Hull - Out City Of Culture

It has been called “the most poetic city in England”, and this year besides its poetic name Kingston upon Hull, it just got another one, UK City of Culture. Namely, The City Of Culture as an event in the UK, occurs every four years and highlights a place in the country, a city that is celebrated as the Culture Place throughout the year. This year the chosen one to be celebrated in the year of 2017 was our charming Hull where there will be many events and festivals that celebrate the art and culture of the country as a whole.

Everywhere I look, people seem happier, very energized by all the happenings around. Everybody is going out more, spending time with their family and friends, gaining new knowledge about the culture and history of their city, children learning how to appreciate art, youngsters having fun at concerts, even food lovers can find their place too, but this event will give art and music lovers the special chance to get to know their local but also international culture of music as well. From folk festivals to Dutch punk there seems to be a little bit for everyone, or should I say plenty?

On January the first the event was introduced by a spectacular show of colorful fireworks attracting thousands of people, where I honestly had the impression that the whole England was there with me. Six months have passed already, and the city is blooming with so many things to do, places to visit, events to attend to in each part of the day, that you don’t know where to go first (Last week we ended up tossing a coin on where we should go, because we just couldn’t decide!).

I love the idea of how the whole event is divided into 4 parts, each telling a different story: Season 1: Made in Hull which focused on the contribution of the city to art, the industry and ideas. Season 2: Roots and Routes described Hull as a gateway, a place of movement to and through. Season 3: Freedom taking place in the third part of the year, will explore the role of the city in the emancipation movement, and the existing summer festivals in Hull, like the Freedom Festival. Season 4: Tell the World presents the last and closing season from October to December 2017, which will attempt to redefine the city for the future, building on the legacy of its year as UK City of Culture.

Because volunteering is a humble way to show respect and give back to the community where you grew up, I highly support the decision of our city to give a unique opportunity to people who are looking for a volunteering experience and want to become cultural ambassadors. This way they made sure everyone is included in the happenings in their own way, from helping with directions, press, and marketing, to performing on stage and even translations. So far there have been well over 2500 volunteers proudly wearing their blue shirts and hats, helping visitors and making memories. I have stumbled upon many volunteers in their 50s and 60s excited to be part of the game makers for the show. This was very heartwarming to me!

So which is your favorite part so far? In our home, we are still deciding on that and it has been one tough decision so far! Just like the 5000 gentle ceramic poppies were giving a charming touch to Queen Victoria Square and the colorful dancing fountains in the center of the city, I hope there will be many events to come, stealing smiles and provoking happy feelings in the people of Hull and its visitors.

The Secret Is In The Details

I, as a photographer, love visuals. Can’t help but notice every detail of my client’s outfit, posture or facial expressions. It’s stronger than me, and it helps me bring out the best during a photo session. Since photography has always been the profession I wanted to do, a sharp eye for details comes naturally, like a professional deformation that I enjoy having.

How refreshing is to notice the details of true love. Moms-to-be firmly squeezing the palms of their partner while looking into each other’s eyes, posing for their first maternity photo session. Or families having family photo sessions. Laughing together, having fun in my studio while I do what I do best. Capturing their cheer on camera.

You see, we remember details about the things that matter to us. This comes subconsciously and we don’t control it. For instance, I notice the way my partner holds his morning cup of coffee while reading the newspaper. The way his face lightens up when our girls come running in the kitchen, ready for breakfast. My first dose of dopamine for the day.

There are some charming little things and moments that are happening around us but because they happen daily we get used to them so easily and they lose their magic for us. Details that we stop noticing. Their importance decreases since they become something we see or we get without doing anything to somehow “deserve” these small treats of happiness that life gives us. But oh how we would miss them if at once they disappear and stop happening! For example how happy I would get when I see a drawing made by my older daughter of the four of us playing in the garden, or bouquet of flowers she had left on my nightstand for me to find in the morning; these things I hold precious to my heart and I don’t ever want them to become just another daily thing, a routine that loses its magic after a while.

I always carry my camera around capturing the moments of joy, but also sadness when the naughty little waves would ruin their sand cakes or castles and make them build all over again. But this time bigger, stronger ones at a better location, away from the bad bad water, as they like to call it.

They say if you want to remember places and sceneries, try doing it by observing instead of taking pictures of it. I would say notice every detail and then snap a photo of it. This way you’ll remember but also have something to testify of the candid moments you have experienced. This is the artform of photography.

And I always enjoy the questions of the people around me, friends or clients, when they ask me “How do you always manage to catch the best off of your photo sessions? What’s your secret?” because I get to teach them to how to enjoy the small thing life brings. I like to say my secret is in the details. For me, this is the secret to happiness.

What's The Magic Behind Summer Photoshoots?

With summer on the doorstep, we are leaving the moody spring behind and entering a period most loved by children, not just because of the school break (I hope) but because the days are longer, the weather is warmer, and as a holiday season they get to be with their family and friends more often.

Clients and their babies coming in for family photo sessions is the thing that fulfills me most during my work in summer. The way the babies are dressed in their tiny cute clothes made of summer colors that are lighting up my studio even better than my own professional lighting. Their whole attitude around the photoshoot is so pleasant – I could spend an entire day working on just one! What’s even more pleasing are the outdoor family photo sessions, maternity sessions, and outdoor newborn sessions. When I see the way moms-to-be are so relaxed and comfortable around me and my camera, enjoying the nature around, barely noticing me, I know I’ve taken the most out of the session. When I set a family sitting on the grass, spontaneous, at their most natural pose with their children being themselves, playful and vivacious, something tells me the memories my camera is creating will be hanged on the walls and observed nostalgically for many years to come.

And then there’s the mommy part of me leaving the work behind and indulging in some family outdoor photoshooting. Now that’s a real visual feast for me!

Personally, as a photographer, I see summer as shinier, longer-lasting rays of sun that seem to brighten up the faces of my two lovelies and my partner even more. I find it fascinating how they get so playful chasing butterflies and picking flowers in our garden, while I try to sneak around and take shots of these short precious moments. Then, even after such an active day, no one in the whole wide world can stop their game, even if the summer sun has set long before. They seem to be restless and I get my energy from watching my partner, tired from an entire day of playing, trying to get them to sleep. Their temperament fills the summer air with happiness. The way they jump around insatiably asking for bedtimes stories, one after another and another is something I wouldn’t miss for the world. I just need to have every jump and every curl of hair recorded on camera. And my heart keeps asking for more.

Me and my partner, we love the spirit of the summer. Thus, we always try our best to take our girls out for an afternoon in the park or some family event in Hull. Their first encounter with other children. The way they make friends. The way their curly hair sways in the opposite direction of the swing. The curve on their lips, while running around like cheeky little monkeys and my partner along with them. Now, this is the time my fingers do magic with the camera. I just adore those spontaneous photos that you can almost feel the happiness and hear the laughter off of.

And this is something I always try to accomplish with my clients too. In the studio or outdoors, I want to create harmony getting to know the people I’ll work with, feeling comfortable with them and their children in order for my camera to be able to get the best out of them and engrave it as paper-copied emotions.

But as a professional, I find magic in every season of the year. Each one has a different buzz, a different scene that needs to be taken the most out of, but somehow summer has that liveliness that warms my heart the most. So I hope you allow me to be your family photographer in Hull and show your sparkle on camera.

Father's Day: The Best Gift You Can Possibly Give This Year

We all like holidays, each one of them represents something meaningful, marking a special date celebrated by generations. Holidays are bringing families together, people joined in laughter sharing a lunch or dinner, or even going away for the weekend. But there’s also a time when we get the chance to celebrate a dear person. Even though I strongly believe we should express love at every chance we get, 18th of June is the day we celebrate our fathers. Moms, your special day has passed, so it’s time you get creative now, too.

 

 

 

What is Father’s Day

               It is the day when paternal bonds are celebrated. Every father figure such as father, grandfather, and father-in-law is honored. And while different countries have a different date for its celebration, in the UK it is celebrated every third week of June.

Why Is It Important?

               Your father is the first man to enter your life. You see the world through his eyes and while your mother is there to protect you and teach you the best she can, he is the one that makes you stronger and able to cope with the difficultness of life. There to teach you how to jump over any obstacle that life has set for you and in the end, you take on so many of his attributes that you are unaware of down the line until he’s long gone and you remember his words of wisdom by looking at old photographs of the jolly days you spent together.

He is the balance between the strong and the emotional. The one that tries to look so tough, while unsuccessfully hiding his tears of joy at your graduation day. He will be the happiest man on your wedding day to dance that first dance with you, but also the saddest because he knows now there’s another man in your life as important as him.

It is expected so much of him as a Father, and he always works hard to provide for his loved ones because he knows that ‘Father’ is a title you have to earn. This is why you should take every chance and appreciate your Father for having him. But also it is why you should take the time to make this Father’s day the one to remember in the years to come.

So have you decided the present for your father yet? Or if you are a mom, planning a special surprise for your partner, don’t you want something unique this year to cast a shadow to all other presents? Of course, there are tons of ideas out there, shops are doing special offers, agencies planning trips but those can be found on any other day so why not make this Father’s day especially memorable for the first most important man in your life?

A Photoshoot: The Best Gift For Fathers

               Gifting will pass, material things will be long forgotten on the living room shelves or in bedroom drawers, those carefully picked ties will be hardly ever worn and while you can still take your dad for a family lunch, there’s one gift that nothing can compete with.

               You see, as time passes parents watch how their children grow up, become independent and eventually start their own lives. This is when all they are left with is memories to bring them back to the moments they shared together as a whole family. And what serves better as a time machine than a photograph? You guessed it right, absolutely nothing.

               They didn’t say a picture is worth a thousand words for no reason. Photographs can tell emotions, remind your dad of times before his hair went gray, when you were a kiddo who could still fit in your mom’s arms and when your dog was just a playful little puppy. This is why, undoubtedly, photoshoots are the best gift you can give your entire family.

What Mums Really Want On Mother's Day

What Mums Really Want On Mother’s Day

As mothers, we want to feel like we’re succeeding at our favourite role: being a Mummy. Mother’s Day is such a fun day for me; it makes me think of Mother’s Day the previous year, and the one before that, and I see how my two girls are changing and learning.

Here are a few of the favourite ways I watch my two daughters grow from one Mother’s Day to the next.

They Bring Me Flowers

Hay fever sufferers aside, who doesn’t love getting a bunch of flowers? They’re the ultimate frivolous gift - no purpose, no chance of them increasing in value, and they won’t even last that long! But I like pretty things: I’m a photographer - visuals really speak to me!

Flowers bring life into a room - they are a fertility symbol after all, and what could be more fitting for a day celebrating mothers?

The flowers don't have to be expensive, or even bought in a shop. A couple of flowers picked from the garden, tied in some lovely ribbon, and handed over by a pudgy, little hand are EXACTLY what Mother’s Day is about for me.

I love the anticipation when they’re waiting to see if I’ll like them. And it’s lovely to see them begin to get joy from giving something, instead of just receiving.

They Make Me Jewellery

It doesn’t have to be sparkly! There are so many amazing artisans selling their creations online; I find myself clicking through my favourite websites, making a mental wish list, sometimes hoping someone scours my browser history for clues to what to buy me!

My favourites are the personalised ones: the charms with little fingerprints, bracelets inscribed with names, and of course, lockets for spaces with little pictures to go next to your heart.

My eldest girl loves making bracelets at the moment, so maybe I will have a new piece of jewellery to wear on Mothers Day!

I’m always amazed how these little fingers, that were clumsy and uncoordinated not so long ago, can know create these intricate little things.

They Give Me Handmade Cards

I hope my daughters keep making their own Mothers Day cards for me until they’re in their 40s - I love them so much! It’s probably only going to last while they’re in junior school though, so I’ll just enjoy it while I can.

I just love seeing my kids being creative. And seeing what comes out of their imaginations; who knew all that was in there!

The cards started out as paper tissue collages made in nursery, that they completed with their jagged signatures- now they’re pictures they’ve drawn of their own choosing. It’s always an honour to be pride of place in these happy scenes, arms too low down my body and an enviable thigh gap. No knees though. I’ve never had knees . . .

They Make Me Breakfast in Bed

My two are a still too little to be in charge of cooking me breakfast. Maybe in a few years they can be trusted with the toaster. For now, it will feel like a real treat to be brought a Danish pastry and a coffee (that Dad made).

They’re at that age now where they understand the role reversal idea of Mother’s Day. They get it that you show people you love them by taking care of them - it makes me feel like a good Mummy that they understand love and nurturing!

If you’re looking for inspiration for Mother’s Day gifts, know that they will love anything you give them, especially if it looks like you’ve thought about it a bit. The only bad present, is forgetting!

After Valentine’s Day, and when the shops have swapped over to advertising Mother’s Day, (the only way most of us know the date!) I get hit with enquiries for Mother’s Day portraits. Of course, these don’t take place on the day itself, because Mum’s are far too busy being pampered . . .

A family photo session, or a kids portrait session before Mother’s Day, means you could create a really special photo gift to give to the Mummy in your life.

Or for a completely hassle-free (yet still impressive!) gift, a voucher for a photo session in the Hull area is a great option.

Celebrate Chaos With A Cake Smash!

Celebrate Chaos With A Cake Smash Photo Shoot

By the time your first baby has reached the one year milestone, you’re immune to mess. However much of a neat freak you were before babies, you’ll have had to let some of that go, or risk cracking up!

When I first came across cake smash photo shoots as a way to mark baby’s first birthday, it made perfect sense! Here’s why:

Cake Smash Photo Shoots Celebrate Chaos

Isn’t it funny how the first time you don’t have your baby for a couple of hours, you can’t get used to the calm? I remember the times a helpful grandparent took my baby daughter out to give me a break - it was lovely, but something was off. I actually missed the chaos!

Being mummy to a baby in their first year means you have no idea about what going to happen each day, and little control over it. Once you get used to this, it’s really liberating and your days are much more fun.

A cake smash photo shoot is just the same! It’s a way of showing you’ve embraced the new way of the world, and you want to put glitter on it and show it off. It’s a far more realistic situation, and far less stressful than trying to keep clean for an entire hour.

Besides, it’s your baby’s birthday; what better way would they rather be celebrating other than making a mess!

Cake Smash Photos Make Gorgeous Art

 There are loads of wonderful ways to style your baby’s cake smash photo shoot. My favourites are the ones full of colour - whether that’s traditional pink or blue, pastel hues, or bright colours.

 

Whichever colour palette you choose, you can introduce colours with decorations like bunting and balloons (LOVE balloons in a photo shoot), cute outfits, picnic blankets, and of course, the cake itself.

 

The cake will be central to the whole shoot, but it doesn’t matter which flavour it is. What is important though, is tonnes of icing to get little hands, feet and faces stuck into!

 

From canvas wall hangings to birthday invitations, the images from your cake smash photo shoot make wonderful art and gifts. The colours and natural, joyful expressions make everyone who looks at them happy!

 You Get Priceless Expressions From A Cake Smash Photo Shoot

When you look at a photo from a cake smash photo shoot, I always think you can almost hear the noise! The squeals of sheer delight when they’re first allowed to thump a little fist into the perfect icing, and the lovely giggles when they’re not stopped from squishing it all over their face!

Sometimes you need to set the little monster free, because you don’t just want to remember the sweet smiles. The scrunched up face of pure joy as your little one destroys something is just as worth remembering!

I can’t wait to start offering cake smash photo sessions this year. If you have a baby who has a special birthday coming up, and you like the idea of a cake smash photo shoot, I’d love to hear from you.

 

 

 

Yes! That Really Was You!

 

Romance and photographs have always been intertwined. In Hollywood, no epic romance is complete without someone finding an old black and white photograph in a shoebox, kicking off an adventure of discovery about a historical love story.

For most couples, their wedding photographs are the first professional photographs they will have of themselves. More recently, pre-wedding, or engagement shoots are becoming popular too, giving a couple the chance to have a professional photo shoot in a more casual setting. More often than not, it’s the engagement portraits that end up being printed and put on the walls! Given how much couples love these images of themselves - the way they look, the way the photographerhas captured them, the flattering light - it makes me a little sad that couples don’t just have a photo session, for no occasion whatsoever!

And when I say “couples photo shoot” I’m not talking a sexy boudoir setting! I mean a couple of hours spend in a professional studio, or at a favourite location, looking their best and having their photos taken. I always think it’s special to have your photographs printed too. Actually printed on paper so you can hold them in your hands. I especially love little prints that can be carried around in a wallet.

Maybe I've been watching too many movies set in the 1940's, where soldiers look longingly at a black and white print of their sweetheart, gazing into the distance. I realise the updated version of this is now a digital image stored on a phone, but it's not the same! Something about a printed photo makes it so much more real and permanent.

I think we've got so used to having a camera with us all the time, that paying a photographer seems self-indulgent. A scroll through Facebook will confirm that it's not because people are against getting glammed up, taking a photo and sharing the results! So why not just have it shot professionally? The results will usually be SO much better!

Whenever I’ve been wedding, I’ve always noticed a steady stream of wedding guest couples asking the photographer to take a nice formal photograph of them together. I’ll usually ask too! Because I know that in years to come, I’ll be looking back at that photo and rekindling memories. However good you are at selfies, they’re never going to replace a professionally shot photo of the two of you; simple, well shot images are just timeless.

What always blows me away about these old studio portraits from the 40s and 50s is how amazing everyone looks in them. The skill of the photographer to get the perfect angle, together with a professional lighting set up, makes the world of difference. I also think that seeing yourself through someone else's eyes (or lens) is always uplifting and flattering.

When you're old and grey, how wonderful would it be for future generations to find an old print of you in a shoebox and say "Wow! Grandma! Was that really you and Grandad?" To have that little bit of time, frozen and tangible in their hands, like a relic that has survived the years; not pixels on a screen.

And it doesn't matter if it was the clever make up, or the flattering light, or the perfect angle, because for that moment in time, yes, that really was you!

The truth about being a mum :)

The Art of Stopping Time

 

When you have kids, your world doesn’t change so much as you enter a different world, a sort of parallel universe that had existed all this time, but you were unaware of. I mean, before kids there’s absolutely no reason for you to notice adverts about Baby Yoga, or to have an opinion on the best type of baby sling.

 

But once you become pregnant for the first time, you’re hit with a landslide of new things to get your head around - things you have to buy, things you have to learn, and advice from EVERYONE!

 

It’s no wonder most of us Mums feel overwhelmed, and even wish life could return to the way it was before! It’s tough: everything’s changing - but these changes could also be some of the best things to ever happen to your life.

 

You Have No Control Over Your Days

 

Remember when you could casually plan coffee with friends, or a night with a glass of wine, reading a book? Remember when you could make a list of things to do at the weekend?

 

Kids laugh in the face of your schedule.

 

This was a shock for me; I’d always been so organized. I didn’t see why this would change; I’d just plan in the time it took to feed and dress the baby, and away we go . . . right?!  I have to say, it did make me feel like a bit of a failure when I couldn’t tick off everything on my to-do list everyday.

 

Then a funny thing happened. Because the lists and plans had become pointless, I stopped making them and was forced to take each day as it came. I stopped feeling guilty if I wasn’t dressed by lunchtime, and as long as my little one was fed and content every day, all was well.  I started to enjoy the freedom of not having a pre-planned schedule. My baby had taught me to do something that celebrities pay gurus a fortune for - to live in the moment!

 

Little Things Become A Huge Deal

 

Wouldn’t it be lovely if, as a grown-up, you got praised for sleeping all night and eating all of your dinner? When you become a parent, the little victories become huge! You catch yourself applauding poops! You send texts to your other half documenting naps and the progress through bowls of mushed up veg.

 

I used to catch myself sometimes and wonder what had happened to the old, exciting me? What happened to my life goals and the flirty texts we used to send each other?!

 

As my girls grew a little older, I realized that those things were still there, but I’d also learned to really appreciate the little, simple things in life. The best things about the small things making you happy, is that you're happy more of the time!

 

 

You Notice That Things Change Constantly

 

I think we’re all guilty of thinking things like “I can’t wait until they’re in school and then I can have some time to myself again.” Sometimes, we wish these precious times away. That’s one of the reasons I take so many photos of my girls with my camera phone. I just try and capture the little moments when they discover something new in the world, or have found something that makes them smile or laugh out loud. I don’t even care if their hair is tidy, or if they’re covered in snot!

 

 

 

 

 

It’s also really worth having some professional family photos taken from time to time. Not only will you guarantee some gorgeous photos, but you’ll also get to be in them too! On location shots are a lovely way to capture your family’s favourite ways of spending time together. Maybe you’ve got a favourite walk you all go together with the dog, or a favourite ice cream shop by the beach.

 

I love shooting on location family portraits around Hull. On location shoots add a uniquely personal touch to family photos, and I feel like I’m freezing time for a family; capturing a special age and special bond forever, before anything else changes.

 

And unlike my phone snaps of my girls, I always check for snot on a family photo shoot!

Is it worth paying for a professional photographer?

Camera phones are amazing these days. They’re so good in fact, that people sometimes ask me why anyone would bother paying for a professional family photographer.

 

I don’t think they’re trying to be rude (hopefully), they’re just curious. And it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately when I’ve been working out the prices for my family photo packages.

 

So, what exactly are you paying for when you hire a professional family photographer?

 

A professional family photographer will have better camera gear

 

Its a question you ask yourself a lot as a photographer when you start out - is that £1,000 lens REALLY any better than the £100 one? The answer is usually YES!

 

When you look at a print from a professional photographer, you will notice certain things. In the areas that are meant to be sharply in focus, its REALLY sharp,  theres great depth of field (in focus main subject, pleasing blurry background) and the image looks just as good when printed, even on a large canvas for example.

 

All of these things are made possible by higher-end equipment; in other words, more expensive equipment!

 

A professional family photographer will have invested in a studio

 

Photography is all about light. Professional studio equipment gives you the best thing EVER as a photographer  - controllable light! For me, being able to control the light means I can give a client the exact look and feel that they want in their photos.

 

Another big plus of higher-end (yes - I mean expensive again!) studio lighting is the ‘modelling lampfeature. Cheaper studio lighting tends to be ‘constantlighting, which gets REALLY warm if youre under it for a while. Overheating newborns and mamas do not make great photos!

 

A modelling lamp gives enough light to arrange the shot under and then when I click the shutter, in a split second, the modelling light clicks off and the real, big boy lights flash.

 

Added bonus: kids love the flashes!

 

A professional newborn photographer will have specific skills and experience photographing newborns and babies

 

Its not a lie that digital cameras in auto mode can do amazing things, although to take fantastic images consistently, you need to know how to control all of the elements properly.

 

But its not just about knowing what all the buttons on the camera do (although that does help); amazing people photography needs amazing people skills.

 

You can bet your life that any professional baby photographer will have taken literally hundreds of baby photographs before. And as well as knowing the best poses and angles, your baby photographer will have experience in how babies react to studio lights, what to dress a baby in for a photo session, and tricks to make a baby smile in photographs.

 

Likewise, family photographers and maternity photographers will have experience in making family groups vibe together and in helping mums-to-be look relaxed and confident.

 

 

A professional family photographer will edit your photos to perfection

 

The work is nowhere near done when your photo shoot is over. People often dont factor the editing time into the equation when theyre trying to work out why photographers charge “so much”.

 

Photo editing is everything from uploading the images to the computer, to making changes to the lighting and colour balance, cropping in for a closer shot, and retouching the image (taking out blemishes etc).

 

Photo editing is a highly skilled part of the job and can be very time consuming; the software is also pretty pricey. But it makes a huge difference to your final images so it’s well worth it.

 

Photo editing is one of those ‘Marmitethings among photographers: they either love it, or hate it. Personally, I LOVE it! I love going back over the images and seeing how they turned out and I love editing them into something even more special.

 

And A Whole Lot Of Behind The Scenes Stuff

 

I suppose one of the main things youre paying a professional family photographer for is their time.

 

I know a few professional family photographers in Hull, and we’re all busy people! When we’re not shooting and editing images, we’re taking care of all the other bits of the business: the accounting, the marketing, the sales . . . there’s a lot of behind the scenes stuff going on!

 

So, when you hire a professional family photographer, you’re getting the benefits of the investment they’ve made in their camera kit and their studio; have a look at my Christmas sessions to see how consistent my studio lights make every image!

 

You’re also getting skills that have been sharpened through loads of experience; and you’re getting a lot more of their time than you think!

 

Home Studio

    Worrying about not being good enough seems to be part of the package of being a Mum. When I started as a family and newborn photographer, I realised it’s also part of running your own business - Double Whammy!

   For a long time, I researched my dream studio kit and I looked into permanent space for a photography studio in Hull. I had it all worked out in my head, right down to which coffee cups I’d have in the reception area. When I realised I wouldn’t be able to afford to be THAT photographer right away, I felt like a fraud. Surely, if I was the real deal, or if I was going to become the best family and newborn photographer in Hull, I should have my own studio.

   But being a start-up business, and mother to two young kids, it felt irresponsible. Financially, it was too much of a risk. So I compromised and decided to invest all the money I’d earmarked for my business into some fantastic studio lighting to use in my home. I put my dream of my own studio space on ice for the time being.

   Then I got a surprise. The more family photo sessions and newborn photo shoots I did from my home photography studio, the more I realised how perfect it was, and how it worked so much better for me and for my clients. Here’s how:

People Feel At Home In A Home

   Nobody’s in a rush to finish in my home studio. I don’t have to wrap up a family photo shoot and rearrange if a subject (read ‘newborn babe’) isn’t being very helpful. If a shoot runs over, it really isn’t a big deal.

   A ‘home’ environment is familiar to people, so we’re all more relaxed. My studio is set up in my dining room and my clients love it!  Taking away this barrier lets me get to know my subjects quicker, and being in my home, they get to know me too.

   I used to think it was important to have a ‘work me’ and a ‘home me’, but working from home, I’m just ‘me’. Ten minutes into a shoot and everyone's just themselves, and isn’t this what you want to come through in your family photo session?

Free Parking

   I don’t have to worry about rush hour traffic, or wish I hadn’t forgotten to take dinner out of the freezer. If ever I need to block off some time for a doctors appointment, I don’t need to put a sign on the a shop door explaining why I’m not open. Of course, I could hire a receptionist for a studio space, but that’s a whole load of money I just don’t need to spend.

   I get to put that money towards more awesome kit, or I can save my clients some money by not having to factor in the extra overheads of a studio - very popular! The free and easy parking on my driveway is also a big hit!

My Flow

   Just like the idea that I had to have a ‘work me’ and a ‘home me’, I thought I had to have two very defined compartments for my family photography business and my role at home. I tried the whole concept of blocking off ‘work hours’ in which I had to ignore the laundry and not speak to my partner if he came home from work early. That didn’t work!

   I slowly cracked and starting emptying the dishwasher while I was waiting for images to upload, or start dinner while I was replying to business tweets. And do you know what? It was fine. I had found ‘Natalia Flow!’ Not once have I gotten carried away and done the ironing when I was supposed to be doing a family photography session, I promise!

   Click through my gallery; I don’t imagine you’ll be able to tell that my portfolio was all shot in my home photography studio in Hull. You can’t see my fridge in the background, and my kids aren’t photo-bombing my clients. You’ll see a relaxed mummy-to-be, chilled babies, and families being themselves.

One Day

   I’d be lying if I said I didn’t still want my own swanky photo studio in Hull one day, with a swish receptionist and AMAZING coffee cups.

   Give it a few years and I’ll have trained the kids to empty the dishwasher and I’ll have so many clients, there won’t be room for all of their cars on my driveway. Maybe then I’ll get a studio, and other family photographers in Hull will be googling me for studio inspiration!

 

The reasons why You should hire a professional photographer for your newborn's photos

4 Reasons Why You should Hire a Professional Photographer for your Newborn’s First Photos

Becoming a new mother is by far one of the best feelings in the world for a woman. Seeing your baby for the first time, feeling them squirm happily as you hold them to you; there is nothing in the world more joyous than that. Those moments, the image of your newborn angel, can fill your heart with more happiness than anything else, which is why it make sense to preserve them forever.

Why you should Have a Photo Session for your Newborn

Children are growing up faster than ever before, and parents are unable to spend as much time with them as they used to. This is why you should preserve the memories of that blissful age through pictures and images that will last you a lifetime. You will be able to look back at those photos whenever you wish, in the future, and live out your time of great felicity once again.

Hiring a Professional Photographer for a Newborn Photo Session

A professional photographer, especially one who is well versed in taking pictures of babies, is the best possible choice when it comes to who will be taking the pictures. A professional photographer will know how to bring out the images in the best of light, while at the same time providing great convenience to the parents.

Following are some of the top reasons why you should have a professional photographer to take pictures of your newborn child.

Better Image Quality

A professional photographer can take photos of much better quality, making the photos even more aesthetically pleasing. Your baby will appear even cuter!

 Convenience

It is much more convenient to hire a professional photographer, as a professional has all the equipment already primed and ready, providing greater convenience.

In-Depth Knowledge of the Art

Taking photos is easy, however, taking the best looking photos is an art form, something the professional photographer is well versed in. A professional has knowledge of the field, knowledge that enables them to photograph any subject in a much more superior manner as compared to a non-professional.

Ability to Better Pose and Handle an Infant

Having a baby pose in a certain way is not only difficult, it is near to impossible, due to a baby’s nonexistent understanding of the situation. Fortunately, professional baby photographers know how to take advantage of the most fleeting of photographic opportunities and take pictures when the baby is ideally posed. Additionally they can both pose and handle the baby very well, allowing the parents to have some peace of mind.

If you are interested in booking a photoshoot for your baby feel free to contact me for more information or fill an enquiry form :)

I've joined BANPAS!

Zen Photography, Photographer Hull, Newborn Photoshoot, Baby Photos

I’ve Joined BANPAS!
As a newborn and baby photographer, I have to take the safety of my little clients very seriously.  
 
It might surprise you to know that the newborn photography industry is completely unregulated. Photographers like me, who take safety seriously, have to take it upon ourselves to be trained and educated on how to ensure the beautiful images we create, are done safely.

Being a newborn and baby photographer requires a unique set of skills and there is a worldwide organisation that exists to support photographers like me, who want to have access to safety training and resources that we can use to provide clients like you with a better service.  
 
I’m delighted to have joined BANPAS (Baby &Newborn Photography Association) BANPAS website .
I’d be delighted to chat to you about how I can create a beautiful gallery of images for your newborn and very happy to chat to you about how I do that safely. Please contact me for booking and availability information.