Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Here I Go

Here I Go

It's been a good while since I've had the opportunity to post here. The last several weeks have been a veritable roller coaster with all the ups and downs. A lot of highs a merciful amount of lows.

The biggest news of the lot would be that as of last Friday at 2PM, my employment in the textile manufacturing industry officially ended. I now have no other source of income other than my camera.

Now other than my continued full time employment, there's the multitude of things that kept me from posting here as I would have liked. Of the many things finished and started over the past few weeks, this is but a quick breakdown:

  • Business Plan Complete
  • Several Meetings with a Business Advisor
  • Several Wonderful Photoshoots
  • Marketing Plan Complete
  • Press Release Complete
  • Several Events and Fairs Scheduled
  • Found a Studio Space
  • Lost Said Studio Space
  • Finished Full-Time Employment (Did I mention that yet?)
Now I plan to touch on a lot of these topics in future posts, as this is still a blog about my endeavour to make a career out of my photography, but for now, I will just leave you with a couple recent images whilst I begin to plan what is next to come.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Bring on The Flashguns

Bring On The Flashguns

Okay, it might be blatantly obvious, but I love my strobes. Particularily my Bowens GM500. It's magic.

However, a recent conversation with Phil Winterbourne got me thinking about my long neglected, yet trusty flashgun. (430EX) It's been well over a year and a half since I dusted this guy off for no good reason other than I had my strobes to work with.

Phil had pointed out that the flashgun has a highspeed sync feature that I had somehow overlooked. Enthralled, I knew I wanted to try it out.

After a couple test shots in the garden, I knew I was going to get hooked on using my flashgun again. Of course, the first port of call was to take more than a passing interest in the Strobist blog. It can only be considered convenient that the first thing I saw upon arrival was an article on water drops; something I've done dozens of times in the past, but perfect for getting back into the swing of using the 430.

Now, this is by no stretch of the imagination perfect, nor is it even an example of highspeed sync. What it is; however, is me picking up my camera for the Hell of it, for the first time in a long time and even if it is just a quick five minute experiment, I know, once again, that I need to shoot just for the sake of shooting a lot more often!

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Tattoos and Things

Tattoos and Things

Okay, I lied. There aren't really any things involved in this post, but there are certainly tattoos!

This past bank holiday Monday, for me, hosted a shoot I have long anticipated ever since Nick (tattoo23) proposed the shoot! The other model, Demari Vi Syth, I have wanted to work with for a very long time. Sadly, distance prohibited such a collaboration. Until now!

Demari Vi Syth and Tattoo23 (by macjw2)

Seriously, this was a fantastically amazing shoot! Having worked with Nick twice before, I knew he is great to work with. Now, Demari Vi Syth: Wow! This woman is amazing! Amazing as a model and just an amazing person in general!

Now put these two together in front of a camera for six hours: MAGIC!!

These guys made this one of my most enjoyable photoshoots to date! Honestly, the energy and enthusiasm they brought to the table broke the scale!

As always, thanks for taking the time to check these out! Don't forget to drop a comment below should you feel the urge!

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Friday, 1 May 2009

Who Needs Octopus?

Who Needs Octopus . . .

When you have Gummi Worms (well, technically Jelly Snakes)?!?!?

Just a fun take on all the alternative beauty shots involving octopuses and models' mouths!


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Thursday, 30 April 2009



I could easily have titled this post with a song reference, but I refuse to quote that atrocious "Beyonce" song and the "The Who" lyrics I have in my head are probably a little too obscure to serve this purpose.

Alas, today I'm going to talk about one of my favourite trends in fashion and fashion photography. Androgyny. I love it. So visual, so visceral, so moving at times. From images of David Bowie to Agyness Deyn to the backup dancers in the video for "Addicted to Love" to the fashion photography of Paolo Roversi. I love it. The whole style, the whole movement.

As such, it is only natural that I would want to incorporate the use of androgyny into my own photography.

Thanks to a few keen models, though not entirely without trepidation, I have been able to start an ongoing body of work based solely on that single, yet enormously broad, concept.

While I am over the moon about being able to conduct this project, I've found that there are a few misconceptions out there that turn a lot of people off of the concept. In particular, male models . I seem to find people tend to believe that androgyny is the act of a girl looking like a boy or a boy looking like a girl.

At least in my vision of the concept, that could not be further from the truth. In fact, it's about being genderless. Either or. Not gender reversal, rather a convergence of both feminine and masculine traits.

Minor hindrances aside, I am now fully on my way to furthering this particular body of work and I can only assume that as the project progresses it will only get easier to justify my vision. I have seriously enjoyed creating my photographic work with androgyny so far and I can only hope to continue to do so in the future!

Miki Valentine (by macjw2)
Miki Valentine (by macjw2)

Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings. Feel free to drop a comment below whether you loved the images, hated them or think I'm just completely full of it! All feedback is always appreciated!

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Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Promotional Poster for the Barnsley Civic

Promotional Poster for the Barnsley Civic

The Civic Hall in Barnsley has recently been refurbished to an extreme and wonderful degree. Inside, one will now find a music hall, art gallery and creative workspaces all surrounded by the exquisite architecture of the building itself. It really is a wonderful place.

To bring things back to the matter of relevance: below is a promotional poster created for the Barnsley Civic incorporating one of my photographs of the lovely Monika!

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Wednesday, 15 April 2009

A Few Personal Favourites

It is often said that we are our own worst critics. To this, I am certainly no exception; in fact, more often than not, I epitomise it. I often find myself loathing each and everything I do. I'm always finding the smallest, most insignificant of details to ensure that I am not happy with anything I produce. I, of course, am talking about my photography here, but this also applies to every aspect of my life.

My point is simply, that when I do feel I've done something right, the resulting feeling of accomplishment is indescribable. Incredibly, this is something I've felt several times over the past few weeks alone.

These past three weeks have been astronomically busy for me. On top of the day job, I've managed to squeeze in eight photoshoots and a whole lot of retouching. Add a day trip into Derbyshire for good measure and I'm feeling quite accomplished, if not a bit exhausted.

Was it worth it?

Oh yes.

I've somehow managed to make several photographs which I absolutely adore. Considering that I guesstimate my perceived success ratio to be about 1:10000, this is phenomenal to me!

Alas, enough with the words. Please allow me to share some of these images with you, whether you agree with my own impressions of them or not!!

Helena (by macjw2)

I do hope you enjoyed viewing these as much as I did making them. Feel free to leave your thoughts as a comment below.

Inevitably, I will be talking about some of the things that went into these shoots on this blog in the near future and I'll be talking about the shoots themselves on the blog on my website before long.

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Sunday, 22 March 2009

A Smattering of Randomness

A Smattering of Randomness

It has been an interesting weekend. To say the very least, it has been interesting.

I'll try to give the "Blogger's Digest" version to keep it short!

Friday: Wake up with the whole left side of my face swollen and in pain. No idea what it was, but the hole in my jawbone where my "not yet wisdom teeth" were taken out is still killing me. By evening, I had enough drugs and what not in me to get on with some retouching. (Example below!)

Saturday: I had a really great photoshoot with Rudigo that was heavily based on concept. I'm quite fond of the results, but the finished product will take me a while because I'm going to have to learn a few new retouching skills for these sets! (sneaky peak below)

Sunday: Today has been odd. One of those days where you just have so much to do, but just can't seem to focus at all. In the end I got a few things done and even played with my toys a bit. (Photo below :P) Finished out the evening with sushi and "Lost". (FTW)

Anyway, here's the weekend in photos:

Friday - Retouching:

Saturday - Photoshoot with Rudigo (Sneaky Peak):

Sunday - Playing with Toys:

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Friday, 20 March 2009

Flickr Friday: Phil Winterbourne

Flickr Friday: Phil Winterbourne

Okay, it must be time to stop talking about myself again:

For this week's installment of "Rampaging Ferrets Meandering Through The Cotswalds In Rickety Skodas" I would like to fully divert your attention to the wonderfully varied and visually euphoric gallery of Phil Winterbourne

Once you find your eyeballs burrowing deep within the photographic awesomeness that is this photostream, you will, hopefully, quickly come to realize exactly why I've sent you there!

From stunning landscapes to phenomenal gritty editorial fashion and portraiture, it is clear that this guy loves his camera and that it also loves him back. Seriously, after having a perusal of Phil's stream, I challenge you disagree that this stellar body of work really serves to illustrate the passion of the man behind the light-tight box.

Enough! Onto examples:

Man at Arms (by Phil Winterbourne)

Road Kill (by Phil Winterbourne)

Very Cheap Hotel! (by Phil Winterbourne)
Images © 2009 Phil Winterbourne. All Rights Reserved. Published here with explicit written permission.

Well, I honestly hope that this have served to entice you into visiting Phil on Flickr!

And for an even more enjoyable experience, do visit his website at www.philwinterbourne.co.uk

Oh, and a little side note, if you're familiar with my work before visiting Phil, you may very well recognise some of the models he has worked with.

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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

London Calling

London Calling

Why is it that everything seems to be in London? London, London, London, London!!!!

Some days it's enough to drive me insane. First you log into Model Mayhem and check for new members only to get 25 results for London and 5 for the rest of the country.

Then check all the other sites. Rinse, lather, repeat.

Then you start looking in to specific jobs. London.

Then you start seeing some awesome gallery exhibitions. London.

Then people you know from around the globe are visiting this country. London.

London, London, London.

Every thing is in bloody London and I can't get there. Even if I could I couldn't stay long enough to do anything with my time there.

This is something that's long been ingrained into my head and it's an issue I would really like to sort out. But for right now, I really need to let it go. I know I can't get there. I know I can't stay there. I know I need to leave it.

/endrant (for now)

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Sunday, 15 March 2009

Photoshoot: Christine

Photoshoot: Christine

This past Thursday wasn't the first time I worked with Christine. In fact, it was the third. The difference in this case is that the first two times she was accompanying her friend Helena .

Christine a lovely girl with a unique look. If she were to take more than a small interest in modelling, I'm positive that she would be fairly successful.

But I digress. It was a lovely shoot and I am glad I could be a part of it.

Here's some results:

I hope you enjoyed these at least a fraction of as much as I enjoyed making them!

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Flickr Friday: Molly Wassenaar

Flickr Friday: Molly Wassenaar

Okay, so this week it's Sunday. I'm less than pleased about that; however, with the week I've had I will allow myself a slight slip there.

Anyway, this week on Flickr Friday I have a real treat in store for you. One of the most talented photographers that I'm aware of, Molly Wassenaar has a photostream to die for.

HDR your thing? She adopted it early on and her stream is full of masterpieces! Medium format film your thing? Her Hassy will kick the Hassy out of your Hassy.

I'm seriously going to stop talking now.

Seeing is believing and you really really have to see her work! Here's a few examples:

Help relight the Photosuperstar (by Molly Wassenaar)

v24terry (by Molly Wassenaar)

Untitled (by Molly Wassenaar)
Images © 2009 Molly Wassenaar. All Rights Reserved. Published here with explicit written permission.

That should have got your attention. Go, give her the attention her absolutely inspiring flickrstream commands!

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This Past Week

This Past Week

This past week, all of it, has been slightly mental! Between mentoring proposals, days off, being called into work, shoots, cancellations and viewing absolutely wonderful studio spaces, I really haven't had a chance to let my brain keep up; nevermind keeping up with everything else!

So not only do I have a few posts to write, but I have to sort out what's in my head. Probably the most important of these is that Wednesday, I was shown a studio space in the town centre that is exactly what I've been dreaming of. Not only is it in a wonderful historic building, but the way that building has been refurbished is beyond imagination! It has all the modern accoutrements one would expect in a 21st century hub but not only that, it is literally 2 minutes from the train station and the rates are absolutely dead cheap.


That's me needing to get on top of my business plan, setting up meetings with business link, registering as a sole trader, opening a business account and somehow convincing a bank I am more than worthy of a business loan in this dire time of economic woe!

I can do this, but it's not me that I need to convince!

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Monday, 9 March 2009

My Facebook Page

Let's Network

I've finally managed to find the time to make one of these Facebook pages for my photography. So, if you're on Facebook please click the following link and become a fan!

Pretty please! ;)

John McIntire Photography On Facebook

Here's the selection of images I chose to put on there for now:

fashionportraits (by macjw2)burlesque (by macjw2)

Go! Fan me! Show some love! Let's Network!

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Saturday, 7 March 2009

Fun Fun Fun

Fun Fun Fun

Nothing thoughtful or particularily deep here. Just a fun set from this past Saturday!

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Flickr Friday: Amanda Recker

Flickr Friday: Amanda Recker

Okay, so it's actually early Saturday afternoon. I learned a valuable blogging lesson this week. That is to make sure that these weekly features are planned well in advance. Flickr Friday WILL appear on FRIDAY next week!

Now, on with the show!

One of my favourite aspects of photography on the internet is watching people grow as photographers! So this week, I will be sharing a someone from my contact list who's stream shows incredible growth as a photographer.

Amanda Recker

Amanda's photostream is a joyous conglomeration of many different types of photography: Portraits, still life, weddings, art, etc etc. Certainly, there is something in there that will catch your eye.

A few examples:

Some lovely floweriness:

Contrast (by Amanda Recker)

Some thoughtful self-portraitiness:

Yashica Project Self Portrait 2 (by Amanda Recker)

And a cross between artiness and self portraitiness:

Me (by Amanda Recker)

Images © 2009 Amanda Recker. All Rights Reserved. Published here with explicit written permission.

If that's not enough to catch your interest, than I must apologise; however, if it has headon over to her Flickr account and show her some love.

For even more of Amanda's goodness, be sure to check her blog and for all the tweeples out there, follow her here: @amandarecker


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Thursday, 5 March 2009

Who Do You Take Photos For?

Who Do You Take Photos For?

This is a question I've been dwelling on quite a lot recently and after a conversation on twitter with @bburzycki and reading a related post on Chase Jarvis' blog I thought I relate my thoughts on the issue.

With all the instant sharing capabilities of the internet, we as photographers have a near infinite selection of methods for instant feedback on our work. This, of course, is fantastic; especially for those just starting out trying to learn the ins and outs of their light tight box.

For example, we have DeviantArt , usefilm , pbase , www.fredmiranda.com , PhotoAnswers . Then, for those brave enough to the terms of service, there's the less obvious choices of Myspace and Facebook and many many more.

Great! We have many wonderful channels to share our work and get advice as we progress!

The Forum Trap

If it seems to good to be true, than it must not be true; right? Does all this instant feedback and critique come at a price to our artistic integrity?

I mean, picture this: You're a self-professed n00b armed with a new camera and a teach yourself photography book. You've scoured the pages thoroughly and have already taken hundreds of photos you are well aware should never see the light of day. All of a sudden something clicks and you just sit staring at your monitor. You did something right and the very first photo that you're really proud of is staring back at you. Hastily, you post it to one of the online forums you've been lurking on, yet have never posted. You come back an hour later to find three comments. The first one says "That's pretty". You're now beaming. Scroll down. The second says "It's nice, but the white balance is off." Okay, you understand that because you've been brushing up; something to note for later. You scroll down to see the third comment is from one of the forum's veterans that you've noticed a lot of activity from. You get excited and start to read. All of a sudden, you're photo is torn apart. Nothing about it is right. Everything is completely screwed up and it should be binned.

In that situation, I've seen people react in two main ways. Either they give up or they turn around and and try again making absolute sure that everything that was nitpicked is fixed. Why? Simply because they want that same person to turn around and approve of what they have done.

Again, for someone starting out, this can be the boost they need to start piecing everything together. However, I've seen very experienced photographers fall into the exact same trap. Essentially, they'll have stopped by to test the waters in a new forum and got sucked into the trap of bending over backwards to meet the standards of another faceless photographer.

What's the Price?

From here, let's exclude the people starting out. For the most part, the information they can get can prove invaluable. Let's stick to the many of you who understand the relation between aperture and shutter speed, who live by inverse square law, who know that the rule of thirds isn't a rule at all.

By far, my favourite photography related adage has to be "How many photographers does it take to change a light bulb? One. Then another ninety-nine to say how they would have done it different."

Anybody, armed with the knowledge and the right equipment (yes equipment does absolutely matter depending on the task at hand) can take a good photograph. My issue, is what happens when that photograph is "finished" and posted to a forum, or similar outlet? I have seen far too many photographers who DO know what they're doing and who DID know what their exact intent was turn around and be bullied into either removing the image altogether or going back and completely changing it, losing the original intent altogether. Why? For the sake of positive feedback from other photographers.

My own personal definition of art is something you create to your own standards. My definition of craft is something you make to someone else's standards.

By my reasoning (Oh and I don't claim to actually know a thing so take this with a grain of salt) when someone turns around and changes the content of an image, or removes it entirely, based on the critique of someone else, they are actually bastardising their art and betraying their vision for the sake of feedback. No longer is it a piece of personal expression, but rather it is a craft work designed to appease the masses.

The same applies to those who make images with the sole intention of gathering bajillions of comments on Flickr or those who intentionally set out to make it into explore. They aren't taking photos for themselves. They are making photos for an audience. More power to them if that's exactly what they want to achieve, but have you ever spoke to some of these guys and girls. Some of them get very disillusioned very fast.

It's a Double Sided Coin

Here, I am going to contradict my entire argument.

There's always two sides to every story and this one is no different. In the examples above, I honestly believe the whole personal aspect of photography as an art is being obliterated by people trying to achieve mass appeal.

Is this neccasarily a bad thing. No.

Obviously, when it comes to selling photography as a commercial product, one of the boxes that must be ticked is "mass appeal". So these guys and girls in my Flickr example are potentially placing themselves in a situation that might just be preapring themsleves for a place in a very competitive market.

Then again, they might not be. Referring to my original point, the "masses" of Flickr tend to be other photographers.

The general rule that people need to remember is that photographers don't buy photography. So if you're trying to market yourself and make photographs that appeal to buyers, why on Earth would you seek approval from someone who wouldn't buy it in the first place?

Yes, feedback is nice. Very nice. As is networking and sharing with like-minded individuals. However, that doesn't mean that photographs should be made for that purpose.

Who Do I Make Photographs For?

Since this issue has been on the forefront of my mind for quite a long time, I have given it some very strong thought. My own personal decision has been to forego forums altogether, at least for now, as I was fairly prone to that trap myself.

I have decided that I will make my photographs to the standards of three groups of people:

Myself, My Models and My Clients. Any other feedback is an added and welcome bonus!

So far, I have had the great pleasure, from both my models and clients, to be able to make photographs for them to my own standards for the most part. That in itself, is quite the honour and one I hope to have for some time in the future.

*DISCLAIMER* I at no time actually claim to know what I'm talking about. This post represents my opinion based on my experiences and should under no circumstances be taken as gospel of any sort. Simple food for thought at the very most! Also, this was by no means meant to be critical of anyone. I do not presume that I can or should tell anyone else how to conduct their own personal matters. This is only my own thoughts as of how to conduct myself.

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Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Going Freelance?

Going Freelance?

As I stated, in the very header of this blog, this is meant to be a chronicle of my attempts to become a full-time professional photographer. Most likely a freelance in my case. My intent was to ease myself into a transition as I built up the motivation and the knowledge and rid myself of the bad habits I have developed over the past few years. Well, thanks to the global economy, it looks like I need to fast track that decision.


When I went into work Monday afternoon, I was promptly given my time sheet for last week with a large, thick envelope attached. Though the content of the letter was sufficiently padded with intentionally distracting garbage, the meat of it was essentially: from next week, I will be working reduced hours. (Fridays off) After four weeks of this shift pattern, the company will then take actions if needed to maintain the sustainability of the business. That means redundancies of up to ten people.

Considering that, on the production floor, each shift is only made up of ten people that would give everyone about a 50% chance.

It's time to take action, I think. Unlike so many others, I do have a skill that I can fall back on. It's just a matter of developing the necessary business and marketing skills to make sure I reach its full potential.

One Last Hurdle

However, here's the big question. Now what? How do I actually go about making this a business? Where do I go? Who do I talk to? What boxes am I obligated to fill under UK and EU law?

I don't know.

This, I think, is going to be my biggest challenge of all.

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Saturday, 28 February 2009

Colours and Caution Tape!!!

Colours and Caution Tape!!!

Today, I had a great photoshoot with two wonderful alternative models! One of them goes by the name of Merl. The two of us have been trying to set up a shoot for quite some time, two years to be precise, but something always seemed to get in the way. The other model, some may recognise. This was my 6th (!!!) shoot with Helena! So, here's a little preview of what we achieved today!

Merl's initial concept for the shoot was to use bright punchy colours. She mentioned a bright pink wig, so I checked my colour wheel and ordered a bright green roll of background paper. Thus, we have:

Helena's concept called for the gods of all things cliché. Fortunately, I don't, at all, mind cliché, even if it was the notorious caution tape. Well, quarantine tape! Hey it might be a cliche, but it actually turned out to be a fun set and that's all that really matters!

In the end, it was a definitely a fantastic shoot today and I've got loads of photos to get through!

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