100 episodes

Paul Wilkinson FBIPP FMPA FSWPP is one of the UK’s top portrait and wedding photographers – not just for his eye for an image but for the manner in which they are created (mostly laughing, always relaxed!) His images have adorned numerous publications from the BBC to The Times and have won countless awards as well as giving him the accolade of Fellow of the BIPP, the MPA and the SWPP. He also won the MPA Presidential Award in 2017 for services to the indusrtry.

You can see more content at https://masteringportraitphotography.com/

The Mastering Portrait Photography Podcast Paul Wilkinson

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 47 Ratings

Paul Wilkinson FBIPP FMPA FSWPP is one of the UK’s top portrait and wedding photographers – not just for his eye for an image but for the manner in which they are created (mostly laughing, always relaxed!) His images have adorned numerous publications from the BBC to The Times and have won countless awards as well as giving him the accolade of Fellow of the BIPP, the MPA and the SWPP. He also won the MPA Presidential Award in 2017 for services to the indusrtry.

You can see more content at https://masteringportraitphotography.com/

    EP147 Image Competitions: The Only Way To Fail Is To Fail To Enter

    EP147 Image Competitions: The Only Way To Fail Is To Fail To Enter

    Yay! Other than a crappy cold, a very good week.  Won a Gold Bar with the Guild Of Photographers a couple of days ago which got me to thinking about competitions: why we do them, how to do them and the fear of failure (when in fact, the only failure is to not enter at all!)
    There are one or two other things to bear in mind and I step through them in the podcast.
    Enjoy!
    CheersP.
    If you enjoy this podcast, please head over to Mastering Portrait Photography, for more articles and videos about this beautiful industry. You can also read a full transcript of this episode.
    PLEASE also subscribe and leave us a review - we'd love to hear what you think!
    If there are any topics, you would like to hear, have questions we could answer or would like to come and be interviewed on the podcast, please contact me at paul@paulwilkinsonphotography.co.uk. 
    Full Transcript:
    [00:00:00] I'm really sorry, it's just been one of those weeks. I have spent three days, three whole days at home feeling ill and mostly grumpy. Sorry, I don't take to being poorly particularly well. Whatever Michelle and Sarah had last week. Of course, I inherited it this week. It turns out that the word viral is not a joke.
    [00:00:25] It's just a cold, really, but it's been quite a horrible one. It hit my chest straight away, and I just felt awful, and if I'm honest, after three days off work this evening is the first time I've really felt sort of compos mentis. I've spent three days sitting in the lounge with the fire on. It's been cozy enough, but I've, I hate being unproductive.
    [00:00:46] I hate not getting through the lists that I've got to do. I hate the idea that I've wasted three days, but in the end, that had to be done. So as I sit here next to the fire watching back to back episodes of Law Order, I'm Paul, and this is the Mastering Portrait Photography Podcast.
    [00:01:07]
    [00:01:20] So I hope you're all feeling a little bit better than me, and in terms of the catch up of the week, well, I can't really say that I've done that much out of the seven days or so. Three of them have been spent laid up doing very little. Obviously, I'm still doing some coding, writing emails, and an awful lot of judging has been flowing through my world. Not this time, not just as a judge or as a chair of judges but also as a contestant. It's been an interesting time.
    [00:01:47] So, I judged for the FEP this week, the first of the final rounds of their annual image competition. I'm one of the judges on the portrait category.
    [00:01:58] 647 images, I think, were there to judge. And if you think about that as a volume of judging and all of our, all of the judges. Whether it's for the BIP that I chair for, whether it's for the SWPP, the Societies, whether it's for the Guild, whether it's for the FEP, the World Cup, it doesn't really matter what the judging is.
    [00:02:19] It takes time and we do it for nothing. Well, I say nothing. We don't do it for nothing, but we do it for free. And so, if you think about all of that, 647 images. If I went at it hell for leather and judged one image per minute with no breaks, that's still basically 11 hours of judging, which is an awful lot when you think about it.
    [00:02:45] And yet, we put ourselves through it. And I do it because I really enjoy it. I really love the process, I love seeing the images, though there is some disappointment when we're judging and the images haven't come up to standard. But, nonetheless, it's cathartic, it's inspiring, it's very therapeutic, it's quite a rhythmical sort of thing to do.
    [00:03:04] And I really love it.
    [00:03:06] On top of that, if that wasn't enough, the results to the BIPP monthlies came out the first BIPP monthly round. So this is a new competition for us. We've set it up to run parallel to the print competition, which opens up in sort of June time and it's judged in September. And they run side by side and they are different beasts.
    [00:03:27] So the print competition, exactly what it says on t

    • 26 min
    EP146 The Art Of Contentment

    EP146 The Art Of Contentment

    Suddenly it washed over me - that odd euphoric sensation of contentment.  No idea what triggers it, but it's well worth holding onto! 
    Also in this episode, a quick review of ACDSee 10 (the Mac version).  If you'd like to try it yourself, please use this link (there is no kickback or finance attached, but it does let the guys at ACDSee know that the referral has come from me and the Mastering Portrait Photography Podcast!)
    Enjoy!
    CheersP.
    If you enjoy this podcast, please head over to Mastering Portrait Photography, for more articles and videos about this beautiful industry. You can also read a full transcript of this episode.
    PLEASE also subscribe and leave us a review - we'd love to hear what you think!
    If there are any topics, you would like to hear, have questions we could answer or would like to come and be interviewed on the podcast, please contact me at paul@paulwilkinsonphotography.co.uk. 
    Full Transcript:
    EP146 On Being Content
    [00:00:00] Introduction and Studio Update
    [00:00:00] So in an effort to keep up my weekly episodes , I am recording this mid afternoon on a Tuesday, which normally would be fairly busy here in the studio, but given I've got two people who are off sick, with both Michelle and Sarah coughing and spluttering and generally not feeling very well.
    [00:00:16] So with a degree of persuasion, managed to get both of them to go home. I'm assuming they are now wrapped up in duvets drinking brandy or whiskey or possibly just Lemsip. And so I suddenly found myself with some time in the studio during normal working hours. So this is episode 146 being recorded when, well, I could be doing a million other things.
    [00:00:41] I'm Paul and this is a very distracted Mastering Portrait Photography podcast.
    [00:01:03] Now if you look at the list of things I should be doing, it's long, it's complicated, there's a lot to do in the studio just now, but I quite like recording the podcast, and so I am somewhat using it as a distraction. Displacement, I think is what it's called, and I'm going to record this episode.
    [00:01:22] Mastering Dogs and Their Owners Portraiture Photography Workshop
    [00:01:22] It's not that long since the last episode, so it's not like I've done a million different things, but yesterday we ran a Mastering Dogs and Their Owners Portraiture Photography, I can't remember the title, ah, uh, workshop, which essentially is a Photographing dogs with their owners.
    [00:01:37] Had the most incredible bunch of people as delegates and also as models. One of the great things about running these workshops, of course, is that we can bring in models who are regular clients. Steve and Ambra and their dog Luna, and then Gemma who came in the afternoon with her dogs Luke, and, archie.
    [00:01:58] It was just brilliant. Spent the whole day laughing, the whole day answering questions and discussing things about photography, not just how to take these pictures, but why we take these pictures. And certainly from the point of view of running a business. The weather held, it was gorgeous and sunny, a little too sunny, with that low raking February sunshine that we don't get enough of, and when we do get it, of course, as a photographer, I moaned that it was too harsh, uh, for some of what we were doing, particularly when we were trying to photograph in an alley where I needed both walls to have the same light, more or less, and of course the sun sort of threw that out the window, but hey, you know, what can you do when you get those days?
    [00:02:39] It was a fantastic day, and loved every second of it, I've created some images that I really like, and more importantly, I think our delegates went away with ideas and enthusiasm and determination and confidence, possibly more than they did when they arrived, which is the right way around, and if you ever give when we're delivering workshops, the great thing is not It's not about technical stuff really, it's about having the confidence to go and do it, because witho

    • 22 min
    EP145 Yvonne's Law | Shooting For Dough vs. Shooting For Show

    EP145 Yvonne's Law | Shooting For Dough vs. Shooting For Show

    Mastering Portrait Photography Podcast: Land Rover Edition
    This is one of our "Land Rover Editions" which is to say, slightly noisy.  I'm on my way to and from the Hearing Dogs for a shoot, which is always lovely.  Various topics, but mostly "Yvonne's Law: Shoot For Dough Before Shooting For Show".  In other words, it's all about your client before it's about us and our lust for awards! haha.  Sadly, it does mean you can't always create award-winning or qualification-worthy images on every client job, no matter how much you want to!
    00:00 Introduction and Land Rover Editions01:06 The Journey and the Mastering Portrait Photography Podcast03:04 The Importance of Being Part of the Photography Industry04:35 The Challenges of Recording Podcasts and Listener Engagement06:00 The Timelessness of Radio Programs07:05 The Arrival at Hearing Dogs and the Importance of Initials07:45 The Challenges of Building a Website and Judging Image Competitions16:08 The Arrival at the Wedding and Yvonne's Law20:14 The Wedding Shoot and the Difference Between Shooting for Show and Dough27:17 Conclusion and Farewell
     
    Enjoy!
    CheersP.
    If you enjoy this podcast, please head over to Mastering Portrait Photography, for more articles and videos about this beautiful industry. You can also read a full transcript of this episode.
    PLEASE also subscribe and leave us a review - we'd love to hear what you think!
    If there are any topics, you would like to hear, have questions we could answer or would like to come and be interviewed on the podcast, please contact me at paul@paulwilkinsonphotography.co.uk. 
    Full Transcript:
    EP145 Yvonne's Law
    Introduction and Land Rover Editions
    [00:00:00] As I'm absolutely certain you can hear, I'm back in the Land Rover. I think maybe, maybe I should call these the Land Rover Editions and actually separate them out from our normal podcasts. Mostly because when I was at the photography show at the beginning of the year, quite a few people came up to me and said how much they enjoyed them.
    [00:00:24] Though looking in the mirror right now, I do look like I think a pilot, with my microphone, it's either that or Madonna, and I don't know which is better. I'm gonna go with pilot with the microphone on. However, quite a few people came up to me and said how much they enjoyed the podcast, when it's from the Land Rover, the podcast episodes.
    [00:00:43] Except for Fiona. Fiona told me in no uncertain terms that not so keen, doesn't like them, wish I'd stopped doing them. Sadly however, look at the weather out here, it's just ridiculous. There's a huge flood. Water everywhere. Good job I'm driving this thing, I think. It's going to be an exciting trip.
    [00:01:03] Note to self drive careful.
    The Journey and the Mastering Portrait Photography Podcast
    [00:01:06] Anyway, this is one of the Land Rover editions of the Mastering Portrait, no, hang on, yes, no, that's right. I'm Paul. This is a Land Rover edition of the Mastering Portrait Photography Podcast.
    [00:01:33] The challenge with doing these particular versions of the podcast is, of course, the priority is to arrive safely at wherever it is I'm heading.
    [00:01:44] Today it's the Hearing Dogs: I've got to photograph of some newborn puppies. Well, eight weeks old, so cute, yeah, cute. And also some Christmas stock imagery. The date today is the something of February. What is it? 7th, 8th, 9th something of February. Haven't looked the date up. And we're doing the Christmas, or some of the Christmas stock imagery ready for the end of the year.
    [00:02:06] Now in some ways it feels absolutely ridiculous that we're doing that, but on the other hand, it's perfectly planned. So I'm actually quite happy about it because normally, every year I've photographed Christmas stock imagery in sort of August, which makes life very tricky when you're trying to hide flowers, make it, the light look slightly bluer.
    [00:02:25] And ignoring the fact that the dog is panting in the heat. Today, that's not

    • 28 min
    EP144 Your Words May Trigger A Thousand Pictures

    EP144 Your Words May Trigger A Thousand Pictures

    I am recording this having just spent the day running one of our workshops with some of the nicest people imaginable.  A top day (though I am now shattered!) at the end of a top month (January has been amazing) and who knows?  Maybe it's the start of a top year.  Don't want to tempt fate though...
    This episode was triggered by a shoot I did last week, when just a few words seemed to change the course of a shoot.
    Enjoy!
    CheersP.
    If you enjoy this podcast, please head over to Mastering Portrait Photography, for more articles and videos about this beautiful industry. You can also read a full transcript of this episode.
    PLEASE also subscribe and leave us a review - we'd love to hear what you think!
    If there are any topics, you would like to hear, have questions we could answer or would like to come and be interviewed on the podcast, please contact me at paul@paulwilkinsonphotography.co.uk. 
    Full Transcript:
    [00:00:00] Can you believe it? January has nearly gone. We are almost into February, the second month of only 12 in a year, and this has already been one of the best starts we've ever had to any year. I'm Paul, and this is a very optimistic Mastering Portrait Photography Podcast. Well, I'll be honest, I did not see that coming.
    [00:00:39] I think when we got to the end of last year, exhaustion took over, I crashed into Christmas, came out of it the other side, went into the convention, we're having a ball, but I think I don't know why I wasn't expecting this year to be quite as lively as it has been, but it does seem to be that there is a ton of energy out there.
    [00:00:59] Maybe, maybe I was expecting the general election to be early in the year, and so things tend to get a little bit quieter around elections or around referenda. But the phone is ringing like crazy, emails are coming in. This week we've had a handful of reveals and they've all been brilliant. The clients have loved the images, everything's gone well.
    [00:01:23] My bit of the puzzle is to create images, create an experience, send them away with memories and make sure they know what to expect when they come back for the sales, for the reveals. And they've gone really smoothly, which means I've done my bit properly, which makes me very happy because as you all know, a little bit chaotic at the best of times, uh, but it looks like my debriefs are working.
    [00:01:43] I'm getting the point across to the client. We're creating pictures that people love and I am having a ball. I did think I might feel a little flat after the success of the Society's convention. It was such a good week. I know I spoke about it in the last podcast, but I'm still smiling at just how much fun we had, just how many people I met.
    [00:02:06] The workshops were full. I spend a lot of time chatting photography, having interesting conversations, meeting interesting and funny people, and I think, I suppose, last week, I thought I might feel a little flat about it all, but that could not be further from the truth. If anything, I'm more energetic now than I have been for a long time, ignoring the fact that I'm also pretty exhausted and my eyes. I don't know why, but my eyes have been tired today. You know, you get those days when I put my glasses on and within three minutes, I've got to take them off, even though everything is just slightly blurry because I don't know why, it just makes my, it's just been making my eyes tired today.
    [00:02:46] Maybe I just need to go and get them sorted, but this has been the most successful January we've ever had. And sometimes everything goes like that. It's just hectic, it's full of stuff, all unexpected, but being busy is a good thing. I think? Isn't it? Uh, I don't know. Anyway, today we've just finished the first of this year's workshops.
    [00:03:11] This particular workshop was our From Shutter to Print workshop, uh, which steps through everything from picking up your camera all the way through to prepping your images ready for print. It's a huge

    • 22 min
    EP143 It's Up To You To Walk The Energy Into The Room

    EP143 It's Up To You To Walk The Energy Into The Room

    Well we're back from The Societies Convention in London and it's been a blast (though I am a little weary!)
    However, no matter how tired I am, I am going to have to find the energy for my clients - just as we all need to.  And that is the topic of this episode.
    Enjoy!
    CheersP.
    If you enjoy this podcast, please head over to Mastering Portrait Photography, for more articles and videos about this beautiful industry. You can also read a full transcript of this episode.
    PLEASE also subscribe and leave us a review - we'd love to hear what you think!
    If there are any topics, you would like to hear, have questions we could answer or would like to come and be interviewed on the podcast, please contact me at paul@paulwilkinsonphotography.co.uk. 
    Full Transcript:
     
    [00:00:00] Just got back. From the Society's Convention in London. Four days of hugging, laughing, talking photography, talking crap as well, I think, drinking, eating, not sleeping, running workshops, meeting suppliers, having conversations with editors, more drinking. And generally feeling good about this industry of ours.
    [00:00:20] I've met so many people, I've hugged so many people. And for people like us who work in small businesses, many of us on our own, the convention is by far the best possible start to the year. I'm Paul and this is a slightly bleary eyed Mastering Portrait Photography Podcast. 
    [00:00:41] 
    [00:00:55] Well, hello one and all. Um, coming back down after the annual convention is a little bit of a task.
    [00:01:03] I needed to sleep quite a lot and to eat, well, something sensible if I'm honest, rather than a diet of beer and carbs. On the night of the awards themselves, I look over, it's about two o'clock in the morning, and I see Sarah sat in a corner, eating the world's largest packet of popcorn. And you do know what it's like when you get the munchies, there's nothing quite like sugary, salty goodness of popcorn.
    [00:01:28] The hardest part of huge conventions for me is always that I struggle to place people, so it's slightly stressful, and it's not really made any easier by the fact that a lot of people only know me because they've heard my voice on the podcast. So lots of conversations start with me saying, hello mate, and then rapidly trying to remember why or how or where I know someone from.
    [00:01:51] Sarah is in a different league, of course. She seems to have an encyclopedic ability to recall conversations and characters, whereas I'm oblivious trying to figure out the light on someone's face. The number of times I've met someone and all I can think is that the lighting is perfect and it would make a great portrait.
    [00:02:08] Not very helpful when you're trying to hold a normal conversation . 
    [00:02:11] So this year, I jumped back into the fray and entered the print competition. Haven't done that for a couple of years for one reason or another, mostly because I've been judging. But this year, as chair of judges for a different association, I've been relieved of my duties at the Societies convention, which frees me up to enter. 
    [00:02:29] And of course it's a good idea whenever you do get the chance to enter a print competition because it forces you, I mean literally forces you to practice what you preach. However, as always Uh, the images that I hadn't expected to do well did brilliantly, while some I had high fa hopef bleh bleh, I'm breaking these teeth in for a donkey, while some I had high hopes for didn't do quite so well.
    [00:02:54] Overall, though, a really good show for me. Out of the 12, I entered 9 achieved merits. Uh, 2 were finalists, so runners up, uh, which is one hell of a rate. The other thing I'm proud of is that they're all from commissioned shoots, bar one, just the one. There is in there an image of our dog Rufus, the studio dog Rufus, which I entered into the pets category because, well, he is a pet and he is really photogenic.
    [00:03:23] But you can only ever get one shot of him, just the one. Yo

    • 13 min
    EP142 Building Your Business One Client At A Time

    EP142 Building Your Business One Client At A Time

    Hi all! I am sitting writing this late on a Sunday evening with a glass of whisky in one hand (a small glass I hasten to add) and typing with the other.  It's already a business year and we're only a week or two in!
    In this episode, I have been pondering how you build your business and how, in particular, you do it one client at a time.
    It's the Societies Convention in London next week and I spent much of today figuring out exactly what I'm going to be doing.  It's been a lot of fun, but it has highlighted my lack of liner thinking, that's for sure!
    The Superclass and Masterclass we will be running at the Societies Convention 2024 can be found at https://thesocieties.net/convention/speakers/paul-wilkinson/ and we would love to see you there - either at the workshops or just for a well-deserved pint!
    Finally, all of our workshops at our studio can be found at https://www.paulwilkinsonphotography.co.uk/photography-workshops-and-training/ 
    Enjoy!
    CheersP.
    If you enjoy this podcast, please head over to Mastering Portrait Photography, for more articles and videos about this beautiful industry. You can also read a full transcript of this episode.
    PLEASE also subscribe and leave us a review - we'd love to hear what you think!
    If there are any topics, you would like to hear, have questions we could answer or would like to come and be interviewed on the podcast, please contact me at paul@paulwilkinsonphotography.co.uk. 
    Full Transcript:
     
    [00:00:00]
    SO it's late Sunday evening, and I'm sitting here on my own, the fire is ticking over, Sarah's fast asleep, and I have a glass in my hand of something, well, rather lovely. It's a glass of whiskey from my in laws who brought me a bottle of Dartmoor whiskey for my Christmas.
    Tonight, Sarah and I have sat and watched Vera. Of all things, how middle aged can you get we sat and watched Vera on ITV? Why? Well, on Friday night we watched Oppenheimer. On Saturday night, we watched Saltburn. Tonight, we needed something, frankly, a lot less stressful. Harriet, our daughter, did warn us that Saltburn was a little bit on the, how do I put this, fruity side? But, I'm not sure Sarah or I were necessarily predicting it to be quite As lively as it was. And so tonight, we really did need something very gentle. Something very uncomplicated. A whodunit actually is relatively obvious and with no [00:01:00] major stress. Very, very different to the other two films.
    Which may explain why I'm sitting here drinking a large whiskey that was bought by my in laws. It's been a busy week and I've just prepped a wedding which made me laugh. So, it's a wedding I shot a couple of weeks ago just before Christmas and at this wedding I met a pilot. Now, I've always had a theory that pilots get recruited on their debonair looks and their ability to say what they need to say over the microphone and sound reassuring.
    Sure enough, as I got talking to him, both things became markedly apparent. So, I'm Paul and this is the Mastering Portrait Photography Podcast.
    [00:02:00] Haha! So January appears to be running at full throttle and that is not an understatement.
    I don't know what's going on for a moment emails coming in, inquiries coming in, the phone is ringing we're booked up solid, and next week of course is the Society's Convention, which I'm very, very much looking forward to. It was a shame when it moved around the year a little bit. I couldn't be there last year but this year back very much in full effect.
    I'm running two workshops, one of which is sold out, the other I hope to see a large crowd. So on the 18th from 11. 30 to 1, headshots. And on that note today I spent the whole day. Piecing together exactly what we're going to cover because the way I've decided to do it is to just have two very basic strobes. Obviously, when you're doing a workshop at a convention, they give you a list of the kit you can cherry pick from and I could have had the very best of the very best.
    [00:03:00] But the lighting I've ch

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
47 Ratings

47 Ratings

Harry from MI6 ,

Sheer brilliance!

Paul your podcast ticks all the boxes for me.

You have stories, I love your stories, you have advice about kit, techniques and business.

You have great guests who have been up to their armpits in muck and bulllets and know what they are talking about either as photographers or business people from other sectors.

There is so much fun but when it is time to be serious you have that as well.

My dog walks have never been so enjoyable.
Keep doing what you are doing.

Zencars ,

A great listen

I came across the MPP a couple of months ago but don’t usually listen to podcasts much. This one though I really do enjoy. Started with a couple of the latest but then decided to start from the beginning. These really are a pleasure to listen to. Keep up the great work Paul.

Craggus9 ,

Superb

After trying a couple of other photography podcasts but not overly enjoying them I came across this podcast and love it. It’s interesting and entertaining with a wide range of subject areas related to photography that keeps you thinking and curious. Paul’s energy and enthusiasm are infectious too!

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