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 :-


FBPE Award – The End Of A Quest

The 31st December 2017 saw the end of my BPE competition quest as I have received confirmation today (Thanks Alison & Andy Fryer) that I have been awarded the FBPE Distinction.

The final awards/points were gained at the Bebington Salon – the IRONY of which, won’t be lost on those who know me well LOL. !!!

So my refections on my competition journey?

I have really enjoyed (for the most part) the roller coster ride of gaining awards/points in the various BPE comps and salons. I have been elated when a picture has done well and scratched my head when the same picture has bombed. It’s taken a while because I don’t do many prints, I don’t do nature and until just lately hardly any mono images.

Over the last 9 years I have been very fortunate to meet some exceptionally lovely people who are now some of my closest friends and without being involved with photography our paths would probably never have crossed These people have been and continue to be a joy to be around they have been generous with their time, advice, encouragement and although I am not going to name them/you individually…. you know who you are. Thanks for your friendship and support

On the other side of the coin I have been unfortunate enough to come across some very nasty, vindictive , poison filled individuals. These people suck the life out of those who cross their paths and do everything in their power to “keep people down” and try to stifle peoples progress. It’s impossible to know why these people are the way they are but they continue to blight peoples lives. Obviously I am not going to name them individually …… but you know who you are and thanks for making me even more determined.

So what next? Even though I have enough “points’ for EFIAP/Gold I can’t be bothered filling in the forms etc so I am happy to stay with EFIAP/Bronze but I will continue to support U.K/Irish Competitions. I have no desire to pursue the FRPS distinction so I will continue to be a lapsed ARPS. I would like to help others on their personal quest too and have started putting ideas together on how I can do that.

Personally, I would like to do more judging and would welcome the chance of being one of the judges at a BPE Comp (I feel we need some new faces doing the judging – we seem to see the same people judging over and over again) – so if you are in charge of such a competition I would be happy to chat with you. I have judged a number of International Competitions (the next one is the Southampton International) and have really enjoyed the experience.

So, in conclusion – thanks to all of you nice people out there who have encouraged me over the years … and for those who tried to keep me down, better luck next time

Things you don’t want to hear at 38 thousand feet in the air!



There are a few things you don’t want to hear on a flight……

Captain – “as we have experienced a great amount of turbulence on the way out here I have instructed the air crew to serve hot drinks for the first hour and then bolt everything down until we land. If you need any further cold drinks please press the button above your head and one of the crew might be able to attend to you…… if its not to bumpy” pause “the toilets will also be out of action too”

and, once we had reached 38 thousand feet…

Air Crew (in a panicky voice” – “is there a medical doctor or paramedic on board this flight? If so could you make your self known to us immediately please?”

Pilot – after trying to land the plane, failing and making a very VERY steep vertical climb “oops sorry folks missed the runway, I’ll turn round and have another go at it !!!!!” slight giggle “hopefully I’ll do better next time !!”

Air stewardess – “sorry madam we have run out of the vegetarian option but I can offer you a peanut and jelly sandwich instead”……… this was on a 12 hour overnight flight!

The other thing you don’t want to hear is the man seated behind you who sniffs and clears his throat (in a very irritating manner, like he is trying to cough up a huge lump of something very nasty) for the whole 3 hours of the flight. Cough, hack hack hack , sniff, cough cough. eeewwwwwww

Also, while I am on roll….. why is it that someone can fall into a deep sleep whilst their children (sitting next to them) scream and fight and disrupt everyone else around them….. except for the now snoring mum in the next seat?

And ….is it “bad form” to tut loudly when a group of “ladies” decide its still New Years Eve (even though that was 2 days ago) to try and get up and form a conga train down the middle of the plane?

I am convinced that on my passport it says “please place this lady next to a constant cougher, loud sniffer, unruly child/children or someone who is terrified of flying and squeezes your hand (which you have offered as a way of comforting them) so tightly your fingers turn white.

Give me strength ….. Happy New Year !!

Oh No….. Not Her Again !!!!!!

Something caught my eye just now on Facebook – it was an advert of a man demonstrating a pastry crimper and that image took me back to when I was a child…. let me elaborate.

Mum and I had very little when I was young and she worked all hours of the day to save up to take us to Blackpool for our annual 2 weeks holiday.

One year I found myself standing in front of a man in a large department store who was demonstrating a pasty cutter/crimper……. I was mesmerised. Each day (and many times a day) I would elbow myself forward to the front of the gathered crowd and watch him expertly crimp the pie and cut out dainty leaves to place on top of the crust as a delightful decoration  – I was obviously easily entertained in those days.

I stood for hours watching him and as the time went on I learned his patter ….. and quietly said it along with him. I must have driven him mad….. and all these years later I apologise to that poor man for making his life a complete misery.

Even at that age I could see his spirit and shoulders drop when he spotted my beaming face in front of him on a daily basis –  when all he was trying to do was make a crust…….. sorry, had to get that pun it !

Sadly,  our two weeks were over all too quickly and I am sure the gentleman in question hung out the bunting (if not an actual bun tin) when he realised his stalker had finally disappeared.

However, about six months later Mum booked us on day trip by coach down to London to see the Ideal Homes Exhibition (ironic really when we were trying to have a day AWAY from a less than ideal home) and as we walked round the crowded floor I heard a familiar voice……. Yes, it was HIM.

Can you imagine the sheer joy on this poor mans face when he saw his nemesis standing in front of him delivering word perfect his demonstration dialogue, I’m sure I saw a tear in his eye and perhaps the pie was crimped a little more tightly.

Needless to say Mum bought a pastry crimper…. It was the least she could do.

The Purple Barn

Channelling my inner Van Gogh again (apologies to the Master) I thought I would continue in my Purple Fields series.

This one again started out as a photograph but I messed about with it in Corel Painter and Photoshop.

Finished up with something, as far as I am concerned, a little more interesting and a lot more painterly




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 🙂