So, you’ve had your newborn session. Spend 4 hours in the studio, had a little sneak of the back of the camera.

But, what happens next?

Well, the next part is when your images come to life. Of course, you’re all perfect, but a little enhancing your natural selves brings out the very best in you. Light, scratches removed, that spot you woke with, all changed!

You’ll find that I prefer much more to get the image right in camera. Of course I do love photoshop, but I want to keep you as natural as possible.

I’ll always ask about certain marks on your baby, if they’re permanent or temporary. Removing birth marks that are permanent is not something I choose to do. But milk spots, blemishes and general marks that will fade over the next week, they usually go. But always with your permission.

I also create your composite editing in photoshop.

But what is a composite? 

This is where I take two images during your newborn session, then merge them together during editing, and make them into one image. With certain poses, this is something that has to be done.

Take ‘Froggy’ for example.

editing
This is not a pose where baby should stay unaided.

They’re such fragile little beings who (funnily enough) like to suddenly jump with their newborn reflexes that this a pose that requires always being held.

So, for this image to not have my hands in in the final photograph, it requires editing the two images into one.

So alongside the two bodies being merged, the backdrop also needs editing. Most bean bag poses (what he is resting on), mean they’ll need editing the backdrop in, but this depends on the angle too.

So, once the bodies are edited together, skin cleared up, skin colour fixed, the final image is made.

Newborn session photographer Essex

Alfie in a textbook froggy pose.

And you’d never have known the work that went into the image. But it is worth every minute spent on.
This is why when I post this pose on my page, there is usually a disclaimer telling you not to attempt it at home. As cute as it is, it needs a professional hand.

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It is often thought that photographers finish a session, download the images onto a disc and off you go. This does still happen and that is absolutely fine for shoot and burn photographers who choose to do this, but I have a certain style I like to make sure all my images stay in line with. To me and many other professional photographers, it is our art and this requires a certain number of hours editing on your gallery.

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Other posed images that require editing are ones such as bucket shots. Of course some babies can hold their head in the pose, but others let that heavy little head lean over a tad. This then means the spotter (there is always a spotter on hand), has a hand or a finger on your babies head. again, this would be two images taken or some clever editing!

Newborn photography essex editing

It transforms from this….

to this

Newborn photography essex editing

Of course there is also the smaller edits. This would be something as simple as change of skin tone as many babies photograph a little redder than usual, or actually arrive quite yellow or jaundiced.
This colouring is something that will change over time. They won’t be super red or have their yellow tinge for long 🙂

From expanding backdrops, to hiding that label, tucking in the nappy and getting rid of those stray hairs that have gone un noticed during your session, I make sure your photographs are all that you have wished for.
And if there is a minor change you’d like that you see at your viewing session, please do tell me and I can alter this for you. This can be told at your viewing session only as once your images have been purchased, it is final.

So you see it’s not just about downloading your images, there’s a journey for them to go through before your beautiful gallery is showcased at your viewing appointment.

newborn photography essex editingnewborn photography essex

With the editing process now explained, I’d love to have you here!

Are you due in 2019? I would love to have you here as part of the Dinky Family.

Book today by simply clicking HERE and I’ll be right with you.

Check out some other blog posts that may interest you.

If you’d like to see more of my work but haven’t yet, pop by my newborn, family, cake smash and splash galleries!

Something I hear a lot is ‘Im having a second baby, but I just don’t know if I’ll love them as much as my first?’

love second child

 

Well, the simple answer is yes, yes you will. But that love isn’t the same, it’s just different. It’s not something that can really be put into words. This is coming from me personally. As a Mum of three little boys, I can only say from what I have experienced.

Zishan, my eldest had been my one and only for almost two years when I was due to give birth to my second. My entire world was about to change and I would often think to myself and say to my husband ‘But, what if I don’t love this baby as much as I do Zishan?’ He would often shake his head and say ‘don’t be so silly, of course you will’. But to me this wasn’t silly. This was real and it was my feelings that I felt so strongly about.

Zishan was my little boy, the one who made me a mother, the boy who changed how I saw life. How on earth would another child be able to match up to that? Surely they couldn’t? My heart belongs to my tiny man and his belongs to me.

Saying it now, I sound like a mad woman but I know so many other mothers have felt this and do feel this right now.

Take my friend Frankie for instance. She is 5 weeks from due with her second little one. Her beautiful boy Jake has been the apple of her eye for 6 years. The only son she has had to care for and put her everything into for all of those years. She has wondered ‘can I love my second just as much?’, and yes of course she can but that feeling is real and needs to be treated as such. She isn’t being silly, this is an emotion that means something to her and as a Mum who has felt that, I understand it.

I often (due to my anxiety), feel I come across a ‘know it all’, but I just have had a lot of experience, and I’m one to share. So let’s get that straight before eyes roll.

love second child

 

I’m like a firework. Once I get speaking about something I’m passionate about (children, birth and breastfeeding) then as soon as you set me off and light that fire, the sparks fly. Those sparks are information, whether personal experiences or fact.

So it came the day that we were going into have Diddles. We didn’t know the gender, the only time my husband got his own way when it came to the pregnancies haha!

Zishan came along for the first few hours of my labour. I would spin him between contractions, he would sit on my bump. I was staring at his little round face just taking it all in. My only child, about to be a big brother. It gets all the emotions running as I write this. I’m such a sap!

love second child love second child love second child

 

 

The hugs happened and he went off to my in laws with my husband. the first (and only to this day) time he has ever spent a night away from home. My best friend Danni stayed with me as we enjoyed the gas and air (seriousness just isn’t a thing when Danni and I are alone). My Husband returned and the contractions got stronger. He had his nap while I contracted more and more. I mean, it’s good he slept as I would need his energy later on and not have him knock out.

After 31 hours, just like Zishans labour, we were rushed into theatre for another emergency C Section, but this time I actually heard my son born!

love second child

 

Wait, another boy, IT’S A BOY!

I was asleep for my first sons birth, so this experience was magical. That the word, the one thing I said as it happened. ‘I can hear him, this is what magic feels like’. One moment, let me grab my tissues. Gosh it’s a moment I will never forget! That gorgeous cry from this little bowling ball head!

He was here! Brought above the drapes, I saw my son. My love was instant. The rush, oh the instant rush of love I can’t even tell you how it felt to finally hear my baby born. He was wrapped up and then brought over to me as I was being stitched up not he operating table. ‘He’s special’ I thought. There’s something about him, and I still feel this to this day. My Diddles (Idris). My little star.

You see, it’s not me loving him more or less. It’s a different kind of love. Zishans little brother. Wow. I have children! Such a huge word to say after always having a ‘child’.

You cannot measure love when it comes to your children. You love them, you love them so infinitely that words cannot describe. My heart is beating so hard at the thought of their births.

Diddles was born at 12:34am. The softest face, like a cloud. Danni came in to meet him so soon after his birth and I saw her love on him too.

Once morning came round, it was time for my biggest boy to meet his baby brother. Oh I was so excited for this moment.

love second child

In he came. *wipes eyes*

He couldn’t get enough of him! Being only 22 months at the time, I worried as so many do) about jealously but he just loved on him straight away.

One thing I’ll say though, when I was pregnant with my third. I just didn’t have that feeling at all! They love Marny so much, SO MUCH.

love second child

I had learnt that love multiplies, it doesn’t divide. 

As your families grows, your love grows. You heart gets bigger, and your smile gets greater.

So, if you’re worried about it. Don’t feel you can’t tell someone, it’s a genuine feeling and you are allowed that.

But do know that you’ll love them just as much.

Being a newborn photographer, I see this love time and time again.

Are you pregnant? I’d love to have you and your wonderful family here.

Book today or email for more information on my newborn sessions.

Newborn Photographer Essex

Newborn session photographer Essex

Newborn photography sessions, just put them in a basket and away we snap… right?

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

As much as we make it look easy from the photos uploaded to our websites and Facebook pages, newborn photography is quite complex. One of the hardest sessions to complete, really.

I’ve been in photography for 6 years now, and didn’t actually begin with the thought of being in newborn photography. I was quite comfortable photographing cheeky little faces, and family portraits. It was only when one day a friend (who I was photographing) suggested I try my hand at newborn photography. So, off I went, thinking ‘how hard could it be? They just lay there, what could be so difficult’. Ha! How wrong was I?

To be fair, I hadn’t actually tried to pose babies in any of the poses I do today. I wouldn’t have dared. The poses I complete today are those that require experience and training.

Over the years, I have put in lots of hard work and had multiple training sessions with the very best in the UK to allow me to give you the best experience and photographs for your family.

I have many clients arrive for their first newborn session they’re aware that the session will take 2-4 hours, but I’m often asked why it takes so long. Well, it is all dependant on your baby. They’re all so incredibly different.

Some will want to sleep like a log, some wake when their hands are touched, some like to guzzle lots of milk, and some prefer to be wrapped. They’re their own little personality so I allow this amount of time to create your gallery.

Some things people believe about a newborn session is that the baby falls asleep, you lay them down on a blanket and they stay super still. Most of the time, this is something that doesn’t happen. So when you are here at your newborn session and your baby doesn’t stay asleep, don’t fret, it happens more than people know. A handful of those newborn ‘sleeping’ images? Yep, they blinked! Well, the photo didn’t lie… their eyes were closed 😉

newborn session photographer essex

So, why the session fee?

The work that goes into your bespoke newborn session is undeniable, but I adore every minute. I mean, I get to cuddle newborns almost everyday, who wouldn’t want that?

Your session actually begins way before you arrive here.

It begins with your first message. From here on, we spend a number of hours speaking back and fourth via message and phone calls so I can really get a feel of how you session will go and what to plan. No one who books a session here is ‘just a number’. Each family that comes to Dinky Days is treated like the unique team they are. I’ll ask what colours you like, if there is anything you’d like to bring along (personal item), and I’ll also explain what will happen during the session. Another thing I’ll want to know is the decor of your home. this is so I can help you with what wall art you may want and also the right colours that will compliment it nicely.
Don’t fret about asking lots of questions, I’m here to help with any queries you have. This is another reason why it is best to book your newborn session in advance. Once baby is born, your head will no doubt be all over the place with emotion and lack of sleep.

Newborn session photographer Essex

The day of your session, I’ll head into the studio and begin warming it up. The room will be kept between 25 and 28 degrees throughout your session, wear layers so you can peel off whenever you are feeling the heat. Your baby will feel comfortable but you’ll feel like you’ve just stepped off the plane into Dubai.

I’ll arrange your set, the bean bag and blankets from our consultation (colour themes chosen etc).
Various props sets will be out and ready. If you do change your mind on colour and props, don’t worry that’s fine.
Many clients ask that I go with my flow and suggest only 1 colour they’d like and then to go ahead with the rest neutral, however everyone is different so I’m all ears as to what you’d like.

Once you arrive, we will sit, have a little chat again about what I’ll begin with and see if baby is settled.

newborn photographer in Essex

Throughout your time here, I will photograph your baby in various sets. This will include bean bag posing, and 2-3 props.
My props are the very best. Purchased from bespoke vendors, I use only top quality and safety approved props for my clients.
Please know that every set depends on how baby is. We won’t know until the day, but know that they are in safe hands. They will be made to feel comfortable and safe with 100 hugs on hand!

newborn session

If you need to feed at any point in the session, you aren’t ever told not to. If baby is rooting or showing any signs of hunger, they will be given to you to feed and burp, I will then re settle to sleep and back to posing.
You’ll find that baby may need a little extra milk than usual. This is due to them being moved around much more than normal so they’re burning slightly more calories.

I usually begin with your sibling, parent and family portraits, this way the siblings can be taken for a little walk or somewhere fun for a couple hours while Mum and I are in the studio.
This allows the studio to be calm and still to b able to get the best out of your session as we can.
It’s also so beautiful to see Mum able to just sit and watch her baby in all their glory.
Its not often you really get to see your precious little one as you’re always busy bounding about. So take this time to focus, love, and breathe in all that baby goodness.

Once your session is over, I will then get to tidying the studio. If you’ve ever been here for a session, you’ll know it looked like baby props vomited all over the floor. But that’s the sign of an amazing session, and I wouldn’t change it.

With all the studio work over. Ill sit to download your images from my camera onto my hard-drives. These are password protected and safe. Only I can see them.

Down to editing, each image will have a various time spent on them, depending on whats needed. It could be 10 minutes, or 15. This may be a composite, skin editing (blemishes, some flakes around the eyes, things that won’t be there forever). I do love to keep some flakes though, they really do show the newness of your baby.

Family photography in essex

I will edit anywhere from 20-30 images for your gallery. These images are 20-30 of the very best from your session.

After 7-10 days you will be welcomed back for your viewing. This is where your gallery is showcased. Don’t worry, I’ll supply the tissues!
This viewing takes up to one hour and it is where your choice is made of what you want to purchase. I have a wide range of wall art samples in the studio, along with my albums so I can easily bring them in for you to touch, hold and feel whats best for your home.

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So when you ask, ‘what do I get with my session fee for newborn?’

You receive all of the above with experience and love.

I’d love to have you and your family here. Book your newborn session today and I’ll be right with you!

newborn photographer in Essexnewborn photographer in essexnewborn photographer in Essex

My policy on cake is pro having it, and pro eating it. So what better than to have a cake smash and splash where your little one can have their cake and eat it?

Cake Smash and Splash sessions here are messy, simple, fun!

What’s great about a cake smash here is that after the icing frenzy and sponge smashing, your little one heads on into the studio freestanding tub for a fun splash to get squeaky clean before heading off home. That’s a relief, no cake mess smeared over your car windows and seats.

A cake smash and splash session here consists of three parts which are included in your £99 payment.

First is the all important First Birthday portrait.

Cake Smash and Splash Essex

This is of course for beautiful photos, but it also allows your little one to warm up the the new environment they’re suddenly in.

Many times, this will be the first time they have met me, let alone been in the studio. We can make funny faces and silly noises. Anything to make them know it is a safe place. That’s right, out comes the Baby Shark song for the one thousandth time. Oh you know you love it really, and I bet you know all the moves too…

You can bring alone a special outfit, or you are welcome to use one of the outfits from my mini wardrobe in the studio. Simply let me know in advance (you can always use the outfits in the studio, even if you change your mind), I can then plan your set.

Cake Smash Time!

Cake Smash Essex

The second part of your session is the messy one. You’ll see me arrange your set up ready for your little ones star moment.
They usually sit and stare at the set being put together, and always adore being given a balloon while they wait. To be honest, even if they are given a decoration packet they’re happy! Got to love a distraction.

You have full choice of the colour theme, we discuss this much in advance and I will then design it which includes your cake, balloons, bunting, all the fun stuff!
This means that all you need to bring along is your Dinky and let me arrange it all.

Once your set is ready, Ill grab a quick photo of it before the mess begins.
On they go, legs around the cake stand and staring down in awe. I would too if I was given a cake all to myself, wouldn’t you?
All babies are different. You’ll find that some just stare at it then slowly pick, or there are babies that go full in.

Cake Smash Essex Cake Smash Essex Cake Smash Essex Cake Smash and splash Essex

The smash will last around 10-15 minutes, all dependant on how they feel. They can want to go on for a long time, or they may have had enough after 5 minutes. Don’t worry, we will have a lovely amount of images in either time.

 

Cake Smash Essex Cake Smash Essex

After your little one creates a whirlwind of mess, Ill change your set and get the tub ready. Once you’ve checked that the water temperature is perfect for your 1 year old, I’ll pop it in the tub and you then place them in there. I ask that you do this so that your little one is comfortable and feeling super safe before we begin. Splash the water around and bit and give them a rubber duck, they love those! I have a large duck that sits outside the tub and a handful of smaller ‘baby’ ones that they can play with in the water.

Once tub time has finished (they always let me know when they are done), they’re wrapped in a towel ready for hugs. Not to worry, the heating is put up after the smash so they come out of the tub nice and toasty.

If baby is happy enough, we will get some fun ‘after bath’ photos of them simply sitting wrapped in the towel. They add a wonderful finish to your gallery and look great in your album that is another of my products that can be purchased.

Cake Smash and splash Essex

 

So there you have it, a little run down of your cake smash session here at Dinky Days Photography.

If there are  any questions at all, I am always here to answer them be it via email or a message to my Facebook page.

A great purchase with your Cake smash session is wall art! Many of my clients adore having their cake smash image printed on a high gloss acrylic for the kitchen and also a tub splash high gloss acrylic for the bathroom. They look fantastic in either room. Hey, why not even add a wall art piece from their portrait session for the lounge?

Stand out with acrylic pieces in your home. They’re a great talking piece and also super easy to clean so the kitchen and bathroom are no problem.

Book you Cake Smash and Splash session in advance of your childs birthday to ensure their session is complete and images/products are back home in time for any birthday celebrations.

Ready to book? Simply contact me here and we can arrange for them to have their cake… and eat it too!

Cake Smash and Splash

Being the only girl, and the youngest, I’ve always been Daddies girl.
So for his 70th birthday gift, what better than the incredible Harry Potter World? The one place he has always wanted to visit.

Harry Potter World

Originally, I had booked this present to go in November, however I was admitted to hospital ill with severely infected tonsillitis the night before. Sods law right?

I had wanted to have a Daddy-Daughter day for such a long time, I just hadn’t got around to it as I am always so very busy with my three sons, husband and Dinky days. But after a friend had lost her Father, I knew I had to get my bottom into gear, and the gift had to be perfect. In the past, Id bought my Dad things for his camera (he is always a photographer), plus Harry Potter memorabilia of course. This time had to be different, something we could do together which would make his adorable little face light up.

It didn’t take long for me to think of the perfect gift, none other that Harry Potter World Studio Tour!

Wanting to get the ball rolling, I called Dad to try and arrange a date for a ‘day out’. It wasn’t far into the phone call when he guessed my plan. Caught out! The man knows too well. Oh well, this ruins nothing at all, it just adds more excitement!

As mentioned above, our first date we had booked, had to be moved.

I called whilst still in my hospital bed, antibiotics by IV and dehydrated. Sadly, when I called, I was told by a man that I couldn’t not exchange my tickets for another date, even though I was in a situation out of my control.
Obviously disheartened by this, I aired my feelings on social media. No rudeness, just simply gutted that this happened and I really wished it could be rectified, but understood if it couldn’t. A few hours later I was home, resting in bed when I received a phone call that woke me. I had thankfully partially got my voice back enough to answer the call. On the other end of the line was James, a different staff member than the one I had spoken with previously.

To my surprise, he said that the first person was wrong, and it fact they could certainly accommodate a different date for me. They were so apologetic. I understand if I couldn’t exchange, but the situation was out of my control so I was so thankful when this amazing news came through. To allow me to fully recover, they offered me a year to come back. I didn’t need this long, but thought this was so very kind. This was amazing customer service and I made sure to thank them profusely on my social media accounts.

A week or so later, I contacted the staff at Harry Potter World to once again thank them for this and to rearrange my Dads birthday day out there. My Dad really wanted to go whilst ‘Hogwarts in the snow’ was still up, so I grabbed the first date offered. Nothing was going to stop us this time… we hoped!

The 17th of January came and Dad arrived early so he could see the lads before they went to school. They love their Grandad so much!

8:30am and we were on our way. The roads were great, clear… and then we hit the M25.

‘Tail backs because of accident on M25’ the google search found. The accident had happened the day before but clearing it was still happening.
Oh no! What if we are late? Will we still be allowed in?

I quickly googled the contact number and spoke to a lovely staff member. The type of worker that sounds like they love their job and are more than happy to speak with you.

Telling him our M25 predicament and our worries about missing our tour, he quickly and calmly reassured anxious me that it was fine and they allow extra time to arrive for times like this. In fact, they have many that have the same situation as ours.

On arrival, our ticket collection and entrance to the WB studios was simple and easy.

Harry Potter World

The security did a great job and ever staff member we came across had a smile and entertained my Dads crazy jokes and love of a good natter. Things like this make all the difference.

In we went and my gosh even as just an average fan of Harry Potter, I was in complete awe. My Dads face lit up and so did the many flashes of his camera as he snapped away everything he could. Like Dad like Daughter indeed.

As we went into our tour room, the first thing that really got our blood rushing was the fact we were only a foot away from the real cupboard under the stairs. Being the kind of girl I am, I even called over a staff member to confirm to me that this was in fact the real cupboard from the movie. Laughing, she confirmed, and my face lit up again. After a few photos, we went into the room where we were greeted by a lovely tour guide on the microphone. She had great knowledge as a staff member and super fan, but also I adored her little jokes which made the talk more personal.

Into the bigger room, we watched a short movie to prepare us for the next part.

What happened next was simple but so effective, the cinema screen raised up to the view of the Great Hall doors. So unexpected, so brilliant. What an entrance!

‘Anyone here celebrating a birthday?’

‘HE IS!’

I shouted, pointing to my Dad and off he went joined by two others to open the doors to the Great Hall.

Watching on, I loved him having this moment. The thing I look forward to in life is seeing my Dad happy. This was one of those moments.

Harry Potter World Harry Potter World Harry Potter World Harry Potter

In we went to the Great Hall and it did not disappoint. The food laid out on the what looked like 100 foot tables, to the costumes on display right behind them and brilliant running commentary.

I booked the digital guide for my Dad and I but once the first part was over, we decided we wanted to take our own lead and look around by ourselves.

Seeing the props so close on display, we were in awe. Pointing out so many of the props, he did as he always loves to do and told me a story about each one. The films they were from, who wore them, what happened. This is something that my Dad gets such joy from and its something I love about him, I’d not change him for the world.

Soon into the tour, I saw that there is a part where we could ride a broomstick in front of the green screen. How awesome would that be, such a brilliant part of the experience. I wasn’t going to pass this up, if we were going to go to Harry Potter World, we were going to jump right in to everything. Before getting on the broomstick, we had our ‘Wanted’ poster photo taken.

Harry Potter World

Walking into the Forbidden Forest was pretty brilliant. The floor had changed texture, so then the experience of this part was different. I loved that idea. We decided to take the Spider route. (I know, why would I do that?!) But it was so so amazing! As a completely scaredy cat of Spiders, even I enjoyed it! The lights replicated lightening and out came Aragog. For those who don’t know, she is the HUGE spider mummy. Insanely big, even larger in person, I felt!
The babies came down from the ceiling and Aragog came forward and lucky for me… or not, I was up front. Unexpected and such an amazing part of the experience.

Harry Potter World

We carried on looking about, seeing the props in person really was so brilliant. I had to keep reminding myself that these legendary props were really from the films.

By the end, we came to the incredible, breathtaking castle model. I had no idea this was how the movie Harry Potter was filmed. My Dad however, of course he knew. We went while Hogwarts in the Snow was on so it was covered in a glistening white snowfall. So beautiful. Dad looked in complete awe. He said even just this one part made everything worth it. His favourite part of our whole trip.

Harry Potter World

*NAILED IT*

So, all in all it was so worth the crazy trip, the minor crash on the way home (the sun was BLINDING!) and the butter beer.

But the best part? Spending the entire day with my Dad, creating memories. Just us.

Another way to create memories? Book a Family session with Dinky Days. Creating that portrait of you all. Whatever the personality, let me capture it in a forever photograph.

6 years, wow.

6 years ago I began my Family photography journey.

6 years in business
It didn’t take me long to think of a name, in fact, Dinky Days Photography was the very first name to come to mind.
It was so fitting. Dinky stands for little so that was for the little ones Id be photographing, and days for their days of course!

The image above was my very first logo. Built from the building bricks of my children Zishan and Idris, (way before our Marny was born).
Back then I had absolutely zero photoshop skill, I was brand new so still working on my portfolio, practicing with friends babies and children.
6 years ago I wasn’t even thinking of what I wanted to specialise in. Everything seems to have fallen into place.

I would never have believed back then that I would be where I am today, well there’s a realisation to believe in yourself if ever I saw one.

As a beginner, I knew very little about the photography world, I had so much to learn and I couldn’t be happier than I did.
It hasn’t always been easy, people telling me I can’t do it, that it’s just a dream. Well dreams come true, 6 years later I couldn’t be prouder of my journey.

6 yearsBaby Idris. Oh he was such a squidge!

Over the years, my work has certainly changed. Blood (literally, dropping a camera on your foot is quite painful!), sweat and tears have been shed.

So, how did Dinky Days Photography come to be what it is today?

Well, the start is thanks to my husband and best friend.
In 2012 I was saving my pennies up for my very first DLSR. Growing up around photography as my Dad was a photographer, I was always around cameras. My Dad didn’t let me touch them much from what I can vaguely remember. I don’t blame him, you don’t want children playing around with your expensive equipment, not without supervision anyway.

They had taken me out for dinner for my birthday. My husband had wandered off, and returned with gifts! I had no idea, not a single one. Out it came and I was so happy. Such a thoughtful gift. Danni (my best friend) had helped him choose the right one, and he went to buy it.

I hadn’t originally thought I’d become a professional photographer. I loved photography, and was hoping to take clearer and better photographs of my boys.

But I soon began photographing friends children too, as practice.

I was told ‘practice doesn’t make perfect’ when it comes to photography, but I’m not one to be beaten. I had set my mind to it. And look at me now, 6 years later, able to take photographs for so many families to treasure. *puffs chest out*

6 years baby photographer

It was around a year later I became official. Dinky Days Photography became Dinky Days Photography LTD. Me? A LTD company? Incredible!

I began in my lounge, like many photographers, but this changed when we moved into our home we are in now.

We had the garage converted within a 3 days to a week, I couldn’t wait to get back to working after a couple weeks due to the move.

From 2014 until now, the studio had changed immensely. It went from a bare, lifeless brand new photographers ‘room’, to the studio I have today. I now have my props and blankets beautifully on show, wall art samples showcasing your beautiful children from some of my previous sessions.

Over the years I have worked tirelessly to find my style and train to be able to produce work that stands its ground timelessly.

I have learnt that I adore a no fuss approach. Although I do have props, they are props that suit my style. Simple props that are there in your image, but not too fussy as to take away any attention from your children. When you look at a photograph from Dinky Days, I know your eye will immediately go to your precious child’s face.

Looking back over my journey, I can tell exactly when I began the bridge to where I wanted to be in my photography career.

family photographer Essex

Before training, I made sure I did the simplest of poses. I put newborn safety first and I knew that I wasn’t going to attempt anything without sufficient knowledge.

Over the years, I have now trained with some of the very best in the UK. My biggest knowledge growth is newborn safety. Something that all newborn photographers should know.

I am First Aid Trained, and like to update this also and techniques change.

In 6 years, I have learnt that the Photography industry is incredibly saturated, and I don’t ever want to get lost in the crowd. So I continue to create the best possible service for my clients, providing the highest quality products and experience.

Here at Dinky Days, I will continue to create an experience that will allow you to leave smiling. Your family will be treated as family. Your children will have access to food and drink should they want or need, as will you.

newborn photographer essex

A few words from some of my clients,

‘You’re amazing.. Aidens face says it all in his photographs ????. And the reason I come back with the second was down to you making me feel so welcomed. You knew exactly what you were doing and always produce amazing work’ – Courtney Mills.

‘I found Dinky Days on Facebook from a friend who had posted about it long before I was ever expecting a baby.. But I knew in my heart I wanted to have my baby photographs taken by Dinky Days.
When my Son arrived there was only one place I was going.
The photos online had something special.. I had looked at others but nothing came close. Unfortunately things had been traumatic to say the least when my son came into this world.. So it took some time to find the courage to come and find the right person. Automatically when I started our journey with Dinky Days I was made at ease.. The first the time she met us and our son at 5/6 months old she made us feel comfortable and confident that we had chosen the right one. He was teething and in a bit of mood but the results were amazing. And have been to this day. That’s why we only use Dinky Days and Aimee-Jo. She is a beautiful person inside and out. THE photographs she takes are evidence of her professional talent as well her personal attributes that make her the best in our opinion. This is not a photographic session.. she makes memories for you family to be treasured for years to come.’ Jody Davey.

‘A friend recommended you the first time I came with my son. Recently, When I had my daughter and wanted a family portrait I knew where to go!
Such a friendly environment and you really care about everything; babies and the perfect photo!
My family had exceptional service and would highly recommend to everyone !
Thank you Aimee X’ Charlotte Searle.

‘Because of you and who you are and what you have to offer. You are amazing at your job (images speak for themselves) and you are such a lovely person so friendly (we’d never meet before our session) and fun (helping to relax older kids & parents ????) would recommend 100%.’ Zoe Lattimore.

Family Photographer Essex

Thankyou so much for such kind words.

It’s because of every client who has booked, Dinky Days is what it is today.
Thankyou for joining me on my journey. Here’s to the next 6 years!

To book in for your own photo session here, simply click the contact button and I’ll be with you shortly!

There are many people who believe that ‘extended’ breastfeeding is wrong and all for the mothers benefit. Let me tell you now, that is not true.

Let’s begin where it all started.

Little man was born on the 9th June 2015 by planned c section.

Breastfeeding at wedding
I had two previous emergencies sections and it was apparent that I couldn’t birth naturally, as sad as that is to me. I tried, but my body wasn’t built for it, it’s just what it is.
As soon as he was born, he was wiped a little then passed to me as I said I wanted to have skin to skin and begin breastfeeding immediately. The surgeons were still operating on me, removing my placenta when Amaan and I began our breastfeeding journey. He latched perfectly, so perfectly. He went from this little angry ball of vernix covered beauty, to a calm, content milk monster.

Breastfeeding at weddingBreastfeeding at wedding
With this being my third child, I’d had my fair share of experience with breastfeeding as my first two were breastfed too.Breastfeeding at wedding
My boys are so used to it, and don’t bat an eyelid. Just how I love it to be here, open and honest.

Fast forward two years, and we were getting married. Shortly before our wedding, he had an operation to fix his sleep apnea.
I was dreading this being difficult to breastfeed after due to latch changes, but he’s a pro, he wasn’t about to let this stop his journey. That’s my boy!

The day came. 25th of August 2017.

Everything was go go go. My very talented makeup artist Makeup by Ramn  began the process, I was about to be transformed into the bride I had always wanted to be.

Face done. Hair to begin. This time it was Jade Amandas turn to start her transformation on me. I decided the exact hair on the day, despite our beautiful wedding trial. I’m always that guy haha!

This is where my little guys came in, they all looked so stunning in their little suits. I hadn’t wanted to see them prior to this so I had a surprise for myself on the day.

Of course, Marny had decided that no matter what was going on, he was to feed. Who am I to say no? The day was a change in his routine entirely. He was just 2 and had so any new people around him, he needed his comfort, his mummy.

Breastfeeding at wedding
Image by the wonderful – Rob Mank Photography

Everything was ready. My glam team did such an amazing job, I’d never felt so beautiful in my life. Time for champagne to celebrate and settle the anxiety before heading to see my Husband to be in the ceremony room.

All went perfectly, my guests listened and didn’t use their phones. I had an unplugged ceremony to which The Kent Toastmaster – Jim Cattermole made sure this and everything else in the day plus night went smoothly. By the way, if you need a man who will make sure your day goes as perfectly as humanly possible, book him!

Everyone looked amazing, including my beautiful bridesmaids of course.

I must add, my Husband looked exceptionally handsome!

Before I kept swept away with the day, I’ll carry on.

Portrait photos over, it was time for the food. The part that I was most worried about messing up during my planning. I mean, who want to go to a wedding and have pants food? Not me!

The food arrived and was delicious. No ones order was wrong. Phew, panic over.

My little man had his entire routine messed up with the wedding. He missed his nap. He was drained, and needing his mummy. Roast potatoes weren’t something he was after, he needing Mama milk.

This was the time when I wondered ‘I’m in a Vera Wang ballgown… can I even feed in it?’ Well, a mama does what a mama needs to do and nothing was going to stop me.

A wedding guest took the photo and I’m grateful for that. I uploaded it with the caption:

‘As we sat at our top table, Marny became upset, it had gone past his nap time and he was needing his Mum for comfort to feed. I as always, sat and fed him. I didn’t think anything of it, nor did my guests as they all know that he comes first before anyones opinions of public breastfeeding. Well those who don’t ‘agree’ with it, don’t actually come to thought, as I don’t care for that.
It seems someone did have a thought on it. Not a guest, but someone who was serving us.
This person decided to tell a very good friend of mine (I will not name anyone) that I was disgusting. That it was disgusting that a bride would sit at her top table breastfeeding in front of everyone. Disgusting? How am I disgusting? Would they prefer my super tired 2 year old, sat there screaming?

Marny fell asleep on my chest, and then was placed into his pram to have a well deserved nap.

The one time I never expected to be called ‘disgusting’ is on our wedding day of all days. Well, I am NOT disgusting, I am a mother catering to the needs of MY baby.

I think of all things, the person should have applauded me for breastfeeding a toddler in a ball gown! Now that I impressed myself with haha!
I also fed him while getting ready, and while dancing with friends… were any of them bothered No.’

Breastfeeding at wedding
As you can imagine, I had all sorts of comments with peoples opinions and nasty feelings about me doing this and uploading it. I had thousands of comments and over a thousand shares. Most good, plenty bad.

If you click on the link, you’ll see for yourself, if you wish.

For those that have opinion on public breastfeeding, please do keep it to yourself. It helps no one and can cause hurt. There is enough bad in this world without you adding to it.

If you’ve nothing to say, don’t say anything at all.

I for one am so proud of being an extended breastfeeding Mummy. I can, so I will.
He is 3 and a half now, still that milk monster he’s been from the start.

Many people already know the face behind Dinky Days, the photographer that adores to create beautiful photographs of your wonderful families.
But for those that are new here, I’m Aimee!

Essex Photographer
I have been running this wonderful venture called Dinky Days for 6 years now (January 2019).

I’m the daughter of a photographer, the cousin of a photographer and the niece of a photographer. All round, it’s in the blood.
It was meant to be, really.

You’ll usually see me bare faced, hair up, and excited raring to go ahead with your session here. Whether it’s a Maternity, Newborn, Family session and more. I have excitement for every one.

Twin girls
I’m originally from Kent, but moved to Essex at age 22 when I married my Husband.
That’s 9 years ago now, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s always great to turn a new page in life.

Growing up around photography, it became the norm for me. We were always being photographed by my Dad just in general life, or on the amazing wicker chair that I remember so fondly.
We have so many printed photographs from from Dad, and I still love going through them now. My Dad will always have a new set that I’d never seen before, and just pull them out when I pop to their house.

newborn photographer in Essex
I received my first camera in 2012. I was saving for my first DLSR, but my husband surprised me on my 25th Birthday with one. I did not expect that, but it is so appreciated.
Who knew that that gift would start my journey into the best career I could have ever chosen?
I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Seeing you all, meeting so many incredible families, creating all those amazing memories is what I strive for every single day.

Aside from being a photographer, I’m also a Wife to an epic man and a Mummy to three beautiful boys.
Three incredibly photogenic boys, who love nothing more than to pose for me… nope, that’s a huge fib! But chocolate, video games and park visits are a fab bribe 😉
With the faces they have, it would be wrong of me not to take their portraits for the world to see, surely? Well, even its just for me.

outdoor photographer essex

I have my studio at home, I had a room converted shortly after we moved in so that I could always be close to my children, but able to work whenever too.
Many don’t realise that the studio is based where I live, but it is and it works so perfectly. Your children seem to feel more relaxed faster, and this can only be a good thing when coming into a new environment.

You’ll find when you arrive here for your session, it’s a very welcoming environment. If my children are around when your photoshoot is booked, they’ll make sure to hello, they love meeting all the new people that come by.

I have this real urge to make sure that you, the parents exist in photos. I don’t have a Family portrait of my family and I, which is something I really wish we had. I don’t want you to feel like that, so you’ll find me always asking you to make sure we get at least one photo with you all in. There’s a reason for my madness haha. I know you won’t always feel comfortable or at your best, but your children won’t see that. They’ll look back at these photos and say ‘That’s my mum, thats my dad’ and feel nothing but pride and love.

Photographer in Essex

I often get asked if I photograph weddings. The 99% answer to that is no. I will photograph the odd wedding for a friend (very very few), and that’s it.
But its not something I’d advertise on my Facebook. 

I prefer to not be a Jack of all trades, I am certainly a specialist of Families. That’s where my heart lays and that’s where it will always be.

I never studied photography at school, I didn’t go to college to study it either. I have always adored being creative, I’m always darting about wanting to create something special.
Art was my favourite subject at school, and all these years later that makes sense.

essex photographer
Who knew this little face would grow up to photograph your little faces!

I guess as it was always a part of my life, it was meant to be. I couldn’t be happier about that.

This doesn’t mean I haven’t been trained immensely though.
Over the years, I have trained with some of the UKs best photographers, and together, that has helped carve me into the photographer I am today. My style I have grown into, and I feel it’s one that is recognised.

I am trained in First Aid, lighting, newborn posing, and most importantly I’m trained in newborn safety. There is nothing more important to you than knowing your baby is safe. You need to know you can trust your photographer with the most precious part of your life. I’m so pleased to be that person.

I adore to create timeless photos. One of my favourite things is when you return for your viewing and I see your faces light up when you view your gallery.
Yep, that’s me, the mushy, cheesy one who adores to see others happy. I mean, who doesn’t want to see others smiling? Crazy people. thats who!

So, that’s me! Warts and all… but we have photoshop for that 😉

Now, ready to meet me in person? I’d love to have you and your family in the studio here, it would be great to be your photographer.
Let’s create those photographs your children will look back on in years to come.

Book today by simply clicking here and I’ll be right with you. See you soon!

Having 3 sons, I get asked almost daily if I will be trying for a girl.

The simple answer to this is … no. No we will not be. Honestly, 3 boys are tough, but my gosh it’s a dream come true for me.

Our first son was born in 2010. The one who made me a Mum. 

3 sons
The first of 3 sons, this beautiful little fire cracker came into the world after 31 hours of labour and an emergency C section.
We knew during pregnancy that we were expecting a boy, but my gosh we didn’t know we could create such incredible beauty.
Lucky doesn’t even cover it.

Zishan is a mixed race, boy version of myself, but just a hell of a lot cuter I’m sure.
I had always dreamt of having a little boy who had long hair, and was obsessed with Fire Trucks, and I hit the jackpot!
Having over 100 firetrucks and regularly visiting the local fire stations, being taken on the fire engines, the firemen all knew him very well.

At school he’s in the top of his classes. Maths being his favourite subject, with no pushing at all, he soars through this subject and many more like they’re nothing. He needs the challenge, he craves it!
Being our first, he had all of time to himself with us, but would also happily play by alone with his trucks and singing along.

A superstar in football, this litre guys favourite colour of the moment is pink, BRIGHT pink and he has more TY teddies than you could imagine. Most being rainbow, I adore that!

Our second son was born in 2012. The one who could easily win worlds cheekiest child.

3 sons
The second of our 3 sons, this cheeky sausage fitted into our family like he was always meant to.
We had no idea during pregnancy that we were expecting our second boy. so many believed I was carrying a girl. My bump was lower, Zishans was nice and high.
My cravings were different, but the sickness ended at 12 weeks, just like with our eldest.

Idris, or Diddles as most of the world knows him (I’ve never called him by his birth name haha!) is a whirlwind. I don’t know many or any children that are quite so non stop.
Diddles is also a sensitive little lad, with a tough exterior. You really have to get to know him to know the person he really is. He has been judged for his outlandish ways, but those who judge him are simply wrong.
He’s amazing, he makes you smile even when you’re sat crying your face off. At school, he is known as the kindest and even won pupil of the year in 2018. We couldn’t be more proud.

I mean, he even bruised his brain and got through it like a boss.

Diddles is quite the lad, there’s no mistaking that (well unless you’re someone who doesn’t look properly when on the street but that’s a whole other blog). Boisterous, funny, loving and so adorable. You can’t help but love his little face.

And now for the third son. The one who laughs at the rules and makes his own.

3 sons
The third of our 3 sons. This little dude made us whole in ways we never even knew we needed.
Born screaming his little face off, you knew when he arrived, and you still do when he’s about.

This guy has had some tough times, one of which when he had emergency surgery for Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea. 
Diagnosed at just 1 year old, he was failed by a couple Drs, and let down by a hospital. He was Grade 4 which is the top. He would spend every night gasping for air, and I was awake most of the time for it. I would worry every single might that I would wake and he wouldn’t.
Thankfully I spoke to Great Ormand Street Hospital and they got Marny straight in for his sleep test, then very soon after he was in for his operation.
They removed his adenoids and shaved his tonsils. This meant less bleeding and faster recovery. Straight after, I’d never seen him eat so much! He could finally breathe.

Being the crazy  fella he is. He has knocked his head about a fair bit but he wouldn’t be him if he didn’t. He takes his injuries in his stride, such a funny little thing.

The last of our children, he is certainly a mummies boy, just like all three. But without doubt, he’s Daddy’s little cupcake.

So you see, I do have 3 sons, but they’re 3 of the most epic children in this world.

I understand people think I’d want a girl, but Id rather people didn’t ask so much. These 3 sons of ours are everything and more, they’re enough for us.

I’m a Mum of boys and I wouldn’t change a thing. These three were meant to be.

And, ugh aren’t they so handsome. those eyes, the jaw lines and not to mention that breathtaking hair.

If you would like portraits of your children, please know I don’t only photograph newborns, I absolutely adore photographing older children too.

Book now. Simply contact me by clicking here

Anxiety.

Im sure you’ve heard people speak about anxiety, but have you really listened?
I know its hard to understand if you’ve (luckily) never suffered from it. I wouldn’t understand it either if I wasn’t one of those who it attacks constantly. Until recently that it, but I’ll get to that further into this post.
It consumes you. It sucks every bit of energy out of you. You can have all the help in the world standing next to you, but when that attack hits, it’s you who has to get yourself out of it.
You struggle to breathe. You feel delirious. Everything closes in.

You may have an anxiety attack where you’re hyperventilating. You can have one where you’re sat in silence. I’ve had both.
You can come round quickly from it, or you can have the intense panic attack hangover.

Let’s start from the beginning, well from where I remember anyway.

I’ve always been know as the class clown, the annoying one, the one who goes over the top. I’d panic at many things, but hide it with a huge personality and excessive talking. I’d always appeared that confident kid, the one with no care.

Growing up, I thought I needed the attention. I guess it was my way of hiding my insecurities. I had many of those, and to this day I still do.

Into my teens I found school hard, like so many others do. I felt I needed to fit in, but of course I never did. I’m the girl who people would laugh and joke with, but that’s as far as it would go, I felt. Apart from the few friends I had (I still speak to now, I just never felt like I fitted into anyones circle).

By the time I was 18 I just took this as, well this is me. Maybe I am this odd ball, with the biggest personality. The one who has to stand out but wishes the world would swallow her whole. I had no idea what anxiety was, you see.

I would go out drinking with friends and 7/10 times I’d be in the backroom having panic attack. The doormen were great about it, they were really lovely, but always put it down to alcohol. But I knew that wasn’t it. Why was I even panicking? I was having a great time! The problem was, that great time was just a front. Ugh I wish I knew back then!

Anxiety

By the time I was 19, I met my now Husband, Malik. Anyone who has met him, knows he is such a gentleman and as patient as they come, well you have to be being married to me haha.
Looking back, it’s so embarrassing him turning up and Id be having a panic attack outside my flat. *Face palm*. The thing is, he didn’t batter an eyelid, that’s when you know you’ve met the right person I’m sure. they see you at your worst yet stay with you through all the hard times you go through.

Back then though, I didn’t know exactly what a panic attack was. you see, it’s only recently (maybe 2 years?) that I actually realised I suffer with anxiety. That this big clown I am around people is a front, that I now understand it. Getting others to understand though, that’s a whole different ball game. The word ‘anxiety’ is thrown around pretty easily. Pretty much like ‘OCD’ too. It’s passed about in conversations even when people actually don’t suffer with it.

I was in hospital not too long ago with more heart problems. I was showing many signs of a heart attack. I have a heart murmur anyway so I knew I had to (reluctantly) get to a&e to be checked out. I had all the normal tests. Bloods, ECG etc. I was spoken to by an amazing specialist in cardiology. I can never fault them, they’re always so great with me, APPLAUSE FOR OUR NHS!

After all the tests and so fourth, the Dr came in and spoke with me. She asked if I was stressed? I replied no, nothing more so than normal being a Mum to three boys. She then said she believes it my anxiety. Id been having silent anxiety attacks which I didn’t even know of and they had shown signs of a heart attack. You see, anxiety is that serious that it can come across that bad. So many people get taken to hospital with heart attack symptoms when it is their anxiety. She felt bad saying to me and didn’t want me to think she was just playing my anxiety down. We had a talk about it and I appreciated that I wasn’t being spoken to like I was wasting anyones time and it was good that I came in.

After this, I knew I needed to make a change. I needed to find something to help myself.

During yet another anxiety attack (they were pretty often, almost daily around august-November) I decided to look up hypnotism for this. I wanted to see if someone could help me. Thankfully I spoke to a few people and I was close to booking someone in the next week, I just needed to get the confidence and no panic about someone coming around my home to speak about it. That alone sounds ridiculous as I have clients almost daily coming here, but that’s different, photography is a focus.

My Husband often came downstairs when he woke (night worker) and would find me in a silent anxiety attack on the sofa hiding under a blanket. He knew. His words were usually ‘Are you feeling blah? Shall we watch a movie?’. And so we would, in silence with a hug, him now I was having an anxiety attack hangover (trust me, these are real and usually the worst part of an attack).

On the way back from walking my sons to school one day, an advert in the chemist caught my eye. Calling Marny back on his scooter, I decided to listen to my head and pop into the chemist. Speaking to the lady at the till, she wasn’t 100% sure on it as she was new to it too. She has a daughter that is quite anxious too, especially around her exam time. I said I would love to try it, that I had to try something as I was getting drained daily by the constant attacks. My soul just couldn’t keep going and it wasn’t fair on my children, Mummy feeling so drawn all the time.
Once I purchased, she asked me to give feedback when I felt like it was working or not working. No doubt I would!

So, home I went with this little bottle of miracle oil. Surely a pippet of oil couldn’t help that much?

Sat at my desk with this bottle, I googled over and over to make sure I was about to take the right amount in the best way. ‘half a pippet under the tongue and leave it there for 1-2 minutes’. Easy enough. It wasn’t even that bad. I mean, it tasted like mown grass smells but only for a couple of minutes. Within 30-40 minutes I felt a smooth surge of calm all over. I can’t even put into words the exact feeling, it wasn’t a crazy surge. It was so calming. I felt ok. That doesn’t sound like much but I am telling you, I had not felt ‘ok’ in the longest time.

My good friend Lauren rang me about an hour after I took it and said I sounds quite different. I wasn’t manic. I wasn’t darting about. I was sat still and focused without really trying. It was working! That tiny little bit of oil seemed to sort my chemical imbalance and I felt OK! I can now sleep within minutes instead of it somethings taking hours. All the envy of seeing my husband fall asleep within seconds was now gone, because I can now too!

Every morning I do the same. It’s now my morning routine. November 20th I believe it was when I started this, and I haven’t felt a moment of anxiety since. Do you know how freeing that is? No flapping my hands uncontrollably, no tapping my feet insanely.

So. Freeing.

I’ve even recently been out with friends without a single anxious feeling. I was in the moment. I was in every single moment. I laughed so much without worry. My real friends who know the anxious mess I usually am but love me for  it anyway. I have finally found my circle. My girls, you know who you are and I’m so grateful to you for not just chucking me out like many others have.

Anxiety

I highly recommend trying this. Not from a medical background, but from someone who has experienced high anxiety her entire life and is now in the light. I’m now no longer that class clown. I’m anxiety free Aimee-Jo, and I feel OK!

Thankyou for taking the time to read my mumbling. I really hope this helps you know you’re not alone, My crazy self now speaks out about it alot, probably more than I should but hey, that’s me! I’ll still always be the chatterbox 😉
Oh and some of my friends have started it too, and it’s also changed their lives. I LOVE THAT!

I personally used Celtic Wind CBD oil which is available online and in Lloyds Pharmacy stores.

I’m also calmer now in my studio sessions (still that big personality don’t worry) but now not hiding behind a mask.
Photography is such a huge focus in my life and will always continue to be, even with Anxious Annie comes around again.

Please listen to friends who you think/know are suffering. We just need to be listened to without judgement. It means alot.