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 !!

I’m Just An Enthusiastic Amature Photographer


I’ve just put the finishing touches (again) to the presentation I am going to give on Friday at the Guild Of Photographers Event at Crewe Hall .

I feel so honoured to have been asked to be one of the presenters especially when I see who else is speaking eeeeekkkk. This will be followed by an awards ceremony (Saturday) where I have 3 pictures (2 categories) short listed for Image Of The Year – I am totally overwhelmed by this and it’s going to be really exciting seeing who has made the cut too. I am sure that the standard is going to be exceptionally high.

To be honest I feel a little bit  like a fish out of water because I think a good number of the attendees are professional or semi professional photographers and I am just an enthusiastic amateur. I won’t know anyone at the ‘do” although I have been informed that the awards evening will be “very enjoyable and that I will be amongst friends….” It’s a black tie affair so I will have to dust off my posh frock and find some heels I can totter about in. I hope that there won’t be too many politically charged acceptance speeches and there won’t be a puppy handed out to those who don’t win a prize (my cat wouldn’t be too pleased me coming home with an extra furry mouth to feed !!)

So, although I am looking forward to meeting new people and chatting to them about our mutual love of photography I can’t help being a little nervous about doing my presentation because (as we all know) what I produce isn’t to everyones taste, but of course I will do my best to make it interesting.

This is a new chapter in my photographic life – I have enjoyed the highs and lows of BPE/FIAP comps but feel that now its time to get off that particular roller coaster ride…. for a while anyway. In future, it is my aim and ambition to help people achieve their own personal goals and will do as much as I can to support and mentor them. This will be something I do privately as I am not part of any official mentoring team – but that said, I will be able to share my knowledge of entering comps and being somewhat successful over the last 9 years.

Now, let me have another run through of my presentation………..

Onwards & Upwards


Now that I have gained my BPE Fellowship I feel more free to pursue and develop a series of pictures that I have been putting together over the last 12 months.

I have also decided that I am  going to concentrate on helping others to achieve their own personal goals – I had very little help on my personal photograph journey as I am self taught both in photography, Photoshop and post processing.

So what about my new images well ……they will be square in format, mainly (but not exclusively) green and feature olde worlde characters slap bang in the middle of the picture. The above is an example of where my creativity is going and I am really looking forward to seeing where my art takes me.



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 Agony & Ecstasy

Is there anything more wonderful than watching your print slither its way onto the printing tray (don’t answer that!)

I never tire of watching the picture appear from the deep dark depths of my printer……. except when it comes out completely magenta !

How the ecstasy can turn into hours of agony when you try and rectify the problem and you can’t find the solution.

I Turned everything off and on (yes I watch the IT crowd), Unistalled/installed the drivers, changed the leads, changed the ink cartridges, stood on one leg with my fingers crossed, I tried everything but to no avail…. still distinctly magenta. Hmmmmmm

That was yesterday and after a sleepless night I had yet another go this morning… my world still had a rosy glow… but not in a good way.

I came to the conclusion that I would have to buy another printer but in the meantime I ordered some more of my lovely Permajet paper and mentioned my predicament to the chap on the other end of the line. Quick as a flash I was put through to a lovely fella who gave me some sound advice and he said that I should follow the link he gave me because the driver download I was using (series 2) was apparently an Apple Generic Driver which overrode the Epson driver I needed . So I took him at his word, downloaded the new driver and hey presto my world is the right colour again……. very green, but that’s JUST the way I want it.

So now I sit here (writing this blog) listening to the printer happily whir away printing my pictures to exactly the right colours that I wanted them to be.

Oh Joy

As Time Goes By

This is the first composite I have put together for  quite a while.

The model was from a shoot organised (and styled) by Karen Boyle hosted at the  Saracen House Studios  (Andrew Griffiths) a few years ago and the resulting picture has been hanging around for quite a while.

I also put together the background about 6 months ago but didn’t do anything with it… until tonight.

I had a sudden spurt of inspiration and the whole picture came together quite quickly.

I wish I was one of those artists/photographers who creates images full of emotion and hidden (or not so) meanings but… as much as I try, it’s just not me.

All I do is create “pretty pictures” as they say “to thine own self be true”  🙂

Breaking The Rules

I love creating pictures that “break the rules”

I was told that (in competition) judges don’t like green and they don’t like the subject matter placed slap bang in the middle of the picture.

This one breaks both of those rules and it has been very successful in competition.

Are you are a rule breaker?? I would love to see your examples of a successful image that doesn’t conform to the conventional set…….