Photographing your baby

Photographing your baby

Photographing your baby

So you’ve had 3D impressions created of your gorgeously Impressive baby…now it’s time to choose a photograph to complete your framed work of art. Your 3D life casts will be of the highest standard (because you’ve been to Impressive Memories) and you want your photograph to be fabulous too.

Your photo should compliment your casts and also capture the moment of your impressive little person too. The photograph helps to tell the story of those unique wrinkly toes and chubby little fingers.

HELP!! Where do I start?

  • Which pictures work better than others?
  • What should I avoid?
  • What will compliment my casts the most?
  • Should it be in colour
  • Is black and white better?
  • Can I take a picture myself?
  • Should I use a professional photographer?

Don’t panic…I’ve teamed up with the pro’s on this!

A few weeks ago I asked on Facebook for recommendations for great photographers of babies and children – did you see it?  I contacted as many as I could over the next couple of days and asked if they’d help, and lots of them said yes!!

I asked them for their personal thoughts on what photography worked well in a framed cast and their professional opinion on how best we can achieve this.

I also asked them what we SHOULDN’T do if we are taking the photos ourselves…and how to avoid photobombing cats and my pet hate…out of focus pictures…with shadows!!!

Top Tips from some of the best local children & baby photographers – as recommended by customers past and present.
Here’s what the professionals said…

The order of appearance is chronological (as each photographer responded to my questionnaire)…There is no favouritism or bias, just gratitude that they each took the time to help put this guide together.

Sara Webster Photography

Sara Webster

Lochgelly, Fife.

07921215005

[email protected]

Who’s behind the lens?

“Sara. Mum to 3 boys and owner. My studio is on Main street in Lochgelly. I tend to advise that mums book newborns in advance using their due date to secure a place however occasionally I can take on last minute bookings

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

“It will complement the time, effort and detail put into their cast”

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

“Something that is in keeping with the cast colour and frame. Nothing too busy or that will date. The image should be timeless.”

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips? 

 

1.Make the main focus the baby and no busy backgrounds.

 

2. Don’t have colours that are too harsh for baby’s skin.

 

3.If using a professional photographer and know in advance that you want an image for your frame cast, ask for one to be shot in portrait to best suit the frame.

Cherry Blossom Newborn Photography

Michelle Sinclair

Thornton, Fife.

[email protected]

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

“A beautifully framed casting with a professional image.”

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

All about the baby .”

If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer 3 top tips for us to get the best results?

  1. Plain background
  2. Be still
  3. Nice light

Leigh Tilley Photography

Leigh Tilley

Rosyth, Fife.

Facebook page – Leigh Tilley Photography

[email protected]

Who’s behind the lens?

“My name is Leigh, I’m 19 and I am studying higher photography at Fife College. My love of photography really started as a child. Instead of being in front of the camera, I was always behind taking images of my family. That’s when I realised portrait photography was my passion. I now focus more on newborn photography and although newborns are my passion I love to photograph children of all ages and also family images. “

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

Clean, sharp, stunning images that will be an amazing memory to cherish forever and pass down to family.

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

“A simple, clean image will add so much to the simple beauty of the castings helping you remember how your baby looked and also how their hands or feet looked that small.”

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips? 

 

“Try out your baby on a bed or something that has a nice background so it’s harder for photobombing pets or anything in the background. Normally a white bed sheet is perfect.”

 

 

Laura Spence Photography

Laura Spence

Fife

www.lauraspence.com

Who’s behind the lens?

“I’m Laura, Crazy busy, business running supermum! “

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

“When you choose a photographer your image will be styled to be pleasing in composition, you get a photo that is high quality and in focus and your photographer will know and use best lighting to flatter the model. Will settle and pose babies (with knowledge of baby safety and confidence) meaning they look relaxed and comfortable.”
 

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

“For me, it’s a photo from that same age showing them how you want to remember them being at that age for the rest of your life. You will look at this for years and years to come so I’d want it perfectly lit with a comfy and happy baby. high quality with no background distractions. “

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips? 

 

1. Make sure there is plenty light! on camera flash on compacts or phones can often create harsh shadows, startle babies or cause red eye…not good.

2. get rid of all distractions in the background, your baby should be the main focus of the photo your eye shouldn’t be drawn to what’s in the background.

3. avoid filters and over-smoothing on apps etc.

 

 

Lorelle Elizabeth Photography

Lorelle Elizabeth

Glenrothes, Fife.

I work from a small studio. Bookings can be made online via my website and an online booking calendar.

www.lorelleelizabethphotography.co.uk

07757251180

https://www.facebook.com/lorelleelizabethphotography

Who’s behind the lens?

“I am Lorelle and I am the only photographer. I have owned the business for 6 years and photograph newborns, children, families and weddings.”

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

Using a professional photographer allows you to get fantastic photographs. I have taken part in numerous training courses and ensure baby’s safety is a priority.

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

A beautiful posed newborn image

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips TO AVOID? 

1 Photographs with babies posed in unsafe ways

2 Bad lighting ie too dark or too light

3 A very patterned background that will detract from the child

 

 

Helen Jones Photography

Helen Jones

Glenrothes, Fife.

https://m.facebook.com/helenjphoto/

07909901563

Who’s behind the lens?

Helen. I’m a freelance portrait photographer who loves baby shoots.

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

Sharp focused images in large format with good contrast and detail available.

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

Sharp focused images of the required areas. An opportunity for several images to give all-around optimal visual representation.

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips TO AVOID? 

1 Hurrying to take the image.

2 No stability in the subject.

3 Poor lighting.

Sarah White Photography

Sarah White

Ilford, Essex.

https://www.facebook.com/SarahWhitePhotography

[email protected]

Who’s behind the lens?

Hi I’m Sarah and I’m a big believer in there being Beauty in Everything. I love to capture those special moments in life and know it isn’t always smiles and flowers.

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

You are hiring someone with the correct knowledge and equipment and eye to capture something precious. Not only is it their job but it is also their passion.

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

Something simple so you see the beauty and detail of the item.

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips? 

Use natural light, no flash.

Make sure that backgrounds a clean and tidy.

If the item is small enough just a clean white sheet of paper can work in a nice crisp look.

 

Clare Gourlay Photography

Clare Gourlay

I cover Dunfermline area and ideally, I prefer customers to message me with days and times that suit them so I can fit them in on days that work best for them so they don’t feel rushed.

People can contact me via facebook page which is clare gourlay photography or by my contact number.

Who’s behind the lens?

“I am Clare Gourlay I have been photographing babies/kids for 4/5 years now and I love it. Love interacting with little ones to get the perfect shot “

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

They will have precious memories of their little ones to cherish and have images that capture their little ones and there personalities which sometimes you cant always capture with a phone

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

I think the process of it would compliment it. From start to finish. You can capture a behind the scene shot for the memory for the client then the finished design of the cast

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips TO AVOID? 

“I would avoid anything in the background of the photo so move away from any items that shouldn’t be there. Also, I always try to avoid using natural lighting as well as sometimes you can gain dark shadows in the images which sometimes doesn’t look great.”

 

Anna Moffat Photography

Anna Moffat

Edinburgh and the surrounding areas

[email protected]

www.facebook.com/annamoffatphotography

@annamoffat

Who’s behind the lens?

I am a baby and family photographer specialising in taking natural, unposed photos.”

#1 What are the main benefits a parent will get from using a professional photographer to take the image for them?

Your image should be of exceptional quality, just like the casting! 

#2 What do YOU think makes the perfect image to compliment an Impressive Memories casting?

“An image which makes your heart sing and reminds you a very special time in your life.”

Not everyone can use a professional photographer.
If parents choose to use their own images, could you offer any photography tips? 

1. Good light is key – avoid overheads and opt for natural light instead – moving near to the window when taking your photo is a great idea.

2. Focus – I am a total ‘pixel peeper’ and like the eyes to be super sharp.

3. Don’t over process – filters have their place but if you’re editing an image I think it’s nice to keep things simple and clean.

 

Conclusion

A professional photographer will have the skills and knowledge to capture the best (and safest) results for you and your baby. Have a look through their work and decide whose style of photography you like and who feels a good fit for you and your baby.

If you’re using a picture you’ve taken yourself, take advantage of all these great tips and advice from those who know best!

Think about:

  1. Good lighting
  2. Simple backgrounds
  3. Clarity & focus
Thank you to all these great photographers for taking the time to offer their fantastic help and advice.  

 

Hope you have an Impressive day!

Best Wishes

Jen x

Baby & Children Hand & Foot Casts: Reframing

Baby & Children Hand & Foot Casts: Reframing

Can I have my baby lifecasts reframed?

When you have casts taken and you choose a frame, it doesn’t have to stay like that forever.

  • Maybe you’ve moved house

  • Your decor has changed

  • You just fancy a change

  • Have you had a new baby and would like to update your original casts to match your new addition? No problem at all.

Another reason for reframing might be because your original frame has been damaged, or the glass may have got broken – accidents happen. (If your casts also get damaged I can help repair these too…scroll down for more information)

fletcher

Fletcher had his casts taken four years ago. His frame no longer matched the decor and his little sister had now arrived so it made sense to give Fletcher an upgrade too.

This little brother (bottom right) came to have casts created just as his big brother (top right) had. Now the brothers have new matching, luxury white frames.

triple luxury white

When this little brother arrived he too wanted his casts taken, but mum didn’t want too many frames on the wall. So we reframed both into one triple aperture frame.

Standard Reframing

Offering an affordable frame that complements your casts.

Standard Single Aperture Reframing £28

Choose to reframe your casts in a standard single aperture black frame with an engraved name plaque.  £28

Can my casts be repainted?

If they are damaged I can repair the damage and repaint so it is virtually invisible. I cannot change the finish without losing the original detail.

Do I have to have the same size as original frame?

Nope.  You can change the size, style, layout…you choose x

I'd like to chat to you first, can I do that?

Of course.  Get in touch HERE or text or call 07837800353 Happy to have a chat and explain all the options available.

“Nothing’s ever quite as sweet as little tiny baby feet”

If you originally chose a single aperture frame, maybe now you’d like to upgrade to a triple aperture.

Luxury Reframing

Do you prefer a touch of luxury in life?

These frames are handmade to order by a local framer, they are of a superior quality material, and the finish sets off your very impressive casts perfectly.

The glass is stronger and more durable than the standard option – built to last.

You can choose from – Oak effect, Silver, Black, Flat White, Bevelled White and Distressed Gold. Each option can come in a Single, Double or Triple Aperture.

Luxury Single Aperture Reframing £35-£39

Luxury Oak Effect

luxury oak baby casts

Luxury Black Finish

luxury black baby casts

Luxury Silver Finish

Luxury Silver single

Luxury Flat White Finish

flat white casts framed

Upgrading or reframing to a luxury single aperture frame?

Choose from:

  • Single Silver £39
  • Single Oak Effect £35
  • Single Washed or Flat White £35
  • Single Distressed Gold £35
  • Single Black £35

Can I supply my own frame?

No sorry.  Not all frames and glass are suitable for life casts.  If you don’t see a style you like, please ask, I may be able to source what you are looking for.

Why is Silver dearer than the rest?

It costs more to make.

I'd like a style that I don't see here - can you help?

Probably yes.  Always welcome to get in touch and I’m happy to help create a bespoke frame for you.

Luxury Double Aperture Reframing £40-£45

Upgrading or reframing to a luxury double aperture frame?

Choose from:

  • Double Silver £45
  • Double Oak Effect £40
  • Double Flat or Bevelled White £40
  • Double Distressed Gold £40
  • Double Black £40

Distressed Gold

luxury double baby casts

Oak Effect

Bevelled White

AEABBA59-7123-4C33-AC67-99E7E8A1F43E

Luxury Triple Aperture Reframing £49-£55

Upgrading or reframing to a luxury triple aperture frame?

Choose from:

  • Triple Silver £55
  • Triple Oak Effect £49
  • Triple White £49
  • Triple Distressed Gold £49

HELP!! MY CASTS ARE DAMAGED...

Oh Dear!! Accidents can happen…

If your casts become damaged I can usually fix it. PLEASE DON’T PANIC…

If any part is broken or chipped off, keep it safe.  Make a booking with me and return your casts to me and I will do what I can to repair them.  Depending on the amount of work & time involved will determine what charge there is.  Please do not attempt to fix them yourself as this can often result in making it more difficult for me to then properly fix.  Ask first…send me photos…I’m happy to advise and help.

If broken glass is involved please remove the casts from any broken glass before bringing them to me.  Talk to me before you attempt to do this.

Hope that Helps

There are loads of options for you to choose from when it comes to reframing your casts, whether through choice or necessity…I’m happy to create any of the options you see here or equally happy to discuss something unique just for you.

Use the buttons below to contact me directly, find more answers or head back to my home page.

Look forward to speaking to you again soon, have an impressive day!

Jen x

Recent Posts

Baby Handprint & Footprint Imprint Kits: Are they a good idea?

Baby Handprint & Footprint Imprint Kits: Are they a good idea?

Are DIY baby impression kits a good idea or a waste of money?

Becoming a New Parent

When you have a new baby, every day is an adventure. Of course, you want to capture every moment and treasure it, and so you should.  They don’t stay little for long and every day they are growing…what keepsakes should you be capturing?

Creating Baby Keepsakes & Mementos

As well as taking eleventy billion photos (a day) you might also try your hand at some arty crafty stuff! Who wouldn’t want an adorable card made with a little painted hand or footprint? This can get a little bit messy, but it’s good fun and the results don’t need to be perfect. Homemade means it was made for you, at home. Low budget – High sentimental value.

And then you see a kit in B&M Stores…it looks quite cool…you can make an imprint of those tiny hands and feet (that are growing up way too quickly) and you have a beautiful keepsake to treasure forever!
Or do you?
BM STORES KIT

“I just created an entire human being…how hard can it be to make an imprint of their hands n feet? And it’s only £4.99…Bargain!”

Introducing Isaac…

Impressive son of Genna & Derry…

baby hand and foot imprint kit

Impressive Isaac

They wanted to capture little Isaac’s hands and feet and they bought two of these kits – but things didn’t quite go to plan! Here’s what they told me…

  • What were you hoping for?

A framed imprint of Isaac’s hands and feet.

  • How much did it cost?

Each kit was £4.99 – we bought two.

  • Were the instructions clear?

They were VERY brief, just bullet points and really simple.

  • Was it easy to use?

We followed the instructions. We measured the cold water and mixed up a really runny and watery mixture and poured it into the container provided. Then we had to try and get Isaac in it!

  • Did it work?

NO!!! It was a disaster.

  • What went wrong?

The mixture was really cold and runny…trying to put a young baby into it was impossible! The dish was useless too. It just made a sticky mess!

  • What did baby Isaac make of it all?

He hated the cold and seemed a bit confused! Probably wondered why his parents found it all so funny!

  • Was there enough mixture to have another go?

No! Only enough for one go – that was it. We didn’t want to attempt it again anyway!

  • What did you do next?

We started to look on Google. We knew someone in Edinburgh who did baby casts but they weren’t doing them now so we searched online to see if there was anywhere locally that did this professionally. That’s when we found Impressive Memories.

What is the difference between an imprint and a lifecast?

I think it’s important to understand the difference.

What is an Imprint?

This is a 2D, a fairly flat impression of the baby had or foot pressed into something. The definition varies as does the finish. You should end up with a sort of ’tile’ with the detail of the baby either pressed into a clay, or you can then make a secondary version of this where the detailed part is raised and above the tile. Something like this…

Imprints and outprints can be made in stone plaster or ceramic. Again, this depends on whether you’re making them at home or having them done professionally. With good instructions and materials, these are achievable at home. I am going to produce a ‘How To’ guide soon to let you make these, successfully, at home.

What is a 3D Lifecast?

A 3D life cast is a high definition, exact replica of all of baby’s hands & feet. Fully three-dimensional. Much more difficult to create and in my opinion not something to be done at home. Expect to pay a higher price for this than a 2D imprint.

You've decided to find a professional...

Having attempted a 2D Imprint with no success, Genna and Derry visited my Impressive Memories website. They decided they wanted 3D lifecasts of their son Isaac. They looked online and chose from the luxury range of frames. They knew they wanted a luxury oak, single aperture frame with a cast of Isaac’s hand and foot finished in antique silver.  Instead of wasting £10, they invested £120. It may have been more expensive, but the end result proved to be an investment, not a disaster.

Here are their Impressive Memories of Isaac, at 7 months old…

Having Professional Baby Lifecasts Taken

Isaac was wide awake throughout his casts being taken but he was totally at ease and relaxed throughout, and so were mum and dad. In less than an hour the family had been and gone. No mess. No fuss. Not cold and no disasters.

Today, almost 5 weeks later, Genna and Derry came back to collect their completed order and were delighted with the results. The level of detail and the beautiful relaxed little fingers, not to mention Isaac’s characteristic little squished toes.

I asked Genna if she had any advice to give to a new mum thinking about buying the B&M kit – she said

“Don’t do it – don’t waste the money, invest in a professional”.

I completely agree!

Coming Soon!!

A really easy guide for you to make 2D impressions at home SUCCESSFULLY!

2D impressions are so easy to do and with my help, you can make beautiful memories at home. Disaster free! 

Download your Impressive FREE eBooks here...

Thinking about Baby Life Casting?

This handy little eBook is stuffed full of all the answers that new parents ask me about life casting their babies and children.

Is my baby suitable? How do I book? Is it safe? How does it work? How Much will it Cost?

Pop your email address in the box then head to your inbox…confirm that you got the email and before you know it – another email will zoom to you with your eBook!

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What to expect before, during and after a life casting appointment.

What to expect before, during and after a life casting appointment.

What to expect before, during and after a life casting appointment.

So you’ve decided that you’d like baby casts taken. What should you expect before, during and after you capture an Impressive Memory?

 

BEFORE

Maybe I was recommended to you by a friend. Or maybe you saw a post on social media, or searched online. Did you attempt your own casts with a kit, or read my blogs? Now the decision is made – you’re ready to create YOUR Impressive Memories – so what happens next?

 

MAKE A BOOKING

booking shotMy online booking system lets you choose a date and time that suits you best. Whether you would like to cast on the same date as your first child was cast, or to mark a milestone event, or maybe just because it fits into your busy routine – you get to choose. You will be asked for a £15 deposit. Do you have an Impressive Memories gift voucher? There’s a unique code on the reverse, which you are welcome to use when you make your booking – just pop the code into the booking form. If you need to reschedule, it’s no problem – your confirmation email has a link for you to do this, up to 48 hours before your appointment. Your email will also give you travel directions and how to find me on Google Maps. You can also select an option to receive a text message confirmation and reminder too!

 

 

DURING

What should baby wear?

outside studioDress your little one in comfortable clothes that are loose fitting and easily removed. Preferably choose something old so it won’t matter if the casting gloop gets on it – I know it’s tricky to wear old clothes when you are only a few days old, but you know what I mean! It’s probably best that you don’t wear your favourite designer gear either…just in case!

What if they are sleeping?

Casting can be done when baby is awake or asleep. You are very welcome to feed your baby while I do the casts, as it helps to distract, relax and settle them. It’s not necessary and is purely optional – you know your baby best, and I’m happy to let you decide what’s best for them. Some babies cry, but most don’t notice anything is happening! There is never any rush – we will let them settle while we discuss what you’d like created, and throughout the process your little one’s comfort is our top priority. You’re also welcome to enjoy a lovely Tassimo coffee or a cup of tea as we create your memories.

casting baby foot appointmentHow are baby lifecasts made?

Taking the cast involves dipping your baby’s hand or foot into pink gloop. I’ll help you and baby get into a comfy position, and once their hand or foot is submerged it only takes a couple of minutes to set. Don’t worry – wriggling is not a problem! Once the mould turns to a soft, rubbery consistency it will come away from baby leaving them virtually clean and me with an impressive impression of their hands and feet. I will be 99% sure whether your mould has been successful, or if I want to take extra casts (so long as baby is happy). Occasionally I have an issue after you’ve left, and I might need to call you back another day, but this is extremely rare.

For every cast you would like made I need to take an impression. The mould cannot be reused and although I can create duplicates of your casts, I prefer to take a separate cast for each mould you’d like created – each cast is then as unique as your baby. For hands I often need extra moulds to ensure you get the best results.

Most casting appointments last about 45 minutes for a set of three or four casts.

PAYING FOR YOUR ORDER

You are very welcome to split the cost of your order. Your booking deposit will be deducted from your order total and you can pay half your balance at your appointment and the remaining balance on collection, in approximately five weeks’ time. I accept cash, PayPal, bank transfer and most major credit cards.

AFTER

Casting

unmould cast appointmentAfter you leave, I will begin to cast your moulds. This stage involves filling your impressions with a high quality, high density stone. Once this is done, your casts will be left to cure and set for several hours. When they are ready to unmould I remove the casting material to reveal the cast of your baby. The raw cast at this stage might have lumps and bumps, air bubbles or inclusions. At this stage your casts each get an initial ‘clean up’, which can take anywhere from ten minutes per cast to a couple of hours! (I am a perfectionist and a night owl!) They now begin to dry.

Drying

The drying stage is so important. Remember how long nine months felt waiting for your baby to arrive? But it was worth the wait, wasn’t it? Life casting is the same! Giving your casts the time to dry naturally and correctly gives them the strength, density and longevity that you want from them. Depending on the size of your casts, I advise a minimum completion time of four to five weeks. During this time, they will undergo more cleaning and perfecting, and I also cut and sand them to the appropriate shapes and angles for the frame and finish you have chosen.

Cleaning

cleaning a cast appointmentThe final cleaning stage for a raw cast is my favourite part! This is when your casts are as impressively perfect as I want them to be. They are then ready to be finished.

 Painting

I use several layers and techniques to bring out all the detail in your casts, with whatever finish you have chosen.

Framing

Your frame choice, photographs and name plaques are now all ready and waiting, and it’s time to assemble your finished piece. A final 24-hour wait until everything sets and cures, then it’s time to collect.

Collection

Once your order is ready I will let you know. We will arrange a suitable collection time and you can come and take your Impressive Memories order home with you.Luxury Silver single

Impressive Thank you to…

Impressive mummy Victoria Duff and her beautiful daughter Amber, who helped create all the images in this article.

Impressive photographer Lisa Christie, from Lisa Christie Photography who provided the excellent photography for this article.

I’m ready to book an appointment – take me there now!

Tell me more about lifecasting

How much will it cost?

Want to chat? – get in touch here

 

Read more

DIY Life Casting Kits -The problems with life casting kits & why they are a waste of money.

DIY Life Casting Kits -The problems with life casting kits & why they are a waste of money.

Should you use a DIY life casting kit?

So many parents have told me they attempted to cast their baby using a casting kit, not one of them continues to tell me it was a success, or that they were happy with the results.  The promise is to create a beautiful 3D cast of their precious child’s hand and feet, creating a keepsake to treasure, making a memory.  New parents think it is their fault that the results are not what they hoped for. They are left disappointed and often with a large dent in their wallet and nothing to show for it.  I believe that casting kits are selling a box of expectation, but deliver an expensive disappointment.

 

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CREATE SUCCESFULL BABY CASTS?

  • Practice
  • Skill
  • Knowledge
  • Materials & tools
  • (A baby)

 

WHAT DO YOU GET IN A KIT?

  • A bag of casting material (This will run out long before you have had any chance to learn enough)
  • A bag of plaster (Most probably be of a very low quality and totally unfit for purpose)
  • A frame (This is just a cruel way of raising your expectations…)

 

The kit will often have attractive packaging with pretty pictures, but sadly not much else.  The box won’t tell parents what is involved (because then they’d never buy it) so that information is kept for inside the shiny box of hopes and dreams.

 

The reality is this. Expecting a person with no skill or experience, to work with low-quality materials, no tools, no machinery and very limited instructions, with unrealistic images and expectations – leaves parents feeling like they have failed. They’re out of pocket and with either no end result, or at least a disappointing one (they still have that pretty frame – just to remind them of what they’d hoped would display a cast).

 

The instructions provided will likely be very brief also.  Each situation is different, as is each baby you cast.  There are so many variables that it is just impossible to write a brief set of instructions. Life casting can become fairly scientific. Asking a sleep deprived new parent to read a manual is not a good idea!

MY STORY

My passion, nae obsession, for life casting started after I bought a kit!  I saw an advert in a magazine that showed a beautiful, high definition cast of a baby’s hands and feet.  I have always been artistic and loved being creative and crafty, I reckoned I could do this.  The kit was expensive, but it promised great results. So I bought it.  I ended up with a screaming child, half a foot cast, a hand with no fingers and a LOT of mess!  But I was determined not to give in…I kept buying more and more products, I borrowed other peoples babies (when mine had learned to high pitch scream as soon as she saw mummy and the pink goo approaching!) I experimented, I read, I learned, I practised. Over and over and over again…I did manage to make a set of my daughter’s feet as a gift for my mum & dad, but I never made anything worthy of a frame for a long time, and regret to this day that I don’t have my own child’s casts proudly on my wall.

CASTING KITS “YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR” Or do you?

Several companies offer casting kits. I have chosen to look at Mothercare as an example. They are a highly successful company, they are a name that parents trust and their kit is easily accessible to purchase.

 

Mothercare 3D Casting Kit – Review

All images relating to this review are taken from the Mothercare website & links to the original provided.

“Create a lasting memento of your little one’s first few months with this lovely impression moulding kit.”

mothercare DIY life casting kit

Kit contains – moulding material, plaster and a frame (no mention of whether paint is included or framing adhesives, so assume it isn’t)

The box measures only 26cm so the frame can’t be any bigger.

Price is £45.

Problem 1

Expectation – You would expect to create something similar to the images shown.

Reality – You are paying predominantly for marketing and producing a kit – ah and a frame.  The materials provided could be minimal in quantity, with no guarantee of quality. That makes it an expensive frame in a pretty box!

DIY life casting kit 2Problem 2

Expectation – “I will have a framed cast of my baby’s hand”

Reality – Firstly, casting a baby hand is not an easy task. Many experienced life casters struggle to do this, so to expect a new parent to manage this is unfair. PLUS – Babies do not hold their hands as shown in this image…that hand cast is taken from a much older child. This in itself is not an issue, the kit doesn’t claim to be only for babies, but if this frame is less than 26cm in size, and you look at the dimensions of the frame, the mount and the hand, the dimensions appear impossible…Could that hand cast and that frame have never met?  Could this be a combination of two separate images, merged using technology?

 

 

Problem 3DIY life casting kit 1

This picture is better.  If you zoom in on this image on the website, you do get a truer indication of the end result you’d hope to create.  This cast has virtually no definition, the big toe is damaged and there are several very noticeable lumps and bumps, also flattening to the sole of the foot.

At least this image is a more accurate representation of what you MIGHT achieve.  But £45 for a single foot cast is not much cheaper than many life casters charge – is doing it yourself worth the extra time, effort, stress & mess?

 

 

 

 

Is £45 a fair price to spend to end up with a low quality, low definition foot cast of your baby?  If you think so, then go ahead and buy the kit…but perhaps read some reviews first –

Screenshot 2016-07-18 12.45.03

Good to see that Mothercare responded…but still choose to keep selling a product that is failing more customers, than it is serving…

Screenshot 2016-07-18 12.44.42

Not everyone is unsuccessful – but be realistic. If only one customer in ten has managed, will you? Do you mind if it doesn’t work out? Is losing £45 an issue or not?

Screenshot 2016-07-18 12.45.21

Unfortunately, the reality is that kits can be a false economy.  Yes, they are cheaper than paying a professional life caster, but the chances of ending up with a final product worthy of hanging on the wall is far less likely. So you could be paying a lot of money to end up with the possibility of having nothing to show for it.

life casting feet

Life casters have experience, they have the skills, the correct materials, and the knowledge to keep your precious baby safe, content, relaxed and at ease – giving you the very best result.  Of course, differences between life casters also varies hugely too…so again…research is important.  I wrote a blog about this too…it’s HERE. Also check out my Q&A web page full of hints and tips on how to get the best life casting results for you.

 

Still fancy getting creative? by all means, have a bash! Try making some foot impressions in salt dough. Paint those little fingers & toes and make some gift cards. Sprinkle your child in glitter and have some fun. But when it comes to life casting – use a pro.

 

email signature 2

When is the best age to take casts?

When is the best age to take casts?

WHEN IS THE BEST AGE TO CAST?

The quick answer to that is – RIGHT NOW – make a booking at impressive Memories today – click here! Quickest blog I’ve ever written. The End.

Oh, if only it was that simple, but the thing is…It’s too late to capture today, if it’s already tomorrow.


“I wish I’d done this when they were smaller”  

“I’d give anything to hold those new born feet again”

“You forget how small they were, so quickly, don’t you?”.

But when is the best age? – well it depends – I’m not being noncommittal. It depends on what you are casting, and WHY.

 

  • Why do you want life casts?
  • Why now?
  • Why might waiting be better?
  • Why should you NOT wait?

 

 

There are no age limitations on my life castings. 

What I can’t do is pause time, or go back in time…that would be pretty clever…

Being prepared and being organised is the key to successfully holding onto YOUR Impressive Memories. 

I noticed on a website that the caster wouldn’t cast babies older than 6 months, “due to them being unsuitable” – Who is not suitable? The child or the caster? 

Another company claim that babies who “don’t cooperate” will have to pay extra if more casting material is needed, AND return another day!  – I would never expect my customer to pay extra because thier baby had wriggled! On occassion I have asked customers to return if I feel their casts are not impressive enough. Usually I know before you leave if the cast will be succesful, but not always. If I wouldn’t be happy to hand over the cast to someone, or to receive it myself, then it gets redone. 

If Grandparents are also keen to have casts and keepsakes, it’s a good idea to do them at different ages to yours.  If you have newborn casts taken, they could wait until baby is 6 months old…then you can compare and see how they’ve grown.

Will this be a one off experience? Or are you planning to return for more casts at a later date?

Where will you display your casts? Are they just for you to see or do you want the world to know how impressive your memories are?

When you look at them, how will they make you feel? Are you sad to see those tiny hands and feet grow or are you desperate to reach the next stage?


Life casting is as much about the story and the people, as it is about the finished article.

Meeting new people, and welcoming families back – one of the best parts of my business.

In the last few weeks I have cast new born babies who arrived in the world weighing less than 3lbs. I’ve travelled to home visits to cast a dad and doting daughter, because time is precious. Met a solicitor, working on horrific child cruelty court case.  She brought me her nephew to cast. She hugged him just a little bit tighter, trying to understand the reality that not all babies are cherished.

Yesterday I was creating the most stunning piece of jewellery for a friend that is a story of her fostering memories within a bracelet – more about that soon!! And I’ve helped a daughter wear a fingerprint in silver – a memory of her mum who passed suddenly just days before. Families have come back with the latest addition on the exact same day they cast their first child. I’ve had messages at 3am from mums who just gave birth – still not announced to their family – but making a booking to have their casts taken!

I also cast my first international wedding couple who were preparing for their Scottish wedding celebration before returning back to Serbia. (If anyone is planning a trip to Serbia, let me know…we still need a method to safely transport it back to them!)

My work is an emotional rollercoaster!! No wonder I feel so exhausted!! (But I love it)

BOOK NOW

YES, BUT WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO CAST?

I don’t think there is such a thing!  Whatever you cast, and whenever I cast it, we are taking a tangible snapshot of that moment.  Here are some of the benefits and possible disadvantages of casting different ages.


best age to cast babies4

 

 

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If you’d like more information, get in touch HERE.

Would you like to make a booking? CLICK HERE.

Hope this has helps you to decide when to capture YOUR Impressive Memories.  Have you had a look through my Q&A page? It’s full of information that will hopefully interest you.
Have an Impressive Day,
Jen x

email signature 2

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

“I wondered if you could tell me how much this costs?”

Price & Value 2

This has to be my most asked question…

I wrote a blog last week on VALUE Vs PRICE…did you read it?  (it’s HERE if you’d like to read it) Now I have put together a PRICE LIST for you too – all the info is on my website, but this handy download lets you see prices at a glance.

  1. Click the button, pop your details down.
  2. Check your email and confirm your email address.
  3. Check your email again and your download will be there!

I’d LOVE to have life casts created – HOW CAN I AFFORD THIS?

All casting orders can split the payments – yay!!  You pay £15 to make your booking, then half your balance on the day of casting and the rest on collection.  An average casting order will take a minimum of 4 weeks to complete, so you will have at least a full month before the final balance is due.

If you ordered a framed cast costing £100

  • You pay £15 to book (you can book up to 8 weeks in advance too)

  • At your casting appointment pay just £45

  • On collection in 4 weeks time your balance is £40

WHAT PAYMENTS DO YOU ACCEPT?

I accept Cash, BACS, PayPal and most major Credit Cards too.

DO YOU SELL GIFT VOUCHER?

Yup…why not hint to family and friends that you’d be very impressed to be given a gift voucher??? Send them this link https://www.impressivememories.co.uk/gift-vouchers/ and smile sweetly.  

I HAD MY FIRST CHILD CAST, BUT NOW YOUR STYLES HAVE CHANGED.

Don’t panic! I offer reframing.  You can’t go back in time and recapture the moment, but you can reframe the casts you already have to match the new addition…or maybe you just fancy a change. Find out about REFRAMING HERE.

Price & Value – What is right for you?

Price & Value – What is right for you?

Price & Value 1“Price is what you pay, Value is what you get”

How do you know what you’re paying for? How do YOU measure value? It is a personal choice that only you can make. If you are anything like me, you like information to help make the right decisions. I’ve put together just a few pointers to think about if you are considering investing in YOUR Impressive Memories. If you have questions, just ask – always happy to answer.

My aim is for you to really enjoy the journey of capturing your memories, just as much as bringing you years of pleasure and enjoyment from the items I create for you. Life casting is exciting. Having jewellery inspired, designed and hand made by your most impressive memories is a fantastic experience.  I want you to love it!!


HOW DO I MEASURE PRICE & VALUE?

When I visit my hairdresser, I enjoy being brought a delicious cappuccino, while I wait to have a relaxing Indian head massage and a warm soothing hand massage – the fact I get an awesome haircut is actually a bonus! I value the experience.  I could go elsewhere, I have gone elsewhere…I got a mug of instant coffee and a shampoo – I choose to enjoy the service as much as I enjoy the end product.

I recently upgraded my web hosting package. The price I had paid was low, but so was the care I got when a problem arose with my website.  Instead, I chose a new supplier not based on the cost of the service, but on the service – which had a cost.  Paying a higher price was not an issue because I wanted to know I was in safe hands, my site was cared for by a local, reputable & respected company.  When issues arose during the transition, I didn’t panic – I trusted them.

When I need painkillers I buy the cheapest on the shelf. The ingredients are the same – I don’t care about the packaging.

Price & Value 2

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

I get asked this a lot by customers, so here’s a few of my thoughts on it…

When you have memories created by me, you are investing in a beautiful keepsake, hand made, bespoke & uniquely made – a genuine one off.  I am always conscious of cost and I offer my customers split payments options. I accept cash, paypal & credit cards.  They trust me to make a high quality product, I trust them to pay in instalments.

Gift Vouchers are a fantastic idea for new parents.  When new babies arrive we often get inundated with beautiful outfits (that last a fortnight).  How much would you spend on a gift for a new born? £20? £30? £40? Multiply that by three or four friends and instead of a selection of Babygro’s stored in the attic, mums and dads could invest in a life cast to enjoy and treasure for a lifetime, or wear a beautiful silver pendant to proudly mark the arrival of their impressive new addition.

My prices can all be found on my website. I am happy to chat if you’d like something bespoke created. Contact me HERE.

WHAT ARE YOU PAYING FOR?

You are paying an artist. Making a living as an artist can be hard. Being self employed is hard work! Turning a hobby (or a dream) into a business can takes years.  Being able to make an item, is not the same as being able to provide a business & service to the public.  The price also has to include paying the tax man, having the correct public liability insurance, providing a warm and safe environment for you to visit, marketing costs, advertising costs, packaging, research & development and most of all the hours and hours of work!!

Can you tell I feel very strongly about this? Perhaps it’s because I know the time and investment that I have put into building Impressive Memories into the business that it is today, or maybe because it pains me to see unsuspecting customers who went elsewhere – heartbroken because they didn’t know the pitfalls that would lie ahead of them – did they only look at a price, and not the value? And also those who opted to go to Mothercare or John Lewis, expecting the high price tag to bring high class results – not realising that the mass produced sample they were shown, was not made by the person who is now making their item. Life casting is an art…all artists are different.  Choose the artist that feels right for you.

Value & Prices 3

MONEY SAVING OPTIONS

Having a baby is an expensive time! Choosing a budget that is right for you is important.

  • Option 1 – You could give it a bash yourself! Buy a kit on Ebay and give it a go – it’s great fun.
  • Option 2 – Hint to family and friends that you would like a gift voucher, or a financial donation.
  • Option 3 – My standard frame range is more affordable than my luxury frames.  One of my most popular sellers is my standard black frame.

You can always reframe in the future – you can’t turn the clock back and make those little feet tiny again.


 

handprint charm pandora

  • Option 4 – Have less casts taken.  Why not have just one hand and one foot cast?  Far better to have the quality, than quantity.
  • Option 5 – The process of making jewellery can vary a great deal, this influences the cost to the maker and the price to the customer. They may not have used expensive kilns or the tools and machinery to give your item strength and longevity.  They maybe haven’t soldered the attachment (the part that attaches your charm to your necklace or bracelet). Soldering gives added security against losing your piece.  The making process will influence the price – but at what cost? Is it worth saving a few pounds and risking it being lost? Losing any jewellery is unpleasant, but how would you feel to lose something as precious as this?

All my jewellery is kiln fired, tumble polished & soldered. Nothing is 100% safe, but I make it as safe as it can be.


Price & Value 4

VALUE

Why do you value having this made? Would it matter to you if they only lasted a few months and not a lifetime? Here’s what one mum told me…

“When I had casts of my daughter made at 6 weeks old, I adored them.  They meant the world to me – Now she is 6 years old they are absolutely priceless.  To be able to look back and touch and feel that memory is beyond words.  She might be a mum herself one day and be able to show HER OWN daughter.”

Comments like that are why Impressive Memories is my pride and joy, but sadly I also get messages from parents who now have crumbling casts…others have brought me mouldy casts, distraught that their investment is rotting & disintegrating. I’ve been asked to repair framed casts that crashed to the ground, because the wrong adhesives were used. The value has gone. Your necklace that was as precious as having your child wrap their arms around your neck, now gone…lost…for what? Was it worth saving a few pounds?  I am not for one minute saying that my work has never broken, or glass has never cracked, therefore, I do know that I can repair & rectify (almost) any issues.  I’ve been here over 12 years and plan to be here for many more.

 

If you didn’t have casts taken – would you regret it? I know I do.  Can you remember what your baby feet looked like at 11 days old? Gino’s mum and Dad do…

gino


I discovered casting after I had my daughter – unfortunately, the first casts I have of her are (mostly) not very good (understatement)!!  I would love to have had the skills I have now, when I had her…but without her, I’d never have the business I have today. She is also the sole reason I work as hard as I do, she is my purpose, my inspiration – She is my ‘Why’.

outside studio

 

So, I just have to accept the box of strange shaped, fingerless hands and feet with three toes…because to me they are still my Impressive Memories.


Have an Impressive Day, Best Wishes, Jen xxx


 

If you’d like to contact me, get in touch HERE.

Got more questions? Check out me Q & A page HERE.

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Life Casting Mistakes – Top 10 tips to avoid heartache

Life Casting Mistakes – Top 10 tips to avoid heartache

Top 10 life casting mistakes & how YOU can avoid paying for them.

Emotionally & Financially.

Impressive Memories prides itself on T.H.I.S.

Transparency Honesty Integrity & Skill

“I am on a mission to help YOU understand the decisions you need to make, before choosing a life caster. Finding the right person to capture YOUR Impressive Memories”  THIS

  • Teach what you, the customer, needs to know.

  • How to avoid paying for mistakes – it can be heartbreaking & an expensive mistake.

  • Insight into what to look for & the questions to ask.

  • Satisfaction & a beautiful keepsake that will last a lifetime.

 

 

bronze casts

Life casting is my absolute passion – some might say I’m obsessed, I’d wholeheartedly agree. I first discovered life casting back in 2003 when I had my daughter and I invested in a kit to create casts at home. The kit promised me that I’d “create 3 immaculate castings from the comfort of your own home”.

The result I got?

  • Three lumps of plaster with things that looked vaguely like toes!
  • Two fingers on a hand
  • One large dent in my bank account

I was left disappointed

I had expected to see my baby’s beautiful wrinkly toes and her tiny fingernails. I was artistic, I’d watched the instruction video (twice), I had higher expectations than I had writing my birthing plan!! I’d created an entire human being – how hard could it be to make a life cast of her??? I was a mother now…I could do anything…(well except breastfeed…I was rubbish at that…but that’s another story).

I felt useless & ripped off…my expectations had NOT been met

Now fast forward to 2016. I have devoted 13 years to life casting. I have learned from the best, and I’ve witnessed the worst. I’ve grown from being a hobbyist to running a full-time, successful business – somewhat niche – and I am still crazy about casting. Recently I’ve noticed that life casting has had a surge of popularity – this is excellent!! I am all in favour of teaching the world the joys of casting…and I never want anyone to feel disappointed or ripped off, the way I had felt…which is why Impressive Memories prides itself on  T.H.I.S.    Transparency Honesty Integrity & Skill.

Are you thinking about having casts taken?

Do you want to invest your money wisely?

Is the value of the item as important to you than a price tag?

Do you like to make informed decisions based on your knowledge?

How can YOU avoid these mistakes?

How will you feel in years to come if they crumble?


“The joy of life casting, for me, is capturing a tiny moment in time that passes all too quickly, and can never be recreated. It’s too late once the moment is a memory…If it’s worth capturing – DO IT RIGHT – don’t take chances and live to regret it. I’ve had parents’ come to me heartbroken that their casts have developed problems, the ‘business’ who made them no longer exists & they are desperately hoping I can help them salvage their casts…THIS should not happen. I don’t want it to happen to you”.  Jen xx


mistakes front cover

This FREE downloadable guide tells you the top 10 life casting mistakes that I think you should be aware of.

You deserve to avoid paying for mistakes – not just financially, but also emotionally.

Investing in a life cast is about capturing YOUR Impressive Memories –

YOUR moments are far too valuable to risk losing.

If it’s Impressive enough for you to want to make it tangible for a lifetime,

it is worth investing 5 mins to read through this first.

Can it be dangerous?

How can I spot signs of an inexperienced life caster?

What problems could arise?

Who is the best life caster for me?

If you’d like a copy of this sent to you, just pop your details below and I will send it to you. 

Don’t worry…I won’t send any junk and if you’d like to unsubscribe at any time, it’s just one click. Your details will never be used anywhere else or passed to any other person.


 

 

 

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Thanks for reading…I hope you have an Impressive day, Best Wishes, Jen x