Newborn photographer Sussex - Preparing for your new arrival, a lovely way to get ready for your baby’s birth, whether it’s your first, second, or third baby

For the Christmas before my son was born (he was due on 5th January), my husband gave me a beautiful, hardback diary which included half-page entries for each date throughout the year. I began writing in it right away, little knowing that I would go into labour early on 1st January and so there’d only be one entry before my son arrived.

When I rediscovered it a few weeks back, I loved rereading it again as it was a chance to revisit this ‘before’ and ‘after’ moment in my life, and it instantly took me back. It also contained entries where I mention meeting up with fellow parents for the first time, who are now close family friends.

Toddler and mum-to-be preparing for baby

When I was expecting my second baby, I kept a diary throughout my pregnancy, to enjoy that moment in time and really celebrate it, all over again. I remember my health visitor coming round and telling me how she really missed the time being with her one child, before her second came along, wonderful as it was.

So much advice in preparation for a new baby involves buying new things, and – of course – this is a really fun part of the process. But I also think writing in preparation for your baby, not for anyone else to read, just purely for yourself, is a really lovely way to get ready for this new and beautiful stage in your life.

How have you / are you getting ready for a new baby? Tell me in the comments below.

Milestone for family photography

I’ve heard from lots of excited families who are expecting new additions to their families in 2019, and who are looking to document of this special time.

Maternity photography is a time to capture the atmosphere

If you’re looking forward to a new baby in your family this year, and would love to capture this time during your pregnancy or with your older child or children, get in touch to find out how I work with families to authentically capture those special moments.

Party ideas for winter babies part two - Guest post from The Party Auntie

At the start of the winter 2018, The Party Auntie, Carla, shared her winter party ideas for kids with birthdays between October - December. Here’s part two, for those with birthdays from January - March.

So you've just got through all the festivities and now it's time to organise another party! You may have some great ideas but are likely to be short on budget. That's why I am going to share with you my budget-friendly, winter party ideas for post-Christmas birthday parties.

January

Fancy Dress and Photobooth Party

Keep it simple with a fancy dress and photobooth party. You can host this at home or hire a local venue. Set up a backdrop using crepe paper strands, a curtain or hire a painted backdrop. Printable props are a good low-cost way to add to the dressing up box. Bring your best camera and get the kids to come dressed as their favourite character. Strike a pose and capture their silly faces!

Don’t forget the delicious cake!

Don’t forget the delicious cake!

Followed with traditional games and a competition for the best dressed, and you've got yourself an easy, low-cost party. P.S You can also hire photobooths if you've got a teen girl who'll love trying different makeup and hairstyles with their friends!

Gamers’ Party

When it's a bit drizzly outside and you don't want to go anywhere, a gamers party could be your solution. The best thing is, all the tech is already there - you only need to sort out the food and set-up.

If you have a projector, point it against a bare wall in your house. Test the speakers and arrange the living room into a comfy “gamers only” pad. Dim the lights, pull the curtains and set out comfy bean bags or cushions. Offer prizes for the winners and losers (depending on your style).

And, don't forget to pick your moment wisely when you go in with the birthday cake!

February

Dance Party 

This party is bound to be loads of fun for those littles who love to boogie. Have you ever considered hiring your local studio and hosting a dance party? Usually, the studio will host the dance entertainment for you, so you can sit back, relax, or throw your own shapes. No doubt after all the shuffling around, they'll come home and fall straight asleep.

Swimming Party

Will you time right to see some lambs?

Will you time right to see some lambs?

Who doesn't love the freedom of swimming? Launching yourself off the edge of the pool and into the water can be hours of fun when your a child.  Swimming parties can be a bit worrisome if your party is particularly young, that's why we suggest inviting mums and dads to come as well. Borrow the pool noodles and floats from staff to host some fun swimming races! Follow the activity up with a strawberry milkshake in your local cafe and you've got yourself, a low key, fun party.

March

Farm Party

It's coming into Spring and 1st March sees us celebrating National Pig Day! Do your kids love animals? Could they do with a bit more fresh air? Mark the start of Spring and take a small party along to your local farm. Say hello to the pigs, sheep, and cows, of course, don't forget to squelch in the mud. Wellies advised!


Garden Party

Image courtesy of the Party Auntie

Image courtesy of the Party Auntie

This Spring-inspired party will also give you a head start in your garden - or a jolly good mess to clear up! Nonetheless, a garden party is great for curious kids and it's a bit different from the usual party. Activities could include, decorating a plant pot, plant a seed and take it home, make mud pies or enjoy a garden treasure hunt. Choose large seeds that are easy to handle, such as pumpkins, beans or zinnias for young children. Finish with pink lemonade and sunflower cupcakes. Yum.

MORE ABOUT THE PARTY AUNTIE

Party Auntie offers Bespoke Birthday Parties for Sussex Children. With access to unique locations including yurts, teepees and more, our aim is to absorb our partygoers in the joys of nature. We also offer winter parties with a focus on creativity and craft. If you'd like to find out more please come and visit www.partyauntie.com or follow us on Instagram @thepartyauntie.

Family Photographer East Sussex - My New Year Giveaway for 2019!

Whether you’re ready and raring to welcome in 2019, or still wonderful how on earth you’ve managed to get through all those Christmas chocolates (that’s me…), wishing you Happy New Year and I hope you’ve had a brilliant Christmas!

No more of that blooming Christmas chocolate please

No more of that blooming Christmas chocolate please


To celebrate the start of the New Year I’m running a family photography giveaway, giving the winners a chance to experience a mini version of my family photo sessions in Sussex and Kent.

Your Prize

The winner will receive:

  • A 30-45 minute family photo session at home or at a location of their choice (within 20 miles of Heathfield, East Sussex)

  • Three digital images which they can choose from their online gallery of up to 50 edited images from the shoot (there will be the option - but no obligation at all - to purchase more images)

If this sounds like the sort of prize you’d like to share with your family as a new year treat…

How do you enter?

Enter by midnight on Tuesday 8th January by:

1) Heading on over to my Facebook and/or Instagram pages and find the post from today (1st January)

2) Following the instructions on the post to ‘Like’ or ‘Follow’ my account, tag two people and answer the question: ‘Why would you like to win this prize?’

The winner will be announced on Friday 11th January on my Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Good luck and please email sophiatravisphotography@gmail.com if you have any questions :-)

Giveaway Terms and Conditions

  • The mini photoshoot must be booked in advance by arrangement with Sophia Travis Photography on a Monday, Tuesday or Saturday during term time

  • The winner must redeem their prize by making a booking before 30th April 2019

  • There is no cash value in exchange for the prize

  • The winner will be subject to the usual terms and conditions used during a family photo session by Sophia Travis Photography. This includes the request to use the images in future marketing. However, arrangements can be made if you would prefer for images not to be shared. Please get in touch if you’d like a copy of these in advance.

  • The photo session is for up to six people, two adults (parents) and up to four children. For additional people a nominal charge of £25 will be requested to cover additional shooting and editing time.

  • The photo session must be held at the winner’s home or a location within 20 miles of Heathfield, East Sussex. For locations further afield, a nominal charge for travel expenses may be required.

  • When locations require permission for photography to take place or a entrance fee, this will need to be arranged by the winning entrant.

  • Any data or personal information provided during the competition will always be stored securely and will never be shared with anyone else without the permission of its owner.

Sussex Family Photography - Claire, Esme and Ethel have a seasonal adventure in the woods

I’ve worked with this fabulous family many times, right from when little Ethel was very tiny, and it’s always an absolute joy to capture them on their little adventures. This time we chose photographs in the woods in East Sussex to get some Christmassy shots too.

Toddler and sibling photographs

It’s not only about Christmas, though. As a huge milestone, Ethel is now up on her feet and trotting about, joining her big sister in her explorations. It’s so much fun to capture these one year olds when they’re still in the wibbly wobbly stage on their little legs, and often reach for a nearby hand to keep them steady!

Thank you so much for having me on your Christmassy adventure!



Newborn photography East Sussex – Kirstie, Tony and baby Elliott

This pair of first-time parents were just bursting with pride at the newest addition to their little family, baby Elliott, who was so keen to meet his mum and dad that he turned up almost three weeks early.

And what an utter bundle of gorgeousness he was! At just eight days old, it was the perfect time to capture those little creases, folds and details which only last for the first few weeks.

My aim on a newborn photoshoot is to capture that magical atmosphere when a new baby has just recently arrived home – there’s nothing like it. Rather than having photographs in a studio with standard props, I always make sure the photographs include interactions between baby and their parents and other family. Their photographs can capture those once-in-a-lifetime moments when this precious new person has just entered the world.

It also means that we can incorporate personal items, like this stunning quilt which was sewn by Kirstie’s grandmother for her own birth. It’s such a beautiful thought that her would-be great grandson is now snuggling there. 

Thank you Kirstie and Tony for inviting me to capture your beautiful new arrival.

Party ideas for winter babies - Guest post from The Party Auntie

If you have a child who’s birthday falls in the winter, this month, the Party Auntie Carla Monson has some amazing birthday party inspiration.

Is your child a winter baby? If so, I can totally understand when party ideas may seem few and far between. It seems those summer babes get it so lucky! But, this simply isn't true and I'd like to share with you my top ideas for celebrating your child's winter birthday.

October

Scavenger Hunt

It's beautiful when the leaves start to change and English summertime draws to a close. With the weather staying warmer later into the year, an outdoor party could be a great idea. Make raincoats, lots of layers and welly boots essential on the invitation. A scavenger hunt at your nearest park, woods or field is bound to keep them moving. We recently hosted a bug hunt in October and it went splendidly!

Winter party ideas-6.jpg

Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Did you know that 6th October is Mad Hatter's day? If your son or daughter's big day doesn't fall on the 6th, it doesn't matter. You can still celebrate Lewis Carroll's famous tea party at home. Don't forget the topsy-turvy cake, jam tarts fit for the queen and biscuits iced with "eat me".

Spooktacular Party

We all know what October is famous for - Halloween. If your kids go crazy for this big event, jump on the bandwagon and throw a scary fiesta!  

Alice in Wonderland themed party

November

Indoor Cowboys and Indians

Did you know it's Native American Heritage Month? (don't worry if you didn't, it's not very well advertised!) Could this be the perfect time to throw an indoor Cowboys and Indians party? Borrow or buy a beautiful indoor teepee and set about some educational Wild West inspired games.

Indoor Teddy Bear’s Picnic

On 16th November, it's "Have a party with your bear" day. Arrange chequered blankets on the living room floor, make winter lemonade for the kids (winter Pimms for you!) and warm scones in the oven. Ask your guests to bring their favourite teddy and tell the story of where he/she came from and what his/her name is.

Cupcake Party

Finally, on 26th November, the world celebrates "National Cake Day". I like the sound of this one, don't you? Here are some ideas to get your taste buds tingling. Contact your local cake workshop for a cupcake party. Throw a "Great British Bake Off" party complete with chef hats and personalised wooden spoons. Of course, if your party is late into the day, fireworks are a must.

Thank you Bonney’s Cakery for use of your cake for this image :-)

Thank you Bonney’s Cakery for use of your cake for this image :-)

December

Slumber Party

Parents will love you if you throw a slumber party. By taking a bit of responsibility off their hands during one of the busiest times of the year, you'll likely get maximum attendance. Happy days for your son or daughter! Set up cute teepee tents for each guest and, if you’re feeling brave, let them organise their own snacks for a midnight feast. Don't forget to get your invites out at least two months in advance.

Christmas Craft Party

During this time of year, there will be 100s of crafty events on offer. These make for an ideal festive and fun party. If you don't want to host this at home, take the kids to make Christmas gifts at a local craft studio.

Christmas craft parties are great for winter babies

Themed Party

We love these winter soiree's: Frozen, Winter Wonderland, Snow White and Penguins. For older parties, show the movie in the living room with popcorn and nachos. For guests who won't sit still, book a character appearance who will also host games and sing.

Have you tried any of these for a winter party? Let us know in the comments below!

Look out for Part 2 coming next month, for those who’s next birthday is in 2019!

Exploring a winter wonderland

More about the Party Auntie

Party Auntie offers Bespoke Birthday Parties for Sussex Children. With access to unique locations including yurts, teepees and more, our aim is to absorb our partygoers in the joys of nature. We also offer winter parties with a focus on creativity and craft. If you'd like to find out more please come and visit www.partyauntie.com or follow us on Instagram @thepartyauntie.

Celebrating the seasons with under 5s – top reasons this Sussex family photographer wants you to get your family outside, whatever the weather

In a survey I ran recently, every parent I asked the question ‘Describe your ideal family day’ answered with an outdoor activity. But, as a parent to under 5s, it can feel like the only destination to keep active kids occupied on cooler (and wetter) autumn days will be the nearest soft play…along with every other family within a 20 mile radius.

It’s not as easy getting out in the autumn and winter as the quick slather of sun cream required in mid-summer, but I want to convince you that, even when the weather’s rubbish, some time outside in nature will really benefit you all (despite the mud). Read on to find out why…

1.      Nature is analogue (and great for natural family photos)

If you find yourself in a loop of checking your phone and trying to find a second to reply to an email, or find the little ones are tempted by screens even when you’ve set limits, getting outside in the fresh air and using your senses could help break this cycle.  

If you can dream - autumn family photo

With their internal magnets for all things messy, wet weather is no deterrent for young children who’ll love having a squidge about in the mud or splash in the puddles.

TOP TIP: make sure you and your children have suitable wet weather clothing so you can relax knowing everyone’s warm and comfy outside.

2.      There are emotional and psychological benefits

As our lives become more digitised, nature offers us essential regenerative time which cannot be gained elsewhere.

In a recent interview, ‘Sir David [Attenborough] said being in nature "offers us all precious breathing space away from the stresses and strains of modern life".’

What’s more, in her interview in the (all round incredible) podcast Hurry Slowly, Florence Williams describes the incredible benefits of being in nature, which can include breaking negative patterns of thought or even boosting creativity.

TOP TIP: Make mornings your friend! As the daylight shortens, make the most of the morning light as the afternoons get shorter.

A hiding place for natural treasures

3.      Even bite-sized bits make a difference

In his article on the importance of nature to human development and health, Professor Tim Beatley introduces the concept of the ‘Nature Pyramid’, the idea that we need varying levels of contact with nature.

Enjoying the mud

For example, he proposes that on a day to day basis we should ensure we have some contact with nature through a visit to a park or our garden. This builds through to having longer stretches of time immersed in nature, for example, through a weekend or longer holiday spent in the countryside.

Isn’t this reassuring to know? This means that even the smallest jaunts in nature, to go outside to hunt for autumn leaves, a half an hour braving the park on a rainy day or a bracing run on the beach is all helping with our wellbeing long term.

Adventure in the woods

TOP TIP: Even if the rest of the day has been spent on the sofa, getting out in the garden during a break in the rain to jump in puddles is a great way to get that nature ‘fix’.

4.      When you come inside, it’s all warm and cosy again…

Yes, it’s great being outside exploring nature, but, when it’s cold and wet, there IS nothing better than coming home to a warm house, and warming up over a cup of hot chocolate.

TOP TIP: Get your car and house mud-proof by having bags or sheeting set out before you leave ready for muddy boots and coats.

What are your family’s top tips for enjoying the outside as the weather draws in? Tell me in the comments below.

More about me – natural family photographer

I’m Sophia and I believe passionately in capturing families as they are, in all their messy brilliant glory. I capture the story as you and your kids enjoy seasonal adventures for two hour family photo sessions in Sussex, Kent and London. If you’d like to capture your day out with a photoshoot, or have any questions, contact me to find out more.