DAY IN THE LIFE – CREATING TIME CAPSULES IS OPEN

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The ‘day in the life’ film is my most favourite time capsule project.

This is where you document parts of your day… seeking out your moments.

The more “everyday” the moment, the better… I find.

It’s a chance to record the details that will slowly over time change… you know – preserving the fleeting moments.

Last Sunday we were nearly at the end of our child-free time, as the boys were due back from camp in a couple of days. It’s been quiet without them, we missed them terribly, but also really enjoyed our time alone together.

So I made a simple film of our Sunday – just using photos, put together as a slideshow & stop-motion. Usually my films are full of action, colour and fun. I think this reflects this quiet time, just the two of us – plus, the crazy weather we had that day.

Making films using photos is the first project I encourage participants of my Creating Time Capsules course to make. It’s an easy project to start with, to focus on looking for the moments, to think about storytelling, to look for movement and to practise editing in iMovie. It’s a great transition project into video, if you’re not used to that medium.

Registration for the September round of Creating Time Capsules opens today – so if you’d like to start making your own Time Capsule films, I’d love to guide you through the magic of making them & to have you join the inspiring community that gathers… All the details are here.

More of my Time Capsules films here…

 

 

Written by xanthe

August 14th, 2014 at 11:00 am

LIVING ARROWS

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The past few weeks for the Living Arrows project on I Heart Snapping blog have looked like this.

Our lovely boys have been away for two weeks! Yep, two weeks without us, camping in Scotland. With just letters to communicate.

They returned yesterday, having had the time of their lives. It’s such a magical camping organisation – lots of freedom, fun, singing, games, hiking, fire making and even more campfire singing.

I’m glad they’re growing into such independent boys, but even happier they’re back in the nest…

More Living Arrows here…

 

Written by xanthe

August 13th, 2014 at 9:11 am

Posted in living arrows

FAMILY PORTRAIT SESSIONS – LONDON FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER

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I love photographing families.

Submerging myself into their family life. Quickly spotting the connections that can be captured and recognising the moments that are worth remembering.

Taking photos that families didn’t know they needed. The in-between moments.

The sibling love or the fighting. The way their feet dangle from the chair. The cheesy grin. The favourite story book, treasured toy or cuddly friend.  The way they run. The way they sit on your hip or on your shoulders. The curls. The cuddles. The smiles. The way they laugh together or cry. The non-stop, can’t sit down, always on-the-go stage. The blue eyes. The jumping. The flower picking.

The joys of family life.

I see all these things… and more.

I’ve captured them with our boys and the many children that have been in front of my lens.

I want to tell your story as a family. Sure, we can do the photos that Granny wants – the smile “look at me”, so she can put it on the mantel. But there are all the moments that surround it, that show the true personality of your family… these are what we’ll discover if you invite me to capture your family, in your home or your favourite place.

I will play, I will run, I will read books, I will chat with the kids, I will get down on the floor to play lego… hey, I’ll even sing if necessary… although I can’t promise I’ll know all the words.

But most of all we’ll have FUN… and I’ll bring my camera.

For more details about my family sessions and how I can capture your loved ones…

Contact mexantheb [at] mac.com, I’d love to meet your family.

More family portrait sessions here & here…

 

 

 

LATELY – OH JULY

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Goodness, July – you were packed! non-stop activities…

With weekends away to Somersault Festival and camping trips…

With a weekend at my parent’s house, sampling the produce from their land, plus a day trip to the beach.

With plenty of colour, as the colour//colour lovers project was in full glory. (Yes, I have an obsession with colourful flags!)

With a house move and the huge demands that brings…

With some wonderful portrait shoots – for families, friends and my sister’s tearoom – bakeaboo.

Now it’s time for August… I’m taking part in Susannah’s August Break… I’ll be sharing mostly on Instagram. I’ve even contributed to a couple of the daily emails - why don’t you join us?

And I’m going to take it a little easier this month.

Especially having just spent two days ill in bed, with exhaustion, a migraine and a stupid cold. I’m using this month to catch up on everything, hopefully unpack the new house and not miss our lovelies too much, as they ventured off on their own camp adventure for a few days…

Just a little film using some of the photos captured in a homemade Photo Booth.

It’s hard to believe we made one of these three years ago… what a gift these films are.

I have to tell you… the summer session of Creating Time Capsules is brimming with magic, I’m loving what people are creating – little stories of their everyday lives. It’s a joy.

If you’re interested, the course will run again in September… stay tuned for details.

Thanks July. You were awesome… Just like this poster from the Pedlar’s event… all the way back on the 1st!

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Photos captured on Canon EOS 5d MIII & iPhone 5s… just in case you’re interested. x.

BLUE

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Hey BLUE… you were lovely and such a great way to end the color//colour lovers project…

Thanks for playing along with color//colour lovers project – we’ll be back next time, when we need a colour boost!

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The collaborative colour // colour project with the fabulous Andrea - our shared place is color//colour lovers

 

 

Written by xanthe

July 29th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

SOMERSAULT FESTIVAL – LOADS OF FAMILY FUN

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This weekend we packed up the car, left behind all the full cardboard boxes from our recent house move & all the busy-ness of late… Just to play, dance and sing in a field… just like I had wished for on my birthday list (#11)… it was super brilliant!

Somersault is a new festival, in the grounds of Castle Hill Estate in Devon… the site was beautiful & we were excited by the line up.

For three days we hung out as a family, lounged on the grass watching people and the various entertainment on offer, listening to music, taking part in activities, and laughing and singing our hearts out. It was the best!

My top ten memories of Somersault -

1 – Cosmo is a magician and musician. He’s a huge fan of Ben Howard, who was head lining and closing the main stage on Sunday. We got tipped off that Ben was staying alongside us in the Boutique camping field… We all hoped there would be a chance Cosmo could meet him.

On the last day, we were hanging outside our tent, when we saw Ben at the coffee truck. Cosmo sneaked back into the tent & prepared the card trick he was going to perform. And then with so much bravery, (I thought I was going to burst with pride) he walked alone to Ben Howard and said “Hey, do you want to see something cool?” And just like that, he baffled Ben with his trick, got his favourite card signed and was completely thrilled! Nice one Ben, for making our boys dream come true.

2 – The colours and the light… Flags and bunting a plenty, brilliant signage and vibrant colours everywhere. The sun was bright and beautiful. I was in heaven. (It did rain once, but soon passed, and it wouldn’t be a British festival without a little rain.)

3 – The Bearded Kitten team performed eccentric lawn games. They had us in stitches daily, with the best commentary/banter with the crowd, encouraging games of musical hay bales, three legged egg ‘n’ spoon races, to jelly wrestling and much more. We loved it.

4 – Boutique camping – the joy of the boutique field is marvellous! A tent is ready pitched for you, there are showers & toilets exclusive for the field. A charging tent and a coffee/tea van each morning was a lovely bonus, plus the guys & girls running the field were so adorable and certainly kept the festival vibe flowing with their sparkles and giggles. A HUGE thanks to Hearthworks for making it possible for us to stay there.

5 – The music… oh the music. One of the main reasons we chose this festival. Plenty of our favourites – Ben Howard, Fink, Half Moon Run, Annie Eve and a few new performers rocking their stuff on the Communion & Jack Wills New Music stage. Singing along with thousands of people is an incredible feeling!

6 – People watching is always fascinating. All dressed up and fully embracing the festival spirit, with feathered hats, covered in glitter, colourful wigs, bountiful sequins, top hats, animal tails, hot pants, tutus, face painting – the list goes on.

The mix of people was interesting too… from families with young children, I even saw a baby that could only have been days old, to groups of young men and women, to older folks in their camping chairs. The blend worked so well, as there was something for everyone…

The wonderful thing I noticed was the collective energy of togetherness. Everyone on a quest to have a good time, be present and connect with those they love and what they love doing. The bonus of no phone signal was no one was on their phones… it was really noticeable and rather fantastic!

7 – Activities… To be honest, we only took part in a tiny amount of what was on offer, we could’ve spent a week there! The boys loved the slack lining & surf board practice. We watched others on the trapeze swings & swimming in the river…

8 – The food & drink. Plenty of choice from pizzas, to Indian & gorgeous burgers, falafels, green juices and the best coffee martini, apparently. We missed out on the long table feasts, but I bet they were incredible. Maybe next time?

9 – Family togetherness. You see, a lot of the time we go away with other families… This is beneficial to us all, adults hang out while the children play. But it often means we don’t see our boys. This weekend we had quality time together, no distractions from life… We danced, laughed and chatted so much as we hung out together.

10 – My head dress… made by the lovely Ellie at Feathered Fantasy… her creations were everywhere at the festival. I added the piece to my hat and even though it’s not something I would wear often, I had such a lovely time wearing it embracing the festival experience.

Wow, we’re still riding high from the delights of Somersault, even with the exhaustion… can’t wait to do it all again soon.

All photos shot on Canon EOS 5D mIII – Learn how to make GIFs (the moving photos) here.

 

 

Written by xanthe

July 24th, 2014 at 8:00 am

ORANGE

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ORANGE week was pretty awesome! I love this colour…

The collaborative colour // colour project with the fabulous Andrea - our shared place is color//colour lovers

Written by xanthe

July 21st, 2014 at 3:16 pm

OUR SUMMER SO FAR

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I love the summer.

I love the sunshine, I love long evenings full of golden light, I love campfires, I love food cooked & eaten outside, I love adventures to old and new places, I love dappled light through the tress, I love marshmallows melting on your fingers, I love the smell of rain on the warm earth, I love the greens of nature… and more.

Our summer so far has been sprinkled with all these loves. Adventuring near and far, capturing little snippets of these delights with my lens and compiled together into a film, so they don’t gather dust on the hard drive…. and instead tell the story of our summer so far…

Focus on the good, look for the light. That’s what I’m concentrating on. Life isn’t all sunshine and marshmallows everyday – we just moved house and I’m totally exhausted, but concentrating on the good brings more good, and I’m all for that.

Thankfully, our summer continues… with more adventures to come & films, photos and stories to tell of them. But sometimes you have to use what you’ve gathered so far and play with it. I encourage people taking my Time Capsule courses, that completing a project is best way to learn what works and encourages you to make more. The summer round of Creating Time Capsules – A JOURNEY is producing some wonderful films, packed with memories and stories of their summers. It makes me so happy!

Thanks for being a wonderful summer so far… can’t wait to see what the forthcoming weeks bring!

All photos and the film captured on Canon EOS 5D mIII :: the next round of Creating Time Capsules will be in September.

 

 

Written by xanthe

July 16th, 2014 at 4:35 pm

PURPLE

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It was all about finding PURPLE last week, and even though it’s not my favourite of the colours during this color//colour project…

I did find some… but mainly flowers! Roll on ORANGE all this week.

The collaborative colour // colour project with the fabulous Andrea - our shared place is color//colour lovers

 

 

Written by xanthe

July 14th, 2014 at 5:22 pm

HOTEL LIFE – RIU PALACE PACIFICO – PUERTO VALLARTA

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Before heading off to Mexico with First Choice Holidays, we’d never stayed at an all inclusive hotel before as a family…

We were delighted with all the Riu Palace Pacifico had to offer… during our time out there we adventured to beaches, experienced whizzing through the jungle and wandered around the old town… but we could easily have stayed right there in the hotel all week.

Here’s just a little flavour of what we got up to just in the hotel…

We were spoilt with a choice of pool or beach… Opting to hang out at the pool early in the morning or at sunset, when there weren’t so many people around…

It was the beach that stole our hearts… reclining under the shade of the palm trees and frolicking in the waves. The water was warm, so not that refeshing from the outside temperatures, but wonderful for the boys to play in for hours. The perfect waves made for fun body boarding – we all became addicted to riding into shore… even me!

It was a peaceful beach, beautiful sand and thankfully not many passers by selling goods. One morning we borrowed kayaks from the water sport centre for no extra cost, paddling at a leisurely pace down the cost.

The sea was really calm once you got past the breaking waves.

I was especially happy at sunset… the temperatures were cooler and the colours were magnificent… as each golden hour was different. The boys would swim or dig holes in the sand, we’d take drinks to the shore and watch the Frigate birds swoop overhead – they looked like something from the pre-historic age.

The food and drink was plentiful and so much variety with a choice of restaurants… The morning buffet was my favourite, with an abundance of fruit and everything you could possibly want for a cooked breakfast. Naturally, the boys were in love with the freshly made donuts and the chocolate fountain with marshmallows at dinner.

I don’t think we even touched the surface of all the activities on offer at Riu Palace Pacifico. Ky took Spanish lessons one morning, all the boys went jet skiing (for an additional fee), we watched the water polo and aerobics. I sneaked off for a massage in the spa, purely for research purposes of course! (this was also an additional fee) and I can report it was fabulous. While the boys entertained themselves with ping pong alongside the pool and when that got too hot, they retired to the air conditioned sports bar for a few rounds of air hockey.

As I sipped another iced fruity cocktail in pool side bar one afternoon, watching my family having a super time splashing in the water… I felt so very blessed to be there. So a huge cheers to First Choice Holidays for giving us the opportunity to experience and blog all about our Out Of Office adventure. We loved you Mexico and can’t wait to go back one day.

 

Written by xanthe

July 9th, 2014 at 2:29 pm