Month: January 2016

A newborn and family portrait session in Llantwit Major, South Wales

A newborn and family portrait session in Llantwit Major, South Wales

The last time I was in Llantwit Major was about 3 years ago, when I went to do a lifestyle newborn portrait session.

It poured with rain the whole time, but you wouldn’t know it from the beautiful photos we captured!  The family arranged for the photos to be taken at a lovely wooden lodge at Rosedew farm in Llantwit Major, because their house was in the middle of being renovated (so wasn’t quite picture perfect!).

Well, three years later I was delighted to be asked back for another fun, lifestyle portrait session with their newest addition!

Baby Rhodri kept me smiling the whole time I was there, because he was so much like his big brother!  They look so similar, but the main thing that made me smile was how, no matter how hard we tried, he did want to give in and go to sleep!

He was having far too much fun watching his big brother play I think!

He teased us for awhile.  Played along while he was swaddled oh-so-gently.  Kept his eyes shut while he was placed on the blanket and I got a few quick shots and then bam!  Wide awake!

But seriously, who could be upset about that when those gorgeous blue eyes are gazing at you?!

I love that we were able to get such a great mix of portraits of the gorgeous baby Rhodri and the wonderfully lively bundle of energy that is Dewi!

Lifestyle sessions like this are really laid back and so much fun, I mean, look at those smiling faces!

At-home family portrait sessions like this are just perfect if you have a busy toddler (who most likely wouldn’t want to sit nicely for photos in a studio), as they’re in their own environment, with all their things.  This leads to a relaxed, happy child and authentic, joyful images!

Having portraits taken at home is also great for newborn photos, whether you’re a first time mum (when the thought of having to organise yourself enough to leave the house for a photo session is just way too much!) or a second/third/fourth time mum (when the thought of having to entice older children into being good at a studio is just waaaay too much!).

Interested in an at-home family session of your own?  They’re great this time of year to capture some wonderful moments away from the cold and wet out there in South Wales!  Get in touch today to discuss booking a session!

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Three ways to freshen up your small business’s web presence

Three ways to freshen up your small business’s web presence

The new year is always a time for clearing out for me.

Decluttering and starting to clean up the house after all the decorations are taken down and the dust is suddenly very visible.  People everywhere are making changes, freshening up their homes, and their lives.

So now feels like a great time to take a look at a few things you can do if you have a small business (or have a web presence in any way, as a blogger or entrepreneur) to freshen everything up

Here are three things to consider sorting out to get the year off to a good start:

1)  Your ‘about’ page.  

I rewrote my about page a few months ago, and I’m pretty happy that it still feels ‘right’ for me!  But if you read your ‘about’ page and don’t feel it suits your brand, or it feels a bit bland, or you don’t actually have one yet (gasp!) then these resources might help you.

  • If you want someone to hold your hand a bit more with fab prompts and fill-in-the-blank ideas then Alexandra Franzen is your girl.  You’re bound to be drawn to at least one of her 5 ways to write your ‘about’ page!

2) Your mini bios.

These could be the bios that you use for your twitter or instagram accounts, or the bio that sits on your website side bar, like a micro ‘about me’ page!

This is something I do want to work on – I’d like to get a bit more personality into my website mini bio!

I’ll be referring to this article from Design your own lovely blog, which has quite a few examples for inspiration.

3) Your profile photo.

Well obviously I was going to mention this!

I really love the profile picture that I use at the moment.  It’s here on my website, over on my blog (This Glorious Life) and on all my social media accounts!  But, it was taken a few years ago now, so I think it might be time to get back in front of the camera!

If you need a headshot and/or some portraits of just you for your web presence then I really do recommend you invest in having some done professionally.  I wrote a blog post about three reasons why you should have professional portraits taken for your small business a few months ago, which you should go and read!

Get in touch with me if you think my style will work with your business and personality and you’d like to discuss booking a ‘you, actually’ session with me.

So, there we are, three things you can do to freshen up your website and social media accounts for the new year.  I bet you’re feeling like a new you already!

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A family portrait session in Singleton Park, Swansea

A family portrait session in Singleton Park, Swansea

When you book a photo session in Swansea with me, one of the first things I’ll do is send you a questionnaire to fill out.

It’s a wonderful way for me to start getting to know you, and to learn about the personalities of everyone who’ll be part of your session.  It sparks conversations via email that help us plan your perfect photo shoot.  And I absolutely love it because it means, by the time we meet properly to take your photos, I already feel like we know each other and that we’re on our way to being friends!

That’s definitely how I felt at this session with Louise and her lovely family.  Before the session Louise was able to tell me a bit about her girls, and how they might not be too keen on sitting still to have their photo taken, which is fine with me!

I love sessions where the children just do their thing!  It lets them relax enough to reveal their personalities which results in gorgeous, authentic portraits.
The best part about this session though?  Getting the whole family in front of the camera together, which wasn’t part of Louise’s original plan.  She initially told me she only really wanted photos of the girls, but by the end of the session we had a chat and I (quite passionately I think!) told her how important I think it is for us parents to exist in photos for our children.  Those family portraits will be a real gift to the girls in the future.

Louise had some lovely words to say about their session and the family photos we ended up taking:

I honestly loved the whole experience. Madeline felt like an old friend by the end of the session. She took time to get to know my family and to make us all comfortable. So much so, she got me to get in front of the camera too, something which I had initially been against. I absolutely cherish the family images from that day as they reflect the wonderful experience we all had”

Interested in discussing a family session?  Get in touch here; I’d love to get to know you and your family!

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Happy new year!

Do you have a word or focus for this year?  I’ve seen lots of bloggers and business owners sharing posts over the last week or two, about the word they’ve chosen as their inspiration for 2016.

At this time of year the focus is often on self-improvement – getting more organised, getting fit, achieving a better balance of work and home life.  So I nearly went for a word like ‘balance’ or ‘focus’ for my year, hoping it would help me clear my head and perhaps feel on top of things a bit more!

But then I thought about it some more.  

I thought about the kind of life I want to live, and the kind of life I want for my family.  And, yes, life would be lovely if we were more organised and if I were more focused on the activity at hand.  But what would truly make life better, is more joy!

I want to clear out all the things from my life that make me feel cross, or sad, or just bleugh.  I am taking Marie Kondo’s message to heart and seeking to just keep things that spark joy!

Sometimes I think we can feel that it’s superficial, or selfish maybe, to seek joy.  To make joy a huge priority in our lives.  As if there are far more pressing issues to be considered.  And yes, there are many things going on in the world that are horrifying and heartbreaking.

But standing up in the face of that, and choosing joy?  Choosing not to be defeated by the world.  Choosing to be furiously happy instead?

Surely that’s a good way to live your life.

I had a look back at some of the portrait sessions that I had the absolute pleasure of shooting here in Swansea last year, and was so happy to find that the number one emotion I got from them was joy.

I saw happy, laughing faces shining from my screen.

I saw love, and I saw joy.

One of the reasons I love having my portrait sessions on location around Swansea (rather than in a studio) is that I think it’s much easier for people to relax and really enjoy themselves when they’re in a place they love, like the beaches of Swansea bay and Gower, or a beautiful green space like Singleton Park or Clyne gardens!

When you’re in a place you love, with people you love, you can’t help but be happy!

If you’d like to have a brilliantly happy photo session of your own this year, please do give me a shout, I would so love to share some joy with you!

Not ready to book a session yet?  How about letting a little joy into your inbox for the time being via my newsletter!

My word for 2016 – joy!
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