My 366 Project {week 2 in pictures}

This is my favorite shot from week 2.  I just love the cheeky expression, the thumb in the mouth and the little wave.  She was post-lunch tired, but still tolerated the camera.  It makes me smile.

I know I’ve said it before, but this project is changing my so many, many ways! Shooting daily gives me an excuse to play with technique and with editing.  You’ll see that in week 2, I abandoned the square format, but I started to play with my black & white editing.  I wonder what will happen in week’s 3 and 4?  Stay tuned to find out!  :)


Soulful {a family portrait session sneak-peak}

Yesterday, I spent several hours capturing the story of a wonderful family.  Their son greeted me at the door almost jumping up and down.  He couldn’t wait for me to start shooting!  Mum, Dad and baby were chilled out and smiley…despite a night of broken sleep. (Ah the joys of teething!)

We had so many laughs during our session, but halfway through Mum admitted that she loved photos of children crying.  I know exactly what she means…I do too!  There is something REAL about an image of childhood emotion.  The most poignent photos lack a smile, but instead let us into a child’s soul.  Perhaps that’s why I like photographing my daughter like this and this and this.

I know this family is dying to see a couple sneak peak images from the session.  Just for Mum, I thought I would feature a couple soulful ones.  Don’t worry…there are loads with laughs and smiles….but for now, quiet looks and soulful expressions.  Enjoy.

And for little T, who wanted COLOURFUL photos of all of his favourite toys and who had the patience to explain Gogos to me.


The Fairytale of the Butterfly Poop

Yesterday, a butterfly pooped on me.  Yep.  Seriously.

Before yesterday, I didn’t know that butterflies had that capacity.  I suppose it makes logical sense, but really wasn’t something I had considered.  Had you?

Perhaps you are wondering how I came to know this.  Well, every year the RHS Garden Wisley have a butterfly exhibition in their glasshouse.   (It is wonderful, but crowded.  If you go, get there when they open.  We queued for an hour…)

I’m not a crowd kind of person.  Nor am I very patient with long queues.  But I had my new lens.  And Phoebe had her butterfly-spotter guide.  The butterflies were pretty; I was determined to make this a special adventure.

Then, half-way around the exhibit…just after getting elbowed in the back…just after missing a few shots due to the crowd, I look up to see a very beautiful black & white butterfly spread its wings and well…poop on me.

I’m ashamed to admit I screamed just a little.  The crowds penned me in.  I couldn’t move.  For a moment, I thought, geez…this stinks.  (Pun absolutely intended!)

But then the man behind me laughed and said something about astounding luck.  And suddenly I realised that actually it was.  That poop-y moment was kind of magical.  It gave me a story.  It gave me a memory.  And it reminded me that life is like that:  Sometimes the poop comes with a gift….if we are looking.

I hope you enjoy some of the images from our day.  But before you go, I’m curious…has anyone else ever been pooped on by a butterfly? :)


366: Week 1 in Pictures

366 projects have always scared me. I’ve applauded other photographers as they journeys on this year-long commitment.  But this year, it is my turn.

If you are interested, you can follow along here: I’ll post weekly updates.  Or you can follow me daily on Flickr and Facebook.

And, if you are thinking of doing one…JUST do it!  I know it has only been 12 days, but already this project is changing my work…changing how I watch for little Phoebe moments…and helping me to capture memories that I will treasure when she is big and grown.

It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a fancy camera.  What matters is that you have a camera…or a phone with a camera.  What matters is that we capture the simple moments and small expressions in the lives of our children.

And it doesn’t need to take lots of time.  Unless I head out on a photo-walk, I give myself 3-5 minutes to catch Phoebe doing whatever it is that she is doing.  Eating. Pouting. Brushing her teeth.  Daily moments.

Now…I know I promised a few announcements in my last post.  Stay tuned…they are coming next week.  And they will be exciting and fun.  One of them  is a giveaway.  (Yay!)  If you haven’t signed up for the UK Mama List or liked my Facebook page, please do so.  That will get you into the giveaway.

In meantime…have a WONDERFUL weekend. Whatever you do.


A New Year – One Word. One Project

Do you have a word of the year? Last year, I started this tradition and wow! was it powerful.  For me, 2011 was all about TRUST:  Trust in myself. Trust in my photography.  Trust in the process. Trust became my mantra and the word was a gentle reminder that everything would be OK no matter what. (And it was…)

I wanted to do the same thing this year.  But I struggled to find my word.  For a while, I considered GROW.   But something wasn’t quite right with it.  GROW seemed too…intense.  We grow our stock portfolios. Large companies push for growth.  I wanted something more gentle and organic.

Then last night, it came to me…My word is BLOOM.  Do you like it?

In 2012, I hope my business will bloom.  I hope Phoebe will bloom.  I hope my new life will bloom.  And, I hope my work, my style and my skills will bloom.

This leads me to the second part of this post…I have decided to commit to a 366 project. One photo. Everyday. For one year (plus the extra leap day we get this year…).

I must admit, I am daunted by the idea.  On Flickr, I have followed many amazing photographers who have completed 365.   The act of consciously shooting every day has changed their work in amazing ways.  But without a doubt, this project is TOUGH to do.  It scares me.  My days are so full already. But, something is pushing me forward. And so, I will begin. My theme is Phoebe. She is my muse and I want to document the daily life of her three-year old world for her.

I hold my friend, Amy partially responsible for this adventure.  She blogged on The Creative Mama about committing to her 2nd 365 and offered some great resources and guidance. Do check it out if you are considering this kind of project.

What is your word for the year? What projects are you considering for 2012? Please share them in the comments. I’d love to know….Have a beautiful day.


A New Year. A Fresh Start

Things have been quiet here at the UK Mama for the last few weeks.  I have missed our conversation!  But as the year wound down, I found myself withdrawing. Moving inward. Starting to reflect.

The end of January marks six months since I left my career to follow my dreams of being a full-time portrait photographer and blogger.  They say time flies when your children grow up.  Boy does it fly when you run your own business!

Someone told me that I would never be so busy as when I worked for myself.  They were right.  Each day passes with WAY too much to do.  I NEEDED the last few weeks to stop, take stock and question.

After six months, what is working for me? What is not? What have I learned? Where am I going? What needs to change? And most importantly:  What do I want out of this year?

I’m a huge believer in the power of manifestation.  I think it is so important to know what to ‘put out for.’  We all do it…in the thoughts we think….with the words we use.  But usually, we manifest unconsciously.

Eighteen months ago, I started to manifest on purpose.  I started to write down my dreams, my wishes, my hopes.  I spent time thinking and believing that these dreams and wishes and hopes were in the process of coming true.  And then I spent time working hard. Very hard. I took steps, baby steps and big steps, in the direction of my dreams.

Boy has this shift made all the difference! So much has changed in every part of my life. When I look back, I am truly amazed…and grateful!

When I look forward, I am (if I’m honest) a little lost.  I am still answering those questions and trying to figure out what the next step should be for me in my life and in my business.  Oh, don’t worry.  I’ll still be shooting portraits and blogging here, but the details, the structure and the process might change.

I’ll share all this with you.  But first I wanted to look back.  At all the beautiful moments and memories of 2011.

I also wanted to say thank you….for all of you who follow this blog, for all the clients who have trusted me to capture the stories of their children and their families, for all the corporate clients who have asked me to help them in their businesses.  I also say thank you for the joy of my family and friends…and for magic that happens through my lens.

I’ll leave you with a few memories and moments that you might recognize….and I’ll be back soon to share some of what is new in 2012.  Happy New Year everyone!!