“Rejoice with your family in the beautiful land of life.” – Albert Einstein
As well as lots of yummy babies I have had the honour of capturing lots of family images recently too. These types of sessions mean so much to me because I know there is usually a reason for them and as such, they create a beautiful memory for the family in them.
The Grow with Me One
I love doing Grow With Me sessions as I get to see how cute bambinos grow and develop over their first year. Miss Cora came in for her 2nd session and I just had to include her big brothers in the pictures.
I love how much they dote on her. She even has a cool nickname ‘Baby C’. That’s what being in a family is all about. This little lady is always going to have her big bros looking out for her.
The Turning One One (!)
Little Miss Erin was about to turn one and mum wanted to celebrate with a family portrait.
Such a cute family. One day, when she is much older. Erin will look at these pictures and get all the warm and fuzzies. Just like her mum and dad will when she is in her difficult teenage years and they remember what a precious little dot she was!
The We Are So Proud Of Him One
This family have all their kid’s graduation pictures in frames proudly displayed. Just because their youngest son’s graduation was cancelled due to C-19 they still wanted to mark his moment. The gown was still hired and I did my best to recreate the graduation images his sisters had taken.
I love that this will be hung in pride of place in the family home. Bonus points that he graduated from the Univerity all the best people graduate from, Stirling 😉
The Baby Is Flying The Nest One
This was a very personal session for me. I gifted a Family Photoshoot at my local virtual Christmas Fair last year. It was a prize draw with all the proceeds going to local family charities. I used a random number spinner to generate the winners to keep things all above board but I was delighted when my good friends won!
I’ve been wanting to shoot this family for ages. Dad is an over 6-foot mountain of a man and Mum is so tiny and petite. How she managed to give birth to twin boys and then another son is beyond me! I mean I’m guessing they didn’t appear as big as they are today but even still!!!
It was a poignant moment for them as well as their youngest son was flying the nest off to training college.
We had a blast in the studio and I think that comes across in the images. To me, if grown-ass boys can still hug their parents and come along to a session like this, then they have been bought up right!
I love how mum’s smile stretches from ear to ear as she is getting loved on by her sons. Images like this are important to me. Showing the mum at the heart of the family as all too often she is behind the camera capturing the images.
I smile because you’re my brother. I laugh because there is nothing you can do about it.
“Every dog owner thinks their dog is the best dog in the world and every dog owner is right”
Can we have a moment of applause for my witty blog title? I’m rather proud of it! I seem to have had a run of dogs recently in the studio with Hugo and Hector the Pugs joining Adam’s cake smash and Arnold the Bulldog protecting his newborn human baby sister Payton. And I am definitely not complaining, quite the opposite in fact. Then to my utter joy a week or so apart I had two doggos in that couldn’t be any more different.
First up, named after the loveable and huge monster in Monsters Inc was Sully the St. Bernard.
Be still my heart, ever since watching the movie Beethoven as a kid I’ve loved St Bernards. This was the first time having one in the studio though.
Look at him!! He was a gentle giant as he plodded up the stairs to the studio. Armed with a pack of ham his owners didn’t have to give him much direction he pretty much sat down and chilled.
He was booked in for a very special reason. It was his first birthday.
So he had a birthday hat!!! That also means he hasn’t finished growing yet. Yikes!
Just look at those paws! Humungous!
Despite taking lots of breaks to fuss this gorgeous fella I made a beautiful gallery of images that his owners love and record his first birthday.
Alas, I couldn’t keep him so I had to let him go home and then wipe the drool off of, well everywhere, in the studio!
Luqa’s owner had been gifted a Pet Photosession by her mum for Christmas 2019!! Finally, after 3 lockdowns, I was able to honour her original voucher.
Luqa is a Yorkie/Maltese cross and where Sully was huge, Luqa was teeny tiny.
You could easily fit him in a teeny tiny handbag. Luqa didn’t want anything to do with me at first but eventually came around with some of my doggy treats.
For such a tiny pooch he had the biggest expressive eyes.
This is a toddler-sized wicker chair. When I was editing this image he reminded me of another cute creature but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it came to me.
Tell me you see it too??
As Luqa was so little and inquisitive I used a variety of props to keep him still for a moment to capture an image.
Like little boxes.
And even a tiny bowl!
I have to say big or tiny, both dogs were very well behaved.
If you would like to get your furry friend professionally photographed but not sure how they’ll be or want to invest in a full shoot I am currently running a ‘Dog Day’s of Summer” Mini Session on two dates. One for outside images and one for Studio images.
Give a big round of applause for your second love.
Because they taught you love still exists,
after you thought it never could again.
Plenty Of Fish In The Sea
Emma and Barry met in 2014 on the dating app ‘Plenty of Fish’ and after messaging and phoning each other for a while they started to meet up and fell for each other hook, line, and sinker (sorry, not sorry about the pun!).
Both Emma and Barry have kids from their past relationships and whilst on a family holiday together in Portugal in 2019 Barry decided to pop the question. He waited until the last night having hidden the ring inside a sock in the hotel room safe. The kids were all in on the surprise and they made out they wanted some family photos in the hotel grounds before they went for dinner. Barry asked the question and Emma told him to “Pi$$ Off” because she thought he was joking!
Once she realised he was serious she did say yes! 😀
Beautiful Day For a Wedding
I was a bit nervous the night before the wedding as I checked and re-checked my camera gear, charged my batteries, and re-read my notes. Thanks to Covid this was my first wedding since February 2020 and I was worried I wouldn’t do them justice. “What if I’m rusty?”, I asked Mr JB. He assured me that once I got into it I would be fine. And he was right!
The couple had chosen Orocco Pier in picturesque South Queensferry to get married and Emma and her bridal party had stayed there the night before. As I parked up the sun was shining over the Forth Bridges and it felt like summertime.
I always bring lighting gear when I am capturing bridal prep in case the hotel room is dark. However, I needn’t have puffed and panted my way up the stairs to their room with tripods and collapsible softboxes as when I stepped inside the huge windows in the room were letting in tons of light. Still, better to be safe than sorry!
Becca the make-up artist had been there from the crack of dawn along with the hairstylist and Emma, her best friend, and her two daughters looked amazing. Becca also had some top tips for carrying the bouquets that I will steal and use from now on but that I can’t repeat here!!!
There were so many lovely personalised touches at this wedding that were a joy to capture. Like these shoes.
That Emma’s friend (who also did the flowers and tablescapes) had customised for her.
Even Emma’s manicure had a tiny ‘I do’ on her ring finger.
Whilst Emma had both her daughters in her bride squad, Barry’s son was his best man and had the all-important job of handing over the rings.
I really loved how Emma and Barry made sure their kids all played key roles in the wedding.
Tying the Knot
Before the ceremony the Humanist got Barry and me to practice the Hand Fasting. Poor Barry! I’ve never seen anyone more relieved to see his actual wife-to-be walk down the aisle!
In the lovely family-orientated service, Barry and Emma’s mums handed over the tartans for the fasting.
Barry’s son nailed the best man duties.
And Emma’s eldest daughter read a blessing at the end of the service with moral support from her sister.
Orocco Pier has steps that lead from the terrace to the beachfront so the bride and groom and their guests all braved the sand to get some group photos.
I feel all the ladies in their heels were especially game and didn’t complain at all!
The Benefits of a Smaller Wedding
Whilst due to the C-19 regulations, Barry & Emma could only have 30 odd guests it did come with some pluses (for me).
Normally with a big wedding, the group shots and all their permutations can take up a large chunk of the time I have for formal photos before the wedding meal. The wedding coordinator told me how long I had once the group photos were over and looked worried I wouldn’t have the new Mr & Mrs back in time. I, on the other hand, was giddy at the amount of time I had for a change!
The first stop was the little pier right beside the venue. Whilst I was in the moment directing Emma and Barry I knew there were other people walking about but it wasn’t until I started editing the images that I realised we had our own photo bomber!
I shall be expecting one at every wedding I shoot now!
South Queensferry was absolutely heaving. The nice weather had bought the world and his dog out in search of ice creams and sea breezes but that wasn’t going to stop me. I had Emma and Barry all along South Queensferry at spots I had planned out on my pre-shoot recce earlier in the week. My couple was brilliant and fully game for what I had planned. The best kind of wedding couple 🙂
You’d never know it from the way my two fabulous models are posing for me, but the benches behind us were absolutely swarming with tourists and day-trippers. I did make one old lady’s day by getting her to hold the bouquet during this shot.
Back in Time for Cake
Much to the coordinator’s surprise, I had Emma and Barry back well within her timeframe! Allowing them to do some socially distanced mingling with their guests before the cake cutting and meal.
As there were no evening guests due to restrictions, Barry & Emma cut the cake just before the meal.
It was a stunning three-tier creation from Creative Slices Cakery that carried the navy and gold colour scheme of the wedding.
Yes Sir I Can Boogie (sort of)
A small but welcome change in the regulations has meant that while full dancing and mingling is not yet allowed at weddings, the couple can at least have a first dance.
Emma and Barry danced to Space by Biffy Clyro, watched by their closest family and friends and it was perfect.
Fire the Cannons
Emma and Barry had organised lots of table games to keep their guests entertained into the evening but someone was a wee bit disappointed. Barry’s dad had purchased some pretty heavy-duty confetti cannons but hadn’t been able to use them doing the first dance.
Well, we couldn’t have that! The early evening light was beautiful so before the games commenced I suggested we took Emma and Barry out onto the terrace and fire the cannons at them.
Barry’s Dad was happy and we got some stunning images. A win-win I’d say 🙂
It was a perfect day and I was still smiling that night as confetti fell out of my bra whilst I got undressed!
What’s better than working with children and animals? Working with a baby girl and her Bulldog big brother 🙂
When Miss Payton’s mum asked if their 4-year-old British Bulldog could be in some of the pictures I couldn’t wait to say yes. Anyone who knows me knows I love the squishy-faced breeds. Remember the Pugs from the cake smash!
Whilst mum was feeding Payton I couldn’t resist getting a few pictures of Arnold. That’s 30 odd kilos of pure love right there! He was such a good boy as well as being gorgeous to boot.
Baby In A Bucket
The safety of the newborn is always my first concern and if Arnold had reacted badly to the studio environment or anything felt off I would have taken a picture of him and the baby separately and then merged the images together in post-production.
I needn’t have worried though, Arnold absolutely doted on his hooman baby sister.
Look how proud he is. Grandma, who came to take Arnold home after his modeling duties was more concerned that I’d put Miss Payton in a bucket! But was reassured once I showed her that it had been designed specifically as a newborn prop and was filled with posing aids to support her.
Mum loved the bucket shots I have online and I had a second one lined up if Miss Payton stayed asleep.
Baby Makes A Family
Even if parents don’t want a traditional portrait with them in it is as well I always try and politely insist on this one.
It flatters everyone and shows the connection of the new family unit. I just love it 🙂
This family was all gorgeous and mum looked incredible considering she’d had a C-section 12 days earlier!
Finally being out of lockdown meant I could use some of the new wraps, backdrops, florals, and headbands I had been investing in whilst not able to shoot.
Isn’t she just beautiful? She had perfect rosebud lips and long strawberry blonde eyelashes to die for.
Payton did really well at staying asleep through most of her session, allowing me to capture images like this.
I think she looks deep in a lovely dream here. Perhaps about milk or Arnold!
She woke up shortly after this before I could do my 2nd bucket pose (that really requires an asleep baby) and no amount of milk or comforting was going to change her mind at this point so we moved onto my baby mugshots that require an awake baby anyway.
She pulled some cracking expressions that were really cute as well as a full-blown cry out that I captured as well!
But this one cracks me up the most – man she looks so angry with me!!
Payton was the most amazing first newborn back in the studio after lockdown. I was very happy editing her gallery. But I knew mum had wanted that second bucket shot. So I took one of Payton’s sleeping images and put her in a hot air balloon instead.
“Being a family means you are a part of something very wonderful. It means you will love and be loved for the rest of your life.” – Lisa Weed
Grandma’s Christmas Present
Yet another lockdown postponement story! Originally Grandma has asked for an up-to-date picture of her grandchildren for Christmas. Especially pertinent as both her sons had new babies. Then it became a full family portrait. Then we had to put the breaks on due to COVID-19. Grandma got an IOU for Christmas.
Then a couple of weeks ago when we had the green light to go. The family met up in the studio. 6 adults, 2 children, 2 babies, and one teenager who would rather have been anywhere else (but was a very good sport!).
How this glamorous lady has 5 grandchildren I do not know!! The family had been brilliant at following the prep guide I send out and had all come in coordinating outfits.
Falkirk’s Baby Of The Week
This little dude was crowned Baby of the Week in the local newspaper the week he came to the studio and with those big baby blue eyes and cheeky face it is easy to see why.
His baby cousin was also a little cutie with the most kissable cheeks you ever did see on a girl. I don’t have consent to post their images so you will just have to take my word for it.
Good Looks Run in The Family
His big sister is absolutely beautiful with long blonde hair and piercing blue eyes.
She also loves to pose for the camera which is an absolute bonus! Her cousin (the cute cheeks baby’s brother) also had a cheeky grin when we coaxed it out of him with the tickle stick!
These pair have a teenage big brother who would have rather been anywhere than in my studio. But he was a good sport and put up with my teasing and posing requests with very good grace considering! I think he was just relieved that he didn’t have to wear matching outfits with his little siblings!!
Not Just About The Kids
When I have these sessions in the studio and I am graced with such cute littles it can be easy to focus all my attention on them and forget about the adults. But often they don’t have many pictures of themselves as a couple once the kids come along. I like to rectify that at family sessions.
Sessions like this are always loud, chaotic, hot, but most of all FUN. I hope that Grandma’s Christmas Present was worth the wait.
Studio Session – Adam’s Cake Smash (with added Pug)
I said it was a week of Cake Smashes in my last blog and I wasn’t kidding! This time with added pug (well two added pugs actually)!
Is There Anything More Dapper Than A Bowtie?
Before the cake comes out I usually try to get some smart portraits for mum and dad to mark the milestone of their baby turning one. Before the carnage starts!
Master Adam was no exception with his super-smart bowtie and braces. So what is more dapper than a bowtie?
When your pug brothers also put their bowties on and join in!!! Meet Hector (fawn and black) and Hugo (black). Almost giving Adam a run for his money in the cuteness stakes.
I love it when parents ask for something a little different. When Adam’s mum asked if their two pugs could be in some of the pictures I couldn’t say YES quick enough. I love all dogs but I have a particular fondness for the squishy-faced breeds. Pugs are just the natural comics of the doggy world and these two were no exception. These three dudes were so cute together.
Cake Smash Time
With Hector and Hugo off for a walk, it was time for the main event. The cake!
Adam was such a happy wee guy and with mum’s help thought that cake smashing was hysterical.
He was giggling and chortling his whole way through the smash.
I love this image, he is holding some of his cake up triumphantly! Meanwhile, the clean-up crew has arrived slightly prematurely eager to help! And just look at that toothy grin. Priceless!
After all that cake, the only place any self-respecting birthday dude could go is the bathtub!
Adam was having the best time as you can see. He settled into the tin tub, stuck his feet out, and got ready for some bubble fun!
Mum did a brilliant job operating the bubble machine. Just look at the pure joy on that face.
Sessions like this mean so much to me. They are all about creating memories. Mum, Dad, Hector, Hugo, and most especially Adam all had a great time. Every time they look through the Photo Book they ordered with the shoot they will be reminded of how much fun it was.
Meanwhile, my run of working with children and animals continues as in a couple of blogs time you will see how a 12-day new baby girl bought her big bulldog brother with her to her first photoshoot!
I can’t believe this session took place over two weeks ago in my studio and I’m only now just getting the chance to blog about it! Trust me, after 5 months not being able to do anything but twiddle my thumbs I am delighted to have the problem of being too busy shooting to write! But the world needs to see this cuteness 🙂
Cutest Mummy Ever
I first met Master Gregor at my Halloween Mini Sessions last year. It was his first Halloween and he was dressed up as a mummy. From the moment I saw his huge blue eyes and kissable cheeks I knew I was a gonner. A fully paid-up member of his fan club. Then he came back for a Christmas mini in a matching Xmas jumper with mum and dad and…be still my heart!
You can imagine how over the moon I was therefore when his mum got in touch during lockdown to book a Cake Smash n Splash for his first birthday. Not only would I get my cuteness fix again but during the bleak lockdown months to know people still wanted to book my services made my heart sing.
A Wee Bit Late
Okay, okay, by the time lockdown actually finished I’d missed Gregor’s birthday by about 2 months but what’s a few months between friends?
We made sure to capture all the hats and outfits that Gregor had for his birthday.
Before he could rip them off!
After a couple of outfit changes including some birthday PJ’s it was finally time to get down to his onesie and the serious business of cake smashing!
Gosh just look at those eyelashes, should be illegal!
At first Master Gregor was quite bemused by the cake and what to do with it. After a few delicate pickings and tastings, he got into the swing of things.
With the help of the wooden spoon, his hand, and his feet Gregor soon started to make short work of the cake.
Cake Smash or Set Smash?
In fact, Gregor got so into the smashing he included the set as well. Totally worth cleaning hundreds and thousands out of wooden crates (they get everywhere!) when you get smiles like this. Have I mentioned how cute this little dude is?
It was certainly a good way to put the new ‘wipe clean’ vinyl backdrop I had invested in during lockdown through its paces. It wiped spotless by the way for all those Mrs Hinches among you! It was also the first outing for the new tub backdrop I’d also invested in. After a few teething problems, getting it to stay up (now fixed with a cunning solution – thanks Mr JB) I was rather pleased with the effect.
Master Gregor also stopped eating the little rubber ducks long enough for me to capture the adorable bubble beard his mum has fashioned for him.
I’m not sure who enjoys these sessions more. The Parents? The kids? Or Me? Spoiler alert, it’s always me!
If my first week back was all Grow with Me sessions. My second was all about the Cake Smash so watch out for more blogs – including one with pugs!!
When Master Max’s parents bought him into my studio almost two years ago as a newborn baby they signed up for my 12-month Grow with Me plan. Little did they realise that almost 2 years later I’d still be trying to finish it for them! But then none of us knew what was around the corner!
Where’s the cake?
Usually, we end the 4 sessions with a Cake Smash and Splash to celebrate turning 1. Due to all the lockdowns falling just at the wrong times for Master Max we had his first birthday smash for his 3rd session instead.
Regular visitors to my social media pages will know that I use this image from Max’s newborn shoot a lot. His little grumpy face staring right at me makes me chuckle every single time.
Fast forward almost two years and he can still nail me with that ‘I am not amused face’.
Mum couldn’t make this final session so it was a lad’s day out.
Complete with a Happy Meal on the way home. These guys know how to have fun and party.
Despite being a curious and confident 21-month old Max was still happy to sit still (briefly) for a few images. I just love his nonchalant pose in this one. Total Boss!
Now for something racey…
I have a shiny red toy sportscar in the studio that is perfect for sessions like this. I kept it hidden under a sheet at first as I knew once Max saw it that would be it. And I was right! He uncovered it and we were off to the races.
This is probably my favourite image from Max’s session. I love his expression, his outfit, the colours, everything!
Finally, Max’s Grow with Me Photo Book is being produced at my professional lab. It’s only 9 months late, but, you know what? It’s going to be totally worth the wait.
Those of you that read my last blog know that my first week back in the studio has been all about catching up with Grow with Me sessions that are overdue. Master Findlay was my last newborn shoot before lockdown so we were only just over a month late welcoming him back to his 4-month Grow with Me shoot.
Rainbows featured heavily in Findlay’s newborn studio shoot and his mum and dad kept that going with a very cute romper suit this time. I couldn’t resist adding a faint rainbow above them in this image.
Modelling one of my organic cotton onesies from The Simple Folk, Findlay gave us a masterclass in pushing up whilst on his tummy.
I think he is going to be super strong, just like his daddy!
Speaking of super-strong, dad turned up in his Superman T-shirt and when mum was showing me the clothes she had bought for Findlay she pulled out a Superbaby onesie. I very nearly squealed with delight 🙂 I love it when we get a bit of twinning going on!
I mean, come on, does it get any cuter than that right there? I don’t think so! Talk about the perfect image for dad’s first father’s day. I think you can tell that this image gives me all the feels!!!
If you thought Superbaby was cute, well then wait until you see Findlay’s mugshots! This dude has ALL the expressions going on. I’ve picked out three of my favourites to share with you but I could have shared many, many more.
Absolutely priceless, I love these way more than I should. Sorry, not sorry! I can’t wait to see this little dude in the studio for his 8-month Grow with Me session.
JB Moments Photography studio is finally re-opened after what has felt like the longest 5-month lockdown EVER. Man, it is so good to be back doing what I love again 🙂
It has also meant that I have a backlog of Grow with Me sessions to schedule back in. After a newborn session the baby comes back into the studio at 4 months, 8 months and then ends with a Cake Smash and Splash for their first birthday. First back through the studio doors was Miss Holly.
Holly isn’t 4 months?
Holly’s 2nd Grow with Me session was at 7 months thanks to Covid-19.
She didn’t seem to bothered though. Such a happy, smiley little girl. A real credit to her parents who are totally smitten with her. As was I by the end of our session.
During lockdown I invested in some beautiful onesies from The Simple Folk in each of the Grow with Me session sizes to provide a cohesive look in the final photo book.
Holly rocked the cream terry towelling one and particularly liked the matching knee socks. She couldn’t keep her hands off them!
She also looked stunning in the pink one that we accessorised with a tutu because when one can, one should always accessorise with a tutu!
Items Models Own
Holly’s mum had picked out some gorgeous outfits as well like this beautiful navy and white dress with matching headband.
Perfect for summer parties!
She also had a lovely pink and white gingham dress that she was very happy to model for us.
All too soon my first studio session this year (!) was coming to an end. But before I could let Miss Holly out of my clutches there was just one more set of images to take. The infamous mugshots. I can’t wait to see how all her little features and expressions change over her first year in these.
This one is my absolute favourite from all the mugshot images I delivered and from the whole session. I would hang this as a huge print in my house and she’s not even related to me! I just absolutely love the expression I caught on her wee face.
I can’t wait to see Miss holly in the studio again. In the meantime lots of other lovely Grow with Me Sessions to deliver and blog about.
I love my job 🙂