Mud, football and funny farts.

Yep I said funny farts and no I don’t mean funny sounding farts I mean farts being funny. Now if you, like me live in a house full of boys you will probably know what I mean. Farts are apparently hilarious, as are any other bodily functions. Why am I mentioning this you may ask, well, I have had a few conversations in the past and they got me thinking.

Let me show you what I mean. So we will go back to the very first one – Picture the scene, school run, youngest in pushchair, older two walking in front.
Lady: What a cute baby, what is it?
Me: A little boy.
Lady: Aww that’s a shame, three boys.
Me: —— (I didn’t know what to say)
Now I can’t remember what random words came out of my mouth but it definitely wasn’t what I should have said or wanted to say.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago.
Picture the scene, school run, youngest in pushchair eldest in front, middle one dragging along behind obviously being pulled back by some extremely heavy force meaning it was impossible to keep up with me.
Lady: wow he is getting big.
Me: Yes he is nearly two.
Lady: Time for another? You may get a little girl this time.
Me: No, no more for me. I have always wanted three and I have three so I am happy.

Now I’m sure neither of these woman set out to offend, upset or any other bad feeling you can think of but why oh why can it not be ok to have just boys. Yes they often look like they have not seen a bath in weeks 10 minutes after getting out of one. They think farts and poo and bums are funny. They talk to me about football and pokemon (both of which I have no clue about) but my boys are my world and I wouldn’t swap them for anything. My eldest is the sweetest, kindest and most caring child I could wish for, my middle child is the most charming, light-hearted little boy who could lift the mood in a room with his beautiful smile and my youngest at just under 2 years old is so smart, funny and gives the best cuddles ever. None of these characteristics make any difference to the fact that they are boys, it’s just who they are. When I look at my boys I see three healthy, thriving children so I don’t understand why it matters what gender they are. I guess the same thing must be said to mums of just girls as well.

I wish people could just see them as children and see the struggle that some parents go through to hold those precious boys or girls in their arms. I have 6 children but only get to watch three of them grow. My other three children were not meant for this Earth and I never got to hold them or kiss their little faces. I am beyond grateful for the three beautiful boys that I get to tuck in to bed at night and celebrate each milestone with. I don’t care that they are all boys, they are all my boys and I love them more than anything in this world and beyond, they are my universe. X

Brothers
My World

Kelly Hermitage is a specialist Newborn Art and Children’s portrait photographer based in Burton Latimer, Near Kettering, Northamptonshire. If you would like to find out more about my sessions please email kelly@kellyhermitagephotography.com

You can follow me on Facebook HERE

www.kellyhermitagephotography.com

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Back to School

bak to school

The uniforms are ironed, the lunches are made and the shoes are lined up by the front door. Today marked the end of another school summer holiday and tomorrow along with many other children my two eldest boys will be heading back to school.

I didn’t think it would affect me, after all I have no new starter this year but as I sit here writing this blog I feel a little sad. Why you may ask, after all the boys drive me crazy most of the time. I have pretty much run out of planned activities and there are only so many more times that I can be told that I am playing cars all wrong and that obviously I can’t park there. But tomorrow marks the start of another school year, they will be another year older this year and another year closer to not being my babies anymore (they will always be babies to me but shhh don’t tell them that.) It is another year closer to waving my eldest off to high school and another year closer to my baby joining his Brothers at school.

Tomorrow when I go to wake them, they will moan because they are tired and I will tell them that they have to go to school and that they will see all their friends so they will be happy when they get there. My heart will however wish that I could just creep in to check on them then head off downstairs with the baby to get on with my chores and wait for them to come down and start another day of play or adventures. I will take the normal 1st day of school photo, we will walk to school talking about what their day may be like and I will kiss them goodbye before they run into their new classrooms. Tomorrow they will be heading off on their own adventures without me and I will wait to hear stories of their new teachers and classrooms and who they sat next to and played with. I will spend the day playing with my youngest who will miss having his brothers around and my mind will probably wander a little, Are they ok? Have they got a friend with them in class? Will they have someone to play with at playtime? I know I will watch the clock until I can pick them up and be relieved when I see them head out of the door.

This summer has been a mix of fun and fights, highs and lows, happiness and sadness but it has been a summer of togetherness. It has been splashing in the water in the Lake District, searching for crabs on the beach in Brancaster, it has been playing with friends and football in the garden as well as lots of other fun things along the way. It has been making memories and capturing them in photos (I will print said photos and put them in an album). It has been me and my boys and as I wave them goodbye tomorrow I will start counting down the days until the next holiday when I will have them home with me again.

I am off to kiss my babies goodnight now.

Kelly x

Easter Egg Making

Today consisted of chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate and it was nothing to do with a photo session. We took a family trip to make our very own Easter Eggs at Explore Chocolate in Burton Latimer and we had an amazing time. My big camera had a rest today so please excuse the phone images.

Now you can’t go wrong with chocolate and everyone knows that chocolate eggs taste better than any other chocolate for some reason but chocolate eggs that you have made yourself are just the best.

2018-03-24_0002Matt who runs Explore Chocolate was brilliant, he explained exactly what we needed to do during each step and was right there to help and support my two little boys if they needed him. He was great with the boys and made us all feel so welcome. Charlie (6yrs) and Ollie (4yrs) have not stopped talking about making their eggs all day and of course the eggs were unwrapped as soon as we got into the car and they were delicious.

2018-03-24_0005If you are looking for something to do that is a little bit different then I would highly recommend one of Explore Chocolate’s courses, I know that they also run birthday parties (how amazing would that be) and they sell some of their products in The Galleria in Burton Latimer too so please check them out.2018-03-24_0003Right I am off to eat just one more little teeny piece of chocolate 🙂

Kelly Hermitage is a specialist Newborn Art and Children’s portrait photographer based in Burton Latimer, Near Kettering, Northamptonshire. If you would like to find out more about my sessions please email kelly@kellyhermitagephotography.com

You can follow me on  Facebook HERE

www.kellyhermitagephotography.com

Newborn Safety – behind the images.

This is a very serious post from me this evening but one that I feel you need to know about. You may see on some of the images I post on my Facebook page that I write that the image isn’t quite what it seems and that baby is supported at all times. But of course you wouldn’t really know what that entails so this evening I am going to share a behind the scenes look at how these images are actually created and tell you why they are done this way.

First of all, I can not express enough how important safety is during all of my sessions but even more so for a newborn session. Those tiny little new babies are unable to tell us if they are hot, cold, uncomfortable etc, except maybe with a little cry. My job is not only to capture beautiful memories of these brand new babies but to also read their cues. I will always monitor the temperature in the studio, you may think it is really hot in there but it has to be warm. I often photograph babies naked and they lose heat quickly if the room is not warm enough. You will also see me check little fingers and tiny toes when I have a baby in a pose, why? To make sure baby is comfortable and that circulation is not compromised in anyway. And I never put a baby into a pose if it isn’t happy being posed that way. There are plenty of poses we can do so we will just move on to something else.

So onto the behind the scenes part, what makes the images what they are? A little Photoshop magic.

I will start with one of my all time favourite poses and one that I have on display in the studio. Parents are always amazed at how this image is created and it is a big hit everytime. I call this image: I was once so small.

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As you can see in the finished image it looks like baby is being held up by her Daddy but in reality she doesn’t leave the safety of a beanbag with her Daddy just placing his hands around her. This means that baby is safe at all times. I always talk parents through the pose before I start and explain what I am doing as I position them and baby. I also ensure that there is a hand on baby at all times and Dad or Mum doesn’t let go after the image is taken until I am supporting baby again.

The next image is one that I have seen done many times without support. I cannot stress enough how important it is to support a babies head at all times in poses like this. As I am sure any of you who have had a baby will know, babies have a startle reflex meaning that they jump. If a baby is placed in a pose like the one below and it startles it is a real possibility that it may hurt itself. This image is head on hands.

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As you can see Mums finger is supporting little ones head in the first image and I have used the magic of Photoshop to edit it away in the finished image. Little ones head is also slightly leaning towards Mums hand. When doing this pose or any pose when baby is laying on his or her front I will constantly check hands and feet to ensure correct circulation.

And now for probably one of the harder situations when photographing newborns, the addition of a sibling or two. Photographing babies with siblings presents a whole host of different safety considerations. Older children are often able to follow instructions and depending on their ages may be able to hold the baby without concerns. However younger children are unpredictable and this must be considered when creating sibling images. So how do I overcome this, well depending on the pose I will either have the children laying down with adults close by to support and observe or I composite images together. Let me show you what I mean.

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This finished image is made up of two separate images, one of the newborn baby and one of the two older siblings. The images are blended together in Photoshop to create a final image. Why do I do it this way? Well let’s start with the image of the newborn. As you can see Mum is sat right next to the basket and is supporting the babies head. This means that the baby is supported at all times and Mum can ensure that the basket is secure. (The basket is weighted at the bottom but I always have a parent or helper next to it anyway). Then to the image of the two girls, can you see the beautiful blond hair in the basket? That blond hair belongs to Evie. Evie is a doll that is used in poses like this to encourage interaction with siblings but to ensure the safety of the real baby. Evie started this pose in the basket laying just as the real baby is in the first image. As you can see Evie has moved somewhat and she doesn’t have a startle reflex so Evie was helped a little by the beautiful girls sat next to her. If this image was not done as a composite then Mum would not be able to be right next to baby to support her head and stop the basket from being knocked over. This image would not be a fun and relaxed image for everyone involved because everyone would be on edge, the older girls would be getting told off for touching the baby because Mum would be worried about them waking her and nothing would be in place to stop baby from falling if she startled or the older girls knocking the basket. When it comes to safety it is always best to composite an image rather than risk the safety of a baby. Yes it takes a long time to edit these images but I would rather spend an evening editing one image than risk my little clients being hurt.

There are many other images that are done as composites some of which I will not do as I just don’t like them. Any photographer should be able to explain to you how images they create are done safely and if you feel uneasy about a pose then you have the right to ask the photographer to stop and move on to something else. Also please, please, please do not try the images you see online yourselves. As you see from above, they are not what they seem and you could be putting your baby at risk of a serious injury or even worse.

What makes me an expert? I have been trained in the Art of Newborn Photography by one of the countries leading photographers. I have also undertaken various other courses over the past few years and I have many years of childcare experience as well as various child care qualifications. I am also a Mum to three beautiful boys, I know how precious these babies are and how important it is to keep them safe.

kelly certificate.jpg

 

 

 

 

Kelly Hermitage is a specialist Newborn Art and Children’s portrait photographer based in Burton Latimer, Near Kettering, Northamptonshire. If you would like to find out more about my sessions please email kelly@kellyhermitagephotography.com

You can follow me on  Facebook HERE

www.kellyhermitagephotography.com

Breastfeeding, my honest experience.

Now before I start on this little blog post I want to make it very clear. I am all for fed is best, be that formula or breast. I really don’t care. A fed baby is a happy baby where ever the milk comes from. There is absolutely no point beating yourself up for using formula if that is what you want to do just because Sheila down the road breastfed all of her children doesn’t mean it is right for everyone.

So now that you know that I am not going to bang on about how amazing I am because I breastfed my babies let me share my journey, my honest (maybe a little too honest) journey.

When I had Charlie almost 7 years ago (gosh where did that time go) I was told that breast is best, give it a go, even if it’s just for a few days to give him the best start. I thought breastfeeding would be easy, after all it’s natural right? surely it can’t be that hard. Oh boy was I naive. Along came this screaming bundle and would he latch on, no of course he wouldn’t. We had to stay in hospital overnight because Charlie wouldn’t feed. I was devastated, how could I not do what was supposed to be the most natural thing in the world? Why could I not feed my baby? I have to say the midwives were amazing and were on hand throughout that night to try to help me. We tried so many different positions but nothing was working, I eventually expressed a tiny amount into a syringe and Charlie was fed. By the time morning came I was exhausted and well and truly fed up. Day one of being a mum and I had failed. I still remember a midwife popping her head in to say good morning, she asked if I was ok and I burst into tears. I wanted to go home, I wanted to be able to feed my baby and be at home with my own stuff and sleep in my own bed. By the time Andy came to visit me I was a mess. After lots of talks with the midwives they let me discharge myself on the condition that if Charlie still didn’t feed at home then I would go back in. As soon as we got home the little monkey latched on and fed. Feeding Charlie was a pain, because of his slow start we had to strip him for every feed so that we were skin to skin. By the time we had stripped him, fed him, changed his nappy, dressed him and settled him to sleep it was time to feed him again. I remember those early days and oh boy were they hard. I was very embarrassed when feeding Charlie, don’t ask me why as I really don’t know. I would never feed him in public, or in front of anyone except Andy for that matter. I didn’t feel comfortable feeding him and honestly didn’t enjoy it one bit. When Charlie was a few months old I was diagnosed with Gallstones. I would get awful attacks, mostly in the evenings and because of this we decided that we would introduce some formula. When the attacks were really bad I was bent over in agony so there was no way I could breastfeed plus if I ended up in hospital I needed to know he could be fed. The formula feeds ended up becoming more and more frequent and the breastfeeding decreased until it eventually stopped altogether, I think Charlie was around 6 months. I was sad when he refused breastfeeding but also relieved that I could stop.

Then 22 months after Charlie was born our second little bundle came into the world. I say little when in reality he was a big 9lb 3ozs. Ollie latched on straight away and fed like a dream, yay go me, I’ve got this. breast feeding pro here. Erm nope. Ollie was a very good feeder don’t get me wrong but Charlie, oh Charlie had other ideas. Charlie was just hitting the terrible twos when Ollie was born and what better time to press all of mummies buttons then when she is trying to feed your little baby brother. Charlie soon realised that if I was feeding Ollie I could not get up to him. Charlie then thought he would practice for a career as a stunt man, I swear that child was trying to kill himself. He would be climbing on the sides, attempting to climb over the sofa, onto the windowsill. You name it and he probably tried it. I was so stressed, I had this baby who actually fed, but my other child was determined to land himself in hospital whenever I sat down to feed. I didn’t know what to do. I remember feeling like a failure for giving up, but I was told that a fed baby is a happy baby and it doesn’t matter how they are fed but if mum is not happy then nobody will be. You have to do what works for you and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I decided to try expressing so that I could time it around sleep times, mainly so Charlie was in his cot and couldn’t harm himself. I still recall the first time the health visitor came out after I started expressing, I was so scared that she would give me the whole breast is best talk. Thankfully she didn’t, she just warned me that my milk may well dry up if I am exclusively expressing. I managed to express for Ollie until he was 12 weeks old, he then went onto formula.

Fast forward four years, yes, yes, I am mad and started all over again. No I was not trying for a girl. No I will not be going for number four and yes he was definitely planned. (just a few of the usual questions, thought I would pre-answer). Along comes my littlest munchkin Albie aka bug or screech (you would understand that one if you could hear this kid scream). After a worrying last few weeks of pregnancy (that’s another story) and a very quick labour Albie arrived to complete our little family. Albie fed straight away, yay. He then fell asleep and would the monkey feed again, of course he wouldn’t. You see the midwives needed to see him feed twice before we were allowed to go home. We sat and we waited, we waited and we sat, yay he is waking up, no he isn’t grrrr. We were all signed off to go home as soon as he fed. I think he finally fed and we were allowed home at about 2.30am. That is the only time this kid has gone that long without a feed. Now something that I haven’t mentioned before is what the first few days of breast feeding are like. To be honest I think I had maybe pushed it to some dark corner of my mind, locked the door and thrown the key into a sinking ship never to be found again. Hahaha it’s not that bad really (whispers, it really is :-)) I am not going to lie to you, breastfeeding at first is painful. Getting your baby to latch properly in my opinion needs a masters degree. Then your milk comes in and well, who blew up the balloons is probably the best way to describe your new found chest area. They get so full it hurts, if you express then they re-fill and well basically you are telling them to make more so they do and you prolong the pain. But and it is quite a big but (not as big as the boobies but still) it does get better. They will settle in a few days and there are things you can do to help. Hot showers help lots. Cold cabbage leaves are meant to be amazing, I never tried this although I did send poor Andy out late one night to get me a cabbage when I was in pain and ready to scream. And feed, feed, feed. So I braved it through the pain. Got through the waking every two hours as only I could feed. Oh yes and the fidgeting on the edge of the bed to make sure you stay awake while feeding. I was so scared of falling asleep and dropping him. Tiredness zzzzz. I must admit I felt pretty good this time, I have even put on my big girl pants and fed Albie in public. I am very discreet and cover myself where possible. I’m not sure what I would say if anyone said anything to me. Well I do have the whole he is a baby and he needs feeding, it’s natural blah blah blah speech but I’m sure if it actually happened I would probably turn into a blubbering mess and cry like, well, Albie. My plan was to feed Albie until he turned 6 months, well that’s what the health people recommend isn’t it. Hmmm they obviously forgot to tell Albie this little bit of information. Albie is now 8 1/2 months old and I am still feeding him. He will not take a bottle, we have tried a few times, both expressed milk and formula. I have pretty much given up trying now and have re-set my goal to one year, then it’s sorry kid but the humble cow will be taking over. I never made it this far with Charlie and Ollie and I am glad that I persevered with Albie. Don’t get me wrong there are still hard times like when he is teething. He bites AHHHHH, yes that is me screaming and picture tears rolling down my face at the same time. You expect labour to be painful, you wait until your wonderful bundle puts his or her new pin sharp teeth into practice right on your… ouch. They say (the experts) don’t make a fuss, just take them off and tell them no. Yeah ok after I have climbed down from the ceiling from the pain. Thankfully after a few times I have got better at realising that he is going to bite me so I can take him off before he turns into a baby version of Hannibal Lecter. And then there lies the reason behind this post, well the reason that I thought about writing it. Mastitis. As I write this post I am on antibiotics to get rid of my second bout of Mastitis. I never had it with Charlie or Ollie, but this time I have had it twice. Oh joy. Mastitis is horrible, not only does it hurt your boobs or boob but you feel awful. My temperature hit a fantastic 40.1 on Wednesday night, woohoo and my little watchy fit bit type thing informed me that my heart rate was 115bpm during the night eeek. It’s like flu x100 with boob pain that you have to feed through with clenched teeth. The lovely doctor has given me my antibiotics, told me to take paracetamol and rest (yeah right I have three children). I do feel much better today thankfully hence this post. If you do think you have mastitis then do go to the doctors, it really is horrible and the sooner you start treatment the better.

So there it is, my breastfeeding journey to date, I am proud of myself for sticking it out. I love the closeness it has given me especially with Albie (8 1/2 months is a looonnng time). I am glad I have found the courage to feed my baby when we are out rather than panicking and hiding away. Would I do it again, yes I would (I will not be doing it again as I am not having any more babies, yes I am sure, oh 100%). But I stick to my first statement. Breast feeding is not for everyone and that is fine. It hurts, it is uncomfortable and it is really hard work. You and only you can feed your baby, that means every night feed is you, every day feed is you. Your baby needs to be with you all the time at first anyway and that is hard. If that is not right for you then so be it. You have to take care of yourself first and if that means feeding with other ways then that is great, hey your baby is fed right. By the time they are two they eat fluff and lick dogs anyway so does it really matter or maybe that’s just my kids (just kidding).

Right I am off to eat chocolate, oh yeah one of the benefits of breastfeeding is it helps you lose weight or in my case eat chocolate without putting on weight. Yay, pass the dairy milk 🙂

breastfed babies, newborn photography, baby photos, fed is best.
My Babies

 

Kelly Hermitage is a newborn art and children’s portrait photographer, based in Burton Latimer, Near Kettering, Northamptonshire.

If you would like to find out  more about my photography sessions please email me on kelly@kellyhermitagephotography.com

www.kellyhermitagephotography.com

Waiting For Santa…Christmas Mini Session Experience.

My beautiful props have finally arrived and I have had fun testing them out in the studio today. I am so pleased with the handmade nature of these products, they really give a beautiful and natural finish and are just what I envisioned when I started planning these sessions. Now that the set up is ready it will soon be time to release the Christmas Mini Session slots.

christmas-mini-session-set-up

So now I get to share my excitement with you and tell you what this years sessions will be. This year I am not just doing mini sessions, nope I am going one better. This year I will be running Mini Experiences. How is that different? I hear you say, well let me explain and hopefully you will be as excited as I am 🙂

I wanted these sessions to be magical, capturing the real spirit of the festive season so these Mini Experiences will be filled with Christmas Music, festive treats and of course the perfect answer for ticking off those Christmas present lists. After all who doesn’t love a photo.

This years theme will be ‘Waiting For Santa’ with a dress code of Christmas jumpers/Christmas pyjamas.

Each Session will be 20 minutes full of fun and Christmas magic while I capture beautiful images of your children. After your session myself and my trusty Christmas elf will work on your images to make them just perfect and add them to an online gallery for you to view. You will receive 5 high quality digital images (via download from your onlne gallery) to print as many times as you like. I will provide a printing permission letter so you can print wherever you want. There will also be the option to purchase additional printed products through your gallery should you wish.

And that is not all as Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without gifts so I have been talking to Santa and he is kindly sending me a present to give to each child who attends a Christmas Mini Session. Eeeek. I get to be an elf 🙂

Oh and one more thing, as I have now been appointed one of Santa’s trusty messengers he has said that if your children bring along a Christmas letter written to him, I can send them on and he will make sure he sends your children a very special Christmas card. How amazing is that?

So how much will this cost? I hear you say. Your Christmas Mini Session Experience will be just £95 for upto 3 children from the same family. Little ones must be able to sit up unsupported so these sessions are not suitable for really little ones.

These sessions will run over two dates, Saturday 19th November and Sunday 27th November. Slots are limited to 10 per day so these will go fast.

Sessions will be released in three stages-

Saturday 8th October – 8pm – Slots will be released to past clients via email.

Monday 10th October – 8pm – Remaining slots will be released to waiting list clients, you can sign up to the waiting list here

Wednesday 12th October – 8pm – Remaining slots will be released onto my Facebook page.

I hope to welcome you into the studio very soon 🙂

If you have any questions about these Christmas sessions or my bespoke sessions then please feel free to contact me on kelly@kellyhermitagephotography.com or send me a message via my Facebook Page.

Kelly x

christmas-props

Kelly Hermitage is a specialist newborn and children’s photographer based in Burton Latimer, Kettering, Northamptonshire.

To find out more about my sessions please visit my website www.kellyhermitagephotography.com

or email me on kelly@kellyhermitagephotography.com

You can see some of my latest work on my Facebook Page HERE.

Christmas is coming :-)

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I know, the children have just gone back to school and it is only September but Christmas sessions take time to plan and that is what I am doing.

After running a little survey on my Facebook page I have a better idea of the type of session you would like so I am busy sourcing props and products that will be perfect for you.

Christmas Mini Sessions are always popular and often sell out fast so I have created a waiting list for you. To be one of the first to find out about my Christmas Mini Sessions please add your details to the list and as soon as I have all the details I will send them through. x

Sign Up Here

Kelly xx

Kelly Hermitage is a specialist newborn and children’s photographer based in Burton Latimer, Kettering, Northamptonshire.

To find out more about my sessions please visit my website www.kellyhermitagephotography.com

or email me on kelly@kellyhermitagephotography.com

You can see some of my latest work on my Facebook Page HERE.