Month: July 2015

Beloved play break (week 2)

Beloved play break (week 2)

As you might know from the badge on my blog sidebar, I’m a member of the Beloved collective.  Which is an amazing community of photographers from all round the world who use the Beloved technique in their work, and their play.

The group has started a little challenge to get us all playing a bit more this summer, taking a break from the seriousness of everyday life and just having a bit of creative fun, inspired by a post about creativity on petapixels.

I missed the first play break last week, but am jumping in for week 2!  This week’s challenge was to take 10 photos of a small subject, something that is special to you.

So, after deciding that my children weren’t quite small enough to use, I chose to photography my engagement and wedding rings.

There’s no great romantic story behind these rings (we went shopping for the engagement ring together on a bit of a whim, as it was late-night shopping in town in the run up to Christmas so we could meet after work to do it!), but they mean so, so much to me.

They are my little physical representation of the love I share with my husband, of the commitment we’ve made to each other, of the real sense of security and of ‘home’ that I get from him.

What little things mean the most to you?

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3 of my favourite photography quotes.

I love quotes.

I have a whole section of my blog, ‘This Glorious Life‘, dedicated to posts about them!  And I particularly like quotes about the beauty and wonder of photography.

I’ve browsed though the various quotes I’ve collected and pinned over the years and found these, which are three of my all time favourites:

“To me, photography is an art of observation, I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them” – Elliott Erwitt
“The earth is art, the photographer is only a witness” – Yann Arthus-Bertrand
“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still” – Dorothea Lange
Do you have a favourite quote?  Photography related or not, I’d love to hear it in the comments below!
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Photographing your family – photography tip of the week.  Shoot from behind!

Photographing your family – photography tip of the week.  Shoot from behind!

I really hope you’ve been enjoying reading my photography tips over the last few weeks!  In case you’ve missed them, my last two tips for getting better, more interesting photos of your family were to get in close and fill the frame and to not always worry about including faces in your photos.

This week’s tip sort of adds on to the idea of not always including faces in your photos, and is a great method for telling a bit more of a story about who your child is.

Photography tip of the week – shoot from behind!

You can get some great photos of your child when they’re busy with an activity by getting behind them.  This way you get a more interesting image that shows things from your child’s perspective.
It’s also a fab way of including the things they like to do in the photo.  Children’s interests change so much, it’s so nice to be able to capture the ‘thing’ that they’re into at the moment!  In this case, Rhys’ obsession with letters!
Another great reason to take a photo from behind, is that you can capture those little things that you can’t otherwise capture.  The way they carry their favourite backpack or the way their hair falls down their back for example.
One of my favourite things about taking photos from behind, is that you can often capture those moments when your child has their guard completely down.

When they know you’re taking photos of them, they might not be entirely relaxed, so if you can get in behind them and sneak a few photos of them that way you’ll be more likely to capture them being 100% authentically ‘them’.

So next time you want to take some photos of your children, don’t just stand in front of them, get in behind them and see what moments you can capture!

I’d love to see the photos that you take using this tip, so please do stop by my Facebook page and share them with me!

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Photographing your family – photography tip of the week. Fill the frame!

Photographing your family – photography tip of the week. Fill the frame!

I started a new series of blog posts last week with the aim of helping you take better photos of your family.  Last week I wrote about how you can make your photos more interesting and more relaxed by not always including everyone’s faces.  Well this week’s tip is for photos that are less candid but really striking.

This week’s photography tip – fill the frame!

Sometimes you want to capture your family engrossed in activities, or interacting with each other.  But at other times you may want to really focus on the details of what they look like right now.  Here are my suggestions for doing just that:

1) The best way to get complete focus on your child’s face is to get in close and fill the whole frame with their gorgeous features.  Ideally you will physically move in close to your child and get take the photo, but you can also use the camera’s zoom to get a closer shot if your child doesn’t want you right in their face!

2) The most important thing to remember if you’re taking a shot like the one above, is to make sure you focus on the eyes.  If your camera lets you chose the focus point then make sure you chose one that is directly over one of the eyes.  One tip for getting great eye contact, with your child looking right down the lens, is to ask them if they can see the fairy/elf/whatever that’s hiding in the camera!

Photography tip fill the frame


3) Keep in mind that images of your children that fill the frame don’t have to be of their faces looking directly at you.  You can use this technique to keep the focus of the photo on any element of your child that you really want to remember.  The way their hair falls, their long baby eyelashes, all those little features and quirks that make your child so beautiful.

I really hope this tip inspires you to mix things up and get in close to your child sometimes when you’re taking photos of them.

I’d love to see your photos if you do try this tip, please do share them with me on my Facebook page!

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My captured moment

My captured moment

I’m starting to share more of my lifestyle photos from my own family, to help demonstrate the type of images I can capture for you and your family if you decide to book a lifestyle session with me, either in your home or at a favourite location in Swansea.

So here are my favourite captured moments from last week with my daughter!

Swansea lifestyle photography


Swansea lifestyle portrait photography


I just love how these un-posed moments capture those little details of life that I know we’ll enjoy looking back on when the children are older.  Nerys indulging in her new favourite activity of washing her hands in the bathroom sink, her grubby knees from crawling around under the slide at the park, and the collection of cuddly toys that she cwtches up to when she goes to sleep.

These are the moments, these are the details that I don’t want to forget.

If you want me to freeze these kind of moments for you too then get in touch to book a lifestyle portrait session with me!

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Photographing your family – Tip of the week.  You don’t always have to include faces!

Photographing your family – Tip of the week.  You don’t always have to include faces!

I’m starting a new series, here on the blog, of weekly photography tips to help you take better photos of your family.

Now, obviously, I think the absolute best option, if you want beautiful photos of you and your family, is to book a portrait session with a professional photographer whose style resonates with you.

But I also believe that it’s really important for all of us to be able to take good quality images ourselves; to be able to capture those every day moments that a professional isn’t there to witness.

So let’s get started with this week’s tip.

When you’re taking photos of your family keep in mind that you don’t always have to include faces!

Traditional portraits, with the family sitting together and all looking at the camera, are lovely and definitely have their place.  But, for me, part of the joy of taking your own photos of your family is that you can capture the little details of your life that a photographer isn’t around to capture for you.

So think outside of that traditional portrait set up when you’re taking photos at home and don’t always worry about including faces!  Here are three suggestions for you to consider and try for yourself:

1) Take the photo from a lower viewpoint than normal (think of taking it from your child’s level).  This way you can compose the photo so that any adults in the scene aren’t completely in the photo.  Like in this example my head and feet are out of the shot.  This keeps the focus on your children, while still acknowledging that the significant adults in their lives were there!

2) One of my favourite things about portrait photography is capturing natural interactions between people; and when people are interacting with each other they won’t be looking directly at the camera!  So don’t always think you have to get your child’s attention and get them to look at the camera.  Some of the best photos show more about the subject’s personality because their attention is being held by something other than the photographer.  Try taking photos of your children telling each other jokes, or of your partner doing an activity with your toddler.
3) Another way to use this idea of not including faces in your family photos is when your children are engrossed in an activity.  In this photo of my son doing glueing and sticking you can’t see his face at all, but it still captures him perfectly.  You can still sense his concentration by the way he’s holding the glue and the paper.  And the little details of the pens sitting in the pot, the bits of paper he’s already cut up and left strewn around the table, even the spotty tablecloth that we’ve got at the moment; they all add up to a photo that will mean so much when he’s older as they capture life as it is right now.
I really hope that this tip gets you thinking more creatively when you take photos of your family.

I’d love to see the photos that you take that don’t include everyone’s faces, so please do come and share them with me on my Facebook page!

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Arnold family – Beloved portrait session, Singleton Park, Swansea

Arnold family – Beloved portrait session, Singleton Park, Swansea

There’s a sort of symmetry to this Beloved family session that I just love.  When Kim was pregnant with her son we met in Singleton Park in Swansea for a maternity portrait session; and that was where we went again for this session with Teddy as a gorgeous 2 year old bundle of energy.
We took a really laid-back approach to the session, which makes life a lot easier for everyone when there’s a busy 2 year old involved!  We had a little stroll around and then stopped for a sit down and some bubble fun – always a winner!
I know I’ve said it before but I absolutely love Singleton Park for portrait sessions.  There are so many possible locations and backgrounds for some great variety and there are lots of different things to keep little ones interested.  Like the big fallen tree that makes a great natural climbing frame!
And who doesn’t like finding dandelions and making wishes?!
We finished up our session with a fun game of ‘guess who?’ which even kept the family dog entertained.  So much fun!  I love seeing the expressions that this game produces, especially with little ones like Teddy who really enjoyed himself running round the tree to surprise his Daddy.
If these are the kind of photos you’d like of your family – relaxed, authentic and full of smiles – then I’d love to hear from you to arrange a session.  You can contact me here or stop by my Facebook page and send me a message.
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