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Photographing newborns and families during covid

Photographing newborns and families during covid

It feels like the guidelines are changing daily on what we need to do to be ‘covid safe’.  Currently, Birmingham is at the start of a local social lockdown.  From the guidelines I have read, it purely means that you cannot socialise with other families or friends in your own house or garden and cannot use family or friends for child care.

 

I think there are many different reasons for this.  Apart from it being the first small step to reducing our numbers, we do become more relaxed when in a home of a family member or friend.  We would be using their facilities and maybe not quite as ‘on guard’ with hand washing etc.  Businesses have to show that they are ‘covid safe’ which means complying to regulations which obviously our homes wouldn’t have to.  I do believe that if our numbers don’t go down, then a stricter lockdown (including closing some businesses) may have to happen similar to in Manchester.  Having been given ZERO in the way of support from the first lockdown (for 6 months!) for having to close my business, I really hope, from a personal/business point of view, that another retail/hair dresser lockdown isn’t enforced.

 

So what are we allowed to do in our current Birmingham Lockdown?

Photoshoots are allowed to happen both in my studio and outdoors.  I can photograph and pose newborns and parents and siblings are allowed for their portraits at the beginning of the session.  Siblings will then have to leave once we have captured those images.  

I am not able to photograph sessions with more than 6 people – this does not include myself as I am there for a business purpose.  If your household is more than 6, then that is fine but we wouldn’t be able to have extended family in these photos.

 

What am I putting in place to keep you safe?

Dettol.

For those clients who have been to the studio since reopening, they can vouch for the many different Dettol products and the vast amount of anti bac gel available.  I do laugh about it – it’s become a bit of an obsession for me.  My studio is sprayed and cleaned (within an inch of its life) from top to bottom before and after a session.  You will see me wiping down the door handles when you leave – sometimes clients haven’t even started their engines before I’m out there.  

As always, all items are cleaned either washed if they’re material or sprayed/wiped down with Dettol after being used.  Sessions are spread out with 72 hours between each session and props/backdrops/outfits and my studio is quarantined for 72 hours between uses.  I am currently only shooting on Mondays and Fridays.  

Covid-19 is a virus.  Many cleaning products state that they kill bacteria but as Covid-19 is a virus I have chosen my products with great care.  Dettol is one of the only products that states it kills 99.9% of viruses too.  This is why I have chosen Dettol as my cleaning product.  All my anti bac gel – available for parents, children and myself – is over the 60% ethanol threshold advised for killing the Covid-19 virus.  One is 70% and the other is 75%.  

Unfortunately, toilet facilities are out of order.  This minimises the area of my home that you, as my clients, can go to for the protection of my family but also to minimise the amount of contact for you too.

Although my refreshment area is set up and looks amazing, I am currently not offering refreshments.  You’re welcome (and encouraged) to bring your own drinks and snacks but I do ask that all rubbish (including nappies) is taken home with you.

Shoes need to be removed in the porch and masks are now to be worn.  During the family portrait part of the session, masks may be removed.

A questionaire is sent out to all clients and must be signed to say that they haven’t been in contact with anyone who has had Covid-19 symptoms and that anyone in their household hasn’t displayed any symptoms over the past 14 days.  If they have, the session will be rearranged.  I also assure families, in a text the night before, that myself and all in my household are Covid-19 symptom free.

 

As a business, I have signed up to the new NHS track and trace which I believe will be launched on 24/09/2020. I do ask that ALL families scan the QR code to log in upon their arrival.  This is to ensure that a speedy notification can be sent out (should that be necessary) and therefore help stop any spread more than necessary.  I feel that this is best for all my clients protection.

 

My covid risk assessment is available should you wish to see it.

If you have any questions or concerns, please message me.

 

If you were in a similar situation to me whereby you were excluded from any meaningful support from the government during our first lockdown, please head to www.excludeduk.org 

Christmas Family Minis Photoshoot Time!

Christmas Family Minis Photoshoot Time!

Well the temperature has dropped and the heating is on (just me?!) so I guess it’s time to think about those Christmas Minis, right?!

This year has been a very strange one for families.  Many exciting things have been postponed or cancelled and our spring/summer was not quite as we had imagined.  It will be great to have something exciting to look forward to … so get your Christmas Mini session booked now!

 

Christmas Mini family sessions are on Saturday 7th November or Sunday 8th November.

Christmas minis sutton coldfield

Our family Christmas Minis this year include our bed set up.  There will only be one set up this year as the sessions will be taking place in my home studio in Sutton Coldfield (not the studio in Tamworth) and so I am limited with space.

All Christmas minis are up to 20 minutes and are for immediate family only (due to covid restrictions).  Siblings and parents can come and sit on my ‘bed’ for portraits, read a story together, enjoy a milk (choice of milk, chocolate milk, banana milk or strawberry milk) and cookies, pose with stockings ready to be hung up for Father Christmas and maybe end with a pillow fight!  If you have something you’d like to include in the family photoshoot (for example teddy bears, a story, a present etc), you are more than welcome to bring them along.  Please make sure you arrive in your pyjamas or Christmas jumpers (if that is what you’re choosing to wear).

 

There are two different packages available:

£55 will include the session fee and 3 mounted 8×10″ prints of your choice

£70 will include the session fee and 3 digital images of your choice sent via digital download

 

As always, you are welcome to purchase any additional images, prints or wall art should you wish.

Christmas family photoshoot

Special Christmas products are available including these cute tree decorations or the snowglobe.  All come with your choice of image from the session.

These images will make the perfect family Christmas cards or presents for Grandparents.

Sessions are already selling quickly so message me to get yours booked in today!

Due to my covid safe policy, there are a very limited number of 20 minute Christmas minis slots this year.

There will be an hour between each session to allow for a thorough clean.

A £35 non-refundable booking fee secures your Christmas minis session – your session is not confirmed without the deposit payment.  The remaining balance is due on the day of your family session.

 

Should I have to postpone the sessions due to covid (either myself needing to self isolate or local lockdown restrictions), the sessions will be rearranged at a date and time conveinent for both you and me.

Backdrop is from Props for Togs

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

For those of you that might not know, today is National Rainbow Baby Day.  

You might have heard me use this term ‘Rainbow Baby’ a few times and not know what it means.  This blog post will explain all about rainbow babies.

Rainbow Baby sutton coldfield

The term ‘Rainbow Baby’ is used when a child is born to a family who have previously lost a child due to miscarraige, stillbirth or death during infancy.  For many parents who do get pregnant after losing a baby, there can be a huge bag of mixed emotions – worry, reflection, fear, overjoyed, anxiety, happiness …

 

Many parents can actually feel guilty for being excited about their new pregnancy whereas others are terrified to celebrate anything just in case.  These rainbow babies really are that light after the storm.

Rainbow Baby newborn photographer sutton coldfield

For those families who have been through such a dark time, having that baby really can feel like the most amazing mircale ever.  And of course it is.

Many people are now a lot more open about struggles and complexities with pregnancy and conception.  It used to be such a taboo subject.  I, for one, am so pleased that many more people are so open about their journey.  It really does help those who are at the beginning (or the middle) of their own journey – to know that someone else is going through something similar to you. 

 

I love that my families often talk about their pregnancy journeys with me. 

Rainbow Baby Newborn photographer sutton coldfield

Our rainbow babies are to be celebrated just like the angel babies that were too perfect to be here.  And that is why, for many people, it is important to have that rainbow.  To show that there is light, there is hope.  But that the journey to get to this beautiful miracle hasn’t been forgotten.

rainbow baby sutton coldfield

So what can I do for your rainbow baby?

Firstly, you need to decide if you want to honour your angel baby in this way.  Some parents do and some don’t.  It’s 100% your personal choice – everyone deals with things in very different ways.

 

Then, when I’m planning your session I can include as much or as little ‘rainbow’ as you like.  Like all my sessions, the set ups are designed and tailored to you.  For example, in this set of images accompanying my blog post here, Mom and I discussed incorporating rainbows a lot.  Mom herself loves colour and wanted to celebrate her miracle whilst remembering her angel.  

Rainbow Baby

For me personally, it is a huge honour to be able to capture your newborn pictures especially when they can mean so much.  If you are booking in with me and would like your session to include anything special like this, please discuss it with me before the session so I can prepare my set ups accordingly.

Rainbow Baby

People work through their situations in different ways and there is no right and wrong.  But if you are needing someone to talk to there are many different charities out there who can help including those at Sands, Tommy’s and The Miscarriage Association.

 

Back To School Mini Sessions

Back To School Mini Sessions

Back To School Minis

 

After the year we had at school last year, going back to school in September really is something to celebrate for teachers, children and parents alike.

 

As a teacher, I used to love seeing my class on the first day of September.  All their uniform pristine, hair all in place and huge smiles on their faces.  They were always full of funny stories of things they had done and seen over the summer holidays.

 

This year will definitely be even more special.  Weird, but special.  Which is why I have decided to launch these Back To School mini sessions.

back to school mini photography session key stage one

Whether your child is going to a new year group, new school or starting school for the very first time I have a chalkboard to suit you.

There are 4 different chalkboards to choose from: First Day in Nursery, First Day in Reception, Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2) or Key Stage 2 (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6).  I can make a Secondary School one if you like too!

Our children grow and change all the time.  We don’t even realise how quickly too.  That’s why something like this is so lovely – a great way of recording how your child is right now.  Their likes, their friendships and what they want to be.  They will LOVE looking back at these when they’re older – I know I would have.

Back to school mini photography session sutton coldfield nursery pictures

With covid related guidance changing regularly, many parents have discussed their worries that there may not be school photos taken this year which is why they were so excited to book this session with me.

My Back To School Mini sessions are available until the 6th September.

Sessions last up to 20 minutes per child.

For only £45, you get the session, a digital file of your choice with print release and a matching mounted 8″ x 12″ print

 

There is a discount for sibling bookings.

 

I only have a limited number of sessions available now so get in touch with me to book yours before I am fully booked!

back to school mini photography session sutton coldfield
Outdoor Training with Lisa McCormick Photography

Outdoor Training with Lisa McCormick Photography

On Saturday, I travelled up to Sunderland for a very special day of training with Lisa McCormick photography.

I went up with Captured by Cheryl Photography and we had the best day.  We both learned so much about outdoor photography – which is completely different to shooting in your studio.

So I am very pleased to announce that I am now offering sessions for boys and girls outdoors.  These are ideally suited for children aged from 5 years old (due to following posing directions – I can photography children of any age though).

 

Children's outdoor portraits sutton coldfield

At the beginning of the week, I met up with 8 year old Poppy and we took some photos.  She had such a lovely time.  The sessions do include the use of all my props and dresses – I have a wide variety of dresses in greys, golds and soft pastel colours.  Poppy said she felt like a princess.

Below are some behind the scenes photographs taken by Poppy’s Mom during our outdoor portrait session.

For more information on my family and child portraits click here.  If you’d like to discuss a children’s portrait session with me, please send me a message.