Professional shares his secrets of success

Simon Willians Crest Photography.
Simon Willians Crest Photography.

Morpeth Camera Club

On February 5, Simon Williams was the guest speaker at Morpeth Camera Club.

He runs the successful and well established local firm Crest Photography, and he gave a fascinating insight into his hectic life and work behind the camera.

With over 30 years in the business, he has gained a reputation for corporate public relations, commercial and press photography with many awards and accolades.

Highlights have included private sittings with Prince Charles and the Prime Minister, along with photographing most of the royal family and VIPs on visits to the region.

He started as an assistant, working with film in a darkroom, and over many years learned his craft. Working for others until the age of 27, he gained his Associateship with the British Institute of Professional Photography (ABIPP) by displaying a high standard of craftsmanship and creative ability.

In 1995 he decided to become self employed and founded Crest Photography.

We were shown a stream of outstanding images that held the attention.

Simon’s first questions to potential customers are: “What’s the message you are trying to get across?” and “Where would you like the images to appear?” He will then shoot in different ways to appeal to different markets.

He explained some of the things a photographer has to consider when shooting on location — is the product or company name on display, if for a magazine leave room for text or titles, who to leave in or leave out, is there anything that can date an image and possibly hamper its reuse?

All these things have to be considered, as well as the normal photographic business of exposure, light, shade, time of day, background, distractions, weather, etc.

Although every shoot is different depending on the requirements of the client, Simon’s experience enables him to foresee the final image.

He aims to produce strong images that catch the attention with composition, colour and shape, and no matter whether it is a press release, marketing exercise or product launch, they should tell a story.

Simon showed a portfolio of images of celebrities, including Sting, The Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, Richard Branson, Alan Shearer, Bobby Robson, Dan Snow, Cheryl Cole and Neil Oliver.

His ability to communicate with those he is photographing, to put them at ease and to arrange them to get the best results is testament not only to his people skills, but to his attention to detail and undoubted technical ability.

Simon covered all aspects of his work and shared some behind the scenes anecdotes, together with images he had taken on his travels.

Concluding with a question session, he was thanked for giving an informative, entertaining presentation.