John Waine Photography: Blog en-us (C) John Waine Photography 2014-22 (John Waine Photography) Thu, 09 Sep 2021 15:55:00 GMT Thu, 09 Sep 2021 15:55:00 GMT John Waine Photography: Blog 120 80 We Found Nemo !! It was fabulous to have an outdoor photo shoot arranged on a warm summer evening. Taimar looked amazing in her ball-gown and her eventing horse, Nemo, had had an extra special wash and shampoo! Nemo has such a great temperament – the bond between the two is evident in the pictures. This is what I aim to capture in this type of photography.

There is such a trusting relationship between horse and rider that Nemo quite happily allowed Taimar to ride him in a field, bare-back with ball-gown billowing in the strong breeze!


It was such fun to have all the elements of a perfect shoot come together – photogenic subjects, perfect light, lovely location and not forgetting a great team on both sides of the camera - Taimar, Jess and Beth, Kate, myself and of course Nemo! Huge thanks to everyone.

I’m really looking forward to the next horsey shoots coming up – now is the perfect time of year with the gorgeous light on the harvest fields.

If you would like to arrange a very special shoot with your horse, please get in touch! The calendar is filling up quickly.


]]> (John Waine Photography) Farm Oxford Photographer ballgown bare-back dress emotion girl hailey horse oxfordshire rider witney Sun, 09 Aug 2015 15:49:33 GMT
Come And See Us At Blakesley Show THIS Saturday! FREEBIES, Offers and Prizes !! You Have So Many Reasons To Visit Us At Blakesley Show On Saturday!

❶ Prize Draw To Win A Very Special FREE Lifestyle Photoshoot !

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❻ View Samples Of Our Fabulous Albums And Stunning Wall Art

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❽ Plus FREE Luxury Greeting Card When You Mention This Post


Let us help you create amazing photographic heirlooms and gifts.

We're in the craft marquee. See you there!



]]> (John Waine Photography) Bicester Blakesley Show Contemporary Event Oxford Photographer Photography Portrait Wed, 29 Jul 2015 13:22:09 GMT
The Ben Gannon Appeal - Ride The Regions from Edinburgh to Southampton Yesterday, I had the privilege and enjoyment of 'shooting' my colleagues from Expense Reduction Analysts on their 'Ride The Regions' cycle ride from Southampton. This madness is all in a great cause - to raise funds for the Ben Gannon appeal.

This was the Midlands section following a regional business meeting during the morning. The guys (and Lorraine) were amazing. Rather them than me!

The full story is in my Ride The Regions gallery.

And here is how John Wayne shoots cyclists (a must watch!):



]]> (John Waine Photography) Wed, 15 Jul 2015 08:52:24 GMT
When Is A Photograph not a Photograph? I am very excited about giving a workshop to novice photographers at the Magdalen College School in Oxford as part of their highly acclaimed arts festival.

Whilst I intend to make the delegates do most of the work (!) , I have been thinking about what makes a photograph a photograph. And I've come up with a controversial conclusion!

And that is that A great photograph doesn't look like a photograph, but rather, it takes us back to that moment when the shutter was activated

What do I mean by that?

I do worry that we have our own perception of what a photograph is - it's probably changed down the generations. This leads to many discussions about what is a natural photograph. There really is not, and never has been, such a thing! Chemical film processing and digital processing changes the original 'natural' image even before more noticeable manipulation in a darkroom or now Photoshop and Lightroom etc 

If we look at a photograph and the only reaction is that it's 'just a photograph', then I think the photographer has failed to capture and communicate the original moment.

There is nothing more rewarding for me as a photographer than when a  subject or client gasps at how one of my pictures has captured the moment. They are transported back to that scene, looking at every detail and absorbing the emotion. They look beyond the 'photograph'. It's not easy to achieve every  time!! We live in an age of more visual stimulation than ever before, and our eyes and brains demand ever more interesting images to feast on. The best we can do is to make the brain think, maybe by providing an incomplete image that requires a little more time to digest and appreciate.

This is a favourite picture of mine:

We had just completed (or so I thought) a photo session with young Jacob who only the day before had learned to crawl so barely stayed still for a second. Tessa was entertaining him as we waited to start lunch. They were by the window and I was further into the room. I noticed the backlight effect on them both and knew I had to capture this moment. The two-way interaction was pure bonus!

Technically, I metered for the highlights - this means that most of the picture is dark shadow. But I believe it gives the eye and brain enough detail to be interested and to look closely at the what is happening in this moment. I find myself looking from one face to the other and back again as I enjoy the close connection between the two subjects.

During my workshop I will be encouraging delegates to 'see' (with and without a camera), to understand and think more about light, and to alert them to the technical 'holy grail' that will help them progress from snappers to photographers by being able to make the camera record what they have seen with their own eyes.

I hope they are ready to make their eyes and brains work hard for 90 minutes!

More about the arts festival here:

Maybe I will see you there?


]]> (John Waine Photography) emotion learn light oxford photographer photography workshop Fri, 12 Jun 2015 13:41:07 GMT
Is Sarah Buckinghamshire's coolest farmer? Pedigree Hereford cattle were a huge part of my growing up and early career. So, it was real joy to discover a wonderful small local herd owned by Sarah Cowle at High Hedges

Sarah has been really supportive towards my photography and this picture was probably THE one that convinced me I should become a professional:

So, a few weeks ago, Sarah asked if I was up for a rather different kind of photoshoot on the farm involving her dressing up in a dressage outfit and sitting side-saddle on her bull 'Biggles' whilst I took some shots to mark this rather surreal occasion.

So on a very windy but sunny day, we got down to creating the scene. Biggles behaved impeccably and Sarah looked reasonably comfortable on his back.

I shouldn't really  have been surprised at Sarah's suggestion - she's the sort of farmer who takes her tea break in amongst her incredibly docile herd!

























Sarah is definitely my nomination for Buckinghamshire's coolest farmer - even if she does support Queen's Park Rangers!


]]> (John Waine Photography) Farm Hereford QPR bull cattle farming field photograph tea Wed, 13 May 2015 17:12:12 GMT
We Are The Champions! Saturday was another long but incredibly enjoyable day at the British Show Horse Association Southern Spring Show at the splendid Sparsholt College Equine Centre, Hampshire.

The owners, riders and supporters have such dedication to achieve the incredibly high standard of turnout and performance that they do. This event was about qualifying for the Royal International Horse Show at Hicksted.

It is a joy to be a small part of this world - very nice people too!

These are some shots of the champions. All pictures available for purchase on my gallery.

Comments invited. Many thanks for all your support!


]]> (John Waine Photography) BSHA Cob Equine Hack Horse Hunter ROR Show Sparsholt Tue, 12 May 2015 18:14:59 GMT
Glamour In The Farmyard

This was far from a normal photoshoot! Down on the farm, courtesy of Sarah (award-winning pedigree Hereford breeder), we were joined by amazing Oxford model, Camilla Ackrill. My idea was to capture glamour totally out of place. Although Sarah's farm is so clean and tidy that the shoot was more 'makeup' than 'manure'!

The other idea was Sarah's - she has trained Biggles the bull to allow her to sit on his back side-saddle style (pictures to follow soon). So Biggles was washed, shampooed and blow-dried while Millie was in makeup with the very clever Victoria Russell.

Luckily the sun came out, but the breeze was quite chilly - especially for someone wearing only a thin dress. Millie was a real star!

The team was completed by my colleague, Kate Murrell who styled the shots. So all I had to do was press the shutter; watch the light; and keep an eye on Millie's pose hoping she wasn't too chilly; watch Sarah's position; oh and hope Biggles behaved which he did wonderfully.

This was probably the most fun shoot I have ever done. Thanks team! 

]]> (John Waine Photography) Farm bull dressage farming herefords model oxfordshire rider riding veil Thu, 30 Apr 2015 16:26:53 GMT
Breakfast Time for Longhorns At Rousham What a gorgeous crisp morning this morning! A light frost and amazing golden light. A perfect reason to roll out of bed on a bank holiday morning and head for the countryside. The hardy Longhorns at Rousham Park were enjoying their breakfast of Hay in front of the big house. I shot this into the sun to create semi-silhouettes.


]]> (John Waine Photography) Farm Longhorn calf calves cattle cow farming field frost morning oxfordshire park parkland Mon, 06 Apr 2015 08:07:45 GMT
Easter Lambs Happy Easter! After heavy rain and a gloomy overcast day, it was so uplifting to see very young lambs in a green field. The sun came out for a moment and I pressed the shutter before it disappeared again. The ewes are looking pretty agitated as the farmer had just turned up with another 'coach load' of mums and kids moving in to their field. Young lambs, longer days, greener grass - spring has finally sprung! 


]]> (John Waine Photography) easter farming lamb oxfordshire sheep Sat, 04 Apr 2015 18:56:59 GMT
Orphan Lambs Spring is very close now. So here are some orphan lambs who are doing very well being hand-reared and were enjoying the sunshine when I was at Broughton Grounds Farm recently. Have a great weekend everyone!

]]> (John Waine Photography) Farm Lamb Sheep Spring Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:09:37 GMT
Rain Ahead! A quick snapshot whilst on the road at South Newington near Banbury. And boy didn't it rain a few minutes later! I love the round dove cote building.

Your feedback and support as always is much appreciated.



]]> (John Waine Photography) farm oxfordshire photography rural Thu, 26 Mar 2015 18:20:47 GMT
Bliss Is A Good Shake After A Refreshing River Swim!

Dogs of Oxford

]]> (John Waine Photography) Dog Oxford Photographer Photography Sun, 22 Mar 2015 04:59:40 GMT
I've lived here since I was an egg! Farming is not the easiest way to earn a living! But farming folk are pretty special. Their farm is their workplace, their home and where their families grow up and learn to be responsible for others from a much earlier age than urban children. A farmer's son only leaves a gate open once! A farmer's daughter learns very early to nurture young animals.

So it was with great anticipation that I approached a photo session with the Claire, Rupert, Gabriella, Archie and Tilly. What warm, welcoming and generally lovely people they are. Their farm is a great credit to them too - the farmyard is clean and tidy. Their dedication to the farm is immediately evident.

Despite the chilly, drizzly day we headed outdoors. First we had a wander around the farmyard and I met Claude the cockerel and his harem. Claude has been on the farm since he was an egg! Then we went for a walk to the far end of the farm during which the family took up my challenge to throw some shapes!

Back to the warmth of the farmhouse kitchen for a welcome cup of tea, and Tilly updated her secret diary. Then each of the children allowed me to take some grown up portraits. I'll never ask anyone to "say cheese" !

It was a very enjoyable afternoon with a lovely family! Family photoshoots are fun and the photographs will become family heirlooms as children grow up and animals come and go.


]]> (John Waine Photography) cockerel family farm farmer farming field photoshoot Wed, 18 Mar 2015 17:54:22 GMT
Down On The Farm - a personal project Broughton Grounds Farm, near Banbury is a very special farm run by the Taylor family. I am fortunate enough to be working with James Taylor on a personal photographic project to document the farming year on the farm. My first pictures are of the first crop of lambs - plus er, the two pigs that happily root around in one corner of the farm.

Broughton Grounds is a special farm because James and his parents, Andy and Margaret have an unusually close affinity with the land they farm, the animals they rear and the food they produce. Their farming policy has been largely unaffected by the trends of the last 50 years to bombard the land with high doses of chemical pesticides and fertilisers. They use a traditional rotation to preserve and grow the fertility of the ground. They use most of the hay and grain grown on the farm to feed their lambs and beef animals. So they have an almost self-contained system with the output being top quality, traceable meat.

James works hard to welcome the public onto the farm through open days and regular group visits by local schools and special needs groups. I think it is so highly commendable for a busy working farmer to do this. Communication between food producers and their customers and neighbours is sadly lacking in the UK.

The traditional farming system employed by the Taylors means that they have some incredibly valuable permanent meadows with a huge diversity of naturally occurring species of grasses and wild flowers - 150 at the last count! I can't wait to see that meadow in June/July in all it's glory!

And the best news of all? You can stay in this wonderful place as Margaret provides the best B&B for miles around!

NEWS UPDATE: James has kindly agreed that I can use the farm for a limited number of my family photoshoots - these will be quite restricted so as not to interfere with the running of the farm. Please contact me for more details.




]]> (John Waine Photography) Banbury Beef Farm Hay Lambs Meadow Pasture Photographer Sheep Wild Flower Tue, 03 Mar 2015 16:47:00 GMT
Light, Emotions and Timing - RIP Perry

A few years ago, a Vet friend of mind convinced me that her work as a Vet was not just about caring for animals. She maintained that companion animals make a huge contribution to human happiness and wellbeing.

The point is that a civilized society treats its animals well and gains so much in return from their companionship.

Two people I most admire for their dedication to animal welfare, rescue and rehabilitation are my friends Debbie and Mike. Only two weeks ago I enjoyed several hours with them and their amazing family of rescue dogs and rabbits. We took some great pictures of the happy little band! The joy the animals bring to Debbie and Mike was so obvious and gave me a warm feeling for days afterwards. All is well with the world while there are people like Debbie and Mike around!

Here is Debbie's story about their pets:

"Delphi (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) came from Lizzie's barn in Wales. She had been used for breeding and not been socialised with people which meant she arrived terrified of people, highly nervous and cowering. Now a happy girl! Elmo (Shi Tzu) we got since he was a pup.

Perry (rabbit) ended up coming to us aged 8 after being dumped in a rescue for the 2nd time! He had been terribly neglected, having been left in a hutch at the bottom of the garden and forgotten about. He had overgrown teeth sticking several inches out of his mouth which had left him in severe pain and had since had to endure bi-monthy dental procedures at the vets. He's now a happy little chappy enjoying the run of the house. He came from the cat and rabbit rescue at Sidlesham. Bertha and Sebastian (lop eared rabbits) are from the same rescue. They were dumped after the children got bored of them and couldn't be bothered anymore. Acquired as 2 singles we bonded them."

from top left, clockwise: Debbie and Mike, Elmo, Sebastian, Delphi, Perry, Bertha,

That's a whole lot of love given generously to those animals! And I know that Debbie and Mike feel they get that love back in spades from Delphi, Elmo, Bertha, Sebastian and Perry.

So it was with shock and sadness, that I learned yesterday (as I was preparing this blog) that Perry has died at the grand old age of 12 which is amazing for a rabbit. Understandably Debbie and Mike are heart-broken. Trying to console with positive words about how much happiness they brought to Perry in his latter years doesn't seem enough right now. I'm sure in time they will be able to see what a great job they did for him and bring a new happy life to another rescue rabbit.

So this blog is dedicated to fantastic people who adopt rescue animals, to Debbie and Mike in particular, and to express gratitude for having shared that day with them, and Perry, in what proved to be such a timely photoshoot.

It once again reminds me that photography is about three fundamentals - light, emotion and timing.



]]> (John Waine Photography) Dog adopt animal bereavement companion emotion loss pet photograph rabbit rehome rescue timing Sat, 21 Feb 2015 12:33:25 GMT
Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary - Meet The Residents I was recently invited to join Chris Lord at the Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary, Stadhampton to help update their photographs of the residents. It was quite emotional to hear the stories about how animals are neglected or abused, but inspiring to hear about the incredible hard, patient work that the staff and volunteers put in at the OAS. I'm hoping to be invited back soon to take more pictures of these special and diverse animals.

If you live in the Oxfordshire area, and know of anyone looking for a dog, cat, rabbit or goat, please consider giving them a call on 01865 890239

]]> (John Waine Photography) Cat Dog Goat adopt oxfordshire rehome rescue sanctuary Fri, 20 Feb 2015 12:41:16 GMT
How Long Will Your Digital Images Survive?

If you had 1 minute to evacuate your home in a fire, what would you save from the raging flames? Your family photographs, right? Most people say they would.

But where are all your precious photos? In a shoe box and some albums, right again? That’s what everyone says. Er, but what about the digital photographs you (and friends and relatives) have taken over the last 10+ years? Is that a puzzled “hmm?!?” I hear?

It’s probably the case that we could quite easily gather up our photos up to say 2002 in the panic of an escape from the inferno. But could we find and rescue the digital images on memory cards, old laptops, phones, USB sticks, external hard drives, CDs and the current PC and tablet? What if, as happened to two friends of mine, your external hard-drives and PC were stolen in a burglary? Your precious memories could be erased for ever.

This lovely picture of my Grandmother as a young lady was taken over 100 years ago and is as viewable today as the day it was taken. Weird to think it’s more accessible than millions of digital images taken only a few years ago! As part of a huge labour of love, I now have all my digital images catalogued, backed-up and archived online. But I wonder how many family heirloom images of the future will survive  to be as accessible to our Grandchildren and their children?

Here are a few tips to keep digital files safe:

  1. Download all digital photographs in Adobe DNG format to a PC or laptop, making a second copy to an external hard drive. Storage has never been cheaper.
  2. Organise, edit, print and publish images using Adobe Lightroom
  3. Backup hi-resolution edited/processed JPEG versions of your best photographs to a second external hard drive as well as keeping copies on your PC/laptop.
  4. Backup your most precious files in hi-resolution JPEG format to an online service such as Carbonite (automatic, but time limited should you ever need to restore lost files) or Dropbox (not automatic but easier to manage files)

This way, you should always have readable, high quality copies of your best files safe in the event of fire, burglary, power surges and online server failure. (but of course not if everything failed all at the same time!)

Of course the best way to have our images survive as long as our family albums and the picture of my Granny is to use a technology known as ‘printing’ ! Whether it is photobooks or high quality wall art, today’s images will only become heirlooms if we make a hard copy.

Reputable professional photographers will only provide prints, albums and wall art rather than just handing over your images on a USB stick leaving you with the responsibility. Family heirlooms are precious even if they start life as digital files.

What are your plans to preserve the heirloom pictures for future generations? Do let me know.

Have a great weekend!

]]> (John Waine Photography) CD USB backup digital external hard drive file heirloom image negative photograph picture restore wall art Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:56:35 GMT
10 Top Tips for Creating a Family Photobook from Diverse Digital Photos These last two winters I’ve been creating a family photobook for each of my three adult children. Last year’s were compiled using scans from my own library of negatives and slides of when they were young. That really was a labour of love!

This year I have brought the project up to date by gathering up images shot in the digital age. This has presented a very different challenge – namely persuading and cajoling my busy family to seek out their favourite pictures taken by them, and of them, to add to the relatively small number I have taken of them.

After gathering a ‘long list’ of nearly 2,000 images, I am now very close to having three books ready to go to print. My duty will be discharged for another year!

However excited you may be about making such a book, it IS a labour of love and determination, patience and commitment are good fellow travellers to take with you on the journey! And, yes, you will eventually be sick of the sight of your own family due to seeing the same images over and over.

So, what are my top tips?

  1. (Hindsight required here!) – encourage your family to take lots of pictures of their life events, and to then save them and back them up (preferably into the cloud – either with a photo hosting website such as Zenfolio or Smugmug, or file storage sites like Dropbox or Carbonite).
  2. If they haven’t named the image files with a date reference, then that will be your first task once you have received and found all the images (the ‘long list’). An alphabetical formatted date prefix enables easy searching within Windows Explorer, e.g. Change IMG_2345 to 20140802_IMG_2345. This can be done as a batch export process in Adobe Lightroom. Dated images filed in date order will make the book design stage so much easier.
  3. Check file formats and sizes. Ideally you will be able to work with RAW files (assuming you have the software to open them), or JPEGs of at least 300k in size. Smaller than this and you should try to find the original larger file if it exists. If all else fails then take care to only print small files to a size that retains image quality.

    However, one of the joys (pains) of this project is dealing with a huge range of file quality. A picture taken on a cheap compact camera or phone 5-10 years ago will be inferior to one taken on a DSLR or more recent device. Variability of image quality is inevitable.

  4. Give some thought to a folder structure on your PC, so that you are able to keep track of all these files as they move through your workflow. Something like this:

  1. Use Adobe Lightroom to micro-manage the workflow and to process the images to achieve a reasonably consistent style to the finished pictures that go into the book. Using Lightroom should also ensure that you can open most file types, especially RAW files from recent models.
  2. In the Lightroom Library module, add your top level folder (in this case ‘Family Photobooks’ to Lightroom (Library> New Folder).
  3. The same file structure will then appear in Lightroom where you can manage the images from now on:



  1. Use the power of Adobe Lightroom to edit the images using presets to save time, rate the ‘keepers’ using the stars or flag system and then  export the edited images from Lightroom to the folder ‘Edited’ again using an Export preset to save time.
  1. Once you have assembled all the images in the ‘Edited’ folder, use the book design software available from the scores of photobook suppliers (Blurb, Photobox etc etc) to upload them and lay out your book. Alternatively, you can compile and design the book in Lightroom and then publish it straight to Blurb.
  1. Before ordering the book to be printed, involve the family member in proofing your masterpiece – at least two stages, before and after the book design stage. They may wish to remove embarrassing or meaningless pictures! They will have their favourites that you will want to feature on whole pages. Let them see what the book looks like online before letting the presses roll.

Have fun making your family photobook. It does take many hours to achieve the finished result. But when you do, you will have created a family heirloom that will bring laughter now and be a treasure for the future – especially if the digital files get lost! I can’t wait to hold my next three books in my hand – each with 250 or so images on 100 pages.


Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions, or wish to show me your finished work.


John Waine

Oxfordshire, January 2015

]]> (John Waine Photography) album children design family file heirloom how to image memories memory parent photo photobook photograph Mon, 29 Dec 2014 17:55:36 GMT