I recently got my first business award and I wanted to share it with you!
This isn't one of those "business of the year etc" award. To me this award means so much more. I didn't need to beat anyone or attend any fancy award dinners to receive it (which neither of which are me at all!) and any other local businesses can apply for one. If you are a local Poole business I want to encourage you to do just that, which is why I have written this blog.
Plastic free Poole
3 small changes towards becoming plastic free
The first thing that I needed to do was complete a plastic audit of my business. What single use plastic do I use? Now, I am already very conscious of plastic waste and I have always kept single use plastic to a minimum right from the beginning. However, upon completing this, it brought some items to my attention that I had not particularly thought about before. I began to think how I could either get rid of these or make a swap for non plastic. For me, most of my single use plastic comes from packaging when I send out my photographs to my clients. I started off with the following 3 swaps:
1. I was sending my larger photographic prints to my clients in plastic print bags. I decided to trial sending some single prints out just as they are in card envelopes, and sets of prints wrapped up in tissue paper. I was concerned that they might get scratched, but I was informed by my clients that they were indeed fine.
2. Parcel tape. This was such a simple swap , one that I could not believe I have not done before! I use a lot of plastic parcel tape as every package that I send to my clients arrives inside a postal box that I tape up. It was so simple swapping to paper parcel tape. It is actually stronger, looks nicer and can of course by recycled!
3. Chocolate camera packaging. Again, I was using plastic bags for these. I go through quite a lot so it was concerning the amount of plastic that was ending up in the bin. I have now swapped to paper sweetie bags that I pop them into and seal with a paper sticker.
It was a little odd receiving an award from Rosie from Go Pladdle during the Covid-19 pandemic. We managed a long socially distanced chat and a lovely photograph taken by my son. What better place to meet than at Baiter, just opposite from where I live and a place that my family and I love to do beach cleans.
Whilst I have already achieved my award. I am not 100% free of single use plastic just yet and I need your help! Do you have any ideas what I could replace disposable puppy pads/ bed mats with? They need to be very absorbent, thin and plain (not bright colours) as I use them underneath my fabrics that I put babies onto when they are not wearing a nappy.
Would you like to become a plastic free business champion for Poole?
Go Pladdle are working with Surfers Against Sewage to aim to make Poole a plastic free community. They still need more Poole based businesses to apply to become plastic free before they can achieve this. You can find out more by visiting the Surfers Against Sewage website.
If you do not have your own business , you can still help out. Every single change or plastic swap helps the environment. Wouldn't it be amazing if everyone who read this article committed to make 3 swaps, imagine the impact that would have? What plastic can you get rid of or swap in your life?
Last week I had the absolute pleasure of finally (after re arranging due to covid-19 and bad weather!) photographing this gorgeous little girl celebrating her first birthday by having a watermelon smash session.
I have been doing these sessions for a couple of years now and I absolutely love them! They are a fun, healthy alternative to a cake smash to celebrate your baby turning one. I pride myself in offering these fun, unique, natural watermelon smash photography sessions to babies living in Dorset who come for me to capture this special time for their families.
I have done cake smashes in the past at the request of clients but I always find that babies are much more into the watermelon smashes. To them it is a much more natural as they will more than likely have eaten (and loved) watermelon so they know what to do with it. I often get involved in helping them mush it all up which everyone loves and it can get quite messy!
I love that these photography sessions, although they are pre set up, are completely naturally posed as I get to take a step back and professionally record your little one enjoying themselves. I sometimes even take a little video during the session. I often get involved with helping baby dig in the "cake" However, this particular session took place during the covid-19 pandemic so I had to get the parents to do that this time, along with a few other small changes including unfortunatly not having a splash session at the end.
This lovely little girl definetly enjoyed herself, and I loved capturing some beautiful memories that I know will be treasured by her family for a lifetime.
If you have a little one turning one (or any other age, I have done this for older children too) soon and would like some more information, please check out my first birthday photography section of my website where you can see lots more lovely photos including the smash and splash session that I will be able to resume after covid-19. I can still do watermelon smashes at the moment but without a splash session at the end.
As things are "slowly" starting to get back to normal, what ever normal now is; I have finally started to pick up my camera again and it feels so good!
I have had many newborns arrive over the past 2 months who have pre booked with me, it makes me so sad that I can not capture those first few early days and weeks for the families, but it has just not been possible at all due to the corona virus crisis.
After the news of us passing the peak of the virus, although it is still not safe to resume my full newborn sessions, I offered to drop by my clients homes and take a few photos of them outside their homes.
Doorstep portrait sessions have been very popular in the photography community especially across America, but I didn't feel this was something I could get involved with for many reasons of which I will not list here. However, I did want to do something a little special for my clients who have already pre booked and babies have arrived as they will have to wait a while for their session.
So last week, I started travelling across Dorset (on different days!) to photograph some of these families and I wanted to share some of the photos with you from one of the sessions.
I only spent a short amount of time with each family and I kept my distance. It was really hard though not getting baby cuddles, I will just have to wait a bit longer!
These families have been through so much, having a baby is the hardest (but best!) thing you can ever do, but the current situation makes it that bit more difficult. I am so happy that from this week they can meet their extended family (in small groups) outdoors and finally show off their little bundles properly, even if cuddles do need to wait a bit longer.
If you have had your baby during Covid-19 and have been holding off booking in, I still photograph babies up to 5 months old in a similar way to newborns ,and should you wish to book in, I would be happy to visit you at home to take a few photos likes these for you now whilst we wait until it is safe to have the full newborn photography session. I have not charged for these newborn doorstep sessions and all digital images are emailed to you. You can find out more information on my latest Covid-19 update.
I have also written a blog with tips on how you can photograph your own newborn at home, which also features a competition to win a free family photography session for October.
Please do get in touch or have a look around my website if you would like to find out more about my photography services.
Thank you to this lovely family for allowing me to share their photos on my website, I can't wait for our proper photography session soon.
Giving birth to your baby during a world wide pandemic is no mean feat! But you are creating history right now, bringing a child into the world at this time is heroic, please do not forget how amazing you are , you can do this!
Unfortunately, you will not be able to get any professional newborn photographs taken at this time. So I have written a simple guide to help you with taking some photographs of your own baby at home.
I photograph babies up to 5 months here at Samantha Prewett Photography in Poole in a similar way to newborns, you can read more about this in my baby section. I would love to see you and your baby after this is all over and the world has started to return to a safe place to be.
1. Simple is key
You really do not need any props to take some lovely photographs at home yourself. Just a couple of blankets. Find somewhere in your home with lots of natural light, turn off your flash and any other lights you have in your home. If you have a nice rug you can lay your baby on the floor. If you have a favourite outfit you can dress them in that, or if you want to take their clothes off for some photos make sure that it is nice and warm in your home first. I heat up my home for a few hours before any newborn photography session.
Don't try and attempt any "poses" that you have seen newborn photographers create. We have had lots of training and many years of experience so we know how to safely position your baby without risking their safety.
2. Get in nice and close
This is one of my all time favourite newborn photographs. I love taking simple, close up photos of newborns, especially when they are awake. I find the morning is usually when they are most content and happy so if you can try some photos as early as you can, as soon as you have enough daylight. For a natural, uncluttered background, simply lay baby on a light coloured blanket or throw. If you have a special one that you would like to use, all the better for those precious memories.
3. Don't forget the feet!
If you follow me you will know that I love baby feet! There is nothing cuter than tiny little baby toes. So make sure you take some photos of your babies feet and hands. If you have another adult or other children at home, you can get them to hold babies feet or hands in their hands whilst you take a few photos so that you can see how small they are.
4. Make sure that you get in some photos yourself.
Although you may not feel very photogenic straight after having a baby, trust me you look amazing. The new mum (and Dad) look is something you will definitely want to remember.
I simply love this photo so much, Dad was almost asleep here, you can really feel the closeness in the photograph.
Whilst most parents chose to have parent and baby photos when they come to me for their newborn photography sessions, not all do. The ones that don't still have some photos on their phones of them with their baby. Trust me you will regret it in years to come if you do not. Even if you are on your own with your baby, the wonders of modern technology allow you to take selfies on your phone, just remember to hold the phone so it is looking down on you and your baby not up your noses.
5. Print your photos!
This is the most important piece of advice that I can offer you.
There is nothing more precious than a printed photo book or a photo album, or even a shoebox full of photographs to look back on over the years. Photographs become so much more valuable over time, trust me , my children are now 8 and 11 and they love looking at all of our photo albums from when they were smaller.
My professional printing lab is closed at the moment, so I have given the FreePrints app a go for our scrapbook photos, I have to say I was impressed. Remember to chose "Matt" finish so your photos are kept free from fingerprint marks.
WIN a photography session with me
I am running a fab competition to win a FREE baby/ family photography session in October 2020.
This competition is open to anyone who has had a baby during the Covid-19 pandemic.
To enter, simply comment below letting me know when your baby arrived.
The competition closes on 30th September 2020. The winner will receive a FREE pebble family photography package which will take place at Wareham Forest in October 2020. You must give permission for me to share your photographs that I take during the session.
Please follow my facebook page for more chances to gain extra entries to the competition.
I am missing photographing your gorgeous babies so much, I would love to see some of the photographs that you take of your baby following my advice. If you message my facebook business page with a photo(s) that you have taken using my tips, you will get an extra entry to the competition.
You can read my Covid-19 statement here, which will let you know what to expect if you are booked in with me and your baby arrives during this pandemic.
I write this blog at a very strange time, the strangest time of my entire 34 years of life so far.
The world has stood still, covid-19 is taking over so I wanted to spread a little pre corona virus joy with you all.
This will be my last blog for a while, featuring the last family photography session that took place before the country entered lock down.
Look how much we have grown!
This was our 4th photography session together! I have had the absolute pleasure of photographing this lovely family since their little boy was born 2 years ago. We have had newborn, bluebell and daffodil sessions! Their walls must look absolutely gorgeous at home.
As you can see, this particular family photography session took place at a beautiful daffodil patch right near me in Poole, Dorset. We got some lovely photos of the children with the beautiful yellow backdrop. Mum and Dad thoughtfully dressed them in lovely rainbow clothes which looked fantastic, and I was so pleased so see the same yellow wellies that were worn last year too! Maybe they will keep them to be passed down to little brother too!
At the end of the session we stopped on the walk back at this lovely spot for a few family photos. This beautiful session was such a welcome break in what is going on in the world at the moment, it truly represents what is most important, spending time with your loved ones. I feel so privileged that I get to capture these beautiful memories for so many lovely Dorset families as they grow.
See you on the other side, take care and stay safe everyone.
If you would like some beautiful family memories in the beautiful outdoors in Dorset, you can find out more information in the family photography section of my website.
It is always a good idea to see examples of full sessions when booking a photographer. Websites and social media are a good place to look to see if you like my style, but you need to see examples of what you get from one session not just my favourites cherry picked for my portfolio.
Here you can read about a recent newborn photography session and see EVERY SINGLE shot that was presented in their gallery.
It has been a while since I shared an entire newborn photography gallery with you all , so I thought it was about time to "update" with a new one. Not because I don't like the other images anymore, neither have they gone "out of date" , but because I love showing you how different every session is.
This gorgeous little girl was just 9 days old when she came to see me. She brought her big sister along too and we also got lots of gorgeous family photos during the session too. We started the session with some sibling photos as I like to show older siblings that they are involved, its not just all about the baby. If they are not keen on the idea we have time to come back to them at the end of the session , or even capture those tiny little moments of interaction during the session as they don't always want to "pose" for a photograph.
On this particular occasion, big sister was happier than little sister to have her photo taken!
Mum and Dad brought some gorgeous matching handmade outfits along which were made by a lovely friend of mine at Loved Garms.
I always ask before the session which props and colours parents would like to use during their session so I can set them up ready. Depending on the package you choose, we usually have time for 3-5 different set ups during newborn photography sessions.
Newborn photography sessions that take place here with me are generally focused around your baby, but we can include a few family photos if you would like. If you would like a more family orientated session, a newborn lifestyle session where I visit you at home might work better for you.
I like to take some photos with no props as well, just baby. But as you can see even when I do use props they never dominate the image, your beautiful baby will always be the focus of every single shot that I take during your session.
Like "most" babies she was awake for a lot of the session but we got her to sleep towards the end for some sleepy photos. Every newborn baby is different, all of my sessions are baby led, so if they are wide awake that is completely fine I work them to produce these gorgeous natural images that you will treasure. We work to their schedule not mine.
At the end of this session went spent a few moments capturing some gorgeous natural family photos. These photos are always informal and you get to sit and snuggle up together on my lovely new sofa whilst I capture the moments for you to treasure.
I would like to thank this lovely family for letting me share their gorgeous photographs with you all.
Please contact me for more information on newborn photography sessions or if you would like to read more about newborn photography with me in Poole, Dorset you can visit the newborn photography section of my website.
I first wrote this blog back in 2016, attempting to inform people why I shoot with natural light only and why (to me) it is better than artificial light.
To this very day, it is still THE most important aspect of my newborn photography, but 4 years down the line from originally writing it, I don't need to convince people anymore as you all know! Every single client who visits me tells me exactly what I have been trying to tell you all for the past 7 years, that the natural light and home environment that I shoot in is wonderful, so relaxing and calming to walk into and that they would never want it any other way.
Rewinding back to when started my business 7 years ago, people always used to ask why I shoot with natural light only, or usually they assume I shoot with it until I am able to get myself a "studio" with artificial lighting. Hence, I felt the need to explain myself, as it is a topic that I feel very strongly about.
Well, the answer to this question is in the question itself, it is natural. Natural is part of my brand, natural posing, natural light, natural newborn photography, natural baby photography, natural family photography. Now I don't as most people know this!
I know most photographers use artificial lighting indoors, especially here in the UK where the weather can be very unpredictable. But if you know how to use it correctly , it really can be the most beautiful natural resource. Yes, on some very dull (and likewise very sunny!) days it can be harder to work with, but by changing your camera settings and sometimes moving baby slightly, or yourself, you can achieve some amazing results.
Natural light is not the easy option. Quite the opposite in fact, it takes a lot more work than studio lighting. There is so much more to learn , to think about, than setting up one or two lights and not having to think much about lighting during the photography session. Natural light is constantly changing, so as well as settling and "posing" baby, camera setting often need to be constantly changed as does positioning of baby and the set up with the change of the power of the sun. But I would not have it any other way. I have used artificial lighting in the past on many occasions, so I have an in depth knowledge of both, however I was always taken back by the beauty of natural light so I made the decision to work only with this. I feel that it offers the client a beautiful, gentle, pure, natural, organic feel which is what my brand sets about to achieve.
If you would like to read more about your newborn photography experience with me, here are a couple of other useful articles that when all read together pretty much sum up my newborn photography business.
* Why I offer newborn photography from my home
* Newborn photography experience with Samantha Prewett Photography
You can see more of my beautiful newborn photographs and find out more information such as pricing in the newborn area of my website. If you are interested in a photography session please do contact me and I will happy to send you a beautiful booking information pack.
So its the beginning of not only a new year, but a whole new decade, 2020!
January is my business birthday month, and this month I am celebrating 7 years in business!
When I started out 7 years ago, my kids were just 1 and 3 years old and in all honesty I didn't know where it would take me. I have loved every single moment of it, I have learnt a lot along the way and realised what works and what does not work for me (mainly dropping wedding photography, I have to admit that was the best business decision that I ever made!)
A few highlights from the past 7 years
I could write a whole book about my business over the past 7 years, and I do easily get carried away as I am so passionate about what I do , so I have decided to stick with a few highlights:
* I launched my family photography business in January 2013. In September 2015 my youngest started school so I was able to take my business to full time.
* In October 2013 I went on my first newborn photography training course, I truly caught the baby photography bug, this was the start of my new found passion which is still going strong today!
*I photographed my last wedding at the end of 2015 and have never ever looked back! Newborn babies and family photography is exactly where I want to be.
*Little packs of love- I spent 2 years with a dozen or so other local baby businesses creating goody bags full of exclusive offers and samples for our clients. Unfortunately this sort of fizzled out but I still put together beautiful little goody packs for my clients now.
* Mothercare expectant parent events - these played a huge part for 3 years of my business. I simply loved meeting so many new parents to be and talking about my newborn photography.
* Expectant and New parent event in the Eco Hub 2019 - I organised and ran my first event in the Dolphin Centre in Poole last October and it went so well that I am doing it all again this April.
There is so much I could go on and on but I am sure that would bore you all!
Me doing what I love
To celebrate 7 years, I have a fantastic offer on this month for any 2020 session that is booked in January. You can find all of my price lists on the website. This offer is valid for ANY session; Maternity, newborn , baby, first birthday photo sessions, or family.
Please contact me via my contact form if you are interested in my offer and I will be more than happy to send you a copy of my booking pack.
I can hardly believe it has been over a month now since this amazing event that I organised at the Eco Hub in Poole's Dolphin Centre. I have been so busy I have only just managed to find time to write this article about it.
The event brought together many of Dorset's leading antenatal and baby services and suppliers, and provided a full schedule of FREE taster classes, talks and demos, as well as offering FREE entry and amazing FREE goody bags to the families who attended.
12 fantastic local businesses joined me on the day, which was kindly sponsored by Puddle Ducks Dorset including: Talking Babies, Nature.Nurture Love, Precious Memories Keepsakes, Dorset Sling Library/Seaside Slings, Mothercare, Loved Garms, Poole Mumbler, Biscuits by Sarah B, The Empowered Parent, and Daisy First Aid Christchuch Bournemouth & Poole. Many of these put on FREE talks, demos and taster sessions.
Throughout the day, some of the FREE talks and classes we had included baby massage, hypnobirthing taster, first aid, sling demos, and a 4th trimester workshop.
We also had an amazing raffle with over 50 prizes, and managed to raise over £100 for Tyler's Friends who are a local charity supporting bereaved parents to enable them to have the funeral and memorial of their wishes for their precious baby or child.
If you missed out last time or came and loved the event so much that you would love to come again, I am really excited to announce that we are running this event again on Sunday 26th April 2020 at The Eco Hub which is located in Poole's Dolphin Centre. More information to follow!
Over the past 4 years, I have had the absolute pleasure of watching this gorgeous little boy growing from a tiny helpless dependent little newborn baby into an independent adventurous 4 year old big brother throughout our 9 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.
Newborn and family photography
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.
6 month baby photography
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.
First birthday family photography
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.
In June 2019 he was promoted to big brother!! I was super excited to hear their news and had been looking forward to this session for a very long time. It means so much when families come back to me with their new babies, even more so when I have been lucky enough to capture their journey over the years.
Newborn and sibling photography
In November 2019, I was invited to capture the latest family memories for this lovely family at their home. Little sister is now 5 months old and he is such an amazing big brother!
Family lifestyle photography
Outdoor family photography
Wow we have now had 9 sessions together! This gorgeous little man has just started school and now has a 1 year old sister! This year we created more memories at the same place we went to for his 2 year photography session in Wimborne, Dorset. It was so lovely seeing how much he has grown and he is a lovely polite happy little boy. I loved watching how he was with his little sister. Here are just a few of the photos from their most recent session:
It has been an absolute pleasure getting to know this lovely family over the past four 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.