Aurora Cancer Charity Fashion Show

I’ve been photographing an amazing bunch of people now for the past couple of years and what these people do is nothing short of astonishing.

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The Aurora Cancer Charity exists to help and support people and their families who are affected by and living with cancer.  Anyone with a diagnosis receives a free package of support, wellbeing programmes and holistic & beauty treatments to help raise their self-esteem and confidence at one of their local wellbeing centres.

The charity relies on much needed donations and part of it’s fundraising efforts, amongst many other events, is the annual Aurora Fashion Show and the stars of the show are all affected by cancer.  The spectacle is a culmination of months of hard work and dedication, not only from the models, but also the amazing team behind them who put the show together.  From the choreography and the amazing audio visual performance to the individual stories of people going above and beyond, it’s one truly emotive evening.

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The show runs for two nights at the Doncaster Dome and this years guests were entertained by the highly acclaimed Rob McVeigh and their regular host and patron Caroline Hodgson.  If you’d like to find out more about the charity please do head over to  their website here.

If you’d like to find out more about my commercial photographic services then you can find my website here, or why not follow me on social media via the links below.  If you like this blog post please feel free to post a comment and please do share it with your family & friends.

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Why i moved to the Fujifilm X system

Ok, i can hear you all moaning already “not another i’ve moved to Fuji blog” well yes, sorry, but it is.  It’s a poignant post for me as i’ve been integrating Fuji x cameras into my workflow for some time and now the move is now complete.  Yes, i’ve sold all my DSLR gear and am now a ‘fully Fuji’ X system photographer.  So, this is a little blog of why ‘I’ personally have made the move.

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The Fujifilm x100

Some years ago, and a year or so after its initial launch, i purchased the original Fuji x100 which I was drawn to after seeing a full page add on the back of a camera mag.  I though “WOW that looks awesome” the design was amazing, it had so much character and it just called out to me – I wanted one so much!!  Yes, i can be a bit of an impulsive buyer but I mused over the idea for sometime on whether to purchase one.  Anyway i did and made my purchase almost a year after it’s initial launch.  Sods law though, not long after my purchase, Fuji released the X100s with many improvements – lesson learned do some more thorough research.  But not perturbed i persevered with the x100 and I remember being in awe of the first few initial test images.  Below is my first portrait of my daughter with the x100, about the 5th frame i made since taking it out of the box.  Simple window light on a dull day with a not so willing model.  Her expression was ‘hurry up, i want to go out’ – she didn’t share my excitement over my new toy.

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First image out of the x100 – 

My kids had been my test subject on many occasions and somehow this little camera made grabbing images of them somewhat easier.  It was far less intimidating than my big DSLR with equally big lens, easier to grab and pop it my my pocket at a moments notice and it quickly became my ‘go to’ camera for family outings etc but thats as far as it went.  For some bizarre reason i never considered it a tool for my professional work.

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X100 | f/4 | 1/250 |iso200

For my professional photography i stuck with the DSLR gear and continued to do so for a couple more years but as a Wedding and Commercial Photographer, along with some other random assignments & commissions, 2 full frame DSLR’s and an accompaniment of lens’ was quickly taking it’s toll, and my back was beginning to groan.  I’m a small chap at 5′ 5″ and i felt like the weight was compressing my spine reducing those valuable inches even further.

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Street photography with the x100

 

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Street Photography with the X-T1 | 1/4sec Handheld

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X-T1 | Ramada Hotel, Leicester

In a bid to ease my back woes i researched and tried many options for carrying the DSLR’s, waist holsters, double harnesses, roller bags, the lot, and none seemed to suit me.  I’d used the ThinkTank belt pouch system for a number of years but sold my set during my quest to find a suitable alternative but i ended up buying another as it proved to be the best of what i’d tried.  But, at the end of a busy wedding at the end of the 2014 season, i could take no more and i decided to look at alternative camera systems.

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X-T1 | xf35mm | f/1.4 | 1/125th | iso200

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X-T1 | xf35mm | f/4.5 | 1/30th | iso400

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X-T1 | xf35mm | f/1.4 | 1/420th | iso200

Over the Christmas break of 2014/15 i looked around at the alternatives.  I loved my X100 and the X100T, a successor to the x100s, had just been released but i wanted a system that offered interchangeable lens’ and being left eye dominant i wanted a central viewfinder DSLR style design.  I was drawn by the Fuji lure to the X-T1.  I can’t remember where i first saw this camera but i had heard wonderful things about it.  It had been on the market for almost a year and a few other photographers that i know were already using it in a professional capacity and raving about it.  So, my Christmas holidays were spent between my family and frenzied research for more info about this camera in eager anticipation of an early new year purchase.

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Fujifilm X-T1

I purchased my first Fujifilm X-T1 Graphite Silver edition with a couple of lens’ and, just like the impact the X100 had one me, i was blown away with the image quality.  It was on par, if not surpassing, what i was getting from my Canon DSLR.  The instant image preview with live exposure simulation in the large EVF was a dream to use and the camera instantly felt much more comfortable in my smallish hands compared to my DSLR.  The tactile controls, reminiscent of a bygone age, were very different to my DSLR but took me back to my days with the Canon AE1, oh the irony!!

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X-T1 | xf35mm | f/1.4 | 1/4000th | iso200

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X-T1 | xf35.. | f/1.4 | 1/2300th | iso200

From the outset of 2015 it worked amazingly alongside my Canon gear, using it to shoot weddings and commercial commissions, but it lacked a vital element that was crucial to a particular genre of photography that i also undertook, corporate events with onsite sales, which required me to shoot tethered.  At The Photography Show last year i spoke to the Fuji team who said the software was coming and had already been given out to a select few for testing.  In fact, i recalled Bert Stephani seamlessly shooting tethered during his presentation at the show,  it gave me hope that it wasn’t far away. By the way, i’ve followed Bert’s work for a few years with his early YouTube ‘Confessions of a Photographer‘ and ‘Motivational Light’ video series and it’s well worth checking out.  Here’s a few commercial jobs undertaken with the X-T1.

One of the biggest factors forcing my move was weight and during my weddings of 2015 i found i was using the X-T1 more and more.  The X-T1 and a selection of lens’ was a massive weight saving.  I felt a sense of liberation from the heavy ‘bricks’ that were weighing me down during long wedding shoots, sometimes in excess of ten hours.  The image preview in the EVF allowed me to see what i was getting before the shot was taken so i was shooting less but ending up with many more ‘keepers’, thus speeding up my post processing workflow.  Here’s a bunch of wedding related images shot on my X-T1’s, nothing overly fancy, im still building on my X-T1 wedding portfolio but you can find more of my wedding photography here.

Very soon the DSLR never made it out of the bag and after just a few months with my initial X-T1 i purchased another, this time a black model, and further lens’ to compliment what i already had.  Additionally, i found that i was favouring prime lens’ having always used zoom’s on my DSLR and the quality of the Fuji glass is equally as good and my Canon L series lens’.  Once the tethering issue was sorted with the software patch for Adobe Lightroom being made available it was full steam ahead with my complete move to the Fuji platform.

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Derwent Reservoir | X-T1 | xf14mm | f/11 | 1/30th |iso200

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Saltburn Pier | X-T1 | xf18-55 @20mm | f/14 | 14secs | iso200 | Lee Filters

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Ladybower Reservoir | X-T1 | xf14mm | f/11 | 1/30th | iso200 | Lee Filters

I’ve used the Fuji X-T1’s extensively now across my compliment of services covering weddings, landscapes, commercial & charity events and also a little travel photography where i took them to Morocco, North Africa.  Shooting from the city to the edge of the Sahara where the temperatures often exceeded 45 degrees celsius and the camera never faltered.  Moreover, the massive weight reduction compared to my much heavier DSLR gear made working thought the day in the blistering heat bearable.  Below are a few images from that trip but you can find my blog post with more images from that trip here and a clip on YouTube here.

This by no means a technical evaluation or reasoning for my move, i’ve purposefully avoided going down that route on this blog post for the sake of simplicity, many of the factors are just personal preference for me.  The system has proven to be a worthy workhorse across all the genres that i cover and not once have i regretted my decision to move away from DSLR’s.   I’m not saying its a camera system that will suit everyone and i’m not ruling out a further change somewhere down the line myself, the recently released X-Pro-2 looks sublime and is receiving much hype on social media and i’m eagerly awaiting to hear more of the much anticipated X-T2, but for now its a tool that i am more than happy with and would happily recommend to others.  The journey, and the story continues………

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x100 | Oban, Argyll

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x100 | St Pancras, London

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x100 | St Pancras, London

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X-T1 | St Pancras, London

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X-T1 | London

Commercial Event Photography

One of the many things we enjoy covering are corporate black tie events.  We provide full coverage from the candid capture of your guests enjoying the evening to the more personal posed portraits capturing everyone in their finery and splendour whether its an end of year corporate celebration to a full on awards event with celebrity attendance.

Recently we provided portrait coverage for the No Offence CIC annual Redemption & Justice awards ceremony at the prestigious The Brewery Venue situated in the East end of London.  An event celebrating achievement, success and determination from people from a multitude of backgrounds, from those in deepest of despair to those at the top of ladder.

You can see a few of the images captured on the evening below and also a “behind the scenes” clip of the setup we can offer to add a different dimension to your corporate or charity event.  Get in touch for details or see our website.

Brewery Venue London No Offence Team Black tie event portrait Black tie event portrait Black tie event portrait Black tie event portrait Black tie event group portrait Black tie event award winners Black tie event award winners Black tie event award winners Black tie event award winners Black tie event award winners Black tie event award winners

 

Spreading my Wings

I’ve found over time that its very difficult to have a single website when im a photographer that caters for many different genres.  My current website took on a more of a commercial slant, as that was where the bulk of my work was coming from, but i felt that i was also doing diss-service to the the other genres that i cover with equal amounts of enthusiasm.

So, it was time for a change.  No, im not going to concentrate on one genre, i love the diversity of photography toooo much, but instead i decided to create three separate websites.  These broadly cater for the three subjects i cater for Commercial & Corporate Photography, Wedding & Lifestyle Photography and Landscape Photography.

The three websites all have a similar feel to them to maintain a pleasing aesthetic feel but importantly retain the same corporate branding.  Please take a look and give me some feedback, i’d like to feel that im heading in the right direction with these but it is you, and hopefully many other people, who view these sites that can answer this.

If you know someone who this may be of interest to please do share my blog – and my websites 🙂

Rob Ferrol Photography Website

Rob Ferrol Corporate & Commercial Photography – http://www.robferrolphotography.co.uk

Wedding Photography by Rob Ferrol

Rob Ferrol Wedding Photography – http://www.rf-weddingphotography.co.uk

Rob Ferrol Landscape Photography

Rob Ferrol Landscape Photography – http://www.robferrol.com

Doncaster Event Photography – Aurora Cancer Charity

I had the huge honour of being asked to photograph the Aurora Cancer Charity Christmas Ball again this year.  The event is a spectacular finale celebrating all their fundraising efforts over the year and awards are given to some very deserving finalists.

The charity rallies support from the local business community, health care professionals and those affected by cancer either directly or indirectly and monies raised goes towards funding the Aurora Wellbeing Centres.  The centres exist to help anyone with a cancer diagnosis by offering a free package of well-being treatments to help raise their confidence and self-esteem and create a general sense of well being.  More info can be found on their website.

The Christmas Ball was an evening of glitz, glamour and fun with a full three course meal, awards presentations and a lively disco.  Our event Photo Booth proved to be popular once again and many people headed home with a mounted image from our onsite printing team.

If you’d like more information of how our Commercial Event Photography services can add that little extra to your event, whether a Charity or Corporate event, then please do get in touch for further information or see our website.

Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Commercial Event Photography by Rob Ferrol Aurora Christmas Ball-431

Another Chernobyl Lifeline

Last year you may, or may not, remember my post about our experience of hosting a child from Ukraine as part of the Chernobyl Children’s Life Line (CCLL).  It’s a charity that exists to help those children who are affected and still living the the contaminated area in the Ukraine & Belarus as a result of the Chernobyl Nuclear disaster in 1986.  If you didn’t see the blog post you can check it out here.

Anyway, with such a humbling initial experience we decided to do it all agin this year.  Our group of 10 children arrived early August for three weeks of fun filled activities and it proved to be yet another humbling yet massively rewarding experience.  Most of the children arrive for the three weeks with only a small holdall containing minimal essential items but full of gifts & trinkets for the hosts families, much of which has been saved for over many months.  Its their way of saying thank you for taking their child for a short period of time which can result in giving them an increased life expectancy of up to two and a half years, all simply by taking them away from the contaminated area and giving their immune system a much needed boost.

My blog post last year gives a little more detail about the Chernobyl Disaster and how it affects these children and their families so i’ll not repeat myself again.  I’d just like to post a few images from all the activities we have been up to over the last three weeks.  A massive thank you must go to the committee of our Local CCLL link – Mansfield & Ashfield, who’s hard work in organising the activities makes their visit such a success.  It also has to be noted that these visits are only possible due to the funds generated through the two area charity shops in Clowne & Sutton and other charitable donations without which non of this would even happen.

So, here is a little pictorial rundown of what we got up to over the three weeks.  Being able to record their visit is a massive privilege and i hope that in many ways it brings them much happiness and enjoyment as they look over what they did and achieved on their visit to the UK.

Finally, if you would like to know more about the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, please do check out their website, they are always on the lookout for host families that are willing to give a little of their time to make a massive difference to the children that visit.

Our young visitors arrived, a little shy and a little tired from their long journey.  For many it is their first overseas trip.

Our young visitors arrived, a little shy and a little tired from their long journey. For many it is their first overseas trip.

Breaking the language barrier through play (Loombands) and family fun.

Breaking the language barrier through play (Loombands) and family fun.

The local fire station always is a big hit with the kids.

The local fire station always is a big hit with the kids.

A day on the water with the Notts County Sailing Club

A day on the water with the Notts County Sailing Club

We all pretended we were Robin Hood with a little Archery at Welbeck.

We all pretended we were Robin Hood with a little Archery at Welbeck.

Our day in York started with a look around the Rail museum.

Our day in York started with a look around the Rail Museum.

You couldn't visit York without a look at the Minster - it's Mahoosive.

You couldn’t visit York without a look at the Minster – it’s Mahoosive.

Going Underground at Speedwell Cavern.

Going underground at Speedwell Cavern.

The play park & Farm Yard at Chatsworth was fun afternoon, a little tiring for us "big" kids who joined in too though.

The play park & Farm Yard at Chatsworth was fun afternoon, a little tiring for us “big” kids who joined in too though.

Capturing all the sights in London.

Capturing all the sights in London.

Seeing Victor, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park's newest resident was bit hit for the kids.

Seeing Victor, the Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s newest resident was bit hit for the kids.

And it all ended with fantastic farewell party.  Full of emotion both happy & sad but we always knew that our little visitors would have to go home, it just passed so quick. :-(

And it all ended with fantastic farewell party. Full of emotion both happy & sad but we always knew that our little visitors would have to go home, it just passed so quick. 😦

JDRF Charity Photoshoot 2014

Back in 2012 i dreamed up an idea to raise awareness of a charity called JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).  It was a charity I was not familiar with until my son was diagnosed Type 1 Diabetic at the age of just 3.  The charity exists to help improve the care of those affected by Type 1 Diabetes and find a much needed cure.

I wanted an event that would increase awareness of the Juvenile Type 1 Diabetes and also of this charity, all while raising much needed charitable funds.  The government give approximately £52 million to Diabetes research and all of this goes to Type 2 Diabetes, type 1 Diabetes gets zero direct government funding.  It was also my desire to create an event that gave something back to those who donate.  That is where and why my JDRF charity photoshoots started.

So, with the first one under my belt, and a whopping £1200 raised, i had to somehow push the boundaries and i have to say that organising this one proved to be a harder task than the first.  I’m not going into the why & what for’s but after having an initial models list of 14 plus spares this dwindled down to just 6 who arrived on the day (If i didn’t show it my stress levels were off the scale on the morning of the event).

Determined not to let this damper our spirits i set to task and got the event up and running.  The venue at the last event proved to be such a success so i figured why change it, so, back we went to the wonderful and enchanting ruins of Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire.  The team there were fantastic and even facilitated the use of a HUGE marquee which allowed us to add a little extra to the day in the form of a studio setup.  With a little guidance, if needed, the photographers were free to use this area to further expand their skills and portfolios.  A big thank you to Michael of Michael Mills Photography for assisting and helping run this side of the event.

The day was attended by 27 photographers of varying levels from amateurs to seasoned professionals and judging by the conversations and comments on the day it seems that most learned a great deal from each other.  There is never one ‘right’ way to do things in photography so its always nice to see how others work.

I have seen an amazing collection of images coming through our Facebook group from the day and i’m sure there will be plenty more to come, i for one managed to capture a few more images on this shoot than i did on the first and a small selection can be seen below.

JDRF Charity photoshoot rob ferrol photography JDRF charity photoshoot rob ferrol photography jdrf charity photoshoot rob ferrol photography jdrf charity photoshoot rob ferrol photography jdrf charity photoshoot rob ferrol photography jdrf charity photoshoot rob ferrol photography jdrf charity photoshoot rob ferrol photography jdrf charity photoshoot rob ferrol photography jdrf charity photoshoot rob ferrol photography jdrf charity photoshoot rob ferrol photography jdrf charity photoshoot rob ferrol photographyjdrf charity photoshoot rob ferrol photography

Images aside the day was also about raising funds for JDRF and beating my target of £1200.  So, i hear you ask, did we do it????  As i write this blog the total raised is a whopping £1387.88 which i am absolutely over the moon with and all those involved should be equally proud of this figure and your efforts to make the day a huge success.

I’d like to end by saying a massive THANK YOU to all the models – Jessica, Lucie, Nicky, Ashleigh, Ed , Matt and our MUA Charlii (who worked amazingly hard on her own).  Without you this event would not have happened and your commitment and enthusiasm has not gone unnoticed.

If you would be interested in attending a future charity photoshoot please do get in touch and you can be added to our mailing list for prior notification and you can also keep up to date by visiting my website.