Carin Thakrar Photography - west London newborn, family and maternity photographer

West London newborn photographer | A Brentford newborn session

It’s always such a pleasure to photograph newborns - it amazes me every time how tiny they are, and it brings me right back to when my kids were just born. 

I recently visited a British / Canadian family in the west London suburb of Brentford, where they had just welcomed their second daughter to the world. One set of grandparents were visiting from Canada, so it was great opportunity to include them in the newborn photos too. 

Here are some of the favourite photos from the session - enjoy!

Enquire about a newborn session


A headshot swap!

I got to know Agi in a local baby group when our 3-year olds were tiny, pre-photography businesses - who would have thought then that we’d both end up as family photographers and that we’d one day be taking each other’s headshots! 

It’s great to have friends within the industry you work in, and I’m glad to have met and got to know Agi. Now she’s moved from the area (to near Bath) which is a shame, but I’m certain we’ll stay in touch!

Below are a few favourite shots from the recent headshot session I did as part of our swap. Check out her website for her photography business Hush Pictures here!


Father’s Day certificate print out

With Father’s Day only a few days away here in the U.K. (Sunday 17th June), the designer in me thought it would be nice to design a little graphic! Introducing the ‘The World’s Best Dad’ certificate - a printable pdf in two designs. It will make a fun addition to any gifts dad might get, with space left for personalisation and signatures from the children.

You can download the pdf right here


A beautiful spring maternity session

It’s amazing how a pregnancy can make women so radiant and glowing - just look at this gorgeous mother-to-be that I photographed with her husband a few weeks ago for a maternity session. (And aren’t those tiny little shoes just adorable??) 

Here are some favourites from the session, and I’d love to hear from you if you would like to book a maternity session!


Family fun - a Chiswick family photography session

Isn’t it just amazing to finally see some sun & a bit of warmth - it feels equally surprising and exciting every spring. I love that I can finally start doing more photo sessions outside, or even better, a combination of indoors and outdoors. 

A few weeks ago I visited Caroline and her lovely family in their Chiswick home, to document an hour of their weekend. I was pleasantly surprised of how relaxed and not-bothered (I’m not sure that’s a word…?) the kids were to have a photographer in the house - they even had a few ideas for poses and tried out my camera to take a few snaps of each other. :)

Have a look below for some favourites from this family photo session - and please do get in touch if you’d like to book a similar session!




Before and After - what the photos looks like before editing

There’s a lot that goes in to good photography - light, angles, composition, catching the right moments; but what happens once the photo has been taken is also really important. A photo is rarely perfect straight out of the camera, so I always do a bit of editing to them afterwards. 

In general, I try to not do too much to the photos to keep them as natural as possible, and also to try to keep them as timeless as I can - there are a lot of trends out there for editing, and although there are some beautiful edits I want the photos to feel as fresh in 5, 10, 15 years and not remind you of a style that was popular at a particular time. 

Here are a few before & after photos that shows what a bit of editing can do to the final product:

Not huge differences, but it still makes a big different, don’t you think?


What makes a good logo?


What makes a good logo? There are so many trends and ideas out there, it can be hard to figure out what’s best for you. There are, however, a few important things to take in consideration when designing a logo:

Keep it simple

A logo should generally be as simple as possible, without being too plain or unexciting. The simpler it is, the easier it is to use (in all different sizes) as well as becoming a lot more memorable. Think of some of the big brands - Nike, Apple, BBC - they all have simple, yet memorable logos. Another thing to consider here is colour - fewer colours is often better, to keep it as simple as uncluttered as possible. Generally two or maximum three colours are enough.

Keep it timeless

It’s easy to get caught up in trends, and look at what others do. But a good logo isn’t the one that follow trends; it’s the one that can stand the test of time. Try to avoid the latest trends and fonts, as you’re likely to get tired of it fairly soon (and there are probably quite a few looking similar)!

Keep colours in mind

Colours are important when choosing a logo. The different meanings of colours can have an impact on what you’re trying to communicate about your brand. The emotions and key words associated with green (which is one of my favourite colours!) for example, are freshness, nature, ethics and nature. Blue, on the other hand, represents professionalism, trust, success and calmness - no wonder so many companies use this in their branding! (Keep en eye out for a post about  this subject specifically, as I’m planning to dig deeper into this!)

Make it fit in with the rest of your brand

It might sound obvious, but the logo should fit in with your overall brand. If you don’t have a specific brand design or brand guidelines, there are probably still things that makes your brand you - what you stand for and the feeling you want to convey to your customer. It’s a misconception that the logo alone is the brand - in fact, the logo is just part of an overall brand, and should be defined by the brand rather than the other way around.

I hope that gives you a little bit of an idea on how a logo is designed, and what makes a good and useful logo!

Carin


A maternity session in Chiswick

A couple a months back, I visited a lovely couple in their Chiswick home for a maternity photo session. Their two gorgeous dogs were super-adorable (I’m generally more of a cat person, but these two were very close to convert me!) and loved posing for the camera. 

We started off taking some relaxed photos in their home, and then went for a walk in Chiswick House & Gardens for some outdoor photos. Here are some highlights from the session: 

To book a maternity session, please email me on [email protected]!


Mother’s Day Special Offer

Of all the days that are being celebrated throughout the year, Mother’s Day is definitely one of the days that deserves the most attention. It should really be celebrated monthly (at least!), don’t you think? 

When it comes to taking photos, a lot of us don’t really have many with ourselves in them, together with our children. This is such a shame, as I think everyone in the family would benefit from seeing more photos with mum in them. What an amazing thing to have these photos in years to come, where you can look back on this special time when the kids were little, and your kids can get a glimpse of their childhood in photos that includes their mum. 

To celebrate the upcoming Mother’s Day, I’m having a special offer for my Motherhood Mini-sessions: 

  • Included in the regular price of £150, you will receive 10 beautiful fine art prints (8x6”) of your choice along with the standard 10 digital individually edited photos. 

  • Or if you can’t pick just 10 from the whole set of photos, you can purchase all digital photos, individually edited, and receive a 20x30cm photobook, for a total of £250. 

The session is 30-45 min and will take place in your home or nearby park, and to take advantage of the offer, you need to make a booking before Mother’s Day (which is Sunday 11th March already!) and book your session in before 21st of March 2018. 

If you’d like to make a booking, or if you’d perhaps like to find out more, you can have a read in this blog post or send me an email on [email protected] and I’d be happy to help you!

Carin x


Your camera is your new search box

Today I’m very excited to share a guest blog post written by my good friend and SEO whiz Silvia Del Corso from Pink SEO. Silvia has been kind enough to write a very informative and interesting post about online searches made with images instead of keywords. This is not just the future; it’s already happening and Silvia writes about some examples of this, as well giving us some handy tips on how we can take action for this on our own websites and blogs to keep the search engines happy. 

I hope you’ll enjoy the read!

Today I’m going to write about something different than my usual SEO tips, because I’m being hosted at an amazing photographer – and a dear friend, so here’s some considerations about searches made without keywords.

Us humans are such visual creatures: we fall in love with the eyes, we travel with the eyes, so much that it makes sense that consumers are 80% more willing to engage with content that includes relevant images.

So… where does the search fit in? How do you search in this visual world?

Are we still typing keywords? Yes, in many places they’re not going to completely die. But we’re witnessing the birth of some types of searches that don’t need any keywords or typing.

Take a picture, get an answer. Convenient, right? Yes, and more.  Image searches are not just convenient, they allow us for searches where we don’t have the words to describe something.

Visual Search is not new, it’s been around for a really, really long time. But now really every main player is jumping on the bandwagon. Let’s see some of the most curious examples:

The rise of AI

About six years ago, Microsoft managed to create a product that understood what was an image and described it in a way that humans could understand as well. They started it off with dog breeds.

And now… have you ever tried this? https://how-old.net It’s really fun - and it’s maybe the first AI that you want to be wrong, and guess you’re younger!

Accessibility and Inclusion

Google Translator app can translate words on images, too: if you take a photo of a signal on a street in Germany, you will get the photo with the words translated in your language if you want.

We have eye tracking for websites. Imagine what would happen for marketers if we had emotion tracking! And it is not the future, it’s now: https://vimeo.com/105584362

How do you take action for this, now?

We want to give Search Engines the best possible images so they can understand our visual content and rank us better.

Here are some tips:

1.    Take Stock. Start thinking of taking stock of what images you have now: could you do like your minimum viable stock and then add maybe just some more images on your landing page?

2.    Good Strategy. Could you put out images and categorise them in a better way, so that the search engines can better understand?

3.    Better quality. 

4.    Optimise the images (those SEO tactics for optimising images are still valid!)

5.    Visual ads (they’ve have been reported driving a +230% conversion rate!)

We’re so close to this future of search that we can just touch it. So try to go out and look at where the potential lies for you. Start small, at least, just start.

Silvia is a Search Engine Optimisation and Digital Marketing Freelancer and you can find her online home here.


Beautifully ordinary love

Special Valentine’s Day Offer

The love within a family can be so many things - messy, cuddly, fun, intense - share the love this Valentine’s Day and treat your dear ones with a photo session celebrating your beautifully, ordinary love! 

Book by 14 February and receive a 20 x 25cm photo book along with your digital photos. 

Cost: 

Newborn / Family session: £320 

Includes 40+ digital photos plus a 20 x 25cm photobook

Photo session must be claimed by 30 April 2018. To receive a printed voucher, make sure to book by 6 February.

Email to book


Motherhood mini-sessions: What to expect

Do you ever wish you had more photos of you in them? We tend to take hundreds (or more likely thousands!) of photos of our children doing cute/weird/funny stuff, but there’s rarely any proof that we, the mothers, were there. This is why I started offering Motherhood mini-sessions - a short/ish in-home session just for mums & their kids (or baby). Because we’re a BIG part of our children’s lives, and quite often, the ones that spend the most time with them. And therefore I think we deserve to have some good, real, photos of us along with our kids. 

When you book a Motherhood session, you really don’t have to do or prepare much. I will ask you a few questions over email (or phone if you prefer) about you and your child(ren), to try to get to know you a little. When I arrive at your home, I usually have a little look around the house to work out where to take the photos - this is usually the main bedroom, perhaps the nursery or downstairs living room. Generally, where there is the most amount of natural light is where we’ll do the majority of the session. 

There’s no need to prepare any activity - I will work around you & your child’s schedule and photograph what you generally do together! This could be absolutely anything: reading books, having a snack, dressing out or changing nappies! If you have a garden or nearby park, I’d be happy to go outside too.

After the session (which will last roughly 45 min) you probably won’t hear from me for a couple of weeks apart from a little sneak peek which I usually send over later the same day or the next (as I generally can’t wait to start editing!). After 2-3 weeks, you’ll get an email with a link to an online gallery, where you can see all the edited photos from the session. From here, you can choose your 10 favourites (unless of course you love them all so much you want to keep all of them!), and once decided, I will send you another link where you can download your photos in high resolution. 

My availability is Monday - Wednesdays, and I’m generally flexible on time. (although mid-mornings generally seem to work best!) To book your session, email me on [email protected]!


The importance of a good headshot

I wanted to talk a little bit about headshots - and the importance of having a good one as a small business owner. Whilst we all probably know that it’s better to have a professional photo rather than some smartphone photo from a night out or last year’s holiday, I still wanted to write a bit about my top three reasons:

First impression

In this fast-paced time we live in, first impression is everything - according to (some slightly old, but still) statistics, you only have 15 seconds to grab someone’s attention online, so you really need to give a good first impression. Hence why a good headshot is important!

It shows off the real you

A headshot has the potential to show off the real you - how you want to be portrayed (approachable, friendly, fun, powerful etc) as well as taken place in a relevant place, and perhaps showing off something that’s relevant to your profession. A good storytelling photo can often say much more than text.

It makes your website look professional

Quite obvious, but still! It’s worth mentioning - if you’ve spent lots of time on making your website looking great, there shouldn’t be a reason why your headshot shouldn’t look great too! You might use it on your home page, and if not there, it would most likely be on the about or contact page. And if you don’t have a photo at all, I would definitely consider adding one - it makes your website so much more personal and approachable!

As a photographer based in west London, I regularly photograph small business owners in their homes or other locations. If you are interested, please get in touch on [email protected] and I’d be happy to help!


Memories of London

A rainy morning in November I visited this family of four to capture some family time in their London home before their move back to France. After a few years in the english capital - and two children later - it was time for them to move home. 

We all had a great time, and it was so much fun getting to know this family a bit before their big move. 

A session like this is the perfect way to create a little time capsule of your life, as it is right now. Get in touch on [email protected] to book your in-home session!


Christmas Wish List 2017

Christmas is just around the corner, and I’m busy finishing off the shopping for the kids, nieces & nephews, husband and parents. I should have learned by now to do it slowly throughout the year, and not leave it to the last minute, as always. Oh well, I guess some things I’ll never learn!

I don’t expect much for myself, and truth be, I don’t really care - I just really look forward to spending Christmas with my family, and it looks like it might finally be a white one this year for us. Since having kids, Christmas is all about the kids (rightly so) but a girl can dream, right..? I wouldn’t mind if I found one of these things wrapped up under the tree on Christmas Day…

1. I’d love to lounge around in one of these on the lazy days between Christmas & New Years: COS Wrapover Jersey Jumpsuit / Next Charcoal Velour Pants

2. I love the quirkiness and simplicity of the jewellery from COS

3. I’m hoping to learn a bit of flash photography in 2018 - I’ve heard this Rotolight this is a brilliant piece

4. I’ve got sore feet (not sure why, I’m not walking or exercising that much) and I’d love this foot balm from Neal’s Yard for the evening massage

5. I’ve needed a watch for a while, mainly for work as I often forget about the time (as phone is left in jacket pocket) - love this classy & beautiful watch from Daniel Wellington

6. I don’t own much art and rarely buy posters, but there are so many pretty prints from Fy 

Do you have a wish list for Christmas? Or do you leave that for the kids? x


A newborn lifestyle in-home session

I always feel honoured when I get invited to photograph a family with a newborn - it’s such a special and precious time, those first few weeks with a tiny one. To be able to capture this, and know that the photos will be treasured for a long time, is one of my favourite things with what I do. 

A few weeks ago, I visited a lovely family of four - here are a few of my favourites from this newborn session:


A morning with Lotty & Liv

On a lovely October morning I met up with Lotty and her daughter Liv, in their favourite cafe Paper Mache Tiger in Angel, London. Lotty runs the blog Lotty in London, where she shares the adventures of London parenthood (do go & check it out!). 

For this motherhood mini-session Lotty wanted something a bit different, so we decided to have the session both in the cafe, as well as a gorgeous alley way nearby. Liv was a real natural, and so was her mum - and I think I definitely managed to capture some lovely, natural moments of the two of them!

Here are some of my favourites:


Indoor photo tip for gloomy days

Despite all the beautiful Christmas lights around us, this is the darkest time of the year, with quite limited natural light available for indoor photography. I wanted to share a tip for taking photos of your kids in your home (or anyone / anything really!), and it’s really easy! All you have to do is to find a big window or glass door, and take the photos there. Even if it’s raining, snowing or just being a generally gloomy day, there is usually always enough light in the day for you to take a beautiful photo. I’ve added a few examples to show you what kind of photos a window can give you - and if you move around the object you can get lots of different kids of looks as the light will fall differently!


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 [email protected]!




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 [email protected] 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 [email protected]!


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!

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