Back at the shop she promised to email a copy of the ‘Lone Tree’ photo to Damian and he assured her that he’d be emailing her soon to arrange the next move or moves. Once she’d found her way through the Group members back to her dad, she saw he seemed to be deep in conversation with Jamie. They turned to her. Brian asked did she want a lift home with him or was there anything she needed to do in the shop. Jamie told her to get off home. He thanked her for her contribution to the day and he’d see her tomorrow to discuss their respective feedback about the outing.
In the car with her dad, he wanted to know how she’d enjoyed her day. In turn, she asked him how he’d enjoyed it and what he’d been talking about with Jamie. He told her how impressed Jamie was with her.
Feedback at the shop.
Jamie was already at the shop when Mel arrived – Tony had given her a key of her own to use some weeks back. She returned the equipment that Jamie had lent her for the outing and handed him the media card from the camera.
‘Yesterday’s shots,’ she said, ‘I processed them last night and copied the edited files back onto the card for you to look at.’
‘Your shots – your copyright,’ he said, ‘but would you mind letting me have a copy of your processed shots.?. There might be some that we can use in the showroom or in the gallery.’
‘Thanks, Jamie,’ she said, ‘I wasn’t sure about who’d own the copyright since it was shop equipment and I was being paid to be there.’
‘Yes, you were being paid to be there,’ he said, ‘That’s right. You were working for the shop and you did a great job yesterday. I want to talk to you about that, but as for copyright, you were the artist and you own the copyright.’
‘That’s amazing,’ Mel said, ‘so I could enter some shots into competitions and so on? You’d be okay with that?’
‘Yes, of course,’ he said. ‘Now listen, I’ve had Damian on the line already this morning. He’ll be speaking to a magazine publisher today. You really impressed him and he wants some photos of you to include in any article that he can swing. He knows which magazine he can probably arrange it with, but there are others that are almost as good.’
Mel blushed, ‘Who’d be taking the photos?’ she asked.
‘The way he sees it, they’ll fix up a photoshoot on location somewhere picturesque and send you, plus a photojournalist from the magazine and a well-known landscape photographer. You and the pro would choose your shots and be prepared to explain to the journalist why you chose the viewpoint and your settings.’
‘Can I borrow that kit again?’ she asked.
‘There’ll be no need,’ he said, ‘In effect he’ll want you to act as a brand ambassador without that being specified in the article. He’ll lend you whatever kit you need. He’ll almost certainly want you to use their top professional gear and to showcase it through your shots. What do you think?’
‘What? Pitting me against a top pro? That’s not fair,’ she said.
‘Listen, Damian saw the images you showed him on your iPad. He believes in you.’
Jamie tried to convince Mel to believe in herself.
‘In the end,’ he said, ‘you and the pro will both be using great gear, in similar surroundings. Whoever gets the credit for the top featured shot – that will be down to your respective judgements as to your settings and the specifics as to how you framed the viewpoint that you chose.’
Mel still looked doubtful.
‘Come on,’ he said, ‘Look at it this way, even if the pro’s shots get picked for top feature, the readers will know that he’s a pro and you’re an amateur. It will still allow the shop to get some great publicity in the magazine.’ ‘Anyway,’ he continued, ‘suppose that the editor picks one of your images. Think what that will look like if you ever get asked to do an exhibition.’
‘Whew!’ Mel said, ‘Not much pressure then.’
Their conversation was interrupted as a customer entered – the first of the morning.
Later that day, Mel stayed behind after her normal hours, helping out with a change to the window display. Once the door had closed after the final customer had left, and the “Open” sign had been swung around, she made cups of tea for them all, while Jamie and Tony looked through her images of the outing on the shop’s monitor.
‘Okay,’ she said, ‘What’s the verdict?’
It was Tony who answered.
‘Well, if you hadn’t been there,’ he said, ‘Jamie wouldn’t have had any photos to bring back of the trip. He was too busy with Damian and the Group members.’
Jamie joined in, ‘And even if I had found time to take some shots, none of them would have been as good as these.’
Tony came back in, he pointed to some images, ‘We think that these two should replace some that are hanging in the shopfloor – and this one,’ he pointed to her “One Tree” photo, ‘a copy of that should definitely go in the gallery for sale. What do you think?’
‘Well,’ she said, ‘Thank you very much. I’m flattered. If you think that they’re okay for display I’m chuffed.’
‘Hey, listen,’ Tony said, ‘You need to believe in yourself more. I could see your potential when you brought your portfolio in back in February. What are you doing on Sunday afternoon?’
‘Have you got another outing lined up?’ she asked.
‘Yes and no,’ he answered. ‘How would you like to come and have your Sunday lunch with me and the family. We want to thank you for all your hard work and my grandparents are eager to meet you too.’
A change of scenery again. I took this shot a couple of weeks ago near Gathurst train station in Lancashire. A group of young horse riders had just crossed the main road and were entering a field. I asked if it was okay for me to take a photo and they agreed.
I used my Pentax K-1 36 MB full-frame camera with a Pentax 24-70 mm f/2.8 lens. The EXIF data were shutter speed was 1/50 seconds at f/11 and 35 mm. The ISO was 100. The shot was hand-held and post-processed in Lightroom.