Photography has taught me to appreciate many things in life. But I never thought that high-quality fluorescent lighting would be one such thing.

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of shooting women’s basketball, courtesy of the Love Basketball Academy. The highlight game saw an LBA All Stars collective take on the visiting Toledo Rockets (that's Toledo, Ohio). The Rockets are a very talented NCAA Division 1 team. Equally impressive was the contingent of fans, banners, and small film crew that they brought across the Atlantic just to remind us Brits how sport is done state-side.

Ask any photographer who shoots fast, indoor action what their biggest gripe is and it will likely be a lack of decent lighting. When shooting with shutter speeds of around 1/500s you need all the help you can get to ensure there is sufficient light reaching the sensor. A single missing bulb can make a huge (and detrimental) difference. So I was delighted to discover that the lighting at the CitySport venue was excellent. Kudos to you, facilities manager; you made my job infinitely easier.

Good lighting – and this is true when shooting any subject – cuts down the editing time too. And when something saves you time spent in front of the computer, the photographer's appreciation for that thing grows considerably.

So I thought I would share with you a list of just some of the many things I have come to appreciate in life, all thanks to photography.​

  • The ridiculously cheap price of memory. I purchased a 160GB external hard drive in 2005 and it cost £90. Last month I purchased a 1TB hard drive for £55.

  • Punctuality. When your first session of the day is 10 minutes late you're never going to claw that time back.

  • Men who know how to wear a tie properly. Because having to adjust the tie and button up a suited businessman is just plain awkward.

  • The fact that a room can never have too many mains power points. Whether it is charging phones, batteries, or powering strobes and laptops – the more the better.

  • And in a similar vein, spacious rooms. Shooting corporate headshots in a boardroom barely the width of the desk is no fun for anyone.

  • Sainsbury’s and Tesco stores in central London that sell AA batteries. If you’ve ever been in need mid-job, you’ll understand.

  • The remarkable progress of camera phone quality. Up until 2005 my mobile didn’t even have a colour screen. Or a camera.

  • The vast number of apps that tell you what time the sun rises and sets. And tidal levels. And depth of field calculators. Not forgetting hyperfocal distance settings.

  • Shorter days and longer evenings. Because getting up at 3.30am to catch the summer sunrise, having been up since 11pm the evening before to capture sunset, can be a real pain.

Oh, and Toledo won a terrific game of basketball by just four points. As a neutral I couldn’t possibly comment on how it felt to get beaten in our own backyard…

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© 2018 Stephen Wallace Photography


Corporate headshots, lifestyle portraits, and personal branding photography across South London, Central London and Surrey.

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