Some of the sessions that bring in the most enquiries from new customers has to be bluebell sessions. Especially from parents of toddlers, these seem to be a favourite. If you’ve never visited a bluebell wood, you really must put it on your bucket list. I had never visited one before becoming a photographer and when I finally did it almost took my breath away to see that carpet of blue flowers. I’m not taking bookings for them this year as I haven’t really got work up and running yet in Oxford (hopefully soon!) but I’ve decided to take some of my youngest in some bluebells that are……. at the end of our road! When we moved to this village I was already so happy to see that there was a rapeseed field about 30 metres from my house, but then spring came and we discovered a bluebell wood at the end of our road too! Photographers dream!
Anyway, it was a bit of a last minute decision on the day that we finally did them and we got there rather late and the light was fading. But managed to get just a few that I’m really thrilled with.
So, for the two years we are in Oxford, we are living in a flat. It’s a third floor flat in an older property so there is no lift. As great as it is for the glutes (which I have to keep strong as I’m an over pronator when I run), It can also be a real pain in the bum! Literally. Especially at times when you have three tired children in tow or lots of shopping/camping gear to go up and down. However inconvenient this may be, the views that you are rewarded with from our window are absolutely breath taking. I have loved watching the seasons change so far, but this recent laying of snow has been particularly stunning. A beautiful winter wonderland when I looked out this morning. I don’t really take many landscape photos anymore but I had to run and grab my camera and shoot this from our window early this morning.
So we are settled in Oxfordshire now!
We miss the people from home terribly but are settled and happy in our new life. We are enjoying exploring the area and making new friends.
At the moment, I plant to start work again in April when the weather is a bit more pleasant (as I will only be accepting location work while here due to having no studio and a lot of my newborn props are in storage) and I’ll have (hopefully) have completed my marathon by then.
One thing we have noticed about living further up the country though – when it snows, it SNOWS! Obviously this is great for photography! Win! Not so great when you are in a hilly, little village and the only ways out our winding country lanes and you have school runs to do! The schools are now shut but were actually still open for the first day so we cautiously attempted a school run. Unfortunately, someone lost control of their car turning a corner and ploughed into the front corner of our car! Don’t worry – all humans involved were unharmed…. our car….not so much. On the plus side we have been given a lovely curtesy car to use for now with heated seats! Something our old car didn’t have (but secretly hoping our new one might) and they are just amazing! Especially after a long training run …. SOOOOO good for aching muscles!
Anyway back to the snow! So I managed to convince my eldest to spare me ten minutes of his time for some snowy pics. Literally, that’s all I had before he was off building a huuuuuge snowman with some of his new friends. It was taller than me. I would have loved more time but am grateful for what I got. It’s not every day that you take a portrait that is in your top 5 faves of all time, but there’s one I got of him (top of this blog post ^ that I adore. The scenery, his clothes, the colours, the expression on his face. I’m quite proud of it actually. It’s a photo that if I’d seen on a another photographers page would stop me in my tracks and make me think ‘Oh i wish I’d taken that!’.
Here are the rest of my awesome (albeit rushed for time) model.
So I mentioned in a recent blog post that I would explain why this little business & blog of mine has been so quiet lately, so here goes….
For the last year my family and I have been preparing to up and move our whole life to a different part of England due to my husband undertaking a two year training course in Oxfordshire. I decided to take some time off to support my children through this change and to help organise our life to make the move easier (so much to organise!). My eldest two children absolutely adore their school. They have only ever been to this one school and have been with the same close friends since they were 3/4 years old. This is going to be such a huge change for them. Before having children, I always dreamed we’d buy a house, have children and never, ever move. They would grow up in the one family home and go to the same school. But life sometimes has other plans. Although I’m worried about moving them when they are so very happy and settled, I know in the long run this will be best for our family. The process may be painful at times, but in the end it will be worth it. It’s a tricky time for my daughter too. She’s due to start primary school the month after we move so there is going to be so much change for her in such a short space of time. I really want to make the most of our time together on her last year of being at home with me full time and I want to do everything I can to make it easier for all of them. So the business has taken a bit of a back seat. It’s also pretty hard to stay motivated to run a business when you know you are about to up and leave and re-locate leaving what you have worked for behind.
I’ll be taking a bit of time of when we first move. Just to be around and fully present while everyone is adjusting to their new routines, schools. Their new life. Once everyone is truly settled and happy. I’m also hoping to spend some time training for a marathon (eek!) but then I’ll hopefully be looking to start work in the Oxford area. We are only there for the two years but I hope to be able to attract enough work in that time to build a successful business. So if you know anyone in the Oxford area… be sure to send them my way!
I’ll still be in Sussex regularly visiting our wonderful family and friends, so if you have always wanted to book in for a session with me but have never got round to it, it’s still possible. As long as sessions are booked well in advance so I can arrange them around our visits, I will still be accepting Sussex bookings.
We’ll be moving to a beautiful little village on the outskirts of Oxford. We’ll have the best of both worlds as in one direction from our village is stunning rural Oxfordshire and in the other direction 6 miles away is the City of Oxford best known for it’s prestigious university and amazing architecture. The surrounding countryside is quite something, but I know I’ll miss the coast terribly. There will definitely be lots of trips home during our time there.
So after the recent successes I’ve had of taking photos of my own children and feeling a little smug, I thought I’d push my luck and try a ‘falling leaves’ autumn session with them. I’ve done this type of image for clients a few times before. I also did one of my little girl a few years ago. But I don’t have one of all of them under a shower of rust coloured autumn leaves and I thought it was time I tried one as they are one of my absolute favourite type of image!
It went really well! On a roll with photos of my kids right now💪
I have been instructed to mention the awesome leaf throwing skills of my husband during this session!
So after the recent success of capturing my myself and my mini ballerina, and how smoothly it went now she’s that little bit older, I was feeling ambitious and decided to attempt to update our family photo album now also. I like to try to take new photos of them at least once a summer (if I can emotionally prepare and motivate myself enough to take on this mighty challenge). I wanted to capture some of all my smalls together and….. possibly if that went well attempt one of all five of us. I got a lovely one of the three of them together last summer, but I’ve yet to take that PERFECT photo of us all together. I mean, other people tell me I already have, but I’m a perfectionist and I’m determined to get a photo which I think is P E R F E C T – where we all look A.mazing and the light and back drop is to die for! Where I can see nothing I could have done better. One where we all look happy and relaxed (….and clean! My kids tend to get straight into digging in the mud or run around getting hot and sweaty as soon as they are let loose from the car!). You may think ‘but as a professional photographer why is it so complicated to take a picture of 3 young children together and a family photo?…. surely you do that most days for your clients?’ True. But their children don’t suffer from ‘photographers child syndrome’. I promise it’s a real thing!! … it’s well known in the trade. It’s where you can take the most stunning photos of other peoples families and create images that belong on the front of some ‘family life’ magazine, but when it comes to your own children, they don’t listen to a word you say, or if they do listen decide to do just the opposite. They do their best to look miserable and revolting, resulting in the worst photos you’ve ever taken and the feeling of complete failure on your part, like you are a fraud and shouldn’t be paid to take photos… ever! Not to mention the technical difficulties of being in front of the lens with them and not behind the camera. Arrrrrgh!
Perhaps I’m not being fair to my kids here. My eldest is pretty good and has given me some wonderful portfolio shots. I’ve also had two successful shoots with my two youngest smalls now this year. So perhaps they are actually out growing this frustrating stage and things will be easier from here on! Time to see….
We headed out to the same location to where I did the ‘Mummy and me’ ballerina session. The light wasn’t as nice as the last session by the time we got there, but we were all dressed up and ready to go and honestly, after the effort and organising that took, I don’t think I’d come back again if we put it off for another evening! So we went for it.
I was stressed. It’s always different when shooting your own kiddiwinks. I’m already feeling my BP rise even before shooting just because of the drama of getting them all organised and ready, keeping them clean, keeping them in a good mood on the way so they co-operate once we arrive etc. I know that my clients will see way less flaws than I will, so I also knew that I had to really nail every little thing. Added to those feelings is the thought bubbling away in the back of my mind that after all the effort of dressing us up and dragging us out that I may end up with no photos if it doesn’t go well and that thought made me want to cry and feel on edge. I wanted to get THE perfect photo of them and one of us all together worthy for the wall SO badly. I also wanted us to enjoy it and for it to feel relaxed. There is no point in having a beautiful photo on the wall if every time the family looks at it we remember what a horrible evening we had! There were times I got a little grumpy – just when I almost had the perfect shot and one of them would suddenly lose interest or something else caught their attention. My lovely hubby just gently reminded me that they are only children and not to put to much pressure on the situation. Keep it fun. I think in the end that’s what they will remember it as… fun. Especially the part where I promised them sweets afterwards (I know, shocking bribery tactics) if they would let me take just another few photos (famous last words!). There was silliness. Laughter. There were no tears. I love the ones of them together. The light isn’t quite as nice as I had hoped but that was beyond my control and I think the expressions and connection between them are really lovely and that’s what’s most important. I managed to get one of all 5 of us together. There are a few minor things I would change if I could go back, but overall I like it and given that I’m in the photo I think it’s a job well done and will print it for the wall. I got individual portraits of the handsome hubby and my eldest, but the little two had had enough by then. It’s a shame, but it was more important to me to get the group shots so still a win overall. Another successful family shoot encouraging me to definitely take them more often. Maybe some autumn shots next!
So, this little blog of mine has been rather inactive lately! (for reasons explained in an up and coming blog post), BUT I’m back!…… and starting off by catching up with a few shoots that I didn’t get around to blogging from laster summer.
I really wanted some lovely photos of my daughter and I together. You know what it’s like before you have children, you promise to take as many photos of each baby that you have, and I truly believed being a photographer I would totally make this happen (yeah I know…..pahahahaha) after all, I love taking photos. However, 3 Children later, and If I’m honest I just don’t take as many day to day photos as I did with my first – I spend too much time repeating myself over, catching up on a few minutes sleep or picking the same sofa cushions off the floor for the 598th time. So I wanted to do a special ‘mummy and me’ photoshoot with her. So, we rocked matching denim jackets and pink tutus (my daughters idea of heaven!) and headed out to one of my favourite locations to shoot at my favourite time of day to shoot.
We had so much fun! So much twirling and playing! So often you have an idea in your head, (which for me is dangerous as I see the idea in a lot of detail and have an EXACT image in my head, but usually the reality doesn’t live up to that image so I’m left with a constant feeling of disappointment and failure) but often it’s hard to recreate that in real life. But I think on this occaision, I can safely say that these photos represent the images I wanted to capture. Especially the image at the top of this page. It’s 100% my new favourite photo of us together and definitely deserves a place on our wall. Most importantly we enjoyed ourselves 🙂
This shoot VERY almost didn’t happen but boy am I so VERY pleased it did! As a mother of 3 I don’t get as much time to take and edit photos of my own children as I’d like. It had been a particularly hectic few weeks filled with the usual dutiful parent stuff and mundane house related things to do. As much as I’d wanted to I just hadn’t got round to an outing to the bluebells with my girl yet. The bluebells were on their way out and not looking so fresh any more, so it was now or never and we finally managed (goodness knows how) to free up a couple of hours. With a last minute outfit change (she saw this dress in a shop and fell in love with it earlier the same day! – thank goodness she has good taste and it went with what I had planned as I there was no way I was getting her out of it today!) we headed to our local bluebell woods. A magical place! I’d taken some photos of my girl before (you may remember the ones from the autumn with the falling leaves) But I’d yet to take one that I actually liked enough to put on the wall and we really need one of her up now (she is almost 3 years old so it is something I really can’t put off any longer! No pressure then!). I haven’t taken one where she looks genuinely happy or showing her true beauty. Her joy. She’s such a happy little soul and with an infectious smile (and a hilarious over the top laugh to go with it! Luckily photos don’t have sound 😉 )I’ve no doubt this will sound like a proud mum exaggerating their child’s talents, but she was seriously amazing. She followed direction much better than her older brothers do at time. A complete natural. I have a feeling I’ll have to make the most of this new development over the summer! The shoot went better than I could have asked and I certainly don’t have the problem of not having any photos for the wall. The problem now is which one! Happy Mummy.
What does any mother of more than one child want? A photo of all of her cherished small people together. As a photographer, this is even more important to me than perhaps it usually is, yet is something I have been unable to achieve thus far. With one of them at school now, one at pre-school and one still needing to nap during the day, along side running business it just hasn’t happened. Not through lack of trying I might add. However, given the recent success of photographing my usually reluctant middle small, I thought now may be as good a time as any to give it yet another shot. I chose and showed them their outfits and explained to them how I would really love a photo of all of them together to go on our wall and asked would they sit together and smile at mummy. They all nodded and agreed that it was a great idea. Reassuring you’d think, but I still had absolutely no hope it would actually happen and I think had already resigned myself to the fact I would fail – they all usually agree it’s a good idea until there’s woods, trees to climb, bugs to catch, space for them to run around in as fast as they can, jumping and making silly faces, then that usually becomes a far better idea than the photo mummy had planned. Still, we continued on as if there was actually some hope and put them in their co-ordinating clothes, washed their faces and combed their hair and went for a walk in the woods. I knew we would have minutes before they’d lose interest so at best would probably end up with one or two shots. But that was all I needed. Just ONE of them all together to go on our wall in our family home! Robin, hubby, other half of Acorns & Thimbles was under strict instructions to be the funniest, most energetic Dad he had been in his entire life and to make as many rude ‘windy pop’ noises (that I would normally discourage) that were needed to get them smiling and sat still. Whatever it takes, right!? He did a great job and after many failed attempts we finally had a photo of all our kiddos together for our wall. Along with a couple of others too. Happy mummy right here!
I have been blessed with two absolutely beautiful boys. I know I’m their mother so obviously somewhat biased, but everyone tells me so, so it has to be true ;). My eldest’s strongest feature has to be his striking green eyes. People always remark on his eyes. He is 6 and has been more than happy to pose away for my camera for a good few years now and in that time he has become a total natural. I have some great images that I’m proud to say I have taken of him. By nature, he’s very responsible and a bit of a perfectionist and very interested in how things work and doing well at what he sets his mind to, so it’s no suprise really. My middle son however, different story! He is blessed with THE most gorgeous complexion, sandy, golden blonde hair, tanned flawless skin and big soulful brown eyes just like his father. He’s stunning, but trying to get a photo of a strong willed three year old who cannot be convinced or teased into doing something they are not genuinely interested in is realistically just not going to happen. However, I thought I would give it yet another go during the summer holidays when life is a bit more relaxed and less rushed. We took a walk through some long grass and tried to keep it playful. To my amazement he was really enjoying it. Confident, smiling and generally having a blast. At one point he had us all in hysterics as every time I tried to get a shot he would jump up and shout ‘let me see it!’ Every. Single. Time. he heard the camera click. Totally losing the position and amazing pose he was just in. It was very cute, but beyond frustrating at the same time! Every time I almost had a good shot, up he would jump! Still, not complaining as it’s a vast improvement to the usual ‘not listen to a thing mummy says and just do my own thing’ show. Anyway, after about an hour of this ‘game’ I managed to get more photos of my beautiful golden haired boy than I have in his whole life put together! Not including his newborn pictures as he didn’t really have much of a choice to stay still for those! So far my walls are pretty empty as I couldn’t bear to put anything up of my others but not of him. Now that I have good photos of all three of them, these will definitely be going up on my wall. I have literally hundreds, but here is a collection of my favourites that make me warm inside to look at. Luckily I got a lovely one of my older boy too which I’ve included so they will look fab on the wall side by side together.