Over the Easter holidays we had a few days away in Coniston in the Lake District. En route up to Coniston we stopped at Sizergh Castle in Helsington, about 4 miles south of Kendal.
The castle is a grade I listed building with gorgeous gardens, owned by the National Trust. We did a lovely little Easter egg hunt which took us all around the castle grounds, past lakes and through shaded woodland areas and the beautiful gardens.
There is also a lovely little café with fresh seasonal produce grown in the garden. And even better an ice cream kiosk which was perfect in the sunshine.
Well worth a trip if you have a few hours to spare, it gets the little ones tired after all the running around which is always a bonus!
The days are getting longer, the daffodils are in full bloom and mini eggs are being consumed at a rapid rate. This can only mean one thing, Easter is right around the corner. We’re starting the celebrations a little earlier here at Capture with our Easter photo sessions on Saturday. We can’t wait to see all the little ones sporting their bunny ears against our Easter backdrop.
Easter also equals school holidays and if you’re searching for ways to keep your children entertained Cedar Farm have an Easter Trail running throughout. You are given clues to find 12 eggs hidden around the farm and if you manage to find them all, there might just be a reward for you in The Gallery.
We have a busy couple of months of with lots of weddings, but the sunshine is making it ideal for outdoor photos down the lane, so let us know if you’re wanting to get booked in as the diary is getting full. Just gives us an excuse to eat all the Easter eggs we can get our hands on!!
I’ve just landed back from a lovely surprise weekend to Iceland courtesy of my amazing husband (now amazing as I thought he’d forgot it was my birthday) as a birthday treat!
The trip began at Manchester airport Saturday morning with a Bottle of Kopparberg and Iceland Lonely Planet book in hand. After two hours and twenty in the air and a 40 minute transfer to Reykjavik, we checked in, I quickly grabbed the camera and we headed out to explore the city. Colourful buildings, quirky street art and bustling bars and restaurants is what we were greeted with. After exploring we headed to a local bar (of course) and opted for burgers rather than their speciality of roasted puffin!
As we were child free and didn’t have the usual 6am get up we enjoyed a nice chilled out Sunday morning before we headed to the Blue Lagoon. If you get chance to visit Iceland the Blue Lagoon is a must. Bathing in gorgeous hot mineral water whilst sipping fizz, what more could a girl want?!
Our last full day was an early start and late finish, which consisted of a full day of exploring this little island. We covered some grounds, visiting Unesco, a listed national park, waterfalls, watched the water shooting of the original geyser at Strokkur, stopped to see the horses that roam the chilly snow filled fields and finished off with snowmobiling over a glacier in the most remote place I’ve ever been. Snow and sky for all you could see!
The weekend went so quickly and before we knew it we had landed back at Manchester and it was back to reality!
Gear for the trip;
Canon 5D MARK 3
50MM LENS (my favourite lens of choice at the moment!)
17-40MM LENS (for some wide shots)
2 fully charged batteries
Battery charger (as from experience the batteries don’t like the cold so don’t want them giving up whilst out and about)
Warm gloves – it was bloody freezing!
Exposure; Manual exposure with the exposure compensation pushed to +2 in most cases to capture the snow nice and illuminated
At the moment, my favourite piece of kit in my camera bag is my 50mm fixed lens.
It may sound obvious but a fixed lens is simply a lens that does not move like a zoom lens which you can zoom in and out to get the shot.
This is why I love the 50mm lens as it makes me have to move more and work to get the shot.
I also love the quality of the lens, being a fixed lens the image is much sharper. This is because the fixed lens doesn’t have extra glass inside that moves in order to zoom.
The depth of field is great too which make the subject stand out from the background.
Although I got it last Summer I’ve really enjoyed having it on the camera the last few weeks. I love it so much I’ve kept the 50mm on for most of the recent photo shoots I’ve done. You can see a few examples of the photos taken with this lens below.
Camera Body; Canon 5d mark 3
Lens; 50m lens
Exposure; mostly shot on fstop 5.0 to create depth of field
Yesterday I roped my niece, Olivia into coming to the studio to help me try out some shots for the new balloons I had picked up last week. You might have seen I posted a little sneaky preview on social media.
She was a little superstar, posing away, allowing me to test out different colour balloons and backgrounds and in the end we decided that a simple white background worked best, showing off the bright, fun colours. Olivia (or maybe mummy) also chose really well with her outfit, adding a little more colour into the mix with her rainbow striped jumper.
We’re going to be popping some dates up soon for these fun shoots, I always find the balloon photos are a great way of showing off little ones personalities, they always seen to love it when there are props for them to play around with.
Let there be Light!
The weather has been just super this week, the sun has been out and with that comes that amazing light. So I though it would be a great idea to get some shots that concentrate on the light.
I shoot everything in manual, to be in control of the exposure and also switched the exposure to a spot meter reading. This allows the camera to expose for a precise area within an image.
It was great to take a simple everyday shot and make it creative by using the light. I edited the majority in colour, but added a few black and white ones in to add even more drama to the photo.
Camera body; canon 5dmark 3
Lense; 50mm lense
Exposure; I kept the f stop to 5.0 and changed the shutter speed depending on the shot
Wedding Open Day
On Sunday 24th February we are celebrating all things bridal here at Capture with a Wedding Open Day. It’s an invite to any current bride and grooms or potential future ones to come to the studio to have a chat and to look through some of the wedding photos and albums and see examples of Heather’s style of photography.
The Potting Sheds, also based here at Cedar Farm are going to be displaying some of their beautiful wedding flowers and the lovely Emma from Bridal Barn Boutique is going to be gracing us with a few of her gorgeous wedding dresses. We also have some brand new albums we are excited to share with you, which have just arrived and lots of lovely wedding photos to give you a glimpse into some of our past bride and grooms big days.
So book the date in your diary, and come and join us, 11-3pm for a glass of fizz and a few special offers we have lined up. Including a special discount for anyone booking their wedding with us before the end of February and our new photo montages that will be available to order on the day at a discounted price.
Yesterday’s photoshoot consisted of wellies, a high vis jacket and hair net, slightly different to a wedding or portrait at Capture!
GA Foods approached us to photograph some lifestyle photos for them at both their Bretherton Farm and offices and warehouse in Buckshaw Village. It’s nice having to think on your feet for composition ideas and lighting as this this can be varied as always on a commercial shoot.
The colour temperature changed throughout the day as we moved from different areas for photos as did the varied light sources. We started off with outside photos in the morning with the cool overcast light colours at approx. 7000k , but then as we headed to the warehouse and the light source altered to a fluorescent light approx. 5000k with a high iso for the hand held shots. As some areas were simply too dark some on camera flash was used to freeze the movement and I had to bring the light slightly warmer to 5500k.
Needless to say after all those numbers to think about I needed some galaxy to re-energise me at lunchtime! (any excuse)
Last week meat was the subject to photograph.
My lovely husband is a butcher, and at this time of year he normally makes me give up my day off to get some last minute photos for his Xmas brochure. Which of course being a good wife that I am, I did!
The family business and shop in Heskin – Greens butchers has been in the family for over a 100 years, supplying high quality meat to the public, shops and restaurants. As always with the food photos the brief is simple, let the food do the talking, therefore natural lighting was to me, the only way to show the quality of the meat.
I photographed a mixture of popular products for Christmas, including the Christmas turkey and beef joints, all in a natural set up with a lifestyle feel to them.
My husband isn’t one for waste so of course the best bit was having a full turkey dinner for tea with all the trimmings! Delicious!
Look out for our photos when you’re next in the butchers.
The countdown is on, we are well and truly in the Christmas spirit here at Capture! The decorations are up, we had our first Christmas shopping evening here at Cedar Farm last night and most importantly, the advent calendars have been purchased.
Although it may seem a little early, we need to be organised as November and December can sometimes pass by in a blur, with lots of people getting organised to have photos taken for Christmas presents. We have to be very careful in posting photos in case some may be a surprise and we only wish we get to see people’s reactions when they open them on Christmas Day.
As well as portraits, we have the Christmas photos sessions which are proving to be as popular as ever and we can’t wait to see lots of little ones dressed up as Christmas puddings, Snowmen or in their cool Christmas jumpers.
And if you’re not quite feeling in the festive mood just yet, crank up Mariah Carey, All I Want For Christmas Is You, it never fails to get us up dancing in the studio!
Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters!
The studio has been filled with lots of scary little ones today and we thought it would be nice to share some of the fun your way!
The morning started with me and Laura attempting to lift the biggest pumpkin we’ve ever seen and get the set ready for photos. Once the pumpkin was maneuvered (with the help of a trolley) and the background was set up, we were good to go.
Witches, monsters, Hulk and even a Ghostbuster with complete homemade car headed to us for Halloween photos and we must say the outfits were pretty impressive, as were some of the scary poses!!
Last week we got to do some work for Jaffa oranges at the studio. We’ve been lucky enough to work with them a few times now and it’s always an enjoyable shoot.
They wanted to update their packaging so we had lots of fun getting some shots with their easy peelers and oranges, whilst filling the studio with their zingy scent.
Here are a few of the snaps we got with Shannon in our studio.
Look out for the new packaging in Tesco soon!
Aperture and shutter speed make up the exposure of a photograph.
Shutter speed is the length of time when a camera’s shutter is open when taking a photograph.
Simplified – a shot of a runner – If you wanted to freeze the action you would use a fast shutter speed and if you wanted to see the movement you would use a long shutter speed.
Here are some long shutter photos I took at the weekend after we braved the busy Blackpool illuminations.
The shutter speeds used on these photos varied from
1.6 seconds to a 13th of a second.
All were taken using a post or stationery surface that acted as a tripod apart from the first image. That was a hand held shot where I moved the camera from right to left so increase the movement in the image.
We like to do a blog post every Wednesday but last week was impossible as we were busy We left the house at 7am, both Tuesday and Wednesday armed with sausage butties to keep us going for two full days of School photos.
We visit Hope School on an annual basis to photograph all 200+ children. Although it’s a busy day we get so much pleasure capturing the big smiles of the children especially the ones who take a little more effort to coax the smiles out of. And the children are always so much fun, providing us with much entertainment throughout both days.
It was also lovely to see the lovely colourful art work around school, that we photographed last year and had put onto canvases for them. We don’t always get to see the finished pieces up on the wall, so it was great to see them brightening up the school walls.
What better way to spend your birthday sitting in the studio and eating cake!
That’s what we let the little ones do when they come for a cake smash. Great for a first birthday pressie or to treat your little one to. We simply let them loose in the studio with a big birthday cake, they can make as much mess as they like, eat as much cake and then finish off with a bath in our little vintage bath and we photograph it for you. How much fun is that!
We currently have an offer for cake smash and bath photos together for £35 which includes a 5×7 images of your choice
All this talk of cake has made me hungry, might have to nip to the coffee shop!
My family like to have lots of fun and why not we only live once!
Every year in the summer holidays we plan a mini festival with all of the Rigbye crew, 12 adults and 6 little ones – Rigfest
This years theme was ‘Neon’ so as you can imagine, it consisted of lots of neon paint, colourful clothes and a random inflatable swan of course!
The festival kicks off mid afternoon setting up camp with a cold drink! Then its BBQ time, with my husband David being a butcher we always have great BBQ, this year the juicy steaks and ribs went down a treat! Once we are full to bursting its time for us all to perform an act from ‘the baby shark dance’ to singing your favourite song anything goes! As the evening draws in it’s time enjoy a few drinks by the fire. The festival comes to an end with a huge English breakfast on Sunday morning!
Another great time had by all, time to start thinking of next years theme!
I always feel lucky that I get to capture those precious moments of newborn babies. They’ve only just come into the world, they’re still teeny tiny and you get to see first hand how the parents are already completely besotted.
Time flies by so quickly that unfortunately they don’t stay newborn for long! I find it best to take photos in the first couple of weeks when they’re still sleeping lots and it’s easy enough to get them into a deep sleep. So we make sure we allow plenty of time for feeds, and also for any feeds or nappy changes.
If it isn’t the first baby in the family, then it’s also nice to have a few family photos too, capturing the special bond between siblings and creating the first family portrait with the new addition.
As the wedding season is now in full swing I thought it was a must to show you how much fun people have been having on the dancefloor! Wedding guests have definitely put their dancing shoes on, strutting their stuff on the dancefloor all night long.
For me this is great as I’ve been able to play around with my new flashgun, the amazing Profoto A1 . Although a little pricey the Profoto A1 AirTTL-C is just great, super quick, super powerful and the battery life is perfect for an all day wedding. 5 out of 5 from me!
Back to the dancefloor, and I wanted to create the party atmosphere, freezing the action but also showing the full dancefloor and moment within the shot. For this effect I used a ‘dragging the shutter’ technique which is balancing flash and ambient light. It was great playing around with different exposures to get the best shot, especially after the guests have had a few drinks!
lense – 17mm wide lense
British Transplant Games
Last week as a family we got the pleasure of attending the British transplant games in Birmingham. This was Jack’s first year taking part after receiving a kidney transplant last October.
Jack did great on his first day, competing in the table tennis 6-8 yrs group, finishing up with a bronze medal. Needless to say he was smiling ear to ear for the rest of the day!
On the Sunday I took part in the relay donor run, a race for all those who have donated their kidney for others. Having forgot about this race I hadn’t come equipped so ended up doing the run with floral shorts (defo not sports ones) and borrowed trainers! All went well and we came second.
The weekend was nicely finished off with a ball on the Sunday evening organised by Kidneys for Life. Once the medals had been handed out and the food had been eaten it was time for drinking and dancing by all!
So today is my first day back in the studio, refreshed and revitalised after my Summer holiday. We had a lovely week away in the sunshine and it was so nice to switch off and relax.
Firstly, we spent 2 days in Malaga, exploring the city. Trying to take in some of the culture, this included a trip to the Centre Pompidou, the Malaga pop up museum. Adding some education into the mix between all of the eating and drinking we were doing.
The rest of the week was spent in Benalmadena, at a child friendly hotel complete with kid’s club, discos and film nights, which the boys loved and had a ball dancing away every night at. We also managed a trip to the beach with our two new additions to the family, Terry the turtle and Sally the swan and I’m pleased to say they made the journey home with us to live happily ever after in Heskin. Now just to fins a paddling pool big enough to fit them in!!
School's out for Summer
The best thing about the Summer holidays is no school/nursery drop off, trying to remember packed lunches and PE kits and rushing from work to try and make Star Assembly!
However with us now entering August already, I feel like the countdown is already on for the new term.. More so this year perhaps as my youngest boy, Ben starts school in September. Where does the time go?! Time for brand new uniforms and squeaky clean school shoes.
We love to mark this special occasion for little ones each year at Capture with school photos. A little memory of just how sweet and innocent they were when they started, a comparison for when they start High School (eek) and a reminder of just how clean their uniforms could be before they had to be washed 9762 times!!
Blue Skies at the beach
Last week we headed over to Lytham St Annes for beach photos. Now in previous years, we always seem to book in the summer beach photos on a grey and rainy day! However this time was different and we arrived at the beach greeted with sunshine and blue skies, great for photos!
All the little ones smiled away, as you can see from the photos and I think the mums and das had a pretty fun time too! The sunshine puts everyone in a good mood. Now it’s just fingers crossed we have the same beautiful weather for the next set of beach photos in August!!
In its day Camelot theme park was one of the North West’s most prominent tourist attractions. Bringing in visitors from far and wide to have a fun filled day out, with rides including the famous Tower of Terror. In November 2012, some 29 years after it first opened its doors to the public it was announced that Camelot was to shutdown.
What was once a magical theme park is now an abandoned eerie site as we found out last night when we decided to sneak in to take photos, all in the name of the blog! Although our visit was cut a little short due to a big man and his dog we had a great time exploring the park!
Run Forest Run!
My big sister Michelle turns 40 in November. After a few drinks one night she decided in her 40th year she wanted to sign up for a half marathon. Once we’d signed up we hit the training hard heading out 3 times a week.
So on Sunday we headed to a sunny Southport to run 13.2 miles in the 29 degree heat, we must be mad! 2 hours 13 minutes later we finished the crossing line, hot and sweaty but totally worth it!
Also on Michelle’s list was a boozy dancing weekend in Benidorm, think the most running we’ll be doing that weekend is to the bar. Not sure any of those photos will be fit for the blog!!
As we are now fully immersed into the wedding season, I thought I could try and help you tick one of the jobs off your list, your first dance song. This song will for evermore bring you back to your wedding day, reminding you of the most amazing time you had with all of your favourite people.
The hardest part is probably trying to find a song you both love which reflects your personalities and the day itself. Do you want to sway together to a romantic ballad or choregraph a routine to a more upbeat tune?!
With that in mind, here are a few suggestions;
At Last – Etta James
Songbird – Eva Cassidy
Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles
By Your Side – Sade
Thinking Out Loud – Ed Sheeran
You’ve Got The Love – Florence & The Machine
All Of Me – John Legend
Make You Feel My Love – Adele
Baby I’m Yours – Arctic Monkeys
Heroes – David Bowie
Sea Of Love – Cat Power
Poetic – Seinabo Sey
Shake, Rattle and Roll
No two days are ever the same here at Capture, which keeps us on our toes! And also makes for a wide range of interesting photography. Case in point a couple of weeks age when we were asked to photograph a 70’s themed birthday party.
It was so much fun seeing all the different costumes, lots of platforms, flares and wigs. And all the bright colours make for the most fun photos. Everyone had made such an effort, with even Elvis coming back from the dead to make an appearance.
I’m sure there were some sore feet (and heads) the next day from all the dancing, but it would definitely have been worth it to help the birthday girl celebrate in style!
Cedar Farm Day
This coming Sunday 10th June we are celebrating Cedar Farm Day, here at our studios location in Mawdesley near Ormskirk. There’s going to be all sorts going on at the farm, celebrating the best of craft and festival fun!
There will be lots to entertain you including story telling in the animal barn, archery demonstrations, BBQ food (along with lots of beer, gin and prosecco) from the cafe in the courtyard, live music, tasters, art and craft demonstrations, workshops and lots more.
With the weather looking so nice too, it’s perfect for a day out with the family or friends and an ideal way to entertain the children.
Fun in the sun
After photographing Sarah & Neil’s wedding on Saturday, the photos were backed up and the gear packed up ready for a fun filled few days in Spain for our friend Liz’s Hen Party.
Obviously, what happens in Spain, stays in Spain so we can’t divulge too much I’m afraid, but I think we gave her the send off into married life she deserves!
We’re back in the studio today and it would be fair to say we are here in body, but not so much in spirit as we recover from the last few days escapades. There’s no rest for the wicked though, as we have a fully booked day of portraits, pre wedding chats and viewings, so must get back to it!
With only days to go till Megan & Harry’s big day it feels like wedding fever is hitting it’s peak. What’s better than a Royal Wedding to celebrate all things white and wonderful and here at Heather Capture we’re getting full swing into wedding season.
We love getting to share someone’s big day, capturing all of those special moments and creating memories for them to look back on for years to come.
We’re celebrating the Royal Wedding here at Cedar Farm throughout the month of May with a wedding exhibition here in the Art @ Cedar Farm building, showcasing all the businesses and what they have to offer to help you prepare for your own big day.
To mark the occasion at Heather Capture, we are offering £100 discount for any wedding bookings made during the Royal Wedding weekend.
Bank holiday fun
This weeks blog post comes from a very sunny bank holiday weekend at centre parcs.
The weekend was full of fun, woodland treks, baby geese, wine and BBQs!
Although clocked off from work for the weekend my big camera is always by my side ready to get all the action, even if David gets bored of smiling for me!
We had a such a great time it always ticks all the boxes for a family weekend away, refuelled and ready for back to the studio!
Hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend
Photos down the lane
I love creating photos of people to treasure forever.
At Capture we do lots of portraits, from new born babies, right through to big birthday celebrations such as 90th parties!
One of our most popular photos are ‘down the lane images’ which are simply what it says on the can!
Jake and Josh had lots of fun down the lane at weekend, looking so grown up from their last photoshoot with us.
Me and the boys laughed a lot, I have tried to capture the boys in a relaxed and fun way showing their personalities within the images I created.
Enjoy viewing them, especially Ann!
It’s back to school today on the blog as we give you little history lesson on the beginnings of Capture. Capture is now 16 years old!! It was started in 2002 when Heather photographed her first wedding. After studying Photography at Blackpool College she had decided to setup her own business, and soon began expanding taking photos of family portraits as well as weddings and setting up a studio in her mum and dads garage.
I joined Heather in 2008 (eek!) helping to share her ever increasing workload and taking over the admin and accounts side of the business as well as having the important task of designing the wedding albums.
Two years later we moved to a studio at Cedar farm in Mawdesley and we haven’t looked back since. Working here gave us the opportunity to dip our toes into the world of commercial photography, taking product photos and headshots for the businesses here. Since then we have gone on to take photos for customers such as Jaffa, Jack Spratt & tandoor-i.
Taking photos is Heathers passion and safe to say she is pretty well practised with a camera, she is always taking photos as you can see from her Instagram (@heathercapturephotography), whether she’s working or not. And as you can see from the photos below, she’s pretty good at it too!
Welcome to our new website! We’ve been busy behind the scenes here at Capture for the past couple of months working on refreshing and updating our website and switching things up with a brand new logo.
Which therefore means the blog is back! For those that have visited these parts before, you may have missed the blog where we like to give you a little sneak preview of our recent portraits and weddings and for those that are first time visitors, welcome along!
As well as the logo and website, we’ve made a few changes to the studio. A brand new sofa (which I can confirm is very comfortable, to enjoy viewing your photos) new studio flooring and a cosy corner downstairs with our new frame sample and a snazzy yellow velvet chair.
We’re still working on a few more additions to the studio, but we’ll keep you updated as we go along, it’s pretty much like Grand Designs around here!
Heather Capture Photography, Cedar Farm Galleries, Mawdesley T: 01704 823069