At Our Bench we offer all our guests the unique opportunity to enjoy a photoshoots with Helen either at our holiday cottages or on location in the New Forest. Helen is a part time photographer at RenoufDesign, she is also one of the photographers for Butterfly Wishes, a National Organisation which offers families the opportunity to capture special memories of families of children with life-shortening conditions.
Photos are then delivered via an online gallery on RenoufDesign - once your holiday is over - this gallery can be passworded on request. There is no charge for the shoot. You can choose 6-8 favorite images from an online gallery afterwards which you canhave as digital files for you to print, share and treasure if we have permission to share them on our web site, any photos you dislike from the album can be removed.
You are welcome to share the whole album with friends and family. You have no obligation to purchase anymore images, and we don't ask you too, but you are welcome too - additional digital images are normally £19.99 each, with prints from just £10, which will be sent to your directly, and you can order once you have returned home.
If you would like to arrange this then please let us know once you have booked your holiday or even when you arrive (Subject to availability) and we can arrange a convenient time.
New for 2020, we have access to an accessible photography studio less than 2 minutes walk from the holiday cottages, which means we are able to accommodate photoshoots for families whatever the weather - and subject to availability may be able to arrange this last minute during your stay.
Four year old Charlotte came and stayed in Garden Bench on holiday in the New Forest with her mum and dad (Gemma and Nathan) and Grannie and Grandpa - (Sue and Brian) - one of Our Bench's self catering cottages -and took the opportunity to request an accessible (powerchair friendly) walk in the New Forest and have some photos taken of them enjoying making memories together
Charlotte, her parents and grandparents on holiday together in the New Forest
Jack and Chloe came to stay with their family in Bench Cottage, and their parents requested some photos of the two of them together and individually during the school holidays, which they hoped they could use to share with family members and friends. Jack and Chloe are twins, and they had a really busy week with the New Forest as their holiday base, and it was lovely that they both choose to dress up for their photography experience.
Lorraine and Ellen a short distance from the car park with the woods to themselves
Lorraine came to stay with us for a 2nd visit in the summer of 2021 with her carer Ellen for a 2 week stay whilst she had essential work done at home, the idea of her holiday was to ensure Lorraine had access to the accessible facilities she needed, a break from normal enviroment and an amazing holiday - during their two week stay they incoporated an amazing variety of activities from a Wet Wheels boat trip, to a New Forest Peddall forest bike ride, trips to Exbury Gardens, Longdown Activity Farm, the Science Centre at Winchester, several swimming trips to a pool with hoist facilities and more. We loved hearing about it - and joined Lorraine and Ellen on a walk in the forest - to tell thm more about the area's history and to enable them to enjoy a quiet forest walk It was lovely to see the relationship between these two friends. You can view the gallery here: Lorraine's Forest Photos.
Happiness in the New Forest
The relationship between a great carer and a friend
Lorraine on a forest walk
Lorraine requested Sparky joined us in the forest and they played ball together
Happiness is a holiday in the New Forest
Samatha came to stay in 2020 and made great friends with our dog Sparky, for her 2021 holiday she wanted to have her photo taken in our nearby accessible photostudio with Sparky, she even brought along some tennis balls with her on holiday so that she had something to play with. You can see some highlights of the shoot here -https://www.renoufdesign.co.uk/Photos/Photo-Galleries/Samantha - at the end of the holiday Samantha told me that we had made her mum cry, when sharing the photos with the family- but they were happy tears, they left for home with Samantha declaring she had had the best holiday and booking to return later in the year.
Samantha and her beautiful smile
Samantha and her mum
Sparky climbed onto a chair to be the same height as Samantha in return for cheese and meat treats
Samantha and Mum with their Covid-19 facemasks. A reminder of the times
Samantha and Mum taking Sparky for a walk back to the cottages
The reactions between Spaky and Samantha
In 2020 they came back to stay in August, the weather was not suitable for an outdoor shoot, so we visited the neighbouring accessible photo-studio to take some photos of Sam and his family a year on. You can see highlights from this shoot here: https://www.renoufdesign.co.uk/Photos/Photo-Galleries/Sam8 - they came back for another visit in 2021, and this time we were able to shoot ourside and we arranged to include Sam's grandparents too. Family Accessible Photos 2021
Sam and his Dad photographer in our new studio - age 8
Sam and his parents on holiday in 2020 - a repeat visit
Sam and his mum in our neighbouring accessible photo-studio
Sam and his grandparents in our cottage garden.
Sam, his granparents, mum and dad enjoying a story in the garden
Families together - in the sunshine - summer 2021
Irene and John booked a photoshoot for the Monday of their New Forest Holiday, and had discussed the idea of visiting one Helen's favorite areas of the New Forest - it had rained overnight but a quick check in the morning via text and they were happy to brave the showers and head out to the New Forest - Helen jumped in their car, and gave them directions to the Tall Tree Trail and Ornamental Drive near Brockenhurst and then took them both on a 1.2km power chair friendly walk, telling them a little about the trees in the area, the importance of the forest during the war and took some photos of them both.
After returning home Irene sent us this email: "Oh what wonderful photos . So many and so hard to choose from... They are all so wonderful. Such happy memories to treasure...Thanks again for a fantastic day in the forest!"
Irene and John Stopping for a Chat on the Tall Tree Trail
Irene with the Tallest Tree in the New Forest, where John suggested we run away and explore some more places!
Holiday Memories - John with his very own tree house
John had a great personality so we added a Christmas surprise into his photoshoot.
Happy Holiday Memories - John and Irene
The puddles did not stop us having fun.
Lois and David stayed for a holiday in Little Bench, it was the first time they had professional photos taken of them together since David was diagnosed with his condition and we made the most of a short spell of sunshine and captured a selection of images in the front garden of Little Bench and Garden Bench
Lois and David staying in Little Bench
Holiday Memories - first professional photos since David was diagnosed.
Treasured Holiday memories at Little Bench
Lois and David staying in Garden Bench with family on a repeat visit.
Photos inside Garden Bench
Enjoying the summer sunshine Garden Bench
Sam and his family stayed in Bench Cottage in 2019, and we captured the first three photos in the cottage and with a little Photoshop magic we created some memories of the family together on holiday on an overcast morning during their stay.
Sam and his parents photographed in the holiday cottage - age 7
Sam and his Dad - age 7
Sam and his wheelchair - age 7