That time of year ..

Gloves! That’s what you should be buying people for Christmas ‘cos, judging by the kick-start I’ve had to my latest ‘On the one hand’ season, there are a lot of people losing them! Yep, it’s that time of  year again when I start to see single gloves all over the place! I’d imagined I’d be able to resist them this year but no, I’m still not cured, and I have to stop walking and take a picture every time I see one!..

Yesterday was also the time of year again for our annual Freelance ‘do’, and this year we got a record-breaking five freelance photographers together for a nosh-up and a wee drinky! For the second year in a row we went to the Deli-Lama cafe in Salford, and they did us proud with poussin, iced-berry ice-cream and reggae reggae Christmas carols! Highly recommended..

Back to the StudioFiveFour this afternoon for what must surely be the last Portrait session before the Big Day. Two little girls are being photographed and yes, their Mum does want to give a print as a Christmas present! What a rush job! Still, it is that time of year ..

Splashdown ..

I was shooting a Christmas Wedding at Peckforton Castle, literally on this Monday a year ago. The weather was abysmal. It rained non-stop all day, and I didn’t get a single photograph of anybody outside .. much to my frustration. However, just before the Wedding Breakfast, the rain stopped and I practically pleaded with the Bride and Groom to come outside for a quick photograph. They reluctantly agreed, as long as the Bride could hold her dress up and away from the soaking paths, so it was lights, cameras and a hasty walk down to the gate-house at Peckforton to enable me to get the whole of the Castle in the shot. I parked the couple under the huge tree there, plonked down my tripod, set up my light and .. a Rook dropped a big blob of poo straight onto the Groom’s head! (It was easy to see .. the guy had no hair!) I automatically pressed the shutter, even though I hadn’t set the exposure or white balance, and was just about to shoot again when the Bride screamed in dismay and set off back to the Castle at 100mph. The big, black splish had bounced straight off the Groom’s head.. and all over her dress! The shoot was over!

No shots of the couple outside the castle.

So close!!..

Next there were tears, and then I got a ticking off from the Bride’s dad, but I was more concerned that I hadn’t got a shot of the couple with their venue in the picture! Still, everything calmed down and, by the time the pair came to Manchester Wedding Photography to pick up their Wedding album some months later it was all a great, big, funny part of the day. It goes to show that these things are always worth shooting ‘cos, when it’s all done and dusted, a dress is for a day, but a memory is a memory for ever!..

“I’d love to Blog that one day..” I said to them. “You should..” they said.

I just have..

Happy Anniversary, guys!…

Concentrate! ..

Moving house! I can’t see it ever happening for me! It would take so long for me to go through all my ‘stuff’ that I’d forget why I was trying to clear it all out in the first place! Take this morning, for instance. All I needed to do was find one old Wedding photograph to add to my new revamped website. A ten minute job! Ha! I have been so side-tracked! I’ve looked through 1970s diaries, old programmes and exhibition flyers, stored negatives, autograph books, boxes of god-knows-what .. my old cub-scout necker, anyone? – and a heap of archive CDs. You’ll be pleased to know I did actually find what I was looking for – and I’ve already added it to the new website of Manchester Wedding Photography – but I also dug out some really cool ‘old’ shots of yours truly at work! I say ‘old’ .. the CD I pulled this off was dated 2004 .. yet look at it! Here I am at Peckforton Castle, still using my lovely Mamiya RZ67 camera to shoot this Wedding scene and yes, I did used to hike it up a ladder and tie it to the top rung to keep it steady!..

I actually met a ‘photographer’ on a job last week who’d never heard of an RZ! Imagine not knowing of such a wonderful machine! Imagine never having used film! And yet this guy gives ‘lessons’! (I looked him up on his website!)  How can a guy who’s only been a photographer for two years give lessons? What experience could he impart to an eager young snapper?  How can …  Oh, I’m getting side-tracked again ..

Read my blog ..

Check out this list! These are stats from yesterday’s blog, showing the countries where people have logged on to read my ramblings! Isn’t that brilliant? Although I’d love to know what causes these sudden bursts of interests in different countries – there were 29 ‘reads’ of the blog in Ukraine, for example. Oh, and ‘Hi!’ to the one person in the UAE who dropped by!..

Had a great portrait shoot in the studio yesterday. A fourteen year old lad whose mother was convinced would be a nightmare to photograph! Folks, he didn’t want to leave! Well, ok, he did .. of course he did .. it was almost tea-time .. but he wasn’t as traumatised as his Mum thought he would be! There’s another booking like this on Saturday too and, again, it’s a case of Mum being unhappy with the school photo her son has had taken. Happy to help, all you Mums out there! Happy to help ..

Just over a week until the next outing for Manchester Wedding Photography but, this time, it’s a bit of a ‘family affair’. My nephew ties the knot with the lovely Ashley on the 13th and I’ve offered to shoot their Big Day as a Wedding Present. At least you’ll know that, as I’ll be busy working, I won’t be the one doing the embarrassing ‘Uncle’ dancing on the disco floor.
Now that would be a blog to read ..

Just like buses ..

Exhibitions, eh? They’re just like buses! You wait ages for one, and then two come along at the same time! I think it’s true to say I don’t often get days like this, with final arrangements being made for not one, but two exhibitions of my work within the next few weeks. It’s really exciting! Firstly, the press releases and posters are going out for my part in a show at the Ono Arte Contemporanea gallery in Bologna, Italy, and then on Friday I’m having a meeting to finalise arrangements for my ‘Made in Eccles’ show at the Peoples’ History Museum in Manchester. On top of all that, this week I’ve had to start delivery of the first batch of images to the ‘Martin O’Neill Collection’ (I love that name!!) at the Mary Evans Picture Library in London and I’ve been asked if more of my images of Chris Sievey/Frank Sidebottom can be used in the forthcoming film about his life!

I mean, forget Christmas! I’m getting all my presents now!..

Bugger! I forgot to mention Manchester Wedding Photography ! My SEO guy says I need to drop it into the ‘conversation’ at least once a day. I know, I can tell you about the time I shot a Wedding in London when all the guests travelled from the church to the reception in a big red London bus. Trouble was, the reception was by Tower Bride .. a week before Christmas! The bus went so slowly through the traffic that I could keep getting off the back and walking down the street to photograph it in the jams!..

These buses? From a trip I did by Greyhound Bus across the States.
Ding, ding! Fares, please! ..

Back to life, back to reality ..

Ten days in Egypt! Just what the doctor ordered! Although I did start to come down with a cold the second I got off the ‘plane at Ringway! That’s the price you pay for an international jet-set lifestyle, I suppose! Anyway, did you miss me?
Thought not ..

Didn’t take any photography gear with me other than the Fuji X10 and, once again, I was one of only about three people in the whole resort that actually took a camera on holiday. Everywhere else it was ‘phones, tablets, and ipads… the compact camera industry must be freaking out! Still, my lovely machine performed admirably as always, and here’s one of the more amusing shots from my trip.
Ps: So why is it called the Red Sea?  ..

Nice to be back at work though, and my new Manchester Wedding Photography site seems to have been doing its job! I’ve come home to two Wedding bookings, two portrait sessions and three Christmas parties to shoot! Ah, yes, December already! We didn’t hear a single mention of Christmas whilst we were away.
I’d better get my festive head on, and quickly.
Just need to take a Lemsip first ..