I'm a strong believer in balanced critique and feedback. One of my roles as a photographer running workshops and a Facebook group for other photographers is the use of fair critique to enable and empower another photographer in a supportive and honest way. That works both ways as far as I'm concerned and I openly welcome feedback on my workshops and my images on my Facebook photography page of 100,000 people. There's nothing quite so powerful as the words of someone who has attended one of my workshops or looked at an image of mine which has moved them in some way, and who feels they need to express themselves about that experience. Feedback is the life blood of anyone who wants to develop themselves as far as I'm concerned. It helps you improve those areas that need to be better and consolidate the parts of your life that are going well. Feedback for me is neither positive nor negative. It offers me the recipient a unique insight into how a client has perceived my performance as a mentor and tutor, and has the power to act as a catalyst for change if change is needed.
To anyone who has taken the time to attend one of my workshops, make a comment on my photography or put pen to paper to write to me about how they felt a workshop went I thank you. Only through your voiced opinions can I continue to grow as a facilitator and photographer so please keep the feedback coming.
The following testimonials are from genuine workshop participants who have attended at least one session with me. Over 90% of participants return for other workshop venues and often bring friends or relatives with them. If you have anything you would like to add to this page please contact me and I will be happy to include it with the comments already on here:
I have just spent two days on Brownsea Island with Paul. My objective was to graduate from only shooting on Auto to half understanding what I needed to adjust when shooting in Manual and I think we got there! It was a revelation and I think I've begun to understand both the capabilities and limitations of my humble little bridge camera. This was very much a practical course (very much a good thing!) and many of the points and tips that Paul was making were more than ably illustarted by his own remarkable photography.The benefit of doing the two day programme were being able to spend two whole days on Brownsea including a night in the Villa and an early morning start on the second morning to see the sun rise over Brownsea Lagoon; something magical that few people get the chance to experience. And joining the red squirrels for their early morning sorties behind the church was also a treat. We were also able to go into other parts of the reserve that are not generally accessible and having Malc on the course, a longstanding volunteer on Bownsea, was also a treat. So all in all a cracking couple of days. Thank you Paul and good luck with all the competitions in which you are a finalist.
Caroline August 2017
I participated in a course with Paul yesterday and I literally cannot fault him. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day and found it incredibly informative. I went from an Auto Function Offender to a fully Manual User in such a short time and it was all down to Paul's incredibly down to earth way of teaching. I wouldn't hesitate to attend another course with Paul and if this one hadn't been a present, I would have happily booked for the whole weekend!
Matt August 2017
A really patient tutor giving lots of help, advice and ideas. Finally out of auto into that feared manual setting, but it really isn't anything to fear with the right help. Thank you for opening the door to creativity and better photographs.
Cathy - November 2017
I first met Paul over 7 years ago. I was thatching a roof opposite his cottage when he asked me if he could photograph my work. Following his introduction, of course I obliged. Paul obviously didn't at that time know that I had a dormant interest in photography, but over the last few years my interest has raised its head, the camera has been shooting again (huge thanks to Paul). Paul is a friend and mentor. He is a spiritual man who (believe me) has experienced life in some of it's most dark hours, a man who has turned his life around through his hobby come profession, a man who inspires others to just be at one with nature. I recently attended one of Paul's workshops on the River Stour, Blandford. Not only did I learn some new skills with my own camera, he knew his location very well and knew where and when to find our photographic topics. This alone just shows the sheer dedication and determination he has fulfilling his passion - thousands of hours spent behind the camera to get that 'one' shot.....
If you are thinking of trying one of Paul's workshops, don't think, DO...!! You will not be disappointed!!
Chris - March 2018
I had the absolute pleasure of taking part in Paul's Isle of Portland workshop. As a newcomer to photography I left feeling much more confident, having improved my skills more in one day than after 8 weeks on a previous photography course. Paul has a very natural, laid back way of bringing out your own ability without you feeling pressurised or lectured. His knowledge is extensive and within the first 15 minutes he had all of my booklet of questions answered. Yes I did bring a book of questions lol! I would highly recommend Paul's workshops to any skill level, whether you are just starting out like me or as an experienced photographer as Paul can relate to all levels. Looking forward to another in the future.
Jill - March 2018
The value of attending one of Paul’s wildlife photography workshops is twofold: he takes you to exactly the right places at the right time and then makes sure you get the best shot you can with whatever camera you have. As a beginner, I had no idea how to use the manual settings on my bridge camera, but Paul had me using them with some confidence in a very short time. I now have some lovely images of red squirrels, kingfishers and even an otter! Even better, I am filled with enthusiasm to go out and practise my new-found skills.'
Alison - March 2018
Back in January, when I booked the Brownsea Island Worskhop, I expected March to be a reasonable temperate month with some early spring colours. But then with March there also came some wintry weather with low clouds and low light, and even snow - pretty difficult conditions when you were attempting your first steps into shooting wildlife! But Paul and his years of experience and expertise, combined with great knowledge and endless patience helped us all to get some great shots in really challenging conditions. He always gave me the right guidance at the right time - and of course prioritising our performance.
Thanks to him I now call a decent amount of squirrel shots my own. Paul, aka the Squirrel Whisperer, magically lured the little reds out into the open on Sunday morning when the island was covered under a blanket of snow. Overall, the weekend on a quiet island in Poole Harbour was a fantastic opportunity to explore its secret spots which Paul knew all about. I have the feeling that I am a big step closer to know how to work my camera to get the perfect shot in the future.
I am already booked for the next overnight adventure later this year for some continuing expansion of my knowledge in wildlife photography!
Daphne - March 2018
The Scottish Photography hides workshop is not to be missed. A lot of thought went into the workshop set up and Paul took us to the right place and at the right time. Over the two days and from 3 hides, we saw and photographed Badgers, a Tawny Owl, Kingfishers diving and perching, Sparrow-hawks, Red Squirrels and a vast array of other wildlife in the peaceful setting of Dumfries and Galloway.
Paul’s flexible and engaging coaching style taught me new skills in camera set up, to get the most out of the conditions and capture truly amazing images. I am so pleased with the results. But more importantly the workshop gave me a real once in a lifetime experience to get very close to elusive wildlife.
Steve - April 2018
As soon as Paul introduced himself to the group, it was very evident as to how passionate he is about photography and wildlife. Paul made the day on Brownsea Island accessible to everyone, regardless of their photographic standard. He spent time with each of us, checking we were making progress and capturing some pleasing images. The day was a lot of fun, very relaxed and included brilliant technical tuition (as well as written notes & some wonderful sample images). Paul’s technical knowledge is endless. As a nature lover myself, it was also clear that the wildlife came first. Paul took time to explain the importance of not interfering with the wild inhabitants of the island.
If you want to spend time with a professional photographer, I would definitely recommend one of Paul’s workshops!
Michelle - April 2018
Patient, kind, knowledgeable and unflappable are some of the words that spring to mind when describing Paul. I am not the easiest of students, having health problems and recent extensive surgery, making me a bit "clumsy" and slow with various movement. Paul has treated me with kindness and care, in a totally non-patronising way and helped build my confidence. He certainly has a very "inclusive" approach to his workshops and I think anyone would feel welcome and comfortable.
I am a self taught photographer and knew I had only scratched the surface with my knowledge and basic skills and decided that some tuition and workshops would be the best way to move forwards. Little did I know, just how much more was possible, with something new being taught each time the camera comes out. Paul has an incredible way of instinctively knowing what to teach and which new skill to add to the mix.
His passion for wildlife is clearly evident, not just being there for that "one big shot" but loving everything that is seen, be it a Blue Tit or Golden Eagle! His photography is most certainly driven by passion, rather than ego, which makes for a very relaxing and positive experience for any level of photographer. I feel I may have also met a fellow "Dr Doolittle", for it seems that Paul has an innate ability to draw in the wildlife!
Rachel - March & April 2018
The Scottish photography hides workshop with Paul was a fabulous two days with unequalled opportunities to photograph a whole manner of wildlife. The sparrowhawk hide especially is an assault on the photographic senses with a none stop stream of finches, tits, red squirrels and others to keep you on your toes whilst waiting for the sparrowhawks to appear. Paul is an excellent, and incredibly patient, tutor who will give as much or little help as is needed. His passion for wildlife stands out almost as much as his knowledge and fieldcraft to enable his students to get the best possible shots from the workshop.
Adam - April 2018
I met Paul last year early in the morning (0530 ish), while watching barn owls and their chicks grow and finally fledge. I have always loved photography and wanted to improve my skills. Paul offered friendly helpful advice that I could put into practice, and get the best shots of owls. I decided to do a workshop of Paul's.... The first date was at Portland Bill and storm Brian stopped that, the second date I injured my hand and I couldn't hold a camera! Paul was really understanding and we arranged another date. We made it Paul! I am so glad I did it as Paul has great knowledge about photography and also the areas where to get the best shots. I hope to do more of his workshops as I've learnt so much in just one. I now shoot only in manual and I'm more conscious of composition before taking a shot. We also learnt about bracketing photos to later combine as a HDR image. All in all a great day and great continued support from Paul.
Mel - April 2018