Paul G Smith Installation Luncheon - The London Guild of Toastamsters

Good Morning,

Yesterday we attended the installation luncheon for the London Guild of Toastmasters. Paul G Smith who I think is the best Toastmaster ever is now the President of the London Guild of Toastmasters, and it was a real honour to be present as he was installed in his new position.

We had an amazing lunch at the Kingswood Golf and Country Club and it was lovely to see everything looking so festive. After the lunch there were some very good speeches; and of course they would be. I did feel very sorry for the Toastmaster who is now the vice president having to be the official Toastmaster at an event of Toastmasters; now that's pressure!

There was an excellent raffle and all proceeds went to Hounds for Heros, which is a very worthy cause, some of the stories told brought tears to my eyes. Over £1,000.00 was raised in total and I won a spa day for two at Alexander House, how fabulous!

The day did not end there as it was rounded off with some carol singing, I had to cajole but I managed to get our table to animate the 12 days of Christmas. They were unsure but where we lead others merely followed and not before long the whole room was involved; so I consider that one a personal success.

I have also had a honour bestowed upon me as I will be photographing Paul in his official uniform with the President's chain. Looking forward to it too.

Thank you all for a fantastic afternoon and here's to a successful Presidency Paul.

Claire


Rememberance Sunday at Horse Guards Parade, London

Good Morning,

I was exhibiting with Emma Tindley at The Institute of Directors at 116 Pall Mall on Sunday; it was a stone's throw from Horse Guards Parade and Emma and I had the great privilege to be able to witness the gun salute with the two minute silence.

I was moving to see soldiers both young and old coming together to remember those that have fallen and to give thanks to the great sacrifice they made for future generations. Both my Grandfathers served in the First World War; luckily they survived but so, so many did not and have not since. My Uncle was a Paratrooper in the Second World War, again he was lucky enough to survive but when he used to recount the experience of jumping from the plane whilst being shot at by the enemy; one can only be amazed he made it through.

Today these experiences are usually in the form of games on the Wii and Xbox, but so many young men had to experience the reality and still do today, we must give thanks to those who fought and continue to fight for us.

I am attaching the video showing the two minute silence on Sunday; the guns were extremely loud, so much so they set car alarms off and that small scream you can hear is Emma as we both jumped out of our skins! The other image is of Horse Guards Parade with the London Eye in the background. I only had my trusty iphone with me on Sunday so images and video are from that today!


Molly: West Sussex Portrait Photographer


Good Morning,

My gorgeous Cousin Molly and I recently had a 'play' session in the studio. It was a fairly dreary Monday morning and we fancied taking some images and just seeing what I could come up with. As a result of the session some very interesting images were taken that I am now going to perfect. This has reinforced my belief in just experimenting and playing in a stress free environment; it is often the time when new ideas are born. I had a good old chat with my Mentor Kevin about it and I will be back in the studio to expand on the idea and play with the light.

So the image I am posting of Molly today is not one of the prototypes but a classical portrait, which I love to bits, showing Molly as the beautiful young woman that she is. It seems like only 5 minutes since I was carrying her around as a baby and she believed our car had a magic roof!

Claire


International Loupe Awards 2011- Silver!: West Sussex Portrait Photographer

Good Morning Folks,

Well after an very eventful, productive and long day exhibiting at 116 Pall Mall in London; I returned to home last night to check my e-mails to find that I had been Awarded a Silver in the 2011 International Loupe Awards for the Abstract/Illustrative category. This morning I have been informed that the second image I entered in Portrait and People category has been also awarded a Silver in the 2011 International Loupe\Awards. I cannot believe it, two Silvers!!!

I am extremely pleased and grinning from ear to ear!

Another blog post to follow with some i phone footage of an extremely moving remembrance Sunday that we had the privilege to witness at Horse Guards Parade.

Enjoy your week everyone.

Claire


Wedding at the Felbridge Hotel, East Grinstead, West Sussex

The-Felbridge-Hotel,-East-Grinstead,-West-Sussex

Good Morning,

The image from today is a blast from the past; well last year! I am in the middle of doing a print order and this was one of the chosen ones. As soon as I opened the file I remembered how emotional this shot was. Graham's Mother is not too well and had to leave the wedding early; as they were saying goodbye to her she started crying and Graham bent down to comfort her. It was just one moment in time, but when I look at the image I am immediately transported back to the emotion that I felt when I pressed the shutter, so I cannot imagine the emotions that Graham was feeling. It seemed so right to have it in today's blog post; today is 11.11.11 and at 11.11 I will be remembering all of those who fought to give us the freedom and democracy that we all enjoy so freely today.

On another note; there has been much excitement in East Grinstead this week with the opening of Peter Andre's New York Coffee Club. Peter Andre is a resident of East Grinstead and has chosen to open his first coffee shop in his hometown. Monday and Wednesday saw screaming girlies, a few celebrities and free coffee. I don't think I have ever seen the High Street with crowd control, Police and bouncers all at the same time!

Have a great weekend everyone; I will be exhibiting at 116 Pall Mall on Sunday 13th November and I have a very special studio session tomorrow so a busy one for me.

Claire


The Girls: West sussex Portrait Photography



Good Morning,

I recently had a lovely but poignant studio session with three lovely girls; they are firm friends. The reason for the session was to create some memories that they could keep before Jennie returned home to Zimbabwe. We had lots of fun creating glamour and guffaw, and it is nice to think that as Jennie is enjoying some lovely weather she can look back at the images of her friends. I have posted an image of the girls together and one of Jennie.

I really enjoyed catching up with this year's and next year's wedding clients over the weekend, and as usual had some fabulous chats...I do love a good chat! Have a great week everyone; I have lots to do and a few bits to get ready for my wedding fayre on Sunday.

Claire


A lovely review from Nick and Jane who were married at The Copthorne Gatwick Hotel Copthorne West Sussex

From the moment we stumbled across Claire's website (Woodland Hill Photography) we noticed instantly the gulf in quality from the many other sites we visited, and upon meeting Claire for the first time, we had both made up our minds before we'd even left her house.

Claire is a lively (crazy??), enthusiastic and passionate professional who obviously oozes creative talent and is constantly dreaming up new shots with every blink... you can almost hear her brain continuously churning! The result is amazing and beautiful photography for which we will be eternally grateful as we look over our wedding photos. She has managed to tell the story of our whole day (and before with the pre-wedding shoot) with a superbly presented DVD and there were little touches such as cards on the tables with different images from our pre shoot.

I would find it hard to imagine anyone who wouldn't instantly connect with Claire who's enthusiasm draws you in, and I would advise going to see Claire on an empty stomach as the homemade cupcakes and minirolls (especially if you have children) will inevitably make an appearance.

There are so many photographers offering different packages, some doing the whole lot with albums for crazy cheap prices but I would urge anyone not to gamble with their special day. Claire keeps it simple and clear and even takes the time to learn the names of your guests to help the day run that much smoother - she'll even help you put your dress on. But above all, the quality, style and sheer talent is far superior to many other photographers and believe me, I've been to a fair few weddings recently!

Claire, we couldn't have been happier with the photos from our wedding but I think we already knew that they would be superb. You have a great talent and you certainly know how to work the crowd and organise everyone and this in turn made for a perfect, seamless day that ran like clockwork. We didn't have to worry once about time, running late or waiting about.

I could write all day about how amazing our wedding photos are but I will leave you with this: Claire doesn't just take photographs; she captures memories and turns them into art!

Thanks Claire
Nick & Jane (Wedding 22 October 2011)


116 Pall Mall Wedding Showcase!

Good Afternoon,

I am very happy to say that I will be exhibiting at the 116 Pall Mall Wedding Showcase on 13th November. This building is stunning and situated in the heart of London; the building has the most beautiful stairs that are licensed for weddings, yes you read it correctly, they are that beautiful!

Have a great weekend everyone, I will be busy photographing an engagement party and also seeing clients for new weddings and viewings. Enjoy the fireworks; I know I am looking forward to them.

Claire


Jane and Nick, Copthorne Gatwick Hotel, Copthorne, West Sussex: West Sussex Wedding Photographers




Good Morning,

Recently I photographed the wedding of Jane and Nick. We started off at the most gorgeous St Bartholomew's Church in Burstow then the fun ensued at the Copthorne Hotel London Gatwick. We had loads of fun on the day and I was laughing so much my sides began to ache! Nick has a close group of friends who really looked after them both on the day, so thank you lads for all your help. I have chosen two images of Nick and Jane for this post, but the third one was with the lads. I saw this location and immediately thought of Star Trek, so we did a 'beam me up Scotty' inspired shot; much to the amusement of people walking by! You really do not want to know where we went next but the looks got even stranger; ahhh happy days!

I hope you are all having a productive week, I have been busy editing, designing albums and yesterday I had a great test shoot for a commission coming up in Spring 2012.

Live long and prosper :)

Claire