Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Hurrah for Husbands!!

Yep Paul has been using the camera, he's recently started those first tentative steps in photography and I think he's doing rather well he took this photo of Boo Boo last night,



Now I can rarely manage to photograph Boo Boo being that he moves so quickly so well done to hubby for his fabbo attempt! I processed it for him and gave him a little chat about not using direct flash and I think with just a little guidance Paul could be the next rising photographic star!!

Here's mine for last night, taken at 800iso in the dimmest livingroom light, we have one teeny light for the evenings which is kind of nice but not conducive to great photography, especially if like me you despise the use of flash. I loved this one of Abigail though, I like the angle and the look she has on her face, it has had some post processing but only just a little in lightroom, I rarely have to send photos into photoshop these days which is good because I've noticed that Photoshop doesn't seem to like it when I have more than 2 photos open! I was trying to do 8 the other day and my poor laptop was practically steaming!! The Mac Book Pro is in my shopping list but at nearly £2000 it may be sometime before I realise that dream.

Happy Sunday everyone, we're just watching the Great North Run on tv, funny because we only really live 10 minutes away from seeing it live! We're having a lazy morning though, this afternoon we'll be off for an autumnal ramble to Rothbury, mostly because I've noticed that most of the trees are just on the turn to gorgeous rich colours and I can't wait to capture some of that!!
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Saturday, September 29, 2007

A is for.....


Adorable Abigail of course!!!

It's the weekend so not too much going on, booked a fantastic couple yesterday for 27th of October 2007 and then by contrast booked an amazing couple today who won't actually marry until June 2009! Thats why I love my job as a wedding photographer, I get to meet such lovely people and share in their celebrations of love and commitment, of course it helps that I'm a romantic at heart!!

Talking of romance, hubby and I had a date last night, we had some cocktails down on the quayside in Newcastle and then we went off for dinner at the Kublai Khan restaurant, the Kublai Khan is the citys only mongolian/chinese restaurant and although I stuck to the safety of the chinese delights hubby tells me that his mongolian dish which was freshly prepared almost in front of him, was the most delish Mongolian food he's ever eaten, funny because it's the ONLY Mongolian food he's ever eaten!!

After this afternoons consultation we stopped off at the Marquis of Granby and I can honestly recommend this pub as we had the best pub lunch we've eaten for atleast 6 months!! So if you're ever in Gateshead I recommend you take a trip up there to sunniside where you'll get a great welcome and fabulous lunch!!

I think after all that food tommorrow will be spent having a long walk with the dog and the children who is has to be said have had a very busy weekend themselves, they were whisked away for the evening last night to one set of grandparents and they're due back from the other set of grandparents at around 6ish, so I'm thinking that the afternoon nap I promised myself may well not happen!!!
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Thursday, September 27, 2007

Iain in Autumn


I promised I would show an autumn portrait of Iain and here it is, I'm thinking that since the weather this week has definitely had more of a chill in the air, this next couple of weekends might be even better so if I can persuade my kids I might get some even better portraits of them, better get them in quick though as I have a couple of wonderful weddings coming up, more on those soon!

If you've been thinking of booking me for your wedding photography don't forget my win you wedding album competition where you can win a gorgeous album made by an Italian manufacturer who currently supplies Harrods with all their albums. Anyway there's only a couple of days left to book me if you want to win, the draw will close at midnight on 30th of September so go on click on Mandy Charlton Designs and go to the contact us page, must also mention that 2008 is filling, especially the popular dates, some I've already had to turn down twice!!!

Also don't forget my Christmas portrait package where you can have a photoshoot, 5- 8x10's, 2-7x5's and 2-6x4's at one all in price of £100, this offer only lasts till the end of October and the diary is filling fast so get in before it reverts to the usual prices, wouldn't grandma love some great photos of the children this year!!

Well thats me for the day, thank goodness I've gotten this far, every time I tried to sit down and blog yesterday someone called or hubby came home or the children wanted my attention, on the upside though Looby and I had a great game of Dora Dominoes!!! (Looby won!!)
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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Looby is 4


Yep, My baby is 4 today, all grown up but forever my Looby Dooby Dumpling Pie, or as she is in the Autumn, Looby Dooby, Pumpkin Pie ;)

She started full time nursery yesterday so it's just me on my own working from home all day and whilst half of me loves that I can get on with work and I can make phone calls in peace but the other half is missing having that low level burbel like mad!! Oh well I suppose it's only a month until half term!!
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Monday, September 24, 2007

Autumn Portraits.

I adore Autumn, I love the light, I love the colours and I always make time to update our family portraits which we have on the wall. I was just giving a brief guide to autumn portraits over on my forum Craft so don't forget to go and check out my article written for even the camera-phobic!!

Back to my photos -

So we have gorgeous portraits of Abigail looking SplendidLooby looking wonderful in black and white and of course Mr C himself looking just gorgeous. Tommorrow I'll share Iains Autumn portrait and another wonderous one fo Looby, speaking of whom it's her 4th Birthday tommorrow and Paul and I spent the morning in Toys"R"Us where we bought her Doras Talking Cash Register amongst many other Dora the Explorer toys in fact I would go so far as to say that we didn't leave the shop without buying just about 1 of everything with Dora on!!!

If you want to have wonderful photos of your family this year why not check out Mandy Charlton Designs and book yourself a photoshoot, if you quote Autumn I'll even give you a free 7x5 print.
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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Favourite Images from Blackpool



So for me the fun in Blackpool really begins as the sun starts to set. The golden mile comes alive filled with gaudy lights and street sellers who pretty much sell anything that glows in the dark.

I think for all it's a little tacky I love Blackpool at Night.


This final favourite shot was taken when we returned to the pleasure beach, I was determined to get value for money as it had cost us £95 for wristbands!! We went on this flying machine thingy and it really is a lot of fun and yet calm enough for us all to have fun on, I shot this whilst in full flight and we felt like we were travelling incredibly fast and you must agree with this motion blur it looks like we actually might have been!!
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Blackpool - The Return of the Charltons


We had an absolutely brilliant day, spent a fortune, spoilt the children rotten and partook in pretty much everything that is Blackpool.

More tommorrow, just wanted to post a quintisentially british Seaside photo!

Oh and yes it is 2am, we didn't get home until just after 12.30am, thank goodness Tommorrow is Sunday!!!
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Friday, September 21, 2007

Tommorrow....

We're taking the children to Blackpool, it's our family trip away in honour of Loobys 4th Birthday which is on Tuesday. We went to Blackpool earlier in the year and it's always without a doubt one of the kids favourite places so no doubt we'll have a wonderful time.

If you want to see what we got up to on our last trip you can read it here

Oh and I also found another great photo from our last trip which I love, you can see it here

Hopefully by Sunday I should have a little more to share than I do right now!!

Have a great weekend all :)
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Elphaba Takes It Easy


Some of the members of this family spend far too much lying around and snoozing!!!

Oh and Boo Boo is back! He's off to get neutured next week and we're once again trying to get a handle on the doggy training, we're trying from scratch and so far it actually seems to be working, he's such a lovely fluffy puppy really we just need to get some doggy zen around here!!

Elphaba Poppy and Kate Bush don't really seem to mind though so I guess if they're happy we're happy!!

And on that note I'll end the days blogging.

Does anyone actually read my blog? Put your hand up in the air if you do!!! :D
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Addicted to Dexter


Oh My Goodness I had to blog about Dexter, now I realise that if you're in the US you'll be getting all excited because of series 2 which I beleive starts on the 30th of September but here in the UK, I've been tuning into FX religiously every sunday evening at 10pm and we're just nearing the end of season 1, for anyone who hasn't seen it Dexter, the very much Anti-hero helps the police in their eternal fight against the serial killers of this world whilst all the while being a closet serial killer himself. I could go on but I really wouldn't want to spoil the fun

So if you're wondering what all the fuss is about I urge you to give it a go, it's keeping me going during the low season, yes that time without House and Lost is beginning to have an effect and I keep missing season 3 of Medium, and talking of mediums when is the Ghost Whisperer returning?

Oh and for those of you watching and raving about Heroes which is now on BBC2, I watched it before the hype on the Sci fi channel, I really am a nerdy sci-fi chick!

Answers on a postcard please.....
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Monday, September 17, 2007

Just Another Manic Monday...

In the life of a wedding photographer in Newcastle, it's been really busy over the last couple of weeks particularly with myself being a Budget Wedding Photographer, now you may be wondering why I'm in that bracket, I have been told on several occasions to put my prices up but here's the thing :-

1. I love to be busy, I would shoot 100 weddings a year if I could (you never know I may even reach that next year)

2. I beleive that everyone should have great wedding photographs and currently the market excludes those who just can't afford it, with my packages and the fact that I even accept payment in installments I beleive that everyone can afford those great images that they might otherwise have to forfeit.

I didn't have a wedding photographer at my wedding and it's my one definite regret as I've only really got one photo and it's not all that hot!! You can bet that when we renew our vows in around 3 years i'll be searching for the perfect wedding photographer to cover my blessing, evenm if there are only 5 of us there it won't matter I just simply want to get a magical photo of myself and hubby.

Now I can hear you saying, well you could set up a shoot yourself, well beleive me I've tried but Paul larks about a little too much!!!!!
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Saturday, September 15, 2007

New Hair



I was lucky enough to have a little down-time this afternoon so off I rushed to the nearest hairdressers in the Metrocentre and a mere hour and a half later emerged with the best haircut I've had for atleast five years!!

The photos were all taken by me with my trusty tripod and my new toy, a remote shutter release cable, I'm thinking this is going to be an essential tool for shooting those winter weddings. I did try and get some photos of my husband and I together but as usual he played up and so I ended up with none. I have around 3 photos of Paul and I together although we've been together for over 7 years, for some reason he can't help acting the fool whenever I try and get photos of us together.

Oh and if you're wondering, my hair is a graduated bob, I had an awesome amount chopped, especially at the back where it's now the shortest that it's been in atleast 10 years!!

Sunday tommorrow and I have an organic corn fed chicken just waiting to be cooked with tons and tons of veggies from this weeks organic box!

We have to interveiw another cleaner on Tuesday, long story......
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Friday, September 14, 2007

It's the end of the week as we know it!!

Regular readers may note that I've fallen back in love with blogging, it's kind of like scrapbooking really, in the first three months after I registered my business I was just too busy trying to get work in, etc but now that the wedding Photograpy bookings are coming in nicely for next year and I think I have the advertising sussed it's given me atleast a few more minutes in the day to sit and blog and as you saw the other day even scrap! Ooh don't forget about the Christmas Portraiture Offer I have on my website at the moment, just think how happy granny would be to receive gorgeous photos of the children this year, that offer is still on the home-page of the website so don't forget to check it out and save yourself a fortune this year!!W

I have no doubt that by next summer I'll not have time again because I'll be out all the time photographing all those weddings I've booked! I'm really looking forward to that as well though, it beats working for the Bank Of England, euwww even thinking back to those horrid 5 years when I first left school gives me the chills, I remember for atleast a couple of those years how I hated it so much I wanted to cry all the time, it actually made me so ill with IBS that I had nearly a year on the sick. All because I had been forced into a job I never would have chosen. A million years later and half a lifetime of wishing and being positive and finding out who I am and of course things now couldn't be more different, finally living the dream, cool or what?!

Hurrah for the weekend and here's the lovely brides to be that I'm meeting over the next couple of days in and around Newcastle, now then if someone could squeeze me an extra day in the diary a week I sure would appreciate it :D
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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Why So Sad?


After 3 months of no scrapping it was nice to have a spare couple of hours this afternoon to enjoy the thing which lead me to where I am today :) Yes it's that photo I was showing the other day which I texturised. I know she looks sad and that of course is the name of the layout but in actuality and if you read the journalling, she was actually just distracted watching TV, LOL thats children for you :D

It feels good to have scrapped this afternoon!!
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More Textures ala Wedding Photography


Yesterday was a busy day with me picking up 2 new wedding photography bookings one of which is for a wedding in October this year, luckily I have spaces available, I can't think it will be like this next year though as it's starting to look mighty busy. I'm so delighted that I'm going to be lucky enough to photograph so many wonderful weddings next year and long may this continue for years and years to come. If you want to book me then don't forget to check out my website!

So last night in the few spare moments of my day I played around with a photo from Stuart and Michelles wedding and added a couple of funky textures and a border for web presentation, what do you think? I would love to hear your comments about textured work and if you have any that you've done I would love to see them so leave a comment below and I'll pop by any links which are left.

Now then, Do you blog and do you read my blog, if you're a reader and you think I might not be visiting your blog leave a comment and I'll pop by, I love adding new blogs to my list so you could very well be the next one :D

Happy Wednesday everyone :D
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Adding Textures And Staff!


being a wedding photographer brings new excitement and challenges on a daily basis, at the moment I'm playing around with Textures and Sloppy Borders to make my photography stand out from the crowd, as you can see with this photograph of Abigail it can make a fairly ordinary photo become something awesome! Sloppy borders are a great way of presenting photography on the web so that something I also finding myself investing in lately. Another delight of my business is that I'm looking for an Assistant/Driver to aide and abet me whenever necessary, it's to be said that I'm looking for someone outgoing and bubbly, someone who drives and someone who hopefully has a passion for photography, also someone flexible enough to be called upon at a moments notice! If you think you fit the bill you can email me through my Website and I'll get back to you or if you fancy doing it in the traditional manner then why not check out the Job Centre Plus where I'm also advertising, oh and Paul is also looking for a Gardener to come and work for him so if you're more of Darmuid Gavin than a Joe Buissink then you might fancy having a job working for Meandering Gardens, I'm also the official contact for that job as well so once again you can contact me through the website.

Just a note to brides in Newcastle hoping to hire me for their wedding photography, next year is really starting to fill up, especially in the busy months so you might want to reserve your date before someone else does :) I still have some dates left for this year so if you think you've left it until the last moment, someone has let you down or if you've just been swept of your feet and can't wait to be married then once again clicking fingers to my website!! YOu never know, you might be the next one to be texturised!!
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Monday, September 10, 2007

New Look and Bye Bye Boo


It's been a weekend of changes down at the maison le Charlton (please don't comment on my very bad french, I haven't done french since I was 13 and that was many many years ago!!) Firstly I spent the afternoon yesterday changing my blog, I've made it wider, I've changed the header and I've changed the colours thanks to those fabulous HTML colour charts which are nearly as good as Dulux paint charts ;)

We're starting a major rewire this week with new gas central heating to boot, this means the entire house is going to be pulled apart, the kitchen has to come out, the floor-boards have to be lifted, the carpets rolled up and all the furniture from all three floors moved a metre into the room, this is not the best time but when is? Atleast it means I get to redecorate 1 room at a time and I'm taking my time on this one so that we do it properly.

ny amount of disruption of course means chaos for our menagerie of animals and we have to say goodbye to Boo Boo this week, he's got himself a smart new family with a huge house and a garden which is actually a field. It's never easy to say goodbye to a pet but rationally I know that we can't manage him, we're not here half as much as he needs us to be and not all clients are appreciative of a dog which can jump as high as them. Plus our constant attempts to housetrain him have just not worked so I have to admit to being releived that I can clean my carpets on Wednesday and for once not have to deal with the pungent aroma of doggy wee, hopefully the new owners will find a tactic which we sadly didn't. Sometimes Love isn't enough and you have to do what is best for all concerned. It's funny that I got a series of portraits of him on Saturday and these are now going to be blown up onto canvas so he'll always be able to watch over us.

Right, moving on before I get emotional again...

I booked another wedding yesterday with a lovely couple who I'm really looking forward to working with and sharing their day. Those hot dates are filling up like you wouldn't beleive now so one last request to any lurking Newcastle brides, book me as your wedding photographer before you can't get the date you want!!! I have another consultation tonight and 1 on Wednesday, if you want to book a consultation then don't forget to click through to my w.
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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Newcastle by Night


Last night the children were away for the evening and Paul as always was asking what we should do, I had a great idea that we would walk to the Quayside in Newcastle, take my camera along to have a little fun capturing the Tyne Bridge, the Millenium bridge and then have a drink or two at the famous Pitcher and Piano pub.

Well we went down just as night was falling and it gave me a great chance to do some low light photography practice, I must admit to not being a night photographer due to having 3 small children who complain loudly when you want to cart them about after bedtime just for photography reasons!!

Anyway not wanting to be too conspicuous I just took along my Sigma 24-70mm, my Metz flash and of course my husband, I left the tripod at home but I'm taking it the next time as quite frankly there were so many people down there with bigger tripods than mine it wouldn't have mattered in the slightest!! LOL

I did get a couple of good shots before moving onto drinks and bouncing my flash off the windows to capture Mr C in his famous silly faces, you know that we've decided the name of the book will be Pauls 40 silly faces at 40, thing is though he pulls them on such a regular basis that I'm thinking in another 8 years it's going to be a huge book, ooh now there's a thought maybe I could have an exhibition at the Baltic, I wonder what himself would think about seeing all his silly expressions captured forever on 50ft canvases, now then there's a thought!!
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Saturday, September 08, 2007

That was the week that was...

Phew, what a busy week it's been, I've actually barely had time to lift the camera this week its been such a hectic week, we've had back to school delights, Thursday was my big boys birthday, can't quite get my head around the fact that Iain is now 11 years old, surely that must make me ancient!! Anyway he's quite happy, we were just chatting earlier how last year he'd received £50 from us as it was all we could spare and this year we managed to buy him a Wii, he's definitely appreciating the difference between mum and dad being sick and mum and dad having their won businesses, I also love not having to worry so much although it being the first year of our business we still have those flying by the seat of your pants moments and those seconds where you're not quite sure how to fill next weeks diary, funny though that something always kind of shows up! This week for me has been all about the bookings for next year, I've booked 3 wedding photography packages for the next couple of years and that busy season next year is already looking mighty busy so if you are a lurking bride please do call to check availability or you might just miss out on some of the best value w packages in Newcastle, Sunderland and the entire north east of England!

Next week I have another 4 appointments for bookings so lets just hope it continues and gives me the busiest 2008 ever, the best part of course is that some of the less popular dates are already being hotly contested, for instance I've already had 3 enquiries and am looking to book the 2Nd of February in the next week!

Oh and if my spelling looks a little dodgy today you can blame it on my computer it's currently showing up the letters about 10 minutes after I type them, good thing that Blogger provides a spell checker!!
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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Christmas Portrait Package 2007

For a limited period you can get Christmas wrapped up when you buy an all inclusive portraiture package for one low price of £100. Basically you get an hours photoshoot, followed by your favourite 5 images in 10x8, 2 in 7x5 and another 2 in 6x4, this pretty much means you can give the grandparents really cool presents this year and ones that they'll cherish forever.

If someone you know has been dreaming of a photoshoot then why not buy this all inclusive package as a Christmas gift to be redeemed sometime in the next 12 months.

To contact me for an informal chat or to book check out my website!
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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

First Day of School


Yes it's that time of year again, Abigail moves to year 1 and Iain is moving to year 6, his last year of juniors and a change of uniform to black and white instead of the yellow and blue. Looby, my baby starts Benton Park Nursery and even though she's a very capable nearly 4 I'm still going to miss my baby when her full time place commences on the 21st. She starts this afternoon and will do afternoons up until then.

She was quite excited about packed lunch so I had to make her a special one which we've popped in the fridge for lunchtime, couldn't leave her out of the packed lunches really could I?

I suppose that the upside of all of this is that I'll have more time for family photoshoots and more time for wedding photography clients, oh and hopefully a little less time where I have to worry about the childcare elements!!

In true Charlton tradition the boot light got left on in the car and this morning when Paul went to start the old dear up she plainly refused so he's had to go on the bus!!! It's funny that things like this always seem to happen to us, needless to say Mr C isn't a very happy bunny at the moment and I'm going to be doing my level best to keep out of his way!!!!

Only 320 days till the next summer holidays, I wonder how life will be then for Mandy Charlton Designs and indeed for Meandering Gardens!!!!........
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Sunday, September 02, 2007

SNAP


Thought I really should post this one!! I often don't have time to take piccies at home, such a shame because I truly love photographing the family and especially this guy, I snapped this at home this afternoon as he was "Filming me" LOL, I keep telling him that I'm putting all his "silly" photos in an album and I'll give them to hom when he's naughty at forty, trouble is that I still have another 8 years before we get there and I'm not sure there's an album big enough!!!

Talking of albums, don't forget that you can win your wedding album when you book one of my wedding photography packages before the 30th of September, if you're in Newcastle upon Tyne or the North East of England and you're looking for a wedding photographer then don't forget to check out my website www.mandycharltondesigns.com

Hurry though if you want one of the more popular months because the dates are filling up fast!!
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Saturday, September 01, 2007

More Molly!!



I just couldn't resist sharing another couple of shots from my childrens photoshoot yesterday, she's the cutiest pattooty don't you think?

Don't forget if you are in Newcastle upon Tyne or the North East of England you can hire me for a family portrait sitting for only £50 and you get a free 10x8 enlargement of your favourite shot!!

Oh, must also mention the wedding photography because bookings have gone through the roof, I already have a pretty adequate diary for 2008 and even some for 2009 so if you want to get your date booked then do call, don't forget that you can either win an album or you can have £100 off a larger album. With prices starting at only £295 what have you got to lose, oh and if you mention my little blog I'll even throw in something a little extra, can't argue with that now can you!!
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