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Additions to Andy Murray’s penguin family

Andy Murray’s been talking about his penguins again which means one of my photos gets a bit more publicity :) I’m looking forward to meeting the new critters soon.

 

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The Life Craft Valentine’s Fair

Did you know you can buy the ACTUAL moon? Uh-huh! It’ll be for sale in The Life Craft in Glasgow’s West End on Sunday 13th February. You’ll also find puffins, a squirrel, some pink stairs, weirdly-lit trees and some cuddling condiments. That’s the West End for you, dahling.

You Saw Brigadoon

I’m donning my Del-Boy coat again to sell prints and cards. The Life Craft is just along the road from Oran Mor, it’s indoors (such a relief after my experience at Sloans), it’s buggy-friendly, and it’ll be full of lovely people selling clever crafty things. They also have coffee. What more could you ask for?

Some useful links:
Photos I’m selling as prints/cards
Facebook event
The Life Craft on the map
The Life Craft on Twitter

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Celtic Connections 2011: My Story So Far

I had great plans of updating this after every gig but I forgot I’d have to fit in things like sleeping and eating, and all the other bits and pieces of work I have going on! I’ve photographed loads of artists/bands in the last couple of weeks and am trying to catch up with everything else.

People keep asking me about the gigs and what I think of the bands – this might be a terrible admission but I rarely hear the music. I’m so focused on what’s happening through my camera lens that I think my aural abilities shut down! I bought fancy earplugs last year to protect my hearing at gigs, and made the decision to get ones made for musicians so that I can still hear the music… but it appears I only have the concentration for the task in hand when I’m at a concert. It seems terribly ignorant not to really experience the show everyone is there to see, sorry!

Having said that, some folk really do stand out and can distract me from my photography. Treacherous Orchestra were the most enticing band I saw at last year’s Celtic Connections and they were fantastic again this year. Their raucous take on traditional tunes is exciting and they have an incredible stage presence, their charm and enthusiasm wins over everyone in the room.

I’m not sure what it says about me when I admit the other band that has won my attention this year is Red Hot Chilli Pipers. Another supergroup of talented musicians who push the expected boundaries of their instruments, they rocked a packed ABC last night. It’s the first time I’d seen them but I was delighted by their camera-loving antics on stage and loved the music. I was also incredibly jealous of the Blue Peter badges they’d been awarded the day before!

I can never stay for a whole gig but I really wish I could have hung around to enjoy both of those gigs in full.

I didn’t have a chance to experience the music of the Monumental Scott gig but it was exciting to see Bill Paterson on stage, narrating Phil Cunningham and John McCusker‘s creation. Laura Cantrell was great at the City Halls on Sunday; it was very quiet so I couldn’t take many photos (they’ll be online soon) but it did mean I could listen to the music a little more. It was a popular show: I bumped into two members of Belle & Sebastian and one Attic Light!

One other band who deserve a special mention is OqueStrada. I believe it was the Portuguese musos’ first visit to Celtic Connections (to support Cheikh Lô) and they didn’t get the warmest of welcomes at the airport. Their double bass got lost in transit but they didn’t let a little thing like a missing instrument get in the way. They just made a new one. Just fifteen minutes before they were due on stage, the musician and Steve Grimes (looking after the venue’s electrics) put their heads together and created something worthy of a Blue Peter make. Using a plastic bin, a bundle of rags and a rope, they produced something amazing, and soundchecked it seconds before the start of the gig. Talk about ‘Make Do and Mend’! Having seen the band perform, it’s hard to imagine anything dampening their enthusiasm.

I am going to attempt to shoot six more gigs between now and the end of the festival on Sunday. All my photos will appear on Flickr and Facebook within a few hours… hopefully ;)

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Market Stall at Sloans

I have a new adventure lined up for the weekend: a market stall at Sloans in Glasgow. I’ll be selling prints, cards and gift vouchers for pet photoshoots on Saturday, 18th December in the wee lane between Buchanan Street and Argyle Street. I believe it’s meant to start at 11am but I hope to be up and running by 10, ready for all the panicky Christmas shoppers :)

I’ve made a set on Flickr of a selection of the pictures I’ll be selling; if you can’t make it along then please do get in touch if you’d like to order anything. I’m flattered by the interest already (especially in the puffins!) and will be setting up an online shop soon.

puffins on the isle of may, scotland
moon in partial eclipse on Hogmanay, Scotland 2009-2010



I’ve set up a Facebook event for the stall, and will be updating my Facebook and Twitter during the day. Expect plenty of shivering and requests for Starbucks (Tall Mint Blend tea, if you’re passing) ;)

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Win A Pet Photoshoot!

Find Me Glasgow competition advert of Buddy, the most gorgeous spaniel puppyI’ve teamed up with Find Me Glasgow to offer a prize of a free photoshoot of your pet! Just pop over to the Find Me Glasgow Facebook page to enter. The competition closes at midnight on the 9th December 2010.

The prize is worth £60 and includes up to 2 hours of pet photography in the winner’s home/garden (or an agreed location) and two prints from the shoot (one 10×8 inch and one 7×5 inch, both chosen by the winner). I can supply this as a gift voucher if the winner would prefer to use the prize as a Christmas present. The prize can be redeemed until the end of January 2011.


Enter now! I can’t wait to read your reasons to win :)

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People Being Good And Being Social

Be Good Be Social took place in Edinburgh last night (that’s the charity sector social media event I blogged about last week), attracting delegates from the likes of Oxfam Scotland, Childline, Young Scot, Quarriers, Yorkhill Children’s Foundation and MND Scotland.

One of the joys of social media is the instant feedback – at events like this you’re positively encouraged to post Twitter updates throughout (it’s a delicious feeling, like you’re getting away with passing notes in class) and it adds to the experience to see what people are saying. We used the hashtag #begoodbesocial on Twitter – a useful thing to seek out if you want to learn a bit more about the benefits and challenges charities are discovering in social media. As well as taking ‘proper’ photos, I tweeted a few from my phone to complement the commentary.

I was too busy to pay attention to all of the advice on offer but there was a great atmosphere and a lovely bunch of people – a big enough crowd to feel like a worthwhile meet, small enough for friendly collaboration. Massive congratulations to Ross McCulloch, who instigated, organised and put his own money into the event, and a round of applause to his team of volunteers. I’m not sure anyone’s going to let him catch his breath before he organises the next one ;)

You can see my photos on Flickr and on Facebook.

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