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Monday 16 January 2017

Photography is my passion, not my job!

In fact, I no longer have a “job”. My career has been mainly in the education sector, and up until mid-December 2016 I was lecturing international post-graduate professionals on a part-time basis. I have my seventy-first birthday this month, and have now officially retired. This means that I now have more time to spend on photography and areas related to it which interest me.

Professional Photography

Who, or what is a professional photographer? Almost everyone these days is a photographer. The smart phones will appear at a restaurant or almost any event. But, what separates the amateurs from the professionals?

A professional will have invested in camera bodies, lenses and associated photographic equipment. Hopefully s/he will also have studied photography and have had some years of experience. A professional will also be a photographer who consistently produces high quality work. Even though the cost of technology is constantly reducing, a professional will have spent several thousands of dollars on their cameras and lenses alone, before even considering lighting and other associated equipment.

Another definition of professional could be someone who charges for their work. Unfortunately there seems to be an increasing group of photographers with limited experience and entry level equipment claiming to be professional by using this criterion.

My Equipment

My preferred camera is a Nikon D800. This is a full-frame 36 megapixel camera. It is supplemented with two Nikon D 7000 cameras and another Nikon which I have had converted to shoot in the near infra-red range. I have several genuine Nikon Prime and Zoom lenses to attach to these cameras. When travelling light, I sometimes just take my Panasonic Lumix DMC-G3 Mirrorless camera or my Nikon Coolpix AW100 compact camera.

Although my preference is for shooting using natural light, I am able to set up temporary studios with lights and backdrops.

My Experience

I learned photography in the days when film was expensive and it was important to carefully plan each of your shots. Back then, photographers needed a good understanding of the relationships between film speed, aperture and exposure time if they were going to get reasonable results. Looking at the back of the camera to see how the shot went was not an option. After a roll of twelve 120 shots were taken, the film had to be rewound onto the spool, and then taken to a laboratory for developing and getting a set of prints.

Of course, one could buy the equipment and chemicals to develop your own film, and even set up a temporary dark room to print your own black and white prints. Many evenings were spent in my twenties in bathrooms converted into temporary darkrooms. Most colour photography back in those days consisted of black and white photographs being hand coloured.

My early cameras were 120 format. My first 35mm film camera was purchased in 1976 prior to a trip I was having to the USA and Canada. My trusty twin-reflex Rolleicord 120 format camera was a bit too big and bulky for carrying on and off aircraft. Since that time I have mainly used Nikon and still have several of My Nikon 35mm cameras. These days however, in spite of being beautiful cameras, get very little use. I suppose we have all become spoilt with easy to use digital technology.

When people ask me how long I have been a photographer for, I generally answer “about fifty years”. But, actually it is longer than that. I was given my first camera when I was ten before going with my family to spend a year in Pakistan and India. It was the 1956 equivalent of modern cheap and nasty disposable cameras. I have used cameras ever since then, which makes it closer to sixty years that I have been a photographer.

Weddings and Other Important Events

I don’t do them!

To reiterate my very first statement on this post, “Photography is my passion, not my job!”

And, I have no intention of it becoming “work” now that I have officially retired. With only a very few exceptions, I have never charged for photography sessions, and I have no intention of starting now. I want to work at photographic projects at my own pace without the responsibility and discipline required for events such as weddings.

The irresponsible approach that some so called professional photographers have to events such as weddings never ceases to amaze me. Some shoot a wedding with an entry level camera without even taking along at least one backup. Things can and do go wrong with equipment. If you are paying for the services of a photographer for an important event ensure that you have checked their contingency plans if things may not go according to plan.

What do I get out of it?

This is a question I am frequently asked to which there are many answers. And, the primary answers may vary from shoot to shoot. But, here are a few of them:

  • I get to meet a lot of interesting people, who I would not have met without photography.
  • I obtain personal satisfaction from producing quality photographs for shoot participants.
  • I continue to add to my personal library of photographs which I can access for various purposes, including publications of books.
  • With portrait photography being my preferred genre, I am on a continuous learning curve working with different people from a variety of backgrounds.

Model and Property Release Forms

I do not charge for my shoots, but I do expect Model Release Forms to be completed and signed for all participants. Models who are not yet of legal age, (under eighteen), will need to have a parent present to sign their releases. If the shoot is to take place on private property which can be recognised, then a Property Release Form will also need to be completed and signed. Copies of each of these forms can be downloaded from all of my photography web sites. I also have copies with me at each of my shoots.

Photographers automatically own the copyright on photographs they have taken, but I like to ensure there are not any legal doubts with regard to copyright and my photography. File copies of all edited photographs from my shoots are made available to the models concerned at no cost for posting on web sites or sending in emails. However, models do not have the right to sell any of these images.

Recently I have become increasingly interested in photographing people with their pets. I have even set up a Facebook page and a web site regarding pet photography. Here are the URL’s:



I consider pets to be people’s property, so I also have a Pet Release Form on each of my photography sites.

Other pet photographers charge at least $250.00 for a pet shoot before any products are purchased. So a free pet shoot is a pretty good deal.


Since 2012, I have published several books. Most of the more recent have been photographic albums. These can all be purchased as hard copies and some can be purchased as e-books as well. I purchase several copies after each is published and savings I make on shipping etc., are passed onto any potential purchasers. I do carry these publications with me to shoots, and if you would like to see any, all you need to do is ask. The web site with my publications is:


Facebook and Web Sites

Here are some URL’s of Facebook pages and web sites I am associated with:









Shoot Protocol Changes

Passionate About Photography had its first shoot for 2017 yesterday, Sunday 15 January, 2017. Because of issues related to that shoot, I have today made changes to both the Shoot Protocol for Models and the Shoot Protocol for Photographers. Please go to the relevant pages to view these changes.


Thursday, 29 December, 2016

Shocking news today of the death of Debbie Reynolds, just one day after the death of her daughter Carie Fisher. What a lousy year it has been for celebrity deaths.

It is just a couple of days until the new year, let us hope it will be a better one than 2016. But, who knows? We are living in an age of great uncertainty, with amongst other things, Trump being inaugurated as President of the USA shortly.

2017 is also the start of a new era for me. Two weeks ago I finished my part-time lecturing role. As you may know, the majority of my working career has been involvement in the education sector. In November I attended a Queensland University of Technology Golden Graduates function at the Convention Centre Plaza Ballroom. 2016 was fifty years since I graduated as a teacher.

Photography has always been a passion of mine, but has never been my job. But, from now on, I shall have more time for it. My preferred genre has been people and portraiture, and I do not expect that to change in the future. Over the years I have done a little photography with animals, but I do plan on doing much more from 2017 onwards. The emphasis will be on pets, but I also have an interest in photographing farm animals.

After a year or so when I have a decent collection together, a publication on pets or people and their pets may also eventuate. There are a couple of ideas floating around in my gray matter, but it will probably be a year or so before anything happens there.

On Tuesday of this week I published both a web site and a Facebook page regarding pet photography. Take a look and let me know what you think.

The Passionate About Photography group shoots for the first three months of 2017 are listed on the Facebook events page.


Friday 30  September, 2016

I have just posted information regarding Passionate About Photography 2016 publications on this page 2016 Publications


10 June, 2016 - International Photo Agency

There is an international photo agency which provides photos to many of the world’s largest established companies, advertising agencies, book publishers and others. Often these photos are required urgently sometimes within twenty-four hours or less. So there is not sufficient time to organise a special shoot. On the upside however the minimum price that clients will pay for files is US$250.00, but the upper price can be much more than this

I have been involved with this agency since late is 2015 and get a daily brief of photos that are required. The majority of these it would be impossible for me to provide. The briefs include  photos of specific restaurants and other places of interest globally. Sometimes, specific wild animals etc., in their native habitat.

The legal agreement I have with this firm includes not having any photos supplied to them being available on any stock photo site. Up until late last year I had many thousands of photos listed with various Stock Photo agents. These have now all been deleted. I have also now  decommissioned my two personal stock photo sites.

Currently I am in the process of uploading edited photos of mine to my profile and personal marketplace on this site. The personal marketplace on the site can be searched with key words. Most of the photos I have uploaded have included the place, suburb or town etc., where they were taken. So that typed into the search box should bring up all the relevant photos.

Take a look and let me know your thoughts. Here is the link to my profile and marketplace.

Ian McKenzie’s Profile and Marketplace


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