{Belly bump painting} … from Whizzbangfacepainting

I am so excited about my new joint venture – I found Liz through an advert in Southern View and noticed that, although she offers belly bump painting (or gestational painting), she didn’t have any pictures to illustrate her talents. So we got together this week, along with Hollie (who, you might guess, is due to have her baby on Christmas Eve) and here are the results:

Liz produced several designs and she and Hollie discussed them, before deciding on a very Christmassy theme. Here is a detail shot:

And the full picture …

Liz and I are offering a joint session for pregnant mums – it’s a time to sit down, relax and enjoy the sensational of having a unique design painted onto your bump – Hollie said that she found it very relaxing and that baby was very active and moving towards the brush! I then offer a portrait session so that you can have some beautiful images and memories of the experience (the paint will wash off and should not stain your skin) as I imagine it would be quite difficult to see the whole picture for yourself!

Liz’s website is http://www.whizzbangfacepainting.co.uk (click here), her contact number is 01622 858750 and email is whizzbang@virgin.net. She is based in Lenham, near Maidstone, but is prepared to travel within reason. Liz also offers face painting and temporary tattoos which is great entertainment for parties, weddings, fun days and corporate events.

You can contact either of us to discuss the joint session (my contact number is 07786 314973 and email is samanthajonesphotography@live.co.uk).

Hope to hear from you soon!

{Deli Cakes} – supplier of wedding cakes and cupcakes …

I had the pleasure of meeting Janet, the owner of “Deli Cakes” at a recent networking seminar – she had the most unusual business cards I’ve ever seen …

Janet is based in Kings Hill and offers free delivery within the ME19 area. She is happy to discuss wedding, christening and birthday cakes, special celebration cakes (such as naming ceremonies) and corporate cakes.

Please do give Janet a call on 01732 843518 and mention my name … I am sure that she will be happy to discuss all your cake requirements! You could also take a look at her new blog: Deli Cakes to see all of her new creations!

{Lest We Forget} – Remembrance Day

Photography has opened many doors for me and has given me the chance to photograph and capture moments in time. I was asked to document the service held at the Memorial Gardens in Faversham, Kent on Remembrance Sunday. I am honoured to post some images of the service and overjoyed to her a proud mother tell of her daughter’s important role …

Marching at the Remembrance Day Service in Faversham

The Colours at the Remembrance Day Service in Faversham

Gentleman at the Remembrance Day Service in Faversham

Remembrance Day Service in Faversham montage

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

I am a very lucky {Auntie}

I have the most gorgeous niece. There, I said it and it’s true. I had a fab visit from my sister and my niece last Friday … Charlotte goes to Baby Ballet each week and, of course, we just had to take some pictures with her in her sweet little outfit …

Charlotte panorama

It was so relaxed and my sister had some great ideas for posing … but Charlotte is certainly her own woman already and was a super little model …

Charlotte montage

The set-up for these pictures is simple and unobtrusive. Photographs should be fun and not a chore. We also got some photos with just available light and I will leave you with my sister’s favourite shot, which she called the “Mona Lisa Smile” …

Mona Lisa Smile

My gorgeous little niece is very special to all of us … hugs {xxx}

Guest blog post – Helen Carter {wedding planner}

I am really pleased to put up this guest blog post from Helen Carter – as a wedding photographer, I have come across some wonderful planners who have really helped their couples, both before and on the day. I was interested to ask Helen a few questions, and here are her responses:

1. Why did you decide to become a wedding planner?

I first became interested in becoming a wedding planner after planning my own wedding, but it took a few years before I took the plunge and launched my own business. Organisation has always been one of my strongest skills (I’m obsessed with lists and spreadsheets!), and I love working through the logistics and finer details of wedding arrangements. I’m also quite design-oriented, so being a wedding planner seemed the perfect opportunity for combining my creativity and organisational talents.

Helen Carter Bouquet (Stephen Sutton Photography)

2. What services do you offer? Are there different levels of assistance that you can give?

Some couples want someone to take care of all the arrangements because they simply don’t have the time themselves or live in a completely different location to that of their wedding. However, there are lots of brides who need help with a specific aspect of their planning, or want someone to take the reins at a later stage so they can relax and enjoy the build up to their big day.

I probably have one of the widest ranges of wedding planning services in my area. In addition to full wedding planning, I also provide partial planning, venue and supplier sourcing, final weeks management, wedding day management, invitation and RSVP management and venue decoration. Every couple is different, so I can tailor the level of my involvement to their individual requirements to design a planning service that meets their exact needs. I also have a DIY wedding planning package that’s ideal for brides who want to plan their own wedding but aren’t sure where to start, which includes personally designed planning software and 5 hours of e-mail or telephone support.

3. How important do you think it is for couples to consider enlisting the services of a wedding planner?

I actually believe that a wedding planner is as essential as a photographer or caterer, and I’m not just saying that because it’s my job! Planning a wedding is fun and exciting, but it requires a lot of time, effort and organisation that mean it can often feel stressful and overwhelming. Hiring a wedding planner means that a couple can hand over all of the time consuming work, allowing them more time to enjoy their engagement whilst still making all the decisions.

Hiring a planner isn’t for everyone, and there are lots of brides that do a fantastic job of designing and organising their own wedding. However, I would definitely recommend that couples seriously consider hiring a planner for the wedding day if nothing else. They’ve spent so much time and money up to this point, the last thing the bride or her mum want is to be worrying about whether everything is going to go to plan. A wedding planner will create a schedule for the day, add the finishing touches to the venue, act as an emergency point of contact for all of your suppliers and deal with any little hiccups to make sure the day runs smoothly and on time without any fuss.

Helen Carter Bride and groom hands (Stephen Sutton Photography)

4. What geographical area do you cover?

I predominantly cover Essex, London and Hertfordshire, although I’ve also worked with couples in Kent, Cambridgeshire and Surrey. My fees cover travel within 50 miles of my base in Essex, but I’m quite happy to travel further afield if required.

5. What is the most unusual thing that you have been asked to provide?

I haven’t had any particularly unusual requests as yet. Every couple is different and every wedding is unique, so I’m always looking at ways in which the wedding design will reflect the bride and groom’s personalities, tastes and interests. Quite often the bride and groom have different backgrounds or cultures and want to incorporate elements of both into the day. Short of a bride wanting to arrive at the church on an elephant, I would say pretty much anything is possible and there isn’t much that would faze me!

Thanks so much to Helen for her informative responses and to Stephen Sutton Photography (www.stephensutton.co.uk) for kind permission to use images on Helen’s behalf. Helen’s website is www.helencarterweddings.co.uk and you can reach her by email at helen@helencarterweddings.co.uk. Helen also has a special offer of 20% off all services booked before 31st January 2010 – for full details click here, so it couldn’t be a better time to get in contact!

Joint Venture with {Impala Impressions} baby casting

I am pleased to announce an exciting new joint venture with Justine of www.impala-impressions.co.uk. Maidstone-based (but willing to travel …), Justine provides a large variety of home-casting services for your new baby.

I visited Justine recently and had the opportunity to see some of her beautiful, bespoke products. Justine explained “Even if you have a new arrival, and didn’t have your older children’s hands or feet cast, it’s still not too late!”. Justine offers a variety of options for home-casting or kits (which are available through her website). Pictures of her products show the detail in the castings, and how you can incorporate your own (adult) hand with that of a child …

Impala Impressions product shots baby hand and feet casting

or, indeed, baby feet or hands with those of its elder siblings.

Justine offers a home delivery service (for the castings, not for your baby!) and is more than happy to diarise forward to make an appointment in the first few weeks after your due date. And, as part of our joint venture, I am providing a portrait session which will allow you to have beautiful photographic memories of your baby (and other siblings) as well as the beautiful castings by Justine.

Justine also donates 1% of profit to The Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Trust.

Kent Creative Arts, Faversham {photoshoot}

I can’t believe it’s a week since my last blog post … well, actually I can as I have been so busy with family photoshoots, meeting up with wedding co-ordinators and taking creative shots like these …

Holly montage

The shoot was organised by the Faversham and District Camera Club and had great attendance. Holly Anne, who has modelled for me before, was there, looking fab in a wedding dress and cathedral length veil and two more great models which helped us all get shots like this …

The girls montage

As the weather was quite mild, we decided to take the girls outside for a few more shots, creating quite an interest in Abbey Street in Faversham!

B&W montage

Thanks so much to everyone who helped organise the night and to our super models! Hope you enjoyed it as much as well did!

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