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With the busy run up to Christmas and new year, I have been guily of neglecting my blog, so one of my resolutions this year is to keep on top of the blog and social media generally.
Just before Christmas I was attending a meeting of the Gone Fishing networking group at Tillington Hall in Stafford and was delighted to meet a couple of young men from Wolgarston High School in Penkridge. Brad Clemson and James Dunn were there to talk about their new product, an unusual and attractively made stand for ipad or other tablet. The product has been developed under the Young Enterprise scheme where teams of students form a company, create a product and bring that product to market. The company has a board of directors and everyone has assigned roles and responsibilities. With the sales of tablets now outstripping laptops, their choice of product is very topical. Their mentor in this process is well known Staffordshire business coach David Nurse.
Brad and James are pictured below with their tablet stand.
Everyone at the meeting was very impressed with their maturity and professionalism, and I expect to see them in the boardroom with Sir Alan Sugar in the not too distant future!
I love photographing people – all shapes and sizes, babies, families or pets. Sometimes though I just look at a picture of something else and it just captivates me.
That’s the case with the image below. It was taken recently as two vintage steam locomotives (Black 5’s for afficonados) pulled a special train as it passed through Rugeley in Staffordshire. I wish I could say that this image is one of mine but it was taken by my son, Christopher, who was home from university for the weekend.
I love the combination of modern gantrywork holding the overhead cables for modern electric mainline loco’s, partly shrouded by the billowing steam. I love the way the light is filtered through the steam, and the impression of raw power.
So, not all great images are of people, but I guess I knew that already.
Last week I was privilaged to attend ‘An Evening With John Swannell’, event organised by the Master Photographers Association
If the name is not familiar to you then the images certainly will be. John worked as an assistant to the great David Bailey before going on to buid his own reputation as one of the biggest names in British photography. For in idea of just how wide his portfolio is, take a look at his galleries on the web
As well as his fashion work for various big name publications, his portraits include a who’s who of A list celebrities including Michail Caine, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Tom Jones and Judi Dench. As if that is not enough he has also photographed many members of the Royal Family including Princess Diana and her children. In 2012 John had the honour of being commissioned to take the only official portrait of HM The Queen to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.
The National Portrait Gallery has over 140 of John’s images in their collection.
For someone with such an impressive CV, he really came across as quite unassuming and was happy to share his knowledge when asked. His stories and anecdotes were delightful as he took us on a journey through his eventful career.
John also does a lot of work in raising funds and awareness of the National Autistic Society
If you get the chance to see an exhibition of his work in your area jump at it – you will not be disappointed.
For those of us of a certain vintage the clip below contains some very fond memories, indeed some things that had not come to mind in years. Watch and enjoy!
It was a great privilege earlier this month to photograph the wedding of Vicki and Colin at the delightful Hawksyard Hall. Vicki and Colin are a great couple and despite it being the hottest day of the year so far (it certainly felt like it!) a great time was had by all.
Vicki was whisked to Hawksyard in a beautiful Beauford supplied by Tony and Joy at Stylishly Classic
Hawksyard Hall was as stunning as always and the staff really bent over backwards to make sure the day went well. We had to play around with the running order a little as we went along but got there in the end.
Vicki and Colin were a delight to work with and I hope they enjoy many happy years together.
Butterfly Wishes Network
In April of this year a group of photographers got together to create the Butterfly Wishes Network. The aim of the network is to bring together volunteer professional photographers with the families of children with life limiting illness, to provide a photography experience and hopefully deliver some images which will be a treasured memory in years to come. I am proud to have been accepted as part of this network.
If you know of anyone who would benefit from this initiative ask the to apply via the website and one of the team will be in touch as soon as possible.
It was great last week to welcome the team from RGK Wheelchairs to the studio for a commercial shoot focussing on their new Tiga wheelchair being launched in the very near future. I was amazed by how light and maneouverable the chairs are, definately the ‘Aston Martin’ of the wheelchair world.
RGK are a local company who produce and export these wheelchairs all over the world, each one being uniquely designed and built to order.
The company is heavily involved in producing wheelchairs for sports and we were privileged to be joined on the day by Abdi Jama, GB Wheelchair Basketball captain and Paralympian, together with Sophie Carrigill a member of the Standard Life GB Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Squad.
Both are working towards the Rio 2016 Paralympics as well as being RGK Ambassadors.
It’s always great to work with local business who are really leading the way in their own field – look out for more from RGK in the future.
What a busy week!
Started off at Lichfield Bower last Bank Holiday Monday to photograph the Scruffs Dog Show. The weather was kind to us and we managed to avoid the rain, although we did have a few perilous moments with our new gazebo. It was a great day though and we managed to get some great shots of the dogs. Here is an image of the overall winner, Frank
Here are some more images from the show, some really cute pooches!
On Wednesday and Thursday we were at Staffordshire county show. Not so lucky with the weather this time, and we did fear we were going to lose the gazebo once or twice but it managed to stay in one piece. Tasted such odd things as Vodka and Raspberry flavour sausages. Such an interesting event and we will certainly be returning next year.
Finished the week off with a couple of days exhibiting at the Hollybush Garden Centre and met lots of interesting people over the couple of days we were there. It was a relief to be indoors this time and we had a great spot in the new area of the Hollybush near the coffee shop.
Several of our past clients came up to say hello. We are planning more external events over the next few months so if you see us don’t forget to come and have a chat.
Have a look at this article on the New York Times website about legendary photographer Terence Donovan. His images are as fresh today as when they were taken which must surely be the greatest tribute to any photographer. I noticed particularly slide no 7 (above) which, if I hadn’t known it was taken in 1960, I would have sworn was Suggs from Madness!
Very pleased to confirm that we will be attending both the 2013 Lichfield Bower and the Staffordshire County Show later this month.
The Bower, which dates from the time of King Henry II, is always a great spectacle and this year promises to be no exception. You can have a look at what’s happening at the Lichfield Bower web page.
This year we will be photographing the Scruffs Dog Show taking place in beacon Park, the dog show for both mongrels and pedigrees alike, so come along and enter your precocious pooch. We will be providing some prizes on the day and also have some great offers available.
Lichfield Bower takes place on bank holiday Monday, 27th May.
Two days later we are off to the Staffordshire County Show. The county show is always a fantastic spectacle with lots for all the family to enjoy, both in the main rings and all of the exhibition areas. We will be exhibiting some of our work and giving people the opportunity to grab some great offers over the two day event on 29th and 30th May. Come along and say hello. Personally, I’m looking forward to the Monster Trucks and trying some great local products in the food area.