Baby boy asleep on photographers beanbag wearing sleeping cap

Is it “Colic” or not?

I’m sorry that it has been a long time since I have written anything here but I have been trying to run my own business and keep two children alive. Today I thought I would share with you my experiences of colic especially as I now have the benefit of hindsight.

Newborn baby boy asleep on daddy's arm

Child 1

When Beatrice (child 1, the practice one) was born we were obviously pretty clueless about many baby related things despite having worked with babies for many years. A couple of hours fine, but living with one is a whole different ball game. The intention had been to breast feed because that is what the lady at the NCT course said we should do and that is what the midwife said we should do and that is what the hospital encouraged us to do. The intention was also to have a natural birth at the local birth centre in Chipping Norton because it was convenient and the antenatal classes led us to believe that it would be possible. In the end my waters broke, contractions didn’t start and I was given 24 hours before being told to check myself into the John Radcliffe to be induced. I ended up not needing to be induced but instead everything developed rather quickly to the point that we sent for an emergency caesarean because they were worried about her heart rate. Long story short this meant that my milk didn’t come down, she was under weight at 5lb 13oz and so they wanted to put us on a feeding plan with formula so that they knew she was getting enough. And so continued 7 months of mixed feeding as I also never felt that I had enough. 

Baby boy sleeping in miniature bed

About 5 weeks in and the ‘colic’ started. The worst part of the day was the witching hours between 6pm and midnight when she was just unconsolable. We would do everything from singing and swinging and cuddling and swaddling. We bought all of the over counter options which it turns out are just placebos for the parents. Eventually we went to the GP. I think if it had been any other doctor they would have sent us away as neurotic first time parents but this lady had a sister whose child had been diagnosed with a cow’s milk protein intolerance and so she suggested that this could be the problem. As we were mixed feeding this meant me going dairy free and the doctor prescribing special formula. We tried this for about two weeks but it didn’t seem to be doing anything so we gave up. The health visitor always put it down to baby’s digestive system not being fully developed and we just struggled through until eventually she grew out of it.

Baby boy asleep on photographers beanbag wearing sleeping cap

Child 2

Then, when I was pregnant with Violet (child 2) we made the difficult decision that I wasn’t going to breast feed. We had another caesarean planned, she would be going to nursery a lot younger than Beatrice did, and we thought that it could have been the mixed feeding that caused the problem the first time around. Turns out it wasn’t. Very early on it was clear that she wasn’t happy. A lot of crying and the formula would go straight through her with very watery poos. We tried changing teats, bottles but very soon decided to call the GP. Luckily we got the same lady again. She prescribed the Aptamil Pepti and very quickly there was an improvement. (Warning! The milk doesn’t smell very nice and is even worse when it comes out the other end!) Turns out she did have a cows milk protein intolerance and that probably her sister did too and that probably many babies historically have and it was just put down to being ‘colic’.

Soft fluffy blanket with newborn baby sunk into it

Milk Ladder

Thankfully we have now completed the milk ladder and it appears that she can tolerate all types of milk. But we do hear of more severe cases where the babies have rashes and more serious problems. Thankfully there are a number of different formulas available for the GP to prescribe if the first option doesn’t work and these days there are so many different milks that they can have when they are older.

Apologies to child number one. We were trying our best and we love you dearly! xx

Baby boy being photographed asleep in a bucket wearing a flat cap

Nappy Rash

Newborn baby girl sleeping on the photographers beanbag wrapped in a pink cloth

Nappy Rash

Just a quick one today but it’s about something that is a real pain in the butt (if you’ll excuse the pun!) I keep remembering this at our photoshoots in the studio and then forget to put pen to paper. It’s normally when we are doing the first birthday photoshoots as the little ones are on food by then. We’ve done the whole session, they’ve got messy smashing a cake, they’ve had a splash in our little bath tub, and then it’s time to get that nappy back on and get dressed. It’s at this point that we get on to the discussion of nappy rash and nappy creams.Newborn baby girl sleeping on the photographers beanbag wrapped in a pink cloth

No one wants to see their baby with a poorly bottom. Imagine how uncomfortable that must be to have nappy rash and sometimes, despite how gentle you are with wiping, or how quickly you change their nappy after they have done a poo, they still get a sore bottom.

The Story

This is our story: our eldest attended nursery from about 7 months of age. This changes a lot in terms of your day to day dealings with your child. Yes, you suddenly have some time to do things, but all of a sudden you don’t know every tiny detail of their day. You don’t know how much they’ve slept, how much they’ve played, what they’ve eaten.Baby girl asleep in a dreamcatcher decorated with pink peonies

Our daughter started to regularly have nappy rash. Nursery would liberally apply Sudocrem. We would liberally Metanium (if you’ve read my previous blogs you will know that I swear by the yellow one). Normally it would get better and generally it was manageable. But then it got really bad, so bad that it was sore and bleeding. So we began to wonder whether it was something that she was eating.

The Culprit

Now we never gave much thought to what we were going to feed our children. We just fed them what we had in the house. So they have always eaten brown bread, wholemeal pasta, lots of fruit and veg. It turns out (thanks Google) that neither us nor nursery were doing anything wrong. That punnet of blueberries that she devoured like sweets was the culprit! Apparently various fruits like blueberries and raspberries can cause really bad nappy rash. We cut out those foods and instantly her bottom was better and she no longer got nappy rash. Now that she is toilet trained she can happily eat whatever she likes. 

I had to share all this with you because it seemed so silly at the time. That something we thought was doing her good was actually causing her harm!Baby girl asleep in a green themed bucket setup for her newborn photoshoot

White Noise Hidden in Iphone

Baby girl lying in side pose on bean bag

Secret White Noise Function for Newborn Babies

Having just become a new parent for the second time I have loads of tips to share with you. Today though is just about one in particular. It is all to do with white noise. A phrase that in recent years we have all become familiar with.

It is something that is a vital part of our newborn photoshoot routine. Heater, props, nappies, white noise! It is that constant noise that means we can go about our work, making noise and baby will sleep happily. If total silence ever occurs then more often than not a suspicious eye will open as baby wonders what is going on.

Baby girl lying in side pose on bean bag

In the studio we have a dedicated device to play a shushing sound. Always charged. Always on. At home we have a sheep that makes the womb sound or the sound of rain falling on a tin roof. Our baby sleeps in a Snoo cot that makes all kinds of strange noises that sound like a toilet flushing but it seems to do the trick.

But what do you do when you’re not near one of those things? The batteries have run out. You have left it upstairs. The baby is upset. It’s too quiet. What’s the one thing that you are never without? Your iPhone! 

I only discovered this just before our second daughter was born. My iphone is probably older than her big sister! It’s been there all this time and I didn’t know about it. So I just had to share. All iPhones come with a white noise function built in to them.Big sisters hands wrapped around newborn sisters toes

How to do it

Go to:

Settings – Accessibility – Audio/Visual – Background sounds

You can choose from: Ocean, Balance Noise, Bright Noise, Dark Noise, Rain or Stream.

Click on this link if you need more detailed instruction.

On top of all of this….. if you ever think that they don’t need white noise, or you think that it doesn’t need to be very loud. Bear in mind that the sound of blood whooshing through the placenta when they were inside you is said to be louder than a vacuum cleaner!

I hope this information about white noise proves useful to some of you. Let me know if it helps xxBig sister nose to nose with her new baby sister at their baby photoshoot listening to white noise

8 Things to do before your Baby Arrives

Photograph of baby girl in a basket full of pink roses

1 – Decide How you are Going to Send Out Your Birth Announcement

If you live far from your family and friends or you simply want a special way of showing the world your beautiful newborn baby then you should consider a newborn photography session. Don’t stress yourself trying to get that priceless image on your own when all you should be caring about is looking after and getting to know your baby. If you would like to know more about what’s involved in a newborn photoshoot then have a look at our website.

2 – Gather Together Addresses or Emails.

You don’t necessarily need to have printer cards to announce the arrival of your baby. Everyone uses digital images these days and you don’t need the stress of writing hundreds of letters when all you really want to be doing is caring for your newborn baby.Photograph of mummy kissing her newborn baby on the forehead

3 – Book your Newborn Photographer

We highly recommend that you book with us whilst you’re still pregnant. Get it done. You don’t want to stress about missing that one chance. However, if you didn’t get around to booking us when you were pregnant, please do get in touch and I’ll do my absolute best to fit you in.

4 – Get a Waterproof Bed Pad

As photographers we use these all the time when we are photographing babies. But this time I’m not talking about the baby…. it’s for you for when your waters break. The last thing you want is for your waters to break in the middle of the night, for you to have to rush to hospital and for your mattress to be ruined. The ones that you don’t use will come in handy when you want to do nappy free time with your newborn baby.

Photoshoot for 8 week old baby girl

5 – Pack Your Hospital Bag

There is no harm packing not just yours but also baby’s hospital bag a month before your baby is due. Just leave it by the front door and that’s one less thing to stress about. To see what you should pack click here.

6 – Find a Paediatrician and Do a Paediatric First Aid Course

Ask friends or search online, but now is the time to link deeply into this. I can highly recommend the 2 day British Red Cross Paediatric first aid course. I learned so much. You probably don’t even want to think about these things but if and when it comes to it you will be very grateful that you did.

Photograph of baby girl in a basket full of pink roses

7 – Make Freezer Meals

You will probably want to keep yourself busy in those last few weeks and the opposite once baby has arrived so that you can have all the time in the world to admire and enjoy your precious newborn baby. Just take a look at my Pinterest page for freezer meal ideas. You will be really glad that you did. Trust me.

8 – Charge Your Camera Battery


You have the choice of either getting a professional photographer to register the birth of your baby (if the hospital allows) or you can take some pictures of before and after the birth yourself. To be honest this is not the easiest thing to remember to do at those moments. Either way, you certainly don’t want your battery to run out at the crucial moment.

Oh and there’s also the possibility that the lovely lady from Bounty will pop round to see you 10 minutes after you’ve given birth when you’re trying to recover and enjoying meeting your new baby for the first time. Make sure you pack some make up!


Little girl interacting with her parents at her newborn photoshoot

Tips for New Parents

Baby wearing Christmas hat

New Parent Tips

Parenting is a minefield. Most of the time we are all making it up as we go along. There is a lot of trial & error and that is why I thought I would share some of my own experiences. Not just with my own daughter, but through all the information I absorb from my clients when they visit the studio. Over time I have built up an idea of what works and what doesn’t and I have picked up tips on products that I had never heard of. Often it is the companies with the smallest advertising budgets who are making the best products for your baby. Your midwife is not allowed to recommend particular brands but we are…. Here are a few random ones that come to mind. We normally have time during your newborn photoshoot to discuss many more and issues like tongue tie, mixed feeding….


What did an NCT antenatal class and also the one at our local birth centre with the midwives. They both suggested this simple method of putting baby in the moses basket or crib with a blanket tucked in. It turns out this doesn’t work for most of us. The best success we had was with sleeping bags or grobags which we continued to use until she grew out of the largest size they made.

Mother kissing her newborn baby at photoshootWhite Noise

We were given a Ewan the Sheep. It didn’t have any great affect in the beginning but by around six months it became a vital part of our bedtime routine. Other parents swear by apps that provide the noise of rain falling, a hairdryer or the washing machine. In the studio we use the Baby Shusher app mostly for distraction and to avoid complete silence.


Our daughter suffered terribly with both colic and reflux. We never found out the cause nor the solution but believe that she eventually developed enough that she grew out of it. We experimented with diet, special milks etc. 

The medicine that seemed the kindest was Infacol. It is orange flavoured so doesn’t seem too mediciney.

If you do want to try Gripe water, bare in mind that the traditional stuff smells terrible. I doubt that you would want to drink it let alone give it to your baby. Luckily Boots make an own brand one that is apple flavoured.

Your GP is unlikely to prescribe you anything more useful until you have exhausted all the over the counter options. If you are tough enough the brave the screaming then your child will eventually grow out of it once their digestive system has finished developing. We eventually were prescribed Ranitidine.

Baby girl wearing a floral headband at her baby photoshootNappy Cream

For a long time we bought the brands that we got free samples of or vouchers for. Our daughter’s nursery and many people we know use Sudocrem, but when things got really bad there was only one thing that fixed it: Metanium. Make sure you get “the yellow one” not the white barrier cream. In the end we worked out that it was her diet that was causing the issues. Apparently girls get more affected than boys and it was the punnets of blueberries that she was ploughing through that were causing the problem.

I look forward to meeting with you one day soon and hopefully be able to share some thoughts and help you with the start of the beautiful journey that you are beginning.

Baby girl smiling at her newborn photoshoot

Being a Studio Photographer during Lockdown

Baby boy in bowl with green fabrics smiling

Mum and Dad looking down on their new babyWell here we are, in the middle of lockdown number three, with the doors of the studio once again closed. We still of course have work to do. The problem with the on/off nature of these lockdowns is that we have been very stop/start. We spend the pre-lockdown time taking as many photos of babies as possible and then use the lockdown time to process them. The post production side of things is really time consuming especially for the newborn photoshoots. And then, even once a client has seen their images and chosen what to order, there is still lots more to do. Ordering the frames, designing the albums, uploading the prints, packaging the order etc.

The first lockdown was a bit of a novelty. We didn’t know how long it was going to last and everyone was excited about was they could get done: banana bread etc. In our case, and given the time of year that it happened, the garden got plenty of attention. 

Baby boy on beanbag wearing long woolly hatAfter the first lockdown however we swore that if and when we got locked down again we would make the most of it. Lockdown Two was all about potty training. No distractions of photoshoots, no nursery. Just potty training. 

Lockdown Three is different again. This time our daughter is at nursery still three days a week. She can’t go to her friends or grandparents so the rest of the time she is with one of us. So with the precious time that she is at nursery we are editing, ordering, posting on social media, writing blogs….. doing the accounts, making new props for the babies and so on.

Mummy lying next to her baby boyWe have a long list of people to rebook when we are allowed to start work again. On top of that babies keep being born, people keep getting pregnant. So hopefully we will not have to wait for too long. Hopefully the numbers will start to go down and more people will get the vaccine. Many of our past clients work for the NHS and we have seen them receiving their jabs on social media which is good news.

Baby boy in bowl with green fabrics smiling

How to persuade my husband to come to the family photography session

Mother with baby girl at family photoshoot

How to persuade my husband to come to the family photography session?Mother with baby girl at family photoshoot

A professional family photography session is a lovely thing to do. A lovely way to record this moment in time and preserve your memories forever. Often though, with these types of sentimental things, the dads aren’t quite so keen as the mums! We know it’s us mums that come up with all the good ideas, so here’s a few for you. A few ways that might help you seal the deal:

1.Pub Lunch on your way to the family photography shoot.

Being based in the beautiful Cotswolds means that we are lucky to have lots of lovely pubs to visit. Here are some of the ones nearest to the studio: The Tite Inn Chadlington, The Chequers Churchill, The Fox Chipping Norton.

Or you could plan your route with a stop half way. If mummy offers to drive he might even be allowed a cheeky pint too.

New baby arrival being photographed with big sister, mum and dad

2. Jeremy Clarkson is our neighbour.

If dad is a motoring fan then he will be delighted to know that Mr Clarkson lives just over the hill on the same foot path as us. He has also just opened his new farm shop just a few hundred meters from the studio.

Young couple being photographed with their new baby

3. Tell him we retouch the images

And that we might be able to remove a few of those grey hairs/knock a few years off! Approach this one with caution. You know him best and whether this will work.

Baby girl being photographed with mum and dad


I hope that some of this helps. It’s meant to be light-hearted but who knows, it might work. Remember, when talking about newborns, it is very true that you only get one chance. They only stay this small for a very short time. I can speak from personal experience that I was in such a sleep-deprived haze that I can not remember what my daughter looked like at this stage. It’s certainly nothing like what she looks like now and I am very fortunate to have three pictures of her in a frame on the wall to look at everyday. 

If you do manage to persuade dad that this is a great thing to do then take a look at this page for more information about newborn sessions, or if your children are older then have a look here for information about a family photography session.

Premature Baby Photoshoot with Octopus

Premature baby cuddling a crochet octopus at her newborn photoshoot

Crochet Octopuses

They say that you learn something new every day. I thought that I had been doing this job for long enough now that I had heard almost all birth stories and baby related facts. I love meeting premature babies for a photoshoot. Their stories are always remarkable and incredible.

Premature baby cuddling a crochet octopus at her newborn photoshoot

When we do the newborn baby photoshoot parents often bring some form of cuddly toy for baby to be photographed with. Often this is something that has been bought or given for the new arrival. Sometimes it is a family heirloom or perhaps the same toy that mum or dad had when they were a baby. More rarely it is an octopus. And these octopuses generally come with the babies who were born early or premature.
Only recently did one parent explain to me the exact reason for this. There are charities such as Octopus for a Preemie. They crochet these little octopuses to help premature babies through their first days of life. On their website: https://octopusforapreemie.com/who/ they explain that:

“These little octopuses make babies, and their parents feel calmer and safer. The babies play with their tentacles as if it is their mother’s umbilical cord.
At the same time, parents can have the deserved little break, knowing their tiny precious ones feel more safe and calm with the tentacles in their little hands instead of pulling those life-saving tubes and cables out.”

Apparently it is quite a common occurrence for the alarms to go off in the intensive care unit. Baby pulls off one of the cables and this causes unnecessary concern for parents.

Newborn Baby in a bucket with octopus for first photoshoot

Isn’t my baby going to be too old?

If you are interested in booking a photoshoot for your premature baby do get in touch here. We understand that they may be older than babies normally are for a newborn photoshoot. Do not worry. We consider their suitability based on when they were actually due. If your baby was ten weeks early, then at six weeks of age they will still be very sleepy and very flexible. Still very suitable for a premature baby photoshoot and we would love to see them. We have many different props of different sizes for all sizes of baby. You can read all about a newborn baby photoshoot here.