Shabbat in a hospital ward – Jessica’s story [London Family Portrait Photographer]

North London Family Portrait Photographer

As a family portrait photographer I love learning more about my clients. I asked Jessica, a mum from North London, to share a family story with me. What came made me cry and hug my own children a little closer. Thank you Jessica for reminding me to be grateful and count my blessings.

Shabbat is the Jewish day of rest. It begins before sunset on Friday and ends after nightfall on Saturday. In a hospital ward, where candles cannot be lit, many have the custom to use small electric tea lights.

There is nothing quite like the beginning of Shabbat. Every Friday before the sun sets, I cheerfully anticipate the feeling of peace that I know will rush through my body and soul after I light my Shabbat candles, set in the silver candlesticks passed down through generations of my family. As I light, I often imagine a well-lined face surrounded by a shawl in a dimly lit shtetl cottage. Her mouth moves to the same pattern as mine, praying for her children and grandchildren.

But on Friday 16th November 2018, there was no match to strike, no long white candles, no silver candlesticks. No feeling of peace.

The flick of two small switches on the underside of a pair of electric tea lights gave me no respite from the exhaustion and fear that had consumed me for days. If anything, I was more anxious than ever.

We were nearing the end of day six of Hillel’s confinement to a tiny room in Barnet hospital, and it was his birthday. He was exactly one month old.

I knew only too well that it was day six, because day five was the deadline that the doctors had given us for his illness to ‘turn a corner’. Until then, we were assured, “Today might be the day he gets better…. actually his oxygen levels are down again, we need to stop the tube feeds… and let’s turn the pressure level back up…” A torturous cycle of hope and disappointment that accompanied an unrelenting, frightening responsibility for this very sick child who my two older children had joyfully welcomed home a few weeks earlier.

For five nights I snatched fitful snippets of broken sleep, fearful that I wouldn’t hear my baby the next time he had a coughing fit and needed my help. The only respite was visits from family, and the only structure was the three-hourly hum of the breast pump and my little trips to the ward freezer.

Nothing in those unbearable five days could have prepared me for what happened that Friday, not long before I flicked the switches on the electric tea lights.

As had so often been the case I was alone with Hillel, just watching him attentively as he lay at the centre of the too-large bed with more tubes visible than body parts, when he went very quiet. My eyes immediately shifted to the green numbers on the monitor, which were dropping. Too far and too fast. I shouted, nurses came. I can’t remember what they did but the numbers picked up again and he was ok. I wondered dizzily if it had been real, or if I had made a mistake, or if what I had seen was simply a confused product of sleep deprivation.

But then it happened a second time, only this time my husband was there too and I definitely didn’t imagine it. A (thankfully) jittery nurse who I had never seen before appeared and pressed the big red button on the wall behind Hillel’s bed.

Our six days at Barnet hospital ended very much how they had started, when Hillel had been rushed to resuscitation in A&E and surrounded by medical staff within minutes of our arrival. Only this time at least three times as many doctors and nurses appeared, and we the parents were sent outside so that they could determine our son’s fate out of earshot.

Shabbat is a joyful time and we aren’t supposed to cry, but as I stood outside the closed door to Hillel’s hospital room, shocked and helpless, I cracked. Once I started I couldn’t stop, and I’m pretty sure I unwittingly terrified all the other parents and their kids on the open-plan ward nearby with their broken legs, appendicitis and other minor ailments.

Before long we were told that Hillel would need to be put to sleep, a tube inserted into his throat and a ventilator used to do his breathing for him. “He’s just too tired” they said.

I may not be medically trained but it wasn’t hard to grasp what “tired” was code for.

We were also told that the best paediatric anaesthetist in the entire hospital would be performing this delicate procedure. We wished Hillel didn’t need someone quite so well-qualified.

I have never prayed and cried as hard as I did that evening in the dark, silent waiting room on the third floor of the hospital, far away from my little one. I didn’t know where he was and wasn’t allowed anywhere near in any case. Finally, the best anaesthetist in the hospital appeared at the door.

His first words to us: “He’s alive”.

Then there was more waiting. Which hospital with a paediatric intensive care unit would Hillel be transferred to? How long until the specialist ambulance service would arrive? And then the lengthy process of transferring Hillel into the capsule they use for transporting very sick babies.

When we finally arrived at the surprisingly calm St Mary’s PICU at two o’clock in the morning, we soon began turning a long-awaited corner. The doctors were going to test Hillel for absolutely everything, he would have 24-hour nursing care and bronchi babies like him were their ‘bread and butter’. Shabbat finally enveloped us in its cloak of comfort and peace.

I will never forget what Hillel went through, and I still have flashbacks two and a half years later. But recounting this painful story reminds me to try and make the most of the time I’ve been given in this world, to live in the moment instead of being stuck in my own head, to cuddle my children more, to just sit and watch them and soak in their beautiful innocence as they play. To recognise that life’s hurdles – big and small – are all opportunities for growth. And to be grateful for every Friday that I am blessed with the chance to strike a match and light those long white candles again, with all three of my children by my side.”

Family Studio Portrait Photography in London

National Infertility Awareness Week [London portrait photographer]


It is my last National Infertility Awareness Week post. I wanted to share one more story from my photographic project ‘Waiting for the miracle; Through infertility to motherhood’. In the project, 18 women shared their most personal and intimate stories to raise awareness of infertility, miscarriage and baby loss. Our main aim was to support others who are still on their journeys to parenthood, to give them hope and let them know that they are not alone in their struggles.

Thank you Alex for sharing your journey.

“My story begins 2008 which is the year I got married. We had been together for years and knew we didn’t want to wait for kids so as soon as we were back from honeymoon I stopped the pill and we were very ready to start a family. My naive 26 year old self just thought it would happen just like that!

Unfortunately I had no idea I had PCOS and it would take us 2 and a half years to fall pregnant.

When I came off the pill, my periods never returned to normal; in fact my periods didn’t return at all! As you can imagine this was very distressing for us both as there was no way we could try for a baby if I had no cycle!

We decided to go to a private consultant to find out what was going on. When I was diagnosed with PCOS I was distraught, I had never heard of it and knew nothing about it, all I knew if that from my internal scans I could see my ovaries where covered with black holes all around them which I was told were eggs that had not released properly. Previously I had been on the pill from the ages of 16 -26 and fertility problems had not even crossed my mind. I had even gone to the doctors when I was around 20 asking if I should give my body a break from the pill as I had been on it for so many years. The doc response was “do you want a baby now?” When I said no not now he said then I need to stay on the pill – no need to come off. If I had stopped and given my body a break I would have noticed I had problem years before wanting to start a family! Anyway nothing I can do about that now.

So back to my diagnosis – the first thing my consultant did was to refer me to a nutritionist and she advised me to go on a low GI diet…which I did. Secondly he gave me medication to bring on a period and hormones to try and increase the chances of ovulating…this went on for a number of months trying different strengths of chlomid and going back regularly for scans – nothing worked! Nothing changed! My lining was not building up and I felt hopeless.

After what seemed like forever the next step was to start using stronger fertility drugs by injecting myself in the tummy to bring on ovulation…this also went on for months and months – it was a painful and unpleasant experience which I hated. My husband use to help inject me …meanwhile I was feeling so down about it all, it felt very lonely. I was the first out of my group of friends to get married and want a baby so I was very innocent about fertility problems and literally didn’t have anyone to talk to that understood other than my husband.

Also I would see pregnant woman everywhere!! On the train, at work, walking in the street, on tv/movies – just couldn’t get away from it! I just felt like we were stuck in this place where our lives couldn’t move on…I felt less of a woman…like I had all the right bits but they just didn’t work…I felt like it was my fault….

My ovaries over-stimulated from all the medication, my consultant recommended that we start the NHS IVF process which we did. My husband had numerous tests and he thankfully has no fertility issues – I had so many tests and blood tests I felt like it was never ending. Also the NHS appointments were so far apart- we would go for one and the next one would be scheduled for 3 months later…to us this was devastating as everyday without being pregnant was a nightmare…

As long as I had an appointment booked id feel a little bit better – like there was light at the end of the tunnel…like I was actually doing something…I never gave up…I knew we would be parents, somehow!

After being told I couldn’t use anymore medication and I need to give my body a rest after I had over stimulated we decided we needed a holiday…we went to Disneyworld Florida and had an amazing time!

Quite soon after coming back and one week before I was due to start my IVF round – one morning I said to my husband I have a bit of a tummy ache – out of the blue he said to me “I think you should do a pregnancy test, I just have a feeling you are Pregnant!” I looked at him like he was crazy. And I was even cross that he suggested it! No periods, no cycle, no eggs being released – how could I possibly be pregnant?! My last scan had showed my lining was not building up and even if I did fall pregnancy it wouldn’t hold!

He was quite persistent that I did a test so I did just to prove him wrong BUT i [and] got the shock of my life – I did the test and I couldn’t believe my eyes – 2 lines!! I could see 2 lines! I was pregnant – it was a miracle!!!

I don’t know how it happened but it did and Olivia was born in January 2011. Our daughter is 5…she is our little miracle and we tell her most days how much she was wanted!

Our son was born in Oct 2013, after Olivia was born my periods came back to normal, but I never went back on the pill or on any contraception. When we decided to try for a second baby I was able to work out my ovulation dates by having a regular cycle and it actually worked after about 3 months officially ‘trying’.

Thank goodness I had great healthy pregnancies, Olivia was breach and Harrison was transfer so both were born c-section.

Our family is now complete and it’s a wonderful feeling to never have those worries again.

I hope my story can give hope to others in similar situations.”

How to take meaningful family photos – professional tip [Documentary family photographer in Hampstead and Highgate]

Candid family photographer in London

As a professional family photographer specialising in capturing candid, natural moments and important family events, here what I would advise you:

PHOTOGRAPH WHAT’S REAL. The daily, messy stuff. Try to see the funny side of chaos. I know, it may be difficult in the moment but in few years’ time these images will flood you with all sorts of emotions and gratitude. (Even if it’s just gratitude that the crazy tears are over and you managed to survive them!)

Your kid dumped their lunch bowl on the floor? Take a picture first before tidying up or screaming at them! 😊

Interestingly, the act of photographing can help you deal with the daily difficulties of parenting. It removes you temporarily from the heat of the moment and gives you a different perspective – that of an observer rather than sorter-out-of-things. Often, by the time the picture has been taken, you will find yourself in a better frame of mind (pun intended) to deal with whatever life, or your child, has thrown at you. Or at least you will feel somewhat less murderous towards your offspring 😊

It’s like taking a breathing pause, but in a more productive and creative way.

Seriously, try it!

My kids know that when I’m holding the camera, they can get away with so much more and sometimes say to me: “Mummy, if you let us do this, you can come along and photograph!”

Here are a few images that, for me, summarise this.

Infertility and IVF success story [Child Photographer Central London]

Infertility and IVF – London portrait Photographer

As a family and child portrait photographer I always try to improve my photographic skills and to use them in a meaningful way. That could mean creating portraits which will become family heirlooms, or capturing moments that with time will become treasured memories.

I also undertake personal photographic projects, hoping to make a difference with my photography, to help others or to explore something that’s deeply meaningful and personal to me.

This project – ‘Waiting for the miracle – through infertility to motherhood’ ticked all of these boxes. After years of infertility and treatment, when I finally became a mum, I wanted to do something to support those who were still on their journey to parenthood. To show them that they are not alone. That, even if you have gone through the most difficult obstacles and the most unimaginable pain, there is still hope. This is how this project was born.

Kelly’s photos and story are part of this project. Thank you so much Kelly for being so open about your experiences (and a fantastic model too!)


My husband and I tried to conceive for five years with no luck. We went through endless appointments, referrals and testing, to finally be allowed 1 round of IVF/ICSI through the NHS.

At our first appointment, we were told of the risks involved and chances of a successful pregnancy (less than 20%). We thought “We’re both young and in good health, we’ll be one of those who succeed.” Sadly, we were wrong.

The egg collection process was horrendous. The drug treatment left me feeling bloated and ‘ripe’ and so unlike myself. The operation left me feeling tender and bruised. I ended up in emergency gyno because I was in so much pain as blood had collected in my abdomen from the egg collection. I was in hospital for 2 days and on the second day they wanted to implant the one and only embryo that was suitable for transfer.

With fingers and toes crossed, the embryo was transplanted with no problem and, within a few days, I started to feel some symptoms of pregnancy – joy! However, this was short-lived and the pregnancy test was negative after two weeks.

To say we were heart-broken is an incredible understatement. I was devastated and didn’t know how I was going to cope, so “Plan B” came into effect: private fertility treatment, even with the hefty price tag.

We made an appointment with a private clinic and we were quickly able to start another round of treatment. Everything was different and more promising. We had more eggs collected and more successful embryos. We transplanted one and crossed our fingers.

Thankfully, we were successful and eternally blessed. The pregnancy was as good as we could expect. The delivery was fairly uneventful but ended with an emergency caesarean. I cried in disbelief when I heard my little boys first cry and was dying to see him. Nurses were still cleaning him and such and he was having problems breathing on his own. Luckily, with some skin-to-skin contact (eventually!) we were both able to calm down and things got better.

My husband and I love our little miracle boy with every fibre of our beings and has brought us closer together. He amazes us every day and I cherish the cuddles and smiles every single day.

In the project, 18 wonderful women shared their personal journeys to raise awareness of infertility, miscarriage and baby loss. Our main aim was to support others who are still on their journeys to parenthood, to give them hope and let them know that they are not alone in their struggles.

You can see highlights from the full project HERE

Family, baby and child photographer London

I won a big documentary family photography competition!

As a documentary and lifestyle family photographer based in London, I always work on improving my skills to give my clients the best possible images.

I am not quite sure why I never shared this amazing news: a whooping eight of my images have been awarded in a prestigious, global competition for documentary family photographers! (Life Unscripted Images.)

I love winning (well, yes, I am competitive and I work really hard to grow as a photographer) and I was in a great company of many brilliant professionals. However, I have to say, the news initially really scared me. Why?

The last time I had won a major photographic competition and had my work published (in a real, glossy paper magazine – remember those times?) I… stopped taking photos for almost half a decade. In a way I couldn’t quite understand then, that prize took away the joy of photographing from me. It became more about winning than creating. What else could I submit? What images would the judges like? In asking these questions I lost the thrill, the flow, and consequently – the interest.

Twenty years later I am in a completely different place. Family photography is my life’s work, joy and purpose. I still worry a lot. Are people going to like what I create? Will my clients see what I can see? But these worries don’t fully dictate my photographic direction.

At the same time, I’m cautious. I don’t post much on social media as I don’t want to get too preoccupied with counting the likes. I submit my images for professional critique instead.

But, scared or not, here is to creating beautiful, meaningful family portraits and family documentary photographs that bring joy to people!

Which of the awarded family photographs is your favourite?

National Infertility Awareness Week [London Portrait Photographer]

IVF success story – Portrait photographer London

For the National Infertility Awareness Week I wanted to share an IVF success story from my personal photo project ‘Waiting for the miracle; Through infertility to motherhood’. (Thank you so much for taking part Frances!) In the project, 18 wonderful women shared their personal journeys to raise awareness of infertility, miscarriage and baby loss. Our main aim was to support others who are still on their journeys to parenthood, to give them hope and let them know that they are not alone in their struggles.

You can see highlights from the full project HERE


My story is one of luck, mostly. After just over two years of keeping our fingers crossed and then knocking on GP’s doors, we finally got the green light for IVF. I actually found that once we were on that path, I felt better overall, as it was a positive step towards something that we wanted vs. being in limbo and waiting. ‘Try treating it like a project for work’ was sound advice from a friend and fellow IVF-er – it focused me on throwing everything I had at making it work, as I do in my job. I tried acupuncture (psychologically helpful if nothing else), herbal teas (stinky but again, made me feel I was taking positive steps), hours of googling, drinking gallons of water, nutritionists, cutting down my stress levels at work a little and more exercising. It WAS really hard and stressful and so tense, but overall was luckily a straightforward process for us. I’m a twin and always wanted twins, so when the moment came we said ‘put two in’, despite knowing for us it wouldn’t increase our chances of success. It worked! I carried them to 35 weeks and then my beautiful, crazy twins arrived safe and sound.

I kept it quite quiet as I was going through it, limiting myself to talking to certain friends only. The friend above who had been through IVF before was such a cheerleader and project consultant for me, she was an inspiration. Practical advice on everything from how to handle what to tell work and clients to what it would actually BE like to go through the process, as well as positive thoughts of my goal – all of this kept me about as calm as I could have been.

Ever since then, I’ve been really open with people about having had IVF, as I know how much it meant to me to be able to ask the stupid/practical/losing-the-plot questions. I am proud of wearing the IVF badge of honour and effort, and I think my kids will be too when they hear about it when they are older! When the twins were nearly 18 months, I found out I was having another little one. Now I am the lucky and proud owner of three amazing little people!

I found it so difficult to hear about ‘everyone’ being pregnant around me at the time, and so I work really hard never to assume anything about other people on the baby front, and to be up front about my history with people who are struggling so that they feel that they have at least one friend to talk to if it helps. It looks like ‘everyone’ got pregnant really easily, but when you open up to people, there is often a more complicated story behind the scenes, that makes you feel less alone than you thought you were. Good luck with chasing your dreams!

Infertility success story – London child photographe

How to take beautiful photos of your newborn [Professional baby photographer tips]

Professional newborn baby photographer North London

As a mum and a professional family and baby photographer, the main thing I’d say is – DO IT! Even when you are tired, busy with endless feeds and can only dream of catching up on sleep.

Your baby will not stay this tiny and squishy for long. In a few weeks’ time, holding your energetic, smiling infant, you won’t believe how small he/she once was and you will be glad to have the photographs to remind you. And by photographs I don’t mean quick phone snaps or selfies. They have their place and are great for capturing candid moments but you also want more special, beautiful pictures of your little new person.

So here are my top tips on taking beautiful photographs of your newborn baby.

  • Don’t try to recreate professional images or pictures you have seen on Pinterest. Professional newborn photographers (at least the good ones) would have had a lot of training and experience enabling them to pose and photograph babies in both beautiful and safe way. Often newborn images are composites of two photographs or have certain elements (like photographer’s assistants hands) edited out. When photographing at home go for more natural, lifestyle images instead.
  • Always make sure that baby is safe – don’t place them on furniture, book or towel stacks or other object which they may fall from. Newborns have a very strong startle reflex – you would be amazed how far they can travel when startled. Placing baby in the middle of the bed or on a large armchair, with someone else close by for added safety is the way to go.
Professional newborn baby photographer in London
  • Your partner or baby’s grandparents could make good props too. Photographs of newborns cradled in grown-ups’ arms really show how tiny and vulnerable they are. Plus new babies are much happier when held and you would capture a beautiful, loving connection.
  • Make sure you get in some of the pictures too! I have lost count of all the mums who said that they have so many portraits of their babies, on their own or with dads, but almost no pictures of themselves with them. And how much they regret that.
Natural family and baby photographer in London
  • Another way of introducing a sense of scale is to photograph your baby with a cuddly toy or some other object. You can photograph the baby with the same toy a few months later and marvel at how they have grown!
Newborn portrait photographer London
Family and baby photographer in London
  • Make sure you have good light – it will take your photo form a cute snap to a beautiful image. Place baby on a bed close to a window, with light falling at about 45 degree angle, from the top of baby’s head downwards.  We are used to seeing faces lit from above by the sun so it looks natural to us. Having the light falling at an angle rather than flat onto baby’ s face, on the other hand, will create interesting shadows and help to make the image look three-dimensional.
  • For cute portraits, photograph when the baby has been fed and winded and is content and sleepy.
  • When you are trying to get baby into that sleepy state for photos wait about 20 minutes after they have fallen asleep. This is roughly how long it takes for them to fall into a deep sleep when they are easier to move and less likely to be disturbed and awaken.
  • However, don’t forget to photograph some of those more fractious moments too. You will be surprised how many emotions and memories they bring when you look at them in a few years’ time.
Documentary and lifestyle family photographer in London
  • Don’t photograph them naked, unless you are happy to clean up the mess that will inevitably be created. The professional images of cute, naked, scrunched up babies, would have been taken in professional studio environments which are set up to handle the mess in an efficient and hygienic way. It’s best to put a nappy on and cover it with a blanket.
  • But if you do photograph your baby naked or wearing just a nappy, make sure the room is warm enough. Your newborn is used to being in a very warm environment and needs the room much hotter than grown-ups to feel comfortable.

I hope you find these tips helpful. Please feel free to share them with friends or on social media – you never know which of your friends may find them helpful!

And send me some of the images you have taken! ([email protected]) I’d love to see what you have created and would be happy to give you some professional critique, to help you make your photos even better!

Jo and Jacob – through infertility to motherhood [Family portrait photographer London]

Jo with her rainbow baby – family portrait photography session in London

(Trigger warning – multiple miscarriage)

“I was 17 when I first got pregnant by accident. Although I felt scared and unprepared to be a mum, I didn’t imagine I would feel so strongly for this little baby inside me. Everyone around me suggested I have an abortion but I just couldn’t go through with it and began to get excited about being a mum. Then at 11 weeks I miscarried. I’d never felt pain so deep and felt completely empty and alone. In the months after I began to feel desperate to become a mum, I felt like the miscarriage had left a hole so deep in me that it could only be filled by having my own baby to love! There were times when the desperation took over my life!

I had 4 more miscarriages in my early twenties and it put a lot of strain on my relationship with my ex. He didn’t understand my need to have a baby so young, but I was so worried that I wouldn’t be able to have children and felt the constant need to fill the hole in my heart! We ended up breaking up because he didn’t want a family so young and it tore our relationship apart.

It put a strain on my friendships too at times. I remember when Friends would tell me they were pregnant or I’d see Facebook announcements of pregnancies I’d always feel that pang of jealously and envy, wishing that I would be as lucky as them. Even seeing pregnant strangers would hurt! I remember returning to work after a missed miscarriage and a kid in my class (I’m a primary school teacher) asked me if I had a baby. When I said “No, not yet”, she said “Why not?” Such innocent questions, but I remember fighting back tears thinking “Yes, why not? What have I done wrong?”

It was hard being pregnant at the same time as close friends or colleagues and then losing the baby and seeing their babies grow up and always thinking our babies would have been around the same age, friends perhaps, and imagining all the little things they would have been doing at each stage of development.

One piece of advice that really helped was from a lady I met who had miscarried many times. She said: when you feel jealous, envious or angry of someone else being pregnant, be it a friend or a stranger, remember you don’t know what they have been through, what it took for them to get there! They may have struggled for years to get pregnant or had multiple miscarriages or lost a child! You just don’t know! This helped me because it made me think I should be happy for someone else as they may have got their happy ending and there’s hope for me too!

I found dating difficult because most of the men just wanted something not too serious and I was looking for commitment and someone who wanted the same thing as me – a family! I went on dates and never played it cool. I thought there’s no point wasting any more time; I would lay my cards on the table. I would tell them I want to get married and have children soon and if that’s not what you are looking for in the near future, then there’s no point wasting each other’s time getting to know each other! They must have thought I was crazy but after being in a 7 year relationship with someone who didn’t want the same things as me, and that feeling of constant desperation to be a mum I didn’t care!

I met Michael, my husband, at 25. He came from a big family with lots of brothers and sisters. He had 13 nieces and nephews and was very family orientated. I told him how much I wanted a family and although he admits he thought I was a bit crazy he admired my honesty and that I was straight up with him. He said he loved kids and wanted to be a dad, just not quite yet. We did everything quite quickly, fell in love, got married a year later, and had a baby boy Jacob who is now a year old and I’m 15 weeks pregnant again!

Writing it down, I still can’t believe my dream came true and I met such an amazing guy who’s such a good dad to our baby boy and that I am a mum! I’m writing this whilst my son is sleeping on me and I feel so lucky to have been blessed with him! The love I feel for him is overwhelming. When I held him in my arms for the first time it was like the pain and worry I had been feeling for the last 10 years just disappeared. I remember chatting to a woman who had gone through 12 miscarriages before having her daughter and she said you only truly begin to heal when you hold your child in your arms for the first time, and it’s true!

I found being pregnant with Jacob overall quite stressful and very worrying! I constantly checked my knickers for blood and would go to the hospital for multiple scans, sometimes begging them to scan me to make sure he was ok! I started to relax a bit more in the later stages of pregnancy although I did have a lot of complications and he was born premature but healthy! I’ve relaxed more with this pregnancy but there’s still always worry and fear niggling at the back of your mind! There were times that I really lost hope that I sunk into depression but I think you have to try and keep the hope and faith that one day you will be lucky enough to be a mum or dad. To keep trying and not give up!

I never found out why I miscarried 6 times even though I saw specialists, but looking back I believe that it wasn’t the right time to bring a baby into the world. I do believe that things happen when they are supposed to happen and that everything happens for a reason even though at the time I would never have seen that through my sadness!

I feel that miscarriage is such a taboo subject and many women don’t share their experiences with other women, close family and friends. I really hope that one day it’s talked about more and that sharing with each other will help other women to not feel so alone.”

Jo’s image and story were part of my photographic project ‘Waiting for the Mmiracle; Through Infertility to Motherhood.’

18 wonderful, brave women took part and shared their most personal and intimate stories to raise awareness of infertility, miscarriage and baby loss. Our main aim was to support others who are still on their journeys to parenthood and let them know that they are not alone in their struggles.

If you are going through infertility or have had a miscarriage yourself, I hope you find consolation and hope reading this. I’m sending you all the love and strength. You are amazing!

I will be publishing all the stories on the blog over the coming weeks. Please sign up to my mailing list if you want to follow them and get notifications.

You can also see the project highlights ON MY WEBSITE

Family albums – memories you can touch [Natural family photographer in London]

One of our many family photography albums

‘Mummy, why is grandpa bald?’ Asked my son when we were looking at our family photo album.

‘A while ago grandma was very sick sweetie, and her hair fell out. Grandpa wanted to make feel better about it and shaved his head too.’

When my mum was diagnosed with grade 3 breast cancer, the doctors had to go all guns blazing with chemo. Her hair started falling out in clumps and rather than witness the process, she decided to control what she could. Dad shaved what was left of her hair (which she always took great care of) and then shaved his own head. And he continued to do the same thing through all her courses of treatment and various operations, including the one last summer when the photos in this album were taken.

That picture he sent me after they finished with the clippers remains for me, until today, a portrait of love and dedication. One where actions speak louder than words.

Family photo albums are not just a record of fun events or milestones. They are deeply meaningful narratives, they create opportunities to share family stories, recall memories, investigate values, discuss conflicts, and touch human dramas.

To hold in your hands and share what is the most important. Long after you can hold hands of the people in the photos.

Luxury and scratch-resistant family photo album
Children looking at our family photo album
My father with his grandson – documentary family photography

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Photographing your kids – professional tip

I could bet that when taking pictures of your child, you concentrate on their face. Am I right?

As a mum and a London-based family photographer I often gravitate towards portraits and facial expressions.

But you don’t always have to include your child’s face in the photo to tell a meaningful story. Sometimes cute faces can take our attention away from what is actually going on or the emotional content of an image. Hands, feet, toys, treasured possessions, and other little details can speak volumes.

Have a look at these examples:

  • Leisurely summer time with cousins
  • Hands-on (feet-on?) mud play. (There is no bad weather, only bad clothes!)
  • Playing with a pet worm.


For one day only, try to only take pictures where your child’s face is hidden, or they are missing from the photo altogether. (How about photographing their favourite toy, messy room, the state of the table after they have finished lunch?)

You may find that this approach will help you to:

  • be more in the moment
  • really pay attention to the small things
  • see the deeper meaning behind what’s going on
  • help you preserve sweet little details which would otherwise soon be forgotten – soft eyelashes, baby fat rolls, toothless grin, little bum dirty from too many slide rides…

Please email me your favourite picture ([email protected]) and I will publish three photos with personalised feedback.

And tag three friends to invite them to the challenge!

Here are a few more examples:

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