Jennifer the Newborn Photographer in Fareham…..Why I Became a Photographer
As a child, I absolutely loved to take photographs and send off the films off to be printed – especially getting a little package back in the post with my photographs, and then they introduced a large print with two smaller ones to the side which was so cute. I’m not quite sure where those photos went over the years; my dad had a great habit of clearing out the cupboards and threw the photographs away. If I knew what I know now, I would have kept them all, as they are special memories.
Photographic memories are so incredibly important. And with digital images, I’m sure there will be many more lost images over the years than losing old photographs stored in boxes or albums. There really is nothing like holding a photograph in your hand, rather than viewing photographs on a screen. I’m on the left on the photo below. Braving the British sea!
I actually bought my first digital camera back in the early 2000s. I can’t remember exactly how it looked, but it was something like the image below. I loved it, although I suspect the resolution wasn’t that great. There was something quite magical about being able to view the image straight away. Then in the early 2000s, I decided to learn how to take ‘proper’ photographs. So with my newly purchased first digital SLR camera, a Canon 10d, I joined the Blackthorn School of Photography in Wiltshire. Although I had invested in digital SLR, the course required us to use film cameras and create images using black and white film. I absolutely loved working in the dark room; developing film and then watching the photograph come to life in the chemical dishes. Learning photography using film was the best skill I could have learnt. You had to get it right on camera and use a lot of the dark room techniques, particularly using processes such as dodging and burning, which are tools now used in Photoshop.
I have a lot of photographer friends and met my good friend Jenni on the same course. At the time, I was working at the Nationwide Building Society. Jenni had a Nationwide pen and I asked if she worked for them. We became great friends and shared the journey to the course each week. I often wonder what caused me to become obsessed with photography, whereas Jenni’s love for photography derived from a hobby.
Over the years, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to attend some fantastic photography conventions, courses, seminars and many more with my good friend Sue. We both have missed our photography trips in 2020 and hope we can book trips again very soon.
I learnt very quickly that it was people photography that is my passion. I can remember getting up at silly hours in the morning and going out with my friend Toni to capture the sun rising. I was freezing and thought – this isn’t for me.
When I lived in Swindon, I converted my garage to a room and created my first studio. Back then, the Venture white background style of portraits was trending. My portraits style is certainly quite different now.
Over 16 years ago, I did my first wedding and the particularly scary bit was that I photographed the whole wedding in film. I remember one of the guests using his digital camera and really hoped that my film images came out. I ended up scanning all the film to create digital images. That was the last and only wedding where I used film. There were lots more weddings over the years and I truly loved the time I spent as a wedding photographer.
However, it got to the point that I missed my weekends, especially joining in with friends and family at BBQs in the summers. Photographing a wedding is usually a very long day, 9am until 9pm at night. Being a wedding photographer truly tests your photography skills; changing camera settings quickly due to changing of lighting conditions, using flash, and dealing with bright sunshine. To this day, I still think that it was an amazing privilege that my couples trusted me to capture their special day and create beautiful memories.
You might have read in my blog post ‘Being a Newborn Photographer was my Calling’ that one day I visited a photography show and a company was advertising to train photographers as newborn photographers. This was probably the scariest financial investment I ever made. I had no idea whether it would be a successful business, but looking back now, I need not have worried.
So, I’ve now been a newborn photographer for several years. I‘m still fortunate to do the occasional wedding as I think it’s important to challenge my photography skills. My first studio was actually in a converted farm building called the Bulls Pen. I loved it, it was so quirky. Then when I met Matthew, my partner, I moved to Fareham and travelled at first, which got too much so I then looked for a studio locally. That’s when I first discovered the unique place that is Cams Hall – it is the most perfect venue and setting for a studio.
It’s such a magical job being a newborn photographer. I’ve been told I am the ‘baby whisperer’ as I’m able to carefully settle and pose babies; capturing unforgettable and timeless images for my families to treasure. The little ones are so incredibly cute and it’s so important to record such precious memories as parents often forget how tiny their newborns are.
I’m so looking forward to coming out of lockdown restrictions and reopening my studio in the Spring of 2021. I’m sure there will be lots of lockdown babies to keep me busy!
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