If you have a mum in your life that you know LOVES snapping away on her camera – whether that’s a smartphone or a big fancy camera – then here’s some ideas for unique gifts for Mother’s Day this year for you. Because really all us mums want is to feel appreciated and that you’ve actually put some thought into a gift, whether big or small. Read on to score yourself some serious brownie points…
- A handbag that’s a camera bag – finally you can now get hold of some gorgeous camera bags in the UK that are not rucksacks! There’s a huge range to choose from at Camera Couture or Cosy Cameras that are both stylish and practical
- A funky and fun lens mug – she can keep her essential morning brew in it, or, as I do, use it as a penpot to keep all those pens that everyone else in the house seems to keep stealing (and then denying it of course! We apparently do have a pen-stealing elf in our house).
- If you can secretly get access to some of the photos she’s taken, then why not get a really creative photo product to show her you think her photos are fab – places like Sticky 9 and Inkify have some really fun ideas on turning photos into unique items like magnets, retro prints, greeting cards, iPad covers and wall frames, to name but a few.
- Buy a Gift Voucher for some family photography to make sure that she actually appears in your family photos instead of always taking the photos! Us mums are very talented at hiding behind the lens, but the truth is that our children, as they grow up, will very much treasure the photos that actually have mum in the picture with them.
- Gorillapod – this truly is the handiest, most flexible little tripod that is portable and will fit any camera – they make them for cameras and smartphones and allow you to really play about with capturing slow movement or for when you don’t have much light available
- How about the gift of knowledge, with a Photography course or workshop to learn how to really understand her camera and get the best out of it? This really is a gift that lasts forever, with the added bonus that she gets time all to herself whilst she’s there!
It’s time to treat the camera-loving mum in your life…. I hope one of these ideas goes down a storm and makes for great Mothers Day!
If you’d like to find out more about the relaxed, on-location bespoke Family Portrait Sessions I offer, you can find out more here
I also run Photography Workshops in Woking, Surrey – including Smartphone Photography and Photography for Parents – and you can buy personalised Gift Vouchers for any Workshop that come gift-wrapped and with free P&P.
It’s fair to say that commissioning your own business photography, specific for your brand, has an upfront cost outlay that many small businesses might gulp at, in comparision to the ever-cheaper stock images on offer. However, the advantages to owning your very own images (hopefully with you in at least some of them!) which are tailor-made just for your business needs, are very much worth it.
If you’re not already aware of WHY it makes good marketing sense to have business photography specific to your brand, take a look at this article I co-wrote for the Guildford Business Hub. And once you’ve realised that trawling through endless bland stock images just isn’t putting out the message you want to potential clients, how can you then make sure you get maximum value out of a branding photoshoot?
Consider WHO you are talking to (or want to talk to)
I always advise clients to go right back to the beginning and think about WHO they want their photos to appeal to. Hopefully you already have your customer profile/avatar – and if you haven’t, you should definitely do so – Jonathan Howkins has lots of helpful information on this to get you going. Knowing you are talking to will help spark ideas & set the tone for the whole photoshoot.
Find a photographer who wants to take the time to understand your brand & be creative
If you can write a full photography brief, chock full of creative ideas from your marketing department, to hand over to a photographer to work to, then great! However, the reality for most SMEs is that they might ‘kind of’ have some vague ideas but really need some input & guidance. Find a creative photographer that will be more than happy to chat through ideas and make suggestions & you get massive added value.
Planning, planning, planning
I can’t emphasise this one enough – a good commercial photoshoot requires maximum planning, so that you can get the most out of it. I always provide a provisional shot list beforehand , which will have been fully discussed so we both have in writing exactly what we want to capture – an experienced photographer will have a good idea of what ‘s achievable in your timeframe.
If you’ve got it, flaunt it!
Once you have your own library of gorgeous bespoke images, then do make sure you make the most of them! Ideally you should be using them for a full range of purposes – within your website, for a wide variety of platforms within social media, for articles & blogging, for printed usage, for exhibitions… the list is endless. And don’t be afraid to re-purpose images either – the more people see your images, the more they’ll associate them with your brand and you start to get instant visual recognition.
Once you start on the process of creating your own business photography, it’s the beginning of an exciting journey creating your very own images – a chance to get super-creative and really put your own stamp on images that can truly help you connect with your tribe of prospective clients.
If you’re interested in finding out more about how a branding photoshoot could help YOUR business stand out from the crowd, then why not take advantage of my free no-obligation 20 minute phone/Skype Creative Consultation. Drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your phone number and a good time to get in touch – I look forward to speaking to you.
Images 3 & 4 used with kind permission from The Guildford Hub
As my first ever tween & teenager Workshop attendees came in to the room, I was feeling excited and nervous. The excitement came from doing something completely fresh and new, and knowing I had lots of creative, fun stuff to teach them. The nerves… well, although I am the mum of an ‘almost’ teen myself now; the thought of teaching a whole bunch of people this age was a little daunting, I must admit! However, I was well prepared, with lots of ideas to try and also copious amount of snacks to keep us all going!
When designing and writing this creative photography workshop, my main aim was simple – to make it exciting and capture their imagination. To tap into their love of fun and experimentation. And, most importantly, to encourage every single child to realise their own potential and introduce them to a creative outlet to express their individuality. In today’s teenage media-saturated world, there’s a huge pressure to fit in and be the same as everyone else. Creative photography gives a wide open opportunity to just follow YOUR heart in what you choose to photograph and how you choose to photograph it. It’s a fantastic way to celebrate your own uniqueness!
We began by talking about some common-sense rules with photo permissions, then we headed out into the sunshine. It was only just above freezing at the beginning, but this gave us opportunities to capture frost in all it’s natural beauty! The location of the Workshop was around Goldsworth Lake in Woking, Surrey – a really picturesque area that also has the contrast of a brightly coloured play area for fun and structural photography. We headed there first whilst it was empty and we chatted about how light affects our photos and different ways of playing with it to get creative effects. I wanted to keep the talking part to a minimum, so the whole workshop had bite-sized teaching, then immediate practise, whilst I went round to every person to coach and give feedback and encouragement.
After having lots of fun practising in the playpark, and also learning how to get the BEST photos of your friends (super-important at this age!) we went out around the lake edge itself. Even in the depths of winter, we found tons of interesting things to photograph – and realised that if you just use your eyes first – you will find always find something that draws you in. We also learnt how to give a photo a ‘wow-factor’ by trying a few different compositional tricks! We had a brilliant half-time group session where each person showed their favourite shot so far, before heading back out to learn more, including how sometimes simplicity is key and also how the brain and eye works together to find a photo interesting.
It was incredibly rewarding to see how quickly these young adults picked up what I was teaching and they were so open to experimentation! I loved watching them having so much fun with a camera and it was especially rewarding when they came up to me with a photo they were really excited about.
I was genuinely blown away with what everyone captured during the Workshop – so much so that I’ll be doing a separate blog post so that i can show off their work! Meanwhile, here’s some photos to give you a flavour of the morning.
PS If you have a child aged 10-14 years who loves snapping on their camera or who just loves being creative and would like to do something completely different and rewarding this Easter school holidays, I’m running another #pictureit Creative Photography Workshop on Wednesday 6th April in Woking, Surrey. Places are limited as I keep the groups small so I can give 1:1 attention. Click here to find out more and book your child’s space >
Autumn has definitely arrived and I LOVE IT. My absolute favourite time to capture Family Portraits and work with children… here’s some ideas for why Autumn works so well for photographing your kids.
1) Autumn colour = impact
Autumn as a season provides us with a vast kaleidoscope of colours…. Look outside and it’s happening right now! The greens of summer are already starting to turn into yellows, oranges, reds and browns. There is no doubt about it, autumn makes for the most amazing backdrops to photos and I know this is why it’s my busiest time for Family Portraits. Woodlands and heathlands are both great places to start looking for stunning backdrops to use. Keep your eyes peeled around your area for the best local colour.
Autumn really does turn the outdoors into a complete natural playground… And you can turn this to your advantage and capture some really playful photos of your children. Think throwing leaves up in the air, hunting for conkers and acorns, making giant leaf piles (to then jump on of course)… There’s so many opportunities to let them have fun whilst capturing it through your lens.
3) Incredible light
As much as I love summer, there is no doubt that it’s challenging in terms of the very harsh summer brightness. There are ways around this of course, but in Autumn the sun is lower in the sky and the light is so much softer, especially at the beginning and end of the daylight hours. If you have early risers, then try photographing them outside soon after the sun has risen for really gorgeous early light.
4) Rock the clothes
Autumn allows us to be creative with our kids clothing… Not only do you have the flexibility to introduce super-cute accessories into your photos like knitted hats and scarves, you can also really play about with colours. You can choose your kids clothing colours to either tone in beautifully with the autumn palette (think oranges, reds, yellows) or give a real POP of contrasting colour (think blues through to purples & pinks).
5) Autumn photos make wonderful Christmas gifts!
Sorry for mentioning that word in October but…. It would feel pretty good to be super organised in advance of the festive season, wouldn’t it? Capture some autumn photography of your children and you have ready-made gifts to give.
Would you like to learn more about your camera and how to get the best out of your kids when taking photos of them? My next Photography for Parents Workshop is on Fri 18th October, held just outside of Woking. We cover all of the topics mentioned above, like light, colour and how to get really lovely natural photos of your children that you’ll be proud of. Click here to find out more about what you’ll learn on this jam-packed Workshop >
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