Self isolating? Here's a list of local food delivery services.

A week before the UK entered official lockdown, my family went into self isolation. Although I'd planned for it, I'd tried not to stockpile anything. I didn’t realise how entirely helpless I’d feel, not being able to leave the house. So, I've written a list of local food delivery services to help anyone else in the same situation.

I’m lucky to have great friends in the area who have offered to help. We had a delivery of fresh food which felt like Christmas (thanks Paul!). But, every time I go in the kitchen I think of something else that we need and we're going through supplies quite quickly.

Support local businesses

It's so important to support small local businesses at the moment and with stocks running low in supermarkets, I've been researching local food suppliers. 

There are now many local businesses offering take away and home delivery services. I thought it would be really useful to make a quick list for everyone locally that is stuck at home and/or social distancing.



These are the ones I've seen advertising on social media (happy to add to the list if you have more suggestions). I'm sure there are lots more too.

If you’re not local, then it’s worth looking around your area to see if you can get similar services to where you live.


It’s not a massively comprehensive list. I’ve got both my kids at home at the moment and so I’m trying to write this whilst doing a million other things as well.


Local pubs 

Local pubs are offering take away and delivery services. Look online to see if your local pubs are offering the same. 

The Sycamore Tree Inn, Colwinston. Offering take away and local delivery service for pub meals in Colwinston.

The Golden Mile, Corntown. Offering take away meals. Find the menu's on their Facebook page.

The Carne Arms, Llysworney. Local take away and delivery service.

The Bush Inn, St Hilary. Looking into delivery options for meals. 

Lamb and Flag, Wick. Offering take away meals, collection only, at the moment but may offer delivery in the future.

Hare and Hounds, Aberthin. Offering take away meals and free delivery within a 4 mile radius. 50% discount for NHS staff and 25% off for over 70's. Bakery coming soon.


Local cafes & restaurants 

Cafes are also offering take away and delivery services. 

Charlies Shop & Cafe. Colwinston. Offering take away.

The Elephant and Bun Kitchen, Cowbridge. Open Tuesday to Saturday 9 - 3, and now Sunday's 10 - 2.

Llanerch Vineyard. Offering take away meals.

The Yard. Cowbridge. Pizza takeaway and delivery.

Frolics, Southerndown. Offering take away service.

Crumbs Baguette Shop. Pencoed. We are currently delivering to Pencoed, Brynna, llanharran, Coychurch, Brackla, Bridgend and possibly other areas will be considered. We are taking extra precautions to help you feel at ease and urge customers to pay over the phone for delivery and contactless at the door.

Shampan. Cowbridge. Offering deliveries and take away. Order online.



Grocery Deliveries

The Cowbridge Food Collective. Order online and collect on a Thursday. Currently offering a drive thru facility.

Forage Farm Shop and Kitchen. Offering an online food collection and delivery service. All produce available to buy is reared and homegrown on Penllyn Estate farm, or sourced locally.

Ty Tanglwst Dairy Pyle. Offering deliveries of milk, cream, butter, honey and juice.

The Cowbridge Cook. Offering afternoon tea and cake deliveries.

Vale Cider. Offering deliveries.

Slade Farm Organics. Offering monthly meat boxes with free delivery. Next delivery is 31st March/ 1st April. Order online.

Sarah's the Greengrocers. For people who are isolated or unable to source supplies. Free delivery in Llanharan and surrounding areas most days of the week.

offering FREE HOME delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, bread, eggs, butter and sacks of potatoes. Please telephone: 01446 745138 / 07870 931427

I. G. Nicholas Butchers. Offering delivery. Order and pay over the phone.

Noble and Grape. Cowbridge. Will deliver wine. Order online. 01446 775505.

Da Mhile Distillery. Care packages - including booze, tonics, cheese, crackers, chutney. Free postage. Visit shop on the website.

Strawberry Fields, Cowbridge. Grocery deliveries.

Picketston Poultry. Free Range Duck, Goose , Lamb and Pork available. To place an order for next week, call 07815861864.

Cowbridge Farm Shop.  Veg Boxes, Fruit Boxes, eggs and potato sacks. Local deliveries.

Ogmore by sea village shop. Ogmore.  Hoping to put in place and email ordering system. Check Facebook page for update information.


As we all know, the situation is constantly changing and so please check before relying on any of the above suppliers. Most places are using social media - Facebook and Instagram - to update their latest offerings, so check those accounts as well as main websites.

If you can add to the list of local food delivery services, please let me know and I will amend it.

Gem x

7 easy steps to make your own photobook!

Follow these 7 easy steps to make your own photobook!

I've been making a family photobook every year since 2014 and so I've refined the process down to a few steps. As a family photographer, documenting my family is really important to me and I love sitting with my kids and poring over the memories from each year. Here's some tips to help you get your memories printed.


photobook tips

1. Choose your subject

Choosing to create a photobook with images of the whole year is a big undertaking. Creating a photobook doesn't have to be a mammoth task though. If the thought of organising a whole year's worth of photos is enough to make you run screaming from the computer, then why not start with a smaller task?

How about creating a book to cover the Summer holidays - your two week trip to Spain, or the whole 6 weeks of the school holiday? Or, create a book for a season - Winter walks and Christmas fun? Or, perhaps an event - a special birthday party, wedding or anniversary?

Have a think about what you'd like to include in your book before you start the project. Make sure your objective is clear before you face the hundreds of images on your phone!

creating your own photobook

2. Find a printer

There are many printing options online. For my personal creations I use Photobox but there are lots and lots of other suppliers. I can't comment on other services, as I've only ever used Photobox, for my books, but you could look at Optimal Print, Vista Print or Snapfish. Most printers will have offers on, so it's worth researching around and looking for the best price.

{Note: I use professional printing labs for my client work and the quality of the paper and colours etc are infinitely superior but for printing iphone family images, I'm happy to use Photobox}.

family photobook

3. Choose your photobook style

There are lots of different sizes and designs to choose from. It can feel a bit overwhelming scrolling through all the options. There are small books, large books, square books, hardback books, the list is endless. My advice would be to keep it simple. I choose a A4 personalised photobook from Photobox. This is hardback book with a personalised front and back cover. I choose plain white pages and use the available layout templates. I do the same thing every year so that my books are all matching and sit together on my bookcase.

cardiff family photographer photobook

4. Organise

Once you've chosen the subject of your book - a whole year, or Summer holiday etc, it's time to get organised.

I would advise creating the photobook on a PC or laptop computer instead of a phone. I find it much easier to work this way.

Choose the images that you'd like to include in the book. The best advice I can give at this stage of the process is CULL CULL CULL. It's much easier to cull out the duff images at this time than it is later on. You don't want to be wading through 300 versions of the same image, or looking at stuff that is out of focus, or uninteresting when you are designing your book (I've got hundreds of images on my phone that I don't want in my book - accidental images of my feet, screen shots of recipes, photos taken as jokes etc).

Before you upload anything, make sure you have chosen the images that you'd like to include. Do not add all of your images from your phone at this stage as it will make the process long and painful. Trust me.

It might be easiest to download all the images from your phone onto your computer and then have an evening (in front of the TV) and just go through each image. Delete the ones you don't want to include and then you're left with your final selection. Then it's time to...


photobook design

5. Upload

If you are just using images from your phone, then it's more straightforward. Simply choose the images that you want to include and upload them to your chosen printers website (don't forget to cull first!).

Once you've joined / logged in - create a folder and call it the name of your project - Griffiths Family Yearbook 2019 - then upload all the images into the folder.

I use images from my phone, images from my computer and images from my husbands phone - which adds an extra level of complication to the process as I have to collate images from 3 different places. If you are using multiple sources (like I do), then you can either upload the images from the different devices directly to your folder on Photobox, for example, or collate the images all into one place and then upload at the same time. I put all the images together onto my computer first, cull them and then add them all together into Photobox.

If you're just using images from your phone - they should arrive in your folder in date order - which makes it easy to add them to your design. If you're using multiple sources then you need your wits about you, as they won't all be in date order. Of course, there's the option of renaming all the images before you upload them but who has got time for that? Not me!

Once your images are uploaded, you can relax a bit. It's time to...

photobook layouts

6. Design your photobook

The worst is over! Honestly this is the fun bit. If you've culled and uploaded everything into one place, then the next bit is a walk in the park. Your mantra for this part is to keep things simple.

If you're using Photobox then you'll have two options at the start of the design process. Use 'Easy Create' or 'start from blank'.

Easy Create

Photobox offer an automated design service called 'Easy Create'. If you choose 'Easy Create', they will ask you a few questions and then automatically fill the book with the images from your chosen folder (in date order). It takes about a minute. Once it's done, you can go in a start tweaking the design (if you want to). If you're happy with the design, Bob's your Uncle, and the job is done!

Start from blank

With this option, you choose to start the design from scratch and build the book as you go. Choose a layout for each page and then drag the images into the template.

My photobooks have around 100 pages. This is quite big, but I have thousands of images that I want to include and I cram them in as much as I can. You can add pages to your design if you run out of space. A really handy feature in Photobox is the ability to take a birds eye view of the design. If you click on 'All pages' in the bottom corner, you can see all the pages. I find this really helpful if I need to add something I've missed out - I can jump back to the page I need, without flicking back and forth.

I try and keep a day or outing or event as a single page or double page spread. For example, we go to the Summertime Ball every year in London and take loads of photos. I love the simple 8 or 9 image layout options on Photobox because it means that I can have a lovely double page spread for an event where I've got a lot of images. I'll choose the 8/9 image layout for both pages and then drag the images into place. See above for an example of an 8 image spread - I had lots of portrait images from our trip to Dorset and they fitted perfectly into the template.

Each year I'll do a proper shoot with my kids and so I'll want to show these images off a bit more than my iphone pictures. For the images that I really like, I'll choose a 4 image or 3 image layout, so they are bigger and have more impact. You can see examples of this elsewhere in the blog post - my daughter in the rapeseed field or my son's ballet shoot.

There's loads of layout options to choose from. Don't panic. Just look at the images that you have (How many are there? Are they landscape or portrait orientation?) and then choose the layout that looks like it might fit best. If your chosen layout isn't working - you can change it and the images will automatically jump into the new layout. You can also use the 'Swap' tool, that will swap images around the grid if you want to change the design.

Once you've added your image to the layout template, you can zoom, flip or rotate the image if you want to tweak the design.

7. Check and order your photobook

Once you've finished designing the book, take a break. Leave it overnight, or at least go and have a cup of tea. The next part is important, so don't rush. With a clear mind, go through the book one last time. Make sure that your images are placed correctly. You can grab them and move them around within their layout aperture, so make sure you haven't chopped off someones head or hand by accident. Check you haven't made any mistakes - like adding a random Christmas image to your Summer holiday page.

If you like, think about adding text to some of the pages. I used to add dates and months and write a few captions but didn't have the patience to do it this year. It's obvious it's Christmas, I don't need a caption saying 'Christmas!'. That's my excuse anyway.

If you have any alerts or warnings, then your images might not be good enough quality for the size you've chosen.  I'm perfectly happy to print some rubbish iphone pictures if they are the only ones I have of a certain time (blurry images of my kids getting a present from Santa etc). However, you don't want a massive image that looks bad, so just make the less than perfect images smaller and group them together.

Don't forget to add your front and back cover images!

Once you're happy with the design, that's it! Click on order and celebrate!

Sneaky extra tip!

Make sure that you include images of yourself in your creations. It's just as important for your kids to look back and remember you, as it is for you to remember them! You don't need to squeeze yourself into a child's Christmas hat and jumper (but you can if you want to).

photobook design

I'd love to see the results of any books made after you've read this post - send me a message on Facebook or Instagram so I can see your creations!

Want to get some family photos for your photobook? Why not book one of my Mini Beach Shoots this year?

If you have any questions, let me know!

Gem x

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. Read on for tips on taking the perfect beach silhouette.


silhouette image of girl dancing on the beach at sunset


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



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



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



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



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



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


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! 

If you're looking for further information and inspiration on beach photography, check out this great article on the Pixpa blog called 15 Tips For Taking Awesome Beach Photos.

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