17 September 2012

Moose at Whipsnade Zoo

The day before my Colchester wedding (see previous post) I'd decided to pay a visit to Whipsnade Zoo as it was kind of en-route.  I wanted to visit Whipsnade so much because it's one of the only UK zoos (that I know of) that have moose.

The M3 & M25 from Southampton were so surprisingly free flowing that I actually arrived at the zoo before the gates opened, which meant that I was one of the first in and for the first 15 minutes I kinda had the zoo to myself.

My first stop in the zoo was of course to visit the moose.  They had 4 moose in the zoo, an adult male & female, and 2 calfs just a few months old.

I got to spend a few minutes alone with the adult male, so close that I could have reached out and touched him.

I've only ever seen one adult male moose before, in the wilds of Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming.  There in all the excitement I hadn't really taken the time to notice just how huge these beasties were.  The male was easily 6 feet tall at the shoulder.  It made me realise what might have happened if the wild moose I'd photographed had have turned on me...  more so because I was the closest person to him at the time. 

Apparently Whipsnade also have other animals on display, but I only had eyes for moose!  ;-)

Only one photo that I actually like here (the lead photo above) but have included a few more just because...

16 September 2012

Photographing a wedding in Colchester

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Joanna & John all the way up in Colchester.  Apparently they'd found my website on Google after searching for another much more local photographer with the same name.

We met for a pre-wedding meeting in Croydon a few months before the wedding, and I was booked on the spot.  Joanna had some strong ideas for the photos she wanted, sending me photos (from other weddings) that she liked.

The bride was planning most of the wedding herself, from creating the table decorations to baking the very yummy cup cakes!

The ceremony took place at Saint James the Less & St Helen Catholic Church and the reception at the very nice Milsom Hotel in Colchester.

They left this testimonial on my Facebook wall after receiving all of the images : -

"Dear Michael.
We both would like to say a massive thank you for capturing our big day so perfectly. The photos are absolutely stunning. Has been a great pleasure from the day we met. We really appreciate your effort and time that went into making our day that extra special. It has been a fantastic experience for both of us and we are looking forward to contact you again in a future. We would not hesitate to recommend your talent to any of our family and friends. We had a fantastic time during the photo shoot. Thank you for being so open to my "mad"suggestions. Once again many thanks for everything you have done. We wish you all the best of luck for the future. You truly deserve it.
Mr and Mrs Shefford

Although I think my favourite quote from the day was when Joanna said to me "you just made 5 women in a hotel room very happy!".  All I'd actually done was to switch the desk fan in the room on!

Joanna & John, thank you for allowing me to photograph the emotions from your big day...  It really was a pleasure.  I hope you all enjoy my small selection of favourite photos.

You can see more of my wedding photography on www.shootthebigday.com

13 September 2012

2013 Super Fitness Calendar

Featuring some of the best fitness models I've had the pleasure of working with, this 2013 Super Fitness Calendar is now available for purchase!

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  • Catriona Rosanna Christie (Twice)
  • Dallas Rae
  • ElĂ©na Carter (Cover)
  • Jennifer Weintz
  • Julie Marsland & Vanda Maria Hadarean
  • Linda Maxwell
  • Lindsey Lee Orange
  • Sally Miller (Three times)
  • Senga Howells

2013 Bikini Calendar

Featuring 14 of the best bikini bodies I've ever had the pleasure of working with, my 2013 Bikini Calendar is now available for purchase directly from me (via Ebay).

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  • Aimee Maggio
  • Charlotte Leyland
  • Debra Johnson (Cover)
  • Emma Burrows
  • Erika Thompson
  • Etya Romo
  • Francesca Giacomini
  • Jaime Koeppe
  • Leigh Brandt
  • Mary Alejo
  • Nicole Costa & Annette Perry
  • Nina Fridley & Claudia Costa

06 September 2012

My London 2012 Olympic Experience

A couple of weeks ago I bought the cheapest ticket I could find to the Olympic Stadium to watch the Paralympics.  I had no idea what events I'd be seeing, nor did I have any idea where my seat would be.  My only "wants" were to be in the stadium during the evening so I could see it all lit up, to experience the atmosphere, and then to go up to the top of the Orbit.

With my last minute seat purchase I expected to be sitting up in the gods in the opposite corner to the finish line, so when I arrived and found myself sitting 10 rows or so behind the official photographers pit looking straight down on the finish line I was rather happy.

The ambience around the whole Olympic Park was magical.  It was stupidly busy, but yet you never actually felt claustrophobic as the park is so huge and the paths so wide.

I was only in the stadium for a couple of hours as I managed (earlier the same day) to get a ticket to go up the Orbit for later in the evening.  It meant I had to leave earlier than I would have liked, but the compromise was worth it.  I still got to see a few wheelchair races, a couple of medal ceremonies, and a few heats of the mens 100m which included Oscar "Blade Runner" Pistorius.

While at the top of the Orbit I was asked if I wanted to walk down the 455 steps to the bottom.  A few seconds later they were calling the lift to take me down!  I'd done enough walking that day thank-you-very-much!

I had decided to take the train up and then tube it across to Stratford from Waterloo.  The journey couldn't have been smoother with seats available for both tube rides.  The only annoyance was the shitty car park ticket machines at Southampton Parkway which never appear to work properly.

All in all a fantastic day, and the weather had been perfect.  Not a cloud in the sky for the whole day.