• Silver Jack

Banana Bread and Professional Photography

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

Blimey, where do I start with this blog?

What a very strange year it’s been eh? Who’d have thought when we were wishing everyone a happy new year as we entered 2020 - it’d be anything but.

Now I have been giving a great deal of thought about this blog. Do I just focus (excuse the pun) on my ramblings about photography by ignoring what’s going on in the world or do I share my thoughts too.

I’m not certain the world needs another opinion at this moment!

However art has always provided an opinion of sorts at time of crisis and upheaval.

Think Rock n Roll, Flower Power, Punk. All born out of war and crisis of the times.

So I believe that from these strange times we will see more inclusion, more compassion and a new wave of art that reflects this period of our lives that will be studied for generations long into the future.

But to do this we need to ensure our art heritage and institutions survive.

Museums, theatres, live music venues, cinemas and art galleries, like all other sectors (apart from supermarkets and loo roll manufacturers) are facing very challenging times.

Will they survive?


Remember we've been doing 'art' for a very long time. Since we lived in caves in fact. Its survived the plague, earth quakes and all manner of things. Even an atomic bomb. Take a look at the art work that came out of Hiroshima. Moving stuff. Although its not the stuff to hang on your wall if you want a happy jolly vibe.

We like to create and we like to enjoy seeing others creations and to be inspired by them.

But to allow us to inspire and be inspired, we need to ensure those great institutions survive by supporting them.

Once lockdown is eased further and these places open up, go and explore what we have here. You'll be amazed and quite possibly inspired.

And if you can manage to drop just 5p in one of those donation boxes scattered around those places and buy something small from the shop - you will in your own way have invested in the survival and future of our fantastic arts and culture scene.

Which brings me nicely to the titles of this blog Banana Bread and Professional Photography

During lockdown and looking at all the economic forecasts, I started to have my doubts about there being a market for what I do given the increasingly good images taken by phones.

Why call on a professional photographer for your family portraits if you can do it with your camera phone?

My simple answer to that is … Light.

Be it natural or controlled indoor lighting, it is the difference between a ‘meh’ portrait picture and a ‘boom’ portrait picture.

And you know that thing I mentioned above about helping museums and galleries? Well a lot of the best artists, story tellers, photographers , song writers etc etc, have all sought inspiration from those places.

On my part I’ve visited plenty of galleries and museums and studied light and how it was considered by the artists of old.

And thats where my link to bread comes in.

I guess you will have or at least will know someone who has, been doing some homemade baking during the lock down.

So whilst contemplating the future of professional photography I saw the other half making some bread. Yes it was banana bread.

Then it occurred to me, her newly acquired bread baking skills won’t threaten the high street baker as we're still buying bread too.

To me that says mobile phones will not take out the pro photography business.

You can do it yourself, but at some stage you may want a professional look for either your headshot or something really cool looking for you with your family.

That’s where a professional photographer will step into the (ahem) frame.

Take these photos of Marcus for example.

Marcus is an award winning professional actor/ voice over artist & model. He is very creative and a joy to photograph. He has visited many galleries too.

This has inspired his own style and approach to work. And what he brought to this photoshoot was a positive vibe. And some props.

Marcus being a pro and having studied ‘looks’ knew it helps to add some interest and depth.

We also took a ‘simple ‘portrait’ photo but influenced by the paintings from the renaissance period.

We had a very well equipped professional photographic studio.

But I used just one light for the renaissance style image and two lights with a lighting technique with Marcus in the top hat.

I’m hoping you find both interesting in their own way.

And thats where a professional photographer comes in for those more striking interesting images.

They’ll suggest angles of light, poses, props, outfits. All to make the photos from that photoshoot stand out from the many others taken with your phone - apart from that one where you’d had too many martinis and your swimming costume got caught in the hotel lift doors at midday. “Honest m’lord, thats what happened!”.

So with lock down easing more, I’m raring to go. Cameras fully loaded. Inspired by the study of light from those art and photo galleries, armed with experience and of course my trade mark charisma… all you need to do is turn up and be a ‘Marcus’ for a couple of hours.

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