Category Archives: Canon EOS 5D

Do testimonials work… do you read them or skip over??

When you’ve completed a successful shoot and your client is really pleased… should you always remember to ask ¬†for a review or testimonial? This is usually the bit I forget!! … although some clients spontaneously provide one anyway ūüôā¬†

I’m told google likes them, and sources like ‘Trust Pilot’ wouldn’t exist if people didn’t look for them – LInkedIn and Facebook have a business page ‘review’ feature, so I guess the answer is that you should. It feels like ‘self praise’ and blowing your own trumpet, but nowadays it’s much more about showing you are a credible and trustworthy business and who better to authenticate your services than happy customers.

So, do you read reviews and testimonials? Well, yes if I’m purchasing items from a source that I don’t know personally, they are very helpful. Or, researching the best item to buy on say, camera equipment. Does this apply to services too, especially those that are hugely personal, such as photography? In addition to ‘reviews’ and ‘testimonials’ we should add ‘recommendations’, as these are frequently asked for on places like Facebook.¬†I ask this, because most of my work comes via face to face networking and getting to know people, who in turn use and recommend my services.

Perhaps reviews, in addition to a solid portfolio, are mainly part of a credible and true presence online, including all the various social media platforms … will you read any further ūüôā ??

” I can not begin to express the delight I felt when I saw our photos however the outstanding service started months before we got them!
For my 50th I wanted a picture of my family so hubby duly got a voucher from Penny and then handed over to me! Oh my what a pain pinning 4 sets of families and diaries to one Saturday. Penny was supportive and patient, no pressure just gentle reassurance that we would get there. So we got a date and we all turned up at the most beautiful house and gardens… chaos ensued with sorting two 3 year olds, two under 12 months and one teenager who needed to be serious.
Penny had taken the time to ask questions before hand so she knew all the likes and dislikes and all the names, plus Terry supported Penny and entertained the children and took additional pictures.

Thank you thank you thank you ūüėä

If you are looking for someone who cares about the service they give and the shots they take then please use Penny Рyou will not be disappointed

Venitia Billings “

Canvas wrap, image, family photo,

All ready for delivery..

All ready for delivery…

#portrait #suffolk #family #together Family gathering

Quick tips – how to be in front of the camera:

If you are one of those people who feel mighty uncomfortable in front of a lens and you’ve not had the opportunity to work with a professional, I wanted to share a few ‘rules of thumb’ and tips to help, that you can take away and actively put into practice.

First of all, I firmly believe that the responsibility lies with the photographer to capture a good shot of someone – not that of the people being photographed. Everyone without exception can take a good photograph, no arguments – and if you are working with a professional, they should have the knowledge to guide you all the way through it.

There are exceptions to the rules and as a professional photographer, I work with the individual and capture what is right for them, as we are all different.

However in a ‘non’ professional situation, you have more control that you may imagine, because it’s unlikely there will be any guidance of where and how to be, whether you are seated, standing, on your own, or in a group. It’s also very doubtful you will be given an indication when the image is about to be taken.

1 When standing full on, or square to the camera, this is your widest angle and gives little opportunity to show your personality. If you stand sideways onto the camera, it’s going to look quite awkward turning your head so far to look at the camera and also shows all your outlines. 45 degrees towards the camera is your best angle and streamlines everything.

2 – Stand comfortably, either equal weight on each leg, or, place your weight on your back leg and allow your other leg to casually point forward. Hands can either be gently clasped in front of you, or behind.

3 РAngles to the camera are good Рwe’ve already mentioned in Tip1, but SMALL tilts of the head also help. The camera is at a more flattering angle if a little above you and less flattering if below you.

4 – All the above also applies to being seated in front of the camera.

5 – If you find yourself in a group, say at a party, wedding or family gathering, apply the above tips, focus on the fun of the event, allow a smile to come to your face and resist the urge to chatter. Watch the camera and wait until they have taken the image and put the camera away.

 

 

People can be amazingly kind in their testimonials…

Christmas 2018 seems long gone now, however wanted to share a pleasant surprise last month, from the contact who booked my services to cover their Christmas Parties. Along with two other very good photographers over 13 evenings, we captured several hundred people all enjoying the festive time at both The Apex and The Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds. To receive the attached testimonial was brilliant!

I’ll let the following link do the talking!

Penny Morgan Photography Testimonial

The Athenaeum Christmas Parties, 2018, Bury St Edmunds The Athenaeum Christmas Parties, 2018, Bury St Edmunds

Boring old headshot… really??

I recently saw a statement on social media that made me read further… it read ‘don’t want a boring old headshot?’¬†It occurred to me that I’ve never seen a ‘boring old headshot’ – a poor one perhaps, but not boring. It might be poor in its technical production, for example, poorly lit and too dark, too much contrast, out of focus, an old holiday snap, wrong angle… and then there’s the expression… stiff, nervous, apprehensive, serious and decidedly questionable. So if the offering to pep up a ‘boring old headshot’ is to put someone on a brightly coloured background, ¬†what about that expression??

90% of the success of a good headshot is in the expression. Many people who dislike their photograph being taken, will also say they would like to be captured as ‘friendly and approachable’. Yes you can have a fantastic fine art portrait of someone with a non-smiling expression. It could be wistful, contemplative, cheeky, thoughtful… but for business engagement that’s probably not the best style to go for. There is a friendly and approachable expression in all of us… after all it’s part of our personality.

Our image says a great deal about us and if you form opinions of others by their online image before you get to meet them, you can be sure others will be doing the same about you.

So if you want to encourage trust and engagement with others in your business world, friendly and approachable is the best way forward. Not fixed and posed, but natural and spontaneous… and definitely not boring, whatever background is decided upon.

Professional headshots - wall of fame

Professional headshots on different backgrounds.

Professional headshots packages for those less than comfortable in front of the camera.

Suffolk Hunt Pony Club – Peter Pan Hunter Trial and Showjumping…

Did I mention a busy summer so far…?¬†Wanted to share with you the fun of covering this event for the Suffolk Hunt Pony Club on the 23rd June¬†– now my pony club days are a few decades ago… and was with the Thetford Chase branch, BUT, I still have my rosettes, which are truly treasured.

This branch of the pony club have their base in the grounds of the beautiful Ickworth Park. Having visited the venue and course previously had some idea of where the best shots would be, but as the sun gradually moves round during the day, so the best positions change. Plus I wanted to catch a good variety of fences, rather than sticking with the same ones for most classes.

Light, angle and a good mix of experience all help capture great action photographs, so have shared quite a selection with you and hope they bring that sense of excitement, challenge and fun that you can have if horses are your love.

We had an Olympian in our midst! Caroline Powell took a couple of her horses round the bigger classes.

Have included a link for anyone wishing to know more about the pony club.

The unexpected thing from the many photographs that went online from this event was the amount of traffic I subsequently got to my website. Ok, there were quite a few competitors, but across 5 days, had around 6,000 unique visits!

A big congratulations to Terry, who bravely covered as much of the show jumping as possible, while I was out on the cross country course. Thrown in at the deep end, he did really well.

 

‘It’s a long way down…’

SHPC1

Concentration… one of the shots Terry captured in the showjumping.

SHPC22

Another one of Terry’s, this pony knew how to look straight at the camera!

SHPC21

Love this young ladies determination…

SHPC20

Further round the cross country course… some very solid logs…

SHPC19

I did mention enjoyment…

SHPC18

This pair were very much in harmony…

SHPC17

Having your tongue out, helps get over the fence…

SHPC16

Heading for home…

SHPC15

Some excellent riding…

SHPC14

Beautifully cleared….

SHPC12

and then a few steering problems…

SHPC13

A well deserved winner in the showjumping…

SHPC11

Eagerly into the water…

SHPC10

Stretching for home…

SHPC9

Coming out of the wood…

SHPC8

Olympian Caroline Powell…

SHPC7

The pairs are soo much fun…!

SHPC6

You’ve both got to clear the fences…

SHPC5

Well¬†cleared…

SHPC4

Go faster mum…!

SHPC3

I love the ponies…

SHPC2

 

Radio Suffolk – James Hazell’s Saturday morning show…

So the 9th March, saw me trundling down to Ipswich for a short interview with James Hazell on his Saturday morning show Radio Suffolk. Another first I guess – he has a slot during the show, called ‘A beginners guide to…’ and this week it was ‘How to be a professional photographer’. In hindsight barely scratched the¬†surface on¬†the subject, but¬†did my best to impart a few tips and some worldly information on the topic! Inevitably, after walking out of the studio, you realise some of his questions could have been answered¬†far more informatively… I guess there were a few nerves kicking around…

He’s obviously a keen photographer himself and a really easy guy to chat to ūüôā

If you’d like to listen, click on the following link.¬†Have added a few photos, that we captured while in the studio, mostly thanks to my partner Terry, sitting at the back of the studio with his camera!

Penny Morgan on Suffolk Radio

Radio Suffolk - James Hazell's Beginners Guide to Photography

Radio Suffolk - James Hazell's Beginners Guide to Photography

Radio Suffolk - James Hazell's Beginners Guide to Photography

Radio Suffolk - James Hazell's Beginners Guide to Photography

Radio Suffolk - James Hazell's Beginners Guide to Photography

Radio Suffolk - James Hazell's Beginners Guide to Photography

Radio Suffolk - James Hazell's Beginners Guide to Photography

Summer Photography Day 2012 update….

Wanted to share a selection of photographs from the Summer 2012 Photography Day.

The weather couldn’t have been more perfect – warm, bright but no direct¬†sunlight.¬†We had¬†the french doors open to the Rushbrook room, which was our meet & greet/studio area and for walking into the beautiful gardens at the Heritage Well Being Centre at Nowton Court.

The feedback has been very positive from both commercial and personal customers alike. It was within easy reach of Bury, so business clients could pop out, have their shots done and back with little fuss. Someone even commented they found it less stressful… perhaps that has something to do with the lovely calm atmosphere there is at the Centre.

My challenge was to keep to my schedule, so as not to overun with each clients allotted slot!

The next morning I received an email from one of my attendees, thanking me for the shoot, as¬†her children had thoroughly enjoyed themselves and her youngest (3yrs) had asked “can the picture man with the white sirt come and play with me today mummy?” – he was of course referring to my partner and very good assistant, who helps me get the children engaged and focused on something other than me (behind the camera) until I need their attention.

It is definitely a day I will consider repeating and if you know anyone this would be of interest to, please do get in touch and I can keep people posted for the next one.

    

   

  

  

   

    

   

 

February 2008

A first blog entry to record the beginning. Equipment, Canon 5D, 24-105mm lens. My first weeks/months were purely experimental, getting used to my 5D. Some interesting shots and happy accidents along the way i.e. _MG_589.jpg, was definitely a moment to simply pick up camera (very quickly), attach a brand new flash unit (that I barely new how to use) and shoot. Ok, its exposure needed some adjusting in Photoshop. _MG_641.jpg was another unique moment spotted; the look on the bees face says it all, again the exposure had to be adjusted in Photoshop.
A trip to Australia in 2007 gave further opportunities; if I new then what I know now, some of my photos would have been different, but thats all part of it. With several hundred pictures to edit, so far only the Perth folder is online. However, Northern Territory and Sydney (yes that will include the Opera House, who doesnt) will follow as soon as possible.
Since Australia, an opportunity to photograph a contemporary dance group at a technical rehearsal (more on that when I can get them edited).
Am trying my arm at portraits and weddings soon; anything goes. I will attempt, along the way to include any potentially useful/up to date photography information.