How Light Blue and Acuity helped Amy Knowles book out her Mini Sessions

Based in The Wirral, Amy Knowles runs Slinky Photography, a newborn family and maternity photography studio.

Amy got in touch with us after reading our blog post about how to use scheduling tools to allow your customers to book shoots online with Light Blue.

She took the advice and ideas that we’d presented there to effectively sell portrait sessions via a marketing campaign.

This is really useful for any portrait photographers who are looking to market their services and are running their marketing with a clear call to action to book a session. It means that the photographer doesn’t need to do anything extra, as the clients will book the sessions themselves whenever’s convenient for them.

Hi guys,

I can’t thank you enough for the webinar the other week regarding Acuity/Zapier.

I’d wondered how I could get an online booking system to work with Light Blue, and this came at just the right time. Last night I launched 75 Christmas Mini Sessions…they were sold out by this morning and all the client and shoot info is now safely in Light Blue without me having to do any extra admin. WIN!

I’m delighted!

Amy

Have a read through the blog post and watch the embedded video webinar at the top of the post to find out how you can set up a similar system in your business. We would love to hear more success stories like Amy’s!

Using scheduling tools to allow your customers to book shoots online

Amy’s Website

Amy’s Facebook page

Ten essential email templates for photographers

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” George Bernard Shaw

In any business, effective communication is crucial. In photography, it’s a simple way to set and meet expectations before, during and after a shoot.

Keeping in touch at every stage of the customer journey helps to avoid misunderstandings and ambiguity, clarifies arrangements and establishes a warm relationship, often before you’ve even met your client.

And the easiest method to use? Email: efficiently managed and recorded thanks to the magic of specialist software.

Here, we’re sharing with you a suggested set of email templates to use throughout the lifetime of a shoot. From your initial response to a query to your post-project thank you, using them as inspiration for your own messages will ensure that no vital communication stage is ever overlooked.

Email #1: Automatic Reply To Website Contact Form

Consumers’ email etiquette expectations have never been higher. So rise to the challenge by being the photographer with great manners right from the start of the relationship.

If potential clients get a response immediately after sending their enquiry, you’ll quickly get a tick next to your name on their list of photographer possibilities. Your professional, efficient and helpful approach has been established quickly and with minimum effort.

This is a great opportunity to send them some basic information such as a link to your price list or some sample shoots.

And don’t shy away from telling them that it’s an automatic reply. Pretending that it isn’t won’t fool anybody. Instead, use it to showcase your honesty and, of course, to prove that you’re busy with your camera and not just waiting for an enquiry.

Hi there, thanks for your enquiry! I know that planning a wedding is a very busy time, so I really appreciate you taking the time to get in touch! As you can probably guess, this is an automatic reply to your enquiry. I’ll send you a proper reply as soon as I’ve had a chance to check my diary & confirm that I’m available. In the meantime, I thought you may find it helpful to get a little more information about how I work, so below are a few links to some sample weddings and a few frequently asked questions …

Email #2: Detailed Reply To Enquiry

Once you’ve swapped your lens for a screen and are back in admin mode, you can send a more detailed and personalised reply confirming your availability.

Hi Charlotte & Paul, thanks again for taking the time to make an enquiry about photographing your wedding! I’m delighted to say that I am available on Saturday 20th June 2020, which is great news! Why don’t we line up a meeting to talk through your plans and spend a little time getting to know each other?

You can then use different templates depending on the type of shoot. For example, if it’s for a wedding at a venue you’ve worked at before you can refer to your experience there and add a link to some inspiring images.

Hi Charlotte & Paul, thanks again for taking the time to make and enquiry about photographing your wedding! I’m delighted to say that I am available on Saturday 20th June 2020, which is great news!
Exampleton Hall is such a wonderful choice of venue for a wedding celebration, and I’ve had the pleasure of working there many times before! Sarah and the team at the Hall are fantastic, and I always love working there – you’re going to have a great day! You can see some of my favourite images from weddings that I’ve shot there on my website: www.example.com/exampleton-hall-wedding-photos
Why don’t we line up a meeting to talk through your plans and spend a little time getting to know each other?

Email #3: Follow-Up To Enquiry

If you hear nothing after your polite reply to their enquiry, a gentle email prompt is an ideal way to warm up a tepid lead.

Hi again, Charlotte & Paul, I hope that you’re well and that wedding plans are coming together nicely! I know how much of a busy time planning a wedding can be, and there’s a great deal to think about! I was wondering if you’d had a chance to take a look at the information that I sent over recently in response to your wedding enquiry? I’ve attached a copy of my price list & brochure so you can take another look. Why don’t we line up a meeting to chat about your plans & answer any questions that you may have?

Email #4: Follow-Up To Sending Contract

Email three did the trick: you’ve had an initial chat, the rapport was great and you’ve sent over a contract and then … silence.

If a client is dragging their feet about signing, you could spur them along by sending a polite email reminder. When you get a response, Light Blue’s powerful online contract signing service can do this for you automatically.

Hi Charlotte & Paul, I hope that you’re well. This is just a gentle reminder about the contract that I sent through recently, which you’ll need to review & sign in order to confirm our booking. Please, can you follow the link to view & sign the contract. If you have any questions, please do let me know!

Email #5: Nurturing Messages In the Run-Up To The Shoot

With the contract signed, thanks to your effective email communication, your focus now needs to shift to pre-shoot preparation.

This is your chance to really nurture your client, especially if they’re a little nervous about being in front of a camera. Build on the growing relationship by giving them a regular point of contact, providing advice and offering to answer any burning questions.

You can also helpfully direct them to relevant links on your website, including blogs, to manage their expectations and make them feel suitably looked-after.

Hi Sam, thanks for booking your portrait session with us! We’re really looking forward to welcoming you into the studio. We understand that it isn’t every day that you’re getting your photo taken, so we’ve prepared a handy guide to help you to prepare for the experience. If you have any questions, please do let us know!

Email #6: Excitement Messages Before The Shoot

It’s nearly shoot day so an email sent a day or two before acts to confirm, reassure and prepare.

You can outline what the client needs to do or consider beforehand, e.g. the weather forecast, and start sowing ideas for up-sells afterwards, e.g. albums and prints.

Hi again, Sam, we can’t wait to see you in the studio for your portrait session tomorrow! I’ve attached a guide to help you to prepare for the shoot. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water between now and the session, so your skin looks as good as possible. Also, have a think about the places in your home where you’d like the images to be displayed; we’ll have a chat about that before we start shooting. Looking forward to seeing you soon!

Email #7: Sales Messages Before The Shoot

At this stage, you can also send an email aimed at adding other items onto their package, for example booking an extra couple of hours or offering a discount if they order a product before the shoot takes place.

This highlights both your flexibility and generosity, further building on client rapport and trust.

Hi Charlotte & Paul, I hope that everything’s going well in the run-up to the big day! I wanted to check in with you to make sure that you had everything that you need – I’m currently booked to start at 11:00 and wrap up at 19:00. If you need to add more coverage, then I’ve got a special offer available to book additional time at a discounted rate if you confirm it before the wedding. If that sounds like something that you’d be interested in, then just pop a quick reply to this email and I’ll take care of it!

Email #8: Checking In Shortly After The Shoot

Images captured, the client communication continues with a reminder of what happens next and when they can expect to first see their images.

Hi Charlotte & Paul, it was great to be part of your special day, thanks for having me along! I’m popping an email with a quick reminder of what happens next with your photos. I’ve already got everything backed up & safe and I’ll be getting to work on editing the images very soon. It usually takes me around 3-4 weeks to get the gallery ready, so you’ll hear from me then with a link. If there’s anything you need in the meantime, please let me know!

If they haven’t already booked a viewing, encourage them to do this now so you can get your online diary organised.

Hi Sam, thanks for coming in for your portrait experience! Here’s a reminder about what happens next. We’ll be hard at work processing your photographs in time for our viewing session which is booked in for Saturday at 11:00. We look forward to seeing you back in the studio to show you the images – they’re looking great!

Email #9: Sending An Online Gallery Link

Your editing work is done and now it’s time to share your impressive images. If you’re not having an in-person viewing and sales session then this email is the one they’ve been waiting for: the big reveal.

This one will contain the link to their gallery and a password to access it, along with the opportunity to provide feedback and a review of your work.

Hello David, thanks for booking me to photograph your event recently. I’m delighted to send through a link to the online web gallery where you can view your images. Your feedback is important to me, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on the images. If you’d like to leave a review, you can do so by following the second link below. If there’s anything more that I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to drop me a note.

Email #10: Keeping In Touch After the Shoot

By now, your client relationship and email tone of voice will be well-established. You know you’ve done an excellent job and have received some great feedback.

Next, it’s time to keep building that loyalty with the aim of encouraging further sales and bookings.

Use your database wisely, analysing customers to assess what products and services could most appeal and to precisely target your emails.

Even if one particular client never gives you another penny, your friendly professionalism could inspire them to recommend you to others.

This email can focus on up-selling albums and other products after the shoot, along with suggesting gift vouchers for friends and family.

And of course, you can invite them to book another shoot. After such a fabulous service and awe-inspiring images, how could they refuse?

Hi Sam, I hope that you’re well. It was so great to have you in the studio for a portrait experience earlier this year – I can’t believe time’s flown by! We’ve got a special offer on right now for past clients to enjoy a free session when they buy gift vouchers for their friends & family. They make for wonderful Christmas presents! You can find out more via the link below.

With a straightforward email template system in place, your basic client communication strategy is sorted.

If you use pre-prepared messages with a consistent tone of voice, you’ll not only save time but can also ensure that a crucial detail or vital stage along the customer journey is never missed.

The result? An organised, friendly approach to every shoot that will foster loyalty, build trust and make the whole experience easier and more enjoyable for everyone.

Straightforward, efficient and time-saving, Light Blue makes it easy to communicate with clients.

Learn more below about how specialist software designed exclusively for photographers can help:

Sending emails using Light Blue

Using email templates

Using workflows to send automated messages to your clients

Download the example templates used in the article



Light Blue 8.1

We’ve just released Light Blue 8.1, which builds on the success of Light Blue 8 by adding new features, improving existing features, and squashing bugs.

Light Blue 8.1 is a free update for all of our subscribers. You can install the update by using the “Check For Updates” command in Light Blue (which is in the Light Blue menu on macOS, or in the Help menu on Windows) or by downloading the installer from your Light Blue account.

Improved staff access restriction options

For businesses that have members of staff, you now have much more control over the parts of Light Blue that your staff can access. The new “Restricted” access level allows you to choose which features they can access, so you can disable access to sensitive information (such as finances) or entire sections of the app.

Windows performance improvements

We’ve made big improvements to our Windows app, making it more responsive and improving its graphics performance.

Simplified account password management

Changing your Light Blue account password no longer requires you to re-enter your password in the desktop app. This used to be a common source of confusion, and the new approach also allows you to permanently remove Light Blue 8.1 and above devices from your account without needing to change your account password. We’ve also introduced a new one-off setup code feature that allows you to add a device to your account without having to type your account password into it. This is perfect for adding members of staff or contractors without letting them know your main password.

 

Other changes

Light Blue 8.1 includes lots of other new features and bug fixes. Here’s a summary of the improvements that we’ve made:

  • Light Blue launches more quickly and the Preferences window takes less time to open.
  • The Preferences window has been reorganised, and the “General Preferences” and “Custom Fields” panels have been split up into tabs to make it easier to find the settings you’re looking for.
  • The speed of processing large data syncs has been improved, making the initial download of data onto a new computer much faster.
  • Client portal emails (for example, the ones that are sent when you publish a contract) are now sent from your default email account, so they can come from your email address rather than using our email servers.
  • Form and API submissions in the Inbox that contain a shoot date are now colour coded to show whether they clash with an existing event or enquiry.
  • Orders from theimagefile can now be sent to your Light Blue account and imported as new Sale records.
  • Your current SMS credit balance is now displayed in the text message dialog.
  • Improved our VAT report for use with the UK government’s new Making Tax Digital initiative.
  • Added a preference that lets you choose whether to allow members of staff that don’t have a password set to log into Light Blue.
  • In the staff login dialog, if you fail to enter the right password the existing password is automatically highlighted for you so that you can immediately start typing to correct it.
  • Added a staff-level default email account setting, so members of staff can automatically use their own email address when they create an email.
  • Contracts and contract templates now have an optional thank you URL. If you specify this, your client will be taken to that URL after they have completed the contract (and paid their booking fee, if you’re charging one). You could use this to take your client to a custom thank you page that you’ve created on your own website.
  • When publishing a contract that includes a form, you’re now warned if the selected form template has been deleted.
  • When accepting a contract, the “Mark Shoot As Confirmed” checkbox is now displayed for cancelled shoots as well as enquiries.
  • Added a second confirm dialog to the “Send All” and “Schedule All” buttons in the Outbox.
  • Fixed a timezone-related problem where items in the Outbox could be displayed as being sent on the wrong day.
  • Added a “Copy Email Address” command to the Linked Records contextual menu.
  • Added a “Load In Query Dialog” command to the quick query list’s contextual menu.
  • When parsing an email address, Light Blue now recognises email addresses formatted like “Name [address@example.com]” as well as “Name <address@example.com>”.
  • Improved support for macOS 10.14 Mojave’s AppleScript security restrictions.
  • Added a preference for whether you want to include prices in a printed production order.
  • Added default photographer and salesperson options for new Sale records. When you create a sale, if there’s an assigned resource with the role “photographer” or “salesperson” then they are always used, otherwise we use the new default staff.
  • The “Add New Contact” dialog now includes the contact notes field.
  • Added an “Automatically Check For New Versions Of Light Blue” checkbox to the Preferences window, to give you the option of only manually checking for updates.
  • When you trash a shoot, if its linked contacts aren’t linked to any other records then we now offer to move them to the trash as well.
  • Fixed a problem where the first item in the Inbox could have its details appear to be repeated appear to be repeated.
  • Fixed a problem on Windows where if you have the staff login dialog enabled, Light Blue could quit after doing a database upgrade instead of carrying on.
  • Fixed a character encoding problem with the export financial data tool.
  • Fixed a problem where the EventX mail-merge tags could use the wrong event’s details when used as part of a shoot that has multiple upcoming sessions and appointments.
  • Fixed a problem that could occur when querying for contacts using linked contact criteria.
  • Fixed a problem where un-ticking the mailing list opt-in box in the add contact dialog behaved as if you were ticking the box.
  • Fixed a bug where the contract dialog “you need to add contacts” label is displayed on all tabs, not just the signatories tab.
  • Fixed a rounding error that could occur when using the “Calculate Net & Tax Amounts From Gross Total” button in a purchase item.
  • Dragging an event in the calendar to another date or time is no longer interrupted by the calendar getting reloaded during the drag.

Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) and Light Blue

On 14 September 2019, new regulations are being introduced across Europe to protect people using cards to pay for goods and services online. These new regulations are called Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) and will add a requirement for two-factor authentication for some online payments.

The requirement for two-factor authentication means that affected transactions will require something in addition to the card number. Details will vary between card providers, but they might include codes generated by your online banking app, a security dongle, etc.

If you’re dealing with European clients and using Light Blue’s client portal to take payments from them, you will be affected by SCA. However, we will ensure that Light Blue’s client portal is ready for SCA in plenty of time for the 14 September 2019 deadline, and you probably won’t need to make any changes at all.

Keep an eye on our blog and email newsletter for further news!

On the road with The Societies of Photographers

Ian is going to be on the road with The Societies of Photographers, attending their roadshows in Falkirk, Carlisle and Wigan on the 9th, 10th & 11th of April.

There is a great range of free master classes from three excellent speakers; Damian McGillicuddy, Robert Pugh and Panikos Hajistilly. There will also be an opportunity to meet a wide range of different industry suppliers, including Light Blue, in the accompanying trade show. You can register for free by following the links below, and read more about the master classes and the trade exhibitors.

09/04/2019
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Falkirk 
Macdonald Inchyra Hotel, Polmont Falkirk 
10/04/2019
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Carlisle 
Carlisle Racecourse, Carlisle Cumbria
11/04/2019
9:30 am – 3:30 pm
Wigan 
DW Stadium, Wigan Manchester

How Making Tax Digital affects Light Blue and UK businesses – an update

Making Tax Digital (MTD) is part of the UK government’s plan to make the country’s tax system more efficient. It’s first stage comes into effect in April.

You only need to pay attention to MTD in 2019 if you are based in the UK, registered for VAT, and use Light Blue’s VAT return report. The scope of MTD will be widened in the future, but it’s very limited at the moment.

HMRC will require businesses to start submitting their VAT returns via compatible software from April 2019. However, that doesn’t mean that you have to use just one piece of software to manage your company’s finances: so long as you use “digital links” to transfer data between applications or to your accountant, MTD allows you to use a variety of tools. HMRC explicitly list CSV data exports and imports as an acceptable form of “digital link”, which means that Light Blue’s existing data export tools comply with MTD’s requirements.

If you’re already using Light Blue’s VAT return report, we will be in touch with you in the next few days to help you get ready for MTD. If you’re not using Light Blue’s VAT return report, you can probably carry on using Light Blue’s invoicing and other finance features just as you are at the moment because you can use our data export tools to maintain a “digital link” between Light Blue and accountancy software.

As always, if you have any questions or need any help then please get in touch with us via email!

Light Blue 8.0.3

We’ve released Light Blue 8.0.3, which is another free update to everyone who subscribes to our online services or has bought Light Blue 8.

  • You can now use the “Add To Found Set” section of the Records menu to add a Resource to a selection of records, and the “Remove From Found Set” section to remove a Resource from a selection of records.
  • Our QuickBooks invoice export now includes the invoice due date and the linked shoot’s title and shoot type.
  • The “Tidy Popup Menus” housekeeping command now allows you to tidy the purchase item Name field.
  • Added .cr3 and .raf file extensions to the list of unprocessed file extensions supported by our picture renaming feature.
  • The background activity window no longer contains an item unhelpfully labelled as “Description” when you first open it.
  • Updated the printed version of workflows to show email and text message steps correctly.
  • On Windows, the staff login dialog now focuses the password field when it opens to save you needing to click or tab into it.
  • Fixed a problem where underscores in contract mail-merge values could appear as \_
  • Fixed a problem where charts section could fail to take percentage discounts into account.
  • Fixed a problem with the “Staff Shoots” report that prevented shoots from being included more than once if multiple staff are assigned to it. Enquiries and cancelled shoots are no longer included in the report.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause macOS contacts to be published to an account other than the default account.
  • Fixed a database error message that could appear when using the Sales list view with both the Photographer and Salesperson columns.
  • Fixed extra text that could appear when printing a contact record.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause an attachment to be duplicated when sending emails in quick succession.
  • Fixed a printing problem that could cause the rightmost column to be cut off the Purchases section of a tax report.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause unsaved changes to be lost when dragging an attachment into an email.
  • Fixed a problem with updating workflows when upgrading from an early Light Blue 8 beta.
  • Fixed a problem where setting a custom label for a contact method wouldn’t display that custom label until you enter the phone number or email address.
  • Fixed a couple of unexpected quits that could occur in unusual circumstances.

Take control of your email with Light Blue

Light Blue includes powerful email features that you can use to respond to enquiries, stay in touch with your clients, save time, and keep all of your communications together in one place.

When a new enquiry comes in to Light Blue via email or your contact form, you can use an email template to craft the perfect response. Using a template saves you time (because you don’t have to type it out!) and makes sure that you don’t miss out any important information (because you crafted your email template in advance). But Light Blue’s email templates also allow you to personalise your responses, using intelligent mail-merge tags that customise it with your client’s details and always allowing you to add your own touch to the message before you send it to your clients.

When you’re sending an email from Light Blue, we recommend that you send it from your own email account. Using your own email account looks professional and helps your messages to get through to your client. You can add as many email accounts as you like, and if you need a hand with setting them up then we’d be delighted to help.

When a client replies to an email you’ve sent from Light Blue, the reply goes to your email address but it also appears in Light Blue’s Inbox. This makes it really easy to keep track of all of your communications with your client, because you’ll have copies of the emails you’ve sent and your clients replies in one place. This is especially useful if you’ve got more than one person working in your business, because the messages that your team are exchanging with clients aren’t spread out over lots of different systems.

If you receive an entirely new email from a client (e.g. a new enquiry), all you need to do to get it to appear in Light Blue is forward it onto your unique @lightbluecustomermail.com email address. All of our subscribers get one of these special email addresses, and anything that you forward to it will appear in the Inbox. From there, you can turn it into a new enquiry and send a reply using one of your email templates.

Light Blue 8 added lots of email and text messaging enhancements to Light Blue. As well as streamlining existing features, we added powerful automation tools that allow you to schedule messages to be sent to your clients. For example, you can set up automatic reminders that cut down on frustrating no-shows. You could also use an enquiry workflow to automatically send follow-up messages to a prospective client.

We’ll be showing you how to set up and use all of these features in next week’s webinar, and we’ve also produced a series of helpful video tutorials that you can watch at any time.

Sign up for the webinar at 13:30 GMT, Tuesday 19 February!

Get the year off to a great start with Light Blue

We hope that 2019 is going to be full of happiness and success for all of our customers, and that enquiries have been coming in thick and fast over the Christmas and New Year period.

Light Blue is full of tools that can help you respond to and follow up on those enquiries, quickly confirm bookings with your new clients, and get your invoices paid quickly. We’d love to help you get the most out of those tools!

Free, personalised training

We’re always keen to make sure that you’re getting as much as possible out of Light Blue, and you’ll find loads of helpful resources on our website: excellent video tutorials, in-depth webinars, and responsive email support.

We also offer one-to-one training via screen-sharing software, which allows us to offer personalised help to make sure that you’re getting the most out of Light Blue. Whether you need a hand with setting up a particular feature, or want to ask our advice about how to approach a particular situation, we’ve got experience of working with thousands of photographers around the world.

We’re offering all of our customers a free 30 minute screen-sharing session. All you need to do is book your one-to-one session by the end of February!

Click here to book a free screen-sharing session!

The Societies of Photographers 2019 convention

The Societies of Wedding & Portrait Photographers convention is one of the highlights of our calendar. We’re looking forward to talking to photographers during the extensive trade show on the Thursday 17th, Friday 18th, & Saturday 19th January. There’s a wealth of talks and masterclasses being held during the convention, and we’ve listed a selection that we think are well worth a visit!

New venue

This years convention sees a change of venue to the Novotel London West in Hammersmith.

Free tradeshow registration

The pre-registration for FREE trade show tickets has now closed but if you use the promo code: LightBlue19 you have until Friday evening to register for free.

Our shortlist of talks

Helen Bartlett

Helen runs one of London’s most prestigious family photography businesses. Working both nationally and internationally, she creates beautiful images for her clients who return year on year for her distinctive images of their families. Helen has been an ambassador for Canon since 2017.

Staying creative is vital for a successful photography business, both to engage and retain clients but also for the personal evolution of you as a photographer. With fifteen years in the family photography business, Helen will discuss the methods she uses to keep on pushing her work forwards. Using examples, Helen will show you how to create visually interesting pictures in different circumstances and give you tips to take away and implement in your own sessions.

Lisa Beaney

Lisa grew up in West Sussex on the South Coast of England. She started her photography career 12 years ago. By education she started out as a computer programmer working on flight simulators before moving in to IT consultancy specialising in configuring and installing computerised accounting and business systems.

For Lisa photography is about observing what’s around you and then making a connection, either with people or maybe just the elements around you. Without that connection she is just another photographer.

Making any connection takes time, which as a professional photographer isn’t always easy on a time limited commercial shoot, that’s why she loves project based work, this gives her time with her clients and or surroundings.

On Lisa’s last Tattoo project she spent many hours talking with clients, there is always a “why” story behind a tattoo, some were rebellious teenagers, others had experienced life changing events. It’s often an emotional experience, but worth every minute. It’s only then that she knows the look and feel she wants to capture.

Lisa has won many awards in social photography and enjoys passing on her technical skills to others. She has also been awarded her Associateship in Photography and holds a Diploma in Photographic Practice.
She is also a Master of Photography for the Photographer Academy and runs training around the UK on behalf of various trade organisations as well as speaking and judging at photographic events. Lisa also provides one to one mentoring and training at her Studio in West Sussex.

Lisa feels lucky enough to represent some great photographic companies and is a Brand Ambassador for ZEISS and Permajet and a Brand Advocate for Album Epoca.

When she is not busy taking photos she normally out running. Lisa enjoys Ultra Marathons and Adventure races and finds inspiration from the landscapes and people that take part. If you want to connect with the elements, wild camping on the side of a mountain is a good place to start.

George Fairbairn

George was born outside of Chicago, is obsessed with all things science (particularly space) and moved to the UK for his love of proper football, a full English breakfast, and Yorkshire puddings. George turned down a scholarship for photography to the Art Institute of Seattle after High School because he didn’t want to move away from Chicago two years later he was stationed in England in the US Air Force! Since coming out of the service, George has turned his attention back to photography and is now an advertising and editorial portrait photographer.

George loves capturing humour and genuine personality in his portraits. Specialising in advertising portraiture George has had the privilege of shooting advertising campaigns as well as promotional and commercial portraits for bands, musicians, and celebrities. George is also a social media content creator producing stop motion animation for digital marketing content creation.

George has been a photographer for, or currently shoots for magazines such as Kerrang!, Rocksound, Total Guitar, Rhythm, and more as well as shooting for brands such as Zeiss, Hollywood Records and the BBC. George still thinks the English weather isn’t all that bad and has hopes of Cambridge United one day make it into the Premier League. Though George resides outside of Cambridge, he works frequently in London as well as across the UK and Europe.

Robin Goodlad

Robin Goodlad is a multi-faceted photographer from Dorset, specialising in documentary weddings, lifestyle portraits, and food photography. After appearing as a contestant on BBC Masterchef he applied his love of food to photography and has never looked back. He now runs a successful food photography business alongside his wedding photography, and the two perfectly complement each other.

When not working on these he can be found immersed in the outdoors, photographing the majesty of the landscape to feed his creativity. Rather than being a clash of styles, these genres fit together harmoniously, and he uses elements from each to influence each other.

He is immensely proud to have won international awards in each genre, including Pink Lady Photographer of the Year Food Photographer of the Year 2016, and finalist in 2017 and 2018

Panikos Hajistilly

After 25 years working with Canon, Olympus and Nikon as a camera technician (repairer!) – and workshop supervisor at Nikon for 10 years, Panikos thought he’d open a studio. So in 2002 he did it. His first year’s turnover was over £500K, in five years that grew to £865k, and he was managing a team of 18 staff! Panikos was running a massive machine, but all he wanted to do was be a photographer. So in 2009 he went alone, and eventually built his own home studio, that he’s very proud of, he’s having great fun! He loves photographing people of all ages, pets and places. As long as Panikos has someone to photograph, he is happy!

Panikos has gained a few qualifications and awards along the way, a Fellow of the MPA, Master Craftsman with The Guild, and Associate with the SWPP, which shows he has gained a little experience along the w

Tigz Rice

Tigz Rice is an expert boudoir photographer and retoucher who knows Wacom and Adobe inside out and will help you to get the most out of your images! Her talks are full of time saving tips, tricks and techniques, you will learn how to edit your images quickly and effectively by taking advantage of fully customised Lightroom presets, whilst utilising Wacom technology to speed up your processing time!

Margaret Soraya

Margaret started her photography career 14 years ago and has become a successful photographer, shooting weddings and landscapes throughout Scotland and the Outer Hebrides. She has been awarded many accolades amongst which are MPA Travel & Landscape Photographer of the Year 2013 and 2014 and 2016 and MPA Overall Scottish Photographer of the year in 2017.She has been published in National Geographic Traveller, Outdoor photography magazine, Photo professional magazine, Build It magazine, Scotland on Sunday, The Press & Journal and The Herald. Margaret is best known for capturing the essence of wild, remote places such as the Outer Hebrides and Loch Ness. In addition to this, she takes on around 5 travel assignments per year worldwide.

Annie Armitage

These days, the most popular way to sell images from a family or wedding shoot, is to present them online to clients. After all, it’s convenient and easy for the photographer as well as the client isn’t it?
However, Annie saw a dramatic increase in her turnover when she changed to in-person sales (IPS) nine years ago, after selling online to her family clients for many years.

In this masterclass, Annie will share how she transitioned from online to IPS and then progressed to employing her own viewing consultant. She will talk about the benefits gained by someone else visiting clients on her behalf.
She will also tell you how she prepares the client, share her shoot-to-sell techniques, and give you tips on how to find the right person to sell for you, and the contracts you’ll need to have in place.
In addition she will discuss the benefits of using online galleries in conjunction with IPS, advise you on what to take to the viewing session at a client’s home, and talk about the follow-up service and how best to present orders for delivery.

Julia Boggio

Julia Boggio is a London-based, celebrity family photographer. She has won several awards for both her business practices and her photography, including the SWPP Children’s Photographer of the Year for 2016 and 2017. Julia has been a full-time professional photographer for 12 years, having started in weddings then moved into family portraiture and fine art. She is known for her colourful, quirky style that aims to bring out everyone’s inner superstar.

Aside from photography, Julia is also passionate about helping creatives to run better businesses. With a degree in Marketing from Rutgers University and 10 years’ experience in advertising before her photography career, Julia is uniquely placed to teach good business practice to photographers. She regularly speaks on the subject and has her own online training community, Lightbulb for Creatives.

Jocelyn Conway

Jocelyn, also known as the celebrity baby whisperer, has achieved Master Photographer status, holds a Fellowship, two POTY titles and judges for The Societies of Photographers.

Pioneer of the baby bump bowl, Jocelyn strives to create unique and beautifully artistic family portraits.
Since establishing her business over a decade ago, Jocelyn has photographed hundreds of pregnant ladies, babies, young children and families from her central Liverpool studio she is also the portrait photographer of choice for several local celebrities and premier league footballers.

John Denton

If you include skin in your photography then you need to master a number of techniques for retouching it. Whether you’re a family portrait or wedding photographer you’ll have encountered the issues caused by imperfections, colour casts, skin reddening, stray hairs, blinking eyes. Given John’s background in working in the art nude genre then all these issues are magnified in his world.

Allow him to guide you through a range of retouching techniques he employs to improve images and lessen the impact of imperfections using Lightroom, DXO Optics and Photoshop. You’ll learn techniques to remove imperfections, clean up backgrounds, mask in colour controls, colour grade your images, dodge and burn to shape your images, effective use of Liquify and much more. Whatever your level of experience then there will be something for you.

Gary Hill

Gary is one of the most well respected (and busy!) portrait photographers in the country. His primary focus over the years has been portraiture, fashion and boudoir while more recently he has concentrated more on classical and fine art portraiture, achieving numerous accolades along the way.

Despite having his own thriving portrait business, Gary still finds the time to travel the length and breadth of the British Isles running various education courses and 1-to-1’s with photographers and has become one of the most sought after mentors in the country. Primarily his training centres on the technical aspects of shooting portraiture, from lighting to posing the model and all the way through to post production.

Damian McGillicuddy

Damian is a commercial, editorial and portrait photographer with more than three decades of experience. Photographing numerous genres, from fashion to sports, politicians to musicians and celebrities to motorsport, Damian’s prestigious clients include Olympus, L’Oreal, Aston Martin and Vogue.
Gaining over 670 international awards, Damian has also achieved 12 Photographer of the Year titles, 10 Fellowships, a Double Grand Masters, and a Grand Master with Double Bar.
As well as continuing to produce outstanding photography for his commercial and social clients, these days Damian can also add the title of Educator to his list of achievements. Damian’s Mentor Me On Steroids continual professional development programme boasts some of the most decorated photographers working in the industry today. Damian finds the fact professional photographers choose to learn photography and business from him an even greater testimonial than any celebrity endorsement.

Maria Michael

The face behind Detheo Photography, Maria Michael has been a professional photographer for over 8 years. Whilst her business covers a variety of photographic genre, it is her Specialist Pet Photography that has been her passion from the start and the area in which she has started to gain notoriety in.

Maria’s years of dedication to developing her knowledge and her unique approach to this genre have not only enabled her to work for many private clients, but has also seen her commissioned by industry leaders in both the Pet Insurance Industry and Veterinary Practice.Having taught Pet Photography workshops throughout the UK, Maria has also been invited to speak at photographic shows, universities and camera clubs. In early 2018 Maria’s work drew international attention and in November she was flown overseas to share her story and photography and to teach others.

20 years ago, if you had asked Maria Michael what her future would look like, she never would have mentioned Photography! At that time it was not even something she considered a hobby, she just loved to capture photographs of family and friends, events, places she would visit etc. not realising that even then, her need to preserve memories was her driving force.

In 2005, whilst working as a Senior Social Work, one incident was to change her life forever and be the catalyst to the start of a new journey. A journey that would find her confronting, physical, psychological and emotional challenges.
Now, after 8 years of running her own business, Maria hopes that her experiences can help to inspire others. She also wants to start raising the profile of Pet Photography and to promote greater respect and understanding about just how important a service it is.

Brian Muir

Brian Muir runs Air Image Photography, based in Ayrshire, South West Scotland. He is known throughout the UK for his location portrait work, mixing ambient light with artificially created light from battery powered flashes to create stunning images in weddings, fashion & beauty, school proms and more. With experience in Graphic Design and Digital Artistry, Brian also is known for using his skills to create marketing for products, theatre posters and social media.

Kels Noades

Kels has been a photographer for over 17 years, she has worked as a secondary school teacher as Head of Art and taught photography in numerous schools and for adult education. She has been running a successful family portrait company since 2007 doing both studio and location shoots in 2017 she expanded to a second studio in Hampshire.
Kels has had numerous speaking engagements on the business of family photography and even appeared on SPTV at SWPP 2015!

Lisa North

Lisa North has been self-employed since 2000, following a long and varied career in the Banking industry. Her transition to self-employment began in 2000 following a bad accident. Her recovery required many different therapies.
Inspired, she started a complementary health business alongside her day job. Using the network skills she had acquired in her previous career she quickly developed links with local groups and businesses and the therapy business became her full-time occupation after just 2 years.

The photography career came about in a similar way when a long-standing back issue from the accident forced her to retire from long days at the massage table, and a much-loved photography hobby became a business.
She has been a professional photographer for the last five years, with a high street studio in South Norfolk. Her work is varied including weddings, studio work and commercial commissions. She holds her Licentiateship with the SWPP, and has won awards with the SWPP and the Guild for her work. Her personal development is undertaken with Damian McGuillicuddy as part of his Mentor Me on Steroids programme. Her therapy qualifications include Relaxation and Sports Massage, Reflexology, Reiki, Indian Head Massage and Thermo-Auricular Therapy.

When not working Lisa loves getting into a good novel on the sofa on a Sunday afternoon. Holidays are relaxed affairs in remote cottages around the UK.

Paul Wilkinson

Paul is one of the UK’s most sought-after photographers and is hugely in demand for his distinctive images (and the laughter that goes into creating them!). With a life-long love of photography and a passion for creating beautiful, timeless images, Paul Wilkinson has established himself at the very top of the profession as a people photographer. He is a Fellow of the SWPP and the MPA and has won an array of national and international awards for his work and is now an International Judge.

Paul runs an exclusive boutique studio between Oxford & London, offering bespoke photography to clients including scientists, premiership footballers, chiefs of industry and people who simply want to treasure memories. He is the Partner Photographer to Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons voted the number 1 hotel in the UK and he has built a business to match their extremely high level of customer services in all aspects of photography experiences.

He is a trainer, speaker and author in the photography industry, with his book Mastering Portrait Photography being one of the best sellers in the UK.