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


Beach shoot in Saundersfoot

If you follow my work, you'll know that I love the beach.  I shoot regularly on my local beaches in the Vale of Glamorgan but there's nothing like discovering a new beach!

I recently spent the weekend in Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire, staying at the St Bride's Spa Hotel with one of my oldest friends. The hotel is fantastic and set in the most beautiful surroundings with the most amazing views of the town and the beach.

We enjoyed spending time in the spa and then treated ourselves to an Aperol Spritz on the balcony of our room before heading down for dinner.

The next day was a typical January day - low grey clouds in the sky and a bit damp, but it also felt pretty serene and calm too. I had my camera with me, so we headed down to the beach for a walk and a mini photo shoot.

I've known Sheila for over 20 years, we've travelled around the world together, lived in different cities together and spent countless hours talking non-stop. I've got photos of her from when we were hanging out at university in Leeds, exploring the East Coast of Australia, travelling around South America and spending weekends in the Cotswolds. I've done a couple's shoot, maternity shoot and family shoot with her and now it's time for some shots for her. Just because.

Presenting my beautiful friend Sheila.

Gem x

beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot
beach portrait in Saundersfoot

Book your own photo shoot with just you, or your family. Get in touch to find out more or visit my pricing page.


Why is personal branding so important?

Why do you need a personal branding photo shoot?

In this day and age branding is super important. You'd have to be living in a cave if you weren't aware of the impact of brands. It's not just big businesses that rely on branding to get their message across. It's equally important for small businesses too - it runs through every aspect of a business. How you want to portray your business to your clients, the look and feel of your products and service, your logo, your website and your web presence.

Personal branding extends to include not only your business but yourself as well. If you provide a service then your clients will want to get to know you. They will want to see what you look like, perhaps see images of you at work as well as just a portrait of you.

Running your own business is a very personal undertaking and so it's important to be able to have images that portray you - do you want to be seen as corporate, arty, relaxed, fun, serious, creative? Do you want to include where you work, the tools that you use on a daily basis etc.

If you don't run your own business, it's still important to have a set of images that illustrate your working life. You many need images to feature in a programme, for a conference, on the back of a book, for your LinkedIn profile, CV - even your dating profile!

I really enjoy working with local businesses and business folk in and around Cardiff to get the images that they need. Over the years I've photographed businesswomen, businessmen, writers, actors, graphic designers, builders and even a mermaid. I've included a little selection of images below.

If you need to update your personal branding images - drop me a line to find out more. Visit my headshots & commercial pricing page and headshots & commercial portfolio page.

 

Business headshots
Sheila needed some images for her new consultancy website.

Marged needed headshots for her new website.

Siriol needed some headshots for her radio and acting work.

Scott needed to update his LinkedIn profile.

Rhiannon uses her images on her blog and Instagram account.

Kate uses her images on her Instagram account for her ceramics business - Skratch Ceramics.

Actors headshots

 

Business headshots
Suzy wanted a headshot for her brand new business.
The Home Physio Company
Business headshots
Staff headshots for the new website
Newbridge Software
Headshots
Ina wanted some images for her children.
Business headshots
Mermaid Sandy needed new images for marketing.
Mermaid Adventures
Business headshots
Claire needed new headshots for her dance business.
Business headshots
Sian works in digital marketing.
Business headshots
Neil, working with Channel Four architect George Clarke on a local project.
NKG Construction

Business Headshot Photography

Business headshot shoot on a weekend away! I recently went away for the night with my very good friend Sheila. She lives in London and I live in South Wales so we don't get to see each other very often.

She needed to update her headshots for her new website so we took the opportunity to nip into the beautiful restaurant at the St Bride's Spa Hotel, Saundersfoot (where we stayed) to take a few shots. It's a fantastic hotel with spectacular views and the service there is exceptional. I highly recommend a visit.

The views from the restaurant are gorgeous - I've included a shot of the view out of the window for you to see.

If you need to update your headshot or need images for your business, have a look at my headshot and business photography packages and my headshot portfolio and then drop me a line to arrange a bespoke session.

Headshot sessions are 1 hour and include a selection of images for you to choose from and use. Commercial photography shoots are longer and include staff headshots as well. You can see lots of examples of my work with businesses in South Wales on my blog.

If you want to find out more, drop me a line for a chat.

 

business headshots
business headshots
business headshots
business headshots
business headshots
business headshots
business headshots
saundersfoot
business headshot
business headshot
business headshot
business headshots

Beach Shoot in South Wales

A mini beach shoot in South Wales to blow away the cobwebs.

My girl and I got struck down with a horrible virus on Boxing Day and spent 2 weeks on the sofa sniffing and coughing. Each day we'd say to each other 'we'll be better tomorrow' and each day we woke up feeling rough. On the Sunday before school started in January, we decided that it was time we left the house and got some fresh air. I grabbed my camera and we headed down to our favourite place - the beach.

The beach looks great all year round. I love the pale tones of the sea and sky in contrast with the dark rocks and sand. The whole scene looked like Winter but was soothing and calming to look at. The rock pools at the beach provided a gorgeous reflective surface.

I discovered that my welly boot had a hole in it after standing in the water but I suffered with one wet sock so I could capture these images. What a brave solider I am!

If you're interested in booking a mini beach shoot in South Wales, please get in touch to find out more. 

There's also loads of beach shoots to view on my blog. Or, you can follow me on Instagram and Facebook!

In the meantime, enjoy having a look at these images of my girl. Gem x

 

Beach shoot South Wales
Girl on the beach south wales
little wave on the beach
Girl on the beach south wales
Girl on the beach south wales
water
Girl on the beach south wales
winter surfer walking into the water
Girl on the beach south wales
wave on the beach
Girl on the beach south wales
Girl on the beach south wales