100 years old!

I recently photographed the Kitty’s 100th birthday celebration  a wonderful lady, mother, grandmother and great grandmother from Coggeshall in Essex and I have to say it was a real privilege to be a part of the day and the celebrations.

The day started at her home in Coggeshall where she received her telegram (card) from the Queen as well as many other cards and flowers. (she was absolutely delighted)

She was then chauffer driven to the Colne Valley Golf Club in Earls Colne where a surprise party had been arranged. Family and friends had come from all around the country and indeed the world to share this special day with her and it was a great opportunity to capture some family portraits as well as individual portraits of all the guests. I know she derived much pleasure from looking at these in the days and weeks that followed.

As part of the celebration Kitty was also presented with a photo book which was a chronological presentation of photographs detailing her life from a young child through to the present day and including details of her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The book was actually designed and produced by me following the collection of lots and lots of old family photos. I look forward to showing details of this in a later blog post. I know it meant a lot to Kitty and she has treasured it ever since.

One of Kitty’s grandchildren had written a poem about Kitty’s life which she presented and read out for all to hear. I have included the text of the poem below.

If you have a special event or birthday coming up and would like to capture those special moments then please do get in touch.


100 year old Kitty reads her message from the Queen

100 year old Kitty reads her message from the Queen and admires her birthday cards and flowers.


Looking fantastic at 100 years old Kitty poses for some celebratory birthday portraits

Kitty looks fantastic as she poses for some natural light birthday portraits.


Family portrait photographs of Kitty with all generations of her family.

Kitty’s birthday celebration provided a wonderful opportunity for lots of family group portraits, with all the different strands and generations of her family.


Individual portraits of all the guests that attended the celebration

It was a wonderful oportunity to photograph individual portraits of friends and family who attended the celebration.


The Colne Valley Golf Club provided a perfect setting for Individual portraits of all the guests that attended the celebration

The Colne Valley Golf Club provided a perfect setting for Individual portraits of guests that attended Kitty’s Birthday celebration


Individual photographs of family and friends who shared the day with Kitty

Individual photographs of family and friends who shared the day with Kitty


Kitty blows out the candles in the beautiful dining room of the Colne Valley Golf Club.

Helped by her eldest son Jim, Kitty blows out the candles on her cake. Also a great shot of the wonderful room setting at the Colne Valley Golf Club.


This is your life Kitty Crayston

Kitty is presented with a photographic record of her life, a specially made book by Tony Sale Photography, made up from photographs submitted by all of her children and their families.


Young & old Kitty admires her great great grandson

A meeting of generation as Kitty admires her great great grandson


 Granny’s Poem


I have got a story to tell

About a great lady you all know well!

It’s a fairy tale story, written in rhyme

And it all starts as good stories start


“Once upon a time”


There was born a little Kitty,

Who was very cute and pretty

The 25th of February her date of birth,

She bought her parents joy and mirth


In Tolleshunt D’Arcy born and bread

She grew up happily so was said

Loved her flowers, dress-making and sewing

Peg and Kitty kept growing and growing


The train to school the “Crab and Winkle”

Made their mother frown and wrinkle

The next stop on the list was Colchester High

Always coming home to a hot home cooked pie


She went to Writtle for a start

And studied Horticulture to follow her heart

When she met Richard known as Dick

They went together through thin and thick


The 30th of March in 1932 was wedding day

Glovers and Taylors were there to say

“Good luck, good health and a life full of pleasure

Four children were born – what a treasure


They made good friends and ran a dairy farm

The children grew up and came to no harm

They all lived happily at Noaks Cross

Great granny was and still is the boss


Tennis and swimming in the pond

Formed between the children a special bond

Cars, trollies and go-carts

Were big in Dick and the boy’s hearts


Young farmers came and stayed or went

All children got married, what an event

The families focused on fun and laughter

The first grandchild followed soon after


The family home was Cockerels Farm

With its swimming pool, chestnut tree and barn

With trains in the attic and swings in trees

Friends and family enjoyed the cream teas


The Grandparents were terribly proud

Of the thirteen grandchildren, what a crowd!

Some of them travelled to places far away

But all have come back for this special day


In 1972 the wedding of gold

The love between Dick and Kitty never went cold

Their grandchildren married and had their fun

And with 18 Great grandchildren all was said and done


Congratulations, Great Granny

You have reached the big “10-0”

You were born in the last century

So that’s a long time ago!



Beautiful flowers

Some of the gorgeous flowers which were on display


Large group photograph on the course at the Colne Valley Golf Club

The Colne Valley Golf Club provides an excellent backdrop for a group photograph of all the guests.


If you are holding an event or would like to know more about portrait photography then why not get in touch, phone me on 01787 474923 or send a message via the contact form.



Family Portrait Photography in Essex, Suffolk & Cambridgeshire

Birthdays, Anniversary’s, Party’s, Christenings, Graduations, these are all great times to take some fantastic family portraits and, of course, individual portraits as well.

This particular family portrait was taken at Gosfield Golf Club in north Essex at a 25th wedding anniversary celebration. The great thing about all these occasions is that people travel and come together to celebrate and usually have made an effort to dress up and look good. So everybody meets in one place and they all look good and what more because they’re celebrating they are much more inclined (in the right mood) to be photographed.

Don’t miss an opportunity, next time you are having a family and friends celebration why not arrange to have some professional photographs taken. It’s doesn’t have to be expensive and the results will bring back memories of the occasion and of loved ones for many years to come.

For more information about portrait photography in Essex then do get in contact or give me a call on 01787 474923


 Family Portrait Photography at Gosfield Golf Club



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Bruges at Night


My wife, Kate, and I went to Bruges to celebrate our 25th weddings anniversary, it was the first time we had ever been there and we thought it was beautiful.

Bruges is situated in the Flemish region and is also the largest city and capital of Belgium. Along with a few other canal based cities such as Amsterdam it is sometimes referred to as ‘The Venice of the North’

I also understand it also has significant economic importance, thanks to its port and at one time it was the ‘chief commercial city of the world. It is certainly a very beautiful and very lively city with some wonderful local food.

Being a very historic city with lots of magnificent old buildings and numerous canals then you can imagine it is also a photographer’s paradise.

My profession is primarily as a wedding and portrait photographer but you will also know, if you read my blog, I have a passion for low light photography. Bruges presented some great opportunities for this and I have produced a few images below.

Hope you like them, let me know what think.

A photograph of Bruges taken at night

The Belfry of Bruges photographed at night and reflecting in the water.

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Tanya & Chris’s Church Wedding in Gosfield

It was a magical day, with confetti, corn fields, setting sun, marque, vintage bus and a stunning wedding dress. You can see a slideshow of my favourites from the day above, set to a soundtrack of ‘Hero’ by Enrique Iglesias (downloadable at http://goo.gl/zM6HCw)


It was such a joy to photograph the wedding of Tanya and Chris in my home village of Gosfield in North Essex. We had met up a few weeks previously when we did a pre wedding photo shoot, on that occasion they had been a little nervous at the start but soon settled in to it, we got on really well together and produced some great images. It was wonderful therefore to see them again on their wedding day.

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We started the day doing some getting ready shots at Tanya’s parent’s house, who also live in the village. Tanya was there with her daughter, Kirsty and her two other bridesmaids, Claire and Rachel. They were all very relaxed and very much enjoying that special time together.  Her wedding dress was stunning as were her shoes and flowers which I thought looked particularly beautiful photographed against the natural wood of the floor and door.

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I met Chris, down at St Catherine’s the village church, (a beautiful church if you are looking for somewhere to get married in north Essex) he turned up with his best man Liam and was joined by his dad and the ushers. They were all up to being photographed and we captured some great photos of the four of them together. I had checked out the area around the church a few days before the wedding and noted right alongside the church was a fantastic field of ripe corn which I thought would make a great setting for some photos…but, guess what? On the actual day of the wedding itself there was a huge great combine harvester busy at work cutting down the corn right in front of our very eyes and throwing up great plumes of dust in the process.  However it actually worked out quite well as the cut stubble also had a rich golden colour to it and also made a great setting / background.

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The bride and bridal party arrived at the church in style all aboard ‘The Wedding Special’ an amazing vintage double decker bus completes with uniformed driver and conductor. It was very impressive and another cool setting for some photos. (After the wedding ceremony all of the guests were taken for a special mystery tour before being taken on to the wedding reception)

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I love the light inside Gosfield church, natural and soft, and it was such a pleasure to photograph the ceremony and to capture the emotion and special moments between Tanya and Chris.

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The wedding breakfast was in a magnificent marquee in Tanya’s parent’s garden. It really did look fantastic and it was a great opportunity to photograph family and guests and even chat to a few people I knew.

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The corn fields and the soft evening light provided the ideal combination to go out and take some more beautiful romantic shots of Tanya and Chris enjoying some quiet and reflective moments together.

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Congratulations Tanya & Chris!  Here’s hoping you have a wonderful married life together.



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Slide show from a wedding I photographed at Dove Barn. if you like it please feel free to share it with others


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