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:

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