Recently I went to Bespoked Bristol, a great cycle show for UK based framebuilders. I was covering it for Umbrella Magazine. You can see my work here: http://issuu.com/umbrellamagazine/docs/umbrella_issue_09_singleslo/36
images copyright property of Ben Broomfield (www.benbroomfield.com)
When I was very green and fresh out of university, I did work experience under Philip Stephenson at The Wharf Newspaper back in 2005. Phil was Chief Photographer at the time, and mentored me for six months until I took over his role when he went of round the world traveling. He was a big of a big brother figure to me, and I definitely looked up to him. I consider him a major influence in my style, and have a lot of fond memories of that time.
Phil now resides in France, where he is an award winning wedding photographer. He recently posted this photo on his blog, and I had to share:
So if you someone to photograph your wedding, I can’t recommend him enough.
I’m often asked to take corporate headshots. Due to my press background I have plenty of experience to photographing people who aren’t trained models, or working in the media industry. And when I do, I usually only get a few minutes with them if I’m lucky! This means I’m quick, but I can deal with anyone that might be uncomfortable in front of a camera.
Ignitr - a financial software engineering consultancy firm - recently asked me to provide this service. We met at the Barbican, just as the sun was in the golden hour. I’d brought my complete location lighting kit: four flashguns; wireless triggers; umbrellas; softboxes; lighting stands; reflectors, you get the idea. I didn’t use any of it though. Just my trusty 85mm lens. The light was fantastic, and by standing each subject by the edge of the ponds there the sunlight was reflected straight back up, giving a beautiful soft light.
Like most creatives, for the first few years of being freelance I worked from home. And It wasn’t really for me. But I wish I had this guide written by Angela Clarke a writer friend of mine. Although written for writers, there are some great tips, worth checking out which are applicable to any creative freelancers:
HOW TO MAKE WORKING FROM HOME WORK FOR YOU
Most writers work at home, whether full-time, part-time or in their free time. Managing your own time comes with challenges those of us more used to a traditional office environment (with a boss!) may be unfamiliar with. After four years of writing under my own steam, I’ve developed an eight-point plan to make working from home work:
1. Don’t overwhelm yourself.
It’s tempting, especially if friends and family have expressed doubt about your writing, or joked that working from home is all daytime TV watching, to try and make a point with your daily output. It’s all too easy to draw up a herculean list of daily aims. Surely it’s reasonable to pop to Sainsbury’s, the dentist, and do a week’s worth of ironing in between bashing out those ten chapters before lunch? Stop! Step away from the to-do list! At best a gigantic list of tasks will weigh you down and make you feel like a failure, at worst you’ll crack under the pressure of tackling it all. A broken, exhausted writer is of no use to anyone.
2. Plan accordingly.
A far better tactic is to assess what you want to achieve, how much time you realistically think it will take, and plan accordingly. I use an A4 page diary, which I split into two columns: work, and everything else. I spread my objectives over a number of days and tick them off as I go. When I reach a particularly gruelling part of the writing process, usually about 75% of the way through a book, I break my daily tasks down even smaller. It’s incredible how even ticking off ‘wash hair’ can spur you on and give you the necessary boost of confidence to keep fighting that manuscript.
3. Learn to say no.
It always amazes me how many people don’t hear the second word in this sentence: I’m working at home. During the first few months of my freelance adventure I lost precious hours of graft to those who called me up for casual chats, or invited me out to lunches that stretched all afternoon. Other people may not appreciate it, but writing is work. It is not a hobby that can sustain continual interruptions. You have to put the time and the effort in. Respect your writing: say no to that lunch, and unplug the phone.
4. Build procrastination busting strategies.
Taking a break to go for a stroll, or to unload the dishwasher, can give you time to mentally work through that tricky plot problem. But if you find yourself, hours later, ordering the dried pasta by colour, you’re probably procrastinating. We all get distracted. We all get tired. So it’s wise to learn ways to trick your mind into focusing. Design a ritual that signifies to your brain you’re about to work. I play classical music quietly on my computer. Find what works for you and use it. *A special note on the temptations of the internet. If you can’t write without the handy aid of Google, then consider investing in software that blocks selected sites (i.e. all the social media ones). I use AntiSocial for those times when my willpower fails and the pull of Twitter is too strong.
5. If in doubt, go out.
When all else fails, and you just can’t fix that niggling issue with chapter seven, or settle down to work, try a change of scene. I spend the mornings working in my study, and the afternoons working in my bedroom. When I get truly stuck, the library, or a local cafe provide just enough background hum and prying eyes to keep me tapping away.
6. Develop your own routine.
When I first started working from home I tried to mimic the 9am – 5pm hours of my old office job. Every morning I’d end up sleeping in, and then feeling guilty and angry that I hadn’t stuck to my routine. After a while I thought back to how I used to work at university: late into the night. I decided to go with this pattern, as it felt more natural. My productivity went through the roof. Now I don’t care if I’m still in bed at 10am. Work out what your natural rhythms are and run with them. When else will you get the opportunity to work the hours that suit you best?
7. Roam free.
Working from home means you can work from anywhere. I’ve already mentioned the local cafe, but what about further afield? I’ve typed, edited and proofread in Paris, Berlin, St Petersburg, on a Transatlantic Cruise Ship and on the Orient Express between Bangkok and Singapore. I have a laptop and I will travel. Make the most of your freedom; just make sure your travel companions respect your deadlines.
8. Take a break.
Having the freedom to work anywhere doesn’t mean you should work all the time. While it’s great to push yourself and work hard on something you love, make sure you occasionally take a breather. They have these wonderful things called evenings and weekends, which can be filled with fun activities and socialising. And you never know, one of those nights off may just inspire your next book idea!
ABOUT ANGELA CLARKE:
Angela Clarke is the author of the hilarious fashion memoir Confessions of a Fashionista. She’s a full time writer, when she’s not mucking about on twitter at @TheAngelaClarke. You can find out more about Angela and her work here: http://angelaclarke.co.uk
More on this job later!
Ryan McCraig from Oak Cycles. Lovely guy. I’ve seen this man weld a bike back together from the back of a Volvo. An impressive feat I’m sure you’ll agree.
Dockmasters House, best indian restaurant in the east end. Try the monkfish curry. Gallery here.
Coding is hard! New level of respect for all the coders out there. Just bought a Raspberry Pi to build as a NAS. Took a while, interesting learning process, but all working now. I was attracted to the low power consumption compared to a normal NAS, I’m a bit of a hippy like that, trying to do my bit for the environment. Now I’m hooked. Looking to get a new one to experiment withthe camera module….