Month: July 2014

United States Marine Corp 238th Birthday

I always enjoy covering the US Marine Corp Anniversary Balls. As a professional photographer, the only criticism that is worth much is whether the client decides to invite you back!

This ball is held annually in all the locations where US Marines are deployed. Things usually start off formally with senior Diplomatic handshakes and then as the evening progresses you can expect to see senior Diplomatic moonwalking.  Definitely one to get an invitation for!

You’ll notice the traditional table setting for ‘Missing Marines’ in the slideshow below, it’s a tribute to the fallen and is laid out identically for each ball.













BIPP Panel 2 weeks to go

As mentioned previously, I’ve been preparing for a portfolio assessment with the BIPP for a few months now. I gained my Licentiate with the BIPP just over 12 months ago and I wanted to make a further step to my Associateship.
The qualification process requires a lot of mapping. It involves producing a body of commissioned work and presenting it to a group of assessors who (presumably) view beforehand and then discuss when they meet.
In order to do this, the work has to be handed in 4 weeks prior to the actual panel date. Leaving a lot of thumb twiddling and nervous tension for those of us who are waiting.
Since presenting my submission 2 weeks back, I had deliberately avoided looking at my selection. I’d looked at them so much in the period before-hand that I’d grown weary and they didn’t mean that much. They were just pictures.

However, after looking at them just now, I’m comfortable with the quality of the images. There are two that I might consider replacing, but no matter now because it is in.
One thing I’ve noticed is that there are many blog entries with candidates detailing their own panel success stories but none that I can find deal with a negative outcome.  It’s one of the reasons I’m going public now, I have no idea whether my work will be well received or not.  Clearly I hope it meets the standard, but maybe not.
You don’t have to travel down to meet the assessors to find out the result, but not doing so seems to miss the point for me. If qualification is about a framework for your own progression as a photographer, it would make sense to make sure you pull down every morsel of critique or advice you can.

There is nothing to prevent other photographers making up qualifications and little can be done about those who claim other people’s work.  I’m relaxed about all that, the only thing that clients look at is the quality of my images.

Therefore I need to be pushing myself at every opportunity.  I’ll be gutted if I don’t make the grade, because I believe the selection is good enough. If I’m wrong then I’ve got a platform to improve.
This can only be a good thing right?  Guys?  Guys?!



Tuition Tours

I’ve been thinking about introducing some photography short (1 hr)  tuition tours in Kenmare for a while now. There are so many people visiting our town and many have clearly invested in good cameras.   The tours have been designed to show parts of the town that many miss as well as introduce practical methods to help all get more from our pictures.

I’m going to create a flickr account later today that is dedicated to the tuition tours, so those that come along will be able to upload their images, view others and also discuss new ideas going forward. I will share the link later.

The tours are going to be 8am and 5pm on Thurs-Sat. I’ve decided on those times for a couple of reasons. The first is light,  photography is much much easier done in the early hours or late afternoon.

The second is to allow visitors to get a little more from their day, hopefully we won’t clash with any other activities or meals!

To see how things are going , you can bookmark this blog or follow me on twitter



So here we go.. We start on 8th August at 8am!

Training Needs

It’s not often you’ll find mention of receiving training on photographers websites. For some reason photographers don’t like to admit that they still have a way to go. Almost all photographers offer training courses but few ever seem to admit needing to go on them. Well I do!

Training is vital to me and the business, I need to ensure that I’m still delivering the highest standards and be open to new ideas from other photographers that might do things more effectively.
Next week I’m travelling to the UK for 2 days with the BIPP, the first day will be spent with Kevin Pengelly who is a highly accomplished wedding photographer from the south of England. The second will be with Bella West who I’ve a huge amount of respect for. She’ll be leading a workshop on environmental portraiture focussing on youth.  Both of these workshops will be useful to me here in Kenmare.