An afternoon with..

Back in November I attended an evening with Charlie Waite at the Stourton Memorial Hall, if you've never been to one of Charlie's club talks before I implore you to find one near you and sign up! Anyway, at the talk I was fortunate enough to win a Skype appraisal of my work, something which - I've got to be totally honest here - seemed a little strange at first given the completely subjective nature of photography but I went into it with an open mind...

I've heard the stories of people receiving "the call" from Charlie in relation to LPOTY results and turning into nervous wrecks - which I guess is totally normal given the next words are something like "you've won LPOTY and £10,000!" and having heard the experience described as being akin to having James Bond on the phone there was an ever so slight air of trepidation when the time came for me to talk to Charlie.. But, within the first few minutes of the phone call his cool, calm & collected demeanour put me at total ease - it was like talking to an old friend!

We started the chat like you would with a friend, talking about relationships, children and life in general, there was no pressure about a ticking clock or rushing to get things done, and I think this perfectly illustrates the genuinely approachable nature of Charlie that was prevalent throughout the entire phone call.

We went on to talk about some of my photos - with this photo of Boscombe Pier being first on this list - and I was immediately taken aback by Charlie's attention to detail.. He had taken the time to count the railings and lamps on either side of the photo to gauge how central the image was, not in detriment to my ability, but to compliment the exacting nature by which the photo was taken and by way of compliment - something which I was not expecting at all! Back to the initial point of photography being subjective, I wasn't expecting the call to entail Charlie telling me how or why an image worked, I was expecting notes on how to take the image differently or; why it didn't work.

The chat continued until we'd been through the 12 images I'd sent across, and in each and every one Charlie's compliments continued to enthuse and inspire - at the end of the appraisal I was left on a complete high, but it didn't stop there - Charlie went on to give tips and advice as to how to succeed in the industry professionally - something I was not expecting in the slightest! I've noticed a trend toward photographer's being quite territorial, and not wanting to give anything away that might help others succeed, there's a lot of self preservation I guess in a dying industry where every man and his dog who uploads something to Instagram calls themselve a photographer, but Charlie's approach and genuine willingness and desire to see others do well comes across strongly in his attitude.

So, the bottom line is this - if you're looking for ways to progress as a photographer, book yourself in for a chat with Charlie. It's only £125 and I guarantee it will leave you completely refreshed and re-energised towards life, the universe and everything.