Sunday, 19 February 2017

Wedding: A Navy & Gold Dream at Waterton Park, Lisa & Reuben get married

On Saturday I had the pleasure of photographing Lisa and Reuben's Wedding at Waterton Park Hotel. My second Wedding of the year and the first at Waterton Park for 2017.

I started with Lisa, her mum and bridesmaids who were getting ready. Lots of laughs, stories, nerves and some tears were had before Lisa was finally ready to marry Reuben.

Lisa and Reuben's Wedding Ceremony was held in the Waterton Suite upstairs at Walton Hall, with music played by Alexandra the Violinist and the room decorated in beautiful creams and golds by Cushty Chair Covers and West End Florist.

Reuben was a little nervous waiting for his beautiful bride to be, although, she did have to keep him waiting a little while.

Lisa's Bridesmaids entered the room first before Lisa followed in with her Dad. The ceremony was a lovely ceremony with an emotional reading by Lisa's sister. I am sure you will admit they all looked gorgeous!

After some mingling and listening to Alexandra some more we headed outside for some group photographs.

Lisa & Reuben had just over 40 of their close family and friends at the Wedding Ceremony and for the Wedding Breakfast so along with well-behaved guests we were able to get the group shots done quite quickly.

Considered it was February, it wasn't that cold either!

I then had some quiet time with Lisa and Reuben to get some photographs of the brand new Mr and Mrs Jones.

Waterton Park Hotel is such a lovely venue for this with having lots of choice within such a small walking distance on the island.

How gorgeous do they look!

We headed upstairs for them to check the room over before their receiving line to greet their guests before sitting down to eat. Speeches were held after dinner and then everyone had a quick rest before partying the night away.

Thank you to Mr and Mrs Jones for letting me share and capture your special day.

This beautiful cake was done by The Vintage Cake Fairy

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Random Act of Kindness Day

Have you heard of the term "Random Act of Kindness" and wondered really what its all about?

A random act of kindness is a non-premeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside world. The phrase "practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty" was written by Anne Herbert on a place mat in Sausalito, California in 1982.

Basically its all about doing something nice - to make people feel happier without any come back on who did it - or why.

So I've researched some ideas, some for free, some that aren't on things that we can all do to spread a little kindness.

Things that cost nothing

  • Wash a neighbor’s car
  • Visit a pet shelter and spend some time loving on the animals (you may need training for this. Call ahead.)
  • If you have a friend/neighbor with small children, offer to take them to the park for an hour to give your neighbor/friend a breather!
  • Clean up trash on the side of a local road or park.
  • Walk your friend’s dog.
  • Give a compliment about your waiter / waitress to his / her manager.
  • Let someone jump the queue at the bank.
  • Give up your seat for someone, not just an elderly person.
  • Talk to a homeless person and have a “normal” conversation.
  • Recommend a competitor to a potential client.
  • Spend a day at a homeless shelter
  • Make a family member breakfast in bed
  • Write a kind or encouraging message on a napkin
  • Instead of posting negativity online, spread some encouragement
  • Sit with someone who is eating alone.
  • Let someone go in front of you at the till.
  • Tweet or Facebook message a genuine compliment to three people right now.
  • Write a nice comment on your friend’s blog.
  • Leave coupons on items at the grocery store for others to use.
  • Start couponing so that you can donate items at no cost to you.

Things that cost a little

  • Write thoughtful cards with inspirational or uplifting quotes and place them on random cars in a local parking lot.
  • Buy a lottery ticket for a stranger.
  • Buy a coffee for the man on the high street selling The Big Issue magazine.
  • Pay for the drinks on the next table at a cafĂ©.
  • Treat a friend to the movies for no reason.
  • Give a piece of fruit to a delivery person.
  • Leave a copy of an interesting book on a train / bus.
  • Buy an inspirational book for a friend.
  • By flowers to hand out on the street
  • Buy a movie ticket for the person behind you
  • Write letters to soldiers
  • Bring in donuts for your coworkers
  • Give someone a gift card that you don’t intend to use
  • Pay for someone’s morning coffee
  • Send coloring books to sick kids in the hospital
  • Donate your hair after a haircut
  • Buy your waiter/waitress dessert
  • Plan a holiday for your parents.
  • Make an anonymous donation to your friend’s favorite charity in their name.

Never underestimate the impact of a single act of kindness.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Wedding: What happens if it rains?

One of most people's big worries when they are getting married - what if it rains! The weather is one thing that no-one can control so sometimes its best to be prepared just in case. You have your beautiful venue and planning your gorgeous day - don't let the rain spoil it!
You cannot fight the rain so you might as well embrace it.

Get some beautiful umbrellas.

Buy umbrellas. Make them go with your colour scheme and use them to get a beautiful photo opportunity. Make sure you get something different and super special for you and your partner too.

Speak to your hairdresser

Have a specific style you want your hair then speak with your hairdresser to discuss in further detail about how your hair will hold up if it rains. They will be able to give you hints and tips to help fight the frizz or discuss an option to change that is a little more weather friendly.

Don't worry too much about your dress.

Your Wedding Dress can be one of the most expensive items of clothing that you have ever worn and you can be precious about not wanting to ruin it - of course, no-one wants to ruin their dress. However, think about your venue and your Wedding and what you want from your Wedding Photographs. If you are wearing a hoop or your dress bustles then doing this early on in the day will stop it dragging too much on the floor collecting water or dirt. Come the night time when you are dancing away - you won't care!

What about your footwear?

You've got your beautiful pair of bridal shoes with stiletto heels but they're not going to work on wet grass and will just sink. If it's raining on the day, or the day before, have a contingency plan of what footwear to wear. Whether it's a pair of wellies, wedges or flat shoes, you won't have to worry about ruining your pretty shoes.

What is your photographer's plan B

Have a chat with your photographer about the plan B if its a rainy day. Discuss what is expected of them, and what they expect of you. Does your venue have the space to do photographs inside? Can it accommodate big groups or just little smaller groups? Which shots are truly important?

Don't worry.

Whether you are faced with rain or not - don't panic. It is your special day and it will be just as special with or without the rain. Embrace it because you cannot control it. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Behind The Scenes: I DO Magazine Exhibition Leeds

The first big Wedding Fayre that I attend was on Sunday at Centenary Pavilion, Leeds so I thought I’d show some behind the scenes shots of what exhibitors actually get up to.

Luckily this year we were able to set up the night before, its not always the case as a lot depends on whether or not Leeds United are playing at home. If they’re at home we have to set up on the morning of the show which makes it a super long day!

These shows are run by I Do Magazine, and are shell schemed meaning we don’t just have a table and a banner but a lot of work goes in to dressing these to make yourself stand out and show the best of YOU.

Each Shell starts out blank and its up to you to put your own stamp on it. We have our vinyl banner drops which were custom made to the shell scheme with us doing Leeds, Doncaster and Sheffield with I Do Magazine. Some people wallpaper the shell, like we used to, and other people dress it with material or photographs.

The back panels go up first and you can see how the shell scheme just starts to be transformed! 

And the final stand, when everything is in place. As you can see from the background there were a few suppliers who were setting up but a lot of people chose to set up the morning of the show! We turned up at 9am before the show opened at 10am, fresh as a daisy and ready to chat to everyone!

Here is a few other bits of the things that we also had on our stall. Thank you to everyone who came to see us it was great to speak to so many wonderful couples on their Wedding Planning Journey.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Wedding: Victoria & David, a Beautiful Winter Wedding at Wortley Hall

On Saturday I had the pleasure of photographing Victoria & David's Wedding at Wortley Hall. I love Weddings at the best of times, however, I've known Victoria for probably over 15 years through her Chief Bridesmaid Rebecca. I also got to photograph Victoria & David's twin girls both as newborns and for their cake smash.

I started with Victoria, her parents and the girls, Charlotte & Amelia before the other bridesmaids Rebecca, Kathryn and Amy joined us for final hair preparations and then get dressed to go and celebrate the Wedding.

I am sure you will agree that Victoria looked absolutely beautiful in her Wedding dress, which went against everything she said she originally wanted which I find is usually the case. But it suited her down to the ground and was perfect for her Wedding and the venue. 

And her Dad couldn't contain his emotions upon entering the room and seeing all of his girls dressed and ready for the celebrations.

Victoria, Dad and Bridesmaids all headed down the beautiful staircase at Wortley Hall before I went into the Ceremony Room where David was waiting with his Best Man, Matthew, and the rest of the guests awaiting the entrance of the Bridal Party.

A beautiful short civil ceremony, including a reading by Chief Bridesmaid but more importantly filled with lots of love, laughter and of course some tears...

We headed outside for some photographs, it had been raining most of the morning and was threatening to rain some more but luckily we managed to get some photographs outside despite the ground still being very soggy in a few places. It was very cold so we tried not to keep the guests and children outside for too long and Victoria was great being outside before she turned purple from the cold! Great Sport!

We all headed inside for some warmth before speeches were delivered by Dad, Groom and Best Man. Short and Sweet before dinner was served and the new Mr and Mrs could continue to celebrate with their guests.

Thank you for choosing me to share your special day.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Advice: What to do with your Digital Files - Backup!

Whether you have taken lots of photographs of your little one on your phone, or purchased the digital files from your Professional Photographer the one thing you need to remember to do is back these files up. 

When I was at school we used to save everything onto floppy disc (careful! I'm only 32!) which obviously became obsolete with the introduction of CD's and USB's. But CD's can get scratched (and lost) and USB's can get hidden in a drawer never to be found again.

So, apart from printing your beautiful photographs you've purchased instead of them just sitting in a drawer on your USB, make sure your images are backed up elsewhere. You don't want to be moving house in 3 years time and accidentally throwing away your USB cos you forgot what is on it - or its lost in the house move. Because unless you printed them those images are now gone, and most photographers purge their systems after 12 months so you cannot rely on your photographer still having your images either.

So where can you back up:
You can save images to Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox and even Amazon Prime has online cloud storage.

You can save images to your computer or external hard-drive - but remember if either of these fail (as things can) then you've possibly lost the images too.
Cloud storage is probably one of the most popular methods of storage now - and whilst some things are free, and some things are paid for, never put all your images just in one place.

Same really goes for phone images. I see so many people devastated when their child has sent their phone swimming, or its had to be reset or its been lost or stolen and people only want their images of their kids back. Whilst uploading them to Facebook is one option, not everyone wants to keep all their photos on it.

So again you can use the above suggested items or even set up an email account, for example and email them once a week to that email address go in and read the emails check they've sent properly and then they'll always be an attachment on that email!

What ways do you back up your files? Do you have a system in place? Would love to hear your tips and tricks!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Engagement: Planning on Popping the Question?

It doesn't really matter when you are planning to propose who you are planning to propose to. Some of this information you'll want to follow - and some you'll want to completely ignore and that's fine. 

Have you talked about it?
It might sound really funny - but before you think about proposing, have you actually talked about getting married or spending the rest of your lives together? It's not a definite must, but it's something that could plan how things are going to pan out!

If you've not recently talked about it then look at other things. How long have you been together? Are things good? Are you living together? But most importantly if you feel deep down she's going to say yes - then ask her!

What did Dad say?
Have you asked her Dad? I know it tends to be seen as a bit old-fashioned, but a lot of people still like to think it's not about permission its courtesy. Some women will love the fact that you went to her dad to ask.

Of course if sometimes Dad's aren't in the picture then look at asking mum instead. 

Tell the parents your intentions before buying a ring - just in case it goes drastically wrong!

The Ring
As a woman, we all like to be surprised, and by now you probably have an idea of what type of thing that she is into. There are so many things to think of when choosing a ring, it's not just a case of going in and going "oo this one will do". If need be, ask people who know her the best for feedback. Ask her mum, her best friend or her sister. And if need be, take them with you when buying.

Ready to go shopping?
Jewellers will baffle you with science, and mention the Four C's quite a lot: Colour, Carat, Clarity and Cut.
The Different Cuts of  Diamonds available

Cut is generally one of the most important parts of choosing the diamond - with colour being the next. A big diamond with a poor colour, will cost less than a smaller diamond with a very good grade of colour.

How much should it cost?
Really - it should cost what you can afford, or what you are willing to pay.  You might think that she might want some really big fancy flashy diamond. But she might not either, and she might not want you to get into lots of debts.

A lot of people say it should cost one month's salary, some say two, some even say three. But in general - it's what you can really afford. And if it's something that you are planning in advance you have time to save to get the best you can - without getting into debt. If you leave ring shopping to the last minute - you might have to take out finance or settle for something just because of what your bank balance says.

Where will you say "Will You"?
Are you planning on making a big fuss with the proposal? It doesn't have to be something completely out of the realms of reality. It could be your favourite restaurant - you don't need to book somewhere fancy. It could be where you first met. Or somewhere that has some significance to you both. Are you going to make it a super private affair, or have some friends waiting in the wings to celebrate with you? Just be yourself and don't over think it!

On one Knee?
If you are planning on proposing somewhere like a restaurant, then sometimes there would be a possibility that you may not think about going down on one knee. However, chances are most women have thought about being proposed to since being a child and how things are going to plan out and going down on one knee is one of those. However, bad joints? Bad back then I'm sure she'll forgive you after all you've probably just said lots of gushingly lovely things to her about how you want to spend the rest of your life together.

Good Luck!! 

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Things To Do: 100 Things To Do With the Kids in Yorkshire and Surrounding Areas!

I know it can be hard to think of new places to go with the kids and especially if you've got children of different ages.

So I have come up with, with the help of asking on social media, 100 places to visit with the kids. MOST of the places are in Yorkshire but some are further afield. I can tell you that this list is not exhaustive there is plenty more out there too!




Huddersfield & Halifax
York & North Yorkshire
Derbyshire & The Peak District

Please click on the links to find out more including opening times, prices and travel directions. And I hope you enjoy making lots of magical memories with your little ones.


Friday, 30 December 2016

Newborns: 2016 A Year of Squishy Babies

Every child is a different kind of flower, and all together make this world a beautiful garden. (unknown)

2016 has seen lots of wonderful new babies at Blue Lights Photography. I truly do love my job and that so many people allow me to snuggle their babies and create the lasting memories of them being so super tiny.

2016 has seen me photograph 49 beautiful babies. 22 Girls, and 27 Boys.

I have photographed 19 Girl Sessions on their own and 26 Boy Sessions. I had one set of Twin Girls, and one Boy-Girl Twins.

The most popular girls name has been Ella, where I've had 3 baby girls called this - but as for baby boys, the top 3 popular names had 2 of each and these were Elliott, George and Noah.

The most popular busy months were March & September. I would advise if you are expecting a baby in one of these months to book in before your baby arrives. 

You can make a solid booking for your newborn session from your 20 Week Scan. We take provisional bookings from your 12-Week Scan and we book you in via your due date - and then when baby arrives we get a confirmed session date in your diary

To find out more then you can head over to the website - or visit our facebook page.

Real Time Web Analytics