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

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

More Best of the Year award wins for Portraiture and a couple of special offers

I counted myself to be very lucky when I won 2 best of 2011 awards for wedding photography earlier this month so last week when I found out I'd won another best of 2011 award for Pet photography and then yesterday when I found out I'd won a stonking 5 best of 2011 awards for portraiture I had a smile like a cheshire cat!!



This was my favourite portrait image that won and my favourite portrait image of last year, taken on location at the Cedar Court Grand in York with Dr Mariann Hardey of So Seriously Social


Beautiful Ruby is one of the first pets I've ever photographed so a bit of an honour to scoop a top worldwide award.

This weekend in the studio I had the honour of photographing 23 members of this lovely family in celebration of Grandma and Granddads Golden Wedding Anniversary


It made me so grateful to have a studio big enough to fit them all in, Holly and Craig in the back row are old clients who's wedding I shot 3 years ago, it was a lovely opportunity to catch up with the whole family and know that they're all doing so well.


all of the great grandchildren were so cute and it was an absolutely pleasure to photograph them all.

So onto the offers, this months offers are I think pretty brilliant - 

Book your 2012/2013 wedding before the end of February and I'll add an extra hour onto your wedding coverage, imagine what you could do with that extra hour?

Also book a portrait shoot in the studio before the end of February and benefit from a special £20 sitting instead of £40 and you'll even get a complimentary 5x7 print.  You could even buy a gift certificate for a future event and benefit from the half price offer.

To take advantage of any of the offers just click through and contact me through my website

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Great places to get married in the North East of England

So being a wedding photographer in the North East of England means that I get to photograph weddings in some gorgeous venues, this made me think about my own personal favourite venues and brides if you have just booked your wedding I know that choice of venue can be so important, it's a minefield.

Here's some of my favourite places in no particular order, a few of which are different, quirky and will keep people talking for some time to come.

1. Matfen Hall, if you want grand then this is the place, the stained window alone makes it one of the most desirable places to get married in the North East of England, it's a dark venue though so make sure your photographer knows what they are doing and has lenses to fit.

2. As You Like It, I have to say that this is my favourite venue because we renewed our vows there in 2010 for our 10th anniversary, for quirkiness on a vintage scale this is the place to go, the only thing I'd say is for your newlywed portraits you'll need to go to Jesmond Dene or Newcastle/Gateshead quayside because the frontage isn't the most attractive but inside it's amazing, lovely, cosy and they can cater for up to 275 people on a night time.

3. The Baltic, oh how I love the Baltic and do they know how to do weddings, it can be small and cosy or big and grandios, it's simply one of the best venues in the north and the guests get exclusive access to all of the exhibits

4. The Sage, not so many people are aware that you can have your wedding at the sage but you make it your own and it's a fabulous venue and the food is second to none.

5. Jesmond Dene House Hotel, I have shot many weddings in this venue and it's gorgeous, lots of wood and a cosy feel even if you are having a bigger wedding, the gardens are beautiful and the food is amazing.

6. The Discovery Museum, yes it's a fairly new to weddings venue and featured on BBC3's Don't Tell The Bride, if you have always fancied a wedding in somewhere completely different then this could be your venue.

7. The Great North Museum (aka The Hancock) one of my favourite places, I grew up visiting this museum every year with my granny, it's simply fabulous and they do the most fabulous weddings and you can have a dinosaur in your photographs.

8. Linden Hall, one of the lovely stately homes turned hotel, up near Morpeth the staff are wonderful friendly people, I have shot many weddings here and never heard a bad report.

9. Close House Hotel, based up in beautiful Northumberland, on sunny days you can spill onto the terrace for drinks and canapes and there are plenty of places to hide if the weather isn't so good, their Orangary makes a splendid place to have portraits.

10. St Marys Lighthouse, I would love to shoot a wedding here so if you are booking one please hire me, who wouldn't want to get married in a Lighthouse, though it only caters for smaller weddings there's no more quirky a venue.


This photograph is from Lucy and James wedding who got married at The Great North Museum


So I hope that this has helped and if you are booking your 2012 wedding please do get in touch, for everyone who books in the next month I am adding an extra hour into your package and with my weddings start at just £595 for up to 3 hours come have a chat at my studio...




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Monday, January 23, 2012

Cute Kids, Bouncing Babies and Terrific Toddlers

January has been a busy month down at the studio, I love my job so much, I get to spend time with the loveliest people in the world so as ever here's just a few previews of who's been down in the studio having fun.


Emily brought her cousin along with her, would you believe that I've now photographed Emily's mum and dad 6 times and with the arrival of Emilys little brother or sister it can't be too long before I get to do it all again!!


now look at this little poppet, he was born 4 weeks ago and really isn't so keen on being photographed or being naked for that matter but he's such a cutie

and look at his big sisters, they are so gorgeous and funny


aww, they really love their little brother

and this little 11 month old, well she tootled and she tottered around the studio just doing her own thing, we got tons of photos of her and her big sister and what a pleasure it was to photograph them



So thanks to all the little lovely people who've made work the funnest place to be over the last couple of weeks, if you want a portrait shoot for your poppets if you do it in February you can do it half price, yes only £20 for the session instead of £40 so take advantage because at this price the studio sessions usually fill up fast!

On a totally unconnected matter don't forget you can book your 2012/2013 wedding at 2011 prices if you book before February 1st 2012, dates are now filling quite fast  but I still have some availability so why not contact me through my website and come see me at the studio


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Monday, January 16, 2012

Mandy Charlton Photography - Winner of 2 worldwide awards for wedding photography

I can barely believe I am posting this but I've just been notified of the most incredible news from the lovely folks over at Pixoto.


This image was judged by professional photographers worldwide as being in the top 5% in the world in the weddings section for 2011


and this image was judged as being in the best 10% of wedding images worldwide for 2011

I only really started to enter image competitions in 2010 so to be ranked so highly in the world is a massive honour and I couldn't do it without all of my wonderful clients so I want to say thank you to each and everyone of you who has let me be part of your weddings and special events and who knows whats going to happen in 2012

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Caroline and Claytons Wedding, Vintage/Pulp/Fabulousness

Just before Christmas I shot one of my favourite weddings of all time, the combination of influences by Chanel/Audrey Hepburn and Pulp combined with the beauty and gorgeousness of Caroline and Claytons wedding were to make it one of the most beautiful weddings I have ever shot.





Caroline was so beautiful in her vintage veil and dress, a true beauty to behold



 and if you are thinking that this guy looks familiar, you should see him with his glasses on, he's the spitting double of Jarvis Cocker from Pulp!

Those nervous last moments as you're about to walk down the aisle


and those tender moments during the ceremony when you give your all to the one you love most in your life


and then before you know it you are married and it's wonderful and happy and you can even start breathing again!



how gorgeous is this little bridesmaid?




all of the kids plus a large amount of confetti






we went off to the beach for some portraits, Tynemouth in December could have been chilly but it was more like an autumn day than a winter one



Our happy, gorgeous couple



moments of tenderness


and then they started singing "Common People to each other and I got to stand back and click, a very cool moment


So very much in love those two


Thats some love and a campervan


after those beachy portraits we winged our way to the Hotel Du Vin, possibly the most chic hotel in Newcastle, seriously cool and if you book your wedding there ask for Dan to look after you, he's one of my most favourite master of ceremonies, when we renewed our vows at As You Like It Jesmond he looked after us.


Sharing a tender moment in one of the chic suites and OMG look at those boots, geniune vintage and absolutely amazing!



The speeches were just lovely, I cried when Clayton gave his speech, that man is a true romantic



I have to say that most people in the room were in floods of tears because it was such a beautiful speech



Caroline and Clayton, I hope that you have a long and happy marriage, its easy to see that you are soul mates, thank you so much for choosing me to help you document your wedding day.

If you are planning your 2012 or beyond wedding you can book at 2011 prices until the end of January, just contact me through the website

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Monday, January 09, 2012

Back in the Studio

Saturday was officially my first day back in the studio after my Christmas break (you know the one where I worked?!)

I have to say that although it was a delight to see Amara again I'm quite sad because she's emigrating on Tuesday, it's so sad to lose some of my loveliest clients, thank goodness for Facebook so we can keep in touch.



I'm wishing all of the love and luck in the world to Denise, and all her family for the travel and settling in Perth, I'm sure Amara is going to adore never having to be worried about being chilly ever again!!


now next up was a lady who'd come in just before Christmas with her partner to have a maternity shoot  and join the Milestones program, most of the images were private and just for them but I know she doesn't mind me showing this one which both her and hubby adored, doesn't she look amazing!!


and then of course from gorgeous mummies come beautiful baby and here's Tom who was born on Boxing Day night, I have to tell you he's just itty bitty teeny weeny at the moment and light as a feather, I had the best cuddle ever and got to take some gorgeous photos of him, I can't wait to watch him grow up over the next year.

So that was me back in the studio with a bang, I also met a couple about their wedding and I have fingers and toes crossed they will book because it sounded so uber cool and the whole of their reception is in the glass viewing box at the Baltic!!

If you are having a baby or if you're getting married why not come see me in my studio for photos or a chat, just get in touch via the website

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Monday, January 02, 2012

A Refective Post For The Start of 2012

I was just glancing back at some old blog posts, I started this blog on the 26/02/06 so this year will be my 6th blogaversary, blimey six years of my collective thoughts and photographs all in one place.

When I started my blog it was mainly about family things, I was a mummy blogger I suppose, would you believe that at the start I hadn't even thought about starting my business, you can actually read about the journey into that right up until the day I officially launched in June 2007.

My blog changed after I started my business, it became more about business than about family and then I had a swing recently and now I think there's quite a good balance of family and business, maybe it's because I think I've finally found that elusive thing called the work/life balance or maybe it was because my children googled me and found my blog and insisted that I post more about their lives and history which seems fair enough really.

It's funny when I look back at those early days now, although it's nice to see some kind of photographic progression some of the early photography was, well, shocking!

I've learned so much since starting my business and this year I'll be launching my own style of photographic courses, "Lets Shoot Each Other and Shoot Your Kids" are bound to be a riot, they're still a couple of months away in terms of me feeling I'm ready to teach them but I'm really looking forward to it.


Now no blog post would be complete without a photo and I've not really lifted my camera for a couple of days so I'll leave you with this, this was our first New Years Eve family Singstar party, for the first time ever we let all the kids stay up till Midnight and we had a riot, yes that is Iain and Looby singing Lady Gaga.

Right then, I'm off to cook the Gammon which I never got around to cooking for Christmas day, I'm mostly working from home and chilling a lot this week before I get back to the studio on Saturday.  I'm just not quite ready to say goodbye to Christmas yet.


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