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.