December has been a veritable mixed spice of a month so far and we’re only at Day 16 as I write here, awaiting the big two’s return to the nest from uni at any moment.
Whilst the spirit is largely Christmas scented at this time of year, we also have a double birthday in our household; fifteen years ago in December my own birthday was hijacked by my last-born child, Jake. I did, I gave birth on my bloody birthday so I did. And on the due date no less.
The Birthday Thief turned fifteen this year; me, I turned significantly more than fifteen. For whatever reason, he saw fit to celebrate the start of ‘our day’ by arriving at my bedside, bellowing ‘happy birthday Mum!’ and promptly emptying a full glass of water over my head. Ever the prankster.
Fittingly, this month saw a collaboration with the Hampshire charity which supports Jake and many other young people like him. The KA devised a Treasure Trail Fundraiser at Wylds Farm Christmas Trees , with whom I work each and every festive season, and it’s proving a great hit with children who visit the farm for their tree. Twelf Days of Christmas, twelve stripy legged wooden elves and lots of clue searching fun amongst the firs and spruces. A feature I’m proud of naming and suggesting is the ‘Lost Propertree’ fashioned from upcycled timbers and, each season, gradually decorated with lonesome mittens, stranded scarves and beanie hats.
They’re a fabulous group of people, Team Tree, and have collectively worked very hard this year to ensure the farm Experience is as full of all the festive feels as is possible. I love capturing the event with Sophia and Nick as it unfolds each winter. We always have so much fun in the process. This year required a refresh of farm imagery across all online marketing. Additionally, I project managed and wrote the copy for their new website, designed and built by Posabilities. It ticks all the boxes for functionality and aesthetic.
Little Donkey is available as a fine art print ( dm for details & to buy a limited edition giclée print ) A framed giclée print was donated as the prize to the above charity Fundraiser. Said donkey is living her best donkey life under the Ashford Hangers and has a best friend donkey plus a dozen Indian runner ducks for company. When I visited her paddock, I hung a white backdrop bedsheet over her gate; she enjoyed the parsnips and apple I brought along to lure her in front of this.
Branding shoots; 32 Feet, muted threads and colourful Skies.
Earlier in the month, photographing for The Maas Clinic, we had a record canine choreography moment with 32 feet in the same line up. 20 of these being paws. Dogs and humans alike brought the very best energy to the shoot. Capturing spaniels on camera in beautiful low, golden winter sunshine and in ancient woodland was a seasonal highpoint. Albums were commissioned to be enjoyed by faraway family members.
Photographing for talented textiles designer Kate Box was a first also. We captured new toasty knitwear flavours for her latest Collection and worked in a very considered way using only natural ( dramatic ) light to create images which showcase the colour & softness of Kate’s designs and suggest movement and flow. We also shot moving images to complement the Collection.
With some strong linear designs, this time on cotton rather than wool, we shot the new African Skies Collection of designs for Titley & Marr which previewed this autumn and are shown here captured for a Christmas campaign, against the clock.
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I’m feeling very grateful as this year draws to a close. There have been such a lot of unprecedented and challenging situations to contend with over recent months. For us all. My health is good, my family in fine fettle and my heart is full. I have enough and appreciate this enormously.
Wishing you all a most peaceful, restful and abundant Christmas wherever you are and with whomever you’re able to enjoy celebrations.