The school holidays can be an expensive time for us all. Especially when the weather is not so good and you can't spend the day at the park or beach. There are LOTS of fantastic events going on across Dorset for the October half term holidays, and I expect you have already booked some Halloween events into your calendars. However, I am sure that you still have days you need to fill, so I have compiled this awesome list of completely FREE things you can do in Dorset during this October half term holidays, enjoy!
On 25th October between 1-4pm, Scaplen's Court have their annual free Halloween event on for children. Meet their resident witch and explore some spooky museum objects. They usually have crafts and other activities for the children to take part in during this event too. It's worth popping next door to the Poole Museum too as they usually have a spider trail on during half term too.
Learn all about small animals at the Pets at home free pet workshops. Spaces are free but need to be booked by visiting their website.
Hobbycraft have FREE slime making workshops on again during the school holidays. We did this in the summer and the slime has kept really well all this time so its really worth going if you children are into messy play. We have kept ours in a pot in the fridge and its still as good as the day we made it.
Poole Zombie Fest is a free, family-friendly day of spook-tacular activities taking place within Falkland Square, in the Dolphin Shopping Centre. All visitors are encouraged to wear zombie fancy dress. This event takes place on Saturday 27th October from 12pm, with the zombie parade starting at 4pm.
On Saturday 27th October, Southbourne is holding its very own Halloween Event- lots of events and activities for little ghouls and ghosties during the day and a chance for the grown ups to come out for their very own Halloween spooktacular 7pm onwards until 10pm. For more information please check out their website.
There are lots of free events at your local library over the half term holidays. You can find out what is going on on different dates by visiting their website.
Other FREE things to do:Some of the best things to do for free when you are stuck for ideas
1. Go for a lovely Autumn walk and collect some leaves and conkers. You could extend this activity by bringing leaves home to make some arty pictures.
3. Paint some rocks and hide them for others to find. There are lots of local facebook groups for this, some local ones are "Poole Rocks" and "BH Rocks"
4. Get baking! Its the perfect time of the year to stay indoors and do some baking together. Why not try some Halloween themed cookies or cakes?
If you have heard about any other FREE events in Dorset over the October holidays please do let me know I would love to add them to my list.
I hope you all have a fantastic half term with your little ones.
If you follow me or any other newborn photographers on social media, you will notice we are often going about "booking" in whilst you are pregnant, not waiting until your baby arrives to get in touch. But how do we "book" you in when we don't know when your baby is going to arrive? Unlike some other photographers, I do not give you provisional dates (which will undoubtedly need to be re arranged) I simply make sure I have some times around your due date kept available for you, then once you get in touch to let me know your baby has arrived, we arrange a mutually convenient time for your newborn photography session. As you can understand I need to be quite flexible with my time, hence I can only book in a certain amount of babies per month. Babies are often early or late, which sometimes leads to me having a few last minute spaces available, so I sometimes can accommodate clients who get in touch after their baby arrives. But I can not guarantee space, and I often have to say that I am unfortunately fulled booked. If this does happen, I will never turn you away but simply say we might need to wait a few weeks. I photograph all ages up to 5 months in a "newborn style" but as you can imagine they grow really quickly and a 4/5 week old baby will not be as curled up as a 7 day old. You can read more about my "older newborn" photography sessions in another blog post that I have written.
There are other reasons and benefits to booking in before your due month. It is easier for you to find and book a photographer when you are expecting as you will have more time, and once you have "booked in" you don't need to do anything else until your session apart from a simple message to let me know your little one has arrived. We can spend time talking about your session and what you would like, and it gives me chance to post out your lovely booking form and if you are local get a Little Pack of Love goody bag over to you, which contains lots of fantastic freebies and vouchers.
Also by booking in early you get the chance to get a free beautiful wooden photo block as a thank you from me for being super organised (as it helps me to be more organised too!) and if you are booking a maternity photography session too, you can get a £25 discount (terms and condition apply, please message me for more information) and a further £25 discount off any future family photography sessions.
You can find out lots more information on newborn photography sessions in Poole with me under my newborn photography section or read more newborn photography articles on my blog. If you would like any further information or would like to book in, please contact me.
Last week I came across something very special at exactly the right time.
If you have been to mine for your photography session you will have noticed all the photographs I have up of my children, but I often say that a family photograph is well overdue. So this summer I made it my mission to do this, and I was very pleased with the result, it was exactly what I wanted and exactly how I wanted my family to be captured. Anyway, now came the hard part, getting that image on the wall! Of course, being a professional photographer I have a list of suppliers. If you know how my business works, I mainly sell digital images as these are part of the package you choose. I like to remain affordable by allowing clients to get their own products printed elsewhere. Whilst I always recommend getting products through me so I can ensure the best quality and colours, I understand not everyone can afford professional quality products so I thought I should test some high street brands to see which were good enough to "recommend" to my clients.
This is when this fantastic opportunity came up for me to review a Tesco canvas! The timing couldn't have been better. I already had my favourite image picked ready to order and the process was super easy.
What amazed me the most was that if you order your Tesco canvas before 12pm you can collect after 3pm the SAME day! I was in no immediate rush for mine so I opted for the home delivery option, but it still arrived in less than a week, which is also an amazing turnaround time. Now I have done something similar before, you have probably seen those little places in shopping centers that do you a canvas in an hour, we have had these done in the past and the colours have been awful. As a professional photographer I am extra picky about colour balance, but Tesco came out very close to the colours I see on my screen so I was very impressed with this also!
It was very easy to order my canvas online. I simply selected the size required, then chose the type of side style. I was very impressed that ALL options were available and done automatically for you; mirror, image stretch, block colour, or image wrap. It also showed you which part of the photo would be wrapped around the outside so you could choose the best option. I personally like the image wrap, but for this and the mirror option you need to ensure you have plenty of background otherwise you will end up cutting bits of your photo off or having a shoe or someone's foot or whatever is on the outside of the image mirrored, which looks terrible! But fear not as you can clearly see what your image will look like before you order.
The only thing I would do differently if I ordered again, is order a bigger one! Canvas definitely look better the bigger you get!
Thank you Tesco, I will definitely be recommending your canvas' to my clients!
During the summer holidays we were given the fantastic opportunity for my children to attend some biscuit decorating and craft classes at Lollipops play cafe in Bournemouth whilst I took some promotional photographs for the lovely Sarah from Biscuits by Sarah B and Lexy from Made by Me Craft Parties.
I decided to bring my husband along to look after the children at the class, so I could concentrate on my purpose for being there; to take photographs. But he was not needed at all! Sarah and Lexy were amazing with all of the children and each class provided a full hours entertainment for the children whilst the adults could enjoy a hot drink in the cafe and a much needed break during the summer holidays.
During these classes the children got to make a spell book with invisible ink and secret pockets and tabs ( I wanted to make one myself!) and decorate five yummy Harry Potter themed biscuits. I have even booked myself onto an adult biscuit decorating class because it looked so fun.
Needless to say, I got some great photographs which show how involved the children were with what they were doing, they all had a great time and as well as being entertained for a hour or two they got to take some fantastic creations home with them!
Over the past 2 years, I have had the absolute pleasure of watching this gorgeous little boy growing from a tiny helpless dependant little newborn baby into an independent adventurous 2 year old throughout our 6 photography sessions together.
I first met this gorgeous little one back in July 2016 when he was just 14 days old. He came here to Samantha Prewett Photography for his newborn photography session and we have continued to have regular photo sessions ever since.
For his 6 month photography session, I visited their home to capture the next stage in his development. When your baby starts to sit up on their own, its the perfect time for their next photo session. It was so lovely to see how he had changed, and we even took a photo on the same star blanket that they brought to his newborn photography session here with me in Poole.
I returned to their family home for his one year birthday celebration photography session. What better way to celebrate than with a birthday cake! This little man is lucky to have a summer birthday so we could do some indoor and outdoor photos during his session. As you can see he loved getting stuck into his cake, and we also managed to get some lovely natural family photographs during this photo session too.
Two years isn't always the "easiest" age to photograph, we are long past the stages of being able to gently pose them or get them to sit nicely for their photograph to be taken. So we decided to capture an adventure, one of their favourite places to go as a family, . Sessions like this bring a whole new meaning to professional photography, a snipet of time captured forever. All those lovely memories of what you love to do together professionally captured to look back on for years to come. This is why I thoroughly enjoy photographing your children of all ages, and getting to capture them as they grow is even more rewarding for me, and you.
It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know this lovely family over the past two years, who I can now proudly call friends and not just clients, and I can't wait for our next adventure together.
If you are ready for me to capture the next stage of your family journey, you can check out my family photography page or you can get in touch here. Don't forget you can use your £25 voucher that came with your photographs AND if you have only recently had your newborn session and are not ready for the next stage yet you can even book a session for next year at this years price.
The summer holidays are almost upon us, this can be an expensive time for us all, most of us work less and spend more! (I do anyway!) I spend a lot of time planning my summer holidays so I thought I would save you all some time and share lots of the free events and activities I have found with you all.
If you children love getting messy, making their own wildflower seed bombs could be the perfect activity for them. This free event takes place on 1st August from 1-3pm at the Joy cafe in Churchill Gardens.
There are lots of free events going on in Saxon Square in Christchurch over the summer holidays. Including a teddy bears picnic, a sports day and a circus skills workshop. You can find out more by visiting their website.
Have you ever taken your children fishing? This is the perfect opportunity to give it a go. All the equipment you will need is provided free of charge along with advice to help you get started. Contact details are on the poster above.
How about free Tennis coaching? Every Saturday between 10-11am free lessons are available at Knyveton Gardens or open play for all between 11-1130am. Other locations are available also, check out the website for more information:
Hobbycraft are running free craft activites throuout the summer holidays, for more information and to book visit their website.
Do you fancy getting back to nature with your children? A new group is taking place every Thursday from 1pm at Poole Park. They have lots of other free events too, check out their website for more information.
Have you signed up for the summer reading challenge yet? Suitable for ages 4 plus, simply ready 6 books over the summer holidays to complete the challenge and get your medal and certificate. The library also has LOTS of free events for children over the summer holiday period. Find out more here.
Learn all about small animals at the Pets at home free pet workshops. Spaces are free but need to be booked by visiting their website.
Dorchester's completely free youth music and culture event is happening again on 25th August 2018. Not only is it FREE entry, all the activities (apart from street art) are FREE too! This is one not to be missed, visit their website to find out more information.
Every Wednesday throughout the summer holidays enjoy a date with nature at the New Forest Reptile Centre, with fun activities for the whole family.There will be a quiz trail and making activities for children. Come and see the “live” video of birds on their nests as well as the reptiles and amphibians. Visit their website for more information.
Step back in time every Monday and Tuesday throughout August at Poole Museum with our free historically themed activities. An experienced team of activity leaders and re-enactors will be demonstrating crafts from the past and encouraging families to have a go at historical games. Poole museam and Scaplens Court are both free to enter, you can find out about this and other events they have going on by visiting their website.
On the 2nd August there is a free family fun day in Poole Park, unlike most family fun days most of the activities are free also!
Other FREE things to do:
Some of the best things to do for free when you are stuck for ideas:
1. Blackberry picking
2. Go to the beach / park for a picnic
4. Crabbing at Poole or Mudeford Quay
5. Visit an outdoor paddling pool, you can find a list here.
6. Free fireworks displays at 10pm on Thursdays at Poole Quay and Friday's at Bournemouth Pier
7. Paint some rocks and hide them for others to find. There are lots of local facebook groups for this, some local ones are "Poole Rocks" and "BH Rocks"
If you need somewhere to add all these great free activities and to help you organise your summer, check out this pretty FREE downloable summer wall planner from Joanne Dewberry.
I hope you find some of these suggestions useful. Please do add any more that you know about, or let us know what you love to do for free in the school holidays. I look forward to reading all of your suggestions.
Have a fabulous summer, we all intend to!
It's not often that I photograph babies at this age, but I occasionally get people who have "missed" the newborn photography stage. Babies tend to be more awake, active and less curled up at this age so photographs are slightly different to a newborn session. Every baby is so different though, and at 6 weeks we try to get as many "newborn" style photographs as possible.
This beautiful little girl came to see me very recently, her Mum had just missed the "newborn" photography stage, but was keen to get some sleepy photos. Which we managed to, along with some gorgeous awake ones too. She was small for her age so still fit into my newborn outfits and some of my newborn sized baskets. I do also have props and outfits for babies up to 5 months so we would have worked with these if she didn't fit into the smaller ones.
In fact her session was rather like most of my newborn photography sessions, she had lots of cuddles, feeds and a couple of naps. I tend to take "newborns" between 1-2 weeks, but I will never refuse anyone and say their baby is too old for a photography session. Every stage of a baby is equally beautiful to capture, even if your baby is older than 6 weeks, we can still get similar photos, maybe not the sleepy ones, but I work with your baby to create the perfect selection of images for you. I have had babies at 5 months sleep during their sessions, so it all depends how they are on the day.
Baby photography sessions are suitable if your baby is between 6 weeks and 5 months (pre sitting) and packages start from £85. They last around an hour, as babies tend to be a little more settled at this age, but we sometimes go a little over this time, which is completely fine too. A photography session for a 4/5 month old baby is very different to a 6 week old, they will more than likely be pushing themselves up by this age so that makes for very different but equally beautiful photographs. If your baby is between these ages please get in touch to discuss whether a newborn or baby session would suit you better. To see some examples of my photos of babies between 6 weeks and 5 months you can visit my baby gallery.
Please get in touch if you are interested in a baby photography session by sending me a message via my contact me page.
This month I was lucky enough to welcome a gorgeous little boy into Samantha Prewett Photography, in Poole, Dorset to photograph him for his newborn photography session. This newborn photography session was extra special because he had with him his beautiful bump cast bowl, made by the very talented Zoe from Rock the Bump. I was really excited about this session as it was the first time I have photographed one of Zoes beautiful bowls, or as she calls them "Baby's first home"
I thought it would be nice to share some of the beautiful images from his newborn photography session with you all, not just of him in the bowl but some of the other images from his session too:
This gorgeous little man was only 6 days when he came to see me! I tend to do newborn sessions at around 7 days, but anything up to 2-3 weeks is usually fine. If babies are older than this, I never turn them away, we just might not get the tightly curled up sleepy images as babies tend to start to uncurl very quickly. It was good that we managed to get him in so early, as he only just fit into his mummy's bump cast! It really was incredible to see how he would have been curled up inside their less than a week previous to his photography session.
I especially love the photo where he kicked his little leg out of the bowl, I can just imagine him doing this in his mummy's tummy, all of us who have had babies remember what the feels like don't we :-)
Zoe and I absolutely love the belly bump cast photos and we would love to see more babies bring their "Baby's first home" cast to me for their newborn photography session. If you are expecting, you can find out more about Zoe's bump casting on her website.
We have a very special offer available to you if you would like to book a newborn photography session with Samantha Prewett Photography and a bump casting session with Rock the bump, you will get £45 of a luxury bump cast AND a further £45 off your newborn photography session if you are happy for us to share some of your photographs of your baby in their belly bump cast. Please get in touch for more details.
I have just completed my third year running of bluebell photography sessions at Pamphill in Wimborne, Dorset. This year I photographed 4 beautiful families in one early evening, it might not have been the sunniest of days , but we had already postponed 3 times so it was then or never so we went for it! I am sure you can agree with me that it was totally worth it.
My bluebell mini sessions are exclusively for past clients, the sessions are really short as we already know each other its a little chance to catch up and update their beautiful photograph collections. The special price is also a thank you to them for choosing me to capture their special memories for them AGAIN. I am always happy to photograph new families here also, but we would need a full session, 15 minutes is not enough time to get to know new people and capture some beautiful images for you.
I couldn't write this blog without sharing their "look how I have grown" photos! Without a doubt this is the best part of my job;
The sessions went amazingly, to say they only had a short time each all the little ones were fantastic. I really enjoyed seeing everyone again, and I hope its not the end of our journey together, it is a real pleasure for me being invited time and time again to capture your beautiful family growing.
If you missed out this year (or can't wait to come back next year!) and would like to kept up date with when I will be doing the sessions, please sign up to my monthly newsletter here (the form is right at the bottom of my home page) or if you are a past client you can join my VIP facebook group here. I am thinking about doing wild flower meadow mini sessions for the first time this year, if you are interested please do let me know now as I need enough interest before I look into it further.
Wow, I can quite proudly say that it has been 1 year now since we started our #littlepacksoflove project. If you haven't heard about it or had one yet, you can find out more by reading my previous blog post.
My idea started out small, I wanted to be able to give my clients goody bags with lots of relevant, local information and offers in, not junk. I teamed up with the lovely Emma from Sunflower Baby Massage to plan putting together the packs. It was a lot of work (and still is) organising everyone and everything for the packs, but very rewarding. Unfortunately, Emma has had to move on, but I am delighted to have Puddle Ducks on board to help me now as well as a few other local mums who run their own baby related businesses who help to pack them up.
Little packs of love have become so much more than just goody bags, we have created a community of local mums in business who all own baby related companies and we all support each other as well as meeting up regularly, it can be really lonely being a self employed mum sometimes.
To celebrate our success over the past year, many of the businesses involved have offered a prize for our fantastic giveaway!
The prizes up for grabs are :
1. A framed hand/feet print from Precious Memories. Suitable from birth to 12 months. To claim this prize you must be able to travel to Glenda's studio in Lychett Matravers. Must be claimed by 1st September 2018.
2. A beautiful 0-3 months hand knitted hat from Snug Creations. This prize can be posted to the winner or collected from Samantha Prewett Photography in Poole.
3. A voucher for a full 6 week baby yoga course from Nature, Nurture, Love. Suitable for babies between 6 weeks old and pre walking.
4. A voucher for a half price block of swimming lessons from Puddle Ducks. This is valid for Puddle Ducks Dorset only and until the end of October 2018 and for first set of lessons only.
5. A gift voucher pack from Sunflower Baby Massage, including a voucher for 25% off a 1-1 baby massage course, some sunflower seeds and a bottle of massage oil. This prize will be posted out to the winner.
6. A £10 gift voucher from Loved Garms. This can be redeemed online.
7. A half price antenatal course from BIRTH Rocks. Valid for July only.
8. A personalised hand written name print from Carriegraphy. This can be posted to the winner.
9. A pamper session for up to 10 guests from Forever Beautiful by Jennie
10. A £50 gift voucher from Samantha Prewett Photography. The voucher is valid towards Linen or Bamboo photography packages only and expires on 1st December 2018.
11. A £15 gift voucher for Zen Baby Therapies. Expires 28th February 2019.
12. Couch 2 5k unicorn challenge with medal from Challenge Virtual following the NHS Couch to 5km App. In your own time at your own pace. Once you have completed the C25k, send a screenshot of your completion to them via our website their Facebook page.
13. Goody bag from Kicks Count. This will be posted out to the winner.
14. A tote bag and box of chocolate from Families Online
To enter the competition, please comment and let us know which prize you would really like to win (you will still be entered for each one so don't worry!) and if you are a client of any of the businesses who have listed a prize. If you are, you get an extra entry (if you have bought from more than one of us, please let us know all and you get an extra entry for each!) A winner will be chosen at random on 1st June 2018 and announced on Facebook. The list of winners will also be posted as a comment on here so please do come back to check if you have won. You must claim your prize by 15th June otherwise another winner will be chosen. Some prizes have their own terms and conditions, these are listed separately.
About my blog
Welcome to my blog. This is much more than a way of just sharing photography sessions. It is best way to really find out what you are going to get from your experience with me, through behind the scenes, articles on what I do and why I do it. And to find photography tips and advice aswell as entering some great competitions.