It's been just over three years since I gained my Craftsman qualification with The Guild of Photographers (time flies when you're having fun and running a busy photography studio). Though I posted about it on my Facebook page at the time, I've realised that I still haven't blogged about it so it's time to rectify that.
So what exactly does it mean to be a Craftsman and what does it entail? Craftsman status is the next level up from Qualified status and requires entrants to submit a panel of 20 photos which must fit together as a cohesive set of images. Once printed and mounted, the panel of images is assessed by an experienced team of judges at the Guid of Photographer's HQ in Stoke. In addition to their printed panel, entrants must also submit a mission statement, a sample product, and a book of the images.
I had originally intended to photograph people in a variety of different uniforms (which was inspired by a portrait I shot of my brother in his paramedic uniform). However, following a huge number of applications from local Scouts and Brownies, I decided to base my panel on the scouting movement, incorporating Scouts, Brownies, Sea Scouts, Cubs and Scout leaders.
All the images were shot in my studio using the same background and lighting set up (one large octabox to the left of the camera) to create consistency within the panel. I just adore classically lit portraits and it worked so perfectly for this set of images.
Once I'd finalised and edited my images, they were printed and mounted on fine art paper by the good people at Digitalab who did a great job.
Presenting my panel at the Guild HQ was probably one of the most nerve-racking things I've ever done but being told I'd passed made every moment of stress totally worth it.
At the time of writing, I am the only person in Wales to hold the title of Craftsman in portraiture.