2,555 days and counting….

So a bit of a soppy one here, so gents you might not want to read on. ( or ladies for that matter)

7 years ago today I said “I do” holding back to tears to a woman who had taken my life by storm.

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I first met Laura (or gawked from a distance) during a party of mutual friends six years earlier. Now at this time I was 14 years old, and as you can imagine like a dog on heat. All I remember from that night thinking back was her tiny red mini skirt and my Dad pointing her out to me! Sorry Mam…..

Sitting in my room 4 years later playing on my laptop and making model cars, yes I was that cool, my brother came in and said “Hey Laura, the fit one, wants to add you on MSN. She thinks you’re fit.” As you can imagine I couldn’t say yes quick enough. We started talking that night and for a full week didn’t stop at all. She even rang me at 1am one morning just to find out what I sounded like!

We decided to meet that Sunday, and being the classy lad I am I offered to pick Laura up and take her to the beach for our first date. I collected her from a petrol station and started singing my favourite John Legend song at the time; When the sun comes up!

It’s safe to say after this date where we shared our first kiss under a street lamp (hence the tattoo) that I was smitten. She was the one for me, I was 18 and she was a 21 year old nurse….enough said!

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So the years have rolled on since then and we’ve had our fair share of headache and sadness, and lost people close to us. But we’ve also had some amazing times, she’s given me two amazingly beautiful boys and stuck with me through thick and thin and has literally given me the best 9 years of my life, and 7 of those as man and wife!

So rather than prattle on anymore I thought I’d share some snaps from our time together…

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I love you Jackson, more than a fat kid (me) loves cake! And yes this means I haven’t got a card yet…..

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Categories: Family Time, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

1940’s Headshot Series…

So recently I got together with the very talented model Sarah and worked again with the awesome Laura Lou Make Up Artist  to create something a bit different. I had a vision in my head that I wanted to tell a story of a 1940’s female going through the emotions of getting ready for a night out and then right through to having an argument and being quite upset but shooting purely as head shots. To be honest I thought I gave Sarah a very tough gig with this one, god knows I wouldn’t be able to convey all of these emotions while sitting in exactly the same place….

So I wanted to channel a little bit of Emma Stone in Gangster squad with this, while letting Sarah do her thing! I think she nailed each look amazingly….

 

We also created a little video while shooting this one….

 

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Categories: Fashion, Portfolio, Studio | 1 Comment

The New Digs

So we did it, we recently made the move to a new studio space!! Based in Hebburn (just 5 mins from my house) we now have an awesome studio space as well as two funky offices. We are already running new workshops and studio nights every couple of weeks and shooting more children’s portraits and model portfolios.

 

Here is a quick look at the space and some details in my office….

(You can also find out all about our new workshops over on the Facebook Page)

 

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Categories: Monthly Review, Studio | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Personal life…

So I’ve hummed and hawed on writing this piece for a few weeks now given my recent health problems but probably more so on realising just how many people suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

There has been a major breakthrough in the press recently for sufferers of Colitis who wear various types of “bags” with stories running on CNN and British Morning Television of Bethany Townsend revealing an image of herself in her bikini with her colostomy bags on show. This has helped raise a huge awareness of the illness as well as break some of the stigma involved in what can be an embarrassing illness to talk about.

So I started showing symptoms around 2 years ago, but being the typical bloke I kept going, dismissing it as “just one of those things” and pretty much accepted that going to the toilet 8-10 times a day was because I had a super efficient bowel ( and I eat a lot!).

Around 10 weeks ago I started feeling really poorly; suffering severe fatigue (i literally could fall asleep anywhere at any time), an increase in trips to the lavatory, bleeding, ulcers in my throat and pain in my joints. This one really took it’s toll on me and to go with the symptoms I developed a really short temper because I simply couldn’t handle the fatigue more than anything else. I battled through that spell that lasted a couple of weeks and thought I was on the mend again.

Two weeks later I was on a fire safety course when I began feeling awful, I actually thought I was dying at one point. All of the symptoms had returned as well as severe abdominal pain, cold sweats, dizziness and not really knowing where I was of what I was doing.

I tried to pull myself together and drive (3 mile) home, which in hindsight was a pretty dangerous thing to do. When I pulled up to my drive I could barely turn the wheel into the drive. Now I’m 6’5″ and a pretty strong chap- the fact I couldn’t turn a power assured steering wheel really scared me. This was the first time I had ever asked to go to see the Doctor…..ever!

After seeing the GP he referred me directly to hospital where I was admitted with dehydration and all of the symptoms I mentioned earlier. Luckily they ruled out any immediate need for surgery first, and then they started going through the issues. Having explained my history and my symptoms the Consultant decided it was 90% likely that I was suffering from Ulcerative Colitis. Rather than start me on medication straight away, they wanted to wait until the Monday ( this being Friday) to see the Specialist to get his input. So I spent my first weekend in hospital being looked after on the Emergency Assessment Unit in South Tyneside Hospital- and well looked after!

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A couple of weeks on and the truth is I don’t yet have a full diagnosis, its proving rather difficult to figure out exactly what is causing the symptoms I’m displaying. On visiting various forums and Facebook groups on IBD it seems as though for most getting diagnosis can be a long process, for some it has taken years! I’m fairly confident that the great consultants I am seeing will find it, and treat it and get me back somewhere near feeling human. I’m not going to pretend that my symptoms are anywhere near as bad as some who suffer out there, but for me the biggest problem is the fatigue. Falling asleep when ever I am sitting still in a quiet place ( I recently fell asleep while eating lunch during a wedding!) and not being able to run around with my boys for more than 5 minutes without feeling exhausted. I used to be an International Basketball Player and a County Champion Cross Country runner- its like WHAT IS GOING ON!!????? I can pretty much deal with the rest of the symptoms as after two years I’ve grown used to them- just not the tiredness.

So I guess the real reason I wanted to write this is because around 150,000 people in the UK suffer from Ulcerative Colitis alone, not taking into account the other forms of IBD. And like me, most dismiss it, don’t seek medical attention or have it misdiagnosed as something less serious until a major fare up lands them in A&E. So if you suffer from the symptoms described by the NHS  then please, go and get checked out! I feel like now after two years, but more so a terrible 3 months, that I am somewhere on the road to getting sorted. I can see some light at the end of the tunnel, and if I can feel just 25% less tired all of the time I would be absolutely over the moon!

I also want to say a massive thank you to my beautiful family for putting up with me and looking after me through this- especially the Mrs!
 

 

 

Categories: Lifestyle | 2 Comments

The Wedding of Alex & Chris – Sneak Peek

Some of my couples will know I am absolutely terrible with names, luckily on this day the lovely couple had the same name as their equally lovely photographers. No excuses then….
This was my first visit to Jersey Farm in Barnard Castle, and I certainly wasn’t dissapointed….here are some of my favourites from the day…

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Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Engagement Shoot – Abi & Craig – Sneak Peek

Sun….Bamburgh Castle….and a beautiful couple- enough said..

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Categories: Engagement shoot, Sneak Peeks | Leave a comment

The Wedding of Steph & Russ – Sneak Peek

Every time I’ve shot at this beautiful venue prior to this occasion I’ve had rain, wind and a bitter chill in the air. Not this time, Steph and Russ had an amazing day with a light breeze to provide a cooling break from the early summer sun. With an outside ceremony to match a very relaxed atmosphere this was a truly awesome day to be a part of. Here is a quick look at how the day went, with special thanks to Gavin Foster for assisting…..

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Categories: Sneak Peeks, Weddings | 2 Comments

June Studio Night – Dee Dixon Headline

“The biggest part of making a mistake is learning from it..”

So this rang true very much so for me on June 10th when I hosted the first creative studio night in my new studio in Hebburn when the post code I believed was that of the studio actually led all of our attendees into a residential cul-de-sac about 1/2 mile away…Safe to say I won’t supply that post code again.

Apart from that somewhat ropey start I was delighted with the turn out to this event. A real mix of talent and abilities turned out and everyone left with some amazing images of our models….that is except me. I was too busy trying to entertain and mingle that I took very few images of our guests and even fewer of the photographers strutting their stuff. Again- I will not make this mistake again….

Here are a couple of behind the scenes images and what we actually created on the night… and a couple of diagrams showing how we created them…

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Categories: Fashion, Portfolio, Studio | Leave a comment

Fun with Colour

So we teamed up with the epic Stephanie O’Neill (stylist) for the second time in a week to create something really funky. The awesome makeup was delivered by Laura Lou with the theme of colour in mind. Helen really rocked this shoot with a few totally different looks while sitting in the same spot for a few hours…

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Categories: Fashion, Lifestyle, Portfolio | 1 Comment

Portfolio Shoot – Dominic

Beleive it or not, this is the first time this young man has been in front of the camera. He rocked his first shoot, very confident, very cool and very driven on a future in fashion! Here are a few shots form the set including some with the awesome Influx Clothing Tee.

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Categories: Fashion, Lifestyle, Portfolio | Leave a comment

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