Saturday, 31 December 2011

Ice-cream and fighting

Oh my diddy! It's the beginning of 2012!

While I sit here with a smile on my face listening to House of Pain, Jump Around, playing on the radio (good memories), having just finished the last of the chocolates, cakes and enough sweet things to give you diabetes overnight, I have to think about where I've come from, where I'm going, and what I need to get there.

I solemnly promise... No wait. I swear to... What is that thing where people go to court and promise to tell the truth? Well, I do that. And I promise to end 2012 more than I am in 2011. How's that?

As people go back to work and I start mine, all I can think to myself is that everything has to be about moving forward. Images looking more amazing. Images looking more fitting and often deeper. Soul searching scenes.

I look around me and with people having the troubles they do, I see a number of people taking a deep breath and getting ready to fight for success in 2012. I see them getting ready to fight for their existence. To fight for their happiness. One thing is for certain in uncertain days is that there is a sea of potential to nourish our lives. We have people around us to give us energy when we are doubting ourselves. Seriously, we do. No matter what you see on the news, the majority of the world is not full of evil people sharpening knives and eyeing areas of your back.

I plan to shoot more, put myself in more inspiring situations, drown myself in more ideas so I can nurture a soul in my images. And failing that, I'd like to get enough money to buy some Haagen Dazs Strawberry Cheesecake ice-cream. :-)

Welcome to the new year. See you all soon.

A new dawn shot from my phone while relaxing a the house of close friends.

Angus D

Monday, 5 December 2011

I absolutely hate it! Banned from taking pictures. :-(

I've been banned from taking photos. Again. Can you believe it?!

It happens when friends and family don't want me working at their wedding. Which is funny because when I end up a groomsman, I end up working just as much as if I was behind the camera. Cheating b......

Anyway, I do get to look at pictures because inevitably they all send me links of wedding photographers to see if they are, in my view, any good. I'm always happy to do this because even if I am not doing the job myself, I hate seeing people using the wrong tools or services for their needs. It really does grate on my nerves. Fingers down a chalkboard grating. ... Our kids will never know what that sounds like! I digress.

I was drip fed a series of links to photographers websites. Good stuff. I pass my all seeing eye of Sauron over them. Burning red flames and all. Normally, I can tell within about 3 seconds whether I will like them or not. 1, 2, ahhh I like! But sometimes it's 1, 2, what the hell?!

I just had one of those moments.

Now, I'm in the business of art. Art is in the eye of the beholder. That is always true. But when someone asks me what I think, it's my eye that gets to behold. And I saw something that made my eye wince like I had tried to drink lemons through the iris of my precious eye of Sauron. I saw a picture of a baby. The baby was in a lovely little wedding frock with a nice big pink bow at on the side and she was smiling with such cuteness. But... Big "but"... The baby was in a position that only an adult would be in, but no baby would ever naturally be in this position. Ever. Everevereverever! It was like taking a model from the cover of a mature womans magazine, with the model lying down on a couch for example, then instead of a woman, you have a baby.

There are a number of pictures I've seen of babies doing what they wouldn't normally do or in positions they wouldn't normally be in. They are often funny. This one, not so much. All I could think is, I'm glad the people that wanted that picture didn't choose me. I honestly think when I saw that picture, a little part of me vomited into my cringe centers. I'm so glad that the lovely people who come to me like my work first and foremost.

Not a normal sight

Angus D

Saturday, 26 November 2011

I absolutely love it!

Every once in a while, there is a shot that makes you stop in your tracks. I've been staring at this image for a while. Taking it in. Breaking it down. Absorbing it whole. I absolutely love it.

On Thursday 20th of October this year, the Metro, a free paper here in London ran a story about a long running dispute and the eventual eviction of "Britain's biggest illegal traveller site at Dale Farm." Emotions flared. Violence decended like an inevitability of moths to a bulb. Sharp tactical police crashed against the hard determination of the protestesters. The mist descended. Rage. Tears. Sparks. Fire.

In the carnage, this shot emerged.

Image: Associated Press

I really don't think my words could add  any more drama to this image than what it already has. When people talk about Photoshop, remember images like this.


The correct moment in time, the correct viewpoint, the background and foreground creating an atmosphere so rich you can smell the air, sweat and intesity. If you ever were wondering about essense, this shot has huge amounts of essense frozen perfectly in time for your senses to imagine, feel, and put you right there.

Every shot should put you right there.

Angus D.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Bringing Out the Essence

"Great innovations are born, not out of love, but out of hate."
Penn Jillette. I think.

Branding. Marketing. Mindshare. Lobbying. They can be some seriously dull stuff. On the other hand, get them right, and they are infectious.

When I started photography, I didn't have some paternally inspired story of "my father handed me a camera when I was just a day old and I've slept with a camera beside me ever since while sucking on flash batteries as a dummy." No, my story was a lot more... typical me. I didn't like most of what I saw. I didn't like pictures of me. I didn't like holiday "snaps" that I was shown. And I really didn't like pictures of people with darker skin tones. The darker, the less I liked. It was the flash effect in dark environments creating big white spots on the forehead and cheeks. Oh I hated the balance in those images!

"Well do something about it then" one of the voices in my head said to me.

So I set about learning. Reading. Testing. Feeling. Understanding. Sleeping with a camera beside me. Sucking on my thumb or batteries. ... Seriously, please don't be silly enough to suck on batteries. The result will not be soothing in the slightest.

I really did want to understand why some things work and some things don't. Now, I can't tell a Jimmy Choo from a Louboutin (did I even spell that correctly), but I focused on seeing a smooth pleasing, interesting image. One that doesn't jar the visual senses like the visual version of eating slightly off food - some will notice at first bite, some will chew away thinking it's fine at first, and slowly but surely...

Then I started learning about balance. From the lightest of the vanilla skin tones to the darkest of the dark chocolate skin tones, I began to understand why I didn't like what I saw. I began to understand the balance that was missing. I also began to understand why some shots are bloody difficult!!! I studied the Grand Wizards of the art form. (Studied? Still studying. Still inspired by.) I thought about I and I likes and dislikes and why I wanted more. If that makes sense.

Up until this point, it was essentially broad strokes of life and art. Then came the finesse. The essence. 

Do you ever have that thing that you like to do where it's not really done till you can look back on it and get a certain vibe, a contentedness, a bond that it is somehow more. If you really appreciate music you will know that feeling of being touched by the chords of a certain track. There is a certain energy that I always wanted to pull from a moment in life. Something like a truth.

It's not easy.

My computer is littered with ideas that I couldn't quite get to the level I wanted them. Which is why I love planning some portrait set pieces. In my mind, if I know how to do everything to get the result I want, I'm not trying enough.

One image where I really managed to get my imagination out was done on a recent wedding shoot. The energy is there. The smoothness. The emotional connection. So I made it my new front page. Check it out. Let me know what you think.

Angus D

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Tools and talent

"A photographer went to a socialite party in New York. As he entered the front door, the host said 'I love your pictures - they're wonderful; you must have a fantastic camera.' He said nothing until dinner was finished, then: 'That was a wonderful dinner; you must have a terrific stove.' "

Sam Haskins

I think that was a brilliant way of showing where we place importance with different things. I've lost count of the number of times I've heard,

"Oh that's a nice shot! You must have a really good camera?"

"I must have a really...?! What the...?!"

I smile. I honestly thank them for their appreciation of the image. And then I think about people and our... biases.

From a purely photographic point of view, the funny thing is that the camera is the 3rd important thing. More important than the camera is actually the lens. People forget that a good camera with a rubbish lens will be like doing a tug of war with a 3 year old in your team - no matter how strong you are those teeny tiny 3 year old hands will struggle to perform to a high level!

Note we are talking about capabilities and not results.

But the most important thing, the most important thing, theeeeee most immmm-po-tant-ting ("h" not included), is the mind's eye of the photographer.

What would you rather have?
Vision or money?
Understanding or results without understanding?
Insight or happiness?

It's curious and not always easy to see the point. But one option gives instant results and gratification. The other gives the ability to know why you got results and how to get more results and develop beyond your own ability.

But to say it was all the camera...! That technology is the real skill! That I go for instant gratification without spending time on core values! I'm, I'm, going to cry.

But this happens in many other things. Most people seem to think that footballers are too highly paid. In motor racing, it's the car that does all the work. Hospital consultants earn waaaay too much. That chef is sooo overrated. (And my own personal one) Paris Hilton is rich for doing nothing.

Really? Really?

The point is not to be controversial about how much are they morally worth compared to others. The point is, do we really understand what they do and how they got to the position they did doing the things they do. Or even the things they had to give up to get to where they are. We all can only dream. I was at an event recently listening to a very successful, inspirational lady talking about how people always assume she had a silver spoon upbringing and her success is the result of an easy route. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Taken in 2007 and still one of my favourite powerful moments

A vision, insight and understanding is what we need. Even for Paris Hilton. Which I am really really struggling with!


Sunday, 16 October 2011

It's not sexual, but it is sexy.

I think I may have to lay down on the psychologist's couch for this one.

"So Angus. How are you feeling today?"

"Not bad. Not bad. But I feel I have something to get of my chest. You know, some thoughts that have been bouncing around me head for a short while."

"How short a while?"

"About 6 years."

"Ah. Ok. Tell me about it."

Deep breath.

"Well, about 6 years back, I was waiting at the bus stop and saw a woman on the other side of the road. As soon as I saw her walking... bang! She caught my attention. However... It was not in a jaw drop, eyes pop out, start drooling Homer-see-doughnut kind of way. It was more a feeling of someone that has it. Someone who is rocking that thing.

"I looked at this woman as she crossed the road. Quite obviously staring at this point mind you. And damn this woman had a sexy walk and air about her. Her clothes, fitted her perfectly. Her style, fitted her perfectly. Her confidence, fitted her perfectly. I stared at her as she took one sexy stride after sexy stride. Not too much, mind you. Not overdoing it. But it just seemed to fit her perfectly. And the most interesting thing of all, was that I was not having a hormonal response. I didn't want this woman sexually, though I thought there would be quite a few men that did!"

"Not sexually? You didn't have any sexual urges towards this woman at all?"

"Nah not really. Seriously. Seriously! Don't let me see you smirking behind that note pad! It was more like a deep appreciation of seeing someone who is confident in their own skin. Someone who may not have found themselves completely, but is confident in knowing they are on the right path.

"Ok, put it this way. If you see a hot woman or man you may think sex. I wouldn't mind some of that! Then you're off to the next thought. But if you see a hot person, who has an air of confidence around them. They have an air of, of, ju ne se qua, mixed with a dash of swagger, all wrapped together lovingly with a sense of higher purpose. What you feel towards them is not sex. Or at least not just sex. It's respect. It's understanding. It's that smile and hug you give someone when they have just achieved something for themselves and for no one else. It's that feeling you get which you can't explain that says "before me is more than what I see." That pride you feel in someone who is, well, as I said before, confident in their own skin that they are on the right path."

"So what made you come here today and chat to me? What made you bring this up now?"

"A good friend, Angel (yes really, that's her name), recently put on an event. I'm always proud to do this particular event. She started up a forum called The Natural Lounge which has kinda blown up and become very popular. Hence the event to get everyone together under one roof. It's a place where women with afro hair come to learn how to take care of their thick and curly."

The organiser, Angel, on the right

"Their what?"

"Their hair!"

Thick and curly

"Well why would they need a special place to be taught how to do this?"

"Well, to generalise massively, a large number of women with afro hair have had their hair straightened with dangerous chemicals from a young age and been led to believe that it is the norm, necessary and or the nominal notion of beauty. So now a number of women with afro hair are finding these forums to find their fit in their own skin. Though the event is a celebration of hair, I suppose the event can be said to be a celebration of learning yourself.

Sucking up good information

"And back we come to sexy. Sex is raw. Sexy is more. ... Did I just say that? I should trademark that! Sell it to..."

"You were saying about sexy..."

"Hey. As the doctor, aren't you meant to let me speak my mind??? Anyway. Yes. Sexy. How shall I explain this. The... aura. The swagger. The feel. The focus. The discipline. The purpose. But not all the answers... It's like looking at someone who's clothes fit them just right, then looking at someone else who, kinda looks like they are wearing clothes designed for another person. Another frame. Another soul. It's not "looks" you are looking at. It's "self". The same goes for hair. It's not about being rebellious. It's blending society and self and coming out with, well, inner sexy.

A perfect fit

"Not sexual at all?"

"Only a little." ;-)

Angus D
Click here to see more from The Natural Lounge Event. Plenty of smiles there!

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Good Morning! :-)

It's Saturday. It's Saturday. It's Saturdaaaaaaaaay!!!

Is there a better morning to wake up on? Seriously, if there is, I wanna know. ... Maybe if Saturday was January 1st... But then, it's still Saturday. Oh yes.

What to do, what to do? Normally a slooow stirring from bed. The mind being eased of weekly work worries. Pressures are given short stick and the pillow is given a long warm hug. The weight and warmth of the duvet kisses your skin while your body stretches and writhes below like a cat stretching it's claws. Eyes open. Blink. But no immediate look at the time. No snooze button. No dread. Just the slow heavenly presence of sunlight on the face of your mind giving it a soft ethereal splash of energy. No doubt some of you with shoot back down below your duvets hiding from the light like a shocked rabbit diving for cover!

The mind has energy warmed into it. What to do what to do?

You slip slowly out of bed, perhaps to the sofa to flop back down to have a second wakeup session. Senses coming online. Slowly. Gently. See, now would be a perfect time to have someone to come and serve you while you lie there yawning, rousing, stretching for a smoother day. ... A Saturday morning sla... helper :-) ... Now that's an idea...

Happy Saturday people.

Morning Glory

Angus D

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Picturesque - someone out there for you

Oh I have been tired! Tired I tell you! Tired! But... I was re-invigorated by a visit from a close friend from abroad. It was great to see her and we spent oodles and oodles of time chatting and catching up.

Now, I generally try not to work when I'm chatting to people unless I have something very time sensitive to finish. And unfortunately, I had one of those days. I know I know it's bad and I really try not to do it much. I was putting the finishing touches on a swimsuit type Sports Illustrated inspired image and she neatly interrupted me to have a peak at some of my other images that for one reason or another, can't be displayed online. It's unfortunate when it happens, but such is my life. Top secret images. Non-Disclosure Agreements. Threats of a beating from an angry client. You know how it is.

A woman smoking by Gordon McGowan
I also showed her some images of people I really look up to, people like Gordon McGowan a wedding photographer who (rightly) charges top dollar for his fantastic work and a few others. I look over, and she was, shall I say, thoughtful.

Food by Bob Towery
"I don't understand people who have some of this stuff in their houses."

Okaaaaay... "What is it that you don't understand?"

Buildings by Martin Stavars
"I mean, that's just an image of people by a bush. And that one, it's... Yes I can see they are by the water but why would I want that on my wall?!"

"Well, when you put it like that...!"

Sunset by Yaron Silberberg
The old "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" issue.

What beauty is in the beholder's eye? What is it that makes one image good, gorgeous, captivating... while a similar image just doesn't touch you on that level? It doesn't engage you and it doesn't seem to have the almost inexplicable depth that you've sensed in other images.

A child crying by Jill Greenberg
Fashion? Current trends? Music? Childhood memories? Aspirations? Belief? What your boss said to you yesterday and how it made you feel?

A splash of water, from the series "If Fire Were Water" by Platinum FMD.

I grew up learning science and psychology as a side hobby, so I could talk all day about this. But the truth is, I can't really tell you the answer. But I can tell you we should all be very thankful that we don't all find the same thing beautiful. It means there is someone out there for everyone.

Stay blessed. Enjoy your week.

Angus D

Saturday, 13 August 2011

I have a confession to make - part 2

Wedding over (yes I skipped a bit). Reception. Again outdoors. Again overlooking the marina. Again perfect.

The food. Oh my gosh. I never knew octopus legs could taste so good. I would never have normally... Again, the "never normally" part comes up. This is getting to be a habit on this trip! But damn there was some tasty seasoning on that gently stewed cephalopod. All the food was tasty. Too tasty. I couldn't get enough. Literally. The mood was high spirited. I lost count of the amount of random guests I would turn around to and just start merrily chatting about nothing in particular. I was always greeted with a smile and a "heeeeeey!" Followed by the Greek special "Angoose!" That's what my name sounds like "translated" into Greek tongue. To be honest, I now find it cute. Only when it comes from the Greeks though!

Then the music started. Klelia and her model of a husband, Adonis, took to the floor to show us what the day means to them. It really was a great sight. 

As the sun went down, guests stood up and threw shapes against the setting sun and into the night. Now, by this point I am already swaying to the music. I was tricked into dancing when the DJ played some pop music and people grabbed and dragged me onto the dance floor. 

I didn't mind. It was fine. It was great fun. And for the first time, we could be energetic and no one was sweating buckets - blessings of the nigh time coastal air. It felt great. I began to lose myself. I mean, who wouldn't. It's not every day you get to go to a wedding like this. Even if your job is to go to weddings! Hands were being thrown up. Waists were twisting to the beats. People were jumping. I believe this is what you call a good vibe. And it was good.

Then, like the start of dawn, there was a veeery smooth change in music. I didn't realise it was coming and by the time it came, it was too late. The dance music. In my primal instinctive state, I only heard the beat. I really did. I promise! By the time I recognised what was happening, it was like dancing with a great looking partner when the music turns ugly - you don't dare stop because then your time with the sexy dancer stops. And you don't want that. Except, I felt like I was dancing with everyone. And I wasn't going to be the one to let the side down. So I kept the vibe and kept dancing. 

Till 6 in the morning. Exactly 6am. 

Once again, bodies cast silhouettes on the sun. Beamings smiles all around. The shine in everyone's eyes told you all you needed to know about how good the night was. A magical night not soon forgotten.


Saturday, 6 August 2011

I have a confession to make - part 1

To those that know me, I'm really sorry. I don't know what came over me. Well, actually, I do. And I feel a little unrepentant at the same time. But hopefully you'll find it in your hearts to see me as the same person. It's hard for me to say this. But I, Angus, danced, to dance music.

I know I may have said words to the effect of "never ever everevereverever would I dance to it", but I did, and the truth has been choking me for a while. Before you all, I would like to confess and free my soul from this burden. Let me explain:

I was invited, as a guest, to a good friend's wedding. In Greece. I love that place. If I ever need a break, my Greek friends are always happy to see me. I think. And it also meant that I wasn't working so since I haven't had a holiday in quite a few years, I was more than happy at the idea of turning up, eating and drinking, and generally not having to worry about who looks good in what environment! A no stress trip!

We landed in Thessaloniki to meet some very good friends, then had a TWELVE HOUR trip to our hotel in the island of Aegina where the wedding was to be held. Pool at the hotel. Beach, 5 mins away. Not so bad. :-)

As a side note, our taxi ride through Aegina showed the island to be a truly beautiful mix or rolling lush hills, small villages kept in serene beauty often a stone throw away from a marina full of small weathered boats tied to the moorings. It was like a mental breath of fresh air. I loved it.

The first night there, we didn't even get a chance to check out the surroundings, I was told there was a small get-together for close friends with the bride and groom and family. (With the Greeks, "small" could mean absolutely anything!) I can tell you two things about our first night: 1. There was a BBQ with some seriously juicy chops. 2. We didn't leave until 5am. 5am! After 12 hours travelling! Did I say this trip was going to be relaxing? The precedent for doing things I don't normally do had been set.

Wedding day. Big day. Hot day. I started off the day doing some lengths in the pool. Think of it as topping off a beach bod. A good beach bod is also a good suit/dress body. (Not that I would wear a dress!) There is a method to my madness. From the pool to a frappe. Frappe to seafood lunch. Lunch to shower. Shower to chapel. So far so good.

The chapel. Gorgeous place. Small white chapel overlooking the waters. Everyone looking suave, sexy and cool under the afternoon sun. Which is good because the wedding was outdoor, but the late afternoon sun and evening breeze kept us feeling warm to the core. Or was that the wedding? 

Klelia, the beautiful bride, arrived on a small boat captained by her father. Now, it was definitely a beautiful scene - Klelia, slowly drifting into the port, standing holding the boat mast, waving and looking excited. ... However... However... The potential for it to go wrong, was not small. :-) 

The little boat above, enlarged. Still little. :-)
Fortune smiled on us that day, Klelia disembarked and made it to the chapel without incident, keeping composure as if she gets off small boats in wedding dresses for a living!

It was at this point more than any before that I starting getting that yearning to be working and not spectating. 

Off to the reception we go, where I saw a side to myself I didn't want to know I had.... 


Monday, 25 July 2011

Not what I wanted to say

Not the words I was going to post. Not even what I wanted to say. Such is life.

As I quickly mentioned on facebook, this weekend has been a terrible weekend for news. In the order that I heard about things, there was Norway bomb, shootings and death of (I think) 92, Amy Winehouse's death, China train crash killing 35, and the Texas shooting of 5.

Since the death of someone close to me some years back it changed in me something unexpected. It's like I saw and felt empathy to death and loss in more dimensions. I actually cried at a film. Me?! Crying? At a film? (I hid it well!) I originally thought it was a temporary thing due to the obvious. I was wrong.

The Norway sadness is multiplied when people found out it is the youth that were the majority of those that died. I remember the first time I heard "you should never outlive your kids." It's not the way life should proceed. Or to put another way, it's unnatural. Maybe that is why it hits us so hard.

The other thing these news stories do is make me feel a heavy heart for all the sad, demoralising events not being reported. Some because they are so regular we loose interest. The kind of events we would like to stop being told about. The kind of events that, if we thought about it, would make us turn away or simply bring us to tears.

I was reminded of something I heard when watching Batman Begins the other day. To paraphrase,

"we fall so we can learn to get up"

With every bad, sometimes crushing, event, there are opportunities to learn and make things better and construct a new life. There is hope. Hope is probably the last thing we cling to after we have nothing else. We sit on a world of potential. And I hope I am not "inspired" to cry at any more films!

Stay hopeful

(By the way, as some people were interested, the tears in the first two images above are actually for the end of one life and the beginning of another. Such is life.)


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Woooo! Blog is back up!

I've had to jump through some hoops in the last few days. Jump through hoops, spend some late nights online reading similar problems, playing a bit of blues through the night while I sat at my computer with only the glow from my computer monitor for warmth. It's ok. You can shed a tear for me.

But we are back! So please check out the last blog post which went up as the blog went down. The kids are now truly alright. I'm off for a walk in this beautiful summer weather. :-)


Friday, 15 July 2011


A real conversation I overheard at a wedding:

"I don't know if I'll be able to come. My little girl can scream down the place."

"Bring her! What's a wedding without life? And kids are life."

Whether people like to have kids at weddings or not, is completely up to them. I just make sure I can do my "James Brown dodging the kids" dance when they are there! Present or not, they are beautiful. Balls of energy that have an uncanny ability to drain you of yours. But they still make you laugh.

I once gazed at my nephew for about 20 minutes, watching him explore. His hands. His feet. All the bright things in the room. Everything was to be investigated. Kids must experience everything with all the senses they have. Which unfortunately also means trying to eat everything!

There is also what kids represent. Babies aren't born thinking "I know enough, I don't have to develop anything." They want to learn everything they see. Babies aren't born with prejudice. They are born with open minds. Babies aren't born with malice. Every move they make is honest.

The funny thing is I'm not even the mushy type. But no matter which way you look at them, you will see life reflected back at you.


Saturday, 18 June 2011

If you go down to the woods tonight...

Where would we be without friends we have made? A while back I found myself having the pleasure of shooting high class clientèle. If you know the hoops that I had to jump through! Lady Gaga would have been easier! I sometimes think it was like trying to photography a Bond femme fatale. 

Well, some seasons on, and the femme fatale decided to stop destroying men, and decided to marry her own James Bond instead. :-)

Bond Girl finds her Bond - and doesn't try to kill him!
It was a pleasure to fly out to Sweden, and take a beautiful walk through the trees with the gorgeous bride and groom. And a laugh! I ended up driving them from site to site, deeper and deeper into the enchanted forest while throwing out ideas of images, the bride and groom chucking ideas back, creating a big amorphous idea pot, and doing a whooole lot of acting.

Jennie and Andreas, it was great to be blessed with creating your images!

Now, is it just me or does the bride look reminiscent of Sandy from Grease???


Saturday, 28 May 2011

The right feeling

I may not be a film director or a director of short films, but sometimes something comes along and you wish you were one, just so you could have had the chance to create something so amazing.

A while ago I came across this post which just made me stop and stare. Not necessarily because what is being shown is (on the surface) amazing, but because of how it's being shown, because of what went into the video. Everything looks so ... as it should and beautiful, that you'd be forgiven for missing the detail that went into it.

Sometimes the best things (from imagery, to help from others) are the ones that just feel right. And the reason why they feel so right, is simply invisible to most people.

Enjoy your weekend.



Saturday, 14 May 2011

I think I've found my peace

Today is a difficult day for me. Believe it or not, I have been trying to replace my front page image for quite some time. I've lost sleep over the issue. But nothing else gave me the same feeling as that image. So, in a moment of clarity, over a little rum, I decided not to replace it with an image that gives "more of the same" feelings.

Don’t always try to be better. Be different.
I had planned another image in The Strength in Women project, and simultaneously did some serious mental sweating, to make sure that this image is going to be the one. The one that would take the mantle. The one would carry my website forward. The one that would bring world peace! ... Ok, maybe not world peace, but at least peace to me. :-)

After an image change and a tweak to my main logo, I think I've found my peace. (And anyway, Holly gave me her vote so it must be right!)


Saturday, 7 May 2011

Women on top - hold 'em down!

I think I've been listening to Adele's "Someone Like You" too much recently. It's a very calming track. It soothes the fire within. It can make you look at your partner with a new or renewed deep appreciation. A deep emotion.

And then Beyoncé's "Run the World (Girls)" comes along... Them thar seem like fightin' words!

"Who runs who???"

"Who are you talking to like that?!"

It's like a battle royale. You try to stand up, someone grabs your ankles holding you back. "It's YOUR turn to wash!" You turn, free your ankle, grab him with a pinch. He whimpers like a puppy. "It's YOUR turn to wash!" His eyes light up. Uh-oh... No no no..! His hands dive for your ticklish sides... Screaming... You struggle to breathe through your laughter. "I. Did. The. Cooking!"

"Ok ok ok ok ok ok!!!!"

He releases. He relaxes. His mistake.

He turns his back to you with a smile. You jump him, and quickly move to blindfold him or tie him up with the towel he didn't spot you grab. Looking down at him,

"Now, who is going to wash up?"


(P.S. I've just started my facebook business page! Woooo! But I need support. Please hit the "Like" button over in the facebook box on the right. Thanking you kindly.)

Click on the image for more in the series

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Easter - a day early and no chocolate egg

Recently I had the pleasure of going to Sweden to do a bride and groom shoot. I won't go into it now as I'm sure I'll have a separate post for that. What I will go into is the different way I found out that Swedes celebrate Easter.

For a start, Easter is celebrated on Saturday and not Sunday. Why? To be honest, I haven't fully understood. (If anyone can fully explain it to me I'd be more than happy to listen.) It is someone linked to the fact they also celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December.

Secondly, the Swedish Easter egg and English Easter egg are slighty different. In the UK we get a lovely selection of chocolate eggs with indulgent treats "oh I shouldn't, but I will" inside. In Sweden however, you get an egg. An actual hard boiled egg. And a brush. And some watercolours. And a smile. You all sit round the table, and paint whatever Picasso, Monet, Hurst, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air design comes into your creative mitts. Not my usual Easter, but great fun all the same.

The Swedish do have their version of a egg full of treats, but it's more like your own nest egg - you fill it with your own pieces of sugary gold.

I love experiencing different cultures. Just don't ask me to drink påskmust!

Friday, 15 April 2011

How to look good... working. And trying to be serious!

In my period of blogging silence, I was asked to do something unusual (for me) - I was asked to take images of company staff.

Corporate imagery. Interesting....

To top it off, I was asked to work for a company I've never heard of, in a place I've never heard off (apologies to all people of Corby), millions of miles away. In England. :-) As with any photographic job, I did a little research and found out the company is kinda massive in more ways than one. Well, if a company has billions of dollars in turnover, maybe I could get paid one of those billions...?

It's quite interesting seeing the inside of some of these companies. For example, they had a trophy cabinet about the width of a car and taller than me, and I'm 6ft (or 1.83m for my European friends).

It's really impressive to see. The other impressive massive thing was the warehouse. If you've ever seen an end of X-Files, where Smoking Man puts something back in "the warehouse" and walks off, then the camera pans up to show the size of the warehouse, it's exactly like that! The warehouse foreman proudly told me that you can fit a jumbo jet in the warehouse. Maybe it's where they put all their extra trophies for business and customer service.

Not everything was serious!
My job is to take people who are often not usually in front of the camera, make them feel comfortable, and get them relaxed. Sometimes that goes so well, you can't get them serious again!

I had some comments from a few of the thousands of staff that I had to laugh at. "Why would you take a picture of me on the phone?" was the main one. With the exception of the inadvertent nose pickers, no one need have worried. Everyone looked absolutely fabulous.

It was also very tricky to deliver images that are aimed at being more ... utilitarian than artistic. This is a lot more difficult than it sounds. The whole experience for me turned out to be suprisingly fun and educational, but walking through we walked (literally) over a mile in and around the warehouse. Lugging the camera equipment made it like backpacking. So now I'm happier and fitter!

Happy Friday. :-)