Looking back on 2023

This time last year, if you had asked me whether – by the following October – I would be excited about masonry, components in roof insulation layers, king post trusses and the balancing of sash windows I would have looked at you with some surprise. Yet (if you have read previous blogs articles) you will know that I have been taking photographs for The Church’s Conservation Trust of the work taking place at The Old Black Lion in Northampton.

At the beginning of the year I had very different goals in mind (more of that later) but when a friend pointed me toward the opportunity to take photographs of The St Peter’s & Old Black Lion Project I applied immediately and was delighted to be given the role.

Visiting the site and taking photographs of the renovations and of groups visiting the site, I wasn’t expecting to meet Professor Alice Roberts and the Digging For Britain team – and possibly appear in the final programme as ‘Random Old Chap Taking Photographs in Archaeological Trenches in the Background’.*

*This will be added to by other screen appearances including being interviewed by WCYB in Bristol Va while a stage manager at Bristol Rhythm & Roots music festival and being one of the kids in a rowing boat on springs bouncing around as Stubby Kaye sang ‘Sit Down Your Rocking The Boat’… but these are stories for another time (maybe).

Something else that was completely unexpected & unplanned but very enjoyable was being asked to cover some football matches for the Nene Sunday League. The first matches that I covered were all at the Dog & Duck Stadium in Wellingborough I the weather gods clearly had it in for me as every game seemed to be in a downpour.

There was also a wedding at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons

I would never describe myself as a formal wedding photographer but I have enjoyed shooting for informal, low-key and relaxed weddings (and would gladly do so again) but a friend asked me to take the photographs for her wedding and I was delighted to do so… I then learned that the wedding was at Le Manoir. What an incredible experience.

Naturally, being asked to take photographs at a wedding is an incredible honour and carries huge responsibility and, while my client was a friend, a good deal of time was spent discussing what was required, listening to suggestions from myself as photographer and from the co-ordinator from Le Manoir who was exceptional in every regard.

As with any venture, good planning is essential and I visited Le Manoir with the bride so that we could see where the wedding ceremony would be conducted and to walk around the magnificent grounds to identify where we would take the ‘Couple’ shots.

The staff at Le Manoir could not have been more helpful by allowing me into the newly-weds private dining room as it was prepared for their evening meal and allowing me into the kitchen to take photographs of their pièce montée being constructed.

Would I call myself a wedding photographer? No, not in the traditional sense; in my view, wedding photographers are magicians of light and so much more besides and this accounts for their significant fees. But would I cover another small and informal wedding? I would jump at the chance!

But what else have I been up to?

Sport featured quite highly with triathlons, open-water swimming, road running, boxing and football and there’s a lot more scheduled for me as 2023 draws to a close.

As the end of the year approaches, I have a number of public and civic events in my calendar; it is always an honour to be asked to cover the Remembrance Sunday observances for the Town Council and the town always comes out in large numbers to pay their respects.

I want to thank everyone who has booked me to cover their events, take their headshots, capture their bunker shots, take photographs of their business, photograph them as they sing to their audience…to all of you THANK YOU…. and if you have enjoyed seeing this short summary of my year so far and think that I’m the photographer for you, drop me a line and we can sit down and have an informal conversation (as I always say, I’ll buy the tea).

Finally… earlier on I did say that I had some very different goals for 2023 and one of those was to cover ‘Dance’ in some form…well… in November, rather than taking photographs of boxers or MMA fighters in the ring, I will taking photographs of a Ballroom dancing event for Ultra Events for have raised in excess of £30 million for Cancer Research UK. Given that I have two left feet it is perhaps best that I will be on the sidelines taking  photographs.

Thanks for getting this far, drop me a line with any comments or if you think that I could help you with your photography requirements.

Looking back on 2023
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