The ISIS Crisis


About 10 years ago I set up a subsidiary photography company dealing with the more “social” side of the business. Its an odd term as I don’t feel particularly unsociable photographing in the “commercial” sector… Actually, surely all professional photography is “commercial”? Anyway, I digress.

I had always thought that the two types of photography should be kept apart as there was (and still is) a perception that wedding and portrait photography was somehow a lesser skill than the corporate work I mainly undertook. As the years have gone on I realise that the skills necessary are completely interchangeable and one market will feed the creativity of the other. Alongside that the organisational skills needed in arranging many people in a short space of time for a variety of shots is invaluable in both markets.

For instance, a lot of shots I do could be called corporate portraiture, images of executives or employees for annual reports, websites etc. These may differ in tone from a portrait to hang in a home, for instance, but the lessons learned in one environment can be transferred to the other.

Whether it’s using natural light on a subject…

…or something as simple as a bit of a folded-armed lean!

So what is the point of this blog then? When I set up the wedding business I wanted a name that was as far from my corporate style as possible, with a name that evoked a more romantic, feminine feel. So I came up with this…

What could possibly go wrong? An Egyptian goddess which “remains one of the most familiar images of empowered and utter femininity,” and a beautifully ornate logo. I was on to a winner.

Until a few years ago when things started to get a bit interesting. True, I wasn’t massively promoting this side of the business so I probably wasn’t keeping a very close eye on the traffic coming to the site or the Facebook page. But apparently ISIS Photography was creating some interest. And not in a good way. Bookings were about the same, but likes and followers were increasing. As were comments…

Eventually at the beginning of last year I had to close down the website and the Facebook page as it was obvious ISIS were here to stay (no matter how much I wanted ISIL or Daesh to stick) and I realised the association, while an interesting talking point, wasn’t going to help my credibility.

So this year I have relaunched the site as Matt Fowler Photography keeping the same logo as the core business but emphasising the wedding, portrait and events side. The web address will be and the corporate address will remain as

Hopefully no-one with my name will decide in the next few years that they fancy a crack at world domination…

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