Last night we decided to have a wander round Frickley Park as it's another one of those places-on-your-doorstep that we'd never been to.
When I was a nipper I used to play on the old colliery site here all the time. We'd play near the old pit pump ponds at the bottom and walk through the woods at the back, looking for conkers and riding motorbikes on (what I called) 'the quarry' part at the back of the old folks bungalows on the Westfield Lane side - although these have all gone too. I also used to cut across from the Frickley FC side (who remembers the 'you'll never walk alone' painting on the wall?) as a short cut when walking from my grandad's on Pine Street to my auntie's house down on Elmsdale Close. I used to love it here - the wide open spaces made me feel like a proper explorer. I grew up next to Kirkby pit too and always enjoyed exploring there - although I was scared of 'the tunnel' and always managed to go home filthy!
Anyway, we had a little walk round. We started by exploring a little field of sunflowers before heading onto the old lines and following them back down to join the path into the park. The park is lovely. The developers have done an awesome job. There's over 7 miles of foot and cycle paths criss-crossing through it. There's also a few little nods to the site's mining history dotted about. A nice touch.
We didn't get time to walk round everywhere as the sun was dropping quick, but we'll deffo be back for more. It's a proper little den of tranquility. We need more regeneration of our little mining villages.
For more info on the park click HERE.
Here are a few snaps.
Gear used: Fujifilm XPro1, 35mm 1.4
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.
Guy Fawkes night last year had me making a trip over the moors once again, but this time over to Bury to photograph the wedding of Emma and Wayne.
The entire day was spent at the venue - the Best Western Manchester Bury Boholt Country Park Hotel. Try saying that when you've had a few! It's a lovely place set within some stunning grounds - click HERE for more info on it.
The day started with some Bridal prep in Emma's room. It was the usual laugh - lots of girls, lots of booze, lots of joking around and a big sweetie tin that disappointed all the kids there by being full of egg mayo sarnies!
After a while of shooting the girls, I popped down to wait for Wayne and the rest of the lads to arrive. And soon enough they did - in a massive stretched Hummer that only just made it through the car park!
We snapped a few snaps, the lads headed for the venue room and I popped back to the hotel to finish up with the girls.
Then it was time for the vows.
Everyone soon hustled in, the Bride walked down the aisle, the registrar did his magic and the lovely couple made their promises and walked out man and wife.
The rest of the day was soon underway - food was served, drinks were drunk and dances were had. We all headed out into the freezing cold to do some portraits and group shots, then quickly headed back in to thaw out! The hilarious speeches were finished off with a pretty awesome surprise as Wayne whisked Emma outside to present her with her wedding present - a new car! The super cool Super Hero cake was cut, the first dance was had and the kids were sliding over the dance floor like there was no tomorrow!
A pretty cool wedding.
Thanks for having me guys - you were awesome.
Here are a few photos from their day.
At the end of October last year, I had the pleasure of shooting the lovely wedding of Claire and Ben.
It was lovely to see everyone again at this wedding - I photographed Claire's sister's wedding earlier in the year, so it made a change to see familiar faces at a wedding!
The day started with bridal prep at Claire's mum's house, before heading up the road to Bilton House Register Office, then on to Harrogate Town FC for the reception.
Bridal prep is always fun - even more so when you have '3 sisters Vs Mum' for entertainment!
The time flew by and everyone was soon ready to load up and head to Bilton House.
Ben was patiently waiting, looking rather dapper. Nerves were being held well as he waited for his Bride-to-be to come walking down the aisle. I'm pretty sure he liked what he saw - judging by the smile on his face!
The vows were soon done, kisses were had and the lovely couple stepped out as man and wife into the beautiful Autumn sunshine.
We headed over the road for a few snaps on the Stray before loading up once again and heading for the footy ground.
Drinks were soon flowing and then food was served kerbside from a fish and chip van. Yep, that was pretty awesome.
Speeches were said, dances were danced and plenty of kisses were had.
We even went out on the pitch for a little while.
Oh, one more thing - The Gentle Wedding could possibly be the best wedding name ever!
Thanks for having me guys - you were awesome.
Here are a few snaps 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.
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.
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.