Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer: Blog en-us (C) Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer (Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) Sat, 15 Jun 2024 10:00:00 GMT Sat, 15 Jun 2024 10:00:00 GMT Choosing A Wedding Photographer As I sat in the office this morning, looking out of the window across the fields - birds chirping and thinking about nesting, buds on the plants beginning to swell in anticipation of the warmer weather and longer days ahead...and a mole trashing my lawn by tunneling all over the place and throwing soil everywhere - I started to think about the year ahead. Early Spring is normally a relatively quiet time for actual wedding photography, but there's usually a lot going on behind the scenes, with wedding fayres to arrange, websites to update, the never-ending paperwork pile to tackle, possible rebranding, wedding enquiries etc. It's a time where many couples are planning their Big Day, usually for the following year, but you very often get a few less well-organised couples frantically trying to book everything at the last minute!

Choosing the right photographer for you, Dear bride-to-be, can be a daunting process, so here are a few pointers from a little piece I wrote all the way back in 2014 for KL Magazine, that I hope will go some way towards helping you on your quest for the perfect photographer for your wedding.

I think it still holds true for the most part, but you may want to ignore the mention of DVD slideshows! Seriously, do people still have those?!

NB: I've removed the photos originally in the article because they weren't mine, and I don't have permission to use them. I've also pasted the text at the bottom of the page in case the image isn't clear enough. And I've left the Twilight Bars ad in the image because I took the photos in it and Ryan is a mate (even if he's too cheap to pay for photography these days!) :D


"Choosing A Wedding Photographer

Your wedding won't only be a long, fantastic, enjoyable day - it will also be one you'll remember for years, and among the most important elements of that will be your wedding photographs. There's nothing more wonderful - for you and for all your friends and family - than a beautiful wedding album or photobook, and there are few things more disappointing than photos that don't do the big day justice. Che Ballard offers some great advice on getting the best from your wedding photographer:

PERSONALITY Ensure you meet your photographer before booking; this is helpful to get a first-hand look at prints and products and discuss your requirements face-to-face, as well as making sure you and your potential photographer have compatible personalities. They may take amazing photos, but if they're going to make your day even more stressful by yelling at everyone, they may not be the right photographer for you.

STYLE Have a clear idea of the type of photography you want. Do you want lots of formal shots or do you prefer the more natural, 'reportage' style? How does the photographer process their images? Some effects may look great today, but will they look badly dated in a couple of years' time?

BACK UP Check your photographer has back-up equipment! What happens if a camera or lens breaks during your wedding? Also, more megapixels doesn't necessarily mean better photographs. If that were the case, professional photographers would all be using mobile phones! Your photographer should also hold valid insurance.

PRE-WEDDING SHOOT Does the photographer offer a complementary shoot prior to the wedding? This is a great way to build rapport with your photographer and can help to make you feel more comfortable in front of the camera on your big day.

CONTRACT If there isn't one, ask for one! This protects you as well as the photographer. Some bookings are months. even years, in advance. What happens if your photographer is ill. or (heaven forbid) does a runner with your money - or fails to provide you with any photos?

PAYMENT The industry standard for wedding photography tends to be something along the fines of a 50% deposit, with the remainder due 30 days prior to the wedding. If you're unhappy with paying 100% of the photographer's fees in advance, don't be afraid to negotiate! Perhaps the photographer will take the remainder once the proofs are online, or maybe when the album is delivered.

EXAMPLES Does the photographer have a full wedding album you can browse, either online or in print? If not, why not?

EXPERIENCE Having a qualification in photography isn't everything, but it does indicate your photographer has studied the technical aspects of the craft. Far more important is experience. How long has the photographer been shooting for? Ideally your photographer will have been referred to you by a satisfied customer. but if not, is it possible to speak to a previous client? Don't put too much store in online reviews, as they are easy to fabricate.

QUALITY Obviously weddings can be tricky to shoot. even for photographers with many years' experience. Not every image will be as crisp as a studio shot, and it's worth bearing in mind that an image that looks fine in a 6x4 print may not work as a large print to hang above your fireplace. Do the photographer's prints stand up to close scrutiny?

Finally, please have a little sympathy for the photographer! The best wedding photographers work long, stressful hours, spend a fortune on equipment and take years honing their craft. They will cover the wedding unobtrusively. with the minimum disturbance to you, while striving to get the best images possible. Choose wisely, and your photographer will capture all the precious memories of your big day perfectly, enabling you to enjoy them in years to come as you and your family flick through the album, or watch the DVD slideshow."


(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) king's lynn king's lynn wedding norfolk wedding wedding photographer wedding photography Wed, 06 Mar 2019 12:24:46 GMT
Rival Sons - Cambridge Junction Rival Sons - Cambridge Junction, Feb 1st 2017

Another year gone, another year I failed to blog regularly (I actually managed to post a measly once last year-disgraceful)! I suppose I really should get my shit in gear or just delete the blog entirely...

Anyway, the motivation behind this latest post is that I got the opportunity to photograph my favourite live band, Rival Sons, at Cambridge Junction. Result. I've seen them a few times now, and actually photographed them back in 2013 at the same venue. If you fancy a trip back in time, there's a post here: Rival Sons 2013

I won't post a review as such here, as it's Sunday, and I've got shit to do (keep an eye on, as I may post one there), I'll just break up the photos with a bit of text about how great Rival Sons are live (if you didn't know that already).

This sold-out gig was slotted in between the Sons' shows supporting Black Sabbath on their "The End" farewell tour, before going out on their own for a tour of Europe, and they certainly had their chops up.

Every time I've seen them Jay Buchanan's voice has had me dropping my jaw, and tonight, looking somewhat akin to Jim Morrison circa LA Woman, and at times sounding like he was channeling Janis Joplin, was no exception. Holy shit, that boy can wail! I would truly give a testicle to be able to sing that good (ideally it would be someone else's nut, but I'd give up one of my own if I had to).

Guitarist Scott Holiday, looking smooth with trademark facial furniture and pinstripe suit, has more guitars by the side of the stage than you've had hot dinners, and he manages to rock the fuck out of each one.

Michael Miley is a bowler-hatted beast of a drummer, who proves that it's not the size of your kit that's important, but how you bang it. Nice Horned owl tattoo btw!

Dave Beste impassively manages to keep things moving; preferring to put all his energies into providing a solid bassline, rather than wasting time on superfluous things like facial expressions.

And finally, Todd Ögren-Brooks, sports one of the most impressive beards ever, and manages to fill the songs with keyboard-y goodness.

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) black sabbath cambridge cambridge junction che ballard photography dave beste gig hollow bones jay buchanan live michael miley music rival sons scott holiday todd ogren-brooks Sun, 05 Feb 2017 12:29:08 GMT
New Logo New Logo!

Well, it's that time again; after going into my usual semi-hibernation over Christmas & New Year, I now feel all invigorated, full of something approaching enthusiasm and ready to give my photography business a bit of TLC. I'm ashamed to admit I lost a bit of focus last year, and coasted along without putting much effort into my work (sounds like my old school reports!). This year, after giving myself a much needed kick up the arse, I am attempting to rectify last year's lackadaisical attitude, starting with a new logo (as well as photo books, prints, canvases and other cool stuff).

I've muddled through using my own poor attempts at logo designs for ages now, despite wanting a professionally designed logo since I started. I know a lot of people fail to see the value of using a proper, trained graphic designer and would rather knock up something themselves, but I'm not one of them. I admire good design as much as I admire good photography. And I know my limitations. So why have I waited so long? Basically, I wanted to wait for a designer I had faith in, and I ended up waiting a while!

I've been working with the super-talented Jess at Noxx Creative ( since last year, and after seeing the quality of her work I knew that if anyone could come up with a logo design I liked it'd be her. She also has great taste in music, which may not be a prerequisite, but is certainly a bonus! The whole process of getting Jess to design my logo has been completely stress-free, and I'm super pleased with the result. I can't recommend her highly enough for any design work, whether it be a logo, marketing materials or even a magazine layout.

Jess can be contacted at [email protected]

So without further ado, here's my new logo...

And business cards...






(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) che ballard graphic design logo logo design noxx creative photography Mon, 08 Feb 2016 08:20:54 GMT
Exhibition Ok, I'm officially rubbish at blogging regularly - I can't believe my last post was all the way back in January - shameful!

Anyway, as the main purpose of my blog was to help keep anyone that's interested up to date on my work, I figured I ought to mention that I have an exhibition on at King's Lynn Arts Centre (Fermoy Room). Bit short notice, I know, especially as it's already started. Oops. Anyway, me and my old college buddy James Hollier finally got round to it, some 20ish years after studying photography together at NORCAT (College of West Anglia to any noobs to the area), and I'm pretty excited. It runs until the 21st of November so there's plenty of time to go and have a quick butcher's (I'd be really grateful if you did!). If you do manage to get down there, please feel free to leave lovely comments in the guestbook (or any comments, for that matter!).


Anyway, that's my news. I'll probably update again in 2016, so I hope you have an awesome Christmas/Thanksgiving/New Year etc!



(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) arts centre che ballard exhibition exhibitionist james hollier king's lynn king's lynn arts centre photographic exhibition photography Sun, 08 Nov 2015 20:26:13 GMT
Savage Messiah Savage Messiah - Norwich Waterfront,  Jan 21st 2015


Savage Messiah: To me the name screams sweaty, no-nonsense metal/thrash with an 80s retro feel (truth be told, I was probably just reminded of actual 80s band Nasty Savage, but still...) The band certainly look the part; leather jacketed and wearing sweatbands and bullet belts, and there's a definite musical nod to the old school.

They may have been first on the bill, but Savage Messiah certainly had confidence and competence enough to get most of the crowd involved, and warmed up ready for Huntress and Amon Amarth.


(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) Andrea Gorio Dave Silver Joff Bailey Mira Slama amon amarth gig huntress live norwich waterfront savage messiah thrash Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:41:59 GMT
Huntress Huntress - Norwich Waterfront  Jan 21st 2014

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect from Huntress; it’s not uncommon with groups who aren’t afraid to exploit their sexuality for their music to suck, and the looks of vocalist Jill Janus (as well as her fondness for disrobing) certainly seem to be a big draw, judging by some of the cries of “sit on my face” or “take me home” from certain sexually frustrated males in the audience ;)

Janus’s image may well be deliberately provocative, but Huntress put on a hell of a live show, and Jill’s theatrical, over-the-top performance works well, as well as making them great fun to photograph. She also has a hell of a voice.

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) Anthony Crocamo Blake Meahl Carl Wierzbicky Ian Alden Jill Janus amon amarth gig live waterfront Sun, 25 Jan 2015 11:24:37 GMT
Amon Amarth, Norwich Waterfront Amon Amarth - Norwich Waterfront, January 21st

I first saw Amon Amarth back in 2011 when they were supporting Children Of Bodom at Norwich UEA. I wasn’t too familiar with them before the gig, but I was extremely impressed with their Viking-flavoured death metal and frontman Johan Hegg’s on stage charisma.

This time round, the band headlined at Norwich Waterfront and were as impressive as I remembered and seem to have built a decent following of aspiring vikings, with plenty of beards and horns on display, which can’t be bad.


(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) Fredrik Andersson Johan Hegg Johan Söderberg Olavi Mikkonen Ted Lundström amon amarth death metal gig live norwich waterfront Fri, 23 Jan 2015 12:41:33 GMT
Western Sand Western Sand - Norwich Waterfront 17/12/2014

I must admit, I wasn't familiar with Bournemouth's Western Sand prior to this gig supporting Michael Schenker but, after seeing them live, it's obvious they're ones to watch for in the future.

Musically Western Sand have a definite "southern rock" feel with hints of classic Skynyrd, as well as certain similarities with Black Stone Cherry, and at times vocalist Tyler Hains' American drawl-style vocals even lasted for a few words between songs before reverting back to normal which was quite amusing.

Definitely a band to check out live if you get the chance.

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) Findlay Hotchkiss Jimmy Bradshaw Nathan J. Kay Tyler Hains gig live michael Schenker music western sand Mon, 22 Dec 2014 19:21:03 GMT
Michael Schenker Michael Schenker's Temple Of Rock 17/12/2014

Love him or hate him, there's no denying Michael Schenker is a genius when it comes to the guitar. I first heard his playing on the 1981 self-titled MSG album when I first started getting into rock music (I used to rummage through my parents' cassette and vinyl collection hoping to find something good, which also led me to discovering Dio's classic Holy Diver album), and have been a fan of his playing ever since.

He may have had a a few problems in the early 2000s, but he's on fine form tonight, grinning at the audience and seemingly enjoying every minute. This may be Michael Schenker's show, but the rest of the band are no slouches in the talent department either and they storm through a set full of  Schenker/UFO and Scorpions classics.


Intro - D - Tone
Doctor Doctor
Wild Wind
Armed and Ready
Natural Thing
Victim Of Illusion
Coast To Coast
Let It Roll
Vigilante Man
Too Hot
Rock You Like A Hurricane
Rock Bottom

Lights Out






(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) doogie white francis buchholz gigs herman rarebell michael schenker michael schenkers temple of rock msg norwich waterfront temple of rock wayne findlay Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:27:21 GMT
Fishbone Blast From The Past: Fishbone – Norwich Waterfront 04/05/2011

There are certain questions in life that, to date, remain unanswered: Are we alone in the universe? Is there life after death? Who the hell watches Britain’s Got Talent and why? One mystery I’ve often pondered is why the hugely influential and versatile Fishbone, erstwhile peers of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP even going so far as sampling Fishbone’s ‘Bonin’ In The Boneyard’ on their Mother’s Milk album), are not hugely successful in the UK? Is the fact that they refuse to be pigeon-holed into a specific genre, preferring instead to explore whatever musical avenues they so desire, detrimental - their sound simply too expansive and unpredictable for the masses? Whatever the reason, I was probably more excited when I got the photopass for this show than any others I can think of; I still remember being given their ‘Ma & Pa’ cd single in the summer of 1989 and I’ve been a fan ever since.

The line-up may have changed over the years but, with "Dirty" Walter A. Kibby II back in the band, the current line-up includes 3 of the original members. On top of that Rocky George (Ex-Suicidal Tendencies) is on guitar, which is a definite bonus.

Fishbone’s performance was excellent as expected, and, with frontman Angelo Moore playing an impressive array of saxophones from soprano to bass (as well as a Theremin), Dre Gipson the stagediving keyboardist, and bass-monster Norwood Fisher, what’s not to like? Unfortunately, for such a great band, the turnout was pathetic and saw them performing to a sparse audience. A real shame, but if the half empty room bothered them it didn’t show.

The lighting was actually pretty good for the Waterfront, with some impressive looking large, square lights on the back wall. Lots of coloured lighting and not much in the way of spotlighting, but at least someone made an effort ;)

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) angelo moore dirty walt dre gipson fishbone gig jay armant john steward live norwich waterfront norwood fisher rocky george Sun, 14 Dec 2014 12:11:43 GMT
Yantali I really suck at keeping my blog posts consistent and regular, but in my defence I did spend the last couple of months out in the middle of nowhere with an internet speed that was on a par with the dark days of dial-up. This wasn't really conducive to spending any time online unless forced, so my attempts at keeping up with regular posts fell by the wayside!

During my brief, nightmarish visit to the aforementioned technological black hole, I did some photos for a new range of paints from Yantali, which will be on the market imminently, as well as some images of their range of reclaimed flooring. It was great working with a company that are really interested in showing their product in the best possible way, and the two days I spent on site were an absolute pleasure. If you're in the market for floor tiles or paints, I thoroughly recommend you get in touch with Yantali (well, as soon as their site is launched anyway!).


(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) charles howey farrow and ball reclaimed flooring yantali Tue, 09 Dec 2014 17:23:48 GMT
Steve Cram Steve Cram


I would like to start this blog with a little rant about my bt internet! I had planned on blogging more regularly, but having recently moved house and finding out that my maximum internet speed was 0.27mb (it has taken many phone calls, some lasting over an hour, for them to finally admit that this is all I'm likely to get), I'm finding that doing anything on the internet is turned into a massive chore as it takes about a minute for a page to load. This is actually the second time I've typed this post (or variation of), but after clicking the save button and closing the page, I later found out that I hadn't allowed my browser the necessary minute or so to actually complete the task.

Anyway...It was my birthday on the 1st of September, so my plan was to keep my diary free for that day. My plan was all going to, er, plan until I received a phone call a couple of days beforehand asking if I could drive down to St Albans to photograph Steve Cram at a couple of events. It wasn't a difficult decision; I'll have another birthday next year and, at my age, I don't mind missing a few!

It was fascinating to hear Steve talking about achieving the best from yourself and giving a bit of insight into the mind of a successful sportsperson. I'm no runner, but still found the talks motivating and full of positive energy.

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) che ballard motivation sports psychology steve cram westminster lodge Tue, 07 Oct 2014 09:41:45 GMT
HypnoBros, Glasgow HypnoBros, Glasgow

Just got back from a quick jaunt to Glasgow and back to record a Rapid Induction Hypnosis course with Rory & Ash aka The HypnoBros, which was pretty fun.

We left on Friday afternoon and narrowly made the flight due to a broken clutch on the drive to Stansted. On arrival shortly after 8pm, we checked into our hotel, got changed and went for a delicious Thai meal at the Chaophraya restaurant (I thoroughly recommend the Grilled Pork Skewers and Chicken Pad Thai!) washed down with a couple of bottles of Chang beer. Managed to get to bed before midnight, which is a first, I think, for my visits to Glasgow.

The course itself was well run on the Saturday, managing to be light-hearted, yet still educational, and the lads managed to cram plenty of material (and colourful language!) into the day.

It was a pretty hectic day, and I spent most of it on my feet, but we did manage a Wild Boar and Chorizo burger for lunch, which my taste buds much appreciated, then another mad rush to catch the flight home. More car trouble on the way home, thanks to Rory leaving his sidelights on, but fortunately we managed to get a jump-start from an AA chap, and finally arrived home around midnight.

I love Glasgow, it's such a vibrant and photogenic city and the architecture is amazing. I should really organise a trip just to wander around and take some photos!

An Ex-Wild Boar & Chorizo Burger: Homeward bound!

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) RIT glasgow hypnobros hypnosis hypnotherapy hypnotism induction rapid induction rapid induction therapy rory Z stansted thai food Mon, 08 Sep 2014 18:35:35 GMT
Georgina & Pete I was privileged to photograph Georgina & Pete's wedding last month (exactly one month ago tomorrow) at Shouldham church and the reception just up the road from me in Middleton.

The weather forecast for the day was a bit iffy and, as promised, started miserable and grey. As the guests began arriving, so did the rain but, fortunately, by the time the bride arrived at the church, the weather was already brightening up. By the time the ceremony finished it had got pretty hot and sticky outside and we were besieged by thunderflies (I still have one stuck in the viewfinder of my 7D).

I had never photographed a wedding at Shouldham church before, and it turns out it is a great spot for weddings, and the undulating fields made a lovely backdrop.

After the ceremony the newlyweds headed back to Middleton in a fantastic-looking vintage white Jaguar (which may well have smelled delightful too if the one or two people leaning in to sniff the interior are anything to go by!)

Back at the reception, there was a coconut shy, props for photos, a jazz trio followed by a rock/pop band, croquet, hula hoops...plenty for everyone to do, and most impressively, they had Hobgoblin on tap :)

I have to say, the bride and bridesmaids were all great, and put up with me taking loads of photos of them first thing in the morning without complaint, and I was well looked after by Georgina's parents, who also catered for the event (and made a delicious job of it, I must say!)

Congratulations Georgina and Pete, I hope you have many happy years together, and thanks for allowing me to be a part of your big day!

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) che ballard photography hobgoblin norfolk wedding shouldham church west norfolk's flying chef Mon, 18 Aug 2014 17:27:15 GMT
Macro Mini-Beasts I've been having great fun using my new Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM Lens over the last couple of weeks. The lack of depth-of-field took a bit of getting used to, as did the risk of blur, but Ive been getting some photos I'm pretty happy with, to the extent that I'm a bit addicted to rummaging around in the dirt trying to find bugs to shoot.

Here are a few shots I've taken since having the lens, it's really changed the way I see creepy-crawlies (or Mini-Beasts, as they seem to have been rebranded).

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) 100mm 100mm f2.8 L USM 100mm macro bumblebee butterfly canon comb-footed spider honeybee hoverfly macro pied shield bug nymph shied bug nymph toad tortoiseshell Sat, 05 Jul 2014 15:08:29 GMT
Ballard Banjers Oh Dear. I started off the year with such good intentions; I was all set to blog regularly, determined to conquer my fear & loathing of social networking, ready to get a load of marketing materials sorted, I am in the Middle of June and I haven't posted anything since February. I'm ashamed of myself, really I am. In my defence I have been extremely busy doing the work, I just dropped the ball in blogging about it. Anyway, in order to get back into the swing of this blogging malarky as quickly as possible, I thought it might be nice to post some photos I've taken over the last year or two of my brother's hand-made banjos. Mention banjos to many people and immediately they start thinking of the film Deliverance and the "Duelling Banjos" scene with the freaky looking kid on the porch. That's my brother, that is. I'm kidding, but I'm pretty sure he does have some dungarees...

These photos are just a small selection of my brother's banjos, and very classy they are too. If you fancy unleashing your inner hillbilly I highly recommend you contact Leon at Ballard Banjers because you won't find a better quality banjo this side of the Cahulawassee River.

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) ballard ballard banjers banjer banjo banjos deliverance hillbilly redneck Mon, 16 Jun 2014 17:10:38 GMT
Dear Bride To Be... Dear Bride To Be

Congratulations on your engagement!

I am pleased to announce that I have just teamed up with a couple of top quality local businesses to offer you the opportunity to save money on your big day.

Let’s face it, weddings can be incredibly stressful to organise, and choosing the right companies for your big day can be a nerve-wracking process, especially if you’ve never used them before. Twilight Bars and Simply Exquisite – Tracy’s Candy Cart and Vintage Tableware Hire are two local businesses I have worked with several times before and I can’t recommend them highly enough; faultless service and lovely people into the bargain, and I'm even offering money off to go with my recommendation!

The deal is this: If you book Twilight Bars’ full bar service for your wedding you will be entitled to 10% off my photographic services and another 10% off from Simply Exquisite on £200+ bookings, potentially saving you hundreds of pounds you could add to your honeymoon!

For more info please contact me, Ryan at Twilight Bars, or Tracy at Simply Exquisite.

I look forward to hearing from you!




(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) che ballard mobile bars offer simply exquisite tracy's candy cart & vintage tableware hire twilight bars wedding photography Sun, 16 Feb 2014 09:36:58 GMT
Butcher Babies Butcher Babies - Norwich Waterfront 12/02/14


Second support on The Defiled's recent tour were LA's Butcher Babies. Musically they didn't leave much of an impression, but they put on a good show and knew how to work the audience. They may have enjoyed a lot of their press exposure due more to exposure of certain...assets than any outstanding musical ability, but they did rock pretty damn hard and seemed genuinely excited to be on stage.

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) Carla Harvey Chrissy Warner Heidi Shepherd Henry Flury Jason Klein butcher babies Sat, 15 Feb 2014 15:42:09 GMT
The Defiled The Defiled - Norwich Waterfront Studio 12/02/14


Managed to catch the Defiled on Wednesday night at Norwich Waterfront studio. Support acts The Killing Lights and Butcher Babies weren't really my cup of tea, but The Defiled were in a different league. I must admit I was actually surprised to see them upstairs in the compact "Studio" rather than on the larger stage downstairs, but by the looks of things a great time was had by all. If there's any justice they'll be back in a bigger venue with better supports next time.

The Studio is not my favourite place to shoot; there isn't the luxury of a photopit, and I'm far too and jaded to be shoving my way to the front to get a shot, but beggers can't be choosers.

Shot mostly at 3200 Iso, 250 sec as they were pretty energetic.

There should be a review up on R13 in the near future, but for now here's a selection of pics...


·  Sleeper
·  As I Drown
·  The Resurrectionists
·  New Approach
·  Black Death
·  No Place Like Home
·  Blood Sells
·  Unspoken
·  Five Minutes

·  Encore:

·  In The Land Of Fools
·  Call To Arms


(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) Aaron Curse Needles Stitch D The AvD Vincent Hyde the defiled Fri, 14 Feb 2014 18:03:18 GMT
Skindred 22/01/14 Skindred - Norwich UEA LCR 22/01/14


I first got the chance to see Skindred back in 2011 at Norwich Waterfront, and remember being incredibly impressed with their live show, particularly frontman Benji Webbe; whether it be bouncing round the stage in more outfits than a Madonna show, or cheekily insulting members of the audience, the man just doesn't stop. Given Benji's charisma (and the quality of the music, naturally) it's no surprise that this time round Skindred have managed to fill out the larger UEA LCR venue.

Skindred played a great set featuring tracks from all their releases, including three tracks from latest release "Kill The Power" (which hadn't actually been released at the time of the gig), as well as a mad as f**k DJ set which included snippets by bands like House Of Pain, Beastie Boys, Prodigy and, er Queen. Plenty of smiling faces in the audience as well as whirling clothing, including bras, when Benji gets the audience to perform the now legendary "Newport Helicoptor"...

In terms of live shows, Skindred were bang on the money, and I definitely suggest you check 'em out if you get the chance, but for photographic purposes it was a bit of a let-down; usually the lighting at the UEA is better than the Waterfront, but the use of a buttload of blue LED lighting caused some nasty blue hotspots in many of the images. Oh well, it wouldn't be a gig if I didn't complain about the lighting.


(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) Arya Goggin Benji Webbe Dan Pugsley Dan Sturgess Mikeydemus dub war gig kill the power live skindred Mon, 27 Jan 2014 18:41:07 GMT
SOiL 22/01/14 SOiL - Norwich UEA 22/01/14


The last time I saw SOiL live was back in 2011 when they were supporting Puddle Of Mudd at the Waterfront in Norwich. They'd just reunited with original vocalist Ryan McCombs and were on a UK tour celebrating the 10th Anniversary of their "Scars" album. Officially Ryan was still in Drowning Pool at the time, and the tour was a one-off but, while interviewing the band, I got the impression that it may become a more permanent arrangement...and so it turned out!

This time supporting Skindred (another band I saw at the Waterfront in 2011) at the larger UEA LCR venue, the band put on a good show. I know the band were pretty jet-lagged, and it was the first night of the tour, but they still managed to put heart and soul into their performance, culminating with frontman Ryan singing/bellowing from amongst the audience throughout "Halo". 

So, the for the first 3 songs was mostly Red and Blue washes and hazy, so not perfect, but I got a few shots I'm happy with.

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) SOiL adam zadel gig live mitch gable norwich uea ryan mccombs tim king Sat, 25 Jan 2014 13:30:31 GMT
Max Raptor First Gig Of 2014 - Max Raptor

2013 was a slow year for me gig-wise. I was so busy doing other stuff I only managed to go and see a couple of bands which is, frankly, a bit pathetic of me. So, this year I have decided to make a concerted effort to get out there and see some cool bands, starting with the tremendous Max Raptor.

I was sent Max Raptor's debut EP 'Portraits' to review a couple of years back, and loved it on first listen (and still do), and in 2012 my eldest son was lucky enough to be in the video for their track "Carolina" (ok, I know, I mention it any chance I get!), so it was nice to see them back at Norwich.

Was a great gig (even if I did end up with a swollen forehead from an accidental mosh-pit clash of heads), Max Raptor are an amazing, high-energy live band. I definitely recommend, nay, insist you go see them if you get the chance!

I went for a gritty Black & White style for most of the photos. Mainly because it suits the style of the band, but it's also pretty much all I shot back when I was studying photography in college, so...any excuse and I go B&W :D

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) ben winnington gig live matt stevenson max raptor mother's ruin norwich waterfront pete reisner portraits wil ray Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:27:18 GMT
Fuji X100s For some time now I've been hankering after one of these bad boys and, after a recent trip to Glasgow during which I crammed my Canon DSLR into my already severely cramped Easyjet hand luggage yet didn't take a single photo (except for a couple that I took with my phone!), I decided it was time to get myself something compact that I could keep on my person at all times.

I haven't used the Fuji X100s for any real shooting yet (I'm waiting for a decent quality SD card to arrive, as I have shedloads of CF cards, but nothing else), but so far I'm really pleased with the quality, even if the controls are taking a bit of getting used to having exclusively used Canon since 2006.

The only downsides I can see so far are the fiddly controls (which I'm sure I'll get used to), the focusing seems a little slow, and Lightroom seems to take forever to read Fuji's RAW files (.RAF) compared to Canon's .CR2

Hopefully I'll get outside to have a play tomorrow, and will post some samples then. Until then here are a couple of photos of the beauty...

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) X100s canon che ballard fuji fuji X100s Sat, 12 Oct 2013 09:38:06 GMT
Bad For Lazarus - BURNT! For the last few years I've been doing a bit of writing for an online music site, and, because Bad For Lazarus are great as well as endearingly mental, I was hoping to stick this review of their new single 'BURNT!' online. Unfortunately, the site I write for have stopped reviewing singles, so, rather than waste the fruits of my attempt at bullying the English language into a half-decent review, I'll have to stick it here instead...

Bad For Lazarus - BURNT!

BURNT!, the new single from hot newcomers Bad For Lazarus, kicks of with a filthy buzzing riff and some funky beats, recalling Jon Spencer Blues Explosion at their most raucous and unhinged. 2 minutes 40 seconds of the catchiest chaos you’ll ever hear, BURNT! Is anything but subtle, and I have no idea what the Hell Rich Fownes (or is it Dominic Knight?!) is on about, but, whatever it is, he sounds pretty foam-mouthed and disturbed about it, and determined to make sure you’re equally perturbed.

BURNT! isn’t subtle and it certainly isn’t pretty, but, it’s some nasty, dirty sounding rock ‘n’ roll that is melodic enough to bear repeated listens, but dangerous enough that you wouldn’t trust it not to try it on with your girlfriend on a Friday night.

Bad For Lazarus have an unerring ability to fuse utter nihilistic chaos with ear-worm catchiness in a way that’s confusing yet satisfyingly addictive. On the results of BURNT! and previous single ‘My Muddle’, I haven't a clue what an entire album from these miscreants will sound like, but I can’t wait to find out.

Here's the video:

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) bad for lazarus burnt! Fri, 23 Aug 2013 07:52:39 GMT
Blast From The Past: HIM 13-03-2010 HIM - Norwich UEA 13/03/2010

A while ago I decided to get rid of my separate blog and just maintain this one. I did back-up all my old posts, but rather than upload the same photos I decided to revisit them and re-edit a few. Whilst going through the photos from this HIM gig I found there were far more than I usually take, many of them unedited. The reason for taking so many was due to the fact that I was hired by HIM's management to get some shots for Sennheiser to use for promotional purposes and given an all access pass to get the shots, so it was too good an opportunity to waste!

Most of the photos on this post have never been seen before. Some are a bit noisy as HIM like it 'moody', which is great for ambience, but not so good for my camera sensor :D

Gas Lipstick was tricky to get a decent shot of as he was hidden behind a perspex screen, so I waited till he came offstage:

Here's the original blog post if anyone's interested (plenty of whinging and moaning about poor lighting as usual)...

HIM @ Norwich UEA13/03/10

I was lucky enough to photograph HIM on the first night of their UK tour on Saturday at Norwich UEA. What began as a simple request for a 3 song photo-pass ended up with me being hired to shoot the band live for a music endorsement. Getting it all organised in time was tricky, and it wasn’t until (literally) hours before the show that everything was formalised.

On my arrival at the venue I could not believe the length of the queue; I’ve been to sold out gigs before, but this was simply incredible and stretched back around several corners. Luckily for me I got to jump the queue as I was due to meet HIM’s production manager, Pasi, as soon as the doors opened at 7. It’s always a little nerve-wracking when you get to the front desk. Is my name on the list? Will I have a pass waiting for me? No need to worry on this occasion as I had been left not one, but two passes. One was my press/photo pass, the other a ‘Working’ pass which, upon display, magically granted access to, well, pretty much anywhere I wanted to go. Awesome! I was then shown around the stage, briefed regarding the type of shots required and then left to explore & get my gear ready.

Whilst in the backstage area I couldn’t fail to notice HIM’s Support band Dommin, who were deeply engrossed in kicking a hacky-sack around. I said a brief hello & asked if it would be ok to take some shots of them on stage and they agreed, which was cool. Judging by their performance I don’t think they’ll be a support band for too long and were charismatic & confident on stage. Plus, any band with a devil-locked vocalist is alright in my book. From a photographic perspective it wasn’t great news, with Dommin’s stage lighting consisting almost solely of  none-too-bright solid washes of red or blue lights, which played havoc with my sensor. Talking to the other two photographers after Dommin’s set, I know I wasn’t the only one hoping HIM’s lighting was going to be an improvement on their opening band’s. It was, but not by much! Good thing I’d been allowed to shoot the entire show & not just the first three songs.

I’d already been warned by Pasi  that they liked it quite dark and, from seeing HIM a few years back at the same venue, I had an idea what to expect. It wasn’t awful, just…challenging. Fortunately I had plenty of time & different angles to try out. I’d also brought two cameras, one with my 17-55mm lens, the other with my L series 70-200mm which meant I could get some nice close-ups of Ville for all the swooning teens (many of whom nearly had landed on my head as they climbed over the barricade & into the photopit). It was a great experience & a real privilege for me to have so much freedom photographically, so major thanks to HIM, their crew & management for that. On the subject of Mr. Valo, he seemed to be enjoying himself, and spent most of the show looking exceptionally chipper. After spending the last few minutes on the side of the stage looking out at the stacked out audience I’m not surprised.

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) Amour Burton Emerson Gas HIM Janne Karppinen Linde Lindström Lipstick Mige Mika Mikko Paananen Puurtinen gig heartagram live screamworks valo ville Thu, 16 May 2013 19:16:11 GMT
I'll Credit You “I’ll Credit You…”

If you are a photographer, the chances are that at some point someone has emailed you with a fantastic, once-in-a-lifetime proposition; usually prefaced with a bit of subtle arse-kissing ie “Lovin’ your work”, or something similar, the sender of the email will then rapidly get down to business; “I love your photo of…..(me/our band/this band etc), and we were wondering if we could use it on…. ( our website/tour poster/t-shirt/album/the front cover of…etc), we will, of course, credit you”. Occasionally you will be told straight out “we don’t have a budget for photos”, but usually the offer of a photo ‘credit’ tacitly implies there is no intention of paying you.

You may assume that musicians are often to blame here, and you’d be right, but any event that you cover may well result in people wanting one of your photos…they just don’t want it enough to pay for it!

There are numerous obvious reasons not to give your work away for free: We all know that photo credits don’t pay the bills, and that giving your work away devalues not just your own work, but the photographic industry as a whole, plus the fact that decent camera equipment is expensive and they sure as shit don’t give it away. In addition to this, you’ll be lucky if you even get the photo credit you were promised in the first place unless you keep hassling for it! That said, allowing people to use your images in exchange for a credit can help get your work viewed by a larger audience than it would otherwise enjoy, which is handy when starting out, and it also gives you the opportunity to build contacts, which is never a bad thing.

So, do you say Yes or No to this magnanimous offer of a photo credit? If you’re a fan of the band in question and are happy to do it for bragging rights then, by all means, go for it. If you’re only interested in cold, hard cash, then certainly not! For me personally, it depends on the situation. How so? Well, if a band just want some live pics for their facebook page then I’m happy to provide low-res images with a small watermark on for free. However, if the photo in question is for a book, CD or DVD that will potentially turn a profit then it’s pretty out of order for anyone to expect to use one of your photos for nothing. After all, everyone else involved, from the band to the printer, will expect recompense, so why should you go without? If they’re still adamant there’s no budget then you should at least be offered generous amounts of swag!

This may sound like a bit of a rant at musicians (well, let’s face it, they’ve been belly-aching for years about people ‘stealing’ their music), but it applies to anyone who wants something for nothing. Remember, if it’s good enough to use it’s good enough to pay for!

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) credit free photo photography Wed, 08 May 2013 14:44:58 GMT
Rival Sons - Cambridge Junction 16/04/13 Rival Sons - Cambridge Junction 16/04/13


I'm a big fan of Rival Sons, and their latest album 'Head Down' is still getting a lot of airplay in our house (even the kids love it, which is a damn sight better than them listening to One Direction), so I jumped at the chance to photograph them when I found they were playing Cambridge Junction.

The place was packed out, and the band put on a great live show, with plenty of movement from frontman Jay Buchanan. The lights have a tendency to be a bit hit-and-miss at the Junction, so, from a photographic perspective, it wasn't perfect, but I'm happy with what I got.

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) Jay Buchanan Mike Miley Robin Everhart Scott Holiday cambridge junction gig live rival sons Wed, 17 Apr 2013 11:47:17 GMT
So Long Digital I find it such a pain having to keep upgrading my PC and photo-editing software to keep up with the demands of digital photography. I toyed with the idea of going back to 35mm, but I have decided that the only real option is to use a Daguerreotype camera. If anyone is interested in my Canon 7D + L-series lenses let me know asap!

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) Mon, 01 Apr 2013 09:32:38 GMT
2012: A Retrospective 2012: A Retrospective


Happy New Year!

2012 was a pretty varied year for me from a photographic perspective, which is just the way I like it. At the beginning of the year I did several Kickboxing/Thai Boxing/MMA shows, which were great fun, and full of action but, unless you print on site, a waste of time from a financial perspective. I also did an MMA portrait shoot for local cage-fighter/gym owner Craig Powell (see previous blog post) which was a lot of fun.


I was lucky enough to get hired for several interesting commercial shoots in 2012, including shooting products for an online store, a butcher’s shop, a village pub and glow-in-the-dark components used in aeroplanes, to name a few. I'm particularly pleased with this portrait of the owner of Perfick Pork in Great Ryburgh near Fakenham, taken with just the strip light overhead and a high ISO.  I highly recommend them for their quality produce!


In previous years I’ve done a fair amount of gig photography, which I love to do, even though it often left me out of pocket. In 2012 I only managed to photograph one band, Adrenaline Mob, who were great. I also got to photograph drum legend Mike Portnoy from the band, which was a real treat. Another high point for me was being allowed to take some shots at Tom Barnes' studio, as he filmed a music video (Carolina) for the awesome band Max Raptor. My son is in the video, and I’m so proud of him for doing it.



Elsewhere in 2012, I had a photo featured in Professional Photographer Magazine, photographed a few weddings, a newborn or two, and I had the sad task of photographing the body of tiny baby that didn’t survive the birth.

Professional Photographer Magazine


Also in 2012 I became a beekeeper, which, along with my kids, has given me plenty of stuff to photograph for my own personal enjoyment. It has also made me keen to purchase a new Canon EF 100mm f2.8L Macro IS USM Lens asap (along with all the other expensive lenses that my wife is convinced I don’t need).

In 2013 I’m hoping to do some creative portrait shoots, with sets, costumes etc and get a few band promo shoots lined up. With a bit of luck I’ll manage to cover a few gigs too. I’m going to attempt to update my blog more often as well! We’ll see…

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) 2012 2013 che ballard commercial photography happy new year photography retrospective Tue, 01 Jan 2013 16:33:33 GMT
Craig Powell - The Den Fight Centre Craig Powell - The Den Fight Centre


I spent an hour or so taking photos of MMA fighter Craig Powell at his gym 'The Den Fight Centre' in King's Lynn today. Craig was a pleasure to shoot and his gym, with its red, padded walls made a great temporary studio. It's also made me want to get back in the gym.


Lighting for this shoot was 2xBowens heads either side of subject and a Canon 580EXII.

Special thanks to Johnson's Baby Oil :D

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) cage fight craig powell mma the den the den fight centre uniting nations Thu, 15 Nov 2012 20:45:00 GMT
Beekeeping pt1: Swarm! Beekeeping part 1: Swarm!

Today I became a Bee-keeper.

I've wanted to keep bees for several years now, but I just never got around to it. I was keen enough to start a bee-keeping course, buy books on the subject and go to a couple (ok, one) meeting in, I think, 2004, but never found the time or confidence to make the leap and buy all the gear and get me some bees. Until now.

This afternoon I happened to be (bee?) looking out of my bedroom window when I spotted a mass of insects flying around in the garden. Initially I just assumed is was gnats, but it soon became obvious that they were far larger than gnats. Taking a closer look I could tell it was a swarm of bees, so I went excitedly to the back door to have a closer look. Just in the space of a few minutes it seemed that there were far fewer bees flying than before, and I felt a bit disappointed that they had flown away so soon. I scanned the sky to see if I could spot the rest, but there was no sign. I then happened to glance at the nearby compost bin...and there they were! A solid cluster of honeybees making their way, one by one, into my compost bin!

It looks like the bees got fed up waiting for me to get a hive and set up home in my compost bin instead.

It's going to be a steep learning curve, but I'm determined to look after my unexpected guests, and I feel honoured that they chose my garden when they swarmed. I'd best get a hive sorted asap!



(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) beekeeping bees compost bin hive swarm Tue, 24 Jul 2012 19:00:00 GMT
Food Shoot Food Photography!

I spent this morning photographing some tasty looking dishes at The Dabbling Duck in Great Massingham for use on their website. I love photographing food, and trying to make it look as appealing as possible. It can be quite challenging juggling multiple lights, and getting things done while the food is at its best. The heat from my flash heads means that it's a race against time when shooting anything that melts.

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) che ballard dabbling duck food food photography great massingham pub Fri, 29 Jun 2012 07:30:00 GMT
Motorhead - Cambridge Corn Exchange Motörhead - Cambridge Corn Exchange 23/11/09


I spent last night shooting rock legends Motorhead at Cambridge Corn Exchange. I very nearly didn’t make it: I received the press pass confirmation email in the afternoon and was due to work in Hunstanton until 7.15 that evening. Fortunately I managed to get home grab my camera bag and leave for Cambridge by 7.50 pm (and I only forgot my wallet!) and made it to the venue just as The Damned were belting out ‘Smash It Up’, a favourite of mine.

After getting my pass (with no problems or need of an email printout for a change) I tried to manoeuvre through the crowds. It was unbelievably busy (and sold out), and people were packed in like hairy, leather-jacketed sardines.  After about ten minutes I finally managed to force my way to the photo-pit and sat down with a few minutes to spare.

The pit was quite luxurious compared to others I’ve seen (I’ve been in photo-pits so tight that I once got my foot stuck!) so, when Motorhead arrived on stage, the other photographers and I could get around pretty easily without getting in each other’s way.

I’ll be honest, even though I’ve been a rock fan for more than 20 years, I’m not that familiar with Motörhead’s stuff, (though obviously I know all their big hits like ‘Ace Of Spades’ and, er…Ace Of Spades ;)) but I had heard that, due to the dry ice, it might be a challenge to get any decent shots. It was certainly tricky to get any contrast, as the fog made everything look washed out and soft, but I’m pretty happy with what I got in the allotted ‘3 songs, no flash’. What do you think?

I would have liked to get some shots of Matt Sorum (at least I assume it was him!) on drums, but the only part of him visible was his hair. Never mind.

(Che Ballard - King's Lynn Norfolk Photographer) kilmister lemmy motorhead Tue, 24 Nov 2009 20:45:00 GMT