Branding workshop


Sunday 30th June, 9am-1pm

At Do It Like a Mother HQ, 861 London Road (opposite Chalkwell Park)

Our 4-hour branding workshop brings together three branding professionals to bring you a morning of workshops and tutorials whether you’re considering a re-brand or are just starting up and need to make an impact.

Do you need help with your marketing? Your brand? Your social media feeds, with a focus on Instagram?

Clare Martin of Essex Marketing Services, Marketing Pro Camilla Bevington and local photographer legend Petra Blacklock have joined forces to create a new and exciting marketing workshop – combining our knowledge, skills and experience to bring you a workshop (like no other 😉).

From creating content strategies, tackling those hurdles of not knowing what to post on Instagram, how to make your social feeds visually appealing, the importance of branding, why blogging enhances your brand and more — as well as few interactive exercises to help get your creative juices flowing.

Lots of opportunity for 1:1 chats with us, to ask questions and networking with other local business owners.

Marketing your own business shouldn’t be a chore or a time consuming admin job, and in this workshop you will learn tips and tools on how to make your marketing efforts (and in your time available) work for you and your business.

To secure your space, please book here!

Peggy's lifestyle newborn photoshoot

Newborn photography

Leigh on Sea

It’s the small everyday moments we want to remember in years to come and we think we will remember everything, but it will become a vague memory if not forgotten; from their gestures to the way they played, sounded, hugged, the little details like chubby toes and bed hair, obsession with certain toys/objects and their natural curiosity. A lifestyle photoshoot documents your life from my point of view; I am the observer and you just do what you do. And this is what happened then..

It was a beautiful day, a beautiful family, a toddler who just woke from a nap, baby just about ready to feed - perfect timing for some memory making :)

As it was so warm, we opted to have the majority of the photoshoot outside and found some shaded area in the garden as the sun would create harsh shadows on their faces. Then we went for some story time indoors. You may think, yeap, that’s me everyday but I see it as capturing a little snippets of ones day and creating a slideshow of extraordinary moments that shows how you love and how much you are loved. Some of the photographes will never make it on display and that’s ok because I believe there should be a box of memories in every household to look through and remembering.

Thank you for having me <3 and here is a snippet of what we got…

PS: If you would like to document your family in your own way, this photoshoot may be just what you want. There is an option of adding video to your session. All info here.

Lifestyle Bump&Baby with McKenzie Family

Lifestyle Pregnancy & Newborn Photography

Leigh on Sea

I was so excited when my lovely friend Dee messaged me that she will need my services to capture some family moments with growing bump and then welcoming their baby once he was born.

It was autumn time at 31 weeks pregnant and it was just a lovely evening to spend with them, chatting away, just having some lovely family time.

When little Blake was born, they invited me to their home to capture some photos and video, he was about a month old. Blake wasn’t feeling it but to me that just added to the normality of adjusting to daily tasks with new baby and I felt that we really captured their family in reportage style way they have requested.

Slideshow of Pregnancy photoshoot at Two Tree Island in Leigh on Sea.

Video below from Newborn photoshoot in their home.

Motherhood photoshoot with Yuen & Allegra

Motherhood Package

Two Tree Island, Leigh on Sea

I always get excited when I receive a message from another mother with a desire to have a snippet of their mummy journey documented.

The one thing that came across when chatting about the ideas for this particular shoot was capturing togetherness as they spend lots of time together and love each others company - well that made me well up already and that’s not even the full story!

As we met, I got to hear what a special day 20th April actually is and this is what Yuen said about it on her post over on IG

“Courtesy from @photography_by_petra ..... Never been one to like having photographs taken - partly because I am very self critical and secondly I am the self designated photographer in the family. By coincidence, the photo shoot was booked for the 20th April ... a year on from my brain operation - it was important for me to create some memories. Sometimes we need that little nudge ... the future is unpredictable. No one can pre-empt what will be tomorrow. 
Petra was brilliant. She made the session fun and helped to put my self conscious daughter at ease (and me). It was a fun and laughter filled hour with some lovely photos for keepsake. 
Can’t recommend her enough .... Petra ... Thank you. X”

This is just what I mean when I say that we don’t need a special occasion to do/create/document something for ourselves, our children.

Hope you like the photos as much as I do!

Love, Px

Commercial photoshoot with Gemma Bennett

Commercial photography

Hadleigh Country Park

Every commercial shoot starts with a brief, however simple.

Who are you?

What do you do?

What vibe/feel do you want to evoke through the images?

Bouncing off ideas is a crucial part of the process, getting to know your business and who you are as a person so your images reflect your personality and your business values.

Great deal of thought goes into location. What do you write about? Where do you work? What inspires you? If you work in workshop/office/home, some of the photoshoot could take place in your workspace, so your followers/viewers/clients can get to know you better and also where they are purchasing from, the processes you go through to produce your product/class/workshops ….

The face behind the brand - whether you are one man band or you have team behind your business, your clients want to know who they are dealing with, it’s personal ;)

Above all, be clear on your needs, having a photoshoot doesn’t need to be a complicated process, start small and build on with larger requests, just like any relationship it needs good communication and honest expectations from each party.

For more information on my commercial packages, click here.

This is Gemma from Hidden Gem who offers a truly unique and effective approach to health and healing through Reiki, holistic therapies and naturopathy, EFT and counselling.

It was so great working with her, here are some of her images.

International Women's Day_2019

at DoItLikeAMother_HQ, Westcliff on Sea

The day was incredible but whatever I would write in the short space of time I have (packing for long weekend away as well as having two toddlers unpacking what i have packed in already and just generally creating a havoc) I would rather redirect you to Keri’s blog about the day here.

But before you go, check the video below as a summary of the day. Enjoy and Happy IWD xxx

This video is about awesome community, celebrating #IWD2019 and creating opportunities for people to learn, share and enjoy themselves. A day about Family, Work & You, a nod to that #BalanceForBetter we are all seeking. Friday 8th March 2019 at #doitlikeamother_HQ With thanks to for the music

Grandparents with grandchildren

Lifestyle Family Photography

Hadleigh Castle

Today is my daughter’s birthday and I was looking for some images of her to post and I think there are some here worth her personality but it wasnt that spontaneous at all!

I think the most disorganized and chaotic photoshoots are of my own family. I am not kidding! My clients want me there, yet my family would rather not have the camera in sight. They love the result but the journey is another matter. We always have limited time for these because my parents usually come only once a year and ‘the next day’ is usually the answer to my demands of ‘a picture’ and before we know it they are going home. So last summer I decided that we all go to Hadleigh castle with a view to take some no-pressure photos of them all and actually it was rather pleasant.

It’s not always easy to coordinate everyone in one place at the same time, especially when family is not local. But when you do, it can be so rewarding like a gift that keeps on giving! I made a calendar from these photos, kind of half a year later (that’s about right for my personal stuff, I am much more time conscious with client’s work!) but they absolutely loved it and they keep loving it every week they turn the page over! And so they tell me!

And I think that’s the point I keep going on about, that if photos are not seen - whether it’s on the walls or other everyday places like mugs, calendars even keyrings - then they will be forgotten about and even lost in old broken devices and laptops that don’t work anymore. So, if you make that effort to create some photos of your family whether it’s a selfie, self portrait or having a photographer to capture those for you, put them up where you see them and that way they will be cherished even more! Love, Petra x

Winter Lifestyle Photoshoot - Moszczynski Family

Lifestyle Family photoshoot

Belfairs Woods, Leigh on Sea

I love the winter time, I love how it slows us down and gives us the opportunities to reflect and hibernate a little ;) although it can feel quite resistant at times.

I believe there is no “good” time to document our lives, all stages, all cycles have their importance, the good, the bad, the challenging. I often create a selfportrait of my family and the purpose is always the same - documenting memories that would be far forgotten.

I had quite a few families this winter braving the cold weather and believe me it was so so cold on this day (hello bad circulation!) but with this particular family we rebooked about 3 times due to a rainy weather on every Saturday and they were ready to have fun regardless! 

We met at Belfairs woods and just took a short stroll around the golf greens, no intense pressure on what they are going to do, no plans, just what felt like doing in the moment. They played tug of war, threw some leaves (more like at each other), looking out for squirrels, chasing and racing and one hour passed in no time! We celebrated, twirled and said goodbye. 

And that reminded me a very interesting conversation with my lovely friend about having photos done in the winter I decided to show you maybe a different perspective ;)

1.    We will be freezing and kids will have tantrums – I hear you however if you are having fun,  moving about, interacting and connecting you sure to be warm with all the love around you. Kids will have the most amazing time with you because the attention is on them and vice versa! On more practical point, it is all about layers, you don’t have to put your big puffy coats on if you layer underneath your chunky knit or funky raincoat, you are good to go!

2.    Unposed? – yeap for sure but it takes bit of work too. Lifestyle for many means capturing memories without any interruptions but let’s be honest, you cant capture those moments if the kids are on the other side of the woods. So what im trying to say is that capturing those images that we so long for, takes little bit of patience, pinch of curiosity, lots of fun, loads more energy, little bit of silliness and most of all enjoying that moment of togetherness  ;)

3.    Mum & Dad photos – awkward? Oh so important!!! Just “dance like noone’s watching” is my advice! 

4.    “Should we be looking at you?” – well if I interest you more (only joking!). I do interfere every so often (mostly to move on so we get variety of images) and of course there is a place for a portrait of you all together but for most of the time I am really happy to just watch you being happy together.

5.    The simplest things bring the greatest joy – you don’t need a big milestone, round celebration or anniversary to have your family/couple/children/3 generations  photos taken. We sometimes view our lives  messy, chaotic, loud, waiting for the next stage, for warmer weather, to get slimmer, for children to sit, to walk and all other bunch of things but you want to look back and we see your life for what it really was, quite extraordinary and that’s definitely something we all want to remember and pass on! 

And if you still can’t think of anything worse than being in a cold and windy weather, I can always document your lazy winter days in your home, with a fire going, blankets on hand and tea in hands :)

Message me with your ideas :) or book with this link here!

Lifestyle Newborn Photography - Sedgwick Family

Newborn photoshoot at home

Leigh on Sea

Newborn session doesn’t need to take hours. Lifestyle session may be perfect for you

  • if travelling is difficult in early days due having c-section or any complications;

  • you prefer very relaxed, documentary-style vibe. These images are less about getting the baby in a perfect pose, and more about capturing the baby in a more informal way;

  • because it truly tells a story what early days with newborn baby means to a family and I think lifestyle images are unique in that they can really show a special connection – in a way that posed portraits can’t;

  • would like shorter, simple photo session and feel more comfortable in your own surroundings;

  • because it’s tough in early days to get everyone ready and out of door for photoshoot;

  • you like to be more flexible; lifestyle session don’t necessary need baby to be certain age for the posed images portrait session requires.

This photoshoot was taken when baby H was 4 weeks old. Big brother took charge of the photoshoot and kindly showed me all of his games, showed me his fav dino outfit and had a sing off with Eddie, the dog. Kind of normal morning with a toddler! We pretty much stayed in living room and just chatted away. We captured baby Hayden awake and asleep which was lovely and Ethan didn’t mind to get involved too and showed me plenty of times how much he adores his baby brother. It was a combination of natural candid moments and little direction from me, only for lighting purposes, otherwise we let things unfold organically. After hour and half it was time to go, just in time for some lunch. Thank you for having me xx

More information about Lifestyle newborn package here or message me to send you my Newborn guide to help you choose which Newborn package would suit you best.

Lifestyle Family Photography – Crossmans

Lifestyle Family Photography – Crossmans

Outdoor photoshoot in the woods

I have never been taken on 2 hour walk in the woods until I met this family. This photoshoot was originally booked as Fatherhood and Motherhood but combining them together, the attention shifted little towards the family as a unit and documenting their family as they are.

It was a beautiful late afternoon and this time the girls led the way. They literally didn’t stop running, skipping and climbing the trees, so we followed in running and helping them to get down from the trees. That’s pretty much how it went for 2 hours. On the way back we found little clearing and they picked some flowers for a vase and I captured some of the girls together with lovely soft sunset behind them. There was not much direction from me except creating few opportunities, like pit stops, to capture them all together before we set off to trek the woods further. Before long it was time to wrap up!

The goal with any family is not only to create art, but memories they will have forever and I think we pretty much got it right here!

To find out more about Family lifestyle package click here!

Autumn Mini Photoshoot FAQ

Autumn Mini Session

Leigh on Sea

Belfairs Woods, Leigh Gardens or Prittlebrook Lane

Autumn children photography

This will feel more like a fun family experience rather than a photoshoot. Your children will enjoy exploring their surrounding and the adventure, leaving you loving those moments with your beautiful family whilst I capture the perfect memories for you!

WHAT's in the package?

• half an hour fun-filled session

• a proof gallery of best images to choose from

• 5 digital images via digital download

Investment fee for this package is £95. Any additional images can be purchased for £15 each, no obligation to purchase.

WHO is this for and how many can be included?

Little people on their own, siblings, family, furry best friends if you have one or a special teddy your little one won‘t go without, this photoshoot‘s aim is bring a family together to have some fun. Only family members in one photoshoot!


To make the most of all that autumn will offer us and time I can offer for these mini shoots, the location for these are Belfairs Woods, Leigh Gardens and Prittlebrook lane (which runs paralel to London Road in Westcliff and Leigh area).

I will be running the sessions from Monday 1st October right through to mid December, including half term and days will have allocated location to minimize travel between sessions. Other locations are a possibility too.

What if the forecast is rain? We can simply re-schedule if the weather is bad, or we can decide on the morning of your photoshoot.

What to bring and what to wear?

Weather at this time of year may be unpredictable, some days are warmer than others. I would recommend to dress for the weather, so everyone feels comfortable and warm. It’s really important that the kids feel happy too.

It may be drizzly, so jackets (bodywarmer or raincoat) may be essential! Ground may be wet and muddy so wellies may be the best option (for little or big), woolly jumpers, hats, scarfs are great, chunky knitts and layers look amazing in the autumnal scenery! Choose a colour pallette for everyone and stick to it. The backdrop is beautifully autumnal, so be at one with the colours! Colour palettes of creams/greys/denims/plums/mustards and oranges look amazing! I.e. choose a base colour (say demin and cream) and an ‘accent’ colour, like yellow.

Avoid vivid ‘unnatural’ bright colours that will draw the eye to the colour, rather than the you! Bright pinks will clash with Autumn itself, so def a no-no! Dusky pinks would work better. Try to stay away from bold, eye-catching patterns. Instead, keep it simple. Please avoid tops with large lettering or logos, these will just be a distraction.

Finally, I know black is a very popular colour, but for the scenery in Autumn… it can be a little dull!

A great way to make your photoshoot unique is to bring something personal to you, whether it is your child‘s Teddy, wooden push cart/wagon to carry leaves or conkers, perhaps a pumpkin they can sit on or an umbrella (if it was wet and there are muddy puddles they can jump in).

Mailley Family at the castle

Lifestyle Family Photography


Hadleigh Castle

There are so many amazing locations that I get introduced to all the time, but I am nearly ashamed to say that this was my first visit to Hadleigh Castle (living in Leigh for nearly 9 years) here I said it! 

This is Clare’s family. I know Clare for over 7 years and she is the kind of friend who I don’t need to see in ages but time means nothing and we just pick where we left of, you know the one!

So, there were no plans for the session, just intention to show up. There was no preferred location so we picked one between our houses; no preferred activity so we took kite; no ideas or expectations of the final images – ‘just some of us together, you know anyway’, so we did just that! We run around the tower, blew some huge bubbles, wished we dressed warmer as it was cool and really windy (maybe too windy for kiting) and in the end realized that running after a kite wasn't too bad of an activity after all! Happy kids!

An hour went in blink of an eye, we laughed, we chatted, felt all the feelings, it’s not always easy to get in a flow of family fun; there are practicalities, reservation, some awkward moments, obvs kids involved; but it felt so good to let go of the final result, of having no ideas, of what you may have seen in your friends houses and solely concentrate on you and your family, it may surprise you how wonderful and unique you are in your own way! I love the way the story is told through their pictures, the connection between them and how well Darren embraced his pictures taken ;) Love you millions xxx 


Link to my lifestyle package is here or contact me for details! Look forward hearing from you!

Polly is 1

Cake smash

Milestone photoshoot

Leigh on Sea

This cutest girl was not that keen on the cake but she sure gave us lots of 'awww' moments to capture. And that's all this shoot is essentially about. There are no expectations of eating the cake, but their curious minds can't leave it alone! Think of it as a messy play! They either love it or hate it but will still keep touching it, prodding it, tasting it, paint the floor with it... 

Bath on other hand, it's all the fun, they totally love it. Bubbles, no bubbles. Totally up to you.

It is fun shoot regardless!


How we rolled in Gozo, Malta

Lifestyle videography


This holiday was a special one for us. It was a promise of family time,  chillaxing as my kids call it, doing nothing we don’t desire and everything that usually comes with a holiday, but doing it together, the 5 of us. As over the past 3 years we didn’t experience much of togetherness due to some hard graft on our businesses, so expectation and anticipations were high!

I wanted to document our holiday, experiences, fun, include things which would remind me of this place which is so special to us and I thought a video documentary would be a little more fun to look through rather than hundreds of photos (I totally took hundreds of photos as well).

I usually don’t tend to reach for a camera every day; so I picked 3 days for filming so a) it’s not a chore for me and b) we don’t have to carry yet another bag as we travelled by bus every day. First trip was to Dwejra (former home to Azzuro window and an inland sea), next was one of our usual days at the beach and last one was a boat trip around Comino Island and The Blue Lagoon and i filmed short videos of sights I wanted to remember; activities my kids loved doing and their faces! I love portraits obvs. I had only 1 lens with me (50mm prime lens) which doesn't zoom so i had to move constantly, sometimes struggling to move around or be further back (ie on the boat), but i couldn't imagine bringing more gear anyway, so next time i choose zoom lens for sure!

We discovered different beaches, at different times and at the end we found our happy and that’s what made my holiday so much more enjoyable, when there was no effort to go places, to do things, there was no searching for activities and must visit places, instead I took time to read the books I brought, sat on the balcony looking at the bay, got up earlier than the kids (that’s near enough impossible at home), watched countless Scooby-Doo’s with them early mornings, we also played lots of waiting games (like in our fav book ever ‘Oh the places you’ll go’ by Dr Suess) - mainly for a bus which was perfectly fine as we could fill the time with other things we wanted to do like playing football, have coffee or  indulge in local produce from the nearby market sat on the perfectly cut grass in the middle of a bus station; actually really enjoyed bus journeys because they had AC plus the scenery was just breathtaking!

Now, we have 3 kids under 7 so there is a constant background noise but I def tried to raise above, shared the parenting and let expectations slip. They have many lessons yet to learn, one of which is ‘resolve’ but that will come with time and for now I will enjoy the little problems of little people.


This video LITERALLY sums up what we did (not too much lol) but I had lots of fun creating it (I must add that unprompted which made it even funnier for us to watch back) and it was lots of fun going through it. It will be something we will look back and remind ourselves how to have lazy days and take things slowly, how to have fun together and that we don’t have to have our diary packed with stuff to do to be happy together because really, we have it all where we live (just different).

Btw I haven't seen any other kid flossing so must be totally British thing!!!!

Ember & Lyra - mini shoot

Mini children's photoshoot

Portraiture | Outdoor photography

Leigh on Sea, Essex

So even though 1pm is not the ideal time for outdoor photoshoot, especially when sun is out, there are options and even one tree can offer enough shade to do some lovely shots and add depth with backlit hair.

The time picked turned out to be not so ideal but Charlie, old and friendly Labrador passing on his daily walk, saved the day and these two blue-eyed beauties lit up and here is the result :) Thank you Charlie! xx

My mini shoots are on offer through August.

  • half an hour photoshoot (in my home studio or outdoors)

  • 5 digital images in colour and B/W included

  • any age

  • pet portrait or shared moments are perfect for this (ie breastfeeding...)

  • £95

  • for any additional image it's £15

Message me if you have any questions! or through my contact form here.

Curtis Family - Fatherhood

Lifestyle photography

Fatherhood photoshoot

Leigh on Sea, Essex

Just imagine to turn up to client's home at 3pm on Saturday when England kicked off with Sweden in World Cup for a Fatherhood photoshoot!

After 'Hi!' swiftly followed 'I can come another time!' and good job this family doesn't give a hoot about football because we had the best fun ever! 

We established that we packed full weekend of activities into intensive hour but these boys loved every single minute with their daddy messing around and I totally loved watching and capturing what was unfolding in front of me. So much so, that I told my hubby that I need to do this for him and kids, they totally root for him right now and it is a matter of time when I lose my last baby to become daddy's boy! 

PS: there is no way we are having another btw! Three is the magic number for us!

More info about Fatherhood package here.

Hooper Family

Pregnancy photography

Lifestyle outdoor photoshoot

Leigh on Sea, Essex

It was late afternoon around 5pm when we met at Two Tree Island in Leigh on Sea and it was the best timing to capture the golden sunshine with all the high grass all around us.

I am very very new to videography but it gives me such a buzz, it adds this whole dimension visually and I am able to capture more than just a split second in the photograph. It's like a perfect marriage where one compliments another! 

This little family was so nice to work with, so relaxed and it was literally an evening stroll with little stop for a snack, lovely family time together, having fun and best of all, captured on the film to remind of times when they were just 3!

For more info on family shoots like this, check the package here.



Am I skipping the ship?

Bit intriguing I guess and you may be curious what I am going on about.

So just recently I decided I want a change and I want something else from my business and instead of specializing solely on portraiture, offer more lifestyle approach to my sessions across all my packages.

No biggie you may think, but from where I was sat, it felt like I’m turning my back to years of experience, learning and skills; that what I’m known for will not matter anymore and the fear of I’m not good enough at it will kick in, the well known imposter syndrome and comparison... And then I reminded myself that actually if I do what I always did, I will get what I always got ;)

It is not that I’m a total newbie in a lifestyle photography, never challenge myself or that I fear I wont deliver what I promised, I already offer my Motherhood and Fatherhood packages in reportage style, and that is exactly what excites me right now, the memories preserving as they happen, story telling and characters shining through in the pictures... So not, I am not skipping the ship, I just changed direction!

It is people who make me feel content, comfortable and at ease, that’s why I always felt a great comfort in my home studio I guess. And I am not saying it is wrong to have a studio session to update your family portrait! Not at all! But... I realized that pictures of children smiling and looking at the camera wouldn’t make memories for my clients. I know they wouldn’t for me anyway. I won’t lie and say that I never take those pictures, of course I do, I do love looking direct to their eyes, their faces smiling at me, grandparents and our extended family love getting those as their Christmas cards.  But that’s not how it happens in everyday life, not how I want to remember it. Some of the best memorable pictures I have taken are of my kids doing their quirky things and then their sibling doing the same random things few years on!!! or their faces when they opened kinder egg surprise or a present, the sheer joy and sparkly eyes!

So what I wanted to say here is that no, I am not doing anything even remotely new but I am changing directions on what I want to offer to my families and couples and what I want them to feel when they go through their album of photographs in years time and say “Do you remember when...” and knowing that the little piece of me and my skills had a lasting effect and left something worth to remember <3

I want to share with you a snippet of our family gallery probably last 2 years, I am very organized and have my photos sorted by months so it is really easy to remember when...

My kids are so different but they share lots of interests too like their random love for snails, the love for dress up, shoes, water and lego is immense in our house; I want to re