Richmond Portrait Photography: Kew Gardens

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

This is one shot from a shoot i did last weekend at Kew Gardens. The website is coming along nicely, although it has literally been back breaking work. My shoulders are aching from typing at work all day, then coming home sorting out dinner, bathing the girls and getting them ready for bed, reading them a bedtime story and then there is a small window of opportunity to work on the site before i go to bed and start the whole cycle again. I'm so excited about how it looks and i'm working towards having it go live in April.

Tomorrow i'm attending the Danien Lovegrove Concept to Print Seminar in St Albans!

Senior Portraits UK Surrey

Friday, 21 February 2014

I'm so excited by the shoot i did today. Senior Portraits haven't really arrived in the UK yet, but it's a style of photography i would definitely love to do more. Annabelle was an incredible model, although it was sunny the wind made it a bit chilly but she never once complained about taking her toasty winter coat off. And she held this pose even when she was photo bombed by an adorable golden retriever leaping in to the pond behind her!

Indoor photography without the white background

Monday, 17 February 2014

I've been pretty quiet lately huh? The reason, i'm excited to say, is because i have been working on a brand new website! It's been something I spent most of 2013 thinking about, wondering if i could actually turn this hobby in to a career and i've decided to take the plunge. I'm nervous and excited and pretty much play this video on a constant loop to keep myself from curling in a ball and giving up!

So until the new site is up and running here's one picture. The weather in the UK at the moment is perpetual rain, the nearby river Thames has burst it's banks and flooded thousands of homes. We've pretty much stayed indoors lately. So to flex my photography muscles i've been trying my hand at indoor photography.

Bocketts Farm Santa's Grotto 2013

Saturday, 14 December 2013

I haven't done a family day out post in a while and i get a lot of hits to this site for 'Bocketts Farm Santa's Grotto,' so i thought I'd do a fuller post on our annual trip to Bocketts  Farm.

Some will say that the admission price is steep but for a day out and Santa's Grotto and two very happy girls i can't help but feel it's worth it. We've been to a few Santa's Grotto's in our time, we've tried Garden Centres and Shopping Malls, but Leila is of the age where she is getting beginning to get a bit more clued up and asking questions and she tells me sagely she can spot the fake Santa's from the real one. The Santa at Bocketts Farm, so I'm told, is the real Santa, take it from my 7 year old and for that it's worth the extra money!

This year and last year we arrived about 11am and on both occasions we got the 1:15 time slot. Man alive i love a time slot rather than waiting in a long queue! This gave us time to play around the Farm - see the many pictures! For when the weather is against you there is plenty of indoor entertainer including two play barns with soft play areas. If you are lucky, as we were, then outside there are a number of play areas and we never felt like it was over crowded. For the animal lovers there are my husband's personal favourite the llama's, 90p for a bag of feed and they are your friends for life. The weather was great so we bought a picnic with us and ate outside but there is a tea room and indoor seating areas. After dessert the kids watched the pig races, Harry Trotter is the reigning champion so I'd put your money on him.

This led us neatly to our time slot to meet Santa. We waited at the Elves bus stop, where a kubota pulling a decorated trailer picks the kids up and the parents walk beside the trailer while the kids sing Jingle Bells on the short ride to Santa's Workshop. At the Workshop we are greeted by another elf who tells the children they need to say the magic word to open the doors to see Santa (pssst the magic word is RUDOLPH). The Grotto is beautifully decorated and the Father Christmas is very convincing. The children sit on bales of hay and are invited to come up and see Santa, who writes their names in the book and gives them a present. There's no feeling of being rushed and all the children are completely in awe. As we all leave an elf invites the kids to pick a sweet from a basket. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the play barn.

They slept well that night!

London Urban Portrait Photography

Thursday, 12 December 2013

A couple of weeks back my sister had a rare day off from work so fuelled by Star Bucks caffeine treats and some wintry determination we took to the streets of East London. It always amazes that in the heart of one of the busiest cities in the World you can duck down a deserted street and feel like the last person in an abandoned city. Angie writes the fabulous blog The Awkward Blog and she worked her magic here on Justgivemeacamera until i get my site up and running in the new year.

It was a chance to play around with my 45mm Tilt Shift lens, my favourite lens but not one i get to use often - with it's manual focus it's not the easiest lens to use when photographing children. Most photographers will tell you it's a luxury rather than a necessity and i debated on whether to buy it for a long time. I clocked up quite a few hours reading reviews and trawling through the Flickr Canon 45mm group. I worried that i wouldn't be able to figure out how to use it, most reviews came with a tonne of techy jargon which left me  asking so how do i focus? how do i expose? erm which knob do i twist? how do i rotate the lens?? - but this Vimeo video, in plain English, clarified things for me. So i bit the bullet and have not lived to regret it.

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