In The Words Of Kate Bush WOW WOW WOW !!!

Well, I am still recovering after, what has turned out to be, a very surreal, yet amazing few days.

I was asked to do a presentation at the Guild Of Photographers Awards weekend, little did I know that the weekend would leave me emotionally drained… but in good way !!

I have to say that I was really worried about giving my talk – not worried about standing up and delivering it, I’ve done that lots of times – but worried that I would bore the pants of those people who attended.

On Friday I sat through 3 fantastic talks that proceeded mine and each time I questioned myself as to why I had agreed to participate. What could I tell them that they didn’t already know?. My images – according to lots of people I have had the “pleasure” of meeting over the years – wasn’t proper photography, instead it was a case of  “good computer skills”. Many of the people at the conference were professional/semi professional photographers of some repute, very skilled and very well known in their particular field. Me? I was/am just an enthusiastic amateur. Oh dear…. my heart began to sink, could I run away and hide?

My turn to talk… I took a deep breath and off I went and I have to say, by the reaction of the people that attended it went very well. So from feeling like a fish out of water I now had people asking if I would mentor them, would I do a one to one session with them, could they book on my next workshop and I lost count of the number of business cards I had thrust in my hand. This was beginning to feel really unreal !

That night I couldn’t get to sleep because my brain wouldn’t stop thinking about what people had said and how enthusiastic they had been about my presentation…..and then I woke up at ridiculous o’clock (4:30am) and couldn’t get back to sleep ! Saturday was full of great presentations and then the Awards Ceremony – which was a black tie affair ! GULP !

I have to admit when I attended the dinner I really did feel like I was in the wrong place ! I never ever attend such events, so felt totally awkward, even though people were very kind to me and included me in their conversations. Even though I can stand up in front of 200 people and give a talk I am quite shy (yes I know …. unbelievable) and find it difficult trying to join or break into other peoples conversations or groups, I would rather sit on my own and “be quiet”.

So now the meal was finished and the award ceremony proper began. We were all given a beautiful book containing all of the short listed images – and without exception they were exceptional ! Having carefully studied each glorious page I was totally convinced I didn’t have a chance of an award, even though I had 3 pictures (in two categories) shortlisted.

The runner up and then winner of each category was announced and the recipient went up to collect their awards… now it came to my category. Creative and Digital Art and then to my utter UTTER amazement my name was called out as the winner. I was gobsmacked and had to go up to collect the award (a certificate, a glass trophy and a framed print of my winning image). I had to negotiate a tripod with a camera on it that was recording the event – and for those who know how clumsy I am you will know how much that bothered me ! Nonetheless, I negotiated the obstacle and collected the trophy – which was glass – without dropping it ! Hurrah. Lots of smiling faces …….but not as smily as mine.

I rushed out of the room to ring John (my husband) to tell him that I had won the category and of course he was delighted for me. I finally got back to my seat (I had been stopped by a few people en route who were congratulating me on my success) so when I eventually sat down they were announcing the Image Of The Year (Judges Award) for 2017 and I nearly fell off my chair when my name was announced as the winner – I was in total shock and sat with my head in my hands for a little while –  I think a gentle nudge encouraged me to get to my feet .

When I  crossed the floor to be presented with the award I became aware that there were lots of people on their feet cheering, whooping and clapping … a standing ovation. I was beside myself in shock and joy. WOW ! I was asked to say something and managed to say a few words.

At this stunning event there was so much to take in – the hall was full of younger people than I usually see around my  photographic world (PAGB/BPE Comps , Photographic Clubs). I am more use to being in a room full of gentlemen of a certain age but here there were so many young woman (who were also being awarded various top honours), everyone was friendly and I wasn’t told once that “what you do isn’t real photography”. I had people wanting to shake my hand, ask me questions, asking if they could “please have their photo taken with me?” …. all very surreal as I said before. I had so many lovely comments and congratulations that when I went back to my room I was still awake at 3am trying to process it all and here I am at 5:30pm still trying to precess it !

This was one of the best few days in my photographic life and to those of you who I met and made it so special for me you have my heartfelt thanks.

You made an old lady very happy !!

New Workshops For 2018

I am planning workshops for JANUARY – March 2018 and will announce them first on my private Facebook Group site which is called CRE8ING IMAGES WORKSHOPS – By JoanieB.

The workshops are usually booked up very quickly (sometimes literally within seconds of being announced) so if you want to find out more please ask to join the group.

The first 2 workshops will be covering the following topics:-

TANTALISING TEXTURES (see squirrel picture)
CREATING CREATIVE IMAGES a brand NEW workshop (ALL elements of this workshop will be provided on the day)

The above workshops are limited to 6 attendees so that everyone gets lots of help & advice – I will be donating a percentage of the profits to charity.

Studio days with excellent models and lots of costumes will also be announced on the same site – limited to 4 attendees

For more info please contact me using the contact form below :-


Camera Shy……. I Don’t Think So

I saw this quote the other day and it got me thinking… “A great photographer can make a great photograph whatever the camera. A bad one will still make a bad photograph on a four grand digital camera that does everything for you. It’s about a way of seeing, not technology.”

Over the years I have been on a number of organised shoots (usually photographing models) and been more than a little intimidated by someone (always a gentleman) with a very expensive camera. Usually they will invite everyone in the group to stroke/touch the camera, feel how heavy it is and even put it up to their eye to see through the view finder should they so desire. They stand there proudly displaying their prized possession and beam benignly as the oooos and ahhhhhhs emanate from the gathered throng who have always wanted to experience what it feels like to have such an expensive piece of kit in the hands. As I am extremely clumsy I have no desire to get to grips with said camera I always decline the offer to hold/stroke the expensive toy.

I have found that, more often than not, these fellas speak in quite loud voices about how much they have spent on their equipment, how many  older versions they have at home, how impatiently they are waiting to upgrade to the next version, what added extras they have purchased and how much they have spent (to the nearest penny) to date on their “hobby”. They know everything about the technical make up of the camera and could bore for Great Britain when it comes to f stops and hyperfocal distances. I have no interest in such technicalities so usually wander off into a corner and await the photographic session to start.

When I am in a group that includes such a person my insecurities always get the better of me and as I usually choose to go last photographing the model – it gives me the opportunity to watch how these people actually take pictures and more often than not (in my experience)  they haven’t got a clue.

I have observed that they can expertly set the various knobs and dials but they have no idea how to position the model, how to direct her, how to get the right angle etc. Instead they will just ‘snap away” and let the model “get on with it”. I have seen them wave a hand in the general direction of the model and shout “just do want you want love….. I’ll just carry on this side” Which is fine if you have been blessed with a great model who knows her angles etc but its not helpful to her or what you are trying to produce  in the long run.

Usually the next step is that we all gather around the camera (to see what it can do) and yes the subject matter is usually pin sharp but lacking in any kind of artistry or imagination.

At the end of the session I have been handed  their card which contains their website details and/or a link to their Facebook page and when I have  looked later at what they have produced I have been a bit disappointed as to what they have achieved…… did they really get those images from that camera?

Okay, it may be that I have been “unfortunate” to have been in the company of these people – and it could be that I have missed out on being around people who have top end cameras and know instinctively how to get the best out of them both technically and artistically, I am 100% sure there are loads of them about…. its just I have never been in their company.

So as far as I am concerned I agree with the above quote  ‘A great photographer can make a great photograph whatever the camera. A bad one will still make a bad photograph on a four grand digital camera that does everything for you. It’s about a way of seeing, not technology.”

Finalist Of The Year – The Guild Of Photographer

I am GOBSMACKED !!! I am a finalist !!!
I have just received an email informing me that 3 of my images have been chosen to be in the final of The Guild Of Photographers Image Of The Year 2017.
I quote from the email….
“From the thousands of stunning entries into the Image of the Month competition throughout 2017, the Judges have selected just 12 images in each genre to be short listed as Finalists in the Image of the Year Competition.
We are delighted to inform you that you have been selected as a Finalist with two images in the Creative and Digital genre.
To reach the final is clearly a remarkable achievement when you consider the number of entries we have had and the tremendously high standards we have witnessed all year!”
I have also had another image chosen in the Avant-Garde Portraiture genre.
This means SO MUCH to me because I didn’t  enter the competition, I didn’t even know that images were being judged let alone know there would be finalists.
These judges don’t know me or anything about me,  they have no idea about what I have produced over the years, they don’t care what club I belong (or belonged) to, they don’t know whether I am a professional photographer or an enthusiastic amateur… which I am obviously the latter, they just judged the pictures on its own merit and WOW is that just fantastic…. well it is to me.
The Image Of The Year will be judged in December and I can honestly say I don’t think I stand a chance … especially against the professional photographers who probably grace the finalist list too.
What a lovely end to the year 🙂

The Young Ones – Darling we’re NOT the Young Ones


If you know who sang that song and you can whistle it, this blog may resonate with you.

When I do my presentations at camera clubs or attend photographic competitions around the country I look round the audience and in the main the hall/room is graced by people (mainly gentlemen) of a certain age. I lump myself into that category – except that I am lady of a certain age not  a gentleman- just had a birthday too, so definitely well over THAT particular hill.

So for a long time now I have wondered why aren’t the younger generation coming to the various clubs, what is preventing them from attending? Are they a generation of Snapchatters, Instagramers, mobile phone snappers, selfie stick wavers and who don’t own (and have no desire  to own)  a “proper” camera? Do they want instant gratification and can’t be bothered learning how to compose a photograph or learn Photoshop (I know a lot of experienced photographers who kick against that particular aspect… referring to Photoshop if you haven’t already guessed). Are the various weekly speakers at the camera clubs of no interest to them? I know that my particular heart sinks when the speaker brings in his (usually his) slides or starts the talk off with ‘ I’ve not embraced the digital age yet”. I know for other people slides and pictures “straight out of the camera” would have them queuing at the club door……. but would that kind of presentation draw in a younger audience?

Although I did a little bit of photography and dark room developing when I was just leaving school (back in the day you couldn’t leave school straight after you finished your exams you had to stay on to the bitter end) so they let us loose in the dark room – their mistake….. but that’s another story. So I came to photography late in life via the digital age.

How do other clubs entice the young folk into their clubs? What do they do to encourage them and how do they get that message out? Do the younger people attend for a couple of evenings and then drift away? I think we, as a photographic family, should try and work this one out before we all drop off the perch and have nothing to hand down to the next generation. And (never start a sentence with and) if you have the answer please let us all know.


Being Creative On A Cold Afternoon

What to do when its cold, wet and dismal outside????   Do something creative ?

I love putting images together for no other reason than a) it makes me happy  b) it takes up a little time on a cold wet afternoon c) I love to see what emerges from a blank screen when I just mess about putting bits and pieces of images together

Should make a nice print 🙂





The first set of 2018 Calendars featuring images that I have created this year has now totally sold out.

I sold the last of the printed Calendars at the weekend at the event I attended and also had a number of orders from people who were at the presentation (but who were not quick enough to nab one of the calendars for sale).

These have now been dispatched.

So, I am in the middle of another print run

I print the calendars  myself using high quality Permajet Paper and Ultra Chrome HD ink

The featured images can be saved and framed if you want to have them as wall art after the calendar has done its job.

You can purchase a calendar  via eBay…. if you are interested

Here is the link




Whisperer Of Doubts

Yesterday I found myself standing in front of 100+ people who attended the Keighley Day organised by the Yorkshire Photographic Union and I had to ask myself a question “why on earth would all these people come out on a cold Saturday morning to sit and listen to me witter on for a whole day?” I was confused, overwhelmed and almost paralysed with self doubt.

I may have looked like I was full of confidence, but inside I was that young girl who, after been sent to a secondary modern school (that’s another story for later), was told by the teachers to aim low because that way I wouldn’t get disappointed when I didn’t amount to anything.

I sit at home quietly on my own and produce “pretty pictures”, I am totally self taught, I didn’t go to art school, I am not technically minded, I am not very articulate, I fight to use the right words and I am dyslexic ….. not a good base to start with when standing in front of all of those people.

So standing there gazing at all of those eager faces I thought “what am I going to tell you that you don’t already know – what I do isn’t special or unique, its pretty run of the mill stuff and you don’t need much technical expertise to produce pictures like mine”  – should I run away now before I make a fool of myself?

But what I lack in education and technical expertise I make up with passion and a love of what I do and I hope that everyone who attended the presentation yesterday understood where I was coming from. I love to try and inspire others who want to do something a little more creative and I also try and get over the point that those people who choose to do creative pictures are also good photographers too – we just take a slightly different path. I get a bit fed up with people saying that people who do creative images can’t take a decent photo that’s why they “mess about with them”

On the drive home I was still consumed with doubts and I lost count of how many times I thanked people for coming to the presentation adding that I hope that I hadn’t bored them to death and thanks for not slipping away at lunch time.

I only do a few talks a year (my choice) and I honestly enjoy doing them…but I still fight with that young girl inside me who is whispering in my ear that I shouldn’t be there and that I should know my place.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to all those who attended, you were so kind to me and it was and is much appreciated.

The Way Forward


Over the last 10 years I have been bound by the constraints of national and international competition rules.  But now, as I feel that I am about to break free from those restraining boundaries, I feel that I am throwing open the doors to a whole new world. Anything goes – I can be as creative and artistic as my imagination will allow.

Over the last couple of years I have had work published Internationally and have had my art (yes, I do consider digital art to be art) hung in exhibitions and have been fortunate enough to have sold the images that were on show.

So what next? From here on in I will be posting my new work (and tutorials on how they were constructed) via this website Joan Blease Photography or via my Instagram site listed as joanblease3 so if you haven’t already signed up to follow my blog etc please log onto those sites and click onto the FOLLOW button- that way you will be able to see my latest creations as they are (and how they are) ….. created !!

I won’t be uploading all of my new creations on  Facebook anymore, but if you have enjoyed seeing what I have produced over the years please follow me on the other two sites.

Hope to see you soon 🙂






The Charity Workshop in Aid of the Alzheimer’s Society is taking place on the 7th August  in Warrington, Cheshire – ALL proceeds to go to this worthy charity

The workshop will consist of the following:-


kira 1


  • Photographic session with model
  • Demonstration of how I would post process the  resulting images -demonstration of skin smoothing, cutting out, and changing a background e.g. sky
  • Demonstration and explanation of how I use textures in my photographic work
  • Critique of prints/DPI images you would like to bring along
  • Places for this workshop are limited, so please contact  ASAP if you would like to attend


If you can’t make the workshop and you would like to make a donation please go to

For more info and to book your place please fill in the form below 🙂