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 bensound.com 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

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!

WHERE:

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).

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!

 

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! petra.blacklock@icloud.com 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.

 

 

Introducing Lifestyle Newborn package

Lifestyle photography

Capturing new love, connection and growing bond between you and your new baby.

In-home lifestyle photoshoot blending documentary and portrait photography to capture your story.

My heart sang when I unexpectedly got the opportunity to create something I wanted for quite a while. I have done many lifestyle shoots before, my mother/fatherhood packages, some families, even newborn sessions however I wanted to add something new to the mix, something that created a depth to the story.

I am totally a photographer at heart, I wouldn't even dream of classing myself a videographer but adding a video to the mix felt too appealing to miss so I decided I will become a video clips maker to emphasise the still photos. They are just short clips but the effect when they are bonded with photographs is just... heartwarming, gives you goosebumps of the thought not to remember these and make it so so real!

Roberts Family

It was such a pleasure to meet this family in their home. I was greeted with overexcited puppy and quite excited toddler who didn't waste much time to show me his fav toys. We decided to shoot mainly in the master bedroom because it was the lightest room in the house.

There were fun times, quiet moments and all the 'normal' everyday bits but these moments felt so precious, consciously getting together as a family, enjoying the present moments and giving full attention to each other...

Here is the sample movie, set to the music from bensound.

 

 

Quinn's (pan)cake smash on the beach

Lifestyle Cake smash

Children's photography celebrating their milestone. 

Thorpe Bay beach in Southend, Essex

Cake smashes are really popular way to celebrate your child's birthday or milestones for that matter. All you need is their fav food, (can be anything, check out Rory's alternative smash), find location (whether it's studio or location) and your baby obvs!  Here is the reason I offer also something different than traditional cake smashes. 

Quinn likes pancakes, blueberries, blowing candles (it was so windy on the beach that we had to amend and have sparkles instead), water, snails & dinosaurs (i preferred dinos) plus one of his first words was RAAHH and us - the perfect mix for his celebration shoot right there!

Firstly I must say it didn’t go to initial plan, we had to postpone for a week because the forecast was rain and once I plant a seed in my head and all that it had to happen the way I intended!

It was 5pm before we set off to the beach. I wanted to catch the sun as low as possible (golden hour would be perfect which is an hour before sunset) but being conscious of kid’s bedtime I had to compromise a little.

It was freezing cold even though you would never say from the pictures and I was totally underdressed, as it felt so hot in our garden ! Im really surprised I got sharp images, you could hear my jaws rattling!

Anyway, we found a spot, borrowed someone’s lovely beach hut stairs (Thank you!), we also had some audience and they even joined us from nearby hut in clapping after singing Happy birthday song. It was fun, especially lighting the sparkles in blowing wind! It's the moment you have to be there to laugh!

After stuffing our faces with pancakes drained in maple syrup, we stayed for a bit to play, finding different seashells, throwing stones back to the sea, run with windmill (even though no running was required!), the usual stuff, but the most important thing was, that we all had such amazing time, and you could say it looks just like a normal day on the beach but we don't have many days like this - all of us together, at the moment. My husband is working hard on his business and I run the house, children and my business. And even though we have odd hour here and there, it never feels enough to satisfy everyone so having TODAY, getting together to celebrate,  firmly in our memory, was the essence of the shoot for me! And 2nd birthday was good enough reason to drag everyone out on a Sunday evening to sing Happy Birthday!

Quinny, you are so amazingly loving, confident in your own way, gentle but funny and full of laughter. We all love you! Happy 2nd Birthday xxx

If you would like more information on Cake Smashes or Lifestyle packages, click on the links! Look forward hearing from you!

Love, Petra

Bluebells shoot with Ava

Children photography

This was a morning mini photoshoot and the sun usually just about peeps through on one side of our garden - just the perfect spot to get the sun highlighting her amazingly crazy curly hair. 

Photographing children at this age (nearly 2) is so lovely! It could be challenging at times, but who can resist those cherub like faces!

Ava was a bit unsure at the beginning (there is lots of distractions = TOYS going on in our garden) however with help of mummy, windmill and bubbles we managed to take some lovely photos in the middle of my bluebell patch amongst other flowers. 

If you would like to take advantage of this lovely period in spring but don't want to walk around in woods for hours, get in touch but be quick as I am not really sure how long they will last!

Some info: 

  • half an hour photoshoot

  • 5 digital images included

  • location: my garden in Leigh

  • £49

 

Bluebells photography in my garden

I felt very lucky to be moving into a property with such well-established garden! When some flowers are on their way out, there is sure to be another rushing through already.

I am quite certain that over past 9 years I have done some damage to the flow but luckily there is still some resemblance of its maturity.

Bluebells must spread easily as I have never realised we have so many (in relatively small space!). I enjoy gardening but I am pretty much winging it (pruning especially), yet they come again and again so must be doing something right there!

Sometimes I take my little client for some outdoors shots in our garden and I thought there is no better time than when ever so popular bluebells are out, hence my Bluebells mini shoots. I actually really enjoy minis, they are short – especially good for littlens, there is just enough selection of images to have a variety and they are a fraction of a price of proper photoshoot.

Obviously I don’t have a field full of flowers, it’s slightly restricted on where we can position ourselves, depending on where the sun is at that moment but luckily they grow on both sides of garden amongst other plants and flowers, so there is always way!

What’s included?

·      half an hour photoshoot

·      location: my garden

·      5 digital images

·      £49

 

For availability please message me on petra.blacklock@icloud.com on my insta or FB page.

Here are few shots of my daughter who usually doesn’t need an excuse to wear a party dress.

Favs Food Smash - aka Rory&Quinn are turning 2!

So what’s this ‘Favs food smash’ all about?

As I was blogging about my last cake smash where the birthday girl wasn’t at all impressed by her cake, it occur to me that actually lots of babies I photograph with their birthday cake, don’t really enjoy the cake and are much more impressed with the bath which follows. So I thought why not celebrate their milestone with their favorite food at the time? 

They know the taste and texture (that’s the main obstacle with too sugary foods and icing), it’s lovely way to remember their obsessions with food at this age when they are still willing to taste new and different textures. It could be anything! From colourful yoghurts, spaghetti bolognese, baked beans, mashed banana, watermelon... to name just few ideas! It can be indoors or outdoors (I love the idea of outdoor!). Obviously this idea is not new (as I soon found out on Google) but I think it’s brilliant and interesting!

Many of you may already know (especially from my insta stories if you follow me there) that I do childcare swap with Keri from Do It Like A Mother and we swap babies for 4 days a week. It’s working out a treat (hence I have time to blog lol) and Rory just celebrated his 2nd birthday last week so with short notice of barely a day I had Rory taking part in pioneering project

Favs food smash.

Boys are obsessed with avocado and beans at the moment (we give them other food too) so it was easy to pick the food.

We went with simple theme, no props except few balloons so it doesn’t look like lunch on the floor and few baked beans cans (Heinz was the no1 choice obvs) .

Rory was very impressed at the sight of it however wasn’t very keen on eating it (note – never feed baby too much before smash). Shocked was an understatement, as he loves to get his paws in any food, loves messy play, so we called for help from Quinn. I didn’t think he would be much of a help (this boy certainly doesn’t like too much mess) but to our surprise he tucked in and it ended up with veggie carnage (lots of throwing happening in our house atm), avocados in beans, and sauce on the walls – just not on their faces, nor tummies lol!

They dipped in and out, for another mouthfuls, but it wasn’t very messy as we expected. We concluded the session with slice of Rory’s birthday cake and yes!!! we relit the candles over again. Safe to say there was no need for a bath!

Now, you may think that’s very disappointing, however to us we captured the real life, real moments on Sunday morning at 10am, we know how much they love their favs beans and avocado and now we will never forget the times they did because these images will remind us of the funny requests "beanz and cado!", how very different their characters are and their developing friendship – read ‘they have no choice in that’ but they do love each other really!

We actually had fun, so much so, that I would like to do more of these types of shoots, maybe outside as spring is here and get out of the ordinary!

Also let me know what you think of GROUP smashes – for friends, NCT or other group friends whose babies celebrate their 1st birthday around the same time, please contact me if you are interested.. They can share a cake, lunch or have different meals each and see how they react with each other (and share, NOT). Each child will have their own images as well as group together and you will have a beautiful memories captured for years to come!

Note - Gallery below is in chronological order! Your feedback is welcome as always!

What is so special about Cake smash sessions?

What is so special about Cake smash sessions you ask?

1. Celebrating your baby's 1st birthday and preserving memories of this important milestone

2. Documenting the greatest achievement of keeping your tiny human alive and keeping yourself sane (most of times) for exactly 365 days!! (just joking but really...)

Jokes aside, I always strive to give my sessions little more than expected from the name and I guess I always think of me as a client and what I would like to get. So, my 'Cake smash' session starts with a portrait, on their own or with family/siblings, we can use props or not. Then we move onto a cake, we choose decorations, lit the candle and start eating or not! We encourage, show how, have fun, lick fingers and use wooden spoon too if mess is not the ideal play for the littlest. It's messy and sometimes parents are messier than littlens, mainly from all the picking up and returning them from their wanders around (so be sure to get change of clothes if you have plans for afterwards).

Bath is always fun! I think there was no child as yet who would not enjoy it. It's nice and warm, we can use bath bubbles if you wanted to (provided by clients) and blow some bubbles too! Some splash like mad, some just enjoy relaxing moments, some like to climb around - all is good! We like to see individuality and that's why all sessions are different.

I must add a little confession here. Not always I offered them and having 2 children who I didn't do a cake smash for, i thought they were too cheesy and over the top. However it doesn't have to be, so I photographed my third baby's 1st birthday and included his older siblings to have some fun too. They can be simple, some clients don't involve cake or bath and provide for their birthday girl or boy some lovely outfit, birthday hat or crown for that matter and let me capture the moments they enjoy with few of their new/old toys, props (I can tell some stories about my wooden horse!).

I have few new ideas up my sleeve, just waiting for 2 birthday boys to have their turn and I am sure I will share their special moments with you!

Today's gallery is of Syanna's birthday session (pictures are shown as the session evolved). Taken at my home studio in Leigh on Sea, this session was little slow at the beginning, because we all know that not all little ones like new places, are inquisitive and happy in any environment and for Syanna, mummy's lap was a safe place to be. And the best part is, that is ok. I am not in rush, parents usually don't plan any major event straight after either, therefore no stress ;)

It took little while to warm up but once we found that interesting "something" to play with, soon she was happy to sit by herself! She was funny, I mean, I laugh a lot at these sessions, but she is one of a million! Her expressions and the pouting were priceless! She wasn't impressed by her cake at all but with little nudge she was happy to eat some but wait for it.... the bath time! Imagine water everywhere, walls, floor, sofa, mum... she splashed like there was no tomorrow and it was so amazing to watch! She was amazing, funny and by the time she was dressed, she was asleep! Win-win :)

If your little one is approaching their 1st birthday and would like to document their milestone and add some pictures to funky birthday invites, then contact me here. For gallery and fees please click here.

 

Children photography - Lyra

I love photographing sitters! Not moving yet and they usually give away smiles easily!

But it's even lovelier when you know them from newborn sessions for the next stage!

Lyra is 5 months here and even though she didn't smile as much as she usually does, we got some lovely playful shots and just look at those gorgeous eyes!

For more info about childrens photoshoot click here or message me your requirements through contact form.

You can see her newborn photoshoot here.

 

Evie & Isla ~ Fine Art Children Portrait

Finished gallery for Evie & Isla.

They were ace! I know Isla since she was teeny tiny and Evie 2! It was really relaxed and comfortable, they were excited and didn't mind changing into different outfits and their old show costumes! I couldn't have asked for better models to see if my Fine Art Portraits ever make it to my packages. 

It was a great experience! I have learnt a lot, remembered some forgotten stuff from job in the studio setting, proved that studio lighting can be successfully replaced with natural light and of course the famous flowery curtains which we inherited with our house are "invaluable" (replaceable but why bother if they do the job), that all I really need is a camera, lens (though I still want to upgrade for better one) and a VISION! I am sure the portraits will evolve with every client and some will be more dark, sophisticated and some will by light and airy and we may even venture outside (weather permitted) but one is for sure, I feel really exciting about this <3

For more information about Fine Art photography please message me on petra.blacklock@icloud.com 

Oscar - Fine Art Children Portrait

This Fine Art photoshoot took place in my home based studio in Leigh on Sea.

It was rainy day and not ideal for natural light photography but we managed to crack some great portraits for Oscar. He was great to photograph!

For more information on Fine Art portraits please message me here or email petra.blacklock@icloud.com

Children photography with Lucy & Tia

Children photography in my home based studio in Leigh on Sea. 

Session with older children has gone obviously at speed of light and we got some outside photos done as well. It was really lovely warm day for end of October so we ventured around the corner from my house where this waterfall of autumn leaves  happens to be <3 and below is the result :) I love the B/W conversion here but I had to leave the last 3 in colours <3

For more information about Childrens photography click here or message me your inquire here.