The first week back at school for the famous five and as another year begins I always enjoy looking back at what we have done & how much we have achieved. 2016 was amazing & things have gone to a whole new level.
A lot I must say I owe to the most awesome photographers whose workshops I've attended. Photographers who are at the top of the game such as brilliant Chris Chambers, who I also had the pleasure of visiting Italy with & the offices of the fabulous Graphistudio as well as numerous workshops in the UK, Neil Redfern & Jonny Draper, both incredible wedding photographers and Ellie Cassidy whose newborn portraits are just stunning.
I also had the opportunity to work with some incredibly
creative & talented wedding suppliers on a styled shoot at Sparth House in Accrington. The brilliant Sam Williams created the most beautiful bouquets & arrangements, Stacy Ryan did beautiful makeup on our young model, the stunning & intricate dresses were provided by the lovely Lisa at The Bridal Lounge of Accrington & it was all pulled together by Anne-Marie Whatmough of The Bridal Concierge. Oh yes & I did the photos.
On the wedding front, the year began & ended with 'secret' weddings. The first was the lovely Karen & Rob. They'd been in touch & booked me for a newborn shoot for their gorgeous daughter Pippa. A few days before the shoot (& a few days before we were to meet for the first time) Karen rang me and explained that when they went to register Pippa's birth they decided to get married & booked the registrar there & then. It was to be a small affair with just the 3 of them & Karen's 2 older boys & would I like to just do a few photos of the ceremony? "Oh & also can you be our witness please?" "Well certainly I could" was my answer but asked if maybe they would like to meet me in person to see if they like me first before any of us commit! The day was wonderful & we all went up to Coniston Hall afterwards to do a few extra photos too.
We had lots of fantastic weddings throughout the year including a fabulous renewal of vows in St Vincent, with beautiful people and the most stunning of venues together with the privilege of working with some awesome suppliers & getting creative with smoke bombs, sparklers & lots of other things.
The last wedding of the year was the secret wedding of Heather & Ken. It was a last minute thing. It was Ken's 80th birthday party on the Saturday & they just decided that they would get married & then announce it to everyone at his party. Burnley were playing at home & Ken forsake the match for the wedding. Now that's true love for you!
Abig congratulations to all our brides and grooms. Wishing you all many years of happiness & thank you for giving us the honour of sharing & preserving the memories of your special day for generations to come.
A natural progression in the 'Circle of Life' for most Brides & Grooms is to start a family. In 2016 we had our record number of newborn shoots which maybe something to do with the awesome workshop I did with the talented Ellie Cassidy.
Most of the babies were well behaved & co-operative however one did stain my white top. I think we'll leave it at that shall we?
We also had the pleasure of meeting & working with some lovely families throughout 2016. Some were old friends & some were new. Some were out & about shoots others were birthday celebrations & events but each one fabulous in it's own special way.
On the commercial & corporate side of things 2016 could not have been better. We undertook lots of work ranging from various businesses both local & further afield to being one of the official photographers for the Vote Leave Campaign & being their official photographer at Manchester Town Hall on the night of the referendum. Some of the images have been used by the BBC in various documentaries covering the event including 'Brexit - The Battle for Britain'.
We also had the pleasure of covering local charity events, recording the visit of Winston Churchill's grand daughter, Celia Sandys, to the Probes Club & capturing the homecoming parade for our very own home grown Olympic Gold medalist, Steven Burke.
Last but not least I always like to do a lot for the 2 schools that the boys attend & They gave me more than my fair share of things to be getting on with. This covered everything from KS3 & 4 presentation evenings to visits from Clarets legends Andre Grey & Sam Vokes to the high school as part of Burnley Football Club's Community Enterprise Programme.
We had tears whilst capturing the moment Years 6 & 11 left their primary & high schools. Both schools had the entire school create a guard of honour through which the leavers walked whilst their peers cheered them on their way. Very emotional!
We covered PD Days, School trips & Year 9 Boys getting put through their paces by the UK Military School plus lots, lots more.
It's been an absolute privilege to have been allowed to preserve & be part of all these events that will stay with the children long after they have left school.