New Year’s Eve tomorrow, meaning Christmas is finally done and last night marked my final shift of the year at Catty.
I don’t particularly celebrate Christmas and this year I put a solid effort in despite not having a place of my own to live and numerous other things that crept up along the way. Inevitably I burned myself out and went back to my old ways, but I at least managed to deal with it better.
Doesn’t matter how hopeless things get, and this year proved if you can find yerself some good cunts to be around it makes the world of difference.
Enough on that, here’s a selection of photos from over the Christmas period.
The past few months I’ve been in situations where I’ve mostly being photographing Jazz – which I am not sorry about – but I’ve noticed my blog becoming a little less varied than it used to be. So the other week I threw up an ad online for anyone who wanted to hang out and let me take their photo.
Today it happened, and so I packed my camera and headed out. I’ve been waking up real late lately, so the fact I was out the flat before 12pm was quite something.
It’s been a long while since I celebrated my birthday, and this year I made a conscious effort to put my reservations to the side and join in.
The original plan was to have a little gathering at the flat but my living situation right now is, frankly, really fucking weird (I’m currently moving flat again for the 3rd time in 7 weeks) so instead I opted to just spend the day with Jazz. Go for a meal out, and to take some photos in the studio space I was hiring as I’d only managed to arrange access to it a couple days prior (despite renting it since mid-November) due to moving and being out of the country a bunch.
We passed the Christmas Market on the way in.
To-fish & Chips and a Pizza that I can’t pronounce followed by a banana split and cheese cake from Mono. 100% vegan. Banging.
Jazz’s ‘Pretty Hate Machine’ tee is rad.
Stephen was in the area and was considering hiring a space at the studio, so after our meal we arranged to meet so I could show him around. He also presented me with birthday bucky.
The night took an unexpected turn when Jassy, a lass who I shared the studio space with appeared moments after we sat down and got our cameras out. She initially blanked us on entering to collect some jam, and then quietly left. A few minutes later, as we were chatting about the space, came back in on some irrational power play, standing over me, saying how I “made no effort to come in and get to know us” and “this is OUR workspace, what are you doing?”, criticising me for not being around and dismissing the blatant fact that I was there to do some work and had payed my rent anyway.
I clocked that Jassy was uncomfortable confronting me, and I was almost pathetically passive about the whole thing to the point where I just handed over the keys when asked for them, and offered to leave before she demanded I leave anyway, asking me on the way out “why are you such an idiot?”.
Why I was treated that way, I have no idea. I can only assume she took some personal issue with me before making the effort to talk to me in person. Maybe it was the Birthday Bucky Stephen had brought for me. I guess I’ll never know.
I guess that’s it, really. I had a lovely birthday meal out and then went and got my arse handed to me by some jumped up irrational jam loving art-student type. I’m sure she’s actually a lovely person under the right circumstances, but coming in in full-blown cunt mode there’s somethings you can’t come back from.
On the bright side, I took some dumb photos of Jazz on the way in. The colours glaring through the wet windows were something. So here you go. Until next year.
This is the second of a two parter on my birthday. I haven’t written the first part yet, but that will follow in a few days or so.
To be honest, I probably wasn’t even going to write a birthday blog but given that the day culminated in my ejection from the studio space I’d been hiring for approximately 52 minutes, I figured I’ll write something about it.
Anyway, this is a selection of photos from the catty as I was working as per. A few pals came along, and I got real drunk and apparently ordered 12 corn on’t cobs from KFC afterwards.
There’s 31 photos here, and I swear that was a coincidence.
Aside from being increasingly annoyed at the Northern Travel Safety Officers doing their patrol and filming each passengers face between the stops I had a pretty dull train journey to kill last night, so I decided to try take my mind off it by editing a few photos of Jazz from my previous couple of days in Liverpool. I didn’t have my laptop with me. Enter VSCO.
It’s been a while.
My X-Pro2 has a pretty straightforward wifi mode which means I can easy transfer from camera to phone, and anyone remotely familiar with mobile photo apps will recognise the basic import>apply filter>upload process.
It’s a similar principle here, except there’s a bunch more you can do with VSCO over, say, Instagram. The customisable filter packs, with the opportunity to buy more if you want.
VSCO also imports photos from your camera at full resolution, and offers the choice of what resolution to export at.
I edited these pretty basic, as all were processed with either c1 or c3 presets with a few tweaks.
Blanket alterations being contrast (1), sharpen(2.5), clarity (2), and saturation (1.4).
With individual alterations to temperature, and vignette being made to preference for each photo. Everything else remained untouched this time.
My usual editing workflow is pretty minimal as is, but using VSCO again after this time made it feel fun again. I’ll maybe keep some time aside each month and pick a few photos to edit them in this way, it’s nice to keep the process feeling fresh.
I’d visited Jazz in Liverpool for a couple of days prior (that’s another blog for another day), and arranged to get the train to Sheffield on Friday evening to avoid the inevitable stress of travelling through the morning of the wedding.
The trains were delayed, and I arrived far later than I’d have liked at the hostel I booked that day. I went straight to bed, though ended up crashing next to some guy who was fresh from filming for the Jeremy Kyle Show. He celebrated his victory on passing the lie detector test by offering me a joint, but I just wanted to sleep so I passed and got some rest.
I was up at 6am, expecting to avoid other folk in the hostel as I doubled checked my bags before my Uber arrived. I went into the kitchen and was greeted by a pissed Glaswegian who was watching rugby with a crate of lager. He took great pride in telling me about how he has the exact same TV the hostel has, but it only cost him £20 and “it’s not even stollen!”, oh, and his remote – “it’s not one of them all-in-ones, it’s for the actual telly. Goes like the clappers it does. The remote retails at £30, an’ I got the lot for £20!”. I wished him well and left him to his beers.
The uber driver told me I was his last ride, ending his 18 hour shift, and almost veered off the road after hitting some ice while showing me photos he’d taken of snow using his phone. Excellent start to the day.
I’ve known Martyn now for just over a decade, having gone through college and university together while in bands. Since the band stopped and with us all living in different towns/cities, we rarely get the chance to hang out these days. I’ve only really met Rebecca a handful of times, and she’s genuinely wonderful and the two of them just work. So yeah, it was pretty wild witnessing the two get married with the kids running about.
Even though I’m approaching 31, marriage still ain’t on my life-radar and when pals get married it really hammers it home that folks are becoming more settled and family oriented. It’s a trip.
I rarely photograph weddings, but I’d been looking forward to this one for a while. Hanging out with friends while being trusted to do my thing made the whole process comfortable, and actually left me wanting to photograph more. I was shooting from 8am to 10pm, so the following photos are a selection of highlights from the day.
3 months I spent waiting to start a new job with the Royal Mail. The process was a pain in the arse, I had a pre-interview meeting, then there was the interview/job offer, along with the process of getting my staff ID sorted, and the start date agreed upon.
I was supposed to start Monday 20th, though on the 17th received a call informing me I wasn’t needed for another week and that my new start date was the 27th. If I’d have suggested that to them at that short notice, they’d have told me to jump.
A few hours after I received an email thanking me for working with them and that that was basically it. I assumed it was an admin error, but decided to follow up. I spent a couple of days making phone calls, all of which went unanswered. So I sent a message asking for some clarity, to be informed later I’d be called again to confirm my start date and that the interview process was out of their hands. That was enough, I replied thanking them for contacting me but to tell whoever’s behind the delay to go fuck themselves. They removed me from the database.
I guess I quit before I technically started.
With that, I’m again jobless. I’ve spent much of my adult life this way. I can’t hold down jobs, and despite how the above probably reads, it’s not for a lack of trying… though it’s no lie that my heart ain’t in it.
I’m thirty, fast approaching thirty-one. I shoot parties once a week in a nightclub. I’m fine with this, it forces me to be social and I’ve met some good cunts in Cathouse. The only problem is that I don’t make enough anymore to not do anything else, and I don’t know how much longer I can realistically get away with doing the club thing before looking like some mental older guy with a camera.
I went to the pub earlier, on my own, and sat in the beer garden in the rain with a pint I bought with my next two days food budget, chain smoking from the pack of baccy that Jazz left behind after her visit. I don’t smoke often, and already I’m coughing up shit. The space did me good, and I put some things in perspective. I have this burning need to get out and just do shit no matter what the consequence. I spent about an hour putting out feelers, and I’ve already got some cool things lined up – Basically, I’m hoping to make my blog a little more interesting, and I’ll have a ton more time to plough into my patreon and b-sides blog as a result.
This blog will be free, forever, but if you enjoy it and can spare a little cash I can give more back but I guess if you dig the stuff I do there’s no better time than now to sign up to my patreon and throw some coin my way in return for what I do so I can also afford to pay rent.
Right, I’m off to pack. I’m away to Liverpool in the wee hours and then have to find a way over to Sheffield on Friday for a couple of days before venturing over to Scarborough for another couple of days or something… figuring shit out as I go, embracing the chaos again.