Burrows Lea Country Fair 21-04-2018

Burrows Lea Country Fair

After moving back to the South East from the Peak District in February, knowing which events are great, or not is really hard work. But this little show is one gem that we will look forward to coming back to.

This Country Fair in Shere, Surrey just to the east of Guildford came across my radar and looked like a great place to be.

Hosted at the Harry Edwards Healing Sanctuary, Burrows Lea Country House. A venue used regularly by many for spiritual rest and retreat. During the summer season, the property is also a fine wedding venue.

The estate is a sanctuary for spiritual healing. From the moment you drive down the mile-long track to the estate, that sense of tranquility embraces you.

Head through the beautiful paneled walls of reception, down some steps to the garden room to be greeted with glorious sunshine. To the rear of the property sits a decorated marquee full of interesting goodies.

Visitors came in by coach and by car from many surrounding areas and our display definitely turned heads.

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

burrows leas country fair

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

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 at their childhood and pick out one or two people who inspired their career path. Someone who 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. A trio of my friends and I won the Barclays New Futures Award funding new technology for our school. This allowed 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. 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.

Developing your own style

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. To 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.

Its Snow Joke

It’s snow joke

So the 10th March is my birthday, woot woot, I’ve survived another year. It is however probably the first year that I’ve ever had snow around my birthday.

Now snow poses two problems to the professional photographer – cancelled sessions and dreadful hassles trying to get anywhere by car.

Neither are great for being self employed, but who can complain about a day out in the snow with a sledge and the dog.

harry in the snow
snow on the car

It does however give you hundreds of opportunities as a photographer, from beautiful landscapes to stunning detail shots of snow on plants etc.

Preparing for my talk at The Photography Show later this week it was a great opportunity to get out and take some new images to illustrate my talk.

Surrey newborn and family photographer, and my partner, Leanne Brooks got the task of pointing the camera in the direction of Harry and I; poor lass as I’m quite particular as to what I’m after in an image.

We are really blessed living on the Surrey and Berkshire borders to have a huge amount of woodland and forest to walk the dog, so finding a quiet place wasn’t a problem. This was at one of our favorite locations in Deepcut Forest.

jamie and harry in the snow

Jamie Morgan and his hound Harry in the Snow

Dog Photoshoot puts Worzel Wooface on the Front Page


Over the past few years, I have been lucky enough to have quite a few famous people, one of my favourites, however, has been the Dog Photoshoot for Worzel Wooface.

This stunning Lurcher is a spitting image of my boy Harry, just a beautiful sandy tan colour.

Worzel Wooface is a blogger and author of three, soon to be four books, during our day together we were tasked with creating a library of images for his latest works, Worzel Wooface 4.

Throughout the dog photoshoot we created hundreds of images across four locations, which can be used to paint different stories throughout his latest book.

Finishing the day, with the jumping shot which has made the front cover.

Worzel is still an enormous Lurcher with ‘issues,’ but his issues are now predictable. Now in his fourth year with his forever family, life is changing. As the children grow up and begin to spread their wings, Worzel’s world should be more peaceful. But as life rolls on, a changing of the guard brings new challenges; challenges no-one seems ready to embrace, least of all the cats.

An over-enthusiastic encounter with a fish pond, a blackbird with a death wish, and a new arrival all conspire to ensure that whilst Worzel might be ready for an easy life, his family has other plans.

Mum, long-suffering Dad, five cats and two grown-up children all feature in Worzel’s fourth diary, bringing together poems, letters and advice that Worzel’s beginning to wonder if it’s even worth offering any more.

The eagerly-awaited fourth instalment from Worzel, the literary Lurcher is funny, touching, honest, and very real.

dog photoshoot for Worzel Wooface

Dog Photoshoot for Worzel Wooface

The Societies Photography School and Awards 2018

A man, though wise, should never be ashamed of learning more, and must unbend his mind.

Each year hundreds of professional photographers make the annual pilgrimage to London for the Societies of Photographers Annual Convention, held at the Hilton Metropole.

The annual event hosts daily classes from 9am to 6pm, covering business, marketing, technical skills, right through to in-depth education on websites, search engine optimisation and other geeky subjects. From headline acts like Sean Conboy speaking about Architectural Photography, Gary Hill delivering classes on Fine Art styled Headshots, through to newer niches this year.

Education is learning what you didn’t even know, you didn’t know.

Two of my good friends were new speakers at this year’s Photography School, each delivering a new Masterclass.  Specialist pet photographer Maria Michael delivered a 2-hour Masterclass on Sunday afternoon to a packed room about her journey into pet photography and the psychology of pets.

Maria and I have traded ideas for marketing and techniques for a few years, since our time together at Crufts; the beauty of the Societies Photography School is there is no hierarchy or aggression, we are all there to learn from each other, to create profitable and sustainable businesses.

Meanwhile, in another classroom, Belinda Buxton delivered her important message with lifesaving potential about knowing the basics of First Aid when running a family photography business.  Saturday night Belinda went on win International Event Photographer of the Year in the Societies Awards.

The graveyard shift of Saturday’s Photography School, went to Richard Bradbury’s business class where he spoke for 2 hours on creating demand and effective marketing for child portraits; there were so many transferrable skills to my business; it was  a superb talk.

I was so glad to be one of the first to get my hand on the copies of his latest books, the business trilogy, Rich Photographer, Poor Photographer. You can find out more about them here: https://richardbradbury.com/rppp/

Master Photographers Association Awards 2017

Learning to judge at the SWPP Judging School

Learning to Judge Professional Photographic Competitions at the SWPP Judging School

Entering photographic competitions is a really valuable way for professional photographers to master their craft and to gain validation and recognition for their hard work.

Each year the Societies of Photographers host a Judging School, to educate members and prospective judges on that standards and techniques used to judge members images. The Societies hold monthly online competitions and an annual print competition at the January convention.

Hosted at Newcastle Upon Tyne based professional print laboratory, Digitalab, the day of training included a factory tour and sample prints for attendees to demonstate how paper and mount selection can affect competition submissions.

What an awesome day.

The class led by Head of Judging Terrie Jones was well worth the six hour round trip; Terries’ passion for education on judging and raising the standards across the industry ran through as a constant theme for the day.

Today’s all been about learning to judge images in a encouraging, positive and respectful way. Really insightful and builds such respect for our industry judges.

Equally amazing is the passion that goes into work by the absolutely lovely team from Digitalab, a family team that really have a passion for the quality of their products. Looking forward to some new products for the new year, and developing some of the relationships formed today.

Learning to Judge Professional Photographic Competitions

Learning to Judge Professional Photographic Competitions

Stuart Wood Masterclass – Master Photographers Association – West Midlands Region

MPA West Midlands Regional Print Competition 2017

MPA West Midlands Landscape Photographer of the Year

Becoming a Master Photographer

Staffordshire Search and Rescue

“Mein Fuhrer wants you to Photograph his Dog.

“Mein Fuhrer wants you to Photograph his Dog.”

If I had been around in the First World War, this could have been the type of conversation I had with a couple of SS guards early one morning.

Stop for a moment and imagine the scene.

Standing in front of you is a man, 5ft 9in tall, dresses in a crisp pressed grey tunic with matching trousers, knee high black patent leather boots glinting in the sunlight. A long drawn face, sporting a fine mustache. Beneath the hair swept across his brow is the cold empty stare of one of the most notable dictators of the 20th Century – Adolf Hilter.

What could easily be described in a scene from a the RSPCA’s worst nightmare, Adolf Hitler was in fact, behind the façade, a great dog lover.

Hitler loved the loyalty and obedience of dogs, and through his lifetime owned a number of different breeds.

The German Shepherd breed became his breed of choice, with the most notable of his family being Blondi, gifted to him by Martin Bormann in 1941. Blondi was to stay by Hilters’ side right through the retreat into the Führerbunker located underneath the garden of the Reich Chancellery on 16 January 1945.

Hitler’s affection for his beloved Blondi extended to allowing her to sleep in the bed beside him in the bunker. The love of German Shepherd’s however didn’t reach his wife Eva Braun, who is known to have two Scottish Terriers, named Negus and Stasi.

It seems that like most men, the dog was the love of his life, Eva is known to have been jealous of the attention Hitler devoted to her and it alleged to kick her beneath the dining table.

german shepherd dog

Dog’s soon became a status symbol amongst the Third Reich, as their loyalty and obedience, showed them beside Hitler, the Wolf.

Can you find it in your heart to rescue a dog?

Well it seems that is how Hitlers’ dog ownership started. Again, not a catchline we are likely to see on rescue charity advert’s – ‘If Hitler can rescue a dog, so can you..’ But it seems his first pet was a stray white Fox Terrier, found during World War One, called Fuchsl.

He later went on to own a succession of German Shepherds, with names like Prinz, Muckl, Blondi, Blonda and Bella.

It’s said that Hitler was so scared of his beloved Blondi being captured by the Russians, he had his personal physician put her to sleep.

So, whilst I wasn’t around to photograph Hitler and his dogs, I really am glad that somebody was, as this adds a really interesting perspective to the history of the 20th Century.

Hitler was so impressed and captivated by the intelligence of dogs, that he truly believed they could help him win the war. We’ll look at this a bit more in another blog post.


A touch of the Tibetan Terriers….

Venturing into the Show World of Tibetan Terriers.

On a cold dark November morning, defrosting the car at 5am wasn’t high on the list of things I love to be doing at that time of day. There was, however, an exciting day in store for me, after a 3-hour drive to Coventry.

I was about to embark on my first experience of the show scene for the Tibetan Terrier Association, with their Breed Championship Show, held at the Sports Connexion in Coventry.

During the day, I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing around 25-30 beautiful examples of the Tibetan Terrier breed, using my small pop up studio. With a range of colours and coats, the Tibetan Terrier breed provides a real challenge, with generally covered eyes, and some striking colours, getting the details and connection right with the dogs is essential.

Together with some first-class handlers, we produced a number of images for owners, to showcase their pooches in a number of ways, from beautiful framed portraits for the wall, through to images perfect for the Breed Handbook published in January 2017.

It was a long day, often noisy with the German Spitz in a neighbouring ring, but I had an amazing day all round. Dog show photography isn’t an easy gig…. you are never sure what size of trade stand space you’ll get, whether you’ll be close to power, or most importantly if you will have a busy day, but today was a roaring success

One of my image of two Tibetan Terriers, from the day, went on to win Silver in the Guild of Photographers Monthly Competition during December 2016.

dog show photography tibetan terrier

Example of our setup for Dog Show Photography at the Tibetan Terrier Breed Championship Show

dog photographer jamie morgan tibetan terrier association

Tibetan Terrier Champion Show Entrants Photographed by Jamie Morgan

dog photographer tibetan terrier association

Image from the Tibetan Terrier Association awarded Silver in the Guild of Photographers Competition.