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‘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.

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Jamie’s big day

I had a happy couple of hours witnessing the transformation of Jamie, her family and attendants into Bride, Mother of the Bride, Father of the Bride, and Bridesmaids & Bridesman. And I loved everything I saw: a beautiful bride, a loving and supportive family, fantastic attire for all the wedding party, and amazing attention to all the little details that help make a wedding day. I couldn’t follow them to the church unfortunately, but hope the rest of the day went perfectly for Jamie & Scott. With their permission, I’ve added some photos below showing some of the preparations, and details of dress, shoes etc.

 

If you’ve got a special event such as a wedding, birthday, anniversary or party and would like some photos taken to capture a set of memories then In Any Event Photography may be able to help! Please get in touch to discuss your needs.

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Blenheim Ball for Maggie’s

It’s been a busy few days since I attended the Midsummer Night’s Dream ball for Maggie’s at Blenheim Palace. In between spending time with my family, going swimming, a night at the pub, cooking, a trip to the library, and collecting autumn leaves, I’ve spent some time going through the photos. I’ve sent the final results over to Maggie’s, who have shared some on their facebook page. But in the meantime, here are some of my favourites. If you see a photo of yourself and would like a copy then please get in touch (contact form below the photos) and I can send you a full size image without the watermark. There will be no charge for this, but donations to Maggie’s are encouraged.

 

 

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Just in from a fantastic evening at Blenheim Palace taking photos of the Midsummer Night’s Dream ball, in aid of Maggie’s, Oxford. It was a great night, and hopefully raised a lot of money to help Maggie’s help many more people. I’ll work on the photos over the next few days, hopefully have them available in about a week, so do come back and check.

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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.

 

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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.

 

 

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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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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A christening, crown and candle

I was lucky enough to attend a christening on Sunday. A beautiful baby girl. She had a lovely christening gown, all layers and lace, and a cute little crown. She looked intently at the minister, and gazed with wonder at the candle lit for her. I took plenty of photos, which I hope will help her family remember the special day. But this was a special occasion personal to the family, and they have requested that I don’t post photos. Yes a little bit of me is disappointed, but I respect their decision. So all I can show you is some pics of the church, and the candles, and I admit that I have sneaked in the edge of the christening gown. But there’s no adorable baby, no loving parents, no cute little crown. But that’s fine. And please be reassured that if you ask me not to post photos of you or you family, then I won’t.

 

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Late from the fete

Oh dear, what happened to June? I last posted here at the end of half term, on June 5th. And now it’s July 1st. And I still haven’t posted the photos from the East Hagbourne fete on June 10th. For anyone who’s been waiting, I can only apologise. But better late than never, here are some pics from a fab afternoon with fun, games, motorbikes, music, dogs, races, singing and more. A big thank you to everyone who let me take their photos. I hope you like them.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Beauty that’s more than skin deep

Well what a delightful job I had this weekend taking photos of two lovely girls. I visited them for a relaxed session in their home and garden. And I even managed to persuade Mum to join them for a few shots. Although there was a bit of initial shyness in front of the camera, the girls soon warmed up and had lots of fun playing and dancing and suggesting new poses. They were a real pleasure to work with – beautiful girls with beautiful natures. Here is a selection of my favourite shots from our morning.

If you’d like to have some family photos of your own then please get in touch to discuss. I’d love to work with you and your family to take some photos of everyone looking and feeling beautiful.

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Out with the Evans family

I recently had the pleasure of taking some portrait photos of the Evans family. They decided to have the photos taken outside, on location at Chedworth Roman Villa, if the weather was up to it. A week of having fingers crossed for fine weather did the trick and we had a bright sunny day without too much wind. We used two or three locations around the grounds of the villa to take photos, which provided a bit of variety with posing. Although doing a photo shoot outside has some challenges, a positive is that younger members can move around and let off steam a little between bursts of photography. This helps keep them fresh rather than getting bored sitting or standing still for long periods. And with so many things in life, if the children are happy, everything else falls into place.

If you’d like some photos taking on location then please get in touch and we can discuss where would work for you and your family.

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Butterflies

I was invited to join the wonderful Butterflies pre-school in Didcot yesterday for their celebratory  open morning. There was lots of fun to be had – cakes, face painting, raffle, competitions and plenty of play and activities for the little ones. And did I say that Marshall from Paw Patrol was visiting? As a bonus the sun was out so we could use the garden space – always a bonus when there are children around. So I’d like to say thank you to Butterflies for the invitation. It was lovely to see so much fun being had, and to relive some happy memories of when my daughter used to play in that garden, some years ago. I just hope you like the photos, a selection of which are shown below.

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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…

 

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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.

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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.

 

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The Gorgeous Buxeys

Well it was lovely to go travelling, but it’s lovely to be home again. Especially when being home means I get to take photos of a beautiful family. The Buxeys welcomed me into their home, and the whole photo session had a wonderfully relaxed feel, making it a real pleasure to work with them. I hope you’ll agree this shows in the photos, where everyone looks happy and relaxed.

If you feel inspired to have some family photos taken in your home surroundings, or out on location in your favourite place, then please get in touch. I will be very pleased to discuss your needs.