Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer): Blog https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog en-us (C) Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer) (Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) Fri, 26 Feb 2021 11:37:00 GMT Fri, 26 Feb 2021 11:37:00 GMT https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/img/s/v-12/u149673886-o766134576-50.jpg Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer): Blog https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog 120 88 Newborn Posing - One to One Personalised Training Opportunities https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/9/newborn-posing---one-to-one-personalised-training-opportunities Over the past 5 years I have worked hard to perfect my skills and art in safe newborn posing. From the very beginning of my journey into specialising in newborn photography, I wanted to ensure that I not only delivered the best images for my clients to treasure for years but that I did so safely and developed my skills to ensure that my sessions were an enjoyable experience too. 

Over the years, I have seen many new photographers entering the industry. I love to see this, as I know that producing timeless images of such a precious time is so important and it is the best job in the world! That said, whilst it all may look very glamorous from the outside, it takes hard work, dedication and a drive to make sure you can deliver a great service but also develop a profitable business and offering all images on a disc for £50 will not allow you to put food on the table. And above all this, it is VITAL that all this is done in a safe way. 

Now I am sure, there are lots of parents and budding photographers out there who have looked at the very best newborn images and thought "how hard can it be?", "I can do that"! I know because I was once one of them. BUT I am sure those who have tried will agree that the reality is very different and there are so many things to consider from getting a baby to settle and sleep, through to lighting and then the all important posing. I am also sure that whilst we may all look at images of newborn babies and think "aww don't they look amazing", if you really look hard enough, you can tell who has received training and has experience from those who are trying to learn without this investment. Whilst I am not here to judge how people choose to learn, I only know that newborn baby's are way too precious not to invest in correct training because we would never want to jeopardise their safety. Secondly, if you want to produce quality images and build a business that offers quality, then it makes sense that we take the time to learn in the best way possible. 

Prior to taking the leap into my professional photography career, I spent several years managing businesses and teams and training was always the element that I thrived on. I love inspiring others, imparting my knowledge and helping people grow. It therefore seems only natural for me to expand my business and help support others to achieve great things in their baby photography careers too.

I began training last year but had to put things on hold, as we all have with most things this year, due to Covid 19. But I am now back and raring to welcome more of you who wish to learn. My 2021 diary is open for training. I am full already for January so do get in touch if you are interested. As I am still continuing to operate as a photographer first and foremost, I will have limited capacity.

 

So there are two main options for training 

 

One day, 1-2-1 training

 

  • How to book your clients and manage your diary based on due dates 
  • How to prepare your clients before their shoot to help you get the most from your session 
  • How to organise your props and set up and plan your shoot 
  • Basic lighting for your session 
  • How to wrap baby and safe techniques to assist with effective sleeping 
  • How to pose newborns safely in the main and most common poses
  • Safe handling of baby 
  • lots of tips on how to settle, soothe and comfort a newborn to keep them settled
  • How to work with a baby that resists sleep
  • How to use angles to get the best and most flattering images 
  • Basic editing and processing of images post shoot 

We will have a live model on the day so you will see me handle and run a session from start to finish. You will mainly observe me posing whilst I will provide you with instructions and tips to take notes but I will allow you the opportunity to take photos of each pose so that I can teach you how to make the most of your angles. There may be some opportunity to handle the baby so that I can teach you wrapping skills. The day will run from 9am till 4.30/5pm and if you are coming to me and my studio space, I will also provide lunch. If you have a studio and wish for me to come to you,so that I can provide you with guidance on your own set up,  this is also possible but I will charge for travel expenses. 

 

Two, Day 1-2-1 training

The two day option will include all of the above on day one but the second day will be your opportunity to put what you have learnt into practise and run your own shoot from start to finish. This is a great opportunity to have hands on experience but with me there to help guide and support you. It will enable you to ask any questions and provide extra guidance whilst you are applying the skills learnt on day one. If your budget allows, then I would advise the two day option because having the chance to be hands on, with me there to support you can be less daunting than having one day and then going away and doing your first session on your own and wishing you were able to ask questions.

There is nothing better than training on a one to one basis rather than in a group setting. This will enable your training to be tailored to your level and skill set and based on what you intend to offer to your clients. If you are further forward in your newborn photography career and then the above content will be adjusted and centred around those areas you wish to improve on. 

And your training will never stop after your one to one training as I have a Facebook group that I would love you to be involved in too. This is a great forum where you can talk to other peers, post images for critique and any other questions you may have to ask. I will also post regular tips and tricks for you to enjoy to update your skills too. 

Here's what one of my lovely students had to say; 

"I just wanted to say a huge thank you for the 1-2-1 training we had recently. You were so thorough with all aspects of newborn photography from the initial enquiry to editing, and I learned so much from you. I loved seeing how you work and your work flow and how you safely pose those little gorgeous babies. You have been a fab trainer for me and are still helping me now with all my questions, I wouldn’t have wanted to go to any other photographer for my training. Thank you again xx" Hannah Turner 

 

"Claire has honestly changed my life when it comes to photography. Before my 1-2-1 training I had no idea how to pose and wrap babies safely but now I go in with so much confidence and I just absolutely love my job! I 100% recommended Claire for newborn training" Liann Sherlock
 


If you are keen to find out more about training with me and pricing, then please do get in touch for a chat. As I continue to operate and specialise in newborn photography, I will can only offer training to those who are at least 15 mile radius from Southampton. 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer Hampshire trainer newborn newborn photographer newborn photographer teacher newborn photographer trainer Hampshire newborn photography trainer photographer trainer" https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/9/newborn-posing---one-to-one-personalised-training-opportunities Wed, 30 Sep 2020 16:42:59 GMT
First Birthday Mini Shoot -must have session to celebrate the first major milestone https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/8/first-birthday-mini-shoot--must-have-session-to-celebrate-the-first-major-milestone Your baby turning one is a big deal! It's the first big milestone since they were born and marks a year of a wonderful transformation from newborn to the beginnings of the toddler years. It is a chance to celebrate the little personality and character that your baby has become. 

As you will know, the big trend for a while now has been to mark it with a cake smash shoot. These are the best fun and a chance for your little one to get very messy! And the best bit, the parents don't have to clean it up - I do! These shoots provide great fun and I will forever continue to offer them. 

BUT some parents aren't too keen on a cake smash and there could be a number of reasons. Some just don't like the concept, for some they prefer their child to not have cake just yet, for others it may be that they don't like the waste or they don't have the budget a full cake smash shoot. 

Cue the First Birthday Mini Session. I launched these sessions a while back now and they are really popular but I wonder if people know enough about them so here is a little snapshot of what it's like to have a mini shoot and why it might be the perfect alternative for you so you can still ensure you capture the most important milestone of your baby's first year. 

 

The mini shoot will last for a shorter length of time, which is also great for those who are on a busy schedule or whose little one has a short attention span. The 30 minute session is perfect and can be worked around your little one's napping time too. Within those 30 minutes, I will provide a bespoke set up, providing all props, balloons, ONE letters and an outfit to match should you wish me too or you can bring your own. I have lots of different set ups from bunting, garlands, backdrops, pinwheels and balloon garlands. 

Within that 30 minutes I will capture your little one as they play with the ONE letters, hit the balloons, crawl across the studio floor and giggle away. When the shoot has finished and my clients have gone home I will then work on selecting the best 6 images from the shoot, will edit them and email them as high resolution files to you on the same day. How about that for quick service?! This means you get a shoot and beautifully edited images that will be yours to keep and print as you wish, all on the same day and for £110.  

Most of my clients tell me that they choose to do a mini shoot over a birthday party where their baby won't really remember it. And when you have lots of family and friends struggling to know what to buy your little one, you could ask to be gifted with money or my vouchers to put towards your chosen shoot. 

For more details or to book a First Birthday Mini Shoot then please email: hello@clairegrantphotography.co.uk

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer Southampton baby photoshoot near me baby's first birthday photoshoot newborn photographer hampshire newborn photographer southampton newborn photoshoot near me https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/8/first-birthday-mini-shoot--must-have-session-to-celebrate-the-first-major-milestone Tue, 11 Aug 2020 09:36:39 GMT
How to book a newborn baby shoot https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/7/how-to-book-a-newborn-baby-shoot You've found out the wonderful news that you're expecting a baby and you may have had your dating scan and seen your gorgeous baby and heard that amazing sound of their heart beat. It all feels so real and exciting now but you have a long list of things to buy and you don't know where to start. At the top of the list is usually the pram, furniture for the nursery and then follows lots of little things and gadgets to get your head around. 

Usually at the very bottom of the list or sometimes it may not even appear on it at all, is a newborn baby photoshoot. You know that you'd quite like to have one, you think it would be lovely to capture those first few weeks, yet as your baby isn't here yet, you don't need to book it right?! You have plenty of time. Wrong! 

I totally get it as a parent you think about getting all the practical things on that list and time then runs away with you. But like your pram and the crib and all the other things that go alongside it, you want the best for your baby. Therefore when you are looking for the best photographer's that are experienced and sought after, that means they get booked up quickly. As I write this, it sounds like I am being big headed, I don't mean it to be! I have worked extremely hard over the past 5-6 years to offer the best quality posing, images, service and products for my clients and this naturally means that I have built a reputation and a wonderful following of gorgeous families who recommend me, therefore my diary now a days books around 3 months ahead.

Parents often don't realise the importance of capturing the first few weeks until baby has reached a month old and they then realise how fast it went and the regret sets in. A large percentage of my clients are second and third time parents who wish they had thought of it sooner. 

 

 

So, if my baby isn't here yet, how can I book my newborn photoshoot? 

This is a very common question and I can easily answer it. You simply book with me and I use your due date as a guide. I don't fix in a shoot date nor do I make you feel any pressure to commit to a certain week. I simply add your due date to my diary and I only book a limited number of due dates around the same time and per month, so that I can schedule everyone in when their baby arrives. Newborn posing is best achieved within a certain timeframe so booking in advance in this way, means you can relax until your baby is here knowing that you do not have to rush around after they are born when you are likely to miss the first 2-3 week window. 

 

 

But what about payment when we have so much else to buy? 

I understand this too so I make it as affordable to book as possible. You are only required to pay for the session itself when booking which is £75. However, to reward you for booking early, you will get 25% off if you book at least 12 weeks before your due date. I will provide you with a price list for my images and products but you do not have to commit to any orders and will be under no obligation to place any orders unless you wish too. You will be able to view your edited images around 2 weeks after your shoot date and this is when you would order and pay. So, you have time in between booking and having your session to budget. You can pay your session fee using a debit or credit card too. 

I bet you have lots of friends and family asking you what they can buy you, so why not ask them to contribute to a photoshoot or ask them to buy you vouchers so you can put towards any images you may wish to buy? 

 

NewbornSessionAlex21NewbornSessionAlex21

 

Booking can be done in an instant too. You can simply contact me to request a price list and brochure and if you wish to go ahead I can send you an invoice for the session fee where you can make an online payment from the comfort of your own home or even access from your phone. Of course, I am also on hand to answer any questions and speak to you over the phone too. 

I look forward to hearing from you. 

Claire x 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer baby photographer southampton baby photoshoot newborn photographer newborn photographer hampshire newborn photographer local to me newborn photographer near me newborn photographer southampton newborn photoshoot near me https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/7/how-to-book-a-newborn-baby-shoot Wed, 01 Jul 2020 09:33:18 GMT
What does the new normal look like for your baby photoshoot https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/6/what-does-the-new-normal-look-like-for-your-baby-photoshoot I don't know about you but the last few months have been very surreal. It's been a rollercoaster or emotions, lots of home-schooling, I've baked more cakes than I have ever done in my life, I've become very green fingered, a dab hand at puzzles and I've spent loads of time squishing and playing with my children. There have been some lovely moments for sure BUT I have missed all my little babies and their families so so much. 

 

I have been very cautious about re-opeing for business and not doing so too soon. Officially many studios opened their doors on the 15th June, however I was very conscious about not doing so unless rules and restrictions were lessened further due to the closeness and physical touching involved in posing and working with babies. I am pleased to say that now measures have been relaxed and they continue to be even further over the next few months, I will be back and re-opening for work on the 6th July. This will be a phased return with postponed and already booked session pre covid, taking place over the next few months. 

I have always worked with very strict hygiene in place so going forward this will remain but I have added a few other measures and will be working a little differently to keep you and myself safe. The governments guidelines have advised that businesses should maintain social distancing rules of at least 1 metre where possible. Where this is not possible then other measures should be taken to mitigate the risk of transmission. 

As always, clients will enter my studio space via an outside, side entrance. You will be asked to leave car seats and any other unnecessary belongings and only bring essential items into the studio. Upon entering clients will be asked to hand sanitise and also will be asked to wear a face covering (clients to bring their own). I do have spare, individually wrapped masks for those who forget or do not have one. I will ask clients to remove shoes and leave them in a closed container outside that will also be sanitised after each use. As I have a small space, I am kindly asking for only one parent to attend their shoot where possible to limit the number of people and making distancing easier. However, I understand that in some circumstances this may not be possible where new mums might need extra support. Where there are two people attending, they must be from the same household. I will not be able to offer you drinks or snacks but you are more than welcome to bring your own. 

 

 

I will only have one client per day as usual and I will be leaving one clear space between each day to allow for further deep cleaning. Cleaning has always been a high priority and always carried out after every shoot however I will be taking further steps too. I have removed all unnecessary items from the studio, all props will be washed after each shoot in the normal way, disinfected and the studio, all surfaces and soft furnishings will be steam cleaned. The studio is locked after each deep cleanse and no-one will re-enter until the next shoot takes place. I work alone too, so you will only meet with me and no-one else will meet with you or access my space. 

For each shoot, I will be distancing from parents and where possible during a cake smash or sitter, from baby too. When it comes to newborns, or smaller babies, I will be asking parents to place baby down so that I can scoop them up to work with them. I will be working with a mask and visor and will be sanitising using 80% alcohol gel before I touch your baby each time. I will be working at a different level to them so that I will not be in close face to face contact. I will also be working in a slightly different way, limiting the number of poses, to ensure that I limit the amount of time I have to physically touch them. As I have extensive experience of safely posing newborns, I am able to adapt to my usual way of working and use other methods to achieve the same results. 

Until such a time as closer face to face contact is allowed, family and sibling poses may need to be slightly different as I try to limit direct face on and physical contact when trying to safely pose babies in the arms of parents. Family and sibling poses will be discussed on an individual basis for each shoot and more guidance will be provided with each enquiry. I am hopeful that for bookings post September, family and sibling poses can return to a more normal with PPE in use. Whilst, we know that the risk to infants and children is minimal, the risk to adults remains, so I am keen to maintain distancing rules where possible. For the moment, I am proceeding with over caution. 

 

 

All these measures will enable me to work as safely as possible whilst still enabling you to capture the most precious moments of your baby's first year. If we can all keep doing our bit to do small and sensible things to mitigate our risks, then we can all continue to enjoy things in a 'new normal' way. If you are a client who is already booked in then you will receive a guide to these measures with your booking confirmation. If you are a new client or thinking of booking, then this will also be sent to you when you enquire with me. And of course, I am happy to discuss any of this with you too. My aim is to make you feel confident and assured that I am putting all our health at the top of the priority list. 

 

 

Of course, it also goes without saying that if anyone including myself, displays any symptoms as per the NHS list, they must not attend their shoot and should isolate for the recommended period. It is vital for everyones safety that this is adhered too. 

I have been busy booking in all of my postponed clients so my diary for July and August is now full. If you have a baby due from September onwards and wish to book, then I would delighted. Please contact me by phone or email: hello@clairegrantphotography.co.uk 

I cannot wait to see everyone soon. 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer baby photographer southampton baby photoshoot newborn photographer newborn photographer hampshire newborn photographer local to me newborn photographer southampton https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/6/what-does-the-new-normal-look-like-for-your-baby-photoshoot Fri, 26 Jun 2020 11:01:55 GMT
Tips for photographing your newborn during lockdown https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/4/tips-for-photographing-your-newborn-during-lockdown So, as you would have seen, each week I am trying to post some blogs that I feel might be useful during lockdown. One of the big topics I had listed to write about was this one, "how to photograph your newborn during lockdown". I was then approached by several clients asking if I could produce some tips too, so I definitely knew it would be welcomed. 

It breaks my heart that I can't do this for you at the moment. So for any of my booked clients, here is a little something until I can welcome you back and capture those lovely professional shots. For any one else who was due to have some professional photographs with another photographer, or had yet to book, I hope this helps you too. Please share this as much as possible as I would love nothing more than to help as many people as I can during this difficult time.  

 

The first thing I wish to talk about though, is safety. Please, please DO NOT attempt to even try to replicate any of the poses that you see on my page. These poses take training and years of practise to master and doing them without could cause a harm to your baby. Many of the images are carried out via composites, where hands are placed on baby and removed during editing. And those that aren't, are done, paying care and attention to airways and limb placement. Make sure you do not walk off and leave your baby at any time, place them on any dangerous surfaces, place them in props that could topple over or dangle them from any self made hammocks or such like. 

When is the best age to take my photos 

The beauty you have as parents, is that you have time on your side. I recommend capturing those first few moments, the really sleepy shots within the first two weeks and I will schedule my shoots within a 3-4 hour period. You are with your baby every day so take your time. I usually wait for baby's to be at least 5 days before I start to photograph them. This gives a little time for any swelling on baby's head or face to reduce and for some of the redness or jaundice to soften. It also allows a little time for Mum and baby to establish feeding and therefore Mummy and Baby are a little more settled. Plus Mums deserves a little rest after all of her hard work during the birth. 

Preparing your baby to have some photos and the best time of the day

When you photograph your baby can make a huge difference. Generally most babies are sleepiest and most content in the morning. They have likely been up during the night (still on nocturnal time) and will therefore be tired in the morning. By the afternoon most babies will become fussier and more feeding starts to take place. Mid morning would make an ideal time. 

Preparation is key to taking some nice shots too. You don't want to have an unhappy baby who is due to be fed or who has a dirty nappy, so there are a few things you can do to ensure everything is as calm as possible. Firstly, from the moment you wake up, give your baby some awake time and allow them to kick about on a change mat and perhaps give them a bath and a wash to help. This will help to make them tired. Then ensure your baby has a clean nappy and feed them. The idea is to make them sleepy and give them a full belly. That said, do not stress or worry if you baby refuses to sleep - it can happen. As long as they are settled you can get some awake shots and try for sleepy ones the next day. 

Also, make sure the room you are going to use is warm. During my newborn shoots, I have a fan heater and I make sure that the room replicates that of the womb (it's very tropical in there)! This is particularly important if baby is naked or partially naked when you take your images. So around 23-24 degrees is ideal. If you are planing to just keep them in their clothes, then a lower temp of 18-20 will be fine. 

Also, find some white noise and have this on as loud as you can. White noise is my best friend and it is used in every shoot of mine. You will find lots of FREE apps that you can add to your phone. The hairdryer is my particular favourite. This will help to keep baby nice and settled and sleepy too. 

Lighting 

Think ahead and plan where to photograph your precious new bundle. Lighting is key and whilst studio lighting has it's place in professional photography, when you have no natural light source, you can easily find somewhere in your house that will do the job perfectly. 

Find a room in your house that has the biggest window. This could be a standard room window, or even better a large patio window. To achieve nice soft lighting, especially on a really bright sunny day, you will need to 'diffuse' the light. A sheer curtain/voile or very thin piece of white material will do this too. 

When photographing your baby, position them so that the light is coming in and down the baby's head. So for example, if your window is to the left of you, place baby so that there head is to the left also or visa versa. The light ideally should be coming down your baby's head/face at 45 degree angle. Make sure you turn off any ceiling or lamp lights too. 

What to place baby on

As I mentioned at the start, do not attempt to 'pose' your baby. Stick to placing them on their back, or side at the most. You can take lots of different images with your baby on their back so there is no need to try and do anything that may put your baby at risk. 

Lay them on something soft but firm ideally. The mattress of their cot could be a great option or a change mat layered with blankets to add a little extra cushioning, or a large sofa cushion (the bit you sit on that forms the sofa). Be sure to have it at a height that is safe, or if it needs to be placed a little higher, like on a bed for example to catch the light, have it away from the edge and have someone else with you to help ensure baby is safe whilst you take the images. You may wish to cover it in something to create a backdrop like a blanket or coloured sheet. It's amazing what materials you will find around your house if you look hard enough. Whatever you use, try and pull it tightly over the cushioning so you don't have any creases at all and you have a nice flat surface. Creases will detract your eyes when you look at the images later. So pull it nice and tight. 

How to place baby 

Angles are everything when photographing newborn babies. Lay them down on their back but you may want to pop a little rolled up muslin cloth under the head, under the blanket to prop the head to a nice angle. The biggest rule.....DO NOT SHOOT UP THE BABY's NOSE. The reason why I have put this in bold is because I just remember my trainer telling me this in a very clear, firm way and doing so helped me to always remember this rule. When I teach my students, I say it in this way too and it really does stick. So make sure you cannot see your baby's nostrils when you go to take a shot. If you can move yourself a little higher/above them so you can take the photo down their head, this way you will avoid it. Seeing baby nostrils in a photo is very unflattering. Always try to position yourself over baby so you can angle your phone or your camera down their head/face. Position your eyes level with their eyes and this will help too. So from this position with baby on their back, have a play with angles. Angles are everything! Take shots from above them, come round to the side but remembering these key rules at all times. If you can see nostrils, move a little higher or to the side, position your camera down when you take the shot. Focus on their chest up and capture the face, then take some of fingers, toes, close up shots of their nose, eyes, ears. All the little details are so important and the tiny fingers and toes will never be that tiny again. If you want different looks, you can use different coloured sheets, change their clothes, add a muslin wrap to place over the top of them. 

Wrapping is a very special technique and again one that requires practice and skill to ensure it is safe. In essence it is a swaddle. You can achieve a similar look however if you wanted to contain your little one's arms to keep them out of the way when capturing their face. Using a long muslin square or thin piece of fabric/blanket, place baby in the centre. Keep their arms by their sides and fold one side over the body and tuck in under their back, then fold over the other side, with a good amount of tension and tuck in behind their back. Make sure you have folded this clear of their neck and airways and tight enough to stay in place and to feel nice and secure for your baby but not so tight it would be dangerous. If you wish to use any hats, bonnets or hair ties, please ensure you do so with safety in mind first. Use them for the image and then take them off immediately after. Also bear in mind what they look like too. You don't want to overcrowd the image and detract from your baby, especially with something that is too big. 

Taking a shot of your baby full length from the side can be lovely too but when it is taken from the right angle. So when your baby is flat and you are looking at them straight on, stand near to the end of your baby's head. So if their head is on the right , you should be further to the right too. Also place their legs and feet slightly further back than the head, so that the legs are trailing off into the background. Avoid those nostrils and shoot down. 

Siblings 

Keep this really simple. Again safety is key, so the best position for your older child and your baby is laying down. This way your older child doesn't have any responsibility of holding them which can also look awkward and often you cannot see your baby's face. So have them both laying down. Either placing them on the soft bed you have created above, or lay them on a nice soft rug if you have one. Rugs are great and look really cozy. Ensure you apply the same lighting rule with the light as above too. Place your baby in the crook of your eldest childs arm and have them place the other arm on top for extra security. If your child is really small then have another adult nearby incase they decide to up and leave. You want someone to keep baby safe. When everyone is in position, come above them, your eye level to their eye level, avoiding the nostrils and snap away. 

Parent Poses 

Now getting a photograph of parents and baby may be tricky during lockdown when you are isolating from others. If you have an older child that is capable of pressing the button on a camera or phone then try the same pose as above. Place baby in the middle of you both and have your little one take a pic from above you. You could take individual shots of each other too. Focus on the chest up rather than full length as this enables you to capture faces clearly and capture the 'close' moments. Capture those details too of Dad or Mummy holding baby's hands or stroking their head. These close ups are magic. 

 

The most important thing, is whilst they may not be the professional images you wish for, the clearest of shots, the most styled of shots, they are still precious moments of a precious time that you will not get back. There will still be plenty of time for those professional shots to take place as there are so many glorious stages of your baby's first year. Use the time you have, if you don't feel you got it right the first day, try again the next. Have fun and just remember that any image you take is a memory. A memory of a yawn, a cry, a sleepy face or even a poo face ( they all have them). And it's all about freezing the moments in time in the best way you possibly can. 

I would love nothing more than to see your images, so please feel free to email me or message me with your snaps! Happy photographing. Remember, this won't last forever, so if you want to get in touch about any future sessions, please do not hesitate to do so by emailing me at -  hello@clairegrantphotography.co.uk 

 

​​​​​​​Claire x 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer southampton newborn photographer newborn photographer hampshire newborn photographer local to me newborn photographer portsmouth newborn photographer southampton https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/4/tips-for-photographing-your-newborn-during-lockdown Wed, 01 Apr 2020 10:44:52 GMT
Don't give up your day job! Tips for getting through home schooling. https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/3/dont-give-up-your-day-job-tips-for-getting-through-home-schooling When I was little (yep many moons ago), I wanted to be a teacher. I used to pretend I was a teacher and my school friends and I would take it in turns to read stories to each other and take our own lessons. I loved learning and I was pretty inspired by a number of teachers but one English teacher in particular made me want to be like her. Off I went to University to study English and Drama with the aim of teaching. I got my degree but decided to take another path instead and then ........(I won't bore you with the in between bits) I ended up doing the one thing I was born and LOVE to do!

So when faced with the prospect of home schooling, my initial thoughts were "bring it on", "I've got this", "how difficult can it be", "surely I'm clever enough for year 2 work"!!! 

So fast forward to day 5, several bottles of wine, a large amount of chocolate, lots of deep breathing, muttering under my breath, rocking in the corner and more Joe Wicks than my calf muscles can take, we have kind of found our groove. I am certainly not going to give up the day job and I totally realise that I did end up in the right vocation but we've kind of done alright. I refer to the royal 'we', which is my husband. It does help that he is a teacher of course but as a PE teacher, he has had to adapt too. Anyway, together we have got through the first week, survived and can share our top tips of what has worked. 

 

 

1. Try and get some sort of routine going. It doesn't need to be minute by minute but broken down into chunks of a normal school day will help. We have broken ours up into 5 blocks of school work, between normal school hours of 9-3 and we keep the same lunch time each day. Each morning we look at what has been set by school and fill in our slots, any spaces are then down to us to think of a task and the other tips below might help you to fill these in too. 

2. Exercise has been a saviour to get our day started. We managed to survive the intensity of Joe Wicks workouts for the first 3 but we mixed it up towards to the end as we were getting a little sore and needed to break it up a bit. Take a look at Jump Start Jonny www.facebook.com/jumpstartjonny or Oti Mabuse's www.facebook.com/otimabuse dance work outs. Both are aimed and kids and are more of a dance style exercise video. You may want to just pop on some music and dance away, kick a football around the garden or take 10 minutes to walk or cycle round your streets (within social distancing rules). Set up an obstacle challenge in the garden, play catch anything to get the body moving and release some endorphins for the rest of the day. 

3.Stick them in front of the TV or computer! Yes, I mean it, there are lots of amazing educational things to watch right now. Doing this gives them a chance to learn and you the chance to take a break and catch up with your work too. Here are a few of what we have found so far;

For animal and nature : https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org.uk/webcams/panda-cam, https://cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/wildlife/cams/badger-cam www.facebook.com/chesterzoo1 

Culture: https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/, https://www.heritagemuseum.org/

Theatre: https://www.broadwayhd.com/, https://www.willowsmusical.com

4. Get creative. Being creative is something for all the family and there are so many things you can do, whilst they learn at the same time. We've drawn rainbows for our windows and chalked them on the pavements outside, we've made lovely art to send to all the great grandparents as well as letters to go with them. We have some Easter projects to start next week, using all of our recycled rubbish and bits and bobs round the house. A chance to use the empty loo rolls too if you have some! or dried pasta, albeit you may not want to use too much of that. Try some painting, or if you don't have any paint, use water - magic paint we call it. Let them loose on the pavements and patios. Dig out the lego or any "craft and make gifts" that they may still have from Xmas. 

5. Keep lunch time separate and ration the food. I don't know about anyone else but it is so easy to snack all day when you are home. We are trying not to get into this habit so we are planning the lunches in advance each day. You can make it educational too. Label how much each item would cost for their lunch and get them to add up how much they are spending. 

6. If there are two parents at home, educating together, try and divide up subjects so that you're not both trying to teach in different ways. Or take one day each. 

7. Let the children face time or call their friends. We have found this so important. So at the end of each day, we allow them both to choose to speak with one person each so they have some communication with the outside world. Messenger on Facebook is great because of the effects and activities. Give it a try and them to screenshot their call to create a photo. 

8. At break and lunch times just let be free and do what kids do. 

9.It's hard to keep them focused when they are at home, find a space to do their work that is separate from the rest of the house. For us, we have occupied one corner of the living room and then after each day we pack away books so that they can separate school from home. 

10. Rewards. Giving them rewards at the end of each day is also great to keep focus. Something simple, like telling them they can face time someone after they've done their school work, or giving them an extra sweet treat can give them something to look forward too and an incentive to keep going. 

11. We are lucky that our school has been amazing but if your child isn't being given much work then try contacting them, or search for some online tutors as there are lots of teachers out there, who are giving up their free time to support parents and kids at home. 

12. Get out the books, puzzles and the board games. These are all great things to do as a family and can be educational or just simply about having some fun and getting engaged in something. 

13. Outdoor learning is another great way to set the kids a task that enables you to do some work yourself. Making kites, mud kitchens, building bird nests, planting seeds and learning about nature. 

14. Keep a sense of humour and learn to just let some things go. Not only is this hard for parents but it's hard for the kids too. Some of them are far too young to understand why things are a bit different and some understand it way too much and therefore have a lot more questions. Give each other some slack, don't be too rigid and most importantly - just be grateful to have each other. Remember that this will hopefully only happen once so try to embrace it.

15. Make music. You don't need instruments to make music. Get your child to create their own using objects around the house. Create their own band, make up songs and why not get them to make up a little performance too that they can perform it to you later in the evening for entertainment too. 

 

Ooops........I forgot something. Very important one! At our school, the dinner is Fish and Chips. Fish and Chip Friday! So we are keeping this ritual going too. I have to say, I think it has been the highlight of the week. 

Good Luck with the rest of your weeks and don't forget, if you have any useful ideas or have found things that have worked for you, then feel free to comment.

Stay safe and well.

Claire x 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photography baby photography Hampshire baby photoshoot Newborn newborn photographer near me newborn photography local to me newborn photoshoot near me newborn photoshoot Southampton photoshoot" https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/3/dont-give-up-your-day-job-tips-for-getting-through-home-schooling Fri, 27 Mar 2020 14:44:32 GMT
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! Top 20 tips to stay sane with schools being out... https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/3/when-life-gives-you-lemons-make-lemonade-top-tips-to-stay-sane-during-social-distancing We are living in a pretty crazy world right now, more so than any of us have ever seen before in our lifetime. I for one feel like we're living in a movie scene but with no knowledge of the ending! It's pretty daunting and it is causing a lot of uncertainly and suffering for people BUT, in true British style, we will get through this and whilst we cannot control what this crazy disease is doing, we can get some control in our lives to help make life a little more bearable. I am a firm believer in things happening for a reason at times, so maybe our new norm might help us to put the most important things in life at the forefront for a while and refocus our minds for the better. 

Now enough of the deep and meaningful dribble and the negativity....this post is all about KEEPING POSITIVE...! Now I'm no expert and my fun may not float your boat but here are my tops tips for trying to stay sane whilst you are social distancing. Let's get clever, lets use our imagination and above all lets show this damn virus that we cannot be beaten. 

 

1. At the very top of my list.....GET ALCOHOLIC supplies. Now I am not an advocate of stock piling but if there is anything you need in abundance it's a tipple or two to enjoy at the end of your day. Something to look forward to. If you've got some dribbles and left over odds and ends, have fun with it and see what cocktails you can create. Number 1. will also come in handy for number 2. 

2. Pour yourself a drink, yep, the one you made above and have a girls night in with friends. Just because you cannot physically be with each other doesn't mean missing out. The beauty of this century is that we can FaceTime, whatsap, messenger and get all our friends together in one big group. Messenger has some great little games you can play when you're all on a group chat, from games to silly faces and its the perfect tonic. I do this with my girly friends and it's the perfect way to catch up. Take a photo of your group chat - the faces are hilarious! Have a laugh, share down moments, highlights and just talk. 

3.With most of us now trying to work from home, put on our teachers hat and wing our way through the national curriculum, despite having no idea what a number bond is, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with so much to do. You are not a superhero and no one is expecting you to be. Writing lists and structuring the day will help make things seems doable and less consuming. You don't need to come up with a minute by minute schedule but breaking yours and your child's day into sections will help create order and make you feel a sense of achievement. Highlight your top 'things to do'. Get creative with the school stuff. Learning isn't all about books, maths and English...life learning I think they call it. 

4.Pull on your resources. There are loads of groups being created in the community to help make life easier. Use these groups, maybe for shopping support and help, ideas for school work but don't forget that amongst family and friends we have so many unused skills to offer. Use each other, create your own groups and help each other out. An example here, is that me and my hubby are into our fitness so we are creating a little once a week circuit workout in our small street, that keeps each person at a safe distance. We have friends who are teachers that can share ideas with us for the girls too. 

5.Relax, create your own spa night! Run a hot bath with your fave bubbles, shut the world out and breathe. Spend a bit of time pampering yourself. So you may not be going anywhere but a bit of nail polish and a face pack can do wonders.

6.Have a date night! Now this is a little tricky and does require A LOT of imagination but it can be done. Cook meals for each other. Some pubs and takeaways are delivering at the moment too. Watch a film, play games but just take some time out for each other. I am sure you can create your own fun in so many other ways. (wink emoji inserted here). 

7.Exercise! This is a big one for me. I am a runner so I am out most days and it is the most amazing thing for my mind. A chance to unwind, release some stress and get some fresh air. But you don't have to run. Take a walk, ride your bike and as long as you keep your distance just enjoy being outdoors. Get the family outside. Playing catch, football, netball are all exercises we can do whilst keeping a distance. If you are isolating, then find a fitness channel like Joe Wicks or search on Youtube. You will find a whole heap of workouts for all intensities. If you have gym equipment at home then even better. 15-20 minutes a day will make a huge difference. And when this is all over, you can get out and show off the new, healthy you. 

8.Get out in the garden and make it nice for those summer BBQ's. If you're like us, we never have enough time to spend being proactive in the garden. I'm longing for a little bit of time to get out, paint the fence, clean off the patio sets and plant some flowers. The kids can get involved with this too. 

9.Organise your wardrobe, cupboards, have a good clear out and declutter! This is another of life's jobs that I want to do but never have the time for. But I know when I've done it, it makes me feel so good. I feel like a weight has lifted and taking things I don't want to the charity shop makes me feel like I've been helpful too. This is very much needed right now. Donate unwanted things where you can as there will be a lot of people needing more and more financial support than ever. 

10.Freshen up your house with a new lick of paint. You are going to be seeing a lot of your four walls so freshening them up and changing your decor might get a job done but will also help with keeping things looking fresh and cheer you up. 

11.Dust off the old school board games, puzzles, books and get away from the technology. Breaking the norm of technology!

12.There are so many box sets that all my friends and family talk about. I feel like an outcast and a total freak for having never seen an episode of Game of Thrones! I know, I know. It's a time thing. But with extra time I'm looking forward to have a box set binge. 

13.Learn a new hobby or pick up one that you haven't done in a while. I started an art project several months ago but I haven't finished it, so I am going to pick this back up again too. Learning something new gives you new focus. 

14.Avoid negative Nelly's and the fake news! This is a big one for me and I could rant about it all day. Social media and the media can be great sources BUT they can also be the worst. This blog has been prompted because I was starting to loose myself in my news feed and scaring myself unnecessarily. A lot of what you read on Facebook is misinformation and sensationalised rubbish because this is popular. People love a drama but it can become destroying. I have now made a conscious effort to watch one news report only and to avoid my Facebook feed. This way I can stay focused on the main facts and get some perspective. Stick with the facts, the here and the now and take one days news at time. This will help you to not overthink, panic and loose precious time worrying. 

15. Stay in touch with family and use the time to catch up with old and new friends. Make the time to phone, email, FaceTime and Skype. And maybe for the older members of your family, put pen to paper. Get children to draw pictures and send them in the post. Send them to care homes and make someone smile. Knowing you've made someone else happy with make you feel good too. 

16. Meditate - not all mediation requires flower power clothes, dread-lock hair and mountain tops. There are some really useful online tutorials to help you along the way but 10 minutes on your own to breathe and destress is really useful. 

17. Whilst you are at home with your family, take the chance to take photos! Memory making is a precious gift and being able to look back on them is even more so. We often forget to do it though so now it the prefect opportunity. And whilst they may not seem like happy memories now, they can be. Take photos of this moment, of a time to look back on with your kids and talk about how unprecedented 2020 was, how it will go down in history and they were part of coming through it. Create a scrap book maybe! 

18. Don't sweat the small stuff - lets face it, most of us have never spent so much time with our other half and children at one time as we are about to. Times like this can be challenging and it may become easy to argue or niggle over the smallest of things. Try and take a moment before you react and think 'is this worth what I'm about to say?', let go of the stuff that's not important. If there's one thing we can all learn about this, is that health and being safe is the most important thing. Pick your arguments. 

19. Cook , share recipe ideas and try out new meals. Trying something new will break the monotony. Even if the country went into lock down the shops will remain open, there will be food so please don't stockpile. 

20. Remember - WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. There is a great power in the knowledge that we are all going through the same thing. Our challenges maybe different but we all have them and you are not alone. 

 

I hope some of these tips help. They may seem trivial, silly, common sense but my main aim to demonstrate that there are some positives. We can come through this and there are ways in which we can make a rubbish situation a little more bearable. 

If you think of any more , comment and get sharing. If it helps one person then I am happy!

Love, Claire x x x 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photography baby photography Hampshire baby photoshoot Newborn newborn photographer near me newborn photography local to me newborn photoshoot near me newborn photoshoot Southampton photoshoot" https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/3/when-life-gives-you-lemons-make-lemonade-top-tips-to-stay-sane-during-social-distancing Thu, 19 Mar 2020 16:22:35 GMT
Why is my baby not considered 'newborn' at 3 weeks old? https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/1/why-is-my-baby-not-considered-newborn-at-3-weeks-old I've received a lot of enquiries this week from yummy new mummies and grandparents asking for details on a newborn shoot for a baby that is already several weeks old. I thought I would write a little blog to explain why at this age a 'newborn' photoshoot is unlikely to be feasible but what other options you have with me. 

First of all, I want to acknowledge that I totally understand that under a few months or so old, to you, your baby is a newborn baby. I've been there and whilst the weeks roll into one, your baby remains so small and you hold on to every precious week because you don't want to give in to calling them months which makes them seem a lot older. And also, they are still tiny in every way compared to a toddler for example. The experience is still new and therefore they are still your 'newborn". 

Unfortunately in the eyes of a specialist newborn photographer, 3 weeks is most often too late to achieve the sleepy, curly newborn poses that you mostly associate with newborn images. Here's why. Quite simply, when a baby is first born it can take them a while to realise that they're out of the womb. They have spent so long tucked up tightly inside a sack in the womb, all cosy and in very warm conditions that when they first arrive into the world, they still try to mimic this. This is why posing a newborn baby can take place, because they are still very sleepy and curly because they still favour those positions. After around 2-3 weeks a baby starts to become a lot more awake and aware of their environment. They are being stimulated by a variety of senses and sleep becomes a little less interesting. They also start to stretch out the limbs and they realise they can finally be free to move around and kick away and therefore their bodies start to resist being as curled up. And of course, very importantly, more feeding occurs as baby starts to grow which can lead to a little more fussiness and as their digestive system also starts to adjust, wind, colic and reflux may become more apparent. 

BabySessionAdam18BabySessionAdam18

Because of my experience and knowledge around newborn and baby photography and also because I teach other photographers how to safely do the same, my diary gets very busy. This means that whilst I will always try to squeeze in last minute bookings, it isn't always possible, so when you contact me after baby has arrived, it's likely that my diary will mean I cannot offer you a newborn session in the ideal timeframe that I've explained. This is why it is so important to book a newborn shoot before your baby arrives. I simply book your due date in my diary and this is adjusted when baby arrives. 

Now that doesn't mean that I will not photograph babies past 3 weeks of age. Far from it! I love babies of any age, it just means that every age comes with it's own style and set ups. Now, some photographers may argue that you can still pose a baby past 3 weeks. I don't disagree with this completely! I have in fact managed to achieve some poses for babies past this stage BUT it is very rare, unlikely that ALL the typical poses can be achieved and in my opinion not with as much details as a baby at 2 weeks of age. I prefer to set a realistic expectation with my clients and if I can pose them on arrival then I have exceed this. 

So instead of curly, sleepy images, my 'baby sessions' become a lot more relaxed and natural. The session typically lasts for around 2 hours but this is not capped and I will spend as much time as needed to ensure a varied gallery and a happy baby. As with any other session, my clients get to choose from a large range of blankets, props, hair accessories, hats and outfits and the shoot is styled to your taste. I will then place your baby in natural positions, allowing them to kick around whilst I snap away, changing colours, hat, props until I have a lovely gallery of images. These are great sessions for capturing lovely wide awake eyes and if baby naturally drops off to sleep, this will be encouraged and again I will snap away to give you a mix of sleepy shots too - and posed if baby allows. 

Just like my newborn sessions, parents and siblings can also get to join in so you can have family shots to look back on whilst your baby is still small too. 

To find out more about my newborn or baby photoshoots, please contact me. 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photography baby photography hampshire baby photoshoot newborn newborn photographer near me newborn photography local to me newborn photoshoot near me newborn photoshoot southampton photoshoot" https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/1/why-is-my-baby-not-considered-newborn-at-3-weeks-old Mon, 06 Jan 2020 18:38:52 GMT
Leaving the house with a newborn is like a military operation. My top tips for survival. https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/1/leaving-the-house-with-a-newborn-is-like-a-military-operation-my-top-tips-for-survival I don't think anyone can prepare you for leaving the house for the first few times with your newborn baby! What once was a simple task of getting up, dressed, grabbing a bag and keys and running out the door is now like a military operation complete with many obstacles. You might hit several curve balls and maybe a nappy explosion or two just when you think you've run the course. And all of this with a limited amount of sleep, if any at all. BUT fear not because like any warrior Mummy or Daddy, you will find a way through and before you know it, with a little bit of training and a few useful tips along the way, you'll be winning! 

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail! Yep, we've all heard it but we've all completely winged it and ignored this great advice but really it does work. 

  • Prepare your clothes the night before so you know what you'll be wearing and ready to grab them
  • Set your alarm earlier and aim to leave the house earlier than you need too to allow for unexpected feeds or changing
  • Have a spare bouncer, crib or carry cot upstairs so you can put baby down whilst you get dressed 
  • Keep babies bag topped up all the time so it's always 'ready to go' 
  • Essential items for your bag; nappies, nappy bags, bum cream, wipes, hand sanitiser, dummies, bibs, change or clothes, medical book, snack for parents, spare bottles, formula, hair ties for mummy, muslin squares
  • Make sure you have a travel change mat in your bag - you'll be surprised that some places still don't have change mats 
  • Have plenty of blankets for being outside or in the event of a car emergency 
  • Always make sure you have spare change in the bag too for parking metres or emergencies 
  • Taking a sling can also be useful for moments when baby is unsettled even in a pram and wants to be cuddled whilst walking
  • Make sure your phone is charged the night before to save any stress if you are out and lose battery. A written list of urgent numbers is useful to have in the change bag just in case
  • Try and keep the car topped up with fuel the night before. Maybe a partner could take responsibility for making sure it's ready to go 
  • If you are going somewhere new, google and find out what facilities are available before hand - this might help you to pack anything that they don't have

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It can be so easy, in the midst of a poonami or a projectile vomit to want to give up and stay in doors, especially when you're running on little sleep too but don't give up as it's important to get out of the four walls. Just be reassured that it will get easier and being a little late is never that bad. 

I hope you've found this useful. If you have then I'd love you to leave a comment or like or if you have any other tips that may come in handy please feel free to add them. 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer baby photographer southampton newborn photographer hampshire newborn photographer local to me newborn photographer southampton newborn photoshoot https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2020/1/leaving-the-house-with-a-newborn-is-like-a-military-operation-my-top-tips-for-survival Thu, 02 Jan 2020 18:04:32 GMT
Book your newborn photoshoot early and get 25% off your session https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/7/book-your-newborn-photoshoot-early-and-get-25-off-your-session I know as well as anyone how exciting but also how overwhelming it can be when you first discover that you are pregnant. With both my pregnancies it seemed like the list of 'things to buy' was never ending. You'll be surprised though by how much you will be gifted by others and actually how little you will need in the first few weeks that will be 'essential'. 

One of the things that a lot of people forget, is booking their photoshoot. Baby is then born and by the time they have contacted some photographers, they find it's too late. Because newborn photography captures baby's first few weeks and posing is most effective within 14-21 days, it makes the window to find someone even smaller. 

So if you are considering booking a newborn photoshoot, it's always recommended to do so before baby is here. Usually after your 20 scan is a great time! 

Because I encourage parents-to-be to do this, I also like to give you an additional incentive by giving you 25% off your session cost if you book at least 12 weeks before your baby's due date.This means you can book your photoshoot in advance for £56.00 and you can tick it off of the 'to buy list' and be safe in the knowledge that you won't miss out on such an important milestone to capture. 

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But how do I then book the actual photoshoot I hear you ask? Well that's simple too! I note your due date and just ask you to let me know when baby has been born.Because I only book a certain number of sessions per month, I can still ensure space in diary even if your little one makes and early appearance or doesn't want to move and is late. Hassle free and means you have nothing to worry about. 

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My early bird offer is always popular to it means most clients book around 3 months in advance. My diary for October November and December is therefore filling fast. So if you want to save a little money on your newborn shoot for the end of 2019 or for 2020 then do get in touch for more information and details on my image prices. I'd love to hear from you. 

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Email: hello@clairegrantphotography.co.uk 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer near me baby photography near me newborn photographer Hampshire newborn photographer near me newborn photographer southampton newborn photography near me newborn photoshoot near me https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/7/book-your-newborn-photoshoot-early-and-get-25-off-your-session Tue, 09 Jul 2019 17:50:47 GMT
How much is a newborn session and what does it include? https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/5/how-much-is-a-newborn-session-and-what-does-it-include So you have decided that you would love to capture your precious baby whilst they are still in their first few weeks so you can look back at those precious images in years to come. You are looking for a newborn photographer nearby to capture those moments but you are unsure what the session costs and what is included? You're not alone and this is one of the most common questions asked when people enquire. Now, like any service, there are various ways in which businesses charge but here is a little insight into how I price my sessions and what is included in this cost. 

My session fee for a newborn shoot is £75. This cost covers the session only and in summary, is what you pay me to 'do the job' if you like. And like any other profession I charge based upon my time and the cost of any products and utilities. A newborn session begins right from the moment a client informs me that their baby has arrived. I will provide the client with information that helps them prepare for their shoot, which in turn makes for a more effective session with their baby. I spend a lot of time making sure that parents know what to expect. It is important to me that I use the right props and colours during a session too, so I will take time to consult on the sets up that I will use on the day and advise on colour schemes, paying attention to the colours in a clients home. 

Fast forward to the session itself and before parents and baby arrive I will set the studio up with various props, outfits and accessories as agreed before hand. So not only does the setting up take time but it also means that parents do not have to bring anything other than themselves because everything is provided. I have collected a number of props over the years so I have a huge collection (it really is worse than a shoe obsession), and I am adding to this all the time so that my clients get a variety of choice but also props that are of good quality and not worn and looking a little worse for wear. Use of all of these is included in the session price too. If a client requests a particular colour or type of hat that I don't have, I simply find one to buy. 

The session itself can take up to 3-4 hours depending on the baby. I am baby led which means that I work around baby needing to be fed, settled and soothed and of course this is different for all babies. Nothing is ever rushed and whilst I will never let a session go beyond 4 hours as I feel this is too much for baby, there is no limit on the time I spend below this. 

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I believe that it is important to capture the whole family if they wish so parents can be included in shots and so can siblings and these images are at no extra charge too. I am sometimes asked for family pets to be included in sessions and I will consider this also, depending on the animal in question and whether I feel it is safe and or appropriate. 

Hot and cold refreshments and light snacks are also provided - the most popular being the well stocked biscuit tin! 

The session cost also includes my skills, experience and training to skilfully settle and pose your baby too. Now I could go into a lot more details about training and posing but this really is another huge topic in itself and this is all covered in other blog posts and on my website. To sum it up, training is important but the right training and applied experience too because it is important that your baby is posed correctly to make sure they are safe but also that they are posed correctly so that they look comfortable and they look their best. Look very hard at the images in someones portfolio and pay attention to the positioning of their hands, feet and their face, can you see there face for a star or is it buried amongst a field of props? Do they look comfy? Does the overall image look appealing to you? Look beyond the cute baby face and the fancy props and look closely at the details. I am also fully insured and all certificates can be provided on request. 

So, you've had your session and I have posed your baby is several poses and used lots of lovely accessories and props to enhance and style your images. And now comes the deep clean - out comes the disinfectant, the mop and bucket and everything is washed down inside the studio. All props that have been used are put in the washing machine - or for most delicates I begin the hand washing process. It really can be like a laundry. 

Whilst the washing machine is busy cleaning any soiled items ready for the next shoot, I begin the fun bit of uploading all the images and shortlisting the final images for your viewing gallery. Now I strongly believe in quality over quantity so I select the best 20-25 images from your session to edit. This gallery will be varied rather than a gallery of 50 images that will all look the same. Then begins the process of editing your pics! 

A lot of people understandably think that actually taking the images is where it all stops but this is only half of the process. The editing of images can also take a long time and in some cases, up to 2-3 hours. Again all babies are different, but usually new baby skin can be all colours of the rainbow but particularly red or jaundice. I will therefore take time to neutralise this skin tone so that baby looks nice and creamy. They can often be shedding some of their new skin during their session so flakes are also edited as is baby acne. The editing is part of the process in producing the finished images. A little bit like a cake maker mixing all the ingredients to make the finished cake. Like photographing your baby in the right way, it also takes skill to edit, especially when it comes to editing out hands that have held your baby safely in position. 

I aim to edit galleries and make them ready for clients to view within 2 weeks of their session date. I really want clients to have them back whilst their baby is still little, although I won't compromise by rushing them either. Whilst you wait I will provide a teaser pic of one of the images and pop it on my social media page. A great way for parents to show off their new baby, have something as a souvenir of the session and this is free of charge too. Of course, it's a little bit of fun and optional and something that I won't do without parents permission. I have many clients who choose not to have their baby on social media and I respect this. A have lots of different ways for you to purchase your images when you view them. I believe in offering something for everyone so as well as popular digital images, I have some stunning wall art, gifts and prints too and all at competitive prices. I will help clients when selecting products and wall art to ensure they are going to look great on their walls for years to come. 

So you can easily see how much work and time goes into one newborn session alone. All that for £75 and the chance to relax and let someone else look after your baby for 3-4 hours too! Oh and I do chat quite a bit so you will a find yourself picking up a whole heap of tips and tricks too as well as useful resources for your journey into parenthood. 

Last but by no means least, because I know how important is it to capture memories, I have teamed up with Babyprints by Zoe. Zoe offers the most precious and detailed hand and foot casts and they are simply stunning. For an additional £24 you an not only get a newborn shoot with me but also a casting session with Zoe that will include a single, freestanding hand or foot cast. Zoe will work with you to take the most precious cast of your baby and present it in your choice of gold, silver or white coating. Or you can redeem this against any other product too. And there are lots to choose from. Booking with me saves you over £40 than if booked separately. 

For more details on a newborn photography shoot and or the casting session too, please email: hello@clairegrantphotography.co.uk 

 

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) Hampshire newborn photographer Hampshire newborn photoshoot newborn photographer newborn photographer near me newborn photography near me https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/5/how-much-is-a-newborn-session-and-what-does-it-include Thu, 09 May 2019 18:06:19 GMT
What if my newborn doesn't settle for their photoshoot? Newborn Photographer Southampton, Hampshire https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/2/what-if-my-newborn-doesnt-settle-for-their-photoshoot One of the most common fears I hear from parents before they book a newborn shoot or before I start a session is "what if my baby doesn't settle?". Mummy's and Daddy's worry that their baby will choose the day of their photos to be unsettled, not sleep and turn into 'the one' baby who doesn't want to play ball for their shoot. Parents also feel that it is their responsibility to ensure that their baby is asleep for the session and the thought of this puts them off booking, meaning they miss out on capturing such a special time. If this is you then I hope to be able to reassure you that there is no need to worry. 

 

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The first thing to say is that I can understand why parents may feel this way, because they don't know what to expect from a session as they've never had one before. They are just getting to used to life at home with a newborn baby who cries, maybe has colic or reflux and only sleeps when cuddled in someone's arms. They cannot imagine how I am going to manage to get those sleepy curly images that newborn photographers 'show off' on social media.They think all these babies look settled, angelic and very sleepy, therefore parents believe that this happens to every baby naturally and therefore the expectation that their baby has to do the same makes them anxious. 

The truth is, not every baby is 100% perfect for the duration of their shoot, (they are babies after all), some will fuss, be more sensitive to me touching and moving them, some will wee and poo their way through the session, soiling every prop possible and some just like to show a little defiance by fighting their sleep. Whatever I am presented with it is my job to settle them, work with them and use my training and years of experience to get you a lovely full gallery of images no matter what. I will never allow a session to become a stressful experience for parents nor have I ever had to ask a family to return due to an unsettled baby and not being able to achieve a gallery of images. 

 

 

When you book a newborn photoshoot with me, you are paying me to do so much more that just photograph your newborn baby. You are paying me and trusting me, as an experienced expert to settle, soothe and safely pose your newborn baby and then photograph them. All you need to do is sit, relax and catch up on some well deserved rest and let me do all the work.


 

I have been specialising in posing newborns for over 3.5 years now and I have settled well over 300 babies in this time. Over the years I have understood the 'ideal' times to work with a baby and the days and weeks to avoid, so ensuring an effective session starts from the point of scheduling your session date. I will also provide a full and detailed preparation guide which asks parents to do a few simple things with their baby, before the session which will also make a huge difference. Most importantly, due to my experience I know so many tricks and tips for getting a baby settled and keeping them this way. My experience has also made me resilient to unsettled and fussy moments and I pride myself on working through these challenges to ensure I still get the desired outcome of a beautiful gallery. Parents often leave their shoot with some tips themselves and often message me several days after to tell me how valuable my advice was. 

It also helps that I am a Mummy to two very little girls and therefore my own experiences of them as babies are still quite fresh. 

 

So, if this has been worrying you, then I hope this helps to reassure you. Take a look at the many reviews on my facebook page too and see what other parents have said as this may also help to confirm that your baby is in safe hands and you will find the session nothing but a positive experience. I am also at the other end of the phone so we can talk through any worries you may have in person at any time. Just go to the Contact Us page and drop me an email and we can chat as much as you need. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer baby photographer southampton cake smash photographer newborn photographer newborn photographer hampshire newborn photographer local to me newborn photographer portsmouth newborn photographer southampton https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/2/what-if-my-newborn-doesnt-settle-for-their-photoshoot Tue, 12 Feb 2019 17:26:57 GMT
Goodbye 2018 and hello 2019 ... https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/1/goodbye-2018-and-hello-2019 So I have survived a full week of alarm setting, school runs and healthy eating so the New Year is in full swing. 2018 was great for me so I am not glad to see it end but I am excited about the new year ahead as I have lots of exciting things on the horizon. Do you want to hear about them?... I'm not going to let all the secrets out of the bag but I can tease you a little. 

 

Maternity Sessions

I don't always have a lot of maternity sessions to show on a weekly basis. I do a lot of them but as you can imagine they are very private and I totally understand and respect this. For me maternity sessions are also very individual and I treat every client in this way and we discuss, in depth exactly how she envisages her maternity images looking and how far she wishes to go with revealing her bump. Of course, I am there to guide my clients and I know that every lady that comes to me feels comfortable with me. My maternity photoshoots are packaged to include 5 digital images and a newborn session is then half price too. I have a range of materials and designer maternity gowns in my collection and 2019 will see this range grow even more. I will also adding something a little extra to the package as well to make even more of a keepsake. I never had photos of myself when I was carrying the girls which I regret so I want to really make it special. 

Newborn

A lot of my ladies that were due at the end of December were well overdue bless them. I normally see a mix of newborn babies who are on time, late, or early but it can be unusual for everyone to be born at once. Well December was that month when they all came like buses, meaning that the first week back has been gentle and next week there will be babies galore. Now I am wondering if they have set a precedent for things to come. Is there a 'late baby' trend on the way. 

So on the newborn baby photoshoot front, there will be lots more cuddles and cuteness to see as newborn babies really are my specialism. I have spent well over 3 years now really understanding and studying baby behaviour as much as I have perfecting poses. There is so much more than just photographing these precious babies and I know my knowledge goes a long way to reassure parents that they can trust me. My training is always ongoing but I will be adding to my education to offer more safety reassurance to my clients. 

The positive extra for 2019 is that I am hoping to be able to open my diary a little more as my little Lillie is getting older, so instead of my 4 week day slots, I can add a 5th for any last minute bookings. This means that there are more opportunities for those who are on my waiting list to get a last minute slot. 

You would have seen last year that I partnered with BabyPrints by Zoe to be able to offer keepsake hand or foot castings too and we have packaged up a lovely little session that combines both our services. We hope to collaborate on a lot more this year too so this is something to look out for. There will also be a few new exciting things to offer my new mummies and provide even more value so watch this space for news on this too. 

 

Just Sitting Session 

I love any session that I do but what I really love about this session is that I really get to see a baby's personality too. They are laughing, dancing, sometimes they cry (don't be fooled into thinking I have all the magic) but whatever mood they are in, it fascinates me. All my sitter sessions come with three outfit changes and these outfits are provided by me. I source my props from some highly talented individuals and they are all hand made. I have a very close relationship with one prop maker and as we work together in partnership it means I always have something new. There will be a lot more to offer this year and a wider range of unique backdrops will be introduced too. 

I had great success last year with offering mini sessions for this age group and they were a sell out. There will be more frequent dates coming up too and they make the perfect gift because the session and the images are offered at a fraction of my usual cost. Just a heads up that the first of these dates will be added very soon. 

I will also be running a little competition, just for fun around my Sitter Sessions and there will be a chance for one lucky person to get something very special. Goodness, there are so many things on the horizon but I have to keep it all secret otherwise I would be spoiling you all in one go. 

Cake Smash Session 

Like my Sitter Sessions, Cake Smashes are always a popular way to celebrate that all important milestone and also to mark the end of what is a remarkable first year for a baby. As you all know by now I work really closely with Cat at Cats Creations to make my cakes so that I know they will look and taste amazing. It also means that for my customer, the session is hassle free because I source everything for you. Even the outfits are carefully chosen to match a colour scheme or theme. My cake smashes really match my overall style of all my sessions. I believe in everything being about your baby, so whilst I use props I like to keep it simple and elegant and not overwhelming or overshadowing your baby. My set ups to date have taken a similar format and these will still be available but you will see a few new props and looks sneaking in for 2019 and I will be making each session even more bespoke than the last. 

 

 

Mini Sessions

Towards the end of last year, I introduced two new mini sessions to my offering. My mini sessions are for unique shoots that wouldn't necessarily produce a large and varied gallery but enable me to produce a smaller amount of images in a cost effective way. These new shoots were the Baby's First Birthday Session and the Gender Reveal Session. Take a look at my website for more details on these. I will also be adding one more mini session to the mix this year so look out for this too. 

Stunning new wall art

If you haven't already visited my facebook page, www.facebook.com/clairegrantphotography and seen the video of stunning new wall art then go and take a look. Whilst digital images are popular and they hold such great value because of the ability to print them time and time again, there is nothing more amazing than seeing an image in print. I use one of the UK's leading professional print labs and they have some stunning and modern wall art pieces that I just had to offer to my clients. There are acrylic prints, art block and a stunning multi image frame. They have all been added to my website and of course you will see them taking pride of place on my wall if you choose to have a session with me. 

 

And then there is me....

2019 is also going to be year of a few personal changes for me too. Well, I say changes but more goals and challenges. I want to really push myself to try new things and go out of my comfort zone. I am attending more fitness classes for a start, especially to shed some of my Xmas chocolates. But the BIGGEST challenge is one I will be doing with my husband. We have a big plan to raise LOTS of money this year for our local NICU unit where Lillie was born and spent a short period of time in. It's been very close to our hearts for 3 years now and now is the time for us to give back and help others have a positive outcome like we did. Can you guess what we will be doing???? Look out for more details on my Facebook Page as we hope to confirm our dates soon. 

So a busy year ahead but a lot of thing to look forward to. It's important for me to end with a thank you. At the end of the day, I run a business and it is a living that enables me to provide for my family BUT it's not like any 'normal job' and I see it as so much more. 

It is an honour to be able to be trusted with your babies, trusted to capture what are the most precious memories. Thank you to each and every one of my clients and future clients and a Happy New year to you all. I cannot wait to meet you.

 

Claire x 

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer baby photographer Southampton newborn photographer hampshire newborn photographer near me newborn photographer southampton newborn photography newborn photoshoot https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2019/1/goodbye-2018-and-hello-2019 Sat, 12 Jan 2019 19:23:52 GMT
First Birthday Mini Shoot without the mess of a cake https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/12/first-birthday-mini-shoot-without-the-mess-of-a-cake First Birthday Mini Session 

 

I love nothing more than seeing a little one turn one. It's such a magical moment in time as you look back over all things your baby has achieved in the past year. What was once a tiny, dependant newborn is has now reached one and is now starting to become more and more independent and their little character has most definitely developed. The cheeky giggles, the 'mumma' or in the case of my little girls 'Dadda' are a common part of day to day life, thrown in with bubble blowing and raspberries. So the big ONE is so important to cherish and what better way to do that then to capture it to look back on in years to come. 

Cake Smashes are now the new traditional way to capture these moments. Marking the moment with baby's first experience of cake can be great fun and the good thing is, you don't need to worry about the mess, I do all of that for you! With that said, eating, smashing and wearing cake isn't for everyone and other clients would prefer to mark the occasion in a more simpler way. For this reason, I am now delighted to offer a new First Birthday Mini Session. It does exactly what it says on the tin.... a short 30 minute session where I will take some themed ONE portraits of your child. 

 

I will provide ONE props, balloons, bubbles and an outfit too! All in your chosen theme or colour. 

​​​​​​​You will be have the option of two session packages; 

 

120.00 for 8 High Resolution Digital Images 

0r 

75.00 for 4 High Resolution Digital Images 

 

​​​​​​​All images will be sent via email on the same day as your session too. 

 

To book your mini session, please email via the contact us page. 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photoshoot cake smash photographer first birthday photoshoot newborn photographer newborn photographer local to me newborn photographer southampton https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/12/first-birthday-mini-shoot-without-the-mess-of-a-cake Mon, 03 Dec 2018 11:24:52 GMT
Xmas Mini Sessions 2018 https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/9/xmas-mini-sessions-2018 Mini Xmas Cosy Up Session 

 

It's that time! The festive season is just around the corner and whilst the sun is just about holding on, many of us are starting to plan and organise our favourite time of year, Christmas! 

Every year, I offer themed mini sessions. A great way to capture a few images, in less time than a standard shoot and for 5 images that can be used time and time again on Xmas cards or to print and present as gifts. This year I have decided to combine my popular 'cosy up' bed sessions with Xmas. The set up is inspired by children's love to cosy up in their Xmas pyjamas and read festive stories or watch festive movies. If you don't fancy pyjamas, then cosy knit jumpers or festive outfits will work just as well. 

 

 

So what's included? Your session will last 30 minutes in total. I will edit the best 5 high resolution images from your session which are then provided to you by email within 1-2 weeks of the session. All images will have unlimited print rights so you can print them as large and as often as you wish. Your child will also get to take a home a small sweet treat at the end of the session too. All of this for £75 only. 

All props will be provided for the session, however, clients will be required to bring their own clothing for their child. 

Sessions will be held on Saturday 27th October, Sunday 28th October and Saturday 17th November. Sessions are limited so will be offered on a first come first served basis. Payment will be required to secure your slot. 

Number of children is limited to three per family. 

To book your place, email: hello@clairegrantphotography.co.uk 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) christmas photos southampton christmas photoshoot christmas photoshoot southampton xmas photoshoot southampton xmas themed photos https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/9/xmas-mini-sessions-2018 Mon, 17 Sep 2018 15:14:22 GMT
Newborn Session & 3D Casting Session - New Package https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/7/newborn-session-3d-casting-session---new-package I recently came across a post by Babyprints by Zoe whilst scrolling through my newsfeed. Of course, anything with the word ‘baby’ instantly grabs my attention but so did the stunning images of Zoe’s beautiful products and her quaint little studio, as it reminded me of my own! 

I couldn’t believe my luck when I realised that not only did Zoe offer these amazing 3D baby casting sessions and have her own studio, but she was also just a stone’s throw away from me, having recently relocated to Botley, and I knew instantly that we could work together to offer both our clients something incredibly special. 

Zoe runs her business from her private garden studio, having previously been the Central and North London specialist for Babyprints. Zoe specialises in creating bespoke 3D casts of babies and children's hands and feet, and also often casts Parents and Grandparents alike, resulting in beautiful family works of art that are treasured for years. Her casts are exceptional and finished to the highest possible standard. They capture every tiny detail in perfect replica, and really are the most cherished keepsakes for both new parents and older generations alike. 

 

Whether it be a freestanding statue or framed cast you are after, Zoe will capture your most special moments, creating treasured memories for you that will last a lifetime. 

Zoe, like me, is a Mummy with a young toddler too, and we both share the same values and principles when it comes to offering a truly personal service, a great experience and, above all, the passion to help you capture the most precious memories of your baby that can be treasured forever.  

So, following some exciting discussions we’ve recently had about what possibilities we can bring to our clients together, I am thrilled to tell you that Zoe and I have decided to team up with each other and offer you the ultimate baby package!

Not only can you book in with me to have beautiful images taken of your newborn in their first few weeks, but I now have the opportunity of offering a new package. The Newborn and Casting package enables you to purchase this photographic session together with a freestanding 3D stone cast statue of your newborn baby’s hand or foot, cast by the talented Zoe at her private studio in Botley.  Also, by purchasing this exclusive package, you get both your newborn photo and casting session at a special discounted price of just £99, giving you a total saving of £30 on the total price*!  Included in this package is also a FREE Just Sitting Session for when your baby sits between 6-9 months, and a half price Cake Smash Session too.  

Your 3D casting session with Zoe can be for either a single stone statue of a hand or a foot, finished in a choice of white, silver, bronze or gold. At your casting session you will of course have the opportunity to upgrade your single cast and select from Zoe’s wide and beautiful combinations of 3D casts mounted in a variety of frame styles.  Perhaps you might even like to pair it up with one of your stunning photographs from your session with me and choose one of Zoe’s wonderful photo frames.  Whatever you prefer, Zoe would be happy to help you make your final choice so you leave us both with a truly stunning and bespoke keepsake that will remain a wonderful heirloom and piece of art for you and your family to enjoy always.

*(Please note that your photographic and casting appointments do not need to be taken on the same day, but for newborn bookings your session with Babyprints By Zoe should be used within 3 months of your baby’s birth, unless upgrading to an older baby’s casting session which can be discussed at the time of booking). 

In addition to any future bookings for the above new package I’m offering, Zoe is happy to extend a 10% discount on a single cast, as well as discounts on other products,  to all previous or future customers of mine who have chosen an alternative newborn or baby session with me.  Therefore, you can still take advantage of a special offer with Zoe by booking through me. If you are keen to take advantage of this offer, please contact me for a discount code. Likewise, previous clients of Zoe's will also be provided with 15% discounts on Just Sitting and Cake Smash Sessions and details will be provided when you visit Zoe's studio. 

For any further enquiries or to book, please email hello@clairegrantphotography.co.uk 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) 3D baby casting baby casting baby foot cast baby hand cast baby photographer local to me baby photographer southampton newborn baby photographer southampton newborn casting newborn photographer hampshire newborn photographer local to me newborn photographer portsmouth newborn photographer southampton newborn photoshoot southampton https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/7/newborn-session-3d-casting-session---new-package Sat, 21 Jul 2018 11:12:13 GMT
Photographing Newborns and Toddler Siblings Safely https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/7/photographing-newborns-and-toddler-siblings-safely Have you ever tried to get your toddler still enough to have their photograph taken? Like nailing jelly to the wall right? This is very common for any child between the ages of 1 and 3. This is the age when life has begun to get really exciting and they learn that there are lots of exciting things to do, like walk, run around, play with things they shouldn't, climb and generally explore their new toddler world. Getting them to sit and do something on command is therefore boring and very low down on their agenda. This coupled with a little bit of toddler defiance, yes, they know how to turn this on, can make sibling images very difficult. 

Whilst, I never promise to capture siblings images at this age, due to their temperamental nature, I will always do everything in my power and pull out as many tools from my 'distraction' box as possible. Sometimes, going the extra mile with a little trickery can also help. 

As you know, safety is always my top priority too so I will never risk putting a very young toddler and a newborn baby together in a way that I feel would be unsafe. Not that a toddler would intentionally go out of their way to hurt their baby Brother or Sister but when they are busy being toddlers they are unaware of what is safe and what is not. 

So today, I was challenged with 13 month old Oliver and his baby brother Archie. I knew there would be no way of Oliver holding him, laying down safely with him or possibly sitting still for very long. I decided to use a little bit of magic with a composite image. 

 

 

I first of all posed and placed baby Archie in a bucket, with Daddy close by and with his hands an inch above his head for safety. The trickery bit is that I then placed some goodies in the bottom of my bucket for Oliver to find, without his baby brother in it. He had great fun searching and showing me what he had found. A clever bit of photoshop and hey presto, one image of two adorable brothers. Neither of them were compromised at any stage, Mummy and Daddy were able to stay relaxed and Archie wasn't forced to pose. Two happy boys and hopefully two happy parents. 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer hampshire baby photographer southampton newborn baby newborn photographer newborn photographer hampshire newborn photographer southampton newborn photoshoot https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/7/photographing-newborns-and-toddler-siblings-safely Tue, 17 Jul 2018 17:12:31 GMT
Keep the memories alive with my range of wall art and gift products https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/6/keep-the-memories-alive-with-my-range-of-wall-art-and-gift-products  

Capturing moments and memories is what I love to do and it makes my heart truly sing when I have the privilege of seeing so many babies in those first few weeks of life, at the end of their first year, or half way between. These moments are the most precious gift and being able to capture them for my clients to keep as lasting memories is wonderful. 

What I also love though is to see these treasured images adorning your walls, and or your family's homes. I offer a varied selection of both packages and products which I believe offer you flexibility. From digital images to keep for an eternity and to print in an unlimited way, to wall art and gifts for those special family members. My packages allow you the flexibility to have a mix of both. 

I have carefully selected a beautiful range of products, sourced from professional print labs to bring you the best in quality. From Keepsake grandparent books, Collage prints to stunning framed prints and canvas wraps. There is something for everyone. 

Because I want you to have your memories on your walls, I want you to be happy and proud of the images you display, so I will work with you to find the best size and colour options, should you want something different to what I have listed. I will take the hassle out of you searching and ordering a product and will ensure that your special, chosen images look perfect. 

If you wish to know more about my product range, then please visit Collections

For any questions, please do not hesitate to use the 'Contact Us' page and I will happily answer them. 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer baby photos baby photoshoot newborn photographer newborn photographer hampshire newborn photographer southampton https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/6/keep-the-memories-alive-with-my-range-of-wall-art-and-gift-products Sun, 24 Jun 2018 18:48:16 GMT
The magical moment your baby starts to sit up... https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/6/the-magical-moment-your-baby-starts-to-sit-up I think it's very obvious that I LOVE everything about babies and I'm passionate about photographing them. The reason why I do what I do is because of the fascinating and simply mind blowing way in which children develop and fill our lives with so much joy. Capturing that development is really magical. 

Now, I firmly believe that a baby has a personality straight from birth, whilst they cannot speak with words, their response to touch, their surroundings and the way they behave can say something about their character. However, when a baby reaches 6-7 months of age and they start to sit, that for me is the moment their personalities really do start to appear and shine through. It's the first moment they learn to be able to do something for themselves without relying on the support of Mummy and Daddy and the huge moment they realise that they can soon starting moving and exploring. 

This only happens once, so capturing this milestone is just as important as those newborn weeks. 

I recently had Charlie in the studio. I had the pleasure of photographing her when she was only days old so it was great to see her again. Just like my newborn sessions, all the outfits and props are supplied and the session is styled by me, but with parents likes and preferences in mind. In this instance, I had been blessed to have been gifted with some simply stunning new outfits from one of my favourite suppliers, so Charlie was the first to model them for me. We had a selection of floral designs which suited her perfectly. 

Now Charlie was naturally very smiley, so I didn't have to work too hard to get them out of her. I will always try very hard to tease them out during a session with singing, beek a boo, bubbles and other silly things. Mum and Dad do get roped in too.

I won't lie though, not every baby is feeling the laughs and the smiles no matter how hard we all try but not all the best images are of smiles.I truly love natural expressions and those images where the eyes just tell a thousand stories. This one right here. 

 

Charlie allowed me to dress her in three different outfits which is typically the number of outfits that I would use. With each outfit, I will also incorporate some props to add an additional bit of style too. That said, my style is all about baby with simple styling without too much fuss. 

 

Through the session Charlie needed a little cuddle and some milk , after all, looking so gorgeous and having a photoshoot is hard work. This is never a problem for me and sometimes I even get a cuddle myself so I am always happy to oblige. The session, as with all of my shoots, is totally led my baby and they run the show. My studio is kept warm and calm so all babies can feel happy and secure in the environment. I will never book more than one session in a day either, so your session will never be rushed.

I am also proud to say, that my Sitter Sessions have received many awards. I am now proud to hold over 25 bronze awards with The Guild Of Photographers, spanning the past 18 months for these sessions. It helps, of course that I have the most gorgeous subjects. 

 

If you would like to know more about a Just Sitting Session, then please visit the details on the website, call me on 07788413412 or email me hello@clairegrantphotography.co.uk. 

I would love to hear from you. 

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer southampton baby photos baby photoshoot local baby photographer local baby photography newborn photographer local to me newborn photographer southampton https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/6/the-magical-moment-your-baby-starts-to-sit-up Fri, 01 Jun 2018 16:07:56 GMT
Introducing the new 'cosy up mini session' https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/5/introducing-the-new-cosy-up-mini-session In between photographing newborns and other gorgeous babies for their milestone sessions, I love to pick up the camera for me. After all, that's why I do what I do, because I love it and picking up my camera is what makes me happy!

My inspiration comes from so many things around me and largely from two special people in my life....my girls! 

One of my favourite times is in the morning when I can hear them both waking up and chatting away. They both climb into each others beds, cosy up and chat away to each other. When I go in and see them, it puts such a huge smile on my face. Lillie, my youngest, also loves to come into my studio and climb onto the bed I use to pose newborns on. She did this last week so, I thought, maybe I'll make one especially for her. I set up a pretty bed and captured her snuggling up. 

The 'cosy up & snuggle mini session' was born 

 

A fresh, sophisticated, vintage style look which is perfect for adding a few extra, natural and neutral images for less than my standard 'full' session. 

This session is perfect for babies who are just starting to sit unaided and small toddlers/preschoolers. Pretty dresses, smart clobber or simply PJ's for that cute 'cosy up' feel. All teddy bears welcome too. Maximum age of 4. Maximum of 2 children per session. 

The session will last for 30 minutes and will include 3 High Resolution Digital Images with full printing rights £75 or 

6 High Resolution Digital Images with full printing rights £120

The images will also edited and emailed on the same day. 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer baby photographer southampton baby photoshoot baby photoshoot southampton local baby photographer local baby photoshoot https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/5/introducing-the-new-cosy-up-mini-session Thu, 17 May 2018 10:39:59 GMT
I'm excited to offer this NEW keepsake accordion for FREE with any summer newborn photoshoot https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/3/im-excited-this-new-keepsake-accordion-with-any-summer-newborn-photoshoot I have always been a fan of little trinkets, lovely prints, pretty packaging, ribbons and cutesy little gifts. I love to offer this to my clients too. Whilst I predominantly offer digital images, I think it is so important that clients remember to print their images and show off their babies too. I try hard therefore to find quality products that compliment my packages and allow Mums and Dads to treat other members of their family to gifts too. I am so pleased to have found this little gem of a product that for me is the perfect little gift. 

The Keepsake accordion is a great way to have your 6 favourite images in one place. The accordion is a high quality product that will last a very long time. The covers are hard wearing and magnet, which means your images will be kept in great condition for years to come. The prints inside the cover have a luxury, lustre finish which also means that they will last. 

 

You will have a choice of leatherette or linen cover and I can also offer a variety of colours too. 

This little keepsake can be freestanding to display in a home, a perfect fit for a handbag or to keep in your child precious keepsake box. 

I am so excited about this new product that any client who books a newborn session for July, August or September will receive a pack of two FREE with any package purchased. 

Please see session prices and package prices for full details. To book please contact me. 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) newborn baby photographer local to me newborn baby photography southampton newborn photographer fareham newborn photographer local to me newborn photographer portsmouth newborn photographer southampton newborn photos near me https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/3/im-excited-this-new-keepsake-accordion-with-any-summer-newborn-photoshoot Tue, 27 Mar 2018 21:12:41 GMT
The day that Theo came for his newborn photoshoot https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/2/the-day-that-theo-came-for-his-newborn-photoshoot Theo's Nanny had booked his newborn session quite a bit in advance as a gift for his Mummy and Daddy. I'm not too sure who was more excited for his arrival, Mummy, Nanny or me for that matter as I knew how much they were looking forward to it. 

Theo arrived with for his session and oh my, what a gorgeous boy! As i started to undress him, I knew he was going to be a super star as he was super sleepy already. I had asked Mummy to delay his feeding until she got to the studio, so a top up from Mum and he was like putty in my hands. Nothing was going to wake him. Mum and Dad kicked back with a hot cuppa and a few magazines whilst I got to work. 

Daddy did have a little snooze once the white noise kicked in, but that was fine by me. I love it when clients feel so relaxed. I think Mum captured the moment on her phone. ( I was tempted to set the camera on him too). 

Before I started working on Theo, I checked with Mum that she was happy with my colour choices and asked her to pick an outfit. I always like to start with a basic set up to work from, otherwise I find it can be too overwhelming for parents. Most clients tend to be happy to allow me to be creative and put together set ups that I know will photograph well. 

Blues, greens and grey tones were the theme for Theo. 

Theo Newborn Baby 01Theo Newborn Baby 01 Now it's every photographers dream to get a smile during the session and I try to use a little bit of a secret weapon to try and get one. Theo didn't need any coaxing though. I think he found my bucket quite funny. 

Theo20180115-untitled-30-Edit

Newborn Baby TheoNewborn Baby Theo

After several props poses, I then moved on to what I call the 'real' poses. This is where attention to detail is important to me and I work on getting those poses right. I wanted Theo looking his best! (he would have looked gorgeous whatever he was doing or wearing) but if you look past the gorgeous baby and how he is positioned, you will hopefully see that he is very carefully positioned and not just plonked on the blanket. 

The Newborn Baby 04The Newborn Baby 04 Theo Newborn BabyTheo Newborn Baby 20180115-untitled-115-Edit20180115-untitled-115-Edit

Lots of poses for Theo and he didn't make a sound or fuss which is very rare! So sleepy was Theo that I finished his session with the Frog pose. Daddy woke up just in time to help me hold him in place so that he was perfectly safe and his session was complete. 

20180115-untitled-117-Edit20180115-untitled-117-Edit His session was all wrapped up in record time and he even saved his wee, until the final pose! 

Thanks to Mummy and Daddy for bringing him to me and thanks to his Nanny for booking his session and being a fan! 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby baby photographer local newborn photographer newborn newborn baby newborn photographer newborn photographer fareham southampton newborn photographer https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2018/2/the-day-that-theo-came-for-his-newborn-photoshoot Fri, 09 Feb 2018 19:49:55 GMT
2017 - My year of awards with the Guild and what they mean.. https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/11/2017---my-year-of-awards-with-the-guild-and-what-they-mean You may often see on my social media page each month that I post about awards. A little self indulgent and 'showy' it may seem but actually there is a benefit to these awards for my clients. Let me explain.....

I joined the Guild of Photographers around 18 months ago. The Guild is one of the leading UK photography associations alongside the NPAS which I am also a member of. The Guild has been around since 1988 and offers professional and enthusiasts a haven of knowledge, training and education, discounts, advice, networking and support amongst peers and like minded individuals amongst my industry. They're an industry institution if you like. 

One of the most popular aspects of the Guild however is the monthly competition. There are many genres of photography that you can choose to enter images for from babies to landscapes, sport and wedding photography. So why enter? Is is just about showing off? 

For me it is so much more and at the centre of why I do it, is you! My client!

The awards given are not given lightly. The awards are Classified, Bronze Bar, Silver Bar, Gold Bar, Platinum Bar and they aware awarded by a panel of 15, highly profound and experienced National, photographers. I enter images on a monthly basis because it is not easy to achieve an award and because that means that I have to produce something special, I have to keep learning and I have to keep striving to improve month after month. When I then achieve an award, it means that I have done some of those things and ultimately I am therefore delivering the best possible images to my clients. It is a way of ensuring that I am offering quality. 

I started entering images 11 months ago, in January 2017. The awards run from January to November each year and I have consistently achieved an award each month since, with 25 bronze bars, 1 silver and all remaining images that have not reached a bar, have achieved Classified status, meaning I am delivery images to a high, professional  standard. Bronze means that I have 'produced an image of National Competition standard and an image to be proud of'. 

 

To date, my biggest achievement is my silver, 

 

A silver is awarded for 'Images that are very well crafted (difficult to achieve)'

I am always wanting to deliver more, so 2018 is about developing and achieving more so that I can deliver even better quality images to my clients. I am aiming for more slivers and I am also looking to embark on obtaining my craftsman qualification. 

I cannot take all the credit for the images that have won awards though. I have amazing clients whose loyalty to me, means that I can keep doing what I love. Those gorgeous smiles, serious faces and delightful little people are what makes it even more special. They all hold a special place in my heart. 

 

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer southampton baby photos southampton baby photoshoot baby pics newborn photographer southampton https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/11/2017---my-year-of-awards-with-the-guild-and-what-they-mean Mon, 27 Nov 2017 13:56:11 GMT
What should "trained in safe newborn posing mean"? The composite explained. https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/11/how-you-can-avoid-your-newborns-safety-being-compromised-when-being-photographed So this morning, like every other, I woke, carried out my daily morning tasks and opened my Facebook page to respond to some enquiries. In my newsfeed, I was faced with a video post, by another so called "newborn photographer", of a baby balancing in froggy pose without support/hands on the baby. Not only was this baby therefore unsafe with the positioning of her hands and head but the baby then fell. It made me feel sick and I am sure that any parent watching would have also had the same reaction. 

I have talked about the subject of safety in numerous blogs as it is something I am very passionate about. In a time where there is a market full of 'newborn photographers", I feel like I have a duty to educate parents and also other photographers who may be starting out. The froggy pose is one of the most complex poses of them all, so I thought I would take this one as a more specific example of why it is important to use a trained specialist. 

Newborn photography, where baby is positioned and posed is an art and a skill. Training and experience is key. I tell anyone who makes an enquiry with me, whether they choose me or not, to ensure that the photographer that they choose is trained in the art of newborn safety. Will I ever stop raving about safety?, absolutely not. For me it is the most important questions to ask when booking your session.  So what should 'trained in safe posing mean? 

Correct training for me is hands on, physical training in a correct and controlled 'workshop' or mentoring environment with a reputable and experienced photographer. There are hundreds of videos online and videos on 'newborn posing' that are sold daily. Some of these are great and I am not disregarding them per say, but I feel that videos should be secondary to physical, hands on training and used to provide additional tips and development on top of a solid foundation. Lets face it, would you take your child to a dentist or a hairdressers where their training had been conducted via a video? I doubt it. 

In addition and probably most importantly, is that the hands on training, is based on creating images via composites. A composite is the only way to conduct some poses and guarantee 100% safety, as hands are on the baby at all times. 

So here is an example the Froggy pose, created by a composite. 

Let's consider in the first instance that a baby's head is a third of it's entire body weight. That's pretty heavy and on top of a neck that baby has no control over, because of their week muscles. If a baby's head were to fall, flop or jerk sharply, this will likely cause them harm. In extreme situations this could lead to harming their windpipe or oesophagus. Now the chances of baby balancing and then falling are slim right?....maybe BUT who would want to risk that? I for one would never forgive myself. 

So rather than balancing baby and hoping for the best, the shot is created using three different images. Baby as you can see in the example below is held at all times by the head and then again around their wrists. The parents hand around the wrist then takes the weight of the baby and it's head whilst one photo is taken and then the alternative hand supports the head and takes the weight from above, in the other. Baby is being supported firmly at all times and never let go. The parents alternate hand is always there for additional support. The two images are taken safely, smoothly without any stress to baby or parent. The two images are then carefully merged together using photoshop during the editing process so all hands are removed. 

 

I

must also add that not every baby can be posed in this way. As a trained and experienced newborn specialist I am able to read your baby. I take time to love them, cuddle them and understand their behaviours. I can tell how well they relax as I am moulding and carefully manipulating their arms and legs into certain poses. I know those who will relax enough and those who will resit. It takes time, patience and careful positioning to ensure that baby is comfortable, never balanced and never unsupported. 

There are several poses that should also be composites to ensure safety of your baby. Babies should not and will not balance. They should not be left alone in a prop or compromised in anyway. If you see your photographer "chancing it" or not supporting your baby, then take them and stop the session immediately.

 

 

So when selecting your newborn photographer and they tell you that they are trained. Are they trained in Safe Composites? Who did they train with? How often do they update their skills? How experienced are they ? Are they insured? NEVER be afraid to ask this and ask for examples. 

For more details on my training, please visit the 'about me' section on the website and please feel free ask. 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) newborn photographer newborn photographer southampton newborn photoshoot safety trained newborn photographer https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/11/how-you-can-avoid-your-newborns-safety-being-compromised-when-being-photographed Fri, 24 Nov 2017 13:03:26 GMT
The best time to book your newborn session and how. https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/9/the-best-time-to-book-your-newborn-session-and-how So you've had the amazing news that you're pregnant and you may be starting to plan and think about all the exciting things that a new baby brings. You may have considered having the first few weeks of your baby's life captured but not sure how or when to book your photographer? 

This is a really common question and totally understandable when there are so many things to consider. If you are only a few months into your pregnancy then you will naturally feel that you have plenty of time and therefore booking a photographer can wait until nearer the time. 

As a trained and experienced photographer, I tend to become booked in advance. As I offer all the milestone sessions after newborn, I have a lot of existing clients booking future sessions and I am very lucky to have referrals from existing clients too. My diary gets very busy, very quickly and on average I book 2 months in advance. 

I therefore advise to book your session as soon as you feel comfortable, for most clients, this is either after their 12 week or 20 weeks scan, when you feel a little more reassured that your pregnancy and baby are healthy. By booking at this point, you know that you have a booking secured and this is another thing to tick off the long list. You do not need to make any other payment until you have viewed your images, after your session. 

So how does booking work when you don't know when your baby is going to be born? This is such a common question and I understand why. Let me explain... when you request to book a newborn session in advance, I do so using your due date. I will kindly ask you to pay your session fee (or a part of) to secure your booking and I will note your due date in my diary. No other payment is required from you until after your gallery of images has been shown to you and you select your package. I only book a certain number of newborn sessions, spread out over the month, so that I can offer flexibility and schedule your session, regardless of your baby being early, on time or late. 

Once your baby has arrived I then ask you to contact me and we can arrange your session, ideally before your baby is 14 days. 

There are some months, where late or early arrivals could mean I can offer last minute sessions, however this is often very rare. 

If you like my images and you are considering a session then please do try to book as soon as possible to avoid any disappointment. 

 

You can contact me by phone 07788413412, message via my Facebook page or email: hello@clairegrantphotography.co.uk and I will send you a booking form and payment information. 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer local to me baby photographer southampton newborn baby photographer southampton newborn photographer hampshire newborn photographer local to me newborn photographer portsmouth newborn photographer southampton newborn photoshoot southampton https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/9/the-best-time-to-book-your-newborn-session-and-how Fri, 15 Sep 2017 13:49:22 GMT
Christmas Glitter - Mini Sessions https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/9/christmas-glitter---mini-sessions So the days are getting shorter and there is a crispness in the air. This can only mean one thing, Autumn is here and Christmas is in our sights. I love Christmas and I love running Christmas Mini Sessions. I try to aim for the 'alternative' set up for my Christmas images, rather than red tinsel and baubles, I create images that you could easily keep visible through the year and not just for that festive time. 

 

So cue, Christmas Glitter sessions. My daughter said it was great fun, getting messy with real glitter! The bonus for all the Mums and Dads is that you don't need to worry about the mess. Although, I cannot guarantee that you won't be finding glitter on your child for a few days after. 

 

My Mini Sessions will take place on Saturday 21st October, for 30 minute slots throughout the day. Children must be able to sit unaided and due to the size of my studio space, will be limited to three children per session. Real glitter will be used for the session. Outfits will not be provided, therefore children need to be dressed, to match/compliment the theme of the session. Advice on clothing can be given prior to the session. As these are mini sessions, each family will be allocated 30 minutes for their session and this will be strictly adhered to, due to multiple bookings on the same day. Please ensure that you arrive on time and prepare your children for their session. Whilst I will always endeavour to coax a smile, I will not have the ability to spend any further time than allocated. 

 

 

I have several options for your mini session as follows; 

  • 3 High Resolution Digital Images with unlimited printing                                                 £55 
  • 5 High Resolution Digital Images with unlimited printing                                                 £75
  • 5 High Resolution Digital Images with unlimited printing  & 10x 6x4 Christmas Cards     £95 

 

As I like to make my sessions as festive as possible, Mince Pies will be provided for adults and a Xmas treat will be given to all children. 

Payment will be required at the time of booking your session, to secure your slot. To book, please click on the following link -  contact me 

I will then send you booking and payment details. 

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) a celebrate christmas glitter photoshoot with https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/9/christmas-glitter---mini-sessions Tue, 12 Sep 2017 17:27:38 GMT
I'm nervous my baby won't settle for their session & it will be stressful. https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/9/im-nervous-my-baby-won-t-settle-for-their-session-it-will-be-stressful What if my baby has a fussy day and won't settle? What if my baby cries all the time and I end up with photos of an unhappy baby? What if my baby has accidents during the session and it ruins the photos? Will it be stressful if my baby won't do want you want them to do? What happens if they never settle?  

These are some of the comments I hear from many parents just before a session and probably ones that go through the minds of every parent before they book or arrive for their session, even if they don't say it to me. 

Now, there is no point in me trying to say that every baby is a perfect sleeper for their session and that every baby is a total dream to photograph. This simply isn't the case. They are little human beings and they experience the same 'off' days or moments that we do. In fact, even more so than adults as they are experiencing the first few days of 'life' and that is so different from what they've known for 9 months in the womb. 

What I can however ensure, is that no matter how your little one behaves on the day, the experience will NOT be stressful to any parent. 

As you have hopefully read by now, I have been trained to photograph Newborn babies by three of the UK's leaders of newborn photography and pioneers of safety, Maddy Rogers, Rob Mank and Shellie Wall. My training was 'hands on' not via a video or book. Not only was I given expertise on safely posing but also on how to soothe, settle and spot signs and patterns and be able to work around certain situations. 

BUT the most important thing is that I have a large amount of experience on my side and this is what makes the difference. I have posed and photographed A LOT of babies and whilst each one is different, I have encountered most situations. Whatever the situation, whether your baby is fussy, constantly needs feeding, has a medical issue which has implications to how they settle, I will calmly deal with it whilst you continue to relax. We all have to start to somewhere, just like I did, however I know that back in my early days, it can be easy to become flustered when a baby starts to fuss and it takes experience and knowledge to work through it. 

I have several 'tricks' of the trade which starts even before the session. I will give you guidance and advice to prepare your baby before the session and talk through any known concerns or medical issues. When you arrive for your session, I take time to find out about your baby, their behaviours and then I use this knowledge, combined with other techniques as I work with your baby to pose them. A lot of my clients say I 'have some kind of magic", "she is the baby whisperer", I like to call it experience and expertise. I have patience in abundance and the camera will not click until I am satisfied your baby is settled, safely posed and correctly posed, making sure they are and look comfy and happy. I want to stress that this, as it is so important. I get that every parent has their parent goggles on when they look at their baby. I am one of them. I would look at any image of my babies and love them because of who they are. BUT, you want to look at them when the fog of a newborn has lifted and be able to see that they looked comfy, happy and nicely posed rather than lying awkwardly on a blanket or in a container as the photographer made an attempt to get 'something' whilst your baby was being unsettled. 

 

It might be that your baby, despite all I do, decides that they don't want to sleep. They seem to be inquisitive to their surroundings, stubborn (i swear they know my intentions) so I begin with beautiful awake shots too but in my experience, this will not last for the whole session so I aim to provide you with the best of both worlds. 

Lastly, let's talk wee and poo! It happens, babies do it all the time. It's the unglamorous side of what I do for sure, however it does not phase me in the slightest. It happens over my props, outfits and even me but never feel embarrassed. I simply have a giggle, clean up and move on. Every props is washed after each session and no-one will need ever know than us. 

If you would like to know more about my Newborn Sessions or if you are interested in booking then please visit the contact page. 

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer southampton hampshire baby photographer newborn baby photoshoot newborn photographer newborn photoshoot southampton newborn photographer https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/9/im-nervous-my-baby-won-t-settle-for-their-session-it-will-be-stressful Fri, 01 Sep 2017 18:03:22 GMT
Cat's Creations...putting the icing on the cake! https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/8/cats-creations-more-than-just-a-cake-maker As you have probably seen, my cake smash sessions are a great way for families to celebrate their child reaching that all important first birthday. I want to offer my client a special experience and that means the cakes I offer need to be perfect. Yes they're being smashed but they still need to look great and taste amazing too. I need a cake maker that I can rely on and also one that understands what I need and what my clients want. Cue Cat Wilson of Cats Creations, a fellow business owner Mummy that makes stunning, yummy cakes! 

Everyone has seen the amazing cupcakes that she makes me right?! They are simply stunning and made to perfection BUT there is so much more to Cats Creations than the large buttercream cakes that you see on my page. I decided to ask Cat to tell me a little more about her and her business to give you all a little more insight into the service she provides. 

To me what she creates, are truly works of art. 

 

 

How long have you been a cake maker?

I've been making cakes for over 3 years now, it started as a hobby while I had my first daughter. Friends and family would ask me to make cupcakes/cakes for them. I decided to create a Facebook page to post all my pictures and keep them together, this soon expanded at a rapid pace so I decided to register my hobby to a professional cake maker and haven't looked back!!!

What type of cakes do you make?

I'll create any cake you desire, celebration cake, christening, wedding, hen do, baby shower or it could simply be that you would like a cake for a festive period such as Christmas or Easter. 



Do you have a favourite?

My favourite cakes I create have to be girlie cakes like the Unicorn cake, but also love making Star Wars and minion cakes too!!!



What's the craziest cake you have made?

It has to be a wedding cake with The Goonies, Dirty Dancing, Back to the future, Ghost busters and Teenage ninja turtles on it, it was so much fun to make and I loved seeing it all together at the venue!!! One of my favourite wedding cakes. 

 



How many cake do you make per month?

I make around 25-35 cakes a month! I really do love my job! 

How do you juggle your business with being a yummy mummy?

It was hard when I first started out as I would only work in the evenings when my girls were in bed, now they are at school it's so much easier, all the late nights and working weekends has really paid off!

 

So, if you haven't done already, get on her Facebook page here, like her page and next time you have that special occasion, get in touch with Cat. You will not be disappointed. 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) cake smash photographer cake smash photographer hampshire cake smash photographer southampton cake smash photos southampton https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/8/cats-creations-more-than-just-a-cake-maker Wed, 09 Aug 2017 20:37:40 GMT
Gift Credit....the perfect baby shower present! https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/8/gift-credit-the-perfect-baby-shower-present So you've been invited to a baby shower or you have a work colleague or friend expecting a baby and you have been tasked with finding the perfect present. It is often a struggle to think of something to buy them other than clothes, cuddly toys and baby rattles. Whilst I am sure they are all welcomed, you're probably after that little something extra or different. 

Why not gift mum with credit vouchers that can be used in a number of ways with Claire Grant Photography! You could purchase a Newborn Session, a baby session for when little one starts to sit up or a session for a cake smash when little one reaches their First Birthday. Either way, they are all important milestones in a babies first year and you will giving Mummy and Daddy the chance to capture these precious moments that will last forever. Not only does this make a unique present, it's something special that they can always treasure. 

 

 

It may be that you know that they have booked a session with me and you wish to purchase credit that can be used against my packages and products. This is also really special to a Mummy and Daddy who are wanting to purchase as many of the images from their session as possible, however need to watch the pennies as this is an expensive time when maternity pay is running low and baby is needing more as he grows. 

You really can buy gift credit and have it tailored in a way that is most effective for you. The voucher can be made out for a particular session or simply made out for a specific amount of money of your choice. 

Interested? Purchasing is simple and I can post them to you so you don't even have to leave your house. How simple and easy is that?! Contact me via Facebook or by email through the website and I will happy to help. 

 

 

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) baby photographer maternity gift newborn baby gift newborn baby photoshoot southampton baby photographer https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/8/gift-credit-the-perfect-baby-shower-present Wed, 02 Aug 2017 20:24:22 GMT
Messy Cake Smash Fun https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/3/messy-cake-smash-fun When Cake Smash Photo Shoots, first became popular, I must admit I wondered if it was a concept I liked and i also wondered if I could handle the mess of the cake being smashed. I'm a little OCD after all! Well, due to popular demand from my Newborn clients, I decided to embrace it and add the service. 

I am so glad that I did and I am now a huge Cake Smash fan! I get to make funny noises, sing silly songs, smell cake, get covered in cake BUT most of all I get to see little one's having fun and marking such a special milestone!

Beth came in for hers this week and wow did we enjoy every minute of it. She is super gorgeous anyway, with the most amazing hair and eyes and she looked even more adorable as she laughed, giggled and smashed her way through the beautiful handmade cupcake by Cat's Creations. 

To start with we dressed Beth in a handmade romper suit and it fitted her perfectly. The pink ruffles and halter neck are so cute on her. As the session was marking her First Birthday, I placed some wooden letters for her play with before bring in the cake. The cake was then placed in front of her, whilst I snapped away, taking pictures of her delicately poking the cake, to then smashing and eating big lumps. It was brilliant to watch. 

After Beth (and Mummy) had eaten and covered themselves in enough cake, it was time to bring out the bubble bath. Filled with Johnson baby bubble bath and to a temperature tested by Mummy, Beth splashed and played happily whilst washing away the cake at the same time. 

Mummy then wrapped her up in the towels and dried her off whilst I picked up the left over cake for Mummy & Daddy to take home. They also got 6 complimentary cupcakes to take home with them to enjoy (or smash if they wished).  Oh and another bonus, parents also get an amazing 15% off a First Birthday Cake with Cat's Creations. 

Fun was had by all!!  If you'd like a Cake Smash please email me: hello@clairegrantphotography.co.uk  I would love to hear from you. 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) cake smash photographer southampton cake smash photos southampton cake smash pics southampton southampton cake smash photos https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2017/3/messy-cake-smash-fun Mon, 13 Mar 2017 12:55:18 GMT
How do I choose a Newborn Photographer https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/9/how-do-i-choose-a-newborn-photographer The value of a reputable, professional and trained Newborn Photographer....

 

Having a baby is one of the most exciting times for any new parent. Whether its' your first or your fifth, each of them is special in their own way and the first few weeks are the most precious of your babies life. Not surprising therefore that so many parents are choosing to have those moments captured. With so many photographers on the market, how to do you choose? What are the most important things to know and look out for?

I am constantly asked the same questions (understandably so) so I thought it may be useful to write a little blog that might help you feel a little bit more at ease and confident about selecting a photographer. After all, whilst this time is exciting and precious, the safety of your Newborn is the most important - right?!

 

Q: Lots of photographers offer Newborn Photography. If they can photograph a wedding, then they must be good surely? 

A: This isn't necessarily the case no. Newborn photography requires a completely different skill set that isn't just about the camera. Newborn babies need special care and attention and it is important that the photographer knows how to read the signs of your baby, understand their cues and know how to react to their situation to ensure that they are at their most comfortable during their session time. A baby will not be happy being posed if he/she isn't warm enough, is too hot, hungry, over tired or just seeking a cuddle. Knowing those signs comes with training and experience.

The art of posing a baby is specialised in itself. There are common industry recognised poses that take practise and experience to master and any Newborn photographer that has received training will know this. BUT just knowing these poses is the first part, the second is about knowing how to do them safely. Some of the poses that you will see, will require the babies limbs to be supported by an assistant or a parent. This is called a composite. Babies feet and hands also need care and attention when they are posed so as to not harm them or their circulation Be sure to ask the photographer you are thinking of choosing, what training they have had and what poses they will carry out. There are common poses in the industry so the answer should be quite specific. For more information on this, check out the BANPAS (Baby and Newborn Photography Association) website which will give more detailed demonstrations and a guide to all parents considering Newborn Photography. I trained with the two Founders of BANPAS so my training has been with the best. I am an official member of the Association too so i am constantly updating my knowledge and skills. 

 

Q: Surely with a decent camera anyone can take a Newborn picture? 

A: This is not the case with any photography BUT even less so with Newborns. As well as all the safety issues mentioned above and the specialist training required to handle a baby, the actual skill of taking a photo is completely different to any other form of photography subject. Angles play a huge part in how an image looks. Take it from the wrong angle and a baby can look twice its size. Taking a normal straight on photograph of a Newborn will result in you seeing lots of nostril- this doesn't show your baby off in the best light. For those squidgy, curly, dream like poses, the angles and way the camera and lighting is set up is vital! Editing also plays an important part too. In those first few weeks, it can be common for babies skin to be less than perfect in that camera. Babies can be very red, jaundice, purple, grey and will also be prone to flakes and acne as their skin gets used to their new environment. Whilst to parents, they are still perfect in every way, you will want these skin tones to be perfect for your images so that your images remain classic and timeless. The camera will also pick up on flaws that the natural eye may not see because a photographer will be aiming for sharpness. This can all be achieved will some clever editing BUT your photographer must be skilled in editing to do this. 

So, my advice, is to really look through the portfolio of the photographer and look out for the above points. Does the babies look posed or just placed on a blanket, do they have evidence of different types of poses, does the lighting look natural or are their pictures dark and full of shadows, what are the babies skin tones like? All of these things will make a huge difference. 

Also be sure to ask if they are insured and if in doubt, ask to see evidence that they are. 

 

Q: Does my newborn have to be photographed with lots of props? 

A: In my opinion no. When you look at an image, you should be drawn into your baby and not the objects and props around them. I believe that props should enhance an image and not detract from your gorgeous Newborn. I like to ensure that you can look back on your images over time and still be in love with them no matter how old they are. I therefore like to use simple, soft and timeless colours and props. I am always open to parents who have a specific theme, prop or colour in mind and will definitely try and incorporate any ideas into my shoots. Please always ask me if you have something specific in mind. 

 

Q: How long does a session last for? Why do some photographers say 1 hour and others 3-4? 

A: My sessions will last up to 3-4 hours and this is the industry recomendation. There are various reasons as to why sessions are so long but the common factor, is that I am working to your babies time. In order to get your baby is those curly poses, my aim is to get your baby to sleep. For some babies this happens as soon as they've been fed and for others this can take longer and more patience is required. There are always some babies that don't want to sleep and I will work around this but in most cases we just need a bit of time and patience. Every pose also takes time so as to not disturb baby once they are asleep and also to perfect the image. Once posed, I will then take several pictures at different angles before moving on to the next. In between all of this, your baby may need an extra feed or simply a cuddle. This can all take time. So, if you see a photographer advertising a session time of less than 2-3 hours, I would question how many images they are looking to take in that time and how much variety will be in your gallery. I always aim to produce up to 20 different images for my all my clients and all images will be carefully posed and involve a prop or accessory/outfit. 

Q: A photographer is a photographer, what more do I need to know?  

A: No you don't really but this is about preference. There will be many photographers who take amazing pictures and are great in this area but if you don't like them, do you want to be in their company for several hours and will your siblings be comfortable in their presence. It can be useful to at least put a face to a name before your session so look our for personal profiles, what do you know about them , do they make you feel welcome when you communicate with them and so they seem to be understanding. For me this is key. I want people to know that I am warm, approachable, patient, friendly. I want them to know that I have a family and I am a Mummy so I am used to dealing with children. This helps to reassure my clients that I am used to children, i have been in their shoes and I get it! 

Q: Why do costs vary so much. £50 for all my images is a good deal right? 

A: This is one of the biggest questions and hottest topics for many photographers and one i find myself explaining regularly. In a day of Social Media, Smart Phones and cheaper DSLR cameras, the market is saturated with people offering their services. There are a lot of people who are devaluing the services of photographers by offering all images deals for minimal money. My opinions aside, it is worth considering the real hard facts in this situation. A photography session, particularly a Newborn Session, starts way before the session day. I spend up to an hour or two dealing with a clients initial enquiry and consulting with them. I spend this time because i want my clients to feel reassured, safe and I want them to be able to trust me with their most precious things - their children. 

Prior to the session, I will spend time arranging props, which for Newborn photographs can take up to 30 minutes. The session time can then take up to 3-4 hours as I have already explained. After the session, all the props used will then be hand washed to ensure they are clean for the next session. As most props and outfits are made out of delicate, organic fibres, they will not cope with machine washes. 

I will then spend time viewing all the images, selecting up to 20-25 images and I will then carefully edit them. This process can take up to 3-4 hours. All images are then placed on a viewing gallery and I will process the order which can take up to one hour to complete. 

Thats a lot of hours - an average of 10 hours for one Newborn Session from start to finish. What is 10 hours of time worth in your business or work? 

The other factor to consider is quality. You will always get what you pay for and I am a firm believer that if something seems to good to be true, it usually is. Quality photographs take skill and time and this is reflected in the price. The same as a hairdresser. Good hairdressers will charge good prices because cutting or colouring hair is a skill. Just because you can buy a cheap pair of scissors, doesn't mean you would allow just anyone to cut your hair. You would want someone who is trained, can cut your hair safely and give you a cut or colour that you won't end up regretting just because it was cheap. The same as choosing a nursery for your child. Just because it is cheaper, doesn't mean to say your child is being looked after by a professional or in a safe place with trained staff.

 

My last piece of advice is look at the photographers reviews and ask for recommendations. What do other people say about them. Look at the overall experience and not just the photographs. Remember, this is an experience you won't get back and you won't be able to have the photographs done again! This small window of your Newborn will go in a flash so choose wisely. 

If you would like to know more about my sessions or me, then please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to help.

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) newborn photographer newborn photographer southampton southampton newborn https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/9/how-do-i-choose-a-newborn-photographer Mon, 26 Sep 2016 12:39:00 GMT
Christmas Mini Photo Sessions https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/9/christmas-mini-photo-sessions We all know that family members treasure photographs of children, especially Mums, Dads and Grandparents, so why not give them some gorgeous portraits  as a gift this Christmas. 

My Mini Sessions are a great way to get a few images of your child/children at a fraction of my normal prices. I only offer these sessions at special times throughout the year, so book now to avoid disappointment. 

Your Child Christmas Portrait Session Offer will include; 

£65

30 Minutes Session Time 

Xmas themed set up, props and accessories (child must be dressed in their own clothing for the shoot however)

My expertise in posing and lighting 

Xmas Treats for the children to take away 

5 High Resolution, Beautifully Edited Images (chosen by me)  

Offer is up to maximum of 3 children. The Xmas set up will be chosen and set up by myself and will be adjusted according to age and gender.  

All Christmas Mini Sessions will take place in my home studio in Hedge End. 

If you are interested and would like to book, then please email to request a booking form: hello@clairegrantphotography.co.uk

 

PAYMENT OF THE SESSION IS REQUIRED IN ADVANCE TO SECURE THE BOOKING. ALL SLOTS WILL BE ALLOCATED ON A FIRST COME FIRST SERVED BASIS. BOOKINGS WILL CLOSE ON THE 23RD OCTOBER OR WHEN ALL DATES ARE BOOKED. 

 

 

 

 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) Child Christmas Mini Sessions Southampton Child Christmas Portraits Southampton Newborn and Child Photographer https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/9/christmas-mini-photo-sessions Wed, 21 Sep 2016 13:41:50 GMT
You deserve the best! https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/8/you-deserve-the-best I take my business very seriously and I understand that choosing a photographer to capture your children is a big decision. I believe that I not only offer great photos but I run a professional business and believe in making my clients feel special. With this in mind, I am an active member of various associations, which enable me to operate using best practices, keep fully up to date with training and enables me to be part of a wider community that shares the same values. 

I am a member of The Guild of Photographers and The British Association of Newborn Photographers (BANPAS), the only UK Association for Newborn Photographers that promotes safe posing. My training with the Newborn Workshops, was with three of the UK's most prestigious trainers and founders of Banpas, as well as being National Award Winners in their field. Shellie WallRob Mank and Maddy Rodgers

My biggest accreditation and training, has been as a Mum. I have two girls, aged 3 and 8 months. I know how to handle babies, how to settle and soothe them and I have the patience required when the going gets tough. I understand that as a parent, especially with your first, that their safety is number one priority. Please be assured that it is mine too and they are in perfectly safe hands throughout the session with me. This is why I have taken and continue to be active with as many associations as possible. You deserve the best! 

Awards

Awards are not given away lightly in the Photography Industry and I was blessed and proud to have received a Bronze Bar Award for one of my images in Spring this year. This is a National award which is awarded and scored by a panel of independent judges. I hope this also reassures you that my work is of a high standard. 

All the information regarding the Association and proof of my membership to them,  can be found by clicking on the links in the text. 

 

If you are interested in a Newborn, Sitter or Child Portrait Session, then i'd love to hear from you. Contact me here or call me on 07788413412 to book your session or get more information. 

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(Claire Grant Photography, (Maternity, Newborn, Baby & Child Photographer)) Baby Photographer Southampton Child Portrait Photographer Southampton Newborn Photographer Southampton Southampton Newborn Photographer https://www.clairegrantphotography.co.uk/blog/2016/8/you-deserve-the-best Sat, 20 Aug 2016 16:18:22 GMT