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Frank and Bekkah Get Hitched

A pleasure to be invited to capture some photographs for Frank and Bekkah recently.  After their ceremony at Paisley they treated close friends and family to a meal and a night of laughs.  At just under 2 hours this wasn’t the normal wedding day photography assignment, but it it was full of smiles and fun all the same. Bekkah was fantastic in getting the obviously camera-shy Frank to open up a bit, and knew exactly what pictures she wanted from the day.  This makes my job so much easier – if under  a couple of hours could be any more easy!     A big thanks to them both for asking me along and I wish them every blessing and happiness. 

Ronnie Murphy Photography

You Need To Be 2nd Best

A shoot from 2016 - one of my first weddings. The couple were happy to take me on. It was a Boxing Day wedding and they were hoping for snow! What would you have done differently with this shot?

… before being the first.  

This would have been my advice to myself when starting out with wedding photography.  2nd best doesn’t mean not being good enough, but it means being the 2nd shooter at a wedding so that you learn the ropes while shadowing another more experienced photographer.   This means that you still get to take pictures of the happy couple but the pressure is not on you to get the shots bang on.  You will learn what you need to do through those mistakes you will most definitely make.  Most of all, you’ll be part of a day that is full of smiles and opportunities to see what you can do with your talent.What is not to like?

Yes, you can take the plunge on your own but when you do, you really need to know how to swim, particularly when the water starts to go over your head,  you feel a little wet behind the ears and there is no one else going to be there to help you out.  

Personally, I don’t think I did enough 2nd Shooting myself and this realisation has came to me by looking back at some wedding pictures that I have taken. I cringe at the mistakes and the poor lighting/camera settings I used. Even more I wonder if the couple were truly happy with my work.  Self-doubt creeps in – even now.

The wedding day isn’t a dress rehearsal. It is the one and only night and you need to be sure of your lines.  Worse still is that you have an audience of 2 people who have paid a decent sum of money and want a good showing. 

 Experience comes from mistakes, but these mistakes shouldn’t cost a lot – for either party.  Yes, there will be the couple who are happy to let you take pictures just because you are either cheap or they like some of your non-wedding portfolio – or you have even been recommended by a friend or they just want to help someone starting out. But it is a massive ask if you don’t have the experience or the skills you really can only learn on the actual wedding day. 

If anything this is what puts many a photographer off from offering their services for weddings.  There is the self-doubt and then there is the self-worth – they’ve seen the prices other photographers charge and think they are nowhere near that good enough to ask that.  So why risk it? 

This is why a 2nd shooter at a wedding is the ideal time to test all that out, what is more it is a time to watch other photographers and how they work, by how they use the light, by how they get couples to pose, by how they speak and how they direct people. Doing this you will also learn not what to do or what you think could be done differently.  The main photography will not always be 100% right. If anything, no photographer is anywhere near that.

 So my thoughts are if you want to get into wedding photography then contact an experienced wedding photographer and ask them if they  take on 2nd shooters and of course ask what you will get in return – you should at least be given something if your images make it to the final cut.  Be prepared to show some portrait work and show you know the photography basics.

It is a big step to take, but it’s better than falling on your bum when you try running up those steps too fast and bring an unhappy couple down with you.

Ronnie Murphy Photography

Neta’s Bike Wish Comes True.

Well, what a brilliant time was had by all as my friend Yvonne’s Gran, celebrated her belated 90th Birthday in style with a wish to ride on a motorbike becoming a reality courtesy of Paul Crossan and the famous Motorbike Milly.

Neta turned 90 last week but because of the current restrictions  couldn’t celebrate with her family until today. 

On hand to bring her a day she will remember for a long time to come was Paul who was more than happy to get on his bike to help and of course the wonderful Milly tagged along too. 

Then it was time for a family tea afterwards to finish off a grand day with which even the good weather was also happy to contribute towards. 

On a personal note, I loved this shoot.  Neta is a lovely lady and Paul is a complete gentleman and well, Milly is as cute as can be.  It was a real feel -good day and especially one that was much needed  in the current climate.  I am so glad that Neta enjoyed her day and that her family were on hand to make it even more special for her.

What for the 91st then?  A parachute jump?  Watch this space! 🙂

Have a look at Paul and Milly’s Facebook page.

Ronnie Murphy Photography

Social Media Pitfalls

I was on Twitter for quite a while, 4 years plus.  But most of the time on that platform was taken up by things that had nothing to do with photography and that is why I started the account, to promote my work.  Twitter can be a political, social and sporting minefield that can drag you in to non-stop arguments with probably the most closed minded of people you will probably never ever meet.  Either they disagree with you, or more often it is you that disagrees with them and there is a tendency for you to let them know that!

So, working my way through those years it began to look less photographic and more opinions, debates and general annoyance, but I had over 1,250 followers which in Twitter terms is not bad. However not all (if any!) were following me for my work, instead it was my political leanings or location. To me that felt empty and wasteful.  Social media can be a timewaster though, but so often it masquerades as a time passer.  It takes a long while to realise it is the latter that is the case, and you are just bored looking for something to talk – or argue about.

Last month, I took the decision to restart my account and move away from that side.  I would concentrate more on following Photography and other Photographers and certainly not those photographers who have more opinions than pictures.  Do not get me wrong, what they do with their own account is their business.  But I need serenity in my life right now.   As Don McCullin put it, “I am sentencing myself to peace.”  

 

My Twitter feed is now full of pictures of landscapes, birds and flowers and last check, I was just short of 95 followers, mostly photographers.  The only “triggers” I see now are the ones they have used to take a picture and that is how I like it.  There is a whole load of photographers on there that have extraordinarily little following, but their pictures are stunning.  I guess they are there for the reasons I was, and I am now.

So here is a tip, have two accounts on social media if you are a photographer. One account where you post nothing but pictures and another where you can let your other expressiveness flourish.  For me, the two cannot mix.  Sometimes it is not what you are saying, but who is reading what you are saying.  A potential client who is looking for your services can be put off if they find you overly aggressive or tubthumping about issues they have a different view of – even if it comes down to a football team.  I am not saying do not be who you are but be who you are in a place where you are among friends and colleagues who know you, know your humour and your ideals.  In the end most people are looking for a photographer who will tell them how to pose, not how they should think.

Rannoch Moor

From Lockdown to Loch down!

Probably one of the most stunning roads in all of Scotland is the road that takes you to Glencoe and beyond in the Highlands.  This is the case most of the day and night.  I was so fortunate when working with the post office to be able to travel this road at many a time and it never got boring.  One of the best times is the early morning at dawn, where the mists start to gather, and the water is as still as can be and becomes Mother Nature’s mirror reflecting the hills behind and the rocks that come out of the shallow water of the Loch.

 Scotland has many Lochs.  ‘Loch’ is a Scottish word for Lake.  It is a body of water that is usually landlocked by heather/marsh covered hills that take on a different hue depending on the time of year or even the time of day!  The most famous are Loch Lomond and Loch Ness.  Loch Lomond is around 1 hour away from Glasgow and spans a great deal of the A82 that leads to the Highlands.  Loch Ness is located right beside the City of Inverness and is the supposed home of the Loch Ness Monster.   The Lochs in the pictures are Loch Sheil, Loch Leven and the bottom two images are of Loch Lochan na h-Achlaise or if you don’t speak Gaelic,  “Loch of the Armpit”  There is also Loch Ba that is hidden behind the mists in images 6 and 7. This part of the road is called Rannoch Moor.

 

Ronnie Murphy Photography

Spring is in the air!

You really can’t beat a bit of sunshine to bring about the ideal conditions for photography.

Yesterday, Spring at last showed itself and all of a sudden the lockdown world which had been up until now, dark, dreich* days with either rain, hail or snow (and that is just in the one day) with very little motivation to do much but sit it all out.

Where no motivation existed the sun brought out in me a bit of effort to use that fantastic light that spring sunshine has to offer and so after getting the car washed I filled a flask with tea and headed out for the wonderful Pollok Park on the South side of Glasgow.

With ‘lockdown’ still in place, many seek the lovely surroundings of Pollok Park for their daily exercise; with a hardy mix of dog walkers, joggers and cyclists it’s a great place to grab those people shots too. 

This time there was an added joy of buskers, singing outside the gates of Pollok House.  This must be a new thing as I haven’t seen them there before, but the singing although breaking the peaceful surroundings of the park was quite decent.   In a time where concerts are banned, folk will take any live entertainment they can get! 

Although the fauna is limited to spring bulbs, there was still plenty of colours to capture as well as some welcome signs that spring is in the air. Ladybirds and bees!  

It was great to finally get out again, and as depression was starting to settle in it gave me a little nudge to start to see a way out of these dark Covid days.  I decided to apply to do my HND in Photography and hopefully I will be accepted.  That it is along the road in Paisley means that it isn’t that much of a journey so fingers crossed. 🙂

Things are starting to look up again. 

*dreich – Scots word for wet, windy and generally miserable weather.