Kim Dalton's picture
Crew Mom

Who's in the Crew? - Spotlight on Teresa Walton

NAME - Teresa Walton 

WEBSITE - https://teresawaltonphotos.com/
CREW PROFILE - https://headshotcrew.com/teresawalton
INSTAGRAM - https://www.instagram.com/teresawaltonphotos
LINKEDIN - https://www.linkedin.com/in/teresa-walton-headshot-photos/

WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?

I’m from the South Coast of the UK from a small village on the edge of the New Forest - I grew up spending my weekends either at the beach or in the forest. My parents are still there and I visit as often as I can - I love walking along the beach, it’s my happy place :) For the last 32 years I’ve lived in London, most of that West, in Shepherds Bush which is fairly central - Zone 2 on the tube map and 12 minutes to Oxford Circus.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SHOOTING HEADSHOTS?

Almost 7 years

WHAT IS YOUR LIGHTING SETUP FOR HEADSHOTS?

I use 2 Elinchrom D Lights with large rectangular softboxes (60x80cm) for most of my work. And I’ve got a Lastolite Hi-Lite background into which I fire Elinchrom Quadras for a white background - this is a great solution for a small space. I’ve recently bought some V-flats to help control the light a bit more...
I have to keep things simple because I don’t shoot in a large space and want to be able to have a good flow of work when a client is with me. Last summer, Ivan came over to help me with this and I have started to vary my work for each client a bit more within the space and with the equipment that I already have.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR STUDIO. DO YOU OWN IT? RENT IT? OR LIVE IN IT?

I have always shot headshots at home and convert my space to make it work. I try to book clients in such a way that I’m not taking my gear up and down each day. We moved from our family home to a modern apartment almost two years ago. When we saw it, I had a clear vision of which area I could work in and where I could store my gear. We’ve built a desk (which is hidden when I’m not working) and created an adaptable working space within our living environment. I have learned to set (invisible) boundaries for my clients - I’ve got hooks in the hallway where I hang their outfits and a bench on which to put their things. That keeps all their ‘stuff’ up one end of the apartment, near the bathroom where they can change... and avoids them coming in and emptying a suitcase all over my sofas and dining table - it has happened (more than once!) and I didn’t like it... I’m the clean and tidy type!! I also ask them to take their shoes off and tell them in the information I send out, that my studio is also my home and it's a shoe-free zone!! Above is a little movie I’ve shot to show you how I convert the space, I hope that some of you who are new and looking to work at home might find it helpful...

WHAT ELSE DO YOU LIKE TO SHOOT?

I don’t have much spare time, but if I can I love to go out on the streets of London and ask strangers if I can take their photo. I’ve not done it since we moved (as I am careful to juggle my life balance these days - something which I haven’t always got right) but I have just bought a book called Only Human by Martin Parr, which looks at the eccentricity of modern life in Britain and has made me laugh, and inspired me to get out on the streets again...

WHEN DID YOU FIRST DISCOVER PH AND THE HSC?

I discovered Peter in 2014 and followed him on Twitter. At that point in my photography career I had known that I wanted to specialize in something and had been exploring different areas, but try as I might, these other areas didn’t suit me and I was doing a bit of everything - except weddings...One evening I was scrolling through my feed and saw that Peter was coming to London to run a Headshot Intensive. It felt like a lot of money to spend on my business at the time, but when I told my Dad about it he said that I had to invest in my business, and gave me the money! It was the best investment I ever made in my photography journey, and I decided on the spot that I would work hard to become an Associate.

From that moment on I stopped focussing on any other photography work and made headshots my priority. I was very methodical with my approach, first of all working out my lighting, then getting as many people as I could in front of my camera, binging on the crew coaching videos, going over and over them to get things in my head, and perfecting my retouching workflow trying to ensure a consistent look...all of which is a constant work in progress... and that is why I like to keep watching the crew casts as it makes me look and question my own work all of the time.

A year after attending the intensive, I became an Associate and that then gave me the confidence to begin to build a profitable business around the other priorities I have in my life. I try to avoid looking too much at what others are doing and stay in my ‘own lane’ otherwise I would never get anything done and would start to doubt my ability and if I was on the right track.

I do find inspiration in other people’s work however and am lucky that the National Portrait Gallery is on my doorstep. I’ve got a plan on where I want to improve and am slowly working my way towards it...
Mainly I try to stay focused on providing a quality experience and finding the clients who are prepared to pay for it!

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO JOIN THE CREW ONCE YOU FOUND IT?

No time, I joined straight away - it was PH2 back then...

WHAT IS ONE THING PEOPLE WOULD NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU?

I’m going to tell you more than one thing...

- I was a Mum at home to three boys (Sam, Joe, and Tom-24, 22 and 20)for16 years and reinvented myself as a photographer once they were all at secondary school. Before that, I worked in the world of advertising for Sky TV selling the gaps in-between programs for as much money as possible!

- When everyone is out I eat peanut butter straight from the jar!

- I love to keep fit and to do that I lift weights, do pilates and swim around 10km per week mostly with my swim squad in a local outdoor pool. Most of the squad are triathletes, with a few who represent GB (in their age group), so I’m quite proud of myself for being able to stand my ground and keep up, but I’m pushed and sometimes feel like the old lady of the group! This past year, due to covid restrictions, I’ve done quite a bit of lake swimming too.

I’ve taken part in a few 10k marathon swims and have been on a couple of swimming holidays where I’ve swum 5km every day for a week in the sea, lakes, rivers, and fjords... they were life-affirming things to do :)

- I know all of you who are regulars on the crew casts better than you think...and before you think I’m weird it's because I watch the replays!

The reason for this is that the live sessions are at 9 pm UK time and I’m swimming on two of the evenings, and on the others, I need to spend a bit of time with my husband...

I try to sneak on now and then and enjoyed hanging with the Crew Chicks the other Monday :)

WHAT IS ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOU?

I’ve made lots of mistakes and spent too much money on things I didn’t need along the way, but slowly I have built up good foundations for my business. At one point I felt totally overwhelmed thinking that I had to have a great website with blogs on it, an email list to send regular emails, a Facebook page, Twitter, and Instagram accounts... I tried to keep up with it all but it was too much and I wasn’t happy, and even though I outsourced some of it I kept staying up too late and didn’t have enough time to spend behind my camera... or with my family :(

I got to a point where I did a scary thing... I stopped almost everything, just keeping LinkedIn and my website. I waited for my business to dry up... but it didn’t! I can happily report that it became stronger, I had more time to focus on what was important - getting clients and taking headshots :)

I’ve come to a point where I know who I am as a headshot photographer and I’m happy with that...
I must say that I was encouraged by listening to the Crew Chicks the other night and think I may dabble with Instagram again... but this time I’m going to post as if no-one is watching (yikes!)... I’m not going to plan it, worry about my hashtags, or timing for when I post, I’ll just do it for fun - maybe I’ll see you there?!

14 Comments

Michael Batten's picture
Associate

My very first mentor and all round lovely person.

Teresa Walton's picture
Associate

I'm blushing Michael Batten, and you are making me teary!
I'm so pleased to have been a small part of your journey, and love to look out for your work now :)

Mark Coventry's picture
Associate

Great to see you featured Teresa Walton, be good to catch up again on Mondays Zoom meeting for UK based Crew members if you can make it.

Teresa Walton's picture
Associate

I'll be there when I can make it Mark Coventry :)

Daniel Wakefield's picture
Protégé

Awesome work, Teresa Walton!

Teresa Walton's picture
Associate

Thanks Daniel Wakefield :)

Peter Istvan's picture
Protégé

Love the video!

Teresa Walton's picture
Associate

I'm so pleased about that Peter Istvan , my son helped me put it together and added the music too :)

Mikala Freitas's picture
Protégé

Nice to learn more about you here-look forward to seeing you in Women's crew cast

Teresa Walton's picture
Associate

See you there Mikala Freitas :)

David H. Roth's picture
Protégé

Good to know you, Teresa! 🤙🏼

Teresa Walton's picture
Associate

You too David H. Roth :)

Karen L Richard's picture
Associate

Great bio Teresa! You have a really cool space and you do fantastic work!

Teresa Walton's picture
Associate

Thank you so much Karen L Richard its great to have you i here too :)