I’ve had my photography office located at Acklam Hall for a few months now. In fact, I realised this morning that it has been exactly 100 days since I took the lease up on the 1st June 2017. If that’s not a reason to write a blog post as a North East photographer I don’t know what is. It actually feels like a lot longer when I think about the photoshoots and activity since early June – although ironically most of my work is done offsite at wedding venues, offices or on location. I thought it would be a good chance to reflect on some of the highlights and to thank some people too… as well as sharing some photos from my time here.
The main photo of the hall was taken on Tuesday of this week. It was after a charity photoshoot I had done in aid of the Nephrotic Syndrome Trust. The shoot was organised by local stylist and model Jennifer Michaela and (supported by Teresa of Jigsaw Hair and Faye from Tamara’s Beautique) The shot itself was done using a tripod and very slow shutter speed and a f22 aperture (for those who are interested). It’s a different shot of the hall compared to most I have seen and I quite liked the look as it was taken late in the evening when Acklam was just shutting down.
I’ve posted up a selection of photos from various shoots. What’s clear is that I’ve done a wide range of shoots and I’ve found Acklam Hall – especially the general staff and reception – to be very helpful and supportive. It has made all the difference and makes Acklam such a fantastic place to work in. I’ve met some new people who also have offices at Acklam Hall. Gill at Lilyann Beauty has even helped out on a number of shoots as a lighting assistant which has been great. I have also worked with some great people to put together shoots at Acklam like Gemma Rimmington MUA, Melissa Laverick Hair & Makeup and fellow photographer Nelly Nelson.
I’ve got a number of weddings booked over the next 12 months including some at Acklam Hall – and I’ve had the chance to run some bridal fashion photoshoots here as well which I did with Gemma amongst others. The shoot was only possible because a number of local businesses came together to provide gowns and accessories for the day – including suppliers Dandy Threads, Amore Bridal and Careful Keepsakes. One of the favourite shoots would have to be recreating Tom & Alyson’s Wedding – for their 5th anniversary. They didn’t have a professional photographer for their own wedding day so decided to treat themselves. It was a great day and a lot of fun.
You may have seen I’ve been running some competitions recently. These have been popular and something different for people to enter. My first competition was won by Lauren Searle who came to Acklam for an afternoon with her mum Sharon and dad Andy. As well as getting some amazing shots of Lauren we also did some fun ones too. It’s the first shoot I’ve been on where there’s been a staged fight between father and daughter. There are some more competitions happening soon – including the most popular to date – Pet Photography shoot at Acklam. The deadline for that is the 15th September 2017 so there is still time to enter. I will be running a whole day for dog portraits at Acklam Hall on Sunday 24th September for the winner and runners up (see my facebook page for more details).
One of the great things about being based at Acklam is the space available and the variety of shoots and backdrops I can use. To build on this I’ve started running some photography training courses for enthusiasts. These are either a one to one or small group session and I’ll be holding them at least once per month (the next one is Sunday 1st October – an ‘Introduction to Portrait Photography’).
I’ve also done some creative and fashion work on a personal basis – which is something I’ve always enjoyed and will continue to do. One of the best (in my opinion) photos that I’ve taken at Acklam would have to be the one of Kara Miley and James Hatton in the Drawing Room Bar. A costume themed shoot with James Hatton – a Mr England finalist – in black tie and Kara – an upcoming North East model – in a ball dress. I really the love the colour, lighting and perspective in this shot and it’s definitely on my top 10 list. From that classic look, to the more creative I have also done some work with local model Faii Harrison and Gemma Rimmington MUA on a outrageously bright theme and background. I’ve also done shoots with local model Dizzie Warbrook, Miss Teesside Finalist Jennifer Ellis and Ella Bullmer. I am sure there are others I haven’t mentioned – apologies if that’s the case!
It hasn’t all been photography though. I’ve had some social functions to attend as well. I’d launched the new office on the back of a drinks party in July which was a chance to host some friends and acquaintances. I recall it was a good night and late one too.
Friends and family have been a great support – and many of them are featured in the gallery from various shoots at Acklam (you know who you are!) – including my daughter Lizzie for her Prom and my wife Helen. I haven’t managed to get a photo of my son Edward yet at Acklam but I am sure the day will come.
Anyway, these are my reflections from the first 100 days at Acklam Hall. I’d like to thank everyone who’s been involved in my work at Acklam (and elsewhere of course). I’m looking forwards to the next few months as a wedding photographer which look to be even busier.