Posts

When I was a nipper, my mum would often read me a story before bed.  Like any child – I loved story time.  I always felt sorry for mum though – she would read to us religiously, every night without fail to help to get us off to sleep.   And then, on the rare occasion dad was not working and was able to read to us, he would steal the show.  With exaggerated voices, comedy internation and the ability to turn even the most simple Thomas The Tank story into a sinister cliff hanger, Pops was, undoubtedly, the story telling king.

We all had our favorites – my little Brother had a book called JCB-3CX which was, as you may have guessed, a very limp story about a very particular yellow JCB digger that could seemingly handle any task that was thrown at it.  It was a terrible bore of a book, but Thad loved it.  And if you tried to skip a page he would become most cross and ensure you went back over the parts you had ‘accidentally’ missed.

And I loved Dr Seuss.   I especially loved it when dad read it to me (sorry mum!) Pops would bust out Green Eggs and Ham with the gusto and aplomb of a Laurence Olivier performance.  I also adored Edward Lear’s The Quangle Wangle Qui.

Another Dr Seuss book I remember was Oh the places you’ll go, which we also had (expertly) read at our wedding by my wonderful friends Georgie and Jez.  And it is oh so relevant as I sit here, 25 years later, typing on a laptop in Barbados a million miles from home.

Oh the places you’ll go…

Bora_Bora_381

Last week I got a call from our friends at Blue Sky Luxury, an amazing property management company out here in Barbados.  They have recently overhauled ‘Bora Bora’ – an idyllic building split into two apartments…with an en-suite beach.  Seriously – the beach is right there.

Bora_Bora_039

It is always wonderful to do something different with my camera, and although I love shooting weddings and lifestyle portraits, property shoots throw up their own challenges and enjoyment.  Like most photography disciplines, it is very hard to do it well.

The challenge you face here in Barbados is getting the room bright enough so you can see it all, but the outside dark enough that you can enjoy the blue skies and perfect sea.  Our eyes are amazing and can cope with these two contrasts – our cameras are not.  As such you need your trusty friends.  You need your flashes.  And you need a crap load of them.

Bora_Bora_105

Bora_Bora_086

Bora_Bora_070

Essentially, your job is to balance the light between inside and outside, and if you get it right, you show the property in its best ermm…light. (Is that where the saying comes from?!)

I was really, really pleased with the shots; I hope it gets across just how wonderful these apartments are.  If you fancy a trip over, I’m sure Blue Sky Luxury will be able to hook you up real nice, and if the apartment here isn’t glamerous enough, there are plenty more to choose from!

Bora_Bora_052

And just look at the sunset you will be treated to every day:

Bora_Bora_572

Thanks for reading guys – more piccies and adventures next week!

x

Also, as a side note, I have been hammering away at my book again, Cold Cuts.  It is a gruesome crime thriller set around the canals of Britain, and I am really, really proud of it.  I am hoping to have it finished by the end of May…If any of you fancy reading the first draft as and when it is ready, please let me know – I am hoping to offer it as a free download for my wonderful blog followers if that’s something that excites you?  🙂 xxx

Firstly, a happy new year to one and all – I hope you all enjoyed ending 2012 and beginning 2013 as much as we did.  As you know, my folks were over, which was utterly amazing.  I am working on a video on that one.  But truth be told I have a horrible cold so wanted to share some pictures from a ‘save the date shoot’ I did with the wonderful Dan and Kelly a few days back.

Dan is our best friend Ally’s brother, and he proposed to the utterly beautiful Kelly shortly after they were last here in Barbados on holiday.  They very kindly did a shoot with James while he was here doing some training with my studio staff at the time.  They loved the shoot so much (and Dan saw a real opportunity) that he suggested doing another one while they were here, in exchange for being excused from some of the dance classes Kelly had lined up for them prior to the big day.

Smart man.

And so the date was set, and we headed out to a few spots.  We had a great time showing Dan and Kelly around the north of the island, and despite it being very overcast, we still got some lovely stuff.

DanAndKelly_058

DanAndKelly_180

As you can see, the clear blue skies associated with Barbados are very much absent here.  Recently, the weather has been utterly atrocious out here on the rock, but I love the dramatic pictures the clouds paint…although I do understand it is not to everyone’s taste.

DanAndKelly_262

We started off at the Animal Flower Caves, and after that headed to Heywoods beach.  This is where we used to live and was the first time Sian and I had been anywhere near the old resort for some time.  It is very sad to see all the old pools emptied out and doors boarded over, but we were here for the beach which, thankfully, was as glorious and deserted as ever.

DanAndKelly_382

Being that we have been having such dump weather lately, we do normally get blessed with some interesting cloud formations and sunsets – thankfully today was no exception.

DanAndKelly_409 bnw

DanAndKelly_448

And to finish off?  How about one of those salsa-esque dips you have got yourself excused from Dan?!

DanAndKelly_484

Thanks a million guys – you were a blast, hope you like the piccies!

Fergx

Today is my birthday, and I type this feeling ever-so-groggy following on from the celebrations of my wife Sian’s birthday do last night.

Christmas is always a full on affair for us.

But despite the hangover and the ringing in my ears, I am utterly content.  Chowing down on a sausage sandwich Sian has lovingly prepared, and surrounded by torn wrapping paper and birthday cards, I have already begun enjoying another magical Christmas – made all the more special by the fact that my parents, Bam and Pops, are here to play too.

003_Bam and pop

It is the first time either of them have been to the Caribbean, and they have always been amazing at visiting Sian and I on our adventures.  They are utterly awesome and I love to show them off.  Mum loves her jokes, Dad loves his pocket trumpet (which he carries everywhere) and the two of them wander around in eccentricity, bringing laughter and warmth wherever they go…seriously, you must meet them.

002_Bam and pop

So I say to all of you; I hope you all have a very merry Christmas.  I hope you are able to surround yourselves with family, friends and festive fun.

Kittens help with Christmas too apparently.

Now if you will excuse me, I have a birthday to celebrate with my best friends.

x

001_Bam and pop

When you tell people you live in Barbados, they usually go ‘wow’, and have this picture perfect vision of sandy beaches and cobalt blue seas.  Barbados is a beautiful country, and it is always crazy, crazy hot.  But it is not always picture perfect.  In fact, it is very rare (especially in our new house) to go a week without at least one torrential downpour.  When it rains here, it rains.  And recently it has been raining a lot.  The temperatures have easily been hitting the 35 mark (95 Fahrenheit for my friends across the pond) making the humidity almost unbearable this summer.  I can’t wait for December, when it drops down to around 30 degrees and life is a lot more bearable.

Anyway, the other day we had some friends over for dinner, and Billy called us over to witness this amazing phenomenon.

It was one of those wierd-weather moments that looked amazing to the naked eye, but pants on my camera.  Basically, we could see a single column of rain pouring from a very angry looking cloud, but the rest of the sky remained rain-free.

I have had to pop the contrast an insane amount on this image, so apologies for the instagram-look, I hope you can appreciate how big this column was, and how the cloud looks almost like a sugar bowl ‘pouring’ the water out beneath it 🙂

As always guys, thanks for reading, and keep on snapping x

So, this weekend I am in St Lucia.  I am staying at the beautiful Morgan Bay resort, and catching up with James – newly appointed as manager out here.

He is doing a fantastic job, and things are well and truly being looked after for the time being…so that means I get a bit of time to myself – if it aint broke and all that.  But the pain in the arse thing is that I have left my camera at home in Barbados.

What a clown shoes.

But not to worry – I will use my time productively I tell myself.  I have been going through figures, looking at promotional material, and generally being good…but then my mind started to wander a bit, and I started to go through all of my photos on the laptop.

Big mistake.

Because this whole photography thing is a very, very steep learning curve.  The pictures I take today are, in my mind, amazing.  But I will look back on them in six months and think “did really take that sh**?”

If you’re not critical of yourself, you’re not serious…so imagine my rage when I saw this:

Yes, it’s nice – a big colourful, Bajan sunset.  But really pretty basic – under exposed to get all that drama…but nothing special.  So here I am, in the hotel lobby, muttering away to myself about how I should have made it more interesting, “bloody fool – put a tree or a guy or a boat, just something in silhouette to give it some freaking context. God damn rookie…” You get the picture.

And as I flicked through the next few images, I realised that the me of the past was not quite as out of touch with this whole photography thing as I had first surmised.

Hope you’re all having a great weekend guys…more gems to be uncovered soon, I am sure!

 

x

 

The other night, Sian and I were sat enjoying our dinner in our usual place.  We were in our usual restaurant, sitting at our usual table, drinking our usual wine, discussing the usual challenges and ideas work has been throwing up.  I looked at Sian, usually, and was about to say something utterly – well – usual.  But then we heard something.

We heard music.

 

This, in itself, is not unusual – we are treated to live music most nights.  But the music we could hear was very, very different to the usual Sokha and Calypso the Bajans bless us with.  This music consisted of trumpets and trombones and saxaphones and drums and singing and all manor of awesomeness that can only be made sense of in one, glorious form.  Big Band.

We gobbled down our dinner at double speed and ran into the main bar area, to be treated to this magnificent site:

The Sherborne School Swing Band were here, and they were playing the Almond Casuarina for their last night.   Apparently they had been here in Barbados for a week, having played in various hotels and concert halls throughout the island – culminating in a final show in the hotel they have called home for the last week.

They. Were. Fantastic.

Now, as readers of this blog will no doubt know, I have a strong affinity to music.  As I explained in my blog during our brief Easter break, we grew up being force fed this stuff.  My brothers and parents are prolific brass players, my sister is amazing at pretty much everything, and I was pretty handy with my saxaphone, before the lure of drum and bass lured me to the stage…but that’s another blog, for another time.

Hearing bands like the Sherborne School Swing Band, takes me back to my childhood…being 9 during summer holidays playing in a school hall with a bunch of kids I never would see again, and going to the never ending program of concerts that my amazingly talented siblings were playing in…not to say that any of us were in bands this good, but it is amazing how music has that ability to place you a million miles from where you are.

Sian and I were expecting another usual mid-week meal.  But the Sherborne School Swing Band were able to give us both so much more.  For the 45 minutes that we caught them, I was a whipper snapper back in good old Croydon, far from the stressed and homesick old fart that I am now.

And, I am pleased to say – I don’t think I was the only one!

 

Thanks for reading guys – and hope you have had a great week 🙂

 

Incidentally – for those of you still reading, I have been incredibly flattered to have been nominated for an award for my blog from the wonderful Becky Says Things.  I will be doing  a proper post about this momentous event over the coming days – but wanted to say a huge thank you to her, and urge you all to check her page out.

It is very, very funny 🙂