Why I've sucked at blogging & the journey to Be The Adventure....

Where to start...the beginning as the old joke goes, seems appropriate.

Im not big headed (other than physically) but I like to think I'm a bit of a wordsmith and fairly comfortable jotting down my random thoughts but for some reason I suck at blogging.

I can't decide if its a time thing (wedding season seems to make the clock spin faster) an actual preference thing (not feeling a blog is wanted, needed or something I enjoy) or am I just rubbish at it (most likely)  I follow quite few blogs and I know most of the fellow togs I know and share with are mad bloggers so with that in mind, I've decided to give it another go. 


So far this year I have blogged one wedding (we are quite a few weddings in so far so its catch up time) but I thought i would start with a random ramble about this blog journey.  Why not eh, might as well delay it further....


Now - this will be a long, winding and all over the place journey for the year ahead (fingers crossed) with weddings, our road trips & adventures, my niece growing up (10 months and counting, late with that chat also) and some other words and photos in between to keep it a little fun.  Will anyone want to read it is the other question but Im not the one to answer that - we can add that to part of the journey...

We have some new adventures, projects and exciting things planned for this year and beyond so strap in and help us Be The Adventure.  What is Be The Adventure??  

Its not an original title or statement but it means something to us and it's going to be a sort of mantra for Team Number94 for going forward.  Its the main crux of what we are aiming to do with both our personal and business path - we all have stories, journeys, experiences, fears, strengths and families.  These parts will change daily, form part of the journey itself and bring our adventure together....

Who wants to join us???

Ross xx


The Wedding of Natasha & Kyle

On a crisp but clear and dry winters day in February, we were at the wedding Natasha & Kyle.  

Natasha&Kyle-45.jpg

This super cool and relaxed couple were the perfect people to kick start our 2017 wedding season at the horse daft Ingliston Country Club.  We couldn't of asked for better weather and even had a 'flurry' of snow for all of 3 minutes......magical.

Ingliston is one of those venues that doesn't need much exploring or moving about as each of the cool spots you can use for photos are pretty much next to each but offer different things and options for composition as you'll see below....

 

We loved being part of their big day and providing them with the images they were looking for and helping with the memories they made on their wedding day.

 

Ross xx

Edit daft.........

Photoshop........that semi little word that everyone these days knows about and expects a lot from at times.

I get asked by folk after taking a picture more often than not that - 'you can fix me in photoshop' or 'mind and photoshop me good'.....what does it all mean to photographers these days.  Is there still room for a plain, unedited (apart from a wee brighten up etc) photo or are peoples expectations when they get a picture taken by a 'professional' that they will go photoshop daft and make them magazine front cover material?????

So if people expect so much, should photographers go mad with it and edit the bejesus out a picture or should the photo be as the the person taking it captured it initially?  There was obviously a reason they took the particular shot and why they composed it in the first place - surely they didn't look at it and then go 'its cool, i'll fix it all in photoshop'....

My particular style and look i aim for in all photo work is a certain vintage/sleepy/soft approach and the editing is no different as I knew at the time of taking the picture exactly what i wanted to achieve, leaving me with little and sometimes no editing to be done but there are some photographers i follow (and have respect for still.  whoever takes the photo, took it for whatever reason they chose and thats all that matters) who completely change the look and feel and set up of the original shot in photoshop, some to amazing effect, creating beautiful and spectacular photos and some to not so great success and positivity and again it is entirely to each photographers style, purpose for the shot and mind as to why they chose to edit it that way but sometimes the initial shot and composition has the more breathtaking impact than the completely obliterated one.

Now, as a photoshop user  I cannot completely say editing is not needed, required at times or a must (especially in some shoot situations) but what got me thinking of this has a two fold story.  The first was using my iPhone to take a random snap in the street and seeing the huge amount of option to edit and change how it was taken all from within the phones software, meaning all that can take a photo can edit it to make it either better, worse or different so therefore are we surprised that everyone expects touch ups of a photo when professionally taken and should we as photographers accept and not get miffed that clients or subjects in a photo will also expect it from every photo (the big dramatic skies or the completely flawless skin) even when its just a wee wander down the street for milk.  The second part of this rambling regarding editing photos is down to the fact I decided to break out an old 35mm film camera my dad gave me and see what can be done.  Given this camera is 40 years old and needs some repairs and given my basic knowledge of how to handle the wee beast, I was pleasantly surprised with the results and that it took me back to getting into photography all those years ago with my dad and the excitement of taken a film along to be processed and waiting with bated breathe on the results or potential lack of.  No real editing other than whoever processes them can lighten or darken the film but mainly a possible hit or miss on an entire roll of film.........Should I now try and approach my photo taking with the same anticipation as the old film camera or should I continue to rely on the fact that i can check the picture straight away and then rely on photoshop for the rest.........the jury is undecided at this stage.

 

As always I will finish with a quote (two actually)  The first I have no idea who said it but it made me chuckle and the second is a photographer who knows his stuff...

 

"you were beautiful.......until your photoshop 30 day trial expired"......

"Somehow photoshop and the ease with which one can produce an image has degraded the quality of photography in general".....Elliott Erwitt

 

 

Ross xx

Striking a balance......

Evening you lovely lot,

I had a meeting today with an old friend from rugby who runs his own business within the fitness industry.  We both are trying to get our respective business's out there and build our own empires and we got talking about social media and how it benefits and sometimes hinders us.

Now, we both agreed that we like social media and what it can offer for little or no money (always a benefit when starting out) but also have some issues with it.  How often are you expected to update pages?  If you do it too much, will those on your sites start to get a bit miffed? What content do you put up (I do weddings, fitness, commercial etc so can potentially have 3 or 4 jobs a week so what do I highlight?)  Thus the title, striking a balance.  Post too little and people may start to unfollow and forget about you............post too much and it has the same effect possibly.  I am not looking for thousands of likes and  nor do I spend hours looking at the hit rate on my sites but now I have built an audience and there is 'traffic' on them, I do feel I need to maintain it as best as possible without causing issues.

Also, I think that the majority of folk looking for a product or service these days, head straight to Facebook for what they need first and secondly or thirdly check websites.  Does this mean I shouldn't have or use my webpage as much or keep it as updated the same as the FB page?  

Until I started doing this photo game on my own, I hadn't thought of these things as luckily someone else did all the updating and managing of pages for me.  Now I am the gaffer and master of my own destiny, I find myself checking all social media constantly, making sure the website is running and updated and manage all emails and correspondence- this on top of the actual photo taking, but would I change it.............or more importantly should I change it.................doubt it.  When I first made the Facebook page, after an hour of loading a few wee sample pics from my parents Ruby Wedding Anniversary, I had another party booked and a wedding enquiry, can't grumble at that can you!

The free power that social media has and the potential to send your words and images around the world means that for the time being there is no better way to highlight your product or service but as they say- with great power, comes great responsibility and therefore choosing carefully when, what and where to post things makes or breaks social media from a business perspective and finding the balance is key.

Again, I find a quote will finish this nicely....

"We don't have a choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we do it..."      Erik Qualman

 

Ross xx 

First time is always the hardest.....

Well people, I'm taking the plunge and trying this blog malarky out.  

After speaking to the amazing Lisa from Palompo PR, we both agree that blogs and writing about yourself and what you've been up to (the craic) is where its at

Now, when your main remit is pictures and not words this can prove more difficult than you expect but here goes, why no start at the beginning. 

I know they say the biggest influences you can have are those closest to you and I am no different here.  Bear with me and I'll explain. My dad and grandad were the reason I got into sports and in particular rugby.  They were both high level cyclists and had an amazing passion and insight into healthy living and fitness in general which they instilled in me and my siblings.  Both these amazing men also had a big interest and amateur perspective for photography which I also followed them into.

I used to play rugby at a fairly decent level and I am that stereotypical, alpha male who has to win and be number one at all costs (another of my fathers traits-a painfully, competitive nature)  I was fortunate to be able to play rugby at adult level for almost 10 years and in general for nearly 20 years before my battered and bruised body finally gave up, much to the delight of my wife and mother.  

When I hung the boots up, I found I was at a loose end at weekends for the first time in a decade and became frustrated and bored very quickly.  It was a this point that I took the camera back up and buried myself in learning all about composition, lighting and taking a picture further than just pointing and shooting.  I was obsessed and the creative fire for photography had been ignited and its was to lead to some big and amazing things in the coming years (i'll go into this soon)

I was lucky enough to meet and work with another wedding photographer for a few years and learn and ply my trade at some amazing venues and wedding across Scotland.  As with many things though, there comes a time when you need to spread your creative wings and take a chance.  I decided in September of 2014 that I wanted to go it alone and make a name for myself. Sounds easy I thought, should be a skoosh.  How wrong was I.  First hurdle- what do I call my empire.  I had it in my head that I did not want to use my actual name for the company and I wanted something that wasn't obvious.  Many scribblings and hair tearing moments passed until Number94 Photography was thrown out there to friends and family.  Sometimes things stare you in the face and you miss them, case in point here as the 94 is actually my house number and it has an awesome story as its actually my childhood home which i was lucky enough to buy off of my parents a few years ago.  My clean and crisp name was in the bag, now for a logo.  This was where I thought I would give up as I had no idea where to go with this.  Step in my brothers, brother in law Jamie and after giving the most vague info for what I wanted ("you know me mate, just draw something me") he went away and 2 days later he emailed me his "rough idea" for my logo.  His rough and my rough clearly differ as it was exactly what I wanted.   The pipe dream was quickly becoming a reality and it felt good.

There is no hiding the fact that I am an 18 stone, heavily tattooed chap with an unruly but exquisite beard.  I am not what you would call your typical 'grey suite brigade' wedding snapper and I am proud of that fact.  There are thousands of vintage style, 'different' photographers in this industry but my story and photos speak for me and I genuinely feel I am bringing something different to the ever changing wedding game.

As I said at the start of this blurb, this is the first of my jotting down the comings and goings of Number94 Photography.  I am sure i'll find my writing style and become the next Hemingway or Hunter S Thompson in time for the next rambling and I can already see what I am looking to get across in the next blog. 

I'll end with a quote to tide you over...."You don't take a photograph. You make it" Ansel Adams

 

Ross xx