Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Esme- Cake Smash

I recently got to shoot a Cake Smash for an adorable little girls first birthday. I first met Esme's gran, Christine who is actually a very talented Milliner (check out her Facebook page here) when I was helping my wife with her wedding fair at Capesthorne Hall, Cheshire.

I have wanted to do a proper Cake Smash for ages, done right they can look amazing and so I jumped at the chance with excitement making the creative cogs of mine & Kala's (my wife) brain kick into gear. Kala, who owns Kie Gifts & Events  (See her Facebook page here) obviously is the most creative & artistic of the two of us, although I do give some input and we always both agree on most things before they're completed.

We have a Pink girls princess throne which we decided along with Esme's mum Siobhan we would use. Siobhan was going to make the cake which was great and me and Kala, when I say We, I mean Kala 😆 would be the designer, I was to do what I do best and that is to take the pics, I was happy with that. Oh, and lug all the props, backdrop, lighting into the house, after all I can't let Kala do that can I, that would be Very ungentlemanly of me. 

Lighting up, I had a sit down and a natter to Christine & Siobhan whilst Kala got creative. It's always good to connect with clients on a friendly basis and they are both very friendly and easy to get on with. We found that out at the Wedding Fair.



The Set


Esme's older brother, 4 year old Blake was going to be in the shoot as well, he was really excited and he dressed up as Batman for the day, he looked brilliant and pulled off some wicked Batman poses, at times we thought he was the 'real deal'! 

Unfortunately Esme's dad Alex had to be away during the shoot because of work, I know he was gutted because of this but I'm sure there will be a next time, perhaps dad will dress as a super hero.



Blake, I mean 'Batman' doing his poses


Esme looked very pretty in her clothes and the colour went nicely with our theme. Her little eyes lit up when she saw the pink throne and when mum sat her on it, she looked like a princess and she knew it!. 













Mum's cake looked yummy but unfortunately we couldn't eat it as it was for the shoot. When it was put in position Esme seemed a bit cautious about it but then went up to it and very gently and princess like took a tiny bit of icing from the top and tasted it, she approved. 

She didn't dive right in but every now and then and with a little help from Batman she came and took a piece or patted the top, she was very polite & gentle with it bless her, it goes to show the kind of girl she will grow up to be I guess. 

Blake was dying to really dive into the cake but patiently waited whilst we got some good shots of his sister and him then with the help of Blake, sorry, Batman and mum they broke it up a little. We think Esme might have been a little tired but we got some amazing images and Batman got to go to town on the cake and Boyy did he! 




The family were chuffed with the final result having seen the images and we look forward to seeing them again both as friends or even for more photo-shoots.

As Christine is a Milliner I am sure we will bump into her again at a wedding fair in the future, we both look forward to that.


All the best Esme & Family

From

Stuart & Kala

xx




Friday, 5 February 2016

Techniques for using your Flash

If you don't own one I would highly recommend buying a Speedlight as a priority. It doesn't have to be a Branded one either as they can be very expensive especially if you are on a budget. You can buy relatively cheap ones that do just as good a job as a Nikon or Canon Speedlight. *See my older Blog where I did a review on the inexpensive Aperlite YH- 500N. 

Although most cameras come with a built in flash, they're not powerful enough for certain shots and you're obviously limited to it's usage. The other problem with the built in flash is that it is fixed facing forward and most of the time especially if shooting Portraits can give the effect of a 'Deer caught in a cars headlights' 

However, when using a Speedlight you can rotate the head at certain degrees which is really the best way to use your flash and bounce the light off the wall or ceiling which ultimately gives a softer tone to your images, especially if the wall or ceiling is white. You have to bear in mind when you are using bounce that, if you have a red wall, or blue then some of that colour would be reflected onto the model, a black wall will absorb some of the light. If you are in a building where there are high ceilings or not near a wall then you can improvise with a Reflector or Flash Softbox, there are many alternatives.

A German company called Sunbounce have an excellent product called California Sunbounce - Bounce Wall, which attaches to your camera and enables to bounce the light wherever you are. See website link below.

Photographer using the California Sunbounce - Bounce wall


The Bounce Wall comes with the basic White panel but there are a few others available as well, i.e. silver, gold which all give a nice effect for certain projects. Well worth the buy though.



There are many tutorials out there for posing techniques, flash positioning, light direction etc and a lot of the time it's really all about getting your camera & flash out and practicing with a willing 'model'. 










Monday, 1 February 2016

*FREE Handy Wedding Printable Planning Tools by Stuart Reeve Photography


I hope you find these tools handy



Planning a Wedding and all that comes with it can be very stressful and if you don't have an organised mind it can be a nightmare. There are many helpful tools out there to take away the stress and make it that much easier, just do a  Google search for them.




If you're not sure about searching for them or how to save them to print then why not try my helpful tools. They are even extremely helpful even for the well organised.

Everything is there for you, all you have to do is print them off and fill them out. I would highly recommend having a folder to put your printed documents in to keep them safe.

Included in these tools (just click on each one)


Below are also two links to Wedding websites for ideas on the latest Wedding Trends for 2017.





Monday, 25 January 2016

Photography Cheat Sheets


When starting out in photography it can be very daunting with all the different setting that a camera has to try and break away from 'Auto', in fact most photographers have obviously been in the same position and eventually, especially if you want to take your skills to the next level it is important to rotate that dial and step out of the comfort zone.

It is a good idea in most cases to go into 'Aperture Priority Mode' (I'm talking Nikon here as it is my primary camera) or 'Shutter Priority Mode' for a while first which is a mixture of auto and manual.

If you decide to give 'Manual' a try but unsure what settings you need to achieve a particular shot, then below is a helpful 'Cheat Sheet'.



There are many out there if you do a Google Search, covering all kinds of questions and settings. My advice is take the leap and switch out of 'Auto', you won't regret it.


Thursday, 7 January 2016

New-Born Baby Photo-Shoot, Pre-Shoot info for parents

Info for parents to help make the shoot a success.



The day is looming upon us for your little new-born baby to hog the limelight and have what is more than likely their first photo-shoot.

I have set out a helpful list below which is quite important to new-born photography, both for the parents, the photographer (me) and more importantly the little one, he/she should be comfortable and warm at all times throughout the shoot which could take up to 2 hours.

1) Have Baby cleaned with sponge bath approx. 1 hour before the shoot.

2) It is important (in order to get those dreamy posed shots) to keep Baby awake for as long as possible before the shoot and then let him/her sleep after they are fed & burped, this way Baby will be snuggly asleep and can be posed whilst in dreamland.

No one wants hungry/grumpy Baby photo's!

Image courtesy of Awkward Family Photo's


3) Keep clothing & nappy loose after the bath in order to keep Babies skin free from line marks.

4) Feed & burp Baby approx. 30-45 minutes before the shoot.

5) Have the house temperature slightly higher than normal for the shoot. Baby will/might be naked for some of the shoot and they need to be as snug and warm as possible, on that note, it may be a great idea also to have a small fan heater set up near to and pointing at the shoot area.

6) Have cleaning essentials on stand bye for the shoot, nappies, wipes, spare clothes, it may also be wise to have a dummy at hand.

7) It would be very helpful if the parents could provide a couple of blankets that Baby already knows and also a Bean Bag would benefit the shoot, it is also important to keep noise levels down to a minimum.

8) Patience is important. The shoot can seem like it's taking forever, especially when there is no background noise like t.v. or radio. It's important not to rush the shoot. Also if Baby does wake up, it's no biggy, a wide awake baby during shoots can be just as great as dreamy sleepy ones, so we would urge you to chill and go with the flow and not try and feed or rock baby back to sleep which could result in a grumpy baby and the above image.

9) And Finally.. Relax, you're in good hands!. Myself & Kala have 7 kids between us so we are extremely competent in handling your precious one, although it would be good for you to lend a hand during the shoot anyway.
For new-born's it is natural for them to have a wee or a poo without prior warning, even when sleeping, so don't stress and just make sure you are prepared for this to happen.  Just don't stress if Baby decides to use our own blankets or even us as his/her personal potty, it is natural and we expect it! All our baby blankets & props are washed after every session.

Oh and one last pointer for Mum & Dad, please look smart and it would be great if even for a couple of shots if you could both wear a Black top/t-shirt.

We look forward to seeing you all and your bundle of joy on the day and help to create some amazing memories for your family to enjoy for years to come.

Stuart & Kala





A Year of photo's with Stuart Reeve Photography

Thank you to all of my customers from the past year.

It has been an honour & a privilege working for you and capturing your special moments.






We wish you all a healthy & prosperous 2016 and look forward to capturing some more special memories.


Stuart & Kala