My littlest monkey is currently obsessed with krakens. Well, krakens, octopuses (I thought the plural of octopus should be octopi, but apparently not), squid and all things cephalopod.
So, to try and keep him entertained for a while, we went for a visit to The Deep in Hull.
If you don't know about The Deep, it's a massive aquarium with over 3000 creatures including sharks, sawfish, ray fish, sea turtles, jellyfish and much more. They've even got penguins! They've got pretty much everything except an octopus...
For more info on The Deep, click HERE.
We hadn't visited since not long after it opened about 16 years ago, but to be honest it seemed pretty much the same - only in my mind it had been bigger the last time. The place was still packed, the restaurant still crowded and noisy and the ticket prices were still an arm and a leg. Although they do last for a year - handy if you're local, but not so much when you're over an hours drive away.
Reading that back all sounds super negative, but I'm a grumpy dad - we love to moan! Apart from that, my little dude loved it. Although I think he loved the gift shop most of all - he managed to fleece me in there too!
After a couple of hours there, we went for a wander round town to see the sights and grab some food. We also called into the Hull Maritime Museum and gazed at the exhibits - the most impressive being a massive whale skeleton and also a couple of polar bears. There's lots of fishing heritage in there and a staggering amount of memorials of sailors lost at sea. Quite heartbreaking to see - especially when a lot of them were younger than my eldest.
My other half used to live in Hull as a student, and we followed her idea to search for the smallest window in England. We ended up having to Google it and found it about 2 minutes walk from where we were! I was initially disappointed it didn't match the image I had in my head, but had to admit it was kinda cool.
That's enough waffling - here are some snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm XPro2, Fuji 18mm.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of shooting the awesome little intimate wedding of Michelle and Richard over in Rotherham.
The day started with a little bit of Bridal prep at the Holiday Inn before we jumped into the cars and headed into Rotherham for Michelle to get into her dress. After wowing everyone in the house, Michelle and the Bridal party jumped into the Daimler and we battled the traffic through Rotherham centre to Clifton Park Museum. (Where I promptly got told off for taking photos in the reception - pesky museum rules!)
I whipped the camera away and went to check out the two rooms I was allowed to take photos in, the ceremony room and the waiting room - where I found Richard nattering away (and looking a little nervous!)
We were soon ushered into the ceremony room, ready for the Bride to make her entrance.
And she did. Looking radiant.
Richard smiled like the cat that got the cream!
The vows were soon said, kisses were had and smiles-for-miles were the order of the day.
After being kicked out the side door*, we headed down into the park for some photos before heading on to the pub, where food, drink, dancing and singing awaited.
Complete with the cutest little karaoke girl ever!
*Seriously venues - if you're going to run weddings like a conveyor belt, at least have some class rather than shipping the couples out as quick as you can! #rantover.
Thanks for having me guys - you were awesome!
Here are a few photos from their day.
The sun was shining this morning, so we jumped in the car and headed down the road to Wentworth Woodhouse.
Wentworth Woodhouse is the largest privately owned house in the UK. It's a pretty impressive view at over 600 feet long on the frontage of the East Wing.
But, unless you want to pay for a private tour, you'll be looking at that front from a fair old distance from the footpath that runs down alongside the house and into Wentworth Park.
That's fine by me - I like to look at stuff. And this is definitely a place where you can only look at stuff. The first thing that you see when you enter the grounds are lots of 'don't' signs. Keep off, no entry, private, keep out... That's all fair enough, as it's private grounds, but why keep off the grass? My kids just wanna run round trees, pick sticks up and roll down hills!
Anyway, enough moaning.
The first thing you see when you walk in (after passing the cool little gatehouse) is the eyesore that is the old college campus on the left. Forget that and look to the right and look at the awesome old stable block and courtyard. This is still used today, but looks like a place that time forgot - and, I do love abandoned stuff, so it's right up my street! The gates were closed today though, so we didn't get chance to have a nosey inside. Just a bit further down on the left is a little gravestone. This marks the resting place of the racehorse 'Whistlejacket' - a horse of Charles Watson-Wentworth (AKA The Marquess of Rockingham, Lord Rockingham and the Prime Minister of Great Britain!). There is also apparently a large painting of the horse in the house.
Carrying on down the path and you soon see the main house on the right. Also, the impressive Roman-looking cenotaph of the Rockingham Mausoleum can be seen peeping through the trees further down the path and to your left. There are 3 other follies around the estate - I think a little tour of them all may be in order!
We walked through and wound our way down to a couple of lakes in the middle of the grounds - one a fishing pond and the other with the terrible name of Dog Kennel Pond. The kids didn't care what they were called - they happily threw stones in the water, waved twigs around and enjoyed the fresh air. Although, it was getting a bit nippy at this point!
Me and the missus strolled hand in hand while they played. Although, I did get told off for holding the wrong hand - apparently getting steps to count on your fitbit is more important than a bit of romance!
All in all, a nice bit of family time.
And, if you want to get married here then give me a shout - it would be awesome!
More info on the house HERE and the Mausoleum HERE.
We decided to make the most of the sunshine on Valentine's Day and made a roadtrip to the coast.
We jumped in the Adventure Mobile™ and headed up to Saltburn-By-The-Sea to walk on the beach and eat chips on the pier. After a few hours it was time to jump back in the car and head further down the coast to Robin Hood's Bay where we walked down the steepest hill known to man, through the little windy streets and quaint little shops to the little slipway at the bottom where we stood and watched the waves crashing in. And slowly froze half to death! It was a good job we'd all brought flasks full of hot chocolate to warm us back up again!
It was an awesome day spent with the family. The fresh air and a bit of sunshine almost made us forget it was still wintertime for a minute or two!
As usual, I took far too many photos - here are some of em.
I spent my birthday this year photographing the wedding of Laura and Chris, in a pretty cool little converted chapel restaurant in the middle of Derby.
We started the day with some bridal prep at the couple's home in Ashbourne before moving on down to Masa Restaurant in Derby centre for the vows and evening do.
Bridal prep was a complete laugh - a house full of women drinking Prosecco. With willy straws. Need I say more!
Pretty soon the Limo turned up for the girls, so it was a fight through traffic to get down and parked up at the restaurant. In typical fashion, the car park I had planned to use had been roped off for work, but a stroke of luck got me the very last on-street parking spot!
The restaurant itself is a pretty cool place. A converted Chapel that dates back to the 1800s. For more info on Masa, click HERE.
Chris was waiting patiently inside and pretty soon the Bridal Party made their entrance. One of the Bridesmaid's first jobs raised a few laughs - the placing of a phone book at the end of the aisle for Laura to stand on. Probably the best use of a phonebook in years - I have no idea where they managed to find one!
Pretty soon the vows were done, kisses were kissed and confetti was thrown. The room was soon converted back to normal, drinks were flowing and food was served.
The wedding had a pretty cool travel-theme. Paper planes made out of maps were soon zooming around - mostly over the balcony into the lower bar area!
After the speeches had been said, the DJ kicked the beats up and the party got underway. The Bride and Groom get extra points from me for doing the dance from Pulp Fiction as their first dance. One of my favourite movies.
It was a pretty awesome day.
Did I mention it was my birthday? Well so did the Groom. In his speech. And the Bride. And the Bridesmaids. And the DJ...
Thanks for having me guys - it was a blast.
Here are a few images from their day.
(Make up by Peach Berry Hair and Make Up.)
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.
Had a rest from editing and went out for a ride on my little beast. Took a few snaps.
Wanted a nice, grainy, moody look for these.
I had a wedding venue in Chesterfield to visit yesterday and, seeing as it was the first day of the school holidays, I dragged everyone along with me. On our way back we had a little stop off in the Peak District.
It was a red hot day, so we decided against anything exerting and settled on a leisurely walk round Ladybower Dam.
I decided to go simple on this little trip and just took my old rangefinder style Fuji Xpro1 with a single fixed 18mm prime lens. It meant I had a single focal length for everything, but it's nice to mix things up once in a while. It was nice not to have to carry a bag full of lenses with me as I usually do!
We had a lovely little stroll, basked in the sun and skimmed some stones. Freddie once again threw most of the shoreline back into the res. And had a complete toddler meltdown when we pulled him away from the water!
Alfie had a little 'paddle' and ended up soaked from top to toe.
Joshua did the usual teen strop thing.
Anyway, as usual I took too many photos. Here's some snaps.
Thought I'd start this little blog to let people know what we get up to. Some personal stuff thrown in the mix too.