A virtual hangout with such awesome questions from you!
So time for something a little different, and something I’ve been dying to do for a while now, especially when we’d all love to be hanging out in a nice coffee shop somewhere; a hot steaming cuppa in hand, cake of choice (or a Flapjack over here) to the side, and the smells of freshly brewed coffee filling the air. But best of all, shooting the shit. Getting to know each other until it’s time to order another…. flapjack. So while we’re in some kinda lockdown or across the oceans from each other and unable to travel I thought it’d be an awesome idea to put out a call on good ol’ Instagram to ask me anything you liked that might help you get to know the guy behind the camera a little better…. me. And my word, I’ve absolutely loved answering all these questions so much, some of them are so spot on it’s like you know me so well already, haha! They’ve had me laughing, reminiscing over past memories and listening to my fave music, so it’s fair to say, they’ve taken me on quite the ride. So an absolutely huge thank you for leaving me so many awesome questions to answer!! Oh, and this can totally be updated, so if you think of a question, leave me a comment and I’ll answer it for you.
So here we go, hold onto your proverbial hats because we’re headed to all kinds of places with these fun questions:
What are some of my favourite accomplishments?
What a question to get started with, ok, so there are quite a few I hold kinda close to my heart. So firstly, as a kid growing up, I was a big Golfer, like crazy addicted, yep. And at the time, (actually I think it still is), all Golf was shown on Sky sports, where as a kid I could watch Tiger play, and obviously when I saw him play on the screen (by asking an Aunt to record it on VHS and mail it down, ha!) it was a jaw-dropped kid staring at the screen kinda moment every time. Anyway, at the time as a family, we couldn’t afford it, so my Dad put out a challenging ‘laughably hard’ bet to me; if I were to make it onto Sky sports as a golfer he’d buy it. I laughed at the time in a disappointed kinda way, but a few years after, I actually made it to the finals of a particular tournament in Ireland. Oh and you know who was covering it. Hence to say, and I think now it has even more prominence after my Dad passed just last year, but I think it’s safe to say that my Mum still has a subscription to Sky sports.
Secondly, and these aren’t in a particular order, but it just has to be what I’ve created here as Photography business. I mean I’m beyond proud of it and pour every ounce of love into it. But the accomplishment and moment which will always stand out was stepping into my old managers office to hand in my notice and become my own boss running my own dream business, I mean it literally blows my mind every time I think about it! no joke!! Getting to hangout and capture stories with such incredible couples is one unbelievable thing, but genuinely looking forward to every single Monday morning too, I mean woah.
But lastly, one of my biggest accomplishments, and I know this will sound soppy so get the bucket ready, but truly, finding my wife and best friend and creating such a beautiful happy space together (with our pooch of course) where we can both flourish and grow, is literally something I/we’re so proud of. That 16 mile there & back again trek to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite to ask her to marry me was the best decision I’ve ever made!!
What’s my Personality Type?
INFJ, boom! The Advocate personality apparently, and it seems scarily spot on. Ok, so this is for the Myers-Briggs Test, which if you haven’t come across it before, check out this link and see what personality type you are, it’s seriously eye opening!
So, it’s no secret, I’m a total film lover, so when I saw this question asked, I knew I was slightly in trouble because I can only round it down to two… seriously I can’t split them. My two fave films are (drum roll):
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – Sergio Leone
- The French Connection – William Friedkin
Who’s your favourite Film Director?
Woah, these questions are literally so much fun to answer, and no joke taking me an age to really nail down, yet I still can’t whittle it down to one, its ever changing, so here’s three, haha.
- Christopher Nolan – Interstellar, Dunkirk, Dark Knight Series.
- Quentin Tarantino – Inglorious Basterds, Once Upton a time in Hollywood, Pulp Fiction.
- Dennis Villeneuve – Arrival, Sicario, Blade Runner 2049
I don’t know what it is about the last few years (I can’t imagine, haha) but I’ve literally turned into one crazy bookworm. You’ll literally find me reading every spare minute. I bet there are so many gems I haven’t even touched yet, so if you think of any that I need to read, send those awesome recommendations my way. But my favourite so far after reading it last year just has to be:
Lord of The Rings! – Oh my word, what a piece of pure escapism. I mean I liked the film on a “they’re pretty good” kinda level, but the book is something else with so much more depth to it. I highly recommend…. oh and IT. Read IT, pun intended, yep, I’m hilarious, ha.
Something I want to accomplish?
There’s quite a bunch I want to accomplish which could put me at risk of waffling on for an age. but I’m someone that loves having a goal or two to give me something to really aim and focus on. My nearest accomplishment that I’m desperate to complete is hopefully coming up this October and it’s to…. Run the London Marathon in under 3hrs, gulp! I’ve run the marathon before but last years London Marathon was running for Cancer Research in memory of my Dad who had just passed not even two weeks beforehand, so I ran a postponed London marathon around the country roads in our area (you can see it right here if you’re interested) and I was just shy at 3hrs 4mins, but my god, did those legs feel so heavy towards the end. So it feels a little like unfinished business. So that’s the the nearest short term goal I’ve got lined up.
Top Five Famous People I’d invite for Dinner?
The thing I love about asking you guys what you’d like to know, is that I don’t think I’ve ever asked myself this before so it’s seriously got me wracking my brains and writing down who my kick-ass guests could be, so here goes and sit yourself down for one heck of a dinner party.
- Barack Obama – This man is one heck of an inspiration and one of the most humble leaders. Crikey, I sound like I know him, but I’d absolutely love any excuse to have a chat with him.
- Bill Murray – Because I mean come on, it’s Bill Murray. The man, the legend and the humour at the table.
- Severiano Ballesteros – Oh the late Seve. My idol back in my Golfing days. A true gent with a ton of truly incredible stories! Happy to say I actually met him for real, and he lived up to the legendary status.
- Douglas Bader – A Spitfire War time ace and the kind of human that would make the rest of us look inferior in about two seconds. After losing both his legs in a plane crash before the war, he retrained himself to walk, play sports, dance, oh and then become an ace in the Battle of Britain. This man must have so many amazing stories to tell at a dinner table!
- Quentin Tarantino – The legendary director, and someone it’d be incredible to geek out over film with. Yes, it’s true, for anyone that knows of him, he probably won’t stop talking through the entire dinner but, it’s a risk I’m willing to take, ha!
Controversially I really wanted to invite Hitler, just so I could ask what the F he was thinking. But something tells me he might bring down the mood… like an actual ton of bricks!
Favourite moment at a wedding?
This is such a tough one. As you can probably guess, the amount of amazing moments from all the weddings I’ve been lucky enough to capture is literally just bursting. But I think I have to put two down which really hit me in the feels for sure.
- The first was when I was photographing a wedding in the highlands of Scotland and actually, I can put it around the time of one of my fave images. The setting for the wedding was in a huge private estate overlooking a glimmering Loch Tay with beautiful rolling hills laying behind it. The sun was slowly setting, giving off those gorgeous golden tones and we had an hour spare to slowly walk the fields with the sounds of a nearby stream flowing past us. It was one of those moments which kinda stopped me in my tracks for real. Hence to say, I had a gigantic grin on my face and about ready to pinch myself. I was in my dream place, doing my dream job and absolutely loving soaking in each and every second and sensation of that moment. Truly unforgettable!
- The second. It was actually very much like the first. It was a couple of days just before Christmas in the heart of London on a quiet wintery night. The wedding went down perfectly and I was so happy with the pictures I’d captured. It was actually being held at swanky restaurant in the bank area of London which is actually more like a ghost town when Christmas hits. But the night was just about to start for this wedding party, and the incredible DJ started one of the coolest sets which got the whole room going absolutely wild from the moment the first tune hit. But it was a moment when the photos were for the most part done, the music was absolutely incredible, and I just remember looking at my second shooter Emily with a nod and huge whopping grin to say “how damn cool is this!?”. And we literally ended up doing a mixture of shooting and dancing to the music at the same time. It was just one of those moments that makes your hair stand on end, where I couldn’t believe that in that moment, I was doing my job and having the absolute best time
Favourite Camera & Lens combo?
Oh this is actually quite an easy one, there’s one set that I feel SO at home with that I think I could pretty much shoot with it the whole time, ha!
Canon 5D mk IV + Canon 35mm 1.4 ii.
So the reason, it’s so incredibly versatile and the glass on the new edition of the 35mm is just beautiful (like its 50mm equivalent). I can get such crisp portraits on it both close and full body but it also has a slightly wider frame which forces me to get a little closer to the action which I feel I personally need to get a wide mixture of shots and all those amazing details which I might not spot if a little further out. But, with this beauty I can get wider landscapes and it’s even great with close up shots too. Oh man, it’s just such a workhorse. The only slight downside… it’s pretty damn heavy.
What music do I like and some of my fave bands/artists and why?
Music is a biggy for me, like so many of us, I don’t know what I’d do without it. It inspires me so much, can change a mood in literally seconds and just makes life so much friggin’ better don’t you think. Like there’s a specific playlist I actually have on Spotify that I’ve set up to play before every shoot or wedding that helps get me in that zone to create and think a little more outside the box leading into it, and another that helps me edit, it’s pretty wild. But yeah, I have one seriously eclectic taste in music, from Electronic, to Folk, to Jazz. I’m here for the whole bunch. So here are a few of my fave artists that I could listen to anytime.
- Ratatat – Electronic, wild and just so damn cool. Probably one of the best bands I’ve seen live and help shift me into the right mood any time.
- Darlingside – Oh these guys. Their harmonies and uplifting folk will help settle you in seconds. Their live set in one of the smallest venues I’ve ever been to was truly something else. Great memories.
- Metric – A gorgeous rock band. Emily Haines vocals are just something you need to know about.
- Creedence Clearwater Revival – Because it’s Creedence, and I challenge their music not to put you in a better mood. Go on, try it, I dare you.
Fave Film Soundtrack:
- Into the Wild by Eddie Vedder. Everything about this album is just so perfect. The guitar and the vocals will literally whisk you away. And to think it was solely made for one film, oh man!
- Interstellar by Hans Zimmer. Firstly, if you haven’t seen the film, go and watch it with the sound turned right up.. go on, go! And then get ready to literally be whisked away. An incredible score which’ll strike every single emotion going!
What’s my biggest fear?
Woweee! Ok, so in terms of a pretty irrational fear and I really don’t know where this has come from, but it has to be Snakes. If Indiana Jones can have a fear of snakes I figured it’s ok to have one too, right, haha!? But in terms of a more rational fear, I think it has to be failure (which isn’t healthy I know), and I think that’s something I totally need to train myself to be ok with. Because failure takes so many different forms, and we all need to failure to be able to grow. I’ve had my fair share through trial and error with creating a business which has helped me out just an unbelievable amount and weirdly helped shape it to what it is today. But I think my fear comes down to having a personality where I love things to go to plan and to be in control of where it’s headed, and to keep on growing in just the right way etc. So the thought if that not happening and failing is enough to send the mind into a bit of a spin. I’ll get there.
Where in the world do you want to explore?
What a question, and my goodness, sooooo many places are on the list and desperate to be explored. So we’re big lovers of wide open spaces, mountains and gigantic hikes, so there is so much of New Zealand we’re wanting to see to do just that! I did a whistle-stop trip for a month but you can’t get anywhere close to experiencing it properly in that time, so that has to be numero uno. Other spots include Japan, major hiking in the highlands of Scotland, Indonesia, and so much more of the Alps and just being in the mountain fresh air is what’s calling right now. Basically…. everywhere, haha!
So there we have it, you made it to the end, woweeeee!! A virtual slap on the back is happening right now for sure! I really hope you enjoyed delving into my mind and getting to know me a little better. But really, thank you so much for reading! And in all honesty, I’m just so desperate to know what makes you tick; Your fave films, music you’d recommend, places to explore so don’t be shy to share away.
Take care out there!