The Benefits of Joining The Guild of Photographers
I can honestly say, I wouldn’t be a full-time Equine photographer if it wasn’t for The Guild Of Photographers.
Over the last 6 years, I’ve learn’t so much from The Guild. They’ve encouraged me to develop my photography skills and style, but also inadvertently increased my confidence and helped me develop a postive mindset too.
Being a member, pushed me in competitions, which eventually led me to being awarded Equine Photograph of the Year and gaining ‘Overall Image of the Year’ (Judges Choice).
Through their support and mentoring, I gained my Master Craftsman qualification (panel below). This process taught my how to construct a set of images that would work together as a panel and how to print. Sounds silly, but how many of us actually print the photographs we take these days? But it’s so important that we do! Coming from a digital generation, I didn’t know that the choice of photographic paper you choose, actually affects the look, feel, and longevity of your image.
They helped me to create my niche
If I look back over the years, I can now see, with the support of The Guild and particularly with the help of their mentoring service, trigger points, where I started to develop my style. It really is quite an eye-opener when you stop and look back at your early submissions. How, sometimes in the moment, you can’t see any improvement, but with time and a steady tapping away, learning new skills, and experimenting, you push through and find your niche.
Below is a before and after image of my award-winning photograph of Blakerigg, a thoroughbred gelding. He was in training when this photograph was taken and I didn’t have much time to capture him. There were no external lights used, everything was kept just as natural as possible, to keep him comfortable and to allow his personality to shine through.
To reach the level of skils, which created the award winning image above, has evolved me going on a journey of discovery. When I initially started out, my portraits were very much an experiment! (See below) I tried different coloured backgrounds and textures and worked on how to create real looking fur back onto my subjects, once I’d taken the backgrounds away. I manipulated shades of light and dark and captured different poses. Just seeing what worked best for each horse.
Step forward so many submissions to the Guild’s Image of the Month Competition (IOM) and I finally found my style and work that I was confident in producing for my clients.
Icing on the cake – helping me develop my business skills
Having increased my confidence in my photographic ability, a few years ago I also gained The Guild of Photographers business qualification and this, in turn, started to support my aspirations that one day, I could be a full-time horse photographer. It worked. I really do owe so much to this amazing organisation.