• Photographic confidence

    Posted on by Clare

    I have never had any formal photography training of any kind.

    I first picked up a small red plastic camera at a Blue Peter “Bring and Buy” sale that we held at our house  when I was maybe six or seven, and since then have always had a camera of my own to use of some kind or another.

    During my first few years of work after university, I had a number of friends who were into photography, and I often “modelled” for them to practice. Over the years, I did shoots with friends, friends of friends and eventually registered on an amateur modelling website and did the occasional job (by which I mean portfolio work, sometimes paid, but never commercial work). I’m not really a natural model, but mostly enjoyed the work and the creative side of things.  At the time I was doing a little photography myself, and I decided to try to do some self portrait work to practice my skills. During that time I also became friendly with a few of the other models I’d worked with, and so instantly had a pool of subjects for my own photographic practice.

    I received my first dSLR camera in 2008 (which turned out to be a kind of epic year for me) and since then (until the birth of my wonderful little boy in 2013) I just didn’t stop taking photos.

    Not only did I take photos, but I set myself photographic challenges, took regular (even daily) photos and processed them and uploaded them. This was all part of the process for me- just taking the image was never enough, I needed to edit and display it somewhere too- even if it was just on flickr or somewhere else online. Back in 2012 I had a huge photograph cull as I had filled a Terabite storage with over 124,000 image files. I dread to think what that number stands at now.

     

    I took a photo a day for a whole year.  I took a self-portrait every day for a whole year. In fact, I did it twice.

     

    I took photos of sporting events, weddings, friends, children, animals, landscapes, wildlife, models and anything I could possibly get my hands on.

     

    I still don’t have any photography or photo editing qualifications. I’ve never been on a course of any kind. I’ve used youtube, asked friends, read a few books and most importantly I’ve practiced and hoped.

     

     

    Just before my baby was due, I had a number of people make comments to me about my photography- or more specifically the number of photos I was clearly going to take of my child. I don’t remember the exact words now, three years on, but I remember how they made me feel. I was boring people. Regardless of whether they liked my photographs or not, I was clearly overloading them with images, and it wasn’t appreciated. I even set up special filters on my facebook account so that I wouldn’t offend people with the sight of the tiny pink human I’d created.

     

    Fast forward to three years later. I’m grateful that mobile phone camera technology has come on a long way over the past few years, so I can snap the day to day without lugging my dSLR around. I’m grateful that there are apps like instagram to apply appealing filters to washed out cameraphone images.

    However I’m sad.

    Sad that I let other people get to me, that I let them dictate how I used my camera, what I photographer, how much I shared.

    I’ve worked hard at my photography, but I know my limitations. I know what I can offer in comparison to my competition, and I endeavor to help out friends in need where I can. I don’t have much time currently to take photos with any conviction. Photography is a skill that requires upkeep and regular practice. Turns out that having a family, a job, and volunteer engagements leaves little time for messing about with cameras. Whould’a thought?

     

    Sometimes I just need to remind myself to go out there with my camera and try it.

     

     


  • Almost another year

    Posted on by Clare

    I thought that the photography would get easier as the small person got bigger. It didn’t!  There’s no way I can carry around a full potty-training kit including travel potty, 43 pairs of trousers and pants, snacks, books and toys for a toddler plus a full DSLR camera! I do have a new camera (hurrah!) which is causing a bit of stress as the CR2 files it produces can’t be read by my computer and the software I use… so it takes time to download, convert the files and view through different software! It’s all a learning curve.

     

    What’s new the last few months?

     


  • IMG_6903bw Much neglected blog

    Posted on by Clare

    Blogs are really hard to keep up when you’ve got a child. Really really are! I look after a few different blogs for volunteer work and a few personal ones too and I can only seem to keep on top of one at a time!

    What have I been up to photography wise?

     

    So not  a huge amount by most people’s standards, but the camera is still getting a little work!


  • Where have I been shopping?

    Posted on by Clare

    Vs
    Any ideas?


  • Another family shoot

    Posted on by Clare

    This weekend I enjoyed a quick shoot with a friend and her lovely little family. I did a family shoot for them back in April 2014, and it was lovely to see how their little man has changed over the last ten months. Sadly working with toddlers is hard work- their mood is impossible to control and they pretty much never stop moving! Despite this, we managed to get some lovely photos (including some of Yummy Mummy Sara), and it was great to put them side by side with the original pictures too.

    It’s always a fun challenge to capture families, especially in this dull winter weather. I’m looking forwards to more shoots outside in the summer. I’m also looking to document both babywearing and breastfeeding for families so if you’re interested please get in touch!

    C


  • Lucky

    Posted on by Clare

    So I might not get so much time to take photographs any more.
    So I might not be easily able to take out a toddler, the change bag and a camera.

    But I’m fantastically lucky that my wonderful husband can take our toddler out to the park so I can shoot at home, and I’m wonderfully lucky that I have friends who want me to take their photo!


  • Happy New Year

    Posted on by Clare

    Happy new year Readers!
    Another long gap since my last post, I’m spending most my time chasing a toddler!
    However, I have finally got around to taking some photographs of my wraps and slings, which are a bit of a revelation really. For example, when I pick up baby D from the childminders after 10 hours away from him, I don’t really want to shove him in a buggy where he’s facing away from me. Instead it’s lovely to wrap him up next to me so he can chatter inanely about his day!

    So this is what babywearers call the stash shot. It’s not very impressive in comparison to some (multiples of the same wrap in different lengths, colourways or blends), but it’s mine and it’s about what I’m prepared to spend!

    Stash of four

    The wrap of focus is the Okinami Noir from the Oscha Boutique. This is because not only is the most expensive and beautiful wrap that I own by far, it’s also our “legacy wrap”. This means that it’s got a special meaning to us, and will likely be kept even after baby D is too big and heavy to be worn in a sling any more. Most legacy wraps are based on date, and this was one of three limited edition wraps that were released on baby D’s birth date. It’s very different to the previus wraps I’ve owned which are cotton or linen blends. This is a cotton, wool and silk mixed blend, which is really thick and a little rough but it’s been beautifully worn in by it’s previous owner. It’s also a lot shorter than my other wrap so I’ve had to learn some new carries (practising on my big teddy bear when baby is in bed).

    Noir and rings
    I’ve bought some sling rings to go with, which hopefully will give me more options for tying it, once I’ve worked it all out!

    This is how they do it
    This is the shot that everyone takes, so I thought I’d better join the gang.

    Today the weather was beautiful and despite all our multiple germs, we decided to get a few shots. I was determined to get a good photo of the Half Jordans Back Carry with Hammock Pass that I mastered at 4am when baby kindly woke up for three hours in the middle of the night- thought I’d put it to good use, but baby of course refused to play ball when I tried to get him onto my back this morning! So instead we went for a Robbins Hip Carry which I’ve definitely got the hang of, although it’s not toddlerproof and he can get out of it if required!
    Noir

    Bear

    I wonder what the new year will bring photography wise?


  • One more before I go to bed!

    Posted on by Clare

    It’s getting late (for me!) so time for one more quick post and then to bed.

    I really honestly never ever thought I would find it so hard to keep taking photos once the baby arrived. I took about 122,000 photos (or so groaned our Terastation(s)) from 2008 to 2012, (at least I had 122,000 photo files, some duplicates and some for the bin). This year I’d be embarrassed to find out how few I took. I mean I took about 2,000 on my phone, but that’s snapping, not photography! In comparison to the last few years, I actually have forgotten to take my camera out with me to events when I meant to at least three times. And when I did take it, I was so busy with the baby that I barely got to take any photos at all!

    So earlier this year, I asked my friends to keep me going by challenging me to take more photos by giving me one word instructions to inspire me.

    I’m only 11 in, but it’s really giving me a little focus.

    You can find them all here on Flickr, but I’ve chosen a few favourites.

    Murrays’ word was GIN
    gin
    Easy in enough as I’m a real Gin-Lover, and this Opihr found in Waitrose is one of the nicest gins I’ve ever tried. This bottle disappeared way too fast!

    Tara Suggested NEW
    new
    Maybe not obvious from the photo but the beaded necklace is a “fiddle bead” or “breastfeeding” necklace. designed to give your baby something to do with their hands whilst they feed. Without this. I risk being pinched and fiddled with myself- hair tugging etc. Not much fun! I chose this necklace carefully then had to wait weeks for it to be made and arrive from America. The fabric you see in the background is a woven “wrap” or “sling” for my baby. It’s a Bebe Sachi Mei Tai with wrap straps, again carefully chosen after much deliberation and gratefully received when it arrived.

    Abby went for ROUND
    round
    I do try to have the camera on hand when Baby is playing nicely and the light is good. He loves the washing machine and I love the way the curved plastic in the door refracts the light and colours.


  • Family photo shoots!

    Posted on by Clare

    So Although I’ve not been taking may photos, at the end of 2013 and start of 2014 I had a little go at doing some baby photography. Obviously it helped having one to hand, although I was so busy I rarely got a chance to pick up a proper camera. I also did some family and mother & baby shoots so I thought I’d share a selection here as I prepare to do some First Birthday shoots with some baby friends :)

    another attempt

    Nature

    IMG_2619bwlogo

    IMG_2883bwlogo

    Happy baby

    Holly and Mummy

    william1lo

    IMG_2150logo

    (/me frantically updating Flickr with a years’ worth of photos!)

    We tried

    New Family

    H

    B

    Lovely! Although more challenging now they’re getting rather mobile!


  • Annual review

    Posted on by Clare

    [EDIT]
    How embarassing! A very long neglected blog- partially with plans to revamp the website this year (That came to nothing as yet). A blog post started in January and finished in October! Ah well.

    ———
    I’m not sure how far I will get with this post. Unusually the baby is having a decent day time nap, but it’s time for his 16 week immunisations this afternoon and really he needs a feed first!
    Ah well.

    Time for a bit of an annual review of 2013. What a year! I found out on the 13th Jan that I was pregnant and from the end of January I suffered with severe nausea/vomiting caused by the pregnancy (loathe to call it “morning sickness”). This is the general state of being pregnant did mean I didn’t do quite as much as usual and I found it very hard to find much enthusiasm for photography. Hopefully my mojo returned when our lovely baby boy was born on 09/09/13 and I’ve tried to ensure I don’t bore everyone with too many photos!

    Lets look at the year in pictures:

    Jan

    Feb I was too ill and took no photos!

    March

    April


    May



    June
    Worth it

    July
    020
    Taplow/ Dorney
    032

    Aug
    22
    Smugface Foxy Frodo

    Sept



    Oct


    Nov



    Dec


    (not my baby!)



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