by Stuart McIntyre Published 01/11/2011
Stuart first got his taste for photography at the age of 16 when he landed himself a place at college to study for a BTEC in Media Studies. "I knew from that point on that I was going to get myself a job either in photography or in TV," he says, "and at 19 I decided to go for an HND in photography.
In many ways it wasn't a good move because when I completed the course it just became clear how few jobs there were to be had in the profession and how there is almost no instruction in how to be self employed.
"I got a lucky break, however, because I met Stuart Wood who is one of the finest editorial photographers working today. I assisted Stuart for five years on a part-time basis whilst building up my own work.
It gave me a fantastic opportunity to work in a variety of locations producing high-quality work for top-end clients. Once I felt confident enough to go it alone I opened Photo Nottingham in Feb 2002, and since then haven't looked back."
The decision to join the SWPP came four years ago and Stuart has relished his time as a member. "It was clear to me that they are the most forward looking of the photographic bodies," he says. "They have the biggest emphasis on training and development and what encouraged me to join was the fact that they didn't appear too stuffy. Professionally I was also looking to move my work forward and to step up to the next level.
The Society, with its competitions, forums and, most importantly, the Convention is a great environment within which to progress, helped by support from the group."
A regular at the Convention for the past four years, 2012 will be the third year that Stuart has delivered a talk. He's not just there to pass on his expertise, however, and he's anticipating doing his fair share of networking and learning as well throughout the week.
"I love the Convention and I usually come away at the end of it all with a sore throat," he says. "But in addition to that I also come back buzzing with ideas and enthusiasm for the year ahead. I come away with new friends from all over the world and a sense that the industry I work in is stronger and more promising than ever."
So, who is he planning to see in between all of the activities taking place at the Convention in January? "The variety of things going on is enormous and it's difficult to narrow it down," he says. "I do think, however, that Shireen Hammond is 'must see' for me. She's doing three seminars at the next Convention - Posing and Painting with Light, Learning to Shoot for an Album, and Encompassing all Areas of Imaging and Marketing - and I'm sure all her talks will all be good. I saw her associate panel last year, and was blown away by her wedding work.
"I also think that Andy Kruczek and Shane Miller are both very good speakers, and I look forward to their classes too. It should be a great occasion and I can't wait for January to come around!"
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
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