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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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

5 things you can do to prepare for your pop-up portrait session!

5 things you can do to prepare for your pop-up portrait session!

Twice a year, in the Spring and Autumn time, I visit local preschools and toddler groups in South Wales for portrait sessions. The pop up portrait sessions are a chance for parents to get some lovely portraits without having a full family shoot. They are also a great way to showcase my work and often lead to family sessions being booked to include siblings and parents too!

Each season brings wonderful backdrops and I love seeing the same children twice a year and see how much they've grown! You can see some images from my previous portrait sessions at Cowbridge Baby & Toddler Group in the Autumn and Colwinston Baby & Toddler Group in the Autumn, Llanblethian Baby & Toddler Group in the Spring, and Colwinston Baby & Toddler Group in the Spring on my blog.

Here's a useful guide on how to prepare for your slot!

little girl holding flowers photo session

1. Timing is everything.

Everyone is given a 10 minute time slot, so it's important to be ready when it's your turn. The sessions are pretty informal and relaxed and I'll try and get as many images as I can in the time allotted but will need to stop when your 10 minutes is up. Often children can take a while to warm up or are simply not in the right mood. I promise to try my very best but sometimes it's easier to book a full family photo shoot so that they have plenty of time to relax and you don't have the time pressure. Find out more about my full family shoots on my pricing page and family portfolio.


little girl cowbridge toddler photo session

2. Clean those little faces.

If you have baby wipes or tissues, please try and make sure faces, especially little noses are clean. Photoshop can only do so much. :)


baby photo shoot cowbridge

3. Clothing is important.

Have a think about what you'd like your child to wear for the session. Try and avoid large logo's and pictures on clothing. Also avoid very bright blocks of colour but patterns (checks, wide stripes, flowers or spots) are all fine. If in doubt stick to neutral colours, cream, pale blues, pinks, lemon yellows all look good. You can't go wrong with navy or denim either but steer clear of large blocks of black or white. Think about what might be appropriate for the season - in the Autumn, mustard yellows, deep reds and burnt oranges can look nice. In Spring, opt for lighter colours.


little boy smiling photo shoot llanblethian

4. Don't worry

I'm pretty relaxed when it comes to photographing little ones and they don't respond well to stress. I'll try a few different poses with them and see what works but please don't feel under any pressure for them to perform. I've worked with children for years now and don't expect them to sit still and smile sweetly at me (although it does happen occasionally!). Please don't feel stressed or pressured - with little ones we have to go with the flow.


little girl photo session llanblethian cowbridge

5. Bring along something that will make your child smile.

You know your child best, so if there's something that's guaranteed to make them giggle, then bring it along. If it means you have to stand behind me and sing 'Baa baa black sheep' or do 'the floss', then feel free. The aim of the session is get some nice natural relaxed portraits, so making your child laugh is the easiest way. Don't worry though, I always work with an assistant and my trusty toucan puppet Dave is always on hand to put on a show if he's needed.


portrait sessions

So that's it! I'll be popping into Llanblethian Baby & Toddler Group and Colwinston Baby & Toddler Group in the Spring and Autumn. If you'd like to book a 10 minute slot at any of the sessions, please drop me a line.

Always keep your eyes peeled on my Facebook page for information about new portrait sessions. To be the first to hear about all new events, sign up to my mailing list  - pop your email into the box at the bottom of my homepage. My mailing list always get exclusive updates on new dates and events before I publish them online.

Looking forward to seeing 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

Autumn Portrait Sessions

I love visiting Llanblethian Baby & Toddler Group for the annual Autumn portrait sessions. It reminds of the days when I used to take my daughter there, so long ago now! It's a fab location for photos with a gorgeous little stream outside and in the Autumn we get lovely yellow and orange leaves too. I visited the group in November, just in time to get some portraits as Christmas presents. There is no session fee and prints start at only £15, so it's a great opportunity to get some fabulous portraits of your little ones. I visit local playgroups regularly, so keep an eye on my Facebook page for upcoming dates for Spring and Autumn portrait sessions! Gem x

Playgroup photography by Gemma Griffiths Photography