May 2011: 365 project

31ST MAY 2011 (151/365)

Today I did a portrait shoot for my friend Emma, her boyfriend Si and their beautiful little baby boy Noah. I’ve known Emma for years but we also lived in Sydney together for a few months in our mid twenties and had an absolute blast. Considering I spent lots of crazy time with Emma when we were both at our most carefree, it’s really lovely now to spend time with her now we’re both mums. She’s an amazing mum, really laid back and loving, and it’s great to see what a very happy family they are. For today’s 365 I chose one of my favourite baby accessories – baby bouncers – it doesn’t matter how many times you see a baby in one, it’s ALWAYS funny. Oh yes and I love Noah’s stripey babygro.

30TH MAY 2011 (150/365)

Today Joe wanted to make pancakes so for lunch we made savoury bacon and cheese ones followed by chocolate and lemon ones for pudding. I could eat these things every day (although perhaps not with Joe’s help… don’t think I could cope with a daily dose of the flour and egg explosion that hit our kitchen today…)

29TH MAY 2011 (149/365)
Daniel and Lily

As I mentioned earlier, my friend Maciej has been here over the past week or two doing my floorboards for me, and today he brought with him his gorgeous daughter Matilda, who is the same age as and a friend of Joe. They are both very spritely children and usually there is a constant stream of loud noise coming from wherever they are playing. Hearing it go suspiciously quiet outside, we ventured out to find they had scattered lettuce leaves and compost all over a corner of the yard, and taken various bowls and stirring implements out of the kitchen. Joe had found a ladybird (named Daniel) and Matilda had found a snail (named Lily) and they were lovingly creating a little world for them next to the back door. As well as being incredibly cute, it also kept them occupied in near silence for over 2 hours, which is pretty much unheard of. When they reluctantly came inside they sat down and wrote about how much they loved Daniel and Lily for another half an hour. Just goes to show… all these expensive toys available… and all it takes to really captivate them is a load of mud, a ladybird and a snail.

28TH MAY 2011 (148/365)
First Look

Today I shot the wedding of the gorgeous Laura and Greg in Shropshire. I was particularly excited about this wedding as they wanted to do a First Look, a concept very popular in America, Australia and New Zealand but which perennially traditional Brits seem to really struggle with! For those of you unaware, it’s when the bride and groom have a special meeting just BEFORE the ceremony where they see each other for the first time. I think it’s such a lovely idea – it makes that first sight of each other something much more intimate and private. It was a really moving thing to shoot and I absolutely loved it. Here is Greg waiting for Laura to arrive.

27TH MAY 2011 (147/365)
Sexy shoes

A new chapter in my life has begun and what better way to begin than with a brand new pair of sexy shoes.

26TH MAY 2011 (146/365)

Freddie is the most lazy, docile dog ever. However, when you take him over a motorway bridge, his history as a racing greyhound becomes so obvious. The sudden movement of the cars coming out from under the bridge, appearing right in front of him and zipping off into the distance seems to awaken some ingrained instinct to chase, and he is absolutely mesmerised, straining at the leash. Good old Fantasy Tiger (LOVE his old racing name, hilarious).

25TH MAY 2011 (145/365)
Fletcher Moss

In the 14 years since I first lived in Manchester, I have never been to Fletcher Moss park before today. Another engagement shoot brought me here today – it turns out I’ve walked and driven past it a thousand times, I just genuinely never realised it was even there. So strange how many lovely things pass us totally unnoticed each day.

24TH MAY 2011 (144/365)
Cheese Hamlet

Anyone living in Manchester, particularly South Manchester, with a taste for nice food will be aware of the Cheese Hamlet in Didsbury. I have a complete weakness for cheese and so the Cheese Hamlet is a dairy-based paradise as far as I’m concerned. I had an engagement shoot in Didsbury today and my couple specifically requested a shot next to it. Yes, it is THAT GOOD.

23RD MAY 2011 (143/365)

Cars. Useful? Yes. Cheap? No. I woke up today to find one of my rear tyres had a slow puncture, and on closer inspection realised the other rear tyre was on its last legs too. Ā£150 spent before I’d even had breakfast. Ouch.

22ND MAY 2011 (142/365)

On a walk today I noticed this lichen (I think it’s moss/lichen anyway!) on a fence. I absolutely love the back and forth swirling patterns it has made and have no idea how or why it has formed like this. I think it’s just beautiful.

21ST MAY 2011 (141/365)

I’m not too keen on carpet and when I moved into my new house before Christmas, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stomach the vile navy blue hall carpet and totally impractical cream living room carpet for very long. Luckily my friend Maciej is a dab hand at sanding floors and happened to want a lens of mine that was up for sale. So we’ve done a lens/labour swap which is absolutely brilliant. Finally the terrible carpet is OUT and thanks to Maciej’s handiwork, in a couple of weeks’ time I will have beautiful new floorboards throughout the house.

20TH MAY 2011 (140/365)

I have a confession to make. When it comes to packaging I am a total sucker. If something is packaged beautifully, I’m there. The contents may or may not pale in comparison, but even if they do, chances are I’ll still buy it again, knowing I’m being a completely superficial moron but being entirely unable to help myself. For this reason, the Benefit counter in Boots is a very dangerous place for me to be. Today saw me spend a small fortune on this brow shaping kit. I slunk out of the shop feeling a bit ashamed, but if I’m being honest, I can’t stop looking at it and may or may not have stroked it a few times since I got home. I know…

19TH MAY 2011 (139/365)

My new garden is currently all concrete. Once I’ve got the house sorted this year, next year’s plan is to sort out the garden and make it a bit more welcoming. In the meantime I’ve had to make do with potted plants and hanging baskets, one of which is this strawberry plant. I’ve noticed absolutely nothing for ages, then all of a sudden this morning I noticed this solitary strawberry has grown. I think I mentioned before that I’m a firm believer in little signs, and this seemed like one of them to me. After a shaky few months I woke up this morning feeling really excited and positive about what’s in store in the future, then went outside and noticed the strawberry. To me it was a reminder that bright and beautiful things can suddenly grow in the most empty places.

18TH MAY 2011 (138/365)

Today it was back in the car and down the ever-familiar M6 to Birmingham for a few hours, partly for a dentist appointment, and partly to meet up with the lovely Katie and Tom, whose wedding I’m shooting in a few weeks’ time. I arrived early at the dentist, so I spent half an hour inside the car, reading my book and watching the rain run down the windscreen.

17TH MAY 2011 (137/365)

The sunny weather seems to be dodging Manchester at the moment and we’ve had quite a bit of rain the last day or two – as a result Freddie got completely muddy on his walk today in the meadows. I have the same belief with dogs as with children, though, that the degree to which they are filthy by the end of a day is a reflection of how much fun they’ve had.

16TH MAY 2011 (136/365)

This bridge (over the M60) is just round the corner from me. I pass it all the time and always love the lines it makes against the sky.

15TH MAY 2011 (135/365)

Although it was nice not to have to bring my camera with me for a day away, we travelled via Moor St station in Birmingham which is actually really old fashioned and pretty. I did think when we got there I wished I had my camera with me for today’s 365, but never mind. The tickets will have to do instead! It was great to take the train for a change – with my job I drive up and down the country all the time and it was great to just sit back and be taken somewhere. It was lovely just curling up with Michelle and chatting for hours. The night out last night was hilarious. As always it was great to see Lizz and also our friends Louise and Steph, and my cheeks hurt from laughing by the end of the night.

14TH MAY 2011 (134/365)

OK so in the grand scheme of nights out it wasn’t ridiculously late… but with a 4am finish and the prospect of doing it all again tonight I’m not really wanting to be anywhere else but buried under my duvet. Even peeking out is a bit painful. However, I’m off with my friend Michelle (the gorgeous one from May 7th!) on the train to Warwick to see our good friend Lizz, so it will definitely be worth it. I’m not going to take my camera with me as it’s nice to have a rare couple of days ‘off’. See you when I get back!

13TH MAY 2011 (133/365)
Leopard print

Tonight is the start of a two-nighter girls’ weekend. Joe’s with his dad until Sunday so I have the whole weekend with no caring duties! First up tonight Band on the Wall with some girlfriends in Manchester for our friends Becky and Sally’s birthday. Night out for me means only one thing. Some kind of leopard print somewhere. Tonight it’s a belt.

12TH MAY 2011 (132/365)

Today I spent the whole day having my ribs tattooed. It’s a cover-up of an existing (and very bad!) tattoo I had done in Thailand and Bali about 8 years ago. This is just a small section of it and I still have around 3 hours of tattooing left to do before it’s finished, but I absolutely love it. Sandy, my tattooist, is both a lovely lady and an amazingly talented tattooist and I’m over the moon with what she’s done. I can safely say that after it’s finished I won’t be getting my ribs tattooed again in a hurry though. It bloody hurts!

11TH MAY 2011 (131/365)

I love putting Joe’s car seat in the front passenger seat so we can sit next to each other and have a good old chinwag while I’m driving. On the journey to his weekly swimming lesson today he asked me why women put moisturiser on their faces. When I told him it’s so we don’t get too wrinkly, he shook his head and said, “It’s alright to be wrinkly mum. Ladies don’t have to be pretty all the time you know.” I love this kid.

10TH MAY 2011 (130/365)

An exhausting week this week, with more editing and blogging to do than I have ever had in my life! Amazing the power of a nice brew to keep you powering on.

9TH MAY 2011 (129/365)

This is the front window of a house just round the corner from me. With the pictures facing outwards, this little display is clearly supposed to be on show for the benefit of passers by. It really intrigues me.

8TH MAY 2011 (128/365)

Joe’s bedroom is next on the decorating list. He came with me to B&Q to choose tester pots of his favourite colours so that we can paint some stripes on his walls. These Crown Originals are such cute colours! Not entirely sure how the dates correlate to the colours, but who cares, a whiff of nostalgia and a bright colour and I was sold.

7TH MAY 2011 (127/365)

Today I did a very special shoot with the gorgeous Debs from Belle Amour (coming soon!), and I roped in Michelle to model for me. It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that she is incredibly beautiful, and she has a personality to match, so I was delighted that she was willing to do this. Michelle is one of my absolute best friends and we have been inseparable since we met at the age of 18. We have experienced so much together, through all of life’s crazy twists and turns; I love how much we laugh together and how she always makes me see things differently. We are very different in some ways but scarily similar in others. She is family to me and I love her more than she knows. Thank you so much Michelle not just for giving up so much of this weekend to help me out with this, but also for always being such an incredible friend. You’re amazing x

6TH MAY 2011 (126/365)

Today I shot the wedding of the very lovely Dawn and John in Liverpool. John’s dad gave him this wonderful old Viewmaster camera, which takes 3D pictures! Having a go on this was one of the highlights of my day, what a total treat.

5TH MAY 2011 (125/365)

This Vetiver poster is one of my favourite prints. Seeing it today it reminded me of when I saw them play at Green Man festival and in turn reminded me that festival season is not far off! This year I’m off to Glastonbury next month and Electric Elephant festival in Croatia in July. Can’t wait… just what I need after weeks of being welded to the computer.

4TH MAY 2011 (124/365)
Black and white

I’m a massive fan of bold colour in photography and art, but black and white prints just have something powerful about them. Having just painted my bathroom a very bold green, I thought I’d dedicate a wall to only black and white photographs and prints. Now all my guests have a sweaty James Brown watching them while they have a bath.

3RD MAY 2011 (123/365)

Today I was feeling down for one reason or another, then I noticed that Sally, one of my brides from last year, had left a really touching comment on my blog which, softy that I am, made me cry! This heart and butterfly were my favours from Sally at her wedding (yes she was sweet enough to give them to me too!) and they hang in my room all the time. Sally is a real ray of sunshine and it is getting to meet people like her that makes this job so wonderful. Thank you Sally, you have no idea how much your comment came at just the right time xxx

2ND MAY 2011 (122/365)

Today Joe and I went to a country pub to meet friends for some lunch. My lovely nephew Oliver had pinched a pair of sunglasses from another friend’s daughter and sat there laughing to himself. He was very pleased with his wonky new shades.

1ST MAY 2011 (121/365)

I had to put Freddie in kennels overnight last night as I was out at a wedding all day and wasn’t back till late. I love how excited he is when I go to collect him – I love looking in the rearview mirror and seeing him sitting in the boot of the car with a massive smile on his face and his tongue lolloping out.

See January’s images here

See February’s images here

See March’s images here

See April’s images here

See June’s images here

See July’s images here

See August’s images here

See September’s images here

See October’s images here

See November’s images here

See December’s images here


  1. Sally Jarrott

    Gorgeous Anna, I really needed a pick me up this evening…had nooo idea what to do with myself so decided on some Anna Hardy tonic! I’ve absolutely LOVED reading your beautiful writing and looking at your photographs. You were destined to do this! One day I hope I can be even half as creative as you. You scream out (in capitals and bold print) everything that many women (especially me) aspire to be, in all that you are and all that you do. I hope the move brings you all that you truly deserve. Mmmmmmwa x

  2. Fay

    Your dog is very cute and yet cool.

    I picked up our dog on Monday evening and he has had a great time digging holes, destroying footballs and keeping 4 lady doggies company. šŸ˜‰

    He is a beast now. Hope he settles down soon……



  1. Anna Hardy » Blog Archive » March 2011: 365 project - [...] See May’s images here [...]
  2. Anna Hardy » Blog Archive » January 2011: 365 project - [...] See May’s images here [...]
  3. Anna Hardy » Blog Archive » July 2011: 365 project - [...] See May’s imagesĀ here [...]

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Manchester family photographer, for down-to-earth, adventurous, big-hearted families all across the North West, London and UK

Creative, documentary family photography inĀ Manchester, Liverpool, Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire, London

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