It’s another long one, but worth the effort I think! x
Ansel Adams once said “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”
For me, in my photography, 2012 has been something of a turning point. When I look back at my first images of the year and compare them with those taken towards the end, I can see a real difference, there’s definitely more control and refinement there. I’m pretty sure much of it is due to a committed investment in education with some of the industry’s leading exponents of photography, but I also think that I’ve started to adopt the facets of Ansel’s quote much more. I’m much more aware of what is around me and as a result I know I see things differently than I might have done previously.
January and February were a bit of a slow burn – I had a bit of a play with smoke trails which whiled away a few hours on wet Sunday afternoons, and I was thrilled when my friend’s daughter, the lovely Holly agreed to sit for me to allow me to practice lighting ratios (there were definite brain-freeze moments with that one at the start but I think I got it, and the ‘inverse square law’ – don’t get me started on that one!!). We also had some of the most amazing sunsets I’ve seen in a long while.
March and April saw me spend some money! I purchased a 50mm F1.4 lens and subsequently pursued our dogs relentlessly to try it out. That was one of the few periods of decent weather in the year. I also helped a friend start to get to grips with her camera – she must have gotten the bug ‘cos she was bought a Nikon D7000 for a recent ‘significant’ birthday – Susie is still reading the manual but I’m sure we’ll have more photowalks together in 2013.
Suddenly it was Spring and May brought with it the wedding of Claire & Paul – what a joyful day that was at Llyndir Hall. I was ably assisted by a good friend, Louise Davies, who risked life and limb on the roof of the hall to get the obligatory group shot – well done Louise!
I was also thrust into the world of dog scurries at the BASC Country Fair – all the dogs seemed to enjoy themselves, none more so than the cocker spaniel seen hurtling over the bales!
On what started out as a foggy early evening, I was lucky enough to work with the lovely, and very professional, Hollie Gee (and James Farley!) on Talacre beach – however an hour into the shoot we were blessed with the most amazing warm sunlight. This was also my first real attempt at off camera flash, a technique I was to pursue with vigour for the rest of the year.
In June, I returned the favour to Louise and helped photograph Martin and Emma’s celebration…they’d been together a very long time and decided to tie the knot – it was a loving and moving ceremony and I was proud to be part of it.
I took some time off work in July and August and worked with two fabulous models, Steph Owens and Jen Brook. Ever the pro, Steph didn’t turn a hair when I asked her to pay homage to Herb Ritts by creating our own version of ‘Fred with tyres’. Jen Brook – well what can I say??? She too was a star and even helped me carry my kit. We had lots of fun with the hidden graffitti of Manchester’s Castlefield district.
I climbed Snowdon…AGAIN! We were raising frunds for Wrexham Supporters Trust. Next time I’m taking the train to the top!!
And I discovered a willing, patient and professional model in the form of Rachel, one of my neighbours – who taught me about ballet and offered to teach me how to street dance – at my age! If only Rach!!
Having said I was never shooting weddings ever again after August, September saw me photograph two more. The first was a special favour to a friend, but had the most profound effect on me and introduced me to the most amazing book Anam Cara (download it on your Kindle or whatever – you won’t regret it) and an amazing couple. It was also in the most romantic location on the island in the Menai Straits. To say this bride is unique is a bit of an understatement – she rocked the Triumph don’t you think?! Photographing Gudrun and Mike’s wedding was quite simply the most rewarding wedding I’ve ever shot – I’ve recently handed over their wedding album – judging from a recent e-mail I received, I’d say they loved it!
This was swiftly followed by Mike and Sue’s special day at Ness Gardens – Sue has been a lifelong friend, so I really was the only one for the job! No more weddings..yeah right!! Small and intimate for the future I think.
October was a proper Autumnal time, mist, fruit and late sunshine made for some lovely images, most of my work was shot just for pleasure, especially on the Worldwide Photowalks.
Which brings us neatly to the tail end of the year. I discovered HDR on a night out in Chester, continued to experiment with OCF with the lovely Rachel and created something rather lovely with Miss Sammie Jones…who knew a lift could be so exciting?
So there you have it…a tour through 2012, featuring some of my favourite images.
In 2012 I’ve been privileged to be involved in some of the most amazing celebrations, met some incredible people along the way and continue to enjoy the support of people who are incredibly important in my life, both personally and professionally – I can’t wait to see what 2013 will bring and look forward to sharing it with you as it unfolds.
Until next time…