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Local Photographer John Baikie Receives Top Qualification

20th November 2006

Photograph of Local Photographer John Baikie Receives Top Qualification

Thurso based wedding photographer John Baikie has achieved another important qualification within the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers. Only 6 months after successfully achieving Licentiate level, John submitted a panel for the next level Associateship, and found out this week that he had been successful. The award puts John in the top 5% of wedding photographers nationwide, and is something he is very proud of. "I am stunned that I managed to reach this level so quickly" explained John "When I got the Licentiate award in April, I wanted to aim for this in 3 years, but to be honest, wasn't sure if I would ever get it, as it's a very high level of qualification".

To be considered for this prestigious accolade, photographers must submit twenty 16x12 inch prints, which are then assessed by expert judges. The Associate level looks for "Excellence in Photography" and "Individual Creativity" as well as composition, imagination, and many other attributes. "I am particularly happy to once again be recognised for the individuality of my work, especially at a time when many photographers seem to lack creativity" said John "I have always tried to have my own individual style, and hopefully offer a fresh and modern approach". "I have put an awful lot of hard work into the last 12 months, working long hours and lots of seven day weeks as I strived to improve my work and establish myself outwith Caithness".

The number of bookings John's business Captiv8 is receiving from outwith Caithness is testimony to the standard of work he is producing. This year he covered almost 50 weddings with over 30 already in next years diary, about 40% of which involve travelling south. "Next year takes me to Gretna, Alloa, Glasgow, Aberdeen. St Andrews, Oban, Inverness and many other locations across the country" explained John "It's great as you get to see new places, and photograph in some fairly exciting locations, and people seem to love what I am doing. I regularly have people from hundreds of miles away, where there are many, many photographers to choose from, commenting on the fact that my work is different to what others are doing, and that to me is very satisfying"

Martin Grahame-Dunn, who runs the SWPP's "Mentor Me" programme, was surprised at the accelerated way in which John achieved his qualification. "The step from Licentiate to Associateship is the hardest one to make in photography" explained Martin "It's a massive step, but John's work has improved at an unbelievable rate, and when I see the difference in his work in just a few months, it's hard to believe it's from the same photographer". "John is fast becoming one of the top wedding photographers in Scotland".

John hopes this award will firmly establish him as one of the top wedding photographers in the north. Although he accepts it means more pressure. "The more you achieve in the business, the more people expect from you, so you have to keep coming up with new ideas and not get stuck in the trap of producing the same old thing" he explains "I like the pressure though, as it brings out the best in me".

2006 has been another successful year for Captiv8, with John having 25 successful entries in the SWPP monthly print competitions in just 8 months. These will go forward for the annual judging at the convention in London in January. John has had winning entries in Wedding, Bridal Portrait, Portrait, Environmental Portrait, Children, Glamour, Press. Landscape, Architectural and Monochrome sections this year, as well as three Wedding Portfolios of the month and a wedding album of the month in October. More details about the business can be found on


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