Gail Hilton Photography » Portrait & Wedding Photographer, Lancashire

I’ve photographed a couple of events now for Gusto, Alderley Edge and both times have been amazing fun! The first was for their Pink Ribbon Ladies Lunch, in aid of Breast Cancer Now, at the end of last year. I enjoyed photographing and attending an event raising money for such a great cause. And I got to sample some of the wonderful food on offer!

So, obviously when I was asked back again to photograph their 10th Year Birthday Celebrations, this June, I immediately said yes! I was asked to photograph the preparations beforehand, including the beautiful floral arrangements and balloons and then straight into the guests arriving.

I can see why Gusto have had a successful business for so long. If you’ve never been to one of their restaurants before, I would highly recommend trying one. This chain of restaurants are perfect if you want to go somewhere to eat fantastic food, drink a cheeky cocktail or two and soak up a great atmosphere with friends. At Gusto Aldeley Edge, the décor is modern and inviting, the staff are friendly, it’s in a great location and the team sure do know how to throw a good party!

Trays of beautifully presented canapes were offered out to guests and the cocktails looked absolutely delicious! The vibe was good with lots of people chatting, laughing and dancing and to top it all off entertainment was provided by talented electric violinist, Emma from String Infusion and saxophonist, May (girlonsax) performing gorgeous soulful tunes… Good times!!!

Here are a few images from the night. Hope you enjoy! x

http://www.gustorestaurants.uk.com/restaurant/alderleyedge/

https://www.girlonsax.co.uk/

http://www.stringinfusion.com/

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Send us a message Share onFacebook tweet totwitter Pin toPinterest EmailSubscribe

I came across a website recently called Canopy and Stars www.canopyandstars.co.uk. The website shows a great collection of treehouses, yurts, cabins, Gypsy caravans and other outdoor, glamping places in the UK and Europe. A particular set of tree houses caught my eye… Deep in the heart of the Welsh Mountains, in a wooded secret valley, are six chic and secluded treehouses at the ‘Living Room’, designed and built by their imaginative owners. http://www.living-room.co/ Each tree house is as unique as the trees in which they are built and although state-of-the-art structures, they blend beautifully into the landscape. Completely off-grid and built on low-impact floating joints that keep the trees from harm, I was more and more intrigued with these unique dwellings. Anyone wishing to book was promised a stay with a difference – a world away from the pressures of modern life and an experience which would embrace the simple pleasures of life; eating, sleeping and living in the heart of deep natural beauty. A place you can just lose yourself in – simple and beautiful.

I read that each treehouse has a living/dining space with kitchen and an outdoor terrace. A wood-burner sits right in the middle, spreading warmth not only to the inside, but also to the water. There is a piping hot spring water shower down below the treehouse and a clever Swedish separating compost loo on a platform across a walkway from the deck. There is no electricity, just a few lanterns and a shed load of tea lights!

Further reading mentioned that the area around the Living Room is criss-crossed with great walking trails, fast flowing streams, wobbly bridges and fantastic mountain views. With nearby beaches and a pub 20 minutes walk away (just in case you didn’t feel like cooking), it all sounded fantastic! I was hooked! I booked for August, a surprise for my 9-year-old son, Ethan and a little weekend get away for me.

I have to be honest here, as the trip got nearer, I began to feel slightly apprehensive. What if Ethan got bored as children easily do? What if he missed watching TV or using an iPad? How would I feel not being connected to the Internet 24-7, not being able to check social media and getting no phone signal? This is the world we live in now, what if I missed something?

The day of our trip arrived and I told Ethan where he was going (or rather he found a print out of the information, which kind of gave the game away!) A sat-nav doesn’t take you directly there, so Ethan helped reading out printed directions to the remote location. We were met by lovely staff on our arrival and taken to our tree house, a ten minute walk away from the car park, across the fields. After a short hike up through the woods (bring boots, and pack light!) we saw a dramatic spiral staircase, at the top of which was the main living space: a futuristic curved pod, all decked out to sleep up to four people. Very exciting!

I needn’t have worried about anything. As soon I arrived, I immediately felt at home. It’s understandable to think there won’t be enough to do, so I had planned trips in the area whilst we were there. There are loads of places to visit but to be honest, once there it was lovely to unwind and not do anything in particular. And actually, when all the technology and luxuries of life are taken away, that is when you really begin to appreciate what is around you. You start to hear the birds, you admire the view, you really taste the simply cooked food and you have real conversations. Ethan and I chatted about every subject under the sun, we toasted marshmallows on the fire, we showered in the outdoor shower (invigorating!), laughed about silly things, lay in hammocks and tried out the rope swing (I did let out a little scream when I did this as I’m not sure it’s really for adults but the child in me couldn’t help it!) We even managed an afternoon at the beach in absolutely gorgeous sunshine.

We checked out reluctantly on Sunday morning and I asked nicely if I could do a few images of Ethan around the farm where the owners were based before we headed off…

I had forgotten that simple things could feel so amazing. This really is a great place to come and unwind. Great for families with kids but equally good for a couple wanting some down time, away from it all. A truly magical experience and one, which I hope, we are able to repeat soon!

Enjoy the images…x

Lifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail HiltonLifestyle and portrait photography by Gail Hilton

Send us a message Share onFacebook tweet totwitter Pin toPinterest EmailSubscribe

Do you want something a little different for your wedding? Find out how Suzi and James found the perfect outdoor location and created a laid-back, festival inspired look for their big day.

When my friend and fellow photographer, Suzi asked me if I would photograph her wedding, I was more than happy to oblige. Suzi and her partner James are what I would describe as a ‘cool’ couple so I knew their wedding would be fab from the start.

The vision for the day was a festival style wedding with live music in an outdoor space. The photography was to be very informal, pretty much all documentary, just capturing the story of the day as it unfolded naturally.

The chosen setting was immense. Imagine a hotel with stunning lake and mountain views with its very own waterfall in the grounds. The Lodore Falls Hotel gives you just that. http://www.lakedistricthotels.net/lodorefalls/index.php Nestled in the heart of the Borrowdale valley, near Keswick and overlooking Lake Derwentwater, the hotel has one of the finest settings in the Lake District. The hotel also has lovely gardens, a woodland area and a beautiful garden gazebo for outdoor weddings. The inside of the hotel is equally lovely but the couple really wanted the wedding outdoors to really take in the beautiful surroundings and to compliment the theme. I kept my fingers crossed that the good old British weather wouldn’t let us down. Sure enough on the day of the wedding, the early morning mist lifted, the sun came out and a hive of activity commenced to prepare for the outdoor ceremony.

The details

Taking inspiration from the music festival, Glastonbury, Suzi designed and created her own save the date and wedding invites and guest ‘passes’ for people to wear at the event. She clearly has a talent for this! She collected jam jars and decorated them with ribbons and dotted them around the venue. Friends also helped with the jam jar collection and also supplied colourful bunting and the couple’s fab wedding cake!

To put the festival look together on the day and providing more of the great finishing touches, including the table decorations and vintage frames and furniture ‘Daisy Chain and Vintage Hire were brought in. https://www.facebook.com/hellodaisychain/ They did a fabulous job transforming the outdoor and indoor space. Events company Ambience Venue Styling https://www.facebook.com/AmbienceVenueStylingUK provided the gorgeous swagging and chair covers for the indoor reception.

The fresh flowers for the tables, bouquets and buttonholes were provide by www.theflowerfarm.co.uk They specialize in growing British flowers and created the bride’s beautiful bouquet using seasonal, English country garden varieties. Just gorgeous…

The wedding dress

After trying on nearly 50 dresses (has to be done girls!) Suzi’s final choice came from The White Boutique in Leamington Spa www.whiteboutique.co.uk A stunning design with lots of lace detail, a gorgeous low back and full skirt.

Suzi’s hair was styled by a friend and her make-up was by The Falls Beauty Salon based at the hotel. Her bridal shoes were from Irregular Choice www.irregularchoice.com although I seem to remember a pair of doc martins making an appearance later on! Very rock and roll!

Suzi and James achieved a cool, laid back, festival style wedding in glorious sunshine in the most amazing setting. Sunglasses were worn, games were played, the band sang and even the odd space hopper made an appearance! The whole vibe of the day was just brilliant. Definitely one of the best weddings I’ve had the pleasure to photograph!

 

 

Send us a message Share onFacebook tweet totwitter Pin toPinterest EmailSubscribe

Some images from a recent shoot I did for The Mullin Theatre School in Blackpool. I have to say I was really looking forward to this session as it combined two things I love to photograph – people and dance. Back in the days when I was a photography student, performing art was definitely one of my favourite genres of photography, so when the principle of the school approached me to photograph some images for the school’s new website, I was more than happy to oblige! I went over one Saturday morning and took photos of each of the different classes throughout the course of the day, showing the girls (and boys!) doing Ballet, Tap, Freestyle, & Musical Theatre. Children can attend from 2 years and up and it was fantastic to see how much they enjoyed themselves, whilst keeping fit and burning off some excess energy. The children were lovely and definitely not camera shy, which made my job a lot easier! A fantastic day which has re-kindled a love of this type of work. Hope to do more soon!

Check out the school here https://www.facebook.com/The-Mullin-Theatre-School…/timeline

 

Send us a message Share onFacebook tweet totwitter Pin toPinterest EmailSubscribe

A pretty cold day for this shoot but that didn’t stop us getting some great shots and having lots of fun! We headed to a local beauty spot, complete with hand-made fishing rod to try a spot of fishing. We didn’t catch anything but did see a few frogs! The long grasses made lovely backgrounds for some of our images. Next, we headed to a local farm with some great outbuildings for more photos. Bryn even got to play cowboys for some of the time, looking awesome in his outfit! I’m really pleased to say that Bryn’s mum has ordered a selection of images for her wall. I’m really excited to see the finished article as we have decided to print them on 10mm acrylic, which will look fantastic!

Send us a message Share onFacebook tweet totwitter Pin toPinterest EmailSubscribe

In December last year I photographed the adorable Odhran to celebrate his first birthday. We braved the cold weather and layered up to get some pictures in the beautiful light outside. I recently purchased a new prop which I thought would work really well for children, a fab retro wagon. This was it’s first outing and I think it works really well. Will definitely be using it again. Love it!

Since the shoot, I’ve been booked to photograph mum and dads wedding in June of this year at The Fence Gate, a lovely 18th Century Inn. Looking forward to capturing their big day in mostly a documentary style. Oh, and I’ve had a sneak preview of the dress – it’s beautiful!

Send us a message Share onFacebook tweet totwitter Pin toPinterest EmailSubscribe