Smashing Time for Cake!

I’m playing catch up again with my blog and have a few favourite images from lots of different shoots to share with you. I can’t help but start with the gorgeous wee Ella who celebrated her 1st birthday with a Cake Smash shoot!

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So much fun & lots of lovely cake to go around (disclaimer: no cake was wasted… a very cute dog made sure of that!).  I can’t wait for my next one with my own nephew – watch this space to see how he gets on… x

Newborn Photography: The Dinwoodie Family

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At the start of May I had the incredible privilege of taking some lifestyle portraits for adorable newborn Callum and his lovely parents, Lynsey & Iain.  Since it was my first official newborn session, I was a little nervous but I needn’t have worried.  I could not have been luckier. Callum was a wee star and slept peacefully through the majority of the day before waking a little towards the end for some beautiful shots to camera.  It became clear early on in that he gets his talent in front of the lens from his parents.  Both were great, adding in ideas that they had in mind, finding gorgeous poses naturally and following direction easily. The light was great and the colours everyone dressed in just worked beautifully. Here are some of my favourite shots… x


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A Family Tree

Original Family Tree CropI’ve loved this photo for as long as I can remember.  It lived in a box of photos and memories until I framed it one day.  It currently sits proudly on display in my parent’s house and makes me smile every time I see it.

I’m the one at the top of the tree on my Dad’s shoulders, not paying any attention to the camera.  My sister sits in my Mum’s arms with a seemingly innate ability to work the lens at a very young age.  I’m told my Uncle Alan is the photographer.

I love everything about it.  The tones, the graininess, the pose and of course, the people.  It’s my favourite family photo.

When my sister started a family of her own, this photo naturally came to mind and I was delighted to have the opportunity to recreate it during a wee photo shoot I did for them earlier this year.  This time my cheeky niece took my place at the top of the tree and my new nephew is pride of place at in my sister’s arms.

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It’s a more modern take thanks to our lovely Scottish weather preventing us from getting outside that day but I love how it turned out.  More importantly, so did my sister.



Portrait Photography: 3 things I learned during a walk in the park

In early December I headed out for a long overdue photo shoot with my friend Ross.  Ross is a science communicator by day but moonlights as an actor and model.  You may have seen him checking out new places to live while standing by a bus stop in the S1 Homes “Good Looking, Bad Looking” advert.

We’d been meaning to meet up and do this for years.  Practice for me, portfolio shots for him. After a few false starts we finally decided on a date and hoped for good weather.  The morning was overcast but held the promise of light so off we went.

Ross is falls in to every fortune teller’s tall, dark and handsome category.  The photographs should just jump right in to my camera with a model like this…  in reality though, there were a few things I wasn’t expecting.


1 – Directing Friends

Like many photographers, I find directing people a little bit challenging. It’s a mix of feeling a bit silly and not wanting to sound patronising. I thought that practising with friends would be easier but I’ve learned that I’m more comfortable directing people I’ve just met. With friends, especially those who have modelling experience, I often question myself and in this case the end result was a slight mismatch in expectations from each of us. The truth is, most people prefer to be directed and reassured.

Luckily with friends it’s easy to remedy this. I’m a fan of chatting and snapping as you go to get more natural results. The shots below were taken in between a catch-up and blether with a little direction thrown in.  People like to see what the shots look like and feel more confident once they do. So, we both quickly realised that posing and direction were our “uncomfortable” points and worked a way around it by trying different things and being honest about what we thought of the results.2015-12-05-Portrait-Collage1-Ross-H

2- Changing the Pose

It wasn’t until I got back to my computer that I noticed something that seems obvious when you think about it.  Everyone has a go-to-pose that they are comfortable with. Ross, at least that day, was most comfortable with his hands in his jean pockets.  To be fair, it was freezing out and he spent a lot of time with just one or two layers to my 4+.  The fix for this comes down not only to confidence directing, but also preparation.

Before the shoot I’d worked out a list of shots I was hoping to get and shared that (and example images) with Ross.  This helped us remember to change things and meant we were both on the same page.  We also tried some more stereotypical posed shots which I actually haven’t used in favour of his natural reaction to me getting him to try it.  Oftentimes the outtakes are the best results.



3- Short Photographer vs. Tall Model

Oh yes, being petite in stature is ideal for photographing children and babies, excellent for getting yourself in to small spaces to capture shots of wildlife but for an outdoor shoot with a model who is over six foot tall, it’s a definite disadvantage.  I took a handful of shots and reviewed them quickly on my camera screen.  I noticed two recurring themes – small head and unflattering up-the-nose shots.  I hadn’t even thought about it.

I’m glad I realised though.  It would have been a waste of a great day otherwise!  Thankfully I always take the time to have a quick check and review.  It gave me the chance to explain the situation, for us both to laugh about it and then we were both thinking about it throughout the rest of the shoot.  Both constantly adjusting for the height difference and making it work.  I particularly like the middle shot below because I know Ross was squatting so he was eye-level with me which made for an awkward pose in the flesh but the shot came out as I’d hoped for (and was one of the shots I’d planned).

In future though, I’ll bring a stool… just in case!


In short, I always learn something new in a photo shoot.  I spend hours preparing and working up ideas but there’s always something that makes me think on my feet.  That’s one of the many reasons I love it! x