Although most of my time is spent shooting and working on client images and albums, improving my skills and learning more about photography is also a very important part of my professional life. This week, I’ve been at Focus on Imaging in Birmingham, the main UK photographic trade show. For much of yesterday, I was on the MPA stand, observing the judging of Licentiate panels. It was a fabulous experience I had organised ahead of time, to learn more for when I’m mentoring other MPA members for their first qualification. It was brilliant to see how thoughtfully and enthusiastically the judges approached the panels of 20 photographs, looking at the overall impact of the panel, the photographer’s ability to focus, composition, ideas, colours, retouching and posing.
Not all of the panels made it through, but whether they did or not, each candidate had time with one of the judges to go through the panel, learning about its strengths and weaknesses to improve their photography. It’s a process that I have found invaluable in my learning and developing a style.

Yesterday was also a time to catch up with other photographers, find new products and learn more advanced retouching methods.