Tracy Simpson Photography: Blog http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog en-us (C) Tracy Simpson Photography tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) Wed, 17 Jan 2018 23:46:00 GMT Wed, 17 Jan 2018 23:46:00 GMT http://www.tracysimpson.com/img/s7/v154/u701513101-o631669717-50.jpg Tracy Simpson Photography: Blog http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog 120 120 Wanting to capture your babies arrival on Camera! http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/4/dads-wanting-to-capturing-your-babies-arrival-on-camera Photo Tips in the Labour Room

 

So your partner is about to give birth, and your number one role is to support her.  But hopefully during this exciting time you will still find a little time to capture this most amazing day, these photos will be something to treasure.

So lets keep things simple, you may already be really adept with a camera, or you may just have the camera on your phone to use, but whatever you have as long as it takes pictures thats fine.

 

hands on bump

 

What are the best tips?

Be prepared 

If your using a digital camera, spend some time getting to know your camera, take some images around you so you are confident in using it, make sure you keep your batteries well charged and a spare set, also ensure you have plenty of memory cards.  If your using a mobile phone don't forget to take a charger and again make sure you have enough memory on your phone.

 

Turn off the flash if you can

Don’t have your flash on, using the flash will create very harsh looking images and can be really distracting to Mum, Natural light images are far more flattering as it will take the shine of peoples complexions.  

Using natural light does not have to be difficult as long as your room has a window, the best way is for you to stand with your back to the window so the sun light is behind you.  Of course it may be the middle of the night, if it is turn off the main lights and turn on a side lamp if one is available and create a soft glow on the new Mum and Baby.

If you can’t do any of the above then use the flash as you won’t want to miss any images, but limit the images so not to over stress anyone.

 

Go for colour 

If you take all of your photographs in colour, you'll have the option to convert them to black and white later on. Black & White images are timeless and will often make the images more flattering.  It’s worth remembering that your partner will be feeling tired after the birth and may not feel there best, and skin on baby will often be red and blotchy so converting images to Black & White can make their complexions look softer and more even.

 

Using your camera phone?

Some phones have excellent cameras, others not so good. Make some simple checks to get the best you can from your camera phone, make sure your lens is clean, it’s easy to get the lens covered in fingerprints and fluff from pockets and bags.

If your camera allows you to change the resolution or image size, make sure you choose the highest quality you can to ensure you can print images later on.  

There are lots of photo apps out there, if you do download an app make sure you practice with it first and make sure i works for you.

Another way to test your camera phone is to take a few photos and print them out to make sure your happy with the images once printed, if for any reason your not happy and don't have a camera see if you can borrow one, as you won’t want to miss a thing.

 

Get up close 

Get close to your new baby and take pictures of all their little details, tiny toes, little fingers, button noses and scrunched up faces.  Within a few weeks you will be surprised at how much they grow and these images will make gorgeous memories. 

 

Keep it natural 

Asking the new mum to pose can make images seem awkward, the best pictures you will get are un-posed and natural, take images when mum is relaxed and looking at her baby, or when baby has fallen asleep in her arms.  Simple is often best.

 

Get in the picture yourself

Remember your a new dad and you will need some picture of you also with baby and as a new family, your midwife will be more than happy to take a few images and if your camera has a timer then rest your camera on a flat surface and take some images of your new family.

 

The full story

You may be thinking about creating a phonebook to tell the story of your baby journey, and if so start a few days before, take pictures of your partners bump, the case waiting at the door, the labour room, the staff that delivered your baby in to the world, those faces as your visitors arrive and see your baby for the first time, and anything else that makes you smile. 

 

Don't panic! 

Stay calm, there is no need to worry just take the images you want when you can. The reality is even if your images are a little blurry or dark, they will still be treasured memories.  

 

Just remember

Taking lots of photos of the birth and your partner will be a great record of the day, but before you share any of the photos on social media make sure you edit them, and check with your partner that she is happy with the images you want to share.

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/4/dads-wanting-to-capturing-your-babies-arrival-on-camera Wed, 11 Apr 2018 09:45:00 GMT
Date night ideas? http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/3/new-baby-dont-forget-a-date-night New babies have a habit of taking over and that can leave couples feeling tired and overwhelmed so a little me time is really important.

Be imaginative. Challenge your fixed conceptions of what you might enjoy, and even what you might be capable of. Making a dinner for two at home is is always lovely, but a dinner for two in total darkness might give you more to talk about. And attempting to escape together from a locked room might be more exciting than failing to escape from the rooms you share all the time.

Here are some suggestions for date nights that should reinvigorate any relationship. Whether this will be your 50th date or your first, throw caution to the wind, leave out an extra biscuit for the babysitter… and enjoy!

 

Relive your first date

Return to the original pub or restaurant, go for a film and a curry just like you used to. An amazing way of triggering memories before the mundanities of real life kicked in. If the old place has gone bust/been closed, re-create it as closely as possible.

Take a dance class

This is especially appropriate if one or both of you hate dancing. Adventurous dating is about embracing your awkwardness and rekindling intimacy, and taking these steps ticks both of those boxes. Search online for local instructors and classes.

Have a cooking lesson

A cooking lesson has all the attributes of a good evening: the opportunity to learn something new together, followed by (hopefully) delicious food and wine. Again the internet is a wealth of information so searching for Cooking lessons in your town will no doubt held some fantastic ideas.

 

Enjoy a side-by-side spa

Traditionally the spa day is something the women would indulge in, but most Spa's now offer a couples option so you can enjoy a relaxing day or if you can a weekend away.

Walk to dinner

Choose an evening when it is unlikely to be raining, find a lovely restaurant thats in walking distance and walk all the way. If you are rural, take footpaths to a local pub. Either way, en route you’ll rediscover your area, and each other, and have something to talk about over dinner.

Make chocolates (then eat them)

Giving chocolates is a tried and trusted way to gain (or regain) the affections of a loved one. But making the chocolates together – ideally with expert instruction – is more imaginative, more messy and more romantic.

Take afternoon tea together

So much more imaginative than dinner, and also available while the children are at school, if evenings have become rather too dominated by homework or suitable television.

Do a “lucky dip”

If you can’t make your mind up, let fate or chance decide: you can make your own lucky dip, add small things to a bag, some massage oil, a naughty game, lunch voucher, or a simple IOU, then just do a lucky dip and just do whatever you pull out of the bag.

Have a night at the museum

NOT the Ben Stiller movies, but evening events of all sorts at your local museum or place of culture. A chance to see familiar favourite rooms and objects – and each other – in an entirely new light. Search online.

Have dinner afloat...

There is something about the moon on the water that brings out the romantic in the most cynical and utterly married soul, and if this can be combined with decent cuisine and moving scenery you have the ideal date-night package. Not every town or city has a navigable canal or harbour, but most can come up with a river or lake.

Phone Amnesty 

Go out to a fancy coffee shop, put the phones away and talk, discuss all the things you love doing, and all the things you want to try, but the rule is simple, no phones allowed!

Put the telly on

No, this does NOT mean a takeaway in front of a box set, rather a carefully chosen film or documentary, with a fancy high end ready meal halfway through. Discuss the film afterwards over pudding and coffee, turning the TV off rather than falling asleep on the sofa.

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) bedford birth buckingham children classic family fine art labour maternity milton keynes newborn essentials northampton portraits pregnant http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/3/new-baby-dont-forget-a-date-night Wed, 14 Mar 2018 10:00:00 GMT
First Date Night after Baby: How Soon is Too Soon? http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/3/first-date-night-after-baby-how-soon-is-too-soon Date nights look and feel so very different after having your first baby. So how do you figure out how your feeling? and how do you make date nights a priority again—when you're ready.

Chrissy Teigen went out on a date night with husband John Legend 10 days after giving birth to their daughter, Luna. Jane Bloggs went on a date night with her partner, Fred Bloggs, six months after having their baby, Junior Bloggs. Who had it right? Well both did.

 

Everyone is different but just showering and stepping out of the house will help you feel a bit more like your old self.  The only reason most of us don't do it earlier is because we're just far too tired, worrying about our boobs leaking, not sure how easy it will be to feed and change baby, what if baby throws up everywhere and just generally feeling vulnerable.

 

So what are the key things to having Date Night success…

Looking at the averages and stats about 30 Percent of parents say it’s been six months or longer since their last date. That's a long time, especially if your baby isn't new. The key is having someone you feel comfortable leaving your newborn with, then taking a couple of hours  eating an amazing meal at a local restaurant without having to do any  cleanup and just being your old self, should be a no-brainer.

Most parents start suffering from “date deprivation” especially if you had a very active date and social life prior to baby, but ultimately you have to do what’s right for you when starting up your date nights again.  But when you do feel ready, here are a couple of things you’ll need to think about before your first date.

Oh, baby! Yes, going on a date night means you need to find help.

Raising a child is not easy, you have to seek help from the people around you, and when it comes to date night, it takes at least an extra set of hands. According to survey, 52 percent of parents say finding reliable child care is the worst part of planning a date, and 44 percent say finding reliable child care on short notice is what mainly holds them back. The key is to plan ahead,  my biggest tip is not to be afraid to ask for help! All new parents need help. If might means calling in a favour that your owed from family or friends, just don’t be afraid to ask for help, ask early on and get some dates in the diary.

 

You're no longer just John and Jane, but Mom and Dad. So!?

Being a parent is an amazing thing and a journey that can never be matched, but just remember that you are also individuals in a relationship and that can only strengthen the bond you have as a family. Eighty percent of parents say their attitudes about dating actually changed after having children, and the No. 1 reason was that it's become less of a priority. Yet a majority 96% of parents in a relationship feel a date night brings them closer to their partner. This really makes it important to make the time.

Remember you did just give birth!

The last consideration is your health. How does your body feel, and how do you feel emotionally? Some women will give birth then bounce back quickly and feel like taking a walk the minute they get home, others are sore and just navigating from the fridge to the living room for several weeks. One thing all moms will do, though, is continue to see their doctors, midwives and health visitors the days and weeks after birth, so don't ever be afraid to discuss how you're healing and feeling with them and let that be the measuring stick you use to determine if a night out is in the cards for you, physically and emotionally.

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) bedford buckingham children classic family fine art maternity milton keynes newborn essentials northampton portraits pregnant http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/3/first-date-night-after-baby-how-soon-is-too-soon Wed, 07 Mar 2018 10:00:00 GMT
Buggies & Prams - how do you choose? http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/2/buggies-prams---how-do-you-choose The pram or pushchair will be one of the biggest investments you make for your Newborn, there are so many considerations you need to make, so here is some bits of advice that may help you making that important decision.

Choosing the right pushchair is not as simple as it sounds. There's so many different options out there from 3-in-1s to off-roaders so it's worth taking a bit of time and researching  the right one for you, the internet is a wealth of information and as you find a pushchair you like check online for reviews. Made for Mums and Mumsnet are a fantastic resource for information.

 

Pushchair types

  • Forward facing pushchair. Will the seat lie back fully to make it suitable for newborn. Four wheels, lightweight and manoeuvrable, though some are lighter and more manoeuvrable than others.
  • Two-in-one. Can be used as an upright buggy or lie flat like a pram. Some give you the option of having your child facing you (which is a bonus in the first few months).
  • Three-in-one. As above, but with a separate detachable carrycot.
  • Travel System. A regular pram/pushchair, sometimes with carrycot option, but also with a clip-on car seat. Great for keeping a baby asleep when transferring from or to the car - but remember that newborns should not spend too much time in a car seat and watch out for weight, portability, manoeuvrability and cost.
  • Three wheeler. Looks cool and great if you live near countryside or the beach. Easy to steer with one hand. Not usually recommended from birth - although attachments are available to overcome this - and may be heavy and too bulky for some car boots when folded.
  • The stroller or buggy. Lightweight and robust, many of them are not suitable from birth, but a few are, so do make sure you check it out fully if you want it for a newborn. The best ones have easy one-hand fold mechanisms. Watch out for tiny, inaccessible, or non-existent shopping baskets and lack of comfort - suspension and padding - particularly for winter babies.

Things to consider when choosing a pushchair for a newborn.

Some of these may seem really obvious, but it's worth really thinking about what you will be using the pushchair for and your lifestyle before you buy. If you predominately use public transport or don't have ground floor access to your home, weight, size and portability will be key. Some pushchairs weight in at around 5kgs so most users should manage to lift them, but others can weigh much more, so folding and carrying onto a bus or up stairs with a baby and shopping could be really challenging, so make sure you practice folding and lifting before buying.  Equally if you drive, you need a pushchair that fits easily in the boot of your car. If you walk a lot you'll be doing a lot of shopping with your pushchair, so look for roomy and sturdy shopping baskets.

Newborn babies need to be able to lie flat for the first three months, once they can support their heads fully at around 6 months they won't be very comfortable sitting bolt upright, so making sure your seat has multiple positions is essential.  

Other things to consider includes rain covers, cosytoes, additional shopping baskets, matching changing bags etc. These are all extras that aren't included can really push up the price of your pushchair and if you have chosen an expensive pushchair the chances are the accessories are more than likely expensive also.   A cosytoes for a winter baby is a must, a raincover that's easy to attach is a definite as rain will fall summer and winter. In terms of a changing bag, it needs to be functional, so may not be the one that matches your pushchair, just get the one that suits your needs.

 

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) bedford buckingham children classic family fine art maternity milton keynes northampton portraits pregnant http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/2/buggies-prams---how-do-you-choose Wed, 21 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT
Pain Relief in Labour - What Are My Options? http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/2/pain-relief-in-labour---what-are-my-options As soon as you find out your pregnant, the planning begins and you have 9 months to plan, but one of the big items that need some thought will be your options for pain management, it's a really hot topic!  Some will plan for non-medical pain management whilst in labour, or whether you plan other methods of pain relief, it's still important to know all the options, and to way up the benefits and risks of the decisions you may be faced with. Your midwife will be able to help you decide on the best options for you.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Depending on your hospital or birth centre, the options for pain management can vary. At my local hospital, the options you’ll typically be offered are: Nitrous Oxide (gas & air), Pethidine injections, Epidural, Water as in a water birth or a TENS Machine.

Each of these are very different, and all of them have their pros and cons. Each labouring person will react and respond differently to each of these methods of pain management, and it’s important to realize that what you might have hoped would work, may or may not work for you and you may need to try an alternative. 

Let’s take a closer look…

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is delivered as a blend of nitrous oxide and oxygen, through a mask that the labouring woman holds and self-administers through contractions. 

THE PROS:

  • Nitrous Oxide is fast acting and wears off quickly.
  • It can be used at any point in labor right up until the pushing phase, and doesn’t effect the well being of baby.
  • While you will still feel the pain, a lot of women find it helps them relax and reduce their perception of pain. 

THE CONS:

  • Some women find that it makes them dizzy or nauseous.
  • It doesn’t provide complete pain relief, and it isn’t always as effective as some hope for it to be. 

 

Pethidine injections

Pethidine is a morphine-like opioid. It's synthetic, which means it's manufactured, rather than extracted from the opium plant (poppy). 
 

PROS: 

  • Peteidine can be easily accessed in labor, It can help you to relax and get some rest.
  • Some women say that pethidine makes them feel less worried about the pain. 
  • It may help you to postpone or avoid having an epidural if you're finding your contractions hard to cope with. 
  • You can still use a birthing pool or bath during labour, but not within two hours of a dose of pethidine, or if you feel drowsy.
     

CONS: 

  • Pethidine provides only limited relief from labour pain. It doesn't cut out pain altogether. 
  • It may make you feel spaced out and less in control of your labour.
  •  One woman in three finds opioid drugs such as pethidine unpleasant, and the side-effects may make it more difficult for you to cope with labour. 
  • It may make you feel drowsy and can make you feel sick or vomit, even if you have an anti-sickness drug. 
  • It crosses the placenta and may affect your baby's breathing, particularly if you take it when you're close to giving birth. Your doctor or midwife can give your newborn an injection to help reverse this side-effect of pethidine. 
  • Your baby may be drowsy for several days after the birth. This may mean that it's more difficult to get breastfeeding started.

 

Epidural 

The epidural: administered by an anaesthesiologist often described as a knight in shining armour bringing total relief. During an epidural, painkilling drugs are passed into the small of your back through a fine tube. An epidural is a regional anaesthetic, so not all of your body is affected. 

Your anaesthetist injects the drugs around the nerves that carry pain signals from your womb (uterus) and cervix to your brain during labour. An epidural numbs your belly and usually gives very effective pain relief. 

 

THE PROS: 

  • It's the most effective form of pain relief during labour.
  • Most women find that they are completely pain-free. An experienced midwife can usually provide top-ups once the epidural is in place, meaning no waiting for an anaesthetist. 
  • You'll still feel clear-headed, leaving you more in control of your birth experience. You may also still be aware of your contractions.
  •  It can be topped up with stronger local anaesthetic if you need an unplanned caesarean. Though having an epidural does not increase your chances of needing a caesarean.

THE CONS: 

  • Although an epidural delivers pain relief quickly once it's working, the whole process can take up to about 40 minutes to take full effect. This is longer than most other types of pain relief. 
  • You may feel shivery or develop a fever. You may feel a bit itchy, particularly if you have a combined spinal epidural. 
  • It's most likely you'll need to stay in bed, as your legs will feel weak or heavy. Even if you are able to shuffle around on the bed, you won't be able to walk around.  
  • You will need more monitoring. Your midwife will monitor your baby's heartbeat continuously for at least 30 minutes at first, and then after each top-up. She will also take your blood pressure every five minutes for about 15 minutes as the epidural gets to work, and after each top-up. 

 

Water Birth

The calming effect of warm water is in itself an effective method of pain relief. The hormones that help you cope with the pain of labour (endorphins) may increase when you’re in a birth pool.
 

THE PROS: 

  • Pain relief Being in warm water can make it easier to deal with painful contractions.
  • If you want strong pain relief such as an epidural then you will have to leave the pool but you can use gas & air to remove mild pain while still in the water.
  • Women often say they feel an enhanced sense of privacy, once you are in the warmth of the pool you can focus solely on the labour. Some women like to dim the lights and have the room as quiet as possible to calm them throughout the process. Relaxation the motion and temperature of the water can help you to relax throughout labour.
  • Contractions may lose their rhythm if you become tense, so by remaining calm contractions may become less stressful for you and your baby.
  • Being relaxed will also help you to breathe more slowly and calmly, further helping pain relief.  
  • Less traumatic for the baby some believe that water births are more peaceful for your baby. The reason is that the warm waters of the pool will be similar to those of your uterus (womb). Babies who are born in water are often more relaxed and cry less than those born in air. 
     

THE CONS: 

  • Infection there may be a risk of infection in a birthing pool if you open your bowels - although midwives usually remove any debris quickly and efficiently, it does introduce the possibility. However, there is no evidence to suggest any difference in rates of infection between women who give birth in water or in air, and the NHS has strict guidelines about cleaning pools after each use, making sure the pool is left hygienic. 
  • Availability If you have your heart set on a water birth at hospital rather than at home there is a chance it will not be available when you need it.
  • The pool/s may be out of order, in use by another woman, there might be a fault with the electrics or they might not have enough staff. 
  • Cost water births are one of the most expensive labour methods – hiring a pool can cost upwards of £400 or from £100 to buy a pool. Alternatively, you can use a birthing pool at hospital for free if your maternity ward has them. 
  • Not enough pain relief you may find that being in a birthing pool doesn’t make the contractions any less painful. Having to get in and out of the water for pain relief may just add more stress to the process.

 

TENS Machine

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulator, It stimulates the nerves for therapeutic purposes. It delivers small electrical pulses to the body via electrodes placed on the skin – it is thought to help ease the pain.

 

THE PROS: 

  •   Non-invasive and safe nerve stimulation to reduce pain, both acute and chronic

  •   Popular with people who have pain

  •   Can provide effective and drug-free pain relief throughout labour

  •   TENS is thought to have no effect on the baby

  •   They are portable

  •   Can be extremely effective for many women with no lasting side effects 

 

THE CONS: 

  •   Research evidence to support TENS is not strong

  •   Takes an hour for body to start producing endorphins, so you should start using it earlier on in

    your labour, even at home before visiting the labour ward.

  •   Does not work for everyone

  •   Provides no benefit for others

  •   You cannot use the TENS in a birthing pool

  •   Has to be removed for electric monitoring of baby’s heart. This will stop the release of endorphins

    and therefore impact pain relief 

For more information on pain relief in labour see the NHS GUIDE

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) birth doula epidural labour nitrous oxide pain relief pain relief in labour pethidine injection pregnancy tens tens machine water birth http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/2/pain-relief-in-labour---what-are-my-options Wed, 07 Feb 2018 10:00:00 GMT
Newborn Clothing Essentials http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/1/newborn-clothing-essentials OK when my first child - a girl came along I was desperate to buy those teeny tiny cute clothes in every colour, I’m sure i needed two outfits per day, and shopping for it, well that was on another level, i think as soon as the word girl was banded I couldn’t get enough pink things in my bag!! The biggest problem was that I had all the massive department stores on my doorstep, Mama’s & Papa’s, Mothercare, JoJo Mama Bebe, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Next eek need i go on?  Ok so I was lucky or unlucky as far as my husband thought, the bank balance did take a hit!!

 

The reality was I wanted it all, it was my first baby after all and although I did try desperately to be restrained, and told my husband many times I was being restrained the reality hit once Abigail came.  These teeny tiny people GROW FAST, so fast that sometimes I would get something new out for her to wear only to find it was to small already!  So 12 months and 2 weeks later baby number 2 arrived a boy, and boy did I have a different approach to baby shopping this time round!  So I thought I would share my experiences, you never know it may help!!!

Let’s tackle sizing first, it’s most definitely one of the tricky areas as you don’t always know how big baby will be,  I suggest get a bit of everything so a few essentials in Newborn and and the majority in 0-3 months.  If you know your baby is coming really early then you won't need to worry about tiny baby.  

Let’s also remember that there will always be a willing relative or friend that will happily pop to the shops for you and pick up some essentials in exchange for a cuddle.  Also most presents will also come in the form of clothes, so you really will have plenty.

Thing about practicality, trust me these newborns are wriggly little things and you will want them to be as comfortable as possible.  Trousers, dungarees, dresses all look super cute on the hangers but with umbilical cord clips and you wanting baby to sleep as often as possible so you can get as much rest as you can, comfort wins out.  You can always have add something special once they have arrived. Let’s be honest we all want to go out and test drive the new pram!

 

Vests

Vests are a must have purchase, they should be a staple, in the winter they provide the ability to layer comfy clothes and in the summer if its warm they can just wear a simple vest to kick about in. 

So vests will be used LOTS, if a nappy leaks (it can happen) the vest will get messy, and babies dribbling whilst feeding leaves vests damp so i suggest getting 1 pack of Newborn size, there is normally 5 in a pack and then 10 x 0-3 months vests.  Most mums will use 2-3 a day.  There are also several styles, long and short sleeved and the season will dictate what you choose, if it’s winter get some of each, but during the Summer the short sleeved will be enough.

In terms of basics, you can’t beat a plain white vest, the supermarkets are a fantastic resource for these, Asda & Tesco offer some fab prices, but equally you may want some colourful or patterned vests, I loved the range from Next they had some gorgeous designs.

 

I am in love with this M&S Pure Cotton range long sleeve design. They have the most gorgeous colours and could easily be worn under a dungaree dress. M&S also have similar designs for Boys, they really are now thinking outside of the box with vests. 

Check out the John Lewis vests also they do a range of girly pink ones with Dinosaurs on EPIC.  There basic range are fantastic also and wash incredibly well.

 

 

Sleepsuits

Who ever invented sleepsuits needs a BIG high five, they are the best thing ever for babies whatever age, they are incredibly comfy, easy to put on and off and come in every colour, pattern and the most gorgeous range from Mothercare in a Little Bear theme.  Although I have to say there is nothing cuter than a new baby in a pure white sleepsuit.

Start with 6 -7 in the Newborn size and then 9-10 in 0-3 months. The bonus is the quick access for nappy changes.

Next were my go to when it came to sleepsuits. I always found them to be a bit thicker than most and they kept their colour after hundreds of washes.

John Lewis has some lovely prints their baby Joules sleep suits are stunning.

 

 

Hat

Babies lose so much heat through their little heads so a little soft hat is essential, most retailers sell soft jersey hats that are made in the same material as a sleepsuit.  Grab yourself a couple at least.

John Lewis have some really cute Baby Joules hats that have a little knot in the top.

And Mothercare have some lovely sets with booties.

 

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Socks

Oh my is there anything cuter then teeny tiny socks and those little toes need to be kept toasty, most packs came with 5 pairs in a pack so one pack in Newborn size and 2 packs in 0-3 months should be plenty.

 

Scratch Mittens

Newborns have incredibly sharp little nails so do get a couple of pairs of scratch mittens.

 

Cardigan

A simple cardigan is really essential, you will need at least 2 of them regardless of the season, make sure it’s soft and go for a soft wool, jersey or cotton.

M&S have some gorgeous knitted cardigans at the moment.

I suggest you only buy these in 0-3 months as you can always turn up the sleeves if its a bit to big.

Next have a range of really cute hooded cardigans in soft cotton that is ideal for newborns. 

But if you really want the softest ever baby cardigan, check out Bodens Cashmere offering, just gorgeous.

 

Pramsuit

As with the cardigans buy in 0-3 months as you can always roll the sleeves up and get more wear out of it. I always preferred a soft Jersey version, and loved the fact that if baby was wiggling around in the pram, there wouldn't be an little gaps to let in the cold air. 

John Lewis have a lovely range, there have all sorts of styles and colours and i would be surprised if you couldn’t find one. 

 

Something Special For Going Home

Most people love to choose a special outfit to take baby home, maybe choose one in Newborn and one in 0-3 months as you never quite know how big baby will be. I would still suggest you go with sleep suits as especially as this is babies first time dressed so you want them to be comfy and cosy, but you can always splash out on something really special.

Boden have a lovely range of Sleepsuits that are simple but really cute, and I love the Hello Baby gift set. 

If you really want to splash out on your new baby then check out Smallable.com they have lot’s of designer brands available from Petit Bateau to Stella McCartney.

There we go, just my thoughts on for those first few weeks, take the time to then get out and about with your baby and enjoy all those complements and push the pram around with pride and enjoy the shopping.

Let me know if you have any recommendations that you would like to share?

 

 

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) children classic family fine art maternity milton keynes newborn clothes newborn essentials newborn what to buy portraits pregnant http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/1/newborn-clothing-essentials Wed, 24 Jan 2018 10:45:00 GMT
Why Does Newborn Photography Cost So Much? http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/1/why-does-newborn-photography-cost-so-much

So many times I get asked the same question - Why does newborn photography cost so much?  so I thought I would sit down and try to explain!! 

I'm sure you all have noticed whilst searching around that the pricing for Newborn Photography has a huge range and is often far more expensive then a standard family photoshoot.  Initially the enquiries I get from either my website of facebook page are messages to say how much they love my work, and after responding with the details of my pricing I won't always hear from them again.  Generally when you are looking for a Newborn Photographer you need to have a few considerations, a good rule of thumb is: If you are paying under £100 for a session with photos on a disc, chances are your photographer is either A. inexperienced and just starting out or B. not have insurances in place.   I do know and understand we all have to start somewhere, when i started 6 years ago, completely inexperienced and doing free sessions to build my portfolio I was doing the exact same thing, a low price for all the images on a disc, but whilst doing that I had another job saved hard and have taught myself lighting, bought a professional camera, Professional lenses, converted a garage into a studio, and purchased a huge range of props, furnished a studio, bought professional lighting equipment, on top of paying for insurance, taxes, accountants and staff.  It is simply not possible to run a profitable business at the end of the day only charging £100 for everything. 

Newborn photography does in fact cost A LOT more than a family session. Here's why.

Training: I can't stress how IMPORTANT training is to a Newborn Photographer I have invested THOUSANDS of pounds and I have lost track of the hundreds of hours in classes to learn proper safety and posing techniques for what is, lets be honest the most important thing in your life!  I go on newborn retreats spending a whole weekend with trainers, watch live training videos, and purchase photography classes in order to continually learn and improve. Your little one's safety is of the utmost importance. On top of the training for handling your new baby safely there is the training to maintain a high level of editing skills, hours can be spent learning new techniques. If you think of other sectors, you would expect them to have many hours of training and experience,  Doctor, Mechanic, Builder you wouldn't want to allow a mechanic access to your car unless you knew he was qualified to do so. Please chose someone experienced to handle your fragile and precious new gift, don't be afraid to ask questions about who they have trained with, when they last trained or even a client referral, any newborn photographer investing in training will have no qualms about answering those questions.

Flexibility: Babies come on their own timeline. You have a due date and will plan childcare for siblings, maternity cover at work etc but those babies tend to arrive when they are good and ready. I need to maintain an incredibly flexible diary for that reason, I cannot book a specific date for a session until the baby is actually born. This means that there are a very limited number of sessions I can book per month, and will often have to turn down work as I need to maintain the flexibility to do your session at a moments notice. This will ultimately limit the number of sessions I can do. 

Time: Newborn photography takes time, a LOT of time.  A standard outdoor family session can be completed anywhere between 15 minutes and an hour depending on the package you book, the number of family members and if the younger members want to play ball. The average full gallery newborn session can last 2-4 hours. Once you arrive at the studio the baby needs to be fed and then soothed to sleep. This process can take 10 minutes or 30. From there I move to posing, soothing, positioning, soothing, changing backdrops, changing props, soothing, changing hats, soothing, cleaning up the accidents, soothing, stopping for another feed. Those of you who have seen me work know it takes a lot of patience to get every finger and toe settled into the perfect place and position. There is so much more involved then most realise and clients often walk away stunned at how hard the season is for me.

Props: OMG Newborn props,  the smallest and simplest are often the most expensive. I spend around £30 per fabric backdrop, £20 per headband, £25 per bonnet, and £50 per romper on the LOW end they can reach £80+. Custom designs are even more expensive. It is not uncommon to pay £35 shipping costs on something as simple as bowls, as many of these props come from overseas, although the UK prop vendor market is now growing. The other factor is the dreaded newborn poop!! Now that stuff can stain and lot's of things like some blankets and outfits cannot be hand washed and have to get thrown and replaced. I also wash everything thats been used in between every single baby for sanitary reasons so things tend get worn out quickly, plus I buy baby friendly detergents. I am constantly ordering new colors and options for all of you in order to provide a variety of quality choices for your baby and to fit in with current trends. Last year alone I invested over £1500 in Props.

Editing: The amount of time spent editing is more time consuming compared to any other sessions. We all have this ideal picture in our head of newborns with creamy smooth skin when the reality is just the opposite. All newborns skin photographs differently and each change of background can cause a colour cast, this is especially so with newborns as they are laying on the backgrounds, so that much nearer, but generally newborns skin will be really red, yellow, purple, blotchy, have acne or milk spots, or all of the above. They often come with peeling skin, birth marks, hairy bodies, and gunky eyes, some parents are happy for these to stay, others want them removed. So many hours of work go into creating the creamy and beautiful finished product that you receive. 

Running Costs: The studio needs to be heated to a much higher heat than a normal session so this means additional electric heaters, as well as during the session keeping a fan heater running so baby stays comfortable - They lose an incredible amount of body heat whilst naked. The cost of editing software with Adobe can run into £240 a year, its a subscription based service so not a one off purchase. Studio insurance, Camera Insurance, Public Liability Insurance all cost, none of which come cheaply these are things that are critical and essential of every photographer, and again any photographer will be more than happy to share insurance details if you wish.

So hopefully you understand a little about what goes in to create those beautiful images that you will treasure forever, whilst this is a passion of mine and I get a great deal of satisfaction from it, it is my business and my livelihood.  I no longer get suited and booted and head off to the office knowing that at the end of the month my salary gets paid and I know how much I will get and can budget.  I still have the same bills and a family to support just like everyone. It really really takes lot's of time, money and passion to get to know your craft and to give clients an experience they will remember.  Even with my 2018 price increase I am still barely profitable, in 2016 I made a loss and considered closing the business, 2017 i did turn a profit but an incredibly small one, so small that 2018 needed to see some changes, so investing in new training to broaden my offering I hopefully will be able to continue in 2019.  So all I would like to say is when considering a Newborn Photographer think about all these factors, we all have the same expenses and costs. Think about all those little extra things we squeeze into our budgets each month, a meal out, trips to the movies, new shoes or the latest mobile phone or gadget.  The cost of documenting your newborns first days should be priceless. 

I'll close this out with one thought: "If something is to good to be true it often is." You can't get back the time to re-create newborn images, they are only Newborn for a moment.

Thanks for reading x

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) children classic family fine art maternity milton keynes newborn photography costs newborn photography expensive portraits pregnant http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2018/1/why-does-newborn-photography-cost-so-much Wed, 10 Jan 2018 10:15:00 GMT
Gracie http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2017/11/gracie Meet the gorgeous Gracie, Gracie is my best friends daughter and an aspiring photographer and model.  She is so amazing in front of the camera and takes direction really well, and was happy with me changing hair, clothes and adding things in her hair!!  

The idea was to put myself through the paces for a new product I will be offering in January 2018, It will be aimed at 5+ year olds and the aim is to create some Classic Styled portraits, images that have the wow factor.  I will style images unless you have some amazing ideas, you will be able to bring a prop of your own or an outfit, I will guide you on what to bring and colours that work.

To get on the waiting list for these new portraits leave your details here - http://tinyurl.com/y8fgx24q

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) (classic (milton children family keynes) newborn portraits portraits) http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2017/11/gracie Sun, 19 Nov 2017 22:57:36 GMT
Wanting to capture your babies arrival on Camera! http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2016/11/dads-wanting-to-capturing-your-babies-arrival-on-camera Photo Tips in the Labour Room

 

So your partner is about to give birth, and your number one role is to support her.  But hopefully during this exciting time you will still find a little time to capture this most amazing day, these photos will be something to treasure.

So lets keep things simple, you may already be really adept with a camera, or you may just have the camera on your phone to use, but whatever you have as long as it takes pictures thats fine.

 

hands on bump

 

What are the best tips?

Be prepared 

If your using a digital camera, spend some time getting to know your camera, take some images around you so you are confident in using it, make sure you keep your batteries well charged and a spare set, also ensure you have plenty of memory cards.  If your using a mobile phone don't forget to take a charger and again make sure you have enough memory on your phone.

 

Turn off the flash if you can

Don’t have your flash on, using the flash will create very harsh looking images and can be really distracting to Mum, Natural light images are far more flattering as it will take the shine of peoples complexions.  

Using natural light does not have to be difficult as long as your room has a window, the best way is for you to stand with your back to the window so the sun light is behind you.  Of course it may be the middle of the night, if it is turn off the main lights and turn on a side lamp if one is available and create a soft glow on the new Mum and Baby.

If you can’t do any of the above then use the flash as you won’t want to miss any images, but limit the images so not to over stress anyone.

 

Go for colour 

If you take all of your photographs in colour, you'll have the option to convert them to black and white later on. Black & White images are timeless and will often make the images more flattering.  It’s worth remembering that your partner will be feeling tired after the birth and may not feel there best, and skin on baby will often be red and blotchy so converting images to Black & White can make their complexions look softer and more even.

 

Using your camera phone?

Some phones have excellent cameras, others not so good. Make some simple checks to get the best you can from your camera phone, make sure your lens is clean, it’s easy to get the lens covered in fingerprints and fluff from pockets and bags.

If your camera allows you to change the resolution or image size, make sure you choose the highest quality you can to ensure you can print images later on.  

There are lots of photo apps out there, if you do download an app make sure you practice with it first and make sure i works for you.

Another way to test your camera phone is to take a few photos and print them out to make sure your happy with the images once printed, if for any reason your not happy and don't have a camera see if you can borrow one, as you won’t want to miss a thing.

 

Get up close 

Get close to your new baby and take pictures of all their little details, tiny toes, little fingers, button noses and scrunched up faces.  Within a few weeks you will be surprised at how much they grow and these images will make gorgeous memories. 

 

Keep it natural 

Asking the new mum to pose can make images seem awkward, the best pictures you will get are un-posed and natural, take images when mum is relaxed and looking at her baby, or when baby has fallen asleep in her arms.  Simple is often best.

 

Get in the picture yourself

Remember your a new dad and you will need some picture of you also with baby and as a new family, your midwife will be more than happy to take a few images and if your camera has a timer then rest your camera on a flat surface and take some images of your new family.

 

The full story

You may be thinking about creating a phonebook to tell the story of your baby journey, and if so start a few days before, take pictures of your partners bump, the case waiting at the door, the labour room, the staff that delivered your baby in to the world, those faces as your visitors arrive and see your baby for the first time, and anything else that makes you smile. 

 

Don't panic! 

Stay calm, there is no need to worry just take the images you want when you can. The reality is even if your images are a little blurry or dark, they will still be treasured memories.  

 

Just remember

Taking lots of photos of the birth and your partner will be a great record of the day, but before you share any of the photos on social media make sure you edit them, and check with your partner that she is happy with the images you want to share.

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2016/11/dads-wanting-to-capturing-your-babies-arrival-on-camera Mon, 07 Nov 2016 12:18:18 GMT
1st Birthday Cake Smash http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2016/5/1st-birthday-cake-smash  

smiling girl in pink hatWalsh-58-Edit

 

WOW! Time has gone so fast since Harper came for her Newborn Images a year ago, and what a cutie she has become, with two very protective big brothers, You can be sure that boyfriends will have to pass by these two before taking Harper on a date!

 

girl on chairHarper Walsh - CS - 16042016-12-Edit laughing siblingsHarper Walsh - CS - 16042016-19-Edit big brotherHarper Walsh - CS - 16042016-27-Edit sibling chatHarper Walsh - CS - 16042016-82-Edit

 

Doing a cake smash & splash is so much fun, we start out by taking some nice portraits, in Harper's case it was a fight between her brothers as to who would sit next to her and who would hold her hand, they clearly love this little girl so much.

 

i am oneHarper Walsh - CS - 16042016-96-Edit brothers join inHarper Walsh - CS - 16042016-145-Edit cake and butterfliesHarper Walsh - CS - 16042016-206-Edit cake in toesHarper Walsh - CS - 16042016-233-Edit bubbles with mummyHarper Walsh - CS - 16042016-244-Edit bath and butterfliesHarper Walsh - CS - 16042016-290-Edit mothers loveHarper Walsh - CS - 16042016-343-Edit

Most sessions will have a theme, you choose the colour of the cake you want and if you want to join in or have a sibling along then thats fine.  Each shoot includes the cake so you don't have to worry about a thing and we have a couple of styles you can choose from.  To find out more go to CAKE SMASH

 

 

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2016/5/1st-birthday-cake-smash Mon, 09 May 2016 15:15:00 GMT
Top Four Baby Apps http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2016/4/top-four-baby-apps Four Amazing Apps For Expectant Mum's

These days you find that there really is an app for everything!!!   The Pregnancy and Newborn market has an App for everything, from when your ovulating, due dates, phases of pregnancy, feeding timings and even how often your new baby poops!!   So how can you get the best Apps without wasting money?  How do you make sure the App will do what you need it to do?  So having spoken to lot's of my new Mum's I have listed the favourite four.

 

Ovia Pregnancy

 

This one was mentioned so many times and although other Apps have the same overall functions,  Ovuline’s Ovia app was raved about as it let you store bump pics, gave daily feedback on the stages of your pregnancy, and lot's of great Tips for you. The best bit i was shown was the hand, each day the App creates a real life size image of the babies hand so you can see its size, really cool.  

 

NCT Babychange

 

One of the hardest thing I found having a 1 year old and a newborn was finding places to change them!!!  Would i get a double buggy in?  Would i be kneeling on a toilet floor?  I just wish this App had been available all those years ago!   Well worth having especially if your out and about in an area your unsure about! NCT App

 

 

 

Feeding Master

 

Timing the length and frequency of your feeds and working out how much your baby has had, it tracks if your breast feeding what side you have used and how long for, if you have expressed, or if you have used Formula feeds.  It goes a long way from the pad and pencil and trying to remember which side to feed or how much you gave!  It really is handy! Feeding Master

 

 

My Baby Today

 

It's like a journal with all your milestones and Baby changes, you can log photos  and get great advice and tips. You can create birth clubs with other new mums, or just read the tips and stories they have uploaded, You can create checklists, watch award winning videos and so much more. Well worth downloading. My Baby Today  

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2016/4/top-four-baby-apps Sun, 10 Apr 2016 16:43:56 GMT
Newborn Baby Molly http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2016/3/newborn-baby-molly          newborn baby molly

Meet baby Molly, what a sweetie she was.  Molly was a very special Rainbow baby who was very much wanted. Throughout her session she just slept. and the only time she woke was to feed. A total sweetie.

 

baby in peachHollyClark32-Edit

pink pink baby girlHollyClark6-Edit

 

 

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) Children family maternity milton keynes newborn photography newborn photography milton keynes pregnant tracy simpson photography http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2016/3/newborn-baby-molly Fri, 11 Mar 2016 18:45:00 GMT
Wrap up Thursday http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2016/3/wrap-up-thursday

        milton keynes newborn family photographer . wrap up thursday

It's been so busy lately with so many amazing scrumptious babies that with life and work this poor blog thing gets neglected.  If you follow my work on facebook you know that I love wrapped baby images,  they are my one of my favorites!!  Babies love being snuggled up as they were in the womb only a few short weeks before I photograph them.  I try to do something different each session and I feel that I can be most creative when it comes to wrapping; no two wraps are alike and i practice lot's on my daughters dolls to try out different styles of wraps.  Thank you to all of my AMAZING clients that trust me with your new little ones.

 

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2016/3/wrap-up-thursday Thu, 03 Mar 2016 15:49:24 GMT
Win a Free Newborn Shoot http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2014/2/win-a-free-newborn-shoot **Calling all PREGNANT mummies**
If you would like a chance to win a FREE NEWBORN SESSION at our Milton Keynes home studio please message us with a 'selfie' picture of your baby bump, we will then post all the pictures onto our gallery and the bump pic with the most LIKES on Sunday 30th March (Mothers Day) wins !!

To enter: message us through Facebook or via e.mail to tracysimpson@mac.com inc 1 picture you have taken yourself of your bump (big or small it doesn't matter!!) Also feel free to send us any details to go with your bump e.g. 'baby no2, 26 wks...its a girl'

Photos will be posted to our 'Bump Competition' album on this page. Please feel free to tag yourself once your image is posted to our gallery and share with friends & family to make sure you get the most LIKES.

Photos will be added within 24hrs of us receiving them and the winner will be announced at 11am on Mothers Day (Sun 30th March 2014)

The winner (photo with the most LIKES) will win a FREE Newborn Session (worth £75) and one free digital image of your choice.

Three runners up will each win a Free Bump Session (worth £50) and one free print.

Terms & Conditions Apply

GOOD LUCK xx

 

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2014/2/win-a-free-newborn-shoot Sun, 16 Feb 2014 16:36:06 GMT
Cathedral of Trees http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2013/8/cathedral-of-trees Baby Palmer is only 6 weeks away from arriving, so we went to the Cathedral of Trees to make the most of the sunshine and get a few images of the family before their little bundle arrives in September.

 

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) family maternity milton keynes pregnant http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2013/8/cathedral-of-trees Mon, 12 Aug 2013 17:37:45 GMT
Woodland Walk http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2012/10/woodland-walk What do you do with an 8 year old on a sunny autumn morning?

 

Go to the woods and take photos of course.  Gracie is 8 at the moment and as tall as a 11 year old, she really is a future model, she has the walk, the poses and the faces!!  Ask her what she wants to be and she will say a Fashion Designer and Model.  I've known Gracie since she was a baby and she has always been a willing model.  But these images really show her at her best.

 

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2012/10/woodland-walk Mon, 22 Oct 2012 20:43:20 GMT
Aird Family http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2012/8/aird-family Ok, been a bit behind on the blogging over the last month, what with lot's of clients coming through the studio we are in the middle of the school holidays and I have a very active 7 & 8 year old that between rain showers and sunshine are incredibly demanding on my time!!!

The Aird family came to the studio to have some up to date images of their girls, they really are cuties, Freya was a natural in front of the camera and really did delight the rest of us with her moves!

Anyway here is just a few from the shoot.

 

1180CherryvillePhotography

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2012/8/aird-family Fri, 17 Aug 2012 17:45:32 GMT
A Crazy Bunch http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2012/3/a-crazy-bunch Well, this is the only way to brighten up a Saturday evening, Do a photo shoot with an amazing family that really do know how to let their hair down.  Dawn and her 2 sisters decided to do a photo shoot for their Dad, who is a true gent in every sense of the word and whom clearly loves his girls.  We had so much fun especially when all the silly dress up hats and wigs came out.  Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as i enjoyed taking them.

 

 

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2012/3/a-crazy-bunch Fri, 16 Mar 2012 13:28:48 GMT
The Ainger Family http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2012/2/the-ainger-family  

Meet Aileen and Jonathan and their 4 amazing kids, I had such a great shoot with them, they really are the happiest bunch or people, the boys did seem a little apprehensive when they arrived at the studio, but Charlotte was really excited and and ready to go for it and really did show the boys how it was done. Looking forward to September when I will be shooting the renewal of their wedding vows after 10 years, how amazing is that.

The boys really warmed up once the word bundle dad was uttered, not so sure Dad was impressed though, and then when Mum & Dad tried out the space hopers, not sure who laughed more the kids or Mum & Dad.

 

Portraits, Family

 

 

 

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tracysimpson@mac.com (Tracy Simpson Photography) Children Family Milton Keynes Photography Portrait Studio http://www.tracysimpson.com/blog/2012/2/the-ainger-family Fri, 17 Feb 2012 23:05:09 GMT