Ballet photography

Ballet Photography

Ballet Photography (Click on image to enlarge)







This was something i had never done before and to be honest wasn’t sure I would like it. The event had been arranged by Brian Sandham and was to be held at Pure Management Studios run by Simon Rawsthorn, This was a studio I had never used before but will be using it again. The natural light coming through the windows is amazing. The event was really well attended and we had four amazing models Olivia Parkinson Emily-jade Littlechild Claire Adele and Hazel Rose. I had done a bit of research on dance poses so had a good idea of what i wanted. The models were only to happy to take direction but also had plenty of ideas of their own.

My view on the night. I really enjoyed it and got some really good images and have already spoken to one of the models about doing another shoot in the coming months where we can do some more dance photography images.

Thanks to Brian, Simon and of course Oliva, Emily-Jade, Claire and Hazel for a great night and look forward to the next event.

The Photography Show

John Denton

A rose between two thorn’s with John Denton and Alice Elizabeth

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With the lovely Valis Volkova










Photography Show 2016

Well its that time of year The Photography Show at the NEC Birmingham. Was a first for me this year as I was staying over so could do two days rather than trying to rush round all in one day. Set off on the Sunday with Mike and Stu and we got to the show just as it was opening. My favorite thing about the show is the demonstrations by some of the leading  experts in the photography world. The first one I attended was with Katie Hopewell Smith who was talking about how she does weddings which was a really good talk and I gained an insight into how one of the biggest names in wedding photography approaches weddings. The next talk was disappointing and the least said about it the better. The next talk was from John Denton who is an amazing photographer and a person I could listen to all day I loved his presentation and the simplistic way he has of teaching. Finally my last show of the day was with the one and only Damian McGillicuddy as usual it was full of Damian’s usual mixture of jokes, teaching and winding people up. It is interesting watching Damian and his sidekick James as they both like to wind each other up which is highly entertaining. I was also highly honored to win a signed Damian McGillicuddy print. At this point I also had the bonus of I hadn’t spent any money, this all changed on day two. I had really enjoyed the day and also had the pleasure of spending most of the day with one of the people from the PTS course the lovely Kate Wise. Another person I got to meet was Eric Renno (TipSquirrel) at the Adobe Theatre and got talking about all things Adobe. He also invited me to a photo walk round next time I am in Peterborough which would be a fantastic experience for me. This is one of the things I like most in photography is the friendship side of it and the fact that it allows you to meet so many new people.

Day two after a heavy session in the bar the night before and a nice full English breakfast we headed off to do the over the shoulder shoot with Damian McGillicuddy. Using just 2 lights he showed us how he built the shoot using his Olympus Pen Camera. The way he which he builds the shot teaches you so much about photography and his Lego brick approach. After this we headed to the show which was a lot busier than the previous day.

This is where the spending started. My first purchase was my Benq 27″ monitor I went to the show for softboxes but couldn’t resist this monitor. After this we spent a few hours walking round the various stalls but managed to resist the temptation of buying anything else at this point. Then next show I went to was Trevor Yerbury’s which was very enjoyable. The show was beginning to wind down by this point but I still managed to attend one last show on the Nikon stand and one more purchase which was the spyder 5 calibrator which will work well with my new monitor.

That was the end of the show for another year and I look forward to attending again next year..

Photographing the Blues Brothers at The Brindley Runcorn

It was a first for me photographing at the Brindley in Runcorn when the fantastic Chicago Blues Brothers played there. My photographer friend Ade Wilson who is the keyboard player in the group asked me would I go along and take some pictures, having wanted to see them in concert for some time I was more than happy to agree.
I got there early and went backstage to meet the band. I then went on stage to work out where would be the best place to position myself to get the best pictures from. I decided that it would be best in the aisles just in front of the stage and also I would not be in the way of the audience. The lenses I decided I would use were the 24 -70 and 70 – 200 mm lenses this would enable me to get the variety of shots I wanted without having to be constantly changing lenses.
One of the difficulties of shooting this type of photography is the lighting is constantly changing both in brightness and colour and different parts of the stage can vary quite dramatically. To accommodate for this I was altering the aperture by up to 2 stops to get the correct exposure.
At the interval I decided to change position to get a different type of picture. I also moved closer to the stage to really get in close and also be a bit more creative with the shots I was after.
The end of the concert brought a chorus of more, more from the audience and several more songs were done by the band.
At the end of the night the band all went to the front of the foyer to have pictures taken with the audience which was really appreciated.
To sum the night up I really enjoyed the concert and got some amazing pictures. Concert photography is very challenging due to the light, the movement of the band etc. It certainly makes you think but it is great fun and I really enjoyed it.
I would highly recommended if the Chicago Blues Brothers are playing in a venue near you that you buy a ticket and have a great night out. The comments from the audience in the foyer to the band showed how much everyone had enjoyed the concert.
I would like to thank all the members of the group for allowing me to photograph them and would love to do it again at some point.

The band were

Jake – chris hindle
Elwood – Gareth Davey
Red head singer – Bridie May Miller
Other singer – Laura Erby
Bass – Paul Crouch
Guitar – JP Levell
Drums – Paul Boocock
Sax – Sam Houghton
Trumpet – Paul Bennett
Keyboard Ade Wilson
Trombone – Chris Colbran
Blues Brothers Guiter playing Blues Brothers-14 guiter
Blues Brothers

Cakes and photography oh yes please

The Cake and Bake show was on in Manchester at Event City I had a press pass I had my camera I was going. On entering the building the first thing you heard were the dulcet tones of Rosemary Shrager oh my god I have never heard anyone so loud in my life I felt sorry for the people who had stalls nearby. Believe she gives great hugs though according to John Waite. Looking round some of the amazing cakes which must have taken hours and hours to create was great fun. I spent a full day at the show and meet several bakers including Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain. In all it was a fun day and was great to meet so many people at the show.

Photographing at Rise Hall


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As a photographer I feel it is important Rise Hall-11not to rest on your laurels and continue to develop. in your photography. I always look out for training that I feel will help me to become a better photographer and learn new skills.

With this in mind I recently attended a training day at Rise Hall, East Yorkshire with Yorkshire photographer of the year Pete Bistro. After an overnight stay in Hull at the lovely Kingston Theatre Hotel I headed off to the venue which is also to the home of TV presenter Sarah Benny (host of Channel 4’s Property Ladder). After meeting at the venue and meeting the rest of the people on the course, Pete did a presentation of some of his photographs and explained what we would be covering on the day. In the morning we were shooting inside and to start Pete took us to various areas of the house and explained how he would look at doing the shoot, the posing and how he would use the light to create the image. We used a mixture of natural light and flash for the images.

In the afternoon the weather had improved dramatically in fact we had now got harsh sunlight which is not the photographers greatest friend but we used various techniques to overcome the sunlight and also used it to out benefit in the images. Assisted by his wife Sheryl we created some lovely images before going inside for the last hour to edit the pictures in various software to create some stunning images.

I really enjoyed the day and learn t some new skills which will benefit me in my photography. I also meet some lovely people as well as photographing in an amazing location.

Wedding Fayre at St Basils

I have never done a wedding fayre before and have heard various opinions on them. I noticed there was one being held near to my home and seeing this as a good opportunity I decided to book a stall at the wedding fayre at St Basils Hough Green Widnes. Armed with albums, pictures and other goodies I went not really knowing what to expect. I arrived to see the room beautifully decorated and laid out as if a real wedding reception was taking place. There were various other stalls there including cakes, flowers, make up, fitness and even a magician to name a few. The day was really busy with a lot of people looking to gather information on their special day. All the other exhibitors I spoke to were really pleased with how the day had gone and the amount of people attending. I know I spoke to a lot of people about photographing their wedding and hopefully will talk further to them very soon. I would like to thank my wife June who was a great help on the day and also the team at St Basils for their hard work.

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Vintage Shoot

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I was delighted to be asked my Kirstie Ann Pimblett of to photography at the vintage fair she had organised at Frodsham Community Centre. I went with my good friend Stacey who also had a stall there. Arriving there were already a good selection of stalls set up and outside a fantastic selection of vintage vehicles. Bexi Owen was also on hand to sing a selection of vintage songs to keep both the customers and stall holders entertained. Due to the great British weather the turnout was not as good as it was hoped and many of the people looking at the cars had to cut short their viewing time as it was raining good style. Inside there were a good selection of vintage clothes and other items and I had a good time chatting to all the stallholders and taking pictures during the day. I am sure most people had a really good day despite the weather and I look forward to the next one were hopefully the weather will be better.


Mersey Gateway ‘Hawks and Hawkers’ event

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I am not normally one for shooting wildlife but saw this event on facebook and thought let’s give it a try at £2 you couldn’t go wrong. I borrowed a macro lens for the day off Stuart Reece and off I went. The course was led by Jeff Clarke who has an amazing knowledge and is very witty and kept the whole group entertained throughout the day. The other helpers were also very clued up on the wildlife at the park and very willing to answer any questions. In all it was a very enjoyable day and I also meet some really nice people on the day who had far more knowledge than me on the subject and were very willing to pass their knowledge on to me and also other good places to go and see wildlife. I will certainly be doing more of this type of photography and look forward to more of these events.

Shoot at Studio Antics Leeds

Just recently I met Jan Cotterill at the photo show in Birmingham and while chatting to her I had a light bulb moment. I knew Jan was only going to be living at her current location which was Studio Antics in Leeds till the end of April so i decided to organize a group shoot with some fellow photographers.

I quickly got in touch with some good photographer friends Stu, William, Tony, Richard, Roger, Andy and Ian and also contacted the amazing Chio Couture in Liverpool to see if they would be able to help. Not only was Chio able to help she also provided the models for the evening Ellie Flaherty and Taila Simmons as well as the make up artist Gemma Buckley.

After meeting at Chio’s shop in Liverpool we made our way up to Leeds to Studio Antics which wasn’t made any easier by the nightmare roadworks on the M62. Eventually we got there and were given a warm welcome by Jan. While the models and Gemma did there thing we set up for our first shoot of the evening while looking at the other rooms we could shoot in.

Suffice to say we had a great night and didn’t finish till 11 o clock and even then we were tempted to carry on. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the night and agreed how quickly the time had gone. Personally speaking I made some new friends during the evening and I will also be working with them in the coming months and I am really looking exited and looking forward to this.

Once again many thanks to all the photographers who attended and especially Ellie, Taila, Gemma and of course Chio.

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Masterclass in Wedding Photography with Jonny Draper


Last year I went on a pre-engagement workshop run by Jonny Draper, it was fantastic day. Following this I received an e-mail about his 2 day wedding workshop masterclass at the beautiful Heaton House Farm in Macclesfield. I quickly signed up and was fortunate to get one of the 10 places available as they went very quickly indeed.

After fighting through the rush hour traffic I arrived at Heaton House Farm and was blown away by its stunning location, the friendliness of the staff and how lovely the food looked and tasted.

There were 10 of us in the group many of whom had been on the pre-engagement shoot last year. After going through the who I am introductions (which everybody loves), Jonny took us to meet the rest of the team we would be working with on the day.

The bride and groom for the day were the fantastic Alex Outhwaite and Joel Hicks. Make up was done by Gemma Hallowell and the hairstylist for the day was Paisley Gamble. The wedding dress was supplied by Emma Draper from  Love Bridal Boutique, flowers and accessories were supplied from The Flower Lounge. Also with us over the two days was Sarah Heath from Heaton House Farm  who gave us lots of really good advice on all things weddings.

The first day was all about getting the images for your clients and we were also shown some cool lighting techniques by Jonny. I have got to say the weather was not the best but Alex and Joel didn’t let the British weather get in the way.

The second day was all about the business of weddings and we were joined by Jonny, his wife Emma from Love Bridal Boutique, Sarah Heath from Heaton House and media expert Julia Braime from the very popular Brides Up North wedding blog. This day was a real eye opener and so many gems of advice were given out on how to give your bride and groom that extra special touch on their wedding day.

At the end of the day we all relaxed in the bar and it felt like we had known each other for years not days but we all agreed it had been a fantastic two days and we had really enjoyed working with everyone involved in making the workshop such a fantastic event.

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