I was so excited when Jen contacted me about a birth photography session.
This was baby four and the last baby for this lovely couple, they wanted to document baby’s arrival.
We met up at Jens home for a chat . We chatted about previous births, her birth plan and her reasons for wanting to hire a professional photographer. Dad wasn’t too keen on having a photographer as being infront of the camera isn’t something he relished but the reality is, parents won’t even know I’m there as they focus on bringing their new arrival into the world. I also offered to shoot a complimentary maternity session, it always help to get to know my clients better, as you can see, they both aced it!
When booking a birth I am on call. For this session I was on call for three weeks prior to the due date and up to two weeks after. When Im on call this is 24 hours a day - babies come when they like and not a second sooner! We got to one week after the due date, no baby. Bearing in mind that the last three babies usually arrived about 3/4 days late.
Then at eight days over due Jen sent me a message - around 10am, she wasn’t feeling herself and she would keep me updated. At 11am contractions had started and she was walking round the garden keeping herself moving. I would attend during active labour, but it was moving quickly! At 1.30pm I got another message, they were heading in to fill up to pool so I made my way over.
When I got there the contractions where now so close mum was already in the pool breathing through them. Shortly after my arrival the midwives from the home birthing team arrived incase mum or baby needed assistance.
Birthing your child is not just a physical journey its also full of intense emotions and connections. It was up to me to capture these moment whilst also staying in the background. There were many moments of calm, quiet and just being present in that very second. Support from dad, reassurance from the midwives for the next couple of hours we all waited.
Then suddenly the atmosphere changed, you could tell was almost time.
And then there she was! Mum did incredible during those last few moments, even smiling as she rested before pushing out babys shoulders. We all knew a baby was about to arrive into the world but really nothing prepares you for finally seeing their little face!
Just incredible, the relief for mum and dad….so full of love. Then the overwhelming feeling hits and the raw emotions are there to see.
The baby, a girl, was born at 4.35pm.
I feel so lucky to have been asked and to have captured this lovely family’s birth story.
I asked Jen for a testimonial so she could share her insights with others thinking of hiring a professional photographer for baby’s birth…
“We hired a birth photographer after realising that we had no images of any part of our previous children’s birth stories. You really only think about taking a photo once your baby is in your arms…missing out on capturing the intensely emotional and physically exhausting journey that you’ve just been on together. I also wanted our children to see Liam’s part in it all, as it’s easy to forget about dad’s role in birth..even though it’s pretty hands on during a home birth! We feel so lucky to have found Seona to photograph labour and birth. Her calm and gentle presence makes for the type of person you want around during labour. We can’t wait wait to see the rest of the shots from Saorlaith’s birth. We’d advise anyone considering hiring a birth photographer to get in touch with Seona!”
Then when Jen seen the entire gallery ….”We have looked through the photos and are blown away - they are all amazing!! Thank you so so much!”
If you are considering a birth session drop me a message for an informal chat.
You can see the full birth photography story in the birth gallery.
When I’m photographing first time parents with their newborns I always let them know how quickly this part of their baby’s life passes so quickly, and those little newborn feet are in school shoes before they know it.
Last week I discovered its as equally as quick when your child starts primary one, and suddenly primary seven, primary school is finished in the blink of an eye!
Grace, my oldest, has just finished primary school and now we are ordering her high school blazer! From that cute little P1 so excited about wearing her first school uniform, sitting at her table and learning to write her name on the lines in her jotter.
I do have this image as a digital file…somewhere. Seven years of laptops, desktops and hard drives I know it will be on one of those, but where? We’ve extended our family with another two kids, been on countless holidays, we moved house, not mention adding a cat and a dog into the mix too. Even if this digital file ended up lost in the digital world or was on a hard drive that crashed it doesn’t matter, I have the print, and I knew exactly where the print was, its so so important to print your photos.
School age children usually have the least amount of professional shoots, most have only the yearly school photo, usually a bit dishevelled after rolling around at gym and spilling lunch down the shirt!
Leaving primary school ofcourse I was going to make a portrait. We did a studio portrait session, just natural light. We shot afew different head shots but this one, for me, is Grace. When she finds something genuinely funny (in this case me!) and giggles she looks just like this!
I love this because I can see the young woman she is about to become. At almost 12 years old life becomes such a big transition.
Then, as I was writing this blog post I decided to go and photograph what ever she was doing at this moment in time. Minecraft is her thing, you’ll often find her playing it or that new thing kids do where they watch other people playing the game on you tube?! Anyway, this is Grace as Grace is, comfy clothes, in her room, watching people play Minecraft, failing that she has a book in her hand…we should really take out shares in Waterstones.
At the end of high school this last image will have changed so much, not just how she looks but her room, what she is wearing, and what she is doing, its so much more than a photo, it’s a reminder of Grace, her life and her interests just as she started high school.
Child portraits are so important, not just newborn photos. Each school year is a new milestone for them.
I still have afew July Special Offer Portrait sessions remaining at just £39. Its a great opportunity to enjoy a professional shoot, or try one out for the first time!
To check the available dates remaining drop me an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you want real photographs of your newest little love? I mean real, authentic, heart bursting photographs that when you look at them they stir the exact same emotions as that moment in your life? The feelings, the sounds and even the smells come flooding right back? If the answer is yes, read on.
Real authentic photographs capturing real moments are priceless, these are the photographs that will always be your favourite. I want you to enjoy looking at your photographs now and 20 years from now! For that, authenticity is the key.
Being honest, being ourselves, showing our real selves to the world doesn’t come natural to many of us. Trying to capture authenticity in photography can be difficult for this very reason. It much easier to capture natural photographs, loosely posed and keeping it simple, but authenticity, real moments are more of a challenge. Its something that as my photography career progresses, I find myself seeking out more and more authenticity (are you sick of this word yet?!) than I did before. If you’ve connected with me for a while you might have noticed more of these type images appearing quite a lot recently.
In truth, this was originally supposed to be a blog post about Fresh 48 sessions - a session which I shoot for you before baby is 2 days old at home or in hospital, but as I started writing, the authenticity point kept spilling over, so I just went with it. best laid plans and everything! However on the flip side I guess its ironic that I am writing about realness and these are the words appearing on paper. Today I read an article about being the real honest you, at home and in every aspect of your life and I think we can all do with a reminder from time to time. It mentioned how we are two people, one real and one for the world. Showing the world the real one doesn’t come naturally for many. Then allowing someone to freeze the real you in a vulnerable moment and sharing it with others is enough to encourage people to shy away from the camera.
Although I am a creative, Im not a writer and blog posts don’t come easy for me, but I do always feel they flow much better when writing my truth.
Authentic - of undisputed origin and not a copy; genuine.
Birth Photography, Fresh 48 and home sessions are the most popular shoots for real authentic photography, moments and locations that are personal to YOU and YOUR story. In all honesty they don’t need to be the only ones. Any shoot can be geared towards less posing, less props, getting out of the studio and shooting real genuine moments, connections and emotions.
My favourite photographs of my own children are the real moments, the sports day winning medal which happened today see my instagram story today! The lying on a sun lounger on holiday with dads sunglasses on and a mini mocktail in hand - you can’t hire a professional for every moment but you can for their arrival into the world. Put your camera phone away and enjoy this time, let me capture these real, authentic moments. The emotions will come flooding back Every. Single. Time.
Ofcourse posed photographs still have their place - even my studio sessions are very loosely posed, and in most cases not at all - have you ever tried to pose a 2 year old with their 7 day old sibling? I really just try and encourage the magic to happen..and wait for the moment to appear!
After these moments have passed, when baby no longer fits into newborn size, you now know the difference between his sleepy cry and the hungry one, he just doesn’t fit into the little nook on your shoulder/neck like he used to do. These are the light bulb moments that make you realise you were so glad you have those photographs …..before you know it those little feet are in school shoes and the next adventure begins!
If you would like more information on any of the above mentioned sessions please drop me an email here.
Thanks for reading!
How was your May weekend? We got back from Alton Towers last night, a busy energy filled few days way at the The Enchanted Village, Cbeebies Land, The Roller Coaster Restaurant and more - all for a blog post for another time! However, This time last year we had just returned from somewhere little further afield, Kenya. We had the experience of a life time and met some amazing children!
My daughter Grace (10) and I travelled 6,764 miles from Glasgow to a rural village on the Kenya Uganda border called Busia.
We flew from Glasgow to Amsterdam, then on to Nairobi, Kenya. Then we caught another flight to Kisumu, then It was a 2 hour drive to Busia, past the equator to visit the kids at Camp Ohana.
Why? We visited the awe inspiring children of Camp Ohana to share knowledge and to the teach the children visual story telling through photography. The children were truly inspiring and so eager to learn. Grace photographed parts of her life in Glasgow and told her story to the children of the Camp Ohana in groups of around 10 each time, around 80 school aged children in total. After a short lesson on photography, we then gave the cameras to the children with instructions on how to use the. Many children had never used a camera before. The older children took their cameras home to capture life where they lived. It was such a fun and inspiring photography project. We fundraised for the cameras - thank you to everyone that donated the funds and the costs involved in shipping the cameras there ahead of time. Thank you to Barrhead Travel for their donation too, it made a big difference in making sure we had enough for the processing costs.
What is Camp Ohana?
Camp Ohana is an organisation that helps to teach children leadership skills. Helping children grow in confidence and knowledge, to help them to prepare for adult life. The children come along when not at school, enjoy a lunch and can use the small library and learn new skills. The week before we visited Camp Ohana there had been a dance school from USA sharing their skills and knowledge with the kids.
The photographs that the kids captured with our cameras are being used to secure funding for equipment to help the camp carry on the photography skills teaching and I hope to go back and visit again soon. They will also be in the Camp Ohana book which is due to be published soon celebrating 10 years of the organisation.
We also took along an instant camera which was huge hit as you can see! This is Jackson with his portrait.
Some of the images the children captured…
Always happy, smiling faces!
Some kids used theirs in local streets.
Some at home
Some at the camp
Wherever they took them, a good time was had by all!
It was an incredible experience for us but especially Grace, I am so proud of her! Then she went on to present the project to her class, as well as being able to say that she stopped at the equator…I hadn’t as much as left the country when I was 10!
If you would like to volunteer your time and skills at Camp Ohana in Kenya, to make a difference to others lives aswell as to enjoy such an incredible and enriching experience please get intouch. The organisation is always looking for volunteers AND they are starting a new Service Safari - make the trip to the camp as part of an overall trip to Kenya.
Some of the children really stood out with their outgoing personalities and with all of the questions they asked us - so much confusion and then laughter as the kids seen photographs of Sammy, our cat. If an animal doesn’t bring in an income from its produce or could be used for its meat in rural Kenya, it just becomes another mouth to feed.
Lots of conversation about Graces school and her friends - Lettie above, and Praise below, beautiful souls to have met on our visit.
Camp Ohana are teaming up with some great accommodation in beautiful locations - I can’t wait to hear more about their Service Safari! You can see a preview on this short video - Thanks for reading and I hope this ignites a little spark….
The baby is here!
I remember still being surprised that my babies had arrived, I mean I knew they were going to arrive but not much prepares you for this incredible moment!
The first couple of days of your baby’s arrival are such a blur, so many post natal checks for mum and for baby, feeding, changing those first nappies and just staring at your baby, she is finally here!
Those teeny tiny feet, legs still so tightly kept together, its all she’s known for 9 months. Tightness, warmth and the smells and sounds of mum are all that make her feel better about her first couple of days earth side.
Elise made super quick entry into the world on 28th January, 6lb 14oz . Almost arriving in maternity assessment! A little sister for Myles, and a beautiful daughter for her lovely parents.
Elise was born at the QEUH and I managed to get to the hospital just before she was 24 hours old, her first day in the world!
The newborn pose, hand over head sleeping. I love this, I like to think they are taking full advantage of finally being to stretch and enjoy the space around them!
It was so lovely to photograph Elise and her mum in hospital - I am now taking bookings for what are called ‘fresh 48’ sessions in Glasgow Hospitals or homes - I will aim to reach you within 2 days of baby being born, either at home or on hospital. You will have a beautiful record of those first 48 hours to look back on, cherishing such precious moment for many years to come.
If you would like newborn photo shoot in The Princess Royal Maternity, the QEUH or the RAH Paisley please drop me a message for more details! I offer photography sessions at home, in the hospital or in my photography studio in Glasgow, G20, Just a few minutes from Byres Road / Bearsden.
For details off all sessions please visit www.tentinytoes.co.uk