2016… My Year in Pictures
Before 2016 becomes a distant memory, I shall take a look back at some of my more interesting, unusual or rewarding photo shoots….
Early in JANUARY I had a late afternoon winter wedding in the dark; a challenge for any wedding photographer given the lack of light.
You learn however to work as best as you can with the light you have, especially in my case where I favour natural lighting (with a touch of fill-in flash where required), rather than bringing in a entourage of assistants carrying artificial studio lighting, stands, cables and reflectors!
My friends at Moorside School in Lancaster (above) invited me to photograph the opening of their impressive new classroom extension. The weather was blowing a gale but with my persuasive powers I grouped them outdoors for a quick photo.
In FEBRUARY the month of romance, I nicely snapped the happy couple’s first kiss at their wedding ceremony at the lovely Leighton Hall near Carnforth. The grounds were beautified with a profusion of snowdrops which I made good use of in portrait photos. All had to be done rather quickly of course, as February isn’t the month to be hanging around outside having photos taken!
I had an unusual and challenging commercial booking in MARCH where I was to individually photograph staff at a local cafe, turn them into silhouettes for a mural to go non the cafe wall. It was great fun posing everyone, with a view to the finished product, but kind of broke all the normal rules of studio lighting!
Poor weather for this APRIL wedding meant I had to make do with indoors for the confetti photograph. Fortunately for all concerned, there’s a lovely staircase and curved balcony at Barton Grange Hotel which can work well for confetti and group photos, as well as portraits.
Sometimes not many guests bring confetti these days, especially the younger ones, but on this occasion, there was no shortage!
I always try to make the most of the surrounds when doing outdoor portraits. This one in MAY was a really nice pre-wedding portrait shoot down by the canal, where I found lots of cow parsley and some buttercups to add to the shot.
Of course it’s the subjects that it’s all about and getting them to look relaxed, natural and comfortable, ideally capturing some of their personality and finding a flattering angle too.
I could easily have advertised myself as no job too small, before undertaking probably one of the most challenging product shoots to date.
What I was photographing for a local precision engineering company ranged in shape and size down to parts that measured only a few millimeters long. This stretched even my macro lens to it’s limit. A bigger problem was specs of dust and hairs, which if I didn’t take care looked like footballs and lengths of rope!
May was a very busy and varied month. One of the highlights was undoubtedly getting involved in Animal Care’s annual fundraising open day, where I set up my pet portrait stall. The vast majority of my customers’ are dogs, not least because there’s a dog show going on outside. Children and dogs can make for lovely photos if captured well, but a snake; why not? Next year, perhaps a goldfish!
JUNE along with July means school Proms, an American idea, that has now consumed the UK.
Photographing arrivals on the red carpet is nice for the youngsters but rather tricky when the sun is behind the subjects. Caught carefully it can make for nice shadows though and a rather more interesting shot.
Talking of across the ‘pond’, it could only be a pair of touring American fast food fanatics, who could go for the world burger eating record and it probably had to happen in Blackpool!
Very much back to old press photography days for this sort of commission.
I hope you have enjoyed my quick look back at the first half of 2016. I shall be bringing you up-to-date with July to December shortly, once I have sifted through my files!…