Well, here we are in 2013 … and here we are almost at EASTER !

As always I have absolutely no idea where the time has gone.  All I do know is it has gone fast.  Very fast.  As I sit here responding to emails, arranging shoots, following up enquiries for various jobs, eating soup (pea and ham to be precise) I just thought I’d say hi.  And to let you all know the recent (horrible) flu bug didn’t kill me after all.  Just in case you’re on facebook and wondered, etc.

I’ve already kicked off my 2013 wedding season with a beautiful wedding in York … the season continues tomorrow at a local venue, including a church ceremony and some fun portraits in the evening … oh and potentially snow, again !!  I have some beautiful weddings again this year at great venues, I promise I will play catchup here and let you see some stuff.

I’ve also had some lovely portrait shoots.  There are loads more booked in over the coming weeks and I can’t wait to share those with you … from couples to babies to families, so much variety !  My studio (haha) Shugborough opens this weekend and I shall, once again, be using it’s many backdrops to my advantage over the coming months.

Following a fabulous workshop down in Bristol recently, I am now taking on Newborn Photography … as in, first 10 days kinda thing, totally cute, scrummy hats and blankets at the ready … know anyone due soon?  Get them to give me a bell for some incredible “opening” offers !

I’m thinking about rebranding too.  I know, I love love love my brand, I really do.  Unfortunately many people in the industry loved it so much they decided to do it for their businesses, which has kinda diluted mine (and theirs, oh well) … so rather than try to go round and slap people in the shins for copying me, I thought I’d do the better thing and change mine.  Sigh.  Still, onwards and upwards … this may take a while, it’s going to be like tearing off a plaster you’re actually rather attached to (in more ways than one).

So, leave me a comment, say hi, whatever.  Let me know what you want to see … weddings?  portraits?  all the above?  You know, I have about 65 shoots to share with you … maybe more !!!!

Take care xx

Dear Blog

I realise you are feeling very neglected these days.  I felt the need to explain.

See, the thing is, I’ve been cheating on you with Facebook Business Page.  There, I said it.  I’m sorry, but FB is just easy, you know?

Please forgive me. Etc.

And then of course there is the “I’ve been busy” excuse … well I have … and then there was my birthday and then and … sigh …

See you soon.

Your ever-loving-very-sorry-for-neglecting-you Photographer xx

This past weekend found me doing something I haven’t done since I was a very young girl … ok, 18 and 21 years young !!  Back then I toured France twice with my friends, on motorbikes.  We took our time and saw many wonderful places.  I always wanted to have a chance to do it again, but without the camping and in a car.

So I was shooting a wedding in the south of France last Saturday and after looking at the abysmal options for flights (hand luggage allowances etc) I decided to drive and take a couple of extra days to do it in time and to get back to the office afterwards.

John decided he’d rather like to come along, so I had the added “stress” of finding somewhere I would trust to leave my dogs for a few days … eeeeek … after many recommendations for the same place (Quintessential Quarters) in they went and off we went.  It was a lovely drive down, I decided to drive the whole way, I enjoyed it that much.  I really got on well driving on the right and, apart from that illegal U-Turn in Paris that we will never speak of again, I was practically native by the time I reached Calais on the way home.

I decided to keep the professional photos for the Saturday wedding and to take some iPhone photos of the trip instead … here are a few …

So this was the trip according to Google maps … daunting at best …

Leaving Dover …

I didn’t lift a camera again until I got to the wedding … this was the ceremony in the 13th Century Church in the stunningly pretty village of Bram …

So, on the way back home, we stopped in the gorgeous City of Orleans … naturally I had to stop in and check out this church on route to our walk along the River Loire and to the pub, of course …

Orleans …

In no time at all, we were back in Calais … time flew, as did the driving … all 1900 miles in the end … Au Revoir France !

We were back too late in the evening to pick up my babies … this photo of Tess and Daddy says it all when we picked them up the next morning …

I think Millie is also glad to be home …

Thanks for checking out my blog, I hope you liked my journey … naturally I shall be blogging the wedding but in the meantime here is a sneak peek, taken on the banks of the canal just behind Dad’s house in Bram …

French Wedding Photography

I get enquiries for dates I am already booked all the time.  Of course I hear you say.  Rather than just go back and say, sorry I’m booked, I like to check within my professional network to see if I can at least go back with some recommendations, specifically with recommendations of photographers who are available.

I got a rather panicky email from a bride (and separately the groom, within minutes of each other) today and so I did my usual.

I got this from the bride, who wanted to give me a testimonial !!!

Absolutely delighted, thank you Alex, this is lovely.

“This wonderful woman went above and beyond the call of duty when I had my photographer cancel on me with a few months to go before my big bank holiday weekend wedding. I was obviously in a blind panic due to the fact it had taken me four months to find the first one but, there was Gill Taylor. Although she was already booked for that day herself, she responded to my email within seconds, had called me within minutes and had sent a list of recommendations within half an hour – Proof that this lady I have never met has what it takes to be a wedding photographer. Not only are her photos really very pretty, she is kind, conscientious, diligent and organised and has a marvellous knack for de-stressing bridezillas in their moments of madness. I’m just peeved I didn’t go to her first.”

Staffordshire Wedding Photographer

I wasn’t sure if I would talk about this, if I would share something so personal, so private.  But something like this needs to be talked about, needs to be aired, because if this story makes ONE woman go and get checked over and it saves but one life, my work here is done.

I have had some “womanly” issues recently.  Pain in the breasts.  I thought nothing really of it, other than to mention it during a checkup at the docs.  A couple of weeks later, a letter dropped through my door.  An appointment with the Breast Care Unit at Stafford Hospital.

I checked with my friend Katy to see if she fancied coming along with me and warned her it could be a it of a waiting game.  She brought her kindle books on her phone.  Yeh, that Shades of Grey crap LOL

I didn’t really think anything beyond, hey it’s good to get checked up.  So, I was called in for my exam, stripped to the waist and waited.  A lovely doctor and nurse joined me, we had a bit of banter {ok, I exclaimed, OMG thank goodness I shaved my pits! hahaha} before I had an exam.  He did his job then started to look very concerned.  He felt around a bit more on my left hand side, paying attention to my armpits … then said “I can feel your lymph nodes on this left armpit, I need to get this checked out”.

All of a sudden, this was not JUST a checkup, this was “something”.

I joined Katy in a daze in the waiting room and awaited my further tests.  A mammogram and a sonogram.

And we waited.  Patiently.  Silently.

I was called in for my mammogram, I did everything I was told, as I was told, when I was told.  I suddenly felt very humble and very grateful that these people were there to help me.  And were treating me with such dignity.

Job done, back to waiting.

As Katy and I sat there a woman came in with her husband.  She had no legs.  She was hooked up to a colostomy bag.  She was in the breast cancer unit.  I texted Katy who was sitting beside me … “perspective”.

A couple of chapters of The HitchHikers Guide later I was called.  To be  perfectly honest I was still thinking, this is all just routine.  Nothing to see here, move it along.

So, I go in and have my left hand side sonogram.  All great.  All great … all … hang on … Mrs Taylor, unfortunately I have found a mass I am not happy with and I would really like to do a biopsy.  OK, go for it, it’s nothing … we don’t know Mrs Taylor … we really need to do a core biopsy … now.

NOW.  This minute.  Wait! What?

So, local anaesthetic and 4 inch needle and we are done after 3 or 4 samples are taken … nothing right?  It’s nothing. They are just taking precautions.  It can’t be *gasp* cancer.

I’m finished and they bring me to the counselling room.  They give me coffee. They bring me Katy.  They talk to me, they scrutinise me, they dont know if I am a crier (as it turns out, no, I’m not), they give me leaflets about breast cancer, they are nice.  I don’t really notice much of it.

For the next 3 days I function.  Sort of.  Every 5 minutes this mantra pops into my head “it’s cancer, not it’s not, silly” … every 5 minutes.

It’s interesting to me that I always romanticised that I would be one of the strong people, one of those people who stood proud in the face of big adversity and faced it, kicked it in the pants … but deep down I thought I would acually be one of those people who went to pieces and was a dribbling wreck.  It turns out that as I faced the prospect of fighting breast cancer, I did myself proud.

I cannot say the same thing for my husband.  Thank s to God that one of us is strong.  Bless him.

If you are here, I need to tell you … I GOT THE ALL CLEAR ON THURSDAY.

I do not have cancer.  I am so thankful for this, you have no idea.  Unless of course you have been here, in which case you know exacftly how I am feeling.

Why am I sharing this.

I don’t know.  Other than I wanted women who read this to know a few things ….

… Get checked … if you can’t do it yourself, get your partner to do it, or get checked by a professional

… If they find “something” it doesn’t need to be the big C … it could be “something else”

… If it turns out to be something serious, deal with it, as best you can, be strong, your strength will carry you through.

What have I found out about myself this week?

… I am strong.

… I am loved.

… I am worth it.

Thank you for listening … have a great week and go get checked !!

Gill xx

I thought I’d give you all an awwwww moment on this gloriously sunny Wednesday (ok, it’s gloriously sunny HERE haha) … my BFF Becky recently folded and agreed to getting a puppy.  They had always had rescue (older) dogs before and so a puppy was a very new venture for them.  They felt that with their son George being only 7 it would be fab for him to grow up with a smaller dog, rather than bringing in one that is already bigger than him … very sensible.

So, enter Jerry,  very adorable and lively Collie cross (with what, we’re not sure, but I’m thinking Lab) … absolutely adorable, don’t you think?

Pet Portrait Photographer

Dear Blog …

I have been deserting you, I know.  Now, I have a million excuses, I really do, but the long and short of it is, I breathed life into you then left you abandoned, alone and empty (ok, bit of drama never hurt anyone).

I will totally make this up to you.  This summer was manic, in a great way.  I have had the pleasure of shooting some amazing people, whether at their wedding, their engagement session, with their families, the odd commercial shoot (not so keen on those, to be honest) … the list is endless … what’s that I hear you say?  You wouldn’t know cos you’ve not seen them?  I know, I know … they’re coming, I’m sorry.

So what HAVE I been up to … well, apart from the above mentioned shooting spree (that always sounds a bit wrong, doesn’t it?) I’ve been managing a house project that was in planning for a few years (boy, they don’t warn you how much of your time THAT will suck !!) and, well, I’ve had a bit of a medical drama these last few weeks … nothing that can happen again (you really do only have 1 set of appendix) but oh my goodness, knocked me sideways that one !  Then it was that annual event called “Birthday” … trying to ignore those these days … Oh and the annual trip to the National Wedding Show, 4 days of intensity, fun and meeting new people.

Apart from that, I have no excuse.  MUST.TRY.HARDER.  And I will … I’ll feed you soon, I promise.

Thanks for hanging around and staying alive !!

Your photographer, Gill x

AND TO MY AVID READERS … thank for hanging in there … I’ll make it up to you !!

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