26 February 2016

Photographing a winter wedding in Salisbury

This was my second wedding in Salisbury, and the weather forecast was for rain.  Thankfully not as much rain as the wettest day in recorded history (I may have just made that up) last summer...

As much as I like Salisbury, parking there is a pain in the arse, with only short term car parks near to the venues I needed to be close to.  Thankfully because it was quite a late wedding, I was able to just about get away with the 3 hour time limit.

I rather like Salisbury Registry Office.  It's a modern look, with loads of natural light coming in through the south facing windows for the ceremony room that we were in.

I should probably introduce the bride and groom, Joh and Martin, a very chilled out couple, and very easy to work with.  I was about to say if only all my wedding clients were like this, but thankfully for the most part they have been.

When shooting a wedding I always try and get myself a second shooter, it's how I photographed my first wedding, and an excellent way to learn.  I don't just take anyone though, they have to be a capable photographer, with the right equipment for the job and the confidence to step up should something happen to me.  My support today was Sarah, someone I've worked with a number of times.  She is excellent, supporting me as the lead shooter, helping the bride with the girlie things, reminding me of the names of the bride & groom (yes really!), and of course taking some good images that nicely supplemented mine.  Thank you again for an excellent job Sarah!

This was my first wedding since I'd upgraded the firmware on my Olympus OM-D EM1, so I was keen to try out the "silent shutter" feature they'd added.  Even though the mirrorless camera I use isn't nearly as noisy as a traditional DSLR, being able to switch it from quiet to silent is a great addition, especially during the ceremony, even if it takes a bit of getting used to.

The reception was held at The Cosy Club, a ten minute walk across town.  Thank you to Sarah for making the walk so I could jump in the spare seat of a taxi some of the guests were using.

We had the upstairs area in the venue, it was a little tight for space, and a bit dark, but I guess that's why it's called The Cosy Club.  In the past I've had some bloody awful service as a photographer at weddings, normally at badly run hotels.  However I'm pleased to say that the staff at The Cosy Club were most excellent, bring tea, food, tea and more tea.

Every wedding I shoot is different, and with this one it was more about capturing the moments rather than posing for more formal portraits.  I'd like to give a bit thank you to Joh & Martin for letting me play a small part in your big day, it was fun, and I do hope to see the Star Trek The Next Generation dance at some point! ;-)

If you'd like more information on my wedding photography, please take a look at my wedding photography website - Shoot The Big Day.

25 February 2016

Inglorious at The Brook in Southampton

This was my first "gig" of the year, and also my first visit to The Brook.

Aside from knowing they were a rock band and had just released their first (self titled) album just a couple of days earlier, I didn't know anything about the band.  I've decided that I like to go in "blind" to some concerts, that way I have no preconceptions about the artists or their music.

A fact that became painfully obvious when having arrived at the venue early (I managed to get rock star parking directly outside the door of the venue), about an hour before the doors opened.  I sheepishly asked a group of guys relaxing upstairs if "they were the band".  Minor embarrassment over, as they were "Inglorious".

We had a brief chat, and I explained I'd been invited by their promoter (Noble PR).

Despite The Brook being only ten minutes drive from home, and probably the best known music venue in Southampton, this was indeed my first visit there.  With friendly staff, what seemed like excellent lighting, and a good vantage point to photograph from on the balcony I knew I was going to like this place.

This was only the second time Inglorious had headlined a concert, and they took to stage around 21:30 after their two warm up acts; Outlaw Blues (kinda country/blues/acoustic) and The Room (prog rocky) had entertained the audience for an hour.

As always I'll let other people more qualified talk about the music.  They were loud, and full of energy from the moment they stepped on the stage.  The lead singer, Nathan James asides from being a superb vocalist moved around the stage like a seasoned pro, giving me lots to photograph.

I spent the first three songs standing with the audience downstairs, before retreating to the relative comfort (and really good view) upstairs directly infront of the lead singer.  It was from there that I got most of my favourite images of the evening.

While heavy rock isn't the kind of music I'd listen to at home, I know talent when I see/hear it, and I have a feeling the next time Inglorious play locally they'll be at a much larger venue.

Boys, continue to live your dream!

NB. All photos here taken with Olympus OM-D EM1 or EM5 with a variety of lens (Panasonic 14mm f2.5, Panasonic 25mm f1.4 and my favourite concert lens the Olympus 75mm f1.8).

22 February 2016

RIP Piotr Grudziński

I should explain that I'm new to their music, becoming a fan after photographing them at their Southampton gig towards the end of 2015, and I hadn't (yet) taken the time to learn the names of the band members other than their lead singer Mariusz Duda and their keyboardist, Michał Łapaj, both of whom I follow on Facebook.

I'll be honest, when I first saw on Facebook Riverside announcing the news of Piotrs passing, I didn't know the name, and thought it was a friend of the band, so the news didn't really sink in.   Later than day a black square appeared on the Instagram profile of Riverside, and it was only then that it clicked.

Piotr Grudziński was their guitarist, and someone that I'd photographed just a few short months ago.  He was 40 years old.

While I might know good music when I hear it, I'm not qualified enough to write about it, so I'll borrow some words from a blog written by Eric Heter who said;

"Due to his incredible versatility, describing Piotr’s guitar playing would consume a large number of adjectives. Piotr could shred and slash with the best of his heavy metal heroes in bands such as Iron Maiden. He could bleed notes from his guitar with the skill of a Steve Hackett or a David Gilmour. He could burst forth with beautiful melodies. He could provide atmosphere. At times, such as on The Curtain Falls from Riverside’s debut album, he could even drop hints of jazz."
As I type I'm listening to Riverside's 2013 album "Shrine Of New Generation Slaves", which is rather excellent.

Thank you for the music Piotr.