Rob Tarren Photography – Review Of 2013

So it’s that time of year when we all look back over the last twelve months to contemplate what went well during 2013.  For me, it’s been a BIG year.  An incredibly positive year.

In December 2012 I made the decision to leave office life behind and put all my efforts into building the photography business I started a couple of years previously.  Heading into 2013 with a calendar full of wedding bookings, going full time was something I clearly had to do.  It’s now December 2013 and looking back it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.

Running your own business is without doubt hard work – I mean really hard work, but amazingly rewarding!  Watching your own business grow from an idea in your head into a company that will see me traveling all over the UK and Europe to do something I’m incredibly passionate about is an unbelievable feeling.  Even more so in a marketplace already flooded with wedding and family photographers.

What I discovered very quickly when jumping from a corporate environment into the world of self employment is that there are no specialised departments to rely on or to help you along the way; you are all of those departments!  I am the Marketing Department, I am the Accounts department, I am the Sales Team, I am Customer Services, I am the Website Designer, I am the Graphic Designer, I am the Mailroom…once you’ve nailed those areas then you can start thinking about being a Photographer!

As you’ll see from some of the shots I’ve posted below, I’ve been lucky enough to capture a wide range of subjects.  From amazing weddings to the beauty of newborn babies, music festivals to motorsport, heck I’ve even donned a surgical robe and photographed an eye surgeon plying his trade in the operating theatre (I won’t post those images in case you’re eating!).  I’ve met some fantastic couples, toddlers, babies and even a few four legged friends doing what I do.  2013 has been a great year and I’m so looking forward to meeting many more amazing people in 2014!

For each day in December I’ve decided to post one photograph from the thousands I have taken in 2013 with a little description as to why they’re special to me, not necessarily technically awe-inspiring, just a few shots that I personally like  –

Day One – Sunset over Lakefest – Dad and daughter enjoying a stunning sunset over the lake at Croft Farm Waterpark during this years Lakefest festival. Mother nature at her very best.

Sunset In Gloucestershire

Day Two – Charlie Chaplin and The Little Girl – I was wandering past this street entertainer in Covent Garden when this little girl came over to sit next to him. She wanted to get a closer look to see what he was up to. I love the smirks on both their faces.

London Street Photography

Day Three – DJ Alfredo, the Master at Work @ Retro Trax – He may not be instantly recognisable to many of you, but DJ Alfredo was a huge influence for the UK house music scene. You may have heard about Danny Rampling and Paul Oakenfold heading to Ibiza in 1987, hearing a new sound and bringing that vibe back to the UK to revolutionise the music scene…this was the guy they heard at Amnesia in Ibiza. To photograph him this close was pretty freakin’ awesome!

DJ Alfredo Ibiza

Day Four – Wedding Breakdancer – Without looking at the rest of the photo set, you may think this is a shot of a wedding crasher whom I’ve caught at the point of impact after being thrown from the balcony above. It’s not. This was a one of Craig’s breakdancing crew that put on a fantastic set at his and Lauren’s wedding in July. Even more impressive is they did it on the hottest day of 2013…in a room with no air con!  Taken at Deer Park Wedding Venue.

Unusual Wedding Photos

Day Five – Engagement Shoot Silliness – I always try and do something a little bit silly with my pre-wedding shoots to ease the nerves and get people used to the camera. Kim and Dean were happy to oblige at Kingscote Barn!

Kingscote Pre-Wedding

Day Six – Time – This was a bit of a throw away shot that actually turned out to be one of my favourites! I was simply testing a couple of settings on the camera and took a quick shot of my watch. There was just something about it I liked…and so did the people on Flickr as it was entered into Flickr Explore.


Day Seven – The Party Is Over – I like this shot that I took at Riverdance in London a few months ago. It reminds me of a short film I watched in the mid 90’s called ‘Loved Up’ about a group of clubbers in the capital city. There’s a scene in the film where a character is chilling out on a roof top, looking over the London skyline after a hard night of partying…exactly what this guy is doing.

London Clubbing

Day Eight – Hadouken at Ettington Park – I tend not to do staged photos at weddings, but when Luke came to me with the groomsmen and asked for a Hadouken shot I was happy to oblige! Firstly, I had to find out what the heck it was! When he explained it was from the Street Fighter game it all became apparent! The shot even made it onto Channel Four’s Sunday Brunch programme (my claim to fame!).


Day Nine – Check Da Cone Band Shoot – I first met Matt, Craig, Scott and Jack at Lakefest back in August. Now, given my house music background, people will know I’m not well versed on music played with real instruments…but what I do know is that these guys are good…really good! I caught up with them again in the studio for some band shots. There are more images here – Check Da Cone – but this is my favourite!

Check Da Cone

Day Ten – Belle & Luke – You’ve probably seen this shot of Belle and Luke quite a few times on my website and on my newsfeed…so here it is one more time!

Ettington Park Wedding Photos

Day Eleven – Caitlin – The lighting setup at festivals can be an absolute nightmare to work with. Harsh reds and blues can give some really expressionless flat faces…but if you shuffle your feet to get in the right position it can work really well like this shot of fiddler Caitlin Barrett, love the moody colours!  Check out Caitlin’s band The Roving Crows here.

Caitlin Barrett

Day Twelve – Technology v Art – I took this shot at the Tate Modern, the little boy is sat playing a game on his iPad. I’m not really sure he even knew where he was. It made me wonder if he would have sat on the chair and looked at the art in the days before we had so much mobile technology at our fingertips?

Tate Modern

Day Thirteen – Missing Andy – I got a few shots of the band just after their set at this years Lakefest. I wanted to get the texture of the clouds in the shot instead of just a backdrop of the tent, so what you probably don’t realise is that I’m led flat on my back for this one! Check out their band page here – Missing Andy.

Missing Andy Band

Day Fourteen – Sunset Over Hyde Barn – I keep raving on about the sunset at Hyde Barn ever since I once drove past the venue and saw the sky lit up with an amazing burning orange light. I was pretty chuffed that the weather gods obliged for Alisa and Andy’s wedding and gave us a gorgeous sunset to watch.

Hyde Barn Wedding Sunset

Day Fifteen – Stage Intruder – When it comes to festivals, the stage managers are pretty strict on who can and can’t access the stage areas (well, that is what they’d paid to do!). Togs are supposed to stay in the pit at the front of the stage, but the Chip Shops Boys were rocking the crowd, so I wanted to get a stage shot from the drummers point of view. My ninja skills worked admirably, no one spotted me sneak up for this shot!

Chip Shop Boys

Day Sixteen – Stef – We had a bit of a mess around in the studio a couple of months back and arranged a shoot with Stef (our model for the day), Lucy (makeup) and Sandie (hairstylist). This was my fave of the day! Huge thanks to Matt for letting us use his studio for the afternoon!

Fashion Photography Cheltenham

Day Seventeen – Joshua, Tanya and Giles – I won’t spoil this shot with a description, I think it’s clear to see why it’s one of my favourites!

Newborn Family Photography

Day Eighteen – Hugs – I caught this shot as I was walking past the Karen Millen shop on Regent Street in London. A spontaneous moment of affection captured forever! Everyone needs a hug every now and again!

London Street Shots

Day Nineteen – Skinny Dipper – Photographing a wedding should be about capturing the celebration of two people who have fallen madly in love with each other. But every now and again it’s about capturing a naked man running away from a space hopper and jumping into a lake.

Dumbleton Hall Wedding Photos

Day Twenty – A Reassuring Hand – I do love this shot. It doesn’t look very ‘weddingy’ and I’m sure people will prefer lots of other shots I took during the day, but it was lovely moment when Marie-Claire put a reassuring hand around Lucy to help calm her nerves on her big day.

Bridal Preparation Shots

Day Twenty One – In The Mix – I’m going to sound old now, but in this day and age of festival DJ’s it’s always nice to see some stick to the roots of the scene and continue to mix with good old fashioned Technics and a piece of vinyl! Unfortunately, I don’t know the name of this DJ, but I like this shot in the way he appears out of the darkness to cue up the next record. Taken at the High Definition Festival in Essex.

Technics DJ

Day Twenty Two – Photo Booth Fun – This is the shot that stands out from all the photos I’ve taken using my photo booth backdrop. The look of horror/disgust/embarrassment on the babies face says it all! You can only assume he’s trying to say “Mum, dad, why in gods name have you put this pink thing on my head? I swear, if you ever show this photo to anyone I will never speak to you again!”

Photo Booth Props Gloucestershire

Day Twenty Three – Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay – I love Padstow, we’re lucky enough to be able to stay in the cottage owned by Amey’s boss in the centre of the town. Once the daily masses have disappeared in their tourist buses it becomes a sleepy, chilled out place to relax, wind down and watch the boats come and go…just like this lady was doing.

Padstow Harbour

Day Twenty Four – Just Browsing – I like the composition of this shot (even if I do say so myself!). It was taken at the Southbank Centre Book Market in London way back in January. The contours of Waterloo Bridge draw you into the image.

Southbank Book Market

Day Twenty Five – Sunset Over The Malverns – If you know me, you know I love a good sunset…and as sunsets go they don’t come much better than this! This was from Lauren and Craig’s wedding at Deer Park earlier this year. I genuinely felt sorry for dragging Craig up the hill on the hottest day of the year just minutes after he’d just done a really intense breakdancing set with some of his old mates. But I’m glad we did it with a view like this!

Deer Park Weddings

Day Twenty Six – George In The Sink – It was highly unlikely I would get through my favourite shots of 2013 without an image of a cat! So here is a rather sheepish looking George who had just snuck his way into the bathroom and stealthily hopped into the basin. He’s not allowed in the bathroom so the guilty look on his face says it all!

Cats In Sinks

Day Twenty Seven – Martha & Bunny – I only took this shot a couple of weeks ago but it’s definitely one of my favourites of 2013!  The fabulous little Martha who posed perfectly during mum and dad’s pre-wedding shoot (and during the ceremony itself) looked adorable lost in a sea of autumnal leaves.

Great Tythe Barn Wedding Fair

Day Twenty Eight – Violet and Eliza – I’ve tried to avoid picking out any of my newborn and family shots to use as my favourites because I absolutely love every single one of them! But this is a special one because Violet was the first little newborn baby I photographed, so it was lovely to see her again as a proper little lady!

Cheltenham Kids Photos

Day Twenty Nine – Centre Of Attention – The little ones at weddings always provide plenty of amusing photo opportunities and Amber was no exception! She let me know when she wasn’t quite ready to have her photo taken during the day, but was also very keen to let me know when the time was right! The shot in the doorway was one of the moments when she gave me the green light to snap away!

Wedding Photographer Abbeymead

Day Thirty – First Dance – One from Belle & Luke’s first dance at Ettington Park. Everybody watching with wonder as this pair pull off some moves that wouldn’t look out of place on Strictly Come Dancing. Everybody that is except Ali, who pensively looks like he’s thinking “Bollocks, Clare will be expecting me to bust some moves like this for our first dance”.

Ettington Park Wedding Prices

Day Thirty One – The Boss – This is a rare photo of Amey actually looking at the camera, she’s not a fan of me taking her picture, hence she was hiding behind a pillar when I got this one! She’s backed me throughout this year, driven all over the place to wedding venues to help me do reccy trips, helps set up my studio kit, reviews endless photo slideshows, proof reads work for the business and has supported me through this hair-brained idea of mine to set up my own business. I’ve been a miserable sod for the last four or five years, but this year I’ve had a beaming smile on my face because of her help

Candid Photography