When I fall In love

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Animal Star Awards Launch – April 2018

Will this year be your year of change?

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Will this year be your year of change?

One of the best things about running a small business is that you can adapt and change quickly, yet being honest, its easy to get comfortable and do things the way you have always done, until you need to take drastic action.

I can hold my hands up and admit there are plenty of times that I should have taken action in my last business but I delayed, and it cost me.

But this year I’m really starting to notice a culture of change.

Maybe it’s crept up on me, but it’s a revolution that is definitely changing pace.

I grew up on a farm in Kent. I love my gas guzzling 4×4’s and the practicality and adaptability of them. Whether full of friends and the dogs for a day at the beach, working on the farm or making sure I can get to work whatever the weather.

Landrovers have been in my heart since I was 5 years old. They are part of my make up – from an amazing 101 Forward Control to the tough bumpy ride of a 12-seater County Station Wagon if I’m at the wheel or in one there’s a smile from ear to ear.

But things start to change. As you get older, you start to become wiser. The last few months I’ve started to notice more and more waste and more things in my world that need to change. We need to adopt an attitude that welcomes change. Embrace change.

With my background in electrical engineering, I saw the introduction of solar panels, electric cars, wind turbines, ground source and air source heat pumps, all expensive technology that had a small uptake.

Yet visionaries like Elon Musk pushed hard for electric cars and little by little, more and more hi-tech chargers are popping up. The rules of measure, analyse and reduce that we adopted in engineering are starting to move into the home with the introduction of Smart Meters, allowing us to see where we can make changes at home.

I have to be honest; I’m not the best person at recycling. I always forget the bags for life when I’m shopping (with the excuse I’m too busy). I drink a whole lot of take away coffee and my car footwell normally has rubbish waiting to hit the nearest bin. I’m a consumer. I’m wasteful.

But it wasn’t always that way.

That wisdom you get when you are older? It’s actually the ability to look back on your life and see where you did better and where your life needs to change.

I grew up in a village with a Butchers and a Greengrocer. The fruit was taken home in a brown paper bag. The meat was wrapped in greaseproof paper and then placed in another paper bag. We didn’t waste food. I’m 35, but the wartime mentality was still fresh in my grandparents and my parents’ generation were resourceful.

Generation Y have had it good. The Millennials.

We had credit cards and a consumer mentality. Living for today and instant gratification, and now you start to realize the cost on your health, waistline and the planet.

We are starting to become aware of the damage we are doing. How much waste we create.

Have you seen Ben Fogel’s documentary on the waste in the Oceans? When I grew up, you believed this was some far away place. Ben’s documentary was based in Malta. 1,294.43miles as the crow flies. A four-hour flight.

Take a look here if you haven’t had time to see it.

But you know, that’s Malta, you can watch the documentary and it will give you a little bit of guilt but in general, you will forget it after a little while. Harsh but true.

Closer to home, each day I walk Harry at the moment, another epidemic is becoming more and more obvious. Little black sacks filled with dog poop. Everywhere. In the trees, in hedges, in long grass.

Dog Poo Bag Change

In 2018 there are about 8.5 million dogs in the UK, in 1983 the year I was born there were around 4.8 million. So along with the baby booming generation, and the millennial’s blossoming, the pet population nearly doubled in the 30 years that passed.

The culture change to pick up after your pooch has come, but it’s also brought some selfish habits and some environmental issues of picking up.

How long does a dog poo take to biodegrade? Dependent upon the weather, the faeces can have dissolved within a few days, the biological effects can often take up to a year.

ScienceFocus.com reports that a dog poo bag can take three to six months to biodegrade, dependent upon light, temperature and conditions. But they still come from petrochemical processes which have another level of impact. Then again, lots of people use nappy sacks and otChangeher cheaper products which could account for the hundreds of bags still not degrading on my morning walk.

High street coffee chain Starbucks is predicted to sell over 2.9 billion cups of coffee each year, that’s nearly 8 million disposable coffee cups from one chain, worldwide each day. Waitrose is one of the chains starting to face the change, becoming an early adopter. Encouraging people to purchase a reusable cup for their complimentary coffee in store.

It’s one of the changes I will make this month, remembering those bags for life and taking my coffee cup with me wherever I go. I will also aim to reduce the plastic bottles I use daily, water, coca-cola, etc.

David Katz recently produced a great Ted Talk on an innovative social project to introduce The Plastic Bank.

Putting my engineer head back on I’ve always wondered why we don’t have a shredder for our recycling in the home, so that transported waste takes less space at the point of disposal. Think about how many more bottles you could get in the bottle bank if each bottle was chewed as you put it into the bottle bank.

Now, I’m not going to go out and start hugging tree’s, it’s highly unlikely I’m going to change the world, but I am going to start to make wiser choices, its part of my responsibility now I’m getting older 😉

I will be trying to consume less, buy smarter, re-use and recycle more.

Will this be the year you start to change too?

The Tale of Camberley Kate

The Tale of Camberley Kate

It was a huge leap to move back to Surrey from the Peak District earlier this year. But one of the most exciting parts is discovering the new area in which you live, the history, the special little places only the locals know, the best scenery and most of all the best places to photograph. One of the most interesting stories that I’ve come across is about a Camberley resident, known as Camberley Kate.

 

The story books of all local towns and villages are filled with notable characters, charitable people, historic landowners, people that did great deeds for their local areas, and there are the eccentric and odd characters. Of which Kate Ward was reportedly one.

Camberley Kate

Kate’s fame spread far and wide during the later years of her life, featuring on a number of British and American news channels, her antics even led to a profile in Time Magazine and an Award from Dog’s Life Magazine for her life’s achievements.

So why all the fuss and fame for a village eccentric?

Born in a different era, in 1895, Kate was raised in Middlesborough, a Yorkshire-lass with a heritage that she was proud of. Childhood was not easy for Kate, however, becoming an orphan by the age of 10; after which an aunt with strong religious views raised her. As she grew older, Kate moved into a role of domestic service in Yorkshire, then eventually moving to Camberley.

It’s believed that she later became Head Chef at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst and had strong links to the local area. At times she had also mentioned to local’s that she had known what it was like to be homeless.

In 1943 Kate purchased a house in the Yorktown area of Camberley, and that’s where the next chapter of her life began.

It was one of those days during the second world war, that the devout dog lover took guardianship of a lame greyhound that the local vet was due to euthanize.

From that day onwards, Kate dedicated her life to rescuing strays, filling her small terraced cottage with Dogs.

Kate had a love-hate relationship with photographers, take a liberty by taking a photo of Kate and her little green trolley filled with dogs without asking and you’d be sure to get a firm reprise.

On the other hand, as she made the journey to town each day with an entourage of dogs and her little green trolley, to raise funds for her rescue by selling Photo postcards and letting people take a photo of her and the dogs for a charitable donation.

If you gave her some money, she would INSIST you take a photo. That way she could not be accused of begging. Bless her. G.S.

Strong principles and strong values are what Kate was well known for, there had been a number of townsfolk that had tried to drive her out of the village, claiming the dogs were dangerous, that they were a hazard to traffic undertaking their walk each day, however, she won the backing of local police by taking the stray dogs off the street.

She was often outspoken and protested publicly, with her cause often making the columns of local newspapers, but quietly behind the scenes, she would pay the stray dog fines at the police station and build bridges with the police that collected her beloved dogs.

Camberley Kate

A great example of animal husbandry Kate would walk her olive green cart to town, along a route suggested by the police to keep her and her companions safe. Some of the dogs would run loose alongside the cart, some tied to the cart, with the older and infirm dogs riding inside. The pack would travel with a little meat for the journey and a shovel to collect any mess made along the way. Kate spent time training the dogs and they were controlled with the aid of a whistle.

The care of the dogs was Kates greatest concern, and local vet Geoffrey Craddock, an admirer of Kate’s work testified to the condition of the dogs and the great care they received. Interestingly, Kate’s ethics were shown through the management of her finances, she supported her aspirations from a small pension and generous donations. But finances were kept separate and the dogs had their very own bank account.

It’s reported that she cared for over 600 dogs in her lifetime.

There are so many great lessons we can learn from the life of Kate Ward, both as responsible dog owners, human beings, and as pet rescue charities. Most of all Kate recognized the value of a photograph and how it could be used for the positive influence of others, to bring light to a cause, and to help raise money.

To find out more about Camberley Kate take a look at a few of the links below.

Links: Unusual Life Miss Kate Ward Social Paradox
BBC News – Camberley Kate
Surrey Heath Council – Camberley Kate

MPA Wedding Photograpy Workshop – David Stanbury

Why on earth would a dog photographer attend a workshop on Weďding Photography?

It’s a great question, and it’s a simple one to answer. Ish.

Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young. Henry Ford

Henry Ford

Continuing professional development is an idea that was constant through my working career as an electrical engineer, and it’s followed into my Photography career.

One of the great pleasures of being part of a regional team for the Master Photographers Association is that you get to help shape the future of the organisation and in turn the industry.

David Stanbury is one of the great speakers, that we have invited to the West Midlands Region of the MPA, he delivered a full day workshop to a packed room on the 26th March at the Woodland Grange Hotel, Leamington Spa.

During his career David and his wife have photographed over 1000 weddings, they’ve collected countless accolades and most importantly he’s still hands on shooting every day.

You’d be surprised how many skills and techniques from the day are transferable from posing, through to lightning and editing the final image.

Learning to look outside your social circle or your industry, can often give you the solutions to problems, or freshen your approach to business.

Be bold, but keep an open mind.

A totally different Sunday show

A totally different Sunday

Having two professional photographers in the family means there times when we are both like fish out of water. This weekend was my turn.

In a small business you have to be constantly marketing, my experience from my past business was if you took your foot off the gas when you were busy, a natural lull would come shortly after.

In small businesses this is known as feast or famine syndrome.

And it’s not good. Not good for your health, your bank balance or your relationships.

I’ve run small businesses 20 years this year, there’s been a lot of storms to weather, but most are survived with keeping the wheels of business turning by marketing.

Leanne is a family and newborn photographer, a rather good one (www.leannedpphotography.co.uk), so as Easter approaches we’ve been out making sure her marketing is seen as many places as possible.

It’s all about being seen. Everywhere. Regularly

With thousands of marketing messages thrown at us hourly and a world of social media, it’s great to have a stand at baby shows. You get to ask questions, tell stories, laugh and really connect with people.

You can also show the beautiful pieces of wall art, and show how important it is to get work printed and hang it on the wall.

photography business

Where will today take you?

Where will today take you? Business Networking

It’s all about connections, whether connecting computers or connecting people, it’s all about bringing two parties together for mutual benefit.

business networking surrey

As a specialist dog photographer it’s really easy to think that there’s no one of value in the room at a business networking event, but how wrong can you be!

Small businesses revolve around suppliers and partnerships, and being a dog photographer is no different.

Knowing an accountant, a graphic designer, a web designer are just a few of the essential tools you need in your arsenal as a business owner, and business networking events are a great way to meet them and build trust and relationships, educating them about your business, before you actually need them. Then there’s the added benefit that they are going to tell others about what you do.

That’s the icing on the cake.

Each year there are literally thousands of opportunities to get out networking, from industry events, chamber of commerce, then specialist networking groups – First Friday, BNI, 4networking, Museli Mafia, there are literally hundreds across the country.

business networking surrey

One of the business networking groups I am a member of is 4Networking, there are 5000 meetings held across the country each year – morning, lunch and evening groups.

If you’d like the opportunity to come along and see for yourself what networking is all about, click here: https://www.4networking.biz/?ref=41340

One recent meeting at 4N Reading introduced me during a 10minute one to one to Simon Scholes of Perception Studios. With a background in radio and television roles, both behind and in front of the camera, Simon gave an insightful talk into how to present yourself both online, on the radio and on video.

The PATS Show 2018 – Pet Business Photography

The PATS Show 2018 – Pet Business Photography

After a hectic few weeks at Crufts and The Photography Show, you’d think I’d have had my fill of exhibitions for the year.

Staying ahead of the pack was the title of my recent photography talk and I’m always looking for new and creative ways to find out what’s going on in the pet industry first and then find ways to get in front of my target clients.

Understanding your client needs is important to all businesses yet often photographers and artists then not to work with the end in mind.

Events like PATS hosted at the beautiful Epson Racecourse, gives me an excellent opportunity to see the latest products on the market and how they are being promoted.

Visual assets are everywhere and you can clearly see how different images and styles are used for banners, displays and point of sale equipment.

It really doesn’t matter whether you are a dog walker or a multi national pet food manufacturer, engaging a professional photographer that’s aware of your brand, your existing marketing and really can make your campaign a success or a failure. For more information on Pet Business Photography contact me on 01580 392010.

    

Trade Talk – The Photography Show 2018

Trade Talk – The Photography Show 2018

Most people can look to their childhood and pick out one or two people who inspired their career path, or ignited their love of a subject at school or opened their eyes to a hobby.

The teacher that stood out in my childhood was a science teacher, Chris Foreman. A 40 something-year-old guy, with huge unfashionable glasses, but he loved his subject and that enthusiasm rubbed off.

Jamie Morgan dog photographer the photography show

I fell in love with the world of science but more importantly, Mr Foreman introduced me to a

world of extracurricular activity.

By the age of 15, I’d competed in the Whatman and Pfizer Science Awards and a trio of my friends and I won the Barclays New Futures Award funding new technology for our school, allowing us to educate children in local underfunded schools about computers.

In early January, I received a phone call asking if I’d be prepared to speak at the UK’s largest photographic trade show, The Photography Show which is held at the Birmingham NEC each year.

Jamie Morgan dog photographer the photography show

Jamie delivering his seminar on The Outdoor Stage at the Photography Show 2018

Taken aback, I agreed, as I’d been put forward for the job, by the chairman of the Master Photographers Association; and over the following weeks, I cobbled together some ideas towards an outline.

A bit like those old days with my science teacher, sometimes you have to agree and see where life takes you. If nothing else the journey will be interesting.

Whenever you speak about something you love, it sings out, and people ignore your nerves or mistakes.

In my previous career, I’d been lucky to present to boardrooms of directors and engineers, logical calculated people that looked to me as a specialist.

Yet being reasonably new to an industry, I was surrounded by trade stands with my peers and mentors present. What know how could I pass on to a new generation of photographers?

jamie morgan dog photographer surrey photography show 2018

People taking their seats ready for Jamie’s talk at The Photography Show 2018

Rather than show the 150 people present how to be me, I took the group on a journey from where I found my inspiration, through some key points on how to develop their own style, how getting to know your kit can improve your results, through how to progress through mentoring and competitions.

We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why. Stephen King, 11/22/63

I moved into the Photography Industry in 2014, after being self-employed for close to 18 years. (Yes, I started my first business venture at 14.)

It’s been a real pleasure to meet hundreds of photographers over the past few years, hundreds of images I look at with envy, there’s a handful I’ve stood back and admired, and through my work in the trade associations, I’m now lucky to call them friends.

Photographers like the eclectic Jules Hunter, sparked the artistic hunger in me again, whilst others have encouraged growth through qualification and entering national and regional awards.

Now my inspiration and encouragement can come from so many places, the world’s of which have all come about through going further, the extra mile, the extracurricular activities if you will.

I love to inspire photographers, my peers, and help them find new ways to market themselves, to find new profit pockets, or to just see their world from a different perspective.

Jamie Morgan dog photographer the photography show

Interviews ran all day on the Master Photographers Association stand at the Photography Show 2018

As Stephen King said, we don’t know who we will inspire, how or when, so if you get the opportunity to do something new, saddle up and see where life takes you.