Rajesh Taylor | Photographer Rajesh Taylor | Photographer

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April 19th, 2017 Loading Comments...

St Paul’s Cathedral, London

Taken from the Roof Terrace at One New Change. Feels like a scene from Assassin’s Creed up here. I need to re-discover the City I was born in. It will be a personal project, starting from the rise of London from its genesis in AD 43 when the Romans invaded Britain. May take a few years…

St Paul’s was built in AD 604, it’s one of the most recognisable landmarks of London. Re-designed by Sir Christopher Wren in the 17th century as part of the rebuilding programme after the Great Fire of London in 1666.

It remains a place of national identity. State funerals of The Duke of Wellington, Sir Winston Churchill as well as the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana have all taken place here. The terrace is open from 6am to midnight along with Madison Restaurant & Bar. It’s in the heart of London’s old banking and insurance district. So expect city suits enjoying cocktails and tapas before taking the last train home. With today being Easter Sunday it will hold Eucharist at 6pm. If you’re visiting whilst on vacation, purchase tickets from the St Paul’s website and take a tour inside. Its awe inspiring.

Links:

St Paul’s Cathedral

Sir Christopher Wren

August 15th, 2016 Loading Comments...

Litmus the Email Marketing guys were back for their Design Conference in London this August. Attendees and Key Note Speakers from around the world connected and exchanged cutting edge email geekery ideas. What a friendly bunch of guys and girls.

View the 2 Day Event here. Please contact Litmus for distribution of images.  

January 28th, 2016 Loading Comments...

There’s a new Digital Bank being built in London. Last weekend they invited an army of coders to hack them. Makes perfect sense.

View the Hackathon at Mondo Towers. 

The folio is under Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Licensing.

Heather and Nate

December 29th, 2015 Loading Comments...

Hiring a photographer wasn’t in Heather and Nate’s wedding plans. Both shy and introverted in nature. They preferred a small, no fuss, intimate ceremony. But as their big day grew nearer, a friend of Heather’s offered to photograph their wedding.

They began to open up to the idea.

“We’re so shy we’d convinced ourselves that we didn’t need one. We thought we could crowd source the pics from guests. But if someone we knew shot our wedding, well, they’d be used to our quirky mannerisms. And the price seemed fair as we didn’t want that many pics.“

They went ahead and booked the photographer. Heather and Nate got married in their small hometown in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Two months on Heather contacted her friend. "I hadn’t seen any teaser pics like photographers put up on Facebook or even heard from her. But I wasn’t concerned. There were lots of phone pics guests had taken, which I was having to say ‘how nice’ they turned out. Ugh. I couldn’t wait to see my real pics.”

After three months I contacted her and she told me that the photos ‘were still being worked on’. I remember feeling like a Princess that day. I was fine with waiting a little longer to get them just right.”

Four months passed. ‘They were still being edited.’

Increasingly anxious, Heather confronted her. “When I finally did”, her head dropping to the pit of her stomach “she confessed… they’d come out terribly. And that she’d never photographed a wedding before. She told me not even a lot of editing would salvage them. She wouldn’t even let me look at the original files!

They crowd sourced a wedding album together. Mostly from guests telephones. They’d gone from one extreme of not caring about wedding pics to thinking nothing but.

Distraught. They treated their upcoming honeymoon as a welcome escape to their nightmare. Heather took her wedding dress along and began researching Photographers whilst on honeymoon. She was learning from her painful mistake.

"I’d never be able to get my wedding day back. But maybe we could find a Photographer to capture us in our wedding clothes. So that we can share them with our future family…”

“We’re huge Doctor Who fans, so we did the Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff. But instead of spending the whole trip there as planned, we spent a few days in London.

We visited lots of landmarks. Covent Garden, Tower Bridge, Portobello Market and Notting Hill. Our favourite place was Kensington Park. It was like an older, massive version of Centennial Park in our hometown of Nashville, where we got engaged on the steps of the Parthenon Replica.

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Three days before they were due home. They landed… on my website.

Thankfully 50+ emails in two days and a barrage of questions on possible routes from a neurotic country girl didn’t put him off. We told him we didn’t want it to look like we got married in London. I very much wanted it to be 'honeymoon’ not 'wedding’ photos.“

When I arrived at their hotel lobby. It would be their last day in London. I could physically feel how desperate they wanted these portraits by their synced shortness of breath. They told me their whole story again. The let down, the telephone wedding album, the empty wall space in their living room. They just wanted complete reassurance. To be looked after during this 2 hour shoot. To have a fun experience.

No-one should feel this amount of stress on their honeymoon. I shouldn’t feel this amount of stress on someone else’s honeymoon!

We shot around a small mews and then in Kensington Park before we making our way back to the hotel for a wardrobe change. There must have been at least 30 shouts of "Congratulations!” in the Park alone. They were lapping it up. I love shooting people in the middle of the road.

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I couldn’t get these two out of the road.

“I found it oddly therapeutic to shoot in my wedding clothes” Princess Heather would say later.

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We took the tube to Westminster Bridge and headed towards Embankment. And that’s how we ended their London story.

View their London honeymoon here. And here for Heather’s testimonial

November 18th, 2015 Loading Comments...

Yes, he brought the WOW. Seth Godin’s Q&A in London is now live here.

Seth has kindly made the portfolio of images copyright free and available for public use. You can download them via either link below. 

Dropbox download link. (244.4MB)

Infinit download link. (26x faster)

November 2nd, 2015 Loading Comments...

Coming soon. Kick Dynamics’ contextual email and open time marketing Presentation at The Soho Hotel, London. 

The Cost of Doing Business

May 9th, 2015 Loading Comments...

Is it possible for a freelancer or business to lose money, even if they have a tonne of customers? Lots of happy large corporate and repeat customers? Who pay on schedule? Oh yeah.

This post will help you calculate your Cost of Doing Business number. It’s the amount of money it costs you to operate your business every day that you work. 

Cost of Doing Business (CODB) Spreadsheet (9.6kb download link)

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Open the spreadsheet (either in Google Docs or Excel). The first tab labelled EXAMPLE has been completed to outline the costs of a Freelance Photographer. Skim through it to get an idea of his expenses.

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The 2nd tab labelled USE THIS SHEET is for you.

Its really a 2 step process. Fill out your own yearly expenses in the orange coloured cells.

Recall everything you have bought for your business. If you have bought a shiny new Macbook this year. Good for you. Now divide its cost by the number of years you expect to use it before getting a replacement. 

For example £2,000 to use over 4 years £2,000/4 and add that number (£500) to that line in the orange cell (line 10).

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If your internet bill is £30 a month (£30x12) then enter £360. The monthly and daily breakdowns will automatically populate. Simples. You may be a Graphic Designer, Coder or Cake Maker. So zero any fields not applicable to you. 

Insert your gross (before taxes) yearly salary you want to earn in the blue cell. It will automatically give you a monthly and daily breakdown.

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Thats it compadre.

Now before we look at the results. You may have seen the total number of work days in the sheet set to 200.

The average full-timer in the UK receives 20 days Annual Leave, 8 days Bank Holiday leave and never goes sick. Ever.

365 - 104 Weekend Days - 20 Days Holiday - 8 UK Bank Holiday days = 233 days.

Few freelancers get paid assignments every single day. You want to leave space for training, mentoring and workshops too. (You are training now aren’t you?) It’s been rounded down to a more realistic 200. This can be altered later on.

OK back to the EXAMPLE tab, the salary goal in the blue cell for our freelancer has been set at £104,000. Great. £2k a week. Oh yeah! Time to get chuck out that IKEA furniture baby!

The Freelancer works 200 days a year and quotes £150 a day for jobs.

He’s losing £1.50. Every day.

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Based on his CODB he needs to charge £151.50 just to break even.

If he has a quiet month, get’s his equipment stolen, goes sick (somehow) and only works 150 days a year. The daily CODB jumps to £202. (£104,000/150 days.)

Let’s get back to our £104,000 goal. The daily rate to achieve this is £520 a day. (See line 44)

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After tax of £208 (line 46) and CODB of £151.50 (line 42) is deducted his profit is £160.50 a day (line 49). Thats £32,100 a year.

Its not the money you make, its the amount you have left over after everything has been paid for.

The Transitioning Photographer:

Many new freelance photographers that go full time make the mistake of only quoting shoot day.

Say a couple tell the photographer ‘we only have a budget of £1,200 for our wedding photography… but we really love your work!’. He takes the job. He’s actually working a total of 7 ½ days between pitch, prep, shoot, editing and quality control.

Meet with bride and groom and consult with others planners 4 hrs: ½ a day.

Site visit 2 hrs travel, 2 hrs on site: ½ day

Wedding Day Coverage: 1 long a** day

Backup, cataloguing & early edit of images for social media within 48 hrs: ½ day

Professional Editing on wedding portfolio 40 hrs: 5 days

7.5 days x £151.50 = £1,212

£1,200 - £1,212 = - £12

This genius has managed to lose money shooting a wedding. 

To compound matters he now has only 192.5 days left to re-coup the lost earnings on top of what he must earn to keep afloat. And let’s be real. Most new photographers throw in a pre-wed shoot as a free sweetener to land the gig.

In truth I made some expenses numbers up. I know some Freelancers with even higher costs! After entering your numbers you may find you need to quadruple your rates.

Even after are making a profit. The remaining money has to pay for family and home bills.You know… life.

Download the spreadsheet and fill in those orange cells honestly. The blue salary goal will make your stomach churn, especially if you realise it needs to be increased. Cutting your costs is a small fix. Most costs are sunk costs. Increase your rates immediately. Otherwise you are out of business. Start valuing yourself, your time and profession. 

By being aware of your CODB number you are now way ahead of most freelancers. If you are thinking of starting out I recommend you run the numbers through at a 150 working day cycle. Just for sh*ts and giggles.

If this helps you, your freelancer friends or students, forward this article on and sign up to the newsletter. There are more articles for subscribers.

May 1st, 2015 Loading Comments...

Bolongaro Trevor - From the founders of All Saints a British Victorian Military Street look. These guys are very cool.

April 12th, 2015 Loading Comments...

Coming soon, Bolongaro Trevor.

April 8th, 2015 Loading Comments...

Ryan and Thanecha during their engagement shoot in Mayfair. It was Thanecha’s first time in London so we took in the old streets of London, Buckingham Palace along the Mall and Westminster. Met a busker on the way and found out she’s an accomplished musician and singer.