I generally tend to write the blog on a Thursday evening, it’s not a rule it’s just something that has developed that way. I feel though that I’m maybe lacking a little content and size to my posts, so this week I’m trying something a little different. Let’s see how this goes.

I’ve been given a new camera too, it’s my first Olympus, looking forward to cleaning this one up, hopefully there’s a film in there to get developed, Kodak film is fire resistant…… Right?

I’m starting this post on the Friday morning just after I posted the last piece, I’m going to take the week and aim for another Thursday pm release, I’ll just write when the mood takes me or there is something I feel I need to say, I really hope this isn’t too much of a ramble but I guess there’s only one way to find out.

I’ve been busy of late and haven’t updated the site in a while, there has been weddings and a fair chunk of portrait work recently and it all needs to get represented on here. I know it’s just housekeeping but it needs to be done, I must not get too behind.

I try to keep the blog flowing and keep that fresh I just need to do the same with my content, besides brides will get upset if they can’t show off their dresses on line, I hope they do anyway, now the tech is there use it people!

Even after that little moan at myself for getting behind, I’m making even more of a rod for my own back this weekend, I’m shooting football on Sunday morning which is a real break from the norm for me, as its normally only contact sports I like to shoot and I know next to nothing about football which will add to the challenge as not knowing where the play is heading will be hard, but I’m told footballs not that tricky so I’m not too worried! Also a change is as good as a rest, I guess.

Later on in the afternoon I have to shoot a portrait session for an awesome family. Number one son has just passed out with the Army and they would like some photographs to remember the occasion, perfectly understandable. Family in there best bib & tucker with him in his number ones, should be a great shoot, hopefully.

Everything as it turns out was great with both shoots on Sunday, the footie shots are up at http://www.facebook.com/rainywoodphoto already and i’ve now got to start work on the portraits too, before next weekend when there’s another family to shoot.

Meanwhile I’m just sorting the shots for Ipswich Swimming Club ready to goto the printers as well as my shots for the “Pics in the Pub” exhibition!

I’m looking forward to mass reactions from both jobs, fingers crossed the reactions will be positive!

I’ve seen a couple of phone photos that the printers have sent me of my “Pics in the Pub” canvases, for want of a better description they are awesome!

I’ve since picked them up, just goto hang them Sunday morning, it’s all very scary! Equally I can’t wait, I hope to see you there!

Cheers Woody

I’ve only had the good version so far so I can still say I love it!

It’s even better that it’s the third year on the trot that I’ve managed it, probably not that hard considering the photos are of their child, but it still makes me happy when the tears start. 

It’s also the closest thing I have to a proper ongoing project, as I’m booked in till Robyn’s 21st, it’s going to be least another eighteen years, it’s always good to have something to look forward to I guess and I do as shooting and delivering for these guys is a joy.

I do however want to start a personal project, it’s just a question of what to shoot, I don’t want to rip anyone off or be judged against any of my friends, like I would have been if I’d have gone with my first thought of shooting the churches in Suffolk, my friend and inspiration Lee Thornberry shoots alot of churches, all be it all over the country. 

I like his work far to much to try and compete, even if the competition is only in my head, which I think all photographers will agree thats where most of the competition and negative thoughts live.

We must remember to keep them there too, if they got out I’d never work again, considering how happy I am with customers crying, I don’t know how if deal with masses of negative feedback, I welcome some but who know how they’d react.

That’s what I find interesting about the up and coming exhibition at The Grand, have to wait and see what responses I get to my work.

The printing process has started so there is definitely no going back now, still have to plan out where to hang the work, I’m aiming for the walls, but not making any promises just yet.

Sticking with shots from The Rugby World Cup and also some “arty” images to go with the Art on the Prom” collaboration, the only disappointment is that it’s only a one day event, so mine is probably the shortest running exhibition in photographic history!

I am massively looking forward to it though. Roll on the next one maybe it’ll be a little longer running and feature my next project?

Just got to sort one out.

Cheers Woody

When I was young I tried a few times to write a diary, but never stuck too it, mainly because I’m terrible at spelling, which in turn used to frustrate me, make me angry and therefore I’d just give up!

I also wasn’t great at articulating my thoughts & feeling, especially writing them down, but nobody I knew did! It was a different time, I’m fully aware of that, we didn’t have facebook etc to tell everybody when you were feeling sad with a emoji!

Even when Sue Townsend wrote “The secret diary of Adrian Mole, aged 13 & 3/4” and everyone started, if only for a week or two started writing, I never did!

Now however with the joys of spell check on every bit of tech we own it’s so much easier to share, hence even a thicky like me can write a blog that makes a little sense, at least I hope it does.

The same is true with photography, in the “good olde days” of film only, most of us who were not professionals just took family snapshots to put in an album or maybe even in the bin!

Today however with the amount of tech at our fingertips everyone takes photos of everything and everyone and shares them on all types of social media, because everyone has a point&shoot camera and a laptop in there pocket.

I’m not complaining as I clearly use this tech to my own advantage, however I does make it harder and harder to make a living doing what I do, there are very very few staffer jobs at publications as most are now online, and alot of people resent spending money on photographs for the same reasons…. They know someone who takes pictures and they’ll do it for a pint or two.

This all means I have to work harder and offer more, one of the things I do is also incorporate film photography into what I do, I don’t see it as going backwards just another string to my bow.

I’m not planning on writing the blog by hand and posting it out though……

I also give out much more printed work to customers now and incorporate it into my package, either a large print or a selection of 6×4’s I feel it’s another sweetener, just like the instax photos I give people it’s just a little bonus.

I’m hoping it’s the little things that they me noticed and we all need hope or a massive lottery win, but hope will do for now I guess.

As a ps, if you’d like to go on the mailing list for the blog, send me your address, just please don’t expect the correct spellings or good handwriting for that matter, sorry.

Cheers Woody

It’s another wedding week and that puts a smile on my face which I’m told is a good thing.

Still finishing off editing the last wedding though and that takes the smile back off again, I have no problem doing the editing in fact I enjoy it, it’s just I’m a little behind where I wanted to be a this week and that’s not a good thing.

I do try not to make promises with my delivery times, but I certainly do set targets and dropping behind those targets can be frustrating. I have been so lucky so far with all my customers, as none of yet have been pushy or hassled me in any way to get there photographs quicker.

After this weeks wedding I will have twice as much post shoot work to do, as I have a second shooter with me and I’ll be editing all of her work too, luckily she also shoots with a canon so it won’t be too tricky, but I need the editing style to match up.

My second shooters name is Amber Partridge (@amberpartridge) and she is awesome, we worked together on the mad hatter’s tea party I did for the WI, I am a fan of her work so when she asked if she could help out on a wedding to see if it’s something she would like to pursue in the future, I jumped at the opportunity to have her with me.

Her portrait work it’s really strong and very candid, which I love & I think our styles do compliment each other, I think she will have no problems in the wedding environment once she finds her feet and knowing her that will not take long.

I’m not saying in anyway that I’m an expert or a teacher, but it does feel great to be able to try and help someone on there way to what will hopefully be in some way a career, although I didn’t second shoot for anybody I did have a load of help and inspiration when I started and these guys continue to inspire me now.

Tony Bell (@tonybellphotography) who used to shoot basketball regularly when my son started playing, gave me a load of advice in the early days of Rainywood, his work continues to be outstanding, he now works The Grapevine Magazine (@grapevinelive), mainly shooting live bands at which he is also great.

Lee Thornberry (@mr_thotnberry) landscapes are a thing of beauty, I promise his work will blow you away, what he says about his work will also put a smile on your face.

Please check these gents out and say I sent you they are both awesome!

Cheers Woody

The new camera club I mentioned that I was helping out has its own Facebook page now. Captured Moments Photographic Club (@capturedmopho) has been born, just got to convince all the members to get ok fb now!

Going to be used mainly for a space for the club to share it’s work, have discussions etc, we are also leaving it as an open page for others to join in with us by joining in with chats, posting there own work and maybe offering some constructive criticism.

As long as it stays fair and non abusive, I’ll be happy, the group are amateurs but very keen to learn and we can only do so much without the help of others, so offering a fresh view and a differing opinion can only be a good thing, right?

In the club we are going back to basics and at present still looking at exposure, think it’s good for me too, running over the process again.

I’ll keep posting up dates on the blog, in the meantime please check out the FB page.

In other news, I’m looking forward to having me first exhibition, it’s happening at The Grand in Felixstowe (@thegrandfelixstowe) on the 3rd of September from 10 till 4 as part of ” Art on the Prom” we’re calling it PICS IN THE PUB!

Please come and give it a look if your close, there will be prints and canvases available to buy.

Hope to see you there

Cheers Woody

Sky Arts must be commended for the TV show Master of Photography, it’s the second series and it’s been superb.

A proper competition, not just a popularity contest like so many shows. However like all art, photography is subjective and with three regular judges personal opinion comes into it.

But i do believe that’s one of the joys of the show as it’s the same as getting jobs, you have to work with the customer choices without sacrificing your personal style.

That’s winning!

Thats exactly what the winner Gillian Allard (@gillianallardphotos) did, listened to the brief, took on board the views of the judges and then went and done some fantastic work, using all her skills while keeping true to her style.

Gillian who is from my home town of Ipswich, 

is having an exhibition back in Ipswich now the show is over and it is superb, it covers two of her personal projects as well as some of her editorial work, it’s well worth a visit.

The exhibition is being held at The Landon Gallery, Ipswich from the 5th of July to the 5th of August, please give the show and the exhibition a look, you’ll feel better for it!

I did.

I’ve been quite busy of late, with weddings, portraits and some sports work, I’ve also started working with a newly formed camera club, helping them with some of the fundamentals of photography and I think we’re all enjoying it.

Have to see where it leads, I like sharing the little knowledge I have and it’s nice to be nice!

Maybe the blog will evolve that way too, I’m not sure yet, however I am thinking of starting an online camera club of sorts, let me know if you’re interested.

Cheers Woody

Meeting people and chatting is a massive part of what we do as photographers it is mainly a fun process.

When it comes to wedding work it is vitally important, you need to have at least some connection with the client, the wedding is the main one and a great starting point for conversion.

My biggest weakness when having these meetings to discuss the plans for the happy couples big day is i never know when to stop!

Once the main points are sorted and we have a first draft plan of the day i always find myself going into full geek mode, especially if the couple also have some ideas of there own, the more challenging the better, or when you hear the magic word’s, “just do what you like, we’ll try anything!” That’s how Alice & Pete ended up in a tree and how i got away with doing The Batman symbol behind Clare & Gary with a flaming torch, happy days.

Sports is my other weakness, i think once you’ve been involved in competitive sports you will always have a connection with others, regardless of the sport involved.

This weekend coming I’d a prime example, on Sunday 21st of May it’s The England Handball Finals at The Copper Box and I’m lucky enough to have been asked back for my third year shooting the event.

It’s one of my favourite days of the year, love shooting the event, the matches are incredibly competitive, the atmosphere is electric and all those involved are great people, looking forward to sharing the images from the day, if you can come along its a great day of sport!

Check them out at http://www.englandhanball.com and @englandhandball on Instagram while your there have a look at http://www.solopress.com or @solopress on Instagram, i had my new flyers delivered from them this week and they are fantastic, great great service as always too, thanks to them.

Cheers Woody

It’s been too long since i last posted, but i have been busy and writing was the last thing on the list so i apologize to anyone who’s following the blog.

I have to go back to Easter weekend, when i shot the great wedding of Rachael and Stefan Long at http://www.woodhallmanor.com a fantastic venue which I’ve worked at before but it’s always a pleasure, the staff are superb and wedding coordinator was an awesome young lady by the name of Rhea Harrison who went above and beyond, I’ve never known a wedding planner to still be working when I’ve finished before. 

It was also the first wedding that I’ve used the FujiFilm Instax at, it worked out really well and was (hopefully) a nice little extra for the bride and groom at the end of the day.

I did however learn it’s best not to use one during a wedding service, as it turns out they are a lot louder in a silent room, that’s a lesson learned! 

Every day’s a school day!!!!!

The following week, including the bank holiday Monday was taken up with editing, as the groom was leaving for China the Sunday after and i said I’d try to get the photos delivered.

It was tight, with the full day on the bank holiday i managed to deliver, something that i never intend to do again, it was far too quick a  turn around, my brain and eyes nearly gave up on me a couple of time, was a quick way to feel like a zombie though, so every cloud.

The other reason for pushing so fast was that the following week i was going away for a short holiday in Malaga, which was a much needed break, it’s a great city, plenty to see and do, and when i get round to the photos I’ll put some up here and on the fb page.

Since being home my wife has not been well so I’ve been doing my bit to help her recovery, which is now complete and so i can start getting back to as normal as can be. 

Wedding meetings are starting to build up which is great and I’m looking forward to shooting those days too.

Very soon I’ll be back at the Copper Box for The England Handball Finals, always one of my favourite days of the year and for 2017 it’s on a Sunday so there’s no excuse not to pop along and give it a look on the 21st of May.

Cheers Woody.

It’s a wedding weekend, and this makes me happy, absolutely love shooting weddings, not something I intended when i started but as Rainywood has grown so has my passion for shooting people’s happy day.

It’s not just the day i enjoy the other work too, the hours of editing and sorting the photographs, getting any film developed (if I’ve shot with it) creating the story of the day.

Before the day is fun too, getting to know the client, checking everything is good for them and general prep.

Can’t wait to share the images with you.

I’ve also got the website to a place I’m happy with, it’s clean and simple but hopefully not too boring, as I’ve updated the text pages to something other than just text!

In other news I’ve got myself a new toy, a FujiFilm Instax, just like an old school Polaroid, nothing I’m planning on charging for but I’ll be using it for weddings as an extra for the customers, i thinking as an end of the day gift.

I can also see it coming in handy at portrait shoots. As it comes with a flash it will be able to fire the strobes and i can check the finished look of the shoot.

It will also help with that important element of what we do with photography….. It will be fun and we can’t forget that…. It’s kind of important.

If i didn’t enjoy this there’s no way I’d still be shooting, i still love it, even with the ranting and moaning i sometimes do on this blog, i still have a passion for photography and long may that continue.

Cheers Woody

However good the week has been frustration can still kick in, shot rugby twice last weekend and been a good week in the almost an office, yet still feel like I’m getting nowhere.

The main reason I think is when I’m board at the day job and the mind starts to wonder, what could I achieve if I only had the resources, I drift of dreaming about my studio with editing suite and darkroom attached.

All that glass I’d buy to go on a couple of 1DX mk ii’s.

Then i blink and carry on shoveling the pile of shite from one pile to another!

But I must not dwell on the down side or on what may happen one day if those six numbers come up.

When I started Rainywood I never intended it to be a get rich quick scheme I would however like it to be busy enough that it could support me or even itself, I don’t think I’ll get to the position when I can stop the day job, however much I’d like too, just have to get to a point where I have a happy medium.

For now it’s just another hump in the road to get over then I can carry on with my world domination, it may be a long way off but there’s no harm in dreaming and it gets me through the day….. Just!

On a lighter note, the first wedding of the year is happening next weekend and I can’t wait for that, who doesn’t love a good wedding.

Confetti at the ready folks.

Cheers Woody