Sunshine after the rain ..

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Like the Tory manifesto, this morning’s blog was going to be full of light and goodness, of hope and optimism, of the feel-good factor ..

.. and now I just feel like having a grumble!

Firstly, because of the weather. I awoke to pouring rain on a day when my car is going to have its air-conditioning re-gassed – for the intolerable high temperatures, don’t ya know – and on a day when I’ve got to wait in for the delivery of an inflatable plunge-pool to take to France – for the intolerable etc., etc., etc …
Oh, the irony ..

And then there’s the fact that I’ve just had some emails from a hotel at which I shot a Wedding recently. “Can you send us some of your shots for a booklet we want to produce?” they asked. “Of course” I said, and mentioned a repro price that was sensible yet reflected my undoubted skill, artistry and genuis vision (!) “Oh, we’ll leave it then” they said “We thought you’d supply them free of charge” ..

I shall leave a pause here for you to imagine the angriness ..

And so to today’s photograph. What has it to do with the blog? Sod all, but I shot it in France so it makes me feel better. Oooh, the sun’s coming out ..

Get in there ..

Doreen couldn’t have expressed her feelings any more clearly when she married Graham on Saturday and do you know what? .. that’s exactly how I felt yesterday when I got my first ever booking for a shoot in France. Yes, I’m booked for a job in France! Bloody brilliant!..

Anyway, first things first. I shot the Wedding of Graham and Doreen on Saturday and had a blast. They were so much fun and much to my relief we managed to get all our shots done outside despite the threatening thunder rumbles.
Check them out here ..

And then yes .. I got my first booking for a shoot in France, and will be heading over again next month to photograph three gîtes for website and advertising purposes. I am so thrilled. This is where my work needs to take me as I aim to be living there full-time by September. So thank you Doreen, for expressing my feelings exactly ..

That’s so 1997 ..

Yesterday I bumped into a lady I’d not seen for a while.
“Do you remember coming to our house to photograph my grandson?” she asked.
“I do ..” I replied “How is he?”
“Oh, fine ..” she said “He’s just had a baby of his own!” ..

Long silence! What? That baby is a father? How did that happen? Turns out that original photo-shoot was just over twenty years ago! Twenty? Oh, my giddy! Where have all those years gone?..

I suggested I return to the house and arrange another photo-shoot. The lady giggled, embarrassed, and the friend she was with looked me straight in the eye and said “We can do that on the phone now ..”
How times change ..

Now you see it ..

blossomI’m writing this on a typical Friday night before a Wedding. I’m charging batteries, cleaning sensors, dusting lenses, formatting memory cards .. all to make sure I’m good to go in the morning. So it was nice that I got a chance to get out this afternoon, walk the dogs, get some fresh air .. and notice all the blossom, already falling to the floor. That’s Wedding Photography in a nutshell. A Wedding Day is such a fast moving, fleeting thing that it’s vital you have a good photographer to capture the entire feel of the day whilst it’s there. Sod this modern “fashion shoot” approach to Weddings. Get in there and get some proper documentary photography done. Sermon over ..

Hels Bells ..

Bad weather? Well, I’m not saying it was windy at yesterday’s Wedding but just take a look at this. The bloody veil blew off! Then it drizzled, then it rained, then it absolutely hammered down .. and all the bride and groom’s family group shots had to be done indoors. Still, we managed to get every picture the couple wanted, and more power to Helen and Simon for braving the elements just to please little old me. Many congratulations, guys. Oh, and Hels Bells? It’s not a misprint, it’s Helen’s name on ye olde Book of Face.
Hell’s Bells indeed ..

Getting my fix ..

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I’ve had a fantastic weekend, with a Wedding on Saturday and a Wedding Fayre on Sunday. I actually had to leave a photograph of myself on the sideboard so that Lesley would remember what I looked like ..

Saturday was fab, with the Wedding of Jane and Christian in Winsford and a reception at the delicious Willington Hall near Chester. I love this intimate little moment as the newly-weds emerged from the church. Many congrats, you two ..

Sunday was spent at Hollin Hall, where I had a stand at their Wedding Fayre. I spoke to lots of lovely new brides and have my fingers crossed I’ll be shooting for at least a couple of them very soon ..

There’s now a break in my bookings until next month, so it’s just as well I got a good Wedding ‘fix’ when I could ..

Food for thought ..

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Apparently it’s now the done thing to show ‘behind-the-scenes’ shots from one’s PR work. “They” say it helps er .. something or other .. so who am I to argue? A few weeks back I was booked to shoot all the food on the menu of a new outside catering company, but the space we got to do it was .. well, the gap behind the boss’s desk! Each dish was brought in from the design kitchen and plonked in front of my camera, and I was then left to work my magic as best I could. I shot mains, starters and a selection of pies, all on a little table in the corner of an office. It ain’t glamorous, but it just shows you what a good photographer can do when he has to. Food for thought, eh? ..

Book me now ..

coverApparently today is World Book Day, which seems to be another of these commercially driven ideas that’ll cost the nation’s parents a fortune in character costume purchases. However, it reminded me I’ve not said anything about my new book for a while. New book, Martin? Oh yes, didn’t you know I’d written a book? It’s called ‘The Boy who missed Next Year’ and is available from all good retailers for ..

Actually, it’s not available from any shops. I mean, it would be if it had been taken up by a publisher but, for some bizarre reason, of the 30 odd I sent it to, not one could see the amazing potential in the story! Still, in true JK styley, I am persevering and have made it available on Amazon Kindle for all you discerning readers to buy ..

Actually, I’ll be testing it out soon when I give a reading at a local kids’ book club. As it’s basically a children’s adventure story I’m really keen to see how it goes down with youngsters and who knows? Next year you could be splashing out on fancy-dress that makes your child look like one of my characters ..

Back to school ..

I’m going to talk about our gîte again. Oh no, I hear you cry, this blog’s supposed to be about photography. Ah well, it is, because today I want to tell you that the latest people to book our place have also booked .. my photography workshop! Yes! Can’t wait! It’s (probably) the first time I’ll give it in France ..

My workshop is a simple day’s photographic fun. A couple of hours on mechanics: aperture/shutter/ISO etc .. and then we move onto the good stuff .. composition and framing and seeing photographs. More importantly, it’s an afternoon concentrating on what the ‘students’ actually want to shoot. It might be portraits or ladybirds or sausages but the main thing is they’ll get the chance to photograph their subjects alongside a professional photographer. A debriefing follows, when we download and compare our photography and then, well .. it’s France .. wine and cheese .. bien sûr!..