On Sunday, I set up a Facebook Page for my PA and Light Show Hire. I should have done it years ago, within 24 hours I received 1 booking, at Lynton Town Hall, for a Pink Floyde tribute band, and one very good enquiry for a festival in Bude. Looking good I think.
Please drop by and give my page a like https://m.facebook.com/PA-and-Stage-Lighting-Hire-133247160415564/
On Satuday 22 November at 2 pm, I will be running a 2 hour, crowd funded ukulele workshop in Barnstaple. Do come join me, I'll supply the ukes, you'll have a great time.
To make a pledge or book your place
If you would like me to run a crowd funded ukulele workshop in your town, please get in touch.
Following the devastating fire at June Booth's home last week, Ilfracombe Ukulele Club are organising a benefit gig at Larkstone Cafe on Saturday 10th May. This will feature many local bands and solo performers (yet to be confirmed), plus a stint by the club. June lived right in the heart of our community, a stones throw from the cafe, where the club meet, and even closer to one of our members Lucy. We will be organising a raffle, and are looking for donations of prizes. If you'd like to donate, please contact me in any way you like. Cash donations can be made directly to June at Lloyds bank Ilfracombe. Sort code 30.94.52 account no. 00318046 stating fire appeal. Please let's all pull together to help June with this most difficult situation she has unfortunately found herself in. It's great so see so many already have. We can be very proud of the wonderful people that reside on our town. It has also shown social media in positive light.
Interview on Capstone Radio http://audioboo.fm/boos/2012878-special-report-ilfracombe-trio-help-fire-victim
The story in the North Devon Journal http://www.northdevonjournal.co.uk/Firefighters-tackle-large-blaze-Ilfracombe-house/story-20829659-detail/story.html
Ilfracombe Ukulele Club http://paulclews888.weebly.com/ilfracombe-ukulele-club.html
Larkstone Cafe http://www.larkstonecafe.co.uk/
From the North Devon Gazette http://www.northdevongazette.co.uk/news/june_s_thanks_to_ilfracombe_following_bungalow_blaze_1_3488161
You can get involved too http://paulclews888.weebly.com/1/post/2014/05/roadie-required.html
The gig raised £126.15
Thinking I would know exactly what to write I volunteered rather enthusiastically to ‘guest blog’ on Paul’s blog, without really considering what that entailed and what would appeal to his audience… however, here I am ready to impart a bit of knowledge on photographing weddings.
My name is Christina Dithmar and I am NOT a wedding photographer… I do however photograph the weddingsand I very much love doing so. Wedding Photographers spend their whole lives photographing weddings and some of them are utterly amazing at it. I spend my photographylife photographing families, children, adults, pets, horses and some product and commercial photography too. I have a project entitled The Essence of Woman, which I am really passionate about, as it seeks to empower women through the medium of photography, to feel great about themselves.I am NOT a wedding photographer, but if I ever get asked, I jump at the chance!
Photographing weddings is at once fabulous, fun, exciting, exhilarating, ridiculously stressful and a huge responsibility. What is there not to love? It is one day; the mostimportant day in someone’s life and you absolutely have to get it right. There is no going back and reshooting. So why is it such fun and what do photographers do to make sure that everything goes to plan? Personally, I plan and then Iplan some more. There will always be something you can’t plan for and that you have to respond to instead, but if you are careful and you plan for all eventualities, you will feel much more relaxed and at ease, so if something does come and bite you on the proverbial bottom, you will be ready!
Here is my list of 10 tips to ensure the wedding photography goes off without a bang…(in no particular order):
1. Communicate with the bride and groom! Listen, find out their hopes and dreams, pay attention to the details of the wedding, the preparations and the dress! Knowledge is power and the more you know about them and the day, the more prepared you will be. Always do an engagement shoot! It gets them used to you and you to them! Find out what they like and don’t like about themselves (noses, teeth, eyes, legs etc).
2. Remember your CANDID SHOTS are really important! Make sure that all guests are covered, bridesmaids, grannies, young children, old friends. Don’t miss anyone out. You often get the best shots when people don’t know you are there, so start with a long lens, stay inconspicuous and out of the way, and let the party unfold as you record the memories.
3. Alongside the couple, prepare a FORMALfamily/friends/bridesmaids/best man shot list. Prepare it well and in order of shooting so that the posed shots that you will be doing, will be quick and easy, so as not to keep the guests too long. Ensure you know who the people are in relation to the couple and call them by the right and appropriate names (MR/MRS rather than ‘um, excuse me - you there…). Make sure you have one person responsible for collecting the people for the formal family shots as you can’t be running in and out trying to find them. It is always good to ensure that this person is your responsible person all day, the person that makes sure you get to the first dance or the cutting of the cake. Sometimes the times change on the day so it is essential that there is always someone there that is in charge of making sure you are in the right place at the right time.
4. Visit the venue(s) in advance if you can or get there early. CHECK YOUR LIGHTING! Make sure you check the venues with the lighting on and if in a church, make sure that you check it with the heaters on or you could be in for an interesting surprise! Make notes and sketches of where you can do your shots, where to stand, where you can get creative!
5. One week before the wedding prepare your ALL DAY SHOT LIST. Write down EVERY shot you want to get from the time you arrive to the time you leave, at the right times. Break down the day according to what the couple have told you is going to happen, and slot the shot list in. (You can find a sample shot list here…) Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!
6. The CREATIVE COUPLE Shoot. Sketch the shots you would like, write a list. Be prepared for all eventualities. You think the shots are going to be outside? Think again… the weather plays tricks! Be prepared to have to change the outside to the inside and know where you are going to shoot. Bring umbrellas!
7. Keep MEMORY CARDS safe - back pockets are NOT safe. Take lots, change them regularly (before they run out). Back up half way through if you can and have time. Don’t delete the images off your cards until you have backed up twice at home too! Batteries - have lots and make sure they are charged!
8. Get INSURANCE! Never, ever, ever do a wedding without insurance! Have personal indemnity insurance, public liability and contents cover - you never know! Insure your car for business. You will feel much happier making sure you are covered.
9. Shooting INDOORS. Most weddings happen indoors and outdoors - often switching between the two quickly - so the most important thing is to know your camera, know your lenses. Understand the camera settings you need when indoors, and use a monopod or a tripod to help reduce noise in your images. If you are really struggling with the lights, you can use a flash, personally I prefer not to. If you are still struggling and you just cannot get the effect you want or need, pop your camera on automatic. There is no shame in this - lighting can change quickly and rather than getting stressed and frustrated, just pop it on auto until you have calmed down and you are able to think clearly again. If your camera has an automatic ISO setting I recommend using that when spending a lot of time inside and out, so that you don’t have to worry about changing it all the time.
10. Remember, it is an immense honour for someone to ask you to photograph their wedding, so treat it as such and ENJOY IT! Be in control, because if you are not in control it will show. Stick to your timekeeping and be a little bit bossy if you have to, or you won’t get the shots that the bride and groom have entrusted you to get. Remember also that you are their eyes for the whole day, so don’t forget to shoot all the little important things like table decorations, the favours, jewellery, the bouquetsand never forget the cake!
Never ever stay for a drink afterwards. One drink can lead to two can lead to… and the last thing you want to do is lose your images, lose a card, have your camera stolen etc.
This one is something I have to do for my own sake so as not to be over critical… Whatever you do, don’t ever look at the images until at least 2 days later. Go home, back your images up, but don’t look at them. You need a break, so sleep and do something away from the computer the next day so you are not tempted. It is very easy to be over critical when you are still so close to the event and too easy to delete them all!
Many thanks to Paul for the invitation to guest blog. I’m Ruth and I live in
Ilfracombe, which is why it’s been an expensive week so far.
I had to go to a meeting in London yesterday. The meeting lasted less than an
hour but it took nine hours, twenty miles of driving and a stonking train fare
to get there and home again. Not to mention the cost of the mysterious
transformation that yet again took place somewhere between Barnstaple and
Paddington. How is it that I get on the train in Devon looking respectable, and
when I get off it in London I look like a bag lady? I’m sure I’m not the only
person this happens to. Maybe that’s why there’s a branch of Monsoon in
None of the people at the meeting knew where Ilfracombe was. That was
interesting, because they’re in the book business, and while most of the trade
is mourning the fact that bookshops are closing down all around us, what do we
have right here in our own High Street?
I suppose its relative remoteness is one reason that Ilfracombe has managed
to hang onto all sorts of businesses which, for friends who live in bigger towns
with easier communications, are only a fond memory. A proper greengrocer. Two
real butchers. Bakeries and a post office that aren’t just add-ins to
supermarkets. A fish shop. A local printer. Pedlar’s. Shops that deliver. Shops
that don’t charge silly prices. Shops where the staff know what they’re talking
about - usually because they’re the owners. That’s not to mention the proper
pubs, the farmers who sell locally-raised meat and the places to buy free-range
eggs at the front gate. As the daughter and grand-daughter of former Ilfracombe
shopkeepers, I listened to the Londoners saying, "Ilfracombe? Where’s that?" and
I smiled, and I thought, it’s in a very good place.
By Ruth Downie
I have been meaning to write this blog for a long time. A couple of years in fact. I keep putting it off because I know it's a little controversial and I want to get it right. In other words, I've done my research. Many of you may disagree (I have had many debates on Twitter and Facebook about it). It makes my blood boil.
Now just to be clear, when I say 'why you should not play them', I also mean, you should not watch them, or eat or drink in the venues that promote them.
The pub landlords that promote such events will tell you, they put them on
'to give new talent an opportunity to play in front of an audience', as if they are doing the 'new talent' a favour. Well let me tell you, this is a big fat lie, they put them on for profit. Now profit is not a rude word, but everyone contributing deserves a slice of it. They are using the musicians skills and talent to line their own pockets, and not share any of it with the musician. Okay, they often give you a 'free pint'. Let me tell you about that 'free pint', it's not free, you worked for it. I wonder if the landlord pays his plumber and staff in pints. Pints do not pay your mortgage, kids shoes, or even a packet of guitar strings. They should also be declared to the VAT man by the landlords because, as an accountant informs me, they are in effect making a taxable supply to the musician in exchange for services, so the VAT on the full value of the pint should be paid over. I hope you landlords are declaring them. Equally, musicians should be declaring them to the tax man. You are accepting beer as income. I suspect the whole thing is a hot bed of petty tax evasion. I suggest musicians should try going down to Soundpad in Barnstaple and offer them a couple of flat pints of beer for a packet of Ernie Balls. I can ensure you they will laugh you out the building. Musicians are consequently 'paying to play' as the old musicians slogan used to say.
Another trick that the landlords and agents use to pull you in is, 'come
play the open mic night, and we'll see how good you are. If you are good enough I will book you'. This is another lie. They rarely give gigs this way, although they will deny this. I know many venues that book a whole year or seasons entertainment on this basis, abusing the good will of hopeful entertainers.
Entertainers need to stand together, say no to this rip off, and put an end to this awful practice, that is in all but name slavery.
People have argued 'but they're fun'. I don't think putting musicians out of work and treating them as slaves is fun. I take no pleasure in it. Where are your principles? It's a nobel art.On occasions, I've had other musicians tell me, 'I only play for fun, I work in the week, I don't need the money'. Again, I don't see how putting other musicians out of work is fun. How would you like it if I go to your boss and say to him I'll do your job for free, because I work as a musician, therefore I
don't need the money? There is a minimum wage law, some how musicians fall through the net. Has this musician got public liability insurance? I have never
met one that has. Therefore any accident, such as taking someone's eye out with
a guitar neck, or burning the pub down with your untested (PAT) electrical equipment, is not usually covered by the landlords insurance policy. You're taking a hell of a risk.
When it comes to these practices, I want venue owners to give up, and pay up!
I'm off for a walk to calm down.
I woke up this morning feeling fine. I took Ellouise to school. She wanted to stop off at Tesco's on the way. While in Tesco's I started to get some back pain. By the time I came out of Tesco's the pain was also in my stomach. I dropped Ellouise off at school. I abandoned my planned trip to the high street & went home. By this time the pain had me doubled up. As I arrived home mom phoned me. She made me an appointment to go to the doctors, even though I didn't really want to go. The doctor suspected it was a kidney stone. He arranged for me to go to Accident and Emergency Barnstaple.
While there I was given morphine, and something to shove up my bottom. I also gave a urine sample. The doctor found blood in my urine.
So it was a kidney stone that caused all this pain. I am now discharged. Thanks to dad for running me around. Thanks for the kind comments on Twitter and Facebook. Also a big thanks to all the NHS staff, everyone I had dealings with today were great.
Last Tuesday I met @NaomiChapmanSMM at @stationcafebarn to review my use of social media. Now there are few people I rub up the wrong way on Twitter, even managed to get a minor troll, but since I’m more successful than any of them on that platform, and many people complement on my promotion of North Devon, it’s businesses and organisations, and particularly my home town of Ilfracombe, I will not be taking advice from them.
Those of you that know me will know, twitter is by far my favourite social network. I know it inside out, all it’s apps, everything. I joined myspace when it started years ago. Still have a couple of accounts, post almost everyday, but don’t really do that much with them anymore. I joined Facebook just less than a year back. Still don’t really like or understand it. It feels slow, complicated when it doesn’t have to be, and just doesn’t work that well. This week I’ve being promoting my pages on there with little success. Is Facebook a dead duck, or a dying duck anyway?
We had a look at LinkedIn. Naomi advised me to finish filling in my profile. I did this. She also advised me not to use twitter Hashtags on LinkedIn and Facebook. Well I continue to use the Hashtags, because I post to all three networks at the same time via Hootsuite, on my iPhone. I don’t have time to do it separately, that’s why I use Hootsuite. It is a great app for posting, and Twitter always takes priority over other networks. Simply because I find it works best.
Finally we looked at google+. I have had an account for some time now, but not done loads with it. Just poked it with a stick really. When I joined it there was nothing on it. It could be argued there still isn’t. But, it is up and coming, and feels nice to use. It looks a Facebook, but it actually lets you connect with people, unlike Facebook, but like Twitter. Which is useful for a social network to do I think. Following my meeting with Naomi, I took her advice, and built three new Google+ pages. They seem to be doing well.
Thank you for your time Naomi, it’s been really useful. Get in touch with Naomi and get your social media moving. http://www.naomichapmansmm.co.uk