NEWS/BLOG - Blog

Categories

My ramblings on photography, business and other things...
My 2014
30th December 2014 - 0 comments
In: Blog
It's that time again, where before I look too far forward, I'd like to reflect on what this year has brought to my photographic table.
Looking back over the last twelve months genuinely leaves me sporting a smug grin. The intention for 2014 was progression from a technical point of view, and it's something I'm so pleased I took time out to achieve, after all no-one can afford to stand still. I took a huge amount from the three redhead themed portrait shoots and two low-key Boudoir shoots I managed to squeeze in amongst my regular work.
Talking of regular work, I began in earnest during the first weekend in January with a superb Boudoir shoot in a quaint little cottage, and finished with a raft of portrait shoots at Burgh Castle, as I waded through the annual Christmas rush. In between were visits to an array of places from Gorleston Beach to Herringfleet, with some stunning back gardens on the way. Boudoir was high on the agenda with the shoots from a promo competition being carried out, along with a plethora of ladies enjoying their experience for the first (and some for the second) time.
From start to finish, I have worked with some amazing people both big, small, young and old, and I'd like to thank every single one of you for sharing your time with me. It has been a genuinely rewarding experience photographing such a vast array of different people, and is one of the reasons I love doing this.
Enough of the chatter, I'll let the images to do the rest of the talking.

Lifestyle Portraits
Beginning with the outdoor location shoots and in no particular order...





























































Boudoir
Now it's the turn of the Boudoir shots. Again, in no particular order. There are a few shoots missing here, not every client wants their images shared, to which I have no problem whatsoever. Thank you to all the ladies that have agreed to let me share one of their images online, it is greatly appreciated!























Boudoir Winter Savers
09th September 2014 - 0 comments
In: Blog
I ran this promotion last year, and it was so successful I thought I'd do the same again. This is the Boudoir Winter Saver, where you can get yourselves an approximate 40% discount against my standard Boudoir pricing. It works like this. This prices listed below are for a limited number of 6 shoots which must take place between 3rd January 2015 and 8th March 2015. Packages must be paid for in full and the pre-shoot consultation completed before 30th November 2014 to qualify. Makeover costs are additional and will be arranged directly with the chosen Beauty Therapist. The promotion price shoots will be strictly on a first come, first served basis, with clients who complete the consultation/booking process being eligible. You will be notified prior to booking your consultation if the winter saver offer is still available or has been fully subscribed.
Other than that, the usual terms and conditions apply.

Prices for this promotion only are;
Eterno Breve (Mini-Boudoir Package) - £85 down to £50
Eterno Intimo (Simple Boudoir Package) - £135 down to £80
Eterno Ultimo (Deluxe Boudoir Package with CD) - £270 down to £165
Eterno Ultimo (Deluxe Boudoir Package with Little Black Book) - £270 down to £200

Last year the six shoots were booked out within four weeks of the promotion starting, so be quick!

For further information or to book your consultation, please complete the enquiry form which can be found on thispage here
Christmas Deadline Dates 2014 Revised
09th September 2014 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Due to the huge workload I currently have, I've had to revise my deadline dates.
Those affected are; the shoots for Christmas, photo books, photo prints and canvas prints.


Looking through my diary I know I am going to be busy in the lead up to Christmas. So to avoid disappointment and to allow scheduling and ordering in a timely manner (no-one like to rush!)I have listed my deadline dates for the pre-Christmas period.
Unfortunately every year I have enquiries or orders after my deadline dates, which I sadly can't process. My advice is to get in touch now to ensure I can fit you in before the big day!
Here we go then….

Shoots with products for Christmas - Fully Booked

Photo Prints & Photobooks - Order by COB Wednesday 26th November 2014

Portrait Canvas Prints - Order by COB Friday 5th December 2014


Paper Gift Certificates (via Royal Mail) - Order by COB Sunday 14th December 2014

Paper Gift Certificates (for collection) - Order by COB Friday 19th December 2014

'Electronic' Gift Certificates (PDF 'Print Your Own' via. email) - Order by COB Sunday 21st December 2014

To order your Gift Certificates please click HERE

I will be 'closed' for the Christmas break from Sunday 22nd December 2014 to 2nd January 2015(inclusive). I will monitor any enquiries that come in during this, but may not respond until 3rd January 2015, thank you!
It's Our Birthday!
09th August 2014 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Martin J Patterson Photography Ltd that is, not me. Three years old already? Where has the time gone? Haven't we grown? The usual kind of comments you hear when a young one has a birthday, but I suppose it's the same for the business.
You start off life needing a lot of support from others, a bit of love and understanding, until you're able to stand on your own. I'm not saying I'm running company of the year and that I have everything buttoned. The fact that this is a part-time business means I have plenty of restrictions, but every day I'm learning how to run my company better. I have never done any like this up until I started this venture, so the learning curve has been very steep. Like my photography, my business methods are self-taught, and it's both the good and bad experiences which have guided me this far, Also like my photography, operating the business like this makes it unique to me.
I've always tried to provide a very personal photographic experience, and I will always maintain that in the future, but recent experiences have shown me that I have to protect my business too. I'm a photographer, a creative, so being a hard-nosed type isn't really my forte, but it is a necessity and one which I have to toughen up on.
Looking back over the three years things I have actually learned many things, such as:
- saying "no" can be as liberating as taking that 'different' job.
- that keeping an open mind on what assignments to accept can lead you into the most unexpected of directions. (I'm talking burlesque to boudoir here).
- everyone has an opinion about what you do, but the only judge should ultimately be yourself.
- not everybody respects the fact you are giving up time to do their shoot.
- only to shoot what I want to, not what I feel I should.
- I have a fantastic support base through my social media sites.
- I have a number of loyal customers that are coming back to me again and again, so I must be doing somethings right!
Most of all, don't get too hung up on the business. Photography is meant to be fun. Meeting and photographing new people is rewarding and always enjoyable.
With the future in mind I'm already looking forward to next year. A few enhancements here and there, a few different shoot styles I'd like to develop, for both portrait and boudoir. Always thinking and always changing, it's important not to stand still and to keep things fresh. So here's to another successful year, I just hope you'll be with me throughout….
It's Our Birthday!
08th August 2014 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Martin J Patterson Photography Ltd that is, not me. Three years old already? Where has the time gone? Haven't we grown? The usual kind of comments you hear when a young one has a birthday, but I suppose it's the same for the business.
You start off life needing a lot of support from others, a bit of love and understanding, until you're able to stand on your own. I'm not saying I'm running company of the year and that I have everything buttoned. The fact that this is a part-time business means I have plenty of restrictions, but every day I'm learning how to run my company better. I have never done any like this up until I started this venture, so the learning curve has been very steep. Like my photography, my business methods are self-taught, and it's both the good and bad experiences which have guided me this far, Also like my photography, operating the business like this makes it unique to me.
I've always tried to provide a very personal photographic experience, and I will always maintain that in the future, but recent experiences have shown me that I have to protect my business too. I'm a photographer, a creative, so being a hard-nosed type isn't really my forte, but it is a necessity and one which I have to toughen up on.
Looking back over the three years things I have actually learned many things, such as:
- saying "no" can be as liberating as taking that 'different' job.
- that keeping an open mind on what assignments to accept can lead you into the most unexpected of directions. (I'm talking burlesque to boudoir here).
- everyone has an opinion about what you do, but the only judge should ultimately be yourself.
- not everybody respects the fact you are giving up time to do their shoot.
- only to shoot what I want to, not what I feel I should.
- I have a fantastic support base through my social media sites.
- I have a number of loyal customers that are coming back to me again and again, so I must be doing somethings right!
Most of all, don't get too hung up on the business. Photography is meant to be fun. Meeting and photographing new people is rewarding and always enjoyable.
With the future in mind I'm already looking forward to next year. A few enhancements here and there, a few different shoot styles I'd like to develop, for both portrait and boudoir. Always thinking and always changing, it's important not to stand still and to keep things fresh. So here's to another successful year, I just hope you'll be with me throughout….
Booking, Cancellation and Payment Policy
24th July 2014 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Unfortunately I am continuing to have issues with late cancellations of shoots by clients. This may be partly my own fault, being a bit too relaxed with cancellations, but the frequency this is happening means that has to change. With this in mind I have drawn up a new set of Terms and Conditions with particular changes to deposits, payments and cancellations of portrait shoots.
These new T&Cs are effective immediately for and will apply to both Portrait and Boudoir Packages.

No-one wants to pay cancellation fees, I certainly don't want to have to charge them. I would much rather be taking photos, but I am running a business and have to protect my interests. I have had numerous occasions this year where very late call-offs have left me with an entire weekend with no shoots. Not only is this not fair me or my family, or the people that often help me with childcare, it is grossly unfair to those clients waiting patiently for their shoot. With that in mind regretably I have been left no choice but to make these changes.

A full set of the Terms and Conditions can be found here, but I have highlighted the salient points below.

The following only applies to the Client cancelling. Should I have to cancel due to weather, injury or illness the Client will not be penalised.

  • I will continue to take a non-returnable £25 deposit at the consultation/Booking meeting to hold the time & date.

  • Seven days before shoot, the full balance for the shoot will need to be settled. If this is not paid Client effectively 'cancels' the shoot and will lose their deposit.

  • If the Client cancels the shoot outside the seven day period before the agreed shoot date their deposit payment will be lost.

  • If the Client cancels the shoot inside the seven day period before the agreed shoot date their full shoot fee will lost. This is due to the high probability that I will not be able to further book that date.

  • Should the Client wish to change their shoot date, it must be done at least 14 days before agreed shoot date and requested in writing or by email.

  • If a client cancels any appointment/shoot twice, I reserve the right not arrange anymore appointments/shoots with that client.


They may sound on the heavy side to some people, but please remember; if you want a photo shoot with me, you pay your deposit and fee, agree a time and date, turn up on that date at the stipulated time and have your photo shoot, then you won't paying fees for no return. I can run my business smoothly, keep my waiting list down and not feel bad about having charge someone cancellation fees.
Your understanding is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
New Mini-Fine Art Package
10th June 2014 - 0 comments
In: Blog

I posted a few images recently from a personal project I was working on and got quite a response from people wanting the same sort of image of their own.



So after a bit of thought and a little bit of prodding, I've settled on this....
£45 for the package which includes;
30 min shoot at your home, plus time to set-up and de-rig.
12x8 print taken from the session
10 miles total travel distance taken from my home address in Gorleston.
Private online proof gallery for six months to view your fully edited proofs.
Images can be mono or colour to suit your taste.
Single subjects only in the image. Multiple subjects for the session is fine.
Extra time for the session will be charged at a further £10 for 30 mins.
I'm suggesting that this suits children of school age and above, and of course adults. This may not be suitable for very young children.
Comment on this piece for further details or to arrange a booking....

Boudoir - Shared Shoot Discount
01st May 2014 - 0 comments
In: Blog
I have received a few enquiries over the past few months regarding customers having their shoots at the same time (one after the other of course!) I think this is cracking idea. Firstly it means confidence in numbers for the ladies having the shoot, and I get to do two shoots in one extended session, which of course means savings!! And it's only fair that I pass that saving on to you! I'll be running this discount on a short term to begin with just to see how it runs.
So here we go…

Shoots will be of standard length for each client (1 hour for the mini- boudoir and 2hrs for the Simple & Deluxe), but will run consecutively at the same location.

This offer is limited to two clients per session. For larger numbers please see my Festino Package.
To qualify, both consultations must made carried out on the same evening (preferably the same location) and a deposit of £25 per person to be paid at the time of the consultation.

The reduced prices below are per person.
Eterno Breve (Mini-Boudoir Package)
£85 reduced to £70 per person (saving of £15 each)

Eterno Intimo (Simple Boudoir Package)
£135 reduced to £110 per person (saving of £25 each)

Eterno Ultimo (Deluxe Boudoir Package)
£270 reduced to £245 per person (saving of £25 each)

Initially this offer will run for six weeks until 15th June 2014. This is the final date for consultation/deposit payment only, approximate shoot dates will be advised at the consultation.

To arrange your consultation, or enquire about any aspect of my Boudoir shoots, please complete the enquiry formhere Thank you!
Recommend-A-Friend - Portraits
11th March 2014 - 0 comments
In: Blog
I've started running this scheme for my Boudoir packages, and it seems to have captured a few imaginations! Just to explain briefly, I get lots and lots of clients who use me through recommendations from previous customers, which is the best form of advertising I could possibly ask for. But what do they get for it? Previously nothing, but I'm going to change that…it seems only fair to reward those kind enough for guiding people my way!
It'll work like this…
If you've had a Location Portrait shoot with me and you recommend a certain number of people then you get a reward and they get a discount against their portrait shoot;

FIVE PEOPLE RECOMMENDED
YOU get a free Location Portrait shoot worth £50-00 and THEY get 10% discount.

RECOMMEND SEVEN
YOU get an 18"x12" canvas from your shoot worth £53-00. THEY get 20% discount.

RECOMMEND TEN
YOU get an 30"x20" canvas from your shoot worth £91-00. THEY get 20% discount.

So get networking…and see what you can claim!!

The terms and conditions;
Standard terms and conditions apply, along with these specific ones
  • Discounts cannot be backdated.
  • Only one reward can be claimed per person.
  • To be eligible for the rewards all those recommended must have booked and paid in full.
  • The name of the person recommending my services must be stated at time of the consultation.
Boudoir - Recommend-a-Friend
16th February 2014 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Ok, so I get lots and lots of clients who use us through recommendations from previous customers, which is the best form of advertising I could possibly ask for. But what do they get for it? Previously nothing, but I'm going to change that…it seems only fair to reward those kind enough for guiding people my way!
It'll work like this…
If you've had a Boudoir shoot with me and you recommend a certain number of ladies then you get a reward and they get a discount against their Intimo shoot;

FIVE LADIES RECOMMENDED
YOU get an 18"x12" canvas from your shoot worth £53-00. THEY get 10% discount.

RECOMMEND SEVEN
YOU get a free Eterno Breve Boudoir shoot worth £85-00 and THEY get 10% discount.

RECOMMEND TEN
Wow!.. YOU get a free Eterno Intimo Boudoir shoot worth £135-00 with your friends getting a 20% discount against their Intimo shoot.

So get networking…and see what you can claim!!

The terms and conditions;
Standard terms and conditions apply, along with these specific ones
  • Discounts cannot be backdated.
  • Only one reward can be claimed per person.
  • To be eligible for the rewards all those recommended must have booked and paid in full.
  • The name of the person recommending my services must be stated at time of the consultation.
2013 Portrait Review
30th December 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
I did this last year. I picked out twelve of my favourite images as a review of the calendar year, which although was difficult to pick just twelve, was actually fairly straight forward. Given the year I've had this year it's been a headache to choose just twelve, but I have managed too. There are numerous images that I've reluctantly left out, but my top 100 images would be a real bore for everyone to trudge through I'm sure!!
So here we go, in no particular order of course!!

Archie & Dad

I think it's quite an obvious choice this one. You may have seen an image of a sleeping newborn Archie in his woolly hat posted earlier in the year, but this image panders to my arty side, and in black & white too....which you may have noticed is a particular favourite image finish of mine.



Archie (at Four Months)

As I mentioned before, I had a wonderful newborn shot of young Archie, but I felt this one had to go in purely because of the cute factor. Beaming, cheeky smile and a cool looking hat, how could I leave that one out?



Children and Animals

What's the old adage? Never work with children and animals? Well I did, and got rewarded with this lovely family shot back in September. To be honest I was mildly concerned about having to get the attention of two children AND two dogs while shooting the family group shot, but I think this is a beaut (even if I do say so myself!)



Young Love

I loved doing this shoot of a young couple, clearly in love. I don't often get the chance to photograph a couple for an entire shoot, so I grabbed this chance with both hands. This one was the most difficult to whittle down, but I chose this because of the relaxed happiness it conveys....



Anna

Back to Burgh Castle for this shoot. A session for me to grab a few portfolio images with the lovely Anna. The weather didn't play ball, the theme was meant to be a barmy Summer evening, but you know what Blighty is like! However, I bagged some crackers, this one being one of my favourites, it's all in the yes you know!



Henry

Ok so this isn't technically from a client shoot. It's one of my youngest, but of all the shots I've got of him this year, this one is the absolute best. Whether you're a pro or not, photographing your own children can be 'challenging' at times, so I was delighted with this one



Brothers

Gorleston Beach on a beautiful warm Summer evening, AND having the pleasure to photograph these three brothers. What's not to like about this job? I love doing children's portrait shoots, they're always so entertaining and there's never a dull moment. I like this one because of the energy of the image. As you can imagine getting the boys to 'just run towards me' without it turning into a full on race is just impossible...priceless!!



Gorleston Beach

August was such a fantastic month weather wise. We finally had a summer, and I made hay while the sun shone, cramming in five shoots in a seven day period to make the most of the glorious conditions. This was one of them, a family shoot on the best of summer locations, Gorleston beach. Again, choosing just one image from this set was torture, but the delightful pose and expression of the younger members of the group here just made it for me.



Sunset Silhouette

Burgh Castle on a summer evening is delightful, but the conditions for this kind of shot doesn't always present itself. How lucky I was that day eh? The family ordered a copy of this image and it hangs, beautifully framed on their wall at home. It's certainly one I could never leave out of the annual review.



Mum and Daughter

As the summer began to fade, I had one last trip to Gorleston Beach to capture images of a mum and her daughter. I don't need to say much more, the shot more than speaks for itself.



Autumn At Fritton

If Summer shoots belong mostly to the beach so Autumn with its colours ones tend to veer towards Fritton Woods. A lot of lovely images to choose from a lot of shoots, but I settled on this one because of the expression on the little lad's face. At the time I had managed to get him laughing, and what an infectious laugh it was too....



First Time At Fritton

Not me. The little lad that was the subject of the shoot at Fritton. He thoroughly enjoyed his first trip to the woods, and that made for some fantastic images through out. I had a bit of luck with this shot, I was working a few images with direct eye contact and just momentarily he dropped his gaze to the floor, and Bingo! The black and white conversion concentrates the attention to the expression, which can get a bit lost in colour sometimes.



Gorleston Breakwater in Mono

So this is image thirteen, but it's not a portrait shot of course, but my favourite landscape shot of the year. Not that I have too many to choose from these days, sadly I don't get to shoot too many scenics with one thing or another, so when I do I really enjoy taking them. This one was always going to be black and white before I even released the shutter. Perfect tonal range with the cloud formations, the breakwater and the flat sand and all at one of my favourite places to be. Incidentally this has been my best selling landscape image of 2013....

Portrait Packages 2014
19th October 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Happily there are no price changes to report for our 2014 packages, just a streamlining in those we offer.

Location Portrait Packages

Unless noted otherwise, all Location Portrait Packages include a photo shoot at the outdoor location of your choice, a 12x8 print and an online private proof gallery. For durations, number of proof images and prices see below.

Standard Location Portrait Package £50 - 1 hour shoot with typically 25 proof images. Ideally for individuals, couples or small family groups.

Enhanced Location Portrait Package £65 - 2 hour shoot with typically 40 proof images. This session is for extended family or larger groups.

Digital Location Portrait Package £180 - A Standard Location Portrait Shoot, but your 25 images fully edited in the finish of your choice and presented to you in High resolution on CD. All images come complete with print licence for prints up to 12x8.

Indoor Portrait Packages

Indoor Portrait Package £90 - 1 hour shoot photo shoot at the indoor location of your choice* a 12x8 print. All proof images are fully edited before being presented on an online private proof gallery. These shoots are strictly for individuals or couples, where images are shot in a timeless style using backdrops and portable lighting. Suitable for individual subjects such as Mum-To-Be 'Bump shoots', adults and children alike.
*Location subject to suitability

We are fully booked for the remainder of 2013, so are currently taking bookings for 2014 only. To enquire or book your consultation, please contact us through the enquiry form, which can be found HERE
Boudoir Packages and Pricing 2014
19th October 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
I'll be making a few small adjustments to the Boudoir range for 2014.

2014 Boudoir Packages
Please note, unless noted otherwise, all packages include a photo shoot at your home or the location of your choice without makeover and a 12x8 lustre print taken from the session.

Mini-Boudoir Package - £85*
1 hour photo shoot with 12-15 proof images

Simple Boudoir Package - £135*
2 hour photo shoot with 25 proof images

Deluxe Boudoir Package - £270
2 hour photo shoot with 25 proof images. Instead of the 12x8 print the client has a choice of a CD of images complete with print license OR an A5 Hardback 'Little Black Photo Book'

Group Boudoir Package - £75 per person
A great start to a girls night out. Four to six ladies in a home location, each will receive a mini- makeover, an individual mini-boudoir shoot of around 30 minutes, and your print to be chosen from ten fully edited proofs. They will also receive a discount voucher which can be redeemed against a future booking of any individual boudoir package

Boudoir Makeover - Prices from £20
Complete the pampering experience by adding at a bespoke makeover to your package. The makeovers are tailored to your specific requirements, and can include full make-up with or without lashes, and/or hair styled as desired. You can speak directly to one of our beauty professionals to discuss your needs.

* Gift Certificate & Package still available for booking at 2013 prices until 30 Dec 2013.

Interested but not sure?
Why not book a free, no-obligation consultation for any of the packages above. I will visit you to talk through all aspects of the shoot and answer any questions you may have. Please click HERE

New Products
As well as our usual high quality canvas and lustre photo prints, I am delighted to announce that I will be adding the 'Little Black Book' photo books to the range of Boudoir Products.

'Little Black Book' Photo Books

Prices below include the design and production of 20 page (or 10 spread) photo book.
Soft back A5=£50 8"x8"=£60
Hard back A5=£100 8"x8"=£125
Hard back 'Layflat' A5=£135 8"x8"=£155

Other sizes and extra pages/spreads available (contact us for details)

Gift Certificates

Need a unique gift for that special lady in your life? Why not celebrate a special occasion, birthday or anniversary by purchasing a gift certificate for any of the packages above. Please click HERE to order your bespoke certificate.
Christmas Deadlines
17th October 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
I know, I know it's only October, but it has to be thought about.... Below are the deadline dates for various Christmas related orders;

Shoots with products for Christmas - Fully Booked

Photo Prints - Order by COB Friday 6th December 2013

Portrait Canvas Prints - Order by COB Thursday 12th December 2013

Paper Gift Certificates (via Royal Mail) - Order by COB Sunday 15th December 2103

Paper Gift Certificates (for collection) - Order by COB Thursday 19th December 2013

'Electronic' Gift Certificates (PDF 'Print Your Own' via. email) - Order by COB Sunday 22nd December 2013

To order your Gift Certificates please click HERE

We will be 'closing' for the Christmas break from 23rd December to 3rd January (inclusive). I will monitor any enquiries that come in during this, but may not respond until 4th January, thank you!
Half Price Boudoir Packages
17th September 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
I know how you all like a bargain, so I'll give you my version of the January Sales.
I will be adjusting the pricing for the Makeover & Boudoir Shoots for 2014 but to give you a chance to get them a bit cheaper in the New Year I'm offering the following deals.

Offer 1
For January only I am doing a limited number of five Simple Boudoir or Mini-Boudoir shoots for half-price (as quoted in the 2013 brochure).

Offer 2
For shoots in February and March I'll be holding prices at the 2013 level until 30 March 2014. (subject to availability)

For both offers the terms below apply;
The pre-shoot consultation and booking (complete with deposit payment) must take place before 30 November 2013.

The limited half-price shoots will be strictly on a first come, first served basis, with clients who complete the consultation/booking process being eligible. You will be notified prior to booking your consultation if the half-price offer is still available or has been fully subscribed.

The offer applies to Simple Boudoir and Mini-Boudoir Packages only, currently at 2013 full price of £125 & £75 respectively.

For further information or to book your consultation, please complete the enquiry form which can be found on this page here
Photographers - Should We Care What Others Think?
06th May 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Following a recent conversation I had with a fellow photographer I thought I'd give you some thoughts on what we talked about. Basically the subject discussed was whether you should worry what other people (namely photographers) think of your work, or more precisely how you achieve your imagery.

Throughout life we seem to be obsessed with the opinions of other people, constantly seeking assurance that what we do, buy or produce is good enough. It a natural obsession, but from a photographer's point of view, whether it is particularly healthy or helpful is another question.

When I first started out in photography as a keen hobbyist, I will admit to being very concerned about what others thought of my work. I joined an online photographic community, where every members work could be voted for and commented on. Most of the comments were of the positive reinforcement kind, "Great Image" or "Fantastic Capture" were very common (thankfully). Occasionally someone would point out technical aspects, which as a beginner I would have missed. This kind of constructive criticism is invaluable, especially when starting out. The person giving the critique has obviously spent time looking at your work, has assessed as they see fit, and worded their observations in a respectful way. It's only good manners to take on board what they say, you may or may not agree, but it doesn't hurt to listen to what they have said.

Unfortunately, not everyone can be as balanced in their view point. Photography is a branch of the Arts, and so opinions on what is and isn't good is very subjective. The expression, 'One man's meat is another man's poison' is wholly appropriate in this case. Being a part of the Arts, it attracts the clique element and those that 'must be heard'. It's here that taking on board someone else's opinion becomes difficult. I'm not tarring every member of Photographic Societies and Communities with the same brush here. A very large majority are every day folk who take photographs for a hobby or a living, they love the subject and appreciate great images. Like me if they don't like something, then generally don't talk about it and move on. There is, however, a minority containing the high brow purists, that abhor any form of post-production in that devil called 'Photoshop', or can't abide anyone that doesn't follow their own methods and opinions, and they like to let everyone know too.
Photography is an art form, which generally means that 'rules' are merely for guidance in the pursuit of a great image. Personally I'm all for 'each to their own'. Some things I like, others I don't, it's my personal preference, but I wouldn't spend my valuable time venting my spleen on my blog page, about people that over-process images, or don't practice the purists method of image production.
What these people fail to realise is, that every image produced will have an audience that appreciates it. That audience may be very small, very large or somewhere in between, but someone somewhere will like it. There is also the argument of artistic license. I'm sure Constable or Turner didn't paint exactly what they saw, some elements subjects of the scene would be tweaked or even removed to suit the desired composition. Traditional film photographers used darkroom tricks such as dodging, burning and even painting on final images.

So should we care what others think of our work? To answer that we have to ask Why are we creating the images in the first place?
I can only speak for myself, but how I see it is this. I take landscape images solely for me. It's my getaway, it's my quiet time, it's my moment to appreciate the world around me. The only person that those images need to please is myself, but if others like them too, then it's a bonus, and nice to know people appreciate what I am producing.
My commercial portrait work is obviously different, I have a client to please as well. That said, I have developed my own style of portraiture, which is clearly displayed through images on my website, and, I would hope, it's the client response to that style that is the driver for them to book me to capture images for them.

In summary the answer isn't straightforward, there is vast area of grey between the black and the white. Personally, I think listening to others is vital, if the critique is balanced and respectful, and they have your artistic development at heart. If it's the Photography snob, then my advice would be to shut your ears, walk away, and just enjoy what you are doing.
Deposit Payments
22nd April 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
Unfortunately I have had a few incidents over the past six months or so, where I have had clients that have booked a portrait session, cancel at the last moment without a reasonable excuse (such as illness), leaving me unable to fill that slot with another customer on my waiting list.
Whilst I find this frustrating, I feel more strongly that it is very unfair on those people that are waiting for a portrait shoot of their own. Available slots for our Location Portrait Shoots are at a premium, this due to the limited amount of times when conditions are ideal for portrait shoots, so people cancelling at a moments notice only serves to make my waiting lists longer.
Regretfully I will now be asking for a non-refundable deposit payment to secure every booking made. This will be £25 for one-off sessions, and £40 for combined sessions, such as Newborn & Bump.
I have always avoided asking for a deposit payment in the past, but now the weather is improving and daylight hours are getting longer, my waiting list will be growing, and I would hate for people to miss out on a slot because of someone else's inconsiderate behaviour. I hope you all understand why I have had to do this.

Thank you!

Martin
New Boudoir Package Details
01st April 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
We're please to announce two new boudoir photography package to compliment our Simple and Makeover Boudoir sessions.

Group Boudoir Package - From £60 per person* (Minimum age limit 18 years old)
A great start to a 'Girls Night Out' or 'Hen Day', or even just a few friends wanting a pamper and a catch-up, this package is for four to six ladies (for larger parties please contact for advice) in a home location, each will receive a mini-makeover (due to time constraints this is make-up only), an individual mini-boudoir shoot of around 30 minutes, and a free 12x8 print to be chosen from ten fully edited proofs. They will also receive a discount voucher which can be redeemed against a future booking of either our Simple Boudoir, Makeover Boudoir or Makeover Location Portrait packages.

*Prices as follows for parties of; Four £70pp (Total £280) Five £65pp (Total £325) Six £60pp (Total £360)



Mini-Simple Boudoir Package – £75 (Minimum age limit 18 years old)
A scaled down version of our Simple Boudoir Package. A shoot of up to one hour with your free 12x8 print chosen from up to 12 fully edited image proofs.

To enquire or book a free, no-obligation boudoir consultation, please complete the enquiry form on our Boudoir & Makeover Page
Boudoir...To do or not to do?
21st March 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
As you may have seen, I have recently been working with a local burlesque dancer/teacher Frenchie Debonaire on some promotional images. The final shots were published on the performer’s Facebook Fan page, and the attention, fair amount of praise from most that had seen them, was very surprising, and also very flattering. This, however, wasn’t the only result of the images being made public. There was talk and hints from some ladies to have such shots done of their own. This has led me to consider the subject in question, which, I believe, is one of the most beautiful forms of portraiture, boudoir photography.

So what is Boudoir Photography?
The “boudoir style” typically captures sensual or sexually suggestive images of women (or occasionally men and couples) in a photographer’s studio, luxury hotel or the client’s own home. The most common form of contemporary boudoir is to take a number of posed or candid shots of the subject partly clothed in in lingerie, any nudity is normally implied and not explicit.

Why do women want to have boudoir images taken?
Being a man, I have a distinct disadvantage in answering this, so having read through some books, online articles and boudoir websites, it seemed most mentioned reasons are as a present for husbands or boyfriends on anniversaries or wedding days, to show off a new look such as after weight loss or plastic surgery. However, not much is mentioned about the real benefit of a boudoir session as I see it….

Why should women have boudoir images taken?
Whilst working with Ms FD, I have discussed the subject of burlesque, what it is, what classes on the subject actually teach and what the students get from those classes. In an age where ordinary people are often comparing themselves to the latest in vogue size 8 celebrity or male sports star, it is hardly surprising that a lot of people, both women and men have hang ups and insecurities about themselves and in particular their bodies. The biggest result of these classes, therefore, is an increase in self-confidence and self-esteem. Exactly the same can be said about having a boudoir photography session. Women should have these kinds of photos taken to emphasise their beauty, sensuality and their power, with the resulting images bringing an increased confidence and self-esteem.

I have had experience of shooting boudoir images, and have found the women that have had the shots taken say that initially they were very nervous, which is understandable, but afterwards, particularly after viewing the images, did experience the ‘feel good factor’ and some have even said it could become very addictive! Surprising? Maybe, but what could be better than having a pamper session with a stylist/make-up artist, a glass or two of something bubbly followed by a photo session to show how wonderful you truly are?
In short the message is, “Love the skin you’re in and give it a go……what have you got to lose?”
Boudoir...Too Nervous To Enquire?
21st March 2013 - 0 comments
In: Blog
About a year ago, I posted a blog piece called Boudoir…To Do Or Not To Do? In it I outlined what Boudoir photography is and why I think every woman should have a shoot done. This is fine, but of course it doesn't help in the 'too nervous to enquire' stakes does it?
You see I've noticed this trend. I do a Boudoir shoot, I post some images, the lady in the shots is more than happy, her friends are very complimentary, and I get feedback along the lines of "I love these…I wish I could have some done"…or "my friend wants some of these done, she loves them!!" I ask politely to get them to contact me to arrange a meet….but alas I usually receive nothing….
It's been a bit of a mystery to me as to the high amount of interest I receive regarding the boudoir images from women, and more than a fair few are keen to have them done, but they never actually go so far as to enquire, let alone book. I've asked a few ladies why they think this is happening. There are a few common reasons, but I'll address them later, as I think if I explain the process of our Boudoir shoots, then a few fears maybe dispelled along the way.

Pre-Shoot
Once an enquiry is received, I'll be in touch to organise a no-obligation consultation to discuss the shoot and the processes involved. From feedback I've received from those who have had shoots done, this first stage helped greatly with settling down nerves related to the shoot. The meeting is with myself, Rachel (the Make Up Artist) and, of course the client, and the client's partner, should they so wish to hear how things work. During this meeting, we go through a short questionnaire which will establish, amongst other things, the client's comfort levels, the reasons for having the shoot done, and, crucially, areas of their body which they are and aren't happy with. I also explain in detail how the various shots are achieved, without me see much of anything! The make-over, if one is required, is discussed with Rachel, where the customer's preferences are taken into account. Then I will talk through the shoot itself and what happens. During this part of the meeting, I make sure I outline my professional working practice. This involves my 'no-touch' policy, all my directions will be verbal or, if all else fails, I will demonstrate a pose, much to everyone's amusement. If adjustment of clothing, hair or make-up is required, this is carried out by Rachel, with permission from the client.
Another point that will be discussed is Rachel's other role. She also acts as the female assistant and stays with me until the shoot is finished. If the client opts for a Simple Boudoir shoot, where no makeover takes place, then I will ask that the customer arranges to have a female friend at the shoot location with them during the session. Depending on how the subject feels they can be in or out of the room while the shots take place. I will not carry out a shoot without a chaperone in place. If the client is still happy that she wants the shoot done, it's only at this point will we proceed with the booking.
A day or two before the shoot itself, I will contact the client by email, to outline a few ways to prepare yourself on the day of the shoot.

The Shoot
The day of shoot itself may start with the client feeling a few nerves, but a girly chat with Rachel whilst she has the makeover is the perfect settler. Once our lady is suitably transformed, and before any clothing changes are done, I will go through the poses. This gives the subject a chance to have a quick practice and for me to offer any advice before a shot is taken. I will leave the room whilst the client prepares herself, and will only return once she is in position. I'll then take the shots, and leave the room again whilst the lady dons a robe or something similar to go over the top of their chosen lingerie outfit. This process is repeated again for each location, clothing change or posing set, until the shoot is finished.
Previous shoots tell me once the first set of shots have been taken, the initial nerves have usually evaporated, and the client begins to enjoy the experience.

Too Nervous To Enquire??
Of course everyone is different, what thrills one person, scares the life out of somebody else, so the following reasons are very generalised, but probably resonate with some of you reading this. All of the issues that were raised are perfectly understandable, and I don't intend to belittle them at all, but with a little knowledge of how the shoots function, it might help change minds...

Feeling Exposed
I'll start with the big one…..the most frequent reason seems to be the sheer terror of having to stand in front of a photographer (man or woman) wearing a lot less than they would normally.
I was concerned about this being in front of a male photographer, but the gender doesn't seem to be an issue.
What I say is this….. there are some approaches I use which help this problem. Firstly, be assured everything I do is in a professional manner. I don't gawp or stare. When I'm looking at the subject, I'm viewing the final shot, not trying to catch a sneaky peek at something I shouldn't be. Secondly, as previously mentioned, I direct the subject and explain where and how I want to pose whilst they are still wearing a robe (or similar) over their attire. I leave the room and return once the client is happy, take the shots, leave the room again whilst the subject gets herself comfortable again.
The best solution for this issue is for the client to dress or cover up as much or as little as she is comfortable with. This may change as the shoot goes on, but I leave this entirely up to the subject and never push the boundaries. I have had a lady that has had the entire shoot done in a robe with lingerie underneath. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it's the client's comfort that is important at all times.

My size/shape isn't right for Boudoir....I need to lose weight first.
Sadly this issue will never go away. We've all seen the magazines with images of skinny models adorned throughout them, where we are told to believe that this is the true norm. It isn't. If the client has a particular area of their body that they would like avoided or de-emphasised, then this is discussed at the pre-shoot meeting. Armed with this information, I will pose the lady to suit her requirements.

Honestly, there is no 'right' shape or size for Boudoir, there is only you and the celebration of your beauty.

The 'Partner Factor'….
"I'm keen, but my partner/husband isn't." This is a difficult one. It's natural that a man may be suspicious of another man bearing a camera, shooting what are, after all, personal images of their partner. If this is the case, I would encourage the partner to join in with the pre-shoot meeting, where, I can help dispel the myths of a Boudoir shoot, to demonstrate I am a professional through and through, and show the kind of final images that can be expected. I can also involve the partner in what images they would like to see of their better half. After all, if both the client and their partner are comfortable with the process, then the whole experience will be more enjoyable.

The Photos Of Me Won't Turn Out How I Hoped
There are two sides to this one, firstly, is the self-confidence issue. This is the precise the reason I offer a Boudoir shoots, to reverse that feeling and make the lady feel great about herself. How you look in the shots themselves, is down to our skills as a photographer and make-up artist, then just take a look at our Boudoir Gallery to judge whether we're good enough for you!

Final Word
Shooting any type of people imagery successfully is basically down correct posing, camera work and lighting, coupled with a good interaction between subject and photographer. As a team, we are very approachable and easy going, our friendly, fun style is sure to banish any nerves and turn the experience into something very enjoyable. Every lady that had had a Boudoir shoot with us, has said that they think every woman should do it…so who are we to argue with that?!

If you are interested in having a Makeover or Boudoir shoot done, then please contact me via the Makeover Page, (or comment form below) and I'll arrange a no obligation consultation with. You can discuss the shoot, worries and concerns with us and if you still are not happy, then don't book, no pressure!
Looking forward to hearing from you!!