Puppets, Sausages and erm … Oil Painting ?

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Yep – we were at the Romsey Festival today – hands up if you were too! It was great ambling round in the sunshine, browsing at all the stalls and munching a rather large, but very tasty, Bratwurst for lunch! Yum!!


 Took a few shots (no surprise there then!!) 

Also this weekend discovered some amazing new software which has some brilliant features – as you can see from the above I’ve been dabbling with the oil painting effect – which I absolutely love but I expect there will be lots who don’t!!  Art sure is very subjective.  Oil painting effects aside, it has some great tools for picture editing too which will help with my workflow considerably – yippee!



Those of you who have been to the studio have probably met my little assistant “Mr Parrot” 🙂 who is a big hit with most (!) children and I have been asked lots of times where he came from. Sadly the shop where we bought ours no longer exists, however we spotted his baby brother today at the Festival on this lovely puppet stall and you can buy online from them at http://www.acaciawildlifepuppets.com

We couldn’t resist Mr Giraffe to add  to our studio collection!


Ah cute!


Puppets galore


Bank Holiday Monday – Thai style!

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Lee and I were umming and ahhing about whether to go to the Thai Festival at Secretts near Godalming this Bank Holiday Monday as we weren’t quite sure what to expect, but, WOW!!!  So glad we did! 

We’d arranged to see some friends and this happened to be a good half way point to meet, so we decided to go for it.  And it was fabulous! 

It was really crowded and there was a wonderful atmosphere as we wandered around in the blazing sunshine, browsing at the vast array of Thai crafts and colourful clothing; munching a delicious Thai lunch (so much choice!) and relaxing and listening to the live upbeat music playing. 

Fantastic way to spend a sunny bank holiday!


Colourful parasols galore!


Best view of the place!


Chopping fruit just got very clever – amazing fruit carvings!


Fruit flowers too!


Vibrant colours everywhere!


Thai cuisine by the lake – bliss!


A brilliant holiday!

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Well our holiday is nearly done and dusted for another year, but feeling well rested and all the better for it. Have even been really lucky with the weather for a change!


Looking forward to getting stuck back into the swing of things on Monday, and if you’ve been in touch while we’ve been away, thanks for your patience and will be replying to your orders and requests as soon as possible.

Inspiration and new ideas are never far from my mind, even whilst on hols, so lots to tell you about over the next few weeks re some great offers and fantastic new products!

Hoping you’re enjoying the summer holidays too!

Takin’ Five … and a great wedding!

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Phew!  I am now officially on holiday.  This is great and can’t wait for a two week chill out, but making sure that everything that needed doing has been done has been no mean feat, spent the week racing against the clock, and I’m still racking my brains making sure I haven’t forgotten anything.  Yep, the lead-up to taking a vacation can be so stressful you REALLY need a holiday by the time it comes around! And when you get back, you spend the first few days playing catch up, eh? But I guess it’s worth it.

Will take a few pictures (of course!) as we head out and about – our cameras are always at the ready, and hopefully find time to post a blog or two.

In all the rush, I haven’t had time to blog any pics from this amazing wedding we photographed in Winslow almost two weeks ago. We travelled up on the Friday so we could go to the rehearsal and meet the vicar etc, so we know where we are allowed to stand and take the photos – which in this instance turned out to be in the vestry! As it happens, I had a reasonable view from there (once we had sorted out the issue of the flowers, which had been placed plonk donk between the bride and groom and my lens!) But all the more reason to attend the rehearsal, so any such problems can be resolved before the actual day itself.  As you can see from the pic – not much of a view of the bride and groom!

ImageWe stayed the night at the glorious Horwood House Hotel, where the bridal party were also staying, so we could be on hand first thing Saturday morning to take lots of shots of Kirsty and her family and bridesmaids getting ready. The views of the garden from the window of her suite were fantastic and needless to say featured in one or two of the pictures!

ImageImageWhen we got to the church to take the groom shots, the aforementioned flowers had been moved back again, so first job was to lift them back out of the way, and try not to knock them flying in the process (fortunately managed not to!)

So a much better view!ImageThe new Mr and Mrs!

ImageFabulous reception with some very unusual guests …. (but real cute!)


A wish come true for the lovely bride – with horse, Teddy (ahem, don’t be fooled by the calmness feel of this picture!)


And some idyllic spots to take romantic shots of the newlyweds.


A fun wedding day for sure – congratulations to the happy couple!

Pre-wedding checklist …

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Really looking forward to photographing Kirsty and Ashley’s wedding this weekend and we’re heading off first thing so, as with all weddings, nothing is left to chance …

Supply of memory cards, all reformatted   TICK

All camera batteries charged   TICK

Lenses/sensors cleaned  TICK

Quantum Turbo charged  TICK

Reformatted memory cards in both main and backup cameras TICK

New batteries in speedlights   TICK

Various chargers and loads of spare batteries for speedlights all packed and ready to go   TICK

Wedding schedule and list checked / extra copies printed     TICK

Ample supplies of Factor 50 (think we’re gonna need it!)    TICKImageNow time for a cuppa and a good night’s kip – it’s not only the cameras that need their batteries recharging!




20 cool ways to arrive at a prom

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That’s it then – finished our proms for this year, although still got a rather large amount of editing to do!  If you’re still waiting to see you pictures (Hamble), they will be online in the next few days – will announce on our Facebook page once they have been uploaded.

Thankfully there were no downpours like last year!  It was amazing to be able to take photos in the beautiful gardens at the Botleigh Grange at Friday’s night’s prom; with the sun streaming down, we were able to get some fantastic shots by the lake and under the arbor before dinner was served.

As per usual, everyone arrived in style.  Here’s 20 pics of some of the ways you turned up this year – any familiar?


To anyone who had a prom this week, hope you had a brilliant time! Have a great summer holiday and wishing you the very best of luck, whether your next step is college, or whatever you decide to do.

First Night at the Proms

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Yes it’s prom week and Tuesday night was our first of the year.

Our evening generally starts an hour or two before the first arrivals so we can set up our portable backdrop and lights, take a few test shots and make sure everything is hunkey dorey before the busy night ahead. Our equipment sure is put through its paces at proms, so we always take spare lights, batteries etc – just in case!


Portable studio ready and waiting!


Once satisfied the portable studio is good to go, we take a few shots of the table settings and decor etc, before heading outside to do the arrival shots.

ImageImageTaking the arrival shots can be quite challenging, not least if it’s pouring with rain!

Limos, buses, fire engines, motorbikes, vintage cars, ice cream vans, lorries, horses, even the odd helicopter (yes, really!) – the students certainly arrive in style! With larger proms, the arrival shots can take some time, and often it is quite chaotic to say the least!

Sometimes we then take shots in the grounds, weather permitting, before the meal, or at the tables, or both!


Dinner is served!

After the meal, the fun really begins … the students come to the backdrop in their droves and Lee and I both click away continually.  It’s quite tough making ourselves heard above the disco music, so I’ve got a dab hand at “sign language” over the years!!

By the end of the evening we will have taken in the region of 1500 images between us.

By about 10.30 or 11 we can start dismantling everything, ready to load into the car for the next one.

Then it’s Home James, and download/backup the pictures so I can start the edit the following morning.  It usually takes me a couple of days with so many images to go through, and more proms to do in the meantime.

I won’t pretend proms are not very exhausting to photograph (phew!), but it is lovely to share in such a special evening for the students, and help to create some memories for them that they can treasure as they move on to the next stage of their lives.