Updated: Apr 8, 2020
Welcome to my first ever newsletter! Massive thanks to all of you who have signed up to receive this straight into your inbox and those who have taken the time to read this via the blog too! I really do appreciate you taking the time out today. I plan on releasing these newsletters on a monthly basis to give you an update on what I have been up to. As we are already in April (wow, where did that time go?), Issue 1 will cover the first three months of the year. As I write this, we are in the midst of a lockdown due to Covid-19. We are all experiencing these weird times at the moment and are all in this together. I hope if nothing else, this gives you some interesting reading and some pretty pictures to look at until this weird movie ends!
I want to say a huge thank you to everyone who purchased a copy of my 2020 calendar. There is actually a very small handful left which are half price on my website. Thats just over 50p per image! Just head to my website now if you want to pick up a bargain - first come first served!
This newsletter will be a work in progress but something I'd like to do is 'Shot of the Month' - obviously with 3 months to work with, you get the treat of all 3 in Issue 1!
Grab a cuppa and lets go back the start of the year, in January I managed to catch up with good friend Jenn, who is also an entrepreneur as a Virtual Assistant. We work together pretty regularly on collaborations. Jenn helps me with all kinds of bits such as spreadsheets and newsletters such as this one. In exchange, I shoot portraits of Jenn and content she can use for her social media and website. The venue of choice for this shoot was Kind Kitchen in Boscombe. We got to incorporate some tasty coffee and yummy food into this too!
The wonderful guys over at the official Hengistbury Head Instagram approached me quite a while back for a take over of their social media account, and finally in January I got around to this. Its a place very close to my home and close to my heart. I actually do a lot of workshops there, as well as walking with my dog, Buster (who I'm sure you are all familiar with!) The take over involved heading out for an early start for sunrise and capturing the light at its best, showing what the beach has to offer. Later on I headed back out and took in Mudeford Spit for sunset. What a sunset that was. There were storm clouds all over the place and the conditions were immense! I remember that afternoon as if it was yesterday.........absolutely stunning! Here's a couple of my shots from the experience....
As most of you know, I shoot weddings and I'll always arrange a pre-wedding meet up, and a mini shoot if you are up for it. One glorious January day, I met up with the lovely Maz and Dan at Compton Acres to have a look around and chat about their October Italian Villa wedding. The venue is absolutely sublime and we got some fantastic shots around the grounds, I am really looking forward to capturing their special day for them, and autumn too... my fave time of year!
I had a small competition win in January, nothing major but a nice little something via Landscape Photographer of the Year. They ran a Facebook competition looking for something from the festive season. Pleased to say I won with this Corfe Christmas shot...
I won the LPOTY 10 year special edition book which is awesome and its now sitting proudly with the other editions on my bookshelf.
On January 30th I headed up to Crewe for the Guild of Photographer awards and Photo hubs weekend, at which I was a speaker. It was an absolute honour to be asked and a slightly daunting, yet an incredible experience to present what I do to my peers at the Guild. I spoke about my journey into landscape photography. Telling the story from my early days as a youngster with my film camera and whats developed (pun totally intended!) for me to the here and now, it went down a storm and I went on to learn about the other speakers and we finished with a huge party. The Guild parties really are the celebration of the year, to come together with like minded people who are all totally inspirational to me is just absolutely incredible. If you would like to join the Guild you can read all about it on their website and you can also use my discount code to get 10% off membership here - Its probably one of the best moves I've made in my photography career so far!
Onto February, and there were some more exciting times. Really excited to say that I was announced a finalist for International Garden Photographer of the Year for 'pretty in pink' for my representation of the Dorset Poppies. I made it into the IGPOTY Collection 13 book which was amazing!
February also saw my wife and I take a fantastic trip to Gran Canaria, it was my fourth visit to the island and one I approached with new eyes. We found a few hidden spots, off the beaten track to visit and of course photograph, which was an absolute dream. I also took full advantage of the wonderful location of where we stayed, Eco Tara in Fataga. It was a little eco village with a veggie garden and yoga by the wonderful Sophie every morning, and for the first time in ages, I really relaxed. If you want to read more about this then I do have a post, definitely worth a read.
After genuinely having a fear of talking in front of large groups of people, I've managed to overcome this and I've been doing camera club talks for the past 2 years. Its been a whirlwind, from the nervous feels of your heart racing, sweaty palms and feeling sweat run down your back giving you a cold shiver (sorry, tmi?), to gaining the confidence to stand up and talk about my passion. It's something I'm so glad I've over come and in February I had the pleasure of presenting and talking to the wonderful people over at Wimborne Camera Club.
I actually have a part time job which enables me to work on and get more involved on working on my dream of earning a living out of photography, it also help me fund my ever growing kit, recently 2 new lenses (ouch) to keep me occupied throughout lockdown! Being part time has also meant that I got to carry out a couple of 121 seascape workshops in February, you can find out more information about my workshops via my website. However, I'm not currently in a position offer any dates with not knowing when we will be free to roam the landscapes at the moment. Be sure to subscribe to my newsletters and updates which will keep you in the loop.
February 29th saw the beautiful wedding of Manami & Josh over at Rhinefield House Hotel, what a venue and what a couple! I always feel absolutely honoured when someone chooses me to capture their special day. There are so many photographers out there,and it's all down to personal preference. Whose style and approach to it do you most connect with? Most people think its down to price, and sure that's an element of it but there is so much more to it! Anyway, I feel so happy that this beautiful couple got to tie the knot before this dreadful virus well and truly took over life as we knew it....
Well, that brings us onto March. Its been a weird month, it started with a seascape workshop in pretty terrible conditions. We made the best of it regardless, but we did seem to have terrible weather and storms for about 3 weeks at the start of the month.
I had another camera club talk, this time with the lovely people over at BH Photography Club at Hamworthy Club. It was enjoyable as always, but it was the first time it had that feel of not being able to shake hands with anyone or get too close.
I then went onto do a shoot for Haberdasherdo in Southbourne, the lovely ladies there were looking for content for their website and social media. We had an absolute blast getting the photos they needed. Afterwards I walked through Southbourne and noticed the odd food place and pubs were starting to shut down.
This now brings us to the present day, I'm working from home and spending most of my time here as advised by the government. Only heading out once a day, and whether it's across the road at the river, or in my garden, I'm getting used to finding the smaller details with my macro lens. Flowers and bugs seem to be the order of the day rather than epic landscapes. I did manage to see sunrise by the river during an early morning bike ride, so that was amazing. I do have another project in the pipeline so hopefully I'll be able to share something with you on that in Aprils Issue.
Thanks for reading guys, stay well and keep safe!