THE STORIES OF US

BILLY's STORY

Wilfred Brotherton - always known as Bill or Billy B. -  was born 23rd September 1923.

The second son of Louisa and William, he was to be one of 9 children ....only 7 of whom survived infancy. This was 1920's Small Heath, in Birmingham. The very heart of the Peaky Blinders territory. Gang Warfare was rife. Poverty was rife. Families lived in the infamous  'Back To Back's' with limited sanitation and shared, communal 'facilities'. 

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This is the first recorded photograph of Billy. Leaning against a wall in the alley at home in his 'too big' , hand me down boots. His face slightly disfigured from a cleft palate and hare lip...... neither of which his family could afford to have corrected. These were  the days pre-NHS when the lives of children were far more precarious.

He watches a neighbours daughter play with a cat. His Dad watching on from the doorway in the background.

A snap shot of a life pre-1930 - from a world where snap shots did not exist.


At the outbreak of WWII Billy signed up to the 'Airborne' and spent the war with the Parachute Regiment. It was during this time that Army medics corrected the disfigurement that had plagued, and made an absolute misery, of his childhood - something for which he remained forever grateful.


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At the end of the war he met his very own 'Madeleine Munro' - the lovely Margaret. 15 years younger than him they would eventually marry - a marriage that would last for over 50 years.

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Billy was well into his 40's when his first daughter was born.

And he adored her.

He called her Annie.

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We all have a story to tell. 


The images above are quite literally a snapshot (no pun intended!) from my own story - a story rich with boxes and albums of photographs now weathered and slightly yellowed, but none the less precious.

I was blessed to grow up in a family of avid photographers. There are not many families who can boast snapshots from the streets of Peaky Blinders Birmingham, taken before 1930....when photography was a prerogative of only the rich!

But we all do much  the same today. We record our family stories in pictures. Indeed - we are the most photographed generation in the history of our species.

Or are we?

Just think about something for one moment. My Dad was born in 1923. We think he was around 6 years old in that photograph.

So someone pressed that shutter button a staggering NINETY YEARS AGO!

And then - more importantly - printed the image.

Where will YOUR family stories be 90 years from now? Your phone will be relegated to the chapters of history. Hard drives will have gone . The 'clouds' will have vanished.

And - Mummies - are you even IN your own stories? One day your children will look for photos of you ....what will they have? Do you actually EXIST in your own family photos.....or are you always the one behind the camera?


These sessions are born from a very real fear that we are no longer recording history for the next generations, a passion for documentary 'story-telling' photography and the very sad realisation that I do not exist in the stories of my own son growing up.

I was always the "Mama With The Camera". 1000's of images - so few of us together. And how I long to go back in time and hand the camera to someone else and just say 'Can you take one of US?'.


So every 'Story of Us' session comes with absolutely every image taken on the day. And a beautiful Italian album....a part of your legacy for THEIR future.





The Two Hour 'STORY OF US' Session - £699

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Two hours of life captured for all time.

The perfect 'Children's Birthday Party' session! Jelly. Ice-Cream. Cakes and Mayhem.

A family walk on a Sunday afternoon.

A visit to Grandma (How I WISH I had photos of my Grandma's house! I remember it SO well from those hazy days of childhood and I LOVED being there!)

A long lazy afternoon with the paddling pool in the garden (and a hose! Give them a hose.....and, trust me on this, the magic will happen!)

Or, for New Mama's, a beautiful session to record their first days a home with baby - the new nursery. Changing. Feeding. Cuddling. Sleeping. All of those little precious moments.

Or how about an amazing 'Birthday' present for someone special? You never know what to get Granddad..... How about the story of HIM, sitting by the river doing what he loves most - fishing - captured in a book for his 80th birthday?

Or for your Mum - out with her dogs. Or with the Grandchildren. Or with YOU!

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination!

After your session choose your favourite 30 for your beautiful, handmade Italian 'Story of Us' album.  You will also receive a Digital Collection of all* of the high resolution digital files from your session with a full print release and your absolute favourite as a wall sized Fine Art print.


THE FOUR HOUR 'STORY OF US' SESSION - £899

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A four hour story telling session.

Perfect to really tell the story of you being 'YOU'

Perfect for when you have all the family there - perhaps a party or just those Sunday afternoons when everyone is at home for a change and having a BBQ in the garden.

Perfect for coming with you for that family picnic. Or a day out somewhere lovely!

Or even joining you on holiday - camping, in the caravan, on the beach! You tell me where!

Perfect for coming with you to that dog show. Or Pony Club. Or the opening meet. And for capturing the very essence of YOU and what makes you tick.

Perfect for shooting parties. And Christmas parties. And works parties. And hen parties. (And stag parties....if you dare!!!)

And perfect for Mama's with stories to tell of a life juggling ballet lessons, and music lessons, and football practice and Little People and New Puppies!

After your session we will design your beautiful 'Story of Us' album with your 50 favourite images.  You will receive all* of the images from your session as full size, high resolution digital files.

And choose you three absolute favourites as Fine Art prints in sizes of you choice for your Gallery Wall .


THE 'DAY IN THE LIFE' SESSION - £1299

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A whole DAY of your life.

Captured!

Mama's - this is a beautiful session for YOU. To capture the very essence of life as a Mama. The good moments. The less than good moments. The downright 'I am tearing my hair out' moments!!

We can do this at home. Or on holiday. Or wherever you would love.

I will be with you from when they get up until you put them to bed - sorting out breakfast to reading that bedtime story! Because - in a heartbeat - they will be grown and gone. And only your story books will be there to remind you what it was REALLY like!

This is the session for the 'event'. For travelling with you to those horse trials that you eventually qualified for! That marathon that you FINALLY entered. The dog show that you never thought you'd do.

Or just the village fete - getting the ponies ready, the first clear round they EVER did, the celebration ice-cream and then going home, bedding down, rugging up.

And finally bedtime stories with that clear round rosette pinned to the headboard.

Or for the season - the stories of Harvest. Or Christmas. The stories of us.

These are the moments you will want to treasure 40 years down the line. These are the moments you wish you had of YOUR great-grandma's life..... to know what it was like. The clothes she wore. The kitchen in which she made your Grannys meals. Your Granny....sitting playing with the toys she had then. The vegetables growing in the garden as they 'Dug For Victory'. The trinkets on the mantelpiece. The minuscule details. The tiny little moments of lives well lived and people well loved.

This will be YOUR legacy for the generations to come.

I will be with you ALL DAY - capturing every little moment.

Afterwards you will receive:-

Your choice images in a 60 page Story Book Album

A collection of FIVE Fine Art Prints for your gallery wall.

A digital collection of every** beautifully edited image taken on the day.



*All and **Every Image - an exact number of images is super difficult to tell you in advance - because it all depends on what you get up to!

From a two hour Story of Us Session you can expect to receive approximately 50 beautifully edited images

From the four hour session approximately 100 .

And from the 'Day in The Life' Sessions approximately 250


Mileage is charged at 85p/mile but please let me know what you are thinking and I can give you a more bespoke quotation. Where overnight accommodation is required this will simply be charged at cost. Please note that a 30% surcharge* is applicable for coverage of sessions that finish after 6.30pm! (*not applicable to Day in The Life sessions)



WHAT DO I DO NOW?

1. Make sure I'm available for YOUR day. Pop over to the ANNIE BEE DIARY and have a look!


2. Reserve your date for just £99. If we then chat and you decide it's all not for you after all then this is fully refundable.

No quibble. No drama!


3. Get planning. Because we are going to have a blast!


Not quite ready to book? Give me a call - 01604 770013 - and let me know what you're worried about!

Or - if now is not a good time to talk - LETS CHAT! at a time that works for you.

You can tell me all about YOU and what you would love!

Ten years from now you will really be glad you did (or really wish you had).

Annie Bee xxx


Story Telling Reportage images are an Annie Bee speciality, both for weddings AND portraits.

She has been MPA East Midlands Reportage Wedding Photographer of the Year 2018

Lifestyle and Location Portrait Photographer of the Year 2019.

And is currently Reportage Wedding Photographer of the Year 2020.