It’s been to my eternal regret that I didn’t have a photoshoot when my little girl was born, but a c-section and just generally being overwhelmed by everything meant that I never got around to doing it.
Enter Emma’s Diary, who shortly after she hit the six-month mark, gave me the chance to go along for an Emma’s Diary Photoshoot with a local photographer.
If you’ve ever been pregnant, chances are you’ve come across Emma’s Diary, a pregnancy and parenting site which offers a ton of advice, bargains and support to people playing the parenting game.
They’ve teamed up with photographers up and down the country for an Emma’s Diary Photoshoot, to make sure you capture your little one at their very best, creating memories that will last a lifeline.
Full disclosure: I was given the photoshoot and a mounted print for free, in exchange for an honest review.
So, through Emma’s Diary I was put in touch with Jo Connor from Individual Photography at Cheddar. We chatted on the phone ahead of the appointment so I knew exactly what to expect and arranged a time when my little girl should – in theory – be at her brightest and breeziest.
Clearly used to dealing with chronic victims of Mum Brain, Jo very kindly confirmed all the details of the appointment via email and the post, and sent me a text message the day before to make sure I didn’t accidentally go off to soft play, or something.
In the days leading up the shoot, we exchanged a few emails as I fussed about clothing suggestions in the days up to the photoshoot, and despite my fretting Jo never showed any signs of annoyance or frustration at me.
Arriving at Jo’s studio a few days later, we were welcomed by examples of her work and award certificates lining the walls. A heart-shaped chalkboard with our name in it welcomed us in, quickly followed by Jo.
Bless Jo – clearly an expert with stressed mums – she furnished me with a cuppa and got to know my daughter as we chatted over ideas for the shoot.
The studio itself was warm and there were nursery rhymes playing on a stereo. A few test shots to make sure my little girl wasn’t going to freak out at the flash, lights or Jo, and we were off.
It was a new situation for my daughter and Jo was mindful of her happiness and comfort at all times. Any hint that she wasn’t enjoying it and we’d take a break, switch to a different prop or let her play with some toys. There was a fully-stocked changing mat and table on hand, because…well, babies, and she had a few costumes of her own that could be used.
The shoot itself lasted a little over an hour and came to a close when it became clear my little girl was getting tired and niggly, Jo began to wind things down.
We arranged a date and time to come back and view the images and I was sent home with a price list and bar of chocolate, which was a really nice touch.
Later that evening, Jo texted me to let me know she had reviewed the images she’d captured and was pleased with the days work and a week later we headed back to the studio to look at the images.
Jo had out together a slideshow presentation to showcase the images for us, and if I’m honest, I had been excited and nervous about this bit, because I am pretty much the queen of indecision and all of the photos were so good I knew I’d want them all.
I was so impressed with the shots she’d selected. She managed to catch the many moods of my daughter and each photograph elicited a ‘awwwwwww! That’s so cuuuuute’ from me, making me sound like some sort of demented broody parrot.
Over a cuppa, she helped me to whittle down the shots until I’d found the ones I was happy with and talked me through various presentation options – everything from photo albums and collages to single prints.
My daughter came with me for the viewing session and was highly entertained to see the images of herself projected onto the wall.
Again, Jo was patient as I faffed about, took my budget seriously and there was no hard-sell in sight.
Jo couldn’t have been friendlier or more accommodating and I easily could have spent all day chatting with her about her work and her life.
I ended up ordering four prints, and walked away feeling very happy about my purchases, while my little girl was thrilled with the stuffed elephant she got for all her hard work posing.
She was also entered in the Emma’s Diary Baby of the Month competition, and could stand to win a £100 Mothercare voucher, and if she’s lucky enough to win Baby of the Year, she could get a cool £5,000 to spend on fairy lights and noisy toys.
Obviously, with a professional photographer, the shots aren’t going to be cheap – the shoot itself costs £45 and products cost from £49 up to £950 for a full package of prints. That said, the images are all very high quality, and the cost is far cheaper than many other studios out there. To help customers out, Jo offers split payments and interest free credit, and choosing a package can help to bring down the cost of buying the images even further.
I did feel that the photoshoot and the pictures represented very good value for money – they are simply once-in-a-lifetime images – and it wasn’t hard to justify my purchases. The photos of my daughter show her for the brilliant little weirdo that she is, and I can’t wait to have them hung up in my house.
The day after the viewing, I received a card in the post from Jo, with one of the pictures of my little girl on the front. In it, she thanked us for allowing her to capture the images she had and for our orders. It was such a lovely touch and helped to highlight the personal care and attention you get from an independent studio.