The Studio

For almost a decade, I have wanted to open a creative studio in my home town of Luton. After some travel and searching abroad, the fire was reignited and in 2017 I took the first steps to realising that dream.

I searched high and low for a building to call home before settling on an old clothes shop I remember as a teenager. I assembled a team, a local mural artist and dance instructor and together, we have opened a new creative, community art group called ‘Little Red Creative Studios’. If you are familiar with the story of the Little Red Hen, you will have an insight into why we went with Little Red. Our vision is a simple one; 

‘To level the playing field, share knowledge and make the world a brighter place.’

We came into existence in April 2017,  took the keys to our building in November 2017 and after a little effort and a lot of patience, opened our studio doors to the public for for the first time on February 21st 2018 for a salsa class.

It has been a long, hard and arduous journey to this point. Highs and lows and everything in-between, moments when it felt like it would never come to pass but on February 21st , we saw the fruits of our labour for the first time and it was an excitement that was hard to describe.

If you have been following my social media channels elsewhere, you may have seen the transformation of the building. If you haven’t, here are a few before and after shots for you but before I depart, know this, do not be afraid to dream bigger and do one thing every day towards realising that dream and eventually you will see the reward for your bravery when others will have faltered.




Getting back in the habit

If you’ve been following my Instagram account recently you will know my postings have been a little sporadic but in recent weeks I have hit the street photography trail again in an attempt to find my way again with the camera.

As well as the usual ‘life happening’ stuff that goes one for us all, I’ve been pretty busy working with my camera and it has left me with little time to play with it how I like to and I have been renovating a listed building to prepare a new creative art centre. Many hours are being spent editing photos and video footage, sanding, scapring and painting and all I want to do is go out there and shoot. I even missed my favourite season, Autumn but I did manage to get some shots during the recent snow.

That being said, here is a snap shot of what I was taking in the run up to Christmas with a post about the studio and my latest announcement to follow up in the coming days now that I have got my blog/vlog mojo back again.


Does gear matter?

An age old question for anyone starting out any new hobby with a view to taking it more seriously is ‘does gear matter?’ A question that is pertinent to photography and the modern craze of vlogging.

Typically the response is ‘no’ but always comes from people who have accumulated thousands of pounds worth of equipment after years of varying success and thus can sound a little ingenuous. The truth is gear is only half the story, but it helps.

I was recently asked the question on gear with regards to vlogging, something I have taken up again after several years out. My current setup is a Nikon D5300, with a gorilla pod and Rode Video Mic Pro. I call this, ‘The Neistat’, edited on a MacBook Pro with Final Cut Pro X. Not a cheap start-up by any means but then I have been doing this on and off for a number of years and my equipment as evolved as I have developed. 

Before the ‘Neistat’, I worked primarily with my smartphones. I am currently using the iPhone 6S plus but before that, I used a Samsung S4. I shied away from the DSLR when taking photos or higher end camcorders when filming, purely because I was trying to promote the idea to people that they have all the tools they need at their finger tips to be creative. Most people have a mobile phone, some sort of contract with data and most operating systems, more so today than 3 or 4 years ago, have editing software apps that they can utilise to upload straight to YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Flickr or wherever they post their stills or video. The key component with this set up is composition and story. Composition (with photography) and story (with videography) are golden. Focus on getting those elements right and you can create great imagery and story with just a mobile device.

The main benefit of the mobile set up is that it is mobile, you probably have one already, it requires little in investment costs and you don’t need a laptop to edit your material. The one thing you might (and probably should invest in if you are considering vlogging/filming) is an external mic for your phone. Low-quality visuals are one thing that people will forgive you for but low-quality audio will quickly see people switching off.

As soon as you start investing in better camera gear, the sooner you need to start investing in a laptop/desktop to edit the material on. You will also need to start investing in storage for your digital files. The cost starts racking up quite significantly, very quickly and all for a tiny increase in visual quality.

My advice to anyone starting out in photography/videography/filmmaking, whatever it is you want to do is to keep it simple. The less money you invest initially in gear, the more money you will have to travel to interesting and different places to capture imagery of. Learn your trade with the tools you have, learn the rules of composition, lighting and story, when to break them and you will make content people will want to see and your profile will grow.

An age old question for anyone starting out any new hobby with a view to taking it more seriously is ‘does gear matter?’ A question that is pertinent to photography and the modern craze of vlogging.

Typically the response is ‘no’ but always comes from people who have accumulated thousands of pounds worth of equipment after years of varying success and thus can sound a little ingenuous. The truth is gear is only half the story, but it helps.

I was recently asked the question on gear with regards to vlogging, something I have taken up again after several years out. My current setup is a Nikon D5300, with a gorilla pod and Rode Video Mic Pro. I call this, ‘The Neistat’, edited on a MacBook Pro with Final Cut Pro X. Not a cheap start-up by any means but then I have been doing this on and off for a number of years and my equipment as evolved as I have developed. 

Before the ‘Neistat’, I worked primarily with my smartphones. I am currently using the iPhone 6S plus but before that, I used a Samsung S4. I shied away from the DSLR when taking photos or higher end camcorders when filming, purely because I was trying to promote the idea to people that they have all the tools they need at their finger tips to be creative. Most people have a mobile phone, some sort of contract with data and most operating systems, more so today than 3 or 4 years ago, have editing software apps that they can utilise to upload straight to YouTube, Vimeo, Instagram, Flickr or wherever they post their stills or video. The key component with this set up is composition and story. Composition (with photography) and story (with videography) are golden. Focus on getting those elements right and you can create great imagery and story with just a mobile device.

The main benefit of the mobile set up is that it is mobile, you probably have one already, it requires little in investment costs and you don’t need a laptop to edit your material. The one thing you might (and probably should invest in if you are considering vlogging/filming) is an external mic for your phone. Low-quality visuals are one thing that people will forgive you for but low-quality audio will quickly see people switching off.

As soon as you start investing in better camera gear, the sooner you need to start investing in a laptop/desktop to edit the material on. You will also need to start investing in storage for your digital files. The cost starts racking up quite significantly, very quickly and all for a tiny increase in visual quality.

My advice to anyone starting out in photography/videography/filmmaking, whatever it is you want to do is to keep it simple. The less money you invest initially in gear, the more money you will have to travel to interesting and different places to capture imagery of. Learn your trade with the tools you have, learn the rules of composition, lighting and story, when to break them and you will make content people will want to see and your profile will grow.

Using Format