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 ..

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!..

Spring forward ..

 

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 …

We wish you a merry montage ..

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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 ..

Leave it out ..

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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?..)

Here comes the sun ..

 

 

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 Ah, the first day of Spring. Well, it is if you’re my pal Simon in New Zealand (Hi, Simes!) but, for us, the equinox marks the day when we officially ‘plunge’ into Autumn and Winter and, suddenly, the thought of hot summer Weddings seems a long way away ..
Of course, being colder doesn’t mean it can be any less sunny .. it’s just a ‘different’ kind of sun. A lower sun, a dazzling and squinty-making sun that casts long, fab shadows across the ground. I’ve already had cause to ‘battle’ with it. At last Saturday’s Wedding it was so bright and sunny that I could see it causing flare in the lens as I shot my group photographs. I moved the camera position, of course, but it’s funny how fashions change. Flare is now ‘in’ and, after years of avoiding it like the plague, I’ll quite happily point my lens straight at it for a dreamy, romantic shot like this ..
A bit of a sunny outlook, you might say ..

Cold showers ..

 

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 ..