Winning at the British Institute of Professional Photography Awards 2015.

Seeing some truly brilliant work & winning at the British Institute of Professional Photography National Awards 2015.

BIPP National Photography Awards Winners 2015 (I'm top right!)

BIPP National Photography Awards Winners 2015 (I’m top right!)

A few weeks ago, I had the honour of attending the British Institute of  Professional Photograph (BIPP)‘s annual Professional Photography Awards 2015.

These awards – this year held at the rather grand Hartwell House - celebrate the strength, breadth and quality of the work produced by BIPP members, across fields as diverse as portrait, fine art, science & technology, visual arts and wedding photography , not to mention categories for yet-to-qualify members, and an Open Award.

And they were also the occasion for handing out  Awards to the top Licentiate, Associate and Fellow qualifiers from 2014.

First and foremost, it was pretty special being in a room full of fellow photographers, many of whom have spent decades working in the profession, but of course, the chance to see their work, and observe the way they have found time to be creative, while earning a living, was a real inspiration. The meal wasn’t bad either!

The Winners

Personally, I was particularly struck by Hasselblad Master Bryn Griffiths extraordinary Best Fellowship-winning project, shot in the radiation exclusion zone at Chernobyl, and by David Bull FBIPP’s 2014 Fox Talbot Award-winning images of Rolls-Royce jet engines.  But there was so much to admire.

But don’t just take it from me…

All the winners can be viewed online here, and you can check out the the qualification awards gallery here.

Some personal recognition

Last and least, personally, I was delighted to win a Bronze in the Portraiture category, as well as getting a ‘Highly Commended’ in the Peter Grugeon Award for Best Associateship 2014.

Awards aren’t why we shoot the photos or projects we do, but in a pressured commercial environment, they offer a timely step back to appreciate the skill and creativity of each other’s work, and getting these small nods is a real incentive to produce bigger and better work in the future.

Michael Wharley ABIPP - Highly Commended Peter Grugeon Associateship (1)Michael Wharley ABIPP - Bronze in Portraiture


24/02/2015 MW


Headshots are all about eyes in 2015, so get blinking creative to win a session with me & Casting Call Pro worth £600- Tweet or Email your winning #eyeselfie.

In Febraury, Casting Call Pro and I ran a competition to win headshots, by getting an #eyeselfie that caught a connection between eyes, thought and camera to make a striking image.

JackPikeWe’re excited to announce the very lucky winner of our headshot competition is Jack Pike for his Leo DiCaprio ‘the Beach, young lost physically & spiritually’ eyeselfie. Jack wins headshots with me, worth £600!

There were so many brilliant and inspired #eyeselfiesJust look at the pinboard here

It was tough picking 1 winner, so we decided to award 4 runner up prizes to Hannah Bury and Darryl Hughes and David Sandercock and Siobahnan McKiernan. Well done guys, you get free Premium time eye-five!

Jac has won a total overhaul of his professional portfolio.

  • Headshot healthcheck to assess current portfolio and casting, worth £25.
  • The American headshot portfolio, worth £350: a new package from Michael Wharley Photography, covering all your promotional needs: standard actors’ headshots in a range of studio & naturally-lit setups for the UK castings market, US-style headshots for Transatlantic castings, and model-style promo shots tailored to your needs.
  • Full makeup and hair by Terri Urwin, worth £150.
  • 100 hardcopy, full-colour, prints supplied by Top Print-Lab, worth £80+

Michael Wharley Actors Headshots @ Surviving Actors 2014


“Top Theatre Photographer…leading voice on headshot & digital trends in the industry” (The Stage)

Thinking about getting new actors headshots, or wondering how to make the most of your existing portfolio?

I’m back supporting Surviving Actors for the third year running, and I think it’s one of the very best events for actors going, with an excellent programme of seminars and classes, not to mention an array of service providers – from publishers to photographers to showreel people – to cater to your every acting need.

Do drop by my stand to have a chat, pick up discount vouchers, or get impartial advice on your headshot portfolio with a free Headshot Healthcheck.

What’s on offer:

  • Prize draw to win a free head shot session worth nearly £200
  • Money-off vouchers
  • Headshot Healthcheck: free, impartial assessment of your current headshots & advice on how to make the most of your next session, whoever it is with.

I’ll look forward to meeting you!

22/01/2014 MW


FAQ – How should I prepare for my actors headshot session?

© Michael Wharley Photography 2014

In a word, carefully!

I find a little bit of prep goes a very long way in actors headshot sessions.

Just as you wouldn’t tell a hairdresser to cut your hair, you’d have a few ideas yourself, so it’s fine to brief me. In fact, I like it if you do. Not over prepare, because sometimes  a surprise top or idea makes all the difference, but something to get out creative juices flowing at the start of the session.

So, when we agree a headshot sesson time and date, I send you a Welcome Pack with my advice on preparing for and making the most the session.

That encourages you to think about the sorts of castings you get and want, and to make clear choices about hair, makeup and clothing that will really help you get the range of headshots to create a dynamic portfolio fit for the modern casting environment.

Of course you can rely on me to do my job, but the more front-footed you are the better!

FAQ – How do I get to the session?

I am based in Waterloo, Central London, very close to the South Bank and the heart of TheatreLand, readily accessible from both sides of the river and from outside London.

By tube & train:
I am 30 seconds from the Lambeth North tube station on the underground (the Brown Line, change at Waterloo or Oxford Circus, for example). I’m also just a few minutes walk from the tube and overground lines at Waterloo mainline station. I’m only about 5 minute’s walk from the South Bank, and the Cut/The Old Vic are also less than five minute’s walk away.

By bus:
Waterloo, The Cut, Lambeth North, The Old Vic and The Imperial War Museum are all served by multiple buses from North and South of the river, and are a short walk away.

By car: there is limited fee-paying parking on a number of roads very close by, including Hercules Road.


– The exact address for Google maps is Makespace Studios, Newnham Terrace, SE1 7DR

– If walking from Waterloo either a) hop on the Bakerloo one stop south to Lambeth North, and you’re 30 secs away, OR b) exit the station onto Waterloo Road, heading towards signs for the Old Vic and the Cut, but then turn right at the junction with the Old Vic on it, onto Baylis Road. Follow Baylis Road until you reach the junction with Lambeth North Tube station on the left and Costa Coffee on the right.

– Directions: with your back to Lambeth North underground station entrance, cross over the road (careful, there  are quite a few crossings, so don’t get knocked over) and head straight for Hercules Road. There is a right turning onto Newnham Terrace almost immediately, and you’ll see the signs for Makespace Studios and the stairs up to it straight away.

– Head up the stairs, then take a sharp left, along the walk way, following the signs to studios 36-40, and you will shortly see a black gallery space called Creation Box. Michael’s studio is the blue block right next to it, studio 36.

– It’s really easy and does genuinely take 30 seconds, but do call us if you get stuck.

FAQ – How much Photoshop do my Headshots need?

Headshots and Photoshop sit in a Goldilocks relationship – just enough, not too much…

Just because you can see a photo on a digital camera a millisecond after it is taken doesn’t mean that that is the final shot.

In many ways, the relationship between a shot from the day and the final version you’ll use is the same as between a film negative and a final print. And the sorts of things photographers do on a computer are similar to what we used to do in a darkroom.

Put simply, there is an awful lot than can be done to digitally master or photoshop a photo, but as to how much we do – well for headshots, always as little as possible.

It might be cropping to achieve the best composition, changing the colour contrast, converting to black and white or achieving the right resolution for the right purpose.

It can also be what you probably first think of when you think of photoshopping: airbrushing out blemishes or lines, removing stray hairs and etc.. This is basically tidying the image so that the eye of the viewer isn’t distracted by anything non-essential.

But it can also mean applying filters to refine the look of the photo or using techniques to make the eyes in the shot truly arresting.

In other words, it is all about heightening the impact of the photo, not making it a false representation. My preference is always to achieve the best results possible with the initial photo, then judiciously edit in photoshop to refine the look.

Personally, it is about taking to eye of the viewer (for headshots most often a casting director) where we want it. In a modern headshot that’s your eyes first, and everything else second.

NB. When I edit photos, I’m always delighted to have detailed instructions from a client, but if you don’t have such thoughts, you can rely on me to produce the best photo according to my judgement and expertise.