by Mike McNamee Published 01/08/2009
Like mother, like daughter
120 Lichfield Road, Rushall, Walsall. Does the address ring any bells? Well, if not with you, it certainly does with many thousands of West Midlands families and hundreds of UK photographers who have been in some way touched or influenced by the photodynasty that is resident there.
Multi-award-winning and nationally acclaimed portrait photographer Eileen Mason might not walk on water but in thirty years of business she’s always had a unique knack of making sure tides turns in her favour.
Eileen and her husband Bill (who brought his considerable organisational and marketing skills to her eponymous photostudio after being made redundant in 1981) have turned ‘staying ahead of the game’ into an art form.
She was the first female photographer in the UK to win a BIPP Fellowship in wedding photography and the couple were also pioneers of makeover photography in this country – earning national newspaper headlines, TV and comprehensive local newspaper coverage in the Eighties with their innovative ideas on glamour photography.
And as the duo rolled out ‘Clamour for Dynasty-style Glamour’ promotions, customers flocked to Number 120 from as far afield as Scotland, France, Germany and Italy. And even today 25% of the burgeoning Eileen Mason Photography business is makeover-based.
In its formative years the studio, formerly a derelict local Walsall council-owned shop, focused on providing family portraits and weddings.
Says Eileen: “I have always been passionate about photography, ever since I left Art College. And as soon as I started shooting pictures and entering the Kodak Portrait & Wedding Awards – I was completely hooked. I’d frequently work until midnight, perfecting prints that could be later galleried at the local Photographic Society exhibitions.”
But Eileen’s passion for portraits soon morphed into a love of wedding photography.
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