10 and 17 Nov

Three-time Olympic gold medal-winning sailor Ben Ainslie and England spinner Monty Panesar were 2 of my subjects these past couple of weeks. I photographed Ben with his mum at the Royal Lymington Yacht Club and Monty at a Travel Lodge hotel in Luton. One location had terrific potential (but awful weather) and the other was a rather bland hotel on quite a nice day. In this job though you just have to make the most of it. And that’s where experience counts…..

You have to be able to think quickly in this game. Wherever I go I’m always looking around and making mental notes of where and how I would go about doing portrait session if had to do one there. I suppose it comes as second nature to me. A lot of the time I turn up on a job and have to be able to work quickly – you don’t always get very much time, especially with busy people such as sports celebrities or business leaders.

I’ve also developed a sense of how far I can push it before someone says that’s enough and just walks off. I do like to spend some time with my subjects though as you get a better sense of their character, this also allows you to work on a shot and gradually build it up. Quite often when I’m photographing people who are not used to having their pictures taken, the best images are often taken towards the end of the session. This is because people are more relaxed and assume naturally comfortable poses. I try to offer some guidance but everybody is different and what suits some doesn’t work with others. Quite often I’ll just hold the camera away from my eye and have a chat with my subject. All the time watching for the right moment then “bang” I get my shot. Its amazing though the amount of people who move when you say “stop – stay there, don’t move”.

Met some really great people whilst out networking this week. Tried my first “speed networking” session too. Great for perfecting your 60 second pitch. Although this was the first time I’ve done speed networking I quickly learnt one thing – always let the other person go first. That way you can tailor your pitch and make it more directly relevant to the person your talking to.

My photo business cards went down a storm, and so perfect for an event such as this where you are meeting people in quick succession. How many times have got back from a networking event and stared at a business card and wondered who that person was or what you were talking about? Well, having a photo on your business card acts as a visual reminder and works to trigger the brain into remembering that. Come and talk yo me if you want your face to be remembered whilst networking. I am offering a great deal on photo business cards at the moment when combined with my business portrait session.

Spent the day with Kevin Lancaster of the Solution Centre on Monday. I met Kevin at the Thames Valley Innovation Conference last week and ended up doing a days photography for him. Kevin was doing a big pitch to some prospective businesses this week and was going to do his own “snaps” for his big presentation. I managed to persuade Kevin the advantages of using a professional photographer over doing his own snaps. You see an experienced professional photographer doesn’t just photograph things as they are before them, they see things differently. By using creative lighting, shadow and shooting at different angles a professional will put a whole new perspective on things. Just as a professional chef will combine the right flavours together to enhance a dish. A professional photographer will also spot things that the untrained eye just doesn’t see.

Keep a look out for future blogs where I’ll be showing some examples of the difference using the right professional photographer can make to your business image.

Jeremy Mai and myself braved it into the SEEDA/Ladies who Latte coffee morning on Wednesday – and we didn’t even have to dress up or put on any lippy!! Seriously, we were very warmly welcomed by Mary Flavelle, Sharon Connolly and rest of the lovely ladies who attended. Thanks girls.