CALVENDO self-publishers in conversation: Jon Grainge

From fashion to aviation, “I shoot what I like” says ex-RAF trainee jet pilot Jon Grainge. A few months back, he started using the Calvendo platform because it was, as he puts it, the next logical step for him to also produce calendars, after already publishing his own photo books and magazines. We agree!


Jon, can you talk a bit about your background as a photographer and how and when you took up photography?

I have had an interest in photography since I was at college in Taunton in 1965 when I loved taking pictures of graveyards in black and white. After I left the RAF (trainee jet pilot) I retained my interest in aviation with visits to many air shows which I photographed with an assortment of cameras. This I continue to the present day. After my retirement I took up shooting fashion models and to combine this with my love of travel, I arranged many trips around Europe and North Africa  to obtain some classic images. It was just before this period that I qualified with the Institute of Professional Photographers.

Jon's 'Cotswold Cottages' calendar

Jon’s ‘Cotswold Cottages‘ calendar

How would you describe your style and approach as a photographer? Continue reading

CALVENDO self-publishers in conversation: Nadia Attura

Award-winning artist Nadia Attura, who says about herself that she’s a ‘photographer who loves the rain’, mixes fine art and photojournalism in her very unique and unmistakable style. In our series ‘Calvendo self-publishers in conversation’ she tells us why for a photographer it’s all about the light and what kind of Calvendo calendar ideas she’s got for the next season.

A keen eye: Nadia at work

A keen eye: Nadia at work

1. Nadia, your work mixes fine art with photojournalism. Can you talk a bit about how you developed your style and what characterises your pictures?

I work as a travel photojournalist and the images are not manipulated. They have no post production work. I also work as a portrait photographer and shoot ten weddings a year, and for this type of photography I continue working in post production by using filters and layers to make the images appear to be retro, taken with a vintage camera. About a year ago, I decided to implement these techniques in my new landscape work and loved the results. I later mixed darkroom techniques with various collected textures, sketch book drawings and paint, combining all these elements into one print. I find this way of working deeply satisfying, and I am able to bring together the two disciplines I studied, fine art and photojournalism.

2. Looking at your portfolio, travelling and travel photography certainly play an important part in your life. Any favourite destinations and images you brought back from there? And is there a special place on your agenda for this year? Continue reading

“If Calvendo enables me introduce even more people to my photography, that’s a positive”

Marcus Klepper, a German photographer, loves taking pictures of Berlin and has already won an award for his photographic depictions of the German capital. Calvendo met up with him to find out more about his work and why he’s using the platform.

Aufnahmen von Berlin, die unsere Hauptstadt in seiner ganzen Farbenpracht präsentieren.

Berlin at its best.

Marcus, you’re a photographer who uses Calvendo to publish calendars. Tell us a bit about you and photography.

Well, I was a bit of a late starter with regards to photography and bought my first DSLR camera at the age of 29 in 2005. Before that, I was only a “snapper”. I think what happened at that point was that I saw images that I couldn’t realise with the camera I had used so far but still wanted to try to make those images real. I therefore experimented a lot with different techniques after buying my first DSLR camera. I’m now on my fourth camera gear and have finally found something that fulfils my needs.

What’s your favourite genre and why?

I most enjoy landscape and architecture photography because even if your objects might be static and don’t alter their position, the change in light and season makes for numerous different facets.

How did you learn about Calvendo?

I’ve got a photography page on Facebook and fans frequently asked me if I didn’t want to publish calendars. However, the cost involved and prefinancing needed prevented me from doing so. Then, a friend and fellow photographer told me about Calvendo since he’d been using the platform for some time. I’ve now published a number of Berlin calendars with Calvendo.

What are your aims when publishing calendars?

It’s mainly about being able to offer a calendar to people who were interested and asked for it. If Calvendo introduces even more people to my calendars and they like them, that’s a positive side effect.

How do you market your calendars? And how does Calvendo support you?

I promote my calendars on my Facebook page or via word of mouth and friends spreading the word. At the same time, I don’t want to overdo it with marketing on my page since photography for me is mainly a passion. If I can also earn something with it, that’s great and just a bonus. I noticed that if there’s too much promotion, my fans don’t like that.

In general, I’m very happy with the support I get from Calvendo. With the platform, it onlye takes a few mouse clicks and a week later or so people can already order my calendar on different retail platforms.

Photography is actually more then only a small hobby for you. You also take part in competitions, right?

The competitions I take part in are either run by photography magazines or well known internet communities. There are a lot of competitions out there that only want get hold of loads of images cheaply. Everyone submitting their image cedes publication rights to the respective portal, no matter if you’re among the winners or not. What happens is that a camera worth a few hundred is put up as a prize and the competition organisers are then being sent thousands of images that can be used without asking for further permission or paying for them.

With regards to communities you mentioned: Are you also meeting up in person with those photographers?

Yes, absolutely. I often meet up with fellow photographers and some of them have become friends.

And what do photographers talk about when they’re sitting together?

Very often you meet up with photographers that have similar interests. But then again, also with some who have a completely different focus. So, for example, I might want to know about people photography and the photographer who specialises in this field will then get information from me about my areas of expertise. Another thing is testing equipment if you’re looking to buy something new. Or asking about experiences with specific hardware.

What are you plans for this year?

Getting up my own homepage. And exploring some European capitals such as London, Paris or Rome. Let’s see what happens. I’m happy to let myself be surprised.

Thanks for talking to us, Marcus! We certainly wish you lots of positive surprises and, most of all, great photography motives galore!