Bury St Edmunds RFC

I am lucky enough to be off to Twickenham this weekend to watch Premiership Rugby's opening weekend Double Header. With the new season starting I thought I'd post some photos of my local club Bury St Edmunds RFC. These were taken at the last game of the season. Bury were losing heavily. They then had a man sent off. Bad news. However, Bury staged a remarkable comeback to pull ahead, only for the opposition to score a last-minute try and draw the game. What a great end to the season. Good luck for this season Bury Wolfpack.

WET WEATHER SHOOT

Quite often, as an editorial portrait photographer I can't pick and choose my location or the weather conditions. One of the fun challenges is making the most of the conditions in front of me.

Yesterday I had a shoot booked in with the lovely Katie Bedford who represents England at over 50s hockey. Fortunately, the all-day rain stopped for the 30 minutes when we had the shoot booked. But conditions were very dark due to the heavy cloud and overcast sky. Therefore, I decided to go for a more dramatic portrait look.

Most of the time when I use lighting, I want it to be subtle and almost unnoticeable as in the three examples below.

However, when I'm looking for a dramatic feel to the portrait I aim for the lighting to be obvious. It makes the subject stand out from the background, as with these photos...

The photos of Katie, who heads off to Holland tomorrow for the Masters European Championships, certainly fit into the latter category.

Ipswich Business Portraits

If truth be told I've struggled to find the value of LinkedIn. Until a couple of weeks ago that is. I connected to few local people through another contact on LinkedIn. One of them, a local businessman here in Suffolk, contacted me and asked me to shoot some business portraits of him as he had just started a new job. So, a good outcome all round.Thanks LinkedIn

To be honest I find it difficult to keep on top of all the social media platforms I am supposed to be using. Most people seem to have a favourite one they use so I guess there's an element of pot luck whether you connect with them or not. Anyway, I'll be using LinkedIn a little more from now on and hoping that it drives more business my way.

Inspiring Event Shoot for Virgin Unite

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a really inspiring event organised Virgin Unite, part of the Virgin Group. I was there to take photos but it was sometimes difficult to keep my mind on the job as the speakers were covering some fascinating topics.

Having shot for Virgin Unite a few times I knew that Jean Oelwang, President of Virgin Unite, would help to get the day off to a positive start. She was joined by speakers from Unilever, EY Beacon Institute, Starbucks, Cook, Ella's Kitchen, Airbnb, Big Change, Virgin, and Next Jump UK. The discussed topics from 'Designing the Future of Leadership', 'Reimagining Education', 'Bringing Your Whole Self to Work', 'Little Wins in the Workplace' and ' Refugees & the Business Community'.

This last topic was presented by Cameron Sinclair, Humanitarian Lead at Airbnb. It was fascinating to hear how Airbnb has made a significant effort to reach out and house refugees. And how the general public and Airbnb hosts have given so much of their time and space in their homes for this cause. In these days of rather dark and depressing news it was a real beacon of light.

Golden Hour Engagement Shoot

The weather so far this summer in the UK has been fantastic. We've been blessed with bright, clear evenings and rich sunsets. It was on one of these beautiful evenings that I went out with Rachel and Sam for their engagement shoot. The weather was perfect and the location provided lovely fields of golden crops and areas with long wild grass.

The shoot was a great chance to get to know Rachel and Sam before I shoot their wedding next year. We spent about 90 minutes wondering around chatting and stopping here and there for some photos.

The golden hour is such a great time to shoot. When we arrived at the location the sun was still a little high. But as it started to set the countryside came alive with colour and the air around us softened.

I remember when I was young I was told never to photograph into the sun. However, with modern cameras and a little bit of work in Adobe Lightroom I think you can achieve some lovely results shooting directly into the lovely soft setting sun.

Profile Photos

 

A strong profile photo can make a huge difference to your online presence.

People notice good quality photography and they're more likely to look at your profile if you have a decent photo. Out of focus holiday snaps are for Facebook!

Unfortunately it's pretty common to visit a company website and find a terrible mixture of inconsistent staff photos. This can really detract from a company's overall profile.

If you find the right photographer, profile portraits can be shot quickly and easily at your office. And they are generally not too expensive.

So, if you need a good quality profile photo, or the staff photos on your company website need updating, then why not contact a local photographer today. A photoshoot is quick, simple and can be quite fun!

Great Saxham Landscape Photos.

Last weekend my parents were away and we went to look after their house. It gave me a great opportunity to get out and shoot some landscapes for the first time in ages. It was a beautiful afternoon but bitterly cold.

I set off across the muddy fields, walked round the end of a wood and came across a dip in the fields. The sun was setting behind a line of trees on the far side of this mini valley and it looked fantastic. I was in the middle of nowhere, it was peaceful and beautiful. A landscape photographer's dream!

 

Once the sun had set I walked back across the fields, boots covered in mud and fingers so cold that they couldn't grip my tripod to carry it home.

But the cold didn't worry me. After all, I'd seen a beautiful sunset and taken some (I hoped) nice photos. 

More than anything I was just really pleased to have been out shooting landscapes again. 

 

Taking photos for NGOs

Having worked at two very successful charities (Laureus Sport for Good, ELBA) before I became a photographer, I'm now always really excited to shoot for charities/NGOs. Theses jobs allow me to combine my two passions: photography and charity work.

I've shot events as a volunteer including some truly inspiring evenings on behalf of Magic Bus and their inspirational founder Matthew Spacie.

Matthew Spacie speaks at the Magic Bus Gala, Singapore, April 2014

Matthew Spacie speaks at the Magic Bus Gala, Singapore, April 2014


I have also been lucky enough to travel to shoot for various NGOs including Spirit of Soccer (Laos), Special Olympics (Korea), The Island Foundation (Indonesia) and The Tabitha Foundation (Cambodia).


Spirit of Soccer participants, Laos, April 2015

Spirit of Soccer participants, Laos, April 2015

Contestants at the Special Olympic World Winter Games, Korea, February 2013

Contestants at the Special Olympic World Winter Games, Korea, February 2013

Aung San Suu Kyi meets a participant at The Special Olympics Winter Games, Korea, February 2013

Aung San Suu Kyi meets a participant at The Special Olympics Winter Games, Korea, February 2013


Along the journey, working directly for charities as well as taking photos for their marketing and PR requirements, I have met some incredible people: charity workers, volunteers, celebrity supporters and of course the beneficiaries themselves.

I've been lucky that my work has mainly revolved around the use of sport as a tool to engage with young people with social challenges. Sport provides an excellent platform to teach and help these young people. It also provides a lot of fun and some wonderful photographic opportunities.

Shooting for NGOs not only provides superb photos, it also gives me a chance to reflect and to realise how fortunate I am to do what I do and to live where I live. I always come back feeling humbled and really motivated to move forward and take more and better photos.

Contestant at the Special Olympics World Winter Games, Korea, February 2013

Contestant at the Special Olympics World Winter Games, Korea, February 2013

Tabitha Foundation participants, March 2012.

Tabitha Foundation participants, March 2012.

Spirit of Soccer coach, Laos, April 2015

Spirit of Soccer coach, Laos, April 2015

Yao Ming at the Special Olympics World Winter Games, February 2013, featured in the Shanghai Morning Post

Yao Ming at the Special Olympics World Winter Games, February 2013, featured in the Shanghai Morning Post

My 5 favourite couples images from Wedding Photography

As I sat at my desk this week contemplating the best social media approach for my newly-launched business, I got distracted. In the end, looking at other people's lovely wedding photos was far more interesting than navigating the complexities of social media in 2016 - how best to use (and connect together) Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, Google+, Streetlife, Pinterest etc etc. It's a bit of a headache.

So anyway, here are my five favourite couples wedding photos...


(c) Ross Harvey

(c) Ross Harvey

I could have chosen so many photos taken by Ross - the guy is a brilliant wedding photographer and has deservedly won several awards. He captures the fun and happiness of a wedding day as well as anyone. www.rossharvey.com  Facebook  Twitter


(c) diktatphotography

(c) diktatphotography

Diktat and Kadek are two photographers working in Bali who capture some incredible images, using the gorgeous surroundings of Bali. I love the serenity of this particular image.  www.diktatphotography.com  Facebook  Instagram


(c) Danny Dong

(c) Danny Dong

Another multi-award wining wedding photographer, Danny Dong. And again I could have chosen a dozen of him images as my favourite but in the end this one jumped out. It shows what you see from the best wedding photographers - the ability to produce really artistic images. www.dannydong.com  Blog


(c) Andy Gaines

(c) Andy Gaines

Andy, from York in the UK, includes a some great humour in many of his photos. This one isn't funny but I love it anyway!   www.andygaines.com  Facebook  Twitter


(c) Justin Bailey

(c) Justin Bailey

One of the reasons I'm excited about shooting weddings int he UK (as opposed to Singapore where I have been working) is the beautiful light we get here. In this photo Justin uses the light brilliantly and captures a stunning image. www.justin-bailey.co.uk  Facebook  Twitter