Quent 10- Celebrating Quentin with his lovely family and friends in Chorleywood

I can't wait to share this post with you, not only because I love the photos but because it's about a very special event- and we all like something extra special, don't we?

A couple of months ago we received an invitation to a party to celebrate our friend Quent's 10 year anniversary for living life to the full.  This is totally contrary to the 10 month forecast he had when he was diagnosed with advanced cancer in 2006.  You can read the full story here.  It is not an exaggeration to say that Quentin and his wife Helen are the 2 most life affirming people we have the pleasure to know.  You cannot help but be drawn into their incredible warmth and wonderful outlook on life.

Not only are they busy living life but they're busy giving back too-  this party was also to raise money for the incredible research work that Quent's doctor does to help those who are diagnosed with this horrible disease.  So on Saturday 300 or so friends and family made their way to a campsite in Chorleywood for Quent 10 (or as someone suggested- QuentFest!).

All this wonderful weather we have had lately was interrupted on Saturday by some very heavy rain in the morning, but when we arrived early in the afternoon the sun had broken through and gave us a couple of hours of beautiful warm sunshine. This was perfect for pitching tents, drinking tea and eating cake in preparation for the evening's big party.

The whole atmosphere was fabulous- children running around enjoying the campfire, coconut shy, and swinging on ropes.  There were smiles and hugs everywhere, music in the marquee and a fantastic team of friends who served tea, manned the beer stall and set up the tents, lighting and sound.  And of course Quent and Helen themselves who did everything, answered every question and still managed to greet and say thank you to everyone of their friends who came.

Enjoy a few images from Saturday and  join me in saying congratulations to Quent and thank you for the inspirational Quentin and Helen.

Setting up Quent 10  by Surrey Family Photographer Amanda Darling Photography
A team of friends made this whole celebration possible
Surrey Family Photographer
The man himself- Quent greeting guests
Surrey Family Photographer captures love and friendship at Quent 10
The first stop was the tea tent and a hug
Boy and dog by Surrey Family Photographer Amanda Darling
Everyone made friends
Pitching tents in the woods by Surrey Family Photographer Amanda Darling
Tents were put up in woodland clearings all around the site
Surrey Family Photographer Amanda Darling Photography
The band warming up in the marquee
Surrey Family Photographer
It was idyllic with the sun and campfire smoke filtering through the trees
Surrey Family Photographer
The tea tent was better than the Great British Bakeoff thanks to friends
coconut shy
A coconut shy provided hours of fun for those determined to get one...
Sunny camping
Beautiful sunshine added to the celebrations
Portraits by Surrey Family Photographer Amanda Darling Photography
Quentin and Helen enjoy 5 seconds of peace before they were off again

So a totally wonderful event for a very special person. Here's to the next 10, and to QuentFest 2017!



Our summer holiday to New England

Surrey Family Photographer holiday in New England

One of the things I really love is seeing people’s holiday photographs. A number of the blogs I enjoy reading have posted their holiday images and I love it. Maybe it’s the snapshot into their lives or maybe it’s the chance to see places I have never been to.

So in the spirit of reciprocity, here are a few of our holiday snaps from our recent adventures to New England.

This is our third family summer trip to this part of the world, and each time we go we try and see different places. So we based ourselves just north of Boston and then moved upto New Hampshire for a few days and then further south down to Cape Cod.

The Boston area is HOT in the summer and the humidity can be overpowering, but this is balanced by gorgeous sea breezes, cool forested towns and villages and wonderful beaches. Compared to the busy area we live in here in the South East, New England is sparsely populated with fabulous outdoor facilities and picture postcard architecture and beaches.

People always ask me what camera I take on holiday.  I take 2.

The first is a very old Nikon D80, which I used when I did my photography degree, that I bought in 2007.  It has a basic zoom lens on it.  As we go to the beach and do lots of active things, I don't want to be worrying about damaging expensive kit, so whilst I love this camera, I'm not concerned if it gets broken or gets sand in the body.  However, this time I left it in my luggage most of the time because I want to enjoy my holiday not lug a heavy camera around.

The other camera I take is my iPhone, and I'm using this more and more to snap on the go photos.  In fact most of the images below are from my iPhone.

So enjoy our family photographs…

Family Photographer Surrey Amanda Darling Holiday blog

The coast along the North Shore is fantastic- and we spent plenty of time enjoying the beaches around Gloucester and Plum Island.

Amanda Darling Family Photographer SurreyThe sand was so hot that it was difficult to walk on, but the water was cold.  Enjoy the expression!

Family Photographer Surrey Amanda Darling blogWe went  kayaking down the river at Essex and across to Crane Beach.  As the tide was high we were able to weave in and out of the grassy banks through little rivulets to the sea.  How beautiful is this?  Luckily it was a beautiful warm (rather than hot) day and the water was very warm too.

amanda-darling-photography-capitol-building-providence-riWe went to a Lindsey Sterling concert in Providence Rhode Island.  Here is the Capitol Building in Providence. This was my first trip to RI and marked my 11th State.  I hope to do all of them at some stage.

amanda-darling-mountain-grand-view-resort-nh amanda-darling-4We booked a few days in New Hampshire.  This State is all about big skies and outdoor sports.  We went riding and river floating.

Our hotel was straight out of a storybook and the views were sensational.

amanda-darling-2                             There were mountains, waterfalls and forest all around.  You could travel all day and not see anyone else if you kept off the beaten track.

amanda-darling-3                                                      This is a motorway.  For someone who lives near the M25, this is an amazing sight! Where's the traffic?????


      The views go on for ever.

amanda-darling-photography-rockport-ma-2 This charming town is called Rockport and it weaves right out into the sea.  It's pleasantly touristy and if you walk to the end of the road,

you are rewarded with a classic New England sea view....amanda-darling-photography-rockport-ma-lighthouse                        ......a lighthouseamanda-darling-photography-rockport-ma-sea-views amanda-darling-photography-rockport-ma-canoes amanda-darling-photography-regatta-rockport-ma amanda-darling-photography-rockport-houses

Then it was down to Cape Cod.  Here's a very pretty church in Hyannis.amanda-darling-photography-hyannisport-cape-cod

It's been wonderful reliving the holidays!  Seems a long time ago now. Another time I'll fill you in on why we were in Hyannis.

In the meantime have a lovely week.

Family Gathering photography in Warlingham, Surrey: Part 1

I am really excited to share this family photography session with you, because it's 4 (yes you read it right) sessions in one and 3 generations.  There was a lot of planning involved in this shoot, because it was new years eve day and we had a very small window of shooting time because daylight was so limited and family were together only that day and then travelling back to their various homes on 2 different continents the next day, so absolutely no pressure whatsoever!

And what a fantastic time we had.  These lovely people were outstanding, they laughed and joked all the way through and you would have no idea we were a little chilly at the time.  I shot separate families and larger groups, grand children and grand parents, grown ups and couples and enjoyed every single second.  Not only that, but as you can see from the images below, despite the distances that they had travelled to be at the shoot, Claire and Venita managed to subtly coordinate their families' clothing in neutrals and blues with a pop of pink, which really make the colour images harmonise.

I particularly love the images with the grandparents and children together- grandparents should definitely be at more family photography sessions!

This was truly a photography session to remember, and the results speak for themselves. These photographs are now hanging in rooms in 3 different countries, reminding them of their wonderful families spread throughout the world.

No matter what time of year you plan to have your shoot, you can still have a beautiful session.

If you have a special family event or gathering or a very large family that you would like to capture together then I would love to hear from you.

In the meantime enjoy part 1 of the beautiful portraits from that day, today we are featuring the children....

Even in winter you can have beautiful portraits
Even in winter you can have beautiful portraits

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