East Angles Brass Band #Headoutnothome

The East Angles Brass Band played in Norwich at the weekend as part of Head Out Not Home, a live music and entertainment thing that is on until 5th September. I went along to take a few photos in the sunshine, it was a really good day out. There is a Dinosaur trail around the city and Dippy is in the cathedral at the moment as well which I didn’t realise until today.

There was so much on throughout the day I highly recommend you visit the city and enjoy the free music while you can!

East Angles Facebook

Branding Photography – What happens at my session?

Becky came to me with a colour idea for her branding session, she needed some new images for her website and she wanted to match her images to her site. She got her hair and makeup done and we shot outdoors in a local public space.

Nerves!

I knew Becky felt nervous, as anyone would be when doing something new! It was the first time we’d met, like many of my clients. We sat and had a chat over a coffee and took some photos indoors before changing outfits and heading outside to shoot. We quickly got into the swing of things and the shoot went really smoothly. Becky was taking my direction in her poses and we tried different ideas, some worked, some didn’t as well but it’s always good to try a pose and just move on if it doesn’t suit. My expertise is in creating these natural and personality filled images that you can’t get with a selfie or a standard headshot

Choosing brand colours wisely can impact how people perceive your brand. In fact, using a signature colour can increase brand recognition by a massive 80%

After a career serving in the Royal Navy, Becky launched her business Your Productive PA. She knows all about outsourcing and that is why she knew that a branding session would enhance her business. Why struggle with things that aren’t your area of expertise when you can get someone else to help you grow? It’s important to put a face to your business, I’ve written about this in more depth HERE.

She already had her website built so these photos were to help tie everything together and inject her sense of humour and personality into the site. She is naturally bubbly and positive and I really wanted her to have a wide range of images she could use, from natural and friendly to the classic headshot type image.

Before our session I sent Becky a personalised Pinterest board with some ideas for her poses so we were both on the same page, it’s easier to show another photo than explain sometimes! You can send me photos that you want to try to copy if it helps you describe what you need. I had also sent her my info sheet on branding and how to prepare for the shoot, my aim is to help you get ready and know what to expect at your session.

After the shoot I edited all the best shots and within the week Becky had her new photos. It’s an uncomplicated process, I resize the images for online use and I can also shoot your images to fit your site easily.

I always ask my clients to tag me on social media or shout from the rooftops if they enjoyed their session, here’s what Becky said when she shared some images on her LinkedIn profile.

(blushing)

I don’t class my self as photogenic at all (well, not without the help of a glass or two of gin or prosecco anyway), BUT, I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the photoshoot earlier this week with Lucy

Not only did she put me at ease the instant we met, but she made the whole experience thoroughly enjoyable and I didn’t end up with faceache (as a result of holding a fake smile), as I found myself smiling the whole way through.

Thank you, Lucy, for a very enjoyable session and some fabulous photos for the new website. Give her a try, you won’t be disappointed.

You can find Your Productive PA online at the links below.

Engagement Ring Shopping?

Its a minefield out there when it comes to choosing rings, read on for some helpful tips.

Getting engaged can be overwhelming! It’s such an exciting thing to happen, my proposal story is a lovely one that I will remember forever and I’m sure you feel the same. I love hearing the romantic and sometimes funny stories from my couples and over the years I’ve gathered a few bits of advice to help you if you are going ring shopping together.

I said YES!

You’ve just got engaged to the love of your life, how do you choose a ring that will last a lifetime?

Aardvark Jewellery, Birmingham

First of all, are you a traditional person or would you prefer something more unique? If you are like me and DON’T want a ‘Normal’ engagement ring then traipsing around shopping centres and high street jewellers windows will frustrate you.

There are clearly two styles of engagement ring in the high street shops, that is a solitaire ring or a Halo style ring. The solitaire is the classic one stone diamond ring and prices vary massively. There are rings that look like a solitaire ring (one stone) but they will have 4 smaller stones to look like one, these are generally more affordable.

The benefit of the halo ring is that the halo is made up of lots of tiny diamonds and their purpose is to encircle the main stone and make it look bigger and sparklier. They will all come in different types of gold which vary in hardness and colour. It is a good idea to have a look and see what you do and don’t like. I quickly realised that I liked rings that had different shapes, and I liked the main stone offset with smaller stones either side. During a try-on in one shop the assistant told me the ring I had picked wasn’t really an Engagement ring. It was a 3 stone ring that looked pretty, I didn’t need her opinion!!

What is your favourite colour?

Alice ring by Alison Moore

So what can you do if you can’t find a ring? Instagram and Pinterest are great places to start but the main thing I think is to think about you, your own style, your lifestyle and your ethics. If you are a quirky type of person who loves colour, you may want a coloured gem, if you are very active you might choose a stone that is bevel set or has prongs holding the stone in place that won’t catch, or go for a platinum ring which is a harder metal. Many couples are choosing lab grown diamonds, fair trade, ethically cut diamonds or gemstones like Moissanite. My favourite are Grey diamonds and salt and pepper diamonds which have become very fashionable recently and they are beautiful, like small galaxies created naturally by inclusions in the stone. Each one is unique but you won’t find one on the high street!

Help. There are so many options!

This pretty solitaire is set by Lilia Nash in her signature flower setting and would be perfect for the person who doesn’t want prongs catching and it looks so unique as well. There is a really useful page on her website with design info and advice.

Rock n Roll Brides

If you prefer something that not everyone has, use colour and shapes, the symbolism of things that may be important to you like birthstones or a star theme. I’ve seen skulls, custom engraving, even tattoos. A custom ring may take up to 8 weeks to be made so this is something you need to factor in. This beauty by Ellie Air is all kinds of amazing!

Wedding Bands

Imagine what kind of wedding band you will need to fit your ring or buy a set that goes together. This pretty wishbone ring is so dainty and the gentle shape would fit with lots of engagement rings.

Custom Rings

If you have a custom ring made for you, think about the wedding band as well, will you get the same jeweller to make a matching band, will you be able to find something that will fit the same style?

Buying Online is perfectly OK!

It is lovely to get to try on rings and see them in person but it is totally fine to buy online, as long as you have done a bit of research into the company and know your correct size. I looked online first and then decided to choose a shop in the Jewellery Quarter in Birmingham so I could visit in person and see the rings. If you find a smaller family business or local maker it is easier if something happens to your ring like a stone coming loose or if you want an upgrade in the future. I chose a custom ring and it was really good to be able to get an idea of size because alot of the jewellery you see online are magnified by macro lenses in the photography, so being able to see if it suits you on your finger is a good idea. You could also mock up a ring at home using the measurements and see if it looks how you imagined, this is definitely something I’d recommend if you are buying your stones loose.

A lot of jewellers offer ethical custom rings now and are happy to work with you on a design. Here’s a few that I like!

I hope this has helped you think about your engagement ring and congratulations!

Exploring the Cotswolds in a day, or two.

Last weekend we took Friday off and drove to The Cotswolds for a quick mini holiday.

I think we’ve all been cooped up for too long and a trip away somewhere different was really needed. We came back Saturday evening and had all day to relax on Sunday so it really was just a night away but still lovely.

My main excitement was the thoughts of all the pretty houses and scenery of the Cotswolds, but also camping in a really interesting campsite I found online, The Wildings. There didn’t seem to be many places that weren’t booked up or that we could stay for just one night, luckily this gorgeous site was available at short notice, and had enough mod cons to not feel like it was hard work!

The Wildings is a small & friendly, family run campsite that is nestled in the wildflowers and trees of their farm and it is the perfect escape for those who want to unwind and explore a pretty bit of Cotswolds countryside.

Our bed for the night was Meadowsweet, a spacious pod, fully insulated with lighting and power to recharge the batteries (my own and the camera!) It was much bigger than expected and was on its own little patch in the wildflowers away from everyone elses pods. We had also booked a firepit to cook over, you can’t go camping without the campfire!!

The minute I walked onto the site I felt relaxed, I can only recommend you visit for yourself.

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them.

Eeyore

Before we checked in, our first stop in the Cotswolds was the small medieval town of Burford, we wandered around for an hour before deciding we were hungry and then it was off to Bibury. Lunch in the Swan Hotel was very welcome after a long drive so we sat in the sunshine and had a lovely meal sat outside in the sunny courtyard. It’s easy to see why William Morris called Bibury ‘The most beautiful village in England’ with it’s famously picturesque cottages of Arlington Row, built in 1380 and owned by the National Trust. It was such a sunny day, we spent a couple of hours walking around the village, had some much needed icecream and wandered up Awkward Hill.

Pretty cottages at Arlington Row, Bibury

Bourton on the Water was next, a mile from the campsite and often referred to as the Venice of the Cotswolds. This pretty village is situated on the river Windrush, with tiny bridges arching over the river it’s the perfect place to sit and cool off under the trees while people watching. We had a look around the model village before checking in to The Wildings to set up our beds. To finish off our day we drove to the Slaughters, the lower and upper villages are just pure prettiness! I loved the cottage gardens in full bloom and being near the river, the old water mill looked interesting but was unfortunately closed as it was getting quite late. I took loads of photos!

The next day we managed to fit in a bit more exploring. Breakfast in Bourton watching the world go by followed by escaping the Dragonfly Maze, definitely worth checking out if you can (it has a fun twist.) There is a bird park in the village too which we didn’t visit but apparently a long time ago when my dad moved overseas they took in his African Grey parrot Phillip.

We survived the maze and headed to Winchcomb for lunch and a walk around the grounds of Sudeley Castle, taking in the pretty surroundings and taking more photos. In Stow on the Wold we had cake and coffees in Lucys Tea Room, which was a bit of a shambles due to the social distancing rules, the town had some interesting shops and we visited the famous doors of St Edwards Church which have been said to have inspired Tolkein in the lord of the Rings.

Trying to fit loads of things in we decided to find the Cotswolds lavender fields in Snowshill, it looked really busy because it was such a lovely day so we just parked up away from the tourists and enjoyed the view of pretty purple fields before a long drive home.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about all the pretty places, there’s so much to see and do. It was a lovely mini weekend away with loads of walking and sunshine and I can’t wait to go back!

{All photos taken with my 24-70 lens. }

Behind the scenes with Bear Industries

Mark creates bespoke lamps and other lovely pieces for your home from junk. To you and I it may be scrap but rusty bits of engine, tank parts, even an old jet wing have been transformed by Mark into some fantastic objects that would look stunning in anyone’s home. This is the art of Bear Industries. He is a real life Womble!

I was at the warehouse to record some behind the scenes action while he was getting filmed for a new TV show that will be airing on Quest very soon. The crew were recording the big reveal of his newest work to his client, all very cloak & dagger. He really hadn’t seen it so the reaction on TV will be real.

If you’ve read my blog before you might normally know me as lucytakesphotos, wedding/portrait/boudoir photographer from Peterborough who likes music, but on this day I was doing a different kind of photography I also enjoy, creeping around watching how things work and getting those documentary style behind the scenes shots.

I do enjoy being a wedding photographer, especially here around Cambridgeshire, the countryside and venues are really lovely, I’m looking forward to next year when hopefully all our lives will be back to some kind of normal after this terrible Covid-19 disaster.

There are always projects that spark my creativity a bit more than weddings though and working with other artists, musicians and creatives really is something I enjoy and want to do alot more of!

I remember my partner coming home after rehearsal one day telling me I’d like Marks house because he has loads of cool stuff and Lego, they play in a couple of bands together and often I’d go to the gigs and take photos, but I didn’t know about the amazing lamps he made. So when Mark asked me if I’d help him get some decent product photography for his new website I jumped at the chance.

If you’d like to see more of Bear Industries I’ve done a lot of product photography for Marks new website which is looking fab so please do click through and have a look at his work.

BUY NOW @ Bear Industries Online Shop

Always supporting the smaller and local businesses.

Wedding Day Timelines: Planning thoughts.

While we are in Covid lockdown I know sadly so many of you have had to postpone your wedding date, so our planning chats will probably be next year.

I thought it would be helpful to share with you a few things I go through with my couples to get organised for the big day. You can search online for planning tips and advice but nothing beats your photographer having experience of a real wedding day.

I have to say as well, you can plan and plan but sometimes things will still over run or get forgotten about on the day so please don’t feel like you’ve failed or that it’s a disaster… it’s unnecessary drama!!

Your wedding photographer/videographer will most likely be with you throughout the whole day, so they will act as a timekeeper, a shoulder to cry on sometimes and a general mood regulator!! We take on anything (well, I do anyway) to keep the day running as smoothly as possible and keeping our brides happy so we get those lovely naturally ‘glowy’ photos, stress shows and we know it! (Don’t stress that you’ll feel stressed!)

You're getting married!

Buy this wedding card on Etsy

So, looking at the timeline and planning your photos is really helpful, basically the more we plan our timeline for the day, the more we can fit in.

If you know exactly which sets of family photos you’d like(or not)we can get them done and out of the way first, they can all go off for drinks and then there’s solo time for the couple portraits.

I love having this time with my couples because it’s a bit of a relief for them to be out of the limelight for an hour and relax together as a married pair for the first time. Some people really hate having to pose and have photos so getting away from everyone and not having them watching is good too!

Family Group photos can look like this:

  • Couple with bride’s parents
  • Couple with bride’s parents and siblings
  • Couple with bride’s parents, siblings and grandparents
  • Bride with parents
  • Bride with each parent individually
  • Couple with both sets of parents
  • Couple with groom’s parents
  • Couple with groom’s parents and siblings
  • Couple with groom’s parents, siblings, and grandparents
  • Groom with parents
  • Groom with each parent individually

The list can go on and on…

Even if you gave each grouping two minutes, you will be spending 30-40 mins here, then you have the Bridesmaids and Groomsmen to shoot with the couple as well so add another 15-20mins on top. A lot of people feel like they have to have the family shots but don’t want to spend a lot of time doing them and also underestimate how long this really takes, especially on the day when everyone is excitable, it can be like herding cats!

I do suggest that we do some of these shots in the morning if possible. (Bride with mum, Bride with dad, Bride with siblings etc) These informal family shots before the wedding would be my choice of photo, they always seem to be more relaxed and look less stuffy to me.

If I have time or the Groom is nearby I can usually go over to where he’s getting ready and shoot the boys earlier as well. Having a best man or head bridesmaid on hand with my family shot list is something I always have, they normally know everyone and I give them the job of shouting at people so I can concentrate on taking the photos!

Another factor we have to think about is dinner, the bell normally goes at 5pm for dinner and couples want to enjoy the reception too and mingle with friends before the sit down part of the evening, somehow we have to fit everything in!

If you place alot of importance on your photos then try and work your timeline to fit, chat to your venue, tell them what you need, push dinner out later on.

Time of year can be a major factor as well, sunset and golden hour photos are lovely but in the summertime may sometimes be in the middle of dinner, are you prepared for your wedding photographer to drag you outside?! Later on in the year it will get dark earlier, this is sometimes forgotten about.

My main advice is talk to everyone involved, be on the same page, plan ahead for the images you really want, these things don’t happen without your involvement in the planning process, it is your wedding after all!

The Rutland CiCLE Tour- Rutland Sportive ’18

rutland sportive '18

As you probably know, I’m not a pro sports photographer, that’s fine; it’s not my ‘thing’ but it’s something that interests me when I see some of the amazing sports photography out there, a friend of mine James Mitchell does really great triathlon photography, you can scroll through Instagram and see some lovely travel and outdoor work but I do not have the correct equipment or the time & dedication that some photographers might have for their speciality. But I love photography and will try anything! 

Saying that, a couple of weekends ago I had the chance to go out into the beautiful Rutland countryside on another hot day and take some cycling photos at one of my favourite spots, the Harringworth Viaduct.

The Rutland CiCLE Tour by ITP Events had three routes, 62miles, 78 & 105! Ouch! Based from The Giant store at Rutland Water, the routes are carefully planned to take in many of the picturesque hills and little villages in the area. The first person over the finish line on the short route did it in 3hrs 42mins, sore bums all round!

Rutland CiCLE Tour short route, 2018.

I was tracking the short route because my partner was cycling with his friend, they are in training for the Prudential RideLondon 100 which is happening on the 29th July, and also raising funds for The MS Society (get in touch if you’d like to donate and I will send on the JustGiving page). 

It was so relaxing to drive around the pretty villages in the sunshine and see where I ended up. I got a bit sunburnt looking for the perfect photo spot so next time (and there will be more cycling photo opportunities soon)  I will definitely be more careful!! I really enjoyed the challenge, I admire the hard work the cyclists put in and learnt a few camera/sunshine/speed/composition lessons along the way!!

I’m quite happy with the photos I took, I got a few smiles from the cyclists and it was definitely a learning curve! Have a look and let me know what you think!

RutlandLTP-10

RutlandLTP-9 RutlandLTP-8

RutlandLTP-7RutlandLTP-6RutlandLTP-5RutlandLTP3
RutlandLTP2

RutlandLTP1 Over the finish line!

Marching in March in April for St George

I’m English. I was born in Great Yarmouth *cough*cough* years ago, I’m English and I’m part of this great island that is Great Britain. I’m proud of that fact but despite my allegiance to my home country I’ve never properly celebrated England’s patron Saint day, St George’s day. The Irish have their day of national pride, St Patrick’s day, which is celebrated internationally and I feel sometimes St George’s day is overlooked. When I caught wind that a Fenland market town close by was hosting a festival to mark the occasion I grabbed my camera and went down to have a look.

March high street was closed for the day and the traffic was replaced with plenty of stalls and the hustle and bustle of festival goers from early on in the morning. The festival kicked off with a short, quarter mile parade from the March Fountain at the top of the high street to the market place where the festivities were formally opened by the March town Mayor, Kim French. The parade was packed full of colour and character with the Mayor and the drums and bugles of the 1220 Air Cadet Squadron leading the way who were closely followed by a scooter gang. Amongst the other paraders were a rather awesome looking VW camper, the Bourne Borderers, representatives of the March museum riding vintage bicycles, the ferocious dragon and of course St George himself. Bringing up the rear of the parade with their unique sound of New Orleans jazz were the East Angles Brass Band; a super funky and fantastically groovy way to end the parade!

It seemed the entirety of March was out to celebrate St George or perhaps they were out to enjoy one of the hottest days of the year so far. The sun was out in force all day with highs of 22°C which made it a joy to be outside, the public nudity from some of the men I could have done without!

There were two live music stages, one in the market place and the other just outside Georges. I stuck to the stage by Georges for most of the day in part due to the music and in part due to the aroma from the hog roast Georges had laid on. The Georges stage featured a set from The Expletives (punk rock covers) and a couple of sets each from East Angles Brass Band (New Orleans inspired brass band) and Scooted & Booted (ska covers).  The Expletives went down a treat with the locals who were rocking and singing along, encouraged by the front man who knew how to fire up a crowd. The front man certainly looked the part with his John Lydon style bleached hair spikes. The band were tight, full of energy and nailed the genre perfectly.

As the last distorted chord and cymbal clash rang out from the stage the East Angles Brass Band came into life up behind me. They’d set up in the middle of the road outside Georges and immediately started drawing a crowd around them as they got into the swing of things with their funky, brassy soul. Their set featured some originals penned by the trumpeter in the band and some pop/rock covers that had been given an East Angles Brass Band. The covers included, I Wish (Stevie Wonder), I Believe in a Thing Called Love (The Darkness) and Seven Nation Army (The White Stripes). Check them out on Facebook to find out more and listen to some videos of them in action. East Angles Brass Band

Unfortunately I am just one woman and so I couldn’t see or capture everything this excellent event had to offer but here’s a selection of my favourite things I saw.

 

 

The Glorious One Eyed Cats-Live

So, according to the One Eyed Cats website they are a …

High-octane rock & roll, cool blues, jumping rhythm, driving rock or a hair-down sing-along, the Cats always deliver.  And deliver incredibly well.

Their large line up is suited to their huge sound, with a fiery brass section, rocking guitar and rolling piano.

Their music is always lively, passionate and entertaining.  They always aim to lift the roof off, rock socks off and leave everybody fully entertained – having had a good laugh, boogie and night.

All with immense enthusiasm, fine humour and unquestionable musicianship.

As cheesy as it might sound, I have to agree!

I was at a gig last week in the Brewery Tap, Peterborough, a very popular and well established pub, Thai restaurant and micro brewery, if you’ve never been before then make sure you go because if you like a quiet pub there’s a spot in a corner for you (they have good beer) and if you like it louder then there’s loads of different DJ nights, soul music, bands, a Prince tribute night is coming soon and tomorrow they have The Peterborough Big Band

  So back to the gig, It was a Thursday of a bank holiday weekend no less, so it was bound to not be a normal Thursday night! The crowd had had food, were drinking after work, any band would do well but the Cats brought a little something different tonight, they have many years of gigging experience behind them and they turned up, plugged in and rocked the place! The Cats filled the dance floor and by end of the night left everyone wanting more. All the band are brilliant musicians, you definitely wont see any backing tracks here, they seemed to enjoy the night as much as the crowd so if you want a good night out go find the Cats and bring your friends! 

Here’s a few photos.

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International Womens’ Day 2018

Happy International Womens Day!

 

When women support each other, incredible things happen. 

Let’s not forget that, I know March 8th is about celebrating strong women, equality and many other things but this should be on our minds all the time not just one day!

A girl should be two things: who and what she wants. 

Behind every successful woman is herself. 

You can tell who the strong women are. They are the ones you see building up one another instead of tearing each other down. 

The woman who does not require validation from anyone is the most feared individual on the planet.

So here’s to strong women, may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.