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Speakers' Corner - Belinda Buxton - part 1 of 1 2

by Belinda Buxton Published

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Tell us a little about your background, your first camera and photographic experience and your subsequent emergence as a pro.

My had my first camera when I was just 12 years old, it was a Kodak Instamatic with the twirly flash cube. In my teens I had motorised Kodak cameras with film in various forms, followed by a Practika film SLR when my children were born. I used a plethora of Nikon digital SLR's while turning pro until finally switching to my wonderful Olympus OMD's.

As a child I took pictures of my family and friends at varying events and holidays, my main memory was of my Dad telling me to stop using the flash cubes, they cost money! I loved waiting for the pictures to arrive in the post to see what was in store.

My journey into becoming a professional photographer started with fate really. I had always loved photography and an impulse buy at an auction of a Nikon D70 started me on that journey. With some training, experience and a few shoots under my belt, I attempted my first wedding in 2007 and absolutely loved it! It was a little like a baptism of fire, dreadful weather, cold and damp but I had a ball! Since that first wedding, I've covered numerous weddings, portrait sessions and some events, starting by visiting client's homes to do their sessions.

I soon realised it was hard work lugging all the equipment here and there and travelling all over so I researched the possibility of getting my own studio space. This finally came to be in October 2012 and I've never looked back.

Why photography?
Think I've answered that above

Film or digital? Is there still a place for silver halide?
Although I did shoot film it was very early on, and only as an amateur, so my professional experience has only been with digital. Yes I believe there's still a place for the skill and expertise of the dark room.


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Which camera?
I started with Nikon in my professional career and loved using them. As designs progressed, I would not be without my Olympus OMD EM-1 now.

Bit of detail about your own studio set-up/staffing. Why (as a customer) would I choose you?
From a studio perspective, I have my own small studio, meeting room and changing room / prop storage space in Wymondham, Norfolk. I love the idea of going home after work and separating the two. I primarily work alone at the studio and cover everything from marketing, accounts, shooting, editing, viewings and designing products for clients. For weddings, I employ a second photographer to make sure we capture everything.

I believe I offer a friendly, professional service in a relaxed atmosphere and get the most out of my clients when they come for their sessions or wedding day.

The problem with professional photographers today is...
Everyone's a photographer! We see thousands of images everyday on our phones, tablets, in the media and beyond. To be a professional photographer takes time, training, experience and investment. I believe potential clients need a little education on the difference between a professional and a keen amateur which doesn't just boil down to cost.

What’s the worst commercial error you have made to date?
I wouldn't call it "my worst commercial error" but I do have a very insistent flaw - I often have "rose-tinted" glasses on, and when a new gadget or piece of equipment rears its head I have to sometimes fight the urge to buy it! I've bought numerous bits and pieces over the years which I've either used once or never used. How did I rectify the mistake? My "glasses" have become clearer over time but I still get that urge to buy!

Is it getting harder or easier to make a decent living?
I think it's harder now because of the sheer number of people who are or claim to be a photographer.


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