Zenfolio gives me several business solutions all in one place.
John’s favorite Zenfolio features:
- I can give my website a complete facelift at the click of a button.
- Image sales are effortless and seamless.
Award-winning photographer John Baikie is always on the go. An imaginative and groundbreaking wedding photographer, John also shoots a variety of subjects and assignments. From portraits of British royalty to fashion and interiors, you never know what you will find in front of his camera.
Where is your home base?
Inverness in the Scottish Highlands
2. What is your photography genre/specialty?
Weddings, portraits and press/PR
3. What is your most memorable image and why?
There are two. A slightly off-the-wall wedding photograph from a few years ago, and my portrait of Prince Charles. Both have become major talking points and definitely catch people’s attention.
4. Why did you become a photographer? What drives you to capture images and has this changed over time?
I started photography as a hobby when I was going through a difficult time, and it very quickly became a small business, where I was mainly shooting sports and events for local newspapers. Within a couple of years I was shooting weddings and never looked back.
5. Do you have any personal rituals to help you get ready for a shoot? What are they?
Before a wedding I have a fairly set routine of charging everything, packing my bag, double checking I have everything, and then unwinding with a malt whisky. Just the one mind you… It’s about the only time I force myself to totally unwind and relax
6. What are the top 5 things you can’t live without while on a shoot?
My Canon 50mm lens, my 16-35mm lens, my PocketWizards, my Quantum Flash and a reflector.
7. How do you regain your inspiration if you hit a creative rut?
Personal projects are definitely the solution for me. It could be a trip away somewhere to shoot landscapes, or heading out with a model to some random location, but it definitely helps to do some work that is just for the art rather than to make money.
8. Who or what has been the biggest influence on your journey as a photographer?
There has been a few people who have helped shape my style. From a hands-on aspect, Martin Schembri was a big influence and became a friend. He was an amazing wedding photographer and will be sadly missed. Photographers I have admired and been inspired by include Bob Carlos Clarke, Andy Earl, Lyndsey Addario and many others from a wide range of genres.
9. If you could share just one tip with aspiring photographers, what would it be?
Practice and invest in training. It’s worth it’s weight in gold if you get the right help before you set yourself up in business.
10. What are the top three Zenfolio features essential to helping you run your business.
I love being able to give my website a complete facelift at the click of a button. Applying a new theme is so easy, and I regularly do this. Image sales are effortless and seamless, with very little input from me, so I can focus on the job. Another great feature is the unlimited storage, which means I have weddings backed up online as well as at home. Online selling is effortless. I send a link and password to a client, and have no further part to play in the process other than accepting money into my account.
11. If you could second shoot with any photographer (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
David Bailey, partly because he was a great portrait photographer, and partly because of the very cool people he got to hang out with and photograph in a great era.
12. How has the photography world changed since you turned pro?
It is a vastly different place. Technology has moved at an alarming pace from the days of medium format film cameras. There are probably ten times as many photographers around now (at least), but I feel the overall quality has dropped significantly as a result. Technology has moved on, but you are seeing more and more evidence that great photography it really isn’t about the camera.
13. What one piece of software besides Zenfolio do you consider to be vital in your workflow?
Topaz Labs has a really nice set of photoshop plug-ins that I use a lot, especially for my landscape photography.