2021 is a fresh start for me, some of it my choosing and some of it not.
I definitely did not choose to be closed since Christmas BUT it has allowed me to to create something really beautiful. Something that I am really proud of.
Those of you that know me know that I started in my lounge, then a teeny tiny studio at my old house. In 2018 we moved to a big commercial unit. There was so much space it was all a bit lost.
Fast forward to 4th January 2021 and building has commenced on my brand new studio.
Everything was designed specifically for me on the build, including lovely big windows to enable me to use natural light if I choose (I missed that option at the Yaxley studio!) I picked where all my sockets were going and even had my tv cable put into the wall so it all looks tidy with no wires dangling anywhere.
We quickly realised we need to sort out a good pathway to the new studio. Not being overly attached to the standard new build patio slabs, we saw that as a super opportunity to swap them for some we did like. Project 2!
We also found out how lumpy our lawn was! Hence the mud and seed mix!
Now we are a mere 5 days away from reopening, I’m sure you’d like to see the inside right?!
I went ALL OUT. New furniture, new samples, a massive clear out and a few new props too.
Here it is!
I have put everything I have into this space, and we have a very cool “wall of light”
“Whats that” I hear you say?! Its basically lots and lots of LED panels mounted to the wall and then covered with LOTS of voile to give a gorgeous backlit window effect. Something I used to do with just my studio light, resulting in lots of editing. This now allows me to easily shoot whole families with minimal editing required. Win!
It looks like this. (my girls were super pumped to test this for me LOL)
I can’t wait to see you again xo new Sawtry studio
I am so excited to reopen, this latest lockdown has been absolutley BRUTAL. We have homeschooled again. We have had deliveries rather than going out to the shops. And it has been winter. Winter weather affects me most normal years, so the fact that we have had to remain in our homes without the usual social interaction has been incredibly difficult.
Now we have a rough timeline for ditching these restrictions I do feel so much more positive, even though they are not definite dates, I am happy that I know the plan.
So I have now had time to put together my plan for reopening my business. And not just reopening my business in gerneral but reopening my BRAND NEW STUDIO!
Seperate blog post to show you that very soon!
reopening after lockdown 3
So let me explain…
The studio is probably going to smell of dettol – if you had a session with me after the last lockdown then you already know that! Absolutley everything will be washed/cleaned before you visit – if its wipeable it will be wiped. If its not washable or wipeable then it will be sprayed with disinfectant.
I will be leaving a day in between all of my clients, this is to allow me to open up the doors when you leave and air the entire room. It allows me time to clean everything and also allow time for the room to just be empty. This may seem a little O.T.T. but with most of my clients being babies I feel it is better to go a little overboard here.
There will be sanisiter for you to use on arrival and for you to use as much as you like throughtout the session. I will have my own bottle right next to me that I will be usuing thoughout too.
I will be masked – I have decided to keep this in place on a permanent basis when shooting newborns due to the close proximity to these tiny little people. I ask that you also wear a mask (as this is still the rules) unless you are being photographed. If you are exempt, I do request a face shield. I ask this because this protects me and my family, and in turn protects you guys too.
Standard practice for me is that all of my props are wiped down after use, and anything that is washable is washed. For those things in the studio that can’t be wiped or washed they will be sprayed with disinfectant.
I am today sharing a little note from a couple that are very close to us, they do wish to remain annonymous as they are private people. Please respect that in your comments.
We wanted to raise awareness on the sad side when pregnancy doesn’t quite go how as planned when you see two lines on the test. We debated posting this on social media however felt it was still a bit too personal and private to broadcast to EVERYONE. Nonetheless we still want to raise awareness and bridge a gap between this silent grief so many have to endure. I didn’t want to share on social media, however I am happy for you to share my email with whoever you feel would either seek some form of comfort from it, or to raise awareness. Please read the below….
Not one to post much about myself or anything for
that matter I really debated whether or not I should even post this at
all. But truth is I know that I am not alone in my grief and many women
and men have been/are going through this heartache
Today would have been the day our baby was due to come into this world. March the 19th was meant to be the happiest day of our lives, but unfortunately it is now filled with grief, sadness and emptiness.
Finding out back in August that our much loved and
longed for tiny human no longer had a heartbeat was the most painful
experience I have ever had to go through. To be on cloud 9 just hours
before, to feeling like someone had just ripped
out my heart was such a strange experience and not one I would wish
Truth of the matter is sadly I know I am not alone.
In fact I am one in every 4 women who have to endure the grief of
miscarriage – and the reason I am posting is because of this. So many
women (and their partners) suffer in silence and
I hated that I couldn’t tell people what I was going through.
Miscarriage shouldn’t be something couples have to do alone and quietly,
it should be something that we can talk openly about and I want to
start by sharing my voice.
Whether I will ever get the privilege to become
pregnant again I don’t know, but for that too short a time I had, I
loved every second being a mum.
See you in heaven little angel, you were too good for this world. We will never stop loving you.
Now in my job I only get to see the happy outcome, but I know so many of my clients have been here – more than you would think. What I want to say is; just because not now, does not mean not ever. There is so much hope and so much support. Please don’t ever sit in silence – I am here for anybody that needs it and my door is always open. Support can also be sought from Tommy’s, one of my favourite charities. https://www.tommys.org/
I want to end this post on a positive with some beautiful rainbow babies that my clients have given the ok to share. Let these little faces shine a light.
The following words are written by a lovely client of mine about her own personal experience. Its honest and raw, its not dressed up and its not trying to hide anything away. And I am so glad she wrote it for me.
I’m sure some of you will be able to relate, and I’m sure someone will read it and realise there is help out there. Its just making that first step to ask <3
Motherhood. It’s all dinky clothes and baby snuggles, right?
Nope. Motherhood throws you in at the deep end of nappies, sleepless nights and
being entirely responsible for a small human, right when society tells us we
should be at our happiest. It’s enough to make you ill.
When I gave birth to my first child, she was both planned
and longed for. I held her moments after she arrived and waited for that
much-quoted rush of love to hit me. It didn’t come. What did arrive the
following afternoon as we brought her home was a wave of mild panic. I had
never been a mum before, I liked things predictable and ordered. I was out of
I got through the first few days on adrenaline, but after
that the sleep deprivation started to bite. My daughter only wanted to be held
and wouldn’t sleep on anything that wasn’t breathing. When my husband went back
to work after his two weeks paternity leave I sobbed as he left the house,
knowing I had to get through nine hours alone. Pretty soon I was avoiding
leaving the house, in tears every day and struggling to sleep. I even (and this
hurts like hell to admit) began to refer to my firstborn as ‘it’.
When my daughter was about two months old, I happened to
confide to my best friend that I was having trouble sleeping, and hallucinating
baby cries in my dreams. I’d hear them, jolt awake ready to hold her, only to
find her sleeping peacefully next to me. My friend’s next words changed
everything ‘I think we need to get you some help for postnatal depression’.
Simply naming it was a revelation – why had I not noticed
what I was suffering from before? I wasn’t crazy, or a terrible mother. I was
ill. The next day she literally held my hand as I called my health visitor and
began a four month route out of my depression. I started to venture out of the
house, and my health visitor set me up with a baby massage course to help us
bond. Gradually I noticed I was crying less. At seven months old when my
daughter first slept through the night, I did too.
One in seven new mums will experience some kind of mental health challenge. So will one in ten dads. I want people to know that this is not unusual and you don’t have to accept these feelings. There is support out there, from phonelines when you just need to chat, guides on how to discuss your feeling with your GP and social media pages when it’s 3am and you need to know you’re not alone. Contact your health visitor or try www.pandasfoundation.org.uk if you need a starting point.
So this post is a little late..I have been intending to write a blog post on the new studio pretty much since I moved in, but life hey?! And better late than never haha!
So we have made the move from our little garden studio in Sawtry to a much bigger and better space over in Yaxley.
I think the new Peterborough studio can fit my old one into it more than THREE times! Its honestly just so huge. I absolutely love having so much space now.
When we have older siblings attending their newborn sessions with their new little siblings, they now have space to relax and watch a DVD. So if they want to stay with mum and dad they can do.
I also have room for a bigger backdrop, a huge plus point for me as it is a massive help in editing not to have everything squashed onto a smaller backdrop. It also means that I can accommodate studio family sessions – something I have until now been unable to offer. Most families do choose to have their family sessions in the beautiful outdoors.
I had great fun picking out new furniture and ordering some lovely fresh samples from my lab, allowing me to show you the gorgeous printed products I can provide in addition to your digital packages.
It definitely made a huge difference when we did last years Christmas Mini Sessoins..that extra space made building the setup a breeze! And I was able to do it more in advance, taking the pressure off my other shoots. Its the little things.