Guild Qualified

I recently submitted a portfolio of images to the Guild of Photographers for adjudication with the aim of receiving an official qualification from the Guild. My submission was successful, and as the work I submitted was commercial, rather than weddings or portraits, I’m putting my brief and the chosen images here to help anyone else looking to select images for a Guild professional qualification (QGPP).

My chosen photos are below; 7 each from three separate commissions. To read the accompanying brief, please scroll down to below the gallery. The brief covers the reasons for certain shots, and the selection of the specific images from each commission, other than the obvious technical considerations, such as ensuring the images are pin sharp throughout, using an appropriate aperture value and setting the focus point to the hyperfocal distance; keeping all vertical surfaces vertical in the frame; and framing to keep elements of interest in shot and distracting elements out. The three separate projects also show a variety in specificity of brief; the first one was very specific, the second one allowed me more freedom, and the third had a general requirement but no specific shots.

I work commercially as an interiors and architecture photographer, with an emphasis on technical ability to ensure that images are presented with accurate colour, no distortion or chromatic aberration, and accurately represented horizontal and vertical lines. Clients also allow me artistic freedom when it comes to detail shots, so finished commissions usually contain a combination of both wide shots and close-ups. This has been reflected in my submission.

There are seven images from each of three commissions. The first seven images are from an interiors shoot of a newly refurbished office for a Swedish bank in London. I had a very specific brief, with a range of areas and elements that were key to the shoot, such as the wooden slats surrounding the spiral staircase, and the trading floor with the modern ergonomic office chairs.

The next seven are of an insurance company’s offices, also in London. I was given more freedom to pick the shots for this commission, but had plenty of time to cover the whole floor. As with the previous shoot, the emphasis was on the wide shots, allowing complementary elements to be shown in the same image (such as the sweeping recession in the ceiling and the matching flooring pattern and sweep of the reception desk in the lobby). A detail shot of a potentially dull subject (the power sockets with integrated USB ports) has interest added by placing it in context with the glass shelves lit from above, with asymmetrically placed drinking glasses.

For the third shoot, I was asked to photograph the first London branch of a French healthy fast food chain. The client wanted emphasis on the pale blue and wood texture elements of the interior design, and also the London location, so for the wide shots I have included one or both of these elements in each shot, as well as a clear view of the street outside, where feasible. The one exterior shot I have included was taken as the recognisable red of a London bus went past. Again, I used an artistic approach to detail shots, such as the reflection of the entire store in the chrome finish globe-shaped pendant light, from which it was obviously necessary to remove my own reflection in post-processing. 

In terms of lighting one of the hardest elements of interiors shoots is the disparity between the colour temperature of interior (artificial) and external (natural) light. This often results in a strong blue cast to light coming in from the windows. Where this becomes distracting I will selectively adjust the white balance of areas of the image that are too blue, or reduce the saturation of the blue areas. 

All three shoots yielded very positive feedback from the clients.

As a commercial photographer, my clients are more interested in the images themselves than in the medium through which they are delivered; as such, I do not use branded USB sticks or albums. My preferred medium of delivery is through a private gallery on my website, where clients can log in to review and download images. As this would compromise the anonymity of my submission, I have instead chosen to deliver the images in a ZIP file.