Smiles All Round

I first photographed Helen and her family a couple of years ago. This time I got to meet beautiful baby Flora, a very happy and smiley little girl. She was a super star during her photo shoot. She posed indoors and outside in the garden, she changed outfits with no complaints and she was generally adorable. It was lovely to see her with her Grandma too.

And a special thank you to Upsy Daisy for her top tune.

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Posted in Family Photography

Set Your Photos Free

If you’re like me, you end up with more photos on the laptop/PC than off. I know it’s a sign of the digital age but I still haven’t found a way to enjoy photos digitally as much as I love having framed photos and albums/books in the house. With customers’ photos I am totally in the flow to produce the final product. Yet until now, for my own photos I’ve tended to dilly dally about what to do and have ended up procrastinating.

So January was a time of catching up and one mission was to get more of my photos off my laptop and into view. Since having Barney my levels of efficiency have soared. A lot can be done in short windows of nap time. And I have become much more decisive too – another bonus.

For some very special photographs I’ve used a local framer, Headrow Gallery, on the Harrogate Road, Leeds who does a very professional job. But for many photos I know I’ll want to update them in time so I don’t want them sealed in frames forever. However I struggle to find good quality frames. They often have those horrible little metal foldy ‘fasteners’ that snap off, even some of the pricier frames, or they’re just shoddily made. So after shopping around over a few years, here are a few recommendations.

TK Maxx – you can find some high quality frames at good prices if you have the time to root through. I had a set of Barney photos that suited the frames I found there and mixed these in with some frames from John Lewis. I find that I can usually rely on John Lewis’s simple, timeless black and white ranges. I’m quite obsessed with white at the mo so I’d bought a few of these. Their ‘House’ range has some funky, colourful ones too. And with ‘Click & Collect’ to a local Waitrose it’s free delivery.

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 (Some tulips and pussy willow … let’s pretend that Spring is here)

I wanted Barney to have a montage in his bedroom with photos of him and his close family. My sis and M’s brother and their families all live in the USA so it’s important to me that they’re visible in Barney’s life, even though we’re far apart for most of the year. I recently bought this round, contemporary frame from Umbra. Umbra does some very quirky frames and quite a few multi-aperture frames so you can get a nice set of photos in just one frame (which also avoids too many hooks in the wall).

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Downstairs I wanted a load of photos of our friends and of our adventures from the last few years and had found the perfect frame quite a while ago. Actually I’ve had it for 3 (?!)  years and it has sat in the house looking sad and empty … but no more!! This one I bought visiting a friend in Oxford but I’ve found their online store, Authentics, which has a small range of well-made multi-aperture frames.

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And I came across good ‘ol Habitat when I took photos of a customer’s new baby girl. She has great style and had framed some of my photos in Habitat acrylic frames with a thin layer of colour through the frame and they look brilliant. The range is called ‘Levie’. She also brightened my world with the news that Habitat has a presence in Homebase these days since it left the high street a while ago, so even handier.

And finally books. Barney has been a great reminder of how important it is to have albums/books of photos around. Partly because he LOVES looking at them (and at least three times every day we have to look through the photo calendar, names and all!), but also because I want him to have his adventures (and his parents’ and Grandparents’ adventures) documented so that the stories aren’t forgotten. There are plenty of online places to make books these days and I’ve found that Photobox is very good quality and emails frequent discounts which makes their products quite reasonable. And the website is good once you get the hang of the design process. I absolutely love making books. Oh and their customer service team is great, including live chat, which is probably even more important than the rest of it when it comes to something like this. They’ve helped whenever I’ve got stuck and have let me make last minute changes.

Blog-04So good luck if you’re getting your photos organised and any other ideas/tips do let me know. It’s an ongoing project but it feels good to have made a start.

Posted in Photo Projects

Calm and Content

On the day of Rebecca, Marc and Rudi’s photo shoot the weather forecast was cloudy skies, perfect for outdoor photography and we hoped that the ‘light rain’ part of the forecast would be brief. We started off indoors then Rudi put on his very cute knitted stripes for some time in the garden. Then we headed to a favourite family spot at the nearby canal. The canal was a wonderful setting for photographs with a wooded pathway alongside the water and beautiful willow trees on the banks.

I had a feeling of calmness and contentment spending time with this family and Rudi clearly takes after his parents. He’s a happy little boy. And he has the most amazing blue eyes. Sometimes he looked at me a little puzzled by the big camera lens and then he’d relax, playing with his parents giggling away. It was a lovely couple of hours and really nice to chat about our baby boys.

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Posted in Family Photography

Poppets

One of the many perks of what I do is that I get to work with little poppets. And Georgia is
a gorgeous poppet with lots of energy. She looked after her teddies, she smelt flowers, she played chase, she did her ‘buzzy bee’ impersonation, she caught bubbles … and more. After all her activities she curled up with her parents for story time. With the power of technology I managed to get the large slideshow file to Caroline and Bruce whilst on holiday so that they could sit on their sunny terrace, sip wine and enjoy their photos. Perfect.

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Posted in Family Photography

Chats and Knitting

Irene needed some photos for her website so we found a sunny evening to do a shoot. Irene’s a lot of fun and we giggled our way around the grounds of the old hall where she lives, trying out various backdrops, with a bit of tree hugging on the side. My favourite spots were the very old green front door and a border of pink flowers to match Irene’s outfit as if there to order. Molly the cat joined us and we caught up with some of the neighbours. What a nice time.

And Barney came away with a gorgeous blue tank top, awww thank you Irene, perfect timing as the weather cools for the little boy who loves knitwear.

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Posted in Headshots

Star of the Show

Ben is one of my Barney’s little friends and Rachel and Gareth were looking for natural photos of the three of them. I had every empathy having felt panicky during the first few months of Barney’s life feeling that it was passing us by without any record on camera of us as a new family. There’s rarely an extra pair of hands to take a good photograph.

Ben was as gorgeous as always. He smiled. He chuckled. He wriggled. And now and again he stared curiously at the lens checking out what I was doing. We watched his delight trying out the beautiful old and perfectly-sized rocking chair that has been passed down through the family. He smiled at his parents in pure baby bliss while sat in his cot cuddling his two furry friends. The little man definitely stole the show.

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Posted in Family Photography

Summer Photography

With our recent heatwave it’s been a treat to do photo shoots where the challenge has been harsh sunlight rather than wind or rain. I had a good feeling about this shoot when little Olivia met me and immediately noticed the pink flower I was wearing, turning the chat turned to accessories … my kind of girl :-). Beautiful wooden floors made a perfect studio to start, then shady spots against stone textures of the house … some play in the garden … followed by wanderings down a tree-lined country lane with wooden fences for little two to sit on. All wonderful backdrops for a gorgeous family to produce some of my favourite Summer family photos.

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Posted in Family Photography

Competition Shortlist

I heard about a portrait photography competition with the theme ‘yellow’ and ‘texture’, a nice holiday project. The house we were renting had a yellow armchair, some old stone walls and a handy lemon tree. Barney had just perfected his sitting technique and was a happy subject, particularly fascinated by the lemon. My photo of his armchair pose was shortlisted, that’s my boy.

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Posted in Photo Projects

Back to Business

Maternity leave started last Autumn and business went on hold pending our new arrival. Baby Barney emerged in November and turned life around in a wonderful way. Roll on the happy blur and learning curve of new motherhood and suddenly the little man is now nearly 8 months old. He’s happily munching solids, loving the company of others and already tiring of being photographed by his Mummy. Gradually it began to feel like the right time to get back to the work I love, while Barney and Grandma hang out together.

A maternity shoot was the perfect start. Last Summer I wanted to get a record of my own bump because, stating the obvious, going through a pregnancy really is an amazing thing. Edith, who I first photographed as a teeny baby, was the perfect photographic assistant as well as model and for Mummy Tracy the photos say it all, she’s blossoming and beautiful.

It’s great to be back.

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Posted in Family Photography

Fish Soup and Pirates …

I was asked by my fun and friendly Chapel Pie WI group to do a talk on photography which we scheduled in for July’s meeting on Monday evening this week. It turned out to be one of the warmest nights of the year. How tempting for the girls to stay home for a glass of chilled white in the garden instead …

Obviously the subject could cover all sorts, but I decided that what I felt was really important to share was the non-technical side of my photography … the funny bits … the emotion …  the creativity and the spur-of-the-moment ideas that often turn into the best photos from a shoot. And chatting over some of the stories behind the photos I wanted to get across that it’s about making a connection with whoever you’re photographing. That’s the way to catch the looks and smiles that make a gorgeous photo.

It was such a lovely chance to talk about the many reasons why I love what I do. Looking at some examples of children I’ve photographed reminded me of the brilliant little people I’ve met. There was the little boy who had giggle fits at the word “bottom” and then made ‘fish soup’ out of fish skeletons (aka dried leaves), the little girl who “never smiles” who ended up beaming when we played hide-and-seek and then recently a gorgeous little girl who was in fact a pirate :-)

People always say to never work with children or animals, but just imagine what I’d be missing, all those untamed imaginations. And I love photographing animals too!

Thank you to the girls at WI for heading indoors on a beautiful Summer’s evening to listen to me, I hope it fuelled your passion for photography too.

 

Posted in Family Photography