Last month I was invited to photograph the Fletchers in their home. I joined these guys at a very special time in their lives - they were all but finished their house renovations and extension, a two year project that started as soon as they moved in. They finally have their dream home. Alex who was just about to start school, and Oliver (Ollie) who in no time at all had gone from a very smiley baby, to a very smiley toddler filled with independence. It was a honour to be invited into this moment.
Last week our boy turned four years old. That information alone can take my breath away at how fast he is growing - finding his own voice in the world and understanding and learning more and more. The conversations we have in a day are testament to this - the human skeleton, how the heart works, and what veins are for. There is also what "back it up" means in the song "I Like to Move It! by Will.i.am (of course we all know it was actually Reel 2 Real) which I obviously lied about.
Last year, we moved into our new house and the entry date pivoted on his birthday. We planned to have a birthday party as soon as we moved in but that didn't happen as we were delayed by two months. This year we put that plan into action and held two parties in one day - kids in the morning, and adults in the afternoon. My sister-in-law pulled out some unknown face painting talent which everyone seemed to benefit from...except me who had Boy Wonder paint it - there are no pictures of that thankfully.
A few days later it was Mrs K's turn and we had a far smaller gathering with family for breakfast before enjoying a day just the three of us. I posted on Instagram about the cake from The Sicilian Pastry Shop and it is worth a look. The fruit gateau is one of her favourites but it never made it to the gathering in one piece...it was so close though.
Clare, Davie, their gorgeous daughter Orlaith, and I met at Hopetoun House for a planned family photo session. Typically, the weather was unpredictable - with a forecast to be cloudy all day, but what turned out to be a scorcher of a day. I think we all left, both, a little redder than we had intended, and very sceptical of the iPhone weather app.
It was my first time walking around the grounds of Hopetoun House and I was pleasantly surprised by just how beautiful they were and hope much time we spent there. It was a delight. I would recommend them to anyone.
So here it is, the first post that follows the news I was going through a tricky time. In truth, I've been trying to formulate something to follow it since the month after it all happened but never found the words. To summarise, in March 2015 I was diagnosed with Guillian-Barré Syndrome - an auto immune condition where your immune system attacks your peripheral nervous system. In the space of a few days I was admitted to hospital and told that by the end of the week there was a high probability I would be on a ventilator. It was a terrifying time but an early diagnosis and treatment meant I was saved from progressing that far. That was two years ago and, when I wrote about it, never thought I would be still be referring to it all this time later. The good news is I've recovered well, with a couple of challenges that I am learning to live with...but I wouldn't necessarily change the hand I was dealt.
Guillain-Barré Syndrome caused a lot of changes in my life. In a time when the future was thrown into the unknown, it became clear that I had taken a lot for granted, sat back and let others influence my decisions, and accepted the status quo. It was this difficulty that made me rethink all of that.
The effect GBS had on my photography was profound. Until that point, I made images of landscapes and cityscapes, but I suddenly I couldn't walk the length of the room, let alone climb a hill or pound the streets. Instead, I turned the camera on those around me - my friends and family. Over the next couple of years, this extended to family gatherings, days out and, eventually, weddings. The pull to this was strong and when I was there capturing these moments, all felt right in the world.
Last year I was invited to shoot my first wedding from start to finish and I jumped at the chance. The bride and groom (the lovely Matt and Catherine, a.k.a. my brother and sister-in-law) were the best at letting me know what they wanted but also letting me apply the style I was familiar with. I wanted to document their day as it happened and capture the wonderful couple they are. It was a fantastic experience and, at the end of the day and 18 hours on my feet, I knew I wanted to do more of it. Lots more.
The following months I continued to exercise my craft, but I also researched and took classes. Then, about two months ago, I sat down with my wife and told her I was going to make a go of it. She was so supportive It was a moment of putting all that fear and uncertainty to one side and trusting my gut. That brings me to now - a new website and a new adventure.
I will always love landscape photography - there is something about being isolated with your camera and working through the technical parts to capture the image in front of you. That is all the more true using film, where you can walk way from a scene, unsure if you managed to capture anything at all. Landscapes won't stop here - they just won't be the focus of this website anymore as I move into the next chapter of my photography.
If you or someone you know is looking for a photographer for their wedding/event, then get in touch or please pass on my this website. I'm sure we can make it happen.