365 project, Photography

More of the 365 project: days 221 – 229

I started this post ages ago, and never quite got around to adding the text and being able to upload it. Time demands have made my days, and in particular the evenings (where I usually find time to write on here) very limited, largely due to the recent weddings I have photographed leaving me with many photos to edit, and also the rare chance at a number of nights out catching up with some friends.

221: Sunday afternoon and a chance to duplicate a photo taken a couple of years ago when this girls big sister was much smaller and wearing the same cap. The evening was a chance to catch up with a couple to discuss their wedding plans.

Day 221 - Aug 14th
Day 221 – Aug 14th

222: The day before another wedding and time to prepare batteries and memory cards. One thing we have started getting into today is the whole weaning process with Chloe. The fruit purees haven’t got much of a response, but the little lady shows a certain fondness for the age old favourite of rusks! They get a bit messy, but thats half the fun!

Day 222 - Aug 15th
Day 222 – Aug 15th

223: The wedding of a friend, and what a beautiful day for it! I love being involved in the entire day, from hair and make up with the bride, through to the first dance. The photos then begin to unfold like a story book. I can’t wait to get these photos edited and ready for them to view! This was the beautiful house of the reception lit up as the sun started to set.

Day 223 - Aug 16th
Day 223 – Aug 16th

224: Another beautiful day, this summer has been blessed with some sunshine and warm weather, and sometimes this is no better way than to enjoy this by relaxing at home with the family in the garden. One thing I have tried to do in the garden is encourage the bees with some of the flowers I have grown, and the Hollyhocks seem quite popular!

Day 224 - Aug 17th
Day 224 – Aug 17th

225: Dressing up day at nursery, and the theme is “what I’d like to be when I grow up”. Its a bit of a tricky one for someone to comprehend who isn’t even three yet, but the girl does love to show off her ballet dancing!

Day 225 - Aug 18th
Day 225 – Aug 18th

226: Back to the childrens hospital for Chloe’s check up on her hips since the harness came off 8 weeks ago. Thankfully all is good and it certainly doesn’t seem to have slowed down her desire to get about!

Day 226 - Aug 19th
Day 226 – Aug 19th

227: Okay, so I can’t lie, its quite obvious by the fact I am in this photo that I didn’t take it. It was a school reunion where yet again most of those invited had a reason for not being able to be make it. Its disappointing and frustrating, so many times I have tried to arrange nights like this, but its always the same people who turn up. It was still a great night, with three friends I have known for almost 30 years. A friendly member of bar staff offered to take our photo, which was at least, for the sake of this project, taken on my phone and edited by me afterwards.

Day 227 - Aug 20th
Day 227 – Aug 20th

228: Sunday again, and visiting the grandparents, where Chloe gets to show off her new skills, sitting up for long periods with no support and just a couple of cushions around her.

Day 228 - Aug 21st
Day 228 – Aug 21st

229: What to do to entertain a child… I hate relying on the tv, and we’ve done painting and play-doh, so lets head out to the shops and get some cornflakes and chocolate and make some chocolate cornflake cakes. That is until Olivia starts to eat the mix instead of mixing it and putting it into cake trays.

Day 229 - Aug 22nd
Day 229 – Aug 22nd

Personal, Photography

World Photography Day

There are so many World This Day’s and World That Day’s that I tend to ignore mostly as everyone and his dog have put some cause forward for a “world day” of some kind, but I couldn’t let World Photography Day without jumping on board. Considering how many photos I must have taken in the last 8 years alone since I brought my first DSLR camera, it is so hard to pin it down to just one favourite photo. Two of my absolute photos are of my wife in hospital holding each of our daughters just after they were born, but as beautiful and significant to me as these images are, they are not something that would jump out at most people, to the passer by they’re “just another baby photo”.

So I decided to throw this image up for today…


This one I took a couple of years back for my first 365 project, and as I left for work as the sun was coming up, I noticed that the sky had gone a crazy colour, reds, oranges and yellows… it literally looked like the sky was on fire, and to add some perspective to the shot, a bird fly into scene just as I was about to shoot. I won’t pretend I didn’t edit this photo, as I edit ALL my photos, but this was a bit of minor tweaking of contrast and saturation as the camera sensor doesn’t always capture the colours very well. What you see here is pretty much what I saw when I looked up that morning.

What about you? Have you got one image that you’re especially proud of?

365 project, Photography, Portrait

Nope… I haven’t forgotten the 365 project! Day: 211 – 220

Working in a school, like any other jobs, has its pit falls and its benefits. One of the massive benefits is obviously the six weeks off work during the summer, and each and every year everyone who works in a school treasures those six weeks like its the first time they’ve ever had that long off! Its not that you get used to having six weeks of every summer and don’t appreciate it, but you definitely get used to filling the days and making plans to start/finish those things you’ve put off until you’ve finally got all this time to do it in. So far we have finished three full weeks and my to-do list is not looking much different to how it was in July when we finished the school term!

I look back and can’t even remember some of the days, and I was hoping that this 365 project would provide a little insight as to where the time went, but sadly I keep falling behind and forget what I did with the time, and why I took that particular photo for the day.

211: Kicking off with day 211, and this is one I have struggled with as I can’t seem to find any picture on any of my cameras or memory cards. Almost like I had not only totally failed to take a picture this day, but was completely oblivious to the fact! That was until I discovered this one particular image on my phone, and remembered how Chloe is starting, not only to sit up so much, but also reach out to grab things, and shows a particular fondness for chewing on the remote control.

Day 211- Aug 4th
Day 211- Aug 4th

212: I always feel lucky when I am asked to photograph the weddings of friends, and today I was photographing the very laid back and relaxed wedding of two lovely people. THey had put a lot of thought into all the little details of the day and didn’t seem to be particularly nervous or anxious about any part of the day… that was until the bride walked down the aisle and her emotions almost got the better of her. It was a beautiful moment!

Day 212 - Aug 5th
Day 212 – Aug 5th

213: Summer really does seem to have landed, and rather than just having a nice couple of days and calling it summer, we actually seem to be having a run of nice weather, August has turned out okay. We had a day without any plans today, and after spending all day yesterday at a wedding and not being able to see the girls before they went to bed, I wanted to get out and go for a walk up Clent Hills as a family. Its free, its simple, and kids just love getting outdoors and running around. A bit of sun on the skin and fresh air in the lungs, you can’t beat it!

Day 213 - Aug 6th
Day 213 – Aug 6th

214: A simple day at home with the mother and stepdad coming over for a bbq and to spend some time with the girls, who love seeing their grandparents.

Day 214 - Aug 7th
Day 214 – Aug 7th

215: At six months old we decided to try Olivia in this hanging door frame bouncer that had been donated to us from a friend, it went down really well and she loved it. So after being in the loft ever since, it was time to bring it down and dust it down so that we could now get Chloe in it too, now that she has just turned 6 months old. She doesn’t seem to have quite the same strength in her legs at the moment, but it seems to have gone down just as well.

Day 215 - Aug 8th
Day 215 – Aug 8th

216: After waiting a number of weeks, I decided to dig out the birthday present I had been given by one of my sisters, a wine making kit. I’ve never tried anything like this before, and it sounds particularly simple, but I guess without preparing it properly I could just as easily be making vinegar, as wine! Oh well, only one way to find out!

Day 216 - 9th
Day 216 – Aug 9th

217: I finally gave in to the wife’s relentless and repeated requests to take the girls to West Midlands Safari Park. I’m sure it was for her benefit more than the girls! Oh well, I hadn’t been in decades and it was a lovely way to spend a few hours, if not a bit pricey to get in. The free return ticket softened the blow, but not being allowed on any of the park rides without paying even more on top of the already inflated ticket price was a bit of an insult. Still, there were lots of animals to see, Olivia was loving it, and with the dangerous animal enclosures we got to see plenty of lions and tigers pretty close up as we drove through.

Day 217 - Aug 10th
Day 217 – Aug 10th

218: It was that time of year again, the perseids meteor shower graced our skies in the wee small hours. I went up Clent Hills quite late for a better view, and met a friend up there who’d never really witnessed it before. I got a nice star shot photo, but loved this one I’d taken of Olivia and so much that I went with that as my photo for the day.

Day 218 - Aug 11th
Day 218 – Aug 11th

219: One thing I was keen to do while I was off for six weeks was to head back over to Sheldon Country Park, as we have the advantage of a play area, the farm animals, a sausage and bacon sandwich at the cafe where I also had the pleasure of bumping into a work colleague, and then the walk up the playing fields to the end of the runway at Birmingham International Airport. We’d gone with the in-laws and Chloe and Olivia’s cousin too, and I’d worked the day out so that we would be there in time to see the magnificent Emirates Airbus A380 taking off.

Day 219 - Aug 12th
Day 219 – Aug 12th

220: How does three years fly by so fast? Back in July 2013 we met six other wonderful couples all expecting their first child, just like us, and became really good friends with them. Since then we meet up in smaller groups, or as dads for a few beers, or as moms for afternoon coffee, and at least twice a year we always try to get together as a whole group, one time is christmas where we have a meal together early December, and the other time is mid August to have joint birthday celebration for all the little ones. The first year we met at Pizza Express and I managed to get a headshot of each of the kids, the second year was a garden party and so I made the effort to get another headshot, this year the headshot was kinda compulsory for me. I am hoping to do it again next year too!

Day 220 - Aug 13th
Day 220 – Aug 13th

365 project, Photography

Catching up on the 365 project

So here it is, part two of the delayed updates, bringing us back up to date with the photos.

204: A quiet day, Olivia in nursery and the rest of us staying at home. One thing I did manage to finish was some fancy invites for Olivia’s third birthday party, not far away now!

Day 204 - Jul 28th
Day 204 – Jul 28th

205: I should have been out taking photos today, but due to a clash of calendars with the wife, I had to scrap my plans as she was going to be out all day. So it was just me and the girls all day. It was good fun and the day went quickly without any problems, although it didn’t leave me much time to pick up the camera and get any nice shots.

Day 205 - Jul 29th
Day 205 – Jul 29th

206: A visit from our friends and their two boys, who play lovely with Olivia, and she really enjoys seeing them. Weather was good and it was time to get the BBQ out!

Day 206 - Jul 30th
Day 206 – Jul 30th

207: A nice quiet day, and a chance to sit down and watch the Hungarian Grand prix, the only bit of time I take for me during the week when it comes to the tv. Otherwise the remote control generally sits firmly in the hand of my wife.

Day 207 - Jul 31st
Day 207 – Jul 31st

208: Okay, I have a confession to make… this is my first cheat photo of the project. I totally didn’t pick my camera up or take any photos today. This photo was actually taken the following day, first thing in the morning as soon as I realised! Oops! At least I managed to get out and take Olivia swimming this day, and as a bonus the pool was virtually empty!

Fay 208 - Aug 1st
Fay 208 – Aug 1st

209: Three years ago today we had done enough renovation work on our new house to officially call it moving in day, and after hiring a van and drafting in the help of a couple of mates, we started the task of moving all our belongings from the flat to the house. We’d totally transformed the inside, and it was slow and painful and exactly the kind of project that my very pregnant wife had said that she didn’t want! It was worth it in the end though!

Day 209 - Aug 2nd
Day 209 – Aug 2nd

210: Six months ago today and this little lady made her grand entrance into the big wide world. I can’t believe that six months has gone so fast, and what makes it even worse is that in just another four weeks time, her big sister turns three years old!! Where is all the time going? She’s changing every day and learning to do new things all the time, it is so lovely to watch. The wife had taken Olivia out to the cinema to watch the new Finding Dory film, and so I grabbed my lights and set up a mini studio in the living room!

Day 210 - Aug 3rd
Day 210 – Aug 3rd

365 project, Parenting, Personal, Photography

365 project continues: Days 197 – 203

I seem to fall further and further behind with this, and now I have photos backing up. Rather than post all, I am going to put up a week of photos tonight, and the rest tomorrow. So here are days from 197 through the 200 mark and up to day 203.

197: Its a Thursday night and I feel like I have earned myself a beer as it is almost the end of term, and the last day of kids at work as the following day is a training day. This academic year has had its ups and downs, and I am not even thinking about next term, I have whole summer break to go yet! I thought I’d treat myself to a bottle of Sam Adams that was on offer this week, taking me back to memories of my honeymoon in California!

Day 197 - Jul 21st
Day 197 – Jul 21st

198: End of term, and I left the bike and car at home today so that I could catch up with some work colleagues for a few drinks at the end of the day, in particular this guy, Tim, who leaves in just a few days for a position in Abu Dhabi. It sounds like an amazing opportunity, and he will be missed, so we made the most of seeing him off. It was a long night and I barely remember the journey home, it didn’t feel quite so big and clever the next morning!

Day 198 - Jul 22nd
Day 198 – Jul 22nd

199: This was mostly a day of being hungover and not achieving much at all. Painkillers were the order of the day, but I did get out into the garden to enjoy a little sunshine and the beautiful flowers that are growing with some amazing colours on show!

Day 199 - Jul 23rd
Day 199 – Jul 23rd

200: The Hungarian GP race, and a bbq with the in-laws, its almost a perfect Sunday. This little lady was in a fantastic mood and has been for a while now, most of the whinging and complaining seems to have faded away, and we’re literally only getting any crying when she’s either tired or hungry, even the teething seems to have subsided a bit!

Day 200 - Jul 24th
Day 200 – Jul 24th

201: The first day of the holidays, and we are off to Jitterbugs soft play centre to check out whether its suitable for Olivia’s 3rd birthday party. We met up with a friend there and his little boy and had a nice few hours while the kids wore themselves out. Olivia took a few minutes to recharge her batteries on the driving machine, even though we hadn’t put any money in it!

Day 201 - Jul 25th
Day 201 – Jul 25th

202: Sometimes you have jobs to do that you put off for so long you become blind to them. We’ve had a door to get rid of for longer than I’d like to admit to, just sitting around in the back garden. Finally I got round to sawing it into small pieces and burning it! Nothing like fire and a beer in your hand to make you feel like a man!

Day 202 - Jul 26th
Day 202 – Jul 26th

203: Today is our 4th wedding anniversary. FOUR YEARS!! How did that happen? We’ve never been able to do much on our anniversary because of the kids, the wife was pregnant on our first anniversary and since then they’ve been too little for us to leave with anyone. So, after palming them off on the in-laws while we at least tucked into some Miller & Carter steaks for lunch, we took them out to the park for a walk and an ice cream. I took the opportunity to grab a portrait of my three fantastic ladies while we were out and enjoying the sunshine on our special day.

Day 203 - Jul 27th
Day 203 – Jul 27th

And so thats it for tonight as the 365 approaches the end of July and the summer holidays have finally kicked off! More to follow tomorrow!