Cornwall.

So my husband has finished his course! We are now no longer living in the 3rd floor flat accommodation at the college he was studying at in Oxford and we have finally followed our 6 year long West Country dream of re-locating to Cornwall!

Excited beyond words for so many reasons! Hubby having a job he loves. Being back by the coast, as I have missed it SO much while being inland at Oxford. The oh so beautiful beaches here. The more relaxed lifestyle in these parts. Being part of a village community. The childhood my kids get to have – walks on the moors, chips and ice creams at the beach on sunny days, exploring rock pools… the list goes on.

I’m also excited as I think now is finally the time to get my business back up and running.

The last year and a half I was living in Sussex I let it slowly die down. Partly as we were busy preparing to move and partly because I just couldn’t find the motivation in all honesty to reach out to new clients when I knew we would be leaving anyway.

I thought I would continue in Oxford but after taking some time to get the kids settled and then training for a marathon I then had just over a year to go before we would relocate once more, and again, I felt very little enthusiasm to try and build a business from scratch just to leave it once more. Then of course Covid hit and changed everything anyway.

We have been in Cornwall a couple of months now and are nice and settled already. We LOVE it! We are living in a beautiful traditional Cornish farmhouse in a very rural location. We are right next to the Camel Trail – perfect for my runs! and look out out the window to fields of cows, sheep and shetland ponies. Truly idilic and I’m so very grateful for how things have turned out. Obviously we are yet to make many friends and connections due to lockdown and rules regarding Covid. But that will come with time!

Hubby has settled into his new job, and the younger two children their new village school, and my eldest and I have settled into a nice home ed routine. Although we are home educating him, he is attending an amazing Forest School one day a week which gives me some time for editing and admin that to be honest, I’ve been struggling to find time for since the children have got older – and therefore staying up later – I used to do all my work in the evenings after they went to bed. I’m also getting older and can’t pull the 2am-ers any more to get stuff done! 😂

Obviously now is probably not the exact right time to try to start a new business when people are feeling anxious with the current situation and possibly under financial strain. Photoshoots may feel a bit of a luxury. But I’m hoping that by Spring next year things will be a bit more normal, especially with a new vaccine having just been announced. So between now and then i’ve some time to get a few things sorted – freshen up the website, get this blog up to date, design a new welcome and information pack potential new clients, review prices, put together a mailing list, source locations, review my product supplier etc but most importantly update my camera gear and get out and practice as I may have actually forgotten how to take a photo! 😂 My poor camera is getting on a bit now so I need to think about updating it and adding a few other items to my knapsack of camera goodies!

The scenery around here is just stunning so I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do.

So, until next spring, I’ll leave you with a few photos of Cornwall! There’ll be many more to come I’m sure !

Emmy x

Dandelion Wishes.

2020-06-09_0005How the world has changed since my last blog post.

I’m not really sure how to start or where to begin really.

I don’t feel any words I write will really do justice to the enormity of the situation or could adequately sum up the many feelings I have about it.

The world has just ‘stopped’.

I have debated about posting images to my Facebook page and blog. I don’t want people to think I am ignoring any social distancing rules or that I’m not taking the pandemic seriously. I for one, am in support of lockdown and believe it should have happened sooner. Our family have abided by all rules set out by the Government. The photos in this post are personal family photos, I have not taken any photos of anyone other than my immediate family. I realise there will be people who are frightened or grieving and I don’t want it to appear that none of that means anything and I’m just happily taking photos. But I also think that hope and happiness are important in times like this. I’ve really enjoyed seeing what other people have been doing during their lockdown experience.The rainbows appearing everywhere at the moment have been very special, and to be honest, what better time is there for making wishes.

These photos were actually all taken within the grounds of the college we currently live at. My husband is studying at the moment and the college he is enrolled in has family accommodation for those who have had to re-locate with family to study there. It is set in a very rural location and has grounds which we are able to use without seeing any members of the public. These photos were taken on one of our daily evening walks, where we escape our third floor flat for an hour.

Lockdown for us personally has not been that hard. I’m not working anyway right now. All of my husbands lectures have been online via zoom so he doesn’t even need to leave the house. The children’s schools are shut. So we are at home in our little bubble. Other than having to leave the house for essential supplies we are safe. We do live in a flat without a garden which with three children isn’t ideal, but we do have access to the college grounds which are private and really quite beautiful. The views are amazing and it feels more like a retreat than a college.

We’ve always been a family that really enjoys each others company. The more time we spend together the better we all get on. Financially, the lockdown will not cause us any issues. Our children have no special needs and are all doing well in school, so there is no worry about homeschooling them or them falling behind. Having siblings means we do not need to worry about them not seeing other children for weeks and not having any one to play with. I have been able to find some comfort in watching our wider community coming together to help each other out, organising shopping and picking up prescriptions for people who are shielding or isolating. Parenting groups sharing ideas on how to keep children entertained and parents enjoying time with their children that they may not usually get. I’ve seen movie nights in the garden, at home bowling nights, indoor couples nights, garden makeovers, and how when the rat race slows down there is time for so much more. I’ve enjoyed seeing our NHS get the recognition it so rightly deserves and the environment catching a break from human destruction. I can’t say I’ve missed the chaos of school runs and after school clubs either. Lockdown has definitely made me realise that as a family we are over scheduled, and that we should re-assess exactly what is important to us, and what we should rush back to. If anything, I’m going to miss the safe little bubble we are in when everyone leaves and goes there separate ways at the end of this. I suffer with anxiety and knowing those that I most love are with me and safe everyday rather than being out there in the big wide world definitely helps with that. I realise that can’t work long term, but it’s hard to let go of. As we emerge the other side, it means less family time and although we say we’ll never take things for granted again and always appreciate every moment, we all know it’s human nature to forget.

But then comes the guilt. Huge guilt for having enjoyed our time in lockdown so much when others will have suffered so. Those who have been stuck down by the terrible disease and those who have been affected in many other ways because of the lockdown situation.

I realise lockdown isn’t so easy for others. The phrase ‘we are all in the same storm but in different boats’ I think sums it up perfectly. There will be marriages that will suffer. Women living in fear of abusers. Children living in fear of aggressive parents. Families that will go hungry. People that will lose business’ they’ve worked a life time building up. People who lose employment and/or savings. People who will have the sale of their house fall through. People who miss family members birthdays and have dream holidays cancelled. Families that will miss the birth of eagerly awaited arrivals. Grandparents that are missing cuddles from their grandchildren. Fathers that will miss scans for their unborn children. People who won’t get to attend funerals of the beloved family member. People that are struggling with mental health issues. People who are who are terrified and suffer with health anxiety. People that will be so lonely as they live on their own during this time. The list goes on.

I’ve heard that saying recently:- ‘we are all in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat’. Oh so true.

It’s very hard not being able to make any plans. Not knowing what the future holds. Theres a constant low level of anxiety bubbling away. That being said, I do think the world will get back to normal. We’ve just got to hang in there.

So for now, I’m just going to try and keep my  little family safe and keep hoping that things will get better, help others when I’m able, and do my best stay positive. For now I’ll keep doing what makes me happy – taking photos.

Stay safe everyone, hope to see you all soon.

Emmy x

2020-06-09_0001

2020-06-09_0003

2020-06-09_0002

2020-06-09_00042020-06-09_0005

2020-06-09_00072020-06-09_0006

Bluebells…. Down Our Road!

2019-09-20_0001

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.

2019-11-14_0006

2019-09-20_0001

2019-09-20_0002

Emmy x

 

Our Room With a View.

For the two years we are living in Oxfordshire 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 though, 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.

2019-01-24_0005

2019-01-24_0006

Emmy x

Snow Day!

2019-02-08_0009

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 plan 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 are 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.

2019-02-08_0014

2019-02-08_0015

2019-02-08_0007

2019-02-08_0006

2019-02-08_0032

2019-02-08_0034

2019-02-08_0011

2019-02-08_0013

2019-02-08_0012

2019-02-08_0005

2019-02-08_0009

2019-02-08_0008

2019-02-08_0004

Emmy x

Oxford Bound.

Hessian Faded

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.

Emmy x

 

My Three in Fall.

2020-05-30_0007

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!

2020-05-30_0002

2020-05-30_0001

2020-05-30_0003

2020-05-30_0004

2020-05-30_0006

 

 

 

Feeling Ambitious.

2020-06-03_0009

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!

2020-06-03_0005

2020-06-03_0004

2020-06-03_0002

2020-06-03_0001

2020-06-03_0009

2020-06-03_0010

2020-06-03_0008

2020-06-03_0007

2020-06-03_0006

Emmy x

Mini Ballerina.

 

2019-01-25_0012

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 🙂

2019-01-25_0004

2019-01-25_0005

2020-04-15_0019

2020-04-15_0014

2019-01-25_0008

2019-01-25_0003

2019-01-25_0010

2019-01-25_0009

2019-01-25_0012

2019-01-25_0011

Emmy x

 

 

Bug in the Bluebells.

2016-06-12_0007

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.

2016-06-12_0008

2016-06-12_0009

2016-06-12_0012

2016-06-12_0015

2016-06-12_0004

2016-06-12_0011

2016-06-12_0010

2016-06-12_0014

2016-06-12_0006

2016-06-12_0007

Emmy x