One good thing about being snowed-in (probably the only thing, in fact) is that I have a little time to get around to editing or re-editing some images that have been languishing in my hard drive. I’ve been meaning to find an opportunity to spend on these particular images for a few months now. I’d decided I didn’t want to “squeeze them in” between other jobs, No, these deserved my full attention.
Leanne James, perhaps the UK’s fastest-rising star on the “alternative” modelling scene, was the subject of one of our very first Model Days here at Fotofilia in the Autumn. Now, the only problem with organising model days (or any shoot come to that) is that I often don’t get the chance to shoot any images myself. However, on this occasion, I managed to spend about 20-30 minutes with Leanne in between other booked sessions. One outfit, one background, and one lighting set-up. Luckily, with models of Leanne’s calibre, not a moment, not a shot, is wasted. It might have taken a while but I’m rather happy with the pictures I’ve just edited. Some things simply aren’t worth rushing.
Leanne’s various pages – http://www.modelmayhem.com/2321212
If, like myself and most of the rest of the country, you were watching Jools Holland’s Hootenanny show over New Year, you will probably have seen Pete Williams, founder member and co-frontman of Dexys, performing some of their best known songs.
Well, a couple of months ago, just before Dexys headed off for a short Australian tour, I had the opportunity to photograph Pete at Fotofilia and another location nearby. This came about mainly because I photographed Pete’s cousin Sean’s band a couple of months earlier (remember the Rudie & The Revolvers shoot?) and Sean was kind enough to recommend me.
Having spoken to Pete and worked out his main influences (1930s/1940s with a bit of classic rock and roll thrown in) I decided to use a location in a crumbling victorian ex-industrial building near the studio. Think “Dragons Den on a budget”. The upper floors had the benefit of lots of natural light (too much for some shots) and lots of lovely old features, not least a goods lift with the scissor-type mesh door.
Afterwards we returned to the studio and I used some vintage “filmic” lighting to try to recreate Pete’s favoured look and was rewarded with some of the day’s better images.
I gave Pete the images a short time later and he was (thankfully) very complimentary and has used a few of the images on his facebook page and on flyers. The images you see here are slightly reworked (mixture of Lightroom and Snapseed) versions of the ones given to Pete. So these are my own edit that you won’t find anywhere else.
As a post-script to this, I went to see Pete Williams and his band play in Birmingham in December and it was excellent! I took photographer and editor of Square Magazine, Christophe Dillinger along too and he was also impressed. I recommend you check him out when he’s next appearing in your area.
http://www.petewilliamsmusic.com/home.html – Pete Williams’ website – check it out.
http://www.squaremag.org/ – just in case you didn’t know already.
Happy New Year!
I’ve had my review of 2012 so let’s look forward to 2013. Here, in a very small nutshell, is what Fotofilia has in mind for the next twelve months…
- Studio 2. Yes, as soon as the current exhibition comes down we’ll be working on converting the main gallery room into a second studio space. No background rolls this time though, just some papered walls and nice floor coverings with a 60’s/70’s area, a prettily feminine boudoir area, and a grafitti backdrop all permanently set up. The idea is obviously that this will provide a bit more variety for our clients whilst easing the studio hire “bottleneck” periods.
- A new venture: For the past couple of months I’ve been planning and setting up a website for a new branch of the business. I’ll say no more for now but it involves taking what is essentially a West Midlands-based business out to the wider world.
- Consolidation: More – and a wider range of – courses and workshops including the “Masterclass” range of courses led by specialist tutors. All this, as well as developing all other aspects of the business.
- Multimedia: We were (and continue to be) at the forefront of photographic technological advances, being the first to offer “iphoneography” courses, running the Birmingham Instagram Group etc. We will be continuing this by running a new multimedia aspect to the business starting with a major multimedia competition for our CLUB and f2 members and hopefully growing into a regular public event.
- And for me personally… It looks as though there is an exhibition in the offing for me in Greece where I will be exhibiting some of a recent series of iphone composite images. I also intend to carry on various other ongoing photographic projects including the documentation of Priory Park Amateur Boxing Club that featured in last year’s “Pride of the Black Country” exhibition.
That’s all for now but let’s make 2013 a good ‘un.
A couple of months ago, Fotofilia hosted a one day wedding photography workshop which was put together and delivered by Paul Spiers of the Successful Photographers Club in aid of the Marie Curie charity in memory of his late mother. The workshop was a sell-out and raised over £1000 for the charity, with delegates travelling from as far away as Ireland.
Well, Paul is back this Friday (4th January) with another inspirational workshop aimed at wedding photographers, and especially those who’d rather like a few more bookings, and better returns from those bookings. The workshop is priced at a very modest £95 which includes lunch. Here’s Paul’s description of the course…
Are Your Wedding Bookings Down on Previous Years?
There are a number of possible reasons for this, the recession, less people getting married, less people who are getting married hiring a photographer, and more people calling themselves a wedding photographer are reasons many photographers give. And whilst those reasons might seem to be true, in reality they are just excuses.
A wedding photographer is no different to any other business, in that the amount of business you do will be relative to the amount of “successful” marketing that you do. Do mainly unsuccessful marketing and you’ll feel like you’re doing your bit to attract new clients, but in reality you’re not.
Online forums can be a wealth of great information but they can also be a death sentence for your marketing, because just about every forum will have a post where a photographer has tried a marketing tactic that has not worked for them, and a couple of other people chime in and say they experienced the same results. This will put many people off trying the same tactic but is that the right course of action? What should you do? Are you hanging your hopes of business success on an online forum?
On January 4th 2013 I’m putting the record straight!
I’m hosting a marketing seminar exclusively for wedding photography where you will learn:
7 Unique , low cost ways to attract more clients
Why 95% of all marketing fails
Why your website may be stopping brides from contacting you
1 Simple trick that could triple your enquiry rate overnight
Why some enquirers never respond to your replies and how you can change that in less than 2 minutes
7 Simple tricks to get more of your website visitors to contact you
The bare bones of SEO, it’s not as hard as you might think
How to incorporate social media into your marketing mix
7 ways to drive brides to your website – and 5 of them are free
With January being one of the busiest months of the year for wedding enquiries, this seminar has been time so that you can start using what you’ve learned as soon as you get back to base. This is a full day seminar starting at 10:30 am, going through till 4:00 pm with a break for lunch. The venue is Fotofilia Studio and Gallery in Birmingham, just outside the city centre.
With tickets priced at only £95, just one extra wedding booking will more than cover the investment in your education.”
There are only a couple of spaces left so please contact Paul direct via http://www.photographymarketing.co.uk/marketing-wedding-photography/