"The Nativity Play" by Mick Inkpen and Nick Butterworth is a perfect book if yout child has school Nativity coming up. Stripy towels make a perfect shepherd outfit and an angel who feels beautiful in her outfit, asks for a magic wand, one of the shepherds has to wave to his parents in the audience before he gets on with his role, wise men present baby Jesus with some bath salts and the wise men's camel is struggling with the stairs!
All of it together with the very cute illustrations really puts you in the right spirit of seeing a lot of 4-5 year olds perform!
Seeing my daughter's first school Nativity was very special with plenty of very emotional and proud parents! I have only just managed it without needing a tissue!
"It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child Himself" - Charles Dickens
I love seeing Christmas through my girl's eyes! It brings back so many memories, and even though in my childhood it was the New Year's day, not Christmas. Christmas doesn't really feel "real" untill the Christmas tree is decorated! I still remember some of the Christmas tree decorations we had, most of them were from glass and I remember unwrapping them before hanging on the Christmas tree and then wrapping them before putting away.
I wanted to have some of those memories captured for my girls so I was determined even though now when Lucy is back from school there isn't not much light left! I have posted this photo on Facebook and I promised I would explain how I shot it - I turned the main overhead light off, so I had the Christmas lights and I have also used a work lamp, similar to this one - http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/60066540/. Very technical, right!
Even with a school uniform and no natural light I still love these images, I hope the girls will enjoy looking at them when they grow up.
November and December are very hectic for everyone, trying to fit in the meaningful gift finding for those who have everything they need. And what better gift for grangparents than the images of their beloved grandchildren :) And artwork for your own house. I've been busy photographing for the "gifts" in the last few weeks and some of them will have to wait till after Christmas to be shared! So here is the session that is definitely safe to share!
A family is going to visit their Aunt Martha whose Christmas tree "looks magical". In fact, it's "huge and sparkly and it glitters like a zillion stars". Of course, little Tommy and Laura are so excited before their big journey, they even wake up in the middle of the night and get dressed thinking it's already morning. But, unfortunately, when the morning eventually comes and they start driving through the country, the car breaks down!
And so, by the time the car is fixed, they have to go back home. Little Tommy is upset more than anyone else and his sister Laura finds a little tree that was left behind - "Come indoors with me, you look owfully lonely out here on your own". And then with the help of Laura's special secret star it becomes sparkly and glittery just as Tommy wanted.
Great illustrations and a lots of kindness in this book!
Ok, I won't even apologive for talking about Chritmas. I have been receiving an insane amount of enquiries in the last few days, rarely turn off my computer before 1 am, there are Christmas trees everywhere. And our library has so conveniently organised all the Christmas books for children that I thought I would start now to make sure I share all our favourites.
This is our last year's favourite! Whenever we read this book, we always laugh and smile and it makes us feel so happy, warm and kind - "Merry Chirstmas, Blue Kangaroo" (or "Just for you, Blue Kangaroo" in another edition) by Emma Chichester Clark (you might have noticed, I LOVE her books!).
So, first, there is a few days before Christmas - Lily makes her Christmas cards (and of course, one for her very special Blue Kangaroo), makes paper chains with her mum and decorates the room, of course, just for Blue Kangaroo. Then there is a Christmas tree that needs decorating, and of course, it's all just for the Blue Kangaroo, because it's his very first Christmas. And Lily wraps a present for her Blue Kangaroo - she made sure he is not looking first! Then there is a visit from the aunties, who come with mince pies and gingerbread men, with one that looks just like Blue Kangaroo and is for Blue Kangaroo. And when Lily sings a song on Christmas Eve, just for Blue Kangaroo, and by then little Blue Kangaroo is feeling very eager to give something to Lily for all those nice things she does for him, but he can't.
So, he can't sleep and is awake when Father Christmas comes. And the following conversation happens:
"What can I do for you, little Blue Kangaroo?" asked Father Christmas.
"Well, Lily says everything is just for me but I want something just for her, and I haven't got anything," said Blue Kangaroo sadly.
"Has she been good?" asked Father Christmas.
"Oh, yes!" said Blue Kangaroo.
So, Father Christmas lets him choose something for Lily and tells him that "Lily is a lucky girl to have such a good kangaroo as you!"
And our favourite moment is when Lily opens the gift in the morning, we all end up having a cuddle and can't help feeling happy!
Autumn is so beautiful and and so was this family with not just one, not two, but tree girls! The dad is very much outnumbered, but I'm sure he loves it :)
So, meet the three lovely sisters:
Now, this was a formal introduction. It didn't take too long for them to warm up (despite it starting to get cold rather quickly!) and to show off their skills. I would never suggest putting a child on a tree to get an image, safety always being a priority. However, if that's what the girls love to do in their every day life, not just for the camera, then I'm only happy to capture it :) In fact, I'm pretty sure the big girls have spent at least half of the session above the ground. Made me want to be a child and climb trees if you feel like it!!!
I'm sure it's just a matter of time till the baby -sister joins in the tree climbing fun! But for now, she is happy to be in her mum's and dad's arms :)
And no autumn photosession goes by without some leaf throwing!
It's always nice when we manage to take a photograph of just mum and dad together - being a couple. But believe me, the girls wanted to join in :)
It seems like I spend most of the time of my sessions chasing the perfect family portait, but the moments that warm my heart are always spontaneous and natural. Like a baby resting on her mummy's shoulder:
I still have a long list of the book we love, but then while browsing the library shelves we came accross this one: The Fantastic Mr Wani by Kanako Usui.
This book is just so different. Of course the illustrations are very bold, strong and simple, just what younger children love and definitely you can see some japanese influence there. I love everything about this book, even the paper! This is not the book to teach your child some great principles, it's just a funny book about a crocodile who is trying to be on time and keeps getting in a trouble.
I'm just so super excited about this book - I'm always amazed we find something different in our library. We have a lot of "old" favourites we keep taking out, and it's great to have a new favourite, expecially so refreshingly different!
I know, I know, it's not even Halloween yet! However, if you are thinking about a very meaningful gift for somebody you love and care about - here is an idea. Why not to book a family photosession and then gift your loved ones with beautiful canvases or framed images? A gift for your spouse with a family/children photographs or for your parents with the photographs of your children.
And taking into the consideration the time to edit and to create the finished products, there isn't that many weekends left! I have a very limited weekday availability and that's all that's the only Saturdays left: 20th of October (morning) 3rd of November 17th of November
Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to book your family session to used the images for your Christmas gifts!
As I have promised, I wanted to share a few more of my favourites from a family session from last month - http://tamaratoveyphotography.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/preview-family-session.html - a fun session we had at Blaise Castle...
I find that for some reason I am book by families with girls a lot more often than boys and maybe it has something to do with me being a mum of two girls, but I do love photographing boys! And here is the proof :)
I had to restrain myself from possting the entire gallery here :) But this should give you an idea...Had such a great time at this session...
That's what we have been up to mostly recently! Can't say that I love running back and forth to school and back! We are still getting used to our new routine, and I can't wait for the half term to come. I love seeing reception children - so cute in their brand new uniforms and so excited to go to school and equally excited to come out. Seeing my daughter in school uniform is still magical and sad at the same time! And I get to hear the phonics songs - about snake, and ants and noise airplanes though ones :)!
Please bear with me, I will be back to blogging very soon.
Strictly speaking, this is not a new book, because it's a part of the set I wrote about a few weeks ago, but it's the best book children's about birthdays!
Alfie and the Birthday Surprise by Shirley Hughes..
It's such a kind, lovely story, where Alphie's family helped to organise a surprise birthday party for their neighbour who was feeling a bit sad because he has lost his very good friend - an old cat and didn't want any birthday presents. I do love these books for exactly that - they help to teach kindness...
And the reason it needed to be about birthdays will be the subject of my next blog post!
It's been a while since I have showed a little sneak peek on my blog instead of Facebook! But not everyone is on Facebook, so here is one! I have regretted promising one though, because I can never pick just a couple of my favourites, it's more like 20 favourites. These are from the family session at Blaise castle from last Saturday. I have enjoyed playing with two little brothers, even though I never stopped in those 2 hours. I think it's easier to say what we haven't done - we danced; balanced a little airplane on our heads; threw grass at each other (yes!); looked for some dinosaurs, but only saw a squirel; and because it's Bristol, it's totally normal to just see a bunch of hot air balloons passing by!
For the boys' family - a lot more to come in your private gallery!
I met this lovely little boy last Saturday. This is definitely one of my favourite photographs of a newborn baby that I took, so I thought I would share it with you...Peaceful, perfect, new...
I love working with children of all ages, but newborn babies have a very special part in my heart. There is this magic feeling about them. This feeling has started since my own little girls started to grow up. Before that I was just worried a baby will cry when I hold it and I was eager to pass the baby back to mum. I remember when my first daughter was born, my friends who had children all wanted a cuddle with her. I didn't understand why untill later, when she wasn't a newborn anymore and the fog of constant tiredness was gone. When she wasn't a newborn anymore, holding another newborn baby was bringing back so many emotions and memories.
It's such a short amount of time when they stay so small and seeing them grow, change, develop and learn new skills is very exciting. But with that there is another feeling of wishing the time didn't fly so fast, wishing you can freeze a moment and enjoy it a bit longer. And that's what photography gives me. I always think I will remember what they looked like at any given time, but I don't. Every time I look back at the photographs I took of them earlier, I'm surprised how much I don't remember, how much they have changed. I just wish there was also a way to capture and preserve how you feel when you hold your baby, the feeling of their soft skin when you kiss their cheek, the special smell you baby has. My girls love looking at their photographs, I was showing them some photos of them and my almost 2 year old reached out to the screen like she wanted to pick up the baby (who was her big sister when she was a baby) and give her a cuddle. Wouldn't that be amazing if that was possible? But untill it happens, photography does it all for me. I can't feel their skin, the weights of the tiny body in my arms, can't sence their smell, but seeing the images of them being small triggers so many precious memories. And I hope it does the same for my clients.
Next week is coming too quickly... School next week! And for us, school for the first time! It hasn't really sunk in yet, it's crazy, scary and very exciting at the same time... for me that is!
So for this week, I chose "Come to School too, Blue Kangaroo!" by Emma Chichester Clark. About Lily who is going to school for the very first time... Another brilliant series that we love. Lily and Blue Kangaroo books are fantastic, and once again, Emma Chichester Clark has created this amazing, beautiful and perfect world.
Good luck to all the other parents who have their first child go to the school first time next week! I'm sure the children will do well, but the parents might struggle a bit!