December 2013 update: I'm no longer working as a photographer

In 2009, I launched a company that makes business software for photographers, and now that company is so successful that I've regretfully had to put my photography business on hold indefinitely. You can find out more about this change on my blog.

If you're looking for a photographer, I'm still in touch with many amazing photographers and would be delighted to recommend them to you if you contact me.

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Miscellaneous Archive

Moving on

Posted in Miscellaneous at 14:14 on 07/11/2015

Well… two years without a blog post. That doesn't look good, does it? Let's fix that with a very quick recap of what I've been up to since then.

All the way back in 2009, I launched a new business that was indirectly related to my photography business. Light Blue Software grew out of a system that I wrote to run both my wedding photography business and Helen's children's photography business. So many things seemed to fall into place at the same time: I'd recently gone full-time as a photographer; lots of the other professional photographers I knew were (politely but repeatedly) hassling me to let them use my system; and I'd recently got to know Hamish, who turned out to be an ideal business partner in the way that his skills complemented mine.

The new venture went well, albeit starting off slowly: Hamish and I bootstrapped the company, reinvesting our profits and never needing to take any external funding. Somehow, we both managed to find time for both Light Blue Software and our other work, and my wedding photography business kept on growing.

Inevitably, there came a point when I had to decide: was I going to let Light Blue Software take over my working life, or was I going to carry on working as a photographer? Photographing weddings was very fulfilling work, both creatively and in terms of the lovely couples I was lucky enough to be working with, but creating a completely new business seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up.

It took a while to put a plan into place, but I started taking on less photography work and eventually stopped taking bookings altogether. Now that both Hamish and I are working full-time on it, Light Blue Software has been going from strength to strength.

I still haven't worked out what I want to do with this site now that I'm not actively running a photography business. I don't want to abandon it entirely, especially because I want to maintain a home for all of the work on my blog, and also because I'm currently able to pass photography enquiries that I receive onto some great photographers that I've got to know over the years. I also keep on fantasising about resurrecting my photography business, even if it's highly unlikely that I'll ever find the time to do that.

While I'm still working that out, I'm going to try to post on here at least semi-regularly. If nothing else, I've got some pictures from a recent trip to Iceland to share, and I hope that putting them on here will help me to continue rediscovering the joy of being an amateur photographer again!

Landscape photography workshop in the Highlands

Posted in Miscellaneous at 14:31 on 03/04/2012

Looking back at the path I took to becoming a professional photographer, I can see several points where I can say "if that hadn't happened, I wouldn't be where I am today". From my uncle showing me fabulous large-format prints from a landscape photography trip that he took to the USA through to the music editors at the student paper not giving me any articles to write (which forced me start taking pictures of bands if I wanted to get published), without those steps I wouldn't be making a living with my cameras today.

One of those important turning points was Helen meeting the inspirational David Ward. David persuaded Helen that she should start her career in photography, and if Helen hadn't started her photography business then I wouldn't and so on and so forth. You get the picture.

David is not only an inspirational photographer - his ability to communicate his enthusiasm for photography and his astounding knowledge of its history makes him a brilliant teacher. The fact that he's great company too makes going on one of his workshops a lot of fun, albeit on the hard work end of the fun scale.

I've been on trips to the Highlands and Umbria with David, and last week we returned to the highlands of Scotland for another photography workshop. Getting into a completely different frame of mind than my wedding photography is a big change for me, because it's a completely different way of seeing pictures. It always takes a while for the lessons I've learned on workshops to sink in, so I'm excited to see how last week's trip will affect my work throughout the rest of the year.

David Ward runs landscape photography workshops around the world, and I can wholeheartedly recommend them. If you'd like to find out more about the trips he's scheduled, you can contact David via his website.

Anyway, that's enough words for now. Onto the pictures - here's a selection of my favourite images from last week's trip to the Highlands.

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

Highlands landscape photography

This is a first for me on my blog - iPhone snaps! These were all taken in an abandoned cottage that we found on our travels:

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And, finally, here's the great man himself - Mr David Ward:

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Professional Photographer of the Year 2011

Posted in Miscellaneous at 12:41 on 02/04/2012

blogImage1 Professional Photographer magazine played a big role in putting the seed of the idea of becoming a professional photographer into my head back when I was at school, so in a roundabout sort of way it's partly responsible for my photography career. I still an avid reader and look forward to it dropping through my letter box every month, and so it's a real honour to be asked to judge their annual photography competition.

The Professional Photographer of the Year awards have been running for a long time now, and this year I was one of five judges picked from the UK's best photographers and industry experts.

Professional Photographer have announced the category winners and there are some great shots in there - I'm especially pleased with the quality of the pictures that were submitted for the weddings, street photography and student categories that I judged.

Congratulations to the winners and runners up!

2011 blog of the year

Posted in Miscellaneous at 09:00 on 10/01/2012

After all of the great feedback I got from last year's blog of the year I decided that I'm going to have to make an annual review a tradition. My plans were foiled by illness over Christmas though, so I failed to write this before the end of the year. Never mind - on with the pictures!

2011 was another busy year for me and my photography business. Although my other company (Light Blue Software, which makes business software for professional photographers) is going from strength to strength, I still managed to fit in what feels to me like an enormous amount of photography.

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My 2011 season started off a bit differently to previous years. While 2009 and 2011 kicked off with trips to Nepal and India, the first big event of 2011 was being invited onto the BBC News channel to review the official photos of Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding. Appearing on TV was a new and terrifying experience for me, and certainly made for a memorable start to the year.

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While wedding photography is always my main focus, I take on a fair amount of corporate and commercial work throughout the year. The Cambridge Film Festival is always my biggest job of the year, taking up 11 days in September for the main festival itself plus extra events throughout the year. Here's a small selection of some of the great events and filmmakers that put in an appearance at the 2011 Cambridge Film Festival:

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Although my approach to photographing weddings is very much about documenting a wedding day without interfering in it, most of my clients take the opportunity to arrange a portrait session before the big day. Here are a few of my favourite pictures from this year's engagement portrait sessions in Cambridge:

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And now for the weddings! 2011 was another bumper year, taking me as far as Devon for Elle & Jonny's wedding

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Okay, so it's not quite India but Devon is about as far as it's possible to get from Cambridge without leaving England.

Staying a bit closer to home, my travels took me to London…

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… the beautiful Avington Park in Surrey

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…and, a bit closer to home, Suffolk and Hertfordshire:

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As always, the majority of my wedding photography work in 2011 was in or around Cambridge. We've got some wonderful wedding venues here, ranging from the beautiful Magdalene College…

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…to King's College…

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…Christ's College…

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…Murray Edwards…

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…and of course my old college, Selwyn.

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We'll be here until the end of 2012 is we go through all of the great venues in or near that I photographed weddings at last year, so instead we're going to sprint to the finish with a round-up of some of my favourites. First, the reliably awesome (both for the venue and the staff) Longstowe Hall:

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Then, the "best recovery from disaster" award goes to Great Wilbraham Hall, who put on an amazingly fun wedding just six days after a large part of their venue burned down:

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I've got a real soft spot for the crumbly glamour of Anstey Hall:

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And of course Great St Mary's, the church of the University of Cambridge, always makes for a spectacular wedding ceremony:

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Finally, here's one of my favourite bridal preparations shots of the year, taken at Hotel du Vin in Cambridge:

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Thanks again to all of the people I worked with throughout 2011. A happy New Year to all of you!

Judging the Professional Photographer of the Year competition

Posted in Miscellaneous at 15:49 on 16/12/2011

blogImage1 Professional Photographer magazine played a big role in putting the seed of the idea of becoming a professional photographer into my head back when I was at school, so in a roundabout sort of way it's partly responsible for my photography career. I still an avid reader and look forward to it dropping through my letter box every month, and so it's a real honour to be asked to judge their annual photography competition.

The Professional Photographer of the Year awards have been running for a long time now, and this year I'm one of five judges picked from the UK's best photographers and industry experts. Thousands of professional photographers have already entered and are in with a chance of winning one of the thirteen categories, but there's still a chance for stunning images to make the final cut before the deadline of 27 January 2012. So, if you're one of the professional photographers who reads my blog, please take the time to enter the competition.

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