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.
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…
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.
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 you 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.
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 wedding, preparations 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.
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.
Just before Christmas I was asked to take some photos of two pairs of sisters – four cousins – as a Christmas treat for the grandparents. As usual time was short before Christmas but we managed to squeeze in a short photoshoot between sleepovers, football, and general just-before-Christmas activities.
The mums were sent to the kitchen while I worked with the girls in the living room. Yes, the first few shots had forced smiles and overly cheesy grins, but after just a few minutes they relaxed loads (the mums reported later that they could even hear the girls relaxing into it) and we got some lovely shots.
I hope the grandparents liked the photos. The mums were certainly happy. And with the photos taken in their home, the disruptions were minimal. We were all done with plenty of time to get to one of the girls to football practice, and even the sleepover was resumed before too much fun was missed.
If you’d like some relaxed family photos taken in the comfort of your home, with minimal interruption to normal life then please get in touch. Let 2018 be the year that you have those photos taken. It’s really not that painful and may not be as expensive as you’d think. For just £60 you get an hour of my time, which is usually ample time for a range of shots, then a memory stick with edited photos so that you may print your favourites (or all of them!) at the size(s) you require.
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.
I went to a birthday party on Friday. Molly is a smart young lady who was having a disco with a group of friends. And at the other end of the hall I was there with hats, scarves, tinsel, a glittery background and a range of other props. And my camera of course. In between dancing the party guests were free to dress up and pose for photos. On their own or with friends. It was very popular and lots of fun. I’ve included a few of these “photo booth” style pics below.
If you’ve got a party coming up and would like something similar then please get in touch. It’s great fun for guests of any age, either as a key part of the entertainment or an added extra. If you’d prefer to have the focus on other aspects of the party then that’s fine too. Or I can do a “photo booth” style session AND take general party photos. I’m very happy to adjust to suit your individual needs, so if you’d like to discuss then just get in touch.
Hope to hear from you soon – In Any Event Photography loves a good party!
I had a fun-packed day yesterday helping at a fun day organised for my daughter’s Brownies group, and the sister-group of Rainbows. The Rainbows are 30 this year and they asked the Brownies to join their party. There were crafts and games, a treasure hunt, pinatas, and plenty of songs. And I was asked to take “photo booth” style photos of the girls. Have a look at a sample of the photos below. I hope you like them. Working with props like this was something new for me, but we had a great laugh and I hope the girls all love their photos.
If you’ve got a party or children’s activity day coming up and would like to have something like this then please get in touch. I’d love to help everyone have a fab time and create some fun, memorable images to help you and your guests remember the good times. Let we know your requirements and we can take it from there…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.