Did you miss me?

I’m sorry if I’ve been a bit quiet of late, the truth is the last few weeks have been unbelievably busy. For one project I’ve driven 1,300 miles, visiting Bristol, Reading, London, Ipswich, Manchester and Edinburgh with my mobile studio kit to shoot corporate portraits for a new client. Over 160 people photographed within a week and a half and more than 6,800 images shot. These then had to be edited down and processed before delivery to the client within a couple of days. An absolutely mammoth tusk task, on top of which I already had work booked in for other clients upon my return.

Granted this project had some gruelling aspects to it, for example getting stuck on the M25 coming back from Ipswich on a Friday afternoon, in sweltering heat and the air conditioning in my car being kaput. I should probably get that fixed (which will guarantee we don’t have another warm day this year). Or the long drive from Edinburgh to home – broken by a brief visit to my brother in Co Durham, but all the same a long old haul.

Thumbnail portraits displayed in Lightroom's working window

Dealing with several thousand images is no small task

On the other hand, highlights include meeting and photographing about 160 really friendly people. Staying two nights in London in an amazing room at a photographer’s studio with lovely hosts and having some lovely meals when I got time to stop long enough to eat something other than fast food, in particular Hector’s in Stockbridge, Edinburgh where the food and the service were just brilliant. These factors become even more important to the lone traveler.

For a while, at least until the next big project comes along, I should be able to return to something more like my regular routine of corporate communications work, press release photography and business portraits. And you’ll have to get used to me being around again. Thank you for your patience!

Have Camera, Will Travel

Each year I’ll find myself covering one or two long-distance photographic projects in multiple locations around England and Wales for clients who would rather book me and trust they’ll get consistent results than book a series of photographers with a mixture of styles and approaches and find the results are variable, and already this year I’ve popped over to Essex, Norfolk and up to the West Midlands for a client needing photos of care homes for the elderly.

Last year I travelled as far as Newcastle for a client needing images of scientific research, taking in Bristol, Warwick and Leeds on that particular tour. Throw in a few trips to London and that sums up a typical year’s jobs which are “off-patch.”

I quite enjoy traveling, seeing different places and meeting people from all over the country, but my first tour of this year became a bit of a challenge, especially when I found myself in a hotel just outside Birmingham, monitoring increasingly alarming weather forecasts foretelling of several inches of snow.

Police officer directs traffic in blizzard conditions in Bolton.

Still, I’d rather be a photographer than a policeman!

Indeed, it snowed so hard on the Thursday and Friday of that week that I had to book an extra night in my hotel because to try to travel home on the Friday night would have been folly. Drivers in Gloucester and Somerset were becoming trapped and I didn’t fancy joining them.

I had two sites to visit on the Friday, and while I managed to get to the morning one, it being a 10-minute walk down the road, I had to postpone the afternoon site until the following Monday, meaning yet another hotel booking and more miles to cover.

It’s all part of the job though. Even when the weather isn’t being a nuisance, logistics is part of the job of being a photographer; booking places to stay, making sure I set off in good time to make the appointments, adapting when things don’t go to plan, liaising with the client, and I have to say I get some satisfaction from the task of ultimately fulfilling the brief even when there are big challenges.

Ultimately, my job is to get the pictures the client needs with the minimum amount of fuss, and the pictures must fulfill the brief. They can’t be below-standard just because things don’t go smoothly, though last week’s exterior shots of the homes were a bit of a challenge, everything being carpeted in white. Still, it all looked very pretty.