pressmen performance and photography

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

BNI networking and the concept of benefits

I was at a BNI meeting and in the educational slot we talked of features, advantages and benefits.

Benefits are what is in it for your customer.
A benefit saves, increases or provides a solution.

Interestingly enough I was talking to one of the members of BNI Dave Kirkwood of the Vantis group,
He provides accountancy services and in talking about his work he said, they provide a safe pair of hands.
So what they do is to solve a problem for you. Who hasn’t had a headache trying to sort out their tax. I always worry as to whether I have done everything correctly. Having been in the local tax office on the 31st January I have seen lots of worried faces. Having a company which takes the worry from you is a source of great relief and is a real benefit. But Dave has taken the idea of reducing worry to a new level. After a planning meeting he can offer you a total cost for your years work and provided there are no drastic changes in your way of working that will stay as a fixed figure. And the big benefit is that he offers a free phone service to answer any queries you might have.
That is a massive benefit.
I am sure if he wanted he could point out other benefits re saving (saving you money by reducing specific expenses) or increasing (recommending ways to reorganise your business to increase profits)

An amazing array of benefits.

Not the end of the story. How do we find creative ways to effectively communicate these benefits. Certainly for initial first meetings a can opener is needed. A method to impart a message to open a potential client to the benefits that one offers. Again in terms of selling this is only the beginning of creating a productive relationship.
One must discover the needs and wishes of your client. One can only offer a treatment if one understands the clients needs. It is the matching of benefits and needs that requires thought and creativity.
For anyone having read a few selling books this is all obvious stuff. Yet I have seen time and time again experienced salespeople who have not prepared their presentations, not rehearsed them and certainly do not have a short can opener to hand.

I have digressed a long way from my initial opening. I started off wanting to analyse benefits in a bit more depth and to share my thoughts with the participants of that meeting. But as I wrote I realised how benefits must be seen in relation to the whole selling process. And this I think requires ongoing work and a constant working on our skills. Networking requires us to understand others but at the same time we must understand what it is we have to offer and how we can effectively communicate that.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween time to contemplate

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Zig Zigler on life

You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough people get what they want. The essence of the philosophy behind BNI. It seems to be a truism for networking. I suppose I can get cynical when I see some people utilise this type of idea in a manipulative manner with a complete lack of the sense of what is right and wrong.
This will work in the short term but over time people will react negatively.

neil cowley on wedding phtography

I like how he writes about the idea of a photo essay as that sums up the way the Pressmen work.

Neil cowley visual artist

"'Photojournalism' is a key word because of the ethics that have applied to the trade for so long. The photographer's responsibility to the viewer to be honest and straight forward, not creating scenes himself, but only telling of events that occurred. Straight news photography holds to the purest traditions of this while great photojournalists of the past have allowed their artistic ability to be impressed and respond to events and people interpreting them with a sensibility for the humanity of a captured expression and eternity of a temporary moment that a camera can capture. The great tradition of the photo-essay is the approach I take to wedding photography. 'Artistic' is a keyword because an art object is something who's sum is greater than its parts. The sum of your wedding photography is greater than the individual photographs that are taken. Choosing a photographer who understands this will produce a greater 'sum' than a photographer who only thinks in terms of 'shots to get'. It is also important to note that I use my artistic intuition to find, capture and relate the expressions, moments and details that will add up to produce the art object that will be your wedding album.

I think of the photography process as a continuous dialogue with the subjects I'm photographing. I have a good sense of how a wedding happens and am incredibly sensitive to the personal dynamics that I observe, but I also appreciate friendly insight and tips from you and your family. Its always fun to get a tug on the shoulder from the mother of the bride who wants me to be sure to get a shot of her sister dancing on top of a table or points out that grandpa is dancing with the gorgeous young bridesmaid."

central London parade

Saturday, October 28, 2006

theatre,weddings and photography.

Peter Brook "It was the involvement with others,the process day by day that enthralled me." For the pressmen I would say there is a similar notion. It is the involvement with others that make weddings so extremely interesting and exciting. To try and understand all the interactions, to understand and feel the atmosphere and the emotions of all the people involved.
It is this sort of understanding which provides the possibility for photographing a wedding and capturing the memories that will truly captivate the wedding couple.

Things looking up Autumn has arrived

Friday, October 27, 2006

BNI Business referral organisation

In the last month and a half I have joined a networking group called BNI. Very interesting for any small business as the organisation provides a way of networking with other business people. They have a concept 'givers gain,' help others and they will help you. It is a good way of getting new business. The one drawback is that now, one day a week I have to get up at an unearthly hour for me. Used to entertaining and photographing into the small hours, I am not an early morning person.

Any small business looking to improve their marketing should have a look at BNI.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The thinker

Monday, October 23, 2006

Paparazzi at wedding

What is Rapport? It is commonality of perspective/ the natural process of matching and being in alignment with another.

What photographers often want is for there subjects to feel at ease, to be natural, to feel at home in front of the camera. How can that situation be created at a wedding. Not all the guests know one another, they are in a more formal environment than their day to day life and certainly often the photographer is a stranger.

One way to create instant rapport is the utilise the skills of acting and performing. So in our case we often use the role of 1940's paparazzi. The character is one who has to be open and approachable and to treat others as if they are special. For the guests they can recognise this character. Just like meeting a waiter at the wedding it is comfortable to approach them as you know their role and what you can expect of them. Unspoken social codes operate to make it easy for interaction.

A commonality is created. A sense of playfulness and fun is created. the paparazzi character helps generate a fun and open atmosphere. It is this that makes possible good rapport and an openess to be photographed. As the event progresses we often find guests larking about in front of us which enables to get some genuinely exciting and natural shots.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ghost Horse on Parade

Parade on south bank

Theatre on the south bank

Flying Bike

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Wedding Hall Tel Aviv

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Are you okay?

A Quote

"You will miss 100% of the shots you don't take." - Wayne Getzky.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

wedding photography 4

A client in hiring a photographer is investing in memories. What is a memory? A visual record of the event. What do people need and want? It used to be a joke that once a year people would bore their friends with a slide show of their holiday or wedding or some other such event. What will make those images interesting? Is it emotion and character? To see the human elements that made up their event. People do want a record of their guests and a record of themselves and their friends. But they want to see the humanity of all these people. Their character and personality. Not false smiles but how they behaved on the day. They want to relive the feeling of the day. That must have the emotion. And as I said previously to catch people in a candid and truthful way not only needs a trigger happy photographer but also one who knows how to create rapport with the guests.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

wedding photography 3

One of the keys to the type of photography I am discussing involves the art of creating instant rapport. That is a key skill which is essential for any good entertainer. We have blended the rapport skills of good entertainers with the storytelling skills of good photographers.

wedding photography 2

Some photographers say they will record the day in an unobtrusive way. They capture what really happens on your wedding day. Now it is true that some photographers will so focus on getting staged shots that they will intrude on the flow of the wedding and in doing so annoy the guests. And breakup the atmosphere of the party. In this way they will intrude on the wedding day. What I feel is that that there is another way that is not unobtrusive but rather than hinder the flow of the atmosphere actually plays a part in making the day special for the wedding couple. And in this way can truly capture the spirit of that couples special day.

wedding photography 1

It is interesting that at weddings we favor a reportage style of photography. However our method is not totally neutral. As we use character and costume as 1940 style photographers, we help create the atmosphere at the party. In fact we enhance the atmosphere and help the guests relax as well as creating great rapport with them. This creates a situation where they will do interesting things in front of the camera. This enables us to get a fantastic range of photographs so we can visually record the character and the story of that wedding.
Yet this is not exactly reportage photography. I wonder how to describe this method?

Thursday, October 12, 2006


I recently looked at a commercial photograph for a brochure. There was a gap,a lack,an inability to really think about the goal of the photograph. To create a good shot obviously needs good technical skills as well as an ability to think creatively with the client and to plan how you are going to achieve your end product.
Of late I have had several people wanting me to quote a price without a meeting.
I think, No meeting. No thought. No excellence.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Adobe Photoshop Lightroom beta 4.0. This is available as a free download. Has anyone tried it? What is your opinion?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Web feet

Great efects on a 17 mil lens on my 5D at 3200 iso noise, what noise, cant hear a thing.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

George Eastman quote

Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.

Helmut Newton quote

I hate good taste. It's the worst thing that can happen to a creative person.