What do you get the glamorous mum for her birthday that already has it all…? A handsome husband, 4 gorgeous grown-up kids, a daughter-in-law (that is good at organising presents) and a brand new cute as a button two-month-old granddaughter. An updated family photoshoot, that’s what you get her!
I’m totally all for presents that give an experience rather than stuff and a gift of memories is one of the most precious gifts of all. Daughter in law Katie did good, very good (I’m just a bit worried that she has set the bar too high for Christmas now!!).
Meet the birthday girl
Woot woot! See what I mean about glamorous? You’d certainly never guess they had 4 adult kids, would you?
The Family Photo that started it all
Mum bought with her a photo that they’d had done as a family a few years ago and asked me if I could recreate it now her babies are all grown up. Such a fun idea and we included the original picture in the new one as well!
The boys have clearly had a growth spurt since the original!! The original image was on a brilliant white background. I gave them a version of this image with the same background. But I must confess I prefer the more flattering cream tones of this background.
Of course, there are now two more additions to the family so to update the image properly let’s add in Katie and baby Elsie.
Look at Elsie, she’s a natural in front of the camera already!
Families within Families
As I give all the edited digital images to the family I made sure that we captured all the combinations. Including the newest little family.
Back to the Birthday Girl
I had to pose mum with her twin daughters.
As you can see good looks clearly run in the family.
And when I have grown up sons in the studio I love to have them kiss their mama. It always delights mum and makes the guys squirm a little!
Look at that grin!
The undisputed star of the Show!
Everybody wanted their photo with Miss Elsie. Mum, Dad, Granny, Grandad, Aunties and even her Uncle! I think the birthday girl was very happy to share the spotlight with this little cutie and as the first grandchild and niece, she is absolutely doted on. And rightly so.
I couldn’t resist finishing up with some photos of her by herself.
And just like that, after multiple combinations and lots of fun and laughter, the session was over. Have I mentioned I have the best job in the world?!
When Katarina got in touch to book a photoshoot to celebrate her daughter turning one I couldn’t wait to meet the entire family.
Meet the Cech Family
Mum Katarina, Dad Milan, Big brother Andrej and the beautiful birthday girl Agatka.
Granddad was visiting so he came along for the ride. I insisted on shooting him as well! it will be lovely for him to have moments captured with his precious grandkids.
I fell in love with five-year-old Andrej.
I mean, how could you not? He was super inquisitive but very polite and his cheeky little grin got me every time.
He was also very good with his little sister and willing to pose patiently.
The star of the show
The star of the show was the birthday girl herself, Miss Agatka. Looking a picture in her flowered dress and of a selection woolly tights, she was the belle of the ball. She was quite serious at first so I suggested dad blow some bubbles. This was the first time Agatka had seen bubbles and it’s fair to say she’s now a big fan. She thought they were just hysterical.
I hope your next year is filled with bubbles and laughter too sweet girl.
How lucky am I? A few weeks after my last epic location shoot at Larbert Woods I got to go back. This time for a family photo shoot that was gifted to mum for Mother’s Day using one of my lovely vouchers (what an ace gift 😉 ).
Meet the Kerr Family
Mum, Dad, Rory and his little brother Archie. Sitting on my favourite tree in the whole wood. It is just perfect for p
“Some nice family shots”
Was what mum wanted. She didn’t fancy a studio shoot as the last time they had tried when they just had Rory it wasn’t much fun. She thought that if the boys got to run around and play they wouldn’t get bored so easily and the result would be nice natural photos. I suggested the location as what boy, girl (or middle-aged photographer) can resist rustly leaves and sticks?
Mum knows best – as usual! Rory and Archie had a great time!
Stick it to ’em
I’m not sure who started the stick fighting….probably Dad but it quickly escalated!
I think that one is just a bit too big! Good teamwork though guys!
Leaf it out!
Did you see what I did there?! I took the family to the clearing where there was an abundance of leaves to run in and throw at each other.
First of all, everyone ganged up on Dad. Then the boys got on their parent’s shoulders and a full-on battle commenced!
I love capturing these moments as the family forgets that you are there and just get on with the business of having some fun.
And just like that..
the hour whizzed by and it was time to go home. Not before a few last clicks of the camera as we walked back through the woods.
About five months ago I had the delight of the lovely, bubbly Amber in the studio. Well, she was back last weekend and this time she’d brought reinforcements!
It’s a family affair
Amber’s mum had been in touch to get images of Amber with her two older cousins Oscar and Maisie. She was hoping that they would be able to get some good ones to potentially use for Christmas gifts for grandparents (ssshhhhh).
Poor Dad had his work cut out with the tickle stick and my squeaky chicken to get everyone to look at me!
The combinations are endless
Of course, because you get all the edited digital images after a full session from me it is a good opportunity to get some pictures for both families to treasure as well.
I took some gorgeous pictures of Amber playing with her dad as he’d missed out on her last photo shoot. As well as some cute family ones that I also designed into a Christmas card for them 🙂
I also took pictures of both dad’s together as those same grandparents might like pictures of their two sons (;) )
Brothers and Sisters
Oscar and Maisie were very cute together. Despite pretending that they didn’t really like each other!
I also took images of each of them by themselves.
Oscar took a bit of warming up but chatting to him about his one true love – football yielded some great smiles and some more pensive ones. Like the one above that I love.
Maisie, on the other hand, was a natural model and was happy to pull all sorts of expressions for me to capture. But I also love this natural one of her taken in-between model requests.
Undoubtedly the star of the show was little Miss Amber. Her smile just melts me. And I can’t believe how much she’s grown in the 5 months since I first saw her!
She was the mistress of crazy facial expressions as well. This next one made me smile so much I had to keep it in the gallery!
The C word
I know, I know it is still only early November but Christmas is just around the corner and with all the talk about potential prints as Christmas gifts. It got me in the mood to turn a few of each families images into Christmas designs that I added to their gallery (because I’m desperate to get on Santas nice list this year).
And just because I could, I couldn’t resist putting Amber inside a snow globe! It is almost the season after all!
Harrison was gifted a Smash & Splash photoshoot voucher by his uncle for his birthday. His mum and dad told me that Harrison already had loads of toys and they wanted an experience for him and memories for them. So his cool uncle purchased a voucher from me and last weekend Harrison came in to redeem it.
A Smash & Splash session is usually booked to celebrate a first birthday. We begin with some shots of the birthday boy or girl. Then we bring in the item they have chosen to smash (could be cake, doughnuts, fruit, etc). Finally, they wash it all off with a splash in the tub!
Meet the birthday boy
Harrison looked very handsome in his trews and braces and knew how to work the camera from the moment he arrived.
Unfortunately, that outfit wasn’t going to stay pristine for very long.
Bring out the cake
Harrison’s mum had chosen a cake for the smash part of the Smash & Splash and I went for a cookie and cream themed decorated cake to go with the navy and baby blue colour scheme mum had asked for.
Harrison wasn’t sure at first (although dad did confirm it was indeed delicious). But he liked the wooden spoon I gave him to smash the cake with and set about giving the cake a good beating!
As he was a total pro he did remember to look up from his smashing from time to time to allow me to capture his gorgeous cheeky face. Here he is giving me his ‘Blue Steel’ face (Zoolander film reference for those of you too young)!
Once Harrison was over the cake smashing I changed the set over to the splash part of his Smash & Splash. The tub is filled with lashing of organic bubble bath, the rubber ducks come out to play and the bubble machine is set to maximum!
I think this was Harrison’s favourite part of the session and this was my favourite picture of him.
I think Harrison and his parents had a great time and I captured some great memories for them. So if you are a cool auntie or uncle. Or even grandparent or friend and want to give a gift of memories check out my gift vouchers 🙂
Second baby girl in a sea of boys, break out the tutus!! I was very excited to meet little Miss Millie when she came to my studio last week at just 8-days-new. She was utter perfection and clearly I wasn’t the only one to think that. Mum, Dad and big sister Hailey were all totally smitten with the new arrival into their family and into their hearts.
She sleeps all the time
If I had a pound for every time I heard that I would be rich! Very often coming into the studio is the first big change in routine the new baby has and they don’t always settle at first. Despite the warm temperature and good feed on arrival ( I do love it when mum’s read the prep guide I send out 🙂 ).
I don’t mind though. I think it’s nice to capture a gallery of images for parents with both wide awake and asleep images. Meet Millie – isn’t she beautiful?
A Swaddled Baby is a Sleepy Baby
Once I get them all swaddled up like a little burrito they usually nod off and Miss Millie was no exception.
Big sister Hailey was super helpful during the session. She picked out outfits for me and kept checking that I was looking after her little sister. She even picked out the lovey for Millie to cuddle in the next image.
Excellent choice Hailey!
Mum had organised big sister and little sister t-shirts for Hailey and Millie to wear and they were so cute. At age 7 Hailey was brilliant to work with for the sibling poses and took great care of her little sister.
Hailey also picked the prop I was going to use for Millie. She had the choice of a tin bucket or wooden bowl and I think she made a great choice with the bucket. Miss Millie was super content to be in there wrapped up in wool. She was deep in the land of nod just giving us the occasional sleepy smile.
Family is everything
I captured some lovely images of the whole family together but this is my absolute favourite. Whilst it might not be the most technically perfect I love the expressions on everybody’s faces. They are all utterly in love with the newest addition to their family.
Being able to capture moments like these is the greatest honour of all.
“Haters gonna hate, but here are the only words you need for them. Sashay, away.” – RuPaul, Drag Race
Anyone who knows me knows that I bang on with annoying regularity about how much I fricken love my job! But it’s true because no two days are the same and a lot of the people I meet start out as clients and end up as friends.
So, on the 1st of November, I find myself cooing with baby Alex in the studio in the morning. And meeting up with one of my fave wedding couples Neil and Raymond in the afternoon to capture their very own drag transformation!
It started with a Facebook Post
I noticed Neil had posted on Facebook looking for a good makeup artist as Raymond had finally convinced him to go out one night in full drag. I happen to know THE best makeup artist Carla Haley. She does all the makeup for my Boudoir Sessions and is a regular makeup artist for TV and film. Neil messaged me to say they had gone with my recommendation and how amazing Carla was and we chatted back and forth about the planned drag transformation. It sounded FABULOUS!!
I thought you were never going to ask!!
Finally, Neil asked me if I would be free to capture their transformation. Urm, hell yes I would! I mean, I’d only been keeping that afternoon free, just in case…
If you are going to do it, do it right
These guys don’t do anything by half. The amount of planning and prep that had gone into this night was incredible. I wanted to capture them before they started getting ready so I could show a proper before and after.
This was at 1 o’clock in the afternoon. It was going to take them another 8 hours along with their friend, Ashleigh to transform into their alter egos (whose names I can’t share on here as this is a family-friendly blog!!). The level of dedication was mind-blowing!
It was great to see Carla again and as she set up her tools, the guys had the same amount of makeup again!!
The best part about a night out clubbing is always the getting ready with your girlfriends part. And that’s what this felt like.
Complete with bubbles!
Once Ashleigh was in the make-up chair I left for a while to come back later on. As I left Raymond was glueing his eyebrows out the way. Yes, you read that correctly. Men’s eyebrows are lower than women’s so they are glued up and covered with foundation so that new ones can be painted on higher up the face. The things you learn!
What a difference a few hours makes
I arrived back to find Raymond and Ashleigh fully made up and Neil just about to get in the chair having ‘glittered’ his beard.
I love this picture of everybody watching over Carla’s shoulder as she works her magic.
7 hours in
It was wig time and the transformation was almost complete.
Raymond had gone for quite a demure outfit and looked beautiful. A lot like his gorgeous sister actually! It’s amazing how his mannerisms became more feminine as he slipped into character.
Neil, on the other hand, had gone all out drag queen and was totally rocking it. With a long red wig and thigh-high kinky boots, he looked amazing. Neil is a petrol head and I knew he had a motorbike in his garage. To my amazement, he managed to get on it for me for a picture. I might enter it into this years Pirelli calendar! Watch this space!
I said attention to detail. They even had special bum and thigh pads on to make their figures appear more womanly. Well, I had to capture that!
Ready to Slay Glasgow
I mean, look at these three hotties. I had great fun teaching Neil and Raymond how to pose like women to ‘pop’ their curves and accentuate their feminine ways.
Before and After
I think you’ll agree – what an incredible transformation.
I mean it should be illegal to have this much fun whilst working!!
From the social media feeds, it looks like an amazing night was had by all in Glasgow. Somehow they managed to keep those heels on all night and dance! Although Neil’s blisters the next day looks like he had to have suffered for his art. But beauty comes at a price!
Last Friday morning I was in for a treat when my favourite little flirt came back into the studio for the 3rd session of his year-long Grow with Me package. You may remember Alex from his 4-month-old session. Batting his long lashes and looking at me with those big blue eyes I was putty in his hands!
What a Difference?
I make a point at each Grow with Me session to use the same prop that I used at their newborn session as I find it really helps show how much they grow and change in the first year. Boy oh boy has Alex changed. He looked so tiny as a newborn in my dark brown wicker basket and this time he only just squeezed into it!
Sitting down on the job
At 8 months Alex is sitting up by himself. He is bubbly and happy and as long as he can see where mum is at all times he is confident in front of the camera.
Look at that face and those oh so kissable cheeks! I was totally in love with his romper suit that was covered in woodland animals. I’ve checked and they don’t sell them in adult sizes 🙁
A sitting child means I have lots more options to vary the setup and I got to use one of my favourite props, the wooden stool my dad made for me.
Mum was literally just off to the right in case Alex had a wobble but he totally nailed it. What a pro!
Big chair, little person
I like to play with scale as well at these sessions. By putting Alex in a big chair he looks tiny.
Good for the parents when they worry about how fast time is flying and how big they are getting!
As ever my time with adorable Alex was over too quickly. I can’t wait for his first birthday smash and splash session!
Whether a wedding cake is the least of your worries or high on the “must-obsess-over” list, my guide to getting the perfect cake has got you covered. From budgeting to picking out your flavours, I’m going to answer all of your questions—before you even have any! Including, what if I don’t like cake….
1. Don’t choose a cake until you’ve made your major wedding style decisions.
You might want a cake that’s compatible with the look of your venue, the season, your wedding gown, the flower arrangements and the menu. Arrive at your cake consultation prepared—you don’t need to have a complete sketch in hand, but knowledge of basic terms will make it easier on everyone. And if you’re looking for a custom design, bring along inspiration, like a swatch of lace from your dress or the colour of your bridesmaid’s dresses
2. Do have a budget in mind.
Wedding cake is usually priced by how many servings. The cost can vary, but it generally ranges from £200 – £1000 (and beyond). It’s easy to be wooed by blood orange filling and a multi-flavour cake when you’re making decisions with a sugar buzz, but having a handle on your budget—and knowing what will affect it—will allow you to prioritise your choices. For instance, more flavours equals more money; the more complicated the flavour, the bigger the price tag; handmade sugar flowers will add £££s to every slice; and fondant icing is generally more expensive than buttercream. Don’t forget to look at places like Waitrose and M&S too as their wedding cakes to order can be cost-effective.
3. Do match the cake height to your space.
Generally, three tiers will serve 50 to 100, and you’ll likely need five layers for 200 or more guests. Your cake should fit the space too—if your reception is in a grand ballroom, consider increasing the cake’s stature with columns between the tiers or opting for a faux Styrofoam layer (no one will know!) to add height
4. Don’t choose the flavour based on what everyone else wants.
Besides being a showpiece, your cake should taste amazing too. When you meet with prospective bakers, taste lots of flavours. Don’t be afraid to stray from vanilla and chocolate. And don’t forget to sample fillings too—many bakers are working with complex flavourings, like guava and mango or hazelnut and mocha
5. Do get the facts on icing.
Buttercream or fondant? Buttercream is often much more delicious. But if you love the smooth, almost surreal-like look of fondant, consider frosting the cake in buttercream first and then adding a layer of fondant over the entire confection. Whatever type of icing you choose, stick to colours your guests will want to eat. If your wedding hues are blue and green, opt for a white cake with subtle green-frosted accents. Naked cakes are becoming more and more popular too and can look stunning.
6. Don’t forget to consider the weather.
If you’re having an outdoor wedding in a hot climate, stay away from whipped cream, meringue and buttercream (they melt). Ask your baker about summer icing options or opt for a fondant-covered cake, which holds up much better against the heat.
7. Do budget for extra details.
When it comes to decoration, adornment costs run the gamut. The most inexpensive option is fresh fruits or flowers that, in some instances, can be applied by your florist for a minimal fee. On the high end are delicate gum-paste or sugar-paste flowers, which are constructed by hand, one petal at a time. But here’s the bottom line: All add-ons—including marzipan fruits, chocolate-moulded flowers and lace points—will raise the rate.
8. Don’t forget to top it off.
There are many beautiful and unique ways to top your cake. If you have an heirloom piece—especially a fine porcelain antique—work with your baker to integrate it into the cake’s design. It can double as your “something old.” Other alternatives include a bouquet of sugar flowers, a cascade of icing ribbons or even a sugar block carved to reveal your new monogram. Look to your locale as well. A cluster of coral can look stunning for a beachside celebration, or try a fondant snowflake for a winter wedding. Or don’t use one at all—some designs look great without a topper.
9. Do have a detailed delivery plan.
Cake delivery takes coordination (and usually a refrigerated van), so give yourself peace of mind and opt to have your cake delivered. Complex cakes may not necessarily arrive in final form, so allow time and space for assembly. And make sure that once the masterpiece is delivered, it has a place at the venue (especially if it requires refrigeration). Bottom line: Discuss all the delivery details with your baker before signing the contract.
10. Do give your cake the spotlight.
Your cake will likely be on display before it’s cut and consumed. You should have a designated, well-lit table that allows the best presentation possible. Make sure you speak to your venue about this.
11. Don’t let freezer burn happen.
Even if you take the most painstaking packaging measures, eating the top tier of your cake on your first anniversary sounds far better than it tastes. Think about indulging on your two-week or one-month anniversary, and treat yourself to a fresh cake in the same flavour when you’ve hit the one-year mark. If you must adhere to tradition, tightly wrap the cake in plastic wrap, then place it in an airtight container.
12. Don’t forget to eat your cake (seriously!).
Couples often don’t get a chance to eat their own wedding cake on the day. Ask your caterer/venue to save some extra for you. Share it with your new spouse post-wedding for a late-night snack or the next day for brekkie!
13. What about allergies?
If you or your spouse are dairy intolerant, gluten-free or vegan then treat your guests to a cake from a baker that specialise in that type of cake. Chances are they won’t even be able to tell.
14. What if we don’t like cake?
Well, it’s your day so don’t have a cake to please everyone else! How about a dessert table instead? Or if you don’t have a sweet tooth at all why not consider a Pork Pie ‘cake’ or ‘cake’ made from wheels of cheese…the possibilities are endless!
I don’t know about you, but all this talk of cake has made me peckish. I’m off to raid the fridge!
“If a year was tucked inside of a clock, then autumn would be the magic hour.” – Victoria Erickson
I love every season change I really do. From the optimism of new life that Spring brings to the mellow heat of Summer (if we’re lucky). And I love cosy nights in and brisk walks in winter but, if I was pushed to pick a favourite season it would have to be Autumn. I love the light, I love all the colours, it is just beautiful.
So, I am overjoyed when a family wants a location shoot in Autumn instead of the studio.
Introducing the Russell Family
I met mum, dad and 18-month-old Rebecca at Larbert Woods. It is literally on both of our doorsteps and a bit of a hidden gem (if you don’t mind getting your photos taken whilst dog walkers and joggers go by)!
It was a beautiful Autumnal Sunday morning and despite the clocks ‘Falling Back’ we all managed to meet in the car park on time. Better still they had read the pre-shoot guide I send out and all looked fab in their autumnal appropriate outfits. Most of all I was struck by Rebecca’s huge blue eyes. They were incredible!
Baby’s got blue eyes
I mean honestly! You could swim in those eyes! And they were framed by the most ginormous black eyelashes. Simply stunning!
Back to the Family
Remembering that I was there to shoot the whole family I traipsed the family around my favourite parts of the woods for photographs. And of course, with it being Autumn I couldn’t resist a little leaf throwing session. Miss Rebecca thoroughly enjoyed that and I got some of the nicest, natural images from the shoot then. Whilst the family interacted beautifully together and kind of forgot I was aiming a camera at them!
Just like that
Time flies when you are having fun and just like that our hour was up and it was time to go home.