RCPS Press Report 21st January 2016

We were delighted to welcome a now healthy Kathryn Widdowson to our midst to talk about ‘Capturing those special Moments’ that we had been due to hear about last autumn until a seasonal illness led to the postponement of her visit. Kathryn’s path to professional photography was unusual in that her journey took her from enthusiastic amateur to professional via a series of high profile appointments in marketing and a chance discovery of he grandfather’s old Pentax camera that she then had to teach herself how to use because there was no handbook and it was the pre-digital/pre-Internet era. Her work at the Alhambra Theatre, Bradford, later at Eureka! and then at the Bradford Museum of Media meant that she had to work with artistic people and decide what sort of photographs would make good public relations or advertising shots. Some of the work she encountered was not of the standard she wanted so she had to commission photographers and used those opportunities to look and learn. As Kathryn said, although she had always taken photographs, it wasn’t until she decided to teach herself more serious photography that she started to learn the difference ‘ between a bus stop and an F-stop’. She advanced to buying a DSLR camera and took some basic photography courses so that when a friend invited her to shoot her wedding she took the plunge, hired an up-market camera and did the job. Her work pleased the friend and word spread so that she started getting more requests – something she found hard to handle as by now she realized she wanted to take up photography professionally and, leaving marketing behind, had to generate an income, but talking to friends about charges and what level to pitch them at was very difficult for her. Five years into her professional photography career, Kathryn now specializes in wedding photography, some children’s photography and, nicely matching her previous and present careers, commercial photography for small businesses. Kathryn emphasized that personal communication and the ability of the photographer to make any shoot a positive and happy event was essential, even more so than the kit used. She tries to capture as much in camera as she can, even cropping in camera where necessary.

Kathryn showed a small selection of her work before taking part in a lively question and answer session in which she again emphasized that a professional photographer needs confidence – to set up a shot, facilitate the lighting, know when to allow clients to lead and when to step in to arrange people or props and when to just grab a moment, a pose, a look and get the best out of them. Emma Littlefair gave a vote of thanks for an enthralling talk and members and guests responded with warm applause. Kathryn’s work can be seen at www.photographybykathryn.com

Next Monday, Giles Rochell will be our guest, speaking about Photography for News. Given the number of mobile ‘phones with cameras that are in circulation it does mean that potential news photographers abound, however, Giles is a professional of some 16 years now. He started at the age of sixteen as a trainee photojournalist with the Ackrill Newspaper Group in Harrogate and went on to work for the York Evening Press, and the Yorkshire Evening Post before a brief flirtation over the border as Picture Editor for the Lancashire Evening Post and then a return to Yorkshire with the Leeds based  Yorkshire Post. In 1999, Giles went freelance and was an ambassador for the digital photography revolution and its take up by the industry. He has worked for International, national and regional customers and counts Yorkshire’s top banks, accountants and law firms amongst his clients. His interests include public relations photography, architectural, wedding and art photography. If you can’t wait for Giles to come then you can see his work at www.gilesrocholl.com

On the same night as Giles visits, entries have to be in for the Sport and Photojournalism competition. The rules for this competition state that sports photography covers all kinds of sport; a sport image is often, but not always, an action shot. For this competition, photojournalism is taken as meaning an image that tells a story, documenting an aspect of human life. It includes both news stories, not necessarily current, and social documentary images. Images may be in colour or monochrome. Entries should be accompanied by an entry form giving details of your contributions including title, membership number and whether it is a digital entry, a print or a digital copy of a print entry. Forms can be downloaded from our web-site.

On Saturday, February 27th we are holding a public event when internationally acknowledged filmmaker and photographer, Michael Pitts, presents ‘In at the Deep End: Capturing Detail and Drama Underwater’. Michael has won Emmy awards, particularly for filming some of the most memorable David Attenborough programmes, including The Private Life of Plants and The Blue Planet. It promises to be a great afternoon at Ripon Grammar School with tickets priced at £10 for adults and £7 for 16’s and Under. It all starts at 2pm and tickets will shortly be available from Alan’s Gallery, 19 Kirkgate, G Craggs, 3 Moss’s Arcade and David Harrison Picture Framing, 35 Bondgate, all in Ripon or from an RCPS member. Tickets by post can be obtained with an SAE and a cheque payable to RCPS and sent to c/o14 Mallorie Close, Ripon, HG4 2QE.

The Annual Awards Night and Dinner for members and partners/guests has been changed from the advertised date, (which no one noticed is Easter Monday!), to Monday, 11th April at the Black Lion, Skelton and the menu has been sent via email.

For more information about RCPS go to our web-site, www.riponcityphotographicsociety.co.uk and also have a look at our updated page on Facebook