New Qualification – Craftsman

Yesterday, 9th May I travelled up to Stoke on Trent to the Headquaters of the Guild of Photographers to sit my Craftsman Qualification. This qualification is equivalent to the Assocatiate Qualification I gained with the SWPP but the difference being the images had to be presented in person and in print.

The images are judged by 5 Judges that all hold the Master Craftsman qualification and have been through a tough training programme to become judges.

20 images have to be submitted printed in mounted at a minimum size of 16″x12″. If you are a proffessional photographer you are also required to povided proof of Public Liability insurance, a finished product that would be given to the customer and a book showing all the images. The the images also have to be provided in a digital format should they judges want to look at the images more closely on a computer screen.

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I didnt realise how nervous I was until all 5 judges were facing me and I had to read my supporting words about my panel to them. I was begining to wish I had not laminated it as at one point I was in danger of it sounding like a thunder storm as I shook so much!

The Judges then turn to view your panel and you leave the room while the look at the images closely and then a vote is taken.

I am glad to say that I got the thumbs up from all five judges.

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(Image copyright David Islip)

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Dogs Today Feburary Issue

Loving the cover photo on February’s issue of Dogs Today magazine.

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As always lots of interesting articles, Canine sensitity, Convential vs alternative vets. Will Power, what will happen to your dog if you die, Dog Crush is the Akita!

Valentines is upon us and I was thrilled to find one of my images in the Best Dog Photos in the world section. Not hard to guess which image it is. There is not love, like a dogs love!

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If you dont want chocolates or flowers for Valentines then this is a great alternative. Gift Vouchers available.

Midweek and Weekend studio sessions are available.

 

Up for an Award

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I am very pleased to say that for the third year running I have reached the Final of the fiercely contested Guild of Photographers Image of the Year Competition.

The Guild is a highly respected UK based association for photographers which has members from overseas as well. Each year it runs an on-line monthly photographic competition, judged by internationally respected judges with awards given to the best entries.

During 2017, the competition has attracted around 1200 entries per month from the most talented of photographers.

It has just been announced that from all the entries across the year, the Guild’s Judges have selected JUST 12 images in various genres to go forward to the annual Image of the Year Final. Those selected really are the best of the best, and  I have been selected as a finalist in the Pet Genre.

Guild Director Lesley Thirsk said “One of the Guild’s aims is to drive standards and creativity amongst photographers. Our monthly competition certainly does that, for the standard of the entries we see each month is quite staggering. To have an image recognised by the Guild in the monthly competition is difficult enough, so to have an image selected as being one of the best in a category for the end of year Final is without doubt an incredible achievement, and shows just how talented photographer, name is”
I love photography and put a lot of effort into developing my skills. One way I do that is to enter the Guild’s competition. It drives forward photography standards month after month and so it helps me push myself. The standards are really high and to have one of my images shortlisted in the overall final again is a real honour.

The final outcome will be announced at a lavish Awards night in a magnificent Jacobean mansion in Cheshire on 3rd February 2018.

To find out more about the Guild of Photographers and their competition visit their website (www.photoguild.co.uk), and to find out more about me visit my website at www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk.

Published in Dogs Today

Dogs Today is my favorite Dog Magazine. It is full of useful articles, breed information, health advise and interesteding Dog articles.

I am pleased to say that one of my images was published in the September 2017 issue. In the section for “The Best Dog Photos in the world”.

The image of three lovely Lagotto Romagnolo dogs that came for a session at my home studio a while ago. Photographing multiple dogs is always a challenge, depending on the level of obedience they have of course. These dogs were very good, although getting them to all look in the direction of the camera at the same time was a challenge!

The Lagotto is a small to medium sized dog distinguished by his curly and water resistant coat. The Romagnolo Lagotto is a Venetian/Romagnan dialect word meaning “duck dog”.

A lively Lagotto pup will usually grow up to be a sensible, happy, affectionate, agile little dog.  They are very trainable, they are known for truffleing, retrieving waterfowl and they also makes an excellent family companion pet and are good alert dog.

The Logotto is a working type of dog, and were often kept centuries ago by peasant marshmen to look after the house and warn off intruders. They are not a yappy dog but can be very vocal when strangers are around the home. (ref http://www.lagottoromagnoloclubofgb.co.uk)

Mum on the right featured in an earlier post of mine as did this photo as she did very well at Crufts 2016 and won the Veteran Bitch Class at 12 years of age!

The September issue has lots of interesting articles and you can get copies easily on line. https://dogstodaymagazine.co.uk/

My favorite reads were Send in the emergency dogs, Britains foodbanks now for pets, and The dog crush was about Whippets, one of my favoritebreeds.

Thank you for reading my post.

 

Summer Fun with Devon Dogs

At the begining of August. Car full to bursting, my boys and I headed off to Westpoint Summer Camp, held by Devon dogs for a week of training and competition!

WestPoint Show ground near Exeter is a great venue and the Paignton Dog show is also held at the end of the week and over the weekend giving lots of variety for dog lovers.

I attended the camp for the first time last year and had such a good time I was definately going back this year. The camp is run every year by Devon Dogs.

Its a great venue, lots of space to wander with your dogs, use of  on site shower and toilet facilites. Plenty of walks in the surrounding area and plenty of pubs and shops near by.

The camp starts on the Monday and everyone arrives sets up and meets in the evening to get to know eachother and find out what thier agenda for the week is. There are plenty of different training subjects to choose from.  Foundation skills for puppies, Life skills, Motivation and play, Agility, scent work and much more!

Tuesday, to Thursday are training days and there are plenty of additional training sessionsthat can be booked during the evenings and on Monday and Friday.

If you love puppies then there are always loads to say hi to and cuddle.

 

Young dogs find the enviroment fun and relaxed.  There are plenty of course for those wanting to start doing agility with their young dogs or just learning great life skills with postive reward based training methods.

Even the young humans can have fun. Here is my youngest following in my footsteps and having a go at action shots for the first time.

The guest agility trainers this year were Selena Bray & Martin Tait. I was lucky enough to have workshops with both of them and they were brilliant. I love learning from different trainers and picking the best ways from each that suit both me and my dogs.

I predominanty go for the agility training, especially as I have two young dogs. Start line waits, grid work, turns, handling skills, contact work, its all available. Training with enthusiastic trainers and with like minded people, it is such a great way to learn.

All breeds are welcome so don’t be put off by the collies, even though some do show off!

In the evening you can join the evening seminar or just go and relax. There is a pub meal out one evening for all attendees, friends and family and a BBQ on the last evening.

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If after all the training you want to put your new found skills into practice then the Paington Agility Show runs for four days. Sat- Tuesday along side the Dog show. There are many trade and food stands to be visited and the courses are always challenging and fun.

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Thank you for reading my post.

 

 

Schools Back

If your kids are not back at school already then as mine they will be soon. We have had a very full and busy summer and after a having a leaking water pipe at home soaking the floors and walls of our house, it is all now nearly completed and we are moving back in.

Just sat here tidying some stuff up and found an image of my Collie Maya in Feburary 2017, Dogs Today Magazine. I have been fortunate enough to have been selected for their section, “The Best Dog Photographs in the World” section numerous times.  Look out for the September issue!  Its a great magazine.

This image was taken up on the Ridgeway on a stormy day. I like the fact that you can just see the sheep behind her. Although she does Agility she was bred to work sheep but was not so keen on the idea!

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Associate Qualification

In what ever walk of life you follow, you can never stop learning and improving. I strive to continually improve my photography. I attend regular mentoring, workshops, seminars, online training and trade events.

As a Mum of a young family and three agility dogs, time is not always on my side and I have been meaning to submit a panel for my Associate Qualification for some time now.

Although I think the images I produce are more important to my clients than whether I have a qualification or not, it is alway nice to have formal recognition for the images I produce although nothing will beat watching my clients smile as they see their images for the first time and stuggle to choose which ones they want.

Associateship – what does it mean? (from SWPP website)

At this standard, we are viewing images that not only display a high degree of technical ability, but also portray imagination and creativity in execution and presentation. These are important factors that often go hand in hand with higher prices as this qualification is held by the top 10% of practitioners, who coincidentally are often impressive image makers and astute businessmen.

My passion is Canine Photography so this is what I based my panel on and tried to show a wide range of work. It is based on my studio work rather than location as this area is more challenging technically as a photographer and a mix of studio and location did not look right.

I am glad to say my submission was sucessful and I am now Mel Taylor ASWPP

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