Monthly Archives: September 2014

5 minutes with Valentina – Interview of a while ago

Back in February I was featured in Kensigotn mums with an interview that I recently found and I want to share with you.

5 Minutes with Valentina Rebeschini, the mum behind Photograface.

KM. Owning a camera is not enough until you have explored all the features of your equipment. What top tips can you share with Kensington Mums trying to capture the moment of their little ones?

We live such in a digital world today and everyone has a camera or a phone. Cameras on the phone are getting always better and powerful and are perfect for everyday snapping. I’m sure all the mums take tens of photos a day of their children especially when they are very little: the first smile, the first tooth, the first time eating solid, rolling, crawling, sitting, walking . . .

Either that you are using a DSLR, a compact or a phone just remember those few little tips that will help in the outcome of the picture.

1. Get down low: I see a lot of parents standing and shooting down at their children. I’m not saying it’s wrong, its definitely another point of view but try to go on their eye level and it will feel you enter their small world and the image will have more impact.

2. Stay natural: use the light near a window if you are inside and try to stay away from the horrible camera flash, you will get a more natural look 🙂

3. Don’t force a smile: children will get frustrated of you keeping saying smile or cheese and they will get you a fake smile or a grumpy face when they are done. Just capture the expression, the moment: a child looking away from camera can have sometimes the same impact of a great smile! A child looking down on a book and smiling on a favourite image is cute. The peaceful look of a sleeping child is priceless!

And when you see they had enough of the camera, just put it away or if you push them too much they end up hating seeing a camera.

4. Be quick. Those little monkeys won’t wait for you to get ready so be prepared at their quick movements. If you have a DSLR set the camera in Tv mode (for canon) or S mode (for Nikon) and choose a high shutter speed to freeze the action. If you have a compact set it in sports mode and

5. Clean up the room/background: this is something will make a huge difference in a photo. If you decide to take some photos one morning and you are in the living room for example, have a look around and see if there are any books or magazines on the floor, or any piece of clothing on the sofa, anything will bother you when you look back in a picture. It will only take few minutes and it’s worthy!

I am thinking about organising little classes to teach mums how to photograph their children so if you are interested please drop me a line 🙂

nursery

KM. What can a family expect in your family session?

I love the emotions behind a maternity session, I feel fulfilled after a newborn session but I have the most fun during a portrait family session because I can see the real personality of the children and the parents.

I am not a traditional photographer and I think that the time of having formal family portraits is nearly over. A couple of posed images are fine but then I’m sure parents want to remember the everyday life with their children, want to recover the emotions and the relationship with them. Plus after a while children are bored to be directed and to be standing without moving.

That’s why my session are very relaxed. I prefer shooting in a park or in any open space and let the children be children, running around, jumping up and down, dancing, singing, spending some time with mum & dad, kissing, hugging, cuddling them. The session should be not different than any other family Sundays spent together. Of course from time to time I can shout to look at me, to look at each other or sit rather than stand but that’s very minimal. I try to stay unobtrusive as much as I can so the family can “forget” I’m there.

A few weeks after the session I will present them all the selected and edited images through a beautiful musical slideshow and they can decide what’s the best way to display their memories. It could be selecting a few images and creating a wall art in the living room or in the children’s room. They can have a customised album designed with all the images. I offer a wide range of beautiful products so they just have to pick their favourite.

bedroom

KM. What are the different baby packages you offer?

Every age is special and peculiar. Newborn images are surely the sweetest and parents love them. At six months babies are hilarious and they have so many expressions. At one year they are full of energy and they will start walking… there is so much in the first year to document!

If you can’t decide I offer two packages to cover the first year of your baby. The first one is the ‘Bump & Baby’ with a maternity session usually between 35-37th week and a newborn session within the first 2 weeks of the baby’s life. The two favourite images of the session will be presented in a beautiful folio. These are both emotional sessions and the memories you can have are great! Newborn session are very special and it’s unbelievable how you forget quickly how tiny your baby was.

The Baby Plan is a following program to document the major milestones of the first year. There will be three sessions at 3, 6 and 12 months to record when the baby holds the head, sits alone and finally stands/walks. These are actually quite fun sessions and you can get the real personality of the baby! In the last sitting a cake smash session can be included to celebrate the first birthday of your little one and although they will be messy, it’s a really good time! A beautiful folio included in the package will display your favourite image from each session.

folio tri-folio

KM.Complete the sentence. I am a Mum and…

like all of you we are a cook, waitress, nurse, personal assistant, teacher, councillor, event planner, entertainer, singer, dancer, cleaner, doctor, researcher, friend, driver . . . I’m sure you could add a long list of what we are right?

What I really am is a very proud mum of a beautiful girl and a happy wife to a wonderful man. That makes my life full and gratified. It happens then that I chose to do the job I am passionate about and that’s the cherry on top of the cake! I love children and I feel super lucky being able to photograph them and let parents have unforgettable memories.

KM. I love London because…

it’s a city where you can do and be whatever you want. You cannot be bored in London. There is so much one can do, even with children there are tons of funny things and activities.  I grew up in a small town on the Italian Alps where everything is different so being here is like living in a great big amusement park!

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Seesaw – Friday review

I have to say I feel pretty lucky lately. I never enter competitions because I know I am not a lucky person in general so I simply don’t waste time with it. I saw on Twitter a couple of competitions with theatre tickets as a prize and well I thought to give it a try.

Do you know what? I won them both!! Can you believe it? Now I think I should try more often 🙂

I went to see Clouds last month and I loved it. You can read a little bit about it here if you are interested.

A few weeks ago I went to the Unicorn Theatre in London Bridge with family tickets for Seesaw. I brought my nearly 3 year-old-daughter and my husband. Thanks Curious Mum for this opportunity.

The theatre has a modern and minimalist look and is children proof. As soon as you walk through the glass sliding doors you find a nice open space that was set up with small chairs and tables full of paper and colours to scribble. Behind that a little play area with a small wooden kitchen and some toys. Everything to keep little one entertained.

We arrived just on time so we actually didn’t have the chance to enjoy that. My little one was a bit sad she couldn’t play but as soon as we got inside we found a little surprise!

Not a traditional theatre stage but a little room with a sandpit in the middle and all the audience sitting around. Inside the sandpit a beautiful wooden seesaw (the type that every child would want in their garden!) and a girl drawing on the sand with a stick. She draws herself and her little toy rabbit Hairy and she starts talking and playing in the playground like every other girl of her age. We were sited on the left side in the second raw and it was like being there, as part of the play, as friend of the little girl. But a real “friend” comes in the sandpit, a little boy with an orange juice in his hands who starts playing with the autumn leaves and imagine going on a spaceship.

The girl thinks he took Hairy and she is very crossed with him. He tries to help so they both look for the little toy rabbit. Between the two begins an interaction of love and hate that eventually leads to a proper friendship. One minute they play together, the other they are fighting and pushing each other. They are children and that’s the way they behave.

Together they discover how to share the seesaw and how to play with the sand. I bet every child in the audience remember “Pat it flat, pat it flat” 🙂

They are now friends but it required a lot of work and a lot of time to get there. The same effort it took to use the seesaw: sometimes they were up, sometimes they were down until they learned to balance.

seesaw                             Photos above provided by Unicorn Theatre and credited to Matt Hargraves

I thought it was a nice play, just under 40 minutes I believe and my daughter enjoyed it. The final surprise was the invitation to join in the sandpit for some playing time. A beautiful ending!

Then of course we had to stop outside too for a bit of colouring time that we missed at the beginning!

The show is on till November so check it out and get dressed appropriately 🙂

I think I should take my daughter more often to children theatre. It’s fun!

sandplaying

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“Really?” I said

Yesterday when I picked up my daughter from nursery she told me she wanted to have some photos taken.

“Really?” I said

I actually needed some photos to renew her passport so I took her to get those done. But she was a bit grumpy and she looks kind of scared in that photo. Anyway they say it’s good for the passport.

Then went home and she still wanted some photos…. again “Really?”

She will be 3 next month and in those years, well, she had tons of pictures and most of the time she didn’t want them, like every other children 🙂 And when I say she doesn’t want it, she doesn’t want it!

[wpvideo kmh7rswr]

Seen.. I told you! Ahahahaha And I was just using my iPhone!

Anyway I changed her clothes, I took my camera, an old suitcase and we went to the park. Mummy’s joy!

She truly enjoyed it and here is what she gave me! A big laugh <3

So I leave you with this image and a quote to remember!

xx

lifeisbetterwhenlaughing

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Autumn is officially here!

Who doesn’t like Autumn?

Okay, I know what you are thinking it’s getting colder, you always need a jacket, in the morning is always foggy, the day are shorter and it will be wet and humid. But you have to admit that it’s one of the magical moment of the year . . .

The trees are getting red and yellow and orange and then it’s raining leaves . . . and an amazing foliage will be covering the sleeping ground. In the morning the low mist mixed with the dew is actually quite intriguing and even though it’s a bit biting it makes you feel like you’re in a story tale. Wow that’s looks like a fable already . . .

yellow&red leaves

But hey wait! All that glitters ain’t gold!

For all of us mommies it also means:

– runny nose and children getting sick more often

– dog poo hidden below crispy and colourful  leaves that your child is throwing everywhere

– wet days mean muddy paddles (we all know Peppa Pig is quite a good teacher!)

– more time inside trying new crafts and inventing new games

It’s all fun hey? 🙂

Going back to autumn well, here we are! 23 September 2014, first day and in London a great sunny day. I saw people in the local park having picnic, children playing football, a lot of runners so a great beginning for sure!

And remember it’s a great time to go out with your camera and take nice pictures of your children. Let them play, let them run and have fun 😉 And if you get stuck and need some help give me a call!

xx

autumn

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25+ Food to Avoid when Breastfeeding – Nursing Food Guide

Congratulations Mum!!

You went through the most amazing journey of your life and you are now holding your precious baby in your arms. But after hours of labor, birth and hospital time you need some good food! It has probably been ages you haven’t had some sushi, a nice juicy steak, some chili or an egg royal with a running egg. You might be dying for greasy food and fries but you have to be careful because if you are breastfeeding, your baby could not be much happy!

Is your baby too gassy, fussy and not much sleepy? Maybe you should pay more attention at your diet.

Tomatoes? Forget it! It just isn’t worth staying up all night. Pizza is quick to eat, but then when your baby is gassy all night long, somehow that pizza didn’t look too good. Soda – forget it! Dairy – no way!

What does it work? Yummy pasta with oil, wheat bread and light butter, mashed potatoes and amazing steak! All of these things keep you healthy, fed and the baby not only nursing but sleeping better than any baby ever met.

I will share the nursing list of food to avoid created by an American newborn photographer together with her pediatrician. This photographer tested the list herself with her 3 children. She had to know if it was the food or luck of the day and it seems to work well.

This list has made it around the world and goes to every newborn client going to her studio because a wrong food could affect the success of the session. So skip the berries, hold the tomatoes and please pass on the Mexican 48 hours before your session! Does it work? 99% of the time and  her clients can prove it!

Now, every baby is different of course and when all else failed we loved Gripe Water. My clients tell me over and over it saved them too and they slept much better. Are babies fussy? Of course. Gassy, sure? Will this list work for every baby – no. But it works for many and that’s worth passing it on.

Some people will say they ate anything and everything and it didn’t affect their babies. That’s super awesome. But it’s not the case for many other Mamas. Food has changed over the years and much of it affects us as grownups – now imagine a teeny tiny new digestive system. So try to eat healthy and take care of your body.

So…if you are planning to have a newborn session keep it in mind for a smoother session.

If not Mom give it a try,  you just might get a good nights sleep!

Oh and the list!…..here it is. Psst, pass it on.

breastfeeding food guide

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The Power of a Look – Family Photography Clapham, London

 

I am editing this session I have recently done and I am in Love with this image. I couldn’t not share it!

I think this is exactly what a memory is about, there is so much love and so much emotion! Surely not a traditional family image but the connection makes it a perfect image for me.

Mum and dad admiring their little joy . . . powerful powerful look <3

What do you think?

family photography Clapham London
lifestyle photography for children and families in Clapham, Battersea, south London
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Autumn Mini Sessions are coming – Children Photography London

We had an amazing warm summer in London this year! Now we can feel it’s getting a bit cold again, the days are shorter and slowly approaching Autumn.

The great news is that with Autumn there are beautiful warm and earthy colours that will look great in photographs!

So here is the deal!

You will get a mini photography session in the park with crunchy leaves, seasonal fruits and some surprise props!

The session would be about 20-25 minutes and siblings can go together. I will provide you with a gallery of images from which you can select your favourite 3. You will get these 3 H-res digital files with the print release for personal use and if you decide to get some other products you will receive 15% off!

This is perfect if you just want a couple of images to print and put in the frames you have at home or you could use them for holidays cards or scrapbooks!

There is only limited place so if you are interested get in touch soon to avoid disappointment.

 

autumnmini

 

 

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