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Building a small photography business bit by bit.
Just happened to come across this whilst looking for something completely different on FaceBook – why does that happen ?.
Steven seems such a level headed guy, of which there are many thousands of others all over the UK. Building his business from the ground up – bit by bit but always focusing on the quality of the output.
I’m a husband and father of 3 beautiful children and I have more hobbies and interests than I have time for. My family means the world to me. I eat a lot of chocolate, drink tea and enjoy sports.
I love to run when I have the chance. We have a dog called Buddy (the kids named him). I’ve been to University twice, once in Liverpool and once in Manchester. I studied Art, Photography and Teaching.
I’ve been into photography for as long as I can remember. But only started shooting in a professional capacity around ten years ago. I worked as a primary school teacher and then took a job with an FE college before moving to a career taking photographs of people to pay my bills. I also deliver training and mentoring to other photographers.
Photography Awards and Accolades
Top 5 Wedding Photojournalist in the UK 2017
Number 1 Fearless Photographer in the UK 2016/2017
Last year I was named in a list of the 100 best wedding photographers in the world
17 Fearless Awards from Fearless Photographers
30 International Excellence Awards from WPS
In 2015 I was named ‘Best Wedding Photographer in the North West’ TWIA – The Wedding Industry Awards
I’ve judged 2 international photography competitions
Featured in the top 10 creative photographers in the UK by Autographer
Featured in the Guardian Newspaper for my business success in photography.
Weekly travel photography competition
This is a BIG SHOUT out to any photographers out there that want to a chance to win some great prizes – including new cameras. Did you know that every week The Daily Telegraph runs a competition where , for example, the winner lat week got a Nikkon D3300 – not bad for easily emailing off a photograph that they took whilst on holiday in India.
Credit – Jason Pemberton
Our customers, of which there are thousands, may like to take up the Telegraph on their offer. It is very easy to enter.
Send your picture, which must be at least 1Mb in size, along with a brief description, your name, address, telephone number, the date and location of the photo to email@example.com
A great way to shoot superb high-definition photos and videos. The Nikon D3300 is small and lightweight, 24.2-megapixel D-SLR is powerful, comfortable to carry around, and incredibly simple to operate.
The large image sensor captures the finest details with stunning sharpness, and superior low-light performance (up to ISO 12,800) frees you to shoot crystal-clear images in dark situations.
Take a look at the video demo of it here. The prize is subject to availability though and if you win you may be required to take part in publicity – who doesnt like free publicity ?
Especially as this usually means you have your image published in the paper edition of their Saturday Travel supplement.
The best bit of advice we have heard from a few photographers , is to shoot images fresh for the competition theme at the time. This fires your enthusiasm, and critically, your imagination, and produces much better imagery more suited to the theme. These images tend to win more often than the images in your stock which you think “should be okay” for the comp theme.
There are lots of photography competitions out there. They cover just about every style of photography you can think of. Some are judged by the public, while others are judged by an ‘expert’ panel.
Let us know what other ones you have entered – and of course – what you thought about them.
Best wishes and good luck
We have lots of customers who are Artists of every genre – anything from pet portraits to landscapes. So maybe the recently launched Sky Arts Artist of the Year 2017? could be of interest – especially as there is a winning prize of £10,000 to win as well as many other prizes.
There are 2 competitions being run one for Landscapes and the other for Portrait Artists
Joan Bakewell and Frank Skinner will host both competitions. The judges are award-winning artist Tai Shan Schierenberg, independent curator Kathleen Soriano and art historian Kate Bryan.
Landscape Artist of The Year will film at stunning locations around the UK in June and July 2017. Details of these will be released in early 2017. Terms and conditions apply. Please visit Portrait Terms or Landscape Terms for more information
Please let us know if you have entered the competition and please keep us updated of how you get on. If you know an artist that tends to hide their talents and keep their work to themselves – please send them this page and encourage them to have go.
You never know – this could be the preferred option on Weekend TV to the X Factor or Britain’s Got Talent. Any any queries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Whilst walking around at the recent Roald Dahl celebrations in Cardiff – along with 80,000 others we took a short cut through one of the old Victorian arcade alleyways. There was all the usual unique and quirky joke shops, cheese makers, vintage clothing shops as well as some wonderful coffee aromas coming from a few nearby cafes.
But, all of a sudden, there on the corner of a junction between 2 arcades something literally popped out, something that immediately catches the eye and entices you in to explore some more. That something was Jian Chen and it was her work that triggered the “I need to find out more about this artist” response. So we popped in to say hello and find out who , why, how and what.
Originally from Chongqing China, when in 1999 China opened up , Jian decided to study English at Sichuan International Language University and later at Shanghai International Language University – becoming a qualified English/Chinese interpreter and translator.
Moved to the UK to focus on Accountancy and gained a BA in Finance and Accounting at Glamorgan University. After securing a position as a Finance Assistant for four years she lost her job due to restructuring, and started to question what it was in life she wanted to achieve. She choose to follow her dreams and make a business out of it.
The phone was placed on the counter set to record and then forgotten about. We love to find out the story behind the person and how they came to be where they are. So without a further thought to the children or the time I asked Jian about all the things that matter to her and how it inspires her work and business.
We have just walked into your lovely shop and love browsing around your work. As we do that – can you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Well my biography if you like can be summed up as follows :-
What I’ve done yesterday made me who I am today. What I’m doing now is the only thing matters.
I’m an artist, I live the moment and live the now. I do what I love and love what I’m doing.
I follow my passion and enjoy my life. Anything else will just take care of itself and fall into right place
So tell us a bit about you
My Chinese name is Jian Chen, English name Jenny, I’m based in Cardiff, UK
How would you describe your style of artwork ?
My style of artwork is a combination of traditional Chinese spontaneous abstract and western realism.
Do you have any formal training / education
I studied oil painting at ‘Sichuan Fine Arts University’, china
You wake up in the morning – where do you get your ideas from ?
When I’m in the zone, anything can inspire and trigger ideas in me, for example, seeing a flower, seeing a cat, a dog, watching a YouTube video …
We’re intrigued how do you decide what to paint
Dependent on how I feel at the time or what excites me, it’s mostly intuition
How long have you been painting ?
I started this self-taught watercolour style in July 2012
Is there any particular style you like – water colours, oil, pencil etc
I enjoy watercolour at the moment, I’ve also recently done a few acrylic paintings, I might explore to other mediums in future
Do you travel and if so do you exhibit your work anywhere ?
Only at my shop: I just want to focus on getting this and my gallery running smoothly as it’s my first year here. Lots of new products will be out and I’m making them all myself, there’s no time or personnel to organise exhibition anywhere else
Do you go to any shows ?
I don’t have much time to see any other shows, my own art keeps me too busy for the present
What is the strangest thing you have ever drawn and why ?
I don’t feel anything I create as strange, they are natural, normal and logical to me, although my images may appear strange to others
Thanks for taking the time today – Jian Chen details are as follows :-
My Shop Address
10-12, Duke Street Arcade, Cardiff, CF10 1AZ
Facebook: Jian Chen Watercolour paintings
©Jian Chen’s FINE ART, ALL rights reserved
Thank you Jian it has been a pleasure talking and a welcome break from all the crowds in Cardiff.
Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year, the world’s most important food photography awards
Food Pictures and the people who take them has become a niche industry that has taken off under the soaring popularity of TV food programs. Here we take a look at this years Food Photography Award Winner
With the TV seemingly awash with cooking programs about baking, celebrity cooking, tradition British menus, “soggy bottoms”, cooking while interviewing etc. It was only a matter of time before the culinary arts were given some professional treatment by some fantastic photographers of every level and type.
Step forward the Food Photography Awards, there is a category for just about every conceivable aspect here – ranging from street food, humanitarian food, fine dining, photography using mobile phones and even an under 18’s section. One thing is for sure the contestants really do put the effort in to make sure they capture the moment perfectly. The level of competition has certainly been taken up a notch this year.
To be able to take great photographs of food is a well honed technique , which is why some photographers are fortunate enough to make a living out of it. But with smartphones readily available anyone can give it a go. In recognition of this mouth watering work each year there is the PinkLady Food Photography awards – Guaranteed to whet everyone’s appetite.
As you can see – the subject matter can take just about any and every form. The awards cover each and every aspect of the process – literally from farm to fork, the preparation, the eating, the cooking and the human interaction on every level.
Who would have thought a cheese toastie could win an award or even an Octopus on ice. The competition is judged by over 40 judges but Food Critic Jay Rayner is the overall decision maker.
This years overall winner was Mark Benham – whose winning entry was a baker kneading dough, as Jay says “It’s a scene that gives you the smell of the bakery before the ovens are turned on.” There were 20,000 images submitted to this years competition.
“In the end, it normally comes down to three or four photos which particularly arouse opinion. It’s down to the content – do they speak to the question of food? And how well do they tell their own stories?”
About Mark Benham
“During my previous life as a graphic designer I often worked with studio based photographers, art directing and sometimes styling shoots. These days I hold the camera, shooting a wide range of subjects on location, preferring to use natural light where I can. I won categories in the Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year in 2015 and 2016, being crowned overall winner in 2016. But I don’t photograph food per se, I search for a broad range of subjects that interest me – I’m constantly looking for engaging stories – whether it’s documenting the work of the charity People Against Poverty, olive harvesting in Tuscany or covering events in the UK and abroad.”
In March 2015, a client gave me a quantity of old photographic paper and film. He had been clearing out his late uncle’s darkroom and decided I could either have it all or it would be thrown out. Over two visits I received a number of boxes and packets of material, the majority of which were papers that had ceased production many years ago. Most were at least 20 or 30 years old, indeed some far older. I sifted through boxes of familiar names such as Kodak Bromesko and Agfa Brovira considering what I should do with them.
Out of interest, I tested some of the paper in the darkroom. I was surprised at how well some of the older material printed. With further testing, it appeared that some paper, which was fogged and had proved useless with conventional developers, could produce quite interesting and compelling results using different processes such as lith printing. After conversations with fellow members of the London Alternative Photographic Collective, I decided it might be of interest to give out the paper to different photographers and artists to see what individual results each could produce.
Within a few months there were over 50 participants who had heard of the project and were interested in taking part. After testing and cataloguing the different papers, I distributed them to a wide variety of practitioners, not only in the UK, but also to many overseas. From this point it was down to their skill and creativity to produce work from the supplied paper and film.
This proposal documents the results from the first sixteen participants and clearly shows the diversity possible using traditional photographic methods, especially given that all were produced using brands of paper and film that are either obsolete or discontinued. In many cases both. It is hoped that we will be able to exhibit prints from all the participants once the project is complete.
All the material came from the darkroom of a painter, Bret Sampson, via his nephew David Yates who we thank for initiating what has become a fascinating exploration into the possibilities of the analogue photographic process. As Bret had spent much of his working life as an art teacher, it is sincerely hoped he would have approved of the inspiration and work produced by the paper he left behind.
Mike Crawford, December 2015.
Claus Dieter Giesler Lith Print
Every time I find a paper or film I like, they discontinue it.
This piece of work is for a big collaborative project which is being launched in a photography festival in Spain next month.
It will then exhibit in Cologne later in 2016 and then hopefully more places after that.
“The mounts look great, I have to say you guys are the best that I have found, I love them, which is why I keep coming back! I just wish I was better at mounting the photos!”
It’s key on a customers first visit to build confidence and your website is so easy to use, error-free, fast & plain speaking. As a novice I also really appreciated your easy links to any extras needed.
Anyone I spoke to in person was really helpful and you met my last minute delivery request. My order came in perfect condition too as it was so well packaged. I’ll definitely be back in future.
From Rupert :-
Attached is a shot from Saturday of one print mounted from my pile. Red Lobster Gallery in Sheringham, Norfolk are the first place outside Hertfordshire to sell my work and my order from you is also the first time I’ve used mounts.
Thanks to your user-friendly site and fast turnaround I could order Tuesday, receive everything Friday, zoom to the gallery Saturday to feverishly mount and have them out for sale on Sunday!
All the best and back soon for another order with any luck
Better Wedding Photography Marketing FREE video Tutorial
Also applies to any online photography business.
We came across these 3 videos from Paul Spiers at www.photographymarketing.co.uk . Where he offers some great FREE advice and thoughts on Wedding Photography and how to market your business better.
Even if you are already doing some of the things that Paul suggests we think they are definitely worth watching a few times over as he has a few alternative actions you may want to consider.
Before becoming a professional photographer Paul worked in direct sales where he trained and managed marketing departments and direct sales teams in various industries.
Thoroughly recommend watching all these 3 video – they are about 8 minutes each. Paul also offers various courses and webinars.
We have just seen this – perhaps a chance to get some discount on your tickets if you have not already booked
If you are going to The Photography Show at the NEC in March you can get a discount on the entry ticket using the code on the photo mounts page