I don’t often post up family shots here in my business blog but we had a great day today and got some lovely shots so I thought I’d share a few.
Between myself and my partner Leanne we have 5 children so we get to be big kids ourselves as often as we like but we haven’t had a decent snowfall here in North Norfolk for a good few years. Five maybe? Possibly more.
So when we woke up this morning to see a good 3-4inches of snow had fallen and the schools were closed we grabbed all the warm gear and headed out to make the most of it. We spent the morning making snowmen, an igloo, a snow cat and hurling snowballs at each other. After an hour thawing out, drinking hot chocolate & having some lunch we got kitted up again (warm from the tumble drier!) and headed up to the golf course/cliffs at Sheringham for some sledging.
The conditions in the wind were pretty much Siberian, with bitter blizzards blowing across in the 45mph winds but we found some good runs in the shelter of Skelding Hill and spent the next few hours hurling ourselves down on various contraptions. It was so much fun! Here’s a few photos of our twice in a decade afternoon….
In October last year we headed over to Ireland to photograph the wedding of Katie & Tom – Katie is a Norfolk lass and Tom a Cork lad so the Norfolk contingent got to sample the Emerald Isle’s hospitality and plenty of the black stuff!
The resort at Castlemartyr was beautiful, surrounded by woodland and horses put out to pasture. Unfortunately, it being October in Ireland it was pretty wet & windy for most of the time, thanks to ‘Storm Brian’ so we didn’t get to take many photos outside but we made the most of it and an amazing day was had by all.
The day’s coverage started in the presidential suite, no less, previous occupants include actual presidents of the United States, films stars, musical legends and Kim Kardashian & Kanye West! On this day the occupants were far more important though – our bride Katie, mother of the bride Sue and Katie’s bridesmaids Leila, Ellie, Jess & Carina.
I’ve got a bit of a crazy day today (nothing new there) so will let the photos do the talking but I’d like to say a huge thank you to Katy & Tom and their families for their wonderful hospitality and for inviting me to be their photographer at this amazing event. As much as I really love the beautiful and varied wedding venues in Norfolk and Suffolk it is always great to get away & shoot somewhere totally new.
If you are planning a destination wedding and would like this Norfolk boy to do your wedding photography please do drop me a line, apart from accommodation & travel it doesn’t cost much more than I would charge to shoot a wedding in Norfolk and I know how much people prefer to have a photographer that they can trust!
Last weekend saw the annual Scira Viking Festival held in Sheringham. The festival is the brainchild of amazing Sheringham-based artist and all round lovely chap Colin Seal. If you’ve been to Sheringham in the last 5 years (at least) you’ll have seen Colin’s beautiful murals adorning the town & seafront. The viking festival has gone from strength to strength with 2018 being it’s 4th year and hailed by many as it’s best year yet.
In a change from recent years the vikings vs anglo saxons battles were held on the beach and it was an amazing spectacle to behold, the sun shone, the crowds filled the promenade for a front row view and the re-enactment chaps beat the living squit out of each other! Centrepiece for the festival each year is a handmade replica viking ship which Colin and his merry band lovingly build and paint over the preceding months only to then burn it to the ground at the end of the festival! Seems a shame but what an amazing sight.
This year Colin had asked me to capture some shots and video using the drone and since I had recently gained my CAA Night Flying permissions it was a great opportunity to see what the drone could do at night. Actually it wasn’t quite night, more twilight. Owing to the early evening high tide the burning had to be brought forward by an hour or so which actually helped the filming as it meant we had a bit more ambient light to work with.
Below is a short film I put together for the Viking Festival organisers…
Last August I had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Pip & Wil at the wonderful Cley Mill.
It was a real pleasure to work with Pip & Wil and to meet their families, the sun shone and they had an amazing and unforgettable day. Pip & Wil were kind enough to email me shortly after the wedding to say how much they loved their wedding photos and left me a glowing Google Review so it was a lovely surprise to receive another card from them today, six months later, to say how much they still loved their wedding photos and custom-designed album.
I’m not sure that I had a chance to actually blog any of their photos at the time so thought now would be a good time to share some of their wedding images, some excepts from their thank you card are included below too…
So there it is, a little splash of sunshine on a drizzly February Tuesday, thank you again to Pip & Wil for your lovely gesture, it really is appreciated.
For more information about how you can book me to photograph your perfect wedding day at Cley Windmill please see my Norfolk wedding photography info page here.
As of today I am pleased to say I will be accepting cryptocurrency payments for my photography services.
Using Coinbase‘s new Merchant Payment system I will be accepting Bitcoin, Ethereum or Litecoin payments for my wedding photography and commercial photography commissions.
Over the past couple of months I’ve become really interested in cryptocurrencies and despite their current volatility I can see that they are the future of banking. I’ve personally invested in BTC, ETH and a number of altcoins and although we did see a significant dip (a crash some would say!) in late January, I believe over the future the long term for cryptocurrencies has amazing potential.
If you are planning your wedding and would like to pay in BTC/ETH/LTC please let me know, it’s a very simple process – all you need is a Coinbase account.
If you are interested in getting involved in cryptocurrencies and would like to open a Coinbase account simple follow this link and we’ll both get $10 when you open your account! https://www.coinbase.com/join/5a5fe6c7e115a7011fd4537c
If there is enough interest I may produce a blog post explaining how to go about buying bitcoin and even trading in altcoins. It certainly isn’t without risk but the potential to make huge returns on relatively small investments is definitely there!
I received a lovely email from Donna at Glemham Hall today to let me know that their new website is up & running and what a stunning looking site it is. Lovely design, clean layout, great typography and the images aren’t too shabby either!
I’m proud to be one of their recommended suppliers but even prouder that one of my shots has been used for not only their full screen homepage image but also for the top banner on their Suffolk Weddings page and a fair few of the shots on the Weddings Gallery. So good to see the images I work so hard to produce being presented on such a lovely website.
Glemham Hall is a stunning venue, I’ve shot a few weddings there over the years and it’s always worth the trip over the Norfolk/Suffolk border. Glemham Hall is also the venue for the fantastic FolkEast music festival which we went to a couple of years ago, highly recommended!
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I’ve been developing and honing my property photography techniques over the last 13 years with great results. Commissioned by many of Norfolk’s most successful estate agents and tourist accommodation providers, it’s an area of my photography business which has seen huge growth as the potential for online booking has been realised.
It’s well known that many For Sale properties suffer from poor photography, sometimes even using photos taken on mobile phones, no wonder those properties don’t get many viewings!
There are some lovely holiday properties in great locations around East Anglia, sitting empty for all but the ‘high-season’ and clearly not maximising the potential rent that they could be generating. Again this is often down to a website with dingy, poorly shot photographs.
High quality photography can elevate a simple website to create a captivating and professional shop window which brings in more clients and more income.
This is especially true with property photography where poorly produced photos can instantly turn-off potential customers.
A one-off payment for professional photography is an investment which can generate many, many more times the initial fee in sales and bookings.
In short I help people make more money!
• Estate Agents – Crisp, bright and welcoming photographs bring more people to visit a property, the increased interest & demand reduces the sale time and often leads to a higher sale price.
• Holiday Lets – Images which clearly and accurately show the rooms, location of the property and the details which give a house it’s character can significantly increase bookings throughout the year. A fully booked property means demand is great which in turn can offer the potential for increasing prices in following years. The holidaymakers have a clear idea of the location and style of property they are booking so they can pick the property best suited to their needs and have a great holiday. Everybody wins!
For my Norfolk property photography I take great care to ensure that the building is best represented from all angles, including exterior shots of the property, crisp, bright interior images and, if required, some aerial shots showing the grounds and surrounding area (all included in the shoot fee).
Over the years I have developed a system of techniques, settings and specialist equipment which allow me to produce great results every time, even in the smallest, darkest of country cottages!
Below is a brief description of what I look for in each of the areas…
One of the key elements of taking good exterior property images is to minimise the keystone effect (where the building appears to get thinner at the top when photographed from eye-level) it ensures that all verticals run parallel and horizontal lines are level. To do this it is necessary to have the camera pointing square at the building and raised up from eye level (usually at about 10ft off the ground). The light on the building is obviously critical too so knowing the aspect in advance allows us to plan the shoot at a time to benefit from the sun’s position.
Photographs of the gardens and grounds of a property are important, these also require the right weather & light. Time of year is a consideration to ensure flower beds & foliage are looking their best although I often find that owners contact me because they want photos doing asap and this is often in the first few months of the year. The solution is to book a shoot to capture the interiors, (diffused winter/spring/autumn light can be good for this with a more even balance of light between inside & out) and some exterior shots so they have some to use on the site even though the gardens may not be looking their best. I then head back in late spring/summer to get better exterior & aerial shots to replace the winter ones when the place is really looking it’s finest.
Photographing rooms to look bright, warm, cosy/airy and inviting is definitely an art and I have a number of techniques I use to best capture the ambience of a room without resorting to complex, drawn-out lighting set-ups. My method ensures that the true atmosphere of the room is captured while also showing as much of the room as possible from the best angles. As well as the wide shots I like to photograph the details and features which make each property unique. I find these images can really help capture the feel of a room/building which isn’t possible through wide shots alone. Looking for interesting angles and using a shallow depth of field these shots can really help a holiday property website stand out from the crowd.
Using my drones I am able to offer aerial images of property & grounds at no additional fee. Aerial photography can be particularly useful to show the full boundary of the property (using plan views and oblique angles) and aerial images from a higher altitude clearly demonstrate the surrounding area and proximity to beaches, countryside or amenities.
I am fully licensed (PFCO) and insured for commercial aerial operations by the UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), my specialist Norfolk aerial photography and video website is here – Aerovisuals.co.uk
I offer a simple rate for photographing properties starting at an hourly rate of £200 p/h (pro rata if extra time required), moving up to half and full day rates (supplied on request). No VAT payable.
The fee includes:
• Supply of the finished high resolution image files supplied via Dropbox with no usage restrictions.
• Images supplied just a few days after the shoot, if required urgently a one off fast-track optional fee (£100) will guarantee delivery of the full set of images within 24hrs of the shoot.
• All images resized & optimised ready for web usage if required
Smaller 2/3 bed properties with 2 reception rooms & 2 bathrooms (as an example) can generally be photographed inside & out (exteriors, grounds & aerial) within 1.5-2hrs, sometimes less but I would rather quote higher & come in less than the other way round!
Businesses that have used my property photography service include estate agents Arnolds Keys, Waterside Estate Agents and Brown & Co), The Dialhouse, Byfords, The Pigs (Edgefield), The Assembly House in Norwich, Chaucer Barn, Voewood, Blakeney House, Home Farm Cottages, North Norfolk Escapes and many more. A gallery of some recent North Norfolk properties I have photographed is here.
“We at Arnolds Keys have been delighted to use the services of Chris Taylor Photo. His attention to detail is superb and clients love his relaxed approach to a highly professional service. The quality of the photography is unsurpassed and Chris has the natural skill to pick out features of a property that enhances saleability.
We have used his services with our Collection branding to great effect and, where necessary Chris has used his drone to show angles of a property otherwise unseen. This collaboration has been invaluable to us.”
Clive Hedges, Residential Partner Arnolds Keys.
If you’d like more information please email Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 01263 821589 / 07941009745
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I’m always looking to adapt, improve and find new ways to further my business. If I’m not innovating then I would stagnate and that’s as bad as moving backwards as far as I’m concerned! This constant drive has led to the introduction of two new websites alongside my main social & commercial photography site (christaylorphoto.co.uk).
In 2014 I qualified as a commercial drone pilot with the CAA and launched Aerovisuals – offering aerial photography and video throughout Norfolk and the UK. It’s brought me some amazing commissions and experiences and I became the world’s first RNLI accredited drone operator. Taking off & landing a drone from the foredeck of a Tamar All-weather lifeboat when the boat is drifting with the tide & wind, pitching & rolling on the swell and the drone is wavering in the wind takes some nerve!
I’ve also become a BBC Approved Supplier for aerial video footage and had work featured on various BBC programs including The One Show, Saving Lives at Sea, The Politics Show and national & local BBC news. I’ve had work published in the Daily Telegraph, The Times & Mail Online and had video featured on Sky News, ITN national news and on Channel 5’s extreme weather programs twice.
The new angles and opportunities the drones offer has transformed what I can provide my clients, not only media/press jobs but so much more. Aerial photography has become invaluable for property photography – imagine you have a holiday home near the coast and can now have aerial photos/video on your website to show potential clients just how close you are without having to hire a real helicopter & pilot! At weddings I will often put the drone up for a few quick shots to provide that general view shot (GV), all important in storytelling as an opening shot to set the scene. I’ve done roof surveys for people within an hour, cutting out the time, expense & inconvenience of having scaffolding on their house, filmed hole-by-hole aerial fly-by’s at golf courses (always reminds me of the golf video games where you can fly over each hole before playing it!). The list goes on but I won’t bore you as this post was supposed to be about my newest site – Aquavisuals which I’ll come to next.
Aquavisuals is a new line in my business aimed specifically at the marine industry. It offers high-quality, professional photography & filmmaking to sailing organisations, boat manufacturers, coastal leisure companies and more. Basically any business connected to/using the sea.
I have always loved the water, being on it, in it, near it and I really enjoy any shoots I have on the coast, especially if they involve being on boats!
Combining my photography and the sea can only be a good thing for me and they always say ‘do what you know’ and ‘do what you love’. I sailed on Barton Broad at school in the summers, have a degree in marine biology, been RNLI lifeboat crew here at Sheringham since 2000, own two boats myself (plus two kayaks, does that make it four boats?!) and enjoy surfing, scuba diving, mackerel fishing and beachcombing so it was a bit of a no-brainer to take my business in a nautical direction.
Aquavisuals was launched a couple of weeks ago, and already 2018 has been a fruitful year with lots of projects in the pipeline. We went to the London Boat Show in early January & made some good contacts, I’ve been in conversation, through a mutual friend, with the official photographer of the Land Rover BAR America’s Cup racing team which has been invaluable. We have an apartment booked right by the yacht club for Cowes Week this year and plans are in place for a spot on the media boats which will awesome! I also have dates booked to photograph some local boat-building businesses and this Thursday I’m off to photograph and film a local rowing club who make their own boats.
For more information on my marine photography please visit my Aquavisuals site but fear not, this doesn’t mean I’m not going to be photographing weddings in the future, it’s just a side-line which I hope will bring me some swashbuckling new adventures on the high seas!
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So yesterday I decided to have a little count up of the number of views my aerial videos have had across the various online & social media platforms and was amazed to find it came to over 9 million!
Most of my aerial work tends to be based around our beautiful North Norfolk coastline so when it comes to producing captivating imagery I have it pretty easy. Especially when some of my subjects last year included the Household Cavalry on Holkham beach, Cromer & Sheringham RNLI lifeboats and some good stormy weather. Also I was lucky enough to make films for the Lotus Driving Academy at the Lotus test track in Hethell and of the Wildcats Aerobatic Display Team while flying upside down over Southwold Pier!
It was an amazing year with my work being featured on the BBC Saving Lives at Sea series, Nadia’s British Food Adventure (again on the BBC), BBC News, ITN News, Sky News, Channel 4 and Channel 5’s Wildest Weather program.
Some of my favourite Norfolk aerial videos of last year were…
• Warnings of gales – a film showing the two sides of the Autumn weather at Sheringham & Cromer, featuring a soundtrack composed specially by talented local composer Reg Length
• Cromer and Sheringham Lifeboats on exercise – a fair few clips from this were used in the Saving Lives at Sea series
• The Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment annual ride-out on Holkham beach – this one alone had 2.4M view on the BBC News East FB page
• Storm Surge – the storm surge and resulting destruction at Cromer in January last year, footage of this was used on new channels all around the world (so I’m told!)
• Wildcat Aerobatics Team – this was a new one for me – flying the drone above two aeroplanes while they take off (with full permission from the pilots obviously!) plus getting to ride in the planes after for a flight with rolls & turns!
For more information about my aerial photography & video in Norfolk please have a look at my aerial imaging site – Aerovisuals. I have some very interesting plans & trips ahead in 2018 so watch this space for some serious nautical aerial goodness!
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Last week we were lucky enough to go to sunny Spain for work – I was commissioned to photograph some family portraits for a lovely couple whose wedding I photographed a couple of years back. I instantly got on really well with Fiona & Lee on their pre-wedding shoot at Cromer pier and their wedding a short while later at Chaucer Barn so I was really pleased to be asked to head over to their house in the mountains in Andalucia to do some family shots for them now that they had a new addition to their family – the gorgeous Amelia!
I’m always one for making the most of every journey so we tacked on a couple of days in Seville before driving down to see Fiona, Lee & Amelia in the mountains of Andalucia.
Wow! Seville! What an incredible city. I had found the hotel on an online Daily Telegraph travel article and we weren’t disappointed. About as central as you could possible get in the historic old quarter of Seville, the Casa De Colon is a perfect base from which to explore the incredible architecture and tapas bars, about 30 seconds walk to the cathedral and only a couple more minutes to the stunning Alcazar.
We started our first morning with a wander to the Alcázar, the Moorish royal palace and filming location for Game of Thrones (not that we watch it but apparently it’s ‘The Watergardens of Dorne’ in the program). I had no preconceptions of what we were about to see and it’s fair to say we were both totally blown away by the beauty of the gardens, the architecture and the artwork/mosaics that fill this incredible place. I’m not sure that my photos really do it justice but below are a few shots I took while walking round, mostly mouth agape, in awe at the spectacular views!
After lunch (involving Iberico ham, yes, I am completely addicted to it, have been for years so coming to the region it originates from was just a massive bonus for me) we decided to take in Seville cathedral, which is apparently the third largest church in the world, over 600 years old and once again utterly awe-inspiring with great views of the city from the top of the bell tower…
On Fiona’s advice I had also booked myself & Leanne into the Aire ancient baths & spa for a 45 minute massage and to experience the various thermal pools. It was a truly special experience that neither of us will forget, the massages were amazing but I think the highlight for both of us was the ‘Floatarium’ – a salt pool in which you can just lay back & float in the warm water. Literally the most relaxing experience we’ve ever had. After the pools & massages we were then lucky enough to head up to the rooftop pool to see the sun set over Seville, having the pool to ourselves was just a bonus. What a perfect day!
The below shot, taken at the rooftop pool (of Leanne looking very chilled out) is the only one in this post which was taken on my phone but the iphone 7 does a pretty good job and I don’t think it looks too out of place amongst the pro dlsr shots! Crazy really.
The next morning while walking to get coffees we spotted tour guides selling Segway Tours of Seville so we grabbed our coffees and spent the next 90 minutes whizzing around on two wheels, seeing far more than we could have done on foot in the time we had. It was great fun!
After our Segway experience it was time to pick up the hire car & head into the mountains to Fiona & Lee’s house. The scenery and little villages in the mountain are so picturesque, I think we are going to have to head back in spring to see some more. I took my latest drone (the DJI Mavic Pro) with us and got a few shots in the mountains plus some great footage of the many motorcyclists enjoying the winding roads & scenery.
The final day we were there was shoot day so we headed to an amazing village in the mountains in view of Fiona & Lee’s house, called Zahara. Fiona’s parents joined us for the shoot since they live out there a couple of hours drive away and we took a wander around the village & up to the castle at the top. What a location! And look at little Amelia in her sunglasses!! Here’s a handful of pictures from their shoot. It was lovely to receive a thank you message from Fiona & Lee shortly after I sent them the link to their gallery: “WOW!!!!! Thank you, you’re a genius. As with the wedding photos I can’t put into words how much this means.”
I’d like to say a huge thank you to Fiona & Lee for making this trip possible, it was so good to take in the beautiful city of Seville and to see parts of Spain I had never seen before. It’s made me realise that there is so much more to Spain than the coast that so many of us seem to stick to. It was also amazing to be able to spend time with Fiona, Lee & Amelia, we are already planning our next trip back there in 2018 to continue the adventure, watch this space!
• Travel photography Spain • UK destination lifestyle portrait photographer • Portrait photography in Spain • Seville travel photography•