Master Craftsman

 

I have no idea where time goes these days! I had meant to write this post last week.

So in October 2019 I started work towards my next photographic qualification Master Craftsman/Fellowship. I had decided I wanted to create a panel to celebrate older dogs. The criteria was set at 13 yrs or above. I did make one exception for an elderly Great Dane at 12 yrs old that is a fantastic achievement for such a large breed.

Lots of you kindly volunteered your dogs as models for the project and we had fun doing the shoots and I met lots of lovey dogs and people and was overwhelmed with the love they had for their four legged friends.

All photographic organisations have their own qualification system.  Licencieate, Associate & Fellow or Qualified, Craftsman & Master Craftsman.

The Guild of photographers are as follows.

‘Qualified’ status is aligned to standards of competence that reflect a level where the customer should be ‘pleased with the results’, when employing the services of a skilled tradesman (the photographer). In other words ‘Qualified’ indicates professional ‘competence’ to a level where the Guild is willing to recognise the photographer as an ambassador of the association , so those who achieve that level should be proud of doing so.

‘Craftsman’ status is aligned to the exacting standards of a true ‘Craftsman’. Therefore to attain this level an increasing level of professional critique to evaluate our members work. In other words we get increasingly ‘fussy’ and look in minutiae at all the elements of photographic understanding. Those that achieve this accolade have demonstrated the finest technical skills and an exceptional creative and artistic ‘eye’.

Finally, in the same way as when a ‘Craftsman’ was granted the highest accolade of ‘Master Craftsman’ having created something truly exceptional (their ‘masterpiece’), a ‘Craftsman’ within the Guild of Photographers can only achieve the acknowledgement of being a ‘Master Craftsman’ by producing their own photographic masterpiece.

Creating a panel is not for the faint hearted! A lot of work goes into it and even I had underestimated this having done my Craftsman Level last year..

You have to supply a panel of 20 images mounted in 20″x16″ mounts a piece of Wall Art and an album and a statement of intent. These are then presented in person and judged by 5 members of the Guilds qualified judging panel.

I am really pleased to say that I was awarded my Master Craftsman on the 21st May 2019.

I would firstly like to thank all the dogs and thier owners. Sadly three of the dogs that participated and had their images in the panel have left us on this world but they will be forever in their owners and my hearts. I would like to thank my friends and family that have supported me, and those that have taught me over the years. You all know who you are.

 

 

 

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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.

Last Minute Xmas Ideas…

Hopefully, you will all be far more organised than I am and have all your Xmas shopping done.

If you are not and you are still looking for ideas then I still have a few GIFT VOUCHERS available for my Pet Portraits. They make a great gift for a family member, a friend, yourself or even use your pet as an excuse to get one.

The voucher includes a 1 hr Photographic session and a Complimentary 9″x6″ or 8″x6″ Glass Desk Framed image for the SPECIAL PRICE of only £30 normally £95.

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Don’t forget to get your pooch something tasty for Christmas but be sure it’s safe for them to eat. Kongs are great ideas, you can fill them with all sorts of tasty things to give variety and they can be frozen to make it last even longer. My dogs love these as both a toy and a treat.

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I hope you all have a wonderful Xmas and New Year.

Equine Art – Cotswold Preview

 

Cotswold Preview Front

Having spent the first part of my working life working with horses and loving every minute of it, it is no surprise that photographing them is a real joy for me. This is a side of the business I am just expanding, following my true passions and was lucky enough to be included in the June Issue of Cotswold Preview Magazine, in their Equestrian Art Special Feature.

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My Image, bottom right was taken on a Wedding Pre-shoot. It was a lovely evening capturing the couple to be but also the horses and the connection and bonds they have with their owners.

As the article states I have many years of experience of working with horse and I feel this gives me a distinct advantage for equine photography, understanding their habits, how to get them to look attentive, what is likely to spook them, how they should stand when they are really connecting with the owner.

I can come to your home, yard or meet you somewhere you like to ride.. for more information visit my website. www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

A quote I  love is “When you are on a great horse, you have the best seat you will ever have” – Winston Churchill.

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Thank you for reading my post.

Crufts Super Stars 2016

Crufts 2016 has just finished. Although I was unable to attend this year I watched as much of the coverage on Channel 4 as possible. The Agility Finals on Sunday were particularly exciting.  My ambition is to one day qualify in agility to compete there. Its is always good to have a dream…..

As you know my true passion is photographing dogs, that’s not to say I don’t enjoy photographing other subjects I do, but from as far back as I can remember having a dog of my own was a dream. I now have three! I am lucky to be able to combine my love of dogs and photography together.

So I am thrilled to be able to say along my journey of dog photography I have captured a few of the winners at this years Crufts!

The first ever commissioned job I had was photographing a litter of Border Collies in 2009. Nothing like a challenge. Eight feisty pups all eager to do everything but what we wanted them to do!  We had to resort to having them held for individual pictures. Who would have thought that I would be photographing a superstar!

Congratulations to this beautiful girl Scandal.

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Open Large Agility Winner 2016 to add to her numerous outstanding awards.

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Scandal with her Litter siblings 2009, boy did we have fun getting this shot. I wonder what the other pups have got up to?

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Those of you that follow my blog know that I recently got two Mini American Shepherds.

Earlier in the year the breeder  of my dogs and her friend came to see me to get some photos done in the Studio. It was quite a crazy session with all three dogs. They are a breed I have never captured before and certainly a breed that would win my heart over. The Lagotto Romagnolo.

The name of the breed reveals its origins; the expansive marshes of the Romagne district of Italy, where Lagotto (Italian dialect for curly coated duck retriever) were valued for their ability to retrieve ducks from water. The draining of the marshes in the early 1900s led to the decline of duck hunting and there was less demand for dogs to work to their traditional purpose. However, an alternative use was soon found for him: his natural scenting ability made him ideal as a truffle hunter and in his native land that is now seen as his primary purpose. – See more at: http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/display.aspx?id=2158
The breed gained KC recognition last year with Crufts 2016 being the very first time they were able to be shown in their own class and go for the group.
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I had no idea that the dogs had qualified for Crufts. So hugely impressed when I found out that Mum on the right won the Veteran Bitch Class at 12 years of age!

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Doesn’t she look well for her age!  Almost puppy like here.
Her Grandaugher, (below & right in group above) the puppy  for the breed. You don’t get much cuter than this!
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A huge congratulations to their owner.
Finally I had the pleasure of doing some photography at Devon Dogs at the end of January (Blog to follow soon) and got to meet and photograph this gorgeous Cocker  and her owner Tash Poddubecki. They had a great time at Crufts and came first in the Medium Final Jumping.. so well done to them.
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That concludes my claim to meeting up and photographing doggy superstars!  Thank you for reading my post. http://www.meltaylorphotgraphy.co.uk

Gold Award

Really excited to have achieved a Gold Award this month in the Societies Monthly International Competition. Such a happy little dog and we had great fun in the studio getting her to stay in the basket and also get the head tilt.

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She came with a couple of her collie friends and the image I entered into the Monochrome category got a Highly Commended.

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Thank you for reading my post http://www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk

More Publications in Dogs Today

I was fortunate enough to be featured yet again in Dogs Today Magazines October, November and December editions.

October

Dogs Today October Front 2015

Octobers edition yet again full of interesting articles and featured an image of my Mini American Shepherd in The best dog photographers in the World section. The image was taken in a local bluebell wood. I had a gap between client shoots so decided to have a play with my dogs. Buzz is training to be an agility dog so this image of him jumping is great. However, getting him at to stay and wait while I got to the other side of the log and on the floor took a little bit of doing!

Dogs Today October 2015 image

I particularly like the articles they do on breeds, the October issue was all about Corgis. Some great info on the breed and some lovely images too.

November

November Cover 2015

Now that’s a cute pup on the font cover!  Who could resist him?

This months magazine published an image of my Working Sheep dog. Take on a lazy summers evening. She just loves jumping up on the hay bales.

November 2015 image

The Dog Crush article in this magazine was all about the Newfoundland.  They give you facts about the breed. For cleanliness apparently 75% of their respondents said if you cant stand the dribble then you are not a proper Newfie owner and they apparently shed a lot of hair and they are huge dogs! Probably not the dog for me based on that information.

December

December 2015 Cover

Now this cover was a definite eye catcher for me. Not only because of those stunning blue eyes but because its another Mini American Shepherd and a very handsome one at that!

This issue published an image very dear to me indeed. It is an image I have in a 30″ frame on my wall. I just love having large images. This gorgeous lurcher is sadly no longer with me. The image was taken on my very first digital SLR camera. I love the softness of the daisy’s and the rim lighting of the evening sun on her.  When you loose a dog its like loosing one of the family and a big gap is left.  We miss her but at least get to see her every day.

Decmeber 2015 image

The step by step guide in this months magazine had an interesting article on Food etiquette. Some sound advice.

Thank you for reading my post. If you are interested in booking a shoot then please look at my website. www.meltaylorphotography.co.uk