A lifestyle headshot session

Last week I visited the lovely Caroline in her Chiswick home for a lifestyle headshot session. Caroline is a health coach and runs the business Great In Great Out, and wanted some photos she could use on her website as well as social media. As she cooks a lot of healthy food and snacks for her blog, we took some of the photos in her kitchen; we also took some shots in her in-home office as well as some close-up headshots to get a good variation of photos that can be used for various purposes. 

Below are a few of my favourites from the session:

To book your lifestyle headshot session, email me at info@carinthakrar.com!




Moments of Motherhood


Nothing can quite prepare you for the rollercoaster of motherhood. The exhaustion, tiredness, love, worrying, confusion, amazement - and the overwhelming fact that you’ve actually created these little beings. 

We spend so much time making sure our children are fed, clean, safe, well-rested and happy, that we often forget ourselves in the middle of it all. We snap away on our smartphones, making sure we capture their smile, their wobbly steps, their messy attempts to feed themselves. But where are we in these photos? Looking though the photos of the last few years, I can’t really find that many photos of me - and the ones I have, are mostly smile & look at the camera type of photos (which of course also are great to have). 

What about the everyday moments we spend with our children? Wouldn’t it be amazing to have them captured in photos? 

My Motherhood Mini-sessions does just this - I spend 30 minutes with you and your little one(s) in your home, and capture the everyday moments between you. You and your children will absolutely love looking at these as they grow up, and seeing that their mama was there, too.

The price for this session is £120 and includes 10 edited high resolution photos, which you choose from an online gallery (with the option to purchase more).

If this sounds like something you would be interested in, or perhaps would like to give away as a gift, just send an email to info@carinthakrar.com or call me on 07726136885.


Motherhood mini sessions


I’m very excited to announce that due to popular demand, I will now be offering Motherhood Mini-sessions permanently - a session specially made for mothers with their children.

I often come across mums who feel they don’t have enough (or any!) photos with themselves and their babies or children in them, quite often as they’re the ones taking most of the family photos.

This 30 minute long (or short!) session is the perfect way to make sure you get some great photos capturing the beauty, chaos and intimacy of motherhood. In likeness with my other sessions, the photos will be natural and genuine with a storytelling approach.

The session costs £120 and includes 10 edited high resolution photos.

To book your session or to find out more, get in touch on info@carinthakrar.com!


Here comes the sun…

It’s amazing what a bit of sunshine and relaxation by the sea can do for the soul. We recently went to the little town Oliva, south of Valencia, Spain for nine days where we’d hired a villa near the beach. The area was perfect - quiet, hardly any tourists (majority Spanish), gorgeous, shallow beaches and endless stretches of orange trees. 

We had already decided beforehand that we didn’t want to spend our days sightseeing, driving to one town or village to the other, so we spent most days going to the beach, having a siesta, playing in the pool, eating ice creams and then back to the beach. This is what we did most days apart from a visit to the weekly market and to a nearby water park and it was perfect.

We were a bit sad leaving, but we’re pretty sure we’ll be back, hopefully in a not too distant future!

Here are a few photos from our holiday:


A Mama & Me mini-session in Chiswick

As mums, we’re quite often absent from a lot of the family photos - which is a big shame (sorry - I know I’m generalising here, of course this is the case for a lot of dads too! From my experience though, it’s mainly mums). 

Getting in the frame is so important, and something you and your children will appreciate in years to come when flicking through the photo albums. Photos of you playing with your children, feeding them, getting cuddles - all in the place which means the most to them, your home

The other day I visited a curious little boy and his mum in their Chiswick home, to capture some lovely moments between the two in a ‘Mama & Me’ mini-session. 

I’m excited to let you know that these previously limited edition sessions will soon be available as a permanent option along my other newborn, family and portrait sessions. More to follow on this, but if you want to find out more before then, just get in touch!


Au Revoir, London!

Relocating from one place to another, whether it be to a different town or country, can be quite emotional - we create so many memories in our homes, which will always hold a special place in our hearts.

This family of four has just moved back to their home country France, after four years in London. I met them in their Fulham home, and spent a morning with them in their home, having breakfast and reading stories, followed by a walk to the nearby Bishop’s Park, where they’ve shared many great moments these last four years.

These photos will hopefully help them remember their time in the city where they spent their first few years as a family of three, and eventually four. I’m sure their new life in France will be exciting and filled with lots of new adventures for the whole family!

Below are a few of the photos from the photo session - if you’re interested in something similar, I would love to hear from you!


A day out on a PYO farm

Yesterday me & the kids, two of their cousins, my sister-in-law and mother-in-law drove down to Garsons Farm in Esher, Surrey for a day out on the picking fields. The kids were really excited, and my girls had even written down in their notepads the night before what and how much exactly they were planning to pick :) (they didn’t quite stick to it in the end…). 

We started off with a bit of light lunch in the restaurant and then went on to the fields were we picked carrots and beans. This was so much fun for the kids, and really a great way to show them were our vegetables come from. We then went on to the sweetcorn fields - which felt a bit like a jungle where we almost got lost (how do they grow so tall??). Finally we came to the strawberry fields, which unfortunately were a bit low on strawberries - we might have come at a bad time as it looked like they needed another week or two to ripen. 

Overall, we had a fantastic time and the kids fell asleep pretty quickly in the car on our way home. These sort of days out are my favourite - where the kids can run free, fresh country air, the kids learn something new and useful, no entry fees (big bonus!) and fresh veg and fruit to take home at the end of it. I can highly recommend taking a visit if you’re in the area!



A first birthday in the park

A sunny Friday early July I met up with a lovely family at York House Gardens in Twickenham to capture their twins’ first birthday. This was the second time I photographed them, and it was such a pleasure to meet them again and to see how the twins had grown since last time. We had a lovely time and the twins had fun with bubbles, playing in the sand and watching the boats and ducks by the river. 

To book a family session, whether in a park like this or in your home, just get in touch!


What to expect when having your headshot taken

Have you ever thought of getting headshots taken professionally? It’s something a lot of us need, but something that many of us avoid - perhaps you’re thinking ‘I never look good in photos’; ‘I don’t want to waste the money’; ‘I’d feel too self-conscious’ or ‘I wouldn’t know what to do with myself’.

Well, if you need some encouragement to why it would be a good idea, keep reading! I recently photographed lifestyle blogger and writer Sara from Mind your Mamma, and today I’m excited to share a guest blog post where she’s talking about her experience having her headshot taken:

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I’ve known Carin for nearly 9 years now, and when she heard I recently started working as a freelance writer, also managing my own blog, she knew I needed professional headshots taken. Of course, she was right, but I was feeling so self-conscious and worried about what to do with myself, where to look etc. that I put it off for nearly 10 months! Crazy, I know. Until the day I finally took the plunge and told her we needed to get a date in the diary. And I’m so glad I did! When you create a service or a brand that’s

When you create a service or a brand that’s centered around you, there’s no way around it. You need to have photos of you - not of your laptop or desk! People buy from people, so they want to see who’s behind what they buy or commit to. And as good as you may be with the camera, selfie’s aren’t the most professional-looking photos either, are they?

So if you’re planning to get your headshots professionally taken by Carin, here’s what to expect, with some tips on how you can make the most of your sessions.

Before your session…

Carin and I didn’t talk much (not formally anyway) about what type of photos I needed, because, as I say, having my photos taken is something that had been on the cards for months! I needed a few nice photos of myself to put on my website and a few headshots to send to other blogs or publications when I write for them.

But if you’re booking a session with Carin, she’ll give you a chance to discuss all this in advance. I’d advise you to spend some time thinking about what your requirements are. And here are some of the questions you may need to ask yourself (or Carin might ask you!)

  • Why do you need the photos - do you need a few for different purposes?
  • How many (different shots) will you need?
  • Will they need to be portrait or landscape?
  • Will they mainly need to be of just you and your lovely face, or of you doing something? So, for example, will you need props?
  • Where will the photos need to be taken - at your home, in your office or elsewhere?
  • Will you need a few different looks? If so, think about ways where you can quickly change your outfit, top, or hairdo to achieve a different look if you’re having all the photos taken on the same day.
  • Do you want (or need) photos of you with your serious and professional expression on? Or do they need to be less formal and of you smiling or laughing, even?

Know what you want to say

I recently went through a career change to create more freedom and flexibility for myself - I wanted to be able to build a career that worked around my children. So I now mainly work from home (or from wherever I choose to), at the hours that suit me and my family, and I wear whatever makes me feel most comfortable and creative. I certainly don’t wear suits or formal clothing when I work anymore! And for me, it was important that my photos reflected that - they needed to show who I am and what I stand for now.

Remember that with your photos you convey a message, and this will help you decide what to wear on the day, where you want your photos taken, how you want to look in them etc.  I think the clearer you are before the session, the happier you’ll be with the outcome.

On the day… expect Carin to get creative

I know you’re thinking: “Duh! Photographers are creative by definition - that’s kind of stating the obvious!” Totally! But if you’re not a photographer yourself, she’ll make you think twice about the way you take photos. If you’re anything like me, you see something nice, grab your phone, and try your best at taking a nice shot from wherever you are. Well, Carin will go a step further than that. She’ll climb on chairs. She’ll move small furniture. Or objects that would look messy if they came into the shot. This is something I’ve heard her say a few times with regards to taking photos of children, for example - you want to take photos from different angles and different heights. And having seen her in action, I know she definitely experiments a lot with that. And I think the results are great!

What she also made me notice is where she took the photos from, in relation to where the light is. I often take photos at home but won’t necessarily know how to get the best light for my shots - just pay attention to where Carin takes the photos from, and I’m sure you’ll start to notice where you can find natural light in your home, if that’s where you’re having your photos taken. 

Relax and let Carin do what she does best

And last but not least, expect her to help you with your poses and positions. If you’re anything like me, the last time you’ve had professional photos taken was probably at your wedding! For me, that means not just a few years later but also a few children later! You may feel a little more self- or body-conscious than you were back then, and if you’re nervous, that can show. Carin will help you relax your body and expressions as well as suggest positions that may suit you or simply look good in the final shots! Try and relax and go with the flow - you may not believe it now, but you’ll enjoy it, I promise!

So if you’re thinking of having your headshots taken, go for it! Carin is also super-quick in turning her great work around, so you won’t have to wait months in trepidation. I really don’t know why I put this off for so long!

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I hope you enjoyed the read, and hopefully got a better idea of how a headshot session works! If you’re interested in booking a session, or just to have a chat about it and find out more, just get in touch on info@carinthakrar.com or 07726 136 885.


A Children’s Portrait session in Chiswick

Two year olds are just amazing - they’re still so little, but are starting to leave the toddler stage meaning they can make little conversations, and are showing more and more of their personalities. 

I met this young lady a few weeks ago - she’s 2 1/2 (just like my youngest son) and she was a blast being around. She showed me her favourite teddies and books, her brilliant dance moves and her bed jumping skills, and being generally adorable!

Here are some of my favourite shots from the session - if you’re interested in an in-home children’s portrait session please get in touch!


School holiday organiser

School holidays are nearly here and I’m starting to panic a bit as I haven’t got much organised yet! Apart from a week away and a week’s summer camp there are about four weeks which I need to get at least a bit organised (or both me and the kids will probably go crazy!).

So I decided to design a simple planner - there are quite a few out there already but I wanted to put my own spin on it to make it work as well as possible for this purpose. It’s a very basic planner, which really could just be drawn on a piece of paper, but I wanted something I could fill out, with titles, boxes and lines. 

The planner has two pages - the first one is a weekly planner (needs to be reprinted every week) and is divided in am and pm - one version also divides it into tasks vs activities. The second page is a list maker of things to do: tasks, outdoor activities, indoor activities, playdates etc. After filling this out you can use it to fill out the weekly planner. 

If you want to give this a go, you can download the planner here - and if you find it useful, please let me know! (I’m hoping it will help me a bit at least!) x


An in-home headshot session

The other day I visited my very inspirational & talented friend Sara​ from the self-care & mindfulness blog Mind your Mamma​ for a headshot session. She needed some photos for her blog, website and general marketing purposes, which, of course, I was delighted to help with! 

For a relaxed in-home session, please get in touch! (and don’t forget to visit Sara’s blog for some great tips on self-care, mindfulness and more!)


The importance of capturing different expressions

When we take photos of our children, our instinct is often to tell them to smile and look at the camera. Whilst these photos can be beautiful, it’s important to also shoot their other moods. Because, let’s admit it - how often are they really in a great mood…? What about the times when they are a bit sad, or excited, in deep thoughts, cheeky or angry? To have all kinds of moods captured, tells a story of who your child is - so next time you want to take a photo of your children, try to let them be just as they are and see what happens! (these often becomes the favourite photos!)


Five types of photos to take this summer

Yes, there’s no denial anymore - school summer break is getting nearer and nearer, and soon the kids’ days will be filled with garden fun, playdates, holiday camps and sleepovers at grandma’s. (along with lots of the obligatory ‘I’m booored’ which funnily enough seems to happen quite early on…)

The days can go past quickly, so to help you remember them here are a few tips on photos to take of your kids this summer:

Summer nights

This time of year, we’ve got the luxury of loads and loads of gorgeous, natural light. The most well-known pretty light is the golden hour light which takes place the last hour before the sun sets. If it’s sunny and you’re out & about at this time (at the moment, in early July, around 8.30/9pm) you can get gorgeous photos. Maybe your children playing (if still awake!) or a beautiful landscape. Try to keep the sun in the background with your object in front of it to get beautiful back-light and a golden ‘halo’ around your kids’ head (or whatever you’re taking a photo of).

Food

This time of year, the food seem to get more colourful - the ice lollies, the exotic fruits, the barbecue skewers… You can get beautiful photos here, especially with a bit of a close-up - think bright-red ice lolly or an ice cream cone with colourful sprinkles - that pops out of the photo. Take the photo from a different angle (like from above) to make it stand out more.

Holiday & outings

If you’re going on a holiday, or perhaps a weekend away, it can be fun to document not just the trip itself but the preparations - the kids helping to pack their bags (it’s quite fun to look back on what you packed a specific year - what dresses, pyjamas, toys, hats…), family members in their car seats getting ready and excited, or even on the way home when they’re completely exhausted from the adventures they’ve just had.

Water action

On hot & sunny days the kids love playing around in the paddling pool or running through the sprinkler, or maybe you’ll visit a splash pool or the beach. Water can be good fun in photos, especially as the kids often get really excited and splashes and run around in it. Capture their expressions and movements as they get splashed or run through the sprinkler. 

Hand the camera over

Some of the funniest photos tend to be taken by kids - they find things that us grownups never would think of as an interesting object - their teddies lined up, funny selfies, photos of you (which often can be quite fun to have as it shows you from their perspective). If you have an old camera or camera phone lying around, give it to your child (if old enough) for the day and let them document the day from their perspective. This could be especially fun if they go for a sleep-over or play date.


A west London summer wedding

On a gorgeous, sunny Saturday in early June, Anna and Barry got married. I was extremely honoured to be there to capture their special day, first in an intimate ceremony in Kingston, and later on for an evening reception in Chiswick which they celebrated their big day with their family and friends. 

This is what the bride had to say about the photos:

“We cannot recommend or praise Carin enough - a wonderful person and an amazingly talented photographer along with being utterly professional. We could not have asked for more. Carin helped us make incredible, beautiful, long lasting and most of all natural memories of our big day.” - Anna

Here are a few of my favourites from the day - to enquire about small weddings and other event photography, get in touch on info@carinthakrar.com!




Some fun & creative things you can do with your photos

Let’s face it - most of us leave our photos on our computers or phones, and just let them stay there, piling up and sometimes even lose them in the digital jungle. It can be quite overwhelming when you have thousands of thousands of photos just sitting there, because where do you start?

Well, I’m as bad as anyone when it comes to this, so for now I’m just going to refer you to the lovely Sara’s blog where she talks about good ways to organise photos - have a look here.

I do, however, have some cool tips on what you can do with your photos instead of just printing them and let them stay in a box. There are lots of fun and creative things you can do, and here are a few things I’ve done with some of my photos:

Tape it!

I do like frames, but often I find them too bulky, or I’m too scared of ruining the wall when hammering in the nails (I know, it’s pathetic…), or just can’t be bothered with hanging up big frames that I might not want in that place in a year or so. So after ordering my prints, often in different sizes (for example from photobox), I tape them up on the wall, just as they are. 

This way they’re easy to move around, and won’t have to worry about big frames, nails, etc.

You can also mix the photos up with drawings, cards or other things, to make the whole display a bit more interesting. (like the below heart art card from my friend / designer / illustrator Becky - who you can find here!)

Stickers!

I think I love these stickers as much as the kids! I got mine from moo but there are other places you can get them from. 

The kids love playing with them; my youngest has put stickers of his sisters and cousins on the side of his bed so he can see them every time it’s time to change nappy. I’ve put some on top of some wall stickers, and there’s lots of other fun things you can do with them.

Note book / photo journal

For her birthday, I gave my eldest daughter a note book with photos from throughout the year, with space underneath where she could add her own text. Although it was one of the smallest gifts she got, it seemed to be the favourite! 

I bought it on photobox and I’m planning to get them again for my other daughter next year.

Add text

Another way to make your photos a bit interesting is to add text. If you’ve got software like Photoshop etc, it’s easy to add something like a name and perhaps date of birth / date of event, or if you don’t have the software you can paint or write something by hand. 

In my son’s room there is a photo of his little newborn feet along with his name and date of birth. We also have a frame with a hand-drawn card in the middle with our family’s last name. 

I hope you liked these tips - there are lots more of course, but these are a few of my favourites!


5 tips for photographing your baby

Taking photos of our babies is something most of us can’t get enough of - I remember having to keep backing up my iPhone for more storage due to the constant snapping! If you’re looking for some tips on how to take better photos of your baby (whichever camera you use), here are five of my best tips:

Light 

This is really important! Try to use natural light whenever possible, and turn off any lights you might have on. If it’s a bit dark, you can almost always get good enough light next to a window. If it’s sunny, cover the window with a light sheet or curtain to avoid any harsh shadows. 

Also, avoid using flash as it can give harsh shadows and can often make your baby squint or get upset.

Bonus tip: If your baby is a deep sleeper, and if the room is fairly bright, open up the curtains for a little bit (once baby’s in a deep sleep) to get some natural light photos of him/her whilst sleeping. 

Details

Don’t forget the little details - hands, feet, the hair, chubby legs - things that will change quickly. Get in close and remember using good light! (see point above)

Contrasts

When they’re tiny, everything else seems so big in contrast! Make sure you take some photos emphasising this, for example daddy holding baby’s hand, baby sleeping next to their teddy, or lying in the middle of a big bed.

Props

Include things that are important for you and that you’d want to remember, like the blanket grandma made or baby’s first teddy. 

Move down

Don’t take all photos standing up, make sure to get some shots taken from your baby’s level. For example if baby’s lying on a bed, move down so you’re on the same level as your baby and take the photo from the side.

I hope you’ll find these tips useful! 


4 tips for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day just a few weeks away (19 June), I wanted to share a few gift ideas. These are all tried and tested, and have all made brilliant gifts. So here you go, my top four gift ideas for Father’s Day:

Personalised t-shirt

Last year I had a t-shirt printed with one of the kids drawings - this was greatly appreciated and something that has been worn lots of times. I got the t-shirt from notonthehighstreet: https://www.notonthehighstreet.com/lukedrewthis

Home made photo slide show

This is a bit more time consuming, but really worth it in the end! Put together a ‘movie’ of photos of your kids (and the whole family) together with a favourite song in the background. You could even add video clips to make it even better. I’ve used iMovie for this, but if you have a look online there are other ways you could do this such as www.animoto.com or magisto.com. (Some of the online sites gives you a free trial as well)

‘Tickets’ or ‘voucher’

This is both personal, cute and absolutely free! Get the kids (if old enough) to draw / design tickets offering dad something special from his children, preferably something they’ve practiced and put some effort in, like a concert, play or neck & foot massage. (This is also a good way to keep the kids busy and excited in their preparations!)

Calendar

Even though it’s mid-way through the year, a calendar with family photos is still a great option as you usually can set the start month to any month you want. I’ve bought desk calendars from www.photobox.com

Hope you found this helpful - in the end of the day it’s the thought that counts, and as long as dad gets to spend a bit quality time with his kids, anything else should probably be seen a bonus! :)


5 ways to get natural photos of your children

When we take photos of our kids we usually ask them to smile, which when you think about it, stops them from what they’re doing, meaning you’re not actually capturing what you found interesting in the first place!

So if you want more natural looking photos of your children, and still get a good photo, here are a few tips: 

1. Sneak up on them! Or, if that feels a bit weird, just don’t say anything when you take the photo - let them get on with whatever they’re doing. Most of the time they won’t even notice you’re there with the camera if they’re really engrossed in something.

2. When they’re interacting with their siblings or friends - catch them when they’re in the middle of a conversation (which usually can be quite entertaining and imaginative) and capture their expressions.

3. Capture the details. Focus on the too big shoes they’re wearing, or the toy they’re holding in their hand. Make that object your main focus, and don’t worry about including all of your child.

4. Take the photo from a different perspective. For example from above, to get a different perspective and capture in more detail what your child is doing.

5. Capture your child doing something that’s typical for them right now - my son for example, had a phase where he wanted to put stuff through the mailbox (like keys!!). It’s easy to forget these things as they grow older.

Why don’t you try some of these ideas today - fancy DSLR or your iPhone - it doesn’t matter!

Have a great weekend! x


He’ll always be my baby…

I know he’s nearly two and a half. He’s learning stuff every week, and it’s amazing. He wants to do things himself - put the cereal in his bowl (which has to be the right colour, of course), open the car door, get snacks from the fridge, flush the toilet… Things gets messy, or sometimes slightly un-safe, and it’s not always easy to know when to let him do things without help. 

His speech is starting to become really good - he can count, knows a few colours, tell his sisters off, and tell me what he did at nursery (sort of!).

He’s basically growing up. Which is amazing, and I’m so proud of him. But I do find it really hard at the same time. In a lot of ways, for me, he’ll always be my baby… ❤

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