10 things you didn’t know about me – Part 3

  1. I have been on ‘Don’t Tell the Bride’ – No, I didn’t do my own wedding through Don’t Tell The Bride! A very good friend of mine was engaged and decided to enter the show on a whim and got in! My role was as the photographer (thankfully!) and I had couple of cameos too! I won’t divulge too much but if you want to watch, it’s on All4 and the episode is called ‘Dean and Kayleigh’
  2. I love football and F1 – I’ve always loved football! I played a little bit when I was younger but due to joint problems growing up, it meant that my actual sports activity was limited. But I’ve always loved watching it. It’s how me and my husband met. I went to Bury FC every few home games with my best friend and he said they were looking for a fan photographer for match days and my husband Sam had just joined the media team. I also love Formula 1. My dad watched it for years and I instinctively joined in and grew to love it myself. So now every race weekend, I watch as much F1 as I can!
  3. I would love to live in Scandinavia, if I had the guts! – I love the Scandinavian way of life. All the different Scandinavian countries have such a value of wellbeing, family and simplicity. I would love to live there, either Sweden or Denmark I think. But I don’t have the balls to move out of Greater Manchester, let alone a different country!!
  4. My mum is a vicar and she is the one who married me and my husband – Yeah, I have a very interesting family! After my mum was a professional singer, she decided to devote her life to becoming a Methodist Vicar. She was ordained in 2012 and has a lovely church in Whitefield, Greater Manchester where she also runs a soft-play area and community hub! Once me and Sam got engaged, we couldn’t think of anyone better to marry us than my mum.

10 things you didn’t know about me – Part 2

  1. I adore steam trains – This comes from my dad. My favourite TV show growing up was Thomas the Tank Engine. In all honesty I still watch it to this day if I’m really poorly or feeling really crap. It’s my own little self soothe techniques! Anyway, I grew up watching the show and my dad grew up reading the books. It meant that I was surrounded by steam trains. On trips out as a kid, we went anyway that had a steam railway etc. I do think steam engines and how they work absolutely fascinating. I suppose steam trains give me very happy memories of my childhood and I love reliving that.
  2. I strive to lead a minimalist life – I hate clutter. Which is funny as any of my close family and friends would say I live in clutter. Doesn’t mean I don’t hate it. The phrase “tidy space, tidy mind” couldn’t ring truer for me. In my office, I try and keep it as clutter free as possible, the walls are white and bare and my bookcase with all my bits and pieces is behind me. I work at my best when there isn’t stuff around me to distract me. It also makes me calm when everything is in its place. I always try and keep it that way but as we all know life gets in the way and it means the house is not always the way I’d like it. But, I do try. I’ve watched many documentaries and read many how to guides about keeping your house tidy and having a little stuff as possible. It’s something I’m working on…
  3. I taught myself how to play the guitar aged 12 – As I’ve already mentioned, I grew up in a very music orientated family. My mum could play a fair few instruments, my dad was (and still is to this day) an audio engineer, my sister played the flute and we both were taught to play the piano. I wanted to do something different, so I started playing on my mum’s acoustic guitar. I got a basic chords book for my birthday and from the on in, I taught myself how to play. It’s something I don’t do much anymore and I should as it gives me such joy.

10 things you didn’t know about me – Part 1

So through December, it’s about time some of you got to know me. I will be posting 3/4 things each week you guys probably didn’t know about me. So, lets get cracking!

  1. I have loved to sing from a very young age – This comes from my mum. Growing up, my mum was a professional singer. As kids, me and my sister went to loads of different events and concerts that my mum performed at. I grew up in a very music orientated family, so it wasn’t a massive surprise that I found a great love in singing. My favourite memory of me singing was at high school. It was year 11 and we had a “Leaver’s Service” (I went to a C of E high school) and I had been chosen to sing as part of the service and I sang my GCSE Music performance piece which was my mum’s adapted version of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow” Not many people at high school knew I could sing at seeing everyone enjoy it so much, is one of my happiest memories.
  2. Black coffee runs through my veins – I. Love. Coffee. It’s not the addiction to caffeine, although that is a very useful by-product. But I love the taste of coffee. I don’t mind lattes, cappuccinos etc but to me, there is nothing nicer than sitting down and reading your favourite book or watching your favourite film with a piping hot cup of black coffee. And I’m not talking just instant either. It warms my soul and makes me feel so happy.
  3. I’m now the proud owner of Holly the Labrador – I’ve always wanted a pet. But growing up, I didn’t want the responsibility of a pet. But as I’ve become an adult, I definitely wanted a dog. Sam, my husband’s family have had 3 family dogs growing up and as everyone grew up and flew the nest, we had a chance for Holly to come and live with us and we jumped at the chance. She’s a 10-year-old Black lab. We joke that living with us is her retirement home. She’s so chilled and really caring!

From the Archive: Emma + Mike

On winter day like today, let’s have a look at hot summer wedding!

This was a wedding I’ll never forget. I absolutely loved it!! Emma and Mike’s reception venue was safely one of my favourites. Purely because they built it from the ground up. They hired Tepees and made their own venue in a field in Whitefield. They hired food trucks for their wedding breakfast and everything was tailored to them. Take a look at my quick highlights of their day…

What Kind of Photographer Am I?

I get this question quite often when describing what I do. “What do you do?” “How do you approach a shoot/event?”  I guess you can divide this question into two parts. My photographic style and how I am when I’m taking photos. So, I will answer in two parts.

Photographic Style

It took me a long time to pin down what my photographic style is. For anyone who is unsure what photographic style means, you can define it as ‘Your choice of subject matter, the way you light or style your subjects, your shooting angle, your post-processing style, or any combination of these and more.” Because I shoot broad range of subjects such as weddings, commercial products and events etc, my style can sometimes vary between subjects, but I have 3 consistent styles.

  1. Attention to detail – I very much capture the details. It’s something I trained myself to do when I first starting out in photography. Whether that be an aspect of a wedding day, or a buckle on a handbag.
  2. As natural as possible – I try and show the best of what’s there with the least interference. I find this the most realistic way of portraying my subject. This is also quite a popular style of photography at the moment. The days of spending hours strictly posing your client or subject are fading away.
  3. I direct when needed – This particular applies to weddings. I often know the photo I want in my mind and if for example, the groom just needs to turn their head slightly, I will ask them to do so. This isn’t necessarily posing the client, but I certainly feel it gets me the best results giving your subject a little nudge!

How Am When Photographing my subjects

I can safely say that I has taken me years to learn how to be a photographer but there are some aspects of the job I have never struggled with. I am friendly, open and honest with my clients. I have heard some horror stories of how photographers have been demanding, impolite and snobbish. Anyone who knows me will know that it’s not within my nature to be rude or short. I am warm, friendly and understanding. I will as many questions as needs to get the job done.

I am also aware that I’m being paid to do a job, and that means I need to concentrate. I’ve been told in the past that when concentrating, I frown a lot! It always seems to be in the context of me looking for the perfect shot or perspective on a subject. At first, I didn’t believe anyone, until my partner took a picture of me whilst photographing the fans at Bury FC, and I had a cracking frown and didn’t even know. So, I do apologise if you see me frowning whilst shooting, I’m not annoyed at all, it is purely out of concentrating… but I know it’s something I need to work on! So, there you have it, my brief overview into what kind of photographer I am. I could easily go into specifics for hours, but I’m sure you’ve got plenty to do with the rest of your day!

How I dress for a wedding

So, let’s go back to my first wedding. It was April 2014, I was in Next, and I was panicking that I didn’t have anything to wear. I had 4 staff members giving me various options and I was declining them all. I had watched YouTube videos, scoured many articles on the internet to no avail. The day before the wedding and my mum took me to Debenhams and I finally chose an outfit, a lovely stretchy full-length jumpsuit. It was perfect.

Since then, I have worn countless outfits to many different weddings. I still continue to scour the internet and often ask other wedding photographers what they wear for weddings. I would say dress code for wedding photographers fall into 3 categories:

  • Smart (as if you were a guest yourself)
  • Smart casual (looking nice and presentable but comfortable and versatile)
  • Casual (Jean, t-shirt and converse style)

Right from the get go, I always said to myself (and still do) that I have to be comfy. There is nothing worse than trying to concentrate but your clothes don’t fit or you’re self-conscious. Even though I aim to be comfy, it doesn’t always work out. I had to find that out the hard way! I had a favourite pair of summer wedges, tan leather and they were my comfiest shoes that I’d worn on plenty of nights out and events, however on a particularly hot day, I was in my 8th hour on my feet and they were screaming at me! I felt betrayed by my own shoes.  But it happens sometime, you just have to make sure it doesn’t affect your work. Personally, I draw a fine line between wearing smart casual

Here’s to change

So much has changed. I think it’s safe to say the biggest change is that I got married! Yes, I am now, Mrs Megan Thornton-Thompson. I’m sure you are wondering who photographed my wedding (no I didn’t do it myself!) and I put my trust in the wonderful Rachel Joyce Photography. If you wish to see some of our wedding photos, visit https://www.racheljoycephotography.co.uk/sam-and-megs-manchester-wedding/

One of the main reasons I haven’t been around much in the last 18 months was mostly due to my own wedding. I wanted to be able to enjoy the planning process without being swamped with my full-time job as well as covering weddings. I absolutely loved planning my wedding. It’s safe to say that with the number of weddings I have been to, you know what to do and what not to do. You pick up ideas and reject others. But of course, as anyone who has planned a large wedding themselves, it’s a BIG task. So I allowed myself that time and space to do what I wanted. However, now I’ve had my day (and what an amazing day it was) I’m now ready to return to my passion.

Another reason for keeping my photography on the low down was my mental health. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time, but I really needed time to get better. I have suffered with depression and anxiety for over 6 years now. With thanks to an incredible therapist, I am managing my mental health a lot better now. I still have my down days there are becoming less frequent thankfully!

So, I’m back and I’ve taken time to update my website with new images and have some great bog posts coming your way!

Quotes I live by

Honestly, there are that many quotes I love nowhere days, I could easily be here until Christmas listing them all. And obviously I can’t do that! So here are my top three quotes that I always try to stay true to.

Quotes-I-live-by-3

I agree with this quote so much! Photography to is art but as the quote says, it’s the art of observation too. You have to be able to see things other don’t. You have to be able to anticipate the moment that nobody else would. It’s also the art of perception. Take weddings for example, I’ve had so many bride and grooms come to me saying they hate their photo being taken, yet on the day, you make them feel relaxed and of course, it’s the best day of their life, they’re glowing with happiness! Then they get the images back and go, oh my goodness, I love it!! You’re a curator and it’s your job to allow your subject to blossom. It’s something that I love doing on every single time I pick up my camera.

Quotes-I-live-by-2

I’m not a trends type of person. I don’t like constant change, that’s just how I roll. I am quite a consistent character. So trends are not my thing. I have liked the same fashion, food, style, décor amongst many other things for the past 5 years. Whereas I look on social media and in the street and everything changes every couple of months. I’m not saying this is a bad thing as many people like that constant new thing or trend and it feeds there inner energy so to speak. But for me, once I like something, it takes a lot for me to then change my mind or find something new.

Quotes-I-live-by

So this is one of my all time favourite quotes. I have considered for a long time getting it tattooed on me somewhere. I have always doubted my abilities even from when I was little. This quote reminds me to push myself, to go for it and to go out of my comfort zone. It’s pushed me to be a better person and to let myself do what I want to do. Yes these are very cheesy and cliché phrases but it’s so true.

A sneak peak into my Bullet Journal

It’s become a popular phenomenon to create a bullet journal. For those who do not know what I bullet journal is:

“The Bullet Journal is a customisable and forgiving organisation system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.”

Here are some examples of bullet journals I have simply pulled from Google.

It’s safe to sat that bullet journals appealed to me. I’m a master of and LOVE making lists!! Especially when I can make them as creative as possible. So it didn’t take much to persuade myself to start one. Some people use them more like a diary, having weekly and monthly views and listing plans, events etc. Mine is slightly different. I have made a collection of lists of the most important things or tasks I need to remember or keep track of.

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These are just some of the pages I’ve created. It’s safe to say I absolutely LOVE making and adding to my bullet journal. I keep it up to date and add pages and ideas whenever I can. It’s something that keeps me sane during stressful times and allows me to be creative.

I’ve made my bullet journal very personal and but you can make it anyway you choose. I also love looking at other bullet journals. If you are really struggling and unsure as to how to start, here;s a good video to watch:

If you have a bullet journal, send me some of your pages! Happy Journalling!

Product Review – Canon 5D Mark II

Product Review – Canon 5D Mark II

 

So my first blog post of a new era and it’s about my beloved camera. My one true love…well almost!

I’ve had this camera since December 2015. I’ve used it for many different types of photography and it is extremely adaptable. Before I get into the details, let’s have a look at the spec of the camera:

Body type Mid-size SLR
Max resolution 5616 x 3744
Effective pixels 21 megapixels
Sensor size Full frame (36 x 24 mm)
Sensor type CMOS
ISO Auto, 100 – 6400 in 1/3 stops, plus 50, 12800, 25600 as option
Lens mount Canon EF
Focal length mult.
Articulated LCD Fixed
Screen size 3″
Screen dots 920,000
Max shutter speed 1/8000 sec
Format H.264
Storage types Compact Flash (Type I or II), UDMA, Microdrive
USB USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Weight (inc. batteries) 850 g (1.87 lb / 29.98 oz)
Dimensions 152 x 114 x 75 mm (5.98 x 4.49 x 2.95″)
GPS None

 

So, if you’re not majorly into photography and don’t understand what that all means, it’s pretty safe to say that this is a pretty good camera.

Because it has a full frame sensor, you are in essence using the whole 35mm sensor, which is an industry standard and goes back to when photography was all on film. This provides a better quality image and better to use when there’s not a lot of light. A lot of budget DSLRs will have crop sensors instead. A crop sensor is what it says on the tin, the sensor isn’t a full 35mm as it would be as a full frame. This does mean, that your images will automatically be slightly more zoomed in than a full frame. Eg. If you crop sensor is 1.6x smaller than full frame, your images will be 1.6x more cropped. This can sometime be beneficial to sports photography in order to get that little bit closer, especially when you add in a massive telephoto lens. Full frame sensors, are more expensive to produce as they obviously have to make more of a sensor but if you are willing to pay, then I would recommend a camera with a full frame sensor.

Another good thing about the 5D II is that it has a broader range of ISO settings, which is fantastic when you are shooting in low light. One thing I didn’t like about my previous camera (Canon 600D) was that the ISO would only get to about 1600 before you sure a lot of grain on the images. This never helped me when I was shooting at football clubs at night, gigs or events where the lighting was sparse. So a big plus to getting the 5D II was that I could get to 3200 ISO and there only be some grain, which I could live with, and with the correct lenses, you’re quids in!

I have to admit, one thing that bothered me slightly about the 5D II was that it was only compatible with Compact Flash Card instead of a standard SD Card. It meant that I had to fork out on a load of new CF cards, which in the grand scheme of things isn’t that bad however, when you’re already on a tight budget, it certainly didn’t help.

The camera body itself is great. It’s slightly heavier than my other cameras but I’ve easily adjusted to that. It is fantastic in wet weather as I have on numerous occasions had to work in the pouring rain and with a wipe down and a good clean when I get home, there are no issues at all. I’ve added a battery grip onto the camera so I can get more battery life, which was worked well and I could easily cover a 11 hour wedding and have battery left over!

I more than love this camera. It’s never faulted me and when paired with some fabulous lens, I am one happy lady!

 

 

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