Thursday, 23 July 2015

[Newborn] George - Newborn Photographer Barnsley

I love babies - what can I say. I am so lucky to be in a job where I get to meet so many wonderful people, I get to snuggle so many gorgeous babies and see them grow up too! 

Just look at that hairy little back full of cuteness and baby fur! Argh! If gorgeous little George doesn't make your ovaries ache a little bit - then you need to get yourself checked out!

Little George was so well behaved on his photo shoot which meant I was able to capture all the little details, and just him in all his cuteness. I love the deep-set nose creases that some babies have from being all squished in the womb! 

A baby is born with a need to be loved - and never outgrows it.
~ Frank Howard Clark

The Suitcase shot was definitely one of Daddy's Favourites - and he knew that from the get-go - the flat cap is one of the most popular and requested hats for newborn boys! 

Thank you for bringing this gorgeous bundle in to see me!

If you are interested in having your little bundle photographed then please get in touch! x

Monday, 20 July 2015

[Newborn] Cutie Amelia - Barnsley Newborn Photographer

Oh it seems ages since I blogged about cute babyness! Arghhh!

I really need to keep up to date with blogging but lots of things have been going off and before you know it a week or two has absolutely FLOWN by.

Gorgeous little Amelia, has been attending Baby Massage at my studio - after she came in for her photographs so it's lovely that I've been able to see her grow over 6 weeks! 

One of the reasons I love my job so much, is I love seeing how much babies change and grow, and I'm able to capture those new moments which we cannot get back. And as we all know - babies change so much (and so quickly!)

Little Amelia is also currently rocking the A-Board outside the shop promoting Newborn Sessions too - I put her outside and waited to see how long it was until mummy realised it was her - teehee! (It didn't take long!)

"A baby fills a hole in your heart that you never knew was there."
~ Unknown

Just look how cute she is!

If you are thinking of having a Newborn Photoshoot then just get in touch! 

Saturday, 18 July 2015

[#WOW] Meet Tina from the Ultimate Wedding Magazine

Today we meet Tina from the Ultimate Wedding Magazine. I've chatted to Tina before over on wonderful Twitter and here is is to tell us about the Magazine including it being fully interactive! Here is Tina to tell you more.

Can you tell us a little about yourself as a person? 
I am 46, live in Buckinghamshire with my son Thomas who is 14 (loves skateboarding), 3 cats Ricky, Coco Chanel and Babooshka. My 20 daughter is a hair/mua and lives in Richmond with her partner, but is still involved with UWM doing shoots etc. I love to read, write, ride horses (when time allows), and am a keen photographer - mostly architecture and landscapes. 

How did you first set up the business? 
In 2008, I launched a publishing business, lifestyle magazines from Oxford down to Chelsea (9 in total). Became obsessed with wedding writing and launched UWM, leaving generic lifestyle far behind me. 

How old is the business? 
We turned 3 on February 14th, 2015. 

Did you ever think you’d be running your own business? 
Yes, have worked for myself for over 16 years. 

Where are you based? Do you have a shop or are you just online? 
The magazine is based in Buckinghamshire, but we are global. 

What is the one thing people must know about your business? 
We are the world's ONLY fully INTERACTIVE wedding magazine. Available on Android and iOS, we bring venues and products to LIFE! 

What is your proudest business achievement? 
Most definitely the development and launch of UWM INTERACTIVE!

What do you do when you aren't working on the business? 
For the past 5 years, I was looking after my mother who had dementia and Parkinsons, but since we lost her I have spread my wings. I am the Editor for UWM, have a wedding offer website, own over 300 wedding dresses in a countryside studio, am a qualified hair/mua (have been for over 20 years), have a small photography business (fashion, bridal, family, fine art), advise on PR/marketing for businesses, work with music events on sponsorship programmes, most importantly am a mother to my son (that has to be the best job in the world). 

What five words describe your business? 
Inspirational, interactive, fun, affordable, now!

Any big plans for 2015 you can share? 
I am the Content Director for a global tv network coming to your screens very soon! I am looking after the wedding channel! 

How can we find out more about you:
Facebook: /UltimateWedMag
Twitter: @TinaReading
Pinterest: UltimateWedMag
Telephone: 01442780808

My goodness me with everything that Tina does I am surprised that she even had time to fill this in! It shows that she is highly passionate about the job she does.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

[#WOW] Meet Sara from Babycup LTD

Today we meet Sara a #WOW winner and owner of Babycup Ltd. As a Mummy of three she couldn't find an open cup for little hands so in the end she made it herself! Here Sara tells us about her business which led her to her #WOW win.

Can you tell us a little about yourself as a person? 
I am a mum of three girls. My husband is seriously outnumbered!! One day we will get a dog and use up all the boys’ names that were on our list!!

How did you first set up the business?
Babycup was created out of a need for a product that I couldn’t find anywhere. Each time I weaned one of my daughters I tried everything that was out there but couldn’t find ’the cup'. I searched high and low for the perfect cup for babies and young children - a small, open cup that would be the right size for little hands and little mouths and was the healthy option for teeth, sipping and development. By baby number three, I realised I had better just get on and make it!! I spoke to health experts about the benefits of open-cup drinking and found so many vital benefits that I was determined I must make this product a reality. And Babycup was born!

How old is the business?
Babycup first went into shops in the summer of 2013.

Did you ever think you’d be running your own business?
I hoped to, but until my ‘eureka’ Babycup moment, I hadn’t envisaged that this is what the business would be.

Where are you based? Do you have a shop or are you just online?
I’m based in the South East. I have my own website and sell direct from there at and Babycup is also stocked in retail stores both online and on the High Street in the UK and overseas.

What is the most popular product sales wise? 
Babycup mini open cups have two distinct uses. They are suitable for cup feeding milk and can be used from birth whilst establishing breastfeeding or during any feeding challenges such as latch difficulties, bottle refusal or tongue tie. And Babycup is for drinking from weaning until around 3 years. Babycup retails in packs of four cups in blue, pink, yellow or green, with the most popular colour option being our multi-colour pack containing one of each colour.

What is the one thing people must know about your business?
We are very focussed on our specialist area and know what we are talking about.

What is your proudest business achievement?
Babycup winning prestigious awards and being recommended by experts such as dentists, health visitors, midwives, orthodontists, weaning experts, speech therapists as a weaning essential for every mealtime makes me very proud. That feels good! But to receive feedback from parents who tell me how proud they are to see their children drinking with a Babycup, and knowing they have made that healthy choice, now that feels really, really good.  

What do you do when you aren’t working on the business?
There really isn’t much downtime at present!! My children are still small and my youngest isn’t yet at full-time school. So anytime I am not working on Babycup I am on ‘mum' duty.

What five words describe your business?
Little cups for little people

Any big plans for 2015 you can share?
Spreading the word about the healthy way for little ones to drink - helping families find out that with just a small addition to their mealtime kit they can make a big impact on their child’s health and development. 

How can we find out more about you:

I love this! I know when one of my friends was breastfeeding her little one when he needed a sip of water, she gave it him out of a cup - the problem was finding a cup. It was quite funny watching him drink out of a shot glass - these would have been absolutely perfect!

Sunday, 5 July 2015

[Blogging Challenge] Table Planning Help!

Being a Wedding Photographer, one of the things I hear about that can cause the bigger nightmare is your Seating Plan!

So part of the Blogging Challenge is about finding an AWESOME website or item I can tell you about.

Top Table Planner is an absolutely fabulous website to help you plan! And not only this you can keep a track of RSPV, and what kind of meal options (if any) people have chosen, including veggie options too.

Top Table Planner has a free trial, but it means you cannot print off the plan, and you can only have a 5 table plan - so if you are having a big Wedding then you definitely need to sign up - but do not worry - its not expensive! 

I decided to have a little play with it - and oh my goodness it is so simple and amazing, that if you are planning a Wedding you need this in your life!

You can add tables, so you know what type of tables they are going to be like.

You can plan your ceremony room, and even your Wedding Breakfast regardless of what size of room or tables you are having.

You can sort table names, and also how many people you are having on each table too.

But one of the best things is - you can also input where columns are and the room size itself -  it will definitely help you with your table planning - without fail!

I would personally, sort your room our first before adding people. But you can import your guest list from Excel too - you can add male / female / children and VIPs (Bride and Groom of course). Move around the top table - move around people on the tables themselves. When you move your guests from the "unseated" list into your plan then they will no longer be left. This means if you have any single guests attending the Wedding, you can seat families together first, and then work around singles and couples where needed.

And don't think that every table has to have the same amount of people. Some tables may have 10 people, some may have 9. Or going for tables of 8, don't be afraid to squish an extra person on if you have a single person attending with other friends.

I hope you find Top Table Planner helpful with planning your Wedding Seating. Not only that its such a little amount of money but will save you SO much time and effort. And you can swap and change it up in case people you think will RSVP don't.

Wedding Idea's Magazine use Top Table Planner every year for their Award Ceremony! Now that says something!

Hope you found this helpful - let me know if you are using Top Table Planner for your Event! x

Saturday, 4 July 2015

[#WOW] Meet Tanya from The Lilac Teacup

Today we meet Tanya from The Lilac Teacup. Tanya has a complex heart defect and makes the most of every day - and running a business isn't easy! Tanya won her WOW for her business and here she tells us more about it!
A little bit about me: I live in Buckinghamshire and my boyfriend and I are in the process of buying our first house together which is very exciting. I love wildlife, tea, chocolate, 80’s music and I also have a thing for pretty teacups and mugs, hence the business name! I have a very complex heart defect which I was born with. I don’t take life for granted and I make the most of every day!
How did you first set up the business?
I had been working in childcare since I left college but sadly a few years ago it became too difficult for me to continue in that career because of a deterioration in my congenital heart condition. I made the difficult decision to leave my job and find something that better suited my health. I began working with a friend of mine making greetings cards, invitations and personalised gift/party bags for children. As my friend’s family commitments grew we ended the partnership and I decided to set up The Lilac Teacup creating the kind of products I had been imagining for a while. The business was really born out of my love of pretty fabrics and home accessories. Working from home in my little studio also suited my health needs much better. I recently chose to begin stocking a carefully selected collection of homewares to sell alongside my handmade range. I think they complement each other nicely!
How old is the business:
I set up The Lilac Teacup just over 3 years ago.
Did you ever think you’d be running your own business?
No, I guess I never really had the confidence to believe I could run my own business and be my own boss. In some ways, my health issues forcing me to leave childcare were the best thing that could have happened although it didn’t feel like that at the time. I gave me the push I needed to do something out of my comfort zone. I couldn’t imagine not doing this now, I love my job!
Where are you based? Do you have a shop or are you just online?
I work from my home in Buckinghamshire and run my business online selling my products through my website. I do also have a lovely stockist, a beautiful gift shop near me that stocks some of my handmade products.
What is the most popular product sales wise?
My most popular product in terms of sales has been my personalised, framed art for children. There are four designs and each has been popular.

Everyone has a favourite product – what is yours?
My personal favourite of all my products are my handmade gift tags. There are several designs and I love how they all look, I really enjoy making them too! I always get lovely feedback from customers about these.

What is your newest item/product?
My newest products are the ones I have introduced recently to the website, a collection of lovely homewares. These are not made by me, but I love selling them.

What is the one thing people must know about your business?
I guess I want people to know that it’s a friendly business. I enjoy the communication I have with my customers and I’m always happy to help! I think the customer gets a far more personal shopping experience from a small independent business like mine.
What is your proudest business achievement?
Well having just become a WOW winner and still beaming with pride over it, it’s got to be that! I couldn’t believe I had been chosen by Jacqueline Gold and I’m still so thrilled that she is a fan of my little business!
What do you do when you aren’t working on the business?
I do need quite a lot of rest when I’m not working because of my heart condition so I do like to chill out with the boyfriend in front of the tv and I love reading magazines. I adore spending time with family and catching up with my wonderful friends over a cup of tea and cake. Another little pastime I enjoy is colouring in. It’s definitely not just for kids, I have a fabulous colouring in book for grown-ups and I find it so relaxing! I’m also trying to do more baking.
What five words describe your business?
Friendly, helpful, individual, pretty, homely.
Any big plans for 2015 you can share?
I would like to expand the collection of homewares I stock and I also have some new designs I’m working on for my handmade this space!

You can find out more about me and my business here:

How fabulous it is to read about Tanya, that regardless of her heart defect she is committed to her business and is doing well! Go Tanya! X

Friday, 3 July 2015

[Blogging Challenge] What is a Session Fee?

One of the questions I get asked regular is "what is a Session Fee" or "What is included in the session fee" so I thought as part of today's Blog Challenge I would answer just that.

A session fee is a payment for the time of the photographer. This normally includes travel time (where necessary), shooting time and editing time. Each photographer will have a different session fee, and some may include items with it.

Mine simply just covers my time.

Session Fee Prices at Blue Lights Photography

"Standard Session" £45
This standard session is for babies 3 Months and above, family sessions, sibling sessions and any other session which is not a specific or specialist service. Standard sessions are held in the studio and are usually for up to 1 hour.

Maternity Session £45
Our Maternity Session includes the fee plus a complimentary 9x6 print. Maternity Sessions can include children and partners, or alternatively the women on their own. These sessions are normally 30-45 minutes long.

Cake Smash Session £60
I love Cake Smash Sessions, these are fab for 1st and 2nd birthdays. The session fee also includes the Smash Cake and complimentary take home cupcakes - how fab is that! These sessions are usually 1 hour long.

Newborn Sessions £75
Our Newborn Sessions are a specialist session for our cute teeny tiny newborn babies. The session fee for our Newborns also includes a complimentary 9x6 print. These sessions can take 2-4 hours depending on baby.

So other than that I don't get anything else?

Nope. As said above, a Session fee covers the photographers time and other things. Really it all depends on whether or not some photographers want to include anything. Some photographers may charge you £300 but your session fee may include a product. I don't class these as session fees, I just class these as packages, or collections.

I always have a price list which clients have the ability to see before a Session is purchased with myself, so you can work out your own cost of what you think you may want to purchase.

If you have any questions then please just ask and I will do my best to answer them.

[Blogging Challenge] Time you cannot get back

Being a newborn photographer, I get to see the most amazing little bundles of love come into my studio. Most babies come in before 4 weeks, with most coming in before 10 days.

So tiny, so teeny, so squishy and new.

And babies grow and change so quickly.

And when I have parents come in for 6 or 12 Month sessions quite a lot of people say "I really wish I'd had a newborn session" or along the lines of "We should have had some newborn pictures but before we knew it they'd changed so much".

And that is the thing - babies change SO much and SO quickly, but the moments when they are so teeny tiny you cannot get back.

Many newborn photographers myself included take photographic bookings for newborn sessions from 12-20 Weeks. This then enables you to know that when baby arrives we will fit you in as soon as we possibly can - normally within the first two weeks, unless baby is early / poorly or mummy is poorly too.

Some people don't like "taking chances" and don't want to chance or tempt fate. This is why some people leave it until 35+ weeks before booking in for a newborn session, or waiting until baby has arrived.

Sometimes, with creative diary planning, last minute bookings can be accommodated - but not always.

On average I shoot around 60-70 Newborn babies per year, and some months are busier than others - and this is normally when something has gone off. August / September are normally busy months due to Christmas and New Years - as is November due to Valentines day. It is funny to see how these things impact on pregnancies.

If you have questions, then just ask. If you want, and love newborn photography then don't leave and push it back - as sometimes when baby has first arrived and array of visitors and midwives - it is one of the things before you know it you've forgotten to book.

All of our bookings include one of our fabulous newborn and pregnancy packs which have relevant items, some freebies & samples and discount vouchers to get you prepared for baby arriving.

To enquire about a Newborn Session with Blue Lights Photography you can do so by going here on the website.
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