ONE HUNDRED & SEVENTY TWO
When I take a look back at 2017 & what it has meant for Shutter Go Click as a business & me personally one word springs to mind. Evolution. 2016 was 365 days of finding my own voice in a crowded industry. This year I found that voice & bought a great big megaphone to tell the world that Shutter Go Click is here.
I find it incredible that I can encapsulate the last year into 172 photographs. 172 memories of every human that has given me the chance, the privelege & had confidence in me to tell their story. 172 memories that will transcend my time on this Earth & even yours to be shared over & over a long time from now. 172 memories that may sit on hard drives, or on bookshelves in dusty corners, adorn forgotten spaces in hallways to be passed without notice until one day. When they meeet the corner of your eye fleetingly as you head to work.
When those books are pulled off the shelves to share with generations. When those hard drives are brought to life with the the power & electricty of reliving time. That time & place where I was there by your side.
What a job. What a year. May the whirwind never tire.
I am Shutter Go Click. You are Shutter Go Click & this is our 2017.
BIG HEAD. BIG HEAD. BIG HEAD
My name is Ryan & I have a big head. No I'm not just saying this because of all the awesome gloat inducing features in 2017, I actually literally have a big head. I really like hats but I have finally had to come to terms with the fact that they just do not fit me. People never believe my claims of sheer noggin girth & in a lack of awareness offer me their hats in attempt to disprove my oversized neck meteor. Then when I place said hat on top of my hairy meatball I am met with a mixed reactions of wonder & disgust as their size XL wooly warmer merely sits atop my pomade laden locks like the Saturn V Rocket perched upon the moon. But I'm afraid there is no Buzz Aldrin or Neil Armstrong... Only misery & the shattering of hat shaped hopes & dreams.
Other reactions are of disgruntled confusion, for in the mere seconds where hat was exchanged from hat giver to hat receiver, It is as though through time & space a transformation had shrunk their once adequately sized head finery. Like it has been through the washing machine at ninety degrees a billion times in the blink of an eye. They look on as the hat lingers atop my brain capsule, Like I somehow tricked them like a poor mans David Blaine. As though I had magically swapped there favourite hat for a minuscule replica I had concealed in my sleeve ready for this exchange.
The truth however is that I indeed do have a mightily big head. What once was mere speculation & legend has now been dramatically confirmed. After a Christmas head measuring session to prove the rumours as fact I did indeed claim the biggest head award amongst five different people. With that my title was confirmed. But... there was no prize for me that day, only the shame & eternal torture of headwear mockery that will haunt me until the end of my days.
So speaking of big heads, Heres some awesome features from 2017 that have added a couple more inches to my pulsating cranium. Segway award right there.... WIN!
In 2017 I had photographs published over on Rock My Wedding, Rock N' Roll Bride, Love My Dress, Whimsical Wonderland Weddings, Maggie Sottero & Offbeat Bride. Boom! Probably my big stand out boast for the year though was being in the final collection of Junebug Weddings Best of the Best Engagement Photography competition. Where not only did I have one of my photographs in the final 50 winning collection, but also had a second photo as an honourable mention. That's after the guys at Junebug received over 5000 submissions from camera toting finger wizards around the world. There's blowing your own trumpet & then there's this... I'm blowing the whole frickin Orchestra!!!... Wait that doesn't sound right.
Here's where you might have seen Shutter Go Click, the artistic alternative to traditional wedding photography in Yorkshire & beyond featured in 2017.
~ Our wedding photographer, Ryan from Shutter Go Click Photography, was without a shadow of a doubt the best wedding photographer ever! We were so glad we found him, & weirdly that was through Instagram searching #yorkshireweddingphotographer! He was so attentive throughout the lead up to the wedding. I felt like I had to chase quite a number of suppliers, but Ryan was all over everything. He was hilarious, gave the best advice & caught the best moments throughout the day that we adore. ~
~ Ryan is an amazing guy & a friend for life. He made us feel at ease throughout the whole process. From our engagement shoot, when he made us laugh in the rain, through to the wedding day, when again he calmed the nerves & just made everything so easy. All this is before we’d even seen the pictures. They were more than we ever could have imagined. We got a preview as we were in the airport lounge & James was almost in tears with how amazing they are. ~
~ We’re total suckers for Shutter Go Click Photography & his unique, creative photography, so we’re thrilled to be featuring his images today; thank you Ryan. There are some darn right beautiful photographs here, which totally & utterly capture the essence of this couple & their natural wedding. ~
~ Ryan from Shutter Go Click Photography seemed the obvious choice to be the photographer for the day. His unique style combines the exact mix of vintage and contemporary we were hoping to create and he certainly delivered, including having model Kate climb up onto the grand piano to get *that* shot! ~
~ We reached out to our stellar community to see what kinds of wedding photography as art we could showcase. They did NOT disappoint. Obviously documenting the wedding day with amazing moments is key, but once in a while, you'll see a photo that just makes you want to look twice. ~
~ We hunted down the most talented photographer the world has ever seen. Ryan aka Shutter Go Click who captured our day in the most amazing way, allowing us to relive every second & feel like we are right back in the moment. He did it all without for one minute being intrusive or prescriptive, apart from perhaps to the farm’s animals. We couldn’t love our pictures more. ~
~ Ryan from Shutter Go Click was amazing from the moment we first met him, throughout the actual day & afterwards. So many wonderful comments from friends & family with the photos, he captures it all so beautifully! ~
~ We picked Ryan because he is the only wedding photographer we found who is taking a different approach to wedding photography – none of these naff shots where everyone is lined up with cheesy grins, the natural shots are my absolute favourite & he captured all the tiny bits of the day that pass you by when you are busy making sure all your guests are ok. Not sure what we would have done if Ryan was already booked up on our date! ~
~ After looking through the gallery on the website we chose Ryan from Shutter Go Click. I don’t know if we even have words to describe how much we fell in love with Ryan’s photography. Every single aspect of it was stunning – the emotion that he captures in his photographs & the way he incorporates nature blew us away. ~
~ These three businesses work amazingly well together & seem to have a shared understanding of making vintage feel contemporary for stylish brides. Which is no mean feat. ~
~ We just went with the flow and our wedding theme ended up being Back to the Future vs a five year old girls birthday party! ~
~ "Now I don't mean to sound big headed" is one of those phrases people often use right before they launch into a super long soliloquy of self graitifying superlatives. So without further ado.... Now I don't mean to sound big headed but aside from actually been featured in the awesome engagement collection by Junebug Weddings the image below which I dearly love by the way got an honourable mention. Boom! I also found out that over 5000 photographs were submitted judged & then narrowed down to the finalists. Do you here that Secondary School PE teacher!!! Sometimes it's awesome to be picked last. ~
~ Ryan was amazing. He captured the day beautifully and totally understood the style and look we wanted to achieve. The effects of his photography really helped to capture the era & feel of the day. ~
~ When I began taking photographs of people I started out how a lot of creatives do. First by looking to other people for inspiration. & then using that as a fuel to find my own style. The yearly Junebug Weddings photography compeitions were always one of those collections not only to aspire to. But that more importantly allowed me to realise that photographing these magnificent humans in love didn't have to follow covention. & so here it is... In a hall amidst my heroes in the Junebug Best of the Best 2017 Engagement Photography Collection. ~
~ We had Ryan Leoroyd of Shutter Go Click, photograph the day. Ryan was recommended to us by Glory Days & we couldn’t have had a better photographer. Not only are his photographs absolutely stunning, but he was just so lovely to spend time with on the day.” ~
HANNAH & NICK ~ ROCK MY WEDDING ~ 25TH FEBRUARY 2017
~ The best thing about marrying in an industrial city building is the incredible photo opportunities & this wedding is just brimming with them. The shots of Hannah & Nick on the roof of The Tetley building are SO dramatic. Ryan of Shutter Go Click has captured the essence of the couple & the venue perfectly. ~
TOM & VERITY ~ MAGGIE SOTTERO BLOG ~ 6TH FEBRUARY 2017
~ Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing higher, nothing stronger, nothing larger, nothing more joyful, nothing fuller, & nothing better in heaven or on earth. ~
ROLLING IN ROSES ~ CYNTHIA ROSE COLLLECTION ~ ROCK MY WEDDING ~ 7TH JANUARY 2017
~ A brand after our own free-spirited hearts, Rolling In Roses is based in the heart of Yorkshire & can truly call themselves home-grown & home-made. ~
SHELL & GRAHAM ~ JUNEBUG WEDDINGS ~ 5TH JANUARY 2017
~ Ryan of Shutter Go Click Photography was amazing. Ryan was really relaxed & captured all the moments that we wanted. He had a great eye for capturing all those special moments at your wedding. He really made us feel at ease!! Graham & I are not ones for posed photos… its not us, we much prefer the candid shots! ~
YOU BLEW MY TRUMPET SO I DON'T HAVE TO
To progress my cranium magnitude even further here's a section on all the nice people I've met this year saying nice things about me. Seriously though, I absolutely adore how much time my couples must take to write such personal, funny & often tear inducing words about yours truly. So without further ado here's my highlights from an entire year of people saying nice things about me.
It truly means the world to know I've made so many friends through photography & that our time together went beyond getting a bunch of pictures from a random bloke with a camera. You got to know me as much as I got to know you. My eccentricities, my innapropriate jokes, my pockets full of crystals, my bad shirts & too many cigarettes. Some say a photographer should fade into the background. But I'd rather you know me & I know you. That way your real story isn't hidden behind megapixels & effects.
& Together we watch love grow.
What a journey we got to share together & what adventures there are yet to come. There is truly no one I would have rather taken this wild ride with but you.
A NOTE ON EVOLUTION
So you have treated your eye balls to Shutter Go Click Photography’s 2017 best alternative wedding photography collection. You have taken a journey through some of the worlds most influential wedding blogs that proudly showed my work over the last 12 months. You have even read all of the awesome words my incredible couples have said after they relived every last moment from their most special of days. So what is left to say? Well this final section of my 2017 retrospective is going to be more from the heart (Cheesy much) About what this year has meant for me personally, as well as my ambitions for 2018.
IT'S ALL ABOUT ME
When I came to the realisation that Shutter Go Click might actually allow me to pay my bills, feed the cat & perhaps even the wife. When I had that special tingling feeling that this "hobby" I adored with every facet of my bieng could legitimately be a way for me to not just exist, But really enjoy my ride on this big blue marble through space. I knew that if it was to be my career, that spark & initial love for photography could never be extinguished. That if I was to have my own business that was my own, it had to be true to my identity.
So what the Hell do I mean by that? Well before doing this for a living I was like every other un worldly wise student. Exiting like a new born out of University doors rubbing my eyes & staring at the big unknown world before me. I didn’t have a frickin clue what to do. & so I did what most people do. I applied for any old job telling myself it would be temporary & ended up doing it for 7 years. haha.
Being in an office environment taught me a few things about myself. The main one being that after so long merely existing as a number within a big company. When I did eventually get to walk out of those doors a free man. I would never sacrifice who I was again.
So when creating the voice of Shutter Go Click there has never been any pretence about who I am. I have never taken myself too seriously. I have never seen myself as this artist that other people say I am. I was always of the mindset that if I ended up with an artificial voice, language that wasn't my own & a personality borrowed from the masses of other identical online presence. In the end it will just be another office job but holding a camera instead. & if I can't be myself creating what I love within an environment under only my control, then what's the point?
It's this identity that has led me to write on a more personal level when blogging, sharing wedding posts & interacting on social media. You're just as likely to hear me making penis jokes as to hear me making pretensious artsy retoric. This year has seen me evolve that voice & give back some meaning behind my photographs with a recent series called Lost & Found.
Every single wedding I post a selection of my favourite moments from a couples most awesome of days. Then once I have finished, delivered & created those funky slideshows & Dark Slide of the Moon blog posts. I always come across a couple of photographs that might not have made the cut for those initial previews but sure as Hell should have done. These weekly posts have become a way for me to give readers an insight into how my convoluted brain works & what made me press the button at that very moment to bring those memories home.
Of course it's not just about the mechanics & meaning of photography. It has also given me a chance to talk even more shit about my life, childhood memories & amusing misshaps that make up my existence. Hell on one episode a couple of weeks back I talked about my school day PE prowess. Here's an exert for your enjoyment.
"I remember being in games lessons at high school & having the same PE kit from year 7 all the way through to year 11. This was largely down to my lack of participation &/or interest in anything remotely physical or sporting. My football boots were made by Umbro in what appeared to be the late 70's. Back in the day this was the brand that only the lowest of the low would wear. In year 7 my PE uniform was unbelievably huge. So large in fact that I think just the jersey alone could have housed the entire of my year 7 fellow class mates in one comically gigantor jumper.
In year 11 with the same hand me down boots, the same shorts & that very same top I found myself at the opposite end of the spectrum. I was now sporting clothes 10 sizes too small. My pasty white gazelle like limbs were displaying a bit too much thigh. My toes were forcibly squashed into my boots & my once enormous jumper was now closer to a hole ridden boob tube. But I never really gave a shit, I was a bit of a geek in my early school days (Surprise surprise) Thankfully in todays society my ineptitude for sports & love of geekery has suddenly become a desired quality, in fact it could even be described as bordering on... Cool.
Yet there was one time I frickin hated that uniform with a passion, & that was when I had inadvertently left my own stuff at home. Being without your own PE kit meant you were forced to forage through the crusty mud infused cardboard box known as... Lost property. A thousand mixed forgotten artefacts of youth within an endless box of misery. It was never anything good of course. It always had flaws. One sock, One shoe, A pair of shorts that looked ok until you realised they were actually trousers & one leg was inexplicably longer than the other. A thousand individual items, yet fused into one with generations of mud. A giant block of brown indistinguishable lost wearables that needed chiseling away to find the small beacon of hope in retaining even a small bit of street cred within the high school hierarchy."
So I guess what I'm saying is this year has been even more about retaining & communicating a recognisable identity. A brand needs to have a voice & Shutter Go Click Photography has one. That voice is mine. Here's to another year of my relentless waffle.
ADVENTURE WAS HERE ALL ALONG
As is customary for a year in review, the final section normally consists of all the stuff I aim to do in the next 365 days. Electric dreams of Utopian futures & ideas that will change the world. But... I'm not going to talk about that. Because the biggest ambitions I have for the next 12 months don't even involve a camera. I've spent the last 6 years relentlessly putting every molecule of my being into making the Shutter Go... Machine a success. 2018 however is about readressing the balance.
My wife Hannah said 8 words to me a while back that have stuck in my head more than any piece of advice I've been given. Those words were... "Ryan, You are more than just a photographer."
Now at the time in my "everythings about business" brain I translated this as Oh, I'll do some blog posts that aren't about weddings or photography. Ooh I will write more personal posts on social media so my clients have a greater sense of connection. But now, I hear those words in the back of my head & there is only one meaning. "My life is more than just photography." Now I don't mean to devalue what this job means to me as by now you all understand it is a huge part & love of my life. Instead I am saying "What & who are you actually working for?"
Measuring success is done on an individual basis. But when thinking about what success looks like to me, It is one of family, of friendship, of providing for those that matter, it is one of fun, of laughter & love where one day I can look back at it all & think yes.... I was a good man. All the things I photograph at your most special of days I am lucky enough to have in my own life at home.
This job when balanced allows me to not only enjoy lifes experiences & relationships more than I'd be able to if I was still in the office. It can give me the freedom of time if I allow it to. It is that gift of time that I need to readdress this year. Hannah was right. I am more than just a photographer. I am a husband, a friend, a lover of adventure & experience. But I don't want to adventure alone.
By stepping back from the camera. Looking behind behind me & not through a lens. Stepping away from my desk with the confidence that I have done enough for my business today. My experience & adventure has been right there all along. With my palindrome girl from by the sea & my little black cat called Gatsby amidst a little house where all my dreams reside.
But only If I allow myself to turn around & embrace them.
Happy new year everybody.