It's the Bloke Blog!

2010

 
I was invited to a seminar held by another wedding photographer. We're not in competition - his starting price is £3,000 - but he was a very nice chap and one piece of advice he gave was: 'Write a blog'.

So here goes... a little bit of story behind the headlines.

 
21 December
Kirsty & James both live in Dubai, but they still found exactly the photographer they wanted. Internet searches and this website mean that quite a number of my customers now book me by 'remote control' from far-away lands. A few e-mails allow all the details to be worked out  in advance so that when they arrive in England for the wedding, everything's ready to go. The acrobatics were a bonus!

 
23 November
Bloke's photobook spies report that newcomer Albelli is offering 50% off photobooks... click on the image below and use promotion code 'EPZAUTUMN'. They're not paying me to write this, it's all part of the sharing policy here at Bloke Hall :-)
 
19 November

'Uncle Phil'. I don't know where the phrase came from, but it's an affectionate term for the guests who love photography as much as me. I think they're great, and we often have nerdy discussions about lenses and f-stops!

 
2 November
Never work with children or animals they say. In fact children are great, but Richard & Julie added a new dimension to proceedings when they brought Honey the spaniel along to their wedding at Mangapp Manor.  OK, so we have the romantic setting, the bride's favourite car, the bride... just need a dog-whistle!
 
17 October
'Cake-tastic!'  I encounter quite a lot of wedding cakes on my travels, and whilst they're usually very nice, I never had the urge to jump into one and devour it on the spot until I saw this epic tower of sponge-cake, cream and fruit at Haughley Park Barn last Saturday

 
6 October
'Do you use Photoshop?' is a question I get asked quite a lot. Photoshopping (it appears to be a verb as well as a noun) to many people seems to mean increasing busts, decreasing waists and assorted other bits. However, more practically it allows me to create pleasing derivatives from the original images. I call them special effects. For example, this is a 'straight' photograph:

But then I had a whim to 'letterbox' it and make it black and white, thus giving a completely different look. These extra effects are usually free on request :)
 
19 September
As you can imagine I'm usually pretty busy with weddings, but sometimes I get the chance to do something different. Seeing as it's 'Battle of Britain' week, here's something entirely confetti-free for a change!
 
6 September
Out of the blue came an e-mail from Lulu in America:

'Hi, "Bloke"! :) I stumbled across your page today- and I want to give you a wholehearted "thank you" for featuring Lulu among your photo book vendors. It was definitely a great surprise. Also-- your blog is hilarious! I'm American, and I'm not used to words like "tiddler" and "barmy"... I wish I could say them without sounding like a complete lunatic. Warm regards, Taylor Coil'

In fact they liked it so much they gave me an entry in their own blog - thanks Taylor!

 
19 August
At last. For ages I'd been trying to find a wedding videographer that was good enough to recommend. Each time I met one, either they forgot to send me a copy, or it just wasn't good enough. But recently I met a great chap called Nathan Bamford. He didn't clamber over people trying to direct a blockbuster, in fact he didn't get in anybody's way at all. What he did get was a tasteful, well-shot and edited wedding video. Welcome to my links page Nathan :-)

 
7 August

It's a strange thing but a high proportion of the brides I photograph are teachers. I'm not sure why this is; I can only think it's something to do with organisation - they're organised people and so am I. And on a couple of occasions bride and groom were both teachers. Once I even found a surprise class of children waiting outside the registry office with posters to cheer the newlyweds!

From www.toonpool.com

 

19 July
Boiled in Kent!  Kent always seems to be hotter than anywhere else, and I found myself at Nettlestead Place taking a handful of group photos in blazing sunshine before we all overheated... However, there's always time to look around and guess what I saw!

 
29 June
Bloke was pleased to help out The Wedding Shop in Colchester this week when they needed some new photographs. The subject was 'Mother of the Bride', and in a hectic six-hour studio shoot with two models we got through 100 outfits!!

Here are some of my favourites; click each to biggify:

 
25 June
Royal Mail 'Smilers'. I chanced on a leaflet at my Post Office which describes how you can make your own stamps using photographs - in this case wedding photos sent to you on disk by Bloke. Here's one he made earlier :-)

 
21 June
One of the great things about getting all your photos on disk is that you can make your own photobooks or albums without having to pay the photographer extra. Nikki has sent in samples of the photobook she made from my photos, and it looks superb. Thanks Nikki for sending them in :)

 
11 June
Rats. This time last year everybody seemed to be getting married on 22 May, and I could have booked it four times over. I can now reveal that the equivalent day for 2011 appears to be 18 June... Nicole got me first, then last week Daniel wanted me, and now Dominique as well!

Never mind, here's a happy one from 22 May...

 
2 June
Crabbs Barn has a secret. To be precise, the recipe for their most excellent 'summer fruit punch', of which I have been the lucky recipient. One part of it I can reveal, however, is the use of frozen summer fruits instead of ice.

I can feel an experiment coming on...!

 
20 May
Spring arrived perfectly at Blickling Hall last Saturday - which was fortunate as the bride, groom and many guests had flown in especially from Hong Kong... Here, father and daughter take the garden walk up to the pretty (and pretty small!) Georgian temple for the ceremony.
 
13 May
'Can the DJ have a table?' asked the bride-to-be of the venue manager during the location visit yesterday. It seemed like a perfectly reasonable question to me - we were standing in a room full of tables. But the answer was 'No, he must bring his own'. And then it dawned on me what the big 'make-a-difference' factor is behind the scenes: Flexibility. You pay a heck of a lot for your wedding, so be sure to choose suppliers who make things easy for you, not difficult!
 
6 May
Just got back from darkest Wales. Whilst having a stroll in my cousin's garden I heard some rustling in a bush and look what popped out - my cousin's headstrong Westie, Tewdrig. He's named after a Welsh king apparently (the dog that is, not my cousin).
 
21 April
Bloke accepted a new challenge and went to take photos of brilliant jazz and blues pianist Ben Waters, who normally hangs around with people like Jools Holland and Charlie Watts of Rolling Stones fame. It was a fantastic evening but technically tough - the low light needed 1/30th sec, f1.8 and ISO1250 - but that's all part of the challenge!

 
16 April
Guests at the wedding of Chris and Hayley in Norwich last Saturday had to earn their supper. Instead of heading straight for Pinocchio's restaurant, they found themselves in Micawber's Tavern facing a pub quiz! It was quite a squeeze but thanks to an ultra-wideangle lens I could still get the shots and record the contest.

 
2 April

The Fabergé Egg. Some of you may know of these fabled creations. Created for the Russian Tsars around 100 years ago, they sell for several million pounds each. And so when someone I know said 'I'm restoring a Fabergé egg, can you take some record photos of it?' I was extremely honoured!

As Fabergé eggs go it was rather a tiddler - just 15mm high - but I hate to think what it was worth. And being very shiny black, white and (real) gold, it took two hours until I was satisfied with the lighting. But we got there, and the enameller then had a perfect record of the egg to work to.

 
19 March
Stages of a photographer.  I came across this graph on a photography forum, and thought it was so entertaining and accurate I'd share it with you (click image to biggify)

 
3 March
I had a call from the GP's surgery. The framed photographs on display in their waiting room had been provided by the local camera club, but the contract was up. So I was asked if I could help - and next week a set of six new photographs with the theme 'wedding' will go up :-)

 
17 February
Part of wedding photography is about building relationships, not just with brides, grooms, family and friends, but with other professionals. I'm often asked for sample photos, and Kate at Mangapp Manor chose this pretty one of David and Melissa which helps us to remember what summer looks like!

 
4 February
Weddings arrive from the most unexpected places. Today an e-mail arrived from Hong Kong with the joyous news that I'll be covering a wedding at the magnificent Blickling Hall in May - definitely one to look forward to!

Picture by www.TourNorfolk.co.uk

 

25 January
New record! January is always a popular month for bookings, but Saturday saw no less than three different couples and assorted parents dropping into Bloke HQ for a free natter. Result - three bookings! And so I welcome Nena & James, Samantha & Ollie and Abigail & Jamie on board HMS Bloke and look forward to working with them later in the year :-)

 
18 January
I may be mowing the lawn on 14 August - sadly, for the first time in my experience, a wedding has been cancelled. Quite by chance I came across Weddingplan who insure weddings (no I'm not on commission!) and they say that the average wedding costs £21,000. So the small ray of sunshine that emerges is the knowledge that Bloke's services only cost about 5% of the whole wedding budget!

 
3 January
Crikey, three days in and I haven't written a Blog entry yet...

2010 is already half booked, and it seems that the most popular months for enquiries are January - March, so it's looking good for another productive year and many thousands of new photographs for happy couples. Here's a bit of bridal improvisation I found at Bawdsey Manor!

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