Role Swapping for Children in Need

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So, who do you get if you swap handyman gear for a tight dress, add a bit of lippy and pop on a shiny blonde wig. Why, the beautiful Edwina Vortex, that’s who!!

Looking very glam

Looking very glam

Doesn’t she look elegant?

As you may well have guessed, there was a little bit of role swapping going on in the Basepoint Romsey office today, all for a good cause🙂

What a hoot it was!!

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Centre Manager, Kate, and Assistant Centre Manager, Sam, became “handymen” for the day and did a great job of keeping it all looking shipshape.

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Whilst handyman Neil (otherwise known as Eddie Vortex) and today in his new guise as the charming “Edwina”, did a great job of running of the office; answering the phones and making the coffee!

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We did have to remind “her” once or twice to adopt a slightly more ladylike pose when sitting – which, fortunately, she did😉

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What great sports, certainly gave us all a good laugh and raised £200 for Children in Need too!

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Well done guys🙂 Inspired!!!

The BBC Children in Need link is here:

https://www.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk/fundraisinghub

And here’s more about “Edwina” as “her” other persona https://www.facebook.com/The-Official-Eddie-Vortex-and-the-Cyclones-227786685314/

I bet you know someone who’d love one of these!

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Do you know something I love so much about this ‘job’. The sheer variety of it all!

In the last week or two for instance I’ve photographed a wedding; a very large tractor (yes, really!); the meeting room, reception area and a couple of the units at Basepoint http://www.basepoint.co.uk/locations/romsey/gallery ; a gorgeous pooch or two; of course several siblings and families, beautiful newborns, and even my mum as a model in her home!

Oh and did I mention, a vast amount of … Lego Men!!

Ha, yes, you did read that right!

In fact, the Lego characters were the props used to demonstrate some fantastic 3D bases from Base Ace to show examples of how they can be used with mini figures and building bricks for imaginative play.

montage-1Look very impressive don’t they!

The bases are the brainchild of Brian from Talking Products https://www.talkingproducts.com/

He arrived for the session along with a car load of boxes, which were promptly unloaded, and then he and his colleague started putting it all together! It was really fascinating seeing the various bases taking shape ready to be photographed. And then seeing them come to life even more as the figures were placed on them as examples of how they would look in play.

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I think these bases are such a brilliant idea and I know my kids would have loved them when they were in their “Lego-building” hey day.

So maybe just the ticket for those fans of mini-figures in your life when building their little fantasy worlds.  Christmas pressie anyone?🙂

Here’s where you can find them:

www.baseace.co.uk

Thanks very much to Brian for asking me to photograph them.

 

Moments from a Beautiful Wedding Day

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There were so many times where we just went “WOW” at Saturday’s beautiful wedding!

Our first “step back in amazement” moment was when we entered the main marquee. It looked simply stunning! 

As we were a little early arriving to the bride’s home for her getting ready shots, the marquee was our first port of call. As soon as we walked inside, Lee and I were blown away by the vintage style decor and attention to detail.

A very impressive marquee!

A very impressive marquee!

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Two other marquees were set up adjacent to the main one; one which would later be home to the hog roast and food, and t’other (“wow” moment number 2!) was set up as a photobooth with a difference, which we thought was an excellent idea … a mockup room setting with its false wall and open picture frames, complete with a chair, table and old-fashioned style phone. It was so cleverly done and naturally the perfect place to leave our fun props ready for the party – and later to be the source of much merriment!!

Great idea for the photobooth!

Great idea for the photobooth!

The cake was amazing – number 3 “wow” moment – and made by the mum of the bride, who did a wonderful job, I’m sure you’ll agree!

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The other end of the garden was set up in readiness for the guests’ arrival and welcome drinks. Two brilliant vintage style vans finished setting the scene, in readiness for later in the evening where one would be serving burgers and the other was the bar. So many great ideas and special touches.

Loved the picture frames hanging from the tree.

Loved the picture frames hanging from the tree.

So with loads of shots already in the bag, it was time to head into the house for the bridal party getting ready shots. Things were already underway with the hair and makeup and the usual hustle bustle and pre-wedding excitement were in full swing. hair-makeup-blogboard-12-copy

We left the girls to it for a while whilst we went to photograph the dress, shoes and flowers back in one of the chalets in the large grounds.

Ah … our next “wow” moment … The dress!! Ok, of course, all wedding dresses are out of this world, and we have photographed our fair share of stunners … this one though was just that little bit extra special, as it had been made by the extremely talented mum-of-the-groom! When we walked into the chalet, it wasn’t hanging up on the back of a door as we had expected, but it was displayed in its full glory on a Taylor’s dummy in the middle of the room. It was a definite gasp from me when I first saw it, so magnificent, and when we were later told it was the handiwork of the groom’s mum, we were even more awestruck.

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We headed back upstairs for more photos of the bridesmaids’ dresses, and one of those special little touches … the bride’s garter with the wedding ring of her nan attached.

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Time suddenly starts to disappear quickly on the morning of a wedding; one minute it seems like there is still ages to go, and suddenly there’s not! Before we knew, it was time for the beautiful bride to put on her dress! Another “wow” moment of course!

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Then it was off to the church! Lockerley St John’s Church is very lovely…you can read more about the history here http://www.lockerley.org.uk/index.php/history/80-the-church-of-lockerley.  Rain had been forecast for later in the afternoon but unfortunately a shower decided to fall just as we arrived at the church and continued as the guests started to arrive. We made use of the church doorway in the downpours, but were luckily able to dodge some showers to get at least some shots in the front of the church. And thankfully the rain held off for the arrival of the bride!

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We breathed a sigh of relief to find it wasn’t raining when we went back outside after the service so were able to get the few planned guest shots in the church grounds.

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Nearby the church is a little bridge over the River Dun where we stopped off with the newlyweds en route back to the reception – always great to get some water reflections shots. And the rain was still holding back luckily!

A little gem of a spot for photos just round the corner form the church

A little gem of a spot for photos just round the corner from the church

When we arrived back at the house,  the guests were enjoying their welcome drinks, accompanied by some great music from a very talented guitarist.

The family goat wondered what on earth was going on!

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We knew the heavens were about to open so we worked quickly to get the outdoor shots that had been planned for this part of the day, and thankfully we just about about got these pictures taken before the rain started falling very heavily. Fortunately there were plenty of sheltered areas, and it was soon time for the wedding breakfast.

A delicious meal, speeches and into the evening celebrations!

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It was a wonderful day for sure🙂

Congrats to the happy couple!!

 

 

 

 

Renewing Our Wedding Vows … 30 Years On

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Well, it was a day to remember for sure …. And I’m delighted to say for all the RIGHT reasons!

Yes, after months of meticulous planning, our special day had finally arrived! On Sunday Lee and I renewed our wedding vows in celebration of our 30th wedding anniversary in the warm presence of our family and friends.

The day was perfect, indeed, everything we’d hoped it would be.  Even the weather didn’t let us down – thank goodness!

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After a crazy week of rushing here, there and everywhere, with lots of last minute “oh that’ll be a great idea’ shopping for the party, not to mention trying to find certain things that we suddenly realised we probably needed that hadn’t occurred to us sooner (tablecloth weights anyone?), plus a trip to Gomshall for a day to take the first car load of stuff to my sister’s house and start getting some things ready, at last it was Saturday. We headed off for the weekend, with the car again full to the brim.

My sister and brother in law had very kindly offered us their wonderful garden for the occasion, and we can’t thank them enough. The garden is very large and beautifully kept, especially so with the magnificent flowers in full bloom; it looked absolutely stunning! We spent Saturday afternoon in the sunshine, putting up the decorations etc. to give it a party feel.  Our niece, Kelly, had prepared some jars of flowers freshly picked from the garden for the tables, which was just the look we were after. We chopped the fruit for the Pimms and Fruit Punch, and set up the amp for the music. The microphone proved too much temptation to Kelly, who couldn’t resist a singsong using it, so we had a good old giggle too and were generally getting excited in anticipation for the next day. So a busy but fun-filled afternoon after which we had a nice meal out with my sister, brother in law and our eldest son Tom – so a very pleasant way to start the celebrations.

Just the job

Just the job!

Early prep of the garden with Molly the dog wondering what all the fuss was about

Early prep of the garden with Molly the dog wondering what all the fuss was about

The final touches

Little touches

We were up bright and early on Sunday morning as we still had a fair bit of last minute things-that-could-not-be-done sooner to do, such as blowing up balloons with helium and hanging them, putting the tablecloths and jars of flowers onto the tables, and arranging the sweets, old photographs and glasses onto various tables.

A few sweet treats

A few sweet treats …

... and table of memories

… and table of memories

My talented niece arrived midmorning to do my hair and makeup (great job, thank you, Kelly!), then before we knew it was noon and the caterers had arrived! We used a company called Surrey Gourmet Catering http://www.surreygourmet.com/ They were absolutely fantastic, the food was tasty and really well presented, and the two waitresses and waiter were amazing. It was such a weight off our minds to know we were in their capable hands and didn’t have to worry about that side of things at all. As well as laying out all the food, they prepared the Pimms and Fruit Punch when they got there, and then handed out canopes and the drinks to guests on arrival. We can highly recommend them.

Pimms O'Clock

Pimms O’Clock

Time for a quick few piccies with our boys before the guests arrived.

Family pic

Family pic

Our friends and family started to arrive at 1pm so we were able to greet and mingle with them knowing they were being fed and watered!

We had asked everyone to bring a garden chair, and when the time came they made their way to the end of the garden where the ceremony was to take place at 2 in a little shack-like structure next to the pond and waterfall. A very peaceful setting which lent itself perfectly to the job in hand.

Our guests getting settled for the ceremony

Our guests getting settled for the ceremony

The Lady in Red by Chris De Burgh started playing – a special song to us as it was our First Dance choice on our Wedding Day – and Lee and I walked along the garden beneath a wooden walkway, accompanied by our great niece and nephew who were as good as gold and cute as can be. Our original bridesmaid and pageboy were Kelly and her brother Ross who are of course all grown up now, however we just had to recreate the original photo:

Recreating a moment from 1986

Recreating a moment from 1986

We made our way into the “shack” (not quite sure how else to describe it!), and it was amazing to look out at the smiling faces of our friends and family. My lovely friend Trudy is a registrar, and we could have chosen no one better to take the ceremony. We had no idea of what of she would be saying beforehand, and her words were beautiful and very moving. As Lee and I reaffirmed our vows to each other I hadn’t expected to feel quite so emotional, and actually got quite choked up… it was even more special than we thought it would be.

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Afterwards our sons, Tom and Ryan, gave out our thankyou gifts and engraved pens to everyone whilst the waitresses bought out the champagne.

Whilst all this was going on the caterers had been laying out the food on the large table at the other end of the garden. Everyone went to start tucking into the delicious spread, while we had some pictures taken in an especially pretty part of the garden, by the pond and amongst the flowers.

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Lots of folk have asked, “who will be taking your photos”? Well, we had arranged for some photographer friends to take them and we handed over our cameras to them to use for the day, so I could edit them afterwards in my usual style.

They did a wonderful job so we have some fantastic memories to treasure🙂

We’d booked an ice cream van to come along for a couple of hours in the afternoon which turned out to be one of the highlights of the day and went down a treat with all our guests! There we all were in the gorgeous afternoon sunshine enjoying our Mr Whippy’s and ice cream tubs, wonderful!! We used Bertie’s Vintage Ices http://www.bertiesvintageices.co.uk/ , they were excellent! We couldn’t fault them and everyone thought it was an inspired idea to have them there.

Haha, so glad I’d thought of it😉

They even let Lee and I clamber into the van for some pictures – more great memories of the day!

Enjoying a "99"

Enjoying a “99”

If you’re having a party and fancy offering something a bit different – they were just ace and very reasonable, and such friendly folk too!

Of course we had a cake. Made by a company called the Brilliant Bakers https://www.thebrilliantbakers.co.uk/ , it was delicious – and went a long way! Our 70 guests all had a slice and we still have lots left (so still munching our way through it – diet starts again next week!!) What do you think of the 3D Mini Me’s on top? We thought they would make a great cake topper! They’re not edible so we now have a lovely keepsake.

Our cake with us on top!!

Our cake with us on top!!

We had the 3D model done by Asda in Havant https://www.asda-photo.co.uk/bookings/asda-3dme-a-miniature-3d-figure-from-asda-photo  We headed over there a few weeks ago to have our photos taken in their 3D photobooth, wearing the actual clothes we would be wearing on the day. Our model was ready a couple of weeks later.

So all in all, it was a lovely relaxing afternoon with everyone sitting back, chatting and enjoying the sunshine. We had a fantastic time catching up with our friends and family, some of whom we hadn’t seen for far too long.  It all went by so quickly as these things do, and before we knew it, folk were starting to say their goodbyes, which is always the sad part of the day, especially as you feel you haven’t had enough time to chat to everyone as much as you would’ve liked to have done.

We then sat with a few close family into the evening and finished the night by opening the wonderful cards and gifts we’d been given.

Everything had fallen into place like clockwork and we couldn’t have hoped for a better day, as perfect as our wedding day had been back in 1986.

Our special day … now just a memory, but a great one for sure.

This week we’re still on holiday as we knew we’d need a bit of time to chill out after the rushing around of the previous couple of weeks, so we’re having a few day trips out and a few days at home to do just that before getting back into the swing of things next Tuesday.

And have to say, the good wishes you’ve been sending our way have been really lovely, thank you so much🙂

 

Beautiful Farnham Castle Wedding

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Wow!! As wedding venues go, Farnham Castle is definitely up there with the best!

Picturesque Farnham Castle

Picturesque Farnham Castle

You may remember, at the beginning of our holiday we had a wedding to go to; that of Maddie (the daughter of some close friends of ours) and James.  We were over the moon to take their photographs at this stunning venue. ‘Twas a busy day for sure, but such a joy to photograph a lovely couple in this amazing setting!

The castle is about 900 years old. Here’s a little history http://www.farnhamcastle.com/history/

The Old Gatehouse is where the bridal party get ready for the day ahead.
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The Gatehouse is designed perfectly for the purpose.  It has a comfy downstairs area; refreshments had been laid out here to keep everyone going throughout the morning. The hair and makeup ladies were hard at work in one of the upstairs rooms, with the dresses and shoes set out in another, which had glorious light streaming in, so great for photos to be taken.

Downstairs in The Gatehouse

Downstairs in The Gatehouse

Fantastic hair and makeup by the lovely ladies at Amore Makeup http://www.amoremakeup.co.uk/

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Proud mum looking on

Proud mum looking on

Whilst the girls were getting ready, we took some shots of the preparations going on in The Great Hall.

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Just had to take a picture of this tame little cat. He must live somewhere nearby – he was very friendly and amusing🙂 As you can see was doing his best to trip up the videographer, Andrew, who it was great to meet and work alongside http://andrewcollin.co.uk/

Cat doing his best to trip up the videographer

James and his groomsmen arrived along with some guests and we took some shots as they chatted on the Great Lawn in front of the castle.

Great views of Farnham from the castle walls

Superb views of Farnham from the wall of the great lawn

It was back to the Gatehouse then – the beautiful bride was almost ready to go!

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Maddie’s mum and our good friend, Trudy, is a registrar and she had been granted permission to take the ceremony which made it particularly special.

Special moment for mum and daughter

Special moment for mum and her newly married daughter at the close of the ceremony

The ceremony took place in the Lantern Hall, which is a beautiful light and airy room http://www.farnhamcastle-weddings.co.uk/venue/the-lantern-hall/

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Beautiful flowers by Eden Blooms http://www.edenblooms.co.uk/

Everything certainly runs like clockwork at Farnham Castle – extremely well organised, and the staff are very friendly and helpful.

After the ceremony, the guests are asked to line up along the main staircase, with a glass of Pimms in one hand, and a handful of confetti in t’other, and the bride and groom then mosey on down the steps being showered by confetti. A magical site to behold – and of course great to photograph!! We were told an amusing story of one occasion when a guest inadvertently threw their Pimms instead of the confetti at the bride and groom – oops!  I suspect wasn’t very funny for the bride and groom at the time!!! 

Luckily only the confetti got thrown on this occasion …

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Then it was a quick run upstairs for me to take the main group shot of the newlyweds and their guests in front of the castle from a top floor window – a perfect vantage point to get both the guests and the fantastic view across Farnham.

The gardens are beautiful, and lend themselves perfectly to the romantic bride and groom shots, and there is the added bonus of photographing the happy couple in the castle ruins too, with its wonderful ancient walls and amazing views.

A photographer’s dream!!

The wedding breakfast takes place in the 12th century Great Hall http://www.farnhamcastle-weddings.co.uk/venue/the-great-hall/  The meal is exquisitely presented – and delicious too! The balcony overlooking the Hall gives a splendid vantage point to take some pictures of the speeches, tables and later the dancing.

BIrd's eye view of the speeches!

A bird’s eye view of the speeches!

So it was into the early evening and there was a beautiful relaxed atmosphere as the bride and groom mingled with their guests in the castle grounds before cutting their cake and having their First Dance.

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Then it was dancing till midnight, and a hog roast feast just in case anyone was still peckish! Our photo props seemed to go down a storm and a good time was had by all.

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We stayed in the Castle overnight, and we were all treated to a generous continental breakfast the next morning in the brightly decorated library which was a super relaxing way to finish the celebrations.

For anyone out there researching wedding venues at the moment, Farnham Castle might be well worth a look!

Congratulations, Maddie and James! It sure was a fantastic day🙂

The Big Day … All Over Again

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Champers at the ready

Champers at the ready

This August is a very special one for Lee and I as we are renewing our wedding vows in celebration of our 30 year wedding anniversary.

Don’t ask me where those 30 years have gone – in the blink of an eye, that’s for sure. And how can it be when we are still only 21 (or like to think we are, haha)😉

All very exciting but loads of things still to organise – it’s like getting married all over again, only this time round with a little added help from Pinterest and its overwhelming collection of ideas and inspiration!

We are very lucky to have a beautiful venue, with big thanks to my sister and brother-in-law, who have kindly offered their amazing garden for the day, and it’s absolutely perfect. Obviously it will help massively if the weather is kind to us too …

One of my closest friends is a registrar and kindly offered to do our ceremony. She means the world to both of us and honestly we couldn’t wish for anyone better.

I’ve managed to finally find THE frock! This, believe me, has been no mean feat. It’s absolutely NOTHING like the dress I originally had in mind and have been trying to find to no avail for the past several months. My planned dream dress was to be red and flowing gracefully (on account of the song we had for our First Dance way back when … yep, you guessed it, Chris de Burgh’s “Lady in Red”).

I’m keeping under wraps what I will be actually wearing … but suffice to say, it ain’t red!!! You wouldn’t believe where I found it, but as soon as I saw it I was completely bowled over, and when you get that incredible feeling about something you just have to go with it don’t you.

So quite a relief to get that sorted, which meant we were finally able to get Lee and the boys kitted out, so we all will kind of “blend in” colourwise.

My talented niece has volunteered to do my hair and makeup on the day. We had a trial run a couple of weeks ago, and she came up with something a little bit different for my hair; delighted with her inspiration.

Another thing ticked off the to do list.

Just like our Wedding Day in 1986, everything seems to be falling into place very nicely.

Ummm  … 1986 … now THAT was quite a year for us – I even wrote a book about it and the interim years for our 25th Anniversary!

But there still seems to be masses to sort out. We have accumulated a conservatory full of “stuff for the party” and we need to take stock of all that so we can see what we still need to get, as well as sort out all the music and several other things to boot.

Therefore, I’m taking a bit of an extended holiday this summer, as I feel the need to put my whole self into the last minute preparations for the big day if I’m to get everything done in time, and then we’re having a short break afterwards to chill out a bit!

I’ll be closing from Wednesday 27th July and reopening on Tuesday 23 August.

Thank you very much for your patience during this time, it’s very much appreciated.

Unfortunately, this clashes of course with the best part of the school summer holidays, (although I still have a couple of slots free at the time of writing on weekdays at the end of August if you were thinking of booking in).

More to come on the day itself after the event! I hope you all have a lovely summer break too🙂

 

 

Every Chair tells a Story

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So I’d earmarked the last couple of days in my diary to knuckle down and get my annual accounts done, dusted and ready for my accountant. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take a lot to sway me from this arduous task.  Accounts and me, we just don’t gel well at all …

So when those lovely folk at Design Cuts came up with this remarkable value bundle  https://www.designcuts.com/product/the-gigantic-mockup-templates-bundle/ I simply couldn’t resist!

So many goodies at such a bargain price.  If you’re into design at all you could find this lot very handy indeed!!

As soon as I saw some of the chairs in the bundle, I could just visualise them working well with certain of my studio shots, as a series of portraits. So putting the accounts aside for an hour (or two!) I started creating.

Hence my “Chair Project” was born, the idea being that, by incorporating into the picture a chair or two and maybe another prop, might add a touch of storytelling to the scene.

Such as ….

Chair Project

OK, I know it doesn’t help get my accounts done, but projects like this and my 365 Photo-a-Day are vital to keep the old creative juices flowing, which in turn helps to keep my work fresh and the ideas coming when editing your portfolios too.

I’ll be adding these pics to my Instagram feed as and when, as well as any others I may add to the collection.  You can find me here https://www.instagram.com/fotografixgal/ and search for the hashtag #FotografixgalChairProject

Big thanks to Design Cuts for this incredible deal which I’m sure is going to inspire lots of other ideas too, and also to Studio Magic  https://www.layercakeelements.com/studio-magic which helps make creating these types of combis easier than it might otherwise be!

Such choice – I feel other projects coming on soon!!

In the meantime  … errr …. best get back to those accounts ….