My ramblings on photography, business and other things...
An Urban Twist
02nd August 2016 - 0 comments

Meet Abby. She was kind enough to model for me in my most recent Senior Portrait session, which happened to take place around the Gorleston Pier. This area was chosen as I hoped to capture some more urban shots to add to my portfolio. I know beaches, woodlands and open fields are very pretty, but it's not for everyone, and some different backdrops look good from time to time….of course with being right next to the wonderful sand of Gorleston beach, it would have been criminal not to take one or pics there too!

As usual, perfect conditions eluded us on this evening…cloudy, no problem, but breezy…it's an issue, of sorts, especially when your model has long hair! Of course there are ways around it, but it does limit things like which way the subject stand (before getting a face full of hair for example). We worked around this as best we could, we are British after all, and if I had to wait for perfect conditions in the is country, I'd never really get to photograph outdoors at all!

With that in mind, we started around the grizzled looking shelters which grace the pier. The idea being the very pretty Abby standing out against the not so picturesque backdrop in the photos….

Abby began huddled up out of the breeze, while we went through the first few ice-breaking shots, before moving to the shelters themselves, gradually moving from the pier towards the beach nearby.

What I love about this area is the number of backdrops within a very small distance of each other; the aforementioned shelters, and their railings, painted containers, large rendered walls, the beach itself and the iconic bandstand in the Pier Gardens, and they were just the ones we used. Quite honestly I could photograph there for hours without running out of ideas, but both Abby and her mum may have had something to say about that!

Senior portrait sessions are aimed at recent school or college leavers, to document that particular milestone in their lives. As with all portrait photography, it makes a fantastic keepsake to look back on (particularly for the parents). So if you're interested in having a Senior session, (or indeed, any other Portrait session), please contact me for details via the Contact Page.

Want to See More?
Join the MJPP VIPs to see more posts like this, and receive the latest portrait collection brochure, which is full of information, FAQs and collection and session details….
A Lady That Lifts
15th June 2016 - 0 comments

I've photographed the lovely Sue King before in a more traditional shoot, so when she contacted me to capture some images of her training in readiness for a bodybuilding competition, I was intrigued, and had to say yes.

The competition was the Anglian Bodybuilding Championships held at the Seashore Holiday Park in Great Yarmouth on 5th June, but the shoot was timed to be two weeks before, when she would look her best in training.

So one sunny Sunday morning, I entered BWell Gym on Bessemer Way to photograph Sue in action. As she worked out, I snapped away, stopping occasionally to talk about what she was doing in training and the diet she was following to get into such fantastic shape. She mentioned how supportive her trainer, Mark Spinks had been throughout the whole process. Sue was to be competing in the 'Miss Toned Figure' class, but was only entering for experience, and didn't expect to do too well. As it turned out, she surpassed all her expectations by finishing second in her class, a fantastic achievement.

I've always found environmental portraits fascinating, these are usually of people working, but in this case training. The attraction for me was the 'something different' to shoot, and I was so glad I accepted Sue's request. It was a fascinating hour spent with her, and I left with an SD card of some great gym shots, and a huge admiration for the dedication Sue has shown in her preparation for this event.

Sue is trained by Mark Spinks of Mark Spinks Fitness, his Facebook Page can be found here.

If you would like me to capture you in a similar way, please contact me here.

Want to See More?
Join the MJPP VIPs to see more posts like this, and receive the latest portrait collection brochure, which is full of information, FAQs and collection and session details….
Is this THE perfect wedding present?
09th June 2016 - 0 comments
How could any groom say it isn't?
Beautiful photos of his beautiful wife-to-be....

The second most common reason many ladies have a Boudoir photo session (after a treat for themselves) is as a gift for their partner or spouse. Increasingly, this has become a wedding gift for their husband- to-be on their big day.
This shoot was booked exactly for that reason, and I'm betting good money, the groom will love these photos immensely.

What I love is to try some different shots when the opportunity arises. Working at clients' houses means I have to work with whatever backdrop is available. Personally, I think this adds a sense of uniqueness to every shoot I do. The huge mirrored dressing table in this location allowed me to capture these stunning shots.

My lovely client was fantastic all the way through the shoot, initially nervous, as most ladies are, she soon got into the swing of things. I love watching the transformation, as the nerves subside and the confidence begins to grow.

There is a lot of secrecy involved in organising photo sessions as gifts, my discretion is assure of course, but having to hold back from sharing such fantastic shots borders on painful at times!! Still it's worth being patient, after all, don't good things come to those who wait?

How about you...?
It's never lost on me how much courage it takes for women to have a Boudoir session, and I admire anyone that goes through with booking a shoot. Ladies frequently have concerns about how they look, but the confidence they gain once the shoot is over is very apparent. If you would like to boost your confidence, or get some information about an Eterno Boudoir session as a gift for your husband-to-be, your partner, or just for yourself, then please get in touch via The Eterno Boudoir Web Page
10 Things Your Photographer Wished You Knew
04th May 2016 - 0 comments
In: Blog
This isn’t a moan, or a whine, a cry for help, it's not even a rant (I typed this is a calm and relaxed manner!)…’s just a list of common misconceptions I’ve picked up on in the years I've been interacting with prospective clients, clients and other photographers. We're all here for you, and to make you look great, but there are some common assumptions about photography and photographers doing the rounds....
So let’s clear the air, read on to discover (in no particular order) the ten things many photographers wish you knew…

1. We Are Always Working
There is a wide spectrum of photography genres, but the ones you are most likely to come into contact with such as; wedding, family, newborn, boudoir etc, work mostly weekends, afternoons and evenings to accommodate their clients’ needs. This schedule, in most cases, this is the polar opposite of their family and friends, meaning they are giving up precious and valuable time of their own to capture and record your memories.

2. We Are Not Millionaires…
I’ve heard this a few times at portrait sessions before…“£65 an hour? That’s a great hourly rate”….if only it were! Photographers’ pricing is a much talked about subject, especially how high it is. Photographers in general are creative types, and aren’t usually motivated by money, but without it their businesses would not survive. There is much more to a portrait session than simply taking the photographs. There’s the preparation, communicating with, and visiting the client, editing, ordering, and delivering. The list is quite long. In fact most client’s session will take around 10-15 hours from start to finish. Add to this the cost of running the business and, buying equipment, it’s certainly not the get-rich-quick goldmine that it may appear to be. So next time you shake your head at what you might see as an inflated price tag, have a think about how much work goes on behind the scenes.

3. Give Credit Where Credit is Due.
We have feelings too. We treat all our work with special care and attention and are deeply connected to what we produce. What hurts most is seeing our images on social media with the logo cropped out and no credit given. Aside from the fact that the legal obligations of copyright have been ignored, it shows little respect or of the photographer’s work. We know you and your family look great in the shots, but it is the vision and skill of the photographer that helped you look that way, surely we should get a little thanks for that?

4. Photoshop Is Not A Magic Wand
There is an expectation from non-photographers that Photoshop will cure and fix all problems. A bad image is a bad image, no matter how much photo-shopping is applied to it. We get the shot right in camera, and use PS to enhance it and make you look your absolute best. Be in control of how you look too. If you don’t like the colour of your jumper or the logo on it, wear something else. Don’t expect your photographer to fix all your dislikes. We like to spend time enhancing, not correcting.

5. A Camera Takes a Picture, Not Makes It
Please don’t tell your photographer that the reason the images are so good is down the camera….Yes the cameras are expensive, but it’s the photographer that makes the picture. Everything is done with purpose and for a reason; the location, the lighting, the pose, the angles and even the lens used. So yes, the camera may be great, but it can’t work on its own.

6. You’ve selected your Photographer for A Reason – Trust Them
Hopefully you would have looked through the photographer’s portfolio before booking them, so you’d have seen their particular style. If you don’t see what you want in their gallery, the chances are it’s not the kind of thing they do. Trust them to produce the style of images that you have seen in their gallery. Respect their creativity, don’t expect them to copy images you’ve seen elsewhere online.

7. We Won’t Judge You (We Think You’re Beautiful)
After all you are all unique. Our job is to bring out you and your personality in the photographs. Who cares if you are seven pounds from your goal weight, or you think you don’t look perfect. Your family will love and cherish the images we produce

8. Pre-Christmas is Our Hell
October, November and December are generally the busiest months for a portrait photographer. The combination of Autumn shoots and Christmas gift orders makes it ridiculous at times, so be prepared early. If you want a photo-shoot so you can give the resulting photos as Christmas Gifts, organise your session for summer (or early autumn at the very latest). It will avoid the disappointment of not getting that prized session and pictures in time for the big day.

9. Your Children Aren’t Naughty…
….they’re just being children, and they’re all the same. Children make the sessions the fun and unique, we will embrace this, work with it and enjoy the fact it’s happening. So please don’t stress about it, relax and enjoy the ride!

10. I Get Nervous Before Every Shoot and Image Reveal
So it’s not just you. It is a good thing (for me anyway!) it keeps me on point and performing at my best.
Like all creatives, we bare our souls a little when we produce our work, and all in our own styles. All we ask is that you try to understand what, why and how we do what we do. After all, we take photographs because we love to create, and we love to work with people....simple really.

What's New In 2016
24th January 2016 - 0 comments
In: Blog

I've been doing a bit of thinking over recent months, in particular I've been considering ways to improve on what I already offer my clients, whilst staying true to my take on portrait photography, and what it stands for. Customer feedback tells me the personal service I offer is just one of the many aspects that set me apart from others. So it is natural that the primary enhancement is to further my already recognised personal involvement with clients, after all they are why I do what I do. Here are the highlights of the enhancements you can expect in 2016;

In-Person Ordering

Gone (as standard) are the online web galleries, in will come a face-to-face ordering session. This shouldn't be seen as a hard selling meeting, far from it. Those that have used me before will know I am only interested in providing exactly what my clients need. What sizes, where to display, canvas or print, and the most economical way to get what you ordering will solve all these issues in one meeting.

Photo-session/Product Collections

For the first time I am offering these for my location portrait products. What are they? Put simply they're photo sessions coupled with reduced price print/products all wrapped up as a collection. What makes up these collections? The popular products clients have being buying from me as part of their a la carte choices over the past few years. The big value item included in some of the collections are the proof boxes….

Proof Boxes

This is the high value item included in many of my collections in 2016. All twenty-five proof images delivered as 6x4 prints in a presentation box at the time of your ordering session. The printed images are not stamped or marked in any way, and are usable as you see fit.

Custom Mobile Web App

For the digi-negative lovers, you can now have your images digitally with you on your mobile devices at all times (offline included), always ready to view and share. These will be available with selected collections, but are an essential, modern must have for online photo lovers. You can view and download my sample albums below, just open the links on your mobile device:

Location Portraits Sample App

Eterno Boudoir Sample App

Ways to get involved...

I appreciate those that follow me online, and think that loyal followers should be made to feel appreciated.

Facebook Groups
One way that I am including people that value what I do is by their inclusion in my Facebook Groups. I have one for my regular Location Portrait Lovers and one for my Eterno Boudoir following. If you've read this far into this article, then I would suggest either (or both) of these groups are for you. They are closed groups, so only members will see posts, meaning I can offer specials and rewards exclusively!

Email VIP Lists
If Facebook is not for you, don't worry you won't miss out. I have VIP email lists that you can sign up to see all the relevant content and news packaged up in a monthly email.
Signing up couldn't be easier just choose your preferred genre below (both is good too!) and follow the instructions as they appear, and you will be the first to receive news, views and specials.

Martin J Patterson Photography Sign-Up

Eterno Boudoir Sign-Up

Payment Plans & Guarantees

You can have your cake and eat it. Portrait sessions are an experience worth investing in, and are often a special occasion for my clients. To help more people have their special treat, I'm offering interest free payment plans. No catches, just a simple spreading of costs leading up to your photo-session. No worries.

Money Back Guarantee

This isn't new, but I though I'd highlight this fact anyway. You may be a feeling that investing in a photo experience comes with some risk. I get that. I am confident that you will love your images, however, if for some reason you don't love them like you feel you should, I offer a 100% money back guarantee, making your investment with me risk free.

If you like what you see here, get in touch to organise a chat to start your Location Portrait or Eterno Boudoir experience now.....

But I'm Not Photogenic!!
09th January 2016 - 0 comments

I work with fantastic looking people who trust me to take their photos, yet I hear far too often that "You'll have you work cut-out…I'm not photogenic at all." So is being photogenic actually a thing?
Read More
Size Does Not Define Your Beauty
05th January 2016 - 0 comments

Amongst the biggest reasons for not having a boudoir shoot, is the question of body confidence, or, more precisely, the lack of it, and body weight. It is a very sensitive issue. I get that. Totally. It's a difficult subject for a prospective client to broach when talking Boudoir, and is often seen as a reason to delay, or worse, not have the boudoir session they actually really want. But it shouldn't be this way. And here's why...
Read More
Eterno Sign-up
04th January 2016 - 0 comments
We have new collections and time only shoots, amongst a whole host of other changes happening to our Eterno Boudoir Photography this year. As you know, we like to give you some offers when starting anything new.....sign-up to our Eterno Boudoir list now and get some discount and free addition to your collection or shoot too!

Boudoir....More than a photo shoot
03rd January 2016 - 0 comments

I found a testimonial from a boudoir client. It really hit home to me how a Boudoir shoot is much more than a means to get some beautiful images. It's almost a form of therapy. I say 'almost', that's not really true. It is a form of therapy.
Read More
Eterno Boudoir - 2015 in Pictures
01st January 2016 - 0 comments
As I eluded to in my location portrait review 2015 In Pictures, 2016 is going to be a big year for the company, with a lot of changes coming for both the family and Boudoir photography areas of the business. For now I'd like to have a brief look back at 2015, which for the Eterno Boudoir sessions, has been fantastic. For the first time I shot slightly more Boudoir sessions than location portraits, reinforcing the popularity of this genre. I started a closed Facebook Eterno Boudoir Community Group especially for past, present and prospective clients to share their experiences and educate women on what Boudoir is all about. It's all been very positive indeed!
So, onto the pictures….I have included only images I have client permission to share with you all. There are a host of shots and shoots that, as much as I'd like to, I can't show. Our client's wishes will be respected at all times!! In no particular order, I have eleven of my favourite images to share. I'd like to say a huge thank you to the ladies here for allowing me to post their photos, with out this it wouldn't be much of a review!!
If you are interested in a Boudoir shoot, contact me through the Eterno Boudoir Page

2015 In Pictures
01st January 2016 - 0 comments
In: Blog
I'm very much looking forward to 2016. There are some exciting plans in the pipeline which will (hopefully) come to fruition over the next twelve months. I will reveal more of later in January, but for now I'd like to reflect on 2015 and show a few of my favourite images from the year.
It was a frustrating year if I'm honest. The amount of location portrait work I could take on was stunted by both a personal commitment that turned out to take up more time than anticipated, and the cold Spring, and erratic Summer weather which was a constant thorn in my side. Strong winds and frequent rain meant a record number of re-scheduled shoots, but we got there in the end, delivering what was asked by my clientele. A number of personal projects were canned so I could fit in regular work. However, it didn't mean I wasn't busy. For the first time I shot as many Boudoir sessions than location portraits, showing how popular this genre is now becoming. I will reveal my favourite Eterno Boudoir images in another post, leaving the portrait images for this one. Talking of which, before I ramble on too much, let's take a look at some of my favourite shots (in no particular order) from 2015. I hope you like them as much as I do!

Merry Christmas!!
23rd December 2015 - 0 comments
In: Blog

That's it for another busy year, but before I draw things to a close for 2015, I'd like to wish all my customers, friends and online followers the merriest of Christmases and a very happy, healthy 2016.
Thank you all for your support and custom, it's been a blast once again! Look out for the annual review item coming soon on this site and our social media platforms. I will talk a bit more about how 2015 went for us, and, of course, be sharing a few of my favourite photos of the past twelve months. There will also be details of the big, exciting changes happening to MJPP Ltd in 2016 too.

We will be now closed for business until Monday 4th January, but will be monitoring our inboxes occasionally over the christmas period. Until then enjoy your festive break.

Best wishes,

Boudoir - Too nervous to enquire? (Updated)
05th November 2015 - 0 comments

I talk through what Boudoir Photography is, why I offer it and why I think women should have a shoot.
My opinion on 'why' is based on my experience of seeing how having a boudoir shoot does genuinely change how a woman sees herself. This is fine, but of course it doesn't help in the 'too nervous to enquire' stakes does it?
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Boudoir Photography - Why it's for you
01st November 2015 - 0 comments

It's one of the most recent 'must haves' for women, appearing on many bucket lists, on things to do before I reach (insert milestone birthday here) lists and is gaining popularity daily. It's everywhere, but is still a complete mystery to many. It's frequently misunderstood, but helps women in ways that you wouldn't believe.
So, what is this 'it'?
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Boudoir Packages - Updated Packages and Pricing
19th July 2015 - 0 comments
I'll be honest. Since starting the Boudoir packages I've struggled on where to pitch them. When I say 'pitch' I mean, pricing and products. People that know me understand that my driver behind the photography business I run is to produce fantastic images and photographs for my customers, money is my secondary concern, but being a business it's something I unfortunately have to consider. It's a balancing act between charging the right amount to suit my clients and their budget, and to suit me and all the work, time and overhead costs that go into producing the final photos. Boudoir itself also throws up the often heard question "What do you do with the images?" Do you display them, put them in a book in the bottom drawer or have them on your hard drive for viewing when you want to?
To answer those questions (and more), I decided not to second guess my 'marketplace', or as I like to call them, friends of my business, but instead I thought I'd ask them outright.
So I ran a brief survey, with eight cunningly thought up questions to ascertain the popular thoughts and requirements of my Boudoir community to see where they thought the package and prices should be.
Before I rattle on more, I'd like to thank all those that took the time out to help in this matter. Your answers were a great help to me, and very much appreciated.
The following price/package content has been based on the feedback I received. Although two packages have increased slightly in price, I feel have the value of the packages in terms of what you get for your money has improved greatly.

Proposed Pricing and packages (from 1st August 2016):
All package prices include: Boudoir consultation at the client's home prior to the shoot date, 20 miles travel costs, online private photo gallery for one month, image/product consultation after the shoot (if required).
Payments can also be received in three interest free instalments prior to the shoot date if required.

Eterno Breve (Mini-Shoot)
Price: £80.00
Shoot duration: up to 90 minutes.
Products as part of package: Five digital images c/w print licence and one 12x8 photo print.
(Note: Our budget package, the existing Breve package is for one hour with one 12x8 print OR one digital file only)

Eterno Intimo (Standard-Shoot)
Price: £175.00 (introductory price £135.00 until 30 Sept 2015)
Shoot duration: 2 hours
Products as part of package: Fifteen digital images c/w print licence and three 12x8 photo prints.
(Note: Our existing Intimo package includes two 12x8 prints OR 2 digital files)

Eterno Ultimo (Deluxe-Shoot)
Price: £300.00 (introductory price £270.00 until 30 Sept 2015)
Shoot duration: 2 hours
Products as part of package: Twenty-five digital images c/w print licence, three 12x8 photo prints and A5 lay-flat 'Little Black Book' containing your images.
(Note: Our existing Ultimo package includes digital images OR black book and no prints.)

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the proposed package/price changes. Comments can be left below. That won't appear on here unless I approve them, so if you'd like them kept private, please say. Thank you!!
Outdoor Portraits - A Location Guide
22nd April 2015 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Where to go?
I am often asked to advise clients on where to have their shoots. There are a number of reasons people will prefer one location from another, these include personal reasons and attachments to a specific location.
To help customers select their location, or indeed book their shoot at the right time of year, I have complied a list of locations along with the details and pros and cons. This list isn’t exhaustive by any means, there are many other possibilities, I have shot in other places requested by various clients such as back gardens and open spaces local to them, but the following ones are the most frequently visited for my outdoor location shoots.

Best conditions for your shoot
Along with location, the actual conditions at the shoot are important to the final images produced. Whilst it is impossible to control weather, the chances of preferred conditions can be increased by selecting the right time of day for shoots to take place.
The most photogenic of conditions can be found during what photographers call the ‘Golden Hour’. This is the hour or so leading up to sunset where the light is usually very warm and soft. If this isn’t achievable or practical for the client, then the most favourable conditions are still, bright and overcast. Then any location can be used successfully. As a rule I will avoid shooting in the middle of the day, particularly in the summer when the sun is high in the sky, preferring late afternoon or early mornings, when the sun is much lower, making shooting much easier.,

Burgh Castle (Roman Ruins)
Description: Wide open fields with views of the Broads which have with long meadow grasses in summer.
Short grass from September to April. Other backdrops include the local Church and a small footbridge for something different.
Best time: Summer Evening.
Pros: Quiet, very picturesque, with multiple backdrops. Great for children to have a run about.
Adequate parking.
Cons: Not a place for Hayfever sufferers in Summer
The site is very exposed so windy days and bright sunny days can be a problem
There is a ten minute walk to the photo location.
Excess mileage cost: None

Gorleston Beach (Cliffs)
Description: Beautiful beach at the base of sandy cliffs with several location spots for different sets of images, including the cliffs, dunes and of course the sea.
Best time: Summer Late Afternoons/evenings.
Pros: Multiple backdrops. Quieter than the north end of Gorleston Beach.
Adequate parking. Short walk to the photo location
Cons: Can be windy and exposed. Can be busy on fine days making scenic portrait shots difficult.
Excess mileage cost: None

Similar to Gorleston Beach is Caister Beach (near Second Avenue)
Description: Similar to Gorleston in that there are several location spots for different sets of images, including granite reefs, dunes and the sea. There are also cliffs to the north, but there a ten minute walk to reach them.
Best time: Summer Late Afternoons/evenings.
Pros: Multiple backdrops.
Adequate parking. Short walk to the photo location
Cons: Can be windy and exposed. Can be busy on fine days making scenic portrait shots difficult.
Excess mileage cost: None

Great Yarmouth North Beach
Description: Beautiful beach with a wide expanse of sand dunes. The dune system gives areas seclusion, giving the impression of being on a deserted beach.
Best time: Summer Late Afternoons/evenings.
Pros: Quieter than South Beach and those areas near the piers. Secluded spots. Adequate parking. Short walk to the photo location
Cons: Can be windy and exposed. Limited back drops.
Excess mileage cost: None

Fritton Woods
Description: Mainly coniferous forestry site with limited open areas and a few different backdrops. Autumnal colours from September. The woods are fast disappearing, so how long this area remains as a viable photo-shoot location remains to be seen.
Best time: Late Autumn Afternoons.
Pros: Picturesque Autumn backdrop. Quiet. Sheltered from all but the strongest winds.
Cons: Limited off-road parking. Walk to the location is along dusty/muddy paths. Limited backdrops.
Popular with dog walkers and their occasional 'gift' they leave behind.
Excess mileage cost: None

Herringfleet Hills
Description: Two distinctly differing areas (woodland and open grassland) very close to each other.
In certain spots there is the backdrop of Herringfleet marshes and the Smock Mill.
Best time: Late Summer Evenings for grassland/ Late Autumn through to Spring for the woodland.
Pros: Multiple backdrops close to each other. Quiet. Locations are close to Car Park
Woodland area has fantastic trees to use for photo sets.
Cons: Limited Parking. Exposed area (grassland)
Excess mileage cost: None

Burlingham Woods
Description: A Variety of plantations joined by footpaths to explore. Each one has a different feel to it. Copious amounts of wild flowers in Spring.
Best time: Spring for display of wild Daffodils late Spring for carpets of Bluebells. Autumn for
Pros: Multiple woodland backdrops. Quiet. Some locations are close to car park.
Cons: Can be muddy in places. Very shady when trees are in full leaf.
Excess mileage cost: £5-00

For more information and to book your location shoot for 2015 visit my Portraits Page
Ditch The Mirror!!
27th March 2015 - 0 comments
In: Blog
My Boudoir shoots are all about boosting confidence and showing a woman just how fantastic they really are. I've read those kind of words many, many times over the years when I've written about Boudoir shoots. I won't apologise for that, because it is genuinely what I believe and does truly work....however....there will always be some women that still have body 'issues'. Now, I'm not going to belittle anyone's idea of how they see themselves. It's quite natural, all be told, looking at yourself in front of a mirror, there's plenty of time to spot and fret about flaws and imperfections. But what is perfect anyway? Is there such a thing? I doubt it. In fact I know there isn't. We are all unique, we are all different, so comparing yourself to others and your own idea of perfect is always going to end in tears, isn't it?.
Easier said than done I know, but we shouldn't we just listen when others pay us a compliment or are positive about us? I think never see yourself as others do.
Practically every woman I have photographed will list at least two things they don't like about their bodies, or indeed how they look, but does anyone actually notice? When I leave a Boudoir shoot, I'm never left with negative thoughts about the client or model. Instead I'm always struck by a positive; beautiful eyes, gorgeous smile, bubbly personality, they were fun, funny, smart, clever....etc etc. the list goes on, and I know I'm not alone in this. When you hear women talking about their friends and how they look it's the same thing, positives, "ah she's beautiful", "I wish I had her looks" ladies....give yourselves a break.....ditch the mirror and listen to what others might just be surprised!!
Boudoir Survey Update
19th February 2015 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Firstly, thank you to all those that took the time to complete the short Boudoir survey I recently posted. I did sweeten the deal by offering a £10 discount against any Boudoir package, should the lady want to. And if you're reading this, and would like to participate or just see the survey, please look here.
The reason I asked ladies for their feedback was to confirm (or discover) what were the roadblocks that women had when it came to having a Boudoir shoot so I could finalise my mission statement.
So why have a mission statement?
Well, the first thoughts I had when thinking about such a thing, was 'How corporate!' For those that know me, I'm not particularly the corporate type, but I did think on. I came to the conclusion that it is actually quite important to have a Mission Statement for the simple reason it identifies to any woman what the driver is for my Boudoir packages and tells them why they can benefit from having a shoot. I have always said the ethos behind my Eterno Boudoir packages were primarily to boost women's self-confidence and show to them how beautiful they are......the results of this survey would either confirm or deny let's see what you all said!

The Results...
Have you ever thought about having a Boudoir Shoot? 100% Yes
Have you ever enquired about having a Boudoir Shoot? 100% No

The reasons for not having a Boudoir Shoot (ticking all that apply);
Body Confidence Issues 70%
Body weight Issues 45%
Lack of Confidence/Self-esteem 70%
Price 0%
Partner doesn't like the idea 0%
I don't know how rose like I model 55%
I'm not good looking enough 45%
I don't have a room suitable for the shoot 15%
Other 12%
The survey could be anonymous if required, but I did respond to each lady that left their email details to address how the Boudoir shoots work and how the blocks could be overcome. I will be posting another blog item on this subject in the near future.
So going through the results tells me that the biggest roadblocks women have when it comes to enquiring or booking a Boudoir Shoot are exactly the reasons that I encourage ladies to have the shoots done. That being to boost confidence and self-esteem.
Some of you may have seen my handwritten statement I photographed and posted on my Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts recently. It was the short version of my mission statement.....
"Eterno Boudoir by Martin J Patterson Photography is a modern portraiture product that helps women of any age and body type see themselves as the beautiful, strong person that they truly are."
What do you think? Are you tempted to give it a go and "Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful?"

The Great Valentine Swindle
23rd January 2015 - 0 comments
In: Blog
The 14th February is on the horizon, the day we, with the help of Cupid, Royal Mail and florists everywhere, celebrate our love for our spouses and partners. Whilst some admire from afar and anonymously (as traditional expects), us married and co-habiting types do it loud and proud to show that we haven't forgotten.
The retail sector, not surprisingly, sees this day as another big earner, where everything from flowers and chocolates through to expensive phones and tablets are branded as the perfect way to show your love. I have my own opinion on that, which shall we say, is a touch on the cynical side.
Bringing this blog piece in line with the photography genre, as you would expect, the same thing happens with photo shoots. Boudoir in particular.
Men are encouraged to buy a shoot package for the woman they love as a pamper session, woman are cajoled into having photos taken in order to furnish their partner with sexy imagery, which of course he'll love beyond measure etc. etc.
These are proffered under the usual guise of the Valentine Special Offer, which of course is much similar to the Christmas Special, just a number of weeks later.
I don't offer any such 'specials' for this most love drenched day in February. As I eluded to before, I have reservations about using certain retail products to show how much you care for someone, although I understand the need to publicise your products from a business aspect. This isn't why I don't subscribe to the Valentine Offer for my Boudoir Packages, not at all. It's not because I'm reluctant to give discounts, in truth I feel I'm more than generous in that respect throughout the year. It's simply because the reason being publicised for having the shoot (I believe) is wrong.
I have been carrying out Boudoir shoots for some time, so I do have an inkling of why women have these shoots done. Before you think I have found the male’s Holy Grail of understanding women, relax. I haven’t. How I know this is simple. I ask.
The publicly perceived 'selling point' of Boudoir is that the shoots are carried out for photos to be gifts for the partner or husband. This promotion technique is used heavily in the United States to persuade women that's why they should book their shoot. I don't know whether this is a cultural difference, or whether it's designed to mask a woman's real driver in having a Boudoir photo session, but whatever it is, in my experience it isn't the case at all.
Before I carry on and deconstruct the argument for using your partner as the reason to have a Boudoir, let me say it is a genuinely acceptable excuse to have it done, especially if the partner is particularly encouraging. I am not saying anyone doing this is wrong, my point is it's less common than people think.
So let me give you a numerical fact to back this up. Of the sixty or so Boudoir consultations I've carried out, the reason given for having a shoot done to give gift products to their partner has has happened on just three occasions, that's 4%. Of those three, two had their shoot, but the other lady didn't because her partner didn't want her to. Incidently, the number of men that have enquired or bought gift certificates for their partner is a big fat zero!
I once had an enquiry from a lady that was very keen to have the shoot done, using the reason that it would be a present for her husband, and she asked him about it. He was happy for her to have the photo session, but wasn't particularly bothered about having photos as a gift. This enquiry didn't even lead to a consultation.
I have also heard one or two stories about women having Boudoir shoots (not with me I might add) as a surprise for their husbands, only to be greeted with, shall we say, a less than positive reaction on receipt of their gift! Lesson learned…you have to be careful with surprises.
I may not be able to write confidently about a woman's reasoning where Boudoir is concerned, but I understand how a man thinks. Of course we're all different, but the views range from the stubborn refusal of letting his partner have a shoot, through to the man which is more than encouraging. These two extremes are the minority, with the vast majority of men (although happy for their partner to have a shoot) are indifferent or mildly interested at best. It's not that we as men don't love our wives/partners, of course we do. It's simply that men in general aren't overly motivated by photos of their partners. A common response would be that they can see their spouse or girlfriend 'like that anytime'. Fair enough I suppose, I'm in no position to question this, but that's the average perception.

What about the other 96%? Why did they book? Well, they cited the shoot was 'for them', which I feel, is exactly how it should be. I believe Boudoir photography should be solely for the woman having the shoot. It's about her self-esteem, her self-confidence, her chance to show to herself that she is beautiful.
So if you want that Boudoir shoot, have it done, for you, and 'Be your own kind of beautiful'

A Full Time Dilemma
13th January 2015 - 1 comment
In: Blog
I'm behind....not for the first time whilst running this business, but I am. I have a website upgrade to do, which is very time consuming, my 2015 brochures are nearly finished, but are two months later than I normal. The reason?...Lack of time. (Isn't it always?) A hugely busy period leading up to Christmas meant I finished later than usual, which of course has a knock on effect....This got me thinking....

There are lots of things that people don't know about me (and why should they know anything?). One of the more common mis-conceptions is that I am a full-time photographer. I was once told, that I had to be a full-time pro because my photos were so good. I did feel slightly embarrassed listening to this, I'm not very good with praise. However, I know that the standard of a photographer's images has very little impact on whether he or she is an amateur or professional, but I digress......
The point is, that being only part-time has obvious restrictions on the amount of time I can spend on the photography business. This includes not only the amount of shoots I can do, but when I can do them, the editing, the general day-to-day tasks, and the not so general too.

. .
Weekday shoots would be an addition to the family weekend ones

When people find out I only run my photography on a part-time basis, the question that usually follows is along the lines of...."so when will be doing this as your main job?"
Of course I'd love too, but would I actually do it? The answer.....? I just don't know.
It's a catch twenty-two situation. I have a steady nine to five job, which supports my family, so ending that situation would be a gamble at best. On the other hand turning the dream to reality
would clearly have benefits from a time point of view. The amount of shoots I could do would increase, the day-to-day tasks would be just that, in the daytime, not crammed into a few hours each evening. The business could be expanded so that weekday daytime shoots could be added to the family weekend ones....well, I won't continue....I already know what I have in mind (just in case) and don't want to let on!

As I mentioned before it's a gamble, and yes, part of it is financial, but that's not the only major factor. It's not whether the hard work is a problem, putting the work in isn't even an issue, when you do something you love, it's easy.
No, for me it's getting the customer support that's the gamble. Photography to most people is, after all a luxury, not a necessity, and building a full-time business in the current climate would be tricky. The other issue is belief. Although I receive a lot of compliments about my work, which is great to hear, I still harbour some frailties in the confidence department. I suppose it's a typical trait of the creative soul, but it does keep me focused on the job in hand, and pushes me constantly to look for ways to improve.....
I know I'm not alone, many, many people make the transition from a paid employee to business owner, with differing levels of success of course. Whether my time will come sooner, later or at all, I guess remains unresolved.....for now anyway.