New Grosset website

Over the past 18 months I have been commissioned to take many more ‘non-weddings’ photographs than usual. So at the beginning of this year I decided to completely redesign my Grosset website to reflect this.
My work there is not so differnt from my work at weddings – I take the same observational approach, and I think that my pictures show the true story and atmosphere of the subject in an honest manner.
The highlight of the year was being commissioned to fly to Paris to photograph the Michelin starred restaurant Le Violon d’Ingres, although my other work for local East Lothian organisations such as Leuchie House, and local businesses such as Lockett Bros, is no less enjoyable! I even managed to fit in a quick fashion shoot for The Costswold Tailor in Woodstock, England.
Please visit www.grosset.co.uk and leave a comment here to let me know what you think!

The Importance of Photography

This is an old advert for Kodak about the importance of photographs. It’s a shame the old giant of photography is seeking protection from bankruptcy, but the message from the film – the importance of photographs – is as strong as ever.

You can watch it on YouTube here

 

Summer Holidays

I can’t remember the last time I had a summer holiday. After all, summer is the peak time for wedding photographers. However, some things are more important than work, and after meeting Charlotte and her two sons eight months ago, I quickly booked two weeks out of my schedule, at the beginning of the English school holidays.

They arrived two weeks ago in North Berwick and I was slightly apprehensive of what the boys would think. However, two borrowed bikes, beaches galore, a football and weather that was (except for a couple of days) perfect, seemed to provide enough entertainment for two teenagers. They even managed to meet a schoolfriend from Oxford on the beach! It was also Charles’ birthday, so that was an excuse for one of the two parties we had. (That’s Charles, grinning with his new laptop, in the second photo below.)

It was really great for them to see where I live and to meet my friends again (they’d last seen them in Marrakech.) I now see a flurry of Facebook activity going on between Seb, Charles, Neil and Callum!

Charlotte and I live 360 miles apart – a whole days travel whether driving or taking the train – and our conflicting work schedules mean that this was the first time she, Seb and Charles had visited North Berwick. In fact, it was the first time they’d been to Scotland.

I have plans for the next trip they make……

 

A Royal Wedding Present

A book by my friend and colleague Glyn Davies has been chosen by the Prime Minister as his wedding gift to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Glyn is a landscape photographer on Anglesey, where the couple live, and David Cameron declared he’d found these “excellent images” that would remind them of their time on the island. You too can have a copy of this unique wedding gift, and see his stunning landscapes by visiting his web site.

An international wedding photographer

I have been looking at some of the statistics revealed by Google analytics, about visitors to this web site, and they are fascinating.
In the past 12 months, there have been visitors from 95 different countries. While the top 5 countries offer no surprises (UK, USA, Canada, Australia and France) the bottom 23 with one visitor from each country are interesting! Moldova, Belarus and Cambodia all feature, and very welcome they are too.
If the one visitor from St Vincent and the Grenadines, or the one visitor from the British Virgin Islands is a Bride or Groom – then yes, I’d love to be your wedding photographer!
I also had three visits from Azerbaijan, and further probing leads me to think they all came from Belarus. Some of the cities the visitors came from demanded a further Googling: I’ve learned that Zaporilzhia is a city in the Ukraine (two visitors) Rocky Hill is in Connecticut, USA (two visitors) and Ixellos is a suberb of Brussels (another two visitors.) However, as expected, Edinburgh, London and Glasgow make up the top three cities where my visitors are based.¬†So, an international audience for my documentary wedding photography in Scotland!

The Angus Boys

I returned from Nairn the long way round, via Aberdeen. I was there to photograph four year old Callum and two year old Innes. Apparently I’d photographed Callum before, when he was a very young baby and his parents were guests at a wedding I photographed.
The only way the weather could have been worse was if it had been raining, but then for two young boys, a freezing gale force wind is something to be enjoyed (unlike us adults!)
As I left Aberdeen, the radio was announcing a road near Glenshee closed because of drifting snow, and that the Shetland ferry was stuck outside Aberdeen harbour in 70mph winds….

Canada

The most frequent comment I heard when telling people about my trip last month to take my parents to visit my brother in Alberta was “Canada? Oh, how lovely!”
Well, no Рnot all of it is lovely. Most of it is flat and covered in trees, cut through by wide straight  highways. This is the road from Edmonton to Grande Prairie, our destination. It takes 5 hours if you set the cruise control to the speed limit:

There are small settlements dotted along every hour or so, but none with any charm:

I have a satnav app for Canada on my iPhone. Useful for the cities, but fairly redundant outside of them. This says ‘turn right in 275 km.’
The more observant of you will notice that the cruise control was set above the speed limit!

However, I did manage to escape for 24 hours, to visit a fellow Wedding Photojournalist Association member in Jasper.
It’s not every day you drive a 600 mile round trip for dinner, but it was worth it! Alisen Charlten and I had a fascinating chat about the similarities and differences of weddings in Scotland and Canada. Most of the couples she photographs are from outside the Jasper area, who come there to get married surrounded by it’s natural beauty.
The next morning, despite the dreary weather, I was able to see why. I’ve never considered myself to be a landscape photographer, but with scenery like this, you can’t fail to get a few ‘picture post card’ images. I’ve always agreed with the great Joe McNally that “I’ve never seen a landscape that couldn’t be improved by putting someone in it!” And in that respect, Alisen has the best of both worlds.

Finally we flew to Toronto, to meet my nephew who’s studying music there. (He’s know to his friends as “Tom ‘YouTube Sensation’ Grosset“) I liked Toronto, and will visit again sometime – when it’s not raining, and for longer than the 36 hours we spent there. Here’s the night time view from my hotel room window: