"If you are a photographer the Guild can help you to get the most from your camera, for a key fact, is that what matters most to the Guild, are the people behind the camera!"

The Guild of Photographers was originally established as the Guild of Wedding Photographers in 1988 and over the years has grown much wider to become an association for all individuals committed to the art of photography.


The Team:

Directors -Lesley & Steve Thirsk

Lesley was awarded the ultimate 'Master Craftsman' status by the previous Guild Director some years ago and operated a very successful photography business for nearly 20 years. She is a highly experienced, passionate & creative photographer and her relaxed training and mentoring approach is highly acclaimed.

Steve is a former policing commander whose problem-solving approach was acknowledged by the Home Office. He is best known for his marketing flair and 'out of the box' creativity so can be of great assistance in helping you to promote, even diversify, your business. He is also a fully qualified Trainer's assessor and a skilled advisor to those facing customer disputes.

Together they created and organised their regions Premier Wedding Shows, and have been UK advisors to Italian Album suppliers. Both are trained judges and act as 'expert witnesses' in photography based legal cases. Their combined wealth of experience is hard to equal, but most importantly they are very 'genuine, ethical and likeable' people who will always give 100% to help and support you!


OUR INCREDIBLE Guild Panel Members

PAUL CALLAGHAN

Paul has worked some 25 years as a wedding photographer in the South Of Ireland, his reputation and techniques keeping him at the forefront of the industry. He is the only wedding photographer there with a
fellowship in Weddings, and on top of that Paul is a Master Craftsman with the Guild, a Qualified European Photographer (QEP) and he is also a highly regarded International Photographic Judge and Mentor. He is an active Guild member, and you will find an insightful article about him in the August 2015 edition of Creative Light


JULIE OSWIN

A full time professional image maker for around 20 years, Julie holds the distinctions of being both a Guild 'Master Craftsman' and a 'Fellow' with the BIPP. She is a multi award winning photographer including UK Wedding Photographer of the Year no less than twice! Julie is also a highly sought after trainer, a Photographic lecturer and City and Guilds Examination Verifier. She has also published contemporary photography training related books and is the Editor of the 'Creative Light' magazine. Nikon refer to her as 'a World-Class Photographer of faultless character and integrity'.



KATE HOPEWELL-SMITH

Despite being a relative newcomer to the industry, Kate is one of only 7 Nikon Ambassadors in the UK. She represents the rapidly developing lifestyle genre, as well as specialising in weddings, portraits and boudoir. She has a strong reputation as a down to earth trainer and she is a regular contributor to photography magazines where her role is to be a relevant voice for contemporary photographers and particularly for ladies in the industry! Her approach is based upon her fine art background - Photography was a second career, set up whilst a full-time mother following 10 years working in media-related marketing, advertising and branding.


KEVIN PENGELLY

A highly respected name in the photographic industry specialising in weddings and portraiture. Kevin is a rare person, being a Guild 'Master Craftsman', as well as having achieved two Fellowships!! He has many awards and titles to his name including Overall Photographer of the Year, Fashion and Beauty Photographer of the Year and regional Contemporary Wedding Photographer of the Year with the BIPP, Classic Wedding Photographer of the Year, Contemporary Portrait of the Year winner and regional Master Photographer of the year with the MPA. He is one of the industries 'nice' guys and loves to be very active mentoring and judging nationally.


ANDREW APPLETON

Bitten by the camera bug at the age of 7, Andrew trained in photography at Brunnel University in the mid 80's, turning professional some years later. He specialises in photographing people, both in the studio and on location, and his work has been published in books and magazines. An internationally sought after speaker and trainer, Andrew is highly regarded for his comprehensive and creative programme of training courses and workshops which he delivers across the globe, including at Africa's massive 'photofilmexpo' event, where he has been a key speaker in recent years, attracting audiences of 500 plus at his seminars.


MARK SEYMOUR

Mark is one of only 7 Nikon Ambassadors in the UK and has won a variety of industry awards including European Wedding Photographer of the Year and UK Wedding Photographer of the Year no less than three times. He uses a unique documentary style of wedding photography, which blends reportage with elements of traditional and formal to create stunning images that capture the emotion and spontaneity of a couple's day. Mark has also used his documentary style photography to develop a portfolio of street photography, and has recently started to share the learning obtained throughout his impressive career by providing training for fellow photographers.


LESLEY CHALMERS

Lesley's award winning travel and fine art images have been both exhibited and regularly published. However, the primary day-to-day element of her acclaimed reputation is her commercial work and her unique insight into the commercial world of photography. Through her previous corporate career she totally understands how good photography is a great asset and powerful communication tool for businesses. She works mainly with travel, service and property companies within the UK though she also undertakes high profile commissions in Europe. Instinctive and creative, Lesley's love of art creates a unique style of powerful and striking images.


CLAIRE ELLIOTT

Claire studied graphic design, photography and fine art before finally deciding that photography was her calling. She turned professional in 2001 and her exceptional skill as a photographer of newborn's, toddlers and families soon became obvious. She is a Craftsman with the Guild and has achieved one of the highest scores to date in the international Image of the Month competition. Her natural capability to get young people to engage with her is her 'trademark' - indeed her gift! Claire is by nature, one of life's giver's, and she genuinely wants to help others to fulfil their dreams through photography, just as she feels she has!


DONAL DOHERTY

Donal previously spent many years working on marketing and PR for some of the world's leading superbrands and was shortlisted as Entrepreneur of the Year and as Business Man of the Year. In 2010 he followed his passion for photography and has since positioned himself as one of the leading wedding photographers in the UK and Ireland. Donal is now in demand for commissions on a global level and is the current PPANI Fashion Photographer of the Year and Creative Photographer of the Year. He has a strong interest in helping other photographers develop their business skills to create a business and life they love.




Also supporting the Team..

IN THE OFFICE ARE:

AIMEE - Membership Manager

Holly - membership support

CARLY - ADMINISTRATION SUPPORT

sILAWAN - ADMINISTRATION SUPPORT

Katrina - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER

Kim, is a young and dynamic AAT qualified accountant with a very likeable personality. She originally worked for a large accountancy firm but opened her own successful business in 2004 as she wanted to deliver a more personal service to clients. She specialises in looking after the needs of the smaller business so knows all about the challenges we face. Kim's great reputation and her success is based around her very personal style. She works closely with her clients, immersing herself in their businesses in order to understand their every need, tailoring her support and advice accordingly to help their business grow.