2018 - The Year That Was

January 2018

This was, for me, a tough month. I am always at a bit of a low mental state as the last decades worth of tragedy hits home hard over the winter months. This last year was the worst yet, but since then I have taken positive steps to get life back under control!

These are some of my favourite photographs from this month.

February 2018

Things had started to lift, I was starting to look for solutions, but still absolutely lost.

I upgraded the main camera though this month, which gave a bit of a boost creatively at any rate!

March 2018:

Spring slowly started to arrive in the Lakes. Very slowly as we were hit by a major snow storm!

April 2018:

Just when I thought things were starting to even out, another tragedy hit the family with the sudden loss of my big brother over in the States. It was a massive blow, but I vowed to turn his passing into something positive within my own life, to re-reference my frame of mind… and to try to be “more Neil” in my own way.

Which is where Wayward Spirit evolved. This was one of his domain names which I re-purposed and decided to build something new from.

May 2018:

Another month which was both tough and joyous. We had a funeral to attend in Moab, Utah which was a celebration as well as a chance to mourn.

June 2018:

Back to normal - a month of finding our feet again, and this was when I took on Wayward Spirit and started developing the idea!

July 2018:

Summer was here, photographically my least productive time, but this year we headed to Orkney - back home - which had been planned for some time, but with the loss of my big brother it was a very cathartic coincidence.

August 2018:

The summer holidays continued, I was having a bit of a wobble with the concept of my future… but we got through.

September 2018:

The summer starts to fade and the greens turn slowly towards browns. Photographically things start to pick up again around this time of year for me!

We also had a new arrival to keep us busy, the Tour of Britain came through Ulverston and a world class art installation came to Birkrigg Common!

October 2018:

A month of readjustment - life with a new born was something that we had forgotten how to do!

I also updated my small camera system this month, moving from Olympus which has served me well for a number of years to Fujifilm. I haven’t completed this transition as yet, but over the next year I intend to complete the switch.

November 2018:

Autumn is well under way, the last of the colours were fading.

Not a bad month creatively though.

December 2018:

We made it through! I have had something of a rethink about the speed at which I will make some transitions in life, taking into account this new member of our family… but the year has ended much better than it began and I am genuinely looking forward to the adventures and challenges of the New Year!

So that is that - my very brief review of the last 12 months, with some of my favourite photographs. I am not sure why I picked 7 for each month, perhaps as my sadly departed brother always considered 7 to be his lucky number when we were little?

Anyway, here is to the year that has gone, and the anticipation of that which is to come. Stick around and see where this mad adventure takes us!

Good Week Gone

Last week was very, very productive. Unnaturally so!

Got a fair bit done, ran through a small commission for a commercial job and did a fair bit of networking. Things are moving forward with a bit more emphasis on looking for additional commercial work in the future as well as doing more work developing the workshops and guiding services.

All good then!

Bit of a more “normal” week coming up for me now, but I have a lot to think on… planning to do… reassessments and tweaking of the business model. It is all good productive stuff though. But right now I need sleep!

3rd November 2018.jpg


Today I have put some dates down for our first three "One Day Workshops" to be based here in the South Lakes, Cumbria!

Exciting times!

They are available to book through Airbnb Experiences via this link:  https://www.airbnb.co.uk/experiences/348338

This is just the start however!  

I need to run through the day in the next few weeks, major life events allowing of course, just to check my timings - but I have a rough itinerary based around the Duddon Valley, Wrynose and Coniston in mind with a start and finish point at Ulverston Station.

I am also offering private sessions, just get in touch to discuss your requirements and  times/dates.  

There is more to come, so much more, but we are going for a soft start to see how things go before getting into the more ambitious multi-day experiences in 2019/20!

6th September 2018.jpg

Getting Close Now!

Things have moved forward a good bit over the last couple of days - I have set up the basics to launch Wayward Spirit, there is a little more planning to do over the next couple of weeks and some dates to set for our first workshops!

We are starting with single-day courses for the moment, on a very small scale, and will see how things go from there.  It is a semi-soft launch in effect!


St John's in the Vale in late summer

St John's in the Vale in late summer

Ramble On

Just back from a first mission to explore some ideas!   It was a great excuse to visit friends too and chance to kick back and gather ourselves before the imminent arrival of a new baby.

Part of that discussion was about providing "experiences" to potential clients, which is something that I have been knocking about in my planning anyway, and this is something that I am going to pursue.  In the initial phase it would be an easy fit with existing commitments, which makes life easier and allows us to test the waters a little before going full steam ahead.  I hope to start progressing this side of things fairly soon and soft starting this new venture as a result!

These experiences could encompass anything from night photography, bespoke day guiding, specific location mini-workshops or anything else that jumps into my head as we go along.  Later we will be offering longer courses - both single day and residential - with a range of subject matter and locations being targeted.   I am also investigating a variety of freelance work and fine art print sales... exciting times all round!  

Watch this space!

25th August 2018.jpg