Beach photo shoot

Beach photo shoot.

Back in the depths of Winter I started to think about how I could incorporate my love of the beach into my client work. I've always had family shoots at the beach and wanted to encourage more families to enjoy spending time there as much as I do. So, I decided to offer 'Mini Beach Shoots'. I was totally overwhelmed with the response and all the slots sold out really quickly. This shoot was the first one and took place in April. We had such fun playing around on the beach and splashing in the waves.

There were three sisters and Mum and Dad too. We twirled around, threw rocks in the sea and jumped over the crashing waves. Wild hair was the order of the day - the best look for the beach in my opinion! I love the connection between the sisters. They had such different personalities but a great bond between them.

The beach is so different each time I go there. It's such an epic background for a family session and I love the wildness of the sea. The best thing is watching kids playing in the water - you can see the pure joy on their faces as the waves come in.

If you're interested in booking a family photo shoot - get in touch to find out more. You can see my price list on the pricing page. Check out more shoots on my blog and in my family portfolio.

Follow me on Facebook and Instagram too to see my latest work.

Gem x

three girls smiling

mum and daughters smiling, on beach

family silhouettegirl smiling on beachfamily smiling on beach

girl smiling on beachgirls smiling on beachgirl smiling on beachgirl on beachgirl smiling on beachgirl jumping on beachbeach photo shootgirl jumping on beachgirl smiling in the seamum and daughtergirl jumping on beachgirl looking out to sea on beachmum and daughter huggingthree girls holding hands on beachmum and 3 girls on beachthree girls holding hands on beachgirl smiling on beachgirls playing in the seagirl smiling on beachfeet in sea watergirl walking on beachman and woman on beach


Personal Branding Headshot Shoot

Meet Rhiannon. She's a freelance writer and blogger based in Cardiff, South Wales. You can read her hilarious honest writing on her blog The Daily Boyle.

I've been doing quite a lot of headshot and personal branding shoots so far this year but I have to say this is one of my favourites. With such a variety of settings and amazing light, I was like a kid in a sweetshop.

What is personal branding?

If like me, you work for yourself and run your own business, then you ARE your brand. It's important to be able to portray yourself and your business to clients. It's vital for them to believe and trust in you - as a person and a brand.

A quick selfie might do the job in the short term but it's worth investing in some professional photography for the future. Personal branding shoots can include anything that helps to portray you and your business. Images can then be used across your website and social media platforms.

For Rhiannon's shoot - I wanted to show all the different sides of her. Yes, she's funny and friendly and down to earth but she's also a writer. Her writing covers all sorts of areas, some happy, sad, serious, funny and thoughtful. I wanted to capture all sides of her personality so that she can use the images for her blog as and when she needs them.

If you're interested in booking a personal branding shoot, then prices start at only £199. Bespoke packages can be created to suit your needs - each business is different and I'm happy to have a chat and create a package that suits each individual. Find out more on my pricing page and see more images on my headshots & commercial portfolio. Follow my very latest work on my Instagram account too!

 

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How to boost your child's self esteem

Boosting 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


What's the best time of year for a Cardiff family photo shoot?

This happens a lot. I'll be walking around Tesco or dropping my son at school and I'll get stopped by someone - 'Ah Gemma! I've been meaning to get in touch to book a shoot with you! When is the best time for a Cardiff family photo shoot? How long does it take? Where are the best locations?' etc.

So, I thought I'd write a little blog post to answer all those questions - if you would like to know more, please drop me a line!

Let's talk about the best time of year for a Cardiff family photo shoot. Honestly, family shoots can take place all year round, but there are certain times when nature will provide some stunning backdrops. Spring is always a fantastic choice because you have so many different options - there's crops of wild bluebells, fluffy blossom trees, blooming rapeseed meadows and life bursting at the seams. I have a whole host of favourite locations for each season, so I can recommend plenty of places to choose from. Have a look at some gorgeous Spring images below and the scroll down to see how the other seasons look....

Girl standing with flowersGirl blowing dandelion seedschildren dancing in meadowgirls lying in blossom

Next up is Summer. Now I'm a real beach lover, so I opted for my own family shoot take place at the beach in the Summer. It's where I feel most at home and so couldn't imagine my family photos being taken anywhere else. Summer means beaches, sandy toes, playing in the surf, long grassy meadows, picnics, flip flops - you get the idea. Each family photo session is unique and there's plenty of time for a walk and even a snack break. All of my clients will tell you that I'm pretty chilled out during the shoot and I'm in no hurry to wrap things up - most of the time I have to be gently directed my back to my car or I'd keep on shooting! If Summer is your favourite season, then maybe that's the right time of year for you?

family walking on beach family beach shoot south waleschild on beachsunset on beach south walesfamily on beach south wales child in water on beachchildren on beach south walesfamily beach shoot south wales

And on to Autumn. The time of crisp mornings, log fires and chunky knits. The colours that nature provides in the Autumn are just incredible. A whole range of yellows, oranges, reds and greens can literally light up the backdrop of your family shoot. This year, I've had some of my favourite Autumn shoots ever. Check out this lot...

family photoshoot in the Autumnfamily photoshoot in the Autumnchild smiling through leaveschild smiling with leafpotrait of girlkids jumping in leavesbrother and sister piggy backportrait of a childchilds portraitautumn photo shoot

Finally we've reached the Winter. It is probably my quietest time as an outdoor photographer in Wales but that's not to say there aren't opportunities out there for the more hardy amongst you.  I wouldn't recommend taking VERY young children out for a photo shoot at this time of year, because they need to be bundled up in coats and hats etc and it makes it harder for them to move around and for me to see them properly. Older kids and adults though can still make the most of what Winter has to offer. I love a good snow shoot but the problem then is getting out of the village!

Here's some Winter fave's from me...

winter portraitwinter family shootsisters walking in the fog

boy snowboardingboy walking in the snowSo there you have it. We're really lucky in the UK to have such a variety of beautiful natural backdrops throughout the year. There isn't one particular time of year to choose or avoid (oh alright, maybe January!). It all comes down to how you feel. If you're a beach bum like me, then you're going to feel more at home in the warmer months. If Autumn makes you feel all warm and cosy, then start shopping for chunky knits and get booking for September/October. If you love the verve and joy of Spring, then it's time to drop me a line.

What are you waiting for?  See you soon! Gem x

 


Colwinston Baby & Toddler Group

Another lovely visit to Colwinston Baby & Toddler Group for some Spring portraits. We were lucky to have an abundance of forget-me-nots to play in, which look amazing! There were some gorgeous smiles. Plus, for the first time I had cousins getting together - in a suitcase, as you do.

Thanks for having me everyone. I'll be back in the Autumn time for some cosy, snuggly, leafy portraits!

If you'd like to book a family photo session with me, please see my pricing page for more details. Gem x

spring toddler portraitspring portraitspring portrait of a boyBaby smiling in flowersToddler spring portraitToddler portraits in forget me notsMother and baby portraitBaby portrait in Colwinston