Category Archives: News

A Grand Plan

A Grand Plan

I had a five year plan to escape the drudgery of office life and spend more of my time immersed in photography. Admittedly it took me seven years to get there, but it’s hard to believe that eighteen months ago, I took the bold step to hand in my notice and walk away from paid employment.

All the signs in the photography world looked bad. Returns on stock images were dropping ever lower and professionals were bemoaning the lack of commissions, so it didn’t look like a good time to try and make some money out of photography, but I was ready for a change and keen to give it a go anyway.

It came as quite a culture shock for me, having spent all my working life in salaried 8 – 5 type jobs. I’d get up at 7am, into work at 8, coffee break at 10, lunch at 12 and so on and on and on……….. So suddenly I was free to keep the strange hours that landscape photographers do. If I had a late night photographing a sunset then I could have a lie in and didn’t have to worry about being at work for the dot of 8 o’clock. All very alien but liberating!

I had some set ideas about how I would spend my time and areas I would concentrate on to build the business, but somehow it all seems to have evolved slightly differently as time has gone by. We have always relied on selling framed and mounted prints, so we needed to expand our range of outlets so not having the day job getting in the way has helped enormously. It’s meant more time to visit galleries and to put on exhibitions but I have to say we’ve been overwhelmed by the number of exhibitions we’ve been offered this year.

Our year got off to a flying start when Andy Dalton of Ryedale Artworks put our names forward for a month long exhibition at Helmsley Arts Centre. This proved a great success, then out of the blue we were asked to join several other photographers for a two month exhibition (extended to three) in the Yorkshire Wolds Gallery at Staxton. This came courtesy of our friend Helen Wrigley who recommended us, then just when that was coming to an end we got offered a two month exhibition (Also extended to three months) at the newly opened Belmont Studios Gallery at Wrelton. This has meant having our work continuously in exhibition from the beginning of February until the end of September, when we finally got a short break to gather our thoughts for the next busy run.




While all this was happening we also entered a very busy run of art fairs, so life has become one long juggle of boxes of frames and prints, but it sure beats working for a living! We’ve just come off the back of Art fairs at Masham, Skipton, Staithes and Helmsley and we still have two more at Pickering and Masham to look forward to.


Whilst most women’s spare room wardrobes are full of dresses and shoes, Janet’s is chock full of frames and mounts!




Meanwhile the exhibition invites and new gallery outlets keep getting added to our list, so the house resembles a framing warehouse at the moment! Art in the Pen at Skipton proved a big success for us and has led to us being invited to exhibit in the Mill Bridge gallery at Skipton, then next Monday will see us delivering some work to the Three Peaks gallery in Settle which we are very excited about.

Once that lot’s sorted we have a couple of short exhibitions in October/November at Pickering Gallery and the Joe Cornish Gallery, courtesy of the Moorsview event which we are speaking at on 31st. October. David Ward is the key speaker, so it should be a great event. Meanwhile we are delighted to have been offered another exhibition on the run up to Christmas which we are also very pleased about. Details of where and when to follow shortly. Then just when we thought we couldn’t manage much more we have been offer a one day exhibition at the Moorsroom at Kirkbymoorside on the 28th November to coincide with the towns Christmas fair. We put on an exhibition here last year and it proved a big success.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, we’ve found time to run three five week beginners courses via the “Workshop for the Would Be Creative” at Ebberston and done an increasing amount of 1:1 workshops on the moors and coast.

So for the first time in the 18 months since I quit the day job, I actually feel a bit stressed! Now I must try and find a bit of time to actually take some photographs and relax a bit!

The Whole Hogg Farm Shop & Tea Room

We’d like to say a big thank you to Suzanne at the Whole Hogg Farm Shop and Tearoom at Howe Bridge for agreeing to display a selection of our framed prints which are now available for sale in their lovely café.       

Beautifully located in a converted cart shed on our traditional working farm, the Whole Hogg Farm Shop and Tearoom, enjoys a picturesque and tranquil setting close to the banks of the River Derwent in Ryedale, North Yorkshire on the A169 Pickering to Malton road.                    

With real old-fashioned charm, the Farm Shop boasts a well-stocked butchery and delicatessen and sells a wide selection of traditional farmhouse produce including organic vegetables, jams, chutneys, bread and home-baking.
Their welcoming and fully licensed tearoom serves delicious homemade food and beverages for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea and is open daily from 9.30 am, closing at 5.30 pm Monday to Friday and 5.00 pm Saturday and Sunday.

We can vouch for the ploughman’s lunch and the bread so it’s well worth a visit!


Barbeque Summers and Plans for the Future


Whilst the country basking in glorious sunny weather and we’re enjoying the best “barbeque summer” for many years, for us as photographers the last couple of weeks have meant a period of relative in-activity. Although clear blue skies are good for magazine shots, the harsh light we have been having has provided limited opportunities for photography, leaving us longing for the softer light and the subtle mists of autumn.


We haven’t been totally wasting our time though as we’ve had a chance to catch up on some photo processing and also catch our breath for what promises to be a busy few weeks to come throughout August and September. Once the heather comes out we’ll be spending a lot of time on the moors and we’ve also agreed to judge the photography at four agricultural shows, so that will keep us busy for a while. Add in the heather workshop with the Milburn Arms and we’ve plenty to look forward to.

Hound parking, Saltersgate


The relatively quiet period has also given us an opportunity to plan some more adventures for the future. Now the dust has settled following the Scotland trip, we’ve been wondering where next? Plans are already in hand for another attempt to go to St. Kilda next year, but we also fancy somewhere new as well. We had considered Lofoten again, but the lure of the new is too strong, so we’ve been investigating a long list of possible alternatives.


Iceland’s spectacular scenery has huge appeal, but stories of large groups queuing to photograph icebergs on the popular beaches has really put us off. We prefer our remote places with a lot fewer people! We’ve also looked long and hard at Orkney and Shetland and even considered Fair Isle, as well as seriously considering the Faroe Islands, but it was a chance glimpse of “Coast” on the TV that wetted our appetite for Cape Wrath. It ticked a lot of boxes for us and has the advantage of not needing flights and car hire, so it has a great deal of appeal. We’ve booked a cottage on the edge of Balnakiel beach, so we get sunsets and sunrises without walking more than a half mile. Add to that cliffs, caves and lochs, so it really does have a lot going for it.

The trouble is that now it’s booked I want to go, so in the meantime we’re looking at some places nearer home. We’re planning a trip to Northumberland in September and also a few days in Staithes, so they should keep us happy for a while.

Early morning light on the sream from the Cow Bar bridge at Stai



News bits & bats………..

Conscious that we have neglected the blog badly recently in favour of Facebook, we have resolved to make an effort from now on.

Lots going on at the moment, so this post is going to be more of a newsletter.

Naturally Inclined Exhibition

Last Thursday saw us head to York to Priestley’s to take our “Naturally Inclined” exhibition down and we were very pleasantly surprised to find that we had had a late flurry of sales, so all in all it’s been a really good exhibition for us. We are indebted to Issy and Rob at Priestley’s and Andy Dalton at RAW for giving us this opportunity to exhibit our work not only a new area, but also in such a lovely gallery space. We wish them every success in the future.

Thorp Perrow

We were planning to go to Bransdale and Thorp Perrow to shoot bluebells later this week, but Monday dawned cloudy bright so we decided to chance the crowds and head for Thorpe Perrow before the weather worsened. As luck would have it, we beat the crowds and the conditions were just perfect and we topped off the day with a nice ploughman’s lunch in the cafe.

Don’t you just love the vibrant shades of green the trees go in spring? And after the disappointing lack of bluebells at Ellerburn on Friday, we were blown away with the carpet of bluebells at Thorp Perrow.


Next off we are heading for Scotland where we’ll be staying in a remote cottage on the Isle of Mull, with views north to Rhum, Skye and Eigg. I then head off for a few nights on Skye where I’ll have a go at photographing the Quirang, then weather permitting I’ll be heading to St. Kilda to camp for a few nights. I’ve been to St. Kilda on day trips a couple of times, but always on un-characteristic bright sunny days. St. Kilda has really captured my imagination, so I really want to do it justice and capture the essence of the place, so I’m really hoping for some moody changeable weather.
Sunrise over the Islands

700-2-5366-R M

Crafted by Hand

Then we head for Masham and “Crafted by Hand”. Crafted by hand is a really well organised and promoted art fair, so we are looking forward to a good couple of days. Once that’s over we’ll have to get down to some serious photo processing.

Keep shooting

Richard & Janet


We seem to have developed a nasty habit of making life difficult for ourselves by taking on multiple projects at the same time. Whilst it’s great being offered these selling opportunities, the last couple of weeks have proved hectic to say the least!

We were delighted to be offered the opportunity to exhibit at the “White Room” in York alongside Jennifer Tetlow and Louise Dwyer and we were confident we had most of the 20 framed pictures we needed already in stock. However a late decision to give them all a thorough check over showed that many had bits of dust etc inside them that warranted a strip down and clean out, so a lot of midnight oil was burnt getting them all done in time. But now it’s all hung we must say we are really pleased with the end result and think it all makes a really attractive exhibition. We really think these collaborative exhibitions are a good format, so please take the time to call if you are in York, there really is something for everyone. The opening evening went really well last Thursday, so we’d like to thank everyone that called in to support the four of us.


While we were in the middle of finishing that job when we spotted a “call for artists” from Janilaine Mainprize who was about to re-launch the Lockton Tea Room & Gallery. We were naturally delighted when we were selected to exhibit, so had to hurriedly order some more frames and get framing another set of winter monochrome images. We always thought this venue had huge potential, so we’re looking forward to the opening on Thursday 10th April. So if you are in the Lockton area, please support them and drop in for a coffee and a look at the gallery, it’s looking really good.


Whilst all this was going on, we called in to re-stock David Reece at the Art Café in Flowergate, Whitby. The Art café is another lovely gallery and David has proved very successful with our winter monochrome images, so we were very happy when he asked us to increase our presence by coming up with a set of local coart-cafelour images. So if you find yourself in Whitby, please make a point of calling in for a drink or a snack at the Art Café and take in the wonderful and varied selection of work they have on display, ranging from Judith’s amazing textile work to a whole range of other talented local artists.

Must get back to the computer now to finish keywording another 160 digi images while it is still raining and then there’s the backlog of stock daffodil images we managed to shoot in the middle of all this framing, they still need processing!


700_6834Cottage industry meets mass production!
That’s 20 framed and twelve mounted prints boxed and ready to go to our exhibition “Naturally Inclined” at the White Room, Priestley’s at No. 36, Bootham.
Then we have two exciting new ventures. We’ve been invited to exhibit a set of our winter monochrome images at the newly refurbished ‘Lockton Tea Room and Gallery’, which we are really pleased about. So that’s another box of framed and mounted prints boxed and ready to go.
The second piece of good news is that David at The Art Cafe Flowergate, Whitby has invited us to complement our mono images by adding a colour set, so that’s this week’s task to mount and frame another batch of prints.
Our thanks also go to Brent at Stables Gallery for producing us consistently high quality frames.
It’s been a hard weekend, so I think it’s time to relax with a glass of wine now.