Sunday, 29 March 2015

[Wedding] It Went with a Bang! Mr & Mrs Noble's Wedding at Ringwood Hall Chesterfield

Being a Wedding Photographer, whilst I try and have a special connection with most of my couples there are always those couples that stick out to you - and this couple were no different.

I first met Andy & Jess at Doncaster Racecourse Wedding Exhibition in January 2012, over 3 years ago. They had recently been engaged, no date or venue yet I went to meet them for a further in-depth chat with them at their home and after over 2 hours I finally left. I think we practically talked about anything and everything!

Roll on a little while and gorgeous Masie came along before Jess and Andy finally were able to set the date for their Wedding - 28th March 2015.

And it was great that I was able to be there to capture it all 3 years after first meeting them.

Bridal Preperations,

I started with Jess, her bridesmaids and parents before little Maisie joined us. Each of the bridesmaids were wearing these gorgeous dressing gowns, two of each colour with Jess in a white based one - including little mini-me Maisie!

Bridal Preps

Everyone had their hair done by Steph - then piled in front of all the mirrors to be able to put on their own makeup and make the final touches before it was time to get dressed.

Bridal Preps
Mother and Daughter, Wedding Morning

The bridesmaids wore beautiful embellished long baby pink dresses that Jess had found from China! Jess' mum's dress was beautiful and from the same place too. The hangers were a DIY job too inspired from Pinterest, of course!

Pink Bridesmaid Dresses

Jess looked beautiful in her dress which fitted like a glove - and was everything she didn't want in a dress but she tried it on and fell in love with it.

Apart from her sister Abi, none of the other bridesmaids had any idea of what Jess' dress was like - as she had kept it hidden from them all. Seeing their faces was fabulous!

Wedding, Wedding at Ringwood Hall, Ringwood Hall Hotel

The bridesmaids headed down the aisle before Jess who was walked down the aisle by her Dad before being given away to marry Andy who was waiting so patiently at the bottom of the aisle for her.

He couldn't wait to see Masie in her dress - nothing about waiting to see Jess in hers though!

Wedding, Wedding at Ringwood Hall, Ringwood Hall Hotel

After the ceremony the new Mr and Mrs were able to greet their guests and share a quick hello and canapes before we headed outside for photographs. Andy and Jess had booked a magician to entertain the guests, so we headed outside for couple shots first allowing guests to enjoy the magician.

Wedding, Wedding at Ringwood Hall, Ringwood Hall Hotel

As Jess and Andy were having their reception in the Ringwood Suite this meant that they had the terrace, green and the garden pavillion as there were no Garden Marquee Weddings happening.

Wedding, Wedding at Ringwood Hall, Ringwood Hall Hotel
Couple, Wedding at Ringwood Hall, Ringwood Hall Hotel
Couple, Wedding at Ringwood Hall, Ringwood Hall Hotel

As their Wedding was the only wedding on that meant that we were able to pop down through the rose gardens for more photographic opportunities too.

Couple, Wedding at Ringwood Hall, Ringwood Hall Hotel
Couple, Wedding at Ringwood Hall, Ringwood Hall Hotel
Couple, Wedding at Ringwood Hall, Ringwood Hall Hotel

The weather was touch and go in the morning, I informed Jess that I had "ordered" the weather - it was just a waiting game, and it didn't disappoint - we were able to get some lovely shots of everyone outside thanks to the rain breaking away.

Group Photographs, Ringwood Hall, Family, Chesterfield
Group Photographs, Ringwood Hall, Family, Chesterfield

After the group photographs were over everyone made their way inside to the Ringwood Suite which was set out beautifully. After a lovely 3-course meal, the speeches were underway before the evening reception was to start.

Couple, Bride & Groom, Evening Photographs, Bridal Portrait, Ringwood Hall Hotel
Couple, Bride & Groom, Evening Photographs, Bridal Portrait, Ringwood Hall Hotel

Just after the newly married couple opened the photobooth and sweetie cart I stole them for a few "after dark" photographs with the evenings still being quite dark at the moment where they got to spend an extra 5-10 minutes outside just as themselves as a couple before spending the evening celebrating the night away with their guests.

Couple, Bride & Groom, Evening Photographs, Bridal Portrait, Ringwood Hall Hotel

Back inside and out from the cold (but the rain had stopped again) after a little while it was time for the Cake Cutting and First Dance before the evening full of dancing started getting under the way.

Evening Reception, First Dance, Ringwood Hall Hotel
Evening Reception, First Dance, Ringwood Hall Hotel

Just before I headed off for the night - we headed back out to the green for the fireworks which we such a fabulous display before back inside the evening buffet was open and it was time for me to head home.

Ringwood Hall Hotel, Wedding, Fireworks

Massive Congratulations to Jess & Andy, and of course beautiful little Masie. I cannot believe 3 years later it has finally happened! Thank you for allowing me to share your special day and capture more memories for you. X

Friday, 27 March 2015

[#WOW] Meet Pippa from Wannabees!

Wannabes is the brainchild of Pippa, a mummy and self-confessed party girl who is constantly on the go. With her business partner Lynne they drove Wannabes to a #WOW win! Here Pippa tells us more.

Can you tell us a little about yourself as a person? 

I'm a bit of a party girl. When I'm not spending time with my gorgeous kids I love socialising and am constantly on the go! I have a very strong ethos of live for the day.

How did you first set up the business?
Lynne's (my business partner)
 daughter, Imogen asked for a teacher pack for her sixth birthday as she spent hours playing teachers with her friends and loved to re-create the events of the school day. Lynne spent hours trawling the internet trying to find something to fit the bill but couldn’t see anything that suited her age group. She didn’t want to “pretend” with scaled-down versions of what a teacher uses, she wanted to be doing it for real. So Lynne set about collating “real” teachers equipment and books and put together her own pack for her. Following the Birthday she was approached by a number of parents asking where she got the pack from and could she do it for their child...and that was the eureka moment. She text me and said “Meet me in Sainsbury’s cafĂ©…I’ve got it!”. I didn’t even stop to question it and over a latte and a pot of tea, Wannabees was born.

How old is the business?
5 months old

Did you ever think you’d be running your own business?
I have spent a lot of time working for myself during my career once I had had kids. I have dabbled with different business ideas but this opportunity that my friend Lynne asked me to get involved in is the first that has made me think we really have something here! 

Where are you based? Do you have a shop or are you just online?
We live near Chester both of us. we don't have a shop of bricks and mortar but we have an online shop at and we sell on Amazon. We are selling through 6 independents currently with a view to extending this and we are looking at other avenues for distribution too.  

What is the most popular product sales wise?
I want to be a Teacher role-play pack.

Everyone has a favourite product - what is yours?
I want to be a Doctor role play pack 

What is your newest item / product?
I want to be a Cafe Owner role play pack

What is the one thing people must know about your business?
It's a completely unique concept, nothing like it on the market and more importantly it encourages children to play for real. 

What is your proudest business achievement?
We won the National Toytalk Awards just 2 weeks after launch for best role play toy beating national brands such as Little Tikes

What do you do when you aren’t working on the business?
Lynne and I are very similar in what we enjoy out of work and as best friends we spend a lot of time together too. We both enjoy spending time with our families, camping, holidays and days out. 

What five words describe your business? 
Role play, Unique, Imaginative, Educational, Traditional

Any big plans for 2015 you can share? 
We have big plans for 2015. We have 3 packs currently available but it is our intention to bring out the other 9 packs we have designed already over the next year. Our range is constantly growing and we have plans to roll out further fun and exciting professions so hopefully there will be something for every child to choose from!
We also want to extend our contacts and sales outlets through independent toy shops and other larger shops with similar profile markets. 

How can we find out more about you:

Facebook: /Wannabees
Twitter: @Wannabees1
Telephone: 07900 936085

I used to LOVE playing teacher when I was little - what did you love to be when you were little? Lets see if we can give Wannabees lots of ideas!

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

[WW] How Many Other Weddings Will You Photograph?

Every Wednesday in the Wedding world is known as #WeddingWednesday - so every Wednesday I will try to answer some of the most common questions that I get.

How many other weddings will you photograph that weekend? 

Quite a lot of the time - you will be the only Wedding that I photograph that Weekend - but I will not do a maximum of two.

I do try to only do one per weekend - with a maximum of 25 Weddings per year.

The only time I do two Weddings in one weekend, or "back to back" as it more commonly known is if one of them is a prior recommendation from one of my other Wedding couples.

I will not do 3 "on the bounce" in any circumstances - this is personal choice.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

No-Nonsense Truth About Parent Shots

One of the things I see a lot in my Barnsley Photography Studio is that when I am photographing Newborn Babies that parents, not just mums, don't really want to get in front of the camera with their new precious bundles. 

Newborn and Parents, New Baby, New Parents
There could be lots of reasons why - and most mums will admit that they just don't feel "right". Be it that they had a bad labour, a sleepless night, or just that they don't like the baby weight - but let me tell you one thing - there's not really going to be another chance to get a professional family photograph with them when they are so little.

When parents come back to the studio for the viewing of their newborn photographs they normally don't like the photographs with themselves in because as Adults we are so used to pointing out our own flaws. What most people do, however, is purchase at least one in a small size - to have on the wall, in the nursery, or to keep in a keepsake box.

It's not just when they're little either

It's not just when they are newborn babies either, it is all ages. I know in a discussing with a client when my own mum was in the studio we were discussing the lack of photographs of us all as a family. Most photographs are either Mum & Child, Dad & Child - and very rarely, all three together. In fact, I can say that I cannot remember the last time that my parents and I had a professional photograph taken together. The last time my Dad and I had a photograph together was on the day of a funeral as it was the first time we'd both been "dressed up" together for a while - and whilst it may sound funny - this is the reality that we are living in.

Newborn Baby with Parents, Parent Shot, Parents with New Baby

Who's behind the camera?

I came across this post on Babble.Com which was exactly that - that mums belong in front of the camera - not behind it - but it goes for dads too. Some mums are happy to be in front of the cameras whilst dad's hide behind. 
Think and look back - and I mean really look back - and when was the last time you had a photograph taken with your mum in the photograph? Or your Dad? Or both together? Which member of your family is normally hiding behind the camera? (I'll be honest it's normally me!)

Mum and Child, Boy and Mum, Single Parent

So the next time you book in for a photoshoot - why not ask if you can just get in for one or two photographs together. You may not feel your best - but trust your photographer - and get a photograph anyway - remember yourself at those times, that connection with your child and your family as a unit.

And after reading this and still not being sure about having a photograph taken - then please leave a comment telling me what's stopping you. 

To book a photoshoot with Blue Lights Photography please contact us to discuss in further.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

[#WOW] Meet Aly from The Rainy Day Box Co

Today we say hello to Aly from The Rainy Day Box co. Aly is an ex-actress, mummy to two boys and married to a photographer as well as running the business. #WOW Winner Aly tells us more about her business...

Can you tell us a little about yourself as a person?  
I'm a 
Mummy of two boys; Kit aged 5 and Oakley aged 10 months (both born on the same day), married to my lovely photographer husband and Rainy Day Dispatch dude. I used to be an actress before I started my own business and I love knitting and crocheting, but am really rather rubbish at both.  

How did you first set up the business?  
My business started life as a means to an end one rainy day when me and my 1st son Kit were stuck indoors, I put together a variety box of activities and the idea sparked from there. As a creative person with hardly any business sense I dived straight in without doing any market research or procrastination, thank goodness other parents and grown-ups loved our boxes too or it could have gone horribly wrong.  

How old is the business? 
The Rainy Day Box Co is two and a half years old. 

Did you ever think you’d be running your own business?  
Never as I rarely can stay focussed on one task long enough.  I am so glad I did take the risk now though and would urge others to try it, you learn a lot about yourself.  

Where are you based?  
Our boxes are sold online but we're based in Kent if folks want to pop in for a cuppa ;) 

What is the most popular product sales wise? 
Our most popular product at the moment is our letterboxes, themed fun through the door each month.  

Everyone has a favourite product - what's yours?
My favourite product is our spring box because it has shortbread biscuits to bake inside it, my favourite. 

What is your newest item / product?  
Our newest product is our Birthday Box which hasn't been released yet, it's that fresh!! I think that's an exclusive, whoop. 

What is the one thing people must know about your business?  
That our boxes not only amuse little ones but create lovely wholesome family memories for you to cherish.  

What is your proudest business achievement?  
We won a loved by parent award and was featured in The Guardian's Top 10 gift subscription article recently. 

What do you do when you aren’t working on the business?
I spend my time snuggling with Oakley or watching Kits numerous magic/making shows. 

What five words describe your business?
Wholesome, Fun, Playful, Creative and Friendly 

Any big plans for 2015 you can share? We have just partnered with Red Letter Days and have another really awesome partnership in the pipeline, all will be revealed in summer we hope.   

How can we find out more about you: 

Twitter: @Rainydayboxco
Telephone: 01732 252255

I personally love that you can build your own box too - so you can choose the activities that you think your child(ren) would love - how awesome is that!?

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

[WW] Are you the Photographer who will shoot my Wedding?

Every Wednesday in the Wedding world is known as #WeddingWednesday - so every Wednesday I will try to answer some of the most common questions that I get.

Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding? 

The simple answer to this is Yes. At Blue Lights Photography in general there are only two people you will speak to regarding the business - myself or my mum Angela - however I am the only photographer who shoots under the Blue Lights Photography name - unless you request a second shooter.

When you call, email or facebook message it is normally myself who replies. And at Wedding Exhibitions you will generally see both myself and my mum.
But if you have any queries, I will always be happy to help.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

[#WOW] Meet Nicola from Sticky Mix!

Nicola & Wendy run Sticky Mix, a fab cake and cookie mix business - you just add the wet ingredients! They launched a children's party bag mix too - something different to give children at the end of parties! Here I pass over to Nicola to tell us more about Sticky Mix!
Can you tell us a little about yourself as a person? 
I'm married with 3 children. Huge Robbie Williams fan, love baking, hate rudeness and find it impossible to say no!

How did you first set up the business? 
Myself and my friend Wendy set up the business after working on a charity project and finding we worked really well together, both really wanted to get back into the workplace following having our families but wanted something flexible so we could still be around for them.

How old is the business? 
1 year old this month!

Did you ever think you’d be running your own business? 
Absolutely, I've had my own business before and between us we had loads of ideas, just had to find the one we really believed in, and we did.

Where are you based? Do you have a shop or are you just online? 
We are based in Derbyshire. We sell retail online through our website but we also wholesale to various deli's, farm shops, health food stores etc. We are always on the lookout for new retailers and love growing the wholesale side of the business as well as exhibiting at food fairs and events when we get to give out samples and see the look on peoples faces when they try our bakes.

What is the most popular product sales wise?
Our Belgian Chocolate White Chocolate Studded Brownies. We offer regular and gluten free versions.

Everyone has a favourite product - what is yours?
I think it would have to be the Spotty Dotty Party Bag. It just looks fun, bright and cheerful and full of promise!

What is the one thing people must know about your business? 
That we have developed our ranges to try and offer something for everyone to enjoy - Gluten Free, Dairy, Soya and Egg Free and we have many more in the pipeline as we grow.

What is your proudest business achievement? 
When we launched at an exhibition last year. We jumped in and booked a stand and then went hell for leather to be ready for it. We just had to go for it, otherwise we would have still been procrastinating now!

What do you do when you aren’t working on the business? 
Feed the children!

What five words describe your business? 
Enthusiastic, Hard Working, Fun, Quality and PINK!

How can we find out more about you:
Facebook: StickyMixUK
Twitter: StickyMixUK
Pinterest: StickyMix
Telephone: 0845 519 3626

My goodness, don't they look so Yummy! Which one would be your favourite to order?

Friday, 13 March 2015

[Launching] Our Fab Packs for Newborn Bookings

Well they are finally here and I can announce our Newborn Packs for future bookings. We will have two packs available, one for people booking whilst still pregnant - and another for when babies have already arrived.

Inside these packs will have information, samples and discount vouchers. We are looking and working with new people all the time so vouchers, offers and samples will change from time to time. 

As you can see from the pictures there are lots of fab things included - this is what is currently in the next 5 Pregnancy Packs!
  • Having a Healthy Pregnancy Book, Happy Ending Leaflet and Pregnancy Line Card from Tommy's
  • Meningitis Baby Watch Card and Pocket Guide from Meningitis Research Foundation
  • Safer Sleep for Babies and Baby Check booklet from The Lullaby Trust
  • Simply Pure hypoallergenic Powder Tabs - 6 Washes
  • St Johns First Aid Pocket Guide
  • Meningitis and Septicemia Pocket Guide from Meningitis Now
  • Trial Sample Pregnacare Origional Vitabiotics, Leaflet and Pregnacare Cream
  • Palmers Bottom Butter Sample
  • Teapigs Sample
  • 2 x Muslin Cloths from Nuby
  • 25 % off the Nuby Range Voucher
  • 3 x Water Wipes Sample Packet including £1 coupon on each
  • 10% off your first order with Kyna Boutique
  • Free Delivery from Lilly Locket
  • 20% Off AND Free Delivery from Faye & Lou
  • 10% Off Placenta Encapsulation from The Yorkshire Placenta Specialist

Savings alone are worth a minimum of £35!

So, how do you go about getting one of these fabulous packs? Simple!

Just book your Newborn Session before you are 35 Weeks Pregnant and we will send you one of these, with your booking price lists and information through the post.

How do you book?
Fill in one of these online forms for us and we will contact you to discuss your session in further detail. Newborn Sessions are £75 including a complimentary 9x6 Print. You can find more information on the website.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

[Question] Why are Newborn Sessions in a Morning?

Almost 99% of my newborn sessions are held on a morning - and many people ask me why - afterall babies sleep "all the time" or so we are led to believe.

In my experience I find that babies tend to fall into a deeper sleep in a morning session rather than in afternoon sessions, and to get all those cute squishy shots – we need baby as sleepy as we can get them!

It is likely that your little one has had you up and down during the night – so this is their time to ‘catch-up’. I do advise to try and keep your baby awake prior to your session, and then this teamed with a feed and a settle it should make for a happy sleepy baby.

I personally, can do sessions on an afternoon, however if this is a request then I do advise you that we may have to do more awake shots than I would normally do.

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