise if they are going to work with the colour scheme. A client is usually happy to buy a few extra plates if they know in advance, but are not so happy scrabbling around on the day to make it work. Plan it in. - Cutlery - Again if this is the clients cutlery. Does it work with the theme? Elegant or rustic cutlery sets in silver, gold, or wooden finishes, complement the festive theme, but may not be the correct mood for your client. Check what they need and who needs to compromise. - Glassware - Scuffed, worn glasses in a restaurant, don’t add to a magical Christmas vibe, you need to stress that their glassware fits the theme and looks great. - Decorative glasses, champagne flutes, or mugs with holiday motifs or in seasonal colours all work if they need to buy anything additional. - Seasonal Foliage - Dependent on your theme you may be able to add pine branches, holly, mistletoe, or other seasonal greenery for a natural and festive touch. However if this is a top end restaurant exuding elegance and class, go easy on the foliage. - Ornaments - Christmas tree baubles, ornaments, or garlands in the clients brand colours or Christmas theme can be strategically placed around the food and tie all the colours together. - Ribbons and Bows - Clients may have personalised ribbon for their venue, but if not colourful ribbons or bows that can be used as accents or to decorate serving trays. - Seasonal Table Decor - Can a miniature Christmas tree, nutcracker, snow globe, or other tabletop decoration be used in the theme? - Textiles - Carefully looking at your clients branding and theme, you can tie in a beautiful textile that adds to the scene. Seasonal fabric, such as tartan or faux fur can add to the setting. - Seasonal Props -n How Christmassy does the client want to go? Who is their target audience? If they are young and it’s a fun hot, why not throw in Santa hats, stockings, jingle bells, snowflakes, candy canes, gingerbread houses, and wreaths. - Food Makers - Your client may want to create behind the scenes stories and Christmas themed cookie cutters, cake stands, festive serving trays, or decorative baking moulds will show their process on producing the food.


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- Small Foods - Cranberries, star anise, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, nuts, satsumas, candy canes, gold leaf can be added to sets to zhuzh it up! Just be careful not to add something that isn’t in the dish or disgruntled customers will complain it’s missing.

7: COMPOSITION Now you have the brief, mood, menu, theme, set ideas, props, decorations and how to light it you can now experiment with different compositions and arrangements for your dishes. Utilise the rule of thirds, varying angles, and perspectives to create visually compelling images. Pay attention to the placement of cutlery, napkins, and props to enhance the narrative of your photographs. Capture close-up shots that highlight the intricate details and textures of the food. Showcase steam rising from hot dishes, the glistening sheen of glazing on your Christmas delights, or the intricate layers in a dessert to evoke a sensory experience through your images. Also pay close attention to what the client needs the shot for – you are probably going to need to produce landscape and portrait images for different uses. 8: WATCH YOUR WHITE BALANCE After the shoot, edit your photos to enhance colours, contrast, and sharpness. However play close attention to your white balance – using artificial lighting in your image can give a yellow hue, which is never a good look for food. So you will need to look at the colour of the food in your image and adjusting the white balance to give a cooler look, which will ensure the food looks the correct colour. Avoid over-editing and over-saturating to maintain the authenticity of the dishes.

IN SUMMARY 1: Create a Pinterest Board – understand visually what the client needs. 2: Conceptualise the Vision – choose the mood you are trying to evoke. Cosy, rustic, elegant and add these images to the board. 3: Menu Selection – make a list of every dish needed, in order of priority and put timings next to it. Manage expectations 4: Colour Scheme –determine if the shoot will reflect traditional Christmas colours or the client’s brand colours. 5: Setting the Scene – choose the backdrop to complement the clients food, brand and theme. 6: Lighting – opt for natural light to combine with lights and candles 7: Props and décor - curate props and festive elements aligned with the clients theme and check you are on track with them. 8: Composition - experiment with diverse compositions, angles, and perspectives and ensure you shoot portrait and landscape. 9: Ingredients - utilise small Christmas-specific ingredients as intricate garnishes, but don’t use anything that is not included in the dish, especially if it’s for a packaging shot. 10: White Balance – cool the shot down to offset all the twinkly lights, a client will not want to see all their food turned yellow. A successful Christmas food photography shoot is a blend of communication, creativity, planning, and attention to detail and a really good Pinterest board! - Emma Dunham, Food Photographer

Emma will be speaking at the Guild’s PhotoHubs Event on February 2nd 2024 in Stoke on Trent. For more details please visit the PhotoHubs Website. Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :



: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :



: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Jennifer Higgs Qualified Guild Newborn & Baby Photographer November 2023

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: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


Peter loves photography and gadgets. It would be safe to say he is obsessed with technology. He has worked in the computer and telecommunications industry since the age of 16. Peter is an Apple and Windows Engineer, Backup and Disaster Recovery Specialist and has been supporting individuals and businesses for over thirty years. ​ He started a professional photography business in 2014 after selling his IT company to pursue his love of photography. Peter soon Peter Morgan discovered that his IT skills meant that great photographers trusted him with their business technology. Often he would trade his IT repair skills for photography training to learn as much as possible about every different genre and type of photography to create his own unique and quirky style. ​ Like many other photographers, the global pandemic postponed Peter’s primary job as a professional photographer, so he began looking at the real problems photographers and creatives faced daily. This is when his idea for ‘Tech for Togs’ came into fruition as he was constantly being asked for help on Facebook Group with an average of 20 requests daily. Many photographers don’t have a robust, stress-tested backup solution. As a photographer, Peter finds that having the solution, workflow, and knowledge is invaluable for the creative industry. For this issue of Creative Light Magazine, Peter’s written an article on creating a checklist for property photography.


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The Ultimate Checklist for Staging Property Photography

HOW TO CREATE AN EFFECTIVE STAGING PLAN Creating an effective staging plan for property photography involves careful planning, attention to detail, and a focus on highlighting the property’s best features. Here’s a comprehensive staging plan that I use that includes the use of props and emphasises cleanliness.

PRE-SHOOT PREPARATION 1. Conduct a thorough walkthrough of the property to identify its key selling points, such as architectural features, views, natural light, and open spaces. 2. Clean the entire property thoroughly, including all furniture, surfaces, windows, floors, carpet, rugs and fixtures. A spotless property is essential for creating appealing photographs. If you’re only doing the photography, make sure the landlord or property owner is aware of what needs to be done. There’s only so much Photoshop you can do, and you want to present an accurate portrait of the property 3. Repair or get the landlord or owner to repair any visible damages or issues, such as cracked walls, leaky faucets, or broken appliances. Look at using grout cleaner to fix dirty or old grout in bathrooms and kitchens, and use white or coloured caulk to blend in connecting surfaces to walls and around door frames. 4. Remove any of the tenant or landlord’s personal items, clutter, and unnecessary furniture that can make the space look crowded or less appealing. Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


CHOOSING THE RIGHT PROPS 1. Select props that compliment the style and design of the property. For example, if it’s a modern home, choose contemporary props: for a more traditional property, opt for classic or vintage props. 2. Common props include potted plants, fresh flowers, decorative pillows, throw blankets, artwork, and stylish table settings. You can even look at fresh pastries or bread for a kitchen and a laptop, book, or newspaper for a study or office. 3. Remember to use props sparingly to enhance, not overwhelm, the space. Avoid cluttering or creating a staged look that is too artificial. It should look natural, so any potential client should be able to imagine living there.

Image: Choosing the Right Props

FURNITURE PLACEMENT 1. Arrange furniture to maximise the sense of space and flow. In the living room, for instance, create a conversational area with seating around a central focal point, such as a fireplace or TV. 2. In the bedroom, make sure the bed has clean, high-quality linens and add accent pillows for a cosy touch. Throws and pillows should be matched ideally. Everything needs to be clean and ironed to avoid wrinkling wherever possible. 3. Dining areas should be set up with a well-dressed table, including placemats, dishes, and utensils. Flowers can dress an antique table, for instance, and draw the eye in. 4. Make sure all furniture is clean and in good condition unless it’s meant to be distressed, of course. Repair or replace any damaged items as necessary. Furniture should ideally have some matching element or theme and be complimentary to the space rather than standing out unless it’s a featured piece.


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Image: Furniture Placement

LIGHTING 1. Utilise natural light to your advantage. Open curtains and blinds to control or allow natural light to flood the space. 2. Add supplementary lighting, if needed, such as floor, wall, or table lamps, to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. 3. Look at the colour of the bulbs that you’re using. For instance, tungsten creates a warm and homely feel, while daylight-balanced bulbs are better for workspaces or home-based offices.

Image: Lighting

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ACCESSORISE 1. Add tasteful accessories to enhance the overall look of the property. This might include decorative vases, area rugs, and tasteful artwork on the walls. Remove anything that looks out of place or doesn’t fit in with the decor. Remember, you don’t have to bin it; just move it out of the line of sight of the camera. 2. Ensure that accessories are carefully chosen to complement the colour scheme and style of the space. 3. Include models. This might include using people for lifestyle magazine-style shots. Be diverse and include children and adults of all ages and backgrounds to fit in with the client’s brief and the target audience.

Image: Accessorise

EXTERIOR STAGING 1. Pay attention to the property’s exterior as well. Trim landscaping, mow the lawn, and remove any clutter from the yard. Paint any guttering and walls if they are stained or damaged. 2. Use sand to fill in holes between paving slabs or bricks. Just brush it in and leave it. 3. Consider using outdoor furniture or decor on patios or decks to showcase outdoor living spaces. Look at furniture that complements the area rather than just using cheap plastic seating. 4. Power-wash any paving slabs and walls that have mould, moss, or weather stains.


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Image: Exterior Staging

PHOTOGRAPHY SETUP 1. Use a high-quality camera with a wide-angle lens to capture more of the room in a single shot. 2. Adjust your camera settings to optimise your exposure and white balance. 3. Use a tripod to maintain stability, level shots at waist height, and avoid camera shake. 4. Take multiple photos from different angles to capture the property’s best features. 5. Don’t be afraid to single out features like bookshelves, alcoves, and other features.

Image: Photography Setup Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


POST-PROCESSING 1. Edit the photos as needed to enhance colour, contrast, and sharpness. 2. Remove any unwanted distractions or reflections. 3. Clean up walls but without massively changing the architecture. Don’t remove walls, windows, or other permanent fixtures. 4. Maintain a natural look while ensuring the photos are clean and visually appealing.

Image: Review and refine

REVIEW & REFINE 1. Please review the photos to ensure they effectively and accurately highlight the property’s strengths. 2. If necessary, make further adjustments, be bold and retake photographs if you make a mistake. 3. Get them uploaded to an online portfolio for the client. Something like Zenfolio, Smugmug, or Pic-Time works well. By following this staging plan, you can help to create compelling property photographs that showcase the space in its best light, attracting potential renters or buyers and assisting the property stand out in the real estate market. - Peter Morgan


: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

Issue 58 - November | December - Creative Light Magazine :


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: November | December 2023 - Issue 58

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