Jane & Richard

Richard & Jane
19th May 2018

Saturday 19 May 2018, and its a beautiful sunny day, one of the hottest and sunniest I can remember in May.

We arrived before the ceremony and were thrilled to learn the weather was good enough for the ceremony to be held on the venues Island location in the middle of their lake, we made our way there to set up, shortly guests started to arrive and we all waited the arrival of the bride.

The venue is Ardencote manor hotel and it is the first time our team have shot there, its perfect, very photogenic grounds and lovely welcoming staff who not only work hard to make the Bride groom and guests happy but they also make us feel very welcome too, id love to shoot here again.

The bride walking down the long island isle will be one that stands out in my mind for a long time, Jane with her flame red hair in the bright sunshine certainly commanded the attention of all the guests and everyone looked on in awe.

We had an amazing time here and hope the bride and groom love their images as much as we do.

We wish you all the love and happiness in the world x

Toni & Michael

Toni & Michael
17th August 2018
 

Friday 17th August 2018, and is a perfect day for a wedding, no wind, no rain warm and lots of clouds, this kind of day makes for 2 very happy photographers.  We arrived at the venue nice and early as always to make sure we have lots of time before we are due to start shooting. 

The venue is Ardencote manor hotel and it is the second time our team have shot there, its perfect, very photogenic grounds and lovely welcoming staff who not only work hard to make the Bride groom and guests happy but they also make us feel very welcome too, much to our delight they even fetched us coffee while on our break.

We made our way up to the bridal suite where the makeup artist and hairdressers were already hard at work, we are made to feel so welcome like old friends, this is not far from the truth as today’s bride was a bridesmaid and sister to the bride at a wedding Claire shot at a few years ago so we know the family well.

There were some emotional, crazy, exciting and running away from wasp kind of moments all morning and we were sure that this wedding was going to keep us on our toes and have us aching with laughter by the time we left.

I haven’t got the words to sum up the whole day and how much fun we had but we would gladly relive this day over again, and I hope that after seeing their photos the couple feel like they have relived it through our work

We wish you all the love and happiness in the world x

Guild of Photographers Awards Night

THE ASSOCIATED ANNUAL GUILD OF PHOTOGRAPHERS AWARDS

Last night I attended the prestigious Guild of Photographers Awards Ceremony for the first time knowing that one of my images had been shortlisted as one of the Top 12 images in the Baby category.  Whilst I was not expecting to win anything, myself and Claire Osborne from Claire Osborne Photography thought we would treat ourselves to a night out.  Who really needs more of a reason to have a night out with your best friend and colleague?

As you all know by now, each month I submit some of my client images into the Guild’s monthly competition where they are scored by a panel of Judges. Not only does it, for me anyway, ensure that I am delivering to my client’s a high standard but there are a number of other reasons which I will explain below.

THE IMAGE OF THE YEAR TITLES

At the end of the year ‘Image Of The Year’ Winners and Finalists in around 15 categories are chosen from all the entries that have been submitted into the monthly competitions throughout the year.

In December a shortlist of around 10-12 finalists in each category is selected from all the entries which were awarded Silver Awards or above in the monthly competition following reassessment by the Judges. The Finalists are notified of their achievement at this point so they can celebrate and make the most of their achievement publicity wise, should they choose to.

The shortlisted images are then all printed and our Judges then review those and make their final selection of a Winner and Runner-Up in each of the categories.

I can honestly say I never expected one of my images to be shortlisted for the Top 12 and it is something I am very proud of.

My image selected as part of the Top 12

THE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR TITLE CHASES

As the Image Of The Month competition is divided into 4 different sections there are 4 different ‘Photographer of the Year’ Titles to be won –

  • Wedding Photographer of the Year
  • Newborn & Baby Photographer of the Year
  • People Photographer of the Year
  • Open Category Photographer of the Year

THE PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR ‘TOP 10’ AWARDS

As well as the Titles detailed above those who obtain a score which finishes in the Top 10 of a genre at the end of the year will also be recognised as a ‘Top 10 Photographer’, and certification will be presented to acknowledge the achievement. Please note that the figure ’10’ is the norm but may be subject to change dependent on the circumstances at the end of the year (eg if a category attracts a very high number of entrants and/or particularly high scores the Guild may choose to acknowledge a ‘Top 20’, and by contrast if not enough entrants meet the required minimum criteria* the number could be reduced).

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS ..

Points are awarded to images entered into the ‘Image of the Month’ competition and the photographers getting the highest total of points in each section from any 8 months of the year (or less) will become the Guild’s ‘Photographer of the Year’ or a ‘Top 10’ photographer for that category (eg ‘Wedding Photographer of the Year’) – subject to a minimum 6 months entry in that section.

The ‘All-Round Photographer of the Year’ title is awarded to the person with the highest combined score from any 8 months of the year (or less) in ANY TWO of the sections, subject to a minimum entry of at least 6 months in both scoring sections. It really is that simple.

Members can enter as many images as they want to the competition of course, but a maximum of 3 images per section can earn them points in that categories Title chase, to make it fair to everyone.

If an entrant does submit more than 3 images in a category, they are required to identify the 3 selections to be awarded points towards the titles with the available ‘Tag’ at the time of submission. If no selections are made by an entrant, the first three images submitted (as numbered by the upload process) will be the ones to accrue the points.

HOW ARE THE POINTS AWARDED?

For the purpose of the Photographer of the Year Title chases, the points awarded to Image of the Month entries are as follows –

Platinum – 10 points, Gold – 7 points, Silver – 4 points, Bronze – 2 points.

A bonus of 2 points will be awarded to images selected as one of the Judges ‘Images of the Month’ and the overall monthly winner (ie the ‘Image of the Month’) will get a bonus of 3 points (obviously these bonus points do not apply to any images not pre-selected as Photography of the Year Title Chase entries by an entrant who submits more than 3 images in a genre within the same month).

The points from 8 months of the calendar year will be combined to determine the final score in the Title chase of the sections which have been entered. If a photographer enters more than 8 months in the year, their highest scoring 8 months will be the ones that count.

I am thrilled to say that I achieved 4th in the Newborn and Baby Photography of the Year and 19th in the People Photography of the Year categories making both the Top 10 and Top 20 lists respectively.  

FINALLY – THE PHOTOGRAPHERS BAR

Becoming a member of the Photographer’s Bar is a unique distinction awarded to those photographers who have had images assessed by the Guild via the Image of the Month competition over the course of a competition year, attaining a score the equivalent of a point for each entry made.

In other words any member who can secure 24 points in one section of the Photography of the Year Title chases from 24 images in any 8 months of the same competition year (ie their chosen 3 POTY images X 8 Months in the same category) will be awarded honorary life membership of the ‘Photographer’s Bar’ in order to acknowledge the fact they have submitted strong images consistently throughout the year in competition judged in accordance with national scoring criteria – a distinction that is very difficult to achieve!!

Membership of this exclusive club is clearly something to aim for.

Achieving the Bar is very difficult, and I am over the moon to have achieved the Photographers Bar in both the Newborn and Baby and in the People categories this year.

Here is a link to the Guild’s website which details all the awards https://photoguild.co.uk/2017-awards

A few images of me receiving my awards (look a tad embarrassed as I don’t like being the other side of the camera)

Deborah Longmore Photography achieves international acclaim!

I am thrilled to announce that I have reached the Final of the fiercely contested Guild of Photographers Image of the Year Competition. The Guild is a highly respected UK based association for photographers which has members from overseas as well. Each year it runs an on-line monthly photographic competition, judged by internationally respected judges with awards given to the best entries. During 2017, the competition has attracted around 1200 entries per month from the most talented of photographers. It has just been announced that from all the entries across the year, the Guild’s Judges have selected JUST 12 images in various genres to go forward to the annual Image of the Year Final. Those selected really are the best of the best, and an image by mine is one of those selected as a Finalist!

Guild Director Lesley Thirsk said “One of the Guild’s aims is to drive standards and creativity amongst photographers. Our monthly competition certainly does that, for the standard of the entries we see each month is quite staggering. To have an image recognised by the Guild in the monthly competition is difficult enough, so to have an image selected as being one of the best in a category for the end of year Final is without doubt an incredible achievement, and shows just how talented photographer, Deborah Longmore is

Photography has been my passion since I was 16 years old.  I love photography and put a lot of effort into developing my skills. One way I do that is to enter the Guild’s competition. It drives forward photography standards month after month so it helps me push myself. The images I see getting awards each month are inspirational, so knowing just how high those standards are, to have one of my images shortlisted for the overall Final from the many 1000’s submitted across whole year is really exciting. I couldn’t believe it when I found out.

My image along with the others will now be printed ready for the Competition Final in December, when highly regarded Judges will be coming together from across the country and overseas to choose the overall winner. The final outcome will be announced at a lavish Awards night in a magnificent Jacobean mansion in Cheshire on 3rd February 2018. To find out more about the Guild of Photographers and their competition visit their website (www.photoguild.co.uk), and to find out more about my work please visit my website (www.deborahlongmorephotography.com) or my facebook page www.facebook.com/deborahlongomorephotos

Awards from the Guild of Photographers 2017

As most of you are aware I am have been a member of the Guild of Photographers for the last 3 years.

The Guild of Professional Photographers is a highly regarded association for those committed to the art of photography. Each month they run their image of the month (IOM) competition which receives thousands of entries. Their Awards are highly sought after.

Images are assessed by a full Panel of highly experienced Judges who grade them in accordance with international judging criteria, and the higher scoring images are awarded a Bronze, Silver, Gold or even a Platinum Bar. These Awards are very difficult to achieve.

A Platinum Bar .. Images of exceptional or outstanding quality (only awarded to the ultimate of images)

A Gold Bar .. Images of particular distinction (very rare)

A Silver Bar .. Images that are very well crafted (difficult to achieve)

A Bronze Bar .. Images of a high standard (something to be proud of

Classified .. Images of a good standard but which are not deemed award winning at national competition level.

I am thrilled to have received 45 awards from them this year!!!!

Awarded Images

Debbie Longmore QGNBP, QGPP, achieves Qualified Status

Well it may have been a very long 3 week wait since my submission, but I am thrilled to say that I have passed not one, but TWO qualification panels and received a Qualified status. This is an awesome achievement that I am so proud of. I have been working towards this for last few months, and I am so pleased to have passed.

So what is a Qualified status?

This is what the Guild of Photographers say about it…

Our ‘Qualified’ status is aligned to standards of competence that reflect a level where the customer should be ‘pleased with the results’, when employing the services of a skilled tradesman (the photographer). In other words ‘Qualified’ indicates professional ‘competence’ to a level where the Guild is willing to recognise the photographer as an ambassador of the association , so those who achieve that level should be proud of doing so.

So which panels have I achieved a Qualified status in?

As most of you are aware, I specialise in Newborn, Baby and Child Photography and I wanted to be able to achieve a qualified status to reflect this.   I therefore submitted panels for both of the following categories:

Newborn & Baby Category (QGNBP)

This category required a selection of 3 images from each of 7 different customer commissions. ‘Newborns’ are defined as those up to 28 days of age, and ‘Babies’ are those which are either pre-walking or under 12 months of age (whichever comes first).

Professional Category (QGPP)

This category required a selection of either 7 images from 3 different customer commissions or 3 images from 7 different customer commissions (none from ‘live’ weddings).

Thank you to all move lovely clients who have visited me over the last year as without any of you this would not have been possible.

Here are my panel submissions:

Newborn & Baby

Newborn & Baby Qualified Status QGNBP

Professional Business – Child Portraits

 

How I created my hand painted backdrop

One of the things I have always wanted is a beautiful hand painted fine art backdrop for some fine art portraits and unique to me.  I would love to be in a position to buy a bespoke hand made creation but unfortunately that is not something that my bank balance will allow 🙁

So what is a girl to do? Well the answer to everything always lies in google so that is what I did! I read tones of articles where people have tried to create their own backdrops and I was so inspired that I had to give it a go!

So last week that’s is exactly what I did. I managed to pic a hot sunny day and spent the afternoon after the kids were back from school in the garden with them painting away on my hands and knees.   I do not recommend this position as my poor knees and back after were not thanking me!

So what did I use? What do you need?

Well the first thing I thought of was “what am I going to use to paint on?” So I visited B&Q and decided that I would use a dust sheet.  I cut this to fit my 2m backdrop stand (although its a bit thinner than 2m) and left it fairly long with the idea of painting the whole length.  I didn’t really want to use the whole dust sheet this being my first attempt in case it all went horribly wrong!  I also have a similar sized one left and maybe some smaller pieces I can use for some newborn sessions. I am not one to waste anything he he.

The next thing to sort was the paint, and after a bit of research I decided that acrylic paint would be the best option and knew that Hobbycraft would easily have enough colours in to choose from and it should, hopefully, leave a more matt finish.

Every article I read though seemed to suggest that the dust sheets would need priming so I thought a primer would be the best option.  To be honest I should have brought a bigger tub of it as it didn’t cover as much of the sheet as I initially thought, although in retrospect I am quite glad I never painted the whole sheet as I was already suffering enough!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have any rollers at home (which I thought I did have otherwise I would have brought myself one from B&Q), so I found a lonely paint brush left over, unused from painting the studio.  I only used the one brush through the whole process and next time I am thinking i may get some Artist sponges and the paint from The Range – as it would be cheaper than Hobbycraft!

So what did I do?

So the first step I need to do was iron the blooming dust sheet.  I hate ironing at the best of times so ironing the dust sheet wasn’t a highlight of mine but it is an essential step. You could at this stage sew a seem at the top of the sheet to insert the backdrop pole into but to be honest I didn’t really think of this at the time but I left enough room at the top of the sheet to be able to hang and support my sheet with clips.

Once ironed, the fun was about to begin!!!!

I decided to sit in my garden with the kids not having a big enough place to paint the sheet and also thinking it would be safer with little hands helping me!

I covered the floor with some plastic sheeting, placed the dust sheet on top sticking down some of the edges with tape to ensure it did not blow away with any breeze that may come my way.

I then started painting the sheet with the primer from the middle out with a paint brush.

Now ideally a roller on a pole would be a much easier way of doing this and I will of course be using that method next time!!!

I only did one coat with the primer as I ran out and to be honest I don’t think it really need a second coat but time will tell I guess.

Then it came to the really exciting bit – getting a bit creative!

I had an idea of what sort of colour and style I wanted to go for.  I had purchased grey and a black acrylic paint with the idea of mixing some of the grey with some white primer to get another tone of grey too but as I ran out of the primer I found some left over white emulsion in my shed and decided I would use this too.

I then mixed some of the grey with the white emulsion and used this lighter grey in the centre of the backdrop and slowly worked my way outwards darkening the paint as I went.  Lots of dabbing and brushing and generally messing around happened here and I even started mixing some of the edges with my hands to get ride of some of the brush strokes.  I really did end up in a bit of a mess!!!

I guess there are no rules as to how you paint it, just have a play and just go for it using whatever technique you want!

And the Result?

When I stood back I have to say I was rather pleased with myself.  Whilst I may have been very achy and completely covered in paint I was feeling pretty happy with my little self!

How to paint your own fine art backdrop

Yesterday I got to try my new backdrop out for the first time and I have to say I am really pleased with the result.  There are some things I would change in my next one, such as I wouldn’t have my lighter shade so square (this came from me not really stepping back and looking what I was doing when I did it).

Fine Art Backdrop
My fine art backdrop in use

I do love my new back drop and have plans to make a number of different variations with varying colour palettes, once I have forgotten the effort it took to make this one ha ha

Have fun!

Debbie x

 

The Photographer’s Bar

As you will know from my previous blog, I have recently been awarded two Top 10 placements with the Guild of Photographers, coming 7th in the Newborn and Baby Category and 10th in the People Category for my child portraits.  I did not know where I had been placed until I received my Certificates through the post yesterday.

Not only was I overjoyed to find out I had come 7th in the Newborn and Baby Category but I let out a little squeal when I realised I had passed the Photographer’s Bar!!!

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Becoming a member of the Photographer’s Bar is a unique distinction awarded to those photographers who have had images assessed by the Guild via the Image of the Month competition over the course of a competition year, attaining a score the equivalent of a point for each entry made.

In other words any member who can secure 24 points in one section of the Photography of the Year Title chases from 24 images in any 8 months of the same competition year will be awarded honorary life membership of the ‘Photographer’s Bar’ in order to acknowledge the fact they have submitted strong images consistently throughout the year in competition judged in accordance with national scoring criteria – a distinction that is very difficult to achieve!!

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Membership of this exclusive club is clearly something to aim for and I am delighted that I have managed to achieve this.

 

Top 10 Photographer of the Year 2016

This is a blog I did not expect to be writing! Certainly not this year anyway!!! But here goes … (little eek before I start) … I have managed to achieve Top 10 Photographer of the Year 2016 with the Guild of Photographers in not only one category, but TWO!!!! [images below]

Bit of Background

As most of you will know by know (sorry if I sound like a broken record) but I have been a member of the Guild of Photographers for the last 2 years, joining in November 2014.

The Guild of Professional Photographers is a highly regarded association for those committed to the art of photography. Each month they run their ‘image of the month’ (IOM) competition which receives thousands of entries.

Images are assessed by a full Panel of highly experienced Judges who grade them in accordance with international judging criteria, and the higher scoring images are awarded a Bronze, Silver, Gold or even a Platinum Bar. These Awards are very difficult to achieve.

– A Platinum Bar .. Images of exceptional or outstanding quality (only awarded to the ultimate of images)
– A Gold Bar .. Images of particular distinction (very rare)
– A Silver Bar .. Images that are very well crafted (difficult to achieve)
– A Bronze Bar .. Images of a high standard (something to be proud of)
– Graded (G) .. Images of a good standard but which are not deemed
award winning at national competition level.

About my Awards

In my first year with them (from January 2015, when I picked up the courage to enter the image of the month competitions, to December 2015) I was awarded 12 bronze awards and I was absolutely thrilled.

Last year, as you may know already from a previous blog,  I received 31 awards from them including my first silver and my first award in wedding photography!!!!

Silver Award, Child Photography
Silver Award, Child Photography

How does the Top 10 Photographer of the Year work?

The IOM Competitions are open to enter from January to November with the final awards being announced just before Christmas. This competition also feeds their ‘Photographer of the Year’ Title chase (with Top 10 Photographer awards in each competition section).

Points are awarded to images entered into the IOM competition and the photographers getting the highest total of points in each section from any 8 months of the year (or less) will become the Guild’s ‘Photographer of the Year’ or a ‘Top 10’ photographer for that category (eg ‘Wedding Photographer of the Year’) – subject to a minimum 6 months entry in that section.

How are the points awarded?

For the purpose of the Photographer of the Year Title chases, the points awarded to Image of the Month entries are as follows –

Platinum – 10 Points
Gold – 7 Points
Silver – 4 points
Bronze – 2 points

The points from 8 months of the calendar year will be combined to determine the final score in the Title chase of the sections in which we have entered. If you have entered more than 8 months in the year, the highest scoring 8 months will be the ones that count.

An email is then sent out to those that are close to being in the Top 10 in November to let you know you may be in the running but they are unable to confirm until the rests of the Decembers IOM awards are announced.  I received this email and was completely thrilled I was anywhere near the Top 10!!!

Each February, the Guild hold an awards evening, which is an event that everyone one looks forward to.  Until this prestigious event no one knows if they have managed to reach the Top 10 nor who the individual winners will be in each category.  Not expecting to be in the running I never attended the awards ceremony but the Guild are amazing at giving all the non-attendees a full run down of the evenings events as they unfold and when my phone started lighting up on Saturday night with people tagging me in posts on facebook I literally screamed with delight.  There was my name mentioned as being in two Top 10 lists!

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There are no words to describe how over the moon I am to be listed as being a Top 10 Photographer in the Newborn and Baby Category and a Top 10 Photographer in the People and CFA Category for my child portraits.

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So what does this mean to my clients?

Well as you can probably tell from the above, consistency is a huge factor in reaching the Top 10.  I have been fortunate to achieve awards every time I have entered, and whilst I have achieved only one silver for 2016 all those individual bronzes add up!

I strongly believe that my images, whether shot purposely for IOM or for my individual clients (and most of my IOM entries are from normal sessions), are at a consistent level and I give the same attention to detail to every client, session and image ensuring my client’s get the best I can provide.

Now on to 2017 and I hope to keep improving and learning as I seriously love what I do!

Awards from the Guild of Photographers 2016

As most of you are aware I am have been a member of the Guild of Photographers for the last 2 years.

The Guild of Professional Photographers is a highly regarded association for those committed to the art of photography. Each month they run their ‘image of the month’ (IOM) competition which receives thousands of entries. Their Awards are highly sought after.

Images are assessed by a full Panel of highly experienced Judges who grade them in accordance with international judging criteria, and the higher scoring images are awarded a Bronze, Silver, Gold or even a Platinum Bar. These Awards are very difficult to achieve.

– A Platinum Bar .. Images of exceptional or outstanding quality (only awarded to the ultimate of images)
– A Gold Bar .. Images of particular distinction (very rare)
– A Silver Bar .. Images that are very well crafted (difficult to achieve)
– A Bronze Bar .. Images of a high standard (something to be proud of)
– Graded (G) .. Images of a good standard but which are not deemed
award winning at national competition level.

 I am thrilled to have received 31 awards from them this year including my first silver and my first award in wedding photography!!!!

Awarded Images