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

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stacey and Chris a photo love story [Mandy Charlton, Newcastle Photographer]

I met up with Stacey and Chris to create the following photo love story, I want to thank them for being such great sports and having enormous fun and I want to encourage you, yes you couples of Britain to find new and interesting quirky ways of showing your love and then I want you to come and book me to photograph it and present it like this!!

so on with the photo love story -
















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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The True Definition of a Virtual Assistant - {guest blog}

Today I have a guest blog from this lovely lady who is a VA in the NE of England and also happens to be one of my favourite people, here she tells us in her own special way the true definition of a VA.




If you look up the definition of a Virtual Assistant on Wikipedia you will find this this: “A virtual assistant is an entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, technical, or creative (social) assistance to clients from a home office”. Well that's fair enough, and technically accurate, but to be perfectly honest it misses out the true definitions: “Lifesaver”, “Godsend” and “Miracle Worker” all spring to mind!
What a Virtual Assistant can really offer you is time.  Time to focus on doing the things you want to do.  All those things that you thought you'd be able to do when you set up you own business.  You can take time off to pick the kids up from school, you can actually finish on time rather than working into the early hours, and most of all you can focus on the things that generate income and build your business.  Do you want to spend hours every day reading non-essential emails, or cleaning up your database? These time consuming activities need to be done, but surely your time would be best spend meeting clients face to face, completing their projects on time and building your company's reputation, right?
They can also provide an immediate service, depending on their schedule, meaning if you have a project that's running tight to a deadline and you need some help at short notice, your VA can step in and give you the assistance you need to complete on time.  See what I mean about lifesaver?  Imagine trying to advertise, interview and hire a member of staff to help you out in such a short space of time.  Impossible! A VA really can be your saving grace when the pressure is on and you have more work than time.   
The best thing about hiring a VA is they don't have to sit in your office to carry out these tasks. You can email the work that needs to be completed, give instruction over the phone or, if you still party like its 1999, you can even fax the work over! You only pay them for the work they do, not for the work they do plus time they spend on your computer at your desk using your electricity browsing the internet on your time.  You hire them for a set number of hours, with a fee agreed up front so you stay completely in control of your budget, and once the project is complete that's it! Done! All your work is complete, you've saved a fortune in overheads associated with taking on a new staff member and you've managed to make it home in time for putting your kids/wife/dog to bed. 
Want to know another secret about VA's? They know people.  They've built up professional relationships and can use these to save you money.  Need a new website?  Your Virtual Assistant knows this talented agency that can give you a great deal.  Need some leaflets printed out?  Your Virtual assistant has a fantastic contact who can shave big bucks off your current supplier's prices. VA's are great networkers, and if they can get you a good deal they will.
In short VA's save you money while making your life a whole lot easier. 
If you run your own business and are finding yourself buried under a pile of administrative work so deep you can no longer find your phone, never mind use it to keep in touch with your clients, maybe it's time you thought about the benefits of hiring a short term, low cost solution to your worries. 
--
Li is a Gateshead based Virtual Assistant providing low cost and flexible secretarial, administrative, events and research services to small businesses.  For more information about how Li can help your business why not stop in to her webspace at www.lisherryva.co.uk
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Wednesday, May 04, 2011

So, this is what I've been up to lately [newcastle wedding and portrait photographer]

In addition to lounging around the countryside in a tent I've also been working really hard as usual but because I'm so busy I never really devote enough time to blogging so here's one of those famous catchup posts with highlights of my latest work.


When Julie and Stephen from Applause Accountancy Services wanted some new headshots I of course was delighted to shoot them, I don't do boring headshots, remember when people first see your photo thats the overall impression they're going to get of you and your business so why would you want to have a bland white background? Take this opportunity to show your personality and get out on location if possible.





Burnside School are building a new website so I got to go and spend the day in the life of a school, I had a wonderful time with the kids and teachers and again I captured things in my very own style, after all who wants a boring website?!



Harry is one of the last babies I've photographed, here with his little bear how cute is he?



I spent a week in Ponteland photographing the kids and parents of Kindermusik, these little ones have such fun responding to music, if you have a baby aged 0-4 then your kids are going to love this, they'll dance and sing and spin and jump and play with parachutes, it really is an amazing thing to do with your little one



and so to that band we all know and love, Villain Thomas who held the launch for their new EP "The Waters down at As You Like It last week, an incredible night with amazing music, lots of friends and familiar faces, full blog post coming on this later this week.





Oh look it's James of My Other Life with his beautiful wife Anila, news coming soon of our project we're working together on









Backing dancers?




ah Olivia, what a poppet, I wish all little ones were as smiley and full of sunshine as this little one


Finally it's Olivia, William and family down on the beach at Tynemouth, lovely kids and even the dog played







and so thats my brief history of the last month, sure I've still managed to miss bits and pieces but I'll get there and so if you are looking forward to a long hot summer it's a brilliant time to book your family portraits, you can get in touch or see more of my work by going to my all new and wonderful spangly website mandycharlton.com

If you are looking for headshots, want an event shot, or want to commission me for your special project then get in touch, I love my wonderful varied life of fantastic people and wonderful projects, there's pretty much nothing I can't photograph and put my own quirky spin on!
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Monday, May 02, 2011

The Charltons go camping and other wonderous holiday activities

This week off has been bliss, nearly 10 whole days with the kids and for several of them even hubby managed to be not at work.  on the Easter weekend we entertained ourselves at Kielder and then Belsay Hall and then this weekend we went on our inaugural camping trip!

Staying at Dunroamin Farm Camping and Caravan Site in Kirkinner on the beautiful Southwest coast of Scotland we had a blissful weekend and I have to say that living under canvas officially rocks!  I have to say that the site itself was gorgeous, the most amazing display of stars I have ever seen and the facilities were all beautifully clean one thing I had worried about.  I'd thoroughly recommend staying there, especially if you have kids because they have loads of stuff for the kids to do including a games room, adventure playground, basketball ring and plenty of balls, they even have a sandpit!!  Our kids also made friends with the other kids on site which was so lovely.  Here's some highlights of our Easter breaks

Starting with one taken by Iain, yeah he's getting good though I've given him a tip to try not to cut his sister off doing arty things!


Kielder, just as we were leaving on the Osprey ferry







Love this one of Iain but oh my he's getting so big, he could be in a boyband!


The Creetown Gemrock museum, I swear that Looby has a career in comedy ahead of her, love the gemrock museum, definitely a must visit if you're staying in the area, kids will love it.




Wigtown is gorgeous but if you have a chance walk down to the harbour for views like this, absolutely gorgeous!






Adore this portrait of Looby, she wasn't the happiest of bunnies when this was taken





Next to the Caravan site was several farms and an evening walk with Looby meant that I got to photograph some of them.




This is the view you wake up to every morning, I'd swap Newcastle for here any day of the week



One of the local sheepdogs, love this photo



Yesterday we went to the Logan Botanic Gardens, what an amazing coastal garden this is and we had the perfect day to visit it.



Looby in amongst the bluebells in the woodland at Logan


and of course the Gunnera is at it's most magnificent at Logan, definitely a highlight, I just wish the Gunnera in our garden would grow as big as it does at Logan






Finally got a photograph of all my gorgeous kids together, proud mummy I am

The Mull of Galloway, Scotlands most southerly point, some great views and plenty of wildlife

Now there's a cool portrait of the kids



The beach at Port Logan, next time we will get to the Logan Fish Pool

Last night we went for dinner at Portpatrick, one of my favourite little Scottish villages, if I was going to move to Scotland I'd love to live somewhere like this.




Last night I just managed to catch the sunset as we returned to our tent, I'm so thankful to be blessed with such a brilliant little family who enjoy our adventures as much as I do.  Without them, none of this would be a possibility.
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