[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’m slightly embarrassed to say that until my friend Lucy got in touch to book me for some documentary photography at an event she was organising, I’d never heard of the rather huge online retailer Not On The High Street. Whoops! But having spent several hours hanging out with the UK team and some of their lovely creative partners last week (including Sacha Jacobsen Designs and Honeywell Bakes) I have several new ideas for Christmas presents!

All the major retailers start thinking about next Christmas almost as soon as the last Christmas is over, which can seem cynical to us regular folk but is all part of the constant planning ahead involved in retail. In turn, the press often have lead times as long as four or five months in advance, and that’s why at the start of July, a whole five months early, all those retailers that want their next Christmas products to get some column inches come October onwards throw a party and invite the press to check out their goods in a relaxed, gallery-like environment.

Not On The High Street held their event this year at 19 Greek Street and I was there in the morning to make some lovely pictures of the partners, products and press that came along. My favourites? The cardboard castle you build yourself, rolling pins with your name engraved into them (great for custom cookies), a range of exotic craft beers, a dinosaur plant pot, a chocolate teapot (more useful that it sounds, apparently), an advent calendar of reversible fabric animals, another featuring a different tea bag every day, and finally the world’s tiniest love letter (with magnifying glass to read it), and you can find them all at NotOnTheHighStreet.com. I suspect members of my family will also be finding some of those goodies in their stockings this year!

If you enjoy the images I make and would like to know more about my documentary event photography, check out this page on my website and drop me a line!

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