Jill and Dave’s 70th Birthday Party


Saturday evening, around 200 guests and double 70th Birthday Party for Jill and Dave Edwards saw me preparing and heading over to The Bedford Golf  Club and a remit to document the evening.

Finding the venue was easy and my first task was to find some suitable locations for the group shots that Jill had requested.  The course was surrounded on two sides by trees and I was lucky to find one where the grass was not too wet and not at all muddy or soggy.  With two locations chosen, I headed inside to capture some images of the birthday couple meeting some of their guests.

As always, the entrance doorway was cramped and busy and shrouded in deep shade, only a small amount of light from one window.  This was going to be fun trying to get faces and enough natural light falling on the gusts as they arrived.  This was one time when I did not want to use flash because it can be so imposing and I wanted to leave Jill and Dave to meet their guests without the usual flashes going off every two seconds.

Half an hour after the party start time, I caught up with Jill and we got the Bliss family together for their family shot on the grass outside.  The natural light was pretty nice but the clouds we gathering and there was moisture in the air already.  With one family shot in the bag we turned to the Edwards and the second of the four or five shots that Jill had lined up.

This is where things took a change because a few people were missing and getting people gathered together whilst still meeting late arrivals was always going to be troublesome.  Thankfully, Jill saw the logistical difficulties, especially getting two sets of 60 bowlers together and who were simply ready to party and she decided to call off the idea and concentrate on the party and enjoying herself.

So, with official shots done it was back to what I like best and seeking out the casual shots.  This started with me moving between four vantage points and picking up images of as many people as I could and some room wide shots for the record.  Following which the entertainment for the night was to be courtesy of Deja Vu, a three person group with a guitarist and two singers covering songs from the 1940’s right through to today.

As the dance floor began to fill, I turned my attention to capturing images of people dancing and also people enjoying themselves at the tables.  This filled my time up to the buffet opening and a few minutes to catch a few shots before putting the camera away for a quick bite to eat and a much needed Coke.

jill-edwards-70th-partyThe rest of the evening was spent in and around the dance floor with official shots of the speeches, the cake and then the cutting of the cake.  Soon after the band got a Conga train going, well one for the ladies and one for the gents and I just had enough time to reach my high vantage point before there were two growing in length trains threading their way through the hall.  The band then also helped with my final shot that I wanted to get.  Whilst Jill had been on the dance floor, Dave had been in the main hall.  The band brought the two together for a dance towards the end of the evening and my work was done.  Just a few last shots of Deja Vu and few people on the dance floor and I was done.

A little later than I had planned but just after midnight I was homeward bound and looking forward to processing and uploading the images.

With the images processed, I have published two galleries to www.m4photo.co.uk.  They include the images from the party and also some of the images of Deja Vu in a separate gallery.

If you are a family member or guest, I hope that you like the images and your comments are always most welcome.



Early Morning Write Off in Stevington

tevington Mill before dawn.

Stevington Mill before dawn – (c) M4Photo.

Well this morning was a complete write off.  Following some amazing clear and frost mornings with massive golden and red balls of sun rising into the morning sky – enjoyed at 60 mph during the school run, I’d decided to chance my arm over at Stevington this weekend.

Looking at the weather forecast on Friday night, Saturday looked to be a non starter.  The temperature was set to rise five degrees and into the positive figures and the sky was set to be overcast from the outset.  So into Sunday and checking the forecast again late Saturday and then again in the early hours of Sunday, the sky was supposed to be clear from around 06.00 right through the day.  In fact, my iPhone apps (I don’t rely on just one) were all pointing to full sun and clear skies by 09.00.  The temperature was set to -1 on one app and zero on another, so the heavy ground frost and winter feel that I was looking for was looking doubtful.

Anyway, I left the house at 6.30 to get to the mill for around 7.00.  Worryingly the sky looked black and heavy and the inevitable blanket of thick cloud presented itself as the sky began to brighten over the horizon.

I never did get the sunrise and huge golden ball as it broke the horizon and began its slow relentless climb into the morning sky.  In fact, I did not even see the sun until the cloud cover began to break up well after 09.00.  That will have to keep for another time and this coming weekend is looking interesting as the arctic weather is set to return.

I only took a handful of images and most of those have gone into the bin as the lighting produced nothing special.  The best of the bad lot was the very first image that I took as I arrived.  Presented with a lovely silhouette of the mill against the dark morning sky, I quickly grabbed the image above.

For now, the mill will have to wait until next time.