Just finished work on a great shoot at Seasoned Cookery School. Seasoned is one of the UK’s leading cookery schools, specialising in inspirational courses taught by friendly, passionate chefs.
My brief for the day was just to hang out and capture the feel of one of their excellent cookery courses.
This might sound simple, but trying to photograph in a room containing 14 chefs, 3 kitchen assistants, lots of hot pans and sharp knifes, while trying not to get in the way, or be stabbed, burned or scalded, meant a lot of quick foot work and always checking what was going on around me.
Most people have a competitive streak and we all like praise and adoration, and who doesn’t love a bargain, so when we see “Free photo competition” splashed across a web site how can we resist.
But we all known nothing comes for free, so where is the catch in these seemingly harmless competitions. Well it will come as no surprise that it is normally buried in the small print, and by buried I do mean buried, this example was right at the bottom of 4 pages of terms and conditions.
So what is the catch, in most of these competitions the catch is you lose all the rights to your photo, just check out these T’s and C’s from one I’ve just found.
What do you do when your short of time and struggling to hit dead lines, easy, you set your self a project to photograph 100 Boarder Collies in a year. Now I know I won’t hit the magic 100, but it still gives me the excuse to stop strangers and ask to photograph their dog.
Why this breed of dog, if you are asking this you are either a Collie owner and know how hard they are to capture on film, or you are not a Collie owner and just don’t appreciate how wonderful this breed is.
Leek over the past few years has undergone a renascence and the outward signs are there for all to see, lots of new shops and very few empty ones. There are other signs of the success of Leek, lots of events and groups that are thriving and growing bigger each year, and the attention that Leek is attracting from outside the town, from major hotels to national awards, every thing points to a town on the up. So why do I say it’s singing the blues.
Well this thought process started last night while I was photographing an international blues legend playing a free gig in a town centre pub.
Leek is full of great buildings, it’s also full of cars, so when I saw The Roebuck without anything blocking the view I just had to grab a picture. When it came to working on the picture I was struck by the fact that this great building was still a bit cluttered up with a lamp post and street sign.
With the wonder of photoshop and years of experiance, I set about cleaning up the view, first to go was the lamp post and street sign. Then I saw the TV aerial which then just had to go. The little square vent on the right was easily dealt with leaving the building looking much better, job done. But it still looked a bit dull, so a quick touch up on the paint work, brightening the white bits, removing some of the marks and darkening the black wood work. There was a temptation to remove more, like the A boards and signs, but they are part of the pub and add to the picture.
At this time of year that is a question that runs through my mind a lot, why go professional.
January is a strange month for me, it follows the busiest period for my business, 4 months work in 6 weeks, it’s the anniversary of me going pro, it’s the time of the year you plan forward and review what has been, it’s tax return time and it is normally the quietest month work wise. All in all a time to reflect on life and the choices you have made.
This January finds me tired, stressed, thinking too much and with time on my hands, not the best combination. So back to the big question, why go pro. The case for not going pro is stronger so lets start with that.
It was a happy accident, not a term often used with the word Ferrari, we were in discussion with a client for another job when he asked if we photographed events. Having spent most of the year photographing events for a number of different organisation our positive answer lead to an offer to photograph an event he had organised for some of his customers.
Well I’ve finally had time to sit down and finish the pictures from Saturday night and Sunday, I just need to post them all on Facebook and my work is done.
I loved taking the pictures, going to the gigs, meeting some of the artists and enjoying the atmosphere in the venues, but I was not so keen on having to leave so many gigs 1/2 way through so I could catch more bands and having to drive meant spending more time sober in pubs than I have since coming of age.
All the shoots were technically challenging and all for different reasons, too dark, too crowded, bands that won’t stand still and lead singers that don’t open their eyes. Given all that I’m more than happy with the results and I think the whole set of photos gives a real insight in to the feel of the festival and what it was like to be there.