The Magazine of a Northern Ireland Photographer

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Peter Thomas Crymble

Peter Thomas Crymble has 341 articles published.

A real life wonder women!

I met Suzi a number of years back and have enjoyed watching her inspiring story unfold! Last week I had a wee ‘virtual’ chat with Suzi and asked her to divulge a little about herself!

Explain a little about who you are and what you do?
I’m a mindset coach who helps women to heal from a lifetime of not feeling good enough, enabling them to tap into their personal power and transfom their self-belief, health, wealth and success. 

I offer 1:1 coaching to empower and equip my clients with the skills and knowledge to move beyond fear, guilt and self-sabotage and truly thrive in all areas of their life. 

Prior to starting my coaching practice, I’ve had a successful independent Speech Therapy practice and worked as the lead allied health professional on a service for young people with acquired brain injuries supporting them with memory, mood, wellbeing and goal attainment. 


Sounds like you are a busy woman! You talked about mindset coaching – what exactly does that mean?

A mindset coach uncovers the blocks, behaviours, beliefs and habits that are blocking the client from getting to where they want to be. Rapid transformation and sustainable results are created by employing a range of reprogramming techniques that positively serve the client.

The key to achieving any goal is working with mind, whether that goal is to be more confident, to lose fat, to improve health or fitness, to achieve academic or business success or to kick an unhealthy habit.

…We’ve all got bad habits!

For sure! My approach combines elements from my clinical, personal and academic knowledge and expertise in neuroscience, psychology, CBT, adverse childhood experiences, counselling, health, behaviour change and hypnosis.

I get to the root of the presenting issue and support my clients to take back control of their lives and become the person they desire to be. 


Great – so how did you manage to find yourself as a mindset coach?

I suffered from low self-esteem and post-traumatic stress related to childhood and adolescent abuse and trauma. This peaked in my early 20s when in quick succession while I was at University, I was injured in a car accident causing arthritis in my spine, my marriage ended, my dad died, my home was vandalised and I spiralled into debt and depression and turned to food and alcohol as my comfort. I was at my absolute rock bottom and felt like I had no control over my life. 

I would read inspiring stories of how people had turned their lives around, and I would think ‘that’s okay for them but that wouldn’t work for me.’ 

But then my own turning point came when I realised, I could continue to dwell on the past and keep my grief alive by mourning my imaginary future or I could turn my pain into my power and one day inspire others.

That’s exactly what I did. I lost 60lbs and was featured in Women’s Health magazine, I came top of year at university, achieving a First Class bachelor of medical science degree in speech science and 3 prizes at my graduation, I renovated my entire home with the help of 1 builder, I set up my first business, I found love again and I learned to finally accept myself. 

I now have the privilege of empowering others to tap into the innate power of their mind and transform their lives. 


You mentioned weight loss there – In the photography business, it seems that people always want you to photoshop the pounds away! You once posted a picture of yourself at your lowest weight – yet you commented that you weren’t happy?

Yes, such an important point! I lost 60lbs in 8 months during my final year of University through trial and error of improving my health and fitness. I was really happy during my Women’s Health magazine photoshoot; I was healthy, curvy and happy. However, a few months later and another few pounds lighter I did some modelling for an activewear brand who heavily photoshopped my images to the point where I felt inadequate in real life in comparison to images of me that they were portraying. 

I shifted my focus from trying to be thin to be the healthiest and happiest version of myself. I threw out the scales and I’ve never looked back. 

Cool – I’ve a friend who’s slogan for his business is ‘strong not skinny!’. I think its a really great slogan! You describe yourself as a natural introvert – me too! What advice do you have for us introverted people?

To embrace your unique introvert qualities and recognise that nobody fits neatly into a box, your energy will ebb and flow. Sometimes you may feel like rescheduling plans to spend time alone and recharge, other times you will find your energy is topped up when spending time with family or friends. Be honest with yourself about what you need and give yourself permission to have it.  


Your story is very inspiring to both men and women alike. It must make you feel great when you see people move forward..

It is the most wonderful feeling to see people break through their barriers and step into their potential. I wake up excited every day to work with my clients and continue to share my message. I truly believe that struggle and stress is the greatest catalyst for strength and success.   

If someone wants to book some time with you, what should they do?

Pop over to my website and book a free, no obligation discovery call using my online scheduling app www.suziturner.com

This gives us an opportunity to consult and ensure that we are a perfect fit before deciding to work together. 

10 Reasons to have an engagement shoot

There is something magical about an engagement shoot. The excitement for married life, the big day and all that life has to offer.  

I love celebrating this! Its so lovely to have memories to look back on from this time – to bring a smile when times are tough or to remind you to be thankful when things are great.

Here’s 10 reasons to consider an engagement shoot.

1. We’ll have fun!

Engagement shoots are totally chilled out and fun. There’s no pressure and we can have some craic.


2. Practice

If you being in front of the camera is something you aren’t used to, an engagement shoot will show you how much fun it can be


3. Beat the nerves

If you are nervous about your wedding photographs, gain some confidence and banish those nerves!


4. Go somewhere special

Have the photographs taken somewhere you can’t go on your wedding day. Somewhere special to you or somewhere hard to reach in a wedding dress.


5. Include your pets

Include your dogs in the photographs. They’ll enjoy a nice walk too!


6. Get to know Peter. He’s not so bad apparently

Seriously though, its a great way to spend some time with your photographer, break the ice and get to know each other.


7. Use the photographs to decorate your walls in your home

This is a great excuse to get some stunning imagery for your walls. Whether its for the living room, kitchen or bedroom there’s sure to be a photograph to suit.


8. Give the photographs away as gifts to your parents

Christmas and Mothers Day are sure to be sorted this year!


9. Use them for save the date cards or wedding invites

Many of our customers have used the images as guest books, wedding invites or save the date cards. There’s no more personal touch.


10. Enjoy N.Ireland’s amazing scenery

We really do live in an beautiful country. It’s lovely to be able to capture this in your photographs.

Check out our engagement shoot page here

I am Dance

We kicked off 2020 by inviting young dancers into the studio. We had such fun – I simply wasn’t prepared for the breadth of dance practiced in N.Ireland. Everything from Irish Dancing to Hip Hop to Ballet – the range and talent was incredible!

We just loved using creative lighting to produce some really cool effects such as this silhouette…

… and these colour gels.

We had dancers of all ages – from 2 up to 18! How cute is this wee man?

One common theme across all the genres of dance was the commitment of the kids and their parents. Everything from meticulous outfits, to stories of far flung competitions – and lots of awards!

The talent was simply amazing. We are so blessed in this country to have such talented and dedicated young people.

And I particularly loved all the urban themes that came through!

Thanks to everyone who came – keep practicing and we look forward to photographing many of you soon!

5 Blogs to follow

Tara ( our sales and marketing guru) shares her favourite 5 blogs and instagrams. As photographers, we look for inspiration that can be brought into the studio and blogs are a great place to start!

1. Steve McCurry

stevemccurry.com/blog

The photographer of the famous ‘Afghan Girl’ with the mesmerising green eyes puts out collections of images with poetic verse.

His use of exaggerated colour and wide open spaces have inspired many a portrait shoot. But also McCurry provides tranquil content such as his series on ‘Trees are Sentinels’ and ‘Breathing Life’.

Photo: Steve McCurry


2. Felix Kunze

http://felixkunze.com/blog/

German born, English bred, resident of New York, this photographer is a master of lighting and we love how his group photographs.

Photo: Felix Kunze

3. Anne Leibovitz

https://www.instagram.com/annieleibovitz

No blog here, but an instagram worth a look at!
The portrait photographer of our generation. Beautiful portraits of individuals from their hand positioning, where their gaze is and making use of props. All of these inspire us as photographers as well as being in awe of meeting all these celebrities!

Photo: Annie Leibovitz

4. Seth Casteel

https://www.instagram.com/p/B0EDQHfhwaE/

Another instagram – The best medicine is laughter and this photographers blog is fantastic. I purchased his book on Underwater Dogs while travelling through America of which sits in the studio reception and provides others will a good giggle.

Photo: Seth Casteel

5. Kelly Brown

https://newbornposing.com/news/

To say Kelly Brown is a Newborn photographer is slightly underrating how amazing this lady is. All the way from Australia, Kelly is the lead newborn baby photographer in the world!

If you want to learn Newborn; posing, wrapping, lighting and session flow, Kelly Brown is the woman!

Photos: Kelly Brown

6. And one from Peter…

https://chromasia.com/photoblog-thumbnails/

Peter: When I was starting photography this was the blog that most influenced me. Not updated as much as it used to me – but still worth a visit.

Photo: David Nightingale


CAPOW!

Every now and then we love to add something totally different into our studio portfolio. In the last few years we’ve added in The Little White Box and Babyface sessions – both have been amazingly popular.

So what should we do next? Something that no one else in N.Ireland is doing, something fun and unique. After more than a little head scratching we came across CAPOW!

Everyone loves to dress up, and everyone loves superheroes!

So out we went, bought a movie grade set including backdrops, boulders, metal beams, chains and more! Just when the credit card couldn’t take any more, we bought 30 superhero outfits – from superman and super girl to deadpool and flash!

Somewhat worried about how this might go, we decided to a soft-launch first. Three days of CAPOW shoots later…and the results were amazing!

Here’s our first ever CAPOW family!

One child came into the studio, superhero music blasting. He slipped on his Iron Man outfit.

“Mum, I’m really Iron Man. I’m really him!”

Adults get to join in too. Mums and dads have really enjoyed the experience – we’ve noticed a real Marvel vs DC rivalry. Almost as bad as the Man Utd vs Liverpool rivalry in my house!

One unexpected consequence of the CAPOW shoots were the (sometimes heartbreaking) stories people shared. One child who is ill with Leukaemia had a blast. “We would love to do this shoot with him as he is our hero!”. Another child with autism really got into character.

“I’m so amazed he has done so well. We never get photographs normally!”

We are planning to run the CAPOW shoots once a month – you can book here.

The Power of the Printed Image

Every now and then someone asks me why I like to sell printed images. “Why not just sell digital files”, they say, pointing out that there’s probably more profit to be made in digital files.

Yet my desire for printed images is unwavering. I absolutely love seeing wall-art leaving our studio. To think that pieces of our work are hanging in hundreds (maybe thousands) of homes across Northern Ireland brings a smile to my face.

To think of the number of conversations that have started with a cuppa tea in one hand, standing around a framed picture on the wall.

Phone picture one customer sent of their wall-art.

Recently I had one such occasion. At a close family funeral, folks at the wake gathered around images I had taken of the family. Comments like “aren’t those fantastic”, “so lovely to have”, “wow look at those” where common. Memories captured forever.

Yet not all occasions are so sad. Many of our images produce smiles and laughter. A child with a priceless expression or a dog misbehaving – all funny moments captured forever.

Phone picture one customer sent me of their newborn! Sitting on the piano. We don’t recommend this incase it smacks you on the nose hitting those high chords 🙂

One of the things I love most is when a customer sends me a picture of their new piece of wall-art on the wall. Thanks to everyone who sent in images for this post – keep them coming!

Another phone picture – the stairs are actually a really popular place to hang photographs!

We recently invested in a new fine-art printer for the studio. Fine art paper is probably twice as expensive as normal photographic paper – but it’s worth it! The paper is textured, has a beautiful feel in your hand. It’s also archival grade and has a wonderful quality and feel.

Phone picture a customer sent us of their block print.

From wedding albums to the very latest contemporary wall-art, I can’t wait to see what amazing creations our customers come up with!

Phone Picture of a big family group!

A Reluctant Superhero

Every now and then the team here at Peter Thomas Photography come up with an idea I’m not all that keen on. I think they find it fun to wind me up.

‘Let’s do a Superhero project’ they said.

‘No’.

‘Please….’

‘No’.

‘I’ve already booked you one in’.

Doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. Let’s get kids to come along in their superhero outfits, hype them up to the nines and create a living nightmare for me, the photographer! More crowd control than art.

Nothing could have been further from the truth. On the contrary, (and I can’t believe I’m saying this), The Superhero project has turned out to be one of the most fun things we’ve done in a while! Inspired by all these amazing super hero outfits and energised by the kids enthusiasm for the project, I thought I’d try and bring something a bit different to the party!

First up, we got some cool superhero signs printed up…

Pow. We had all sorts of outfits – not sure who the next one is but he sure is cool.

This was a great opportunity to play with some lighting setups:

Next up, I thought I’d play around a bit with gelled colours. After plenty of research, I think I’ve (almost) perfected this flare shot – all done in camera! Really love this!

Finally, I used a projector to beam some really cool patterns onto the wall. Here’s a few of my favourites!

Some of the superheros could even fly!

If you’d like a superhero session, just get in touch!

All the best,

Peter

The day I photographed a proposal!

It’s not every day you get to photograph a marriage proposal live! 

I arrived up at Dunluce Castle ahead of the couple. I must admit I was a little apprehensive – what if she said no! Raj assured me that was unlikely (very reassuring!) and so I went to work setting up the sign Raj had sent me and some flowers collected on route.

I must admit Raj had gone to some considerable effort! He’d organised a custom made sign and had it delivered to the studio. He’d also requested a bunch of flowers to be on site. Every little detail was organised on a spreadsheet to military precision! We must have had about 10 Skype calls before the big day organising every precise timing and detail.

I was receiving live updates from Raj as he approached – and so the tension was building! I could see them approaching so I lay in wait, hiding the sign and the flowers from the view of other tourists!

Raj wasted no time – straight down on one knee. Harina seemed somewhat surprised to say the least – but after a few moments of shock she said yes!!

So after the big deed was done, we set about marking the occasion with some photographs. The couple live in the US, so I was pleased the weather held up for some scenery photographs!

We visited Carick-a-rede rope bridge and Ballintoy Harbour too. Beautiful locations. By this stage we had got to know each other – and I realised that this couple where full of ‘craic’. They were really great fun to be around.

There you go – a live marriage proposal on the North Coast of Northern Ireland. Raj & Harina – thanks for trusting me with this special moment!

Adding something unique to your wedding?

With the addition of magicians, photo booths and staged dances, the possibility of getting that something extra unique and extra fun for your wedding guests is becoming more of a challenge. The time between ceremony and food, or from first dance to the last, has been pinterested, storyboarded and outsourced for many. However local sports center, Eddie Irvine’s is soon launching their exclusive driving simulators for Wedding hire which may bring that much sought after difference to your Big Day!

Scenario: Your guests arrive to your chosen party venue to enjoy some tea and shortbread whilst your wedding party and gorgeous selves are around the grounds with your wedding photographer, capturing the moment. As nice as that shortbread may be, a harp playing in the corner, your party could literally start from that moment with the excitement of a Formula 1 driving experience.

Having had our own staff day out at Eddie Irvine’s Go Kart tracks, we were keen to see what they could offer our wedding couples.

Andy, what exactly is a driving simulator?

An Eddie Irvine Race Experience is completely unique. Our racing Simulators are incredibly realistic. They have F1 steering wheels, bucket seats and paddle gear changes. The racing experience is equally realistic. We can add options like fuel consumption effects, engine damage (if you over-rev), tyre wear etc. This makes the experience much more challenging for your guest pros. On the other hand, say if your in-laws or your Great Grandpa takes the wheel, we can remove all of those aspects and add driver assist, which makes it as easy as possible, allowing ANYONE to enjoy the experience.

So how would this work on the day of a wedding?

We would place the simulators in the venue with our staff to man the machines. Guests would take turns racing against each other.  This always creates competition and provides a real buzz in the room. We can stop/pause the machines at any stage of the day, so guests could enjoy the simulators while the bridal party are having photos taken, then pause during dinner/speeches and start again after before the first dance.

Now you already have had these simulators out at corporate events. What has been the reception? 

We have attended some very high profile corporate dinners/events over recent years and the Race Experience has worked extremely well and looks excellent in the room.

 

Looks great and provides a read buzz
Watch the race or Join in the fun

 

How much space would couples need at a venue to have one or more simulators?

4 or 5 metres of space, it really doesn’t take up too much space at all.

Can couples come in before their wedding and have a go on them first?

Yes! We would encourage couples to have a Race Experience when discussing their event. We also carry out a site visit to look at best placement at the wedding venue.

 

 

What price range are the simulators?

The F1 & Motorbike simulators are the same price. We book the simulators in

groups of 4 and/or 5, space permitting.

4 Simulators £1500

6 Simulators £2000

Any more information please check out www.eddieirvinesports.com/eddie_irvines_race_experience

 

 

 

When faith, hope and love collide…

As a photographer we get involved in the happiest and saddest of times. From the joy of a newborn – to tears brought back from photographs of love ones since departed,  the roller-coaster of emotions is part of what makes this job an exhausting yet wonderful way to make a living.

And never was that more true than Aaron & Jenni’s wedding. I went to university with Jenni, yet as is so often the way we hadn’t seen each other in many years. So I was delighted to hear she was engaged – and even more delighted that she trusted me to capture the day.

 

I hadn’t realised that Jenni’s health ‘hadn’t been great’ (her words not mine – a massive under-statement). Indeed, pretty much all the wedding team were on stand-by to re-arrange incase her health took a dip. And while Jenni hadn’t been well, Aaron had lost a loved one very close to him. So this was a special day – a celebration of love, a celebration of faith that had helped them get through and a hope for even better things to come.

 

Above: When the postman arrives at the door!

 

Jenni and her mum did the flowers together – and Jenni’s mum was head seamstress on the dresses!

 

Lissanoure was the venue for the service and the reception. With so many friends joining to celebrate – the atmosphere was one of excitement as we basked in the March sun and dodged the odd shower!

Above: The kids running up the aisle!

 

No more had we started the photographs did the rain start. But the couple were more than happy to grab a wee cuppa while we waited for it to go over. Lissanoure Castle is a beautiful venue – and I was itching to get outside!

 


I’d only met Aaron once before, but he has such a caring attitude towards his new wife and everyone for that matter. His smile is also infectuous – when he smiles you end up smiling too. You just can’t help it!

 

 

 

His speech was just lovely – even the manliest of country men had a lump in their throat.

 

So there you go – Aaron & Jenni are married. On 24 March 2018 something special happened – faith, hope and love collided – and the resulting fusion was something that everyone involved will remember and cherish for years to come.

 

Venue: Lissanoure Castle
Cars: Champagne Moments

If you would like to learn more about my wedding photography check out the website here

 

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