Living with the Competition

You can imagine what it’s like as a landscaper; getting out of bed at ridiculously early times of the morning, trying not to wake the other half up and failing miserably when you trip over your trousers in the dark and fall against the door. Walking (bumping) about in the dark before sneaking out as quietly as possible. At the other end of the day we sit gazing out the window and constantly check the weather pages to see if there’s any point going out to chase light while said ‘other’ tuts and then says ”Why don’t you go out?” if only to get us from under their feet. Well, it’s not like that in my life now that my other half is a landscaper too.

If only she would keep still for a few seconds while I take the shot

If only she would keep still for a few seconds while I take the shot

When the 3am alarm goes off we both leap into action. All the lights go on and there’s a discussion about whether it’s worth going out which normally ends in one of us saying “Just do it”. We try to be as quiet as we can so as not to disturb the neighbours too much but with the kettle on to make the flask of tea and the oven cooking the bread for bacon rolls for breakfast the noise in the house is a little more than I used to make. Once out the talk is of locations and while I drive Phil keeps an eye out for cloud cover, mists and night-time wildlife, which is normally announced by her wildlife tourettes (BARN OWL!!)

Phil on her first snow shoot - Look at that smile!

Phil on her first snow shoot – Look at that smile!

On location we generally split off so we don’t end up with the same images unless it’s a limited spot but try and stay in sight or earshot of each other. When the light comes there’s a flurry of activity as we make the most of it and once we’re done we walk back to the car chatting about the shoot. Back at the car the stove comes out and the bacon goes on, the tea is poured and we savour the whole experience.

Phil in the tent on Great Mis Tor - Stay still I said!

Phil in the tent on Great Mis Tor – Stay still I said!

If we’re out for the day we generally have a snooze somewhere before finding an eating emporium for a spot of lunch or dinner if it’s later. Usually it’ll be the Fox Tor Café in Princetown as their all day breakfast is superb. If the conditions are worthy there’s a repeat performance of location choosing, walk to it, split, shoot and back before heading home again, normally to bed to get ready for the next day, if we’re going out.

It’s pretty full-on but the benefits are many. No worrying if it’s ok to go out; no sneaking about in the dark; we get to bounce ideas around; if one doesn’t feel motivated the other will kick them up the arse; we can check to see if our images are up to scratch before publishing them; when processing there’s no worry about what the other is up to as they’re doing the same; we both push each other to improve and make sure we keep on top of admin (yawn). She’s never complained about waiting while I take a shot; camping trips are easy because there’s 2 of us to carry the gear; there’s no whinging about being cold; we can share our favourite locations; there’s always banter… etc. etc. I think the only downside is our diet is suffering a little but we don’t go out every day so make up for it.

So all in all I think I’m a lucky guy to have a fellow landscape tog as my partner. It helps that she’s rather gorgeous too.

Taking it all in

Taking it all in

Phil’s website is:

I better add that really or I’ll be in trouble 😉