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Showing posts from November, 2007

A career as a professional photographer

Boys playing on a sea-saw in South Africa. This shot has been in my portfolio for a long time. It has won numerous awards and been in exhibitions all over the world. So now as I glance back over my shoulder at where I've come from it seems an opportune time to show it here. Best Viewed On Black EPUK has published a great article which ties in with my previous blog . The article asks ten top photographers, "What do you wish you'd known when you started out ?" I wish I'd known that things are not always fair and that taking good images is not enough. I also wish I had known how kind and wonderful people are all over the world. It seems the less people have the more generous they are, and often happier. I also wish I had known that I didn't need to buy most of the cameras and lenses that are sitting in my studio. I would have saved a fortune. I highly recommend reading this article . Cheers, Paul

Is professional photography still a viable career?

I am not against amateurs and semi-professionals selling their photography. It's a great way to earn some extra cash. However I am concerned about the level of high quality published work and the standards that clients and the public accept these days. It seems that just about everyone is a photographer. The line between amateur enthusiast and professional is fuzzy to say the least. Photography enthusiasts are selling their images through stock libraries and microstock websites, directly to magazines or through their own and third party sites. They're accepting commissions to shoot weddings, being hired to shoot for magazines and selling fine art prints from their websites. They're teaching photography on the weekend and guiding photographic holidays and safaris. Photography became accessible to the masses with the first non-expert cameras and the famous Kodak slogan"You press the button, we do the rest." The digital camera age has taken the whole thing to a ne

A site for professionals

Have you got 20 minutes, well better make that a few hours? Take a look at a relatively new site ( ) that features the work of many top professional photographers. Anyone can sign up. You don't have to submit your own work, you can vote for the photographers who have submitted their portfolios or act as a photo editor and submit your own favourite professional photographers. I've submitted a portfolio of my "most interesting" images on Flickr and I will be submitting my website once it's had a revamp, which it definitely needs again. Got to keep things fresh in this fast moving world. So go on, check it out and have fun. Cheers, Paul

Design in photography #3

A canal near Damme, in Belgium, provides the perfect landscape to create a strong design statement in photography. I've written two articles on using design in photography, here and here , and I said I would be adding to the series. Unfortunately I never got round to writing more but I hope this image illustrates several of the points I made in the earlier articles. There's a rather strange phenomenon that happens. I look back at what I've written some time ago and somehow it seems fresh and I discover things that I'd not thought about for a while. This is exactly what happened when I re-read my articles on design in photography this evening. As the readership of this blog keeps growing, at a quite phenomenal rate, I'm sure that some of you will not have read these articles and hopefully you will discover something of value in them that can be applied to your own photography. So in the best tradition of TV re-runs here they are once again: Design in photography 1 De

A day in the life of a portrait photographer

This couple came to our studio for a portrait and I just knew something special was going to happen. She was very bossy. If you've ever seen the English TV sitcom Hyacinth Bucket , well that's exactly how she was. The real Hyacinth. Everything had to be the best and most expensive. Eventually she fell under the spell of my irresistible wit and cracked up with laughter, and I got my shot. Actually come to think of it it was probably Magda's wit as I tend to go fairly quiet during photo-shoots. Her dress was very expensive but didn't quite fit, which she was really annoyed about. So Magda used washing pegs on the back of the dress to make it fit, an old fashion photographers' trick. Oh by the way the flower thing was 'Hyacinth's' idea. Credit where credit is due... Hope the image makes you smile. Cheers, Paul

Do photo 'enthusiasts' really want to learn?

"I don't have an expensive cameras and software to manipulate my images," says one photography enthusiast in reply to a critique of their image. The faults I spotted were basic exposure and framing. Things you could get right on the most simple of cameras with a bit of care and attention. But many amateurs snap away, upload their pictures to the net and then expect to have plaudits heaped on them for their fantastic images. And they do get lots of awards and praise for the most appalling rubbish. Social networking can do that for you. Praise enough people and they will come back and praise you. It would seem that many have a desperate need for applause no matter how hollow and empty. Either that or a good deal of the online photo community is on happy pills or delusional. So what happens when a photographer with a bit of experience, who has suffered the stinging critiques of editors, curators and other far better photographers writes a simple honest critique on a pho