Chelcie Hunt in Soho London

How’s 2020 going?

How’s 2020 going? I hear you asking. Just like that it’s already February.

Feels like I took January off. Needed time to recover from the festive period and get ready to start a new year. It seems many people were doing the same as not much was going on around me. Or at least I didn’t notice it.

Started the year by being published for the first time. It felt incredible. Funny thing is I didn’t even want to submit to magazines. It wasn’t something I really cared about. But Shio pushed me a little in that direction and before I knew it my work had been published!

Not once, but four times! And there is another set being published soon.

I am quite proud of myself for putting my work out there like this. It is amazing what new relationships can do to you once you allow them to pull you a little out of your comfort zone.

In the office things are actually OK and most days I really don’t mind the few hours I spend there Monday to Friday. I am grateful for it as it gives me the privilege of being able to “pick” my photography clients.

Even though it is only early February I have already booked a couple of holidays. Don’t even know if I am making enough money to cover the cost of all the holidays but they make me happy. That is all that matters, right?

Some big holidays are coming up in June and I have not booked anything yet for those 2 weeks. Not going to lie, that is stressing me out a little bit. Flights are a little more expensive than usual which is making it harder. Guess all this Brexit bullshit isn’t helping. Good thing I have a Portuguese passport so not needing a visa to go to Spain or Greece anytime soon.

If you have any suggestions for a fairly cheap beach destination in June please feel free to tell me. Most likely I have already checked it out but there’s always a slight chance you might surprise me.

Currently I have no Netflix or Amazon Prime subscriptions. Maybe to save some money and to stop wasting so much time binge watching series. Some of you already know that I don’t watch TV so I have been watching a little more YouTube than usual. It does get a bit boring after a while so now I am here writing this post.

Since  I am also done with all the editing I thought I would make the most of the free time and show some love to my neglected blog.

How’s 2020 going for you? Leave a comment below or come chat on Instagram.

In the featured photo, Chelcíe Hunt in Soho

Thank you for reading and please come back next time for another post! 
New blog post will be out whenever I feel like writing again. Sorry for the lack of consistency.

Waited Two Years for This

We had to cancel it on Monday but we made it happen on Thursday. Just over two years after we met. I waited two years for this.

After seeing each other every now and then and occasionally shooting at meetups we finally got to collaborate without a crowd around us.

Shio was one of the first models I have ever shot. She was modelling at my very first meetup. Hosted by the UK Shooters back in August 2017. She is seriously one of my favourite models to shoot! You can always find a crowd of photographers surrounding her at meetups whenever she is modelling.

Thinking she would be too busy or wouldn’t really want to shoot with me I had never asked her to shoot.

Maybe a little silly of me but Shio is a legend in the London photography community and I wasn’t sure I was ready to collaborate with her.

When she asked me if I wanted to shoot with her I was ecstatic! At the same time I was super nervous. What if I messed it up?!

Once again I got out of my comfort zone and I said yes. To be fair I didn’t even think twice about it. It would be stupid to say no.

Thursday we met at a tube station and headed to the shoot location. Honestly I had not planned much as from experience I always end up doing something different from the initial plan.

The first location I had in mind fell through as photography is not allowed there. Now I know why no one is shooting there. Duh.

From there we just started exploring our surroundings and shooting wherever we thought we could get good shots.

All this poor planning led us to a closed funfair!

We had so much fun sneaking around the funfair taking silly shots but it didn’t take long for people working there to notice us! When they did everyone was super welcoming and they even put the lights and music on for us.

After we got all the shots we headed to the pub for a drink and ended up chatting for a long time.

I had such a good time! Even though I messed up some of the shots I also got some of my favourite photos ever.

Here are some of the shots we got on the day. Enjoy!

We started off with some park and lake vibes and lots of laughter as dog owners just crashed our shoot. We had to move temporarily as they did not care about being in our way.

Soon we got our trailer park series. We had so much fun shooting with these.

At the funfair we got some colourful and fun shots.

Big thank you to Shio for asking me to shoot with her! Already looking forward to the next time.

Oh, almost forgot to tell you. The blog will be a bit quiet for a few weeks while I go check out a couple of islands in Greece. Keep up with me on my Instagram.

Thank you for reading and please come back next week for another post! 
New blog posts every Wednesday at 6pm (London time), unless I am travelling.

shio at the uk shooters meet in august 2017 london photography community

London Photography Community

Yesterday marked the two year anniversary of my first experience within the London photography community. I have been to loads of events since, made new friends and started making money from photography.

A massive thanks goes to the UK Shooters team that started me on this journey. Another one to Abu for introducing me to these events and to my first client, Reo, for trusting me to shoot her.

If you want to get involved in the London photography community you should follow UK Portraits, Capital Ports, The Portrait Mission and Lensminds. If you live outside of London, some of these pages also organise events in other UK cities.

I have met photographers outside of the community that struggle to build a portfolio as they have no models to shoot. Honestly if you live in London you have no excuses! There are meetups happening all the time with amazing models you can shoot for free. So just get involved.

In the beginning I was super anxious about being around so many strangers and having to be social with people outside my circle of friends. I was also super shy to just go ahead and shoot models before meeting them properly. But once I got past all of that I was fine.

People are generally super friendly and welcoming and sometimes they are just as uncomfortable as you are.

After two years of events I sometimes just join to see my friends and to socialise. I definitely don’t shoot as much as I used to. Guess once you have your portfolio sorted you don’t have to get all the shots.

I am super grateful for everyone that puts in the effort to get everyone together and to grow the photography community in London.

Leaving my comfort zone again and again was super stressful but this journey has been an enjoyable one. In the end it was all worth it!

In the featured photo, Shio (as shot on my first meetup)

Thank you for reading and please come back next week for another post! 
New blog posts every Wednesday at 6pm (London time), unless I am travelling.

Almost 4 Photo Shoots in 1 Week

Almost 4 photo shoots in 1 week? Yes, that happened last week. In this post I will tell you how I got through a crazy busy week and why the fourth shoot didn’t happen.

Initially I had two test shoots booked for a model agency I have just started working with. So it was looking like a not so busy week. I was ready and excited to do something new.

Quickly the week became way busier by having two new clients booking me.

Very often people cancel or reschedule photo shoots, but not that week. Out of the four shoots everyone showed up! Must be a new record.

Tuesday I shot with Aliesha for a test shoot and I got some of my favourite shots ever. The weather was just right, the location stunning and Aliesha did a great job.

Here are some of the shots we got on the day.

Wednesday the shoot with Belén finally happened! We had to reschedule twice before due to some crazy weather conditions in London. We were out in Camden and got to play with some soap bubbles. It was a lot of fun. On Thursday I met Hugo and we had a long and fun shoot around Barbican until sunset.

On Friday I was a little tired from such an hectic week but I got out of the house to go meet Amber in Chalk Farm. This was my second test shoot of the week. The rain had stopped for a few hours so I thought we’d be OK to shoot outdoors.

Once I got to Chalk Farm it was pouring down! We waited a while but the rain didn’t stop. Sadly we decided to cancel the shoot. Hopefully we get to shoot soon.

Even though I didn’t get to shoot I still had lots to do so once I got home I went straight back to editing!

This is the story of how I almost had 4 photo shoots in 1 week, hope you enjoyed it. If you want to book me check out my portfolio and get in touch 🙂

In the featured photo, Aliesha

Thank you for reading and please come back next week for another post! 
New blog posts every Wednesday at 6pm (London time), unless I am travelling.

Trying out Flash Photography

After trying out flash photography at the Divurgent workshops I went and bought my first external flash. Nothing too fancy. Just a £50 one from Yongnuo.

At the workshop I got that light to bounce on white bathroom tiles and loved the results.

In this gallery: Clara

I had no clue what I was doing (I still don’t) but thought I would try it anyway.

Since then I haven’t really used the flash very often. I love natural light and flash photography can look a little unnatural. Also my hands are tiny and the flash is quite bulky and heavy.

Once you are starting off in flash photography, particularly with manual flashes it can be a bit tricky to get the settings right. Guess it is just a case of trial and error. Watching a few videos on YouTube will definitely help you understand the basics so watch away.

Here are a couple of shots I have taken using external flash after the workshop.

In this gallery: Karolina

More recently I used my flash indoors as there was not enough light and tried pointing the flash directly at the subject. At this point I had no clue what results I was going to get. This type of light can be unflattering so I thought it could turn to be a disaster.

To my surprise I ended up with some of my favourite photos.

Credit to the model that was amazing at posing and her outfit was perfect for the location.

In my opinion these have a very film like feel and are quite striking due to the harsh light of the direct flash on the subject. What do you think of them? Are you keen on flash photography?

In the featured photo and the last gallery, India Allen

Thank you for reading and please come back next week for another post! 
New blog posts every Wednesday at 6pm (London time), unless I am travelling.

meera roses on wooden background for copyright claim post

How To: Copyright Claim on Instagram

If you have been following my Instagram stories you might already know that recently I have had some experience with making a copyright claims on Instagram.

In this post I will tell you how to fill in a copyright claim on Instagram. For anyone that is not familiar with Copyright here is an explanation by the AOP:

Copyright is simply about ownership of creative endeavour. The law (in the form of the Copyright, Designs & Patents Act 1988) gives creators ownership of their work (with some exceptions) and broadly-speaking, like all other forms of creative endeavour, professional photographers make their living by licensing the use of their work, not by selling it outright.

This is no different if you buy a piece of music, (you buy the right, a.k.a. a licence, to play that music for yourself – you don’t own it outright) or if you buy a book. This is an important distinction and a source of confusion for some who may think that as they’ve paid the photographer, they own the photographs and can do with them as they like. This is not the case.

Source: The Association of Photographers

This means that I own the copyright of every photo I have ever taken. The use of those images is limited based on what was agreed with the client at the time.

It is not OK for the client to distribute or give permission for other people to use my images.

Recently I had some issues with a client of mine which resulted in my photos being shared by third-parties without my authorisation or any credit.

On my terms and conditions it clearly stated that any reposts on Instagram needed to be clearly credited. As the original posts were not credited the reposts were unfortunately done in the same way. Not many pages will bother to ask who owns the copyright. They should do it.

It can be tricky to track your images on Instagram. For this reason I believe most of these pages are just used to getting away with this kind of behaviour. You can sometimes find your photos just by checking the tagged photos of your clients on Instagram.

Now that you have found your images out there on Instagram without credit or your permission. What do you do? If you don’t care, you do nothing. However if you are like me you need to set things straight.

How to: Copyright Claim on Instagram

Firstly as per Instagram’s advice do not share the post with your audience to gather attention to the fact that your copyright has been infringed. This can be considered harassment.

Secondly, try and resolve it amicably. Send an email to let them know that you own the copyright to the photo they shared and what you would like them to do. Give them a set amount of time to respond to you before you report it to Instagram. Personally I have given 24 hours in the emails I have sent. This is up to what you think is reasonable.

What is also up to you is what you want them to do. Do you want the photo taken down? Do you want to sell a license for them to use the photo? (if this is the case please double check if you can sell it as you might not be able to do so without model releases) Or do you just want do get credited? Really this is in your hands.

If you don’t hear back from them or they are not doing what you have requested you might want to proceed with the copyright claim.

This is very easy to do and Instagram usually responds very quickly. Don’t think they ever take more than 24 hours to resolve it.

Step 1: This process needs to be done on your computer. Go to the post you want to report and click the 3 dots on the top right hand corner. Select: “Report Inappropriate” > “Other” > “Intellectual Property Violation” and click the “learn more” button.

Step 2: Go through the Copyright information on this page and proceed by clicking “Learn more about reporting copyright violations”. I would recommend that you read the FAQs if it is your first time doing this.

Step 3: Click on “this form” so you are taken to the online form for a Copyright claim and click the relevant options for Copyright. Select: “I found content which I believe infringes my copyright “.

You are half way there.

Step 4: You need to provide your contact details, a link to the post you are reporting and a link to the original work. If you haven’t shared it on Instagram just upload it to your website.

Step 5: Instagram will respond to you and ask you why you believe your copyright has been infringed. Sometimes they ask for the link to your work again.

Step 6: They will email you with the final outcome. If they find that your claim is valid they will just confirm that they have taken the post down.

Please note that they will provide your email address to the person in question so you might hear from them.

If afterwards you reach an agreement you can let Instagram know and remove your claim. Haven’t done that yet so cannot comment on this part of the process.

Hopefully this post has showed you clearly how to do a copyright claim on Instagram.

As this is already a lengthy post I might write another one on what happened when Instagram disabled one of the accounts I reported for copyright infringement. 

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to give any legal advice. Please contact a solicitor if you have any legal questions

In the featured photo: Meera

Thank you for reading and please come back next week for another post! 
New blog posts every Wednesday at 6pm (London time), unless I am travelling.

Made it to Spotify

On the 20th of June one of my photos made it to Spotify. It is such a cool feeling to see something I have created out there on such a massive platform.

I met Zoey at the Divurgent Workshops back in late January this year and we have been working together since. We have shot together several times both outdoors and in studio and have created some of my all time favourite images.

It is an honour to be part of her journey as an artist and working with Zoey is always a pleasure.

Also made it to one of BBC’s Instagram accounts. Shame I couldn’t make it to the show as I was at home editing some of our latest shots.

Let me share a little more about this shot with you.

This image was shot on the day I landed in London back from a holiday break in Portugal. I got home at 2am and didn’t get a lot of sleep. Went to work for a few hours and when I was done with it I headed to the studio.

The whole team was already there getting ready to start. It was my first time working with a full team. Such a great experience!

Having a team made the shoot slower than usual but that was a good thing if we consider my lack of sleep.

It was a long shooting session of around four hours and I ended up getting home around 11pm.
Thankfully Zoey got me an uber back home so I didn’t have to face public transport at that time.

Thank you to Aimee for styling, Dani for makeup, Spare Space E3 for having us and to Fran for all his help around the studio.

Massive thanks to Zoey for trusting me with this job and for being such good company. I always have a good time when we shoot together 🙂

In the featured photo, Zoey Lily (as seen on Spotify)

Thank you for reading and please come back next week for another post! 
New blog posts every Wednesday at 6pm (London time), unless I am travelling.