How Sandie took her photography to the next level


Sandie and CrumbleSandie is a long-time QVC customer who recently got in contact with our resident photography expert, Mat Trim, to tell him how he, QVC and Fuji had had a remarkable impact on her photography.

Since upgrading to a Fujifilm bridge camera via QVC in 2010, Sandie has had almost 300 of her photographs shown on ITV and BBC regional news shows in their weather photos sections.

We decided to talk to Sandie about how her camera upgrade helped her to achieve these stunning photographs.


Barley and poppiesHow did you get into photography and what do you love about taking pictures?

If my home was under threat by some catastrophe, such as flood or fire, and someone assured me I had five minutes to safely go in and save my most treasured possessions, I would choose to save my photos. I think a photograph captures a moment in time that you can revisit forever.

I have always loved taking photos whilst on holiday, or of birthdays and special occasions – a personal memory to lift your spirits anytime you look at it.

I live in the Holme Valley in the West Yorkshire Pennines. Its stunning landscapes were made famous by the BBC series ‘Last of the Summer Wine’.  When walking my dog, Crumble, I really wanted to capture my favourite moments of our ‘walkies’ and my passion for photography began.

Bluebells and CrumbleI only had a small compact camera and often felt that if only I had a proper camera I could do the countryside around me justice, but not being ‘techie’ I was put off by DSLRs and, of course, their high price! 

It wasn’t until I saw Mat Trim demonstrating the Fujifilm HS10 bridge camera on QVC that I sprang into action and bought a decent camera as, from the demonstrations, I thought it was something that even I could use!

With the results I got from using the Fuji, I was spurred on to take the camera out with me every day and that is how I came to be a ‘weather photographer’ getting many photos on TV.

Anyone who owns a dog will know that dog walking is not glamorous. You have to exercise your pooch in all weathers. I’d seen the “weather photos” sent in by viewers to regional TV and decided to give this a go myself: I have now had almost 300 of my scenes of Yorkshire shown on ITV and BBC regional news in the past three years!

I am addicted to capturing the beautiful Yorkshire countryside in all weathers – it has just become part of my daily routine, and I get so much pleasure from being out there recording what’s going on, then seeing my results shown regularly on TV. Who would have thought an ordinary viewer could end up participating to such an extent?

How do you achieve such great shots on your Fuji camera?

I rarely use manual settings on my Fujifilm – I can get the results I want by using the scene recognition and standard menus such as landscape, sunset etc. This is important to me, as I’m always out walking Crumble, my border terrier. I want to be able to capture the moment with the minimum of fuss.

I don’t use a tripod – that would just be impossible to carry and set up when you have a boisterous little dog with you. The image stabilisation on the Fujifilm is brilliant when out and about walking the hills and taking photos whilst holding a dog on a lead!

Snow driftWhat encouraged you to buy your camera from QVC?

I’d reached a stage with my photography where my little compact camera was okay, but not really producing the results I wanted. I knew I needed to ‘upgrade’ in some way, but as I wasn’t a ‘techie’ I had no idea what I needed.

I watched QVC when Mat was demonstrating the Fujifilm HS10 bridge camera in the spring of 2010.  He explained that it was a good step up for those wanting to take their photography to the next level, who maybe had a compact camera and were not so technically minded to want a full blown DSLR. I didn’t even know what a bridge camera was until that programme, but realised that it was exactly what I’d been looking for when Mat demonstrated it!

A camera of this quality and price is a considered purchase. I’d been a customer with QVC since the mid 1990s, and the one thing I knew was that there was absolutely no risk involved in the purchase. I could buy the camera, try it out, and if I didn’t like it, I could return it with no problem whatsoever and get my money back.

I couldn’t do that by purchasing from the high street – it could just end up being an expensive mistake! I also liked the fact that the camera came with everything I needed; battery charger, rechargeable batteries, SD card, and camera case – all set to road test straightaway.

I also recorded the demo Mat gave, which was great when I got the camera and started working out the features. I think most product demos are now online on the QVC website now, which is useful to refer to when the product actually arrives.

Meadow carpetWhat do you like most about QVC's on air demonstrations?

I love to see what a product can do for you. You don’t only describe the features it has – through the on air demonstrations we can see the results. The demonstrations often give an insight into what is possible and can be really inspirational in showing viewers just how they can benefit from using the product.

It’s great to get ideas as to how to get the most from a product. Always good to hear questions from viewers answered too. Immediate feedback and demos – you can’t beat it.

Sculptures and sheep at Yorkshire Sculpture ParkWhat advice would you give to someone looking to buy a camera?

I would say, "don’t get caught up in the ‘techie’ stuff"! I know I can spend hours looking at product specifications and just end up with information overload! Look at what you really want to achieve from your camera.

If you’re like me, you’re looking for ease of use and good quality results in the conditions that you are likely to take photos in the most. Presenters such as Mat Trim give you the low-down in a straight-forward manner, so you can decide if that’s the type of camera that will suit your needs.

If you buy from QVC, there is no stress in taking that decision, as you know it is reversible if you really don’t get on with the camera when you get it home.

See more of Sandie's fantastic photographs

Check out Mat Trim's photography tips

Take a look at our range of cameras

Find even more photo's of Yorkshire on Sandie's site

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