by Domenic Aquilina Published
Tell us a little about your background, your first camera and photographic
experience and your subsequent emergence as a pro.
Photography is my passion; I believe it is something which I was born to be involved in.
Film or digital? Is there still a place for silver halide?
Definitely digital, despite its pros and cons I just donít think silver halide has a place in todayís modern era.
Canon 1Dx Mark II all the way!
Bit of detail about your own studio set-up/staffing. Why (as a customer) would I choose you?
Sport photography is my forte but still I do general photography too. I have a small office in Birkirkara where I have my own set-up with continuous lights where I create studio portraits.
Speaking locally, and in general, I think that photographers coming into the trade expect to reach the highest level in just a small period of time. Realistically things do not come by that easy and I have worked hard for many years to reach my goals and heights.
Whatís the worst commercial error you have made to date?
The only commercial error that I can remember was when I did a big shoot for a client without signing any pre-agreement forms. I was never paid for the job!
How did you rectify the mistake?
Iím afraid the mistake was not rectifiable! I tried my best to get payment, but it never transpired. It was quite a large sum of money too.
The lessons learnt?
Be extra careful when making a deal. If possible always agree over a pre-event quotation and make sure the appropriate forms are signed.
Is it getting harder or easier to make a decent living?
I guess it is, unless you are well established.
How do you stay ahead of the game?
I always stress upon quality. Quality in my post processing has always been the key to my goals and my clients.
How do organisations such as The Societies of Photographers help?
You get everything form organisations like The Societies! You can ask for mentors, ask for advice, take part in the competitions to gauge your level, and they also let you know about photo promotions and trade discounts, etc
Why is The Societies of Photographers Convention such a big deal for photographers?
Well basically because it covers everything Ė from A to Z!
Is it primarily about the chance to learn from the experiences of imaging icons?
Yes it is and no itís not. You have got to believe in your own abilities, learning and then applying what you learn in the process.
Your own mentors (living or dead)?
Maltaís very own Kevin Casha and Tom Lee, for whom I have big respect and admiration.
If you could pick just FIVE seminars (other than your own of course!) to attend at The Societies of Photographers Convention, whose workshops would you attend?
Trevor Yerbury, Terry Donnelly, Kevin Mullins, Ramon Sammut
What do you think will be the next big thing in the industry?
Would you want your own children to take up the reins of your empire (or have they)?
My two daughters have both sought after different professions Ė my eldest, Maria is a Notary Public in Malta and the youngest, Anne is now an architect. Anne still does photography everyone now and then and is also involved with UEFA as UEFA Venue Data Coordinator.
Your plans for the next five years?
I never have plans. God always lands nice plans for me in due course, I believe success is mainly about being positive and believing in your own abilities.
There are 142 days to get ready for The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
which starts on Wednesday 17th March 2021