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

What is a Hallmark?

What is a Hallmark?

Impressive Memories now has its own unique Hallmark

I am delighted and quite proud, to say that I now have my own Sponsors Mark registered with the Edinburgh Assay Office. To me, this means a great deal but I suspect you read that opening sentence and thought – “So what? Who cares? Does that matter? Is that important?” or something along those lines…hopefully this article helps to explain why it is important.

What is a hallmark?

A hallmark is a legal mark stamped on to articles of gold, silver, or platinum by the British assay offices, certifying the metals standard of purity. It’s impossible to tell the purity of metal by just looking at it. It has to be tested at an Assay Office.

There are four Assay offices in the UK – London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh. You won’t be surprised to know that I chose to register at the Edinburgh Assay Office.

A Hallmark consists of four parts of separate information

Three are compulsory, the fourth is optional

1 Sponsor’s Mark

2 Fineness Mark

3 Assay Office Mark

4 Traditional fineness symbols and date letters indicating the year the piece was created

What is a Sponsor’s Mark?

This is the part I got excited about! The Sponsors Mark is the stamp (or punch) that is unique and created for each individual person. There cannot be two the same in the world, or in history, so you are given a choice of letter combinations and various shapes to choose from for your unique sponsor’s mark.  

What is a fineness mark?

Even precious metals are rarely used in their entirely pure form. They are alloyed (have other metals added) to make them more durable, workable and wearable. You cannot tell the fineness of a metal by sight, it needs to be Assayed (tested). This is what the assay office does – it tests the pieces by removing a tiny sliver of it to make sure the metal is the purity that the maker says it is, and the stamp then guarantees this.

What is an Assay Office Mark?

This mark tells you which of the four UK offices tested (assayed) and hallmarked the piece.

What will my hallmark look like?

My Sponsors mark is “IM” representing Impressive Memories and the letters are in a cartouche shape. This punch has now been made for me and can only be used at the Edinburgh Assay office on work that I submit, that has been made by me.

Impressive Memories Hallmark

Is silver Jewellery stamped with 925 hallmarked?

No. Some jewellery is stamped with 925 which is the symbol used to represent sterling silver but this is NOT a hallmark, it is just a stamp. Anyone can stamp 925 onto metal but without the other Assay office stamps it is worthless and cannot be a sure sign of the metals purity. You can buy a 925 stamp on eBay and do this yourself…you cannot stamp a hallmark yourself!! That is the difference.

My advice on 925 stamps is to consider the reputation of who is selling the jewellery. If I bought a ring on Ebay and it was costing 25p and being shipped from China – I’d suspect this was NOT an indication that the item was genuine sterling silver. If I was buying jewellery from a trusted and well-known supplier, I would be satisfied that it was more likely to be genuine sterling silver.  

Interesting fact No.1

The number 925 indicates the amount of pure silver per thousand parts. The other 75 parts in sterling silver are made predominantly from copper. 999 silver is the purest form of silver you can buy and is quite a soft metal which can scratch fairly easily. By adding copper and making 925 silver you are making it more hard wearing and durable…

Interesting fact No.2

When people say they are allergic to silver, it is usually NOT the silver that irritates their skin, it is the additional copper.

If you think you can’t wear silver, but wish you could…ask me about making your jewellery in 999 pure silver instead.

Have I been breaking the law by NOT having a hallmark before now?

Eek…if you’ve bought jewellery from me in years gone by, you’re maybe now wondering if it has been illegally sold to you??? Don’t panic!!! I haven’t been breaking the law…I promise!!!

Not EVERYTHING needs a hallmark. As I make predominantly silver jewellery the law states that an item weighing less than 7.78g does not need to be hallmarked. (It’s less for gold, an item made in Gold over 1g must be hallmarked)  My jewellery weighs less than 7.78g so there was no need for me to invest in my own hallmark.

It cost me approximately £200 to register myself and have my sponsor punch made. Because the jewellery I made wasn’t over this weight limit and I don’t mass produce items it just wasn’t cost-effective, or necessary to do it.

BUT THEN THIS HAPPENED…

You might have read my recent blog called ‘Losing my mum’, where I shared my personal story about my grief journey and how I made myself a stacking necklace with four generations of fingerprints on silver teardrops, all soldered together onto one pendant. This piece exceeded the 7.78g limit. Legally it was OK as I wasn’t selling this, I made it for myself.

BUT when other people saw it, they liked it too and people began to ask if I would make something similar for them too – my answer had to be ‘No, sorry I can’t – I don’t have my own hallmark, and would be breaking the law to make this and sell it to you.”  

This was when I decided to go ahead and register myself at the Edinburgh Assay Office.

I started the process in the first week of January 2018 – it was one of my New Year Resolutions – to stop faffing, and just do it!! So I did…

Will all jewellery I make now be hallmarked?

The simple answer here is – No, for two reasons.

  1. Legally it is unnecessary if your piece weighs less than 7.78g
  2. It is not cost effective – yet!!!
How much does hallmarking cost?

Due to the fact that all the jewellery I make is so unique and I don’t mass produce things, it makes the cost of hallmarking quite expensive. For one or two pieces to be hallmarked costs £15 with approx £15 spent to safely post and return it to and from the Assay office.

Would you be willing to pay £30 more for your charm to be optionally hallmarked? Probably not.

If, however, I send 26 or more items to be hallmarked the price drops down to 45p. Splitting the same £15 postage over the value of 26 items and adding 45p to a charm is not expensive.

For now, it will only be offered on pieces that legally require it, and sadly it will cost the higher rate – but who knows what the future might bring???

Conclusion

As I said at the start, I am proud to now have my own sponsor mark and I am looking forward to having my own jewellery hallmarked with it. The first piece I send will be the necklace made in memory of my mum.

One of the hardest parts of coping with bereavement is that life carries on. It has to.

Of course, I wish I had done this before losing my mum, I reckon she would have been really proud to have seen it.

I don’t know about you but I am guilty of putting off doing things – either because

  • I lack the confidence in myself
  • or I wrongly assume I can do it tomorrow…

Does that sound at all familiar?

Is there something you’re putting off doing?
Maybe you should just go do it right now?
What are you waiting for?

Hope You Have an Impressive Week!

Jen x

Christmas Cast Competition

Would you like to win £100 towards a life cast of your choice this Christmas?

Back to School…

Is this their first day at school? This milestone needs to be remembered! It’s time to hold on to these memories.

Cremation Ash Jewellery

Have you considered jewellery made from cremation ashes? They can make beautiful and truly unique memories to wear and bring a lot of comfort too. Keep reading to find out more…

Family Hand Casting

Have you thought about creating a family hand cast? Read the story of David and his family making memories as he faced a terminal illness…

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

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