What Is Cakesmash Photography?

A lot of people ask me "what is Cakesmash Photography?". My response is: it is simply when you baby is approaching their 1st Birthday we simply bring them to the studio. I decorate the studio in a theme we put the baby in front of the cake and we let them eat it while they are having their photos taken.

https://youtu.be/Em82QdePobs

We don't only do shoots for 1st birthdays. We can shoot for any birthday, this session doesn't need to be for just cakes. If your baby has a cake allergy we can change it to a paint splash shoot, some people use water melons and some even use spaghetti bolognese.

This all sounds so simple, However if the prep work is not done then usually this shoot does not go as well as some people expect. I have had problems in the past where children get upset easy due to the material of the outfits. This is one reason i have moved away from using tutu's. babies are now days so used to having their hands wiped at every given opportunity, when the baby has cake on their hands they automatically want their hands cleaned.

If you are thinking of booking a cakesmash photoshoot then please feel free to discuss any thoughts or ideas. It is totally worth the prep work. I see mum's getting upset because they do not get the cute messy photos, do not get me wrong you will have a set of beautiful images regardless.

I have been asked can you do Adult cakesmashes? the answer is yes of course we can. we can do cake smash photos for 18th, 21st, 30th, 40th or 50th. We can even do it if its not your birthday, its totally up to you.

30th Cake Smash Throwing Cake

Pet Photography

I have been interested in doing Pet photography for a while now. I have practiced on my own dog previously to get the lighting how I wanted it and practiced different types of editing.

A fellow Photographer and I had been discussing having a play date to be able to build a portfolio of images to offer these sessions to clients. We spoke about this several times over approx 1 year. We finally had a date both of us could do.

We put a post on a Facebook Group, called 8 out of 10 mum's, which we were not expecting the response that we had. There were over 300 comments in total and around 100 images of peoples fur babies.

After a few days of discussions we had decided on the dogs we were going to use.

Firstly we had Neo & Indi:

Neo was a 12 year old Labrador Cross Sharpei, Neo was very calm and not bothered about his surroundings, he seemed very settled straight away. Neo's Parents say he doesn't get out much anymore due to his age and medical problems that he has, he was our first dog up.

we got Neo into position however he was slipping a bit on the backdrop and kept going and sitting on the mat by the front door. We realised he must have been uncomfortable so we moved the mat onto the shooting area and then he would sit but he really wasn't interested i had bought some treats and toys from Pets at Home that morning to be able to buy friendship with the dogs.



When i retrieved the ball out of my bag that is when we saw a totally different Neo. He was totally happy with the ball and started bouncing all over the studio playing with the ball, this made his parents so happy as they hadn't seen their joyful fur baby like this in a long time.





Next up was Neo's little sister Indi who was a 2 year old Pug cross Jackrussell. She was a great model for us to work with, she would do anything for the treats i had in my pocket.

 
 

We then decided that they needed pictures together, We sat them next to each other and like any other siblings they were not so impressed Neo was totally into his ball and Indi was looking around saying "mum do i have to sit next to him" .

  

 

 

Second Shoot Nellie:

Next up was Nellie who was a 5 month old Great Dane. At first Nellie was a bit concerned in walking through the door however her mum got her in without a problem. This reminded me of a program I watched years ago where you have the trainers help you out with problems with your dog. There was one episode where there was a Great Dane that was scared to go through doorways and onto shiny tiled floors.

 
 
 

I had instantly remembered about this and knew the problems Neo had with standing on the shooting area, I got Nellie to stand on the backdrop and i could see her slipping a bit and knew that this may be a problem for her so rather than stressing her out we got the mat out again. this then became known as the magic mat.

Nellie did jump a few times but once her mum settled her we got some fantastic images from her. About 30 mins after they had left we received a message where Nellie was in her bed fast asleep as all the modelling had been a bit tiring for the 5 month old, she looked so cute.

The main part of this shoot is i just remember her being all legs and ears.

 

Third Shoot Amber:

Amber the 6 Year old Chow Chow was next to arrive, Amber came across as a dog who wants to do things on her terms. She wasn't interested in coming into the studio. So she was carried.


Amber wasn't interested in the shoot at all, she wanted just to see what was around, she had an amazing coat and it seemed like she had this wonderful mane like shape.

 

Fourth Shoot Milo:

Milo was the most unusual color dog I had seen, He was a French Bulldog cross Pomeranian. his features reminded my of a fox like dog. He was the cutest dog, the parents had said they had taken him out that morning to Southend-On-Sea and they had told us everyone was stopping them asking questions about Milo.

 

 

I can see that Milo would be a dog that would end up on a TV program like Britons Got Talent doing a dance or some sort of agility course. He was an intelligent dog.

 



Fifth Shoot Bertie:

Then it was Bertie's Turn. Bertie was a 19 month old Dalmatian.

Bertie did not like being in somewhere strange at all, the poor dog as soon as he got into the studio he sat on the sofa and refused to move off. He would eat his treats whilst he was on the sofa so we knew he wasn't to distressed but we were unable to coax him off of the sofa, so I took a couple of images just so his mum had at least one image of Bertie but he just wanted to go home. :(

 

Sixth Shoot Buzz:

The next shoot was for a 1.5 year old Spaniel cross Staff. Buzz was an amazing bouncy dog that at first we tried the normal treats and toys He wasn't to fussed about, then I got the Dog Peanut butter out, when he tried this he would do anything for it.

 

We had some great fun with this, we had a sheet of perspex that we would wipe the peanut butter on to see if we could get some different types of images. Some of his facial expressions were so amazing. I personally have had a spaniel and I have got a staff and I could see both of them in Buzz.

 

 

Last Shoot Hanson & Elsa:

Lastly there was an amazing family who run a Rescue center.They bought two dogs in with them, the first on is Hanson who was a 4 year old Sharpei. Hanson was dumped at 9 weeks old in may 2014 due to a severe deformity to his front left leg.

 

 

They have a fund raising page for Hanson to go to see Noel Fitzpatrick , if you would like to make a donation for Hanson please visit their Facebook Page Here

 

The other dog the brought along was Elsa who was a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Elsa is 2 years old and she will be in Crufts this year. she was the most amazing black staff, who stood so well, as she was a show dog she didn't sit well but she would stand still amazingly.

 

Here are additional Images from all the dogs photoshoots. 

https://youtu.be/YIyKShPw0k4

Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know if you like the images.

 

 


Wedding Guests in circle

Save Money on your Wedding Day

Looking for ways to save money on your wedding day? Some people don’t seem to have a budget at all. Some have a very small budget.

Here are some great tips on saving costs on some items that will allow you to get the dress you have always wanted or to get the photographer that will capture your images the way you always imagined.

1. Table Cloths:

These can be Very expensive to hire you could investigate the option of buying used to selling after your wedding.

2. Flowers:

If you want a fantastic flower center pieces buy fake flowers, these can be a real good quality now days. This will help if you are looking for flowers that are out of season when you are getting married.

3. PhotoBooths:

These can be really expensive to hire. There are really good photo booths that are little vans which have been converted. If this is what you want then they are worth the money, If you want a standard photobooth then look at your options. Talk to your photographer, see if they can help out with this. If they cannot, Fake flower walls are a brilliant idea to create a fantastic backdrop for your guest to picture in front of.

Look at making one rather than hiring or see if you can buy a second hand one that someone has made and no longer requires.

4. Your Date:

pick dates that are not popular, I am starting to see more and more mid-week weddings, consider Friday the 13th these are generally cheaper.

5. Negotiate:

Try to negotiate venue locations and Caterers. Some of suppliers may be able to offer a discount but ask nicely and let them know that you have other options do not go with the first person that are bit cheaper, ensure you are also getting the venue of your dreams.

6. Honeymoon

Have you heard of honeyfund? It’s a website which is like go fund me, where you can get your guests to put money into a honeymoon fund, this saves on getting presents you don’t need any and having a pile of cash under your mattress that will be spent on nothing after the wedding.

7. Combining:

Consider getting married to having the reception in the same venue this way you will not need to hire a car or a driver to take you from place to place, this may also help with negotiation as guests may stay at the venue with you that night. More customers for the venue.

8. Night Time Entertainment:

Do you know a DJ or someone in the family that can help you out or a band that can do your favorite cover songs?

9. Something Used:

Check at Facebook and Gumtree for used once items. get ideas for your favors. I see on a Facebook group the other day about getting badges for all the Guest especially made these can be cheap if you shop around, you can even glue a magnet on them to allow people to put them on their fridges. the other option is not to bother with favors at all? Sometimes it’s a cost that is not needed for your wedding day.

10. Drinks:

Some people try to save money on bottle of drinks, which is a good idea but ask the venue if they charge corkage first otherwise it could workout expensive. You don’t need to supply your guests with free. drinks all night they are coming to enjoy your day with you, not to get drunk on your savings this extra money could go on that wedding dress you have wanted for ages.

 

On the other side these are things I would Suggest you do spend your hard-earned money on. So, don’t cut costs.

1. Wedding Video:

Thinking no point having a wedding video? Think again, recently I have seen and spoken to more and more women who have not had a videographer at their wedding and have regretted it since. You cannot go back and re-record that moment. It will be worth the money. Your children and your grandchildren will want to watch it over and over to remember you, or you want to go back and remember how happy family members who have passed over the years were back then.

2. Planner:

Wedding coordinator / wedding planner. They will know where to go and who to go with but do watch out as some of them have deals with suppliers and you won’t end up with the best deals possible. Look for Someone who has recently started out they are trying to make the best impression and they want the best reviews from you they may be able to help you find a real good bargain.

3. Say yes to that Dress:

Buy the dress you always wanted but equally look for sales or ones that have been in the window, even second-hand dresses. never attempt to alter your or your bridesmaids’ dresses unless you are a seamstress, always pay for a professional to do this. Also, be aware if you see the dress you want on one of these websites where it is shipped from china, have you seen the what it should look like and what it looks like images?

4. Photographer:

Yes, I am going to say this but please do your research ask your friends ask friends of friends. find the images you love. We all know someone who has a fancy camera so such and such could do it for free. I thought it would be a lot easier, the number of hours photographers work, and the equipment used some are charging less than minimum wage to make your wedding day last a lifetime by capturing you, your family and friends in the most natural way possible.

I am not saying go with the most expensive or the cheapest look at the images, love the images. This is not to make you book me, you deserve to have the best, drop me a message and I will send you links of some of the best photographers in The UK close to you.

5. Setting The scene:

If you have managed to save money on items for your wedding so far and managed to have some cash spare. Instead spend money on draping and backdrops, there is nothing worse than having the most beautiful Venue then the images taken inside with real bad backdrops, make your wedding as you want. You will love your images and video forever making worse than looking back and thinking I can’t put that on my wall; the decorator in the background was awful.

 

Please leave comments below of how you saved on your big day, help future brides with knowing what you saved and spent money on.


What makes a good Photographer?

What makes a good Photographer? Is it down to what equipment they have? Should they have a degree? If they have a studio or If they are mobile? The Size of their camera or the lens they have? How long they have been doing photography?


Or is it just down to their vision and what they think a good image is?


I know in the past, when I was starting my photography business I had a relatively cheap camera and this was good enough for at the time. I was getting ready for a shoot I got my Camera out of my bag the client said to me "oh that’s a big camera. It must be expensive". It wasn't but it had given that impression, I have had other people whilst I have been out taking pictures for myself say "that’s a big camera, are you a professional photographer?"


Just having is a camera that looks big gives the impression Its expensive or you are professional. This in itself would stop a photographer buying a newer lighter and smaller camera. The new camera's that are currently out are superior than some of the older DSLR cameras you see photographers using.


There are some photographers that had not touched a camera until 3 years ago. There are some who are the best in the UK and possibly in the world. Personally but I do not think that having a qualification or having a certain camera makes you a good photographer.


What I think makes a good photographer is having a vision and making your clients feel excited, happy and shows you understand their needs.


Please share your thoughts. let me know what you think makes a good photographer. Let me know what has been your best experiences and your worse.


Links to information below.




Choosing your Photographer!

When it comes to Choosing your Photographer, how do you know if you are choosing the right one?


What are the main thing you look for when you are choosing aphotographer?


This needs to be looked at Carefully as this person is creatinga lasting memory for you.


I have spoken to people in the past who now hate their wedding photos as they hadn’t looked carefully when they were choosing a Photographer.


one of the biggest things people look for is the price ofthe photographer.


I will go back for a moment to discuss wedding photography. When you are buying your wedding cake do you want a certain cake or do you just want what is cheapest? Some people spend €2000 on a wedding cake that gets eaten on the day and you will never see it again. Some people will spend thousands on flowers for their wedding that may last a week after their big days so why do people just try and find the cheapest photographer who will provide you with images that will last not only your lifetime but others as well.


When you are choosing your photographer regardless if its for a wedding, cake smash, newborn or just some celebration, look at the photographers gallery of images do you like them? How do they make you feel? Is this something you can see hanging on your wall.


If they are more than what your budget can afford save up orcut the cost of something that will not last you deserve to have the best.


I know lots of photographers and I have been on many training days, everyone has their own style of shooting and editing so you canhave lo people shooting the same subject and each image will look different purely because people look at things differently.


Please do your research find the wow images you like and get in contact with the photographer.


Wedding Day Disasters

a pair of louboutins surrounded by bright red asian sari

Have you ever had a wedding day disaster? What is the worst thing that could happen on your wedding day? Apart from the bride or groom not showing up?

Last year I Shot my first Asian wedding. I absolutely loved it. It was a long day at the stunning location of The Hilton Hotel in Paddington.

a box of Paddington Bears, image taken at Hilton Hotel Paddington

As the venue was in west London and I live in Southend I decided that I would go a lot earlier than I needed to go in case trains were delayed or cancelled.

I arrived at the Hotel approx. 1 hour before I needed to and I met the bride as she was leaving for her hair appointment. She walked off in one direction then 10 mins later she walked back past to go into the train station as there were not taxis. This made her 30 minutes late to start off with. Her makeup artist was supposed to be at the venue around 5pm the bride got back to the hotel at 5.30pm, There was no sign of the makeup artist, the makeup artist finally turned up at 6.15pm, the bride did not seem to be to bothered about this. I had also been warned at the Mendi party that Asian weddings never start on time. 

The wedding was supposed to start at 7pm, now most of you know makeup can take between 40-60 minutes to do and yes as you may have guest this makeup took 60 minutes. The bride was fine with this and once the makeup was completed the bride stepped into this amazing bright red dress with amazing detail on it as she was doing the zip up we heard a funny noise, the zip had popped apart, the dress was not too tight before you think that however the zip was faulty, so the best friend and myself tried to get the zip back onto its tracks, this was making the bride panic, so we got her out removed her away from the dress so we could try to sort it at. This was not working.

table with pack of safety Pins

I left the room to go to housekeeping to see if they had someone in the hotel to fix the dress, they told me no. I went to one shop to get safety pins they didn’t have any, then I went into the station where there was a boots and bought a pack. I went back to the room and the brides best friend and dress had gone, she had gone off to see if there was a dry cleaner shop nearby who may be able to fix it.

The Bride was still very calm which I was surprised about. Thebest friend called me, she was panicking like mad. I told her to bring thedress back and we wold fix it with safety pins.

She arrived back and then there was a knock on the door we answered it and it was a maintenance man standing there with a screw driver in his hand. When we had spoken to the front desk they thought we had said a dresser was broke and sent someone to fix a cabinet.

Anyway, the brides mum and aunt turned up to the room and helped at with fixing the dress. At the time all the guests were waiting and it was now around 7.30 so the wedding was 30 mins late.

Brides mum and aunt fixing the wedding dress.

Once the bride was dressed and all hair and makeup was complete they done the big reveal, She looked stunning. At this point was when she decided that she needed to paint her nails, this was mainly to do with she had worn a green dress for the Mendi party and her nails were matching, but now with the red dress this needed to change. She finished painting and then it was time to go out and see the guests.

bride painting her nails red with channel nail varnish.

Now it was around 8-8.30 pm, but none of the guests seemed to be upset or unsettled and the lady I had seen at the Mehdi party that told me weddings were always late just smiled and said “I told you”.

This isn’t the first time I have helped brides there have been many of other occasions, I have done bridesmaids hair, helped brides get into their dresses and tied them up as no one there knew how to do it, helped Grooms and the Groomsmen tie cravats as they were unaware how to tie them. I have never had to do bridges makeup yet….. but never say never there may be a first still to happen.