Leaving Party Photography At Brockwell Park Lido

My fellow photographer pal Tash asked me to photograph a leaving bash for one of her good friends at Brockwell Park Lido and it was a corker.

Tash and some of her other friends had gifted me to Bridget and David… what an utterly gorgeous idea. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a couple so adored by their friends and no doubt they will be deeply missed in South London as they start their new lives across the waters in Canada.

Tash went for a two hour coverage, half reportage and half the photo salon… Bridget and David were utterly thrilled to have all the people who have been such a big part of their lives in London gathered together one last time. What a lovely bunch of people…. Sxx

“Thank you for the most amazing photos!!!! We absolutely LOVE the pics and are so, so happy to have them to remind us of all our friends and a fabulous night. Thank you so much for bringing all the props and capturing so many people.” Bridget

“Soph, you brilliant thing. Thank you so so much. I can’t look at them without weeping. In a really good way.” Tash

Photographing friends...

So when we moved to Cuckfield from South London we left behind lifelong friends and opened the door to new amazing friends in Cuckfield. So inevitably the lifelong friends slip away from your everyday life and they become like family that you see intensively every other month or so, your kids become like cousins and fall straight back into their easy way of being together… so this is what happened this weekend, although I only got my camera out for a dog walk in New England woods (which is literally on our doorstep) and a play in the garden after lunch.

I love weekends with our newly named ‘London friends’, we’ve all known each other for at least 20 years and consist of 5 families… feel blessed.

Anyway here are a selection of the images, mostly of the kids. These are my pals and their kids but this is basically what I do when I photograph the lives of my clients.

Sxx


Photographing A's christening at the spectacular Brompton Oratory in Knightsbridge, London

Brompton Oratory is a truly magnificent place of worship and a pure feast for the lens. The interior exudes calm with a stunning main altar and many side chapels which each have their own distinctive aura. It really is a place of overwhelming beauty, I felt very privileged to be photographing A’s christening in such an important place of worship.

The family were keen for just a short coverage of the ceremony so they could fully immerse themselves in the occasion and celebrate their memories in the pictures.

Sxx

West London family photography with Bubble&Bean Family Photography

I’ve just been accepted to the prestigious FPJA (Family Photojournalists Association) which I’m absolutely thrilled about. Creating images of families truly immersed in their lives is exactly what I’m passionate about and the FPJA is focused on pure documentary making, which is something I aspire to do in the most beautiful way possible.

Needless to say being a family photojournalist means that you need to love kids and not just the cute teeny ones, also the awkward, gangly teens and pretty much everything in between. At the end of the day we’re not having a photoshoot we’re doing something you love doing and I’m photographing all the family dynamics in your own environment to create the best pictures you’ve ever seen of your family. So I quite often find myself setting the world to rights with a 6 year old or being let into the world of a 12 year olds imagination as I join them on their adventure, photographing all the way. I love my job.

Having been photographing families for over 8 years I have a lot of repeat customers and it always makes me laugh when parents tell me that their kids have been begging them for another Bubble&Bean photoshoot (don’t worry I’m under no allusion that it’s me - it’s the fun factor of eating chocolate at 10am and having ‘kids in charge’ moto on sessions).

Here is a selection from a ‘New Life’ shoot with my cousin Chessie, who I hadn’t seen for ten years, eek!! So utterly gorgeous to reconnect and to meet her husband and kids. Chessie just wanted pics of the kids at home, all very natural, having a chilled Sunday at home… mission accomplished.

Sxx

Ultimate Father’s Day Gift - memories to treasure forever

What could be more magical than capturing those father-daughter or father-son moments as they happen, in your own family environment recorded in photographs to treasure forever. Whether it’s at home, the park, the beach or somewhere else meaningful to your family, this very special family photoshoot opportunity is an ideal Father’s Day gift.

Read More

The Bubble&Bean recipe for a successful family photoshoot.

I’ve just photographed a family (The Milewski family) who really took on board all the pre shoot tips and it was an absolute belter.  To give a bit of context the family are American, have three kids (Jack 8 yrs, Will 6yrs and Kate 2.5 yrs) and moved from New York to Sussex for a few years.  They really wanted the images to reflect their time in England so that in years to come they can look back and enjoy their memories in a very real, evocative way.   As well as wanting their images to capture their Sussex life for future memory indulgences they also wanted some beautiful portraits of the kids to frame and hang on the wall.

My advise to them was to pick a location which holds lots of memories for them.  That location would count for half the shoot and then the second half would be spent at home doing something they’d typically do on a weekend.  In their case it was making pizza from scratch as a family.  I also spent time discussing what the kids were into so that we could focus a bit on that too, in the case of the boys it was fossils, which was really visual and fun as they had pretty large collections.

I’ve been photographing families for ten years now and after the Milewski shoot I came up with the ultimate recipe for a family photoshoot:

 

The Bubble&Bean recipe for a successful family photoshoot:

Limitless BRIBES of both the sugary and toy variety (I joke not), making the experience special with lots of fun incentives and treats.  I have a box full of bubbles, sweeties and confetti cannons which always creates a lot of excitement and enthusiasm.

PLUS

An outdoor LOCATION which is both visually interesting and is somewhere that you regularly spend time.

PLUS

Decent LIGHT can really elevate a family photoshoot.  The best kind of light for us photographers to be able to shoot all day is a nice diffuse light created by clouds. 

PLUS

Making the photoshoot a really FUN experience for the kids, something that they’ll really engage with, whether it’s playing games, cooking or just hanging out at their favourite place.

 

So at the end of the day if you plan lots of fun stuff that you know your kids will love and the locations carry meaning then it’s 100% down to me to engage with the kids (and get the images).  Once the kids are in the zone you parents completely relax and the shoot just flies by.

So here are the Milewski’s images, it’s a really good shoot to illustrate what can be achieved in a few short hours.

Oh and here’s a gorgeous Facebook review from Melissa Milewski:

“Sophie did the most amazing job with our family photoshoot! She was so much fun and made us all really comfortable. She brought fun props like bubble guns and silly string that made the kids really enjoy it too (in an amazing gold treasure chest no less). She just made it all seem like one big amazing adventure and my kids (who usually don’t like their photos taken) really got into the spirit of it and kept finding new spots for her to photograph them and couldn’t stop laughing.

We just received our photos (only 2 days after the shoot!) and they blew me away. She somehow managed to capture everyone in my family perfectly in really natural, beautiful shots. The photos are beautifully framed and composed and the level of detail in each is incredible. By far my favorite family photos we’ve ever done. I highly recommend Sophie and Bubble & Bean!”

If you fancy capturing your everyday I have an exclusive FATHERS DAY OFFER… you can purchase a Bubble&Bean gift voucher as the ultimate gift.

 

The voucher costs £300 and includes:

90 mins family session

75+ fullsize digital files

Wooden presentation box containing 30 5” x 7” prints and a wooden usb

An online gallery of your images

A pre shoot phone consultation

 

Sxx

New Wooden Photographic Presentation Box is now on the scene here at Bubble&Bean Family Photography here in Cuckfield, Haywards Heath.

So I discovered the amazing wooden photographic products from Wooden Banana (http://www.woodenbanana.com) a few years back and I've finally got them here at Bubble&Bean Family Photography.

I absolutely LOVE them, they are just so cool and make it feel serious special when the client receives this little kitch box of memories... Sxx

Baby Jessica’s photoshoot in Barnes, South London

5 months old and the sweetest ball of smiles that you could meet.  So it’s an utter treat when I’m booked to photograph just a baby and their parents.  Most Bubble&Bean photoshoots consist of 2+ kids engaged in an energetic combination of games, cooking, walks, crafting and all round interactive fun….  With babies it’s back to basics, there’s less narrative and the images are stripped back.  

 

The are two schools of thought when it comes to photographing babies; 

 

  1. the reportage/documentary/candid/photojournalist approach 
  2. the fine art approach

 

So as with my approach to photographing families with older kids I photograph babies in a natural candid way.  This means that I don’t do stylised shoots with newborn babies in which they are swaddled in cashmere and surrounded in whicker and flowers.  It’s all very personal with regards to how you want your baby photographed, there’s no right or wrong way, just different approaches, both requiring their own unique set of skills.

 

Baby Jessica was the easiest baby to photograph as she was alert and smiley, with not the slightest bit of separation anxiety… which meant that I got heaps of cuddles, gooogooogaagaaas and brilliant responses to my silly faces!

 

If you are thinking of having your baby photographed in a natural relaxed way by a baby centric nut then please do get in touch.  You only need an hour to get all those gorgeous nuances, as take it from someone who knows those early years become a blur and I still regularly look through baby pictures of my two boys and it’s the most deliciously indulgent treat…. although comes with a WARNING - it’s massively broody inducing!!!

 

Here’s a few pics from Jessica’s Bubble&Bean baby photoshoot.

 

Cheers,

Soph xx

Child Photographic Portraits in the Haywards Heath area of Mid Sussex (Cuckfield)

Ah I do love a secret, like LOVE a secret….  So when Tammy (a fellow Cuckfield mumma) invited Tamsin and I on a convert mission to photograph her kids (Euan 6yrs and Maisie 10 yrs) in the Hipster Diptych Photographic Studio in Cuckfield, we were seriously excited.

So this secret mission was all in the aid of Dill’s (Tammy’s husband) birthday, and for maximum impact it had to be kept a SECRET!!!  The images had to be shot, and turned into a piece of wall art all without a whisper to Dill…  not so easy with a six year old in the mix.  Everyone knows that the favourite hobby of the little people is to share a secret, especially with their dad!!

Tammy chose the classic Hipster Diptych vintage floral backdrop as she preferred the lighter touch as opposed to the heavier velvet backdrops from House of Hackney.  Tammy also had a secret weapon up her sleeve in that she is Tammy Scissorhands at www.aflair4hair.com….  Tammy came armed with glitter and hairpieces to turn Maisie into a unicorn, at Maisie’s request.

Such an awesome shoot.  Sometimes the stars align and this was one of those.  For me one of the wonders of photographing children’s studio portraits is the process.  The kids usually enter in trepidation then like a flower blossoming they rummage through the props and the costumes, bathe in compliments, drown in sugar, bob along to up beat tunes and boom - they BLOSSOM!!  The tender age of ten is so interesting, self conscious and beautifully innocent, Maisie started off shy and by the end she was this confident beautiful super model, empowered by her Hipster Diptych experience, she loved it and it was such a buzz to be part of her having such a great time.  Boys are a different kettle of fish in front of the Hipster Diptych camera, regardless of their age they show off, they’re given a license to goof around and they go for it, again a lot of fun.

So after we nailed the shots for the wall art we had a bit of a play using our new panelled grunge backdrop, brought at the spectacular https://www.scaramangashop.co.uk.  I love the grunge feel and the new backdrop will definitely be part of future shoots.

So THANK YOU Tammy for your beautiful children and for all your creative energy and your awesome skillz with da hair!!

Oh and the biggest testament to the success of the photoshoot is the reaction to the final framed print….  and well it reduced Dill to a blubbering ball of tears, big TICK, mission accomplished.

Here are a selection of some of the pics both behind and in front of the scenes??!?!?!!!

Sxx

Family Photographers of Cuckfield (Haywards Heath) are taking summer bookings NOW!!

Spring has truly sprung here in Cuckfield (Haywards Heath) and I'm starting to build up to a very busy year of photographing kids, families, parties, and weddings....  I work all across the South East with the majority of my clients being either in London or Sussex.

I am available to photograph families, children, parties, get togethers, religious celebrations (christenings, bar mitzvahs); whether you want just a slice of your life or a beautiful memory of an occassion.

I sometimes get booked for as little as an hour and all my photography shoots come with a USB containing the retouched fullsize digital files (with a license to print).  This is really integral to the way in which I work.  I'm not photographing your family/friends to then hard sell prints to you.... I DO NOT HOLD YOUR IMAGES RANSOM!!!!  Post shoot a large selection of the images are yours.  I am shooting so that I can give you a USB full of self indulgent images which celebrate you and your family/friends.  My photographs tend to work as a series, something that you can look at time and time again and relive the moment in a creative and atmospheric way....  well that's the plan!!!

So please get in touch if you are interested in having some moments from this summer photographed by Bubble&Bean.

My rate is £150/hr which includes the USB containing the retouched full-size digital files (with license to print).

Big Thanks,

Soph xx

07887884997

info@smpweddings.co.uk  (N.B.  My email has a tendency to find its way into the junk folder of other accounts - so if you get in touch and don't hear back within 24 hrs then please check your junk folder).

Bubble & Bean Family Photography of Cuckfield (Haywards Heath) is RECRUITING!!!

Bubble & Bean Family Photography of Cuckfield (Haywards Heath) is RECRUITING!!!  We’re expanding down here in Sussex and are looking for parents who are well connected and would be interested in getting free photography in exchange for introducing us to families to photograph.  For every two hours of photography booked through you (using your unique code) you get one hour of free photography (including the retouched full size digital files with license to print) from Bubble&Bean.  The photography that you get paid in can be family, baby, studio, party, prom, whatever you want, so long as it’s in a 15 mile radius of Cuckfield (anything further afield will need to be discussed).

 

I’m looking to start off with 5 people.  So if you are interested please contact me on info@smpweddings.co.uk and include your phone number.  My emails tend to head straight into the junk folder so please keep your eyes peeled.

 

Cheers,

Soph xx

Glamping in Norfolk

Last summer was nuts, with work, garden renovations, school holidays, it was my most full on summer so far as a mum!!

 

Amid the mayhem there was a long weekend of utter gorgeousness with my old school friends and their families.  Three nights in Norfolk, glamping in bell tents, playing cricket, drinking too much Prosecco, eating too much BBQ and playing ping pong in the dark???!?!??!?!!

 

So I barely got my camera out which is such a shame, but I just got lost in the weekend…. it happens, even to us photography junkies!!

 

So here are a few images, nothing fancy but a lovely reminder of that magic that still exists after 24 years of friendship - and how without the aid of genetics our kids have inherited that magic connection and although they don't all see each other much they get on like cousins.  Feeling all warm and fuzzy thinking about it, blurgh!!

 

Sxx