During possibly the only dry week all summer I found myself travelling down to Epsom and the curiously named “Rubbing House” pub to shoot an 80’th birthday celebration. All birthday’s are special but this 80th birthday was particularly special for the birthday girl Christine because all 4 of her son’s, her 8 grand children and 2 great grand children were able celebrate with her along with many of her family and friends.
For this event I’d been asked to come down to the Rubbing House pub (which is literally on the famous Epsom Race Course) to cover a celebratory birthday lunch. As always I’d checked out where I was going, calculated how long I’d need to get there and then allowed some extra time for the vagaries of the M25 – which turned out to be a wise move. Once I arrived I quickly introduced myself to Christine, wished her a happy birthday and then set about capturing some images.
Like many restaurants space was at a premium so I’d chosen my equipment for the day specifically so that I could work a close quarters, this allowed me to start squeezing between the groups and taking a number of informal group shots as people were catching up as well as few scene setters.
As part of my brief I’d been asked to take a number of group shots including entire party, Christine and all the grand children and of course lots of different family groups. Working out who was who, and which family groups to shoot was surprisingly easy, but I did have an inside line for this shoot. Much of my work comes from repeat business and personal recommendations and having done the wedding photography for one Christine’s grand children just a couple of years ago, I quickly recognised a number of faces and it was nice that they recognised me back.
Having scouted out the location on arrival I’d seen that just outside the restaurant was a virtually private grassed area which backed onto the race track itself, so when it came to shooting all the different family groups I simply asked each group to step outside which gave me the space I needed to work and meant that I could use the race course as a backdrop and finished just in time for the meals to be served. I tend not to take pictures during the meal, but the opportunity to get Christine with her youngest great-granddaughter was too important to miss, so I made sure I got that shot along with the obligatory singing and cake cutting.
I often find I get the most natural and flattering pictures when people simply don’t know I’m there so after the meal I was pleased there was some time get some more casual and candid shots of the guests chatting and enjoying each other’s company. Finally with children, grand children and great grand children I wanted to make sure I did the “4 generations” shot which rounded off the set.
Here you’ll find a selection of pictures from day, with many more coming in the next day or so.
If you’d like me to cover your celebration simply click here to send me a message via the contact form.