Seven years, Seven tips & Seven offers. Its lucky number 7.

Seven years, Seven tips & Seven offers. Its lucky number 7.

This month my Norwich based, baby and child photography business turns seven years old. I consider it my other child, my life passion and a source of great joy and pride.

To celebrate, I wanted to share how I got here; my seven tips for making what you love work and a very special lucky number 7 offer!

Something I am frequently asked; how did you start your business?

College was the catalyst for taking photography up as a hobby; where many an hour was spent working away in the dark room (the smell!!! If you know, you know! I LOVED it!)

Fast forward a few years and whilst enjoying an adult education course in photography, I found out I was pregnant! As for so many, evening sickness took its toll so badly, I had to give up the classes, but if anything, it spurred me to follow my dreams another way. I had a bump shoot and the wonderful photographer, who made me feel so at ease, inspired me when the arrival of my own baby provided the perfect model. Cass, my photographer came back and mentored me… so I took the plunge that so many of us mamas do when we want to work around having a baby – I stated my own business.

I have never stopped pursuing my dream and pushing myself. I never assumed I was at the zenith of my learning or knowledge and have over the years continued with 1-2-1 training with other new-born photographers. I have always learnt by absorbing and asking questions and it was no different with my own business. 20 months after the arrival of Lucas and the birth of my business, our little dream boat - Lilah burst into our world. I won’t lie, keeping everything afloat with 2 under 2 was hard and without the support and love of my hubby I wouldn’t have come out of the other side with everyone and the business intact!

Any business goes on a journey, working out what’s best, what’s popular, what makes you happy and some years into baby and child photography I made my own mark… I decided that what I loved best was the simple, neutral images. Showcasing the little ones for all that they are so I stripped it back, limited colour, limited props and it’s the same ethos I carry through into 2019 and beyond.

So, this blog is also a dedication; seven years of thanks and gratitude. To my husband, my children, my fur baby, my family ad friends. The support from everyone is never ending and to this day it amazes me that I continue to make friends on this journey. Most of all thank you to my clients and their beautiful models that made this business possible. Not only are you my bread and butter but you have created a support system I could never have dreamed of through the light and the recent heartbreak of losing my dad. You have made it easier - so thank you all!!!

My 7 lessons so far

1. Start as you mean to go on. In hindsight I think I started too soon. I was so eager (which isn’t a bad thing) I should have built up my portfolio and trained some more. Then marketed myself when I was more experienced and confident.  I started off too cheap and had to market myself to a new clientele. 

2. You do not need the most expensive equipment, most of my stuff is second-hand or not the top brand. You simply need to learn how to use it!

3. Trust your way. I ignored a lot of advice: I was told to use props, use lots of colour, to sell via in person sales and so on, the more I followed my heart and did things my way, the more it worked. 

4. Ignore what your competitors do and say, I know people say to keep an eye on them but I’ve found the more I stay focused on my work the less I worry or stress. (Also, it’s fine to be angry if you get someone copying your style or ideas. I have ranted to close friends, but every area of business gets it and it is wasted energy. Unless someone directly steals your clients, in the words of Elsa, LET IT GO) 

5. This is a hugely saturated market and some people will not value your work/your prices, it is not personal, it is business. The lesson? - not everyone is the right client for you. 

6. People will assume all you do is take photos! Family and friends will not always understand the full process behind photography and the final presented images, that’s ok because again its best to let it go (or educate them, whatever works for you!)

7. It’s a wonderful job but a hugely competitive field and can often lonely on your own – I have found networking with other freelancers and parent businesses to be a really positive experience. Find like-minded people in different fields so you can support and lift one another up. I’m very lucky that there are a lot of these events and individuals in Norwich!

So, there you have it, how I got here and seven years of tips. So now for a seven-year offer for seven lucky mummies to be!

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Are you pregnant? If so then I am offering the first 7 mums a maternity shoot!

The package:

  • A 25 minute shoot with 7 images via an email link for £75
  • Email to book in, and be quick! Once the 7 slots have gone, they are gone! 

Balloohttps://www.facebook.com/ClaireCarneyFloralAndBalloonDesigns/n by the awesome Claire Carny

Maternity Photographer Norwich

7 things you might have forgotten about having a newborn

7 things you might have forgotten about having a newborn

 

It’s so easy to forget each precious stage as they flash by before your eyes, but something I hear frequently from second time mothers and fathers is how much they had forgotten by the time baby number 2 arrives. So, I thought I would compile a list of 5 things to remind all you expectant second time mothers and also to prepare anyone in round one!

Baby photographer Norfolk

  1. Prepare to google ‘Can I die from sleep deprivation’ It hurts, it makes your body ache and its akin to torture. You exist in a weird mystical fog of forgetfulness and with no idea what the day is and even if it is day or night. You might forget the date your baby was born or maybe their name, who you invited round that afternoon and where you left your last cup of cold tea (cold tea is another point, read on!) It’s brutal, but it also jam packed with that wonderful thing oxytocin and it passes.

 

  1. The Love is like nothing you have ever known. The link between you and your baby is powerful, the dull ache you feel through your whole body when your baby cries, the desperate itch to whip them back to you if anyone hugs them for too long. The strange sensation for breastfeeding mummies of twingy boobs if your baby cries. Its magical stuff, my hubby didn’t experience this, but I did, anyone else out there too?

 

  1. It’s just a phase. How hard it is to remember that with a new-born. Endless nights of colic or maybe cluster feeding, illness, screaming or just no reason behaviour. It feels like the end will never be in sight. But with retrospect, it doesn’t last forever and it’s a rite of passage that all parents stare desperately at one another in the middle of the night and pep talk one another

 

  1. How to hold a new-born! This is a funny one, you’d think as parents of an older sibling that you have been there and done that, that’s its something you don’t forget, well I can assure you that while you will eventually get the hang of it those first holds put you under enormous pressure, which brings me to a sub-point of point 4! The enormity of being responsible for new life is just the same as first time around. To keep them alive and kicking – adhering to all the rules and regulations and advice as set out by everyone around you (authorities and family) It’s hard but remember you can do this!

 

  1. Cold tea. Your tea will not be hot when you drink it for a long time. There is no way around this.

 

  1. Never ever say out loud, or in your head that you are nailing something. As we all know, the minute your baby hears you they will immediately move the goalposts and you will have no idea what is going on. Be it sleep, feeding, routine, smiling, rolling you name it. They can smell parents celebrating success!

 

  1. In those hazy first days, it feels like no sleep, no hot tea, no routine and no idea will be your life forever, but, just remember, you will re-enter the normal world at some point. So, try to enjoy being home in a new-born bubble. Because as we all know ‘It’s just a phase’

Family baby photographer near me

And just to add – you will love this baby as much as your first , you may even feel sad about it not just being you and your first born.  But that soon went when Lila arrived, the emotions we feel as parents are so mixed and varied. Every journey is different but im pretty sure whatever you feel , someone else is feeling/ felt  the same. The fact that  we worry,  if we are doing a good job means we are!

 

If you are having your 3rd , 4th, 5th etc baby i’d love you hear from you and have you guest blog !

 

Jess

Newborn baby photographer Norwich


Guest blog - cake smash with Jess Wilkins Photography, Norfolk Photographer

Guest blog – cake smash with Jess Wilkins Photography, Norfolk Photographer

By Muffin and Puffin & Mollie! 

 

cake smash Norfolk

When Jess asked about collaborating for a photoshoot cake-smash I was delighted.  It was the perfect timing to mark a milestone birthday, Mollie turning 2 and also gave me an opportunity to bring some local businesses together to celebrate one another, support one another and share some hopefully wonderful content.

Knowing Jess as I do, I wasn’t worried or nervous in the slightest, she has a very calming nature and I knew that Mollie, while I couldn’t guarantee pose perfection, wouldn’t feel anything other than calm and happy in her studio.

We pulled up with cake and outfits and went straight into her perfect little studio. White, calm, beautiful, natural props and a tiny delicate rail of beautiful baby clothes (how I wish we had come to Jess when Mollie was a few days old!) A little slice of studio heaven.

Mollie was instantly drawn to the props, in particular the wooden birthday cake (how apt!) and from there it was a breeze. She happily got into her matching Christmas Pjs with me (a small request for an image from myself) and before we had a chance to give any sort of direction she had pulled the chair into the middle of the set and started posing. She does not take after me at all(!)

Baby Photographer Norfolk

A quick outfit change later into a piece made specially by the very talented Little Dottie Designs and she was back into pose mode… gleefully knocking over the TWO props and delicately eating all the sprinkles from the cake.

Jess gave no direction; the whole experience was led by Mollie with me guiding her for a few of the shots. We stopped when she stopped, and Jess shot when she was happily eating her Little Cake Company cake (topped beautifully by the topper from the talented Vellamaes) and we also took some fun time-lapse videos from #bts.

In under an hour it felt that it came to a natural end as there had been no incidents, meltdowns or tears… Mollie truly enjoyed the experience as did I. I have threatened to come back weekly for Jess’ calming influence over my little whirlwind of a toddler.

I cannot recommend Jess enough, she’s a mama herself and she just ‘gets it’ she was efficient without being bossy, she was calm without being airy and it felt more like a playdate than a studio shoot.

There’s not much point waxing lyrical about the final shots – I think they speak for themselves.

Jess can we come back for every birthday?

Sophie x

baby photographer Norfolk
baby photographer Norfolk
baby photographer Norfolk


bump shoot

32 weeks and a bump shoot - guest blog

32 weeks and a bump shoot – guest blog

Bridget Jones pants… maternity pads… Waterproof mattress protector… All very sexy things to buy when walking around the city with your other half! With 8 weeks to go i thought i best start packing my hospital bag. There is an unbelievable amount of ‘equipment’ you need to bring for yourself and your little bundle. Luckily i’ve got a great friend who has been amazing at helping me with this, knowing she had been through it before with her daughter she could give me useful advice on what she wishes she had packed for herself and her little Mollie.

 

Learning you have to look after yourself is a lot more important than i realised, before birth and after, you should be congratulating yourself, after all you’ve just grown a Human! And then given birth to your beautiful baby! Well done you!

 

Jess kindly booked a bump photo shoot for me, i didn’t know what to wear so picked out a few favorites to show off the bump. I even fake tanned the night before to mask my snowman skin. We all have our reservations about ourselves on how we look and i have the ‘good side’ and ‘bad side’. Luckily Jess understood my weird request and i felt so comfortable changing outfits and poses and even stripped to pretty undies for a different look and i didn’t even mind strutting about as i’m falling in love with my pregnancy body.

bump shoot

My bestie had her baby shower at a surprise location, there were banners, bright balloons, homemade sausage rolls, scones and cupcakes, all delicious. I overindulged of course… i am pregnant after all, that was my excuse. She loved it and it was fab to get everyone together to celebrate the occasion. It made me think about how quick time has come around! I’m going to have a baby soon! Wow! I can’t wait! I’m getting tired quickly so i’m no longer at night owl but an early morning bird who likes to wake my husband up early too, i get bored, if i can’t sleep neither should he right?…

Single digit countdown…

bump shoot


studio Norwich

28 Weeks pregnant my guest blogger is back!

28 Weeks pregnant

 

The nursery is now pretty much complete! We had our larger second bedroom plastered silky smooth, painted in a soft light grey using Farrow and Ball and i’m very lucky to say my clever husband has hand painted a mural of the ‘original’ Winnie The Pooh.

The mural consists of a waving oak tree bristing in the ‘wind’ with Pooh flying up towards the honey bees nest whilst grasping a blue balloon. I’m in Love!! We haven’t gone completely Pooh crazy, just the odd touches whilst still keeping a neutral feel with grey and white star curtains, a white cloud ceiling light with beaded raindrops and grey and white cloud bedding.

 

The hardest essential we purchased was the baby monitor. We found this extremely difficult as there are so many on the market with mixed reviews, every item had 5* and 1* ratings. Eventually we decided on the Motorola MBP44 Digital Audio and Video monitor, so good so far, lets see if it lives up to expectations…

 

We went to a wedding recently and i forgot my wedding outfit…..!!! Baby brain to the max! Luckily i had a jumpsuit i was planning to wear the next day with me so i whipped that out and hopefully i rocked it for the day!?! Pregnancy gives you allowances and everyone's nice to you, i had so many offers of drinks for that day, i was a cheap date with my soda water and elderflower cordial, 50p a drink! Bonus for them, bonus for me!

The day and night before i had Braxton Hicks, which became extremely painful so i rang the midwife in panic who put me through to the labour ward. I was getting cramps every 10 minutes towards the end so i generally thought i could be in labour at 29 weeks. After a while they finally cooled off and i started to relax, my little cherub is still bouncing around and was ready for the wedding antics to begin so we went to the ball!

 

Pregnancy hormones rattle inside your head, which makes you feel annoyed, irritated, upset and lovable all at the same time, i think my body is going through fight or flight mode protecting my baby’s surrounding area. I have no idea why though, our baby life is filled with joyous and caring family and friends who love them before they even know what love is.

Pregnancy is wonderful and strange all at the same time and i wouldn’t change a thing.

 

Onto the third TRIMESTER...

read Chelsea's other blogs here! she'll be in the studio for her bump photos soon!


MLBU

MLBU Birth Story - Rachael's last guest blog

MLBU Birth Story  this is Rachael's last guest blog for me !

 

BIRTH STORY

 

I’m so pleased I get to share this story with you. I have waited nearly 5 years for what I’d call ‘the birth I’d dreamt of’ and I still can’t quite believe it finally happened.

 

I had been practising hypnobirthing and found a fantastic online resource from The Positive Birth Company. The Digital Pack is essentially an online hypnobirthing course (for only £32!!) and includes loads of information and a selection of MP3’s too. I really can’t recommend it enough.

 

This little baby had been teasing me with Braxton Hicks since about 35 weeks. A good couple of times per week I’d be wondering if I was in early labour, but alas he hung on until 39+5!

 

On Wednesday 2nd March my Braxton Hicks started in the morning as usual so I didn’t think much of it. I took my eldest to nursery and had my youngest at home . As the day progressed the Braxton Hicks didn’t stop as they would normally do.  I felt a bit ‘off’ but carried on with the day as normal thinking it was just another ‘false alarm’.

 

By about 3.30pm I had started to think it may be something more . They hadn’t died down, so I arranged with my Mum for her to have my elder two for tea and overnight ‘just in case’. I apologised to her for the possible false alarm and said I was quite sure I’d be collecting them in the morning still pregnant!! Once Hubby was home with my eldest, my Dad popped over to  collect them leaving Hubby and I to work out what was going on.

 

It was about 5pm by this point so we sat and watched tv, ate some food and generally chilled out. By about 6.30pm/7pm I really felt things might be happening. I wasn’t especially uncomfortable but I was now ‘contracting’ every 10 minutes or so. I went and had a lay down and actually had a bit of a snooze!

 

I woke up around 9pm and called Hubby up to say that I was pretty sure this was it. Things were a bit uncomfortable and still reasonably regular.  I called MLBU just so we were on their radar. I explained to them that I’d never had a ‘normal’ labour and that I actually felt like I had awful trapped wind more than contractions . They suggested I went in to get checked over. We made our way to the MLBU arriving at about 10.30pm.

 

After chatting with the midwives for a bit I accepted an examination which indicated I was around 3cm dilated and was definitely going to be having a baby, not just a massive fart! In fact the midwife said she thought it would be about 5-6 hours given the ‘feel’ of my cervix. With that she sent us for a wander around the hospital.

 

Only 15 minutes later things really had become a lot more intense,  we headed back to the safe ‘nest’ of MLBU. The midwife observed me for a while and offered to run the pool but I chose to stay out of the water initially and use the ball.  I didn’t want to have to get back out of the water once I was settled.

We switched on my positive affirmations MP3, the lights were low and beautiful twinkly lights were projected around the room. It was like a spa!

 

Not long afterwards, the midwife clearly saw that things were progressing and offered to run the pool again, which I accepted this time. My contractions were intense and powerful and I was in the depths of my hypnobirthing head space. Once I had got into the pool we notified our birth photographer that things were happening. it was at this point I had my ‘panic’, a typical sign of transition. I said to the midwife I thought I might need some ‘extra help’ (gas & air) and she simply said ‘nah…you’ve got this’ and that was the end of that – haha!

 

I hadn’t been in the pool long before I said I could feel the baby descending. I could feel the familiar pressure in my bum, you know that lovely ‘I need a poo’ feeling. I said to the midwife that I needed a wee and so I stood up to get out of the pool…with that my baby quickly decided he was in fact coming and coming now. I never made it for a wee!

 

My body went into primal animalistic mode and the involuntary fetal ejection reflex started. It is such an incredibly powerful and intense experience (and I still maintain it’s not painful!). This stage didn’t last long at all really and before I knew it I could feel babies head crowning. I just kept thinking ‘I can’t believe I’m in the pool!’.

 

With my previous two babies their bodies had been born with one contraction, so I was a little shocked that after his head had been born that his body took two pushes – I remember thinking ‘oh…he is quite big then’ – haha!

 

Once he had been born he was guided though my legs to my front and I moved so I could bring him up to my chest. We stayed right there, me, hubby and our baby until his cord had stopped pulsating and the placenta had been passed. It really was perfect.

 

I still cannot believe I got the birth of my dreams. I am immensely proud of myself, not only for achieving a drug and intervention free birth (having had very medicalised births previously), but also for birthing an 8lb 15oz baby with no pain relief!

 

Thank you all for sharing this journey for me – here is my beautiful boy Huxley Jon Cole, born 03.35am on 3rd May 2018, weighing 8lb 15oz.

MLBU


How to Dress Your Bump

How to Dress Your Bump

 

Deciding what to wear for a photoshoot can be hard enough, but deciding what to wear for a maternity shoot when none of your clothes fit you any more can be a real challenge. Luckily, getting your maternity photoshoot outfit right is easier than you think, all you need is a few carefully selected accessories and a bit of knowhow.

 

A belt

 A belt can be used to adjust your outfit, make it more flattering and emphasise your bump. Place the belt just above your bump and below your bosom to draw in any loose clothing, add a splash of colour to your outfit and make your bump really stand out.

 

Maxi dress

 When it comes to dressing for a maternity photo shoot, the maxi dress is very much your friend. Available from most maternity clothes shops and high street fashion brands, maxi dresses help to draw attention to your bump while making your silhouette look slim and smooth. What’s more, maxi dresses are very comfortable, so you’ll feel happier and more at ease throughout the shoot.

maternity photographer Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

Block colours

 

To ensure the photos don’t look too busy, try to stick to block colours when selecting your outfit. As well as giving the photos a lovely aesthetic, this will help to ensure your bump isn’t obscured by patterns, prints and textures. To add a unified look to your photo series, select a colour palette, using accessories and outfits that complement and enhance each other throughout the shoot.

 

Accessories

 

Accessories are a fantastic way to add colour and detail to your maternity look. Chunky necklaces work well with maxi dresses as they add visual interest to the top of your outfit and help to balance out your look. You can also add layers like wraps, coats and scarfs to your outfit to make it more vibrant and eye-catching.

 

Make it classic

 

Though you’re capturing a specific moment in time with a maternity photoshoot, it’s a good idea to choose a classic, timeless look to ensure your images don’t look too dated too quickly. Try to avoid clothes that are faddy or trendy, opting instead for outfits that will stand the test of time. As well as helping your photos to look great, this approach will also ensure that your maternity wear is still on trend next time you’re pregnant.

maternity photographer Norwich

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sourcing fashionable maternity clothes

 

Though shopping for maternity outfits can be fun, sourcing clothes that are fashionable as well as practical isn’t always easy. The best place to start is word of mouth recommendations, so the other pregnant women you know where they buy their clothes. If that fails, you can either hit the high street or, if you want to take the weight off your feet and avoid trawling shop after shop, go online and see what specialist brands have to offer.

My favourite picks are

https://www.isabellaoliver.com/

http://www.debenhams.com/women/red-herring-maternity

http://www.newlook.com/shop/maternity/view-all-maternity_1920039

 

If you’re thinking about planning a maternity shoot of your own and want to find out more, give us a call today.

 

 

 


birth photography

Ten common misconceptions about Birth Photography - Guest blog

Ten common misconceptions about Birth Photography - Guest blog Jennifer Sarah Birth Photography.  Birth Photography? What’s that? Have you heard of it? As a specialist birth photographer, when I tell people what I do, it seems to be a very marmite subject that people either get really excited about or are really not sure about!

I was really excited when Jess asked me to pen a blog to clear up some common misconceptions around birth photography.

 

Here are some of the most frequent things I hear from people when I tell them about what I do:

 

  1. It's the same as Newborn Photography.

 

This is a surprisingly common misconception as newborn photography is so well known, but many people are yet to hear of birth photography. Like Jess, I trained in newborn photography many years ago with one of the industry leaders in safe posing and handling of babies, and it was part of my portfolio when I started my business. It was around this time Jess and I became friends, however over the years our work has ended up taking different paths! Jess has fine-tuned her specialist skills in creating beautiful studio portraits, establishing herself as one of the regions top Newborn Photographers, which is why I refer enquiries looking for this photography straight to her! I instead have been drawn towards documentary photography; and combining this love of natural light and real life-changing moments, with my passion for calm and educated births from teaching my NormalBirthing Hypnobirthing classes, has lead me to now be Norfolk’s specialist birth photographer.

The clue is in the title as to have the two types differ though, Newborn Photgraphy is when your little one is newly-born in the first few days of life, birth photography is the story of their actual birth into the world.

birth photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. But, I look ugly in labour!

 

No you don’t. You really, really don’t! You’re beautiful in labour. All women are as they find their inner strength to birth their babies. Even when the mascara is smeared down your cheeks and your hair is sweaty and tangled - I promise you - you are beautiful. I am yet to photograph a labouring mother who says she feels ugly in her images, instead she finds them stunning, empowering and emotional.

My favourite quote comes from the world renowned birthing guru, Ina May-Gaskin; “If a woman doesn’t look like a goddess during labour, someone isn’t treating her right.”

 

birth photography

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. It’s gory and graphic.

 

When I tell people what I do the most common response is a screwed up face grimace - “Ooh that’s a bit gory isn’t it?!” But it’s really not! The actual birth of your baby is actually just a small part of the whole story that’s captured. And actually birth itself is often far less messy than people think!

Jess doesn’t bat an eyelid if your newborn enjoys some nappy free time on her blankets, and I don’t bat an eyelid at the inevitable bit of blood during a birth. But it’s often really not like a lot of media would have you believe! I have worked in birth for 5 years now, and I myself have done it twice. I’m quite used to seeing all manners of bodily fluids and functions - that doesn’t mean I photograph it all though!

 

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4. It’s all picture’s of ‘down there’.

 

Trust me, that’s not where I tend to point my camera! Your privacy and decency is of upmost importance to me. That said I do have some mums who want me to get the crowning moments as their baby is born, because it’s a viewpoint as a mother which is very hard to see! But, as above, the birth is much more than what’s happening ‘down there’. It’s the look on Dad’s face as baby is born, it’s the forgotten back rubs, jokes in-between surges (contractions), your baby’s first expressions, and the little details and moments that make the day so special.

 

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5. It's only for ‘hippies’.

 

Far from it! Like hypnobirthing this is something parents from all walks of life want and is increasingly seen in the mainstream media.  I do find though that the type of parents who come to me to capture the day their baby is born are usually those who have spent some time planning and preparing for The Big Day. Often, but not always, it’s booked by those who have explored their birth options and are planning homebirths. They may have attended my classes or another in the area, and have looked beyond the NHS’s antenatal offerings and usual birth plans and pathways.

 

Like wedding photography, this is the story of your family’s day. From the preparations before birth to the celebrations after, more and more people are investing in their birth experiences to be the best they can possibly be, and want that special day remembered forever.

 

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6. It's scheduled like any other photography session.

 

When I book a birth, I book out the whole month. Booking an Estimated Due Date in the diary sadly just isn’t the way it works. Babies keep to their own schedule for their birth, and we have no real way of knowing exactly when that might be! I go on call at 37 weeks, and remain on call until your baby is born. Just like you, I wake up every day thinking ‘is today the day?’ I recently blogged about life on-call over on my website, and I think it’s important to remember that I become just as invested in your birth as you are.

 

And on-call really does mean on call. I will come out wherever and whenever your baby is being born. Middle of the night, or the other side of the county, I cancel all plans and forgo all sleep to be by your side as you birth your baby.

 

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 7. It's intrusive.

 

As mentioned above, I promise you it isn’t. I spend time before birth chatting to parents about images they do or don’t want, both to be captured or included in their private or public galleries.  As a birth professional I am also aware the effects of being observed can have on a mother in labour, and so I make myself as accessible, and yet invisible as possible. I offer a fly-on-the-wall perspective, and for that I must keep myself out of the way. That being said I’ll also be on hand to make cups of tea or lend a hand tidying up where needed, after all I am another pair of useful hands!

But the biggest compliment I am so fortunate to often receive is “I didn’t even know you were there!” If I hear that I know I’ve done my job well.

 

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8. It’s pricey.

 

As with all professional photography, it is a luxury. And when hiring a photographer you are paying for many things beyond the time they spend clicking a shutter. You’re paying for the years of training, things like professional equipment and insurance, and for a specialist birth photographer like myself, years of birth experience.

 

More and more people are valuing the documenting of these life changing events through beautiful photography, and just like with wedding photography, are seeking out photographers who’s work they admire and want to invest in to capture their day. You may be surprised to hear many people spend more on their pushchairs than they spend on their antenatal classes and birth photography!

 

Often it is cheaper than you think, and my birth packages actually start cheaper than my basic wedding photography package. And yet unlike weddings, I have no idea when I will be called to work, or how long I’ll then be there for! Like many photographers I have different offerings for different budgets, and can also accommodate payment plans. I even offer gift vouchers for alternative baby shower gift ideas!

 

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9. My partner can just take photos on his phone.

 

You know what. He can! For my births that’s exactly what my babies’ Dad did. But… the one photo I had from my eldest’s birth got lost in phone upgrades. We forgot to take my camera out of the car. I can still picture the image of me cradling my son, but I can’t ever see it, and I am really sad about this.  For my youngest son’s birth he did pick up my camera briefly and managed a slightly blurry snap of me and my son in the pool. It’s the only picture I have of that time and I cherish it as one of my most treasured possessions.  So although I am a photographer, I have one photo from both my births. So often I hear Mums say that they wish they had more photos from that time. Dads are caught up in the moment, and (rightly so) aren’t thinking about photos!

 

The truth is, even if your partner is a world famous photographer, Dad should be with you, by your side supporting you, welcoming your new baby into your family. You’ll see most images in this post include Dads - it’s his special day too. These wouldn’t be possible if he was watching the events through his camera screen!

 

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10. Any photographer can take pictures for me.

 

Again, this is in some ways true. Having someone at your birth who is there just to document the day will always give you more memories to look back on than not having such a designated person. But there are two things that are so important when choosing who to have with you; someone who can work confidently in ever changing situations (importantly light and environments), and someone who has a complete and thorough understanding of the birth process.

 

I am so passionate about both of these - the latter in particular. I have spent many years perfecting my art, working in ever changing natural light, knowing my equipment inside and out, and working intuitively when these things change to always capture the best images. Any professional photographer will have been perfecting these skills over their lifetime. And as professionals we find our area of expertise usually lie in certain areas. For me this is documentary photography, where my environment is uncontrolled and my subjects completely un-staged, it’s so different from my previous studio work. I just love the completely unpredictable nature of it!

This is taken even further when working in a birth environment. There are so many factors to consider I can’t begin to list them all here! Being in a birth room is such a roller coaster of emotions and logistical changes; your photographer has to be ready at a moment’s notice to change plans or position, and it’s imperative they have a full understanding of what impact their work might have on you or your care team.  All while maintaining professionalism and a calm composure.
Having been teaching hypnobirthing for 5 years now - and now embarking on my Doula training - I am a full blown birth geek! I fully understand how small words and actions can have huge impact both positively and negatively, and this is something I work hard with my couples to understand, and use in my birth work when alongside mums.

 

I cannot stress the importance to you to find someone you feel 100% comfortable around, and who you can 100% trust to be there when you need them, offer you support, and not disrupt your labour and birth. I am registered with both the UK Professional Birth Photographers and the International Association of Birth Photographers, both of whom have minimum requirements for their many registered photographers to ensure those on their listing are professional and experienced.

 

I love what I do. As corny as it sounds, this isn’t a job, it’s a calling.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you may be able to tell, I’m really passionate about what I do, and I love to chat about it. So if you’d like to know more please feel free to email me at jen@jennifersarah.co.uk , find me on Instagram or facebook, or pop along to the Baby Shows at the Showground, Sportspark, and Open Norwich over the next few months to meet me in person and see more of my work. I’d love to hear all about your birth plans!

You can read my other guest blogs here, thanks Jennifer for taking the time to write this blog, did this help change your misconceptions if so comment below we'd love to know!

 

 


studio

 Jess Wilkins Photography:  Inside my newborn baby studio

 Jess Wilkins Photography:  Inside my newborn baby studio

 

Over the past five years, I’ve welcomed hundreds of wonderful families from across Norfolk into my purpose-built studio. Located in Norwich, the studio is specially set up to be welcoming, convenient and comfortable for families. I have a lot of experience photographing babies and young children. So know exactly how to ensure your family is happy and comfortable for the duration of your visit.

 

Parking

 

When you’ve got a baby, changing bags and maybe  another child in tow. Easy and accessible parking is very important. When you arrive at the studio you’ll find parking right outside my house. This makes it easy for you to carry your bags, belongings and baby inside.

 

Looking after baby

 

Before, during and after the shoot your baby is my number one priority. At the studio you’ll find everything that new parents need to care for their baby. Including nappies, wipes, a changing mat and plenty of space for bottle and breast feeds.

 

Refreshments

 

When you arrive at the studio you’ll find a selection of snacks to keep you going, with tea and coffee available for parents. Full length studio sessions are never rushed so there’s plenty of time for you to relax and enjoy a cuppa.

 

Older siblings

 

Older siblings are always welcome to come along to the shoots, even if they don’t want to join in themselves. There are wooden toys to play with and if you have a tablet you can plug it into the Wi-Fi. If you feel they may get restless in a newborn shoot.  One parent is welcome to go off and explore the local woods/parks. Or pop to White House Farm café which is just a short drive from my home studio.

 studio

 

The shoot

 

During the shoot itself i’ll work hard to ensure your baby is comfortable and happy at all times. The shoot will last between two and two and a half hours and is always baby-led. I’ll capture your baby both asleep and awake . I use a small heater, white nose maker and a collection of delicate rompers and wraps to keep your baby warm and snug.

 

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Your baby will be photographed on a beanbag surrounded by blankets and soft things. I don’t use props in order to ensure all the focus is on your brand new baby. As all babies are completely unique, each shoot is unique. We’ll work around you and your baby making sure everyone is happy at all times.

 

studio Norwich

If you’d like to find out more about my home studio and photoshoots, or if you’d like to arrange a newborn session of your own, get in touch or take a look around the rest of my website.


diet

Avoid the latest fad diet! New year new you? Guest blog

Avoid the latest fad diet! New year new you? Guest blog blog Anna from Keep it Real Personal Training 

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‘I’m going to lose weight in the new year’? ‘I’m going to get to the gym every day in the new year’ or ‘I’m going to detox after christmas’?

 

These are statements made every new year and sometimes we make drastic moves to achieve our goals.

 

With this in mind I have a penned a list of sensible adjustments you can make to every day life that will help you feel healthy, slimmer and more energetic.

 

  1. Avoid the latest fad diet, diet foods/drinks, sweeteners and any restrictive kind of diet. There is only one way.  Don’t over complicate things.... Choose foods from the fresh isles of the supermarket. Lean (unprocessed) meat or fish, veg (eat a whole rainbow of different coloured veg), nuts, seeds, some fruit.  Don’t cut out fats or Carbohydrates, they are an important source of energy but ensure you opt for the right sort.  Rice, potatoes, sweet potatoes are good sources of carbs and nuts, seeds, eggs, avocado and cheese (in moderation) are great for providing essential fatty acids.  Limit choices from processed food which is anything from ready meals to candy bars, crisps to biscuits.

 

  1. Exercise - choose a form of exercise you enjoy the most as you are more likely to stick with it. Perhaps find an exercise buddy so you can motivate each other.

Ensure your workout week includes 2-3 sessions of resistance exercise as it’s not only great for shaping the muscles and improving posture but is essential for raising the metabolism, which essentially means you burn more fat at rest.

 

Having been in the industry for over 25 years I have finally found my favourite form of exercise. It ticks all the boxes.  For me, my exercise of choice is Crossfit which is a program of constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement which can be scaled to suit any level or age.

 

 

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  1. Change your relationship with food. Food is essential fuel for the body.  You wouldn’t put dirty, contaminated fuel in your car.  If you consistently did, you wouldn’t expect it to work very well or last very long would you?  You also wouldn’t expect it to work if the tank was empty would you?  Your body is no different.  You need to eat and drink a diet full of nutritious, healthy foods in order for your body to work optimally.  You cannot starve your body and hope it will keep working as it should.

 

  1. Trust the process. Be honest. Make short and long term (life long) health and fitness goals! Changes do not happen over night. If you are being honest about what you are putting in your mouth and how much energy you are exerting each day and you are creating a very small calorie deficit you will find weight will come of sensibly and steadily.

 

  1. KEEP IT REAL. Go for that drink, have that meal out, eat the cake but just don’t do it every day. I have an 80:20 rule. 80% goody two shoes 20% not so goody two shoes!  Don’t make changes you can’t keep up, be sensible, be realistic and don’t forget that life is for living and enjoying!

I hope these little tips help you through the new year.  I am more than happy to help with exercise and nutrition direction.. Drop me an email if you’d like to find out more.

 

Anna Jakob

Keep it Real Personal Training

buggybuddies@hotmail.com.

07770752652

 

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