Category Archives: photography

Going through the archives

Tomorrow is a big scary day, I have to go to Chester to have my photography assessed by A BIPP mentor.

Suddenly I can’t find a single photo I’ve taken that I like!

I quite liked quite a lot of them before, I’m sure I’ll like them again after –  but right now, when I’m going through them for critique, I’ve decided that they are all utter crap.

Not that I’m nervous about it or anything (she lied through her teeth).

I’ve put them into three categories: weddings, babies and personal work. The idea is, I think that  they take a look through and tell you which is your strongest work and how to build on and improve what you’re doing. All good stuff but still scary. I’ll be glad when it’s all over. Tell me again why I thought it was a good idea to put myself in for this?

I did cross my mind that since Chester is a bugger to park in I might go on the train as the station is directly across the road from where the assessments are being carried out.  £22, not bad, not much more than petrol and parking and priceless in terms of stress reduction. Let’s have a look at the journey time. Two and a half hours??!!  Two changes??!!  Sod that, I’ll drive. It should take just over an hour if the roads are clear.

Wish me luck.


Trumpet tooting time

That’d be my own trumpet. I’m feeling a bit pleased with my little self at the moment because this magazine dropped through my letterbox the other day:

BBe Inspired

Hang on a minute, I thought. That’s one of my photos on the front cover!  I’d forgotten about that.  Taking a quick flick through it, looking for my own pictures of course, I soon came across this page and felt even more pleased with myself.  Full page!!!!

Whalley Abbey

Ok, I know it’s not Italian Vogue, but it’s a start!

Waking up this morning to yet another gloomy sky I felt my heart sink before I even got out of bed. That’s  no way to start the day, is it?  It’s August for God’s sake, a bit of sunshine in August shouldn’t be too much to ask.

Me and one of the clingons went for a walk in the soggy woods yesterday with poochie. It’s fair to say that I’m getting well and truly fed up with rain. We still had fun though, here are a couple of photos  from the walk.

Looking towards Darwen
Upright and upside down

Sorry.  It’s that lomo app again, I can’t leave it alone!  It’s the same with the ‘ ! ‘ key, I can’t seem to leave that alone either!!!

Autumn leaves?

We were walking down through the woods, listening to Reel Big Fish on my phone whule I tried to  cough over all the swear words so my granddaughter wouldn’t be corrupted. It would have been ok if I’d casught them all but I did miss quite a few. “Oh Nanny,” “I’ve heard far worse than that, what are you worried about?”

Anyway,  ambling through the woods, we saw this tree. “Oh look, that’s pretty,” I said before realising that it was pretty  because the leaves are turning.  Whaaaaaattt?? Bloody hell!  We haven’t had our summer yet. Get away with your autumn leaves and come back in October when it’s time (Ok, September isn’t unreasonable but we haven’t had summer yet, fair do’s).

Here, there and everywhere

Boofuls and me have been all over the place this weekend. Now we are back home and recovering from our travels – and what interesting travels they’ve been. let me tell you all about it.

Some friends of ours (yes indeedy, we do in fact have friends!!) have two daughters, both of which are getting married within six weeks of each other. Since we know a little bit about wedding photography they booked us to shoot both weddings. Yay!!

Wedding number one was yesterday – in Herefordshire, not in Shropshire as I’ve  been going round telling everyone. It’s the first time I’ve ever shot a wedding, other then when I worked freelance, when I’ve not even met the bride and groom beforehand. I only spoke to the bride for the first time on Thursday so we had no idea about personalities or preferences or anything but hey ho – it makes life interesting.

The brides parents paid for us to stay in a B&B the night before the wedding, and in fact offered us two nights but we didn’t think that was necessary. That turned out to be a very good call as it turned out.

We arrived tired and frazzled after a long, slow and arduous journey. Note to self: Avoid motorways on Friday afternoons at all costs.  The B&B was in a farmhouse in the middle of the Herefordshire countryside and was very picturesque. The sign that said, ‘beware of falling slates,’ was a bit of a surprise and gave us a small inkling of things to come.

The front door, which was ajar at the time, had a huge fish shaped brass knocker on it which gave a satisfyingly loud thud when I rapped it gently against the door.  After a wait of a couple of minutes, I tried it again only this time I put plenty of force behind it. Still nothing although I could hear voices from inside.

“Hello? Hello? Hellll-oooo-oh? Still nothing. Boofuls tried to phone. No signal. By this time a light rain had begun to fall and we were getting more than a little fed up.

Once again I lifted the  fish and this time whacked it  soundly against the door. ‘Boom, boom, boom.’  ‘Ha, that should do it.’  Eventually we could hear shuffling and the door was opened by a couple with a combined age of about 500 who stared at us as if we were about to rob them of their life savings.

‘Time for a bright smile and introduction before they have a heart attack,’ I thought. “Hello, I think you’re expecting us…”.

Comprehension dawned on their little faces and they invited us in, offering to carry our heavy camera bags, an offer I quickly declined as they looked like they had enough trouble carrying themselves.

Stepping into the house was like stepping back  about 100 years. Beams, rugs, dressers and clutter were everywhere we looked. As we were shown to our room I noticed that there didn’t seem to be a straight wall in the entire place. We ascended the staircase,’creak, creak, creak,’ went the stairs as they registered their discontent at being disturbed. At least I think it was the stairs, it might have been our host’s bones.  Eventually we made it to our room. Booful’s face when he noticed the single beds and the candlewick bedspreads was an absolute picture, I struggled not to laugh at his horrified face.  I think he might have had plans that didn’t included creaking floors and single beds. He was well and truly thwarted in his plan.  Hhhhmmpphhhh. Well at least he got a thwart out of it – it’s more than I got!!

We were shown the bathroom, which at some point had clearly been a cupboard, with instructions not to leave the window open when the lights were on or the bats would come in. Fabulous.  Our next instructions were to lock our belongings in the locking wardrobe and take the key out with us. I felt there was absolutely no danger of her or anyone else half inching our kit but obliged her anyway as it was clearly an issue.  I don’t know why because the cupboard opened just as easily whether it was locked or not.

Hopefully all this doesn’t sound like we hated the place because it  and our hosts were  actually very lovely and characterful, oh yes –  character in spades, more character than you could shake a stick at.  Not at all the kind of place we would have chosen ourselves but characterful.  Here are a few photos to give you the idea if you haven’t got it already,  that it had character.

single beds and candlewick

The doors on the left with the bright light behind is the cupboard  bathroom.  I’m not saying it was small but at 5′ 3″ I consider myself to be quite petite. If I can’t stand upright in the shower then it’s small!

Sweet Peas

I really loved the little glass with sweet peas which had been placed on the dressing table. How thoughtful, I love sweet peas.


I haven’t seen hollyhocks like this since we were last in Talmont, France. Actually, quite a lot of the area reminded me of France, no wonder we liked it.

Milk Churn

There is loads more to tell you, including the tale of the silver driver on the M6, but I have to back up all the photos from the wedding now they’ve finished downloading.  Back soon.

Social Networking

I’ve been catching up on my business Facebooking, photography blogging  and Twittering all morning. Apparently it’s the best way to ‘grow’ your business.   Can’t say that I’ve noticed anything change except my workload. I spend all my bleeding time on various websites schmoozing my virtual clients.  The cleaners thinks I’m addicted to my computer.  Oh, if only she knew.

This site, incidentally, I do because I want to not because I feel I should. This is where I can rant, say what I really mean (even if you don’t always like it) and generally let off steam.

I’ve been having a look through the pics from yesterday’s disastrous photo shoot with baby E. Actually not as disastrous as I thought. here are a couple of photos from it:

Baby Brown Eyes
Flower Baby

Doesn’t it all look easy and peaceful?  Here was what it was really like:

Sit down
Don't want to sit down!
No, nope, no, out, out, out
Copy what mummy does
You said copy what Mummy does!
Lets do headstands!

Ah well,  they do say never work with children and animals, don’t they. I never knew I had the patience of Job ( I haven’t – I just held it in well!). Still it was worth it for the couple of lovely photos we did manage to get.

Rainy July

It’s rained this month. A lot. Waking up to yet another miserable day this morning and faced with the prospect of having to do a years worth of accounts all at once, I was less than thrilled at the thought of the day ahead.

After a frustrating morning’s book keeping ( made worse because there’s no one to blame but myself), I took poochie out for a walk and got drenched yet again. Today though I took my headphones with me and mentally practised my dance routines as I listened to wonderful latin rhythms. It’s hard to be pi55ed off when you’re listening to a lovely bouncy, sunny samba. Any other walkers in the vicinity, although I didn’t spot any, might have been amused at the occasional samba walk or lock step that I threw in for good measure.

The afternoon’s work progressed much more smoothly and by evening the sun had decided to put in an appearance!! Yay!!  That was my cue to get in the garden and tidy it up a bit. We were treated to a lovely, golden, turning to red sunset. I ran in to grab my camera, shoot a few  frames and have some contra jour fun before it disappeared.

You know, you don’t mind a bit of rain when the consolation prize is evenings like tonight.

Spider enjoying the evening sun
sunlight through grass
Evening sunlight through leaves
Evening sunlight through grass

Yay!! It’s 2010!!

2009 has finally buggered off and good riddance to it, what a bag of crap!! This year will be loads better, I can feel it in my water.

The plan was to become a lemming and copy everyone else’s idea of doing a New Year round up of stories and pictures from last year. Exactly like all those ‘run up to New Year’ programmes on telly that I avoid like the plague.

That was the plan. The reality was that I spent a huge chunk of yesterday on the phone to my sister who is having the crisis to rival all crises at the moment and all she can really do is watch it run it’s course. Small comfort to her while she’s tearing her hair out and gnashing her teeth in despair. Funny how the year ended as it started – and continued –  with drama’s.

Anyway, back to the plot.  Taaaadaaaaaaaa!!! Here it is, my ( somewhat shorter than planned) :

 2009 Round Up:
Now don’t worry, it’s not going to be a moan fest of all the terrible things that happened last year. The blogosphere isn’t big enough to fit it all in. Here are just a  few of my favourite moments

This was a summer walk on the moors with the girls. We had a brilliant time and this photo just reminds me of it.  Family time – nowt better!

My lovely friend, Sheila took these family pics for us. Brilliant!!! I have a large copy of this one on my landing and it makes me smile every time I see it.  Thanks, Sheila.

Halloween photo shoot.  We love a bit of dress up.  I was amazed the pics turned out as well as they did considering that the shoot lasted about a minute. Did you know the attention span of a baby is about a nanosecond?  You have to work really fast before they get bored and try to tip over light stands or electrocute themselves.

John and Rachel’s wedding.  We had the best time ever. Just being  a guest and joining in with the wedding party was fab. Good food, good company, good hotel, good times. Loved it.

For someone who spent all her time at college saying that landscape photography, “just isn’t my thing” I seem to have produced a lot of it this year. Far too many to put on here.  It’s so relaxing and cathartic. You should try it.

This photo was used a s a magazine cover – and I forgot to tell you about it!! God, I’m getting so forgetful!  The exotic location was – our drive.  The magazine editor was mortified when she thought I’d gone out and shot images specially for the magazine, so mortified she gave me a full page editorial in it and a discounted advert. I did tell her I only stepped outside my front door to take it not travelled to Goa or anything but the was adamant. Yay!!!  We had some amazing sunsets last year.

I could have put so many other pictures that bring back nice memories of last year.  I could have included a few pics from my birthday party. You know the one, it was the one when we had a murder mystery dinner party and I made everyone classic martini’s. No one liked them so I drank the lot. Oh, so very ill. Must have eaten a bad pie!!

 I thought I’d end with pictures from the last day of last year.

B and me took the girls and the dog for a walk to Darwen tower. Not that it was icy or anything but here is the path:

Heeheee, the dog ran down the path then lost her footing and slid about 20 yards on the ice on her backside. Laugh? I nearly bought a round!  We, on the other hand, clambered over the moor because the path was so dangerous. Poor girls thought they were going for a nice stroll and it turned into a mountain climb.  No mean feat for a child with O’s issues. She constantly amazes me. She’ll have a go at anything! The dog tried her best to melt the ice for us by peeing on it every ten yards or so. Not terribly effective but full marks for trying, dog.

Can you see the little figures up on the horizon? That was a family with a couple of small kids. The father in his wisdom decided that the safest way of getting his small son down the hill was to carry him on his shoulders. What?!!  Refer  to pic of frozen path. Dangerous, much!!

Look! We did it!!
They really did do it as well, when we got to the tower we went to the very top. D was in tears because she was scared of the dark, dank, spiral staircase.   B stayed with her while I took O to the top. When we came back, D had plucked up some courage and decided that she wanted to go  to the top as well. I was so proud of her because I could see she was terrified.  When she got there, she loved it!!!  Well done D for conquering your fears!!!

So, ok, 2009 wasn’t all bad, but  a lot of it was and I’ll be glad of the new start that a New Year offers.  So to end  this  ( short) round up I’d like to dedicate this final image to last year:

 See ya 2009.
Good riddance.