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Showing posts from December, 2017

2017 - The Year in Review

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Well that was 2017. If you’d told me at the end of 1987 as a 22 year old Junior Operations Manager at a foreign exchange bureau that I’d earn less in 30 years time I would probably have laughed in your face, but that’s exactly how things turned out.

This year was all about recovery. In 2015 my career was decimated due to the loss of a huge client, and the subsequent inability to cover a huge tax bill as I was forced to subsist using the money set aside to pay tax. 2016 was basically spent trying to build a new client base in a completely different industry sector while negotiating Tina’s Cancer treatment, working seven days in two businesses, and repaying HMRC huge amounts of money leading to the first trading loss I’ve ever suffered, and 2017 has been spent building on the foundations laid last year.

The good news is that we’re all still here. Revenue has increased by just short of 300% year on year due to working like a Demon, so next year should see a return to something like a norma…

I'm a photographer..........get me out of here!

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Having a pub all to yourself for the afternoon would be a dream come true for most dreary alcoholics, but in this case it was a miserable, damp, mildly hazardous task. I’m not a dreary alcoholic by the way – my alcoholism is always exciting.
The Oddfellows Arms was once a thriving pub in the shadow of the huge Harry Potter theme park in the heart of Alnwick. I guess it was thriving in the 1950’s anyway when there were thriving hostelries on every street corner catering to the thirst-needs of men and boys who had just emerged from the pits covered in black filth, and in need of refreshment in the form of 13 pints of 1% ABV bitter before heading home to blacken the wife’s eye because she didn’t have the water at the right temperature in the tin bath in front of the coal fire or tea on the table. Times were a lot more simple before the damned rights of birds not to be chinned on a whim.
Anyway, this boozer had succumbed to the inevitable closure due to Supermarkets selling the same stuff f…

Back to the BIG one

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A while ago, I shot the most expensive house I’d ever tackled – a behemoth mansion called The Birches in Tranwell Woods, Morpeth on sale for £3.65m
It’s still out there waiting for a new occupant, as the top-end market is slowing down considerably throughout the country. The price is a tad under £3m now, which would afford you the luxury of a third bedroom in your London flat. Up here, that price scale is reserved for the A+ people such as successful Premiership footballers, pop-stars, and the major captains of industry. It’s a hell of a lot of house with more spec than Dollond & Aitchison, & more marble than a 1960’s schoolboy’s pocket. The whole house is full of massive spaces, beautiful fittings, and plush details, and walking around is akin to how you’d feel on the set of “Land of the Giants” back in the seventies. The owner was worried that potential buyers couldn’t grasp the scale of the interior, so asked the marketing agent to get me there with a view to conveying the s…

Dashing Dog

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Every so often I get a legacy job from one of my old clients that takes me away from the pressure of shooting architecture or high end residential property. Dogs Trust are one of my regulars, and I’ve actually done a fair bit of stuff for them this year. I was therefore delighted when I was asked to head down to North Yorkshire to photograph an ex-rescue, youthful Lurcher called Dasher in-situ at his new home for Wag Magazine – the quarterly publication produced by the charity to keep contributors and sponsors up to date with how their donations are being used.
These jobs can be quite challenging to newcomers. Dogs Trust went through a period of using volunteers to carry out PR shoots in order to save money, but I think it wasn’t a great success as the requisite skills and equipment tend to be those belonging to press photographers rather than dog-loving hobbyists. Working with dogs is an exercise in patience, creativity, and a complete knowledge of the technical aspects of photography…