A Photo Session – The Perfect Gift


If you have ever visited a house and seen one of those masterful family portraits on the wall or smiled at an expert photo of a friend and their dog, then you already have an idea why a photo session can make the perfect gift. There are lots of types of photographers, styles and budgets available, from a London Glamour Photographer to someone specialising in animals or newborn babies. So, what might make the best present for your friend or loved one?

Newborn and baby photography

If there’s a new arrival in the family, then a photo shoot makes for an amazing baby present at a time when there are already loads of new outfits and baby essentials being gifted. Newborn photography takes place within the first 10 days of the child’s life and can include pictures on their own with special props as well as with parents and family members. Alternatively, you can wait until the child is a little older and opt for similar types of shots.

Birthday session

From kids through adults, we all enjoy having a fuss made on our special day and a birthday photo shoot is a great way to commemorate the event. Whether it involves the birthday boy or girl, friends or family as well depends on taste and budget. For kids, photographers will offer themed shots that include something with their birthday age on to make it easy to date the photo. Adults are usually a little less worried about their age featuring!

Family photos

Family photos are an important way to document family life and while those casual shots are amazing, it is great to have a formal photography session periodically. This also makes a great Christmas or birthday present to send to family members, especially if they live in other parts of the country or world. These can often be taken on location as well as in the studio and some photographers will even come to your home.

Pet photography

We all love our animals and if someone has one that will cooperate then a photo session would make a great present for them. Animal photos often involve the animal itself as well as shots with the owner and family.

Personal photography

Buying someone a photo session voucher is a great present for any reason and can be a practical one. Say the person is setting up in their own business – then a photo session is a great present to get a professional headshot to use on their branding. Couples photography is also a popular present and then there are fun options such as boudoir photography – definitely a present for a couple to give to one another!

The perfect gift

Many photographers will often gift sessions in some form and often do mini-sessions with a sample of their full services that you can book for someone. This makes it a budget-friendly option for a truly memorable present, the results of which they will have to keep for the rest of their lives.

The Best Photo Exhibitions

One of the best ways to see the best of photography is to attend one of the many photo exhibitions and galleries around the UK. From the short term, touring exhibitions to long-term, single locations, we have lots to offer photography fans here in Britain and here are some of the best to add to your calendar.

Royal Photographic Society Members Biennial 2017

As the name suggests, this event from the RPS takes place every year and there is still a chance to catch it this year. It highlights the member’s passion for photography and is open to people from around the world. The judging panel then decides on the best and the exhibition then tours the country, allowing people to see the works up close.

You can catch it from 30th Sept until 12th October at the Hull International Photo Festival and the from 9th November until 7th December in the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Victoria & Albert Museum

This free entry museum is known for many things and one of them is its collection of photographs. The museum began acquiring photos back in 1852 and is now one of the largest and most important collections anywhere in the world. The first curator of the museum was a keen amateur photographer, Henry Cole, and the collection is now around 300,000 images including scientific and artistic images that show the variety of the technique.

Getty Images Gallery

Getty Images hold an online archive of millions of photos as well as their negatives, prints and transparencies. These date from as early as the 1850s right through to modern times. Each year, the gallery holds a number of regular exhibitions including ‘100 Years of Hollywood Images’ and a ‘History of the Isle of Man TT Races’ where collections of images are available for people to see. You can also buy prints of the images while visiting the gallery.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

This is an annual event that takes place in venues around the world that allows people to see the very best of wildlife photography. Each year, 100 of the best photos are selected and compiled into a tour that visits various locations around the UK and around the world. You still have time to catch this year’s exhibition as there are two dates left in Wolverhampton Art Gallery until 1st October and the Old Big School Gallery in Tonbridge School until 5th November.

Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year

Astronomy is a very specialist area of photography and each year, a winner is selected from the global community. There is an award ceremony held in the Royal Observatory Greenwich and the winners will be on show there from 16th September.

This year’s photographs included Uranus and asteroids for the first time and included works by both professionals and amateurs from a total of 9 different countries. Judging is conducted by experts from both the world of astronomy and the world of art, showing that the two can work well together.

Photography as a Career

Photography has always been an important industry and with the rise of the internet, the need for high-quality photos for many purposes has never been higher. That’s why photography as a career is still a very popular option – but do you need to have formal training or are there other routes into it?

The formal training route

While having a post-secondary education isn’t a requirement to become a photographer, many do choose to attend college and university to study the craft and take a bachelor’s degree to improve their employment prospects. There are also lots of courses available through community colleges, vocational and technical institutes and even through trade schools to help start your education.

Careers such as photojournalism or scientific or industrial photography do often require a college degree in photography or a field related to it. So, a degree in biology or chemistry might be useful for a scientific photographer or a journalism degree for a photojournalist.

Other routes

But that’s not to say that if you don’t have formal education, you can’t’ become a photographer – look at the example of Bryant Eslava if you need inspiration. When he was just 19 years old he was already a photography star with a widely followed Tumblr photo blog, Bryant is only now looking to add formal training to his natural talent and real-world experience.

The most important thing for a photographer is to take photos and you can do that with a good quality smartphone these days. Start building a portfolio and find what you love to photograph – the more you can specialise, the more you will stand out. Make contacts in the industry and see if you can get the chance to shadow or assist a more experienced photographer.

Other ways to make money from photography

With the internet, you don’t need to be a classic type of photographer to make money either. Gone are the days where you had to specialise in something and sell your services through a studio or agency. You can easily make money online from photography.

Stock photos are in huge demand due to the need for quality images alongside web content. From mock-ups of products and flat lay shots to photos of almost anything in life – if you can take interesting and high-quality shots, you can sell them to big stock photo sites and make some money from it. Or eventually, you can even set up your own online shop to sell your photos, charging per shot or a monthly subscription.

Be the photographer you want

The great thing about the modern photography industry is that there is room for everyone and countless different ways to make it into a career. You can go through formal education and look at jobs like photojournalism or you can get loads of hands-on experience and go into portrait or wildlife photography. You can start your own blog and create a following for what you do or you can create quality stock images and supply others with the photos that they need.

Best Composition Books for Photographers

Struggling to find a great book on photography composition?

You’re not alone.

James Cowman from Dynamic Symmetry Art become increasingly frustrated that all the books on composition were written for artists, not photographers.

After almost a decade of research, he finally found a selection of books for photographers who want to master the art of composition.

So, if you’ve been hunting for composition tips, rules and ideas that will work for you, here’s James with his top 5 recommendations.


All about Portrait Photography

Portrait photography (or portraiture) focuses on either a group of people or an individual and has the main subject of the image being facial features or expressions. This kind of photography is unlike a reportage style shot in that it isn’t capturing a natural moment in time. It is a staged shot and therefore the images you get from these kinds of shoots can produce exceptionally different images/moods/themes/aspects of the same subject dependent on the chosen angles, lighting, staging and so forth.

You will often find portrait photographs in glossy magazines and often this style is chosen by families to capture wall art for their home from professional studio photographers. However, even if you aren’t looking to create statement pieces, learning how to capture great portrait pictures can be a great skill to master. Things like social media, thoughtful homemade gifts and even job applications can be boosted with a fantastic portrait pic.

As demonstrated in the video you’ll need to make sure that you have the right equipment to hand for this kind of shoot. This includes; adjustable tripods, the right lenses, the correct outfits/props and some backdrops that will really help make your images main feature stand out. There’s also lots of room for experimentation with this kind of photography so you can play around with depth of field and perspective to get the most out of your subject and create something that is really fit for purpose but also helps you stand out.

This is just the start of the hints and tips from Ram so make sure you join us for more top info soon!