Photo highlights of 2016
So now the 365 project is over, or 366 as it turned out to be, I have been less inclined to jump on the computer and create another blog post. As I mentioned in my previous post, I had the thought that I could bring together some of my favourite pictures from the 2016 project and talk about why I like them. I won’t lie, the thought process behind this was minimal, and the list is by no means exhaustive, the photos were chosen in a very small space of time, and I have not put these in any particular kind of order.
 I love autumn, its a beautiful colourful time of year, and with a beautiful daughter happy to pause and pose for a moment (only a moment mind, make sure that camera is ready and those settings are correct…) the elements come together and something fantastic appears.
 This was the day after I passed my Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) and went to collect my first ever motorbike. Feeling very proud and very nervous all at the same time. I had a 20 mile ride home from the dealers just one day after I’d first climbed on a motorbike! Oh well, nothing like being thrown in at the deep end!
 Its no secret that I am a sucker for a good sunset, and we had a few this year, as well as some very pretty sunrises, but this one stood out a bit as the clouds just went crazy! It was one of those moments where you just stand at the window in awe at the beauty of nature, just grateful that you were there to see it.
 Olivia’s 3rd birthday, and for me a bit one. Now whilst three years old doesn’t sound much, this was the first birthday after Olivia had become a big sister, and she really seems to have grown up. The toddler in her has disappeared, and a little girl has emerged, a little girl who can have a full conversation with you, reason with you, show compassion, and most of all make us laugh every day! On this day we were lucky to have both sets of grandparents visit on the same day, and a request from nursery for a family photo had forced me to pick up the camera and take a photo that I should have thought to take ages ago!
 It may not seem like much to a lot of people, but I do love watching the airplanes take off and land. When we discovered there was a park, with a cafe, and a farm area, where you could also walk up to the bottom of the runway, I was delighted! We have been a few times, but my one goal was to watch the airbus A380 taking off, and with a little research I could put myself in the right place at the right time!
 Our wedding anniversary, and the one sad thing about it is that we have never really been able to make a big deal about celebrate it, which saddens me a bit. I have found a wonderful woman who agreed to be my wife and I want to celebrate the anniversary of our big day. Now we are parents, there are very different priorities, but we must still remember who we are as people at the end of the day and not lose sight of what it is we like, what brought us together and how to be a couple, as one day the girls will be grown up, the house will be empty and it will just be the two of us again. For the moment, I can think of no better way of celebrating our special day than being with the three most important women in my life. There’s plenty of time for Vegas!!
 Waiting for a baby to arrive can feel like forever, when they are finally here you do all you can to slow things down and stop them growing up so fast. I was keen to photograph Chloe properly, and so while I had the chance one afternoon, out came the lights and the backdrop and I had a chance to use my newborn photography training for my own benefit.
 Of course, with one sleepy model photographed, I still had my lights up and had another beautiful model who would be willing to sit for a while. I was very pleased with the result, and it will be an image I will look back on fondly for many years to come!
 These shots are just as important to me, a reminder of how small and fragile this little lady was once. She currently is impossible to keep in one place and apparently has zero sense of danger, a far cry from being “fragile”! I love the contrast in size between my fingers and Chloes.
 After cycling to and from work for almost five years, you can get a bit bored of cycling, so I was glad I had the opportunity to take part in the London to Brighton bike ride in aid of the British Heart Foundation with my uncle. It was a lovely day, even after a super early start. The weather was perfect and it was a very well managed route. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride right up until we got to Ditchling Beacon, the third-highest point on the South Downs! At the top we were rewarded with some fantastic views.
 This was also the year I turned 40, and the one great idea my wife had was a tattoo of the girls names as a present for my birthday, and I am chuffed to bits with it, although it has reignited my passion to get more!
 Chloe’s first ever christmas, and with her on the move so much, and being such a nosey little devil we knew the tree was at serious risk of either being pulled over or having its decorations removed. Thankfully neither seemed to be the case, and apart from messing with the tree a little here and there, it was generally left alone and stayed upright and decorated over christmas.
 With Olivia seeming so much more grown up this year, it was no surprise that she really got into christmas, and for the first time really seemed to understand what was going on with the whole santa thing.
 Over the winter we looked out of the window and just gave in some days, the weather did not inspire us to go anywhere, although I still think I should have put more effort into putting on the waterproofs and just getting out there! Olivia loves being outside, even if its a bit cold and wet, but if she can’t get out then clearly she can find other ways to entertain herself. Finally she is finding a little bit more courage after being such a careful little toddler.
 Obviously, it goes without saying, the single biggest part of 2016 was the arrival of our beautiful daughter Chloe. This time it was a planned caesarian section, and although we’d been frustratingly made to wait all day, the little lady was finally airlifted out just before 7pm. It is such an honour and a privilege to become a parent, and holding your baby for the first time still knocks me sideways with emotion!
 After finally ditching the cot, Olivia moves up to a big girls bed. Its raised sides help, and we only had a couple of moments where she rolled out, although thankfully not falling far.
 As soon as the meningitis vaccine became available to children, Clare was keen to get Olivia in there. It was expensive, but Chloe had already been done in her first jabs, and so we didn’t want Olivia being left out. The chances of catching it may be extremely slim, but the consequences can be life changing, if not fatal! Olivia was very brave about it, and so we treated her to a ride into and out of town on the buses as she’d been asking to have a go for a while.
 Olivia has gone from toddler to little girl in what seems like no time at all, and has now progressed on to “big sister” and is loving the role, as she is keen to help Chloe where she can.
 After waiting all through the summer, we finally got Chloe christened in November, pretty much two years to the same weekend that we had Olivia done. She was really good an I was just a little sad that we could have the same priest who did Olivia and married me and Clare. The new priest, as pleasant as he is, actually forgot all about us and didn’t turn up until he was reminded!
 Up there as one of the best photos I think I have taken for personal use, this shot of my two girls together was not planned. We had gone out for a walk over Leasowes park to get some fresh air, and blow out a few cobwebs. The autumn leaves were still on the ground and some contrasting oranges and green made the season almost jump out of the photo. It comes as no surprise that this ended up on a canvas!
And so that is my top 20 photos of 2016, now just to decide on what to do next with the camera and the blog!
Posted on January 17, 2017, in 365 project, Parenting, Personal and tagged 365 Project, birmingham, Blogging, Canon 50D, Canon 5D, Christmas, Daughter, Family, Friends, Fuji X-T1, Fuji X100, Journal, Parenting, Photography, Portrait, Totally Rad. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.