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
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.
Everyone has been stuck in the house for a few weeks - with non-stop runny noses, sniffles and all the other little general things that go round and round making everyone feel rubbish. So the other morning, while mummy was seriously under the weather, we tucked her back into bed and went for a little walk in the local woods - to get some fresh air back into the lungs.
The boys wanted to take their toy guns to run around with - but as you can see, Alfie went full on Assault Team Ginger...
Sometimes that bit of fresh air is all it needs to perk you back up. And it's always beautiful in the woods this time of year.
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.
The weather has been a bit pants lately. Everyone in the family has been ill on and off for weeks and it seems as though it's been forever since we've had a decent family walk. So, this afternoon we donned our big coats and boots and whizzed across to the YSP.
Alfie has been doing a home education project on America and one of the topics he chose to look into was Native American art. Once we found out that a genuine Totem Pole was carved at the park (by Tim Paul, an artist of the Nuu-chah-nulth people) it was deffo time for a visit.
It was cold, damp, muddy and, after about an hour of walking, it started to snow!
Our oldest lad, Joshua, moaned most of the way - in a typical teenage whine, our middle boy, Alfie, had a great time with his camera, and ran around as only someone with 11-year-old-boy energy can and our little monkey, Freddie, absolutely loved the colourful octopus and also jumped in everything that looked like a muddy-puddle that he could find! (That Peppa Pig has a lot to answer for!)
The YSP is a cool place. It's pretty much out of season at the minute, so there's lots of work going on and lots of paths closed due to the weather etc. There's lots of installations and exhibitions - some I like and some I'm kind of 'meh' about. But that's the beauty of art I suppose - if we all liked the same thing, it'd be a boring world! For more info on the park click HERE.
I had a new camera to test, so took far too many photos.
Here are a few.
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...
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.
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.
A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Michelle and Alistair over in Dewsbury.
The entire day was held in the lovely Heath Cottage Hotel. A gorgeous little venue - perfect for small, intimate weddings such as this one.
The word intimate describes this wedding well. It was a lovely little, family oriented wedding. And that means - kids. Lots of kids!
Kids are ace at a wedding, they never fail to offer some perfect photo opportunities - whether it be rolling on the floor or stuffing as many sweets from the sweet cart that they can into their face all at once. And yep, this happened. Lots!
We started the day with a little bit of bridal prep, with more people squeezed into a small room as was humanly possible.
After the prep, it was time to head down and mill around with the groom and guests until the room was ready for us.
Before you knew it, it was business time. The vows were spoken, kisses were kissed and a lovely couple walked out a married one.
Smiles for miles, as the saying goes.
Food was served, drinks were clinked and balloons were soon flying everywhere.
People danced, people laughed and people loved. Pretty cool wedding day.
Oh yeah - I did get attacked by about 2,000 balloon swords during the day!
Congrats Michelle and Alistair - thanks for having me. I loved every minute.
Here's a few pics of their day.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of shooting the wedding of Antonia and Mark over in Halifax.
The day started with some bridal prep at Antonia's sister's house - conveniently just down the road from her mum's, which is where I turned up to do the prep shots! We had a good laugh during the prep, with plenty of entertainment from the kids and the smallest dog I've ever seen.
We wrapped up the prep and did a pretty cool bridal march down the road to the wedding car waiting at Toni's mum and dad's. I think I actually started to whistle the Reservoir Dogs theme as everyone tromped down the street.
On to the church.
The ceremony was held in Christ Church, Mount Pellon.
Mark was standing tall in church, looking pretty smart in dress uniform. I tried not to make too much noise as I clattered in - after all, he did have a sword!
The bridal party soon moved in, and it was swiftly on to the vows. (There's an inside joke there too!)
The seriousness of the vows was soon broken when the ringbearer entered - Toni and Mark's English Bulldog in a little dress of her own! It wasn't the most glamorous aisle walk - especially when she needed a bit of dragging to get to the required spot. I think even the vicar laughed!
The vows were soon done, rings were on and confetti was thrown. Well, shot.
On to the reception.
The reception was held at the Moorlands Inn, Ogden.
The drinks were soon flowing, food was served and then it was time for the speeches.
And I mean time.
These were probably the longest speeches that I've ever witnessed - it seems like you can't get a soldier off the mike when they start! I proper laughed out loud with everyone else though.
The cake was soon cut and the dancefloor called. The first dance was lovely, the dance with the kids was super cute and the Father - Daughter dance just straight reduced people to tears.
I think they were shooting out emotions and tears from those confetti canons!
Oh, and then there was a dance off - and I had to LOL again!
Proper fun day, start to finish.
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Connell and thanks for having me - I had an awesome time.
Here's a few pictures 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.