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

The Female Wedding Photographers

Last weekend me and Claire Osborne Photography celebrated our one year anniversary of us working together.  We were at a wedding when we realised, and what made it more special is we celebrated by getting our pictures drawn by the artist at the wedding

Female Wedding PhotographersBrought together through a combined love of photography and being members of the guild of photographers and living very close together we started working together at the beginning of 2015 when I joined Claire as her second shooter. After a few short months we realised that we were not the typical main shooter and second shoot package and we worked to each others strengths and we both decided that “The Female Photographers – FWP” should be born.

Female Wedding Photographers

This combination means that instead of the old fashioned lead photographer and slightly inexperienced or new photographer being the second photographer you are getting 2 insured, award winning, experienced wedding photographers who both take the lead on your special day, making sure that every moment of your day is captured with great expertise.

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We dont bring our style to your wedding day and make your day our own, instead we showcase our work on our websites showing you all the different types and style we can achieve and we work with you to fine tune your day the way you want it.

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Myself and Claire are now a wedding photography team based in Birmingham in the West Midlands covering weddings in Birmingham, Stourbridge, Stourport, Redditch, Evesham, Bromsgrove, Droitwitch, Coventry, Leicester, Northampton, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and all though out the United Kingdom, and we pride ourselves in being one of the leading all female teams, we believe in offering our clients only the best wedding photographers.

We believe we are a very unique and individual wedding photography team as we match our style and packages to you meeting your every need for your wedding day taking the stress out of the search for the best wedding photographer.

13392128_271301293217013_8474340864872558744_oFWP3 Wedding Photography, Birmingham, West MidlandsFWP2

Roundabout Childrenswear

So here it is….one of my exciting new ventures! Child fashion photography

Child Fashion Photography

I am absolutely delighted to be working with Roundabout Childrenswear.

The Roundabout team are focused on offering a choice of good quality, well made clothes for children and excellent customer service. They offer two ranges of high quality children’s clothes, both handmade in the UK. The clothes have a traditional feel and are chosen with fun and comfort in mind. Children love the big, colourful motifs and call them ‘magic’ because lots of the designs are reversible. Two outfits in one.

Roundabout Childrenswear have now also brought out a new range,Child Fashion Photography DESIGNED BY JO.  Jo, owner of Roundabout, believes that children should be allowed to grow up slowly, play out and have lots of fun. For her own range, she chooses cottons in loud colours and unusual patterns that boys and girls will enjoy wearing. Her designs are inspired by the clothes from her childhood with smart features and a contemporary look.

The idea of our up and coming shoots will be children wearing the outfits doing what they do best, having fun! Our shoots will be held outdoors for the most part.  I’m hoping the weather will be picking up soon so we can get outdoors on some of our adventures!!!

Child Fashion PhotographyAs the weather has not been great the last few weeks, me and my daughter, Eva, held a very quick trial session in the studio and I have to say I am so in love with these items.  The quality is absolutely amazing and the attention to detail is evident.  What is more important to me as a mother is that my daughter loved them, and I mean LOVED THEM! She loved being able to choose which way round she wanted to wear the dresses and she loved the patterns.

Obviously as well as beautiful dresses, there are hats to match.  And the boys have not been forgotten either!!! There are some amazing reversible boys shorts that are both fun and practical.

Here are a few sneaky peak images of what we have been up to….

Please keep your eyes peeled for some up and coming model calls, boys and girls!

Newborn Safety

I have previously written my own blog on newborn safety.  This topic is at the top of every newborn photographers agenda!

Since setting up her business seven years ago, Guild Member Lorraine Jardim has been talking about newborn safety. Having come from a health and safety background she has always been nervous about the fact that newborn photography isn’t regulated.

Lorraine has recently had an article published in Bokeh magazine, an international digital photography magazine based in the States.  You can read her article here

Debbie

 

http://www.elliejphotography.co.uk/bokeh39_lorrainejardim.pdf