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


7 tips for taking the perfect beach silhouette

Silhouette images can really pack a punch! They can be very striking and have the 'wow' factor. But how do you take them?  Follow the tips below to take your own perfect beach silhouette images!

"A silhouette is an image of a person (animal or object) represented as a solid, usually black shape."

 

silhouette image of girl dancing with her dad.

 

All the images here, were taken either on the beach or on the cliff tops above the beach. The beach is a great location for silhouette photography because of the wide open sky and uncluttered background.

 

silhouette image of girl dancing on the beach at sunset

1. LIGHT SOURCE

The first and most important rule for shooting a silhouette is to have a strong source of light. To take a great silhouette, you'll need the light source BEHIND your subject. The most obvious choice is to use the sun, which is why you'll see most silhouette images being taken outside. You'll also need to be mindful of the position of the sun. Sunsets, therefore, are some of the best times to shoot a silhouette as the sun is LOW in the sky and easy to position behind your subject. It is harder to shoot a silhouette at midday because the sun is HIGH in the sky (unless you're planning on shooting upwards!). Of course, you can shoot a silhouette anywhere, at any time of day, as long as you have a strong light source behind your subject but if you want a quick and easy result then going to the beach at sunset is your best bet.

 

silhouette image of a family of 5 at sunset on the beach

 

2. BACKGROUND

You'll need to find a light, clear, uncluttered background for your image. This is necessary in order to be able to see the OUTLINE of your shape clearly. A large section of open sky is the easiest option and that is why shooting silhouettes at the beach is very popular.

 

silhouette image of a family of 3 at sunset on the beach

 

3. VISION AND DIRECTION

Think about the image that you'd like to create BEFORE the shoot. It's helpful to have a few different ideas to experiment with and see what works. I love to capture connection in my images and so always make sure that my subjects are interacting in some way. It adds to the emotional impact of the final image. It's very important to direct your subject and explain how you'd like them to stand or pose and what you'd like them to do.  You can ask them to look at each other, jump in the air or twirl around. Make sure that you can see their outline and that the aren't standing too close together. A hug, for example, could look like a big clump!

 

silhouette image of children jumping on a cliff top

 

4. WEATHER/TIDES

It may be obvious, but it's important to consider the weather and tides when planning a beach shoot. It's not ideal to be shooting in wet and miserable conditions, so make sure you check the forecast before leaving home. Equally, when planning a shoot at the beach, make sure that you've checked the tide tables to ensure that you have a safe environment to shoot in. You'll also need to think about protecting your gear at the beach from the salt water and sand.

 

silhouette image of a maternity shoot, couple kissing

 

5. CHANGE YOUR APERTURE

If you change your aperture settings then you can create different effects. The 'sunburst' in the image above is created using a small aperture (f16). It's fun to experiment with different aperture sizes to see the different looks you can create. Try a large aperture for a more blurry/hazy background.

 

silhouette image of a family of 4 at sunset on the beach

 

6. SHOOT LOW

I always shoot my silhouette images from a very low angle. I do this to make sure that I'm getting as much as I can of my subject in the frame. If you shoot from a higher angle, for example, you can often end up with legs and feet merging into the floor and losing definition.

 

silhouette image of a family of 4 at sunset on the beach

7. UNDEREXPOSE

Use your exposure compensation dial to underexpose your image. If you've no idea what I'm talking about then check your manual for instructions. It's a very simple, effective technique and it will make sure that your silhouette is dark. Experiment with how much you underexpose - take a few different shots with different settings and see which one works best for your situation.

 

silhouette image of a mum throwing her little girl in the air

So, there you have it. 7 tips for taking the perfect beach silhouette. If you have any questions, get in touch! 

You can see more of my beach work in my recent Mini Beach Shoot blog and more family work in my portfolios and on Instagram.


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.