40-47 Turning Pro Mathers 3 rev_dummy profile 13/03/2012 10:14 Page 9Commercial and product workf2 FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER Vol 6 No 2 41
40-47 Turning Pro Mathers 3 rev_dummy profile 13/03/2012 10:14 Page 11Wedding imagesthey’re four sided objects, but because I livedthere and could go back any time I liked, Iwas eventually able to photograph themquite satisfactorily.“Photography was more of an intensehobby for me than a profession at the time,although I had a few postcards made, andthat sort of thing.”Mathers’ photographs of the carvingswere published as a book, Cloisters of IonaAbbey (Wild Goose Publications, ISBN 978-1901557602). “It’s not exactly an internationalbestseller”, he says, “but every nowand then they send me a tenner.”Mathers and his wife moved to Ilkeston,where his wife now works as a teacher at theRudolf Steiner School that their two childrenalso attend.“I had a bit of bleak period then, where Iended up working as a programmer for asoftware house”, he says. “Eventually, afriend suggested that I get into photography,because I’d always been taking pictures onand off between other things.“I went to Derby University to do adegree in Commercial Photography, becauseI realised that I needed to know how to makemoney out of it.“The course was organised so that thefirst two years were a foundation degree. Iqualified for a student loan, so I paid the feesout of that. There was a one year top up forthe honours, but because, despite my longuniversity career I’d never completed anhonours degree, I got the fees paid. My yearwas the last where that was possible. Thecourse has now been rewritten as a full threeyear BA Honours, in which case I wouldn’thave got it.”The British Institute of ProfessionalPhotography accredits the CommericalPhotography course at Derby, and awardedMathers associate membership upon hisgraduating last year.“I was probably the oldest in the class”,he says, “but that wasn’t a problem, andmany of the other students are still myfriends. Maybe because I was a bit older, Iwas more proactive than some of theyounger students. People would come to theuniversity asking for students to help them,f2 FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER Vol 6 No 2 43
Cannabis returns to class B classificationThe Government’s decision toreturn cannabis to a stricter drugclassification came into effect on26 January.Cannabis has been restoredto class B status, reversing thedowngrade to class C that tookplace in 2004.Since the law was softenedjudges, police, parents andmental health experts havecalled for the move to bereversed because of the damageit has caused.The Christian InstituteMore online...To download a free copyof Going Soft on Cannabisgo to christian.org.ukwarned about the dangers ofdowngrading cannabis as farback as 1997.The arguments presentedin our 2002 briefing, Going Softon Cannabis, are now widelyaccepted.A U-turn was announced inMay last year by Home SecretaryJacqui Smith, who pointed toevidence of the drug’s harmfuleffects.Under a new penalty ordertimed to coincide with thereturn to class B, the drug will betreated on a ‘three strikes andyou’re out’ basis.A person caught withcannabis will be given a warningon the first occasion, an £80 fineif caught a second time and willface arrest on the third offence.Charity Commission publishes improved guidanceThe Charity Commission, charities regulatorfor England and Wales, has published the newguidance it will use to assess the charitable status ofchurches and other religious organisations.We do not believe that churches will face anydifficulties complying with the law. The guidanceis not legally binding but trustees of religiouscharities are required to “haveregard to” the Commission’sanalysis. The Commission saysthis means trustees should beable to show that they are awareof the guidance, have taken it intoaccount where relevant and havegood reasons if they choose notto follow it.As a result of a consultationon draft guidance held lastyear, the Charity Commissionhas addressed several concernsraised by Christian groups. Forexample, the draft guidancesuggested that the Commissionwas intending to regulatemembership criteria of religiousgroups, including churches. Thissuggestion is absent from the finalguidance. The final guidance alsocontains assurances that vexatiousand unsubstantiated complaints tothe Commission about religious charities will bedismissed.Despite the improvements, there are still someworrying parts of the guidance. We still haveconcerns about the Commission’s approach tocharities which have the sole purpose of seekingto convert people from one religion to another,though there is an encouragingrecognition that evangelism isregarded as a central part of theChristian religion.The guidance also implies thatthe Commission can adjudicate onwhat is correct religious doctrineand practice. But these are mattersthe Commission is neither able norsupposed to determine.Fundamentally, we believethat the Charity Commission iswrong in law to apply an ‘activitiestest’ assessing the benefits versusthe detriments of a charity’sactivities. According to someleading experts in charity law theCommission has misinterpreted thenew Charities Act. These experts saythat under the Act ‘public benefit’should have the meaning developedby English case law, which does notinclude an activities test.
40-47 Turning Pro Mathers 3 rev_dummy profile 13/03/2012 10:14 Page 13and I would always say yes. I had alreadymade the decision to become a professionalphotographer, so I didn’t worry about thecourse too much in my last year, and spentmore time actually working.“One of the first briefs on the course wasto find photographers and talk to them. Iphoned Wayne Harker-Gill (www.lifephotographic.co.uk)who had a big studio inNottingham at the time. He showed me awedding shoot he’d just done with about2500 pictures, which he asked me to editdown to about 500. That went well, and heasked me help him out on some weddings.Eventually, he started passing weddings on tome to do completely.“Working with him was a great help,because I was able to see somebody actuallymaking money from photography, and itgave me a few connections.”Mathers collaborated with the college’sfashion department throughout his time onthe course, photographing its final year collectionsat the catwalk shows, which also ledto other work.His studio, which he’s had for the last 2 1 /2years, is in a facility at Banks Mill, run by theuniversity. “The rent increases steadily, untilthe point where you start to think you shouldmove on”, he says. “I started out paying £180a month, and now it’s about £260.”Below: Alpha and Omega, from the cover of The Cloisters of Iona AbbeyMathers does a wide variety of work, andsays that, as long as he has free rein, he’shappy to try his hand at anything. He’s takenpictures at school proms and technologyfairs, and frequently gets commissioned tophotograph artists’ work.“I do all my own printing”, he says, “andI also do a lot of printing for others workingout of the business centre. They can comeand have a chat with me, and we do a test tomake sure it’s ok.“If I didn’t have to make a living, I’d beout roaming the countryside taking picturesof unusual things, and I like to bring some ofthat sense to my commercial work. I’ve got abit of a thing at the moment about trying tomake people fly, so I’m trying various techniqueswith ropes.”f2REGISTER NOW ATWWW.FORWARDEVENTS.CO.UKFOR FREE TICKETSThe Photographic Trade ShowTrade show 11am-6pmFREE EntryFREE Sem inarsFor All ProfessionalsFor more info about your local show and to register for your freetickets go to www.forwardevents.co.uk or call 01634 296 001SPONSORED BY:Camera ClinicProduct DemonstrationsDigital Advicewww.twitter.com/photovisionnewsNEXT EVENTEdinburghRoyal Highland Centre27th March 2012HertfordshireSopwell House, 24th April 2012ManchesterMan Utd Football Stadium,15th May 2012CoventryRicoh Arena, 29th May 2012WindsorRoyal Windsor Racecourse,27th June 2012BristolAshton Gate Stadium, 17th July 2012DublinCroke Park Stadium, 4th Sep 2012SouthamptonThe Rose Bowl, 9th Oct 2012KentBrands Hatch Circuit, 23rd Oct 2012LondonILEC Conference Centre,20th Nov 2012f2 FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER Vol 6 No 2 45
40-47 Turning Pro Mathers 3 rev_dummy profile 13/03/2012 10:14 Page 14TURNING PRO Sponsored byModel and fashion workTop tips•Make good use of theinternet to raise yourprofile•Talk to other photographersabout how theyrun a successfulbusiness•Carefully researchyour pricing policy.Make sure it’s in linewith the areawww.ewanmathers.com46 f2 FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER Vol 6 No 2
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