How to be a Professional Photographer | Student Q and A

Whether you’re a strong amateur or an established professional, the photographers amongst you will, I’m sure, receive enquiries from time to time from enthusiasts and students who are hoping to get some insight into image creation or what’s needed to break into the business. I also receive many requests for mentoring. The quality of such […]

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  • Jo Blackwell - October 23, 2010 - 4:40 pm

    An interesting article, Lindsay – thank you!

  • Mari - March 26, 2012 - 4:13 am

    Thank you for this article! I learned a lot :-)

  • Terry Andrews - September 5, 2012 - 10:16 pm

    Best advice for any young starter I have yet seen.
    And it is all TRUE.
    When I started 50+ years ago I was advised to do something else…anything.

    Photography is not a choice, it is an addiction.
    I do not know any rich photographers…I do not think there are any.

    There are lots of contented and even happy photographers.
    There are no sucessful lazy photographers.

    Regards Terry

  • Lindsay - September 6, 2012 - 9:57 am

    Lovely to hear from you Terry – your comment has accurately summed up the reality of the professional photography world. I don’t think I know many well off photographers either, unless they’ve diversified into other businesses which is increasingly common. Our overheads continue to rise each year yet the public at large will still be of the view that our costs amount to nothing more than a camera and a couple of lenses. My overheads in the first quarter of this year were around £10K alone, and that doesn’t include the cost of goods sold. I’m just replacing our backup computer system and I’m rebuilding the primary system, as I’m forced to every three years …. at great cost in parts and time. One of the hardest things is finding the time to actually take pictures – the mechanics of running a business as a sole trader can be overwhelming. Good to meet somebody with some insight! Kind regards, Lindsay.

In The Street

I’m sure you’ve all heard countless stories about photographers (professional or amateur, young or old) who have been challenged by the police, members of the public, or by over-enthusiastic security guards. You may have been harassed, or even assaulted for engaging in the fascinating pursuit of ‘street photography’ (by definition this would include any photography undertaken in […]

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  • Pete Jenkins - August 18, 2010 - 12:07 am

    Thanks for your kind comments Lindsay.

    If only the police officers on the ground would follow the guidelines issued there would be far fewer incidents. It continues to amaze me how something so simple as street photography could attract so much confusion!

    Everyone does street photography. Facebook is full of it. Why does it become such an issue when a DSLR is involved?

    I like your work by the way – great stuff.

    Pete J

  • admin - August 18, 2010 - 10:16 am

    Pete, having researched you recently (I think it’s true to say I’m a fan – what a fascinating body of work) I’m overwhelmed to receive your comment – like so many photographers I was delighted to see your piece in Professional Photographer magazine, a solid and practical guide to our rights. I certainly learned a thing or two. I have to agree that the whole reaction to seeing somebody out with their camera is bizarre – it defies all sense of logic, which I find frightening given that this is the UK. The spectacular manner in which too many members of the police blatantly ignore the law, and ignore their own guidelines, is unacceptable and has fuelled the public perception that anyone with a camera in their hand is a criminal and should be treated as such. I re-wrote my previous article several times before I had moderated my feelings sufficiently to post it. I can appreciate that ensuring all officers are up to speed on certain aspects of the law will be quite a task for police commissioners, but training in this area would certainly be beneficial.

    I bought a miniature camera a couple of months back for public projects but it irked and saddened me that I should have to do that in order to go about my assignments safely. Ten years ago parents would have come up to me and insisted I grab some shots of their kids.

    Kind regards,
    Lindsay

  • Jools - August 19, 2010 - 8:26 pm

    it’s all very well the police having these guidelines, but they don’t stick to them – because they don’t have to, they know they can do what they want without any consequences, the whole thing is a joke. the reason they act out on all the stupid mindless complaints against photographers is because they get a pat on the back for it from the public who can’t think for themselves anymore. it’s not the tabloids that have whipped up all this suspicion, it’s the police themselves. any numpty can get into uniform these days. i know of one photographer who was taking pictures of some orchids, a respected member of the community, and some old busybody reported him to the cops, who were so brilliant they sent an armed response unit and gave the poor guy hell – face down on the floor then arrested and interrogated, the poor s*d never got an apology from any of the idiots involved. i just hope it gets better now that we’ve got a govt with a bit of sense.

  • Admin - August 20, 2010 - 11:16 am

    I’m sure things will get better Jools. After all, out of all the tens of thousands of photographer stop and search operations carried out in the last few years, I’m not aware of any occasions where any of those photographers were linked with terrorism! In light of this I’m sure the revised police guidelines will have a positive effect, in time. There has been an enormous backlash against police policy and people are generally better informed these days as to their rights, articles like Pete’s will be a huge help in this regard.

  • Jo Blackwell - October 23, 2010 - 4:50 pm

    Hmm, this is really interesting. I always feel self conscious when using my camera in crowds. Normally, if I see someone looking, I just smile and say “don’t worry: I’ve not got you in shot!” or, if I want them in the shot, I ask politely if they mind. No one’s told me to eff off yet, but then I am quite new – there’s time yet!

    I think if anyone objects, it’s fair enough and we should respect privacy and, as you say, point the lens in another direction. It’s just common courtesy, really. I don’t think that we should feel that holding a camera gives us special rights.

Natural Location Family Portraits West Sussex

In the years I’ve lived in West Sussex, I finally made a wonderful discovery – the village of Fittleworth. Having believed that this amounted to a handful of pretty cottages on the main road, my route now took me to the village itself, and what a idyllic place it is. My clients’ home was equally pleasing and tranquil, with […]

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  • Jools - August 16, 2010 - 1:08 pm

    Really like these shots – can you make my two look like that?

  • admin - August 16, 2010 - 1:23 pm

    I’ll have a go at anything Jools (-: but please don’t get the quad bikes out until the end.

  • Jayne Sacco - August 16, 2010 - 2:50 pm

    great work. x

  • Lindsay P - August 16, 2010 - 4:34 pm

    Love the way you’ve included all the details which are so important in capturing the whole picture: the Guinea Pig’s(?)feet, the scooter, the bikes. memo to self: don’t forget the details!! Good to see you’re working hard!!

  • Jo Blackwell - August 16, 2010 - 9:06 pm

    Love these, Lindsay, especially the montages. I need to increase the variety in my shots. x

  • Mag D - August 18, 2010 - 12:30 pm

    Absolutely delightful photos, children (especially photos in black and white) with their toys. Guinea pigs looked so well behaved !!! I think the children playing their musical instruments are lovely. Very well cared for chickens, every feather in place. The more serious ones of the children are, for me, think the most impressive. Well done, thank you

  • maureen - August 18, 2010 - 12:37 pm

    After looking at your photos several times, they are really impressive, as a parent I know, these are photos to be treasured for ever. How do you get children to pose so perfectly ? Even their pets were well behaved and perfectly photographed… super one of the chickens. An absolute joy to look at and appreciate the work that must have gone into producing them.

  • admin - August 18, 2010 - 2:01 pm

    Thanks for the lovely comments everyone. Maureen – we try not to control the posing too tightly which helps clients, especially children, to feel relaxed about being photographed. With this sort of work we tend to move ourselves, rather than our subjects. However it’s important to understand the classic rules of portraiture.

  • Shirley Williams - August 24, 2010 - 3:08 pm

    The photos are lovely Lindsay. I can’t stop looking at them! Rory and Charlotte had such fun with you and this really comes across. Thank you so much – it was a delight to have our family captured in such a relaxing and natural, yet utterly professional manner.

  • Tim - August 25, 2010 - 6:30 pm

    Golly gosh! Those are really beautiful shots of Rory and Charlotte. They must be photogenic! Terrific.

  • admin - August 26, 2010 - 11:45 am

    Thank you Shirley and Tim for the kind comments, I certainly had lovely subjects.

    I enjoyed reading your blog Tim. I used to live in Antrim.

Past Times …. {Family Portrait Photography West Sussex, Surrey and Kent}

This shoot was a wonderful, unexpected surprise. And one I must thank my friend and fellow photographer Jayne Sacco for. I knew something was going on when Jayne mentioned that I was known to Shelley, the mother in the lovely family we photographed that day. On arrival I was reunited with an old schoolfriend, after […]

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  • Lindsay P - July 21, 2010 - 4:36 pm

    Brilliant Lindsay, love them all!

  • admin - July 21, 2010 - 4:42 pm

    Thank you Lindsay. I have a feeling Bazel would have enjoyed this outing – he and Pogo would have had a great time together! (-:

  • maureen dobson - July 21, 2010 - 6:23 pm

    Lindsay your photos are beautiful, a family actually enjoying being photographed, no posing pressure, everything so natural, and really lovely children enjoying every minute on the beach with their Mum. It must have been a great re-union for you and Shelley. Thank you

  • admin - July 22, 2010 - 10:43 am

    Yes, that’s exactly what we strive for, working in places our subjects are happy in, using and moulding the light and the backgrounds effectively, working quickly and intensively to capture special moments and expressions. This family was such a pleasure to be with.

  • Shelley Capel - August 1, 2010 - 9:51 pm

    Lindsay – we’re really lost for words to describe just how fantastic we all think these pictures are. You made us feel so at ease on the day, no wonder we all look so good – even Pogo!
    I usually dislike all pictures I have taken, but, love everyone that I’m in. As for the children, you have captured their characters so well, I can almost hear the photos talking to me. Just their eyes alone say so much. (It’s a Mum thing!)
    Thank you so much for this brilliant opportunity and your time in making our family feel so wondrful. Big licks from Pogo too!
    Love Shelley xx

  • admin - August 2, 2010 - 6:02 pm

    Thank you so much for the kind words Shelley, we had a fantastic time – you and the family, and Pogo, made our job incredibly easy! So pleased I wasn’t personally involved with the seaweed though ….. xx

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