Category Archives: Photography

 

FrugiFamilyWith a birthday next week and Christmas just around the corner, it was perfect timing for this party frock to arrive from my lovely friend Lauren as part of the Frugi Family Gift of Giving project. Lauren is part of the Frugi family of bloggers and I think she quite liked dress shopping (she has two gorgeous sons!). Frugi make beautiful organic clothes for mums and kids and I really love their collection, I love children’s clothes to be happy and colourful and for my daughter to dress like a little girl. She’ll be a teenager soon enough! The folks at Frugi are pretty happy and colourful themselves – how fun is the story of how Frugi came to be? (take a look HERE). Also, kicking myself that I used cloth nappies for both kids and hadn’t heard of these guys until now!

Frugi have a gorgeous range of Christmas Clobber which even includes nappies in a festive print (if I still had a little baby…). I think Lauren made a great choice, I love the colour of this dress for her and that it’s something she can wear all year or you can dress it up to be more festive (these tights are perfect!). If I had two girls, I’d absolutely get one in red too.

 

Hey! Can I take some photos of you in your dress?

This dress?

This dress?

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Here it is…my dress…

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Haha! I’m totes hilar.

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OK, I’m ready now!

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Thank you to Lauren and Frugi for Sunshine’s sweet party frock

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Today is the first instalment of a new blog series with my good friend, Emily, of The Photo Clinic. Emily and I will be here on the first and third Mondays of each month to help with any photography woes or to offer critique on a photo (all kind, I promise!) or to fix something for you. We have quite a few years experience as professional photographers between us but we will both admit that we still get it wrong sometimes!

Proof!

I like to shoot with a large aperture (around f1.4-f2.8) so I have to be pretty spot on with focusing, sometimes I miss completely. Sometimes taking a step back or changing position can make all the difference but on this occasion by the time I’d got my focus sorted, I’d missed the apple bobbing and the kids had run off! Admittedly, this was in bad lighting but I wanted to capture this moment and I failed miserably. While things like Photoshop are amazing tools, it’s important to have something good to work with in the first place. No amount of editing can save these!

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This photo of Emily’s, while lovely, is overexposed. Using a faster shutter speed or  smaller aperture could have helped here. Aperture is that F number again. A small number means a large aperture. Confusing I know! That means that you have a narrow depth of field which is wonderful for portraits because you can blur out any distracting background and just keep your subject in focus. A small aperture/larger F number means that more of your image is in focus. To adjust your aperture on a DSLR, use the A/AV setting.

Overexposed

I did some adjustments of the image in Lightroom, which is my all time favourite editing software. You can download a free 30 day trial from the Adobe website if you’re looking to try something new out. Anyway! I reduced the exposure slightly and darkened the highlights to try and bring some of the lost detail back into the picture.

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Photo Clinic-007Back to Emily again for a bit of photo critique (it’s my turn in two weeks, eek!). I actually love this photo and his little scrunched up face! I would perhaps try some different positioning, maybe have him lying through the tyre or sitting in it? And perhaps take a few steps back so the whole tyre is in the picture. I think the circle would add a bit more interest to the image.

Lauren submitted photo she wasn’t happy with for us to make some adjustments to. Sometimes cameras can’t get the white balance quite right, especially indoors with the lights on or shooting in snow. Lauren sent us this photo. We promise she didn’t fake tan her son!

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Now you could set your white balance before every shot but when you’re photographing kids especially, that doesn’t really work! I opened up the colour channel and pulled back the orange and red channels until his skin was a more realistic colour.

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Or you could go for a quick black & white edit instead. Simples!

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Thank you for visiting The Photo Clinic, Lauren!

If you’d like to submit a photo or have some questions, you can email Emily or email me. If you love photos, we’d love to hear from you!

I found Brummy Mummy of 2‘s blog through the Living Arrows linky and loved her sense of humour and I’m originally from Brum myself so that makes us practically family! Em is mum to two toddlers (the girl and the boy) and teaches part time. She loves Malibu, fruit pastilles, reality TV, tea and can often be found in a flowery dress, leggings and a statement necklace (when she’s not braless and in a onesie). We met up at Birmingham Botanical Gardens on one of the hottest days EVER to explore the gardens and have a picnic. Thankfully she wasn’t braless that day. Somehow we both managed to completely run out of baby wipes which is the most fun thing ever when you have 4 children with sticky ice cream hands and 2 of them still in nappies. What a pair of amateurs! The kids got on really well though and enjoyed being able to run around together like a bunch of loons.

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Meet Em!

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What’s been the biggest surprise about motherhood?

The biggest surprise about motherhood is that it has totally changed me. It’s bloomin hard work and there are some days where I feel like I could have a good old weep but generally? It has made me a lot happier. It has made me laugh lots and I really enjoy it. Prior to being a Mum I was a bit low in confidence but now I have the kids? I care a little bit less about things. And if my hair is a bit dirty? I care not! Having my girl was not planned. But with hindsight it came at the perfect time and saved me from myself (oh that’s a bit deep isn’t it?).

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What’s a typical day like for you?

Twice a week I work as a teacher in a secondary school so that is teaching RE to teens. Which I love and is hilarious and I can’t imagine doing anything else. But when I am at home? Day starts at 5.30/6ish (urgh) and then it is general mayhem till Daddy comes home at 6pm for ‘the handover’. We go out quite a lot, so visit farms or friends or soft play. My girl is starting pre-school in September so mornings she will be there and I am sure me and the boy will find something fun to do.

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What inspired you to start your blog and what do you blog about?

I was on maternity leave and SO BORED! I started to read blogs by Zoella and Sprinkle of Glitter and decided that I would like to try something whilst the kiddies napped. I tried once and failed miserably so tried again at Christmas and it all started from there! When I had the girl I went back to work full time, I was head of RE so I found it hard switching to part time with no responsibility. This gives me something to do and helps to stop me being manic. Well helps a little. I like to think I try and blog about daft things that happen to us, and the real side of motherhood. I have a YouTube channel where I do vlogs of different days out and each week I host photo linky #wickedwednesdays where bloggers are encouraged to send in funny pictures.

Best blogging moment so far?

I’m really lucky to have been on Mumsnet a few times and one of those posts (10 signs you are the owner of a toddler girl) went viral. So that’s had like 19,000 views or something ridiculous. It’s one of those things that I doubt will EVER happen again. That was mental. Watching people literally all over the world reading my blog and seeing pictures of messy house and crazy child. It still makes me smile now thinking about it.

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How have you changed since having kids?

As I said before I am just a lot happier. Not in a “hey kids you know just fufil me” kind of way but in a “I’m not bored to think about daft things” kind of way. Alas I don’t spend as much time with my friends or my husband which is a shame but I just feel a bit more content with myself.

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You have a whole day to yourself. How do you spend it?

Oh good god that would be the dream! Defo watching Real Housewives of New Jersey for a few hours in bed, whilst I eat chocolate and crisps without having to share them. Next shopping without having to control two crazy children. Then the flicks and a nice meal with my husband. Just normal everyday things you can’t do with tiny tots looming around. Would be lovely! And I would for sure sneak a nap in.

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What kind of things do you enjoy doing with the kids?

I LOVE going on days out. I do that a lot. People seem to think it costs me a lot of money? But it really doesn’t. We always take picnics and I always use vouchers. I love showing them new things and having little adventures with my little crew. With my girl I love chatting with her about daft things and my boy I love those sleepy baby cuddles he gives me. I also love dancing around with them when we have our tea. That crazy bit just before their Dad comes home. It’s brilliant!

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What advice would you give to first-time parents?

Embrace these things 1) it’s hard 2) you won’t sleep 3) it WILL get easier. Just don’t be so hard on yourself really. Being a parent is amazing and wonderful and brilliant but it comes with times where it is scary and terrifying and a bit rubbish. Do whatever it is that makes you and your little family happy. Ignore people and their daft advice you never asked for. You will make the odd mistake, and you may go out with poo on your top but at the end of the day? As long as everyone is well fed, happy and rested? It really doesn’t matter!

You can find Em all over the internets! Go and follow her – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.