I hope you’ve enjoyed the summer? Now the clocks have gone back winter feels very much upon us. So I find myself writing this newsletter sitting huddled from the cold, drinking strong black coffee in a little café in Liverpool.

Scott in a helicopter

The spring and summer went really well. I have a great new agent and a new, larger studio; two of the most important bits of ‘kit’ in a professional photographers arsenal. Agents are a funny thing; when you tell people you have an agent it can be met with extreme reactions.

Some clients assume your day rate will go up (not true – an agent’s fee comes from your fee, it’s not an added extra), others are happy, knowing it means they have a point of contact who’s always available. (When I’m shooting I can’t take constant calls from other clients, I have to focus on the job in hand). Other people hear the word ‘agent’ and associate you with Hollywood actors and singers. Nothing could be further from the truth! I’m still doing my own washing up, sweeping up, research and tea making. What an agent does do is handle my diary, invoicing and is a source of support and encouragement. What does that mean? I now have a little time free to pursue some personal projects and photo essays for the remainder of the year.

soft headshot

The new studio really isn’t that new anymore, nor is it as complete as I expected it to be. Things have simply been too busy. But we’re in a good place – it’s fully functioning, though admittedly could do with a few cosier touches! I’ve already shot a fair few advertising campaigns, food shoots and product shoots in there this year, and to say I am happy with the space would be an understatement. The high ceilings and masses of floor space afford me to be far more creative with my set building and lighting. It is also near an M&S food which makes me a happy man.

90s bubble gum fashion

Family Portraits are back!

Scarily Christmas is almost upon us. For the last two years we’ve run a festive portrait day. This is an opportunity for families and couples to come along, have their portraits taken in a relaxed environment and use these photos as Christmas presents for loved ones. The last two years have been really popular and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed running them. This year I will be working with professional photographer Paul Bonning Tyres. More details will be sent out soon with regards to dates and pricing. Everyone’s welcome. (Even pets!)

Gaz Birtles portrait

People buy people

Lastly, here are a couple of things I’ve learnt over the last few months…

Over the course of this year, the types of bookings I’ve received have drastically changed, and in my humble opinion, it’s for the better. The days of big faceless companies are well and truly over. Budgets are tight and clients want to get their projects right first time, meaning the photographer-client relationship is all. People don’t buy brands, they buy people.

The craftsmanship, ideals and the ‘why’ are at the forefront of client’s minds. Society as a whole has moved to a time where we are truly invested in the individual and we want a piece of them. This is, as far as I am concerned, the greatest thing to come out of social media. All social media platforms take a lot of flak for being responsible for bullying and often narcissism, but there’s more to them than this. Their ability to connect humans has changed commercialism; the process is now as important as the product. Brands large and small have taken note.

When I started out as a photographer, it was just a hobby. I simply loved being with people and taking personal portraits. It wasn’t long before it became my only source of income which meant often working to tight briefs. It feels like I’ve come full circle, for lately clients have given me free rein to do what I do best; portray people for who they are.

If you want to see more on this theme and how my latest personal project ties into it, have a look here. { http://www.violetanedkova.com/blog/2015/8/14/people-dont-buy-products-they-buy-people-and-purpose}

people buy people

Instagram – 4 hints and tips

I have been harping on about Instagram for the past few months. It is by far my favourite form of social media. Especially since the addition of the “stories” feature. For me, it feels a far more positive environment than Facebook and more engaging than twitter. Here are a few things I’ve learnt about it:

1. Consistent style is key. Pick a few key filters and do not deviate too far.
2. Keep those lines straight, keep the horizon level. This applies to all photography.
3. Post consistently. The news feed moves fast!
4. Show behind the scenes using the stories function.

I hope you’re enjoying the run up to Christmas!


I send a news letter out once a month and I never pass your details on to anyone else. For updates on workshops, hints and tips to be a better photographer and a few personal musings sign up to my mailing list.