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THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN….

Valda

 

There are any number of song titles or lyrics I could have chosen to christen this blog.

Quickly discarded for obvious reasons, the mawkish Con Te Partiro - sounding only slightly better in Italian than it does in English and undoubtedly handicapped by too many talent show interpretations. Also speedily abandoned without consideration anything by Celine Dion or James Blunt. In the end it came down to a toss up between Bob Dylan and Changes by David Bowie and in deference to DC’s hero worship of the voice of a generation, I chose the former.

The times are indeed a changin and it is with some sadness that Doug and I have decided to part company with Light and Land. For a while now we have held differing opinions about how we wish to organise workshops and tours - ideas perhaps that are simply not viable for a large organisation. Following a meeting with Charlie and Emily last month we thought we had found a way forward that would be mutually beneficial. Regrettably - just like the nations’ fervent belief that football was finally coming home this weekend - it has now become apparent that this was not going to pan out the way any of us had hoped.

The fault lies nowhere - Doug and I believe in the value of small groups and want to have the freedom to travel to cities of our choosing.  As a partnership working from our respective homes, our overheads enable us to offer tours with  10 participants at a price that is simply not possible for a large company with all its associated overheads. It has now become apparent that what we thought we could pursue with Light and Land was logistically and commercially impossible.

We part company on very good terms. I will remain eternally thankful to Charlie for all he has done for me,  and to Light and Land as a company for helping me gain a foothold in a very competitive marketplace. I know Doug feels the same. Light and Land have established themselves as a leading photography tour company and always worked hard to care for their clients and impart a real love for both the landscape and photography. Their influence, especially that of Charlie, Joe Cornish and some of the other long time leaders, on landscape photography in the world today is not to be understated.  We have always been very proud to have been associated with them.

We are lucky that photography is a broad church and can so readily be different things to different people. Doug and I have chosen to dwell in that murky wilderness where art and photography collide, pushing against convention and ad-libbing as we go. It’s not for everyone. It’s not even for most people. Perhaps it was inevitable that eventually we would have to break away.   We have some exciting new ideas to push ahead with. We cannot  (and nor would we want to) claim that we will try to undercut Light and Land - our objective is more about taking smaller groups away  to be immersed in an environment that emphasises the development of self expression and creative vision. This will always take priority over 4am sunrise shoots and honeypot locations.

I know my reluctance to engage in social media promotion has not been helpful during my time with Light and Land and I’m lucky that this is something that Doug excels at. We are currently in the fortunate position of having tours sell out to our mailing list clients thus avoiding the need to promote through the usual channels. However we are realistic enough to see that this will probably not always be the case.  We also realise the shadowy figure of the VAT man lurks as we edge ever-closer to the threshold, so our decision to stand entirely on our own does not come without impediment.

In the meantime we have been completely overwhelmed and moved by the outpouring of email support we have received following the announcement of our decision yesterday to the people on our mailing list. Thank you so much; it means a great deal.

As I write we have a tour to Bilbao - launched about five hours ago to the people on our mailing list- now has just one space remaining*. It feels like a good omen.

*The tour is now fully booked

22 Comments

  1. Graham Cook. Rascal and BC groupie xx on July 13, 2018 at 10:24 pm

    Love you both. Your path is my path. It’s the right call. May the force be with you xxxxxxx

  2. Andrew Atkinson on July 14, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Good luck with your new venture which I have no doubt will be a huge success. This is down to the amazing art you produce, your amazing skills at teaching and to how you share your ideas and techniques. Not forgetting what lovely people you are. I’m looking forward to see where this exciting journey takes you.

  3. Mike Howitt on July 14, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Good luck with your future plans, I’m sure they’ll be a great success. Having been on a few workshops with Doug in the past and meeting Valda at various photographic events I feel that you both have something very special to offer in the ever changing world of photography. Good luck and best wishes.

  4. Jenni Alexander on July 14, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Wishing you both all the best with your exciting new venture. I hope one day I can travel with you.

  5. Terry Smith on July 14, 2018 at 10:01 am

    This is very exciting and totally the right way forward. I always thought you were both slightly held back by the L & L approach. Looking forward to your future ventures. See you in Venice. ( Not given up on L & L as also going to Venice with Phil and Clive in January plus Carnival in Feb. )

  6. Willem on July 14, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Beautifully expressed. Very best wishes to your new venture.

  7. PETE HYDE on July 14, 2018 at 12:52 pm

    Wishing you the very best of luck with this new enterprise.

  8. Chris Harrop on July 14, 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Thought I was on mailing list but haven’t received any notification- Bilbao would have been lovely……..please add me!
    Thx Cx

  9. Walter Luttenberger on July 14, 2018 at 3:59 pm

    Good luck, Valda and Doug! Will keep an eye on your future plans!

  10. Susan Brown on July 14, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    Good luck to you both – I am sure all will go well
    Love Sue x

  11. Torrie Smith on July 15, 2018 at 7:23 am

    Delighted to hear your news and am sure this wil price a v good move for you both! As I think you knew I gave up on L&L pricing – my Scottish blood!

    Please add me to mailing list as clearly not on it.

    Torrie

  12. Mary Crowther on July 15, 2018 at 8:34 am

    Thank you for sharing this so soon after the final decision.
    I have never yet had the great pleasure of attending one of your workshops, generally due to other commitments or duties with the RPS, but it is still at the top of my wish list and will endeavour to do one with you soon.
    I follow you and Doug avidly and appreciate the wonderful creations you both make which are a great inspiration to me.
    I sincerely wish you both great success in this adventure, although I think with a proven record don’t think you will go wrong.

    Regards
    Mary Crowther
    RPS – Yorkshire Regional Organiser

  13. Tony Bennett on July 15, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    The very best of wishes to you both. I wish you every success in this joint venture.
    Tony

  14. Margaret Ford on July 16, 2018 at 7:40 am

    Every good wish on this exciting new venture; your combined creative energy plus expanded list of followers makes success assured.
    (Please add to mailing… thanks)

  15. David Ward on July 16, 2018 at 10:56 am

    Good luck to you both. It’s absolutely the right decision! BTW you shouldn’t need to worry about VAT as you can operate under the TOMS scheme and will only need to register once your profit, not your turnover, exceeds the threshold.

    All the best!

    D

  16. Pam Harrington on July 16, 2018 at 11:54 am

    I met you both through Mark Littlejohn at his charity event at Ullswater and I have never been on a Light and Land Tour but this new venture for you both seems like a calling to something new. You have not done it lightly so I am sure it is absolutely the right thing. As an artist as well as a photographer, I am hugely excited about my trip to Connemara with you both in October. It will be lovely to get to know you both and share in your exciting vision!

  17. Pam Harrington on July 16, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I met you both through Mark Littlejohn at his charity event at Ullswater and I have never been on a Light and Land Tour but this new venture for you both seems like a calling to something new. You have not done it lightly so I am sure it is absolutely the right thing. As a textile artist as well as a photographer, I am hugely excited about your work and my trip to Connemara with you both in October. It will be lovely to get to know you both and share in your exciting vision!

  18. Sarah Kinsella on July 16, 2018 at 12:44 pm

    Best wishes to you both in your new venture. As regards the VAT man – try using the flat rate scheme – it is much simpler and you can still claim back the VAT on purchases over £2000.

  19. Vanda Ralevska on July 16, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Wishing you both all the best for the future. I am sure that your new venture will be a huge success.
    Vanda

  20. Julia Fuchs on July 16, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    You two have inspired me greatly over the last years with your pioneering work and it’s great to see you following your vision. You rock! Wishing you all the very best 🙂

  21. Peggy Braun on July 18, 2018 at 1:54 am

    Much luck to you both. You know that you won’t have any problem w your new status. I’m glad you’re following the path that feels right for you.

  22. Warren Reeves on August 21, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    You both deserve success together in the company you’ve created. Your partnership in business is like ebony and ivory; together you produce perfection. If your clients follow your lead there will be some brilliance produced.

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