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!