Surrey family photography – {The power of positive images and being in the newspaper}

A few weeks ago I was delighted to discover my charity project ‘Kids and their Bikes’ was featured in the Farnham Herald. You can view the digital version of the article here.

Bailey and Tristan pictured here in the Farnham Herald promoting Surrey family photogrpher project

My two boys and I are pictured (by my husband) at the bottom of the article. I love how confident and at ease the two of them are on their bikes. I’m clutching my camera and feeling pretty shy and a bit awkward about having my picture taken. But, nevertheless, I am pleased we have this picture of us together. We are a great little team!

As you can imagine this is a fantastic piece of publicity for my bike project and for the Farnham Bike Ride Charity. Articles like this mean more people across Farnham and Surrey are ‘Googling’ my website and the Charity’s website. So overall I am pretty much over the moon to find that the Farnham Herald printed my bike project story.

But, as a Mum, it was even more exciting for me to see the reaction of my two boys (aged 5 and 7), when I showed them the article. Being pictured in a newspaper was a big deal!

They were quietly impressed to see themselves in the paper and they enjoyed studying the article and their picture. They expressed how ‘cool’ they looked on their bikes, how much fun they had, how they love their bikes, how happy they were to be helping their mum and which kids at school said they saw them in the newspaper!

We all have a mental picture of ourselves and as parents we help to shape how positive our children feel about themselves. As a photographer and as a mum I like to think that we can use photography to enhance our children’s outlook and positive sense of self.

I relished the moment my boys saw themselves printed in a newspaper and to see themselves portrayed doing something they were good at, something they enjoyed and noticing for themselves how confident they looked on their bikes.

All of us, including children, see ourselves in a certain way. For children, this idea or vision of them selves includes who they are, what they can do and how they think others see them. We can also help shape the view others have of themselves.

There is a piece of research conducted by Professor Geoff Beattie (University of Manchester) and commissioned by the company Venture New Generation Portraits which, among other things, explored the relationship between families who display portraits and confidence in children.

Professor Beattie Said: ‘When children grow up surrounded by photographs, it gives them a richer understanding of where they come from, which helps with confidence.’

For my boys, to have a part of their every day world mirrored back at them in their newspaper image was a truly positive and affirming experience for them. The boys out on their bikes, with mum bringing her camera along for the ride, is a common and fond experience for them. They know their Mum is working hard to raise money for a great local charity. They also know that enjoying the outdoors and being out on their bikes makes them feel good and it’s a very important part of our family life.

 

Pictures like this remind us of positive and good times that we have as a family, rooting us in a sense of who we are, what we like to do and (most importantly) how much we love each other as a family.

Viewing external images of ourselves should not be the only way we teach our children to feel good about them selves nor should it be the only way to affirm our sense of self. But, it is one of many factors that is known to have a positive affect on our children’s self esteem.

So as a photographer and a mum I will always endevour to have quality crafted and heartwarming images of my family, sharing in everything we love, on display in our home (and hopefully a few more articles in the local papers to promote my charity project ‘Kids and their Bikes’. ; )  )

If you have a child who loves their bike and loves to cycle. It can be a trike, toddler bike, scooter, training wheeled bike, balance bike or BMX bike etc. Whatever the bike and however old your child is.  If they love it and it makes them feel good about themselves then sign up here  and have their portrait taken for my project ‘Kids and their Bikes’.

You can read the full Daily Mail article on Professor Geoff Beattie’s article  here.

You can read more about my Bike Project here.

You can find the Farnham Bike Charity here.

 

 

New Mini Family Photography Sessions in West Surrey

I hope you are having a great week so far.  I have been busy a my desk this week catching up on some editing and making some plans for my Spring family sessions.  I have also just released the dates for my new mini family photography sessions in West Surrey.   They are most likely to be in and around Farnham.  You can see two collages below from mini sessions which I held last year.

I have been discovering so many beautiful locations in and around this lovely area.  They are all so different and so beautiful I think I might have to dedicate a separate blog post sharing my top 5 or 6 favourites soon!

Mini Session Dates for 2018 – booking now

I am running my mini sessions on the following dates this year:

  • Saturday 24th of March

  • Saturday 5th of may

  • Saturday 23rd of June

  • Saturday 22 September

  • Saturday 20 October

You can see all of the available times for each date by clicking here.

My mini sessions are £240 and this includes, a pre-session family questionnaire, your 30 minute session, a private online gallery containing 15 images, your 6 chosen digital images and matching gift prints, and lastly, my time and skill photographing your family as well as editing and artistically enhancing your images.

I know many of you will have Saturday sports events on so I am running sessions both in the morning and in the afternoon so hopefully it would be possible to fit in both.  And conveniently, they are 30 – 40 minutes long, so if you are a busy family with lots of Saturday activities booked in then they are a great way to achieve a small but focused range of lovely and playful family portraits.

I have had a few mums ask me in the past if a mini session will feel rushed? Well I have a blog that explains why your mini session won’t feel rushed and you can read it here.

I am really looking forward to running these sessions and if you are wishing to book in then please use the contact form here on my website to get in touch. Alternatively you can phone me on 07903772960 or email me:  sarahangelphotography@gmail.com

I hope to see you at a session soon!

Summer Family Photography Session in Farnham Meadow, West Surrey

 

 

Thank you

Happy New Year from your Surrey Family Photographer.

Thank you to all of the lovely families I have met this year and photographed.  Thank you also to those families that I was lucky enough to see and photograph again in 2017 and to those of you that have already booked in for 2018!

I am loving staying in touch with so many of you so thank you for stopping and saying hello down at the supermarket, thank you for the Christmas cards you sent and I do love those little messages that many of you post just saying hello on Facebook or in my email inbox.

It is a great experience to help families produce these beautiful portrait memories and when I am updating my website, at this time of year in particular, when I see your photographs again I am often wondering how you are all getting on since I last saw you.

Looking back at 2017

I hope your Christmas break was as restful and enjoyable as ours was?  We were very excited to be spending our first Christmas in our new family home here in Farnham.

I have to admit I was so excited about being in our own home again I had the Christmas tree up before the end of November!  There is a first time for everything I guess and I have to say it was lovely having an extra long Christmas celebration this year.  We had a lot to celebrate and feel grateful for as a family.  2017 was a big year of change with our move to Farnham, Surrey.

I know I have mentioned our move to Farnham so many times before but it really has been a big and exciting change for us.  One of the most exciting things for me has been the opportunity to refresh my business and meet lots of wonderful new families in the local area.  We really couldn’t have chosen a more friendly and welcoming area to move into.

Moving to Farnham and discovering the Farnham Bike Ride Charity also gave me the motivation and inspiration to begin my charity project ‘Kids and their Bikes’. I have sent a few cheques of to the charity at the end of 2017 and I am looking forward to seeing more families sign up for this great charity event this year in 2018.

I have also started offering business head shots to fellow business owners in the area after joining some new networking groups in the local area.  It’s really not only business people that need a good head shot. I think everyone deserves to have a flattering and professionally produced portrait to use on their social media platforms.  I hope to develop a page on my website later this year so you will be able to see some examples of the head shots I have taken so far.

Looking forward into 2018

I will be posting my mini session dates for Spring, Summer and Autumn very soon.

I really enjoy offering these short sessions as they are a great way for new families to try out my photography service before committing to a full family session in the future. It is also a great way for my current family clients to keep their walls updated with family portraits in between their full family sessions.

If you haven’t read about my mini sessions before you can do so here.  You can also view my most recent mini session in an earlier blog post here.

The Farnham Charity Bike Ride project is ongoing so families can apply to take part at any time and there will be an exhibition of the best images to date at The Riverside Cafe and Gallery at The Farnham Maltings, in July, 2018.

My next head shots session is happening on the 1st of February and even though it’s cold outside I have some very keen all-weather cycling families who have booked in for their ‘Kids and their Bikes’ portraits later this month.

I have my hat, thermals and fingerless gloves at the ready! If anyone can recommend some really good wellie socks that don’t get eaten up/fall down inside wellies then do let me know!

2018: it’s exciting and we (meaning my camera and I) are ready for you!

Newborn Photographer in Surrey {introducing Dylan 15 days new}

It is such a pleasure to be able to introduce little Dylan to you today!  I had been thinking about their lovely session and thought it would be useful for expectant Mums to know about booking a late newborn session as Dylan’s session was booked in once he was born.   I have been a Newborn Photographer in Surrey now for one year however I have been working as a newborn photographer across London for just over 6 years now.  It never surprises me to get an urgent text message or phone call requesting a late booking for a newborn baby that has already been born.

Dylan’s session was back in August and Mum texted me in search of a Newborn photographer in Surrey not long after their son Dylan was born.  As you can see I said yes (after juggling a few other bits around in my schedule) and here we are now enjoying these adorable photographs of Dylan and his very proud parents.

Obviously there are risks associated with trying to book your newborn session after your baby has been born. If you have a favourite photographer then chances are, as is often the case for me, their schedule will be full.  Also, if you are trying to book in after 14 days old then you do run the risk of not being able to achieve certain poses as your baby will start to be less sleepy and have a slightly less newborn-curled-up look about them.  I always recommend sessions between 5 and 14 days old but I have had successful sessions at 20 or 25 days old too. It can often depend on how experienced your photographer is and how settled your baby is on the day.

Whilst I always encourage Mums to book in before baby is due, I completely understand that ‘life’ can often get in the way and there are often many differing factors that cause Mums to be calling me up looking for a last minute booking once baby is born. Most often Mums were undecided about whether they wanted newborn photographs and it was only once their baby had arrived and noticed how short lived the newborn phase is, that they changed their mind and gave me a call.

The second most common reason for booking in late is due to an unexpected pre-term birth, which can sometimes be followed by a lengthy stay in hospital depending on how premature baby is.  I had this exact experience with my second son who decided to arrive four weeks early on the day I was finishing up at work for my maternity leave.  (This was back in the day when I worked full time as a Secondary School Art and Photography teacher.) I had expected to get to my ‘to-do list of jobs in my first two weeks of maternity leave prior to my sons arrival. This included booking the newborn photographer, packing my hospital bag and getting the babies room ready. Instead was running around with my to-do list whilst I was in labour!

Whatever the reason for booking in after babies birth, I really do understand so, as with Dylans Mum, I will always try my best to fit you in!

Kind words from Dylan’s mum:

And here’s what Dylan’s mum said after seeing the pictures in her private gallery:

“I’ve just had a quick look during his feed (I couldn’t wait) and I love them! I’ll have a look properly with Dan later, but they’re fantastic!  It was so lovely to meet you and thank you for your patience and gentleness with Dylan. You’re very talented and perfectly suited to what you do.  I’m so glad we went with you and I’ve recommended you to friends. “

Thank you Dylan’s Mum for the lovely feed back! You are very very welcome. It was such a pleasure to help you create these images for you.  Welcome to the world once again little Dylan and thank you for having me over to visit and take these pictures of you! You were such a wonderful wee boy for your session.

Kids Charity Bike Shoot at Frensham Common in Surrey  {Any wheels will do!}

I thought I would share my Kids charity bike shoot at Frensham Common in Surrey and take the time to update you on my ‘Kids and their Bikes’ charity project which I have been doing to help raise money and awareness for The Farnham Bike Ride Charity.

We have had such a lot of interest in this project from enthusiastic young cyclists ranging in ages from 2.5 years up to 11 years old.  So far I have managed to photograph around 8 children for the project, over the spring and summer months. It is wonderful to see just how much love and enthusiasm these young kids have for their bikes. Their portraits are incredibly endearing and heartwarming.

We are continuing to accept applications for Kids and their Bikes every day as this is an ongoing project.  We have been offering sessions to families on a bi-monthly basis and if the session we offer you does not suit then we pop your application form back in the pile for the chance of a second offer during a different time in the year.

So if you have been thinking about applying for the project do get in touch and fill out an application form which you can find here.  I look forward to meeting you’re young cycling enthusiast and their bike soon!

Kids Charity Bike Shoot at Frensham Common in Surrey

Meet Charlie

Charlie met with me during the spring time for his kids charity bike shoot at Frensham Common in Surrey.  Charlie’s mum brought a long his scooter and his bike in the back of the car, as both were equally loved. But at the start of the session Charlie decided to go for his scooter and he absolutely loved his time during the session showing me all of his favourite moves.

It has been an absolutely pleasure photographing Charlie and all of the ‘Kids on Bikes’ that I have photographed so far. All of the children really shine when they get out on their bikes, trikes or scooters. Bikes really do give children that sense of freedom which really does give them an added confidence in front of the camera too.

Charlie showing of his scooter skills for Kids and their Bikes photo shoot

Any kind of wheels will do!

And it seems any kind of wheels will do!  The type of bike really doesn’t seem to change a child’s bike riding experience and that sense of freedom and joy.   I have had children turn up on old hand me down trikes and fancy BMX’s.  The same thrill is experienced for each and every rider.  They get to relish in something they do well at.  It’s that ‘look at me and look at what I can do’ sense of pride that young children enjoy sharing with us.

Their level of excitement and energy is contagious and at most sessions I am usually there literally galloping around after them with my camera with a big grin on my face. It is a real pleasure to be offering these sessions to our young bikers.

It’s that new confidence and sheer joy in bike riding that make for the most enjoyable sets of portraits for families to look back on.  There is also a shared sense of pride for families. Kids are proud to have mastered their level of bike riding and parents are proud of their ability to hand down their knowledge of bike riding.  It’s a ‘win win’ situation providing ultimate family time and connection.

I am thoroughly enjoying experiencing this project and seeing it take off so successfully.  I hope after reading this blog post today, if you were unsure of filling in an application for your child, you will want to apply now!

I love this portrait – Charlie is full of pride and in charge of his two wheels!

Taking the hills like a pro.

We couldn’t resist getting a few mother and son shots. Kids bike rides are a family affair.

Charlie showing me which way to go at Frensham Common in Surrey