Best of 2018

2018 was a year of change, challenge and accomplishment for me, with numerous awards and personal accomplishments along the way. Each year I like to look back at what I consider to be the “Best Bits” which include the imagery I like best; which isn’t always the clients first choice. I started to do these year in reviews as a way for me to battle low self esteem and confidence, in 2018 I bought myself a little black book and started to write down my achievements no matter how small. During the year I lost my little black book and will explain why a bit further down the page.

On Christmas day 2017 I received a phone call from Jeep Chrysler in China and was asked to bid on a piece of work for the Jeep K8 Concept Car, the agency loved my treatment document and I made it through to one of the top two photographers shortlisted. The second photographer was Easton Chang, an Australian photographer whose work I admire. Unfortunately neither of use got to photograph the car as it wasn’t built in time for the promotion and so instead some CGI renders were created.

The image below is based on some ideas generated from the treatment document I created for Jeep Chrysler, the Mercedes I photographed at the end of 2018 at Mercedes Benz World, of which I originally helped build the landscaping before I turned to photography.

Mercedes-Benz AMG G63 V8 Bi Turbo
Kent Chamber Awards

Finalist for Kent Chamber Business Awards

In November 2017 I launched a new business called Scorpion Media, I created Scorpion Media to support local small businesses in Kent. I found most my local clients did not have a web designer or a graphic designer and therefore found it hard to give good image briefs. I introduced to them a Visual Branding package where I would design and build a website so that their imagery could be planned and shot for its specific use. 

Asked to provide training by Canon for Canon Pro members with the Porsche Club GB

In February I was approached by Canon UK & IE to run a two day workshop for the Pro Members alongside Top Gear Photographer Rod Fountain. There were 75 participants per day, whilst I concentrated on Artificial and Mixed Lighting including smoke bombs, Rod concentrated on Natural Light photography. Below are a few images from the event.

Porsche Carrera GTS in Smoke

Awarded Associateship of The Master Photographers Association

In 2017 I was invited to Licentiateship my The MPA for my work and invited to talk at their annual awards weekend. In 2018 I successfully submitted an associateship panel and was awarded an Associateship of The Master Photographers Association.

Bought my First Home

It is such a struggle as a self employed person to find a mortgage deal, let alone a good one. I finally reached the milestone I needed to be offered a mortgage and we bought our first home together, which we moved into in July. My parter Dora and I will have been together 8 years this April and agreed not to get married before we have a home. We now have a home… and a puppy Husky called Dusty… and a cat called Daisy… and a Turtle called Donny… so that’s Darren, Dora, Daisy, Dusty and Donny hmm what to call our children when we get around to it? Anyway we are pleased to announce that the wedding has been set for 10th April 2019 🙂

Hired a Personal Assistant

I realised that there are only so many hours in a day, therefore from time to time I need a little help. I hired Kelly for a few hours a month to help keep me on track and keep in touch with existing and new clients. Kelly is a god send!

Won London & South East Commercial Master Photographer of the Year 

Ray Lowe shakes my hand as he acknowledges my award, the winning image is that shown of a DS Divine concept car. The MPA have been a major driving force in the past year with both my personal and professional development.

Finalist for the Illustrative Category at the Annual Master Photographers Association Awards plus 3 Merits

To be awarded finalist at a national level was a great achievement. This year I have spent some on personal projects for self development, this image is part of my personal project on mixing car photographs with graphical imagery. It was originally shot as a feature for Classic Ford Magazine, it is a MKI RS2600 Prototype Capri one of only two prototypes made in their German Factory.

Increased Value of Brand by 25%

Pearlessence London approached me to help photograph their luxury bathbombs. Their graphic design and website looked great apart from the imagery wasn’t representative of the quality of the brand and product. Each bathbomb has a ring inside worth £20-2000, its a bit like a kinder egg for adults and each bomb was being sold for £20. Since working with the company on both still and animated imagery they have now increased the price to £25 and have higher sales.

Overcome New Challenges

SuperGlass Maidstone challenged me to photograph a Maserati window glass as part of a before/after promotion. The initial image needed to show the damage and the second image had to show the repair. Each shot was taken 2 weeks apart, each shot needed different lighting, the window had to appear support-less and the background needed to remain consistent. After a lot of planning and testing the final result was stunning.

Re-Launch of Portrait Studio

I was approached by Theatre Royal Stratford East to photograph their actors profile headshots for the season. It was back in 2012 that I closed my studio doors to portraiture as was mainly out on location photographing cars and products and therefore had no need for the studio. However after photographing these actors I decided that it was about time I started to shoot portraiture again and have just relaunched Portraits in Kent 

The following images are a collection of different client and personal work that I enjoyed from the last year, the work includes a trip to the Lake and Peak District, some portraiture including test shots from the new Canon EOS-R and the wedding of my cousin Scott. Enjoy!

Master Photographers Awards Success

MPA Award Winners Announced

Darren Woolway AMPA, ARPS, Ba(Hons) of Scorpion Media claims the highly coveted awards of 3 Merits, an Award of Excellence in the Illustrative Photographic Category as a finalist, an Associateship Distinction and was awarded the South East Commercial Photographer of the Year in the MPA Master Photography Awards 2018

The MPA Awards Ceremony, Jurys Inn Hinckley Island, 7th October 2018

Celebrating the Masters of Photography, the annual Master Photographers Association (MPA) Awards welcomed some of the greatest photography talents in a glittering awards ceremony last night.

So high was the standard of entrants this year a record number of merit winners were selected for the wall of fame, 16 stunning displays printed by MPA sponsors, The Print Foundry. Merit winners were invited to the awards ceremony where finalists and winners from around the globe were announced.

Over 2000 entries from working professionals kicked off the first round of digital judging, with a second round of images being scrutinized in the printed submission round. A panel of leading industry judges carried out the mammoth task of judging at the Darlington headquarters.

Some of the biggest names in the photographic industry attended, and The Photography Show, The Print Foundry, 3XM Solution, Digitalab, Fujifilm, Epson, Graphistudio, Mastering Portrait Photography, Jerry Ghionis, Yervant, GotPhoto, Sim Imaging, Google Digital Garage, and Loxley Colour were amongst the list of sponsors presenting these prestigious awards.

Ray Lowe, CEO of the MPA comments: “The standard of photography we have seen this year is without a doubt world class. It is always exciting to see new faces coming through and rewarding to see such great talent entering our awards. With entrants both UK and worldwide, our winners really are the pinnacle of creative excellence. The Association has sat as the premier photographic association since 1952 and this year marked the 34th Awards ceremony. It is an absolute honor to showcase imagery of such high standard and we are extremely proud to represent some of the greatest professional image makers globally.

For more information please contact the MPA on: +44 (0)1325 356555 or at

To view our members outstanding creative imagery please visit the awards website:


Editors notes:

This press release was written by the MPA.

Release Date:

00:00 Hrs 7th October 2018


About the MPA:
Established in 1952, the Master Photographers Association is the United Kingdom’s premier organization for qualified professional photographers.

The MPA offers members a variety of membership benefits, including education, qualifications, informative regional meetings, national seminars, and business building promotions with marketing support.

All qualified members adhere to a strict Code of Conduct and have undergone qualification to at least Licentiate standard. Each photographer must have undergone a rigorous assessment of their photographic work and business practice before achieving qualification.

Established in 1952 the MPA has promoted true professionalism in photography for over 60 years..

For Further Information, please contact:
The MPA on: +44 (0)1325 356555 or at

Canon UK & Porsche Club GB Workshops – SOLD OUT

On Monday I was contacted by Canon UK in regards to running a workshop for members of the Porsche Club GB. The event will take place on the 14th April and will be free to 75 members of the club. This is a great opportunity to be able to share my passion of automotive photography with so many enthusiasts and help them be able to take better pictures of their own vehicles.

I have to admit though I have been a bit like a kid in a candy shop, not only do I get to run this workshop but I have available to me all the latest kit from Canon, Manfrotto and their partners. The best thing for the members is that Canon will also be showcasing their latest printers, so members will be able to shoot and print their results to take home with them from the experience. With an amazing line up of a 356 Coupe, a 944 Turbo and the latest 991.2 GT3 RS to photograph on the day this is going to be an event to remember. Keep an eye out here and on Canon UK for some behind the scenes work.

UPDATE 20/03/18 – All places are now sold out, it was released on Friday 16th March at 12.30pm and by the end of the day there were no places left. Seems like the workshops are very popular and I am sorry that you may have missed out… this time.

RWB UK Trailer

Currently I am working on a short documentary showing the build of the first Rauh-Welt Begriff 964 Porsche 911 build in the UK. RWB is run by Japanese car designer Nakai-San, he creates wide arch body kits for Porsche’s and tailors the cars ride to that of the driver.

In the last year alone Nakai-San has built over 60 RWB’s across the world, his designs are now so famous that they are used in The Need for Speed video games. This 964 is the first to sport the Royale wide arches and Fender wings and is also one of the first to have a sound system.

The full feature is expected to be 20-30 mins in length and will be released late in 2016. For now I hope you enjoy this 36 second teaser. To keep updated on the progress follow my social sites which are available at the top of the page.

Sir John Hegarty (BBH) joins The Dots as Chairman

“The Dots is critical for the future success of the creative industries – putting creativity at the heart of commerce and industry, whilst also helping creative people realise their full potential. I’m privileged to help shape its future with Pip and her team” Sir John Hegarty

On Friday I received an email from Pip Jamieson, Founder and CEO of The Dots; which has been named as the “LinkedIn for the creative industry”. The Dots is an important place for aspiring creatives’ to both find and share work opportunities, it is full of inspiration from across the industry and is regularly celebrated in their weekly inspiration emails.

I was introduced to The Dots at University where I met Laura Richardson, Head of Marketing and Partnerships at The Dots who gave a very informative lecture and introduced us to the platform. Since then I have met with her and Pip on many occasions including Award shows as well as portfolio review evenings. I think that is one of the best parts of The Dots, the connections they have in the industry and being able to pull these people together for an evening of portfolio reviews which greatly aid in the direction and self development needed to succeed in this industry.

The exciting news that Pip shared with me is that Sir John Hegarty, advertising legend and co-founder of the award winning agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty has been announced as Chairman of this fast growing network for creative professionals The Dots, if you are not yet part of it you need to check it out!

So what does this mean for the future of The Dots?

Above: Pip Jamieson, Founder & CEO, The Dots.

Sir John has more than 6 decades of being at the forefront of the creative industry, with eight D&AD awards, fifteen Clios and almost too many Cannes Lions awards to count, Sir John will be leading the next stage of development and growth of The Dots in the UK after securing a £1.5m investment. This means that the website can now be made mobile friendly, it will become easier to promote yourself and to connect with new contacts and opportunities.

  • Since launching in September 2014, The Dots has rapidly become the go-to platform for the creative sector, attracting thousands of clients to promote their brand and recruit talent, including the BBC, Tate, Net-a-Porter, Vice, Airbnb, Sony Music UK, Condé Nast, Spotify, Facebook, Red Bull, WPP, Selfridges, Channel 4, Liberty, Saatchi & Saatchi, Viacom, Fremantle Media UK, Twitter & Somerset House.
  • Alongside this announcement, The Dots has just raised its first round of investment led by Hambro Perks, an investment group founded by Rupert Hambro and Dominic Perks, whose portfolio companies include Laundrapp, Seeinit and (Tech Awards laureate) What 3 Words.
  • Additional investors include seed stage VC Coral Reef, and Angel Academe; a female-led syndicate investing in start-ups with at least one female founder.
  • The Dots was founded last year by native Brit Pip Jamieson, an entrepreneur who has spent the last 15 years immersed in the creative industries, including executive roles at MTV Australia.
  • Named as one of Australia’s top female entrepreneurs, Pip is back in her hometown London, and set to make waves with her successful start-up.
  • The UK’s creative industries contribute 5% of the UK’s GDP and employ 1.8 million people, with the sector expected to grow 35% between 2015 and 2020, a faster rate than more traditional sectors. According to Nesta, creative roles are hard to automate and subsequently critical for the future prosperity of the UK’s economy.
  • The Dots is on a mission to generate one million commercial opportunities for creative professionals by 2018; helping build a stronger, more profitable and diverse creative sector.

‘Sir John is a creative genius who shares our passion for cultivating and championing top creative talent. We’re beyond excited to be backed by and working with such a legend!” Pip Jamieson

The Dots Team

The Dots Team Left to Right: Laura Richardson, Poppy J, John Down, Pip Jamieson, Sir John Hegarty, Harry Harrison, Bethany Lloyd, Spohie Howe, Tom Blackshire.

The Royal Photographic Society Journal

After working in and out of the photographic industry for 12 years at the age of 27 I decided to go back to University and finally attain a degree in photography. This sudden change came about as I was being made redundant for the second time in 6 years, the first time I went to work on a cruise ship as a photographer and this time I was also contemplating going back to photography full time.

The main issue that I had was that I had only been working part time as a photographer and doing a little bit of teaching since returning from the ships, this meant that I didn’t have enough clientele to take the plunge and go full time freelance straight away. I decided to contact Ikea and River Island who have teams of photographers working for them to get a job, but was rejected from both. A couple of calls later I found out the reason why, I did not have a degree in photography. This I found rather strange as my portfolio wasn’t bad, but I was informed due to the number of applicants and how popular photography is they will only look at your portfolio if you have a degree on your C.V.

That settled it for me, it was at that moment that I decided to go back to University and study; being the end of October I had already missed enrolment for that year but decided I would try anyway. I looked at a few Universities and Colleges as I did not want to do a fine art based course, I want to earn money from photography, real money and I struggle to see that with fine art. Eventually I came across a course at Ravensbourne College, a very new course which included only digital photography and was aimed at commercial photography; Brilliant, so off I took myself to London whilst emailing to get an interview. When I arrived I asked to speak to the head of photography John Gulliver, as I wait for him an email arrived saying that I could have an interview at 2pm… it was 11am and I was ready to be interviewed now!

John eventually came down a little confused, reminding me that there are procedures to follow and interviews to have; so I told him that I didn’t have time for all that and wanted to start immediately. After a short chat and showing him some of my work I was allowed to start the course at the beginning of the next week. My time at Ravensbourne opened up a lot of opportunities, I met many great people in the industry, photographed on stage with Jessie J, Wiley, Lawson, Amelia Lilly, Charlie Brown and went back stage with Union J.

0036dwoolway 0052dwoolway 0068dwoolway 0083dwoolway

Entering the course thinking I was a portrait photographer couldn’t be much different to what I do now, yes I enjoy portraits and am not too bad at them but my passion and skill revolves around still life and the automotive sector. Having networked with so many great people in the industry and trying out many set briefs on the course I was able to make an educated decision of the direction I wanted to follow.


I am due to graduate this year on the 24th November but have already received my results, I have been awarded a first class degree that I am very proud of but could not have done it without the help of a few people. The first would be my beautiful fiancée Dora, she has been there since the beginning and pushed and supported me through the whole process. The second most important person to thank and society is Jo Macdonald from The Royal Photographic Society, over the last few years she has proved to be a valuable asset for me helping with information that I needed and introducing me to people who otherwise would have been un-reachable for my research such as Albert Watson, Terry O’Neil and Annie Leibovitz.

My aim 3 years ago when starting this degree was to work for a few magazines, I currently work for around 5 magazines and these are increasing on a weekly basis. This takes me to my new goal, advertising… currently I have completed some promotional work for Noble Automotive of their M600 Speedster Prototype which has been well used by them and Michelin. It only takes one person to say yes to get the ball rolling.

This leads me onto the main part of this blog post, following my degree I had a short article written about me in The RPS Journal, it features 2 of my images and a bit of text in a section they called “Graduates destined for success”. Having spoke with the new editor at The RPS Annual Awards ceremony last week I am looking forward to a much larger feature sometime soon.



Really excited, just received a sponsorship contract from Fotospeed. It is a great feeling to know that you have the backing of a well respected brand. Look out for my images next year in their product shots and displays at their exhibition stands! p.s. I think it is time I wrote a camera club talk on Colour Correction and printing.


Getty Images


This week I had a couple of meetings at The Getty Images Head Office in Camden, I am now a signed Getty Images artist for Stock shots of cars and backplates. They were interested in the teaching that I have been doing and offered me a position as a Getty Images tutor, to help run workshops for Amateurs to get more into Stock Photography. Last week they went out to Turkey so I look forward to see where I get to go with them.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google