by Charlotte Moss Published 01/08/2015
Of course not everybody has a staff of photographers like Eileen - although after working in the industry for 47 years she certainly deserves the business that she has built - but these are lessons that all photographers can apply to their work. Thinking like a judge when selecting images for a client to view makes you more self-critical than you might otherwise be. "It was 36 years ago that I started my own company and achieved commercial success with my husband Bill. At this time I was heavily involved with professional bodies and organisations,and I was winning literally hundreds of regional trophies, national and international awards." You don't always have to set aside time to shoot personal work in order to win competitions though: "Every wedding or portrait session was an opportunity to get a stunning image for a competition entry. Every win was accompanied by a report in the local or, on occasion, the national press. It made sure that everyone in the area was aware of us." And of course, as Eileen also points out, when one of her staff achieves an award, it's a great excuse for a party!
"Being invited to judge awards and exhibitions broadens my own horizons. I get to see new photographers on the scene who are creating images that excite me" says Eileen when I ask why she keeps on judging. "I can see new trends and ideas to implement in the studio from the entries, and sometimes I see fresh twists on old ideas. It stops me from sitting on my laurels." But where does Eileen think the industry will go in the future? "I'm not a fortune teller, but I can be sure of one thing; photography changes and photographers will have to stay on the ball! This is exactly where the Societies excel with the magazine, conference, exhibitions and competitions. We all need to keep our work and trading practices relevant to new markets.''
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