Father’s Day is almost here, which means now is the time to get his gift sorted and make sure you nail it! If flowers are the go to gift for mums, finding a one-size-fits-all gift for dads isn’t all that easy. To help you make his day extra special, I’ve selected 7 gifts that are truly unique.
When I'm creating portraits for you, I'm always thinking about the overall look and feel of the images - does the setting suit the walls of your home, where might hang the images up, do the props and backdrops suit your personal tastes, do you feel comfy in the clothes, and do they complement the scene...?
If you're at the stage of planning your outfits for our portrait photoshoot, this blog covers my top hints and tips.
Families often ask me where the best place is to get a cake smash cake for their baby's first birthday photoshoot. If you opt for a store bought one then there are some amazing options from the big supermarkets. This blog covers my top tips for picking your cakesmash cake, as well as details, images and links to my favourite (and the most suitable) store bought birthday and celebration cakes for your baby’s photoshoot.
If you’ve been following my work for a while, you’ll know that I LOVE designing themes for birthday cake smash and splash sessions and I have loads of props and decorations in the studio, to choose from to create a unique look for your little one’s birthday portrait session (whether a first birthday or older).
I find that most of my families will come to me with an idea, or colour in mind and pick something they fall in love with, from my extensive range of birthday props and decorations that match their idea. I then suggest complementary backdrops, props and decorations to suit to bring the whole birthday theme together so you have a personalised photoshoot set for your baby’s first birthday celebration portraits.
We then spend some time thinking about outfits and the cake. I’ve another blog post written on choosing a cake which you can read here - with plenty of tips on how to pick the perfect cakesmash cake whether you opt for a store bought celebration cake or a bespoke handmade one.
All that is then left to decide is what your baby is going to wear. I have a little selection of outfits for boys and girls available in my studio, for you to choose from, covering the most popular birthday theme colours. But of course, this is one of those areas where you may wish you bring your baby’s own clothes and pick a special outfit for the photo session, yourself.
My cakesmash sessions consist of three parts - portraits before the cake comes out, photos of the cake being devoured and smashed, and images once your baby is in a shallow tub of water and bubbles cleaning off the cake and mess. Because of this, you can choose up to two different outfits if you want to. Sometimes my families will pick a favourite dress or birthday party outfit for the pre-cake portraits and then choose a different outfit for the cake smash part itself. If you opt for a different outfit pre-cakesmash, then just be sure to consider how the colours will suit the overall theme we’ve designed.
For the actual cakesmash outfit here’s a few tips to take into consideration:
- Boys often wear nappy cover bloomers or (denim) shorts complemented with braces, bow ties or ties.
- Girls often wear tutu style skirts or pretty nappy cover bloomers, with accessories like pearl necklaces and hair bands with flowers or bows.
- Do you want your baby’s skin / body to be on show in the photos? Some families opt for their baby to wear a vest or similar during the smash, which then comes off for the splash part of the session.
- Babies don’t wear shoes or socks for any part of the session, so that's one thing you don't need to plan for.
- If your baby doesn’t mind accessories in their hair, then it can be fun to add pieces like birthday hats and hair bands.
- Avoid outfits with writing on the vest, especially if not a tight fit, as the fabric can fold and ruck up during the shoot, meaning you can’t read the writing in the photos.
I’ve included some links to some cute outfits and accessories I love the look of, which are easy to order from Amazon. Click the links to see more - just be sure to leave enough time for the order to arrive before your session!
And finally for girls, some gorgeous accessories like these pretty head pieces and party hats plus pearl necklaces for decoration. (Remember to ALWAYS watch your baby if using something like this - safety always comes first).
For boys you could try bloomers with options for braces / bow ties / ties - I have a few of these in the studio already and love them.
Boy’s vests - this one only has the number 1 on it rather than a written ONE meaning there’s less chance of the letters becoming illegible in the photos. Or even better, you could try this vest which features no writing at all.
Boy’s headpieces (also some girly options from the same seller) if your little one is happy to wear one! And some more beautiful headpieces for boys with great colour combinations right here too.
If you fancy supplementing your cake with a cake topper - this is gorgeous. Just remember, these are best used when not using a cake stand for the cake (other wise things like cake toppers can cover your baby’s face in the photos).
Hope you’ve found the tips and products suggestions helpful. If you’d like any help designing your cake smash theme - just drop me a message. Always happy to design cake smash themes!
Want to get that bokeh (pronounced "bouquet") look in your family photos, using your Christmas lights?
This article will give you all the techy info on how to do this and this excellent article also gives more info on how to get this look. But if you prefer something a bit quicker to digest, here's some quick and easy tips to try now:
1. Put baby (or other subject) further from the Christmas lights than the camera is from baby.
2. If you are using a camera, rather than a phone, set the aperture (use aperture priority mode) to the lowest number your camera will go to (it is often called Av or A mode on the top dial of the camera).
If you've got a snazzy new iPhone with dual cameras, then set it to Portrait Mode, and away you go :-)
If you'd like more tips on getting the most out of Portrait Mode, try this article here. Again, key here, as with any camera/camera phone, is having more distance between your subject and the background, than you/your camera and the subject).
Want more ideas on how to get the most out of your family snaps on Christmas day - check out my blog from last year.
Well it is almost Father’s Day (again) but this year I am slightly more prepared…
I’ve been doing my research and have found a handful of gift ideas (from two of my online favourites - NotOnTheHighStreet and Etsy) which I think would make lovely gifts to give to the dad who already has most of what he needs and some of what he doesn’t need! (Click on any image to buy online).
And of course this list would not be complete without a couple of photography related gifts in there too. Use one of my portraits of you, or your own. And if you're coming to my Baby Sensory Father’s Day special shoots this coming Sunday (11th June) then there’s still time to get your images printed and framed or included in some of the gift ideas below, before Father’s Day comes round, a week on Sunday (18th June).
When my families get in touch to ask me about my newborn photography sessions, naturally they have a lot of questions about how the process works. Here are some of the top questions I get asked and my answers. Feel free to add more questions in the comments and I’ll answer them too. The next instalment of this blog post will address further questions on safety, training, props and lighting amongst other questions.
When is the best time to book my newborn photo session?
After your 20 week scan and at least a month before your due date. Newborn sessions are usually held in the first 2-3 weeks of your new baby’s life (and preferably between 5-15 days new). Because I tend to book about 6-10 weeks in advance, it makes sense to book earlier rather than later :-)
How do we know what date to book for when we don’t know when baby will arrive?
Once you book with me, I schedule around 4-5 dates in the diary with you around your due date. Then once your baby arrives we pick one of the remaining dates (or reschedule to another mutually convenient time). I try not to book more than 2 newborn sessions a week, so that there is room for movement. This means that if your baby doesn’t arrive according to schedule (only 1 in 4 do), we can be flexible with session dates.
Why is newborn photography best done when baby is between 5 and 15 days new?
Ideally, new born photos are taken when your baby is around 5 - 15 days new. The lower age is so that feeding is well established before the shoot (this could be slightly earlier if the baby is bottle fed and/or baby is putting on weight well). After about 15 days new, babies tend not to sleep as long as in the first few weeks (which is more ideal for the images), and are less used to being curled into the womb-like positions which are recreated in some of the shots. If your baby is a touch older, don’t worry; it just might mean that we don’t get all of the curled up poses. Babies who arrive early, can also be photographed later than the 15 days with more ease, and in fact I recently captured newborn photos with a 6 month old (adjusted age; baby was born at 23 weeks). By capturing your baby's images so early on means you can keep a permanent memory of those fast-changing features of a newborn baby.
Do you come to my home or do we come to you?
I usually offer newborn photography in the comfort of my studio (though I can also come to you). I have a variety of props and backdrops which we pick from for your session. In my studio everything will be available for you to look through on the day and you can treat my studio somewhat like a home from home. Rest assured that when you come to my studio there is everything there that you could need - so if you run out of nappies, wipes, formula or just need a really strong coffee (or a herbal tea) - you won’t be caught short.
Take a look through these images of my bright and airy, comfy studio so you can see a a bit of the environment as well as a snapshot of the props, headbands and backdrops I have available.
Where do you set up if you come to our home?
Usually I set up in the living room or a room which we can heat up, with about 3 x 3m that I can work in. Here’s a couple of shots from me set up in various clients homes (with thanks to my families for sharing these photos).
How much equipment do you bring with you?
My equipment usually fills the boot and back seats of my car. (Bear in mind there is a child seat in there too :-)) Mostly there is a box of fabric backdrops, one or two bowls / baskets to pose your baby in, a long rolled up studio backdrop, a huge bean bag to pose your baby on and then some other bags with lighting equipment and of course my camera bag.
Do you have an assistant?
There are only a couple of occasions when I need a second pair of hands, and so I like to ask for parents to be involved in the session at those times. I love the idea that as a parent you can be instrumental in achieving your baby’s newborn album. But don’t worry - it’s not all hands on for you - hopefully you’ll get time to kick back and relax too. (Feel free to read, watch YouTube videos, snooze etc!)
Hope the information is helpful for you when considering a newborn photography session. Please comment with any other questions you have, and I'll be sure to answer!
I'm on a bit of a mission. To get MUMS to be in more photographs. You might wonder why a baby and child portrait photographer wants to encourage mums to be in photos. Where's the big sell?
There's no sell. I don't care who takes the photos nor how badly composed or exposed they are. I just want you to be in some. Preferably with your children.
My mum died 8 years ago. In our old family home, we had shelves of albums. How others might keep books. With photo after photo of my parents' teenage years, the early years of their marriage, of our little family, during my childhood. And my goodness, do these photos bring back forgotten memories. I might not remember each moment, but I can remember a top I knew mum had knitted for me, and a painting of a fireplace which we did together and stuck on the wall in my room, of the third birthday cake she made me. So many memories and feelings come flooding back when I look at these pictures. It's bringing tears to my eyes just writing this.
I want my little boy to have these same memories of his childhood and his parents.
I'm becoming more and more aware that that my husband and I shy away from the “right side” of the camera. We have very few images of all of us as a family. We have tonnes of photos of my son. But they are for our sake more than his. What are the memories we will leave him with of us when we are gone? I don't mean to sound morbid, only to encourage you not to shy away from being photographed. I know why we don’t want to be in the pictures… we want to lose the baby weight, get a hair cut, put some make up on, straighten our hair, wear something more flattering… But please, don’t think of your hang ups; think of what we can leave our children. These pictures will not wait… one day, the moment will have passed and we will have missed these priceless images with them at a week, 6 months, a year, 2 years or even 10 years old. It is so important not to wait. We don’t know what will happen tomorrow and when our moment will come. This is the heritage we leave our children.
I am so, so grateful to my parents for having album upon album of prints for me to look back on. Without them, so many of my childhood experiences and memories would be lost to the passage of time.
So, for this reason, I beg of you, make a pact. It is almost Mother’s Day. Make this your Mother’s Day resolution. Have a family photo taken every few months. Anyone can take it. It doesn't need to be artistic. It doesn’t need to be a professional portrait. It just needs to capture a memory of you all for your children's sake. PLEASE, do it.
Although we can generally guarantee our London winters will be cold, we can’t always guarantee the snow or how cold… so here’s my top tips for putting together family outfits for winter photo sessions, come rain, snow or shine...
If it’s snowy or frosty outside then there might also be lots of mist in the air or even some snow, making the scenery in your family photos muted and pale. Don’t be afraid to pick clothing colours that will pop in your photos… navy blues, creams, browns, strong yellows and muted reds a are all good colours to use as a base. These same colour recommendations also work well when there’s a low winter sun in the sky, and no frost in the air. They complement and contrast beautifully with the browns of the trees and the greens, reds and yellows of the few remaining leaves.
Pick one hero item of clothing, and coordinate everyone else’s outfits with it. You could even choose one item with a pattern or texture to it, as a hero item of clothing. Always be careful to keep it simple with the number of colours and patterns so that the viewer’s eye is drawn to your family’s faces, rather than their clothes. Remember there are patterns & textures in the outdoors environments we photograph in, so we want to be careful not overwhelm the viewer’s eye with too many patterns.
Make sure to layer up and play up the winter clothing options – chunky scarves, fur-lined boots, hats and gloves all help create variety in our images. Do wear a couple of layers underneath though to make sure you stay warm, particularly so for the kids; even consider thermals and doubling up on socks. Once we get moving and the kids are running around, we can always strip layers off; again creating more variety for your family photo album.
If it’s raining (lightly, not pouring) we can still go ahead with our photoshoot. If you’re game, I’m game! I simply wrap my camera up in plastic and off we go. And, I always bring bin bags with me for us to sit on for seated photographs… so your bums stay dry and clothes stay clean!
If you’d like more ideas on winter clothing for your family portrait session, hopefully the images here from some previous outdoors family portrait sessions will inspire you. You’ll also find more ideas on colours, patterns and layering on my Pinterest boards on outdoor photoshoot outfits and winter maternity layering ideas.
My next outdoors family photography sessions of the winter months will be on Sunday 26th February in Victoria Park, London, E8/E3. If you’d like to join me and capture some magical images of you and your family get in touch for more details or simply text OUTDOORS to 07720885528. (And if you want to come and make a day of it in the area, check out local mum blogger Anna's blog on local places to hang out and enjoy with your kids).
Hope to see you soon.
As anyone with children will tell you, newborn babies change so quickly in those their first few days and weeks. If you’re planning to capture those first moments with a specialist newborn photographer, you might want to think about your style, and that of the photographer you are considering.
Generally speaking, there are two genres of newborn photography: “posed” and “lifestyle.”
Posed newborn photography usually takes place in your home with a mobile studio, or in the photographer’s home or studio; with your baby carefully positioned in various womb-like poses on a blanket stretched taught over a soft, comfy bean bag.
Here's some pull-back shots below of me in action in some of my families’ homes, kindly supplied by my clients...
Before your session, we chat about your favourite colours and style; to help us pick colour schemes and props which most suit your tastes. Since the images created will likely be on proud display on your walls, we try to pick colours and props that will suit your home. My style tends to be pretty timeless and classic - I create images that will last the ages - not only because my printed products have lifetime guarantees :-) - but also because these images will be the heirlooms you pass down to your children, and their children. And who wants a framed print that screams the 2010s on their walls?
I also love to personalise each session to you, so if you have an item of sentimental significance which you would like to include, it would be my pleasure to integrate it in some of the bespoke images we create.
For example, Reggie, in the image below, was born at just 23 weeks young… the lamb he is photographed with is an item of special significance to mum and dad, and so we wanted to make sure we had at least one photo of Reggie with his lamb, together.
I recommend posed newborn photography sessions take place whilst your baby is still between about 5 - 15 days new, as at this age they are still used to curling up into the womb-like positions typical of this style of newborn imagery (Although I have successfully photographed newborns who are around 5 weeks new, in the same style).
Lifestyle newborn photography is focused on capturing your new baby in the natural environment of your home. I usually create these images in your living room and bedroom as these rooms give us plenty of variety for beautiful lifestyle images. Before the session we talk about the rooms, how they are decorated etc. so we can work out the best settings for our session and how to prepare the rooms.
I always offer the option of more classical family portraits as part of my lifestyle sessions, as well as within my posed newborn sessions; I find that parents still like to have these studio style images for their walls and albums.
For lifestyle photoshoots, there is much more flexibility in photoshoot timings, and we can quite comfortably still do newborn lifestyle photography up until your baby is around 6 weeks new.
My most popular sessions are posed newborn photoshoots with a few lifestyle images added to the end of the shoot - giving you the best of both worlds.
Editing Style: Regardless of the style of photography you go for, you may also want to find out what level of editing your photographer will go to in Lightroom and Photoshop (or other image editing software). You can often see a photographer’s editing style and skills when you look closely at their images - for example has the skin been over “softened” (looks plastic) or is there an obvious blur applied to the background? Are the colours consistent within a gallery? Do skin tones look healthy? (If in doubt, look for editing which is not obvious).
Personally, I hand edit all of the images I create. My style is timeless and classic, with a slightly artistic, fine art feel to some images (where it suits them), whist still keeping the memories authentic and true. I edit in both Lightroom and Photoshop, using each for different purposes.
I usually remove any temporary skin blemishes, unless you prefer me not to. This can manifest as flaky skin or baby acne in newborns, which I tend to remove, but without making your baby’s skin look plastic or giving that ‘soft focus’ look so often associated with the 1970s. If you have any specific concerns regarding skin blemishes or anything like that, please let me know and I will be mindful of it during the editing stage. Of course, kids habitually have runny noses and the like, and I can easily remove these thing for you.
When you have a newborn photography session with me, your final gallery will consist of colour images, but I also love the timelessness of black and white imagery. For this reason, when an image lends itself to a black and white conversion, I will also include this second copy of your image in your gallery too.
What next? I would highly recommend looking at the portfolio of a few different local newborn & baby portrait photographers when you are picking your newborn portrait session. Find a photographer whose art you adore (not just looking at lifestyle vs posed images, but also the colours, textures and props they use (there’s a whole other blog post just in that)), and whose editing style you like. Once you’ve found a shortlist, check out their reviews on Google & Facebook and after that, there’s nothing like speaking to a photographer on the phone. For me certainly, this is when I can answer all your questions as they come, and we begin to form the connection that we cement during your photoshoot.
If it feels right in your heart, then I’d say ‘go for it!’
For more details on newborn photography sessions (whether you choose to book with me or not) feel free to give me a call or leave a comment below.
P.S. I do hope you’ve found this blog post helpful, please feel free to share your feedback with me and to suggest other topics you’d like me to write about.
About a month ago, a client got in touch to ask if I could shoot a series of 12 photos of their baby girl for them - one for each month of the year - to make into a calendar for the grandparents.
What an amazing idea! I absolutely fell in love with it. You may have seen the post I put on the Mummy’s Gin Fund Facebook page asking if others liked the idea too. The post went viral. I spent two days (I am not kidding you) replying to people’s comments and messages.
As a consequence I ended up shooting calendar photos for quite a few families last month. The whole thing got me to thinking though - if you wanted to capture your own photos for a 2018 calendar, then now is the time to start.
To get your calendar made and printed in time to gift for Christmas 2017, then you will want to print it towards the end of November2017 (to make use of the amazing Black Friday deals many UK printers are offering at the end of November) or at the latest by the middle of December.
Each month, capture a photo of your child doing something seasonally relevant, or in an environment that relates to the season. I’ve give some starter themes below, some of the images from my studio calendar shoots, and there's also loads of visual ideas on my Pinterest board here.
Start NOW! Before you take the Christmas decorations down - capture a December themed photo:
Next to the Christmas Tree,
In front of a fire place (safely!) surrounded by cards & decorations,
Using seasonal props like baubles and gift boxes, santa hats and antler headbands,
Wrap a seasonally themed ribbon around your child’s waist (safely please, never leave your child unattended) and make it into a big bow.
Am sure you can think of plenty more Christmasy ideas!
Jan: Welcome in the new year!
Feb: Valentine’s Day
March: Mother’s Day (Sunday 11th March 2018)
April: Easter (Easter Sunday Sun 1st April) or April showers
May: Free month
June: Father’s Day (Sunday 17th June) / Wimbeldon / June Solstice
July: Celebrate the end of the 2018 FIFA World Cup
Aug: Capture moments out and about enjoying the summer holidays
Sept: Celebrate the autumn - get out in the colourful leaves
November: Get wintery - get out and about with umbrellas and wellies
Optional Extra: Don’t forget to include your child’s birthday month too
Got more monthly themed ideas? Please do share them below, along with any pictures you take.
PS if you get to October time, and decide you'd like to do a professional calendar shoot, then get in touch as I'll be running studio sessions again.
Grab your camera, grab your mobile - it doesn’t matter which and it doesn’t matter how good a photographer you are (or aren’t)… these are the moments you can’t capture again.
Here's some hints and tips for your Christmas day photos, plus I’ve made a Pinterest board full of fun ideas of photos you might want to recreate on the day. Have fun. And remember, whatever you do, do it safely.
1. Capture the before and after: the tree before the presents are opened (perhaps tonight) and the aftermath; the food preparation and the table laid ready to serve…
2. Create a time lapse film of the day… got a camera or phone that can do time lapse photos? Prepared to set it up in a corner of the room for a few hours tomorrow? Then you could create the most magical mini film of the day. Set it to go off every 5 mins for a fantastic record of the day.
3. Capture the Christmas lights all blurry and out of focus. If you’ve got a camera with some manual settings, set it to aperture priority mode and choose an “f number” as small as possible, this helps get your background out of focus. This excellent article gives more info on how to get this look.
4. Use continuous shooting / burst mode for action moments - like gift opening - you’ll capture a series of emotions & expressions such as the grimace before pulling a cracker open to the scurry looking for the content; or the excitement of ripping a gift open through to the joy of seeing what it is.
5. If you’re capturing images of the kids opening their gifts on Christmas morning, it will likely be in dark lighting… consider fixing your camera settings the night before, so you’re ready to snap first thing.
6. Consider standing next to the tree, before the kids get to it, so you capture their expressions as they come in on Christmas morning, not the backs of the heads as you come in behind them.
7. For kids's photos, get down low, to their level.
8. Record the gift giver’s reactions as well as the recipient’s expressions.
9. Go for the middle of the day for family portraits - the light is still good and no one is feeling lethargic and stuffed after their Christmas dinner.
10. Charge your battery the night before!
Have fun. Happy Christmas 2016.
Last week I had a brainwave to make personalised gifts with my little boy for some of our nearest and dearest. I thought that perhaps this would be more meaningful and heartfelt and at the least we could make some 'stocking filler' style gifts… so off we set to make some florentines. What we actually ended up with was cornflake chocolate crispy cakes. I was a bit ambitious I think, and I dropped half of them, but that aside, the whole thing got me thinking: There must be tonnes of creative gift ideas we could make together over the years… So here’s the outcome of my research so far… you can follow the HOW TOs for most of these ideas via my Pinterest Board, though many are self explanatory as they are. And of course the list would not be complete without a few photography related ideas too.
If you end up making any of these, please let me know how you get on: add a comment below or post me a photo on Facebook, I'd love to see. xxx
1. Hand-print decorated bauble
We've done this for the past 2 years (Eddie was 9 months old and 21 months respectively) and this was pretty easy and quick to do (easier with two people). We bought a kit in John Lewis but I am pretty sure you could do this with paint you might already have in the house. Worth the experiment, I think.
2. Hand-print family picture
Love this idea... fab piece of alternative, heirloom wall art which am sure any close family member would appreciate... could be done year after year to show the passage of time, and perhaps framed in a multi-aperture frame.
3. Photo book mark
Nice little stocking filler for all those book worms out there. Hopefully you've got an image I've taken for you which you can use :-)
4. Button Christmas decorations
I'm so inspired by this idea - great for developing dexterity and fine motor control and a great way to use up the box of spare buttons I keep for no reason! (And if you don't have any, you can buy bags of buttons from Hobby Craft (and probably lots of other places too)).
5. Handprint decorated apron
Yet another hand-print gift, you get the theme here... frankly this could be anything - a cushion cover, a tote bag, a tea cosy...
6. I O U vouchers
You could purchase these pre-made downloadable vouchers which you print at home, from Etsy, or you could come up with some of your own ideas and get older kids to make the vouchers themselves.
7. Photo baubles
Clearly, I love this idea! If you've had some Christmas themed photos with me over the last few weeks, this is a brilliant way of using them, a little something you can give all the family. Download the printable template for these baubles, grab your photos, and off you go.
8. Twig trinkets (and frames ;-))
Another great one for dexterity (though I might wait a year or two before I try this with my toddler). Love the twig photo frame - there's nothing quite like having your photos on permanent, physical display.
9. Hand-painted kitchen utensils
Lovely way to personalise something fairly impersonal, match the colours up to your recipient's kitchen decor, and let the kids get messy.
There's loads of ideas of creative things you can do with empty jars... I've posted a few in the homemade Christmas gifts Pinterest board I've made, and I'll keep adding as I see more ideas.
I count myself fortunate enough to be invited by a number of local Baby Sensory Class Leaders to come and capture key moments in your baby's first year at some of their special classes dotted throughout the year. I love this, as it means I get to see some of 'my' babies all the way from bump and newborn photos through to turning one and graduating from Baby Sensory.
This Sunday marks the last of my Pumpkin Ball specials for this year... I'll be sad to mark the end of these themed minis... but also getting quietly excited because the end of the Halloween period means the beginning of the festive season, and that's definitely something to celebrate.
If you didn't have the chance to pre-book your Pumpkin Ball themed mini shoot with me already - don't worry I've kept some spots back for on the day bookings - just come and grab me at the beginning of class to put your name down for one of these spots.
If you're not coming to the Pumpkin Ball then be sure to get yourself booked in for the various Baby Sensory Christmas Specials happening this year with Anna, Sam, Essie, Renee and the rest of the team in SE and E London, and hopefully I'll see you at one of those classes to take beautiful Christmas themed pictures of your little ones. Can't wait. (I've got the sets and props already, I'm so excited!)
Gotta love you and leave you. Enjoy the pics.
It's early still, but the shops seem to be full of Christmas decorations and cards already (I thought they usually waited until Halloween was over?)
Anyway, since we've been a family of three, I've come to realise the value in personalised greeting cards, and thank you cards. Obviously this year we'll be going for Christmas themed family portraits (any one fancy taking some for us?), but there are so many other options out there for handmade, personalised cards...
I found this inspiring article on Buzzfeed full of fab personalised Christmas card making ideas and wanted to share it with you, in case you're feeling inspired to do something fun and crafty with the kids, particularly since half term is coming up next week. Would love to see what you make - feel free to post your photos in the comments below, or on my Facebook page.
If you decide you'd prefer one of the photo options (like ideas 12 and 19 in the article) then why not book one of my Christmas mini sessions taking place on Sunday 13th November? I've got a range of props and themed backdrops available for each session, with the idea being that you can get a good variety of images taken so you've got plenty to choose from for Christmas cards, thank you cards, email greetings, Facebook cover photos, Instagram posts etc. I've included some sample images below, so you can get a feel for the different set ups.
When you book, let me know if you'd like hints and tips on outfit colours to go for, to coordinate with the themes. (Naturally, I've thought this through so that it is easy for you to plan and coordinate clothing that works across all the backdrops).
If you decide to print your photos as cards etc then I can also help you with this and guide you on sizes / formats etc. Just ask when you come along to your themed mini-session.
To book, drop me an email or get in touch. I try to give everyone slots which work with the children's nap times and meals, so everyone is well-rested and in good spirits when they arrive. With this in mind, if there's a clash on requested time slots, I have to allocate the photo sessions on a first come first served basis, so early booking is clearly, strongly recommended.
You can find all the details here and summarised below:
- 15 min themed photoshoot session focused on capturing around 10-15 themed images of your family with a selection of props and three festive backdrops - some sample images shown above
- Each session is suitable for a family of up to two adults and two children, and ideal for babies who can sit unaided, or older
- There are two packages you can pick from plus you can also add on printed items, if you would like to
Santa Package - £87
All your digital images, edited of course
Elf Package - £57
One edited digital image of your choice
Additional digital images £15 each
Looking forward to meeting you and your family soon!
As a newborn photographer, it goes without saying that I take the safety of my little clients seriously, and it is always my number one concern during a shoot. Your child is precious and I will always treat them with the respect and attention they deserve. I always raise this topic of safety with parents, when they first enquire with me.
It might surprise you though to hear that the newborn photography industry is completely unregulated. But for photographers like me who take safety seriously, we know how important it is to be correctly trained. For example, an image like this, often requires the support of a parent’s hand to ‘spot’ the baby’s head, and then the hand is removed in post production.
Or a in a shot like this, the baby is not balanced mid-air, but in fact sitting on her mother's lap.
When you see an image where the baby looks like they are being held in the air, they are in fact resting safely on a bean bag with their parents hands cradled around them. The rest of the shot is created in post production.
As a sign of my commitment to this aspect of newborn baby photography, I hope it reassures you to know that I have undergone 1:1 training with some of the UK's and world's most renowned and award-winning baby portrait photographers, and continually receive more training each year: Tracy Willis (internationally awarded photographer, awarded "Masters" status by the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers, and currently in training with them as a judge) and Claire Elliot (qualified Master Craaftsman and panel member (judge) of the Guild of Photographer). I have also attended a range of training sessions and seminars by the likes of the internationally-aclaimed Ana Brandt & Aoife Millea (for a newborn photography, newborn composite editing, and maternity posing workshop in my studio), Sue Bryce (on posing for portraits and business mentoring at the SWPP convention in 2017), Kelly Brown, (including her latest baby safety course), Maddy Rodgers (on newborn baby posing with parents at my studio) and Gary Hill (on studio portraiture lighting) I am of course also a member of BANPAS (the Baby & Newborn Photography Association) which supports the on-going education and training of baby photographers, as well as a member of the Guild of Photographers and Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers for their ongoing professional support and mentoring programmes. I also undergo regular baby and child First Aid health and safety training every 12-18 months to refresh myself on the correct and latest guidance on first aid for young people.
You can find me on BANPAS’s directory of newborn photographers. They also have a fantastic facebook page for pregnant and new parents which you may find useful.
Get in touch to find out more about how I can safely create a beautiful gallery of images for your newborn baby, to check my availability or to book.
PS. At the time of updating this blog post in June 2018 I only have limited availability for babies due over the summer (only two spots available for July, one for August and two for September 2018). It is best to get in touch after your 20 week scan to pencil in a newborn portrait session.
PPS. Following some interesting commentary and discussion regarding this blog on my Facebook page, I wanted to add some other comments, which go into a little more detail on the topic, but expectant parents may find interesting:
Parents often ask my why a newborn session can take 3-4 hours and I always tell them the same thing. The photography part is quick (obviously assuming you know how to handle the equipment) and can be done in half an hour, but the part that takes the time is ensuring the well-being of their baby. From the basics like making sure they are well fed, warm enough, clean (bottoms), and comfy to then making sure that when the baby is being posed they are being moved whilst respecting the ergonomics of the body of a baby, and understanding where one can touch / hold and where (e.g. the fontanelle) should never have pressure applied etc.
It is also worth mentioning that newborn photography training also covers things like how to settle babies, how to swaddle them safely, how to pose them in props (e.g. never, ever, ever use a breakable object like a glass bowl), and of course how to create images and memories that look beautiful as well as being safe. As an example, a lot of less experienced or less trained photographers who attempt newborn photography may struggle to recreate poses like those where the baby’s hands are under their chin, or cheek.
...SO YOU CAN SIT BACK AND RELAX.
New for Christmas 2016. I am releasing a limited number of outdoors, fine art portraiture sessions to create the perfect (previously all-ellusive) present for the grandparents.
Looking for inspiration and guidance when picking a cake smash cake? Look no further!