Wednesday, January 21, 2015

" James Musselwhite FMPA FSWPP "

I have known James for around 12 years, he was in his twenties at the time, working for a Venture studio.

 I recall thinking to myself,  far too nice and talented to be working for an employer.
Venture was never really going to allow him the freedom that he would ultimately need if he wanted to become a photographer in his own right, purely for the simple reason that he was employed to do a job for the company and he would have been under restrictions. 

He set a goal to have his own business, which he now has, working with his young wife Felicity, her role in the business is partly as a creative, but more than that, her support for him has been unwavering, pushing him and instilling confidence.

 As a partnership it is easy to see how well the clients see them working alongside each other, they are a young , handsome dynamic couple, wanting to produce work that is perfect.

James approached me several years ago and asked if I would mentor him, after looking at his work, I decided that it would be something I would enjoy, particularly as James shares the same passion for his work that I feel for mine. I explained that it would be a bumpy ride, but with effort and drive he could do it. 

Success comes as a result of working hard, nobody is born a great photographer, it is just the same as in any other walk of life, you get out what you put in. James applied himself to the task ahead, working towards his Associate grade in the Master Photographers Association , this he achieved around 3 years ago with a collection of beautifully executed studio portraits. His panel was well planned throughout and flowed from one creation to the next, all printed in B&W, naturally it was very well received by the assessors.

 A couple of examples from James' Associate panel.

It was pretty clear that James was a Master of subtle lighting, it was this very strong element which went into his Fellowship. I often feel that once you have been awarded an Associateship, the step to Fellowship is all about refinement and finesse.

 James placed everything into pursuing qualifications, which has seen him evolve into a brilliant photographer, he now stands alongside the very best of the best in the business of photography, he will be looked up to by many who will be aspiring to follow in his footsteps, few will have the patience or skill do that, however, with the right attitude it can be done. 

Countless hours, days, weeks and possibly months are required if you want to be seen as one of the best at what you do, in return, this rewards his clients with a much higher standard of work as a result of James's dedication. 

This is exactly the approach that I wish all my mentees demonstrate during the time it takes to achieve their qualification, it may be a licentiate level, associate, or fellowship, the very highest award available to photographers within the professional associations. Or it could be to just have a goal to improve their photography skills, nevertheless, dedication is required.

In the case of James Musselwhite, this was exactly the case, he set about assembling a new submission, this time for the highest prize of all Fellowship, on September 19th 2014  he was  awarded not only with his fellowship, but went on to be rewarded further with the finest submission of 2014 in the Master Photographers Association. This is an accolade to be applauded, the best of the best. 

"More than anything, a fellowship submission, should bear the insignia of a true craftsman and master of his craft, the panel will sit comfortably as a set, truly the work of one person with a distinguishable style." ( kevin wilson )

January 2015 saw James excel once again, this time with another fellowship for the same panel at the Societies convention held at the Hilton Metropole in London.

James acceptance speech at the awards dinner was truly humbling, just as he is himself, his wife Fliss was there to see him receive the highest acclaim, where he duly told all in the audience that baby number two was on the way, a very fitting tribute to end the awards night.

I for one will always hold you in high esteem, you have deserved these accolades and a panel to be so proud of. But more than that, you are my friend. Let the portraits speak for themselves.

Jolly Good Fellow

kevin wilson photography | wedding photographer | dorset