Investing in photography – why should I choose a professional photographer?

Investing in photography – why should I choose a professional photographer?

When you look around the walls of your home, what would you like to see?

Many people choose to decorate their homes with portraiture of their family and loved ones and it is this that can help to turn a house into a home, giving you a place that you want to spend time. A quality portrait should be attractive to the eye and impress the mind and as a professional photographer, it is John’s opinion that wall hung legacy portraiture is one of the most important pieces of home furniture you could invest in, and that is something that he has chosen to specialise in. His style is to create photographic art, whether that be for the home or for the office, and fourTwographs is one of the North West’s most diversified portraiture studios.

When investing in photography for your home, there are many things which you need to consider. Where in the home will it hang, and what kind of size is best suited there? What colouring needs to be used to complement the existing decor? What kind of location or background would you like to be used in the picture? But ultimately, what will make it feel personal to yourself? If you’re having pictures taken of your children or your family, dress in a way that will express how you are as a family, i.e. smart casual, or if you’re all mad on a certain sport or hobby, can you represent that and still look polished. These are all things that you can discuss here at fourTwographs, and John can help you to create the look you want, and even provide you with ideas you may not have thought of. Working together will allow you to beautifully depict your loved ones in the best way.

Furthermore, taking the time and money to invest in an independent professional photography company like fourTwographs means that the end result will be polished and perfected to a high standard, and should you then buy through the studio, you’re guaranteed that the prints or canvas will provide the ideal photographic legacy for your home for many years to come.

A quick Tip

A Professional Photographer will have Insurance Ask to see their Public Liability Certificate


Three boys and a box of raisins

Quick early shoot Saturday  morning with these handsome young boys These three were brilliant sitters. Nominated for a photoshoot by their Grandmother from a facebook request I had put out there on my page - clicking the image will take you there - looking...

Am I right for the job?

Professional photographer. Choosing the right one to work with you Ideally you should be making your choice of photographer based on the style of images you want to hang in your home. Fine art, Life style, Fashion, high key, Low key, Black...

Mal Firth Customer Satisfaction

Last month you may recall I had a photoshoot with a wise gentleman and his three dogs. Read the post here. Mal, Sam, Brett and Molly. Well yesterday Mal came into the studios to collect the purchased fine art prints from that shoot. He was absolutely over the moon...

Headshots – Social Media

You are not alone in having worries and concerns about having your photo taken We really have heard every excuse under the sun, and know exactly how you feel. Lots of clients feel this way  and often come into the studio feeling nervous and apprehensive about having...

cat portrait – Siamese patrol

Cat Portrait Today was not the best of days freedom wise. You see, it turned out that my human - Laura - had arranged for a gentleman by the name of John Bentley to come and photograph my...

Cake Smash

Three Part Portrait Cake Smash Mother and Son came to the studio with friend who had made the cake, especially for the little boy, Elliott. Shannon was really excited when she saw the set up. Elliott looked adorable, had dungarees on with ‘I am One’ printed all over....

What to wear for a shoot

A common question asked when people are booking a family portrait with us at fourTwographs Fine Art Studio During our family portraits you can bring a change of clothes and colours, we are happy to discuss this with you before your day. Below we have come up with a...

Invest in yourself

    Having professional photographs taken can be a huge confidence boost. And I should know! Since meeting John on Project 22, we’ve become good friends and I've become his social media monkey! But he has also used me as a (completely and utterly...

Time Spent With Malcolm Firth

Below are a small collection of images taken by myself John Bentley, of the late GREAT Malcolm Samuel Firth who on the 24th April 2014 decided he needed to take a long rest in preparation for the afterlife. If anyone out there is wanting to have a pictorial memory of...

Gillian Mellor – social media guru

Today was a great day to work with a person that admitted they used their own photograph in social media instead of a professional headshot that will get her noticed. Gillian is a social media advisor in the process of building her followers and skills in the...

What I aim to do

Just because you have a fancy camera and super duper lenses does not make you a photographer. it's the same with knowing how to take nice photographs. It does not mean you’ll be successful as a professional. My job as the photographer is to tell you a story, to take...
John Bentley Says " Did you know ... "

John Bentley Says " Did you know ... "

Founder Photographer

If you purchased one of our Legacy Portraits of 30×20 and above, in size. You can have it hanging in your home for 7 days, and if it does not feel right, you can return it for a full no quibble money back guarantee.

YES that is correct!

Book a Legacy Portrait session, choose to have one Image created at 30″ x 20″ and above and we will let you see if it is fitting in to your home. Now who else do you know that will do that for you?

Headshot V’s Portrait

Headshot V’s Portrait

Often I am asked by people ‘ what is the difference between a Headshot and a Portrait.

The straight answer would be ‘ Headshots are for business and your promotional material. Portraits are for hanging on the wall in your home or office’

The difference between headshots and portraits is not a matter of technique – but is in fact, one of intent.

Portraits generally try to tell a story about the sitter. A personal sentimental connection for the family I guess. They will generally be shot in a different lighting scenario and so will be more moody and add character to the sitter. They are allowed more shadow to the face than a Headshot.

Headshots are self-descriptive . They are shots of the head ( Headshot ). As a rule, headshots do not go below the shoulders and almost NEVER include the hands. Portraiture can include the full body and hands.

Headshots are almost always evenly lit or at best very light shadows, but must NOT be blown out ( highlights that remove skin texture from the sitter ) Having said this portraiture in all manners should not have blown out areas.

Headshots are generally used by business persons, actor, musicians and all staff members to represent who they are. Headshots MUST be shot at eye level and the sitter must be looking at the camera. This gives the viewer full engagement. Portraiture, on the other hand, can have the sitter looking off in other directions.

Above is a strip of three portrait scenarios. The middle one could count has a Headshot. But to me, it is a portrait. Also, the sitter is wearing jewellery with a name tag so that would not count for a Headshot

Now below, is a strip of three promotional shots. the outer two are headshots and the middle is a promotional shot. Again full length, so it would possibly indicate portraiture, but it was shot for a promotional manager who was the client. The client requested a full length shot for their company magazine. All three photographs use lighting that will evenly light the face with minimal shadows.

And  then further down here we have a musician who needed a shot with his saxophone. A journalist who wanted her headshots outdoors, and a framer, Les Cliffe who wanted shots for his website showing him at work and his guild commended title with him. Again it comes under the category of Headshot/promotional material.  You will notice the lighting style in all three is different. It is more natural and evenly lit.

fourTwographs - the art of getting you noticed.


Professional Headshot Photography

Professional Headshot Photography

Your unique personality My goal is to pull amazing expressions from you, so that you appear confident, approachable and likable. Invest in yourself, and others will too!     07929 968139 Suite 1 First Floor, St Georges House, 2 St Georges Road, Bolton BL1...

read more
Corporate Portraiture – headshot guidance

Corporate Portraiture – headshot guidance

Are you looking to have new images created for your brand, next project, or just feel you need a good new selection of rotating social media imagery. If so, give me a call anytime and let's do this! You have seconds to leave your mark in all this social media noise....

read more
Festive Shoots

Festive Shoots


Chew the fat festive sessions are just that. You and your family/friends will spend 20 minutes within the studio set and be your natural selves. The photographer will capture up to 40 images that he considers to be the key moments. You will be given a choice of which image you would like to be processed and delivered in a digital file to your given email address.


£25 and to include one Digital file to print and use without restrictions. Copyright is/will still remain that of fourtwographs. You can print the image and share the image so long as you do not alter the image in anyway with filters. Cropping is allowed but we tend to crop for optimum viewing and print.


Whilst we here at fourTwographs endeavour to to get the best images for you and your family. We cannot be held responsible for images not being captured the way you would have liked. The shoots are all candid so we are looking to get the best shots within the environment setting on the day. Your friends/Family need to be aware of this.


The parties agree to positive cooperation and communication for the best possible result within the definition of this assignment. John Bentley, fourTwographs and it’s staff are not responsible for key individuals’ failure to be present or to cooperate during photography sessions, neither for missed images due to details not revealed.

Why Not Book A portrait Session

Project 22 Part 2 – The Preview that wasn’t a Preview

Project 22 Part 2 – The Preview that wasn’t a Preview

On Friday the 11th August, John opened The Gallery at St. George’s House from 5-7pm to allow people to come and view the second part of the Project 22 exhibition. The images were changed over by John and Becki on the 4th of August and then available to view from the 5th. It was never intended to be like the first preview evening when the first half of Project 22 went on display – there was no offer of refreshment and it was only arranged in the five days previous. And whilst John only expected around a dozen people to attend, he was pleasantly surprised when closer to 35 people attended to view the latest selection of faces and order their own prints, supporting Lagan’s Foundation.

Much like the original preview evening, John spent much of the evening talking to many of the faces he had photographed. The two hours flew by in a blur of laughter, conversations with strangers whilst sat on the stairs, the infamous bear hugs and talk of the new project – #WhiteShirt.

The momentum continued on the Saturday, with a further 14 people arranging to view the exhibition privately. John can often be heard to say that Project 22 has allowed him to find 679 new friends, and I have often been amazed how he can recall the names of those he spent 15 minutes photographing, apart from one woman (Michele Pearce) who came to this event that he had completely forgotten the name of! But we can’t all be perfect, can we John!

The Forgotten Women

John & Michelle Make Up X

Project 22 – The Great Reveal

Project 22 – The Great Reveal

On Thursday 6th July, the first half of the Project 22 exhibition went on display to the public in The Gallery at St. Georges House as part of the Manifest Arts Festival.

Over 14 hours, John and exhibition curator Emma displayed 270 images, with 211 hung on the walls, and a collection of images that featured a chesterfield armchair in a vintage suitcase.

John has displayed his images in a way which allows it to be a tactile exhibition. The images hung onto the walls are pinned only at the top, allowing the viewer to gently lift them away from the wall and look at them in different lighting, exploring the angles of each image, and the collection in the suitcase are intended to be rifled through.

The preview evening on the Thursday can only be described as a success.

At least 70-80 people came to view and explore the images taken from the 679 faces that were photographed.

Strangers were recognising each other from the displayed images and sharing their thoughts and John himself was the centre of attention. There was a constant circle around him with people lining up to not only congratulate him but also to receive a bear hug!

At one point the staircase was full of people sat down and passing the images from the suitcase back and forth, something which I think made John quite proud. The exhibition really is a must-see (and I’m not saying that because I’m in it…)

Now that I’ve written the serious part, here are a few facts directly from the horse’s mouth about how the exhibition came to be! According to John, it has taken:

– 8 bottles of whiskey and umpteen gallons of coffee (that he adds salt to…)

– Around 130 hours a week of work, across 17 weeks

– One weekend completely lost due to exhaustion. He slept straight through!

– At least one side of bacon, a lettuce (from trying to be healthy) and apparently a cucumber?

– Around £1500 currently raised for Lagan’s Foundation, with more coming in every day, although John recons this would have been easily doubled if he’d had a swear box enforced on him!

– 679 new friends made, 30 people personally offended and 2 who unfriended him on Facebook!

– One accidentally duplicated image in the exhibition – oops! CAN YOU SPOT IT?


This first collection of images will be on display Monday to Friday, 9-5pm, until the 3rd of August, at which point the images will be taken down and the second collection will be hung, ready to be displayed on the 4th August until the 4th September.

The result of the exhibition being split into two viewings being that each run will last for 22 days.

2222 AGAIN!

For more information on the Manifest Arts Festival, visit

Roger Bygott

multidisciplinary visual artist

The images below were provided by Roger Bygott



Beautiful Portraits By John Bentley | fourTwographs Fine Art Studios

Beautiful Portraits By John Bentley | fourTwographs Fine Art Studios

If you are having a MUA with your photoshoot then please consider these few pointers to make the job and your look the best it can be.

  1. Clean faces please – Often women will either forget that their MUA will be applying foundation, don’t feel comfortable leaving the house without it, or simply don’t realize that they should come to their appointment without any makeup. This means no foundation, no primer, no mascara — nothing!
  2. Clean hair – Try to have your hair washed and FREE from all products before the day of your photoshoot. No hairsprays or gels please
  3. Silence Is Golden – the MUA is going to be doing their best to create clean, crisp lines for you and the camera, and nothing is more difficult than applying makeup to a moving face. Chat first, then take a verbal break while your MUA applies lipstick, and other delicate details like eyeliner and mascara.
  4. Know what you want – start a conversation about your goals before the MUA starts to create your look based on her opinions. That being said, all of the makeup in the world can’t undo years or months of skin damage in one sitting. Plan on having an open and honest discussion with your MUA before she begins, and be realistic and accepting of what she tells you her limits might be. If she says something won’t work out, trust her. They are not trying to hold back — they wants you to love the end results.
  5. Please be honest and speak up – The MUA genuinely wants you to be happy. If there is any part of the look they are creating you are unhappy with, let them know immediately.

Have some patience in the process — things might not look the way you expect in the middle of your makeover, but talk to your MUA about your expectations. If things are clearly going in an unplanned direction, speak up. The last thing either of you want is to walk away with regrets, and the only way to prevent that is clear communication. After all it is your money that pays for the correct look and final images.


If you are attending the shoot with intentions of having images captured with your shoulders/cleavage then PLEASE TRY NOT to wear a bra that day or at the very least wear a strapless one. This will help to eliminate the visible appearance of strap lines. Bring a bra with you but please only put it on just before the shoot.

If you are intending showing your legs or belly/hips, again, please consider loose fitting undergarments and leggings. All these will help eliminate any lines that will need to be removed later. Not every image taken can be photoshopped to look fantastic.
Please tell the photographer before your booking if there is any particular image you are looking to create at the photo session and then he can speak to you and advise you on any problems that can be avoided.

Thank you for reading and understanding these simple pointers.

Kindest Regards John Bentley