Friday, 22 September 2017

And now for something completely different ..












I've started a new blog. It's just one of the many new things happening at the mo, like last night's New Moon, and yesterday being the first day of Autumn, and Lesley and I moving to start a new life in France ..

It's called MILF! Mo's In Loubillé, France. Why, what did you think it stood for? It'll be all about what's going on over here - be it with my photography, our gîte or .. well, anything else that grabs my fancy. I hope you find it worth reading, and perhaps I'll see you over on the new page ..

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

France!















We're here! We made it! We live in France! It's official ..

Oh man, it feels great but NOW I know why they say moving house is stressful. My heart didn't stop thumping all day Monday as two hyper-efficient removal men loaded our lives into shiny, big lorries. We just have to wait two weeks now to see it all again on this side of the Channel! I thought I might have been more emotional about moving on after 22 years in the same place but, watching the lads clear the rooms, I tweeted about the incredibly short time it took for a 'home' to become just a 'house'. As you can see though, my all-important Mac came with me in my car, and I type this on the floor of my new den amidst a lot of empty space and a few half-used pots of paint. And now? Well now, we get on with settling into our new home and our new country and you really couldn't make this up but on both days this week we received new bookings for the gîte, which bodes well for that new direction in our lives. What with that, my Gite & Wedding photography in France and my camera tuition, it really is all very exciting!..

A bientôt ..

 


Friday, 15 September 2017

Do you know what bugs me .. ?

It's funny to think that I probably won't shoot any more PR photography in the UK, but I'll tell you one aspect of that that I most certainly will not miss. I've been a freelance photographer since 1982, and there's one thing that's been a constant throughout all those years. Trying to get paid! A lot of companies are famous for holding on to their money. Pr companies are notorious, charities are as tight as it comes ('cos they think you should do the work for nothing!) and many other organisations will make you wait and wait before they pay your invoice. Appropriate then that, just three days before we move to France, I'm still trying to get paid for a job I did over three months ago. Back at the beginning of June The Imperial War Museum North booked me to shoot one of their 'Showcase' events, of which I've done a few. The marketing department had the photographs on their desk first thing next morning yet now, on the 15th of September, I'm still waiting to be paid. What hideous and discourteous treatment of the 'small business man'. How ignorant and rude and just plain .. well, excuse the French, twatty! I mean, how hard is it just to make one small payment like that as soon as one's photographs are received? I've chased and chased this invoice - this whole £200! - for over three months, and last night I had an email from the Museum's General Manager saying it would be paid today by BACS. Isn't there an echo there of 'It'll all be over by Christmas"? Watch this space! Come what may, I'll forever hold them in contempt and it pleases me no end to know that I won't have to deal with gits like these ever again ..















Thursday, 7 September 2017

That's a wrap ..


















Pleased to say I've been keeping the old shutter finger exercised in the midst of all this packing for France, having just had a lovely shoot with these two little belters, but now, aside from one last location job that's entirely dependent on the weather (ie: not looking likely!) that really is IT for my photographic diary. No more photography in the UK ..

And so my work here is done. It's the end. It's a wrap. Finished. Finito. Down tools. Time up. Call it a day. Some people are on the pitch; they think it's all over. It IS now ..

Oh, you get the idea .. 

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Good things come ..


















A certain lady in my life berates me for not throwing things away and I'll hold my hands up and admit that, as we're now both ploughing through all our belongings to decide what to leave and what to take to France, it makes for a time-consuming job on my part. Personally though, I think it's important that I still have my negatives from PR jobs that I shot in the 80s, and I think it's a cultural keystone that I kept a chocolate wrapper just because it's from a 'Marathon' and not a 'Snickers' bar.  However, even I was surprised when I dug out this little beauty from the loft yesterday .. a 1975 receipt from a camera shop in Eccles ..

At the weekend Lesley and I had a conversation about 'kids today' .. and how spoilt and expectant they generally are. (The fact that Christmas advertising is already beginning to creep in is what brought on that particular conversation. Grrr!) Things weren't like that in our day, we both concurred, and then .. Oohh! .. the appearance of this perfect example of  'the way I were brung up'! Now, if you're a regular reader of my blog you'll know I got into photography as a 13 year old and, back then, there used to be a camera shop in Eccles, where I grew up, whose shop window became the portal to my future. I'd stare through there at all the gorgeous cameras and lenses and drool and dream and fantasize. Then, one day, a beaut of a camera called a Halina Paulette Electric appeared in the 'Second-Hand' section of the window. It was 35mm .. a proper grown up camera and a big step up from the Kodak Instamatic 126 I'd been using but .. Ye Gods .. it was TWELVE bloody quid! Now twelve quid was a lot of money when you were a working class (Cue violins) 14 year old in 1975 but man, that camera was going to be mine, and the receipt tells the story of how I got it. The first thing to note is that the shop wouldn't let me have the camera until I'd actually paid for it, so I part-exchanged the 126 (Two quid) and set about paying off the rest of the tenner. It took me two months! From the 17th of February to the 19th of April - with payments of 50p or as much as two pounds - but I made that baby mine and she's gone down in history as my first ever 'real' camera. What a bloody gorgeous memory ..

I told you I was keen on photography! ..  


Monday, 4 September 2017

My French future ..







Time for a little selfie-shooting again, as I made my way back from France on the P + O ferry yesterday. It was a spot of creative relaxation after another mad, hectic four day flit over to the gîte. The day of our departure from England grows nearer and the trip was an opportunity to put another few things right before our arrival. Funnily enough I'm in France again next week, but this time - for the first time - to give my One-Day Photography workshop to a couple of camera-mad Brits who are staying with us. I now have no more work on the diary in the UK. From now on all my efforts will be concentrated on France. I've seen the future, as they say.
The future is in France ..

(Click on the shots to see 'em larger!)

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Lady Di ..










It's time to mark the anniversary of the death of Lady Di, and I'm sure I'm not the only person wondering where the last twenty years have gone. At least I was lucky enough to photograph The Princess on a couple of occasions but it made me think of the changes in photography over that period. I mean, just look at my shots. They're in black and white! They're in black and white and I had to take my film to a darkroom to get it processed before I could see what shots I'd got. Man, that's so last century! It's no wonder 18 year olds look at me as if I'm an antique!! ..