“But why do the prints cost so much?”

Another classic from the “Tales of the Clueless..”

A couple of years ago I did some photos for someone at a bodybuilding competition. They liked the shots and bought quite a few prints. Then a friend of theirs who was in the same competition approached me and said ‘any chance of a copy of the pics which had me in?’ I said sure, no problem and game them a copy of my price list, to which they replied “How much??!! If I take them in Tesco they only charge 30p a print!”

So, I politely suggested that they should take their shots into Tesco and get them printed. Oh, but apparently the shots their girlfriend took on her compact camera ‘came out shit’ and mine were ‘loads better’.

Err, well DUH!

Here’s the bottom line: You’re not paying for the 50p it takes to print a photo onto a piece of paper. You’re buying a copy of a piece of art, produced by a professional photographer. You’re paying for the fact I’ve got nearly ten grands worth of gear in my bag and it’s taken me years to learn how to use it properly.

It’s not just pressing a button, it’s knowing which button to press..

I don’t do ‘snaps’..

Normally an invitation to a party or other such event is something to look forward to, but sadly as a photographer it’s becoming all too regular to receive an invite, often out of the blue and from someone you wouldn’t normally expect to receive one from that’s worded something like:

“Hey Rich, hope you’re well. We’re having a party on such and such a day, hope you can make it!”

Great! I think, that’ll be fun. Then you see the next bit..

“Don’t forget to bring your camera, we’d love to get some good snaps!”

Ahh, so that’s why you’re inviting me then. Because you actually want a professional photographer, but you just don’t want to pay for one.!

Well thanks for the invite, but the only time I take ‘snaps’ is when I’m on holiday, or I happen to spot something that I’d like to remember for later.  If you want me to take photos for your event then that’s a job, not a invitation to a party.


There’s an old tale about Picasso that goes something like this:

Picasso was in a park when a woman approached him and asked him to draw a portrait of her. Picasso agreed and quickly sketches her. After handing the sketch to her, she is pleased with the likeness and asks how much she owed to him. Picasso replied £5,000.

The woman screamed, “but it took you only five minutes”.

“No, madam, it took me all my life,” replied Picasso.

I wonder what sort of reaction you’d get if you invited your friend the electrician to your birthday and said “oh, don’t forget your tools, my shower is on the frizz”. Perhaps next time you have a barbecue you could invite a friend who’s a mechanic and ask them to service your car for free while they’re there too?

So yeah thanks for the invite, I’d love to come, but I’ll leave the camera at home thanks :)



Guidance for Security Personnel

In recent years there have been numerous reports of heavy handed security guards hassling photographers for taking photographs in public places.  The fact is, you have the right to photograph anything you like if you are in a public place, including people, vehicles, buildings etc.  so unless you are on private property said security have no right to stop you.

Thankfully, the British Security Industry Association have recently issued some guidance to their members in the form of a brochure which outlines the legal position and their expectations.

[button link=”http://www.bsia.co.uk/web_images/Securit-e-News/November%202011/photography_guide_002.pdf” style=”download” text=”dark”]Download the PDF Here[/button]

Sites which may be of interest:

Why you should use a Circular Polariser

Here’s another before/after example illustrating the obvious benefits of using a circular polariser in Landscape Photography..

Move the slider to the left to reveal the ‘before’ image..

If you’re looking to buy a polariser, in my opinion you can’t beat the ones made by B+W. I use their top-end ‘Kaesmann’ filter, which isn’t cheap but it really is the Rolls Royce of polarisers.

Here are a couple of recommendations for you, with Amazon Links:





Had a lovely day out today down in Clevedon with my friend Arleta. Took a few snaps while I was there and thought I’d do something a little more stylised for a change..


Lightroom 4 Preview..

Very excited that Adobe have released the beta of Lightroom 4 into the wild today, with huge improvements..

Just a few of the new features (as described by Adobe Labs):


For the development of this latest release, we’ve focused on further maximizing image quality and expanding output options. New tools let you extract more detail from highlights and shadows, make a wider range of targeted adjustments, and easily share your images and video clips on social media and photo sharing sites.

New Features in Lightroom 4 Beta

  • Highlight and shadow recovery brings out all the detail that your camera captures in dark shadows and bright highlights.
  • Photo book creation with easy-to-use elegant templates.
  • Location-based organization lets you find and group images by location, assign locations to images, and display data from GPS-enabled cameras.
  • White balance brush to refine and adjust white balance in specific areas of your images.
  • Additional local editing controls let you adjust noise reduction and remove moiré in targeted areas of your images.
  • Extended video support for organizing, viewing, and making adjustments and edits to video clips.
  • Easy video publishing lets you edit and share video clips on Facebook and Flickr®.
  • Soft proofing to preview how an image will look when printed with color-managed printers.
  • Email directly from Lightroom using the email account of your choice.


What I’m particularly looking forward to:

I’m particularly looking forward to the enhanced adjustment brushes and the geolocation support. Should save me tediously tagging everything on flickr.  I can see the video stuff helping loads too as I want to do some training videos for my martial arts school this year too and being able to catalogue them in LR will be dead handy.
There’s a very tiny tweak in the print module which is going to make a huge difference. They’ve added a brightness adjustment directly into the print setup which will apply only to your printed output.  FANTASITIC!  No more making virtual copies and adjusting them all manually in the develop module. That’s going to make  such a difference when setting up for prints. Very, very happy about that :)
The book support is going to be really handy too given that I’ve just been looking at making up some portfolio books to show to potential clients.  Better still, it appears to be using blurb which is the service I was using anyway so I’m very happy about that :)  Blurb make excellent quality books and their existing software is excellent. To have that built directly into Lightroom is going to be incredible.
As always, “The Photoshop Guys” were involved in the launch, so head on over to their site as Scott Kelby and Matt Kloskowski have a bunch of videos to show off some of the new features. And if like me you can’t wait to get your hands on it, you can download the beta right now from Adobe Labs