Author Archives: stuart coleman

Stuart Coleman is a wedding, portrait and documentary photographer covering Saddleworth, Oldham, Manchester, West Yorkshire and the North West

Indian Travel Photography

Indian Dancer, Udaipur

Indian Dancer, Udaipur

My wife Charlotte and I recently spent seven weeks touring Northern India. As independent travellers we followed a rather circuitous route through Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Sikkim.

I’d been to Nepal before so expected a fair degree of familiarity but I wasn’t prepared for what met us leaving Mumbai airport. Heat, hassle, noise, poverty and dirt. After the relative comfort of the plane and the airport, we found ourselves heading uncontrollably, or so it felt, into a sea of what looked like absolute chaos. It was human life in its entirety. Rich people, poor people, the infirm and feral animals all sharing the same space at the same time. To our eyes, the extremes were quite simply overwhelming.

I looked at Charlotte, as we travelled into the city, wondering why she hadn’t spoken for a while and saw she was in shock. She was staring open mouthed as she watched incredulously as our driver maneuvered around obstacles, vehicles and people. Organised chaos understates what it looked like and the cacophony of noise was overwhelming. Tuk tuks, cars honking and people shouting, beggars walking up to our vehicle, putting their heads inside, and asking for money; I think it was the first time we had ever arrived in a place and experienced instantaneous culture shock.

Acclimatising is always difficult but it happens. Within twenty-four hours we were navigating the city, eating street food and booking train tickets. Our big trip had started and we had once again left the trappings of home behind and become independent travellers. I can’t say it had become easy because it hadn’t but the big adventure had started and we were ready for our trip of a lifetime.

Photographs will be exhibited at the Millgate Arts Centre, Delph during the performance of ‘The Cracked Pot’ from 30th Jan to 6th Feb.

I hope the exhibition gives an insight into the wonderful culture and richness of life that makes India so special.

Photographs from the exhibition can be viewed at: http://www.stuartcolemanphotography.co.uk/documentary-photography-stuart-coleman/india-travel-photography/

Displayed along with the Indian photographs are photographs taken by Bob and Helen Conway whilst travelling through Burma and the arctic north.

Posted in Stuart Coleman, Travel Photography Tagged , , |

Press photographs – Debbie Abrahams, Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, meeting residents of Saddleworth

Press photographs - Debbie AbrahamsPress photographs – Debbie Abrahams, Oldham East and Saddleworth MP, meeting with Saddleworth residents at a meeting organised by the Greenfield and Grasscroft Residents Association (GGRA) at the Satellite Club, Greenfield.

Alongside Andrew Taylor and Mike Rooke from GGRA Debbie Abrahams fielded a range of questions from members of the audience including several relating to the building of a new secondary school in Diggle.

I snatched a few shots whilst asking questions and following the debate. Chairing the Diggle Community Association and writing for Diggle News don’t always sit comfortably together.

To read about the issues discussed, visit Diggle News.

Posted in Documentary Photography, Photography, Photography Diary, Press Photography, Stuart Coleman Tagged , , , |

Wedding photography in Marsden for Matt and Caroline at Crow Hill

Wedding photography in Marsden

Wedding Photography in Marsden

This is the second wedding I’ve covered at Crow Hill in Marsden and both times, I’ve been blessed with good weather. It’s a relaxed setup and well organised with the wedding preparations and the ceremony taking place in the main house and the reception in an attached marquee. The garden’s are mature and extensive and have been cleverly designed to facilitate wedding photography. Matt and Caroline said that they’d looked at several wedding venues but Crow Hill stood out because it doesn’t have to be shared with other parties and once your in the grounds, it feels very exclusive.

Click on this link or the photograph to see the password protected gallery

We picked Stuart after viewing some of his previous wedding photos and the testimonials on the website. His relaxed style documenting the day was just what we wanted for our photos. We met before the wedding when we were immediately put at ease and were impressed at how he wanted to make sure we had the photos we wanted.

“On the day Stuart was professional but unobtrusive. Our photos are beautiful and a lasting memory of the day as it happened together with the few staged shots at Crow Hill that we specified. We have no hesitation in recommending Stuart.”

Caroline and Matt

 

Posted in Documentary Photography, Photography, Photography Diary, Stuart Coleman, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , , |

Oldham Wedding photography – Graham and Jacky at Chadderton Town Hall

oldham wedding photography

Oldham Wedding Photography

Wedding photography for Graham and Jacky at Chadderton Town Hall registry office, Chadderton, Oldham

21/06/13

Chadderton Town Hall is a good venue for a civil wedding. It lends itself well to photography with lots of grandiose internal features. The staircase, for example, has fantastic symmetry and is great for portraits and group shots and the ceremonial room is laced with historic detail and decor.

Click on this link or the photograph to see the gallery. 

Posted in Documentary Photography, Photography, Photography Diary, Stuart Coleman, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , |

Live performance photographs: 2013 Diggle Blues Festival

live performance photographs - diggle blues 2013Live performance photographs of blues musicians playing at the 2013 Diggle Blues Festival.

16/6/13

The festival takes place annually in June and dominates the village of Diggle in Saddleworth for four days. Musicians and fans travel from all over Britain to take part in the festival.

Photographing live music is constantly challenging. Low light, packed venues and unpredictable performances test my camera and ability to the limit. That said, the biggest distraction, for me, is always the music…I enjoy it too much.

The main venues for the festival are: The Hanging Gate; The Diggle Band Club; Kilngreen Hall and the Diggle Hotel. Peformers included: Victor Brox, Paddy O’Hare, Mike Sweeney, Bluzebox, Mike Parker, Big Joe Bone, Babajack and Arthur Cale. The event is organised by Dave Wood and associates.

Click on this link or the photograph to visit the gallery.

Posted in Documentary Photography, Event Photography, Live Performance Photography, Photography, Photography Diary, Stuart Coleman Tagged , , |

Commercial photography for A2 Solicitors in Rochdale

Commercial photography for A2 Accident Solicitors in Rochdale

The challenge of shooting commercial photography at a busy solicitors office in Rochdale.

A busy working office is not the easiest environment in which to produce commercial photography. Staff are rushed off their feet focusing on their tasks and the last thing they need is someone pointing a camera at them. The lighting is mixed and there is always clutter in the shot. Paul, the owner, said he wanted my photographs to be honest and show how welcoming and hard working his team are.

I’m happy with real and to be honest, it’s what my eye is drawn to. Of course I can see the photographic value of a cheque being signed or  a handshake with a client but, for me, it’s pretty obvious when this has been staged. If you look at the shot on the left, it’s a group portrait and you might argue it is staged but, it’s in the office where they work and the staff are wearing their normal work clothes. I asked them to gather for the photograph so they stopped working, stood for two shots, in ambient light, and then went back to work. Believe me, I can think of easier ways of getting this shot but at what cost? Look at their faces, they are ‘real’.

 

Posted in Commercial Photography, Photography, Photography Diary, Stuart Coleman Tagged , |

Wedding photographs – Rochdale Town Hall

wedding photographs at rochdale town hallWedding photographs at Rochdale Town Hall Registry Office of David and Debbie’s ‘gypsy’ wedding.

7/06/13

Family, travellers and friends journeyed from every part of the British Isles to be at this “Big Gypsy Wedding’ in Rochdale. For me, it was a wedding photographer’s dream; huge dresses, sixteen bridesmaids and Cinderella’s white carriage pulled by two majestic shire horses. Debbie’s plan to keep to a colour scheme worked brilliantly with all guests dressing resplendently in pink. To top it all, the weather was perfect.

“Stuart’s photographs say it all, they are stunning!  The quality stands out and he totally captured our wedding day. We loved the way he mingled with our guest’s. He’s confident but unobtrusive and just fits in. Nothing was too much trouble, he came to discuss the wedding photography beforehand and helped us to plan our big day. We felt comfortable in his capable hands. We loved his wedding photographs and would not hesitate to recommend him.”

David and Debbie, Rochdale

Click on this link or the photograph to visit the gallery.

Posted in Documentary Photography, Photography, Photography Diary, Stuart Coleman, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , , , |

Photography – Diggle Primary School Village Fete – Stuart Coleman Photography

Photography - Diggle Primary School Village FetePhotography at Diggle Primary School Village Fete – June 2013

Every year I go down and photograph the Diggle Primary School village fete. It’s a big event  and has, over the years, established itself on Diggle’s event calendar. Organised by volunteers, made up of parents, teachers, pupils and local residents, it raises over a thousand pounds plus for the school to use on pupil activities and resources. For the volunteers it’s a challenge and can get testing and frenetic but, no matter what happens e.g. bad weather, broken kit etc., they always pull it off.

Posted in Documentary Photography, Event Photography, Photography, Photography Diary, Press Photography, Stuart Coleman Tagged , , , |

Wedding photography at the White Hart

Wedding photography at the White HartWedding photography at the White Hart, Lydgate, Saddleworth, Oldham for Wasili and Vivien.

Working at the White Hart is always a pleasure. It’s a great location on a sunny day with superb views over Oldham and Manchester and the gardens and grounds are ideal for wedding photography.

Wasili and Vivien wanted a relaxed, low key wedding with friends and family and that’s exactly what they got. The White Hart staff were brilliant and the weather was perfect. All weddings present challenges for photographers but, apart from compensating for bright sunlight, my day was a pleasure.

Click on this link or the photograph to see the gallery.

Stuart captured our wedding day superbly with outstanding professional photographs. His easy going style and good humour belied his professional approach. He will do what you say but he will also capture those magical unrehearsed shots that give life and colour to the day. Stuart is a thoroughly nice chap, easy to work with and a very good photographer.

Thanks Wasili & Vivien Schelowok

Posted in Documentary Photography, Photography, Photography Diary, Stuart Coleman, Wedding Photography Tagged , , , , , , , |

Portrait photography with singer songwriter Kieran McMahon

Portrait photography singer songwriter Kieran McMahon.

Portrait photography for Saddleworth based singer songwriter Kieran McMahon.

I’ve been watching Kieran for some time after photographing him playing at the Saddleworth Folk Festival. He’s a talented singer song writer and, considering he is still at school, has bags of confidence and a strong set. He asked me to help him promote his music with a few portrait shots which I was glad to do. We settled for something simple with attitude and a touch of grunge. Urban grunge isn’t commonplace in Saddleworth but, if you can find places where authority doesn’t hangout, you’ll find it.

The portraits were taken at a location close to the Satellite Centre in Greenfield, Saddleworth.

Posted in Commercial Photography, Documentary Photography, Photography, Photography Diary, Portrait Photography, Stuart Coleman Tagged , , , , |