Adapting As An Artist

To Adapt with changing times, understanding you need to change is the first step!

I’ve recently had to thoroughly scrutinise myself and my work to figure out how to use my skills for the good and benefit of everyone connected with me.

It’s quite a difficult thing to do, really look at yourself and work out where you’re going wrong, who you are and who you want to be etc. When you discover the bad parts about yourself, it kicks you in the gut but is great for an idea of where to start.

My work life wasn’t really going anywhere. I was picking up the odd job here and there but nothing solid enough to support my family and everything I do is to help them to survive. Our survival was coming in to question because of the lack of direction I had. I felt like I was letting them down, which I was and these alarm bells were ringing for me to take notice.

This is one of the very first photographs in the first portfolio I put together to get accepted on to a level three photography course at NWHC in 2012

Looking back to correct your ways.

There’s not a lot of point in looking backwards but you must remember the mistakes and don’t make them again. It’s how we all grow and the more mistakes we make, the more lessons we get and as long as we understand how to grow from those mistakes, it should be easy to pass through the lesson.

I’ve had to look back at my website because I've had a dry spell where I’ve had no work after working in temporary jobs through an agency. Some good jobs and some truly terrifying! Last week I came in to a bit of good fortune because a talented photographer Simon Turner hired me to second shoot for him at a wedding within the grounds of an old Granary deep in the countryside of Fawsley, Daventry called The Granary Hotel and Wedding Venue. That was awesome, although a real challenge with it being the hottest day of the year and the guests didn’t want to move much, nobody did!

This photograph is from one of my recent weddings. I love this picture because it offers some anonymity to those in the picture with their identities are not completely revealed and the photograph still tells you a story.

This photograph is from one of my recent weddings. I love this picture because it offers some anonymity to those in the picture with their identities are not completely revealed and the photograph still tells you a story.

A Wedding Theme Developing.

I’ve had to look at where my talents lie in photography and it always boils down to street, documentary and the landscape / environment. Wedding photography requires the perfect combination of each of those genres because my street shooting experience keeps me on my toes, I’m alert to my whole surroundings, aware of the little stories developing around me as people live through their lives, interacting with each other.

Documentary style helps me to see where the stories are happening and know where and how to get the photograph without interfering with the scene (as little as possible anyway). The landscape and the environment is the stuff of features and backgrounds. My understanding of combining these skills to produce what I feel is my best work, is where I need to place my efforts.

My filmmaking is an entirely different entity with regards to weddings but it’s a talent that I need to develop.
So I’ve reshaped my entire website to represent myself as a documentary wedding photographer and storytelling filmmaker. I’ve placed my photographic practice in a personal box that can only be commissioned privately or for a wedding.

Ratcliffe On Soar Power Station. I made this while on the way home from photographing a family day with SSAFA (The Armed Forces Charity). This is the kind of image that I’ll be including in with my personal practice from now on.

New Website

With taking heed of my thoughts and desire to develop more as an artist, I’m placing my focus on documentary wedding photography and the production of promotional films. I’ll still be practicing photography as an artist but my main focus of my website is now aiming for employment. I have a family at home and a little girl that I intend on giving a good childhood to.

So if you’re familiar with my website, you’ll notice the stark differences.

I hope this new design works and does the job I’m trying to train it to do. Only time will tell.

This photograph forms part of a nationwide project I have been putting together for the past 12 months, The Quirky English Countryside. I’ll still be building projects like this for the good of my soul and the benefit of the wider community but more on a personal level.

Burbage, Hinckley, Leicestershire.

Please have a browse around my website, starting with my home page, which is where people will land when visiting my site and also let me know what you think and I’d love to hear if you find any typos or spelling mistakes.

Thanks for reading my blog.

Hinckley Bid's 9th Annual Soap Box Derby Film

The Soap Box Derby

Hinckley BID (Business Improvement District) organise many social events in the small market town centre in Leicestershire every year in what is now becoming an historic tradition.

I was commissioned to create a short film of the whole event and arrived early on the Sunday morning of the race day.  The first thing I encountered was the huge numbers of entrants hanging around in the pits, tinkering around and putting the final touches towards their carts.

The Soap Box Derby is a timed solo race down Castle Street which is a large hill named after a small Mott and Bailey that centered in Hinckley many years ago.  Castle Street is a long downhill gradient and the course is manufactured with a chicane and a ramp with a large stopping and turning area at the bottom of the hill.

Thousands of people come to Hinckley from all over the UK to watch the derby and this film is a short tribute to everyone that takes part in both the racing and the organisation.

The commission was to create this short film with a focus upon the event and the crowds that flock to watch and for the purpose of showcasing the extent the BID go to, to bring people in to the town centre and to show how good for local business are the BID and the events that bring the footfall.


Documentary Photography and Filmmaking

Public Relations Photography

Corporate Website Imagery

Landscape Photography

Documentary Photography

Clients: Charities, Local Government, Corporate and SME business

Events, promotion and storytelling visual needs

A Commercial Film Production To Remember

I was booked by Diabetes UK to produce a commercial film, a trailer and a series of documentary style photographs.  They came to me because they wanted the natural candid feel that I often produce. They wanted a sense of fun to help promote their Type 1 events to the children and parents who have to endure type one diabetes on a daily basis.

I jumped at the chance because I felt that working with such a genuine and helpful charity is how I want my business to be seen.  I always offer a generous discount to charities.  This opportunity was to work a a large group of 8-10 year olds who all have type 1 diabetes and these events are designed to help the children learn to manage the diabetes on their own, and to continue to enjoy a normal, healthy and active lifestyle.

They attend without their parents and love every minute of it!

Shooting this film and producing the documentary is up there with the best commercial project I've been commissioned to do.  The children were an inspiration and genuinely warmed my heart.

I'm currently at the proofing stage and won't be able to release the film until it has been finalised but rest assured, as soon as it is, I'll be sharing it here.

Maybe a sneak peak at one of the pictures...

You can click through the logos for Diabetes to go to their website and learn more information.

If you'd like to enquire about commissioning me for other assignments, please contact me here.

DMU Student's photo chosen as one of the best pics of the year

This is a nice accolade to start 2017 with.  If you're not aware, I'm studying a photography & video Bachelor of Arts Honours Degree at De Montfort University while running my photography and video business, which is now in to its successful fifth year.

I entered a national student photography competition last year and missed out on £12K worth of prizes by a Gnat's nut.  However, my work was highlighted as highly commendable.

You can read more about my success with this nationwide competition here... 

This was my entry chosen by the judges as significantly good in their opinion.


I also have some even more amazing news to share with you.  My wife Lisa and I had a little too much Paella and Red Wine at one of Lisa's exhibitions last year.  This ended with the most incredible experience of my life.

Emma Leigh Hands was born 31/12/2106 @ 17:29 weighing 4lb 15oz.

My world has just turned upside down and my outlook on life is so very different to that of a couple of weeks ago.  It will be interesting to see if this moment in my life has an impact on my photography style and outlook.

So, 2017 promises to bring around a completely different lifestyle for myself.  I'm sure I'll be working even harder this year.  I'm hoping to get some more work creating films like the last two with R-Tech Performance and Gorman's Fight Club.  I'm happy to make commercial styled films that have a backline story and add a commercial context to be different to the typical advertising style.  I like to create documentary styled films that have high impact and hook the viewers straight away.

I'll also be looking for new clients regarding my still photography side of the business.  I'm hoping to be working with many more (PR) Public Relations Agencies, Commercial and Corporate clients as well as potentially get involved with more charities like SSAFA (The Armed Forces Charity).

What is important to note is that I will be graduating from my degree course and will then be applying myself to my business completely on a full time basis.  This can only mean that my clients are truly going to get the best of me from here onwards.

Happy New Year

If you'd like to get in touch with me, please click on this link.