Pop-Up Portraits Sessions with Gemma Griffiths Photography

For the last few years I've been popping into local playgroups in places like Cowbridge, Llanblethian and Colwinston to photograph pre-schoolers and toddlers. I visit in the Spring and Autumn time and regularly see repeat clients over the years. This year, I realised that lots of the children that I used to photograph were now in full time school and weren't able to come to my pop-up sessions anymore. So, the after school pop-up session was born!

I thought it would be a lovely idea to offer the same 10 minute pop-up sessions to older children and I have run a couple of after school photo sessions this Summer. They were so popular that they both sold out within 24 hours and even though I had to reschedule one because of the rain, I had a waiting list of reserves to fill any places that had to be changed.

So, what is a 10 minute pop-up session? Well, it's not a family photo shoot. There just isn't enough time to arrange a family in such a short space of time, but in 10 minutes, there's plenty of time for some lovely sibling photos and individual portraits (sometimes Mum can sneak in for a few photos too!). There's no charge for the photo session and you get an online gallery with your images within a few days. You then have a week to choose which ones you'd like to order, as prints or digital files.

I've had some lovely feedback from clients about these shoots and feel like they're a great idea for families that like to update images of their children regularly but don't want a full family photo shoot.

"Thanks so much Gem! We love them, they actually made me cry a bit. You're so clever." Jo

"Thanks for the beautiful photos - you are so talented." Rhian

"Amazing work! Wow so many fantastic images it’s going to be difficult to choose! !" Kelly

"I love the pictures. Amazed what you can do in 10 minutes!!!" Alli

"The pictures are amazing, we found it really hard deciding which ones to have." Hayley

I'll be running at least 2 more pop-up sessions this year - one in the Autumn and one very special Christmas pop-up shoot too (there will be an up front charge for the Christmas shoots as spaces are very limited).

To find out when the sessions are going to be, make sure that you follow my Facebook page - I'll add them in the Events section once they are scheduled and also sign up to my newsletter (you might get advance warning of the dates on there). To sign up, go to my homepage and scroll down to the bottom and add your email address in the box.

I hope you're all having an awesome Summer!

Gem x

Ballet Dancers of Cowbridge

From the age of 2 my son has been fascinated by ballet. He loves music and he loves to dance. I took him to a couple of street dance classes and then he also started gymnastics at the age of 3. I didn't take him to his first official ballet class until he was 6. He was little worried about being the only boy and also concerned that the rest of his class had been attending for a while but from the moment he stepped into the classroom he was totally hooked. It's like he'd be waiting his whole life to put on a pair of ballet shoes and dance.

Within 18 months, he'd auditioned for The Royal Ballet School and gained a place as a Junior Associate, travelling to a centre near Bath every 2 weeks to train with other associates from around the South West and Wales. In February this year, he attended a workshop at The Royal Ballet School in Covent Garden, which was an absolute dream come true. He got to go on stage at The Royal Opera House and even see the shoe room!

He attends classes in Cowbridge every week at the Moya Vahey School of Russian Classical Ballet and trains with The Royal Ballet School every fortnight. Not once in the last few years has he said he doesn't want to go. Even on a Saturday morning when he has to get up at 6.30am and travel to Bath and back in one day. Every morning before school he puts music on in the lounge and just dances. Not to ballet music, any music, and he won't let anyone watch him. I think he feels so free when he's dancing. It's such a personal experience for him that he likes to close all the doors and just dance.

When he started ballet classes, I had no knowledge of ballet at all. I attended ballet classes for a very short while when I was about 6. I gave up before it was time to do an exam as I couldn't bear the thought of people watching me. Since he started dancing I've become fascinated by ballet. I started to feel that I really wanted to try and capture this time in his life - the hard work and dedication that he puts in and the sheer joy on his face when he dances.

I recently popped into his ballet class, just before the end of term and took a few photos of him and his classmates preparing for their Summer Garden Party Show in Cowbridge. I'm very happy that I got to document these moments and capture a little tiny bit of his magic.

I've added a few images at the bottom of the performance at the show. I love the energy and joy that comes bursting out of the pictures.

South Wales Sunset Beach Photo Shoot

I adore the beach and the ocean and so a family photo shoot at Dunraven Bay in South Wales at sunset is pretty perfect! It's where I had my own family photo session a couple of years ago and where I've spent many a day sitting on the rocks or playing in the sea with my kids. I absolutely love the dramatic cliffs, the rocky walk down to the beach and the gorgeous cove shape of Dunraven Bay (or Southerndown as we call it!). It's a photographers dream.

I have to say, this is one of my favourite photo sessions of all time. When you have a beautiful Mum and 5, yes, 5, stunning children it's a win win situation. She literally looks like a mermaid. Honestly. The tide was high when we headed down to the beach and there was no sand to be seen. So, we clambered over the rocks to find a good spot to take some photos. The kids were jumping up, under and over the rocks like little mountain goats. I was still nursing my semi-broken toe from a previous shoot, so did my best to hobble after them all!

The sun was starting to set, so the pictures have the most beautiful golden glow (note to potential clients - book a shoot at golden hour!) and the beach was starting to empty out so we had it mostly to ourselves.

I wanted to capture some authentic natural images for this family. I wanted hair flying, wet clothes and big grins. There's something so joyful and magical about this set of images I've had to include nearly 100 of them to share with you - not even half of the images from the shoot but it was so hard to whittle them down.

If you'd like your family essence captured in an honest and relaxed way. Get in touch for a chat about a location photo session. You can find out more about my packages on my pricing page, or drop me a line with any questions.

In the meantime, take a look at these beauties.
Gem x


Pop-up photo sessions in Cowbridge with Gemma Griffiths Photography

Well, my pop-up mini photo sessions are going down a storm at the moment and I've just announced a new date for June! The pop-up sessions are 10 minute, free photo shoots for your little ones. There's no tricks up my sleeve, so secret sales technique, you can buy one image, three images or ten images, whatever you fancy. There's no surprise price list, in fact the price list is very simple - it's £12 for a 5"x7" print and £15 for a 10"x7" print. If you want digital files they are also available at £15 each. Simples!

As they are only 10 minutes long the sessions are only suitable for 1 or 2 children at a time, or child and Mummy or Daddy, so we can't squeeze a whole family shoot into one slot. The slots are also booked back to back so if your little one arrives and decides that they aren't in the mood for photos then I can just add you onto the list for the next pop-up session instead. (Note: chocolate buttons are a good blackmail technique. Just saying). There will be one more pop-up session in June and possibly one in July and then that's it for the time being. Keep your eyes peeled on my Facebook page for new events.

A lot of my pop-up clients are repeat customers that have already had a full family shoot or nursery shoots with me in the past and are updating their images. If you'd like a family photo shoot and don't want the constraints of a 10 minute pop-up then I offer lovely family shoots out and about around the Vale. There's no time limit to them and we get the choice of different locations, outfits and loads of variety in terms of family groups, siblings together, individual portraits etc. You can see more from my family shoots on my family portfolio page.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this gorgeous set of images from a recent pop-up session at Llanblethian Baby & Toddler Group, just outside Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan. These images were taken in a 10 minute time slot with two beautiful sisters. There's only half the set featured here, so there were plenty to choose from!

If you're interested in my pop-up sessions or would like to book a full family shoot, please get in touch for a chat.

Gem x

Pop-up portrait sessions with Gemma Griffiths Photography

The main bulk of my work is photographing families on location in the beautiful countryside of the Vale of Glamorgan but a few times a year I offer pop-up photo sessions at local playgroups or seasonal mini sessions. This year, I changed the way that I work a little bit. I have experience as a headshot and school portrait photographer so I used the same methods to take portraits of little ones at their toddler groups. I used to aim for around 4-6 images per child and always try and make sure that I had the 'eye contact' shot and focussed on producing a few head and shoulder portraits for parents to choose from.

This year after a fab training session and some market research amongst my clients I discovered that parents didn't just want the head and shoulder portrait. They actually wanted a mixture of posed and unposed shots. They wanted images to show off their child's personality and the environment they are in. Well, this was music to my ears because I've always preferred unposed and natural images, so I decided to experiment with my Spring toddler groups and tried to capture more than just a portrait.

The response has been awesome from parents. I've presented between 10-30 images to families with a variety of posed and unposed images. Images that have more authenticity than a 'say cheese' picture and it feels brilliant!

At these toddler sessions I only have 10 minutes per child, so most of the images have been taken in the same spot. I wanted to show you an example of some of the images from this little girls gallery - she had 33 images in total and I've only shared 16 here. As you can see, you can get a gorgeous set of images in a short space of time. You can see her cheeky little grin, her thoughtful moments and a little bit of sass thrown in for good measure. The session took place at the Colwinston Baby & Toddler group which is held in the village hall in Colwinston, just outside Cowbridge. The garden behind the hall has a carpet of wild forget-me-nots at this time of year and they provide such a lovely backdrop to my Spring portraits here.

If you run or attend a local playgroup and would like me to visit for a pop-up portrait session then please get in touch to let me know. You can also keep in touch by following my Facebook page. I'll add new events as they get scheduled throughout the year.

If you have a group of friends or family members that are interested in a photo session then there is also the option of booking a private Group Mini Session for you all. Group Mini Sessions are a longer than my pop-up sessions and can include whole families, friendship groups and cousins etc. You can find out all about the idea behind my Group Mini Sessions on my blog.

Gem x

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