Gander Photography: Blog en-us (C) Gander Photography [email protected] (Gander Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:39:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:39:00 GMT Gander Photography: Blog 120 120 I am not a rockstar There are, it has to be said a lot of photographers where I live ... whilst there is undeniably plenty of work to go around, it's fair to say that we are all fighting for a slice of the same pie.


Gander Photography Julian KnopfGander Photography Julian Knopf

Over the last several years more and more photographers have popped up, by and large competition is a good thing.  The bad thing however is all of us trying to stand out in the market.

So it's worth bearing in mind the following when pointing a camera in someone's direction

  • For many this is one of the best days of their lives ... if not the best
  • They are feeling unnatural and awkward ... it's up to me to make you feel your best
  • You are not in your comfort zone .. but we can make you comfortable
  • The photos are there to tell a story ... let's find it together
  • It's about you ... not me

There is a fine line of distinction here it's not about having Gander Photography on your walls, it's about trusting me to do the job.

I'm a photographer I want to successful, be proud, be creative. However no matter how good I become, how popular I can be, how big the queue may get outside my door You are the rockstar, not me.  It's just upto me to make you feel that way.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) gander london photographer photography portrait Thu, 14 Nov 2019 08:34:30 GMT
What makes you decide on your photographer There is no doubt that life as a photographer is a competitive place to be ...

I'm a member of a whole bunch of Facebook groups and on a frequent basis someone will request a recommendation for a photographer for a function, adding that they want a reasonable price, or for it not to cost the earth.

Now I can assure you several things. 

At the top of the list : Very very few people are making a fortune as photographers.  Trust me I know, I've been full time for nigh on 6 years now and survival is only for the fittest.

Year on year it seems that new photographers are coming out of the woodwork, all of them wanting a slice of the pie.  Now as a function photographer, mainly capturing Weddings and Barmitzvahs I can assure you where I am at least, North West London, whilst it's not an infinite pool of parties there is lots of work to go around.  That being said there are, as with many careers, troughs in the peaks and some months I'm glad I offer corporate photography and video and a boudoir experience like no other.  

Next : Life as a photographer is not cheap .. we spend money on our art.  If we care about our ability to create and deliver the memories and images to you we invest.  We invest in equipment, cameras, lenses, flashes, modifiers other stuff and very little of it is cheap.  I'm in the market for a new computer, now whilst I could go mad, I'm looking at a modest investment of maybe £2k.  We invest time and money in training.  Making what we do, which is complicated and technical, we make it look easy.  You don't want to see a flustered photographer on your wedding day trying to work out his settings.  We invest in ourselves to make sure we are fit enough to shoot for 6 or 7 hours straight.  Finally and most importantly for me I invest in you.  I get to know you and build relationships of trust so that come the shoot portrait, boudoir, wedding or corporate you just know you are in safe hands.

You need to busy : You can't survive on one job a month .. nope, the reality is you need to shoot maybe 4 or 5 things in a month.  A few events, some headshots .. whatever is in the mix.  That can add up to 30 or so hours with a camera in your hands and maybe upto twice as long editing.  The hours add up.  On top of that you are running a business.  I'm writing this blog at 23:31 as a break from editing !!

We love what we do ... of course we do.  Why else would we get out of bed at 5:30 for a shoot at 6:30 ... work 15 hr shoot days.  Spend our hard earned pennies on specialist equipment that we may only use 2 or 3 times a year, but oh when we do it's so worth it.  I rarely see my family at weekends and I'm not sure I can remember when I last really had a day off. 

All of that said I choose this ... I want to do it.  I used to have an office job that paid 4 or 5 times as much as I earn now ... sacrifices have been made by all of my family.  Why ... well because I love to create art,  I love to capture memories but most of all what I want to do is build relationships with people that last, that understand the value in what I do and see the importance of a photograph rather than a snap and smile when they see the person they have become when my camera is pointed in their direction.  

[email protected] (Gander Photography) BatMitzvah Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Mon, 11 Nov 2019 23:43:04 GMT
Wow that camera takes great pictures ... That's a great camera ... it takes great pictures 


Art pencils and photographyI can't draw two straight lines with a ruler so why should buying expensive pencils make me an artist




  I can't draw two straight lines with a ruler ... I'm actually in awe of the people who can take a pencil, some paper and depict what is infront of them.  After all they are creating something out of nothing.


 If I go and buy the very best box of pencils money can buy, all of the colours and I mean all of them and a pad of paper am I suddenly a good artist ? Of course I'm not ... I still remain unable to draw, I am just unable to draw in a lot more colours on better paper.  I guess if you like abstract art I might be able to get away with it ! So why is it that so many people believe that buying an expensive camera and a clutch of lenses is the way to making a great photograph.  The answer is it isn't.  Sure that camera has a purpose and when I'm using mine I know how to get the best of it.


I see so many examples of bad photography that it saddens me.  I know that we all start somewhere and that over time the good ones would get better but it only takes 5 mins of a trawl through Instagram to see some really bad work by professionals.  




Is an iphone a cameraIphone camera The entry to photography has never been easier. We all carry phones in our pockets, and in recent releases the phones are being marketed more and more as cameras, with multiple lenses, modes and other whistles and bells. We've all heard of the Infinite Monkey Theorem .. you know the one where enough monkeys, with enough time, hitting typewriter keys will eventually write the works of Shakespeare.  I'm sure if you look on line you'll find some GCSE math proving it or not ...


This however is not the case for art.  Either with pencils or with a camera ...


I'll tell you why.


There's a photography quote that unfortunatly can't be attributed to anyone ..


"When people ask me what equipment I use - I tell them my eyes"


- Anon


Being a photographer is more than putting a camera on automatic and taking 1000's of photographs


It's about so many different things 


  1. Knowing how to deal with people
  2. How to visualise the end product
  3. How to frame the image so that it looks interesting and imaginative
  4. The way to crop, frame and print
  5. How to set the camera, and then tweak those settings, to get the best results
  6. What kind of editing is needed to make the digital negative a finished image


The order of this list is deliberate ... I put the subject matter first and for me, as a portrait and event photographer it's all about the people.  If they aren't comfortable then it's going to show.


I'm always taking the photo with the idea of the final image in mind ... will it be dark and moody, light and airy, corporate in look or show the events of a party .. you get the idea.


So many pictures are snaps ... and in an age when we are taking more photos than ever before this has never been truer.  Take the time to find the angle, pose the subject, wait for something interesting, then you will get a great image. 


Lower down the list it's about the camera and the editing ... because if you haven't considered the top ones no camera in the world will make a great picture happen.


So yes a good camera, can take a great picture, if you know how, but there's a lot more to it that point and click.  That's what make a professional photographer, hours of training, practice and experience.































[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah London Photography Portrait Wedding Tue, 11 Jun 2019 08:46:14 GMT
The Cost of Being A Photographer Photographs are priceless, treat them that way

Gander Photography Money
I see it all the time ... 

  • looking for a photographer the doesn't charge the earth

Or an advert that offers something like

  • Full day wedding photography £399

Whilst I appreciate that everyone has a budget, there is also a need to be realistic and sensible about the costs of running a photography business. It is impossible to run any business at low rates even if you are supplementing the income from a different job Mon-Fri.






The costs of running a business are just that

  • Office

  • Licenses

  • Taxes

  • Materials

  • Computer software

  • Petrol and vehicle 

  • Cameras and paraphernalia and so it goes on

As an example a professional level camera, which I'm sure you would want me to use costs a few thousand pounds at least, in fact my latest one was £3600, just one lens is roughly £500, a computer to edit on is maybe £1000, Photoshop and Lightroom cost me £120 / year, backup drives cost £100 and I have a few, and then cloud backup software is £75 / year... let's add another conservative £500 equipment costs for memory cards, cables what have you...  that's about £6000 ..

If I charge £399 per job then I need to do 16 jobs a year or 1.4 jobs a month for equipment and office costs.

Oh but I haven't even spoken to you, shown you what I do, or got to and from your venue.  In the last few months I've averaged 300 business miles a month, let's call it 3500 per year if I multiply that by 0.50 because with a little rounding that's the HMRC allowance it's £1,750 , if you want to speak I need a phone so that's £500 a year.  Want to see what I do ... my website costs need to be added in, let's say £1000 and some sample albums and prints so that maybe £1000 in the year that just added £4250 

So now that total is £10,250 if I charge £399 now I need to average 27 jobs in the year or a little over 2 a month...

Remember I've only added the cost of 1 camera and 1 lens, I know you want me to light the room so that needs flashes and, I'm sure you want me to have a back up camera and lens or lenses so let's add a further £5000 for equipment.

This isn't a hobby, I also have to eat and pay tax, clothe my family etc  ... so let's not be greedy and add £30,000 to the total .. let's call it £45,000 if we add the £15k above and add £5000 for things I've missed like broadband costs, lightstands, office software, training and so forth.

£50000 flat means I need to complete 126 jobs at £399 in the year or 10.5 a month or 2.5 a week, every week of the year. 

To put that into perspective at a wedding I'll shoot maybe 2500 pictures and aim to deliver 700 so if all I take pictures of is weddings that's 315,000 taken nearly 90,000 delivered images.

Each job takes roughly 30 hours to complete... at 2.5 / week I'm working 75 hrs a week.  If I work 10 hrs a day then I need to work 15 hrs for 5 days or 11hrs 7 days a week non stop, no holidays no weeks where I don't have weddings booked or I have to turn down a job because I'm already booked.  That's just working on shoots and editing them, not seeing clients, doing admin, training, editing web sites and all the other stuff we do.  

When you charge £399 there simply aren't enough hours in the day even if you can satisfy the need to shoot 126 jobs in the year .. simple maths just proves that.  

So you see it just isn't possible to run a photography business for low prices and actually the £1500 I do charge for a wedding... it's value for money.




[email protected] (Gander Photography) Business Gander Photography London Photographer Photography Portrait Small Business Fri, 24 May 2019 13:21:23 GMT
Mental Health Week 100 Bad Days Makes 100 Great Stories, 100 Great Stories Makes Me Interesting At Parties .. I Ain't Scared Of You No More ...


Anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a loud, strong and confident person. I was brought up that way. Brought up to be unapologetically myself. You can thank my mother for that.

Here's a truth ... underneath it all often I'm a little terrified. What if people don't like me, what if they don't like what I have to say, don't find me funny, don't like my work.

In recent years I have left high stake jobs in the City, working for multinational banks and have a business that creates art and memories that capture the most important parts of people's lives journeys. It's a huge responsibility and one I don't take lightly.

But I've also taken a new view on life... one which puts me and those I care about in the centre, one I hope is better than the last .

It's the start of Mental Health Week and it may suprise you to know that I'm not that comfortable infront of a camera. So I put my money where my mouth is and had a new set of headshots today. With thanks to me camera wielding friend Brigitta.

A lot of the women who come for a session tell me that whilst it's nerve wracking, surreal and a little bizarre it's also empowering, a celebration and a form of therapy. If you want to get to see yourself in a whole new way and love what you see then why not give me a shout.


[email protected] (Gander Photography) London MentalHealthWeek Photographer Tue, 14 May 2019 13:02:59 GMT
A-Z C is for Chuppa A-Z of Function Photography C

There are lots of candidates for C  ... but let's start with 


A chuppah is the canopy that a Jewish couple stand under for their wedding ceremony.  Made of a cloth sheet supported by four poles.  A chuppah can be a portable structure held by attendants to the ceremony or more often a temporary structure erected where the ceremony takes place. 

The chuppah represents a Jewish home symbolized by the cloth canopy and the four poles. Just as a chuppah is open on all four sides, so was the tent of Abraham open for hospitality. Thus, the chuppah represents hospitality to one's guests. This "home" initially lacks furniture as a reminder that the basis of a Jewish home is the people within it, not the possessions. In a spiritual sense, the covering of the chuppah represents the presence of God over the covenant of marriage. The chuppah was erected to signify that the ceremony and institution of marriage has divine origins.

The beauty of this, and it's simplicity is that a Chuppa can be erected anywhere, there is one here that was used to march the bride and groom into the Old City of Jerusalem

Pictures of Chuppa
Chuppa at Jewish Wedding CeremonyChuppa at a Jewish Wedding CeremonyChuppa at Jewish Wedding Ceremony
Couple standing under Chuppa at Jewish Wedding CeremonyCouple standing under Chuppa at Jewish Wedding CeremonyCouple standing under Chuppa at Jewish Wedding Ceremony
Chuppa Outside in JerusalemChuppa Outside in JerusalemChuppa Outside in Jerusalem





Let's face it I'm lucky I get to eat incredible food, made by some of the best caterers almost every weekend.  There's lots of debate about what's the most important part of a wedding, barmitzvah or other event but I can tell you that food is high on the list.  

There's lots of different options from buffet and food stations, plated food of many courses or bowl food that wanders around the guests all around the party.  Any of the options are fabulous and all of the caterers are more than keeping all of the guests satisfied at every occasion.






[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Thu, 09 May 2019 09:14:00 GMT
Sony Photography Competition As many of you will know I entered my first photography competition at the end of last year. In typical style that was the Sony World Photography Awards, as I say Go Big or Go Home .. To be overall winner you need to win your own category of which there are 10 but then also be the best across all of the categories... this year over 327,000 images were submitted, more than ever before. Unfortunately this year, I have not won.

Gander Photography Portrait ManGander Photography London PortraitPortrait of man in balck tshirt Although my work is good, I had no expectation of shortlisting, let alone winning. It is as they say the taking part that counts. When it comes down to it I did learn a massive amount taking part. I set myself a challenge to create a series of upto 10 portraits that were all shot in exactly the same way, the same camera and lens, the same background, and just 2 lights ... I called it the One2OneProject. All of the portraits were a tight headshot, black and white and with as little processing as possible at the end. As one of the models pointed out, it's a very vulnerable way to have a photograph taken and it's quite unsettling to see yourself like that afterwards, there is after all no where to hide.













Portrait of Woman with short purple hairPortrait of Woman Head in HandsPortrait of Woman Head in Hands

I've never constrained myself like that before .. I'll often go with the flow on the day and see what I feel like shooting. When you set limitations you have to be creative, with the poses, the lighting, the interaction with the model.


I really wanted to do what I could to bring out the individuality, character and personality of the men and women that volunteered to take part. After all if we had won they may well have been published in a book !







What did I learn though ..

  1. People are incredibly generous with their time .. I asked for people to take part across my social channels and was stunned by the number of people that stepped forward. So much so I got to a point where I had more sitters than pictures I was allowed to submit. Even though I told people they may not make the short list they still came.

  2. As time went buy I learnt a lot more about making people shine in front of a camera.

  3. It's easy to think that you know how to do what you do .. but there is always a way to learn more.

  4. Entering competitions is a stressful past time ... I ended up with many photos to choose from. Selecting the final 10 was a hard task and one that took assistance from a number of 'editors'

  5. From the winners that have been announced a successful entry requires a strong narrative, I didn't have that in place.

  6. Entering a competition that runs for 12 months inside of 60 days is not the way to do it !!


So will I do it again .. you betcha I will. I'm already thinking of projects, talking with people and following the winners to see what it is they had that maybe I hadn't.

So finally a big thank you to everyone that took part, it's true to say I could not have done it without any of you ... watch this space I may want you again for the this year's submission.  

In the meantime here's a few of the pics that we took ...


Portrait of woman sticking out tongue wearing hat Portrait of woman with wet hair
Portrait of woman in yellow jumper pulling on hair Portrait of Woman in black lace top
Portrait of woman with long hair on black background Portrait of man thinking




[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander Photographer Photography Portrait Tue, 16 Apr 2019 11:02:33 GMT
A - Z of function photography B Bands A-Z B Bands


Music at a function is an absolute must.  Setting the mood for the occasion the entertainment is one of the things a wedding or barmiztvah is remembered for. 
A live band can react to the audience, interact with them and provide a special kind of atmosphere.   The good ones also interpret the songs and a little of their flavour to the music.
The type of music you choose can set the tone of your function and solidify a theme. And remember, it's the thing people most often remember. Think about what musical genre best reflects your personalities and inspires the ambience you want to create: Groovy funk or subdued string quartet? Swanky swing or kick-off-your-shoes-and-sweat disco? The way the music is delivered also affects the ambience. The type of music you choose may dictate the choice too -- big band sounds are generally best live, for example.
Ideally, you will want to see a band in action before you commit so that you can gauge firsthand the way they dress and work the crowd.  If that's not a possibility, ask for a playlist, and look for songs you know and love. If a band gives you a CD, cassette, or video, be sure that the musicians you hear or see are the same musicians who will play at your reception. Also, ask for referrals from the last few weddings the band or DJ played. Consider your first-dance song a test. If the band doesn't know it and is unwilling to learn it, or the DJ doesn't own it and is unwilling to get it, move on.
See more function photography here and here
Contact me for details here
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[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Mon, 21 Jan 2019 09:24:00 GMT
The #10YearChallenge We all love an Internet Meme ... 2019 has started with a bang with the 10YearChallenge

It's pretty simple post a picture from 10 years ago side by side with a picture from today. Then we can all see how well we've aged or not.

For some they are embracing the whole thing and taking the opportunity to show something embarrassing ... bad haircut, poor fashion sense etc etc ...

Others are being a bit more vain and taking the time to maybe show how they haven't aged a bit ...


  10 years is quite a long time though isn't it ?

10 Years ago I was

  • In a career in a banking job that I was enjoying less and less.

  • Part way through a series of back issues, in line for a second surgery that ultimately resulted in a 3rd surgery that has resolved the issues.

  • Wondering what else was out there

It's also the time when I rekindled my photography. Like most hobbies I had peaked and then troughed, my old film SLR was just too much to take out on a family outing and digital didn't offer what I wanted for a price I wanted to pay ... until now.

For anyone under 20 it might be amazing to think that before smartphones we reserved photos for reasonably special occasions.

10 years ago this was my day


What about today ?

Skip forward to now and I'm a full time photographer enjoying my creative life,

taking pictures and in some cases changing people's lives by showing them a version of themselves they never thought possible.

I even held a gallery of portrait that I've taken in the heart of Brick Lane ... not many people can say that ...



Have you taken part in the 10 Year Challenge

Here's my take on it though. It's not just about the pictures. When I started this post it was going to be more about how I have or haven't change etc.

In reviewing some pics and taking some time to travel in the photo time machine ... actually it's more about how the things around me have changed, the journey it's taken and a little thinking about where I may want to be in 10 more years !!


[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Thu, 17 Jan 2019 13:12:48 GMT
A-Z of function photography A A Coming of Age


What do you start with ?

Ok so it's A and I could get all techy and boring and say A is for aperture, or I could say A is for Auto Focus which when it's good is a game changer for us, or any one of a number of boring camera words ... but actually, I'm here to talk about function photography so ... 

So lets start here with

Barmitzvah boy rehearsing in synagogue Gander Photography Barmitzvah boy rehearses at bimahBarmitzvah boy rehearsing in synagogue A is for coming of age

A young Jewish boy becomes a man at 13 and a girl a woman at 12.  Seems young to shoulder the responsibility of adulthood when you've not had a chance to choose your GSCE options or drink a glass of wine but hey that's religion.  From the kid’s point of view, it’s about getting dressed up, reading publicly, and leading a congregation in prayer. From the adults, there are tears of pride and joy from close friends, a reason to buy a new dress for the women and good whiskey for the men.  It's nerve-racking business for a new teen and a fine reason to eat and have a good party.


Barmitzvah and Batmitzvahs come in all shapes and sizes, different themes and plenty of different styles.  What you can be sure of is that there are lots of photos to take.  I'll often take upwards of 1200 images, that need to be selected, edited and the best ones put in a book to you remember the weekend by.   The photos are the way to remember the night, show you the bits you miss and a way for the women to make sure they don't wear the same dress twice with the same group of people.

When all is said and done, people go home with sore feet, ladies often carrying their shoes, they and you will talk about the event for the next few weeks.  However the memory will fade and the other parties that you go to will make things blend into one.  
You only have one bar or batmitzvah and you want to be sure that you can remember it forever and that the pictures can be shown to people in years and generations to come.  
What your photographer is doing is recording history and creating an heirloom to be passed across generations allowing following generations to travel back and see what you were upto when you as a young man or woman came of age.
To enquire about function photography click here
[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah Gander London Photographer Photography Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:15:00 GMT
So What Do You Do Monday to Friday So What Do You Do During the Week ? 


I'm mainly known for being an event photographer ... that means that I spend a lot of my weekends taking pictures at barmitzvah's, weddings, engagements or parties.  

I've been doing it in total for almost 9 years and full time for just over 4.  

What amazes me though is that there are still people, people that I've known for a long long time that ask me ...


"So What do you do Monday to Friday ... I mean you it's just weekends isn't it"


So What Happened in Dec ?

If only that were true .... here is a little breakdown of the things I did in December

  • shot a number of works Xmas parties and other events
  • shot a series of product images for a CBD Oil Company MariPharm
  • Shot a set of Interior design images for the lovely people at IndigoInterios
  • taken a set of corporate headshots at the client's location
  • covered a corporate seminar of the leaders of United Synagogues 
  • captured a number of bar / batmitzvahs


In Dec alone, I shot close to 4000 images

There have been countless hours of editing of all of the above as well as of the over 4000 images taken in Nov ... in the last few weeks I have delivered over 13 sets of images to clients.

I've attended over a dozen meetings, phone calls and online chats

By the 20th of Dec, I drove almost 350 miles getting to and from places for the meetings and shoots.

I have been a diligent business owner and posted regularly on a number of the social network channels that I maintain a presence on. 

On top of all of that I have been carrying out all the administration that a successful business entails.

I've even managed to do a little bit of work for my tax return ...

OK So What I Run A Business Too ... 

The point I'm trying to make is this ... 

There is an awful lot of work that goes on behind the scenes of being a successful photographer, and even more of a successful photography business.  What it often means is that I can often be working 7 days a week upwards of 12 hours a day.  

To be successful in what ever you do it takes commitment, hard work and a kind of stubborness reserved for just a few, to be a successful photographer I think there are even fewer of us.

I managed a few days off over the holidays but most of all  I'm looking forward to a great start to 2019 and continued growth and success.

Who ever you are, what ever you do ... happy New Year and here's to a strong and successful 2019 




[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Tue, 08 Jan 2019 13:54:45 GMT
New Year new (Social Media Habits) My Plan To Use Social Media Better 

I'm not a big believer of new year new you, but it is a good point to draw a line in the sand and explore some new habits, ditch some bad ones.

One of the things I'm really keen to get better at in this new year is social media marketing.  That is to use the platforms I have to better effect.

I currently use the following

Facebook my two pages have 215 and 752 likes 

Instagram each account 368 and 597

Twitter 226 and 933 for each account 

LinkedIn 820 connections where I don't subdivide my Event and Boudoir businesses

So Facebook First 

The First thing I'm tackling is Facebook ... why ?

A number of reasons for event and portrait work it's where a lot of the people I need hang out.  More specifically I want to utilise  Facebook Groups better.

Over time I've become a member of literally hundreds of groups, the vast majority of these are for people to ask for business recommendations or to advertise their business.  Some are a bit niche, barmitzvah parents only for example, others location based.  

It's clear to me I need to rationalise this list if I ever want to use this effectively, be able to plan my posts and see results.

How Do I Make It Work For Me ?

The first sweep was simple ... a quick look if it wasn't relevant it went

Second criteria ... number of subscribers.  It's a bit arbitrary but I drew a line at roughly 2500.  Now some groups are small by nature, a few a lot larger.  Some will I know have a turnover of subscribers, once your function is over, it's time to leave and so forth so the subscriber list would be quite steady and static.  However my thinking is as follows a small number of subscribers is going to be mainly the businesses themselves and not necessarily people looking for a photographer, arbitrary I know but I have to cut the list down.  So, the fact that businesses use eachother not withstanding, a wedding group with only 257 members isn't going to do it for me.

Third Criteria ... activity.   Is it an active group, how frequent are the posts and are they of the correct quality ?

Fourth ... are other photographers in there, how active are they, are they in the same or similar market as me.  I have to after all be seen where they are seen and need to make sure my voice is heard.  Are the posts they are placing creating any waves ?  If they are posting about new born photography and nobody is responding then it seems at least for now that the group isn't interested in new born photography.    

With it being new year, it's quite a good time to be checking out 3 and 4 

And ... 

So all of that done, I've whittled the list down to a far more manageable 24 groups I think are worth posting into and once they are subdivided onto categories it's even better.  I can't post about weddings in a new born group, or barmitzvahs in a wedding group. 

So now I have a form of focus I'm going to walk away and think a little about strategy ... what to post, when and why.

I've got a feeling that this is going to be a series of blog posts so once I've started posting to the groups and got some results from that I'll let you know how it's going ...

Don't let this be one way leave me a comment ... 

Until then I'd really like you to let me know how you use Facebook to the best of what it can do for you, your successes and failures, and so on.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah Business London Photography Portrait Tips Thu, 03 Jan 2019 00:03:22 GMT
Funny things can happen when you put a photographer on the other side of the camera So funny can things happen when a photographer stands confront of a camera.  I recently decided it was time for a new headshot ... Practice what you preach right and my last headshot was over a year old.  I have also in the last few months met up with a number of new photographers.  

Gander Photography Julian Knopf HeadshotGander Photography Julian Knopf HeadshotGander Photography Julian Knopf Headshot

I don't see these new contacts as threats infact quite the contrary.  I see them as allies, companions, fellow work mates.  If you work on your own then life can get a bit lonely but above that you loose sounding boards like-minded individuals you can run an idea by like you might in an office to see if what you are doing makes sense.


Practice what you preach .... It can be quite insightful


Gander Photography Julian Knopf HeadshotGander Photography Julian Knopf HeadshotGander Photography Julian Knopf Headshot
Anyway I'm wandering off topic.... I believe in fair exchange being no robbery as long as it's fair and I asked my fellow new photographers if they liked the idea of a headshot exchange. What better way to get to know eachother, pick eachothers brains for a bit and have something to show for it also.


And so just a few weeks ago I went for my first headshot experience.  The first one I might add that hasn't taken place in my own studio.



So what is it like on the other side of the camera


A lot of photographers are behind the camera for the same reason, they aren't big fans of having their picture taken... Oh we know all of the tricks. Posing, lighting so on and so forth.  For me that might have been the problem ... When we started I almost felt like I was running the shoot but from the other side of the lens.  However as time went on and my new photographer friend took over I let go.  It was, I have to say great fun, but then I'm not shy of the lens.  Time went quickly, that never ceases to amaze me.  In what seemed like 15 mins almost an hour had passed and there it was we were done.  


So do I like them ...

Gander Photography HeadshotGander Photography HeadshotGander Photography Headshot In short yeah I do .. I learnt long ago that the best pictures come when you drop your guard, just be yourself and let the photographer explore that.  The shoot started that way, me being me taking occasional direction.  They certainly show a fun side, my wife even likes them.


It's interesting to put yourself in someone else's hands and see how they work ... We've yet to have the return shoot, it's being planned as we speak but we definitely had fun and I hope when I shoot her it works out just the same.


[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Wed, 12 Dec 2018 15:22:51 GMT
Should A Photographer Specialise or not ... Should I specialise in a specific type of photography ?? Should a photographer be a specialist ?Should a photographer be a specialist ?Should a photographer be a specialist ?



Ok so this is a question that been running around my brain for a little while .. do client's expect me to be a single type of photographer or is it OK to be a more generalist.  There are of course some things you need to be a specialist for ... I'm not sure I'd want to try to be Formula 1 photographer, or try to capture the Grand National but for the things I can take a photo of why not ...

I like to think of my camera as an instrument that I can play ... much like a guitar, which by the way I also do.  The resulting tune is therefore a picture and to stretch an already tenuous analogy even thinner the various buttons and knobs are the frets and strings ... 



What do you mean a camera and guitar are similar ?

Photographer being shot on a podiumPhotographer being shot on a podiumPhotographer being shot on a podium

Ok so bear with me ... if you think about it both photography and music are a form of expression, a type of art.  Both can move people, and the results can mean different things to different people, or to the same person at different times.

As a guitar player I play really bad Dad Rock ... you know Oasis, Beatles and the like.  I've been doing it for years and I'm a bit rubbish at it but it's fun.  I also learn a lot from each of the songs I learn to play.  There are patterns that repeat and you would be surprised how similar some songs can be.  Master 5 or 6 chords and that's most of it in the palm of your hand.  

So to stretch my musical legs every now and again I'll maybe try my hand a bit of Jazz or Funk, maybe play acoustic rather than plugged in, I can use one pedal or another ... you get the drift.  



So how does that make you a better photographer ?

Night time portrait in London Christmas LightsNight time portrait in London Christmas LightsNight time portrait in London Christmas Lights The point is that every time I do that I can bring something I have learnt to the tunes I play.  

And isn't that the same for photography.  I mean I love taking pictures at barmitzvahs, weddings and portraits but if that's all I took pictures of I might go slightly mad ... so I diversify and shoot indoors and outdoors, with strobes and flashes, zoom and prime lenses.  I took that even further and even built a brand for boudoir and contemporary portraiture ... here

But is it OK to also say I can take pictures of products, interior design and decor maybe even landscapes ... after all I both borrow and lend the techniques across all of these fields.

Does it confuse you ?

So does it confuse you ?

Does it detract you if I say I'm a specialist or generalist ?

Do you even mind as long as I can deliver the job ?



[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah London Photographer Photography Portrait Wed, 28 Nov 2018 11:46:09 GMT
October Its a special month October will always be a special month for me, it's the month 4 years ago where I left the City and became a full time photographer.  It's also the month that, last year I held my first gallery.

Going from working in an International Banking job to running your own business is quite a change but ...

as the old saying goes if yo don't try you'll never know.  If I'm honest I actually thought it might last a year and I'd have to go back to my old ways.

If you had told me I would have taken over a quarter of a million photos across a range of bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings; portraits; taken pictures of the Chief Rabbi; held a gallery and this year started to enter competitions I would have laughed in your face...



If you Google reasons not to become a photographer this, or others like it is what you get

  1. You'll do your back in carrying the gear

    1. OK it's true that the kit bag is a bit of a beast but frankly I'm fitter now then I ever have been.  I spend most of my time on my feet, I've been known to cover 5 miles of more at a bar mitzvah.  That's got to be better than sitting hunched over a desk all day.

  2. There's lots of other people trying to get the business

    1. Competition is healthy, it allows me to rise above and become a high value, fulls service supplier.  Over the last few years I have seen many things, helped many functions come together and captured many images.

  3. Marketing is a dark art

    1. Yes it is ... but I'm not a marketing expert.  Others are and I use their services just as others who are not photographers use mine.

  4. You'll never be rich

    1. Again no ... but I will be happy, satisfied and content ..  take your pick.

  5. You'll have to shoot things that bore you

    1. Not any more, it's true at the beginning you take any job that comes your way, but once you are established and found a niche then you can determine what you do well and ficus on that.

  6. Being in business is about selling yourself not what you do

    1. Of course it is ... so what.  I've never been shy, I've never doubted my ability to do what I want to do or how I do it.  At the end of the day, I might not be the right choice for every one, but there are clients I have also turned down as not being the right fit for me.

  7. You spend a lot of time on non photography stuff .. invoice, admin etc

    1. Yes I spend about 5% of my time actually holding a camera, but I spend a lot of time with lovely people at networking events, or event planning sessions, or collaboration with others.  I get to be outdoors on beautiful sunny days taking pictures just for the fun of it, I get to eat cake and drink coffee when I like.  

  8. Everyone has a camera on their phone so what do they need you for ?

    1. Soon enough people realise that a phone camera is good for a snap in a well lit room.  But they can't organise a group shot, look for distractions, look for a shot that is unusual, put nervous posers at ease, edit the image, print or display the image.  The list goes on ... 

So for every reason you can tell me not to be a photographer I can tell you why I want to be one ... but it boils down to this.

I want to wake up and love what I do.  I want to capture images of people that they don't think possible.  To make them reassess what they think about themselves and see themselves having a good time ... what ever that means.




[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander London Photographer Photography Wedding Mon, 01 Oct 2018 16:45:54 GMT
Learning Everyday I've been a full time business owner for almost 4 years now ... very soon I'll be entering the 5th year of being a full time photographer.  In all of that time I've used all of the skills and knowledge I have from 20 years in the corporate sector and I've applied them to my business.  As you would expect I've also spent large amounts of time refining my photo skills in all areas.  Conceptualisation, shooting, editing, business skills etc.


We live in an incredible age where we have a huge amount of resource available at our finger tips ... things that we can use to our advantage to both break up the day and make ourselves better.


If you Google habits of successful people, you'll get a load of answers, but it at the core it looks something like this.  Subscribe to them or not it's your choice. 

Ganer Photography Learning EverydayLearning Everyday


Down on the left almost in the middle is Learn Everyday ... now up until now I've been in learning Photography and all things photographic.  So now I'm challenging that and I just want to learn about something random.  One of the best places to learn things ( that will not take forever and a day ) is TED.  Many of the talks are 15 mins or less, great for a coffee break, you can even do it on your phone with a coffee, so it's away from your desk.  if you fancy being more active if you use TuneIn Radio on your phone you can stream the audio pod casts.  Yesterday I learnt all about why one person things we are the only real life in the galaxy ( it's a great listen but to save you time he thinks it's a fluke ) 

Today I've caught up all about the fear of rejection and how one man turned it into a game ... and in some ways won. 


Later today, or tomorrow who know what,  I'm just clicking on random titles, things that interest me but are not necessarily related to business or photography.  



[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander London Photographer Photography Wedding Wed, 15 Aug 2018 09:01:38 GMT
How To Make Sure You Love Your Event Photos Pt1 It takes a lot of factors to be selected as the photographer for a special occasion ...

There are many questions to ask is your decision based on

  1. Seeing samples of previous work / events
  2. Photography style and artisticness 
  3. A personal meeting with the photographer
  4. The products you receive at the end; books, albums, prints etc etc
  5. Level of service you might receive; many people in the industry know each other and can help out etc
  6. Price ( though we hope that isn't the only factor )
  7. Personal recommondations
  8. First hand experience, seeing them at work at a different function

and that is not even an exhaustive list.

So today starts a series of blog posts ... How to get images that you love ..

Gander Photography Bar mitzvah Photography LondonGander Photography Barmitzvah LondonGander Photographer Barmitzvah Behind The Scenes Like and Trust Your Photographer

There's quite a long list of things above and I could take them in order .. or I could just carry on.  Strangely I'm going for the later option.  Even stranger I'm leading with one that is more implied in the above list rather than written out specifically.
When all is said and done, when you have met the photographer, seen some work and potentially discussed terms I actually think the way to getting great photos is to like and trust the photographer themselves.
A great deal of what we do before during and after the event is based on trust.  Am I going to get all the required family group shots, do you trust that I am getting them in a way you will like them.  Will important moments such as a chair lift, grand entrance, cake cutting be captured.  Will we all be having fun together at the function ?
Liking the photographs you see on a web site or from a friend is one thing but you have to like your photographer also. Let's get to know eachother there's only me, or very rarely my very competent alternative shooter.  
Take time to meet me, get to know me and we'll find out things about eachother that will make the day go without  a hitch.
Like a recent client said after a barmitzvah we were saying our goodbyes ....


You were great, like having one of the family here to share the day with us



[email protected] (Gander Photography) barmitzvah batmitzvah gander photography wedding Mon, 21 May 2018 10:38:21 GMT
Meet The Team I thought it might be time to introduce you to some of the team members here at Gander Photography so here we go


Head of Photography    Julian

Clearly a massively important role ...

without a photographer we just wouldn't have a business so it's thanks to him we can all eat and pay our bills.

Julian will do absolutly anything to get the shot .. wade through a river, lie down in the grass, stand on platforms no risk is too small.


Head of IT                    Julian

There's lots of technical kit and it all needs to be upto date and kept on top of. 

Computers, tablets, laptops, cameras and the associated paraphernalia as well as networks, backups and mail admin.



Head of Social Media and Web Design    Julian

At Gander Photography we take our social media presence very seriously with Web site, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and other platforms constantly refreshed and updated. 

Each stream has a unique strategy and content, hopefully if you follow all of them you don't feel like you are seeing the same thing over and over again on each of them. 

That's all thanks to the hard work Julian puts in.

Customer Service         Julian

Just as we wouldn't have a business without our photographer Julian, it's true that if no one was there to buy them we'd have a lot of expensive kit and no where to use it. 

Tightly aligned to the Social Media and Web strategy ... Julian and Julian work together to ensure all client requests are handled in a timely manner.



Travel and Transport    Julian

If we couldn't get to our clients then we couldn't take the pictures ..

Julian determines the routes and drives our photographer Julian to the venue. 

Once the job is done he also of course transports him home.



Head of Photographic Editing     Julian

Taking the pictures is just that start of your photo's lives. 

Once a job is complete and Julian hands over the cards, Julian will review, edit and if necessary Photoshop the images to be the best they can. 

It's an extremely complex and time consuming role with ever changing software that needs to be reviewed and mastered.



Head of Finance  Julian

It's a dirty job but someone has to do it.  Putting together a quote for the job in hand, negotiating contracts, taking and chasing payments. 

All of this in a business needs to be done. 

Just as we need photographers and clients, we also need to make sure that the level of money that comes into the business exceeds the funds that go out. 

That's not easy when Julian, Julian or Julian ask for new cameras, lenses, marketing campaigns or fresh transport options. 

Head of Cleaning Ozzy

Never afraid of a daunting task, this pooch will happily hoover and pose with clients.

Working closely with Julian, Julian, Julian and Julian, Ozzy maintains a clear working environment and increases office productivity by 34%




and so there you are a small introduction to the key staff here at Gander Photography, there are a number of other Julians that work here from time to time but we didn't want to overwhelm you in this post !!

[email protected] (Gander Photography) gander london photographer photography portrait Thu, 03 May 2018 13:33:37 GMT
Gander Photography Headshot Tips Headshot Tips 


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1. What to wear


It can be a bit of a conundrum ... but it doesn't need to be.  If you have a uniform or a branded shirt for what you do then go ahead and wear it.  

If you are in a formal setting then gent's wear a suit, ladies a smart dress or top.

But here is the trick, if you want to get good value from your head shot session then by all means bring a change or two. 

Gent's a different tie or jacket.  A shot with a tie one without.

Ladies ... change accessories, a jacket or top change is also an option.

Why ... well why leave a session with just one image you can use when you can have several.  You can rotate them for different purposes, use them for different platforms but having more than one headshot will allow you flexibility and longevity.


2. Location 

There are 3 main options here .... Studio, in your office location, outdoors

The studio.  If you want a clean crisp background, it doesn't have to be white or black, then the studio is a fabulous venue.  It also has the added ingredient of studio lighting.

Your office environment, doing what you do in the location that you do it is a good place to start.  It gives the viewer an insight into your work space and maybe others in it or how you work.  With great lighting all locations can look fabulous.

Outdoors, if you want to portray a more relaxed less serious persona then outdoors in a local park in a number of different environments could be for you.  This could also equally be you on location showing how you work. 


Corporate,Gander,Headshot,PhotographyGander Photography Corporate Headshot 54Gander Photography Corporate Headshot Corporate,Gander,Headshot,PhotographyGander Photography Corporate Headshot 80Gander Photography Corporate Headshot


3. To smile or not to smile

Looking good and smiling on camera is not as easy as you may think.  You also need to think a little about the purpose of the image and how welcoming or serious it may need to be.

The smile maybe dictated by the location and what you are wearing. 

Overall when we take a picture together then we are going to be enjoying ourselves, chatting whilst shooting.  As long as the image is natural a smile, or even a laugh might be suitable.


4. Make Up

In some cases we'll have a make up artist to make sure you are looking your best.  Having a make up artist makes the session easier for you and quite possibly a bit more fun.  

Most important for women, or men with longer hair, is to keep it neat and under control.  It can always look more messy in shot than in real life.



5. Grooming

Women make sure your roots are done, eyebrows are shaped etc.  Men have a shave or trim the beard.


Follow all of this and the pictures will be great. 


[email protected] (Gander Photography) corporate headshot london photographer photography portrait Wed, 02 May 2018 13:14:49 GMT
New Website New look website ...

So this is something I've been meaning to do for a very long time but forever thought I just didn't have the time ... in fact when it came down to it, it has taken hardly anytime at all ... 

website1website1 I've spent most of today taking my tired old website and given it a full revamp ... not only have all of the pages changed.

I've added a new section for corporate photography. 

Amazingly it just wasn't there before.  With luck it showcases my work better than it used to and makes it really easy to get a hold of me.

Like all things webby, it's a bit of a work in progress and there are some loose ends to tidy but I think for today at least I am done.

I'd be really grateful if you could take a look and let me know what you think in the comments for the blog.


Do you like it ?

If you knew the old one is this one better ?

What can I do to make it even easier for you to find out about me ?

I'll let you know if there are any more significant changes to be made and when I make them but for now apart from the odd spelling error I'm sure is in there I think this is it.

J xxx

[email protected] (Gander Photography) gander photography website Sat, 28 Apr 2018 15:52:21 GMT
Lily's Batmitzvah or The night of flamingos, unicorns and pineapples.
Pineapple Flamingo UnicornPineapple Flamingo UnicornPineapple Flamingo Unicorn

So this weekend we had the great pleasure of taking batmitzvah pictures for the lovely Lily.  A double pleasure as I had also been the photographer for her brother's barmitzvah less than a year ago.

Having kept in touch with the family and already taken them out for a shoot in the park a few weeks earlier, whilst the gave no secrets away I new I was in for a treat. 

They didn't disappoint and the room had been decorated to comply with Lily's request for Pineapples and Flamingos ... only problem was there were unicorns as she had asked for.

I couldn't let her down on her big day so I managed to wrangle on, and bring it with.  He featured quite heavily in a few of the photos through the night. 

He's back in his paddock now and waiting for the next time he needs to make an appearance !!

With kind permission of the family here's a few pictures of the night.

Lily's batmitzvah London Function PhotographerLily's batmitzvah London Function PhotographerLily's batmitzvah

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[email protected] (Gander Photography) barmitzvah gander london photographer photography portrait Tue, 27 Feb 2018 15:27:39 GMT
Price Vs Value Learn the rules like and artist PicassoGander Photography Gander Photography Portrait Event Photography Blog


Picasso, is long admired as one of the world's greatest artists.  He is entered in the list of most expensive paintings with an entry at No5 for a painting sold in 2015 for $180m. There was a time though when he was so poor that he had to burn his paintings just to stay warm.  By the time he died he had left a staggering 22,000 works of art. That's the ones that were good enough to survive, not be painted over or ones that actually got finished.  That's a lot of hours with a paint brush in his hand, a lot of time learning a skill and massive dedication to his craft.

There's a story (true or false, I don't know) about Picasso

In the story it seems a woman came up to him and asked him to sketch something on a piece of paper.

He sketched it, and gave it back to her saying: “That will cost you $10,000”.

She was astounded. “You took just five minutes to do the sketch,” she said. "Isn't $10,000 a lot for five minutes work?"

“The sketch may have taken me five minutes, but the learning took me 30 years,” Picasso retorted.

It's the same in most artistic trades to get really good at what you do photography, musician, dancer takes may hours of practice and dedication often along with a great amount of personal sacrifice....  in many cases people are tempted to shop on price and price alone.  

The value of a good piece of art is more than the cost of the ink and paint ( or the similar medium ) in fact the most expensive painting ever is $450m and the most expensive photograph is just a shade over $4.3m 

It takes a lot to be a skilled artist, regardless of the hours worked camera in hand.  The vision, interpretation and the ability to put the client at ease in an unusual situation.  It's also worth considering the other elements, I need to know how to not just take a picture but how to edit it once captured.  I'd like to say it takes nothing but a filter but in truth each image is edited by hand, for function pictures where often 2000 are taken and over 600 delivered that can mean maybe a minute or two per image that can be a further 20hrs, portraits can often take upto an hour each to complete an edit sometimes more. 

What about equipment ? I carry a kit bag with 3 professional level cameras, 9 lenses, 4 flashes and a whole bunch more.  It's not because I like buying toys, though I'd be lying if I said I didn't, it's so I can handle every situation.  Not only that but I have multiple copies of every picture taken, even when I take them my cameras have 2 memory cards in case one fails and then I have 3 copies on site and another in the cloud.  You can add to that the professional insurances I carry to cover anything that might happen when we work together.  Professional specification computer and the software to go with it.

All of this comes at a cost keeping up to date with skills and equipment takes an investment.  It's because I value the work that I do and want to be sure that your once in a lifetime event or portraits are exactly what you want that I continue to invest and not stand still.  Whilst it is true that we all now carry phones with camera and an those cameras become increasingly good there is no substitute for a professional photographer.  Leave the photography to a professional and your valuable memories will last a life time.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) barmitzvah london photographer photography portrait Fri, 02 Feb 2018 15:55:13 GMT
Shooting outdoors All photography is inspired by light,  light that we either create with flashes and the like to more natural light of the outdoors.  As I shoot I'm always looking for great light to pose you in. 

So the winter is rolling away and it's time to look towards Spring.  Winter brings about a flat, non inspiring light with mostly grey overcast days.  Once in a while a snow day appears but they are so bright with all the light bouncing off the snow that it can be hard to create texture.  Spring with the blue skies, cherry blossom and daffodils, pockets of light and shade in the Spring sunbeams.  It's the perfect opportunity to get out and take some portraits in the park.  The light is not so bright it hurts your eyes, the sun not so hot it burns the skin and the ground not so dry that the grass is brown. All in all Spring is a great time to get out with a camera and snap away.  

Gander Photography Outdoor PortraitGander Photography Outdoor PortraitGander Photography Outdoor Portrait

It also lends it self to a search for locations and venues.  Somewhere that is both suitable for the shoot brief, is it a family shoot, is it an individual portrait ? What if any props are going to be included ? What is the story being told ?


Gander Photography Outdoor Dancer PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor Dancer PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor Dancer Portraits

Over the years I've found a great number of locations to take you to for a wide variety of shots.  From local parks, to places in London that really shine through.  Parks with playgrounds, walk ways, coffee shops all lend themselves to great photo opportunities.  

Gander Photography Outdoor Family PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor Family PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor Family Portraits

I quite like the aspect of having to travel light ( pun not intended ) on an outdoor shoot.  Often in the studio the choice of equipment, camera, lens, light, background and so on can be a little overwhelming and whilst build a set for interest it can be draining.  

Outdoors is a little different,  I often take a single backpack with a limited selection of equipment.  I can't take just one camera, I've never had one fail but it just worries me too much.  Then maybe 2 or 3 lenses and that can be it.  Often I find that I could have left a lot of that behind and just picked up a camera and single lens for the entire job.  On occasion, because the mood of the shoot dictates it, I can take a light stand and a single flash for the addition of a bit of mood lighting or  fill in, but then I need an assistant also. 

Gander Photography Outdoor Dancer PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor Portraits Gander Photography Outdoor PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor Portraits


An outdoor shoot is often a more organic session than shooting in the studio. So many factors provide flexibility and unique opportunity and you can be almost certain that each time you visit a location there will be something different about it.  Whilst studios are great to shoot in the familiar feel of the backgrounds needs to be overcome.


Gander Photography Outdoor Dancer PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor Dancer PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor Dancer Portraits

Shooting outdoors can also be different during different times of day, the soft light of the morning is different to that of the harsher light of midday that will create deeper shadows and then of course the golden hour just before sunset and night-time ...  I certainly want to do more outdoor and location work in 2018 even with the unpredictable aspect of British weather.  

Gander Photography Outdoor Dancer PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor Portraits Gander Photography Outdoor Dancer PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor PortraitsGander Photography Outdoor Portraits

[email protected] (Gander Photography) gander london photographer photography portrait Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:34:17 GMT
So How Far Do I Walk At Function ?? When I work I give everything 100% ... from the preparation before hand, getting to know you, getting to know the venue and the event shoot itself.


A function shoot can easily be 8 hours or more.   From travel to arrival. Set up for portraits and then the party and the journey home.  I've long wondered what sort of distance I cover on foot during that time and have previously used a pedometer to at least count the steps.


For me bar/bat mitzvahs, weddings and parties are once in a life time functions and need to be treated just like that.  During those 8 or so hours I barely take a break.  There is always something going on somewhere that needs to be captured.  Not only that but some venues are large and need you to have one eye over your shoulder and a sprint at the ready.


So how far do I walk ... 


I got a phone upgrade over the last few months and the fitness apps on the new one are incredible.  After a trial at the last function  of 2017 I decided to properly GPS track a full night, fingers crossed the battery would make it through the night.


Here's the track ...

Gander Photography Blog GPSTrackGander PhotographyGander Photography Blog GPSTrack

If you want to know it's roughly 15000 steps and just short of 5 miles.  Not only do I cover all that distance but I do it with 2 cameras, lenses and flashes hanging off each shoulder.


According to the app I used roughly 2500 calories during that session.  It's no wonder I've lost roughly a stone since becoming a full time photographer.


But more over the bigger question is why am I telling you this ... why do I think you maybe even remotely interested.  Well I think it's important for you, and come to think of it me, to understand what it means to me to be a function photographer.  I'm one of those people that likes to party hard ... and I like to do it with you.  So I'm not that photographer that stands on a ladder in the middle of a dance floor and shoots pictures like a sniper shoots at a target.  I wear out a pair of trainers every 3 months.  There is a additional benefit.  If I am part of the party then it's easier to edit ... I take roughly 2000 pictures on the night... I aim to deliver 600 hundred or so of these.  You might think that's easy ... but once you remove the bad ones, and there are always bad ones. The ones where the focus isn't right, the flash didn't fire, the subject isn't in the frame or people blink, those ones. Once they are out of the way then it's about choosing the meaningful images. The ones that tell the story. The ones that matter. 


Above everything else I'm a story teller ... grabbing the bits you know about and those that happen that you don't see.  I'm capturing this once in a lifetime event for you, for now and forever.  Some of my own previous pictures are not of the events I was at, or even of people I know but rather of generations before me.  The window on that world is a treasure trove of connection, knowledge and stories told by those who were there.


So I don't care how long I stand for, it's interesting to know how far I walked but if you asked me to do it for twice as long over treble the distance I'd do it in a heartbeat.


[email protected] (Gander Photography) barmitzvah batmitzvah gander london photographer photography portrait Tue, 09 Jan 2018 08:45:27 GMT
I'm a bad blogger or Oh my word is it really that long since I wrote a blog ??

OK so I'm a bad blogger, it's been almost year since I wrote post ... in that amount of time I could

  • have had a baby OK so I'm a bloke so it's a bit hard but you get my drift
  • grown 4 1/2 inches of hair 
  • Boiled roughly 40,000 eggs

and a whole lot of other things

Instead what I have been doing is taking pictures, building websites, creating books and a whole lot of other stuff

Infact last year I took,edited and delivered over 75,000 photos over 105 different shoots. 

That's a whole lot of barmitzvah's & batmitzvahs, quite a few portraits,  a few dogs and quite a bit of contemporary boudoir portraiture.  Not only all of that but I also held my own gallery of work ... a first for me and quite a strange night all round.  45 pictures printed in a large format hanging on walls and being displayed to selected invited guests. 

So I'm taking the unusual step of making a new years resolution now and promising to share more of my work here.  You see I think that the power of photography is lost in the Snapchat generation.  The click here and now, but a true photograph one that captures the essence of the day is a thing of wonder.  Not only that but, if printed and this is getting rarer and rarer as time goes by, it is there for all future generations to see.  How many of you spent time ploughing through the family photo albums laughing and learning all about family life. 

So be prepared, be prepared to see a lot of bar mitzvahs, a lot or bat mitzvahs, some weddings, some portraits and maybe some corporate work.  I live to keep my photography wide and varied, as long as it includes people.  I'm not much of a one for still life, landscapes or food.  But I do like to experiment, to create and to exist through photography.

In the mean time here is a little bit of what I got up to last year ...


If you have anything you want to know, or see then let me know and I'll what I can do to help.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) barmitzvah batmitzvah gander london photographer photography portrait Fri, 05 Jan 2018 15:19:36 GMT
Xmas, it's so last year OK so it's been and gone ...

Gander Photography Xmas Lights in LondonGander Photography Xmas Lights in LondonChristmas lights in Covent Garden, London

but before we forget about it all together and start looking forward to Spring and then Summer where without a doubt we will complain about being hot, I thought I'd share these with you.  


My final shoot of the year was a bit of a personal project, an adventure around London with a camera bag, it started off light but after 6 miles was really quite heavy.  Anyway the whole idea was to have some fun and take some pictures that I don't normally get the chance to take.  It was quite a techincal challenge with the camera getting quite confused with all the different light sources.  

We did all the tourist sites,  Covent Garden,  Trafalgar Square, Oxford Street, Regent Street and so the list goes on. 

We weren't the only ones out and as is so often the case we had to be patient, wait our turn and not get in anyone else's way.

I had a great time and it was a great way to finish off an incredible year of shooting.








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[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander Lights London Photography Xmas Wed, 04 Jan 2017 15:22:50 GMT
New Born Photography New Born Baby

There's something about taking pictures of a new born, ideally in the first few weeks whilst they are all still nice and scrunched up, generally asleep.  Wait a little longer and they know you are there and make life just a little bit harder.  Babies can be unpredictable at the best of times so I always make sure to have plenty of time when shooting them.  

So here I was taking pictures of this little lad.  I only got the call the evening before but that didn't stop me from planning the shoot and thinking about the best way of doing it.   

It's important for me to get a variety of images both of the baby with the parents and then on their own.

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New Born baby Gander PhotographyNew Born baby Gander PhotographyNew Born baby Gander Photography


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[email protected] (Gander Photography) Born Gander New Photography Tue, 12 Jul 2016 09:34:58 GMT
Having a good back up strategy Back It Up


I'm paranoid, it's true.  First you've invited me to take your pictures, that in itself is scary enough to some people.  But then what if the camera breaks, the cards fail or once we are editing the drives all crash.  

It's not impossible is it ...

That's why I do the very best to protect against all issues.

Gander Phototgaphy BackupsGander Phototgaphy BackupsGander Phototgaphy Backups






























I use 3 cameras on every job.  Not because it makes me look great with all that kit hanging around my neck, infact quite the opposite and it weighs enough, but because if one should fail I have a back up.  I'm swapping between them all the time and spreading the pictures across them.  Often those watching me will ask, What's the difference between the cameras ? Whilst they may be set differently it's also to make sure I'm minimising risk.  One of those cameras uses 2 cards at a time so, if one card fails the other one has all of the pictures.

When I get back, on the night of the function, I upload everything.  It takes time.  Then I back it all up locally to 3 additional drives, and then it all goes off to the cloud.  

The only problem right now is that I'm so busy taking pictures that even with a fibre internet connection, my cloud backups can't keep up !!!

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Backup Barmitzvah Gander Photography Portraits Wedding Fri, 01 Jul 2016 08:26:55 GMT
Photo Tip : Shoot from a Low Angle On from The Rule of Thirds try getting down or high up to really make the picture pop ... look for a different angle and be rewarded with an unusual image


[email protected] (Gander Photography) Wed, 01 Jun 2016 09:57:56 GMT
Photo Tip : Composition Rule Of Thirds Here's a really quick tip for photography composition use the Rule Of Thirds

Instead of putting the key subject in the middle consider breaking the image into a 9 square grid and using the intersection points as places to put things of interest in the picture.  

So if you are taking pictures on the beach have the sea in the bottom third line not the middle.  

Have the people to the left or the right not in the middle.

Many camera phones have grid lines you can turn on in the options to help you balance the picture.


[email protected] (Gander Photography) Wed, 01 Jun 2016 09:54:42 GMT
A bitter sweet shoot The end of a long road


It started just before Xmas and came to an end almost 6 months later.  Over that period we shoot nearly 20 times and took almost 800 pictures.  

Weekly Maternity Shot maternity ImagesMaternity Images

I know this will stay with the family forever, I know what it's printed it's going to look spectacular.  

Each week we took a set of pictures, in a series of stances, later I seelcted the correct one, cut out the background, laid it out.   What you can see is the growth of a new life, a baby over that period of time, and right at the end little Sofia in Mum's arms.

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Not only did we take the baby bump maternity images but we also took some great pics in the last few weeks.
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[email protected] (Gander Photography) Born Gander Maternity New Photography Pictures Tue, 10 May 2016 09:34:06 GMT
Some times I do corporate work too ... OK so when people ask me what I do I tell them I'm a photographer and I take pictures of people and pets.  If it has eyes and a heartbeat then that's me.

From time to time that changes.  I've done some work for the Spire Bushey hospital, headshots and the like, and I got a phone call late last week.  This isn't a word for word transcription but it will be quite close


Them : "Hi it's xxx from Bushey Spire, I know it's really late notice but don't suppose you are free on Saturday morning are you"

Me : "I could be, what time, whatcha got"

Them : "Well it would be quite early, we are having our new MRI machine delivered and a few pictures of the whole thing would be great"

Me : " Yeah sure no probolem, oh 8am you say, that's fine, done in an hour or so.  Great see you then"


I dropped in on the Friday for a quick site survey, as all good photographers should and that was that.

The weather on Friday evening was abysmal, 4 seasons in one day and a howling storm through the night.  Saturday morning came bright crisp blue skies.

For those that don't know MRI machines are basically a huge magnet and some casing, they weigh a great deal and cost a lot of money.  This was quite a significant thing.  I guess you never really know where one job will lead you to and I'm not sure I'd get the chance to shoot this again so here's a few pics for you.


Bushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander PhotographyBushey Spire MRI Machine DeliveryBushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander Photography

Bushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander PhotographyBushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander PhotographyBushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander Photography Bushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander PhotographyBushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander PhotographyBushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander Photography Bushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander PhotographyBushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander PhotographyBushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander Photography Bushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander PhotographyBushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander PhotographyBushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander Photography

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Finally a selfie of me with a hard hat, no idea what that would have done to help me but always happy to comply.


Bushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander PhotographyBushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander PhotographyBushey Spire MRI Machine Delivery Gander Photography

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Bushey Delivery Gander MRI Machine Photography Spire Wed, 04 May 2016 15:49:55 GMT
New Year's Resolutions ... How are yours doing ? Gander Photography Barmitzvah Batmitzvah Wedding PortraitGander Photography Home Page 1Gander Photography London Event Photographer


Back at the beginning of January I wrote a blog about New Years Resolutions.  You can read  it here.

I live in London, where this weekend just saw the London Marathon.  For many of the runners it would have been a resolution to complete that race.  If you took part, well done to you. 

I'm wondering how we are all doing with any other resolutions you may have.  Have you managed to stick with them, tick any of them off the list yet.

I challenged you all, I suggested that you do something that scares you.  Something to remember. Something rewarding.

Gander Photography Barmitzvah Batmitzvah Wedding PortraitGander Photography Home Page 14Gander Photography London Event Photographer

I'm back again to make that same challenge just in case I've managed to slip to the bottom of your list.  We are a quarter of the way through the year, a few weeks back we changed the clocks but before you know it the nights will draw in and we will reset them once again.

For many having a picture taken can be just as hard and challenging as taking part in the London Marathon.  It takes courage to stand in front of a camera and as some of those that have had a session will tell you it takes a certain amount of physical stamina and indeed mental ability. 

So come on and do something you've been putting off for some time and have a picture taken it's a rewarding experience that will be transformational in so many ways.

Portraiture or boudoir it doesn't matter which contact me today for more info [email protected]

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Boudoir Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Mon, 25 Apr 2016 07:10:00 GMT
A Lot Can Happen In Year Ok so every now and again I take a look over old work, find some of my best pictures, and dare I say some of my less best pictures. There's a lot to learn from old work and it's a rewarding exercise.

Those of you that know me will know that whilst I've been taking pictures of people forever I've only been full time for a little over a year.
Gander Photography Portrait Teen Gander Photography Portrait Teen Gander Photography Portrait Teen

In order to build a portfolio,  practice a few ideas and just generally have some fun I ran a portrait marathon. On reflection I must have been brave or mad,  or a combination.  It turned into 7 sessions in a single day.  Some individual,  some group. I forget the details but it was over 12 hrs of shooting.  Add to that that my chosen subjects were all teenagers ranging from 13 to 18. Anything could happen.

Gander Photography Portrait Teen Gander Photography Portrait Teen Gander Photography Portrait Teen

What did happen was actually quite good.  I learnt a lot, tried a lot and enjoyed myself  lot.  Now 12 months on and looking at some of those pictures again, although my style and technique have advanced some of the pictures from that day still rate as my favourite ever.

Gander Photography Portrait Teen Gander Photography Portrait Teen Gander Photography Portrait Teen

So thanks to the model volunteers, for their time and their patience on that day you don't realise how much you helped me.

If you want portraits give me a call 07949 026 334 and lets chat

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander London Photography Portrait Teen Thu, 21 Apr 2016 07:45:43 GMT
and now it's Colour's turn Last week I blogged about the lasting appeal of Black and White photography, this week I thought I'd give colour it's turn to fight back.

There is no doubt that modern cameras, even the one's on phones are getting better and better.  One of the best advances has been in the way colours are captured and then printed. A vibrant photography has the ability to put you right back in the moment.  For weddings, barmitzvahs and batmitzvahs the selection of colour theme has often been a difficult choice and there are lots of articles on many blogs directing people how to choose colours.  

Some pictures just won't work in black and white take these for instance Note : These are not my pics
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Colour has it's place and is more likely to stay and dominate than Black and White I keep promising myself that I'm going to embark on a black and white only project.  Pictures taken in Black and White that are meant to be Black and White not just conversions at a later date.  Maybe this year I'll get round to it.  In the mean time I'll carry on making the odd conversion and seeing what happens.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Black Colour Photographer Photography Portrait White Mon, 01 Feb 2016 13:40:54 GMT
The lasting appeal of Black and White photography  

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We live in a high definition, ultra bright, technicolour world.  Televisions have developed in a short number of years from a 14 inch square box on top of a sideboard into 60inches of flat screen beauty on the wall that deliver a picture that is better than looking through a window.

Why is it then that in all of this hyper realism there is still a draw to black and white photography.  That hark back to history of monochrome.  In every set of images I deliver there is always a black and white or two.  These are the images that people comment on the most.
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It is true that in the modern world we have far more control over the way black and white works, the tones and contrast, in my mind the modern black and white looks far better than some of the classics.
It seems to me that black and white evokes different emotions than colour.  People are reminded of old historical pictures, maybe of family history their parents or grandparents wedding.  It also seems to me that black and white is a more personal medium, a portrait can be far more connected, far more personal.  Is a black and white image better at telling a story, being part of a documen ?

I'll let you decide but one thing is for sure the photographer has it easier, we can decide if a picture will be black and white after we take it, we can control the tones of the black and white image and make digital images taken on modern mega pixel cameras designed to give the best colour images be the best black and white pictures we can.


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[email protected] (Gander Photography) Mon, 25 Jan 2016 17:03:09 GMT
Excuse Me ... Can I Ask You A Question ? blog3blog3

Picture the scene, it's the end of the night, the party is over and I'm packing away.  Somewhere in the corner of the room, the hobbyist shooter of the night is also packing his kit away  He comes over, asks the question .... So erm, on a night like that what are your camera settings ?

I don't mind that he asks, in fact it reminds me of when I was the hobbyist in the corner watching the professional do his thing.  The thing is, I nearly always don't have a clue what my settings are. 
Long ago I moved away from Automatic mode, frankly the camera can't make decisions for me that I can trust.  I skipped right past the semi-automatic modes, never bothered with them, and landed on fully manual. So now I make all the decisions all of the time.
One of the best bits of being a digital photographer is the instant feedback on the screen,  shoot, take a look, adjust as required. Almost like a chef tasting food I guess. To that end I have  my go to settings to achieve the look and feel that I want.  From there, I can change things to be more precise but here is the thing, I make those changes without even realising, tiny adjustments through a set.  Click this, turn that, press and push.  It just happens as I shoot, review and adjust, can tell without looking at the back of the camera how the picture turned out from the briefest moment of the image in the viewfinder as the shutter drops.
As with many things with photography there are many, many ways the achieve a look, there are rules and they are made to be broken once you understand them.  If you want to understand how a photographer works watch him look at the less technical aspect of his performance.  Ask yourself this
  • how active is he ?
  • how does he positions himself with respect to the subject and the light ?
  • what sort of relationship does he have with the people in the room ?
  • is he looking around, making sure he misses nothing ?

 You can learn all the technical stuff, it's like learning to play an instrument it takes some knowledge and a whole lot of practice that's true.  But once you know that, the chords and the scales so to speak, you need to be able to make music and that to me is a true skill and talent.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander London Photography Tue, 12 Jan 2016 09:30:00 GMT
Function Photography ... What price are your memories OK so how many people have had a disappointing photography experience ?

I meet more and more people that tell me that their photographer let them down.  The fave picture of their wedding was not one they paid a photographer for but one that their friend took ... How can this be ?

Gander Photography Barmitzvah Batmitzvah Wedding PortraitGander Photography Home Page 2Gander Photography London Event Photographer

It seems more and more that there are a lot of people calling themselves photographers ... I can't complain I was once just a hobbyist too.  Back when people used a film camera and specialist equipment and more than likely had there own dark rooms then it was harder to get into.  

But reader be ware, just because I can buy a camera and a lens doesn't make me an event photographer.  I have to know what I'm doing, where to be and when, understand the flow of the night, and I have to have plenty of kit, at last count I have 3 cameras, 9 lenses, 5 flashes you get the drift ... is that because I like spending the money ?  No it's because I need the right tool for the right job, you don't want a surgeon to do brain surgery with a plastic knife do you ?  Nor do you want the surgeon, with a scalpel, to cut into you without knowing what he's upto ...

So all of the kit, the insurance, hours of training both with a camera and photoshop it has  a value ... back to the brain surgeon, if you saw him on a Private appointment you'd expect it to cost you a fair price ... if he said 'Sure come see me, it'll only cost you £50 you'd wonder how good he was ... 

Sometimes it can be hard for people to appreciate the value of photography and in many cases it's only after the event, which cannot be recreated that people understand.  I see more an more people who tell me that their function was not well photographed for one reason or another ... please don't be one of them 

[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Wedding Sun, 10 Jan 2016 12:53:47 GMT
New Year's Resolutions Hands Up ... how many of you woke up in the last few days  sat down with a cup of coffee and went, either out loud or in your head ... This year I will ...

I bet I can name a few of them
  • Lose weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Be more active
  • Write my first novel
  • Take a trip to China
  • Learn to play a musical instrument
I suggest this one
Do something that scares you ... 
Having been a photographer for some time it seems to me that most people are scared of having a picture taken. 
Most of us look at a picture think we are too fat, have a few too many chins, we are a bit grey, the list goes on and on ...

So why is it ... simply we are programmed to look for the bad rather than the good.  Although the vast majority of us are not as blessed to be a David or a Victoria Beckham we are not as bad as we may think.  It seems even models, actors and Miss Universe don't like looking at themselves so what chance for us mere mortals ?
My mission for 2016 is to alter people's perception of themselves, and let them see their own beauty. So if you want to do something this year, something a bit different how about letting me point a lens at you and getting the picture you always wanted.

Interested mail me at [email protected] and lets have a chat.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Mon, 04 Jan 2016 15:13:44 GMT
Does What You Know About A Person Influence How You Shoot Them ?? I've always maintained that photographing people is about relationship building, trust and honesty.  This clip, which is 3 mins long goes to prove that very thing.

These photographers are all taking pictures of the same person, he is however being introduced to them as a different person / character.  So whilst they are not shooting the same character it is the same face & body.

What is interesting is that all of the photographers have shot him differently, according to how they interpret the character they are told he is ..



When a client asks me to shoot a portrait like this one here it is important for me to get to know them, understand them and plan what it is I'm going to do with them ... no shocks on the day.  Often I spend more time preparing for a portrait session than shooting it ... 

The full article for the video clip is here ...  go take a look

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Fri, 06 Nov 2015 14:34:47 GMT
How To Make Sure You Love Your Event Photos Pt6 I can't tell you how many people I see who tell me they didn't like their photos ... 

It takes a great deal of trust to be the event photographer and there are a few things you need to be sure of to make sure you get pictures you like.  So here is the first in a number of tips to making sure you end up with pictures you like.


Unplug The Ceremony

UnplugUnplugUnplug The Ceremony

In an age where more pictures are uploaded to Facebook in a month than were taken in the whole of the 1980s it's not uncommon for your guests to watch the proceedings through their phone rather than looking at you in the flesh.  Respectfully ask for the ceremony to be unplugged, the photographer after all has it covered.  If you want the official photographer to get all the angles without tripping over Uncle Bob and his iPhone, or for the pictures not to be a sea of Phones and Tablets waving in the air then leave it to the professional.

Read Part1 Read Part2  Read Part3 Read Part4 Read Part5



[email protected] (Gander Photography) Barmitzvah Batmitzvah Gander Photography Wedding Wed, 21 Oct 2015 08:11:02 GMT
How To Make Sure You Love Your Event Photos Pt5 I can't tell you how many people I see who tell me they didn't like their photos ... 

It takes a great deal of trust to be the event photographer and there are a few things you need to be sure of to make sure you get pictures you like.  So here is the first in a number of tips to making sure you end up with pictures you like.


Feed The Photographer At The Right Time


So this might seem a bit selfish but it's also obvious 

I'm working for about 10hrs,  during that time my FitBit tells me

  • I normally take around 10,000 steps
  • Can cover upwards of 3 - 4 miles ( just in the venue you are having a party in ) 
  • Generally that means I'm burning about 2,000 calories when I'm with you

I need to eat and an emergency Belvita bar will only go so far


It boils down to this ... If you want to get get bad pictures from a hungry photographer with low blood sugar wait until everyone else has been fed, put a plate of food infront of me about as far away from proceedings as possible.  At the moment the first fork of food goes in the DJ will announce the first dance, speech or entertainer.  I still hungry and now salivating,  will have to dash to the party once more.  

For some reason there is a conspiracy to feed the photographer, and other staff, after all the other guests are fed.  Don't get me wrong I understand the logic, make sure there is enough to go round and then give us our food.  However when did you ever go to a function that was under catered ?  I don't know why the photographer gets fed after everyone else ... it's not like I haven't been catered for so do everyone a favor.  Feed the photographer at the start of the dinner, that way the pictures that we can't take of people eating won't matter and we are far less likely to miss an epic moment from your once in a lifetime event.

Read Part1
Read Part2 
Read Part3
Read Part4


[email protected] (Gander Photography) Barmitzvah Batmitzvah Gander Photography Wedding Tue, 13 Oct 2015 15:12:22 GMT
How To Make Sure You Love Your Event Photos Pt4 I can't tell you how many people I see who tell me they didn't like their photos ... 

It takes a great deal of trust to be the event photographer and there are a few things you need to be sure of to make sure you get pictures you like.  So here is the first in a number of tips to making sure you end up with pictures you like.


Make Sure There is Plenty Of Time For The Important Pics

I've never worked a function that went competely to plan  ... you try, agendas are drafted, watches are sync'd to military accuracy the days starts. Within the first 15 minutes the party is already running 20 mins behind schedule ...

What all that means is that when it comes to the set pieces. formal or group shots make sure there is plenty of time set aside for them.  Different photographers work in different ways and indeed different people want different things but bear these things in mind.

You will have a list of the family groups that you want taking ... please share all of the list with me
Even if you do there will be more to add, guaranteed
Bear in mind good photography takes time, good photography takes more time ... for some group shots you will have to be posed and reposed before the line up feels right
It't the only time I'm going to pull rank on your entire day.  If there are a bunch of other people stood behind me shouting Look at me ... then my shot, the official shot, that will be the one you keep will have everyone looking in all sorts of directions.
The long and short of it is this, you don't want to be away from the reception for long, I don't want to keep you any longer than is necessary.  The flip side is that the pictures you see in Bridal Magazines, Pinterest and faceboook don't just happen, they need planning, posing and preparation.  Be kind to your photographer, let them know what you have in mind and all will go well




Read Part1

Read Part2 

Read Part3


[email protected] (Gander Photography) Barmitzvah Batmitzvah Gander Photography Wedding Mon, 05 Oct 2015 07:13:21 GMT
How To Make Sure You Love Your Event Photos Pt3 I can't tell you how many people I see who tell me they didn't like their photos ... 

It takes a great deal of trust to be the event photographer and there are a few things you need to be sure of to make sure you get pictures you like.  So here is the first in a number of tips to making sure you end up with pictures you like.


Choose Someone Who Has Good Equipment and Knows How To Use It

There is a saying that goes along the lines of   ....  'The best camera is the one you have in your hand'

It's true that any picture is better than no picture at all but if you are paying a professional to do the job, you have the right to expect professional grade equipment, that is looked after and maintained, and lots of it.  

When it comes to professional equipment it's possible to spend dizzying sums of money.  As a photographer it is easy to get carried away and buy all the toys you would love, but at a certain point common sense kicks in and you get the best tool for the job.

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Gander Photography over time has invested in professional level equipment and we has a selection to choose from.  What that means is, we can shoot for a variety of situations, for a range of photographs for you.  We have the right tool for the right job, would you let a surgeon operate with a kitchen knife and pliers or rather a scalpel and forceps?

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[email protected] (Gander Photography) Barmitzvah Batmitzvah Gander Photography Wedding Tue, 29 Sep 2015 17:20:13 GMT
How To Make Sure You Love Your Event Photos Pt2 I can't tell you how many people I see who tell me they didn't like their photos ... 

It takes a great deal of trust to be the event photographer and there are a few things you need to be sure of to make sure you get pictures you like.  So here is the first in a number of tips to making sure you end up with pictures you like.

Use a Professional

In the last several years Gander Photography has covered
  • Over 50 Weddings, Bar and Batmitzvahs and similar events 
  • Taken more than 40 sets of family or individual portraits 
In all that adds upto an estimated over 100,000 pictures taken, reviewed, edited and delivered.  You know what they say practice makes perfect ...
A good event photographer knows how to look around the room, senses when something is happening or more importantly is about to happen.  Just because your Uncle has a good camera and takes a nice picture on holiday doesn't mean they have all the skills necessary to be a good function or portrait photographer.

A good portrait photographer knows how to light, pose people to get the best out of each member in the group.




In short we know what we are doing, we know what happens when, how to handle the little issues that crop up from time to time just so you won't know.

More importantly a good photographer knows it's not all about cameras, lights, props and poses its about getting to know you, understanding you and having fun ​





[email protected] (Gander Photography) Barmitzvah Batmitzvah Gander Photography Wedding Mon, 28 Sep 2015 07:51:15 GMT
How To Keep A Teenager Happy On Their Next Birthday Teenagers are a strange kind of alien, they look like us and act like us, eventually they will even become us.  That's where it ends ...
So what do you do for a teenager's birthday party, what is different, what keeps them entertained ?
How about letting them live their Next Top Model dreams.  A birthday teenager, some friends, a travelling studio, some props and a patient photographer.
And so it was that I was invited to photograph one young teenager and her friends.  6 mostly shy girls entered the room with caution and fear.  Oh and lots and lots of bags with clothes and shoes.  Whilst I rerranged furniture and set up for the day.  What happened over then next 2 hrs or so can only be described as great fun. 
As the mother of the party girl said to me 
" ... the girls came out of their shells after a very short period of time, you had them all laughing! The party was a great success and the girls had an amazing time, definitely one they won't forget! "
[email protected] (Gander Photography) Fri, 25 Sep 2015 08:10:02 GMT
How To Make Sure You Love Your Event Photos Pt1 I can't tell you how many people I see who tell me they didn't like their photos ... 

It takes a great deal of trust to be the event photographer and there are a few things you need to be sure of to make sure you get pictures you like.  So here is the first in a number of tips to making sure you end up with pictures you like.

Like and Trust Your Photographer

Liking the photographs you see on a web site or from a friend is one thing but you have to like your photographer also. Let's get to know eachother there's only me, or very rarely my very competent alternative shooter.  Take time to meet us, get to know us and we'll find out things about eachother that will make the day go without  a hitch.
  • We can show full weddings or bar and bat mitzvahs ... we often shoot different venues or couples / families in different styles so make sure you take a look at a range of events.
  • If you are having trouble deciding why not book a mini portrait session first, 45 mins of fun photography at a price refundable against the full event package should you choose to go ahead ... nothing to loose right ?


Like a recent client said after a barmitzvah we were saying our goodbyes ....


You were great, like having one of the family here to share the day with us



[email protected] (Gander Photography) Barmitzvah Batmitzvah Gander Photography Wedding Fri, 25 Sep 2015 07:41:14 GMT
What's your because ? There are lots and lots of reasons to have your pictures taken .... I think what ever the reason you want the process to be a pleasure ..

I'm launching a new set of images based around this idea ... tell me what your because is 


Click on any of the images below to see the full gallery

agelessageless astoundingastounding compellingcompelling electrifyingelectrifying exhiliratingexhilirating exhilirating2exhilirating2 extraordinaryextraordinary FascinatingFascinating FunFun greatgreat IncredibleIncredible InspiringInspiring JoyJoy momentousmomentous outstandingoutstanding pleasurablepleasurable StrikingStriking thrillingthrilling timelesstimeless unforgettableunforgettable uniqueunique unusualunusual unusual2unusual2 wondeful2wondeful2

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Tue, 08 Sep 2015 12:05:45 GMT
Your Photographs, The Pleasure is All Mine Not it's not .... the pleasure is yours.  You see I've been thinking, and pondering, and wondering.  That's what happen's when you spend some time on the beach.  Any way,  it's been a while, almost a year since I became a full time photographer and in that time I've worked a lot and done a lot.  I've come to wonder what is it that marks me out from others ... why would you come to me and not to some other photographer.

Is it because I'm technically better than others ...

Is it because I take a better picture ...

Is it because I've got expensive cameras, lenses and all the other bits and pieces ?

No it's because I want you to enjoy yourself ...

I want your photography to be a fun experience ...

I want you to have input ...

When you look at the picture on the wall I want you to think about the session and smile at the memory of it taking place as much as at the picture itself.

So now here is the first of a number of flyers and posters that I'm going to post ... 

Let me know if you like it mail me at [email protected] 


Gander Photography, because photography should be a pleasureGander Photography, because photography should be a pleasureGander Photography, because photography should be a pleasure

[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Tue, 18 Aug 2015 15:50:01 GMT
I want to ride my bicycle .... Oh wow is that really me ... what  day ...

When feedback starts like that you know you've done well.



If I'm honest this session is one I had suggested takes place.  I've known Gillian for some years and from time to time we bump into each other.  And so it was,  at a joint friend's party we chatted and caught up. As is often the case the subject of my photography came up.  I in turn found out about her motorbike hobby.  I casually said we should do some photo's of Gillian with the bike ... she chuckled and that was that.

A day or two later I received a message .... Actually that might be a really cool idea

A few more messages passed  ...  I'm really loving the idea. I have a few bikes and it would be fun. Something for my kids and hopefully one day their kids to look at and giggle!

When I have a topic to base a shoot around I get a bit carried away, I start to think of how to make the session unique and add context to what we are doing. I met with Gillian, went through some ideas. During our meeting Gillian said "Come and see the bikes". The bright Yellow Honda VFR is a beast of a sport machine. It's angles and noise all over. The slight issue was it was due to be traded in, to be replaced by a new bike. We'll come to that bike soon but I just knew we were going to end up with more than one session taking place. We just couldn't let the VFR go without getting some pictures.

Fast forward to the day before the session. The phone pinged with a new message from Gillian. Hi, gotta problem, had a flat pack shed delivered, it's all over the garden, no way we can shoot here.

It's funny how somethings can happen because they are supposed to ... I suddenly had a location idea. Someone I know has an old petrol pump on the grounds of their house, it's a momento of the location's past life as a pump house for a farm that stood there. One quick phone call later, and a thumbs up and I'm now even more excited for the shoot to take place.

On the day of the shoot, it's typical british summer weather and it rains all morning. BBC weather reporters are promising me it will clear up for the afternoon. I'm inclined not to agree. At One O'clock the clouds part, the sun shines and the puddles start to disappear.

At Two O'clock I go to venue and set up. Half an hour later Gillian arrives, and quite a lot of Gillian's wardrobe. There are bike leathers, shorts, tops, dresses, heels all the things we thought we might cover.

For the next few hours we had more fun than should be allowed to happen when what you are doing is called work.  

Slowly as we progressed and I worked a few things out Gillian became more at ease with the concept of having a photo taken and slipped into the role. The shots towards the end of the session certainly show that.


And what of the new bike, the one that is replacing the VFR, it's a custom made Harley and we are shooting that soon and boy are we going to have fun with that one.

The VFR, well now she's got the pictures Gillian's fallen in love with it all over again and can't bare the thought of getting rid of it. Job done.


bikebike bike2bike2 bike3bike3

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander London Motorbike Photography Portrait Thu, 06 Aug 2015 06:34:28 GMT
And I Would Walk 500 miles ... OK So it's an interesting question right ... just how fit do you have to be to be a full time photographer.  I kinda wanted to know, I work hard during a party, a lot of running around and being in the right place at the right time.  I'm certainly far more active as a photographer than I was as a Suit in my City career.  
travellinglighttravellinglight Lets start with equipment and carrying it around.  I'm really bad at travelling light.  I know that, I don't care.  There are photographers out there that will carry a camera, a lens and erm that's it.  I generally get the shakes if I don't have 2 of everything just in case one breaks, and then I've got a big bag so I'll fill it.  In short I probably won't leave the house without 2 cameras, 3 lenses and a flash or two.   If I'm shooting an event or portrait set I take loads more, for portraits it's studio stuff, light stands etc, for events it's the light stands a selection of flashes and 7 or so lenses.  I'll use most of it throughout the night, swapping around and changing things up.  So what does that mean.  Well for starters I've got 2 cameras on me at all times, one on each shoulder and they are staying there for a good while ... my fave go to set up for versatility weighs in at nearly 5 lb and the long lens kit a 6.5 lb ... so that's 12 lbs I'm carrying for a fair chunk of the night ... 
My full camera bag with all the lenses and batteries and flashes and bits and bobs, I have to lug about through out the day bag34bag34 and across the venue, my bathroom scales tells me that's 34 lb 
According to the internet, and we all know that's an accurate source of info, 
34 lbs is just under a 5 gallon water bottle found on the top of a water cooler.  They also tell me it's the same weight as an adult human leg take from that what you will.  
12 lbs is a medium bowling ball or if you like Jimmy Page's double neck Gibson he uses for Stairway ... 
So it's no wonder I have arms like Popeye and sore shoulders at the end of a function shoot.
pedometerpedometer Now how far do I walk ... the recent push is that to be fit and healthy one should walk 10,000 steps a day.  In the average pace size that would be 2.5 mtrs meaning that's 5 miles ... it's all here if you want the source so I bought a rubbish pedometer, strapped it to my belt.  On an average day at the home office I'll cover maybe 3,000 steps, if I go out to see someone and have a walk in the sunshine I'll cover maybe 6,000 steps.  So what about when I shot, this is where it gets interesting at a recent wedding I covered nearly 16,000 steps.  Now they aren't all full 2.5 mtr paces I'll grant you so let's be conservative and say I'll cover 7 miles.  That's a lot of being in the right place at the right time ... I did try to get some information from a full on day this weekend where I had a portrait session in the morning and a batmitzvah in the afternoon but somewhere in the party, on the dance floor, my expensive £3 pedometer hit the floor and was turned into powder.
This NHS site tells me that 'A person aged 45 and weighing 70kg (about 11 stone) can burn around 400 calories by walking 10,000 steps briskly (3-5mph).'  Somewhere in there they reckon on 20 - 30 mins to do that ... I'm normally on my feet at a function just about all of the time ... so that's 8 hrs or so and as we established I'm carrying 12lbs or so for much of that.  Somewhere else tells me standing still for an hour will burn 50 calories. 
Lets be really unscientific and do some bad math ... 50 x 8 = 400, add another 700 for the steps and another 400 for the weight and I'll reckon on 1500 calories burnt at an event give or take ...  that's quite a distance for staying in the same place.
[email protected] (Gander Photography) Blog Gander Photography Tue, 21 Jul 2015 16:37:18 GMT
Little Planets and How To Make Them TowerBridge March2015 7TowerBridge March2015 7

So I've had a few questions about how to make Little Planets ... if you don't know what one is there's one right above you.  A round, planet image of a normal picture.


It's a clever bit of photoshop that can bring lots of fun pictures

So where do you start.  

1. It's best to shot the image with the knowledge that you'll make a Planet in mind.  Make the ends line up etc.

Here's my starting point for the London Bridge Picture, you'll notice I've added the Photoshop ruler so you can see that it's level.



2 Make the picture SQUARE ... yup it'll look silly but make it SQUARE.  In Photoshop the menu is Image > Image Size and this window pops up.  Ive made the image 6000 x 6000 pixels.  You may have to click the little chain link between width and height to stop it from keeping the aspect ratio



Once you've done that turn it upside down Image > Image rotation > 180

Now you've got this


And this is where the fun starts go to Filter > Distort > Polar CoOrdinates


and finally Rectangular to Polar


Then a little bit of cloning and cleaning to bring the end to match up and you are done ...

Here's a link to a few on an older blog of mine


[email protected] (Gander Photography) Mon, 01 Jun 2015 13:09:30 GMT
Reasons to have a Bump Shoot #3 Maternity6Maternity6  Reasons to have a Bump Shoot #3

 3.  There is no need to worry about your belly

I've got a big belly

It's the star of the show, it's why you are here, it's what the fuss is all about.

There are many ways of capturing a pregnancy, the growing bump week by week or waiting until the final  weeks for the largest of bumps.  The best time for the large bump shots is at about 35 weeks on wards.  It when the baby starts to move down and get ready to see the outside world.

But I've got stretch marks ...

Be proud of them they are your Tiger  Stripes.  A good photographer will be able to minimise them with good lighting and posing.  They may  even do some touch up work in Photoshop.  I don't like to get rid of them all together, they are a part of  the story but I can make them less obvious.

The reason for having a bump shoot is to capture the special moment in time, a point in your life you may one be at once or twice in a lifetime and one that most will regret if they don't get professional shots taken. 

Click here for more information

If you are interested let me know on [email protected]

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Bump London Maternity Photographer shot Tue, 12 May 2015 08:47:58 GMT
London Photographer : Making the Puzzle Fit They say don't work with children and animals.  I say why not, it's where I've had some of my best shoots.  As a photographer life would be little fun,with no suprises, if everything went to plan.  And if there is one thing you can pretty much be sure of it's that animals and children will rarely behave as you need them to to get the right shot. So what does that mean? Well it means that if you have the patience and the skills as a modern digital photographer you can get the pictures the client wants.
Large groups of people always lead to people looking in the wrong direction, add a few children into the mix and it gets even harder.  If you are lucky its a simple change of the eyes, move a hand something like that and nobody would notice.  It can get harder and maybe a whole head or body needs a change.  Even harder yet is having to change more than just one thing one person.

20150511_164127[1]20150511_164127[1] The first stage is to create the jigsaw, look at all of the potential images and highlight the good bits,  then you need to put them all together, blend and merge, tweak to make them look like it was taken as it stands and take a long hard look at your handy work.  It takes a good eye for detail, make sure that nobody has 3 hands, a good level of judgement, if it is going to look good, plenty of skill and patience.  Some of these can take 3 or 4 hours to complete, but if it results in the right picture it's all part of the service.  The camera never lies ... it always lied a little bit.  

Being a modern photographer means knowing how to do these things and do them well so that the final image is the one the client wants.  Many times I'll make a puzzle fit and the client is never aware, it's only when I show them what I've done that they appreciate the additional effort.  


[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander London Photographer Photography Mon, 11 May 2015 16:35:36 GMT
Out with the Old and In With the New ShirtsOut with the Old and In with the newLogo's change   Out with the Old and In with The New

 It will not have escaped you that there are some changes happening at Gander Photography and all for good reason. 

 Gander Photography was created around 4 years ago in 2011.  At that time I was still working a day job., well if I'm honest  I was between day jobs, and was seizing an opportunity that few really have.  So a few pictures were taken, a germ of an  idea for a business planted and late one night, or maybe early one morning I set about a simple web site.  I found a free to  use vendor and built it.  I moved about for a bit before getting to this site.



GanderStickmanGanderStickman But in building the web site I needed an identity, I already had the name.  Then, you need a logo and the logo needs to be used in business cards and web pages and image watermarks and facebook and twitter and ... well many other things.  I came up with Mr Stickman.  He's been with me and a part of my life for a few years already in one guise or another and he seemed to fit the ideas I was looking for.

He's happy, He's wearing a camera, He's got wide open arms, he looks a bit like me with the grey hair. 

Unfortunately now he's also a bot too much of a cartoon and not quite right.  He's not the right message even if I want to say all the same things.

Now that this is a full time job and he's more public he's just got to go.  I still strive to be all of those things listed above but I also need to recognize that I need to look a touch more professional.  


I resisted the change, I wanted to fade him into the background, keep him but loose him both at the same time.  No such luck I tried various options and none of them worked.  With the help of a graphic designer, a few glasses of wine and some tooing and froing a new logo has been born.

NewLogoBlackNewLogoBlack What does it say, well it says 

I can stand up with the competition, I'm a professional and take business seriously

I know what my brand represents

I'm targeting the audience I'm trying to reach

I have an identity

It's the first step in a number of changes. web redesign, brochures, advertising, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram they all need changes too.  Ypou don't know how wide the foot print is until you need to change it.

The web site is also going through an overhaul and you'll see the changes filter through bit by bit as they happen.  Let me know what you think of the new logo, the web site changes and everything as it happens.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah Gander London Photography Portraits Fri, 01 May 2015 09:00:23 GMT
Reasons to have a Bump Shoot #2 New LogoMarternity5New LogoMarternity5

Reasons to have a Bump Shoot #2

Quite simply 

2. When it's gone it's gone

There are only a few months in your life, per baby, that you’ll have a glorious noticeable, round belly – sadly it takes months to show and you have that in-between ‘could be a squishy tummy but could also be pregnant’ stage.

Before you know it, the birth is over, they’ll be at school, or having their own kids, just like your parents will tell you. And those precious moments of pregnancy will be but a distant memory. There are plenty of more memories to capture, and some even repeat themselves but this is a one time only deal.

Even if it’s something you do just in case you might want it later, I don’t know anyone who has regretted getting a pregnancy photo shoot – but I know plenty who regret not doing it. 

I can come to you with all the equipment necessary to have a Bump Shoot that will stay with you forever.

If you are interested let me know on [email protected] 


[email protected] (Gander Photography) Bump Gander Maternity Photography Portrait Wed, 22 Apr 2015 09:25:36 GMT
Reasons to have a Bump Shoot #1 Gander Photography Bump ShootGander Photography Bump ShootGander Photography Bump Shoot Reasons to have a Bump Shoot #1

Quite simply 

1. You. Are. Beautiful 

… stop that voice in your head right now !

You might feel tired, nauseous, sore, aching and blimp-like…  we see a beautiful woman bringing a new life into the world, with a gorgeous little baby growing inside of her.

Fact : Pregnancy is a thing of beauty, awe and amazement

You will only be pregnant a few times (if that) in your entire life.

No matter if you think you look far from glowing or glamourous, a skilled photographer can easily draw out the beauty, love and femininity of pregnancy – you may just surprise yourself…

I can come to you with all the equipment necessary to have a Bump Shoot that will stay with you forever.

If you are interested let me know on [email protected]


[email protected] (Gander Photography) Bump Gander Maternity Photography Portrait Tue, 21 Apr 2015 10:29:08 GMT
A photographer ... no I am more than that GanderStickmanGanderStickman I take pictures ... that's it ...

Well no it's not you see what I really am and what I need to tell you all is that I am all of these things, I am a time lord, I am a magician and I am a surgeon ...

Did that grab your attention ??





Time travel impossible ... well not if you are me.  You see what I do is grab little bits of time and give them back to you.  After all is said and done the memories that you have will all fade away ... so I capture them for you.  Through my photography you will remember your party well into the future and our children's children's children will be able to connect with the past.  Still think time travel is impossible.







magicainmagicain Magician ... rabbit's out of hats ... well whilst I can't do that I can certainly take the pictures and put a smile back on a face, open closed eyes. Even take people away you don't want in the picture, and them in if they weren't there.  It's a bit like magic ...







SurgeonSurgeon Surgeon ... make me 10 years younger, 3 inches taller, 10lb lighter .. I get that all the time.  Whilst I can't do that to you physically I can retouch and enhance the portraits I take of you to make them the best they will ever be ... that is after all why they are being taken.  Not only that but I know just how much to do to make things look natural.





So next time you take a snap or see a photographer spare a thought about what that little bit of time means and what it might mean in the future.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) London Photography Time Travel Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:45:26 GMT
Photography it's the lasting memory
20140806_18345520140806_183455 I bet every week a scene like this is played out somewhere ...
A chap browses Amazon.  He clicks over to the objects of his dreams, the high end cameras, the one's he sees the pros use but he can neither justify nor truly afford one.  So he settles for a high street alternative instead, it costs about 1/4 of the price, comes with a lens or two.  Some few hundreds of pounds later he leaves Amazon as happy as excited about his up coming delivery ...
Next thing you know this chap a bonafide photographer, well that's what he calls himself.  He's got his shiny camera, seen a few YouTube videos and now he's charging money.  Not a lot, but he's charging money.  He goes to the function, setup flashes and umbrellas for portraits, sets the camera to automatic and shoots the party.  He's not that bad, had the foresight to borrow another camera from a friend and the pictures turn out alright. 
Here's a secret ... he's me 4 or so years ago.  Sure I made mistakes, and I only had what I could afford.  However, thankfully a few people believed in me and helped me to turn a dream into a reality.  But here's the thing and this is why now I consider myself a photographer.  Over the first 3 1/2 years I still worked a day job.  I shot at weekends and evenings learning professional technique along the way.  Many many many hours of shooting, trying new things.  Many many hours of learning Lightroom, Photoshop and the other associated tools.  Every penny I made went straight back into the kit bag.  I upgraded the camera body, and then the lenses.  Somewhere along the way came portable studio kit, flashes, modifiers, stands, memory cards a plenty and two new computers.  The investment is not small in either time or money.  I have made personal sacrifices along the way and for a while weekends were when the family didn't see Dad in the evenings rather than in the days.
So why is a photographer so expensive ? The investment for true professional kit is not a few hundred pounds, it's many many thousands of pounds.  I generally turn up with 3 cameras 9 lenses and 4 flashes, not because I think it make me look like a better photographer but because I will use them all at some stage.  Then I need to know how to use it all ...  besides what you might think about all the automatic modes, not a single one of them is useful to me.  It's like asking a Tour De France rider to use stabilisers, I bet you could finish a stage but not in anyway a competitive time.  Once the party is over and the 8 hr dance that hurts your feet on the Monday is done I've still got about 20 hrs work to do to get the pictures to you, and it all needs doing whilst you remember what happened. All of that takes place on high end computers using expensive software.  Add to that the cost of my car, the professional insurance and all the clients I go to that don't go on to book me and you start to understand a little about my cost of doing business. 
But here is the thing.  In most cases the food, something that is over and done with in a few hours, takes about 50% of the budget for a function.  A hall maybe 7% - 10%, disco or band 10%.  The one thing that will last for more than a lifetime the thing that your childrens, childrens, children may well see is the photos.   Don't cut corners on the one thing that will provide a long and lasting memory of your special time.
[email protected] (Gander Photography) photography Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:22:19 GMT
London Photographer : Keeping hold of the hobby I'm in a very enviable position ... I get to make my hobby in to a living ... when you get to do that work is no longer work it's fun.  But on the flip side I've also lost the thing I do for fun, the thing I do to distract me from work.

So how do you make sure that the very thing you love to do remains that ...  the best way I've found is to add variety, mix things up.  I'm maionly a portrait and event photographer, and one of the reasons for that is because I like working with people, I like building the relationship and trust that is required to get the connected shot.  I've never really got into reportage, street, still life or landscapes, I can appreciate the effort but it's not for me.  

That said now I have to find photos to take for fun aswell as for work so I'm doing more and more of the things I never used to.  It's a great exercise, makes you think differently, slows me down and makes me find features of the camera and aspects of photography I don't normally explore.

TowerBridge March2015 7TowerBridge March2015 7



So with all of that in mind I went on a photowalk with a friend one evening whilst the sunset was early and the lights were about to go on.  I live in London so there are no shortage of beautiful things to shoot.  We went up and down the area close to Tower Bridge, onto the river bank before getting wash away by the incoming tide, up onto the bridge and then onto the South Bank.  What I couldn't believe was how quickly the time went and relative to my portraiture how few shots I'd taken.  What did I learn ... I'm going to slow down when I'm taking portraits, take longer to pose the people and make sure the pose is right or close to it before I press the Shutter release.


TowerBridge March2015TowerBridge March2015 TowerBridge March2015 2 WMTowerBridge March2015 2 WM TowerBridge March2015 3TowerBridge March2015 3 TowerBridge March2015 4 wmTowerBridge March2015 4 wm TowerBridge March2015 5 WMTowerBridge March2015 5 WM TowerBridge March2015 6 WMTowerBridge March2015 6 WM

[email protected] (Gander Photography) London Bridge Photography Wed, 01 Apr 2015 00:19:00 GMT
Print your Pictures PLEASE 20150313_14045420150313_140454 There's an article in today's Guardian news paper where Vint Cerf, Google Boos, 'warns of forgotten century' with email and photos at risk'

It's a good read and highlights concerns that I've had for some time.  Not only do we take many more pictures than ever before but I suspect very few are looked at let alone archived.

we all carry phones with camera and we take pictures all of the time.  This must be the best recorded generation every yet when the time comes and historians look back at the recent years that have gone by for the best part they aren't going to be able to see much.

As Vint says '... we are throwing our data into what could become a digital black hole without realising it..  ' as time goes by and hardware and digital format change we loose the ability to look at old files.



videotapevideotape Not more than 10 or so year ago every house would have had a Video player, a library of video tapes, films, TV etc and more often than not some family moments.  A wedding, baby's first steps,a child growing up, school play those kind of things.  Now you'd be hard pushed to find a house with a Video player.  

The same thing happened to the humble cassette.  Precious music collections, shelves of tapes carefully sorted. Gone.


35mm_Film_Roll35mm_Film_Roll Photographers had 35mm film.  It was the best at what it did.  Easy, consumer product that was available on every high street.  It's the product that forced the development of the camera.  Put a cheap disposable into peoples hand, point and click for the hobbyist and advanced SLRs for professionals.  Without it we would not have the modern digital cameras.



photo albumphoto album What you always did though was to print the pictures, stick them to a wall with BluTac, enlarge a nice on for a frame.

In many cases you would fill an album with the pictures.  Even write descriptions on the page, who, what, where, when.

The pictures became memories.  Things you looked at and shared.

In a twist of irony, although the modern teenager takes more photos than ever before it's my generation and my life that will be more readily reviewed because it's printed.

We know about ancient civilisations because the historians wrote on clay tablets, parchment scrolls and the like.  Try reading a Word document from 5 years ago ...


As Cerf says in his article 'If there are photo's you really care about, print them'

These days it's never easier with books, albums, canvases, home printers that print a great photograph that you have no reason not to.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:24:03 GMT
London Bar Mitzvah Photographer Isaacson These have been delivered now so I can share a few ...  another excellent night with Lee Raw 


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[email protected] (Gander Photography) Barmitzvah Gander London Photographer Photography Fri, 13 Mar 2015 15:54:47 GMT
London Photographer : Working With The Chief Rabbi 1503 Immanuel 463 HR C-21503 Immanuel 463 HR C-2 One of the great things about my photography is that it takes me to places and lets me see & hear people I would not normally get the chance to.  From Holocaust survivor, lectures on how the brain works, and the Chief Rabbi.

I have been lucky enough over a short period of time to have seen and photographed Lord Sacks, the previous chief Rabbi and the now current Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Mervis.  Not only do I get to see them but I also get to hear them. They are always inspiring, uplifting and thought provoking.

Earlier this week I was asked to cover the opening of a new wing in a new building of Immanuel College




So early morning I went to the school, took a quick walk around and prepared to shoot.  From the morning prayers, to the gathering in the hall, choirs singing, the addresses from school leaders and the Rabbi I snapped away.  A quick change of venue to the new building and block and the cutting of the ribbon and first view of the classrooms.  The day wasn't finished there, a quick coffee whilst the pictures uploaded and then several hours of review, selection and edit so the pictures can be delivered and posted that day.

It's a different pace to my normal portrait and event work and normally I leave exhausted from the effort but each and every time it's inspiring to be in the presence of the leaders and hear the words they have for the next generation.


Here's a few pictures and links to the blog entries on the Immanuel College site


Opening of the Daled Block

Remembering Paul De Naeyer

Remembering Gill Strauss



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[email protected] (Gander Photography) Chief College Immanuel London Photographer Rabbi Fri, 13 Mar 2015 08:39:01 GMT
Pictures are Memories
20150303_19401620150303_194016 So it's my 19th wedding anniversary and it's been a while since I looked at those pictures.  They are pictures taken during a by gone photography age when the formal photographer had a medium format camera and nearly every photo he took was staged, not only that they stayed until the cake was cut, up to the first dance and they were gone.  
If you were lucky a few friends had cameras and took some snaps through the night on a range of film cameras.  If you were even luckier they got some pictures worth keeping and gave them to you.
Either way the moments in time were captured and memories were saved.  I don't look at those pictures too much, and I really should look at them more.  It's nearly 20 years now.  Many people have come and gone and it's these pictures that capture them at their best.   My Father in Law, never prouder, my Father never happier.  Mother and Mother in Law beaming alike.  Older generations are captured also, Grandparents on both sides, all of them now long departed.   The small children in those pictures now all grown up and in some cases married themselves.
Since becoming a photographer I look at these memories in a different light, with a different purpose.  These are the pictures of our day, the pictures of memories long since faded.  More than that they are a window to a generation that my children rarely saw if at all, and sadly barely got to know or remember.
Almost 20 years on it's never been easier for people to take a picture we all carry camera phones and frankly they take a fine picture but in some ways the photo has been devalued because of it.  When was the last time you sat down with holiday pictures, printed 30 or so and put them in an album.  They mostly stay on the phone, or computer and as soon as they were taken, forgotten, it's onto the the next event.  Instagram ... the clue is in the name Instant not Lasting.
I'm often asked why professional photographers are seemingly so expensive, after all as I said we all carry cameras and the gap to professional equipment for a budding hobbyist is now shorter, if you can afford a high end camera and lens you can buy them and use them.  However when you hire a professional to capture your memories you are getting so much more, not only do I carry many bodies and lenses, all for a purpose and a reason, but I know how to use them.  I know how to cope should something break, should the evening not go to plan.  But it's not just that, you are investing in my style, my personality and my skill, in short you are trusting me to capture the event for you.  It has taken me many many years to get to this stage and I've not learnt it all, I'm still inspired by every picture see.  I try to deconstruct it and look at how it was made, what I can learn from it.  I also know what to do with a picture once it's gone from camera and on the computer.  I have spent many hours, and continue to spend many more, with Photoshop and it's companions.  I can make a photograph into a picture and a picture into a memory.  A memory that will go beyond my life time.
Many times, too many to tell, I will be told that, after consideration a friend or family member has offered to standing and take pictures at an event.  That's fine, I started there too, but I always wanted to be a photographer in the end, once I had experience and skill.  I've been at functions where the friend is taking the pictures and frankly often I have to hold myself back, knowing precious moments are going by without being captured.
So it's 20 years almost since my wedding pictures were taken and there have been a lot more taken since.  I do look at them from time to time and now and again that old fashioned leather album comes off the shelf and we remember the night.  We look at it more than the video.  Video, who has one of those machines any more, my children don't know what a DVD is let alone a video.  Once a photo's been printed it's there it's won't ever date, be in a format you can't use any more.  Sure the computers are going to come and go and the electronic image formats will change but print a picture, keep a memory.  
People ask me why I'm a photographer, what's my favorite thing to shoot, how can I put up with the stress of the job.  Frankly I worked for years in the City that was stress.  Nothing beats loving what you do for a living and putting smiles on faces.  What's my favorite thing to photograph ? The trite answer is the pictures I haven't taken yet and that's true, but then it's also the pictures I already took.  Pregnant mothers, new born babies, birthday parties, family portraits, bat and bar mitzvahs, weddings, 70th birthdays and everything else in between.  I hope that all of those pictures will stay with their families for many many years, family histories to be told to generations beyond this.  In the more immediate future, babies change so quickly, children grow rapidly, events come and go, your grandparents and parents will pass.  Hold all of those things in your hands for forever with a professional photo and please print them and keep them safe.


[email protected] (Gander Photography) Wed, 04 Mar 2015 14:56:34 GMT
London Photographer : Valentine's Offer

Valentine's Day Is Just Around The Corner

StickMen 15017 ValentineStickMen 15017 Valentine With Xmas only just over and turkey left overs still loitering in the back of the fridge it seems almost  too soon to be thinking about the first big event in the calendar ... Valentine's Day.  

At the time of writing there are a little over 5 weeks before cards and gifts are exchanged in the name of romance.
For some it will be the first blush of romance for others it may lead to a question on bended knee and for many it will be a celebration of a lasting realtionship.
But what is the gift that strikes of imagination,  something different from the nornal chocolates and roses, or even an expensive night out ?
How about a photography gift.  If you are planning on proposing why not have a photographic memory of that moment. Imagine being able to hold the look on your partner's face for all time in a photo. Just tell your partner you booked a couples portrait shoot as a gift it's that simple.
But what if you are in a long term relationship that needs a fresh spark, a tingle of excitement. Imagine the look on your partners face as the unwrap a gift boxed print of you for their eyes only ... something special for them and them alone.  That's a bit different from chocolates and roses ...


If this is a cat and mouse year where you are signalling intentions of interest to a new partner how about a set of Guess Who images. Pictures you for their eyes only, with no facial features so they have to workout who its from.
There are 3 great ideas for gifts to remember, guaranteed to make your partner smile and somethi g that will last a lot longer than dinner for two in a tired resaurant


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[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander Photography Portrait Valnetine Wed, 07 Jan 2015 10:33:54 GMT
A great year comes to a close GanderStickmanGanderStickman OK so I've not blogged for a while and the truth is I've been just way way too busy.  2014 has been an incredible year and so many things have happen not least of all the fact that for the time being at least I am now a full time photographer.  

December has been the most incredible month with a wide variety of photos to take and a great number of new bookings both for the near term and the future.  Whist you have all been enjoying a Seasonal break I've been busy snapping and developing. 

I wrote a wish list at the beginning of the year, which I will review and refresh in an upcoming post, but never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be where I am right now.

I'll do my review of the year in a day or two along with a number of other things.  In the mean time I just want to say thank you to all the Gander followers, past, present and future.  

2015 is the year where all of this will really come together with plenty of new products, special promotions and exciting new ideas to really make a difference. 

To all of you happy new year, make the very best of what is ahead, take a few risks it's worth it and if you want a small fragment of time to hold on to forever you know where to come.




[email protected] (Gander Photography) Wed, 31 Dec 2014 15:37:38 GMT
London Photographer : Atar Zwillenberg Building Opening 141125 ImmanuelCollege 170 Green 12141125 ImmanuelCollege 170 Green 12   I'm mainly a portrait and event photographer but every now and again I get to step out of that bubble and do something else.  So it was I found myself with a day of photo journalism to complete.

 A local school was opening a new building.  18 months ago the site on campus was a block of porta cabins, 12 months ago a muddy hole and now a beautiful new building for the use of school to use.






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141125 ImmanuelCollege 520 Green 45141125 ImmanuelCollege 520 Green 45 I had quite a day taking pictures in the gym, where all the school assembled to hear the guests speak.  Into the new building for an official ribbon cutting and short ceremony from the choir and school masters and onto downloading, selecting, editing and delivering of the final pictures all before afternoon tea.  Normally I get to come home, download the images, take time to review and complete.  I still turn them around quick but not at that pace.

All in all a great day's work and a whole lot of fun .. hope I get asked back to do some more ..

















[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander Photography Immanuel College Wed, 26 Nov 2014 17:13:50 GMT
2014 Mitzvah Day MitzvahDay14 264 FB_MitzvahDay14 264 FB_ My photography has taken me to people and place I would not normally have been exposed to.  I’ve only been taking pictures of other people for a little under 4 years now but in that time I’ve taken pictures with the previous Chief Rabbi and the Current Chief Rabbi.  I’ve even taken pictures in places that I used to watch on the telly as a kid and never thought I would get to …

One of the more poignant subjects to take pictures of however is World War II survivors.  These people are advanced in years now and before we know it there will not be any of them left to tell us the stories, when we run out of first-hand accounts we need to be sure the stories live on.

This last week we had Armistice Day, where much was rightly made of the Tower of London Poppies and the memories of the First World War, I made it into Trafalgar Square for the 2 mins silence and if you’ve never done it so should you it’s chilling.

This weekend however was Mitzvah Day, a national day for Jewish people to do good deeds for one another.  At late notice I was made aware of a tea dance for Second World War survivors and the lack of a photographer for the event.  I was free and it costs me nothing other than time and a bit of petrol.

The official description of the day is as follows

Over 50 Holocaust survivors, residents of Jewish Care’s Selig Court, members of the Hendon Survivor Centre and AJR took to the floor as the London Jewish Cultural Centre’s Ivy House was transformed into a ‘Strictly’ ballroom. These sprightly octagenarians joined Mitzvah Day volunteers, two professional dancers from the Latin Soul Dance Company, West End singer William Byrne and London Jewish Cultural Centre staff for afternoon tea, music, a display of professional dance and of course the opportunity to trip the light fantastic themselves. The afternoon was also supported by Six Point Foundation.

There I was, with my some time Second Shooter who we’ll call MrSnappy, who had also offered to come along.  It’s Sunday afternoon MitzvahDay14 109 FB_MitzvahDay14 109 FB_ and bit by bit elderly people start entering the room.  Some quite animated, others not so much.  The singer struck up a note and started singing gentle music.  Not long after a pair of ballroom dancers entered the room and gave a little show case followed by them getting the visitors up and dancing.

All around me, as if transported to their younger days, the guests got up, some for a slow dance, others for a livelier boogie.  Some it seems looking forward to being held in younger arms.  Not too long into the dance we even had a Conga and then an Arch to duck under.

It’s often hard not to look at old people as just that Old People, but they have lived a life, and in many cases within that room a tough one at that.  They have great stories to tell if you ask them and more experiences to come.

For me it is an honour to be in their presence, hear their stories and see them having a good time.  Moreover it is a pleasure to take pictures of them, capture the smile on their faces and see them looking young once again.


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[email protected] (Gander Photography) London Photographer Photography Mon, 17 Nov 2014 17:27:15 GMT
London Photographer : Armistice Day IMG_5398IMG_5398 So I'm a bit late with this week's blog normally it's Wednesday bu t I was in town on Tue for Armistice Day and I wanted to use those pictures for the blog.


A lot has been said this year and a lot of focus has been at the Tower of London Poppies ( more later ) but I every year there is a service at Trafalgar Square and at 11.11 the traffic stops the street turn silent and the most chilling mood settles.  The square is packed with people and it really is quite something.  So that's where I started.  I'd been there a few years before quite by accident and always promised to go again, and this time with a camera.


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There are a lot of people with a lot of stories to tell ..

Following the ceremony we walked up the strand towards Tower Bridge for the poppies.  On the way there is a monument for the Submariners ..  the date on this wreath was 2011


And then to the Tower ... 

I don't think any photo that you will have seen prepares you to see it ... each one is a person, it takes a time to sink in ...




So that's the 'normal' picture in fact it's a number of pictures put together but I wanted to do a bit more, something a bit different so here is a Little Planet of the Tower of London Poppies.  They have started to take them away now and they'll be gone soon so we photographers will have the best memories of them.  



[email protected] (Gander Photography) London Photographer Photography Fri, 14 Nov 2014 16:04:00 GMT
London Photographer : Quick Tip Monday Quick tip for a Monday ...

As a photographer I use a lot of batteries.  A typical event will see me changing batteries 2 or 3 times in 2 flashes, that can mean upto 24 batteries.  I Have to change them quicker than normal in an event situation because when they drain just a little they recycle slower.

I was throwing away loads and loads of batteries after every event and spending a fortune week by week.

Someone I knew suggested I get a battery tester ... often a semi drained battery can be saved for portrait work when recycling as quick is not as important or from a set of 4 in a flash there is only 1 that is so drained that all the others can be saved.

I bought the simplest little meter from Maplin for about £5 and it's saved me a fortune ....


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[email protected] (Gander Photography) BatMitzvah London Photographer Photography Portrait Mon, 10 Nov 2014 11:36:24 GMT
London Photographer : The First Month of Full Time Photography GanderStickmanGanderStickman It's often said that apples don't fall far from trees.  My father had a career change more or less forced on him in pretty much mid life.  There are comparisons but my father never got to make his hobby a living.  All so those of you that know me will already know that until recently I was both a photographer and city office worker.  However at the end of September I was once again made redundant and this time I have the opportunity to do take the photography to the next stage.

I went back to the City a few weeks ago to join an ex-co-worker for leaving drinks giving me the perfect opportunity to catch up with a few old faces.  It's interesting that the vast majority of them are envious of my position and if only they could find a way out of there current life styles they might just consider it. 

I wrote a blog post here at the beginning of October when the switch was made.  

So what have a learnt in this first month ...
I've learnt that working 7days a week on a single persuit, because that is what you end up doing is tiring. When I worked in the old day job photography was a welcome distraction.  

I've also learnt that as I now have more time available I can really grow the business side of this venture ...

Not only can I take and process more pictures but I can 

  • Make regular blog posts
  • Attend regular business network meetings
  • Create regular tweets and other social networking media
  • Develop product samples 
  • Most of all I can discuss things and meet more clients than ever before and be in a position to take on more and more work.

It has without doubt been a very busy month and I've had a load of photography to do also ... so what next

More and More photos please ... its Xmas season soon and many of you will be having parties, work events or need a Seasonal Gift.  Come ask the photographer what I can do for you ..


[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah London Photographer Photography Portrait Wed, 05 Nov 2014 17:16:04 GMT
London photographer : Professional Promises Every Photographer Should Make GanderStickmanGanderStickman Being a professional photographer is hard work don't let nay one let you think otherwise .. and it's harder now than ever to justify the need for a professional.  In the modern times everyone has a camera in their pocket and professional equipment is expensive but affordable to many.  In fact I can almost be sure that at every function I take photos at a serious enthusiast will also be there with a good camera and lens. 

So what is it that makes me a professional photographer and any better at it than anyone else, I have equipment and I know how to use it, however I'm taking your best memories for years to come, images that will last beyond your years and serve as a reminder of you to those that follow.  As such I ought to have a code of practice, some promises of professionalism ... so here are my photography promises.

  • I promise to use professional level equipment.  Over the years I have invested many thousands of pounds in cameras, lenses, flashes and other bits and pieces necessary to do my job.  I’m not shooting on a high street entry level camera with entry level lenses.
  • I promise to have a back up plan for when things go wrong, because they will.
    I have 3 cameras, in case 1 breaks, I have 9 lenses, they all do something a bit different but I can use them all and get great pictures from them.  I have 4 flashes, I can use them on the camera or on stands remotely. Not only that but I have 3 separate drives to back your precious memories onto and also keep them at a remote site.  Even when things don't work I still know how to get through the event to get the pictures you need.
  • I promise to stay on top of my training so my skills are always upto date and current. 
  • I promise that it doesn't just stop with taking the picture ... for every function I normally take double the same amount of time again, if not more, selecting pictures, hand editing and making the best I can from the image I took.  Not only have I invested in equipment but I have invested in a serious computer, back up options, and software to complete the job.
  • I promise that I have a photographers professional website that allows you to have a password protected gallery for all your friends to visit and if they like a picture they can order it there and then for a reasonable price.
  • I promise to have made a site visit to know where the best places are to get a picture from in your location or venue.  If I cannot make a site visit before hand I'll get there well before you do to make sure I know where I am and what to do.
  • I promise to know what will happen at your event so that I don't miss any important parts.  I also promise not to spend time reviewing my pictures in the corner at your event so that I miss things ... I can do that at home.  
  • I promise to help you every step of the way and put you at ease to get the pictures you want.  Most people are not always comfortable staring down a lens and need to be helped along the way.  If it’s a wedding or a bat / barmitzvah you don’t want to worry if I’m getting the right pictures.
  • I promise never to use auto mode at all.
  • I promise to dress appropriately for each shoot.  I’ll blend into the background at the party and not look like I’m about to go to the gym, or dress better than the guests.
  • I promise to have you all sign a contract that protects both you and me.
  • I promise to make sure you have signed a model release to protect you from letting me use the pictures for marketing purposes.  If you don’t let me use your picture for facebook or otherwise I won’t use it.
  • I promise all the pictures on my website and portfolio are mine and mine alone.  I won’t pass off anybody else’s work as my own. On the rare occasion where it is necessary to use someone else's picture for the sake of examples  I will let you know and I'll never claim it as my own work.
  • I promise any music I may use for slide shows or videos is royalty free and not from the current charts, doing that may well land us in court.
[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah London Photographer Photography Portrait Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:21:44 GMT
London Photographer : Why bother with a professional photographer Gander Photography 351Gander Photography 351 The internet is littered with stories of people who regret not hiring professional to capture the magic moments of their wedding day, or similar function.  Do a simple search and you will find some real horror stories. The popularity and affordability of digital photography has allowed a great number of people to pursue a hobby that was previously only available to those with technical knowhow.  An old film camera was great for a snap shot but without the preview on the back you still weren’t sure.  You only have to look at the shelves of the local newsagent and count the photography titles to know how much the pastime has exploded in the last 5 years or so.  It also means that professional grade equipment can be made affordable to enthusiasts.

I have nothing against hobbyists, I was one some time ago but for your special day, wedding, batmitzvah or barmitzvah, new born or maternity shoot you want to make sure you have someone who knows what they are doing.

Pictures are worth a thousand words and the picture below, which is not mine at all, illustrates this point without question




Once again these pictures were not taken by me, anyone I know, or at a function I was at, it was however used in an article elsewhere, so I feel it's OK to use it again here.  

The question is why do photographers charge so much .. you are paying for the equipment, training, job, talent and endless hours of learning and mistake making to get us where we are today.  It takes a long time to shoot and edit a set of pictures, I will typically have 1500 or so pictures from an event that I need to bring down to the 500 or 600 that I will deliver all of which will need an edit of some sort.  So whilst I might be with you for 8 hours of a function or 2 hours for a portrait set rest assured that is just the beginning of the job.  Bear all of this in mind when asking a photographer what they charge as the time spent with you is just the tip of the iceberg.  If you are getting memories of a once in a lifetime event that will last essentially for ever then you are getting value for money.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah London Photographer Photography Portrait Mon, 20 Oct 2014 14:21:12 GMT
London Photographer : How to get the best of your portrait session  

GanderStickmanGanderStickman One of the things to I go to great lengths to do is to get to know the person or people that I am going to be taking pictures of.  Most people hate to have a picture taken of themselves.  Hate is a strong word and my aim to to turn that around at least to like if not love ...

In order to do that we have to make a connection and to do that I need to get to know you.  

The 5 simple questions I always ask are as follows 

2014-02-09 11.10.272014-02-09 11.10.27User comments 1. What are you going to do with these pictures once we've done them
    ... if I know what will happen to them I can bear in mind the wall they will take pride of place on when I shoot them.

2. What part of yourself do you like and dislike

    ... sounds a bit personal but I need to know if you do or don't like a part of yourself and if possible why.  It might be that you haven't been told to pose properly and are therefore quite conscious of one key thing.  If I can I'm going to get you to like all of yourself by the time we've finished.

3.  Are there any games or hobbies to include in the shoot.   

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    ... I am trying to capture the true you so if you play the guitar bring it out, if as a family to like to run around in circles playing tag ( and there is enough room ) let's do that to


4. When was the last time a picture was taken of you that you liked and why did you like it.
   ... most people have a picture of themselves that they really like.  In most cases it's a grab shot from a holiday or party rather than a posed shot from a wedding or other event.  It's because they don't like to be over posed, my job is to pose you so it looks natural 


5. What are you thinking of wearing and what is the colour scheme.  
  ... This a provides a bit more insight into you but it allows me to provide advice on what is best to wear when.  I shoot a lot of my portrait sessions in your own home so you can get changed as many times as you like that way you are going to feel comfortable and at ease.





All of these help me to know a bit about you but also help to put you at ease.  If you go into the shoot having had some discussion and understand the process a little then once the first 10 or 15 mins are out of the way and we are all a bit warmed up you will start to enjoy the process and once that happens the magic starts.


[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah London Photographer Photography Portrait Tue, 14 Oct 2014 13:09:03 GMT
London Photographer : Photoshop Images I believe as a photographer you should know all the tools that are available in the bag that is photography.  So that's how to use a camera, how to use various things like flashes, lenses and other camera toys and developing software such as Photoshop.  So synonymous with photography and the alteration of images has Photoshop become it now has an entry in the Oxford English dictionary as follows.


In fairness all 'professional' pictures coming out of a camera need to be Photoshopped in some way or another.  A bit of a crop, some simple adjustment.  

You can think of the pictures that come from the camera as negatives that need to be processed in some why prior to developing or printing in the same way a wet dark room would have done.

But what if you want to do something more and where do you draw the line ..

There are so many things to do to a picture these days, make you thin, remove birth marks etc etc.  My general stance is I'll trim you a little bit, I'll remove spots because they aren't normally there and I have been known to airbrush a wrinkle or two away.


After that though the fun can start and photoshop allows the production of digital art.  I call these creatives and I have a full gallery of them here and it's where the crazy bits of my mind come out to play ... sometimes I take the pictures with the creative in mind and sometimes something will just scream out at me to do something with it ... 

If you read my recent post about family portraits you'll know I managed to get all the members of my family in front of the lens ( including myself ) for the first time in a long time a while ago ... anyway I have the fine art images I was after but I also thought about a Family tree, once I looked at my pictures, I had an idea to make a graphical image rather than cut square pictures with borders.

Anyway this is what I ended up with after few hours I think you'll agree it's a bit different from the normal family portrait ...

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[email protected] (Gander Photography) Family Gander London Photographer Photography Photoshop Portrait Fri, 10 Oct 2014 14:17:18 GMT
London Portrait Photographer ... Family Portraits Print4wmPrint4wm I've often said that if I have one deep regret as a photographer it's that I don't have any 'professional' shots of my own Grandparents ...  my photography was no where near advanced enough at the time to really do them justice.  I've always promised that I would take pictures of my own parents.  But these aren't just pictures, these are something else.  I often say that I go the extra mile with all of my clients to make a personal connection, build trust and in some way get the essence of that person in the pictures that follow.  Can I do that with my own parent's ...

I've taken a long time over these pictures, and if I'm telling the truth taking them was one of the funniest afternoons I've had in quite some time ... There are lots and lots of resulting images each and everyone brings a smile to my face and will continue to do so for a long long time to come.  It's been an interesting exercise in seeing things from the other side.  If my clients are half as happy with the pictures I give them, then I'm doing a good job.


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[email protected] (Gander Photography) London Photographer Photography Portrait Tue, 07 Oct 2014 15:26:41 GMT
London Portrait and Event Photography ... Changes Ahead GanderStickmanGanderStickman

If you read my About page you'll notice Item 7 ... I won't tell you what it is just yet you'll need to click the link to find out ..  Hopefully you did just that because now you're going to find out either way .. until recently photography was a sideline to a City job.  I'm what's known as a weekend warrior.  Increasingly it has been both harder to work 7 days a week and not to start to resent the photography ... and that's a shame because when you can do the things you do for fun in a more official capacity well you should do it in a way to maintain the fun.

By way of a bit of history ... I've worked in the City for nearly 20 years in that time I've worked for some of the world's largest banks, 20140806_18345520140806_183455 seen parts of the world I never dreamed I'd get to, and got to them in style.  I have also however been made redundant a number of times.  During the last stint on the couch, once the garden was neat and tidy and all the decorating complete a strange piece of fortune came my way.  A friend of mine rang and asked me to take some family pictures in the garden prior to a function taking place.  Nothing fancy just she knew I was a keen photographer and if I was taking them at least all of them would be in the picture too.  So I picked up my humble holiday camera, which incidentally still comes out from time to time, and wandered up the road.  For around 45 mins I was arranging and rearranging, shooting and directing, creating something and using what I knew to the best effect.  

Gander Photography 351Gander Photography 351 Once done I came home sat back down on the couch and started to think.  We had spoken previously about persuing photography in one way or another, but this time the simple statement was "If I don't do this now I never will and I don't want to regret missing an opportunity 5 years down the line".  To her eternal credit mt wife agreed with me and also agreed to let me spend some money on what is by the standards of my current kit bag contents, quite humble equipment.  After all if this didn't work out I was going to be left with a nice camera and not a big bill I couldn't afford to pay off.

All of that was a little over 3 years ago ... the photography has grown though it's not a full time job yet and in that time I have shot a 2014-01-26 19.12.332014-01-26 19.12.33User comments great number of portraits, bat and bar mitzvahs, a few new born and maternity shoots and wedding portraiture, I even managed to sneak in a Corporate Headshot shoot day for the day job.  I have also had the opportunity to meet people I would not normally meet, attend events I would not have done otherwise and I've enjoyed every minute.

More importantly for me I've treated it as a business, invested in the right kind of kit ( with only 1 or 2 minor mistakes along the way ), transformed my spare room into a full photography workstation and developed a style all of my own.


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Being a business owner and photographer is about 5% photography and 95% everything else, websites, post production, training, client meetings, advertising etc etc.  Right at the beginning I used some of the skills from the "Day Job" to define a 5 year business plan that was some way towards working out how to earn enough to feed the family.  It's not been too bad and the sales curve isn't too far off. 


Either way it's year 3, a few years ahead of where the business plan predicted independence from the day job, and once again I'm without a day job.  This time though I have something else to do, something else to work towards and a hunger to make a change.  Whilst I will still have to suppliment photography income for a while I current available for weekday work both day time and evening ... I'm willing to travel near and far and cover personal and corporate needs.  Fingers crossed this next period of growth will push the speeding train along and the tracks to full independence will be laid ..

[email protected] (Gander Photography) BatMitzvah London Photographer Photography Portrait Thu, 02 Oct 2014 08:10:51 GMT
London Family Portrait Photographer : I've been waiting some time to release these I really enjoy taking family portraits, studio or life style the opportunity to bring people out of themselves and capture something they never thought possible is a great challenge with a high personal reward.  It's even more special when the session is for a special occasion or involves people from far flung places.  This session covered both of those as this would be delivered some time later for Gramdma's upcoming special birthday and a number of participants were visiting from Australia.   Gander Photography Family Portraits  100Gander Photography Family Portraits 100

So even though the birthday and subsequent party was not until September we all gathered on a chilly January morning to take pictures.  I packed up the portable studio and set off to grab a family portrait that would have to wait 9 months until it would be seen. The shoot was not without it's problems as those that took part will know ( but we will keep the details to ourselves ).

Now the birthday party has been and gone and the picture of the Grandchildren all together has been delivered, I can now share a few off the pictures.  Having spoken with the family since the framed print went down a treat and I am sure is bringing a smile everyday.  

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[email protected] (Gander Photography) London Photographer Photography Pinner Portrait Tue, 23 Sep 2014 10:53:32 GMT
London Family Photographer : Hodes Summer Portraits OK so I'm back from a summer break and got some time to catch up with one or two sessions that took place over the Summer.

First is this lovely family who wanted a set of pictures for the wall.  All they wanted was 'some nice pictures of the kids'  I know I got that having seen the smiles on the faces when delivering the pictures.

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[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah London Photographer Photography Fri, 29 Aug 2014 15:34:12 GMT
A personal reminder A blog post without pictures ...

I've had a really interesting last few days ... a number of new inquiries coming in for new sessions and event.  Working with a previous client to layout a book for the event I shot a short while back and a number of deliveries ...  

Nothing gives me more pride than walking into a house with a piece of art to put on a wall.  

  • It's a record of a brief moment in time.  
  • It's something that will be looked at every day for many many years to come.  
  • It's something that will be added to with further records of events either from me or from others.  
  • It's a great reminder of why I do what I do.

However every now and again something else comes along that knocks the wind out of my sails and stops me in my tracks.  

From time to time I do some work for the local community. Earlier this year I took photos for the local community event. I received an email from the family of one of the years attendants.  A lady who had had travelled some distance to join us and be a part of the evening.  I wasn't aware but she passed away only a short time after wards.  I wasn't aware that I had been the person to take the last pictures, I was the one who has the final image that will last in memories for many years to come.  

The family were asking for copies of a particular picture, which I of course was only too happy to provide.  In the few moments it took me to find it and send it via mail I was reminded that whilst a vast majority of my photography is for happy memories of parties, events and portraits I do much more.  I capture a moment in time that cannot be relived, cannot be reproduced and more over I'm providing lasting memories ...



[email protected] (Gander Photography) Mon, 07 Jul 2014 09:47:43 GMT
London BarMitzvah Photograher : Apollonia A Great Venue I've not blogged for some time now but just a quick set of pictures from Apollonia in Stanmore.  A great venue for a party and the staff are wonderful.  Here's a few pictures of the main function room.


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[email protected] (Gander Photography) Wed, 02 Jul 2014 18:56:58 GMT
London Barmitzvah Photographer Alex's BarMitzvah Back in March I had the pleasure of taking photos for Alex and his family.  

We started a week or two before with the preshoot.  I turn up at a location of your choice set up the studio and we snap away for an hour or two.  It's a good way to get everyone nice and calm, used to being infront of the camera and gives you something you don't normally get, studio style photography to hang in your home.

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Once there are a few of the most important person in the room pictures of the family and others follow

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What's most important is having fun and relaxing everybody for when the event takes place, it make the event photography take so much easier.

First the portraits

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Then the reception and the party

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[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah Gander London Photography Pinner Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:21:14 GMT
London Barmitzvah Photographer : Jerusalem Adi's BarMitzvah Tales From The Old City Part2

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If you read Tales From The Old City Part1 you`ll know that I was in Jerusalem to celebrate my nephew's BarMitzvah, and at the same time act as official photographer for the day in Jerusalem.

Part 1 of this post concerned the ceremony during Morning Prayers at the Wall.  Following that and a fantastic brunch near by we took part in a Scavenger Hunt around the Old City.   We broke into groups, were given guide packs and set on our way.  It was a superb event taking me to places I'd never seen before. Furthermore I learnt a fair bit.  I learnt about the only mosque in the Jewish Quarter, saw the remains of a sniper rifle from Wars gone by and admired ornate  craftsmanship in countless ornately decorated doors and walls.  

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Along the way we were treated to presentations by our young host describing times gone by in the old Market Place or learnt of the tale of a school built and gifted to a janitor who had learnt so much in his original tenure he was revered as a great scholar.
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Jerusalem is such an historic city for many different people,  overall it's slightly over whelming but the Old and the new are effortlessly blended throughout.   I've been many times and I'm sure I'll go many more.  It's always been somewhere I've lost myself in whilst looking at others now however I have my own memories that will come back whenever I go not only of a remarkable day in the old city but a beautiful weekend all round.


You can see more of the pictures here 

[email protected] (Gander Photography) BatMitzvah London Photography Pinner Sun, 13 Apr 2014 06:31:19 GMT
London BarMitzvah Photographer : Alfie's BarMitizvah Portraits

Way back in January I had the immense pleasure of taking portraits for Alfie and the rest of his family. Early on the morning before the day unfolded I arrived to a house hot with the tension of what the weekend had to offer. 

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I set up in the lounge, all the time facing the questions of Alfie's younger brother. I love the inquisitive mind and always try to give a valuable answer but when time is pressing and there is a full portrait session to be completed with grandparents to follow I was forced to keep my answers brief.






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As is frequently the case I got set up, and asked for the man of the weekend to join me in front of the backdrop whilst I balanced lights.  It's a neat little trick to get nerves out of the way,  offer a few tips on posing and generally warm everyone up.  I rarely need to alter flash or camera settings following the first few shots once I'm up and running but those 5 minutes of 'balancing' just help to get everyone in the right frame of mind.

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It's no mean feat taking individual, and group pictures whilst preparations are still happening all around you, but I managed to get all the permutations asked for and had time for grandparents once they arrived.   When I finished the family went out leaving me to pack up and lock up.  First thing I did was put the kettle on,  take a seat and a deep breath.  It's often that way,  when I'm taking the pictures time just races past a sure sign that not only me but the people in front of the lens are enjoying themselves too.


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[email protected] (Gander Photography) BatMitzvah London Photographer Photography Pinner Portrait Sat, 12 Apr 2014 07:48:25 GMT
London Barmitzvah Photographer : Jerusalem Adi's BarMitzvah Tales From The Old City Part1 Sunrise over the KotelSunrise over the Kotel
Last weekend I was visiting family in Israel to celebrate my nephew's BarMitzvah.  A special event in any diary. Arriving in the town where they live late on Friday and celebrating with them throughout the weekend.  More over I was drafted in to take 'official' photographs later in the week when in Jerusalem for both the early morning service and throughout the day as we took part in a Scavenger Hunt organised by the BarMitzvah boy around the Jewish Quarter of  Jerusalem's Old City.
It's not easy packing for a holiday and even harder packing 4 days of formal wear that coordinate with your better half.  We finally got that bit right, but what's really hard is deciding on the camera kit to take with.  I struggled, my nature is to pack everything just incase, but in this case that just wasn't practical and I made the decision to travel light. This trip was no multi camera, multi lens jaunt not matter how much I wanted to grab the fisheye ... may be another time for his younger brother. 
Having decided on the single camera, single lens route I packed my Canon 5Dii, a 28-105 L lens a flash for fill in and gels to balance the sunlight to flash light.  That I promise you is as technical as this post will get ...
So in the early hours of Tuesday morning we left the hotel to meet up with the others in the party and for ease took a cab to the Western Wall.  In case you don't know this is a remarkably special place as it is the what remains of the Second Temple and possibly the most religious place for a Jew to visit.
During the early morning the men gathered around a small table, women standing on chairs looking over the fence,  acting as the divider between men and women.  It is a truly remarkable experience down in the enclosure of The Wall. Everyone is there for a single purpose regardless of their level of belief,  when you are that close and that involved you believe.
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As the time drew close for the newest Man of the group to read his portion one last time,  repeating his performance from Saturday morning, songs were sung, hands were clapped and men danced.  One of the party lifted him to his shoulders and a procession led him from the table to the Wall, to gather the Torah scrolls he would read from.  Once back the service continued with various members of the extended family and friends all taking part.
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It was a moving experience and one that I had never taken part in before.  I was there camera in hand recording it it  all for future review.  Even now not even a week later a number of these pictures are some of my favourites.  An honour to be asked to even take 'snaps' let alone to officially record the event.
You can see all of the pictures here
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[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah London Photographer Photography Portrait Sat, 05 Apr 2014 17:03:50 GMT
London Baby Photographer : Mollies First Portraits Babies, can it get any better than that new born innocence and for first time parent fresh panic.  

As with most baby shoots things didn't go quite to plan but that's the fun of a baby shoot you never know quite how it will plan out.  As long as I get the shot I want, and more importantly the shot the client wants then I'm happy but more over I don't really care how long it takes.  You can't rush the star of the moment.  Be patient, be prepared and just be happy to take a photo that's what I say.

This a special shoot for me as it brought me back in touch with an old friend that I hadn't seen for some time ... I have my faves from this set but which one is yours.

I don't just take baby pictures though look at the galleries for Maternity and read about a Cake Smash here

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[email protected] (Gander Photography) Baby Cake Smash London New Born Photographer Photography Sat, 01 Mar 2014 10:07:10 GMT
London Photographer : My Photography Wish List for 2014 So now January and February have been and gone in a haze of portraiture I've had a bit of time to think about my photography wish list for the year.  

Outdoor portraits ... One of the things I'm really keen to do is work on outdoor portraiture.   I get to work a lot indoors with crisp white backgrounds providing studio quality portraits.   What I don't get much chance for however is outdoor work,  mostly the weather can be against it, the  English  Spring and Summer being what it is.   Getting the chance to get good outdoor work is a must. I have some great work already but it's a style I'd love to develop more.

Weddings .... which photographer doesn't want to shoot a wedding.  Nerve wracking to be sure it's an extension of the Bar and BatMitvah work. The chance to really capture that story from beginning to end would be great.  If you are having a wedding and need a photographer let me know.
I'd also like to take some real art shots.  I'm mostly a photographer for the reasons I state in my About page but there are times when I want to take my time,  consider the setting and produce the magazine style shot; all lighting, makeup and costume.   I've got venues and content in mind, all I need now is willing models and time ...
Top of the list for a fun day with some one would be a Wreck The Dress shoot.  If you're not familiar with the phrase it's normally when a bride put her wedding dress back on and has a photo shoot to 'wreck' it.   Normally near a beach or similar it could be in a muddy field,  scrap yard or indoors as a food fight or paint war.   It's getting a bit late in the Winter now but if it gets round to snowing and is the right day I'd love to do a Wreck The Dress shoot in the Snow.  It's not the only way to wreck a dress but for the shoot I have in mind is the best ...
On a more serious note working on portraiture,  a great portrait should tell a story be well composed and carefully prepared.  There can be no better subjects for faces that tell stories than Older people.  Faces that  just have so much to tell from simply looking down the lens. I honestly wish I was the photographer I am now whilst my own Grandparents were still with me I'd have a many pictures of them as I do if my kids ...If I could only get my own parents to sit still for long enough ...
It's not a bad list of things to want to do and it would certainly keep the creative juices flowing ...
Is there a particular type of picture you've always wanted to have, maybe we could arrange to take it ...

Let mew know if you are interested in any typr of photography here and maybe we can tick one of theses off the list together.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Sat, 01 Mar 2014 07:52:31 GMT
London Event Photographer : Roy's Birthday Party It's a market thick with photographers and every time I'm asked to cover an event it really is an honor to be involved.  I had a recent event where I was asked to take pictures at a 70th birthday.  I had a great time and saw more energy in the room that at events for much younger people ... 

A fantastic time was had by all and I really had great time ... here are a few of the pics from that night a lovely time ...


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[email protected] (Gander Photography) BlackandWhite Gander London Photography Pinner Wed, 26 Feb 2014 13:35:30 GMT
London BatMitzvah Photographer : Hannah's Portraits Just a few recent pictures


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[email protected] (Gander Photography) BatMitzvah London Photographer Photography Sun, 23 Feb 2014 16:52:38 GMT
London Photographer : Photoshop Creatives I may be a photographer but I'm also a self taught Photoshop user. It's a must for a photographer to take every picture into Photoshop or the sister product Lightroom,  rate it, do some simple adjustment and produce the final picture.   After all the average 1hr portrait session will result in around 100 images that need to be reduced to a suitable amount to retouch and deliver, maybe upto 20.  An event shoot could have upto 1500 pictures taken which will end up with around 500 delivered.   To be successful the photographer has to 1. Have a critical mind 2. Ensure the pictures that he chooses meet the requirements of the client ( and are not necessarily the ones I might like the most 3. Only deliver the very best work. 

Any photographer that tells you the pictures you get are direct from the camera is both not telling you the truth,  and if they are then the picture you get is not the best it can be.   In the old days of film you couldn't just take the negative and beam it on to a wall it needed to be developed and there were many tricks available in the pld darkroom that would put Photoshop to shame. In short each and every picture a customer sees needs to be processed in some small way.

Every portrait photographer needs to know how to retouch a photo.   Clean skin, brighten eyes,  take out the wrinkles.  In some cases change a head in a group shot.
But what when you want something else,  art from the photo.   That's where something I call Creatives come to life.  They can be a simple matter of laying out a series of pictures on a single frame,  a subtle change colour wash or similar.   The fun really really starts when you get to really start to think of your pictures as art .... what can you do then.   Here's a few examples ... but the full gallery is here.  I don't get as much time to do Creatives as I'd like but they are still a key part of the service.
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[email protected] (Gander Photography) London Photographer Photography Photoshop Portraits Thu, 20 Feb 2014 07:57:03 GMT
London Portrait Photographer : Family Portraits Here's a few quick pics from one of the first jobs of the year .... not that I had much of a break over Xmas these were taken back in the first weekend of Jan when the weather was a whole lot better than it is now ...

[email protected] (Gander Photography) : Family London Photographer Portrait Portraits Fri, 14 Feb 2014 14:15:05 GMT
London Photographer : 2013 Highlights So now that I've got all of the deliveries complete for the 2013 portfolio I'm able to show you some of my highlights.

As I've said before on my About Page I work with people not cameras and what I'm trying to capture is Memories.

I'm in an incredible position to capture the once in a life time event or to bring a smile on the face of a portrait client who believes that getting a nice pictures of them is impossible.  My style is developing all the time but I'm always trying to make sure that each and every job captures the unique character of each and every person I aim the lens at.  You can see some feed back here

As a photographer I never know what is around the corner and there are some jobs that before they start can seem harder than others. All that said once the camera is in the hand and I get to start working with the character I'm trying to capture it all goes away.

I've said before that my photography has opened many doors and I've taken pictures of people that I would never even have hoped to meet let alone point a camera at.  

Enough of the talk and here are a few of the pictures.

You can contact me here  and see more of my work in the Galleries.  Don't forget that you can also follow me on Facebook

Finally thanks to everyone who let me capture their memories.  2014 is already shaping up to be an other one where I work with some incredible people and in some cases my photography is bringing me back to see some old friends.

Here's a few picture to look at the full gallery is here   be patient I had a hard time bringing the number of pictures down.


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[email protected] (Gander Photography) BlackandWhite Gander London Photographer Photography Portrait Sat, 01 Feb 2014 09:48:04 GMT
London Baby Photographer : Raffi's Cake Smash Dec 2013 was a special month for me with a number of great jobs ... none however were quite as special as Raffi's First Birthday Cake Smash ... I've known Raffi all of his life and took pictures of him as a new born, I've known his mother even longer and have a lot to thank her for.  

My little reminder popped up in November about Raffi's birthday and I suggested a portrait session,  Mum came straight back with the Cake Smash idea.  I loved it and really went into a fair amount of research for the job. The advice was very much the shoot could be over in minutes or could take some time as baby gets used to the idea of cake. 

I really wanted a different look for the pictures so instead of my normal high key pictures I wanted some really high contrast and colorful images to take away.  I knew the cake was going to be blue so I went for a colour clash and used a bright red paper roll background.  I also know I would be taking a lot of pictures very, very quickly and I couldn't necessarily rely on the speed of flashes to recycle quickly enough.  

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So in pretty much a first for me I shot the entire set against a colour roll paper backdrop and used only natural light.  Thankful it was a nice bright, but overcast day that let a huge amount of light into the conservatory without casting shadows.  I also shot a lot of the pictures with a 50mm f1.4 prime lens meaning I could keep iso and shutter low to maintain clean crisp images.

So here is a long shot of the studio ready to go, a little later we added the Happy Birthday banners to add a bit more depth of field and interest.

So now all I had to do was add a baby and a cake.

They say don't work with babies and animals ... 

I was able to get great set up shots of cake and background but poor old Raffi was more interested in the chocolate he was holding onto rather than the cake ...

A little bit of coercion later and if I'm honest a little help from us in breaking the cake up and all was well and interest in the cake was renewed.  

I ended up with a huge number of really good photos and had a great time taking the pics.  

Once into the swing of things, and due to the use of natural light I was really able to move around a get some interesting angles on the shots.  A picture can change massively just from the angle it's taken from ..



I had a great time as did little Raffi and his Mum and can't wait for the chance to take some more Cake Smash pics again ..



[email protected] (Gander Photography) Cake Smash Gander Photography London Photography Sun, 05 Jan 2014 08:06:33 GMT
London Photographer Family Portraits Part1 Every year I have a portrait day where, and I'll be honest here, my sister arranges for a number of families to come at an allotted time and sit for a portrait session.  I had one such session a month or so ago and I've been so busy I just haven't had time to post about it.  It's always a long day and takes a lot of energy to complete but the rewards are fantastic.  Not only do I get to see a whole new set of people, or in some cases meet up with a family from previous sessions but I also get to have a whole heap of fun.

Two of the sessions this year involved family dogs.  I'm not in the least bothered by dogs, in fact I'd quite like one of my own if I could give it enough time and attention.  What I am concerned about is working with them.  The chap in the first set below is a wonderfully excitable thing who was interested in everything he could find.  His best fun though was when he was given a hat to chew. 

So whilst I got so lovely shots of the family and individuals these are may faves from this session  ...

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[email protected] (Gander Photography) BlackandWhite Family Gander Photography London Photographer Portrait Tue, 17 Dec 2013 17:30:00 GMT
London Event Photographer : Photography and Toys It’s a fact that men like to buy toys …
It’s also a fact that women like to buy shoes ..
Men would rather the women were buying lingerie, and often do that for them with mixed results, I’ve often thought if computers and TVs were sold next to silk and lace there may well be a winning formula, but I digress …

Men like to buy toys, bigger better faster more … if you are a photographer you have a great excuse to buy toys …

All of which brings me round to letting you in on the amount of equipment I bring to a typical event shoot.

To start there are two cameras, not only for back up purposes but also for a selection of options through the night. One long shot one wide, one with a flash, one without, one with a long exposure one with a short exposure. You get the drift …

A selection of lenses.  I have my standard work horse lenses that will be with me most of the night, as a Canon user I use the excellent 17-40 f4 L and the 24-105 f4 L throughout the night.  The 17-40 suits my in the thick of it and be part of the party style. It’s more of a landscape lens but the way I use it right in the thick of things it’s great.  I use the 24-105 for longer shots speeches etc.  I’m not a fan of being on the edge of the room and trying to shoot the whole night from a distance, sure there is a place for that, and I’ll do some of it but it’s not my style ..

I also have at my disposal a 70-200 f2.8 lens great for being a sniper and getting candid shots of people when they don’t know it.  A 35mm f2 and 50mm f1.4, great for ambient light shots and new to the toolkit a 8mm Fisheye which gives me a full 180 degree field of view, from low down to high up my fave way to use this is with the camera screwed onto a painter’s roller pole it’s a great way to get something different.

It doesn’t stop there next there are flashes, 3 of them, remote releases ( for when that fisheye is on the over head pole ), flash benders and modifiers.

Add to that the stands and umbrellas I bring along for formal portraits that happen before the party gets underway

Lets not forget the software and computer needed to process all of these pictures or the portable studio I can bring to your house to provide studio quality photos.

Now that some investment, not only in cash to buy it, but time in learning how to use it.

Why am I telling you all of this, it’s because I want you to understand the difference between the photographer that invests in getting the best picture possible and a variety of shot so there is something different to look at.  Sure any one can turn up with a half decent camera, and you can get a fairly good picture through a point and click or in daylight an iPhone but is that the way you want ever lasting memories to be.

I haven’t stopped investing yet, though the purchases will slow down now, I have all the variety I need I still spend every moment I can in learning and practicing.  Photography is a bit like music, you can learn a tune and you can learn it by heart but until you learn the whole range of the instrument, you are no musician.

Hopefully I’m getting to the point now where I can consider myself a photographer.


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Equipment Laid OUt

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Equipment Boxed



[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah Event London Photographer Photography Pinner Portrait Mon, 11 Nov 2013 08:30:00 GMT
London portrait photographer : Portable Studio A lot of my ethic as a photographer is to make the whole experience an enjoyable one. A lot of people are not happy in a studio environment and many are just not that comfortable with the lens pointed at them, the more photography I do the more I appreciate models, they’re not Doctors but they are still hard worked in their own way.

One of the simplest ways I know of easing the situation is to take the pictures in familiar surroundings. The difficulty is to how have studio style photos in your house and not have pictures that look like they were taken in your front room.  First thing I do is bring all the equipment to you.  There's quite a lot of it now.  2 professional grade cameras, several lenses, flashes and so on.


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The big blue bag in this picture is a 6×7 bright white back drop that pops up and rolls down somewhat like a child's toy tent, only harder. Once up I can position lights inside and get a full pure white background just as you would in the studio. Further more because it’s not a cloth hanging from a pole there are no creases to deal with. At 6×7 foot it fits in nearly every house and can be tall enough or wide enough for most situations.  I can also hang a black cloth from it to get a perfect black background.

You can see from the next photo the unit is about 12 inches deep and with zips all round provides space for flashes. 




With flashes, umbrellas and everything else I have a full portable studio that can be put up in your front room, tall enough and wide enough for most needs.

In this last wide shot of the set up I have added the vinyl floor which gives me a full portable studio right in your house.






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I can also hang colour roll paper from a frame for a seamless colour background.  For traditional set ups.

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All in all this gives ma versatile travelling studio that means you can have pictures taken at home, where you are comfortable and at ease, kids can watch TV when not in front of the camera and a change of clothes is always on hand.


You can see some example images here


[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah Event London Photographer Photography Pinner Portrait Sat, 09 Nov 2013 08:30:00 GMT
London Portrait Photographer : Family Pictures There's an old saying that goes along the lines of 'cobler's children don't never have shoes .... '  but then again there is another saying that goes along the lines of  'Don't have a dog and bark yourself ... ' 

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So as a photographer I have lots of casual photographs of my family but very few 'studio shots'

All that changed this weekend.  I had a quick shot to put together for a client, and then as the Portable Studio was all set up I got the chance to get pictures of the family.

It's quite strange directing your wife and children in the same way you would any one else in front of the camera, making them stand a specific way and lets face it it's not like I had to build up any kind of client relationship with them.

What was interesting was to treat this like any other job.  Although I used the opportunity to 'play' a little and try out some new ideas, I didn't waste time or drag too much.  These models are after all like any other and their patience will not last forever.





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I had some fun and so did the wife and kids.  


More importantly I got to practice a few new things, work out how my new lens worked and use my ring flash so all in all not a bad day to play around.


More importantly though I got to work on a few things so client jobs will go more smoothly and that can't be a bad thing ...


Take a look at more portrait work here

If you are interested in a portrait session use the contact form here to get hold of me.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) London Photographer Photography Portrait Thu, 07 Nov 2013 08:30:00 GMT
Bit of a ReVamp OK so the site has been live for about a month now and already I've had more hits than on the old site.  Clients that have used the proofing tools have loved it and soon public galleries for guests, where you can order a print will be avaiable.

All that said I didn't really like the dark back ground so I've changed it to a lighter colour.  I think the photos show up better and it's easier to read the text now.

[email protected] (Gander Photography) Blog Gander Photography Wed, 23 Oct 2013 20:00:38 GMT
Gander Photography : Teen Parties Teen Parties from Gander Photography
Does your teen have what it takes ...
A unique way to celebrate a brithday or other special occasion
A private session in your home for your teen and upto 9 other friends.  Studio quality portraits taken in your home.  Changes of clothes, individual and group pictures taken.
A truely diffferent type of party ....
Contact Julian 07949 026 334 enquiries@[email protected] for more details.
[email protected] (Gander Photography) Gander Party Photography Teen Sat, 12 Oct 2013 07:52:52 GMT
10 Things You Should Know About Me 10 Things You Should Know About Me

1. I've been taking pictures for a very long time but I've been a photographer for less.
2. What I offer is a client service. My clients are the most important thing to me and the camera the tool to their happiness.
3. I'm about memories not photographs. I work with people, not cameras and lights.
4. I strive to stand out from others and produce a wide range of styles for each and every shoot or party.
5. I'm an entirely self taught photographer and Photoshop user. You decide if that's good or bad but I like to think my work speaks loudly enough.
6. I'm always looking to improve. From first time we meet, to the session or beyond. I value your feedback so please let me have it good or bad.
7. For the time being I still have a day job, maybe some day .... UPDATE as of Sept '14 all I currently do is photography ... please help me to make it stay that way.
8. I am extremely lucky to have the support of my family. Often they help me. Due to this and #7 I don't have a lot of spare time but they understand that.
9. I'm addicted to coffee, black no sugar is all the bribe I need.
10. I'm also fond of Jack Daniels ...
About Gander Photography
A play on words; my two boys are called Alexander and Gabriel along with the thought of taking a gander at an image I started Gander Photography in an official capacity in the Spring 2011. Available for all types of photography from portrait; event and other work the aim is to provide images with a twist.
Capture memories and displaying them in a unique way.
From traditional portrait sessions right the way through to complete Creative Pieces Gander Photography will take you all the way.
If the pictures I take; put a smile on your face and take you back to the moment then I've done my job. Let Gander Photography provide you with the lasting memory for a long time to come..
[email protected] (Gander Photography) About Gander Photography Thu, 10 Oct 2013 07:30:00 GMT
Gander Photography New Website Exciting new website for Gander Photography

Launching this week is the all new website for Gander Photography.  Designed with you in mind this site offers samples of recent work including events and portrait sessions as well as wedding and maternity/new baby. Also given focus are Creatives, where photographs are used in spectacular art works, manipulated and a truly imaginative designs are produced. 

For the first time we are now able to offer complete password protected, web galleries of your event. These can be hidden if required. Not only can images be seen here but if a guest, family or friend likes a picture they can purchase a print or digital download.  At present pictures are available in a range of common sizes, however more options will be made available soon.

This new site gives special focus to client tools giving full control of the Gander Photography experience.  Your pictures are now made available to you in a secure private proofing gallery.  From here you can select the pictures you want to in the wider public gallery and also for final delivery and prints. Simple buttons are also available on the pages giving you the ability you mail pictures to family or friends or to upload to social networking sites.  You can have a go now by typing the name sampleuser in the Client Access menu option.

In all this new venture provides a full experience for you and your guests to remember your special event and to share with others.

If you are new to Gander Photography why not read a few of the client testimonials. Please take a look around and leave comments in the guest book.



[email protected] (Gander Photography) Sat, 05 Oct 2013 09:01:59 GMT
Welcome Welcome to the all new Gander Photography website and blog.  Here is where you will find all of the news regarding Gander Photography.  What's happening and all the exciting changes ahead.

The old blog is still available at and all of that news is not going to move across, so if you want to know what happened before Oct 2013 take a look there.  

In the meantime have a look at the new site and let me know what you think in the contacts page.

You can also LIKE Gander Photography at Facebook at




[email protected] (Gander Photography) Sun, 29 Sep 2013 16:25:16 GMT
London event photographer .. When it all comes together If you are of a certain age you will be able to cast your mind back to the driving lesson when it ‘all came together’  that lesson when it just worked.

I had that experience with my photography this weekend. Two very different jobs, one a party and one a portrait shoot.

At the party I got all the pictures I wanted. Exposures were spot on, framing was tight, used the correct equipment for the right moment. I got a range of shots from portraits, wide angle, tight shots, flashes, ambient and balanced sets. I even had a great time with the fish eye lens I got earlier in the week.

At the portrait shoot the lights were balanced, exposure right, subject at ease. Nothing blown out, angles for texture, results not flat …

Both of these were very different shoots but both are the kind of work I do.

The big difference this weekend was taking the time to review and changing settings on the fly knowing the result with certainty.  Once that happens the camera is a bit like an x-box controller in your hands. If you watch kids play they can just do it without looking. I was moving from shot to shot quick review and a turn of a dial or thumb press made all the difference. This time however I was making subtle changes knowing the effect it was going to make and it did. Shutter speed, aperture, flash, iso flash levelsand compensation, all changes happening at once.

Ultimately this all means I’m getting better pictures in the camera, which means better results and less work at the computer.

It means I’m getting a wider variety of pictures at an event.

It means I’m more relaxed and therefore so are the people being photographed.  It means I’m enjoying it moreand worrying about the outcome less.

What it means to you is your going to get the best pictures I can take, in the most suitable way and a variety of pictures to look back on.


[email protected] (Gander Photography) BarMitzvah BatMitzvah Event London Photographer Photography Pinner Portrait Sat, 20 Jul 2013 14:45:00 GMT