I have been looking back through some old external hard drives and came across this picture.

I think it demonstrates that sometimes, as a creative photographer, your mind works a little differently than other peoples minds (especially judges). I will elaborate…

I put this image together in 2013 and it’s called the Fish Wife.

I thought that it would be obvious to all that she was holding a round bellied fish prior to ironing it and turning it into a flat fish – see them hanging on the line behind her. Round fish … ironed to flat fish …. Well I thought it was quite obvious and humorous anyway.

Well guess what – only a few people (judges) got it.

Unfortunately, in the 3 seconds that the judge has to view the picture, understand what the “story” is all about and give it a score, it never did very well in comps. I therefore learned a valuable lesson…… make the picture and story more obvious.

I cover this sort of stuff in my new Tutorial/Workshop called Getting More Creative which I have just announced will take place on Thursday 19th March.

You can find more details on my website  Butterflysmind   I can’t add the www  before butterflysmind ’cause WordPress won’t let me 😦


Notes Form The Inspired



I had the pleasure of being one of the judges at last weekend’s PAGB GB Cup comp.

I was truly inspired by a number of fabulous still life images and also some stunning portraits.

I have been doing studio portraits for a while now for comps and will continue to do that this year – I’ve got lots of ideas. Also, for a number of years (along with my studio work and painting) I have been producing still life images for my own personal use – cards, prints etc for various craft markets or gifts for friends and family (the attached are a couple I did last year – not for competition)

However, looking at some exquisite still life images this weekend I have decided to go through my many external hard drives to see what is hiding there. I can honestly say that those hard drives are full off “stuff” I’ve photographed over the years, so I think I will revisit this genre and maybe enter a comp or two to see how they go.

I was so filled with eager enthusiasm whilst judging last weekend I couldn’t wait to get home to start planning what I
was going to do – so thank you to those people who entered the comps and inspired me.


Hi All,

The first Cre8ing Images Workshop for 2020 has now been released…… not photography based, but I promise you it could be just as addictive.

If you don’t think you have any artistic ability then this workshop will change your mind – it will be lots of fun and VERY VERY messy.

The image I have attached uses one of the acrylic pouring techniques as it’s background…… a very nice texture I hope you would agree.

Limited to 2 people per session – one morning one afternoon session.

Saturday 15th February 2020 – Fee £35 pp (pay via Paypal) . All materials included in fee – you also get to keep your painting too

Please  type butterflys mind into your search engine – you will find my website there (unfortunately WordPress won’t allow the link)   – click onto the Workshops/Tutorials tab and register your interest.

Or if you can’t find the website – just get in touch using the contact form on this site.

BTW – There is also info about the new GETTING MORE CREATIVE Tutorial/Workshop in March….. date to be confirmed (but you can still register)




Last year, for various reasons, I was unable to offer or run any workshops but hopefully I will rectify that in 2020.

There will be a few workshops on offer – the usual suspects …. STUDIO SHOOT with a model, A MODEL SHOOT WITH A POST PROCESSING WORKSHOP and of course the ever popular TANTALISING TEXTURES WORKSHOP. I have added a new one for 2020.

The new workshop will be concentrating on how to become more creative, where to look for inspiration, how to think outside the box, how to utilise your own photoshop skills to produce something that is uniquely yours and the importance of developing your own style . There will be lots of information and handy hints for those people who enter photo comps.

This workshop is aimed at those people who have the Photoshop skills but find they struggle in “coming up” with ideas for images. This workshop is not about teaching you Photoshop skills – it’s about helping you to be more inspired and creative.

The workshop has already been written… just need to sort out dates.

To get more information you need to be a group member of my separate Facebook page Cre8ing Images Workshops – By JoanieB. If you are not already in that group please ask me to add you. The workshop dates and all further info will only be posted on that group’s page.

PLEASE NOTE: The workshops will be in Warrington, Cheshire and the number of attendees will be strictly limited.

A proportion of the money raised will be given to the British Heart Foundation.

Many thanks



For a good few years now I have been creating my own textures and have held workshops to teach others how to make their own textures too.

I thought it was time to push the boundaries a little further and over the last few months I have been perfecting a new creative texture technique.

I will be holding workshops in the new year which will be limited to 2 people per workshop.

I am really excited about this and look forward to introducing more people to this creative process.

Here are a few examples….


For more information please message me using the contact form – many thanks


The hall was almost packed to the rafters, we were treated to some fabulous prints. There were a good number of people who thought the scoring was “a bit on the low side’ (there always are) and the usual suspects (give or take a club or two) finished up in the top 8. Huge round of applause…. the crowd goes wild….. goodbye hugs and waves all round. The audience has left the building

So that’s an overall view of what happened yesterday…. but what about the actual the prints on display?

Well…….. I have to report that there were only one or two Ragged Victorians who showed up. I am referring to the tatterly dressed models who pose at the various organised shoots around the U.K. and not referring to anyone sitting in the audience ! Only a couple of “Peaky Blinder” characters sneaked in and from what I can remember, there were no white hares in the snow, or kingfishers gobbling up fish. However there were a number of fabulous images of Dalmatian Pelicans so, it seems they have replaced (for the time being) the white hares/kingfishers/sea eagles we grew so fond of.

There were a few lone trees in snow (they always are) and a smattering of stunning landscapes that didn’t seem to score too highly, which is a shame. Portraits, on the whole, didn’t do so well , I know mine didn’t…… booooo !! And I am here to dispel the myth that “creative images” ALWAYS win….. they clearly don’t and didn’t yesterday. Only a couple of creative images made it into the selection of one of the highest scoring clubs (who I am delighted to report had a variety of genres) and I have to say those images were stunning. I wish they were mine.

So……I hear you cry…. Get on with it , what DID score well. Well….judging (no pun intended) by the top winning clubs submissions it was sport, nature and elderly folk in their environment or as someone described them to me recently “headscarfs and hovels”. However, as I said previously, one of the top clubs had a variety of genre including studio shoots , sport, creative images and thus demonstrated how versatile they are as a group – you know who you are…. the Irish Sea obviously didn’t stop you from travelling to Blackburn oooops think I gave it away there.

So, that said, I will say a few words about those genres…… obviously these my own personal views don’t forget. You no doubt, will have your own opinion, and that’s fine.

There were lots and lots of fantastic spots shots, pin sharp by the look of it (and the 3 judges did handle a lot the prints for a more detailed inspection) and the action captured at the optimum moment – fabulous images. From memory, I think one of the top winning clubs final submission was almost all sport images (might have been one or two nature shots) but obviously a winning selection and good for them – they guessed correctly what the judges favoured on the day. Most of the high scoring sports shots seemed to have been taken by people who could get good access to the action and consequently they were great pictures that deservedly did well.

Not so many staged birdie pictures that we all know and “love” – that particular posing post (you know the one) didn’t appear too often, but we did see some stunning butterflies and even the return (if they ever went away) of the good old bird on a stick. Again, lots of super images with a good number of birds/insects which looked like they were actually in their natural habitat – but who knows?

So what else scored highly? Well it seems like elderly folk in their humble homes were very VERY popular again – so I am going to stop photographing beautiful models and instead buy a couple of headscarfs and the odd chicken and head off to Eastern Europe. These were obviously stunning images that told a story – old lady/man holding poultry or standing next to a goat or two or sitting looking very glum with a picture of a dead loved one on the wall behind them. Like the peaky blinder pictures or the ragged victorians these, I think, are staged/organised photographic shoots but you have to travel a bit further to get them. Great pictures with lots of atmosphere and narrative and something that usually appeals to the judges, so grab your chicken and scarf and head east. Cuba was also a featured destination along with the much closer to home people in and around the Black Country Museum (or similar venues ). Craggy faced seniors seem to have superseded the smooth skin beauties at the moment.

So to sum up – the pictures on show were of a very high quality and although the majority of people walked away disappointed the U.K . photographic world ultimately was the winner.

Congratulations all and hopefully the images next year will be just as impressive…… now where’s that chicken gone? Taxi !!!!


So, imagine the scene…. you invite 3 friends round to enjoy your wonderful culinary expertise and to begin with you put in front of them an expertly cooked, mouth watering and pleasing to the eye meal. “Yum yum” your friends think “this looks and tastes delicious”.
The three friends really enjoy what has been put in front of them and sit back with a satisfied smile. “What a GREAT plate of food” they all declare.
3 minutes later you bring out virtually the same plate of food – the peas might have been placed a little more to the right hand side but essentially it’s the same as the first meal they enjoyed. Hmmmm “very nice”, your friends say in unison patting their tummies – still enjoyable, but think to themselves “I’m sure I just ate that same meal a few minutes ago” .
Less than 2 minutes later out you scurry from the kitchen carrying almost the exact meal but this time the difference is it’s carrots instead of peas…… but all of the essential parts of the dinner are there and the plate the meal is sitting on is identical. ‘Hmmm” think your friends …. “this is getting a bit samey”.
Unfortunately, this plate of food is just for starters … and your friends are served it again and again and again not only for the main meal but also for the pudding and instead of an after dinner mint. By the end of the meal your friends are really jaded and can hardly pick up their forks to enjoy what is put in front of them.
But wait….. your next door neighbour rushes in with their meal for your friends and guess what? it’s EXACTLY the same meal but this time its a different plate design but all of the essential ingredients are still there.
Your friends are trying their very best to enjoy each identical meal from you and your friend and comment on how much they have enjoyed each mouthful – but it’s really difficult because they are only human and not a computerised eating machine.
Okay, I hope you see where I am going with this… if not then let me be more explicit.
Substitute the meal for images in a photographic competition and your friends are now judges scoring those images from 2 -5. The judges see the same or very similar versions of the same picture over and over again spread across 4 sections. Can you imagine how little impact the last picture of the same theme will have after the judges have seen it repeated over and over again.
Judges are only human and not a computerised scoring machine
Next Blog – what genres are getting more and more popular



I only agree to 3 presentations per year and the last one for this year is on the 1st September in Maidstone, Kent. There is a workshop the day before but it is fully booked…. sorry.

So, to anyone who would like to attend one of my talks and lives in the South East of the U.K. this could be your opportunity (if you don’t have anything better to do !).

More information an how to purchase tickets is below and I hope to see you there.


More info  on the Royal Photographic Society website,    EVENTS, SOUTH EAST DIG GROUP–bad-start-great-finish



(yes I know its been a while since my last blog – I’ve been away !)

It seems that almost every time I go to a concert/play/film the person who has booked the seat in front of me is the tallest man mountain in the place. Not only that, he will be a head scratcher or buttock shifter who can’t sit still. So last night when we went to watch a tribute band John (my Husband) ordered tickets at the front of the balcony to avoid the “massive head” issue….. thank you, your a star !

With an uninterrupted view of the stage I enjoyed the first half of the first half and then….. it began.

A row behind me and about 5 people away was a couple who managed to conduct a constant conversation at the top their voices for the whole of the second part of the first set. How on earth they managed to drown out the band I don’t know and I use to be an audiologist so you would think I would know these things! They shouted inane drivel to each other which, more often than not, ended in hysterical laughter.

The people around them looked at each other in dismay, but as this guy – who wore a t-shirt with the name of an aggressive punk band and an expression of “mess with me at you peril mate” continued to scream his chat up lines to his heavily made up girlfriend. She in turn had an equally good set of lungs and vocal chords and thus the conversation continued for about 25 mins.

Thank goodness the band announced a 20 min break …. John and I made our way to the bar and decided to sit downstairs far away from the human megaphones.

We could see that the last couple of rows at the back of the hall were unoccupied so we settled down to enjoy the band. However, the band’s manager and the 2 roadies decided to stand next to our aisle and have a loud conversation about venues and dates …. So we moved to the other side of the hall away from them.

Ah….. we finally found the quiet area and settled back for the first song, oh joy ! This joy however didn’t last because there, striding towards us, was the punk t shirted gob on a stick and his equally annoying date. And where did they deiced to sit…… yep, right in front of us !

Now, unbelievably with lots of crap still to talk about they were now loved up and decided that their mouths could also be deployed as snogging devises ……. With heavy sighs and loud tuts (not that they could be heard over the slurping lip smacking noises) we moved to the other side of the hall.

Please…. can we just listen and watch the band in peace?? No was the resounding answer. Two rows in front were a couple of couples who also had decided to not watch the band but instead sit and chat about goodness knows what. Unbelievable !!

After 2 more songs that they shouted their conversations to, they decided it was time to stand up and throw themselves around to the music. Now obscuring the stage and obliterating the music John and I looked at each other …. and left.

A good night ruined by spectacularly ignorantly selfish people.

My question is……. Why do you pay good money to see a band and then talk through the whole performance. Answers on a postcard….