Another Visitor!

Have you ever had one of those weeks, where everything is going swimmingly – the emails are responded to, the team are all bumbling along, the phone is ringing an acceptable twice an hour…and then the Good Lord just takes an almighty work turd right on your face, and before you know it you feel like Arnold Shwarzenegger in End of Days.  Your phone rings constantly – your wife’s phone rings itself to death, you meet client after client, take booking after booking, and before you know it your wonderfully planned and masterfully crafted week is dumped with 10 weddings in three days.

Well, if you haven’t already guessed, that’s exactly what happened to us this last week.

And I am ecstatic to say that the team, although tired, dealt with the stress exceptionally well. As always.

But we felt very bad,because, as you all know, our good friends Josh and Lydia have been out here in Barbados with us, and we were hoping to spend a bit of quality time with them.  But clearly that plan was scuppered.

We got everything we possibly could done Saturday night, so that we could all enjoy Sunday together, but then the heavens opened and we were stormed in.  So instead of swimming on the beaches and watching the sunset and drinking beers in the warm, we were stranded in our flooding-fast house playing computer games and cursing the deck of cards we had left back at the hotel.

By all accounts it was a lovely day 🙂

And the day was made even more lovely by the arrival of another guest in our home.  We have had swarms of bees, enormous spiders, bats getting stuck in the roof and a billion millepedes, but this is the first leaf frog I think we have had to date.


I spotted him on the way to the kitchen, and without hesitation dear old Josh grabbed the flash and mounted it on a pocket wizard whilst I bayonetted my macro lens.

And he was ever so good as these two giants surrounded and strobed him like there was no tomorrow.

Because he really was tiny. In this (wonderful) portrait of Josh, you can see how small the wee guy was – he is the little green spec on the left, being bathed in the scrummy bolt-blue f20 from my SB800:

But he just sat there, happily modelling for us, and, upon agreeing we had all got the shots we were after, he wandered off up the wall to enjoy whatever it is leaf frogs do in the ceilings of homes in Barbados.

I do love having an open house.

Thanks for reading guys – more regular posts to come from now on.  Promise.

x

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I (think I) Love Miami

As I mentioned a few days back, Sian and I have had a mental week.  Between welcoming guests, being attacked by bees, hounded by nesting bats, and having two team members off for a few weeks, life has been pretty hectic.

Oh – and amidst all this, we flew out to Miami for 5 days on business with our awesome boss Gary.

We were in Fort Lauderdale for a couple of days, and then we popped down to South Beach to soak up some of that awesome ‘Sobe’ atmosphere.  Sian had organised our digs in the awesome Catalina Hotel.  It is one block up from Lincoln Avenue, which is without a doubt the heart and soul of South Beach.  A million bars, and you just pick the one that looks the most comfy, sit down, order some beers, and let Miami walk past you.  And it is made up of all sorts.  If you like people watching, you have to visit South Beach.

On the first night, we wandered down the boardwalk towards the cafes and bars along the front.  Gary had planted the idea of nachos in my head, and as we wandered we were bombarded with deals and offers, happy hours and bargains…we carried on down the front until we found ‘the bar’.

Eventually impatience got the better of us, and we just started asking the waitresses attacking us with flyers “Do you have nachos?” “Yes.”  “Are you running a happy hour?” “Yes, buy one round, get the next on free”.

Perfect.

So there we sat, on the front of South Beach as the Ferraris and custom choppers drove by.  There are all sorts of people here; there are also all sorts of vehicles.

Now, this is where the story gets messy.  All the way down South Beach, we had seen these idiots with the most enormous cocktail glasses.  Seriously.  Put your hand out, spread your fingers as wide as they will go and you would still be able to put your hand in one of these glasses.  Easily.  We had quietly mocked these fools for their inability to order a correct sized drink along the South Coast…so imagine our utter dismay when our Mojitos arrived – the size of an arctic truck, and Gary’s beer arrived in the most enormous glass boot I have ever seen.

Buffoons.

I would not normally dream of posting a photo on this blog from our little Nikon point and shoot, but I feel it’s important for you to see what we were up against here…

And the Mojitos were good. I mean, really good. So after we had a good chuckle at how ridiculous we had been, getting suckered into the obvious tourist trap, we felt even more stupid when we asked the price of the behemoth drinks we had been served.

Fifty.

Five.

Dollars.

Fifty five US Dollars. EACH.  No wonder it was buy one get one round free – no one could possibly finish one of these drinks, and be capable of drinking another.  The bar was running a pretty awesome scam here.  But The Britishness in me kicked in, and I was damned if I wasn’t going to get my money’s worth.

I was in bed by 9pm.

And as I woke up again at 7am, I was amazed at just how fresh I felt.  I left Sian in bed and had a wander around this amazing city.  It was a ghost town.   Miami is, without a doubt, alive at night.  And as I wandered around the streets, baffled as to how I had avoided a hangover that I most definitely deserved, I felt like I was in some kind of post-apocalyptic film.  No one.  Anywhere.  It was really quite special.

Grabbing some breakfast for Sian, I managed to pull her from her sleep, and we wandered around the streets together; but by now, that magic loneliness had been replaced with hungover tourists looking for their coffee, skaters, joggers, muscle men, dog walkers, big groups of blonde girls shopping together, big groups of flamboyant men shopping together,  and I felt that Sian had been cheated from the site that I had enjoyed only a few hours ago.

But all the same, we had a blast.  Thanks Miami, you were very gentle with me.

Thanks for reading guys xxx

Busy Busy Bumblebees

First of all, please accept my apologies for complete lack of posts in the last ten days…Sian and I have been very busy bees.  We were out in Miami last week for some meetings with suppliers and partners etc. and we have not stopped since we got back  I will do a proper post about that soon.

We flew back home on Sunday after nearly missing our flight, crashed for a few hours, and got straight back to work on Monday.   A day in the office after being away for 5 days is never fun, and it was made all the worse by the knowledge that our awesome friends Josh and Lyds were coming out to visit us.  They are now here and it is awesome.

But Monday night wasn’t.

We got back to the house at about 7pm, only to find a massive warning sign on our door. “Fergus and Sian – DO NOT ENTER – BEES SWARMING”

 

Bugger.

 

You know when you just want to go to bed, in your own bed, after staying in hotels and running around like madmen (women) for days?  So we wandered down to the apartment below to ask Anne – our landlady – what was going on.  She said she had seen a few hundred bees swarming around our front door, and they would no doubt wake up again first thing in the morning.  The bee man couldn’t come until tomorrow (of course) and that if we didn’t want to be stung to death in our slumber, we had better sort out other accommodation.

So off we popped back to the hotel, who were wonderfully accommodating and let Lyd and Josh stay with us for the night.  We returned the next evening to utter bee-carnage.  We were quite sad – Sian and I love bees, but the guy had found two nests under our house, and he needed to fumigate the place to get rid of them all.

I whipped out the macro lens and asked Josh to help me with Flash.  These pictures are a homage to our late friends of the bee kingdom.

They’re not as pretty as my usual stuff – but I felt we needed to do something productive with something so very sad 😦

So after we swept up the death and cleared off the leaves, chased out the spiders and the millipedes and all the other wildlife that had moved into our house whilst we were away, we settled down for a quick beer.  And as we sat and supped, our peace was quickly interrupted by an eerie scratching and rustling from the roof.  A few tell tale whimpers and we concluded that we now had a bat stuck in the extraordinarily thin cavity between our ceiling and the aluminium flashing above.

It’s like bloody London Zoo here at times…

But as I write this, we are now (I hope) Bee and Bat free…and hopefully Lyd and Josh can start getting on with their holiday without Mother Nature’s annoying interruptions.  And if you’re reading, Mother Nature, take heed; we don’t want to have any more scenes like this in our lovely new home:

It’s far too depressing 😉

 

Thanks for reading guys -keep on snapping

xxx

Made in Chelsea. In Barbados. In The Caribbean. In My Blog

A few months back Sian got a call from Virgin (the airline/holiday/everything else group, not immaculate concepulate of the late Jesus Christ…although that would have been cool too).

They asked Sian if the company could shoot a couple of ‘celebrities’ that were out here in Barbados here with us for some promotional stuff.  Our friends got excited.  My toes curled up.

I hate this nonsense.  I hate the very word ‘celebrity’.  It makes me think of all the god awful Hello guff that seems to plague our shelves incessently these days.  Not only has journalism suffered for it, but so too has entertainment.  Remember when we watched shows that were written and performed by skilled, talented, devoted craftsmen?…I do.  I got a Theatre Degree.  And my heart physically hurts every time another ‘I’m a Celebrity – Shit on you’ show comes out.

So, when Sian told me we were shooting Ollie, Jamie and Francis from the ‘Made in Chelsea’ TV show, I was dreading it.  I assumed to meet a bunch of jumped up, attention seeking socialites with little or nothing to say.

And boy was I wrong. Very very wrong.  Because these three lads were utterly, utterly lovely.

And I don’t mean lovely in the kind of ‘we’re working together, so let’s all get on’ kind of way,  I mean it from the very real, very rare, ‘I want to invite those guys to our house for dinner’ way.  They really were great.

The first thing Jamie said to me was ‘ we just needed a break – well, to be honest, we don’t really do anything, but we wanted to get away for a bit…I guess that sounds awful’ and I adored his honesty.

I also loved the fact that nothing was too much for the boys – jump in the sea?  Sure.  Play cricket with this guy? No worries.

And they refused to let Sian carry anything. Ever.  Which was very sweet and really very rare in people these days.  They were polite, courteous, funny, and ridiculously good looking…it made our job a breeze.

Because Sian and I live here in Barbados, and because we both despise the ‘Celebrity Big Brother – give me a final chance to be famous’ kind of shows, we had no idea what Made in Chelsea was about.  But the boys didn’t mind – in fact, I think they kind of liked the fact that they were working with apparantly the only two Brits on the island who had not recognised them.  Even while we were shooting, people were smiling, and waving and cooing and asking for autographs…but they didn’t mind, they took it in their stride, they let us do our thing, and we got some great shots.

So, if you’re reading this boys, thanks a lot, you have restored some faith in this old fart’s appreciation of the ‘celebrity’…now excuse me, I believe I have Made in Chelsea on Channel 4 On Demand…

You can see the article in the Daily Mail here: Daily Mail Article. Please note that the Copyright is FIRMLY held with Colorbox, the company I work for – and all of the shots on here link back to our Facebook page.  Please like away, and you can see the full shoot on there too 🙂

Thanks for reading guys, keep on snapping x