Monday, 24 August 2009

Enduring Weekend

It was a long weekend, with the AST weight pull on Saturday (all proofs and winners award pics have been posted today), then Boconnoc Endurance Ride, one of EGB (south west) biggest events, which was a bit dampened by the constant rain and fog, and finally a last minute job Friday night, at a local colleges summer ball (their booked photographer had done a runner).
Talking of "ex" photographers, I had a bit of a tidy up in my office today and came across correspondance going back several years, from 4 different "photographers", all of which had set themselves up as "professionals" and due to their aggressive tactics had lost me several jobs.....interestingly all 4 of them have disappeared....their websites shut down and their clients and portfolios all disappeared into the mist.
I just dont understand what it is that makes people sudenly decide to try and set themselves up as photographers......another pro friend said one of the problems was redundancy payouts, and people losing jobs and desperate to try and make a new career....but why photography? do they imagine its glamorous or exciting?? Maybe they think its a quick buck? i really dont know and despair at times! Only a few weeks ago, a job that had been booked in for several months was suddenly cancelled....the reason I was told, was a "lack of budget". Then 2 weeks after cancelling I had a frantic call from the purchase and marketing manager....their attempts at getting "a friend with a really good camera" to do the job had gone horribly wrong (it usually does but no one ever listens to me) and could I fit them in again??? Fortunately for them, I could, and their website and advertising campaign has now been put together looking professional and inkeeping with their house style and eyecatching. I once asked a so called "pro" who had set herself up locally as the next great thing in photography, if she understood the concept of brand and house style....the blank look I received said it all really!!! Most of these weekend warriors have no pro training.
OK on another note, I hope all you NUJ WC branch have voted?? This is your chance to vote for the right person cant whinge later about the lack of local support if you dont vote!

Saturday, 22 August 2009


This little chap was one of a series of cats and kittens we have just shot for an animal charity calender......cute or what?
This is a really busy weekend for us as today was a big canine event, the finals of the ASTA "weight pulls" and tomorrow is one of the biggest equine events in the west country....."Boconnoc".
Hopefully all those who have now registered for the "blog extra" are enjoying it (oh, and the prat who tried to register as anonymous.....dont be an idiot!!!), there will be lots more news included in the "extra" version, and now that we have worked out who visited the blog on august 5/8/10/11/12/13/14/16/17/18/20/23rd....up to 13 times a day (someone clearly has way way too much time on their hands!) most of our news updates and bulletins will be available only on the "blog extra" service. If you are a client/friend who enjoys the blog who hasnt had their IP number accepted yet, please drop me an email to be included and sent the link.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

more happy customers

I have just completed a couple of nice LARGE montages for clients.
Togo the rotty is an ex show dog and much loved family pet, and this was done as a large framed print for a client in Mid Devon.
The Bichon montage was done for the now infamous "Bullet", who, due to a passport paperwork error, was refused entry to the UK, and he has spent 6 months exiled in Europe. He has now arrived safely back in the UK with his delighted owner.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Switching sides

I went to the BWWG working tests at the weekend, and although I was doing a few editorial pix for a magazine, I was actually on the other side of the lens for a while, as our HWV "Tennant" was competing in the puppy test.....thoroughly enjoyed by all I have to say!
Having dared to have what almost ranked as "a day off", it was made up for on Sunday with Copland horse Show being a major event on the day. As we had the full team on board we decided to view and print all photos on the day....the poor Mitsubushi had to work very very hard!!......but if you were one of the few riders who missed us, drop me a line and Ill email proofs to you.
Its a very busy few weeks approaching with many large events,plus a couple of open dog shows, so
hopefully there will be lots of news to come. meanwhile the IAPNAT campaign is growing from strength to strength, and I believe theres a westcountry rally very soon. meanwhile Farlap will be announing a celebratory competiton very watch this space.

Thursday, 13 August 2009

mad cows and morris men

What a hot day we had at Okehampton show today. The cattle were restless in the heat, but luckily all my jobs were straight forward and went to plan. Supreme Beef Champion once again, was Kestle Dahlia, on a jaunt up from Newquay.
The dog show section was admirably run by Doug....despite the dire commentary over the PA system from the "Widdecombe Wag" one seemed to find remotely amusing with his quips about the "Doug Show"!
Thanks to Giles for giving up his day off today and helping me with the sheep championships...youll get your reward in heaven Im sure mate!!
Ive discovered a new annoyance (after convertable cars and body piercings!)....those hideous rubber shoes (crocs i think they are called?) Who on earth thought wearing rubber oversized clogs was either pleasant or attractive???? ive never seen so many sweaty hot feet on one day!And the Morris Men???.......dont ask!!!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

I am a photographer not a terrorist!!!

I must bring to the attention of anyone reading this blog (and my stats show theres quite a lot of you!) the following website. If you care about the freedom to work as an editorial photographer, without reasonable interference, then this is for you! I am one of the original members, and today its been picked up on by the BBC so hopefully the word will spread.

Despite having to take part in protests and photocalls to try and get a point across (something I find dismally tedious), there are highlights to the job and when I was out in our fields with the dogs this afternoon, I was thinking about some of the jobs Im doing this week, and how lucky I am!
Today saw me at a dog training school taking photos of their classes, for a new website. (who said you couldnt train a beagle??!)Yesterday I was out deerstalking for a gun review, for a shooting magazine, and tomorrow Im "back to my roots" working at an agricultural show for the national farming press. (The latter being where I started out in the family agricultural photo agency all those moons ago so I always look forward to agric. related work). I cant believe how my Dad used to get me modelling in his campaign photos, and looking back, I appeared in everything from farm motorbikes to plastic macs for new born lambs!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Hooe goes there?

I had an email yesterday asking what I do on my time off and do I take photos "for fun"?
A definite NO!! Work is work!
As an example of what I do in my time off......Id never heard of "Hooe" until last week....I thought it was the seafront in Plymouth but apprently thats the Hoe! Anyway I spent 2 hours in the back streets , park and a big pondy place, of Hooe, trying to help a friend who had lost her dog in a park at Hooe.......and am glad to report we (bloodhound and myself) were eventually successful and dog and owner were reunited after 6 very scary hours.
That was how I spent my day off!
The rest of the week has been busy fulfilling agricultural editorial comissions, possibly my favourite kind of work. (sorry but images embargoed until next week) I was working alongside James Train today.....hes a great photographer and Im sure that his work is going to be snapped up soon, as he really does have the eye and the skill for the job, as well as understanding pro etiquette.
I was speaking with another pro photographer friend today who was telling me about yet another rights grabbing competiton, this time from vango tents. Shame on them.....I wont be buying another one that for sure!
On a lighter note....I was generously given a breeding colony of mice by one of my clients (they are show breeders of mice and I was photographing their top winning bucks for a pet magazine ).
the mice have been happily eating, drinking and breeding in a large glass tank in my office....until the weekend when they formed an escape committee! I have managed to recapture 4 but there are still 4 at large, so, if your prints turn up in an envelope with a nibbled edge, you ill know why!

Thursday, 6 August 2009

September 6th!

What is it with September the 6th? is there some magnetic draw towards it that I dont know about? I have no less than 5 enquiries for jobs all on that same date, its so strange!
Luckily a couple of the events can be covered by another photographer with whom I sometimes share jobs, and another one of them I can get one of the boys to cover (sorry G. you thought you were having a day off didnt you!). However it still leaves me with two jobs too many, so if there is a professional photographer out there who would like to either do it under the "Farlap Banner" or have the job on your own, please get in contact.
Professional behaviour and smart turn out is essential. (Please see earlier post that I dont employ people who turn up to represent a professional company like mine, at important events, dressed in jeans, trainers and looking scruffy !!!)
One job is equine related near Tavistock, Devon, and the other is Canine related near Exeter and both require someone with a high skill level.

Wet, Wet, Wetter!!

I finally managed to grab a few days off last week but any ideas of sunny days spent gardening and out with the hounds, went completely to pot as it rained non stop!
On the plus side we did get up to Hound Show in Stafford, where one of our hounds did very well, winning that all important 3rd CC.
One of the downsides of professional canine photography is that no one ever takes pix of you in the ring with your own dog! Luckily my dear friend and colleague, Carol Ann was on hand to get some lovely lovely shots, its always so nice to have something as a reminder, thanks Carolann.
Carol Ann was photographing the show for Dog World, and I had also been commissioned to get some shots for one of the hunting publications, of the pack hounds parade, but the rain was so heavy that the two of us ended up with rain dripping off our hats onto our cameras, giggling non stop and like a couple of drowned rats, it was really very funny. I managed to find a dog towel in the van but not so sure CA was so lucky!!
Work this week, took the form of Paignton Championship show, and despite 2 days of rain, it was one of the busiest shows Ive had, with so many commissions, and no where dry to go, it wasnt easy, but we managed.
I was talking with a colleague at the show about "image and representation"and I related the story of hows 4 years ago when someone came to me for a days work, after an online portfolio and a phone conversation, and when they arrived at the venue they had nose piercings and arm tattoos (in short sleeves), and jeans and trainers and I had to say "sorry but no thanks" as a) its not the image that a professional should be giving, and b) I dont want such poor turnout to be associated with my company. Thank good ness my three regulars are all well turned out and smart...... as well as being 1st class at what they do.
Anyway back to the job in hand.....paignton was 3 long days, with editing and wiring pix taking all evening, and then it didnt help that today we had no electric from 9am-4pm as nextdoors cows pushed the post over in the field! Luckily the mobile modem got the last of the pix off..... it was just like the old days with sending wires!.
Images will be made available after the paper is published, and all group winners have been emailed theirs.