23 May 2007

Portrait feedback

Yesterday I sent the final edited versions of the photos of a friend who I did a portrait session for with her and her little boy a couple of weeks ago. This morning I had an email from her to say how much she loves them:

"All I can say about the photos is.....wow! They are amazing, thank you so so much.
Simon will absolutely love them and you are right, I don't know how I am going to pick which ones to blow up!........
.......Thanks again, I am so pleased with them and I actually think you have captured him much better than Venture did a while back."

The feedback gave me a real lift and confidence boost. So thanks - you know who you are!

Here are a couple of the shots I took:

The shoot was hard work at times but very rewarding overall and I felt like I captured some great shots during the session. Striking the balance between what you want your (young) model to do and keeping them entertained is absolutely key. A bit of friendly bribery worked a treat in this case and we just took our time and knew when to call it a day.

Slideshow / DVD presentation software

I downloaded a trial version of ProShow Gold last night and first impressions are that it could be really useful for me as a photographer. The software allows the user to create slide shows of photographs, set them to music and change the way that shots are blended in and out. You can then either burn them to DVD for viewing on a TV, create a self running exe file on a PC and even make available via email and on-line web slide shows. Am sure it does a whole lot more but these are the main things.

I put together a quick show of a recent portrait sitting I did for a friend and was really impressed at what can be achieved very quickly. I'm sure that with practice, there will be loads more to discover.

It would certainly be an advantage where I could create a slide show of the shots I've taken during a portfolio shoot and use it for selection of prints if clients aren't able to meet up for a viewing. The photos would be secure on the DVD or embedded in the exe file so the potential problem of copyright issues would be removed or minimised to say the least. It's also possible to watermark the images for added security.

I'm going to try it out with a few more sessions and see how it develops. Could well be worth offering though.

It would also be a great promotional tool - it would enable potential clients to see examples of my work all displayed in a professional manner.

Safe as houses?

Well, after the scare the other weekend, I can now say that everything critical has been safely backed up to the new external hard drive and DVD.

Must admit that I certainly now feel a lot happier knowing that if the worst happens, I should be able to get everything back quite quickly. Fingers crossed I'll never need it but it's good to know it's there.

21 May 2007

Backup solution has arrived

Well it's finally arrived; my Freecom 400gb hard drive was delivered at lunchtime today. I'm now looking forward to getting it set up and everything critical copied across to it as soon as possible. It certainly looks good but I was quite surprised at just how much the thing weighs - 750g to be precise.

Still at least it should be solid and dependable - well I hope so at least!

Website - redesign

A good friend came round on Thursday evening to go through what exactly I want out of my site. He's going to be designing my site for me over the coming few weeks to replace the existing site I've got there as my first temporary presence on the web.

I've spent several weeks scouring many photographers websites to see what designs appeal, work well and what would fit in with what I'm trying to achieve. Sometimes trying to remember which ones I've seen and ones I haven't seem to blur into one big mass!

I think that it's certainly going to be something that evolves over time and gradually builds up as my photography grows! The idea at the moment is to have seperate galleries of my work as examples of what I can do to really showcase my photography.

Hopefully I'll be able to announce the re-launch soon!

16 May 2007


Heard tonight that we can now collect our frames for the exhibition being held later in the year. Looking forward to seeing the final product as we've only seen a sample frame which looked a bit the worse for wear really!

Will be fantastic to get my prints mounted in the frame and ready for display.

Last week's competition

Had a really good evening a week ago when I entered my prints into my camera club's Print of the Year Competition. We had a top judge - Chris Palmer (ARPS, AFIAP, DPAGB and APAGB), marking the prints. He's been a judge at several top Salons including the Southampton International Exhibition of Photography.
I received some great comments and even had one of my shots held back for consideration later in the evening.

Here it is:

It's also now being included in an external club competition over the summer, so I may not get it back for a few months yet - hopefully in time for the exhibition though!

The evening certainly gave my confidence a bit of a boost too.

15 May 2007

Exhibition time

I've signed up to take part in my first exhibition during October. It's being organised by fellow members of the XRR Photographic Society and is going to be held at the Newton Price Centre in Watford, Hertfordshire between the 8th and 28th of October 2007. This is the link for the exhibition information

There should be space to display about 4 or 5 photographs for each exhibitor, so I'm now putting some serious consideration as to which ones I think will display well (and hopefully SELL!).

Valuable lesson learnt!

Had a bit of a fright over the weekend when my PC refused to progress past the initial BIOS checks. Spent a day or so worrying that I'd lost a whole load of my work as it had been a while since I last ran a backup of everything.

To my great relief, I was fortunately able to get the machine up and running again on Monday morning following a bit of a reset with the brilliant assistance of Dell's tech support line. Felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.

The big lesson I've now learnt is to back everything up much more regularly and as a result I'm now awaiting delivery of a 400gb external hard drive to do just that. Will also be burning files to DVD as an extra insurance policy too!

9 May 2007

Getting qualified

My wonderful wife bought me membership to the Royal Photographic Society last week to help me further myself in this field. I'm now going to start preparing for and undertaking the Licentiateship - hopefully later this year or early next year. I need to build up a cohesive panel of 10 prints to get judged.

Think I'll be attending one of the preparation workshops that the RPS organise to assist those undertaking the assessment.

Learning new stuff

Had a really good evening last night learning how to cut my own mounts for displaying my photos with a fellow member of XRR Photographic Society. Didn't realise quite how easy it really is! Now have 3 of my A3 prints all mounted and ready to be entered into tonight's competition at XRR. Hopefully they'll do well!

Have got a Logan 301-S mount cutter added to my wish list of equipment I want to get now!

8 May 2007

Let's get it started!

Just launched this blog which will hopefully follow me as I build on my photography skills and undertake more commissions for clients. I'm currently building a portfolio of my work, some of which will be showcased here and on my own website which is also under construction.

No doubt there will be highs and lows along the way - preferably more of the former though! Hopefully this will be a long and successful journey.