SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) London

Inspiration and motivation..... two words that accurately describe the last few days for me.

I'm now back in Cornwall after a brilliantly exhausting four days of culture, learning, motivation, inspiration, laughing till my stomach and face muscles ached, socialising and spending time with old and new friends at the SWPP photography convention in London.......it's been an absolute blast!

Arriving on Wednesday I wandered round the Tate Modern for a couple of hours with a friend which was very cool, even if you don't like some of the art it still makes you talk and think why you don't like it!

We then went to the National Portrait Gallery to see The Taylor Wessing portrait exhibition, a competition that's open to all and celebrates the very best portrait photography from around the world. Three of us went together, all photographers, and the discussion as we walked round was brilliant, I learnt so much more than if I'd gone on my own! The portraits ranged from frankly baffling to stunning!

Thursday I spent the whole day listening to Sue Bryce, a portrait photographer from New Zealand who runs an incredibly successful studio in LA. I think her work is simply stunning and she shared her knowledge of business , lighting and posing people generously. My head is still spinning from it as I go through the copious notes I made, it's a day I'll not forget easily! 

My seminar buddies!

My seminar buddies!

Friday was for smaller 2 hour master classes and I managed to do three..... head still spinning from those as well! Over the next few months I will take what I learnt and transfer it to my own photography business.  

Australian newborn photographer and trainer, the lovely Kelly Brown.

Australian newborn photographer and trainer, the lovely Kelly Brown.

My lovely friend and incredible portrait photographer, Jo Rutherford who won the Judges Choice Award for Studio Portrait.

My lovely friend and incredible portrait photographer, Jo Rutherford who won the Judges Choice Award for Studio Portrait.

Four days and three nights.....the days were taken care of and the evenings were all about being sociable and catching up with old friends and meeting new. Sometimes it's wonderful to be reminded what it's like to be footloose and fancy free but now back to reality and putting into action the things I've learnt and bring new aspects to my photo shoots and products to my clients that I know they'll love!

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London, here I come!

I love my job, I love my studio, the awesome newborn babies, children and families that I get to meet and photograph each year, it's a privalage to be part of recording their lives. Being a photographer can also be quite a solitary job so when the opportunity to meet up with other photographers comes along I jump at the chance if I can and this week I'm off up to the 'big smoke' for the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) convention and I can't wait! 

I will be meeting up with friends from all over the uk, photographers I've met through training and Facebook groups, I'm prepared for late nights, LOTS of talking, laughing and socialising.......it could get messy but it will be great fun. It's times like these that you can swap ideas, listen to things that get my creative brain going into over-drive, get the kick up the back-side I probably need to implement good business plans and I love it! In an industry that contains some very large egos I can hand on heart say that the people I have met have been wonderful and I now count them as really good friends. 

It's also a chance to book into classes and see some of my heroes in action, listen to their processes and how they achieve the stunning images that puts them at the very top of their game in the photography industry. This year I've managed to get a 'golden ticket' to see portrait photographer Sue Bryce. She's a New Zealander now living and working in LA where she runs a hugely successful business and she's one of my idols! Her work is simply stunning, her portraits of women are incredible, from the way she poses them to the way she lights them. They're soft yet empowering and strong and I want some of her genius to rub off on me so I'll be soaking up every ounce of information from the day I spend in her class that I can!

Can you tell I'm excited?

Look out London, here I come!  

Newborn photographer and trainer Cass Davis and portrait photographer, trainer and lighting guru Gary Hill. In the last three years I have learnt an incredible amount from these two, they're very generous with their time, knowledge and help. 

Newborn photographer and trainer Cass Davis and portrait photographer, trainer and lighting guru Gary Hill. In the last three years I have learnt an incredible amount from these two, they're very generous with their time, knowledge and help. 

Newborn photographers Rob Mank, Nikki Peters-Nel, Sharon Wallis and Coralie Hartigan.  

Newborn photographers Rob Mank, Nikki Peters-Nel, Sharon Wallis and Coralie Hartigan.  

Wonderful longtime friend, supporter and newborn photographer Sally Slack and Sharon Wallis, I greatly admire both these ladies work, their photographs are always stunning.

Wonderful longtime friend, supporter and newborn photographer Sally Slack and Sharon Wallis, I greatly admire both these ladies work, their photographs are always stunning.

Kelly Wilson, newborn photographer, who I finally got to meet and take a class with last year having had her amazing & generous support online for a couple of years previous. Her newborn images are amongst my favourite. 

Kelly Wilson, newborn photographer, who I finally got to meet and take a class with last year having had her amazing & generous support online for a couple of years previous. Her newborn images are amongst my favourite. 

Alice Demelza Rashleigh Scullion

18 years ago today - we left Fowey for the hospital really early in the morning and we were second on the list for theatre so you were born about 10am I think. There was music playing although I can't remember what, and the surgeons and nurses were very chatty, it was all about what everyone had done over Christmas and what the plans for New Year were. You and I were going to be in hospital when we went into 1999.

Meeting your Great Granny for the first time.

Meeting your Great Granny for the first time.

I cried so hard when they told me you were a girl, after two boys I hadn't really realised how much I wanted a daughter! I'd have been delighted if you were a boy, you would have been called Finn, but here you were.....the perfect Alice! The perfect Alice with the biggest feet, that was the first thing Jill noticed! And I thought how lucky you were to have two big brothers to look after you and despite what they say I know they really do love you!

Despite spending the first 4 months of your life in a hip brace and the 'attention' of your big brothers you were a very content & smiley baby, sleeping through the night from 9 weeks old, what a star!

One of the things I loved doing the most was sewing you little pinafore dresses, the first one I made you was before you could walk and you crawled up inside it and got stuck which made us all laugh and you get frustrated so dungarees it was till you could walk! I managed to get four years of dressing you in what I wanted and after that your very impressive determination and character kicked in and that was it, if you wanted to wear a pink tutu, red wellies and a policeman's hat then that's what you wore, no amount of persuasion from me would sway you! 

You were also a little beach & water baby and at every opportunity would strip off and jump into the sea, river, pond, lake or pool and given the right circumstances I don't think you've grown out of that!

In the river at Cardinham Woods

In the river at Cardinham Woods

Daymer Bay

Daymer Bay

Readymoney, Fowey.

Readymoney, Fowey.

Lantic Bay 2016

Lantic Bay 2016

You and I have had a sometimes rocky relationship and we've had to work really hard at being mother & daughter but I think we've got it right now, don't you?

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I could write about embarrassing & funny stories, of temper tantrums in inappropriate places or how amazing it is I still have an intact tongue from the amount of times I have to bite it but I won't! What I want you to know on your 18th birthday is what an absolutely AWESOME daughter and young woman you have grown into and how incredibly proud of you I am. At your core you are a kind, loving and loyal young woman and nothing makes me prouder. You have worked so hard to achieve the things you have and that takes courage and tenacity. Two people missing in your life are Granddaddy and Granny but I know without a shadow of a doubt they would agree with me and your Grandfather would be so impressed & proud that you passed your driving test before your older brothers!! 

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The day we collected 'REX'

The day we collected 'REX'

Actually, I have to tell one story.....the one about the advent calendar I made because I think that was the first time it was obvious to me you were a total chocoholic!  

It was the Christmas before you were two and I had made a large fabric advent calendar with little pockets and we've used it almost every December since. I hung it on the wall and filled all the pockets with chocolate pennies, three in each. I'd gone upstairs for something and when I came down there you were standing on a chair smothered in chocolate and penny wrappers all round you on the floor! You'd pushed the chair up to the wall and taken out all the pennies you could reach and stuffed them in you mouth, impressive work for less than two minutes that I was gone! So from then on I could only fill the pocket the night before and even then Jack and Paddy had to get there first or you'd eat their chocolate as well!!

Jack, cousin George and you in one of the dresses I made you.

Jack, cousin George and you in one of the dresses I made you.

Frog sleeping!

Frog sleeping!

Besties, gorgeous girlies and partners in crime! xx Your 8th birthday 2006

Besties, gorgeous girlies and partners in crime! xx Your 8th birthday 2006

And look at you now, 2015!

And look at you now, 2015!

One of our many camping trips....think this was Mother Ivy's Bay.

One of our many camping trips....think this was Mother Ivy's Bay.

My blue-eyed girl x

My blue-eyed girl x

As if I haven't embarrassed you enough with all this, I just want you to know these things.......I love you from the tips of my toes to the top of my head, all the way to the moon and back, in a way only a mother can love her child. I think you're a beautiful girl with a beautiful soul and there simply aren't the words to tell you how proud I am to be your mummy. XXX

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Chanelling 'Strictly'

There are times when a photo shoot is so much fun that it really doesn't feel like work at all and this was one of those times!

This lovely young lady came for a photo session at my Cornish studio near St Austell to celebrate turning four and as she loves Strictly Come Dancing there was a lot of sparkles & sequins and some impressive dance moves going on! It was also an opportunity to go full on pink! 

I had difficulty choosing just a few images from her gallery but here they are! 

To book your own photo shoot email me at susannastables@sky.com  

Sisters

I don't have a sister (I do however have an awesome brother!) but if I did I would have treasured an images like these of us. These beautiful sisters recently came to see me in my Cornish studio and together we made something rather special for their family.

If you'd like to book a photo shoot for your children and family then please contact me at susannastables@sky.com

Christmas Themed Mini Shoots

My Christmas Themed Mini Sessions sold out on the first day so I have opened up another date for these incredibly popular mini shoots, Saturday November 26th. These are 30 minute portrait sessions with 5 digital images of your choice. 

These mini sessions are in high demand and I won't be able to accommodate everybody as I only have limited time in my diary to shoot them.

The sessions are on Saturday 26th November at my studio near St Austell.

Sessions are suitable for up to 3 siblings over 4 months of age (newborns will not be accepted for mini shoots). You will receive an online gallery of 5 - 15 images for you to choose the five images for digital download. You will be given a print release which allows you to print the digital files as many times as you wish, this is great value for you!

Payment of £100 is required in full before the shoot and your session is not guaranteed until payment is received. 

To book please email me at susannastables@sky.com

 

Christmas Themed Mini Shoots

I'm delighted to announce my Christmas Themed Mini Sessions. These are 30 minute portrait sessions with 5 digital images of your choice. 

These mini sessions are in high demand and I won't be able to accommodate everybody as I only have limited time in my diary to shoot them.

The sessions are on Saturday 22nd October at my studio near St Austell.

Sessions are suitable for up to 3 siblings over 4 months of age (newborns will not be accepted for mini shoots). You will receive an online gallery of 5 - 15 images for you to choose the five images for digital download. You will be given a print release which allows you to print the digital files as many times as you wish, this is great value for you!

Payment of £100 is required in full before the shoot and your session is not guaranteed until payment is received. 

To book please email me at susannastables@sky.com

 

 

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Women of Fortitude - A Photography Project

Last year, 2015, I decided I wanted to start a personal photography project, something different from what I usually do which is photograph new babies and children. 

In my life I'm incredibly lucky to be surrounded by some very amazing women who don't always realise just how amazing they are! They are strong, intelligent, sassy women who in my eyes are incredible for a lot of different reasons.......they have brought up families, some run successful businesses, they've triumphed over illness, triumphed over adversity, some are the 'givers' of this world, some are the teachers, the carers, the investors of people and I think they're all brilliant!

So for all these reasons and a whole lot more, I wanted to photograph them for the beautiful women they are.....

Michelle -   

One of the reasons I asked Michelle to be involved is because of the road she's travelled (I try not to say 'journey' as I think it's a bit over-used!) in the last year. She's a real inspiration to me and I've told her so! 

Michelle studied at Liverpool Faculty of Art and Design in the early eighties obtaining a B.A.Hons in Printed Textiles and Fashion. She was employed both by Harrods and Dragons (a leading children's interior design shop in Knightsbridge) where she offered a bespoke service in hand painted nursery furniture and murals for many prestigious clients in central London. She also ran her own small business specialising in nursery interiors.

After having two daughters, Alice and Jess, she chose to study for a teaching career and has taught in the primary sector for 15 years in Cornwall and Southampton. She now does some consultancy work as a creative primary teacher, specialising in how to teach Art and how to be an outstanding primary teacher. Most importantly,she loves to paint and is currently working towards an exhibition. 

In the last year Michelle has physically transformed herself after investing in her health and enlisting the expertise of a personal trainer and she has worked incredibly hard to reach her goals.

It has taken massive amounts of inner strength as well as physical strength to get to where she is today and she totally inspires me. I've battled my own weight issues for over 30 years but when I saw what this amazing lady has done I knew I wanted to achieve those goals too and Michelle is wonderfully supportive of me and my own efforts.

Thank you Michelle, for agreeing to let me photograph you, I think you're brilliant! x

Pureza

The very gorgeous Pureza, who's name means 'pure', came to see me in the studio during the summer and I've had a really tough time picking only a few of her images to put in the blog!  

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If you'd like to book a newborn photo shoot, the best time to contact me is just after your 20 week scan.  

Josephine Beaumont

Never was there a baby more wanted than you! I was there the day you came home from hospital with your mum & dad, so beautiful and with an impressive vocal range, you were one young lady that was going to be heard no matter what you had to say! 

It was an honour to be asked to be your Godmother and as Goddaughters go I have to say you're the best one (the fact you're my only Goddaughter has absolutely nothing to do with that) and I'm very, very proud of you, you're a strong, loyal, beautiful and loving young woman who has been the most incredible friend to Alice and that is something wonderfully special. The pair of you really had no choice to be fair, friends from the moment my belly was big enough for you to sit on when Alice was in there! 

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The temptation to write about some embarrassing stories about you is great but I won't do that to you, instead I want to apologise………...

I want to say sorry for the time I was child minding you regularly in 1999 and one day we were walking to collect Jack from school, Alice was a baby in the pram and you and Paddy had your wellies on and were walking, you must have been nearly 2 years old. You were never a keen walker and it took constant encouragement to keep you going but this particular day you were even more reluctant! There was something wrong with your boots you said so I took them off, straightened your tights thinking that might be it but according to you there was still something wrong with your wellies so I took them off again and shook them out, no, nothing was inside them! We made very slow progress that day but eventually got to school to collect Jack and while we were there I thought I would sort you and those wellies out once and for all so we wouldn't have the same problem walking home. I sat you on my knee, took both boots off and felt the bottom of your little feet to see if anything was stuck inside your tights and I then noticed a little bit of blood on the bottom of your tights! It turned out there was a drawing pin stuck in the bottom of your wellington boot and it was sticking through just enough to scratch your foot and I was totally mortified that I hadn't noticed it sooner so I want to just say how sorry I am I didn't investigate properly in the beginning and please will you forgive me?! 

You are woven into the fabric of our family, as much part of it as if you were a sister to Jack, Paddy & Alice and that's where you will always be

Happy 18th birthday my darling girl XX

Seb & Toby

Seb and Toby decided they were going to make their entrance into this world 6 weeks early and the day they came to see me in the studio was their actual due date and they still only weighed 5lbs each! They were tiny little bundles of perfection and were so good for their photo shoot it was tough choosing which images to include in the blog!

Ethan

Newborn baby snuggles are the best and I got lots when Ethan came to see me with his Mummy & Daddy back in June when he was just 2 weeks new, he totally rocked his photo shoot!

Paddy James Rashleigh Scullion

20th August 2015

18 years ago today - we'd had a really, really hot August & it wasn't fun being pregnant, I remember I ate a lot of ice-cream! It was the morning of Fowey carnival and your brother and I had spent the previous three days covered in orange paint, getting him, the neighbours and his little friends ready to dress up and enter the carnival as the 'Fowey Fish Fingers', but you and I would only ever get to see the photographs! I left our home really early in the morning with your granny saying "you could be having a girl this time!" but I told her you were a boy and I was right, I was so sure you were!

I'm sorry but I can't remember the exact time you were born, I think it was late morning, but my memory is rather fuzzy! Anyway I do remember you weighed 7lbs 12oz and that your hair was blonde and you were perfect! The next day your big brother came to see you and he was the proudest big brother in the world (I think he probably still is!) The drive home from hospital was terrible………the Saturday before the bank holiday weekend in Cornwall and the roads were gridlocked, I think it took us over two hours! But I have to tell you, getting out of the car at Harbour View and all the neighbours coming out to welcome you home was amazing, you were coo'd and ahhhhh'd over by everyone and Jill & Andrew who were staying with us.

Now here we are 18 years later and I can't believe that time has gone so fast and you're now an adult, it's scary for a mother! It's the same old cliche - those 18 years have flown by in a blur of midnight feeds, nappies, potty training, spectacular temper tantrums, snotty noses, starting school, football & rugby matches, sailing, exams and travelling all over Cornwall with your road bike, mountain bike or cycloX bike in the back of my Mini to races & competitions (and fairly frequent visits to the A&E in Truro!) and I wouldn't change a minute of it!

I'm incredibly proud to be your mother, you are a fantastic young man and after a few bumpy years you've found your passion in life, cycling, and it seems to me you're happy and that makes me happy too.  If your grandparents were still with us I know they'd feel the same and it's my greatest sadness that they're not. I think you and Granddaddy would have had lots of things in common. 

This is the begining of a new chapter in your life and I can't wait to see what happens….whatever it is it'll be exciting & the one thing you need to remember (but to be honest, I won't ever let you forget it) is that I love you with all my heart, in a way that only a mother can. 

Now for the obligatory embarrassing photographs…………..

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Izzy The Fund Raiser!

Today I had a mini fund raising superhero in my studio and she rocked her photo shoot!

This is 4yr old Izzy, she starts Primary school this September and she collects money for the Fowey Lifeboat, her Daddy is a volunteer crew member so Izzy likes to collect money for her 'Daddy's boat'! Last month she received a very special award from the Prime Minister in recognition of her amazing efforts so I invited her along for a special shoot and here are a few of those images. 

Evelyn P.

Evelyn is such a traditional, beautiful name and one you don't come across very often so it was wonderful that the last two baby girls I've had visit me in the studio have been called Evelyn! Here are a few images of the gorgeous Evelyn P.

Jack Christopher Rashleigh Scullion

21 years a ago minus one day - It started with a cricket match and a sneeze. The cricket match was being played on the pitch above our house and I'd walked round the field with your grandparents, I was 15 days overdue and more than a bit fed up if I'm truthful! We came home, I sat on the sofa with a cup of tea and sneezed.......'careful' said your grandfather, 'sneeze too hard and it could set you off!' Thirty seconds after he said that my waters broke! 

21 years ago today - sixteen days late and you gave us a scare but you finally made your appearance via emergency c-section at 19.17 on May 16th 1994, a whopping 10lbs 8oz and 59cms long! Even though I'm a trained NNEB Nursery Nurse with years of experience with other people's babies, nothing prepares you for the overwhelming emotions of having your own baby and life passed in a bit of a daze those first few weeks.

No matter how hard I tried In those first months I could never image you at 21, but somehow here you are........where did that time go? I know it's a cliche but it's true, the last 21 years have flown by in a blur of late night feeds, nappies, potty training, temper tantrums, starting school, football fixtures, travelling all over Cornwall for rugby matches, sailing lessons, homework (although I was never any good at helping you with that!), exams, uni applications, and job applications...….and you've smiled and grinned your way through most of it!

I could tell stories, some of them embarrassing, a lot of them funny, but I won't do that to you! All I will say is that I'm incredibly proud to be your mother, you are a wonderful, wonderful young man and it's not just me who thinks so. When people who've met you through your time as a sailing instructor tell me how brilliant you are at teaching their children or how helpful and polite when working for the Harbour Commisssioners in the summer, I could literally burst with pride! If your grandparents were still with us I know they'd feel exactly the same and it's my greatest sadness that they're not. 

This is the begining of a new chapter in your life and I can't wait to see what happens....the one thing you need to remember (but to be honest, I won't ever let you forget it) is that I love you with all my heart, in a way that only a mother can. 

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William

William was 6 weeks new when he came to see me before Easter and he wasn't really interested in sleeping for too long but the awake shots we got are pretty darned cute! Here are a few images from his shoot

 

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Evelyn

Last month the very beautiful 17 day new Evelyn came to see me in the studio, she really was a little sweetheart and one of the most snuggly little people I've ever had the pleasure to snuggle! Here a just a few images from her session

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Rudy

Rudy was my first visitor of 2015 to the studio and it was impossible not to fall in love with him! He arrived just before Christmas and is the baby brother to Martha who I have also had the pleasure of photographing as a bump, newborn, at 7 months and then she had a cake smash to celebrate her 1st birthday! 

Rudy was 13 days new and totally rocked his photo shoot!


A New Years Day Charity Swim

On January 1st a large group of nutty people gathered on Readymoney beach in Fowey, Cornwall to go for a swim in the sea which was FREEZING! They were raising money for a local charity, Beth's Inspiration which was set up in December 2013 in memory of 24 year old Beth Clench who lost her fight against Hodgkin Lymphoma in November 2013. 

Beth went to the University of Wales and left in 2010 with a second class honours degree in teaching and before she started her new job she went to Africa to help build a school, raising the money to go by doing a skydive amongst other things!  She finished her NQT year at a Primary school in Bath and in February 2012 was diagnosed with cancer. She underwent rounds of chemotherapy, radio therapy and finally a bone marrow transplant, all of which she faced with humour and a positive attitude. 

On New Years Day the very brave people (of all ages) who took to the water, raised money through sponsorship. The money raised goes to help young people with cancer especially when they're in hospital, the aim is to provide TV's, Xboxes, PS4's & iPads amongst other things, it all helps to make a hospital stay just that little less boring! If you've been moved by Beth's story and would like to donate then please visit the website www.bethsinspiration.org.uk