Category Archives: Penny Morgan

Is this you?

We’re introduced at a networking meeting and a professional rapport was established. I viewed the photographers website and checked out their online presence. All the people in the images must be professional models as they all look great/at ease with their poses

Emails are exchanged. Hard questions have to be faced. What do I want? How can this ever work? All the what if’s………………? I really don’t like my photograph being taken. I need to do this but I’m really not comfortable in front of the camera.

Time and date agreed, deposit paid, confirmation received – there’s no backing out now!

The dreaded day arrives, I have a plan, take it steady, arrive calm and relaxed – not. What a calamitous morning, heavy traffic encountered all the way to the shoot (Oh the irony, strike me down now!) running late. What do I wear – grabbed a selection of shirts – some are slightly smaller than I remembered!

I arrive at the venue and I’m greeted at the door, my nervous laughter mixed with babbling small talk – explaining the small shirts – why? What  do we want to achieve – professional, friendly, approachable? All the while my insides are churning like a washing machine on spin cycle!

A backdrop, big lights with reflective umbrellas, but strangely an air of calm slowly begins to descend over me. The offer of a coffee delays the impending failure / gory experience. This is not going to work, how can I look good in a picture?

Lights, camera and action! Seated on a posing block, the heat radiating from the lights is akin to basking in the midday sun. Calming, soothing words of guidance, helping me find a comfortable position. Slight tilt of the head, right hand onto thigh and just drop those shoulders. I interact with the photographer and their assistant, use my hands, my expressive side showing through. Big smile, drop the chin, a serious look. A slurp of coffee between poses, hey, this isn’t too bad!

Wow, I have a best side, but I knew that all along and this is all feeling so much better than I had anticipated. And relax.

I’ve been sat here for thirty minutes already and time is flying by. All change and into the “smaller than I remember shirt” . I do believe that I can carry this off. The talking continues, adjusting position, lean forward from the waist, turn my face a little and back the other way.

And it’s over. Gather my things, the images will be ready within ten working days and I can view them in a password protected folder. Choose the ones that I prefer and they will be mine.

On reflection, that was a goods experience. I left feeling a lot better about how to be myself in front of the camera. Gone is the awkwardness and the toothy grimace masquerading as a smile.

Having a professional take the shots is so much more than someone just pressing a button. They can understand you and get the best out of you. That is when great shots are achieved.

 

Image copyright Penny Morgan Photography.

‘I could never be on stage!’

The driving factor of networking is to engage with people, promote your business and build those trusted relationships for future work.  Being amongst 30 – 40 people together in a room, grabbing a coffee just to separate a little from the throng and watch. Listening to one conversation while eaves dropping on three others in your periphery. All kinds of folk, suited and booted, leopard print heels, jeans, casual shirts and the odd donkey jacket.

The organisers are making introductions, surreptitiously moving the participants in the ever changing dynamic of the room. PA, PR, building management and a holistic health practitioner is just brushing the surface of the gathered expertise. The noise, the communication, the body language, to be heard and observed. You could interject with a yes or no, a nod or a smile. Listening to people, don’t we all like to talk about ourselves? Looking for common ground, shared ethics and views, commonality is the driver.

But what has being on stage got to do with any of this? 

What if running your own business or a valued member of a bigger organisation could be likened to being in the best production you’ll ever perform in? You don’t have to learn a script, you already know it inside out… it’s the business you work in… and being yourself. Your personality, the way you dress, stand, behave and share your skills and knowledge of what you do, all tell an unfolding unique story of authenticity, honesty and personal leadership. How many of the connections you make leave you wanting to hear more, like you might in a gripping production?

Stop the room and bring a camera in, many of the participants will melt into the wings and tuck themselves away from the forefront, they will appear distracted and their demeanour will change. But helping people to be themselves, help them get over their apprehension and nerves, in front of the greatest audience they could wish for, is all the camera is facilitating… something we here at PMP Towers have made part of our own unique production.

What’s your experience networking and do you find it easy to be yourself?

Image copyright of Penny Morgan Photography

How much priority should we give ‘down time’?

Easter is around the corner bringing with it a term holiday for those with children in school. Now what to do with the them? Is it a holiday for those in charge? ’I’ll do that, if I have the time’, or, ‘we’ll do it later’. Do we find the time, or are we chasing our tails and it feels like another working week? Remembering the simpler times when we could work out where our friends were by who’s house they’d left their bikes outside and being told as kids to be home by tea time!

No mobiles or internet, just our bikes and imagination.

Not pining for rose tinted nostalgia, too many reminders of dodgy clothing choices and shocking/questionable haircuts, but how much downtime do you book for yourself and your loved ones? The benefits of ‘head space’, enjoying the great outdoors and doing the things that bring enhancement to your life… why on earth don’t we give it a higher priority?

Future memories are being made today.

Outside is free. These things don’t have to be financially restrictive. Build a blanket den, hide & seek or get crafty – make stuff from, well, stuff! But are teenagers going to want to be involved with a ladybird search? Our past experience has included tame pheasants, quad bikes, dogs, sport, music, oh and imitating Mo Farrah and Usain Bolt, to name a few things we’ve captured with the teens of the family.

Picnic in the park, beach walks and nature trails, liking these simple things for what they are, not for the ‘likes’ it may achieve on social media is still pretty priceless.

Create your future memory this year.

Create your future memories this year.    Photograph copyright of Penny Morgan Photography.

I love me, I love my image

How many times have your heard remarks which are derogatory in nature, but not seriously intended, ‘off the cuff, ‘in jest’, ‘I didn’t mean it’? Things about our looks, body and face features, height, weight, personality… anything really.

They are often mitigated with an ‘only joking’ caveat, as though this somehow limits the damage, but it’s too late, the seed has been planted, germinated and is thriving. These comments can leave unseen impressions on us.

We scrutinise ourselves in the bathroom mirror, however photographs are the exact reverse of how we actually appear. This is one of the reasons why we think the images are not a true representation of how we look and why we are unfamiliar with them. Other people have only ever seen you as you view your image and, our friends see US, whereas we see what we perceive as our faults.

The camera never lies – Oh yes it can! No, this is not panto season, but we do see images that are not accurate and really believe this is how we are. Here are a few things that can effect the image:

1) Phone camera distortion – all the pictures of ourselves/friends we exclaim ‘Ooo eck, bulbous moon face’.

2) Light & shade  can be our friend and foe. As good as cameras are some lighting conditions can overwhelm them. Therefore its interpretation of light and shade is not always accurate.

Filters – flowers, big eyes, puppy dog ears and noses. All these things are seen as fun and amusing, but how many of us use them to hide behind?

We hear comments from ‘Can you make me look 10 years younger’ to ‘I look too young to be taken seriously’. 

Despite the bravado all the points covered affect men as well as women.

You have options, you don’t have to live with not liking your image.

Where do we turn to for reassurance? Online presence of beauty guides, behaviour guides, makeup, relationships, both personal and family. Who or what is right? For you – you are right. Our friends mean well but are they helping or worsening the situation? We share and empathise with each other but what do we do about it?

‘Love Your Image’ & ‘Evolve Your Image’ are bespoke products that will guide you through the potential pitfalls of having your photograph taken. You can learn why you feel anxious, nervous, or ’dread the thought’ … and how to do something about it.

Photograph copyright of Penny Morgan Photography

The ‘Elephant’ in the room… a photographers focus.

So for the last two years, I’ve talked about getting to grips with changing how we feel about being photographed. Discovering just how many dislike it and/or the results, has been both eye opening and yet strangely not a surprise.

After developing the program ‘Love Your Image’, to help people who don’t like being photographed change this mind-set, has been an interesting and rewarding journey. Just about everyone thinks it’s a good idea and most will talk about it on a ‘general’ level, but how open would you want to be to discuss this subject on a much more personal level? No so much I find. Often what we don’t like about our image may feel somewhat trivial or connected with vanity and nobody really wants to admit to being vain? I hear so many different stories of why people don’t like their photograph taken, but if you are in business, can you afford to be an Eeore about it?

Being aware of your ‘Mind-set’ is being applied to many things these days and how you present yourself in images IS hugely important. Therefore so is changing your mind-set in front of the camera… and change it YOU CAN… this is something that is within an individuals reach regardless of how you have felt… perhaps for many years? With the right help and guidance you can do this.

To change how you feel and be among a growing group who have learned to ‘Love Their Image’ has MANY rewards. It’s neither trivial nor vain to decide to address this and the benefits are considerable.

The first step of the journey is:

  • Learning and understanding ‘why’ we arrive at such an attitude.
  • Useful tips on ‘how’ to be in front of the camera and why they work!

… and when you feel brave enough…

  • A photo-shoot – that only you see the results, until you are ready to share.
And that’s just the start, to making it a permanent change.

This doesn’t ask anything more of you than a willingness to be open minded to change.

So consider this… and its nothing to do with your size… can the ‘Elephant’ in your room be ignored any longer…?

Elephant In The Room

Photograph copyright of Penny Morgan Photography

What is Valentine’s Day?

Flowers, a card and a meal out? It’s origins belie a mixed history. The day of romance is named for a Christian martyr and dates back to the 5th century, but it’s beginnings can be found in the Roman holiday of Lupercalia. This was a pastoral festival held on 15th February to avert evil spirits and purify the city, releasing health and fertility.

Ancient rituals have been adulterated with a modern commercial twist. 

The special day falls on a ‘school night’ this year so do we crack open a bottle of fizz? Fuzzy head at half past week! We have realised that we are officially a ‘Coople’, a term used in an illustration by the very talented Jessie Cave. It goes something like this… Jed & Emma have been together for 9 years. They are one of those infuriatingly happy and committed cooples who live for the moment someone asks “how did you meet?”

Deep down we all like the high we get from making others feel special, but how we feel about ourselves is where that happiness truly stems from.

Enjoy February 14th, whether you’ve planned for it or not.

Image copyright of Penny Morgan Photography

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The Photo less Photo shoot – no photos… guaranteed!

Tues 22nd March 2016, 5.45pm – 7.45pm – Bury St Edmunds
£24.99 per person including refreshments.

If you dislike being photographed and are less than happy with the results, then this seminar is for you!

Change your thinking and learn to ‘Love Your Image’.

Happy ladies from Love Your Image

Do you love your image?

 

BOOK NOW! – Go to booking page.

Turn what you learn to your advantage, for business and pleasure – come and find out:

  • Where the dislike comes from
  • Guest speaker Linda Barbour – Calm, confident you
  • Learn valuable tips for being in front of the camera
  • Discover the lasting benefits to both work and personal life
  • Boost your confidence

NO ONE WILL BE PHOTOGRAPHED!

Love Your Image logo

 

 


This seminar is part of the 
‘Love Your Image’ program.
If you feel you would like to go on and complete the program, all attendees will qualify to book their photography session at a special rate – come and find out!

When?
   Tues 22nd March 2016, 5.45pm – 7.45pm.

Where – and how to get there.
   The Active Business Centre, Bury St Edmunds

Cost and how to book.
   £24.99 per person, includes VAT and refreshment.

Places are limited, so book your seat NOW – Go to booking page.

For more information, please visit our website page
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A – Z Photography tips and information… B

(B) is for black and white – sometimes the success of a shot is in its simplicity and removing the colour can aid this and change the focus. Plus, mixed with the right lighting (covered under ‘L’) it can bring a great ‘mood’ quality to the image, shown below in a small selection of very different examples.

Black and white photographs

(B) is also for… background – not so obvious, to the point it’s easy to forget them altogether – especially when you are concentrating on your foreground image! Then you end up with objects suddenly appearing in your finished composition that you hadn’t seen at the time of capture! A telegraph pole sticking out the top of someone’s head is never a good look!

So look out for them! A shifting of the camera or your position (often quite small) can save the whole composition of your image. The photo below of the young lady sitting on the beach is a simple example, positioning her in between two upright posts in the background that have strong shadows. If you have a tricky background, observe if it’s possible to use it to your advantage, i.e. frame your image with the background… or move altogether and get another angle.

There are other factors to consider with backgrounds covered further on in the series, so watch out for those 🙂

Background example
I’ll try and remember to refer back to comments mentioned under previous letters that may be relevant to another tip 🙂

 

Awesome Autumn 2014 promotions…

Well it’s been a long and busy summer, with shoots as varied as I can remember!

I have a bag full of blogs waiting to share with you, but in the meantime have launched a couple of Autumn promotions.

The first is so important to those of us in business and was recently reminded by a clients quote… a strong indication that good profile photographs can draw people to you.

“I get a lot of compliments on the photo’s that you did! I ask all my clients where they found me and a good majority of them reply from my website.  They chose me because they like my photo and I look approachable! ” 🙂

I will be arranging the first session dates in the next week if you would like to take advantage of this promotion.

Click on the image, or, the following link for further information – LATEST PROMOTIONS.

Head&ShouldersPromotion

The second is making the most of our lovely autumn colours that have started to appear and a great opportunity to enjoy some valuable downtime to yourself or with your family.

I won’t mention the ‘C’ word yet, but a promotion worth considering if you would like gift ideas!

These shoots will be arranged and held at a beautiful outdoor Suffolk location – flexibility with our lovely British weather will be allowed for!

Click on the image to read all the information.

Awesome Autumn promotion
Y
ou can get in touch via email, phone, or my website for any further information.

 

 

Happy New Year….

Ok, I will admit, the blogging has been absent for a while now… but with New Year coming, it’s not too late to wish you all the very best for 2014.

Much has gone on in the last few months and rather than attempting to catch up with all the news, thought I would share a few of the many faces I’ve had the pleasure and good fortune to be asked to capture in 2013, in mini version.

Lots of plans are afoot for the New Year, so keep an eye open for more information.

The first people I would love to hear from are all those who dislike… (yes you read that correctly)… having their photograph taken and think they are not particularly photogenic… I have news for you… which I will blog about very soon.

In the meantime, enjoy spotting a few familiar faces 🙂 and may you and your loved ones have a healthy and prosperous New Year!

2013Collage(1)

2013Collage(2)