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10 Tips for Shooting Freestyle Scootering

Posted on July 18, 2015 by Admin under Photo Sessions, Photography
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Although there has been a lot of resistance within the action sports community to the new boy on the scene there is no question now that freestyle scootering is here to stay for the foreseeable future. This trend has been seen played out before a number of times within the community. This is why I foresee a future where those core scooter riders who stick with the sport no matter what will be a part of the community judging the legitimacy of the next new sport to come up. Like all booming sports they are judged upon what most people see which is small children snaking everyone blindly at their local park. Not many people outside of the sport are privy to how rapidly the sport has progressed and just how insane some of the stuff being accomplished is. As the brand photographer for Grit, Crisp and Lucky scooters as well as one of the go to guys for the vast majority of events within the UK I’ve seen some crazy things done on scooters and also had the pleasure of capturing them. I’ve learnt a lot over my years in the role and hope these top ten tips for shooting freestyle scooting can help you achieve great results when out attempting to take photos of this sport

– What’s in ya Bag?_DWM2388

First things first and before you have even got to your shoot, what equipment are you taking? If the answer is all of your gear then think again! Shooting freestyle scootering is a lot like other extreme sports in that it is location based meaning you can spend a lot of time on your feet moving from one place to another. Only take what you need and make sure that bag you have is a reputable brand of bag so that it is both comfortable and supportive.

– Dress Sense

Bring location based means you can be out shooting in the elements or even a cold damp skatepark. These places are made for people who are exerting themselves for hours on end so don’t expect there to be central heating. Make sure you wrap up enough for the location and if possible bring an extra layer. You’ll be thanking yourself when you’re not so cold that you’re struggling to fire the shutter.

_DWM2304– Talk Talk talk

Communication is key when shooting any action sport and talking to your subject can help you and your subject in a number of ways. Having them talk you through the trick and how they personally tweak it can help you get the best possible angle while telling them your plans saves you from placing light stands or other gear right in their way.

– Clean up

Although you should be pretty hot on keeping your equipment clean it never hurts to have a Lens pen or lens cloth in your pocket at all times. Skateparks and street locations can be pretty grotty places where lots of dust can get kicked up into the air. One quick wipe before you start prepping the shot ensures that every pixel shall have it chance to shine as it should in your final image.

– Pre Focus

Once you have an idea of how and where you want to shoot the trick from prefocus your shot. This is the key to getting the shot as quickly as possible without having your subject to perform the stunt over and over again. Getting them to stand where they shall be doing the trick and firing a few test shots is a sure way to check you’re all focused in on the right area.

– Duck!

Freestyle scootering alike any other extreme sport it quite a dangerous activity and those that decide to do it are fully aware of the risks, but that’s not where it ends. As you are now documenting it you became apart of that risk and with the highly technical nature of the sport its well worthy being aware of both your surroundings and what your subject is doing. Nobody wants to take a scooter deck to the face.

– Flash_DWM2606

I can’t say enough about off camera flashes, if you are not already using them then change that right now. There are always great chances in which off camera flashes are not needed but the majority of the time I would say they are. Not only do they freeze the action well they also if used well can add more depth to your images making the action seem more explosive. They also open up the opportunity to shooting in low or even no light situations.

_DWM2323– Too close for comfort

Something that is almost a necessity within action sports is with a wide angle or fisheye lens. These lenses allow you to get so much closer to the action which can provide some very striking results. They communicate the extreme nature of the sport really well. If not already in your kit bag then it’s one for the Christmas list.

– Go long

Don’t be afraid to get the long lens out and go for something more scenic. If the scene is worthy of capturing and the trick dynamic enough it will work. A good variation is always needed so don’t hide behind that Fisheye for fear of the trick not looking “extreme” enough.

– Experiment

Last but no means least remember this is only a set of tips to help you achieve the basics of shooting freestyle scooting. They are not a list of rules that are never to be broken. Switch things up; try something that is unconventional from the normal practice because you might just discover a new and amazing way of documenting the sport._DWM2292

What not to do on a SPORTS photo shoot.

Posted on July 16, 2015 by Admin under Photo Sessions, Photography, Sport
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Here’s a fun list of what not to do on a photo shoot, this in no way includes everything you shouldn’t do.  Please comment below with more things that you shouldn’t do on a shoot, and we will add those with a name credit and a link to your website. _DWM2292

  1. Forget vital gear (Camera, Lenses)
  2. Forget secondary gear (Flashes, Batteries, etc.)
  3. Stand in a dangerous place
  4. Step too close to a propeller or athlete with a fisheye lens….
  5. Talk about how everyone is a pro photographer now since the iPhone camera is soo good… Ugh
  6. Blame a bad photo on your gear.
  7. Steal another photographer’s angle without thanking them in advance.
  8. Leave your pack unattended in a crowd.
  9. Leave the lens cap on as you go to take your first shot.
  10. Act superior to other photographers at an event.
  11. Use words that make your athletes feel uncomfortable…
  12. Act too artsy and walk around framing the shot with your hands
  13. Ignore what your athletes ask you to shoot.
  14. Forget to change your ISO when the last shoot was at a ridiculously high number.
  15. Only shoot with your telephoto or fisheye and claim that they are all you need.
  16. Miss the shot because you got distracted
  17. Miss the shot for any reason other than equipment failure
  18. Show up with a Leica and explain how much better the images are than modern DSLRS
  19. Let your athletes order you around.
  20. Place your flash too close to the action thus allowing it to be damaged or ruined.
  21. Center the athlete in every photo.
  22. Guy in the sky (You know why!)
  23. Offer a lady “2 Tickets to the gun show” and pull out your two biggest camera lenses. (It could work, but the odds are heavily against you…)
  24. Steal another photographer’s flashes by “poaching” his radio channel with your radio.
  25. Stick to the rules of photographer like rule of thirds, breaking rules is fun, makes you appear cooler than you are, and will also achieve great images that aren’t the same thing everyone else is shooting
  26. Keep the “What not to do on a photo shoot” article a secret from photographer’s who are breaking rules, they need to know too!
  27. Your rule here (plus a link to your website) Submit via comments.

 

44 Tips to Improve Your Photography

Posted on July 9, 2015 by Admin under Photography
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  1. Shoot every day Like any skill, the more you do it, the better you can get. The best camera you have is the one in your hand, so if you aren’t out with your full DSLR kit, don’t be afraid to take great photos with your cell phone camera or a point-and-shoot. Photography is photography, make pictures with a camera. Any camera.
  2. Always have your camera near Pull up a chair and I can describe two amazing scenes that have been indelibly embedded in my mind. Unfortunately, for the first, my camera was broken (I was at sea, far from a camera store). For the second, it was out of reach (I was flying). I have considered learning to draw or paint so I can make a “picture” of these two moments. The moral of these stories: have a camera within reach. You never know what will happen or what you will see.
  3. Read your manual Camera manuals aren’t engaging reading, but they do tell you a lot about how to use your camera. Spend a night or two with your manual and get intimate with your camera. This will help you every time you photograph. Most manuals are now available electronically, so know where to find it, or save it on your mobile device for reference in the field.
  4. Check your settings / know your gear I have often been tempted to put the following note on a sticker and affix it to my LCD screen: “Check your ISO, dummy.” If I had a nickel for each time I went out in the sunlight with my ISO at 800 or higher after shooting the previous evening in a dark restaurant, I would own a newer camera. Know what your settings are and how to change them quickly.untitled 2
  5. Change perspective / angle We see the world from eye level, and most people’s eyes are, generally, at roughly the same height. Should your photographs constantly record the world from the same altitude as your eyes? You will be amazed at how shooting from your knees, or a high ground, will change your image. Watch a documentary film about a documentary photographer and see how they move and silently wonder how many pairs of pants they wear out by constantly kneeling to shoot from low angles.
  6. Know your meter Know your camera’s metering modes and use them to your advantage. When you frame an image, see the light and then meter for how you want your scene to be exposed. Is the lighting flat? Is a ray of light illuminating your subject? Do you want the background to melt into darkness? Your camera will help you achieve your goal; you just have to tell it how to do it. Practice metering and setting exposure.
  7. Know your shooting/exposure modes Similar to the last tip, your camera is smart, but it needs help from you from time to time. Some will tell you to always shoot manual. I disagree. Know how to shoot manual, but also know when other shooting/exposure modes will be advantageous for your particular photographic goal(s).
  8. Know your focus modes If you use autofocus, and you likely do, the camera’s autofocus is either going to make the picture or ruin it. Know what the autofocus modes do and how to adjust focus if the camera suddenly decides it thinks it knows better than you what part of the frame you want in focus.untitled 3
  9. Study photos—but not too much Study the photographs of others. What do you like? What do you dislike? What would you improve? Is it perfect? Why, then, is it perfect? Look. Enjoy. Remember. Soak it in. But, don’t forget to go out and make your own images!
  10. Read photo books Books and websites have helpful tips (I hope this counts). But, not all are created equal. Find writers who you connect with through their writing and find writers who give good advice. I am a big fan of “basic photography” books and, to this day, even with a Masters degree in the topic, I populate my bookshelf with inspirational books written for beginner photographers.
  11. Learn/Workshops The only substitute for learning through reading (or watching videos) is to make images yourself. Take a class. Attend a workshop. Similar to books and websites, these are not all created equal, but, the one thing they should do is immerse you in photography for a night or a weekend, or more. Being immersed in the art and craft is as important as anything else.
  12. Use your histogram In digital photography, the histogram is the best way to evaluate your exposure for accuracy. The LCD screen can be misleading. Knowing how to read your histogram might be the difference between thinking you have a great photo and truly having a great photo.untitled 4
  13. Shoot RAW, highest-resolution JPEG, or film Shooting RAW gives you the best performance from your sensor. That is a fact. However, RAW shooting isn’t practical for every photographer (or camera). So, if you aren’t going to shoot RAW, shoot the highest-resolution JPEG that your camera allows. This way, even if you think you are just taking snapshots, you will have the ability to make a large print if you find that you captured an image you really like. Or, forget the digital RAW vs. JPEG debate and shoot film. Case closed!
  14. Compose meticulously There is a nature/nurture argument about composition. However, study the “rules” and observe composition in other images to help you “feel” what works best. Then, try to use that knowledge to your advantage. Be deliberate about your composition, if time allows.
  15. Symmetry Along the same lines, if you are going for symmetry, make sure you nail it. A few inches in one direction can upset the image’s symmetry, and your audience (and you) will know you were going for symmetry and missed. Photography can be a game of inches.
  16. Pay attention to the frame edges The image is more than the subject (usually). Scrutinize the corners and the sides and top and bottom of your frame. Is everything working together well, or is something completely out of place? Can you adjust to remove the “noise” of a busy scene? Look at the whole so the whole does not detract from your subject.untitled 5
  17. Pay attention to the background Evaluate your scene, especially in portraiture. Is that a tree growing out of the subject’s head, or just a funky new hat? Isolate your subjects from the background by adjusting depth of field, moving the camera, or moving the subject—unless the subject is the background.
  18. Get closer Robert Capa famously said, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough.” He was 100% right. Fill your frame with the subject, if you can. This is one of the most difficult things to do in photography, as we sometimes worry about being invasive to a stranger, or lazily reach for a telephoto lens to “cheat” and pretend we got close. Get closer and see your imagery improve.
  19. Slow down Of course, there are times when you need a quick draw, but there is something to be said for planning and being deliberate. Think about the shot. Visualize the results and calculate what you need to do to try to achieve it. Put your plan into action. Wait for elements to come together, if needed, and then make a photograph.
  20. Use a tripod Nothing slows you down like a tripod. This is a good thing. Did you just breeze over #19? The tripod won’t let you do that. Also, as an added bonus, the tripod will hold your camera steady and help you get a sharper image!untitled 6
  21. Practice good technique The way you hold your camera can make a big difference. The way you stand while shooting can make a big difference. The way you breathe when you release the shutter can make a big difference. It all adds up and can make or break your photograph. Learn and practice these fundamentals.
  22. Look for light Light is everything in photography. Spend your time looking for light, even if you aren’t taking photos. Look for sun beams and breaks, reflections, shadows, natural light, artificial light. See how light interacts with the environment. See light.
  23. Embrace shade The wonderful side effect of light is shadow. Shadow is as valuable as light and gives depth and shape to objects. Use shadow in your images. Don’t run from shadow. Embrace it.
  24. Patience Is the light not right? Is the subject in the wrong spot? Sometimes the wrongs of a photo can become rights, if you have time to let the rights happen. Modern life is much faster than it was long ago. Use photography to slow it down and enjoy moments in time. Then, capture them with your camera.untitled 7
  25. Know the rules, and break them Cliché, but true. An intentionally over- or underexposed image is usually much more compelling than one that was incorrectly exposed accidently. The only good blur is intentional blur. Photography is aesthetic and you can explore the fringes of what looks good and what doesn’t. But, have a reason to be at the fringe, because the “my camera settings were messed up” excuse is not a good reason for promoting soft focus or motion blur. The photo may be compelling, but intentionally compelling is the better way to go.
  26. Know your lenses Different lenses do different things to an image. Know how your telephotos compress and your wide-angles distort. Use the best lens for your photographic vision. Fisheye portraits are fun, but not great for professional headshots. Sometimes you only have your one lens. Know its strengths and weaknesses. For all your lenses, know which apertures are sharpest and know when you lose sharpness.
  27. Don’t overload your quiver A heavy camera bag is no fun, unless someone else is carrying it for you. Pack only what you need and hope you didn’t leave something important behind. Photography can become a chore when you are overloaded with gear. Minimize and travel light. Your shoulders and back will thank you. So will your spirit.
  28. Know your surroundings When you look through a viewfinder, you narrow your field of view of the world around you. Situational awareness is critical. Are you standing in the middle of a busy street? Are you blocking others from a great view? Are you in a bad section of town? Be aware of what is happening around you both for safety and courtesy and to see and capture more images.untitled 8
  29. Know the weather Keep a weather eye on the horizon. Weather can plan an important role in your image: wind, clouds, sun, rain, snow, lightning, etc. Weather can help make an image, or ruin your whole day. Use the weather to make better photos. Wear sunscreen. Wear a hat. Stay warm. Stay cool. Stay dry. Be prepared and be safe.
  30. Celestial awareness Long the purview of the night photographer, knowing when and where celestial bodies will rise and set can be critical to your imagery. Planning helps make better images at all times. Of course, you might just have to play the cards you are dealt, but, if you give a nod to studying the rotation of the Earth, you might stack the deck in your favor.
  31. Analyze your old images Be your harshest critic. Internalize it. Study your images and learn from your own mistakes. Or, if you find your images are perfect, quit before they are not!
  32. Try a prime lens Zoom lenses are convenient and optically very good, but there is not yet a substitute for a top-quality prime lens. A zoom can mask laziness in photography. The prime forces you to not only think, but to move, as well. This will open up more opportunities than it will close.untitled 9
  33. Photo project / concept There is certainly a place for random snapshots in the world of photography but, a coherent photo project, especially when it is generated from an internal concept driven by passion can self-inspire you to create a solid body of work. Do you want to tell a story? Do you want to document social or physical change? Use your camera to illustrate your thoughts.
  34. Abstracts See the small parts of a scene. Look for the trees in the forest. The light or shadow may be creating an image inside your image. Find it. Capture it. Some photographers know nothing but the abstract. Some know no abstractions. Find your own balance. Explore the scene and create.
  35. Photographing pretty things Flowers, sunsets, mountains, and babies are already pretty. Your camera simply proves that point. There is nothing wrong with photographing pretty things—I do it all the time—but sometimes you can surprise yourself by using your camera to make something unattractive suddenly attractive, or, at least, visually interesting. The camera and photographer can combine to possess the power to capture what the eye might disregard.
  36. Editing It is likely that not every shot you took was great, so look hard, be critical, and discard images that do not make the cut. Granted, photography is subjective, and someone might love a shot that you do not love, but, you are the most important viewer of your work, so only show what you love.untitled 10
  37. Critique Open yourself to critique after you have critiqued yourself. Put on your armor, but know that, again, photography is subjective, so listen respectfully to opinions and be open-minded so that you may learn and grow—especially if you agree with them. But remember, always, if you love an image that you have made, no one should be able to take that away from you. If you hang it on your wall or display it on your computer screen and enjoy looking at it, you have made a successful image.
  38. Develop a style If your photos look like everyone else’s, there is nothing wrong with that. However, if you want your personality to shine through your images, then experiment and find a style that suits your artistic vision. Be consistent with your style, but also realize that your style might not fit every shooting situation. Don’t force it. Always know the fundamentals so you can fall back on them when needed.
  39. Search yourself for improvement, not your gear A great photographer can make a great photograph with any camera. A poor photographer can make a poor photograph with the world’s most expensive camera. Photography is a technologically based art form, but the technology does not make the art, the human behind the camera does. Do not look for solutions in something that runs on batteries and arrives in a box.
  40. Study art ­ Other forms of art can teach and inspire the photographer, especially painting. I prefer photographic art exhibits, but, when I am in the presence of paintings, I study them to see how the artist used color, light, shadow, line, composition, etc, to make the image successful—or not.untitled 11
  41. Don’t lose the moment Those two moments I mentioned above, when I did not have a camera to capture them, I remember vividly because I was present and I was not looking through a viewfinder. I have thousands of images from a 10-day trip to Eastern Europe, but today I struggle to tell friends what city I was standing in when I took a particular photo. You can get lost in your camera’s viewfinder and the process of making photos. Remember to live first, experience the moment, be present, and only then try to capture it.
  42. Look for images ­ Even if you are without a camera (Why didn’t you take #2 to heart?), look for photographs. Not every camera can capture every virtual photograph, but your eye and mind certainly can. Constantly see the world around you and look for photographs, even if they are impossible to capture with the gear you have in your bag or front pocket. Look for photographs. Look for photographs.
  43. Experiment Push yourself. Push your gear. Experiment with different settings, scenes, lights, darks, colors, everything. You will never know what you can capture until you capture it. The magic of digital photography is that each image is virtually free, so the only thing you may waste is a fraction of a second. Free your mind. Be creative with your camera.
  44. Have fun If you aren’t enjoying photography, #1 through #43 are not going to help. Smile behind the lens. Create art. Capture moments. Share images. Get outside. Explore inside. But, regardless of your results, have fun with photography. Nothing else really matters—not even the photograph.

20 Inspiring Quotes About What Photography Is

Posted on July 8, 2015 by Admin under Photography
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untitled     Photography allows one to capture the world around them with the press of a shutter. From a scientific perspective, it is the act of recording light either electronically or chemically. However, this tells us nothing about the heart of photography and what it truly means to us on a personal level. I have assembled a list of 20 great quotes from notable photographers, past and present that answers the simple question: “What is photography?”

 

 “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… it remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”

Aaron Siskind

“Photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

Elliott Erwitt

“Photography to me is catching a moment which is passing, and which is true.”

Jacques-Henri Lartigue

“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you the less you know.”

Diane Arbus

“Photography is a kind of virtual reality, and it helps if you can create the illusion of being in an interesting world.”

Steven Pinker

“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.”

Dorothea Lange

“Photography is a way to shape human perception.”

James Balog

“Photography is the simplest thing in the world, but it is incredibly complicated to make it really work.”

Martin Parr

“Photography is like a moment, an instant. You need a half-second to get the photo. So it’s good to capture people when they are themselves.”

Patrick Demarchelier

“Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson

“Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.”

Ansel Adams

“Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts, you change those facts.”

Garry Winogrand

“Photography is truth. The cinema is truth twenty-four times per second.”

Jean-Luc Godard

“Photography is pretty simple stuff. You just react to what you see, and take many, many pictures.”

Elliott Erwitt

“Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.”

W. Eugene Smith

“Photography is a reality so subtle that it becomes more real than reality.”

Alfred Stieglitz

“Photography is a way of putting distance between myself and the work which sometimes helps me to see more clearly what it is that I have made.”

Andy Goldsworthy

“Photography is a major force in explaining man to man.”

Edward Steichen

“Photography is the easiest medium with which to be merely competent. Almost anybody can be competent. It’s the hardest medium in which to have some sort of personal vision and to have a signature style.”

Chuck Close

 

What’s photography to you? Share your personal quote with us in the comments below!

High School Prom Photoshoot

Posted on June 16, 2015 by Admin under Photo Sessions, Photography
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proms-06 The High School Prom is a highlight of any teens time at High School, and what better way of capturing the moment than getting together with a few close friends and having a pre-prom photo party?

For a maximum of 8 students I would capture their excitement prior to them leaving for the prom. Dependent on the weather I would take a variety of shots both individual and group shots, either inside in a studio environment that I can bring to an address of your choice, within the Gainsborough/Retford/Bawtry catchment area, (if you are outside this area please call and for a small fee to cover travel I would be happy to come to most locations), or hopefully it will be sunny outside and we can get some exciting shots in the sunshine.

I like to capture something a bit different to the traditional prom portraits, and provide students with shots that are cool enough to share with their mates on Facebook, but will also stand the test of time.

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Please see below the packages available

Package 1 (Minimum of 4)

I would arrive 2 hours prior to the time the students are due to leave for their prom. I would capture both group and individual shots of each student. The best edited shots would be posted on an individual password protected website, from which you could choose one individual and one group shot to be printed and mounted at 8 x 10 inch.

£30.00 each

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Package 2 (Minimum of 4)

I would arrive 2 hours prior to the time the students are due to leave for their prom. I would capture both group and individual shots of each student. The best edited shots would be posted on an individual password protected website, from which you could choose one individual and one group shot to be printed and mounted at 8 x 10 inch. I would also supply 10 of your images in low resolution on a disc, which would be suitable for posting on social networks.

£40.00 each

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Package 3 (Minimum of 4)

I would arrive 2 hours prior to the time the students are due to leave for their prom. I would capture both group and individual shots of each student. The best edited shots would be posted on an individual password protected website, from which you could choose one individual and one group shot to be printed and mounted at 8 x 10 inch. I would also supply all of your images in high resolution on a disc, which would be suitable for printing yourself, and I would also provide a DVD with edited images put to music, please see examples in the video gallery.

£65.00 each

Further discs and images can be purchased separately.

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To book your prom photos or if you require any further information contact me

Father’s Day Photo Shoot Offer

Posted on May 5, 2015 by Admin under Photo Sessions, Photography
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man-dogs-best-friend

It will soon be the time of year again for Father’s Day. A time to show your Dad how special he is, or Granddad or favourite Uncle.

Have you thought about something a little different which not only gives Dad an experience to remember, but a lasting memory to display. Yes, I’m talking about a photo shoot for Dad and his furry Best Friend, whether that is dog, cat, horse, etc. The experience will include taking part in the photo shoot, whether he wants to be included in a photo with his pet or be part of the whole process, throwing balls, helping to stay focused at the camera. It’s an experience that my clients thoroughly enjoy even when they are not in the photos. Seeing their dog being cajoled to look at the camera, yes I am known for making odd noises to get attention and hopefully a head tilt. Watching action shots unfold, leaping into the water and then running back to me to share the pond as they shake themselves dry!

After the day, I will lovingly post process the best shots from the shoot in the digital darkroom and then arrange for Dad to view the final edits for him to select his favourite or favourites. It’s always so hard to choose your favourite when you see your dog’s or pet’s personality shine through in so many different poses. I love it when people say, you really captured Fido’s personality, and it’s a wonderful feeling and one of the reasons why I do natural outdoor photography with your pet in an environment they feel comfortable in. They are able to forget the photographer and have fun with no distracting hot flash lamps making them feel bewildered and confused.

The session would be on location at a place that is convenient for your Dad and his pet. In the Bawtry area Harwell Woods is a particular favourite with lots of photo background opportunities. I love visiting new locations for some great photography shoots further afield; Bury and Bolton have been recent locations.

DWM Photography has a lovely range of wall art products that really make fantastic eye catching gifts to display on the wall. My most popular is the Alumini Wall Prints; your chosen photo is printed in high gloss on stainless steel, making it extremely lightweight and ready to hang directly on the wall. The high gloss polish ensures the portrait or action shot leaps out from the wall. You really need to see this product which is why I bring samples to all my sessions for people to touch and see up close the possibilities available to them.

I have a fantastic Special Offer available for Father’s Day, which can be booked for any time to the end of 2015, providing the session is booked by midnight 15th June 2015. Details are on the leaflet below.

Make Dad’s Day and Book a Session with me now by using my contact form or emailing david@dwmphotography.com 

Get Ready To Tie The Knot! Wedding Programme

Posted on April 24, 2015 by Admin under Photo Sessions, Photography, Uncategorized
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Now that Spring is on its way many couples are planning their upcoming nuptials. So, following on from our Valentine’s Day series we will be running a Wedding Programme.

wedding--facts

To get everyone in the mood, just for fun, we have found ten wedding traditions that may interest you…

1. In Sweden the couple enter the church together. The first to step over the threshold is considered the pants-wearer in the relationship.

2. At an Italian wedding ceremony a vase is smashed, the number of broken pieces represents the number of years the couple will be happily married.

3. In Japan during the ceremony the bride wears a white hood to hide her “horns of jealousy” that she feels towards her mother-in-law.

4. In Jamaica everyone in the village comes together to see the bride. If she does not look in tip-top shape then she is publicly criticized!

5. German wedding planning starts at birth. When a daughter is born in Germany several trees are planted in her honour. These tress are then sold once her wedding date is set, the idea being that the money from the sale will help pay for the wedding day.

6. In Czechoslovakia the brides friends traditionally plant a tree in the bride’s garden before the wedding. They decorate it with coloured ribbons and painted egg shells. According to legend the bride will live as long as the tree.

7. In Wales a bride’s bouquet often contains myrtle, a symbol of love. The bride traditionally gives a cutting to her bridesmaids. According to legend if the bridesmaids plant the cuttings and they will marry soon after they bloom.

8. Russian couples share a wedding loaf known as a Karavay. Whoever takes the biggest bite is considered head of the family.

9. Cajun couples could wait weeks for a religious official to visit due to them being so isolated. So, betrothed Cajun couples would ceremoniously jump over a broom to signify their marriage.

10. In China after the wedding feast, friends and family follow the couple to their bedroom making as much noise as possible and taunting them. They will try to stay as long as possible before the couple eventually kick them out.

Dear Bridezilla,

Posted on April 3, 2015 by Admin under Photography, Uncategorized
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800px-Libreta&Tazadecafe

Dear Bridezilla,

It was great to meet you yesterday! I still can not believe that 6 photographers you have spoken to said they may not be the “right fit” for you! I thought you, your mother, future mother in law, and 12 bridesmaids were lovely! It was so cute that your Uncle Joe came along to take some photos of our meeting for your scrapbook. I sure hope he brings his iPad to the wedding just in case I miss something.

I was so excited when I got home and found the email sharing your dream wedding Pinterest board! I spent most of the day today looking through all 7,698 pins, it is so great to have a bride who knows exactly what she wants! That saves me a lot of time trying to figure out what the heck to photograph on the big day! I’ll sit down tonight and go through the shoebox full of “Bride” magazine clippings you’ve kept since you were six.

The photos you want of a silhouette on the beach with waves crashing surrounded by a cluster of doves making a heart shape may be a bit tricky at the downtown Holiday Inn you have chosen for your reception, but your faith in my creativity is flattering. I’m sure I can make it work.

As for those private texts you sent me during my drive home, of course it is not a problem to photoshop out your niece’s pregnant belly. How dare she have a due date so close to your wedding? That was pretty selfish of her. I totally support you for sticking to your guns and making her wear the same bridesmaid dress as everyone else. Having something just to suit her would be so distracting!!

And Bravo for making your bridesmaids adhere to a strict 3 week diet before the big event! I don’t see why they looked unhappy, who doesn’t like water, carrots and quinoa? As for your future sister in law who really seemed to have a problem with that diet, I can definitely photoshop on a Nikki Minaj sized butt that looks natural, so no worries.

To address my fee I quoted in my contract, the simple response you sent via email of “WTF????!!!!” was thought provoking. I agree. I did a lot of soul searching, and hey, you are right. I totally get that you are working with a budget! That $30,000 custom Vera Wang dress is not paying for itself!

I think it’s great that you ordered 2 sizes smaller, by the way, to help you obtain your goal weight by the wedding. I agree that the 16 tier cake with chocolate fountain and self dipping strawberries is important, and the ice sculpture of the Greek god and goddess in an embrace with the faces of you and your fiancé must happen, so I’m going to just do this thing for free. I can use this awesome event to add on to my portfolio!

To answer your concern, of course I will give you all of the RAW files. Again, you are saving me boat loads of time going through and taking away from any single moment of your day. I am sure, to answer your question, that there is a sufficient app on your iPhone to edit them to your liking before you take them to WalMart for printing.

I’m so glad you have chosen me as your photographer. I can’t wait to see you on your big day. I’ve actually blocked off your entire wedding week just in case you have any last minute requests or needs.

And for the record, you really are sweet for letting me bring my own water bottle and bag lunch to eat during the 12 hour day. Some people totally forget that I need to eat! I’m totally comfortable eating that in my car as I drive from the wedding to the reception venue as you requested.

Looking forward to your Christmas Day wedding!

Sincerely,

Your PhotographerimagesCAQFRBLM

10 Beliefs That Suck the Life out of Photographers

Posted on March 22, 2015 by Admin under Photography
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What if I told you that it’s not the industry, the bad economy, where you live, what camera you shoot with, how many lights you have or how small your Facebook following is that is holding you back. None of those are truly capable of stopping you, they are only challenges for you to meet — the same challenges everyone who creates art or starts a business has to meet and beat.

The things that are truly holding you back are your own beliefs. Belief that it IS one of those reasons above. Believing that it is a geography thing that keeps you from excelling, or what gear you use or how many lights you take with you is more damaging than any REAL challenge you will ever have to meet.

Because they have no substance, these limiting beliefs can grow to fit any size needed to keep you from moving forward. If it was simply a wall in front of you, there would be many different ways to move on. Scale it, go around it, blow it up… all sorts of ways to get it done.
But if the wall is a creation inside your mind, there is no way around it, it will grow higher than any ladder you have and it becomes impervious to any and all attempts to blow it up. It does this insidiousness because we want it to. We control its size and power.

So let’s look at ten beliefs and maybe offer a suggestion on how they may be more in our heads than in our reality.

#1: We must have professional level gear to be a pro.

No. We may need it at some point, but before we get to that point we need to make a gazillion images with the gear we have. And if we cannot make images that people want to pay us for with what we have, chances are they will still not want to buy them when they are made with pro gear. A crappy image is a crappy image no matter how many pixels there are.

#2: We have to live in a big city.

No. You may have to have access to a big city, but then again you do have Internet, FedEx, the Post Office, and a phone. There are many photographers who are working for major clients while living in the rural town of their choice. They simply wanted to live there more than the big city, and they found the ways to do it.

#3: We must have a portfolio equal to Avedon or McCurry to even be considered.

No. We must have a portfolio of course. And it must have wonderful images in it, but everyone starts somewhere, and clients know that. You may not get picked up by Vogue for a shoot with a small portfolio, but there are indeed other magazines that will hire you, and pay you, and help you build your work to be worthy of Vogue.

#4: We have to have thousands of hour’s experience.

No… mostly. We DO need experience. We DO need to have some work under our belts in order to get the big gigs. But we need to do a lot of small gigs to build a book that will get us the bigger gigs… and then the really big gigs. It is a process, one that starts small and grows.

#5: We must never work for free.

No. Working for free is sometimes the ONLY way to get the experience, credibility and inroads that allow us to work for pay. NEVER be exploited by working for free, but learn to recognize opportunity as a huge currency that is many times worth more than the paltry fees the gig may pay. (Note: If you are not sure which is which, you may NOT be ready… so keep working on learning the business.)

#6: We must have a huge Internet following to be considered.

No. In fact most working photographers have only a portfolio and simple blog. Some do indeed have a big following on some social platforms, but the majority do not. Instead they have a following of clients that they work hard for, and couldn’t care less about social media fame.

The working world still has not caught up to the interwebs, and although I do think that building a solid online brand is important, it will mean less than diddly when you are pitching a real client for a real gig.

#7: We obviously suck because the pros do it so easily.

No. The pros simply have more experience, more hours setting up lights, a ton of history in doing that same thing, and they are still busting their butts to make it more perfect, more special than last time. They do make it LOOK easy, but take it from me – they are still sweating bullets. They’re just better at hiding it than you are.

#8: “All we need is…”

No. We call that the magic bullet syndrome. All we need is “one good job” or “that new lens” or “a bigger studio” or… NO. There is no magic bullet, no shortcut, no “easy” button or challenge buster that can be purchased. There is only a commitment to the struggle, and a focus on the outcome.

#9: Professional photographers are special, with special talents and special lives.

No. They are just like everyone else. They (aside from a very select few) didn’t get there by luck, or anointment – they worked hard and long and with focus to get to that point. Yes, some have incredible ways of seeing the world, but then they have worked at that as well. You see, they take a lot of photographs — a heck of a lot of photographs — to develop that vision.

#10: No one is able to make a living in this business anymore.

No. That is horse apples. There are thousands of working commercial photographers. And they are going to be shooting tomorrow. Some you may know, and most you will not have heard of – or from. Not every photographer is on Facebook whining about how bad it is out there… only the ones for whom it is bad out there.

And I can assure you for every photographer that is complaining or whining about it, there is one doing it. Making the images, doing the marketing, creating their vision and always ALWAYS holding that picture of what will be in front of their eyes.

Yes, there are a lot of other challenges that must be met. It is a different world than it was a dozen or two years ago, but it is still an occupation that has growth and possibilities. The youngsters know it. One couple turned weekend trips into free image giveaways that are now making them a tidy living while starting to accept assignments. Another photographer who shoots for major corporations lives in a tiny town in the West Midlands. I know a product shooter who lives in Port Talbert, and is marketing all over his region — and nationally.

I am not a Pollyanna, but I am a positive person when it comes to people and their capabilities. You may have to give up some things in order to do other things – we call that “duh” – but that is still in your control. Watch less TV, spend more time making pictures, capture a weekend a month for project work, and make building your photography business a priority.

Whether you want to go into business or simply make better photographs, the power to do that lies within you. What you listen to, what you agree with and the people that influence you all have a big measure of influence on how you see yourself and this world of images.

You can control that measure of influence. It is YOUR life, and I would suggest you stop participating in the pity parties and the “oh whoa is us” crowd and make images. Obviously it didn’t work out for them, and now their main goal is to stop you from making it a go. What would it mean to them if you succeeded where they failed?

It’s far easier to blame the world for their failures than to watch someone else actually win. And even if that is not reality, it can become their reality if they believe it strong enough.

Before you believe everything question everything. When someone says “nobody can make a living in this anymore” look around for someone who is, and find out what they are doing. If something sounds improbable, it may be. Research it. Nail it down.

There is a simple way to work around these challenges. Make more images. Make images that compel others to view them. Making images is the best possible thing that photographers can do to advance their work and their business. So put this computer away and go out into the world… click, baby, and click!

 

Why do we make photographs?

Posted on March 21, 2015 by Admin under Photography
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Why do we desire to make photographs so much that we can think of little else? For me it is simply because I have to make photographs. It is part of my DNA, and I love looking at other peoples’ images as well. Galleries are like spiritual sanctuaries of visual goodness. When I visit people I am endlessly fascinated by the images on their walls.

I love prints. I love making prints. Hours spent in the darkroom were invaluable to the experience of making a print. But in the end, the print was its own reward. A thing. Something to hold in my hands. Something I made.

We don’t print much anymore… none of us do, it appears. And that is something that I think we should remedy.

A print IS photography achieved. It is the final point of the work we do in many ways. It lives in a space not confined by a screen, nor in demand of electricity or Wi-Fi or a device’s battery life. It occupies a physical space in the universe… one that we configure ourselves.

Sure, we can make image after image for the Internet and work them again and again to find nuances unseen without the screen. I get that. I do. And I would never say we shouldn’t. This is a new medium to explore and shoot for and share with. Yes.

But we shouldn’t turn away from the physical print, the finalized culmination of all we can do presented in the real, natural world as an artefact. An artefact that we have made to our own specifications and that looks the same to everyone who views it.

And even then we may control who views it by the physical space it is part of. Images hanging in my office right now are some most people will never see. Ever.

The print exists. And that existence continues after the screens are turned off, the day becomes night and the years become shorter.

Prints can bring us to so many emotions, without the need for a device to interpret them. They are tangible reminders of that moment past — the one that will never repeat itself. Caught.

Just imagine: somewhere, right now…

… A young photographer is preparing for her first solo artist show. The prints are carefully laid out on the floor of her tiny apartment while she sits on the table and begins to see the flow… “This one will go first… then… this one…” The critic will be there and he will love the work… and a new chapter of her life will be opened.

… A very old gentleman lovingly touches the frame that holds a snapshot of a much younger couple, laughing on a dock somewhere on the west coast. He smiles, remembering that day. Carefully he puts it back on the bed stand and whispers goodnight to his love of 46 years, gone forever now.

… A young man is entering a gallery with his parents. He didn’t want to go to this thing, but mom wanted him to meet her friend the photographer and see the work he had created. He doesn’t know it yet, but the prints on the wall will change his life, and all he will think of is photography. And someday that gallery will be hosting his work.

… A four-year-old points to a framed photograph of a handsome young man in uniform. “Daddy”, he says. The young woman smiles and says “Yes, daddy. Daddy loves you.” Someday the boy will understand the medals hanging on the frame, and the small white envelope carefully folded behind it. But not today… for today daddy is here with him in that photo.

… A couple stands in the living room of their very first home. They are looking at the bare walls and deciding where to put the photographs they have from two years of travelling around the world. What they come up with will be admired by every guest they entertain, and will inspire them to take another two years off to do it again… in their 50s…

… A high school freshman is staring at a photograph her uncle sent her from one of his trips to a far distant land. It shows villages of suffering people, many of them children. The box of photographs haunts her, and she begins to think about how to help the people in them. She decides to study science and engineering, and sometime in the not too distant future she will discover a way to get water to an arid land, saving perhaps millions of lives.

… Two young parents gently hold a print of their baby girl, lovingly taken by a brave and caring photographer just moments before her life came to an end. They will never have their daughter, but the print will be forever in their lives. A gift of remembrance.

… A man waiting for a meeting in an office building notices a beautiful set of images on the wall. They are of an area of the northwest he had never been to. Later that year he is on an airline heading for that same place, cameras at his side.

Prints…

The first time I fell in love with photography was, of course, with prints. I stumbled into a gallery in Penrith Cumbria while on holiday with my family. The gallery had Weston and Caponigro and Cunningham and Adams… oh my. My parents had to drag me out of there, and I am sure the lady there was happy to see me go… I had been asking her questions non-stop while I stood entranced by those images on the wall.

Life changing?

Yeah. It was for me.

And while good photography gear has always been important, the goal has always been the end product. I still see finished prints in my mind’s eye before I begin to shoot — the pre-visualization is of a finished, post processed and printed image.

My friend Steve Burger says it isn’t a photograph until it is a print. He loves to make prints and is a sublime expert at the art. His walls are covered with absolutely amazing images from his years as a photographer.

I know I don’t print enough. I need to print more. I want to cover my walls with images of life and joy and beauty and happiness. And of my family, and travels and friends.

It will be a point of refuge from the challenges of each day. One that I can see without having to sit at the computer.

Note: This is not an exclusionary process. It has nothing to do with all the amazing digital sharing that happens. I love the digital sharing and online viewing and participate in it fully. I am simply saying that we can add prints to our lives and have MORE, not less of a photographic experience.


 

 
 
     

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