After a nice, relaxing Christmas, we headed up to Scotland to spend the New Year.
We'd booked an awesome converted barn 30 miles south west of Dumfries on the coastline near Gatehouse of Fleet.
It was a bit cold for our usual walks, not to mention that a few of us were struggling with the usual winter lurgy, so we pretty much just chilled out with a few little explores in the car. A lovely hidden gem was an old abandoned Kirk pretty much at the bottom of our driveway. We visited this a few times while we were there. I spent an hour on New Year's Eve freezing to death shooting some star photos in the graveyard.
We visited Castles and Cairns. Had a few little walks along beaches in tiny bays and stood on the beach watching the sunset. Went and had a nosey at the awesome Coo Palace - a Palatial Dairy Farm that is currently being refurbished into holiday apartments. Me and my little ginger had fun exploring a shipwreck on the coastline near Kirkcudbright. We visited Dundrennan Abbey - the place where Mary Queen of Scots spent her last night in Scotland. Like most of the other tourist spots though - it was closed, so we had to settle for views through the gateway. We visited the lovely little Kirk at Kirkandrews and a few other local spots.
We ate too much, drank too much, and pretty much saw in the New Year as chilled out as can be.
Happy New Year folks. Here are a few snaps from our trip.
Gear used. Fujifilm X70, Fujifilm Xpro2, Fuji 35mm, Fuji 50-230mm, Samyang 12mm
A few weeks ago I had the awesome privilege of shooting the wedding of Steph and James over in Leeds.
The day also happened to be my birthday, so it was an early start to get through all the prezzies and a birthday brekkie before jumping in the car and heading over to the couple's home.
We didn't do any bridal prep on this one, just a few snaps in the house before church.
The ceremony was held at The Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Moortown.
The day had started off with blue skies above us, but, as Steph arrived in the Roller, the heavens proper opened up on us. This pretty much repeated itself for the rest of the day - sun, rain, sun. We did a pretty good job of dodging it though!
James was waiting patiently at the front. He didn't look nervous though - he looked as excited as a kid at Christmas!
The Bridal party soon made their way down the aisle and we got down to business.
Pretty soon the hymns had been sung, vows had been said and kisses had been kissed.
The happy couple walked out into the sunshine as man and wife.
And got bombarded by confetti!
We had a few shots in the grounds and just made it back to the cars before we got wet again. See what I mean about the rain?!
Next stop - the reception.
The rest of the evening was held at the Castle Grove Masonic Hall. A quaint Victorian Manor House tucked out of the way in Headingley.
The drinks were soon flowing, the kids were soon running and everyone was soon letting their hair down and having a good time!
We stole away a few times to get some sneaky photos, but pretty soon it was time for meals and speeches.
And what speeches they were.
I can hand on heart say that this is the only wedding where I've laughed out loud and then had to wipe a tear away within minutes of each other. The amount of family love that was on show was beautiful.
The rest of the evening was more drinking, more laughing, more running around and then some pretty serious dancing. We squeezed a cake cut and a first dance in there somewhere too!
Thanks for having me guys - you were awesome!
Here are a few images from their day.
A few weeks ago, I had the awesome pleasure of shooting the wedding of Victoria and Duncan in the village I grew up in - South Kirkby. Which has a Pontefract address and a Wakefield postcode - just to confuse everyone about where it actually is!
I love going through Kirkby. The sights always bring back memories. Lots of the places I remember have gone, but a few still remain. One of which was the church where I was shooting. Right at the bottom of my old street!
The day started with Bridal prep at the couple's home. I use the term Bridal prep loosely - I pretty much photographed everyone getting ready except the Bride. We even had a little birthday cake surprise!
The prep was complete chaos - everyone and everything was everywhere!
It was brilliant!
The time soon ticked on, so it was into the Roller and on to All Saints Church - where I've actually never been before! (Maybe I once went with school as a nipper, but I can't remember it.)
Duncan was waiting patiently at the altar, and pretty soon his Bride-to-be came swishing down the aisle. Looking absolutely radiant.
Proceedings got under way, and it wasn't long until little Mielle decided she wanted to get in on the action, so the rest of the ceremony was spent with babe-in-arms, until Victoria passed her over to the Vicar for her Baptism. And cold water on a baby's head only ends with more tears! Victoria soon dished out some magic mamma-milk to save the day.
I've got to say, one of the things I find most beautiful in this world is seeing a Mother feed her baby. Watching a Mother feeding her baby during the magic of her wedding day was absolutely sublime.
Things were soon wrapped up at church and it was on to the beautiful Hostel at Hooton Pagnell. Where eating, drinking, dancing, laughing and loving was the order of the day.
And a bouncy castle. Obviously.
I loved every minute of this wedding. Thanks for having me guys - you were both awesome!
Here are some images from their day.
While we were down in Leicester, we decided to have a little explore. We had initially planned to go visit Ashby de la Zouch Castle, but the weather was a bit too grim for that!
Our first stop was the New Walk Museum where we went to have a nosey at the dino bones and the Egyptian mummies. Freddie was a bit scared of the Egyptian bit, but enjoyed looking at some of the animals - especially the owl. His favourite bit was playing with the gemstones in the gift shop! For more info on the museum, click HERE.
After the museum we drove up to Notts, had some scran at the very nice Badger Box and then went to have a nosey round an old Church built in 1356 (the site is older though, the present church replaces an older one on the same site).
The church was pretty cool, a few nice old details left and lots of gravestones from the 17th and 18th Centuries in the yard. The coolest bit though, was the old Hall and the gatehouse to the rear. Built in the mid 1300s, it was once home to Mary Chaworth, who was the lover of the poet Lord Byron. Lord Byron's uncle actually killed (the then) Lord Chaworth in a duel in the gardens of the house. Very cool place with a lot of history - the home of some very powerful families in Nottingham. Wouldn't mind a revisit to get into the grounds!
Here are a few snaps.
One of my favourite things, when I'm shooting a wedding, is watching the antics of the little guests.
Kids are awesome. And tiring. And then awesome again.
I've got 3 of my own, so I know how they can go from the cutest things on the planet one minute, to making you want to pull your hair out the next. There's a reason that people invented alcohol - and I'd wager a bet that a screaming 2 year old was behind it!
I love the little moments at a wedding - the ones that the Bride and Groom very rarely see until they get their photos back. That's what I like to do. I like to capture these little moments forever. Photos that can be shown in 10 years time when they think they're all grown up!
I love these moments - bridal prep where two sisters are like little Princesses getting ready for the Ball. Sneaking little selfies on their phones. Ceremonies where the kids are that bored that they haven't realised the hymn book is upside down. Outside the church where confetti wars are the best thing on the Earth for 5 minutes. At the reception where they can't manage any more food, but demolish the sweetie cart in half an hour flat. Sneaky fingers going for the wedding cake. Bubbles and balloons - these are two of the greatest inventions to keep a kid busy that have ever been made! The quiet moments, when two 10 year olds can sit in conversation like a couple of 50s housewives and two 15 year olds can chase each other around like they're 9 again. The dancefloor, where they let loose like the adults daren't, when sliding is still the best thing in the world and swirly dresses make awesome twirls like they see on TV.
They all catch me eventually, and I get the goofy grin or the embarrassed smile or the covered face or the squeal of laughter. Sometimes I even get a pose!
These are precious moments. Moments which can, and will, be cherished forever.
There's one thing that kids can teach us - and that's how to live. Now. In the moment. Live every second without a care about what's next. Cry out your frustrations for a few minutes, but then carry on being the King or Queen of your world.
We all need to live like kids sometimes.
But, don't worry if you don't have kids, or there's no kids at your wedding. After a few drinks down our necks, us adults soon shed the worry of adulting and start acting like kids again anyway...
Here are a few of those moments.
I thought I'd put a blog post together to show what I get up to in my spare time.
I have a strong fascination with all things broken and abandoned. I love rusty steel and twisted metal, broken stones and mossy rocks, shattered glass and age old bottles, broken clocks and worn-out watches. I love to stand in a place where men and women once toiled and bled, the industry long since gone and their efforts forgotten. I love the feel of walking down a hospital corridor where cries of joy and tears of sadness would never be heard again, just the eerie silence of something forgotten - maybe the occasional patter of dripping water from the now broken ceilings. I love to sit in a chair where someone once spent the majority of their daily grind, see the random bits of graffiti carved into the desks, wondering who the initials 'JB' belonged to or whether 'Steve' still loved 'Alice'. The sadness of some of these places can bring a tear to your eye, the thoughts of someone's job gone as another steelworks or mill closed their doors. Some of the sights can be breathtaking too - the grandeur of the details in the building, the size of the doorways, the handwritten signs and the craftwork in the smallest window.
So, here are a few snaps of some of the places that I've visited. Abandoned mills, steelworks, factories, potteries, hospitals, asylums, collieries, churches, mortuaries, houses and mansions. Broken RAF bases, trainyards, garages, farms and barns. Lost cemeteries and junkyards.
I try to see the beauty in the broken. The splendour of the past in the grime of the present.
Have a nosey through - someone you know, knew or loved could have once walked these halls, drove these cars, sat in these chairs and watched these clocks, just waiting for the weekend...
My last wedding of 2016 was a nice local one - I just popped over a couple of villages to Royston for the lovely little wedding of Vicki and Pete.
This was a nice, chilled out wedding from start to finish.
The day started out with the usual bridal prep - kids to keep us on our toes, girls (and me), chit chat and plenty of cuppas to keep everyone going. I'm glad Vicki locked the dogs away, 'cause I'm sure they would have knocked me over a few times!
The time ticked on and I think the nerves picked up a bit, because the tea soon got replaced by Prosecco!
Soon enough everyone was glammed up and ready to rock, so it was time to hit the church!
The ceremony was held just down the road at the beautiful Church of St. John the Baptist in Royston. I got there with the bridesmaids and we all panicked a little bit because Pete was nowhere to be seen. He turned up after a few minutes though, so all was well once again. Other guests soon arrived and hugs and kisses were all the rage as we stood in the bright winter sun - the first time most of us had seen it in a while too! The 'Bride on the way' warning soon came though, so everyone hustled inside.
Vicki appeared shortly after and the Bridal Party marched the march down the aisle.
The nerves were soon blown away as everyone got into the swing of things and, before you knew it, Mr and Mrs were soon kissing to applause with shiny new rings on their fingers.
Then it was party time!
Everyone headed on to the pub, but me, Vicki and Pete had a little stop off to make first.
We headed back down the road and stopped off at the cemetery to pay a little visit to Vicki's mum where she lay to rest. It was a lovely little moment, and I felt privileged to witness the sharing of their special day with a loved one that couldn't be there.
With a bit of a lump in my throat, it was time for the pub!
The reception was held at the Carlton Village W.M.C. And it quickly turned into a party!
The drinks were flowing, the food was out, the kids were running and all the adults were busy hiding from my cameras!
After a few drinks though, the dancefloor soon had a few visitors before it got cleared for the first dance. And what a first dance it was! I had tears in my eyes from laughing at the awesome dance medley that the couple had put together. It was truly awesome.
That set the pace for some more shennanigans on the dancefloor, before the microphones came out for the Karaoke.
I didn't bust a tune out, but I did get roped in for a photo with the happy couple at the end of the night!
Thanks for having me guys - you were both great.
Here are a few photos from their day.
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of shooting the lovely wedding of Mel and Aiden.
It was a lovely little local wedding in Ackworth, near Pontefract. (Well, it's actually in Wakefield, but we get weird with postcodes round here!)
There was no bridal prep needed on this one, so it was a quick blast to the church and then on to the pub!
The ceremony was held in the beautiful St. Cuthbert's church. The sun was shining as Aiden pulled up in a pretty cool Aston Martin, looking all James Bond. This lad was cool as a cucumber - no nerves at all, just smiles all day. He was running late though - the bridesmaids had arrived 15 minutes before him, so everyone quickly bustled into the church before the bride arrived.
The lovely old Austin Vanden Plas Princess that had previously delivered the bridesmaids soon turned the corner once again. Mel, looking radiant, stepped out. All Brides should be transported to a wedding in an Austin Princess - it's a 'Princess in a Princess' pun just waiting to happen!
The ceremony was full of laughs and smiles, a proper joyous occasion. Mel was a little nervous coming down the aisle, but soon got swept up in the swing of it all.
Songs were sung, vows were said, laughs were had and kisses were kissed.
Time for the pub!
The reception was held at The Rustic Arms, a beautiful little country pub tucked out of the way, surrounded by lush greenery. They do some pretty awesome food too!
We were welcomed into the Arms (another pun waiting to happen) to the beautiful sound of Sondelle. It was lovely - I'd not heard a wedding singer in ages!
In between being forced inside for little things like the wedding breakfast and the speeches / first dance, the majority of the day was spent in the beautiful gardens.
Us British do make the most of the sunshine when we get some!
There were plenty of laughs, plenty of drinks and plenty of astonished faces when the magic tricks started being performed by one of the Groom's family members.
There was also a pretty awesome 'Bride sliding/falling down the kid's slide' moment. That was definitely your idea Mel! ;-)
An awesome wedding. Thanks for having me guys.
Here are a few images from their day.
A few weeks ago I had the lovely pleasure of photographing the wedding of Dawn and Callum down in Chesterfield.
The day started with a little bridal prep at the lovely Ringwood Hall Hotel, followed by a quick drive back into Yorkshire to Christ Church in Hackenthorpe for the vows, then back to Ringwood Hall for the wedding breakfast and evening do.
The day was blue-sky beautiful with the sun blazing down. The bridal prep was a laugh as usual, with plenty of kids running round to keep everyone on their toes. Balancing a chair on the bed to hang the wedding dress wasn't the best idea I've ever had, but I survived the wobbly deal unscathed!
After the prep, it was on to the church.
Callum was patiently waiting for his Bride-to-be. He was also looking a tad nervous!
The vows were fun, with plenty of laughs thrown in. Also plenty of tears from both the bride and the groom!
Pretty soon the vows were done, songs were sung and confetti was thrown. And kisses were had - lots of kisses.
Back to the Hall!
We arrived back and chilled in the gardens while finishing touches were made to the room.
I whisked Dawn and Callum away for a few photos round the grounds, then it was back to inspect the room. When Callum saw the memorial place setting for his father at the top table, the emotions ran very high. It was an absolutely beautiful, touching moment. I had a bit of a lump in my throat too!
Food was served, toasts were had, cakes were cut and dances were danced.
And lots more kissing too.
A beautiful, emotional day that I was privileged to be a part of.
Thanks for having me guys - you rocked.
Here's a few images from their day.
My last wedding in August was the lovely intimate ceremony of Diane and David.
We started the day with a little bridal prep at Diane's mum's house before heading through to Barnsley Town Hall for the vows.
After the words were said and the rings were on, it was time to head over to Monk Bretton Priory for a few photos. We got through all the group photos that they wanted and, as soon as we started the wedding portraits, the heavens opened on us! We hid in the ruins for shelter for a while before it was safe enough to get some shots done.
After the Priory we made a little detour to visit Diane's nan - she'd been ill recently and unable to attend the wedding. I'm sure seeing Di looking radiant in her wedding dress made her day.
The reception was held in the function room of Sacred Heart Church in Hemsworth. I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've been to a church after the register office on a wedding day!
Food followed, along with drinks, laughter, dancing, singing... Pretty much everything you expect to happen on one of the best days of your life.
Cheers for having me guys - it was a blast.
Here's a few images from their day.
Thought I'd start this little blog to let people know what we get up to. Some personal stuff thrown in the mix too.