JUNO Magazine front cover

JUNO Magazine Feature - Stop criticising yourself!

JUNO Magazine Feature Article

I've been a family photographer for over 14 years. I understand that it can sometimes be uncomfortable to put yourself in front of the camera. But, clients book shoots with me because they understand the importance of capturing a moment in time. Of freezing the fleeting moments of childhood, so that when life becomes less frantic, they can look back and remember. I want to capture the love in each family that I work with.  Read my JUNO Magazine feature  in the latest edition (out now!), to hear what I have to say to my hesitant or self critical clients...

"...freezing the fleeting moments of childhood, so that when life becomes less frantic, they can look back and remember."

You can buy copies of JUNO Magazine from WHSmiths, independent retailers and in their online shop.     

Read my 'You are loved' feature on page 35!

"JUNO is a print and digital bi-monthly magazine which promotes a natural approach to family life and inspires and supports parents as they journey through the challenges of parenting. We have an ethos based on conscious parenting, sustainability, social justice, non-violence and a commitment to personal growth and spiritual awareness and share fresh perspectives in this fast-paced technological world, creating a non-judgemental community for those who are keen to follow “a natural approach to family life”."

If you'd like to see more of my work, you can visit my portfolio pages and follow me on Instagram.

 

JUNO Magazine front coverGemma Griffiths featured in JUNO MagazineCardiff family photographer featured in JUNO MagazineCardiff family photographer featured in JUNO MagazineDouble page spread in JUNO Magazine

Cardiff family photographer featured in JUNO MagazineCardiff family photographer featured in JUNO MagazineCardiff family photographer featured in JUNO MagazineMagazine feature


Wouldn't Change a Thing Charity Shoot

Wouldn't Change a Thing Charity Shoot

I was honoured to be asked by Kate to be her family photographer for a Wouldn't Change a Thing charity shoot. After it's successful book launch in Australia, Celebrate T21, wanted to create a charity book in the UK, to spread their positive message about Down Syndrome.

The Wouldn't Change a Thing charity are:

"trying to achieve a world where negative outdated perceptions of Down syndrome are a thing of the past."

 "Our projects are designed to be uplifting, emotive and positive; offering insights into how enjoyable life for all those associated with the condition can be. Our intent is to leave those who view our work feeling challenged and changed making them more willing to accept those with Down syndrome and to consider them as valid members of society, as schoolmates, as work colleagues or as employees."

Celebrate T21's aim for the book is to:

"portray the true stories of positive, lived experience typical of the majority of real people with Down syndrome and their families."

You can buy the book on the Wouldn't Change a Thing website.

James was star of the shoot but it was important to show James as part of his family unit and for him not to just be photographed alone. Kate and Mark wanted to show how James fits perfectly into their family. You can read their beautiful words below on their double page spread of the book.

The shoot took place just before sunset on a beautiful evening in South Wales. We spent some time together exploring the gardens. James was brilliant at encouraging his brother and sister to relax. It was wonderful to spend time with such a loving family!

See more of my family work in my family portfolio and blog.

Get in touch to book your shoot.

Gem x

 


Mini Beach Shoots 2020

MINI BEACH SHOOTS 2020

After the success of my mini beach shoots 2019, I'm bringing them back again for 2020 but with a few tweaks!

I very quickly realised that I can't do a shoot at the beach in 30 mins, so I've extended the time to an hour. I also discovered that to get the best combination of tide, weather and sunset times I can only do one shoot per day. This is all good news for my clients as sessions are now longer and more flexible. Hooray!

So, what's included in the Mini Beach Shoot package? Well, you have an hour long photo shoot at the beach, plus 5 prints and matching digital images for only £199! If you fall in love with the rest of the images (I will warn you that EVERYONE that had a shoot last year bought extra images, with most clients upgrading to the full digital package), there are upgrade packages available.

I'm only offering 10 slots (I ended up doing many more last year), as I need to make sure I've got time and weekend availability for all my family shoots too.

So, if you want one, be quick! You can book directly through the website.

See below for a small snippet of my beach fun from 2019. There's a real mixture of shoots, from a baking hot day to a crisp windy day. There was also a grandparents session, a maternity session and loads of gorgeous sunsets. If you want to see more, visit the blog, or check out my Instagram account.

BOOK NOW!

Gem x

Cardiff photographer portfolios

BOOK A BEACH MINI SESSION NOW!


Cardiff Family Photography - Telling your story

As a Cardiff family photographer, I want to tell the story of your family.

A family is more than the sum of it's parts.  I don't just want to take a photo of you all together and then dust my hands off and go home. Oh no. I want to spend some time with you. Take a walk. Have a chat. I want to try and capture the unique bonds and relationships that make up your family. How do the kids interact? Are they adventurous or playful? Are they shy and thoughtful? Do they talk non-stop or take time to get to know people? How do you hold them and snuggle them? Do you play with them in the sea or give them shoulder rides? Each family is totally unique and that is why I like to spend time getting to know you and planning the perfect session.

"I want to try and capture the unique bonds and relationships that make up your family."

Before the session, we'll have a chat and decide on a location together. It might be the gorgeous Welsh coastline, or a park, or forest. Wherever you feel happy. Next, is planning outfits. I always suggest something comfortable and in keeping with the chosen location.

The shoot itself can take anywhere between 1-2 hours (sometimes longer!). I'm not in any hurry and there's no strict time limit. Usually little ones let you know when the have had enough! During the shoot, I'll aim to capture a mixture of posed and unposed images. It's great to a variety of images to choose from, including ones looking at the camera and a more documentary style.

"I want it to display the essence of your family love."

After the shoot, you'll come to my home office for a viewing session. You will see all your images in a slideshow. I create a nine image collage after every shoot, so that you can see your story, through my eyes. I try to include a real variety of images in the collage - I want it to display the essence of your family love. Seeing the images in the collage also really helps you to see what they will look like when they are displayed together at home. You can choose to order a collage print or a multi-aperture frame with a selection of your favourite images.

Have a look below and see a small selection of family stories from lots of different locations around South Wales. If you're looking for a Cardiff family photographer - then get in touch to find out more about booking your family photo shoot.

See more of my work on my blog and Instagram account. If you don't like having your photo taken then have a read of my article - featured in the latest edition of JUNO Magazine!

This little one was a pocket rocket. She thoroughly enjoyed her forest adventure and playing amongst the gorgeous Autumn leaves.

Cardiff family photography

This shoot took place on one of the hottest days last year. We were all roasting! The kids absolutely loved playing in the water at the end of the session. In fact, Mum and Dad couldn't get them to leave. I would have stayed there too if it wasn't for my two cameras and massive (unnecessary) coat.

Family photo shoot on Southerndown Beach.

Cardiff Family Photography

A walk in the forest at the end of Summer for this family maternity session. This little guy was making the most of having the full attention of both parents before little brother arrived on the scene.

maternity family shoot. Bryngarw Park

These two have a strong connection with the ocean and so a maternity beach shoot was the best choice for them. The sunset was a spectacular pink colour. It matched her dress perfectly! It's such a special time to spend as couple - waiting for the birth of your first child together.

maternity beach shoot south wales

This family looked awesome on their Autumn family shoot. They chose a blue and pink palette which worked really well with the green backgrounds. I love it when siblings are so close and love hugging each other and playing together.

cardiff family photography

Lots of adventure on this shoot! There was tree climbing, a walk along the cliffs and exploring the secret gardens too.

cardiff family photographer. photo shoot at Dunraven Gardens

Big brother was off to University and so it was time to get some family photos taken to remember him by! It was so much fun hanging out with this lot.

cardiff family photography

Love the shades of burgundy and navy in this shoot. Another fabulous sunset on my favourite beach! We had a gorgeous hazy pink sunset and the beach to ourselves, which meant lots of running and jumping around. Making the most of the wide open space.

Cardiff Family Photography

You can't tell from the pictures but this was a super gloomy day with plenty of rain. We managed to dodge the showers and play among the flowers before the rain set in. It was really lovely to have Grandparents and the pet dog on this shoot too!

cardiff family photography

Summer at the beach. There's no more perfect setting for a family shoot! This family love the beach and love exploring so I wanted to capture their adventurous spirit.

cardiff family photography

Sunset is the perfect time to take a silhoutte picture! We had great fun playing in the waves at the end of this shoot. There was a gorgeous sunset too, which provided the stunning golden light.

cardiff family photography

Another shoot with the Grandparents and this time, they'd come all the way from Africa! The big sister and little brother relationship was soooo sweet too. They didn't stop smiling!

cardiff family photographer

This was a really special shoot with James and his family for the Wouldn't Change a Thing charity book (blog post coming soon!).

cardiff family photography

Who knew a beach shoot in April could be so much fun (and so wet!)? Three sisters with three totally different personalities. They all loved the water though!

cardiff family photographer

This shoot was a surprise for Dad's birthday. He loved his birthday canvas!

cardiff family photographer

Gemma Griffiths Photography. Cardiff family photography based in South Wales. Available for outdoor family photo shoots.

View family portfolio and pricing page for further information.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Kefalonian adventures

I can honestly say, that last Summer, we had one of our best family holidays yet. It was the perfect combination of totally chilling out with sparks of adventure and exploration thrown in. If you're looking for an easy, stress free holiday then read on to find out more about our Kefalonian adventures.

Itinerary - Kefalonian adventures

5 days at the Apollonian Resort and Spa

9 days in Fiskardo at Porto Fiscardo

Day trips to:

Myrtos Beach

Asos

Boat trip along the coast and to the island of Ithaca

Melissani Caves

Argostoli

visiting kefalonia

Apollonian Resort and Spa

It's rare for us to stay in a 'nice' hotel. We usually book self catering apartments but for this holiday we decided to do a bit of both. Our first stop was the fabulous Apollonian Resort and Spa at the southern end of the island near Lixouri.

We booked half board and so we ate our breakfast and evening meal at the hotel (and lunch too most of the time).  The facilities at the hotel are wonderful, especially the swimming pools. There are two large pools on offer - we spent all of our time in the larger of the two due to the gorgeous views out to sea.

Our room was split level, with kids taking the mezzanine floor upstairs. It worked well and there was plenty of room for us all. The restaurant and bar are all fairly new and very well looked after. The food was outstanding - there was huge variety of dishes on offer and plenty for vegetarians. Loads of fresh fruit and salads as well as local Greek dishes. There were child friendly options too, for the fussy eaters (yes, my son ate pizza and chicken nuggets most of the time). There's also an outdoor cinema and entertainment in the bar area in the evenings (we saw some Greek dancing!).

The idea was to spend time doing absolutely nothing but chill out, read books, swim and relax, so we had a very quiet few days.

We did venture down the road to the local Xi beach a couple of times for a dip in the sea and lunch. It's not the prettiest beach on the island but it's known for it's soft red sand. It's also famous for the clay from the surrounding cliffs. We saw lots of visitors covering themselves in the clay to benefit from it's detoxifying and cleansing properties. There are plenty of beach beds and umbrellas on offer, as well as beach clubs and restaurants to cater for the crowds. It was very busy both times that we visited. The water is beautifully clear and shallow and the kids really enjoyed swimming in it.

hotel pool images

We didn't hire a car for this leg of the holiday as we planned to spend most of our time at the hotel.  After our 5 days of total relaxation, we packed our bags and headed back towards Argostoli on the ferry to collect our hire car.

greek flag on the back of a ferry

Fiscardo

For the second part of the holiday, we drove up to the most northern part of the island - the gorgeously picturesque Fiscardo. The pretty fishing village is very charming. It is one of the few areas that wasn't destroyed by the earthquake that devastated the island in 1953.

The drive involved some interesting hair pin bends, wild goats and spectacular views over the ocean. We were warned in advance of the hairy driving conditions, so it was pretty much as expected. It's advisable not to do the drive at night unless you are a very confident driver with great night vision!

We arrived at our lovely little apartment at Porto Fiscardo around lunchtime and were very impressed with the apartment and it's location. The accommodation had been recommended to us by friends and it was perfect! The building is host to a number of apartments that all share a swimming pool. There's a pool side bar serving freshly made breakfasts and lunches - the El Greco wrap became a firm favourite.

Our apartment consisted of two bedrooms, a kitchen/dining/lounge area, bathroom and outdoor terrace overlooking a little bay. The pool area was beautifully maintained and the staff welcoming and professional. There were plenty of sun-loungers and umbrella's for all and the pool area was never overcrowded.

There's a little beach, literally across the road from the apartment. So we'd grab our snorkels and masks and nip down to the beach to spot the fish. The water was super clear and there were plenty of fish to see. It was the first time my kids have been snorkeling and then absolutely loved it.

You can see the beach from the swimming pool, so I could spend a happy half hour relaxing on the sun deck and watching my husband and kids snorkeling below. See those bright white legs in the water? They're mine.

 

fiscardo

The heart of Fiscardo village was a mere 5 minutes walk from the accommodation, so we'd stroll there in the evening and choose one of the many restaurants for dinner. Although Fiskardo must have been a quiet fishing village once, it's now host to a plethora of sailing boats and super yachts.

The little harbour area is densely packed with boats and is very busy in the evening. It's worth booking a table in advance or going out early to make sure that you have a choice. There are plenty of lovely restaurants though, the standard was very high, so we were rarely disappointed with our meals.

Much of our time was spent chilling out around the pool, snorkeling at the little beach and reading in the shade. But, we were also keen to explore the area, so we planned a few day trips too...

Myrtos Beach

This stunner of a beach (which has made it into my all time top ten!) was made famous by the film, Captain Corelli's Mandolin. Sometimes when you see photos of a beach, you think it can't possibly look that good in real life. Well, it does! We stopped on the way to Fiscardo to have a look at it from the roadside and then we couldn't wait to get back there a few days later to jump in that water.

There's two important bits of advice for you if you're visiting this beach - get there early and take beach shoes (it's very pebbly and you need a sky high pain threshhold to go barefoot). There's a car park at the bottom of the cliff but it fills up quickly. We aimed to get there for around 9am and were able to park easily. We plonked our stuff down and made straight for the water.

The beach shelves steeply into the water and underwater visibility is fabulous. Myrtos has a reputation for having strong waves and currents but we were lucky as it was mostly flat and calm during our visit. We spotted some fish straight away but as the beach got busier the water became murky with suncream and it was harder to see.

There's some very handy showers on the beach and also a little cafe serving drinks and snacks.

myrtos beach kefalonia

Asos

Another easy day trip to make from Fiscardo is to Asos. Asos is a tiny little harbour village jutting out off the coast of the island. The views are spectacular on the way down the cliff side, with many a hair pin bend. The countryside is lush with pine and cypress trees and the waters crystal clear and all shades of blue. There's a small pebbly beach facing the harbour, which is perfect for a swim.

There's a handful of harbourside cafes overlooking the tiny bay. We chose to have breakfast there after our early start (another tip - arrive by 9am if you want a parking space).

A 15th century castle tops the peninsular that's attached to the mainland by a narrow strip of land.  Built by the Venetians, the castle was a place of massive strategic importance, to protect the inhabitants from pirates. I wanted to take a walk up to the top to see the castle but the kids weren't keen on a hillside hike. We had a mooch around instead, until my husband's flip flop snapped and then it was game over and back to the car.

images of asos

Boat trip along the coast and to the island of Ithaca

A highlight of the holiday was the day we hired a boat and ventured around the coast for the day. The boat hire places are very busy and so it's important to book a boat in advance. The first place we approached - the very popular, Regina's Boat Hire - didn't have any boats available for the whole time we were there, but thankfully the second place - Fiscardo Boathire had some boats available.

Our friends had joined us for the second week, so we hired two boats, packed loads of food (from the fab bakery in Fiskardo), added water and suncream and off we went. The boat hire place will give you a map and suggested places to visit.

The first stop was the best. Heading north from Fiskardo, we made our way around the top of the island. We were looking for a secluded beach, with trees almost to the water's edge and cave that you can swim into. We accidentally passed it initially (my bad!) but finally found it on our way back. Wow! Such a special little find. I know I've mentioned the water constantly but it was so clear!!!!! And FULL of fish.

We dropped anchor and jumped off the boats to have a snorkel around. The kids really enjoyed swimming in the little cave, especially when a wave came and made a scary noise (lots of screaming). You can see the cave on the right hand side of the photo.

snorkeling in kefalonia

We carried on travelling further South now, down the coast and visited lots of different bays. In one, we were supposed to find 'shipwrecks'. We weren't sure if the upturned dingy at the bottom of the bay was one of them. After a long search, we decided that it must be!

The final part of the boat trip involved travelling over to Ithaca - the little island next to Kefalonia. The water was a little choppy out in the open sea which meant lots of screaming and being splashed in the face. It was worth it though. We arrived at a gorgeous little beach at the tranquil harbour. Time for an ice cream and a snorkel before boarding our little boats for the journey home.

Melissani Caves

The best time to visit the Melissani Caves is around midday to ensure that the sun is overhead which lets you see the gorgeous blue colour of the water. Unfortunately, we weren't able to make it to the caves at that time, so we made do with a visit later in the afternoon. There was a tiny patch of the most wonderful blue colour still visible on one side of the cave when we were there but we certainly didn't experience the full glory of it.

The upside was, we didn't spend hours queuing for what is literally a 5 minute boat ride across a cave. Well worth a visit if you like that sort of thing and you have the time. Expect long queues at the best times.

melissani caves

Argostoli

On our last day, we'd decided to drive down the eastern side of the island to visit Melissani Caves and Sami and then cross back over to the busy city port of Argostoli on the other side. I haven't mentioned it yet but we had a slow puncture in our tyre for the entire trip!  We'd had to stop regularly at petrol stations to re-inflate the tyre every time we'd gone out in the car. A little worrying when you're driving around sharp bends with high drops into the sea below! Luckily we made it to Argostoli  - which is near the airport - before disaster struck!

We wanted to visit Argostoli as we'd heard that you could see sea turtles in the harbour. The kids really wanted to try and find some before we left the island. About 5 minutes after parking the car, we saw a large crowd looking into the sea. Lo and behold, we'd stumbled upon an America research team that were tagging sea turtles!  We joined the crowds to see more.

We had dinner nearby and were treated to a visit from a friendly sea turtle. He/she swam up and down next to our table for the whole meal.

turtles in Argostoli

I can't tell you much more about Argostoli because we arrived back to our car to find a totally flat tyre! We spent the rest of our time changing the wheel and trying to get back to airport in time for our flight!

So, there you have it, a summary of our Kefalonian adventures. Two weeks of total relaxing fun and adventure on the fabulous island of Kefalonia. I would highly recommend both of the places that we stayed without hesitation. It was such an easy, low stress holiday with fabulous accommodation and plenty to do. If you have any questions about our trip, let me know! A big thanks to everyone that send recommendations to us before we went.

If you fancy an adventure a little bit closer to home, read about our trip in France and Italy for some ideas.

This year, we're visiting Croatia and planning visits to Dubrovnik, Hvar, Brac, Vis and Split. If you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear from you!

Gem x