Kay Thompson Photography: Blog http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog en-us (C) Kay Thompson Photography 2012-2017 All rights reserved (Kay Thompson Photography) Fri, 28 Jul 2017 14:07:00 GMT Fri, 28 Jul 2017 14:07:00 GMT http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/img/s4/v68/u644695648-o657900946-50.jpg Kay Thompson Photography: Blog http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog 120 80 Shaping Up For Tweed http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/7/shaping-up-for-tweed I’m not very good at writing about myself so apologies if I waffle a bit! Tomorrow morning I'll be leaving Gloucestershire at the crack of dawn to head to Hatfield House in Hertfordshire for the Game Fair and the culmination of 12 months soul-searching, blood, sweat and tears - the grand finale of Shaping Up For Tweed 2017! 

For those of you who follow me on Social Media you'll have a pretty good idea of what SUFT is but for those of you who don't this blog will bring you up to speed! 

So let's rewind to July 2016.

I wasn’t happy with my weight, but I wasn’t really motivated to do anything about it until a photo taken by a colleague put things in perspective. Looking at the physical proof, I was embarrassed by my weight and my appearance. It was a bit of a wake up call! 

In addition to my photography I have a full time job based in an office which has no shortage of cake, sweets, crisps etc doing the rounds coupled with regular offerings of pizza it was hardly surprising that my weight had reached nearly 18st and I was struggling to get up the stairs without being out of breath.  You can imagine my struggles out beating especially where hills were involved not to mention not being able to find clothes to fit! My body and health were suffering something had to change! 

For those who know me personally, my life can be pretty hectic - I needed to find a solution which worked around my various commitments. I needed something with some structure that I could stick to so decided to try Slim Fast 3-2-1 plan. 3 100 kcal snacks, 2 meal replacement shakes or bars and 1 600 kcal main meal - luckily my regular Gousto boxes had plenty of quick low calorie but filling options which was a real benefit.

I started tracking my daily calories online using MyFitnessPal to keep me on track and soon started noticing that I wasn't as tired and definitely had more energy when walking the release pens each evening which was a great way to boost my daily steps. Sitting at a desk from 9-5 isn't great for your recommended 10k steps a day! 

By September I had started losing weight but I was becoming disheartened by feeling constantly hungry. There were evenings where I'd have to take myself up to bed to prevent me raiding the kitchen and eating everything in sight. I was on the verge of giving up! 

I happened to stumble upon a Facebook post by Kate Latimer-Matthews, a local taxidermist and milliner. Together with Emma Brown of Emma Brown Tweed, they had challenged a friend to get to her desired dress size by the Game Fair in July 2017 in return for a piece of Emma's tweed and a head piece made by Kate. Not only were the ladies supporting my friend they were willing to support three other ladies in reaching their weight loss goals. So #ShapingUpForTweed was born! This was just the sort of incentive and motivation I needed to keep going especially with the new shooting season just around the corner! Could I get to a size 12 from an 18-20 in under 12 months? I didn't know but I'd give it a bloody good go! 

Part of the challenge was for participants to share their journey across Social Media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using the #ShapingUpForTweed. I decided to take this a bit further and created the private Facebook group Shaping Up For Tweed so that other participants could contribute in a shared place and make it easier for Emma and Kate to track our progress. Within the group we were able to share our tips, failures and support each other on our individual yet shared journey.

By my 31st birthday at the end of October, I'd reached my first mini goal of 16st. I booked all my remaining annual leave to coincide with shoot days so that I could go beating and started to move towards calorie counting instead of Slim Fast and choosing healthy alternatives instead. I'd started to change my entire mindset and lifestyle! 

Christmas came and went and I started the New Year at 15st, had joined the Gym and started going back to Zumba after a five year break (I’m still the most uncoordinated person in the world). I'd even worn a dress to our village New Year's Eve celebration and didn't feel self-conscious. I'd lost enough weight to finally fit into a pair of standard leg Le Chameau leather lined wellies - non scale victories can be a real boost! 

A few days into 2017, I got a call I had been dreading, my wonderful aunt had lost her battle to cancer. The next day I started running and with the aim of taking part in the Dorothy House Bubble Run in her memory in June. Amazingly I'd been bitten by the running bug! I signed up for more runs including Pretty Muddy, Race for Life and even Cheltenham Challenge 10km! I wanted to do her proud and know that I have done that whilst raising nearly £500 to date for Dorothy House Hospice with more 10km races scheduled.

IMG_4472IMG_4472Cheltenham Challenge 10km

Fast forward to June and not only had clocked up over 50 running miles, I managed to drop to 13.5st but I reached my size 12 dress size goal!

So tomorrow when I get to the Game Fair I'll be a shadow of my former self and it's all down to SUFT. The FB group really inspired me to dig deep and make it the success it's become. I've invested a huge amount of time and effort into the group and it's been amazing seeing the transformation in myself both physically and mentally. Not everything went to the original plan, which resulted in Emma and Kate making some adjustments to SUFT but I've thoroughly enjoyed being part of the journey and being a part of other people’s success stories! 

At 12pm tomorrow on the Emma Brown Tweed stand, we'll find out who will be crowned SUFT's stars of 2017! I couldn't be any more proud of how far I've come and wonder how on earth I did anything carrying the equivalent weight of 2 big bags of dog food around with me 24/7! I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not been easy but if you put your all into something and want it bad enough you’ll do what it takes to get there and help others do the same too! Whether I’m named a prize winner or not I’ll have won so much more in the long run!

19141591_10155208333166136_1117477632_n19141591_10155208333166136_1117477632_nBefore and After

So for now I’ll finish by saying a huge thank you to Emma and Kate for not only giving me this opportunity but also supporting and believing in me when I’ve had the odd wobble along the way especially this week, sorry Emma!  To everyone who has supported me in one way or another thank you to you too! You'll know who you are! 

Here’s to #ShapingUpForTweed and the friends I’ve made along the way, lets see what tomorrow brings! 

 

 

 

 

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(Kay Thompson Photography) blog brown emma females fieldsports for in journey kate latimer personal shaping taxidermy tweed tweed. up weightloss http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2017/7/shaping-up-for-tweed Fri, 28 Jul 2017 17:00:00 GMT
Winter Mini Session Offer http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/winter-mini-session-offer Introducing our Winter offer - 30 Minute mini sessions to include 10 digital files for just £50. 

Book for yourself or why not purchase a gift voucher for a friend or loved one.

Additional Prints and Products available! 

For more details email kay.thompson@btinternet.com

 

 

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Christmas Gift Mini Photography Session Vouchers kay thompson photography http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/11/winter-mini-session-offer Wed, 11 Nov 2015 09:34:07 GMT
Win a Kay Thompson Photography framed print http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/6/win-a-kay-thompson-photography-framed-print For those of you who subscribe to Fieldsports Magazine you might have spotted that one of my images received a highly commended in the recent Leica Fieldsports Photographer of the Year Competition. The Other/Hunting category I am told was incredibly popular and competitive, so to receive a commendation was a real honour. Congratulations to all category and overall winners! 

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To celebrate the commendation I've decided to do a little competition of my own. In order to win a framed print of my entry simply email kaythompsonphotography@gmail.co, with "Stirrup Cup" as the subject to be entered into the draw. All entries to be emailed and received before Wednesday 1st July. The prize is a 13" x 8" print with 15" x 10 " black and gold frame as shown below.

 

Good Luck!!

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Competition Countryside Fieldsports Hunting Hunting Photography Leica Photographer Photography kay thompson photography photography. http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/6/win-a-kay-thompson-photography-framed-print Mon, 01 Jun 2015 12:09:56 GMT
Spring Canvas Sale http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/spring-canvas-sale It's that time of year again - our Canvas Lite sale! 

60cm x 40cm - £110.00 now £55.00

50cm x 40cm - £90.00 now £45.00

40cm x 30cm - £70.00 now £35.00

30cm x 20cm - £50.00 now £25.00

Discount is already applied to the price list so there is no need for a code.

Here are a couple of examples for you.

Canvas Lite 60cm x 40cmCanvas Lite 60cm x 40cmCanvas Lite 60cm x 40cm was £110 now £55 or maybe

Canvas Lite 50cm x 40cmCanvas Lite 50cm x 40cmCanvas Lite 50cm x 40cm was £90 now £45.

Orders must be placed before 5pm on Thursday 23rd April!

 

 

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Beagling Countryside Hunting Hunting Photography Photography kay thompson photography http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2015/4/spring-canvas-sale Fri, 17 Apr 2015 08:32:36 GMT
Last Christmas order date http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/11/last-christmas-order-date Last guaranteed order date for Christmas deliveryLast guaranteed order date for Christmas delivery

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(Kay Thompson Photography) http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/11/last-christmas-order-date Tue, 25 Nov 2014 15:46:31 GMT
Canvas Sale http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/canvas-sale  

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It's that time of year again - our Canvas Lite sale! For three days only take advantage of our canvas sale. Prices start at just £25 +p&p. Orders must be placed by 7pm Monday 27th October.

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(Kay Thompson Photography) kay thompson photography http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/10/canvas-sale Fri, 24 Oct 2014 09:12:29 GMT
Celebrating the Glorious Twelfth with Eat Wild http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/celebrating-the-glorious-twelfth-with-eat-wild Tuesday evening I was honoured to be invited by local brothers Will and Calum Thompson of Eat Wild to attend their Glorious Twelfth Grouse Night which was held in their relatively new restaurant in Cirencester.

The 12th of August or "The Glorious Twelfth" as it has become known is the start of the shooting season for Red Grouse.

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Red Grouse or Lagopus lagopus scotica, is a medium-sized bird of the grouse family which is found in heather moorland in Great Britain and Ireland. As we don't have heather moorland in Gloucestershire the boys had managed to source their Grouse through a family friend on the Yorkshire/Durham border.

In addition to their small but perfectly formed restaurant in my home town, Eat Wild are suppliers of premium wild meat and game. Through their website and via local farmers markets the boys retail oven ready meats, their Click It, Cook It, Eat It Dinner Party Kits. They also offer bespoke private and event catering solutions tailored to your requirements.

The restaurant itself offers the ultimate casual dining experience, using the finest local ingredients and working with the best artisan producers to bring you real food at real prices. The boys can often be found foraging the local area for items to add to the menu. The decor of the restaurant is best described as quirky and eclectic. Graffiti rutting stags adorn one side whilst taxidermy is scattered throughout. The tables are up-cycled cable drums and the display behind the main counter is an old piano!

It's fair to say I really admire what Will and Calum are trying to do. How many people in their twenties do you know who run their own restaurant and a very cool one at that? No wonder they were awarded  ‘Local Food Champion’ for the Midlands region in the recent Countryside Alliance awards! I've eaten here a few times now and the food is amazing. Will's Venison Chilli is particularly good!

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Guest were welcomed with cocktails served in Eat Wild's signature Kilner Jar glasses before being shown to their tables to see the evening menu. Each course was served with a matched wine supplied by local independent wine merchant Tom I'Anson Wines.

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Our main course of Grouse & Smoked Bacon burger did not disappoint! (well apart from my other half who was rather jealous that he'd missed out.) Here it is in all its glory....

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The evening was a fitting celebration of the start of the shooting season and everyone (me included) really seemed to enjoy themselves. The atmosphere and the food spoke for itself. I'm really looking forward to seeing similar evenings when other wild game comes into season! 

A big thank you to Will, Calum and their Dad, Graham for both the invitation and making me feel so welcome! 

 

 

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Cirencester Countryside Countryside Alliance Awards Eat Wild Game Glorious Grouse Night Photography Restaurant food kay thompson photography local sustainable twelfth http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/8/celebrating-the-glorious-twelfth-with-eat-wild Fri, 15 Aug 2014 14:38:48 GMT
Guide to print sizes http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/6/guide-to-print-sizes SPORTING WHIPPETSSPORTING WHIPPETS Following the most recent site update, print sizes are now displayed in cm's rather than inches. Unfortunately this is not something I can change back, but to help make sure you order the correct size please see the below table.

7"x5" 18cm x 12½cm
7½" x 5" 19cm x 12½cm
8" x 6" 20cm x 15cm
9" x 6" 23cm x 15cm
10" x 7" 25cm x 17.5cm
10" x 8" 25cm x 20cm
12" x 8" 30cm x 20cm
12" x 10" 30cm x 25cm
15" x 10" 38cm x 25cm
16"x12" 41cm x 30½cm
18"x12" 45¾cm x 30½cm
20"x16" 51¾cm x 41cm
30" x 20" 76cm x 51cm
A4 29.7cm x 21cm
A3 42cm x 29.7cm
A2 59.4cm x 42cm

 

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Guide Print Size Sizes kay thompson photography http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/6/guide-to-print-sizes Fri, 27 Jun 2014 14:05:46 GMT
Dog Photography Masterclass with Andy Biggar http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/6/dog-photography-masterclass-with-andy-biggar KTP080614-16bIZ

 

If you follow my Kay Thompson Photography page over on Facebook you will have seen that I have just returned from a weekend of training in Cheshire with Andy Biggar. The weekend got of to a slow start thanks to a 4 hour journey which should have only taken 2 and a half hours. Don't you just love hold ups on the M6!

Following a fairly decent night's sleep at the hotel (not sure if it was tiredness from the drive or the fact I wasn't woken at 5am by a bonkers Spaniel wanting to play!) I headed over to a pub in nearby Betley to start the two day masterclass with Andy. One of the requirements of the course was to bring with us some samples of our work. Now for me this was a tricky decision as we were asked to bring two of our favourite images. Now, I have just under 30,000 images on this website, so where to begin! Ok, I admit I took ten with me but then Andy and Mark (Mark Payne, who some of you may know of) selected two for me to discuss. 

First up was trusty favourite Jack, where I explained the background to the image and what I liked about it. We then discussed prossible improvements to it such as a different crop etc. It's film like qualities were mentioned which is one of the reasons I like it. LABRADOR PORTRAITLABRADOR PORTRAIT

 

Next up was once of my images from the Sporting Whippet Club. I choose to take this one with me as I was pleased with the way I had managed to freeze the action. Anyone who has watched a whippet run will know they are lightning fast! Ah yes lightning, we had a fair bit of that along with it's friends rain and thunder at the start of the day!

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Out of the 8 people on the course, I was the only person who's career is in Photography. That was slightly daunting and put me under increased pressure! I signed up to the course because now and again, I feel like my lack of technical knowledge lets me down. During the first part of the day we covered the theory behind the technical elements of photography, just as well as the rain outside was biblical to say the least. Luckily it moved on just in time for us to put our new found technical knowledge to the test.

We headed off a short distance down the road to the home of the Gundog and Game Fair to photograph some of Dave Ross's fabulous Ravenshall Gundogs. First up was Biz, a beautiful liver roan Springer Spaniel who I could have easily taken home with me. Into a fairly dark area of the wood we went and challenged our cameras complete with rain protection ranging from my trust optech sleeves to carrier and freezer bags in a bid to keep our kit dry! 

KTP070614-29-2Biz in actionCanon EOS 7D - Canon 70-22 F/4 at 118mm Exposure 1/2500 at f/4.5 ISO 5000 +1/3 Ev

The weather then dried up and warmed up and we headed back into the field and met Jack, a lovely yellow Labrador who willingly obliged in retrieving some dummies over a fence.

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Dave had also brought with him pups Phoebe and Toad plus Patterdale Molly for us to practice on. Here are some of my favourites of them.

KTP070614-24Toad KTP070614-31KTP070614-31 KTP070614-49Molly Once we'd finished with the dogs, it was back to the pub to make a start on going through our images and Andy covered some basics in Lightroom which we used to process our images. Luckily I've been using LR5 for a few years and it was good to see how Andy uses it and learn some new tricks! 

Day two started off warmer and drier which was good, we recapped what we had learnt the previous day and some additional material before going off to practice on the dogs again. Our first task was to take some portraits of Biz.

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We were told to bring wellies and waterproofs as we'd be getting in water. My old wellies leak so I treated my self to some nice new ones but I needn't have bothered because as I and a few others promptly waded into the water which was deeper than we thought and flooded our wellies! Fortunately no cameras were harmed during the capturing of these images.

KTP080614-22KTP080614-22 KTP080614-30KTP080614-30 KTP080614-42KTP080614-42 KTP080614-43KTP080614-43 A big thanks to Andy, Mark,Dave and the dogs for an enjoyable weekend! Hopefully I will be able to put into practice what I learnt over the two days! To view all my images from the weekend click here.

 

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Andy Biggar Cheshire Fieldsports Gundogs Kay Masterclass Photography Ravenshall Thompson http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/6/dog-photography-masterclass-with-andy-biggar Tue, 10 Jun 2014 14:20:28 GMT
Celebrating the 1st of May http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/celebrating-the-1st-of-may Tomorrow is the 1st of May and many hunt staff up and down the country will be starting their new roles in hunt service. So to celebrate the official start to the new season we are offering 30% off all orders placed on Thursday 1st for one day only! 

To receive 30% off your order simply type MayDay30 into the Coupon code field during the checkout. All prints and products from all galleries across the site are included with the exception of digital download files.

Offer valid Thursday 1st May only. Here's to the new season!

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(Kay Thompson Photography) 1st Beagling Countryside Hunting Hunting Photography May New Sale Season Shooting Photography kay thompson photography http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2014/4/celebrating-the-1st-of-may Wed, 30 Apr 2014 09:30:58 GMT
In search of the MacNab http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/in-search-of-the-macnab Once again Autumn is upon us and with it comes one of the busiest periods for country people. Last month we saw the Glorious Twelfth and the opening of the Grouse season. We've just had the start of the Partridge season and packs of hounds up and down the country are out and about at the crack of dawn preparing for the season ahead. 

Many of you will no doubt be aware of the MacNab. According to http://www.macnabchallenge.co.uk the Real MacNab consisted of a salmon on the fly and a stag, as the trio did in John Buchan’s John Macnab. They must be “poached” in legal sporting manner from an owner who accepts the challenge. Then there is the Classic MacNab of a stag, a salmon and a brace of grouse. This Macnab epitomises the best of country sports in the Highlands. A MacNab must be completed within 24 hours!

Whilst I'm unlikely to bag myself a Real or Classic MacNab. Those of you who have the dubious honour of knowing me on a person level will know that I'm always up for a challenge, so having spotted the MacCharlie, riding to foxhounds, the harriers and staghounds, I decided in quite possibly a moment of madness to create the MacHound. The MacHound consists of Beagles in the morning, Minkhounds at noon followed by Foxhounds in the evening.

So Friday night I set my alarm for 6:30am the next morning to begin my quest of the MacHound. First up, were the Royal Agricultural College Beagles who were meeting in a nearby village at 7am. The hounds were clearly pleased to be out and hunted their trails steadily and solidly. It was a shame that the field consisted of just my self and one other person as it was a lovely morning to be out.

The RAC Beagles hot on the trail.

With the Beagles meeting so close to home I was able to pop home and quickly process the first batch of images knowing that I wouldn't have time later in the day! Part one of my MacNab inspired challenge complete.

At just gone 11am I headed across the border into Wiltshire for a meet of the Courtenay Tracy Hounds. I was introduced to these hounds last year, and I love being able to hunt all year round by following these lovable rogues along the river during the summer months. Although yesterday was much colder than previous outings along the riverbank! Being a small hunt, the pack consists of both full and part bred Otter Hounds and a few foxhounds thrown in for good measure! There are some real characters amongst the hounds and they make for interesting subjects for photographing. 

CT_GREATSOMERFORD-140913-17The Courtenay Tracy Hounds

So after a couple of lovely hours out on the river it was time to head back to Gloucestershire to complete my three part quest. As luck would have it the VWH were having an evening meet which meant they were the final piece of the puzzle!

Having been out with the VWH earlier in the week with a rather small field it was lovely to see so many people out with these hounds and in such a pretty part of the country. It is one of the few meets where you can sit on the one side of the valley and watch horse and hound work on the opposite side just a short walk from the meet, which was just as well as my legs were beginning to tire! VWH-AMPNEYDOWNS-140913-89Hillside Hunting Silhouette

So within the course of 12 hours I'd seen the sun rise and set on three different packs and three breeds of hounds. My quest to bag an alternative MacNab was complete! There are a number of things which these packs have in common must the most striking for me is that they all have a strong future thanks to the younger generations they are encouraging. (More on that at a later date)

 

 

 

 

 

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Beagles Beagling Countryside Courtenay Hunting Hunting Photography Minkhounds RAC Tracy VWH kay thompson photography http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/9/in-search-of-the-macnab Sun, 15 Sep 2013 17:13:41 GMT
Photography Copyright Explained http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/photography-copyright-explained  

Photography Copyright Explained

When you purchased the print of the photo that is exactly what you brought the print. Not the image of you and not the right to copy or share the image which is essentially known as the ‘copyright’ which the photographer will almost always retain.

So when you buy the print and you want to share it on facebook what should you do? Simply ask the photographer at the time of purchase 99% of photographers will allow you to use the photo for non commercial reasons (i.e. facebook or non commercial personal websites) as long as you ask and put a credit to them when posting because you have already purchased the print. Some photographers even offer small jpeg images which are not large enough to print but suitable for posting online at a very reasonable cost.

But the photo is of me surely I have a right to it? No you don’t. By attending a public event and knowing a photographer is on site you will have given implied consent for your photo to be taken. You can revoke this consent by informing the secretary or the photographer themselves. You can also ask after the event for photos of yourself to be removed from the photographer’s website but you have no rights to the image itself.

What if you want to use it for commercial reasons i.e. selling your horse or marketing your riding skills? In this situation most photographers will ask that you effectively buy the copyright from them or pay a licence fee. The cost will heavily depend on the photographer and whether they are providing the original hi resolution image or not. Expect to pay in the region of £15+ per image minimum although some will be happy with just a credit next to the photo.

But the photographer has put ‘watermarked’ images on their website you’re ok to copy those aren’t you as the watermark is free advertising for them? No you’re not, even though the image is watermarked and the image is of you you are not entitled to copy or reproduce the image and doing so is breaking copyright law.

But realistically what can a photographer do about it if I do copy the photos illegally? Firstly they can send you a bill for use of the images without permission and if you do not pay they are entitled to go through the small claims court to recover the money and trust me you do not want that against your credit rating! They can also blacklist you by not taking photos at events and share your name with other photographers.

How will they find out though? Photographers often ‘stalk’ facebook and the internet searching for illegal use of their photos. There are even special programs which can search automatically by looking for specific information hidden inside a file. Just because you consider yourself a ‘nobody’ don’t presume you won’t be found out.

Isn’t that rather sad, why do they bother? Very simply taking photos is their livelihood and they need to make a living just like you and me. If people stop buying the photos and instead just copy them off the internet they will not make any money and will therefore go out of business. End result no more event photographers and no more photos of you.

A good general rule is if a photograph is good enough for you to warrant wanting to share it with others then it is good enough to pay for.

If you don’t like a photographer’s pricing structure ask them if there is any flexibility especially if you want multiple images, most will be able to come to an agreement.

Hopefully you will now appreciate copyright is there to protect a photographer’s livelihood and it is only by respecting that will they continue to be able to attend events rather than diversify to other markets

Thanks to E-venting.co.uk for writing and publishing this - they put it into word much better than I could! http://e-venting.co.uk/?p=143

 

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Copyright Copyright explained Photography kay thompson photography http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/photography-copyright-explained Tue, 30 Apr 2013 10:14:02 GMT
A look back on the season http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/a-look-back-on-the-season VWH_010912-61

I don't know about you but as I get old time seems to pass so much quicker! I can't believe that its really been six months since I headed out for mounted hound exercise with the VWH before the start of Autumn hunting. It feels like it was yesterday!

With the arrival of autumn hunting comes the reappearance of the dreaded early alarm clock! Hunting is the only thing that I will eagerly get out of bed for despite a lack of sleep! The excitement and fear of missing my alarm are enough to keep me wake for most of the night! But more often then not the early starts are rewarded in one way or another!

VWH2_061012-4 As quickly as Autumn hunting arrived, Opening meets soon followed and luckily for me, this season the RAC Beagles and the VWH held there's on different weekends which meant I could attend both! The RAC Beagles held theirs in front of the Royal Agricultural College, which is a lovely backdrop for photos once the hounds have come down from the College Banks.

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This season I've managed to add a few new packs to my list without having to travel too far from home which is a bonus although I do like to visit other packs and parts of the country. The VWH welcomed the Crawley and Horsham in November.C&H17.11.12-129

And then in February, the North Hereford hounds also visited as did the snow! But it was nice to see James Bradley and Evo Shirley who had both hunted the RAC Beagles when at the College.

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After what can only be described as a cold, wet and miserable Winter, Spring decided to make an appearance just in time for the end of the season. One of the great things about the hunting community is that no matter what mother nature throws at us weather wise we tend to make the most of it and have a good time!

It was an odd feeling yesterday knowing that it would be the last Saturday for a while where I'd have to top up the Land Rover with Diesel and pick up a few supplies from the garage on the way hunting to see me through the day! When you spend every Saturday hunting, you soon fall into a bit of a routine! So with fuel in the Landy I headed off to the meet,  the wonderful setting of Ten Rides in Cirencester Park. Words can not fully describe the feeling I got when I spotted Philip Hague leading his hounds up towards Ten Rides from Ivy Lodge, followed by the mounted field spreading the full width of the ride and with Cirencester Church just in the background.

vwh ten rides (385) So with the season over, I would like to thank all the Masters, Huntsmen, Followers, Supporters and those behind the scenes of the Hunts I have had the privilege of hunting with. Also the Farmers and Landowners who have allowed us onto their land! Thanks too must go to all the new friends and customers I have made along the way! Thank you all! 

 

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Beagles Beagling Countryside Hunting Hunting Photography RAC Season Spring VWH Winter kay thompson photography http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/4/a-look-back-on-the-season Sun, 07 Apr 2013 17:58:56 GMT
A little thing called Destiny http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/3/destiny  

Destiny... The name we gave to the 2 day old beagle pup we hand-reared and kick started my love and passion for hunting. Who would have guessed that 14 years later, I am preparing for one of the biggest days of my life. The Countryside Alliance Awards where I will be presented with a Rural Hero award.

Destiny was given her name as she was the last whelp remaining from her litter and at the time we thought it was destiny that she lasted as long as she did. Sadly she didn’t survive but my love of hunting stems from her, a tiny bundle of black and white fur.  On my way home from the office the other evening a little thought came to me. What if my brother and I hadn’t been asked to hand rear that litter of two day old beagles for the local hunt? Where would I be now if hunting hadn’t become such a hugely important part of my life? I’m a huge believer in the old saying “everything happens for a reason” and it dawned on me that maybe destiny itself had bigger plans for me.

As the daughter or a Farm Worker and former three-day event groom, I spent my childhood surrounded by agriculture and horses but neither of my parents hunted and I didn’t really know anything about it. After hand rearing Destiny, I was well and truely bitten by the “Beagling Bug” and most of my teenage years were spent at the kennels of the RAC Beagles in the village I grew up in.

I’d go to the kennels and help wash down the yards most mornings before school and then return in the afternoon to walk out the hounds or help with the fallen stock in the flesh house. I was happy to do whatever I could to help from skinning to painting the kennels. I did it all.

What seemed so normal to me wasn’t so normal to the rest of the children in my year at school. Friends would go shopping or play football at the weekends, whereas I’d be beagling on a Saturday and doing kennels on a Sunday.  People never really understood why I choose to do this and it was always difficult to explain in words why hunting meant so much to me.

Ever since I was at school I’d wanted to be able to show people what I saw in hunting, the atmosphere, the community spirit, the countryside and the way that the hounds worked and used to carry a disposable camera now and again and I still have some of the photos laying around at home! But for Opening Meet of the RAC Beagles in 2008, I borrowed a DSLR Camera from the office and took it out with me. From that day onwards I have rarely hunted without a camera. Photography became my way of publicising and supporting the Beagles and more recently other packs in the area that I am lucky to hunt with. I have also travelled further afield to photograph other hunts and to be able to appreciate the countryside that they operate in.

So in October 2012, I was absolutely over the moon to receive a letter from The Countryside Alliance, informing me that I had been nominated for the Countryside Alliance Awards. Unfortunately I didn’t get through to the regional finals. But just to be nominated and know that what I do is appreciated was an amazing boost.

 Later in 2012, I took part in the quickfire Q&A section in the CA’s winter members magazine. One of the questions was  “What led you to become a country sports photographer?” to which I answered

“I’ve always been proud of my lifestyle and wanted a way to be able to share it with others so I borrowed a DSLR camera from work and took it out Hunting. I grew up in the countryside surrounded by agriculture and horses; I was introduced to beagling at 13 by the kennel huntsman of the local beagles, so the countryside and hunting have been a massive influence on me. The comments I received after sharing the images were so positive I decided to take a camera with me every time I hunted. I love being able to show people what they’ve missed and inspire them to give country pursuits a go.”

What I didn’t mention was that photography itself had a greater meaning. Towards the end of 2008 9 the same year I picked up a DSLR), I was diagnosed with Depression and underwent weekly counselling which not many people knew and I rarely talk about. Hunting photography became a kind of therapy for me and gave me a reason to get out of the house and socialise. It also gave me something positive to focus on. (No pun intended) and this is one of the biggest reasons Kay Thompson Photography is here today. It has really turned my life around.

So tomorrow, as I head to the Awards reception at The House of Lords, it will be a reminder of what I overcame and just how far I have come both on a professional and personal level.  To be named one of just three Rural Heroes for 2012, is something I could never have dreamed of and it is a complete honour.

So to go back to the very start of this blog, I guess I have Destiny to thank! And not forgetting those who nominated me in the awards and my family and friends who have supported me a long the way. I am truly grateful.

 

K x

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Beagling Countryside Countryside Alliance Awards Hunting Hunting Photography Kay Thompson Photography http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/3/destiny Tue, 12 Mar 2013 15:58:30 GMT
A few tips for outside photography http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/3/a-few-tips-for-outside-photography  

With the arrival of spring, the flowers and trees are beginning to resurface with renewed vibrancy and life. Now that the warmer weather has also due to join us there are plenty of opportunities ahead to get out and about. Recording your activity or day out has never been easier with the increase in quality of digital compact cameras and even mobile phones. The art of outdoor photography can be tricky at times, however, here are a few suggestions to help you improve you pictures in the great outdoors. And let’s face it,  it truly is great out there!

Lighting is the most important factor in successful outdoor photography. When done correctly, outdoor lighting can create dramatic effects which I why I personally prefer it to studio lighting. Time of day is crucial for creating the best images. As a rule, dawn and dusk provide the best source of light. If you are photographing in full day light with a DSLR then I’d definitely recommend using a UV and Polarising filter (not only will they help remove glare but they will also help prevent scratching the surface of your lenses). If you cannot avoid shooting at this time of day, depending on your subject it may best to find a nice shady area. Early morning and late afternoon light is much softer and creates soft-edged, gradual shadows which are more flattering.

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When shooting outdoors, a good location is also very significant. Open shade works best to achieve nice, even lighting. Be sure to look all around you, as the same location can produce completely different images by changing angles and/or getting in closer to your subject(s). You should also be aware of what is behind your subject. It is very easy to have trees and sticks “growing” out of someone’s head.

Beyond proper lighting, basic photography skills and tips become a factor. Simplicity is visually stronger than complexity. Outdoor photography works well capturing true personalities, as you often have to make the most of the situation. When photographing subjects such as Hunting or Shooting the most important thing to remember is not to get in the way of what is happening. You have to work with what is going on around you.

Try different camera angles, including turning your camera vertically to capture something in portrait layout rather than landscape and focusing on one part of a larger item.

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Your subjects don’t always have to be looking at the camera, or centered, for that matter.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different types of settings. Black and white setting can be fun to use outdoors as well. Although I would recommend shooting in full colour as you can always change to black and white when you process your photos.

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Experiment with the presets on your camera. For fast moving subjects look to using the Sports preset to capture the action so that the focus is on what is happening rather than the background.

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The art of outdoor photography can be very rewarding and can produce amazing images. The most essential things to remember are your lighting (time of day) and location. Be sure to get in the photographs yourself! Try setting the camera on a rock and using the remote feature if your camera has one. The more you practice, the more trained your eye will become and your ability to create beautiful photographs will greatly improve. Get out there and have fun with it!

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Countryside Photography Hunting Photography Photography tips Polo photography Portraits Shooting photography kay thompson photography http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/3/a-few-tips-for-outside-photography Mon, 04 Mar 2013 11:25:29 GMT
March Competition http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/3/march-competition Firstly, thank you to everyone who entered the February competition to win a pack of 10 A6 Cards. The winer has been announced on my Facebook Page.

This month I will be offering an A4 Print of the winners choice! Maybe you'll choose this, who knows. The choice is up to you!

AUTUMN HUNTING

All you need to do is answer this question - "What year was I an Official Photographer for the CLA Game Fair?". (The answer can be found somewhere on my website.) To enter just email the answer to kay.thompson@btinternet.com or use the contact me form.

Last day of entering will be March 31st with the winner being announced on 1st April.

Good Luck!

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Competition Hunting Photography Photo kay thompson photography http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/3/march-competition Fri, 01 Mar 2013 10:18:21 GMT
Kay Thompson - Countryside Alliance Awards Rural Hero http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/kay-thompson---countryside-alliance-awards-rural-hero

Back in October I blogged about how delighted I was to have been nominated for the Countryside Alliance Awards for 2012. The Countryside Alliance's unique annual celebration of rural life, produce and communities. Nicknamed "The Rural Oscars" these awards are broad in scope, highly coveted and a great morale boost to those in the running. The Countryside Alliance is the leading voice of rural Britain, and their Awards complement their wide ranging support and promotion of rural life. 

The Countryside Alliance Awards started life in 2005 as the Best Rural Retailer competition.  They were borne of a need to support and promote rural communities and to acknowledge the efforts of thousands of unsung heroes who routinely go above and beyond the call of duty for their communities. The Countryside Alliance had long felt the "doom and gloom" tales of rural decline about dwindling services, a collapsing farming sector and the death of village life did not accurately reflect the spirit of rural people and their desire to protect our landscapes, heritage and communities for future generations.

Unfortunately I was not shortlisted for the Regional Finals but I was more than happy to have got a far as I did. A few weeks after the short list was announced I was sent an email asking me whether I would like to attend the Winner’s Reception at The House of Lords as a “Rural Hero”!

Alongside the main retail categories of the Countryside Alliance Awards, they also run a Rural Hero Award. This is awarded to a character rather than an outfit, but the ethos is very much the same in that it is awarded to someone who loves the countryside and goes above and beyond the call of duty for its proserity and future. Finalists are community minded, intent on educating the next generation and genuine ambassadors for country life.

I had been keeping this very quiet until the official invitation arrived as it was almost too good to be true! Well today I got home to find a letter waiting for me with the title “CONGRATULATIONS YOU ARE A RURAL HERO!” This part of the awards is not something which the public could nominate for. The Rural Hero category is based solely on an individual’s endeavour and will recognise those who love the countryside.

I am extremely honoured to have been given such a prestigious title and will hopefully be able to use this to help further promote our countryside and the rural way of life.

A huge thank you to those of you who may have nominated me for the awards and for all your continued support!

K x

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Countryside Countryside Alliance Awards Rural Hero http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/kay-thompson---countryside-alliance-awards-rural-hero Tue, 19 Feb 2013 21:50:29 GMT
E.J Churchill Shooting Ground Photo Competition http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/e-j-churchill-shooting-ground-photo-competition As most of you will know my partner and I have been doing a fair bit of shooting recently and we are looking to increase our experience. So when I spotted that the E.J Churchill Shooting Ground were running a photo competition on Facebook to win a shooting lesson for two I had to enter!

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The theme is "Your Most Memorable Photo from the 2012 Shooting Season". The image I have entered was taken at a local Beater's Day, where I was both photographing and shooting! The photo I choose was taken at the start of the day whilst everyone gathered. What stood out to me was the bond between a gun dog and it's master.

So to put me in with a chance of winning all you need to do is follow this link http://bit.ly/VtkPiO and vote.

Thank you

Kay x

 

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(Kay Thompson Photography) E.J Churchills Gun Dogs Labradors Shooting Shooting Lesson Shooting Photography Yellow Lab http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/2/e-j-churchill-shooting-ground-photo-competition Thu, 07 Feb 2013 12:46:51 GMT
Competition Time http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/february-competition It's been a while since I've ran a competition!! I had hoped to do one in the run up to Christmas but the prize went missing in the festive post! So seeing as February 1st marks the end of the shooting season I thought I'd give you all the chance to win your shooting thank you cards instead!

The prize is a pack of 10 A5 folded note cards which come with envelopes featuring the below image.

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So to be in with a chance of getting your hands on these beautiful cards follow the below instructions

1) Follow this link over to the Kay Thompson Photography Facebook page and hit "Like" 

2) Share the competition post with your friends and encourage them to like the page too!

In order to win the prize you must like the facebook page and share the image! Easy really!

 

The closing date is Friday 1st March and the winner will be announced via Facebook and Twitter.

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Competition Kay Thompson Photography Labrador Cards Win http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/february-competition Thu, 31 Jan 2013 20:21:29 GMT
Swapping the camera for a shotgun! http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/swapping-the-camera-for-a-shotgun This time last year a small group of ladies brought together by ladies-shooting.com headed up to Stamford in Lincolnshire for a small driven game day. Having been on one of the Shotgun and Chelsea Bun Club days a couple of weeks earlier I decided to take a day off work and see what game shooting was like by covering the day photographically. So on Monday 23rd January 2012 I was introduced to the thrills of driven pheasant shooting. 

Up until then, I'd only ever shot once (badly) so went along just for the experience. Little did I know that 12 months later, I'd be swapping my trusty Canons for a Shotgun with surprising results! 

Since my first introduction to shooting, I've been asked to attend a couple of local game shoots and a number of clay shooting events at The Oxfordshire Shooting School to record the days activities. This has given me the chance to better understand shooting and also inspire me to learn to shoot so that I can apply my understanding to getting better shots with the camera!

So just before Christmas, my partner Mark and I headed over to the Oxfordshire Shooting School and shared a lesson. Within the first twenty minutes I could tell Mark was getting hooked, smashing clays left, right and centre, and despite a bad back I wasn't doing too bad either so another lesson was booked for the new year.

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Beater's Day at Dudgrove, where I'd photographed earlier on in the season had been in my diary for a while and I was looking forward to getting some more images and expanding my shooting galleries, when out of the blue the shoot's Gamekeeper invited both Mark and I to share a peg on the day! With under a week to go I managed to get us a last minute clay lesson at OSS in preparation. Mark shot brilliantly, whereas I would have struggled to hit an Elephant and left the ground kicking myself for being so awful!

 

Before we knew it, Beater's Day was upon us and with the Land Rover packed with waterproofs and cameras we headed off for the shoot. Both of us were excited but also nervous, but we needn't have been! I choose to stick with the cameras for the first two drives in a bid to relax and try not to think about my awful shooting on Saturday. By the third drive it was time to put the cameras down and pickup a gun. I had three shots and missed them all behind!

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 After lunch I decided to leave the cameras in the truck and concentrate on shooting. Feeling more relaxed (possibly thanks to the Damson Vodka and Sloe Gin I'd sampled at lunch) we headed out to the drive and took up our positions. Gun in hand and focused on bagging my first pheasant it felt like an age before the birds started leaving the cover! But leave the cover they did and a few decided to fly straight towards me and at speed! Anthony whose gun I was borrowing for the drive was with me and signaled that an incoming bird was mine and I took my shot. I missed! A few more minutes passed and then a small group of birds where flush. Again Anthony signaled that I should try for the bird flying towards us. Gun mounted, safety off and with a deep breath I fired the shot and down came a nice hen bird! I couldn't contain my excitement! Typically I missed the next couple of birds but refocused and determined to leave the drive with a brace saw a lovely Cock pheasant come out and head my way. Making sure the bird was in my range I took my shot and added my second to the bag!

Mark and I both had a great day and can't wait for next season! A big thank you to Mick and everyone else at Dudgrove for making our day memorable! 

All images from today can be found here http://bit.ly/WsPYG8

 

 

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(Kay Thompson Photography) Fieldsports Oxfordshire Shooting School Pheasants Shooting Shooting Photography Shotguns http://kaythompson.zenfolio.com/blog/2013/1/swapping-the-camera-for-a-shotgun Tue, 29 Jan 2013 21:50:12 GMT