A Year In The Making!

This year, it must be said, has been a little bit of an adventure. OK, so that’s a bit of an understatement. It’s been a LOT of an adventure.

Mastering Portrait Photography
Ben, the little boy on our book cover, is now seventeen years old and about 6ft3″!

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”B+W Photography” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”16″]Wilkinson and Plater have plenty of advice on how to get the best from a subject, from formal adult portraits to lively children captures – as well as offering masses of technical know-how and tips and hints to back it up.[/pullquote]

We have had an incredibly full diary – and when I say ‘full’ I really mean overflowing – with more portrait shoots, commercial sessions and weddings than ever before! And yet, on top of all that, somehow we’ve managed to fit in our first time working as a Master Photographer for Crystal Cruises and, along with Sarah Plater, have co-authored a book on Mastering Portrait Photography. In case you’re curious, we have ingeniously titled the book Mastering Portrait Photography!

When I agreed to get involved with the book just over twelve months ago, I had no idea just how hard it would be!

Firstly, there’s the not inconsiderable challenge of describing what it is that I actually do.  Not just the regular stuff, but the more complex (and often instinctive) too.  I have created photographs since I was a kid but it’s not often that I am required to both analyse and then articulate the difference between taking and creating a photograph! Sarah Plater spent hours interviewing me and sitting in on portrait shoots and it is amazing how much she has captured of the conversations.  There are so many little snippets in the book, it’s simply astounding!

Mastering Portrait Photography: photography tips and techniques
The oldest image in the book is of our daughter, Harriet (she’s now seventeen!)

And then there are the images themselves.  And for that, the whole team – Sarah, Michelle and Meg – were all involved going through tens of thousands of images from our back-catalogue, looking for images that best illustrated the points in the text but would also create a book that would look really beautiful as well as being useful.

The final images span over 13 years of photography with the oldest image in the book being of our daughter, Harriet,  an image that was actually taken on my first digital camera – a Nikon D100 – when she was just three. The most recent were created specifically to illustrate points – Jake, our son, stepped in – with only the mildest protests – on numerous (usually gloomy, chilly and damp) occasions to help out.

And it’s been a real thrill contacting so many of our incredible clients asking for permission to use their pictures (honestly, it’s been a wonderful trip down memory lane to be in touch with so many people who we loved working with!)

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”Mr Darren Ord – Amazon” link=”http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1781450854″ color=”” class=”” size=”16″]A really wonderful book with beautiful images. An easy to use format with excellent and detailed tips on how to get that perfect picture in specific situations/light etc. A great buy or gift for both aspiring amateurs and professionals alike.[/pullquote]

And now it’s out there.  All that work, all those images, all those memories (at least for us and our clients!) It is not a little bit terrifying having something out there that you’ve put so much effort into: particularly as book reviewers are not known for holding back!

So how is it going down? Well, so far so good!  It seems to be selling well on Amazon (you can buy it from us too – we can’t match Amazon’s low price but I CAN sign the book for you!) and the reviews – at least those we’ve had to date – have been really lovely.

And, more importantly, we have had the chance to publish 200 images that we love of people we adored working with!

PS. Ben, the little boy on the cover, is now seventeen years old and a member of the Team GB Rowing Squad!  He is just a little bit taller than he was!

Here a just one or two images that are included in the book – each has been selected to help illustrate some point or other that we talk about (and you thought it was just random!)

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1 Comment

  • Nick Halpin
    26th December 2015 at 12:57 pm  - Reply

    Dear Paul, my nephew, Calum Miller gave me a copy of your book, signed – no guesses – by your good self. I originally found it on Amazon where it was received umpteen brilliant reviews and Calum sensibly obtained it from you. It is more than living up to the hype, and for someone, whose interest in taking portraits has always been keen, it is a real inspiration. Thank you so much for forging ahead with this project. As the French say, super cool! Nick

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