So today I am photographing something I have never done before and I am seriously shot to bits already! So far there have been tears, full fat caffeine coffee, ciggies, nerves and I’m in serious need of a cuddle as my sons are away on holiday at the moment.
My dear friend’s baby was born sleeping at full term recently and today I am due to take a few photos at baby Ella’s funeral. Rain is also due at some point and there is no need to dampen the day further in my book.
Today, I am broken as my emotions are not for me, they are for my beautiful friend and her partner who lost baby Ella, something so precious and that alone is killing me. I have 3 beautiful children and cannot imagine the pain and emotional roller coaster they must be on at the moment. I feel helpless, angry and so very sad.
I’m quite a hard bitch emotionally if the truth be known. My life choices over the past few years have conditioned me to easily emotionally remove myself from any situation without any outside observation. Hmmmm that makes me sound a bit crazy so let me try to explain! What I mean is shooting all day weddings for beautiful, happy people when there was nothing I could do to stop my own marriage breaking down, still being a normal happy mum despite having the pressures of running my businesses and most importantly and the most difficult for me, having to let my eldest son go and live with his father when he was 13 … hopefully that gives you a flavour.
So today, is not about ‘smashing it’ or doing a good job, this about capturing something so precious and important for my friends. Work can
go fuck itself wait and I will be having a drink tonight.
Here’s the link to baby Ella’s memory page if you’d like to support her parent’s wish of raising funds for The Willow Room at Haywards Heath hospital.
I love you Ems and I promise I will do you, Pete and baby Ella proud.
Update 6th July
Ella’s service was beautiful. Attended by close family and friends, her father Pete carrying her tiny coffin into the chapel and making the most heartfelt speech before it was time to say goodbye to Ella.
I cried behind my viewfinder and snapped when I felt it appropriate. After the service, I was allowed back into the chapel to take some photos of Ella’s coffin and her flowers as her parents had wanted these photos especially.
Here’s the image that says it all for me …
As a professional photographer for 8 years now, I have learnt a lot of lessons. The one which I see time and time again on a Facebook group I belong to called Stop Working for Free are post complaints from new photographers and artists, saying they haven’t been credited/paid for their work. Stop the Press! This is not new and will only stop when us artists refuse point blank to be involved in anything unless it falls under one of the following:
- There is a contract confirming a pre-agreed rate for the service which is being provided
- There is a mutual exchange agreement on the service which is being provided. By this, I mean expenses are covered and the booking is going to benefit YOU
- Charity bookings
- Collaboration shoots
There can be no other option. Period.
Until the industry YOU are involved in realises there are no more free photos, artwork, bands, music or attendance, nothing will change.
Personally, I feel the music industry is far worse off than the photographic industry, with musicians having to pay to perform …. seriously wtf?
It took me about 2 years of self employment to realise this myself after promised credits never appeared, or during attendance at events, parking/expenses/food never arrived so I decided to take a stand. Now, whenever I am approached by someone new wanting coverage or to use my images, I always negotiate for payment. About 80% never reply (and I assume try elsewhere) and the 20% agree to pay without a problem as they know the level of service they will receive.
Payment levels depend on your experience and qualifications. My corporate day rate is £800 a day. My wedding day rate is £1450. I can charge these rates as my work is proven. One of my new business photography offers, pimps me out at just £50 an hour however, the contacts I make and bookings I receive post invoice, compensates amply for this risky strategy.
The purists amongst you will believe we shouldn’t even consider the second option of working for expenses. Let me give you my take on this. I would not get involved in anything that did not benefit me or my companies. If I am free and know the images I capture will enhance my portfolio, I’m happy to discuss a collaboration in exchange for expenses. I love my photography and would rather be shooting than sitting on my arse writing blog and social media content!
Booking with Aquabatix and Mac Cosmetics UK
Working for a charity is a personal thing and I have donated many hours over the years supporting local charities. Some of whom are very large and yes, I know some of the staff are getting paid, probably the minimum wage however, many are not, but that is not why I am involved. I am there to do a job and to network my services. I might even get to take a forbidden photo of a VIP. I have gained a lot of paid bookings and great contacts through this avenue.
Ricky Sam Hall
Collaborations rock in my opinion. Working to achieve something you are all passionate about. My collaborations normally take place out of season and consist of a small group of awesome people all wanting to achieve a common goal.
Collaboration with Ananda Millinary and Anncancan
Collaboration with Leonie Claire Bridal and Betty Lou Vintage Salon
I do see a small wave starting though i.e. the knowledge and points of reference for newbies is better than it used to be and there have been many a global outcry recently about copyright. However, we are talking big guns and small steps. Long may the small steps continue in my opinion.
If you are a decision maker in the industry and regularly take the option to gather free content over paid, professional work, then think again. I beg you to take a moment to realise how you are damaging the industry and basically calling us and our years of education and investment in our craft, worthless. Pay the going rate, acknowledge the artists involved. You will sleep better at night and help revive something which is quite frankly, getting rotten to the core.
So my advice in a nutshell, is that when you are starting out, yes it is flattering to be asked to be involved in something or for your image to be used for something in print/online but just take a moment and think, what will that credit actually do for me? The only way to make a change is to make a stand. Make sure your agreements are written and watertight. “Think of the exposure” is an overused sentence in our day and age, so let’s work together to eradicate it.
Lesley Burdett Taylor is based in Brighton, UK and is a professional photographer. She owns an app called Jaunty Twig, organises alternative weddings fairs called Quaint Queer Weird and is a separated parent. She takes no prisoners …
Over Easter, I was in the Isle of Wight with my children Oliver aged 7 and Sebastian aged 5. We had a lovely time and the sun shone for us!
I decided to pack one of my photo booth DSLRs, a Canon 40D with a fixed 50mm lens, with the sole purpose of giving it to my children to use during the holiday. After strict ‘put this around your neck every time you want to use’ instructions (thanks for the neck strap Dad!), I put it on full auto and let them run riot. The results were pretty amazing and have made me smile big time.
Here’s some of my favourites (and a few of mine too):
So if you can muster that little bit of trust needed, then I highly recommend allowing your children loose with a camera. Encourage them to snap away and give them guidance on taking photos of strangers too. Make sure they are involved in the whole process i.e. back end upload, editing and PRINTING too. Printing images is something I am totally passionate about and will help reinforce to your children, how important photography is in recording our short lives. The iPhone generation is truly upon us and the throwaway culture being instilled into our children is a battle we have almost lost in my eyes. So if you don’t have a home printer that can cope with printing to photo paper, there are many outlets which allow you to keep those treasured memories.
There are kid’s cameras available in the market but based on personal experience, I’m going to look out for a cheap DSLR (probably a Canon 20D) and without forcing photography on the kids, will try to keep up this practice with the hope they will one day ask “What are the other symbols on this button Mummy?”.
In just over a week’s time, I will be attending the Snap Photography Festival at the Fforest Farm near Cardigan in Wales. As a seasoned Glasto girl, a week in the forest in my hunters doesn’t phase me especially as we are getting fed and watered!
I’m pretty excited at the prospect of being away for a whole week with so many creative people but very nervous at being in the company of so many amazing photography speakers. I’m personally a massive fan of Sam Hurd, Ross Harvey and Laura Babb (the actual real life SNAP photography festival organisor) in particular and by the end of my stay, I’ll know a lot more about everyone else involved too. The banter on our closed Facebook page has been great to date. It will be interesting to figure out who is who as I am rubbish at names but never forget a bloody face (which is torture being a tog!). I don’t tend to follow other photographer’s work as I’m a busy chick. Although my photography has evolved over the past couple of years … I know I have a long way to go until I am happy.
With a stunning list of daily activities and workshops, every day will be filled with inspirational ‘stuff’. I like ‘stuff’, it keeps me and my non-stop mind happy. I can never sit still for too long so I know I’m going to return from SNAP exhausted but elated. How do I know this? Because life is what you make it and those of you who know me, will know that. I have no expectations of the week only that I’m going to embrace everything and open my mind to others. It’s going to be the first time I have put myself on something like this for my photography. I want to learn. I want to learn how to take photos which take my own breathe away. If I can learn just one thing from SNAP, I will be happy.
I’m excited about the camp fires, the accommodation, the night shoot, the dawn shoot, the day shoots, the workshops, breathing in the sea air … hard, tangled hair. trying out brand new Olympus kit, the onsite pub, the wild water swimming (my wetsuit is packed!), the digital detox (I wonder who will get the shakes first?!), getting tipsy at the end of week party with entertainment by the awesome Disco Shed, checking out the stars and views … ohhh I do love a good view … but most importantly, meeting people. As a seasoned wedding and event photographer, chatting and making small talk with people doesn’t phase me BUT sitting around the camp fire trying not necessarily to talk about everything photography to a camp full of photographers is already making me giggle!
My guffaw of a laugh will be on loud. It’s good to laugh. I will have no commitments, no children needing or wanting me and my editing is (almost!) done before I go away with my children on holiday next week. Yes I will miss my babies but sometimes, you just have to get away, recoup and come back with a clear mind. That’s what SNAP is about … for me … and my future clients of course! I want to better myself. Pushing myself as it has always been in my nature. But not being a dick of course … that’s the balance I strive for.
As a child, my parents took us a few years on the trot to a place in Wales called Newgale which isn’t too far from Fforest. Travelling across the English/Welsh border with another family in convoy each summer, we used to pitch our tents in the farmer’s field up the windy hill and then us kids were basically left to our own devices for the entire summer. I have great memories of crabbing, field hopping, making friends with kids with weird accents, straw chucking and boogie boarding. Thank you Mum and Dad! Here’s a few photos:
I’m front right
My sister Ali and I
I’m travelling up with the Brighton babes namely Anna, Sarah and driver Jessica and I know it’s going to be a scream! My bladder is ‘child worn’ so hopefully there won’t be too many stops and we’ll be there in plenty of time to check out the location before it gets too dark. We’ve already started using my app Jaunty Twig to record our journey via social media to and from Wales as a record for us all so look out for a post w/c 20th April … maybe the week after actually as I have 3 schools to shoot that week!
So that’s it, a little insight into what I’ll be doing soon. I hope you all have a great Easter break and see you all soon.
Finally finished editing my images from a styled shoot I organised at The Grand Hotel in Brighton where I am their preferred Wedding and Event photographer.
My thanks go to:
Leonie from Leonie Claire Bridal Boutique
Becky from Beauty Call UK
Emma from Wild and Green Wedding Florist
Pete from Falcon Cars
Claire from Celebration Hut
EvilSteve from Photogun Photography
Models: Mandi and Jamie, Mika and Victoria.
We had lots of fun! Here’s some of my favourite images:
Stuck for a Mother’s Day present? Why not purchase a one hour mum or family portrait session which will be held at Powis Road Studio.
Just £100 for a professional studio shoot and you receive 3 FREE images. All other images are posted to a secure on-line gallery for choosing your images and ordering/downloading more.
A complete set of edited images in colour and Black and White can also be ordered. A hair and make up artist can be added to the session for an extra £75.
Once payment has been received, I will email over a Mother’s Day voucher which you can slip into your wife, partner, girlfriend, lover’s card.
Please email email@example.com
I am looking for an intern to join the ever growing Infinity Photographic empire. I am looking for someone who is willing to become part of the team and pitch in to help spread the Infinity Photographic love in the Sussex and surrounding area. Please note, this is NOT a photographic role.
Approx. 15/30 hours a week to start (during school hours), immediate start. This is a paid role for the right person. I will also be combining this role with responsibilities from my other ventures Jaunty Twig Ltd and Quaint Queer Weird Weddings.
You’ll need to have an interest in photography, a good sense of humour, be a fast learner, be confident with all aspects of social media & using software, have an excellent eye for detail, be happy to outbound call and know a little about WordPress. I live off the beaten track so a car driver is essential. I live 5 mins North of Brighton up the A23.
On occasions, you will be paid to attend and run Infinity Photographic booked events with my Caravan Photo Booths if I am unavailable.
This is a great opportunity to join an exciting company so please send your current CV with a covering paragraph or two on your experience to date and why I should choose you!
Closing date 13th March 2015.
Please meet Lucy, our vintage Windrush caravan which we have converted into a full automated photo booth with guest touch screen, a high quality dye-sub printer and loads of awesome props!
6×4” is the standard size print however, we can print in sizes 7×5” and 8×6”. Price increase for each would be an extra £75 and £100 respectively. You can also choose from a selection of layouts too i.e. 1 x Large and 3 Small or 1 x Large, 2 x Medium or 4 x Small, all with personalised text.
Pricing to hire Lucy for your wedding or event are as follows:
- £450 for a 3 hour hire within 25 miles or postcode BN6 9BU
- UNLIMITED DUPLICATE personalised 6×4″ prints
- Personalised scrapbook photo album available at the additional cost of £50
- A complete set of electronic photo booth images are provided post wedding/event to share with guests and on social media
Don’t forget we can provide awesome wedding photography too!
Terms and Conditions:
- Full payment is required at time of booking to secure your wedding or event date
- Normal 230v or caravan hook up electricity must be made available on site, an extension lead will be provided!
- A hard standing plot is required for the duration of your hire i.e. grass is NOT acceptable)
- Suitable access MUST be available and we will not be held responsible if access at time of our arrival is not suitable
- 3 week lead time required for personalised scrapbook photo album
- Additional miles charged at £1 per mile over 25 miles
- Additional hire charges may apply for bookings over 25 miles
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss booking Lucy for your 2015/2016 wedding.
Totally made up to announce that I will be working in association with Powis Road Studio in Brighton going forward.
This means I will have access to the amazing space offered at the studio to work on all the projects I have bouncing around my crazy head as well as working with the very talented resident photographers namely Chris Bulezuik, Scott Mains and Gareth Gregg.
I can’t wait!