Here you will find some useful posts on choosing a location for your shoot, what to wear, client sessions and other random pieces I hope you will find interesting!

Spring Decluttering Methods

It’s that time of year again. The days are getting longer, the weather is warming…hopefully…and we start to think about spring cleaning our homes.

But what if we only had to spring clean once and no more? What if all we had to do was give our surfaces, desktops and counters a wipe over once a week? What if we don’t have to rotate our autumn/winter, spring/summer wardrobes?

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Top 5 Zero Waste Items

There has been a lot of news coverage about how disposables and plastics are ruining the planet. I've put together a brief post covering my five favourite zero waste items to help you get started on your own mini mission to save the Earth!

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Tips for going Vegan

For your own sake, don’t just dive in on a whim one day. It won’t be easy, you’ll find yourself facing lots of food in your fridge that you now can’t eat and you won’t be prepared when you find you aren’t getting the right vitamins and supplements.

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Announcing my new ebook!

I’ve been working on my ebook about Family Photography Sessions for longer than I care to remember, but at last it is finished, live and ready to download!

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How was Veganuary?

People who know me will be surprised at my choosing to try Veganuary. I love my Cadbury’s Caramel Dairy Milk, I love cheese, I enjoy cooking with chorizo. However for the past couple of years I’ve seen a change in my mindset. It started with wanting to be tidier, which led to an interest in minimalism, which led onto wanting to reduce the amount of waste I produced, alongside watching lots of David Attenborough documentaries.

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My New Year Resolutions for 2018

It’s that time of year again! End of an old, beginning of a new. The time when we all reflect on what we would like to achieve over the coming year and set our own personal challenges and resolutions. I would like to share some of mine.

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Jargon-Busting Guide to Buying a Camera

It’s happened to us all before. We’ve popped into our local camera shop to buy one as a gift and been confounded by a baffling array of jargon and numbers that make no sense! I’m sure many of you are planning to buy a camera either for yourself or someone else this Christmas and so I have put together this jargon-buster of camera features that you might want to consider when making a purchase.

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15 Ways to Reduce Plastic at Home

Blue Planet II started on BBC1 last night (yay!). Along with the usual visually stunning cinematography and Sir David Attenborough’s authoritative yet soothing narration, it also carried a stark warning about the impact our reliance on plastic is having on the planet. There must be alternatives, surely?

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Sorry I'm late!...Update

Hello everyone!

First of all, apologies for my silence lately. It’s been a chaotic couple of weeks!

I had a week off work for a holiday at the beginning of September, it didn’t go too well:

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Swapping lenses - the Canon f4 7-200mm

I loved my Sigma f2.8 70-200mm lens.

It’s been through a lot with me. From wind, rain and hail at Sunderland AFC Ladies matches to the heat and dust of Kenya, it has served me well and got me some lovely photographs.

However it weighed a tonne. OK, I exaggerate, it’s 1.4kg but that’s almost the equivalent of a bag of flour, plus there’s the added weight of the Canon 5D MKIII along with that.

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Peak Design Everyday Sling Bag

Like many photographers, I have a love-hate relationship with camera bags.

I like backpacks that come with a waist strap and spread the weight over two shoulders, but I don’t like having to remove the bag from my shoulders and put it on the ground to get a camera out or change lenses.

I like the idea of slings, but having too much weight on one shoulder is not for me. I’m 5ft tall and petite so if I overload a sling or a messenger it’s too much for me to want to carry.

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My gear for a photo shoot

So, what equipment do I bring to a shoot? I don’t bring that much, actually. I’m only small and petite and I don’t want to be lugging lots of heavy camera gear around with me.

Usually I work on outdoor portrait shoots with my main camera body, a large lens plus one or two smaller lenses and a second camera body for emergencies.

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Jim Steinman's "Bat Out of Hell: The Musical"

The "Bat Out of Hell" musical premiered in Manchester before moving to the London Coliseum over the summer, and fortunately for me it included a time when I would already be in the capital for Wimbledon!

Most musicals based on pop or rock albums take the songs first, then put together a musical from them. Bat Out of Hell started life the other way around.

Songwriter Jim Steinman has been working on a musical based on Peter Pan meets Romeo and Juliet long before Cleveland Records bravely took on an album that no one else wanted and brought Steinman’s music to the world’s attention in 1977.

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Where was Jurassic Park in the BBC Proms?

That was the question on many people’s lips either as they left the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday 20th July after the John Williams Prom, or after watching the performance on television the following night.

While those of us in the audience had been treated to a night of musical and acoustic perfection from the BBC Concert Orchestra, the selection of said music left a lot to be desired.

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Online gallery opening - SPECIAL OFFER!

SPECIAL OFFER! To celebrate the opening of my new online gallery shop, I am offering a 50% discount on these three canvases!

These prints will not be offered at these prices again for the foreseeable future so make the most of it!

Promotion will run from the 31st July until the 11th August.

Visit my gallery shop here:

Exciting news!

Firstly, I will be on holiday from the end of this week into the beginning of the next so I probably won't be sending out a blog post on the 17th July (sorry!). 

However for the following week I will hopefully have had an exciting trip to London followed by my first Proms concert so there will be plenty to update you with for the 24th.

Then secondly...

For the 31st July I have something exciting planned! Keep an eye out in your email inbox for details of a chance to own some of my photography artwork at 50% off!

Local Spotlight Feature - Theatre Space NE

If you haven’t yet been to one of Theatre Space NE’s productions - or even heard of them - where have you been?!

Theatre Space NE is a community interest company that believes “any space is a theatre space”. Sunderland’s “Plays in the Park” season includes two Shakespeare plays and a family show throughout the summer in Roker, Mowbray and Barnes parks. 

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How to Choose a Photographer

It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Find a local photographer, book one, have your session and get some nice images out of it. Only there are now so many photographers around, how do you pick the right one?

It’s a bit like picking the paint colour for a feature wall. Standing at the swatches wall in B&Q thinking you want “green” but when you get there you find you can have teal, turquoise, pine green, emerald…Not only that, but you start thinking about the furniture and accessories in the room: Well, that colour will go with my curtains while contrasting nicely with the carpet. Ooh and I can paint my old wooden chair the same colour!…But then that will clash horribly with my neon pink knitted pouffe…

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Full Sessions v Mini Sessions

Full Sessions

This is when the photographer guides you through the entire process. They will chat with you to find out what it is you are looking for, how it will fit in with your decor, advise you on what to wear, find out what you like to do as a family and try to incorporate it into the session. This is the point where any wall art such as canvases, framed prints or albums are discussed. 

After the shoot - which can last from 45 minutes to an hour - you will be invited back for the presentation session a couple of weeks later to view your images and place an order for the artwork and the images you love.


  • Can usually book for a time and date that suits you
  • Can choose your own location if the photographer shoots outdoors, or simply go to the photographer’s studio.
  • Your photographer will help you decide what kind of photographs you are looking for and shoot the images accordingly.
  • Your photographer will help you choose what piece of artwork to compliment your home
  • There will be plenty of time to get the images you and the photographer agreed upon
  • Should you have to cancel because of health, a family emergency or bad weather, the photographer will be happy to reschedule your session.


  • Cost more than mini sessions
  • You will have to commit to spending around three hours with the photographer, the initial consultation meeting, the actual photography session and the presentation session when you see the final images. If you are pushed for time the photographer may agree on a 15-minute phone call or a 15-minute time slot before your session in place of the consultation meeting.
  • Takes more time for the finished products to arrive, although they will be worth the wait!


Mini Sessions

Mini sessions are a sort of taster of photography. A photographer will advertise a place and time of two to three hours during which they will hold sessions at around 20 or 30 minutes each. Anyone who wishes to book simply picks a time slot to suit them, pays the amount and turns up at the allocated place. It is advisable to get there 10-15 minutes early.

They are a great way to try out a certain photographer’s style and get some professional digital images without spending a lot of money or investing a lot of time. Sometimes they can have a theme depending on the time of year, or they may be linking up with a charity to raise money.


  • Brief, ideal for full-time working mums
  • You get a set amount of digital files within a couple of days to share on social media.
  • Cost less than full sessions


  • A photographer may only advertise for mini sessions two or three times a year, so you need to be quick to make a booking and be able to commit to the time you have booked.
  • You do not get to choose your location and slots are limited
  • You may not get the exact image you were looking for, especially if the mini sessions are themed e.g. Easter or Christmas, or due to the shorter session.
  • You are not guided through the process of choosing any kind of wall art, although if you make a request to the photographer for a particular item they will usually be happy to oblige.
  • If you cannot make it to your time slot and do not give adequate notice or fail to show up you may have to forfeit your place and your payment. However if you do give adequate notice so the photographer can re-book the slot you should receive a full refund.

If you like more information on my full or mini sessions, feel free to Contact me for more details.

A Brief Guide to Posing for Photography Sessions

OK, so you’ve booked your photography session, you have your outfits planned, you’re all excited and nervous about the shoot…but you’re anxious about posing. I don’t know what to do with my hands, I fiddle with the toggles on my jacket when I get nervous…

Don’t be! For most of the shoot I will let you do your own thing. As for couples, you know better than I do how you “fit together” and you will naturally fall into that anyway.

However I do have some guidelines on posing that I will run through just to get you loosened up and relaxed. Here are a handful to get you started.


Put your weight on one leg.

Turn slightly around 45 degrees.

Put one hand on your hip.

Put one hand on your hip, with the other, play with a strand of hair.

Put one hand in your pocket and hook your thumb on the outside.



Put your weight on one leg.

Turn slightly around 45 degrees.

Put one hand in your pocket and hook your thumb on the outside.

Put both hands in your pockets and hook your thumbs on the outside.

Lean against a wall or the inside of a doorway.



Walk together.

Hold hands and walk together.

Put one arm around the other, put your other hand in your pocket.

Put one hand in each others’ back pocket! Put your other hand in your pocket.

He puts his arms around her waist. She puts his arms around his neck.

Stand close together and face each other. Look down, then look up at each other.


Anything evolving from these poses will largely depend on our tour of the session location as we go along. We might find some nice steps to stand or sit on, a decoratively painted wall as a backdrop, a rustic fence.

The main thing to remember is to relax! Dress in a way that makes you feel confident, you will smile, you will feel happy and relaxed and it will show in your finished portraits!