In December I received the brilliant news that I had 6 images in the finals of 2 categories for The Guild of Photographer’s Image of the Year - Baby and Toddler and Newborn photography.
The Guild’s 2022 awards ceremony was held on 4th February 2023 in Stoke-on-Trent - the evening celebrates the success of photographer’s from not just around the UK, but internationally also, across a wide variety of genres.
The Image of the Year in the different categories kicked off the evening for me - The judges had chosen their 10 favourite stand alone images in each categories back in December and at the awards they announced the runner up and winning image.
Not only did one of my favourite images of the year win runner up in the Baby and Toddler category, but one of my newborn images also came runner up in the Newborn category.
The image of Amaya (left) was a follow on from a photograph from her newborn session - during lockdown I had to temporarily close my business, like parents up and down the country I had to homeschool my daughter and we ended up spending a lot of time at our allotment. The allotment became such a joyful break from the world around us - and whilst I could not grow my business, I could grow food and flowers. This lead to me commissioning my greenhouse prop and creating the images that combined both my favourite things. This has continued to develop my use of florals which has grown and become more refined. More recently I have been exploring the meanings of flowers and plants along side my newborn imagery. The newborn image of Aarika shows her sleeping, surrounded by shasta daisies - which mean: 'happiness', 'cheerfulness', 'friendship' and 'wholeness'.
During the past year I have been submitting images regularly, pushing myself to create beautiful photographs for my clients, and, with their permission, entering them into competition. For me this is a good way to obtain feedback from internationally recognised judges and find ways to improve the standard of my work.
In doing so I was creating a body of work that on Saturday night gained me the title of Newborn Photographer of the Year 2022 and Photographer of the Year 2022.
I can honestly say that my jaw dropped when my name was called!
My goal is always to create the best possible for my clients, this will always be my aim - but to win a national title whilst doing this is just mind blowing to me.
The images from 2022 - all of which obtained a bronze or high award.
I am so excited to see what 2023 brings, I want to continue to develop my work with flowers, but most of all, I want to capture your precious babies and freeze time for you so you can remember always how teeny they once were.
I think it as fair to say it's been a long 16 weeks since I shut the doors to my studio. I am thrilled to be back open now. It has been a stressful time, trying to ensure the safety of my wonderful clients and my family too, BUT I would not open unless I felt I could keep you all safe.
With that in mind, I want to share with you what I have done to reassure you that my safe is safe.
Now, most of the following points I did anyway - I always use hand santiser during a session, outfits, wraps and fabrics have always been washed between sessions and I have always cleaned. This should be standard practice with all photographers. I am now, however, leaving a minimum of 24hours between sessions, this does mean I can book fewer sessions but it allows me to air the studio trying to give any germs less of a chance to be transmitted between clients.
I will be wearing a mask throughout the session and I have face masks available for any clients who do not have their own. I will be asking that siblings are only present in the studio for their photographs - this is to minimise the time they spend in an enclosed space.
Prior to all sessions I will need to confirm everyone has been well for the previous 72 hours. I will be taking my children's and my own temperature on a regular basis in order to comply with this.
If you are a newborn client your session will be arranged between 14 and 21 days post birth, this is to allow a 14 day isolation from the hospital (this maybe changed depending on the hospital protocol).
During your session I will be asking you to social distance as much as possible, sometimes, with older babies I do need some help reassuring your little one, in these situations I will move further away to allow you and your little one space. I have rearranged the studio to allow a bit more space between my shooting area and your seating space as well.
With all these adjustments in place I feel the studio is as safe as it can possibly be, I am more than happy to discuss any points with you prior to your session to make sure we are all comfortable and I very, very much look forward to creating some beautiful images for you to cherish...Even if your little one is a little older than my usual newborn window - Little Asees just above came in at 3 months old for her session - we got some gorgeous sleepy shots, and some brilliant smiles too!
It is safe to say I made a very similar face picking up my camera again!
My studio has been a whirl of Christmas sparkle and Newborn magic recently so Cake Smashes have taken a bit of a back seat recently. Its such a shame because look at these amazing sessions that I've had recently.
There's not much that makes me smile more about my job than seeing my clients come back to me for their birthday cake smash sessions. Gone is the tiny curled up little newborn and in their place is this bundle of personality and character just itching to get stuck into that cake.
It's not all about the cake with my smash sessions though, they are a three part shoot which gives us plenty of opportunity to capture every little giggle and smile. We start off with some beautiful portrait shots, these can be done on a plain backdrop (set up in front of the main set) so you've got something a little more classical if you wanted.
Then comes the messy fun, the unique set for the smash is discussed beforehand and handmade by me to match your brief perfectly. Sometimes the little ones can be a little shy about getting stuck in so its always best that you wear clothes you don't mind getting a some cake on if they need a little encouragement. Wooden spoons often come in to play to give them a hand too, this can help if your little one is a little hesitate to start!
Some smashes are super messy, the cake goes everywhere. The cakes are included in the session fee, and made by my fab baker at Belles Bakery.
Some are a little more reserved, have a good taste and explore but prefer to leave the cake for Mum and Dad to enjoy at home with a cup of tea ;) you get to take the remaining cake home with you!
Finally we have a bubble bath to clean up, its a perfect opportunity to grab some happy bubbly pictures.
Cake smash sessions are £99 and you can find my image pricing here
As you can probably tell from the photo spam that is this blog post, I do enjoy a cake smash! They are full of laughter and celebrations.
I'd love to see more of you in for cake smashes in the new year so get in touch if you'd like to book in for your little ones first birthday shoot.
Check our Yeovil photographer Sarah's blog this week on photos to capture this Christmas. She has a massive list of photographs you might want to capture this year to remember your festive fun.
I love spending time crafting, making something new. Generally speaking, when I am making it is for a shoot - an idea I have. A photograph I want to create. I do, however, work to your ideas too, something a little more personal to a family.
A seaside theme for a seaside living family, for this cake smash the family came to me from the south coast, origami boats, hand cut waves and starfish were definitely in order!
Lots of circles being stuck for this lovely little lady, and a DIY canopy!
I have so many pairs of scissors, in various states of blunt! Blue and stars was what the parents wanted for this one. I still find silver glitter in random areas in my dining room!
This little surfer dude was just so cute! I still have the surf boards I made especially!
This is one I am still working on. It isn't specifically for one client, but I am loving it, and it has progress on to....
...this! I am still tweaking the idea, how I want it to look, making it just so! So more flowers are being made, different paper, sizes, colours.
I will be doing a casting for a young lady to come and help me in creating this image I have in my head, keep your eyes out!
I will also be doing a boy theme too - anything you would like to see?
I am sorry! I have been and am, SO busy, Christmas mini's have left me with the biggest editing pile ever, plus my regular bookings...It is so so busy for me right now!
I have had families, and Cakesmashes, and mini's and products to shoot! It's lovely to be busy, but sorry Mr Blog, you have been put to the bottom of the pile!
This week I had 3 gorgeous 1 year olds! Here are 2 of them...
More coming soon, I promise!
Eliza was a little older than a typical newborn who comes for a shoot, generally speaking, this makes it a little harder to get those sleepy, curled up shots - but, the positive of it is, more awake shots.
A short nap meant we could get some sleepy shots before some more with big blue eyes.
This little lady was wonderful, and boy does she have a personality!
I love a location shoot. Especially for families with little ones. Being outside allows little characters to shine through, run around and giggle, giving me a chance to capture these beautiful moments between Mummy, Daddy and their lovely teeny.
We walked towards the observatory, the wonderful family admired the views, stopped for cuddles, a quick game of peek-a-boo and some even had a little snack...of stones and sticks!
All walked out, we decided to head back to the family's home and I captured a few more shots of them interacting and relaxing together.
Cannot wait to meet A's little brother in a couple of months time for his newborn shoot, and of course, some more family photographs - this time as a family of four.
To book your family shoot, please contact me!
See what I have been up to recently!