Month: September 2013

Ella’s Christening photos, Swansea

It was a gorgeous sunny day when I went along to photograph Ella and her family on her Christening day a few weeks ago. Owen and Laura didn’t have many ‘posed’ family photos taken when they got married so wanted to make sure they got some on this occasion, when all the family were together in Swansea.

Several members of the family arrived at the same time as me and it got a little bit manic very quickly, so Laura and I took Ella away for a few minutes to get some quiet portraits of her and for Ella to have a chance to get to know me and my camera.  Look at that little smile, isn’t she lovely?!

Once Ella had had a chance to warm up to me we headed out into the back garden to get some family portraits.  Owen and Laura wanted relaxed, natural portraits and I think we managed to capture the fun of the day perfectly!
Ella is 8 months old and is starting to find her feet; she’ll be away in no time I bet!  She had a great time being swung around by her parents and Owen and Laura got some really fun pictures that show off their family dynamic perfectly!

The rest of the family got some cuddles as well and Ella loved all the special attention she was getting.  She was  in a fantastic mood and gave us all lots of lovely smiles!  

Time for a bit more rough and tumble before everyone had to head off to church for the Christening!
The service at St James’ church was lovely, the whole congregation were made to feel so welcome and it made the day really special for the family.  Although, saying that, Ella wasn’t too convinced at times!
After the service everyone went back to the house to celebrate and I snapped a few more shots for the family.
How gorgeous is this cake?!  It was made using the top tier of their wedding cake which I think is such a lovely tradition.  And the detail on it is just amazing!
I’m so happy I was able to create these family portraits for Owen and Laura.  If your child is being Christened in Swansea and you’d like something similar then please give me a shout, I’d love to hear from you!
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What to wear for your portrait photos – a quick guide!

‘What am I going to wear?’ is one of the things that everyone worries about when they’re going to have their photo taken!  To try and help make the process as easy as possible I’ll be writing more in depth ‘what to wear’ guides for each of the types of sessions I do over the next few weeks, but for now, here’s my back-to-basics guide!

Be comfortable!

Firstly, and most importantly in my opinion, make sure that you’re comfortable in whatever you decide to wear.  If you don’t normally wear short skirts then now’s not the time to experiment with them!  You’ll spend the whole session pulling the hem down, rather than relaxing and enjoying yourself!  Ultimately, if you’re uncomfortable in your clothes, you’ll look uncomfortable in your photos and no one wants that!

Co-ordinate and complement

You don’t want everyone to match in your group photos (so don’t have everyone in jeans and white t-shirts) but you do want to make sure that you’re not clashing with each other.  In this photo, for example, Mum and Dad are in quite neutral clothes while the girls are in lovely, bright outfits with colours that complement each other. 

Accessorise

You can add interest to your photos and express your personality through accessories.  If you’re a hat wearer then by all means bring along your favourite hat!  A treasured piece of jewellery can also add interest and meaning to your photos.  You can also use accessories to tie your outfit in with what the rest of the family are wearing, like how Sarah’s scarf picks out the pink in the clothes her girls have on!

How will you display the images?

It can be a good idea to think about how and where you’ll display your photos.  If you have a beautiful red living room then you don’t want to be dressed in pink in a big canvas hanging over the mantel piece!  But a striking red dress like this one that Menna chose would look perfect in that same room.

Prints and patterns can be your friends!

Plain, block coloured clothing can be great in portrait photos but don’t feel that you have to avoid prints and patterns.  In a maternity session, for example, if the Dad-to-be is dressed in plain, neutral clothing then you can really add interest by wearing a patterned top.  And stripes can be fab on pregnant tummies!  Just avoid big logos and labels which can be quite distracting.

I hope that helps anyone out there planning a portrait photo session, but look out for my more detailed guides coming up for maternity sessions, newborn/baby sessions and family session for more information!

If this has inspired you to have some portrait photos taken with me in Swansea, then please get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!

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A big hello to the second trimester!

I’m now 16 weeks pregnant and finally starting to feel the benefits of leaving the first trimester behind!

At the start of last week I had that sudden, wonderful realisation that I didn’t feel sick!  Oh what an amazing feeling!

The only downside?  Food is suddenly really appealing again!  I’m not sure which is worse, doing the food shop when you have morning sickness and nothing looks good, or doing it when you suddenly feel well again and everything looks good!  Seriously, I could have spent so much money in Tescos last week!  I really need to try and be sensible and remember that I don’t need to be eating for two!

But for now, I plan on enjoying this for a little while longer and indulging just a little.  Anyway, ice cream is full of calcium isn’t it?!

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Hannah’s newborn photo session

My sister came to Swansea for her maternity portrait session with her family last year.  You can check out those photos here.  So when baby Hannah arrived at the start of the year I headed over to Bristol to take her newborn photos and to have lots of cuddles with the newest arrival!
Hannah is the 3rd girl for my sister and her husband and her big sisters are just so in love with her!  I mean just look at that proud big sister!
And just look at that eye contact!  I think Hannah’s pretty fond of her sisters too!
After we’d all had some cuddles we got Hannah down on her fab pink blanket for a few proper newborn portrait photos.  I love how her vest coordinates with her blanket!  And how cute is that little smile?!
After having her photo taken had worn her out there was time for a few mummy/daughter portraits before I had to head home to Swansea.  I’m so pleased I was able to capture these moments for my sister.  The early days can pass in such a blur, especially when you have two other children who also need your attention!  I love giving people the opportunity to stop for a few minutes and just breathe it all in while I snap away.
If you’re interested in a newborn photo session in Swansea then please get in touch here!
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A little bit about the first trimester!

Ok.  Now I absolutely love pregnancy.  I think pregnant women look beautiful.  I think getting to experience a new life growing inside you is just a truly amazing thing.  I am so thankful for being able to do this.

But.  Oh but.  The first trimester can be miserable!  I suffer with morning sickness.  All day long (and in the middle of the night!) I feel queasy.  Sometimes it’s just a mild, nagging sea-sick feeling.  Other times it comes in waves; big ones, really close together.

This nausea really gets you down at times.  There’s just no escape from it.  And from what I hear, I’m really one of the lucky ones!  Touch wood, I’ve never actually been sick through morning sickness.  Unlike a friend of mine who would keep carrier bags in her car to throw up in and then carry on to work!  Or a couple of other friends who have ended up in the hospital on drips when the sickness was so bad it left them dangerously dehydrated.  Not fun.

And, yes, there are things you can try to help reduce the sickness.  I wrote a blog post about them here.  Some of these things do help you feel a bit better, but the thing is, none of it actually makes the nausea STOP!  I’ve spent the last few weeks feeling like there should be a cure.  I’m used to modern medicine!  Have a headache?  Take some ibuprofen!  Nasty cough?  Knock back some cough syrup!  So I’ve really struggled with accepting that there is nothing I can do to make this feeling go away!  

And then there’s the tiredness.  Except it’s not just ‘tiredness’.  It is sheer, body-draining exhaustion!  Some days it’s all I can do to stay up until Rhys is in bed.  Worrying that I want to go to sleep before my 2 year old!  When it’s your first pregnancy it’s not soooo bad.  You can crawl into bed straight after dinner.  You can stay there all weekend if you need to.  When you already have a child those options aren’t really there so much.  Which is why I am so grateful that I have a very sweet husband who has been sending me back to bed for naps at the weekend.  Women who do this alone have my utmost respect.

There are times in the first trimester when the world just feels too much.  When you’re exhausted and your sense of smell is in overdrive it can all just get really overwhelming.  The world is busy, and loud, and hard to cope with some days.  You can really feel like you just want to retreat back to bed.  For a really long nap!

But.  Oh but.  It’s an amazing time.  When you’ve been trying for a baby and you see that line appear on the pregnancy test.  I’m not sure much else can compete with how wonderful that feels.

And all those negative things you’ve been experiencing?  They are all a direct result of your body doing something that I just can’t quite wrap my head around!  From practically nothing I am growing a baby.  Now I know women have been doing this since the dawn of time but still it amazes me!  I am in awe of what my body is doing; this new life it is supporting.

So I’ll take the sickness.  And the exhaustion.  And the crying at the drop of a hat.  If it means I get to hold another newborn in my arms that I’ve given life to, I’ll take it all.

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