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February 2, 2013

We’ve have been neglecting this blog recently & instead have been busy on a well known social networking site called Facebook. So find out what we’ve been up to recently by having a look at our page there!

As well as information about usFacebook-Izzie & what we’re up to (along with great photographs—like yesterday’s post about our session with the lovely Izzie’s on the right!) we post snippets of news & other stuff that we trust you’ll find interesting. Unlike some others we do promise not to bombard you with fake offers!

You don’t have to sign up to Facebook to see our page & many photographs. So, as much as Facebook would like you to join, just cancel their requests. Just bookmark our page so you can stop by every now & again.

If you are already on Facebook we’d love you to ‘like’ us so we can keep you up to date with what is happening here at the studio.

Click on Izzie’s picture to have look now!

Familiar face

May 25, 2011

Our favourite album manufacturers, GF Smith held an “Inspirational Day” recently with renowned photographers Kevin Wilson and Mark Lawrence at the wonderful Custard Factory in the middle of Birmingham.

Overexposed Holly!

Overexposed Holly!

Helping Mark was a model called Holly who was very professional & patient while each photographer took their turn to shoot. At one point, having moved to a new location, I took a picture with the camera on totally the wrong exposure setting. However, once the amazing Adobe Lightroom photo processing software had worked its magic I was able to produce an artistic picture from a file that would otherwise be only fit for deletion!

While I am familiar shooting ‘on the streets’ with my own Urban Confidence, the locations provided in the middle of Birmingham were rather different to the familiar, genteel, rural town of Ross-on-Wye. We used some of the great open space locations in the Custard Factory, some nearby railway arches and, most spectacularly, a wall of crushed cars in the industrial Heath Mill Lane.

Holly & the wall of crushed cars

Holly & the wall of crushed cars

We finished the shoot back at The Custard Factory. As the rest of the delegates were leaving Holly spotted a striking hanging sculpture called The Deluge & asked for a picture
Holly underneath The Deluge

Holly underneath The Deluge

of her underneath and I was happy to oblige! There are many other sculptures as well as interesting artisan shops so The Custard Factory, just a few yards from Birmingham’s Bull Ring, is well worth a visit. GF Smith really had provided an inspiring day!

When I got back to the studio I realised I had seen Holly a couple of weeks before when reading on the BBC news web site about the BP Portrait Award shortlist. She was the model for a superb 12 foot high painting by Louis Smith naturally called ‘Holly’. We had remembered the painting due to its beautiful classic lighting so she was a familiar face!

Ziggy is brilliant!

We were delighted to support the Ross Gazette’s ‘Pet Factor’ competition. Ziggy, the worthy winner, was given his star prize of a 16 inch canvas. Ziggy is an American Bulldog, he was rescued by his owner after being abandoned. Being only 6 months old he has the energy of a puppy but with a lovely character.

Pet Factor winner Ziggy in the Gazette

Pet Factor winner Ziggy in the Gazette

And, of course, Crufts is coming up soon. To celebrate we are offering £10 off any pet portrait until the end of Crufts 2011, which is the 13th March 2011. You’ll be pleased to know that any pet qualifies for this offer, not just dogs! See our Pets page for details and give us a ring.

Opera can be fun!

June 30, 2010

Had an excellent time at Fran & Martin's lovely, informal wedding. During the ceremony at Walford church they had a lady sing a couple of classical pieces during the signing of the register. I noticed she sang rather better than usually done by the usual ‘friend of the couple’.

But reception in a marquee at their home the talents of the wonderful opera singer, the amazing soprano Fabienne Borget were revealed. She didn’t just sing, she entertained us with several opera female love standards using the gentlemen guests as surprised participants in her show.

Fabienne Borget

Fabienne Borget serenades

To their partners & friends enjoyment & delight the poor men were blushing as Fabienne knelt pleading for her life at their feet, sat on their knees as she declared her love to them & promised herself for ever as she clasped their heads to her bosom. Grown men were reduced to doing their best to not catch her eye, hiding behind their beer glasses, as she prowled around the tables.

To be honest, opera is not on my favourites list, but the Fabienne’s show was wonderful as she gave a quick amusing resume of each piece before ‘acting it out’.

Maestro Fabarotti

Maestro Fabarotti entertains

After seeing what happened to their men the girls were disappointed to not to be included so during the speeches Fabienne disappeared & was replaced by the larger than life ‘Maestro Fabarotti’.

If you’d like to enjoy a true entertainer you can find out more about Fabienne here. Opera can be fun!

Weddings help families bond

February 11, 2010

Not one of my pictures!
Linda Geddes and Nic Fleming on their wedding day (courtesy of the Daily Mail who annoyingly don't credit the photographer)

How did dedicated New Scientist reporter Linda Geddes make her wedding day even more memorable? By taking blood samples from 13 of her nearest and dearest and sending them off to a leading hormone scientist in California! And so we find out from this small experiment that there may be some biochemical reasons behind why we get married.

The Daily Telegraph headline of “Weddings help families bond so they will assist in raising the children” contrasts with the Daily Mail’s more mercenary “Weddings are a way of providing baby-sitters for the future”.

New Scientist has the unusual picture of a Bride donating blood on her wedding day captioned “Get any blood on my dress, mister, and this experiment is finished”

The great thing is that weddings do bring families together. And the big range of emotions you will experience is mirrored by swings in hormone levels. And not just for the Bride & Groom but the whole family and even friends. Well done for everyone who took part!

One thing I did notice is that the Bride’s male friend James has more of the ‘jealousy’ hormone after the ceremony than before. Would I want the world to know that?

3000 and counting!

February 6, 2010

What a milestone! We’ve now photographed over 3000 lovely babies under the amazing Cherubs scheme. The smashing Lucas from Coleford was no. 3000.

Phil, Lucas with mum, Laura and his folio

Cherubs is a national scheme run by the Master Photographers Association that records a baby’s first year with wonderful professional photography.

Each baby that gets invited to join Cherubs has three photo sessions. From each shoot the parents choose a picture that sums their baby up best at that age. They then receive the luxury folio complete with pictures after the last sitting – for free!

Lucas, my 3000th Cherub

I offer Cherubs to the parents of new babies who live in south Herefordshire, the Forest of Dean & north Monmouthshire. A lot of parents don’t believe it could really be free. If you’re a new parent watch out for my invitation letter coming through the door!

All Cherubs sessions take place in my elegant High Street studio. Part of a grade II listed Georgian building, the airy studio has a lovely atmosphere with it’s high ceiling & large windows. Having a well equipped, comfortable studio allows us to provide our customers with the highest quality pictures.

Lucas was an excellent model, a delight to photograph! He smiled brilliantly & made my job seem easy.

His mum, Laura said, “I’m really pleased with my folio. We love the pictures & it’s amazing to see how Lucas changed as he was growing up.”

BBC Magazine - How hard is it to photograph a wedding?

BBC Magazine - How hard is it to photograph a wedding?

Following on from the recent news coverage of the awful wedding photography suffered by Marc and Sylvia Day from West Yorkshire the BBC Magazine have just posted this excellent article on wedding photography. Well worth a read if you’re choosing a wedding photographer. We’re not all the same!

When you come to see us you’ll notice all our display albums are complete weddings usually as provided to the couple, not just a collection of our favourite shots. And you’ll see our reception table is covered in thank you cards from grateful couples.

We are proud that a lot of our weddings come by recommendation and we do repeat business, mostly for siblings, but occaisionally second time around!

Blogs in other places

August 7, 2009

Master Photographers Association

Master Photographers Association

I am proud to belong to the Master Photographers Association. When I first became a professional photographer they gave me the support & provided training I needed to advance. I gained my Licenciate (so I can legitimately call myself a ‘Master Photographer’) followed by a Diploma in Photographic Practice (so I have the dubious honour of being able to put DiPP after my name).

Now they are asking members who do wedding photography to contribute to their web site with mini blogs so, if you want to read a little more about what I’ve been up to have a look at these three: We like happy brides, How many people can you fit on a picnic table? & Congratulations to James & Kate. More to come!

May Hill in July

July 30, 2009

Flick & Simon on May Hill

Flick & Simon on May Hill

We’d arranged to meet at the top of May Hill for Flick & Simon’s engagement photo session. The hill holds a special significance for them as it was where Simon had proposed.

As part of my wedding coverage I offer a free engagement shoot. Some couples use it to get some nice informal pictures to give as presents, some who are nervous about having their picture taken use it as practice and some, like Flick & Simon, use it to get a special picture to use on their Order of Service.

We had already cancelled the shoot earlier in the month due to poor weather so, although the day started wet, the forecast promised the rain would clear by 5pm with the shoot at 6pm. There is often a wonderful light following a storm so although it was damp as I arrived to scout for locations I was expecting things to improve. Cue interesting clouds and even sunbeams.

However, just before Flick & Simon arrived the rain restarted. But they didn’t let it dampen their spirits & we worked our way through a series of great pictures while the elusive sunshine failed to make an appearance. A black umbrella made a fine & practical prop. But you’ll have to wait for the wedding in January to see their chosen picture.

One bonus, we had May Hill to ourselves!

Clients I like

June 25, 2009

It’s great when you get clients who ask for something extra. When you’ve done the pictures for the brochure, web site & newsletter, could they have something more abstract for their reception.

The brief widens.

You’ve been given permission to make it different instead of just a good picture of the product. The creative juices start to move and the imagination steps up a gear. You look for new paths away from the usual journey. What if’s start to appear and you’re on your way.

Cooper Security Scantronic control panel

Cooper Security Scantronic control panel

Thank you Cooper Security. Can I keep the kit a bit longer for more of a play?