Sunday, 17 November 2013

Children in Need Fun Day, Renaissance Hair & Beauty, The Mill House Restaurant

The day started out dull and grey (and very early!) for the initial 'Fun Run' from Renaissance Hair & Beauty in Hilton, to the Mill House Restaurant in Stretton. However, with so many happy and colourful people together, it soon seemed to brighten up!

The guy in the orange suit on the left is actually Brandon Barnett (from the Mill House), who is one of Burton's up-and-coming Karate/Kickboxing Champions.

The route took the runners out past Alpha Construction and down Marston Lane, by which time they were getting their second wind. The pack broke up shortly after starting, and different runners took different routes, some longer, some shorter, but all arriving in a very respectable time at the Mill House. Here, they were greeted by the Burton Albion Mascot, Billy Brewer, kindly on loan from the Pirelli Stadium just down the road.

The only late arrival was this lady, but since she's not a runner, and is apparently 50 years old next week, I think she can be forgiven. And she still arrived half an hour ahead of the Burton Mail Photographer! To be honest, the cycling escort looked in a much worse state than the runners!

There were quite a few things for people to do set up in the Marquee by the restaurant entrance - first on was 'Guess the Bear's Name'.

A free bouncy castle was on hand to entertain the younger visitors.

The raffle was very well presented, having sold many hundreds of tickets, and with more than 90 quite respectable prizes. First Prize was a £300 Mountain Bike.

As might be expected from an event sponsored by a Hair and Beauty Salon, the place was awash with glamorous young ladies, none of whom were going to allow a hair out of place even if they had just run nearly 8 miles! See if you can spot the sister who did the run, and the sister who didn't....


Face painting was also on offer, courtesy of a talented young lady from the Mill House.

The Sumo Wrestling was popular, if exhausting.

At one point, Billy Brewer appeared to be having a problem with his shorts, but this was quickly rectified with a helping hand.

The Mill House, of course, is popular with adults not just because of its excellent food, but because it provides extensive play areas for its younger guests. Billy Brewer poses with some of them on the Pirate Ship.

A finale for the day was a children's magician, in the shape of Matt's Magical Mayhem, who kept the kids usefully occupied with balloon-making and table-top magic for a couple of hours.

Finally, the raffle was drawn by the Fun Day organisers, and prizes announced.

A great day was had by everyone, and I would like to say thank you to all those people who actively participated to make it so enjoyable.

Further information on the charity can be found at if you wish to contact the organisers, or take part in next year's fundraising events.

We are hosting all of the pictures here, if you wish to see more of what happened on the day, or even buy a picture or two to remember it by. Autumn House are donating 30% from any resulting print sales to Children in Need.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Burton Albion Wedding Fayre ~ White Dove Release ~ new Graphistudio Digital Matted Albums

Today we had a big table at the Burton Albion Wedding Fayre, at Pirelli Stadium in Burton.We had a great day with lots of interest, and it does look as if the UK is starting to come out of the recession finally - many brides were booking for next year with actual dates and venues already in the bag!

Here is Denise smiling nicely behind our stand! Just for a change, we'd smartened it up a bit with a black, white and red theme, and it looked quite impressive once the blinds were drawn and you could see it!

We had a demonstration copy of the new Digital Matted Album from Graphistudio on display, something which very few photographers in the UK have yet got hold of. I won't bore you with all the marketing superlatives from the Graphistudio website, but basically this type of album uses a brand new printing technology to create a multi-layered, raised surface which actually looks and 'feels' three-dimensional. It really does need to be seen and touched to be believed - if you're interested in having the very latest trendsetting album design, give us a ring and we'll come and show it to you!

However, enough of the boring technical stuff.

As I was having dinner I started talking to another exhibitor. When I asked what she did, she said "whydoesrelief". There was a bit of a pause whilst I took that in, considered how unlikely it was that she was some sort of physical therapist, and then said "pardon me"?

It turned out that what she actually said was 'White Dove Release'.

Although we have not yet encountered Dove Release at any of our weddings, it is apparently immensely popular in America and Canada, and is now gaining in popularity over here as well.

The lady invited me down to have a look at the birds, and I was immediately impressed, not only with the love and respect which she showed to 'Charlie' and 'Snowflake', a mated pair, but also with what a wonderful sight they must be when launching out of their basket in the sunshine at a wedding. My pictures (hastily grabbed in between interested customers) don't really do these beautiful Fan-tailed Doves justice.

If you want something interesting and a little bit out of the ordinary for your special day, you might consider having a few white doves released at the end of your wedding service!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Wedding Photos at Drayton Manor Park

Sharon and Luke married at the Parish Church of Linton and Castle Gresley, and held their reception at the popular Drayton Manor Hotel in Fazeley, near Tamworth.

As seems so often the case for us, it was a lovely sunny day!

Denise went to the Groom's house to do Groom's preparations, and I went to the Bride's mum's house to do Bride's preparations, so we really did cover the whole day for the young couple. The couple have a great dog called 'Buster', and if you say 'cats'.....


The wedding service was an epic. Although some of the guests were starting to get restless, I must admit that, as a photographer, I found it all very engaging . The vicar, a long time friend of the family, really put himself out to make it special, and to bring some real ceremony back to a wedding service that is now sometimes just too routine. The rings were at the back of the church, and were fetched by the couple's children at the appropriate time.

The service concluded with champagne and fireworks, much to the delight of the children.

After the service, it was off to Drayton Manor, where the couple were whisked away in a golf buggy down into the park. Unfortunately, as a Bank Holiday weekend, the park was really busy, and we weren't allowed to ride the carousel, but we did manage to grab a few photos sitting on it.

The moored paddle-steamer was back off its Health and Safety break, so we had some nice photos there as well, which was just as well since it was near closing time and we couldn't have photos by the lake owing to the traffic.

Because the couple had booked us for the whole day, we took the opportunity to take them into the grounds at the back of the new hotel after the wedding breakfast, so nothing was really missed after all.

The party was a spectacular hit, and culminated in a giant balloon filled with smaller balloons and confetti being exploded over the couple's heads.

Wishing every happiness to Sharon and Luke.