Brum is Bursting with Talent: Reflecting on 6 Years Shooting the City.


The Library of Birmingham and the redevelopment of Centenary Square

The Library of Birmingham and the redevelopment of Centenary Square

January 2018 marks 6 years since I moved back to Birmingham to be with my now fiancé. Some of you may be aware that this isn’t the first time I’ve lived in the city, but it’s certainly the first time I’ve engaged with the big-hearted, generous people who reside within it’s borders.

Recently I’ve been reflecting, not just on my own evolution as a creative, but also the boom in photographers and visual artists that can be now be found capturing the constant evolution of the city, from culture to construction.

Back in 2012 I really struggled to find other people who were shooting the city. That’s not to say that there weren’t other photographers making incredible imagery of Birmingham, it just felt, to me at least, that the ‘scene’ was quieter and somewhat confined to the city centre icons such as Selfridges.

Selfridges in Winter, 2013. 

Selfridges in Winter, 2013. 

Fast forward to 2018 and the photographic community is experiencing something of a boom. Just search various relevant hashtags on Instagram, such as #IGersBirmingham and you’ll see that there are hundreds of creatives capturing the city, from the centre to the outskirts in their own, unique way.

So, what changed?

I’m certainly not going to take credit for this increase in creativity. At the time, the two Birmingham photographers who stood out to me were Tim Cornbill and Ross Jukes. For these past 5-6 years, they’ve been a constant source of inspiration, and the slight hint of competitiveness between the three of us has helped me become a better photographer. I’m glad to call them both friends.

However, If I arrived in the city today for the first time, there would be no shortage of opportunities for me to engage with likeminded creatives. Photographers such as Kris Askey, and too many others to name in a blog (because it would take up the whole blog!). In fact, I struggle to keep up with the many other photographers, photowalks and meet ups that happen on an almost weekly basis (and the guilt I feel is palpable). Events such as Badego is just another example of spaces where creatives (and others) are able to engage with likeminded individuals and speak about their work.

View over Brum from the Rotunda. Viewpoint courtesy of the lovely folk over at  Staying Cool .

View over Brum from the Rotunda. Viewpoint courtesy of the lovely folk over at Staying Cool.

This has been encouraged and fostered in a large part because of social media. Accounts such as BrumpicIndependent Birmingham & even traditional media outlets such as the Birmingham Mail make an effort to share imagery of the city which in turn inspires others to go out and interpret the city in their own way. 

And then you have the community hubs such as IGersBirmingham who have played a massive role in democratising photography in the city, and with the diligent hard work of past organisers such as Fraser McGee and current aficionados, Beth Asington & Martin O’Callaghan, continuously provide opportunities to photograph interesting and unique parts of the city. 

The beauty of it is that few of these organisations exist in isolation, and regularly link up to create amazing opportunities such as the Best of Birmingham exhibition which took place last year.

The BT Tower at sunrise. The city is constantly evolving.

The BT Tower at sunrise. The city is constantly evolving.

From day dot, I feel like Birmingham has nurtured me as a creative, and continues to do so. From the social media accounts that support and share my work, to organisations like Birmingham Museums, who exhibited the imagery I’d shot across Birmingham since my arrival.

It’s been a joy to watch the photographic community grow and thrive in Birmingham. And it’s indicative of a city that is enjoying a well deserved renaissance. Our little section of the creative community is just part of the many sectors that are building up from the grass roots, supporting each other and striving to ensure that Birmingham is recognised for the brilliant, vibrant, thriving citadel that we know it is.

If Channel 4 decide to move to Birmingham, this will only serve to confirm what we already know about the city, that it’s full of creative talent, passionate about the region and determined to demonstrate that Brum is brilliant.

Aston at night.

Aston at night.

The Beauty of Birmingham - Solo Exhibition @ The Museum of the Jewellery Quarter.

Considering it’s been live for nearly two months, I thought it was about time I wrote about my first solo exhibition that’s on show at the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter. 

My mum and my lovely wife-to-be pointing at something or other...

Me + the BMAG team

I’ve lived in Birmingham permanently since 2012, and originally struggled to come to terms with living in such an overwhelming metropolis when ideally I wanted to be living up a hill somewhere in the Lake District. However, I’ve inherited my mother’s ability to make the best of a situation, so from the start of my residence I decided to make friends with the city using my camera.

Grand Union Canal in Acocks Green

Grand Union Canal in Acocks Green

I began by exploring the canals, the natural habit for someone who is drawn to the countryside. There I found a world of beauty; quiet, serene and seemingly completely detached from the buzz of the Stratford Road, or the busyness of the city centre.

Eventually all canal towpaths led to the city centre and I discovered that there was plenty of beauty that could be uncovered in an urban setting. I started to appreciate the intricacies of an evolving city, exploring how different lighting conditions could highlight various features of the juxtaposing architecture.

Two Libraries at Dusk. An image that would now be impossible to replicate.

This exhibition is the culmination of 4 years of work, with many failed mornings standing under grey skies. Occasionally the weather was on my side and the conditions conspired, and for any photographer, the skill is to know how to capture those conditions within a short time frame. Virtually all of these images show transient conditions, where the frames two minutes previous or afterwards are entirely changed by the lighting.

Sunset from the Staying Cool Apartments in the Rotunda.

The exhibition is partly a celebration of my work, partly a celebration of Birmingham, and finally it also celebrates the Museum’s 25th birthday. I’m ashamed to admit that I’d never visited the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter prior to them approaching me regarding this project. In fact, I was so confused that I went to the wrong museum to attend our initial meeting (embarrassing)! The city should be so very proud of all of the museums and heritage sites that are open to members of the public, they are an insight to the great city of Birmingham that is constantly changing and reinventing itself. If my exhibition ensures that more people learn about the Museum of the Jewellery Quarter and more importantly, visit the museum, that would make me exceedingly happy. These institutions are so very important, and the team who run them are unsung heroes, passionate about this marvellous city and it’s diverse history.

The Jewellery Quarter (at sunset) where you'll find the Museum (and therefore my exhibition).

It’s been an honour to be the first to exhibit in this space, and I look forward to enjoy many other exhibitions from other brilliant artists in Birmingham. I’d also like to thank the many organisations and photographers who have supported me and advertised the exhibition including Brumpic, Independent Birmingham, BrumHour, Ross Jukes, Tim Cornbill, Fraser McGee and the IgersBirmingham crew, Trevor Beattie, the Express & Star, BBC Midlands Today, and so many more who have shared, RT’d and turned up to the opening night. You’re all legends.

The exhibition is free to visit during the opening hours of the Museum (10:30am - 5pm Tuesday - Saturday) until the end of June.

12” x 8” unmounted prints are available from the Museum shop for £25 (£50 for special edition prints)

Other sizes of prints (unframed) are available here

All framed prints are available for purchase after the exhibition for £250 per framed print (20x28”) or £350 for the limited edition Cherry Blossom at the Ikon Gallery print. Please express your interest via e-mail - admin@veritymilliganphotography.com

The Bullring at Sunrise. 

Top 14 for '14

2014 has been a seminal year for me as a photographer, both professionally and personally. I can see the progression from the beginning to the end and I've had the help and support of some wonderful people in the industry. I wanted to share my top ten images of 2014, as well as give some thanks and praise to the people who have been there along the way.


"Relentless Optimism" - Bear Pits in Bristol, England.
Fujifilm X-Pro1 + 18mm f/2 @ f/4. 1/50.

I've always been a photographer and a person who struggles to pick one discipline. At school I won prizes in arts and science, played sports and tried my hand at everything (except musical theatre, never musical theatre). Ostensibly, I'm a landscape photographer, but I love exploring all the different genres of photography, so this top 10 will be a mixed bag of images and disciplines. Basically, if I find it interesting, I'll shoot it. This shot was taken in the Bear Pits in Bristol on my birthday. I'm very fond of Bristol, especially it's culture, and I instantly fell in love with this piece of graffiti. As the old lady with her shopping bag turned the corner, I pushed down the shutter. 'Relentless Optimism' is one of my mantras, even though it can be sometimes hard to maintain.

"Sunrise over Selfridges" - Birmingham, England.
Canon 6D + 16-35 f/2.8L II @ f/22. 1/25.

Couldn't really not include an image of Birmingham. I've done my own top list for Brum, but this one I held back for this blog. I get excited about foggy mornings, and this one was a favourite. The fog cleared quickly, making for a beautiful sunrise, and my favourite aspect of the 16-35mm, the sunstar, pretty much made the image for me. 

"Turquoise Light" - Clevedon, England. 
Fujifilm X-Pro1 + 18mm f/2 @ f/11. 1/200.

I've spent a lot of time down in Clevedon and Somerset in general. I've always found a decent sunset impossible to capture, mostly because the conditions have never been favourable. However, on this particular day, it wasn't the sunset that was the major event, it was the transient light several hours before. The colours in the sky complimented the colours on the pier, turquoise, with streams of light penetrating through the cloud. Probably one of my favourite images of the year.

"Light at the End of the Tunnel" - Monsal Trail, England.
Fujifilm X-Pro1 + 18mm f/2 @ f/2. 1/50.

The Peak District is a favourite place of mine, and two of my favourite people live near it. I love visiting them just because being near such good energy is inspiring. 2014 has taught me again and again that people matter, much more than praise or success. We went on a winter walk through the tunnels of the Monsal Trail which afforded the opportunity for some dynamic monochrome silhouettes. Looking back I hadn't realised how much I appreciated the Fujifilm 18mm f/2 lens. It's fast and it works really well in situations such as this.

"In Rolls the Weather" - Crummock Water, Lake District, England.
Canon 6D + 70-200mm f/4 @ f/11. 1/400.

I visited the Lakes several times over the year (and intend to return for my birthday weekend in January). During the first trip, we stayed in Buttermere so I had easy access to both Buttermere and Crummock in the early morning. Neither sunrise was particularly note-worthy, but the light that came afterwards made up for the disappointment. The cloud rolled over the fells above Crummock Water, and the diffused light illuminated the slopes. I'm a big fan of telephoto lenses for landscapes. Wides have their place, but looking closer has it's benefits. 

"Cat in the Afternoon" - Cognac, France
Fujifilm X-T1 + 35mm f/1.4 @ f/5. 1/450

Probably my favourite photo of the entire year. One of those moments where the three photos before and the three photos after fail to have the same impact (it's all about the timing). The cat arching into the sunlight at that moment made it work. It's a quintessential continental image, the kind I want to put on my living room wall, and reminds me of a happy afternoon on a warm summer's day. 

"Generations" - Cognac, France. Fujifilm X-T1 + 35mm f/1.4 @ f/4.5. 1/400

"Generations" - Cognac, France.
Fujifilm X-T1 + 35mm f/1.4 @ f/4.5. 1/400

Another example of France being a haven for interesting scenes. I went back for this shot after wondering if I should or not. That's something I really struggle with; street photography in general, but I find people wonderfully interesting. I initially noticed the old man sat on the bench, looking thoroughly French, and when I returned, his quiet solitude was amplified by the family to the left. Generations, close together put completely alone. 

"Lansdale Light" - Cumbria, England
Canon 5D MK III + 16-35mm f/2.8L II @ f16. 1/50

Taken at the end of a wet weekend in the Lakes with good friends. On the final morning, my buddy Rich and I returned to Blea Tarn for the sunrise, finally the light prevailed. We drove on to the Langdale valley, chasing the weather and the light that appeared on the winding road that descends down the scene was worth all the rain. My favourite part of this image is the hint of a rainbow on the left hand side, it's virtually imperceptible, but like the best things, if you look hard enough... When the rainbow took form, I literally jumped up and down with excitement. These are the moments, amazing to witness, whether I capture it or not, that define me.

"Purple Haze" - Exmoor, Devon, England
Fujifilm X-T1 + 10-24mm f/4 OIS @ f/10. 20 Seconds.

September is a lovely time to visit the moors, and I spent time of both Exmoor and Dartmoor. The late summer sun remained throughout the week, a treat after the dampness of the Lakes. On Exmoor, the heather was just about to go over and presented some final opportunities to capture it's colourful beauty at sunrise. Looking torwards Porlock, this was a 20 second exposure on a morning filled with transient light. Of course, the universe remained in balance as I left my shutter release cable on the moor, forever lost. 

"Rugged Edge" - Stanage Edge, Peak District, England Fujifilm X-T1 + 10-24mm f/4 OIS @ f/22. 1/3.

"Rugged Edge" - Stanage Edge, Peak District, England
Fujifilm X-T1 + 10-24mm f/4 OIS @ f/22. 1/3.

November, mid semester, the most bonkers for someone teaching in higher education like me. We took a weekend out to explore the Peak District, drink whisky, take photos and be with our soon-to-be traveling friend. On Stanage Edge, the wind was howling, but the climbers were undeterred. As the sun went down the cloud broke and my timing was on to grab the briefest of sunstars, peaking through the weather, illuminating the rugged autumn foliage.

"The Watchers" - Dartmoor, Devon, England.
Canon 5D MK III + 24-70mm f/2.8 @ f/22. 1/80.

There is something magical about the ponies that roam Dartmoor and Exmoor, especially in the golden light. The fog had lifted off the landscape of Dartmoor and the sun was creating to most glorious of atmospheres as the road winded through, back towards Yelverton and an impending breakfast. I spotted these two grazing on the roadside. When I arrived they calmly paid me the smallest moment of attention, surrounded by sheep and gorse. Several frames after they would gallop off into the morning light. I'm saving most of those images, although I'm not sure why. Some moments feel more sacred than others.

"Face in the Crowd" - Birmingham, England
Canon 6D + 70-200mm f/4 @ f/4. 1/2500

It was the St. Patrick's Day Parade in Digbeth, and I was capturing the atmosphere. This gentleman's face caught my eye and then his hat grabbed my attention. All I can see is all the stories he must have to tell, one for each badge, each line on his face. The crowds closed around me and he disappeared into the festivities. I've been told he is a Digbeth local, maybe I'll see him again when the parade rolls through.

"Textured Nature" - Pontsticill Reservoir, Brecon Beacons, South Wales
Fujifilm X-T1 + 18-135mm f/3.5 - 5.6 @ f/11. 1/60.

One of my latest. There's nothing more satisfying than clean, crisp, frosty mornings and still, reflective water. Pontsticill Reservoir and the surrounding Brecon Beacons has been my playground for the last 4 days, and each morning exploration has brought immense happiness. That's the thing about all of these images, the process, the moment, the editing, the sharing - all of it contributes to my wellbeing. Photography keeps me grounded, it keeps me focussed, and it keeps me learning. It is a curve, a beautiful, endless, unfinished curve. 

"Hoar Frost" - Brecon Beacons, South Wales
Fujifilm X-T1 + 18-135mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 @ f/13. 1/160

Sometimes you shoot an image and you know that the value it has is intrinsically personal. It's unlikely to be popular, but it signifies something. This image of entangled branches covered in hoar frost in the heart of the Brecon Beacons symbolises a shift, just not one that I'm able to verbalise at the moment. It's abstract, conceptual and reminds me of the interconnected nature of art and life. I'm proud of it, and I'm not even sure why... But it makes me excited to see what 2015 brings.


I want to shout out to the amazing community that have supported me through the year, and also some of my contemporaries who inspire me.

Johnny Patience and Rebecca Patience - Both intensely talented photographers working predominantly on film. I've had the pleasure of spending time with them on both of the LNDNWLKs and feel grateful to call them friends. Good energy is infectious. They are people who vivaciously encourage the community around them, building confidence, and sharing all they can, whenever possible. One of biggest inspirations from this year, and I'm incredibly grateful for all that the do and say. 

Mathieu & Heather, AKA Mirrorlessons - The Mirrorless community has some brilliant bloggers at it's spearhead and one of the finest is Mirrorlessons. It's a resource not only for the technical aspects of using a mirrorless camera, but also for aspiring photographers. The community that has grown up around the site is a great place to get feedback and generally be part of something. I'm honoured to have been interviewed for their website, and their collective belief in me and my work has been a high point of the year.

There are some amazing photographers that have influenced me this year:

Olivier Glod - What a guy! One of the loveliest people I've met in the last year. Genuine, talented, warms your heart to chat with him. 

Marco Larousse - Inspirational street photographer, all round lovely guy too. This image in particular sticks in my mind. Perfection. 

Ben Cherry - Wonderfully encouraging and supportive. Also has a fondness for the Peak District and his work from Borneo is superb.

Robert Paul Jansen - Stunning in whatever format, whether it be iPhoneography, film or digital. 

Donovon Bond - Creator of Fuji vs. Fuji and Co-Founder of FujiTuesday. An inspirational member of the Fujifilm community. Hopefully I can buy him a pint when he makes it back over to the UK!

Othman Kammah - The other Co-Founder of FujiTuesday, and another supportive member of the Fujifilm Community. I'm a particular fan of his 1 camera, 1 lens project. 

Rafa Garcia - A genuinely wonderful photographer with whom every interaction is a joy.

Basically owning the mirrorless wedding photography scene and generally an absolute dude, Gavin Hardy

Then there's those who are inspiring me to shoot film and helping me find the best way of going about such an endeavour, especially the lovely and talented Andy Spencer.

My dear friend Rich Jones, currently traveling the world with his camera. 

Also big love to Stacy Guiney, an old friend who took a big step to strike out on his own as a freelance photographer. Check out his shoot at the Morgan Motor Car factory.

Recent acquaintance Ugo Cei. Currently in love with his project on lighthouses. Amazing stuff.

Lots of love goes out to anyone I chatted with on both LNDNWLKs, especially this enigmatic bunch - Thomas Menk, Darren SeamarkMatthew Dowell, Matt Wilkinson, Daniel Ruffles, Sam Burton, Joe Harper, Jann Lechelle, Vincent Opoku, Mark Hales, Steve Davis 

A year ago I was without a strong photographic community, and a year on I feel very much part of a beating, vibrant, supportive family. If I've missed anyone out, I do apologise, I've been writing this blog for about 3 days and I've sort of lost the will to live at this point.

Thanks for all the inspiration, guys (and a few gals). Can't wait to see what you produce in 2015! If there's anything I can do to help, I'm ready and willing.

 

My Favourite 10 Photos of Birmingham from 2014 + Much Gratitude

It's been a rather tremendous year for Birmingham and as 2014 draws to a close, the city finds itself included in Top 10 polls. There's a huge perception change in progress, and it's really wonderful to witness. 

There have been plenty of photo opportunities over the year, and whenever I can I've been out capturing the city, from the outskirts to the centre. I thought I'd share my favourite 10 images that I've taken of the city this year and the stories behind them. I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank a bunch of people for their support.

Canon 6D + 70-200mm f/4. 0.6 Sec @ f/18. ISO 160

Winter brings fog, and at sunrise, when the conditions are right, the colour plays on the fog and gives atmosphere to industrial landscapes. My favourite part of this image is the street light in the bottom centre, it highlights the 'Islamic Relief' centre, a metaphor for Birmingham's diversity and good will. It was taken from the top of Moat St carpark, which has now had barriers installed, making images like this all but impossible to shoot through the railings.

Canon 6D + 70-200mm f/4. 1/200 @ f/13. ISO 250.

I often talk about my love for the canals of Birmingham. They are tranquil and beautiful, especially just after sunrise. The day I took this was a particularly beautiful morning, with the light streaming through winter foliage. Moments like this, they don't happen very often, so when they do, it turns a good day into a great day. This is a stretch of canal in Acocks Green, looking up towards Olton.                              

Fujifilm X-Pro1 + 18mm f/2. 1/30 @ f/8. ISO 1250

Speaking of things that don't happen very often, you can rank absolutely epic sunsets among that category. There are good sunsets (you might get one of those every month) and there are mind-blowing, drama filled sunsets and universally bind each individual who witnesses them together. The sunset above, that was one of those, and really, you might only every get one of these a year. Just amazing to watch, and a privilege to behold. I took this long exposure on my Fujifilm X-Pro1 in Fox Hollies Park, Acocks Green. This was before I'd invested in a ultra-wide for my Fuji system, so it was shot on an 18mm f/2. 

Canon 6D + 16-35mm f/2.8. 30 sec @ f/16. ISO 100.

Those lovely folks at Staying Cool let me stay at the top of the Rotunda so I could grab some shots of Birmingham from above. Apart from being a dream place to stay, the views were epic, especially at night. A perfect dusk descended over the city centre, with the lights of the New Street Development dominating the foreground. My favourite part of this image is still the red and green traffic lights reflecting on the platform.

Fujifilm X-T1 + 14mm f/2.8. 1 Sec @ f/11. ISO 200. 

The Library of Birmingham opened in 2013, and has rapidly become one of the most photographed buildings in Birmingham. I don't think this is a bad thing at all, as there's so much of the building to explore, from the Shakespeare Room to the outdoor terraces. I wanted to capture the footfall as well as some of the features of the building, and a long exposure really gave a sense of movement. It's a great space, and I hope Birmingham City Council reconsider the crippling cuts they're proposing.

Canon 6D + 80-200mm f/2.8. 30 Seconds @ f/14. ISO 200. 

Transition is part of Birmingham's persona, and this image is a stark example of this. In the foreground, the now obsolete Central Library spirals out like an upside down brutalist pyramid. In the background, the new Library of Birmingham with it's shiny facade. Soon the skyline will change forever when developers pull down the Central Library early next year. In 2005 I worked in the Local History department of the Central Library, often knee deep in microfiche, discovering other people's dead relatives. It was a transitional year for me back in 2005/2006 and the library was a home. I'll always remember it fondly, even the leaky roof.  

Canon 5D Mk III + 100mm f/2.8 Macro. 1/400 @ f/9. ISO 100.

In August, Brazilian sculptor Nele Azevedo brought 5000 ice sculptures to the steps of Chamberlain Square. The Minimum Monument, a tribute to the men and women who lost their lives during WWI, was possibly one of the most moving art installations I've ever seen, as each ice sculpture melted into nothingness. It was an honour to photograph, and humbling to witness.

Fujifilm X-T1 + 10-24mm f/4. 28 seconds @ f/10. ISO 400.

Gas Street Basin has been a recent discovery for me. I like to situate architecture in the context of the surroundings, like here The Cube is reflected in the water of the canal surrounded by the buildings and structures that were present long before it was built. This photo is a long exposure at sunset. Sometimes it can be tough because of the movement in the water, making the boats blurry, but during his attempt, it wasn't too bad. The great thing about long exposures is that they smooth out the water and yet the buildings remain stalwart and sharp.

Fujifilm X-T1 + 10-24mm f/4. 1.4 Seconds @ f/13.6. ISO 200.

The return of the Christmas wheel provides an opportunity to explore difference perspectives on the architecture and art that encompass the Library. "Real Family", a sculpture by Gillian Wearing, has done exactly what art should do by sparking a debate and getting people talking. Many people have spoken that they find it offensive that a male is not represented (although personally this is not my opinion and I in fact find the sculpture comforting), so when I took this shot I deliberately made sure there was the silhouette of a male figure standing off the left, looking away, absent but also present. 

Fujifilm X-T1 + 10-24mm f/4. 1/75 @ f/18. ISO 400.

I love sunrises. I love them because instead of chasing the light, the light chases me. From dark to light, from night to day, witnessing the beginning is a powerful thing. This winter sunrise, captured on a December morning, was a beauty. My camera was pushed to f/18 to capture the sunstar, but it was only when I looked at the image when I realised I'd caught not one, but three, reflecting in the iconic Selfridges building. 


It's been an amazing year for me. So many doors have opened because of my photos of Birmingham. It reinforces the notion that good things can only come from a places of passion, honesty, positivity and truth, and it's great to see that Birmingham is getting the recognition it deserves. It's a great city to live in!

Just wanted to use the end of this blog to thanks some of the amazing people and organisations who have promoted and supported me over the last year;

Brumpic - For always sharing my work, and encouraging me. It's ran by two brilliant people who have bought me numerous Gin & Tonics (thank you)! It was amazing to see the website go live and watch it grow. I hope 2015 is even better for the Brumpic team.

Birmingham Updates - For endless shares, encouragement and to Luke for being a stunningly awesome guy, always ready with a kind word. One of Birmingham's finest sons. 

#BrumHour - Such a great resource for Birmingham based *anything*. Again, someone who has supported, shared, encouraged and generally been amazing to me.

I Choose Birmingham - If you're Birmingham based and you're not subscribed to "I Choose Birmingham" you're missing out. Legendary e-magazine that brings the best of Brum to your inbox every week (one of the first places to feature my work, and kinda started this whole roller coaster year. Thanks Tom Cullen, you superstar!)

Impact Hub Birmingham - My Birmingham family. Doing amazing things, and set to be an great resource for the city. Currently embroiled in a Kickstarter campaign with some of the rewards involving photo workshops with yours truly. Have a look, pledge if you can - Impact Hub Birmingham Kickstarter 

Independent BirminghamAnother great Brum based organisation that has faith in my work and is doing amazing things for the independent scene! 

SomeCities - It was an honour to be part of the SomeCities 'Our City' exhibition earlier this year. Great organisation that has done and is doing great things for photography in the city.

Created in Birmingham - Great blog that is always worth a read for things going on in and around Brum. Huge thanks to the lovely Rob Green wrote an article about me for the blog earlier this year. Rob, I still owe you pint!

Birmingham Mail - For featuring my work in a double page spread. That was a pretty awesome moment!

BBC WM - For having my on the radio to talk about my work, and for sharing it whenever they could. Although, they're still not quite forgiven for making me talk to camera at 7:30am ;)

Thanks also to all the people who have RT'd, Faved, Liked, Shared and Commented on my images over on Twitter and Facebook. Hopefully I thanked you at the time, if not, my apologies, I can get a little forgetful at times. I'm truly grateful.

Also, check out these brilliant Birmingham based photographers who have inspired me over the last year:

Tim Cornbill Trail blazing Brum photographer. All round awesome guy. It's always a pleasure to chat with Tim, and I would like to thank him for constantly inventing brilliant hashtags, including #brumrise and #brumset. 

George Daley - George has an amazing eye for lines in architecture. His black and white work is particularly brilliant, and it's always a joy to see his latest discoveries pop up on Instagram.

Barbara Gibson & Marta Kochanek - Magnificent portrait work. Stunning aesthetics, bringing a different perspective of the city. Makes me jaw drop every time. Haven't had the pleasure of meeting the women behind the work, but it's great to see other women photographers in the city doing their thing and making brilliant art.

Ross Jukes - Another Brum based photographer out there doing his thing, showing off the city. Over the year Ross has just gone from strength to strength. I chased after him one Saturday to say 'hello', always good to bump into another photographer, especially when it's sunrise and they're carrying a Fujifilm!

52 Weeks in Brum - Great project from a lovely guy, trying to capture a different aspect of the city for each week of the year. Also, he was kind enough to offer me a camera when I managed to smash mine. Still bowled over by that act of kindness.

IGersBirmingham - Less a person, more an instragram account, run by McGoogle (I'm not sure of his real name, but I know that he's a Scot, which makes him awesome, not that I'm biased). Great place to look for other brilliant Brum based photographers.

My final thanks goes to my wife-to-be (I swear we are organising a wedding, we're just going for a reallllllly long engagement), who supports me, gets up early, facilitates my randomness, helps calm me down when I'm being ridiculous, reminds me that being a champion for someone is way better than being an opponent, and for buying pretty much every copy of the Birmingham Mail that I was featured in. Without Rachel there to share in all this, none of it would really mean anything.

If I've missed anyone, really sorry. You can yell at me in the comments if you like (although I'm a girl and I will cry).  

I'm hoping that 2015 will signal a change from 2014. More collaboration, more projects rather than single images, more helping other creatives. So, if you want to collaborate, if you need my help, or you just want to have a chat, get in touch, I'd absolutely love to talk with you, especially if you're a female photographer, because there has got to be some more of us out there... 

Thanks for the amazing year, Birmingham!