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So this last week has been awesome.

The lovely folk at Green People got in touch with me as I was announcing my return to the UK, and my first job since coming back has been a biggie.  We are currently shooting for the new brochures and e-marketing material for Green People

All of it.

And it has been crazy good fun – how could it not be, when you are working with such a friendly (and unfairly beautiful) team?

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Green People make organic cosmetic products, that really, truly work.   From sun cream to shower gel, make up and moisturisers, they have a product for everyone, and they really are very, very good.  I was lucky enough to get a goody bag at the beginning of the week and can safely say that every single lotion and potion has been snapped up and squeezed dry by the family; I’m not sure if the house has ever smelt so good.

All Green People products are organically certified, and so the brief for the shoots has been quite specific – neutral, muted colours  with beautiful soft light to complement the natural and gentle elements of the range.  As readers of this blog will know, I am a real fan of the vibrant colours and high contrast, so these images have been a great step out of my comfort zone, and I am really very pleased with them.

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We are re-shooting everything, from the kids to the teen range,  the sun creams and the men’s, it really is a huge project.

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And as if that isn’t enough, we are also filming a selection of videos to help customers get a better understanding of the products and the philosophy behind Green People.

The website is never going to have looked so good 😉

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As always, thanks for reading guys, and see you all next week 🙂

 

Ferg x

So, as promised, we have now officially moved back to the UK and I am frantically getting my self together as I embark on the long and exciting self employed road. I know it will be a challenge, but I cannot wait to get the ball rolling with the new business.

We got back last Thursday, and after picking up our luggage, the cat, and being bombarded at the airport by our wonderful banner-laden family we got home. And what a glorious day it was. Within a few hours I had already agreed to come along and take some pictures of my mum and dads’ concert band at a gig in Ruskin Park over the weekend, and what a day it turned out to be.

I have always maintained that a summer day in Britain is just the best. People are so relieved happy to see a bit of sunshine.  The usual ‘I’m a L0ndoner, don’t approach me or I will break your face’ look melts to a much happier, gentle and exuberant manner.  The sun comes out, and so do the smiles.  So imagine how happy I was when we arrived at Ruskin Park near Brixton, to find this, tremendous site.

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I love London.  I love the fact you can be surrounded by trees, a blue sky and sunbathing Brits, all with Westminster and the postal tower in the background…and when the sun is shining like it was last week, it just makes it all the more magical.

And then the band started playing, and I felt the grin on my face just grow even bigger.

Turns out the Norwood Wind Ensemble are pretty good. 😉

 

As readers of this blog will already know, music has always played  a big part in my life.  My parents are brass-mad, and the one distraction that old Pops has enjoyed since time immemorial is busting out his Tuba.  Or his trombone,  or euphonium, or pocket trumpet, or French horn.  (Basically if it is shiny and has valves, the old boy will give it a blow, all with the biggest smile on his face)  Mum has also accepted this brass fanatacism having chose the French horn as her weapon of choice.

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The band played a great programme, and about half way through had amassed quite a crowd.  All ages, all demographics took the time to pitch a seat and enjoy some awesome music in the awesome weather.

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It truly was a wonderful welcome home.

 

Thanks for reading guys, and great to be back! 😉

As I promised last week, there are some very exciting changes happening with us lately.  It is just 3 weeks until we come home for good, and in between the madness of May, we have been beavering away in the background to get the website together for a new venture back home.

It is a pretty scary thought, going self employed…but a challenge that I am most looking forward to, and one that I of course hope will be as successful as it is rewarding.

As such, I am migrating my little blog over to the new site as well – I think it looks a BILLION times better, and all of the posts are already there and waiting to be seen by the big wide world.

But the sting in the tail is that I lose all of my subscribers 🙁  I currently have over 720 of you wonderful people, but as I feared, when I jump ship from WP.com, they don’t let me bring you guys along for the ride. So, if you would all be so kind…check out the new site, and subscribe to the new and improved, hyper-steroid fuelled fergusford.com.  And I promise, I shall reward you with love and kisses and photos that will make you feel gooey inside over the coming months 😉

https://www.fergusford.com/blog  is where you want to go.  As always, any comments, thoughts, criticisms and ideas are always welcome.  It is a site very much in its infancy, and I will be adding LOADS of content over the coming months.   I will resume sensible blogging timetables soon as well.

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So once again, a massive thanks to all of you for your readership and support…and here’s to a very bright first year going it alone…I sincerely hope you come and enjoy the ride with me 😉

This last week I have been sick.  Very sick.  You know when you watch those zombie movies and the whole world has died of a deadly virus?  That’s how sick I was.

Ok, maybe not that bad, but being a man I do feel that whenever I get a sniffle, the world is going to end.  And so our guests Jenny and Tom, who visited us last year, were ever so patient as I coughed and spluttered in the background, cursing the gods for their cruelty and generally feeling sorry for myself.  And Sian was kind as always, administering painkillers and offering soothing words…I truly was on death’s door.

Kind of.

During my bed rest, between writing my last will and testament and telling all those dear to me that I loved them,  I took the time to flick through some old hard drives, clean up some files, and generally do some digital housekeeping.  I then stumbled across our honeymoon photos and realised that I have not once posted about the epic adventure on this blog.  Being that I have only been out of the house for a few hours in the last week, I have obviously nothing new to share with you all, and so I am glad that my previous laziness and incompetence allows me to now share them with you today…I hope you enjoy 🙂

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First off, our honeymoon was epic.  I know that everyone says that (you should, after all) but ours was the tops.  The bees knees – the dog’s danglies. The best.

We started off for a few days in Miami, and after painting the town red (sleeping) for all of four days, we got a bus up the road to Orlando to enjoy the wonders of Universal, Busch Gardens, and all the other amazing theme parks.  It was so much fun.

And after 10 days of theme parks and crazy golf, we jumped on a train and headed up to New York to stay with one of Sian’s dearest friends, Ellie and her husband Kenn.  They live in Brooklyn and are wonderful…and so is New York.

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Barbados is awesome.  We have lovely beaches and views and warmth, but Sian and I miss the city. And I miss the cold.  When we first arrived in New York, the mid-March chill of 0 degrees was oh so welcome.  We wandered around the city, bundled up in every item of clothing we owned, our necks craned back enjoying the dizzy heights of the buildings, taking in the sights and sounds of what many regard as the greatest city in the world.

The novelty of the cold soon wore thin, but the sights didn’t.  Boy do we miss architecture.  As we explored the frozen streets, we had completely forgotten the Chatel Houses of home, the palm trees swaying in the breeze and the crystal blue water hugging the coastal road as you head north or south…here we were treated to buildings of monolithic scale; clad in glass and oozing style, we had never seen anything like it.

We loved it.

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We did all the touristy things we could in the four days we were there.  We ice skated in Central Park, we visited the Statue of Liberty, we went to the museums, and we scaled the Empire State.

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Ingeniously (by sheer luck) Sian and I planned the trip to the concrete summit to coincide with sunset.  Standing at the top of the building in minus 5  with a wind chill to boot, we were treated to one of the most wonderful – if not the coldest, sunsets we had seen for a long time.

And as the sun dipped behind the horizon, the city scape changed before our eyes.

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Sian and I came to the conclusion that city life suits us a whole lot better than island life does.  We love theatre and food and music and all that good stuff.  In Barbados, you get some of that, but New York just has it in spades.  Even as I write this, my heart has skipped a beat at the thought of us being home in London in less than 6 months…I cannot WAIT to be back in the city again, amongst the hustle and bustle, the small bars, the good beer, the sheer number of PEOPLE that you meet…

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And maybe, with all the airmiles we have clocked up over the last few years of living out here, I will treat Sianie to a reprise of the honeymoon; a wee jolly to New York, the BEST city in the world…

Thanks for reading guys, and hope you all have a great week.

 

 

Ferg

x

 

 

Well…not really.  If you had been a fly on our wall over the last few days, you would have seen Sian and I desperately trying to get on top of things…tidying the house;  building barbeques, catching up with holiday laundry, stressing a lot about work and generally getting a little tiddly at the excitement of my parents coming out to see us over Christmas.

But yesterday was fantastic.  We started the day with a cup of tea, looking out from our balcony and drinking in that wonderful view…when all of a sudden this little guy landed on the table by my laptop.  Ok, he’s not a fly on the wall, but ‘fly on the desk’ doesn’t sound right…does it?  He was ever so patient as I blinded him with two speedlights and intrusive macro lens and  the end result was definitely worth it.

Not even 9:30 am, and I had bagged an amazing image…things were shaping up nicely.

By about 10 our garden was teaming with the hit squad our landlady has bestowed upon us.  Over the next few hours the garden was transformed from the shaggy, overgrown jungle, to the well kept, primped and preened glory we know and love.  It is a lovely place to be.  And as we wandered around our newly reclaimed paradise, Sian spotted the coconuts in the tree, and asked me (for the 999999th time) if we could finally get that machete and cut them down…promises of coconut run punches, breads and cakes were made. So a trip to the hardware store was promptly arranged.

Now, as many readers of this blog will know, Barbados is not a cheap place to live. Far from it.  So imagine my surprise when I asked the nice lady behind the counter ‘how much that machete was – no, the huge one that looks like it could cut a tiger in two’, and she replied a mere ‘thirty bucks.’

Thirty Bucks?

That is how much Sian and I famously paid for a parsnip this time last year for Christmas…and here she was holding an 18inch blade, designed to last for years complete with rubberised grip and holster for the same price? This was surely the bargain of the century.

Before she could realise her obvious mistake and tell me the real price, I handed over the cash, strapped the holster to my belt, and drove home feeling like Crocodile Dundee…the coconuts had no idea what was going to hit them when I got back.

Or so I thought.

Turns out coconuts are incredibly hardy, and the guys at the side of the road who chop them up with the deftness of soft-handed masseus’ are clearly a very skilled bunch…I could not get the bloody things open.  I tried brute force, hacking, slashing, sawing…they would not play ball.  Even getting them out of the tree was stressful in itself…I developed a next level technique for this though. I call this photo ‘fat and clueless man swings hopelessly at nuts with a metal rod.’

When I finally knocked a few down, the frustration began…but after a few attacks, we discovered that if you did exactly the opposite to what the road-side vendors do, that is cut down the coconut, not across the top of it, they bust right open…and that water inside is soooo good when you’ve been swinging metal poles and a sword around in the 34 degree heat.

Victory.

And as I type this, the aches and pains in my shoulders, along with the callouses and blisters on my hands are utterly worth it.  Sian is currently dicing all the coconut flesh we were able to harvest meaning the spoils shall definitely be enjoyed! (perhaps a food blog next? Messages below if you would like to see?!)

In the evening we sat down at our newly built barbeque, congratulating each other on the days’ endeavours, and we were treated to one of Barbados’ hilarious blackouts.  Usually a problem for most people, but not us – not on this the day of dreams, far from it.  We wandered out into the front garden, slapped the camera on a tripod, and enjoyed Nature’s light show.

I never thought I would say it…but it’s good to be home 🙂

 

Thanks for reading guys x

 

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

A few weeks back, we were approached by Almond to re-shoot their brochure and web material.

Which is always very exciting.

We had some kids lined up, but budget meant that affordable models were going to be hard to find…luckily Sian and I have some very good looking friends.

Ally and Billy are our two best friends here on the island.  Ally is from Manitoba in Canada, and Billy is a good old Brit from Devon.  They are a wonderful couple, and I always enjoy stoking the fire over various pronunciation arguments (tomato and potato are regularly visited).

They also happen to be crazy hot, which made our job a whole lot easier

A while back, Billy introduced us to his brother Johnathan and his partner Monique.  They, also, happen to be a crazy hot couple, and the day was made even easier with them there too.

In all, we had a great day.  The guys were really patient, really professional, and we got some beautiful shots for the new brochure.  I don’t think they realised just how hard a job modelling all day was going to be, and by lunch I could feel they were flagging.  Contrary to popular belief, modelling is very hard.  You are normally stood all day, grinning, scowling, laughing or jumping at a photographer’s whim.  In amongst all of this, you also have to make each pose look like it is the first time you have done it and keep it natural.   You can spot a stiff model from a million miles away.

I am happy to say that all four of our new models delivered these qualities in spades.  They were awesome. Monique was so good, she even managed to squeeze in a cheeky nap on a lilo whilst the rest of us worked 😉

After lunch, we hid from the sun for a few shots up in one of the (beautiful) state rooms we had organised for the shoot.

And after these beauties, we headed back down for some beach fun, tennis, sailing and dinner…in all a very long day.

But oh-so-very-worth it.

You can see all of the photos on our Colorbox Facebook Page – and the rest of the shoot will be up on there soon.

All that is left to say, is another final HUGE thanks to Billy, Ally, Jonathan and Monique.  You guys really were amazing.  You were patient, professional and the pictures are just stunning.

 

Thanks again for reading guys – keep on snapping.

 

x

Have you ever had one of those weeks, where everything is going swimmingly – the emails are responded to, the team are all bumbling along, the phone is ringing an acceptable twice an hour…and then the Good Lord just takes an almighty work turd right on your face, and before you know it you feel like Arnold Shwarzenegger in End of Days.  Your phone rings constantly – your wife’s phone rings itself to death, you meet client after client, take booking after booking, and before you know it your wonderfully planned and masterfully crafted week is dumped with 10 weddings in three days.

Well, if you haven’t already guessed, that’s exactly what happened to us this last week.

And I am ecstatic to say that the team, although tired, dealt with the stress exceptionally well. As always.

But we felt very bad,because, as you all know, our good friends Josh and Lydia have been out here in Barbados with us, and we were hoping to spend a bit of quality time with them.  But clearly that plan was scuppered.

We got everything we possibly could done Saturday night, so that we could all enjoy Sunday together, but then the heavens opened and we were stormed in.  So instead of swimming on the beaches and watching the sunset and drinking beers in the warm, we were stranded in our flooding-fast house playing computer games and cursing the deck of cards we had left back at the hotel.

By all accounts it was a lovely day 🙂

And the day was made even more lovely by the arrival of another guest in our home.  We have had swarms of bees, enormous spiders, bats getting stuck in the roof and a billion millepedes, but this is the first leaf frog I think we have had to date.


I spotted him on the way to the kitchen, and without hesitation dear old Josh grabbed the flash and mounted it on a pocket wizard whilst I bayonetted my macro lens.

And he was ever so good as these two giants surrounded and strobed him like there was no tomorrow.

Because he really was tiny. In this (wonderful) portrait of Josh, you can see how small the wee guy was – he is the little green spec on the left, being bathed in the scrummy bolt-blue f20 from my SB800:

But he just sat there, happily modelling for us, and, upon agreeing we had all got the shots we were after, he wandered off up the wall to enjoy whatever it is leaf frogs do in the ceilings of homes in Barbados.

I do love having an open house.

Thanks for reading guys – more regular posts to come from now on.  Promise.

x

As I mentioned a few days back, Sian and I have had a mental week.  Between welcoming guests, being attacked by bees, hounded by nesting bats, and having two team members off for a few weeks, life has been pretty hectic.

Oh – and amidst all this, we flew out to Miami for 5 days on business with our awesome boss Gary.

We were in Fort Lauderdale for a couple of days, and then we popped down to South Beach to soak up some of that awesome ‘Sobe’ atmosphere.  Sian had organised our digs in the awesome Catalina Hotel.  It is one block up from Lincoln Avenue, which is without a doubt the heart and soul of South Beach.  A million bars, and you just pick the one that looks the most comfy, sit down, order some beers, and let Miami walk past you.  And it is made up of all sorts.  If you like people watching, you have to visit South Beach.

On the first night, we wandered down the boardwalk towards the cafes and bars along the front.  Gary had planted the idea of nachos in my head, and as we wandered we were bombarded with deals and offers, happy hours and bargains…we carried on down the front until we found ‘the bar’.

Eventually impatience got the better of us, and we just started asking the waitresses attacking us with flyers “Do you have nachos?” “Yes.”  “Are you running a happy hour?” “Yes, buy one round, get the next on free”.

Perfect.

So there we sat, on the front of South Beach as the Ferraris and custom choppers drove by.  There are all sorts of people here; there are also all sorts of vehicles.

Now, this is where the story gets messy.  All the way down South Beach, we had seen these idiots with the most enormous cocktail glasses.  Seriously.  Put your hand out, spread your fingers as wide as they will go and you would still be able to put your hand in one of these glasses.  Easily.  We had quietly mocked these fools for their inability to order a correct sized drink along the South Coast…so imagine our utter dismay when our Mojitos arrived – the size of an arctic truck, and Gary’s beer arrived in the most enormous glass boot I have ever seen.

Buffoons.

I would not normally dream of posting a photo on this blog from our little Nikon point and shoot, but I feel it’s important for you to see what we were up against here…

And the Mojitos were good. I mean, really good. So after we had a good chuckle at how ridiculous we had been, getting suckered into the obvious tourist trap, we felt even more stupid when we asked the price of the behemoth drinks we had been served.

Fifty.

Five.

Dollars.

Fifty five US Dollars. EACH.  No wonder it was buy one get one round free – no one could possibly finish one of these drinks, and be capable of drinking another.  The bar was running a pretty awesome scam here.  But The Britishness in me kicked in, and I was damned if I wasn’t going to get my money’s worth.

I was in bed by 9pm.

And as I woke up again at 7am, I was amazed at just how fresh I felt.  I left Sian in bed and had a wander around this amazing city.  It was a ghost town.   Miami is, without a doubt, alive at night.  And as I wandered around the streets, baffled as to how I had avoided a hangover that I most definitely deserved, I felt like I was in some kind of post-apocalyptic film.  No one.  Anywhere.  It was really quite special.

Grabbing some breakfast for Sian, I managed to pull her from her sleep, and we wandered around the streets together; but by now, that magic loneliness had been replaced with hungover tourists looking for their coffee, skaters, joggers, muscle men, dog walkers, big groups of blonde girls shopping together, big groups of flamboyant men shopping together,  and I felt that Sian had been cheated from the site that I had enjoyed only a few hours ago.

But all the same, we had a blast.  Thanks Miami, you were very gentle with me.

Thanks for reading guys xxx

First of all, please accept my apologies for complete lack of posts in the last ten days…Sian and I have been very busy bees.  We were out in Miami last week for some meetings with suppliers and partners etc. and we have not stopped since we got back  I will do a proper post about that soon.

We flew back home on Sunday after nearly missing our flight, crashed for a few hours, and got straight back to work on Monday.   A day in the office after being away for 5 days is never fun, and it was made all the worse by the knowledge that our awesome friends Josh and Lyds were coming out to visit us.  They are now here and it is awesome.

But Monday night wasn’t.

We got back to the house at about 7pm, only to find a massive warning sign on our door. “Fergus and Sian – DO NOT ENTER – BEES SWARMING”

 

Bugger.

 

You know when you just want to go to bed, in your own bed, after staying in hotels and running around like madmen (women) for days?  So we wandered down to the apartment below to ask Anne – our landlady – what was going on.  She said she had seen a few hundred bees swarming around our front door, and they would no doubt wake up again first thing in the morning.  The bee man couldn’t come until tomorrow (of course) and that if we didn’t want to be stung to death in our slumber, we had better sort out other accommodation.

So off we popped back to the hotel, who were wonderfully accommodating and let Lyd and Josh stay with us for the night.  We returned the next evening to utter bee-carnage.  We were quite sad – Sian and I love bees, but the guy had found two nests under our house, and he needed to fumigate the place to get rid of them all.

I whipped out the macro lens and asked Josh to help me with Flash.  These pictures are a homage to our late friends of the bee kingdom.

They’re not as pretty as my usual stuff – but I felt we needed to do something productive with something so very sad 🙁

So after we swept up the death and cleared off the leaves, chased out the spiders and the millipedes and all the other wildlife that had moved into our house whilst we were away, we settled down for a quick beer.  And as we sat and supped, our peace was quickly interrupted by an eerie scratching and rustling from the roof.  A few tell tale whimpers and we concluded that we now had a bat stuck in the extraordinarily thin cavity between our ceiling and the aluminium flashing above.

It’s like bloody London Zoo here at times…

But as I write this, we are now (I hope) Bee and Bat free…and hopefully Lyd and Josh can start getting on with their holiday without Mother Nature’s annoying interruptions.  And if you’re reading, Mother Nature, take heed; we don’t want to have any more scenes like this in our lovely new home:

It’s far too depressing 😉

 

Thanks for reading guys -keep on snapping

xxx