Friday, 25 June 2010

Sarah's Favourite Photo Friday

This week I've been saving up my photographs from Sunday's Manchester Day Parade to share with you.

The Manchester Day Parade is a new event for Manchester and it was very well received so I hope that it will become an annual event.

I wanted to go along with my camera because I saw it as a sort of trial run for Manchester Pride coming up in August, where I have volunteered to be one of their main photographers which is very exciting!

I learned a lot from my attempts with the Manchester Day Parade including
- no matter how stuck in you get you'll need a zoom lens
- trust the camera, it can cope shooting into the sun
- composition is everything amongst the chaos!
- get over your shyness, you're going to have to get people's attention.

Here are my favourites

Manchester Day Parade 1

Manchester Day Parade 2

Manchester Day Parade 3

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Celebrating 12 months of blogging


It's late, and to be honest with you I let myself get totally distracted by iPhone OS4, and spent too long on the blog yesterday with Sarah's post, but I have to write something today because exactly 12 months ago I decided to starting blogging.

And what a 12 months it has been! In terms of photography, my skills have improved and evolved, I have better equipment and web presence and a general sense of direction. I've loved the drive that blogging gives me and have researched making more of it, which is why I now have a regular weekly posting. I'm photographing more than ever before and continuing to take on new challenges.

I set out the following statement for my blog 12 months ago:
  • My blog will help me explore my needs as a photographer.
  • It will push me to analyse my own work and therefore drive it forward.
  • It will help me discover what I want to photograph and then help me get the message of my photography out.
  • It will help me take part in the discourse about photographer's issues and other photographer's work.

Top three issues definitely going well but I must start looking outside of my own box more for part four. I am doing it, particularly with all the other blogs I follow. But it's not evident enough.

And the next 12 months? Well I'm in a very open place at the moment and refuse to set any measurable goals, however I must continue to explore myself as a photographer, stay up to date with trends and technology and keep an open mind!

There is still much to learn about myself and my photography ;)

Monday, 21 June 2010

Sarah and Paul, St Michael's Cropthorne and Springhill Barn. Wedding Photostory.

Time for another wedding photostory! And this one is very overdue! Sarah and Paul's wedding photo main site can be found here.

I've officially known Sarah since I was 9, however she was in a different class to me so had to remind me of this fact when we were reunited at 16! We know each other very well and have had many an emotional journey. Photographing her wedding was no exception and these images do not represent my best work but they do represent a wonderful, memorable day with a group of people I love dearly.

So, onto my story of the day.

Sarah and Paul  001

Sarah and Paul  002

The day started at a hairdressers in Fladbury. The Cropthorne/Fladbury/Pershore area in Worcestershire is where Sarah's family come from and over the last couple of years we've been going there for girly weekends, so it felt very homely to be there.

Sarah was based at the hairdressers all morning. But the bridesmaids, once their hair was done, were getting their make up done by the amazing Hayley, another friend of Sarah's.

Sarah and Paul  003

Around lunchtime everyone was finally back at Sarah's parents house (walkable to the church) which has the most incredible views (which is why it makes great girly breaks!)

Sarah and Paul  004

Ella on the left is another of the group of four of us who were together at 6th form and still are now. And who's wedding was the first I ever photographed (as a pro).

Sarah and Paul  005

Here is Sarah and the view! And next up I went to join the men at the church. Sarah met Paul whilst she was in Leeds for University, but he originally comes from Manchester :)

Sarah and Paul  007

Sarah and Paul  008

The biggest nightmare about this wedding was that the vicar would not allow any photography until after the ceremony, just the signing and leaving. So Sarah asked me to pop in and get some shots before anyone was there, particularly of the flowers.

Sarah and Paul  006

Just imagine if this shot had a ceremony going on the background- it would've been lovely :(

Sarah and Paul  009

I love this one of the bridesmaids whilst we awaited Sarah's arrival (which was delayed because one of the coach runs was late!)

Sarah and Paul  010

Doesn't she look lovely in that image? The next one was taken from my seat in the church where I wasn't taking any pictures ;)

Sarah and Paul  011

I did manage to restrain myself and waited until the signing and leaving as instructed!

Sarah and Paul  012

Sarah and Paul  013

The ceremony was followed by some quick formals. Worth it for the beautiful church backdrop.

Sarah and Paul  014

Then we went onto the stunning reception venue, Springhill Barn, with it's own lake and everything!

Sarah and Paul  015

Get the couple shots out of the way first.

Sarah and Paul  016

Sarah and Paul  017

Sarah and Paul  018

Sarah and Paul  019

Then the group shots took full advantage of the lake view.

Sarah and Paul  020

This next shot shows the two cakes. Two because Sarah currently works for a pork pie company (she's a food QA or something) so she had a pork pie cake, and a chocolate cake! Amazing. A slice of each was great by about 10pm!

Sarah and Paul  021

Speeches now and some great Sarah faces...

Sarah and Paul  022

Sarah and Paul  023

And then obviously there was a cake each to cut.

Sarah and Paul  024

The first dance was choreographed.

Sarah and Paul  025

By now most of us, particularly me, were drunk, so I persuaded Sarah and Paul that they wanted to recreate their dance by the lake

Sarah and Paul  026

It was worth it right?

And that concludes my very long and self indulgent photostory of Sarah's wedding. I couldn't help myself!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Sarah's Favourite Photo Friday

This week has been dominated by my Am Dram group SMAOS once again. I am directing/coordinating the summer fundraising concert Let Us Entertain You.

We start tonight with our kick off being the same time as England's (hopefully this doesn't turn out to be a really bad plan) and we perform again tomorrow night at 7.30pm. It's on at the East Didsbury Methodist Church at the bottom of Parrs Wood Road, Manchester. Come along if you can!

So this weeks favourite photo(s) are my highlights from last year's concert.

Summer Concert 09  002
Summer Concert 09  001
Summer Concert 09  003
Summer Concert 09  004
Summer Concert 09  005

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Mike and Pam. Eastwood Park, Gloucestershire. Wedding Photostory

Mike and Pam's wedding pictures are now complete. You can visit their photo site here.

This is my story of their day.

The day started out with the men and a few fun shots.

Mike and Pam  001

Mike and Pam  002

I'm really pleased with this second image, the composition is a little different and obviously the venue is stunning in the background.

Then I went to find the bride.

Mike and Pam  003

When it was time, the route to the ceremony room included a stunning staircase where my preview image was taken but here's another one from the moment.

Mike and Pam  004

During the ceremony I was trapped to one side of the room for the duration, which meant my images only caught Mike's expressions. But that's OK because he had some lovely ones!

Mike and Pam  005

The signing images were backlit by the windows again (as was the case with Louise and Richard's wedding) but this image is nice.

Mike and Pam  006

On arrival outside of the ceremony room we were greeted with this:

Mike and Pam  007

And I took this image whilst everyone was outside enjoying their pimms!

Mike and Pam  008

Then it was time to get some bride and groom portraits, working our way around this beautiful venue. Pam smiled more after a top up of her pimms though!

Mike and Pam  009

Mike and Pam  010

Mike and Pam  011

Mike and Pam  012

Mike and Pam  013

As you can see there was a lot of locations for photographs. Above is probably my now favourite image from the wedding, a sun-kissed alternative to the image I chose for the preview blog posting. The final location took in the view:

Mike and Pam  014

Mike and Pam  024

Then it was time for groups. Here are the friends:

Mike and Pam  015

All the group shots were taken on the stairs except for the everyone shot, for which I got to lean out of a window!

Mike and Pam  016

As you can see it was quite a small group of people.

I wanted to include a picture of the beautiful cheese(s) cake. These are certainly starting to become popular at the moment.

Mike and Pam  017

Onto speeches and first up Pam's dad.

Mike and Pam  018

Then Mike and Pam did a speech together.

Mike and Pam  019

And the best men, as there was more than one, took turns to tell their tales by passing the peperami!!

Mike and Pam  020

Mike and Pam  021

We were joined by a few more guests in the evening where the cheese was cut and served. And to finish, the first dance:

Mike and Pam  023

Mike and Pam  022

Mike and Pam are currently packing up their lives to move to America. I hope to turn around an album for them asap to take with them. And I wish them every luck across the ocean.

This was part of a weekend of two weddings down south. Watch this space for Sarah and Paul's wedding story.