The flags are up and the final preparations are being made for one of Aldeburgh’s most popular events of the year – the carnival! Meanwhile to celebrate the last weeks of summer we have launched a fantastic summer offer. Before the children are back to school or packing their bags for university, there is no better time to get a family portrait. We are offering a complimentary portrait voucher for you and your family, with £50 to use towards products at your viewing. To claim yours call the gallery on 01728 451999 or book on the portrait section of our website by clicking here and using promotion code ‘Summer14’.
Ironman UK 70.3 Wimberball, Exmoor. 1.9k swim – 56 mile bike – 13 mile run Reputed as being one of the toughest courses in the world! Sun 15th June 2014
Friday – The long car Journey
Left home at 2pm on route to Taunton, Somerset. Hit the M4 and brakes start to grind with all the stop start traffic. Getting worse and worse and wasn’t sure if we would make it.
Finally rolled in to the Holiday Inn at 8pm with Saturday’s game plan in tatters. Car became priority for Sat as Wimberball lake was 50 mins drive. In stepped the IM hospitality company Nirvana to the rescue, Lizzie managed to track their rep down in the hotel next door. Great people and what a relief, I was now able to have my bike and kit collected from the hotel at 7am and be taken to Wimberball lake at 8 with their guests. Time for supper and by now the stress levels were abating – things were looking up…
Saturday – Prep Day
6am we’re all up for breakie followed by Lizzie and Charlie off to spend the morning with the nice chaps at Mr Quick Fit Fitters. New disks and pads £250 later – Rick had warned me the week before that they were low at the MOT. Don’t ignore it – Plan for the unexpected!! I was now able to register, do the swim practice, rack my bike, hang both my bike and run bags and then get to the 11am race briefing before Lizzie and Charlie joined me at mid day. All that was left was a spot of lunch, check out the trade stands before Charlie’s Iron Kids race at 3pm! What else could go wrong – His all ready for the 1k run as the big boys and girls set off first. Then somehow we managed to miss his age group as they all set off so DNS with lots of tears. A promise of his favourite supper soon cheered him up. Only one more thing to do, drive the bike course to see what’s in store. I’d seen enough after 20 miles to realise this is why it’s reputed as being the toughest in the world! Exhausted and back at the hotel by 6pm for early supper in the Harvester next door before bed by 9pm. Who should be sitting next to us with No1 on his wrist band – both pro’s Ritchie Nicholls and his girlfriend Eimear Mullan. Winners of 2013 and Eimear soon to win 2014’s race, Ritchie came 3rd behind winner Will Clarke in a new course record of 04:18:07.
My new favourite carb loading pre Iroman supper is ‘Full Rack of Classic BBQ Ribs Harvester’s famous pork ribs glazed in their classic BBQ sauce with a mega 958kca at £11.49 Just awesome!!!
Sunday Race Day
We’re all up at 3.30am without much sleep and to my amazement Lizzies really getting in to the whole Ironman thing now. Bleary eyed and a light breakfast in the packed restaurant full of like minded athletes and loved ones, all struggling to digest breakfast in the middle of the night. We’re off, 4.15 and a very nervous convoy of cars and mini buses all heading towards Wimberball lake. We arrive at 5am and head over to do the final tweaks in transition such as remove bike cover, place water bottles and then check tyre pressures five times over! Funny how the mind plays tricks on you under pressure – maybe that’s not quite enough air, lets try a bit more, was that too much, not quite sure if that valve cap’s on tight enough, Agony! You could hear a pin drop, so much nervous energy and the queue’s for the loo’s just got longer and longer going round the block.
Wetsuits and calf guards on and ready to go, finally the nerves seems to abate as 1750 athletes walk down to the waters edge. Bang, 7am and the first wave was off, another 15mins of waiting before our turn. I managed to get over to the far left out of the main pack and hopefully avoid any trouble. No drama’s, arms and breathing felt good throughout and exited in 36:54mins (1min quicker than I hoped) to be confronted with an 400m uphill run to T1. One down, two to go.
T1 felt forever trying to get the bike gear on but the lovely volunteers were on hand to help us. Wished Amanda good luck as we both left transition for the bike that I feared most. Started with a 2 mile climb straight out of transition which set the tone for things to come, my hopeful average of 16mph wasn’t looking good sitting at 12mph. Things improved in the perfect weather conditions, warm, overcast and light winds. Then more hills and big descents clocking up nearly 40mph at times. My average started creeping up and was soon 17mph and then drastically dropped on the big climb sections. So glad I went with the compact and 28 on the back, was able to tap up the hills, just, whilst guys on their tri bikes really struggled. One lap to go and found myself grinding out the flats and downhills whilst taping up the climbs and loving it. I was in my element munching my jelly babies, sipping Hi-Five gels and drinks.
15 miles to go and something suddenly felt very wrong in the legs, had I smashed the bike to hard and had nothing left for the run? I couldn’t physical get out of the saddle on the climbs anymore, immense cramp pains in both thighs that I’d never experienced before, O sh*t, i’m in trouble, how can I run! The sun broke through as I came in to T2 having averaged 16.4mph in a time of 3:28:04 which I was thrilled with, could I go sub 6hrs with a good run time, 8min miles needed, lets see.
Two down, one to go!
T2 was quick, trainers on, nearly leaving my brand new 2XU cap behind thinking I wouldn’t need it. Boy am I glad I did take it, the heat was immense with no breeze going up to 24 degree’s or so.
The legs didn’t work and I was in trouble, thighs just cramped up and felt myself not being able to finish this thing. The climbs on the run were brutal after the 53 hills on the bike and the descents were just as bad. The garmin was reading 15min/miles (so much for my 8 min/miles then). 1 lap in with two to go I shouted across to Lizzies and Charlie – I can’t run, something had to be done, I yanked as hard as I could on my tri suit’s elastic round the bottom of the shorts and a loud rip was heard, then the other leg, relief – that felt good. Within minutes the pain had disappeared in both legs realising they were far too tight preventing the muscle movement and circulation. I made headway in the intense heat and finally crossed the finish line with a run time of 2:02:37 averaging over 10min/miles.
Maybe I could have gone sub 6hrs with a ZipVit tri suit – who knows – my Aldi special did only cost 12 notes and now going in the bin unless any one fancies it!!!!
Total Time 6:17:34
50th (45-49 Age group of 237)
491th Overall (1750 entries)
The most amazing experience, every conceivable emotion through pain and joy.
All the weeks of training and bike prep etc paid off, they say train hard – race easy.
Hoped for sub 7hrs knowing how hard the bike and run course was going to be – So a very happy bunny.
Many thanks to our top coach at Rok Tri for getting me to the start line in one piece ready to race, all prepped with a bike so slick she flew up those hills without a whisper. Might try the red bull and coke they hand out next time, apparently gives you wings!
Work on the run, brick training, find more hills, learn how to focus the mind and get in the zone. Don’t wear a cheap tri suit!
Must Have Favourites
Calf guards – run cap – right nutrition – jelly babies – prepare for the unexpected.
Special thanks to Lizzie and the boys for putting up with my daily training schedule and feeding me 24/7!
Good luck to team mates Paul and Pipey at Bolton.
Ironman UK 70.3 2014 Finisher – Highly recommend it….
Dear Tony, I wanted to let you know that all the photographs arrived safely, and are now adorning our walls. They have come out extremely well, with the girls’ characters really coming through your high quality production. They will give us pleasure for many years. Thanks for working with us to produce such a lovely result. best wishes Martin
Call us to book your fun family portraits before the kids fly the nest – or book online http://www.tonypickphotography.co.uk/portraits.html
I’m now back from my Ironman training trip to Turkey, 20k of swimming in paradise at the blue lagoon without wetsuits in April – unbelievable.
Whilst swimming in crystal clear warm water dazzled by beautiful fish and surrounded by the awe-inspiring mountain landscape, reminded me of how we can push boundaries in anything we choose to do well. Take day two for example, I found myself in new swim territory, rather than my usual 2.5k round the lagoon session, Matt suggested we go for two laps this time – something I’d not contemplated before. 1.5hrs later we had completed the 5k two laps and felt elated with our achievement. Landscape photography can be seen in the same light when we are challenged with such difficult subject matter and tricky lighting conditions. Focusing the mind and a little patience will achieve results!
Where to next time – 3, 4 or even 5 laps….
I’m now refreshed and ready for the busy family portrait season in Aldeburgh.
Take advantage of our complimentary spring offer worth £160 which includes the photography and £50 towards products or a 10″ x 8″ framed print. Call me at the gallery to book on 01728 451999
It has been another busy and eventful week here in and around the gallery. There have been some really interesting photo shoots including a mermaid.
Poppy is in her final year of university and designed and made the costume.
It certainly caused a stir on the beach, with many spectators. The beach and shell were the perfect setting for the outfit and we achieved some fantastic results.
I have also been doing various other projects and portraits this week too.
I photographed the MacDowell family which was lots of fun.
I also gave a photo training workshop to the local camera club. It was great to meet people so enthusiastic about photography. We covered portraits using off camera flash, landscapes and post editing.
I have had some fantastic feedback:
‘You gave us a wonderful evening, even if it was a little chilly on the beach! There were many expressions of appreciation and I know that we all learned a lot from the outdoor session. Your hospitality afterwards at the gallery was very much appreciated by all of us.’ Chris – APG president
‘Many thanks for a stimulating and interesting evening of tutelage and guidance yesterday, every one expressed their enjoyment of both elements. Thank you too for your hospitality on arrival at your gallery, that was much appreciated.’ Peter – APG Programme secretary
Hope everyone has a great easter bank holiday weekend.
Last week I briefly moved away from the quiet Suffolk life, to the busy city life in London. I went to photograph the Google Atmosphere 2014 week.
It was an incredible week, seeing new ideas, products and advances in technology. There were various different speakers, talking about different topics. They were long days but thoroughly enjoyable…..with over 2,000 people attending over the week. At points it felt like I was photographing them all! It was a brilliant experience and I learned masses from a company whose ethos seems to be spot on.
By Friday evening I had taken over 3,000 images. There really were so many fantastic photo opportunities and I ensured I didn’t miss a thing. I edited the images and sent them off to Google straight away. I’m so thrilled from the response I have received. I have had some fantastic feedback which has really made it all so worthwhile.
The finished job also included two video slideshows, which Google are going to use on a huge screen in their London offices.
The best quote of the week was from a sound & visual guy on the last day: “Tony was like an invisible, silent ghost, popping up from within the audience occasionally whilst going about his work”.
If you would like to see some images from my corporate portfolio please click here.
Having family portraits taken is very enjoyable for everyone, but can also come with secret worries for parents. The thought can be quite daunting, over whether your child is going to sit still for a more than a few minutes. Hopefully having a read through this will reassure you and make you feel at ease when it comes to children and portraits.
We as photographers are experienced in various techniques to keep the attention of little ones and capture them at their best.
On location photo shoots are perfect for children to enjoy themselves. Usually you’ll find them collecting sticks or throwing stones and running along the beach. It’s a fantastic way to capture them doing what they would usually be doing, being carefree children.
That said, there will always be posed and set-up shots, where we can ensure everyone is in position, but we will then capture more natural expressions. This means that aesthetically the image is pleasing to the eye, everyone can be seen but then has the contrast of tickles, giggles and cuddles.
Photographers always have plenty of tricks up their sleeves for ways to engage with children, make them feel at ease and essentially enjoy the whole experience.
Tony’s Top Tips
*Don’t book for times when it would usually be nap time or snack time…
Work around the children’s usual routine and try to pick a time when you think they will be at their best.
*Bring home comforts…
If they have a favourite teddy or security blanket bring it along. They will feel at ease and it’s a great prop to use to play peek-a-boo with behind the camera.
*Dress them for the occasion
Our lifestyle portrait shoots are really relaxed. We recommend casual, comfortable clothes for children that they can move in and play in. Nothing too precious, we will be outside, and bound to get a little bit dirty.
*Let the photographer take control
Sit back relax and enjoy. The photographer is in charge and will know exactly how to get the best from your children.
March has turned out to be quite a lovely month weather wise. It’s strange to think this time last year we were faced with snow showers to contend with.
March has also seen many behind the scenes changes for Tony Pick Photography
We have been completing on-going tasks with launching our new website, which we are so pleased with and getting some really lovely feedback from. The new brand colours have really brightened everything up and it’s great that families can now book online for their portraits and order landscapes.
At the beginning of the month we showcased at a wedding fayre at the lovely Easton Grange, a fantastic new wedding venue in Suffolk. It was lovely to see such a beautiful local venue and meet lots of excited engaged couples.
We’ve had many happy clients coming in and out of the gallery. I’ve been teaching a few different sets of parents how to get the best from their cameras, ensuring they capture their children growing up with really stunning images.
Our spring portrait offer was very popular, and we’re really looking forward to the shoots.
As you may or may not already know, we’ve added some new additions to the gallery. We have dog sculptures by Rosemary Cook and jewellery by Alex Monroe.
We’ve been sharing a lot more on our social media such as exclusive offers and news so to keep up to date, make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.
April has got off to a very busy month too. Tony is currently in London photographing the Google Atmosphere week. We will be sharing a few photographs throughout the week through our social media and then tell you all about it here on the blog next week.
We are thrilled to announce that we now stock jewellery by our lovely friend Alex Monroe.
Alex is a London based designer but grew up in Suffolk. Nature is a big influence on his work, which is very popular. It is available in boutiques and prestigious
department stores such as Liberty and Harrods, and we are really pleased to bring it to Aldeburgh.
We have some really irresistible pieces including a bumblebee, a hummingbird and a juicy pear necklace as well as some pretty bee stud earrings.
Show mum some love with a family portrait she can treasure. We’ve put together the perfect package to surprise her with.
What a great reason to spend some quality time with your family and come visit us in the lovely Suffolk coastal town of Aldeburgh.
You can really make a day of it. Have your photographs taken in the morning with Tony and then while he edits and retouches them, you can go explore the town. You could try out one of the award winning restaurants or treat yourself to the best seaside fish and chips in the UK!
In the afternoon you can head to the gallery along the main high street, where you will see all of your lovely images. You will be shown our fabulous finishes from traditional frames to contemporary aluminium. You can select all your favourite images and choose what finish best suits your family and home. You can think about this before the day, you will find all our products and prices here.
With our mother’s day offer, your voucher will include all the photography time and give mum either a 7×5 framed image to choose or instead she can use £110 credit towards our other products.
There are a couple of ways to buy your £25 voucher. Either call the gallery on 01728 451999 or book online.
To book online click here, fill in the booking form at the bottom of the page and at the checkout use the promo code ‘mum25’ and update your basket.