I recently read the following quote by Michael Jordan

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career, I’ve lost almost 300 games, 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed, I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed”

Over the past year we have seen some of the best athletes compete at the London Games. There were of course many more ‘ Losers” then “Winners in terms of who passed the finish line first, but everyone had succeeded in qualifying for the Games so therefore had achieved a major goal.

To be successful as an athlete you can not rely on talent alone. The only way to ”win’ is to train harder, faster, smarter than your rivals. Jonny Wilkinson trained obsessively to become the best in the world, as a spectator we only see the finished article.

I am a firm believer that to be successful in business you have to train just as hard.  Anyone running their own business will know that it is very challenging at the moment. I want my business to develop and be sucessful. It is all very well buying the best equipment and having flashy websites but what will shine through is the finished article, in my case my photographic images.

One of the best ways to learn is from people who are experts in their field. People who are willing to help, motivate and instill a confidence in you and your work. Often they have started out on a career path similar to  ours, in a way they are our “coaches

In my pursuit to develop my business I spent a day at the wonderfully named ”Bangwallop” photography based in Salcombe, South Devon. The exceptionally talented photographer Lorna Yabsley was my “coach” for the day. Lorna has used her 30 years of photographic experience to build a very sucessful business and brand and now passes on her experience to people who want to learn.

Photography is a visual business and to stand out from a very crowded market place you have to deliver a product which is better than your rivals. Developing your own style is important and you have to work hard and smart to achieve it. This is where Lorna really stands out.

We began the day in her Salcombe Studio and over a coffee had a chat about where my business was and what I wanted form the day. The lovely Ella was our model for the day and with a beautiful blue sky we set off through the streets of Salcombe to catch the little ferry over to the beach. With so many photogenic locations to choose from it is easy to try too many.  Bright blue sky, no clouds, white sand and a white wedding dress all add up to a challenge in terms of getting your image perfectly exposed. Lorna explained how, by using natural shade and refelctors, beautifully lit images can still be achieved  without too much fuss. The day is all about learning and having Lorna on hand to answer all my questions is what this day is all about. Knowing the rules and breaking them is as important as playing by the rules. I have been invloved in photography for over 20 years, so I am not a beginner but you can count on the fingers of one hand the number of courses I have been on.




I think some people believe that these type of courses are only for novices or beginners but if you want or need to become a better photographer and are willing to learn and absorb the knowledge that Lorna has then you will only get better.




After a delicious lunch back at the Bangwallop studio we used the naturally lit studio to photography some “detail shots” . I am not a fan of ”flash’ photography much preferring natural light so the studio was perfect. Lorna very kindly lent me her Nikon macro lens to achieve some lovely detail shots and close ups of Ella. Achieving good images is not easy, it takes time and lots of practise. We finished off the day with some post production of my images. Achieving about 80/90% of the image in the viewfinder will save alot of time in front of your computer and ultimately a better and more sellable image.

The whole day was wonderfully put together. Lorna’s knowledge and attention to detail is what has made her so successful and I know that another day at Bangwallop will be on the agenda.

Many thanks to Lorna and to Ella who managed to keep smiling all day.






Just received my lovely Moo printed Richard Dawson Photography business cards. Moo are a great company to work with. I love the emails I get from little and big moo telling me new things. if you want to stand out from the crowd just try Moo.

Perfect day…


The weather might have been grim, but the couple and venue were fantastic. The simplicity of black and white images, just timeless..I love using shallow depth of fields, even distracting background can be made beautiful and emphasises the subject so much.