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Issue 6 - Creative Light :


The Guild of Photographers I

t’s been a very exciting start to 2015! The new website has been launched, the Awards night has taken place, we have new long term Trade supporters and two incredibly talented new Panel members, we’ve had an influx of new members, and Creative Light has burst through the 30,000 readers mark per edition!

steve & lesley thirsk

We are delighted with ‘Phase One’ of the new website. Not only is it stunning but it can do so much more for members. The new Search Engine is slick and simple to use for potential customers. They can search by postcode so it lists the photographers nearest them, and/or they can search by genre and qualifications or membership levels. It also points out clearly to them that Guild membership is a ‘Mark of Trust’! Member’s new profiles are also now stunning customisable ‘Micro Sites’ to really help convert browsers into business. On top of this by using our ‘GoCardless’ Direct Debit system, members can access their account at any time, to print invoices and control payments. One-off purchases can also be arranged without any further effort. Our Awards Night on 7th February at Crewe Hall in Cheshire was, to say the least, a fantastic evening - A stunning venue, great food, and a fabulous party atmosphere ... and of course the Guild’s Awards for 2014 were presented to our very worthy winners. The winners received beautiful trophies thanks to the support of InFocus Insurance, GraphiStudio and 3XM. One Vision Imaging also kindly provided stunning framed prints to the Image of the Year winners, and our overall Photographer of the Year Chris Chambers can select £1000 of products courtesy of Johnson’s Photopia.

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Steve Thirsk Three ‘Special Contribution’ Awards were also presented on the night. The first went to Lee Jones for all he does to create a strong community atmosphere on the Guild’s private Facebook page. The second went to Panel Member Lesley Chalmers for everything she has done for the Guild and its members over the past 4 or 5 years, and the final one went to Panel Member Paul Haley for his amazing contribution to photography over the past 40 years. GraphiStudio, One Vision Imaging and Photovalue/3XM have become new ‘official’ Trade Supporters of the Guild. I say official as they have been supporters of the Guild and what it stands for, for some time. That relationship is now to get closer just as with InFocus Insurance, Johnsons Photopia and Photographer’s Edit. The Guild’s Panel has 2 superb new additions to support our members and the Guild itself. They are former President and

Chairman of the MPA, Hossain Mahdavi (aka Hoss) and Pete Bristo MBE who has obtained no less than 7 Fellowships with the MPA, BIPP, SWPP and RPS. Both are not only incredibly talented photographers but highly respected judges and mentors, with huge amounts of experience. We are, of course, delighted and honoured that they are joining our incredible team! That was just the start to the Year. Looking forward, we are taking the winners of our free Christmas Draw to Venice and GraphiStudio’s Castle in the next couple of weeks (courtesy of GraphiStudio). We are then at the NEC’s Photography Show in Birmingham from 21-24 March on Stand J75 (next to InFocus Insurance). We will once again be having our very popular ‘Speakers Corner’ as well opportunities for mentoring with the Panel, as well as the opportunity to simply join us for a chat and recreate that incredible ‘Buzz’ which we experienced last year. We are also planning to go around the country with Photovision, starting in Edinburgh on 21st April. We are scheduling great seminars for under £20 at all the locations. Andrew Appleton & Claire Elliott are scheduled to speak in Edinburgh and Kevin Pengelly will be flying up to offer mentoring opportunities. Anyway, you’ll find more details about Hoss, Pete, our new Trade Partners,  and see lots of the winning images from our Awards night in this exciting edition of Creative Light, so please enjoy it (and if you think you could contribute an article to it please just drop Julie Oswin, our fab Editor, a line)!

Want to join The Guild of Photographers? follow the link and get in touch with us today”. Lesley Thirsk Issue 6 - Creative Light :



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Editor “

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

I was thrilled and very proud to have been chosen to be one of this year’s speakers at Photo Training Overseas on the beautiful sunny island of Tenerife – January 30th until 6th February 2015. My Master Classes concentrated on Wedding Photography and how I create images, starting with natural light and using locations that compliment the bride and groom. Demonstrating my techniques and poses that delegates can use all year round in their wedding photography businesses. My colleague, friend and co-panel member, Mark Seymour was also one of the many fabulous speakers for PTO 2015, all experts in their craft of photography. It was a pleasure to work alongside these fantastically talented people. Mark and I were proud to wave the Guild of Photographer’s flag whilst working on this training workshop.

julie oswin

The bridal portrait opposite was taken during one of my Wedding Master Classes, no reflectors, flash, just beautiful natural lighting.

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Front Cover

chris chambers

“The wedding of Richard and Lisa took place at Hazlewood Castle near York in September 2013. The weather during the day had been kind to the couple, it was only in the evening that we had a few showers. However, this worked to my advantage as the rain shower left a small puddle. I made the puddle a little bigger using an ice bucket and water from the pond. I placed the camera in the water to create the reflection. Lighting was from a single Speedlight triggered by a radio transmitter on the camera�. - Chris Chambers

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Contents features 08

Introducing Pete Bristo


Introducing Hoss Mahdavi


Insight into Judging with Kevin Pengelly


Gavin Crest Master Craftsman

monthly 14

Precept Optimum Performance Sales Coach and Training


Susan Hallam, Digital Marketing Expert

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New Panel Member H

ossain Mahdavi FMPA FEP aka HOSS was awarded his membership to the Federation of European Photographers (FEP) in 2003, and gained Fellowship with the Master Photographers Association (MPA) and the British Institute of Professional Photography (BIPP) in 2005. He is also a past President and Chairman of the MPA.

hoss mahdavi

Since becoming a professional photographer in 1994, he has won many prestigious awards, some of his most recent being National Family Photographer of the Year, National Portrait Photographer of the Year, and London Portrait Group Photographer of the Year. He has also gained regional accolades for Commercial, Press and PR, Fashion, and Pictorial.

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Since 1996 he has been actively involved with the MPA and BIPP as a speaker, lecturer, mentor and judge. Over the years his work has been widely published throughout the trade and professional media. His international commissions have included photographing royalty, celebrities and dignitaries for all over the world including France, Monaco, Switzerland, Germany, Nigeria and Swaziland. Hoss has now decided to move to The Guild and he is excited about working with this contemporary association. Hoss currently runs a successful studio business in the UK, as well as covering all major press events for the My News Magazine Group.

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New Panel Member

pete bristo


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I am a firm believer in qualifications and competitions. Working towards your next goal in your journey keeps you sharp and on top of your game. The wedding business is always evolving, you have to roll with it. Take nothing for granted!�


ete Bristo joined the British Army in 1980. During a two-year tour with the Army in Berlin, Pete became interested in photography. His photography was noticed and very quickly recruited as the Battalion Photographer. Within months, he had completed the first of many specialised photographic courses at the Joint Services School of Photography, RAF Cosford. The next course that Pete undertook was an eight month full-time City & Guilds Photography course. On passing, he became one of a squad of 26 full-time Army Professional Photographers. For the next fifteen years, Pete travelled around the world photographing the Army on deployments. Just some of the many locations Pete photographed was Belize, Berlin, Bosnia, Botswana, Jamaica, Kenya, Cyprus, Uganda, and Egypt. It wasn’t all plain sailing as an Army Photographer, due to the nature of the job Pete ended up on front lines in hostile countries, photographing the Army in there supporting humanitarian role. In was during 1993 that Pete was shot by a sniper in the head while on tour in Bosnia. Evacuated back to UK where he was operated on to save his life. Later that year a young Warrant Officer Pete Bristo was included in the Queen’s Birthday Operational Honour’s List and awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace for his photographic services in Bosnia. During his time in the Army, Pete won many Photographic Awards with his eye-catching Press and PR images winning him Army Photographer of the year twice and NATO Photographer of the Year. Many of his award winning images became part of his First Fellowship Panel in Press & PR with the MPA in 2002. He went on to achieve a further two Fellowships with the BIPP and the SWPP. After leaving the Army he turned to weddings and he currently undertakes 40-50 a year as well as offering training. He has obtained 4 Wedding related Fellowships with the BIPP, MPA, SWPP and RPS and he has won around 100 awards of note in the past 10 years including UK Wedding Photographer of the Year several times. He won 7 categories with the MPA alone in 2014! Pete is a Regional and National Judge. You may have gathered he is a firm believer in competitions and qualifications to keep you sharp with a goal to aim for!

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How to get people

precept optimum performance

to like you

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.


eing liked is one of the most important characteristics of a successful salesperson. In fact many super-sellers do little more than get people to like them, as you will learn a little later in this article. But first, it is important to understand why likeability is so important.

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

THE FALLIBLE BRAIN Now, here is the vital bit for us. Those rules will work really well for us – most of the time. But there are certain circumstances in which those rules will not work in our best interests. Circumstances where the situation is similar to a previous one, but not exactly the same. Following are a number of the rules that our brains use when making buying decisions. By understanding those rules we can adapt our offers and the way we describe those offers to make it more likely that customers will buy from us – at the prices we want them to. The techniques below

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are not fool proof; there are people that will be immune to them, just as there are beings that are strong enough to resist the Jedi, but they will improve our outcome most of the time.

LIKEABILITY Have you heard of Joe Girard? Not many people have today. Yet he is famous in some circles as he was the Guinness Book of World records “World’s best salesman” for 12 years in a row. In a 15 year career between 1963 and 1977 he sold more than 13,000 cars, averaging 5 for every day he worked. When asked what his secret was he said “I just do two things – get people to like me, and I give them a good deal”. Psychologists have identified not only that likeability is an incredibly powerful motivator in all sorts of social situations, but it has 5 main components. • • • • •

Physical attractiveness Similarity Compliments Familiarty Co-operation

Now, you may feel that there is nothing you can do about the first component, but that is far from the truth. We all have the body and looks that we were born with, but some of us make more of those characteristics than others. There is so much that you can do to improve the customer’s perception of your physical attractiveness. Here are a few things you can do •


• • •

Dress Keeping fit Smiling. Yes, a natural smile is one of the most attractive properties that we possess. How often do we hide away one of our most powerful tools of persuasion? There are lots of reasons why we don’t smile more, we just don’t feel good today, we find the customer difficult, we are nervous, or even because we think it isn’t appropriate to smile in business meetings.

Have you ever been on holiday and met someone that is from the same town as you? If you had met in the high street of your home town you would have thought nothing of it. And yet, here you are, two people miles from home and you actually come from the same town! Do you remember how that felt? All of a sudden you had a special bond between you, and why? Because you came from the same town? This is similarity in action. We see it in every part of our lives; supporters of the same football team, enjoying sports, drinking in the same bar. Finding something that you and your customers have in common will increase your LF (likeability factor). We have all seen them; rich mega-stars followed around by hordes of lackeys, all telling them they

are wonderful – and we ask ourselves “How can they be so shallow?” Well, there has been a lot of research into this and it has come to a very interesting conclusion. It turns out that we all like to be praised. And we, in turn, like people more if they praise us. If they give us praise that we recognise as true, the effect is really powerful, and can turn us from sworn enemies to best friends in the blink of an eye. But what about if the compliment is a false one? Well, it turns out we still like the person, though not quite as much. So all those toadies out there are employing a sound strategy to create a position of security for themselves in the protection of their rich and famous guardian. Why do we buy products from brands like Coca Cola, Persil, Marks and Spencer? Of course, these companies spend a lot of time and money creating a brand identity that we will engage with. But they do another thing too; they employ the principle of familiarity. Because we see their brand over and over again we become familiar with it, and we attribute to it positive values, regardless of the message that they are providing. So, when Coke bring out a new product, we will buy it - because we like Coke. You can employ this principle too, simply by keeping in touch with your customers on a regular basis. Remember Joe Girard? He used to send a post card to each of his customers 13 times a year, just to tell them that he was thinking of them and that he “liked them”. I’ve left the best till last. When you cooperate with other people you create an incredibly strong bond with them that is very difficult to break. So many of the psychological principles we discuss have their origins in the time when we first learned how to cooperate and live with each other in small communities. In those days we relied on our neighbours for our very survival, and that is why some of these principles live so strongly in us now. There are numerous studies that have been documented where the researchers managed to completely change the attitudes of people who were aggressively opposed to each other and turn them into best friends. So, think about the ways in which you can cooperate on projects with your best customers; it will pay you enormous dividends There is nothing rational about likeability, we find it in the oddest of places, and we can rarely explain why we instantly like or dislike a person. We just do. So, now you have a major advantage over your fellow human beings, because you actually know what it is that makes people like you, and you know how to use that knowledge to make them like you more. - Ginny Atherton Issue 6 - Creative Light :


The Guilds Top Ten Photographers OPEN CATEGORY



Gillian Lloyd Mark Lynham Tracey Lund Chris Chambers Marie Warwick Karl Redshaw Ann Aveyard Gavin Prest Henry Ransby Dean Oseman

Rob Hill Vicki Head Gillian Lloyd Gavin Prest Jonathan Hilder Jon Allen Panikos Hajistily Colin Metcalfe Ravinder Crone Alan Harbord

Jon Allen Sam Hayward Neil Bremner Chris Chambers Ozzie Malik Adrian Spencer Ani Evans Panikos Hajistily Karen McGowran Peter Knight

RUNNER UP: Chris Chambers WINNER: Gillian Lloyd

RUNNER UP: Panikos Hajistily WINNER: Gavin Prest

RUNNER UP: Ozzie Malik WINNER: Chris Chambers



Sarah Wilkes Nathalie Rouquette Martha Grieve Rob Mank Chris Chambers Karen McGowran Tanya Thomas Laura Spence Tracey Inkson Julie Fraser

RUNNER UP: Sarah Wilkes WINNER: Rob Mank

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Elisa Voros Christine Burke Catherine Skinner Nina Mace Stephanie Belton Neil Bremner Ann Aveyard Katrina Parry Hayley Hay Sally Masson

RUNNER UP: Stephanie Belton WINNER: Nina Mace

Š Gavin Prest Issue 6 - Creative Light :



A unique distinction awarded to very few photographers who have successfully had images assessed by the Guild over the course of a year’s competition, and attained a score equating to an award for each entry made, thereby evidencing an exceptional level of professional skill and consistency”.

Copyright: Gavin Prest Master Craftsman

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Bar Winners • Gavin Prest • Mark Lynham • Tracey Lund • Marie Warwick • Karl Redshaw • Ozzie Malik • Chris Chambers • Gillian Lloyd • Ann Aveyard • Henry Ransby • Sarah Jewell • Nina Mace • Stephanie Belton • Rob Mank • Sarah Wilkes • Nathalie Rouquette • Martha Grieve • Rob Hill • Dean Oseman • Hayley Hay • Panikos Hajistilly • Karen McGowran • Peter Knight

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Graphistudio & The Guild “I

trade partners

t is a little known fact that Graphistudio was set up by three guys in the pursuit of supplying to their own Wedding Photography business over 30 years ago. Who would have predicted that 30 years later the three would not only have invented a totally new product category but through their hard work and continued innovation they would become the brand leader in books/ albums for the professional photographer. Tullio, Enzo and Maurizio are still working hard to help photographers achieve their goals and have put a tremendous investment not just in new ideas but also into the industry that they love as a whole. The company places a high value on Professional bodies and associations and why we are thrilled to be a close working partner with The Guild.

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he exciting revival of what was once the pinnacle of standards, The Guild has always represented the highest of values and it is great to so many new ideas and fresh ideas support to photographers. Graphistudio value education and training and this is why they invested in the education facility Castello Ceconi. (link to video) where we will be hosting a visit from The Guild of Photographers. It is our aim to invite and host photographers from around the globe to share and learn from each other and soon we will see many initiatives that we hope will also see Guild members joining us. From awards to road shows and seminars Graphistudio will be supporting The Guild and helping to show how printed products such as the £49 baby book, Young books or our amazing Digital Matted Albums can be used to great effect not just to bring great happiness to your clients but to enable photographers to maximize the profit from all your sales to all your customers. The UK based team are looking forward to meeting as many of the Guilds members as we can and sharing our 30 years of experience in how to make profit from your pictures�.

- Jeremy Price

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chairman - kevin pengelly

Insight into Judging

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WHAT MAKES A GOOD JUDGE? • A good understanding of photography. • The ability to make a decision based on reason and knowledge rather than emotion. • A Judge must be able to listen to other Judges comments and be able to change their mind. • The ability to be open minded about subjects you wouldn’t particularly photograph yourself. • It is not the place of any Judge to like or dislike an image.

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Judges follow clear guidelines when Judging Theoretically, each section is divided into 10 points, giving a total of 100 points. • • • • • • • • • •


These 10 sections can therefore be broken into three groups for Mentoring | Scoring | Feedback purposes. The ‘power’ elements of Impact | Composition | Lighting These elements combine strongly to become the greatest influencers on any given score.

The ‘Combination’ elements of Creativity | Style | Centre of Interest | Storytelling | Subject Matter These are elements which when coupled with the more powerful emotive factors can effect a score in both a positive and negative manner, these are in place to ensure that images contain a high degree of technical excellence.

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Judging Process Image of the Month Judges each month are normally within 2 - 6 points of each other. Which is well within the International Judging Guidelines. It is only when there is a 10 point difference a rebuttal is called. What is a rebuttal? A rebuttal is when two Judges have a difference of 10 points in their scoring. The highest scoring Judge is then asked to talk about why they have scored the image as high as they did. The lowest scoring Judge then is invited to talk about why they have scored the image as low as they did. After all the Judges have heard the arguments for and against, they are then asked to score the image again.

Most common faults of an image will be failed on within the Image of the Month, these are:

• Out of focus • Dust spots • Poor colour correction • Horizon not horizontal • Poor cropping • Poor lighting • Poor use of Plug-Ins. Plug-ins do not hide what is underneath • Poor posing

“Please remember Judges are human and even we make mistakes” - Kevin Pengelly

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Image of the Year - Babies PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • • • • •

Christine Burke Gail Henry Heather Elliott Julie Fraser Sarah Wilkes

RUNNER UP - Christine Burke

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WINNER - Julie Fraser

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Julie, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year - Birds PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • • • • • •

Gillian Lloyd Chris Chambers Mark Lynham Marie Warwick Dan Baillie Panikos Hajistilly

RUNNER UP - Marie Warwick 28 : Creative Light - Issue 6

WINNER - Gillian Lloyd

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Gillian, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year - Children PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • • • •

Elisa Voros Rob Mank Julie Lomax Nina Mace

RUNNER UP - Nina Mace 30 : Creative Light - Issue 6

WINNER - Rob Mank

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Rob, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year - Creativity PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • • • • • • • •

Paul Brown Sam Hayward Stephanie Belton Elisa Voros Gavin Prest Mark Lynham Neil Bremner Dan Baille

RUNNER UP - Elisa Voros 32 : Creative Light - Issue 6

WINNER - Sam Hayward

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Sam, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year - Equine PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • Sarah Jewell • Julie Moult

RUNNER UP - Sarah Jewell

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WINNER - Sarah Jewell

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Sarah, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year Events, Sports & Action PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • • • • • •

Karl Redshaw Arron Gent Chris Chambers Richard Hardwick Gavin Prest Mark Lynham

RUNNER UP - Richard Hardwick 36 : Creative Light - Issue 6

WINNER - Arron Gent

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Arron, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year - Monochrome PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • • • • • • •

Panikos Hajistilly Karl Redshaw Arron Gent Chris Chambers Marie Warwick Mark Lynham Karl Redshaw

RUNNER UP - Karl Redshaw 38 : Creative Light - Issue 6

WINNER - Panikos Hajistilly

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Panikos, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year Nature & Wildlife PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • • • •

Marie Warwick Tracey Lund Gillian Lloyd Mark Lynham

RUNNER UP - Gillian Lloyd (two images were selected in this section)

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WINNER - Tracey Lund

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Tracey, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year Newborn PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • Nathalie Rouquette • Rob Mank • Chris Chambers

RUNNER UP - Rob Mank

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WINNER - Rob Mank

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Rob, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year - Pet Category PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • • • • •

Linda Johnstone Julie Moult Dean Oseman Marie Warwick Matt Frank

RUNNER UP - Dean Oseman

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WINNER - Julie Moult

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Julie, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year - Rural Landscape PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • • • • • •

Julian Mitchell Mark Lynham Mark Vyse Paul Steven Vicki Head Panikos Hajistilly

RUNNER UP - Mark Lynham 46 : Creative Light - Issue 6

WINNER - Paul Steven

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Paul, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year - Urban & Street PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • • • •

Charlotte Bellamy Arron Gent Chris Chambers Karl Redshaw

RUNNER UP - Karl Redshaw

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WINNER - Arron Gent

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Arron, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year Classical Wedding PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED: • Suzy Mitchell • Panikos Hajistilly • Suzy Mitchell

WINNER - Chris Chambers

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Chris, judged by The Panel”.

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Image of the Year Documentary Wedding PHOTOGRAPHERS SHORT LISTED : • Suzy Mitchell • Panikos Hajistilly • Suzy Mitchell

WINNER - Suzy Mitchell

Many congratulations on your winning photograph Suzy, judged by The Panel”.

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Photographic Industry to the


have known Paul Haley for a number of years. With a career in photography spanning over 40 years, Paul is the ‘peter pan’ of the photographic industry. Starting out as a Press Photographer, including being one of only three civilian photographers sent with the Task Force during the 1982 Falklands War. Paul has written a successful book about his life as a photographer during the Falklands conflict; his images are on display at the Imperial War Museum.

paul haley

Having gained his Fellowship in 2009 and also his Master Craftsman with The Guild of Photographers Paul also runs a very successful training business helping many photographers along their journey. Some of whom have gone on to gain their qualifications with the Guild.

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Over the past few years, Paul has become part of the ‘Guild Family’ helping members with mentoring and is also a very active Panel Member judging the Image of the Month and Qualifications. Paul Haley is a lovely guy, which I can call a true friend. It gave me the greatest of pleasure to present Paul Haley with the Special Award in recognition of his contribution to the Photographic Industry”. - Kevin Pengelly

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Contribution to the Guild “L

esley Chalmers had over 30 years of business experience behind them before changing their career path and becoming a professional photographer…and what a previous career! Amongst other things Lesley was responsible for the regeneration of London’s King’s Cross area in London and also the then notorious Hulme area in Manchester, amongst other places. An Associate Director for The Prince of Wales’s Foundation, contributing to policy formulation and the organisation of high-profile events at places such as Highgrove House and Buckingham Palace. Then went on to speak to Governments and Financial Institutions across Europe on strategy, policies and practices. We could go on but …

lesley chalmers

Lesley is a highly respected and highly sought after commercial and fine art photographer who undertakes corporate commissions alongside travel and fine art projects. Her work has a strong, contemporary style so it’s of little surprise that it is regularly published and exhibited.

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Lesley is by nature a ‘giver’ - she is a Trustee of the Liverpool Biennial (the UK’s biggest and best contemporary arts festival). Provides photography for a hospice and a youth arts centre on a voluntary basis, as well as much more. Lesley ‘gives’ a huge amount of her time to the Guild and has done so for nearly five years. First joining the team shortly after Steve and Lesley took over as Directors in 2009. Since that time, the Guild has grown from around 80 members to 1500+. With such rapid growth has come ‘growing pains’ and challenges, as you would imagine. Lesley has been quietly in the background, helping us ‘regenerate the Guild’, so to speak. Lesley Chalmers is a Panel Member and an amazing mentor who goes ‘over and beyond’ helping photographers on their personal journeys, whatever they may be. A Judge, an organiser of Photo walks, she has a calm voice of reason on our Facebook pages and to Steve & myself, in particular, so much more”. - Lesley Thirsk

Contribution to the Guild community “B

eing a professional photographer can at times be a very lonely career choice. Of course, those of you in business have customers (well at least we hope you do). Many photographers work alone so don’t get the comradeship they would working for a large company. For those in that situation, all important banter and sense of belonging can be missing in our day to day lives. We hope the Guild goes some way towards filling that hole and creating that sense of belonging. We can however only do so much in making that happen – the rest is down to you. It is you all who create that unique Guild atmosphere and feeling of community. Like all families, we see the odd disagreement, but when the wheel comes off or even just wobbles a bit, members jump in to help each other, without a second thought, just as a family member or close friend would. I’m convinced that just wouldn’t happen without the banter and humour we see on our Facebook pages, as it helps bring everyone together.

lee jones

There’s one photographer in The Guild that writes some pretty sensible blog posts on their personal website. They may be serious, but week after week, Lee initiates so many threads on our Facebook page that have made lots and lots of us smile or even laugh out loud after a busy week at work. They’ve been that good that an angry BBC has been in touch to say they are affecting their ratings! Lee Jones is a professional photographer, family man and Scout leader and throughout 2014, he has also been the Guild’s Friday night entertainment provider, contributing greatly to our community and deserves to be acknowledged. It gave me great pleasure asking Lee Jones to step forward on the Awards Evening to receive our first ‘Special Acknowledgement’ award! - Steve & Lesley Thirsk

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Photographer of the Year 2014

chris chambers

“Congratulations Chris on such a successful year”.

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image of the year Congratulations Chris Chambers Members Choice 2014 Issue 6 - Creative Light :


Qualified to Master Craftsman “

I am inspired by all sorts of influences outside of photography the main ones being people, travel, life experiences and true friendships. I’ve had several life changing moments and each of these has made me realise how important it is to seize every opportunity given to you. If i could give anybody any advice when starting up in photography it would be listen to others, learn from others but always be true to yourself”. - Gavin Prest

I gavin prest

have always lived and worked in Hornsea, East Yorkshire. Educated at the local schools and colleges. I started work in the building industry as a plumbing and heating engineer, a job I remained in for over 39 years.

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As a local in the Hornsea area, I have always been involved with local projects and the community. The main one now being with the Hornsea Inshore Rescue. I have been a Coxswain for the independent lifeboat for four years. Thirty years ago for my 21st Birthday, my parents bought me a Pentax ME-Super. It wasn’t until 2011 that I picked up my camera again after a change of circumstances in my life, and I decided that it was photography that I wanted to pursue as my new career. Today the

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technology and cameras have changed but my interest in photography hasn’t. I joined the local amateur camera club that had about twenty members, meeting once a week. The camera club gave me my first experience in studio photography and competition work. I began shooting on a 35mm SLR camera using transparency and black and white film. I made the change from film to a Kodak DC290 digital SLR. Using film in my early days had taught me a lot about exposure techniques, camera craft, composition and framing. Digital technology gives you far more scope and allows me such a fantastic creative opportunity especially with the increased development of equipment and software. My creative process starts with a variety of means - both visual and verbal. It might be an image, a person, a location or a conversation that leads me to a particular train of thought to how I can transfer it to a visual. I have always strived to create a narrative and make a visual statement with my images. When I first start a project, I have several ideas in my head which I’ll transfer into visual inspiration on my mobile/iPad to use as reference during the shoot. As the shoot evolves, ideas and opportunities arise with either input from the model, team or location. Some of my most successful images have been almost accidental as the shoot has developed. Other images have been planned carefully before even picking up the camera. I was brought up with black and white film; my love for monochrome has remained. With a colour image, I feel you can sometimes be distracted by the different sensations of the eye whereas with a monochrome image your focus is purely on the subject. I do shoot colour and love the results but I will remain a black and white fan for its truth, grittiness and power”. - Gavin Prest

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avin submitted his photography for Craftsman qualification, and it was judged on Saturday 7th February 2015 at Crewe Hall. The Panel of Judges met at 12:00 noon to judge four panels, two for Qualified and two for Craftsman. When the Judges looked at Gavin’s panel of imagery the content of his portraiture was very strong especially in the ‘storytelling’, and it was a unanimous vote for his Craftsman. A Panel Member nominated Gavin’s panel for consideration for Master Craftsman. After a long discussion for and against, the Chairman then brought the Panel together for a final vote, the vote being to ‘bump’ the panel of work to Master Craftsman. The panel was successful. The Guild of Photographer’s qualifications are among the most rigorous in the UK. Qualifications require hard work, a strong panel of photography, determination, lots of creativity and commitment. Many congratulations to Gavin and we all on behalf of all the members and The Guild of Photographers wish him every success in the future”.

The Panel of Judges, The Guild of Photographers February 2015

Gavin Prest receiving his certificate from Steven Thirsk

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Copyright: Gavin Prest Master CraftsmanÂ

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opyright: Gavin Prest Master CraftsmanÂ

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The Essential SEO


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

Hallam Internet | Digital Marketing Agency

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here are thousands upon thousands of blogs and articles on the internet on how to successfully optimise your website for search engines. Some are more advanced than others but it’s important to cover the basics. So here is your nononsense SEO checklist to be sure you’re not missing the obvious (and often easy to resolve) elements to achieve higher search engine rankings. OPTIMISE THOSE TITLE TAGS Use relative keywords to the content and make it short and sweet. An ideal Title Tag is 55 characters so it’s important to make sure it’s focused and the Title Tags for each page on your website are unique. It’s also important to remember that if Title Tags are too long, the end will be cut off in Google search results. MAKE USE OF HEADINGS Be sure to use H1 and H2 headings to organise the content on your page. Google will credit it and it will improve the visitor’s experience. SENSIBLE USE OF TARGETED KEYWORDS It’s important to make sure you have targeted keywords in your content, especially within your opening paragraph. However stuffing your content with keywords is bad SEO practice and your website will be penalised by search engines. ADD VALUE TO YOUR CONTENT WITH MEDIA Google will love your website if you use media such as videos with your content. This will increase the chances of your page being ranked above other which don’t take advantage of this. BUILD INTERNAL LINKS BETWEEN PAGES

BUILD EXTERNAL LINKS Creating links to other websites will improve your Domain Authority which will – that’s right, improve your search ranking. If you’ve seen your article or product mentioned on another website, get it linked! You can also research who currently links to your website. SEO FRIENDLY URLs If the URLs for your pages on your website aren’t keyword optimised then this will make it hard for Google to pull your page into search results. So make sure these URLs are search engine friendly For example – seo-checklist as opposed to – thread.php?threadid=12345&sort=date OPTIMISE YOUR IMAGES It’s important to know that when you use images with your content (which is great for SEO), they should have alt tags applied. These are important for SEO because search engines find images more difficult to understand than text. So having alt tags for your images will improve your chances of being returned in a search. FRESH CONTENT Search engines really love fresh, relevant content. So be sure to keep your website up to date and post new content regularly with a news section or a blog.

Hallam Internet

A connected website is a well optimised website. Internal links to other pages on your website will create a network and it will be easier for search engine bots to crawl your website. This in turn can help to improve your search ranking. INTEGRATE SOCIAL MEDIA Allow visitors to easily share your content on social networks. This will not only optimise your website in search but it will also drive traffic and awareness from other sources. So be sure you add those social network widgets to your pages. CATEGORISE YOUR CONTENT A  well organised website will help search engine bots to crawl your website. Therefore use categories and sub-categories to organise the content on your website. For example if you have a section for haberdashery & gifts, split it up into separate categories. SITEMAPS An HTML and/or a XML sitemap will improve the visibility of your website and will provide keyword rich links to all the pages on your website. So be sure to check if you have one in place! Issue 6 - Creative Light :


spotlight Congratulations Rob Hill Qualified Status February 2015

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spotlight Congratulations Rob Mank Awarded Craftsman February 2015

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Road Shows 2015 W

e are pleased to be working with The Guild of Photographers at all of our shows this year. The Guild of Photographers will be holding their own workshops covering different subjects to our own, meaning that The Photovision Road Shows will be the most informative and lively shows around,

photovision trade shows

As we have been providing Photographers with our brilliant one day trade shows over the past 11 years, we have decided to spice things up a little. Our next event will be held at The Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh on Tuesday 21st April 2015 with FREE trade show entry to see your trusted trade suppliers. We also have a variety of affordable workshops offering talent sharing of our favourite photographers, John Denton - The World Of Boudoir and Kenny Martin - The Ultimate Guide to Photographic Light and many more. Have you got your hottest ticket in town?, f not simply register at :

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With every area covered for the photographer, our vision for 2015 is clear. We are on the Road, bringing our shows to a city near you”.

1108418 Edinburgh 2015 132x180_Layout 1 13/02/2015 10:39 Page 1

Photovision Trade Shows BOOK NOW

EDINBURGH 21st Apr 2015

Workshops & Live Demos Hit the ground running in 2015 and learn new skills from our fantastic new photographic workshops. Areas covered include:

Newborn, Boudoir, Wedding, Lighting, Events, Photoshop/Lightroom, Posing Techniques Supported By


12th May 2015



1st Sept 2015

Studio Area Live


21st Oct 2015

Star Attractions • Cameras & Equipment • Used Equipment Fair • Camera Cleaning • Workshops • Work Assessment Clinic • Leading Trade Suppliers • Equipment Demos • Discount Vouchers


23rd Sept 2015

10th Jun 2015


30th Jun 2015


10th Nov 2015


1st Oct 2015


14th July 2015

Try the latest studio equipment

FREETrade Show Entry • FREE Parking • Workshops • Tradeshow 11am To 4pm


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image of the year Congratulations Sam Hayward Judges Choice 2014

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in focus photography Insurance

Photographers & Videographers need a ‘Complaints Department’

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f you have only two minutes, watch this introductory video about Professional Indemnity insurance starring a Vaudevilleesque Flash the frog by visiting our website or following this link If you are hungry for a little more information then read on. Professional Indemnity insurance is a critically important insurance protection whenever you provide a service to a client especially for a fee or commission. When you do this you raise the bar of responsibility and expectation owed to your client. If you fail to meet the professional standards they expect or simply fail to provide the service they have paid for then they can point the finger of blame at you and expect compensation in some form or other. If clients enlist the help of a lawyer to press their case then it can quickly become a disastrously expensive affair.

What can go wrong you may think; •

Failing to turn up at a planned fashion shoot. Studio costs, model fees, Set costs, incidental costs of all let down Parties are examples of claims

Quality of Wedding pictures is a common complaint Loss of pictures especially of one-off never to be repeated events

Accidental breach of Privacy arising from unwanted media or online publication of pictures

Accidental breach of Intellectual Property Rights mainly Copyright

To be honest there is not enough room to illustrate the extent of the problem except to say that every Photographer should have a virtual complaints department. They should know in advance where to go to and get help in managing all complaints. When you have a policy with us, your very own complaints department is actually Infocus Insurance and ultimately your Professional Indemnity insurer. You have already paid for their help so it is madness to try to handle complaints on your own. If you do and you fail to notify and get permission from your insurer you can end up being set adrift by them and your complaints department will not be able to help. For more guidance speak to one of our trained advisers 0844 811 8056. Treat it like your very own complaints department. - Steve Hewlett In Focus Photography Insurance

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spotlight Congratulations Nathalie Rouquette Qualified Status February 2015

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spotlight Congratulations Vicki Head Qualified Status February 2015

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the boys Š 2015 Mark Lynham

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“Syd” © Penny Hardie

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Creative Light - Issue 6  

Creative Light brings together individuals interested in the craft of photography.

Creative Light - Issue 6  

Creative Light brings together individuals interested in the craft of photography.