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

Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve 2007

and I'm sitting with Mr C watching the music channels on tv and drinking some red wine! Yes it's not the most exciting new years ever but hey I'm in the first year of business, I'm an artist and my husband is a gardener, hmmm you know that roughly translates to.. We couldn't afford to go out and party if we wanted to, LOL!

Never mind, I'm quite happy to be in the house and not in some horrendously crowded noisy bar.

So this year has been my most successful ever both on a personal and a professional level, this year has been the year I started to believe in my talent and not be ashamed to tell people that I'm a photographer, yes I'm no longer afraid of being told that I have a made up job or how on earth could I possibly be talented enough to do that. Nuff said eh?!

So next years wedding season doesn't seem so far away, probably because my first wedding of the year is on Friday morning in St Andrews, Scotland, really looking forward to that wedding and the fact that I get a little mini break with assistant (and hubby) Mr C! Saturday will see my first portrait shoot of the year and then it's pretty much all work, work, work after that!

This year I really want to make enough money to support us all as the main breadwhiner and I also want to keep learning and progressing and more importantly I want to get to the end of next year feeling accomplished and happy and still loving my job. I really am well and truly passionate about wedding photography and portrait photography and lifestyle photography.... LOL, you get the picture, Photography really is well and truly my life!

So I want to take the chance to say thanks to all my fabulous clients and friends for sharing their lives, events and special memories with me this year and I can't wait to do double all that in 2008.

Happy, Happy, Happy New Year to you all :D
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Sunday, December 30, 2007

It's a quick kitten update

Yes indeed the kittens are growing, Poppys kittens are now 6 weeks old and Elphabas are 3 weeks old, they're very very cute and total monkeys!

Looby of course is the kitten meister as you can see here:-



Todays kitten of choice happens to be dumpling, he's one of the kittens who will eventually go to a new home, he's gorgeous and I'm sure we'll miss him but whilst he's still here it's so good to have fun!!


New years eve tommorrow, can't quite beleive we're at the end of another year, anyway more on that tommorrow.
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Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Seaside in December...

isn't the warmest place in the world but we needed to get out and about for an hour, I've been feeling just a tad too couped up this week. I'm not used to long periods of rest anymore and quite frankly I'm now praying the phone will ring with work, there's only so many bad movies you can watch.


So this was St Mary's Island earlier today, Looks a bit chilly doesn't it! ( I uploaded these to flickr full size so do click and see the bigger versions and indeed the whole set from our hour out today)

St Marys-20

St Marys-16

I decided to try and get some new photos of the children for the wall and for once even though they were freezing they did actually cooperate!

This chocolate one of Looby was one of my favourites, I know she's got a cheesy grin but it was sooo unbelievably cold!

Looby and Abigail happily together.

Iain scowling, we're having issues over bedroom tidiness at the moment!

This was at the point when Paul ran away and we found him in the car listening to CD's and keeping warm, he's such a big girls blouse!!

Suffice to say we crammed a lot into a short space and thank goodness for a nice warm afternoon in the house!!
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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sssh would you like to win £1495 worth of wedding photography????

Don't tell anyone but this year I am giving away a wedding photography package worth £1495.

If you or someone you know deserves their wedding photography for free then keep checking my blog for further updates.

Full announcement to follow so keep checking here or on my website www.mandycharltondesigns.com
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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007 - All the Details

Well after yesterdays quick catch up I thought I would share details of another glorious Christmas. Today Paul and I are putting our feet up as the children enjoy a second Christmas day at my parents house.

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This was one of my favourite presents from Paul, it's a jangly bracelet which I adore, it's very very me!

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Abigail got her very first digital camera and so far she seems to love it, she's been taking loads of photos and of course as a photographer I'm a very proud mum. Looby also got a photography themed present, a Barbie "I can be a baby photographer" playset, I'm thinking she'll be wanting a camera before too long as well.

Iain is in very few photos as he spent the day hiding in his bedroom watching his plethora of new DVD's and playing with his really cool trainset.

I did have one attempt at getting a lovely sisters photo but Looby wasn't playing at all and refused to smile.
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Abigail also had her usual traditional Christmas huff as you can see here :-
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Just to prove it, check out last years Christmas strop here.

Well my Christmas tree is dead and I'm already wanting to dispose of it, I think I might persuade hubby to throw it out tommorrow and then just keep the festive bits around until the new year, I think we'll need the space when the children get back from Grandmas with all their gifts.

I'm off now for a lie down, don't you find this time of year can tire out the most sprightly of people?!!!
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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas 2007 Slideshow

video
It seemed like the best way to share what we've got up to on this most festive of days and I hope you enjoy my very Charlton Christmas.
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Monday, December 24, 2007

All though it's been said.....

many times, many ways, Merry Christmas to you!

Yes, I know I'm pinching lyrics to get the message accross!

If you want gift vouchers you have till 9pm tonight and then I'm switching off for Christmas!! If you order prints they won't be processed until the beginning of January when the Labs reopen but you will still get your discounts if applicable.

Don't forget if you order vouchers you'll get a little extra and since it's Christmas eve lets just say you'll get 20% extra but only until 9pm tonight! so pay for £50 of vouchers and you'll get £60 back! Sounds good to me!

Now I've had a glass of mulled wine and I'm feeling good, my rack of pork is in the oven and will be accompanied by sprouts and organic chestnuts, carrots, Yorkshire puddings and potatoes and parsnips roasted in duck fat! All that to be folowed by Rhubarb Pavlova (mine) and Chocolate trifle (hubbys).

May I take this opportunity to wish all my friends, cyber friends, blog readers and clients the most happy Christmas ever.

Right back to tracking Santa....
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Sunday, December 23, 2007

Vintage Wicked

Anyone who knows me well will know of my passion for Wicked the Musical, well hubby just stumbled me a clip which I'd not seen in ages, this song sung at the end of the musical chokes me up with emotion, love it, hope you enjoy it too!

Enjoy my one of my heros Idina Menzel, the original (and best IMHO) Elphaba singing with the delightful Kristin Chenoweth, the original Galinda.

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Getting in the mood.....

For all things Christmas that is!

Today has involved much cookery in the Charlton household, My favourite creation being my White Christmas Cupcakes, they went down a treat.

Also I've helped Abigail wrap her presents up for everyone, I just have the entire families presents to wrap up tommorrow night now. I think it will have to be with some mulled wine as theres quite a few.

We wrote emails to Santa this morning, if you're bored and want to fill in 5 minutes of the childrens time you can visit Email Santa

Tommorrow we'll be tracking Santa with Norad and watching his progress as he flies around the earth, I beleive that if you have google earth theres' going to be a special plug in so I'm looking forward to that.

Actually today I downloaded Google Earth for the very first time and I have to admit being astounded especially as you can now view the planets etc

The children of course are suitably hyperactive, I know it's only normal but please let me not have to tell them to stop manhandling the kittens or to calm down one more time.

2 more sleeps till Santa everyone!! :D
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Saturday, December 22, 2007

The King Family



My last Scheduled photoshoot of the year today brought me together with the wonderful King family.


Mum and Dad have just celebrated 30 glorious years of marraige together and decided that since all their sons were home for Christmas it was about time to get some family portraits taken.

This incredibly warm family welcomed into their wonderful home with open arms and I want to wish them all a happy Christmas, you really made my last photoshoot of the year a memorable one.

So lovely readers I now have a couple of weeks of spaces available so if you're having a family get together over Christmas and you too would like some memorable photos which will last a lifetime then I may just be able to fit you in!!

To book your family portrait photoshoot then click through to Mandy Charlton Designs!
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Friday, December 21, 2007

Favourite 2007 Moments....

As my 2007 season powers down I'm reminded of all the great moments I've had the joy of shooting this year, it's been a great first season for weddings and a successful second year or portraiture. I've grown immensely this year and I never stop learning thanks to the wonderful photographers I get to mix with. over the next week or so I'll be sharing some of my favourite images of 2007, some of which have been shared before and some (like todays) are brand-spanking new!!

Stuart and Kates Wedding-256.jpg
This photo is from my last wedding and I love the intimate feel of the photo, it's not the easiest shot I've ever taken in fact I couldn't even have done this on my own. I need to say a big thanks to my assistant Nigel who held the lighting set up that we had to achieve this shot. I think it has a vintage feel and it's a look that I love, it's a look I also used here in a photo which I've shared before.
Nixie-34.jpg This one didn't use the lighting set up because it was 10am but it's a look which I'm hoping to spread through more of my work in 2008.

2008 is shaping up to be my biggest year with lots already booked in, I do have some concessions though, if you are getting married in the early part of next year then I could well still be available so why not hop on over to Mandy Charlton Designs, contact me and I could be shooting your wedding or if you're a parent why not book yourself up some milestones shoots, these are very popular and you get 4 shoots in the next year of your precious ones life, plus of course I get to see them grow and develop and pinch hugs etc.... mwahahahaha

Let me just add that I've now widened my blog to show bigger photographs and I've changed the header, however, the joy that is Internet Explorer doesn't seem to like it so just to say that this blog is best veiwed using Firefox or if you're like me I use Flock
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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Daily Kitten...

Since things at Mandy Charlton Designs are winding down for Christmas (actually since I have a photoshoot on Saturday and some last minute prints to deliver thats not even true LOL) I thought that I would try and post a daily kitten so please welcome todays starring kitten of the day Angel :-

Angel requested a Venture Photography style shoot but couldn't afford it so she had to cope with me and a bathroom towel on an armchair!!

After showing Angel the proofs from her session she's informed me she's very happy and will be ordering 2 5ftx4ft canvases! LOL Actually since she's really only around 20cm's long I think a 5ft canvas might be a little scary! Ya know I would love to get all 7 kittens photographed together but me thinks I can barely keep one still long enough to photograph!
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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Kitten Update...

So it's been ages since I updated on the kittens progress and now probably wasn't the best time to get my camera out as it's so dark in our livingroom I had to get my industrial spotlight out, that with a high ISO and dark coloured fast moving kittens on a dark wood floor and all photogs reading this are now covering their eyes!! LOL Sounds like the average wedding lighting in some English churches actually!!

Anyway, these are the best I could get so without further ado ;-


Ella, she's the number 1 kitten, Poppys eldest.

Angel, Abigail's kitten, she's a cutie as you can see here.

Abigail with Pumpkin, my personal favourite as he's the tinker and the alpha male of the kittens.

Abigail again cuddling Yogi (I think, could be casserole) she really loves those kittens.

This one is one of Elphabas 2 kittens who were born last Thursday, he's gorgeous and hubby named him Studley.

No piccies of the others as they were either sleeping, hiding or just running too darned fast!!
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Last Dates for Gift Vouchers

It's the last posting date today if you want your gift vouchers to go by post, however should you wish to purchase an gift voucher, I can email it to either you to print out or straight to the lucky recipient and you can buy gift vouchers for any amount, simply email me, tell me the amount and I'll send you an invoice which you can quickly and easily pay for using any credit or debit card, the recipient will then squeal with delight and can redeem the voucher against prints, photoshoots, wedding photography bookings, you name it and you can use it, you know you could even help a lucky couple to pay for their wedding photography that way or what could be nicer than vouchers towards prints or an album upgrade.

All vouchers are personalised and can be redeemed at any point over the next 12 months.

Gift Vouchers are available all year round, 365 days a year so why not buy yours today.
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Monday, December 17, 2007

Stuart and Kate 16/12/07 - St Marys Church Ponteland and Matfen Hall

It was a cold but dry day in the North of England yesterday, I was honoured to be photographing the wedding of Stuart and Kate, two of my clients who's wedding I have been looking forward to since the moment they booked. Stuart and Kate are one of the nicest couples you could ever hope to meet and I was delighted to play a small part in their very important day. The wedding was at St Marys church in the village of Ponteland, Northumberland.

Kate looked resplendant in her ivory wedding gown and Stuart looked very handsome in his morning suit.


I love this shot as she waits for the wedding procession to begin.


All the wedding guests looked wonderful but this little girl was the cutest little button.

The wedding was full of emotion, and even from the very back of the church we caught some precious moments.


Married :-


After the wedding we sprinted up the A69 to the magnificent venue of Matfen Hall where a very christmassy reception took place. There were so many wonderful opportunities and these next two are ust a couple of many.




Congratulations to you Stuart and Kate and may your marraige be full of wonderful moments.
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Saturday, December 15, 2007

In the Night Garden....

Well actually more in the garden at night, just me, an easy on the eye model, a new technique involving a power-tool and my camera, can't give too much away but may I say to all my Winter Brides getting married in cold dark places, worry not, your wedding photographer has it under control (well atleast if you live in Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland, Sunderland, or Durham)

So what do you think?


If you're a bride and your looking to book your wedding photography then why not call for a consultation? Plus if you book before the 31st of December you'll get an extra 10% off the price of your package. See Mandy Charlton Designs for details.
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Nativity Photos

Well here they are, my angels being angels in their Nativty Play
Too angels in one family, I just wish they were like this all of the time LOL!!
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Friday, December 14, 2007

Just a Couple of Photographs....


Ok, I know that I posted the slideshow but seeing as it was eensy weensy teeny weeny I just wanted to share a couple of the photos from Finlays Festive Photoshoot, after all with all that gorgeousness how could I resist!

This one is my absolute favourite!

If anyone doesn't remember who Finlay is, he's the son of the most wonderful couple David and Elizabeth who's wedding I shot earlier this year

Delighted because it's the first time I've ever been able to do a bonafide photoshoot at my house, yay the decorating must be working! LOL

Just a couple more random things I wanted to add today -
As you all can see festive toddler fun photos are awesome and I do have a little availability in my schedule so why not give me a call, contact me details are available at Mandy Charlton Designs.

Got a wedding enquiry today for December 28th ( crossing my fingers as it sounds like such fun) it got me thinking, if you receive a surprise proposal and you want to get married at lightening speed then do give me a call, I'm no stranger to last minute wonderful occasions and I might just be able to squeeze you in.

Came home from Tesco last night to find that Poppy had moved her kittens, when we found them we also discovered that Elphaba had her kittens as well, Yay for a house which currently has 2 cats and 7 kittens, we may have 1 or 2 which need lovely new homes to go to in Mid January/Mid February so if you think you might want one why not drop me an email. Elphaba only had 2 kittens and we're definetly keeping 1 ( Paul has called him Studley). I must try and get some photos, Poppys kittens are enormous compared to Elphabas, suprising when you consider there's only 3 weeks between them!!

Sunday is my Christmas wedding with the gorgeous Stuart and Kate, I shot their E- session earlier in the year and I have been so excited about their wedding given that I love weddings and I love Christmas, they are of course having their reception at Matfen hall which is beautiful and also adds to the excitement.

Lastly, I've not had chance to blog about the Childrens Christmas performances, they all did fantastically well, I'll try and sort those photos out and share them on my blog soon but in the meantime take a look at the little video I shot at last years performance.
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Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Very Finlay Christmas

This Little Pumpkin came to visit me today, I took so many photos that the best way to share them was in this little slideshow, the aww factor wins big time, enjoy Finlay in his little Christmas Photoshoot slideshow and if his daddy is reading this whilst in Iraq then may I say "Happy Christmas and stay safe"
video
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Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Stressful??? You've got to be kidding!

It really makes me laugh when People talk about how Christmas is so stressful, never once in my entire life has Christmas ever been stressful, I love Christmas and so can you if you too follow my zenlike tips!

  1. I've never been Christmas shopping yet other than online, I order all my Christmas presents on the internet, I never overspend and I often save a fortune.
  2. I don't cook Christmas dinner on Christmas day, we have our Christmas dinner on Christmas eve and it's the start of our fun.
  3. I never ever cook turkey anymore, we don't really like a 20lb bird so instead we have beef or lamb or whatever else takes our fancy
  4. Since we don't have any family or close friends we don't have to worry about going anywhere on Christmas day, we can stay in our jammies, eat chocolate and play with the kids toys all day if we want to.
  5. Copious amounts of bucks fizz are consumed on Christmas day, guaranteed to make you smile all day.
See now off you all go into the world to enjoy Christmas this year, it's only stressful if you make it that way!! ;)
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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

At home with the Charltons and other random things

It's no big secret that since I started shooting weddings I've always gone to clients houses for consultations and I never really minded although hubby and kiddies weren't too chuffed waiting 2 hours when it started getting dark and they could no longer nash off to the nearest park. The thing is that there's a reason why I always went out. I was pretty much brainwashed to believe that no one would come to my house, that it was dirty and smelly and anyone who did come would turn around, quickly retreat and never come back again. Well tonight I'm taking the pretty big step to start holding consultations at home (EEK< GULP) I've had therapy, I know I'm good enough but I still can't shake the house thing off! The thing is that we're renovating at the moment on a pretty big scale but The Sitting Room and the Kitchen are pretty much finished so why not see people at home, I mean it beats lugging a load of hugely heavy albums all over the north east and if I'm at home it means I can feed my clients cupcakes until they come out of their ears!!

I have a consultation tonight and one tommorrow and the lovely people who are coming have been forwarned that only the kitchen at the livingroom are finished and they''ll have to shut their eyes as they walk through the hall and up the stairs to the sitting-room!

One thing I definetly still need in the sitting-room is some wall art, One of my prints arrived today which I'd had blown up to A3 size but it's far too small, I think I'm going to order a couple of canvases in the new year as I have a pretty enormous wall to fill!

Excitement as Abigail and Laura are angels in the Nativity, Abigail is head angel and has a couple of lines, can't wait for Thursday till the performance :)

Ooh did you know that Rose is coming back to Dr Who in series 4, whats that all about?
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Monday, December 10, 2007

Big Christmas Savings on Gift Certificates....

Yes it's true from right now up until Christmas eve if you buy gift certificates you'll get 10% more than you pay so buy a gift certificate for £50 and you'll get a £55 value, it's a great way to buy now and save later.

The gift certificates are redeemable at any time over the next year and can be used for photoshoots, events, weddings or any of the products and print selections if you've already got a gallery.

See Mandy Charlton Designs and buy today, I can either post you out the certificate, post it out to the recipient or even email you which means you'll be able to buy right up until Christmas day.

There's never been a better time to book your family portrait photoshoot, your wedding photography booking or your childrens milestones sessions.
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Sunday, December 09, 2007

Nixies Family Portrait Photography Photoshoot 09/12/07

What a delightful morning I had with this delightful little poppet and her family today, she's 6 months old and just the most gorgeous little girl you could ever hope to meet.
As usual it was so difficult to edit the photos because there were so many wonderful ones and today choosing my favourites was nearly impossible.

You can tell that Nixie really loves mummy Toni, they have a simply delightful relationship and it's clear that Nixies arrival has changed mum and dads life forever.

Of course I just love sharing in lifes little moments and capturing gorgeous babies in the best photos ever.
If you want to book a session for your family or for your baby then go and visit my website Mandy Charlton Designs.
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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Natasha and Hayleys Lifestyle Photoshoot - Newcastle upon Tyne 8/12/07

The Slideshow of Hayley and Natashas photoshoot.

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Natasha and Hayleys Photoshoot, Newcastle Quayside 08/12/07

I met up with two delightful sisters today around the Quayside area of Newcastle upon Tyne for a special photoshoot which will provide them with this years solution to the eternal question "What should we get mum and dad for Christmas"!

Well it was a freezing cold morning and I have to give them both Kudos for not complaining a bit about sitting on cold stone and not even having long sleeves!!


Natasha and Hayley of course are both gorgeous so it wasn't too much of a challenge to get great photos.

They also both possess a wicked sense of style.
It was actually so cold and rainy that eventually we went to the Newcastle Sage Music Centre to do some indoor shots and I love this one of them by the tree.

After half an hour of warmth and shooting against some wonderful white walls it was time to brave the chill once again to get just a couple of shots on the the millenium bridge and this one is one of my favourites.
These two sisters are so much fun and I want to say a big thanks to them both for the opportunity to spend some time with them. I'm pretty sure that your parents are going to love the photos.

If you're having a family get together over the Christmas period and you want to record it by having a family photoshoot then I am available all days with the exception of course of Christmas day. See Mandy Charlton Designs for details.
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