Tag Archives: photo shoot

10 years and going stronger than ever!

Oh My!  I can’t quite believe that it’s been 10 years since I first started my pregnancy photography business back in 2003.

When I first began photographing bumps back in 1999, NO-ONE in the UK was offering a specialist/dedicated maternity photography service.  I know, because I trawled the adverts, magazines and internet looking for someone.  In the end a lovely art student took some photos of me, which was the turning point for today.  I gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl who was probably the most photographed baby on the planet!!  I went back to work in the City part-time but still this niggling voice kept saying “go on you can do it!”  I went back to college (St Martins) and sharpened my craft, meeting some amazing photographers along the way!  I began asking pregnant women to pose for me so I could develop a style…not many took me up on the offer as they all thought I was a bit weird for asking!  Then, the ‘hooha’ over THAT image of Demi Moore kicked up again and suddenly pregnant women ‘got it’!  I had a bouncing baby boy in the meantime and planned my business during his first year.  I was one of just 4 photographers in the UK offering a dedicated pregnancy photography service.  Clients travelled from all over the UK and even Europe (they came by ferry!) to be photographed.

My first ever professional shoot

My first ever professional shoot

My husband, although supportive, didn’t think that many pregnant women would want their photos taken.  He did, however, buy me a bigger camera to get me started.  A Pentax with manual everything including focus and film.  Imagine!  Digital SLR’s weren’t around then, so you had to know your settings and exposures.  I found some hand-printers to develop my work, and gradually word spread…..BBC South Today ran a news piece on prime time TV of me actually photographing a pregnant lady and then spent hours interviewing us for a 2 minute piece.  I was so excited although I do regret not having had my hair done properly!  Next, BBC Radio 2 presenter Janey Lee Grace and I worked together when she was pregnant with baby number 3 and again with baby no 4, much of this work is in both her wonderful books ‘Imperfectly Natural Mother’ and ‘Imperfectly Natural Baby and Toddler’  More book work and celebrity shoots with TV presenters, actors and stunning models followed…usually with me completely unaware of who I was about to photograph ( I am not good at recognising famous people – I photographed an event for a Chelsea footballer, blissfully unaware – sorry boys!)  I’ll never forget arriving at the home of one client, to have the door opened by her husband who at the time was a reasonably famous actor and  is now a VERY big Hollywood A lister (I won’t name names) and it was an absolute delight to photograph both of them.  Becoming a parent is no different, whether you are in the spotlight or not.  You still want to do these special things to celebrate such a wonderful time in your lives.  More recently I have photographed the wonderful Sir Bruce Forsyth (top man!), Denise Lewis OBE and many more at a charity golf day.

Word about my work spread and for a number of years I worked closely with the  NCT (National Childbirth Trust) head office producing their national breastfeeding campaign posters, most of which are still in use today.  As well as producing the perfect baby bottom image for Metanium cream!!

Brave clients being interviewed by the BBC

Brave clients being interviewed by the BBC

Pregnancy photography has been my absolute passion all the way through. In the beginning I was determined to educate women that they can be photographed pregnant and nude and look amazing.  I worked with Photography magazines, pregnancy books and magazines, who ran my articles and published my work.  Gradually more and more pregnant women realised how beautiful they looked.  Other photographers also picked up on this fast-growing trend.  I am pleased to say that many styles you see today were inspired by much of my original work, although I am still one of a few photographers who work with pregnant nudes.  Women I have never met before, seem more than happy to take the majority of their clothes off and stand in all their glowing glory while I photograph them in flattering ways.  Everyone tells me that I quickly make them feel at ease, and that having a bump also acts as a shield for their nudity.  I love seeing their expression as they spend precious time interacting with their bumps and thinking of things to come – simply breath-taking.

I never planned to go on to photograph newborns and babies, that side of the business evolved as clients returned time and again with their growing families.  The age of digital meant I could do away with a permanent studio and was able to be even more flexible with where and how I photographed.  My first digital camera?  A Canon 20D with just 8.2MP!!  My Samsung phone has more than that today!!  These days I work with a Canon 5D mk I and mkII.

The wonder of a bump

The wonder of a bump

I am constantly learning new techniques and skills, you never stop learning.  I began teaching a few years ago running workshops and courses in primary and senior schools, as well as with local councils, teaching their teachers how to use their cameras better and how to engage their pupils using the power of photography.  I LOVE running workshops and enabling people, especially parents, how to develop enough knowledge to confidently come off their AUTO buttons and take better photos.  Seeing those little ‘light bulb’ moments as everything falls into place is brilliant!  I can also proudly watch the successes of people who have now realised their dream of becoming a professional photographer through training they have had with me.

Local community is really important to me and putting back wherever possible is essential.  The support I have received from my local community  has been fantastic, and over the years we have raised lots of money for the NCT; special baby units; childhood eye cancer (CHECT), and local special needs play-schemes (who has a rather splendid fireman’s calendar then!?) to name but a few.  Wherever possible I donate gift vouchers, time and prizes to local schools and events.

These last 10 years have been an absolute blast!  I have discovered so much about taking photos and working with various people that I am really excited about the next 10 years!!

So, whats next?  Well my business has now split into three distinct sections:

 

Tina Bolton Photography still offers THE highest standards of professional maternity and newborn photography to a wonderful array of clients (thank you – you know who you are!) with only the absolute best products and two very distinct collections to choose from.

Blue Hedgehog Photography aims to bring a simpler service to a wider audience, still concentrating on bumps, babies and under 3’s, however, I have developed a ‘junior’ team of photographers who, with occasional help from me, will capture your pregnancy or baby’s moments on a more restricted budget.

Cameras and Cake  (the name derives from my first ever workshops I ran a few years ago) which provides three hour, fun, coffee morning style workshops, to learn how to use your camera better.  I can now announce that the on-line version of this and a few other courses will be launching very soon.  Watch this space.

Finally, I would like to say thank you to all of my lovely, lovely clients from the last 10 years.  In particular to those who were my earliest pregnancy clients – you were also ahead of your time and you were brave enough to trust me with your glorious bumps!

 

A wonderful video celebrating the last 10 years to the right!

 

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Working with your professional photographer

 

How much of an active part do you play in your family’s professional photo shoots? Do you sit back and let the photographer get on with it, or do you hover and check out what they are doing and even join in?

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As a parent you can make or break a professional photo shoot of you and your family.

Now, I am not suggesting that without your help the shoot wouldn’t go so well, far from it, I am encouraging you to take a really active part in your next professional photo shoot. Following on from our recent blog about how to get children to smile, photographers who conduct family shoots, should know a lot of the ‘tricks’ I have already mentioned.  However, when it comes to getting a group or even a single child to laugh, a shoot really benefits from some silly antics from you AND your photographer.

Why? I hear you ask? You’ve paid a lot of money for a professional to come and do something you want done to the highest of standards and of course YOU can be in the shots as well this time.

Well, who do you think a 2 year old is going to find funnier? Your photographer (who has just met them and is using a big black thing in front of their face) or YOU their parent doing silly things behind the photographer and thus distracting them from what is happening!?

As well as chatting to children in order to get to know them and tune in with them quickly, a good photographer will also make sure that they tune into the parents too, in order to make sure everyone has fun.

I encourage my clients to do silly things behind me, so when I am taking shots, I will quickly turnaround and pretend to be ‘cross’ that the parents are being ‘naughty‘ behind my back but it really does make the children laugh. Getting into the spirit and fun of a family photo shoot is also part of the experience. How often do you just simply act like a kid again with your kids? Try it.  It’s very liberating, funny plus your kids will love you for it (unless they’re teenagers, in which case DON’T!!)

In a recent shoot, the parents joined in with my rendition of ‘I’d like to move it, move it’ dance from Madagascar, which the children adored! Despite not being able to hold a note, I will sing for the children (yes, really!) songs such as ‘Wheels on the Bus’ or ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’ so that they smile, sit still or join in but I have to say it’s always a relief if a parent sings with me!!

Look at these examples, the first image is a group of cousins who I had just set up in a way that I knew would look great and that they could interact well.

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Then I asked the parents to do ‘Parents Got Talent’ behind me……..this was the result!!

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So next time you book a photographer, go with the flow and if they encourage you to be silly, go on do it! It’s not as if the photographer can see you or capture you doing it as they should be concentrating on your children! Plus – I won’t tell anyone!

 

Of course, if you are doing the photography, then you can see how effective some help working on your behalf behind you can be!

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A beautiful June Wedding in Surrey

We had glorious weather for this beautiful wedding of Clare and Paul at the Farnham House Hotel.  The bride looked stunning, as did her bridesmaids and the flowers were an absolute triumph by Tarnia Williams. Enjoy!

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What about runny noses?

Runny noses, blotchy faces, scratches….all these things happen just before that special photo shoot don’t they?  Will the photographer be able to ‘do something’ in Photoshop with them?

 

I thought it would be interesting to show you a before and after of a recent shoot in the forest.  It was a very cold day and this cute little chap had got everything! Runny, red nose, cold blotches and a scratch on his forehead!

Runny noses are best wiped but sometimes that expression is so fleeting that it needs to be captured quickly and there simply isn’t time to wipe that nose!  Plus, who likes having their nose wiped anyway, guaranteed to annoy any small person and potentially ruin the moment.

 

Children LOVE being outside, so we took this family on an adventure in the woods and went hunting for rabbits and dinosaurs!!  The mum was worried that his little red nose would spoil the pictures, as I am sure most mums would, but as you can clearly see, some careful post-production means that his skin is clear and there is no need to worry!

 

It’s not just outdoor shots that need help, newborn babies are notorious at scratching their faces the day before a shoot or suddenly coming out in ‘baby acne’.  All these things are skillfully fixed in Photoshop.  I take the time to check each image and carefully remove marks and blemishes.  The trick is to make it look as if it’s completely natural.  New parents usually look a little tired…some subtle adjustments again means that those dark shadows are all but gone!

So, when deciding whether or not to have a shoot, choose your photographer carefully, sometimes that little bit of extra care in the post production stages can make all the difference.  Not everything can be dealt with ‘in-camera’!!

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Cameras and Cake Photography Workshops

 

You know that moment when you think you have taken the picture of THE CENTURY, only to look at that back of the camera and discover it’s out of focus/too dark/too light/you missed that smile….

The Cameras and Cake workshops are designed to give you enough information in just three hours to improve your photography so that you never experience that disappointment again, plus you get to eat cake and share a cuppa with other like-minded people.

These workshops are going down a STORM!  The cake is delicious and at our last workshop Aleshia (who runs For The Love of Cakes and makes the cakes) attended the workshop and is now LOVING her camera.

  • The workshops are held in Greatham (near Petersfield) on the last Wednesday of each month.
  • Groups of friends can book their very own morning to suit them (min of 4 people needed).
  • From 9.30am-12.30pm with a maximum of 6 people.  You only need to attend one course.
  • We ALWAYS have a delicious cake* and lots of TEA!!  (and coffee!)
  • Easy to absorb (no geek jargon allowed) and more importantly, lots of opportunity to put into practise information on using your camera.
  • Suitable whether you have the latest DSLR or a dinky little point and shoot.
  • The tips and tricks I share with you will enable your photography to improve straight away!
* Gluten and dairy free options available please ask.
What have other people said about the workshops:
” I am LOVING my camera now, I seem to get so much more out of it, I am even eyeing up my husband’s camera…watch this space”  Aleshia, Liss
” I took some photos of my boys playing rugby at school that afternoon, not only were they in focus, they looked so much brighter and vibrant, thank you again!” Emma, Bradshott

 

It’s just sooo nice doing something for yourself and focusing on something different, the cake was good too!!”  Dawn, Havant

 

” I learnt more in three hours than I did on a course I took a few years ago, thank you”  Matt, Farnham

 

“I am never using the automatic button on my camera again!”  Ian, Guildford

So…

Read and print out a cameras and cake photography workshops leaflet OR pop along to our facebook page!  Remember to hit ‘like’.

Book your place by calling Tina on 07976 302937 or emailing her.

 

 

 

 

 

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Makers and New Business Photography Workshops

It’s been a busy few months here at TBPL Towers, so in between photographing wonderful and very cute newborn babies both in and out, as well as fun family shoots; I have been working on some really interesting commercial shoots as well as delivering more training courses – check out this page later.

Great product shots not only show your potential customer what you do/make, they tell a story and provide solutions.  In this hugely visual marketplace we all operate in –  IMAGE IS EVERYTHING.

 

Take for example my recent ‘Pork Pie Shoot’, the brief was for it to be a ‘strong’ theme.  The pies are chunky, meat filled deliciousness (I know, I have now had several for lunch).  Everything is prepared by hand, even the egg wash came from the chef’s own chickens.  We shot the product story using just window light and the kitchen table.    This gave the images depth and shadow, further adding to the ‘strong’ theme.  I began my research by looking at other images for pork pies, try it.  Put ‘pork pie images’ into a search engine and see what you get!  Part of my brief was not to do the ‘same old, same old’ but to create a new image that would set Jon’s pork pies apart from the rest.  The bottom image is the result.

It’s always a good idea to research similar product images to your product to see if you like them or to decide how you want to be represented.  Look at other product images as well to discover a style you prefer, we looked at cakes and biscuits to get a feel for the theme as well as cookery book photography.

Jon made a pork pie from scratch to demonstrate the care and effort he puts into each and every pie.  He started making them because he enjoys making his own food and enjoys knowing where his ingredients, particularly the meat, comes from and how it is reared etc.  Unsurprisingly, he has had fantastic feedback and so the process of setting up his own company began.

He wanted the images to tell a strong story in order to ultimately increase sales of his fabulous pork pies.  We set about doing just that, in his kitchen.  We concentrated on creating an ambience and telling the story not only of the pork pie but of Jon himself.  He grows his own herbs and garlic, bakes his own bread, keeps chickens and sources all his ingredients so he knows the provenance of each and every one.

This all builds up, giving an insight into you, the maker, as well as your wonderful products.    Jon, like so many other new entrepreneurs, had a limited budget.  He also knew that to launch the pork pies the way he wanted to, he needed professional photography.

Jon used the ‘New Business Professional Photography’ Package which includes:

  • Upto 2 hours of professional photography and editing.
  • Some photography training so he can take good, basic shots in the future.
  • Styling and props for the shoot.
  • Location advice.
  • Social media tips on PDF.
  • All fully edited images on CD in high resolution and social media/web size.
  • A perpetual licence to use the shots for his business.
  • 10% discount on his next commercial shoot.

This special package is available to all new business start-ups less than 12 months old for £150.  For more details or to book yours contact me.

Normal commercial rates can be found here

 

So, what do his Pork Pies look like?  

 

To find out more about Jon and his pies – you can follow him on Twitter @jkaye

To book your workshop, look here or for commercial shoots including the new business package contact me.

 

 

 

 

 

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Festive photo tips

Tina’s Top tips for great Festive photos

Christmas pictures lacking a little something?  Follow these great tips to add a bit more sparkle to your festive photos!

  1.      Make sure your camera is fully charged, that there is room on your memory card and your lens is clean!
  2.     For fab party pics of your friends, ask them to put their heads together, lean forward a little bit (never back) everyone looks their best and less chins are visible!!
  3.     Remember:  your camera flash will only work up to a distance of about 10-12 feet maximum, on smaller cameras even less. 
  4.     Make sure you have the ‘red eye’ flash on your camera, remember that the first smaller flash is followed by the bigger flash.
  5.    For those cute, adorable nativity play shots, Choose either a front seat  OR an aisle seat so you can stand up without blocking anyone’s view from behind.  Use flash only if you really have to. Most camera’s have a night-time    function which increases your camera’s ability to take low light shots without a flash.
  6.  Wait until the end of the play – or the ‘gathering around the manger’ bit as this is usually well lit and everyone is still.
  7.  Christmas cards, we love the cute ones of our kids in a Santa* outfit!!  (*Or whatever you choose!!)  Make time to dress them up and pose them, sit them safely (deep in the sofa perhaps), as near to window light as you can and   take  some pictures.  Better still come to one of my free toddler group mini sessions with that special outfit (see below for details).
  8. On Christmas Day – have that camera to hand ALL the time, especially for when Grandad falls asleep and you manage to draw a moustache on him!
  9. Take a photo of each present your children opens, you can then print/email this out as a thank you to the person who sent it, they’ll love seeing the smiles of delight.
  10. Make sure you are in one or two pictures with the kids as well, looking suitably festive!

 Have a lovely Christmas!  

When you open that new camera on Christmas Day, remember to book your place on one of my photography workshops in January, so you can REALLY get the best out of your camera – better still, make sure that a workshop gift voucher is part of the package!!  Download Tina Bolton Photography festive photography tips as a pdf.

Mini Santa Shoot Sessions are being held as follows:

Thursday 8th November – NCT Small Talk & Baby Talk, United Reform Church, Petersfield, 10-12

Wednesday 14th November –  Baby Sensory Classes, Greatham Village Hall, 10-12

Monday 19th November – NCT Haslemere – Royal School, Hindhead, 10-12

Tuesday 20th November – Baby Sensory, St Alban’s Church, Hindhead 10-12

Thursday 22nd November – Baby Sensory, Haslemere Prep School, Hill Road, 9.30-2pm

I will also be at Stepping Stones in Sheet, date to be confirmed.

 

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Very special Autumn mini shoots are available from today.

Book yours here

Shoots can be bought now and taken anytime from 5th September to 31st October 2012 (limited weekend availability) from just £95 inc 5 images as digital files (usual price £275).  Ther are just 15 slots available on a first come – first served basis.

Gift vouchers are also available, pls contact Tina to arrange

Beautiful albums, canvases and digital file packages are also available.

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MOD-ern Jubilee shoot fun!

 

 

Phew, these last few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind of Jubilee photo shoots.  Thank you to everyone who has been involved so far…there are still more to come! (Details at the bottom)  At one school we had great fun with an amazing Union Jack Scooter…

 

Even I got in on the act!

I wasn’t the only one, many of the teachers and even some of the Mums hopped on too!

The Jubilee shoots were for children of all ages and we visited many toddler groups and nurseries.  We did a special Jubilee shoot in Cute of Petersfield (a wonderful children’s shop!) which helped to raise money for the www.owenbishopcharity.com fund and www.wave105.com/cashforkids

Your feedback has been wonderful, thank you, one mum said: “I just wanted to say that the Jubilee shot of my daughter is fantastic!!  In every other supposedly professional shot we have, she is always pulling a self conscious ‘photo-face’.  She tells me that having the photos taken were great fun and that she enjoyed it – definitely a first!  Order already placed, thank you so much.”  Clare, Liss

There is still time to place your orders – you should have received your gallery password by now.  Here’s a few more to make you smile!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, we will be at the Baby Sensory classes in Hindhead, Haslemere and Greatham w/c 11th June, no need to book just come along!  See you there!

 

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MEGA FLASH SALE

 

 

 

Our MEGA FLASH SALE is going to be announced TUESDAY 3rd January 2012.  This is our first ever flash sale and the savings are to be seen to be believed.  Subscribe to this page or click on our facebook/twitter icons to follow us, so you can be one of the first to receive the password which will enable you to buy one of a limted number of shoot packages.  There are three options all with absolutely incredible discounts.  If this sale were a large 3D LED 42″ TV you would be sitting on it so that no-one else could buy it!!  PLUS its a LOT less expensive and lasts for longer!!

I will be revealing the password here tomorrow.  So keep a look out!!

There are some short terms and conditions see Flash Sale Terms and Conditions to read them.

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