I have a very quick question for you which is to let me know in the comments below your favourite place to meet and chat with your friends (with or without kids).
If you’d like to know why you can read this next bit:
Pre-children I mostly met up with my friends in various bars, nightclubs or sometimes shopping for a weekend spree. This then graduated to the gym for moral support which was always followed by a coffee and cake snack in anywhere nearby we couldn’t be spotted.
The years went on and we became a little lazy or tight because most of the places we would meet would involve one of our homes. I think we were saving for something or drinks just started to become expensive, which meant drinking at home before going out. Something along those lines.
Thinking about it now I’m jumping forward to post 30 something and I liked having a conversation with my friends which bars didn’t always allow for, and we worked Monday to Friday and still shopped or did couple things at the weekend.
Roll onto maternity and suddenly the cafe visits increased again and this time with maternity mum friends, because we needed to get our talk quota for the day out (whilst not at work anymore) and eat cake. This cafe meeting culture I became dependant on and looked forward to.
Then babies came and didn’t leave the house, home coffee and cake visits until we were able to explore the world of suitable places to go with breastfeeding mums and or screaming toddlers. Anywhere with great access, little embarrassment options and great coffee. Space for us to put our car seats, prams, babies when not on our laps. CAKE CAKE and more CAKE.
There were a couple of places but most of them diminished. One day someone will invent the best cafe for mums with their babies, screaming toddlers (so that they don’t scream because there is entertainment).
Most recently with my 7 and 4 year old I’ve taken to venturing out again now they can be reasoned with or rewarded with good behaviour. The Kino Lounge in Kettering is one of the easiest places for me to meet with other families due to the nature of the space, the entertainment, accessibility and food for all.
Having said that, I do meet a friend at Rushden Lakes and we usually end up in the Marks and Spencer Cafe or we frequent Cafe Bloc another favourite for people watching from the top window. I realised how important it is to choose a place when you are with the right people. We consult, arrange and enjoy.
I am now going out more (than before but still not much) and lots of the locations are family homes, with or without kids and usually involve tea or wine drinking.
As much as I love Kino, I am still crying out for another lounge type place a bit more cosy, day time into evening, where there one late afternoon into evening a casual entertainment option like comedy or open mike music. There are so many places like this in big cities and yet small towns are crying out for some relaxed sophisticated choices. I always think about a favourite place of mine in another town called The Orange Room, where there was this wall to wall fish tank, burnt orange wall feature and great big lounge chairs in cosy corners. If you wanted to hide you could, but equally there was plenty of space in each part of the venue. At night the mood would change from casual lounge cafe to a drip feed of interesting people going from coffee to wine. A mic would appear in the corner and the evening entertainment would begin with an acoustic set which later on became something else. The food would be amazing with unusual but simple dishes and the norm to keep all happy.
There’s more to my memory than one favourite location, but I know that when you find or have your favourite place, there’s no where else to meet where you feel immediately comfortable. We humans love to feel comfortable.
So there’s a huge tick list for me now as it has to include something for all types of friends I’ve managed to find along the way in life, and children I managed to acquire with a husband. Hopefully one day someone will tick those boxes in the small town I walk the streets of. Or maybe with all our ideas put together someone might create one!!! That would be very exciting.
What are you crying out for? Or where do you go now?? Please add your comments below and maybe our dreams could come true.
Identify your amazing transferable skills. You will probably find this hard, until you unlock the first transferrable skill you didn’t realise you have. Visualise your previous tasks and write down the ones that stand out, this helps to identify those skills and abilities you can use in most jobs. It also helps to speak to friends, colleagues and loved ones whom you have explained elements of your job to. They might see something you have missed, probably due to all the information swirling around your head right now. Then you need to show how you can use those skills to strengthen your CV.
Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google…. You have already learned that you need to be present online for people to find you, when they do let them see the best first impression of you. It might be the first ticket to securing an interview before they read your CV. I highly advise you to get a new headshot or personal branding shots, and it’s not just because I’m a photographer that I recommend this. Take it from someone who has witnessed people stalked before they were interviewed. Re-work your online CV too, update any new things about you.
Once you have your online presence ready and those amazing new headshots, upload and start tweeting, sharing, and following industry people. Tell the world you are on the career market. More importantly tell them what you are looking for and what you can offer. I know this is a little like dating but it’s the best way to get your perfect match.
Networking is like dating. The news spreads that you have left your old job and with no time you will have those in your network getting in touch. If you have no network outside your old job then you can look into requesting new contacts on social media platforms to spread the net wide. Going to a networking event is a great idea if it’s in your field, or calling old contacts to see where they are now and who they can introduce you to. Tell people you are looking and they spread the word too.
Blog Blog Blog. Whether you love writing or not, a blog is a great way for an new employer to learn a little about you or what you know about the industry. You can write and blog your words on google and share them to the rest of the social media sites. Your blogs can be about little snippets of your previous achievements, or even where you made impact, which shows what you can offer your prospective new employer. If you have learned anything that your industry would benefit from then share this information too. It will get people talking about you and show you are a true professional.
Network in your new industry.
If all of your networking contacts are still grounded in your old career field, you need to start meeting others to mentor and guide you on your new path. Old contacts can still be valuable if you’re moving to a related industry, but don’t skimp on building new relationships. Look for networking events, have coffee with a professional you admire, or interact with others via LinkedIn groups. Take the opportunity to enhance your professional reach even further, and reap the benefits as you move forward on your new path. You are ready.
That path to a new career is daunting, but the sooner you begin the journey, the quicker you will get a picture of the future… and be open to change. Visualise and it will materialise, open your mind to new opportunities. Some people find a mentor helps or starting a new course in a different direction. Always keep close to your career mission the backbone of skills and knowledge that will be the core to selling yourself in any industry.
P.s. If it wasn’t obvious reading this post, I want to help you get that new job. My most impressive skill is to photograph you the way you want people to see you. If you are ready to have that new headshot, re-brand or confidence boost, then I’m the photographer for you.
Why would you consider capturing the milestones? Well Siobhan and a few of my families coming back to me after a year or more are reminding me why it’s so important to capture the first years (professionally or non-professionally).
Not only do you forget what they looked like, it reminds you about how you felt and how far you have come. Those tiny toes and button noses don’t stay that way forever and neither do those sleepless nights. They will not fit in those arms, or curled up in a womb like fashion EVER again and neither will you eat as much cake!
You might feel like you miss all the details as you are running around being the best parent, spouse, employee or running your own empire of some sort (the household being a gigantic one).
I often look back at my children’s photographs (and they are only 5 and 8) with fond memories of when they were so small I would sit for ours feeding and cradling… then running around making every inch of the house safe, then teaching them new tricks. All of a sudden they are teaching me new tricks.
I had a photographer capture our family at different stages as they grew up, as did my parents who inspired me. I’ve plastered the house in Oscar and Mia. There’s at least 8 professional wall art frames in the house and some prints framed in reasonable but effective high street frames.
So let me tell you how HAPPY I am when families not only find me to do a photoshoot for their family, I’m delighted when they return for the next milestone.
I’ve photographed Siobhan as a newborn and here she is again at 1 years old. I was lucky enough to involve both sets of grandparents at both sessions – something which I LOVE!
Siobhan’s mum and dad value what I do so much and it makes me super happy that they have their images printed and displayed in their home.
By using the same photographer, you can keep some consistency, build a relationship and learn new things. This statement goes for me too as every family I meet has enriched my life in some way. They have ALL had something to teach me.
Their thanks and gratitude of what I do for them is highly fulfilling.
If I could be a family photographer in some way for the rest of my life it will be a gift indeed.
If you would like to know more about a family studio or outdoor photo shoot session or newborn or baby then please get in touch. It an include the grandparents! (see below).
Love Julietta x
I’ve spent many hours, days and possibly weeks deciding which maternity outfits to buy to keep in my studio for photoshoots. I feel that this time was mostly wasted. I bought three or four simple, classic and versatile pieces which I’m happy with, but I can’t afford to buy an entire wardrobe, yet.
In the meantime I’m looking for creative ways to diversify my images for my clients and I began to do this with silk chiffon (see my post on Rocking the Bump). Now I’m exhausting that avenue, a little – as this doesn’t really suit everyone.
So when Aimee rocked up to photograph baby number 2, I was determined to do something different, or at least experiment with her session. I know Aimee would come to me with something when I asked her, but I kept it very casual so she wouldn’t stress over it.
She didn’t disappoint, as she brought about four different items of which I’ve all used in her session. It was tempting to pull out some of my usual tricks, but I refused to let that comfort zone take over me. I went with what she brought me and I felt it was working well!
Denim is always a favourite item of mine and I think everyone must own a denim shirt right? If not then you are missing something as it can be thrown over anything, including a bump! She can’t do this up by the way, bu we found a cheeky way of her rocking her maternity bump with it. The colours looked okay but I really felt that the rawness of the fabric came out in black and white, and didn’t distract from the bump. It gave it a frame.
So the pink number I’ve not mentioned above; this is one of Aimee’s surprise elements for me. I am always desperately looking for stretchy non maternity dresses, but I can’t ever find anything in the shops that looks right and for a photoshoot I need the mama to be to be able to breathe. My most important element is that the woman feels comfortable and sexy in the photoshoot. This is about celebrating her body and I want her to feel super good, and it to show. The confidence does not need to be dripping from every pore, but she needs to feel secure and I will do the rest. I think the pink number got Aimee giggling loads as she felt good and knew that this was something very glamorous, yet super simple.
MID NOTE: NONE OF THESE ITEMS IN THE SHOOT WERE EXPENSIVE AND THEY WERE ALL IN THE MUMS WARDROBE.
I will admit to hesitating to this item. It didn’t scream maternity but I knew I had to try to make it work, and out of all the poses I felt this one brought out the best in the item. One of the experiments for the maternity photoshoot was to see if I could make something every day, that didn’t cost the earth, look awesome. It helps Aimee makes it look awesome too!
In a world of extremely glamours maternity shoots I felt like this one represented a complete contrast. Boho, simple, understated and ordinary. But this is very natural, very normal, and very much what most women might feel is really them underneath all those blow dries and big flowing dresses. I really don’t mind it. It feels raw, it feels real and her peacefulness in the image reminds me of the real maternity months as you prepare for the newborn baby to arrive.
So we have in this session, a glamour pink, a casual denim, a cosy jumper and a boho garment. What has it taught me? Well I guess that I don’t have to panic about what outfits to throw in the session, but how to be creative, resourceful and how to make a pregnant woman look and feel amazing in anything. This is how my studio maternity sessions will begin and I can’t wait to see what the next mummy brings in for me to try.
What did you think? Please comment below your thoughts? If you’d like to book in a session with me I have offers to entice you in. Contact me here.
Love Julietta x
One dress designed by Thea Ajayi
ONE WEEK with the Ankara dress! We reveal the images to each other at the end of the project.
How it all began:
In the last couple of years many travelling dress projects have been appearing in female photography groups all over the globe. The set ups involve a group of willing photographers looking for a project to challenge themselves, and to feel a part of a new movement. The result is to showcase the same dress, with different interpretations and present it to the world.
Tianna is the founding member of our travelling dress project, she is an amazing artist and lovely friend. Her vision encompassed a bright dress with authentic tones. We spoke about commissioning an African designer whom presented our group with fabrics and we found Thea worked beautifully within the vision and style, which we all voted for. Size was a key subject and we initially wanted a dress which could fit most women. This was the biggest challenge and we had to settle on about a size 12/14 round arms, however the rest of the dress was flexible. If we were to re-design the dress it would have more flexibility around the arms, making it a more inclusive design.
THE DRESS: We chose an Ankara print thanks to the stunning colours and shapes. The print is made by the African print dutch company called Vlisco. After being initially presented by the Dutch to the Indonesian textile market, it took shape and home in West Africa due it’s tribal-like patterns.
Note: We don’t see much of this print and designs on the catwalk, but we think this should change.
Inspired by a diverse upbringing; I imagined that anyone could wear this unique style. My model call searched for three types of models: African, Chinese or European heritage. This was the the first challenge, thanks to the limited shooting in one week, the latter part of the vision failed. I didn’t manage to secure a model with European heritage, due to the time restraints and the model’s availability. I realised in hindsight I needed to have a few back-ups for the next challenge. Instead I had two amazing women of African heritage and a very stunning woman of Chinese heritage. All were amazing to work with, and they all suited the Akara dress in different ways.
The time constraint was not the only challenge; the dress itself was unusual and with no real experience in fashion, I had to think on my feet and use as much common sense along with creativity.
The third challenge was the style of portrait itself. I have experience with newborn, children and family photography. Changing my mindset from making memories to making fashionable or artistic portraits would give my mind a jump start. It took off and I went with the flow of the model and the dress. I used props I would not normally consider and an editing process to make some of the images stand out from the norm.
My final challenge was to make every female who wore this dress in the project feel exceptionally beautiful. To make their personalities stand out as much as the dress and not lose one over the other.
The images below are shown in order of the photoshoots taken.
The Studio Fashion Portrait: Marie Gordon
The Studio Art Portrait: Jing-Yun Wu
The Outdoor Portrait: Candice Alana
THE REVEAL TO THE GROUP:
On Friday 10th January, we all shared our blogs and images to each other before our launch to the rest of the community. This was the most awe inspiring moment to see how diverse we represented the dress. One of the loveliest people Louisa Coulthard, was the lady whom I sent the dress on to, and it makes sense that she follows my story as she added in the one cultural element that I could not shoot, see her beautiful images here on her blog.
The next steps:
We still have the dress in our circle and would be happy to pass it onto another group of photographers either in the UK or abroad. Comment below if you are interested.
We hope we have inspired more people to challenge themselves and step outside of their comfort zone.
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This amazing lady returned to me for her maternity session with baby number 2. I first photographed this beauty a couple of years ago when she was expecting her rainbow baby. This was after many little angels sadly left their world. Within just a few years after her rainbow baby she has a golden child – the one which comes after a rainbow baby.
This bump is an amazing 37 weeks and the usual dates I would capture a maternity photoshoot is around 28-32 weeks. I love that these images prove that it does not matter, and the bigger the better. You are most likely over the worst feelings of the pregnancy and ready for capturing this amazing thing your body is achieving.
Despite the challenges, this mum has had to face, which includes diabetes whilst being pregnant and in the first pregnancy as skin condition, she is as radiant as ever, and as optimistic as ever. I love the confidence she exudes and you don’t have to be confident for this to show in the first place. I like to think it’s because she feels comfortable with me, but I also believe it’s because she is really comfortable with herself.
One of the images which is the black and white one above is the style she wanted after doing some Pinterest searches. It’s a classic image and we did try this facing front, but this didn’t seem to work with the bump, possibly as we passed the 32 week front, but she looks simply stunning and I am so happy we achieved this in this way.
This skirt was her own and I loved how it fell, much like my chiffon red above. This same images looks stunning in black and white, and what I do love about black and white is how it shows her emotions more. Black and White is the soul of photography. Most photographers will be very passionate about black and white, especially us old school ones who may have shot on film.
I love maternity photoshoots whether they are studio or outdoor. My aim will always be to make the woman feel the most beautiful she has ever felt. This is the most incredible her body is achieving, it deserves to be documented!!
Which image is your favourite and why? I would love to know what you think of the images.
Love Julietta x
p.s. You can contact me at 20 weeks – after your scan to discuss your maternity shoot or newborn. More than often I do amazing deals to get mamas in front of the camera!
When Katy (of the Dance Factory Kettering) and I met up to talk about this photoshoot I had lots of ideas in mind, but I knew that for my first time photographing ballet dancers I would keep it simple. There would be a LOT to learn.
Katy had seen the backdrop we used for the photoshoot in one of my maternity images and fell it love with it. I had lots of inspiration for other ballet photographers knew this would be the best location for the outdoor autumn setting.
We have discussed photographing ballet dancers in the studio (which is yet to come), but I needed the space to practice and this was the perfect place to practice, whilst hopefully creating some beautiful unique imagery. This is something you could print frame and hang up as wall art in your home.
I knew that as a mother of a daughter who has began ballet, I would love something like this for my walls. These would be something different to the usual stage ballet and portrait shots, and something magical about the dancers being nature brings the skill to life.
On the shoot day Katy had a box load of costumes and I turned up with my camera, blankets and some chiffon (which was used in the blue dress shot and the white dress one). The girls were incredibly professional and braved the cold to get “on point” as Katy has prepared them. I had no idea how amazing they would be and I had to learn about where they would leap and land to prepare my shot. This was not an easy task, but with some effort I managed to nail a few of them. I made lots of mistakes along the way, had no idea if they were on point or if the dresses looked as they should, but this is where Katy’s expertise came into play.
During the editing the process she knew instantly what was perfect and what might have needed to be better next time. This is where you grow; in the mistakes, in the learning.
I will always be thankful for the time and effort each of these beautiful girls made to be there on a sunny yet cold autumn day in Kettering.
I plan to offer these outdoor ballet shoots from as soon as the weather warms up again in April/May time (or sooner if we have a random heatwave).
If you have any interest in a session they will cost £199 and include three beautiful 12 by 8 inch fine art prints.
If you would like to be sent the details, please e-mail me at email@example.com or see above for the contact me form on my website menu.
If you would like to buy a voucher you can also contact me now for this.
I would love your feedback on the images! Please comment below.
Have you ever thought about what a cake smash gallery might include?
Well I thought that you should know that there is something for everyone here in my studio and or garden.
For those looking for a studio first birthday session they include more than just the cake smash. I tend to suggest to bring in something personal for the shoot and or a lovely outfit to capture their first birthday portrait. It can include a sentimental toy, teddy or family heirloom. Or as in Taylor’s case in the images below this was a birthday gift from her aunty.
The first birthday sessions are not as simple as they look but they are fun! You do have to work hard as a parent to make your child comfortable and laugh! I can only do so much at the start as a photographer to make them happy with me, and then after that in between takes I will also happily sing “Five little ducks” and “wind the bobbin up” some of my fav tunes to date.
Bring along their favourite teddy or toy and send me a list of their favourite songs and I will have bubbles and fun waiting to capture that right moment.
The cake smash section usually comes straight after the portrait session which is usually very few minutes before they are bored! Cake always livens things up but don’t be surprised if they don’t smash it all up (usually we have to do that). I have been shocked by a one year old flattening her head into the cake and then throwing it off the cake stand, rock and roll style. Usually they take a lick and not too sure so we have to dig out a large piece for them to try and see what they do… every child is different so it’s always fun capturing that first reaction.
After we have exhausted as many cake smash songs and dances we clean up and move onto bath tub and bubbles. Unless your child hates water this part of the session seems to bring the biggest smiles and fun. I just need to make sure I get the temperature right in the water, room and if they like bubbles or not.
After they are out they will be super hungry and tired so make sure they are well fed before the session (and not too tired) plus have some snack ready to distract them so they don’t hate you too much for removing them from the funnest bit of what will be the strangest morning they experienced so far.
Wear your comfy clothes which you don’t mind being covered in cake and or bring spares if you are planning on lunch after in a public place!
I love my cake smash first birthday sessions and all of my families do too.
It’s a priceless memory to bring out on their 16th, 18th or even 40th birthday.
To book in a session please contact me and let’s schedule a date before their birthday. Then we can get planning for having some fun!
The Maternity Photoshoot is one hour long and includes three digital images. It would take place Monday to Thursday between 10am and 2pm. The session includes the use of my dresses.
I have three sessions to give away for all those who attend the Baby Roadshow in Kettering on Wed 5th June.
Please send an e-mail with your name, phone number and number of weeks pregnant to firstname.lastname@example.org or click here to message me https://www.juliettaardentaylorphotography.co.uk/contact by the end of play Sunday 9th June 2019.
Winner will be picked at random.
Why you should capture this moment:
I know from the past two pregnancies I had that I didn’t always feel very attractive. How can you when you get to around 28 weeks carrying a huge weight on all your organs?! If like me you have just been told you have SPD, and thanks to your pelvic bone you are walking like John Wayne and getting out the car like an old aged pensioner (talking 80 plus here). It didn’t help that I would occasionally start to faint due to low blood pressure and have to lie down to recover. This pregnancy business is not as glamorous as I would have hoped!
These feelings of pregnancy is what I figured will put some of you off having a photoshoot. I don’t blame you! I’m here to (hopefully) change your mind. Put aside how rubbish you may be feeling and allow me to encourage you to embrace your body, and the photograph this truly special thing your body is doing.
When you really think about it, it’s the most incredibly humbling task us women are faced with. When a child sees a woman carrying a baby they are in awe! When you see your body changing you are in awe. When our partners look at us they are too in awe. To capture this awesomeness is essential! If I don’t do it for you, then please make sure someone does.
A Pamering Day – I know it will have been said to you a hundred times already to make the most of the peace for now, DO IT! Get a pregnancy massage, paint your nails, have your hair and make-up done…. then come to me to capture the glow.
How a session can work: I can arrange a hair stylist and a make-up artist to take care of you. My photoshoot sessions usually begin at 10.30 am but you can arrive earlier, in your pyjamas if you wish, and begin the pamper. If you have the luxury of time you can have the massage and nail treatments the day before too. If you wish just to do your own hair or make-up that’s fine.
Most of my maternity sessions will have mums to be bring in their own outfits, which is fine as I absolutely love going through new things to have in the images. I also have a few maternity outfits of my own to offer into the mix and together we will pick what will suit you and make you comfortable. The simpler the outfit the better but we can always throw in a few unique pieces.
When shooting outdoors we are restricted a little to the location, but I have been surprised by some mums to bare all for an outfit change! For these occasions I have a large material as shield.
The sessions are fun, or so I’m told and they do bring out the best in you. You can read some of the lovely reviews I have below.
The important thing about all this is YOU. I want you to feel special, to look special and to remember this special time.
If you are still not entirely convinced, but are warming up to the idea, then lets talk. You can come to see me, send me an e-mail first if you are feeling shy, or call me to hear my usually croaky voice (if it’s the morning, it warms up by the afternoon).
Even if you decide not to have the maternity session at least come and meet me if you are thinking you would like me to photograph your newborn baby.
“thank you for making me feel comfortable and beautiful, I really didn’t think I would love photos of myself!”
“The pampering was what I needed and the session gave me a little boost of confidence, the images were the icing on the cake.”
‘How did you make me look like this, thank you so much I will treasure these images. I can’t believe how brave I was in the end!”
Had your 20 week hospital scan?
There’s more to learn about from the dedicated talent in this county. Everyone is different and so is the learning out there. You can speak to the amazing women who offer their services to assist you pre-natal or post-natal.
I will be updating this page as and when I source the information from the the ladies below and around the county . If you have any to add please post a note below for me include.
RECENT UPDATES TO THE BLOG POST WILL BE POSTED AT THE TOP
Go and join this group to make it amazing resource for free stuff and for giving back.
PRE AND POST NATAL RESOURCES
Directory created by Becki Scott of Mother Spirit and updated by her circle: Follow the page for their links: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1751254021801630/
Becki Scott – Mothers Spirit
Claire Morrow-Goodman – Ripple Effect Yoga
HOW TO CAPTURE YOUR BABY FROM IN UTERO AND BEYOND:
Baby Bond – There are some amazing moments to see baby in 3D or 4D.