International Rescue…

With the delights and demands of work and time spent away from home this summer, it has come as no surprise that I am not at all ready for the planned distance hike I am doing this month. So time to get the boots dubbed and waterproofs nik-waxed, find my tin cup and get the expedition tent out of moth balls.

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Some of you may already know, I received a call on the evening of the 13th of May a call we all dread to get, the call that someone you love is in hospital fighting for their life due to an accident.

When we first heard that my brother-in-law had been involved in an RTA whilst on his motorbike there was a lot of swearing, second guessing, jumping in cars and heading through the night to Nottinghamshire and that he was possibly driving without care (though that isn’t his style – not on a bike at least). Rushing to the QMC in Nottingham it unfolded that he was in fact the victim of the reckless act of careless driving, a driver had lost control and ran him over whilst he was stationary in traffic on his new Ducati motorcycle.

As my wife stared down at her oldest brother, whilst hooked up to every machine the NHS have at their disposal, saying to the Medical Team and Police that yes this was indeed her brother Karl. A terrifying situation and one she was unsure of what would happen next, distraught at the thought of him seeing this hunk of metal coming at him at speed and unable to do anything about it, and the horror and the colossal pain he must have felt.

He was unable to breathe on his own, with two punctured lungs, two broken legs, lacerated spleen & liver, broken elbow, wrist, collar bones, shoulder blade, nose, numerous ribs and untold brain damage, the prognosis did not appear good.

The important thing though was that he was there, in hospital, receiving treatment quickly because of the actions of the Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance Team (LNAA) – had they not been there to assist in his immediate and essential care, he most definitely would not be lying on the bed getting amazing 24 hour care from the team at QMC in Nottingham.

As the weeks went on we saw Karl progressively get better. From the first breath he took independently – which was as wonderous as watching our own children breathe for the first time, to the first squeeze of a hand, then onto the opening of eyes, the first look of recognition even though he couldn’t speak and then onto the random stream of words and slowly moving to organised speech, if only to be filled with profanity that would make a Merchant Seaman blush (but who can blame him?). The most special of days came when out of the blue on a visit he saw Rebecca, clung on to her and said how much he had missed her, asked about the children by name and asked where I was. I can’t describe the relief and joy after skype-ing Rebecca that evening from her Hotel room, he was going to be OK.

Nearly 4 months have passed and he is moving himself about in his wheel chair, working on walking independently (with a frame at the moment) and is nearly his old self again-just the memory of a preoccupied goldfish to sort out.

Now that he is out of the woods, so to speak and proving to us the wonder of medical science, the amazing staff at Lincs&Notts Air Ambulance, the diligence and phenomenal bedside care of the nurses and surgeons of QMC; and human spirit, it is time for us to give back.

It comes as no surprise that it costs to get this Helicopter up and saving lives, £3000 every time the air ambulance gets that call. With this in mind we’d like to raise as much as we can towards that figure so that others can be saved by such an unparalleled and selfless service.

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Rebecca and I are undertaking a long distance challenge walk taking in the Derbyshire Peak District. 60 miles in 4 days (yes, that’s 60 miles) up hill and down dale, fording rivers and scrambling over scree; this is going to be a major undertaking as I am not as fit as I used to be, in fact if I were a horse, I’d be gluing your Sneekers by now; for Rebecca the challenge will be how to move past the ice cream shops and to not fall asleep in the stone circles.

This is not subject to the stunning weather we have had this summer, (discounting today’s floods and possible thunder storms) we have been honed from years of dashing up Mountains and carved from decades of rain strewn fells to let a little August rain hamper our progress.

If however you’d rather forgo the blisters and join us on a leg or two, map reading or just getting eaten alive by midges, please donate what you can to this great cause, anything you can give would be highly appreciated. We have received in the past three weeks an amazing amount of money, with only 23 donations we have almost hit the £600 mark. Such generosity is moving and inspiring in equal measures.

This accident was the act of carelessness, and has resulted in a long and worrisome time for my family – wrong place, wrong time. It could happen to anyone and knowing a service is out there that can make the difference between life and death is certainly one that we should all support. So if this valiant yet small gesture can raise enough to cover the cost of the life saving act back in May, we can all be rest assured that all of these services can keep flying.

Thank you

If you wish to donate please follow this link to the Just Giving site –

Please CLICK HERE thank you.

evolution of a studio in the north…

Studio B new green screen

Well its been on the cards for a while and yes, yes, I know there are probably much more studios around here that offer the same service. However, as is our way, it will be delivered to you, our clients and friends of the studio with a whole new way. This year sees Slaughterhouse Studios Ltd move into offering production facilitation in a bigger way we did last year. With clients in the sportswear fashion brand sector amongst others, it was a decision  inspired by one of our cherished clients and photographer. He had a terrible experience in a green screen studio last year and – as they say – the rest is history.

So without further waffle and flannel, may I present our very own (annexed) Green Screen Studio

80 square meters and fully loaded sound proofed, state of the art, with all the modern conveniences one would expect in 2013

Call now for details

0161 745 4232

There is so much more I want to tell you about the changes here at the studio, but only our clients get to know this..

You know what to do.

 

A New Dawn…

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With the first painful weeks of the new year under our wing, it’s all going flat out at Slaughterhouse Mansions. With so much learned from last year and with so much to look forward to in 2013, it’s difficult to know where to start. So I will keep a lot of the expansion plans under wraps for the time being, no point in diluting the good news when you all knew about it months before…but be rest assured there will be no room for Ikea furniture and a splash of paint on the floor. That is not how we roll here.

So what has been learned from 2012?

Well I learned how to know what to look out for and when to offer services to people when they needed it rather than thinking I had all the answers all of the time.

That spending £1000’s on hard copy advertising is pretty pointless when all you guys do is Google Search to seek Studio Hire. So don’t expect to see an add in BJP any time soon.

Not even the oldest of American Snack Foods are secure in this changing market.

That a man in a Space Suit can fall to earth and have 16million people all hold their breath at the same time.

That London can put on one of the finest world events and turn the East End back into a vacant lot.

That I can now add car mechanic to my CV, owning a 14 year old car teaches one quickly.

Gaining market presence in many more sectors as well as fashion and magazine editorial has been a great asset to the studio and will increase throughout the new year.

Being less aware of what I want from my business and more aware of what the customer requires, this is often a bitter pill to swallow, especially when the business is so young. However, it has been more of an issue of late, when it comes to working with those who have continuously changing payment agreements and reducing budgets.

I also found that my continuous encouragement of local photographic talent is starting to pay off. Just as much as I have found new designs on how I can help and encourage people outside of this industry sector. Case in point, the young girl we had on work experience in July and August 2012, Natasha arrived a quite and rather shy, unemployed young girl and left a confident, erudite, employed young woman. A job in Manchester, excellent presentation skills – proven at an event at Portcullis House in September, in front of over 80 people, including CEOs and MPs.

Natasha has gone on to pursue her career in Acting, gaining a place at the celebrated Manchester School of Acting. Not bad for a girl from Irwell who back in Summer (and I am sure she will support me in saying this) was quiet and the epitome of a ‘Wall Flower’. So mentoring is proven to help even those who think the world is against them.

This week will see the Slaughterhouse Studios New Year’s Honours List – something I cannot do without you as my opinion counts for nothing in a democracy.

So let me know who you have enjoyed working with this past year, it could be a photographer, an assistant, a studio Director (hint) or even the Make Up artist that works so well with your own visions. All in all I want to see who is moving and shaking the world of photographic image making in the UK, it is often a lonely place running a studio and often one can only fix one’s attention on the client of the day. I get asked often if I have access to Photographers, Assistants, Digi Assistants, MUA’s, Wardrobe Specialists (inc Seamstresses) and on the odd occasion, Art Directors. So let me have your list of favourites and lets keep them all busy throughout 2013.

No matter what we do this year, lets work together to support all in the industry and allow them to have a busier year, a brighter year and a much more financially successful year. Let us champion those who are not afraid of putting in the hours, bringing in the contracts and keeping the talent in the UK.

Something to keep an eye out over the coming weeks is a Redeye event at Slaughterhouse Studios. For those of you connected to Redeye or those of you wishing to become a member, I am proud to announce a two day masterclass with Celebrated Photographer Liz Hingley on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd February. This is a unique opportunity both for me and for Redeye: a weekend workshop with a leading photographer, including a portrait of you – or someone you nominate – by Liz, as part of her series in progress, Spiritual Object Portraits. Numbers are strictly limited to eight participants.

Liz Hingley is one of the most celebrated photographers of her generation; her sympathetic approach, curiosity, and insightful visual storytelling has won her numerous prizes and accolades over the last five years.

Details can be found here on how to book a place on the weekend event. Please hurry however as places are limited and going fast.

Looking forward to seeing you all back in the studio this year.

 

Papa Simpson x

Name and Shame…

© Ian F Simpson 2012

The government will name and shame big construction companies that screw subcontractors and suppliers by failing to pay their bills on time.

Business minister Michael Fallon has written to all FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies telling them that if they do not sign up to the Prompt Payment Code, a voluntary agreement to promote good payment practices, he will publicise their refusal in the new year.

Companies being told to sign up include: major contractors Interserve, Galliford Try, Carillion and Kier; housebuilders Barratt, Berkeley, Bovis Homes, Persimmon, Redrow and Taylor Wimpey; support service companies Capita, Mitie and WS Atkins; and materials suppliers Wolseley, Howden Joinery, SIG and Travis Perkins.

The only FTSE 250 construction company to have signed up to the code already is Balfour Beatty, which did so in July 2010. Other major construction signatories include Willmott Dixon, Skanska UK, Morgan Lovell and Miller Construction.

Mr Fallon said: “Late payment causes real cash flow problems for entrepreneurs. It stops them from growing their business – we need to change the culture.

“Too many of our biggest companies are ignoring the Prompt Payment Code. My message to them is clear – make prompt payment a priority or face the consequences of being named. I’m confident that driving up support for the common sense principles in the Code will have a very positive effect.”

Currently 1,182 companies are signed up to the Prompt Payment Code. However, only 27 FTSE 100 companies and five FTSE 250 companies are signatories.

Forum of Private Business chief executive Phil Orford welcomed the minister’s invention. He said: “All too often we see a ‘domino effect’ of late payment right down the supply chain. It decimates cash flow and forces many firms into administration – so it is important that we do whatever it takes to reverse this trend and set in motion a culture of prompt payment for small businesses and the economy as a whole.”

A debate on prompt payment issues took place in Parliament on Thursday 8 November 2012.

Businesses can sign up to the Prompt Payment Code now at http://www.promptpaymentcode.org.uk/

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My question is, why should this be a challenge to any FTSE 250/100 company? This should be an enforced code of practice, what ever size of business you are.

Far too many SME’s and Micro Businesses are being effected in the media sector, and yes this includes studio hire facilities. Recently after a very long and protracted conversation on this very subject with a studio owner in London, I challenged him to tell me who has not agreed to pay for his services and create a growing culture of late payment this year, moving the goal posts of terms from 14, to 30, to 90 days and even paying for the whole service package he offers (this includes his own lighting hire service, catering, MUAs, Styling team and a driver for the creative team and celebrity being shot that day) to 30 days after the image went public – six months after the shoot date for those interested in when he got paid. To be honest I had heard this one earlier this year that created a wedge between a new client and obviously some one I no longer choose to do business with.

I understand that as quotes and budgets get progressively strangled, we still offer the best service in all the finer studio hire centres up and down the UK, however, if these agencies are allowed to carry on creating a delay on all payments for services rendered then what are we to do?

Personally, I would love it if there were a standard industry code of practice that anyone hiring any services in the photographic industry – all payments should be treated like a retail payment. There are 1000’s of articles that express the anger of many and use the same analogy that one would not enter a department store, pick up a pair of shoes, try them on, enjoy the view in those small angled mirrors for a while, wonder if they will go with those new jeans you bought the other week and then walk out of the store with a short conversation with the staff saying, “I will come back next month and pay for these, OK?”

The cold arm of the law and probably a night in a cell is the end of this story, so why do proportionately more and more companies out there see the service sector of studio hire a much softer side of the hard faced industry?

I have written to M. Fallon MP to forward any information on those 1182 businesses that have signed up to this code of practice, particularly ones that are outside of the construction game. I will publish this list to assist in those of you who wish to secure at least one client who has no problem paying on time and appreciates the fact that all studios are in a supply chain of paying their own 3rd party debts.

I am lucky that this has happened less and less this year in comparison to last, this is all down to the contract I have with my cherished clientele – however I know that this has alienated me and my studio from many cash opportunities, due to the arrogance of those who wished to extend the payment of a very expensive shoot.

Simple question to ask at the very top – do you have the budget in place to pay for this? In accepting this cost of my services, are you aware that you are legally obliged to pay on my terms, not yours?

For those interested, this is the construction sector list of those who agree to pay on time to their suppliers and contractors, these are the kind of people who should be encouraged as trend setters.

Organisation Region
3D Scaffolding Limited North West
A-Tech Installations West Midlands
Advanced Roofing Limited East Midlands
Archive Repair Specialist Yorkshire & The Humber
Ardent Services Ltd
Arkoni Ltd Yorkshire & The Humber
Asbestos Business Contractors Ltd North West
Aspect Building Solutions Ltd Yorkshire & The Humber
Association of Concrete Industrial Flooring Contractors (ACIFC) London
Association of Interior Specialists West Midlands
Astbury North West
Atlas Washroom Systems Ltd North East
B Mc Namee & Co Ltd Northern Ireland
Badham & Sons West Midlands
Balfour Beatty plc
Barrow & Brooks Ltd South East
Bermar Building Company Ltd Yorkshire & The Humber
Besure Building & Maintenance Services ltd South East
BHE Services (Bolton) Ltd North West
Birmingham Glass Services Ltd West Midlands
Black & Veatch South East
Boilerman Ltd South West
Bristan Group Limited West Midlands
C D Potter and Sons Limited Yorkshire & The Humber
Cirrus Trading Ltd East Midlands
Clarkes Environmental Ltd Yorkshire & The Humber
D H Crofts Limited South East
DCT Civil Engineering Ltd North West
Dufell Roofing Co. Ltd. North East
Dutton’s Electrical East Midlands
Effective Builders Company North West
EMCOR Facilities Services Limited North West
ERH Communications Ltd Wales
ERW Joinery Ltd North East
F PARKINSON LTD North East
Gary Gabriel Associates South East
George Cox & Sons Ltd North West
Goody Demolition Ltd South East
Governor Electrical & Mechanical Ltd Yorkshire & The Humber
Greendealhull.com Yorkshire & The Humber
H Clarke and Sons Ltd Yorkshire & The Humber
H&J Martin Ltd Northern Ireland
Hannafin Contractors Limited West Midlands
Harry Fairclough Construction Ltd North West
HCS (Yorkshire) Ltd Yorkshire & The Humber
Headway Contracting Services Ltd North East
Huggins Limited South East
Install Electrical Contractors Ltd East Midlands
ITT WATER&WASTEWATER UK LTD East Midlands
J Hughes Construction Limited North East
K & M Mcloughlin Decorating Ltd London
Keith Walton Brickwork Limited
L P MASON LIMITED West Midlands
Leesafe Ltd
Lewis and Lewis Ltd Wales
Lincs Joinery Services Ltd East Midlands
LJPM Ltd South East
MacConvilles South West
MacLay Civil Engineering Ltd Scotland
Main Building Maintenance Ltd South East
McLaughlin & Harvey Ltd Northern Ireland
MCP Environmental LLP Yorkshire & The Humber
MIDLAND FIRE PROTECTION LTD East Midlands
Miller Construction Scotland
Minshull Windows Ltd Wales
Morgan Lovell London
Moss Construction (NI) Ltd Northern Ireland
Mott MacDonald Limited London
Mulcair Limited Wales
Multispace Systems Ltd Yorkshire & The Humber
MURRAY & WILLIS LTD West Midlands
Mwt Civil Engineering Ltd Wales
Oddy Builders Ltd Yorkshire & The Humber
Olivison Ltd South West
One Stop Maintenance OSM Ltd West Midlands
Overbury Plc London
PAW Structures Ltd North West
Paynters Flooring Yorkshire & The Humber
PGR Innovations Limited Yorkshire & The Humber
Professional Electrical Solutions Limited South West
Providence Maintenance & Electrical Services Ltd Yorkshire & The Humber
Pyramid Builders Limited London
RDA Limited North East
Reddish Vale Insulations Ltd North West
RESIBLOCK LIMITED South East
RI Construction North East
Rok Plc South East
roofclad profiles ltd Northern Ireland
Roy Hankinson Limited North West
Rule & Parker Ltd East of England
S. Peake & Son Ltd West Midlands
sanmet Yorkshire & The Humber
sedgemoor heating South West
Skanska Construction UK South West
SM ELECTRICAL SUPPLIES LTD Scotland
SOFT SURFACES LIMITED North West
Specpro Ltd Scotland
T&B (Contractors) Limited South East
TECHRETE (UK) LIMITED East Midlands
TECL
Thompsons Fencing Ltd North East
Universal Carpentry & Joinery Ltd East of England
V&T(Plumbing Central Heating & Bathrooms) Ltd t/a Aqua Interiors Yorkshire & The Humber
Vivid Interiors London
Wayman Fabrications Ltd North West
Wellington UK Ltd South East
Wharton Construction North East
William Doherty Northern Ireland
Willmott Dixon Holdings Limited
WJM BUILDING SERVICES LIMITED Northern Ireland
Woodhouse-Barry (Construction)Limited North East

(source – the construction index Nov. 2012)

Hello Sailor….time to learn, time to experiment.

 all image rights and copyright Layla Sailor Photography and Layla Sailor 2011

 

VISIONS – Creative studio photography masterclasses by Layla Sailor

How can a keen amateur photographer boost their work and stand confidently alongside professional photographers? Simply contact the studio today and join us from September 2012. Learn new skills and be inspired by our expert Photographer Layla Sailor.

Layla Sailor was born in Manchester, England. After completing a degree in photography at Manchester Metropolitan University in 2005, she has continued to combine commercial fashion photography with fine art & filmmaking, receiving an honourable mention in the 2009 IPA awards, and also being shortlisted for the 2010 RPS Genix bursary. Most recently her work was included in Showstudio’s Visions Couture exhibition at Printemps Paris.

She has run numerous seminars for Calumet and Profoto, and taught at Salford University and Stockport College, she has a unique aptitude for photography and teaching, and enjoys sharing her vast knowledge with other creatives.
Inspired by cinematography, she creates hyper-realistic, dreamlike works and is known best for her unique lighting style and love of colour.

Clients: Sassoon, BBC Television, Tony&Guy, MAC Cosmetics, Kernal Global, Oxfam, Whitney Eve, Revolution Bars, BBC, 1883 Magazine, Style Etc, Live Fast Magazine and Revs (Finland).

Exhibitions: Haceccity Project, Nouvel Organon, Paris 2012. Vision Couture, Pritemps, Paris 2012. Harris Museum (Redeye Exhibition), Noir, Lancashire 2005. Preston Art Gallery (Redeye Exhibition), Preston, 2004

Layla’s work is syndicated by Camerapress & Photovogue Art & Commerce

Dates: Begins Saturday 1st September 2012

Duration: 1 full day – 09:00 until 18:00

Location: Slaughterhouse Studios Ltd, 54-56 Oldfield Rd, Salford, Gtr Manchester, England. M5 4LZ

Course price: £250/day (inclusive of VAT)

Maximum number of places: 20

As well as providing access to a professional studio, Slaughterhouse Studios Ltd will provide all lighting equipment at each session.

How can a keen amateur photographer with an understanding of his or her equipment, and who produces consistently competent images, move their work to the next level and take pictures that will stand confidently alongside professionally taken photographs? One option is to apply to an understanding professional, offer your services and work tirelessly for a number of years as an assistant. The other is to join Layla Sailor’s Advanced Masterclass and soak up many years’ experience while working on professional assignments in a fully equipped studio.

At its core, photography is all about capturing an image with available light. Layla will train students to see the world of light and shade, control the way light falls on their subject and translate the vision into brilliant images.

For almost ten years, Layla has been immersed in the photographic industry. Her enthusiasm and knowledge of the subject is infectious. Join her and a class of like-minded students on a unique series of masterclasses to develop the skills, vision and confidence to create a higher standard of photography with controlled light.

Course programme

All sessions will take place at Slaughterhouse Studios Ltd, 54-56 Oldfield Road, Salford, Gtr Manchester, England M5 4LZ.

The course runs from 1st September 2012, and consists of a full day session of 8 hours. All sessions will take place in the studios from 9.00am-5.00pm.

All who attend will be expected to have the use of a digital SLR camera.

The subject matter of sessions as listed below is a guide only. The exact course content will be finalised according to the experience and interests of the group.

The detail of the course content is at the discretion of the course director and Layla Sailor Masterclasses.

Saturday 1st September – Session 1

Getting to know each other and ambition of the course. Intro by Layla and all other housekeeping necessities. Ideas and demands of what each want from the course.

How to recognise and translate lighting from an image, utilising quality from a light source. Three separate groups will recreate their chosen lighting from the selection in studio and create a set in studio with a model or still life.

Every nuance of light meter readings, from different ways of measuring light to the implications of formats. Leading to the afternoon workshop – Fashion Lighting 1.

Approaching the subject in the style of and under the demands of a structured commercial shoot. The whole building will become an open studio, all will be encouraged to take their subject to create a masterly or experimental approach to lighting and styling the photograph. Understanding the importance of direction and team work.

Future dates are as follows:

7th October

24th November

16th December

Submissions and payment

Submissions can only be made electronically and should be emailed to: info@slaughterhousestudios.co.uk with reference Layla Sailor Masterclass On receipt of your application, you will receive a confirmation email from the course director.

The deadline for payment of the course is 5 days before commencement of the class. T&C’s will be forwarded to all successful applicants on the day of application.

Payment methods

Cheques, BACS or electronic secured payments will be cleared 5 days before the class date to secure each applicant’s place. All payment details will be part of the T&C’s package.

Minimum equipment required                                                                                                        
Digital SLR Camera with manual setting, a standard lens, a formatted memory card and a tripod

 

Improve your knowledge

How to retouch – Improve knowledge equals enhanced images.

Slaughterhouse Studios ltd is proud to announce a well over due collaboration with one of Manchester’s leading Retouch Artists, Miss Jennifer Doohan. The masterclasses will provide you with the skills to confidently use Adobe Photoshop in a proficient, intuitive and effective way.

Jennifer has worked with some of the finest photographers in the UK, working alongside some of the more well known stars of stage and screen. Her work has allowed her to travel throughout Europe and Asia, with her current post at BBC HQ at Media City, Salford.

Masterclass schedule

The purpose of the masterclass is to present to you the finer details and uses of the Photoshop Toolkit. This will leave you with the relevant skills to produce excellent quality images. The masterclass is aimed at anyone with a basic understanding of the software.

Each class will encourage you to use and understand all the basic elements of Photoshop and then over time lead towards much more advanced levels of learning this software. Jennifer will offer much more hands on practice during the day long course. Therefore, whether a photographer, illustrator, designer or just curious how to get the best out of your digital photographs, Jennifer’s understanding and skills with Photoshop will offer you many opportunities to make your images look sensational.

The classes are for all levels of users, from the novice to the time served user who may wish to have all those bad habits brushed away. You do not need to have any prior experience, just the software on your laptop.

During the first month’s sessions Jennifer will cover:

  • Portraiture
  • Landscape
  • Composition
  • File structure
  • Layers and Labelling Layers
  • Sharpness
  • Hue
  • Saturation
  • Use of colour effectively
  • Black and White
  • Maximising the potential of all the most used brushes and effects
  • Face retouching and manipulation techniques

Workshop details

Maximum number of places – 15

Training dates and location

Manchester

Slaughterhouse Studios Ltd

Saturday 8th September 09:00 – 17:00

Sunday 16th September 09:00 – 17:00

Saturday 22nd September 09:00 – 17:00

Saturday 29th September 09:00 – 17:00

[October – December dates are going to press on 1st September]

Cost of each Masterclass – £100 (+VAT) this includes breakfast, teas and coffees and free car parking

How to get here (click)

How to apply

Email your interest subject to Photoshop Masterclasses to info@slaughterhousestudios.co.uk and we will forward you the application form, T&C’s and payment details.

Payment methods

Cheques, BACS or electronic secured payments will be cleared 5 days before the class date to secure each applicant’s place. All payment details will be part of the T&C’s package.

What you will need:

  • a laptop with a genuine copy of Adobe Photoshop
  • original images shot by you on an openable file
  • a camera (this is optional but gaining access to the studios here at Slaughterhouse Studios will allow each class member the chance to see the whole process of developing a digital image from a shoot in the day light studio to creating a print ready image)
  • a need to learn more about the software and how it can make your photography more intuitive.

new addition

I would like to introduce and welcome our newest member of the team, Natasha Dunn has been with us for the past 3 weeks and would have announced it earlier but its just been too busy this month. Natasha is working with us as part of the Kids Without Connections, an initiative in collaboration with Hazel Blears MP. Creating opportunities for all young people in Salford who do not wish to leave school and spend their life signing on. Since arriving Natasha has helped co-ordinating shoots with ITV Granada, BooHoo and a number of Sunday Newspaper supplement editorials. I have introduced her to some of the the right people to pursue her career as a theatre actress, successfully landing her first audition next week here in Manchester. Keeping everything crossed, break a leg Natasha. The pilot scheme of KWC is culminating in September with a group trip to London and a big press and publicity opportunity at the House of Commons, so expect some  feature images later this year.