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It’s the day of the wedding

May 19th 2018. A great day for a wedding. I’m up early, enjoying a peaceful coffee while I go over this afternoon’s photography in my mind, so that I’m all ready for Jon and Mariona. I know there are other weddings going on today, my my focus will be on this special couple getting married in Oxford. The sun is out already, the forecast is great and I’m looking forward to an amazing afternoon. I’d like to wish great happiness for all couples getting married today, but particularly for Jon and Mariona. May they have many blissful years ahead of them.

Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?

For the past two or three weeks I’ve been using the new link road near us for my commute to work, and every morning I see this tree. And every morning I think that it’s just a bit of fantastic view, this one tree with the yellow rape seed in the background. Of course when I’m driving it’s gone in a flash, but still.

So this morning I went out there. And on a sunny day like today it was well worth dragging myself out of bed before anyone else in the family was properly awake. Because I wasn’t whizzing past in a car I was able to stop and really enjoy it. Even the noise from traffic on the neighbouring A34 didn’t spoil it. So I hope you like the view as much as I did. And I hope we all enjoy the rest of this bank holiday weekend.

More options are on the way

I’m a little bit excited right now, having just ordered my first photo printer. It’s just a little one, so it’ll be nice and portable. So if I’m taking photos at a party or similar, I’ll be able to produce some prints on the spot.

So now if you want pics taking at a party or event I can offer

  • Photos on the day

Pros: prints available at the event to increase the fun and share with guests
Cons: printing time reduces time I can spend taking photos; added costs of prints

  • Edited photos supplied on after the event on a memory stick

Pros: photos can be tweaked to give optimal results; keeps costs down
Cons: Have to wait for the photos

As you can see each option has pros and cons, so you can always opt for a mix of both – a little bit of printing on the day (perhaps to give guests a little souvenir or to display to parents picking children up?) followed up by the full set of processed images supplied on a memory stick so that you can print more and share as much as you wish?

Either way, having In Any Event Photography can always add a little extra fun to your event, whether you want instant results or not. I can set up a special photo area for fun shots (I can provide a background and props) or I can take photos of the event, capturing natural shots of the fun unfolding. Or I can do a bit of each. My prices are reasonable, I’ll adapt to your needs to give you what works best for you, and I offer a good, friendly service. And of course I’m fully insured. So don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re having a party or special event and would like any photos taking.

 

 

 

A little East Coast road trip

Oh my, this time last week I was in New York. All packed up and ready to come home, but I was there. We’d had a great couple of weeks in America despite rain, fog and even snow. I took plenty of pics, of course, after all there’s always something to see. But I was a good mum and made sure I included family snaps as well as the sights. It was actually nice to have a chance to photograph my daughter. I took hundreds of shots of her when she was young, and she was always ready with a cheesy grin. But no she’s growing up she’d a bit more self-conscious and as likely to frown as to smile when I point the camera at her. But it’s different on holiday, isn’t it? Anyway, here are a dozen pics of my lovely young lady, and one of a much older lady we saw on our travels, in what was one of favourite pics from the holiday.

 

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Party time

I’ve been having a play this weekend with Pic Collage. It’s tag line is “party with your photos” and that’s just what I’ve doing. I’ve used party photos to make a set of collage photos, one using photos from more grown up parties, one with photos from children’s birthday parties, and one with “photo booth” style pics with props to dress up with. It’s been a lot of fun and I hope you’ll like them.

First the grown ups:

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Then the children:

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And lastly the dress up/photo booth photos:

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Of course I must say thanks to everyone that’s allowed me to share photos of them (or their children) online. I hope you like the collages. Please remember everyone that if you’re planning a special party whether it’s for children or grown ups, do consider letting me do some photography for you. I can take photos to document the party itself, showing the celebrations and guests (young or young-at-heart) having fun, or I can set up a photo area and become part of the party entertainment. Either way I’ll give you good service and value. Just get in touch using the form below, or by email to sam@inanyeventphotography.co.uk if you’d like to discuss.

Party on, dudes!

 

Has Spring sprung?

So the first day of Spring eh? Could have fooled me.

To be fair it’s not just been the cold that’s kept me at home the past few days, my daughter has tonsillitis. I’m getting impatient to be out taking photos, so have been looking at ViewBug for inspiration. I’m trying to look for photos like this to make me feel warm inside, rather than ones like this – gorgeous as he is I’m feeling cold enough already.

To brighten us all up though, as a special Spring offer I’m pleased to offer 25% off any booking confirmed by the end of April 2018, and taking place by Sunday 23rd September  2018 (the start of Autumn). So if you’ve got an event coming up – hop to it and get in touch (use the form below or email sam@inanyeventphotography.co.uk) to discuss how I can help.

 

Happy Mother’s Day

I got taken out for breakfast this morning, which was lovely. A touch too chilly to sit comfortably outside at the Waterfront, Benson, but not far off. Full up on sausage, bacon, egg, baked beans, black pudding and toast we went for a stroll round the castle grounds at nearby Wallingford. Back at home this afternoon it’s been a quiet afternoon for me, while the rest of the family play games and soon we’ll be having a some lovely roast beef and yorkshire puddings.

If you’re looking to arrange a treat (or an extra treat!) for your mother, it’s not too late to get in touch and arrange for some photos. Maybe she’d like photos of her family, or of herself? Either way let me know if you’d like some relaxed photos taking.

And of course, let me say an extra special thank you to my own Mum for everything she’s done over the years. Love you and Hope you’ve had a lovely day  xx

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Party, party, party

 

Do you have a birthday or other party coming up? How about having some photo booth style pics taken? Popular with adults and children alike, it can add to the fun and give you a lot of happy pics to giggle over and remember the event by. Photos make great little keepsakes to give to guests as little thank yous of course.

I can run this service alongside a disco, or other party activity. And while I’m there I can always take photos of other party activities such as blowing out the candles. Or I can just concentrate on the party if you don’t want a photo booth. Either way, if I’m at your party I’ll get you some great pics while you concentrate on having fun.

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This has been a popular activity at recent events, and clients have been very happy with the outcome.

Thank you so much for all your hard work tonight Sam!!! You’re a star!!!!!

I love this pic!

If you provide the venue and guests I can bring backdrop and props, and photo kit of course! I’ll take plenty of photos then get you a set of digital files asap for you to share, email, print etc as much as you like.

So if you’re in the mood for a party then please get in touch – I look forward to hearing from you.

Spring in my step

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The wind might have been chilly, but it was nice to see a bit of sunshine this afternoon. Had a quick trip to the park after pick up from school, and a walk down to pick up train tickets from the station. I loved these big blue sky and fluffy clouds. And the train tickets? Well we’re going to the Big Bang Fair next weekend – hopefully all the science will lead to some interesting photos? Come back and have a look soon.

 

Art and craft

We had a visit to the River and Rowing Museum at Henley today. Partly to get out of the house and partly because I wanted to see the Barbara Hepworth and yarn bombing exhibitions there.

Daughter is growing up enough to want to look round parts of the museum on her own (so she looked at Wind in the Willows while I looked at the Barbara Hepworth bit) but not too grown up for a touch of dressing up, even if she looks grumpy about it. And definitely not too old for a family selfie (with the held of a wide angle lens) in the cafe.

Fingers crossed

Have you seen ViewBug? I’ve not been there in a while, but somehow wandered that way this evening. They have some beautiful photos over there. Truly. They also have photo contests. So tonight I’ve chanced my luck and had a go. Seven goes to be exact. So wish me luck!

 

Photo booth fun!

I know some of you have been waiting to see photos from the “photo booth” at the school disco. Thank you for your patience, but I had to wait until I’d got permissions from parents to share photos of their children. I hope you’ll appreciate it’s important that I respect privacy, especially when the photos are of children.

But now I can share – yay! I’ve only selected a few, which was a tough job as the children all looked so great. But I hope you like them. And if you’d like a similar experience at your next party then get in touch.

Gallery: School Photo booth

 

A cold winter’s night

My friend Claire is studying photography. We decided it would be a great idea to have an evening taking photos together. A night photography shoot. We thought it’d be safer to work together, being out after dark. And more fun.

We didn’t fully think it through though. We went out tonight in the freezing cold. It was snowing as we arrived. So it ended up not being a very long shoot as we were getting numb. But I reckon we managed about 50 minutes, so not a total disaster.

Thank you for the company Claire. And the lifts. We must do it again sometime. But in better weather.

Signs of Spring

I was pleased to see some signs of spring yesterday. I spotted these little flowers at the Civic Centre yesterday. It meant getting right down to ground level, and getting mud on my knees. But I didn’t mind. Sadly I wasn’t happy with my snowdrops photos. So if you know of somewhere that has splendid snowdrops right now, please let me know.

Blowing my own trumpet

Sorry, I admit it I’m boasting a little. But I got a lovely email this morning:

I’m just emailing to let you know that your lovely photo of Norwich market is our reader photo of the day winner

Now maybe Norwich’s Eastern Evening News isn’t an internationally acclaimed publication, but it’s nice to see one of your photos win its way into print. So forgive me if I’ve got a slightly smug grin today. And please remember me when if you’d like some photos – get in touch with the form below and I’ll do my best to make your photos into winners too.

Norwich Valentines

I know, Valentine’s day was last week. But I was away, and then poorly. Took daughter to Norwich for most of the half-term holiday. And we were there for Valentine’s day, which meant she had a visit from Father Valentine.

This is a tradition local to Norfolk perhaps even just to Norwich? He used to visit me and my siblings when we were small. A knock at the door, or a ring at the bell. Who could it be? Nobody there, but a small parcel left on the step. This might happen a number of times, until all the children had a few small trinkets. Maybe a notebook, or some crayons. A fancy pencil sharpener or rubber. Some sweets perhaps. And always when Mum, Dad or someone was out for a bit. They’d be sad to have missed the excitement of course.

And now he visits my daughter. He has visited her at our home in Oxfordshire, in London, in Norwich, and even posted her some presents when she was on holiday in Cumbria last year. She’s 10 now, but still very game for a few extra presents.

As well as that fun, we visited Waterloo Park and took part in a Valentine trail, which won my daughter a free ice cream. And I had some time taking photos in the city centre. Not only did we visit the Britannia Cafe in Waterloo, we had an impromptu visit up to the their HQ on Britannia Road. But as it was unplanned I didn’t have any photo gear with me. Still that’s now top of my list for my next visit to Norwich. In the meantime I hope you like this set of pics.

 

Black cats

I’ve been a bit under the weather this weekend and spent some time browsing the BBC news app on my phone and came across this story about people not wanting black cats because they’re not so photogenic. What tosh! Now I admit it can be a challenge to get a perfect picture of my black cat, Midnight, especially when he’s all curled up and got his eyes closed. Often the photo can come out too black and flat, without showing enough detail to make a decent picture. This is especially true when snapping a quick pic with my phone’s camera. But often he comes and settles on me and my main camera is out of reach. Or if I can get at it, he perks up and moves about too much, or worse still tries to play with it and fight the strap or lens cap. However I don’t give up and keep trying to capture his handsomeness. I’ve not got it tight yet, but that means I just have to keep trying. In the meantime, here are some of my attempts…

Wedding Photography, In Any Event Style

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In the past few days I’ve seen banners and heard adverts for wedding fairs, and read several things in magazines or online with advice about planning weddings. Congratulations to all those people who have a wedding on the horizon – I hope you have a lifetime of love and happiness to come.  One of the things to arrange when planning a wedding is photography – I think most people would agree it’s important to have something special to look back on in years to come.

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Most things to do with weddings can be scaled up or down between the most basic to fantastically elaborate. I’ve seen weddings with no “official” photography, just using snaps taken by guests on their cameras of phones – the danger is that you end up with a bit of a hotch-potch, including some rubbish ones, several OK ones, probably some great ones, but possibly missing some of the pics you’d hoped for. I’ve also seen and heard of weddings where every tiny thing is documented, from the bride surfacing from under the duvet  first thing in the morning, to the last guests leaving late at night. That could give an amazing reportage style to you photo album, but could end up being a bit much and turn your amazing day into a bit of a chore? Most people will aim for somewhere in between, but whatever style of photography you’re after I believe that somethings are fundamental. Therefore, if I am taking photos at a wedding (or any event) I want to make sure I

  • Get the photos you require. Every wedding is different and you may want very formal photography, very informal photography, or a mix. You may have your heart set on getting a particular shot. I’ll do my best to make it happen as you’d like.
  • Keep stress levels down. I want to make sure that on the day you get to finally relax and enjoy yourselves. Therefore I’ll work with you beforehand so that I know what you want and how best to achieve that. I’ll prepare for the planned events, and also be ready to adapt to any changes. I’ll do my best to work smoothly so that the more formal elements of the photography flow well and everyone can enjoy themselves. I’ll try to make everything relaxed and enjoyable, and allow you to have some private moments on your special day. And I won’t keep you hanging around unnecessarily.
  • Give a service that I believe provides good value. Obviously there will be a charge for my services, related to the amount of time I spend with you on the day. But there are no hidden charges or pressure to buy expensive prints or albums. The price agreed will include taking the photos plus editing of photos to make sure you get the best ones, and supply of edited photos on a memory stick with permission to print however many copies you require, produce photo albums or wall art etc. If you do want assistance producing a photo book or album, I will of course be happy to help, though that would lead to an additional cost.

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If this sounds like the kind of service you’re after then please have a look at examples of my work (Amanda and Wesley’s weddingpreparations for Jamie’s wedding, and other examples of my wedding photography) and get in touch (see the form below or give me a call or send an email) so we can discuss your needs. Of course every wedding is different, but the list below shows common areas that people often want including in photographs. I’d be happy to include any or all of these, or to add in anything else that is important for you. So please do have a chat with me and hopefully I can help you get the photos you want, at a price you’re happy with, and without too much stress,

  • Some informal photos of the wedding party, close family etc before the wedding. This may include getting ready and/or posed photos before the ceremony.
  • Some details of the dress, flowers, shoes, accessories, suits details, button holes, transport, invitations, table decorations, etc.
  • Photos during the ceremony, whether that’s at church, registrar’s office, or otherwise.
  • Posed photos of the wedding party and guests after the ceremony.
  • Photos of the reception, including food, drink, wedding party and guests, speeches and cake cutting.
  • Less formal photos during an evening party, showing the dancing, celebrations and fun.

I do hope to hear from you soon, and that In Any Event Photography can help make a great day really special for you.

 

Happy New Year!

Wow it’s 2018, so Happy New Year! I know we’re not quite 24 hours in but I hope you’ve enjoyed it so far, and more importantly that the rest of it is amazing for you! I’m looking forward to making some great images this year of course, and if you’re a photographer then I hope you make some too.

It’s natural at the turn of the year to look back as well as looking forward. I spent part of yesterday looking through photos from 2017. I’ve included a selection of my favourites below. Happy memories.

If you like what you see, then please do:

  • follow my blog to see what I’m doing
  • tell your friends and share this blog
  • get in touch to find out how I can help you with party or portrait photography

Once again, Happy New Year and here’s to a spectacular 2018.

It’s beginning to feel a lot like…

It’s OK I won’t actually say it, just in case you’re not quite ready to admit that it’s only 20 days to go. But I had a day off yesterday and went shopping for presents for my family. And we’re definitely into “chocolate before breakfast” season. And a few random things are beginning to appear around the house. Things that include reindeer, shiny things, elves and Santa.

 

If you are in need of a present for loved ones then please consider having some photos done. It could be photos of the kids for the grandparents, or a family shot to send out with Christmas cards. Whatever you want, there’s still time to do a photoshoot either at your home, looking all cosy, or if we have a good weather day, outside looking all merry and bright.

And of course it’s the party season, so if you are organising a party for friends or work colleagues and fancy getting either some fun shots then I can help with that too.

 

And as it is Christmas – there I’ve said it, I just couldn’t hold it back any longer – I’ll give a discount of ONE THIRD OFF for the next five bookings for photoshoots before the end of the year. So get in touch and let me create a little sparkle for you.

‘Tis the season…

Oh, I do love a good party. And while it’s not yet the season to be jolly, it is the season to be planning. So if you’re planning a party, whether it’s for (sshh!) Christmas, a birthday, an anniversary, or just because, then how about having some photos taken to help you remember it? I took some photos at a 40th birthday party this summer, and the hostess said “it was lovely to know that all of those memories were being captured.” So while some may think it’s an extravagance, if you’ve spent time and money putting on an amazing evening, don’t risk letting the memories fade. Sure, you’ve got a camera on your phone, but you want to dance, eat, chat with friends. And if you’re the host you’ll probably be too busy to focus on taking photos.

So let me catch the highlights, the atmosphere, the smiles, the dancing, the singing, the emotions. While you’re looking after your guests, I can concentrate on getting images that will tell the tale of a fantastic party. As well as the people (posed pictures, candids and action shots), I’ll make sure to include the details such as decorations, lighting, food and drink so that you can relive the big night for years to come.

 

The pictures above are from the party I attended this summer. You can see some more examples of party photos here and here. If you’re interested then send me a message using the form below and I’ll see if I can help. Hope to hear from you soon.

Punch has done dancing

The past six-and-a-but weeks have been great fun. We’ve been to some amazing places, and had great fun with friends and family. We’ve had plenty of trips to the swimming pool and the library. And we’ve we’ve done lots of baking. But all good things come to an end and tomorrow she goes back to school. Not that it’s a bad thing. She’s looking forward to a new class, a new teacher, and seeing her friends.

It worked out that it was St Giles’ fair in Oxford today, so I said we could go as an end of holiday treat. Of course, we went in the afternoon, rather than staying out late, but it made for a fun time all the same. Daughter went on the carousel, the teacups, and the bungee trampolines. We watched the faster rides with wide eyes. We had a few tries at winning teddies and other brightly coloured toys, with no luck, but never mind. We bought a bag of the cheapest candyfloss we could find.

As I said it was fun. But now Punch has done dancing (as my father used to say at the end of a day out or holiday, once the last treats had been had). At least until October half-term.

 

Seeing red

It was a dull, damp, grey kind of day today. So we didn’t go out. I decided that as we would be in the house all afternoon I would cook the braised red cabbage recipe that takes an age in the oven, low and slow. Daughter wanted to do some baking, and I suggested she used the redcurrants we got from pick-your-own on Friday.

So I chopped red cabbage and red onions. Apples and garlic. Layered them all up in a (red) casserole dish with garlic, nutmeg, cloves and sugar. Added vinegar and butter and popped it in a low temperature. I then picked the redcurrants from the stalks while we played a game, and helped daughter make a sweet, lemon, pastry case and bake it blind, and finally make a meringue, fold in the redcurrants, spoon it into the pastry case and bake it. Through all of this I was fueled by plenty of tea, made in my big red teapot and drink from a large red mug. Dinner (sausage, mash and red cabbage, followed by redcurrant meringue pie) was delicious.

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A year gone by, hip hip hooray again

I went to Bunkfest today. The local beer and music festival that I try to go to every year. 2016 Bunkfest was not long after I’d started In Any Event Photography and was features as one of my early blog posts (https://inanyeventphotography.co.uk/?s=bunkfest). Technically, although 2017 was much the same as every other Bunkfest I’ve been to, it felt a bit different because I was with friends, which meant I didn’t want to selfishly stand for hours watching the dancing, trying to get that perfect shot. We did watch the dancing for a while, and I did sneak in a couple of photos, but the main thing was that we had fun, a drink, a bit of shopping (well, mainly browsing), some activities for the kids. As I knew that photography was going to be a lower priority, I didn’t take my full kit, which gave me a challenge: how well can I do without the zoom lens? To start with I felt bereft, but by the end I was relatively pleased. What do you think? Let me know on the form below.

 

 

September already?

Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul…

September 1st, just 5 more days left of the holidays. That’s a little bit sad, because we’ve had a real good time this summer. But all good things come to an end, and I can’t be too sad because I do love autumn. In the (very) near future I’m looking forward to Bunkfest, a torch-lit maze adventure, Oxford Open Doors weekend, and re-starting dance class. Then further afield there’s days out with friends, Hallowe’en, some family birthdays (including mine!), and then the run up to (sshhh!) Christmas.

As well as all of that, I’ve recently had a book from the library called “Digital Photography Month by Month” which suggests a number of projects for each month. So I thought it would be good to try something a bit different and have decided to have a go at one project each month. For September I have chosen to try “Lost and Abandoned”. Keep checking back to see how I get on….

For October I can’t decide between “Autumn pets”, “Playing in leaves”, or “Out of season”. Feel free to tell me which you’d like to see using the comments box below.

Party Time!!

August 19th was a little gap between the 2 parts of my holiday. Which worked out very well as I was asked to take photos at a 40th birthday party. It was a great party, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. I’m hoping to get agreement soon to be able to share some of the photos, but for now all I can is that everyone dressed for the 80s theme with real enthusiasm. There were some amazing outfits!

Summer holiday catch up

Oh my word, the summer has just flown by! With visiting friends, days out, holidays and general living (cooking, cleaning, washing etc etc) I’ve been a very neglectful blogger. Time to catch up…

Maddfest

Each year some good friends are kind enough to invite us, along with other friends, for a long weekend at their house. This always leads to a lot of laughter, fun and games, accompanied by an amount of horseplay, good good and drink, and a hefty dose of catching up with old friends. There is always a fire, a walk along the river to the pub, and more often than not the games include some poker once the kids are in bed. This year had the added fun of a visit to Peterborough Cathedral and the local raft race, including a kids race for mini-rafts which the kids entered.

 

Arboretum

Had a fantastic morning out with friends visiting the Harcourt Arboretum, just South of Oxford. We had a sunny morning for a lovely walk, seeing piggies, building a den, looking for mushrooms and being badgered by peacocks.

 

Holiday

A holiday of two parts really. Part one was a visit to Arundel, including trips to the seaside (Littlehampton), the wetlands centre, the castle and cathedral. After a weekend back at home, daughter and I then went up to East Anglia, to go to Colchester Zoo with friends, then stayed with them (and celebrated a birthday) before going to Norwich to see family. All very lovely. Thankfully I had just got a new rucksack style camera bag, so I could carry kit around with ease and therefore take plenty of pictures.

Part 1

Part 2

3 and a bit hours of heaven

I have a membership card for Oxford’s Botanical Gardens and Arboretum (https://www.botanic-garden.ox.ac.uk/) and I used this yesterday to visit the Botanical Gardens. I was there for a little over 3 hours, alternating between taking photos and sitting on benches doing puzzles. Some parts of the garden were very tranquil, other bits were rather noisy. Especially down by the river where several groups of students and tourists were out punting. The volume of traffic, coupled with the inexperience of some of the participants caused several clunks as boats collided, accompanied by a few cries of exclamation. There was also a general load bubble of chatter under all of that. Somehow though I managed to blank most of that out, like a kind of white noise, and just soak up the delights of the garden. I’ve been there several times now, but mostly off-season. So it was wonderful to see it full of blooms, and colour. If you have any interest in looking at gardens, I thoroughly recommend a visit. As well as the outdoor areas there are great big glasshouses, with collections of various type of plant. Which worked particularly well for me as it was showery. All in all it was a very pleasant afternoon and I was sorry to have to leave. But there’ll be another time, and in the meantime I can look at some pretty pictures.

While the cats are away…

I’m having a few days home alone this week, my husband and daughter having gone to visit his family. My plans while they are away included getting out with my camera. My family are remarkably patient on days out, letting me have some time to go off for a bit with my camera, or bearing with me while I fiddle with settings. But there are limits, and however indulgent they are, I always feel guilty that I’m holding up proceedings, so often rush things along. So I was really looking forward to a chance for some uninterrupted photography yesterday, being able to take the time to experiment, adjust settings, and wait for the right moment, without worrying about anyone else.

I was rather disappointed therefore that it was a grey, overcast day. Very dull. Not particularly inspiring weather for a day out with lots of photos. However, such conditions can be made to work for some subjects, including architecture. I’ve been wanting to capture some of the architectural details in Oxford for some while, so I took this opportunity to potter around, at liberty to go where I chose, and to take whatever photos I liked. I started in Radcliffe Square, and I admit that the Camera there is hardly a detail, but it is a fine sight. And after that I followed my nose, and the occasional whim. It was a very enjoyable day, though I was somewhat weary by the end, and some of the results are shown below. I hope you like them and, if you know Oxford, enjoy playing “where is that?”

 

Of course, there’s plenty more to be seen in Oxford. Hopefully I will get another chance like this soon. If you have any suggestions of where I should go then please let me know.

Pan-tastic!!

Over the years I have taken a LOT of photos. But one thing I’ve never done before is panning, the technique of moving the camera at the same speed as a moving subject, so that the subject remains in focus but the background is blurred by the camera’s movement. This keeps the subject clearly visible while giving a sense of movement to the picture.

Last night I went out with my daughter’s Brownie pack, who were grass sledging. I positioned myself about halfway down the hill and watched the girls whizz past. Maybe whizz is a bit optimistic. They wouldn’t have a chance in a race against a bobsleigh, but the girls said it felt fast to them. And it was a good speed for a would-be panner. Fast enough to get that sense of speed, but slow enough to be able to follow without too much difficulty.

Of course some pics were better than others. But I just want to share my most successful panned shot of the evening. And now I need to find some other moderately paced subjects to keep practising.

Half term fun

Last week was half term and we had lots of fun. We had fun dressing up on a visit to the River and Rowing Museum, had two wildlife encounters at Crocodiles of the World and the UK Wolf Conservation Trust, saw scarecrows in East Hagbourne, and visited family in Norfolk and Suffolk. One day was spent seeing extended family, including some that I hadn’t seen in a long, long, time. This was lovely and we went down memory lane visiting the village where my Mum grew up and the church where she married my Dad. Then we had another family meeting, but this time with the younger generations – my niece and nephew and their partners and children. I even persuaded the youngest members of the family to sit together on the sofa for a couple of minutes.

The next couple of weeks are looking busy too. There’s the East Hagbourne fete on June 10th, our school fete on the 17th, and let’s not forget that a special young lady has a birthday next week too. So no doubt I’ll have plenty more to post soon.

That’s the way to do it!

Phew, it’s hot today! Though I’ve cooled off somewhat since having a water fight with my daughter.

The sunshine makes me want to get outside and take photos. Particularly photos of you. Yes you! Because while you may worry that you’ll look feel awkward or look awful, I know that everyone has the potential to look MAGNIFICENT in a photo. Yes you read that right MAGNIFICENT. It just needs a bit of effort, but that needn’t come from you. I firmly believe that people look their best when they feel relaxed and comfortable. So that’s where the effort comes in – it’s MY task to help you feel at home. Which is why I suggest coming to your home. And while I’m afraid I draw the line at spring cleaning for you, I can help you find a spot that looks the part for taking portraits of you and your family. Or just your family if you insist, but ideally we’ll go through a few alternative shots to get a variety of arrangements. including you and the kids, the kids on their own, and maybe even just you?

So let me work with you, let me do the work while you relax, let me find the look where you (and your family) look magnificent. There’s just one bit where the effort has to come from you – you need to get in touch with me to get the ball rolling. But that’s easy enough – you see the form below? Just fill it in and hit submit. Now that is the way to do it.

A goose on the loose

Life’s been busy recently, but lots of fun. As the weather has (kind of) been getting better we’ve had a few family days out, and of course I’ve taken lots of photos. We went to The Vyne, a National Trust property neat Basingstoke at the weekend, and I was lucky enough to get up close to some robins and some geese. Several mother geese and their babies were running around on the grass down by the lake and I braved the copious amounts of goose poop to get down to their level to watch and take photos. I did get hissed at a bit, but it was worth it.

Other highlights of recent days out have included duck racing at Blewbury, playing i-spy in Oxford, seeing dragons in West Hagbourne, and the bluebell woods at Harcourt Arboretum. And I’ve got high hopes for the coming weeks too. Hopefully we’ll get some even better weather as I’m looking forward to seeing scarecrows, going to summer fetes (look out for me taking photos at the East Hagbourne fete on June 10th), and celebrating my daughter’s 10th birthday.

With a little that will give me lots of chances to get some great photos. And I’m itching to try the new filters I bought recently. Keep checking back to see what happens.

Exciting times

I got to meet the newest addition to my extended family this weekend. This meant lovely new baby cuddles, which was wonderful. And catching up with the family gave me an opportunity to sneak in a few photos, which is always good.

Added to this, I’ve got a double opportunity coming up next week: the chance to take photos of two gorgeous young sisters, and photographing a celebratory morning at a local preschool. So watch this space to see how things turn out…

 

Mothering Sunday Special Offer

Mothering Sunday is only three weeks away. But there is time to either get some special photos of the kids done as a gift for their mum, or to make a booking for a portrait session for her, if you think she deserves a chance to be the centre of attention?

Mother’s Day portrait session available at special price of £40 – children’s portrait session to take place by 25/03/17, mum’s portrait session to be booked by 25/03/17 and to take place by 31/05/17. Price includes 1 hour photography session in either your home or mutually agreed location, travel within 10 miles of Didcot, processing of photos and supply on memory stick so that you may print as you wish.

Please get in touch to discuss and make a booking.

Spring has sprung

So it’s March. It’s still a bit nippy when the wind blows (and boy, it can blow!) but this morning the sun was out and it felt good. I think memories of winter will be soon gone.

Thank goodness. All through the winter photography has seemed harder. I took plenty of photos of pretty lights etc at Christmas, but otherwise it’s been too cold, dark, wet. I’ve huddled inside looking at books and websites, but not been out and about much. Yesterday I answered a question posed by N-photo magazine on their facebook page – “Do you shoot all week, or wait for the weekend?” I commented that there is limited time in the week, so I mostly shoot at weekend, but that as the nights pull out I hope to get out one evening each week. Watch this space to see how that works out.

I went into town to meet a friend for coffee this morning, and grabbed the camera before I left the house. Had no particular plans of what I might photograph, but after saying yesterday that I do most of my photography at weekends, I kind of felt that I ought to do something. So I carried my camera around town, and had coffee with my friend, and still hadn’t taken anything. But then on the way home I spotted spring flowers growing here and there. In among the herbs growing in a display in town. Outside the fire station. Outside the civic centre. So I took some photos after all. Spring has sprung. Life is good.

 

Vegas Baby!

IAEP had a little holiday last week! A 1000+ mile roadtrip through America. After a brief look at the Pacific coast at Santa Monica, we drove through miles and miles of desert, had a great experience with off-road driving to an abandoned mine in Death Valley, had a couple of nights in the fun-but-crazy world of Las Vegas, saw the Hoover Dam, marveled at the wonder of the Grand Canyon (in both the sun and the snow), and enjoyed the beautiful red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. Quite a way in one week, but what an experience! We traveled on the musical road, saw an aircraft graveyard, had lunch in a ghost town, saw more stars in the sky than I’d ever seen before thanks to the lack of light pollution in the desert, went to Paris, New York, Venice and Rome all in one day, won and lost a little in the casinos, learned about atomic bomb testing, traveled along route 66, saw sunrises and sunsets, and some of the world’s best rock formations.

I did of course, take plenty of pictures. That meant taking camera, lenses, and tripod, which was a lot to carry. But well worth it I think. I hope the small selection of photos below makes you agree.

So enjoy the gallery, but remember that I’m back from holiday now, and now that the jet lag is clearing I’m charged up and ready to take some photos. So please use the contact form below to get in touch if there’s any I can take for you.

 

 

All you need is love?

It’s February and therefore the shops are full of hearts, cards, chocolates and over-priced roses. No doubt florists (and garages), restaurants (from Michelin starred to greasy spoons), and chocolate sellers (both Hotel Chocolat and Tesco) will do a roaring trade over the next week. In some households – largely in and around Norwich – children will be looking forward to a visit from Father Valentine. But largely Valentine’s Day is noted for romance and displays of affection.

Some, of course, will say “Humbug” to all this – and yes the cynic in me agrees that you don’t need to be told to show your feelings on one particular day of the year. But if we don’t do it now, then lets all make sure we do make some gesture of love and devotion at another time. It’s easy in a busy world to keep putting things off and end up missing the (love) boat altogether.

Whenever you do it, please don’t feel you need to spend a fortune to demonstrate affection. A packet of favourite sweets, a bunch of daffs, a cup of tea and a slice of cake, a couple of hours to read a book in peace, a note left for you to find, a lie in after a night out, a lie in just for the sake of it, a long, soothing cuddle, a good smooch, a shared bag of chips at the seaside, a hot bath run with bubbles and candles and a chance to soak without interruptions, the chance to indulge in whatever activity you love, but never get to do enough, for a couple of hours. All of these things can show love and none of them need cost more than a pound or so.

Whatever you do this Valentine’s Day, do it with love. And let that loving feeling continue through the year. Maybe, to quote Charles Schulz, all you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.

Looking forward…

I don’t know how you’ve felt, but I’ve found the past few weeks a bit cold and grey, and a bit lacking in get up and go. If you’ve felt like that then I hope that this injection of bright yellow pulled out of my archives makes you feel a little sunnier. Personally, I’m itching to get out into the world and take some vibrant photos – not had much opportunity for this of late, and when I have had some time the weather has been against me. I hold my hands up there, I’ve been a bit of a fair weather photographer of late. However, I’m getting all keyed up now as I have a little adventure to the US coming up, and I know that when I get back from that we will be heading towards spring and everything will feel a bit better.

So what photos will I be taking? Well I’ve got a couple of bookings on the horizon, and would obviously love to have a few more, so do get in touch! But that aside I hope to try a few new things this year, including some attempts at images of the night sky. I’ve also got some books to give me inspiration for trying new things. I’m also always open to ideas, so please let me know if there is anything you’d like to see or hear about on this blog. I look forward to hearing from y

 

Happy New Year!!!

I hope you all had an amazing time over Christmas, and that 2017 is being kind to you so far. It’s been a damp start to the New Year here, but I’m not going to let that spoil my plans for the year ahead – I’m already looking forward to a bit of travel, a new baby in the family (my great-niece or great-nephew), a special birthday for my Mum, and my daughter reaching double figures when her birthday comes round in summer.

So with a new year to celebrate, and hopefully lots of good times ahead for everybody, let’s get 2017 off to a good start with an In Any Event Photography special offer. The first three photoshoot bookings confirmed in 2017 will receive a discount of £20 off the usual hourly rate, while all others bookings confirmed in January 2017 will receive a discount of £10 off the hourly rate.  This makes it a great time to plan photos of your family, either in the comfort of your home, or at another location if you prefer. Further details of this offer are shown below:

  • First three bookings will receive a £20 discount off the normal hourly rate of £60.
  • All other bookings confirmed in January 2017 will receive a £10 discount off the normal hourly rate of £60.
  • Bookings to be made by end of January to get this offer, with photoshoot taking place by end of March 2017.
  • Hourly rate includes discussion in advance of photoshoot to confirm your requirements, a one hour photoshoot, supply of images (edited if appropriate) on memory stick.
  • Date and time of photoshoot to be agreed.
  • Photos can be taken at your home or another location. Travel within 10 miles of Didcot is included, an additional charge may be made for extra travel.

I hope you’ll find this offer attractive and get in touch soon to discuss your photo requirements. Please look at examples of my work on my blog, and don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions. I am very happy to work with you to get the images you require. But remember bookings must be confirmed by the end of January to get this discount.

Looking towards 2017

I’ve had a little holiday, so am a bit late with Christmas wishes, but I hope you all had a fantastic time! I visited my family and had a lovely time. Not only were there presents – including a new lens for my camera, which has made me very happy – I got to see extended family and old friends, go out for dinner, go to the pub, go shopping, and go to see Norwich’s Christmas decorations. These were pretty cool and mostly light based, in the form of a “tunnel of lights” and images projected onto the Castle and City Hall. With a backdrop of pretty shop displays, and balls of lights hanging in the trees around the market place, this was all very pretty.

Back at home now though, and I’ve been having a bit of  tidy up of this blog. I’ve also been looking back over my photos from 2016  and thinking about what I may do in 2017, as that is almost upon us. I hope it’s going to be a great year for everybody, with plenty of good times for all. I am keen to get out and get using my new lens, and the little mini tripod I received for my birthday back in November. I’d also like to take some photos with you – helping you get some special pictures to help remember your good times. So keep watching and look out for special offers in the New Year!!

Run, run, as fast as you can…

It’s beginning to feel a little like Christmas. Certainly after a weekend that included Christmas shopping, watching The Muppets Christmas Carol, and visiting Hughenden Manor it feels a lot closer to Christmas than it did last week. A lot of this is due to the wonderful atmosphere at Hughenden, with fairy tale themed rooms, beautiful Christmas decorations, and a fun gingerbread man trail -and yes we caught them all. I carried a kit bag full of equipment round all afternoon, but didn’t get anything out other than my trusty Nikon 5300 and 35mm lens. I am finding this happens more frequently, especially when on a family day out, when I don’t want to hold everyone up too much. When I first started using the 35mm prime lens, instead of a zoom, it was very odd. I kept wanting to adjust the focal length and getting very frustrated. But now I love my 35mm. It makes me think more, and move myself into a better spot, rather than simply adjusting the lens. And it has a very wide maximum aperture, which helps of course when photographing indoors, without flash.

Field of Light

Went to Waddeson Manor (National Trust, Buckinghamshire) yesterday to see their Christmas displays. There was also a Christmas market on, which was attracting plenty of people. We arrived mid afternoon, and the place was packed. Once we’d got past the annoyances of parking and crowds it was pretty spectacular. The house itself is very impressive, and once it got to dusk and the special light show kicked in it was amazing to look at. The house was bathed in different colours with accompanying music completing the display. By then it was too dark to appreciate the gardens properly, but the special installation “Field of Light” by Bruce Munro illuminating part of the garden was fantastic to see. Using fibre optics, thousands of lights filled the space. Individually each light was pretty, a small glass sphere with a light inside. Collectively they were stunning, lights stretching into the distance, building up layers of colour. With the changing colours, and the gentle quality of the lights, the whole thing had an ephemeral, magical feel. Unfortunately the house interior has ticketed access with limited numbers, and we weren’t able to go in. But there’s plenty of time for a return visit…

Annual events

The last Thursday in November. Thanksgiving in America. Street Fair in Didcot. For one evening the main street through town closes to traffic, to allow rides and stalls to set up and the crowds to take over. Children look forward to it for weeks. For one evening the street is full of bright lights, rides, tombolas, a ferris wheel, hot dogs, candy floss, entertainment, and crowds of people, young and old, all out to enjoy themselves. It’s an evening where children eat too many sweets, everyone hopes to win something special on the tombola, countless pounds exchange hands in return for a ride on the Ghost Train or the Helter Skelter or the Teacups, ducks are hooked, tat prizes are won, and people have fun. Love it or hate it, it’s definitely a big thing.

Autumn colours

Finally it looks like Autumn! I had a really enjoyable 3 hours at our local arboretum yesterday, pottering about, enjoying the colours, taking photos, talking to the peacocks. In fact one of the peacocks became quite friendly when I opened my camera bag and he thought I was getting some food out for him. He ran over and walked round me a few times before settling right in front of me and having a good old groom. Fantastic.

Remember, remember

I love bonfire night. And I do call it bonfire night, rather than fireworks night. I’d be disappointed if there was no bonfire. Having said that I also love the fireworks. As a child I never went to an organised display. Instead my parents would host a bonfire night party, with a huge bonfire, complete with Guy, and friends and family would all bring fireworks which were decanted into an old Christmas chocolates tin to keep them safe. The evening was then spent oohing and aahing at the Roman candles, assorted fountains, rockets and of course the Catherine wheels. And there was soup. Plenty of soup. As the fire died down we would sit round it on benches soaking up the last of the heat, well into the night. Except that unless it rained, the fire would keep going after everyone was gone, and the last of the heat would be a day or two, or once I believe seven days later. Happy memories.

That was a long time ago now, and we tend to go to organised displays now. So last night I saw both bonfire and fireworks over at nearby Wallingford. It was chilly but perfect bonfire weather. And both the fire and the fireworks were impressive. I don’t know if my daughter will remember it with the same fondness that I have for bonfire nights from my childhood, but it certainly was bright as day!

Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens

Had a lovely day out with my daughter today at the Cotswold Wildlife Park and Gardens. We always have a good day out there as there is such a lot to see, and enough space that even when it’s busy, it doesn’t feel crowded. As ever I took photos, and when I got home I realised that I had focused quite a bit on patterns. I hope you like the ones I’ve selected to share with you here – all of which I found fitted nicely into squares.

A growing family

I’ve just had a few days visiting my family. Got to catch up with my parents, two of my aunts, my nephew and his wife and my niece and her children. It was lovely to see her children who are almost 2-and-a-half and 5 months old. My daughter loved seeing her little cousins, who we don’t get to see very often. And I loved both seeing them and photographing them. The sample of pics below are family portraits at their most informal, just taken as and when during a morning of chatting and playing. If I’d been really concentrating, rather than enjoying time with family, I could have moved a few things out of the background, and of course if I was doing a proper photo session I would. But I think that these photos show that informal portraits, taken in a familiar setting, using natural light as much as possible, allow children to relax and be seen at their best. If you agree and would like to discuss having some relaxed photos of your family, then get in touch.

Making plans!

I’m getting quite excited. Not only have I got a planning meeting this afternoon for an upcoming wedding, tomorrow night is Dance for Wildlife, a belly dance performance where I know there will be amazing dancing, fantastic costumes and a whole lot of sparkle! I’ve taken photos at this annual event for about 5 years now and I never tire of it. It can be a challenge – all that motion, catching the dancers at just the right point, not getting too much blur but equally catching some element of dynamics. But when it comes together just so, the results are amazing.

But before that I’ve got a wedding shoot to plan with the lovely A and W. I need to find out more about their plans and what they’d like, to make sure I can do my best for them. It is an honour to have a part in their day, and I hope they’ll love the results. We’ll find out in a few weeks! And remember if you’d like to see some pics from either the dancing or the wedding, come back and visit In Any Event Photography again soon.