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

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).

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.



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 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 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!

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.


Christmas mini photoshoots

Christmas mini photoshoots are back! Children, babies, newborns or family are welcome to my home based studio in Leigh on Sea, Essex.

What's included?

30 minute session | 3 digital images | Design (optional) = £59

The props are real to give it a realistic feel, very simple designs suitable for children of any age. Design of a christmas card is optional and needs to be arranged prior session so the selection of photos compliment each other.

My lovely props (cushions, lanterns and wreaths) are courtesy of Lindsay from Freddie & Tilly in Leigh on Sea. Her shop is full of beautiful, on trend Christmas decorations and more! It felt like being a child in a sweet shop choosing!

For availability, please get in touch through my contact form here, call 07857348755 or through my Facebook.


Newborn photoshoot with Oxenham Family

Newborn photography | Leigh on Sea

With natural light in my home based studio. 

 Nearly 4 year old Ember and 6 days old Lyra. We got some lovely siblings shot, baby photographed on her own and also family portrait and individually with mum and dad! 

Comments more than welcome!


It is possible even at 8 weeks old...

First I planned to go home for May half term and do this newborn shoot for my sister’s second baby but somehow life got in the way and perhaps it wasn’t meant to be as I would miss his birth anyway.

So here I am and Damian is 8 weeks old now. Knowing my sister actually had a newborn session done by a local photographer was a big relief and less pressure on me to create those dreamy photos, as at 8 weeks old babies don’t tend to be so sleepy and accepting repositioning so easily.

The temperature outside was reaching nearly 40C so there was certainly no need for a fan and the hot weather for sure helped to keep him sleeping most of the time.

The focus of this shoot was capturing siblings together. He is already smiling a lot and holds long eye contact so it was lovely to capture him holding onto Sabina, smiling. I love shooting against the light as it gives the photo lovely, almost 3D effect with gorge depth of field (also known as bokeh) so there are lovely impromptu photos from when we first met. The sleepy and more posed ones were done on another day.

I am happy that I could take those (as I have done for Sabina when she was around 3 months old) and I can already see how different these two are personalities-wise ;)

Please feel free to comment and leave any feedback and you are welcome to share!

#photographybypetra #leighonsea #southend #essex #newbornphotography #siblings #childrenphotography #dreamynewborns

We found the flowers but decided otherwise...

For those who saw my video from yesterday, here is the end result :) or if you missed the wobbly video feel free to check it out here lol! 

Needless to say that the black Tshirt I wore, wasn’t a winner in 38C but what a superstar my 6 year old niece Sabina! She was probably boiling in that princess dress but no sign of complaint from her!


To be honest, I was a little bit worried how the session will pan out. Obviously she knows me (we see each other yearly, sometimes more often) but when I photographed her previously, she wasn't very keen and was very shy, she used to hid from me every time I had a camera in my hands so I hoped that she will be excited wearing her new dress and also having a new brother (whose photos I will share soon) – this was her time only and to my surprise she did amazingly!


We found some flowers my sister was so keen on, they were a bit high for her so in the end I only took few shots (psst! she doesn’t know) and concentrated on getting some lovely portraits of her in more suitable dress in that heat (I am really missing emojis typing on laptop lol, I am emoji junkie).


Any comments and feedback welcome and if you are interested in children photo session, please contact me. More info here


#photographybypetra #childrenphotography #southend #leighonsea #locationphotoshoot #girlwithflowers

When a family photoshoot just flows...

This family photoshoot has taken place near Old Leigh in Leigh on Sea by one of the bridges which crosses the railway. What a location! The architecture is just stunning and I must admit it's never occured to me to shoot there!

Normally when I don't know the location very well (from composition perspective), I arrive a bit earlier just to see what is around and if I can find some interesting backdrops and think through how I want to frame the images.

It's lovely when you click with your clients and think the same, the session goes with such ease and has a lovely flow. I think we were done in about half an hour so that was perfect for small baby and inquisitive toddler! 

The family are yet to see the photos so hope this is a lovely preview for them :) As always any feedback/comments welcome.


For more information about a Family packages please check here. For lifestyle shoots please click here.


#photographybypetra #familyportraiture #photoshootonthebeach #family #leighonsea #essex

How I did a lifestyle photoshoot in my home studio

My recent session inquiry started something like this: We would like to book for a family lifestyle session but we want to come to your home based studio as we are in a process of moving and our style is quite minimalistic and would like more clean background pictures (in nutshell anyway).

I wouldn't be telling you this story if I thought - yeah that's fine! 

Firstly I worried I can't get lifestyle photos in my bare looking studio room! Secondly the family session was exactly that -family session, which I can honestly say I don't remember if that ever happened to me! Normally parents shy away from the camera and it is normally me encouraging them to participate bit more (especially newborn sessions). I absolutely get it but you - yourselves take hundreds or thousands images of your children yet you most probably have less of the ones with you in them or all of you in your images. And yes, there are the popular selfies, but not often they do justice to whatever emotion or activity you want to capture as we get so preoccupied with which button to press, where on the phone i am looking, who is actually looking and the list goes on.

I am not saying let's not do individual photos of children! I make sure (twice a year) I have lovely portraits of my children to change over in the frames or give to family members but I also have yearly family photoshoot i am included in. It's not only important for us to document our family unit but for your children and future generations...

Anyway, this session scared me a little as I wasn't sure how I can be in charge of  what we are doing next, looking as naturally as possible, capturing the essence of their family life and without looking at the camera most/all of the time.

I must say they were absolutely amazing, totally embraced how the session naturally unfolded, concentrating on what was so important for them to document, interaction with their lovely baby, the joy, the love they showed. It absolutely surprised me(!) how much I enjoyed the session (I really wasn't sure at the beginning), I included parents in every image taken individually or together and I was so pleased with the flow of the session. I got a lovely message afterwards how much they enjoyed the shoot and they love their photos. I am sharing it because I wanted to show that it is possible without being too staged and that actually it could have been done in their house if you didn't know otherwise. 

Any feedback or comment is appreciated! Apologies for any grammar mistakes, this is how I speak ;) 

#photographybypetra #lifestylephotography #familyphotoshoot #familylife