Why did we decide to run 5km for the NHS during the Coronavirus Pandemic
Running 5km for NHS was our way of saying THANK YOU because during Lockdown I feel very guilty but privileged to able to stay at home, safe, with my children.
Unable to work, as a non essential business, this to is a small price to pay. At home I am able to spend time with my children: having fun, homeschooling and teaching them life skills. All the while, others are out there risking themselves everyday and then coming home to their family….Still trying to keep everyone safe!
Getting fitter during Lockdown.
A few times a week I have been able to get out for a run. Away from others and slowly building up my fitness. Something that lots of NHS workers have probably been unable to do, during this troubling time.
My children have been spent days with me, as a family: playing on the trampoline, cooking, taking the dog for walk; enjoying carefree days.
Saying thanks to the NHS.
My daughters football team, Southwater Royals Girls Under 13, challenged the girls to run 5km for NHS. So I decided my two children should attempt that challenge.
Having just built up to 5km myself, I told them we would just take it slowly, as neither of them had run that far before and nor had they done any training for it! Although as children they are constantly on the move. My daughter also loves athletics so she did have a head start in fitness. All because other people out there are working VERY hard to keep us safe.
The 5km run for the NHS
We set off early morning and both children were quite excited. The start was tough because it took a little while to warm up and set our pace.
Before long we all settled into a good pace and we were all smiling and chatting. The route we did was great because it had 4 sections, which meant you felt like to were checking off the miles pretty quickly. It was also through the beautiful countryside around Southwater so really nice and peaceful!
The final leg is where things got a bit harder but both children were still brilliant. Preferring to sprint, my daughter would run off and then went for us to catch up. Whereas my son, who doesn’t normally run took the slow and steady option. I was amazed by his determination because he didn’t walk even when he was really tired!
What amazes me most is how normal they both looked when we finished. I’m really proud of them both because they took the challenge on without any complaints and it was a brilliant thing to do as a family. If anyone would like to give a donation to the NHS please click 5k for NHS
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Photographing your own baby at home can be really tricky. During Lockdown photographers aren’t allowed to work, so there is no one available to record these precious moments for you.
TOP TIPS FOR PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR BABY AT HOME
When my children were born, I loved photography but I didn’t know much about photographing a new baby. So, the photos I took, although I love them, definitely don’t look as good as I thought they would. As a newborn baby photographer in Southwater near Horsham, I would like to give you share some top tips on how to photograph your own baby during this time. Hopefully you will then have some lovely memories of your baby to look back on. It doesn’t matter what camera or phone you have, the following can be taken on anything.
My first tip for photographing your baby at home is to think about the light. If the light is rubbish the photo will be rubbish.
Firstly, when it comes to light, you do not want it too harsh! Rather than place your baby in full sunlight, find an area where the light is softer. This way the beautiful light falls on your baby because you don’t get the strong shadows. The way to do this is move your baby away for any bright spots, where direct sunlight is hitting it. Imagine you are out in the sun on a cloudless day. On the floor you can see lots of shadows and lots of bright spots. This is the type of light you want to avoid. A cloudy day is much better because the sun is covered by the cloud, so doesn’t cause harsh shadows but a nice soft light. That’s how you want it in your home.
Secondly, you want the light to coming from the head end rather than their feet to the light. An easy way to see this is to get a torch and stand in the dark, in front of mirror. Now turn the torch on and put it under your chin, see how it gives you a really scary look? This is what happens to your baby when the shadows go the wrong way. With faces you do not want the light coming from below! You can see by the catchlight (white bit) in the eyes of the baby below that the light is coming from top left.
2. Positioning your baby
The easiest place to photograph your baby at home is on the bed. Imagine the window is on your side of the bed. To get the best light for you baby, turn them towards the window, so that they are laying 45 degrees to it. Their head should be towards your pillow and their feet towards your partners feet end of the bed. This was they are getting lovely light going across their face. When taking the photo tilt your camera slightly, so that the babies head is higher that its legs or at least level. If you have the head lower that the bottom in your photo, it feels like your baby is falling down. Using blankets and little scarves to wrap your little one will make them feel secure and stops them wriggling quite so much. Also stand slightly towards their head end, as you don’t want to be looking up their nostrils or at their private bits.
Ensure that your baby is well fed and that the session fits in with their schedule. Ideally, you need them to be asleep, or at least very relaxed. You are lucky that you are photographing your baby at home so you can easily time it so they are asleep. It is also important that the room you are using is nice and warm. Ensure you also have books or things to do for siblings because they may want to become involved. Changing mats are also a great place to photograph your little one as these can be easily moved around the room to make use of the best light. Just make sure someone else is near to help keep your baby safe.
4. What to photograph
Getting close ups of your new baby are great for capturing their tiny features. Using items to show perspective are perfect, such as the wedding rings, shown below.
You can straight away see how small the features are because bands fit easily on the the babies tiny toes. Ensure the features are in focus when you take photo and if you’re zooming in be sure to keep your camera very still.
Close ups make wonder collages too and with phone editing software such a Snapseed and collage software such as Moldiv everything is so much easier.
siblings love to get involved, whereas others hate it. By laying your baby on the bed with a lovely fluffy blanket and some pillows underneath, it is an easy way to get brothers and sisters involved. They can either just sit near the baby or lay down with them and give some gentle kisses. When kissing the baby I tell siblings to give really slow kisses. That way you have time to capture it. Otherwise they normally give the fastest kiss ever and you miss it! Another tip is to wrap your baby in a blanket, so that arms and legs aren’t flailing all over the place and they feel secure. Always ensure that another adult is on hand to assist with the baby while you take the photo. Children do suddenly get bored and offload baby.
Using hats, blankets, wraps and toys are a great way to record gifts that you have been given and provide you with additional ways to capture photos of your baby. By using clothing that fits properly means you get the true perspective of how tiny your baby is. Wraps or scarves are a great way to secure baby or an easy way to hide their bits, while making them look even more adorable.
Good luck in capturing your own memories. During a time when photographers aren’t available I hope these tips help you. If you do manage to capture any photos, feel free to share them on my Facebook page If you would rather not photograph your baby at home and would prefer to book a session. Feel free to pop over to my Newborn Section for more information. Due to current Lockdown we do not know when Claire Wilders Photography will able open for newborn sessions but feel free to get in touch. We can then get you in as soon as possible.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN DIY CANVAS PHOTOGRAPHY BACKDROP
Being on lockdown and having watched many photography training videos I decided to attempt to paint my own DIY canvas photography backdrop.
Photography requires lots of equipment to keep photos current but none of this equipment is cheap. However, there are lots of ways that props can be made on a budget so I thought I would have a go at one. A new backdrop.
Paint of your choice – being on lockdown I couldn’t get to the shops and because I wanted it beige or brown I used some old fence paint. I used Ronseal One Coat in dark oak matt because that is all I had. I also used some old white matt emulsion.
A 12ft x9ft canvas backdrop. Click HERE to visit Amazon where I bought the backdrop
A fluffy roller. Click HERE to see which roller I bought.
Old trampoline cover to lay on the floor to stop it staining the grass. Tarpaulin or plastic sheets could also be used.
Being impatient when it comes to DIY I decided to just wing it! I laid the canvas on an old trampoline cover, so that the paint didn’t wreck the grass. I had heard of people priming the canvas or buying a primed one but I didn’t do either. Others had also pinned their canvas to the ground but I didn’t do this either. I wanted to use the texture and bumpiness of the grass to help me when adding texture to the canvas.
With the paint, I didn’t have a plan because again I wanted it to be random. Using a roller was easier because you could add a decent amount of paint to the canvas and then spread it around at random.
Mixing The Paint
To start off I added white emulsion to the paint tray and then added a small amount of fence paint so that its wasn’t too dark, as I wanted the centre to be lighter than the outsides. I also added a small amount of water to thin the paint down a bit. A few people have added fabric softer to the paint, so that the canvas is more supple at the end. I forgot to do this but the crustier feel doesn’t bother me. To paint the canvas I started in the middle but just slapped the paint on and continued all over the place until I emptied the tray.
Each time I filled the tray, the mixture got darker plus the paint wasn’t always mix it properly. Meaning there was bits of dark and light paint all over the canvas, to add to the texture. As it dried I did make certain areas a bit darker, as the white came through as it dried. Although this is better than the canvas coming out too dark. This day was also really warm so the canvas did dry quickly.
The Finished Product
As a first attempt I was really pleased with this canvas, especially as it only cost me the price of a backdrop. Which was £21. I did cut the backdrop down a bit as it was rather large for my space but the length is brilliant. There is a seem in the middle but with a wide aperture you can’t see it. Plus if you cut it down to make smaller backdrops, this won’t be an issue. TOP TIP… make sure you have the seam underneath.. you’ll notice mine is on the backdrop side! Something I didn’t think about in my haste to start painting.
I’m really pleased with the finished product. It cost me a day out of my time and was pretty easy to do. Both emulsion and fence paint seemed to work okay and I really like the texture it gives in both colour and black and white. Neither of these photos were taken with studio lights, the canvas was hung up and I took a quick photo of my son looking out of the window. Am I going to paint more? YES! Watch this space!!
If you’d like to see this backdrop in use during your photo session please visit my Families session to view details.
A hobby is so important for children and this is why I love doing sports and hobby photography in Horsham.
I am a true believer that all children should participate in sport and that it is an important part of their well being. We were very lucky that my daughter went to Southwater Junior Academy, Southwater, Horsham, Sussex where they have absolutely fantastic PE facilities. Their teacher is dedicated to providing the children with a wide range of sports to try plus they attend a huge amount of sporting events each year. Taking far more teams than any other school to ensure sport truly is for all.
There is nothing like participating in something you love surrounded by your mates.
If children are dealing with issues or stresses at school or home they’ll always have the support of their team mates and that is so IMPORTANT! Or if they participate in a solo sport it is a great way to relieve the stress of the day.
Sports also teach children resilience, to work hard and respect others, as well as helping them to focus.
It also helps them to keep fit, healthy and can even improve brain power.
BUT it’s also fun! And that’s the main one for children. They need to enjoy it.. the rest is just an added extra!
Care is needed when photographing children with special needs
Here is a lovely review a friend wrote recently:
The background story.
A friends son has Autism and Tourette’s, so found it too overwhelming to have photos taken at school. The environment was too noisy and he didn’t like having his photo taken in front of other people.
This was too much for, lets call him Peter, so his siblings have their memorable school photos but he doesn’t because the environment wasn’t suitable for him.
Photographing a school photography session for a child with special needs.
This is why last year, for the for first time they came to Claire Wilders Photography in Southwater, near Horsham. For a bespoke school photo session. Peter came in and took his time to settle in slowly. The session was then taken as his speed. He was a little star and had his photos taken with his siblings and together they got some lovely photos of them ALL together. It took a bit longer than the “allotted time” but that’s okay because it’s about creating a memory for the family and they deserve to have that photo, just like everyone else.
So now they have that “normal” school photo.. like everyone else.
BUT…what is normal?
Is Peter not normal because he doesn’t like his photo being taken or is he completely normal because he doesn’t like his photo being take? He just has extra needs. Every person on this page has had completely different needs because no child is the same.. even twins!
MOST children HATE having their photo taken..
Children, like Peter that have special needs may find having their photo taken a struggle because it’s too noisy and too intrusive. Others hate sitting down too long BUT don’t most children? Things children don’t like about photo sessions include having to look at the camera, hating their outfit or not liking a stranger making them do this and do that. Some just hate having to be near their brothers and sisters!
But this doesn’t mean they can’t have their photos taken. It’s about adapting to the children.
This could include; playing with their toys, running around the woods or reading a book. Helping them to settle in, in whatever way they need. The session can be at your house, the park, their sports lesson, wherever they feel comfortable. (It also doesn’t cost you more if it’s in the local area)
Any photographer will tell you kids photo sessions are very rarely a dream because children are not little robots.. BUT you will have some gorgeous photos at the end of it, showing their personality!
Mini Family Photo Sessions in Horsham.
Mini sessions are great because these only take around 20 minutes so families aren’t expected to “perform” for ages. Outdoor Mini Family Photography Sessions allow your children to burn up some energy on the walk to the location. It’s also possible have a quick play and relax before the camera comes out.
Please do get in touch or feel free to head here to have a look at the Families Photography Page.
None of the children on this page are models.
It’s about capturing emotions and personal moments. Whatever they are; cuddles, splashing in a puddle, wearing a princess outfit.
Together we will decide the best environment to capture the perfect photos of your family.
Peter asked his mum if I can take his photos again this year because it’s much calmer for him and he prefers this to the crazy school environment.
If you wish to keep up to date with future offers and information you can also like my Facebook page by clicking Claire Wilders Photography