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Category Archives for "Photography"


Retouching versus Preparation

Ah, Photoshop.  I'm sure everyone's seen those posts on Facebook that show magazine Photoshop fails.

The thing is, Photoshop can be of great use - but sometimes it's better to just not need it.

Some things are unavoidable - got a bruise on your leg that you're worried will show in your images? Don't give it a minute's thought - we can edit that out for you. Something non permanent like that, that isn't really 'you', doesn't need to stay!

If you've got a tattoo you're less than in love with, then let us know.  Robin can pose you to avoid showing your tattoo instead of highlighting it. If it is showing, and you'd rather it wasn't, it could be removed for you if you request it.

Isn't is just typical that you have a major break out of spots the day before your session? Well, firstly, please don't underestimate the work of your stylist - the make up here is heavier than normal day wear, so blemishes are highly unlikely to be an issue in the first place! 

And so we come to hair. If you dye your hair, then please do make sure you've had your roots done before your session.  If there's a big colour difference between your roots and the rest of your hair, this will show in your images and, yes, we can retouch it, but it would be great not to have to.

My own hair is currently a rainbow of colours - our apprentice Elise would run for the hills if faced with trying to retouching my (brown and grey) roots with all of the other colours.

Make sure you've planned your trip to the hairdresser - I'd usually recommend going  a week before. And if you've had a hair disaster then usually your best bet is to reschedule your session - if you don't love your images because you just plain hate your hair there's not a lot we can do to save that situation!

The same applies if you dye at home - make sure you're able to set aside time in the run up to your session, or book your session for a date when you know you'll have coloured your hair anyway.

As far as clothing goes, if your bringing a slip, robe or shirt with you that tends to crease, run an iron over it and fold carefully or bring on a hanger. We don't currently have an iron here and creases (especially on satin) will tend to show (and need retouching). 

If there's anything you're unsure about then just ask at your pre session chat, or call/FB message/email beforehand and I'll let you know whether it's anything you need to be concerned about.

Much love,


Improve your ‘selfie confidence’

If you don't happen to like yourself in photos, then you probably don't tend to take many selfies.
If you don't take many selfies, then you may not be taking the best selfie.
If you're not taking the best selfie, you probably won't like yourself in photos.

There's a definite vicious circle going on with photos, and it's really common. All the time at pre-session chats clients tell me they hate having their photo taken, they're not photogenic and have very few photos of themselves, never mind ones they actually like.

The less photos of yourself you see, the less likely you are to like them when you do see them. But it's good to exist in photos. Not to be vain and 'look at me' about it - but to make sure your family have pictures of you, and, crucially, especially if you have daughters, to make sure they're not picking up on your confidence issues (another thing clients talk to me about a lot).

I can help!
I am a bit of a selfiephobe. The phrase 'camera shy' was invented for me. Consequently, I don't take selfies, and if I do I press delete quicker than you can say "double chin".

Luckily, I am not the one who's about to give you tips on improving your selfie skills. I persuaded Robin that I need help, and there are plenty of others that do too. So he has put together a list of tips to help us learn how to take the perfect selfie - yay!

However - it doesn't matter how great your selfie skills are if you are starting from a point of flat out not liking yourself in pictures.  So to build your self confidence along with your selfie confidence, I've created the 52 Selfie Challenge.

1. Get access to 'Selfie School' and improve your selfie skills

2. Post a selfie each week, for a year

3. Along with your selfie, post a positive comment about yourself.

Sound like 'not exactly fun but something you wouldn't mind trying'?

Sign up below to join the 52 Selfie Challenge Facebook Group - that's where you will find the selfie school tips, and where we'll all work together on improving our selfie confidence.

I look forward to seeing you in the group soon.

Much love,

3 Join the 52 Selfies Challenge

Ready to love yourself in photos? I hope so!

Yesterday I talked a little about the challenge, and how I'll guide you through improving your selfie skills and get you used to seeing yourself in photos.

The challenge is perfect for anyone who doesn't really do photos. Who thinks they're unphotogenic. Who would like to get more comfortable with how they look on camera. 

It's hard to do all of that if you're not taking a great selfie to start with!

So, once we've all honed our selfie skills, all we have to do is post a selfie, once a week, and at the same time compliment ourselves. What could be simpler?

So that we all have somewhere to post our selfies, I have set up a closed Facebook group. As the group is closed, I'm not posting the link publicly - this is a private space for people taking part in the challenge (I don't need the whole world critiquing my selfies just yet, and I am sure you don't either).  So please fill out your details below and your link to the group will be sent straight out to you via email.

I look forward to chatting with you! If you have any questions, please post them here, or email me at [email protected] , or post in the Facebook group.

Much love,


Introducing the 52 Selfie Challenge

Do you love selfies? Post at least one, every day?
Then step aside, because I'm talking to the selfie-haters. The ones of us who feel unphotogenic (even though this is not really a thing) and, basically just don't like our own faces.

We're not skilled selfie-takers. Why would we be? We don't need to see pictures of us.  However, not being able to bear your own face and hating yourself in photos - probably not that great for your mental health.

I'm on a mission to get you comfortable with how you look in photos

Why? Because I firmly believe:
1. it's all part of loving yourself to be comfortable with how you look.

2. photos of you may not be important to you, but they may be important to someone else in your life at some point (read more on that here).

Now, I know this is going to be a struggle. Trust me when I say it is a struggle for me to consider taking selfies. So let's not call it a struggle, let's call it a challenge. Challenges are there to be overcome - let's do this!

Welcome to the  Smart Photography 52 Selfie Challenge

Quite often not liking yourself in photos goes hand in hand with being quite down on your appearance generally. How to fix that? Well, there are two main parts to this challenge.

1. Improving your selfie skills and getting familiar with how you look in photos.

Of course you don't want to look at yourself in photos, I get that. But if you only see your mirror image (and fleetingly at that for some of us) then how you look in photos is always going to look wrong - you're not symmetrical - how you look in photos and in the mirror are the opposite of each other.
So an important part of this challenge is to improve your selfie skills and get you used to how your face looks to others - we'll look at how to position your phone, how to pose and where to take the photos.

2. Making a positive comment about your photos.

This is possibly the hardest part, and therefore the most important part. 
Along with each selfie should come a compliment from you, about you.

Together we will post a selfie, each week for a year, plus a positive comment about ourselves. We're doing it together because, left to our own devices we'll let it fall by the wayside. We're doing it for a year because that's hopefully long enough, and enough photos, to get truly comfortable with how we look.

We'll have a private Facebook group to share our images and comments in and support each other.

The challenge will start with selfie school - tips to help you take a better photo (because I'll bet right now you're not taking a selfie that actually looks like you, and this colours your judgement about yourself).

Are you in? Would you like to feel good about yourself, with what is essentially very little effort, and get comfortable with cameras?
If so, please post in the comments section (or on the Facebook page).

Much love,

selfie school

Newly added! Fill out the form below to join the challenge now (quick...before you change your mind) xx


The importance of photos

If you don't like having your photo taken, it's not that hard to avoid it happening, even in these days of camera phones and Instagramming every moment.

It's easy to think that this has no consequences, but it does. Not just for your own self esteem - the less you are in photos, the less you will want to be in photos, and the less you will like yourself in photos - but also for the future.

In 100 years time, when Facebook is a relic of our time, will it look like you even existed? Will the world have seemed like a fun filled place with everyone having a great time, all of the time due to the Facebook filter people apply of mainly posting the good stuff?
Plus, kittens.

If someone's looking at my Facebook in 100 years time, they will glean I have a dog. That I was dog obsessed. Wow, that woman really loved her dog.

More importantly though, if you have a family, will your children and grandchildren have photos to remember you by?  

I didn't grow up in a particularly photo friendly household, however it was the age of 'the family photographer' who would come to the house every few years. Me and my sister would dress up in our C & A best and force smiles, squished uncomfortably close on the sofa.  I'd love to share these with you, but I don't seem to have them to hand <cough>.

When my parents divorced, mum kept the photography habit. Dad, not so much.  Couple this with the fact that we spent considerably less time with him, and also that he hated being photographed, when he died (unexpectedly) in 2013 it was brought sharply home to me how few photos, particularly of him and me together, were in existence (and yes, our studio was a family portrait studio back then - oh, the irony).

I went from not really being one for looking at photos to craving them. Every one, no matter how old, blurry and essentially terrible they were, became instantly precious on 7/7/13.

I didn't care what he looked like in them or what I or anyone else looked like in them. I just needed tangible proof that he had been there. This is the importance of photos. Not for you, but for others.

Compare how many photos you take of your children (or in my case your pets) to how many photos you have of you. Then stick with me - I'm going to be starting a 'How to love yourself in photos' campaign that you may find useful to start upping the 'record of you'.

Much love,

importance of photos