Inner City Live in Birmingham with Doves, Johnny Marr, The Coral and The Twang

Music Photography with DOVES, Johnny Marr, The Coral and The Twang at Perry Park.

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Following on from the blistering heat of last week the one day Inner City Live Festival in Birmingham promised to be a sunshine special.  The festival offered a brilliant line up which was to consist of Doves, Johnny Marr and The Coral and even better I had a pass to shoot.  

Cue Sunday and constant rain (rain seems to be inevitable in my outdoor shooting this year). It was as if those from the north brought their own specific weather system with them.  The crowds were not deterred, more like determined to have a great time and so their enthusiasm created a really good one day event.  

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It was not the easiest shooting conditions when its raining but with Doves and Johnny Marr on the same line up, well that’s a gift, music that I listen to regularly and love. 

The crew were sweeping water off the stage when we arrived and both The Twang and The Coral were set up nearer the back of the stage for this reason.  I like The Coral the more I see them…they’re consistently great.  By the time Johnny Marr came on there was a break in the weather and he was front and centre, complete with that aura he brings to the stage.  He played a festival friendly set including his latest material and a smattering of Smiths songs with all of his signature moves on show.   

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It started raining again, the crowds were ready and Doves took to the stage.  Opening with Fire Suite followed by Snowden which is a wonderful experience, it’s the way their music envelops you.  Three songs with Doves and I was out of the pit and in the crowd.

The crowd loved them, many had travelled miles to be there and rain wasn’t going to slow anyone down.  Black and White Town, Kingdom of Rust and Pounding really hit the mark in terms of activity for a tired, soaked audience.  The encore was The Cedar Room and There Goes the Fear then a surprise..well at least for me Space Face…which had me surrounded by guys throwing shapes!

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I trudged in somewhat wet already thinking it would be a tricky day to shoot.  I left elated that images with rain spots are not the end of the world and that the bands gave it everything.

A few images from the day are enclosed.

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The full review and more images will be on Birmingham Live! soon. 

Wedding Photography at Pendrell Hall

Pendrell Hall Wedding

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Sometimes when you first meet a couple you know you are a perfect fit for shooting their wedding. This was the case when we met Leanne and Wayne and Leanne’s parents.  The two of them had such a strong connection, so many ideas, a love of Friends (the TV show), dogs and Disney that we share. This was combined with a great sense of fun and the most fabulous wedding venue Pendrell Hall .

Since the booking nearly two years ago, we’ve emailed and chatted, met up for an engagement shoot shared with their puppy and had a pre-wedding meeting that had everything detailed well in advance.

When I went on my location visit I was wowed by their choice of venue.  Pendrell Hall is simply stunning.  The venue offers some of the most beautiful gardens, views and interiors perfect for a June wedding complete with plans for an outdoor service, outside games, bouncy castle, time for guests to relax,  just add a little sunshine.

So we get the wettest, coldest June day for years, more like a November/December day, and all the carefully laid plans changed. But everyone had the best time imaginable!  

The love these two and their families share is exceptional, so constant rain and really low temperatures could not stop it being a wonderful and memorable day.  Pendrell Hall ran beautifully, on an extremely difficult day for a venue, nothing was too much trouble for their co-ordinator or staff - even throwing confetti indoors!  

On all weddings it is we (Ian my other half is my second shooter, lighting assistant and whatever other help I need…helper).    We had a plan b for images and our couple, family and friends worked with us.  The images we created are all about the love, fun, people and the immense delight of finding the right person.

As we arrived for bridal prep and the wine was flowing, the girls were all together and the chatter and music was going.  The venue has a suite of rooms with a lovely dressing room area which was perfect for everyone in the bridal party, it is complete with large mirrors and plenty of space.  Hair was well underway and makeup soon followed.  Leanne’s dress was beautiful and suited her perfectly, she looked amazing.  Wayne and his groomsmen got ready on site too which made visiting both bride and groom for preparations a quick walk.

The service was changed to be indoors and when Leanne swept in with her Dad he did his utmost to hold it together. The glances and laughter exchanged between Leanne, Wayne, nan and her mum while he kept looking directly at me said everything about how proud he was. 

After the service as the rain continued we decided on group shots indoors.  The venue staff were great and quickly cleared the space that we needed so that we could get to work on indoor groups.  Formality was soon put to one side which made for an entertaining set of photos!

Speeches before the meal allowed everyone to relax.   Just as the evening guests arrived the rain gave up for a few minutes and with lightning speed our couple, parents and two guests ran outside to help us with an outside shot which would keep Leanne’s dress off the floor and safe from being soaked.  We somehow managed the quickest couple shot and large group shot in the least time… before everyone ran for cover as the rain started again.  

Like all things with Leanne and Wayne there were surprises, the first dance was a showstopper. A complete routine with co-ordinated moves which their guests loved (they must have practised for hours).

We loved being part this of this very special day.


Venue: Pendrell Hall

Wedding Dress: David’s Bridal

Florist: The Flower Shop, Codsall

Cake:  Connies Cakes 

Suits: Blooms

DJ: Stuart The Best Fun 

Hair: Sarah

Makeup: Hazel 

Bloc Party - Silent Alarm in Birmingham

Bloc Party at the o2 Academy, Birmingham

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For those of you that read my missives you will know I help organise Birmingham Live!  Well sometimes I remember to organise a gig for me to shoot too.  Not part of my original plan but the chance to shoot Bloc Party playing Silent Alarm at the o2 Academy on Saturday night was too good to miss.

Silent Alarm is a great album, to be played in full on a summer Saturday to packed academy crowd, nice one.  The supports were Liz Lawrence (I really liked her and will be checking out more of her stuff) and whenyoung who are definitely worth catching and our reviewer will have a lot to say about them.

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Bloc Party exceeded every expectation I had.  A great live performance and both testing and dynamic lighting.

A perfect example of how to deliver a legacy album to a live crowd.

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The full review is on Birmingham Live.

A change to the May bank Holiday - 8th May, 2020

There was an announcement last week regarding the May Bank Holiday for 2020. The date has been moved from the 4th (Monday) to the 8th (Friday) May, 2020. This is for the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, which will enable the holiday to form part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events.

A fun day out on Sunday 2nd June which will be dog perfection.

Pawprints Fun Dog Show 2019

Nearly two years ago we adopted our boy from Pawprints in Rugby and as anyone who reads my blog will know he has had a massive effect on both of us and that we love the team at Pawprints Dog Rescue. 

At the time he moved in I had just added dog photography to my services. Lots of dogs I meet are very well socialised and love the attention and fun of creating some memories for their family, they are the complete opposite of mine.  Over the last twenty plus months I have learned a lot from him about nervous behaviours and dog body language.  Gradually with trust and a good trainer guiding us it has been great to see him change into the more confident version that now “will model for treats” but he still has his moments. 

This year Pawprints have a huge day planned which includes Agility, Flyball and Dog Parkour (I’m looking forward to seeing this) as well as the Fun Dog Show.  I will have a stand showing a selection of my photographs and images and there will be lots of stalls and dog delights to see.

Come along, bring your furry family members and support this special charity day.

Pawprints Fun Dog Show is at Old Laurentians RFC, Lime Tree Avenue, Rugby CV22 7QT. 

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