Posts Tagged ‘portrait photography’

We already knew that December only had the one large event for us. This was the Trampoline & DMT League 2017 Finals which were to be held at the Velodrome in London.

Whilst this is a prestige event it is also a right royal pain in the butt for us. The two days are simply manic, if previous years events are to go by, along with two huge drives to and from London along with overpriced accommodation. Prestigious though not glamorous by any stretch of the imagination.

We arrived nice and early only to find that, for the third year running, we had not been issued laminates or passes to the event. This put me in a bad mood, from the off, which I found hard to contain when speaking to representatives of the League. As always one individual, the same individual as previous years, was blamed for our omission for the sponsors list. As sponsors we are promised the earth each year and yet delivered almost nothing once we have paid our sponsorship money to them. This fact alone is making me wonder if the whole series is with continuing with beyond 2017. There are some lovely and genuine people involved with running the League, though sadly there are also a couple of soft heads who just don’t seem to care about anyone other than themselves.

The weekend, as always, was utterly manic in every respect. Panels over running, accidents delaying competition and organisers running about like headless chickens trying to resolve the monumental pile of issues being thrown at them. Sunday’s presentations were rushed because of over running which meant our desk receiving an unwarranted barrage of complaints that winners had not been given suitable time on the podium for pictures. We happily sent them to the organisers as this also affects our sales.

To top things off, on the Sunday, we ended up almost being evicted from the premises for not having sponsors laminates. Yes almost 48hrs after we had arrived there was still no sign of our laminates. Thankfully our request for the security supervisor to intervene and talk to a representative of the League calmed things down and we continued to trade until the last image of the day had been sold.

The drive home was taken after a deep sigh and a quick chat about us and the 2018 series. What is true is that we won’t be continuing with them in the current style of agreement without concrete guarantees and penalties for failures on their part.

December also saw us cover the Fenland Flyers Xmas function, which also happened to be their 10th anniversary as a club. An excellent evening as always.

A few remaining dates were filled with equestrian competition, though you can see from the image I have posted, the sun is low and the air is now cold. Already looking forward to spring next year with this particular strand of work.

So that was it for 2017. Year on year we have grown substantially in events covered and takings. Profits, after costs, are also up and we have bookings in to not only 2018 yet 2019 also. Now for a nice two weeks off over Xmas & New Year.

The Trampoline & DMT League’s impressive medals.

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An example of the rushed podiums, which caused complaints.

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A pic from the Fenland Flyers function, taken against our portable studio back drop.

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And finally a cold chilly pic from one of the equestrian events.

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Merry Xmas & Happy New Year.

 

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An all too rare family portrait session in August was also a pleasure to do. I don’t push the studio at all and I really should because the rewards can be quite fruitful. I am actually wanting to rip it all out, place full wall to ceiling windows in and have an option of natural light, mixed natural/flash or just flash. I also want a raised apex ceiling with additional skylights too. I will probably then push the studio side of things and see if we can make a real go of it. My issue is that most people just want a high key family photo. I can see why yet I would just love to undertake something a little more alternative with a more adventurous family. Patterned backdrops or sat on seats with low key or coloured lighting. Well just about anything other than high key. We undertook only 14 such sessions in 2016 yet the yield far outweighs the effort required to complete things. I must push this side of things.

A family who wanted the simplest of portraits which we managed in three clicks of the shutter with a 4th being of just the daughter. Here probably 30mins at most, immensely happy with the 24×16 framed print they purchased. I’ve included this as the daughter was an absolute credit to her parents. Big smiles, polite and thoughtful you wonder why so many other kids just couldn’t be like her.

Usual kit used, namely a gripped canon 5Diii, Bowens 750pro’s, sun dish, couple of brollies etc etc providing a nice clean high key image.

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…… for Grandma.

Two young ladies wanting an up to date portrait for their Grandma popped in Sunday afternoon. It would appear that Grandma hasn’t got a nice up to date one so time to fix that issue.

A whopping one (yes one) image was taken. Got them to sit evenly, got them to smile and click it was in the bag. I asked if they would like some individual ones or just a few more of them together but they, and I had to agree, felt that that initial laugh/smile moment would be hard to recapture.

I won’t mention the modern fashions that our youth of today wear. I must be getting old 🙂

On the business front I have been thinking about promoting the studio imagery and indeed looked about for a suitable sized commercial building. Sadly the costs don’t justify the current returns so I’ll remain within the home studio for now. I would like to upgrade at some point to a bespoke commercial setup where I can work from and also display my work professionally too.

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For the second time in 2 years I was booked by the rather talented Sian King who is attempting, like many others, to make her way in the fashion industry. A very talented young lady with high hopes, she certainly has the creative side for producing something new.

Like many other designers I have come across I sincerely hope she doesn’t just fade away. When you talk to these young designers it’s like many other industries including photography where big business is only interested in the established ‘Names’ for producing work. I recently had the metaphorical punch in the face when a major sports event promoter admitted my work was far superior to the contractor they were using. Sadly this photographer was booked through a London agency and amazingly comes from an alleged sports photography background. My daughter could capture better images but because they use London based businesses I can’t and won’t get a look in. I even called the London agency and guess what …….. Not being in London meant they couldn’t use me as most of their work is down there. Even though I have the van, the equipment, insurances and willingness to travel it remained a “Sorry”.

Incidentally a rock group, who I have links to, recently shot a video in Lincolnshire and had some promotion shots completed also. These were done by a company from Brighton!!!! Why? Because that’s who the record label use. I found out the cost charged and nearly feinted. I could have done it for half the price and taken a month off as it was so much.

Anyway I digress…..

The day was a continual parade of bespoke clothing which ranged from the practical and useful to the most extreme haute couture styling simply created to show off style, creativity and style of work.

Even with the careful planning of the shoot and agreeing what and how we would shoot each set of clothing I managed to rattle off just over 400 images.

Sian is returning on Wednesday to create a book of her images to show the world and hopefully a prospective employer or even better independent buyers.

Now for all the colour and pomp within her designs she loves the plain B&W image when it’s one of herself, so here she is.

Sian King

As I would expect all serious photographers do before a shoot I test my equipment. Ordinarily one of my kids are dragged, kicking and screaming, into the studio so I can check settings etc. This accolade is normally undertaken by my 8 year old daughter who likes nothing more than to pull a few poses and faces into my lenses. Today however she is out socialising on her scooter so my wife was duped volunteered into helping me out. 

Like mother like daughter I’d say. Love her though.

Lisa