30 November 2010

I hate being photographed ... no, seriously, I hate being photographed!

You've said it a million times, you hate being photographed, and then along comes one of those situations in life where you HAVE to be photographed whether you like it or not, and everyone tells you that you'll be fine, you'll look great - but don't they hear you?  You HATE being photographed!

And you know, you're not alone.  We hear it all the time, beit when we are photographing portrait and makeover sessions in Liverpool, weddings in Southport, newborn babies with their mum and dad in Chester.  So many people say the same thing, and yet when you look at photographs other people have had taken they look great, so you kinda think they must surely be lieing - afterall, don't people hear you?  You HATE, HATE, HATE being photographed!

The obvious thing to do is to try and hide from the camera, but you can't always do this, and nor should you.  By not being photographed you are stopping your family from collecting memories of you - and what about the generations after you who want to remember you as you are.  They're not interested in your double chin, your squinty eye, you chubby belly, your turkey wing arms.  All they're interested in is having memories of you, the person they love.

The other obvious thing to do is to just ask your friends to take the photographs at the wedding - after all, you won't have to pose then, will you?  Or get your friends to take a picture of you and the family because it will be over quickly and relatively painlessly.  And then afterwards you look at the photographs, and see, you were so right to hate having your photograph taken, look at how dreadful you look in these pictures your friend has taken!

But this is where you made the mistake - an established and experienced professional photographer knows how to work with you to get the best of you.  Your friend may well know how to use a camera, but that doesn't turn them into a professional photographer.  There is so much more to using a camera and taking pictures of people than the camera itself.  It's about understanding how to pose people to look good, it's about psychology and connection to bring the best out in someone, it's about helping someone dress properly for looking great in photographs.

So this Christmas, treat yourself.  Give yourself a boost, get over your hatred of having your photograph taken, book a makeover photoshoot party with your friends or a City Girl Makeover Photoshoot, and discover how amazing you look in photographs.

By the way, Petra in the photograph above was very camera shy - she doesn't look it does she?

29 November 2010

Newsletter Download Available

Our new newsletter is now available to download - click here for our November issue.

23 November 2010

Our Ethical Pledge

That's it!  We're taking the pledge - after hearing and reading about pressure sales techniques designed to encourage very high sales we've decided to create The Photographer's Ethical Pledge.  If you're a photographer who works ethically, then get in touch and join the campaign to bring ethical business practices into our industry - if you're someone who purchases photography, get in touch and let us know what you think.  We'd love to hear from you.

Here’s the pledge:
  1. We pledge never to use pressure sales techniques - when we quote you a price that is all you need to spend. We will tell you what else you can buy from us if you want to buy more, but you will not be pressure sold anything.
  2. We will not encourage you in with competition wins, introductory offers or conning approaches geared to make you spend more.  At Zoë Photography we offer one product one price – for example, a makeover, photoshoot and a disk of around 40 images for just £300.  
  3. Any discounts offered, any promotions we do are all genuine offers, genuine promotions.  We do not expect you to buy more, we simply ask you to tell others about your experience of working with a photographer who has signed the ethical pledge.
  4. We will not ply you with alcohol to help you lower your guard.
  5. We supply usable images on disk with printing rights for you to enjoy - we do not overcharge for providing digital images and the only copyright marks are on web images for use on social networking sites.
  6. We want you to have a thoroughly enjoyable experience with Zoë Photography and City Girl Makeover Photoshoots, which means we will work hard to make sure that we deliver good customer service.
  7. If we get it wrong, please tell us, because let's face it, we are human, and we may get things wrong at times.  We will apologise to you without making excuses and we will work with you to put our mistakes right.
  8. We do not have a credit card machine and do not use credit agreements, because we only expect you to spend what you can afford to spend.
  9. We will openly help you and guide you - for example, if you are interested in becoming a model then we will provide you with realistic advice.  We will not tell you that you could make it as a model if it's unlikely.
  10. We aim to renew, reuse and recycle wherever we can, and will work to reduce our carbon footprint.
  11. We respect copyright and intellectual property of other businesses and artists.
  12. We follow distance selling regulations.
If you want to take The Photographer's Ethical Pledge then email zoe@zoephotography.co.uk

14 November 2010

Wayne and Andy's Portrait Session

Wayne had a birthday celebration recently, and as well as photographs with everyone at the party, I had the pleasure to photograph at home with Andy and adorable Penny the dog.  Here is a small selection of their photographs, and I can't wait to share the rest with Wayne! Oh, and I adore that wallpaper!  Next, here I come!