Posted on January 30, 2016
Recently, I asked my children if they knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. Our daughter had a few ideas, whilst our son, the eldest, had none. And why should they. So many fantasise about a career in one profession or another, yet the reality is more often than not, far from as glamours as they had envisaged.
What did I want to be when I grew up? Now that is an interesting question. Guess what, the one thing I never considered was a Professional Photographer.
The day to day running of any business is challenging, even more so sometimes, for those of us who do so on our own. Switching off is not always an easy option, even when we know we should.
So there I was, head buried in paperwork when the messages started to arrive. “Congratulations Maria, hope you are well”.
Now, anyone who uses LinkedIn will know that it has this cleaver way of asking people to congratulated others on their new job or in this case, the anniversary of their employment. And on this occasion, I was the one being congratulated.
So “Thank You” to everyone who messaged me, because your messages made me stop and realise what had happened.
5 years ago I started something totally new. Something small and personal, with no expectations, and looking back, definitely no idea, just where it would take me.
In the early days, I seemed to be finding my way in the dark and I know now the mistakes I made were plenty. But I am so grateful for those mistakes. For without mistakes, one can never really appreciate how to do things right.
I also seemed to run into many brick walls, not realising know how important their presence was. Not only did they force me to pause a while and think, but they also taught me how to preserver and use my determination to find my way around them.
Looking back, it is quite overwhelming to see how far I have come.
As I prepare for another busy week, I wonder, what will the next 5 years bring?Whilst I have learnt never to try and predict too much, I do know that the plans are plenty.
In the beginning Detheo Photography was just a name. Today it is a rapidly growth photography business, committed to providing a personalised service to each and every client.
With an already established Specialism in Pet Photography, I know have a thriving business that also caters for Weddings, Families, Beauty Unveiled & Boudoir and Corporate & Commercial Commissions.
Whilst my journey has been challenging at times, I have been blessed with many wonderfully supportive people. My husband and children, my mentor and friend John Denton, my closest friend and whip cracker, Laura, and so many amazing friends (too many to mention but you know who you are) whom I met through the Society Of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP).
Little did I know 5 years ago that I would be an Award Winning Photographer, running my own business, being commissioned by some of the industry leaders in Pet Insurance, Veterinary Care and Maritime Security. Or that my passion for Pet Photography would attract invitations from international renowned photographers to teach in this genre, on their behalf.
So, I am excited for the future and hope you will accompany me along the way, because I know it is going to be amazing.
Why not visit our website http://www.detheo.co.uk and take a look at what we do, the amazing images we have won awards for and read the reviews from some of our clients.
Rebecca & Scott’s Pre Wedding Photography Session. Hatfield Forest, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire & Essex Borders.
Posted on June 16, 2015
Sometime back in February this year we had the pleasure of Rebecca and Scott’s Pre Wedding Photoshoot, which was set within the natural beauty of Hatfield Forest, Bishop’s Stortford, on the Hertfordshire and Essex Borders.
Of course being February and in the United Kingdom, it was inevitable that the weather could pose a problem. However, Rebecca and Scott have proved to be a fun loving and easy going couple who would happily deal with whatever came their way.
They had wanted to capture natural, relaxed images with an aim to select one for their Signing Board, on which guests could leave a permanent message on the wedding day.
As is often the case at the beginning of any photoshoot, we spent a little while just walking and talking. It is important to get the couple to relax and humour often helps. Thankfully it was not long at all before Rebecca herself was providing the laughs. One particular moment will never leave our memory. We had located a clearing and I asked the couple to walk away from me and head towards the trees that lined the clearing. Scott took off before I could finish explaining what they were to do, which meant he had left Rebecca behind. As she turned and noticed Scott some way in the distance she took off calling loudly “Scott, Scott wait your meant to look like you love me”! I cannot tell you how long we all laughed about this, but I do know it was soon to become one of many hilarious incidents from that day. This included the rain that repeatedly started then stopped, Rebecca navigating the mud in her ballet pumps, two boys falling into a huge mud pit whilst attempting to balance on a piece of wood and some members of the public walking straight into a shot just as we were about to take an image!
Both Rebecca and Scott were great and it was sure a pleasure to work with them but then we knew it would be because, what was evident since the first time we met, is that they are a truly genuine, honest and devoted couple, whose love for each other and their two beautiful little boys, radiates for all to see.
If you are looking for a personalised Wedding Photography service then feel free to get in touch and discover what we can do for you.
Posted on April 14, 2015
So proud to announce that I have been awarded both a Gold Award and a Highly Commended Award in the March 2015 Monthly National Photographic Society (NPS) Competition.
Having photographed hundreds of pets over the years, I feel very proud of the images I have created and to each of those clients, those images are perfect.
However, when you are submitting images for competition, you are treading on very different waters! Being judged by those at the top of their career, alongside so many other professional photographers is very daunting and what once seemed like the perfect image, beings to fall apart at the seams.
The judges view the images of the first time without the emotional attachment to the subject that the owner has. All they have is the image itself. Therefore, images submitted must have impact, engaging the viewer and translating their story without any words.
As an animal lover who has adopted two rescue dogs, I am often engaging with animal charities and rescue groups throughout the year and doing a little to support their cause. As such I often read very sad and quite disturbing reports of cruelty and suffering, but also reports of amazing individuals who dedicate their lives to saving animals both nationally and internationally.
This inspired me to create the following image that was awarded GOLD.
The second image submitted was captured during one of the many shows we attend throughout the year. Often at these shows, I can photograph up to 100 dogs on one day, in an environment full of noises and smells, capable of distracting even the most well behaved of dogs.
The Rottweiler, just like many other breeds, has been stigmatised for so many years as the “devil dogs”. Misunderstood as aggressive and dangerous, so many wonderful breeds are wrongly labelled this way, with the media ready to pounce when something seems to have gone wrong. The general public never discover the truth behind the story and the stigma deepens, yet the importance of education and understanding of canine behaviour is diluted even further.
I chose this image, which was awarded a Highly Commended Award because I felt it expressed perfectly the true, gentle nature behind our large canine breeds.
Thank you to all the wonderful people and their pets who are such a pleasure to work with.
If you are looking to capture your pets character, to preserve their memory so that it can be treasured for a lifetime, visit our website www.detheo.co.uk to discover more about our Specialist Pet Photography sessions or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Bishops Stortford Wedding Photographer. Wedding Of Ross & Larisa, 1st Oct 2014 at The Legacy Great Hallingbury Manor Hotel, Great Hallingbury, Essex.
Posted on March 18, 2015
It never ceases to amaze us how unique each wedding can be and it was that knowledge that really motivated us to create personalised wedding packages for each new couple.
We knew from the beginning that we would love to work with Ross and Larisa and that instant connection and mutual understanding is really important. A wedding is never without some degree of stress and we want our couples know they can rely on us.
Unlike many of our weddings, this was to be a very intimate day with only a handful of guests. With Larisa’s having worked for some years in art galleries, she knew exactly what she wanted. The focus was to capture both natural images to document the day and beautiful, classic images of the couple within the stunning grounds of their venue.
The legacy Great Hallingbury Manor is a familiar venue, in which we have had the pleasure to photograph regularly, so we were only too happy to be returning once again for this wonderful wedding.
Larisa did not want traditional bridal preps as such so we arranged to visit her just before she was ready. By staying on the edge of the activity and working in a photojournalistic style, we were able to document the emotion and atmosphere without influencing it in any way. The ceremony itself was beautiful and we were blessed with the most glorious sunshine. Perfect for our location photoshoot around the luscious grounds.
It was such an honour to play a part in Larisa and Ross’s special day and we thank them for entrusting us with such an important responsibility. We look forward to seeing them again in the future.
If you are looking for a personalised photography service that will cater for your specific needs then get in touch today to book your no obligation, pre wedding consultation, and see what we can create for you.
Specialist Pet Photographer, based in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire / Essex borders – The Passion Of Pet Photography.
Posted on July 21, 2014
It is often those who do not have animals in their lives that immediately appear surprised when I say I am a Specialist Pet Photographer. They regularly question if there is a market for such a specialism. Then there are those who are aware of other photographers who photograph pets, but have little understanding of the genre and what it truly entails.
And why would they? For like all genre of photography, there is a huge diversity of standards, often driven by the personal values of each photographer. What is seen by the public is merely a snipped. Once they become a client, they then get to read the whole story.
As such, in this article I hope to share with you the passion and values that underpin our “Specialist Pet Photography” title, taking you to the core of what we strive to achieve and why.
Animals have played such an important role in human history and continue to do so in our everyday lives. From guarding to herding, guiding the visually impaired to active war duty. Rightly or wrongly we have used animals to help us hunt, test our medicines, help us travel, and keep us company for thousands of years.
The connection that many of our clients have with their pets is one of great intensity. It is a relationship that conquers the barriers of communication from one specie to another and is far more innate than many give it credit for. With all this in mind, we know that preserving the memory of that relationship is very important. It allows us to celebrate the bond we have now, and continue to honour what we had, once they are gone. Like all photography, the images we create can act almost like a psychological time machine, with the power to instantly transport us back, igniting the memories of touch, smell and sound.
As an individual I spent all of my life around animals always seeming to gravitate towards them. My extended family owned horses and I would spend hours out in the paddocks watching them and talking to them. My mother still recalls my childhood dreams of one day having my own horse and riding it everywhere. Over the years I shared my life with rabbits, hamsters, cats, dogs and birds. I learnt to ride and could be found every weekend, for many years, at the stables. So it was a natural progression that once married and living in our new home, we would share our new life with animals.
Throughout my life a camera was rarely far from my side, however many many years would pass before fate guided me into professional photography. It was to take major, life altering events, to send me in a new direction. But when it did, that innate connection drew me directly back towards animals. With early life experiences as my foundation, I set about building my knowledge further. At this time I had recently come to meet an amazing lady, Laura Shambrook, who ran her own pet services company Pawfect Friends. Little did I know then how hugely influential she would be, not only to my life, but to the future of Detheo Photography.
We met Laura when looking for a reliable alternative to kennels and almost immediately I started to learn so much from her. I volunteered at a local rescue centre and found my new knowledge gave me even more understanding of the dogs there. Over the years I absorbed as much as I could. A sponge soaking up the knowledge she would share with me. It is therefore no surprise to look back now and see that since starting Detheo Photography I have photographed hundreds of pets including dogs, cats, horses, reptiles and rodents.
Our most popular subject is be the dog. The domesticated ancestor of the Grey Wolf, who has been a part of our pack for hundreds of thousands of years, we see all varieties and all with their own unique personality.
Working primarily out on location, photoshoots are designed to enable the dogs to feel relaxed. As such photoshoots are held in gardens, fields or forests where the dogs can behave naturally. We spend time making sure the dogs are comfortable in our company and with our equipment, which often means having to clean some slobbery lenses!
Over the years our skills have grown, both photographically, and through our greater understanding of animals. In turn our reputation has grown and we are regularly called to photograph dogs who other photographers would not, or could not work with. These dogs may appear to be aggressive and some have even bitten through fear. Others are frail and suffering life limiting conditions. Many are just nervous and traditional photographic studios are far too overwhelming.
The ability to work with these dogs and give their families what they once thought impossible fill me with such a huge sense of pride. It takes a great deal of patience, understanding and determination. But it also requires a vast amount of trust. Not only from the family, but from the dog themselves.
Against much pressure and possibly some common sense, I stuck firmly to the passion and the values, that from the start helped build my vision. I have learnt so much along the way and am always learning.
Laura Shambrook, now very much seen as an important part of our family, still runs a very successful pet services company offering excellence in boarding, walking, grooming and training. Her many years of experience and training finds her company head and shoulders apart from the many whimsical start ups we see come and go on a daily basis. So it is with great pride and overwhelming honour to know that Detheo Photography and Pawfect Friends are actively working on some amazing ideas for the future, whilst continuing to integrate services for our ever growing client group.
And as if this was not exciting enough, last year Detheo Photography’s Pet Specialism started gaining recognition within the commercial work of marketing and specifically within the veterinary world. Commissions already have included both leading Veterinary Insurance companies and large veterinary groups. The projects have each been challenging, but an amazing experience. We have met such talented and skilled individuals, with whom we have thoroughly enjoyed working.
And we believe this is just the beginning!
Hertfordshire / Essex Wedding Photographer. Wedding Of Lee & Sarah, At The Legacy Great Hallingbury Manor, Great Hallingbury, Bishops Stortford. 7th Feb 2014
Posted on May 13, 2014
We met Lee and Sarah in 2013 and immediately knew it was a perfect match. They had already booked to have their ceremony and reception at the beautiful Legacy Great Hallingbury Manor Hotel, situated just outside the market town of Bishops Storford. Lee & Sarah wanted full cover from the bridal preparations right through to the end of the evening and had opted to include our Comedy Corner service. With the wedding set for 7th February 2014 and the ceremony scheduled to start at 5pm, we knew there would be the usual challenges of limited natural light and potentially difficult weather conditions. Thankfully however, our studio is located in the neighbouring village of Little Hallingbury and as such we are accustom, and well equipped to deal with, the impact of poor weather out here in the countryside. We did not quite envisage, however, the issue of flooding. The night before the wedding and unbeknown to all of us, the hotel’s beautiful lake decided to flood the entire restaurant and kitchen area. On our arrival at around 1pm we were greeted by the manager, Rose Walker, who explained that she had been called out at 4am when the lake decided to breech its banks. The dedication and exceptionally professional attitude of the team meant that by the time the Wedding was due to start, the pumps had managed to clear all the water and the kitchen was back up and running, ensuring that the Wedding Breakfast arrived on time and exactly how Lee and Sarah had expected it. It was such a lovely Wedding and the laughter flowed from start to end. The Comedy Corner was a huge success, as was the surprise guest appearance (see if you can spot him in the images below) of one of the best celebrity impersonators we have ever seen. Having Lee & Sarah return to the studio to view their slideshow was like welcoming back old friends, ands what greater gift than to see the images we captured immediately transported us all back to that special day. Needless to say the laughter and the tears (of joy of course!) flowed in abundance.
If you are planning a wedding and would like us to quote you for a personalised package, please get in touch.
Wedding Of Stephen & Jane. Down Hall Country House Hotel, Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire. 15th December 2013
Posted on March 5, 2014
It was during a charity Coffee Morning event that I remember helping a lady with her buggy. We started talking and she noticed the display of my work and commented on how she loved my images. She mentioned she had a friend who was getting married very soon and thought they would be interested in looking at my work, so I gave her a business card and suggested she ask the couple to visit my website.
However, she had other plans, and picked up her mobile, calling her friend to explain the situation. The next think I knew I was talking to a lady and arranging an appointment for her and her partner to visit the studio.
It was lovely to meet Jane, Stephen and little Lewis on that first visit. Their wedding was due to take place in less than eight weeks time, not far from our studio, at the magnificent Down Hall Country House Hotel, in Bishops Stortford, Hertfordshire.
As we always do, a personalised package was created especially for Jane & Stephen. However, on this occasion we needed to include a special guest appearance. Jane explained that she had booked someone very special to appear in the evening and the couple would want some images taken together with the start before he made his entrance – but it had to remain a surprise.
On the day, the hotel was decorated ready for Christmas and set such a beautiful scene. Everyones seemed to have a brilliant time and the guest appearance definitely took them all by surprise.