About John Clements…

Hello, and welcome to gophototraining, designed to support my photography workshop and seminar activities in and around the UK.

There are so many avenues to choose from when it comes to enhancing our photographic skills, or understand better the equipment on offer. So I think it only fair to offer a brief (relatively), outline of some aspects of my background you might find relevant in making your decision. I hope you may then find our events of interest, regardless of being a beginner, an enthusiast or a pro photographer…

As an experienced and still working professional photographer, I  have been able to tackle a vast range of subject matter professionally. So far, It has been an amazing mix during three decades plus, and a lot of shots. This gives me a wealth of ‘real world’ experiences to draw upon, not just the theory, but in real world practical application of photography also due to my ‘technical’ background.

My professional photography has taken me too countless studio’s, company locations, Ambassador’s residences and many other historic venues, freezing cold beaches and into peoples home environments. and more.

I have also been lucky enough also to be immersed working with and for, some of the worlds leading imaging companies when it comes to cameras, lighting and software at different times during my career. So on this score, I have been lucky enough to ‘live the dream’ as a photographer and explore the technical side as it has been developing.

Formerly for a number of years ‘The Advisor Of Photography’ for Nikon Corporation in the UK, I remain flattered that decades later, that they still utalise me as an ‘Evangelist’ to help explain the system and inspire its users. I was also employed directly by Olympus Cameras for a shorter period.

I have also used my background  as a consultant and as a photographer for a wide range of companies within the world of photography. Some of those include Hasselblad, Contax, Minolta, Adobe, and Profoto among others. And I remain flattered that some companies have and do involve me in some pre launch product assessment and development feedback.

It is interesting though how you can be perceived. Some only know, or see me just as a photographer, others for example, because of the magazine and book writing I have also done in the past, the training events, or my technical role with photographic companies, not as a photographer at all. But a ‘technical’ bod.

In truth, that is my fault, as I don’t always fill in the blanks. But you certainly can quite easily become stereotyped. “Que Sera, Sera, whatever will be, will be” and all that.

As for professional photography? I have photographed the well known from royalty, actors, politicians and other well-known people over the years, too the great British Public. From portraits to weddings or at numerous events, plus business images. Then the fashion stuff, and numerous other kinds of people work through too diverse subjects as scene of crime imagery or photographing laser beams.
Throw in some architectural imagery, product photography, low light photography, some landscape and close-up images, and it has been an interesting mix to say the least so far.

And it certainly has kept me motivated and on my toes.

But there are some things we no longer shoot. That may be because the market has changed, or I wanted the challenge of new areas. And you can only do so much at any one time I think, if you are to do it well.

Interestingly as a photographer you meet the positive, the negative, the confident, the unsure. But it is your job to understand and be able to accommodate each, and get the best from them on the day. On that score, I am blessed as many say nice things about my positive personality. I can’t help it, I am who I am:).

I also learned the hard way many years ago that knowing how to instinctively use your equipment of choice, makes a photographers life so much easier.

But my now accumulated shooting experience, and technical knowledge do give a solid foundation to work from across genres. And I try to put that back into my training courses, trying and help others, saving them time by giving clarity to the techniques and kit they might find useful for their subject matter.

From the beginner, who maybe wants to create nice looking family or travel images, to the pro looking at new genres, or tackling their current ones more efficiently, that ‘real’ world’ background helps. In fact it is invaluable. You simply can not get that from watching internet material, books or magazines. All of that theory (although useful) can only take you so far.

So where are we today? There are often more hits than misses in an acceptable technical sense from the off today. And that’s no bad. Credit the manufacturers, We have for example, never had previously more accurate and flexible cameras as we have today. But another day, and that same technology same settings may give a noticeably different result.

So for me, the bottom line is this; if you don’t understand the basic principles of image making – I call it ‘the craft’ – how can you truly judge any bit of technology for its benefits? Or get the best from it?

Certainly without some basic craft skills, I don’t believe you will be around long term as a pro photographer, or reach your potential as an enthusiast either. And when you add up what equipment can cost, knowing when and how to step in still, just helps realise a cameras; lens or lighting’s potential.

Good technology harnessed alongside real photography skills are a world away from pressing a few buttons and accepting what you get.

I have enjoyed shooting film across formats. But a shock when I think about it, is that I first came into contact with digital capture in 1988. And of course, have immersed myself in that for a very long time now.

My lighting skills remain a particular strength to what I do, but I retain an interest and passion for photography in many forms.

Thousands and thousands have kindly been to our events over the decades now. So I guess there must be something to that. Photography should not be a chore with the technical stuff stifling our creativity, just a vehicle to get there, and realise your vision and potential.

Thank you for the amazing feedback we get about our events. These countless positive comments from people who have been on courses previously, are very much appreciated. Not just about the content, but also about our style.

So if you are kind enough to join us at an event, I look forward to sharing some of my enthusiasm. We have wide ranging courses, covering the needs of those beginning their photographic journey as a hobby, the enthusiast, to the professional, wishing to extend or just reaffirm their existing skill set.

Step – by -step and easy to follow, with really useful levels of knowledge, and real photography skills delivered too our delegates. Our courses either direct or through our ‘Partner’ companies, aim to help your photography achieve what you want it to in minimum time. And with the specific equipment you wish to use.

I am pleased that my own photography resides in peoples homes, has been published countless times in books, magazines, used by well known high street names and in our national newspapers, let alone in other media and around the world.

Yet for all that, while I am not looking to be in photography’s all time ‘hall of fame’, I still feel I have not quite achieved much yet.

Guess I had better put some effort in:).

My best wishes and good photography… John.