Friday, October 9, 2020


Are you Camera Shy?  Maybe this could help

Today is World Mental Health day and it may seem a strange thing for a photographer to choose to blog about, but I seem to come up against it a lot in my line of work. It makes me feel like I should speak up about it, not only for myself but for my clients and other photographers and videographers in the industry.


I have recently been encouraged to get out from behind the camera and to start filming videos for social media posts. This is completely out of my comfort zone, which is probably quite obvious from the videos I have already done. I become very self-conscious, worrying that I am waving my arms around, waffling and not making any sense. I've noticed that worrying about it makes it worse too. Watching them back isn't much fun either, I can laugh off the fact I said the word MASSIVE 100 times in one video and I can honestly say I am much more comfortable on the other side of the lens. In general, I am a confident person, happy to talk to everyone whether I know them or not, so it's unusual for me to feel anxious. It has definitely helped me to empathise with my clients who feel camera shy.

Do You Hate Having Your Photo taken?

A lot of my clients have expressed concern about having their photos taken! It actually puts some people off having a shoot. They worry about whether they will look right, that they have bad skin, they have wobbly bits, a double chin, what to wear, do they need to diet first if you can think it I've heard it! In fact, it's rare to have someone who is super confident, there have been a couple, but it is pretty rare. 

I try hard to reassure people that they will love their pictures. Professional photography produces different results to a selfie on your phone. The right lighting, settings, equipment, backdrop and position all play a part in creating brilliant portraits. Over the years I have developed a few ways of getting that perfect image. 

Plan Out the Day. I like to make sure that everybody knows what to expect on the day, especially if they seem anxious about the upcoming shoot. If people feel prepared and organised they often feel calmer, I certainly do. We try to discuss what they should bring with them, clothing etc, what will look best on camera and what to avoid.

Getting Comfortable. On the day I spend time just chatting, having a brew and letting the person get used to the studio and to me. I don't like to rush straight into shooting unless they are happy to do so. As people begin to feel more comfortable and relax a bit, it starts to show in their photos. I like to keep people talking throughout the shoot and the atmosphere light. the moment that someone genuinely laughs is pure gold. 

Be Open. If you are anxious or worried I urge you to open up and talk about it with me. If I know how you are feeling then I can try my best to make it as easy as possible. We can take our time and we will get there.

Adjustments. Every person is different. Every shoot is different. I've learnt to take them one at a time, if someone wants to bring their entire family for moral support, then they are more than welcome. (COVID rules allowing) If shooting at Albion Street Studio, Halifax is too overwhelming then we can take the photos in your home, or a cafe or even outside. Whatever makes it easier.

I recently had a client who suffered from Body Dysmorphia. This wasn't anything that I had come across before and for others who aren't aware it is a mental health condition that causes a person to worry or fixate on particular parts of the body and it interferes with everyday life. It opened my eyes to the complexity of mental health and the impact on photography. Despite her worries, she was brave enough to have a photo shoot and the images were beautiful. It took her a little time to see what others were seeing and she later mentioned that it had been helpful for her to have this experience. 

It's important for all industries to be aware of mental health issues that can arise. The better awareness we all have, the kinder and more understanding we can all be. I try to play my part, where I can, however small it may be. So far I have managed to make people feel comfortable and ease their fears over having their photos taken. I hope to feel more confident with my filming experience and I've got lots of people helping me out. If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, body dysmorphia or any other mental health issue there is lots of support available. I recently became a Mental Health Champion after completing a course with Unmasked Mental Health, which I highly recommend for anyone.

Don't miss out on incredible photos, personal or business, get in touch and we can have a chat and see if what we can do! 

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Friday, October 2, 2020

Big Announcements for Danny Thompson Photography



It feels good to be able to share some positive news with people during this crazy pandemic that we find ourselves in! I didn’t expect to have made such progress throughout the last few months with all the restrictions in place, but being on lockdown with lots of time on my hands gave me plenty of time to plan and create new ideas for the business. So it’s with great excitement that I can announce the ALBION STREET STUDIOS. 

Yep, I finally have my own studio space, it’s taken a lot of hard work to get everything in place and up and running, but we’ve done it! Danny Thompson Photography is live and kicking in the Town Centre of Halifax, Albion street in the Westgate Arcade! I’m all set up for Commercial, branding, product lifestyle & family shoots and I’ve already been photographing some new and old clients! We’ve had some great shoots, it’s brilliant to be able to provide a relaxed and safe environment for my clients and the results have been amazing. (It’s also the perfect location to sample some of Halifax’s amazing food venues for lunch! We’ve toured the Halifax Borough Market and can honestly say if you haven’t been to some of the incredible eateries in there you’re missing out! Burritos and Thai food are fantastic!

That’s not the only bit of exciting news though, I’m not on my own in the studio!

I have teamed up with a fantastic videographer, James Mellor, from RAINBOW TROUT FILMS & THE NORTHERN VIDEO COMPANY

He is an amazingly talented videographer with a wealth of experience in the industry and his work is incredible! We have been working together on some commercial projects offering a complete digital media package to businesses. It’s amazing to work alongside someone who shares my passion for photography and media and we’ve been able to come up with new and exciting ideas, which are now all in the pipeline for the future! 

He’s even been encouraging me to make more videos for my social media, something I am not yet 100% comfortable with, as you may be able to tell if you’ve ever watched them. At least it’s helping me appreciate my client's nerves in front of my camera, so I’m working on it! I’m learning to work with the anxiety which I hope to be able to pass on to anyone who I work with who feels self-conscious or nervous about being in front of the lens. I’ll post another blog on this later! Back to the good news though... ALBION STREET STUDIOS is part of something even bigger... ALBION HQ...

The team at UNMASKED MENTAL HEALTH are in the space next door, providing much-needed entertainment, ideas and support as always! They’ve been a great motivation through COVID and are masters at making Yorkshire Tea! 

It’s the only tea allowed in ALBION HQ 

It’s a great space to work and as a bonus, we have meeting rooms to hire to other businesses or groups that need somewhere central and relaxed to meet. It’s been great to meet other local organisations and businesses in Calderdale and I can’t wait to see what else happens...

Then to top off my positive month...

I am now listed as a finalist for THE NORTH OF ENGLAND WEDDING AWARDS 2020, which was amazing news and very unexpected! I can’t thank my amazing brides and grooms and all their friends and family who voted for me enough! It’s a MASSIVE honour! I love what I do and being part of someone’s wedding day is reward enough, but I won’t lie, I’m very excited to be a finalist for the best photographer! So I’d like to say a MASSIVE Thank you to everyone! (If you haven’t seen my video, with the massive amounts of massive Thanks please check it out!)

Crab & Lobster Wedding, Crab Manor Hotel, Thirsk, North Yorkshire

Holdsworth House, Halifax, West Yorkshire, Wedding 

So all in all, even though the last few months have been difficult I have been able to keep pushing forward and have tried to remain positive! It’s been hard work, but it’s paying off... 

So welcome to the next phase of DANNY THOMPSON PHOTOGRAPHY and the ALBION STREET STUDIOS... 

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