Feeling Ambitious.

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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!

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Mini Ballerina.

 

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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 🙂

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Bug in the Bluebells.

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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.

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My Three Kiddos.

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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!

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Beautiful Boys.

2016-02-19_0001I 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.

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Cakey Baby.

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So, our little Bug has just turned one! Time flies when you have a kid. When you’ve got three they’re a year by the time you’ve got over a labour and got back into the swing of things!  I’ve known since she was a few months old that I wanted to do a ‘cake smash’ session for her and I planned to do some standard portraits before and then introduce the cake. She’d never had cake before so I was unsure how she’d react. Some baby’s need a lot of encourage to actually get ‘smashing’. Not my girl! She well and truly ‘smashed’ it if you’ll excuse the pun. After a moment of looking rather dubious about this strange thing before, her inquisitive nature got the better of her and she was off! At one point picking the cake up and actually rolling it. She is obviously a fan of cake like her mother! Although I prefer to get as much in my mouth as I can rather than waste any rolling it around the floor.  I love the photos. If babies smashing cakes makes you smile it’s a great way to mark a 1st birthday!

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Bluebell Minis.

2016-02-15_0001Well for the first time this year I introduced bluebell ‘mini sessions’. A slightly shorter session, with less images for a reduced price. Blue has always been my favourite colour so it’s a perfect backdrop for me to work with. Plus the kids just love it and happy kids makes for happy photos. If you’ve never been to a bluebell wood (I hadn’t been myself until a couple of years ago) you really must. It’s not only beautiful but there is something totally magical about it. I could try to describe it, but I’m no writer and would and I think perhaps it’s only something you can understand if you’ve been to one and experienced it first hand. I’ve chosen a few of my favourite from the sessions to share here. There were some funny moments, one of the clients was heavily pregnant and there was a turn-style and lots of mud to get across. But we made it and I think the photos are worth it. I only offered a few sessions this year to see how they went and because of getting the timing right for when the bells are in full bloom, but will definitely be offering more of these sessions next year.

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Meadow in Autumn.

After having two boys (beautiful boys) it is rather nice having a little girl to photograph….purely because of the clothes! I have so many lovely dresses and headbands and other gorgeous girl props that I get to use in other peoples photos, but until recently never my own! So now that our little Meadow is old enough to walk and interact with the camera (and not look like a little bald man in a dress!) I thought it was time we did her a little photoshoot in a nice dress, something like I would create for my clients. I’d seen a lovely red dress and knew it would be great against an autumn back drop. I’d also recently created some falling leaf images for a client and knew I wanted to create some of our little girl. So we headed to the local woods.

It was very, VERY cold and a coat would spoil the photos so I knew we had to be quick. It would be a case of firing of shots for a few minutes and then that would be it, chance gone.

It went fairly well (thanks to silly daddy dances in the background) and we managed to get a few lovely ones of her….

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Catherine and her clan.

When asked to photograph another photographers family, first I experience pride at being asked. Then fear. Big, fat, panic attack inducing fear. Fear that I may mess it up, fail to deliver, not live up to their expectations and forever lose the trust and respect they placed on me by choosing me to take their family photos. As a photographer, I know how much those photos will mean to them. How they will either love them with all of their soul because photographs are so important to them. To have beautiful ones of their own family…which they are actually in themselves is a photographers dream. Or how they will hate them. Hate them because they will see only the flaws and they would wish, wish so hard there was some way they could take their own family photos because no one else can do it quite how they want. No pressure then!

Shortly after the fear resides, and I’ve taken my head out of the brown paper bag that is helping with the panic attacks and I’ve told myself a million times *I CAN* do this, excitement starts to creep in. Excitement because another photographer will know exactly what it takes to create a stunning a portrait. Down to the clothes, the location, the light. When you ask them to do something that may feel a bit odd to anyone else, they will know exactly why you are asking them to do it and are more likely to just go with it. Also excitement, because the photographer asking me to take photos of their family this time is my friend Catherine. She has impeccable taste. With photography and most things in general. She also has gorgeous kids. FIVE gorgeous kids. Five gorgeous kids all with long locks! I mean, if I can’t get good photos of this family I need to quit my job. She is also breastfeeding her youngest and wants some nursing photos. I just won the lottery. Did I ever mention it was my dream to photograph a beautiful large family and take nursing photos!?

We met at a location local to us both. I knew their outfits would be incredible but seeing them all standing their in their cream outfits when I arrived I was blown away. They looked like something from a beautiful dream. I could have cried they looked so angelic and I had so much happiness to photograph something so beautiful. Then the boys wiggled their bottoms at me and it was back to the moment. Haha.

We had a great evening and I took some of my favourite photos I have ever taken. So I can only thank Catherine a million times for letting me take photos of her beautiful family. Enjoy.

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