July 28, 2007 alan

Who needs an umbrella?

Apparently Rihanna has been No.1 in the charts now for almost 3 months with a song called “Umbrella”. Quite fitting considering the weather and coincidentally almost matching a record set by Wet Wet Wet. I’m happy to say that my hatred of commercial radio means that I have happily avoided Rihanna’s song and have yet to hear it. Maybe it’s good. Probably not though. I do like my fair share of pop music but most of the pop/r&b crap on the radio makes me wanna kill somone, whereas listening to songs about wanting to kill people is somewhat calming….

Saturday night in Birmingham and the rains have returned after 2 great days where my dogs actually made it to the park and we all enjoyed some sunshine. This morning we were there to meet Karen Newall, a photographer who has asked us to help cover a wedding in Newquay this September. Karen is 7 months pregnant and isn’t sure if she’ll even make the wedding at all. If she does, we’ll be her back-up. If she doesn’t, we get to cover the whole wedding on her behalf. So today we met with her and the couple in question just to introduce ourselves and check a few details. I feel quite honoured to be asked by another photographer to cover someone’s wedding. It’s quite a responsibility cos it won’t just be my reutation on the line. Still, I know I can shoot a wedding well so it should be a fun weekend, plus it’ll be good to get down to Cornwall again just before our own wedding there on October 3rd. The Newquay wedding is actually on Evelyne’s birthday so it’s a double celebration. I’m sure we’ll find some time to celebrate twice!

This week I’ve been honing my Photoshop skills and improving my portraits quite nicely in the process. Some great Actions from Photoshop Mama and my friend Yervant have been getting plenty of use plus I’ve been improving my attention to detail and trying out things like the Liquidize feature which, when used correctly, can really do amazing things. On top of that I purchased the full version of Yervant’s Page Gallery to make it easier and faster to design great looking albums. I’m loving playing around with the options and can’t wait to have a finished album in my hands that I’ve designed in the software. All in all every little helps and the end result is a better product for the customer, leading to more referrals, leading to more work and a better standard of living for us. One of the couple’s I met on Monday has already confirmed and sent their deposit cheque in!

A week and a half into Elliott’s life and it’s all been fantastic so far. Even being woken up in the middle of the night hasn’t really bothered me too much, although it has to be said, I do have the easy option there. Evelyne has to feed him, so I can just roll over and go back to sleep most times. I am helping wherever possible though and often stay up late with Elliott so that she can get an early night and catch up on sleep. He’s been very well behaved so far though and already looks different from 11 days ago. Our friends have been so generous with gifts. Even our friends’ parents and friends’ parents’ friends have donated gifts to us. All very much appreciated.

I’ve been revisiting Jeff Ascough’s website and continue to be inspired by his images. One reviewer said “as if Cartier-Bresson had shot weddings”, which must be one of the best compliments for a wedding photographer ever. His black & white images are stunning and something to aspire to. Jeff’s been in the wedding game for a long time but still seems to move with the times, unlike many old-school photographers who are still stuck with their trad, forced line-up wedding photographs. Pretty much the opposite of where I’m aiming.

Summer tends to be quieter on the gig scene as bands jet off to concentrate on festivals, so it’s not surprising that I haven’t shot so many gigs recently. I’m hoping to cover some of the festivals in August but I do need my live music fix so might make the effort to get out one night this week, even if it’s just a local band in some shitty dive. Actually, I love those gigs!

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