Deborah Longmore Achieves Craftsman Status


I drove to the Guild of Photographers Office in Stoke yesterday, armed with my 20 mounted prints and some products, to attend my Craftsman Submission Review Panel.

On arrival, I was invited into the Judging room to set up my Panel of images.

Once I was ready and all set up, the Judges were invited into the room.   I very nervously introduced myself and my panel, before running out of the room (literally). I stood nervously in the kitchen holding a cup of coffee in my shaking hands, which I had barely sipped before being called back into the judging room!

I am so glad the Judges put me out of my misery immediately and informed me that I had passed my Craftsman!!!

So what is Craftsman status?

As you know I have previously achieved my Qualified status in 3 categories: Newborn and Babies, Professional and Weddings.  If you want to read about my previous Qualifications you can press HERE and HERE

The Guild say “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 what about Craftsman?

People working in crafts have organised themselves into Guilds as far back as Saxon times, and by the medieval period, Guilds had a fundamental role to ‘protect the quality and reputation of a trade’. Most Guilds would consist of those seen as being able to produce a good standard of work (those Qualified to work in the trade), those who were very skillful and experienced (the Craftsman) and those who could go beyond even that and create a Masterpiece (the Master Craftsman).The Guild Of Photographers is no different than the original Guilds in that it wishes to protect the quality and reputation of our trade (the photographic profession), hence our Assessment structure is aligned to that historical context.

The Guild say “Our ‘Craftsman’ status is, as one would imagine, aligned to the exacting standards of a true ‘Craftsman’. Therefore to attain this level we add an increasing level of professional critique to evaluate our members work. In other words we get increasingly ‘fussy’ and look in minutiae at all the elements of photographic understanding. Those that achieve this accolade have demonstrated the finest technical skills and an exceptional creative and artistic ‘eye’.

My Panel

During my 3 years in business, I noticed that most people book photography sessions for newborns, cake smashes, or sessions for older children and families.  Very rarely do clients enquire for babies between 6 and 12 months.  This got me wondering why?

For me, 6-12 months is a perfect age! Whilst babies of this age cannot be posed, these little people have such strong personalities and always have the best expressions.

Having decided that I wanted to photograph this age range for my craftsman submission I knew instantly I wanted to give my images a contemporary yet vintage fine art feel breaking away from the high key images of babies.

I invited several babies to my studio over the course of 2018.  On their arrival, whilst I was waiting for the babies to get adjusted to their new surroundings and myself, I asked each parent why they had not booked a photography session for their little one.  Every parent answered the same, they were worried how their little one would react in a studio environment and wanted to wait until their child was older and would be more compliant.

All of my sitter sessions took no longer than 30 mins.  My aim for my sessions was ensuring babies were having fun and it is because of this reason that I worked fast and kept up the excitement to ensure I got the best reactions.

Whilst I always had a few ideas in my mind of a particular set I wanted to capture, every baby is different and you can only go with what a baby is happy to do. Unfortunately, you cannot pose a baby of this age range, you can only lead them and encourage them through play to get the look you want.

All of these images were taken with a one light source to camera left and a reflector to camera right.  The lighting pattern changed for each pose and set up to ensure that the light worked for the babies position and height within the frame and the props that I had used in the sets.

I love my job! I love getting little ones coming into the studio and having some fun!  I hope their little faces and reactions make you smile and you enjoy looking at my work.

Deborah Longmore Achieves Qualified Wedding Status

I am over the moon to say that I have passed my wedding  qualification and received my Wedding Qualified status, so I am now qualified in all 3 categories (professional, babies and weddings). This is an awesome achievement that I am so proud of.

If you want to read about my previous Qualifications you can press HERE

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 already achieved my Qualifications in these areas back in 207.  As I also shoot several weddings a year, I also wanted to be able to achieve a qualified status in this area.

Wedding Qualification (QGWP)

This category required a selection of 7 images from each of 3 different wedding commissions.

Thank you to all my lovely clients who have asked me to cover their special day.  It has been an honour and a privilege such magical days with you.

Here is my panel submission:

Awards Night, Guild of Photographers

Local Photographer, Deborah Longmore, has gained international recognition by winning a significant award with the Guild of (Professional) Photographers.

The Guild is the highly regarded national photographic body whose members are dedicated to enhancing their skills in the art, craft and profession of photography. It runs an Image of the Month Competition, and received around 13,000 entries during 2018, from photographers in the UK and overseas!

Each image is scored, and the scores from the year are then totalled to determine who wins one of the Guild’s Top 10/20 Photographer awards. This is clearly a very demanding year long process! Deborah Longmore was honoured to become Top 10/20 Photographer of the Year in 3 categories for the 3rd year running – a remarkable achievement when one considers the number and standard of the entries.

Deborah was awarded:

5th International Newborn and Baby Photographer

15th International Peoples Photographer

20th International Open Photographer (being images of Pets, Wildlife and Digital Art)

Deborah’s Awards were presented to them at the Guild’s Awards night at Crewe Hall (a stunning Jacobean mansion in Cheshire), earlier this week. Steve and Lesley Thirsk (Directors of the Guild) said – they  are “both proud and delighted that Debbie has achieved this recognition after 12 months of submitting the highest quality images. The Guild has very demanding standards when judging photographic competitions. The judging is undertaken by a panel of internationally recognised experts from a variety of photographic backgrounds, so Debbie quite rightly should be delighted with their extraordinary achievement”.

Members of the Guild are committed to achieving the highest standards of professionalism and to o a journey of continuing professional development.

Not only did Deborah achieve the above, she has also been granted membership of the ‘Photographers Bar’ in all three categories, making this her third year maintaining her membership.

Membership of the ‘Photographers Bar’ is a unique distinction awarded to those photographers who have successfully had images assessed by the Guild of Photographers over the course of a year and have attained a score that evidences an exceptional level of professional skill and consistency throughout that a full year. Points are given to entries and these are then totalled at the end of the year. Those who reach the required threshold are then awarded membership of the ‘Photographers Bar’. Membership of the ‘Photographers Bar’ is a distinction that is very difficult to achieve – in fact less than 200 photographers have achieved it in the 5 years since its inception, during which time almost 60,000 images will have been entered for assessment by photographers across the UK and from overseas.

Debbie has successfully now achieved 6 Photographers Bar and as a result has also been awarded a special “Silver Bar” marking her acheivement.

Guild Director Lesley Thirsk said “I am delighted for Debbie as this is a great achievement! Submitting and having images assessed every month for a year and reaching the required standards to become a member of the Photographers Bar is very demanding. It illustrates his/her commitment, skill and consistency. Debbie should be very proud of what they has achieved”

Deborah also had 4 images in 3 categories in the Top 10 Image of the Year, which is an amazing achievement to be shortlisted following the 13000 entries in 2018.

Deborah also was a Top 10 Finalist in the Founds Cup with her entries of the following images


Not all images come straight out of camera!

As photographers, are biggest aim is to get the image right in camera, correct lighting is always the key to any image.  However, sometimes some images take a little bit of editing.

Most of my baby images have mum in them to ensure babies are being supported and of course are 100% safe.  As beautiful as mum is, she will always need to be removed from the images.

Below are some of my Gold and Silver images (awarded with the Guild of Photographers from 2018).  As you will see, I do very little editing to most of my images other than just adding my own little bit of style.  Some, however, require that little bit more editing, particularly if I love a little ones expression so much (see below little boy in the chair!)

Finalist in the Guild’s Image of the Year Competition

Local Photographer Deborah Longmore achieves international acclaim!

Deborah Longmore, a photographer based in town has reached the Final of the fiercely contested Guild of Photographers Image of the Year Competition for the second year running.

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 2018, the competition has attracted 12,000 entries 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 10 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 images by Debbie are ones of those selected as a Finalist!

Finalist Baby & Toddler category

Congratulations in achieving your Silver Bar, which is only awarded to images that are very well crafted!
Congratulations in achieving your Gold Bar, which is only awarded to images of particular distinction (a rare accolade from the Guild)!

Finalist in the Creative & Digital Art category

Congratulations in achieving your Gold Bar, which is only awarded to images of particular distinction (a rare accolade from the Guild)!

Finalist Floral & Insect category

Congratulations in achieving your Silver Bar, which is only awarded to images that are very well crafted!

Guild Director Lesley Thirsk said “One of the Guild’s aims is to drive standards and creativity amongst photographers. Our 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, Debbie is”

Debbie said 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.”

Debbie’s images 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 2nd February 2019.

To find out more about the Guild of Photographers and their competition visit their website (, and to find out more about name visit their website (


Awards from the Guild of Photographers 2018

As most of you are aware I am have been a member of the Guild of Photographers for the last 4 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 77 awards from them this year – 64 bronze, 12 silvers and 2 golds!!!!

Previous Year’s Awards can be found here

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The Founders Cup

The Guild of Photographers is an Association with several thousand members that promotes learning and high standards for photographers everywhere. This year it is celebrating it’s 30th Anniversary and as part of the celebrations has launched “The Founders Cup” to acknowledge Roy Doorbar and Ian Gee who founded the Guild in 1988.

This national competition has been sponsored by EPSON. Entrants had to submit 3 images which were connected or themed in some way. A panel of highly respected judges have reviewed all the entries and narrowed them down to just 10 finalists.

Debbie Longmore is one of those finalists with her 3 images showing how people struggle with feelings about themselves, these feelings often being internalised and not reflective in their outward persona.  These images will now be prepared in print format and assessed by another panel of judges in December 2018.

The overall winner will be announced at an Awards night held at a Jacobean mansion in Cheshire in February 2019 where the winner will receive a trophy as well as a printer worth over a £1,000

You can find out more about the Guild of Photographers here and more about Debbie Longmore at

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


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.


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


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


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).


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.


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.  


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

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