A long, long time ago ..

Have you been watching ‘Happy Valley’ with the amazing Sarah Lancashire? Man, she’s sure been dealing with some monsters in that programme, hasn’t she? Well, here she is again – in earlier times – getting to grips with ‘The Alien’ at the old Granada Studios tours! It’s a shot I took when I used to do the PR Photography for the tour back in the day. Lesley had me go into the loft to look for some old thing or other yesterday and, before you knew it, I’d been lost up there for two hours, distracted by piles of my old press photographs. I found shots of Tony Wilson, David Hockney, Cameron Mackintosh, Bernard Manning, Eartha Kitt and .. wait for it .. Sooty and Sweep .. but it’s an archive that’s sadly lacking because much of my work was filed at the Manchester Evening News .. and they threw it all away when they moved offices. Cheers, MEN! Thank goodness I kept a few of the prints for myself…

Actually, now that I’ve mentioned them, I can’t resist showing you the world’s most famous glove puppets – seen here with Brian Murphy and Matthew Corbett at an Asda store  .. 

.. and Cameron Mackintosh, during a theatre photo-call ..

.. a long, long time ago ..

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Dead Sexy ..

Now here’s one way the Manchester Evening News could buck up its circulation .. boobs and dead bodies .. in yer face, wham bam, hands up! It’s the front page of a newspaper I brought back from Brazil (I told you I never throw anything away!) and I thought I’d show it you today, what with all the excitement of the World Cup in that country and all..

 

The paper’s dated 21st September 1990, so I don’t know if newspaper styles have changed over there or what but hey, it sure made me buy it, even though I can’t read a word of the text! It’s certainly different to any press photography I ever shot! Oh, and there are three more corpses inside the paper. 

No more boobs though!..

Having a laugh ..

Less is more! Yeah, that’s what I got told after I mentioned I’d added 138 images to my new Wedding website. I’m showing too many pictures, I was told. Funny, that! ‘Cos I’m damned sure that if I’d simply put six or seven images online there’d have been someone right there behind me telling me I wasn’t showing enough. So you know what, like the comedians I’ve photographed here, I’m just gonna do it my way! If I like 138 images on my site, I’m having 138 images on my site and if brides get bored of scrolling through all those images – as this guy suggested they would – then guess what .. they can click to change pages! Was he having a laugh?..

Anyway, recognise the comedians? The A to Z reader? That’s Dame Edna, of course. Shot at a hotel in Manchester when I was covering his/her appearance in town. The fingers guy? Sean Hughes, shot at his flat in London when he was just getting famous. And the Comedy Sign guy? That’s Alan Partridge .. I mean, Steve Coogan, way back in the early days of his career. Now these guys are having a laugh ..

I’ll have the squits, please ..

Busy few days ahead for me, with a range of PR jobs to shoot and a lovely Bank Holiday Wedding to round off the week. I’ll be at a primary school on Wednesday, photographing the kids for a new school website and brochure. I’m also photographing a ‘Summer Showcase’ for the Imperial War Museum North, and then it’s a trip down memory lane as I get to return for a shoot at the one and only Coronation Street Tour, at the old Granada Studios site in Manchester. I used to shoot all their PR photography, so no funny comments about it shutting down all those years ago!!..

Of course, as soon as one is busy again any recent holiday seems to disappear into the distance faster than a 99 on Blackpool beach. It’s a week after our return from Greece now, but I’m pleased to say we had a pretty fair re-run of the holiday yesterday. Great weather, al fresco dining and lots of lovely drink! Here’s something we didn’t order from the menu, though!..

Just thought I’d share that ..

Thought for food ..

Had a request yesterday from someone asking if they could use a couple of my Wedding photographs on their new website. “I’m sorry..” I replied “But I don’t let people use my pictures for free anymore..” “I’m not asking for them for free..” this person said “I was offering to use them on my site so you’d get free advertising!..”

Ah! So, that’s how it works, eh? God, I’ll be paying them next!
I’ll need a sign soon .. WILL WORK FOR FOOD!

Hey, speaking of food, I love this shot from a Wedding gone by! (Yeah, I know .. lousy link!) Wedding Scoff! You gotta love a couple who presented their Wedding breakfast as ‘Scoff’! My kinda guys! I just had to add it to the ever-growing selection of images on my new website!

Oh, God!..

Incredible as it sounds, I haven’t shot a Wedding in a church since last July! Next week’s will be the first in almost a year to take me into the House of God! How times change, eh? Doesn’t seem two minutes since the first ‘civil’ wedding ceremonies started taking place, and now it seems you can get married practically anywhere – at your favourite football ground, your fave restaurant .. or simply the hotel down the road. Hey, it’s the 21st Century and if The Big Man don’t play no part in yer life then why should he be troubled to turn up for your Wedding, eh? Still, I can’t deny it takes a lot of pressure of a Wedding Photographer, as there’s none of that crazy packing up of gear and dashing off to the reception venue after a church service! I guess I’ll just have to get used to it all again next Saturday! God help me ..

At the end of the rainbow..

I was in the position of being able to use the word ‘bokeh’ during a Scrabble game last week. “Bokeh..?” laughed Lesley “What kind of word is bokeh?” (I have to admit that, up to a year or two ago, I myself thought a bokeh was what the bride carried as she went up the aisle). “It means blurred background..” I said. “It’s one of those new-fangled digital photography words!” She let me use it .. and then went on to beat me by over 100 points!..

I didn’t care! We were on holiday in Greece, and the end of the game merely marked the time to pour another Ouzo as we lazed in the scorching Greek sunshine. Back at the coal-face now, though .. with a jumper on! Brrr…

The big thing that happened whilst I was away was the launch of my new Wedding Photography website. ManchesterWeddingPhotography.com went live at probably the same moment I was tucking into a Chicken Souvlaki at our new favourite taverna. The email came in, and we ordered an extra portion of Baklava to celebrate. I can’t wait to get its name out there now .. and I can’t tell you how excited I am about the relaunch. Let’s hope there’s gold at the end of that there rainbow ..  

Taking Control ..

It’s become apparent that, when it comes to my web-site, I need to seperate my Wedding work from my ‘other’ work! To be honest, I’d rather just have one site, that simply says I’m a photographer – of all sorts of things – rather than splitting up work into categories. A photograph is a photograph, right? Well, it seems not, and I’ve finally been persuaded to start a web-page specifically for Wedding Photography, with no mention of any of my other work. The thinking being that, if a 24 year old girl is looking for a Wedding photographer, she wants to see what he can do as a Wedding Photographer. Not how well he can shoot food, or babies and, as for Joy Division .. forget it! She wasn’t even born until ten years after Curtis died! So, O’Neill has got with the programme! I’m going to show those young ladies what I can do! I’ve taken control and bought the domain name .. wait for it .. ManchesterWeddingPhotography.com, and the new site’ll be live under that name in a couple of days or so. Click the link. Have a look. No mention of PR on it, no mention of The Smiths .. just good old out and out Wedding Photography. I just hope nobody asks if that’s all I do …