Fiona Lark

I first became aware of Fiona Lark via Sean Tucker on YouTube.

He’s a fantastic photographer, philosopher, one of the guys you’d love to meet.

He has a great back story.

I can highly recommend his book.

Fiona is not human. She’s a spirit. If you watch her videos on YouTube you’ll see what I mean. Totally egoless, a total creative. Amazing. Her photos bring tears to my eyes at times. They’re so beautiful.

As photographers there is (to (mis) quote Sean) a pissing contest. Better cameras, better lenses blah blah blah.

Basically it’s not about the tools. The only tool you need is the one between your ears.

I watched a video recently where Fiona did street photography in Amsterdam where she eluded to being a bit uncomfortable. She mentioned in that video that she’d undertaken wedding photography so I’m a bit surprised by that. I’ll look into that as in my experience, apart from the bride and groom, everyone is a stranger, that said, they know the context (they’re at a wedding, they know there will be a photographer) – it’s interesting…

Fiona is an enigma. I’m still trying to work her out. That said her images are beautiful.

I’ve had my own personal journey. Divorce. Moving to a new area. Anxiety, depression, insecurity.

Fiona alluded to having troubles in her life. We all do. And out of those she’s produced some beautiful beautiful images.

I started walking along my local canal and just ‘braved it out’ asking people if I could take their photographs. Only one couple said no. And I respect that. If they said yes…

I’d take their photograph…

Give them a business card (it’s not a business!)

And send them the images. No cost.

If you have any interest in ‘people’ photography (dichotomy – Fiona takes Self Portraits) you must must check her out. You’ll be moved I guarantee it.

Instagram @fiona_lark

Thank me later…

Retirement!!!

I photographed weddings semi professionally for about 19 years. Packed in a few years ago as everone had an uncle Billy who had a camera, who could photograph the wedding ‘just as good as you – how can you justify the price’ – time to get out…then a friend of 30 years asked me to ‘come out of retirement’ and photograph his wedding. How could I refuse? So I photographed his wedding. A great success. Retire the cameras…now his brother has asked me to photograph his wedding to his partner. This is the last I promise 😂 I’m retiring from wedding photography after this!!!

My photographic journey

I’m weird. The easier things get the less interested I am!

I got interested in photography about 1994. I bought a Canon EOS 1000 FN from Dixon’s as I was looking for a new hobby.

I’ve always been interested in The Lake District since my first visit in about 1984. So…

First photographic adventure, the most photographed bridge in the world…

I shot the original image on the Canon EOS 1000 FN with a CRAB bracket (Google is your friend if you’re not sure what that is) on Kodak film (I can’t remember what stock)

I was working at Kellogg’s at the time and I’d showed someone the photographic (6”x4”) – they asked for an enlargement – so off to Max Spielmann I went.

I brought the enlargement into work. And someone else saw it….and asked if I’d photograph their wedding!!! What!!! I’d no idea what to do. I told them that! However….it was a small civil ceremony in a registry office so thought…I’ll give it a shot!

Then…through word of mouth I got asked to photograph more and more weddings!

Scary. I thought. Things got serious! I bought 2x EOS 5D and a decent flash!

Photographed a lot of weddings on film….

Carried on shooting on film for years. Carried 2 camera bodies up most mountains in The Lake District (and Ben Nevis) – one with Fuji Velvia and one with Ilford Delta 400. with a Benbo Trekker tripod!

Then…

Moved to digital. An EOS 10D.

Shot a wedding on (two) Canon EOS 10D’s.

What a game changer! So much easier. No stress wondering what the image was going to turn out like!

Then I had to learn the image editing process.

I carried on photographing weddings on 20D, 40D, 7D and 7D MKII. Until I got bored.

Everyone had a digital camera, everyone was a wedding photographer. The democratising of photography whilst a good thing, devalued wedding photography.

So…I gave up eventually. I got bored with it.

However I carried on with some portrait photography…

And my landscapes

However…the easier things got the less interested I became.

And now everyone on YouTube is an expert…

I’ll start watching a video and usually after 5-10 minutes I’ll switch it off as I’m not learning anything,

Maybe I need to learn more!?

Adventures Of A Wedding Photographer

Disclaimer: Any photographs displayed are not representative of any of the ‘stories’

They’re simply for illustrative purposes…

Mother of the bride “Make me look beautiful”

Me “It’s a camera not a wand” 😂😂😂

Bride (4’6” about 15st – 210 lbs) “You’ve made me look fat”

I’ve not been your dietician for the past 30 years!

Guest “Have you photographed weddings before?”

“No I usually work for the local morgue photographing cadavers, but it’s my day off today…”

“What side does the Grooms family sit on?”

“Whatever the Bride says…”

Was once photographing a wedding in Liverpool when the Bride and her mother started arguing about her choice of groom. They’d been together 12 years and had two children! It came to fisticuffs. I left….

Plenty of more tales for another day…

I faked it as a ‘Wedding Photographer’ for 20 years!

Back in about 1992 I worked for Kellogg’s in Manchester. I was ‘into’ photography but not in any professional capacity. A colleague wanted a print of Ashness Bridge I’d taken on a Canon EOS1000FN.

Another colleague saw it on my desk as I was about to ‘deliver it’…

And said “That’s fantastic! Would you photograph my wedding!”

A few gulps later I said yes, but, I haven’t a clue what I’m doing…

So…photographed the wedding and learned very very quickly…

You don’t need to be an artist (although it may help)

You need to understand the emotional hot spots…that’s the key…

So…even though I attended many seminars by the likes of Yervant and Nigel Harper I just did my thing…

I did the very best I could. Was never complacent and only had one complaint in twenty years. A bride said I made her look fat…well, it’s a camera not a wand. And if you’ve lived on pies for twenty years there’s only so much photoshop can do…

And here’s the dichotomy – every wedding is unique…and the same. The emotional hot spots are easy to predict – Bride getting out of car – groom seeing Bride for the first time – the exchanging of rings – the first kiss etc.

And I’ll probably never shoot a wedding ever again…I’m not that interested, I’m old and can do without the hassle…however never say never…

Skye, May 2017…

It was only last July that I vowed to never ever visit Skye again…see here why

I knew my lovers tiff wouldn’t last long…and on the 5th May 2017 I made my way back!

My alarm was set for 0500 hrs. however, on account of the excitement I awoke at 0448 hrs. I showered, packed the car, picked up some provisions from my local Asda, picked up my companion for the trip and set off.

The first stop, as is usual for me on these trips, was Inveruglas…a Red Bull, pie and packet of crisps later I was ready for the next stage to The Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge.

After a brief walk around it was back in the car to the next stop…the car park at Dornie…

Next stop, the campsite at Glenbrittle! We pitched our tents, had a brew (or a cider 😉 ) then had a walk on the beach…

After a couple (ahem) of ciders it was bed time.

On the Saturday we walked up to the Loch an Fhir-bhallaich near The Coire Lagan…details of the walk are here…

It was a wonderful sunny day and the views were glorious.

After we descended we just chilled around the campsite, reading or simply taking in the atmosphere…

On the Sunday we broke camp, drove to The Sligachan Campsite and set up camp there.

We rested a while, then I met a good friend of mine in Seumus’ Bar

We have a pint (ahem) of Guinness then it was time to say our goodbyes…for now.

Sunday evening was quite windy…however, when the wind died down I popped out to take a couple of hand held shots of the sunset…

The next morning, we got up early and left for home by 0710 hrs.

I’ll be back Skye!
Skye images here…
 

Back to Skye!

I fell a little out of love with Skye in the summer of 2016 on account of the amount of visitors / tourists who simply didn’t know how to drive / park – especially around the beauty spots (honey pots) of:

The Fairy Pools

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Neist Point

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Talisker Bay

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And Elgol

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Anyway, I’ve gotten over my little hissy fit and have decided to go back to Skye in May…so I’m currently planning my camping trip….

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In the doldrums 

I’ve been in the photography / walking / camping doldrums for a few years now. Must be an age thing.

I used to be a very keen fell walker and have done it since about 1983.


  

Anyway, I’ve snapped out of that now. I’ve just prepped my new Berghaus Crusader rucksack for this years adventures.


And I’ve bought a new OEX Lynx tent for some camping adventures!

And I’ve sorted out the camping kit.


Let the adventures begin!