Tag Archives: photography

HSGS Does Half Term

HSGS Does Half Term - Hello Sam Goodbye SamanthaHSGS in the Garden - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha Sam in the Garden - Hello Sam Goodbye SamanthaHSGS In the Garden 2 - Hello Sam Goodbye SamanthaHSGS In the Garden 3 - Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

On Friday afternoon I skipped out the door of work and said a jaunty ‘HELLO’ to a whole week off.  I say a week, but in fact today I headed back in to prepare for next term and write about 3,000 school reports. But that fact paled into insignificance in the face of what is officially known as ‘Half Term Holiday’ in the HSGS household.

Mr Hello also booked a week off, and we kicked off the break by getting into the garden. BIG TIME. I’m talking allotment, I’m talking back garden and then we headed to the Kent Garden Show to pick up a few treasures.

Over the weekend we had a few friends over who brought their little girl over. This meant a couple of hours of delicious food, great conversation and an excellent round of the game ‘Off The Pudd’, for which no-one seemed to know the rules apart from a three year old. What a delight.

Mr H and I then journeyed forth to Suffolk, to hang out with his sister and her delightful son, and the only thing to somewhat spoil the day was that our clutch failed on the motorway as we headed home, so instead of an evening on the couch we spent an evening sitting in the carpark of a motorway hotel scoffing chocolate while we waited for a tow!

With a couple of days left before TERM 6 (I repeat TERM 6)  starts,  I plan on pottering around the house a little bit, finishing off some report writing and faffing around with my camera settings! I’ve also got some more seeds to plant out, and am looking forward to seeing all my new plants in the garden.

How’s your week been, pals?

Wedding Roundup: Portraits on The Pier

There’s no point having your wedding reception at a venue called Sun Pier House if you don’t take advantage of the actual Sun Pier. After we’d downed a drink and had a bit of a natter with the guests, my wonderful maid of honour and sister T rounded us up for some formal portraits on the pier.150801_Sam+John_Slideshow_weheartpictures0065150801_Sam+John_0208

Mr Hello and I aren’t generally a fan of staged wedding photos, however we had seen some great examples in Hector’s work and so were quite happy to spend half an hour getting a bunch of photo frame ready shots.

This is something I would definitely recommend to someone in the midst of wedding planning. Find a photographer whose work takes your breath away. Don’t choose someone and then ask them to take photos in a specific style – find someone who is an expert in the style you love. We did, and I couldn’t be happier. In fact the day we got our wedding photos back was the first thing that broke my Ice Queen heart and had be quietly crying on the High Street. I adore our photos.


Both the bride and groom’s party wore navy blue. We asked our friends to choose whatever they wanted to wear, as long as it was navy blue. Some were a little hesitant, because they didn’t want to choose something and then realise I hated it, but after I reassured them that I was not fussy at all, they went ahead with the idea.

We both just really wanted our friends to look like themselves, and feel comfortable in what they were wearing.

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I am actually yelling at our nephew R here saying ‘get him right in the face!’. Nothing like a fresh bunch of flowers in your chops, hey?


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I really adore these photos of Mr H’s family. I think they sum up the family I’m marrying into so well!

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Classic Dad shot. He thinks he’s being a comedian by blocking me out of my own wedding photos. (I actually think this shot is hilarious, so perhaps I have actually inherited his sense of humour).



I think my Mum looked absolutely wonderful. This suit is pretty much exactly what I imagined her with and she totally rocked it. My sister kept getting called ‘Liz’ by Mr H’s family, because they thought she looked like Elizabeth Taylor – I actually have to agree!


T was chief joozjer. She kept barking at me to move a piece of hair (much appreciated) and would also spin around and show her knickers to all of Chatham just to make Mr H laugh in the photos. What more could you ask for in a bridesmaid?150801_Sam+John_0244 150801_Sam+John_Slideshow_weheartpictures0086 150801_Sam+John_Slideshow_weheartpictures0085 150801_Sam+John_Slideshow_weheartpictures0082 150801_Sam+John_Slideshow_weheartpictures0079

I really love these photos against the exposed brick wall. I may be about to totally break the wedding mystique here, but this wall is actually the back of Staples in Chatham. Very glam, very cool.

I suspect that in post-production Hector picked out the blue of Mr Hello’s suit, the blue in the wall and my eyes. The photo of me looking over his shoulder makes my eyes zing! Such precious photos.


We could not have been luckier with this mural – it was painted perhaps a week before we were married! Talk about timing.

These formal shots to me show the love and joy that we felt on our wedding day. I don’t find them saccharine or overly romantic – the romance was there, we didn’t need some carefully posed shots to remind us of it! The main point is that I don’t look back at these photos and cringe. I look back and my heart sings.

That’s what it’s all about at the end of the day, isn’t it?


This post is made in loving memory of my Uncle. He very generously helped our wedding day to be exactly what we hoped it would be. Vale.

How to be Parisian (and also: How Not To)

How to be Parisian 1 Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

How to be Parisian 2 Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

How to be Parisian 3 Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

How to be Parisian 4 Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

I have extreme doubts that this confession in any way distinguishes me from the general public, but regardless; it is well known in certain circles that I have a bit of a ‘thing’ for Paris. I would even go so far to say that Paris is my spiritual home. I feel like if I am good enough in this life, I may be lucky and reincarnated into my true, French form in the next. A girl can hope, hey?

This Christmas I was lucky enough to receive How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are by Sophie Mas, Audrey Divan, Caroline de Maigret and Anne Berest from my aunt. You could say that she knows me well. The lady knows how to spot a Francophile at 20 paces, let’s just put it like that, ok?

In all honesty, I completely devoured this book. It’s written in short, pithy chapters and takes you through first dates, friendships, marriage, men, and dinner parties with even a few tried ‘n true recipes thrown in for good measure. It is very tongue-in-cheek but honestly, that’s what I liked about it. It makes fun of itself, in that the authors know it’s ridiculous to want to be a Parisienne, because in some (many) respects, they themselves are faintly ridiculous. But they just do it with style.

I really recommend this book if you’re into a bit of French fun, and secretly believe that having a signature scent really is quite chic.

As a bonus for you all, here’s how to not be very Parisian when you’re taking photos. Even if your leggings are really rather splendid:

How to be Parisian 5 Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

How to be Parisian 6 Hello Sam Goodbye Samantha

If you could be any other nationality, what would it be?

In Which I Try to Be a Blogger

There seems to be, in my humble opinion, a certain type of status that comes with being a ‘blogger’. Not a person who writes a blog, but a blogger. I am rather susceptible to a bit of the ol’ green eyed monster every now and then when it comes to other peoples’ blogs, I won’t deny it. But every now and then I brought firmly back to earth, and to the knowledge that when comparing those who have blogs and the ever jealous making bloggers, I am most certainly in the former camp.

Take these series of photographs, for example. Several days ago I thought I would try out a modest photoshoot, to see if I too was capable of having swoon worthy photography gracing the pages of this here weblog.


Nope. Can’t see my face, too much shrubbery, and plus…that’s a decidedly strange pose you’ve got going there girl.


Also in the NOPE pile. Firstly, it’s an unflattering angle of a new top I dearly regret impulse buying, and secondly, that stupid look on my face is clearly the results trying to look natural while I fake brushing my hair off my face. 


Too far.


Too close. Plus a slightly deer-in-the-headlights-what-have-I-become look about me. Dainty finger pose too.


This one I admit, is acceptable. I like that my face seems to realise what a ridiculous thing I am trying to do. The top looks slightly better, and I’m doing something rather attractive with my shoulders. I like it. I like my one average photo!

I could say something calming and reflective here about how during this process I realised that I don’t need to strive to replicate other peoples’ blogs, because we’re all different and rah rah rah unique gifts rah rah. But I won’t, because if I am honest, I do wish I had a shiny pretty happy blog. I do wish I knew how to take great photos of my carefully curated life, but I don’t. More to the point I honestly probably wouldn’t, either, even if I had the requisite skills.

I feel very much a part of a huge blogging community, having blogged in some way or another relatively consistently for four years, but more so because I’m a consumer of blogs. Maybe my best role in the blogosphere is to support others who do it  better. To put some love out there for people who plan and publish content more regularly than I. I don’t feel bad about that in the least, and so for now, I’m reminding myself to be pretty content with my one average photo, and my average little blog.


Ignite. Create. Discuss.

Photos by Tracy Affleck of The Rochester Flea

I’ve fallen a bit back in love with blogs recently, reading and finding new ones whenever I can. But this hasn’t necessarily translated into me writing a lot more. In fact, almost the opposite is true – I feel as though I’ve got nothing to say.

What I need is some direction, and a little bit of the focus that was a key part of the Box of Crayons Great Work MBA e-conference, which aired recently. As I seem to be in an information-devouring mood at the moment, I’ve done what any self respecting self improvement junkie would do, and signed up for every blogging and photography e-course I could get my grubby hands on. It’s intense, and I don’t work on them every evening, but I’m definitely learning things. I’m focussing on this one by A Beautiful Mess.

I’m in the middle of a longer than expected re-brand of my bespoke bunting business’ website, and so have been lusting over great photography that I’ve seen on other craft websites. I did a shoot with the lovely Tracy Affleck of some of our bunting, the spoils of which can be seen above, and when you get real photos done it’s amazing how different (and how much better!) they look.  Natural and restful, not amateur and filled with bits of everyday clutter poking in.

I’m not at the stage where I’ll have a fantastically designed blog and perfect photos. I want to get a bit closer to that soon, but my gut tells me I need to work on my content a little better.

Enter ‘Ignite. Create. Discuss’

Three words I’m  tossing around at the moment, and I’m deciding whether they’re the three words that really sum up what I want to happen on my blog. I want to have a place to be inspired and to express what has ignited my mind’s appetite. I want to be able to share my creativity and talk about the creativity of people I know, and some I don’t!

But it’s the discuss part I’m keenest to work on. I want to use my blog to open up a new little area of the internet where I can share what’s in my mind, and to be able to feed back to others. I want to develop an audience for the things I say, but what I would love more would be to be able to develop an online (or offline for that matter!) dialogue about the things that matter to me.

I’m working on it.