Congratulations to Michelle and David

24 hours earlier was one of the wettest day on record in Reading! What a difference a day makes!

Many congratulations to Michelle and David – wishing them a lifetime of happiness together.

Making A Difference

BBC Make a Difference Awards community champions

The winners were announced at a BBC Make a Difference Awards ceremony organised by BBC Radio Berkshire at Reading Town Hall, presented by Bridgette Tetteh. I had the great honour of photographing the event.

The categories ranged from great neighbours and inspirational fundraisers, to thoughtful volunteers and outstanding key workers. Congratulations to everyone nominated for all their work, time and dedication. Particular congratulations must go the winners who are listed below:

  • Annie Hodgson – Volunteers for SPICE in Slough and teaches ice skating to children and young people with additional needs such as autism, Down Syndrome, and cerebral palsy
  • Remap Berkshire MakeAbility – Community group. Twenty eight volunteer engineers in Woolhampton making free gadgets and equipment for people with special needs
  • Ed Smith – Fundraiser Mr Smith, from Newbury, took on several charity challenges since losing his wife to cancer, including the SAS training walk and rowing the Atlantic
  • Caroline Saunders – Care manager at Hillview in Newbury, which provides supported living for adults with learning disabilities
  • Briony Palmer-Reid – Campaigned for safety railings to be put up after a boy drowned in the Kennet and Avon Canal
  • Laura Mackie – Key worker. Lead bereavement midwife at Basingstoke hospital
  • Freely Fruity – Environmental Award. Based in Winnersh supplying local grown fruit and veg for those in need
  • Sarah O’Neill and Rachel Walker – The Together Award. Ms O’Neill and Ms Walker run Helping Hand in Shinfield, worked in a pop-up food bank, and launched surplus food project SHARE Shinfield

Mocktail competition winner!

As it was dry January, a mocktail competition was held at L’Ortolan in Shinfield by Binary Botanical. It was a tough job but someone had to photograph it!

It completely blew my mind the amount of effort, science and attention to detail that everyone put into their mocktails. The criteria was to use low or no-alcohol ingredients (one of which had to be Binary Botanical 0.5%). So what is Binary Botanical? – it’s a table beer which you drink as an alternative to wine or it can be mixed. More information about their wine lover’s beer can be found on their website: Binary Botanical

Here are a few images of the event:

Golden day for Reading Phoenix Choir

A golden day was had by Reading Phoenix Choir who celebrated with current and past members in the Great Hall, Reading culminating in their 50th Anniversary Gala Concert. It was a lovely day to photograph and hear about their achievements: wins, performances, travels, stories (involving a few colourful characters and a few pubs apparently) and, of course, experiencing their fantastic concert.

If you couldn’t make their concert or if you want to see them perform again, their events continue, please see their website for upcoming dates: Reading Phoenix Choir events

Here is a small set of images taken during the day and of the concert itself – Enjoy!

Congratulations Hasna and Mark!

Congratulations Hasna and Mark!

It was a lovely, intimate and relaxed ceremony and reception with more food than I think I have ever seen before in my life – and it was all delicious (it would have been rude not to partake). It’s always a privilege to photograph a wedding, to be trusted to do a good job, both in terms of photography but also people management and simply adapting to the changing situations.

However, photographing a wedding during a storm was a challenge. There are just some things that you cannot control so the best thing to do is embrace the good elements and block out the bad (in this case, gale force winds and the odd shower). We got some lovely shots, that with a bit of planning, worked out really well and captured the atmosphere beautifully (including the nearby bluebell woods).

Fairbrother Lecture 2018

Rodrigo Zenun Franco delivering the Fairbrother Lecture 2018

Would you let your phone tell you what to eat?
Designing technology for personalised nutrition advice

The 2018 Fairbrother Lecture took place on Wednesday 21 March and was delivered by Rodrigo Zenun Franco, a doctoral researcher in Computer Science. Over one hundred people gathered to hear Rodrigo talk about his doctoral research developing an app that can deliver tailored dietary advice to your phone, tablet or computer.

Rodrigo undertook an undergraduate degree in Brazil, before coming to Reading for his MSc. His PhD is supervised by Dr Faustina Hwang (Biomedical Engineering, School of Biological Sciences) and Professor Julie Lovegrove (Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition, School of Chemistry, Food & Pharmacy). The work is supported by the British Nutrition Foundation and the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq).

Accompanying the lecture, there was a display of work by a number of other outstanding doctoral researchers from across the University: Vincent DeLuca (Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences); Anna Freeman (Geography & Environmental Science – see image to right); Rita Goyal (Henley Business School); Sophie Payne (Literature and Languages – see image below) and Suzannah Ravenscroft (Psychology & Clinical Language Sciences).

Photography Review 2017

Photography review 2017

Photography Review 2017 by Bennetto Photography captures many of the photoshoots from the year including the Cliveden Literary Festival, Vodafone Enterprise Conference, TSBE Electric Vehicle conference, Being Human Festival, Notcutts Annual Conference, portraits, objects, locations and more…

What a brilliantly varied and enjoyable year it has been. I am very grateful to all my clients for inviting me into their world in order for me to digitise it forever. I am very fortunate to have had so many exciting projects, unfortunately not all shoots have been added to the video, sorry if yours didn’t make it into the final cut. It’s not easy cutting down 12 months of work into 3 minutes and 36 seconds!

All photographs and video editing was by Bennetto Photography. Music by bensound.com

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_tN0tWDS4c[/embedyt]

Winter warmer event at MERL

The MERL Winter Warmer event was held on Saturday 2nd of December and I was there with my camera to capture everything. There was plenty for everyone to see, hear and do: including the Millers’ Ark Living Nativity scene and petting farm, a Christmas Cracker drop-in craft activity, the MERL players Traditional Christmas show, opportunities to actually handle some MERL objects, a gift wrapping station, the Shepherd’s hut was decorated by the Mewes Knitting group and Christmas music supplied by the Reading Big Band.

They say never work with children and animals – so I had both to contend with. The donkeys, goats, turkeys and pigs were very well behaved. The children… were understandably excited: I was very glad to spend a quiet evening at home afterwards.

Creating opportunity from adversity talk

Bennetto Photography Matt Franklin

The Henley Business School welcomed Matt Franklin to deliver the ninth talk in the series, titled ‘Creating opportunity from adversity’. Matt is Managing Director of Roc Technologies, a business process transformation specialist and multi award winner. In April 2017, the Financial Times ranked Roc Technologies 17th in 1,000 fastest growing businesses in Europe.

Matt’s talk covered his role as MD, the inspiration behind Roc Technologies’ growth and the company’s recognition through numerous awards, including winning the most innovative technology company award at Southern Tech 100 Awards in March 2017.

I photographed this event and it was a sober reminder that there are good and bad aspects in business and that failure is often the catalyst to success. Not many people are prepared to talk of the hard times in business so well done Matt!