It’s Christmas!

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Christmas is just around the corner and 2019 is on its way!

Haha, just stating the obvious!

I hope 2018 has been a good year for you.  In some ways, it seems to have rushed by. To me, it feels like five minutes since last Christmas – but on the other hand, it seems like forever ago since I had the old studio at Basepoint – even though I only finished there at the end of March.  The mystery of time, eh?

The move was a massive decision for us at the time, but happily it’s worked out really well. Hive Studios feels like my second Sunday home now! To find such a great studio, so close by, was incredible luck.

It has also given me the flexibility of concentrating on my artistic pursuits, as well as my photography.  I enjoy both immensely; now I can split my time equally on each. Best of both worlds.

It has been really lovely to see so many familiar faces this year and welcome you to Hive Studios, as well as meeting lots of new faces of course!  Not forgetting the numerous shoots in the great outdoors during the summer months too! Great fun, and we were mostly lucky with the weather! I am so appreciative of your continued support. It means such a lot to me, thank you.

Lee and I have also photographed some beautiful weddings this year, come rain and come shine!

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With my artist hat on, earlier in the year I started some courses spanning the whole year, which I mentioned in a previous post. I have managed to work my way through most of the lessons, and golly have learned so much! Not only to improve my drawing and design skills, but also learning lots of new tricks and techniques in Photoshop, which have helped speed up my editing processes for my photos too. It has been very inspiring.

The most amazing outcome of the art courses though was to set up stores on a couple of Print on Demand websites.  Firstly Red Bubble, and then, WOW, I discovered Zazzle.

I promise I won’t gush too much about Zazzle but I can honestly say it has transformed my life!  Best. Fun. Ever. I invested in a course from one of Zazzle’s topsellers, Elke Clarke, and through her I have learned the very best strategies for making it work. And I am over the moon that it is paying off 🙂 My store is still growing but after only a few months sales are already going well and I know with the techniques I have learned, and am still learning, it will get better and better as I add more goodies to it.

I truly believe everything happens for a reason. This time last year I had no inkling I would be leaving Basepoint (I would have shuddered at the thought!!) but fate stepped in with other ideas for me and I am actually very grateful it did.

I’m closing for the holiday this weekend. We have a wedding to photograph on Sunday; Christmas weddings are always especially magical! Then we have our eldest son’s birthday to celebrate on Christmas Eve, and a big family get together on Christmas Day, followed by a trip to Brighton on Boxing Day. Then a little R&R before reopening in January.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Healthy, Happy and Peaceful New Year.

Almost there!

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So here we are again, another Christmas almost upon us and another year nearly gone by! It’s such a hectic time of year isn’t it, filled with mixed emotions from huge excitement in anticipation, to utter panic making sure everything gets done!

It’s a rollercoaster ride that’s for sure – but we usually get there in the end, eh!

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Its been pretty crazy here; not complaining of course, I am truly thankful that you love your pictures and the kind things you say about them, and of course, for your valued custom. It’s just having that same deadline for everything (ie Christmas!) that creeps up before you know it – it can get a little overwhelming! Happy to report that everything is now done and delivered. Phew!

I’m sure it’s the same for you, and before we know it, the big day has come and gone!

Hope 2017 has been a good one for you. For Lee and I, outside of work, we had the house move of course, which wasn’t even on our radar this time last year, but happy to say has worked out fabulously, we’ve settled in well and absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE our new place.

The trials and tribulations of moving did mean that certain things, such as my personal Photo of the Day Project, which some of you may remember I have been doing over the last few years, and have really enjoyed, had to take a bit of a back seat. Eventually, I got so far behind with updating the Diary I kept with each daily photo, it became more of a task than a pleasure to try and get it all back up to date, so I sadly had to let it go. For now at least.

However, I am very excited to have been getting back into art, and intend to do as much as possible in the new year. The hectic lead up to Christmas has meant putting it to one side for a few weeks, but I hope to get really stuck in over the holiday. I have lots of creative ideas milling through my head and can’t wait to start again! It’s so therapeutic!! On one hand it complements my photography, helping to keep ideas flowing, but on t’other, it’s different enough to take me away from it all and lose myself in the dreamy world of artiness! Bliss!!

Exciting news too, we are planning on opening a commercial side to Romsey Fotografix in 2018, with Lee at the helm! I love my “people photography” so have never really promoted product photography before, but it’s something Lee excels at. It’s early days and we are still working it all out, but I’ll be giving you more info as soon as I can.

I am closing for the Christmas break from Friday 22 December until Wednesday 3rd January. Quite a busy holiday, as this year we are having two Christmas Days – yay!!! It’s the first year ever we won’t be spending the 25th with both our boys, as our youngest son isn’t able to be with us on the big day itself.  We knew it would happen sometime and understand of course, but all the same it will be strange without him there at our annual large family gathering, so we’re doing it all again on 28th December – in our new abode!

I would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who has been in; to meeting so many new faces, and seeing again lots of familiar ones! Thanks for your continued custom, and to all of you for keeping the studio atmosphere alive with your laughter and giggles!  It means such a lot to me and I feel truly blessed. You’re wonderful!!!

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas – have a wonderful time, and a very Healthy, Happy and Peaceful New Year.

‘Tis The Season to be Jolly

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Yes, ‘Tis the season to be jolly once again! (Maybe that should be the mantra for all year round really).

It’s not always easy to be “jolly” this time of year is it, with so much extra stuff to be done, but we usually get there in the end!

So, once there’s time to breathe …. chill … and start winding down a bit, you might begin to feel a little nostalgic about Christmases past, as I always do this time of year. Aha, cue for last year’s blog post Must be that old cine clip that does it 😉

Also, maybe a time to reflect a little on the year gone by. I hope it’s been a good one for you.

It seems like only 5 minutes ago that we were just coming into 2016 and the approaching ten year anniversary of Romsey Fotografix, back in January. I really enjoyed putting together the Then and Now montages from some of your shoots, delving into the archives and looking back at all your photo sessions over the years.

Speaking of which, here’s a young lady who’s been in every year on her actual birthday in December since she was 2 years old (bar one year when lots of snow stopped play!). Lovely to see her again, looking all grown up, for her 11th birthday shoot last weekend, this time along with some friends – and her gorgeous dog Alfie!


Giggles galore!!!

For us, both socially and workwise, there’s been lots going on, which I guess has made it feel like the year’s gone by even quicker. Particular highlights of course, my weekend of surprises and the beautiful day we renewed our wedding vows

If any of you have kept up or started a 365 day photo project, it’d be great to hear how it’s going. I’m still doing mine, and am glad as it’s pretty cool having a daily picture diary to look back on, although it’s time consuming and ‘twould be fair to say I’m not quite so enthusiastic about it as I was when I first started!! More about this year’s in another post, here’s last year’s

I would love to take this opportunity to say a massive THANK YOU to each and everyone of you who’ve entrusted me with taking your photos, whether in the studio or for your “big days” – and in some cases both! It’s always such a privilege to share and photograph the special times in your lives; it really means such a lot to me to be asked. And it’s been brilliant to see so many familiar faces again this year, as well as lots of new ones too!

So many amazing, memorable moments 🙂  As I’ve said many a time, you make this job of mine so joyful, it just doesn’t feel like work!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

And have yourselves a very Merry Christmas and a healthy, happy and peaceful New Year.

Christmases Past & Present

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This time of year always makes me feel a bit nostalgic. Does it you?  Looking back over Christmases gone by; remembering how magical it was when our kids were little, and even further back to the good old days to my own childhood, and the various different Yuletides we’ve spent over the years.

Here’s a snippet from some cine film my dad took of my sister and I eagerly unwrapping our presents on my second-ever Christmas. Things may have been a little more frugal for everyone in those days, but the magic and excitement was just the same. We loved every second, and it’s wonderful to have this little bit of “movie magic” to look back on.

Fast forward many years, and that magical glow of the festive season all came flooding back when we had our boys – I’m not sure who used to be the most excited on those Christmas mornings when they were young, them … or us, as we watched their happy little faces, unwrapping endless presents, usually at about 6am, whilst we took loads of photos and video footage to record the happy times. I’ll bet lots of you can relate to that feeling when watching your little ‘uns ripping open their presents on Christmas morning 🙂 For us, it’s a double whammy, as our eldest son’s birthday is on Christmas Eve – when they were small, the excitement in our house was two days running, and almost always ended in tears as it all got a bit overwhelming!

Funny thing Christmas. It can be equally as stressful as it can be amazing. The daunting prospect of so much to do and never enough time. But we all usually get there in the end. We agonise over what gifts to give our friends and family; get caught up in the pre-Xmas hype and ads, and often end up spending more than intended – only to see half the stuff we bought at a fraction of the price the day after Boxing Day! Annoying, eh? Yet, even though we know that, it doesn’t put most of us off doing the same every single year.

The same old, familiar, Christmas songs can be heard from about mid-November, wherever you go, but we love ‘em (er, don’t we?). Oh, and I’ll never tire of singing along to the Carols and hearing the Christmas Story.

No doubt lots of you are enjoying watching your children in their school Christmas plays and nativities just now … sigh … I remember my boys in their school festive productions with such fondness, always bought a tear to my eyes, as no doubt is the same for you. Proud moments 🙂

And please, don’t even get me started on the slushy Christmas movies!! Should I admit to my guilty secret, oh alright then …I absolutely love them!!! Addicted I think might be the word. You will find me many a night in December, beavering away at my computer into the small hours working on orders and edits, with a Christmas movie on in the background which I’ll glance up at every now and then. Yes, I’ve seen most of them before, and yes, they ARE very predictable indeed (Lee reckons most of them are the same script with different names, as if!) … but one thing is for sure, they almost always end on a note to warm the cockles of your heart. Or is that just soppy old me they have that effect on?

The Big Day is here before we know it. Santa does his deliveries as efficiently as ever, chomping on millions of mince pies along the way 😉 ; little children wake up their mums and dads at the crack of dawn, eager to see what he has brought them; turkeys in ovens, sprouts and veggies peeled, pressies opened over a Bucks Fizz. It can be a time of great joy, with maybe the one time of year all the family get together. But it can also be a time of sadness, memories of loved ones no longer here to spend it with us.

You know, life may be more high tech these days, but how we spend our Christmases hasn’t really changed much at all since my dear dad took that cine film of us all those years ago. The traditions we all know and love would seem to be here to stay.

 Whatever you may be doing, may you have a wonderful time.