Lindsey Gallacher Studio And Workshop.

I recently had the pleasure to meet and photograph the lovely Lindsey Gallacher who runs her studio and shop in Swanson Street, Thurso. As the studio turns one it was even more special and watching Lindsey work, I just cannot imagine the years of work and training gone into her craft of Jewellery making as well as some amazing artwork and items handmade and sold in her shop.

When you enter the building you’re greeted with a bright room which is set out with items to purchase on display from earrings to gift cards and pictures to aprons and a range of incredible hand made pieces. Not only does Lindsey run the shop and take order requests for bespoke items but she trains others to make jewellery in her workshops run at the studio.

In half of the room Lindsey works on making the pieces which to watch an item go from a piece of silver into such a bespoke piece is really something to see and she is such a lovely friendly person that I can highly recommend a trip or book your own day to learn with her.

Below are some of the images we took on the day and I really wish Lindsey a great second year as a valued Caithness business and artist.

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The Rhubarb Candle Company.

The Rhubarb Candle Company are a family run business based in Dorset.

When I came across the business online I loved their story and how much love went into their business, so much so they have even remodelled their kitchen to suit the candle making along with their amazing logo sideboard now that is dedication!

Andrew, Jenny and their son are makers of hand poured, soy wax candles which have no harmful chemicals and are vegan and cruelty free. The business started when their son who is asthmatic was having breathing issues with scented candles which spurred them on to make their own natural candles. Being a scientist Andrew got to work with hours or research to make the perfect products and many more hours to keep such wonderful scents and new idea’s coming all the time.

They work so hard to supply local stores as well as selling online and all of their packaging is recyclable including a tin return service too.

On walking into their home business I was greeted by three super lovely and friendly people who I could instantly see love what they do and I really hope you will love their products as much as I do. I must admit it has become a bit of an obsession of mine too wondering which to buy next.

You can visit and purchase their candles from the links below as well as in suppliers in Dorset such as Lulworth cove.

www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TheRhubarbCandleCo

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What if my kids don't play ball!

Your children are normal! Yes you heard it those tantrums and crying and refusal during a photo shoot that is NORMAL so please have a read and stop any of those embarrassed feelings

In a recent conversation with a few parents regarding what puts them off booking a photo shoot I honestly thought money would be the number one put off, surprisingly this was fairly low down in the list of reasons and the main reason was my children will play up followed by my children won’t sit still or will cry or are clingy to Mum or going through a toddler stage or a 8 year old teen tantrum stage!

This really shocked me that parents are put off having beautiful family images because they think that their child is not going to be good for them. I can only begin to reassure you that most of my photo shoots with children involve tears, tantrums, shyness or children not wanting to stay still for even a second. I have children who wont leave mum not even to be put down on the floor and teenagers with the huffy I don’t want to do this moods and do you know what? It is NORMAL.

NORMAL my favourite word and I say that extra loud because your family is no different to most out there, occasionally a photo shoot with go completely to plan and be a little bit of a wow what happened moment when we get exactly what we set out to do but the usual photo shoot starts with a rough plan and is then dictated by the children just the way I love it!

The best images of children are the natural moments that make you remember them and their quirks and fun ways and of course we always aim for the perfect family on the wall image but does that perfect family image really show how your family is? would it not be more suiting for an image on the wall that has your cuddly little boy that won’t be put down by dad to be cuddling his dad?

Shyness is incredibly cute and we always warm them up to some natural images with some fun games never every putting pressure on children to perform.

I usually end up playing games with them and leaving you with super hyper children to go home with and if they start of full of beans and won’t sit still then lets create images of them running to you or jumping into your arms and being swung about or a fun bump hips walk, I love movement in images.

And you know what? If your child does have a break down and tears and clingy moments or refusal to do something its perfectly OK and again NORMAL. So often I hear “ oh no she always smiles why is she crying” and the answer is they have just walked into a strange environment with an odd looking lady with two big camera’s shooting them at them with loud clicks and big eyeballs talking to them and looking at them all the time so the best thing is to play to forget about me and for me to get them to warm up and time and I can assure you if you book any of my full sessions you will have my time and patience until the point I know the kids have really had enough and that we create moments I know you will love.

I always hear “gosh you are so patient” but a photographer who chooses to work with children and animals shouldn’t need to be patient it should be natural to love what you do regardless because I can assure you I am never going to get rich doing this it is a lifestyle choice to do a job that I adore to do and never know what the outcome will be so no patience is required just me as I am and work and not once ever not even inside will I be judging you as a parent or your children for their behaviour and yes I have had children hit and swear at me and spit at me before and my only judgement was of myself what I had done during those moments to make them feel too much pressure and to bring it back to their happy place again.

The worst situation would be that your child doesn’t feel well, has a cold, is too cold or teething or even a bad emotional day for the older kids and sometimes despite time and patience it just isn’t happening and the best thing for this is to give you another date, maybe another location they go to often and give it another go and its super unusual that we do not get such lovely moments between the two sessions or even just reschedule to start with if you feel they are really not at their best I wouldn’t want to be dragged out full of cold to sit and smile.

My point of all of this is do not be put off booking with me no matter what and how you think your children are going to act, you do not need to apologise and you do not need to be embarrassed just reassuring to them regardless of what they do on the photo shoot they are kids I do not have expectations of them other than to give you a fun session and to even go home laughing at the tantrums and the image below I have to say is one of my favourite images I have ever taken and was followed by amazing smiles.

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Braeside Retreats Holiday pods in Caithness on the NC500

With the ever increasing popularity of the North Coast 500 (NC500) the requirement for holiday accommodation has risen in our lovely part of the Highlands, Caithness. A lot of businesses are diversifying into tourism along side running their farms and businesses to cater for all requirements. Many converting existing homes into holiday lets Braeside Retreats offers something rather different in a peaceful and high end finish pod.

Based at Sibminster Farm which is just outside of Castletown/Murkle and a short drive into Thurso they are situated in a rural spot with an incredible view are the new Braeside Retreats. When Fiona got in touch they were really at the start of the build but very much already knee deep in the planning and site preparation which I was so excited to see.

Expecting lovely little pods I was incredibly surprised to see the first built pod was so luxurious and large and to chat to the family regarding their finished site which is not just accommodation but as in the title a retreat.

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Large spacious pods with their own outdoor space and hot tubs to sit admiring the view with their own BBQ space and even play space for families using so many local sources.


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Each pod has a different theme very tastefully finished and perfect for a family or a couples escape and are now open for bookings for the coming season.

You can find them below on their website and book your stay now with a family who have worked incredibly hard to make such a special place to stay.

www.braesideretreats.co.uk

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The Highland Haven

The Highland Haven formally BB’S Bunkhouse.

I had been to the lovely little cafe in Mey several times in the past and knew it had been turned into holiday accommodation so I was so excited when the owner Bronagh asked to me come Photograph it on my Business branding package. I expected to see a lovely renovated version of the old building and on arriving to the road with a view down to The Haven I felt my excitement bubble over at how unusual it looked and how well done the building was and very different from its previous exterior.

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I was greeted by a wonderful warm family and Bronagh who I instantly knew was a warm, friendly host who was very proud of her achievement and really cared about every detail.


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If you are looking for not only a great location and view with peace and tranquillity but also a great host who is always happy to help then The Highland Haven if a really perfect accommodation. Beautifully finished inside and out with such a great twist of bunks instead of bedroom which I could just have curled up inside and shut the door and stayed for a few weeks with a good book.




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The Highland Haven makes a perfect spot for a one person stop over or for a family home for a week or two and that hard to find one or two night stay opportunities too but also holds events such as yoga and Christmas with gifts and cafe so I really look forward to see what the ever forward thinking family come up with next for their beautiful Haven.

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You can Book the Highland Haven or message them on their facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/thehighlandhaven/

or have a look on their website https://thehighlandhaven.co.uk/?fbclid=IwAR34CHg9w0NdXdLs9hJRMfshtkacixSEl_i6582OsNgVPGeIDuf7FLm4YMU

Vitality

I had the huge pleasure to meet the lovely Donna who is the owner of her business called Vitality in Caithness. Based in Wick Donna approached me for a mini business session to revamp her website which is linked below and I must admit I got a bit carried away as it was such a beautiful sunny day and what an amazing and relaxing location Donna offers to her clients that I didn't want to leave! 

Upon entering the house I was greeted by Donna's beautiful pugs for some cuddles, One of her beautiful pugs works as a therapy dog and I have to say I was instantly relaxed in such a beautiful room surrounded by lovely light with a lovely doggy greeting and hug! We ventured into stunning gardens and into the treatment room which no one could fail to relax in and with her warm personality I can see why so many talk so highly of Vitality.

Vitality offers many Therapies, classes and workshops designed to take care of yourself from Contentment coaching and Reiki to Yoga classes and mindfulness with many classes for children too.

Vitality also holds Zen day retreats to spend a full day to unwind and also a full weekend for some much needed you time.

You can book online and also have a look at all that Vitality offers on her website https://vitality-retreat.com/

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Meraki And Me.

Our business branding sessions are designed to show off not only what you create in your business or how your business works but the real you, the real meaning behind your business and why it started and exactly what goes into the day to day running that customers don't normally get to see. This is so important when creating your overall brand and keeping your social media full of updates and images because people really do buy into those with a face and a story.

When I arrived Susan greeted me instantly with a huge warm and lovely personality that you couldn't help but want to spend time with her and learn all about her incredible talents and right away I could tell her business was special. Susan runs her home business called Meraki and Me, Meraki meaning to put yourself and your soul, creativity and love into what you do and create and I can see this in every item created. Stated with the will to work at home with her Son In a lovely little workshop space again created with love and attention to detail Susan spends hours crafting and creating as well as all the hard work no one sees such as preparing the wood and the cleaning of it before beautiful items are made.

Meraki and me have a range of hand made signs to jars and pictures all unique and crafted with so much love which you can order through her facebook page https://www.facebook.com/merakiandmebysusanasher/ and you can also purchase them inside of riverside replicas in Thurso.

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Stacks Coffee House And Bistro.

Stacks coffee house and bistro - Business and Personal branding session.

The first time I walked into Stacks I knew this was somewhere special. The instant you enter you are greeted by a friendly s- mile from staff happy to see you and happy to serve you their incredible food. Such a warm cosy atmosphere even on the coldest day with a beautiful log burner and customer service hard to find always kept me coming back as much as the cake counter. You can tell every single detail has been thoroughly thought through to show exactly who they are.

For a business your brand is so important and Stacks really put that brand into every dish and every item they make and sell with local produce and healthy and colourful food. Everything had an extra special touch to it.

I often pop in for coffee and hot chocolate with cake but until I spent time with them creating images for a business branding session I didn't know they do cake away! So now I have no hope of a Summer diet but such a great idea to take out a piece of your favourite cake, if you can choose that is!

They have their own toilets again with so much detail put into the decoration and details even down to the quirky door signs and outside seats with so much work going into their back landscaped area.

This is a wonderful place for children too with a wall for their art and their own menu and most importantly little mice dotted around for them to find, again I never knew this but had the great honour to meet a couple of them.

I promise you if you have never been to Stacks you will not be disappointed so go pop in and enjoy it as much as I do.

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Not everyones cup of tea.

When you go onto Steven Browns website with his beautiful colourful paintings of animals would you then email him and expect him to create a black and white pencil drawing of a car? You wouldn’t, you buy his art and know exactly what look he creates and if that’s not the style you would like you look elsewhere for what suits you.

The same goes for your photographer, Of course I always give my all to every client and every situation but I cannot create someone else’s work, only what comes from my heart and my style that is seen on my websites and social media. When your gallery comes to you it will reflect the emotion of the day and the light and the weather and mood of the location but it will always, always be my work and my look.

Not being right for everyone takes a lot to admit for any artist we just want to be liked and put our whole heart into everything we create so if someone doesn’t like our work we take it personally that they don’t like us.

The truth is I am not the photographer for everyone and I think it is so important to choose carefully not based on the price list or because a friend used me but based on looking at my work and thinking this is what I want.

I am not a party photographer, I don’t do fine art well and I don’t do events either or sports or family poses in someone’s hallway. It’s taken years to realise that I don’t have to be someone else, I want to be booked for being me and it’s changed my business in incredible ways just being me. My editing is my own style and I create the images to fit into that style so to ask me to be anything else just isn’t possible.

So who am I as a photographer?

A little bit goofy, I walk funny and often trip over my own feet but I don’t create for money, Of course my job has to pay the bills and I do believe I am worth a small wage too but I love my job when I know I’ve been booked for me I will spend many days editing to make you smile when you see your gallery.

I love equestrian and pet photography. I love posing your beautiful newborns and siblings and I love lifestyle and baby lifestyle which is a natural storytelling to your family life to go into someone’s house and think on the spot capturing images of true life with light posing direction initially that turns into real moments.

I love to go outside with families and children or couples or a glowing mum to be and in all these amazing locations no matter the weather. I don’t give you 100 directions on a pose so that when you look “right” on camera the moment has passed.

I work by putting you in a beautiful spot and direct you were to be and we tell a story with your children, we play or we get real emotions through real laughs or real cuddles. I love to mix those outdoor family and children’s images with playing or a couple showing me the real them because this is what I want you to remember in years to come and to those you pass the images onto. I want your personality in them and yes they will be edited in my style.

I so hope to book you in soon to create your own memories.

Looking forward to Summer.

I am a  horse girl from the moment I could kiss a fluffy nose and a Summer girl who dreads the long windy winters, The hairy horses and lack of outdoor sessions being the main reason. I am a huge outdoor person and love nothing better than getting outside in beautiful locations to capture your images in a relaxed atmosphere.

Horse sessions  I have huge withdrawal from during winter and then come the spring and show season I am incredibly busy with so I wanted to tell you a little about what happens on an equine shoot.

We plan the location in advance with you, this can be on the beach or forest or in your own field. Some horses that are older and more nervous it can even be around your own stable for security. They can include all of your horses and even all of your family and other pets. I will arrive with you at the given time and before we get your horse we will have a look and choose the locations to use together and have a chat about if you would like ridden images, in hand, horse only or a mix of everything and then get started. You can even share your shoot with a friend or friends and each save 20% on the package cost and still have equal time and packages each on the day!

Our horse photo shoots are very relaxed and I have all the patience required for your beautiful equines so please don't worry If they aren't good at standing still or happy to have ears forward or spooky we take all the time we need to get the good images as they come. I love to capture you and your horses personality and this is the main goal of a session, poses are lovely and I do direct slightly but it is very laid back and more putting you in the right place and getting what you and your horse naturally give to each other.

After your session you will have a gallery 2 weeks later and your chosen package on the way to you which come in lovely prints and gift boxes because I love nothing more than looking back at my horses pictures in prints all these years later.

Summer months do book up incredibly fast especially during wedding season so don't miss out before another hairy long winter comes along. We can suit all budgets and travel in Caithness and Sutherland and all over Scotland If required at only 40p a mile petrol outside of Caithness. I will also be in Dorset for most of September to take sessions.

Starting a fresh new year.

As my new year starts so starts my new page. I feel my old page is now rather out of date as I evolve so does my work and style. I love that my clients book me for my work rather than price or location because to me I can only create what comes from the heart and from within me rather than be a copy of anyone else, a bit like a painter each are different for you to choose from.

 Each customer is so important to me and I give everything to your session, I take images from the heart and edit with every bit of it so you know when you receive your images that you are not just another customer you are unique and your family and children and pets and partners those moments that you allow me to see into and create images of will be made with all of me.

Wishing you all a great new year, we all have our bad times and good times but what is most important is together time so if you enjoy my style of work and would love that together and that moment captured in images you and your family will look through for years to come please do get in touch, we can talk we can email so do press the contact me button.