It’s time to mark the anniversary of the death of Lady Di, and I’m sure I’m not the only person wondering where the last twenty years have gone. At least I was lucky enough to photograph The Princess on a couple of occasions but it made me think of the changes in photography over that period. I mean, just look at my shots. They’re in black and white! They’re in black and white and I had to take my film to a darkroom to get it processed before I could see what shots I’d got. Man, that’s so last century! It’s no wonder 18 year olds look at me as if I’m an antique!! ..
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 ..
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? ..
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!..
Yippeeeeeeeee … we’ve made it! January’s done and we’re heading into Spring at last. Ok, I know it’s still cr*p out there at the mo but things are on the up, most definitely. The dreariest month of the year is over and it’s already light by eight o’clock. Reasons to be cheerful, or what?..
I changed cars last week and had to swap all my accumulated garbage from the old car to the new. Reader, I had 53 CDs scattered around it. They were everywhere. In the glove box, in door pockets, under the front seats, stuck into my sun-visors, spread attractively around the boot – everywhere, in fact, but in the CD player. In amongst the discs was a small collection of cassettes. Yes, C90s! So, as other drivers are getting blue-tooth and built-in Sat Nav and combination tv/microwave/toasters in their cars, I’ve finally got rid of a car that still had a cassette player in it. Another reason to be cheerful? You betcha! Yippeeeee …
It’s a year since I took this photograph. A year to the day. Happy First Wedding Anniversary to Jim and Karen. I was reminded of the fact when I bumped into Jim in Asda last week – we both lead such exotic lives – and it got me thinking about all the people whose Weddings I’ve photographed. One of ‘my couples’ will be celebrating their fortieth Anniversary very soon! Forty years! They actually asked if I’d photograph their daughter’s Wedding, which would have been an absolute first though, as yet, that’s on hold as the youngsters are a bit skint. Still, I’m here when you need me, guys. Just give me a date for the diary ..
Selfies in Dubai
I’ve gone montage-mad! You can tell I’ve finally finished work for Christmas ‘cos I’m actually getting chance to look through my recent personal work and get it out there for all to see. Gloves, selfies and my trip to The States have all had a work-over and been put up on Instagram and Flickr and, I have to say, I’m really pleased with what I’ve been shooting lately. That brings up the all usual New Year intention to ‘commit’ to projects; to find time to photograph ‘for myself’ and to get more exhibitions but, to be quite honest, as long as I’m shooting then I’m happy. Weddings, portraits, food, properties .. I don’t care. I love it all. Perhaps I should put up a montage of solicitors head-shots ..
The idea of having a Wedding ‘album’ seems to be fading into history. I think I’ve only made three this year. One of my faves is this one, from a Wedding back in July, that involved a boat trip on the Manchester Ship Canal and a walk through Salford Quays to the Imperial War Museum North. It was so laid back, so ‘different’, and so unconventional .. it was just made for good photography.
Click on the pix to see what I mean ..
Off for drinks with pals today, and time to count our blessings. Of the six of us meeting up, all are still working photographers apart from old fart Jim, who has taken early retirement. You can be sure that – as always at our get-togethers – the changing face of photography will be a dominant theme of our conversation and then – as always, especially after the third pint – it’ll deteriorate into a ‘fings ain’t wot they used to be’ blub-fest. Photography sure has changed a lot in ‘my time’ but, whatever its challenges today, I’m still bloody lucky to be a professional working photographer.
Looks like we’re set for a wonderfully colourful autumn, with the leaves already showing some fantastic shades of yellow and red. I’m minded of the one time I went to The States in ‘The Fall’ .. when I visited a pen-pal (yes, it was that long ago) in New Hampshire and got to see the trees in all their glory. The countryside was breath-taking although, as you can see from today’s shot, the leaves in the city didn’t let their concrete surroundings stop them coming up with the goods too ..
Landscape photography is way down on my list of photographic faves though. A tree on a hill? Big deal! Give me PR and people every time. I’ll be in my element tonight when I cover a dinner that will kick off a conference I’m photographing tomorrow. A late night, and an early start tomorrow morning, mean I’m being put up in a hotel by the client, and they’ve sent me two full A4 sheets of shots they want me to get during the event. Obviously don’t want me to ‘leave’ anything out!..
(See what I did there?..)
Oh no .. not more showers! Hahaha, see what I did there? A little play on words, reference the Great British Summer, seeing as it’s raining again as I write this and I’m bloomin’ well fed up with it. Anyway, that’s not the subject of today’s blog ..
Actually, just to put you in the picture, this shot was taken in Greece on my 6×6 Yashica and was part of an exhibition called ‘Trace’ at the old Cornerhouse in Manchester. They printed me some postcards featuring the shot and if you’d like one just let me know, ‘cos I’ve got about 5 million of ’em left ..
I told you I’d had some good news. I announced on a Culcheth Facebook page that I was closing my studio and, within about two hours, I’d been phoned by a chap at our local Village Club asking if I’d like to use the facilities there to shoot any future portrait sessions. Would I? You betcha! So, the upshot is that I’ll be shipping all my gear across there and will be up and running by the end of this month. I can’t wait. People coming in for portraits will now be able to get a coffee or a beer, or something to eat, and make a proper day out of the whole photography experience. How brilliant! In fact, I’m getting so excited I think I’d better go for a cold shower ..