When I first ventured into this world of pro photography – 2002 – I set up a website selling ‘Photo Art to the Home, Hotel and Workplace’.
I sat back and waited for the orders. I can’t believe how naive I was at the time. Somebody said to me: ‘What are you doing about marketing?’ ‘What’s marketing?’ I replied. I had a lot to learn. I have learnt a lot in these subsequent years. 10 years on, I am keeping my head above water, just about waving more than drowning!
The key to making my way in the photography business was diversification. Now, having embraced a wide spectrum of commercial photo jobs I have, in a sense, come full circle. I started doing photo art because that’s the photography I wanted to do, and I’m now back doing that photography again, thanks to the Trevillion and Arcangel Image Libraries which sell images to book publishers around the world. Trevillion wants ‘visual poetry’, images which are ‘atmospheric and narrative’ – in other words, photo art, and the kind I love. I won a contract with Trevillion four years ago, and I now feel I’ve made inroads: last week, I got my biggest cheque to date for selling three book covers.
One of them was an image of my daughter Helena for a further edition of a German-published novel by Jodi Picoult; another was for a further image of my actress friend Tamzin for a novel by Mary Alice Monroe entitled The Book Club; and the third – which I’m most delighted about because it’s the first featuring another actress friend Amy – is A Mountain Far Away. On this book cover (below), she peers anxiously through the window. I’m sure her gaze – as well as her striking looks – proved a big factor in the image being chosen. Ironically, the opening line in the book reads: ‘Today, Maddie is wearing blue.’ Perhaps she gets to wear red later.
Amy is a terrific actress with a chameleon beauty. I could show you ten images from a single shoot with Amy and she’ll look different in each one. Look below: all three of these images are from the one shoot. See what I mean?