Why you should print your photographs - the power of the print

Today would have been the birthday of this lovely lady - isn't she beautiful? I feel very blessed to have this print, it's up in my office so I see it nearly every day.

DSC_3164.jpg

What you won't see from this quick snap is just how gorgeous it is - the light in her eyes, how her skin seems to glow, the fine texture of the grain and the wonderful tactile quality of the mount. Hard to believe how old it is - the lady is my grandmother and she's just 21 in this photo, which makes it not far off 100 years old.

I love how, when I look at her, I can see my mother, my aunts, my cousins, and my sisters; I can also see the features that have passed down to the next generation in my cousins' children.  How, even though I didn't know her at this age, I remember her as I knew her when I was a child, with her bright, bright smile and her open arms.  It re-connects me to my family and gives me roots.

Being able to see this photo the way I do means such a lot, which is why I'm a big advocate for printing your photographs, and printing your professionally-taken photographs in the best way possible. A beautifully-presented print or product makes you catch your breath and linger in a way that a digital image can't, plus prints are outlasting digitals in their accessibility (but more on that on another day!)

Happy birthday, Nanny, we love you. x

Autumn child photo session - Caldicot

I think we caught the last rays of Autumn for this session, which I shot in the park around Caldicot Castle.  This is one of my most favourite places to go for child and family photoshoots, because the colours, light and space are just beautiful.  But don't just take my word for it, have a look for yourself!  This young lady was just a delight to photograph, and her mum jumped in for a couple of shots too, even though she wasn't very keen on being in front of the camera at the start.

mum and little girl autumn photo shoot Caldicot Castle

I'm so glad she did, and I think she is too, as she picked out one of the two of them together to have as her largest print.  It's important to get in front of the lens now and again, particularly with your kids, so that your children will have a lasting visual reminder of that special connection between you, of how you look now.  I'll admit, I'm not always in photographs with my children because as a mother and photographer I tend to be the one to have the camera in my hands, but every year I book out some time to get photographs of us as a family, and then I print and frame my favourite.  But even if it's just in a hasty selfie rather than a professional photoshoot, mums, make sure you get in a couple of shots with your kids - they'll love it.

To book a shoot with me, give me a call on 07711 293847 or drop me a line at cary.smart@carysmart.com.  If you'd rather be in just a couple of images and let your children take centre stage, that's no problem, and I promise I'll put you at your ease!  Let's create some images that your family can look back on with love for years to come.

Newborn photo session - Undy

Beautiful little baby Freddie came all the way from Birmingham to Undy for his photoshoot, and I'm so glad he did!  He was such a little angel for his session.  Just look at that beautiful little face - and that little smile! 

Newborn baby boy photoshoot Undy Newport

Newborn photoshoots are best done when your baby is between 5 and 14 days, so it's usually best to book a session whilst you're still pregnant (one less thing to organise once your little one has arrived!).  I'll book a timespan in the diary for you, and we can set a firm date once your baby is here.  

To book your newborn session, drop me a line at cary.smart @carysmart.com or give me a call on 07711 293847.

Autumn mini-sessions now booking

It's that time of year again when the kids are back in the routine of school, homework and after-school activities and we're starting to look out warmer coats (and being shocked by how much they seem to have shrunk in the cupboard - or is that just me?!).  The winds are getting up, and the trees are starting to change their colours.  It can only mean one thing...Autumn mini-sessions!

girl in autumn photoshoot

I do love this time of year.  I'm less fond of the darker evenings, but I love watching the colours change, warm snuggly jumpers, boots, and walking through crunching leaves.  It's the best time of year for portrait sessions, in my opinion, with the sun lower in the sky for longer and those shades of russet, gold and sage green in the background.

Just to spread the autumn joy a little further, I'm running Autumn mini-sessions for ONE DAY ONLY, on Saturday 21st October.  (Don't worry, if the weather isn't good there will be a contingency date).  Sessions will be 30 minutes long, and there are two packages to choose from:

     £95 with 2 fine art heirloom prints
     £120 with 5 fine art heirloom prints

Other products will be available to purchase separately, if desired, and if you start off with the smaller package but decide you want the bigger one, it's no problem to upgrade.

So what exactly IS a "mini-session"?
A mini-session isn't a discounted version of a normal photoshoot, but instead a smaller "sample" version.  Whereas in a full session, we would use a larger area to photograph in and have the choice of more than one outfit, with a mini-session we use a smaller, more compact area as our background and only use one outfit.  If you've ever thought about booking a full photography experience, this is a great opportunity to experience a "taster" session, and own some beautiful fine art prints as well! Mini photoshoots are suitable for families or children, though extended families (e.g. with grandparents) are more suited to full sessions, due to time restraints.

There are only a limited number of these sessions available and they book up fast, so don't delay!  Call me on 07711 293847 or drop me a line at cary.smart@carysmart.com (or via my contact page here!) to book your slot.  See you soon!
 

 

Newborn photo session: Newport

This gorgeous little chap absolutely rocked his newborn session!  Such a beautiful little face, and the sweetest temperament too.  I could have photographed him all day!

Newborn photography Newport

10 day old baby boy, photographed by Cary Smart Photography, Gwent newborn photographer.

International Women's Day

Networking, when you’re self-employed, is an important part of working life, and for some time now I’ve been a member of a couple of business networks.  Not only do they help you to connect to other businesses that could be helpful to yours (and vice versa), but they also bring you into contact with other like-minded people, and provide those chats and discussions that you’d normally have at the coffee machine in the office which, when you work on your own, you do miss!

A couple of weeks ago, sitting in a meeting run by a South Wales women’s business network in a local restaurant, I was struck by the atmosphere in the room.  The levels of positive energy, motivation and vibrancy in the air were almost tangible, and it was humbling to be a part of it.  At one point during the meeting someone mentioned International Women’s Day, and I realised that I could mark the day by celebrating some of these women and their journeys in business.

And so I opened up the idea to my network of incredible women.  I photographed ten of them and asked them all the same questions: what prompted you to start your business, what drives you, what has been your greatest challenge, and what do you love about what you do?  Here are their stories… 

Ceri Gillett , founder of  www.thiswelshmother.co.uk  Ceri@thiswelshmother.co.uk tel - 07942569282

Ceri Gillett, founder of www.thiswelshmother.co.uk
Ceri@thiswelshmother.co.uk
tel - 07942569282

Ceri's story...
"I have been writing for as long as I can remember but I began writing for businesses in my early 20s and saw blogging as a way to earn a living by doing what I loved.

Emotionally, I love connecting with people through my words but also I’ve been able to help many women start their own businesses or follow through on their passions.  Being able to stay at home with my son and still earn my own money was also a huge motivating factor.

The biggest challenge has been learning to pivot.  When I became a mother I lost the ‘successful worker’ part of me and I struggled to define who I was and what I wanted to do outside of this HUGE new role.  I have had to learn that change is OK.  We don’t have to always be the same or stick with the same thing.  If something isn’t right or no longer serves you, you just need to pivot.  Try a different way and see where it takes you.

What I love most about what I do is the community.  I run a website for welsh parents, I started it on a whim but it exploded and is bigger than I ever imagined.  In this age of digital communication I have created a safe place.  I get to speak to people daily in different parts of the country.  I get to hear about their lives, loves and challenges and then I get to go out there and create content, competitions and opportunities that benefit them.  It’s like having a really large, crazy family/club. I wouldn’t change it for anything."

 

Sarah's story...
"I set up my accommodation business in the Hebrides, Shore Cottage, because I saw a gap in the market!  I had years of experience in the hospitality and catering industry and knew that with the right location I could create a really good business.  I enjoyed hosting B&B guests for 5 years at my home before moving to Wales and switching to offering self-catering instead.

My e-commerce businesses were launched because I am passionate about eco products and was looking for an opportunity to work at home while my children were young.

I’ve been selling things since I was thirteen.  I’m definitely an opportunist but I also like a challenge.  Motherhood has been amazing and I knew I wanted to spend time with my daughters when they were little rather than have them in childcare but I also needed to keep my brain active, to keep learning and to do something other than just be a mum.  I also want to be a role model to my daughters to show them that they can earn their own money and be independent and raise a family if they wish.

My biggest challenge was moving to Wales nearly ten years ago from my island home in Scotland.  I was pregnant, newly married and hardly knew anyone.  It was a lonely time.  Juggling working from home and raising children has also had its moments and you can pretty much guarantee that if I have an important phone call then one of the children will shout loudly ‘Mum come and wipe my bum’ or some such delight!

I love social media most!  I work from home but I love to chat to people, whether that is engaging online or face to face.  I’m definitely a people person.  I love supporting other women in business.  I host two women’s networking groups – WiRE Women in Rural Enterprise meet on the third Monday of each month in Carmarthen and I also host an online networking event for Bizmums.  In addition to this I host #WiREhour over on Twitter on a Tuesday evening."

 

Vickie Cameron-Davies , owner and primary therapist at All Things Therapy.  www.allthingstherapy.com    
  
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   info@allthingstherapy.com  tel - 07708945205

Vickie Cameron-Davies, owner and primary therapist at All Things Therapy.
www.allthingstherapy.com
info@allthingstherapy.com
tel - 07708945205

Vickie's story...
"All Things Therapy is a mobile-based therapy business in South Wales.  I have been a therapist for over 10 years and I still love what I do.  I set up the company to offer therapy to people in the comfort of their own home and workplace.  We put so much pressure and stress on our bodies and mind that we need to look after ourselves - having a treatment can make a big difference in our lives.  I believe that massage should not be seen as a luxury - it should be part of everyday life, like having your hair done or a manicure regularly. My biggest and ongoing challenge is to promote affordable physical, mental and emotional wellbeing for everyone."


Georgia Walby , founder of Evolve NLP Training Cardiff.  www.nlpcardiff.com   georgiawalby@gmail.com  tel - 07823 332 605

Georgia Walby, founder of Evolve NLP Training Cardiff.
www.nlpcardiff.com
georgiawalby@gmail.com
tel - 07823 332 605

Georgia's story...
"I began learning NLP whilst working as a specialist Youth Worker.  By the time I’d qualified as a practitioner I’d personally made huge changes to my confidence and I started my business because I wanted to share this experience with as many people as possible.

I'm driven by the understanding of how much change is possible from just a few hours of focused work.  I simply love to see people make those huge shifts in awareness and self belief. I've been doing this for ten years and it still absolutely fascinates me, watching those light bulb moments flash up in people.

When I first started in business in 2008 creating a website was a huge challenge to me, something I had never even considered doing. Recently I've started filming some of my training and 1-2-1 sessions. This has been another big challenge, a whole new area of technology to get to grips with but I'm loving it.

My passion is helping people to transform the way they feel and clear the obstacles to success.  Along the way I've discovered I have a gift for teaching others to do transformational work.  I feel so blessed to do what I do and I love to light the touch paper of change in hearts and minds."

 

Kat Clarke , founder of Pixel & Print Ltd, Graphic Design & Marketing Consultancy.  www.pixel-and-print.com   www.facebook.com/Pixel.Print.Design.Marketing/   kat@pixel-and-print.com  tel - 07779 482875

Kat Clarke, founder of Pixel & Print Ltd, Graphic Design & Marketing Consultancy.
www.pixel-and-print.com
www.facebook.com/Pixel.Print.Design.Marketing/
kat@pixel-and-print.com
tel - 07779 482875

Kat's story...
"I was made redundant from a demanding job that I worked long, hard hours for.  After months of disappointing job-hunting, I was encouraged by a friend who started their business in similar circumstances.  They knew of my talents and experience, and willed me to give it a go.

I wanted to use the skills I had developed during my career, without the timetable that went with it.  My attempt to balance a career and a young family had left me unhealthy and exhausted, robbed me of my confidence, and made me doubt my own abilities.  I wanted the chance to produce work that I was proud of, and to grow personally and professionally.  Most importantly, I was able to deliver skills to businesses who could see the value in what I offer - something which had been missing from my professional life for some time.

I gave myself six months to make it work… that’s the hardest part.  Being used to a regular wage, someone else finding you work, adjusting to working alone - so not saying a word to another human all day!  I was fortunate to receive some mentoring in the early days, and it’s something I contribute towards now so that another start-up - just like me all those years ago - gets the benefit of another perspective and experience in business.

I now work fewer hours during the week in my own business.  I can stem the flow of my work to suit my other commitments.  I like the flexibility of being able to take holidays, ‘dependent days’ for caring for my family, or choosing to take time to further my studies in areas that have piqued my interest.  I get a buzz when I hear about how my input has helped boost another’s business in some way - more sales, or compliments on a creative project, or increased awareness.

My network has expanded out from the office kitchen to much farther afield!  I can source pretty much any industry professional locally, to those I know and trust.  Many of these contacts have similar start-up tales to my own, and it's satisfying to see them grow and prosper."

 

Hayley Evans , founder and director at Good Heavens Services.  www.goodheavensservicesltd.co.uk/   enquiries@goodheavensservicesltd.co.uk  tel - 07481 888252

Hayley Evans, founder and director at Good Heavens Services.
www.goodheavensservicesltd.co.uk/
enquiries@goodheavensservicesltd.co.uk
tel - 07481 888252

Hayley's story...
"Having worked for ten years in an office environment, with shifts changing every year to ever more family UNfriendly hours, I realised that I wasn't giving my best in work, or at home.  Neither my work nor home life were fulfilling.  I chose to be a gas engineer on a whim almost - my family are all tradesmen, and I wanted to have a "trade"; we didn't have a gas engineer in the family so I thought I'd take that spot.  Having trained and qualified I chose to set up alone so that the family aspect of my life could be balanced. Working for myself meant that my set hours were my own- I chose the "balance" of work/life myself.

I love my job, and what I love most is my customers.  I meet different people every day from all walks of life.  I take so much from a happy customer - I love people to love my work.  That's what drives me, making people happy - seeing people's reaction to their new bathroom, seeing relief when the leak is fixed, reassurance when their boiler is pronounced safe.  Equally I am driven by my daughters.  I want them to see that they can do anything.  That they can succeed.  It's important to me that I teach them good values, pride in themselves, self confidence.  I want to role-model those virtues for them - and my business succeeding, my job helps me to do that.

 

Jacquelyn Haley , owner at Viva La Vida Hypnotherapy & Holistic Health.  www.jacquelyn-haley.co.uk   vivabusiness1@gmail.com  tel - 07534 387774

Jacquelyn Haley, owner at Viva La Vida Hypnotherapy & Holistic Health.
www.jacquelyn-haley.co.uk
vivabusiness1@gmail.com
tel - 07534 387774

Jacquelyn's story...
"I started my first business in 2010.  My sister Gillian was diagnosed with cancer in June 2007.  At the time I was 7 months pregnant on my second child, the first was just 9 months old.  It was a stressful time and I remember feeling so helpless.  I had an overwhelming need to understand cancer from a very different viewpoint and assist with the mental and physical trauma that families have to deal with when faced with cancer.  

I decided to change career and  go back to full time study in complementary health care.  With two very young babies, I knew I had a challenge ahead, but I was determined!  My goal was to open my own therapy centre and treat those with cancer. I wanted alternative answers and was willing to dig deep.  Over the course of my 3 years study her cancer had returned 3 times, each time requiring major surgery and chemotherapy.  She survived each time.  I achieved my dream and  I opened my first therapy centre in April  2010 . 

The biggest challenges I have faced have been dealing with personal injuries, and of course, family illnesses.  I had to close my first business in May 2013 after two injuries which left me unable to work for several months.  I soon bounced back and opened another premises in December 2013.  Sadly in January 2016, my father suffered a stroke and two heart attacks, Gill's cancer returned also and I suffered a back injury which left me unable to walk properly.  It was then I decided to relocate my clinic space at home, take time out, recover and support my family further.  My Dad sadly passed away in September 2016.  Gillian thankfully beat her cancer for a 6th time and my back injury is 80% healed. 

I  have learnt over the years that despite what is happening around us, we must remain strong and focused and never lose sight of our dreams.  My role as a hypnotherapist and holistic practitioner is a huge passion for me.  Working from home suits my lifestyle and my clients love my new room.  I love the fact I am able to assist so many on the road to recovery and can offer such a diverse range of therapies.  I love it when couples conceive through my fertility programmes, quit smoking with hypnotherapy and recover from anxiety through reflexology, it's just amazing how complementary health can do so much! My dream is that one day the NHS recognise this and we can all work together hand in hand! It's my next goal!"

Jo Duddridge , first aid trainer with Daisy First Aid.  www.daisyfirstaid.com/jo   www.facebook.com/daisyfirstaidcardiff/   cardiff@daisyfirstaid.com  tel - 07840 004921

Jo Duddridge, first aid trainer with Daisy First Aid.
www.daisyfirstaid.com/jo
www.facebook.com/daisyfirstaidcardiff/
cardiff@daisyfirstaid.com
tel - 07840 004921

Jo's story...
"I was in a job I'd outgrown, it no longer challenged me, there was no hope of progression and I was bored.  Add the struggle of childcare to this and I was frustrated and desperate for something else.  I knew I wanted to work with or for children, it actually took me years to find Daisy First Aid as nothing else suited but once I saw the job advert I knew it was right for me.

Without sounding too self absorbed, it's the reviews and feedback I get from parents and carers that drives me and the fact I get to share them with family and friends who I think had got used to me being miserable in work!  They're seeing a different side to me now.  Plus knowing I'm doing a job that makes a difference and could one day lead to someone saving a child's life is a huge driving force.

Public speaking is definitely my biggest challenge!  Having lost my way and therefore my self confidence, being asked to speak to 80+ people at a Mothercare event was terrifying!  I've just done my 4th talk (as they invite me back to each event) and although I do get nervous I'm now more able to take it in my stride.

I love the flexibility that this job gives me.  If my children need me due to illness or they need me to attend a school assembly then I'm there without having to worry about it or juggle jobs or use annual leave.  Plus I love meeting all new people and new babies and having baby snuggles!"

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jo's business, which is 1 year old today!

Laura Evans , founder of Unleash Your Potential NLP Training Ltd  www.unleashyourpotential.org.uk/   laura@unleashyourpotential.org.uk  tel - 02920 02331

Laura Evans, founder of Unleash Your Potential NLP Training Ltd
www.unleashyourpotential.org.uk/
laura@unleashyourpotential.org.uk
tel - 02920 02331

Laura's story...
"Ever since I was a child, I’d always wanted to have my own business.  In 2008 I was made redundant, and I had access to the £1,500 ReAct training grant from Welsh Gov/EU funding to train and make myself more employable.  I found NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) around the same time and became fascinated by how a better understanding of my mind and how it works enabled me to change things that had held me back for years - such as limiting beliefs such as “I’m not good enough”, “I can’t do x,y,z” etc. I combined the two - the grant and my interest in getting better results through mindset training.  I set up Unleash Your Potential- an NLP Training company in 2014 and left a 15 year corporate career in HR & Training to follow my passion. I now run public and in-house NLP courses and love it - I’ve never looked back!

Seeing people grow and achieve things is what drives me.  I love that on my courses people transform and start to believe they can achieve things they once thought were impossible.  I love it when I get emails and messages from delegates from the courses telling me about their achievements - both personally and with people that they go onto work with.

When I set up my business I wanted to spend all day every day training and then quickly realised I needed to learn to be great at sales and marketing so I could fill my training courses!  I learnt quickly and applied all the skills I’d learnt on all my courses and it worked well, and now I’ve got one of the most successful NLP business in Wales! 

Watching my delegates change their thinking, and change their results is what I love most.  Seeing and hearing about their success stories and being in such a privileged position to see them transform on the courses and then go on to help others.  Some people ask me: why do I focus on delivering training and put less focus on coaching these days - and my reply is simple: I can help one person if I coach them to go on to achieve great things, but if I train 12 people on a course and they go on to help just 1 person each (invariably it’s a lot more!) - I can impact 24 or more people as a result of each course - so I can have a bigger and more positive impact on the world and that makes me so happy to be doing what I do!"

 

Tesla Raessi , owner of Sensory Jam, sensory toys and games.  sensoryjam.com   www.facebook.com/SensoryJam   hello@sensoryjam.com

Tesla Raessi, owner of Sensory Jam, sensory toys and games.
sensoryjam.com
www.facebook.com/SensoryJam
hello@sensoryjam.com

Tesla's story...
"I have always wanted to work for myself and achieve the independence that comes with being an entrepreneur, lifestyle-wise and financially.  I eventually ran out of reasons not to and realised there would never be a right time.

My biggest driver is excitement.  I am a very creative person and love trying new things.  My business allows me to try new ideas and do different things all the time.

For me, the biggest challenge is distractions – there are so many things you could do, attend, explore.  It can be really hard to know your path, and then stick to it.

My business challenges me every day, which enforces rapid learning and self development.  There is always something to learn which keeps me excited and fulfilled."

Winter photoshoots now booking

Thinking about waiting until the spring to book your photoshoot? Maybe you don’t need to…

Winter's a beautiful time for portrait sessions...the air is crisp and clean, and the light is beautiful as the sun doesn't get quite so high up in the sky. Even overcast days create lovely light, as there are no hard contrasty shadows to get in the way. Plus there's the added bonus of being able to choose your own colour scheme - think of warm woolly jumpers, bright coats and scarves...even wellies, if you like!  But don't just take my word for it, see for yourself....

And if that doesn't tempt you - photoshoots booked for dates from now until the end of March will receive a complimentary 10"x8" print with their order.

Call me on 07711 293847, or drop me a line at cary.smart@carysmart.com to get the ball rolling.

Spread the word around!

Winter child photoshoot - Caldicot

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this session took place sometime in October or late September, going by the colours...actually, it was in the last few days of November!  It was a little chilly, but you wouldn't guess from the sunshine, or the smiles!  Michael was a complete star for his session, not a bit fazed, laughing and joking the whole time, and completely rocked that bow-tie.  Great fun!

Child portrait photo session Caldicot Newport

Child photography by Cary Smart Photography, South Wales newborn, child and family portrait photographer.

Newborn photo session: Carmarthenshire

This beautiful baby boy was such a joy, though in the second half of his session he was far too interested in what was going on to sleep!  Such a lovely little character and a joy to photograph.

13-day-old baby boy photographed by specialist newborn baby photographer Cary Smart Photography, Undy, Monmouthshire.

September photoshoot - the last rays of summer

The weather has turned a little chillier this week and it's feeling decidedly autumnal.  Hard to believe, then, that just last weekend I took these photographs...perhaps they were the last rays of summer for this year?

I'm now taking bookings for autumn photography sessions through October and into November - sessions can be for children’s portraits or for the whole family.  To make a booking or just to have a chat about what you're looking for from your photoshoot, you can call me on 07711 293847 or drop me a line at cary.smart@carysmart.com.  Don't wait, those colours won't be around forever!

New child car seat legislation coming in December

Are you aware that the legislation on child car seats is changing again?

At the moment, children as young as 3 years old (or who weigh more than 15kg - after all, they don't all come in the same size!) are able to use backless booster seats or booster cushions.  However, new regulations are expected to come out in December this year, stating that these backless boosters will only be approved for older children who are taller than 125cm and weigh more than 22kg.

The good news is that this only affects sales of new car seats, so while the government's advice is to get a new seat if your child is using a backless booster and falls into the category described, it's not a legal obligation.

Click here to go to Kiddicare's website for some more information...

Safe and happy trails!

Autumn sessions now booking

Did you have a good summer?  Hope you did.  We had a great one - we had a well-earned family holiday, skimmed stones, played swingball and frisbee, ate picnics by the sea, celebrated a birthday and an anniversary and learned how to swing a golf club (badly!). Phew!

But now the flip flops have worn out, the wetsuits have been consigned to the back of the wardrobe, and the buckets and spades are back in the shed...it's that time of the year when shorts and t-shirts are swapped for new school uniform (with a sigh!) and we all go back to the term-time routine...

On the other hand, a new school year means that Autumn is just around the corner, with all of its beautiful colours, its crisp air, and its soft light...such a beautiful time to capture some family portraits!

2016-09-09_0002.jpg

I'm now taking bookings for Autumn photography sessions (child or family photoshoots) on the following dates:

18th, 24th & 25th September

1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th & 16th October

5th, 6th, 12th & 13th November

(And if you're already thinking about Christmas, photographs make a great present for grandparents!)

To make a booking, you can call me on 07711 293847 or email me at cary.smart@carysmart.com.  Sessions are £75 and for this you will get:

  • a pre-shoot consultation

  • my "what to wear" guide to help you create your perfect outfits

  • a 1-2 hour photography session in a location of your choosing (or if you don't have a preference, I can help)

  • a viewing session approximately 10 days after your session

Products are available separately and include wall art and digital products.

Can't wait to hear from you!

Prom photography sessions - now booking

If you have a child in years 6 or 11, then no doubt you'll have "PROM" marked very definitely on your calendar.  Though it's a fairly new thing over on this side of the world, it does mark an important moment in life - the end of one phase and exciting new beginnings, growing up and making changes, leading on to the next stage of life.  Let's face it, it's a pretty important time for parents as much as for the kids!

Like many of those important stages - those first wobbly steps, the first day of school, the first lost tooth, the Christmas concert  - it's a moment that you'll want to capture and treasure (after all, there's a lot of effort that goes into finding the right outfit!).  That's why this year I'm offering two different options to keep those memories safe:

Mini - £65 for a 30 minute session, including a complementary 10" x 8" print.                                                                                       Deluxe - £85 for a 1 hour session, including a complementary 10"x 8" print.

(Framed prints, digital images and other products will also be available to buy separately.)

Sessions can be booked through June, July and August (depending on availability), so you'll have no worries about trying to fit in with exams!  Give me a call on 07711 293847 or drop me a line via my contact page to book your session.

The Mead Farm Dairy - A business branding shoot

A little while ago, I had an email asking if I would be interested in doing a shoot with a family of four...plus a dog, some chickens, and some cows!  Well, I can't begin to describe how excited and intrigued I was!

Before the shoot, Izabela and I sat down together in her kitchen and discussed just what it was she wanted from her session, as well as the kinds of things she didn't - which can be just as important.  She was looking for photographs that she and her husband Laurence could use on their website to illustrate their business branding, with emphasis on the family interacting with their animals and using the products from the dairy.  We talked about individual shots that she wanted, where we might shoot, and we went through my guide on what to wear so that there would be no clashes.  All set!

Don't believe that old saying "never work with children or animals", this shoot was loads of fun!  Making a plan but being flexible and having alternatives at the ready is what it's all about when working with little ones or with our four-legged friends.  The cows didn't seem to be particularly bothered by my camera (although the chickens seemed less keen), but they did seem curious about what I was doing lying down in their field!  

I'm really looking forward to seeing Mead Farm Dairy blossom and grow, and with Izabela and Laurence's hard work I'm sure it will.  Wishing you all every success!

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Bluebell sessions - now booking

The bluebells are here!  If you're a bit surprised to hear that, don't worry, so am I - they're about 3 weeks earlier than usual, judging by my diary from last year!

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I love bluebells, and not just because they create such a beautifully vibrant woodland carpet.   They herald the arrival of springtime and new growth everywhere...the earth is warming up, the sunshine is that little bit more golden and new shoots are appearing everywhere.

They don't last forever, though, so I can only book a limited number of bluebell sessions before they disappear for another year.  Sessions are booked for April and into May, so you'll need to get in touch quickly to reserve your place.  Call me on 07711 293847 or drop me a line at cary.smart@carysmart.com and let's get planning!