#141–James Connolly

James Connolly – European Wedding & Portrait Photographer

European based photographer James Connolly shares his experience   of becoming a photographer after starting his career as a professional poker player.

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James Connolly

(from James’s website – go here for more info

An award winning photographer in Landscape, portraits, and Digital Manipulation.
Twice runner up in Digital Camera magazine and photo prize winner. Featured in various online websites for photography.

I view the art of photography as a subtractive process, a distilling of reality into a personal vision. As such I often use the tools of modern photography – different filters, digital enhancement – to try to capture in an image the emotions I felt at the moment I tripped the camera’s shutter…

Show Notes:

  • Intro Questions:

    • Tell us how you got into photography?

      • Relatively new to photography, was following other photographers and three years ago I purchased my first camera.  Followed a Street Photographer in London, Bansky

      • Wanted to be a Poker player originally (was making some money – played in the European Poker Tour)…used the mindset of repetition to improve my skills.  

      • No real artistic background

      • Found photos from Sean Archer which inspired me

      • Observed a photographer with a step ladder which made me look at different ways of taking photographs…this photographer spent a little time with me and gave me pointers that helps me today.

    • Are you a full time photographer?

      • Yes…full time photographer within three years of starting

      • Being in London has helped, self promotion, networking, many opportunities.

  • Weddings & Portraits:

    • Nikon shooter; favorite lenses

      • 85 Prime

      • 24-70 Nikkor

      • 80-200 Nikkor; mainly used at weddings

    • How did you learn to use flash

      • Learned from a photographer out of South Africa

      • His photographs had a certain look, especially outdoors.

      • Practiced at first shooting with the sun and strobes on trees to get the correct balance

      • Attempt to slightly underexpose and Dodge/Burn in Photoshop

    • How do you pick you locations?

      • Depends on my mood…winters I am in the city while in the summer I am to go where I can find the sun…not much sun in London.

    • Adobe Photoshop / Lightroom?

      • Photoshop mainly

      • First step is the High Pass

      • Need to resize the image at the beginning…if posting to Facebook

        • Image Size; 2048 x 1365 (6×4)

    • What is the portrait business like in Europe?

      • In the US you have a culture of hiring a photographer while in Italy you won’t see that, only hiring for events / weddings.  In London, there is no real market…such as  Senior Photography

      • Most of the jobs are for Portfolio filing versus a portrait session

    • How is the wedding business in Europe?

      • Got into weddings with a photographer that does portrait (glamor) work

      • Really enjoy taking wedding photographs

    • Where do you do most of your photography?

      • Now is the season for bookings…mainly weddings

    • Separate Website – own site and weddings?

      • Yes, it helps since there are two photographers.  I also link from my own site to the wedding site.

    • Any issues at weddings that helped you improve?

      • First wedding in Poland…don’t know the language and you need to guess what is coming next.  Watching people for what is going to happen.

    • Favorite part of wedding photography?

      • London – many varied weddings

  • Wrap Up:

    • What about the future?

      • Looking to get into videos, however, it is way more complex and expensive.  You have to edit the video which is time consuming

    • What is Viewbug?

      • Came out before 500pix, very nice platform for posting photos.  Go into competitions where you can submit your photos.  Voting systems…awards. 

    • Where can people learn more about James?

      • Website / Facebook

Discuss the show in our forums! – Forum Post

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Albums from previous episodes can be found here – Podcast Images



James Connolly



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About geephotant

geephotant (Geek-Photographer-Accountant) (aka. Mike Howard) is the creator of Nov Studios and the jpeg2RAW podcast. Mike is an accountant by day as the Controller for a large US based corporation. By night, he is a geek and has appeared on the Home Server Show Podcast & the BYOB podcast ( both found at www.homeservershow.com). He has also appeared on the Home Tech Show podcast (www.theaverageguytv.com) and is now a regular guest on that show. Mike's true passion is photography and shoots when ever he can find time. As an amateur photographer, he is always looking to learn more about the craft.

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