P L A C E

Sarah Mason Photography Yorkshire

We knew at the start of the year that Sense Of PLACE was going to be one of our Stories of the Everyday monthly themes. It’s been such a big part of who we are in our work over the years, so thanks for embracing it, and sharing your places with us. Sea views, holidays, gardens, home and favourite cafe’s to name but a few.

And we thought for the first time that we should share captions too as these words make up the whole sense of place.

At the end of the blog, we’ll share July’s theme, another one close to our hearts. But first, enjoy this beautiful collection.

‘I started going to this place 17 years ago with my grandad, just us. It was our special place and we would always eat the same thing. I haven't been in 7 years because he developed dementia, he recently passed and I wanted to share this place with my children and my husband. In this first photo my kids and husband are in blurr in the back and the woman at the front is the same woman whose been there all these years. This photo brings together old memories and new for me. The place hasn't changed at all ❤️’

‘These roses hang just outside my bedroom window. They are an instant signifier of home for me and are one of my favourite things’.

‘The beautiful dunes... this is one of the things I miss most about life in the uae... they were my sanity saving weekend escape and a little piece of my heart will always be there...’

‘Grasmere, from Allan Bank House. Stunning whatever the weather. Mr F-D and I were lucky enough to have a weekend away together in the Lake District, celebrating our wedding anniversary. We married in the Lakes, the rain falling from the skies in the week leading up to the wedding, much as it poured down last weekend and ever since it seems. Fortunately the sun came out for our wedding, although I do remember the heels of my ivory satin shoes sinking into the water logged grass whilst having our photos taken. The heels of those shoes still carry a water stain to mark how far they sank!’

‘Time spent on the little beach along from the marina is their version of playing in the garden.’

‘Take me to this place again.❤️’

‘Funny how time changes our memory - a bit like childbirth! When I think back to this Cornish holiday in 2018, I see the kids running free with kites or building moats around their carefully constructed sandcastles next to the clear, turquoise sea. But in reality, it was tough. My little boy had a nasty case of hand foot and mouth disease, there was no sleep and we were sharing a very small caravan! Nonetheless, Cornwall will always be the place I choose to return to time and again, whatever diseases are thrown our way! @sarahmasonphotouk monthly theme is all about ‘A Sense of Place’ in June and there really isn’t anywhere else I feel so entirely happy and free. So I guess this is mine.’

We called by for an hour at Dove Cottage. I often think that 20 minutes in any garden, but, especially this one, should be prescribed to anyone who needs to decompress.

I often don’t know what I’m going to record for people when I first walk in to their lives and it’s THIS that is the most exciting and important part of my process. The not knowing. To be let in, trusted and to able to explore that part of a journey with them, into their beautiful real, is beyond special to me. I happen to know these two more than most, as I stood here part of their father-daughter moment. -My father, my sister.’

‘There was so much warmth and colour everywhere - all blending together and made gentle by the sun and sea. Sun on your bones every once in awhile fills your boots with energy and healing. 🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃🍃’

What a difference a day makes...
I was ridiculously lucky to be able to tag along with @joannewithers and @damian.withers.9 for another swim in Windermere this evening. It was glorious! Although admittedly the water was still quite cold, but the atmosphere couldn’t have been more different above the water. Sunshine and blue skies in abundance.
I couldn’t help but think what a contrast this all is to how I spent my days even five or six years ago. No daily commute in traffic, no standard 9-5, no built up grey cities, just flexible hours, time to escape and green countryside and gorgeous lakes and rivers. I am incredibly lucky.

‘These are a few of my favorite things ...’

‘I’ve been documenting mornings in our home for the past 82 days as part of a 100 Day Project ~ here are a few of the snaps I’ve taken. Of course, they show a snippet of serenity in what is invariably a chaotic time of the day here, getting everyone up and sorted for the day ahead before dashing out of the door. I’m also joining in with @sarahmasonphotouk monthly hashtag which is #storiesoftheeveryday_place .
This place is my home and although I love being out and about exploring, I always love coming back here ~ and these photos will remind me of this time in our lives...’

‘My photographs are inspired by a bit of everything, but mostly a love of nature and art. It's where my children and I spend the majority of our time. There's nothing better than finding a weekend free to explore a nature reserve or walk in the local woods. I've shared the story of where I first found these inspirations that influenced my early childhood, and in turn, of my children now. It's up on the blog now along with some images shared from this summer adventure. I would love for you to have a look.’

‘R a i n y d a y van scenes... and the magic - closeness - they bring’

‘I’m just going to leave this here - a little poem me and the girls memorised and read to him this morning:
If I scratched my knee,
Or if I bumped my head,
When I was afraid of the dark,
Or that thing under my bed,
When I cried in the night,
Or even in the day,
You were there for me
To make it all ok.
You ticked my feet,
And laughed at my jokes,
You taught me to believe
In having high hopes.
You made everything good
That was once bad.
I just want you to know
I love you, Dad☺️’

‘Whitby today..no I didn't blend out the background in preparation for a painting. That is summer in the UK. It is pretty gorgeous though isn't it?’

Finally coming round after a gorgeous break in Norfolk. We camped in a field at @kelling_heath which basically feels like Center Parcs without the price tag. The woodland site even had its own train stop so we took a steam engine to Sherringham and spent far too long snapping its vintage station. I couldn’t help but use Silva and her smock against all the vintage props (milk churns for the win!) We spent lazy days at Wells and Holkham beach eating picnic after picnic. The weather shined, the kids slept well, and it was the most inexpensive trip yet they loved it.

‘Sea fret. I love them. The freshest of facials. This one rolled in within 20 minutes in Denmark then rolled out again 20 minutes later leaving us with clear skies and sea. Reading @sarahmasonphotouk newsletter today, this little memory was the first thing I thought of, shortly followed by any forest I've ever visited, for the #storiesoftheeveryday_place

99% of the time I spend here at Wild Meadow I am on my own...making beds, cleaning floors, weeding the veg patch and mowing. So it was pure indulgence to spend a whole day with a wonderful group of IG friends, enjoying great company and plenty of laughter.

One of my faves from our @chesterzoo visit last month. I wanted to capture one of the boys looking wistfully up at the glorious sea critters, or wistfully up at any of the zoo animals tbh... but mostly I got blurs and backs of heads like usual 😂 ❤️

Outside is my kinda motherhood.

H O L I D A Y S are all about building sand castle cities and seaweed sea defences ❤️😂 I’ve got the holiday blues today, remembering our relaxed and easy, lazy days of last week in Corfu. Still, I’ve got my photos to start editing, these are all iPhone shots but I love them none the less! It doesn’t matter which camera you have to hand so long as you capture memories 💕

‘Dale brook Pool, Kalk Bay, Cape Town. A little bit of my heart is in this spot! This year it will be 20 years since we first fell in love with Cape Town’.

No filter.. just home June evening 🌒

I’m not quite sure how if this insta video will work for everyone, but wanted to share this one from @ashleaflondon These words seemed so fitting for the theme: ‘ Greeting you this Sunday morning with the delicate touch of sunshine through these ferns I had the pleasure to witness in Richmond Park two weeks ago. I don’t know about you, but for me, spending time with nature brings me to the quietest of places within myself. It allows me to step back and just observe with awareness within and with-out. This is the place where I don’t feel the urge to do anything or be anyone. This is my definition of quiet. The place that offers me stillness, richness and a quality of attention hard to find elsewhere. This is the place where I seek solace. Without visiting this place often through the doors that nature offers, I feel, I would be less able to make sense of the world I inhabit.’

Thanks so much for filling us up with your stories of PLACE. And now onto July’s theme which is all about HOME. The place, the people, the pets, the light, the details and objects that make it the heart of who you are. Just tag #storiesoftheeveryday_home. We’re looking forward to sharing your images already!

S L I D E S

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In those in-between days, before Olive was born, we had a chance to catch up on a few Netflix box sets and films. We drew the curtains, switched the lamps on, and settled in for film nights. One of the ones we discovered is Kodachrome. The write up really spoke to us, and the trailer reeled us in. Have you seen it? It’s about a photographer and his son making a road trip to a photo lab in Kansas during the final days of the development system known as Kodachrome. It’s moving, poignant, and beautifully shot. Straight after the film, I rummaged in the top drawer of the cabinet in our lounge. Mum and Dad had given me a box of slides when they were moving house, and I thought I recognised the branding. Sure enough, they were Kodachrome. Suzi’s Dad gave us a slide duplicator that can be mounted onto our cameras to take photos of slides. It’s something I had on my to do list to complete, the film just acted as a catalyst. Suzi’s Grandad and Dad were, and are ,prolific photograph takers, so Suzi also had a stack of slides that we’d also wanted to look through.

These bright over saturated photos from our formative years were revealed. I’ve seen one from my red bonnet days before, but the others had been waiting patiently in the slide box to be discovered. We loved the everyday feel to Suzi’s family photos, and were baffled by my family seemingly erecting a row of deckchairs by a pile of building rubble!

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But I guess this is what we both love about family photography and that these unexpected moments can be discovered years down the line. We love the colours and tone. When we rebranded a couple of years ago, we looked to old film wallets and slide cartridges for inspiration. Our work has that nostalgic feel, and we wanted the brand to reflect that too. In this digital age, we still wanted to hold a hand with the past, so we created our photo wallets for our family clients. Here’s a short film about them.

‘’We’re all so frightened by time, the way it moves on and the way things disappear, but that’s why we’re photographers. We’re preservationists by nature. We take pictures to stop time, to commit moments to eternity. Human nature made tangible.” (from Kodachrome).

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If you get a chance, we’d really recommend Kodachrome. And if you have any other suggestions for movies/docs about photography or film, we’d love to hear them! We’re trying to watch a few more inspiring things when Olive allows ;-)

Where do you Keep Your Photographs?

Where do you keep your photographs Sarah Mason Photography

When I lived in London, I probably didn’t visit home as much as I should have done, but when I did, there were a few things I could always rely on. The temperature dropping by a few degrees whilst travelling up the M1, my sister moving more stuff into my old room (the slow take over), and a roast dinner on the Sunday before I set off back down south. And then another routine started on one of these visits.  After the plates were cleared, washed and dried, Mum would open the dresser and out came the old family photos. Kept in a 70’s Quality Street tin, I still love the sound of the lid being lifted, and the rustle of the photo packets inside, like a lucky dip, which era were we going to pick out first? Will it be the 80’s Franki Says T-Shirts phase, holidays on windy Scottish beaches, building dens in the woods, or would we go further back to when Mum and Dad were growing up?

Over the years, the photos have been even more mixed up, which adds to the surprise element of this little ritual. All the ‘best’ photos have made it into frames on the walls, or displayed on bookshelves and the mantlepiece. But it’s the snap shots in the tin I love the most. Not technically perfect in anyway, but just shots of us on location in places we visited, and almost always looking straight at the camera. Mum had a terrible habit of cutting Dad’s head off in the frame when she was the designated photographer, and there are a collection of these shots too, like little gems amongst the muddle of photos. Mum always has the tin on her knee and passes us the photos. I can always tell when she’s picked up one of the ‘where’s Dad’s head?!’ shots, as her face scrunches up and she lets out a laugh! It’s not even about the photos maybe, it’s about these predictable, yet cosy moments that bring us together as a family.

I know so many of us say how much we should print our photos, and it sometimes takes a bit of effort to do this. We have just had some photos printed and we’re going to be going to our framers soon to get the first images of me Suze and Olive on our walls. And for all the other shots we’ve taken over the past 7 months, we’re going to create albums and print out a bunch of 6x4s. We’re just going to print them so we have something tangible. The thought of Olive sitting there with an old tin on her knee passing them around to her family is such a strange thought right now, but this is why we want to do it. For us to enjoy them now, but to provide those moments in the future where she can just stop for a while and take a look at them with her loved ones.

On one of our visits a couple of years ago, me and Suzi wondered if we could make our own photos wallet, so our families can take away this tangible product from their shoot. We launched our photo wallet last year, we love it so much. It’s a trip down nostalgic lane, for those of us who grew up on taking our films in to be developed, but also provides that tactile product for a family to hold. Maybe some of them will make it into frames, or maybe they’ll stay in their wallet to be looked at over the years.

Do you have a place where you keep your printed photos? Are there any more Quality Street tins out there stuffed with photos? We’d love to hear where you keep them, and how you display them.

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Not wanting to be outdone, Dad showed Suzi a few of his favourite photos he’s taken of trees over the years.

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As it’s Sunday, hows about getting those photos out and taking a look together after lunch, or maybe making a promise to yourselves to print a few in the next few weeks?

Here’s a blog post you might like, Don’t Let Your Images Grow Up To Be Jegs, written by Jonas Peterson

We’ve created a Pinterest board with a few ideas on ways to display your photos in your home.

And if you’d like to see more about our portrait packages and our photo wallet, here’s a link to that page.

Sarah Mason Photography Family Photography



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