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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011, you were quite a year!

It's officially the last day of the year and like many of you I'm looking back at 2011 and thinking what a year it was!

In 2011 I finally plucked up the courage to enter photographic competitions and I'm so glad that I did as I've won 17 seperate awards for wedding and portraiture photographs this year, even better is that most of those were international competitions!  2011 was the year I finally moved into a studio too!



In 2011 I was lucky enough to shoot 2 of my best friends weddings, Christine and Michael




and Li and Phil


My very first assistant and lovely friend Nigel had a gorgeous baby girl



 and my beautiful friend Heather gave birth to Yovel, a gorgeous brother for delightful Toam

and of course in 2011, these three gorgeous people gave me so much to be proud of, Abigail continues to excel at school


Looby continues to be the most popular girl in the known universe spreading joy and cuddles wherever she goes



and Iain continues to amaze us, because of his aspergers he's not a big fan of photos so I have to catch him unaware but he's excelling at school, he's got more friends than I think he ever imagined he would and he even had his first girlfriend this year.

I love my family so much, without them none of this would be possible

So whatever you do to celebrate have a wonderful New Years Eve and an amazing 2012

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Weddings, Portraits and Idle thumbs...

You know those idle thumbs, they're the ones that get you into trouble, if the truth be known my idle thumbs often find themselves shopping for too many pairs of shoes.  I've been determined not to buy 1700 pairs of new shoes in the sales so I have had a cunning plan and worked for the past few days and it's worked, no new shoes!!

I have met some wonderful people though so I thought I would share just a couple of photographs with you.

First on Tuesday I met a lovely Aussie Family, I say Aussie but Dad was originally from Hebburn, apparently Brisbane is just a bit nicer, I can't think why anyone would say that, my studio is based in Hebburn!

So Dad wanted a few photos with landmarks in, the ones that are special to him and so you can't have a shoot without having the Tyne Bridge in it



Yesterday I went to Close House to photograph the wedding of Nicola and Paul and captured this lovely moment during the ceremony.


and Today I went to my favourite Graffiti wall to photograph some kids who want to make a special birthday present for their granddads, let me tell you something, teenage girls don't like having their photographs taken, it was a lot of fun though!



So as we reach the end of 2011, what a great year it's been, I can't believe how lucky I am to do the job that I do, I think it's because it's so much more than a job, it's my life, it's the thing I love the most after my family and love or course, Love is the most important thing, all you need is love!

If you were lucky enough to get engaged over the Christmas period and are planning your 2012 or 2013 wedding please do contact me and come have a chat about it with me in my studio, 2012 is already looking like it could be my busiest year ever and I want to say thank you because without you I'd just be a lady with a camera, oh actually since I got my Dorothy shoes I'm now "look at the lady with the red shoes" haha and on that note I shall wish you all the best for the closing days of the year and may you all have wonderful New Year celebrations, I'm off for a couple of days R&R but if you are wanting a shoot in the next week give me a call because I can probably fit you in and do something fabulous on location, if you are wanting a studio shoot I'm back in the studio on 07/01, that day is already pretty full so get booking for future weeks!

To contact me you can call me on 07918 121838, email me at mandy@mandycharlton.com or you can click through to my website mandycharlton.com

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Clayton and Caroline got married at Christmas!

So as you know I'm having a bit of a working Christmas this year, it's fine though because I love it and you know what I love, true love at Christmas, the best things are true love and Christmas, put the two together and you have something completely wonderful, gorgeous, romantic...

Clayton and Carolines Wedding was just that, I cried big chubby tears during Claytons speech, die hard romantic thats me!!


They got married at St Albans in Earsdon and then on the way to a swish reception at the Hotel Du Vin we stopped off at the beach at Tynemouth to capture some natural light portraits just as the sun was shining it's golden light, we really couldn't have been any luckier with the weather, for the 22nd of December the weather was better than half of the weddings I've shot in June!!

This one photo really sums up the wedding in one photograph, it was vintage, beautiful and all about love, with a touch of Biba and a hint of Pulp, when they danced on the beach singing Common People to each other I had a lump in my throat!

Congratulations Clayton and Caroline may your love story continue for many years, thank you so much for letting me share your most special of days.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

A Very Cosy Charlton Christmas

Yes lovely people, Happy Christmas to you all, it's been quite a year and now it's time for my yearly blog of what went down in the Charlton House this Christmas Day.  I've turned away from flash lately and I really love how shooting at high ISO's and low apertures makes everything seem to warm and cosy, I think it really suits my style!

The kids got up at their normal time of 8am which wasn't so bad, I don't think we've ever had a really early year thankfully.


best way to photograph Iain these days is when he's not looking


sign of the times that they're getting older, they got a Tantrum nail candy set between them


Looby got her horse riding lessons she really wanted, we can't wait to sign her up in the New Year


She does like to demonstrate new clothing


from now on when I get sick of my darling husband I have decided to cover him with a Gary Barlow mask



Looby got a Nintendo DS with Mario Kart, daddy also loves this and yes she is sitting wearing her new hat, scarf and gloves




I'm pretty sure it means that he just won a cup!


yup there's another one who hates me photographing her and remains plugged in to technology at all times


She's quite a comedian is Looby


It wouldn't be a family blog without Disco Bob!

So it's been a fabulous Christmas, I'm working throughout my Christmas break this year, but I'm at least working from home, tomorrow I have a family shoot and Wednesday I have a wedding consultation followed by a wedding, busy times but I love my job!

Whatever you're doing for the rest of your Christmas break I hope it's a good one and from our house to yours may I wish you a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2012.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Breakfast With Santa at Heighley Gate, an imposter

We've been looking forward to having breakfast with Santa at Heighley Gate  for ages and today was the big day, we got up early and made our way up there for a half nine start.

We were seated and served breakfast, to our horror breakfast was cold and the eggs were grey, they actually tasted like an old kitchen sponge, not the greatest start to an event which had cost me £7.95 each for Abigail and Laura and £6.25 for me, Paul and Iain.

Santa came out and Looby said straight away that she didn't think it was the real Santa as he had more of a goatee than a beard.

he stopped at each table to talk to the little ones and when he got to ours and simply said hello kids and walked off, I then overheard him talking to a staff member asking if we were with the rest of the party, I've never felt so sad and I could tell Looby was gutted.




After this all the kids went to Santa to receive presents and have photos but would you believe he didn't want to have a photo with Abigail and i actually had to ask him.

he doesn't look very happy does he?  and you know what it's just sad because as I said to one of the staff it should be celebrated if older kids are still excited about seeing Santa, Santa is one of Loobys favourite people and mine too so it was just disappointing that this imposter chose to spoil some of the magic of Christmas.  You know how much Looby loves Santa, her list of favourite people goes, Mummy, daddy, Santa and then the Baby Jesus in that order, she emails him on a daily basis with an iPad app and he always replies, she says she is Santas penpal and she finds it funny that he keeps turning up in the same places as her, when she wrote to him she even wrote on the back of the envelope that there was a special kiss inside for him.  I always tell her that Christmas is in your heart as it is in mine and it remains to this day, I hope when she's my age she's just as much as fond of Santa, I have to say Winter Wonderland Santa and I had such a lovely chat

I spoke to a staff member and she was really gutted for us, so gutted that she arranged for us to go into Winter Wonderland where she made it snow!!  She also said did the girls want to see Winter Wonderland Santa who was working for a charity and I can tell you it was THE real Santa, it really cheered the girls up, especially Looby, she got to give him a big hug and they chatted with him for a few minutes and then they got to choose their own gift.

I have asked them in future to bear in mind that older children still love Santa and should be treated the same as the younger ones



So if you are out there running a company which makes profit from the magic of Christmas please ensure you do it well or you could spoil a small childs dreams and their mummys too!
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Monday, December 19, 2011

It's the final countdown

It's the week before Christmas and we're all getting really excited in the Charlton household, last night my hubby got so tipsy on red wine that he proceeded to tell me what he'd got me for Christmas and then he went to the cupboard and showed me the shoes he'd bought me, how rubbish is he at surprises?

It's just as well they are asbsolutely gorgeous, red, sparkly and definitely Dorothy shoes, can't wait to wear them on Christmas day.

broke up from work yesterday and pulled the shutters down on the studio for a while, one of my last shoots was this little boy, I don't think he's so happy about being Santas little helper do you?


you know at Christmas it's often the only time the whole family are together so if you fancy celebrating that you can book a shoot with me between now and the New Year, I can either get myself to the studio or if you fancy having it at home or on location it's no problem at all, just call me or contact me through my website

Also if you are stuck for a last minute present idea electronic gift vouchers are available right up until Christmas eve so email or call me and I can sort that out for you, it's a great gift if you are having a sudden panic because you've forgotten Aunt Mauds present and all the shops are shut!!

I'm really looking forward to having breakfast with Santa on Wednesday up at Heighley Gate Garden Centre, even my 15 year old is coming along, he was aghast that I hadn't put his name down so I had to add 1 extra, it's lovely that we can all go and share the Christmas magic together.

This week I'm looking forward to Carolyn and Claytons wedding on Thursday at the Hotel Du Vin and next week I have Nicola and Pauls wedding at Close House, if you know me you'll know that I think there's nothing quite so romantic as love at Christmas so I'm pretty excited about both weddings, sure they're going to be gorgeous!!

So whatever you are doing this week in the run up to the big day make sure it's full of happy moments and no stress!

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

This is an advance warning - January is Boudoir Month

Why yes my sweeties January has to be boudoir month if you want to give your loved one gorgeous images of yourself for Valentines day.

Miss L did just that a couple of weeks ago, in fact it was the same week I had the pleasure of photographing Miss Dee La Beau

and so my pretties, lets share a few photographs from those shoots, I have full permission from both ladies but let me reassure you I'd never share your boudoir photos unless you wanted to.





How gorgeous is Miss L, she really said she had no confidence and then pulled this shot off, it's amazing!  I actually won an award for this image!










Of course Miss La Beau was beautiful as ever and totally worked it, I love this one best as it's just a little vunerable.

so now you've seen some gorgeous ladies doing it for themselves it's your turn, during January boudoir shoots with a little black book are only £249 instead of £295, thats a huge saving and if you go the time only option your boudoir shoot is going to be as little as £120, to book just go to my website, email me or call me on 07918 121838

Now there's just 1 thing left and that is come on boys, you want to give your other half nice photos of you don't you? January isn't just boudoir month, January is dudeoir month so get yourself booked in!

Now if you are looking for a super saving why not pre-purchase a gift certificate and then you'll get 20% extra value and also save on the shoot, it's the ultimate present if you are in Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham or anywhere in the north east of England, with one of my awards this year being won for that thar image up thar you can be assured you are in good hands

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Christmas is coming, better get a shake on...

Yes Christmas is truly underway, the shops are heaving, there's a chill in the air and parents throughout the land are getting over excited about little Tommy playing 3rd bean from the left in the Nativity Play.  It's only last week we sat through our girls Nativity with Abigail playing a very angelic Mary, anyone who knows Abigail will know how miscast this particular part was but she did a great job though I'm sure I caught sight of her de rigeur black trousers underneath her Mary costume.  I would have shared a photo but we were threatened that if we shared our own childrens photographs (how very dare we even think about it) the whole schools parent community would be banned from ever taking photographs at any school performance ever again, I'm not one to mess with the headmistress either even though I think it's a ludicrous thing to suggest when I as a blogger often blog my own children!!


So imagine Abigail as Mary and Looby as "one of the choir" (special part that) and gaze upon an alternative photograph which has become our family Christmas card for this year.  Now it's probably a little late for me to be doing your Christmas cards but I do have 2 slots left if you want to get some last minute photos down at the studio this weekend so if you can make it on either Saturday at 2pm or Sunday morning give me a call or drop me an email and I'll squeeze you in, I'm even going to try and sort out prints by using the services of Santas Elfs (aka, the local couriers who aren't quite happy or elfen but they do usually get stuff to places on time!)


This weekend in the studio was another busy one but I can't share some of the images dear readers and one of you reading (and I know that they do read) might be getting some for Christmas of some people very dear to you, thats enough hints from me, it's top secret to me, the people involved and of course Santa Claus himself.

One more note about Christmas business hours, gift certificates and other mentionable gubbins, Photo Shoots are available up until December 21st, after that time I am on my Christmas break but if you have family you only ever see at Christmas or the kids are home from university for the first time in ages email me and I will open up the studio especially for you, in all other cases I shall be at home scoffing Ferrero Rocher!

If you buy a gift certificate (e-voucher) before Christmas Eve I will increase the value by 20% so for instance you want to buy one for £50 I will give you one for £60 because thats my warmhearted lovely side with a festive touch).

This Christmas I have 2 weddings, 1 at the Hotel Du Vin on the 22nd and one at gorgeous Close House on the 28th so spare a thought for my cold fingers and toes as you all decide to crack open another tin of quality street!  

Ooh, 1 last thing, I have a Studio gallery on my website now with all my recent studio work, go have a look, you might just have made it on there!



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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Disk only Mini Photoshoots - [Mandy Charlton, Newcastle Photographer]

It really is getting close to Christmas and I'm thoroughly excited, loads of lovely people coming into my studio for photo shoots today.

However if you're tardy like me and haven't even started your Christmas shopping you may well assume that there's going to be no time to have a photo shoot and get product in time for Christmas so as one of Santas favourite little helpers I'm going to have a very special offer for you -

From now until Christmas Eve you can book a mini shoot with disk (or dropbox if you like your new fangled tech like me) and I'll do a half hour shoot, edit the images and you can choose 10 of them to go on the disk (or download).  You will as ever get an online gallery with full ordering facilities for 30 days too!

I'm not going to publish the price on my blog for fear of a stampede but it's a super fantastic great deal with more than half off the usual price of the disk.xxx

If you are interested just drop me an email at mandy@mandycharlton.com or you can also click through to my website to contact me.

You could have your images from this shoot in less than a couple of hours, I really am super speedy!

Hope to see you and your family soon so we can create images like this -



x
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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

It's a little Christmas Giveaway

Yes, you heard it here first folks, in the spirit of Christmas I am giving away 2 festive photo shoots down at my Studio this Saturday afternoon.  All you'll pay for are any prints and I'll even guarantee delivery for Christmas.

Here's just a couple of portraits from last weekend -



So, what do you have to do to win one of these portrait shoots and when are they available?

Well you can choose pretty much any time from noon on Saturday and they'll be at my studio, I'm based within The Photography Studio, Unit 6, The Old Co-Op buildings, Ralph Street, Hebburn, NE31 1HP, it's literally a 10 minute drive from central Newcastle and it's cosy and warm and full of fun things for the kids, we have a trampoline, rocking horse, tons of dressing up and festive things, it really is a whole lot of festive fun!

So to win one all you have to do is email mandy@mandycharlton.com, leave a comment on this post, Tweet Me or send me a Facebook Message you can even contact me through my website 

I'm also going to open up evenings for portrait shoots at my studio next week, so if you wanted to book a shoot but you haven't had time I can do after school pretty much all next week, I even have some slots available on the weekend of 17/18th but thats going to mean being super speedy when it comes to placing orders if you want them for Christmas.
x
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Friday, December 02, 2011

Christmas is coming

and there's not very much time left to book a festive photo shoot if you want to guarantee delivery of your precious photographs before Santa comes down the chimney (or through the door with a magic key in our case as we don't have a chimney)

These are just a few gorgeous photos with a festive touch I've shot this week





so if you don't want to miss out then call me/contact me/shout at me and I'll get you in my studio toot suite!

Holidays are coming, Holidays are coming, Holidays are coming

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