Tuesday, 27 October 2015

[Gifts] Christening Gifts Under £20

I hear a lot of people not knowing what to buy people when you are attending a Christening.

So I headed over to NOTHS and had a look at what kind of things you can get as Christening Gifts for under £20, with three items on this list also being under £10 I hope this helps you with some inspiration!

Top Left: Personalised Oak Letter £16, Top Right: Star Keepsake £9.50
Bottom Left: Personalised Sailing Boat £16.50, Bottom Right: Single Christening Building Block £5
Top Left: Happiness Tree Print £18, Top Right: Personalised Organic Rattle £16.50
Bottom Left: Personalised Book of Nursery Rhymes £19.95, Bottom Right: Christening Candle £9.95
Left: Photo Block Stand £12.50 , Right: Personalised Wand £12.50

Happy Shopping! And remember, if you need something within the next couple of days and last minute shopping you can always check out Blue Lights Gift Range 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

[Newborn] Little Ronni comes to visit

I want you to meet beautiful Ronni - a longed-for little girl to join her two big brothers. 

I photographed Ronni's youngest big brother as a newborn too so it was always lovely to see mummy again, and this time with her gorgeous little girl.

Mummy knew what to expect too from being before - and she had come prepared with a couple of her own baby headbands - and some I wanted to keep too! ha!

Since I photographed Ronni, I have found out that mummy runs Jaxons Gift. No matter how many times we hear of the beautiful newborn baby stories and squishes, sometimes there is heartbreak behind them too.

You see, Ronni, not only has her two big brothers, she has an angel big brother too who was taken far too soon from growing within mummy, and she will always know about him because mummy has managed to create a legacy for him in Jaxons Gift.

I love Baby Bubbles!

A beautiful little flower.
Thank you Mummy for letting me share, not one, but two of your gorgeous babies. And sharing Jaxons story with me. Keep doing what you are doing. 

#LovelyMummy #GorgeousBabies

Friday, 23 October 2015

[Newborn] Cute Squishy Oliver

I would like to apologise for the lack of posting my gorgeous babies and Cake Smashes' things have been a bit busy and the blogging tends to get forgotten about until I think, Oh no I've not blogged for forever, and here I am, now blogging for you.

First up, I want to share gorgeous little Oliver who came in for his Newborn Session with his Big Sister Scarlette.

You may remember Scarlette from the blog, when I blogged her Cake Smash session for her first birthday earlier this year.

Mummy really did hide this little one well in her tiny bump! And just how blooming adorable he is. Look at those cheeks! Don't you just want to squish them! #love

Not all babies are super well behaved when they come in for their sessions, and that isnt a good or bad thing. Babies will be babies, and we just have to go with the flow. 

Thank you Mummy & Daddy for not only getting to share in Scarlette's first birthday, but also getting to capture your gorgeous little boy's first photoshoot too. 


Wednesday, 14 October 2015

What to ask potential Wedding Photographers, and why to avoid the magazine lists

I'm going to give you a little bit of advice. Photographers really dislike emails where the list of questions has been copied out of a Magazine or off a blog post. Every list is almost the same, and some people are asking the questions because they've been told they should ask the question and have no idea sometimes what the best answers should be.

First of all questions you should ask in your first email...

Do you have my Date Available? 
This is one question we do not mind, I have an availability checker on my website but appreciate not everyone checks it. If I am unavailable, I will send you some links of photographers I refer to for if I am booked.

Is my wedding out of your area? Do you charge a travel fee and what does it cover?
This is something you can ask especially in a first email if you aren't getting married locally to the photographer. Most photographers will travel within a certain distance or area. I say within 50miles or "Yorkshire" I do not charge additional for. Birmingham, Scotland, Wales, Kent (plus lots of others) for myself would incur additional travelling expenses.

Have you ever worked at my Wedding venue before? If not, do you plan to visit?
This question is good for a variety of reasons. If I have shot a venue before, I will send links to blogs I have done most recently at that Venue. If not, I'll be honest about it. I've been in business six years now - and there are still some venues on my doorstep that I've not photographed at. I do try, where possible to arrange a meeting at the venue to have a look around / pre-shoot etc. I like photographing new venues too - because I look on them with "fresh eyes" as some photographers may shoot the venue and have their own shots at certain points and may not deviate from what they know.

How much of a booking fee do you require, and when is it due?
If prices are not listed on the photographers website, this is something you need to ask as well as this question. Most booking fee's are payable as soon as possible to book and secure your date. Most photographers work on a first come first served basis.

A lot of photographers that I know, and especially how I work (apart from distance bookings) we plan on meeting up to have a chat, a look through albums, and see whether or not we gel and click as client and photographer.

So therefore these next set of questions are things that you can ask at the meeting or telephone conversation with your photographer. Some photographers will answer these questions whilst chatting to you, others will need prompting.

Questions you should ask at a meeting or telephone consultation

Are you the photographer who will shoot my wedding?
Some photographers do not work by themselves and have people who shoot under their name. Make sure that the person you are talking to is the person who will photograph your Wedding. I personally shoot all Weddings that I book.

How many weddings have you shot? 
This question is one of those that is a double edged sword. You could have a photographer, like myself who only photographs maximum of 20 Weddings per year. Or you could have a photographer who shoots 50 weddings a year.

Which leads onto the next question...

How long have you been in business?
Again with the above question, one photographer in 3 years could have shot 60 Weddings, and one in 1 year could have shot 50 Weddings. A lot of people ask this question for not just experience, but longevity. Will this photographer still be around next year.

Can I give you a list of specific shots we would like?
Unless you are booking someone who is purely just a documentary / reportage photographer than most photographers will request a shot list - especially for family or group shots.

After you have met, or had a telephone consultation with your potential photographer you will either want to chat with your partner and think about it - or you may feel a fab click and connection with the photographer and want to book.

Questions you should ask just before you book.

When will I receive a written contract?
Every vendor you deal with should give you a written contract. This covers them, and yourself too. This can be classed as signed terms and conditions, or classed as a contract. If any vendor doesn't have one then I would worry. My Contracts are sent out in a booking pack with one copy for the couple to keep, and one for them to return (including a Stamped Addressed Envelope)

Do you have backup equipment? What about a backup plan if you are unable to shoot my wedding for some reason?
Professional Wedding Photographers should have backup equipment so that if anything went wrong you wouldn't notice with how the photographer deals with it.
I am a member of professional photography associations, and being in business for 6 years, I have access to a fabulous team of "SOS" photographers if needed. Luckily, in 6 years I've not had to call on one of these.

Do you have Liability Insurance?
Depending on your Wedding Venue, they will ask your Wedding Photographer to have a certain amount of Liability Insurance. I know in my experience I had to up mine from £2million to £5million for a couple of venues. It just means that the photographer is covered - especially if any damage happens to the venue (or guests) and means its peace of mind for you.

How long after the wedding will I get to see my photographs? 
As mentioned before, a lot of photographers work differently some photographers will turn their work around in 3 weeks. Some will quote 4-6 weeks, and others will quote 12 weeks. There are many different reasons why different photographers quote longer. Some may get the images back sooner than the quoted time, but may work to quoted time during the busier months.

As you can see there are plenty of questions that you should ask your Wedding Photographer but a lot of the lists then also focus on photography style, and equipment.  Some photographers will say "I photograph photojournalistic" but couples will still want group shots which not all photojournalistic photographers do. Fitting into a certain style doesn't work for all photographers, or for all couples. What you really need to look at is do you like their work - and if you would like your wedding to look like that then surely it doesn't matter what "box" the style fits in.

The magazine lists are there to try and guide you - but do focus on questions that can be irrelevant or confuse you further. Don't just copy and paste the list to photographers you are interested in - try and be a bit more personal.

I hope this helps you realise what you should focus on.

Sunday, 11 October 2015

[Maternity] Party Season Maternity Wear

Being a Newborn Photographer, I see a lot of my friends and clients especially as we get more towards the winter, complaining about the lack of Maternity Clothing that is currently out there for Weddings and Nights Out and Special Events for Christmas and Birthdays.

I was surprised, back in the Summer when I did a blog about it, there was lots of lovely maternity wear, I just thought - maybe people aren't looking in the right places - but the places I normally "go to" for looking online - left me feeling underwhelmed and I'm not even pregnant - so it makes perfect sense why mums are feeling crap - especially as you need to be spending £75+ or something a bit more dressy and then again - online only.

So I've just had a quick look around and picked up a few idea's for those gorgeous pregnant mummies who are out there and want to have something that they can feel amazing in.

Envie De Fraises seems to be one of the lines you need to look at - especially when most of the dresses in Mothercare that could be "dressed up" for a party are by them. £39-£45 for these dresses. May not be everyone's cup of tea - but better than some things that are out there! 

Wine coloured lace pencil dress, also available in Navy, is lovely for a Wedding if attending whilst pregnant.

Both Wine and Navy are big winter colours too and are available from Dorothy Perkins.

I then decided I really did need to look a little bit further. As nothing was jumping out at me, even George at Asda and F&F at Tesco let me down. Normally you can drop on lovely, non-expensive items especially if you are only going to wear it once or twice.

A lovely long poppy-print Maxi Dress is available at Debenhams from Red-Herring Maternity but I understand prints , and maxi dresses aren't for everyone. Which for me meant one last place to look that keeps getting recommended. ASOS.

Asos had a tiny bit more of a choice, depending on what you are looking for. The Orange wrap dress which is also available in Navy (but more expensive) isn't everyone's taste. Not everyone can carry orange off as a colour - I know I can't! But dresses ranging from £25-30 these are perfect for one-time wear.

I am not aware of what ASOS sizing is like as I know I've had issues myself in the past. But if it's somewhere you've ordered from before then it should be perfect place to shop for you from the comfort of your own home.

One that I would definitely add to my wardrobe, especially if I was planning to breastfeed would be this nursing dress from ASOS.

This dress looks beautiful and discreet for breastfeeding your little one.

I hope that this gives you a couple more idea's but the choice out there isn't that great at the moment as awful as that sounds - but definitely don't let that put you off looking if you want an outfit for a special occasion this winter whilst you are pregnant - it just means you might have to look a little bit harder.

Remembrance Items

This week is Baby & Infant Loss Awareness Week and being a friend of people who have lost their babies and infants - whilst it isn't a nice place for us to be as a friend - how we feel will never be a drop in the ocean as to how parents feel.

When mums, dads, grandad's and grandma's pass away, we can always find something sentimental to send to the person. Be it a keyring, a card or a small token to say that you are thinking of them.

However, when someone loses a baby, or child, it suddenly becomes harder. Not only harder to find something - but harder to search. Afterall, no person should have to mourn the loss of their child.
I thought that I would have a look around, to see what there is as small token gifts that people have the ability to send, to tell parents we're thinking of you - or - as a parent - items for yourself.

Looking, I found that there were lots of items for mums of angel babies, but not too many things for dads. I've tried to split it down a little easier. For all those concerned who have a little piece of them no longer with us.


Hole In My Heart Necklace £14.50
Click Link for Website
Angel in My Heart Necklace £16
Click on Link to Website


Hole in my Heart Keyring £12.50
Click Link to View Website
Jigsaw Keyring
"My Missing Piece" £9.95
Click Link to go to Website
Daddy To an Angel Keyring £9
Click Link for Website

Dog Tag Style Keyring £9.50
Click Link for Website

For the Home

Angel Crystal Token  £11.99
Link for Website

In loving Memory Photoframe £19.99
Link To Website

Initial Tea-Light Holder £4.79
Link Here

In Loving Memory - Christmas or Hanging Decorations
In Loving Memory Personalised Hanging Glass Heart
Hanging Glass Heart £12.99
Link To Website

These websites are not in any way associated with Blue Lights Photography, these items are just which I have searched for and found myself. X

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