I like to meet with my good men & photographic comrades, Philis Barber & Roberto Booker for coffee every week or so, to socialise & chat shop.  It’s great having a genuine network to inspire one another and throw ideas about.  We’re all big fans of the way the American, and especially Californian wedding photographers blog.  They’re a forward thinking bunch, who’ve embraced digital photography and the internet in a big way. They use their blogs to showcase not only their work, but their lives, and often the very intricacies of their business and how they make their photos sing the way they do […though they never seem to account for the fact that they’re in California, where the sun seems to shine sublime 24 hours a day].

My favourite and most inspiring bloggers include: Becker – a master of branding, blogging and bobbling his head in his excitable iSight vids.  Any man who refers to himself in the 3rd person (he calls himself The [B]ecker) has to either be a dick or a laugh, and I think Becker’s probably the latter.  He likes to play poker, runs photography classes in Sweden and set up a global network of photographers called the B-School.  Jessica Claire, a former girlfriend of [B], found more and more of her internet traffic going to her blog, so turned her entire website into one.  In photographic terms, she’s possibly my favourite photographer of the bunch and is all giddy with excitement cos she’s about to get married herself.  They’ve based their wedding colour-scheme around an old pair of boots.

David Jay is the entrepreneur of the bunch – sure Becker B-Schooled, and Jessica designed the excellent shootsac camera bag I use at weddings, but David Jay started in photography and now sells the ShowIt website/slideshow software (some of which he now gives away for free!) as well as touring & speaking on how to develop in business.  He often goes on tour with another amazing Californian photographer, Jasmine Star, who has an equally wicked blog, a love of helping one and all and eye for beautiful pictures. This side of the pond we have the technical genius and impressively expensive Jeff Ascough – his work has an elegant, timeless documentary character to it and he’s often in the top 10 wedding photographers in the world list (usually with one token Aussy and 8 Californians).  Phil Barber, Tom Arber & I went to hear him speak last year and I for one came away thinking he was a bit cold and cuthroat, but takes breathtaking photos to rival his hero Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Anyhoos – I’ve got off the point a bit, and I think what I’m saying is that I’ve never met most of these people and they are in my life via their blogs.  They keep me aware and sharpen my skills and when I fancy a 4 hour work avoid I can pick any one of them at random and come away with something new.  That’s what I want my blog to be like.  A fun place that says something about me & my life, peppered with (hopefully) lovely photos.

So back to Robstacle & Philbo, at the Cross Keys eating fishfinger sarnies – we were chatting about video and how it’s a time of flux and fusion in photography.  We want to embrace the revolution and it not to feel a chore to learn and do.  There’s all that daunting and unintuitive software to edit massive full HD files that make computers wince, so to kick ourselves into gear we made a pact to each do the following:

Make a video blog post by Friday, or humiliating forfeits shall ensue.

So here’s my contribution… A short film about a recent(ish) holiday I took to Bruges with Clare:

May I present: ‘In Bruges TOO’ [Part 1]

Much nicer than a vid of my mug talking to screen, eh? As with everything it wasn’t as hard as I imagined.  I chopped together the footage from my Canon 5DmkII camera in Apple’s iMovie 09 and set it to Lyle Lovett’s ‘Bears’.  Some of you’ll know why that’s an apt song…

So I’ve plans to make video a bigger feature on my blog.  Be that me ranting to camera, doing walkthrough screen tutorials showing how to get the best out of your cameras & computers and also more mini movies (including ‘In Bruges Too – part TOO’ – tagline: “This time it’s pissed”). I’m actually a guest at a wedding on Saturday (!) so might shoot only video, to chop into a wee wedding movie.  Viva la revolution!

It’s been great revisiting Bruges.  It’s such a lovely city with some seriously nice restaurants and silly-big menus dedicated to beer alone.  I’ve had a play with a few of the stills and I’ll post them on a later blog.

I hope you enjoyed my first video entry!  Remember to check out what Barber & Booker put on show! I believe Phil was gonna do a striptease.

It’d be great to hear from you kids about any of this.  Don’t be shy, leave a comment!

More soon.  Watch this cyberspace…

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