Tag Archives: preserving memories

Studio Sessions – Babies Charlotte and Lyla

Girls Girls Girls!

“Happy girls are the prettiest.” – Audrey Hepburn

This weekend my studio was full of baby girls, proud parents, fiercely protective big brothers and smitten sisters and I loved every fricken minute of it.

Saturday Girl

On Saturday my studio was full to the brim with Miss Charlotte’s entourage. At just over two weeks new she bought with her mum and dad and three big brothers. That’s right three!

Family Photographer - JB Moments Photography

It was hard to tell who was more smitten from Harley, Hayden and Calvin. They all jumped at the chance to hold Charlotte and her youngest brother couldn’t stop kissing her. All the heart eyes!

I said to dad, ‘what’s it going to be like when Charlotte brings home her first boyfriend and you and her three brothers are sitting on the sofa ready to meet him?’. Dad said his little Princess wasn’t going to date until she was at least thirty!

Floral but not too floral

Whilst a girl in the house was a chance for mum to finally break out the pink I wanted to pick some setups that were girly but would still fit in with all the testosterone in the house.

Baby photography by JB Moments Photography

I got this gorgeous black and white floral fabric ages ago and hadn’t had the chance to use before. I knew it would be perfect for this session. Miss Charlotte rocked it with a cute velvet bow headband and a racy peak of her toes! Isn’t she a doll?

Okay, I went full out floral

I had settled Charlotte in my posing aid for some images with her family. Whilst she was very content in there I took some images of just her that I knew I could use with a digital composite in the editing process.

Baby photography by JB Moments Photography

It’s full-on floral but doesn’t she look comfortable on her bed of roses?

I loved every minute of photographing this little lady.

Sunday Girl

Normally I only take one newborn at the weekend as they are quite the workout on my elderly knees. And with extra C-19 precautions in place like face masks, I am even more of a  sweaty mess at the end of the session than normal!

Miss Lyla, however, had other ideas! She was booked into the studio for the following weekend but she was impatient to start her modelling career and arrived more than three weeks early. Because babies rarely arrive on schedule I am always flexible with the booking dates 🙂

The best things come in tiny packages

Miss Lyla was only 5lb 15oz when she was born. She was small but absolutely beautiful. To be honest I knew she would be as I’d met her big sister Lacie before for an Easter mini shoot and I knew the pretty gene ran in the family!

Lacie adored her new little sister and posed very carefully with her for their sibling shots.

Family Photographer - JB Moments Photography

Bucket list

I’m sure it is every newborns dream to be placed in a bucket!! With dad very close by so there was absolutely no danger of her falling I put Lyla in the bucket and she just chilled.

Baby photography by JB Moments Photography

I wonder what she is thinking here? Probably, ‘what the heck? I’ve only been on this planet for 3 weeks and they’ve stuck me in a bucket’!

She was absolutely perfect.

Up Up and Away

So much so I had to put her in one of my hot air balloons when I was editing.

Baby photography by JB Moments Photography

Well, I mean you would, wouldn’t you?

As I sat drinking a well-earned glass of wine on Sunday evening enjoying the unexpected sunshine in the back garden I thought back on the two gorgeous baby girls that had visited my studio this weekend and couldn’t help thinking about Queen Bey…

“Who run the world? Girls!” – Beyonce

 

Questions to Ask a Videographer Before Hiring Them for Your Wedding

Questions to Ask a Videographer Before Hiring Them for Your Wedding

Apparently, one of past brides biggest regrets is not hiring a videographer so they can relive their wedding day over and over again. If you think this might be you…read on to make sure you get one that is right for you.

Start by researching wedding videographers in your area and reading reviews to find potential suppliers that match your wedding vision and budget. When you’re ready to reach out and possibly negotiate a contract with a videographer, there are several questions to ask them that you should keep top of mind.

Wedding Photographer in Fife - JB Moments Photography

Here are the top 10 questions to ask a videographer before your wedding day.

 

1. What is your videography style?

There are many styles of videography. Whether it is documentary or cinematic, it is important to discuss the type of video style you want and make sure they offer it.

2. How do you choose the music for the film?

Discussing music is a great idea because it plays such an important part of your wedding film. You will be able to let your videographer know the types of genres you like and you can provide a list of songs for them to choose from.

3. Have you worked with my photographer before?

Your photographer and videographer will be working side by side, so you should make sure they know how to work as a team while capturing your big day. If they haven’t, make sure they are amenable to meeting them beforehand.

4. When will I receive my wedding video?

Editing can take a while, especially during wedding season. Therefore, it is always a good idea to ask when you will receive your final video so you will know when to expect it.

5. How long have you been filming weddings?

This will give you a better understanding of how long your videographer has been in the industry. You should also ask to see their previous work whether they are new to the industry or old. Checking out previous work will also help make sure you don’t fall foul to wedding scammers as a legitimate videographer will be happy to share their work.

6. What equipment will you use?

There are always new methods as well as technology, so it is a good idea to make sure your videographer is up-to-date with the most reliable equipment. If they are using drones, for example, do they have a licence to fly them?

7. Have you shot at my venue before?

This is a great question to see if the videographer is familiar with your venue. If they have shot there before, they will know the ins and outs of the area. If they have not shot at your venue before, then you may want to ask if they will visit before the day of your wedding.

8. What is your editing process?

Editing can be done in many ways and some types of editing can change the quality of your video film. Asking how your videographer edits their videos will let you know what kind of videos they produce.

9. What packages do you offer?

Videographers usually offer a variety of different packages and deals. You should discuss what package you want such as, having both a trailer video and your wedding highlight film. Or even see if they will do a same-day edit too!

10. Do you have a second shooter?

Having a second shooter is like having another set of eyes at your wedding. This ensures that nothing will be missed during the getting ready process, ceremony, reception, and all the good stuff in between.

That’s a wrap! I hope you found that useful.

 

Wedding Photographer near Edinburgh - JB Moments Photography

Studio Session – Max’s Smash and Splash

Studio Session – Max’s Smash and Splash

Master Max first came to see me as a newborn. His mum and dad then purchased a Grow with Me package so I could capture him every 4 months of his first year. He absolutely rocked his 4-month session. His 8-month session unfortunately came and went during lockdown 🙁

Mum messaged me as lockdown was ending to say that Max was nearly a year. We agreed to do his 1-year Smash and Splash session and do another session at 16 months old. Instead of a 1st year Photobook, Max will get a year and a half book 🙂

But first, the smart shots

Before we let Max get into his cake smash I wanted to get some ‘clean’ images in his little outfit.

Cake Smash and Tub Splash Photography by JB Moments Photography

Max had the cutest dungaree set on with a cool shirt and braces. And would you just look at those knee socks – gorgeous!

Mum had asked for an animal set up. I kinda pushed this to the limit and went with dinosaurs (because I saw some cute dinos when I was getting his cake). Luckily Mum and Dad said he loves dinosaurs 🙂

Cake Smash Time

After Max lost the smart shirt and socks it was time to introduce him to his cake.

Cake Smash and Tub Splash Photography by JB Moments Photography

He wasn’t sure at first, preferring to play with the balloons. But eventually, he started to get into it.

Cake Smash and Tub Splash Photography by JB Moments Photography

He started smashing with the wooden spoon I provide but soon found that he could cram much more into his mouth with his hands!

Max was really getting into the swing of things and thoroughly enjoying himself. This, in turn, was delighting Mum and Dad.

Cake Smash and Tub Splash Photography by JB Moments Photography

This is one of the reasons why I love doing Smash and Splash sessions, so much fun and laughter in the studio. It’s infectious!

Cake Smash and Tub Splash Photography by JB Moments Photography

Atta boy Max! You nailed the Smash part. Now you could do with a good clean up!

Splish Splash I was Taking a Bath

Max loves bath time so I knew he was going to love a splash in my tub.

Cake Smash and Tub Splash Photography by JB Moments Photography

Plenty of bubbles, rubber ducks and warm water. How could he not be happy?

Cake Smash and Tub Splash Photography by JB Moments Photography

Even when I got Mum to add a bubble beard and mohawk he was still making his gorgeous eyes at me!

Cake Smash and Tub Splash Photography by JB Moments Photography

Yup Max had a great time, almost as much fun as I had. And the best bit – I get to see him again in a few months 😀

In other news

Alex, one of my former Grow with Me clients came in for his postponed Easter Mini Session. We turned it into a summer session and I got to use my homemade clouds again! At the end of the session, I got to play with my newest prop – a vintage step ladder that my sister-in-law managed to source for me.

Up in the clouds by JB Moments Photography

I just love this image of Alex sitting above the clouds!

On Location at The Pineapple, Airth and Doune Castle

On Location at The Pineapple, Airth and Doune Castle

Sometimes it’s good to break free from the studio and get out on location. A couple of Friday’s ago I got to do just that in two beautiful locations.

Location 1 – The Pineapple, near Airth

First up was a three-year-old bundle of energy Callum and his faithful friend Cooper. Mum, Emily had been gifted the session by her super thoughtful boyfriend. Emily wanted to use her voucher on a location photoshoot as she felt Callum would be better running free.

Pocket Rocket

When I arrived at the Pineapple, a 1761 folly that has to be seen to be believed I could see what looked to be my family in the distance. Next thing I know JEEEENNNNNNNYYYY is being shouted a the top of a wee boys lungs as he hurtles towards me. Oh, hey Callum!

Child Photography by JB Moments Photography

It was soon very apparent that this handsome chap was not going to stop and pose for me. There was too much exploring to be done! The best thing about location shooting is just joining the family on a walk (or run in Callum’s case) and capturing the moments as they happen 🙂

Mum’s bag of tricks

Emily was very well prepared with a bag full of treats.  Callum and Cooper were very responsive to what was in the bag.

Child Photography by JB Moments Photography

I just love this image I captured whilst Callum chewed on his jelly sweet.

Two Locations for the price of one!

One of the great things about the Pineapple is a large sunny lawn at the front of it and a woodland walk at the back.

We made full use of the two with Callum and Cooper.

Child Photography by JB Moments Photography

As boy and his faithful friend played, the dappled light in the woods was beautiful.

Once we were back on the lawn I managed to convince mum to be in a few images as well.

Child Photography by JB Moments Photography

What a beautiful family.

Building trust with the littles I capture is hugely important to me. As we walked back to the car park I felt a little hand reach for mine. Callum had decided to walk hand in hand with me totally unprompted. Talk about a lump in the throat moment! Thoroughly enjoyed capturing this little dude.

Location 2 – Doune Castle

Originally the Kinloch Family were visiting the grandparents in the Easter holidays. I had been booked to take some family photos but we had to put on hold due to lockdown. Fast forward and they had to all clear to visit and we were back on!

Doune Castle, a medieval castle famously used in the Monty Python film The Holy Grail was still closed but was still a great location for a photoshoot due to it’s proximity to the River Teith.

Mum Lucy wanted a mix of posed family images and natural images of the kids being kids. Master Rorie (8) and Miss Dulcie (4) were very happy to oblige!

Family Photography by JB Moments Photography

Skimming Stones

I got Dad and Granddad to show Rorie how to skim stones at the river bank and he completely forgot about the camera clicking.

Family Photography by JB Moments Photography

Posed, sort of

With active kids, parents, grandparents and a dog, the best kind of family images on location are the ones where I get them to do something.

Family Photography by JB Moments Photography

We found a patch with some lovely looking wildflowers (weeds) that made a great background and I got them to hold hands and walk. Makes such a happy image.

Finally, although we couldn’t get into the castle we could still use the big entrance door as another background.

Family Photography by JB Moments Photography

As much as I love my cute home studio and it can be great to get out on location and it works really well for large families and/or rambunctious kids or pets!

How To Celebrate Your Cancelled Wedding Day

How To Celebrate Your Cancelled Wedding Day

This is a blog I never in my wildest dreams expected to write. Ending up with a postponed wedding is never in anyone’s wedding plans. But sometimes life throws you a major curveball and the best you can do as a couple is to navigate it together. In the time of COVID-19, in the wake of a close one’s diagnosis or encountering financial hardship, there are a number of reasons that couples can find themselves having to change the date of their wedding day.

Whilst all manner of emotions and grief are completely normal in making this decision, just know that a postponement is just that, a postponement. Your wedding day will arrive. And it will be all the more joyous and sweet because of what you and your partner have been through. Love isn’t cancelled!

So what do you do when the day your wedding should have been on finally rolls around? Cancel the world and stay under your duvet? Maybe. Or use it as a way to extend the celebration of your love and commitment to each other? Even if that does mean cancelling everything and staying under your duvet together. But if you want to get creative and make it even more memorable, here are some ideas (feel free to choose as many as you like)…

Get Dressed Up

Let’s face it, it’s been a while since we all slung on a dress or smart shirt. So why not let this be your occasion to don your fancy things and get dressed up for each other? Wear what makes you feel the most beautiful, for yourself and that partner of yours.

Get Dressed Down

Love lazing about in your joggies/PJs? Then invest in a new set specially for the day and get cosy together. Or have a naked Saturday instead. No one’s watching. Except maybe your other half… Which ain’t no bad thing 😉

Wearing White

You know those chic registry weddings or elopements, where the bride wears something really understated and stylish in white? Channel that vibe. Or slink around your house in your partner’s white shirt. If it’s white and makes you feel great, it’s fair game.

Wear Your Veil / Tie / Shoes

Have a piece of your wedding day outfit that you’d like to get more than one wear out of? Then fasten that veil or knot that tie for a bit of extra luxe. Or you could use this as an excellent excuse to break in your wedding shoes for the big day’s final arrival.

Have A Fancy Dinner

Have a favourite meal? Something fancy or spendy? Maybe you have a penchant for truffles or great seafood? Source some and treat yourselves to a rich, extravagant meal. Many restaurants are still offering takeaway if you don’t fancy eating out just yet.

Have A Picnic

Love a picnic spread? Why not buy in all of your favourite snacky foods, cheeses, grapes, antipasto etc. Spread out a rug in your garden or on your living room floor and have at it.

Bake A Wedding Cake

Love whipping out the mixing bowl? Then use this excuse to bake (and of course later, eat) a cake of your choice. It could be that red velvet you’d ordered for your original date,  or you could go all traditional and bake a fruit cake. Anything goes. And yes, you do get to lick the spoon.

Open Your Wedding Wine

Have you been stocking up on wine and fizz for your wedding day? Well lucky you, because you now have a bit more time to replenish those supplies, so pop that cork and enjoy the fruits of your wine collecting labour today.

Bucks Fizz In Bed

Pop some fizz, toast each other and have a luxurious breakfast in bed. There is no reason you can’t stay there for the rest of the day, snoozing, reading, watching TV and… Enjoying each other’s company.

Toast Each Other

You two are incredible. And the fact that together you can jump this hurdle and come back strong for your postponed wedding day is worthy of a toast. A toast to teamwork, to your support network, to each other.

Cut A Cake, Any Cake

Don’t feel like Mary Berry-ing your way to a wedding cake, then don’t. That’s what M&S is for. Or Tesco, or Aldi. Pick up your supermarket cake of choice and cut it / eat it together.

Creme De la Cake

Want cake to celebrate your original date, but want the best of the best? Then ask your cake maker if there is a way for them to bake a small single tier version of your postponed wedding cake and have it safely delivered. You’re helping support your supplier and getting to eat fancy cake. Win-win.

Cook Your Wedding Menu

Enjoy cooking together? Or fancy giving it a go for a laugh? Pour your favourite tipple and have a go at cooking your wedding menu. Then have a moment to marvel at the caterers who manage to do this for 100+ people all at one time!

Order Your Fave Takeaway

Or ditch the thought of lifting a pot lid and order in your fave takeaway if they’re available. Order those sides and starters too!

Share Your Day

Zoom in your guests / bridal party / nearest and dearest so you can all have a laugh and lift each other’s spirits. And recognise that one day in the not too distant future, you’ll all be together celebrating your wedding. And what a party that day will be!

Quiz Night

You could spend the day with your love, then at night get on a group call with a twist. Ask family to get dressed up fancy, or to fancy dress. Choose someone like the best man or maid of honour to create a Mr & Mrs Quiz.

Dance Your First Dance

Your speaker is your band and your kitchen is your dancefloor. Press play, get close and dance to your song. It may be the most tender and intimate dance you have in your life.

Decorate Your House

Have decor set aside for your wedding day? Pop it around your house and get double duty out of your investment. Alternatively order some white streamers and paper decs online and make your home feel all wedding day festive.

Fairy Lights

If in doubt, fairy lights. A sure-fire way to make things feel more intimate, cosy and special. Use the ones you have set aside for your wedding day or dig some out of the Christmas box in the loft. A little something to make your home feel special for a day.

Indulgent Netflix Day

Why not shut out the world and turn your living room into the perfect binge-watching haven? Tilt the blinds, get the duvets down, load up on snacks and pick a show to get lost in… all. day. long.

Say Your Vows

You may feel this is something you’d rather keep for standing at the top of the aisle. Or you may love the idea of vows spoken privately to mark the day you were due to be wed. Fair Warning: You will cry and that’s okay.

A Reminisce Playlist

The fact that you’re getting married likely means that you and your partner have a history and memories. More often than not there are songs that conjure up memories for you both. Take turns to choose and play songs that make you think of each other.

Wear Your Wedding Night Lingerie

Don’t let that racy lacey number lie in a box any longer. You could always treat yourself (and your other half) to another set for when the big day finally arrives.

Have A Gift List Shopping Spree

Have you planned a wedding gift list? You could use this time to map out what married life will look like together and add all of your wants to your gift list. Or you could add something special to the list as a treat to your future self for getting through this.

Write Each Other A Love Letter

You could either write that love letter to be opened on this, your original wedding date, or you could save it for the morning of your future wedding day. Just make sure you open it before you have your make up done.

 

A Couples Massage

You can’t exactly nip off for a spa day together, but if you and your partner love a bit of pampering, why not set the scene? Light some candles, burn aromatherapy oils and take turns giving each other a relaxing massage.

Ask For A Blessing

If you’ve got a religious ceremony planned and that aspect is important to you, you could always contact your celebrant and ask for a special blessing to be performed over video to mark the day.

Order A Floral Arrangement From Your Florist

You could pick up a supermarket bouquet along with your other essentials or you could treat yourself to a beautiful arrangement of your chosen wedding flowers for your home from your florist. Just contact them to see if they can arrange this and deliver in a way that is safe for both them and you.

Do Some Wedding Prep

Have a few DIY elements to your wedding day such as favours or a table plan? Now maybe the time to get cracking on as much of that as you can. It might be a good idea to leave names until closer to your new wedding date though to confirm RSVPs.

Plan your Honeymoon

It looks like we won’t be going anywhere for a while. But, that does mean that you can spend extra time saving for your honeymoon and plan ways to make it even more memorable. Take this time to do your research and plan out what you will do with your time to really make the most of it.

Treat Each Other To A Wedding Gift

You were probably thinking about buying each other a little something for your wedding day, so why not agree to treat this like an anniversary or the special occasion it is and get each other a pressie to open in the morning.

 

I’m well aware that because of keyworker requirements, caring for vulnerable relatives or just plain logistics, some of you may not even be able to be physically together on your original wedding date. Don’t let that stop you celebrating each other. Many of the treats above can be done virtually – except maybe that massage. So celebrate in your own way or bookmark the celebrations for the next day you’re together.

And for the rest of us who are lucky enough to spend this lockdown period with our loves, let’s celebrate that. Marriage is about love and commitment, but it is also about learning to endure and navigate problems together. Use this day to celebrate the love you have for each other and how amazingly your little team of two is navigating this hurdle. Your wedding day may be postponed, but on this day you have each other. And that is always worth celebrating.

Studio Session – Baby Stella

Baby Stella

The darkest nights produce the brightest stars.

Newborn baby?

In the day’s BC (before Coronavirus) most photographers agreed that a ‘newborn’ baby is up to 2 months old and some photographers prefer to only photograph newborns up to 2 weeks old to capture them at their squishy, sleepiest best.

Stella’s parents had booked her in for a newborn shoot shortly after she was born but then C-19 happened! She was born mid-April and the first time I could reopen was end-July so she was the most geriatric newborn I’ve ever photographed!!

Worth the wait

She was totally worth the wait though.

Baby photography by JB Moments Photography

I had ordered this fabric (called Stella) in especially for her so I was delighted to be finally using it. Miss Stella gave me lots of lovely eye contact with those baby blues of hers. And her skin was practically perfect all peaches and cream.

Stella has a big sister Fern who had her first birthday cake smash with me. Her pictures remind me of erm me in lockdown. All the cake and no bra!!

Mum really wanted a picture of the two sisters together but Miss Fern really didn’t want to play ball so I had to composite a shot of the two of them together afterwards. Next time!

Another good thing about an older baby

Is that they can hold their heads up with less support which makes getting images like this much easier.

Baby photography by JB Moments Photography

Look at those cheeks, isn’t she adorable? I was absolutely smitten.

Smiles for miles

Usually, when I take my ‘mugshot’ images of the baby I get all manner of annoyed and grumpy expressions from them which can be super cute. Miss Stella though was all about the smiles.

Baby photography by JB Moments Photography

I love her cheeky look in this image.

A star has been born

It was wonderful to have a baby back in the studio again. And even though her big sister didn’t want in on the action she did bring me back doughnuts (I suspect with Dad’s help) when they went out on a little break. You all know by now I’m an absolute sucker for doughnuts!

Baby photography by JB Moments Photography

Look at this little lady, super chilled, super happy…a superstar!

Studio Session – Millie’s 8 Month Grow with Me

Grow with Me – 8 months

I’m back!

Studio steam cleaned within an inch of its life – check. Post lockdown guidelines issued to clients – check. Masks and gloves available – check. Own mask fitted – check. Hand sanitizer ready to greet clients – check. I was good to go and couldn’t wait to get started again.

My first client back through the door was the gorgeous Miss Millie. After her newborn session, mum and dad took advantage of my Grow with Me package to capture Millie at 4 months, 8 months and 1 year with an A4 Photobook of their first year 🙂

Cake

Millie’s big sister Hailey made me a cake and bought it to the session. How lovely is that?

Baby photos by JB Moments Photography
My clients are the best!

It was delicious too!

Look at you grow!

Millie’s mum always picks the best outfits for her. At her 4 month Grow with Me session Millie was the cutest (and grumpiest) ladybug you ever did see! This time she went totally tropical…

Baby photography by JB Moments Photography

Come on, have you ever seen a cuter, happier pineapple? I don’t think so and that little pineapple turban, too cute!

Grow milestones

At 4 months it is all about tummy time, by 8 months baby can usually sit up by themselves. Millie was no exception.

I also had the chance to try out a new set up I added to the studio in lockdown. Sheer curtains that look like gorgeous window light when my studio lights are positioned behind them.

Baby photography by JB Moments Photography

Even better, it gives the littles something to interact with. Luckily for Mr JB’s DIY skills it stayed up!

Classic

Now I love a good outfit along with the next person and I can imagine how much fun Millie’s parents will have showing her these images when she is older!! But I also like to provide some timeless images that will never date and for that, you can’t beat a deceptively simple black and white.

Baby photography by JB Moments Photography

Of course, Mille made this series of images her own by giving me some glorious facial expressions! This one is my particular favourite.

Look how you’ve grown

At each Grow with Me session I try to incorporate one of the props I used at their Newborn session so you can really see how much they grow and change during the year. With Millie, it was a bucket.

Baby photography by JB Moments Photography

What a difference a few months make? How quickly they change in their first year! I can’t wait to incorporate somehow into her 1-year session.

Why am I a Photographer?

Why am I a Photographer?

Today, I’m sharing with you a photograph that was taken 46 years ago, of me.baby photographer, Falkirk - JB Moments Photography

Yup, those double chins and flappy ears belong to yours truly.

Visual History

I keep this photograph hanging in my studio to show how newborn images have changed but also to keep it safe as it is one of the only pictures there is of me as a baby. I have written often about my lack of visual history that makes me cherish printed images.

Got me thinking..

Whilst cleaning the studio for the umpteenth time as I prepare to re-open it got me thinking about all the babies I have photographed in the last three years as a professional photographer. And many years before that.

What do the parents see when they look at those photos years later?

What will the kids in those photos think when they are older? When they become teenagers will they laugh at how they are posed? Will they wonder why they are in a bowl or bucket? Or have a giant headband on their head? Or a bonnet with teddy bear ears?

Mum?

So I messaged my mum and asked her if she remembered the photo? Her response was,

It was at home. I couldn’t afford to go to a studio. So we put a white blanket on my bed and it was taken by one of your god parents who was into photography.

I guess that explains the slightly odd pose and the fact that it is kind of shot up my nose! Baby photography has come on a long way since then!

I asked her to tell me what she sees now, looking at that photo 46 years on. This is what she sent me,

My special first born girl. I see my baby girl that I knew would grow up into a wonderful woman.

Awww shucks! I decided to ask my Dad as well and he said,

A beautiful baby

How sweet is that!

Me

When I look at this photo I see a smiley, chubby baby with mahoosive ears! I am clearly engaged and probably looking at my mum. I love how simple it is. It’s just me, no props or giant headbands in sight.  My mum and my dad just see me, nothing else when I showed it to them all these years later. Well, just me and those massive lugs!!

As a photographer, I need to remember that it’s not all about how many different elements I can add to an image or how I pose a baby to fit in the latest prop. Yes, I know I sometimes get asked for those photos by parents. Or I get caught up in the latest trends. I’m not saying those photos should stop but I am saying I need to remember what the purpose of a photograph is.

They capture life moments. Moments of happiness that we’d love to last, to remember them ad to share them with our friends and family. They tell our stories.

This is the reason I am a photographer.

How to Virtually include Guests at your Wedding

Virtually including Wedding Guests

 

Life as we knew it has come to a screaming halt, with Covid-19 and government-enforced lockdown.  There are hopeful signs that we have reached the peak and that lockdown measures will soon start to be relaxed. But this will be phased and large gatherings will be the last to be allowed. The “new normal” still won’t be quite normal, and we have no idea how long this could last.

While of course, we would love for all of our nearest and dearest to be in attendance, it is unlikely that overseas guests are going to be able to travel for a while. You may also still want old and vulnerable guests to be self-isolating.

Wedding Photography - JB Moments Photography

Technology is going to be your best friend during these days of social distancing, and especially when it comes to planning a virtual wedding attendance. Below I’ll outline the steps you’ll need to take to plan a wedding on the internet, plus share the resources that will help you execute everything as simply as possible. Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Choose Your Platform

ZOOMING IN

Video conference software Zoom offers free and paid subscriptions. For free you can ‘meet’ for up to 40 minutes. For £11.99 per month, you can “meet” for up to 24 hours. That’s more than enough time for a ceremony and reception! With Zoom, attendees can set up Speaker View (probably ideal for your guests to view your ceremony) or Gallery View (you, as the couple, could have this displayed so you can see all of your guests’ reactions).

You can designate one guest to take screenshots of your attendees’ reactions throughout the ceremony to include in your wedding album. Your designated readings can still be made by your virtual guests of honour.

With Zoom, you can continue the party into the reception, allowing the virtual wedding party and parents to give speeches, having your first dance and even doing the cake cutting.

GOING LIVE! WITH FACEBOOK

Another free option is to utilise Facebook Live for your ceremony. Invite your guests to a private group, and create a private event for them to RSVP to. At the designated time, your guests can hop on to watch you say your “I do”s! Facebook can act as a virtual guest book, too, with guests posting their well-wishes in the days and weeks leading up to the ceremony. They can introduce themselves and “mingle” prior to the ceremony and continue with the sentiments well after. The video will live on in the group as long as the group continues to exist.

Not everyone is going to have Facebook, and you won’t be able to have the same “face to face” interaction as you may with video conferencing software, but the same basic ideas apply.

SKYPE

To include absent guests through Skype, you will need to ask someone who will be sitting in the front row to hold a laptop, iPad, or another device that has Skype on it. Make sure the ceremony location has wifi, and that you know the password. Test out the connection beforehand. Then, stream the ceremony live so that those connected through Skype can watch in real-time.

GOOGLE HANGOUTS

Google Hangouts is another option for live-streaming your ceremony to those who can not be physically present. As an alternative to streaming the ceremony, you could also set up a Google Hangout during the reception, so that the call can be a two-way conversation. Instead of having absent guests silently watching, as though they’re seeing a live video, they can actually talk and connect with other wedding guests, as well as the bride and groom.

Step 2: Organize the Necessary Tech Gear

Tech is super key in planning your virtual wedding guests. At a minimum, you need a laptop, tablet or phone with a camera. If using a phone or tablet, you may also want to get a tripod to mount the mobile device to for steady, even viewing. Take your tech for a test run on whichever platform you intend to use so you can ensure quality will be up to the job.

Step 3: Coordinate with Any Suppliers

Make sure the venue is aware of your plans so they can help with set up. Also, make sure your photographer/videographer is in the loop so they don’t stand directly in front of the feed!

Step 4: Inform Your Guests

Include the meeting link to your scheduled Zoom or to your Facebook group, as well as the date and time. Now, because this is a little outside the box, you may also want to include instructions for your guests on how to turn on their video and ask them to remain muted during the ceremony.

Step 5: Get Prepared

You’ll definitely want to do a test run or two before the big day, to ensure your backdrop is even, you have the right angle for recording and all of the tech is running smoothly.

Can’t go live on the day?

If the location of your ceremony doesn’t have wifi and won’t support a hot spot, you could also ask a guest or a professional to film the ceremony, and upload it to Youtubeor Vimeo shortly after, once wifi is available!  This is a last resort option because you want your guests to enjoy themselves, not be worrying about uploading videos!

Wedding photography - JB Moments Photography

Studio Session – Baby Lachlan

Baby Photography

Baby, it’s weird outside

Before the UK closed down completely due to the COVID-19 virus my last wonderful client for the foreseeable braved their session.

I met the family at the door with a bottle of hand sanitiser instead of hugs and handshakes. They were welcomed into my studio that has never had so much Dettol sprayed in it. I found it really hard not to touch them as I posed them and when I did the hand sanitiser got squirted liberally again (and again).

The session was for baby Lachlan  (pronounced Lock Lan) a handsome dude at just under a month new who didn’t want to sleep at all! Under normal circumstances, I would spend more time rocking and shushing him. But I was observing as minimal touch as possible. Gah! It killed me not to be able to sniff and kiss his little head when no one was looking. But his safety was more important than my baby fix!

What the heck are you doing?

Baby Boy - JB Moments Photography

I love, love, love this image! Lachlan was so intent on watching everything I was doing he went cross-eyed with concentration. Look at that fluffy hair and little pixie ears. Absolutely delicious!

Bear with me

Baby Boy - JB Moments Photography

Lachlan’s mummy and daddy bought his favourite teddy that he had been gifted. I included it in quite a few of his images and it looked great in this setup. As you can see this baby was wide awake and keen to see everything that was going on. He was pretty chilled out just hanging in the bucket!

Some bunny loves you

Who knows what the situation will be like at Easter. So I had to get my fix with this baby. I’m not ashamed to admit I broke out the bunny bonnet!

Baby Boy - JB Moments Photography

I’m not sure how Lachlan felt about it. I think he looked pretty stinking cute!

Mugshots

I am still enjoying baby mugshots and Lachlan being super awake made it easy. The hardest part was narrowing down the hundreds I took into his gallery.

Baby Boy - JB Moments Photography

Being a model is so exhausting

Guess what? Right at the end of the session as I was getting the family images, Lachlan finally decided to crash out!

Baby Boy - JB Moments Photography

Such a gorgeous family.

Closed…for now

It’s funny to think that when Lachlan looks back at his baby photos all he will see is a beautiful moment in time. He will comment on how young his mum and dad look and laugh at how cute he is. He will see love and joy in his images. He won’t remember the crazy, unprecedented times that came directly after his studio session. We may be on lockdown right now but we will get through this. I am using this time constructively to clear out my prop cupboards in the studio and taking the opportunity to do on-line training. I am also reviewing my website, customer literature and workflows. So once the world gets healthy again JB Moments Photography will be back better than ever and ready to capture your moments in a way that will make you smile.