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Say cheese! Event firm boss raising smiles and funds with camera trick

PUBLISHED: 08:00 24 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:58 24 May 2020

Backdrops for the shoots have included a cow shed  Picture: TESS BELL

Backdrops for the shoots have included a cow shed Picture: TESS BELL

Tess Bell

A Suffolk business owner is raising money for a good cause after thinking ‘outside the box’ to capture life in lockdown.

Tess Bell's lockdown photoshoots are raising money for the NHS  Picture: TESS BELLTess Bell's lockdown photoshoots are raising money for the NHS Picture: TESS BELL

With her event hire firm on hold due to the impact of coronavirus on weddings, parties and functions, Tess Bell removed the camera from the Make A Memory Events photo booth to capture families on film in Worlingworth.

Tess removed the camera from a photo booth she uses for the company, Make A Memory Events  Picture: TESS BELLTess removed the camera from a photo booth she uses for the company, Make A Memory Events Picture: TESS BELL

As word spread online, one ‘mini-photoshoot’ became 10 in three days – with Tess inviting donations to the NHS in return.

Tess Bell said she had no photographic experience before coming up with the idea  Picture: TESS BELLTess Bell said she had no photographic experience before coming up with the idea Picture: TESS BELL

While maintaining a safe distance, Tess has been able to reel off up to 500 photos for each shoot, which have included everything from family dogs to farmyard cows.

The initiative saw Tess receive 10 booking for her first three days of shooting  Picture: TESS BELLThe initiative saw Tess receive 10 booking for her first three days of shooting Picture: TESS BELL

“I had no experience with photography but saw other villages doing doorstep photo projects during lockdown, so I thought why not put the camera to good use,” she said.

“The business is sitting there doing nothing at the moment, so I thought I’d go out and do a good thing.

“I first put word out on the Nextdoor app to see if there was any interest. Then my husband suggested putting something on the Facebook Marketplace page for the area.

“I had quite a few people get back to me, and by the next day I had five shoots booked.

“It started off with the doorstep pictures but grew into these mini-photoshoots in people’s gardens.

“I’ve had such good feedback – and I’ve even been asked by one family to come back at Christmas.

“It turned out better than I expected. It helps remind people the business is still here, but it also mean I can get out and interact with people.

“I just ask for as little or as much as people can afford to donate – and I understand if they can’t; they shouldn’t feel they have to.”

The mother-of-three’s company, Make A Memory Events, is also a recommended supplier for TV show The Only Way Is Essex but any filming has been put on hold for the time being due to the coronavirus crisis.

To see more of the images, click here or you can donate to NHS Charities Together at justgiving.com/fundraising/Make-A-Memory-Events.


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