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  • The Click Collective formed when a group of UK female photographers bonded over a shared love of taking pictures and telling a story. After a year of arranging photo shoots, meeting up to ‘glamp’ in canvas palaces, wigwams and yurts, together with non-stop support, advice and friendship, we wanted to share our passion with a wider group. We’re hoping that this blog will fill with pages and images to inspire you as our continuing story unfolds. Gradually you will get to meet and know us all individually. However, we hope you too will share with us – let us know who or what inspires you to take photographs. We each have ideas to share with you. In the not too distant future we’ll have guest postings from members and from other photographers worldwide who inspire us. Welcome, to our story.

In the Spotlight: Stewart Randall (aka Mr Folio!)

This week we are really excited to share with you an interview with Stewart Randall, a fabulously talented photographer whom is also the face behind the very successful Folio Albums and known lovingly to the Click Collective as Mr Folio . . .

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Your website says it was your own wedding that really inspired you to became a professional photographer. How did you go about it?

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I didn’t have much experience with observing wedding photographers at work since I was one of the first in my circle of friends to get married. It was fortunate, therefore, that my best man had a great guy photograph his wedding, so I decided it would be best to book someone that I had seen in action rather than someone I hadn’t. Interestingly this is now how I get most of my business and it is why we, as wedding photographers, should be always be performing at our high ability and energy levels – any guest could be the next client.

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On our wedding day John, our photographer, made the whole experience a complete joy. He helped us to relax in front of the camera, he was great with our friends and family, and was a good laugh to boot. In hindsight, this was the seed that started my photography career.

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Julie and I were discussing the future, whilst on our honeymoon, when I decided to drop the bombshell that I wanted my own business. At that stage I wasn’t sure what that business would be, I just knew that I was fed up with working for other people and I wanted to make my own decisions. When it came to deciding on what my new business would be, I became overly focused on coming up with the next big internet phenomenon. Sadly the idea of next Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, didn’t present itself to me. In fact it quickly became obvious that internet startups take a lot of upfront capital and are rarely successful. It then dawned on me, why not do something that I enjoy! As obvious as this sounds it took me a while to realise that running a business should be fun, and since we had both an amazing wedding day, and an amazing wedding photographer, I concluded that I would start a photography business. Luckily I had taken up the hobby of photography from the age of 13, and since I knew my way around a camera it didn’t seem like such a crazy idea. Fortunately it proved to be a good decision. As soon as we returned from our honeymoon I registered a company, and put the wheels in motion to both launch our photography business and shoot my first wedding.

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We know you as the face behind the successful Folio albums. Has this taken over your life more than your photography now? If so how do you feel about that?

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The short answer is yes, Folio Albums is now my primary business. That said, I still shoot weddings and my relationship with those weddings has changed for the better. Before Folio Albums launched I was shooting up to 40 weddings a year. Although for each of those weddings I would get myself in to my ‘wedding mindset’ and shoot the day as if my life depended on it, there is still no getting away from the relentless repetitiveness of weddings. I usually compare it to a treadmill with a steady incline: a top wedding photographer will make every effort to treat each wedding, even if it’s the third that weekend, as if it’s the most important and unique day, however, this becomes harder the more tired that you become. Some people may disagree with me and that’s fine. I personally found it very difficult to remain creatively fresh on the Sunday, having photographed weddings on the two previous days.

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Now that Folio Albums is my main business it has removed the pressure of having to shoot enough weddings to pay the bills. I now pick and choose the weddings to fit in around my calendar, and to get the best clients. This has rekindled my passion for weddings. Since they are nicely spaced out it no longer feels as if I’m running on a treadmill, instead each wedding feels like a privilege. I genuinely get excited before each one. I also believe it’s important for me to continue photographing weddings as Folio Albums to build upon the knowledge and experience this has given me. The wedding market and clientele will move on and tastes will change. Being close to the bride and groom allows me to develop products that the customers want.

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In your opinion, what elements make a great photograph and how do you make this work shooting with the album in mind?

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I love photographs that have both foreground and background interest. I also love photographers who can tell a story in a single image. When it comes to basic elements I prefer my images to be sharp. That doesn’t mean soft images are bad, on the contrary, I’ve seen many soft images that capture huge amounts of emotion. It’s just a personal preference.That said, although a single ‘wow’ image is emotionally satisfying for a photographer, I’m a firm believer that being a professional photographer is more about delivering a consistently high quality journalistic story. Achieving this with the pressure of a wedding day can be a challenge, which is why I don’t just rely on my instinct. I use a technique of shooting with the album in mind.

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This can be tricky for newcomers, since it becomes easier as you design more albums. However with a little preparation and foresight it’s pretty straight forward.If you’ve ever shot a wedding where timing starts running behind – and really, who hasn’t – ‘shooting for the album’ can be a very simple technique to help create a professional journalistic story. Let’s be honest, when the pressure is on it’s easy to miss the key story images or album details.When I shoot I like to think in ‘double page spreads’. Having designed hundreds of albums I know which images I need to create both a well documented wedding, and album, that flows. As I enter each new location, or phase of a wedding, I pause to visualise the double page spread. This prompts me to shoot the images I need to create the album, which in turn keeps me focused on the story of the day.

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This can be developed further by thinking about a wedding day in the same way as a writer would craft a story, the components for which are…

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* Opening – the hook to grab the viewer
* Characters – the people in the story
* Setting – where it all takes place
* Theme – the main message and the heart of the story
* Plot – moving from beginning, middle to the end
* Resolution – where goals that were achieved

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As the wedding day progresses, I’m continually referring back to these components to help me shoot the images I need to deliver a professional collection of images.

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What hot tip would you give the newcomer to wedding photography and why?

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Keep your pricing simple! Experience suggests that clients like simple and clearly presented pricing that delivers value for money. If you’re struggling with this seek help as early as possible. Weddings can have a lead time of 12-24 months so getting it right early on is critical.

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The Folio Roadtrip was a great success. Are you planning more of these and what did you like most about them?

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I was overwhelmed by the positive response to the tour and the distances that some people travelled to come and see the albums. The idea was to create a road trip that was as much about bringing photographers together to socialise and network, as it was about showing off our albums. This for me was the best aspect of the tour.

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Based upon the huge success I’m sure we’ll be doing something similar next year. I have some crazy ideas that I’m keeping close to my chest but rest assured it will be a lot of fun.

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What is your camera bag?

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My main camera bag is the Think Tank Retrospective LC3 lens bag – I only carry what I need. In the boot of my car I have a Calumet roller bag which is ideal for protecting my camera equipment in transit or when shooting destination weddings.

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What lenses do you have in your bag? Which one lens would you choose if you had to?

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I typically shoot 50mm f/1.2, 35 f/1.4, 135mm f/2 and 24-70mm f/2.8. I also have the 17-40mm f/4 and the 70-200mm f/2.8 but they’re collecting dust as I never use them.

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If I had to shoot an entire wedding with a single lens it would be the 24-70mm. My favourite lens is the 50mm f/1.2.

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What camera do you use and why? What camera do you take on holiday?

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My main camera is the Canon 5D MKIII

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I’m not a fan of carrying two large cameras around with me so my backup camera is a Sony NEX-7. This camera packs a serious punch for its size and the image quality is outstanding. It’s also my travel camera.

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What photographic dreams do you long to fulfil?

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To travel more with my camera, specifically to shoot for myself. As much as I love my family and spending time with them on holiday, sometimes you just need time on your own to explore and shoot. Two places I’d love to visit, just me and my camera, is India and Cuba. Sadly the brownie point jar is nowhere near full enough yet – so it may be sometime before I can fulfill this dream.

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You can see more of Stewart’s work including a beautiful wedding at the Castello di Vincigliata in Italy, near Florence on his Vimeo site at Randall Photography  and don’t forget to follow the Folio blog to find out about the next Tour dates and all Folio Album’s news:)

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Folio Albums

Interview by Wendy Grant

Claire Penn Photography - August 9, 2012 - 9:29 am

Fantastic interview and what gorgeous photography. Thanks Wendy and Mr Folio!

Amanda Hayler - August 9, 2012 - 1:00 pm

A fabulous interview with lovely photos…thank you for sharing Mr Folio and mega thanks to Wendy Grant for doing the interview x

Lizz Riley - August 9, 2012 - 1:42 pm

Great article. And fantastic photos as always!

Boo - August 9, 2012 - 2:02 pm

Often feel I’m the only CC member who hasn’t met Mr Folio yet!! After reading this, I MUST meet him asap!!!! (And I have a home for one of your lenses collecting dust)!

Phoneography…

We LOVE our mobiles being our pocket cameras – and especially, we LOVE the little apps we can buy for pennies to throw a little creativity at those pictures we take to mark the passing of our days.  I like to think that using these on a daily basis keeps up that practice of simply ‘seeing’.   Without that practice, we would walk past an eternally changing exhibition of shapes and colours and simply not see the beauty and wonder and miracles of our everyday lives…

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Whether it be Hipstamatic, Instagram or Vignette… long live the mobile phone photo app!  And long live our observation and appreciation of every aspect of our days.

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Thank you for all the fantastic submissions via Facebook this week and of course to the She Clicks girls and our very own CC ladies.  : )

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~ Boo Marshall

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Vicky Sudbury – The Click Collective

Amanda Hayler – The Click Collective

Boo Marshall – The Click Collective

Mandy Beck – The Click Collective

Claire Penn – The Click Collective

Susanne Daly – The Click Collective

Sara Hazeldine – The Click Collective

Jane Packard – The Click Collective

Siegrid Cain, Julie Grath, Mayra Franco – She Clicks

Colleen Mooney – She Clicks

Kay Maguire – She Clicks

Kismett Jewell Nakai – She Clicks

Lesley Guy – Facebook page submissions

Janet Broughton – Facebook page submissions

Laura Thornhill Facebook page submissions

Andrea Pittam, Joanne McNeil – Facebook page submissions

Elizabeth Gordon – Facebook page submissions

Andrea Ellison Photography - August 1, 2012 - 11:32 am

Wow these are amazing ! something as simple as a mobile phone can produce remarkable results ….its a fabulous way to train your eye for the perfect capture

Amanda Hayler - August 1, 2012 - 12:12 pm

Wonderful submissions…well done everyone x

Helen Yin - August 1, 2012 - 12:12 pm

I only started instagram last week!… lol… could be a new obsession ;)
Great shots guys!

Kay Maguire - August 1, 2012 - 12:26 pm

I just love what can be done with something as simple as a mobile phone. Its a fantastic and easy output for creativity. Lovely pics ladies xx

Susanne Daly - August 1, 2012 - 12:45 pm

Love this post…. great shots

Jane Packard - August 1, 2012 - 1:35 pm

Wonderful images! X

Photos by Zöe - August 1, 2012 - 1:41 pm

oooh , as you know I am a big fan of my wee camera phone and the instantness and accessibility of it – its pretty much always there to hand if you see something you want to capture – this is an inspiring set – love them all – thank you so much for sharing everyone x

Kate - August 1, 2012 - 1:42 pm

Love these all! Great shots!

WENDY GRANT PHOTOGRAPHY - August 1, 2012 - 1:51 pm

Just LOVE these and it’s great to see those FB submissions featured too!

In the Spotlight: Boo Marshall

As photographers we spend half our life passionately viewing the world with one eye closed . . . focusing all the powers of our vision into one tiny spot through the aperture of a lens.

 

 

When Boo, one of our lovely Click Collective girls, was approached with a mission to help her friend Sue Maton launch her fledgling business ~  The Mercerie ~ and to capture all the images for the soon to be built website, it wasn’t her vision that she called upon first. She sat quietly pen in hand and simply listened while Sue talked.

 

. . . colours . . . textures . . . vibrant yet muted . . . vintage yet modern . . . bold yet gentle . . . strong yet soft . . .

 

And from these words the real work began . . . props . . . locations . . . models . . . and a million and one tiny details and ideas that have to be put lovingly into place before an image is even born.

 

Boo I LOVE these photographs. The words Sue used to vocalise her dreams for her new brand weave and flow through every single one. Vibrant yet muted . . . vintage yet modern . . . bold yet gentle . . . strong yet soft . . .

 

You stepped gently into someone else’s dream, closed one eye and pressed the shutter.

 

Boo is based in Norfolk but works throughout the UK and abroad

 

Eliza Boo Photography

T: 07742 944312

boo@elizaboophotography.com
http://elizaboophotography.com/

 

 Introduction by Andrea Ellison

Claire Penn Photography - July 26, 2012 - 10:37 am

I want the bags. All of them… even though I don’t knit… and I think I want the shed too. Beautiful intro by Andrea and fantastic pics Boo. xx

Photos by Zoe - July 26, 2012 - 10:38 am

OOHhh these are brilliant!!! The locations, the colours, the beautiful hand crafted things – just lovely – Boo you have captured them so well – they are beautiful <3

Amanda Hayler - July 26, 2012 - 10:45 am

Awwww, fantastic colours….I especially love that first image….and lovely words x

Mandy B - July 26, 2012 - 10:51 am

What a beautiful job you’ve done the photography and styling are like something out of a “country living” well done …. I want everything in them!

Ally - July 26, 2012 - 10:56 am

Gorgeous shots of beautiful products

Sara Hazeldine - July 26, 2012 - 1:14 pm

I want all the bags too! Which can only mean that Boo has done a bloody brilliant job as usual!! I LOVE these images. Some of your best work so far I think, Boo. xx

Sarah Sadler - July 26, 2012 - 1:25 pm

I want to knit one of those bags!!! *adds to shopping list*

Abby Lanes - July 26, 2012 - 2:46 pm

Great article, and Boo!!!, those pictures are fantastic!!! Well done. ;)

Tracy Cornes - July 26, 2012 - 6:10 pm

Fabulous job! The images fit the words perfectly, genius Boo :) x

WENDY GRANT PHOTOGRAPHY - July 26, 2012 - 6:27 pm

The colours are just stunning and I love the styling! They fit Sue’s brief beautifully and I bet she is chuffed to pieces :) x

Natasha - July 27, 2012 - 4:48 am

Fabulous work, Boo! :)

Sue Daly - July 27, 2012 - 10:46 am

Love these photos… colours are fab and love the gorgeous pic of you Boo! x

Kay Maguire - August 1, 2012 - 12:27 pm

Boo, these are bloody fantastic!! The colours and ideas are gorgeous. You look gorgeous too xx

In the spotlight: Zoe Barrie

We are so lucky to have so many different, creative personalities in the Click Collective. Everyone has a certain quality that makes them unique. Today’s post is about a very special member of our group…Zoe Barrie.

 

 

 

Zoe is one of life’s true artists…she sees pictures everywhere she looks & lives life wide eyed & ready to breathe in every tiny detail. It was no surprise to us that when she acquired her first iPhone the first thing she did was download instagram! Zoe says she loves the fact that she can now capture all of the wonderful moments she sees constantly, it allows her to be creative & challenge herself. It’s not work related, it’s something personal…

 

Her app of choice has now progressed to Hipstamatic as she likes the options of having different lenses & film combinations to try to give different looks. The images that she can produce with a mobile phone are simply breathtaking!

 

We love seeing the images that Zoe shares with us every day & we’re sure that you will love them too. We would also really like to see some of your favourite mobile phone creations so please share them with us over on our Facebook page.

 

The photos speak for themselves but if you want to see more of Zoe’s instagrams look for ‘photosbyzoe’ here and why not have a go yourself?

 

 

 

Zoe is based in Scotland but works throughout the UK and abroad.

photos by zoe

photos by zoe

zoe@photosbyzoe.co.uk

 

 Introduction by Sam Pommells

mayra franco - July 19, 2012 - 10:04 am

i a her fan NUMBER ONE !!!!!!

Kate - July 19, 2012 - 10:15 am

No, Mayra – I AM her number one fan! Adore her hipstas so much along with her ‘big’ camera work…

x

Helen Yin - July 19, 2012 - 10:31 am

she is too cool and cute and talented!

Amanda - July 19, 2012 - 10:40 am

These are fabulous Zoe…I always look forward to your instagram and hipstmatic pix…thank you so much for sharing these with us xxx

Jane Packard - July 19, 2012 - 10:43 am

Love this post. Zoe you’re so talented and such a sweet person!! Wuv you x

Amanda - July 19, 2012 - 11:17 am

Ahhhh I love love love Zoe’s work, and her hipstamatics are so fresh, quirky and personal. Thank you for sharing these with us <3

Photos by Zöe - July 19, 2012 - 11:42 am

OOOOhhh you girls!!!!!! Thank you!! I am feeling all the love – thank you, thank you thank you!!!!! xxx

And totally massive thank you to Amanda ^^ for selecting those images from over a thousand (yes I kid you not) pics – how on earth I’ve managed to take THAT many in a couple months, I do not know!

And thank you, my lovely Sam (and Wendy) for such a lovely, personal introduction xxxx

Boo - July 19, 2012 - 12:15 pm

Aww- love seeing these again!! Very special!!

Andrea Ellison Photography - July 19, 2012 - 2:57 pm

Zoe…you are so talented with anything that records a moment in time…a camera..an I pad…a phone…its a gift ……..and you…… are super gifted

Wendy - July 19, 2012 - 6:18 pm

I just LOVED publishing this post. Of course we all love you Zoe and are constantly enthralled by your instagrams ~ in fact every thing you do is AMAZEBALLS x

Siegrid Cain Photography - July 20, 2012 - 3:20 pm

oooooooh Zoe! so good!!! My fav is the beach balls one in colour! x

Photos by Zöe - July 26, 2012 - 10:39 am

Oohh thank you ever so much Wendy & Siegrid xxxxxxx

Tracy Cornes - July 26, 2012 - 6:15 pm

LOVE THESE! Every single one, my green eye’s just got a bit greener, your fab Zoe! x

[...] fantastic images with her iPhone…you can see a selection of her mobile phone imagery on the Click Collective blog. It’s Zoe’s snapshots of the things she sees and does during her day that I find [...]

London Calling: Our Views of the Capital

London. The word alone conjures up all sorts of imagery, memories and thoughts, doesn’t it?

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The flurry of excitement around the Queen’s Jubilee is still fresh in our minds and in the lead up to the Olympics and Paralympics, all eyes are on London.

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So we thought there was no better time in the Click Collective to delve into our personal collections of images to share with you what London means to us. And it seems that even for those of us who don’t get to visit this great city as much as we might like, there’s a little bit of London in all of our hearts.

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“Now get this
London calling, yeah, I was there, too
An’ you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial
After all this, won’t you give me a smile?
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I never felt so much a’ like”

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(The Clash, 1979)

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Jane Packard

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Vicky Sudbury

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Samantha Pommells

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Claire Penn

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Wendy Grant

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Lisa Dearnley-Davison

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Tracy Morter

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Aly Linaker

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Pam Hordon

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Amanda Hayler

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Aly Linaker

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Mandy Beck

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Aly Linaker

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L to R: Amanda Hayler, Boo Marshall

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Claire Penn Photography - July 12, 2012 - 10:42 am

Love this.. love London… some amazing photographs!

Lisa - July 13, 2012 - 8:41 am

Love these images. Inspiring me to make sure I take my camera next time I go visit!

Jane Packard - July 13, 2012 - 9:49 am

I love London, so much to do and see there. Great images of the city. X

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