My Busiest Week So Far

It had originally been my intention to start my business at the beginning of this month. Having made the decision to get started 5 months earlier than planned how are things shaping up?

The Centennial Stone on Derwent Water

Monday 2nd March 2020

I have been looking forward to this week for quite some time. Stephen & Barbara Wilcox booked 3 days of 1-2-1s back in the autumn, not long after I announced that I was going full-time.

For their first full day shooting with me I had organised a packed agenda: Blea Tarn, Side Pike, Hard Knott Fort, Devoke Water and Kelly Hall Tarn.

I found Stephen and Barbara to be the most charming couple. Relaxed, easy going and fun to be with. I enjoyed our first day together immensely.

Sometimes I can’t quite believe that this is now my job!

Stephen and Barbara Wilcox on Side Pike
Stephen and Barbara Wilcox with Digby (the mad spaniel) on Side Pike overlooking the Langdale Pikes. I consider myself to be extremely fortunate to be able to share my passion for photography and the Lake District with such wonderful people.

Tuesday 3rd

Having had to endure high winds for the best part of a month I was keen to make the most of this morning’s still conditions.

I headed for the western edge of Derwent Water keen to revisit a composition that I had spied when here with my mate Tom at the weekend. I arrived to find that the water level had fallen considerably in the last 48 hours.

I abandoned my original plan and set off in the direction of the Centennial Stone, hopeful that the water level was perfect for the classic shot towards the Jaws of Borrowdale.

The Centennial Stone on Derwent Water
Near perfect conditions for the classic shot of the Jaws of Borrowdale from the edge of Derwent Water close to the Centennial Stone.

After my shoot I made my way to Keswick where I had a meeting with David McMahon.

David is the Director of Photography for the MSc Biological Photography and Imaging at the University of Nottingham and has invited me to come and talk to his students about my journey to becoming a professional photographer.

I could have chatted to David for hours and left extremely excited about the opportunity to share what I have learned with others about to embark their own career in photography.

Wednesday 4th

I was reunited with Stephen and Barbara this morning for another day’s photography on the fells. It was the easiest of the 3 days that I had planned but we still managed to climb to the summit of both Great Mell Fell and Hallin Fell.

Stephen is an experienced photographer and Licentiate of the Royal Photographic Society. Today I pretty much left him to his own devices while I worked with his wife Barbara.

Although less experienced than Stephen, Barbara is a skilled photographer in her own right. It must be wonderful to share a passion for photography with your spouse, Mrs Sale take note! 🙂

Barbara Wilcox on Great Mell Fell
Barbara Wilcox explores a composition on Great Mell Fell.

Thursday 5th

More near perfect conditions for photography this morning and so I took the opportunity to revisit a High Wray Bay on Windermere.

I was last here just a few weeks ago, shooting a composition featuring one of the boathouses that line the shore close to Wray Castle.

The last time I felt that the composition was a little tight and this time I wanted to get a shot with a little more space around the subject.

The boathouse close to Wray Castle on Windermere
The boathouse close to Wray Castle on Windermere. Returning to a location in order to improve a composition is central to my approach to landscape photography.

Friday 6th

The end of the week and my final day with Stephen and Barbara.

We enjoyed some wonderful light to start the day, visiting Castlerigg and Tewet Tarn close to where they were staying in Threlkeld. Unfortunately conditions in the afternoon were not as good and our final location, Beacon Fell, was a little bit of an anticlimax.

As we were saying our farewells Stephen told me that he had “enjoyed himself thoroughly and had learned a lot”. This I took as a huge compliment from someone as experienced and skilled as Stephen.

Stephen and Barbara Wilcox on Beacon Fell
Stephen, Barbara and Digby at the summit of Beacon Fell. If feel privileged to have spent so much time with them while on holiday.

Saturday 7th

This morning I was at Ribblehead in the Yorkshire Dales to co-host a workshop with James.

We were joined by Mike, Robin, Gareth and Bryan for a morning photographing the viaduct and limestone pavements that litter the area. Once again we got lucky with the weather and ended the session with the bright, overcast conditions that both James and I have grown to love.

This was the last workshop that James and I will be running together for a while but I look forward to more come the autumn.

James Burns works a composition at Ribblehead
James works a composition with Robin at Ribblehead; anything to get his hands on the latest mirrorless Canon!

It has been an extremely busy week for me with a diary packed full of 1-2-1s, meetings and workshops.

My decision to start my business 5 months early appears to be paying dividends. Literally.

20 thoughts on “My Busiest Week So Far”

  1. well hot dam, sounds like you had a busy week indeed, and it definitely helps when the people you work with are easy to get along with. that rock in the water has some interesting engravings on it, any idea what the story might be behind that perhaps ?

    1. Hi Andrew, it is called the ‘Centenary Stone’ and was… “…placed there to commemorate the Centenary of the National Trust in the Lake District. Carved out of a boulder of volcanic rock from the Borrowdale Valley, the unusual design represents ten segments across ten rings, a century.”

      1. mmm that’s a interesting story , wonder if they would allow me to get close to it to capture some macro detail shots of it 🙂 saw you take a photo of it in your latest video, they did a amazing job on the details on it

  2. Chris – many thanks for the lovely write ups and the fantastic week; we both thoroughly enjoyed your company and passion for photography in the Lake District.

    1. Thanks Stephen – I look forward to seeing you both again when I make it down to Somerset for the talk about your time in the Lakes. P.S. I thought you said you didn’t read blogs! 🙂

      1. Chris – I don’t normally read Blogs, but when you asked for permission to print photos and our names, I thought I had better check it out for libel! I will definitely let you know when I’m doing the talk and Barbara and I (plus Digby) would be delighted to see you again.

  3. Seems like a great week for you mate. Busy, yes but as you noted sometimes it’s hard to believe it’s a job! I predict that you will have many more like this so prepare yourself. It seems like you have been pretty fortunate with the weather and conditions for most of your workshops-this is a huge bonus especially in the early days as fighting poor conditions just adds complications for both clients and coach.
    Cracking shot of the Centennial stone. Looks like awesome conditions.
    I too wish my spouse was more interested in photography, but I’ve come to accept that she is not. As for Mrs. Sale, I suspect she might warm up to it a bit right after you spend a few weeks as a companion gardener. 😉

    1. I have been very, very lucky with the weather for 1-2-1s and workshops so far mate, thank goodness. One day I will have to postpone/cancel no doubt but while I am trying to get the business off of the ground I am extremely thankful I haven’t had to cross that bridge just yet!

  4. I read your blogs regularly and enjoy watching your vlogs. It’s just nice to be part of how you’re going your way at the moment. If i ever make it to the lake district i will definitely order a 1-2-1. I like the images and hope that i can view something from this 1-2-1 in one of your next video!

    Greetings from Norway

    1. Hi Jörg – I would love it if you made it over here. It would be so nice to be able to meet you and to thank you in person for all of the support that you have given to me.

  5. That boathouse is one of favorite scenes Chris. Glad that you went out again to give it another go. It must be exhilarating to meet so many people who are passionate about photography and being outdoors. I would assume it makes the day pass rather quickly.
    What a life.
    Enjoy!

    1. Hi Miguel – being able to share you passion with like minded people is a wonderful thing. It’s great on YouTube but even better in person. As you say, the days do pass quickly. 🙂

  6. Hi Chris, glad to see you’re keeping busy ! I enjoyed the “change one thing” vlog this week, i thought you got a cracking shot of the centennial stone.

  7. Hey Chris.
    Thanks for taking us on a tour of your Beautiful Lake District. I have been watching your Vlog for sometime now. Looking forward to watching more
    Thanks

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