Published July 12th, 2012

I get asked to shoot people's kids every now and then...

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Published July 12th, 2012

I lived in Manchester for 4 years and Hazel is actually from Manchester, yet we hadn't been back (to the centre at least) in 10 years. Time for a walk down Memory Lane. So the other Sunday we did just that. It was an overcast day so black and white was ideal.

It's an awesome city. The only one in the UK that can stand up to London's buzz and genuinely rival it.

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Florida's Gulf Coast

Published March 15th, 2012

At 525pm after a great run through we arrived at Orlando Airport. An horrific check-in and security clearance followed by many reminders of the British. What a set of dicks we are!!

Orlando Airport is lovely though and we had a nice something to eat.

So it's the end.

It was amazing, as expected, and will put our lives in a new perspective. A Floridian perspective.


And smiling, lots.

And then as if to punish me, just as Jack Black says in his cameo part in Anchorman, "And now this is going to happen...."

I am sat in the departure lounge of Orlando International Airport. I’m at Gate 80 waiting to board my flight back to Manchester.

“Hello Ladies and Gentlemen we are about to start boarding flight VS076 to Manchester. Can all passengers seated in rows 90 through 70 please form a line with your boarding cards and passports ready?”

Three-quarters of the mob stand up in a hasty dash towards the smiling airport employees like they’ve been craving this moment for years.

Now, I ca ...

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Bubwith - A Yorkshire Village

Published March 12th, 2012

After university my job took me to England's North-East; a traditional and industrial region with a strong sense of identity. I stayed there 6 years. My two sons were born there. It has its own beauty but overall it is bogged down by negativity, industrial decline, a lack of culture and a desire by many to return to days gone by and not progress at all.

Put short, I couldn't wait to get out.

We finally sold our house in the first week of 2012 and made the move to Yorkshire. A little village called Bubwith to be exact; just south of York, a city we love. Bubwith is a sweet village with the beautiful River Derwent running passed its West side and some very characterful houses. It also has the most wonderful bodega called The Jug & Bottle, which has to be explored if you're in the area.

It also happens to be quite photogenic. On my first few days here the sun shone brightly and I captured some great winter sun shots. Then 2 weeks later the whole village was covered in snow! Once again, ...

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What did I buy my Canon 5D for?

Published March 4th, 2012

I receive a lot of requests from friends, and friends of friends, asking me to shoot their weddings.

Until recently I’d put off most requests because I didn’t think I had the bossy talents needed to direct huge groups of people to get the great shots required in such a short space of time. Plus you know, the guests aren’t bothered to having their photo taken in various family and friends groups at the end of the ceremony; mostly they just want to start drinking.

Anyway, I said yes to one last year for a very close friend. And to be honest, I quite enjoyed myself. The results went on Flickr and I received some nice feedback.

Then another request I accepted in April and by chance the bride and groom walked through some beautiful gardens in Sunderland (yeah I know, Sunderland?!) and I managed to shoot some stunners there.

That led to my full day wedding in June. By heck, it was baking hot. They were a genuine gypsy family and they had the most stunning horse and carriage for the day. ...

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The Incomparable Karl Hicks

Published March 4th, 2012

I have this friend, Karl. Well, he’s more like the younger brother I never had. I over-zealously look out for him and undoubtedly take it too far at times but he makes me laugh and I see bags of potential in him.

Enough of the soppy stuff, Karl is an actor. A good one too. After leaving acting for a couple of years at the end of his teens through the pursuit of an income and a little lack of confidence, Karl decided to throw himself back in the ring. He went for an audition at Sunderland’s Royalty Theatre for a part in a production called Privates on Parade - a World War I comedy. Karl more than held his own in a cast of just 5 and it led to further roles at the Royalty. Notably his winning comedic performance in Improbable Fiction where he single-handedly held the audience’s laughter and attention; Journey’s End in which the audience were literally hanging on his breath; and most recently a scintillating production of Jon Godber’s Bouncers performed in-the-round.

All of this acting ...

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Copt Hill in Houghton-le-Spring

Hetton is photogenic, honest

Published March 4th, 2012

Hetton-le-Hole (to give it its full title) is, well, a hole.

Coal mining has been carried on in the surrounding area since Roman times…. blah blah blah. It’s an old pit village wedged between Sunderland and Durham.

The pit villages have had more than their fair share of tough times. A whole generation of men had their livelihoods ripped from beneath them. An increase in alcohol consumption followed and stayed. Kids brought up by no-hopers. A downward spiral.

There are plenty of villages with exactly the same composition in the North-East. In fact, you’ll find as many rural villages with farmers markets in other simliar-sized areas elsewhere in the country as you will find old pit villages in the North-East. They replace rural villages. Which is sad. I mean, finding a decent country pub takes effort in the North-East!

Well, a friend of mine quit his job recently through voluntary redundancy (another common disease the North-East tolerates with an ease of familiarity) and opened his ...

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