As a family photographer specialising in capturing real family life I often get asked for photography tips. We are so lucky to live in a time whereby we always have a camera on us. Here I’ve written my top 10 tip to get the most out of photographing your life on your phone camera.Read More
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
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.
An outdoor LOCATION which is both visually interesting and is somewhere that you regularly spend time.
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.
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
So there I was happily listening to One Direction (ahem) with Herbie (my 7 year old), making a minecraft hamma bead picture when he asks me to get my camera out. I love this about Herbie, he actually wants me to take his photo, plus it's these home time moments that you forget, now I certainly won't forget his 1D obsession and his constant dance moves (google flossing and you'll see what I mean), it's immortalised in what can only ever be embarrassing to his future self.
So Good Friday this year has been majorly lazy, Arlo and Olly have been in PJs all day, not a single thing has been achieved and it has been utterly delicious. The boys look like yeti's and need a trip to the barbers, there's not a single matching pair of socks in the house, we've no bread, no milk and I really don't care!! I love just chilling at home, pottering around and playing with the kids. So have a peak at the pics if you're interested, I'm off to play farms with my horse obsessed Herbie!
So the whole ethos of Bubble&Bean is creating real images of your families everyday life. This means no self conscious posing, no best behaviour. We want the images to be full of personality and flavour, so planning loads of fun stuff that you know the kids will love and will allow you to shower them in affection is the key.
‘Meet The Marchingtons’ - diary of a slice of life 2 hour family photoshoot:
11am - Arrive in Hampton Hill at the Marchington's house. Sit down with the family and have a coffee and chat about the plans and what they want to get out of the shoot.
11:15am - get the cameras out and start photographing the family playing games, eating and then finally going for a walk.
1:15pm - pack up and head home to retouch the images.
It’s 100% up to me to relax the kids, play with them, and put everyone at ease. Only by letting go and having fun can I get the images that will really mean something to you for years to come. There’s absolutely no pressure at all for the kids to be on best behaviour, I go with the flow and so long as there’s lots of fun stuff planned then the shoot flies by without any awkwardness or drama!!
Have a look through the images of the Marchingtons ‘slice of life’ shoot. We planned a few bits like a card game, waffles and a walk but the kids wanted to look through the photo album from when their parents were kids and it was such a beautiful impromptu moment.
Family photoshoots don’t have to be stiff and formal, in fact the most meaningful images always come when everyone is relaxed, having fun and totally engaged in the moment.
These wooden boxes containing both the usb and a selection of prints are just the perfect gift. This family gave the grandparents a Bubble&Bean voucher for Christmas, we did the photoshoot in January and I've just popped their wooden box of memories in the post.
Yep roll up roll up - it's that time of year again.... CHRISTMAS.
In celebration of family and the festive fun that is about to be had we here at Bubble&Bean are offering a special deal for Christmas....
Read all about it here: http://www.bubbleandbean.com/christmas-voucher/
The offer is live till 21st Dec 2017.
(Bubble&Bean HQ - Family Photography, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath, Sussex)
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
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;
- the reportage/documentary/candid/photojournalist approach
- 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.
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??!?!?!!!
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).
email@example.com (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!!! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org and include your phone number. My emails tend to head straight into the junk folder so please keep your eyes peeled.
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!!
Three 7 yr old boys PLUS one 9 yr old boy PLUS one 6 yr old boy PLUS three 13 yr old girls PLUS four mums PLUS one dad
Tom’s 7th BIRTHDAY party
So when you think of a 7 yr olds party, you’re thinking football, disco, laser tag, bowling, magician…. so when Tom invited 4 friends to Brighton to hangout on the beach, and try and the Scoop&Crumb experience I knew I had to bring my camera along (Tom is a mate of Herbie my eldest - the youngest of the gang at 6 yrs old).
So I figured out that the way in which my kids socialise with other kids in the village is pretty one dimensional. They play at school, they learn together, then they have playdates which are generally 1-2-1 and at each others houses. At weekends we mostly hang out with family or London friends and their kids. It’s pretty rare to take a bunch of local kids out on a day trip but after this I really want to do a lot more of it, the kids spend so much time together at school that they know each other well, so seeing them together in the big wide world was pretty cool.
After getting the train to Brighton, which in itself was an adventure for the excitable gaggle of boys we headed down to the beach. On the beach we canned going on the 360 as we could barely see past the end of our noses with the fog, but it really didn’t matter, throwing stones and jumping off rocks was all they needed.
For all the photography nerds out there I kept it really simple, shooting on a 50mm L series prime lens, never stopping down much beyond f2.8. Due to the fog and the light that slowly burnt it’s way through it was literally perfect conditions for shooting. If you are going to have your camera out at mid day then this is the type of light that you want.
I thought it’d be fun to shoot a stop-motion film, get a bit of movement and atmosphere in there. For the moment here are some of the stills, I’ve yet to cut the film but can’t wait, the day was screaming out for stop motion!!
So after the beach, the stone throwing, the statue climbing, the pig backing, the rock jumping antics we went up through the lanes to Scoop&Crumb (scoopandcrumb.com). Ok drum roll please… Tam had pre-ordered an 18 SCOOP sundae, yep, 18 SCOOPS!!!! This is literally like any sugar monkies dream, everyones eyes were on stalks and not just the sugar frenzied kids, us adults too. It was insane, there were frozen pieces of fruit, peanut brittle, smarties, about 6 different sauces and 10 different ices cream flavours plus a mountain of cream. The totally gross thing is that we finished it - bye bye diet!!
So here are some of my fav images of the day - I will get the film up as soon as I have cut it.
So as a photographer that specialises in kids and parties I thought it was about time I had an events page on my site. I can be hired for as little as an hour and all my fees include a usb with print ready beautifully retouched images.... in other words I don't hold your images to ransom!!!
So whether you are looking for a photographer for a kids party, family party, a prom, a 21st, a wedding anniversary, a 30th/40th/50th/60th/70th (you get the gist??!), a drinks party, a dinner party, a gig, a concert, a bbq, a sports match... well I'm available!
Photographing children’s parties is a seriously niche area; not only does it require experience and skill but also a child centric persona. It requires someone who the kids respond to, who wholeheartedly embraces the nuttiness of childhood and has the skill to photograph it with meaning. As I reduce the number of weddings I shoot per year to 15 I’ve started to look at other options. I’m making a move across to party photography (mostly kids) as it’s a perfect fit for me and the stage of life that I’m at.
I've also added a testimonials page to my site so that you can hear about me straight from the horses mouth!!