How to boost your child's self esteem

Did you know that displaying images of your children at home can increase their self-esteem and well-being?

“When a child sees a family portrait with them included in the photograph they say to themselves: ‘These people have me as part of what they are, that’s why I belong here. This is where I come from.”
Judy Weiser, Psychologist.

family on the beach

family walking the forest

Show how much you love them

In this digital age, with social media taking up a large part of our children's lives there's a tendency forget the importance of printing family photos. I have a teenage daughter and I can tell you that a 5 minute scroll through her Instagram feed does worry me. As a photographer, I want to use images in a positive way - to promote happiness and security, not insecurity.

When I take photos of her with her family and friends and put them on the walls, in a photo book or in our annual family calendar, images take on a magical quality. They become a prompt to all of us to remember the fantastic times we've had a family. The images of her walking with her brother, hugging him or laughing with him make us all feel wonderful. Family selfies whilst out on a walk let us remember the day we had (and how we all have to bend down so my son's head is not cut off). The family images give my kids a sense of belonging, a secure feeling of knowing that they are loved.

sibling photo shoot

sibling photo shoot

A family bond

We had our own family photo shoot a couple of years ago (and I have another one planned soon too!) and we have the images all over the house. We have a multi-aperture frame in hall, which I look at every day. I have pictures in my office and the kids have them in their bedrooms too, along with other pictures that make them feel good about themselves. My daughter has images from a surf photo shoot with her friends on her wall and my son has some from his gymnastics competitions and ballet classes.

ballet class

friends photo shoot

Building self esteem

As a photographer, exploring the psychology of displaying images is really interesting. I've been reading about it online and I've come across some interesting research.

Psychologist Dr David Krauss says, “My bias is very simple. I think family photographs should be on the wall. I am very conservative about self-esteem and I think placing a family photo someplace in the home where the child can see it every day without having to turn on a device or click around on a computer to find it really hits home for that child this sense of reassurance and comfort. They have a certainty about them and a protecting quality that nurtures a child. It let’s them know where they are in the pecking order and that they are loved and cared for,”

autumn family photo shoot

family photo shoot on beach

Get in the frame

I've been a family photographer for 13 years now and it's very common for parents to ask about a photo shoot for their kids but not be so keen to get in the images themselves. Anyone that has ever had a shoot with me will know that I actively encourage parents to get in the frame. There's always a million excuses - not having the right hair, clothes, make-up, wanting to lose a few pounds, but I try to explain that nothing is more important that existing in images with your children.

Dr Krauss also says, ”I think it's really important to show a family as a family unit. It is so helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit. A photographer’s job is to make and create the image to look like a safe holding space for kids where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level.”

The pure emotional connection with your kids becomes the only thing that you'll feel when looking back at the photos. Not your flyaway hair or double chin.

family photo shoottwin brothers

They will cherish the images when they are older

My kids are only 10 and 13, so not really old enough to look back on their childhood with nostalgia just yet, but they LOVE looking through old photo albums. A while back we had some friends over, friends that we met when we moved to Wales, through our local NCT group. I've been photographing my kids and their kids for the last 13 years and it was so lovely to look through all the memories together. Trips to the beach, potty training, BBQ's, days out, sleepovers - they are all documented and looking at the images increases our sense of belonging and well-being.

“Displaying photos prominently in the home sends the message that our family and those in it are important to one another, and we honor the memories we have experienced,“ says Cathy Lander-Goldberg a licensed clinical social worker and a professional photographer and director of Photo Explorations.

display of framed images

Print your photos

We all have images on our phones, in fact, my son always asks to look at my phone so he can scroll through images of past holidays, but having the images printed and displayed has a much bigger impact.

Dr. Krauss believes that images should be displayed around the home. "What it says to a child is, 'I'm important in this family,'"

I understand that in this day and age people like having digital copies of images. That is why I include digital images in all of my packages. But, I also encourage families to print and frame images from their family photo sessions. It could be a large photo wall, or a multi-aperture frame or a few smaller prints displayed around the house on window sills. The important thing is that you and your children see them every day. It will promote a feeling of togetherness and a family bond full of memories.

display of family imagesfamily photo shoot

Get snapping and printing!

So, go off and increase the feel good factor in your families. Make your kids feel secure and loved. Display the images of your family that you have, instead of leaving them on your phone.

If you want to update your family photos - you can always book a family photo session with me!

Find out more about family shoots and have a look at my family portfolio.

Gem x


Mini Beach Shoot in South Wales

A mini beach shoot to blow away the cobwebs.

My girl and I got struck down with a horrible virus on Boxing Day and spent 2 weeks on the sofa sniffing and coughing. Each day we'd say to each other 'we'll be better tomorrow' and each day we woke up feeling rough. On the Sunday before school started in January, we decided that it was time we left the house and got some fresh air. I grabbed my camera and we headed down to our favourite place - the beach.

The beach looks great all year round. I love the pale tones of the sea and sky in contrast with the dark rocks and sand. The whole scene looked like Winter but was soothing and calming to look at. The rock pools at the beach provided a gorgeous reflective surface.

I discovered that my welly boot had a hole in it after standing in the water but I suffered with one wet sock so I could capture these images. What a brave solider I am!

I was super pleased with this set of images, taken in around 20 minutes and it got me thinking that I should offer mini beach shoots to clients, that want to update their family photos but don't want a full family session.

So, the Mini Beach Shoot was created! I've decided to offer a limited number of beach shoots between April and July this year. Each session includes:

A 30 minute beach photo shoot

3 prints and matching digital images.

There's also the opportunity to buy additional prints and create a collage or wall art with the images.

If you're interested in booking a slot, please get in touch to find out more, or book directly through the website.

In the meantime, enjoy having a look at these images of my girl. Gem x

Beach shoot South Wales
Girl on the beach south wales
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Girl on the beach south wales
Girl on the beach south wales
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Girl on the beach south wales
winter surfer walking into the water
Girl on the beach south wales
wave on the beach
Girl on the beach south wales
Girl on the beach south wales

Outdoor South Wales Photo Shoot

Happy New Year!! I hope you all had an amazing time over the festive period. This South Wales photo shoot had to be kept secret before Christmas but now it's all out in the open I can share it with you!

I met this lovely family last year on a sunny Autumnal day back in September. Their little one is super cute. We had a lovely walk around the coast, finishing with a trip to the beach.

If you have a little one that isn't walking yet, don't worry, there's still plenty of opportunities for great photos on an outdoor photo shoot like this one. Make the most of being able to throw them in air and give them big squishy hugs!

If you want to see more of my family photography work - have a look at my family portfolio. There's lots of great locations all over South Wales for family photo shoots - find out more about great locations in my location photo shoot blog post!

Get a date booked for your 2019 shoot! Drop me a line for more info. Gem x

Baby photo shoot South Wales
Family photo shoot
Baby photo shoot South Wales
Baby photo shoot South Wales
Baby photo shoot South Wales
Baby photo shoot South Wales
Baby photo shoot South Wales
Baby photo shoot South Wales
Baby photo shoot South Wales
Baby photo shoot South Wales
Baby photo shoot South Wales
Baby photo shoot South Wales
Baby photo shoot South Wales
Baby beach photo shoot South Wales

South Wales Family Photo Shoot

My last blog post of 2018 and what a way to finish up a fantastic year! My aim at the start of the year was to do more beach shoots as I'm in love with the South Wales coast and I think it's safe to say I achieved my goal.

I absolutely love the images from this shoot with the super talented lady behind Skratch Ceramics and her family. Check out her amazing work on Instagram! This shoot was wonderful - full of life and cheeky smiles, plus we had the most amazing pink sunset at the end of the shoot which lit up the beach in a peachy haze.

If you have a family shoot on your list of new year's resolutions, then it's not too late to buy a gift voucher for a family photo session. Pop over to my gift voucher page to find out more or send me a message for more info.

There are lots of great loactions for your family photo shoot in South Wales - check out my blog post about location photo shoots and also find out the best time of year for your photo session. If you have questions - maybe my FAQ's page can help! 

South Wales family beach photo shoot
South Wales family photo shoot
South Wales family photo shoot
South Wales family photo shoot
South Wales family photo shoot
South Wales family photo shoot
South Wales family photo shoot
Sibling photo shoot
Sibling photo shoot
Portrait of girl
South Wales family shoot.
Portait of boy
South Wales family beach shoot.
South Wales family beach shoot.
Portait of a girl.
South Wales family shoot.
South Wales family beach shoot.
Portait of a girl.
South Wales family beach shoot.
South Wales family beach shoot.
South Wales family beach shoot.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Girl on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Siblings on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Girl on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Siblings on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Siblings on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Family on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Boy on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Girl on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Siblings on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Siblings on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Portrait of a boy on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Portrait of a girl on the beach.
South Wales family beach shoot. Portrait of a boy on the beach.

Autumn Photo Shoot South Wales

As a family photographer, you might think that I'm taking photos of my own family all the time, but that's not necessarily true. Yes, I've got loads of rubbish phone photos (my phone is awful!) but it takes a bit of effort for me to get my kids scrubbed up and ready for a shoot. I like to take them out at least once a year and capture them together with my 'proper camera'. This year it was the turn of the Autumn photo shoot...

So, I nipped out to the shops to get some new clothes for them - taking my own advice and buying a chunky mustard knit for my daughter. I knew I had a few family shoots coming up in the same location in the Autumn, so I used my kids and their friends as guinea pigs to test out the location. Turns out it was a winner!

There's so many great locations in South Wales. Depending on the time of year, you can find me shooting in a forest or on the beach. If you want to find out more about locations that I use for my family shoots, then check out my locations blog post.

I was very pleased to get my son to wear a pair of jeans for this shoot (small victories) as he normally prefers shorts or tracksuit bottoms and sliders. I've already printed a calendar for Grandma and a set of prints Nain and Taid from this shoot, as well as printing a set to frame for myself at home. Perks of the job! Gem x 

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