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Musings, waffle and a collection of my favourite photographs

The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography
60s Sirens: A retro styled shoot
November 02, 2018 by maryann In Weddings 0 Comments

When Michelle Lacey (aka Bumblebee Bridal) put the word out that she wanted to do a Sixties inspired shoot I jumped at the chance. I’m more than happy to indulge in anything with a retro vibe, and collaborating with fellow creative, Essex-based wedding suppliers is always fun! Michelle, Lisa Alger (ie. the dream team of makeup and hair), Rock the Day (an awesome team of wedding stylists and prop creators) and I gathered together with dresses from Rock the Frock bridal boutique and hair pieces by PS With Love. We grabbed some of the best models around and headed to Rock the Day’s studio, in Braintree. I chose a yellow backdrop for the studio style images, to give a modern day twist to a typically sixties set up. We also utilised Rock the Day’s glorious velvet sofa, and their signature peacock chairs, too. Michelle & Lisa styled hair and makeup to be seriously sixties, and we ended up with an alternative Charlies Angels vibe, with a cinematic edit – and we all love it. It’s so rewarding to have a collective of wedding specialists who love to indulge their creative sides – especially when they’re in need of an alternative wedding […]

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The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography
You want to do what? Outside? family photoshoot in Essex
October 28, 2018 by maryann In Family photography 0 Comments

When someone books me for a family photoshoot in Essex, it can mean one of two things, a gorgeous outdoor photo session, or a beautiful posed studio session. Both have their pros and cons, but there is a special place in my heart for outdoor photography.  All too often I have people telling me how uncomfortable they are having their photos taken,  how their children won’t stand still for five minutes, or even won’t comply with the idea at all – and that’s absolutely normal, as a mum of five, I still can’t get my children to stand still in a studio and smile naturally for the camera! But that’s where a more organic approach to photography comes into its own, I don’t ask you to stand still, smile, pose or anything else that doesn’t come naturally. My outdoor sessions are just an hour or two of you being you, doing your thing and letting your children play while I goof around with a camera. Yes, the children will play with sticks, get a little dirty, find a few bugs and run a bit wild, but that’s exactly what I love to capture – the beauty of childhood!  The same goes for grown-ups too, […]

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The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography
Dreaming of Teepees

I absolutely love helping other business to realise their dreams with some gorgeous business branding photography and this shoot was no exception. Teepee dreams specialises in creating beautiful children’s sleepover parties. When the lovely Katie from Teepee Dreams asked me to do the photography for her branding I was so excited!  Being a mum of 5 children, the thought of a children’s sleepover fills me with absolute dread! So to find there are now people that want to help with this? AMAZING! If only there were companies like Teepee Dreams around when my kids were younger I’d definitely have jumped at the chance of someone else to do some of the hard work. I love how Katie has created so many different themes so parents can really create their child’s dream sleepover!   Boys can be so hard to cater for. But Katie manages to put together some really lovely themes that are a lot less girly. I won’t stereotype and say they are boys themes – my youngest daughter would love them too!  But if we are going for super girly then this unicorn theme has to be the winner, how cute is that?  The inspiration? Katie was inspired […]

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The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography
Calligraphy, camera & chickens!

Earlier this year I worked on a branding shoot for Wonderland Invites, a multi-award winning stationer, who create rustic, boho paper loveliness, from invites to table plans. Headed up by Jenna, Wonderland Invites were getting ready to launch their brand new website and wanted brand new imagery to go with it! The purpose was to show off their work and to convey the brand’s style to potential customers. The shoot was styled by Rock the Day Styling, with furniture from Anthology Vintage Hire and florals by A Vintage Wedding. Jenna’s hair and make up artist was the lovely Lisa Alger. The location? Well, just my garden, its a privilige to live in such a lovely place and it certainly makes it easier when scouting for locations!  Aside from that wonderful team, we also had a couple of visitors stop by… Jenna designs all of the stationery and creates bespoke designs, too! I just love the dark and moody pallate that Jenna requested for this shoot, mixing modern and vintage with dappled light and lots of contrast. Just beautiful!  If you would like to see more of Wonderland Invites’ work, head over to their website, I can’t recommend her enough – www.wonderlandinvites.com And of course, if you would like to book your […]

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The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography
Orange overload
July 15, 2018 by maryann In Weddings 0 Comments

I recently worked with Lucy Can’t Dance on a shoot for their new accessories range, and I love the results so much I wanted to share some shots with you! LCD create quirky, colourful wedding dresses for non-traditional brides. Dip dye is their thing and they love to let brides create exactly the dress they want, offering every colour of the rainbow for dip dye and letting brides mix and match aspects of their wonderful designs to create exactly the dress they want. LOVE. They have recently designed their own range of accessories and welcomed Miss L Fire shoes to the studio, too! All the head pieces in the shoot were designed by Lucy – who models in the shoot – and made by her own fair hands. LCD are all about fun, and their studio is, to put a frankly, mad. They have a tropical theme in the main studio, dinosaurs everywhere and their newly decorated fitting room is covered – COVERED – in orange fur.  With this kind of setting we could only go all in – so we went for house-party-aftermath, with a touch of Austin Powers. We shot the whole thing in the brand new orange shag pile haven – Austin […]

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The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography
Good old fashioned liquor

The White Mule Company is a seriously cool mobile bar, specialising in the good stuff – old fashioned liquor. The White Mule Company cater weddings and events in their impeccably converted horse trailer, supplying speak easy style and delicious cocktails wherever they go! I absolutely LOVE the art deco feel of the trailer, so we went for a real twenties feel and Heather, who owns The White Mule Co with her husband, Adam, had the most speakeasy flapper dress that worked perfectly! A shoot at golden hour seemed like the only option for such a beautiful bar and such a beautiful pair. The evening light brought the perfect atmosphere to the images. And we even got some photos of their daughter, Isla, while we were at it – what a cutie! I had a great time working with this wonderful family. It’s always so inspiring to spend time with independent business owners – especially those working on a start-up business. The pride The White Mule Company take in their work is evident from the trailer’s incredible attention to detail, their passion for cocktails and hopefully from these beautiful images! For bookings, visit The White Mule Company’s website.

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The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography
Emmas Kitchen – Food Photography.

I recently visited Emma’s Kitchen in Frinton-on-Sea, Essex.  I was there as a photographer, taking brand images for Emma, but I was lucky enough to really experience the bistro from a customer perspective – enjoying the incredible food and the warm and welcoming atmosphere. Emma herself runs the kitchen, with her daughter Laura working along side her. To say the atmosphere is friendly may be an understatement – I noticed that Emma knew the majority of her customers by name, and it felt like I was inside the hub of a village. And yet, outsiders (like me!) are made to feel entirely welcome. The charm of Emma’s Kitchen is as much the friendliness and chat as it is about the food. Although, that being said… The food is DELICIOUS.  I had the pancakes with crispy bacon and feel a duty to tell you that they were absolutely lush. Served with a little jug of maple syrup so I could drizzle just the right amount; this is what food dreams are made of. I was also lucky enough to taste one of their famous meringues – if you visit make sure you have one; that’ll beat any high-end patisserie hands down. The bistro itself is clean & modern, with a coastal aesthetic that doesn’t feel forced – no kitsch here, just […]

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The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography
Location, Location, Location
June 09, 2018 by maryann In Weddings 0 Comments

Or rather – venue, venue, venue! I love shooting weddings at new venues, it’s always great to spend time finding the best spots and the best light for photos. But I also love returning to venues I’ve shot before, especially these – my Top Three Wedding Venues. Browning Bros “Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable” is the Roald Dahl  quote that the Browning Bros live by – and that is why I love them so! If you dream of getting married surrounded by nature then I thoroughly recommend these guys. Forget traditional wedding protocol and design a day just for you – from a hog roast to a singalong, you can use the space in so many ways (all of which will be so. much. fun!) The Railway barn The Railway Barn is set in the grounds of the New Hall Vineyard, close to Maldon in Essex.  The barn itself is the absolute dream location for a relaxed and warm-hearted wedding, with its original features creating a really authentic look & feel. Its exposed brickwork & wooden beams make a perfectly rustic backdrop for photos – and with space for up to 150 guests there’s plenty of room […]

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The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography
Beautiful prints!
May 08, 2018 by maryann In Uncategorised 0 Comments

Photography isn’t just my job, it’s my passion. I studied Photography to degree level, and have trained and honed my aesthetic over a number of years. And still, through all those years, what I love above everything is print. Prints are beautiful. They are heirlooms, they are for sharing, for remembering and for reliving the moment they captured with your friends and family.  When I’m shooting, my focus is capturing moments you want to remember – I look out for memories being made between people that no-one else is seeing, so that, through my work, they can be shared with others. And I truly believe that the best way to appreciate these moments is in print. I offer a variety of post shoot products, including prints, canvases, albums… pretty much any which way you want your prints I will make it happen! Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the genius of digital photography and, of course, you will get digital images as well, but I do believe that your memories need to be something physical, not just a digital file stored on a computer only to be lost next time your PC crashes (*wail!*). Fairly frequently, I hear from clients and couples that “we’ll just go for the […]

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The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography
Get your tatts out?
April 19, 2018 by maryann In Weddings 0 Comments

Something brides often talk to me about is their tattoos. Many of us have them now days – some of us are proud of our body art and some of us are embarrassed by the dodgy Chinese proverb we got that time in Malaga. But even brides who are proud of their tattoos can be keen to cover them up – many couples want their wedding to be timeless; they don’t want to look back at photos and say “what were we thinking?!” My point of view is this: If you’re proud of your tatts, get them out. (Please note, I’m thinking of arms, backs, that kind of thing – I’m not suggesting you wear chaps to the altar to make sure everyone can see your favourite bum tattoo!) There’s always a chance that in a few decades you won’t agree with some of your style choices, but so what? You might fall out of love with your back tattoo, but you also might go off your dress, your flowers, your partner! (Just kidding!) It’s all part of the day and if you love it on the day, I will capture it for you. Because that’s the whole point of photography – to capture the moment, as it […]

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The Menagerie Lifestyle Photography
Meet The Hendersons
October 03, 2017 by maryann In Couples, Uncategorised 0 Comments

I had the pleasure of photographing Ceri and Craig’s wedding back in July, but it didn’t end there. They invited me to come and take some newlywed images too.  We take photographs to commemorate or announce an engagement, to remember our wedding day and to mark other major milestones in life, but have you ever considered scheduling a newlywed photo shoot? Believe it or not, the popularity of newlywed photo sessions has been on the rise the past few years. Wondering why so many newly wedded couples are opting for a post-wedding photo shoot? There are plenty of reasons why brides and their grooms should put serious thought into how they document their first few days, weeks or months as Mr. and Mrs. One of the reasons why couples are choosing newlywed photo sessions is because they capture him and her in their natural “habitat”. Instead of posing for formal pictures or group shots, a newlywed photo shoot is much more intimate, which means it encapsulates the excitement shared between the two as they embark on the journey of married life. This also allows couples to involve themes and props that showcase the love between them, a mutual passion or […]

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