Guy Hinks Photographer: Blog https://www.guyhinks.com/blog en-us (C) Guy Hinks Photographer (Guy Hinks Photographer) Wed, 20 Mar 2024 12:21:00 GMT Wed, 20 Mar 2024 12:21:00 GMT https://www.guyhinks.com/img/s/v-12/u905525278-o483745176-50.jpg Guy Hinks Photographer: Blog https://www.guyhinks.com/blog 120 120 From the Skies to the Lens: Photographing Glasgow's Hospital Helipad https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2024/3/from-the-skies-to-the-lens-photographing-glasgows-helipad From the Skies to the Lens: Photographing Glasgow's Hospital Helipad

 

First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.Image by Guy Hinks.Kathryn Simpson, Paramedic Team leader, Andy Rooney, Senior Pilot Scotland Bond Air Service, Dave Philp, Paramedic and Dr Phil Munro Consultant in Emergency Medicine for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad. See Press Release dated 26 March from the Press Office at NHSGG&C or call Emma Edwards on 01412014429. Fire fighters are from the NHSGG&C Helipad Fire Response Team. Heli-Hi-Jinks by Guy Hinks 

As some of you may know, I'm a skydiver, and as such I am no stranger to heights (and falling therefrom).  

 

And since the mid 1990s I have been throwing myself willingly out of the proverbial "perfectly serviceable aeroplane".

 

thumbnail_GPTempDownloadthumbnail_GPTempDownload

 

Above - me over Skydive Northwest in Cumbria at Sunset.

 

So I was delighted when, a few years back, a very good client of mine contacted me to shoot the very first test-landing on the new Helipad on the multi-million pound flagship NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Hospital: the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

 

This hospital is visible from the major east/west Motorway in Scotland, the M8, and it always drew my eye. I tried desperately for my focus not to be taken away from the road to the helipad hundreds of feet above ground.....I thought "wouldn't it be interesting to have a look up there.."

 

Then the phone rang.

 

It was my client - "any chance you're free next week to shoot the first helicopter landing on the hospital....?"

 

After about three and half nano-seconds to consider, I replied: "ehhh....yes'. 😀

 

Before I go any further I thought I should take a moment to put things into perspective. Both the Hospital and the Air Crews do a fabulous job in helping those in need: the importance of this service cannot be overstated. I have known, personally, folk who have been airlifted to hospital, so appreciate fully, the professionalism, and skills brought to bear. The emphasis, of course, of this blog is photography, however clearly the main importance of this service is the life changing effect it brings. 

 

Back to the blog. 

 

Fast forward to the day and I was relieved. The weather was decent although a bit cloudy. There was no rain which, in the West of Scotland, is considered "tropical..."

 

This for me was a tremendous privilege - shooting a helicopter landing for the first time on the new helipad which I had been watching for months....(I clearly need to get out more often/find friends 😂)

 

So I thought this would be a good Blog - it's a set of photographs I love going over in a 121 meeting (I hope the other person in the 121 meeting does too 😂) - and its fairly unique! We, as photographers, get an "access all areas" pass to a lot of events and this is something which brings a lot of joy to the job - a privileged, front row, perspective. 

 

It also allows me the opportunity to explain, in brief, some of the thought-process that goes into a photo shoot, from page layout considerations to kit.

 

Photo Limitations and Helicopter Hurdles

 

I was on the roof of the building with a film crew, from the BBC I recall, and another Press Photographer from the Herald and Evening Times.

 

Typically, though, things were not to be straightforward - they rarely are!

 

We were advised that the helicopter:-

 

1. Might not do more than touch down, then go: and

2. If it shuts down the crew probably won't leave the aircraft; and

3. If the crew leaves the aircraft, they won't pose; and

4. We had to remain, for Health and Safety, at the bottom of a ramp; so a fair distance away from the landing area. 

 

Oh and on top of that the view was South facing, in other words into the sun: not good.

 

And despite all the foregoing I was to capture pictures that would pass muster with the Picture Editor of a decent paper......😂.

 

So I bagged what I could before the helicopter was approaching. I had, after all, no idea what I was going to get. Or how the weather might change. Or if the aircraft required to be diverted to a live call-out. 

 

I spoke to the Fire Crew and invited them to pose for me. They were awesome - helping out and getting right into the spirit of it.

 

I wanted to show off the height of the building so I walked onto the helipad and demonstrated to the Fire Crew how I wanted them to stand. Then I moved back to my position and shot away.

 

This is a good point to introduce a bit of photographers' thinking during a shoot.

 

I had no idea what space or style a Picture Editor would want so the key is to offer choice of photographs - so with that in mind I shot a variety of images and here are three options from the one "pic" to illustrate this service.

 

The first below is a horizontal format picture (in case that's the space that's free for a photo in the layout of the paper) and I have quite a bit of space on the left of the photo for, say, some words/copy/logo. The background of the image is slightly blurred out to emphasise the firefighter and the isolation.

 

First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.Image by Guy Hinks.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad. See Press Release dated 26 March from the Press Office at NHSGG&C or call Emma Edwards on 01412014429. Fire fighters are from the NHSGG&C Helipad Fire Response Team.

 

Then you will see, below, I have zoomed in closer. Maybe the Picture Editor prefers this? Who knows. There is less background distraction. And I have been able to blur out the background more. 

 

First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.Image by Guy Hinks.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad. See Press Release dated 26 March from the Press Office at NHSGG&C or call Emma Edwards on 01412014429. Fire fighters are from the NHSGG&C Helipad Fire Response Team.

 

The blur is a deliberate choice - to achieve that you choose a wide Aperture (maybe f2.8 or 4) and the more you zoom in, the more exaggerated the blurred effect becomes. You want to leave some info in the background - so no overkill with the blur.


And below, a vertical picture was provided which reveals more of a suggestion of height. I asked the firefighter to look down so that he draws the viewers eyes down too. 

Again the thinking here is page layout - maybe this is the only space that the paper has available; and you don't want barriers getting in the way of your client's images being used. 

 

First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.Image by Guy Hinks.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad. See Press Release dated 26 March from the Press Office at NHSGG&C or call Emma Edwards on 01412014429. Fire fighters are from the NHSGG&C Helipad Fire Response Team.

 

I also had the firefighters walk towards me, at an angle, as if casually leaving the helipad. See below. 

 

First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.Image by Guy Hinks.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad. See Press Release dated 26 March from the Press Office at NHSGG&C or call Emma Edwards on 01412014429. Fire fighters are from the NHSGG&C Helipad Fire Response Team.

In summary,  knowledge of your equipment (and kit selection) is key in a dynamic, fast-moving environment like this; you can't faff about! 😁
 

So thats a bit of an explanation of what might go on in a PR, or indeed, any shoot - leaving the client with options. And shooting what they need, not what yo want (although sometimes you can achieve both..✅)

A Bit about Photo Kit 

I had two cameras in use - one with a zoom lens and one with a wide angled lens; so I could crop in tight with one camera, and get a wider view with the other. Both memory cards were empty and the batteries fully charged. 

Each camera has two memory card slots, recording the same image twice: I set one to save RAW images (the purest form, but heavy in terms of space and processing time) as my main image - and as a backup, a large JPG. 

This is the lens that was used. Its a Canon 70-200 lens - with an aperture of 2.8 (very good for blurring background as discussed above) and is an L-Series lens, so its the Canon Pro-Series top of the range lens. If my client is paying to achieve the best, these details count. 
 

IMG_4283IMG_4283

Then as I mentioned I had to contend with fairly strong light coming straight into the lens - so I used the Neutral Density Grad Filter (a Lee filter - again, top notch stuff - when clean 😂) on the front of the wide angled lens.

 

You can see the filter below - and you can notice the difference - in strong sunlight it will not look so grey - it will generally balance the pic to what the eye sees. 

IMG_4286IMG_4286

Finally I used off-camera Flash. This is where a flash is positioned away from (and separate to) the camera: not on top of it, which is easier but produces a flat, dull outcome. The off-camera flash is triggered remotely and requires more knowledge of light control than the on-camera (very often set on automatic) option.

Here I was using a Canon Flash, on a tripod, to the right of the medic (see photo below of the Medic with a red tunic on) to create shadows and combat the heavy backlighting. 

The Eagle has Landed

The helicopter approached, hovered then landed and shut down - all good - we at least had time to shoot-off some frames.

Then the crew came round to meet the Head of Emergency Medicine of NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

As I suspected (who wouldn't want to be shot on top of a building in front of a huge flying machine?) despite our advice to the contrary, the crew stood there for about 5 minutes, taking instructions from me and the other photographer.....😂 You can see that photo at the top of the blog ⬆️

Then it departed and I shot some portraits from the helipad, to show off the location, of the medic mentioned above and a few more posed shots with the Fire Crew. 

 

First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.Image by Guy Hinks.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad. See Press Release dated 26 March from the Press Office at NHSGG&C or call Emma Edwards on 01412014429. Fire fighters are from the NHSGG&C Helipad Fire Response Team.

Loved the lines and sheen here - a dynamic pic with few colours but plenty of lines, light and shade. 

 

First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad.Image by Guy Hinks. Dr Phil Munro Consultant in Emergency Medicine for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde.First Helicopter lands on New South Glasgow Hospital's Helipad. See Press Release dated 26 March from the Press Office at NHSGG&C or call Emma Edwards on 01412014429. Fire fighters are from the NHSGG&C Helipad Fire Response Team.

Off-Camera flash used here to fill in the shadow on his face (the sun/dominant light was coming over his shoulder) 

How the Pictures were used in the Press...

 

heli daily record nhs _1HINKSHELI NHS FINALheli daily record nhs _1HINKSHELI NHS FINAL6.3.24 GOLDEN CHARTER

It was an interesting and enjoyable morning out - a lot of fun and there was awesome coverage the next day in the press; so my PR job was well done.

 

Meantime bringing things up to date I have continued my love of all things aerial by shooting video and stills whilst skydiving.

 

I have had many images published in the British Skydiving Magazine and in this year's calendar - and am delighted always to see them being used. 

 

I am pleased, also, to reveal that I received a Bronze Award in the British Institute of Professional Photography's January 2024 Round of the Photographer of the Year Competition with this skydive entry, shot in Seville, Spain in early 2024. 

IMG_3868IMG_3868

 

So if you happen to have a helicopter landing on a new helipad (or indeed perhaps simply your own helicopter that you want photographed 😂) or for that matter know anyone in the airline industry, please pass this on. 

 

And it cannot be overstated the importance what these Crews do, in saving lives, and helping those in need - they fly in all weathers, landing where they can find a slot 'on the hoof" - really skilful people - thank-you. 

 

Thanks also for reading my blog and if you liked it, please have a look at my other blogs

 

And please, if we are not already connected on Linkedin, drop me an invite. 

 

I am an Award-Winning Photographer based in the West of Scotland covering Headshots and all Commercial Imagery - contact me  to have an informal chat on what you may be considering. 

 

Comment below any thoughts you have too and feedback on the blog is always welcome. 

 

Thank-You! 

 

Guy

www.guyhinks.com

 

GUY HINKS HEADSHOT CARK WEEK 2022 CARD 2 5GUY HINKS HEADSHOT CARK WEEK 2022 CARD 2 5DCIM\100GOPRO\G0012860.JPG

 

Me, after a jump at Skydive Northwest. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) Aerial Photographer aerial Photography commercial Commercial Photographer Glasgow Glasgow Guy Helicopter helipad Hinks Hospital NHS NHSGGC Photography PR Photographer Glasgow PR Photography https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2024/3/from-the-skies-to-the-lens-photographing-glasgows-helipad Thu, 14 Mar 2024 14:32:39 GMT
"Strike a Pose, Unlock Success: The Mighty Impact of Strong Headshots" https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2023/12/strike-a-pose-unlock-success-the-mighty-impact-of-strong-headshots "Strike a Pose, Unlock Success: The Mighty Impact of Strong Headshots"

 

I'm Guy Hinks, a multi award-winning Scottish photographer with over 15 years experience of capturing people shots up and down the UK that transcend mere pixels. Today, let's delve into a topic that's more than just a click - or a snap - it's about the transformative power of a strong, professionally shot, headshot.

 

Headshots Matter

 

Statistics don't lie, and the data on the benefits of a compelling headshot may be compellingly clear. Here are five reasons why investing in a standout headshot is a game-changer in your professional journey:

 

1. Visibility Boost: In a world where virtual introductions precede handshakes, your headshot is your digital handshake. Studies reveal that profiles with professional headshots receive significantly more visibility and engagement than those without. Whether it's on LinkedIn, your website, or other professional platforms, a strong headshot ensures you're seen and remembered.

CAM20201PNDC HEADSHOTS MAY 2023 EDITED FINAL LARGE copyCAM20201PNDC HEADSHOTS MAY 2023 EDITED FINAL LARGE copy23.5.23 PNDC HEADSHOTS

 

2. Respect Amplification: Perception matters, and your headshot is the first impression you make before you even say a word. A powerful headshot communicates professionalism, confidence, and credibility. Research indicates that professionals with strong headshots are perceived as more trustworthy and competent within their industry. It's your visual cue that commands respect among peers and potential clients.

 

CAM20646HINKS_231123_ANDREW_PENKER 1CAM20646HINKS_231123_ANDREW_PENKER 123.11.23 ANDREW PENKER

 

3. Networking Advantage: Ever heard of the phrase "putting a face to a name"? A memorable headshot aids in networking by making you easily recognizable. It creates familiarity and fosters connections, whether at events, conferences, or online forums. People are more likely to engage and remember someone with a striking headshot, leading to valuable opportunities and collaborations.

 

4. Brand Reinforcement: Your headshot is a pivotal part of your personal brand. It aligns with your professional story, values, and the image you want to convey. Consistency in branding, including a powerful headshot across various platforms, reinforces your brand identity. This cohesion solidifies your presence in the minds of your audience and builds trust in your expertise.

 

CAM20197HINKS_231123_BIOPHORUM_GDPR_SMALL_CROPCAM20197HINKS_231123_BIOPHORUM_GDPR_SMALL_CROP23.11.23 BIOPHORUM

 

5. Career Expansion: Your headshot isn't just a photo; it's a catalyst for career advancement. Studies suggest that professionals with strong headshots are more likely to receive job offers and inquiries. Recruiters and potential clients often browse through profiles, and a compelling headshot can be the key factor that lands you that interview or project.

 

Why a strong headshot should be your next business move.

 

Now, you might be thinking, "How do I get a headshot that encapsulates all these benefits?" That's where I come in. As a seasoned photographer who has shot everybody from Billy Connelly to solopreneurs to teams of 70 members of staff, I specialise in crafting headshots that speak volumes about your professional prowess. Let's collaborate to create an image that elevates your presence and opens doors to new opportunities.

 

SELF PORTRAITSELF PORTRAITSUSAN LOVE Me, testing lights before Headshot shoot. 

 

Reach out to me at [email protected], and let's embark on this visual journey together. Whether you're a budding entrepreneur, a seasoned executive, or a creative professional, your headshot is your visual narrative and together, we'll make it resonate powerfully within your industry.

 

Remember, investing in a strong headshot isn't just about a picture; it's about investing in your own success.

 

Until next time, cheers !

 

Warm regards, Guy Hinks

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) Ayrshire Headshot Photographer Ayrshire Photographer blog business headshot Corporate Headshot Glasgow Headshot Photographer guy Hinks Guy Hinks Photographer head headshot Headshot Photographer Headshot Photography Headshots Scotland Ho shot https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2023/12/strike-a-pose-unlock-success-the-mighty-impact-of-strong-headshots Mon, 11 Dec 2023 14:14:55 GMT
How to Achieve Creatrive Motion Blur in a Landscape Photograph. https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2023/12/create-motion-blur-photograph Thurso, Scotland.Thurso, Scotland.

How to Create Motion Blur in a Landscape Photograph 

A top tip on how to make the sea look creatively soft, sometimes even cotton-wool like. 

 

Here is a photograph from a few years back.

 

It was shot on a Medium Format Camera - that means a big camera - in this case using slide film/transparency to capture the image. 

 

So this was old school - every shot cost money. 

 

Before looking at the how, you might ask why I took the shot.

 

I was travelling along the North Coast of Scotland (well before it became as popular as it is today) and whilst travelling Eastwards, about dusk time, I noticed the seat, abandoned, lonely on the beach, just at the water line.

The clouds were looking threatening.

 

It wasn't quite dark enough to shoot a slow exposure (sufficient to creat blur).

 

So I got out of the car, grabbed my tripos and camera and marched towarsd the sea.

 

The attraction was simply the solitude of the empty seat, lookimg out to sea (as a lot of us like doing).

 

Now to the How.

 

How did I make the Sea in the photograph appear blurry

 

As I mentioned above I had :-

 

1. A Tripod: which for the non-photographers out there is a three legged support, on which you place your camera - it basically keeps the camera steady (and away from sand); and

2. A graduated filter - with a colour tint - this filter works by having a darker half and a non-tinted half - so it will reduce the light in (in this case) in the top half of the photo. Leaving the bottom half unaffected. 

 

 Slow shutter to blur the sea. Filter on to add interest to the sky. Camera on tripod to steady it. Used a remote shutter release so that I wouldn't disturb the camera for the pic. One of the most popular pics in the gallery.  Seat was just there. Didn't move it. 

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) alone art blog guy hinks landscape lonely photographer scotland seascape seat solo thurso https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2023/12/create-motion-blur-photograph Mon, 11 Dec 2023 13:48:41 GMT
What To Expect from a Headshot Photoshoot https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2023/10/what-to-expect-from-a-headshot-photoshoot You're thinking about booking a Headshot Photoshoot.

 

Great idea - you know its all about the visuals these days on social media.

 

We are all very good at scrolling past profiles - and you want to stop that happening to your profile. 

 

But you have concerns.

 

How long will the shoot take? Where will it take place? Is there enough light in our offices? And so on.

 

This can cause decision paralysis: humans are pretty good at putting off unusual choices. If thinking is required this kind of thing can be put to the bottom of the pile....kicked into the long grass. I'm speaking from personal experience here too!

 

So this blog is intended to address some of these concerns and hopefully provide some comfort in making the next step, if thats what you wish to do: to organise a brief zoom meeting and chat over a headshot session.

 

Ultimately you want to present to the web the best version of yourself: to either get that perfect job, improve promotional prospects or gain more (and better-suited) clients for your business. Let's go. 

Headshot Photoshoot

The Inquiry Stage 

I typically receive an inquiry by email and my first reply is to ask for a phonecall to find out what they have in mind. It's simply fact-finding. No sales stuff. 

 

I'll want to know what type of shot they wish - is it inside or outside. Is it a plain background? What style it should be? Where? There's a lot of fact-finding to be done which, by email, is just not that good. 

CAM2045022.5.23_CIGNA_LARGE copyCAM2045022.5.23_CIGNA_LARGE copy22.5.23 CIGNA GLASGOW
This Headshot is of a senior management team - this was shot in a very small room in their offices whilst the team was having a quarterly meeting in Glasgow - the team was spread over the globe and was flown in for the meeting/photoshoot.  

These types of things will be talked over and if we decide to go ahead further conversations will take place on choice of location, times, what to wear, how much time is involved and so on.

 

 "[Guy's] experience and encouragement in the lead up and on the day was amazing."

R Wan. 

 

If a team is to be shot, a plan for the day will be produced so that those involved know when they will be photographed and how long each person will have. These plans are of course not set in stone. So no queuing for hours at a door waiting for a slot. 


CAM20135HINKS_STRATH_ECONOMICS_031023_SMALL 1CAM20135HINKS_STRATH_ECONOMICS_031023_SMALL 1ECONOMICS STRATHCLYDE 3.10.23

One of a team of seventeen - Headshot taken against a window - this presented a challenge as the light from behind changed throughout the day - from clouds coming and going to of course the sun moving - it was important to get their shots consistent with what they had before. 

Where will the Headshot Photoshoot Take Place?

Most of my commercial headshots have been shot in the client's place of business - so I've not been beaten on space yet.

 

This benefits the client - work can go on. Disruption to the workplace is kept to a minimum. There's no wasted time travelling, parking or finding the studio etc. etc. 

 

And do you need to supply a room with a plain wall and a plenty of light? 

 

No: I'll bring along the background, if needed, and the lights will be supplied and controlled by me - in fact big windows without blinds, would not help. 

 

STUDIO PICSTUDIO PIC

A Headshot studio set-up, above, in a client's premises, to achieve a white background. 

CAM20428 1HINKS_SOPA_091023_LARGE -awaiting GDPR copyCAM20428 1HINKS_SOPA_091023_LARGE -awaiting GDPR copySOPA 9.10.23 TIC GLASGOW

This Headshot was taken at a conference location in a seminar room

So don't worry about the room  - these things can be chatted over in advance. 

Headshot Photography - On the Day of the Shoot.

If a team is to have their headshots photographed (which I do a lot of) I will arrive at their place of business, typically at 9am for a 10 am start.


Arriving earlier often doesn't work, although if I can I will. I prefer more time. But much depends on when staff arrive at the office and access to the place where the Headshots will be taken. 

I'll set up a studio in the office (in an area discussed in advance) and test the lights etc. to make sure I am happy. 

Softboxes - these are used to modify the light and form part of the studio set up - Profoto is a leading, top-end brand and have a reputation for consistency, reliability and quality - so when the CEO arrives from Dubai the chances of light failure or technical delays are massively reduced. 

The amount of time each person has for the session will be determined (in advance) by how many photos they expect at the end - and also seniority has a bearing. If a CEO has been flown in from, say, Dubai, she will probably be allowed more time for additional options.

 

"Guy took all the hassle out of a full set of sales team head-shots. The whole process was run so smoothly by Guy and nothing was a problem." 

L Lambie 
 

Each person is coached on how to stand. It's awful being placed in front of a camera not knowing what to do; so plenty of guidance is offered.

 

I'll not say "do your thing..!" 😂

 

If you are comfortable in front of the camera that will come over in your headshot. 

 

"When the time came to update my photo, I could think of no one better or understanding of my intense dislike for having my photo taken.." Dr S Scurlock 

 

"Very friendly and you will be at ease, great experience!" D Kumar 
 

At the end of the shoot each person will choose their Headshot and thats it sorted. 

If someone is struggling to choose something (folk can be quite harsh on themselves) we work out what's liked and not liked; then have another go. And we keep going until we're happy. 

 

CAM20201PNDC HEADSHOTS MAY 2023 EDITED FINAL LARGE copyCAM20201PNDC HEADSHOTS MAY 2023 EDITED FINAL LARGE copy23.5.23 PNDC HEADSHOTS

This is a headshot with a white background - shot in a boardroom in Cumbernauld, Scotland. 

 

On the day of the shoot invariably someone will have a change of plan so flexibility is key - an important meeting may have cropped up or the kids may have an issue at school. It's never a big deal. I'll swap folk over or find space. 

 

If you are an individual having a headshot taken its pretty much the same routine as it is for a team - it's just a little bit easier to organise. 

 

After The Headshot Session

 

Within an agreed time-frame the final images chosen will be worked on and delivered by online link - sized both large (for prints) and small (for the web) so they are ready to use immediately.

 

Also they will, if you wish, have spare space around them (uncropped) so that they can be adjusted to suit the size needed - Linkedin may want a square headshot but a publication may need a 5x7 image....room around the pic helps with that flexibility. 

 

Headshot Photoshoot in Summary 

 

So what have we covered in this blog - in summary, the lesson to take away is "everything can be worked out":-

 

✅ Your offices will be the location - saves time, disruption and expense.

✅Everyone knows when it's their turn - no time wasted.

✅Style Guidance is available - wear what's best for your shoot.

✅Lighting - I supply that.

✅Plain Background - I supply that too.

✅Windows in room - not needed. Unlike coffee: needed!

✅Communication - we will chat everything over in advance. Preparation and planning!

 

So there you go - a whistle-stop tour of a Headshot Photoshoot.

 

Now what's stopping you?

 

Get in touch and we can have a no-obligation, free, informal chat to go over your options and get your team representing your brand in the best possible way!

 

SELF PORTRAITSELF PORTRAITSUSAN LOVE A mug shot of me - testing a light set-up before a client's arrival. If it helps, I'm never happy with my test shots either...this one I can live with! We're all in the same boat. 

 

Stop 🛑 potential clients scrolling past your profiles!


Follow the link below to take your first step in having Award Winning 🏆Headshots of you, or your team.

 

Drop me an mail 💻[email protected]

 

Like this blog? Have a read at the other blogs at https://www.guyhinks.com/blog

 

Thanks for reading. Leave feedback or thoughts below. 

 

 

Commercial and Headshot Photographer of the Year (UK)

Lux LIfe Global Excellence Awards 2021

 

Proud Member of the British Institute of Professional Photography  

and

Federation of European Photographers 
 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) ayrshire glasgow headshot headshot photographer Headshot photography headshot scotland headshots headshots glasgow headshots scotland https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2023/10/what-to-expect-from-a-headshot-photoshoot Mon, 16 Oct 2023 14:01:46 GMT
From the Law to the Lens - A Court Lawyer's Journey to Award-Winning Photography https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2023/9/Scottish_Lawyer_to_Award_Winning_Photographer In the Dock - A Court Lawyer's Journey from the Law to the Lens

On the 15th anniversary of going into business I thought I would write a blog on the reasons I moved from the profession of Solicitor to Photographer.

It is a question I am always asked. It triggers almost confusion - why would someone who had worked so hard for a prestigious career, throw that away and embark on a path so risky?

Now the 15th anniversary has arrived this seems like a good time to explore that very question.

It has not been an easy blog to write - few blogs are. But it was a challenge to set out the reasons, briefly, whilst giving them room to make sense. I also wanted to steer away from a relentless moanathon: so I've just set out a couple of circumstances (among many) which gave rise to the decision to hang up my court robes.

The Background

From the age of about 20 I knew I wanted to be a Lawyer.

Whilst at University my mind focussed further and I aimed to become a Court specialist known in Scotland as an Advocate (or a Barrister in other countries).

I qualified as a Solicitor in 2000 and by 2008 had "chucked it".

What went wrong? Or what went right....?"

This is therefore a story of my journey to leaving a profession which had taken 7 years to train for.  And an inquiry what (if anything!) I have learned along the way: from life to business lessons. 

In summary it was a litany of small and big factors which combined to simply put me off spending more time in the profession - the prospect of getting embedded in a Partnership was terrifying as I'd be locked in and those seniors at Partnership level looked less than happy; and certainly weren't awash with cash. I'd sit in the Agents' Room in Court and watch these blokes (and blokes they typically were at that stage) swearing and moaning about how the Legal Aid Board didn't pay enough (which was true) and that was a groundhog day conversation - amongst other moans too. Not the future I had aspired to. 

Hope you enjoy it - leave comments please and share any thoughts you may have. I'd love to hear them.

Bringing Focus to a Law Career 

I was always into photography.

As a teenager I got the use of a Single Lens Reflex camera. In other words a "big" camera. A film camera of course so I learned how to develop my own black and white film (which I did at home) and would print these off in school in the darkroom.  I could afford about one black and white film a month (24 to 36 pictures) so I had to be slow and deliberate to make these shots count.

My interest continued through my teens. I did a photo shoot with a ski instructor, whilst on a school trip abroad, to capture some aerial tricks. Fab pics indeed there were but I forgot to put a roll of film in...

I did a few hum-drum jobs post school which, when asked how they were, I'd reply "they pay the rent".

I quickly realised, though, that was just about all they did. It was time for a re-think. 

I went to college to get some qualifications and had in mind, Law.

I passed what was needed to get into University, was interviewed by the Law Department, and thereafter granted a place studying Scots Law at the University of Strathclyde.

I was so chuffed. This was a well-respected University, doing a tough course (which had academic kudos) and could therefore put to bed the suspicion I had in my mind that I had under-achieved academically.

I was the first in my family to reach University too.

Law - a profession on trial

Law as an academic subject was a great choice and Court Law was my preferred area to aim for; specialising in high level court cases at the Faculty of Advocates. 

I thrived in University graduating with an Upper Second Class Honours Degree in Scots Law followed by a Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice in 1998.

BLOG DEGREEBLOG DEGREE

The first in my family to go to University: I saw it as a major achievement. 


I was on the Committee of the University Law Society. This was unpaid of course but you did get free booze for an hour at the Law Society Ball....and I can assure you, that's plenty of time to do some damage. 

I also picked up a prize for Jurisprudence which is Legal Theory. This subject was needed to enter the Faculty of Advocates. It was rather grandly titled "The Royal Faculty of Procurators of Glasgow Prize for Jurisprudence". I was delighted: it was a prize-winning achievement in a tough subject, within a tough course. 

Now before I go any further I need to make it clear that getting a job as a Solicitor is a privilege. You earn the grades etc. but having that title is hard won. And it never escaped my attention that folk in trouble, whether divorcing, facing jail or having the kids removed entrusted their hardest circumstances to my care - I always gave it 100%. Never left a stone unturned. And never gave in for a client. The gripes to follow are aimed not at the job, or the clients, but largely at the environment; whether Legal Aid rules or bosses too tight-fisted to keep offices properly run and staff up-to-date in law. 

Caveat over! 

I secured my first Law job as a Trainee Solicitor in a firm in Greenock in 1998. 

David Lyons was my "mentor" as a Trainee Solicitor and high up in the Law Society of Scotland. Well respected. 

The seeds of doubt were however sown on day three of my traineeship when Mr Lyons threw me under the metaphorical bus. He assured me (flamboyantly) he would accompany me to consult with a bunch of highly frustrated and angry clients (he kept that quiet) who had for months been neglected. They had employed no legally qualified staff in that office for months. I expected to learn from him how to deal with clients (I'd never had a client in front of me in my life) and I'd hear all about Separation Agreements and Civil Procedure. But, unsurprisingly I would later learn, he was nowhere to be seen. I faced the angry mob myself! Three days in. First taste of client contact - LOL. All the "Client Counselling" stuff I'd learned at Uni - straight out the window! The tutors hadn't foreseen this.... Traineeship by survival. 

So that effectively became my office - with my level of expertise being measured at nil I'd take care of the (hitherto neglected) Court side of things. My mate, Dave, also unqualified, was in charge of Conveyancing...! What a carry on. 

Its a baptism of fire. I had the control of a wide range of shocking cases from Serial Sexual Abuse by a Social worker to long term medical issues caused by Negligence. I had no issue with the baptism in principle. Its a good way to learn. But that level of "being on your own, mate" became a recurring theme and usually driven by penny-pinching and disinterestedness at senior partnership level. 

My first foray into oral advocacy was for a Bus Driver who had lost his licence to carry passengers due to a small theft from his employer. The Council took the view that he was not a fit and proper person to be dealing with the public. I was instructed by him at the Appeal which was at the Glasgow City Chambers. I presented my client's Appeal - and won. The hairs stood up on the back of my neck and the client and his wife were in tears - he could earn a living again. I had made a difference. I was convinced this was the right career for me. 

I handled the Court side at the Paisley office and for the next two years I did a pretty good job at keeping that office afloat. Not a bad return for the firm paying £8000 a year to a Trainee Solicitor.

My two year traineeship was not continued to a Qualified role. They were at least candid. It would be cheaper to get another £8k trainee in. And so thats what they did.

I wasn't that bothered. The firm was a shambles in my view. For reasons only known to the partners, I was paid by cheque and of the 24 cheques issued over my two year stint, my salary bounced three times......"I don't understand that" said once the overly coiffeured staff partner. "I do" I replied......"there's no cash in the bank...".

So the firm in my view was on a shaky financial nail. 

To bring you up-to-date on Mr Lyons' current whereabouts, follow this link to a BBC News page....here...

The next role I had was as a Qualified Solicitor and that was again a Court role.

I was in a large firm with multiple offices and plenty of colleagues of a similar age and experience. So far so good. They kept moving you about though: you just got the handle on your case load in office A and a few months later they would move you to office B and so on. You never therefore managed to feel on top of your case load. It was stressful constantly meeting new clients and going over old ground with them. I'm sure they didn't like it much either. Constant catch-up. But not a good way of building a relationship with a client to take thing forward. Lots of time wasting. Just seemed fruitless. And it, quite understandably, annoyed the clients. And who took the flack?

I rarely got involved in criminal cases although I was interested in that side of Law.  There were Criminal Law specialist in most firms who jealously guarded their patch - because on the whole they were relatively easy cases compared to say, negligence but when it came to Trials I would receive a phonecall from the Managing Partner in the morning telling me to meet him at Hamilton Sheriff Court "not later than 940". Drop everything and go. 

On arrival I'd be presented with half a dozen or so trials (from numerous offices) and told to run them if needed. I'd never met these clients before. Nothing in the files apart from a Complaint (the legal charge sheet) and a Legal Aid Certificate. Pre-trial reparation was, shall we say, "efficient". Not how I expected to have to work. No preparation and running trials? Stressful and unpleasant. "You're no' ma lawyer" was a justified remark 10mins before a case might be called..... Law by survival. 

When I asked the Partner at that firm how many days annual leave I had (I was wanting to book time off, unsurprisingly) his response was "Fu&k knows, I don't even know what I'm entitled to...". 

You might say "why didn't you just look at your employment contract?".

To date I have never had one from a law firm. 

I could go on - but it would be (more) boring and a lot of it is death by a thousand cuts.

It's a hint of the profession as it certainly then was: and perhaps still is.

I never try to dissuade someone from gong into Law but I do encourage them to get some work experience (for say a couple of months) not just a week: if you did that the firm will pap you off with the Court Assistant and it will all seem coffee, chats and no work. I also suggest Corporate - definitely not Legal Aid. Back in the day, certainly, Legal Aid rules were written, as one of my bosses said, "to make sure you don't get paid". And I think he was right. 

Time for a change.

So I sold my flat. Chucked my job. And left the country.

Travel - An Escaped Lawyer's Journey towards Photography

The decision to sell the flat and go travelling was taken over a pint in the South Side of Glasgow. 

It was an easy decision. The flat was placed on the market and within about 6 weeks was handed over to the buyer.

We had a few quid in the bank (some stashed in "investments' which in the post 9/11 world made, eh..... nothing)  and we set off for the USA in February 2002.

That's when I bought a decent film camera. 

And so my journey to professional photography began, albeit, rather shakily. 

America was great - we (when I say we I mean my partner Debs and I) skydived, and skydived some more. We visited New Orleans, travelled to the Grand Canyon and watched a thunder storm come in and ended up in California enjoying the sunset festival at Huntington beach among others. 

Me coming into land at Skydive Zephyrhills, Florida with my new kit. 

Photographically it was all there - the Grand Canyon; vast open Arizona Landscapes; stunning Californian Sunsets. But I made the mistake of not really knowing what I was doing. I shot in the midday sun (not good but sometimes, though, you have to). I also failed to take control of exposure: sometimes you need to over, or under expose. I hadn't sorted that out. So there were a lot of missed opportunities. But thats how you learn. 

GRAND CANYONGRAND CANYON The Grand Canyon - I had an idea about using folk for scale here - you can see a few figures standing on the top/edge of the cliff. 

We then flew to New Zealand.

We arrived with very little cash. We had not worked in the USA (they're quite tight on that sort of thing, you know, without the right paperwork). We made a few phonecalls on arrival and managed to secure a job working in an orchard near Christchurch, picking apples. That was hard graft. That lasted about two months and meantime we had secured a job at a Ski Field west of Christchurch near to where the Lord Of The Rings Films were shot. In fact, some of the crew stayed in the hotel we rented a room at, the year before. 

ORCHARDORCHARD Apple Picking in Lincoln, South Island of New Zealand about May 2002. We would get from about 19-22 NZ dollars per bin - which you can see almost filled here - and at 2.7 dollars to the pound, that was hard graft. 

The ski field  job was great. I was a lift operator at Porter Heights Ski Field. Debs, rather disappointingly, worked in the Cafe but managed to ski at lunchtime.

Expect the Unexpected 

I then received a phonecall during the night and we all know thats never good.

My mum had suffered a brain haemorrhage and was "touch and go".

So we made the decision to quit the ski field and get back to the UK.

RAKIAI GIORGERAKIAI GIORGE South Island of New Zealand, near Christchurch - stunning 

We returned to Scotland and mum was thankfully stable. Job-wise, I took up a position in a firm of Lawyers in East Kilbride which was a 6 month "Locum" position. 

I had to tidy up a lot of loose ends in that role....a lot of balls had been dropped by the previous solicitor but I managed to get things into great shape in the period I was there. My colleagues were brilliant. My immediate boss was a lunatic in the nicest way possible and I was allowed (by him on the fly) lots of freedom.

That was OK that job. There was a lot of kindness displayed by my immediate boss - if he saw I was getting a bit "cranky" with clients he'd suggest I put a fake court hearing in the diary and take the day off. So I did. Glasgow Sheriff Court seemed to have a need for me on Fridays....

During this six month period my mum got back on her feet, and back to work, so we resumed our travels and headed back to New Zealand, this time with a little more experience.

Travel Part 2 - Back Down Under 

We arrived in Christchurch, New Zealand and I bought a book on Camera Technique: that's where my photography really improved.

Each month I would concentrate on one chapter. That could be composition, exposure, genres (such as macro) and such like. I recorded all my exposures (I still have the book) and compared what I had done to the transparencies (slides) I had shot. I then reflected on the results and improved.

 

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 The Moeraki Boulders - New Zealand - these are more or less complete balls of rock in the sand - I waited til the tide came in so I could get the sea in the pic. Mounted the camera on a tripod, for steadiness.  Set the shutter speed to maybe about an 1/8 of a second. Put on a graduated filter to calm down the sky a bit and all of that achieved the softness in the waves


sealseal

Familiar to those who have seen the Lord of the Rings movies - this is the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. 

We headed over the Australia and succeeded in getting jobs in a Cattle Station in Queensland, which is probably the best job I have ever had. Simple work. Wide open spaces. Dealing with cattle. Uncomplicated. One TV channel and two radio channels if you're lucky. And home brew to take the edge off the outback temperature. What more do you need?

The Cattle Station was the highlight. We worked the cattle and enjoyed the simple lifestyle. 

TRAVELAUSTRALIA_0189_1HINKS_AUSTRLAI CATTLE STATION NEBO SALE YARDS HORSETRAVELAUSTRALIA_0189_1HINKS_AUSTRLAI CATTLE STATION NEBO SALE YARDS HORSECyberViewX v5.18.08
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The Cattle Sale at Nebo, Queensland - Debbie worked the yard with the Ringers and Jillaroos and I concentrated on photography. 

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Trying out a local delicacy - a freshly cooked bull-calf testicle - these were a traditional Scooby Snack for Ringers and Cattle Handlers whilst working the cattle - no time for breaks for lunch so you cooked these on the branding iron oven as you worked and grabbed one as you went  - I wasn't that impressed. Our immediate boss, Terry, was confused by my reaction. Until he took a bit of mine and said "oh, mate, she's not cooked yet...."

 

We also worked up in Darwin in the Northern Territory where we witnessed magnificent storms and exotic flora and fauna. There's a certain disregard for rules up in Darwin (even by Australian standards) with typical Aussie humour chucked in. In Darwin we were Gardeners and learned about Nightcliff Gardeners Disease which could cause you to lose your limbs - even the soil in Australia wants to have a go at you. It was a tough 4 months but the weather was exciting, the storms angry and the people we met, pals for life. 

Barkly Highway, AustraliaberkleyBarkly Highway, AustraliaberkleyEPSON scanner image

Barkly Tablelands on the way inland towards the red centre of Australia, then north, heading up to Darwin. 

 

Thailand was next on our list followed by 7 weeks in the Nepal Himalaya where we reached Gokyo Lakes at about 18000ft, 14 kms I think from Everest. 

As one door closes, another one opens.

Our travels came to an end in May 2004 and on return I had my sights set on a career in photography, although, once again, I had to return to Law.

I went back to the firm I had been a Locum in, after a short period heading up a Debt Collection Department in South Lanarkshire Council's Law Team. For two months I think I did....eh, nothing. There was nothing to do. I had to leave. 

In 2004 I received advice from a Glasgow-based Commercial and Fine Art Photographer, Steven Gillies, who encouraged me to chuck my law job and "be happy but poor"...LOL. But the time was not right. I had to balance the books and had no idea how to earn money from Photography. 

He also passed me a "Call to Artists" by the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall for artistic work to be submitted for selection to accompany its International Classical Season of Concerts.  So I owe him a debt of gratitude. 

CONCERT HALL LETTER SAFE TO USECONCERT HALL LETTER SAFE TO USE

The letter from the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall confirming two of my images had been selected to support the Internationalism Season. 

I was delighted to receive a letter saying two of my five pieces were selected and one was to be used to help Market the event.

That was the first, independent, recognition that my work could stand up to scrutiny. On the opening night I was delighted to see my image of Cho You (a mountain on the Tibet/Nepal Border above 8000 metres tall) hanging from the side of the Concert Hall. 

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Cho Oyu on the Nepal/Tibet border - this piece was exhibited in the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall as part of the 2004 Internationalism Season. 

And below you can see how it was used to market and promote the event. 

INTERNATIONALISM INVITATIONINTERNATIONALISM INVITATION

 

The other piece to be exhibited was "Rickshaw Driver" again from Nepal. 

EPSON scanner image

Fast Track four more years and in August 2008 I chucked my law job on the Friday and made my first outbound sales call on the following Monday.

Since then I have enjoyed Access All Areas to a lot of things - I have photographed King Charles, Billy Connelly and been flown to Brussels to shoot the Interior of Scotland House. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde had me on the Royal Rota when the late Queen, Elizabeth opened the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. I shot the Cook Book for the Cook School Scotland and enjoyed shooting top dishes at the Michelin Starred Honours Restaurant in Edinburgh for Quality Meat Scotland. 

PR PHOTOGRAPHYPR PHOTOGRAPHYPR Photography in Scotland and the UK.

Billy Connelly, photographed with his daughter before receiving an Honorary Graduation - I was the only photographer in the room for these photos. 

 

PR PHOTOGRAPHYPR PHOTOGRAPHYPR Photography in Scotland and the UK.

Photographed whilst working for the press on the "Royal Rota". Then, Prince, now King, Charles. 

I  have been delighted that my work has been printed in the Herald, Scotsman, Telegraph and various red-tops and magazines. It has become part of marketing strategies and assisted charities in getting great PR. 

The travel pics, too,  were also put to good use after the devastating Earthquake in Nepal during April 2015.

I had a decent body of travel pics, some of which had been exhibited, and I wondered if I could use these to raise some cash for charity. I chose UNICEF and corresponded with the Nepalese Ambassador here who was happy to support my campaign; so I sold images, prints, all profit from which went to the UNICEF Appeal for Children as I knew the children there had already a disadvantaged start in life compared to what we enjoy in the West. 

NEPAL APPEAL KILMARNOCK STANDARD FEATURENEPAL APPEAL KILMARNOCK STANDARD FEATUREImage by Guy Hinks. The Kilmarnock Standard gave me loads of support for the fund-raining effort for the Nepalese Children of Nepal, a lot of whom were orphaned by the earthquake. 

I raised over £500 in selling prints at no profit and charging a modest amount (£10 a print from memory) so they could be accessed by all.

And now I specialise in Headshots and People Photography which takes lessons learned from my other jobs, particularly in Law. As a Court solicitor you are rarely dealing with folk when things are going well. You have to deal with folk in stressed situations, as far as to say, whilst they are in the dock facing prison. So you need to be able to get folk onside quickly, concentrate on the issues at hand, despite the pressure, and communicate effectively with all types of folk from a Sheriff making the decision in Court, to your client who may be living on the streets.

CAM2045022.5.23_CIGNA_LARGE copyCAM2045022.5.23_CIGNA_LARGE copy22.5.23 CIGNA GLASGOW A Headshot taken of senior management in Glasgow. 

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A Portrait used for Editorial Purposes - an academic in Glasgow 

These types of people skills do not come quickly, cannot be bought or fast-tracked and are simply things which you pick up, depending on your job which for me, was special. 

So I can reflect, and despite all the moans about the Profession, that I was privileged to be part of it. To have been entrusted by so many clients to help them navigate complex parts of their lives. To be accepted into a Profession which is tough to enter. To have the ear of the Sheriffs and stand up on your feet and use oratory skills to persuade a Sheriff to a course of action. 

And to have learned the various lessons from it over the years. 

Lessons Learned

If you are considering being self-employed I'd suggest the following one lesson may be useful to keep in mind:-

Discard The Negatives

You will have the doubters and naysayers who, in my experience, are probably a bit jealous of your strength of ambition and willingness to take a risk.

Have positivity surround you. Keep the positive folk close. 

If you do that, most other things will follow. Positive folk will offer advice. They will support you. Pass you business. Encourage you. They will respect your decisions whether that be to keep going or change path.

Final Frame

I have always taken the view that "life is not the rehearsal, it's the real thing".

So I changed what was wrong and took a risk on what I hoped would be better. It has worked (so far) and I have no doubt it will continue to do so.

If your life is not going to plan, make a change. And if you want to reach out to chat it over, you know where I am. 

My final thoughts are to simply say "thank you" to my best pal and partner who accompanied me on this long journey from being a disgruntled lawyer to traveller to photographer and father - Debs - she's someone who goes through life not knowing when to say "no" and just lets things go with, or without, a plan. There were character-building times when the photography (which started during the 2008 economic crash) was, well, challenging. She never waivered and always had faith and unconditional support - so a big thanks, Debs. 

 

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Terry, Bob, Debs and Me - taken on our final day at the Cattle Station, 2003. 



If you enjoyed this blog feel free to have a look at my last blog titled Why a Professional Headshots Should be your Next Business Move

And if you wish to be kept advised of news and other blogs etc sign up for my newsletter. 

And feel free to connect on linkedin

Thanks for taking the time to read and of course please leave a comment below.

Guy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) ayrshire career change glasgow guy guy hinks photographer headshot photographer hinks lesson photographer photography PR www.guyhinks.com https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2023/9/Scottish_Lawyer_to_Award_Winning_Photographer Mon, 18 Sep 2023 16:11:07 GMT
Why a Professional Headshot should be your next Business Move. https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2023/5/corporate-headshot-photoshoot Is your business headshot showing you in the best light? 

"There is no second chance to make a first impression" some say, and in the world of business your headshot could, and probably is, that "first impression".

If your headshot does not create a good first impression, how long do you have to recover lost ground? Will you be able to regather trust in a meeting? A phonecall? An email?  Probably the answer is none of the above:  it's probably too late.

According to the academic paper by Willis and Todorov "it takes about 100 milliseconds to form a judgment based upon facial expressions and, even with more time, that initial judgement rarely changes".

In summary, you don't appear to have time for a second impression.

A less than professional first impression could cause problems for your business. Potential customers may click back and move on to your competitor, who created the right impression with a profession head shot. Not good. 

Therefore Is your headshot assisting with, or fighting against, your online presence, brand and marketing strategy? 

If you are in doubt here are some options. Not all of them cost money! 

I have headshot already - I don't need a professional photographer to take my portrait.

One option for your corporate headshot is to use your current photograph.

It's worked so far and you are happy.

Your current headshot may suit your job. If you are a skydive cameraman, it might be OK to have a pic of you with your skydive kit on. In fact that would, in my view, work very well.  If you are also an Accountant, and love jumping out of planes, perhaps the shot of you leaving the plane is not the best one to convince a large corporation that you are the right person for the job. 

A cracking pic of me but as a headshot...no. Despite the fact I'd love to use it all over my social media channels!

Or you have a head shot which reflects you and suits your job - for example if you are a creative and you have a headshot of you at an exhibition, again, that might work.

So leaving things as they are is an option. And it may be fine if its right for your online presence, speaks to your customer in the correct tone and delivers the qualities you are trying to convey such as trust, professionalism and competence. 

I don't need a professional photographer - I know a keen amateur photographer.

Option two for a business headshot: get a pal to photograph it for you.

Invariably the photographer here will be a keen amateur who is enthusiastic about taking a business portrait. Probably for free or for "mates rates". 

Absolutely nothing wrong with this. We all start somewhere and I have shot photographic projects for free or at reduced cost, to have the freedom to take lots of time over the image, make mistakes and sort out my systems. Usually it's of benefit to both parties - the photographer and "client" both gain. One gets something cheaper and the other has a test run. There is risk though that the reduced price comes at another cost such as a longer photoshoot, squeezing the shoot into non-business hours, the delivery process perhaps taking longer and not quite getting what you are after. These are all comments I have heard from others who have experiences involving "mates rates" deals. It may of course work a treat. 

If this is something you are minded to do, I'd advise trying to keep the light set up simple, and chat a lot in advance about what you are after - so you both have as much information to hand before the shoot starts. 

 

Great pic (I would say, it's one of mine of course) but perhaps a bit too intense for a corporate headshot - So if a pal or family member is photographing your headshot you'd be wise to show samples of what you are after otherwise the overly enthusiastic photographer might go a bit "arty" and grungy - communication is the key.

I don't need a professional photographer for my business headshot - I can take a decent selfie

Option Three for a business headshot - shoot it yourself. 

From what I can see shooting a selfie is a time-consuming affair. Multiple snaps. Micro-movement of the chin. Look up and to the side. Pout. And thats just me doing it, LOL. It take a few attempts to get that right look. I'm being flippant of course, but if you wish, you could grab a selfie and see how that goes - again it depends on context.

Let's have think about that. 

If you are say an influencer, a selfie will be bang on. You'd not expect an influencer to be in front of a grey background with a shirt and tie on. On the other hand if you are a Chief Financial Officer of a large company, the headshot should look, I'd suggest, a bit more sedate than a selfie at a beach in Spain with a cocktail in hand. Your investors, corporate partners, staff and shareholders will probably derive comfort from knowing you take your job seriously, have a profession demeanour and can be relied upon. 

Again, it's knowing your audience and the style of headshot you are wishing to adopt to convey that corporate message in the right way to the right people. 

Oh dear - was trying out my daughter's new phone fish-eye lens - not a great shot for your LinkedIn page....would you trust this bloke with your Tax affairs!? 

If you want to give it a go yourself, keep the background simple and avoid harsh, directional light....and fish-eye lenses!

Why then would I use a professional photographer for my headshot?

If you wish here are a few reasons to think about employing a professional headshot photographer.

Six reasons why you need a professional headshot.

1– A quality well-executed headshot demonstrates professionalism. A photo speaks a thousand words. That's why newspapers pay photographers to cover events and news items - because along with words they complete the story. Use a well-photographed corporate headshot to convey your professionalism to potential employers, investors and clients alike. Show them you are serious and are here to stay and be counted. 

2– A quality headshot gives people an idea of who you are. A decent headshot will not be a dry, expressionless image of you in front of a camera...one hopes. It should show a little about what you do and who you are. It should be an honest photograph, highlighting what makes you, you. There should be some form of expression which brings the photograph to life and has "warmth" to it. Even those with more serious jobs like lawyers and accountants, need to appear human! (I'm an ex-lawyer - some lawyers are, indeed, human - I just decided to escape - that's another blog in the making).

22.3.23 CMAC IMPORTS PORTRIATS I loved this guy's expression which has a certain mischievous feel to it. He selected this image. 

3– An up-to-date quality headshot lets people see what you look like. If they are going to meet you for a coffee, they may check the website before arriving to avoid an awkward moment in the meeting when they introduce themself to the wrong person..... When someone has seen an old image of you it may throw them off guard a bit - or perhaps , again, show a lack of professionalism in not paying attention to how you market yourself.  And of course I can't avoid what I hear a lot, is that customers are accused by their colleagues (in a humorous way of course; banter I think its called) of using old pics to hide the effects of the ageing process.....again, its a credibility/honesty thing. 

4– A professional headshot can help make you stand out in a sea of candidates on LinkedIn or in other such recruitment areas. LinkedIn. is used a lot these days in the recruitment process and how is your LinkedIn profile supporting your job opportunities? You patiently pay attention to the finer details of your C.V.,  invest time and effort into writing job-specific, relevant cover letters. So why not finish it off with a great headshot?

5– Lighting. How a photograph turns out, whether it be a headshot or a mountain, depends largely on the light. To photograph a mountain, a great time is about sunrise or sunset, known as the "golden hours". These are the best times (as a starting point) to shoot a mountain - and the same thing applies to headshots - not getting up before dawn of course, but the angle, strength balance between lights and what modifiers to use, all play a part in lighting you in a flattering way. So a professional photographer will be able to use light to enhance facial features, place shadows where you want and work with you to get the best possible look.  GRANT THORNTON GLASGOW 1.2.19 ALEX CLARK PAULE BURKE GREGOR DRUMMOND CLAIRE MARTIN ALEX MURPHY CLAIRE MCCORMICK

It's all about light - where to position it - what modifiers to use - power - direction - this set up was for full length images and was in the boardroom of an accountant client. 

6. Posing Tips. How to stand, sit, place your arms and so on is a struggle for most folk in a photoshoot. Luckily with business headshots you don't need to worry about your arms and hands so much (which you would need to work on in a portrait session) but they all play a part. A professional photographer, with experience at posing people, will be able to help with your body position, head angle, eyes and so on to get your best headshot for your profile. These small factors are the "icing on the cake" for your headshot and will set it apart from others with less attention to such details - its all the 1%s which ad up. 

Do you want to know what I'm talking about? Here's a gallery full of awesome corporate headshots! Modesty was never my strong point. 

Headshot of a female academic shot against grey background. Headshot against great background. A recent corporate headshot by me - this was part of a group of about 15 members of staff photographed in one day - the factors which help a headshot are the catchlights in the eyes (the white bits) the shadow under the chin and an engaging expression. 

Headshot of a female academic shot against grey background. Headshot against great background.

A recent corporate headshot by me - this was part of a group of about 15 members of staff photographed in one day - body position counts in a business headshot - here the body is facing out of the frame, but his face is pointing towards the camera. And being off-centre adds a touch of interest. 

 

So the title of this blog is "Why a Professional Headshot should be your next business move."


Now you know why, I think, professional headshots are critical to your personal or business brand. Are you convinced?

The options are there for you from grabbing a selfie to having a friend help out - or by going to the next level and entrusting your business headshot with an experienced, professional headshot photographer

You know where I am. And I can shoot headshots from an individual entrepreneur to teams of 50. And all can be done at a convenient location. 

Guy Hinks

Award Winning Photographer 

 

 

 

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) business business headshot headshot photographer professional headshot photographer professional photographer Scottish https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2023/5/corporate-headshot-photoshoot Tue, 02 May 2023 10:59:40 GMT
Tips for Picture Perfect Headshot Posing Part 2 https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2020/10/5-tips-for-picture-perfect-posing-part-2 Tips for Picture Perfect Posing Part 2


Last Blog we looked at 4 Tips and Tricks which could help you achieve Picture Perfect Posing by altering your body position.

 

This time we are looking into taking control of the mindset....

 

 

Background - The Reality

 

I think we can all agree that most people "dislike" (that is a polite was of saying "hate") their photo being taken.  And indeed the photos themselves.

 

In a group pic you can be hidden or in the background - a headshot is all about you though! And invariably we don't like seeing pictures of ourselves. Especially, close up. 

 

Not a great start! 

 

So we looked at posing tips in the First Part of this Blog series - the plan now is to take control of the mindset and get into the photo shoot with positivity and enthusiasm which will hopefully come through in your photos.

 

So let's get going.

 

Picture Perfect Posing Tips (Part 2)

 

Transforming how you feel about your photoshoot.

 

Tip - Embrace it

 

When the day arrives for your photoshoot you'll probably have nothing else on your mind apart from the sheer terror of getting your picture taken.

 

You'll be praying for an excuse to escape the office. Or working on a fake one if you're half sensible.

 

 

When you walk into the room you will see lights, bags of kit, tripods, bounces, a laptop and such like.

 

It'll be more like a dental surgery and at that point, more than likely, you'd probably prefer to be there.

 

 

This is the last place you want to be, probably because you:-

 

1. Don't feel any control.

 

2. Have a history of photos being awful.

 

3. Have a history of being really uncomfortable being photographed.

 

So with this fear you will be understandably tense and wishing it was over.

 

How can this change?

 

First, hire a photographer who knows what they are doing.

 

Strategic position of a photo of me....

 

 

If the photographer is obviously in control, it will settle things down. 

 

Find a photographer who can build a rapport with staff and put them at ease. A photographer who is flexible and can adjust things to suit the individual being shot. Importantly a photographer who will listen. Someone who can get the shot; and someone you can get on with.

 

Its an important investment, so getting the right person is key. 

 

Back to the day of the shoot.

 

When you walk into that room one thing is certain:- photos will be taken.

 

What's not certain though is how you feel, and connected with that, how the pics will turn out. 

 

If you approach an obstacle thinking you will fail, you probably will. If you think you will overcome it, you probably will too. 

 

So how you feel will probably have an impact on your photos. 

 

I have read the body language of hundreds of people getting their pics taken and can see that, very often, those who are able to get "stuck in" tend to reap the rewards - that, though, is based on my experience, not science.

 

I thought therefore I would seek an expert's opinion on this and arranged a zoom call with Glasgow-based Sport and Performance Psychology Consultant,  Jeffrey Webster MBPsS, MSc, MSc, BSc. from the Jeffrey Webster: Performance Agency who very kindly offered his time to help provide information to guide those getting their pics taken. 

 

Jeffrey's clients are primarily from sporting life, including professional level individual athletes to sporting governing bodies such as Scottish Squash where performance and anxiety need to work hand-in-hand to get that competitive edge.

 

Also Jeffrey works with performers in a more general sense - in other words those who find themselves in the spotlight and for whom success is important - exactly like someone getting a headshot taken: the lights are on and you want a good result. 

 

We chatted about the typical scenario of someone getting a bit nervous about the whole thing and I asked whether self doubt is normal. 

 

Jeffrey reassuringly advised:

 

"Self-doubt is a completely natural part of being human, especially when we are in meaningful situations and perceive any form of judgement.  We often worry about having self-doubt and try to avoid it or pay too much attention to it. So when you are having a photo taken, it matters to you. You are therefore under pressure and self-doubt can creep in".

 

 

So it seems that being nervous and having all sorts of self doubt is to be expected - good news - its normal! 

 

How then to deal with it - I asked whether we should try and ignore it, pretend its wrong and try to "delete" it or embrace it: use it to help us reach our goal which in this case is a good, natural looking pic. 
 

Jeffrey suggested:

 

"Acknowledging and accepting that self-doubt comes hand-in-hand with performing can help us carry out the task at hand with ease. What to avoid is getting sucked into negative thoughts and the effects that these have including, in a photo context, looking awkward in a photo." 

 

So if we accept that self doubt is part of the package, and don't try to fight it, we can use it to get where we want to be. 

 

It seems counter-intuitive though to use self-doubt to your advantage - I asked Jeffrey how he would use it in a photo context to get the best out of the shoot.

 

He advised:

 

"Even just acknowledging self-doubt as meaningless and unhelpful can direct our focusing on the more important and helpful bits of information, like what the photographer is asking from you or what you need to look at/do. “

 

So thats good news - follow Jeffrey's advice: try to identify your self-doubt, so you can focus on more positive and productive things.

 

What about confidence though - this is often a niggle - when the lights are on and the camera is pointing at you its at that stage you start to think about all the things that could go wrong - you could look awkward, your hair might annoy you and you might simply have a real "downer" on how you look.

 

I asked Jeffrey about Confidence and he advised:-
 

"Confidence is better seen as our ability to focus on the task at hand whilst these self-doubt thoughts are present. Remember, confidence is not determined from a lack of self-doubt."

 

So in other words once we realise that self-doubt is part of the package, and we can control it, we can confidently focus on the photo shoot to get what we hope to achieve.

 

How would someone do that though? 

 

Jeffrey said:

 

"In the context of a photo shoot, It may be a good idea to have a controlled response prepared, so when the self-doubt kicks in, you’re not thrown by it.  Instead, you are ready to counter-act it with some helpful motivation and instruction.  For example, something as simple as “you can do this” (motivation) or “shoulders off to the side” (instruction) can help you ignore your self-doubt and move forward more positively and productively.


So what three tips does Jeffrey have to get the perfect mindset for embracing your photoshoot:-

 

1. Stay Present

 

2. Believe

 

3 Communicate 


Taking each one individually.

1. Stay Present

Our brain likes to gravitate towards negative situations in the past, and that in turn, can make us worry about those situations happening again in the future. So let’s try to focus in the present and zone into the ‘here and now’. Treat this is a great opportunity to get top notch "marketing material". These photos will promote your personal "brand", get more business or increase credibility. What is going to help you achieve marketing material or build your brand?  What can you focus on in order to get the best results?  Your answers here will help you focus on what needs to be done in the here and now.    


2. Believe. 

Tell yourself it will work. Believe in yourself. Embrace it. Enjoy it. It's 15 minutes or so away from answering emails (that you've been copied into that don't actually matter to you). Your boss isn't looking over your shoulder. It's a time to do something fresh and different. It's time out. What the worst that can happen too? We check out the result, see what we like/don't like, adjust it and try again. If it's good after a few shots, all the better.  If you are terrified getting your photo taken it will probably come through: so be the "confident you" that's in there. It will work.Think of a time when you enjoyed a photo being taken. Focus on that.  Or think about the best photo you have ever seen of you - if it can happen then, it can happen again. Write them down. A crib sheet for the photo session. 

Focus on the good memories, not the bad ones.

3. Communicate

When I'm working I always enjoy building up a rapport with my client. It should be relaxed and fun although of course I need to keep an eye on making the pics excellent and to the brief.

 

A bit of banter is always good. 

 

When someone walks in to have their pic taken we will start chatting. A blether. Nothing forced or formal - just a chat.

 

No faffing with kit either. Thats ready to go. Just a chat about whatever seems right - the usual nonsense.

 

I get them straight into doing things too. Folk are anxious and as we know, being nervous about something is usually worse than the thing itself - we've all experienced that - being nervous about something and once its done we report "It actually wasn't as bad as I thought it would be...". So we get going immediately to settle the nerves.

 

Once they are into the shoot they realise its not that bad. I offer tips on how to stand. Thats a settler as they generally don't know where to start (neither do some pro models either so, again, don't be harsh on yourself....) That therefore introduces some control over the pic. Small adjustments to feet, weigh distribution, angle of elbows etc. all give them a job to do and now they feel they can contribute to this outcome - more control, less fear. "Knowledge Dispels Fear". See the first Blog in this series.

 

If there are things you don't like about yourself, or have had an awful experience getting pics taken, let the photographer know.

 

I really appreciate when someone walks in to my studio and blurts out a 1000 reasons why this is a nightmare.

 

I then have something to work with.

 

On one occasion a young member of staff in a large international Accountancy practice disliked the left side of her face. From my perspective there was nothing wrong, but what I thought was irrelevant. What counted was how she felt. We all have these features we aren't happy with - mine is my nose. Anyway back to my client. I positioned her taking into account the bit she didn't like, moved the light to throw that part of her face into shadow and placed a black board nearby to deepen the shadow. She was delighted. I was rehired time and time again and have shot their portraits for years from only the Glasgow Office at the start to Glasgow and Edinburgh and now Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

 

Like many things in life, being open and honest, will not only help you feel better, but it’ll also make the situation that you’re in more comfortable. 

Final Thoughts

Let us know what tips you have for making the experience of having a photo shoot that bit more enjoyable.

If you have a funny anecdote you'd be happy to share, let us know. 

Leave any comments below and of course please share this Blog - thank you.

If you need Headshots of you, or your staff, contact Guy on 0774 8046102 or email [email protected]

And of course a huge thank-you to Jeffrey for not only taking time out of his busy schedule to chat over the ideas contained here, but also to spend time writing down tips and thoughts and then discuss editing etc. A very kind gesture. Contact Jeffrey for Sports and Performance expertise via [email protected], 07860662905 or via his website Jeffrey Webster: Performance Agency

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) and ayrshire black blog brand confidence glasgow great guide guy guy hinks photographer headshots hinks jeffrey mindset photographer photography portrait posing PR tips webster white www.guyhinks.com https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2020/10/5-tips-for-picture-perfect-posing-part-2 Wed, 14 Oct 2020 13:54:43 GMT
5 Tips for Picture Perfect Headshot Posing Part 1 https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2020/8/5-tips-for-picture-perfect-headshot-posing-part-1  

Do you look at yourself in photos then cringe......?? 😬

 

✅ I do. 

 

The good news is, you are not alone.

 

Most folk "dislike" (thats a polite was of saying "hate") their photo being taken and indeed the photos themselves.

 

This Blog (and Part 2 to follow) are going to change all that.

 

I shall be discussing tips on how to stand for your Headshot or Portrait photograph (Part One) to taking control of the mindset when entering a Headshot or Portrait photo session (Part Two).

 

I shoot Portraits or Headshots a lot. I've done 1000s. These may be shot outside where I'm mixing natural light and flash to photographing folk indoors working within the controlled environment of a photographic studio set up. Either way those having their headshot or portrait taken usually appreciate a tip or two on what to do. This could be from how to stand to where to put your hands. It bring out the best in the photo session. 

 

"So, when the time came to update my photo, I could think of no one better or understanding of my intense dislike for having my photo taken - and my Mum likes the outcome too, high praise indeed."

Dr Susan Scurlock MBE
 

I usually boil it down to a few helpful tips otherwise there is overload.


So let's get going.

 

5 Picture Perfect Posing Tips to Transform your Headshot or Portrait.

 

1. Headshot or Portrait Photography Tip One - Shoulders off to the Side

 

Turning slightly side-on can help your Headshot pose. 

 

It tends to make the body look narrower in the photograph.

 

This is suitable for all.  It can also give the appearance of slimming down the body. This works for men and women equally and of all ages, shapes and sizes.

 

It's a great starting point. I suggest this to all. 

 

It could also be said that being slightly side-on looks more natural than standing straight on to camera.

 

Straight on for your headshot is of course an option but tends to infer power, strength and perhaps suggests a bit of a challenge to the viewer.

 

140B9469 C1GDPR QTS 1 copy140B9469 C1GDPR QTS 1 copy22.9.22 QTS

 

2. Headshot or Portrait Photography Tip Two - Weight on one foot


Dancers tend to move with their weight one one foot so that the other leg can be positioned to look good. Same idea with a photograph.

This tends to be a bit more natural in a photography than standing with weight evenly distributed

 

CAM20284HINKS_GCU_FOOD_260723_LARGECAM20284HINKS_GCU_FOOD_260723_LARGE26.7.23 GCU EVENTS FOOD AND HEADSHOTS

3. Headshot or Portrait Photography Tip Three - Lean On Something


Leaning helps massively in a photoshoot.

 

It just settles folk down. I know it myself. 

 

I was raising money for the UNICEF Nepalese Children's Appeal a few years back following the earthquake there. I was selling prints taken in Nepal, with all profits going to the charity.

 

A full double page spread of pics was being published in my local paper to help promote the cause and the reporter needed a headshot.  I had the studio lights set up etc.etc. and nothing seemed to make me happy. I disliked every shot. 

 

I nearly had a tantrum and ended up leaning against a wall outside for the photo and, hey presto, sorted.

 

So find a wall and lean into it. Find a table and place a hand on it. Railings. Whatever. There are loads of things you can lean on, just have a look around - it will help with making your photograph more natural.

CAM20451HINKS_GCU_FOOD_260723_LARGECAM20451HINKS_GCU_FOOD_260723_LARGE26.7.23 GCU EVENTS FOOD AND HEADSHOTS

 

4. Photography Tip 4 Control Hands and Arms

 

The nightmare bit.

 

As soon as you are in front of the camera for you headshot photoshoot your arms seem utterly useless. Dangling. In the way. Awkward. Even if they are not to be in the shot. 

 

So, to keep it simple:-

 

1. Headshot or Portrait Photography Tip  - Tuck your hands away.

 

Put your hands in your pockets.

 

Some folk might not like this. It might appear too "casual". But it is better than leaving them awkwardly to each side of the body. So if you are struggling, try it. 

 

You may also want a little gap if possible between the body and the elbow. Bend the elbow too. 

ECORENEW - MORECAMBE 19.7.18

 

2. Headshot or Portrait Photography Tip - Arms Folded 
 

This helps keep the arms in the shot. Some might say this is a  "defensive" pose but that depends on the accompanying facial expression. For me its tidy: as long as it suits the shape of the body - it doesn't suit everyone. 

 

CAM20135HINKS_STRATH_ECONOMICS_031023_SMALLCAM20135HINKS_STRATH_ECONOMICS_031023_SMALLECONOMICS STRATHCLYDE 3.10.23

 

5 Tip Embrace your Headshot or Portrait Photoshoot - learn to love it!

 

The whole photo shoot experience for many can be a nightmare.

 

I know. I've had to endure it myself.

 

But it really does not have to be that way - it can be fun! I tend to have a relaxed approach to headshot and portrait sessions - its a collaboration. We chat over ideas. We talk over concerns. And we pick away at them one by one until we are both happy. 

 

"Delighted with the results and with Guy's fun, relaxed, professional approach to the photo session on the day."

J Henderson 
 

 "..when the time came for me to get a professional headshot then he was the person I contacted first. His experience and encouragement in the lead up and on the day was amazing as I am not a person who likes to be in front of the camera. Guy even captured photos of me smiling which is rare! "

R Wan 

 

So to help this the next blog will be looking at how to manage your anxiety, nerves and confidence before your next Headshot or Portrait Photoshoot. 
 

I have met with Glasgow-based Performance and Sports Consultant Jeffrey Webster who has kindly offered a fantastic performance coach's insight to achieving the best you can.

 

So make sure you follow Guy on TwitterFacebook, Linkedin or Instagram (as well of course at the website) for details of Part 2 which is sure to be full of top tips from a expert in getting everyone achieving their very best. 

 

In summary - Headshot and Portrait Photography Posing Guide

 

✅Posing for a photograph is not a "one size fits all" thing.

 

✅Everyone is different, which is why its more of an art rather than a science.

 

✅Not everything here may work for you - just give it a go - it is designed as a starting point for your next headshot or portrait photo session.

 

You'll be able to see other portrait and headshot posing styles in my Headshot and Portrait pages:-

 

1. Headshot Grey Background

2. Headshot White background

3. Corporate Portraits

 

"Guy took all the hassle out of a full set of sales team head-shots. The whole process was run so smoothly by Guy and nothing was a problem. His attention to his clients requests was brilliant and the results were fantastic."

L Lambie
 

 

And of course, if you wish to have a chat on any award-winning 🏆 headshot or portrait requirements you may have, then email [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) better portraits blog business headshots business portraits glasgow glasgow photographer guidance on poses guide guy guy hinks photographer head shots headshot Photographer headshot photography headshots Headshots scotland help hinks hint photographer photographer in glasgow photography portrait posing posing guide Scottish photographer tips with www.guyhinks.com https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2020/8/5-tips-for-picture-perfect-headshot-posing-part-1 Fri, 21 Aug 2020 13:06:03 GMT
The Insiders Guide to Iphone Landscapes https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2020/7/the-insiders-guide-to-iphone-landscapes THE INSIDERS GUIDE TO IPHONE LANDSCAPES

Love taking photos with your smartphone?

Happy with your pics? 

If not this blog will help your landscape photography with a few simple tips and tricks which you can use now.
 

Top Tip 1 - Shoot Horizontal 
 

What does this mean? Well basically the long bit of the phone will be at the bottom of the photo - so something like the photo below.

With the longer part at the bottom this can help show width and space. Good if you are on a beach, up a hill or such like. 

Try to keep the horizon (if you can see it) level. 

 

BUT, of course, there are no rules: so you might want to flip it on its head and shoot vertically....

That means the long edge of the phone will be up and down. You will lose some of the shot left and right. 

A vertical shot would look like the one below.

In this photo I wanted to emphasise the vertical nature of the climb. Vertical format achieved that.

 

 

This is a good option therefore if you wish to emphasise height. 

In summary, there are two options (ignoring quirky angles) vertical and horizontal - I would encourage, as a starting point, for landscapes, to think horizontally first - there is a tendency to shoot vertically (as thats the way we see/use phones) but just take time to decide, deliberately, what you wish to capture and choose accordingly.

Or just shoot both and worry about it later....!

 

Top Tip 2 - Take the Scene Apart

 

For landscape photography the first instinct is to shoot a wide open space; to include hills, rivers and such like. However there are cracking gems to shoot if you take the scene apart. What I mean by that is start to examine details. What adds interest, or colour or texture to the scene? Who or what uses the land? Is there something quirky about it? Is there a humorous angle to take? 

For me I like to look at the odd and ends, fences, stones, flora and fauna and get up close. Just stop and look. 

 

 

This shot above was taken about 7am on a cold, damp morning up Loudoun Hill (where there was an historic battle in 1307 involving Robert the Bruce in case you're into your Scottish History...). 

I had already spotted morning dew and therefore was looking out for it.

I saw this with the yellow flower, and thought "this is what I'm after". So I zoomed in and took the shot. Light and water work well together too: especially if the background is dark.

Another option is like in the picture below - what drew my eye was simply the lines - try and forget what you are looking at and see simply a pattern of shapes and lines - and you never know what might begin to pop out at you. 
What I liked here was the merging of man-made and natural lines slightly silhouetted against a grungy misty background. 

This is taking the scene apart - its not a big wide shot of a mountain nor a close up of a flower - a medium shot. 


Similarly look for quirky scenes - in the photo below, this cow wandered over for a blether and came in close for a sniff!

 

Cows are always up for a quirky expression I find.  

Its important of course not to frighten cattle so move slowly and be safe. 

These kinds of shots are great to add interest to your collection of pics when you are out and about. 

 

Tip 3 - Bad Weather is Good Weather

 

The first thought is usually: "Its a lovely sunny day, the photos will look great". .

However, its not always the case.

Overhead harsh sunshine can strip away colours, make things look flat and force people to squint.

With that thinking it is easy to put away your camera/phone if the weather is poor.

But: hold on; take another look....

 

 

 

Stormy clouds look great - nature offers up a wonderful variety of conditions and they are all ready to be shot. 
 

Think - Bad Weather is Good Weather!

 

Tip 4 - Have a Focal Point

 

A photo is usually better if there is something obvious the viewer should be looking at: like a person. 

Or a cow sniffing you....as above. 

So before taking the shot, ask yourself: "What am I trying to show here?"

The photo below is of a walk I take my dog on frequently - Its a long (ish) path so the vertical shot arguably suits it. So far, so good. But its definitely leaving the viewer (I suspect) thinking "what am I meant to be looking at?"

What you could do therefore is think "could I add something to the scene to make it more interesting - a draw - something which allows the eye to stop and for the viewer to latch onto something and go "thats great".

 

In this photo of a cow (yes, there's a theme developing) the immediate attraction for me was the sky - then I saw the cow but wanted the cow to be on the horizon - so I moved up a bank slightly from the road and shot through a fence - the new angle then meant the cow was on the "ridge" and I wanted the cow in the middle wrapped by the atmospheric clouds. I waited until it looked at me, then took the shot.

The sky alone would have been OK, but the cow, I think, makes the shot. 

(Note - this shot took time as the cow was, shall we say, busy making itself lighter....)

 

Top Tip 5 - Avoid Bright Light 

 

If the sun or brightest part of the sky is facing you and you are pointing the camera/phone at it you might face problems.

First, its probably going to damage your eyes so be careful or simply don't - but there are times when you can: say, if the sun is behind the clouds.

The phone is likely though not to be able to cope with this and will make the scene probably very dark in parts. 

 

 

You can see in this photo (above) of Loudoun Hill that the sky is fairly well exposed but the hill is very dark - What the camera has done is "metered" (done its calculation) based on the brightest (and most dominant) part of the scene. I am facing West at about 6pm so the sun is heading over in that direction for setting later on. This is fine if you wanted a silhouetted hill - but not good if you wanted to see the rock formations on the hill itself - that detail is lost. If you face this situation zoom into the area you are most interested in and cut out the bright stuff.

So I moved further to the right and decided to use the light, rather than avoid it. Allowing the camera to have lots of the bright light fill the frame meant the sky was looking bright but well exposed, the hill dark and incorporating a silhouette of the the Statue (Spirit of Scotland) - resulting in the pic below.

 

 

Top Tip 6 Depth 

 

A photo can often be improved by including a sense of depth - that is items of interest front of the pic to back - like the shot below.

Look for something long and heading off into the distance. 

Here the lines of the fence go into the distance and therefore a sense of depth is provided. 

 

 

Now its over to you.....

So there you have it - a few tips and tricks from THE INSIDERS GUIDE TO IPHONE LANDSCAPES.

If you wish to have a look at other landscape images shot at beautiful locations around the world from the Himalayan area of Nepal to the beautiful Western Isles of Scotland then my website has a full collection for you to enjoy.

Make sure you don't miss out on updates and future Tips and Tricks -  follow me on Instagram, "like" my Facebook Page, connect on Linkedin if you are in business, and follow on twitter.

And of course, I'd be delighted if you were happy to share this blog with your friends and family. 

You've heard my tips - let me hear yours!

Comment below and share your thoughts! Share your experience and let everyone pick up a tip or two.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) @guyhinksphoto a ayrshire glasgow glasgow photographer Guy Hinks Guy Hinks Blog Guy Hinks Photographer https://www.facebook.com/guyhinksphotographer/"Iphone Iphone Iphone tips and tricks landscape photography Loudoun Hill Photographer Spirit of Scotland Monument tips" www.guyhinks.com https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2020/7/the-insiders-guide-to-iphone-landscapes Fri, 10 Jul 2020 13:37:30 GMT
How to Shoot Tonights Fireworks Display https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2012/12/how-to-shoot-tonights-fireworks-display

 

 

 

Fancy shooting the lght trails at a Fireworks event tonight?

Here is a  recent pic taken for the press at a fireworks event. How was it done?

The camera was mounted on a tripod with a remote release to minimise movement.

The aperture (which lets light in the lens) was set to about F9 to allow for some depth of focus.

The shutter (speed of the photo) was set to Bulb, so I controlled that with the remote shutter.

The color balance was set to daylight.

Didn't want the shutter open too long as that would make the fireworks too busy and would allow the black background to adopt a colour cast from lights and become brown in colour. I also set up at a pond to capture a reflection. I waited for the display to begin, depressed the shutter, held it until I was happy (about a second or two) then released it. 

Be safe - shooting at night has its hazards, like cars for instance......and Happy New Year!

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) display firework fireworks guy hinks kilmarnock lesson light photography tip trails year https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2012/12/how-to-shoot-tonights-fireworks-display Mon, 31 Dec 2012 10:00:00 GMT
Thinks twice about buying a new camera.... https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2012/12/buying-new-camera With all the sales now on it is probably tempting to take your Christmas money and head off to the high street and buy the latest camera.

The sales pitches are tempting - the pictures showing what the camera can achieve even more so.

And of course the latest camera will have even more pixels.

But why would someone want an upgrade?

It has been said in the past, to me and no doubt to many other, "oh thats a lovely picture; you must have a great camera..."

Well, that's like saying to a chef, thats a lovely roast; you must have a great oven.

Cameras are tools. You are in control. The expense of the tool has no bearing on how the photographer will use it.

So what I'd recommend is that you save your money, and continue learning how to use your camera. Cameras on phones, DSLRs, Film Cameras, are all great tools and phenomenal shots can be achieved from them all. The only exception I'd say is if you have used an auto camera for a while and want now to upgrade to one with manual features so you can increase your control. 

One option, which I'd recommend, is to buy a monthly magazine which frequently have special editions on say landcapes, portraits and such like - concentrate on these areas a month at a time. Take shots deliberately and be critical with yourself. 

Thats my recommendation - a great fine art photographer I know had an exhibition the pictures of which were taken on a £14.99 disposable camera with a tiny plastic lens - how did he manage to take great shots - he used it well. Its who's behind the camera that counts. 

So thats my tip for what its worth.......enjoy shooting.

Cheers

Guy

 

 

 

 

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) ayrshire camera gear glasgow guy hinks new photographer photography https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2012/12/buying-new-camera Fri, 28 Dec 2012 11:43:52 GMT
Busy Street Scene in Bangkok, Thailand. https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2012/11/busy-street-scene-in-bangkok-thailand Busy Street Scene in Bangkok, Thailand.Busy Street Scene in Bangkok, Thailand.

 

This is the second small Blog on using light trails at night.

The last blog was to do with fireworks and at the end I mentioned that the same technique can be applied to car lights. Have a look at  that blog for more details if you wish. 

Here the shot was taken in Bangkok, Thailand.

I set the camera up on a tripod on a bridge over the street. Selected an aperture to make the scene in focus, about F8, then set the shutter speed to Bulb setting so I could control how long the shutter was opened. Attached a remote release. Waited for the sky to become inky blue as the sun set, then took the shot over several seconds.

The shot was taken on Slide film.

More tips to follow. 

Thanks for taking an interest.

 

 

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) bangkok blog guy hinks lesson light photo photographer photography thailand trails travel https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2012/11/busy-street-scene-in-bangkok-thailand Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:29:20 GMT
New Website Now Live https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2012/10/new-website-now-live Well here goes - the new website is live and I'm delighted with it so far.

Lots of things to make it interactive - Facebook and Twitter buttons to play with and the ability to share pics via social media which is great. There is also the Blog which is incorporated to help keep the branding consistent and the Mobile Website is also in the same style.

And of course, it would be negligent not to mention the ecommerce side of things which is in its infancy at the moment but will grow as more images are added - at the moment only the Travel Pics are for sale but this will develop. Feel free to have a look….

Anyway in the meantime, as much a practice run as anything else, heres a slideshow and please feel free to sign up to the blog and leave feedback on the website in the guest pages.

Many thanks and speak soon. 

 

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(Guy Hinks Photographer) PR ayrshire blog glasgow guy hinks photographer photography pr scotland slideshow https://www.guyhinks.com/blog/2012/10/new-website-now-live Thu, 11 Oct 2012 12:46:41 GMT