When we met at my studio, he explained that he had resigned and concluded that he would rather clean the streets, than continue in the teaching profession. 

As he was keen on photography and I was the only photographer he knew of, he wondered if I would be prepared to help him and give him some guidance. 

Only too aware of all the problems I was having, I did my best to put him off the idea.  But it soon became obvious, that whatever I said, he was determined to have a go. 

His only experience was that he had been doing all the school photography and he had learned how to control people with authority.  What he wanted to do was PR work, weddings, and portraits, these were the areas I wanted to avoid, with the only exception of the portraits that I always enjoy doing.  malcolmlewinphotography

He was willing to learn and having had a look at his photography (he had with him a selection of what he considered his best pictures) I quickly realised that he did not know much about lighting. 

I decided that the best way to help him, was for him to see how I set up my studio for portraits, which he did, as I had a portrait session the next day.  This way I was able to demonstrate the effects of lighting and how to control the shadows, at the same time my thoughts on posing and composition and how important it was to make sure the sitter was at ease.

Malcolm was a really nice fellow and reliable, so I agreed to send any of my clients enquiries for Wedding, or PR photography to him, on the understanding that if any of his contacts needed product shots, or literature he would send them to me.  In such cases having completed the work, we would pay an introduction fee.  He was delighted. 

I also let him use my studio if needed and helped him with his literature, prices, and sales techniques.  I did not benefit from any introductions from him, but I knew it was a hard time to get through for everyone.  He did do some weddings and I could see that he did them well, so we asked him to do our daughter's wedding which he did nicely, without charging us (he explained that it was the least he could do in return for all my help).  Since then, Malcolm has been doing well and I know he enjoys his business.

What later was invaluable for me, is that whenever I was away, I could rely on Malcolm to deal with all messages and post at the studio, keeping me informed.  This way I could keep my photography business, whilst involved with selling insurance, or going to the University courses. 

Malcolm also helped in several ways with our Jewellery redevelopment project.  So, in the end I was very grateful to him. 

Attending University

Having left school as soon as I could, never thinking I would ever attend any University, it is strange how such unexpected things happen.  I did attend two courses, by invitation that both fascinated me.  The first was all due to Paul Morby, who after leaving the BBC became head of TV, Film, Video Production and Photography at the Edgbaston Birmingham University. 

Paul invited me to 'sit in' for two terms and as I had very little work coming in at that time, I decided it was worth doing.  I found it very interesting, especially to have hands on experience with all the superb equipment they have there.

Another very interesting time was spent at the University of Central England.  Again, by invitation!  Tim Harris although unknown to me, had been to some of my exhibitions. 

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