Clare, Davie, and Orlaith at Hopetoun House

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.

20170617 - 11-59-25 - 337.JPG
20170617 - 12-07-06 - 363.JPG

A New Beginning

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.

20150608-D7000-207.JPG
20150608-D7000-190.JPG
20150401-D7000-084.JPG

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.

20160723 - 12-14-19 - 0230.JPG
20160723 - 12-46-58 - 0291.JPG

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.

A Room with a View

Returning to a location is always a good thing - you can see how the light behaves at the different times of the day or year and you'll almost always find something different. I return to many places across Edinburgh to try a different angle or technique. A favourite is definitely Stockbridge in Edinburgh where I will return to the market archway or Royal Circus Lane.

What I am showing here is a little easier for me though - it's my living room window. I am lucky enough to live in Edinburgh with stunning views of Arthur's Seat, Salisbury Crags, and Calton Hill. Since getting my DSLR, these views have become a favourite to return to on those quiet moments when something catches my eye.

This is one of the first I took when I was given a lens by my Dad. It was the clouds that grabbed my attention and how they almost match the shape of the trees.

The first silhouette of Calton Hill I took and what I regularly return to. It was taken during a stormy period which broke for a lovely sunset.

I had actually spotted a similar scene to this before but my camera was nowhere to hand. Since then I had been watching for the moon to be in a similar position at sunset. It was worth the wait.

15041058724_0b9872eb1f_k.jpg

Sometimes a sunset will amaze you - how can the sky be so different each time the sun sets?That is why I enjoy capturing it, made better by a lovely foreground.

D7000_20141116_9500.jpg

From time to time I will focus on Salisbury Crags. It wasn't until I downloaded this photo from my camera that I noticed a lone figure standing on the edge of the crags taking in the same sunset.

Believe it or not, but this was taken a few moments after the previous one and shows how quickly a sky can change.

At New Year we get an incredible view of the fireworks that are launched from Edinburgh Castle directly behind Calton Hill. This again is a wonderful framing.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will continue to shoot this view until the day we no longer live here. It's one of my favourite views of Edinburgh and I'm lucky enough to have it from my living room window.