When you have a newborn baby, it can feel like your whole life revolves around sleep: the baby’s, and your own.
It’s an important consideration for us as photographers too – and not just so that we are looking our best when you arrive, rather than a bit bleary-eyed and clutching coffee!
Many of our favourite images of newborns have been taken when they were asleep. But there are other times when we want them to be awake, so we can see those gorgeous big eyes, or catch the look between mum and dad and baby.
So here are some of the things we have learned from years of photographing babies, whether they are asleep or awake…
Are easier to pose, which can result in some of the most adorable images. We can add props, try diferent positions and thanks to our training and experience, all without waking your baby or causing him any distress.
Are quieter, which can mean a more relaxing experience for mum and dad. You may even get to drink a hot cup of tea!
Can be encouraged to drift off with rocking, shushing, swaddling, feeding or with a little help from a dummy. Sheila is our resident baby whisperer and while she works her magic, you can get back to that cup of tea.
Are generally more likely to be keep still. They may twitch or stir but there is unlikely to be the flaiing of arms and legs that all parents will be familiar with. Which in turn can make it easier to get fantastic photographs.
Can be calmed with a feed, a cuddle or distraction, eg a favourite toy or a something that makes noise or lights up.
Will often lie still in a parent’s arms, allowing for some beautiful close-up images of their face. Any background such as clothing can always be edited out later.
If it’s an older baby, that all-important smile can often be achieved by interaction with the parents, so now is the time to lose those inhibitions and start singing, dancing and doing all those things you know he loves to see.
Some babies are more reluctant to wake up than others. But it can be done – some of our tried and tested methods include undressing them, wiping a cold cloth over their face, a nappy change, lifting them upright and gently lying them back down, or offering a feed. With all of these, it’s important to attempt them during your baby’s lighter sleep, and to keep the lights in the room dimmed, otherwise he won’t want to open his eyes.
But if all else fails, enjoy the peace and that cup of tea. It won’t be long before the little one is awake again and letting everyone know about it! Luckily, we always allow plenty of time for our newborn shoots so there is absolutely no pressure and definitely time for more tea…
Christmas shopping season is well underway, but we have some good news to save you from braving the crowds and the cold.
Here at Style Photography we can offer perfect presents for the whole family, whether it’s a voucher for a portrait session or a print to take pride of place on the mantelpiece.
Don’t believe us? Read on for our guide to gifts that are unique, thoughtful and will bring joy for years to come…
We’ve drawn up a list for our photography family to show that there is an option for everyone – just get in touch for more information.
Mum: As well as a volunteer to do the washing up, or the opportunity to have a bath in peace, most mums love having the whole family together. So why not book a family photoshoot, meaning that not only will her wish come true (just make sure everyone is free on the same day first!), but she’ll also have some beautiful images to treasure forever. You can even combine it with a makeover for mum, or organise lunch or an afternoon tea for the same day.
The results are seriously impressive and will make him feel like Ronaldo or Rooney, even if in reality he’s more Sunday league. Or if your dad is more into business than ball sports, how about a lovely print of the children or grandchildren that he can keep on his desk?
Brother: See our dad’s suggestion if your brother sees himself as the next David Beckham. Or if he’s grown up with a family of his own, how about a voucher for a family photoshoot? If he has very small children, our Cherubs package could be perfect and also means you’re likely to be rewarded with a copy of one of the beautiful images to remind you just how cute your little niece or nephew is.
Sister: We offer a range of makeover sessions that could be perfect for your sister, from shoots designed for teenagers to boudoir portraits that will leave her looking and feeling gorgeous. Of course, if you’d rather play it safe and involve the whole family, then the family photoshoot options outlined above would also work well.
Uncle: We’re going to mention football again – you could even get the boys all together, assuming they support the same team! If they don’t, how about abandoning friendly rivalry and going for a family shoot that is men-only – the results could be simply stunning.
Aunt: There are a host of options that could work for your aunt, depending on her personality and your relationship. From the boudoir or makeover shoots, to vouchers for family sessions or a beautiful image showing all the cousins together – get in touch if you need some help narrowing it down.
Cousin: Cousins can be difficult to buy for, but there is no need to resort to socks or smellies. Instead, how about inviting them to a family photoshoot that gets everyone together? Or you can get creative with prints and use them to make a collage of the whole family to remember the fun you all have.
Grandparents: If your grandparents are anything like ours, their house will be full of photos documenting the family over the years. So why not bring the collection up to date with an image showing everyone all together – including them!
Or perhaps a photo of the newest additions, or images from a fun shoot featuring props that highlight each members’ personality or hobbies?
Niece: A Frozen-inspired photoshoot – take a look at some of the great images we have produced for other little Anas and Elsas! Or if she’s older, one of our makeover packages could be great at reminding her just how beautiful she is.
Nephew: Your little nephew may like to spend a morning as Olaf, especially if his sister is being one of the Frozen princesses, and it means you can tick two gifts off the list at once. But older boys may prefer the football-inspired shoots above, or if their hobby is mountain climbing or scuba diving, we can even incorporate that into a portrait session.
Friend: Let your friend discover how stunning she really is with a boudoir session or makeover shoot. And you can even book the same for you and make it an experience you share together – happy Christmas to you both!
The ideas above will hopefully have provided some inspiration for your shopping this year but if you have someone else who is hard to buy for, or if you would like more information or suggestion, please do get in touch. Give us a call, drop us an email or pop into our convenient High Street shop – it’s nice and warm and you can park for free on the streets nearby. See you soon!
The world is often full of terrible news and human tragedies. So when you find something beautiful to lift the spirits, it’s worth sharing it far and wide.
There is beauty in our studio every single day, and we like to think magic can be found there as well. But even we have to concede that we’ve never had a friendly deer gatecrash one of our portrait sessions.
We’ve written before about the challenges photographing babies and toddlers can bring, but what about teenagers, or indeed tweenagers?
It goes without saying that it’s a whole different story – try waving a rattle in the direction of your teenager and you’ll see immediately why.
They are just as gorgeous as they were when they were younger, of course, but as they get older they can find it more difficult to recognise that or to enjoy their experience in front of the camera.
It’s a sad fact that a throwaway comment from a passing stranger can hold more weight than all the compliments of a loving parent, but it’s a fact that we can also use to our advantage.
Teenagers are often happiest in groups, and that’s why we find our party packages are among the most popular we offer for that age group. It can be very daunting to have the sole focus on just one person, especially if you are not entirely comfortable in your own skin yet, but add your friends and it’s much more fun.
Over half term, we have had several makeover sessions with beautiful young ladies; they were stunning to begin with but, with the right make-up to enhance their features, studio lighting and tips on the best poses, they could really see it for themselves.
You may have a different opinion for the perfect outfit to theirs, so bring both and see what works – you may be surprised!
Of course, it’s a lot easier for us as professionals to share tips, especially when we are not related to the teenagers we are photographing. But if you are taking the pictures yourself, a lot of the same advice applies.
It’s also worth gaining their trust by showing them the images as you take them, thanks to the magic of digital photography. You never know – when they see how good they look, they may be more willing to co-operate for the rest of the session.
Well, we’re equally delighted wto receive news this week that not one but two of our images have been successful in the national competition.
Adorable Brooke, packaged up as the perfect present, was placed joint third in scores from a panel of mums, while baby Jacob’s cheeky grin and shipshape sea-themed photo took third place in scores from a panel of professional photographers in the Baby of the Month competition.
When the scores were combined with points based on the number of Facebook likes each of the 500 entries received for the August competition, it meant we took two of the five runner-up spots, with prizes of swimming equipment worth £50 for each baby and their proud mums, Claire Sears and Holly Wickham.
It’s always gratifying to have your work recognised, especially by your peers, and we were particularly pleased that two very different shots were chosen.
As we’ve said before (like here…), we are trained in handling delicate newborns and creating poses like the one seen in Brooke’s photo, and it’s not something that parents can do at home.
But it also takes skill to set up shots like Jacob’s, starting with making him and mum feel comfortable and then trying to get him to look at the camera, smile and stay in the right place!
Add to that our desire to create images that stand out from the crowd, that capture the magic of those precious newborn days, and the developing personality of your little one, and it becomes quite a task.
Despite that, photographing babies is still some of our favourite work, and it’s reward enough to be able to share the images with parents and see the look on their faces.
Winning competitions is just the icing on the cake!
If you’d like to enter your little one in the Baby of the Month competition, for free, do get in touch – call 01227 370650 or text BOMCOMP to 07824 166141.
Have you ever looked at boudoir photography and decided it wasn’t for you?
Perhaps the idea conjures up images of embarrassing poses in a soulless studio or having to strip to your underwear in front of strangers.
It’s a common perception – but we’d like to dispel a few of the myths and share our own experiences and, who knows? After reading, you may decide you’d like to find out more – drop us a line and we’d love to have a chat.
So, to begin with, what exactly is boudoir photography? Boudoir translates as a woman’s bedroom, or private sitting room, and is a style of photography that is designed to celebrate the female form in all its different shapes and sizes.
Exactly how that happens is a matter for the client and the photographer, but a few styles to consider include flirty, sexy, playful or glamorous. It’s about you – and if you feel at your best in a stunning set of lingerie then go for it, but if you’d rather wear one of your other half’s old shirts, or your favourite nightie, we can work with that too.
Think it’s not for someone like you? Think again. Boudoir photography is for everyone – whatever your age, size or shape. It is an amazing confidence booster, perhaps a present to yourself to mark a special achievement or event, or for a loved one as an anniversary or even wedding gift. It is for women who want something to look back on when they are older, for women who are older and want to prove they are still beautiful, or for women who would like to spice up their relationship.
The photos can be just for you, or for you to share with a partner, or to proudly display for everyone to see. Think stunning yet subtle, artistic rather than in-your-face.
So you have wobbly bits? So does everyone. But you will have your own stylist to help you with hair, make-up, outfit and poses. We are experts on lighting, angles, poses and props to enhance your natural beauty. It is about you – as you are, not some overly made-up, unrecognisable, photoshopped version, but the true, gorgeous you.
Our studio is set over four floors with different rooms for you to use, including a lounge and bedroom setting, as well as your own dressing room to prepare. Our whole focus is on making sure you feel comfortable and confident so that your real beauty shines through.
Still not convinced? Give us a call and we can answer your questions without any obligation or hard sell. You have nothing to lose, and so much to gain.
It may be summer, but there was a distinct chill in the air in our studio last week – and it wasn’t because of the air conditioning!
We gave some of our clients a frosty reception, but they absolutely loved it as it was all part of our popular Frozen-inspired photoshoots.
Our latest session featured lots of little Annas and Elsas who were all more than happy to Let It Go in the style of their heroines from the smash hit Disney film.
It hasn’t disappointed, and the look on children’s faces is just magical every time.
And when they see the resulting images, and get the chance to live their dreams as a real-life Disney princess, it’s enough to make anyone burst into song…
We’re planning another Frozen session before the end of the summer holidays, so if you have someone who could do with some Disney magic in their lives – whatever their age! – do get in touch.
The magic of the movie has still not faded (or should we say melted?) thanks to the winning combination of sing-a-long songs, girl power, a loveable reindeer and snowman and an unlikely iceman as a hero while the prince turns out to be the bad guy. If you haven’t seen it, we can highly recommend it – even if you don’t have children!
The stunning animation and cool blues with plenty of icy sparkle also makes for great images and we just knew we had to have our own Frozen set to use for photos.
We are lucky enough to have some fantastic clients and it’s always lovely to see their reactions when we show them the results of their photoshoots with us.
But sometimes, the images we take are extra special because of the journey that person has been on to get to this point – and we’re not talking about mileage! This week, we were delighted to meet the lovely Emily Case, who had booked a makeover and studio session to celebrate losing weight – a whole 13.5 stones of it!
It was an emotional experience, as the last time Emily had posed for studio portraits, for a family photograph last year to mark her grandfather’s birthday, she was so unhappy with the way she looked that she desperately hoped her parents wouldn’t buy the prints. She told us she didn’t recognise the uncomfortable-looking girl in those photographs.
But this week, after shrinking from a size 28 to a 10 in just 18 months, she couldn’t wait to see the results!
Emily, 22, who works as a trainee mortgage advisor and also has her own business as a nail technician, told us she had struggled with her weight since childhood and went on her first ‘diet’ aged just eight.
Years of cruel comments left her with very little self-confidence; her self-esteem was at an all-time low and her family were growing more and more concerned about her health. After many failed diets, her parents took her to have some blood tests and the results showed Emily suffers with hypothryoidism. The condition runs in the family and it left her feeling depressed, fatiqued and struggling to lose weight.
Emily hit breaking point after seeing pictures of herself at a wedding reception and this time she decided to finally take control for good. She began taking medication for her underactive thyroid and went on a calorie-controlled diet.
She told us: “I lost three stone myself but I had done a lot of research about the science of weight loss and I knew that a large percentage of morbidly obese people regain most of weight they lose within a few years. ”
“The odds were not in my favour and I really wanted to make sure that this time I turned things around completely.”
In June 2014, Emily took the drastic step of paying for private weight-loss surgery to give her the best chance of keeping the weight off for good.
She said: “I had been offered a gastric band when I was 16 but I turned it down. But this time I felt ready to make the changes and the surgery gave me the kick start I needed.”
Pre-surgery, Emily led a very sedentary life, sitting for up to 10 hours a day working as a nail technician. Instead of eating a balanced diet of healthy meals, she grabbed whatever was to hand in between seeing clients. In just 18 months, she put on approximately four stone thanks to her bad habits.
But now, she has a new love of sport and enjoys running, clocking up an average of 10 miles per week. She has also taken up horse-riding – something she enjoyed as a child but couldn’t do for years because of her weight.
Emily also eats a high-protein, low-carb diet with strict portion control, eating around 1,200 calories a day to maintain her weight. Unlike a gastric band, which can be adjusted to control the amount of food a person can eat, she opted for a gastric bypass, which is permanent. Surgeons sectioned off a small part of her stomach, connecting it directly to the small intestine, meaning it takes less food for her to feel full, and fewer calories are absorbed from whatever she eats.
Emily said: “Despite the weight loss, I don’t really feel any different until I look in the mirror! I had been in denial about how big I was. I knew what size my clothes were when I was bigger but I rarely looked in the mirror back then and I hated seeing photos of myself.
“When I had some photos taken early last year for a family portrait, I didn’t recognise myself. I hated those pictures. But with Doug and Sheila at Style Photography, I felt so confident and at ease.
“I wanted to treat myself to the photos to celebrate reaching my goal and to have proof of the difference in myself; not just physically but emotionally too. It has been a long journey but it is lovely to know that the girl in those photos is me.”
It certainly is – and we’re delighted to be part of that celebration.
School’s out for summer – and for some of our young people, this summer marks the end of an era as they leave the classroom behind and move on to other things.
As with other special occasions, it’s natural to want a photographic record of the day, and perhaps to record the changes from their first day at school to their last.
But teenagers can be unwilling models, and it would be easy to let the whole process degenerate into a frustrating battle of wills.
So, how can you get good shots of your beautiful sons and daughters without the sighing, sulking or shouting?
First of all, it’s important to pick the right time. First thing in the morning, particularly if they have a bus to catch or somewhere to be, is probably not that time. Give them some warning – after all, very few people are happy to have a camera thrust in their face without even the opportunity to run a brush through their hair!
Work with them…you may envisage an adorable photo of them in school uniform to display alongside the one from all those years ago marking their first day, but will they feel comfortable? Their prom outfit, if they have one, may be a better idea, or something else they would wear to go out in.
Involve their friends. Not only will this lessen the chances of the photoshoot descending into a family row, but it may even make it fun. If you want to treat them and turn it into a real celebration, we offer makeover sessions and photoshoots at our studio in Herne Bay High Street that would take all the stress away from you.
Let them see the photos – before they are printed. You may think they look adorable, but they’ll notice any hair that’s out of place or wonky eyeliner. Give them a chance to fix it and then try again. Maybe not 50 times, but within reason.
Relax and have fun. Remember why you are doing it; there’s nothing worse than an awkward pose and a forced smile. If you can both enjoy the experience then the results will be much better and you won’t have another battle over displaying the finished project.
Of course, if this all sounds like too much hard work, you can always give us a call. We have years of experience of working with families and people of all ages and we can make even the most reluctant model feel at ease. We may even be able to convince them to pose with you too for a beautiful keepsake or the perfect present for grandparents.