From The Archive: Ramsbottom Festival

_MG_3688

This is one of my favourite jobs to this day I’ve ever done. It’s safe to say I love music and I also love photography. Combine the two is a dream come true. It was an amazing atmosphere and safe to say I had a great time!!

I have the privilege of covering the Chameleon Stage again this year and I’m more than excited. If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, buy it here. My blog post from last year’s coverage is here.

 

Beautiful Morning In Nice

image

Well, apologises for not blogging in a while. It’s been a rather hectic 4/5 months but here I am again!

It’s 5:55am here in Nice, France and I couldn’t help but notice the gorgeous sunrise. The beautiful trees surrounding the French countryside, it’s amazing and so utterly peaceful.

I’m here on holiday with my partner and I happened to wake up at 4am and not get back to sleep, so I did what I always do and get up and photograph. This was taken about 40 minutes ago and I wanted to share it with you guys.

REVIEW: Canon 5D Mark II

I started looking for a new camera body a few months ago. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a massive budget but I knew the camera needed two things:

  • A full frame sensor (to anyone who doesn’t know what that means, it means the sensor that picks up all the information for the camera to take a picture is the same size as 35mm piece of film for when everyone used film cameras before it all went digital.) Today, this means you can shoot better quality images with a higher ISO speed (or as some people used to call it ‘film sensitivity’) so grain/noise isn’t an issue
  • More Auto-Focus points. Because I’m doing more Sports photography, I need more AF points to make sure my images are sharp and focussed on the fast moving object/person.

So, with those two things in mind I went on doing my research. In an ideal world where money is endless and I could get any gear I wanted, I would definitely get the Canon 5D Mark III. (Sorry Nikon lovers, I’m in the Canon camp!) It’s one of, if not the best camera that Canon is producing at the moment but unfortunately as we all know, a lot of the time the best gear comes with the highest price tag and I simply can’t afford it. However, I was looking at the other 5D models and I really liked the 5D Mark II, the model just before the Mark III. As with all the 5D cameras, it is full-frame and has 6 extra A-F points than the camera I was previously using. So already this camera was looking very good to me, and then I had a look around online and it was within my budget!! Happy days!

So after it arrived, I opened up the box and was extremely happy with the body itself. It has a special handgrip which my previous cameras didn’t have. It is a little heavier than the other cameras I’m used to, but that doesn’t bother me much at all. I fitted my 28-105mm lens and set off to practise. My last camera was a Canon 600D and the display layout was completely different so getting used to that was certainly fun.

The only disadvantage with the camera I found was that it’s a Compact Flash Card only which was a little bit of a faff as I have managed to build up my supply of SD Cards so I had to buy a load of CF Cards which set me back about £50. I also had to buy a special memory card reader. But even after all that, the camera itself, I couldn’t find fault.

The first two jobs I had using the camera were photographing the Flying Scotsman on it’s first public run in over 10 years….

12484665_938891419532649_1616222340033949948_o

…and then Bury vs Bradford @ Gigg Lane in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup…

_MG_6673.jpg

After getting used to the different screen layout, I have really started to like and enjoy using the 5D Mark II. I have already bought a battery grip to add extra battery life and even though it makes it that little bit heavier, it’s well worth it to have twice as much battery life, especially on those days I’m shooting for 6-10 hours.

Overall, I’m extremely happy with my purchase and I definitely recommend it to anyone wanting a professional camera on a budget.

Highlights of 2015!

Well, what an incredible year! 2015 has turned out to be very exciting for Meg Thornton Photography and it’s all down to everyone who has supported me and believed in my vision as a photographer so a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has booked me or even just simply liked my page, I really appreciate it!!

So, with that said, let’s have a look at some of the highlights from this year….

Commercial

I spent 4 months photographing Toys and Children’s products for a local design and distribution company. I was the official photographer and  I enjoyed it so much!  My work was featured in catalogues across the country including Tesco, Asda and Argos.

FROZEN FACEBOOK IMAGE

Bury Football Club

I started volunteering at Bury Football Club in January. I’m the fan photographer taking photos of everyone around the stands on match day enjoying themselves and all the pictures I take go on Bury’s Facebook page for people to tag themselves in. This picture above is from the abandoned match against Southend United. The night before there was torrential rain and during the match it began to pour it down so much the safety of the players was compromised and the game was abandoned.
_MG_3065

Just under a month later, the match rescheduled and it was certainly tense. This is one of my favourite pictures I’ve ever taken at the football club. At this point, Bury were on the brink of promotion and this match was a clinch point…you can probably tell.IMG_1159

Annabelle’s Challenge

This was taken at the Annabelle’s Challenge Las Vegas themed Ball in April. The Bolton Lions Club provided 6/7 casino games with fake money and little and Annabelle and one of her close friends enjoyed it very much. Here they are counting their winnings…IMG_9780

Practise Portrait Shoot

I absolutely love this shot. I had just bought some new equipment and I asked me close friend Bethan to come to my studio so I could practise. She did extremely well and it was a lovely shoot.152705_0011

Butterwick Hospice

I was commissioned to photograph another charity ball for Butterwick Hospice. The organisers were friends with Kym Marsh (most famous for her role as Michelle in Coronation Street) and she kindly attended.  She was utterly lovely and donated so much in aid of the charity.IMG_1009

Ruth and Jordan’s Wedding Blessing

Ruth and Jordan asked me to photograph their wedding blessing in July. Ruth’s dad is a professional musician and had put together an arrangement of Jordan’s favourite song ‘Flash Gordon.’ A surprise for the couple and he certainly enjoyed it!IMG_1488

Family Shoot

I had a brilliant shoot with Mum Leanne, Dad Matty and little Lily-Rose and baby Henry back in September. They were a dream and Lily-Rose was very polite and whole family were lovely. I have known the Leanne and Matty for years as we went to school together. I love seeing children playing together and Lily-Rose was so proud to have a little brother (who was only a couple of weeks old) and it was beautiful to see.

_MG_3349

Ramsbottom Festival

Photographing Ramsbottom Festival was definitely a highlight of 2015! I was the official photographer for the Chameleon Stage which was in it’s 2nd year. I photographed every act for the weekend and it was an incredible experience. I also got the chance to meet Mark Potter from Elbow (one of my all time favourite bands!) He was lovely and I even got a picture with him and it was the icing on the cake to end a brilliant weekend._MG_3688

Andrea and Nick’s Wedding

Andrea and Nick have been close friends of mine for over 3 years now and when they asked me to cover their wedding, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. This was my favourite wedding of the year! Andrea and Nick are madly in love and everyone can see. Their October wedding day was full of laughter and joy and I think this picture sums up their merriment and delight. The autumn leaves and all the trees made the scene very romantic and picturesque. _MG_9317

Heaton Park Walk

Just last month, I went on a walk into Heaton Park and it was so peaceful and beautiful. I was so glad I could spend some time away from the business of everyday life and running a business. Because I went towards to end of the afternoon, I managed to capture the start of the winter sunset. IMG_3347-2

Little Joseph’s Shoot

I’ve started doing a lot more family and children’s portrait sittings this year. From small babies to whole families. This was taken at my last portrait sitting of the year little Joseph’s face was an utter delight. He never cried and had plenty of toys to play with.

_MG_1359-2-2

It’s always nice to see a happy face, when there’s some horrible things in the world around us. I take immense pride that I can photograph some many incredible people who bring joy to my work. I hope that you all enjoy 2016 and have a Happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

What Am I Proud of in 2015?

A couple of days ago, Jasmine Star uploaded a blog post about look back on this year and not just thinking about everything that has happened but also what you’ve achieved and can be proud of.

Screen Shot 2015-12-29 at 10.02.47

So here’s my list of the things I’m proud of:

  • I’ve been booked three times the amount of wedding I did last year.
  • I got involved with an incredible charity Annabelle’s Challenge!
  • I went on holiday with friends for the first time.
  • My Facebook page reached 500 likes (a goal I had set at the beginning of this year.)
  • I’m not ambidextrous and I’m starting to get better at doing my henna designs with my left hand.
  • I passed my driving theory test and it won’t be long before I take my practical.
  • My photos have featured in the local newspapers three times.
  • I learnt how to cook a really good Risotto.

What are you proud of this year? Leave a comment on her or Facebook and remind yourself of all the things you’ve achieved this year!

No creative spark….

Often when running a creative business, it can be easy to lose a spark for new ideas because sometimes you focus on the day to day running of your business. You don’t want to be doing the same thing over and over and losing that creativity…but it’s not easy.

It’s hard when your head is thinking about marketing, organising consultations, business plans and answering emails, to then come to a photo shoot and have brand new ideas and not feel drained. Everything need to work efficiently! One thing I always think to myself when I feel stuck and drained is, why am I a photographer? (If you want to see more on that, visit my blog post on Why I Am A Photographer)

I go back to when I was 14 and walking round Heaton Park taking pictures of beautiful flowers and gorgeous scenery. I was taking pictures because i wanted to produce good art and be a great photographer, I wanted to create something I was proud of. That’s my “go to point” as it were. I think back to those moments and suddenly I’m revitalised.

Thinking back to those days, I try and remember that even though I run a business that needs to produce money, credibility and a brand, I also need to keep in mind that I’m an artist. I need to be inspired all the time (I did a whole blog series on being inspired! (Part OnePart Two, Part Three, Part Four)

Why Am I A Photographer?

I will freely admit, I didn’t always want to be a photographer. First it was a ballerina, then a singer, and then an actress. Even though I would have definitely enjoyed being all those things, I have known that I have wanted to be a photographer for 6 years.

Our house looks over my Nanna and Granddad’s house. When I was about 14 years old, my granddad was diagnosed bowel cancer and had to go to hospital for surgery. When the day came, it was during a February half term, I was at home and as I looked out the window over at my grandparent’s house, I noticed something spectacular. There was a rainbow but because I was at that exact place, it appeared to be coming out of their chimney. To me at that time, it was really special. Having a rainbow over their house at that moment was beautiful. So I found my small compact camera that mum and dad had bought me for my birthday and I took the picture…

328549_339316789428414_486286461_o

It’s not the best picture in the world but it still means a lot to me and from that moment onwards I knew that taking pictures was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Capturing moments by being at the exact time and place and getting it just right. After my Granddad came out of hospital, I showed him the picture and he was very pleased. He loved photography and always encouraged me to follow my goals.

After learning the art and science of photography and practising many different genres, I realised I am better at photographing people. I discovered I am able to capture people’s emotions a lot better than perhaps landscapes.

I can safely say I have never looked back. I got through my GCSE’s, A-Levels and different jobs with the vision of being full time photographer. Ever since that moment I stuck my head out of that window, I knew that taking pictures was what I was called to do. I also want to make my granddad proud. He gave me advice on capturing my first wedding, putting my first album together, and he constantly inspired me to do better. Unfortunately, Granddad passed away this past August and but I will always remember him for helping me become the photographer I am today.

 

 

Autumn in December.

I’m incredibly lucky to live right next door to Heaton Park. It makes for a great location for photo shoots but also really nice walks to unwind. Yesterday I decided after spending most of the week at my desk that I would take a wonder.

I ended up taking a trail I had never seen before and I obviously took my camera too. One thing I noticed was that there was absolutely no sign that Christmas was only 3 weeks away. Leaves were still falling, it was still fairly warm and there was mud everywhere! My boots are in need of a wash…

But anyway..here’s some of the pictures I took on my trail….

IMG_3218-2The traditional Mancunian grey sky…

IMG_3229-2My trail started by the new garden centre…

IMG_3237-2We’ve had pretty bad weather recently and some trees looked a little worse for wear…

IMG_3246-2The adventurous side of me really wanted to start climbing…

IMG_3253-2I absolutely loved the texture of this bark…

IMG_3256-2So much greenery, it was all so very calming…

IMG_3266-2And I had a friend following me around… (he had friends following me too but this was the best shot I got)

IMG_3268-2Some of the little spots I kept finding could be some amazing photo shoot locations…

IMG_3288-2A little bridge across a small brook…

IMG_3301-2And then the sun began to set…

IMG_3321-2And then I found the pond and it was just beautiful…

IMG_3325-2Again, the wet wood texture looked amazing…

IMG_3338-2Looking back at where I had come from….

IMG_3343-2Sat on a bench by the animal sanctuary and looking over this gorgeous scene…

IMG_3347-2I mean come on, it really was beautiful…

IMG_3372-2This was kinda sad seeing this tower. I remember when I was younger and I saw all the satellites attached and dad telling me what they were all for. Now seeing it nearly almost completely bare reminded me that times change. But maybe it’s for the better, who knows!

I hope you enjoy my Heaton Park pictures, let me know what you think!

 

 

Why I love this picture…

megthorntonphoto_wedding2

This is one of my all time favourite pictures I’ve taken so far in my career. Why? Because…

The girls were not only bridesmaids, that morning they became cousins and were thick as thieves! This picture was taken when the groom was insisting everyone sing “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” during his speech at the wedding breakfast. I spotted the girls on the other side of the room and managed to get right in front of them and timed it beautifully.

All the other guest were also blowing bubbles but there was something cute and lovely about this shot. I also love how they are in height order (quite by accident, they had been swapping seats the whole meal) It was such a lovely wedding and this shot topped it off!

Lovely girls, one of my favourites.

How has Wedding Photography changed in the last 10 years or so?

 

In the last ten or so year, wedding photography has definitely changed. Some absolutely brilliant changes, others more concerning. Going back to the late 90s, early 00’s, film was still considered the best way to photograph a wedding. But along came digital which would completely redefine photography. Instead of having to wait for your negatives to develop, you could instantly look at the pictures you took. Digital opened up the world to Photoshop and new ways of post-processing your images. Couples wouldn’t have to wait weeks for albums to come back from being produced when they can have their images delivered on a disc or memory stick within a week of the wedding.

megthorntonphoto_wedding10

One thing I’ve noticed not only being a photographer but analysing and admiring other people’s work is the shift in wedding photography styles. The Knot Magazine (A bridal magazine from the USA) produced an article and narrowed photography styles down to 5 categories and defined them as such:

  • Classic – Imagine your parents or grandparents wedding album from 20 years ago. They reflect reality, slightly formal and traditional with pictures that will stand the test of time.
  • Artistic – Taking capturing the moment to the next level. Photographers that look at the bigger picture, instead of the couple being the full frame if the image, using wider lenses to gather a more grand and artistic feel.
  • Lifestyle – Candid and realistic images with some direction and styling. Lifestyle photographers will scope out a venue to find the best light and spots and work the day around that. Looking for the best moments but also setting the scene. Photojournalism redefined.
  • Dramatic – Lighting and off camera flashes are dramatic photographer’s best friends. Mastering the art of using dynamic light to create beautiful images.
  • Documentary – Spontaneous and candid pictures that are in the moment, not defined or styled. Just what happens at that particular time and being able to capture interactions and emotions whilst standing back.

A lot of the time, you can associate styles with time periods. You look at your grandparent’s formal pictures and even your parents from 20 years ago. They are definitely taken by a classic photographer. Dramatic and Artistic photography became really popular about 10 years ago and everyone wanted pictures with the “WOW” factor but nowadays documentary and lifestyle photographers are popular as everyone wants this romantic and realistic view of their wedding day._MG_5338

 

The outlook on wedding photography has also changed. The rise of smartphones has meant that most people take photos at weddings on their phone and some photographers would go as far to say that smartphones are killing off the popularity and need for wedding photographers. I wouldn’t’ 100% agree with that as I have yet to come across someone who has or wanted to have a wedding photographed on a smartphone.

We all know the recession hit everyone hard. People aren’t willing to part with their well-earned money as much anymore. Everyone is trying to find the cheapest way of doing everything. But weddings aren’t getting cheaper, with the average wedding in the UK costing around £20,000. Wedding photographers, like anyone know that you want to make the best out of the money you have, which for some people getting married, isn’t a lot at all. And sometimes, when money is tight, photography is seen as a luxury as everyone can photograph a wedding.. If you want this explained in greater detail, please refer to Part 1 of this series; Why Wedding Photography Is So Important?

_MG_7679

With the rise of technology and in particular social media, wedding photos can be shared with so much ease. Couples can, instead of showing their printed album to their close family and friends, share all the pictures on Facebook so everyone can see and their beautiful wedding day. As a photographer, this is pretty awesome because hundreds if not thousands of people are seeing your work and you are gaining more recognition and credibility. I have lost count of the amount of jobs I’ve had because people have seen my work on social media. It’s such a brilliant tool. This also means brides have never had so much choice. Wedding Photographers have had to change the style of marketing and promotion as there are so many photographers trying to make it in the business. Are brides are putting down the wedding magazines and looking on Facebook and Pinterest?_MG_5682

%d bloggers like this: