New season starts here at home to Stevenage Town in a friendly , Its time to get back and get our eye back in but these games aren't about getting good action shots but trying to get a profile images of all the new signings. The hard bit for us photographers is Learning what certain players will do on the pitch, surprising watching players though the lens you soon start to know which ones will shoot on sight and which ones will always look for the pass More importantly you need to know which ones are likely to flare up. On the other side its great to be back down to the park and seeing the clubhouse looking so good and listening to the rumour mill.
I've always wanted to do a few concerts but being freelance and no portfolio of music acts, its impossible to break into this industry. After months of e-mailing promotors, venues with no luck. I volunteered to do the Americana awards in hackney with 20 odd acts over two days. It was a win win situation with networking included and a chance to get close to the bands, as the venues were on the small side. two rewarding longer and harder than expected days followed . First act was Carter Sampson from the USA, Carter seemed to have a look of Roy Orbison about her maybe not his voice, A lovely voice never the less and a good easy start for the photography. Then I ran across the street into the Oslo bar for The grande who were somewhat different, Louder and being five on the stage somewhat harder to photograph. Back to to the Vintage Dress for the Black feathers a two piece band whose Mic got my attention from the start, Black Feathers themselves are a band I enjoyed photographing, full of emotion when singing. Over the road again for Murder Murder a bluegrass band from Canada. Full of movement and plenty to focus on, The fiddle player was playing to the camera which is just a bonus for me. Back at Vintage Dress Amanda Rheamure was already on the tiny stage in the the room that holds 80 and impossible to move in. Again another good performance and easy to get images. Jo Harman, Walton Hess, Angaleena Presley and to finish the night off for me was Emily Barker. Home at 1am quick download in bed by 2am and up up and on my way back by ten to watch and photgraph the singer/songwriters Panel. Beth Nelson Chapman and Graham Goldman who has written some great songs including 'I'm not in love' by 10cc. Bob Harris was next in a talk with American singer Mary Chaplin Carpenter Once again the hour flew by. Managed to get a couple of frames with Mary Chaplin and Bob together. On to the awards Red carpet pics first then Yola Carter opens the event. Yola has a voice that fills the church what a great act to open with. The night whizzes by Van Morrison makes an quick appearance along with Jools Holland. The highlight Of the night was Mary Chaplin Carpenter who you would not recognise from the afternoon. The evening finishes around 10pm before the after show party began. Now you may ask why no images of Mary Chaplin appear on my website and the answer is every other act had no problem but Mary Chaplin has to ok every image before publication. The Link to images are at.
The pressure of getting to this weeks game starts of a Friday night when I leave for work at 5PM, having to stay overnight in Brussels and not starting work till the morning of the game, Everything has to fall in to place with the main worry being will the 12.52 from Brussels arrive on time in London. The much shorter journey from St Pancras to St Albans City and as it happens everything runs to time and after a quick drive from the station, yes I know its quicker to walk but the equipment weighs a ton and its raining. Car parked and walk into the ground just as the Ref blows for the kick off . I Sit down not quite got the camera out only to look up to see Eastbourne score, Watching the game I do wonder why the Refs at this level seem to take the easy decisions to give a clear penatly should have been given on Ben Martin (The Eastbourne player pulling his shirt from behind) only for the Ref to turn around a give the foul in favour of the Eastbourne defender. then every time a Eastbourne player hits the floor its a foul, seems to me at this level all you need to do is go down with a scream and the Ref will blow his whistle, The linesmen gives the defenders the benefit on the offside decisions when clearly not keeping up with play. Not saying all the decisions are wrong but far too many are at this level are. Still City carry on with the same attacking football that over the last 6 weeks has seen our fortunes change and its not long before McDonald pulls us level and from then in only one team is going to win this game. Hardly any Eastbourne fans are in the ground so a crowd of 650 or so seems to be a good turnout.
Now on to Hemel.
Lucky enough to have a full time job which requires me too work shifts whilst trying to attend every St Albans City football match can cause problems not only with work but the wife too!. This weeks game against Concord Rangers was tougher than most, as been on a long night shift starting at 20.19 and working till 06.30 in the morning. Finally my head hitting the pillow around 8am then getting back up at 12.45 quick wash then straight into the car (13.30) for a 65 mile trip to Canvey Island to arrive at the ground by 2.40. Then picking up team sheets, time for a quick chat and the teams are out. Once the game is over its straight back into the car home by 7pm. Time then too quickly edit and the photos and send them off to the people who need them for the reports, just enough time to eat a late dinner have a quick bath get back in to uniform and drive back into central London to start work again at 10.20 work all night. Drive home at 8.30 and sleep, for most of the day, was it worth it well when Louie Theopananous shot broke the net for a 90th minute winner then yes it was! .
Finally the season is drawing to a close 8 games to go and need to win 5, I wonder is it better to be in this position and have something to play for or be in mid table and just seeing the season out. Dare say the owners and staff/Players would prefer the second option. On saying that being in need of points brings in the fans and the money. As a fan I still find it hard not to celebrate when City score or shout a few swear words to the ref once another decision goes against us and this season believe me, we have been on the end of some awful ones. Still i live in hope that we win these games and stay up