Corporate & Product

Are you, or do you know a small business holder? Chances are, the answer the that question is yes. Being a small business ourselves, we know a thing or two about what it takes to make it a success. Mostly, its a sh*t tonne of hard work - but a big part is brand awareness and showcasing your products and skills. In this department we picked the right trade, as photographers, as all the work we produce comes ready made as a promotional tool. Though, we know for others it can be more difficult to showcase what's special about your company. 

If any of that sounds familiar, we would love to help. Having a series of professional quality images to demonstrate you, your brand and products is essential for successful marketing and promotion. You are likely already familiar with the award-winning work we produce in our studio, but we have a huge amount of experience working with a variety of businesses. Perhaps you make a bespoke product and would like it documenting? We know how to do that to a brilliant standard, see the image below of the Amara collection.

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Perhaps its not a product but yourself and team that is your main selling point. Well, we are perfectly equipped to produce a series of corporate portraits. This is doubly helpful when the target is a dental practice and we can showcase everyones winning smile - like below. 

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Over the years, we've done everything from cakes to coffins! Maybe its not something you've considered previously, but it can only be to your benefit to have something professionally produced to show to prospective clients. For more information regarding pricing and outputs please call us on 01942 396 228 (Ashton) or 01524 846 697 (Lancaster) and feel free to like and share. 

Newborn Mini-sessions

You may ask, what could possibly be more mini than a brand new baby? Well you'd be correct, newborns are about as small as it comes when it comes to our photography (though we did photograph a tortoise once). Our newborn mini-sessions, as we've taken to calling them are something new we've introduced as a special alternative to our standard session.  

So whats the difference? Well, our standard newborn session is 2-3 hours long, which allows for a variety of poses and props to be included and results in a tremendous amount of image variety. However, we often find that people come to us with a vision in mind for their perfect image. Perhaps you've seen something perfect on our website, or have a totally unique idea that you want us to create? If so, the mini session may be for you. We've designed the session to only be an hour long, which is enough for us to create the singular perfect image you could be seeking. Its also a lesser time commitment for you, at what is inevitably a very busy time, and takes less time in our studio. Therefore, the mini-session is priced accordingly at £45, which includes a 10x8 print of your chosen image. 

If you are looking to capture everything from our newborn sessions than this perhaps isn't for you. However, if the above description of the singular image strikes a chord, then consider the mini-session. The most important thing, as we always say, is to capture this amazing moment in time - how you would prefer to do so is down to you, but make sure you have the memory. If you have any questions, or would like to hear more please contact us on 01524 846 697 (Lancaster) or 01942 396 228 (Ashton).

Fathers Day

18th June - The date for your diary. A big day for all the Fathers out there and the Fathers of Fathers, or Grandfathers as they are more commonly called. A day for sport, a day for BBQs and a great day for food and drink. However, behind all the outward masculinity is a Father and by the very definition of the word a Father has a child. Therefore, the elongated point we are trying to make is that any Father would love a gift of a photo session on their special day. Why? Because its the prefect opportunity, and excuse, to capture such a special relationship. 

If you made it through all the Fathers up there, well done; we'll keep it to a minimum from here onwards. Truth is, its a difficult thing to put into words, such a paternal bond. Its probably something to with overly masculine stereotypes (but that's a topic for another day) but its such an important thing, for the children, parent and family. The 'Day' is really just an excuse to celebrate that and to be thankful that relationship exists. The gift of a photo session at this time is the perfect one because it makes tangible what is so difficult to put into words. Take this image for example, no flowery words of ours can do it justice. It just is. 

If you know someone who would love an image like that, then keep us in your thoughts for your gift idea this Fathers Day. Our studio sessions are £35 with a 10x8 print and its sure to be appreciated. Please call use with any enquires on 01524 846 697 (Lancaster) and 01942 396 228 (Ashton). 

One day...

'One day all your children will have is pictures of you. Make sure you're in them. No matter what your hair looks like, your makeup, or your body, they won't care about any of that, they'll just want to see you.'

This is a quotation we've been mulling over for some time here at CAM. Its clearly apt for us, as photographers, but its also very emotive and perhaps even melancholic. It serves as truthful reminder on the importance of images when it comes to memory. Photography takes many forms from records of milestones, which we've touched on before, to very personal moments. Spontaneity is also important, a photograph can elevate the mundane to something special, given the right circumstance. Each of these properties, however, falls back to memory and how we perceive our time with those we love. 

Recently, we've been doing lots of work with people who have had tremendous success with Slimming World. We love hearing their stories, and its amazing to see how willing and confident they are in front of the camera. These individuals have gone through a fantastic physical transformation, which is something to be commended, but the real transformation for us is a mental one. Confidence and joy perceptively brims from each of them in front of the camera, its fantastic. Its a mentality we endeavour to instil in all our clients, a kind of self belief that removes all fear of the camera and helps create some amazing images. Children have this believe but somewhere along the way most of us lose it. 

Something that can help to instil this is knowing you look your best, which is why our Makeover sessions have always proven so popular. Its brilliant for us that we are able to offer such a professional makeover service, packaged with our photo session. Our team in Lancaster has its own in-house beauty studio and we are partnered with some amazing artists in Ashton. The image here is a perfect example of what such a great partnership can achieve, with an active and confident subject. The image making process in the studio is always a collaboration, its why we love to take portraits but the end result is always that you'll love it to. 

Consider the message above, and consider your own mentality when it comes to images of yourself. Perhaps a Makeover session is the perfect way to overcome those barriers you may have in front of the camera. Perhaps it isn't - but something else will be. What's important, and the real message here, is to resolve to be more active in photography. Take more photos, be in more photos and have a positive role in the process - they will stand the test of time. 

As always, please contact us with any and all enquires via 01524 846 697 (Lancaster) and 01942 396 228 (Ashton). 

Newborn FAQ

Up there with our most popular sessions, there's nothing that can quite match the preciousness of a brand new baby. Whether its natural simplicity or perfectly posed our newborn sessions are always very special. That said, its also unlike anything else we offer, both practically and creatively. So - we had the bright idea of putting together a handy FAQ for your perusal. 

What is the ideal age for a Newborn session?

Our first and perhaps most important question. If you're looking for something particularly posed is essential that the session takes place within the first 14 days of birth. During this time, your baby will be sleeping soundly (more often, than not) and will be most malleable to different poses and positions. Naturally, they will also revert to similar sleeping positions as in the womb - these forms are extra cute and ideal for  a more naturally orientated session. Beyond 14 days, your baby will start to grow quickly and naturally seek to stretch and move, which makes the session significantly more challenging. (Not that it can't be done, but better to catch the sleepy window!)

How far in advance should I book my session session?

When you're still pregnant! This is primarily for two reasons, the first is that the moment your baby arrives you will be bombarded with visits, little jobs and looking after a whole new person. It can be a hectic time, which makes it super important to get the date in the diary before the world shifts sideways. The second reason is to ensure you can guarantee and appointment with your photographer. As said, there is a short window to of opportunity for those really special portraits and we need to know to expect you. Our newborn sessions often fill up very quickly, and though we do our best to accommodate everyone sometimes we just don't have the availability. So make sure to think ahead if you want those perfect portraits.

How long does a session take?

Every session takes 2-3 hours in our studio, from start to finish. This may seem like a long time at first but we assure you its necessary. Roughly half that time will usually be spent feeding and comforting your baby, to ensure they are in the perfect state for their portraits. The rest of the time is spent working with a variety of poses, introducing props and capturing memories. Newborn photography is a very specialist subject and our photographers are more than experienced in the craft, which means we know how to get the best out of the session time. 

What should I dress my baby in on the day?

Nearly all newborn photography is done in the nude. Therefore, your priority for dress should be something comfortable and easy to take off and on. We always keep our studio extra warm for newborns so they will be comfortable in their skin. If you have something special in mind, as an outfit or clothing item, please let us know beforehand so we can build it into the session seamlessly on the day (The same goes for any unique props you may have).

What else should I bring?

Come prepared with all the essentials, wipes, nappies, bottles, etc. Basically everything you'll be carrying around on a daily basis for the foreseeable future. If you want to be on the photos yourself (you are more than welcome to), please bring a spare change of clothing in case of any unfortunate accidents that may occur when holding a naked baby. We try to have all the basics on hand ourselves but always come prepared, just in case. 

What safety precautions are in place?

As mentioned previously, our studio is always kept very warm and we usually have a extra heater to ensure baby is comfortable. Our photographers also have years of experience working with newborns, so all our props are safe and clean. A big factor with any newborn session is usually the posing - we know how to do this safely and delicately, and always respond to any cues given to us by your baby on the day. You can be confident in choosing us that we have the experience and know-how to keep your baby safe - we wouldn't be where we are today otherwise. 

Are you the right photographer for me?

You should always ask this question. Choosing a newborn photographer is an important decision and you should assess your options beforehand. A big part of your decision is whether you like the work. We are proud of the work we do (and its award winning) but perhaps it isn't in the style you're looking for. Another key point is to assess the amount of experience your photographer has and seek a second opinion before you book. We actively encourage you to do so, and we love to hear peoples responses and feedback to our work.

If you decide we are the right fit for you, we are always open to further questions and ideas. Every session is unique and we are always looking to try something new. Ultimately though, the decision is yours - we hope this has proven to be a helpful guide and we'll let our work speak for itself. 

 

  

Mothers Day photoshoot - £35.00 inc 10x8 print

Today we want to talk about the value of pictures and the idea of memory within those. Maybe you saw the post we share on Facebook yesterday? We thought it said something really profound about taking the time to stop and record the present moment. It's and old cliché, particularly perpetuated by photographers, but things change before you know it. Photography is really the only tool we have to pause time and secure those memories for the future. This applies to everything of course, but especially to Mothers and your family. Its a sad truth but not everyone is with us forever. That's why we at CAM really believe in creating a family archive of captured moments, which can last through the generations. We're sure you have already started, everyone has a smartphone nowadays (make sure to keep those backed up by the way) but there's something really special about sitting down for a family portrait. This kind of photography is difficult to replicate during the rigours of everyday life, so every now and then we like to give you a nudge to get a plan in place.

It's something we often here - 'oh I've been meaning to get a family session done but never get round to it'. Well, what a perfect occasion Mothers day is for that! Time to round up the troops and get down to the studio (or location) with the family. It's just an excuse really, but there's nothing like an occasion to get everyone together. This time of year we really love to produce generational pictures, showing a family from grandparents down to a brand-new baby is always fantastic. Of course this is something we encourage all the time. However, if you can get everyone together for a really special shoot it will last for years before you really need to update it. Its also a brilliant opportunity to do something different as well. Our sessions only take an hour, but once you've all dressed up there's the rest of the day to get our and do something together, as a family. Just another excuse really - but a lovely one. 

As an extra incentive, we'll be releasing our Mothers Day promotion in the coming week (you may have seen it already). If not, make sure to keep your eyes on our Facebook page to take advantage of the opportunity. As always, feel free to like and share or to call us with any questions on 01942 396 228 (Ashton) or 01524 846 697 (Lancaster). Otherwise, we'll see you next time for another CAMtastic blog (that sounded better in our head sorry - bye!). 

 

Fine Art (Pet edition)

So here it is - the first official blog post on our brand new website. It's something we have been working on for a while and will continue to curate and update the content. We are certainly happy with it, but we would love to hear your thoughts on how it looks/works for you? Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any ideas or comments. 

Housekeeping done, down to the meat of this post, our Fine Art Dogs! This has been a pet-project (pun intended) of Cheryl's for a while and is something we are all excited about at CAM HQ. The idea originally stemmed from one of our lovely clients, who wanted an image of their beautiful dog, which included some of their hunting gear as well. This got the creative juices flowing and the example below exemplifies the image produced (notably it also won an award from the Guild of Photographers). 

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These sessions are unlike anything else we've produced (or seen) before. Cheryl spends time constructing each set with objects personal to you and the pay off is something truly unique. Differing from other sessions, its all about that single magical image that can be a real display piece on the wall. Each image is meticulously designed as a piece of art, then follows a significant amount of post-processing to really make it pop. Doesn't it just feel like something you could tangibly touch? Within all this construction, however, is the most important puzzle piece - your special animal companion, taking pride of place. 

So far, Cheryl's main focus has been dogs but this idea could easily be applied to any household animal. Perhaps you have a really house-proud cat, or a super mischievous kitten? We would love to do something like this with them - imagine them peeking out from over a box, whilst surrounded by all the things they shouldn't have but do anyway. This could even be applied on location with larger animals, like horses; we are thinking big bales of hay with the various riding gear all arranged. 

For us, this is really something special and we would love to produce more. Obviously, there is a cost associated with this work (as with anything). However, the images produced speak for themselves in terms of value and would make the perfect gift. As always, please contact us with any enquires using 01524 846 697, to reach Cheryl, and feel free to like and share!

2017 (New Year)

Its a New Year - and with it comes a new website for us, which we are really excited about. Make sure to come here for all future updates on the goings on at CAM HQ, and please bear with us whilst we populate the site with all our wonderful pictures. Happy (belated) New Year everyone!

P.S. We've also uploaded all our old blogs here as well, if you fancy a read, and we'll be back blogging again soon.

Christmas

It’s December next week – (where did that come from?!) – and our advent calendars are certainly ready to go for Thursday, maybe you’ve seen our Facebook countdown as well? We couldn’t resist starting it a little early. As with every year its all go over at CAM HQ, our favourite but busiest time of year. The thought of our images sitting wrapped under a tree somewhere this Christmas fills us all with genuine glee. Of course, what could be better than a really special image of a loved one, that can really be everlasting? Not much in our humble opinion, though we are partial to a good pair of socks.

Now you may have seen this a while back on Facebook, but we couldn’t help but share it again. Look at this beautiful baby! – Shot by Janine, we just love it. The santa hat just makes it perfect (in our eyes).

Of course, we’ve talked about our fabulous newborns many times on this blog. However, hopefully after reading, and seeing, this you are in festive spirits. Maybe you’re even thinking of getting a session booked in for Christmas? If so, try and book quickly our sessions (Saturdays especially) are filling up fast before the big day. We are also running a variety of Christmas packages across the two studios, perhaps the one that’s drawn the most attention is our 2 for 1 gift certificate offer. That said, we have a number of different options available, from mini-sessions to digital packages. Best thing to do? Call us on 01942 396 228 (Ashton)/01524 846 697 (Lancaster) OR drop us a message on our Facebook page and we’ll get back to you faster than one of Santa’s elves. If nothing else, we would love your support with our Christmas countdown so feel free to like, comment and share!

 

 

Maternity

Did you know that most babies in the UK are born late-September/early-October – with most arriving on a Tuesday? Well, you can consider that your daily dose of useless knowledge – no need to thank us. As it happens, we find ourselves in mid-October with a stunning Maternity Session to share with you all. Imagine that!

Really though, it is stunning. If you asked us to pick one session that we think is an absolute must to be captured, the Maternity Session would be right up there; though, we aren’t sure anything could truly topple a Newborn session – think of the two as the perfect couple. What could be more special than capturing these truly unique moments in time? You will always have memories of that first little kick, with the excitement and sheer unconditional love you felt for that special person growing inside you. When they arrive – your phone will undoutbly fill with thousands of pictures, as they grow and develop – each stage of their life there to remember. But the very beginnings, with that big bump, their home for nine months, often gets neglected. Why? We couldn’t tell you.

All we can do is show you how beautiful the body is as it grows during this special time.

This fabulous image was captured by Kenny recently – and if it doesn’t convince you, of what a special and important memory this can be, no more of our words will. All that is left is to remind you of the practicalities. Our Maternity Sessions are priced at £35, including a 10×8 print as that all important memory; you will feel comfortable and confident during the session, and we are sure you will adore the resulting images.

As always, feel free to call us on 01942396228 (Ashton)/01524846697 (Lancaster) with any questions and enquires. We will be back soon with another blog. Until then, feel free to like and share this one!

Boudoir

Anyone who has been avidly awaiting the next instalment of our fantastic blog may have been somewhat disappointed of late – ‘Where are the blogs!?’ you may have thought to yourself, ‘ I need my CAM blog fix!!’. Well, first and foremost, we are sorry to disappoint. However, it has not been through sheer idleness the blog has been neglected. We are just emerging from the sublime-storm that is wedding season (so expect to see some beautiful brides on our Facebook soon). Although we love weddings, our feat have barely touched the ground for the last month or so. Now, with the moment of respite between weddings and Christmas (Yes, Christmas! We’ve seen the wrapping paper emerging already) we are back to blogging.

Somewhere in the torrent of weddings, our glorious leader Cheryl managed to pick up another two awards – bringing her total to almost thirty! One of these two, however, was particularly significant because it was our first boudoir image to win. Coincidentally, we have yet to introduce our boudoir sessions on the blog so it was the perfect marriage.

This is the beautiful image in question, which was highly commended by a panel of professional judges. Although we think its a great image, we certainly can’t take all the credit; look at how amazing she looks! Our boudoir sessions are all about making you feel fantastic and confident in your own skin, everything else follows naturally. A boudoir session is a unique experience; its one we wholeheartedly encourage every woman to experience at least once in their lifetime. Glamorous or natural? Its up to you. The fantastic feedback we always get, and love, is how fun the session is. You will come away full of confidence with some amazing images to show for it. Each session is £35, which includes a 10×8 print. We can also arrange for a professional makeover prior to the session (please enquire for further details). The key thing to take away, however, is how much we know you will enjoy the experience!

As always, feel free to contact us on 01942396228 (Ashton) or 01524 846 697 (Lancaster) with any and all enquires – and check our website for some more amazing pictures. We’ll be back again with another blog soon.

 

Weddings

Photography and weddings are synonymous; they are practically joined at the hip. Any photographer worth their salt will be a veteran of a dozen weddings (with the scars to prove it). We jest of course. Although, it has been said that love is like a battlefield. If so, then perhaps the signing of the wedding contracted can be equated with the signing of a peace treaty? As usual, we’ve stretched the analogy too far.

Truth is, we are actually veterans of dozens of weddings; each one a unique and magical experience (even in the rain). Cheryl probably rivals some ministers/registrars in terms of weddings attended – and she always take something new away, in terms of knowledge. Our philosophy when it comes to wedding photography is to be invisible on the day but integral to your memory. Basically, we ensure the special day remains yours and yours alone; but the images we produce will keep those magical memories alive forever. For a day that takes so much preparation, it often passes by so quickly – helped along by the positive whirlwind of emotion. That’s why we will be there to capture every moment in time, so you can live it again eternally.

Each wedding is unique but they often take the same shape, in terms of the flow of the day. Our vast experience means we know where to be, at any given time, in order to capture those images to treasure. Occasionally, its important for us to come to the fore (capturing group shots etc.) and we know when/how to direct large groups of people. Of course, prior to the big day we can run through the battle-plan together so we are all on the same page. This holds true for any special thoughts/ideas you may have, our door is always open and we will endeavour to accommodate every need. We love to enjoy the day as much as you! Most of our work is done after the fact, to edit and get the best out of your already amazing images.

All our wedding packages included a comprehensive selection of digital images, presented to you on a heart-shaped USB (cute, we know) in full colour and black and white. We also offer a wide range of album/printing services for those who want a physical reminder of the day. Everyone is different and so is every wedding. Therefore, we tailor each package to the individual  and can accommodate all budgets with packages starting from £195. Photography by us (and your friends/family) will be the primary visual memory of your day, so we encourage you to consider that when allocating funds (if you allot more for party favours than your images then perhaps that could be considered something of a mistake).

If you are getting married, or thinking of popping the question (we photographed a proposal once), please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01942 396 228 (Ashton) or 01524 846 697 (Lancaster) with any enquires. Or book a consultation with us for an in-person chat. 

That’s all for now – once more into the fray for us.

Meet the Team

This is long overdue and arguably should have been one of, if not, the first posts on our blog. Why the delay? We’ll admit, it was mainly because we couldn’t find any suitable pictures of ourselves! The trouble with being photographers is that we are always behind the camera; its ever-so rare that we manage to step in front and its almost always in jest. Thus, finding serious (and flattering) pictures of us all was quite the task. It would have been nice just to have one nice group picture to show you all… Then again, it would be nice to see pigs fly. However, after much searching and deliberation we’ve arrived at some acceptable outcomes.

First one up to bat is Cheryl, ‘our glorious leader’. Cheryl opened our Ashton branch just nearly 6 years ago! (we can’t believe it either) – she originally got into photography after beginning to take pictures of her beautiful daughter Olivia. She took lots of pictures, then she started taking pictures of her friend’s children and before you know it she had her own studio called ‘CAM Photography’. six years and 19 awards later, we are here today. Its rather a long story short; of course, there were many trials and tribulations along the way, with much laughter and learning to. A particular lover of newborns and pets, she approaches every task with the same dedication and enthusiasm as she did when first starting out. In early 2015, she opened our second studio in Lancaster but continues to steer the ship in Ashton as well.

Desperate to continue with the seafaring metaphors, we need to find a suitable title for Janine. Previously in our newborn blog we compared her skills to that of a sculptor. Now our shipping scenario doesn’t have too much room for sculpting, perhaps a carpenter? No; we need a mainstay on the ship. Lets go with head chef – that will work. The kitchen is the heart of any good ship and its often where the biggest intricacies are accomplished. Janine is our newborn specialist and recently joined the team at CAM Lancaster. Winner of multiple awards for newborns and little-ones, she certainly knows her wraps from her blankets. Aside from helping Cheryl in Lancaster, Janine has been both invaluable to our clients and to us, with her veritable sea of skills and knowledge. We don’t know what we did without her!

How to describe our penultimate team member in nautical terms? Potboy? Cannon-Fodder? Anchor? We joke, of course. Sam has been around almost since the beginning – 5 years in fact. He’s certainly served his time; turning up one day at the age of sixteen and sticking around ever since. He is, unfortunately for us, a full time student of Photography at University and will be beginning his final year this September (This means we only get him on Saturdays). Primarily based in Ashton, he is second in CAM experience only to Cheryl and is chiefly focussed on keeping the ship sailing smoothly. This usually involves plenty of editing, social-media upkeep and of course photography. In the studio, he is passionate about portraits and loves the challenge each individual brings. Pets (especially dogs) come a close second, however.

Last but not least is the captain of the second ship in the CAM fleet, Jodie – who is in charge of operations at ‘Beauty Boutique’ (Lancaster). This may be the first mention of our beauty salon on the blog; however, it is an integral part of our setup in Lancaster. We offer a range of services, from nails to makeovers. Jodie is, of course, trained and qualified and does a fantastic job at the helm; she knows each product inside-out and will be there to guide you through all the available options. For us, its the perfect combination. There’s nothing better than having a mini-makeover prior to a shoot, or ‘pamper party’, to make you look (and feel) amazing. The salon is on site at CAM Lancaster (which is great for us), but its not intrinsically tied to our photo-sessions. So you can pop in anytime!

Headshots

Today we thought to highlight one of our services tailored specifically for professional and corporate needs. We recognise the importance of professional presentation and enhancing visibility for the corporate persona. Having a quality portrait for services such as ‘LinkedIn’ is a vital communicative tool, it helps to promote yourself as an individual and certainly looks the part.

Our vast experience working with families and children means we know how to get the best out of everyone; we concentrate on making people feel at ease, which allows the great images to flow. We’ve had great success with this package and have photographed people with a wide spectrum of requirements. Our ‘Headshots’ have been used for: modelling/actors portfolios, social media/website profiles and even the successful campaign of a local counsellor.

The package itself is tailored for those who need digital images as a priority. Thus, it has been created differently from many of our other options. As usual, the session may last up to an hour in our studio; however, instead of a print you will TWO digital images suitable for digital use. This means the freedom to copy and distribute the images as you feel necessary (sending to prospective clients etc). We think this is a really fantastic prospect and the session is available for just £95, which includes the cost of the photo-session. This is really fantastic value considering the inclusion of digital images! Professional hair and makeup services are also available at a minor added cost; although, it will hardly be necessary because we will make you feel confident and look great.

Take a look at this image of Councillor Jenny Bullen (mentioned above). This was used as part of a successful local election campaign by Jenny and acts as a good representation of the quality and professional results offered by this service. As previously eluded, this is also a great option for anyone looking for modelling/actors portfolios – because of the focus on digital images. We know what the agencies are looking for and how to get the best out of each session. Of course, the visual appearance of the image carries less of a corporate air, which is appropriate for the intended use of the images. As always, we work to individual needs and strive to deliver and maintain the highest possible standards and customer service. Please feel free to call us on 01942 396 228 (Ashton) or 01524 846 697 (Lancaster) with any enquiries.we’ll be back with another blog again next week, thank you for reading and your feedback is always appreciated.

Milestones

‘Milestone’ is one of those words will multiple meanings or uses. Traditionally, a milestone functioned as a physical marker, along a path or road, to signify the passing of a mile. In more recent times, it has come to be associated with an important event or point in time, such as a significant birthday or anniversary. Both meanings signify the importance of change and, to some extent, growth. For us, the word milestone is synonymous with the photograph, even to the point of becoming interchangeable. For what is a photograph if not a mile-marker to our lives? In its simplest form, the photograph functions as a record of a moment in time. Even the most fleeting of moments, those that seem ordinary and banal, can be elevated by a photograph.

The photographic milestone allows us to reflect on specific points in our lives, which in turn helps us to appreciate our growth both individuals and family groups. Each new image can be a milestone, we just don’t necessarily know it yet. Cast your mind to that box in the loft or cupboard that contains the old family album (maybe its even on a computer somewhere). There will be likely be images of the family on the beach, a wedding or at Christmas… ‘What was your mum wearing? What were YOU wearing? How on earth could you let yourself be seen in public like that! Aww look at how cute they were, if only they could have stayed that way’. Fashion changes and so do people; in part, thats why we assign such importance to these memories.

Eventually, the pictures in the box will be usurped by their digital brethren and there is a certain sadness to that. However, the function of the images remains the same. The photos from your iPhone will likely make up the bulk of the digital box (and so they should) but there is a place for other things as well. You could say that we at CAM are milestone specialists, of a kind. A family portrait from us will certainly find a special place now and in the future. Take this image as an example. Its a beautiful image now, but imagine how significant it will feel 2 or 5 years into the future? the little ones will have shot up, and the bigger ones will have grown out of the frame! ‘I already have loads on my phone’ you might say – True: but are they all together? is everyone smiling? Do they all look, happy, smart, and content? If so, then perhaps you don’t need us (unless you want to be on the picture as well).

We love images like this. However, what really fills us with joy is when the same group comes back the next year and we can see and capture the changes for ourselves. Hopefully one day, someone here will have kids of their own and we will get to capture those as well. These images are milestones, just like every birthday is a milestone. You could say that some birthdays are more significant than others. It can be like that with images to; be sure there are no gaps in your mile-markers.

Speaking of milestones, this is our 10th blog! Please feel free to like and share, or let us know how we are doing (for good and bad). Feedback is always appreciated.

Awards

Inspired by Kenny’s recent win from ‘The Guild Of Photographers’, we thought would we do a post to highlight some of our favourite award-winning images. We are proud to say that our skilled team of photographers has notched up over 30 individual awards, from both The Guild and ‘The National Photography Society’ (NPS). As a team, we value these accolades because it recognises that our work is of a consistently high standard and has a place in the wider world of art and photography. Not every image can be award-winning but we strive with every session to learn and improve, which enables us to equal or better our already high standards. However, our first priority is always our clients and their individual needs – some of the best images we’ve produced have been created from pure spontaneity. Although, the images we have chosen to highlight today are perhaps better described as purposefully crafted.

This time around, Kenny was awarded three bonze bars from The Guild. Below you can see our favourite of his recent winners. This particular image is a particularly striking ‘Fine Art’ portrait and is full of subtle melancholy. No doubt you would see many gleeful smiles from the other images from the session; however, there is something special about the pensive gaze coming from those eyes, which are so full of innocence. A perfect example of one of our ‘Fine Art’ sessions at it’s best.

One of Cheryl’s most recent awards is the image of the dog below. Describing it as an ‘image of a dog’ is perhaps underselling it somewhat. This image is a real tableau and is overflowing with clear narratives. It is also technically a bit of an accomplishment, taking real skill to create and finalise. This image represents the realisation of a creative vision and hours of preparation, presentation and post-prodcution. Again, this was awarded a bronze bar by The Guild and is Cheryl’s 19th individual award. Barring all the technical and creative achievements for this image, you have to admit everyone loves a good picture of a dog.

A slight departure from the previous images (which fall squarely within the ‘Fine Art’ category), Janine’s trademark newborns are also award-winners. We’ve previously devoted an entire post to the sculptural endeavours it takes to produce an image such as the one below. You can find it here if you missed it. Although, there is definitely a cuteness overload with this particular image. The image was awarded as ‘Highly Commended’ from the NPS and is one of Janine’s six individual awards.

If you’ve been reading this post and have been thinking: ‘Bronze? Highly Commended? Pfft. Where are the Golds?’ you have a point. The competition is very tough and we have a long way to go before hitting those elusive gold and silver bars. However, we are proud of our achievements so far and continue to consistently improve our work (Life would be dull with nothing to strive for).

Awards certainly represent a positive thing for us, showing that we are moving our photography in the right direction. The thing we are most proud of, however, is our service to our clients, which isn’t so easily measured but is always our top priority.

Why choose professional photography?

Why choose professional photography? Truth is, you don’t have to. Almost without exception, everyone in our corner of the world has access to high quality digital cameras. Photography has never been easier. Smartphones have been a great equaliser; with each passing day it get easier to take better images faster. On average, 80 million images per day are uploaded to Instagram – an almost inconceivable amount. Granted, Instagram is a mobile platform and is therefore not necessarily indicative of peoples everyday usage of professional services. The point, however, is that in the ‘digital-age’ photography is clearly oversaturated. Every parent, has dozens if not hundreds (or thousands) of pictures of their children available at the press of a button. So why pay for a few drops of water in a veritable river of images?

There was a time (skip this if you care not for history) when photography was solely available for the gentry. The primary reason for this was the cost, both of production and equipment. Alongside this, people of import have always desired have their likeness recorded and preserved. First it was with painting, then photography became the new vogue and the eventual accepted standard. Photographers in those days were often scientists, or people with money to burn. To create a single image was incredibly time consuming and required an awful lot of chemistry to produce. Technical skill was of the upmost importance. Eventually, as the equipment was more widely produced and the process refined, photography studios (as we know them today) started to appear in town centres. It still wasn’t cheap but gradually it became more widely available. It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that photography really became portable, the Box Brownie camera is often cited as the ‘game changer’ in this regard (perhaps your parents had one). It took another 70 years for colour photography to really develop (pun intended) – and then another thirty for the digital revolution to begin for the true democratisation of photography.

Photography has a rich but admittedly brief history. However, there have always been those who recognise its value to society; from those early scientists to the professionals today. Like any other creative profession, photography takes years to hone the craft and it is arguably beyond mastery.

If the goal of this blog is to persuade you to choose a professional, its fair to say that so far its been a mediocre performance. This is a topic close to our hearts, which makes it difficult to tangiblise (let alone persuade). However, it will perhaps help the case somewhat if we correct a few misconceptions surrounding professional photography – and the seemingly biggest barrier, the costs involved:

False: Your phone or compact can’t (yet) match the quality of our cameras. On a small screen, like a phone, the difference is imperceptible; however, on a large 24×20 canvas or print the difference is huge. With quality comes cost, ‘you get what you pay for’ (we say in our best Grandad voice)

True: Uncle Andrew may have an equal or better camera than us. So why not get him to do a few pictures? There’s no harm in it. Unfortunately, Uncle Andrew hasn’t spent years training and developing both his interpersonal and technical skill to create the images you seek. With portraits especially, the key skill is communication and making people feel at ease (everyone knows Andrew is a bit of an odd ball). Jokes aside, it isn’t just about the equipment its the intangible skills, which can’t be quantified that makes the biggest impact on the end product.

False: Prints from your phone at from a machine in Boots won’t be as good as a product you may receive from us. We don’t print in-house (that’s another craft in and of itself) but we do work with numerous skilled professionals to produce something of real quality. The same goes for our frames, canvases and wall-art. We don’t just press a button, there is whole boring and laborious process that goes on behind the scenes. It takes time to produce anything of quality, the same goes for prints.

True: Our services can seem expensive. Fifty pounds for a print? Extortionate! Fifty pounds for a haircut? Very reasonable. This isn’t us disparaging the good work of hairdressers, but there seems to be a stigma associated with photography and the costs involved. To continue the analogy, a good haircut lasts for weeks? Months? A good print from us lasts for years without fading and can be something you truly cherish in the meantime. We price our services fairly and each session includes a print to ensure there is something to take away.

False: Your skin softening app on your phone can’t make you look as good as we can with a pair of lights. Aside from the camera, there is a lot of other equipment involved to create your images. Lights, props, and software to name a few. We often find less is more, however, the use of professional software is a tangible and vital skill for quality work. It takes time, practice, patience and is best used delicately. The best work isn’t visible in the final product, which is often everyone is continually shocked to see the ‘before and afters’ leaked from popular magazines. We don’t work like that but it is still time intensive, often taking up to an hour to edit a single image to a professional standard.

False: All we do is take pictures. We wish! At our best guess, roughly 10% of our time is spent actually taking pictures. The rest is of course spent making daisy chains or some-such frivolous activity. Forgive the tone but this is perhaps the point that causes us most frustration. The rest of our time is spent on: consultations, editing, viewing, more editing, wrapping and presenting products and all the other boring stuff associated with running a business, admin, cleaning etc. It is both to our credit and detriment that things can often seem so quick and easy.

Misconceptions aside, we truly care about our clients and our craft and dedicate ourselves each day to improving both our work and our service. The truth is you don’t have to choose professional photography. Its the same truth for hairdressers, builders, designers, and any other service. You choose it because you care about the quality of the product and the service provided. We hope, at least, that we’ve managed to waylay some of the scepticism’s surrounding our work and those of our peers with this blog. If you made it to the end and took something from this post please let us know, and feel free to like and share.

Pet Portraits

Today’s blog will be particularly bitesized as we avoid chewing the fat on one of our favourite topics, pets. We love pets like a dog loves a ball, like a cat loves a box and like a horse loves a… ride? Nothing gets us more excited than a cute critter in the studio, whether it be a cat, dog, rabbit, tortoise, lizard or the infamous horse – we love them all. Granted, a horse isn’t ideally proportioned to the studio. However, animals are often in their element outdoors and we’ll take any excuse to get out from behind the screen.

Although, the studio is the idea place for animals of a smaller stature. Take this little kitten for example (butter surely wouldn’t melt), we were joined in the studio by him and several of his little brothers and sisters; definitely one of our favourites (not that we have favourites of course).

Kittens are sadly more of a rarity but we are never disappointed to be introduced to a beautiful dog, which is basically all dogs in our eyes. We’d be here all day if we went through all our pretty pooches. However, there was one in particular that caught our eyes this morning. Speaking of eyes, look at those saucers! Amazing.

To highlight the necessary practicalities, all our standard pet sessions run at the same price as our previously posted studio sessions (£35). This, of course, includes a 10×8 print of your choice. Although, we really don’t know how people manage to choose when there’s so much to love. Unfortunately, that’s all we have time for today; look out for our next post when we’ll be turning our eyes to something a little more serious but just as close to our hearts.

However, you can definitely expect more pet posts in the future, hopefully with better jokes

Pamper & Pose

This week, we want to introduce a session that we love but perhaps wouldn’t be expected from a photography studio. This session is something exciting, fun and can be a really special experience for everyone involved. To avoid further building the suspense we’ll just come out with it; we are of course talking about our ‘Pamper & Pose’ photo-parties, which true detectives will have surmised from the title of the post.

As our hyphenated word may suggest, this session isn’t too easily categorised. In simple terms, it is a party (almost like any other) combined with a fun-filled photo session. Another key portion of the title is the ‘Pamper’ section. Each attendee of the party is also treated to professional hair and makeup ready for their group and individual photos.

This session makes an ideal birthday alternative for any pre-teen princesses and a group of up to seven friends. The session can be up to two hours (including hair and makeup) and is full of music, laughter and plenty of posing. Each party includes a complimentary print to ensure the special day is remembered.

Although, we advise minimal parental presence during the party; we will of course welcome any parents who would like to see the images after the party itself. Each ‘Pamper & Pose’ session starts from £50. As always, we tailour each session to specific individual needs, so if you have any questions or enquires don’t hesitate to give us a call.

Next week, the plan is to look at everyones favourite kind of images, Pets. We love animals of all shapes and sizes and have certainly photographed our fair share of pampered pooches. We won’t spoil it for next week, when we’ll show off some of our favourites.

 

Fine Art

Photography has always taken cues from classical painting. It is difficult to think about today but at one point photography wasn’t at everyones fingertips; it was a totally new way of making images. Early photographers had to take influence from somewhere, and the logical source was from paintings. Some even went as far as adding colours, hue and texture over the original images. Its almost ironic that something that is now associated with truth initially shied away from its innate qualities.

Painting has a far richer history than photography and is still inspiring photographers today (including us), which is why we’ve decided to introduce our ‘Fine Art’ sessions. Its completely something new for us, and therefore something to be excited about. We designed these sessions with the goal of creating portraits that are truly timeless.

Take this image for example – A really beautiful portrait in a classical style. This new session is perfect for slightly older children (8+) who are ready for this more sophisticated style. The sessions are focussed on the individual as we tease out different elements of their growing personality. We spend a lot of time working with different poses and making slight adjustments, whilst we search for the perfect picture. This is were our classical influences come into play. By concentrating on simple and natural lighting we create portraits with a relaxed but distinct atmosphere.

Perfect for girls and boys, the shoot is priced the same as our standard Studio and Location sessions (£35), and includes a 10×8 print – a bespoke option for at extra cost. After the initial session, we spend a significant amount of time working with the images to ensure their timeless appearance. We may even introduce some subtle texture as a contemporary reference to the pictorialists of old! Its a great alternative to anyone looking for something different from their images, and we look forward to working with you soon.