The Guild of Photographers The Guild started as the Guild of Wedding Photographers in 1988, committed to high standards from the outset. It actually produced a ‘Manual’ detailing how to take wedding photographs. The ‘Manual’ was so in-depth it had to be purchased in monthly parts and when completed must have been about 8 inches thick. At that time, nearly everyone was shooting weddings on film and it was commonly felt that there was only one ‘correct’ way to take wedding photographs. So, with no ‘world wide web’ to surf (as that started in 1989) you needed the Guild’s thick manual to tell you how to do so! As time progressed, and the digital era grew, members wanted the Guild to cover other areas besides weddings, so it evolved into the Guild of Photographers as we know it today, covering all genres. However, it’s fair to say that as the entered this Century the Guild went through a difficult time and it began to decline - probably due to the fact it hadn’t adapted or evolved well enough to meet the needs of the contemporary digital photographer.
steve & lesley thirsk
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esley and I became the Directors of the Guild at the end of 2009, having been approached to take it over totally ‘out of the blue’ by the previous Director. At that point Lesley had been running a successful wedding photography business for about 15 years, had been a member of the Guild for about 5 years and had become a Master Craftsman. By contrast, I was a local Policing Commander, with a reputation of getting results by motivating people to work together, with methods commended by the Home Office and recommended across the UK as ‘Best Practice’ (even though some were a little ‘out of the box’). In our spare time, we had been running large charity events, including auctions, raising tens of thousands of £££’s to assist local people who were terminally-ill or otherwise less fortunate than ourselves. We were also running the largest wedding shows in the region – the philosophy of the shows being to get high quality businesses to work together for the benefit of all. When we were approached to take over the Guild, it had gone from being one of the largest associations in the UK, with an enviable reputation, to an association with just 80 members, so we knew we would be taking on a huge task if we were to try and revive it. That said, all we could think about was the exciting opportunity that had presented itself to us. Here was a oneoff chance to rebuild an association and shape it to the needs of today’s photographers. How
Steve Thirsk could we resist? From experience, we knew that photography can be an insular profession or hobby, so we wanted a community feel to be at the heart of the Guild, and there was to be no place for politics and ego’s. The ‘new’ Guild was to be about support, learning and driving forward standards. With this in mind, we introduced the concept of the Guild Panel – a team of talented and highly respected individuals drawn from multiple different associations and backgrounds, each of whom wanted to ‘take it forward’. It immediately established that the Guild was to be politically free and about support and development. The Guild is deliberately different to other associations, having stayed true to the history behind Guilds, with ‘craft relevant’ membership levels the public understand. With the Guild, you can achieve Qualified status or the title of Craftsman and Master Craftsman, rather than becoming a Licentiate, Associate or Fellow. What is more, this is achievable through the assessment of actual work produced for customers, rather than necessarily creating a purpose built Panel. The Guild today, is also the only association to have high quality and practical professional support built into its ‘Pro’ level membership, ranging from tax investigation cover, to a debt recovery service, contract dispute cover and a 24/7 legal advice line amongst other things - services which would cost more than the membership does, if bought independently. This shows how the Guild has been clearly moulded to member’s needs, and pro-actively supports them.
The unique nature of the ‘new’ Guild and it’s wonderfully supportive members has resulted in the Guild’s membership increasing from 80 to well over 1000 in just 3 years, and several members are now based outside the UK. Furthermore, it’s monthly competition is now the largest (as well as the most demanding) of its type. The Guild is once more one of the largest and most respected associations around! Just as the Guild is different and has been moulded to member’s needs, the Creative Light magazine is different to traditional magazines on offer elsewhere. On the Guild’s fliers is the comment ‘Your camera matters to you… the people behind the camera matter to us’. This comment not only sums up perfectly what the Guild is all about, but is also the inspiration behind what the Creative Light magazine is about. A large proportion of the magazine is quite rightly about the people behind the camera, for let’s face it, people matter! Behind every camera is someone who has a personal story and creative thought processes to inspire us all. Also included will be great articles to educate and support photographers, and added to this will be an invitation to suppliers to keep us updated about cameras, equipment and other products, as well as demonstrating what can be achieved with them. Guild Panel Member Julie Oswin is an award-winning photographer who has previously published articles and books, so is an ideal editor. Creative Light is a magazine for photographers written by photographers and those involved in the world of photography. We are sure you will enjoy it!
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Editorial About the Editor. Julie Oswin has been a professional photographer since 1994 and was awarded her Master Craftsman by The Guild of Wedding Photographers in 2013. Also, holds a Fellowship in Wedding Photography with the BIPP and is currently the only woman in the UK to hold these title’s. She has also been twice UK Wedding Photographer of the Year in 1999 and 2001 with the Master Photographers Association. A City and Guilds Lecturer, Internal Verifier and Examiner for Loughborough College for over ten years until in 2006. Julie is also a highly sought after trainer and has published contemporary photography training related books. Her reputation is such, that Nikon has referred to her as “A world-class Photographer of faultless character and integrity”.
elcome to the first issue of Creative Light Magazine.
Steve and Lesley Thirsk took over the Guild of Photographers three years ago. The membership has grown considerably in that time and they currently have over 1000 members. The necessity to reach every member of the Guild on a regular basis in the format of a magazine is at the top Steve and Lesley’s agenda. In December 2013 I was delighted to be invited to be the Editor of the Guild’s brand new magazine, Creative Light. Creative Light will be a bi-monthly, responsive electronic magazine for every member and friends of The Guild. Every edition will feature real-life stories from the members and regular guest photographers from around the world. We will feature regular articles from Susan Hallam, who is a Digital Marketing Expert and Sales Coaching and Training from Phil and Ginny Atherton, Precept Optimum Performance. Trade partners and sponsors of the magazine will also be writing regular features on their products and equipment.
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Look and think before opening the shutter. The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera”. - Yousuf Karsh
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Image of the Year 2013
hat an amazing year 2013 was for Janet Broughton. In her first year of business, she joined The Guild of Photographers and entered the Image of the Month competition, receiving a Gold Bar with only her second entry. It took her completely by surprise, boosted her confidence and she firmly believed this would be her biggest achievement. Janet was then notified by the Guild of Photographers that her Gold Bar image (featured on the front cover of the magazine) had been short-listed for Guild’s Image of the Year Award for 2013. At the Awards Dinner in January 2014, Janet could not believe it when her name was called out as the winner of the Members Choice and also the winner of the Judges Choice!
“Now that I have had time to recover from the shock I have to say I am incredibly proud to have received this award and this is by far the biggest achievement in my photographic career to date”
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Contents features 08
Tony Nutley Photographer
Charlotte Bellamy Multi Genre Photographer
Lesley Chalmers Panel Member
Karen Wiltshire Newborn Baby Photographer
Susan Hallam, Digital Marketing Expert
Steve Thewis Digi Steve Photography
Precept Optimum Performance Sales Coach and Training
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Goodnight Mister Tom
A professional photographer for over fifty years, Tony Nutley shares with us his journey with photography. Starting as a young recruit in the RAF with his childhood dream of becoming a pilot, through to working as the main photographer for some of Britain’s major television dramas, including Sharpe, Inspector Morse, Foyle’s War and the iconic film Goodnight Mister Tom, as well as his involvement with Oscar nominated films.
Tell me about the start of your journey into photography? As a young boy at Grammar School, all I ever wanted to be was a Pilot. I went to a careers meeting at Hornchurch, where they were holding a pre-assessment for over 150 boys. I was lucky enough to be the only one selected. They gave me a Flying Scholarship and taught me to fly. There was never any dispute that I wasn’t going to be a Pilot. When I came of age to join the Air Force, National Service finished. So the Air Force asked me to wait for two years. I came from a humble background, my parents couldn’t afford for me to continue in education so the RAF asked me to join and said I could choose any job that I would like to do whilst I waited the two years to become a Pilot. In 1958 I went along to RAF Cardington which was a recruiting base and they showed me a board with a 150 jobs on it that I could do. As I had spent all my time at school working hard to become a Pilot, I decided when I looked at the board I would look for the easiest job I could do, and I saw photography. I knew nothing about photography but I told them I would take it. The RAF then spent the next two hours trying to persuade me not to do it, telling me “don’t be stupid choose a proper job”. They then got in touch with the RAF’s School of Photography, asked how many O-levels had I got. To which I replied ‘ten’. The average was seven. The reason I had got ten was not because I was a genius but it was because I found out how to take exams. Somehow I managed to get through these exams with very low marks but enough to pass. The School of Photography said that they
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were starting a brand new three part course. They explained that they were going to do a special course putting all of the following three elements together. 1: How to fix cameras. 2: Bolt processing, (cameras on planes). 3: Ground photography, which is the area of photography we all know. They asked me if I would go into this experimental course, I said yes. They let me do it. I was one of just seven on it and the other six all knew about photography, I knew nothing. I remember that I used to scream out loud in the darkroom because to me it was like magic when a print appeared in the tray of developer, I thought that this was an amazing! Since then I have hardly ever stopped printing. In fact I had a really good darkroom in my garage up until about 15 years ago. I now spend the same amount of time in front of my computer as I once did in the darkroom.
How did you get involved with your work for television? My brother-in-law worked in television. At that time he was a graphic designer with Southern TV. Southern TV heard about my photography and kept pestering my wife to ask me to come and join them. I refused because I was still with the RAF. However, by a complete stroke of luck they got me to work for them for a week whilst I was on leave. The money they paid me was fantastic, £50 per day (equivalent to £850 today). That was a huge mount of money. That week they paid me £250.00 which was equivalent to £4,250.00 today. Actually the difference in working for
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television for £50 a day then, was that it was total profit, every mile of mileage and every expense was paid by Southern TV. One day’s work was one day’s pay. By comparison, at the Photography Show in March 2013 a photographer on a stand stated that he quotes £3,000 for a day for his Commercial Photography, which sounds great but then out of this he has to pay for everything else connected to the day’s shoot including the models, his staff, all of the additional equipment and expenses. Suddenly his bottom line of £3,000 isn’t worth very much. After I had photographed for that week Southern TV then came back to me asking if I would go and work for them. I couldn’t as I was still in the Air Force, and aware I had a good existence in the RAF with two sons to support (at the time my eldest was 8 and the youngest was 5 years old). As a parent I needed a secure and steady career and I really didn’t want to come out of the Air Force. Fortunately I was offered a deal by Southern TV, which the RAF agreed to whereby I could work two days a week for Southern TV. I worked shifts, on an aeroplane called the Nimrod, which tracked Russian submarines. After about a year the RAF decided that it was a completely different ball game to what they had agreed. I had gone to work in Guernsey on a kids drama and when returned Southern TV met me at the airport and asked if I would go and photograph the Queen the next day. I telephoned the RAF asking them for one more day off which was refused. However, when they discovered that the subject was the Queen, the Queen being their employer of course, they couldn’t really stop this. When I got back they said that working for the RAF and Southern TV was crazy and it couldn’t go on. I had to make a choice, to stay with the RAF or join Southern TV. To be honest there wasn’t any contest as I was making so much money with Southern that I couldn’t turn it down. I also knew that if I completed my service in the RAF I wouldn’t have the opportunity with Southern again. At that time I had served sixteen years. One of the downsides to leaving the RAF was that I wasn’t going to become a member of staff with Southern TV as the job was freelance. They offered me four contracts which was a rare opportunity and I haven’t looked back since.
Are you willing to share any mistakes you have made over the years? I never worked with an assistant, which was partially intentional because I could work comfortably without one and it worked to my advantage as I got most of the overseas jobs, as the TV company didn’t have to have the added expense of extra hotel rooms, flights etc. because I always did everything myself.
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I remember once I was photographing John Thaw, he was quite touchy and could be difficult. A Picture Editor came along, in fact, telling Morse me he used to be a photographer. He sat with me and said “I’ll load your magazines for you”. Using my Hassleblad, I took a whole roll of 220 film of John Thaw. When I finished, the session had gone well, John and I were pleased that we had got the photographs that we wanted. As we were talking I started to wind the film on to take it out when I felt no resistance. John said “what’s the matter”? I said “I don’t think there is any film in it”. I turned to this guy and asked him if there was any film loaded. He replied “I think so”. Yes, he had put film in but he hadn’t loaded it correctly so nothing was captured. John burst out laughing, fortunately he realised it wasn’t my mistake. From my point of view, lesson learnt, from then on I did everything for myself and trusted no one.
Q: Have you any regrets? One thing from my point of view, I know now it was a major mistake. I was offered a photography job on the production called Captain Hornblower. I turned it down and not for a
Don’t have all your eggs in one basket!”
Left: From the Television series Morse. “This was my first serious play with digital, it was pre-digital cameras. The image was created from three digitised two and a quarter transparencies. It was a bit like witchcraft at the time. But by today’s standards it is pretty primitive. So many things are wrong with it, even to the point that the figures should have been reversed. But at the time nobody noticed”!
terribly good reason. It was being made in the Crimea, the same location was where Sharpe was filmed and I really didn’t fancy going back there. If I had thought about it, I should have taken the job because when I look back, it actually cost me a lot of other photography jobs that the same company went on to make.
If you hadn’t been a stills photographer for television and film, what area of photography would you have specialised win when you retired from the RAF? I would have stayed in the RAF until I had completed my 22 years service and then left with a pension. I honestly think I would have probably concentrated on Commercial and Industrial photography. To buy my cameras and all my initial photography equipment I started to photograph weddings but I can honestly say that I would not have stayed photographing weddings, they were not an area of photography that I enjoyed.
My first ever day on Inspector Morse with John Thaw and Kevin Whately
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him on over 18 episodes of Sharpe and four other programs. I seriously couldn’t work with someone that long if I didn’t like them. He gave me a reference to join the Guild of Photographers and referred to me as a ‘Gentleman’. John Thaw and I had a very bad start and didn’t get on in the beginning but we sort of grew into each other. Prince Edward, The Earl of Wessex is a totally charming man, who does not deserve the reputation he’s got from some sources. I worked on a lot of the Ardent Productions, about 18 programmes. I never had a problem with him, he always listened to advice and accepted what you said. He’s fun to be with.
Q: Mistakes that photographers should avoid?
Don’t have all your eggs in one basket. I lost Southern TV as a client in 1981 having worked 3 or 4 days a week for them. That was a major loss. I’ve known several freelancers who were Graphic Designers or Photographers that relied solely on contracts with one client. When these contracts weren’t renewed they unfortunately lost their businesses. Therefore, my advice to you would be to have as many clients as is reasonable. Don’t rely on someone else’s business plans for your own security.
The Earl of Wessex during film for “King and Country’
Q: What piece of advice would you give to a young up and coming photographer?
To be successful you have to have the ability to be able to work at all levels, with all different kinds of people. The skill of working with a member of the Royal family or Joe Blog’s is that you have to be yourself, you must not change according to the client you are working for because it will slip and your clients will see straight through the act.
Who was your favourite personality to photograph? Anthony Hopkins, I worked with him for two years on two films and a documentary. He is one of the funniest men I’ve ever worked with, he is a great raconteur and mimic. He took the time to get to know me and was very helpful to me in my career. There are so many others... George Baker, Inspector Wexford, a totally charming and very helpful man, so easy to work with and was always very loyal to his friends. Peter Davison was also one of the nicest people I have met. I worked with him on the series of Doctor Who and All Creatures Great & Small. Sean Bean was also great! I worked with
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John Thaw in Kavanagh Q.C.
Sean Bean in ‘Sharpe’s Peril’ filmed in India
What was the most daunting moment in your career? It’s between the high risk moment leaving the RAF after 16 years and kissing goodbye to a pension or on Boxing Day in 1981 when Southern TV lost it’s franchise and consequently I lost my best client. I still had Southern Gas but losing Southern TV was huge. I remember I was watching the film ‘Towering Inferno” when someone phoned me to tell me about Southern TV’s demise and to this day I have never watched the film since and I never will. I consider it jinxed. The impact on me was devastating. Within three months, the incoming franchisee holder had contacted me and everything went back to normal. If I ever was going to have a nervous breakdown it would have been at this time. In 1992 Television South (TVS) also lost their franchise but the impact on me was virtually nil, I had by then masses of other contacts.
Q: What has been your funniest moment? This question has been a real struggle to answer but in 1979 I was working for Southern Gas, I was about to leave home when a reporter from Southern TV telephoned and insisted
My first ever day on Inspector with Derek Jacobi inMorse ‘Cadfael’ John Thaw and Kevin Whately
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Foyle’s War Michael Kitchen
that I do a job for him. I explained that I couldn’t as I was booked on another job, no matter what I said he wouldn’t listen and just kept insisting that I had to do it with various threats thrown in like “you’ll never work again” etc. which I ignored. Time was getting on and I was going to be late for my job so I just put the phone down and ran out to my car. I drove to Southampton and the Southern Gas HQ where I was booked to photograph of all the hierarchy of their empire from the Chairman down, roughly 30 people. As I drove up and parked I saw them all putting their chairs out ready. I shot round to the back of the car to get my cameras, opened the boot and died. In the rush to get out I hadn’t picked up my cameras! I scuffed around in the car and eventually found a little Canon Ixus that I’d won in a golf tournament sponsored by Canon. I’d given it to my wife but she’d left it in the glove compartment. I ran over the road to a chemist and picked up a roll of black and white film, stuck it in the camera, put this tiny little camera on top of a large Gitzo tripod and proceeded to photograph the group! Nobody said a word, they just smiled like I told them to. I then went home, processed the film and produced 45 10x8” prints. They actually didn’t look too bad. Next day I took the prints into the press office, and said nothing. No one mentioned anything to me, just thanked me. Six months later I mentioned it to the publicity manager saying that had to be my most embarrassing moment ever, he burst out laughing and
Timothy Dalton, photographed with a wild Timber Wolf, it had been tranquillised and was just waking up. Taken in Minnesota on the Canadian border
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The Cowes Lifeboat for a Documentary on The Coastguard
said that he hadn’t noticed anything. We then checked and not one person had noticed this clown with a little four inch camera on a big tripod. On this day I’d actually become ‘Uncle Bob’ and survived!
What has been your career highlight?
Three years ago Sweden asked me to co-produce two big major feature films with a budget of 30 million pounds. I was commissioned to co-produce the English part of the film. These were the most expensive films they have ever made in Sweden. It was a great experience and definitely the highlight of my career.
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Tony, over your career I expect you have created many special images, out of all of them, if you had to choose a favourite, which one would it be?
his image was so difficult to take and has to be my favourite picture of all time. I was in Russia and everything was against me, there was a near hurricane blowing, it was -20 and there was no electricity. I had to bribe the electricians to bring the lights up. There was a film crew in the way between Sean and the wall, at the back there was ten huge lorries that needed moving, there was no ‘set’ so we had to build one. Sean wasn’t keen on doing the shoot as he thought he would look like an idiot. The stunt guy and I had to persuade Sean to do the shot, and then he said he wouldn’t due to all the locals watching him. Consequently, we had to get rid of them. We didn’t speak Russian so that too was difficult. The Picture Editor’s had asked me whilst I was there to take a particular photograph, and I couldn’t take it. I then I suggested an alternative. However, they thought my suggestion was pathetic because it involved too much. I had to build a set in the middle of a field. In the image you can see a big wall behind, which in theory is Badajoz, which is on the border of Spain and Portugal the scene of a famous battle. Central TV wanted a picture of Sean and Napoleon standing around with about 100 dead bodies. Unfortunately, there were no bodies, they had all gone home the day before! After making enquires the best they could do was to offer me ten Russian extras. The temperature was still -20, and they only had thin uniforms on and were very cold. I had to pay them all with a packet of 20 Marlborough each . When I got back to the UK, Central TV went berserk because they said it wasn’t what they had sent me for, even though the Darkroom staff said that they were really good pictures. The Picture Editors were having none of it. I went back to Russia two weeks later as I needed to get some additional pictures. I contacted Central TV, and the Picture Editors had another go at me because I hadn’t taken what they wanted. Anyway, to cut a long story short, they came back half an hour later shouting ”Christ its a Rembrandt! We hadn’t actually looked at it, we had only gone on what you had described”. They were thrilled with the photograph I had created and it ended up being the featured image on the main entrance to the TV Studios in Nottingham for several years. The image became the definitive Sharpe picture and is still appearing in papers today. And it is my favourite. This has the meaning.
Tony Nutley, www.tonynutley.co.uk
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My Journey with the
Charlotte Bellamy talks to Creative Light about her journey with the Guild of Photographers. Charlotte lived in Chicago before moving back to the UK in 2010. Charlotte and her family then moved to the Netherlands in 2012 and this is where she talks to us about her journey and how she rebuilt her photography business in three countries! It was while she was in the UK that Charlotte booked on a course at The Blackthorn Photography School on a friends recommendation. Two days later Charlotte had joined the Guild of Photographers and has never looked back. This is her story.
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Q: How did you get into photography, when did you start, and how have you made money from your business whilst living in three different countries!
I’ve always loved taking photographs since I was a child. Ponies and animals at zoos are the photographs I find in my albums from 25 years ago! One of my childhood memories is of my mother getting fed up with my father trying to get us all posed for photos, trying to capture landscapes on family holidays saying “come on David Bailey”. I remember thinking what’s the rush, these photos he is taking are unique moments and special to him. In 2007 we moved to Chicago and my hubby bought me my first digital SLR – a Nikon D40x – which I still have today, still love and regularly put in peril on the beach or on the back of horses all around the world!). At that time I was at home with our son Henry (2 yrs) and looking to take my hobby up a level. I spent the next six months on auto mode and started to get itchy feet about what else the camera could do. I was getting great images but I knew I could do more. Lacking anywhere to train locally I signed up for a beginners online course, eight weeks of notes, assignments and critiques on images. I failed with understanding shutter speed, F-stops and how on earth an interaction could occur between the two, but with dedication and the opportunity to ask lots of questions I came away from the online course with an amazing new knowledge of photography and what my camera was capable of, and I was so excited by what I had learnt. Not long after completing my course, friends started to see photos of my son that I posted on a group page that I took during play-dates. Soon I was being asked to take photographs of their children. Without a Visa to work, I initially asked a nominal $10 for a CD of 30 images! It was some pocket money to spend on going out and I loved it. Whilst I was still in Chicago I started Day Shoots on location with time slots and every time I filled them up, I even managed to break into the family Xmas card photo market (not for the faint hearted) – I think after a year I was charging $50 for a disc of images. When we moved back to the UK in 2010 Henry started school. I decided I was going to try running my own business again but to fit it round the school run. I started all over again. Much the same formula as Chicago, handing out 10 letters to friends in the playground at Henry’s school. I offered a free photo-shoot and disc and the option to purchase prints. I think I had four take up the offer. During my first year back in the UK, I approached pre-schools, nurseries, birthing centres, mum’s groups and pretty much anywhere
that had babies and small children! My persistence paid off and I ended up photographing in the hospital where my son was born and working with one of the local playgroups for three years. Having specialised in family and children’s photography I kept well clear of weddings. I really didn’t think it was fair that I should undertake them as I was not prepared and lacked experience in this area of photography. However, in 2010 my Cousin twisted my arm and I photographed her wedding. I loved it! That said, I could never see myself becoming a regular wedding photographer - simply because of huge pressure and the amount of pain killers I took that night after my first experience. Within three years after returning from Chicago, I’d built up quite a reputation locally. I had increased my prices, photographed an average of five weddings a year and my business was making a profit. However, there was a big but......... My family life had begun to suffer, my business had started to take over and not in a positive way. Although I had increased my prices I still felt undervalued by some of my clients, it became clear to me when my husband started asking me what my clients were paying for a shoot and then Kevin was offering me an extra £20 so that he and my son Henry would spend the day with them. Something had to change.
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When did you join the Guild of Photographers? July 2011, I was recommended by a friend to take a course at The Blackthorn Photography School run by The Guild of Photographers. Within two days with Simon Young on the portrait course. I had so much new knowledge and things to practice, the buzz had been put back into my photography again. During coffee and lunch one day I spoke to Simon about how disillusioned I had become with another Trade Association that I was a member of at the time, I told him that I wanted to enter competitions but above all continue my photography training. Simon suggested that I join the Guild which at the time was still relatively small. I immediately started entering the Image of the Month and was pleasantly surprised to be awarded a few bronzes for my work early on. I really enjoyed the opportunity of the forum board to ask questions and learn from other members posts. I took further wedding, portraits and Lightroom training at the Blackthorn and had a number of one2one training sessions with Simon on specific areas I felt I did not understand fully.
What has been the highlight of your career so far? At the start of 2012 I entered images into the IOM in the People and Wedding categories, with regular success. After I moved to Holland and my change of direction with photography I continued to submit to these categories, but also started to enter the Open category as well. Up until the October of that year I was not aware of the Photographer of the Year awards. I entered my images purely for feedback, the ability to blog my success and for the personal achievement factor. However, it was pointed out that I was actually doing alright and had I considered the POTY awards! December 2012, was the crowning moment, my first gold award. I opened my email and burst into tears. Me - a Gold - no way that only happened to other people. Then February 2013 arrived. I attended the Guild’s Awards night. I was shocked to get a top ten place in all three categories. I was ecstatic, well worth the trip to the UK. I was then absolutely bowled over when it was announced that I was the Guild’s multi genre photographer of the year. Tears and a short acceptance speech and I was floating on cloud nine! Throughout 2013 I continued to enter the Image of the Month competition in all three categories and that year my strongest images became my open category ones – my landscapes and my depictions of Dutch life.
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In January 2013, my husband and I flew back to the UK for awards weekend which were being held in a stunning Jacobean mansion, Crewe Hall, Cheshire. The Open Category 2013 results were announced; I received second place. Waiting for the category, Photographer of the Year Multi Genre Award was nerve racking, secretly I had dreamed of retaining my title, but in reality I knew the standard of images in the competition were getting stronger and stronger. I was numb with shock when my name was called out. Such a fabulous end to a brilliant weekend at Crewe Hall. It was a true celebration of success and friendship in beautiful surroundings!
Q: Charlotte, describe a typical day in your photographic life?
To be honest, not one day is the same where my photography is concerned, I love that! Each new opportunity that presents itself has taught me to work with it and enjoy. Last week I made the effort to get out of bed at 5am to drive about an hour to photograph a location at sunrise. The sun rose perfectly as hoped and I was rewarded with a fantastic opportunity. On the days that I photograph portraits I try to do this earlier in the days or later after 3pm to improve the light opportunities. I have a studio at my home now, but I also go out on location if that is my client’s preference. Last week I photographed a football manager of one of Holland’s leading teams and so I went to the club and we photographed in the stands – it made for some great environmental portraits. Managing my work around my family life means that I am often found working in the evening on editing after Henry has gone to bed. It’s something that has become a bit of a habit as I seem to work very well around the hours of 7-9pm! It’s always nice to work on the photos that you have taken on the same day as well. I still return to the UK for a few weddings each year, and on those occasions I always organise a couple of portrait days for existing clients in the UK and often new ones join me as well. wMy trips back to the UK are one whirlwind of photographic sessions at my favourite locations. I temper that with staying with one of my best friends as well. When I get home I normally have several thousands of photos to work on from the wedding and around six portrait shoots – that normally keeps me busy for a couple of weeks when I get home. My studio/office looks out onto a field of cows during the spring and summer, so it’s no great hardship to work on my photos with the great distraction out of my window!
Capture a moment, create a memory”.
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Q: Mistakes you have made Charlotte and what others should avoid?
I have in the past spent too long worrying about what other people think and worrying about what other photographers are doing. Facebook is a great forum in which to be involved but if you are not careful, consistent comparison of yourself to others can eat you up! By all means take an interest in other photographers around you, but try and find those that will inspire and help with your photographic journey – not demoralise and reduce your confidence. To ensure your photography is correctly priced, work out your direct and indirect costs, so you do not feel cheated or undervalued. I worked desperately hard in the UK to make my business a success, but some of the decisions I made on the way have resulted in clients who did not see the value of my photography. Desperate to call myself a ‘pro photographer’ I was charging £20 for a short session. Once you have worked out your prices correctly stick to them. By all means offer discounts if YOU want to, but not because the client demands one! Make sure that your photography does not become an obsession that overtakes you or your family! I’ve been there, it’s not a great place for anyone involved! My priorities for my photography are completely different now than
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they were three years ago, and my family life is a whole lot better for it.
You now live in Holland, where has this taken your journey with photography? During 2012 an opportunity came for us to move to the Netherlands with my husband’s job, and we took it. I was promised a horse (a lifetime dream) and we moved into a beautiful home where we have now been living for two years. I had such plans to get my business started when we arrived in Holland. A new location and a fresh start I had in mind a great opportunity to get my pricing right from the onset, only deal with the clients I really wanted to work with and create a business that I was proud of and something to get up for each morning. Screech of brakes! Reality check! I could not speak the language, how on earth was I going to do it? After about three months, we had started to settle in, I started to think about my business but to be honest I disappeared into a hole. I only knew portrait photography. My style of photography relied upon interaction with my clients. How could I? I couldn’t even speak the language. My camera went in its bag and stayed there. It dawned on me, I was afraid of my whole new photographic opportunity. I was so scared
of getting it wrong again. Scared of people not willing to pay and how on earth was I going to find clients. So I picked up the telephone and called Steve and Lesley at The Guild with an SOS message! They duly obliged with the provision of my Fairy Godmother, Lesley Chalmers as my Mentor. Lesley wanted to know what my passion really was, why I took photographs, what I wanted them to portray and how it all made me feel and what did I really want from my business. Together we worked on mini assignments, one being ‘images with soul’. I put my heart into these and ignored the creation of the perfect image and went more for images that really said something about how I felt and portrayed the moment that I was trying to capture. Around the same time I went to New Zealand for a holiday and worked on my own ‘project 24’. Working with 24 words and creating images from the heart. With the images I took I created my own photo book and even now I pick it up and marvel at my journey and how important this little project was for my personal journey. During my first year in Holland with Lesley’s encouragement to photograph whatever I like regardless of what was my ‘style’ my photography started to change. I moved towards landscapes and events happening around me. I started to photograph my family more, taking
My beautiful horse Pea
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photographs just because I wanted to, not worrying what they were going to be used for. I was putting the love of photography back into my heart! I offered my services to Henry’s new school to photograph events for the school’s website, getting my photographs out and about, I started to pick up a few portrait sessions with the International English speaking community. Recently, due to the pressure from the Mum’s in the playground I have started to teach beginners photography courses, which I absolutely love doing and I have received great feedback from. In the space of a couple of years I have gone from feeling immense pressure to create a successful business doing what I thought I should do, to creating a life which involves making money from my photography and utilising skills in a range of ways. I’m no longer trying to tackle the language barrier, rather I am looking for opportunities to work with those in Holland that speak my language and using that as my niche market and USP!
Q: Your goals for 2014/2015 At the moment I am working towards my Craftsman submission with the Guild. It’s a huge thing for me, not only in the journey of self-belief (I never imagined I could go for this) but also in looking at my images and ensuring they are as good as they possibly can be prior to submission. I will continue to enter IOM this year but I am not contesting my all round title again – this year I’m aiming for at least one gold with my Open category images. For my business – I would like to see my English language photography courses develop further into a wider network in the Netherlands. I hope to put on an exhibition of my work in the next year and sell some of my landscape work. Photography wise – I have a huge list of places I want to photograph in the Netherlands. I’ve already started ticking them off this year, but I’ve got plenty more to go at. For Xmas 2014 I hope to be giving a photo book of my photos all about the Dutch and their bikes to my nearest and dearest as a stocking filler.
Q: Charlotte, what advice would you give to new members of the Guild?
Follow your heart, take photographs in the style that you love. Don’t try to follow the latest trend or emulate a specific photographer or add a process to every image just because it’s what everyone else seems to be doing. This is one piece of advice that I actually follow very closely and I believe that over time it has helped me to develop my individual style and I feel good about my photography.
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Throw yourself into the big family! Get involved in the fantastic training opportunities and embrace the knowledge that so many people are willing to share. Be open to critique on your images (either in the cosy confines of a mentor group or from a mentor themselves) – but be willing to accept the comments and work on making the changes rather than taking them to heart and getting upset because someone doesn’t love your image as much as you do! Finally take a look at other’s work in the Guild – there is some amazing talent in there.
Q: What is the most embarrassing moment of your photography career?
It was my first ever set of twins that I ever photographed. So keen was I to have mum holding two beautiful smiling babies that I did a bit of work with Photoshop. I had tried to make an image look like both twins were looking happy. Only problem was that when mum saw the image she wondered how on earth she was holding the same twin in each arm! “Doh……. I was extremely embarrassed but luckily she saw the funny side of it and understood why I had done it!”
Q: Favourite food? Shell on prawns in garlic butter – I love the smell, the taste, and it’s also fun to eat food with your hands, it gets a bit messy!
Q: The Guild, what does it mean to you? Since joining the Guild a lot has changed. But in my mind it has all been positive and what it offers now is just amazing. I never considered stopping my membership just because I left the country. In fact it was the Guild, the members and Simon Young, Lesley Chalmers, Steve and Lesley Thirsk that kept me afloat during my move away, without them I may just have not continued my photographic journey any further. I am now in a great mentor group, I have so many friends in the Guild and I love the whole feel of the association. I wish I was a little closer to be able to make the most of the fantastic training on offer – but maybe I’ll just have to start a European arm of the Guild out here! Charlie
This very special image of Pea and I was taken just a couple of days after we moved to The Netherlands. For me, after 35 years of dreaming about it, I finally became a horse owner. This photograph sums up perfectly the unbelievable dream coming true for me – my own horse, in our own field of buttercups! After my first pony ride when I was five years old I had plagued my parents for a pony and was always given a million reasons why it would not happen! So, when I was old enough to have a horse I realised the money, time and commitment involved I decided I was not ready for it. Now, 35 years waiting, it’s EVERYTHING I ever dreamed of and more”. Image taken by Charlotte’s husband two days after they arrived in Holland.
Charlotte Bellamy http://www.charlottebellamy.com Netherlands Issue 1 - Creative Light :
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FALLING in love... with
Inspired by natural beauty in many forms, Lesley Chalmers’ love of art, landscapes and photography ‘captures’ very ‘special’ images for her ‘discerning’ customers. The primary day-to-day element of Lesley’s highly acclaimed reputation is her commercial work. Through her previous corporate career she understands that good photography is a great asset and powerful communication tool for businesses. She works mainly with travel, service and property companies within the UK but her work is sought after internationally and she undertakes high profile commissions in Europe. In her own words Lesley shares her thoughts on the passion of photography and our long-term relationship we have with it.
hotographers often use the words like ‘passion’ and ‘love’ about what they do. In the early days, its there for all to see. Smiling, euphoric, head-over-heals in love, we plan a lifelong relationship with our cameras. In the first stage, passion prevails. Everything’s rosy. When things don’t go quite right, they’re brushed aside. At no other time in a relationship is our energy and desire so intense. In this state of euphoria, many of us commit to spending the rest of our lives with our new love, deciding, full of pheromones, to set up a photography business – confident we’ll make our living with our passion. What a perfect match. There are predicable stages to any relationship. The first, ‘being in love’, is a chemical reaction that lasts up to two years. Beyond then, if you don’t build on something more solid, the relationship will fail. While we like ‘being in love’ and ‘love’ the emotion and the action – to go together, for one always to flow into the other, there will be times when they don’t. All relationships are hard work. There are ups and downs; disappointments and challenges as well as moments of thrilling pleasure and great satisfaction. At some point, our glorious initial infatuation is shaken. We realise this relationship isn’t all we expected it to be. Reality sets in. Little things start to niggle we never noticed before, but our love has some unappealing aspects, we don’t like them. Confused, we fret and rant. Remembering we made a life long commitment, we start to understand the real meaning of eternity. Our emotions are up-front, exposed and raw. Faced with big decisions on the future of the relationship – our business planning – it’s hard to be objective.
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hat style, what brand, what client? What costs, what prices, what products, what profit margins? Studio, or location? Kit. Training. Insurance. Marketing. Tax Returns. Constant change whirls around us. Looking at an empty diary – where are the customers? At the same time we suddenly notice that we haven’t, after all, been the only ones on clouds of euphoria. Surrounded by other people in love with OUR love, with similar plans to spend their lives with OUR passion – we see their numbers growing every day, every minute. How very dare they. Creating a lasting business, like creating a lasting marriage, is challenging and not always pretty. It’s a mix of luck, skill, experience, hard graft, determination and patience. At times we consider giving up. Having simply fallen out of love, some of us will indeed move on. Not failure, just seeing more clearly in the cooler light of experience what’s right for us. We don’t marry every lover, after all – unless we’re Elizabeth Taylor. Maybe we’ll find true happiness with a new passion, and stay on good and peaceable terms with our old love. Maybe our photography affair has itself led us to something we like better – design, painting, event planning, marketing. Others will stick at it, but discontentedly, never finding that initial joy again. Others among us will hang on in there, build on experience, good and bad. By seeking advice and selecting effective training, we’ll develop an organised, adaptable business that’s balanced and fits with the rest of our lives. We’ll recognise we have to accept the good with the bad, respond to change, rise to challenges and deal with disappointments. Upsets will happen less frequently, when they occur they won’t be as intense or as emotional as in the earlier years. We are no longer struggling to define who we are and what the relationship should be, there is more peace and harmony. We start ‘liking’ our love again. It has been tough, but we’re proud we’ve weathered the storms. Feeling more confident and secure about ourselves, we can appreciate rather than resent others who share our love. We can share, talk, help and support. We’ve come full circle. We can smile again.
a lasting business, “LikeCreating creating a lasting marriage, Is challenging and not Always pretty”.
Lesley Chalmers Panel Member The Guild of Photographers www.lesleychalmers.com Issue 1 - Creative Light :
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spotlight Congratulations Lee Jones Qualified Member January 2014
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RE we suggesting that
the use of the humble CD & USB stick will bring the downfall of Wedding photography as we know it?
Well, death might be a little harsh, however, it might make your business poorly in the long run & result in you having to work harder to make your business succeed. There are many reasons why image only weddings & portrait sessions are on the increase. Some of those are due to the state of every ones finances. Since 2008 we have all felt the impact of a global down turn in some way or another. Brides are conscious about keeping to a budget & often relegate photography down the list of wedding essentials.
They forget that 24 hours after their big day, their photographs are all they will have left. They also feel that if they have the digital files, they can source their own photographic prints & album options. But in reality the disk or USB is often stored away & nothing happens. When they eventually have some prints done at a local super market or express print shop they are often disappointed & surprised by how poor the images appear. In the real world of course, you will more than likely have to provide some image only wedding or portrait sessions. The problem comes when you are regularly doing this. As an image maker, it is through your physical images that others will see your craft &
skill at capturing the emotion & telling the story. Your images will gain you business, will inspire & compel. A disk of images is a lost opportunity. You are simply missing out on possible referrals through your presentation product choice. Jørgensen always encourage our photographers to offer a presentation solution that has an image element to it. That is why we have designed a range of cost effective presentation album products which feature storage solutions for a disk or USB, as well as allowing you to present a small selection of professionally printed images. This is a perfect way to show your client how your images should look when they are properly reproduced.
When those photographers around you are simply offering an image only package consisting of a CD or USB, make yourself stand out from the rest by offering a Jørgensen CD or USB album, an album that will work hard for your business, every time your client picks up their album to show your fantastic images. We do realise that some photographers can & do make an image only business work for them, however, these photographers are few & far between. Let us know what you think, by going to our Facebook page at Jorgensen Albums UK. For more information register at www.swpm.net or call us on 01803 668380.
Image Only Weddings -
D E AT H O F W ED D I N G P H OT O G R APH Y ? JØRGENSEN CD AND USB ALBUMS A SHOT IN THE ARM FOR BUSINESSES 6X6 CD MATTED ALBUM This album has 5 pages, displaying 10 images using the supplied mats & holds two CDs, in the inside front & back cover pockets. Linen albums have a colour co-ordinated ribbon tie. All albums have matching slip cases. Available in Oatmeal or Storm Linen & Black Sumeria Vinyl.
SOUTH WEST PHOTO MOUNTS ARE JØRGENSENS UK PARTNER - www.swpm.net - 01803 668380
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'' USB and CD Album starting from £30 " To find out more about Jørgensens complete range of Albums & Presentation Products, visit www.swpm.net.
6X6 CD PEEL ‘N’ STICK ALBUM
6X6 USB PEEL ‘N’ STICK ALBUM
This album has 10 pages, displaying 20 professionally printed images, along with two CDs in the inside front & back cover pockets. Linen albums have a colour co-ordinated ribbon tie. All albums have matching slip cases. Available in Oatmeal or Storm Linen & Black Sumeria Vinyl.
This album has 5 pages, displaying 10 professionally printed images & holds a USB device in the recessed area, inside back cover. Linen albums have a colour co-ordinated ribbon tie. All albums have matching slip cases. Available in Oatmeal or Storm Linen & Black Sumeria Vinyl.
Design your albums using our easy to use free JAD software.
SOUTH WEST PHOTO MOUNTS ARE JØRGENSENS UK PARTNER - www.swpm.net - 01803 668380
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HOW TO MAKE MONEY ON THE
Susan Hallam is one of the UK’s leading digital marketing experts, working both as a speaker and practicing consultant. She is the founder and Managing Director of Hallam Internet, a digital marketing agency working with a number of world leading companies as well as a wide range of smaller businesses. Previously a Senior Lecturer in Computing at Nottingham Trent University she has also held senior marketing roles at BT and Capital One. Winner of a 2012 Vistage UK Speaker Award, she is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists and received the Freedom of the City of London in 2013. A chartered member of the IDM, CIM, and CILIP, Susan was born in the USA, and a resident of the UK since 1985. ￼
Hallam Internet | Digital Marketing Agency
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ODAY’S business owner is well aware of the benefits of the Internet to grow their brand and boost awareness. But what use is awareness of your business if it doesn’t lead to sales? Even if your website draws in thousands of visitors a month, if none of those visitors go on to buy from you, it’s a waste of time. In photography especially, being found easily on the internet is an increasingly important part of the customer journey. But it is that next step – the step where people actually make a booking, which counts. Here are my tips for turning your website visitors into paying customers:
1) MAKE IT EASY FOR PEOPLE TO GET IN TOUCH Having a contact form on your site, especially for service based businesses like photography, is essential. This is because contact forms are non-intrusive, immediate and available all hours. It may not be appropriate or convenient for you website visitor to call you on the phone at that particular moment, and with a contact form, they don’t have to. So make sure your website has a clear and easy to use contact form and that it is prominent on every page. The best contact forms are very simple forms which capture name, contact details and a short message.
2) RESPOND QUICKLY The immediacy of a contact form is quickly diminished if the potential customer has to wait days for you to call them back. You should aim to respond to the customer within a few hours as this can dramatically improve your chances of getting the sale. This means you need a robust system of managing new enquiries. Make sure your system is set up to notify you when new contact forms are submitted and that you have someone who can respond to those enquiries quickly.
stand their needs is so valuable, and this is far easier over the phone than via email.
4) THE VALUE OF TRUST SIGNALS The final step to closing that sale is in the ability to showcase your work and to prove the quality you’ve delivered to others. Does your website include a showcase of your work? If not, it should. Does it enable you to show all of the dimensions of what you do, the different styles, the varied events and subjects your photograph? Your website is your shop window and it should show you at your best. Testimonials are also a key part of any photographer’s website. Including the testimonials of previous customers can really help the sales process, whilst encouraging people to review you across the web in places like Google Plus, Face-book and Linked In will also boost your profile.
5) MEASURE, ANALYSE, REFINE Measuring your digital marketing efforts is essential if you hope to succeed online. Like any part of your business, your digital marketing strategy must help you reach your bottom line goals – and if it doesn’t, it’s time to reconsider your plans. There are tools available to help you with this. Tools such as Google Analytics’s (which is free) and Omniture (a paid service) provide website owners with data on who has visited their site, where they came from and what they did once they got there. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Linked In have in built analytics’s dashboards which show you the results of your activities. You can make money on the Internet. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be well on your way to success.
3) PICK UP THE PHONE Whilst the Internet offers almost limitless opportunities for businesses, there’s still no substitute for a telephone conversation when it comes to making a sale. This act of picking up the phone helps you to establish a human connection with the potential customer and to start building a rapport. Especially in the photography business, taking the time to get to know the customer and under-
Hallam Internet work with a range of small, medium and large businesses to help them improve their bottom line using the internet. If you’d like to find out more about what we can do for you, why not pick up the phone and give us a call? Tel: 0115 948 0123 or use our online contact form. visit www.hallaminternet.com Issue 1 - Creative Light :
Perfect Inbound Link
- 21 signs a link is great! Linking, linking, linking. Search engine optimisation is all about getting high quality, trusted sites to link to your own site – but is there such a thing as the perfect inbound link? There is no “one size fits all” answer I can give you for the perfect link, but there are certain criteria you can use to assess the possible value of any incoming link. The more criteria it meets, then the more time and effort is worth devoting to getting “The Perfect Link.”
Here are Susan’s top 21 signs that an incoming link is likely to be perfect: 1.
The site that your link is coming from must be relevant to what your business does or offers – it is essential to be “on topic” 2. The content on the page that the link is coming from, should also be contextually relevant to your site. 3. The link goes directly to the most appropriate content on your site, or the right landing page. 4. The site should be trusted and authoritative, as measured by trust scores like Page Rank. 5. The inbound link will have keyword rich, relevant anchor text. 6. It is a text link, not an image or logo link. 7. The link is likely to be moderated, meaning a human needs to approve the link, and it’s not an automated directory or free for all site. 8. You’ve not paid for the link; it is a gift. 9. The link is not reciprocal. 10. The link to your website will be the first link on that page. 11. Even better if it were the only link on that page, or one of very few outbound links from that page. 12. It should not be in the footer or sidebar – ideally it should be in the body of the text surrounded by relevant keyword. 13. The page that the link is on should be frequently crawled by the major search engines. 14. The site should not link out to any bad neighbourhoods (spam links). 15. The IP address that the site is hosted on should not have any spam sites on it. 16. The site should be well established in age, but not out of date. 17. It should have a lot of trusted inbound links itself. 18. It should send as much relevant traffic to your site as possible. 19. You want the link on a page that is likely to remain there for an indefinite amount of time (for ever would be nice). 20. The link does not have a No Follow tag. 21. The link is not redirected using a referral script.
So many characteristics… and that is why there probably no such thing as a perfect link! However if you can find sites that have three, or four or more of these criteria then what you just might have is your killer link…
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What makes a link “bad”? Ask yourself the following questions to sensecheck whether that link will really help you or whether that link from a shady-SEO past is holding you back. I s this Website Relevant to Mine? The most important thing is to forget about link building and SEO: imagine that you’re doing some traditional offline marketing. Let’s say you’ve written a press release – what would you do with it? Would you send it to every journalist you could find – whoever they work for and wherever they’re based? Or would you send it to journalists working for niche publications in your field and relevant specialists writing for local and maybe national papers? I hope you’d choose option two for the simple reason that you will be targeting the right readers if you target the right journalists. And you can apply this principle to your links too. If a website is related to yours – whether it’s a niche blog or a huge site with an area for your field – then it is worth keeping or being in touch. If there is no connection whatsoever the link is likely to look like spam (and not just look like spam, it probably is!). Google won’t rate it. Just think “will this link bring me traffic” or “DOES this link bring me traffic” – if it does (or if it will) then you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Would I Use This Website? This might be a tough one for you, especially if you don’t use your industry leaders’ websites much, but you need to think about how trustworthy the site feels. Does it look like someone is keeping it up to date? Does the information in it feel useful and genuinely valuable? Does it link out to sensible and logical places and does it get interaction through comments or social shares? If you are looking for opportunities then I would be as picky as possible. If it is not valuable and doesn’t get much traction then what is the point. Again it comes back to the traditional marketing approach. If you are looking to remove bad links you may have from past work then there are some key things you can look for: - Keyword rich anchor text – are there links on the site with the anchor text “Online Gambling”, “Cheap SEO Services”, “Buy Viagra Online” or even more innocent keyword rich text. - Is there lots of blog posts or articles with 3 or 4 keyword rich links in? - Do their articles get any comments or social interaction? - Does the site look well maintained? Is it updated regularly, does it look good and trustworthy?
- Does the site work, or are there pages that are broken? If important pages are broken such as the contact page or a page from their main navigation then this is a sign that the site is not updated regularly. If you think it’s a great site with lots of worthwhile information on it and you could imagine coming back to use the site again, see if you can be in touch. If your gut tells you to hit the back button as fast as you can, don’t waste your time. And most importantly, if you’re not sure then don’t bother. Your instinct is probably right. When it comes to link removal – be brutal. If you’re not sure, get rid.
Have I Seen This Before? Does going onto the website give you a strong sense of déjà vu – even though you know for a fact you’ve never clicked onto it before? Maybe you think you’ve read the articles before, you’ve seen the exact same links on another site or it’s yet another web page full of pay per click adverts. It’s inevitable that you’ll come up against similar ideas and content frequently if you’re hunting the net for sites in your niche. But if you can’t find anything unique about the website, it’s a good idea to move along. They may be scraping content, it could be a spammy micro-site or splog, or a website set up purely to make money from advertising. Even if the website is above board, but just highly unoriginal, you’ll be best off searching for a relationship on a high quality site then trying to build useless (and potentially harmful) links with it. Sometimes it’s difficult to but just don’t forget your common sense. If you think something is fishy about a site, chances are Google agrees with you. Focus your efforts on building relationships with industry leaders and creating content that you think are worthwhile instead of on quick and easy wins and you’ll do much better.
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Photographer of the Year 2013
For twenty two years Karen worked as a Pre-Press Manager for a large magazine printer. It was a job that she enjoyed, but sadly Karen was made redundant three years ago. It was a massive blow, but it also presented an ideal opportunity for her with her lifelong passion for photography. Karen had already set up a business with a view to going full time eventually, the redundancy was just the incentive Karen needed. She has not looked back since.
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Before Karen began working in print she had studied 3D Design at Portsmouth Art School. Photography was part of the course, and an area Karen particularly enjoyed the most, especially processing film and creating prints in the Darkroom. Whilst this aspect of photography is no longer part of her day job, it has given her a fantastic grounding and insight into the craft of image making. Since leaving Portsmouth Art School, Karen has indulged her love of photography over the years. Her two young children, Tom and Lizzie have become a constant source of inspiration to her and they have always been eager for Karen to practice on. With time Karen started to photograph babies, children and families and like a spiders web, word quickly spread in the Portsmouth area. Friends started telling their friends and her client base grew through word of mouth referrals. Newborn babies became a key aspect of Karen’s work and it was a perfect way for her to start photographing families. Initially her clients would come to the studio for newborn photography, then they started returning for follow-up birthdays or when siblings arrived. In today’s market, newborn photography is very competitive and by finding a style that’s hers, Karen’s photography has become easily recognisable and people love her relaxed natural posing. It has been a long journey getting to this point in her career but Karen is really happy that her work stands out to the point that even her customers can see my work is different to others locally. A typical day for Karen is juggling the school run, dashing back from school, setting up the studio for a newborn session. Once her clients arrive time goes by in a flash and before she knows where she is Karen is back on the school run again. Once the children are home Karen has special quality time with Tom and Lizzie and only once the children are in bed does she sit down at the computer listens to either Editing to the music of Stevie Wonder, Fleetwood Mac or Radio 4 and edits her images. Karen says it is fantastic to be both a photographer and a Mum especially as she can juggle both.
To be good at what Karen’s does her main challenge is her creative process and how she overcomes this when she is photographing her newborn babies, they are too young to be reasoned with so Karen has to have patience, understanding, caring and perseverance and wait for the babies to go to sleep or stop feeding or stop crying. Karen joined the Guild in the spring of 2013 and after six months qualified as a Craftsman. Every month since joining Karen entered Image of the Month competition and was absolutely delighted to have achieved overall Photographer of the Year 2013. Karen received this at the Annual Awards Dinner in January 2014. Receiving this accolade has been the highlight of her career so far. Training is an important part of Karen’s personal development. She has trained with many well known names in the industry and feels strongly about her continued personal development and has an annual budget to cover this. Damian McGillicuddy, is her current mentor. Kate Hopewell-Smith’s lifestyle workshop’s gave Karen an insight into lifestyle children’s photography and has identified another area of photography Karen would like to learn more about. Chatting to Karen about any advice that she would like to pass on to Guild members her response was “keep training, make sure that you don’t stand still especially as everyone else around you is doing everything they can to get ahead and don’t price yourself too cheaply”. Karen said that she quickly found out when she first started that she was far too cheap. Like all businesses Karen was happy to fill her diary but the problem she encountered was once her reputation built in a cheap market place it is so difficult to climb out of. “Make sure you understand your pricing structure and actually account for all your outgoings when setting your prices when you start. Business training is just as important as the photography training. Don’t just pluck prices out of the air!”
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What is the most emotional and moving subject that you have photographed and why? Most emotional was a family who are simply lovely , I had photographed the two boys and their Mum and Dad twice, Mum announces they are to have another baby. After the baby was born she came for the newborn session. Two months later the sister contacted me to say the baby had been diagnosed with Retinoblastoma, a rare form of eye cancer that affects children younger than five. The following day the family came to the studio and we had a family photo session, as the baby was starting chemotherapy the following day. The family have returned every six months. Lucy is now two and whilst not clear of cancer the tumours are contained and are not spreading. Although blind, she still has her eyes, which is a blessing. Equally as emotional , I captured the birth of a friends baby boy ! I am still not sure how I managed to fight back the tears, wow, what an amazing experience. I am truly thankful for being given the opportunity to capture and share this special moment.
Q: Most embarrassing or funniest moment? Hmmm, lots of funny poo stories from all the babies but I guess the funniest embarrassing one was... Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d been posing a newborn who had urinated on me, (quite normal ), but Dad had gone out for a while. I carried on without changing the baby, it was very warm and the wee from earlier had dried out. I then came to do a photograph of Dad with baby which meant I had to put the baby in Dadâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hands, so I am pretty close to Dad. At first, I could not understand why he kept pulling back from me and looking at me like I was a bad smell, and and then I realised I was a bad smell! Dad could not get out the studio fast enough! Mum and I then had a great giggle about it, when I got changed
What piece of advice would you give to new members of The Guild? The Guild is a great place to grow in the photographic industry, at first you might seem a little overwhelmed but join in, get involved and people fall over themselves to help you. Join the mentoring programme and get qualified, it will not only boost your confidence but it will help you get the edge over your competitors.
Q: What is your favourite food? Chocolate!!!! Need you ask!
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ÂŠ Karen Wiltshire CGP
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Q: Becoming a Craftsman with The Guild, how important is it to your business to be a qualified professional?
Being the first Craftsman in the UK in the genre of Studio Children was a great accolade and I enjoyed a lot of the press coverage. Bookings increased through the publicity. I have always wanted to offer my clients the best of my services so striving for a qualification and the learning process involved in achieving it can only be good for you as a photographer, your confidence and above all your business.
Q: What other area of photography to you do?
I work predominantly with children under the age of one year, however I do photograph and market families as most photographic studios do. I have developed connections with my local Council and through that take images for the tourism market working with Bournemouth and Poole Council as wel and I also work for a local designer shoe shop . With my background in print I also have some print related work which involves shooting artwork for books for primary schools. One thing I have absolutely no desire to do is photograph weddings. I’m just not interested and refer my wedding enquiries to photographers that do.
Winning awards, how important are they to your business? I sometimes wonder if my clients are really interested in my awards as I often hear other photographers say their clients don’t. But to be honest, for me, it has given me a massive boost of confidence. My client’s love it and boast about it to their friends that they have photographs taken by a ‘Photographer of the Year’. I have noticed that my bookings are on the increase which is a direct reflection on my awards and also my qualifications. I enter for me, I enjoy the competition and the buzz it gives me. If I do well I am delighted and if I don’t, well I try harder next time!
Q: And finally Karen, what has been
your career highlight so far?
It has to be winning Photographer of the Year with the Guild! Karen Wiltshire CGP www.kw-photography.co.uk
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Damian McGillicuddy, the multi award-winning Professional Photographer and Olympus UKâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Principal Photographer and Educator talks you through how this shot was done.
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Olympus OM-D EM-1 with M.Zuiko 45mm 1:1.8
My given location was a far from glamourous corner of the John Lewis in-store restaurant in Kingston. The saving grace for me was the lovely long curved wall, this was to become my recessing backdrop to create depth and the prop on which to pose my subject. To achieve this a placed this light to camera left behind the “BIG softie” and set the zoom on the flash for a wide coverage. I let most of the light spill on the wall and allowed just the edge to act as the “kicker” making sure not to strike her nose! This light was metered at f2.5. It’s interesting to note that the light striking the wall, because its more powerful, has a lighter blue hue to it than the light sneaking under the table to the seating, gels can be funny things. Behind the scenes at John Lewis in Kingston
From the behind the scenes image you can see that the location was… not that inspiring, so I used an old trick of throwing a little colour around to give the image an edge and a little more interest.
The final light in the mix was the ambient light in the room. By dragging the shutter I used this light to control the density of the shadows on the subjects face. This image was shot hand held at a 50th of a sec.
My first light, light “A”on the diagram, was a simple barefaced Olympus FL-50R speedlight fitted with a CTO gel. This light was aimed at the back wall to give a little warmth and depth. I’d measured the ambient at a 30th at f2 so this light was metered at f2.5, just enough for it to take control. My “key” or main light again was an FL-50R speedlight, this time though it was modified by my multi use “BIG softie” light modifier. It was set to camera left, raised until it touched the ceiling and reverse feathered off the background. It was positioned to light the outfit and give a pleasing soft Rembrandt pattern to the mask of the subjects face. This light was metered to f2.8. The Third light, light “B” on my diagram was actually the hardest to place. Once more this was a barefaced FL-50R fitted with a quarter cut CTB gel. I needed this light to do double duty for me. I wanted it to not only act as a “kicker” on the subject and carve her out of the background but I also wanted it to add a cool wash of light on the curve of the wall to separate this from the warmly lit background and offer a greater sense of separation and depth.
A FL-50R with CTO
B FL-50R with CTB
Table McGillicuddy “BIG softie” modifier powered by an FL-50R as the “key”
OM-D EM-1 with 45mm
Visit www.damianmcgillicuddy.com to find out about our forthcoming photography events.
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
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precept optimum performance
Solving your Sales Problems Precept Mentoring Group specialise in helping ambitious business owners maximise their sales through the use of simple and easily learned techniques. The business was founded by Phil and Ginny Atherton in September 2005 and has coached over 150 businesses since then. The Precept training is based on the latest thinking in the world of sales and sales process, but also adds in key elements of psychology into the way we make our buying decisions.
We’ve all had that uncomfortable experience of being in front of a “pushy” sales person. The Precept sales model is built on the basis of helping the buyer to buy, rather than on trying to force someone to buy what they don’t want. We show you how to understand your customer’s needs and to explain your service in a way that helps them to see how you can best meet those needs. This leads to stress free sales that result in repeat business and referrals to new customers. When you own a business, and especially a small business, it is incredibly difficult to manage all aspects of the day to day running and to sell effectively too. Precept training recognises these difficulties and shows you the things that will make the biggest difference to your business. Simple tips and techniques have been used by past clients to double their enquiry rate, their conversion rate, and their business. Our approach is to break the key elements of the sales process and subtle sales techniques into manageable blocks that can be delivered through a series of short customised training
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workshops. The Precept approach has been proven to work in a wide range of industries, and is ideal for businesses selling products or services and, in particular, where there is a large emotional element to the sale. Phil and Ginny have previously successfully delivered some of the workshops to the Midlands Regional Group of the Master Photographers Association. As a result, they have a good understanding of the challenges faced by professional photographers in the current market. Simple tips and techniques have been used by past clients to double their enquiry rate, their conversion rate, and their business. Our approach is to break the key elements of the sales process and subtle sales techniques into manageable blocks that can be delivered through a series of short customised training workshops. Delivered in a fun and jargon free way, the Precept sales workshops provide a no-nonsense, easy to follow and proven way to increase not only your sales, but also your average sales price, and ultimately your profit margins.
How to sell a quality service With the development of digital photography, how do you compete with the “happy snapper” who cheaply takes vast numbers of photos in the hope of getting a few good ones?
Why this is important According to a survey by IBIS World in 2013 the market for professional photography services in the UK has declined by 4.1% year on year since 2009. That said, it is still a £1 billion plus market, and so should be able to provide a pretty good living for some time to come. However, this is not all bad news, as the number of professional photographers has been reducing and average day rates have been increasing in the UK, with 30% of photographers now charging over £700 a day (source – Exposure 2013 survey). But, the market has been severely challenged in recent years as the rapid advance of technology has brought the ability to shoot decent photographs into the realms of the enthusiastic amateur. So, in this increasingly competitive world, how do we distinguish ourselves from the lower quality “snappers” that are consistently eroding our market share? You know quality when you see it You have trained, and practiced, and practiced some more. Then you have reviewed your work, compared it with others’ and practiced some more. So you now know what differentiates a great photo from an average one. And you value that difference. Trouble is – your customer doesn’t. So, one way in which you can help your customers to truly value your art is to educate them in understanding it. Whether you are selling to consumers or to businesses, you will be able to justify your prices better if you are able to articulate and demonstrate your superior skill. There are a number of ways in which you can do this. Here are a few thoughts: Produce a guide to good photography. Explain the essentials of framing and lighting that
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truly bring a picture to life. Include examples of good and bad framing – using essentially the same image – in order to show the difference. Many customers will value the insight and will be prepared to pay more once they understand what good photography is. While on that subject, make sure that you only have the very best examples of your work on display, on your website, in your studio, in your literature. Having your best work just in your portfolio misses so many selling opportunities. How many people might be put off giving you an enquiry if they are not amazed by your website? You can give the guide to anyone that gives you an enquiry. Even if it is a casual request, you can stand out from all your competitors by showing an extra concern for your customers. Use social media to demonstrate good and bad techniques. Include links to your website where people can access your free guide. Educating your customers is the first and a very important step in achieving true value for your craft.
In our training courses we quote the American, Theodore Levitt – “People don’t buy quarter inch drills; they buy quarter inch holes.” The point of his statement is that people are only interested in your photographs only for what your photographs can do for them. When a consumer goes to a professional they generally go for one thing – to “buy” a memory. Whether it is a record of their wedding day, their new boyfriend, their child’s latest trophy (or haircut) or their new hard-
Understand first, in order to be understood There are so many elements to selling successfully, but I will cover just one here. Understanding what people buy. Far too many of us think about selling from our point of view, almost as if we forget that the real power in the transaction is with the customer. They will
earned slender figure, they are buying a memory, not a photograph. Now, what do you think someone will pay for a really good memory?
decide whether to buy or not, and we are dependent on that decision. So, the more we understand what our customers buy, the more successful we are likely to be.
Consumers There is a basic distinction between the primary buying motive of the consumer and the business buyer. The consumer will be affected by his emotional needs more than the buyer.
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Business buyers are influenced by their emotions too. Showing someone how amazing you can make his factory look can give you a direct route to a commission, and a healthy day rate. But businesses also have profits to achieve and savings to make. So businesses will be looking for a return on investment. That can be pretty difficult to do in photography; perhaps that is why so many try to differentiate themselves through the prices they charge. A better way is to provide examples of work you have done before, and talk about the overall benefits that those clients gained. For example; let’s say you took some photographs of a company’s products to go into their next catalogue. So, your work was part of a marketing exercise. Imagine that catalogue was a success and sales grew 20%. You can’t honestly say that the sales growth was down to the great photographs that you took, but you can associate yourself
with the overall success of the catalogue. If you want to be scientific about it, we call this the “halo effect”. It is surprisingly effective.
Agencies If you are going to provide your services to industry, you will do well to get on the books of a number of marketing agencies. This is where business owners tend to go first when they want to do some sort of promotional activity. Think about what the agency will want from a photographer. When they hire you they put their reputation on the line, so you need to represent them and support them in the customer’s eyes. So, issues like reliability, courteousness, speed with which you conclude the editing, tidiness and overall professionalism are also important. Your challenge is to be the easiest to deal with, the most fun to be around, the most trustworthy photographer on their books. None of that is about being cheap!
To act or not to act….. This article covers only the first element of a very small number of the key selling principles. Hopefully, it gives you a few ideas that you can implement with your customers in order to build your reputation and your fee rates. I will leave you with one last thought – Selling is a skill. It takes time and practice to develop, just like great photographic skills. Choose the idea that appeals to you most and make it your friend. Be loyal to it. And use it again and again until it rewards you with more customers, higher fees, and true value for your craft. Phil Atherton, Precept Optimum Performance www.preceptoptimumperformance.co.uk
Phil Atherton Precept Optimum Performance Precept Optimum Performance is a trading name of Precept Mentoring Group Ltd, Precept House, 82 Leicester Road, Quorn, LE12 8BB Issue 1 - Creative Light :
What to look for when posing Kevin Pengelley is a Panel Member and Master Craftsman with the Guild of Photographers and a Fellow of the BIPP in Wedding Photography. He is highly respected in the photographic industry, specialising in weddings and portraiture, an active mentor, fully trained judge with awards and titles to his name. Kevin runs a very successful wedding photography business with his wife Sabrina in Suffolk.
elcome to my very first article in the new Creative Light magazine. Over the coming months, I will be contributing to the magazine covering various topics which include ‘Seeing the Light’, ‘Composition’, what makes an award winning image and much more. So let’s start with what wedding and portrait photographers seem to sometimes struggle with, and that is POSING. Over the years, I have judged image competitions and mentored many Photographers. Photographers seem to find the area of posing hard to get right. With the vast majority, it is the simple things that are letting them down. What are the basic rules about posing? The best rule I have learnt from a very early stage is the saying “if it can bend, bend it”. So many images that I have viewed have very straight arms and legs, please view the image of the bride on the right. You will see from the image of the bride that she has a lovely shape to her. She looks elegant and graceful, notice the brides’s arms are very slightly bent allowing light to be seen through her arms, so it also has a slimming effect on her waist and brings it in even more. Her feet are very slightly crossed over so it will naturally rotate her shoulders so they are not square on to the camera, these are very simple rules to apply to when posing a bride on her own..
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To pose a Bride & Groom you just bring a couple together. This image, you can see a very basic couple shot that most parents will buy. Notice how their legs and arms are slightly bent, and their shoulders are slightly rotated, not square on to the camera. See how the groom’s hand are hidden underneath the brides bouquet. We do not see the backs of hands or a hand’s placed on the bride’s stomach. Of course once you have mastered these very basic posing techniques you can then go on to being a lot more creative with the posing.
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To pose a Groom you follow the basic rules. Notice the Groomâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legs are shoulder width apart, feet and shoulders are rotated 45 degrees. The Groom is not square onto the camera. Hands are placed in the pockets as men will often pose with their hands together over their crotch making them look like they are waiting for a free kick in a football match. Alternatively they hold their hands behind their backs looking like they have had their forearms amputated. These are simple posing techniques that work. Once you have mastered theses techniques you can move onto more creative posing but always remember the rules.
Creative pose of Groom
ÂŠ Kevin Pengelley MCGWP Kevin Pengelley Photography http://www.pengelly-photography.co.uk
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This is a very basic set up of the Bride and her Bridesmaids and is the only time the Bride needs to be slightly more square on to the camera. The bridesmaids have been rotated 45 degrees towards the bride which gives shape to the group. Notice how they are all holding their bouquets at the same level. Remember to keep everyone in height order with the next tallest bridesmaid standing next to her in height order.
Creative pose of Groomsmen
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THE 3XM SOLUTION EXPLAINED The 3XM Solution was designed to help professional photographers make more money from their ‘disc’ only or digital image packages.Whether you always offer digital image packages or if your preferred approach is to sell albums or other products, the 3XM Solution can fit into your own business model. From weddings, portrait shoots, baby shoots to event photography, we’ve got it all covered!
3XM DIGI PRO Designed specifically for wedding photographers who want to offer digital image wedding packages.
3XM PRO Designed for photographers who offer digital images to their wedding, portrait, baby shoot or event clients but who still want to focus on selling their own albums and photo products. 3XM DIGI PRO
Online gallery with social media sharing
Social Media Slideshow Video
Designer packaged USB
Revenue share on all products sold to your client or their family and friends
Find a Photographer listing on The Wedding Album Boutiuque consumer promoted website
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CAPTURE As a skilled photographer, you capture and create professional images of your client’s special moments. When you use the 3XM Solution, you can send these images to your client via a beautiful online image gallery which your client can share with family and friends or on social media.
SHARE In today’s digital world, it’s all about sharing. When you use the 3XM Solution, your clients can easily share your images across multiple social media sites. This gives your business a unique promotional opportunity to get in front of your clients’ friends, family and social connections. Not only can they share images, they can also share a video slideshow which you can create using the 3XM Solution. The power of social media is limitless!
The 3XM Solution puts your work out there for the world to see. Our solution offers numerous tools for promoting your business to existing clients as well as their family and friends. One example of this is our Find a Photgrapher Listing on The Wedding Album Boutique available to users of 3XM DIGI PRO.
PROFIT The 3XM Solution will help you generate additional sales leads and increases referral marketing opportunities to help you Make More Money and in turn increase your profit. An added bonus with the 3XM DIGI PRO solution includes a revenue share on any products sold.
PRESENTATION Our designer jewelled USBs and packaging are loved by clients and allow you to present your work in a beautiful, professional manner. To find out how The 3XM Solution can benefit your business, LoCall 0800 0845 700 or email email@example.com
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spotlight Congratulations Julian Mitchell Qualified Member March 2014
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spotlight Congratulations Adele Haywood Qualified Member April 2014
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spotlight Congratulations Victoria Bradley Qualified Member March 2014
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y first ever trip to the Farne Islands was last year and with high expectations. The Farne Islands did not disappoint. I’d heard about the Arctic Terns and their antics, so when I got onto the island kitted out with major head protection! Nothing prepared me for the amazing sight I was presented with when I arrived. Angelic is the only word I can use to describe the Arctic Terns, they have got the most beautiful wings I have ever seen, especially when the sunlight bounces off the silvery feathers. I spent a magical few hours on the Farne’s and was totally in my element, doing what I love the most, spending time with wildlife and capturing their beauty. With Terns hovering just above your head most of the time it was not too difficult to capture them, but doing it whilst possibly getting mobbed by Artic Terns is a different thing altogether, shall we say, a challenge. I was using my Nikon D3s with my old faithful lens, 80-400mm. Image data, focal length 340mm iso 400, f5.3, shutter speed 1/6400 I looked through my images to see if any of my images had the potential to convert to monochrome. I knew there may be a couple of images for a high key conversion. This particular one, the background was perfect and because of the light through the wings and its silvery effect I got to work on it. I used silver Efex Pro 2 for converting the image to black and white. After showing it to my buddy group and getting great feedback, I knew I had something special. I already loved it but after giving it a couple of small tweaks I entered it into Image of the Month. To say that was the longest three weeks of my life waiting for the results is an understatement. Results day arrived, and I was more anxious than normal. I know you should not be emotionally attached to your entries, but wildlife is my passion, I put my heart and soul and emotions into my images, it’s difficult to detach from them. Everything was going through my head,
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deep down I was hoping this was worthy of a gold (but I’d been disappointed before) the email arrived, I did not want to look. I scrolled down the usual information of how the scoring works. Image 1 scored 84 points - and was awarded an elusive Gold Bar – Congratulations! I have to say I read it several times, scrolled back up to make sure I had not missed something, and I was reading the right email. I did not know whether to scream, shout, laugh or cry. But I just sat there, maybe in shock, or disbelief but I then rushed to the computer to find the order that I had submitted them in, just in case it was another image. To be honest, I did not even look at my other two scores, at the time it was totally irrelevant. Looking back at the how the scoring works and realising that 84 points was the highest gold, one point off a platinum, my jaw dropped and the realisation sank in. Did I feel awesome, I most certainly did. I have no words to describe my emotion except that 15 months of sheer hard work and determination, a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs of personal hurdles to the point I almost gave up last year, I’d finally done it! A personal achievement that I will never forget. Do I stop here..!!? No! It is now time to knuckle down, get into mentoring and as much training as my bank balance can handle. I do not want to ever stop doing what I love; I’ve come too far to stop now, financially and personally. So, my journey continues and who knows what is around the corner, Craftsman, Master Craftsman? Maybe…!!!!
Marie Warwick www.marieliannewildlifephotography.co.uk
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Have we lost the archive of life? Since 1838 over 3.5 trillion photographs have been taken. In one month, Facebook have recorded a staggering upload of 6 billion photographs in one month. Of all the photographs taken in the”noughties”, only 5% were actually printed. There are currently 5.2 billion camera phones on the planet today. 90% of all people have only ever taken a picture on a camera phone. 83% of all phones have cameras.
e are living in a digital world where the majority of photographs taken are for self-gratification, as well as approval from the social networks, that our lives are fantastic and attractive in ‘Hudson’ or ‘Valencia’ format with a blurred vignette and cropped to fit a profile picture or ‘cover photo’. It seems we now live our lives through our phones, tablets and computers, often oblivious to what is going on around us. People can be seen on the tube, bus, train and even walking down the street with their eyes fixed to their phones. Even though digital technology has enabled us to communicate with each other from anywhere in the world with the use of video calls, photo and video uploads, file sharing etc., one can’t help but wonder if there’ll even be a demand for printed photographs albeit wedding and family albums in the very near future. When was the last time you went to a friends house and they brought out their album of holiday snaps from their recent trip to Lanzarote? OK, I don’t seriously think anyone misses being bored to near death by next-door-but-one’s 14 day Spanish extravaganza of too much Sangria, blistering sun burn and weigh too small fuchsia speedo’s, but the point is that we would have already seen their photo’s as soon as they were instantly uploaded to a social networking site whilst they were sat on their sun lounger. Alas, the only actual prints any of us seem to posses are from our childhood or wedding days - and even those are becoming more popular as digital files on a disc than in a bespoke album. So why do we treasure photographs of our child hood? I think it was because we lived our lives without digital technology. As a young girl I played in the streets with my friends, went everywhere on our bikes and school holidays seem to last forever. We had film camera’s then, a 36 roll film would have been carefully used - each photo always a special moment with special people to serve as a permanent reminder of that time. It is so different today as our days are just one big status update along with streams of uploaded photo’s that reflect our inanimate lives. We even share images of a cup of coffee or a plate of food, why? I personally believe that we are all guilty of making our lives exciting in cyberspace to justify to ourselves that our lives are not mundane, grey or boring but exciting. In cyberspace, even washing the dishes can be a thrilling activity. In reflection of this and to bring cherished printed memories from out of the shoebox on-top of the wardrobe and into the light of social media, I put a post up on The Guild’s Facebook page. I asked members if they would share with me any treasured and special photographs that hold a special memory in their hearts and, with their permission, I share with you their stories.
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The photograph below was taken at Nottingham’s Market square on the morning of the Queen’s jubilee visit back in 2012. We were both waiting to see the Queen on her tour during her 60th jubilee and while passing the time waiting we started chatting…….It turned out he knew my late grandfather as they were both in the same regiment (Sherwood foresters) and were both prisoners of war during WW2. I took his details to keep in touch but unfortunately I never heard from him again. Kevin Brown The last image I have of my granddad, I had him laughing but he didn’t know who I was anymore, it was the most heart breaking visit I ever had with him.. it made his illness real to me, it really brought it home that day that I was going to lose him, He had always been like a second father to me. Its been three years now since he passed and I still miss him like crazy. When I collected my award at Guild’s Dinner all I was thinking that night was that I wished my grandparents could see me now...!!! Marie Warwick
This is the most treasured image I ever took. My Grandparents and my great aunt. It was taken in 1967 and I was 4...The first picture I ever took. My Gran bought me a camera when we were on holiday. I have no idea what it was, I just remember it was turquoise plastic. We didn’t have much money and my constant requests for film were often deflected. I didn’t appreciate the cost of film and developing at such an early age. My Granddad passed away in 1968 and by Gran in 1970, without the few precious photographs I have I just would not remember them at all. This started my roller coaster love affair with photography and boy if I had access to digital then, I would have had thousands of captured memories to share with my grandchildren.
My Dad has Alzheimer’s and had become quite a recluse over the past few years. When I went home recently I managed to persuade him to come out for a drive with me and we ended up at a kite rehabilitation centre in mid Wales. We were sitting in a hide when a feeding frenzy began and its here that I took the attached photograph of him looking up in awe of the magnificent birds. In this shot he has a look that I haven’t seen in years - excited and playful - and it genuinely brings a tear to my eye when I look at it. Paul Grace
Leigh Adams Issue 1 - Creative Light :
Competition: Win a Photo Orbis Ringflash worth £179 Johnsons Photopia is one of the main Trade Partners for The Guild of Photographers and they have kindly offered this prize for our next edition. The Photo Orbis Ringflash is worth £179.00 and we are giving it away to the winner of our competition.
The Orbis® Flash Studio ring flash systems are fragile, bulky, expensive and hard to use, but this edition’s competition will change all that. Once you have put the Orbis onto your camera, you’ll be taking stunning, shadowless light with you anywhere.
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Please send in to us an image from your childhood or from previous generations and tell us in your own words (no more than 250) the story and emotional connection with the image as per the previous article. Next edition we will announce the winning story and image and publish our favourite images. All entries to be sent to: Julie Oswin MCGWP Editor Creative Light Magazine Please send your entries via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org Images must not be larger than 150mm on the longest edge at 300 dpi and accompanied with a maximum of 250 words. All entries must be received by 21st May 2014. Entries received after this date will not be accepted.
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naughty boys ÂŠ 2014 Mark Lynham http://www.marklynham.com
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