Precious Family Photographs

When asked what they’d rescue from a falling down house, most people say family photographs.

Those lovely old family albums, full of treasured photos of young-looking parents, grandparents and siblings. Family portraits are an important part of our history, telling us where we’ve come from and how we’ve come to be the way we are. Family photos capture passions, interests, loves and relationships.

We create beautiful family portraiture that will be handed down to your children. The kind of portraits that will be proudly displayed on walls, mantelpieces and bedside cabinets for generations.

Imagine how devastated you’d be if you only had digital files of your portraits, and your computer packs up! This is why we offer digital file & print bundles, so you can have the best of both!

Studio Shotz specializes on family photography portraits and is based on Christchurch, Dorset. Check our family photography packages now!

Bournemouth Children’s Festival 2014

Children’s Festival 2014 – Thursday 24th July 10am – 4pm, Meyrick Park

With less than a week to go before this event, I am getting so excited to be a part of it again this year, not only as an exhibitor but I’m once again the Official Photographer. Yippie! Please do come over to the stall and say hi, I’d love to meet you!


The event is a fantastic (did I mention it’s FREE) event to take the whole Family along; this year it’s made extra special with the Children’s Parade, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Original Children’s March where in 1914 more than 8,000 children from elementary schools and the Sunday schools of Bournemouth took part.

On Thursday 24 July, the Children’s Parade is to set off from the Bournemouth Pier to Meyrick Park. Mimicking that of the 1914 Parade, the town’s councilors will march the children to the park, lead by the Mayor in a horse drawn carriage as they did on the day so many years ago. On arrival in the park there will be so many activities, local youth bands, fancy dress competitions – to represent some of the competitions held in 1914.

10443013_10152154227150124_4424471059619367673_oLine up: 

10:00 Bournemouth Youth Marching Band 
10:45 Happy Heart Singers – Choir 
11:15 Greg Johnson – Pop
11:45 Details Below – Pop/Rock
12:30 Positv Notes – Street choir
13:00 The Collective – Featuring Keavy Lynch
14:00 Dame Kitty- Featuring Miss Annie Young
14:45 Adam Smith – Jazz accordian
15:10 In the Pink – Swing band
16:00 Close

For more information on this incredible Bournemouth event check out their website here; CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL



Why are Digital Files so Important to Photographers?

Drayson_14-Exposure“Oh, that’s expensive! All you’re doing is burning the pictures to a CD”

You’d be surprised how often I hear this. Clients nowadays seem to assume that digital files are included in all photo shoot packages. I believe this is solely the fault of amateur and hobbyist photographers, I do not know ANY PROFESSIONAL photographer that give digital files away included with packages, or very very cheaply.

It has become the norm to see £40 shoot and burn, but this is because amateurs do not have to make a living from what they’re doing. They have a day job. They believe they are beating the professionals at their own game, being cheap & getting the clients. Probably not realising that what they’re doing is not only losing them money, but irreparably damaging the industry they love so.

Would you be happy if someone with basic knowledge of your industry came into your place of work and offered to do your job for a fraction of the cost?. . . you’d be out of a job. By giving your money to an amateur you are taking my business away from me, the experienced professional & my contemporaries.

Mel_49Ok, so almost everyone that has a computer will have some form of photo editing software on it, most popular being Adobe Photoshop. This is one of the major reasons why I am so against giving digital files to clients, they will ‘tinker’ with (Photoshop) my images. Especially with the popularity of such phone apps as Instagram, editing photos in just 1 click. That client will then turn the image I have worked hours on into something that I did not intend it to be; possibly losing my photographic style, even the original quality. When you upload that edited image to Facebook & tell all your friends where you got it done – how do you know you’re not now damaging my business? As what your friends are seeing is not what I gave you.  A Photographer’s learned skill, individual style, knowledge and time spent on your set of images should also be considered.

To combat this, I offer both colour and black&white versions of all purchased digital images for my clients, as well as any specific amendments that they wish.

You may see an hour spent taking the photos – but in actual fact that photographer will probably spend on average 8 – 16 hours just on your set of images. This is mainly due to editing of your images; this is not just ‘Photoshopping’ them, it includes uploading, backing up, sifting through & picking out the best images, individually colour correcting, cropping, airbrushing, re-naming and backing up the edited images, this all before I’ve even uploaded them for you to view. So that 30 minute or hour long photo shoot has turned into 2 full day’s work. This time scale comes from preparation time, including checking equipment of setting up the studio, time spent photographing the client, uploading time, backing up original files, editing, uploading to online album, sorting through and checking orders and print quality, as well as any additional time required for ordering, client liaisons and shipment.

couple789“But photography’s free! Taking digital photos doesn’t cost anything!”

Oh boy, how wrong you are! Let’s just do a little maths – That 30 minute shoot, £40 shoot and burn yes? If I worked 6 days a week, 3 shoots a week, every week – I’d be making a grand total of £6240…… Hmm, that’s not quite right now is it? What do you make a year? Let’s say £20,000? That’s already £130 for your shoot – Oh, but wait. I haven’t included my overheads! I have a studio with rent and rates, and a website and a phone, insurance, those cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, sample products and background papers didn’t just buy themselves. . . . . . And, don’t I deserve a week off, maybe even two? (Well…That’s now working out as a minimum of £350 for just your small 30 minute shoot)

Giving away digital files also brings up the question; who owns the image!? The photographer took it, so initially full copyright is with them (or that studio). But giving you the high resolution file, does the customer now own that file, enabling them to do whatever they wish with it. Even sell it for profit? Let’s go back to basics, you browse photographers by their previous portfolio work, check out their photographic style, how they work. Well….if they’re giving away all the digital files, legally they can’t advertise with those images because you now own them. So what are they expected to advertise with?

I do sell my digital files, as there is a strong trend at the moment for this & I’m not prepared to completely deny my customers, but I feel I do price my images accordingly.  I offer Full Usage Rights with my high resolution images which, long story short, means that I still own the copyright to the image so you cannot sell it on, however you do get a high resolution file which you can then print, store,  reproduce, upload to Facebook but I still have the rights to advertise with it – everyone gets what they want!

For any beginner photographers out there, my advice is Do Not Shoot and Burn….or if you do, make sure you price it correctly.