Great to see a bunch of my images used in the latest issue of PosAbility Magazine including my shot of Harry on the cover and the 'red carpet' campaign I shot last year. A wonderful feature for the Zebedee Management team and all of their models.
2016 has been an invaluable year of learning experiences. I’ve learned a hell of a lot about limits, a lot about business and a lot of new skills.
Despite the long hours, hard work and stress that often comes with it, I couldn’t think of a better way of earning a living.
Happy New Year everyone. Wishing you success and happiness for 2017.
Football has always and will always be one of my escapes in life. It started at a young age, kicking a ball around with my Grandad in the playing fields across the road from his house. My fixation was then heightened when both he and my dad introduced me to the delights of Division 3 football, watching Scunthorpe United trying (and failing) to gain promotion via the play-offs in 1992. Ever since then I, like thousands of men and women in this country place it right at the top of our hobbies and interests.
I guess it was only a matter of time before football found it's way into my photography also. In the latest edition of Soccer Bible, there is a mini feature that I shot in the same playing field that my Grandad and I used to kick a ball around on a Saturday afternoon. Amateur football, non more so than Sunday League, provides amazing subject matter for reportage photography. It's unattractive, yet addictive. There's drama aplenty and never a dull moment. Football in it's purest form.
Soccer Bible: www.soccerbible.com
Q&A no.2 Thank you to @liam00001, @jackelean, @coralroseart, @thoughts__become__things & @golpys for the questions. Sorry to the other guys if I didn’t manage to fit yours in. Open to feedback on this… do you prefer me to fit in as many answers as I can or provide a more details answer on one particular question? Anyway, would appreciate some more questions for the following Q&A vids. Any subject again for time being. Thanks #askCHED #instavlog #instavlogger #vlog #photography #phototips
A little while ago, I decided to sample with some mini vlog style videos through my instagram channel. This was primarily based around the idea of running a Q&A feature. This here is the second post which responded to the questions that was put to me in the first video. Hope you like.
If you wish to put any questions to me for future videos, or even any suggestions for a different type of content, feel free to let me know.
A bit late putting this out, but here's the highlights from the past two months.
May and June were not without their low points. Workload issues, the stresses of setting up a new company and frustratingly missing out of a couple of projects that I was particularly looking forward to.
Despite that, I've worked with some amazing people and on a range of shoots that is so diverse, it instantly reminds me of why I love what I do.
Now taking bookings for September and beyond.
Limited dates available for August.
This might well die a very quick death, but worth a try. Whilst I'm working on making a start to my YouTube channel, I thought I might try posting regular videos on my Instagram. To keep it simple, it's just based around basic Q&A's. It can be about anything: gear, shoots, locations... You name it. So to get the ball rolling, leave something below... Otherwise this will just get deleted 😬 #instavlog #AskChed #vlogger
Lately, I've found myself watching a hell of a lot creatives YouTube channels. I first thought was going to be nothing more than a fad for me, but it soon became pretty apparent that this is something I need to look into. Whilst I hold no ambitions of becoming a daily/weekly vlogger, I do want to create some content that is of value to people, even if that audience is reasonably small to begin with.
So whilst I'm working on making a start to a couple of things, I thought I'd take advantage of Instagram's new 1 minute video allocation. I'm testing the water with a little Q&A idea where I respond to peoples questions which are left in the comments. Luckily enough, people provided quite a few questions with the first video, which not only saves me a little embarrassment, but it also means that I can give this a proper go. Whilst I'm working on producing the first "Answers' film, I'm still looking for people to supply me with more questions. For the time being, I don't care about the subject or even who they're from. It's just a bit of fun and something new to try so please feel free to send me a question via any of my social media channels or email.
You know, when I first started doing these montages to review the past couple of months, I would sometimes struggle to fill them. Don't get me wrong, on the majority of occasions it was fine. But there would be a period every now and then when I'd had to just take a step back from the work with the camera and deal with the jobs that were flooding my inbox. This meant from time to time, not a lot of new material was being created and all I could share was 'throwback' shots via my social media. Well that certainly hasn't been the case so far this year.
The window for me to squeeze in this extra work has not grown. It will do in the future and I cannot even begin to express how much I am looking forward to that time. But at this moment, it's simply a case of doing more in the same amount of hours that I had this time last year. Maybe I'm procrastinating less. Maybe I'm refining my workflow. Or maybe, I'm just working harder and loving what I do. In truth, I think its a combination of the three. Either way, I'm shooting so much new content at the moment that soon enough, these little montages that I post might well end up being one month at a time.
The variety of jobs that I worked on in March and April was so diverse, I couldn't have asked for a better mix. No doubt May and June will throw up another nice range of shoots. I'm looking forward to it already.
Another month and another LOCO magazine cover. This time the subject was the very dapper, yet talented hairdresser Alexander Turnbull.
Having frozen our bits off on the previous LOCO shoot with Jewellery designer Daniella Draper, the team were keen to try and capture some warmer summer vibes with this one - something which I definitely had no complaints about. In my opinion, location work beats shooting in the studio every time but the unpredictable nature of the weather in our country can make it a lottery. The original shoot date was a total write off with a whole day of non-stop rain. However, we manage to reschedule for later in the week and we got lucky with a bit of sun. It has to be said, the abandoned quarry made for an amazing location on this also.
The issue looks great! Probably my favourite so far, so I urge you to take a look. Check it out one the LOCO website:
Styling by Leonard Silver Menswear
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin
The foray into self employment has been a steep learning curve. I've taken a lot of confidence from the journey so far. Yet this has never meant that I'm totally at ease with where I am at. The way I see it, I have a steady foothold at the bottom of a very tall and multi-directional ladder. There is no real pressure coming from anyone other than myself to make the climb. It's almost as though I feel I have an obligation to myself to make the ascent. To choose 'thrive' over 'survive'.
Just last week, I found myself in the company of a group of guys who share that similar desire. They each want to build upon the foundations they have already laid. What brought us together was a new initiative called The Influence Society. Behind 'Influence' are my buddies Josh and Jack (Results for Life) and Corey Johnson, who is over here from Canada working with the guys to build this movement. As well as business owners coming from all parts of the UK, there was also international representation with guys coming from Belgium and even the Gold coast of Australia. These guys were in town just to be at this specific event, which in itself is testament to the work that Josh, Jack and Corey have already done.
The Influence Society (aka. Influence) aims to help aspiring business owners/entrepreneurs realise their potential and the targets that we set ourselves in order to become successful in our chosen fields. Now at this point I should point out that I was a little bit of a fish out of water when meeting these guys. After all I was the only one who wasn't in the fitness industry. We had gym owners. We had personal trainers. Some with premises, some without. Some who's business is based totally online. By and large though, it didn't really matter. It didn't take too long to realise that we each shared some common aspirations in the same way that we shared the same issues and face similar hurdles. It was reassuring. Working on my own, the majority of which is being at a desk, it's too easy to be shut off from the rest of the world and just operate within my own bubble. Communication and collaboration are vital ingredients for any business. I know that! That's how mine got started in the first place. Talking with these guys helped provide some clarity. A moment to step back and assess before approaching from a different angle.
This experience was a great opportunity to hear the challenges that other business owners are faced with and also to speak openly about my own obstacles that I wish to overcome. Sharing and listening to these guys, whilst learning from what the Influence team had to say about how we can build left me totally motivated to progress and take a step up that ladder. I have no desire to stand still with what I already have. I want to learn, build and progress. And that is what I shall do.
I'm looking forward to seeing how each of the guys I met that day continue to follow their passions and grow their businesses. Even more so, I'm looking forward to seeing what Corey, Josh and Jack do with Influence and with that, I wish them the best of luck.
A few days ago saw the release of another edition of LOCO magazine for which I shot the cover and feature article. This time, the muse for the day was the wonderfully talented jewellery designer Daniella Draper.
As well as having 3 stores, Daniella can boast of A-list celebrity clients such as Kate Moss, Ed Sheeran and Chloe Moretz. The article tells her story and gives a little insight into what the business is all about. I've embedded the online version of the magazine at the bottom of this post.
Once again, it was great to link up with the LOCO team. It's great to see them growing and producing quality and insightful content.
Thanks to Alison Martin (Make-up) and Rob Barraclough and also to Daniella's sister, Holly for her help on the day. Oh! And a special mention to the Waters Edge Visitors Centre for allowing us to set up camp.
Loco Magazine: www.locomagazine.co.uk
Daniella Draper: www.danielladraper.com
Recently, I have been thinking about the future of my business. By that, I mean where I see it going, the changes I want to make in order to achieve certain goals. This will include weeding out the aspects of my current work that I don't like so much and refining those that I do.
I don't want things to become stagnant. Standing still and settling for what’s already there is never really an option. I like to have a target. A goal. Something to pursue. Of course, this philosophy can be a dangerous one. After all, how can someone be happy if they're always chasing the next thing? But quite often it's the pursuit of something which is the real excitement, rather than the final outcome.
I’ve had a very productive start to 2016, working on numerous projects and shooting with a lot of cool people. Emerging from the stressful workload that seemed to take over everything around the Christmas period came with a huge sigh of relief. It’s nice to start working on new content and planning for the rest of the year. I’ve set myself a list of targets, which although I’m not willing to share (yet), I’m hugely motivated to push on and see what happens over the course of 2016.
This year has been so many things. The usual phrases like 'rollercoaster' and 'journey' spring to mind but they don't really hit the spot when it comes down to the nitty gritty. The past twelve months have taught me lots and also confirmed so many things that I already thought to be true.
So here in no particular order is 50 things that I will take from 2015.
- The conventional 9-5 is not for me
- Improved multi-tasking skills required
- Must shoot more film
- 'No shows' will always happen no matter how far you progress
- I’m not good at sugercoating.
- Christmas cards require serious planning
- There is no such thing as a quiet December
- Proscrastination is the worst
- Self employment can make you (even more) boring
- Sleepless nights are now a part of the norm
- Negotiate deadlines right from the start with clients who want things yesterday
- Stick to your guns
- Sacrifice is inevitable
- There are not enough hours
- Quality is key
- I need an assistant
- Facebook Pages makes me mad
- The less 'rock and roll' business purchases still provide great satisfaction
- I need to replace my iMac with a MacBook
- I don't know if I will ever master Twitter
- I'd be lost without lists
- Optimum workflow is a never ending pursuit
- There is a big different between what I want and what I need
- I WANT a drone
- I do not NEED a drone
- Accounts take forever. FOREVER.
- I need a larger office
- Don't read too much into Insta likes
- Printers don't like me
- Tumblr and Instagram before bedtime is never a good idea.
- Built in Wifi on my camera is a saviour
- I need to network more
- Some equipment has devalued so much it's worth far much more to me than anyone else
- 'Let me wait for payday' means an enquiry is highly unlikely to result in a commission
- There's always someone willing to do it cheaper
- There are models and then there are models
- I want to get to London more
- My job can provide some amazing opportunities
- Working with other creatives can only be a good thing
- Must work on my camera stance to prevent awkward off-guard BTS shots
- Larger companies can be just as bad at paying invoices on time as the smaller ones
- I'm far more productive in a morning
- Coffee is my friend
- Skinny jeans are not a photographers friend
- Never stop learning
- There is always someone watching
- Waiting will achieve nothing
- Remember why you started
Self employment is f**king brilliant
Sure, you can kiss goodbye to a regular sleep pattern and deal with situations so stressful it feels like your head is about to pop, but this year has shown me that the positives far outweigh the negatives. Working with so many new people, being sought after as result of your skills, hitting deadlines, getting creative and earning my own money leave me convinced that I have the best job in the world.
Here's to 2016! Let's go.
Here's a recent cover shoot and feature I shot for Yorkshire and East Riding lifestyle magazine 'LOCO' with Cally Jane Beech. All you reality TV junkies might recognise her from ITV2's Love Island.
The interview covers Cally's rise into the spotlight as well as her opinions on the new world of social celebrity. Well worth a read!
Looking forward to working with the folks at LOCO very soon.
Note: For additional shots from this shoot, take a peak in my folio
Having just returned from a 10 day break, it is probably only just now that I am beginning to appreciate exactly how much I needed it. The time out did just what it was suppose to do and gave me an opportunity to relax and recharge after what has been a hugely busy time.
Like most people, I come back from these breaks totally re-energised, motivated and with a brain full of ideas. That said, there's so much going on up in there that the main difficulty is prioritising these thoughts before putting anything into action. I'm a simple man. I live my working life by following lists that are strewn across my office desk. Without them, I'd lose my marbles. For this reason, the first task as soon as I got to my desk was to make a few scribbles on some post it notes just so that I can begin to map things out. Only now can things move forward.
I'm really glad to have sewn up a few big projects before leaving for my holidays, one of which is the new website which will continue to evolve over the coming weeks as I start to tailor it more to my needs. There's a lot of new and unseen content on here and it's nice to be using a platform which is much easier to navigate, especially from mobile devices - after all, desktop users outside of the creative community seem to be a rare breed these days. Take a look a round and let me know what you think.
Now it's time to get some work done. Let's do this.
These last few weeks have been incredibly rewarding. I've shot some beautiful weddings and met some lovely people. Yet, despite this there has been a void that sits unfilled. The vast majority of my fashion or commercial work has taken a back seat to allow my life to be consumed by weddings. They've been great, they really have. I'm taking a great amount of pride seeing them come together as my weary iMac and I work our way through thousands after thousands of images which document some truly special occasions. As much as I am enjoying these and will continue to shoot them, the creative voice in me is missing the other stuff. By that, I don’t just mean the girls and provocative imagery. I’m talking about everything else; the commercial stuff, the personal work, people, products etc.
Like an itch that can't be scratched, the past 6 or 7 weeks at times have been frustrating at times. It's incredibly important to me to give that side of my business an opportunity to grow. That means giving it some time, experimenting and diversifying; something which I've yet to do due to other commitments.
For the next few weeks, things won't really change a great deal. I have some more weddings to photograph, which I must say, I am really looking forward to. I've been fortunate enough to get some great ones which I can't wait to show people on my new weddings site (another ongoing project). Once the marriage madness has began to subside, I'll be working my arse off to kick on with new projects and fresh ideas but in the meantime, I'm going to continue to enjoy the ride and the shift in focus.
No matter what work I do, I always give everything my all. The feeling of ownership over every job I do and the immense sense of pride that I take in doing these things for myself represent everything about me.
On a final note, I see Format are launching a series of videos focussing on various creatives, looking at their backgrounds and how they came to do what they do. This video (below) focusses on Jessica Lehrman, a Brooklyn-based photographer best known for her raw visual documentary style. I found some of the things she said hugely inspiring so I thought I would share.
Every now and then little things remind us of why we chose to do the things we do and remind us of why we started in the first place.
Earlier this week I received the news that I had missed out on what would have been the biggest and most exciting project for me to date. Having been hand picked by such a big time organisation to work on the type of project that I’ve dreamed of since I first started taking pictures 6 or 7 years ago, it turns out that it was not to be.
At the final stages, the client had decided in favour of another photographer. These things happen, I get that. It still doesn’t make it easier to take though. I just have to hope that my time will come and the opportunity will come again.
I am determined to make sure it does.
In the mean time, here’s a shot of London-living Leeds gal, Paige (IMM models). This girl was super cool to work with and it certainly won’t be the last time I shoot with her.
The second shot is from YAF (You Are Fire) Magazine who are about to release their first ever print issue. Luckily for me, I’m going to be a part of it with my recent shoot with Evie been selected . Check out there website for some super slick work from talented photographers