Bryan Ferry at the Symphony Hall Photography

Bryan Ferry in Birmingham

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Continuing my current run of gigs in seated venues last night was the chance to shoot Bryan Ferry at the Symphony Hall.

The audience were a real mix of generations, those who had seen him in Roxy Music those who joined in later.  I met some lovely people who going to lots of the shows, they were simply loving the experience.  

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The man has charisma and presence, every suave and sophisticated description I've ever read he personifies, his voice is perfect he can still take you on that journey and his audience were with him from the start.  The question of a mirror in the attic should be addressed, he looks good, no scrap that he looks great.

Support for the evening was Juanita Stein who was as lovely as she appeared on the videos I've watched, and well worth seeing in her own right when she returns to Birmingham.

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For a kid who first saw Bryan Ferry on Top of the Pops in the 70's he remains as impressive and striking as my initial impression. 

The full review and images will be on Birmingham Live.

Joan as Police Woman at Town Hall, Birmingham

Joan as Police Woman in Birmingham 

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A quick trip into Birmingham last night to photograph Joan as Police Woman at the Town Hall as we were covering this for Birmingham Live.

Support was from Birmingham’s own Fyfe Dangerfield who I hadn’t see for years but as was as lovely as I remembered.  Joan has an incredible voice, our reviewer was starry eyed within a few minutes, the full review with more images is here. 

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I seem to be shooting at more seated venues for the next few gigs I’m covering too.  Pits and flying drinks will have to wait a few weeks.

 

Lisa Stansfield at Symphony Hall, Birmingham

Lisa Stansfield in Birmingham

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After a few weeks, which have allowed time for some of the additional technical aspects I want to create, adding more techniques and working further on my photoshop abilities I’ve another run of gigs starting.

Last night I stepped in for a friend to shoot Lisa Stansfield.  I remember her well, superb voice, great 90’s hits, one of the best signature songs ever and I got a big surprise when I arrived.  Often for concerts I take images and leave, last night I had been given a seat and what a treat that turned out to be.

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Support for the evening was Irit, who is a multitalented singer. Complete with band, her music is a combination of a kind of folk and jazz.

Lisa is better live than I imagined, I’m still wondering why didn’t see her years ago.   Her vocal ability is as strong as ever and in the Symphony Hall she had the venue to value it.  She is perfectly toned and super fit giving her the capability to perform with ease for a full hour and half.  A beautifully paced show, with real highs and those gentle moments when the tempo is taken down and her voice is showcased.  

The crowd loved it, the band were tight and Lisa shone. 

The full review and images are on Birmingham Live.

 

 

Hands and expression

Hands

I was editing some portrait work and realised as I was cataloging, how often I photograph hands, just hands, as a main subject as part of a wedding day.

The photo with the mehndi was the grandmothers hands, we did’nt share a language but we both understood what I saw when i showed her the image.  

It never fails to surprise me how much we say without words and that a gesture or action conveys so much, the togetherness,  the support, the fun.

Mark E. Smith

Mark E. Smith 

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When I first met my other half an essential part of getting together involved a joint love of music. The Wedding Present, Magazine and The Fall were essential listening on his part after all I loved The Smiths and Morrissey how could I have missed out on these greats?

That was soon put right.

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The first time I saw The Fall live I was well aware of the anything can happen aspect...but I watched a brilliant gig and MES mesmerised.  Maybe I’ve just remained lucky but I've seen The Fall a fair few times and each was an event, with a crowd that loved the gig.

The music of The Fall often accompanied me on long car journeys as I had a job (previously) that required me to be “on the road” for a majority of my time.  I played them before heavy duty meetings - lyrics that would make me inwardly smile always helped.  

On a personal level I wanted to photograph them, MES could sparkle but small gigs could be tricky if MES started flaying the mike stand about. 

 

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My chance came at a festival in 2010 but from the safety of the barrier, by getting down the front early and shooting on the barrier, in the crowd.   The regulars who piled in were great, lots of big lads but they looked after me, maybe they got how important it was to me - the place bounced.  It was tricky but I look at the images now (still early in my live music shooting) and I still get what the younger me was aiming for - the character. 

Our reviewer noted that The Fall produced “the defining set of the weekend” which said it all and they were amongst some stern competition.

Close friends and my other half feel they’ve lost family. Mark E.Smith created music thats touched their lives for decades. Many had met him and are sharing great stories. 

I have photos which are my memories,  so I’m sharing those.

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Author: Stephanie Colledge 

Back to the Convention 

SWPP Photographers Convention in London

Luckily for me I love learning, I always have, so every opportunity to extend what I can do photographically is a must.  I want to be able to offer the best images I can produce. 

The Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers (SWPP) of which I am a member, hold a yearly convention in London.  The event is perfectly timed as a great kick off to the new year and includes a range of speakers giving classes on all aspects of photography.

For me it is great opportunity to learn and expand my outlook.  I select classes on specific subjects that I intend to work further on this year.    This time these included natural posing, (which is the way i like to work) and have I some additional things I can bring to this.  A more technical class looking at technology changes within equipment which will help with some of the investments I will make over the year, and a lighting class which I should joke was illuminating, but really gave me some ideas about using the equipment I have but in a more daring way! Its a technique that needs lot of practise and I’m working on it - as I loved the results.

Wedding Fayres for 2018

Exhibiting at local Wedding Fayres

I will be exhibiting at more wedding fayres over the next few months.. confirmed ones detailed below (more to be added).  Please come along and say hello,  I would love to hear about your plans for your day. 

If you would like information to attend let me know. 

2018 Dates

25th February @ The Chace Hotel, Coventry

7th June @ The Chace Hotel, Coventry - Evening 

9th September @ Mercure Hotel,   Daventry 

30th September @ The Chace Hotel, Coventry 

2017 a quick look back

My favourite images from 2017

Well its all about looking ahead now, its 2018 and lots of things are happening already!

I’ve met some lovely people last year, at a whole range of events and I’m looking forward to photographing a wide range of engagement shoots, people and creating wedding photography for my couples to treasure.

So before I start talking about that, a quick look back at some of my favourite images from 2017.  

As a wedding photographer providing photography is a real pleasure. Thank you to my couples for letting me share your day.  Shooting couples who deeply love each other, just makes the whole experience even better. I love watching the telepathy between people who are so in tune, it is a delight. When there is lots of laughter and the pure enjoyment of just being with each other is the most important thing, it really shows and helps me create natural photographs that show how you are together. 

Character shows in all sorts of ways and furry character is fun to capture.  In  2017 I met a few fabulous dogs to photograph.  I’m hoping a few more may be at the weddings and engagement shoots I’m doing in 2018 (good behaviour permitting).

Live music has been a passion for a long time and in 2017 I had some great opportunities to shoot and see bands and musicians that put in stunning performances and expanded both the types of images I shoot and my listening.  These included Queen and Adam Lambert (I've still not recovered), Elbow, British Sea Power, Richard Ashcroft, Rag 'n' Bone Man, and Public Service Broadcasting,  A first for me in shooting a jazz orchestra, the NYJO  and country music courtesy of  Keifer Sutherland whose gravelly tones made for a different type of gig .   My personal favourites, The Cribs,  Dutch Uncles, The Wedding Present and Sparks are bands I love which means shooting them is a combination of challenge and enjoyment at the same time.

2018 is lining up to be an interesting mix of subjects again, weddings, relaxed portraits, more dogs and of course live music - I can't wait. 

 

 

Its really snow joke!

Furrrst time in the snow 

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My lovely JRT boy had never seen snow......he put two paws out of the door and reversed back in.  As he can be a shy one, we showed him it was ok and the next thing he was playing, snuffling and enjoying a whole new experience.

Snowflake nose soon became his speciality alongside bounding in untouched snow!

 

 

Queen and Adam Lambert in Birmingham

Queen and Adam Lambert

This year the opportunities have kept coming and I was delighted to gain a pass for Queen and Adam Lambert on their first night at Arena Birmingham.  

The combination of Queen with Adam gives a whole new life to the music live. It was a delight to have the chance to hear and see some of those great songs performed.

The mini review and images on Birmingham Live!

 

Bananarama!

Bananarama - the original line up Birmingham 

I was in pinch myself territory when the announcement was made that the original line up of Bananarama, Siobhan, Sara and Keren would be touring at the end of this year.

Fast forward a few months and I'm at packed out Arena Birmingham with the chance to photograph.  Party night was in full swing as soon as the group appeared.

The full review and photographs are here on Birmingham Live! 

 

James Blunt live in Birmingham

James Blunt 

This year I set myself all sorts of photographic challenges one of which was to get out and  shoot bands and musicians that were not "indie bands with duelling guitars".   It's good as it makes me work in different ways, learn and try new techniques, plus I listen to lots of different music!

James Blunt at Arena Birmingham Stephanie Colledge Photography_ copy.jpg

Last night I ventured into Birmingham to see James Blunt and if any of you are surprised, I know he is a marmite choice for some,  but hey  - I was impressed and so was our reviewer  (the full review is here on Birmingham Live.)

The man has talent, charm, humour and that voice. For gig photographers it is often the case that you leave the venue as soon as you have shot the allocated songs, often 3 (in this case only 2).   Often thats fine, but sometimes like with this one I'd have loved to have seen the whole gig (next time I will).