4 Weddings, A house move and a heatwave!

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So with the summer months rolling by June, July and especially August in the UK has been hit by quite a spot of lovely weather recently. In fact resulting in 2 very, very hot weddings and 2 very, typical for the UK, mixed weddings weather wise!

Rather ironically whilst I write this the clouds have come over and there is rain in the air and forecast for all today – that’s August in the UK for you.

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As a wedding photographer you can always predict what the weather maybe like but until the day, you really never ever know. And wedding days are looonnnnng days – normally 12 – 14 hours so you can experience most seasons in one day anyway! Having the equipment on hand to deal with changing conditions can help, but best of all planning and preparation and practise are the most critical elements when shooting a wedding. Through all my mentoring and training it is always drilled in – practise, practise, practise. Don’t wait until the Wedding day to try out a new fangled technical shot you’ve been thinking abou – practise and perfect it so come the day you know what you are doing.

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The example above was with a bride and groom who seeing the stormy skies and rain approaching were quite rightly reluctant to step outside for a shot I had in my head – however this was all setup with my assistant using a simple Nikon SB910 through a shoot through umbrella and yongnou triggers to fire the flash remotely. I quickly got them in place, wanted to bring all that lovely sky in and fired off a frame – showing it straight away to the couple on the back of my camera the reaction was “wow, that’s stunning”. It bought me a bit of time to fire off a few more frames! I knew how to underexpose my sky and I knew where I wanted my light to hit the couple because I’d previously practised and tested this. Is it perfect? – far from it, but it’s still a striking shot using the elements from the day and the happy couple love it!

 

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For this first dance the room was literally black apart from a few disco lights in the background and my carefully placed SB910 Flashgun on a manfrotto lightstand. It’s a high ISO shot so there’s grain but I personally love it and it’s about the moment and not about the sharpness or image noise, a small bit of flare firing out of the frame gives it a bit of dynamics without being too distracting.

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I like framing couples where possible, there was an old oak tree at this venue on the golf course at Hanbury Manor Hotel and I had visions of shooting the couple with the manor in the background, this was shot during the day but I wanted to give it a dusky evening feel so a small aperture was used F16, a shutter of around 250th of a second and the couple were lit by a large Softbox and Lencarta Safari Li-On battery powered flash – good for 600Ws! We had some lovely natural daylit shots of the couple but again with the equipment and knowledge we can add shots like this for a varied portfolio.

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We just loving weddings and the UK wedding season does throw up some unexpected weather over the course of the day – practise your art, learn how to use the light and compliment the light and you’ll be just fine.

And practise – did I mention practisng?!

 

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Tian and Tom, PreWedding Shoot

With Tian and Tom’s wedding scheduled for early May at the beautiful Woodhall Manor I suggested upon an early April prewedding shoot for them both which we tend to do outdoors and keep nice and informal, fun but professional.

Tian and Tom had both spoken to me prior to the shoot about incorporating a spot of dog walking at the same time so that they could take advantage of being professionally photographed and tiring the dogs in one hit! I mentioned the lovely Nacton Shores, down by the banks of the river Orwell, and little did I know it would be more than a great location as Tian soon told me that this was where Tom had actually proposed. Perfect!

We aimed for a 4pm shoot for two reasons, one was to miss the tide as the high tide was around 3:15pm meaning we had access to the beach and shore for walking, the second was to not fight against the harsh midday sun as I knew we would spent a lot of time in the open. As is normal for the UK the week leading up to the shoot had had it’s fair share of rain, hail and even a thunder storm thrown in for good measure! The forecast for the shoot day was good though – Sun and Cloud but Tian and Tom came fully prepared with water proof jackets and hunter boots on. I felt a little bit silly in Jeans, T-Shirt and Trainers!

But I got away with it! The Sun remained out for most of the afternoon, there was little to no breeze and carrying a camera bag around and a Nikon D3s with a 70-200mm Lens strapped to you can keep you warm! The only thing that suffered slightly was my feet as I often found them submerged in water or in a bit of a bog as I tried to get shots of Tian and Tom and the dogs!

All in all it was a really fantastic couple of hours spent with a genuinely lovely couple who to start with were a little nervous and apprehensive about being photographed but by the end were completely confident and relaxed.

Can’t wait for Tian and Toms’ wedding day in May now – it’s going to be an amazing day for sure

Sarah and Glynn – Woodhall Manor Suffolk Autumn Weddings

 

So I took a call back in September whilst actually up in Scotland on Holiday – it was an enquiry for a wedding which was in about 7 weeks time at the beginning of November and it was an exciting call……

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The Venue was the beautiful Woodhall Manor past Woodbridge in Suffolk, a special venue and one that I’m always slightly biased about having been married there myself back in September of 2014! I hadn’t been back since that day either professionally or personally preferring to remember the special day I spent with friends and family on the other side of the lens.

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I explained the situation to the groom Glynn and he was happy that I had some kind of experience at the venue – both Glynn and his fiancee Sarah had looked through our portfolio via the website and really liked the slightly different style of shots on offer and we agreed to all meet once I was back from holiday in sunny Scotland!

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Glynn and Sarah turned out to be exactly the kind of customer if we could cherry pick we would always choose – down to earth, easy to get along with and quite happy to leave the photography recommendations to the person they are paying to do the job – the photographers! We were lucky enough and very honoured to then be offered the chance to photograph and support them on their big day.

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Being a November wedding and with an indoor ceremony planned for 2:30pm we knew that we would always be fighting against time in getting some shots outdoors in natural lighting especially with the weather forecast being a very mixed bag for the day. So we planned and prepared for complimenting any existing lighting with our superb portable battery powered Lencarta safari system – meaning we can take the light anywhere with us when and where necessary – it’s an expensive piece of kit but it’s performance and reliability is superb.

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On the day the wedding went as smooth as it can ever go! The bride was very relaxed, on time at the venue and with the support of her two lovely bridesmaids Jess and Leiha the prewedding champagne was flowing and it was obvious everyone was there to just have a great time and enjoy themselves. The groom was quite late though I must say and we all watched the clock and looked out of the window awaiting Glynns arrival!!

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Once Glynn and the boys arrived everyone was then safely at the venue and it was all systems go – it really was a day I was looking forward too and everyone was still super relaxed and chilled and nothing was too much trouble for anyone with regards suggestions for photographing them in the various rooms – it made it a real pleasure to be part of as the photography team.

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Woodhall Manor as a venue is fantastic, its stately enough for that Wow factor as you enter the grounds but also compact enough that you can easily navigate its rooms, staircases and grounds without getting too lost!

The Woodhall Manor team for the day were headed up by the lovely Brioni who also happened to be the wedding planner for my wife and I back in 2014 – she was fantastic on that day and proved a brilliant help again with Sarah and Glynns big day. Once again everyone working together supporting the bride and groom on such a special day makes for such a great working environment for everyone involved.

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And a special day it was indeed! It is always a privilege to capture such an important day in someone’s life and as with all weddings in the UK the day bought clouds, sun, rain, tears, smiles and much much laughter.

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The ceremony itself held in the Bishops room was a lovely intimate affair with a very proud father of the bride walking his daughter up the short, but very important aisle, to greet her husband to be. With friends and family all on hand it made for a very special moment for everyone involved.

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The weather almost defying prediction began to clear up allowing us a short window of time to get the group formal shots done outside whilst it was dry and there was nice available light around, from about 4pm onwards in November you are then facing darkness and the challenges it can bring but using that to your advantage gives the opportunity for applying technique and creativity to get those shots that just aren’t always possible during daylight hours. Sarah and Glynn were fantastic and as we lead them around the grounds of Woodhall Manor they were willing to try everything thrown at them despite it being a bit wet and very, very dark!

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So my first trip back to Woodhall Manor since September 2014, it won’t be my last but the wedding of Sarah and Glynn remains that extra special one as the first wedding shot back at the “manor” since my big day – I enjoyed this one again very much but just for different reasons 🙂

A big thank you to my assistant for the day Joe Howlett (little Joe!) who as ever was excellent helping out with lighting and assisting with photographing – a real asset to have helping out on the day.

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http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steph and Jamie – Waltham Abbey Wedding

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Ye Olde Plough House, Bulphan

The end of July presented us with another wedding and another county to travel to! Although in reality it is next to Suffolk, Waltham Abbey in Essex is still a little trip away from our base in Ipswich. My assistant for the day was Joe Howlett, or “little Joe” so as not to confuse anyone who asked!

Steph and Jamie had booked us for their wedding back in 2014 and that just seemed to have come around so fast with the big day looming! I had not long seen them both at their pre-wedding shoot and I know they would probably be a bit nervous on the big day – but then who isn’t really? The whole day and all eyes are focused on you as the bride and groom and add to that 2 photographers following you around and it can soon hit you – this is the day! Both Steph and Jamie were absolutely brilliant as were all their family and friends who once more made us feel very welcome, looked after us with drinks when needed and were a pleasure to be around.

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Waltham Abbey

The magnificent church of Waltham Abbey was where the ceremony took place and with the sun making an appearance every now and then some beautiful light made it through the windows hitting our couple as if it had all been planned by the big man upstairs! Sometimes a 2 dimensional image can’t capture all the splendour around but the stunning Waltham Abbey really did speak for itself and was a privilege to be able to photograph there.

The ceremony was beautiful and I did have to keep reminding myself to keep focused and not get too distracted – sometimes easier said than done. With my assistant, little Joe, covering the back of the Church for me with a 24-70 Lens, this allowed me to move around a bit and I switched between my 70-200mm lens for some close ups, and my new 35mm F1.4 lens for some wide shots to compliment little Joe’s from the back of the Church.

Ye Olde Plough House, Bulphan

We then headed off for the reception at Ye Olde Plough House in Bulphan Essex and at this point everyone kind of has the chance to relax a bit, the happy couple are married, the drinks start to flow, the food is arriving and the rest of the day is there for everyone to celebrate with the happy couple.

And celebrate they did for the rest of the day long into the night! I witnessed a really emotional first dance and Steph’s dance with her father was, well, you had to be there really. And for us luckily we were – it was an amazing day and a real privilege to photograph the wedding and subsequent celebrations.

Thank you to Steph and Jamie and both sets of families for being fantastic – we wish the happy couple all the best for the future together.

Joseph George Photography

www.joseph-george.co.uk

Sarah and Josh – Pre-wedding shoot at the River Orwell

I’d been watching the weather forecast all week in Suffolk with a bit of trepidation. Although it’s July and for the main the Weather has been beautiful (Wimbledon not rained off at all this year!) my last 2 pre-wedding shoots had to be postponed because of rain, lots of it.

That’s the first time that has ever happened in 3 years, I’m not afraid to work with the elements at all but for Sarah and Josh I desperately wanted a fine evening so that we could head down to the banks of the River Orwell and show off this lovely couple in equally lovely surroundings. And we got lucky 🙂

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It’s a lovely, mainly quiet spot where we headed too and Josh was first to arrive trying to find out where his fiancée Sarah was who was travelling straight from work. After a little detour Sarah joined us and despite the rushing about was full of smiles and so we just cracked on with things! The pair of them were fantastic and the natural reaction and chemistry between them was brilliant, making my job to be honest that bit easier. With couples photography, timing is sometimes of the essence because you need to keep one eye open for that look, or smile, or moment that makes it real. You could have a perfect composition and technically perfect exposure but if your subject lacks emotion then your photo can always fail.

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Overall it was a real fun session with two genuine people clearly very much in love – their wedding is going to be fantastic I’m sure and it’s going to be very special again to be supporting them on the day and capturing the day for them. Again, I’ve said this before, I’ve been so lucky that all of my wedding clients for 2015 have been just superb and it makes it a real pleasure to be the official photographer.

Big thanks again to Joe Howlett for his assistance on the evening, carrying bags around, softboxes, reflectors – a massive help as always.

Best of luck for Sarah and Josh on their big day in August.

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www.joseph-george.co.uk

Sam and Adie- Hickling Barn Wedding, Norfolk

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Saturday 13th June took myself and my young assistant out to Hickling in Norfolk for the wedding of Sam and Adie. It wasn’t a great start weather wise as there was rain and more rain and very grey skies, such a contrast to the previous day which was hot and sunny – still that’s the UK for you and you simply can’t do anything about the weather on the day.

With bags packed and all checks done, we headed up the A12 on the 2 hour trip into rural Norfolk, a beautiful part of the country no matter what the weather brings, on to the Dairy Barns at Hickling, its reached by a small single carriage road heading out toward the coastal stretch of Sea Palling.

Despite the weather, I was really looking forward to this day – weddings are always long days and full on but with Sam and Adies family and friends treating us as if we were there as guests also we had a fabulous day all together and Joe and I were very great full for everyone being so welcoming (considering we are there being paid to do a job!)

It was a lovely, intimate wedding with immediate family and close friends attending and I knew the photography was probably one of the more expensive budget options from the day – this does always add a little extra pressure but I also know that the photography is the part that you will share after with family and friends and have memories captured that will last forever so actually, it’s hard to put a true value on that and long after the, admittedly, lovely food has been displayed and eaten, the photographs are still around for family enjoy.

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I was delighted to present to the couple a small portion of there gallery online, a total of 170 odd images, and with around 350 edited for the day we hope that they can cherish the memories for a long, long time. It was a fantastic, fun wedding and a real privilege to be there,  we wish Sam and Adrian every happiness for the future.

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Joseph George Photography

#norfolkweddings, #seapalling, #dairybarns, #hickling

 

Steffi and Jamie pre-wedding shoot

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Our latest pre-wedding shoot was for a lovely couple, Steffi and Jamie, who had booked us to shoot their wedding planned for July 2015, way back in early 2014.
It’s always a massive compliment when someone puts their trust and faith in you and books that far in advance and time has certainly flown by with around 8 weeks to go until the big day!!

With Steffi and Jamie being based in Waltham Abbey we arranged to do the shoot, outdoors, at the Weald Country Park in Essex, not far from the couple and a fairly straight run for me to get too. Weald country Park is a beautiful spot with woods, ponds, deer parks and plenty of space to lose yourself from the crowds as its a popular park on a nice day. And a beautiful day it was too, lots of sunshine, no hint of rain and very warm temperature wise – perfect outdoor weather.

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I knew from prior conversations with the bride to be Steffi, that the couple were both excited and nervous at the prospect of being photographed – but then I think we all are as we worry about posing, how we look, how we will photograph. Being photographed professionally isn’t something we do every day if at all!

So we spent an hour, talking, shooting, relaxing, talking some more and shooting even more. As a photographer you know when you have “nailed” it so to speak but the proof is always the point when you compile and present the gallery to the clients – the feedback was a brilliant from the couple and just the reaction I wanted from them.

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So onwards toward the wedding in July and we can’t wait, it will be a very special day and a privilege to be their with Steffi and Jamie on the day.

http://www.joseph-George.co.uk

Sam and Adrian – Norfolk Pre-Wedding Shoot

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Our most recent pre-wedding shoot took us into the beautiful Norfolk Broads – in particular the Hickling Broad Nature reserve. A favourite location for keen bird watchers, it’s also a relatively tourist free spot compared to the likes of Wroxham and Ludham and so a lovely quiet place to work with your couple on a personal level.

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We’d kept a close eye on the weather forecast as the week unfolded due to it being a bank holiday and the predictions seemed to be in our favour for an outdoors shoot with dry and sunny spells forecast. We were in luck! Despite some wind due to its openness to the elements the weather held up beautifully.

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Sam and Adrian were a brilliant couple to work with, naturally very relaxed and comfortable with each other and for most of the afternoon we all had a great laugh together. They were also willing to try a couple of things outside of their comfort zones just showing how they both were happy to be guided and go with the flow – the results spoke for themselves with smiles and laughs aplenty all captured naturally with the couple.

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With the wedding soon to follow in mid-June its going to be great to see them both again and share their special day with them – it’s going to be brilliant.

Joseph George Photography

#norfolkbroads #hickling #prewedding #samandadrian #

Happy Holidays – thanks to all customers for making 2014 a special year for Joseph George Photography

Joseph George Photography Landscape

Award winning Suffolk Landscape Photography

So this week saw us hand over our final completed Wedding Album of the year to Mr and Mrs Sharman.

It’s so nice to be able to present the printed album in the flesh to an excited couple and hopefully watch their happy reaction as they open the presentation box to see what lies within!

Pleased to say the results were good and even if I do say so myself – it was a beautiful album for a great couple.

We signed off 2014 with another 3 photography awards – this time for Wedding, Portrait and Landscape work which was great news – all courtesy of the Guild of Photographers.

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Award winning portraiture photography

Thanks to everyone who has supported us, taken the time to look through our work and make really positive comments throughout 2014, it’s been a brilliant help and all feedback is so really useful as we try and grow the business and move forward.

2015 looks like another busy year and we would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone all the very best over the Christmas break period and a very happy and prosperous 2015 to you all.

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Award winning wedding photography

 

http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

 

Wedding Pricing – “wow that sounds expensive for a days work”

 

We still have a lot of queries from potential customers with regards pricing of services and particularly our 2 wedding pricing package prices with our top package offered being over £1000 and sometimes the remarks are still “wow, that’s a lot of money for one days work”.

Pricing yourself in the market can be a tricky business – too low and people may question the quality and service, too high and people simply can’t afford your services. When a professional business quotes you a price it’s simply not a figure that is just plucked from the air and thrown at you – a real professional business or person would have spent some time working out the total cost of the service they are providing and then quoting you accordingly.

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So as a demonstration here’s a small breakdown of our top package and why it’s priced accordingly. We value our image making and editing and with the training invested in the Business we aim to earn £30 per hour.

Our top package at £1,195

Initial email / phone enquiry with client and producing and sending out further information and documentation – £20

Arrange and have initial consultation with Client – £30 – £60 depending on location and travelling time

Production of contract / terms and conditions, posting to client and filing upon return – £30

Pre-Wedding Shoot and editing and production of images, upload onto private gallery for viewing – £150

Main Wedding Shoot full day involving 2 photographers and sometimes an assistant – £480

Editing / Processing / Uploading of Images onto private gallery for viewing – £300

Cost of 50 page Hand Made UK Album and design service – £380

Personalised USB Drive of images – £60

Delivery of Wedding Album and follow up work – £60

Total cost – £1,520

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As with anything there is room for negotiation on some pricing and some Weddings can be processed and edited quicker than others, however as a quick crude calculation the total cost of the above is more expensive than what we currently charge a customer for the service and we find most weddings are actually in fact 2 weeks work rather than “one day”.

There are areas where money  can be saved, but we like and promote the fact that each customer and wedding is unique to us and we strive to make each wedding photographed a unique experience.

Running photography as a business which has to generate an income and profit to survive is hard work – like any job you do to earn money. We hope that this small demonstration dispels the myth slightly that we hear a lot – “wow, that’s expensive for one days work”

http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

Sports Photograhphy

 

Award winning photographs from Joseph George Photography

I’m really not one for too much self promotion – I feel there’s sometimes too fine a line between arrogance and promoting your work!

However just for once we at Joseph George Photography are going to shout a little and take pride in doing so!

First off from one of our last weddings of the season at Kesgrave Hall we were very pleased to have received a bronze bar award for Carl Sharman and Joanne Mulleys “first dance” image

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A Bronze Bar Image which is graded by the Guild of Photographers  and a panel of highly qualified and respected professional photographers  is quoted as “Images of a strong standard at a professional level (A Bronze Bar) – something to be proud of

Then to follow that up we also received a highly coveted FPI award from the modelling and photography website Purpleport for one of our Halloween based studio shots – the FPI award put’s your photograph on the front page of the website (FPI = front page image!) and is highly coveted by models and photographers alike. We had a lovely message from the model herself Kim Brown titled – Very Happy – “yeah first time I’ve been  on the front page so well done you its a fantastic picture Smile

So big thank you to Kim for her modelling and also Mark Silvester at PTP Studio for his original concept which I twisted and turned into a decaying Halloween zombie 🙂

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So two awards in one week and for the sake of transparency I submitted another couple of images to the Guild of Photographers for reviewing and grading and they were not deemed award winning but both scored a highly respectable 70 out of 100 with a grade comment of “THE BAR – Images of an acceptable professional standard”.

We don’t want to just aim for “acceptable” at a professional level though, we strive to achieve higher than that so hard work and dedication is required at all times but sometimes it is good to shout about it when you have achieved greater than the norm!

http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

 

Finishing the wedding season with a bang – Joseph George Photography

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Well for our final wedding of the 2014 season we headed off to the local and beautiful location of Milsoms Kesgrave Hall It was a wedding I was really looking forward too, having been involved with the couple Carl and Joanne for their engagement party and also a recent family shoot down by the river Orwell in Suffolk – there was also the added pressure of it being the final wedding of our 2014 season and wanting to go out with a bit of a bang so to speak!

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Firstly, take away the photography for a second, it was a glorious October day and although an intimate setting there was still plenty of room for guests to relax and unwind in and enjoy the country setting, despite being just a few minutes drive out of Ipswich itself. The ceremony was a 15:30 start so myself and my assistant (my wife) were at the venue at 12:00noon where we did some final checks of our running order and I went through some shots I would be setting up in the evening.

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The day was a fantastic day all around and it was an amazing day to finish our last wedding of 2014 on – we have made leaps and bounds this year and 2015 is going to be a very special year for Joseph George Photography and it will be because of the support of our fantastic customers. For all those already signed up for 2015 we really can’t wait to work with you and turning your special day into a lifetime of memories to treasure. A massive thank you to all customers who we have worked with during 2014. carljoanne-171WP

Family studio photo shoots in Suffolk and some tips for making those kids smile!

Never work with children or animals is something you often hear banded around and although I’ve not had the pleasure of trying to photograph animals just yet – Children so far have worked out ok!! Since becoming a father you do tend to lose a few more of your marbles from your brain and go a bit more crazy than you have ever been – well I certainly speak myself anyway!

Making Kids smile has always come quite naturally to me, I even do tend to have children and kids gravitate to me for some reason – perhaps they know they are safe and on my level in my presence or I just look like a funny clown, who knows but my wife always says to me – “you do just have a knack with kids, they love you”

Joseph George Photography Landscape

So putting kids into a studio setting with lots of strange lights and a man pointing a Nikon D800 camera at them – how easy does that work? Well in truth it can still be hit and miss as it’s a new environment and potentially scary environment but there’s a few things we can always do to comfort and reassure children.

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1.  Make sure Mummy and Daddy, although off camera, are in sight of the kids and talking to them – this gives the children a visual reassurance that mum and dad aren’t far away.

2. Get down on the floor with the kids and to their level, looming over them can be quite scary for children who have never met you, get low down, on the floor and smile lots, you’ll be far less forbidding with a smile on your face.

3. Have those toys ready, rattles, teddy bears, comfort blankets whatever it takes to make the situation seem normal for the kids will help them and district them from the new environment

4. Try and get your lighting setup before they arrive – I take a young child size bunny rabbit with me to test and meter the light with and try to get it all in place before the customer arrives at the studio

5. This may seem daft but show the kids some of the shots – I know my daughter loves to see herself on the back of the screen and you’ll be surprised how many other kids react to seeing themselves on your camera display!

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Sometimes you’ll have no joy and all of the above won’t quite work or you just won’t get the reaction you are looking for – don’t forget this happens to the actual parents also where the child may just have a particularly bad day and there’s just no explanation why!

Have fun most of all – the rewards of a smiling child are priceless as we all know 🙂

Many thanks to Steve and Dawn Chilvers and their beautiful daughters for our recent studio session.

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http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

August Suffolk Weddings, that UK summer and being the other side of the camera

Suffolk Portrait family shoot

Nacton Shores Family Shoot

Another month in August closes and a very new chapter begins in September. Lets start with some great personal news – I was married on September 4th to my beautiful fiancée Claire and we had a perfect day spent with friends and family.
Not having to shoot my own wedding was fantastic (!!) and for once I could relax and enjoy myself knowing full well I was in the safe hands of master wedding photographer and all round nice guy Neil Bowler of Neil Bowler Photography and his assistant for the day the lovely Andrea Kavanagh – thank you to both for your professionalism and assistance during the day.

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Nicky and Ildiko – Ipswich August Wedding

We at Joseph George Photography had two local weddings ourselves during August, one in Ipswich and another in Bury St Edmunds the other large Suffolk Town – thank you to our customers during August who were brilliant and whom both sets of families were happy to go with the flow and just enjoy the photography – really nice to have clients like that!

Bury St Edmunds Weddings

August weather wise has been a mixed bag really but we got lucky on our wedding day and also that of Nicky and Peters and Nick and Ildikos so I haven’t yet tested out my brollies I purchased ready for a downpour.

We finished August with a small family shoot on the banks of the River Orwell on another beautiful summers evening and now our final wedding of the season is coming around in October where we have our first shoot at the fabulous Milsoms – Kesgrave Hall we can’t wait to finish our 2014 Wedding Season with a bang!

A big thank you to all of our 2014 customers and we can’t wait to work with our new ones in 2015

Suffolk Portraits

Nacton Shores Family Shoot

www.joseph-george.co.uk

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Summer rolls on….

Wow – what a summer so far in the UK, sure there have been a few thundery downpours around the Country but over here in the East we are doing really well! Our Wedding season so far has definitely been our best with a mixture of more diverse clients and some stunning venues – as well as our continued development and training.

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Bridal

 

With more clients potentially coming on board for the 2015 Season our 5 year plan for launching the business appears to be well on track – no room for complacency though but my aim was to be one of the more smaller,  personable and premier wedding photographers in East Anglia and we are making good strides down that road. The competition is exceptionally hard and exceptionally talented but that I think just makes it a real better market out there for clients when choosing someone for such a special day.

Suffolk Weddings

So at present as well as shooting weddings through the summer season, I’m also preparing for my own Wedding in September! With plans on track (thanks to a very organised and hard-working fiancée) we are now only a month away from our big day – yikes!! Now that’s come around really quickly. A recent trip down to London town saw me meet up with a couple of old friends and stay for a “couple” of beers! Needless to say once the chatting and catching up began a couple did turn into a couple more but it was a great evening. I even managed a tiny bit of Photography whilst on route to Holborn in London with my trusty D800 and 50mm Lens which was quite refreshing.

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London Town

 

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Through to the shard

So here’s to old friends and new beginnings as come September 4th I will be proud to stand by my beautiful wife and look to a very special future.

http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

Beautiful Weddings in East Anglia – natural, professional, personal.

As we leave June and head swiftly into July I do so with a smile on my face. We have been really lucky in 2014 so far to have had some amazing clients and after nearly 3 years of various weddings things are beginning to slot into place.

Karen - Bisham Abbey

Bridal posing

So this post is a bit of a shameless plug really for our offerings, our work and just a shout out for Joseph George Photography in general – hey if I don’t do it then I can’t expect anyone to do it for me 🙂

After nearly 3 years we have now settled on 2 Wedding Photography packages – a full day, digital only package and a full day digital and handmade album package.

 

Maria Mann Wedding - Stoke Place Buckinghamshire

Into the light

After trying to reach and decide on a “style” I’m now comfortable with delivering a very personal, relaxed but professional approach to our Weddings – we work hard to capture the natural moments that occur, the emotions that are present without having to stage anything and the relationships that blossom and develop over the course of the very special day.

On my own

Katherine – Stoke Place, Buckinghamshire

We are looking forward to adding to our expanding portfolio of weddings shoots planned for the beautiful Kesgrave Hall – Milsoms, the stunning Waltham Abbey and the lovely setting of Lynford Hall in Norfolk. If you are looking for a personal and professional approach to your wedding photography in East Anglia – please drop us an email at weddings@joseph-george.co.uk and we would be delighted to discuss and help you out as best as we can. Each clients wedding is a unique experience and you deserve someone who can cover your day in a unique and personal style. We look forward to hearing from you.

Together, forever

http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

Photographers – Who is Your Audience?

Great article from Michael here at ready steady pro – who are you targetting?

Ready Steady Pro

Something I’ve seen a lot recently is photographers blogging seemingly for the attention of other photographers. Whilst this would be fine on a photography news site or a photographic training site, I’d say that really it’s not ideal on a wedding or portrait website where non-photographer paying clients are looking.

An industry where debates are always had

Photography is no doubt an industry full of debates: Jpeg vs RAW, Full Frame vs ASPC, Canon vs Nikon and on and on the list goes. Because of this we all tend to choose sides and have opinions and that’s great. If everyone thought the same thing it’d be a very dull world indeed.

However, I just question whether the websites we’ve painstakingly taken the time to put together for the benefit and purpose of obtaining clients are the best places to voice our opinion on all things photographic?

It sometimes feels a…

View original post 441 more words

The Wedding Photographers kit bag

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So as the summer wedding seasons starts in earnest in my area of East Anglia and I’ve been dusting down and cleaning up my kit.  I always had in my mind I wanted to travel “light” – that is get away with the minimum amount of kit I could to do the job!

However I’ve just laid out my Nikon D3, Nikon D800, 24-70mm F2.8, 105mm F2.8 Macro, 70-200mm F2.8, 50mm F1.4, SB-900 Flashlight, Lastolite reflector, Lastolite Diffuser, Lencarta Portable 600Ws Safari Li-On lighting system, Lencarta Portable Softbox, Bowens Heavy Duty Light Stands 😉 Phew!!!

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That’s too much kit than I want to be carrying around venues to be honest so I’m going to work on revising this list and even possibly add a couple of prime lenses for the 2015 season to see if I can actually lose some weight from my kit bag. I’d rather be prepared for any eventuality but I think I can force myself to work smarter and possibly better with less kit – kind of a “less is more” type attitude.

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We recently shot a couple of beautiful weddings in Buckinghamshire and for one client had a beautiful time capturing images she wanted purely in black and white. Was great to have to take the shots in colour but have in my mind that it was the details and contrast that would work once they were converted to B+W. I do love the simplicity of a black and white image and was fortunate to have such a lovely and understanding bridal model under my direction – many thanks Maria Mann and fiancee Stefan

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Some beautiful weather here in the UK at the moment and some perfect natural light to look out for and find – keep those eyes open folks 🙂

http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

Still Nifty at Sixty – Martin Good birthday celebrations at the Brewery Tap, Ipswich

So this is a personal rather than a professional or work based blog for someone who’s always been a massive figure in my life – my Dad!

60th Celebrations

60th Celebrations

This week has seen the celebrations of his 60th Birthday culminating in a surprise party for him on the Sunday 25th May with old friends, family, work colleagues from years gone by and of course his special new granddaughter Eloise!

Catching up

Catching up

We decided against anything too formal such as a big sit down meal and went for the “everyone meet at the local” scenario – which in the end worked out perfectly and a big thank you goes to the staff of the Brewary Tap pub in Ipswich who helped us organise and looked after a rowdy crowd brilliantly! And a big thanks also to Lucindas brilliant 60th Birthday cake

Also a massive thanks out to all the friends and family who came along to make it such a brilliant occassion – too many names to mention and without you there then the night would not have been the success it was – it was a real surprise for our Dad who was very unsuspecting of anything and he was pretty choked up about it all – so good job done everyone!!

Cheers!

Cheers!

I was on unoffical photography mode and didn’t do too bad considering drinking and a steady hand don’t always work out as you imagine! The D800, 24-70mm F2.8 and SB900 performed almost faultlessly considering for once they were left in mainly an automatic mode 🙂

Joseph George Photography LandscapeBig thanks again to all of those involved in making this a special celebration for Dad

Joseph George Photography Landscape

http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

 

 

 

Oh Sunny Scotland

Joseph George Photography Landscape

So for the last couple of weeks we have been taking a working photographic break and sunning ourselves on the gorgeous Isle of Bute in Scotland. Just off the West Coast near Glasgow and a 35 minute ferry ride across the Kyles of Bute. Staying at the hub of the Island – the main town Rothesay.

Joseph George Photography Landscape

It’s a yearly, sometimes more than that, visit and gives time for some snapshot photography and general relaxing and settling into the Islands lovely, laid back, pace of life.

Joseph George Photography Landscape

With stunning bays, beaches, hills, walks and distant Islands theres definately something for everyone in this small, but highly enjoyable environment.

Joseph George Photography Landscape

Having a good hit of sun during our visit has it’s downsides – the legendary local “Pokey Hat” Ice creams!! Turkish Delight, Blue Banana, Ferrero Rocher, Jammy Dodger, Coconut the list goes on and the list expands so does the waist-line!! Oh well what are you to do when you are by the Sea and the Sun is shining! Can’t blame me really can you!

Joseph George Photography Landscape

Visiting Scotland? Then why not take a day trip or longer over to the Isle of Bute and check it out! On a sunny day you really could be anywhere in the world 🙂

http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

Times stops for no man

Wow – Mid April already! It’s true that the older you get time does indeed seem to fly, I’m sure my clocks used to turn a lot slower 10 years ago than they do now 🙂

However being a relatively new father is making life even more hectic than it ever has been, but what a reward when you see a face like this

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I’d been watching Nikon’s release of their flagship DSLR the D4s with some interest – not because I want one but because I’m not keeping my eyes on the second hand D4 market for a potential bargain. I got my D3 second hand, 18,000 Shutter Actuations and it’s been brilliant to me and I love it- with an upgrade head on I’d love to jump to the D4 from the D3, with a business head on – would the upgrade for me personally make that much of a difference and warrent the expenditure – probably not. But I’ll still monitor that situation 🙂

So with April upon us it’s the start of the wedding season again – fun times!! My hopes this year were to cover a certain amount of weddings which I’m well on way to fullfilling and with some enquiries already for 2015 it’s been a great start to the year.

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Education for me is also high on the agenda for this year with a portfolio of images to submit to my excellent membership organisation the Guild of Photographers to work toward a qualification with them and to generally get some good, critiqued feedback from fellow professionals.

View More: http://katelynjames.pass.us/matt-and-katherine

Was delighted to also do a lovely family shoot for a friend and I do need to work on my posing and helping my models pose I still think the best shots captured are those that are natural – this was one of my favourites of the day.

Wedding

So good luck to all during the wedding season – keep calm and keep an eye on the time – it’s definately speeding up!!!

http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

 

 

Engagement Shoot Carl and Joanne – Aurora Restuarant Ipswich

Wedding

Well this is the first time I’d actually got down to the Aurora Restaurant in Ipswich either as a customer or as a photographer and what a great place and great afternoon I had with Carl Sharman, Joanne Mulley and their respective families for Carl and Joannes engagement party.

My fiancee has actually beaten me to it and been wined and dined as part of a John Lewis christmas party and I had heard really good things about the place so……

Wedding

Firstly it’s a really striking building set on the lovely modernised waterfront in Ipswich and as I headed down with my Nikon D3 and D800 I was really looking forward to the afternoon as it was such a beautiful Sunday afternoon after a recent spate of rain and wind in the area.

I clipped on my think tank belt system, turning me into a photographic version of batman and begun to mingle!

Wedding

A beautiful setting indeed and as the sun started to disappear I managed to grab Carl and Joanne for a couple of Portrait shots outside using my Lencarta safari li-on portable lighting system and a softbox for lighting.

Wedding

I had a great afternoon covering this for the happy couple and hopefully will get the opportunity to work down at Aurora again in the not too distant future.

Wedding

My congratulations to Carl and Joanne once more and wishing them all the very best for 2014.

Joe

www.joseph-george.co.uk

Stop:watch – reinventing everyday objects

Great original concept and idea, really like it 🙂

e MORFES

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Dutch illustrator Tineke Meirink with her series Stop:Watch hopes to make people realize that “everything has its beauty and that it is just more fun to take a closer look.”
Stop:watch is about taking a closer look. To stop and watch. Tineke takes photos of apparently uninteresting items  and adds a minimal illustration digitally. That way these photos get a whole different meaning, they come to life.

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Working for Free – good or bad for your Photography business?

I’d been thinking about this for a while and it’s a debate that occurs in the photography world on whether, in trying to raise your portfolio and profile, working for free or offering some of your services for free is a good idea?

Portrait Portfolio Joseph George Photography

Amy Brook – Modelling Portfolio

Certainly anyone who picks up a camera and gets the photography bug will soon be hassling friends and family for portrait shots and to practise and learn techniques that you can’t just do out there in the paid photography world and so you’ll start off by doing a lot of “free” stuff – but mainly for your own benefit and not for others.

There then comes that time when further down the photography road where you have made a significant investment in your time and equipment, are far more confident in your ability, that you can offer professional looking portrait sittings and shoots that anywhere else would be charged for. But wait, the people who still want you to shoot for them have always had the work for free or their friends had it done for free and perhaps still expect it, all done, for free and make you feel bad when you then can’t do it or quote them as you would any other potential client.

Joseph George Photography Charity Work

Cancer Campaign in Suffolk – “It’s all about you makeover”

I’ve been down the road, and still am in certain situations, of offering my services for “free” and hoping that in doing so the exposure and potential for referrals would always outweigh the initial “free” sitting offering.

In reality though it very rarely does and although that may sometimes be a refection of the photographer I think it also mainly falls down to the expectation of “well he’s always done that for free for us and I don’t want to now pay for that”.

Managing that expectation is a tricky balancing act and from my experience my advice would be – do the “free” stuff to build your own portfolio and get your own experience, help other Photographers for free, be their assistant or their bag-man / woman but then absorb all that experience you get for the benefit of yourself, look at local photography clubs where again “free” work can be used to your benefit and not just others,  look at national organisations such as the guild of photographers who have some amazing resources and people willing to offer their advice to you, check out pages such as “ready steady pro” which is full of “free” advice and information.

But don’t, and I must stress don’t expect to gain any big bucks or massive thanks by offering “free” work. Don’t just sit back and wait for the referrals to come in, it won’t happen. Don’t expect any favours from anyone, to be fair you have offered your service for free – perhaps they never asked for it in the first place!!

Joseph George Photography Studio Portfolio

Studio Portrait Portfolio Session – Ipswich, Suffolk

But also don’t devalue yourself and your work by doing everything for “free” in the hope that someone will put a good word in for you somewhere down the line and it will lead to a paid commission – you have to chase the business yourself and charge a fair but competitive rate for your service – if that rate is too much for some people then ask yourself – are they the type of client I would want to work with anyway?

However just be warned that it’s a very delicate balancing act and from experience my advice would be – do the “free” stuff to build your own portfolio and get your own experience but when doing bits and pieces for free,  make sure you adjust your mindset so that you are not expecting anything back in return, you have offered a “free service” and that’s just what you have to deliver.

Does this sound like a rant against doing free stuff? I hope not, as I continue to do some work for free and support organisations such as cancer campaign in Suffolk with promotional material they can use as I’d struggle to support them with a regular monetry commitment. It’s about getting the balance and expectation right and if you’re trying to turn your photography from a passion into a business then you have to think seriously about your charging structure and how that will work for you.

Good luck! Joe

www.joseph-george.co.uk

Black and White Landscapes

Alton Water – Suffolk Landscape Photography

 

SEO Tips for Blogging Photographers: Part 1

Great article from Michael Rammel with regards to Search Engine Optimisation or “SEO”. Anyone with a website or blog and little idea about SEO would do well to read this.

Ready Steady Pro

SEO can seem like a mystery to some. You may find that some of your more generic posts are climbing up the results ladder, whilst others are sitting in an abyss, getting only a few seldom visitors.

Well, there is a science to SEO. It’s not guess work at all. So today I want to share with you Part 1 of my top SEO tips for photographers that blog! (and let’s face it, we all blog!).

If truth be told these SEO tips are applicable to all, but we’re going to use photographers as our example, as that’s what Ready Steady Pro is all about!

1: Post Titles – What are people searching for?

Where possible, it’s important that the title of your post has some of the keywords in it. This very post for example has the words ‘SEO’, ‘tips’, ‘photographers‘ and ‘Blogging‘ in it…

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New life. New year. New goals?

Welcome 2014!! It’s been a long time since I put digital pen to paper but the excuses are good – the birth of my first daughter and first baby overall on the 16th December 2013 meant it was a busier than usual Christmas period for me and my fiancee and our new arrival.

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Wrapping up 2013 photographically speaking I probably didn’t do as much work as I had hoped too at the beginning of the year, on the positive side though was that I was happy overall with the work that I did do for clients and the quality and my technical ability through training, mentoring and practising is greatly improved. Theres still a lot of work to do but progression is a great word and I’m progressing at a rate I’m both happy with and comfortable with.

The end of 2013 saw some portrait sessions in and around Suffolk – keeping it simple with one camera – Nikon D800, one Lens – Nikon 70-200 F2.8VR, one reflector and some lencarta portable lighting equipment. We had a beautiful little model to photograph and can’t wait to do some more work with Sienna in the near future.

Joseph George Photography Portrait Shoots

Our relationship with Cancer Campaign in Suffolk has grown well and we have donated some time and photography work for this great local charity – please check out their website and help if you can be so kind to help out. Cancer Campaign in Suffolk Website

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More “out and about” portrait sessions followed with again natural lighting being the prefered method of producing the photos – The Nikon D800 excellent metering system providing almost fool proof metering for most situations allowing me to concentrate on getting the shot!

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And of course during 2013 we were very proud to help and support the JM Soccer Schools here in Ipswich – a great resource for young kids wanting to get together, play football, motivate themselves and recieve top quality FA licensed coaching from a local up and coming football coach.

JMSoccerschool

2013 was a busy year, in 2014 our goals are to shoot at least 6 weddings as this number I can manage and ensure top quality photography for each wedding, do at least 15 – 20 portrait sessions and continue to build or portfolio and strengthen our brand. We will also continue to support great local charities such as CCIS.

Happy new year everyone and all the very best for 2014.

www.joseph-george.co.uk

 

Photography Q&A with Michael Rammell

Ready Stead Pros’s host and founder questions himself and gives his honest answers and insight into his Photography journey so far – an interesting and great read.

Ready Steady Pro

As part of the Ready Steady Pro Q&A Series we ask photographers from all backgrounds, niches and skill levels to answer 5 questions for the blog. This week, we hear from, well…erm..me! Michael Rammell of Rammell Photography & Rammell Studios.

About Michael:

Compared to many I’ve not been a photographer long at all. I picked up my first ‘proper’ DSLR back in 2009 and was quickly bitten by the bug, as so many people are. I’m a married man with two children and live in Berkshire in the South East of England. In terms of my photography I’m probably most known for my wedding work. Like so many that make their way into photography I too found my way into weddings some time ago and again became a little obsessed. I have / am however intentionally moving into the head shot / portrait space at the moment. I’m keen to…

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Mixing it up for Autumn

Real mix the last two weeks! Autumn is here in the area and it is gorgeous so I took advantage of the beautiful location of Alton Water Reservoir for some outdoor shots.

Joseph George Photography Landscape

I was also very happy to be able to support a fantastic local charity in our area – Cancer Campaign in Suffolk

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And lastly was able to get some fun shots for the Ipswich John Lewis / Waitrose Xmas party!

Joseph George Photography - Sports Photography

Joseph George Photography - Sports Photography

Digital Photography – a basic lesson Part 2

A few weeks ago now I went through the exposure triangle – this explained at a fairly basic level the Shutter, Aperture and ISO settings that are at the heart of every photograph that is taken.

For all of us that own D-SLR cameras or a smaller bridge camera or even a compact camera, most are happy with staying in a full automatic mode of photography and letting the camera just take the photograph and make the decision of the end result for us. Cameras these days have various scene modes where they can recognise a Landscape scene, recognise a Face ready for a Portrait and can put your camera into “Sport” mode with a sport scene selection mode.  These “scene” modes are all automatic.

Is using an automatic scene mode on your camera a bad thing? No not at all. But sometimes there maybe occassions where you want to take control of your photo and not leave it to the camera to decide and I’ll cover a few examples……

You’ll notice on the top of your D-SLR camera you generally have a dial that allows you to select various automatic, semi automatic or full manual modes. The three modes I generally use and I will cover are –

1. A Mode (Nikon) AV Mode (Canon) – Aperture priority mode. This mode gives you control over the Aperture setting on the camera with the camera automatically selecting the Shutter speed for you

2. S Mode (Nikon) TV Mode (Canon) – Shutter priority mode. This mode gives you control over the Shutter speed setting on the camera with the camera automatically selecting the Shutter speed for you

3. M Mode – Manual Mode. This mode gives you full control over selecting the Aperture and the Shutter speed settings on the camera

Heres a few examples of why you may want to use Full Manual Mode or Shutter Priortiy Mode –

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Example 1 – Full Manual Mode

I recently shot in a Studio in very dark conditions and with just a studio flash light firing and lighting my subject. I had to switch my camera to full manual mode for this session, but why?

Had I left my camera in full automatic mode or semi-automatic mode it would have “seen” that the room was very dark and adjusted it’s settings accordingly. For this example I would have been left with a shutter speed that was left open for a long time to let the available light in – which the camera worked out would take 6 seconds. Had I tried to take this picture hand-held or even on a tripod for 6 Seconds the end results would have been a blurry photograph as any tiny movements of me or my subject during those 6 seconds would have resulted in a loss of sharpness. In full manual mode – I overuled the camera and set my shutter speed and aperture manually knowing that when the Flash Light fired there would be sufficient light hitting my subject to get the photo I wanted.

My settings in manual mode were Aperture F11, Shutter Speed 160th Second – perfectly safe to hand hold my camera at.

Art Nude Portfolio

Example 2 – Using Shutter priority mode

To get some movement into a photograph that would otherwise be just a standard static snapshot I often switch to S mode on my Nikon – Shutter priority mode. On this particular day it was a lovely sunny day, lots of available light and if I left my camera in full auto mode it would have likely selected a very fast shutter speed for me – and rightly so. However I didn’t want to just get a snapshot, so by selecting S mode on my camera and dialing in a relatively slow shutter speed I was able to add some blur to the image as the car passed me – but that’s exactly the end result I wanted. Settings were 1/60th of a second which was enough to hand-hold and add some blur to a fast moving car

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Example 3 – Shutter priority mode

Again, wanting to add some blur to a photo to give it a percieved sense of movement I had to once more over-rule my camera and select a slower shutter speed than what it was suggesting to me.

The way to do that was to either move to full manual mode or to Shutter priority mode. For me I needed to act quick and so by me setting the shutter speed I was happy for the camera to automatically select the Aperture for me, I was just concerned about slightly blurring the photo which you can only do by controlling your shutter speed. The settings were 1/25th of a second which was enough to blur the boxers arm movements but keep the rest fairly sharp. Had I left my camera in full automatic mode rather than taking control of it this photo wouldn’t have been possible.

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Next lesson – Aperture priority mode and Full Manual Mode hints and tips….!

Try out S mode or TV mode on your camera and set the shutter speed yourself and look at the results, the chart at the bottom gives you an idea of what results you may get from setting the shutter speed yourself and taking a photo!

http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

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shutter-speeds

Studio Sessions and the great outdoors

Art Nude Portfolio

So this week saw a really busy period of family shoots, sports and art nudes!

Many thanks to PTP Studios in Ipswich for the use of their facilities for the Family Shoot and a really interesting Art Nude shoot which was my first experience with a nude model and was very interesting.

I approached the Art Nude shoot quite open minded with no particular poses or styles in mind but I knew that I wanted to complete the images in black and white as I wanted to go for quite a subtle final output of image.

Art Nude Portfolio

The model “China Star” was very professional and friendly and it made for a relaxed, but well run session, and it was a very good lesson in lighting and posing – I look forward to another session in the future. The D800 and 24-70 proved to be an excellent combination in the Studio environment and I was quite pleased with most of the results from the day – the quality of image you get from the D800’s 36Megapixel sensor is brilliant.

Switching back to the D3 for some sports shooting on the Saturday with the 70-200 Lens attached I teamed up once more with JM Soccer Schools to get some photos for Jamies Website and Blog – despite a minor downpour of rain toward the end of the session all the boys on the soccer class had great fun and it was a very well run, professionally delivered session as ever by Jamie and it was great fun getting some images.

Joseph George Photography - Sports Photograhphy

And to finish things off we had a great family shoot session with one of my old work colleagues on the Sunday – many thanks to Chris and Karl Kroger for their generosity with the purchasing of their images from the session, it was really fun photographing the kids who were extremely well behaved and happy to do some posing for us all!!

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Next up – Digital Photography Lesson 2 – watch this space….!!!!

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http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

Digital Photography – a basic lesson part 1….

Sports Photograhphy

I don’t know about you but I have to know how something “works”.

So for example when I start my car in the morning I have a general idea of what’s going on when I turn the ignition, when I start up my PC or Laptop I like to know whats happening with the loading of the operating system and the post startup tests, and so on!! I don’t always need to know down to the most technical of explanations but I like to have a general idea of what’s going on!!

Likewise with photography – before I press that shutter down to take a picture, I like / need to know how the scene I’m looking at will translate into a digital photograph on my camera or other optical device and to understand that you need to have grasp of the basics.

When you take a photograph – there are three things that always have to be set – either automatically – or manually by yourself – these are often refered too as the exposure triangle;

1. Shutter Speed

2. Aperture

3 ISO

exposure-triangle

1. Shutter speed refers to the amount of time your camera allows light onto the digital sensor, for example on a sunny day your shutter speed will always generally be high as there is more light available and thus the shutter can open and then close very quickly as it captures that available that. On an overcast day or heading towards night when there is not so much light available, the shutter speed will slow down and the shutter will need to remain open for longer to let that light in.

A fast shutter speed allows you to “freeze” action and motion and in general hand hold a camera whilst achieving great results. As it gets darker or you are photographing perhaps indoors the shutter needs to stay open for a lot longer and sometimes too long for you to hand hold the camera and get a good result – this is just because a slow shutter speed starts to pick up any little movements you may make when taking the picture.

2. Aperture refers to the size of the opening in the lens that you are allowing light to travel through. You’ll see apertures refered too as F numbers and you’ll see these numbers like F2.8, F4, F5.6, F11, F16 appear on your camera when you are taking a photo. The primary function of an F number (or aperture) is to control the volume of the light that reaches the digital sensor. The confusing thing at first is the smaller ther F number, the larger the lens opening is – so for example an aperture of F2.8 lets in vastly more light than an aperture of F16 simply because the lens opening is very large at F2.8 The chart below will demonstrate this slightly better!

aperture_chart

3. ISO. ISO refers to the sensitivity of your digital sensor to the light entering through the lens. Theres a great analogy from Bryan Peterson which I’ll use – think of the ISO as a worker Bee. We are about to take the same portrait picture of a friend in some shade and set our cameras up exactly the same apart from the ISO setting.

If my camera is set to ISO 100 that means I have 100 worker Bees who can fly out and gather any available light for me to make an image. If you set you camera to ISO 400 then you have 400 worker Bees who can fly out and gather that light for you. Who will record the photo faster? You will, as you will be able to gather the light 4 x quicker than I can as your camera is 4 x more sensitive to light due to changing the ISO setting. How does increasing the ISO help you take a picture? Well at a very basic level if we are hand-holding our cameras we need a “safe” shutter speed to shoot with to record the image correctly – if the shutter speed is too slow we may record natural movement in our hands and the picture then loses sharpness.

Taking a photo of our friend in the shade, my camera with ISO 100 shows a shutter speed required of 1/15th of a second to take the photo – this is generally too slow to record a good image, however your camera set to ISO 400 shows a shutter speed of 1/250th of a second – perfectly fine for taking a photo. Why is this?  Your shutter speed is 4 x quicker than mine because you have set your ISO to be 4 x more sensitive – this means you can use a shutter speed 4 x greater than I can to record the same image.

Hopefully that makes some sense – there is a lot more variables to throw in but the exposure triangle always remains at the heart of any photo you take – a shutter speed is selected to open and let in light and then close in a set time period (set automatically or manually), an aperture is selected to allow a certain volume of light through into the camera (set automatically or manually) and your ISO is selected to set the sensitivity of your cameras sensor to the light that’s then gathered.

Next up I’ll go through some of the modes available on all digital cameras nowadays, what they mean and what’s best to use in certain situations.

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http://www.joseph-george.co.uk

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Podcast 2 – Second Shooting

Great podcast on second shooters featuring members from the Guild of Photographers – a really interesting listen if you are thinking of gaining more experience through second shooting at weddings and some stories of the pro’s and con’s

Ready Steady Pro

On this episode I have 4 very special guests hosts with me on the show including a new voice in Neil Graham!

In this, the 2nd episode, we discuss the world of Second Shooting. including How to get more Second Shooting Gigs, setting boundaries with the principle shooter, the pressure involved in being a second shooter, whether or not second shooters should be able to use images in their own portfoilio, and the massive subject that is should second shooters be paid?

As well as discussing all things second shooting each guest was tasked to come up with something to give to you this evening, What we’re calling Little Gems. These can be found below.

Click the link below to listen / download the podcast.


View In iTunes

Click here to listen to the Podcast


This weeks Topics

Second Shooting & Photographer Assistants.


Today’s Little Gems

  • Tracey’s Little Gem…

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Photographing New People

Really liked Leannes recent work – beautiful shots

Leanne Cole PHOTOGRAPHY

Recently I told you that I thought I might be photographing a wedding, well it has been discussed, the details worked out, so I will be doing some of the images at the wedding soon.  I am really excited about doing this, and of course the best thing is that they want the images that I do, so it will be a fantastic experience for me.

I did however, get an opportunity to photograph them last week and they have very kindly agreed to let me use a few of the images here on my blog so you can see them.  I thought I would put them in a small gallery for you.

I have to tell you about how this couple found me.  There is a relatively new directory for photographers in Australia called Photographers.com.au

They have recently changed how they do things, but it is a great place…

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Bonny Scotland thanks to Silver Efex Pro

Joseph George Photography Landscape

I realise I do write about Scotland quite a bit in my blogs but as my parents live there and I get to visit fairly often then I won’t be stopping just yet!

This visit to the beautiful West Coast of Scotland and especially the Isle of Bute was not quite as sunny as what I have been used to in the past!

However, being on an Island and thus surrounded by the coastline, the highlands and the kyles of Bute whatever the weather there is beauty around every corner.

Joseph George Photography Landscape

With a heavy cloud line following the Island around I had in my head a whole load of black and white shots planned as there was at times little colour around but lots of contrast and so with the D800 and 24-70 attached off we roamed!

Joseph George Photography Landscape

Most people I speak too generally say “Scotland?  Went their once and it rained all week”. Ignore that, The Scottish Highlands and Islands are some of the most beautiful places I’ve been and I can’t recommend the area enough.

Joseph George Photography Landscape

With regards to the images, these are generally RAW files (NEF 14bit lossless compressed),  processed slightly in Nikons Capture NX2 then converted to black and white using Silver EFEX Pro. Silver EFEX Pro is the piece of software I recommend for any black and white conversion work in your digital workflow. I see it’s now part of an offering bought out by Google – the Google Nik Collection. I can’t vouch for any of the other parts that come with the Nik collection but Silver EFEX Pro is a must for any black and white work I do – it’s simple, fast, easy to use but also deceptively powerful with regards to the amount of tweaking you can do right down to simulating old analogue Film types.  Download the trial and have a play – once you’ve used it you won’t look back!

Joseph George Photography Landscape

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Canon v Nikon – the never ending debate

This is an old subject and one a lot of people ask me about when I’m doing any photography training or giving any advice. It’s perhaps as old as ford v vauxhall (if you are here in the UK) playstation v xbox , and if I dare go back to my school days the zx spectrum v the commodore 64!!!

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Let me start by saying where I am – I’m a Nikon man through and through. I like their products, I like the feel of their cameras, I love the shutter sound of my Nikon D3 firing off 9 frames per second when I’m shooting my football games and sports.

After a recent training session at John Lewis in Ipswich I was asked “why did you choose Nikon when most people seem to buy Canon?”.

My answer is simple and historical – I was given a Nikon F5 and lenses by my Grandfather and so have always used a Nikon camera for my photography. Nothing sinister against Canon who make some brilliant Cameras and lenses but I personally have always used a Nikon and have no reason to switch my allegiance to another brand at the moment! My cameras are tools I use to take photographs – they just happen to be a Nikon set of tools I use.

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Lets not lose sight of what we are trying to achieve with any camera that we choose to use or are given to use – we are all trying to capture a photograph that takes a snapshot of that particular moment in time, and that photo should either grab attention, serve a purpose, be emotive, convey scale and grandeur, show beauty, technique and artistry and most of all connect with the audience you are presenting it too.

The camera used whether it be a smart-phone, a compact camera, a medium format camera or even a Nikon or Canon full frame digital single lens reflex camera is to a point illrelevant, the camera used is merely a tool to capture that moment you are photographing and how you use the tool is far more important than what make or model it is.

Don’t get too caught up in the great manufacturer debate – I don’t remember the last time anyone ever looked at one of my photos and said “that’s great you must have taken that with a Canon” or “love that photo, there’s no way I could have taken that on my Nikon” – it’s never mentioned, the only thing that’s ever said is “I like” or “I don’t like” that shot.

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Photos are, and always will be, a subjective medium, but a great photo is always a great photo no matter whether a Nikon or a Canon was used to take it.

I’m now off to have a play up in Scotland with my super lovely 36 Megapixel Nikon D800 – can’t get the same spec camera from Canon at the moment 😉

And by the way I was always more of a Vauxhall man than Ford in my youth and was lucky enough to own both a ZX Spectrum AND a Commodore 64 – now that was just showing off!!

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English Football & Grass Roots

Great write up on grass roots football

JM SOCCER SCHOOL

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When you discuss anything in the football world never be under the elusion that your opinion will be embraced at the first opportunity! football is full of wide varying opinions that we all feel quite strongly about. Who is a tremendously talented player to you maybe a player that is not preferred by others, and the fact that these other people don’t see what you see does not mean that they are less “football educated than yourself!” this mistake seems to be everywhere at the moment. People that express there opinions to other’s that share a somewhat different stance seem to be berated for there ability to not share the same view! this brings me on to my first point. I believe that most football fanatics in England knows of some high profile English footballer either past or present that trailed for a number of clubs and were unsuccessful in there attempt!? Paul…

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Studio Shooting

Well another Satuday was spent at an excellent local Studio – PTP Studio here in Ipswich. The host Mark took a team of 6 through various lighting techniques, modelling poses and various tricks and tips of the trade.

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I was fortunate enough to have done some “balloon pop” shots before and it was great to see the rest of the group trying to work out exactly how they thought this type of shot was achieved!! We had a good mixed group of beginners through to fairly experienced DSLR users and Pro’s and it was testament to Mark’s pacing and tutelage that the group was always kept interested and keen to learn / shoot!!

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Many thanks to the model Sarah who worked with various props, costumes and poses and was put through her paces throughout the course of the day but always with a smile on her face!!

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Looking forward to my next session with Mark at PTP and continuing to learn and develop my technique and experience.

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Cancer Campaign in Suffolk / Orwell Walk 2013

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Well it may have been a few months ago now but we finally got together to present a cheque to Yalsi Amos from Cancer Campaign in Suffolk for just over £2015. The money raised was presented by Jamie Monk of JM Personal Training and was from all of Jamies boot camp members, football team squad and some parents who teamed up and did the Orwell 25 Mile walk through the beautiful Suffolk countryside and coast back in June of this year.
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Thanks to Mandy Dennington for hosting at the Park View Care Home and to Yalsi Amos who accepted the cheque on behalf of Cancer Campaign in Suffolk.
A great evening was spent looking back at some of the pictures from what was a beautiful day walking through the Suffolk countryside and coast. Well done to all concerned and good to see everyone now recovered and walking normally again 🙂
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I personally hadn’t done the full walk for nigh on 20 years now (after regularly participating doing it in the boy scouts!)  and I was pretty pleased with myself with completing and managing to recover within about 3 days!!!
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So perhaps this is on the cards for next year again, but for the time being it was great to present the money over to Yalsi who was quite touched by the contribution and was genuinely really appreciative by everyones efforts in raising the money for such a great cause.
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Boys and their Toys….

Well the bank holiday weekend saw the annual NASC (national association of street clubs) hit Suffolk at the Trinity Park Venue. Running from Friday through to Monday, it was open to the public only on the Sunday and that’s when I headed over to take a look and see what was around!

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Well it was an excellent turn out, made even better on the Sunday by the fact the weather was great (Saturday had seen attrocious rain most of the day).

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I must say, I haven’t seen so many V8’s, V6’s, superchargers and Turbo Chargers for quite some time – and there must have been some serious money spent on some of these cars as they were all mainly in show condition

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A great day was had by all and I think overall, despite the weather on the Saturday, the event was a big success. Heres to the 40th anniversary next year……

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My Friend – the Nikon 70-200mm F2.8 and her companions

Portrait Photography

Lens lust!! Two words that get thrown around the photography world to describe the need for that “ultimate” lens or the latest version of your now slightly ageing lens. We’ve probably all been there – I know I certainly have, alongside camera lust and lighting lust (think I made those up!) but nowadays, amazingly I am happy and content with my little lens collection! I think when you are starting out in Photography (and we all started out at some point regardless of our experience nowadays) you strive to get your hands on anything you feel may help you get that better image, that sharper landscape or that narrower depth of field.

Portrait Photography

I now have in my collection – 4 Lenses.

1 x 50mm F1.8 Lens, 1 x 24-70mm F2.8 Lens, 1 x 70-200mm F2.8 Lens and 1 x 105mm F2.8 Macro lens.

Shooting a lot of people the main Lens I reach for is my trusty 70-200mm F2.8.

I love this lens and its quality and it’s ability to detach the subject from the background and isolate what ultimately you are shooting at. Yes it’s expensive and yes it maybe a luxury and at the end of the day a good lens (or camera for that matter) does not make a good photograph. But I know if I get my composition right and the subject matter is right – the 70-200 nails it almost everytime.

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If you get the opportunity to try one out – and it’s becoming easier nowadays to hire and rent kit – then I highly recommend it although it may start another bout of lens lust so be careful 😉

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Everyones a Pro Photographer nowadays…..

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…..Well not everyone perhaps but I think theres a lot of people out there who advertise as such and base that on having “pro” equipment and being told by friends and family their shots are great.

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Theres a lot of people, *and I include myself in this*, that have the luxury of a day to day job that pays them meaning they don’t have to be totally reliant on making an income from photography. I see some amazing photos from amatuers and professionals through to semi-pro’s and hobbyists, BUT…on the flip side and for the main I see very similiar photos knocked out time and time again – and so I’m challenging all of us that maybe have the luxury of not having to constantly earn a dollar / pound from our photography to try something different, learn a new technique, learn about the different light sources and the difference between diffuse light and polarised light and go back again and study your colour temperatures.

Things are a whole lot easier nowadays in the digital age and the ability to take a “short-cut” to get a decent shot can really help out nowadays with so many automated systems in the camera assisting you – However I don’t believe that all of the technology available to us means we have to be sloppy and rely on these “short-cuts” to make our shots time after time. So I ask myself – has my photography progressed over the last year or so and if not – then why not?

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I need to go back to basics again myself and study again why I love photography in the first place and if I can make a difference in this world to the millions upon millions of photographers out there…………….I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing though. So where are you heading?

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Making the most

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It’s still been beautiful here in the UK and with lots of Sun and silly temperatures it’s been really nice to just do some wandering around and enjoy the local sights of Suffolk camera in hand (the D800 mainly for when I only to take out the one camera).

 

Lots of time has been spent around the town of Bury St Edmunds – for a couple of reasons, 1. to photograph a wedding which went really well and despite the hot, hot weather both bride and groom and guests were on great form and it was a pleasure to do…….

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……and 2.. to check out the local national trust site – Ickworth House. Despite being just 30 minutes down the road from me it’s a place I’ve never visited before but had often heard of it and had always planned to visit.

Sports PhotograhphyWell certainly the weather did help but Ickworth was a beautiful place and most of the day was spent just walking and enjoying the stunning grounds and gardens.

If you are in the Suffolk area – check out Ickworth House, it’s well worth a visit and I know I’ll definately be heading back there very soon to get some more shots.

My longer term goal is to get a wedding photography gig there as I came away with so many thoughts and creative ideas that I may have to head back there for a model shoot anyway to get some more shots added to the portfolio – they will pay themselves I’m sure of it and why not take advantage of something so stunning on your own doorstep?!!

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Exiled but still wandering…..

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So these last few weeks have seen me take on my biggest challenge for ages now – namely the Orwell 25 Mile walk!! Despite often doing this walk as a youngster with the scouts it must be nearly 20 years now since my last attempt and admittedly I hadn’t done much long distance training but decided on the best method which was I’d pull out the stops no matter what since it was for the excellent good cause of Cancer Campaign in Suffolk and didn’t want to let anyone down.

This was in partnership with JM Personal Training Boot Camps and also with the newly named Ipswich Wanderers youth team so an excellent group of around 30 of us set off at 07:30 from Ipswich to head on towards Felixstowe on the Suffolk Coast, loop back and walk back to Ipswich.

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We couldn’t have asked for a better day weather wise, although 25 miles in Hot Weather seems an awfully long way when the sun is beating down on you and won’t relent! Still a more perfect day and better walk you couldn’t have asked for and a big pat on the back to everyone who achieved the 25 Miles and also to those that set personal bests and goals that day – you did yourselves all very proud. My legs did take a few days to recover, but recover they did and I’m back and fighting fit (ish!!) again 🙂

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With the football season now entering it’s close season with friendlys being arranged and players moving around  between teams theres been some major shifts for what was the Ipswich Exiles Under 14 team. Due to their amazing success under the management of Jamie Monk they have now entered the Junior Alliance League and will face up against opponents such as Southend, Colchester, Cambridge etc. Moving over to the alliance has also meant a change of direction for the team and they join the Ipswich Wanderers club as the Wanderers youth team.

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First friendly for the boys, a trip to St Neots in Cambridgeshire to play at the brilliant Rowley Park Stadium which is a modern, 3,500 capacity stadium and a real step up for the boys in terms of playing arenas. Again a beautiful day was upon us and a great tightly contested match ensued which saw St Neots take the lead only for Wanderers to come back and equalise with a great finish by Kyle Ferguson. A full match report can be seen here at Jamies Blog;

http://jlmsportstraining.wordpress.com/2013/07/14/match-report-st-neots-v-ipswich-wanderers/

Football Photos

I had a chance to use my new Nikon TC-1.7 teleconvertor which was attached to my D3 and my 70-200 as I often need a little extra reach at these football matches to isolate the action a bit better. Although I do lose 1.5 stops of light meaning the normal 70-200 F2.8 now starts at F4.8, the extra gain and given the fact the lighting was soo bright anyway meant I didn’t need to compromise on ISO speed to ensure I got a fast shutter speed. In fact most photos were taken at around 1/640 sec, ISO 400, F5.6.

I was pleased overall with this first test and results and I shot RAW as I always tend too and converted to JPG in Capture NX2 with good results. With this teleconvertor in place my lens changes to a approx 120-340mm lens and that extra reach is going to come in handy this season whilst following the Wanderers!

Football Photos

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Magazines, Footballers and Photography

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This has been a real interesting June!

Firstly I really wanted to thank the John Lewis team in Ipswich for giving me the opportunity to do some photography recently for an article due to go into Julys edition of Norfolk and Suffolk life magazine.

I had a great half day with the team in Ipswich who couldn’t have been more helpful or more friendly if they tried!! Also a thanks to all the customers who participated and were willing to have their shots taken whilst out on a quiet shopping trip! A great source of interest from the day was that one of the customers we bumped into was ex-Ipswich Town, Rangers and England International Terry Butcher.  Still an immensly popular figure around Ipswich and a great guy to boot 🙂

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Then to make it an brace of England Internationals bumped into in a month, Mr Tony Adams was in my carriage travelling from Paddington to Swindon – I had to have a word and just say hello 🙂 I’m waiting for the hat trick now – being a Forest fan bumping into Stuart Pearce would be lovely!

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I also found out I had a little article also published in “The Buteman” in Scotland following some photos I’d sent them in in May and whilst all of that was going on I had the amazing news that I’m gonna be a daddy in December!! June 2013 is a month I won’t forget in a hurry 🙂

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Out with the old….!

Well a quick sort through of hard drive and images was called for today – I’ve got lots of disk capacity left on my editing PC and masses on my USB HDD’s but that doesn’t mean you should get lazy and not have a tidy up.

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The interesting thing was I found a few images that I had put “aside” (read forgot) to work on at a later date and so thought – ah ha – wanted to convert these to black and white and do some cloning out. The only problem now being…..

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……I have a stack more images – the colour originals and the black and white conversions!!!

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I need a new filing system 🙂

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Learning all the time

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So we recently shot a very informal wedding in London for a new customer and despite not having to stage or pose many shots it was still a hard days work!! I love the dynamics of wedding photography, the problem solving, the anticipation, the “trying to keep one step ahead of everyone so you can get a decent shot”, last of all I love working with new clients and covering their day for them.

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When shooting weddings I tend to switch between aperture priority mode and full manual mode and do use auto-ISO up to a maximum of ISO800. This I find helps me not to worry too much about camera settings and just trust my Nikons and concentrate on the shots. I generally leave my 24-70 on the D800 as I use this for larger group shots and some wide shots and find the extra resolution helps and stick the lovely 70-200 on the D3 . Over time I’ve also found that I tend to set my exposure compensation to +0.7 as I convert a lot of shots to black and white and find that over exposing gives them a nice ethereal look – that’s just my preference of course and is also dependent on the light at the time.

My little 50mm F1.8 Lens also comes in very handy when light levels are low and I’ll stick this on the D800 also just so I have some better cropping potential if needs be. I know a lot of people moan about cropping and trying to get the shot right by moving around but sometimes in some venues it’s not always possible and I’d rather get the crop shot, than not at all (if that makes sense!)

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I recently finished reading for about the third time the excellent book – Making a life and living in Photography by David DuChemin and I can’t recommend this enough to anyone who wants to know a little bit more about the business side of Photography and some of the ups and downs as well as good sound common sense advice.

I’m loving the adventure so far, I have far, far to go though and so much more to learn but the best experience of all is getting out there with your camera and shoot, shoot, shoot!

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Thank you to Lucy and Stuart and their friends and family who were brilliant to work with on the day and we wish them all the very best for the future.

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The Beauty of the Isle of Bute

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6 years ago my parents moved to a small island off the west coast of Scotland. Over those 6 years I’ve had an amazing time exploring this small, peacefull, beautiful Island and although the Island doesn’t have all of the modern comforts we all get used too and take for granted, what it does have is natural beauty and the capacity to completey transport you away from the day to day hustle and bustle of modern life. Most of the time on the Island it’s you and nature and little else around.

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I for one love the place and it’s one of my favourite places to visit and is highly recommended if you ever find yourself on the west coast of scotland – look out for the little but gorgeous Isle of Bute.

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With a population little over 7,000 People, although it’s small it’s certainly not dead and theres plenty of bars and resturants to explore also if you want to socialise with the locals rather than with the scenary.

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With stunning sunrises and sunsets, golden sands, crystal clear waters it’s sometimes difficult to believe you are in Scotland. I loved my latest visit, as did my girlfriend and as did my D800 🙂

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One good, good tip for anyone starting up shooting landscapes and you will have read and probably been told this a thousand times but……….get a good polarising filter for your lens and it will reward you with vibrant and colorful images, I can’t recommend enough a decent polariser on the front of your choice of lens.

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Without going into the technical details of what a polariser does, attach one to your lens to really saturate naturally the colours of your surroundings, fight off haze and glare from the sun and bite through the water to show it as clear as it can be. It’s a must have if you are photographing this beautiful world.

I hope you enjoy some of Scotland as much as I did.

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Local Beauty

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Well with the Sun being out rather lovely the last week or so it was time to revisit a few local areas and see what difference some beautiful natural lighting can make to some familiar places, namely Alton Water, Felixstowe and Dedham all around the Suffolk + Essex area.

And what a lovely part of the country the east is on such nice days! Makes you appreciate your surroundings that little bit more and realise you are quite lucky to live so close to the coast.

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First stop felixstowe and yes there were some swimmers in the sea!! Far too cold for me still to even dare try a paddle but some brave souls are out there!!

Next up Alton Water and a lovely warm evening showed off some of natures colours

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Then back to the orwell country park and a different view of the bridge I cross almost every day in my car – the orwell bridge and A14 road.

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And as is always the case in the UK, a week of lovely weather is followed by cloud, rain and a cooling of the temperature!!

Weddings, Models and Cup Finals

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Ah the life of a would be photographer! I really, really wanted to get weekly updates on my blog and so far have failed miserably. I actually had a photography business course a few weeks ago and the presenter there suggested “out-sourcing” my blog using odesk and then probably some person in Russia who’d do the blogging on my behalf if I just suggested a few key words. I did kind of think that was a bit of a cop-out and quite impersonal but I suppose if you are busy doing photography and working and chasing clients then getting stuck behind a desk or at a computer doing admin tasks may mean potentially losing money?

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So my aim is to go  back to weekly blogs and I suppose just keep them shorter and of course sweeter 🙂

I had a chance to put the D800 through it’s paces recently with a model shoot, wedding and a Football Cup Final and so far, so impressed. The image quality is outstanding and for sports shooting, although it’s not the fastest, the ability to crop into an image and retain great detail is a really useful feature to call upon. I shot the cup final on my 70-200mm so although the reach was fairly good I still wanted that little jump further into the frame from time to time and being able to swap to a DX crop mode on the D800 giving that little extra and still pulling a 21MP image out of it is brill!

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I did switch back to the D3 for my next game as I needed extra speed and that’s an area where I’ll always reach for my D3 over the D800 but to have the luxury of both speed and pixels now is a nice position to be in 🙂

Ipswich Exiles Football Photographs

Had a great wedding shoot also recently in Waltham Abbey in Essex and again the D3 and D800 did not let us down – and that’s exactly what you need on a day when timing and schedules are very important. Next up is a wedding shoot in London featuring a bus tour through the city and a meal at Tower Bridge – Can’t wait to shoot that and share the results with the happy couple.

Toni Taylor and Joseph Horner Wedding, Waltham Abbey, Essex Toni Taylor and Joseph Horner Wedding, Waltham Abbey, Essex

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