For the month of April, I will be doing the #MeetyourPhotographer Challenge on Instagram and have been quite enjoying the daily challenge of trying to find something to post on the set topic. The first week is done already and so thought I would write a Blog Post about the week and maybe fill in more details than is feasible on Instagram.
So this is what the Challenge Looks like with 30 individual challenges on a specific topic each day.
DAY ONE was actually a real challenge for me as it was about ME!! I am usually the one on the other side of the camera and so finding a photo of me was a nightmare.
A little bit about me though. I am Tracey-Anne and I will have been running my little photography studio for 16 years next month (May 2018)
Babies & Little People are my Thing! I specialise in photographing Newborns, Babies & Children. I just love babies & as a qualified midwife have spent most of my life working with them. I love nothing more than to wake up knowing I have a brand new baby to photograph. I love everything about newborns from their tiny little toes to their fluffy hair and scrummy new baby smell. But equally, I just love seeing them grow into little sitters with big beaming grins and funny little expressions and then into the busy, on the move toddlers exploring their world. I even enjoy the challenge of a 2 year old, who is stubbornly determined to control their little world and enjoy hearing their developing speech. The pre-schooler is wonderful too and I enjoy being able to have little conversations with them and hearing their little giggles when I am being silly.
When not pursuing my passion of photographing little people, I LOVE to travel & explore our world and over the years have travelled extensively. Travel really does broaden the mind and there are still so many places on my Wish List of places I want to see. The photo I chose to post in the end was of me and my hubby, David, love of my life taken in Marsaxlokk, Malta earlier this year.
DAY TWO of the Challenge was about WHERE. Well, I work from my Home Studio in my garden which was built by my husband & his brothers in a big hurry over the Christmas/New Year break of 2016/7 when we needed to move from our Margate home studio. It is a perfect, comfortable little space inside & designed especially for photographing little people. It looked very pretty in the snow recently so chose one of those photos to show you. Parking is on-street outside my home or on my drive and I am well positioned on the bus route.
My clients come to me from not only the Thanet towns of Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Birchington-on-Sea, Westgate-on-Sea, Minster and Monkton but also from all over South East Kent. Many of my clients travel considerable distances to me from surrounding towns and cities like Dover, Deal, Folkestone, Ashford, Canterbury, Whitstable, Herne Bay and the villages surrounding them. And some clients come from even further afield. The towns in our area are all around the coast with some of the best beaches in the UK. I’m definitely a seaside person and have never lived far from the coast. I am originally from South Africa but emigrated to the UK in June 2000 with my husband, 3yr old daughter & 17month old son and settled in Thanet. I started the business 2 years later.
DAY THREE was entitled HOW YOU STARTED. I have been interested in photography for a long, long time with a grandfather who photographed weddings & constantly did Cine films of us as children & a step father who was also a pro photographer and introduced me to the developing side in the dark room of his studio & gave me my first Olympus camera in my early teens. But it was only after emigrating to UK that I considered turning this hobby into a job which could work around my small children. I bought a good DSLR and began photographing my own and all my friends children and then opened the studio at home in May 2002 before moving into a studio which my husband built inside Jungle Jim’s Indoor Play Centre at Quex Park in October 2002. This article appeared in a local paper in June 2003 just after the first birthday of the studio. I stayed inside Jungle Jims for 18 months before moving back home, and have worked from a home studio ever since. I do like the flexibility of working from home and love to welcome clients into my little studio space which has grown in size with every move!
DAY FOUR is WORKSPACE. So this is inside my lovely little studio in the garden and the office space indoors which clients don’t really get to see. I am very proud of the little studio which my husband built for me. It is a calm and relaxing space and I love welcoming clients into it. My love of colour I think is very obvious in the files and box drawers. I love mixing colours and combining colours to create my images. And have always had a great sense of how colours work together and matching them up & love creating little scenes for my Shoots. This is where my creative side really comes into play utilising all my lovely props and making the images in my head come to life. For parents, I think this makes a shoot so easy. All I need really is a sleepy newborn/happy baby or child, a little direction in terms of a colour palette and I do the rest!
Day FIVE is all about ROUTINE. To be fair, this is a tough one for the self-employed working from home photographer. There is not really a set routine…..other than my morning cup of coffee and feeding our two cats, Jessica & Jelly. The routine depends very much on what is booked into the diary for the day. My diary is also a very fluid thing and can appointments can change really suddenly. Newborns are booked in around their due dates. I have little Post-it Pad notes in my diary blocking off spaces for them and then juggle these according to their actual births. Other shoots like Sitting Babies, 1 yearr old Cake Smashes and Maternity Shoots are then fitted around the expected newborns. I always ensure that there is space reserved for pre-booked newborns. Then I will also always try to fit any last minute bookings of newborns in. So if baby arrives and you still haven’t booked, do still get in touch and I will make every possible effort to fit you in. Equally, if your baby is unwell on the day of a booked shoot, do get in touch and we will re-schedule. I do also photograph children in their Nursery Schools twice a year in May/June and Oct/November and have several local nursery schools on my books. Then a couple of times a year, I also photograph Dance Schools, usually during their Show Time so I can capture all their beautiful Show Costumes. When not actually taking photos, there is always a never ending queue of photos waiting to be edited, shoots to plan, e-mails and Facebook Messages to answer and phone calls to make and other admin and marketing jobs. I have to admit to being a bit of a workaholic and can be found at my computer from early morning until very late most nights! Fuelled as always by lots of cups of coffee and kept company by our 2 lovely pussy cats.
Day SIX was showing you our PACKAGING. Orders come beautifully packaged in these little white bags and in white Boxes and Envelopes with lots of tissue paper in royal blue & cerise pink with ribbons to match in the colours of our studio brand. And inside there are your lovely photo goodies and there is always a little surprise….
Day SEVEN was called TIME TO RELAX. I do find it hard to switch off the work mode. Working from home doesn’t help…..as technically, I never leave work! This is why holidays are good as it really takes me away from my work/home environment. But on a daily basis what do I do to relax. I have recently joined a gym, in order to achieve some of the goals I have set for the year. And, I have found that I like to unwind in the pool at the gym. I love to swim and this pool is warm and a really calm space. And while I am exercising, I find it washes away the stresses of the day! What do you do to relax? As this is just as important part of our lives as working is.
So that concludes the first week of the #MeetyourPhotogrpher Challenge. Thank you for reading it and hope that it gives you a better idea of who I am and what I do. Join me next week after week 2 of the challenge. I just hope I can keep up with it all