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 14, 2015

The better than half priced voucher offer for 72 hours only!






Christmas comes but once each year and dear reader it's almost within touching distance isn't it, can you feel the magic and the wonder just around the corner, it's actually Christmas next week, I can't quite believe that.

I'm in that lovely phase of my business now where it's all about getting those last orders out there and winding down so that I too can enjoy that precious family moments with my friends and children.  I can't wait to go to Edinburgh next week, going on the 23rd means we'll see Edinburgh at it's most festive and I can't wait to have afternoon tea at the Dome.

So it's my time to say thank you, my time to give out a little festive treat so for 72 hours just call me Santa...





For 72 hours only you can buy a gift certificate (or multiple gift certificates) for a £75 session for only £35, that's better than half price!!

You can use the voucher for a session on location or at home, for newborn, maternity, kids, family, whatever you like really, the only stipulation is that if you are more than 10 miles away and live somewhere that's tricky to get to you may incur a little in the way of travel expenses but if you think that's you get in touch and I can give you a clearer idea.  In most cases it's not going to happen but if you live in a village at the top of a hill in the middle of Northumberland it might just be a teeny bit more!!



The vouchers are valid until January 2017 so that's loads of time to use them and if you've just had this years photo shoot and loved it why not buy one and then that's next years spring/summer/autumn/winter photo shoots all sorted and it's not even Christmas!!



I'm also giving one lucky person a voucher to use as and when they wish, all you need to do is share this facebook post with friends and family and leave me a comment and I'll draw one person at random tomorrow just after 8am.

To buy a voucher all you need to do is email me and I can sort that out for you, it's the best last minute gift to yourself or others and it's all done by email, it's an E Voucher so no worrying about Christmas post, it can be sorted out in less than 5 minutes which I think you'll agree that at Christmas we all need a time saving activity.



Husbands, your wife wants one, mommas, point your other halves at this page and just drop a few hints and this year you might just get the best present ever!!  Because beautiful photos of your family, well that really is the best present and it lasts forever, unlike socks, a Susan Boyle CD or smelly things that bring you out in a rash!






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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Best womens camera bag featuring Mooli London






Ever since I first spotted the Mooli range of camera bags I've wanted one so when the chance to work with them came up and they gifted me their beautiful red bag my camera bag has never been quite so brilliant.

My Mooli London Hampton camera bag has traversed with me near and far, it's been to Rome, Barcelona, Pisa, Palma de Mallorca, Cannes...

It's been on trains and planes and cruise ships and it's been all over the North East of England being admired by friends, photographers and clients.

To be honest I use this bag 24/7, it doesn't always have my camera in, it just looks like the most amazing handbag, a thing of beautiful quality and unparalleled good looks.  Looby even agreed to pose with it and I think she would love one for school, most kids have tech these days so why not have a smart handbag to protect it?





I apologise for inflicting these photographs of me on you all, Loobys skill as a photographer is much better than mine as a posing model, one of the reasons I've spent the last 10 years behind the camera and not in front of it.



For any photographers out there who do travel it's the perfect bag, even when it's been on aeroplanes it fits neatly under the seat.  Let me share with you just a few of the places I've been with my camera bag over the last couple of months...


Pisa, reminded me of a set from an Italian mob movie once you were facing away from Miracle Square


The beautiful harbour in Cannes, possibly the most glamorous place I've ever visited.



A beautiful Mediterranean sunset


Palma De Mallorca, really glamorous which is something I'd never imagined about Majorca, I really want to return to this balearic island and spend more time exploring, it's so beautiful and tourism and history mix nicely together without it feeling over commercialised like some places in Spain





The leaning tower of Pisa, a sight to behold and when you sit at the top of it, well it's even more impressive


The Camposanto, Pisa, there were just a few people wandering around the Camposanto in the beautiful November afternoon sunshine, there's nowhere I've ever been which has felt quite so still or special, it was almost a break from the entire world.


When I'm shooting around the world I tend to use the Fuji X system cameras because they're compact and light and they fit neatly into my Mooli bag with all of my other gubbins.  At weddings though I've had in my bag 2 camera bodies, a flash, 3 lenses, makeup bag, purse, iPad, iPhone...  It's literally a bottomless cavern and it's got enough pockets for me, you and the rest of us as well as the fact that it's gorgeously padded with separators you can move around to perfectly fit your camera kit packing needs.

I love the long strap which turns it into a cross body bag, it means I can walk 5 or so miles on a photo shoot and it's still comfortable.

I see no reason now to ever use a new handbag but I do have my eye on another Mooli London Camera Bag, I have my eye on the brown Hampton bag next.


I travelled through Europe on assignment for Cruise International Magazine and you can read all about my adventures on board the Norwegian Epic in the February 2016 issue which is out in the shops on 20th February 2016.

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Monday, December 07, 2015

Tea with Santa at Gosforth, A Wyevale Garden Centre




It's generally accepted around these parts that I am actually the self proclaimed queen of Christmas and Looby of course being the magical unicorn that she is still holds Santa in extremely high esteem (it is as it should be) at the age of 12 so when the lovely people from Wyevale Garden centres said they would treat Looby and a friend (and me) to tea with Santa I couldn't really refuse!



I think it's lovely when other organisations embrace a 12 year olds love of the special big man in the red outfit and this is exactly what Gosforth, a Wyevale Garden Centre (we call it Peter Barratts of course) did for us, Santa spent lots of time talking to Looby and her best friend and I really felt like they were welcomed and accepted into the magic along with the other 20 or so children present, all of whom were at least 2 foot shorter than Looby!!



The afternoon started with afternoon tea for the adults and the children's teas cooked to order, there's a choice of menus you can choose from to try and cater for most children's tastes.  Looby and her friend had chicken goujons with chips and peas and everything was made fresh.

My festive afternoon tea was a turkey sandwich, scone with jam and clotted cream, mince pie and a cup of tea or coffee.

Whilst we waited for the kids hot food to come out the girls got on with designing their special cookies, much fun was had - 









I think you're never really too old to decorate cookies, especially if you get to eat them as part of your dinner!!

Soon, we'd eaten our food and it was time for all of the children to gather and shout for Santa who'd gotten lost, could the children all shout loud enough so that Santa could find us?  Of course he could, have you ever heard a group of 25 children shouting loudly?!

Santa arrived along with his elf and the jingle of festive bells, he then went and spoke to the kids at each table telling them what was going to happen next, soon it would be time for the main event....



When we'd first arrived at tea we were all given special cards and now we would find out that when Santa's helper called your card it was time for you to make your way to a short queue to finally have that all important meeting where you could fill him in on your present requests, Looby and Elisha decided they would both speak to him at the same time and after some posing for photos I observed a lovely chat between the happy festive trio, we didn't feel rushed at all like you do at some festive events and he was as attentive to the girls as he was to all of the teeny weenies, some of whom we're overwhelmed in his presence, I'm hardly surprised, he is after all one of the most important people in the whole of the universe!






After speaking with Santa all of the kids proceeded to go to a present table where they could select the gift they most wanted, sadly there wasn't anything completely age appropriate for 12 year olds but Looby chose an art set and her friend chose a make your own alien set which she's going to give to her brother for Christmas.

If I had tiny niggles it would just be that they were given activity sheets at the tables but there were no crayons, it took me an age to actually get my cup of tea and although you have to fill in the age in advance they really didn't have any presents suitable for anyone who was over the age of about 8, small niggles though and if you have a child who's 4-8 you are going to love this event, it's going to make your Christmas sparkle and give you memories you'll be able to talk about for years to come.

To book your breakfast of supper with Santa just click here - http://www.wyevalegardencentres.co.uk/breakfast-or-tea-with-father-christmas

Tea and breakfast is available right up until Christmas Eve and it's £9.99 for children and £7.99 for adults and when you consider everything you get I think it's amazing value and both girls said they had a brilliant time and they came away from it loving Santa even more than they did when they went in the garden centre.



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Friday, December 04, 2015

A Doctor Who Themed Wedding for Lucy and Paul

It's not every day you meet a couple at a photo shoot and they tell you that one day they're going to get married and have a Doctor Who themed wedding, I remember meeting Lucy and Paul and knowing we were going to be friends because we had so much in common, not least of all our mutual appreciation of Doctor Who although I think Paul gets all of the bonus points, he's got to be the ultimate Doctor Who fan I think, the fact that he even looks like the Tenth Doctor obviously has something to do with it but I can honestly say that I don't think I've ever met anyone with a bigger knowledge of all things Whovian.

So skip to the end of October this year and the day finally arrived, I was so excited, not only was it Doctor Who themed but we'd also planned to do a first look and spend lots of time shooting portraits before the wedding, it's always amazing when you work with a couple who completely get you and don't bat an eyelid when you discuss shopping for jelly babies in your wedding dress, yeah it's not every day that happens and I have to say a big thanks to The Co-operative in Whitley Bay for letting us come in with our mad ideas for just a few moments, it's sad the same can't be said for Sainbury's who really went down in my estimations that day by refusing to let us in (boo to you Sainsbury's we thought you were the fun supermarket).  Lucy and Paul got married at St Pauls Church in Whitley Bay, they then walked through the Park View Shopping centre (as you do) and had an informal gin filled reception at the Jam Jar Cinema where they'd met for the very first time at a Doctor Who convention

I adore Lucy and Paul, Lucy is bright, determined, fierce and beautiful and I'm sure that Paul won't mind me describing him as a true gentleman and perhaps one of the last brilliant eccentric gentlemen we have in England.  They're such fun to spend time with and somehow we always manage to get sidetracked because well, we just have lots in common.  I am not ashamed to describe Paul and Lucy's wedding as my most favourite wedding I've ever shot, mostly it was completely bonkers but also it was filled with love and affection and a couple who truly adore each other.

Shall we get on with those all important photographic highlights?


























































Lucy and Paul, may you have beautiful moments every day in your heart, your lives and your love with much love from me.

If you are planning a wedding that's different to the norm and you'd like to talk to me about shooting it please do get in touch, I only shoot a maximum of 10 weddings a year because of travel photography commitments but I still have just a couple of dates left for next year.  I tend to photograph weddings that are a wee bit different, it suits my style and with over 10 years of experience you'll be in very safe hands, to contact me you can go to my website, my facebook page or you can email me directly


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