Get Paid to Have High Tea in a Magical English Castle

England is a magical place. The weather is unpredictable and this day was no different. The mists were heavy. The morning hours were marked by drizzling rain. The land around us was barren, exposed to the elements.

Filled with stories of Merlin and the Giants of Mount Killaraus arranging stones on the open vista, we made our way to one of the medieval wonders of the world…Stonehenge.

Overcome by the majesty of the sight before us, everything else seemed miniscule. It didn’t matter how the circle of stones had made their way here. We were in awe of their stark arrangement and could feel the haunting mystery that surrounded this sacred place and burial grounds of noblemen.

Today we were touring Stonehenge, Windsor Castle and, later, having high tea. Flying in from the States, eager for photographic opportunities, we were determined to enjoy everything possible during our extended visit to the country.

I loved the rolling green landscapes and gorgeous architecture of Great Britain. Wandering through a delightful little town, dominated by one of the oldest fortifications still occupied by the Royal Family, I was amazed that my once distant dream of fine art and stock photography would now include the round tower of Windsor Castle.

Though photography was not allowed inside the castle itself, there were many picturesque places on the grounds where I took advantage of natural lighting to capture the experience.

Just a five-minute walk from the palace, we settled in for afternoon tea at the Windsor Castle Hotel’s restaurant. Our table was next to a large window, where we talked about our day, poring over images I had taken, as we waited for service.

English high tea is supposed to be a “mini meal” of sorts, staving off hunger pains and the foretaste of an evening meal, still several hours away. We had never had such a decadent experience before. I thought we would be sipping English tea from delicate china. Period.

Instead, we were served an elaborate spread of delicate finger sandwiches, scones filled with clotted cream and delicious jams, sweet flaky pastries and cakes.

Not knowing what to do, or what to try first, I began to take pictures. Images of this exquisite layout are potential sales to magazines and stock agencies.

This is becoming my life now and it’s a far cry from my retail job back in the States. Traveling with my camera, capturing moments that interest me, finding markets for my images is my dream come true.

Next month, I head off to Ireland, on assignment with a friend. I’m excited to see what’s in store for us in the Emerald Isle. I welcome the ease of this transition. Walking away from my stressful life and diving into this photographer’s life is the most rewarding thing I ever did.

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