Toddler Photography South Wales

South Wales Toddler Photography with Gemma Griffiths!

I love visiting local toddler groups and seeing all those cheeky little faces! I recently paid a visit to Colwinston Baby & Toddler Group to take some Spring portraits. Take a look at the gorgeous little munchkins below. There's a gorgeous little garden just behind the village hall. It's filled with wild flowers. There's a carpet of forget-me-nots and some massive tractor tyres to play with too.

We played peek-a-boo, found flowers and chased the kids around trees. It's total mayhem but that's the fun of toddler photography!

I'm looking forward to visiting Penllyn Toddler Group and Fun Foundations Nursery in Cowbridge in the next few weeks as well.

If you run a playgroup and would like to book a pop-up portrait session then drop me a line! There's no session fee and image prices start at £15.

If you'd like to get the rest of the family involved then why not think about an family location shoot? I offer outdoor photo shoots in a variety of gorgeous locations all over South Wales. You can find out more by visiting my family portfolio page and pricing page. Don't forget to check out my FAQ's page if you have some questions too.

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

Gem x

 

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Family Photo Album - Cardiff Photographer

Introducing my brand new family photo album! The perfect addition to my product line. It's an absolute stunner!

With its handmade hard cover and lay flat pages, printed on Cannon Deep Matte paper, it looks and feels luxurious. You can personalise the album with your chosen image in a cut out window on the front cover and even choose different colour textured covers too.

For only £350, you can add this to your package and know that you have a beautiful family heirloom to last a lifetime. You can fix approximately 30 images inside a standard family photo album or upgrade to include more of your favourites.

Each album is designed just for you. You choose your favourite images and I will do the rest!

Find out more about my prices and other products, including canvas wraps, frames and prints on my pricing page. See more of my family photography work in my family portfolio.

If you'd like to book a family photo shoot near Cardiff, drop me a line! I offer family location photo shoots near Cardiff. You can choose from a variety of locations. There are beaches, parks, gardens and forests all available for us.

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see more of my work.

 

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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 raise children with high self esteem!

Collaboration - raising children with high self esteem.

I've been following the hilarious writer Rhiannon from The Daily Boyle on Instagram for a while and really like her no nonsense, straight talking attitude to life. I got in touch with her to ask if she'd like to collaborate on a blog post together about raising kids with high self esteem. We're both mothers and both trying our best, like everyone else, to help our kids navigate through life as well rounded, confident people.

child jumping on the beach

 

Meetings and research

After researching my post about how to boost your child's self esteem through displaying family photos around the house, it got me thinking. What else can we do to help raise confident kids that have a high self esteem? Rhiannon and I met for a coffee in Cowbridge and had a good old chat about it all. I wasn't a very confident child and never had very high self esteem. But I'm doing my very best to ensure that my kids do. We chatted about all the things that we're both doing, instinctively, as mothers and what else we could be doing. Rhiannon spent a long time researching the post and with her background as a teacher, she had even more knowledge to use.

 

portrait of someone working on a laptop
Writer - Rhiannon Boyle

 

The post

In the post, she covers a huge amount - including, love, attention, valuing emotions and praise. There's also information on structure, boundaries, behaviour and responsibilities. She discusses the impact of pride, health, confidence and challenges. And the importance of being a role model. Finally, she mentions outward factors - particularly the impact of social media on our kids.

It's a great read, so grab a cuppa and head on over to her blog for the full article.

Follow her on Instagram at The Daily Boyle.

child running on the beach with outstretched arms

I also had a great personal branding shoot with Rhiannon last week. You can see her shoot in this blog post.

Gem x


Kitchen Renovation - Before & After

I've recently completed my kitchen renovation and wanted to share the before and after images to help anyone else thinking of doing the same thing.

After living in our house with a dated kitchen for 10 years, we decided to try and give it a bit of a makeover. We planned to do most of the work ourselves, so we were a little worried that it would end up looking a bit rubbish. But, it didn't! It looks pretty fab. I know loads of people have similar kitchens, so before you chuck them out, think about changing a few key elements and save yourself a fortune. There's links at the end of the post to all the suppliers used for the kitchen renovation.

 

kitchen painted in farrow and ball paint

Here's what we did:

Replaced the floor.

Replaced the worktops, sink & taps.

Changed the light fittings.

Added a door for our new 'pantry'.

Glued tongue and groove over the old tiles.

Painted the cupboards/drawers and added new handles/knobs.

Removed some old cupboards.

Painted the walls and ceiling.

Bought barstools for the new breakfast bar.

List of suppliers at the end of the post.

 

PLANNING

It took a while for us to work out what sort of design we wanted for the kitchen renovation. I enlisted A LOT of help from friends (they are all rolling their eyes and nodding if they are reading this) for the look and feel of the kitchen. We opted for a "country kitchen" feel because it went well with the house and the existing design that we had.

We were on a very tight budget, so spent a lot of time researching prices and looking for online suppliers that would be cheaper than the high street DIY stores.

kitchen refurbishment

PAINT

We knew we were going to keep the walls Almond White (Dulux) as we have the colour throughout the house. For the cupboards we opted for the more expensive Farrow & Ball paints. We tried a few tester pots on the doors and eventually chose Pigeon. It's a sort of greeny grey colour and it looks different in different lights. We also bought the Farrow & Ball undercoat as advised but used a primer from Wickes too.

Of course, there's the option of matching a Farrow & Ball colour with a cheaper paint but we've done that elsewhere in the house and it just isn't the same finish. There wasn't a massive difference in price to choose the paint that we wanted, so we went for it.

I'm not going to lie, painting the cupboards and all the wood work was a monumental task. It took WEEKS and was very slow going. However, if we'd paid someone to do it for us, or bought new cupboard doors, it would have cost so much more. In hindsight, it was worth it, but there was a LOT of whinging (from me) and frustration (from me) about how long it was taking.

Each door and drawer front had to be removed and have the handles removed. Then it was cleaned, sanded and cleaned again. Only then did the painting begin. Each door/drawer front was painted with white primer (both sides - twice), painted with undercoat (both sides**) and painted with Pigeon (both sides - twice). We used brushes for the edges and a soft foam roller for the flat parts. Did we need so many layers - who knows?! We were worried about it looking bad, so we wanted to do the best possible job. **You may wonder why the undercoat is so dark - hangs head in shame - I ordered the wrong one. Moving swiftly on...

 

kitchen doors being painted

One of the biggest issues with painting the doors was that we just didn't have room for them all to dry. I used boxes and cardboard on the floor and anything else I could get my hands on to lay them out but eventually ran out of room. I painted until I ran out of drying space and then went back the next day to carry on. TIP - THINK ABOUT WHERE YOU CAN LET THINGS DRY AND MAKE PLENTY OF ROOM.

 

painted kitchen doors

Being total novice kitchen renovators we didn't think to mark the doors in any way so they could be put back in an orderly fashion. Oh no, we just stacked things willy-nilly around the place and so I had a fun afternoon of trying to work out which door went where (let's just say I wasn't successful the first few times). Picture on the left below is how NOT to hang doors. TIP - MAKE A NOTE OF WHERE EACH DOOR BELONGS.

 

painted kitchen

Obviously, the same attitude was taken with all the screws and fixings. We chucked everything in a plastic bag and by some miracle, we only ended up with a few things missing at the end. TIP - MAKE A NOTE OF WHICH SCREWS AND FIXINGS GO WITH WHICH BITS.

 

kitchen handles

Painting the walls was pretty straightforward and I painted them twice over 2 days. We had very dark beams on the ceiling and so it took a few coats to cover those and paint the ceiling. TIP - BE CAREFUL. CHEAP MASKING TAPE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. IT WILL BETRAY YOU.

FLOORING

After shopping around, we thought that we wouldn't be able to afford a new floor. We spoke to a few outlets on industrial estates and they all assured us that we'd need a screed to level the dodgy tiled floor. Add that to the cost of the floor and then whole thing was too much. Luckily, our lovely carpenter suggested a friend of his that owned his own flooring business. Steve is friendly and efficient and sorted a new floor with minimum fuss and totally within budget. His contact details are at the end of the post. TIP - USE STEVE.

kitchen floor before and after

LIGHTS

We wanted to move the lights slightly to have them hang directly over the breakfast bar. We chose some pendant lights from Next and then some plain bar lights from John Lewis. Both fittings cost less than £200 and our very lovely and clever friend Dave came to fit them for us. Don't worry, he got a nice bottle of rum and some vouchers for his troubles. TIP - KNOW A DAVE.

pendant light from Next

WORKTOPS

Resigned to our budget, we only expected to be able to afford a laminate worktop but after some research we realised that we could order some solid oak from Worktop Express and it wasn't going to cost too much more. We chose a sink and taps from there as well.

The worktops were fitted by local carpenter Gareth Jones, who's done a beautiful job.

kitchen worktop

TONGUE & GROOVE

The tongue and groove was a late decision. As you can see from the pictures we had a wall full of yellow tiles with ahem, interesting fruit designs dotted around the place. We assumed that it would be too expensive to have the tiles removed and replaced so we'd made peace with keeping them - even though we really didn't want to. Luckily, the carpenter came up with a brilliant solution - to glue tongue and groove over the top of them! He made new windowsills too and it really finishes the kitchen off. Without it, I think the kitchen would look unfinished.

kitchen refurb

SINK & TAPS

I really wanted an under mounted sink. I hated the sink we had. It was really hard to clean around the back of the taps and I liked the idea of sweeping mess straight into the sink. We had a quick look around at under mounted sinks and could have spent much more on one but we were just after something pretty plain and simple. In the end we opted for a plain stainless steel one from Worktop Express.  The taps also came from there as well. As you can see from the picture we had two different dodgy taps on the old sink. It's such a pleasure to use the new taps!

The draining grooves were added by the carpenter, Gareth, after the sink had been fitted. Being solid oak, the worktop needed a few coats of oil before we could use it. We're a bit paranoid about damaging the wood, so we've added extra oil around the parts that get wet regularly. It's something that we'll have to do every now and again.

kitchen sink

BITS & BOBS

I'm not a big fan of shopping at all. I don't really enjoy the process of choosing things and agonising over decisions. I'd much rather be reading a book or listening to music than trawling through websites. However, there was one bit of the whole experience that I thoroughly enjoyed and it only took about 15 minutes! We visited Bath a few weeks ago and I love mooching around the shop Anthropologie. There's so many pretty things in there - that I can't afford. I mostly just go around touching things and imagining being able to buy things. This time, I decided to treat myself! I bought two coasters (£8 each) and a knob (£6)! I absolutely love the coasters. They are my favourite purchase in a long time and go so well with the colours in the kitchen. Next time I'm in Bath, I'm going to buy another two!

kitchen accessories

SUPPLIERS

Laminate floor. Contact Steve from Hickman Flooring - Highly recommended

Solid oak worktop and breakfast bar -Worktop Express

Fitting by Gareth Jones.

Undermount Stainless Steel Sink - £140 - Worktop Express

Mixer Taps - £60 - Worktop Express

Pendant light - £90 - Next

Bar light - £80 - John Lewis

Bi-fold door - £65 - B&Q

Knob for bi-fold door - £6 - Anthropologie

Paint (incl undercoat) for cupboard doors/drawers/woodwork - £153 - Pigeon from Farrow & Ball

Paint for the walls and other woodwork - Almond white from Dulux.

All Handles and knobs - £70 - Amazon

Barstools (bought in the Sale) from Leekes

Coasters -£8 - Anthropologie

If you have any questions about the kitchen renovation - get in touch.