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Peter Gordon IPPA Photographer of the Year 2013

This is a recent interview with Peter Gordon, the 2013 IPPA Photographer of the Year. Peter was kind enough to give up some time to go on camera to be asked a few questions about his photography career to date and what future projects are ahead.

I hope you enjoy it and please forgive some of the (natural) lighting issues we had to contend with. Just click on the video below…


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….. Peter Gordon.

The other category and image winners for 2013 were as follows:

The various images of those who won in various categories.

Click on the image to be taken to the gallery of winners for 2013


2013 Best Architecture Portfolio – Enda Cavanagh

2013 Best Architecture Image – No Award Given

2013 Best Commercial / Advertising Award – Cormac Byrne

2013 Best Fashion & The Human Form Portfolio – Michael Hayes

2013 Best Fashion & The Human Form Image – Edel Kelly

2013 Best Landscape Portfolio – Peter Gordon

2013 Best Landscape Image – Peter Gordon

2013 Best Open Art & Creativity Portfolio – Michael McLoughlin

2013 Best Open Art & Creativity Image – Michael McLoughlin

2013 Best Children & Family Portraiture Portfolio – Corin Bishop

2013 Best Children & Family Portraiture Images – Corin Bishop

2013 Best Classical Portrait Portfolio – Claire Durkin

2013 Best Classical Portrait Image – Claire Durkin

2013 Best Contemporary Portrait Portfolio – Claire Dunne

2013 Best Contemporary Portrait Image – Maria Dunphy

2013 Best Press & P.R. Portfolio – No Award Given

2013 Best Press & P.R. Image – Michael McLaughlin

2013 Best Pictorial, Travel & Fine Art Portfolio – Peter Gordon

2013 Best Pictorial, Travel & Fine Art Image – Peter Gordon

2013 Best Wedding Classical Portfolio – Paddy Clarke

2013 Best Wedding Classical Image – Paddy Clarke

2013 Best Contemporary Wedding Portfolio – Peter Gordon (Merit Award also awarded to Dermot Culhane)

2013 Best Contemporary Wedding Image – Dermot Culhane

2013 Best Wildlife Portfolio – Sheena Jolley

2013 Best Wildlife Image – Phil Pound

A special mention to Raimonda Milasiene who took home the 2013 Student of the Year IPPA Award.

Many congratulations to all those who, not only won awards this year but to those who entered and participated in the process. Many thanks to Mick Quinn and the other judges who gave their time throughout the year the judging sessions and finally to those on counsel responsible for the organisation of the awards ceremony. Well done all!

More on the 2013 awards and the winners over the coming days and weeks.

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Marketing Options

Whether it was putting an ad in a newspaper, recording a jingle for the radio or shooting a commercial for television, marketing campaigns used to require a lot of cash. While those methods still exist, the Internet has opened new avenues for businesses to market their products and services for free.

Here are seven ways to promote your business without spending a dime.



As the most popular social networking site, Facebook gives businesses a free outlet to reach millions of potential new customers. Similarly to how individual Facebook users can create personal pages, businesses can set up their own dedicated page on Facebook to help grow their venture, build brand awareness and develop relationships with consumers. Besides providing all the business’ vitals – including name, location, phone number and Web address – the Facebook page gives businesses a forum to speak to their customers about company news, special promotions and new products. Many businesses also use their Facebook page to run contests and free giveaways as a way to attract new shoppers.


The popular micro-blogging site Twitter is also a way to reach new customers without the expense. Twitter offers businesses a platform for connecting their brand with things people care about. The social networking site bills itself as a canvas for telling engaging stories, broadcasting content, connecting directly with consumers and driving transactions. The site provides businesses with a unique opportunity to see what their customers are saying, ask them questions and respond to their concerns. Businesses can also use Twitter to run special deals and promotions.


Local Listing Services

For many consumers, the Internet is the first place they look when searching for a business. Since local search entries are often the first choices given in a search query, businesses can easily attract new customers and clients by simply making sure they are listed on the sites. The local search listings offer businesses an easy way to highlight their location, hours and contact information. The most popular local search listing sites are Google Places, Yahoo! Local and Microsoft Bing.


Press release websites

Getting a little free publicity from newspapers, radio and television stations and blogs is a great way to attract new business. One way to catch the eye of the local media is to send out releases touting new products or services, as well as company news and special promotions. In today’s digital age, many journalists search through press release websites for new and interesting story ideas. A number of websites, such as Free Press Release, PR Log, 24/7 Press Release and I-Newswire, offer the opportunity to post press releases on their site for free. In addition to exposure on the site, the releases are distributed to major search engines, making their reach even greater.


Online video

Few things create buzz for a business more than a great viral video. While not every video will become a huge hit, they do provide a more engaging way to get information to consumers. While a normal ad won’t do the trick, businesses can use creative videos to build new interest in their company. Examples include videos of company parties for those who were unable to attend, how-to videos for consumers looking for more information on using a product or service, and video confessionals of happy customers and clients. While posting videos on YouTube remains the most popular route, small businesses also can take advantage of other sites like Viddler, Vimeo, Dailymotion and Ustream.



While it is true of all social networking sites, using Pinterest successfully requires more than just cramming products and promotions down consumer’s throats. Pinterest gives users their online pin board, where they can “pin” up links and photos to things they like and are interested in. However, businesses only posting pics of their products on the site won’t find many new customers. In order to be successful on Pinterest, businesses must think about the type of content their customers would be interested in. Instead of just sharing images and links to existing product pages, blog posts and websites, businesses should share content that other users will love sharing. A bakery, for example, might use Pinterest to post cupcake recipes, frosting tips, party ideas and other topics for followers.



Similarly to Pinterest, businesses using the photo-sharing site Instagram must be more creative than just posting picture of products if they want to win customers. It requires building a following of users that want to see their point of view, whether they’re selling something or not. When posting promotional photos, they must be creative. For example, restaurants might show photos of people eating their food, while fashion retailers can post pictures of customers wearing their clothes. The site can also be used to host fun contests that involve customers posting their own photos of them using a business’ product.


Hope it helps!




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As October arrives and brings with it darker nights, this is typically when big business (at least any that I worked for) would begin to circle the wagons. Why? Generally because the end of the year looms large and any excuses for missed targets, overshot budgets, forgotten rebates or any other balance sheet item that has been overlooked now needs a well crafted and believable excuse to explain the errors to the upper echelons of the company.












At the same time it is necessary to make plans for the new year ahead. A time to set targets. To devise a way of reaching the targets and plan any promotions for the year too. I only mention it as it is an idea that I have brought from those very large businesses and adopted into my own (small) business.

So have you set financial / marketing / personal / targets for 2013?

As well as this ask yourself are you making the following five common marketing mistakes?

Are You Overlooking Mobile?

Currently  there  are  over  5.5  billion  mobile  device  subscriptions  across  the  globe.  As a  consumer,  I  definitely  access  as  many  websites  from  mobile  devices  as  I  do  from a  desktop  or  laptop.    And  it  turns  out,  I’m  not  alone.  By  2015,  it  is  predicted  that  we’ll see  more  than  788  million  mobile-­only  Internet  users  with  mobile  browsing  (for  the web)  surpassing  desktop  browsing.  A  mobile-­optimized  website  is  no  longer  a “nice-­to-­have,”  it’s  a  must. Your  customers  expect  you  to  have  a  mobile-­friendly site.  Mobile  should  be  a  critical  component  of  your  digital  marketing  strategy  for 2013 and beyond.

Focusing More on Acquisition than Retention?

As businesspeople in photography, we  have  to  develop  a  strategy  that  focuses  on  both  acquiring  new customers  and  retaining  existing  ones.  Far  too  often businesses  shift focus  to  being  too  acquisition  centric.  Acquisition  is  important  don’t  get  me  wrong,  but there  needs  to  be  a  balance.  The  cost  of  retaining  a  customer  is  significantly  less than  that  of  acquiring  one  (as  much  as  20%  less!).  Another  hard  truth  is  that  repeat customers  spend  more  than  new  ones.  Marketing  is  equally  about  retention  as  it  is about  acquisition  so  don’t  forget  to  consider  how  you’ll  deepen  relationships  with existing  customers  (particularly  high  value  ones)  in  2013.

Are You Marketing Your Aspirations?

Every  business  aspires  to  be  something  greater.  We  all  have  (and  should  have) that  massive  audacious  goal.  But  we’re  not  marketing  what  we  aspire  to  be,  we’re marketing  who  we  are  today.  Marketing  your  aspirations  can  create major  problems  if  you  can’t  live  up  to  them.  Keep  your  aspirations  in  mind  when planning  and  executing,  but  don’t  market  them  to  your  customers.

Are You Letting Research Dictate Plans

This was something that every company I have ever worked with has fallen victim too. You  should  review  data  and  research  to  keep  you  informed,  but you  shouldn’t  let  it  entirely  dictate  your  plans.  Research  is  a  valuable  tool  for planning and indeed marketing,  but  research  can  be  misleading  at  times.  There  are  just  some  things  that research  simply  can’t  predict.  And  consumers  don’t  always  know  how  they  are feeling  or  what  they  want.  And  they  don’t  always  know  how  they  will  feel  in  the future.  Two  years  ago  my  wife  told  me  she  would  never  own  a  tablet.  She  just didn’t  see  value  in  it  when  she  had  a  laptop  and  a  smartphone.  Guess  who has since bought an iPad?  It’s  hard  to  predict  how  consumers  will  react  to  things  in the  future.  Research  should  guide,  not  lead.

Are You Playing by the book

Plans  are  important.  We  need  plans  to  keep  us  focused  and  on  track,  but  at  the  end of  the  day  plans  are  just  words  on  paper.  We  should  always  count  on  plans changing  course.  Think  of  your  marketing  plans  as  a  compass  and  not  a  map. Leave  some  room  for  a bit of adventure and use your plans as a guide.

Hope it helps!


Striking Images Photography

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Getting Organised

Having attended the IPPA Annual Conference on Sunday in Lyrath Estate, there was one thing that stayed with me from two of the speakers in particular. Out of all the knowledge offered and out of all the ideas put forward Padraic and Sonia Deasy‘s presentation reminded me of a story I once heard. The Deasy’s spoke of being organized through the software, ‘Studio Plus’ I think it was. Then Padraic said something that I thought was very telling. He mentioned that his father use to say: “If you cannot run your business between nine and six, you are doing something wrong.”

IPPA AGM, Lyrath Estate, Kilkenny

Padraic & Sonia Deasy speaking at the IPPA AGM in Lyrath Estate Co. Kilkenny

This reminded me of a story:

Charles Schwab, when he was President of Bethlehem Steel many years ago, called in Ivy Lee, a consultant, and said to him, ‘Show me a way to get more things done with my time, and I’ll pay you any fee within reason.’ Lee replied, ‘Fine. I’ll give you something in 20 minutes that will step up your output by at least 50%.’

With that, Lee handed Schwab a blank piece of paper and said, ‘Write down the six most important things you have to do tomorrow and number them in order of importance. Now put this piece of paper in your pocket. First thing tomorrow morning look at item one and start working on it until you finish it; then do item two, and so on; do this until quitting time and don’t be concerned if you have only finished one or two. You will be working on the most important ones anyway. If you can’t finish them all by this method, you could not have done it by any other method either, and without some system you’d probably not even have decided which was the most important.’

Then Lee said, ‘Try this system every working day. After you’ve convinced yourself of the value of this system, have your men try it, then send me a cheque for what you think it’s worth.

Several weeks later Schwab sent Lee a cheque for $25,000, with a note, proclaiming the advice, ‘the most profitable he had ever followed.’ The concept helped Schwab earn 100 million dollars and turn Bethlehem Steel into the biggest independent steel producer in the world at the time.

I have used a similar “To Do List.” I have found that the list helps me accomplish more and accomplish it faster. It keeps me focused and I avoid wasting time on the less important things. So whether it’s a fancy studio database system or something as simple as a pencil and paper, if you think it’s all getting a bit much;

– Write it down
– Number the items in order of importance
– Get to work

It’s not going to save your life but it might help a little.

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