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I have joined the SWPP less than a year for few of the advantages they offer to their members such as discounted insurance rates and discount on annual convention. But finally I submitted my work for assessment applying for the Licentiateship qualification. I wasn't rushing for this as I joined the Society as receiving distinctions or qualifications doesn't prove a lot, what's more important is that your customer are please with your work, receiving an email from them saying how please they are with your work is way more satisfying than any distinction from any society you can be member of. But nonetheless, after a while I just wanted to see how fellow photographers would perceive my work. So few weeks ago I submitted a set of photographs for appraisal and accreditation. This week I received a certificate attesting that I was awarded with the "Licentiateship of photography" distinction, this is recognising me as producing images of professional standards and of consistent quality.

Here is the set of photographs submitted in the Portrait category:

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This is a preview of my photoshoot earlier today.

I've been introduced to Jane and Andy via a colleague. Last year Andy called me to see if I could come over to their place to take some shots of their 4 months old daughter, Kimberly. They were such a nice people, my wife and I really enjoyed their company and the photoshoot went great.

Earlier this week, Jane sent me an email telling that Kimberly is now 18 months! Wow, time really flew by so quickly. Jane invited us to come over for a chinese brunch (Dim Sum!!) today and asked me for another photoshoot to update their family album. Again it was a real pleasure to see them again and see how quick Kimberly has grown up.

After some shots in house, we went in a park nearby for a little walk and some autumn shots.

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Additionally to my photography work, I'm also giving one-to-one photography courses and hold workshop and lectures to photographic societies and camera clubs in London. My most recent workshop was organised by the London Photographic Meetup Group (LPMG). It was a very fun day and we all have enjoyed it, the LPMG managed to organised the workshop at the Tabernacle near Notting Hill Gate. It's a fantastic place and very suitable for lectures but also workshop as it has both nice indoor and outdoor locations. The LPMG is a very big club with very friendly members that goes from the complete beginner to the very professional photographers in all kind of photography subjects. As a lot of members turn up at the workshop, we decided to split the group into sub-groups and have each sub-group handled by some helpers. This is where I would like to thanks my mates from the EHHPS and London Strobists group.

Thank you to you guys who answered for my call for help:

I also take the opportunity to thank the previous helpers:

Two years ago I asked my wife to marry me, and fortunately she said 'Yes!' :-D At D-Day -1, we met our neighbor on his door step and told him we were going to get married tomorrow. To his surprise and then to ours, he told us that we are sharing the same wedding date and that on our wedding day it will be their diamond (60th) wedding anniversary! What a coincidence, isn't it?

Mr & Mrs Greengrass are a lovely couple, but very sadly Joan, his wife, passed away about a year later.

This year, for our second anniversary we started the day by bringing some cakes and knocked on his door and proposed him to share a breakfast with us. We stayed for couple of hours before heading for our afternoon with some friends.

Ron then has invited us to join him for a lunch one Sunday at the West Middlesex Golf Club. I took the opportunity to take a headshot of him, something I should have done few years ago, and offered him some large prints for him and his family and friends. Ron was very pleased with the result and saying it is "the best portrait of me". Which pleased me a lot, not because I took it, but because I was able to bring a smile to his face and bring something pleasant to him. Last Friday we were invited to the Golf Club race night, it was the first time my wife and I were betting on horse and dog races :-D we brought back £4 lol... Ron was showing his portrait to his friends in the membership, proud.

Have any of you have similar experience where you have done some little things that brings a lot to someone?

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I just came back from a fantastic workshop with the LPMG, for some it was their first go with flash photography and more practice will be needed but they have good potential. Would like to see how far these guys will go. As already mentioned in another post, joining a camera club of a photographic society can really help you improve your photographic skills.

My friend SnapperJack has put up for me a really great showreel video of my photography work. He's shooting and editing video so if you need a videographer then pop down to his website and blog (see below).

Have a wonderful Sunday and see you soon.

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A quick post for those who haven't seen the intro video to my Project 'S'. The project is still going and more special agents are in for the project. It's getting exciting!

I'm still looking for some models that are interested in some spy style photoshoot, please contact me with a link to your portfolio.

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About a year ago, I met a Sheila in a bus as I was going back home. As we were discussing about photography, I put my camera on the seat and showed her some of my work on my iPhone. I didn't realize the bus has arrived to my stop so got caught by surprised and jumped out of the seat grabbing all my stuffs: bag, lightstands, reflector etc... And guess what? I forgot my camera on the bus! I really hated myself at that time. But my lucky star was shining on me that evening, Sheila was just a very honest person and called me back from the number on the card I gave her earlier! I'm glad to see there are still some people like her in this world!

So to show my gratitude, I offered Sheila to have her portrait done. It took us about a year to come up with a date that suits both our agenda.

Came the day, I went to Sheila's place and did the photoshoot in her flat. It was a great experience and we both enjoyed the quick photoshoot at lunch time.

I've just been for three weeks in Vietnam to visit my wife's family in Long Thanh in the South. It was an unforgettable experience, this is my third time in the country and I always like it, the people, the food etc... And obviously the weather was really hot and humid. We stayed in Long Thanh for around two weeks and also went for a swim in Long Hai and stayed in the Swiss Village Resort in Mui Ne, Phan Thiet.

Every thing was an excuse for taking pictures. I took with me my mini Polaroid PoGo printer which the kids enjoyed a lot. Having their pictures printed out instantly was exciting for them.

As a tradition between my wife and I, we are always doing jumping shots anywhere we are going :-D And this time was no exception and it was contagious.

For more details about the shot above, please have a look at its Flickr page. Also check out this other photographs of me against my wife.

More photographs from the series can be found on my Facebook fan page.

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I'm currently on holidays and my wife and mum just went shopping... so 'm taking the opportunity to update this blog.

Today I thought I would go back to an old photograph I've taken in Trafalgar Square to just discuss a bit on how to shoot fast and the get the shot you want.

Why would you want to shoot fast, some would ask? Wouldn't it be better to take your time and get it right? The answer would obviously be 'yes, but...' there is always a 'but'... you don't always have that time. If you are shooting an important person, in a crowded place where you might be obstructing the pathway etc... the time frame available for you to get the shot might be very short. So how can you get good shots in short time?

David Hobby (Mr Strobist) came back to the UK for a Strobist seminar tour last month. As I already attended the seminar before, this year I just came for a drink with some London Strobists admins. At some point during the evening DH took this shot:

The Last Supper - Strobist way 

It was a very pleasant evening and I'm sure all who attended the seminar have learned a lot.

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