Newcastle Photographer and Content Creator, Mandy Charlton, Always on a quest for adventure, often seen on buses, trains and planes. On a quest to be happier and healthier. Lives in Newcastle with her 3 cats, Iris, Maggie and Arthur. Loves good vibes, musicals and cakes. Full time professional wedding photographer in the north east of england alongside content creator on Tiktok, Instagram and Facebook

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The moments of our lives

It's always seemed to me, dear reader, that life is about moments, those memorable moments, the ones we remember for our entire lives.  I guess they're like the highlights reel or Big Brothers best bits, the tiny things that stand out and whilst other memories may be dulled these are the things which live on in our minds in glorious Technicolour.

With my renewed energy for life, business and everything I have been examining these moments, it's my job as a photographer to record those moments but how often we concentrate on the perfect portraits, the child smiling into the camera or saying cheese, yes these are the beautiful images which line our walls and mantlepieces (oh how I wish I had a mantlepiece) but the reality of the situation is that when we concentrate on those perfect portraits we might just lose something more important.

Let me take you now, if I can on a journey through some moments I've captured, the moments I believe are the things we might remember for the rest of our lives.

I love this moment I caught when I went to see some favourite clients on the occasion of the arrival of their new baby, 7 weeks old this little one and she's looking at her daddy with such adoration, I wondered if it was that moment when she communicated that she adored him just as much as he loved her.

I'm the first to remove hands and use props and trees to make wibbly wobbly babies sit up for a little longer but the other day I suddenly realised that this is the moment, there are times in our life when we all need a reassuring hand to help keep us steady.

One of my favourite moments in a wedding is when the officiant tells the new husband that he may now kiss the bride, it's the most special moment, finally after sometimes years of waiting you are married and have your first kiss, it may have seemed an eternity away when he proposed but finally it's here and it's impossible to hide your delight.

(Can I just say that I'm sitting here writing this and have the biggest smile on my face, I love my job)

Lets go back to the point before the baby arrives, lets celebrate those moments when you realise that your lives will soon never be the same, everything will change, you will become parents.

There are many moments between a mother and her child which say, you may not remember this but I will remember every time I held your little body next to mine, I will always hold your heart with mine, there is no love like the unconditional love between a mother and her child.

Now, if you're now sitting here like me with tears in your eyes, this one is going to get you, it's that moment when you walk down the aisle and leave go of your dad that final time before you marry your soulmate, it's still our custom that our dads give us away to our husband to be and as a dad that is the moment when you let your little girl go, it doesn't matter if you're 8, 18, 28, you are always their little girl, this moment is dad saying "I love you, I will always be here for you"

Now lets go back to one of the most important moments of our lives as little girls, the one where you get to be the flower girl, the most important person at the wedding because without you the beautiful princess bride can't come down the aisle, your whole short life you've been waiting for this, you have channelled your inner Disney princess, you have taken a reassuring hand and you make the most important walk of your whole little life.

I'm not sure if it's the same for little page boys but they're definitely proud of just how smart they are, sometimes leading mummy down the aisle and if the flower girl was channelling her inner Disney princess, the little page boy was definitely channelling his inner dinosaur "Raaaar"

Finally, the moment as a brother or sister you finally get to hold your precious little sibling, for months mummy and daddy have told you about their arrival and then mummy finally brings baby home, this is the time you finally get to give them a reassuring cuddle and say, "hello little sister, I will love you and be your best friend for our whole lives".

If you would like me to record some of the special moments of your wedding or maybe your new baby at home, your little ones having fun in the park or on the beach, whatever the reason you're looking for a Newcastle photographer you can get in touch either by clicking that link, emailing me or even contacting through my facebook page.

Just a quick reminder that I am currently offering a complimentary pre-wedding shoot with the edited images on disk worth £335 on all wedding bookings of 2 hours or more for a very limited time and did you also know that I offer wedding photography packages from 1 hour upwards to help you make sure you have some sensational moments.


Sunday, April 26, 2015

Hello new life, it's nice to meet you...

It's Sunday evening, I've had a lovely weekend off work due to some unfortunate rain yesterday, last night I ambled down to the Northumberland Hussar with Holly (it's a great dog friendly pub if you're around the Heaton area of Newcastle) to meet my lovely friend Laura and friends.  I've really decided to take my life and fate into my own hands and that really starts with me going out and meeting people and having a good time, just because I don't drink/smoke/eat sugar doesn't mean I can't at least have some fun.  

I was talking last night about the more scary elements of suddenly finding yourself single after 15 years in a relationship, I mean the last time I was single the Nokia 5510 was in fashion, Big Brother hadn't been broadcast and reality tv was Dale Wintons commentary on supermarket sweep. I don't even want to think about what happens on dates these days and I think if I am really to re-enter the world entire a la Bridget Jones then someone is going to have to buy me a manual.

I had a lovely evening though and it was just nice to be out for a couple of hours, I was still home by 9pm at the request of Looby who messaged me saying she'd made me a gift but I was not home to receive it and it wouldn't wait until today or even possibly an hour later, it turns out she'd made me a lovely card thanking me for everything and telling me she loved me, definitely worth coming home to although I'm sure she could have been quite happy with her brother for just 1 more hour!

This week ahead has so many highlights, I'm on a blogging assignment for The Bells of Hemscott, I'm photographing Nethermined, a Minecraft convention at the Park Hotel on Saturday, I'm meeting 2 new babies in their homes and I have another couple of portrait sessions in the park, I've also decided to work bank holiday Monday so if you would like a portrait session anywhere in the North East please get in touch.

In addition to all of that I am editing 2 gorgeous weddings, one 10 hour one and one 1 hour one, it's an incredible contrast but I feel that I still was able to produce something magical for my lovely couple who's wedding I went to for just 1 hour on Friday afternoon.

I love this because it's a portrait I always wanted to shoot, I had it in my mind before I even got to the wedding, there's something fascinating and magical I think about wedding portraits on a busy shopping street and there's nowhere better to find that than Northumberland Street in Newcastle city centre.

I've produced an up to date pricing brochure with wedding photography pricing from 1 hour upwards and I'm currently offering a complimentary pre-wedding photo shoot with images on disk worth £335 for all bookings of 2 hours and upwards just until my wedding photography business really kicks off again (if you're wondering why I took a year off and am restarting my wedding photography business you might find this post helpful).

And so it's Sunday night and I am excited and enthused by the new and exciting week ahead, not just professionally but also personally, I just hope now that I've found it again I get to have my renewed love of life forever again, it's only when you have lost something that you realise just how valuable it was and there's simply nothing more valuable than a love of life.

If you would like the latest copy of my wedding photography pricing or you're simply looking for a photographer in Newcastle please get in touch via my Website/Facebook/Email


Thursday, April 23, 2015

Life is always beautiful, you just have to see the moments

There's something quite magical about warm spring days that fool you into believing that summer has come early, I've just sat down after a busy day working on wedding albums, walking Holly, visiting the beach for a lovely photo shoot, having our first BBQ of the year and then some editing and catching up on emails.

Whilst I love the break in routines that school holidays provide I'm always quietly grateful for just a little time to myself to catch up on important business things which pay the bills!

It's been an adjustment in life since being on my own and then getting Holly (lovely, gorgeous and wonderful as she is) completely threw my routines out of the window.  I think though I'm getting back on track.  I've started to get dressed the moment I get up in the mornings and then I feel I am ready for the day, I sit down to start work at 7.30 with my morning coffee and everything is usually calm and quite quiet as Looby gets ready for school, Iain pops his head around the door on the way to go to college and Holly is usually lying on her favourite purple chair readying herself for the day ahead, it's only when we get to 10am that she'll quite often sit in front of me arooing until I get the hint and then I put my trainers on, her tail wags and I say the magic words "Walkies" and she sprints to the gate to see what adventures await us on our morning stroll.

I thought as I walked through the Ouseburn Park on this beautiful spring morning how lucky I am to have the freedom to live my life as I do, I may have had knocks along the way and don't get me wrong, there are many trying times when you're a single parent juggling business/life but I'll never stop being grateful that I get to be outdoors so much and feel the sunshine on my face rather than being stuck in an office under artificial daylight 8 hours a day.

When I went to the beach today it was a day of sunshine, a day for being besides the seaside, usually at Tynemouth in spring you get a bit of a chill in the air as you wander near the shore but today my favourite beach basked in warm glorious sunshine and light so bright I felt I hadn't seen it in an age.

I think there's a new joy in loving what you do or indeed recapturing the love for what you do, I find myself looking at life and business in whole new ways and after Saturdays wedding I was so sad to leave, I love being around people and feeling the joy that they share, there's never been a sad day at a photo shoot or wedding, there may be the odd frustration with a grumpy three year old but weddings at least are such a joyous occasion you can't fail to go home feeling a warm glow and often completely in love with the world once more.

When I left Saturdays wedding at Newton Hall I ran from the building to capture the last of the sunset, the golden hues had turned to blue and the mists were rolling in over the hills and fields and as I clicked my shutter one last time I said to myself to remember that life is always beautiful, you just have to see the moments.


Monday, April 20, 2015

The wedding of Gemma and Sean at As You Like It, Jesmond, Newcastle

I first met Gemma and Sean over a year ago when they came to talk to me about photographing their wedding at As You Like It in Jesmond, Newcastle, from the first moment Gemma walked in I knew we would end up being friends, she's just my kind of girl, she's got style and taste, she knows what she wants and she loves a bit of floral and vintage.  I love it when that happens, to end up with friendship from your clients is quite the most special thing.  You know when you're at school and you make new friends all the time, let me tell you it's a lot harder when you're a grown up (well in my case, pretending to be a grown up, I'm still a full on Disney princess if I'm honest, I sing to the enchanted squirrels quite often in the hope they'll come and wash my dishes).

Sean on the other hand is what I like to call a proper blokes bloke although he's definitely got a soft side, I know because I've seen him waiting at the top of the aisle for his true love ;)  Just don't tell him I said that will you, you know how men like to be big strong men!

I think Gemma and Sean clearly compliment each other, I think Sean is laid back whilst Gemma is an organiser who like me likes to get stuff done, Gemma is also very giggly and you know how infectious a good laugh is.  Every time I've spent time with them as a couple it's been a total pleasure and we've ended up getting completely distracted and we've gone way over the planned time but you know what, that's the thing that's great and so when it came to the wedding I felt like I was photographing the day of two lovely friends.

As a wedding photographer in Newcastle I definitely have my favourite places to photograph weddings and As You Like It, in Jesmond is one of my favourite wedding venues if you are planning a vintage styled day and Gemma and Sean did just that, a small wedding with only 26 guests it was a pleasure to photograph, I love small weddings, I love the intimacy of them, I really enjoyed this one and I think it might be the first wedding I've been to where I got a round of applause as I left.

Gemma and Sean booked me for one of my smaller wedding collections and I spent just over 3 hours at their wedding and I'm delighted to say we've ended up with the most delicious little gallery where quality definitely wins over quantity, I've always said it's not about the number of photographs you get on the disk, it's what in them that counts, never be fooled by a photographer who promises you thousands of shots!

Shall we take a look at some of the highlights of the happiest day of their lives so far?

I adore these button holes made from used shot cartridges, so pretty!

adorable flower girls, every wedding needs a couple of those.

I do love a nice compact group shot which is handy for As You Like It as this is their only really outdoor area so it's something to consider if you are planning your wedding here.

The speeches were short and heartfelt, just the way I like them, use any words, use your words but think about them and never use the first speech which comes up on the first page of Google, I promise it's been done already many, many, many, times, if you're a nervous groom just remember that all you ever have to say is "thank you for coming" and "Doesn't my new wife look like the most beautiful woman in the whole world" As long as you say those things (you can paraphrase if you like) then you'll be guaranteed to be forgiven for anything you missed!

One of the flower girls read a poem and I don't think there was a dry eye in the room, obviously I cried too, I'm such a softy at weddings!

Gemma and Sean, thank you for letting me tell the day of your wedding in photographs, I hope I've given you images you can look at often and that remind you of just how special your day, your hearts and your lives have been/are now and will always be.

If you would like to have a chat about me shooting your wedding day at As You Like It or indeed anywhere in the North East of England and even further afield remember that I am currently offering a complimentary pre-wedding shoot with images on disk worth £335 with every package booked of 3 hours or over and if you have a friend or family member who is about to get married or wants to renew their vows please consider referring them to me and if they book I'll give you a complimentary family photo shoot.

Contact me via my Website | Email | Facebook


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Why I'm shooting weddings again....

"What, you never stopped did you?" Said someone to me the other day, well no, I hadn't but I was winding down and retiring from weddings and thinking that all in life was sorted out and I knew what I was doing and where I was going.

Here's the thing, I'm sure that all artists suffer from elements of self doubt but I really went through a period of losing complete confidence in my ability and therefore I fell out of love with what I did. Those of you who know me personally will know just how important I think weddings are and I've always felt that If you can't go to a wedding and give 150% of yourself then you shouldn't do it, a lot of things have happened over the last year which have made me readdress the way I feel about many things in life and as I shot my first 2 weddings of this year suddenly I realised that if I give this up, I lose the chance to record one of the most important days of peoples lives to be preserved in history forever.  History remembers weddings, it may not remember the tiny details of the settings or the wedding favours but it will remember the bride and groom, the people who celebrated with them, friends and family all gathered together on one very special day.  At weddings I often see photographs of parents weddings and grandparents and sometimes great grandparents and those photos make me smile.  I guess it's proof that love and hope are timeless, something we all hold onto and believe because we know that when you meet that other half of your whole you will be complete (sorry Plato for paraphrasing your story).

I am a silly, head in the clouds romantic who truly believes that for every heart which roams the earth there's an opposite heart just waiting to meet them, i still truly believe that the most special moment of the whole wedding is when the groom waiting pensively at the top of the aisle turns to see his beautiful bride for the very first time.  That's the moment when time stops and everyone else in the room fades into grey, your eyes connect and there's a look which says "you are mine and I am about to be yours forever"

I'm always honest about my whole life, about who I am, where I've come from and where I am heading and the truth of the matter is that if I stop shooting weddings I give up a whole part of my working life which I would miss.  I've come to terms with the fact that I'll have nightmares and crazy dreams before every wedding, I've consoled myself that the nerves I get the day before are simply because I care and I know the task I'm undertaking but from the moment I arrive and pick up my camera I am overwhelmingly the calmest person in the room.  I often have tears during the ceremony as I can't help but take in the beauty and promise of the ceremony and nothing makes me get more emotional than when big tough men break down because they're so full of love and emotion upon that special day.

And so here I stand today relaunching a wedding photography career, nervous because it takes time to build a business but then I remember I have almost 10 years experience and I've shot hundreds of weddings, I've had brides burst into tears when I've arrived, I've given rescue remedy pastilles to small flower girls and I've helped bridesmaids channel their inner Disney Princesses.  I've been left breathless seeing women transformed into the most amazing brides and I've been overwhelmed by the beauty of a couples love.

If you're looking for a wedding photographer for your wedding in 2015/2016/2017 whether it's for just 1 hour or you need a whole day from the getting ready right through to the first dance please get in touch via my website, Facebook or email

At the moment I am offering a complimentary pre-wedding shoot with images on disk worth £335 with every booking of 3 hours or more and I'm also offering a free family portrait session for anyone referring a couple who go onto book me for their wedding.  Primarily I am available for wedding photography in Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham and Northumberland but given the right wedding I will travel anywhere in the UK (travel expenses may be applicable on some packages).

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