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Aidan O'Rourke Photography FAQs

These FAQs are based on the kind of questions people ask me when I'm out and about takin photographs.. Photographers are sometimes asked some unusual and humorous things, and I include them here, with my answers.

What type of camera do you use?
I use various types of digital SLR camera, including the Nikon D100 and the Fuji Finepix S3. From spring 2007 I expect to be using a wider range of camera. I also enjoy using old fashioned film cameras, the Nikon FM and scan the film in my Nikon film scanner. I also occasionally use the Hasselblad 500C

How long have you been a photographer?
I have been seriously interested in photography since 1980, and did intensive self-training in photography from 1990 to 1996. After that I began to take photos professionally and showcase them along with articles via the internet. Please note, I am not just a photographer, I am also a writer and website publisher.

What type of photographer are you?
Photographers shouldn't be categorised into different types. The principles of photography are basically the same no matter what kind of photography you do. I am very interested in architecture, cityscapes, street scenes, urban views, parks, gardens, landscapes, and lots more. I'm also very interested in photographing people, and enjoy taking photos of bands, artists. I take photos at events, festivals, conferences. I take fashion photography. I have done many different types of photography and I want to do more.

Who do you take photos for?
People always ask me that and the answer is I usually take photos for myself. Most of the photos I've taken are self-commissioned, and presented via my various websites. I often get requests to take photos of all kinds. Clients, small and large, have licenced photos from the archive or used my photography services.

Do you work for the Manchester Evening News?
I do not work for the Manchester Evening News and have never worked for them. I produced the website Eyewitness in Manchester in association with Manchester Online from 1998 to 2005. Other than that I have no connection with the Manchester Evening News.

Are the photos on paper? Can you provide them as digital files?
All the photos I take are saved as digital files, even the ones I take with the film camera. I supply the digital image files either on CD and provided in person or in the post. Alternatively I can upload the photos to one of my servers, from where they can then be downloaded.

Can you provide photos as prints?
You can order prints from my photo archive. These are made by Photobox Ltd and can be ordered directly from the aidan.co.uk website. For photos taken on a photoshoot and provided on disk, the best option is to have them printed yourself, either opening a Photobox account of your own, or by using a local service.

Can you make me look 20 years younger?
When taking photos of people I try very hard to ensure that people look their best. I will often spend time enhancing the face, removing skin imperfections and other blemishes. However there are limits to what is possible!

Are you from the DSS?
I was asked this whilst taking a photo of a tram in Blackpool The conductor obviously thought I was less interested in classic public transport vehicles and more interested in catching people working and claiming benefit the same time. I am not 'from' anywhere and I have never worked in any undercover situation for any agency, government or otherwise.

Are a private investigator?
I was asked this by a young woman while I was standing on King St Manchester using the zoom lens to photograph exterior renovation work on City Tower, former Sunley Tower Manchester. She obviously thought my zoom lens was trained on someone conducting an illicit relationship. I have never done 'spy' photography, nor would I, and if I was, I would use a hidden camera.

How many photos do you normally take on a shoot?
On a longer shoot I may take several hundred and pick out the best ones. Generally the ratio is about 1 to 10, that's one usable photo for every 10 photos captured. I will normally delete out of focus or failed shots, leaving the better ones to choose from.

If you have taken photos for us on a shoot, how soon can we see them? I like to show the photos as soon as possible, often directly after taking the photos, or towards the end of an event. As soon as I've taken a set of photos, I can transfer them to my Apple Macintosh laptop computer, and we can select the best ones together.

How soon can you provide the photos?
I aim to provide photos at the end of a photoshoot. Photos from the archive can usually be supplied by return for for first thing the next morning.

In what format do you provide the photos?
The format is always digital files, usually JPG saved at maximum quality.

If we've commissioned photos from you do you keep copies? Yes, I keep a copy of almost every photo I take and back it up. Occasionally clients have come back to me for backup copies as their own were accidentally deleted or lost. I can't guarantee to have them available, but if the worst happens, but I'll do my best.

Do we get unlimited use of the photos?
For commissioned photography, where you have paid for my time, then the photos are yours to use, subject to prior agreement. For photos from the portfolio, you need to state what you are going to use the photo for and give the time limit, etc. I am flexible about all these things. Photos from the portfolio are rights managed, not royalty free.

How much does it cost to commission you to take photos?
For commercial or corporate clients I work on the basis of 500 pounds per day, 300 per half day or 175 for a quarter of a day. For nonprofit clients it's 250 pounds per day, 150 per half day or 95 for a quarter of a day. I have a flexible pricing policy, so I am usually able to provide a rate that fits the budget. Please note I am also able to offer my online publicity service included within the price of the photos.

What is your online publicity service?
As well as taking photos I present them on my site with a write-up or description or the company, person or event. My site has very high search engine rankings and so the pages are often in the number one slot in Google, or number two after the client's website. The reviews and photos on my site serve as very good additional publicity. In fact most companies would have to expend a huge amount of time, effort and money to achieve those rankings for their own website.

Do you have a website?
Believe it or not, I am often asked that question. My main website aidan.co.uk, a high ranking site with a very large photo portfolio and article archive. I present over 4000 of my own photos as well as articles on many different subjects. As well as my own photography and writing, I showcase a number of other creative artists, projects and organisations. See the Online Publicity FAQs for more information.

Which are you, a photographer or a writer?
There is still a tendency to assign people to pigeonholes. I am both a photographer and a writer and a website publisher, and I'm also a teacher, occasional illustrator and musician as well. When people see me with a camera they just assume that I only take photos. They don't realise that I am also an experienced writer and run a website that's bigger and with better rankings than many corporate websites. I am an individual but with a range of talents you might find in a small company.

Where are you based and where can you work?
I am based in Manchester and can work at short notice in Manchester, Liverpool and the North West. With a little more notice I can work anywhere in the UK or Republic of Ireland and many locations abroad.

Do you take paparazzi photos?
No, I certainly don't. I'm just not interested, and in any case, I don't like to intrude on peoples privacy, whether they are famous or not.

How do you accept payment?
Either by cheque, preferably UK sterling but I can also accept euro or dollar cheques. By credit card or PayPal. I can e-mail a PayPal request and payment can be made instantly. Bank transfer is also a possibility. I can provide my full banking details for either UK or international transfers. And I am also very happy to accept cash!

Contact Me Now


Written by Aidan O'Rourke
Posted/Updated 2007-03-08

Aidan O'RourkeAidan O'Rourke has been active in photography and online media since 1995. He has documented the development of the local area in his Eyewitness website (1997-2005) and as a contributor to books, publications and the Manchester Evening News. He runs his Eyewitness photography walks in Manchester, Liverpool and other locations. He offers one-to-one tuition in Photography and Languages. He is a high-level speaker of German and can offer photography walks and tours through the medium of German. Visit www.aidan.co.uk

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