Saturday, 27 August 2016

Chesterford near Cambridge for a Bike Race

Essex Road Race League promoted bt Rapha cc

I thought I would be on unfamiliar roads for Sunday road race, not recognising place names and villages, but once the race was under way I soon realised I had been to the area before a few years ago photographing a women's stage race.

This time it was a league race for 2nd, and 3rd cat riders. After Saturday's wedding in Bedford trying to avoid a soaking, the forecast was a bit mixed, so I planned for a wet race, when in fact it was a windy sunny day.

Not being in Essex recently to cover any cycling events, I didn't really have a clue who was who.
My local SERRL race had been canceled again, so I was hoping that someone from Kent would come over.

I had a press bike at my disposal paid for by the sponsors, Rapha Cycling, so I was looking forward to getting on with the job.


Race winner 
Luke Hattersley Richardson Trek RT 

Trip to BedFord for a wedding, and a bike race

Last weekend started on a Friday evening when arriving just outside Bedford for a wedding I'd been commission for at Moreteyne Manor.

This was a great day, dodging rain showers for the formal shots, and generally have good fun with the guests in creating fun shots.

Dominic & Laura 
Wedding Day

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Quick trip to the seaside...

August is proving to be a good month for sunny weather at the moment, so it was time to have some fun in the sun.

I needed to get some learning done, and my model for the day Natasha wanted some photos to decorate some walls at home.

We came up with a plan, prayed it wouldn't rain, and got to the coast. Strong Sunlight and wind would be the challenge for the day.

First priority was to make sure the fun element was high on the list. The above image indicates how strong the sea breeze was.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Down in the Dirt with the BigDog...

Time is going to fast, 2016 edition of the |Brighton BigDog MTB 6 hour enduro at Stanmer Park.
Another Cracking Day with and event more technical course with the inevitable long slog of hill climbing to some epic twisty fast single track decents, only to  interrupted with a couple of fallen trees creating some great skill sectionals.

After 6 hours for some a welcome beer was waiting at the finish handed out by the BigDog Hosts.

Chris & Kay Wedding

August is normally a bit of a wet month, but recently the sun gods have been strong.

The Kent Life Museum was the location for Chris, and Kays wedding.

I met Chris, and Kay a year ago on a recommendation from a cycling friend. Immediately we got on well reveling in their excitement for their day.
Both carrera ladies, their planning was meticulous, paying off with a great day.

One of the first questions they put over, was, had I photographed a same sex wedding before, no was the instant reply. The only difference, no groom, which wasn't an issue, more interesting as they wanted a slight difference to their arrival to the more traditional proceeding.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

2 years and still going...

It's been 2 years now since I had a day job, a regular income each month. It's still hard to calm down from over 20 years as an employee with companies.

Getting used to being self employed is daunting constantly searching for new clients to maintain a liveable income. Looking back I consider myself very lucky, I'm in an industry which is heavily saturated with photographers all trying to find a place to sell their work.
Marketing my work is a major challenge, one that will always be tough. There are many sites that will promote what you do, but that comes at a price, and a lot of further cold calls. This for me was an expensive learning curve in my first year, but, then there are some very good sales people out there trained in the art of opening your wallet.

For all the advertising I have paid for the return has been minimal, so I'm very wary now.

My journey so far has been amazing...

The last 12 months has been amazing, looking back on my social media posts, it looks that I have been busy. Starting the year knee deep in mud to hanging off a golf buggy during a wedding to having the hottest spring in Paris, to following cyclist around northern France, to loosing clients.

What a change from going up to London everyday for a stressful day, followed by a stressful journey back home.

The Question:

So what are my goals, where am I going with this?

Questions bouncing around in my head all the time.

Originally, when I was in a full time job, the idea was to do my photography during the weekends to slowly build the experience, and style for when I retire from the day job at 65, helping to supplement the pension, if any, bit of a retirement plan in the future.

When at home doing a bit of admin, odd jobs around the house, it kind of feels like some kind of retirement.

I still haven't answered my question, where I'm I going with my photography.

Awards and photo competitions, not sure thats its all cracked up to be. Maybe beneficial to some.

All out Wedding Photographer, I'm told that is where the money is. Well I like doing weddings, but not keen to do them all the time.

Portrait Photography, Probably my weakest area purely because I don't do a lot of this, maybe down to marketing and having willing participants to sit for me.

I am learning that the industry is fickle and constantly changing, what I like about what I do is being able to deal with different type of photography. Covering a sporting event, then moving on the a wedding, some corporate commissions, to product photography, to being on the bak of a motorbike photographing riders for a charity.

Thats Awesome...

Ps, still not answered my question.....   

Pivot TwentyFour12

For the last couple of years I have been making a journey down to Plymouth to photograph an enduro event over 24 hours.
recently the Event was known as the Bontrager TwentyFour12 (Bonty to the riders).
Now with a new sponsorship deal with Pivot Cycles from America the PivotTwentyFout12 was introduced for 2016  #Pivot2412

To this day it amazes me how these riders do this kind of event.
There are a select few that ride from 12 midday on the Saturday to 12 midday on Sunday, grabbing food and drink as they go along, but how do they combat the desire to sleep, or stay awake with all the fatigue that builds.

There are Teams of riders too, who pair up into four riders, some are mixed between male and female, or all female teams.
Between the teams there are strategies involved to get as many laps in within the 12 or 24 hour deal lines.

Some teams will start out with each rider will do a lap each passing the timing transponder at the end of their lap. Other strategies maybe that for the daylight hours riders will do a lap each, then during the dark hours change to 2 laps extending the rest period for the others. Or this tactic is used towards the end of the 12 or 24 hours to squeeze in more laps.

For the solo riders it is a case of keeping the rhythm being steady, stay upright, conserving energy, and refuelling as often as possible. Consistency is normally a winning formula.

So how does the mental ability work, what does a rider think about for 12, and 24 hours.
Obviously there is the physical side, but how do you train the mind?

"There is no formula, concentration is the key, putting the fatigue to one side in your mind and focus on the current situation, keeping tempo, avoid dangers, and feed. The minute you let your mind wander and think on other things, thats when problems start, and you find yourself making mistakes and probably crashing".   Russ Welch Vets solo 24 hour winner.