I think that’s a first ..

Bloody hell, here’s a first!..

In 1984 I was invited over to Northern Ireland to photograph a Wedding. Hilda and Kenny! Lovely couple and I think I shot it on a Mamiya 645. Well, I’ve just been asked if I’ll go over again to photograph the Wedding of … their daughter! OMG! Have I been shooting that long?..

Of course I’m delighted, naturally, and it’s all I can do to stop myself nipping over on the Stranraer ferry for a quick dress-rehearsal! (I’m joking, of course! I’d actually go from Liverpool!..) It’s incredible, though, to think I’d already been a professional photographer for six years by the time I shot Danielle’s parents’ Wedding – two of those as a freelance – and though I wouldn’t have been able to imagine this far ahead, it’s wonderful to think I’m still a photographer in 2014! But photographing the daughter of one of ‘my brides’ .. astonishing! Can’t wait to drop that into the conversation the next time a bride-to-be asks me “Done this long?…”

PS: Today’s photograph? Aw, I just loved the generational theme to today’s blog, and couldn’t resist this shot of my Mum with my sister Catherine! I actually photographed Catherine’s Wedding as well –  way over 25 years ago – and she herself now has two strapping lads in their 20s. I’m guessing my Dad took the shot ..  ‘cos I’d have been about four!

I think about flare ..

It’s pouring outside, so here’s something you definitely won’t have a problem with today .. lens flare! Although – oh, I forgot – you can now add it to your pictures on the computer to make your shots more “interesting”! My, how fashions change! This advert for a Pentax multi-coated lens – designed to prevent flare – is in a 1972 edition of Camera Magazine, which I nicked when I was but a lad! (Well, I couldn’t afford to buy it .. it was 75p a copy! Oh, and please don’t tell anyone I pinched it! I’ve got away with it for this long .. ) It just makes me think about all the current ‘trends’ for ‘fussing up’ your Wedding photographs! Vintage looks, streaks of flare, insipid, bleached-out black and white! How out of fashion will that all look when a bride and groom look back at their photographs on their Silver Anniversary?

Amazing to think I was so keen on photography even way back then! I know I just had to have this magazine. It featured an “Iconographic Chronological History” of Photography – a whole edition full of photographs from Niépce to Diane Arbus – all names I’d never heard of at the time, but it’s nice to think that – forgive me – I turned out to have a bit of a flair for the art myself. One thing’s for sure if we’re talking about fashions. In 1972, I certainly had the flares!..

I think about football (US!) ..

Red, forty-three! Hut! Hut!…

And so it is, with delight, that I tell you I’ve managed to get tickets to see the Dallas Cowboys against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley next November! Phew, that’s a weight off my mind! I’ve been a fan of ‘Gridiron’ since it started on Channel 4 back in the 80s, so I’m thrilled to be able to finally see one of the ‘star’ teams in action. Of course, I’ve photographed the game in the past, but watching the Manchester Allstars play American Football at the Willows Rugby Ground in Salford wasn’t quite the same thing, bless ’em!..

I’m having a ‘day of domesticity’ today. Well, I’m supposed to be! I’d planned to start building some new units for the kitchen but I’d only managed to get some bits out of boxes before I was distracted by other things! I have quite a collection of signed photography books, and somehow I started rearranging them all and putting them into polythene bags to keep them clean. Of course, that then entailed actually looking at them and so, before you know it, half the morning’d gone! I’ve got some cracking autographs, though! André Kertesz, Mary Ellen Mark, Don McCullin .. even David Hockney, if you count his collages – and why wouldn’t you? These are are people I’ve met, by the way! They’re not just books I’ve bought, pre-signed! That’s the equivalent of watching The Allstars when you really wanted to see The Cowboys ..

PS: David Hockney’s autograph? You’d swear to God he’s written ‘Gary Lowry’ ..!

I think I’ll keep it ..

Blimey! Remember my blog about slow news days? I wrote about the times I used to have to go out and ‘find’ stories for the paper because there wasn’t a lot going on after Christmas, and I mentioned the story about the guy in the bath on the water-park! Well, I found the cutting! It’s in an old scrapbook of MEN photographs I kept in my office. I told you I never throw anything out!..

I’ve got an interesting photo-shoot this afternoon. Funnily enough, a lady’s bringing along an old photograph that she wants to recreate. I’ve not seen it yet so, at the mo, I haven’t any idea how to set up my lights or the backdrops, but it’s along the lines of a 1950s boudoir photograph that she’s kept in a magazine. Cripes! She mustn’t throw anything out either!..