Thursday, 26 May 2016

Windows to Motherhood #3 Nicole

This is Nicole...

"When we decided to start trying for a family I assumed it would happen relatively quickly as I was young, healthy and fit but it took just over a year to fall pregnant with Ruby.  I loved being pregnant and enjoyed every minute. I assumed second time around would be the same so when I fell pregnant with Daisy I was shocked at how different two pregnancies could be.  I was admitted to hospital at 5 weeks pregnant and spent most of my pregnancy in and out of hospital as suffered from hyperemesis." 

"I am owner and director at Jungle Adventure Ltd (soft play centre) which we set up when Ruby was just 6 months old.  I am also an osteopath and still work part time at my clinic.  Our lives are pretty busy but we still make time for quality family time together."

"I sometimes feel guilty about working as much as I do but I am also aware that I couldn’t be a stay at home mum.  I love my children and love spending time with them but I also need to feel like I have my own identity and am not just ‘someone’s mum’.
The time I have with the children we try and make special and by working it allows us to have more opportunities as a family."

"I would like to think I am loving kind and patient but also quite strict.  I believe good manners are important and try to enforce good behaviour from the outset.  I also try to be silly fun and someone who my children look up to but also love spending time with."

"I am less judgmental now as everyone has different beliefs and sometimes you just have to do what works for you.  I find other mums are the worst critics and there is always someone telling you you are doing things wrong.  I have learnt to trust my instincts and do why is right for me and my family."

"When you have children it makes you worry about what the world will be like when they are older. When awful things happen it makes you realise how lucky you are to have the life that you have."

"Motherhood is an amazing experience, it is not always easy but defiantly always worth it.  I cant imagine not having children and find it hard to understand people who don’t want a family as to me that’s what life is all about. It is so much harder than I imagined but also so much more rewarding that I ever expected.  Its impossible to describe the amount of love you have for your children and how your life changes.  Within weeks of having children you cant remember or imagine your life with out them." 

Thank you Nicole xxx

Windows to Motherhood is an ongoing film photography project. You can see #1 and #2 or all editions here. If you would like to know or get involved and tell your story please get in touch at

If you would like more information on portrait sessions or any of my other photography services please see my website.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Bluebells & Mrs Special-Heart-Face...

It's not very often the planets align, time allows, motivation strikes and the kids feel like playing ball that I get to take my very own kids for a proper photoshoot. It's more the odd "stand here and test this new backdrop for me Euna..." or "Oh! This would make a good picture if you both weren't in scruffy clothes and it was a better time of day and YOU BOTH ACTUALLY FELT LIKE LOOKING AT THE CAMERA!!"

But Euna's school start is looming and it's hard not to feel all "the end is nigh!" over it. So I'm inhaling and savouring these last few summer months where she is all mine. I will say though, I've been pretty cool about it. I did not stay up until midnight for her placement announcement, I woke up, normal time and pretty casually looked at the email. We got what we wanted and we were confident we would. She's confident (to say the least), she communicates her needs well, she's social, she responds really well to teachers/leaders in other settings and she pretty much loves everything that class time is going to consist of. 

But yesterday.

BUT yesterday.

But yesterday she drew a heart on her magnetic drawing board and then on that heart she drew a face and around it she drew hair and a body coming off the bottom. 

"Who's that Euna?" I wait for "you Mummy", smug, she loves me.

"It's my new teacher at big school"

Oh. Sweet.

"She's got a heart on her face because she is so so so special. She's going to be my special big school teacher." She launches in to a bit of a monologue about just how special she is, I don't know where this has come from. We've barely talked about it but it's a preschool day and she's probably overheard something.

Oh God. Oh God. OhGodohgodohGodohGod. All I can think is I don't even know this woman and my daughter, my preciously, perfectly, wonderful tiny human, that I made and I changed everything for because she was and is so crazy-bonkers-brilliant, could break her heart. OhGodohgodohGodohGod. 

And I'm reading the petitions, the articles and the "Dear Nicky Morgan..."-s and I'm remembering my own stint in teaching and recalling nothing but feelings of being overwhelmed. I'm thinking oh please Mrs Special-Heart-Face don't break her heart. I know you have it tough. I know you have these pressures. I know you probably fundamentally really love children and root for all good things for them but I know you're a human being. Oh Mrs Special-Heart-Face please be brave for her. Right now she's just right amount of wild and I really don't want her tamed. Because I've spent 4 years carting my child to the woods, the zoo, the park, soft play, community play groups, nature classes, creative dance classes, singing classes and gymnastics. I've sat home for hours drawing, sticking, smooshing playdoh and even braved a couple of baking afternoons. This isn't a good mum brag because a lot of mums do it and frankly I'm 31, a former master of the tequila slammer, a pretty creative swearer and all round good laugh girl and not all of this is my idea of fun. But I did it all because this is what's widely recognised as good ways for babies/young children to get to know the world and practise functioning in it. 

So please be brave Mrs Special-Heart-Face, we need you to be brave and show me that all this Nicky Morgan-ing, all the data, all the politics and all the bull&@£$ doesn't matter to you. She will love you so so easily. She will take any opportunity to love school. So please just be aware of that. I don't need you to make her a genius or a top set for anything. I don't need her to go to grammar school. I just need her to stay so easily in love with the world and just the right amount of wild that makes people in supermarkets say to me "she's spirited/a handful/hilarious!"

I'm going to shallow breathe in to my coffee now and possibly order a days worth of calories in a muffin whilst offering up prayers to the school Gods. Because I'm blogging in Costa and I'm one of those blotchy criers. 

Are your kids due to start a new school this September? How do you feel? 

And here they are... In the Bluebells... Not a care in the world... Because that's the awesome thing about being 4 and 2, you so very rarely worry about anything at all... 

Little note: The Bluebells Euna is holding were picked from our own garden and taken with us. Stunt Bluebells if you will. :)

If you would like to know more about my photography services in and around Essex and Suffolk, including child portraits, please see my website or contact me directly at

Friday, 20 May 2016

Two More Bronze Wins with The Guild!

So this is pretty late, I received these last month but totally forgot to post! But I'm hanging around waiting another set of results so in the interests of sharing... LOOK! Two more Bronzes! Hooray! 

I can't tell you how proud I was of this particular session (you can see the rest here) they were such a lovely family and she was such a poppet and though it loathes me to be unoriginal, because I have it on good authority this baby gets it wherever she goes, but... OH THAT HAIR! <3 <3 <3 

Little Lyra winning Bronze...

If you would like more information about my newborn photography, please see my website.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Woodland Wedding Session - Wedding Photographer in Essex, Suffolk & London

So here I am traipsing a far-too-lovely-for-traipsing-dress through Epping Forest... This very gorgeous pair of newlyweds, Inna and Slava were so poised and dignified snuggling in the leaves... <3 <3 <3

If you would like more information about my wedding photography services across Essex, Suffolk and London please see my website or contact me (Charlie) at

Monday, 16 May 2016

Turn and Face the Strange...

Every so often I give some thought to what kind of older person I'm going to be. When I was at university a friend of mine rented a room from a retired actress/play write/singer/general creative type. Her name was Mary and she owned a big townhouse which housing more that two lifetime's worth of books, mismatched furniture, play programmes, sheet music and spider plants. She wore loose fitting linen clothes and colourful scarves. I used to think I'd like to be like her. Renting rooms to passing artists and writers. Have lots of stories about things I'd done and seen and places I'd been and people I'd met. Ok I'm thinking about her a lot now and romanticising and yes Mary was cool and I do still want to be an awful lot like Mary... But with a cool white grey cropped hair do, head scarves, very dangly earrings and chunky beaded necklaces. 

Woah on the ramble train.

Spider plants, artist friends and very dangly earrings aside, the most important thing I want for senior version me is an ability to embrace change. Lately I'm thinking the happiest older people I know are rolling with the times. You can't fault my Mum on a zest for life and that's because you throw her in to almost any situation and she'll smile, make a few jokes and give anything a go. I think about becoming a Mum for the first time and all the Mums I inescapably surveyed myself against at the time and I don't think "success" really weighed on breast or bottle or hours of sleep gotten or busiest baby development schedule. I think it weighed on the Mum's who were enjoying it the most and the key to enjoying that rodeo? In a nutshell it was probably rolling with the 356 billion changes to you, your life, your spouse, you and your spouse, your job...etc. Not fighting them, somehow beating the journey and escaping unscathed and unchanged. 

Because the only constant is change. It's inevitable, it's progress, it's good. It's fine that health advice changed from when I was a baby to when I had a baby, it's great that health advice changed from when Euna was a baby to when Bow was a baby and that was only 20 months past! 

It's a flexibility of mind that knows that "your day" isn't "the day", it was not better than this day, it's just a day that you felt at peace with the world and comfortable with how it worked. Probably because you were younger and more open to change and had little or nothing to use as comparison. Sometimes I feel it too. I see Euna tractor-beamed in to her bigger cousin's IPads like a fly to a bug zapping blue light and so much of me wants to yank it away. Even though her time on it will be interactive with her cousins, limited and totally age appropriate because that's just what they have on there. But I want to pull away because it wasn't what I had and I'm fine right?! I pull away because it's not what I knew and that's scary. Truth be told I'm the same with HD eyebrows, Sunsuits for kids and it took me a long time to embrace skinny jeans.

But I'm going to lean in. It's an ongoing personal challenge for me as a person and a parent. Stay interested, flexible, curious and keep progressing. If I can roll with the times then I just think it's going to keep me happy and interested in the world. It's also going to keep me on a platform with my kids where we can see each other, how can we see each other if we're living in different "days"? 

Life challenge - lean in to change. And start keeping an eye out for dangly earrings and eccentric friends... It's never to early to start collecting either. 

From old thinking, too young... Fried biscuits for numeracy learning anyone?! Yes, that is as good as I could do for text to image link! ;)

If you would like to hear less of my rambles but find out more about my photography services in Suffolk and Essex please see my website!

Linking up with Share the Joy and Mummy Monday

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Baby Margot - Newborn Portraiture in Essex & Suffolk

This is Margot. Rose bud lipped, perfectly perfect, 5 day old Margot.

If you would like more information on my newborn photography services check out my website!

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