mum and her two children

What to wear at a photoshoot - Norwich Photographer

What to wear at a photoshoot - Norwich Photographer

I have had my studio in Norwich for nearly 8 years, and a common worry from parents is about what to wear at a photoshoot. My style is simple, natural and neutral - I believe this works best to get timeless images, therefore I advise parents on what to wear to compliment my style and their baby/ family. Whites and neutrals are so so timeless.


mum and her two children



When people book a photoshoot with me whether it be a newborn shoot, a baby shoot, cake smash or maternity photoshoot. There is a common theme to the advice given in the 'what to wear' information sheets provided.

  •  Avoid logos and cartoon characters that will one day date
  •  Colours -  cream and soft pastel colour work well against my light backdrops
  • Try to loosely co-ordinate, for example, everyone in jeans and a neutral different style of top or in various shades of complimentary colours – navy, greys, creams,  pastels etc.
  •  Stripes and spots only work well for babies alone and add a bit of fun to the portrait session but not when mixed with siblings and family images

I had a client recently say that all her favourite images of her son, were the plainer dressed images taken in the studio. She did like the ones where he was dressed in bright colours but the more simple outfits looked better and complimented her other images on her wall.

Young babies are best to wear simple snug clothes, like a simple baby grow. Such as plain vest, tight rompers, dungarees anything that will not bunch near the baby's face.


baby grabbing toes



For my newborn sessions, I have a few vests and bodysuits parents can borrow if they would like some images of their baby dressed - often vests / sleep-suits distract and are too big.


baby photographer Norfolk



Maternity shoots are amazing to capture when mummy-to-be dress in tight-fitting clothes, vest tops, long sleeves tops that cling to the bump. Also, ‘normal’ jeans with the buttons open look great too - I also lend ladies my maternity gowns for something a bit different.


Norwich baby photographer


Sibling and family images are a bit harder to organise for parents, but well worth it when you can loosely co-ordinate and see how amazing you all look together!

family photoshoot Norfolk


I do not like people dressing too smart if that's not 'them' it's important you all dress in what you feel comfortable in too.

Head over to my Pinterest board to see more outfit ideas - if you have a shoot booked with another photographer they should guide you to what to wear, if their style is bright and colourful they will likely have different advice to offer. The above information is what works best for me and my style!

To book a shoot please get in touch.

Jess x


Norwich cute baby with bow tie

Norwich baby sleeping

Back pain and pelvic floor pre & post pregnancy guest blog

Back pain and pelvic floor pre & post pregnancy

Guest blog by Emma from Stay Active Physiotherapy based in Norwich on pre & post pregnancy she welcomes babies & children to appointments,  perfect if you struggle to sort childcare.

Pregnancy and giving birth puts tremendous stress on a woman’s body. Many elements are affected, due to the changes in posture, biomechanics (the way we move), hormones and of course increased weight. The back, pelvis, hips and pelvic floor take a huge amount of strain which can cause problems well after the baby is born. This article mainly focuses on pelvic floor problems, the pelvis, and the lower back.


pre & post pregnancy image of office

What is the pelvic floor?

The pelvic floor is put under considerable strain in the antenatal and postpartum periods of pregnancy. Contrary to popular relief, most damage is done during the antenatal period. Hormones and the gradual weight gain from the growing baby, uterus, and fluid retention stretch muscle fibers, making them weak. The pelvic floor is an important group of muscles that acts as a kind of sling to prevent prolapse. It is an essential muscle group that helps to avoid leakage from the bladder and bowel, whilst also being an important part of your sex life and of course, helping to assist the delivery of your baby during childbirth. It can experience damage no matter what type of delivery you have. Even ladies who have delivered through cesarean section are likely to have difficulties postpartum. The pelvic floor is still a subject that most ladies are reluctant to talk about however problems with it are more common than we think. It is estimated that following childbirth, a staggering 50% of women suffer from symptoms of bladder and bowel dysfunction, resulting in incontinence and prolapse.

What can be done to help?

Many of these problems are preventable if basic exercises are done during pregnancy. The most common type of incontinence is urinary, this falls into many categories however the most common are stress (leaking when you cough, sneeze or jump) and urge incontinence (when you are unable to control the urge to go to the toilet). There are two different types of exercises to prevent or help these problems; one set is fast contractions of your pelvic floor muscles and the other are slow holds of your pelvic floor. These are too specific to cover in this article and you should get a Chartered Physiotherapist to talk you through them. I cannot stress enough how important it is to do pelvic floor exercises during pregnancy; some easy and basic exercises can prevent problems that will affect your body and quality of life later on in pregnancy, following the birth of your child and in your future life.

guest blog norfolk


Back pain.

The pelvic floor muscles also help to prevent back pain ante and postnatally. All the pelvic floor muscles work to control the pelvis and work with the lower back and abdominal muscles to support the spine. Back, pelvic and hip pain is common during pregnancy and can range from a mild ache to debilitating pain. If not treated during pregnancy, it can continue well after giving birth and may re-occur with future pregnancies. In brief, a woman’s posture changes considerably during pregnancy. The increase in weight around the abdomen shifts the lower body forwards, causing the lower back to arch. Changes at the pelvis also take place, particularly depending on how the baby lies and how well the woman’s body can cope with the weight of the baby and uterus. Growing breasts will cause the upper back to lean forwards and this may become sore and stiff.

Me next to bed and charts webpg

What can I do to help my back?

It is important that you keep a check on your posture and try to do some form of low impact exercise-walking, swimming, yoga, and Pilates are all excellent and safe activities. Try and look for antenatal yoga and Pilates. There are even some antenatal aquafit classes about which are also very good. If the pain is severe, you may need to see a Physiotherapist for more specific exercises and manual treatment. Many elements of being a Mum, such as picking up a heavy and wriggling baby/toddler, lifting car seats and pushing a buggy, can put extra strain on your back, pelvis and pelvic floor, even if you had no symptoms during pregnancy. It is important to look after yourself and keep yourself strong and fit so you can enjoy your new bundle of joy to the maximum and pain-free. May I say congratulations on your pregnancy or birth of your baby.


BSc. (Hons) Physiotherapy.

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Twitter: @stayactivephys

To read some other blogs find lots of topics here.

What are Gymboree classes Norwich like?

What are Gymboree classes Norwich like?

I have been looking for some time, for a class/activity that would be great for my toddlers aged 2 and nearly 4 years old to go together, I saw Gymboree Norwich had added a new family class. That didn't clash with work and preschool. We booked a free trial and my kiddies loved it! Emma was very welcoming and didn't mind when Lucas would randomly run off and lose a bit of focus.  Each week there is a theme and the equipment is moved about so it does not get boring for the children.

They have lots of classes on, at various times and days.  Gymboree is an award-winning and fun-filled class for babies and children from 0-5 years. To read up about them clickgymboree.

It is great fun, once you sign up you can attend any of their 'open gym' sessions which is great, we went twice this half term as their classes run through the holidays - whoop!

This was one of the reasons I signed up, we sometimes get bored in the holidays and the flexibility of being able to attend our class as well as the open gym sessions is perfect especially for rainy days.  The open gym sessions are not structured like the classes, it's a chance to use the soft play area and have free playtime.

As you can see from my snaps below, my two children LOVE IT!





The classes are held at a great building at the back of Nottcutts it is big, clean and full of fun. The only issues I have is my two never want to leave! I have to take them to see the animals at the garden center before we leave.



toddler classes Norwich

Their timetable can be downloaded on their Gymboree website If you undecided about signing up I would recommend signing up to a free taster sesison.


toddler classes Norwich

Jess x

To book a baby or family shoot please feel free to chat to,  me via my contact form. 



Actively Pregnant - Norfolk blogger 

Actively Pregnant - Norfolk blogger

Guest Blog by LauraJamie chats about being actively pregnant.

"Should you be doing that?"
"You need to slow down!"
"You've got an excuse to put your feet up and eat your bodyweight in junk now!"
If I had £1 for every time someone said this to me during my second pregnancy, I'd have had enough pennies to buy the Silver Cross Aston Martin Surf 2 ...
The truth is, there is no better time to exercise than whilst you're creating a new life inside of you. Exercise is not dangerous for your baby – there is some evidence that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and in labour. Don't get me wrong, it's certainly not the time to train for a marathon, but a little common sense should tell you that nine months of parking your backside every chance you get isn't going to do you any favours either.
"So what can I do?" I hear you ask. Well, the answer is simply to put one foot in front of the other and continue this pattern of movement for at least an hour every day.
Walking is incredibly underrated considering the benefits are so vast. It involves far less impact than running and thus limiting the chances of sustaining injuries. You'll give your mind a breath of fresh air and it can be done literally anywhere, with anyone, and at any time of day. Even your baby will love it as the gentle movement will often lull them to sleep, allowing them to grow efficiently.
actively pregnant Norfolk - mum showing off bump
For those of you who are already fitness queens, there's no reason why you can't continue your workouts, (yes, that does include lifting weights) throughout your pregnancy as long as there are no concerns or complications and you realise that your goal is now to stay fit and healthy, not to increase your intensity. Speak with your GP if you're worried but always trust your instincts. You'll know when it's time to slow things down but even with that being said, you MUST tell your gym, trainer or class instructor if you're pregnant and plan to continue using their services.
Here are my top tips for exercising when pregnant:
• Don't train on an empty stomach anymore, make sure you fuel up a few hours before with a bowl of porridge and honey or a fruit salad.
• To keep an eye on intensity, don't workout to exhaustion. If you're breathless, you're working too hard so take it down a notch.
• Don't ever ignore a pain, dizzy spell or bad feeling. Stop immediately and take a break, ending the session early if you don't recover properly.
• Drink PLENTY of water to stay well hydrated.
• Consume a post-workout snack or meal including carbs, protein, and fats such as 1 slice of wholegrain toast with 1tbsp natural peanut butter, a banana and almond smoothie or a homemade protein flapjack.
The most important thing you can do is just listen to your body and focus on staying safe and healthy throughout your pregnancy!
For more posts on health, fitness, food, and lifestyle, plus my own post natal fitness journey
pregnayc norfolk
pop by and follow my Facebook page or Instagram account:
I look forward to sharing with you and chatting to all you gorgeous mummies!!
Much love,
LauraJamie ✌🏼️💋"
Look forward to hearing from you 😎


To book a pregnancy shoot contact me via my contact form I'd love to hear from you!

Loosing the baby weight - Guest blog

Loosing the baby weight - Guest blogger Anna from Buggy Buddies shares her top tips

Getting pregnant, pregnancy, childbirth and parenting aside, loosing weight is one of biggest challenges we can undertake. The task becomes even trickier while endeavouring to nurture a newborn, keep on top of the washing, the housework and daily chores. It seems that feeding ourselves something remotely healthy and exercising suddenly sinks to the bottom of the priority list and as for drinking the recommended 2 litres of water a day, who needs water – its coffee we want and make it a strong one!

We have all heard the ‘Calories in v Calories out’ theory of losing weight and to a certain extent this is still true. We no longer need the extra calories required during pregnancy unless of course, you are breastfeeding. If you are breastfeeding you do need to consume an extra 300-500 calories to maintain milk supply.

Reducing calories too much will only result in your metabolism plummeting and after a few days of ‘starvation’ your shrinking fat cells will send out chemical messengers which send you rummaging in the cupboards and fridge for piles and piles of naughty foods.

Not all calories are created equal. There are good and bad calories, healthy and unhealthy calories. Choosing the right calories is simply a matter of choice with an added bit of will power.

Top Tips:

1: Reduce simple carbs (ie sweets, chocolate, white pasta, bread, potatoes) replace with complex carbs and protein (sweet potatoes, nuts, lots of leafy green veg). Aim to eat berries as a fruit choice as their energy is released slower.

2: Eat good fats (avocado, olives, oily fish, nuts/seeds, coconut oil, nut butters), reduce bad fats (transfats/margerines, processed foods, hydrogenated oils, veg oil, sunflower oils)

3. Drink water. Bottled is better but realistically who can afford that. Fill a litre bottle and aim to consume that by lunchtime, refill it and drink the next lot by tea time.

4. Eat 5 times a day. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. Aim to get a good portion of lean protein in each meal (fish, chicken, turkey, quorn, tofu, nuts). Try to reduce the carb load at breakfast time – eggs and bacon is a better start than carbohydrate packed cereals/breads.

5. EXERCISE: Try and ‘do a bit’ every day, it will not only help raise the metabolism and burn off the body fat but it will enhance mood, raise energy levels, and boost your self esteem.

6. Wait until 6 weeks post natal or 8 wks if you had a c section, before joining a suitable postnatal exercise class and starting a formal exercise routine. Prior to that build up with steady walking and of course do not neglect the pelvic floor exercises. Ensure your class instructor holds a postnatal exercise certificate, checks your tummy for diastasis recti (gap in the tummy muscles) and asks you relevant health questions including any recent births. All of this is covered in my BuggyBuddy Workout Classes where it is my aim to look after all my mums post natal needs.

7. Plan everything in advance. Plan your meals, your snacks, and your workouts. Write it down, put it in your diary, make if you fail to plan you may as well plan to fail!

8. Try to fit activity into your day – walks with your buggy, digging in the garden, playing footy with your kids etc. Be realistic as to when you can fit in your gym sessions and or classes – not many mums can formerly exercise every day.

9. Recruit an exercise buddy. Committing to exercise with a friend means you’ll be less likely to ‘bail’! I renamed my classes Buggy Buddies as that is exactly what we are ‘exercise buddies with buggies’ – we have a great giggle in classes.

10. The best exercise for you is the one you enjoy the most – as long as it raises your heart rate, makes you hot and sweaty and makes you smile it should do the trick. Aim to start your exercise regime where you left off during pregnancy.

Of course failing all of the above you could employ an experienced Personal trainer who can help you set achievable goals and motivate you towards them.

Anna Jakob
Personal Trainer with over 20 years experience in all areas of Fitness and well being. Since having my little boy 3 ½ years ago and setting up Norwich’s Buggy Buddy Workouts I have developed a strong interest in helping postnatal mums regain and improve their pre pregnancy figures.

My classes are held at Bannatynes Health Club in Thorpe St Andrews on Wednesdays and Fridays at 145-245 and are open to everyone – for more information on these classes or any other personal training info please contact me at

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Best pick your own fruit farm in Norwich

Best pick your own fruit farm in Norwich

This morning we ventured to White House Farm in Sprowston , Norwich. We went fruit picking there a lot last year.  They now have a big cafe selling cold drinks, hot drinks oh and cake! but more on that later. My family love going, Lila got to run abut this time, and we saw lots of young children about today, it the best pick your own fruit farm in Norwich very family and child-friendly!


Norwich pick your own farm

We checked their fruit meter online and although the strawberries were low we stocked up on raspberries to make smoothies and lollies with.  I have recently brought a nutribullet  (ITS AMAZING ) to make lots of fruit and veg smoothies. My two kiddies are loving them,  and I can hide all sorts of stuff like kale and kiwi which they are not usually keen on.

fruit picking  3 children 4-2



I try and support local businesses as much as possible,  that's why I am a member of Buy Local Norfolk, i also much prefer the taste of local fruit and veg. The farm sells eggs, jams, local popcorn it recently had a local farmers market which I sadly missed but they have plans to hold some more!


It's a great place to pop too and stock up on fruit and vegetables as they sell stuff already picked if you do not have time too. You can go and meet friends for a cuppa and cake which was delicious, they have changing facilities and toilets.

Today there was a choice of chocolate brownies, Victoria sponge cake, and scones which came with fresh cream and jam. My two children gulped theirs down and my nephew had some local ice-cream Ronaldo's, I had some and it was lovely. White House Farm has a great relaxed atmosphere, the children enjoyed picking the fruit and running about. As soon as the strawberries appear we will be going back again.

Norwich pick your own farm Norwich pick your own farm

I was amazed by how many photos we got of all three cousins especially with my two, but with a belly full of cake and fruit they were quite happy to let me snap away!



The farm is open 6 days a week (closed Mondays) it's always good to check their website and see what their fruitmeter is like just in case there is little fruit to pick! If you go let me know what you think, and if you know of any other 'hidden gems' as I call them in Norfolk, we love getting outdoors and visiting new places!


Fancy a family shoot outdoors if your children prefer being outdoors? Then check please out my new outdoor shoot package or email me to book in.




mum and her two children

How Life Coaching Can Help Busy Mums (and Dads)

Jess asked me to share a little bit about the life coaching that I offer to mums and a few tips to help with the juggling act of parenthood.

My name is Sam James and I am a Life Coach here in Norwich. I am passionate about helping mums to thrive and flourish as a woman and whatever roles that involves. I work with you to understand what makes you tick, what is important to you, and how to start designing your life to be the perfect fit for you and your family!

My Top Life Coaching Tips for Tired Parents:

Find time to be Grateful

Take some time every day to think of something that you are grateful for or that makes you happy (especially important when you haven’t had much sleep or have had a bad day!). It can help to have a physical object as a reminder – I have a butterfly shaped stone to remind me (but it can be anything that you will see or touch every day)

Work out what your family priorities are

You can use these to ground you, and use as a benchmark when making tough decisions. This will help you make the decision that is right for you and not the decision everyone else thinks is the right one for you!

Have some regular ‘me’ time

To do something that is about you and not about being mummy, to look after yourself

Be realistic

What ‘jobs’ can you really achieve with a young baby / toddler in tow all day? If you're realistic, then you can enjoy your day without feeling guilty about everything else you ‘should’ be doing.

Write a Quick List

Have a ‘Quick’ list of jobs that you can do if you get the odd few minutes spare (e.g. an email or phone call). These jobs are not urgent things though, so it doesn’t matter if you get to the end of the day and they aren’t done. But when you do tick them off you can count that as an achievement for the day!

Forget about Should

If the reason you are doing something is because you ‘should’, question if it is something that you need to do or want to do?


I hope these tips help you as a busy parent !


About Sam James Coaching

Sam James Life Coach NorfolkI found life coaching was just what I needed when I was pregnant with my son and throughout those early years, enabling me to be confident in the choices I made (and there are so many choices as a parent!). That is why I love to offer life coaching in an affordable package, both individually and in small groups, in Norwich and surrounding areas.

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Main Image: Family Photoshoot by me Jess Wilkins Photography Find out how to book a photoshoot here.