OK so the title is a nod to my friend Maggie. She used to work beside me back in my corporate days and has a very dry sense of humour. She had a beautiful diamond ring on her right hand, she’d lean over, point it at me and say, wanna see my big shiny ring?  Made me die every single time. Because childish. 😂

My own rings are 12 years old (I literally have no idea where the hell that time went) and being white gold were starting to look really scruffy. I’d spotted a cute wee eternity ring (yes, of COURSE he got me it 💍) and when I tried it on my other rings looked shit. I left them there (nervously) for just over a week. Got them back today. I swear, I was like a giddy wee girly girl in the shop!!!  Most unlike me. But they’re so shiny!!!

Naturally I instagrammed them. Duh. 

I’m packing up and taking Elsie Baba to our static this evening. I’ll blog of course!  I hope you all have a fantastic bank holiday weekend too. 

  
Oh, did I mention I had all my hair cut off?  So much to tell you!!

GillyT ❤️

Nothing for 2 years, then 2 come along at once. 

I’m actually just testing out the usability of the WordPress app on the iPad mini.  It’s so rare I’m in my office these days, but my iPad rarely leaves my side. 

Hopefully this will work and will encourage me to post. 

For now, here’s a photo of my new addition, Elsie-baba 😍🐶🐾 

   

Where to start.

It’s been a funny old few years.  I’ve taken some much needed time out from the business, and yes I will get onto that in upcoming posts.  I’ve added another pooch to the family.  I’ve fostered many beagles for Beagle Welfare.  We bought, used and sold a touring caravan, then bought and still have a static.  And yes, this does include old-people-fluffy slippers.  JT has just finished a long term contract and has started another one.  So, in the main, we’ve just been kinda ticking along.  Ticking along and living with depression.  More will follow on that.

I have decided that I am no longer going to shoot weddings.  TBH as much as I absolutely adore them, and get a real buzz on the day, there seemed to be a shift in client expectations over recent years, and not in a good way.  I’ve had some truly shit experiences.  Did I consider hanging up the cameras altogether?  Yes, absolutely.  But here I am.  My good friend Paul retrieved my blog from an archived server in the States, installed it in the UK and I’m back.  There are going to be changes, mostly because change is good for the soul.  The biggest shift you will see is a shift to portraits, portrait pricing, etc, with no wedding information.  I’m planning on properly resurrecting the business over the next couple of months, so I will be advertising for willing victims very soon. I will be focusing on short, on-location, shoots with families and family pets, as well as babies.

The other shift you will see is that I am going to be a proper blogger.  Rather like this post, I will be writing articles on any given subject that is relevant to me.  I’m hoping to gather some regular readers and I hope you enjoy dropping in.

That all said I think it is only fair that the lovely brides I’ve worked with deserve to have their wedding featured, so I will be sharing a small number of photos from each one on occasions.

Oh, did I mention I bought a T5 campervan?  I know, it’s ace.  And it’s called Cilla.

So for now, dear reader, I’ll head off and walk some dogs, clear the cobwebs and up my steps on my fitbit.

Well, here we are in 2013 … and here we are almost at EASTER !

As always I have absolutely no idea where the time has gone.  All I do know is it has gone fast.  Very fast.  As I sit here responding to emails, arranging shoots, following up enquiries for various jobs, eating soup (pea and ham to be precise) I just thought I’d say hi.  And to let you all know the recent (horrible) flu bug didn’t kill me after all.  Just in case you’re on facebook and wondered, etc.

I’ve already kicked off my 2013 wedding season with a beautiful wedding in York … the season continues tomorrow at a local venue, including a church ceremony and some fun portraits in the evening … oh and potentially snow, again !!  I have some beautiful weddings again this year at great venues, I promise I will play catchup here and let you see some stuff.

I’ve also had some lovely portrait shoots.  There are loads more booked in over the coming weeks and I can’t wait to share those with you … from couples to babies to families, so much variety !  My studio (haha) Shugborough opens this weekend and I shall, once again, be using it’s many backdrops to my advantage over the coming months.

Following a fabulous workshop down in Bristol recently, I am now taking on Newborn Photography … as in, first 10 days kinda thing, totally cute, scrummy hats and blankets at the ready … know anyone due soon?  Get them to give me a bell for some incredible “opening” offers !

I’m thinking about rebranding too.  I know, I love love love my brand, I really do.  Unfortunately many people in the industry loved it so much they decided to do it for their businesses, which has kinda diluted mine (and theirs, oh well) … so rather than try to go round and slap people in the shins for copying me, I thought I’d do the better thing and change mine.  Sigh.  Still, onwards and upwards … this may take a while, it’s going to be like tearing off a plaster you’re actually rather attached to (in more ways than one).

So, leave me a comment, say hi, whatever.  Let me know what you want to see … weddings?  portraits?  all the above?  You know, I have about 65 shoots to share with you … maybe more !!!!

Take care xx

I have no idea who said it but the following quotation is very true … and applies to whatever computer platform you work on …

“It is not a matter of whether a hard drive will fail, it is a matter of WHEN”

As a professional photographer (who also used to work in the IT industry) who cares about my client files, I do everything in my power to ensure your files are safe.  I am not, as it turns out, as careful with my personal data, photos, etc.  I only found this out when my drives went KABOOM last week.  Not literally, that would have been a little dramatic.  But when you get the black screen of death, which followed the screen which said “hey, look here, this drive is screwed” (or words to that effect) a little bit of you dies inside.  And you throw up in your mouth a little.

Thankfully I have a backup machine (aka laptop) with which I was able to access my backup drives to see what state I was in.  Well thankfully as always I had backed up all my client work.  At least, all the raws, the vast majority of the output jpegs and the vast majority of album designs.  I was faced with re-doing some work from scratch but actually I didn’t care.  I had all my clients’ work, safe, on external drives.

But absolutely ZERO personal work.  Nothing.  Holiday photos, gone.  Family photos, gone.  Personal files, gone, finance files, gone (ok so JT had the latter on his drives thankfully, as he is my accountant, but I thought I would try to inject a little bit more drama haha).

So what do you do in this instance.  I am fortunate to have an IT guy who is really switched on.  Unfortunately he needed to have the machine in front of him so he could see what was going on.  He lives in Berkshire.  So, cue JT in the snow, hurtling down the motorway to get the machine to Paul.  I don’t drive in snow.  What a husband !  Paul did his best but althought he could SEE the data, he couldn’t access it.  He installed a new SSD for running windows and programs and sent me it back.

What now.  Well, there happens to be an awesome company in Stafford (like 10 mins drive from me) who spoke to Paul and told me to bring the machine in.  Fingers crossed.  Oh, by the way, they are called DataWreck.  Their website states that they can take up to a week to get data back, so I knuckled down for the wait.

OMG.  I got a call literally at lunchtime yesterday to say … hey we can access your data, drop us your new drives around and we’ll get it all sorted for you.  They’re also screwing them in and setting the RAID volumes up.  Brilliant.

YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW RELIEVED I AM.

So what lessons have I learned …

First and foremost that I need to start treating my own data the same as I treat other people’s … it is just as important, to me.

That the above quote is so true, believe me, true as a true thing from true-tonia.

That installing SSD drives is a waste of time (apparently) and that if one of those puppies goes you might as well iss your bank account goodbye trying to retrieve data (and yes, they do go, frequently).

That all said, now that the Christmas and New Year break is over and my IT hell is coming to an end, normal service will soon be resumed.  Very soon.  With photos and EVERYTHING !!

My wedding season starts this weekend with a beautiful York wedding … what a great start to the 2013 season !!

Dear Blog

I realise you are feeling very neglected these days.  I felt the need to explain.

See, the thing is, I’ve been cheating on you with Facebook Business Page.  There, I said it.  I’m sorry, but FB is just easy, you know?

Please forgive me. Etc.

And then of course there is the “I’ve been busy” excuse … well I have … and then there was my birthday and then and … sigh …

See you soon.

Your ever-loving-very-sorry-for-neglecting-you Photographer xx

I shot Katy and Mark’s wedding last Summer and you can see more of the photos in the wedding blog post (the above shot is from their engagement shoot) … I thought it would be fun to run a series of interviews to get an idea of the story behind the love story and the wedding … I hope you enjoy it, here’s Katy’s story, in her own words …

So Katy, how did you meet Mark?

Rather un-romantically, at work … our eyes met over a paper strewn desk.  I thought ‘he’s hot’ and he, in return, just grunted and put his head back down. We didn’t start to go out until about 6 months later.

How did he propose?

We went to Florida on ‘holiday’ in May 2009, which was a holiday with a triathlon planned in the middle of it.  After the first week and the triathlon were over the weather changed to the most bad-ass rain/thunder/lightening/hail storms I have ever seen. We took to driving to Clearwater to avoid the storms.  One day, after a rain shower, we paid 50 cents for a walk down the pier off Clearwater beach.  We were watching the buzzards dry out and were planning to go back to our hotel.  He said ‘before we go, I’ve got something to ask you.. Will you marry me?’

I think to this day he says that it is the only time I have ever been speechless!

Literally… No. Idea.

What was the most stressful thing about planning your wedding?

I would have to say, the guest list … Nightmare!

What was the inspiration for your theme?

We didn’t really have a ‘theme’ I knew that hot pink was going to figure strongly… which it did. It was just really simple.

Where was your wedding and why did you choose your venues?

We initially planned to go abroad and get married on a beach, but then common sense took over and we started to look close to home.  The ceremony venue was a no-brainer.  Shugborough Estate.  We had our ‘first date’ there and I spent a lot of time there as a child.  Lots and lots of sentimentality.  We saw the mansion house and the Tower of the Winds, which we instantly fell in love with.  I think we booked it there and then.

The evening reception location wasn’t so simple (back then you couldn’t have your reception at Shugborough, this has changed since!).  We initially thought about having an ‘outside marquee’ type thing, but given the unpredictable British weather (even in July) we decided to look at the local wedding venues.  We looked at Weston Hall, The Mill at Worston, Ingestre Hall, Sandon Hall and The Swan Hotel (interestingly, Katy, that’s where I had mine! … sorry, carry on …).

All of these were very lovely, but just didn’t feel quite right.  We then decided to have a look at The Moat House in Acton Trussell. Well, I was blown away.  It was beautiful.  Again, after a little bit of negotiation over the date, we pretty much booked it there and then.

We booked both venue about 18 months before the actual wedding (back in November 2009).

Where did you get your dress and why did you choose it?

I bought my dress from a shop in Lichfield which is sadly no longer there.  It was an Amanda Wyatt dress called ‘Poppy’ It was on a sample sale rail in the store and fitted right off the hanger.  I got it for less than half the original price, which was the deciding factor.

It was an ivory dress with pink beading all over the front, side and back.  I think the reason I chose it was probably because of the unusual pink beading (followed by the price).  I loved it and got a lot of compliments on the day and since!

So who were your other memorable suppliers?

Claire Garfield, Princess Brides, for the bridesmaids dresses and mens’ suits.

Alison O’Mara for the flowers.

My lovely and talented friend Sally Dean for the cake.

Euphoria Couture for my tiara/headpiece thingy.

Vivienne Westwood for my shoes :o) (forever known as ‘The Vivs’)

Oh and some bird with a camera … Hahaha!!! Love you Gill Taylor xx

We were really lucky with our suppliers, they were all very professional and we didn’t give them many ideas, pretty much said ‘we want pink, now go!’ and the results were breathtaking.  I met some lovely people and now consider some of them to be amongst my closest friends!  I couldn’t pick out one as being a favourite because they were all ace, but I would highly recommend Claire and Alison, both very knowledgeable and friendly … and Gill of course !

What were the most memorable parts of your wedding day?  Are there any particular photographs that define these?

The whole day was amazing, but I think that amongst the most memorable parts for me was probably when we went for some photos with Gill to the mansion house.  The staff at Shugborough arranged a bus for us to take us round to the house.  The weather was beautiful and, whilst we were walking around with people visiting the house looking at us, I felt like a rock star.  At one point a lady came over with a little boy in a wheelchair, she said he has something he would like to say to you.  The little boy then said ‘you look really pretty’ … nearly made me cry on the spot. (Katy, thanks for the reminder about this, maaaaaaaaan !!!)

I guess, for me, the following photos were my favourites from the day …

Finally, what was your favourite photograph from the day, and why?

OK, so I can’t actually choose just one …

This one sums up the day and has been taken with some of my favourite people !

This one has my 2 favourite men in it ! (Dave Grohl couldn’t make it)

And this one … because I have a standy out collarbone !

To be honest, it was incredibly difficult to choose.  I love all my wedding photos.  I guess that’s what happens when you have an awesome photographer !

Katy, thank you for your story … I had a wonderful time with you all on the day … and many more since, so thank you xx

Staffordshire wedding photographer

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All images Copyright 2015 Gill Taylor Photographer ... please don’t steal them, it’s not nice !