Why I am (sometimes) ashamed of this profession: A few months back a former schoolmate who works in a local supermarket photobooth informed me that a co- worker in the stock room had handed in his notice to become “ a professional photographer” and had asked HIM what camera he recommended. So we have another hopeful heading out onto the streets offering cut-price services and taking money off people and sorely disappointing them with rubbish. Last year I was heralded by the news that – I saw so and so’s photographs taken by (name withheld) they were terrible and she’s asked for all her money back – ALL her money back mind you, not just a bit of it. One “photographer” has figured three times in recently, once for turning up an hour late, and I (being a photographer) don’t usually get to hear these stories so there must be some truths to it all. In 35 years working no one has ever asked me for a penny back. Not one penny. Indeed when I first started I routinely was give more than I had asked for in the form of a tip – sometimes a lot more. Can there be any other profession infused with so many shysters and conmen (-women?) REALLY and ready to take big money. Actually I was going to keep all this to myself except that last year again I was at an evening guest at a wedding in one of Barrow’s swishest venues. I was banned from taking my camera by the missus. The official photographer was from out of town young man, a friend of the groom, doing the photos as a present (sound of alarm bells). He was done taking pics when we got there and was studiously working on a laptop and did so for the rest of the night. I awaited the usual Facebook postings but to no avail – turns out they were shockingly bad but the poor couple couldn’t say a word of course as they were a gift. Moral of the story, book a professional photographer!