Newborn Family Session at home Cheltenham

Newborn sessions. I just adore them. Capturing their tiny little hands and feet, their little yawns, and those lovely little windy smiles!

But for me, it isn't just about the baby. It's about the whole family as individuals during this time. Your first born, who seems to suddenly grown twofold overnight. Your husband/partner who is showing his most gentle side. And you, connecting with your baby, soaking up every tiny little snuffle, so that you can remember these moments forever.

During this time, you are remembering how you were and learning how to fit together as a family in your new normal. I capture moments where you like to play, dance, soothe and connect . During your session, we’re not just making portraits. We’re capturing your memories.

Katy - I absolutely loved visiting your family at this special time and hope that you treasure these images for years to come. With special thanks to your lovely friends for booking your session as a surprise for your Baby Shower! What a wonderful gift! 😍

Creative Project with Female Photographers across the UK

This winter I met up with the beautiful and talented @hushpictures in Cheltenham for a creative photography project called @thetravellingmustard - a dress that is being passed onto female photographers throughout the UK. It was a wonderful way to connect and inspire each other whilst walking the same paths. We took photos at various locations - at night, at sunrise, indoors and outdoors, in both natural and artificial light. For me, this project was more than just taking photos, it was a journey of inspiration and spontaneity, with some hilarious stories, celebrating femininity, community and above all - friendship ❤️

My own family photos taken at home, Cheltenham

In my quest to be remembered in our family photos, I'm persevering with self portraits. It's a great exercise from a technical perspective. Taking photos is like second nature to me, but taking those same photos of myself is so much harder - it's a little like trying to juggle behind your back.

And because of the extra effort involved, it's a good way of really considering what my treasured memories would be of this time. The images that I will cherish, and those that I would love my children to remember about their childhood.

On top of my list is cuddles and fun at home. I wanted to take a photo that I love taking of clients. Being able to visualise ourselves back into that moment. Remembering how it felt and what it sounded like... And dodging just in time when those wonderful giggles turned into chaos, and not quite so wonderful dribble...

In home newborn photoshoot with a lively sibling! Cheltenham

I just love capturing real moments and special memories for families at home. Your home is part of your family history. When you look back at the images that I take, not only the images that you see will be brought to mind, but all of the times that you spent in your space will be too. Plus - when you print them out, your images will naturally match your home - bonus!

Newborn shoots for me, belong at home. You can relax, you have everything you need and there are no panics about where you're going, or whether you'll be on time.

I loved this newborn shoot - and having an adorable and lively sibling just added to the fun. I love the mix of energy from calm to crazy and everything in between... and can we just stop and talk about how amazing their home looks after just a few months of moving in?

Rachel it was so lovely to spend the morning with your gorgeous family - I absolutely adored your session! 😍

Documenting your days with photos...

One of our favourite things to do as a family when we have time is rock-pooling at the beach. It's a little trek down there, and this time round I wasn't feeling 100%, but it's always worth the journey.

We've started to find out when the tide is out, as the rock-pooling opportunities are brilliant then 🤓 I have hundreds of images from our trips to the beach, and it was interesting to think which ones I'd print if I were to make a book that the girls can enjoy. For me, although it makes it easier on the eye, it isn't just a portrait, or standing somewhere that's pretty that I think they'll treasure, but more of a document of what we did, so it can jog their memories in years to come.

These are the things that I always love to incorporate in my longer shoots. I love a rounded story - one that includes setting the scene, introducing characters, discovery, movement, a bit of silliness, something that tells a story about each character and details... Ok, I'm missing an image of myself - but I was ill, so please forgive me!

What is it that you love to do as a family? How would you document it? What would you like to remember about these days?

Here are a few from our recent trip. Ok, I'm missing a family image of all of us - but I was ill so forgive me!

**Now booking family shoots to Summer 2019**

Photos taken at home can bring back more than a visual memory....

These images were taken very spontaneously when I realised that the cookies that I baked for the school Valentine’s cake sale matched my daughter’s dress perfectly. The sun was shining and she couldn’t wait to eat her cookie. So I took them quickly, and when she got to eat it finally, she absolutely savoured the moment.

My biggest wish for the purpose of my photos is that when people look at their images in the future, they can insert themselves back into the photos and feel that feeling again. I love the ones where I can remember what the weather was, how something smelt, tasted and felt. ❤️

If you love doing something with your children, let me capture it for you, so that you can re-live it for years to come.

**Now booking family sessions for Spring 2019**

Birth Photography Gloucester Maternity Unit - Chapter 2

One of the things that I love about Beth is that she is so 'normal'. She's real. She's comfortable with sharing the unedited everyday and makes her readers feel comfort by being a 'normal' human being.

She champions this approach in her hypnobirthing classes and on her blog The Bump to Baby Chapter which is so refreshing and cuts through the polished accounts which make so many of us feel like we're not quite enough in this insta-perfect world.

This was the first birth that I have actually experienced with full mental capacity. I was excited from a visual perspective - so many storytelling aspects and emotions to capture, and of course the moment that the baby is born is about as amazing as it gets... But the labour? Not so pretty, right?

It wasn't the otherworldly magical birth that I find hard to imagine myself having... It was Beth - she was funny, she was real, she was sarcastic. Her husband sat on the other side of the room, as he knew she prefers her own space, but stepped in to support her when she needed him to. There was so much 'normal' about it...

And it was more empowering to watch than I could ever have imagined.

Diary of a Birth Photographer - Gloucester Maternity Unit

Being invited to photograph a birth has to have been one of the biggest honours and challenges for me as a photographer so far.

This was a true case of documenting moments with as much discretion and sensitivity as possible. A test of my technical knowledge, with very little control of my surroundings and clearly no option for re-takes.

Storytelling is something that I love to do with photos. Encapsulating feelings in a photograph and being able to remember the experience is something that I hold dear to my heart. Capturing this birth allowed me to to both of these things, and it was pretty amazing.

Beth - Midwife and writer of The Bump to Baby Chapter blog, educates parents to birth positively with the tools and knowledge from her straight talking Hypnobirthing and Prenatal Classes. She encourages women to hypnobirth through any turn that your birth can take you. With 2 previous premature babies, gestational diabetes and bleeding in the birthing pool on a previous birth, she was open to all eventualities.

Beth has kindly allowed me to share her images of her own birth story. Each and every birth is an incredible journey, and there is no way that it can be put in a nutshell. So here are a few images of Beth in Part 1 of her Bump to Baby Chapter in photos.

* All photos were taken without flash and at night, using only the artificial light of the room available.

Short family break in the Countryside

This gorgeous family travelled from London for a weekend break to the Cotswolds. They love relaxing in the countryside and booked me for a family photoshoot to document their holiday here. They stayed at @HeathFarm in Chipping Norton, surrounded by beautiful scenery and the farm animals that they keep here :)

Taking time out for photos is such a lovely way to really appreciate being with each other and concentrate on all of the simple things that you love doing as a family. If you love being outdoors with your children, or are planning a weekend in the Cotswolds, do get in touch, I'd love to capture you all in this beautiful part of the country!

Here’s what they said about their experience:

I am working since 13 years as a professional fashion model and am particularly "picky" about pictures and I was so glad when I found Chui. Thanks to Chui´s kind, caring, patient and sweet character and thanks to her professional approach and talent we got AMAZING results. She is really a fantastic photographer! Everything was so easy with her and she captures such natural and lively pictures. They are fresh, fun, cool and not posed at all. I absolutely adore her photographer style. This is what you want when you look for a modern capture of your family. I can absolutely recommend her. She is the best you will find in the Cotswolds! I promise :)

Newborn photoshoot in the comfort of your home

I honestly wish I'd had the foresight to book a newborn photoshoot when my little girls were babies.. But it seemed like such a big task to leave the house, let alone make myself look presentable, so I left it.

If I had known that it was as easy as asking a fellow mum to come to my house and take photos for the morning whilst I cuddled and fed my baby, then it really would have been a no brainer...

Well that's what I do now, and it makes me so happy that I can do this for other mothers 😍

It was so lovely to visit this family and capture those precious newborn details and emotions between the parents as they fell in love with each other all over again as they celebrated becoming a family...

This is what they said when they received their photos:

"Oh my goodness these are so so wonderful, thank you!! 😍 Very excited to see the rest (but that last one in particular, and the closeup of her face, oh wow ❤️)"

Christmas at Home: Decorating Gingerbread Houses

This is what I would like my children to feel nostalgic for when it comes to Christmas. Sharing moments with family and friends, surrounded by food, warmth, joy and silliness. ❤️ This year we baked a lot, but over a series of days (I can only handle a certain amount of flour and sprinkles in one sitting!)

There's a lovely time of the day when the winter sun shines through our lounge, it happened at the time that we got round to decorating these Gingerbread Houses. Understanding light can change things from pretty good to something really special, highlighting different aspects of an image. Among other things, I use my understanding of light in different ways to colour the emotion/activity, depending on the moment I’m wanting to capture. Here, I moved the table across slightly to bring the light to the table - effectively achieving the softness that 'sunset' or the ‘golden hour’ gives, but indoors.

Backstory: I've failed for a few years in a row to make Gingerbread Houses from scratch, so I hedged my bets and bought these kit houses, one pre baked and another shake and bake! I’d say it was a good move, even if it was a bit of a struggle to match the pieces up - I'm no engineer! 😅

Christmas Tree Farm Maternity Photoshoot in the Cotswolds

Meet Beth. A strong and beautiful mother of 3 gorgeous children, an awesome midwife, hypnobirthing practitioner and award winning blogger of The Bump to Baby Chapter.

In addition to this, she is utterly down to earth, funny and positive. She's tells you how it is and doesn't shy away from pulling the wool over our eyes from reality. I didn't realise this until I put pen to paper, but these are all values that I adore and constantly aim to capture in camera. ❤️

And she's awaiting baby number 4! It's such a precious time to connect with each other during those few weeks before a new little person joins the clan. Just to stop and reassure your little ones that your heart is big enough for everyone in the family. There's no doubt how much love there is here. They were having so much fun that I literally wanted to jump to the other side of the camera!

Christmas Tree Farm Family Photoshoot

I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me since I decided to turn my photography into a little business over a year ago. Every 'like', 'comment' or recommendation that I've had in this little corner is something that doesn't cost anything, but means a lot to me. It's an open expression of believing in me and it feels lovely to feel supported, to know that my images resonate with people, and it also means that more people can find me in the vast ocean that is the internet.

I wish I could offer this to so many others, but this year, I wanted to thank Shelley personally with a mini shoot, for supporting my journey from the very beginning. It was a photo that I took of her baby girl a few years ago that for me, marked the beginning of my pipe dream of 'Wouldn't it be amazing if I could do this for a living?'

Fast forward 2 cameras, 2 drowned lenses, countless photographs, many hours learning and here I am, running a little business around my children, capturing treasured memories for other families. It's more than a business, I put my heart and soul in these images, and every gallery that I make holds a special place in my heart.

It was an absolute pleasure to capture you and your gorgeous family in camera Shelley, Thank you for your support and for being so lovely. I hope you love your images! ❤️

Taking real photos of your beautiful everyday - not just the Insta-worthy moments...

Something a little different today... and not what I thought I'd write about here, but it's a message that I'd like to share.

It's about the 'Insta-Perfect' world. The images that are the highlights, but not the whole story. The photos that are show our best side off, but forget the perfect imperfection of our everyday. So there are be gaps in our stories. Big gaps. The gaps that may well be the moments you want to remember in the future.

The rainy days when we put waterproofs over their onesies, and pop to the alleyway near our house where the wheelie bins live, because the best puddles are there. The not-so-wooden toys that I put aside to take to the charity shop, but they are constantly re-discovered and enjoyed all over again. The perfect toddler sized hand-me-down Peppa Pig cups that the girls still love are very faded now and starting to look too small. These things are seemingly not worthy of capturing. But there's something real about them that I love.

Don’t get me wrong - I adore the wonderful fuzzy warm photos of everyone all together in a big messy pile of love and giggles, I’m just as excited to take an Insta-worthy image, but I'd love to capture your ordinary too. And I’m willing to bet that some of those very ordinary moments may well end up being among your favourites when you look back in years to come 😍

Drop me a line if you’d like to document some of your real moments in a Treasured Memories session, or if you’d like me to join you for a morning or afternoon!

** Now booking Family and Newborn sessions for Spring 2019 **