Posted: 15.09.20 at 13:46 by The Editor
HERE at Crewe Nub News we aim to support our community, promoting shops, businesses, charities, clubs and sports groups.
We will be profiling some of these businesses and organisations regularly in a feature called 'Up Close in Crewe'.
Here we catch up with Kevin Warburton, who combined a passion for photography and sport to take his working life in a different direction. He now runs a successful self-employed photography business and is the man behind the lens for Crewe Alex.
When and how did you develop your passion for photography?
I have always enjoyed taking photos and I became more involved in photography when I had my own promotions business. I used to employ a photographer to take the photos at my events but it was becoming a cost that needed addressing, so I thought with my passion for photography I could do it myself, but not until I had some training.
When did you decide to set up your own business?
I set up my photography business five years ago after being made redundant. I thought about what I do now ? I had a passion for photography and a passion for sport, so I decided to try and put the two together, I knew this wouldn't happen overnight but it was my goal.
What did you do before for a living and were there lessons and skills you were able to take from that work that stood you in good stead when going it alone as a self-employed photographer?
I worked in marketing and media in my last job which included some photography and video work. This certainly helped me when I started to set up my own business.
What makes a good photographer? In an age of easy access mobile phone snaps and social media what really makes a professional stand out from the crowd?
Wow, a photographer should have a very keen eye for detail to ensure that all elements within the photo, the lighting, the composition are right. Also they need attention to detail, people skills, they need to be creative, but most of all they need to enjoy what they are doing.
What types of cameras and lenses do you use? Can you give an estimate of the sort of expense a serious photographer goes to get set up with good equipment and software?
Most photographers are split between Nikon and Canon. My preference is Canon but then I have never used a Nikon, I have always had Canon and stuck with them. To start with I had a used camera that cost me a couple of hundred pounds, but I soon found out I needed to move forward and to improve my photography I needed a better camera.
The sort of expenses you have to go to with your cameras and lens does depend on the type of photography you want to do. It's not a cheap hobby and it's a very expensive profession, one lens I would like new would cost me around £10,000. But I might leave that for a while until the lottery win comes in.
You are the club photographer at Crewe Alex. How did you get involved with the club and what are the satisfactions of football assignments?
I have been involved within football all my life as a supporter, then I played for my local teams before getting involved behind the scenes commercially and now as a club photographer. I started taking football photos for the team I used to play for, Sandbach Utd. My son was also playing for them, so there was a double interest.
From there I was approached by Whitchurch Alport to work for them covering all their matches. I was their two seasons and in between Alport games I asked the media manager at Crewe Alex if i could attend a match for the experience.
I did this for a season then three years ago they asked me to be the cub photographer, which I said yes to as it was my ambition to work in the Football league. Now hopefully I can progress with Crewe. The satisfaction is if you are a football fan and have also played, the next best thing to playing is being involved on a match day behind the scenes, whether it's a Tuesday night or a Saturday afternoon - it's a great buzz
Do you a favourite picture from your time with the Alex?
To be honest I haven't got one favourite, but if I was to mention one it would be the winner versus Newport county on January 12 last year. The emotion and the game itself was superb and I captured it in the celebration after Crewe scored in the last minute to win 3-2 - the photo is now in a frame in Dave Artell's office.
What are the pressures on photographers taking pictures and editing them at games?
The pressure comes from getting the photos to the club for their social media messages through a live feed. Also if a goal is scored then we need to live feed that goal or celebration to the club and the agency's so the newspapers can send it out straight away. So the key is to have a few memory cards, a fully charged laptop and a good wifi connection.
I try to send around 12 photos per half to the club during the match and then after I need to do a second edit on all the other photos.
Copyright is a big problem for freelance photographers. How do you tackle this serious issue?
I always add a watermark as do most photographers especially the agencies. It's not completely safeguarding your photo as a lot of people think its okay to steal a photo from social media. They don't know the copyright rules.
This also applies to some newspapers, they think its okay to take a photo. It's just a matter of policing it on a weekly basis and if I find one of mine that has been used it's simple I send them an invoice.
Your portfolio also includes landscape and wildlife work, so what are your favoured haunts when it comes to getting out into the great outdoors with your camera?
My partner is also a photographer and she loves wildlife photography. I was never interested in wildlife until we met, now I would happily sit in a hide all day looking for that shot. Away from sport I like landscape photography and always find myself by the sea.
A lot of the times we will get up early and drive to North Wales, which has some great places to photograph, both landscape and wildlife.
What I would say is that if you are interested in photography, please enjoy it and don't worry too much if you don't get 'that photo' first time.
You can view Kevin's website here.