V Bowden Photography's Blog
Whilst I am unable to be in your homes to photograph your newborns I have created a guide to help you take your own beautiful photos of your baby. Don’t miss those precious moments, you can capture them too with my help.
Please click below to download your copy and get in touch with any questions.
Small Moments – Big Memories
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As many of us face potentially large amounts of time at home with young children I have put together a list of activities to keep your little ones busy. Every family and every child is different so adapt it and dip in and out of what suits you best.
As many of you know I changed careers from Primary Teaching and Nursery Management to Photography after starting a family. My brain (also known as Early Years Mum) was about to launch fully when I had my second child and is yet to be relaunched. So it is filled with ideas to share with you all and I will be going live on Facebook over the coming weeks to share more wisdom. Drop your questions into the comments on Facebook.
If you plan to have your baby in hospital you will need to have your nags packed. But what do you pack? What does baby need? What if you forget something?
Don’t worry, I have put together a list of what you might like to pack for yourself, baby and your partner or birth partner.
These are the things we initially packed and then if we were going to be required to stay in hospital a little longer my husband would have gone home to get extra items and fresh clothing etc.
To find out more about what to pack watch my video on Facebook via the link here, where I talk you through the items and share more about my own labour experiences.
There is no hiding the fact that the market is saturated with photographers at the moment, you are truly spoilt for choice. It’s no bad thing, we all have different tastes, styles, budgets and preferences. So let me talk to you a little bit about how you might find the one that is right for you.
Here are some things to consider when researching and booking a photo session:
Purpose – What is the reason you want a photoshoot? Is it to have images which can be given as a gift to a family member? Is it to create beautiful wall art for your home? Is it to capture this stage or your life or a special event? Whatever your reason, this will be a big factor in the style of photography which you may be choosing.
Style – Studio photography can be well suited to clean, crisp images with a plain background, ideal for more formal and posed photos which grandparents often love. Lifestyle photography is in our natural environment such as your home or outdoors. The photographer often makes suggestions and gently guides the session to create natural looking images. Documentary photography is not directed or posed in any way. It is a true account of what is happening, as it happens. I am a lifestyle photographer with some elements of documentary photography on some shoots. This allows me to watch your relationships and connections as you interact with me and your family. Real emotions as you make new memories.
Budget – Photoshoots in the Buckinghamshire area can vary from £30 to over £500. You need to consider this as an investment and keep in mind that the quality will vary. As a photographer, I can share with you that a lot goes on behind the scenes with post production whilst editing your images and producing galleries and then wall art or albums. It is an expensive business to run with equipment and running costs, our prices are not plucked out of the air. If you are looking for high quality images and prints or wall art that will come from a professional level camera and professional print labs. When you make your enquiries make sure you find out what is included in your session. Does the price include any prints or digital images? Is there a minimum spend requirement on products from your gallery? Don’t be afraid to ask about different packages to find the one which best suits your needs and budget.
Editing – There are so many editing styles and you should be able to get a good idea of what to expect by viewing a photographer’s website or portfolio. You may already know that you want bright an airy images or dark and moody. Black and white or matte finish? There are so many choices and your photographer will have their own editing style so make sure you are on the same page so that you are not disappointed when you view your gallery. Some things can’t be changed in post production as it is controlled in the camera within the composition of the shot.
I hope this helps you as your navigate your way through recommendations and reviews. The right photographer for you is certainly out there. If you feel that it could be me then please get in touch for a phone call or email where I can answer any of your questions.
Get in touch here. Vicki x
I recently came across the following snippet and it really hit a spot with me. I have since shared it with some friends who also took different things from it. I hope that this speaks to you in some way and gives you the mental ability to stop feeling guilty about something and stop feel more positive about something which is bugging you.
I would love to know which phrase stands out to you the most…
You have permission – by Leonie Dawson
Today, and everyday, you have permission.
You have permission to say no to demands on your time that don’t light you up, and don’t give energy back to you.
You have permission to not give a crap what’s happening outside your world, and keep your energy focussed on what you are creating.
You have permission to let go of friendships that make you feel like shit.
You have permission to say no whenever you like, however you like, in whatever kind of voice you like, without feeling like only Mean Girls Say No and Nice Girls Say Yes. That’s bull. Yes and No have equal weighting – what’s important is if you use them when they are the best thing for you, not out of fear, obligation or guilt.
You have permission to know that Yes is powerful, and so is No. The power comes from you using either from your highest spirit and truest integrity.
You have permission to change. You have permission to not be the person you once were.
You have permission to get angry and self-righteous, and to also glean the wisdom from those emotions. They are leading you to where your boundaries are, and where they have been crossed, and what you need to do from now on.
You have permission to be exactly how you are.
You have permission to not be more like anyone else in the world, even if you think they are better, wiser or more popular. You have permission to be more like yourself, your gifts and your wisdom.
You have permission to not care what other people think of you.
You have permission to not try to change what other people think of you. You can’t ever argue that you are a good person. They will either know you are, or not. You don’t need to spend time with people who don’t believe in you.
You have permission to do things that your friends and family do not.
You have permission to be wild, expressive, truthful, exciting and outspoken.
You have permission to not accept friendship requests on Facebook, or anywhere else in your life. You have permission to block people whenever you like.
You have permission to share as much or as little as you like. You have permission to blog, or not blog. You have permission to Twitter, or not to Twitter. It doesn’t really matter. As long as it’s making you happy, that’s the best thing.
You have permission to suck at a wide variety of activities. It’s okay. You make up for it with your million other brilliance particles.
You have permission to be whatever body shape you like.
You have permission to choose, and choose again. And then choose again.
You have permission to not always be a perfect image of something.
You have permission to be a contradiction.
You have permission to not go to your school reunion, unless it really excites you and delights you, and you would love to really heart-reconnect with people you went to school with.
You have permission to not be interested in the newest fad: harem pants, geek glasses, polaroid cameras, scrapbooking, macrame. You also have permission to be totally obsessed with them, if it makes your heart light up.
You have permission to cut people from your life. You have permission to surround yourself with people who are good and loving and nurturing to you.
You have permission to be a disappointment to some people, as long as you’re not a disappointment to yourself.
You have permission to do nothing whenever you like.
You have permission to make your big dream come true.
You have permission to not do it all perfectly, or have all your shit together.
You have permission to not forgive people. You have permission to forgive people when it’s right for you.
You have permission to think some people are crazy. You have permission to think some people are smigging ice-cream with chocolate and wafers and sprinkles and cherries on top.
You have permission to not have the perfect relationship.
You have permission to not have a relationship.
You have permission to take whatever time you need for you.
You have permission to make ridiculous choices for yourself.
You have permission to use and listen to your intuition. To feel when things are off, and to remove yourself from them, even when you don’t quite know why. You will always find out why. Our intuition is here to serve us.
You have permission to be down. You have permission to be up.
You have permission to still believe in unicorns and fairies.
You have permission to believe in things that other people think are very very odd and strange. You have permission to not care. You have permission to believe in things that make your life wholer, richer and deeper. You have permission to make your own world that is the truest painting of you.
You have permission to suck at colouring in.
You have permission to say bugger off to anyone who has ever told you that you’re not good enough, you’re not worth it, you are not beautiful, you are not lovable and you are not the most divine, wise, delicious Goddess to walk the planet.
You have permission to know that you are.
You have permission to swear when you like, however you like, to your reckless abandon.
You have permission to not be the best of anything – just the best of yourself. And some days, just the best you can do that day.
You have permission to not always give. You have permission to fill your own cup up first.
You have permission to have things around you that delight you.
You have permission to live in a tipi if you want to, or a mansion. Whatever makes your spirit shine is the right thing for you.
You have permission to make choices on whether it makes your spirit shine.
You have permission to know you are a goddess, even when it doesn’t feel like it. Even when you feel utterly human. Even when you want nothing more than to climb under your blanket, or light up the sky.
You are a goddess.
You have permission.
You have permission.
You have permission.
-I am awful for mummy guilt and also for not feeling girly. On my photoshoots I want you to know that you have permission. Permission to be you.
I am Vicki, a mum of two, married and living in beautiful Wendover. I have always been local to Bucks and for 12 years I was a Primary Teacher before launching my photography business.
After my first child I found the time demands of management within a school too much and was not spending enough time with my gorgeous little boy. So I began my exit plan and three years later, prior to having my second baby, I was able to step aside from teaching to focus full-time on my growing business.
I am a big believer in stepping out of the mould and finding what makes you happy. Fast forward another year and my little girl has just had her first birthday and business is in full swing!
Let’s rewind a bit more…
I am someone who has always had a camera in her hand since the really basic digital cameras came out when I was a child. I am also a people pleaser and very emotional! This means I love to photograph people…landscapes, not so much!
I have always made and annotated photo albums as I grew up and have always been quite ‘techy’. I loved art but couldn’t paint or draw so found my creativity being channelled through technology. As my family grew I couldn’t help but want to capture every minute of it, no matter how imperfect.
My style has developed to be ‘lifestyle’ photography although with my own family it is often more documentary as I don’t tend to direct or guide them so much.
If you are looking to have moments of your family life captured to treasure then why not contact me for a phone call? I would love to hear more about your family and come to join in the fun or chaos!
Small Moments – Big Memories
The bluebells are out and everyone is enjoying strolls in the woods and taking family photos. However, bluebells can be notoriously harsh to photograph in due to the bold colours. Here are my top tips for what to wear during your spring photoshoot:
If you are having family photographs try to not dress ‘the same’ but instead choose a maximum of 3 or 4 colours or tones which compliment each other to wear between you all.
Before you take any photos have a quick glance at your wrists too – remove any bulky watches or stray hairbands which you don’t want showing in photographs!
We have already had a sprinkling of snow and are forecast more. If we do get a large flurry and wake up to a winter wonderland you won’t be able to resist taking some photos.
If you have children get them wrapped up warm and head outside with your camera in the morning or afternoon, avoiding the midday sun which may still be bright this time of year.
Taking snowy pictures can present two difficulties – overexposed due to so much bright white, or dull and cold so needing some extra warmth.
Here are my top tips for taking photos in the snow:
- If it is overcast set your white-balance to shady or cloudy. This will add some extra ‘yellow’ warmth and stop the snow looking blue. If you do not have a DSLR you can adjust this when editing afterwards.
- If it is sunny face people towards the sun to light up their faces in a portrait, or with the sun behind them for a glowing light.
- Get down low – be prepared to get wet knees and get down low onto your child’s level. Try to take your photos at their eye level for beautiful portraits and then play around with other angles.
- If you are using your DSLR you may be able to select a ‘snow’ scene mode. Alternatively use sport mode to capture children running or portrait mode if they are standing or sitting still. You may need to use exposure compensation if your camera produces an image which is too bright or too dull. If you know more about your DSLR you could use Aperture or Shutter priority and I would use my 50mm or 80mm lens.
- Think about composition. Let the snow be your backdrop so change your position to avoid cars, buildings and lamp posts!
If you would like to learn more about how to take great photos and use your DSLR click here to find out more about my workshops and training courses. March and April dates soon to be released.
If you take some snowy pictures so share them with me at www.facebook.com/vbowdenphotography and on instagram with the hashtag #VBowdenSnow
Recently, I have had lots of friends and clients getting in touch with V Bowden Photography to ask whether I can help them to better understand their camera and provide photography training. So, after some time and hard work I have put together a photography training workshop course to teach you how to use your digital camera and start taking better photographs of your family.
This 4 hour photography training course is perfect if you have a digital camera but struggle to take good photographs or are confused by so many controls and technical terms.
V Bowden Photography will teach you about:
Basic rules of composition
Getting your focus right
Lighting and correctly exposing photos
How to get off of auto mode and understanding the exposure triangle
Family photography tips
This 4-hour training package costs £60 per person and includes:
Drinks and nibbles
Access to an exclusive area of my website
Facebook support group
Dates for June 2018 (based in Little Chalfont):
Split course (2 x 2hours) : Tuesday 12th June 7-9pm
Thursday 14th June 7-9pm
Day course (1 x 4hours) : Saturday 16th June 1-5pm
To book your place please email email@example.com requesting your preferred date. You will then receive an online form to complete with a link for payment.
To see a sample of my galleries and what you could learn to achieve visit www.vbowdenphotography.co.uk
I look forward to seeing you!
The forecast shows that the sun is going to reappear and the bank holiday weekends are nearly upon us. Lots of us are thinking of taking a stroll out in the bluebells and particularly looking to take photographs of our children in the sea of bluebells. I have a busy diary with bluebell photo sessions and only a few spaces left.
Here are my top tips and locations for a bluebell walk in our local area:
Dockey Woods– probably the most well known place for finding bluebells. Part of the Ashridge estate, chargable entrance and will get very busy. There are natural barriers restricting access to the bluebells and smaller paths in order to protect them so your camera skills will need to be more creative from behind the stick barriers. Go early or late to catch beautiful light and avoid the crowds.
Wendover woods– lots of bluebells to be seen and you can also enjoy the highway rat trail or cycle trails. Be aware that there is extensive building works at the moment. If you just want a bluebell opportunity there are bluebells surrounding the woods as you drive up Aston Hill with several parking spots along the way to stop and walk into the nearby woods.
Hervines Park – this park in Amersham is far less likely to be busy over the coming weeks but offers a lovely walk in the woods with large open space and is close by to coffee shops for a pit stop afterwards.
Penn Woods– the first of my hidden gems, vast amounts of bluebells and great pubs nearby.
Coombe Hill – head up to Coombe Hill and front the car park enter the woods to Lower Scrubs. Another hidden gem with lots of fallen trees and stumps which are great for sitting on for photos.
Westwood Park – enjoy a walk in the woods surrounding Chalfont and Chenies with wonderful views as you head down towards either Chenies or Latimer. For another hidden gem go to Sarratt where footpaths will lead you to a hidden wood with perfect photo spots with small paths and fallen trees.
When planning a photo shoot of your own family keep the following in mind-
1. What are they wearing? Try not to wear overpowering colours or patterns. Stick to a few colours between you all and definitely no yellow, orange or green!
2. What camera are you using? Snap away with whatever you have. There are lots of filters for smart phones and if you have a DSLR you may want a narrow depth of field (low f stop number) to create that wonderful blur in the background and foreground.
3. Composition and angles are key. Try to get onto the same level as the people in your photo so you are at eye level rather than towering over them. This produced more pleasing pictures.
4. Light- when possible avoid very bright sunlight so choose a shadier part of the woods or even better visit over breakfast or tea time for what photographers refer to as ‘golden hour’ with lovely yellow light.
Whilst we all love the short bluebell season please remember that if trodden on they will struggle to reappear in future years so stick to the paths and lift little ones over them if needs be. Keep dogs on leads to avoid them trampling them all down so we can all enjoythem again next year!
If you take any photos feel free to tag them in Twitter with #VBowdenTips to see each-others hidden gems and family snaps.
This morning I was out walking in the Chilterns with my husband and son and peeking through the mud and the trees we saw the first signs of Spring. Tiny, white, delicate Snowdrops were rising up from the damp ground to reach the sunlight. I was disappointed to have not had my camera with me to capture their simplicity as my two year old crept closer to look at the tiny buds. It made me think of all of the photography sessions which will occur this Spring as the seasons change and the days grow longer.
Bluebells are truly beautiful but they don’t last long, sessions will be limited so get in touch now. However Spring will last for months and there will be many opportunities to capture family moments in beautiful soft light.
Small Moments – Big Memories