Princess for a day - reportage photography for Cash for Kids, Radio Borders

It’s every little girl’s dream to be a princess and for Sarah and Emily Macleod (aged 5 and 3) it became a reality last week when they were treated like royalty at Wedderburn Castle. A day of pampering and being treated like a princess was their prize in the Radio Borders Cash for Kids charity auction. The winning bidder was dad Ross, who bought it for his five year old daughter Sarah. However, when everyone involved in the auction heard that Ross had two daughters, who had tragically lost their mum, one princess became two and Emily joined her sister at Wedderburn Castle.

Radio Borders Cash for Kids manager, Candy Rafferty, said: “One of the radio presenters happened to know him (Ross), and told me that he had two daughters and tragically his wife had died, so they didn’t have a mum. I phoned the owners of Wedderburn who immediately said they would be very happy to have an extra princess. I phoned the dressmaker who immediately said she would design two dresses. I phoned the hairdresser... Same story.

“It’s just such a lovely example of the generosity of Borders people, and as the charity manager at Radio borders Cash for Kids, I am blown away by it every single day.

On arriving at the castle for a day, Sarah and Emily were greeted in regal style and escorted to the Wedderburn’s grandest chamber, where they had their hair styled and were fitted out with tiaras and princess outfits from ‘A Perfect Fit’ in Coldstream.

Attending the princesses were Brian Rafferty, Royal Warrant holder and hairdresser to HRH the Queen when she is in Scotland, and a dressmaker, lady-in-waiting and courtiers from Radio Borders and Wedderburn Castle.

Amongst the princesses’ royal duties was the official opening of Wedderburn Barns, a new rustic party and wedding venue in the former Georgian stables at Wedderburn Castle. The princesses cut the ribbon on the barns, toured the premises and had official photographs taken at the castle and barns by Pictorial Photography.

Other official engagements included sealing documents and letters at the grand dining room table at Wedderburn and inspecting the castle and grounds to ensure that all is in order. Lunch for the princesses included a selection of special cupcakes designed especially for the day by Borders Cakes and Cupcakes.

A horse-drawn carriage ride around the ground of the castle finished off their day, courtesy of the Cornhill Carriage Company. Then after spending the day being treated like royalty in the castle, it was back to reality for the two girls.

Cash for Kids is the official charity of Radio Borders and provides a helping hand to children around the Scottish Borders and north Northumberland. They are currently running their Christmas Mission to help the thousands of children in poverty who would otherwise wake up to a Christmas without presents this year. They’re asking you to buy just one extra present this year - new and unwrapped gifts suitable for children and young people or make a cash donation online, in person or over the phone.

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Today I photographed a Dogs Trust event where local residents could have their dogs chipped  or vaccinated at The Swan Centre in Berwick.  The photography is to be used for Dogs Trust public relations and social media.

Co-op funeralcare Tweedmouth, retirement PR shoot

Thank you so much for the pictures I absolutely love them, the one with the Top Hat is just the kind of picture I was wanting, “passing the hat on” – brilliant
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Luxe Spa Product Shoot

A bit different to our usual work, today I photographed some spa and pool chemicals for the Luxe Spa website.  Luxe Spa required 'cut out' white background images to match in with what was already on their website.  The photographs needed to be clean and simple to accurately display their products on the online e-commerce website.

Jen Doherty - Publisher and Celebrant - Interview

Hi Jen, can you tell us what a typical workday looks like for you?

It varies. If I'm researching a book, I'll be puttering about in the place I'm thinking of writing about. I'll be buying postcards,  talking to people, gazing at things, listening-in in the cafes... I love this stage of things.

If I'm meant to be writing, I will probably be up to date with housework, clothes all laundered, visits to distant friends in the diary... Ecventually, writing will begin...

If I'm at the point where a book is going to press, there is a lot of checking and dashing about to make sure it all looks right.

Most of the time, life is somewhere in between.

Which part of your job do you feel most passionate about?

In writing, it's about giving children representation of the place they live in. I love it when someone recognises their street, or the beach where they play.

I also very much enjoy offering young illustrators a chance to work on a book.


What tips would you give to someone starting out in your industry?

Muse on it. Get some information. Make sure it won't sink you it goes wrong. Then do it, if it feels remotely right.


What is the best feedback you have ever had from a client?

I've had some lovely letters from young readers, and it's been great to see some of the books used in schools.


Who do you admire most in the world and why?

No single person, but I have huge admiration for the people who maintain good cheer in the midst of difficulty. Not simply surface cheeriness, but the kind of quiet joy that comes from engaging deeply with whatever they are doing. When my mother was in a nursing home in her final months, there was one helper who so obvioulsy relished her work - and cherished the patients - that it was like standing in a light, just to be in the room where she was working.


Do you have a favourite quote that you turn to for inspiration?

"Everything serves."

It took me a while to sense the truth in that (and when I think about some of the suffering the in the world, I sometimes question it), but over the years, I've found it to be pretty much true.


What are your future plans for Serafina Press?

More books.  More places, but probably still in a small, gradual way. We're taking a break from launching anything this year, but the next book, set in Mull, is written, and is in the works. Gillian Stewart - the same young illustrator who worked on The Unicorn of Holy Island - is already creating the images.