Whoa there.....where have I been?!!!

Wow.....its been a while no? Far too long! And so much to talk about! I promise, I will try and keep things as short as possible, but this is me of course. Harder than it sounds.....

Since the last time I blogged, loads has gone on really. Life has been hectic, manic, hard for a number of reasons that I won't bore you with, but lets just say 2016 was a very tricky time for our family. But I digress. Still, business kept going, life moves on, so on with whats been going on!

After Charlotte and Rob's wedding, it all came a bit thick and fast!

October, usually the end of the wedding season, brought two very different weddings for me. First was the more "traditional" but no less fantastic wedding of Jo and Mark at Bedford Lodge. Great venue, beautifully chilled and relaxed wedding, Jo and Mark are made for each other and allowed me to indulge a little and were really into trying to create some lovely images. Jo looked amazing, Mark seriously dapper, we couldn't really go wrong. I think we succeeded!

Not long after that, on a GLORIOUS day at Wicken Fen I did a lovely, intimate and highly enjoyable family shoot for Charlotte, Richard and their two gorgeous kids. The light was low and bright, the surroundings was lovely, the kids played along and were a heap of fun and the photos were perfect for a lovely autumn day. Some gorgeous intimate moments.

Nikki and Giles' wedding was very different indeed! Drayton Manor Park no less!!! Married in the hotel of the same name on the grounds of the park, the wedding itself had a very heavy Halloween theme to it, with the guys themselves, I am sure they won't mind me saying, making the whole day a little different to go with their own "alternative" lifestyle and mindset! Both looked amazing, Nikki in a lovely dress that really accentuated her tattoos and hair, Giles dressed up like he had walked straight off a movie set! And to top it off, in the evening was a spectacular fireworks display that finished the day off brilliantly. The whole day was another superbly chilled honour to be part of. I wish them both the best!

November was a mixed month really. As I mentioned earlier, for me and my own family, 2016 was a difficult one due to a couple of losses that happened in quick succession. But it wasn't just my family that was suffering. A good friend of mine lost a family member very close to them after a long illness and then not long after that, while my family was battling our own issues, I found out that another friend of mine had the news that their Mum had a terminal illness too. The tragedy for my family and friends just seemed to come thick and fast in the latter half of the year.

As a consequence of this, I was asked if I would be able to shoot some photos for my friends parents as they were renewing their weddingvows while they were still able. Of course, I said yes. It was truly an honour to be asked and the day was a very emotional one, but also one of good cheer, respect, fun and lightheartedness, as was planned by the ill lady herself. Go out with a bang....she certainly did. To know I was possibly one of the last people to get photos of them together, as a family on that special day is a truly touching and emotional moment for me. It goes to show the importance of photography in peoples lives, yet its taken so much for granted. Memories to be cherished forever.

On a lighter note, an old work colleague, Vic, who someone who I have known for a long time, was getting married to her partner Jo on New Years Eve....another wedding at Anstey Hall in Cambridge. Vic and Jo would be my first same sex wedding and I was very excited about this. But before this, we had planned a pre-wedding shoot.....but the weather wasn't playing ball. So, we decided to do more of a family shoot (they had not long had their little boy and he was growing up fast!) in and around the house and what a shoot it was! Tea, laughs, sleeping baby.....we just winged it, but got some lovely images for them. Now, the wedding was going to be something else......

Back to Charlotte, who I did the family shoot for. She wanted me to do a "day in the life" shoot for her, at home, following her and the kids around just living their life and me capturing them in their day. I love shoots like this as its much more of a picture of peoples lives, without the context of being set up, or feeling like you have to play to the camera. Its relaxed, its fun and the photos can be really rather beautiful. I went to the house and the kids were already on form, so we just settled in for the next few hours and I shot away....such a privilege to be asked to be part of peoples lives like this. I never, ever take this for granted.

Then on to the big one......the Vic and Jo Spectacular on NYE!!! And what a day it was!!! In from the start, Vic and Jo let me have free reign. It was good to see Kerry Curl who did an amazing and superbly efficient job of making Vic and Jo look even more amazing. Kerry really is a make up artist who is at the top of her game, highly sought after and a really lovely person to boot. The ceremony was squeezed in to the library of the Hall, which was packed and there was hardly a dry eye in the house. But it was so much fun and lighthearted, the whole thing tailored to be as much fun as possible. And being NYE, it added that little extra to the day too. I can truly say that its one of THE most bouncing weddings I have been to! The whole place rocked with the frankly fantastic live band and then we had the delight of the midnight fireworks, which were beyond expectation. The whole day was an amazing experience, one that will live in the memory for quite some time.

So, we are now into 2017 and lets hope, certainly on a personal level, its a better one. Times are already troubled in the world right now, depending on which side of the fence you sit, but we can only move onwards and upwards and make life as happy and as good as can be. I started off in great style with a small and fun wedding shoot of Rachel and Mark at The Missing Sock, a quirky, fun little restaurant near Cambridge. They didn't want anything huge or spectactular, just a small close nit wedding for which to have fun. Their needs for their photography reflected that, but in the short time I was there, I got some lovely insights to the family, friends and the day that was to come. Rachel and Mark were open, fun, honest and up for a good giggle and the photos definitely showed this. If this was the start for my work this year, then long may it continue!

McDonalds was the key....

Charlotte and Rob....ahhh Charlotte and Rob. So far, don't think I have met a more chilled, relaxed, sorted couple. Nothing was an issue, everything was all taken in its stride. How to make my job really easy eh? Well, relatively anyway!

I met them a while ago, well in advance of the wedding, at their house as they had heard of me through someone who knew me through my wife, who works at the same place as Charlotte used to. Complicated, yeah, I know. Anyway, pretty much booked me on the spot, which was lovely and the date was set.

What a beautiful day.....which started out with me not being able to find the house Charlotte was getting ready at! No problem though, I blame the Sat Nav. I was greeted by Charlotte's step-dad, who was really accommodating and friendly and this would come back to be in a big way later in the day.

I was lead upstairs and greeted by Charlotte and her Mum already well into getting their hair done in a beautiful, big, airy, light room, with the bridesmaids dotted around, all in their dressing gowns, working hard on their phones, waiting in turn to be seen to. I was welcomed with such warmth, I instantly felt at ease.

Doing the make up and hair was the team of Kerry of www.cambridgemakeupartist.com

And Eileen of Curl Up and Dye by Eileen http://www.facebook.com/Curl-Up-Dye-by-Eileen-926873567427654

These guys rocked! I didn't actually realise that it was the same Eileen who now worked at Salon 262 (http://www.salon262.co.uk) in Cambridge I collaborate with,  but there you go! Both Eileen and Kerry were very chilled, calm and had the whole lot under control, even with so many people to do. And the job they did, on the spot, was amazing. When all done, everyone looked a million dollars! It was such hard work, but such good fun, even McDonalds was ordered to be fetched so we could all have a bit to eat, me included, before the long wait for the evening dinner!!! Totally hit the spot, I have to admit. And this is from someone who usually runs a mile from McDonalds! But was much needed!

Finally, Charlotte was done. No nerves, no hassles, chilled, relaxed and just going with the flow, she looked just so fantastic. Her manner made her seem even more to be having just the time of her life.

I left them to it to get to the church to get a few of Rob and Charlotte's arrival. When I got there Rob said he was super nervous, but if he was, he didn't show it. He was chatting, chilling and looking really super dapper in his tweed suit and brogues.....very country boy smart! Charlotte arrived, the ceremony was beautiful, the weather outside was great and the whole thing went like clockwork. Then on to the party!

Longstowe Hall (www.longstowehall.co.uk) is a place I hadn't been to before, but its a privately owned, still lived in, family home with some magnificent gardens, grounds and settings. The reception is held in their large marquee, but was beautifully dressed. But, to be fair, the weather kept most people outside and what a way to spend the rest of the day! The atmosphere was fantastic. Champagne was being swigged, spirits were high, dinner and speeches were all very good....doesn't get a lot better really. And what a place to take advantage of for photography! I hope I didn't disappoint!

But this is where Step-Dad comes back in. Guess who left his camera bag back at the church? Yeah........NEVER have I ever forgotten anything, ever. I am a stickler for double checking everything, but I was so caught up in the moment and worried about getting to the venue for their arrival in time, I totally forgot to pick it up! Step-Dad to the rescue! Bless him, before he had a drink in him found the vicars number, made sure the church was still open, drove the 20 mins back to get it, bring it back and drop it off for me too! The man is a legend and I owe him big time. Never shall I let THAT happen again!

All in all, the whole day was a huge success. I wish Charlotte and Rob all the success and happiness going forward. I know they will make it work as they seemed so well matched and happy. Rob looked like he had hit jackpot the whole day and so he should have. Charlotte looked stunning and is a fantastic and lovely person to boot. Long may it continue! Cheers guys for making my day a truly great one and a relatively easy one.


A joining across the Atlantic

Early September saw me shooting a small, intimate and ultimately bonkers and rowdy wedding in Cambridge. Christina and James weren't necessarily that interested in getting photos done, but felt that there was a need as there was a large number of Christina's friends and family coming over from the US especially for the day. Christina is a reserved character, not one for being in the spotlight, but hey....its a wedding. Kinda inevitable, right? James was super quiet, a reserved man, probably of the same mindset as his wife to be. They just wanted to be together. The day had to be special. That was all they were asking for.

But, I was hired to do the job as she saw my work and liked it through Instagram. Who KNEW it was a good marketing tool, right? I certainly didn't, but publicity is publicity and if it works, happy days!

The day came and I was a little taken aback as I wasn't used the way things were done. Its done "American" style.....wedding breakfast, speeches etc were all done the day before as part of the rehearsal for the big day. Who knew? I didn't! Anyway, I got to work on what started as a nice sunny day shooting the bridal party getting ready in a lovely annex of the cute and beautiful St Andrews Church in Oakington. Great light, really chilled and relaxed atmosphere. No make up artists, no hair stylists.....all was done by the guests themselves. It was quite refreshing and relaxing. When all was done, Christina looked amazing! As did the bridesmaids in matching purple colour dresses.....but notice the dresses themselves weren't the same. Nice touch that. Like it!

The church ceremony went without a hitch, although I was very much restricted in what I could shoot by the vicar.....nothing during the ceremony. A real shame as thats some of the best moments.....ah well, can't win them all.

Then on to the White Horse Pub in Oakington. Yep, the pub! How awfully British! I suspect Christina was getting into the spirit of things as she also clearly ordered the British weather too.....the rain started. But, a fantastic buffet was put on, music was played loud and the Americans at least definitely didn't let the weather get them down! Dancing, drinking, eating....it was all done outside, even while it rained! Great atmosphere and was a pleasure to be a part of. Here's wishing Christina and James all the happiness for the future! I was honoured to shoot such a "different" wedding!


The one with a tree

A couple of weeks back, I had the absolute joy, and may I say, honour, to photograph the wedding of two of the funniest, bonkers, chilled out, lovely client couples I have ever had the pleasure of meeting in Clare and Keith! Plans were put in place, ideas were talked about, special things were wanted. But you know what? NONE of that mattered. None. Not a jot. A lot of the above never got shot! Why? Who cares! It worried me at the time, I was a little scared that we didn't get a large chunk of what we were planning on shooting. It boiled down to that day was all about, in the end, going with the flow and above all else, having a damn good time! And did I have that? You BET you I did! Did the bride and groom? OH YES!!! Hilarity, fun, relaxation, a really beautiful wedding and a great, great venue with superb weather. Clare looked absolutely amazing, Keith looked super dapper in non-traditional wedding clothes (just how I prefer!) and they were simply wanting the best day possible. The day, on reflection, was a HUGE success. I even managed to have a beer at the end of the day! I can't thank Clare and Keith enough for giving me the opportunity to shoot this wedding. The photos tell a story and that story was nothing but fun from beginning to end. Its not often you come away from shooting a wedding thinking you have made some lovely friends.

Thanks to the Willow Tree in Bourn (www.thewillowtreebourn.com) for creating such a fantastic, intimate and quirky venue to enjoy this day and big props to Hayley Pavlou of Hayley Elizabeth Weddings and Events (www.hayleyelizabethevents.com www.facebook.com/Hayleyelizabethevents) for keeping the whole day together and making the whole thing run way more smoothly than it should have done!


So, it was a bit of a rush job really. One of my best friends called and asked me if I was available and if I was, could I shoot his brother Andy and his fiance Emma's wedding. It was a bit of a distance away, but nothing too bad. And I was free and I can never turn down a good wedding to shoot! 

But this one was to be a bit special...

Not the venue. That was lovely. But it was a simple church, nothing I haven't shot before. Not the style of the wedding and the place for the reception either. Again, a really beautiful place and a place I hadn't been before and was just perfect for the bride and groom http://www.hawkesyardestate.com A lovely mix of modern and traditional set in some beautiful grounds and a grand house. No, this was special due to the circumstances this wedding organised.

I won't go into details, but the family as a whole are going through some troubling times at the moment. Life changing times. I have known them all since I was at University over 20 years ago now, I lived with my best mate for two of my four years there....we know each other well. And the circumstances around the wedding made me want to do this even more. It was going to be a special day, one that needed to be captured. I was more than happy to do it. 

Arrangements were made, plans were put in place, we were on! 

The day came and I was meeting the bride and her family for the first time, which was a little intimidating, but I needed not have worried. They couldn't have been more welcoming and friendly and gave me pretty much free reign to wonder around and shoot as and whenever. 

Then it was time to leave and head down to my mates parents some half an hour away, where the grooms party was getting ready to do some shots there. Time and schedule were tight, so would be typical that for some reason my car decided to thrown some kind of wobbler and not actually open or lock so I couldn't get in or out of the car! Eventually I got in using the key but the rest of the car remained locked....which didn't bode well as the rest of my gear was in there. So, I headed down to my friends house and just got on with the job. Its a place I have been many times before and was like going back almost to meet my own family. Lovely place, lovely people. I felt at home to go ahead and do what I needed to do. 

Oh and by this point, the car had "righted" itself inexplicably.....stupid car! 

Anyway, on down the church and the rest of the day....and the photos spell it out really.....no more words needed....glorious day and one that was very, very special and was an honour to be involved in

Rain rain, go away...

So, a couple of weeks back, I shot the intimate and beautiful wedding of Ross and Sam Cook down at the lovely Marks Hall in Coggeshall (http://www.markshall.org.uk). I was up to scratch after much consultation with Ross and Sam with Plan A being that they would be getting married outside, in the sunshine, under a rather beautiful and ornate gazebo.

Lets just say Plan A was thrown out of the window the second we all woke up!!!

Rain. Lots and lots of rain. Not rubbish drizzle, not "is it, will it" kind of rain. We are talking proper, old fashioned bucketing down. Plan B then!!!

I met up with Ross initially at the hotel on a local golf course. He was running a touch late and a bit flustered, but after a little time out, he was back on form. Getting ready shots were primarily him and me, which was a giggle! Then in filtered the wedding party, bit by bit, which meant we were ready to move on to the ceremony over at the hall.

And what a gorgeous little place! Small wooden roofed barn style venue, with loads of lights, plenty of airy light. What a delight to shoot in!

I then met up with Sam, with whom I had arranged plans with to get shots of her, her Dad and of the dress before she went in to say the "I do". Well, again, due to the incessant rain, that never happened! It was so wet and she was a little behind the time, so she went straight in to the registrar.....no chance for those lovely shots! I got what I could....

But, what I will say, she looked absolutely stunning. Her dress, provided by Curves and Couture in Kelvesden (http://www.facebook.com/curvesandcouture.bridal) (http://www.curvesandcouture.co.uk/). Simple, elegant, strapless and figure hugging, she was an absolute picture. Her Dad must have been very proud. The bridesmaids all looked fantastic too, with dresses provided by The Original Dressmaker (http://www.theoriginaldressmaker.com) in South Woodham Ferrers in a gorgeous teal colour which was clean and simple and suited the occasion perfectly. Everyone looked amazing.

The ceremony was beautiful, the reception went down a storm, but....so did the outside! It didn't deter the fun and frolics though! No siree!! Plan B worked a treat and didn't put a damper on the day at all. If anything, it made people more determined to have a good time! I hope the photos show this!

Thanks for letting me be part of your big day you guys! You rocked it! Was a heap of fun, was a pleasure to be there and hope I did you both justice!

The start
Playstation fan
Nearly done
The gang
More rain
The Entertainment
Beautiful venue
A quiet arrival
Who am I?
First look
Never let go
Those eyes
Nearly there
Where do I sign?
Official duties
This is it
Lets party
Now what?
Dad speech
Good times
He's mine!
Best man
First dance
Everybody dance
Good times
Drinks and fun
Our venue
Intimate moment

Hilarity ensued....

So, wedding season is upon us and for me its ramping up quite nicely. I had scheduled in a pre-wedding shoot with Clare Rice and Keith McAllister, a couple who I had met only once before on a consultation, but got on with really very well. Little did I know that we would get on so well this time round!

The location was the beautiful, peaceful Grantchester Meadows in Cambridge. Its a nice, open space, with a few interesting trees, a river and some rolling grassland thats simple and ideal for what we wanted.

I turned up at the Red Lion pub, our designated meeting place and sure enough, Keith was already outside, hand out in greeting, offering me a pint and a chat before we got on with the main event. It basically set the tone for the rest of the evening and the shoot. A drink down, loads of wedding discussion, general chit chat and a LOT of laughter, we headed on out.

It was a touch overcast, which was a shame as the rest of the day had already been a bit of a lovely early summer, sunny day. But no issue. You work with what you have. But it didn't matter as the laughter carried on and made the whole thing just work. Climbing on backs, climbing trees, playing soldiers in the long grass and just mucking about, I haven't laughed on a photo shoot so much in such a long time....and this is from someone who loves to have a laugh on a shoot!

Hopefully, the pictures below convey the fun. I can't WAIT for their big day. Its going to be an absolute cracker!!! Oh, and I owe them a drink.....I had no money.......

Just taking a stroll
I can see clearly now
A quiet moment
Its in the eyes
Heart shaped

Wintery walk in Wandlebury...again!

Ross and Sammy have been together for quite some time. Their wedding sounds like its going to be just perfect. Its my honour and pleasure to be shooting their big day and I can't wait! But as both aren't that used to being in front of the camera, it was decided they would take my offer of a pre-wedding shoot and get used to me, how I work, give them some pointers, have a chat about the day and generally have some fun and make some nice pictures! It was a chilly day at Wandlebury Park and the light was changeable, but it was early afternoon, the mood was light (if a little nervous!) and we had a great time! A lovely afternoon....a proper good laugh, got some lovely shots and it was useful all round for all of us. Now, on to the big day. Ross and Sammy were absolute superstars and bring on the big day in April! Gonna be a good one!!!


2016 starts with a bang!

So, last year was good. Really good. A big decision made, following through and making good! Loving the work and life I now have. But it needs to be pushed on. It needs to be built upon. I can't sit still now. This is now my life!

What could I do to improve my outlook? Well, research told me I was pretty much doing all the right things.....SEO not included as it still baffles me! But I was networking, I was citing, I was meeting, I was getting my images out there, I was touting, offering, selling....everything. Ticking things off one by one and trying to maintain those things. But I hadn't done any wedding fairs, they are really hard to get onto. And I hadn't done any workshops with other photographers to try and improve both my photographic vision and my marketing nouse.

Guess what I did next? Yep, got myself on a wedding fair at Anstey Hall, my first one! I also did a workshop to help with my vision, my style and to pick up some marketing tips too.

GREAT success for both! The wedding fair gave me loads of contacts and I have since booked at least 3 weddings from it, with the possible of more to come! 2017 is already getting booked too! I couldn't have asked for more! My USP? Keep it simple. Other established photographers there were all bells and whistles and this clearly worked as they were successful and doing well. But I couldn't compete with that and I am definitely not a salesman. I like my photography, but I am too self deprecating most of the time to push myself on to people and sell my skills and services. I guess I had better hurry up and learn! I was praised by many of the punters for being honest, simple, no sales push and have lovely photography that was a little bit different. Not only a great business boost, but a really big ego and confidence boost too. Well worth doing!

The same day, I drove to Sheffield to go and do a workshop with the incredible Jon Dennis of S6 Photography. The guy is incredible! Stunning photography and a thoroughly nice bloke to boot! He has been all over the world shooting weddings, in some incredible places and his work speaks for itself. To get his insight into how he works, his vision, his "art" and how he maintains his incredibly successful business was truly inspirational. We even managed a shoot with a real bride and groom in the Sheffield Moors on what had to be the windiest day of the year!!! But it was epic! Made me want to shoot even more. Was absolutely worth the travel up north to help me. I really hope it has!

My humble little stand at the Anstey Hall Wedding Fair earlier this year!

My humble little stand at the Anstey Hall Wedding Fair earlier this year!


Some epics shots from the workshop and hopefully I will be able to use this new found knowledge and inspiration on any weddings coming up. I cannot wait to get going!!!

Well, 2015 was interesting....

So, I am a scientist. Yes, weird statement to start with, I admit, especially now on a photography blog and website. But at my core, my background, my training and my entire working life have been in science, about science and in the scientific environment. And I have had some incredible experiences and memories from this. I have been part of two groundbreaking and future improving technologies for humanity (albeit small parts) and I have improved my lot with my own further education along the way. But things went a different direction this year, a little unexpectedly, if truth be told. And this has caused me some of the biggest dilemmas and head scratching and soul searching I have had to do in my career, ever really. And here I am, writing to you, no longer as a scientist, but as a photographer. Wow, how did THAT happen? 

Well, 19 years is a long time to do one thing. Hadn't enjoyed the last few....

I had a real think about it for quite some time. What could I do? What do I WANT to do?  Absolutely nothing grabbed me. That was scary. I just wanted to be happy. My family make me happy, but I can't make money from them, other than selling them. Not sure that would go down too well. Driving and sport make me happy, but alas, my years to do either of those has passed me by. Photography.....now.....THAT makes me very happy.......maybe that was it?Could I do it? Could I? I am not a business man? I like taking photos! But it would be a challenge and could and would be hard work along the way. But what the heck.....with the support of my wife and a lot of others for help, I COULD do this. Why not?

So, here I am! And thats the quick story of the year really. Something came out of nothing. Unexpectedly. But you know what? Looking back, its the best thing that has happened in years to me regarding work. I am happy. I am the master of my own destiny. If it fails, then its my fault. If I work hard, work at my art, then I can only go forward. I have a family after all....got to do something! I am giving it a go!

This all happened in June 2015.....and the results of the hard work since? I have had an absolute ball!  Met some fab people, done some fab things. Here are some of the highlights of the last 12 months below!

It was quiet in the months of February and March, but in April, I had my first client shoot of the year (above). I was commissioned to shoot some environmental headshots for a lady who was applying for jobs with the UN! I hope I fulfilled the brief!

In May, I met up with an old mate of mine of 20 years back and it was just like the day before when we met. Mark is a cracking bloke, always has been and it was fantastic to meet his future (and now) wife Weezy. Weezy is a delight...funny, smiley, properly organised (which is a good thing!) and the two of them were a match made perfect. It was a great pre-wedding shoot


Now, these two above.....you gotta love them! Steve and Jerry are mad as a box of badgers, the pair of them and an absolute breath of fresh air! Both picture perfect, madly in love, excitable and seasoned people in front of the camera. I felt more like I had made friends with these two. Needless to say, they booked me for the wedding!


So Mark and Weezy's wedding came round in June and it was a PERFECT day.  Even their dogs made an appearance! A perfect wedding for a perfect couple. Great great day!

In July, I had contact from a guy who I had known for quite some time as he had worked at the same place as myself for quite some time. They wanted me to capture them as a family, very close to their beautiful home in the country. The daughter was an absolutel delight, playing to the camera, running free....made my job very easy!

These guys were wonderful.  So laid back, all of them and hope I captured their little family as I saw them....happy

August was an interesting and busy month. Emma is tall (very tall), elegant, classically beautiful and very creative model I had shot with before. And also a genetics PhD student!!! So, we had something in common other than the photography! And we decided to hire a studio and just play with some ideas. And wow, we came up with some incredible stuff. So much so, Emma wants to try and get some of it into publication, so this is the only shot really I can show! But trust me, some of the work with Emma is some of the most interesting, fun and amazing stuff I feel I have shot, outside of wedding work....this was a ball and I hope we are going to be shooting again sometime soon on some more mad ideas!

Oh yeah, then these two loons popped up for their wedding again! :-) What a day!!! HEAPS of fun....this was a blast!

Stacey, the bride in this picture above, is one of my wifes oldest and bestest friends. What an honour! I was and am extremely flattered to be asked to shoot their wedding! Thanks Stacey and Mark....thank you! You both looked amazing....as did the kids! :-)

Well, not long after that, I also got to do the photos for their youngest child's naming ceremony! Well done Mom and Dad....you have done a mighty job with these two!

The comments from people about this wedding of James and Leanne in September have been overwhelming. And for this I am very grateful. Its now been featured in a two page spread in Professional Photo magazine!

This September wedding was genuinely a real honour to shoot. Matt is not only one of my best friends, he is also one of the people I have known the longest in my life.  It was an honour to be involved and thank you for allowing me to capture your day.

In October, this family contacted me to shoot again (we shot the year before) and capture their little family again, this time with a lot more vocal and mobile little girl! Such great fun, such doting and lovely parents. As always, was a lovely shoot with these three.

Off the back of a charity event I did at my daughters school, I was contacted by a local family for some simple, natural portraits to be shot as presents. Happily! And what came from the shoot, on a perfect, crisp, damp, dewy morning was some gorgeous and simple backlit shots as well as lovely portraits of the kids. These two were like professionals! Anyone would think they had done it before! It was a short and sharp shoot, but fun and lovely to meet such a fab and fun family!

November I managed to shoot in the fantastic light and colours with this utterly adorable family. This shot is one of my absolute favourites....

So, also in November, I was commissioned, on the back of the charity event at the local school, to photograph over 40 kids at a local nursery!!! Chris, the owner of Little Wombatz Nursery in Soham was brilliant to work with. Some really fantastic images that, as it turns out, are some of the most popular images the nursery has ever had done! The parents absolutely loved them! Job done!


Now this the fruits of a collaboration I have ongoing with Salon 262, a new hair and beauty salon on Mill Road in Cambridge. Letty, the owner, used to cut my hair at another salon and has branched out on her own. I am working along side her for mutual promotion, so good luck to her and good luck to me! Go check her place out! Its amazing!!!

December has been a touch quieter, as always and expected. But managed this shoot with Laura Draycon again, as well as a family shoot with an old work colleague and their kids below. I hope I am getting better.....

So there you go. Thats 2015......mad, crazy, full of intrigue, interest, terror, but ultimately happiness, satisfaction, hope and real sense of fun. And this is only the work aspect. Life in general since I have been doing this has been on the up and up. Happy in myself, spend more time with my own family, less stress.....I have heard it from others a million times, but yes, I now concede, it really is the best thing thats happened to my career!

2016 already looking good.......you coming along for the ride? Its gonna be fun!

Calling a child a Wombat isn't always a bad thing...

So, in my last, admittedly epic blog (apologies for that, bit too long. Strange how I can ramble for ages in writing and not tell that I had until I press publish....then its too late at night to edit....), I alluded to the fact that I had shot the Xmas photos for the local nursery, Little Wombatz in Soham. I couldn't show the photos then as the parents hadn't received their prints, but now I can reveal at least a few of the shots I took. What little stars this guys were!!! Thanks to Chris Barton who invited me to do their photos and have the chance to do something a little different to the usual "sit there and smile" posed images you get at school photo shoots. Chris is a legend, she did all the organisational stuff for me, so my part was relatively easy. I had a blast having fun with the kid and the shots we go were amazing! What do you guys think? Did I pull it off? I really hope so!

The rollercoaster is such fun.....

It takes an age sometimes for me to update this blog, but I now understand why so many others also take a while to do it. Dedication, thoughts and.....oh yes, the precious of all commodities, time!!! Something, in this modern world, we all wish we had more of! But you know what? Since making things full time, I don't think I have been so busy, doing something I absolutely love! So much has gone on since the last update I might actually forget some things here. but I will try not to. I don't want to just make a list!

Anyway, I digress.....the exciting thing is that I have so many cool opportunities coming up and I am working on making loads more that its hard keeping track of whats what! Good job Laura (my wife) is a bit more organised than me on that front! I will from now on refer to her as "the diary"!

"Whats going on" I hear you all cry in unison (well, one or two with withered shouts....)....well....I have done more weddings, family shoots, I have stuff coming up thats so exciting yet not entirely sure I can write about, I have collaborations that are amazing and potential work for a big organisation that makes my head blow.....way too cool! Where to begin.....

Ah yes, the wedding. I gave my services to an old old friend, so old that I consider him family more than friend (our respective parents were also long standing friends) for his wedding back in September. I haven't blogged about it yet as I wanted to get all the images finished and make sure all was good, but it was such a lovely thing to be part of. Matthew and his bride to be Sharon had what some might consider a "whirlwind" romance in terms of time, but its clear that these two are very much in love and made for each other. How could I not capture their big day? The wedding was also to be back in my old home town, so was like going back and catching up with a previous life. Loved it! The big day was presided over by Sharon's uncle, who is a pastor in South Africa and had flown over specially. The ceremony was to take place in the church her Dad helped build. The best man was mine and Matthew's cousin Jason (who we both see as a brother...)....this was to be very much a family affair! But things went without a hitch, the love poured out during the ceremony and the day went by in a flash. The church looked great, but wasn't great for doing photos in and around the place as it was in a built up area. So Matt and Sharon hired out a local Tudor house, the oldest house in the area and one of historical significance. What a beautiful place and grounds and a perfect place for photos to be taken. After the formal shots and families were done, we got a little while to chill out, explore the grounds and house and get some of those more quiet, intimate shots. Was worth it. Some stunning places to shoot. The evening went by in a blur! Back at a large hotel with a large function room, it was more the enough to accommodate the large congregation that had gathered over the day. Food was served, jollity prevailed. A great day had by all. I just hope I did it justice!


I have also had the pleasure of a repeat session with a now much more grown up little girl and her family. Claire and her husband contacted me last year and we took photos of them as a family at their lovely house in Cambridge. They contacted me back and said they would like some more now that shes much more grown up and can make her own way around!!! Should be fun, so shoot arranged and it was really lovely to see them all again and see how the little one had come along since I last saw her. What a difference almost a year makes! Confident, funny, happy, MOBILE!!! We had loads of fun, hiding in sheds, running around parks, climbing on Mommy and Daddy's backs....a blast and always a pleasure and fun going back.

I have also had other opportunities come my way that I really didn't expect. After doing a "photo booth" style shoot at the local school, my name was recommended to the owner of the venture, Chris, and she said she wanted some kids photos done for Xmas for parents. I went to chat and soon realised that it would be a little more tricky than expected as the age range was between 2 and 4 years old! No worries though, I had a battery of questions to ask, Chris and I got along really well and I showed her what I could do regarding giving her and the parents something a little different. Instead of the usual "sit there and pose" on a poor 80's style background, trying to get kids that age to do things they really didn't want to do, I said I would just get them in one by one, stand them against a white wall, make them laugh and be themselves, blast them with light and give them a much more contemporary look. Dates were set and it was a whole heap of fun meeting all those little ones! Some were absolute stars, performing in front of the camera as naturals, others took a little coaxing, some just not having it at all. But on the whole, so far, Chris and the parents are LOVING the images, but as they are still being viewed and purchased by parents, I can't really show any on here yet. I have asked for permission, so hopefully I will get some and post them as soon as I can! Hopefully again, this will be repeat business as it was a pleasure working with all the helpful staff and Chris and they have a fab bunch of kids there. Little Wombatz in Soham. If you're local, check them out. Lovely place!

I have had meetings with various people, the most exciting being with The Royal Society of Chemistry who have put my on their list of event photographers and this could yield some work a few times a year and as much as anything, form a new network of people who might want to use my services.

But the big one, the one that is hopefully going to be the most fruitful is a collaboration with a good friend and former hairdresser of mine Juliet Dalton. She left not too long back from the place I have been having my haircut for for the past 20 years. She hasn't been there that long as she is a much younger whipper snapper than I am! But she is a very talented, very creative and ambitious woman and has decided to go her own way and open up her own Salon on Mill Road in Cambridge.  She has modeled for me in the past and before she left (check out my portfolio. Shes in it, black background, wavy brown hair.....you will see...), we were going to try and set up another shoot, but her business and my business plans took over and we have both been too busy to get it sorted. BUT....we did get talking and cut a long story shorts, we realised we could help each other out here....she needed publicity shots, photography for social media, hair styling etc yet I needed another possible outlet for business. BINGO! I scratch her back, she scratches mine, so to speak. So, Juliet (Letty as she is known to everyone) has put together a "team" package for her new Salon (Salon 262, check out the Facebook page) and in return for my photography services, I am her exclusive recommendation for photography and consultation when she works with brides for the preparation for their big day! Its a win-win situation for both of us really and I cannot wait to get started!!!

Lastly, a couple more family shoots. Was contacted by Nicola through my daughters school for a quick, relaxed family shoot out in a country park, just for family. No problem. Nicola got her family up nice and early for the shoot in the glorious morning light and very wet ground, but the photos were lovely. She liked them so much she bought the lot!!!

The last family shoot I lucked out completely with the location and light all at the same time! Wandlebury Park was the request by Holly for me to shoot bother her 18 month boy and her 5 year old daughter. And what delights they were. Fun, adventurous and the place was magical when we went. I had such good fun running around after these two and I couldn't take a bad picture. Beautiful....

There is just so much more to come. I am loving things at the moment, life is good. Isn't it wonderful when you find something you love and you have a reason to continue doing it as long as life will allow? I highly recommend it!!!

Watch this space for more to come....so exciting!!!

A new dawn....

So, this is a new chapter. The decision has been made to make my photography business just that.....a business. Yes ladies and gentlemen, this is now my full time concern. Wish me luck!

But it comes with a lot of things hanging on to this whole venture, some exciting, some daunting. The exciting stuff is that I am now my own boss (well, my wife might say otherwise!) and I don't have to answer to anyone else but myself (again, my wife might s.......etc etc). My destiny, as they say, is in my own hands. But that's the crux of it really. If this is to be an ongoing concern, it HAS to be successful. I have all the same responsibilities I had when I had a regular 9 to 5 job, so nothing is going to change there. I still have a family to help provide for, look after and all that comes with that. And that's scary. But its a good scary, don't get me wrong. It was a heck of a leap of faith after my redundancy and a lot of soul searching to let go of the regular income (for now) and be prepared to jump into the world of self employment wholesale.

But so far, its the best thing I have done. I am loving what I am doing right now. Networking, building a brand, meeting people for interesting and exciting projects, working on the regular income work that will be fun and repeatable....there is so much going on! Its weird, but I feel more busy now than when I had a regular job! And its great! And one massive, massive bonus of me doing this? I get to spend more time at home and have the luxury that many parents don't get and that is to stay at home and spend a lot more time with my children. And that is something I am very, very grateful for and realise is a very special thing. All things pointing positive right now. Its the happiest I have been in a long time and long may this continue.

But I guess I need your support. Get the word out there, let people know. Spread the word and hopefully the work will come. I am working hard my end, all would be good if you could see it in your kindness to just drop my name here and there for anyone who you think, or mentions, they need a photographer. I am willing to consider all work currently, bearing in mind I specialise in weddings and portraits mainly. I don't want to be flying out to oil rigs to do deep sea surveillance photography thanks!

Along with this new start, you will see that the website has had an overhaul. I liked the old layout, but as was pointed out by a few people (and admittedly, it was true), it was a little hard to navigate around, was a touch clunky and didn't really sell itself for a proper portfolio site to show off my work to its very best. So, the layout has changed and I hope its a bit more user friendly. Please, let me know what you think. But the big change is the branding. Yep, got whole new brand professionally done and so far, the feedback has been almost 100% positive! So thank you all who have commented! I have Nick Lindwall of Ottimo Digital and his designer Hannah Minney, who have spent a fair bit of time fielding off my questions regarding this new look. But couldn't have done this without either of their expertise. Hannah for the patience and the vision to create a bespoke logo and brand for me and for Nick who passed me on to her and also who produced my amazing banners that some of you may have already seen. They look blummin awesome! So happy and can't thank those two enough. Its all very exciting!

So, here's to the future! Lets see where this goes, but I am going to be putting 100% into this wholesale, so come along on the journey with me, it should be a heck of a ride!

Charm, a LOT of smiles and unexpected connections....

So, a couple of weeks back now (I know, its been a while again, but this is now a full time concern, this photography lark, so bear with me....), I had THE most pleasure in shooting the wedding of Leanne and James. Many connections go with myself, Leanne and my wife. I know Leanne from a while back when we were both on a photography course together. I consequently found out she worked at the same place as my wife! Small world and all that....Well, more connections in this wedding to come....

Anyway, the service was at the lovely little church of St Andrews in Impington, in Cambridge. The day was bright, the air fresh, the congregation in good form. And from the off, the connection was a surprise one.....I was preparing for Leanne's arrival when a hand was placed firmly on my shoulder. I turned and was fronted with a stare from a face I haven't seen regularly in a few years. A guy called Steve who I used to work with, play football with and generally have a laugh with was gurning right at me! We had known that we both come from just round the corner, generally speaking, in our upbringing for a long time from conversations we had when we first met. What a pleasure to see him and frankly, a big surprise! But whats more, why was he here? Well, he was the best man! He knew James from WAY back at school, so the circle of connection was closed! A genuine surprise and pleasure to kick off the day!

Also attending was another old work colleague of mine, Vicky and her partner Jo and again, another catch up and laugh ensued. This day was going to be a good one!

Leanne arrived in the most charming, wonderful old vintage car....tiny thing it was. Blue and looking every one of its years. To a car nut like myself, it was a joy! And Leanne? She looked amazing.....and possibly THE most smiley bride I think there has ever been! I don't think I ever saw the smile drop once in the day, apart from the odd moment of feeding and looking after child (and even then, it hardly left) and some more somber moments in the ceremony. James was the image of relaxation. If he was nervous, he certainly didn't show it! James waited patiently for Leanne to arrive, Nan and Granddad looked after the little one and all was set. And the first look between them was priceless.....the barrier James held up visibly dropped. Was a lovely, lovely moment.

Keeping to the ministers wishes, I stayed out of the way for the ceremony and shot from a distance, but hope I captured the right moments for the happy couple. Once the ceremony was done, it was then off to the reception which was held at the equally charming and quaint Rectory Farm, also in Cambridge. What a fantastic little venue this was! A large house with some enclosed land with enough to hold a large, beautiful marquee and it was perfect for some more intimate shots. Congregation got merry, lots of group shots were done (according to Leanne, probably slightly too many, but she hadn't the heart to say no to those who kept asking!) and much dancing ensued late into the night.

The whole day was an absolute delight. Was very proud and honoured to have been chosen to capture their lovely day. It also gave ME a chance to catch up with some unexpected people! Which was nice!

Below are a few images from the day.....I hope they tell the story....


The Narrowboat Wedding!

Finally, I can write about the most amazing wedding I shot a few weeks ago....

A while ago, an old, old friend of mine from way back in my long hair, leather jacket and ripped jeans days got in contact with me via Facebook. Mark was part of a small group of like minded friends who were up for a few drinks, a mosh in a club and having a darn good time. It was the best of times and we all had a ball. Always got on with Mark. Top lad. But after a few musings, catching up, memory sessions and giggles via FB, Mark told me he had popped the question to his then girlfriend and would really like me to do the photography for their wedding! Wow, genuinely was quite surprised, flattered and honoured. Anyway, needless to say I jumped at the chance, even more so when I found out the venue and their plans for the big day.....what a show this was going to be!

Anyway, day arranged, a meet up in the flesh was done, we did a little pre-shoot (which I previously posted) and kept the discussion regarding the day going until the last minute. This was exciting......

And the day did not disappoint! The sun was out, it was dry, warm and the venue looked amazing. The actual ceremony and after event was to be held mostly outside and British weather behaved. I was made very welcome by the B&G (Louise, otherwise known as Weezy), the entire day was very, very relaxed and to top it off, I met up with another bunch of the old gang I hadn't seen in best part of 20 years! All in all, it couldn't have gone any better! I got traditional beef fat cooked Fish and Chips kindly provided for me, I never stopped shooting and it never really felt like work (although I was shattered at the end of the day!). It was fantastic. And hopefully the images proved it. All I can say is THANK you to Mark and Weezy for having such a chilled, free, fun wedding at such a fantastic place, thanks for making my day really easy, thanks for making me feel really welcomed and as part of the day and it was blooming good to see Mark and the old gang again, it really was. Here's to the rest of their lives together! And here are some shots from the day....I hope they show what fun this day was! Enjoy!!!


Yeah, I am still here and kicking on....

So people...its been a while. Why? Hmmm....life, kids, work, usual stuff. Not real excuses, but stand to reason all the same. But its not been unfruitful. No siree. Life is changing very quickly at the moment. There are some big things going on very soon and its time to capitalise. Its not clear yet how things are going to go, but one thing IS for sure....the photography as a business is going to be pushed, promoted and made one of my priorities...so watch this space!

In the meantime, whats been going on then? Well, the last few months have been really quite productive actually. Since we last spoke, I have had a fair bit going on.....lets start at the beginning.....


Back in February, on a whim, the fantastic Laura J Draycon was up for a bit of a mad, creative shoot. Never met her before, but had seen and heard great things. Her work stood alone and she was relatively local. She also had an AMAZING place to shoot at.....open, light, really eclectic....beautiful. We met at hers and I was greeted by her partner, young daughter and dog...all of whom made me feel extremely welcome and comfortable. And Laura makes a mean cuppa too! Ideas, concepts discussed...we started shooting.....

We had a few sets, ideas, and thoughts and each one Laura was funny, relaxed, highly enthused, collaborative and always putting in her own ideas. Just how I like it. Here is one of my faves from the shoot......

I love the movement in this, the pale shades, the eyes and the look. Its different for me, not like anything I have shot before and was half accident, half intended. Either way, it worked.

Laura was a star the entire shoot. Highly recommend anyone booking her if they would want to work with a creative mind. Shes a dab hand at the body paint scene too so go check out her work. I would jump at the chance to work with her again.

Then not a lot happened in March to be honest, other than my boys first birthday!!! And my wifes birthday! Good times....hes changing and growing QUICK and my wife, as ever, is always still there, the support, the rock, the glue that binds us together. Love my family.....they are my world.....

April was a busy one....relatively speaking......

First up I had the wonderful opportunity to shoot along side a really rather talented bloke by the name of Darryl J Dennis. Now, annoyingly, this is a guy that has been shooting for not so long....3 years or so maybe. But was a dab hand by the looks of it, straight out of the box. And what a reputation HE has built for himself already! And you can see why....clever, always interesting, highly stylised and really rather damn good....one of those people who just pleasantly annoy you! HA! But, to rub it in, hes also a top bloke to boot.

So, Darryl set up a shoot at his home/studio with the really rather excellent Helen Stephens. To shoot with her was quite exciting really. The shoot was to be all about experimentation, doing things differently.....we certainly got that! She's friendly, funny, really quite striking face to face....lived up to expectations and then some! Darryl was the perfect host....always open, funny, chilled out and really rather generous, both with his time, but his tea making expertise!

And wow....Helen is something else. As soon as she starts, she has game face on.....and its all about the look and pose. And when she nails it, its spot on! Endlessly creative and open to ideas, we tried so many different things...some worked, some didn't, but she gave us every opportunity to get some fantastic shots....and that we did. Here are a couple from that day.....

This was a fantastic shoot.....really fun, highly professional and I feel like I have made two friends from this. Loved every second. Darryl was the complete gent and can't recommend you go and check out his work highly enough and Helen lived up to the reputation that went before her and beyond. Thank you both for a fantastic day!

Not long after this, I had an enquiry from someone at my other place of work regarding me shoot some simple headshots for a CV. It turns out it was actually for his wife who was about to finish a PhD and then apply for work in Europe, where apparently they still value an image of yourself for application. What a delightful shoot it ended up being! We had the chance to shoot in the library of one of Cambridge University's colleges, which sounded ideal. Pascale was great, considering her slight lack of confidence about the whole thing. I found that she was actually going to be applying for jobs at the UN headquarters, that she was finishing her PhD in Criminology and that she was German and spoke multiple languages. She had worked for the UN before and loved it and wanted to get back in, so these images would hopefully help her out. I think we pretty much nailed it really....

For what she wanted and needed and the limited resources we had, I think we did a pretty good job. She was great fun and took my direction brilliantly to help her with the images. Heres hoping for good luck in her applications and her future career!

Not long after this, the family and I took a week holiday in the New Forest....a lovely cottage in a tiny village....was very much needed.....chilled, loads to do, was a lot of fun. Would definitely go back....

Then along came May and this is the start of hopefully big things to come for my photography and the business....

A old friend and I found each other on FB a couple of years ago and he had been following my photography work from the beginning. He has a small side business in hand crafted jewellery. Design of the Times....go check his work out. I love it! Anyway, I digress.....he contacted me last year regarding doing his wedding photos! Flattered, we arranged to meet up with him and his wife to be to have a good look around the wedding venue. It had been 20 years since we had seen each other and wow.....not only was it like yesterday, it was also testament to the fact that it HAD been 20 years past! Both our hair had changed....mine was considerably shorter, his was completely gone! But it was so cool to meet up with Mark again, but also to meet his lovely wife to be Louise (otherwise known as Weezy!). And what a couple they make! And what a venue! Its fantastic! A canal-side warehouse, converted to function rooms. Its just so picturesque! And the wedding, when I was told, is going to be something special....different, non-traditional, alternative and whole HEAP of fun! I cannot wait to shoot this wedding for them!


I cannot wait for this wedding. Everything about it is shouting fun! Roll on that day and can't wait to meet up with Mark and Louise again and even get to meet a load of the old gang I haven't seen for a long long time!!!

Finally from this month, another pre-wedding photo shoot, from just this weekend. Jerry and Steve contacted me completely separately without each other knowing the other one had! So glad they did! What a couple! Really fun, loveable and annoyingly photogenic! Ha! But this is another wedding I cannot wait to shoot....its going to be so much fun....they are a young couple, but seem like they have known each other a lifetime, clearly very much in love. But so friendly and I feel like I could be really good mates with them! But what a couple to shoot....they were right up for a pre-wedding shoot and so we did.....lets say I got very lucky with these two!

Good luck to these guys. Really looking forward to their wedding.....love these two!

So there it is! A bit gone on, with more to come. Weddings to come, some kids shoots in the offing, some more portraits and portfolio shoots in the planning.....this year is going to be a big push for me. And next year even more so. Spread the love people, spread the love. Help me build my passion into something fruitful for everyone! I LOVE what I do!!!


A new year and a big offer from myself! - NOW CLOSED!!!

Are you, or do you know anyone who is getting married in 2015-2016? Are you within a 40 mile radius of Newmarket in Suffolk? Well, prick up your ears as I am offering THREE FREE WEDDING SHOOTS to the first who contact me and fit that criteria! There will be more details on my website shortly, but get in touch and I will be happy to talk! Here's a chance to save yourself some money and get great photos and service for your big day!

What you will get from me.....

Well, you will have me for the entirety of your big day, from getting ready, to first dance and beyond. You will get my undivided attention, you will get, if you so choose, a pre-wedding shoot to get you used to me and the camera and you will get my 100% attention to detail in everything I do. You will get friendly, fun, relaxed service and will hopefully capture the fun of the day in a special way.

I won't be providing prints or albums, but you will get a disc with images decided by you and this will be copyright free as and when you receive it. I will more than happily help out in finding you a suitable printer or album maker if or when you require one.

If any of this interests you and you are one of the first three couples to contact me, then get in touch and lets start talking! I look forward to hearing from you!



Thank you all for the amazing responses.....but these places were snapped up almost immediately. Watch this space for images imminent this year and next for those lucky people!



You wait for a bus......

So, ok, it HAS been a while, I will admit. There have been shoots, things that involve life (kids, work, you know, the usual stuff) and I have been a bit lacksidascial, I have to say. So this is the first blog update in a while. Whats been happening I hear you say? Hmmmm....well, loads actually....let me explain.....

Life-wise, I think its fairly obvious.....two kids is a lot more of a handful than one. But my boy is 6 months old already and its been amazing watching him develop in a completely different way to my daughter.....they are chalk and cheese! But hes so time consuming as he is WAY more mobile and active than she ever was, so you have to keep your wits about you. But what a happy little chappy.....so part of my lack of updates was because I just couldn't miss out on him.....

But I have shoots to talk about. I was privvy to the last shoot of Charli Meredith before she left Cambridge for a life elsewhere.....and a great shoot it was! In her words "lets go out with a bang"! And we did! She pulled out all the stops on the styling and worked with my ideas and they were some fantastic images in a style I have not shot before. But they worked....really well! I am very happy with them and so was she! Marilyn Monroe came to mind instantly and you can tell from the pictures! Vic at LovePhoto Studio in Newmarket was a star, letting us use the whole studio and helping us out on a couple of setups.....top bloke, amazing studio!

Thanks to all involved with that shoot. Time flew, was a heap of fun, got great images!

I then decide to do a bit of street photography.....but not the candid sort. My premise was to shoot ONLY with my 50mm lens and shoot with my legs.....if you don't own a zoom lens, you will know what that means! Actually asking people to let me take their images. And it was surprisingly easy! Most said yes and others politely declined. I dont know why, but I almost expected more animosity......my family friend Matt Paskin came along (check out his website as hes a pretty damn good photographer himself (www.mattpaskin.com) and we went around asking interesting looking people if we could take their photos. Cambridge is an eclectic city at the best of times and frankly, it was like shooting fish in a barrel trying to find interesting subjects! But worth it.....Matt got his perspective on a lot of the people I shot and our different styles emerged.....mine is a lot more "in your face".....I wanted to go for that kind of look. Whereas Matt goes for a more "bystander" approach and it was good to see the same photo taken from a different perspective. Anyway, it was a lot of fun and something I really want to do again soon....

It was all about the hat!

It was all about the hat!

Just a very cool dude....

Just a very cool dude....

So what else has there been? Well, I had the privilege of shooting a gorgeous 9 month old girl with her parents Claire and Jason. What a lovely couple and although we weren't initially sure the shoot would go ahead due to the potential of the dreaded chicken pox, it turns out it wasn't that and she was just a touch under the weather. But, what a little trouper! Kids are tricky to shoot at the best of times, but when they are a bit grouchy, it can be particularly hard to get them in the mood. But she rallied fantastically with Mom and Dad entertaining and trying different things and all in all, we got some lovely shots that really captured her and her lovely personality.


What a lovely, lovely family!

Weddings.....now, weddings......always weddings! We love a good wedding! And it was again an honour to be invited to the wedding of a very good friend of my wife Laura's. Someone she has known for a long time, an old university friend who was finally getting married after finding a lovely Aussie wife! But I was NOT official photographer! No siree! But I did sneak the camera there, of course! The wedding was out on the edge of the Peak District, near Derby and what a BEAUTIFUL location! In the hills, open air wedding, under a tree, a teepee for the reception.....gorgeous and just wish I WAS the official photographer as I would have had so many more photo opportunities than I had as I was constrained by what the official photographers were allowing people to do. But I get that.....totally fine with me! So I did my best....and what a wedding. Great couple, here's to their future and what a day!

Anything else? Oh yeah, another wedding! I was hired for a small, intimate wedding in Cambridge, with the reception to be held on the roof of the Varsity Hotel. How could I refuse? I was recommended by a friend who, back in the day, had been on the same photography course I had been on, which was a really nice gesture. Little did I know that she was so close the bride and groom! Lenka and Richard are the sweetest couple! They clearly knew what they wanted....a small wedding, small gathering, nothing too fancy so they could spend all the money on a month long trip to New Zealand for their honeymoon! My kind of people! Anyway, we met up, chatted, they liked my stuff (and seemed to like me!) and it was agreed and put in the diary! I would only be needed for about 4 hours to shoot pre-wedding stuff, the ceremony, some formal shots and a few showstoppers to add into the collection. And that was it! Couldn't be more simple! Well, the photography niggles that we all encounter on these days arrived and without going into details, things were made tricky by circumstances out of mine or their control! Nothing disastrous, but thats why we do what we do....its a challenge and we thrive on the ability to think on our feet, adapt and get the best images we can under the circumstances. I think I got them.......tricky, hard work, but a lot of fun! Lenka and Richard were the epitome of helpful, fun and thoughtful. And their day went, as far as I know, without a hitch! But bring it on! Adversity is no enemy of mine! Ha ha!

So there you have it! There has been more, but these have been the ones I have had the most fun on, the most rewarding and the most challenging. There will be more in the future, I am making sure of that, so there will be less time between blogs next time! I know, I know, I say this every time, but I will make sure things will move on.......I hope you like these! Let me know what you think! Ta-ra for now!

Ooh its been all go....

So, its been a little while since I have updated this blog....for a good reason.....

As a lot of you may or may not know, the second edition to our miniature part of the family arrived, fit and well, on 24th March. Being a boy, we called him George. And we couldn't be happier. A spitting image of his Dad (that'll be me then) and getting bigger rapidly! We are over the moon, his big sister is warming to him slowly, but she is getting there. But hes a good lad, sleeps reasonably well, is a happy smiley chappy (now) and the two of them are the apples of our eyes.......

George and Caitlin74.jpg


Wot? WOT?!!!

Wot? WOT?!!!

PHOTO BOMB!!!!!!!!

PHOTO BOMB!!!!!!!!

Hes definitely one of the gang now!

But, because of his arrival and all the things that this entails, its meant I have been on a bit of a self imposed "hiatus" when it comes to photography. But, in the middle of all this maelstrom, I HAVE managed to shoot a wedding!  Yep, I know, amazing....

Anyway, what made it a bit of a no-brainer to do was that I was asked relatively short notice and was told that the wedding would have no more than 10 people and that it would be a quiet, small affair with a maximum time input from me of about 3 hours. Which, lets face it, with everything that was going on, was absolutely spot on! I could do a job, get paid, get some nice shots and get some lovely image for their wedding as well as keep my eye in and not go off the boil.....so, I said yes.

The wedding of Tim and Steph took place in Cambridge in Mid April. I hoped for an overcast day as the previous week had been blazing sunshine....not good for a middle of the day wedding with no possible shelter.....

Tim and Steph turned up with the ENTIRE wedding party in a huge white, American stretch limo and as soon as they were out of the car, it set the tone for the rest of the wedding....relaxed, chilled, laid back, play it by ear and have fun.....suited me! Steph looked amazing, Tim looked tall! Their 9 month old also looked a picture in an all-in-one tuxedo style grow....very cool!

We stared with a few family shots outside, which was tricky as the car was parked right in the middle of the main access way to the registry office and Steph is German, so her family didn't speak a lot of English. Some ingenious interpretation was needed to get people to pose! Then a few with the happy couple and then a wander inside to wait for the ceremony to begin.

Inside, we had to wait our turn.....Tim and Steph did their thing beforehand with the registrar, then it was just waiting for the time. I managed to get a few shots indoors of people waiting, but not a lot was happening. At least the little one was entertaining!

Then the moment arrived. Tim and Steph walked in together, which was a nice change and it was a very happy, relaxed fun ceremony, not taken too seriously at all and we got some nice shots of the happenings. Once it was over, was a bit of time before they had to whizz off to their family BBQ to get some shots of just the two of them in and around the surrounding area. I had already checked out the view from the top of the mount on Castle Hill outside the office and had to get some shots up there....never seen the view before and was really rather lovely. So, off we went, up the to the top, me carrying half a ton of gear and Steph with a train to pull (on her dress, not a Steam type thing...).

We got some big expanse shots, we got some close in, we got some single shots, together.....and I tried Hi Speed Sync for the first time with my new flashgun to try and get a nice moody sky.....all I can say is mission accomplished! Was well happy how the images came out!

Then, in the bag, back down the hill and all was done! The little one needed feeding and after that he feel asleep, so was time to get back to the house, with the family and let them get on with the rest of their day. My job was done! But was a lovely time and was great being part of such a small and intimate wedding, a lot of fun and I hope I managed to capture their day.....see what you think....


So, there you go! Simple, lovely, fun. I like that! Thanks LOADS to Tim and Steph for letting me be part of their lovely day. For the short time I was there, it was a blast and was lovely to have such easy going, obliging subjects. Was a lot of fun! Thanks and hope I did you proud!

But this was just the start.....once things have settled with our new life with George, then I shall be back shooting with vengeance! Watch this space for promotions, new ideas, new shoots and hopefully a bit more blogging! I am aiming to expand more this year to really build on what I have. So if you like what you see, please, feel free to spread the word. I would be most grateful. And if you have anything coming up, or would like to use me for weddings, portraits, kids stuff, model portfolios....then, get in touch! Will be more than happy to talk!

West Country Pasties, a hat and some silver

So, theres this guy, right. His name is Andy. Hes a photographer type bloke, bit like me. Andy Chang to be precise (go check him out at http://andrew-chang.com) Lets just call him good. Ok, bit more than good, hes blummin' excellent to be honest. And I have admired his stuff for a while now. And because of the quality of his work, I thought he was some kind of big photography big shot, out in magazine-land, being paid big bucks for his work, advertising and persuading people to buy these clothes or perfume or wot not. Turns out, thats not true. He's just like million other photographers out there, who do it for fun and the love of it. Just happens he is, in my eyes, better than 990,000 of them, but thats a whole different argument. Anyway, I digress.

We chat on Facebook over time, building a rapport as I was constantly commenting on his work. He seemed appreciative. We struck up conversations about photography, his or my images....the mutual back slapping was rife (probably more in his direction than mine, but thats fair enough).

Anyway, after a fair bit of good humoured banter and communication regarding all things photography, football and music, out of the blue and more than a little surprisingly, Andy suggested we do a shoot together. Well, frankly, I was a bit surprised....I didn't think someone of his skills would want to work with someone like me, but I was happy to. But it was a case of when, where etc....the logistics of him living in London and me being in Cambridge, work, time and so on was going to be a problem. Anyway, cutting a long story short, we worked around this. I didn't think it would happen, but we had a date, a venue and an idea.....

In the middle of this, we had to sort out models as we both had ideas about the kinds of stuff we wanted to shoot. There was also the logistics of dealing with the weather, sorting out locations, styling, make up artists etc. This was going to be a much more full on shoot than that of anything I had done before....but it was exciting and a challenge, made more so with Andy jetting off to the other side of the world for a couple of weeks on holiday, due to be back only a few days before the shoot was to happen! Ahhh the joys of social media communication...wasn't as bad as we thought! But getting a team together was more tricky....both of us put out casting calls, I had a couple of interested parties, but Andy came up trumps in a big way......and what finds they were! The two models he suggested turned out to be inspired...

The same happened with MUA's....I found one, Andy found the other. Both excelled.....

A date and venue were set to meet.....the day came......

The venue was closed for refurbishment.......!!!!!

This.....turned out to be a massive stroke of luck in some ways....more of this later....

First on the scene was Dominika....and what a star! Confident, talkative and decisive....exactly what was needed! Loaded with kit and just as annoyed about the venue being closed as I was! We decided to move further up the road and let Andy know where we are. Turns out Andy was actually already IN town...so he trundles up with back pack of gear, nothing else. I on the other hand had carried about 5 tonne of gear from the car park and my arms were dropping off. I felt a bit of a fool to be honest......that will teach me for future shoots....what a plum!

And what top guys they were in person! Andy, an outwardly meek and shy guy who turns out to be nothing of the sort! Focused, but up for a laugh, we hit it off straight away....I have to admit, this was one of my biggest fears....meeting someone you know online for the first time can sometimes be a bit of a letdown. Their written word is not a good translation for their personality. Turns out Andy was all his writing was and more....phew! Top bloke! The day was set.....thank goodness!

So, we needed a place to go to prepare....for outfit changes, make up putting on, styling and so on. Where was there to go? Dominika suggested that the top floor of the West Country Pasty Company on the corner of Market Square would be pretty good as it was more like an open cafe and had a lot of light so her and Eloise (who had let me know that she was actually on her way, but, as is the norm, the trains were rubbish....) could have good light to see what they were doing. Inspired choice........of which I shall explain.....later....So off we trekked upstairs

Now, I can't remember who was next, but I have a suspicion it was Annie......now, Annie I had only had brief communication with and had only seen the odd picture of from her modelling portfolio as she was one of Andy's respondents. But she looked amazing the second she walked in. Fashionable, bright red hair, slim and very 60's Vogue style look......perfect for the look we had in mind. Things were starting to move on! Andy and I decided to get coffees and teas for everyone and went downstairs to order......and as we were there, a woman, 6 foot tall, hair about 3 foot in length, very striking in both looks and stature, walked past us and walked upstairs. Andy and I carried on our conversation.....then looked at each other and did a bit of a double take.....

Yep, after getting our drinks, it turns out that was Emma...our second model! I wasn't expecting someone so tall....but then, being MY height, I should really, really not have been surprised. A Shetland Pony is tall to me! But she certainly made an impact! Things were coming together nicely....

We did introductions, chatted, started talking about what we wanted to do and then we did something that would set the tone for pretty much most of the shoot.....we emptied the models bags and rifled through their clothes, literally taking over about half of the upstairs room of the Pasty shop! Clothes, hats, camera gear....strewn everywhere. Furniture was rearranged, tables moved, customers frightened away (literally) with the mess we had made.....we started to decide on clothes and styles and talk about the make up that would fit the best. Eloise then finally arrives, looking a little worn out and slightly dishevelled due to her rushing to get to us and a HUGE bag of gear she brought and carried, but what a pro! Got straight into it, fit right in almost instantly and got down to work without a quibble! Top notch!

So, looks, outfits and make up decided, Andy and I started to think about what and where we were going to shoot. The girls did the girl thing, got changed and sat down for MU. And from then on, ALL plans we had went out of the window! And I for one and kinda happy about that. Yes, I would have liked to have done more scouting, but with a heavily pregnant wife and a 2 year old to look after, time isn't something I have much of! Also, I didn't want Andy to come all this way and it be worth his while. But we ended up having to wing it....and whats more, where better to start that "winging" than the place we actually were in! It had great light, lovely nooks and crannies to pose and hide in, simple, classic furniture, colour, backdrops.....the shoot would start here!

We wanted a modern take on a vintage look, but this was very loose....Emma has a classic look, so I wanted to have a classic look for her outfit and make up. Eloise got to work on Emma with a simple, bright lipstick and foundation....more enhancement than a "look" as such. Annie on the other hand.....well....Andy wanted to go completely "other worldly" and she ended up having silver leaf glued on to her lips! Poor girl had to have absolutely NO expression on her face for almost an hour! But wow, Dominika went to town! What a look! Mad, weird, brilliant! And for her look and the one that Andy was after, it worked a treat!

Once make up was done and clothes changed, the shoot was on! Emma was shooting with myself first, Annie with Andy. Emma arrived at the shoot wearing a very classicly 60's hat, big floppy rim, black....you know the sort. Quite Audrey Hepburn. Well, she was very proud of that hat.....a bargain buy that week and had to be used really! Looked great! But first, we wanted to "warm up" so we used the surroundings for the shoot, using the soft light coming in through a side window and some nice leather chairs and sofas. As previously said, Emma is TALL! And for me, to shoot anywhere near head height was going to be an issue....so, sitting it was! And boy did that work......with the hair, the bright red lipstick and the classically simple clothes, she looked amazing! She was a natural too....I didn't direct much...my own style is much less "contemporary" and more classic.....but thats not to say I don't like "different". I just wanted to have simple portraits in the surroundings......I think we nailed it! And a big shout out has to go to Eloise.....who not only did a superb job on the MU, but also was tireless throughout the shoot as an excellent voice activated human reflector stand.....not the most glamourous of jobs and not necessarily in the original job description, but she was sterling in her stamina and skill.....spot on!

So then it was the turn of the hat! No change in style, just use it! Work that hat! And work it we did! Different poses, changes of place within the room.....had to be done really....and all the time, Emma was just laughing at me at my constant whoops of delight as the images hit the back of the camera. I know, I know....its a common thread in my shoots, but I just cant help it! Plus, its an icebreaker......which turns out a bit useful as whilst we got chatting more and more, I found out that Emma and I have something in common. No, it wasn't that we were at the opposite ends of the height spectrum! It was actually that she also works in genetics.....if my memory serves me right, doing a PhD in it as we speak! Well, how about that then? So nice to meet a model who confounds stereotypes as from my experience, MOST models confound stereotypes to be honest. But thats not the public perception.....models are not seen in the best of light by a large proportion of the general public. Well, here you go, along with Annie, who is ALSO a student and after getting to know her is also FAR from your stereotype model, there are two fine examples of the profession that perfectly demonstrate the cliche of "never judge a book by its cover".

Anyway, back to the hat! Hat was located, hat was placed on head, hat took centre stage....hat was ROCKED! Check it out!

Look and hat suitably rocked, we decided to have a break.....so, there was only really one thing we could and SHOULD have.......they had been so cool to us.....PASTY!!! Oh yes.....but oh NO! Emma had taken the last steak and ale.......gutted! And she wouldn't swap.....oh well, I guess I had to let her off! But the classic pasty was still a belter and just what the doctor ordered....

Suitably refreshed, Andy and I (and the models too) decided we should swap. We didn't even consider moving venue still.....which was both a good thing and a bit of a cheeky thing too! But hey, we were there, so lets make the most of it! Now, Annie was much more of a contemporary looking model. Emma is all elegance and classic look.....I can handle and deal with that. Annie on the other hand brought something completely different to the shoot. Not only did she have the mad lips, but also a shape and look that was very different. It rocked the look and the images I got with her were very different to those that I got with Emma. Which was exactly what we needed and wanted. Pulling odd poses, using her slender shape to make even more complicated shapes, the whole look worked so well in different places around the room. I think you will agree it was a very different look....

The light had changed a fair bit, so was struggling with the room lights, the natural light and other tones bouncing everywhere. I did my best to work on the white balance, but as you can see, the tones were very striking....harsh, but they kind of worked for the look. I still really like these images, even with the slight colour tone troubles!

At the end of this, we decided it might actually be best to try and venture outside! It had been raining on and off after a beautiful beginning to the shoot, but as is the way, we missed our window! Either way, we were determined to get a good effort going on, so off we went, after a slight touch up of the look and some outfit changes....

Now, there is an alleyway down the side of the chapel of Kings College which I can never remember the name of....but its a classic through cut, cobbled streets, old doorways and very much not changed its look in hundreds of years I would say. We had to use it. Besides, our shooting window was becoming less and less, with time ticking on before I would have to leave to get back to my heavily pregnant wife and handful of a 2 year old (shes not that bad actually, but not fair on a pregnant woman! lol!).

I started with Annie this time, dressed in a classic 60's style tartan straight dress and some lovely old style shoes....a subtle look was done by Dominika, with simple darkening eye make up that matched the colours in the dress. Against Annie's red hair, it really worked! And Dominika took on the role of the reflector stand, but also giving posing advice, location advice and constant encouragement on things I couldn't see. Nicely done Dominika! And Annie was a star! I asked her to hold poses for a few seconds at a time as I wanted to try shooting with longer exposure times to blur people and get her perfectly still....tricky as I had forgotten my tripod! Needless to say, the idea failed due to my own forgetfulness, but Annie moved on with no qualms or quibbles! She was also completely unperturbed by the passers by who were both a little bemused and mildly amused at the same time! So we moved to a doorway and got some classic leading line images, some crops and some simple looks. Then on to some steps at the side of one of the buildings.....which I then promptly got her to sit in a really big puddle! Dominka came up with a great idea of sitting on a bag, which then took Annie and her to work together to hide the bag (as well as Annie's modesty!) as best as possible to get the shot! Totally worth it as I love the shot! See what you think....

Andy, Emma and Eloise in the meantime had pretty much disappeared and we didn't see them until we had done our bit annoying the pedestrians! By the time they came back, rain had started to fall reasonably hard and time (and light) was running out. A suggestion to find, quickly, one more venue was made and off we went....

Dominka finally suggested an alleyway down the side of Campkins Camera shop opposite Kinds (I am sorry, but I am AWFUL with names!). At the end was a little church with a small courtyard and graveyard outside. What a lovely and picturesque place it was too! Lived in Cambridge for 17 years now and never knew it was even there! Anyway, I had little time left, so I tried to grab a couple of shots with Emma....really was a really quick shoot before I had to scoot off! I was SO glad we did! Simple, elegant and made use of the lovely overhanging trees and bushes in the yard to frame Emma and that extraordinary hair really very nicely indeed. By this point, Emma was just happy to follow my lead as I was thinking she still found me slightly amusing! But these were my last shots of the day.....and how well they came out!

So that was it for me. I had to run pretty quickly......I said my goodbyes, thanked everyone and was actually really very pleased with my day. Andy remained behind shooting a few shots with the girls, but I am glad we had met and he suggested the shoot.....

What can I say about the day to sum up? Well, firstly, the MUA's. Those ladies knew their stuff! Both Eloise and Dominka brought a lot to the shoot, giving a look, helping out, keeping styling topped up and were generally great to be around. Those guys, we can only thank them!

Annie and Emma? Well, firstly, they themselves got on really, really well! They seemed to have a laugh, want to try stuff together, bounced ideas....a perfect match from polar opposites of looks. No bad thing. Annie was modern, "out there", quirky....spot on for the looks we tried to get and was the perfect model for the job. She made us laugh, was definitely a child of the times as I later found selfies of the looks on social media, so was keeping people up to date! I would work with her again at the drop of a hat!

Emma was a star.....for me, she is the classic beauty....tall, elegant and brought a feel of class to the look I was trying to get. Not saying that Annie didn't have this, but Emma and Annie's looks were very different. Emma was much more reserved, restrained......and that fit the look and images we made perfectly. Again, I would happily work with her, and consequently, since the shoot, we have already spoken about arranging another shoot together after the baby is born and things have settled down somewhat. I guess we hit it off a little due to our common interests and her constantly laughing and being amused at my own stupid behaviour.....she reckoned it was great and kept her amused, feeling comfortable and relaxed and made the day that much more enjoyable. Laudable sentiments, but I reckon she was still laughing AT me.... ;-)

Both models were perfect professionals.....trying things, taking on the things we threw at them without a question and pulled off all the looks we had with a smile and 100% commitment. Andy and I couldn't have asked for more....

Ahhhhhh yes....Andy. Finally, after meeting him and working with him, I can now see why his work is of such a high standard. A superb eye for detail, a clear vision and a steely, straightforward determination under a very jovial and fun exterior. A perfect gent, a great laugh, ever helpful with ideas, knowledge and never shy to let go of nuggets of wisdom or simply to just geek out on tech and gear with me! I think I found a friend (not sure how he feels about it!), but all I can say is what a top bloke he is. And as I have now seen some of his shots from the day......he totally rocks as a photographer.....still! Damn him! ;-)

Thank you to ALL of the gang for a great shoot and a great day......one of the most fun days I have had on a shoot with anyone and I can only say....here's to the next time! Will be my pleasure!