Learning from the unexpected.

When I was pregnant and dreaming about my life as a mother, I always thought about how much I could teach my children. But I didn't consider for a moment that my children would teach me - that I might learn from them. 

Three years on, with two children under three - I have happily realised that my children are teaching me, too. They are teaching me about themselves, and about myself, and about joy and magic and laughter and instinct. 

My son experienced his first giant bouncy castle and giant slide at a local fete last weekend. The first thing he did the moment his shoes were off, was to plough himself onto the slide, climbing up the steps and throwing himself down, without a moment's hesitation or worry. Then he buzzed around the bouncy castle. And oh, the happiness! Which was well matched with sorrow when it was time to leave. Although his misery was abruptly ended with an offering of a biscuit.

I am realising more than ever about about the power of simplicity. And the days go by, my desire to live a simple life is growing stronger. I am turning off my phone more. I'm restricting and lessening the amount of mindless and not-so-mindless stuff that I let seep into my skin and my bones and my heart, that pulls at me until I burn out and feel doom and gloom. I just cannot take on that amount of information! I don't have the space or the time or the energy. It's what social media and the internet have brought upon me. And I'm getting tired of it. I'm looking elsewhere. I'm seeking something else, something more, something deeper, something meaningful, something personal.

But more than anything, I am learning what it means to truly live in the moment, as children do. Without anticipation or fear or worry of what lies ahead. Not yet. Thanks goodness, not yet. 

When I went in to check my sleeping children last night, I passed and I breathed them in, and savoured their beautiful smell. their unique little beings, their innocence. Their capacity for happiness and joy and wonder. And well, my heart just about burst. 

This is us.

We took the children swimming today, and it was one of those times when you think, why did we bother? Why didn't we just stay home instead? So, in the afternoon, we did what we always do, and go off into the woods. There are two ponies and three goats up the path, who we fed apples to, then down the path and into the woods, there are conkers! I do love Autumn.  

 

 

My grandmother.

Do you know, if I could choose the face I'd most like to photograph, it would be my grandmothers. I need to do a portrait session with her. She's wonderful and strong, and her soft face tells stories of love and heartache and everything there is to feel and know and see in a lifetime.

She was an evacuee, and lived apart from her mother from the age of nine to 13. Which is actually inconceivable, right? When she was 16 she met my late grandfather. They married and she had four children. And there are 13 grandchildren, and so far, nine great grandchildren. My son adores her - we all do. Big Love to you, Larls. xxx

boy and box

Today we had a blast in the sunshine and a box! These moments are simple. And there's something about that simplicity that I absolutely love. 

I read something recently by a photographer called Zalmy Berkowitz, and he said something along the lines of documenting moments as they are, aka - showing it like it is. And I wholeheartedly agree - in fact, it's become my moto. I want to show life as it happens. Life as it is. Life like today. 

Loose tea and lost loves.

Finally the warmth has decided to surround. Although it comes and goes, (like the sweet little hedgehogs we've discovered in our garden - I'm about to pop out to see if I can see one. Yes, I know, I am so utterly rock and roll. Nothing changes.). 

Talking of change... I'm starting to get a bit of a longing for lost loves. Music. This started with me spontaneously booking tickets to see Massive Attack at The Downs in September. And then tonight I actually started to write a song... and I've stayed up ridiculously late in doing so! 

Then there's tea - LOOSE tea - I might actually be able to muster up the energy to invest in some. And films. Perhaps we could stay up past 9pm to watch a film...

And books. I've got a stack of them by my bed waiting to be absorbed.

Anyone would think I've had my head stuck in the clouds... drifting, dreaming, without a worry in the world... 

But below you'll see that I've just been hanging with my family, soaking up a little bit of sunshine along the way. 

The One

Sometimes there's one image that jumps out at me. And it's not because of the composition, or the colours. Or even the light - and that's often a key part of a powerful image.

The real hook is the story the image tells... the emotion right there and then, in the moment I pressed the button. That is what fires my heart when I'm editing my photos.

It's almost perfect because it's so imperfect. And I'll only tweak it a tiny bit, because it needs to be imperfect. It thrives on it. That is what makes it sing. 

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Glorious Kitty

Here she is... Kitty, my niece. She's bloomin' gorgeous and sweet and happy and beautiful. And her baby wrist bracelets are some of the best I've seen. And when she sees you, she will wave with two hands, clap and smile.

This first birthday cake smash was such a joy. Just to sit quietly with my camera and let Kitty lead the way. It's how child photoshoots' should be. Natural, innocent, unexpected...

She approached her cake, and gave it a delicate little prod. She tasted it - we think she liked it - but she preferred her apple! And Ba Ba Bee. (Baby, her Bunny).

Happy first year, gorgeous girl. xxx 

Hello Sunshine.

Ah... here are my two little rays... warm and sweet, happy and yummy and oh, the littlest smells wonderful! The largest smells nice too, mostly. But not when he's 'washing' his own face with his hand. "My washing mummy". This boy likes cats. Or does he? I mean, he does, but he thinks they are hilarious and sort-of-a-little-bit terrorises/plays with Mouse (our cat). She's very good and doesn't seem to mind though. And it is entirely my own fault!  

But aren't they beautiful though? I mean, they are really beautiful. And I love hanging out with them and feel so grateful. But in case you didn't know, being a mum is actually the hardest job in the world. I don't care what anyone else says. Because it is.

In fact, I uttered those very words only today to a friend, as I had my biggest on my left hip, and my littlest in her car seat under my right arm, with a bag on my back, walking into a whooshing wind.

Oh and did I mention I've been getting up every 1/2/3 hours for the last several weeks? The 4/5/6 month sleep regression, or whatever you want to call it. But as with my eldest, I resign myself and my sleep for the first year - totally. I will just be there. And suck it up. Because it's only a year. And there are no regrets that way. 

So... here they are. My children. 

And here I am. Well, not all of me, but some. The some I can lend for the time being... with my tired eyes and aching bones. And with that, to the sofa for ten minutes to sit with my husband, and massage feet. Then... to bed!  




Little Love.

What a wonderful sight. A mother to be, with her precious cargo safely wrapped under winter warmers, and her man by her side.

This was my first venture out with my camera since we welcomed our second baby, Arabella. Who is now four months.

I've chosen a handful of images to show from the maternity session - I did two locations - the woods and home. 

It was awesome to do this again. And I remembered how much I love it. I hope I get to do many more. 


 

Young Love, We Are.

It was really pure joy doing this family photography session. Lauren, Fred and their beautiful Kitty Rose were so much fun. 

I hung around at their home for the first part, just letting them do their thing pretty much. Home sessions are quite often led by the family - or children if they're old enough! And that makes for really natural photos. 

Fred had his guitar out and was playing and singing to Kitty as she was being fed... and their cat, Pippa even joined in. Well, not with the singing, but in with the family photo. 

I also love to shoot outdoors in a surrounding like this - I always use natural light, and there was plenty of space for variety and prettiness in this little garden in Brighton. 

Spring Kitten

There's something about Spring that makes me think of kittens. Anyone who knows me knows how much I adore cats. Nearly all my birthday cards were of cats this year! I'm still working on my husband to get a second cat... I'm hoping he'll surprise me one day.  And driving across the countryside... I still lookout for abandoned baskets of kittens... Yes. I really do. 

If you have a fluffball kitten and you want some forever photos to remember how small and precious they were... then please get in touch. I'm currently running a Spring spesh for any pet photography bookings made before June. So email me for more info! 

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Family photography locations in and around Bristol

When the Spring comes, and the flowers bloom, and the sun shines, and the grass is greener - it makes me want to get out on location and do some summery photo sessions.

I love Dyrham Park - as a National Trust life member I get in for free! So we go a fair bit, as it's local to us in-between Bristol and Bath. It has huge, lush grounds with Deer (obviously) and really pretty gardens with water features and flowers upon flowers upon flowers. It makes for a really great venue to do a family photography session. 

Another place that I enjoy visiting is Ashton Court. Lovely greenery and trees and beautiful backdrops of fields and countryside. And so handy and close if you live in Bristol!

Walks in and around Ebbor Gorge are awesome (situated near Wells). If you haven't been - go! And then stop off for an ice cream at Wookey Hole on your way home. The woodland through Ebor Gorge is gorgeous - and there are numerous picnic areas too - and walking paths with fields and nature. 

Shapwick Nature Reserve - a bit further afield in Somerset (where I grew up, and where my folks live). But worth a visit if you love birds - there's a fun and wild walk you can do to one of the bird hides - and I'd love to follow you with my camera as there are so many brilliant photo opportunities there. It's so beautiful. 

I really do love the West Country of England, and am lucky enough to call it my home. 

Secret Garden

I love getting outside into our little paradise garden. OK, so it hasn't got a permanent sunshine hanging over it, nor does it have an infinity pool, or a luxurious outdoor lounge area. But, it does back straight onto woodland, and we adore our little woodland friends - the Blue and Great Tits and Robins are my favourite. And Wilfie loves being amongst it all. Getting muddy, unearthing worms, and catching newts and frogs from the pond. It's our little city secret, because it doesn't feel like it's only ten minutes from the centre. We mostly just hear bird song... Lucky us.