Competitions and qualifications are so important to me and they always have been in all aspects of my life.
Someone pretty famous once said “it’s not the winning that counts, it’s about taking part!
What a load of rubbish! I have never ever taken part in anything I didn’t have the desire to win, even going back to my childhood I can recall either sporting or recreational activities where the drive and desire was always to be the best and I have certainly and clearly embraced that with my photography business.
When I first opened my business a good friend of mine called Bev said to me “now listen Joe, never compromise on quality”
Those words still ring in my ear as my studio is packed with the very best quality lighting tools from Elinchrom and my camera choice is Canon. I am proud to associate myself with these leading brands because I always strive for excellence.
When I opened my studio, my vision was very clear as I wanted to take all of those special qualities I had learnt during my 27 years at Newburn activity centre, as a huge part of that time I was a facility supervisor and I clearly had a passion for meeting the needs of our customers, finding out what inspired them and also understanding different styles of music created certain emotions, all of these key ingredients are evident in my studio.
I also remember clearly in my interview back then, when the manager sat me down and said I had been shortlisted from over 100 applicants down to the final six for the job as a leisure assistant, he said the other 5 had far better qualifications than me, he asked me for my thoughts.
I told him that I had a passion and a desire to get as many qualifications, certificates to match my enthusiasm and passion for working with people if he trusted in me, I would give the leisure centre my everything.
This passage of my life was glorious, and I certainly left my mark as I had fund raised over £300,000.00 for people with special needs and young people in our local community as I wanted Newburn Leisure Centre to be a flagship. The same was to follow with Newburn Judo Club as I became more and more dedicated to my position as a facility supervisor and a club coach.
My main strength was to have the ability to surround myself with the like-minded enthusiastic people who we could share our goals and visions together towards achieving our goals and aspirations.
The judo club won every accolade possible; we have created many national champions and most importantly we have created some fantastic pathways for young people and given them life changing opportunities through travelling abroad and all over the UK. This drive was so strong that it certainly gave me so many people skills and the ability to get the very best out of people which is exactly the same as what I do in my studio. It’s all about coaching, mentoring and inspiring, but as a coach you become inspired by those around you and I just love my every day in the studio working with my team and especially my clients.
The obligation of winning competitions and gaining qualifications is still burning inside me so strongly and so too is my thirst for associating myself with the best people in the business. With Digitalab who are the best photographic company that produce all of my work, Social+ who organise my Facebook, designed my website and keep this maintained for me. Ford Henderson who does my marketing, Graeme Tennick Accountants. All of these people are a huge part of my team.
My close friend, Ed Ure, who helped me all the way, knocking walls down and has been by my side and has witnessed every step of growth! He has been my rock through all of this journey.
I have to mention Alexandra as she has kept me grounded, inspired and she knows me inside out, she even knows what I am going to do before I have even done it! But more to the point her work as a make-up artist is incredible, she knows exactly how I want our clients to feel by creating the best possible photographic experience and the very best version of themselves possible.
Then there is also my solid friendships with others who have inspired me though their photographic knowledge; Steve Howdle, Marko Dutka, John Farrar, Simon and Bri at the Flash Centre. They have all given me a solid base to progress as a photographer by providing with knowledge from their tutorials.
My association with Damian McGillicuddy Photography Training and Damian’s mentoring has clearly had an impact upon my running of the studio, helping me to really reach my potential. His working groups and constant support which I am truly grateful of means that I know exactly what journey I am on.
Charlie Kaufman and the Click Group have also been a huge driving force in my business. They are currently the UK’s leading company in organising photographic experiences. Although Charlie runs a huge company, we have grown very close and he sings my praises at every opportunity. I have been thrilled to have been awarded Photographer of the Year with the Click Group, an achievement I am immensely proud of as again, it comes back to my aspirations about winning!
Competitions are important and always have been to me, even going back to my introduction to Winlaton Camera Club where I won my first photographic competition. I also won the Photographer of the Year 3 times and that club inspired me so much.
The Master Photographers Association
The MPA (Master Photographers Association) is the anchor for me, this organisation has given me the qualifications and photographic professionalism that I am very proud of being an associate level classification and I have my goals focused completely on becoming a master photographer with my trade. More to the point the MPA provide a stream of competitions that I enter monthly, I thrive on them. Because of my drive and passion, it has been so important to me to be recognised and awarded certificates in lighting, business standards and customer experiences. It means so much to me, it really does and I am proud of what has been accomplished so far.
It is also important to show my gratitude to the hundreds of people who follow me on social media and they have left some wonderful customer reviews with words that warm my heart and make me feel so humble and appreciated. Social acceptance, being visible and approachable means so much to me.
I hope you have enjoyed reading into seeing what makes me tick.
Big hugs to you all and remember to share the love.