Groundhog Assignment

It’s inevitable that if a client retains you for long enough, eventually you’ll end up repeating a previous job.

This might be as simple as updating a portrait of the CEO, and you’re not normally looking to reinvent the wheel in that scenario unless the company imagery needs a change of style. On other occasions it’s about finding a fresh way to re-photograph an older idea.

Such it was last November when Wickes asked me to repeat what I’d done for them in a previous year. That is say, a press shot to illustrate the story that their call-centre colleagues would be operating the switchboard into the night in order to take pledges for Children in Need.

call centre lady

Hardly an original idea, but the wig, expression and phone receivers make it eye-catching

The lady in the red wig was the shot which went out previously, and it was very well received, but of course I didn’t simply want to repeat that. I had to come up with something similar, but not the same.

Luckily this time around the props were different, but the setting was the same – a dark, messy open-plan office space with light which wasn’t going to work for pictures. I decided to use the Pudsey Bear bunting and a different floor of the office which was closed for the night, therefore I could set up lighting and spend some time with the model photographing her away from all her colleagues to reduce the embarrassment factor.

call centre lady at Wickes for Children in Need

This time the bunting added colour and gave more clues to the story

The results convey a similar energy and use much the same “tight” newspaper style, but the content of the picture is subtly updated and more of the Children in Need branding is included, which I think helps to tell the story even more fully.

You might think it would be boring to have to repeat something previously photographed, but for me it was more of a challenge to come up with something new, and I enjoyed the challenge enormously. The thing about photography is you can always update and improve a good idea.

Don’t be the bird that swallows the plate.

I’m a huge fan of Black Adder, and there are many hilariously memorable scenes, but the one which springs to mind as I write this week’s article is in Black Adder II when Percy enters Black Adder’s chamber wearing an outrageously large neck rough. On seeing it Black Adder remarks that Percy “looks like a bird who’s swallowed a plate!”

Why is this relevant to anything I have to say about photography? Well it’s simple really, dear reader; When a business plans its photography in small, manageable chunks throughout the year it can cope with getting what it needs without too much drama, but leave it for a year, two years, five years, and the project becomes rather like a bird swallowing a plate. Trying to ingest the ingestible, and risking some kind of injury in the process.

I’ve said before that photography should be treated as part of the over-all marketing plan, not as part of the web budget, because photos can be used in print as well as web. Try printing a website as a brochure, and you’ll start to understand what I mean – they’re separate budgets within the over all marketing budget.

By keeping your photography fresh and up-to-date you might very well spend a little more over time, but at least you won’t have a colossal expenditure to make in one go if you’re trying to start from scratch, having neglected the photography for some years. And since business people like to say “cash is king,” doesn’t it make sense to make smaller investments that add up to a solid image library than to trying to buy your entire photo library in one huge gulp?

So keep headshots up to date regularly, don’t wait until there’s a week’s worth to be shot unless you’re prepared for the cost. Keep on top of product, site, process and PR images. Consider planning a shoot every three months (or whatever suits best, so long as it’s regular). Or at the very least, review what you have and what you need on a quarterly basis.

espresso cup and small change

You’re buying the coffee, not the cafe. Buy in stages and don’t insist on all copyright.

To extend the subject a little, think more carefully about the image rights you need. Consider restricting your requirements to (for example) a three-year time limit. Certainly avoid all-rights or full copyright buyouts as it’s extremely rare for a business to actually require these rights, and most sensible photographers will charge more if you demand full copyright because they’ll assume you wish to allow other businesses use of your images, when the photographer might reasonably expect to be able to re-licence the images to those third-parties (with your permission, of course).

Certainly it’s normal for editorial images to be bought on licences that are limited by print run, territory/language and duration of use. Commercial images tend to be sold on wider licences, but limits can help in the negotiation process and you can always top-up the licence later.

If you have any questions about anything I’ve said here, or have a favourite Black Adder scene, feel free to comment below.

Case Study: The Photo Call

Rebecca Adlington

This photo call test shot of Rebecca Adlington was more interesting than the shot the PR lined up for us.

Since the majority of my work now involves working directly with companies on their corporate photography, I don’t get to do so many photo calls as I once did. Besides which, photo calls aren’t so popular as they once were.

Back when I was on staff at The Portsmouth News, and subsequently when I freelanced for national newspapers and agencies, photo calls were generally used by police forces for missing persons appeals or during a crime investigation. It was one way to control how much information got out to the press. Other photo calls would be for a new theatre production, a gallery opening, book signing or product launch. Anything really where a few different publications and maybe TV and radio would be invited along to help publicise something.

Though they are less common for PR uses, the police still use photo calls. For PR they can be a bit tricky to manage effectively, and if managed too effectively everyone ends up with the same stagey photo. Often a PR will do better to get some decent shots taken by a single photographer and send those out with the press release than have a room full of clever-clogs press photographers managing to make something amusing out of the wording or shapes on the wall behind the main speaker’s head. I’d still argue that press coverage is press coverage, and if the pictures are too sterile they’ll get no news space at all. You takes your pick…

Perhaps the other reason photo calls are out of favour is that newspapers have let so many staff photographers go, and cut freelance budgets so far, that they simply don’t have the resources to send someone along to an event which might take them out of circulation for over an hour while they’re wooed by PRs, held up by shifting timetables and badly planned itineraries and then have to be dragged away from the canapes and free drinks to go to the next cheque presentation.

It’s easier for a paper to wait for a finished press release, complete with photo, to waft into the newsroom so they

Martine McCutcheon book signing Harrods

Martine McCutcheon wrote a book about the first ten minutes of her life.

can add a reporter’s byline and publish the story and photo verbatim. Job done.

The photo call used to be a good chance for me to catch up with fellow “smudgers” from other agencies and newspapers, but on the rare occasion I am sent to one now I tend to find myself in the company of people who have a camera, but no real clue.

It may be that as new media channels open up, and quality returns to journalism (I happen to believe and hope that tablet computers may be the dawn of a return to quality content) the photo call will make something of a comeback, though I suspect it may be dead for good/better.

Case study: Press portrait.

For this week I thought I’d dig out something from the archive; a portrait photo taken with press use in mind to help illustrate the difference between this and a straight headshot.

In fact the photo here was commissioned by the News of the World for a business page article back in 2001. Nothing dodgy (for once), just a straight-up business story about Fulton Umbrellas‘ founder Arnold Fulton.

Press Portrait Arnold Fulton of Fulton Umbrellas

He's not Rihanna, but he's got umbrella ella ellas.

He was utterly charming, patient and engaging. He told me it’s ok to open an umbrella indoors provided you don’t lift it over your head, so putting my superstitions to one side I got on with opening a selection of umbrellas in the factory’s demonstration/sales room ready for the shot while Mr Fulton was being interviewed.

When you’re thinking about having pictures taken with a view to press coverage, you might be lucky and find that a newspaper wants to cover your story and they might send their own photographer to take pictures to go with the article. However, if you’re putting an article together and need pictures to send out to press, it’s worth keeping in mind that a straight headshot of the CEO (or whoever is quoted in the article) may not be enough.

Think about using elements of your business in the photo, even if you’re not dealing with physical goods. Sometimes a physical prop can be a metaphor for the service you offer, so don’t think that just because you sell pensions or insurance that there isn’t something to illustrate this.

My point being, think around your business and the story to see what might suit what you’re writing about. I’m happy (as any decent photographer should be) to discuss ideas with you. Don’t just dig out a portrait taken with the company logo in the background and assume it’ll get used. And even if it does get used, most people will ignore it as “just another headshot.” Far better to have a shot which helps illustrate the story. It will reinforce the point of the article, and most importantly of all, more people will read it.

As for Arnold Fulton, he insisted every visitor to his factory takes home an umbrella, so I chose a storm-proof golfing model which is still going strong today, which might explain why I’ve enjoyed the return of the rain even more than most people.

The Screws Becomes the News


Surprise, surprise! It turns out that phone hacking at the News of the World (aka The Screws) might just have been a tad more widespread than was previously admitted.

Now they’re offering compensation and all sorts, presumably because having already had a Royal correspondent jailed and two more senior staff arrested in connection with phone hacking allegations, senior executives may be getting a little edgy at the thought of the police investigation working higher up the chain of command.

Even executives who are no longer in the roles they were in at the height of the phone-hacking period might be getting nervous over this, because it’s a fair bet that one or two, such as former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, would have been signing off expenses for third-party phone hacking services when the practice was rife.

Of course the likes of Kuttner may not have known what they were signing off. Maybe the receipts were put through as general investigative expenses, but it has to be worth asking whether executives above editor level would have been ignorant of the nature of the expenses they were scrutinizing.

At this stage it’s only fair I point out the rather dull axe I have to grind in all this. Between (circa) 1997-8 and 2001 I was a freelance photographer for The Screws, and dedicated about 18 months of that time working 4 days a week exclusively for them.

However by late 2000 I was getting increasingly worn down by the long hours, the pointless errands and being sent to distant places to do silly jobs with no story worth reporting. That year I missed the birth of my son because I was chasing a story in France. It wasn’t the picture desk’s fault that I missed the arrival of my son. I’d opted to stay on in France to see the job through, and my son had arrived unexpectedly early, but when things turned terminally sour between myself and the paper, I was dismayed when I was told I wasn’t “a team player.” That actual phrase was used, and it stuck with me because I’d done more than miss the birth of my only son for that paper.

I’d pulled double shifts when the desk couldn’t get cover, having to spend nights in my car on more than one occasion, without sleep or comfort break waiting for some Z-list celebrity to show up. All for the princely sum of £128 (£145 for a Saturday shift woohoo!). Often the shift fee was equivalent to about £10 per hour. Ok, I’d opted to work for The Screws, but that lesson is well learned now.

On a few occasions I’d turned some insane reporter’s nonsense story into a useable scoop just by being diligent and intelligent. Clearly this also made me “not a team player.”

What finally finished my time with The Screws was when I’d tried repeatedly, and failed, to get paid the expenses I was owed. Mostly mileage.

The thing was, at the time I was working for The Screws, I was living in Portsmouth but having to drive to Wapping most of the 4 days a week. Starting at 6:30am, I’d get to the picture desk for 10, be sent on that day’s wild goose chase (pun intended) and probably get home again some 12 hours later. The reason for the insane commute was that when I started working for them, most stories I covered were in the Hampshire, Wiltshire, West Sussex region. Then they went all celebrity-led and all the “stories” were suddenly in London.

Now management knew where I lived, and it wasn’t as if the mileage rate they paid was generous, even when petrol was somewhat cheaper than it is now. But every month I would submit my invoice, including mileage, and every month a cheque would arrive for the invoice amount, less 8%.

Eventually I gave up asking nicely for what I was owed and threatened legal action. The amount outstanding was in the thousands, and I could no longer afford to work for them. The effect of the letter I sent was instant, and my time at The Screws was over. I was scared and relieved.

And who was it that was taking a scalpel to my invoices? None other than Stuart Kuttner. He must have assumed I was on the fiddle to the tune of precisely 8% every single month, but I never did receive an explanation. I did get my money in the end, but never an explanation.

While I worked at the News of the World, I had the honour and privilege of working with some of the best photographers and reporters in the industry. Unfortunately there were also reporters who clearly had substance and honesty issues. There’s no point me naming the bad apples because this was all a decade ago now, and I can’t even recall their names and nor do I care what happened to them, though I do sympathise with any of the talented people who might still be there.

Addendum: Senior reporter James Weatherup was added to the list of arrested journalists today. As yet, those three most recently arrested have not been charged.

Addendum II, This time it’s personal: Former Managing Editor, Stuart Kuttner, has been arrested, questioned and released on bail regarding allegations of making payments to police for information and on charges of phone hacking.

Engage brain before publication

It’s fair to say that these days there are far more people handling and publishing images than ever before. I’m not talking about photographers self-publishing to flickr, Facebook and the like, but those people within businesses and corporate organisations whose tasks include searching out, selecting and using images within their own publications.

This of course isn’t a problem, except that some (many? who knows) seem not to have had any kind of training for the job they’re being asked to do, and occasionally it all goes a bit wrong.

Classic examples have included a council department getting Birmingham in England mixed up with Birmingham, Alabama, USA on a council recycling leaflet in 2008. There’s some irony in the fact that 720,000 of the leaflets were distributed with the wrong Birmingham on them, but that it would have been environmentally wasteful to have them scrapped and recycled.

Another council, Dover, got its cliffs in a twist when they wanted to use a shot of the White Cliffs of Dover on their website. In an effort to find a “copyright free” photo, whatever that might be (presumably a photo taken at least 75 years ago, so black and white then), the council’s design agency plucked a lovely photo of some white cliffs from the internet and used that. The only problem being that the photo they used was of the Seven Sisters, nearly 80 miles away in another county.

Lindahls home page photo

No Turkish Delight for Greek Man – Lindahls Website.

These errors probably aren’t that serious. Silly and embarrassing, and indicative of an amateurish approach to images, but nobody died and nobody got hurt. No, the prize for borderline negligence goes to the Swedish dairy firm Lindahls Mejeri, who bought a stock image of what they thought was a Turkish man in traditional costume to use on the packaging of their Turkish Yogurt. I’m not sure if it was low-fat yogurt, but there must have been some instant weight loss when the firm discovered that the face adorning all their yogurt pots and marketing was that of a Greek man. Those of you not aware of the political faux pas in this situation,  just imagine that the feelings a Greek will have for Turkey are enough to curdle yogurt at 150 paces.

In that instance Lindahls are said to have paid an out-of-court settlement to the tune of over £500,000, such was the depth of the plaintiff’s hurt. Personally I wonder what the photographer’s caption read when he/she uploaded the image to the online stock library that sold the image onto Lindahls. Had the caption been misleading? or was it simply ignored?

And that isn’t the most serious case to have cropped up recently. In November of this year, The Guardian newspaper reported how The Independent had managed to confuse a photo of a Croatian film actor in Nazi uniform with a suspected Nazi WWII criminal Samual Kunz (oh the irony of his name!). This would be bad enough, but running the image next to the headline “Wanted for the deaths of 400,000 Jews,” this kind of error becomes serious, defamatory and potentially very expensive to settle. Take the cost of some spilt yogurt, and multiply that a few times.

I used to help run the picture desk of a regional newspaper, and was often required to find library photos of people featured in articles we were running. I was always careful about making sure I’d found the right photo of the right person, but if the story was particularly traitorous, for example reporting on the subject’s criminal activities, I would make sure I had three reasons to know that I had the right perpetrator. If I couldn’t be certain, I didn’t offer the photo for publication.

You have to wonder though if people handling images now have become too blase about the whole thing. Will it take a very high-profile case to make people a little more professional in their handling of images?

I’m going to finish on this rather tragic case of picture research gone wrong. On December 2nd 2010, this comment appeared at the end of an article on photographer Richard Mills:

hi richard


would you have a photo of a grouse . We are looking for one for a brochure on a walking route in co tipperary .



The article was an obituary for… Richard Mills.

New Standards in Photojournalism

Which would you like first; the good news, or the bad?

I’ll give you the good news first. This article is shorter than usual. The bad is, it’s a bit of a rant.

I’d love to be sitting here writing about the amazingly high standards in photojournalism as a result of newspapers fighting to retain readership in the face of competition from the web.

Instead, I’m looking, open-mouthed, at the depressingly low standards to which local newspapers at least (nationals may follow suit) have sunk. In short, I’m looking at a photo which is of such a poor standard that it looks like it isn’t so much a photo, as a children’s mosaic made from the leftover bits of LEGO left over after all the fun stuff has been built.


screen grab from peterborough evening telegraph

Honestly, that's as good as the photo gets.

The picture is meant to show horses running wild on the streets of Peterborough (see original article here). It’s a reader’s snap, but as you can see from the quality of the photo, it could be panto horses on a dimly lit stage. It could be a tapestry. What it is, is a travesty.

Have picture editors become so enamored of new technology that they can’t see when a photo is utterly unusable? Or have newspapers done such a thorough job of destroying the old training and career structures that there is no one left to say “that’s crap, let’s get our own shot from the late-shift staffer/next available freelance”? Or have budgets been cut to the point that any smudge, no matter how poor, will do provided it’s free of any cost to the editorial department? Do newspaper editorial departments now have such contempt for their readers (and advertisers) that frankly, any old s**t will do so long as a thicker wedge can be driven between the ad revenue and editorial costs?


lego scene of horses

Perhaps LEGO representations of news events are the way ahead.

Normally I hate ranty blog articles, and while I do my share of moaning I tend to avoid the full-blown slagging off that is the stock-in-trade of other bloggers, but I have to say this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this level of citizen journalism foisted on local newspaper readers. There must be many more examples I never see, but The Portsmouth News also ran a pointlessly low-quality photo when a local landmark caught fire. Their only saving grace was that there was something to photograph the next morning.

I hope the Pereborough example is the worst we’ll ever see, but I won’t hold my breath.

If you’ve seen something as bad (or worse!) in your local paper, feel free to comment and leave a link. We could start a competition. Not so much “The worst photo in a paper” award, as “can you make out what this is meant to be?” kind of competition.

UPDATE: There is now a camera which is perfectly designed for exactly this kind of scenario: Remember though, it’s not a toy!

From sperm to commercial photographer. An incredible journey!

Many a photographer will tell you they knew their calling right from the age they could hold a camera. Some will boast that they were checking out the possibilities of light and shade even from inside their mother’s womb. Well I can beat that; I was getting ready for the press photographer’s scrum even as I approached my mother’s egg.

Ok, I exaggerate a little there. The truth is, and to cut a soul-crushingly long story short, I’d known since leaving school that I wanted to take pictures for a living, but had no idea how to proceed until someone introduced me to the picture editor at The Bath Chronicle.

school boy feeling sad at school party.

I may have been happiest at “The Chron”. Not all my subjects felt the same way.

From work experience at The Chron to trusted freelance happened pretty quickly, and hitting the FFW button again brings us to where I wanted to be – working for national titles, specifically and almost exclusively for the News of the World, where I spent the best part of two years shooting celebrity nonsense.

However, a fairly terminal disagreement with “The Screws” meant a very sudden exit from the stable of photographers there. Something to do with them owing me about £3,000 in unpaid expenses and them not wanting to pay, as I recall. Nothing important…

So there I was, having dedicated a couple of years of my career almost exclusively to them, to the exclusion of my previously regular clients, and not a lot on the diary. So I picked up my book and tear sheets and started to call in at the other news and magazine picture desks. Strangely enough though, a fistful of cuttings from The Screws doesn’t exactly open doors at The Sunday Times or The Guardian. And after the constant stress and under-payment of one national, my heart wasn’t really in it any more. I could see the industry was going down the pan, and decided to turn the break into an opportunity.

Which brings us neatly to where I am today. I’ve taken my press training and experience, adapted to commercial photography, and combined the two disciplines to give my clients something a bit unique. This isn’t a sales pitch though, so moving swiftly on…

Of course I’ve also had to work on my business skills and adjust to the fact that I won’t get a bollocking for doing everything right. I’ve had to break the instinct to shoot all my pictures from behind a bush in the car park (I’ve found that tends to unnerve some people). But I do enjoy being given some creative freedom, being asked for picture ideas and not having to pee into a bottle in the back of a surveillance van.

I do miss press work sometimes though. When I see a big story break, I might wish I was there to cover it, but apart from the occasional magazine commission, I don’t work directly for newspapers any more. Taking into account all the costs of being equipped to do the job and running a professional service, the fees offered by the press mean they’ll be drawing on an ever dwindling number of professionals who can still afford the cost of working for them. I’ve grown up and moved on to where I can be of most use, and still make a living.

This article is soon to be a film starring Jim Broadbent and Matt Damon. If Matt can fit into the sperm suit.

Oi! Tim! What’s the best photo you’ve ever taken?

I don’t much enjoy trying to answer that question (especially when it’s asked like that), but since it’s a question I get asked, well sometimes at least, I thought it might be an idea to do an article on it.

Probably the simplest answer is that I tend to like whichever was the best photo from my most recent assignment at the time of asking. I do tend to prefer more recent work, perhaps because with every brief, with each new location, there are challenges to be met and overcome and I still love to learn something new from each shoot. And maybe it’s that having a press background, I tend to see older work as having passed its sell-by date.

Of my press photography, I’d still say my favourites are my photo of Tony Blair campaigning in Oldham in 2001 and the portrait of Tony Benn in Bath. Those pictures seem to sum up the evangelical character of the former prime minister, while the other sums up the thoughtful, statesmanlike manner of Mr Benn. More recently, the unguarded shot of Richard Noble of the SSC Project pleased me in its informality and got a decent showing in Director magazine

news cutting bath chronicle 1992 election showing chris patten defeat

Capturing a historical moment has a certain buzz.

When I look at my recent commercial photography, I’m often drawn to the simple, relaxed corporate portraits, especially where I’ve captured something of the subject’s character, but I also have a fondness for the beekeeper portrait, which was not only tricky to light, but was tricky to shoot since I was in full protective gear and surrounded by bees at the time. The beekeeper was a decent chap too, and gave me some honey after the shoot. Of course, what’s important is how the photo looks, not what was involved in getting it to look that way, but each picture has an emotional attachment for the photographer, which is why we’re often the worst judges of our own work.

Looking at my gallery of public relations photography, I’d single out the portrait of the barbary lion, partly because he’s so handsome and also because everyone who sees that photo reacts with a “wow” or similar, which is always encouraging.

Apart from the lion, I’m quite fond of the PR photo which I took for the Organic Milk Suppliers Cooperative. The idea of making it look as though the fridges in the middle of a field might actually be working tickles me, and adds an extra dimension of interest to the shot.

portrait photo actress penelope keith

Actress Penelope Keith in mid-interview. Never published, but still a favourite.

There are many photos and assignments I’d rank as favourites, but going back beyond the last 12 years leads me to that period when I was a staff photographer, so don’t have the copyright in those shots, which means I can’t publish them here.

There’s the shoot I did in Norway with the Royal Marine Reservists, which included a striking shot of a marine bursting up through freezing lake water during a survival exercise, his shocked expression and the water droplets cascading from his hair making it almost uncomfortable to view the photo. Or the single frame I managed to get of HM The Queen arriving at Portsmouth Harbour train station on a drizzly night, simple headscarfe and clearly not expecting a photographer, though smiling all the same.

Delving even deeper into the past, I’ve featured here a couple of favourites from the very beginning of my career, when I freelanced for the Bath Chronicle. Now I think about it again, it isn’t just my recent work I’m happiest with. I think I have some pretty cracking older shots too…

How about you?

Whether you’re a professional or amateur, do you have a favourite of your own? Or perhaps there’s a photographer you admire, or a particular photo that sticks in your mind. Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

Going a bit Google

Question: When is a wedding photographer not a wedding photographer?

Answer: Apparently when they say they’re a commercial photographer, a press photographer, an architectural photographer, a spoon, a pomegranate. Whatever their keywords and web blurbs say they are that week.

You may sense from this post that I’m a little fed up. Maybe I am. Maybe I’m frustrated at the number of new clients telling me they were looking for a commercial, press or PR photographer (in other words, a photographer with the requisite experience for the work they’re looking to get done) but had to wade through pages and pages of Google search results of wedding photographer sites to get to mine. I’m not half as frustrated as those clients are, but I feel their pain.

Google is a great tool, but it becomes pointless if businesses pretend to do what they don’t, and try to attract visitors who will rarely convert into clients, and who will probably regret it if they do.

I know some wedding photographers can take good corporate, commercial and maybe even decent press photos, and they’ll have galleries on their sites to prove it, but most only ever do weddings. On the rare occasion they get near a corporate shoot, it often ends up looking like a wedding in an office.

So why do photographers pretend to do something they don’t and mostly can’t do? Perhaps they think clients are stupid and won’t know the difference, or they think that since they mainly work weekends it might be nice to pick up the extra work in the week. They clearly also believe that once you have a camera, you can tackle absolutely any photographic assignment. Regardless of the actual kit, experience and skills required.

wedding photo for press article

In my defence, this was shot for a feature on eco-friendly weddings.

So off they go with their keyword blunderbuss, kerblamming their site with keywords that have only a tenuous connection to what they actually do.

I don’t list weddings as one of my skills. I don’t put “wedding” in my keywords. Neither do I put “puppies”, “Bat (or Bar) Mizvahs” or “christenings” in there. Why? Because I don’t do them. Just like I don’t do plumbing, antique restoration or brain surgery. Why compete with people who already know what they’re doing and have the workflow, supply chain, mental skills and experience to do those jobs?

Recently I added my details, with keyword tags, to a local creative forum website. Within a week, a wedding photographer had done a copy and paste of my keywords, then added “wedding” to the end. A look at his website showed no sign of all the disciplines he’d listed, except weddings. He’s clearly on a fishing trip for extra work, but his entry, like a blunt pencil, is now largely pointless.

If anyone needs to do a web search for a photographer to take pictures for commercial publication, they will have to be sure to type “-wedding” (thus removing any site ranked using that word) into the search box in order to get more relevant results, which seems a bore. But if these jack-of-all-photography types are going to insist on using keywords like a drunk uses expletives, it may be the only solution.

I could strike back by adding all the weddingy keywords to my site, but there’s no point in that. Did I mention I don’t do weddings?