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All about pet photography with Joyce Martin Photography

I caught up with local professional photographer, Joyce Martin on all things photography!

Q. What is the best way to start the day?

Up early and out with the dogs!

Q. When was Joyce Martin Photography established and what were you doing before this?

10 years ago, although the studio has only been running for 6 years. Before this I worked at Strathclyde University Prosthetics and Orthotics Department as a photographer. I have been a professional photographer for 40 years now since graduating in 1980.

Q. Looking at your portfolio online, you are a very talented photographer! How did you get into photography?

As a child I always had an instamatic camera although my first one was a polaroid Black and White one – quite revolutionary in the day being able to get your own photos straightaway!

Q. Can you describe your typical working day in photography?

Every day is very different. It is not always as glamorous as it seems. It is fun taking the photos but the hard work really is in the editing which is very time consuming and so although it is a digital image the behind scenes image processing is what makes the difference between a good photo and a great one. I also have to spend time on admin and this I really don’t enjoy!

Q. What do you love about your job?

Being creative and trying to think how to get the best out of every session and make it interesting and varied for the client.

Q. What is your preferred camera and lens?

Nikon D3S and 70-200mm.

Q. What is the most popular style of photoshoot you will do?

The most popular in the last 6 months has been family sessions.

Q. What is your favourite style of photography?

Very difficult to say – I like so many, obviously pets are right up there, but I also like doing themed ones like fairies and super heroes.

Q. Do you find that it can be difficult to photograph pets?

I find pets are easier than children and always fun trying to capture their own personalities.

Q. What are the most common issues you will come across when trying to photograph a pet portrait?

It really depends on the pet, they are all different. Sometimes a dog may not want to settle and be apart from their owner. However, once I get to know them and they feel safe it is usually fine – treats or toys can help too. Cats are more aloof and tend to be easier.

Q. “Never work with children or animals” does this resonate with you? 😊

I love working with both, it is not very often I can relate to that – it is the parents that are more of a problem sometimes.

Q. How do you get the puppies to stay still on a line up?

Patience and timing and extra pairs of hands! It helps to get them in before they become too active too. I like to do these sessions around 5-6 weeks of age.

Q. What would your advice be to someone who is interested in photography as a career?

If it is your passion then go for it!

Q. Would you encourage young people to get into this industry?

Very difficult to answer. I have been in the industry for 40 years and it has always been hard to get work but there were jobs out there in companies. Now it is more difficult because these companies don’t take on photographers anymore so you have to be freelance and hope you can pick up work. I started the studio and hadn’t appreciated how hard it was to make money running it with so many overheads and lots of studios are closing down. On the other hand, there are more opportunities to get yourself out there with all the social media platforms, it is all about showing yourself off.

Q. Do you find that photography is a competitive industry?

Absolutely! There are so many photographers out there now which makes it a very hard market to make money.

Q. What style of camera would you recommend for a hobby photographer?

There are lots of good cameras out there and very much depends on the level that the persons photography skills and budget. If they were wanting a DSLR – where you can change lenses and manually change shutter speed and aperture and exposure then I would recommend Nikon or Canon cameras. They have new models coming out all the time and varying prices.

I would recommend the Nikon D5600 with 18-55mm lens which costs £549 or canon EOS 2000D with 18-55mm lens at £315. The Canon entry level is a lot less but I have always preferred Nikon and think this model has better features than the canon one and the autofocus system is brilliant and so good for those action shots!

Q. Would you recommend photography courses?

Definitely, if anyone has an interest in photography the best way is to get some hands on experience with someone that can give you the help and advice needed to get them started.

Q. What are your future goals for Joyce Martin Photography?

Just keep doing what I am doing and enjoy it!

Q. How is your 2020 schedule looking?

The beginning of 2020 started well but now with the Corvid 19 out break I am unable to take on any photo sessions and have had to postpone some that were already booked so it is really a difficult time for me at the moment.

For more information and to view more Joyce's amazing photography visit

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