Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bird & Bear, a family photography giveaway

(UPDATED: I've turned on anonymous comments to make it easier for those without a blogger profile to enter, but I've also had to turn on word verification temporarily as the spam situation is ridiculous. I'll turn it off again as soon as the give away is over!) 

As a thank you for a wonderful summer of getting Bird and Bear {London Family Photography} off the ground and as a thank you for your help doing it, I'm offering a family photo session completely free! 

Read to the bottom of the post to find out more and please feel free to enter either for yourself or to win the session as a gift for a friend. 

C x

So it is that we have reached August and the end of the introductory pricing I was offering at Bird & Bear. I have photographed more families than I thought was possible at the beginning of the summer and I have loved every minute of it (except those 64 minutes sitting at a bus stop in Kent, those sucked). I have met some wonderful people, some adorable kids and a couple of slightly mental Chihuahuas. I have photographed people in their homes, on holiday in London and at various beautiful parks scattered around the city. I have photographed old friends, new friends and a handful of our past wedding couples.

I have, as I said I would do when it got to August, put my prices up slightly and started offering a range of albums, prints and photography bundles. I'm a little anxious, as I think all creative types are when they increase their pricing, but I'm really hoping that over the next couple of years I can start to do this almost full-time and so I think it's time to start treating it as a real business. Wish me luck! 

In celebration of the start (officially) of a new venture and as a thank you for your support as I've been figuring it out, I've decided to do a giveaway!

I'm offering one family a free photo session in London. It can be in your home or we can arrange to meet in a park somewhere and we will do a two hour shoot. Afterwards you will get between 50 and 100 images as high resolution files. 

To enter please leave a comment here or 'like' the Bird and Bear facebook page. The giveaway will be open for the next two weeks and I will draw a winner at random when I get back from holiday on September 5th. 

Monday, August 12, 2013

July, ramblings.

Here are some photos of our garden in July. July, which has been and gone. Everything has changed faster than I can keep track of. We have lived here for over nine months now. I keep telling people we have just moved to London, but we haven't, it's been almost a year.

My kids are nearly three. That's three years. Three years old. It's really time to start actually parenting them, not just making sure that they don't kill themselves or each other. We should probably teach them to use the toilet and sleep in proper beds, but lord I'm tired. Yesterday Nye went mountain biking all day (he's better by the way) and left me at home with the girls. It was the first time in as long as I can remember that I enjoyed being alone with them all day. Individually they're great, but together they fight and whine and moan and cry and steal each others' shit and it drives me completely nuts. I shout at them 'WHY CAN'T YOU JUST BE NICE TO EACH OTHER FOR FIVE MINUTES?' and they look at me like I'm stupid. They have a point.

Somehow it's over half way through the year but we've only photographed seven of this year's twenty weddings. To my surprise, most of those weddings are in and around London. It's pretty cool.

On Wednesday Nye and I are going to France, by ourselves. We'll be away for five days. I'm photographing a party one of those days, and we'll spend two of them travelling, but the other two are all ours, all alone in France. It will be our fifth wedding anniversary while we're there. Some of you started reading this blog more than five years ago. Hi. And thank you. It blows my mind that you keep coming back, despite the fact that for the last three years I've mostly been writing 'I don't know what to write.'

A few months ago I started writing properly. I got up every morning before anyone else was awake and I sat at the computer and wrote Shit I Can Remember for an hour. Then W&P would wake up and I would spend another hour drowning out their hysterical yelling with white noise through my headphones. I did this every day for a month. I wrote 28,000 words. Then I stopped. For a long time my heart was too sore. Today I woke up at 6.30am and started again. Who knows if it will stick this time.

Over the last three months I've photographed nine families in and around London. To my surprise, I love it. I think maybe this is what I want to do when I grow up. I've also started building another website, with my personal work. I really want to get more into lifestyle photography, photographing people and places and spaces and things. I kind of want to show you it but I've kind of called the business my real name, and I'm not sure I'm ready to share that. For now it's okay because I have no idea how to get any work photographing people and places and spaces and things. Does anyone from Country Living read my blog? Would you like to hire me please?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

the terrible chemistry of their kitchens.

Thoughts After Ruskin, by Elma Mitchell 
Women reminded him of lilies and roses.
Me they remind rather of blood and soap,
Armed with a warm rag, assaulting noses,
Ears, neck, mouth and all the secret places:
Armed with a sharp knife, cutting up liver,
Holding hearts to bleed under a running tap,
Gutting and stuffing, pickling and preserving,
Scalding, blanching, broiling, pulverising,
- All the terrible chemistry of their kitchens. 
Their distant husbands lean across mahogany
And delicately manipulate the market,
While safe at home, the tender and gentle
Are killing tiny mice, dead snap by the neck,
Asphyxiating flies, evicting spiders,
Scrubbing, scouring aloud, disturbing cupboards,
Committing things to dustbins, twisting, wringing,
Wrists red and knuckles white and fingers puckered,
Pulpy, tepid. Steering screaming cleaners
Around the snags of furniture, they straighten
And haul out sheets from under the incontinent
And heavy old, stoop to importunate young,
Tugging, folding, tucking, zipping, buttoning,
Spooning in food, encouraging excretion,
Mopping up vomit, stabbing cloth with needles,
Contorting wool around their knitting needles,
Creating snug and comfy on their needles. 
Their huge hands! their everywhere eyes! their voices
Raised to convey across the hullabaloo,
Their massive thighs and breasts dispensing comfort,
Their bloody passages and hairy crannies,
Their wombs that pocket a man upside down! 
And when all's over, off with overalls,
Quickly consulting clocks, they go upstairs,
Sit and sigh a little, brushing hair,
And somehow find, in mirrors, colours, odours,
Their essences of lilies and of roses.

image by Sally Mann.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


Sometimes only a polar bear will cheer you up. 

The thing is, I was all cheered up, life was looking good for a while there. My kids had stopped driving me mental and started being awesome, the weather had stopped squeezing my body from all sides, the plague on my digestive system had passed and N's collarbone was given the all clear from the hospital. He was back on his bike and I joined the gym and we were both getting fit (which ohmygod, about time). I cut my hair and bought new shoes, my best lady came to visit and then my mum too and we had a lovely lovely time. We started planning a trip by ourselves (NO CHILDREN) and then a trip with them too. Then life went a bit ugh. And it got kind of hard to enjoy any of that stuff again. But I guess that's how it goes. Life man. What's the deal? Why you got to be such a pain in the arse? Can't you just, like, be easy? Srsly. 

(I keep intending to write one of those happy, grateful (American) posts, about how great life is and how many good things are happening. Because it is, and they are, but I sit down to write and all that comes out is despair and faeces. Sorry about that.)