Monthly Archives: February 2017

masks by rialto bridge during carnival in venice

Carnival of Venice with children

Right now in Venice it’s carnival!

A very festive time of the year where you can dressed up as you want and go around your town or city with your little friends throwing colourful confetti all over. I know ( apart from the confetti probably) you can have carnival every day here in the UK  🙂

But this time for us is quite special. As a child, I wasn’t used to dressing up to go to a birthday party, or simply to stay at home and play or just because. We dress up once a year, at carnival and we are all very excited, yes even adults! During these time we typically eat frittelle and crostoli, mmmh very delicious sweet treats I really miss here!

For sure you know the very famous Carnival of Venice, known for its very elaborate masks. The carnival ends forty days before Easter, on Shrove Tuesday (Martedì Grasso or Mardi Gras), the day before Ash Wednesday. This year it will be right this weekend.

We went there 2 years ago with my daughter who was 3 at the time and I would recommend going with your children!

Carnival of Venice with children? Yes!

The Carnival is fun and worth to live. But I want to give you a few tips when you are going there with your kids.

Plan and book ahead of the trip. Sometimes the carnival is during half term, others, like this year, the week after. Whatever the time the flight can be very expensive if left at the very last minute, especially if it half term! So it’s a good idea to have a look around October-November. Same for the accommodation.  There are people going there from all over the world and rooms and hotels are going to fill up quickly. If it’s your first flight with your little one check this post.

It’s crowded. If you can avoid going during the weekend, it would be better. If there is no school holiday, like now, well at least try to get there early. There are lots of people yes, but I found it was quite safe even with my girl. She had the space to move and run around. She was welcomed to have photos with the masks.

san-marco-square-venice-during-carnival

Can be cold. Be prepared and dress accordingly. I bought a bigger size dress for Amy so she could wear a warm jacket underneath. And remember you are around all day so you will get cold.

Check out events for kids. Sometimes there are ice rink for skating, music and dancing in many Campi (squares), there is the “flight of the donkey” to represent with irony and comedy the famous flight of the angel. You can find out what’s going on here, I’m afraid is in Italian, but you can see the time and the locations of the different events.

Leave buggies at home! I loved going everywhere with my Maclaren, so easy to move and load staff as well and sometimes I miss it! Bit Venice is not buggy friendly, especially with big crowds. There are hundreds of little bridges, small alleys, and it can be very frustrating keep lifting it. Get slings, baby carriers, baby carrier backpacks but stay away from buggies 😉

You can walk everywhere.  The best way to know Venice is by foot. If you need to get quicker to one place to another you can use the vaporetto (waterbus) but it’s not that cheap.

And for the parents? 

Definitely have a glass of good prosecco. You are in the area where great prosecco is made.

Have a snack at one bacaro. In Venice there are many bacari, old name for bar, trattoria where you can have a quick stop. You can grab a few nibbles that can be fish based, grilled veggies, salami . . . really many delicious choices. You can’t go wrong with any!

If you haven’t tried yet have a glass of Spritz Aperol. Again this is the region where spritz was invented. Have it before dinner as an aperitif and you won’t regret it 😉

 

Just one more thing before showing some beautiful masks . . . Venice is truly a beautiful city but it smells. Watch out where you walk, it’s not rare to step on poos! 😉

Have a wonderful trip! And feel free to share your experience and tips n the comments below.

masks carnival in venice mask carnival in venice beautifil masks during carnival in venice close up of a mask carnival in venice masks by rialto bridge during carnival in venice mask in venice mask carnival in venice amazing masks carnival in venice

 

Photograface by Valentina | London portrait photographer

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cover NCT magazine-photo-by-valentina

Adorable Sleeping Newborns – NCT magazine interview

NCT is the UK largest charity for parents. Their vision is of a world in which no parent is isolated and all parents are supported to build a stronger society.

 

They offer great courses before birth and they support mums with breastfeeding. They connect new parents so you can meet people who live close to you and are in your shoes. You will meet the first friends of you baby 🙂

You can visit the Clapham branch website for more info about local events, courses and useful resources.

A while ago I had an interview with them and here it is.

cover NCT magazine-photo-by-valentina

interview-newborn-photography-by-valentina

Adorable sleeping newborns

Valentina from Photograface is a photographer who specialises in maternity and newborn photography. Here she shares some of the secrets to getting beautiful photographs of you beautiful baby.

 

Little babies are so adorable while they are sleeping – they look so angelic and peaceful and new parents cannot take away the eyes from them.  But if you work out the magic of some professional photographers, they surely look even more precious.

Valentina from Photograface is a London photographer, based in Clapham Junction, who specialises in maternity and newborn photography. She comforts the babies until they are in a deep sleep and she carefully positions them in some cute and curled poses that you can only achieve in the early days of a newborn. She says the best time to photograph them is between 5 and 10 days, while they are still very sleepy and in their foetal position.

“The session takes a few hours and a lot of patience. Babies need to have a full tummy and they need to feel warm and secure before they fall asleep. The preparation together with the feeding and comforting time is what make the session so long. Once the babies are deeply asleep, pose them and finally take the photographs, which is the easy and fun part.”

Apart from patience newborn photography requires specific training that goes beyond photography skills. The professional newborn photographer has learned how to handle a baby safely, soothing techniques to encourage baby to sleep, and how to pose them correctly amongst other things.

 

Valentina is a proud member of BANPAS (Baby and Newborn Photography Association) that promotes safe working practices in newborn photography, ensuring that baby’s comfort and safety takes priority.
“Safety is surely my number one priority. As a mum myself I know how precious and tiny a little baby is and I know that mums have lots of concerns at the beginning. I always make sure I use hand-sanitiser before touching a baby. I will check babies are never unattended while posed in specific props, they are comfortable in the position and never force them in something that they don’t feel secure. Sessions will be postponed if I feel unwell, have a cold or my daughter has a bug, or at least I let parents know about it and they can have the final call.

At the same time I want parents to be relaxed and comfortable as well so the baby can feel the good vibe, so I make sure they have a drink and some snacks before I give my attention to the baby”

interview-newborn-photography-top-tips

Babies are normally snuggled and wrapped in soft and delicate wraps and fabrics, posed in some baskets, posed naked in cute curled positions and finally, they are portrayed with mums and dads.

Sleeping newborn images are definitely the sweetest ones, but the ones with the parents are probably the most cherished ones.

 

Those little babies will not fit in the same way in their arms for long, and so it’s a once in a lifetime moment that you won’t get again (unless you have another baby). Hiring a professional photographer will capture that moment and allow parents to have beautiful memories that can be enjoyed in years to come.

“My style changed a bit over the years. As an artist, my work evolves as well. When I started I used to incorporate more props and use more colours while now I tend to go back to the basics. I really like the simplicity of a baby sleeping on a white blanket in a natural position. Maybe just a little soft hat or blanket on top but not much more. I also like the black and white images that evoke the baby inside the womb. They all look very natural and that don’t put the babies in any dangerous position”

Newborn photography is quite popular nowadays; ever more new-parents are willing to have their babies photographed and they proudly show those images in the announcement cards welcoming the baby to friends and family.

 

“The joy of the parents when they see their photos is priceless. I’ve ben told it was one of the best experience they had, that their images make them emotional and teary, millions of thank you . . . all special feedback that makes me love my job even more. Capturing love in a new family is surely the most rewarding job. I feel honoured when people trust me with their little ones and I’ll do my best not to disappoint them. I feel accomplished when I see my photos hanging on their walls or displayed in timeless albums”.

 

Here are Valentina’s tips to photograph your babies. These are the thing that you should focus on:

 

Get the details: baby details are very cute! Little hands and feet, button nose, hair if they have.
Document their behaviour:  Take a photo while they are peacefully sleeping but don’t forget to record also a yawn, a little smirk and even a cry.
Use natural light. As a natural light photographer, I’m in love with the quality of this light. Move the baby near a window but make sure there is indirect light and not hot spots. In this case just move the baby a bit back. Try to avoid the use of flash, as it take away the spontaneity and natural tone of the shoot.
Include siblings: if you have other children it can be quite challenging, especially if they are toddlers, but it’s priceless having a photo with them. Probably the easiest thing is to place them on your big bed and then bribe them 🙂
Keep it simple, document your baby as is and don’t try to put him in dangerous position to emulate some photos you have seen.

 

Wouldn’t you love to have beautiful images of you baby? Get in touch for a free consultation and learn how Valentina can help you.

www.photograface.com
Photograface by Valentina | Newborn Photographer Clapham, Battersea, London

 

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The baby first year is amazing and full of emotions.

The first year of a baby is amazing.

 

As a mum you are looking forward to meeting your baby. You spend 9 months preparing for this moment, practising breathing, reading books, asking for advice, wondering what your baby looks like and then finally here he/she is.

No matter how many hours of labor or what birth you had. Now your precious baby is laying on your chest and it’s the most wonderful feeling. Your eyes are tearing of joy, you are incapable of feeling the birth pain anymore because all you can thing is just in front of you. 

You are exhausted but over the moon. Your husband is looking at you both with pride and happiness. He takes a photo of that little creature laying on you and that will be your most precious memory, the beginning of your baby story. This is me and my girl 🙂

baby at birth laying on mum

Then you go home and all is new. You realise that no book you read, no advice you asked were that relevant after all. They say “babies don’t come with a manual” for some reasons!

Every baby is different and you, as mum, are the only one who will know your baby best. You will learn why she is crying, you will learn how to hold her, you will learn when to cuddle her . . .  you will know when there is something wrong. I realised that your instinct and common sense is often time the best!

You are tired and sleep deprived, you try to figure out how to breastfeed and feeling hopeless, but you will spend so much time looking at how perfect you baby is, you will hold that baby in your arms as long as you can because you are just so in love that you cannot stop. People will tell you that you shouldn’t always hold your baby, you should let her cry . . . That is your baby and unfortunately she will grow so fast you cannot imagine. Those little hands, those cute feet will change in a few months. The newborn feature of her face will change in just a few weeks.

In a matter of months she will mumble, she will roll, sit, then stand . . . walk!

At every stage, you couldn’t be more proud of you little baby. You want to call your hubby, friends, mum and let them know her progress.

As a mum myself I experienced all this. I have photos of my daughter smiling, rolling, sitting, standing . . . now she is 5 and we recently  reviewed some photos together.  You forget how little they were, you eyes are tearing again when you see those photos and your child will look at them with curiosity and will ask questions.

As a photographer, I love seeing my babies again over the year. It’s amazing how they change and I’m so honoured of being part of it as well.

Let me help you to remember your baby’s first year with beautiful photos.

 

I promise it will be well worth it, because in 10, 20, 30 years time those images will be simply priceless. They will be the story of your baby and a legacy of the family. 

 

Wouldn’t you love to have beautiful images of you baby? Get in touch for a free consultation and learn how I can help you.

Photograface by Valentina | Newborn Photographer Clapham, Battersea, London

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photo of baby in a park. baby photographer clapham

Baby Photographer Clapham – Baby Tabby

Oh baby, I love those blue eyes.

Two years ago I photographed a wonderful local family. Harry was 2 years old at the time and full of beans, running around and having fun. You can see their session here

Last week I met the same family again, bu this time with a little addition. Harry is now big brother to a beautiful one-year-girl. The grandparents bought them a gift voucher for Christmas to have some photos of baby Tabby too.  Here a little preview from the session.

photo of baby ona park. baby photographer clapham

Outdoor photography sessions are great for children and toddler. They are free to move and run and parks offer beautiful natural backdrops for anyone.  If you are thinking to have some photos done with your family feel free to contact me so we can chat about what you want to create.

Photograface by Valentina | Baby Photographer Clapham | Battersea

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Children photographer London. Beautiful child photography

Children Photographer London

This morning I was supposed to meet a lovely family in the park. We planned a maternity and family shoot outside to celebrate the expecting time as well as the second birthday of the first child. Unfortunately, we live in London and plans not always work out, especially with outdoor shootings.  We woke up to a rainy and dull morning, so we decided to postpone it.

My camera and me were prepared and ready to take some photos, so to keep my creativity active, I brought my girl down to the studio. Not a very easy task to be honest, but eventually we did it and this is one of the images.

My little girl is growing . . .

I love this image. She is looking right into me, I can see her soul through her eyes. I am looking forward to printing it and having it in my home.

Children photographer London. Beautiful child photography

Wouldn’t you love having a nice portrait of you child hanging your wall? Wouldn’t you love to exist in that photo with your child? 

I am a children portrait photographer and I would love to photograph you and your family together because as a mum I know how valuable these images will be in just a few years time.  Book a free consultation today and plan your child’s portrait.

Photograface by Valentina | Children Photographer London | Clapham | Battersea

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newborn baby sleeping. Baby details

Baby Details Love – Newborn Photography Clapham London

In the very early days, I remember staring at my daughter when she was sleeping. Looking at the long eyelashes, gently stroking the soft skin, admiring the sweet mouth and nose . . .

I love baby details, little feet, squishy mouth, long fingers, button nose . . .

and every time I photograph the details of a baby it takes me back to my little girl.

Hands up if you too spent or are spending time looking at your wonderful baby!

Baby E. 6 days new <3

newborn baby sleeping. Baby details

If you too want to capture the early days of your baby and document those little details you will treasure for years get in touch for a free consultation.

Photograface by Valentina – Newborn Photographer Clapham | Battersea | London

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