Monday, 24 November 2008

I have just discovered another place to sell. It's called and runs along the same lines as Etsy. It's very new at the moment and is still in Beta, also it's only based in the UK right now. But do check it out, here's the link to my shop

Thursday, 20 November 2008

A passion rekindled

At the risk of doubling up on blog posts, I wanted to post this image as it is one of the only non-digital ones that I have taken recently. I took it during this week's pinhole camera workshop, which I taught at a local school. After watching the students making cameras and taking fantastic shots, I felt I needed to do it myself. I had the perfect box to use, it was small, plastic and had only one opening through which light might leak. Loaded with paper (which I rated at 12asa) and with an F-stop of 38, this image needed only 1 minute of exposure. And that was it, I'm in love with pinhole photography again. My brain is teaming with ideas about what to do with it. By the way, the small black shape in the background is one of my students, posing for her pinhole camera!

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

I have done so little film photography this month but lots of digital (see above). I'm hoping a French holiday will inspire and revive me. I have given up hope of ever recovering the images on my hard disk. The company who took it away have been pretty flaky about returning it to me, after I told them I didn't want to pay over £400 to retrieve my data. I have been rescanning all the important films and that has stopped me from wanting to take any more.
However, I've done some great fun portrait sessions and lots of other exciting projects and I;m beginning to feel like a proper photographer.

Friday, 19 September 2008

6 months on

It's been 6 months since I left work and time, perhaps, for a little round up of where I'm at.
To start, I have challenged myself professionally more in the past 6 months than at anytime in the previous 6 years. As a result I've done so much that I never thought I would have the courage to do and I'm proud of myself. I have produced some beautiful images too.
However, going freelance has been much harder than I thought it would be. When I was working full time I felt that all I needed was more of a chance to get my name known and the work would come rolling in. It hasn't. That's not to say I haven't hit the targets that I set myself for my first half year trading, but it's been a slog and sometimes downright depressing.
I spent a lot of time cold calling companies to no avail and chasing work that never materialised. Most of my work has come from sources much closer to home. I don't mean my Mum and Dad but through contacts from friends. Once the word gets out that you are a photographer, people tend to remember and think of you if they need something done.
I have also spread myself pretty thin, trying to work out where I wanted to take my photography. Now, I believe I have worked out the route I want to take and narrowed it down to a couple of areas to concentrate on. I might have arrived at this point a little earlier if I had not simply believed in what I do best.
So, my chosen fields of expertise are:
Events and Portraits photography
Fine Art photography and agency work
It still feels like a lot to get my head round but manageable.
So, looking ahead, I hope that in the next 6 months I can build up my work and continue to challenge myself everyday and that you guys will keep looking in on me to check my progress...

Monday, 15 September 2008

King of the terrible lizards

My external hard disk has gone kaput and I am feeling bereft. I managed to salvage the most important client images, but I am in limbo until the files are recovered for me. So, there's not a lot to post except images from my Sputnik, from our holiday in Norfolk - hopefully they'll make a good series to hang on my boys' walls.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

Back to work

Hmm, it seems the summer holidays are over and not one, but both my boys are now at school. We've had a lovely summer and now it's time to set our hats towards the autumn and enjoy it.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

Salt prints

My salt prints have not been quite so successful so far. Initially they are beautiful but after 'fixing' in water they fog very quickly. I have ordered some hypo (sodium thiosulphate) and will try fixing in that instead. I'm pretty paranoid about working with all these chemicals. I kit myself out with a face mask, gloves and apron and look like a surgeon, but better safe than sorry eh?


I have spent a most satisfying few days experimenting with alternative processes. My first attempts were with cyanotype using Dr Mike Ware's new formula. This image was simply fixed with water but I later discovered that fixing with a citric acid solution first clears the yellow completely from the print. However, I love the feel of this despite the yellow. The other yellow marks come from water splashes before I put the neg out in the sun - I quite like them.

Friday, 18 July 2008

new from old

We have had 3 old school work benches hanging round our house for a couple of years now, and I've always sworn that I would do something with them. Well, now I have. Yesterday I took the tops to a local joinery and had them chopped into 9 10x10" blocks. They were also planed to leave a smooth surface and I have to say, they look wonderful. It is apparently Iroko wood and the grain is gorgeous. My plan is to mount photos on them to sell at a local selling show - Box of Delights - in November. I hope I can do them justice.

Thursday, 17 July 2008


Mmmmm, Raspberries. I have discovered Pick Your Own fruit farms this summer. They're the perfect combination for me: none of the work, all the satisfaction of picking for yourself and half the price of the supermarket. Oh, and delicious...

Something to remember: just picking the ripe raspberries means that you have to eat them all at the same time.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Jon has gone to Rome on a school trip for 9 days. He left this afternoon and I miss him already. Unfortunately I think he also took both our mobile chargers with him, so I'm fighting a desire to be cross with him.
One of the things that I do when Jon takes this trip every year, is rent all the movies I know he won't want to watch and spend the week indulging my film preferences. I have just finished watching "Be Kind Rewind" and absolutely loved it. I also have Atonement (loved the book) Elizabethtown (the wild card) and The Motorcycle Diaries. We'll see...

Something to remember: It's only a week and I've got loads of great films to watch

Thursday, 10 July 2008

For those who care...

I have just spent a wonderful evening with a whole host of great people, selling my images and raising money for breast cancer care. It was organised by the amazingly talented Vicky, who loves to bring artists together and help them show and sell their work. Not only was it a successful night for me personally but we also raised loads of money. So hoorah!

Something to remember: Lots of people care

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

the end of the meal

I've stopped feeling sorry for myself now and I intend to continue to take pictures that I love.

Something to remember: An afternoon spent with friends

Tuesday, 24 June 2008


Sometimes I feel like it would be easier just to close my eyes and go to sleep. Nothing sinister, it's just that sometimes sleep is so much more satisfying.

I had a really informative interview last week with a lovely woman from a magazine group. It had taken so long to actually get to meet someone who didn't just want my web address, that I was pretty excited. It pains me to say that my portfolio wasn't up to it, but sadly I think this was the case. Despite this I got some great advice about my portfolio. Basically, I had presented a really eclectic set of images, a mixture of portrait and still life, which I felt worked together. The advice I was given was to separate the two genres into different portfolios. She felt that seeing the two mixed together was too confusing and made the viewer forget the good images that they had seen as they were working too hard to process the mix.

This presents me with a dilemma which I really should have confronted before: I need to decide what kind of photography I want to specialise in. I need to commit.

Thursday, 12 June 2008


There's a lot to be said for loyalty. It's quite an old-fashioned word these days, but I believe that that some things are worth sticking at. I continue to follow through my allotment project, even though I have changed the cameras I use and my ideas about what to do with it. I keep submitting and uploading to agencies, despite very little recompense. And I count myself blessed to have friends who are gunning for me to make a success of freelancing and who go out of their way to help me. Thank you for being my true and loyal friends.

Something to remember:
It's supposed to be fun...

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Digital Karma

I have spent the last few weeks taking pretty much only digital shots - and I feel sullied. I am trying to build up a solid base of stock shots with Alamy, which means I need to take around 50 usable shots a week. There doesn't seem to be much room for anything else, what with sorting, resizing, uploading and keywording. Once I get to 1,000 shots I could step down a little I think. Still, I intend to fit in some Rollei shots this week to balance my karma.

Something to remember:
The sound of 14 close family members laughing, cheering and gently teasing each other.

Friday, 23 May 2008


Until I began this freelancing lark, I hadn't appreciated just how difficult it is to get to show someone your portfolio. I mean, I figured I could just phone magazines, books publishers etc. and get to go show them. But no, all I keep getting is "have you got a website?" Trouble is, you can't see someone's reaction to your website, or even if they go there. What I really need is FEEDBACK, I'm not sure why that's so hard to give.

Monday, 12 May 2008


It's tadpole time again. I love these creatures, they're so fascinating, I could watch them all day. So I've got some on the pretense that it's for the boys. It's for me really...

Thursday, 8 May 2008

the Sputnik rides again

One of the things I am loving at the moment is the chance to take photos everyday and to experiment. I dug out the Sputnik the other day and had some fun with it. After I rediscovered a robot set that I took and was pleased with the results, I started to think about ways to make stereo images that didn't quite work. My dinosaur brain has only just realised that the Sputnik doesn't have to be used only to create stereo photos. In addition to taking the above shot with a close up lens (so that the offset is just too out to work) I also scratched up the negs good and proper. This was scary as I've never done it before but I love the results.

Sunday, 4 May 2008

O Brother

I apologise for uploading two digital images in a row, it's not usually my way but I have been doing a lot of experimenting lately for the sake of the business.
Me and the boys had great fun last night when I set up a studio in the back room and we did some portraits. I love this shot as it really portrays the relationship between the two and their individual characters. My youngest look up to his intense older brother. You can see the mischief in his eyes and the concentration on being good that exudes from my eldest (doesn't always work out that way though).

Friday, 25 April 2008

amps, valves and EQ

I've been back to my old stomping ground this week - Abbey Road - photographing equalisers, valves and amps. Abbey Road Studios is such a wonderful place, there's so much history and to be able to get my hands on and photograph the equipment that's been used, and continues to be used, on so many wonderful recordings is a joy. I miss working there and I miss the people especially, but I'm so excited about my new life that I can deal with it - as long as I get to go back every now and then.

Thursday, 10 April 2008

Thought I'd give it a go this month, I could do with $100...

Friday, 4 April 2008

Class and Glamour

I visited the Vanity Fair exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery last night, it was wonderful. I only had an hour there and it really wasn't half long enough - it took me that long to get round the 1913-36 years and I didn't have time to properly take in the shots from 1986 onwards. I'm very tempted to go back because I felt that the contrasts in concept and content, between the two eras, were striking.
I came away with an even greater respect for Edward Steichen's photography. For me, his shots were luminous. I also spotted a nice little trick he uses in his portraits. He often creates a line in his background, which cuts the image just a little way in. The more I looked the more I saw it, or perhaps it's just my selective viewing...
Some examples that I spotted.
Noel Coward, Paul Robeson, Anna May Wong and, of course, the image above of Greta Garbo.

Wonderful stuff.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Latest job

I've already posted this in my tearsheets blog but I wanted to talk about it here too. I have just finished a job which was really fun to do. Ingarden is a website selling modern garden furniture and the client wanted a promotional postcard to send out with purchases. She didn't need a straightforward shot of her furniture - she had those already - but was after something a little more abstract. The brief was to produce an image that gave a taste of the garden and the products but would also be something that her client would want to keep hold of because it looked good too. Out came the Rolleicord and fuji NPH and after a couple of photography sessions we all agreed that this image said it best. It's a bit risky taking on briefs that include the word 'arty', everyone had a different sense of what that means, but it was really fun to work with someone didn't want 'normal' and I'm very pleased with the result.
Ingarden - modern outdoor living

Thursday, 27 March 2008


I've been going back through old negs, rescanning film that I didn't have time to spend on before. I've come to the conclusion that there was a reason I left most of them the first time round! Every now and again though, I pull something out that I like.
This shot came from my second roll of experiments on the Sputnik stereo camera - I used a closeup lens which made the offset between the two images too large to be useable. However, I thought I'd create an anaglyph image from these two anyway just to see what happened. Although it really doesn't work as a 3D anaglyph I still love the sci-fi effect the red and turquoise give.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

A New Beginning

Now I am officially a freelance. I have spent my first day trying to get myself organised:
1. Ordered a promotional postcard from Vistaprint
2. Put together a list of magazines, newspapers and book publishers to contact
3. Begun to sort out more shots to submit to photo agencies
4. Actually taken some photographs with my Rollei, which I haven't done for weeks

I feel as though I have achieved something.

Thursday, 6 March 2008

spring is just around the corner

You can tell it's nearly Spring, everyone is posting on their blogs with renewed vigour. It's nice to have you all back guys.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

red cage

So, things are slowly but surely coming together. It's amazing how many people have work that they need doing when you start putting the word round. So far I have had the opportunity to quote on a great evening job for a hotel chain, I am doing a small
job for a friend of a friend - which may lead to a couple more - and a commission to take shots for an exam boards' foreign language tests. That's all through word of mouth. What it means practically is that I am pretty busy until I finish work (Easter), so it's all good.

Friday, 15 February 2008

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Thinking it over

I have been shooting loads in the last week and it's been manic but great fun. No paid work but lots of possibilities.

Friday, 1 February 2008

A cage but no bird

If only there were more hours in the day. I am so ready to commit full time to freelancing but I am working until the March 20th so I just can't.
It's not that I've got any freelance work to do, to be frank I haven't got time to arrange it, but I just want to start to try and get some.
I have lots of ideas that I need to crack on with; I also have plenty of anxiety and the only way to allay it is to be getting on with things.
Frustration and anticipation.
I might explode.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Night angel

I'm ploughing through these polaroids like you wouldn't believe. I am trying to be picky with what I shoot but it's damn hard.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

A shot in the dark

I learned some important lessons about the flash sync on my Rolleicord this week. Specifically the difference between the X and M settings. X is for electronic flash and M for bulb flashes. I had been shooting on M which triggers the flash and then waits a 165 millisecond before opening the shutter. This was intended to be used with the older flash bulbs which took this time to glow to their max strength. Modern flash is instantaneous and therefore long gone by the time the shutter opens. Switching to X solves this problem.

The crew over at Filmwasters were, as usual, incredibly helpful and didn't abuse me over my lack of knowledge.
I have wasted a couple of films because of this problem but I have salvaged one shot that I actually quite like. It's a little dark but still tasty, and I think the warmth the modeling lights give it work well.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

A Brand New Addiction

Uh oh. I've just bought an SX-70 and spent a small fortune on 2 packs of film. I think this might become rather an expensive new toy. If anyone knows somewhere cheaper than unsaleable to get sx-70 blend then please tell me.