My daughter finishes her fabulous pre-school in a couple of weeks. To say I am feeling a tad emotional may be a little bit of an understatement. She is beyond ready for Reception in September. I am a lucky mummy, she is very excited and ready. I am not. My baby starts big school. Gone will be the flexibility for a mid week family day (thanks shiftworking hubby!) and in its place Monday - Friday 8.50am-3.15pm, no half day, no cheeky afternoon adventure.
She will also finish with her amazing childminder, and my youngest will take her place.
For me this feels like a massive change and my Mummy heart breaks a little.
But then I see this gorgeous little lady, who went though the starting Reception business last September. And I know it will all be grand.
So I decided to celebrate - to celebrate all Maddie's wonderful achievements in her first year at big school. To throw a little sparkle at my nerves and to capture some of Maddie's (almost) 5 year old gorgeousness before she runs off into the summer and then year 1.
We had such a fun little mini session, some confetti, glitter face paint for some extra fun, and of course a sparkly dress!!
The perfect way to mark the end of her first year.
I will be offering these super fun mini sessions on a couple of mornings at the end of term - £55 for 20-30min sessions with 2 digitals included - message me asap to book as my mini's always go quickly!
I don’t know about you but I adore summer and it looks like this heat is here to stay for a little while. One thing I don’t like though is the sleepless nights with sticky babies and the worry about keeping them cool through the day when all they want to do is play outside.
Heres my top 10 quick and easy ways to help keep your little ones nice and cool day or night.
1) Keep their curtains or blinds drawn through the day to block direct sunlight out of the room.
2) Open windows to circulate the air, if there’s no breeze use a fan to create some air movement.
3) Try chilling their favourite teddy or comfort blanket in the freezer before bed so they have something nice and cool to snuggle up with.
4) Create a homemade air con unit by popping a frozen bottle of water or bowl of ice in front of your fan. Sounds peculiar I know but it really works!
5) If you don’t have a padding pool bowls or pans of water are just as much fun to splash in and perfect for cooling down.
6) Keeping them hydrated can seem like a never ending battle at times, if your Little is reluctant to drink water try ice pops or freezing yoghurt for a tasty and hydrating treat. Frozen breast milk also makes for a yummy lolly :)
For under 6 month olds, extra feeds for baby maybe draining on you, but important for them - Make sure you are drinking too!!
7) a cool bath before bed can help bring down their temperature helping them sleep easier at night.
8) Make sure you dress them for bed in the right amount of layers, sleeping bags are great as they come in a variety of togs and won’t fall off in the night as the temperature dips a little.
9) Although it seems a shame to keep them in the shade babies burn easily even with suncream on so avoid the sun between 11-3 wherever possible.
10) Don’t be tempted to use a blanket or Muslin to make a shade over their buggy or pram. It might seem like a good idea but the temperature can rise quickly under it with no air circulating and become dangerously hot. Instead invest in a good quality buggy umbrella or snooze shade.
I’d love to hear of anything that you guys do to help keep your babies cool in the heat so feel free to leave a comment with any tips you have to share.
Hope you enjoy the summer,
I don't tend to enter The Guild of Photograph's competition too often. It is a national level competition every month, I see stunning images there, time runs away with me, shooting and editing for my much loved clients is a priority, however, recently I have been so proud of the work I have been producing, to me there is always something new to try, something to learn and pushing myself to produce the best art work for you to treasure is always at the forefront of my goals.
Last month I remembered to enter....and today I got the results, I am so so very proud to have been awarded my first ever silver award, and SEVEN bronze awards.
This is what The Guild say about the two levels:
A Silver Bar .. Images that are very well crafted (difficult to achieve)
A Bronze Bar .. Images of a strong standard at a national competition level (something to be proud of).
It means so much to me to be able to create memories for people to enjoy for years to come, and at a high enough standard to achieve awards <3
So this might come as a surprise to you, but, maternity shoots are one of my absolute favourites. Yes I adore the cute, snuggly newborn ones and the messy chaos of a cake smash but there is something so personal about a maternity shoot that really makes me connect with the images in such a special way.
Perhaps it's that promise of what I know is to come and the excitement that it could be happening any day now. Maybe it's the feeling of gratitude that someone has let me capture them at such a vulnerable but beautiful time. Maybe it is the fond nostalgia of my two pregnancies...Whatever it is I wish that could do more of them.
As women we are conditioned into believing that we are at our most beautiful when we are at our slimmest and fittest and that's just not the case. Bumps are incredible, no matter how big or small they are, stretch marked or not they deserve to be loved and embraced!
Everyone loves to have pictures of their newborns to celebrate becoming a mother but you are a mama long before the arrival of your little bundle makes their presence felt so why not have pictures to show your journey right from the start?
You are growing a life, that's something to be so proud of, it's such a powerful thing to do and in every maternity shoot I do I aim to show that strength and the love that you have for that little gift inside you. Even if you don't feel like you've got the glow that was promised to you, I guarantee that no one looks back and wishes they hadn't had their picture taken, that time captured. You will look beautiful, because guess what? You are!
I want to share your journey with you every step of the way so as it is almost my birthday with every newborn booking I am offering a complementary maternity shoot from now until the end of July (booking fee to be paid, but sessions can be for future dates.).
I'd love to hear from you so if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch.
Time is not my friend.
Looking at the camera roll on my phone I notice my children, growing, changing, especially my 10 month old. From tiny new born, to chubby thighs, sitting, now crawling. My daughter, her hair growing in length and wildness, drawing, spelling. I have them playing together, playing with their Dad, those moments that make me smile looking at them.
I also have goofy selfies. This is the extend of my existence in photos since my son’s new born session. My husband doesn’t take photographs…why would he, he is married to a photographer. But speaking to friends, this is totally normal and common. Where are we ladies?!
So often we, as mother’s, are behind the camera, whether, like me this is because of a desire to capture every detail, all the moments that feel like they are running away. That and the delight that are post baby body hang ups. Photo’s are deleted and rejected because I don’t like this, or that, when really, no one else would see what I do.
This year I want to change that. I booked photographers to capture me and my babies together, one session just gone, one in the summer. I WILL be present in photographs, I want my little people to be able to look at their photo albums with their children and see love. Unconditional, pure love – you know that feeling I mean. I look at the photo albums my parents have, I don’t see lack of sleep, post baby lumps and bumps. I see family and smiles. This is what I need more of, and I am betting you do to.
So let’s do it – come and have some beautiful moments captured, I have the experience to shoot in a flattering way, the quick eye to capture those expressions between you, and the amazing set that Jo from Jo Wilkinson Floristry and I are putting together. It’s going to be light, bright with spring in the air.
Now is the time to capture their chubby cheeks, their beautiful smiles, that look of love. That moment between mother and child that is totally unique to you.
You deserve gorgeous photos with your children.
Whilst I may not be perfect, I will cherish these images, the cheesy grin of my three year old beauty, the tired eyes of a 10 month old nap refuser. This is life, this is us, and boy do I adore them.
A taster of one of the sets, and a chance to have a free session and model for me!
As I promised yesterday evening, I am delighted to show you some of the images from today's test shoot! I am over the moon with the set, and whilst there will be a few tweaks here and there, I think you might like it too!
My handmade stars will be setting the scene with your little ones this year - a twinkling, cosy set perfect for sitters and siblings alike.
I have been so excited about this one, the idea in my mind since June - my poor husband and father having to build them for me. At least we know no one else has anything the same ;)
The set leaves room for siblings and singles to sit, stand and be pretty darn adorable, as the handsome Aiden so perfectly modelled for me!
This years sessions will be on Saturday 21st October, Sunday 22nd October and Monday 23rd October.
Each session will last 20-30minutes, allowing for an outfit change between the sets, maximising your christmassy goodness!
Just like last year I will have exclusive packages, discounted from my regular price list available from the time you book until the end of your shoot, after which regular prices apply.
All the details will be released on Thursday, however, my wonderful VIP clients will get an extra 24hours to book before everyone else, so they will have a ping in their email inbox tomorrow evening!
"But wait! Didn't you say something about a free session?"
The modelling session has been drawn, and I cannot wait to show you the second set soon!!
I have a guest blog for you! Sharing experiences of motherhood is one of the most enlightening and interesting parts of my job. What was the most surprising part of being a mum for you?
Faye's Journey so far:
Does anything really prepare you for motherhood? That's a question I've been asking myself for the past 8 months. There's programmes, classes, books, family, friends...a whole array of options and advice for 'help' with parenting. But like I said, does anything really prepare you? Can anyone truly explain the range of emotions that we go through?
I think it's something you have to experience first hand to really understand. The exhaustion, pain, fear, annoyance, joy, love to name just a few cannot be prepared for. Now there is not a single thing that I would change about my son, he is the apple of my husband and mines eye. But it's not easy, it's not all sun and roses, in fact it's the most difficult thing in the world.
I'm not just talking about the sleepless nights or the smell of sick that becomes your new brand of perfume, the pain of having to wind, the godawful nappies, the time it takes to leave the house, the lack of alcohol. No I'm not referring to that, although they're hardly a walk in the park. What is truly difficult, what breaks my heart and fills it with joy at the same time, is how fast they grow!
When you realise that your baby is no longer really considered a baby. He is infact an eating machine, a boy, a giggly cheeky little man and you wonder where the hell the time went. Where did my little baby go? The one that couldn't do anything without me? The one that would just lie in my arms without wriggling out of my grip? Now he's off, he's discovered transportation in the form of a walker, he's discovered screaming to get your attention, he's discovered real food, he's discovered words. Motherhood is a roller coaster that no one can prepare for. 8months in and I've already gone through every emotion I can possibly imagine...here's to going grey early...and absolutely loving it!
In Sidcup and the surrounding areas :)
The summer holiday's are here!
This is my first summer holiday with children, my daughter finished her second term at Pre-School this morning, the childminder is on holiday and my weeks have grown in length (and my night time work load!!!)
I have found I have been scribbling notes of ideas, things to do, places to visit to keep the Threenager amused so the tantrums (her's and mine) are kept at bay - wishful thinking??
I thought I would share - if you have any cool ideas, please do comment! The days are long ;)
Lark in the Park
This is walkable for us, and opens 22nd July - 6th August. A variety of FREE activities for a range of ages - I am going to pop along tomorrow to check the itinerary so will try to update! You can pre register for these, but last year we turned up for some.
Pets at Home
Pets at Home have 'My Pet Pals' workshops running, again, free. The link is for the store at the Nugent, Orpington. You have to register for these.
Whilst at the Nugent - Hobby Craft
This is exactly my cup of tea and you will find me at these, 100%. Love a good craft! Telescope and dream jars anyone? I can't see a way to book, so think its a turn up jobby!
Odeon have their kids clubs running over the summer - great if there is a rainy day....it's England after all. £2.50 showings, I can't comment on how much it will cost you in pick'n'mix!!
Under1Roof have a wonderful schedule for the Summer! Make sure you check their booking system. Again, great for that Great British weather!
I also have a list of things to do at home...here are my favourites:
Garden Treasure hunt - I have loads of stars cut from my cake smashes, so I plan to hide these around the garden and my 3 year old can have a hunt around!
Make a den - we love a den, inside or out, bedsheets get dragged out, blankets, pillow's galore, we can be hiding from Mor'du (I have a red head...she loves Brave!!) exploring a cave, bust out the slumber buddy and look at the stars!
Bubble painting - I love pinterest for crafty ideas, it is a wonderful source of inspiration!
Chalk on the patio...and up the garage wall...and probably on the studio!!
Baking - whilst Super Chunk naps we can get some tasty treats made, I am thinking flapjacks!
A Nature Walk/Scoot - now, we are SO lucky in this area, Swanley Park, Scadbury Nature reserve, Jubilee Park, Petts Wood, Chislehurst Common, Oxleas Wood, Danson Park to name just a tiny selection of all the wonderful outdoor spaces on our doorstep!
Coolings Green and Pleasant, a firm favourite in this house! Great price (and have an annual pass too) and so much fun for the littles. They have birds of prey now too so check out their events section on the website.
Make a Fairy/Elf garden! Those of you who have been to my studio recently have seen that we are making big changes to our family garden, so this could be my chance to add a bit of fun out there!! Maybe I won't tell the husband about the glitter I've already ordered....Pinterest has a lot to answer for!!
I shall have to blog about our adventures this Summer...Let me know any ideas you have!
On my searches for new props, I have come across many wonderful places to buy baby and children's items...I thought I would share some with you:
Lucy and Sam - London based baby and toddler fashion. I especially like their Elephant print Pjs!
Based very locally in Bromley & Chislehurst Pom Pom Baby have some amazing rompers (as well as other great items!)
Viv and Joe - two words, hats and moccasins!
Tootsa - a bigger brand, but some lush unisex items, ethically made.
Bo and Bel - beautiful teething jewellery!
Handmade & local - I love This Is Wiss's travel changing mats and waterproof bags!
Check out the 'Dude' onesie! Love Muklet's Vintage American inspired designs - 'Little Letterman'
Crafty Pear's reversible wrap dresses are just the cutest!
Very local and lovely, handmade clothes for your littles!
Super duper close to me, you can visit them then me!
If you know of any little businesses, crafters, independent owners, designers, please do drop me a line with details, I would love to continue sharing beautiful pieces with you all!
Little Leo came to see me back in October, when he was a few weeks old, he came back for his sitter session, it was so lovely to see how much he had grown!!
I love seeing clients again, it is such a pleasure to be able to capture these wonderful milestone for them!
I am currently running Easter Holiday Sessions, these are 'Fine Art' sessions, and give you the opportunity to get the kids out and do something a little different, whilst updating the photos you have of your wonderful little people!
So often after the first year there is a big, big gap in photographs
So contact me to book your Easter session, and capture them how they are now.
Look at this stunner! Her eyes!
I so enjoy photographing this age, when little ones start to sit, their personalities have started to shine through, the grins, the giggles, the moody faces!
Olivia was such a sweetie and came to the studio so I could have a play with a few new props, I photographed her sister a few years ago, at the same age, boy have my photographs changed!
The cutest bunny I ever did see!!
I love that I have captured this wonderful stage for Olivia's wonderful family, from the grins to the moody face, the chunky legs to the glittering eyes. Olivia has since started crawling and will soon be running, time really does go far to fast.
Please do contact me about a sitter session for your little one, I would be delighted to have you in.
I get asked 'What should we wear?' all the time. So I thought that I would do a little blog with my tips for dressing for your photos!
Where are your photographs going to be displayed?
You want your photos to work on the walls, so bear in mind that your colour choice for clothes will be displayed next to your wall colour, try to aim for complimenting colours - not matching!
Pick three colours (one being a neutral) and put together outfits with those colours only. More than three colours can seem a bit busy. For example: navy blue (dark wash blue jeans), light gray, and mustard yellow.
Neutrals include black, white, gray, khaki, etc.
Think coordinating, not matching.
Use your brightest colours as accessories. You don’t want the brightest colours detracting from the most important part of the picture: the PEOPLE! This goes for patterns too - too much pattern will be distracting to the eye.
A good rule is for parents to be more neutral and the kids to be in brighter colours
When choosing your colours, try to stick to warm OR cool tones- this helps with planning for displaying your images, if you living room is warm, go for warm tones. I have some handy colour palettes for you:
But my biggest tip?
Wear something you feel comfortable in!
It is important you feel comfortable in your clothes for the shoot, it will show if you are pulling at your top, or trying to hide!
There are lots of examples on Pinterest, it is a great place to get some inspiration!
If you have any questions or want to get in touch about your family photo shoot, drop me a message via this link.
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?
The end of last week I had the handsome Noah come and pay me a visit! He wasn't the sleepiest baby, but we got some lovely shots!
His lovely Mummy asked to take some photos for his scrap book, which I thought was a lovely idea. This has given me some behind the scenes shots for you to see!
Super sweet sleepy shots!
Mid sneeze! Love capturing all the little faces!
And family shots. I love these beautiful moments...Noah wasn't so sure!
It was such a pleasure to do Noah's newborn photographs - I am hoping I will get to see Noah again as he grows!!
Shoots to mark a wonderful milestone...
I love a cake smash, I make no secret about it - I love them. From the mini portrait session, to bubbles at the end, the prep I put into the sets, to finding cake in the most bizarre places for a couple of days!
The shoot always starts with a portrait, it is sort of a warm up for the main event, but also a chance for Mum and Dad to have a lovely few shots of their wonderful baby - often with a cheeky smile.
This time also provides me to chance to create a lovely triptych of images.
Next, the cake! Now, sometimes the cake is a little daunting for little ones! Never fear, there are always a few tricks up my sleeve to encourage some messy fun for the birthday babe!
Oh so civilised to start with!
Others, not so much!
It never fails to make me laugh!!
Each cake smash set is based on your ideas, your child's loves, where you will be displaying your photos...whatever you have in mind, I can work with that!
The photoshoot ends with a bath, lots of bubbles, both in the tub and out!
Please do get in touch if you are interested in a cake smash to mark you little ones first, or maybe second, birthday - I promise lots of giggles!
It maybe time to don the wellies and get out and about - the weather *should* be a bit drier this weekend, and the sunrise was rather beautiful this morning!
This lovely website has some great ideas for some fresh air and adventures with your little ones.
Maybe there is a little pub near by for once you have finished...or before you start ;)
Click here for some wonder places to explore.
While you are out, you can always find some beautiful spots for some family photos and invite me next time!
Some shots from Mia and Indie's recent sibling photoshoot.
Aren't they just beautiful?
I had a specific shot in mind for these girls, and love the black and white portraits of them. Serious suits them, though there where a lot of giggles whilst capturing these!!
These girls where full of smiles during their photoshoot, though, some of my favourites are the moodier ones!
There is something special about photographing siblings, a quiet importance of capturing a relationship they won't admit to, not at this age at least! I hope once they are grown these images provide them with a smile and wonderful memories of their childhood years together.
With Christmas approaching, I cannot share photos much, as many are for presents.
But I have been super busy seeing lots of amazing and lovely faces!
One of my recent shoots was of the GORGEOUS Emily. She is such a smiler, I had a wonderful time during her shoot, capturing her wonderful eyes, smile and creating images for her Mum and Dad to look back on and remind themselves of this stage of her life.
Here are a few from her shoot!
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!
I have had lots of little boys recently, so when this little one's mummy let me know that not only had she arrived but that she was a she, I was a little excited to break out some tiebacks and a hint of pink!!
Little Kara, at just 7 days old was utterly adorable and it shows in every single one of her newborn photos.
As most newborns do during their session, Kara wanted Mummy cuddles and some milk, but she was a star, only becoming a bit upset at the end.
Kara and her mummy and daddy came back a week later for a few family shots, she is such a strong little girl, and so loved. I loved her newborn session, I hope to see her again for a milestone session or a cakesmash maybe!
If you are interested in a newborn session, please get in touch here
Remember to book in whilst you are still pregnant to ensure I can fit you in!
Just one last one before you go...
So very sweet!
See what I have been up to recently!