Baby Photography

I shot Miss Baby (still without a name decided) last week, at 7 days old, and 8 days, and 9 days – the shoot with Miss Baby ran three days. She was a huge challenge in the posing for newborns arena, when it always looks so easy when watching another newborn photographer. I love shooting natural light for newborn and baby photography as it falls so gently on their peachy skin whereas studio light looks too contrasty but at this time of year there was only a window of about two to three hours of optimum light.

I had the mother feed her and we waited half an hour for her to fall into milk bliss sleep, as is standard because at that stage it’s easy to move them into position and keep them dozing. No such luck! Miss Baby woke up and looked around, or even straight at her mother with a smile which is pretty unheard of at a week old.  You just never can tell what babes will do when the camera starts rolling.

More feeding and Miss B was back in a deep snooze but every time I moved her into a perfect pose, she wriggled right back out of it. She’s definitely going to be a dancer, or a kick boxer, that Miss baby – I have never known a newborn dance and wriggle so much while asleep. Poor mum was exhausted feeding her back to bliss all afternoon and then the grey Northern light fell flat on its face and we had to call it a day.

Next day, we got her sleepy, undressed her, everyone pouring sweat from the heating on high to keep Miss baby warm and laid her down onto the vintage pink feathers from mum’s bedroom – you can guess what happened. All over the feathers and the baby sheepskin rug beneath. Endlessly challenging but sje looks so adorable and dewy. I love the photo where she’s hanging on to her little knitted silk bonnet with her teeny fists.

With perseverance, we got some cute photos of Miss Baby and I hope she’ll be proud of her first modeling assignment when the photos are shown in years to come.

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Wedding Live Band

All anyone is talking about is the unbelievable (Aka Unusual) weather the UK is experiencing this month – the total joy of those brides getting married under glorious blue skies. Everyone wants to be outside.

A jazz band once typically lived in a smoke-filled basement but Gene Serene played out this weekend to a garden filled with Pimms swilling guests despite the heat of her twinkling vintage dress.

Immense challenges for the poor photographer – I wish the next group of wedding photography workshop attendees had been alongside me for the experience of lighting and composition seeming impossibilities to overcome. Harsh sun shadows diffused by the marquee – not a natural position for a reflector, casting downward shadow across the face. The marquee legs splitting the frame, the detritus in the background, the black music stand sending the light meter haywire, the wires, the crowd, the angles – it was a jigsaw puzzle of image construction.

Things to think about for brides planning their wedding are the photographer’s challenges and whether their wedding photographer is up to it and how the band copes with sweltering heat. Genie Serenie played on, so much does she love her music and still the audience would have liked more. It was a typical wedding moment where time stretches out and no one wants it to end.

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How to Choose a Good Wedding Photographer

Seriously I could almost write a book on the subject of how to choose your wedding photographer especially there are now so many friends and relatives of the couple likely to possess good cameras, the “Weekend Warriors” as they are known by professional photographers. This is somewhat akin to purchasing a kitchen like Heston Blumenthal and thinking you know how to cook but it’s distressing when brides come to me asking for their wedding photos that have been shot by a friend non-professional wedding photographer to be corrected in Photoshop or to have a Glam the Dress shoot so at least they get some professional photos of them looking beautiful in their wedding dress.

Photoshop is for professional adjustment and enhancement, it will not be able to correct out of focus and poorly composed shots.

So after checking the photographer’s work for technical ability – it’s time to ask them how comfortable they are with managing people. Shy and retiring types will find it tough to get the shots required. With all the hands and body parts moving in front of the lens – with all the other friends standing behind the wedding photographer shouting at the bride to “Look over here” and ruining the shot, a wedding photographer has to be calmly in control to be sure to get the photographs requested by the bride.  Is your photographer quick on their feet, moving into position quickly to take a shot AND can they manage the crowds standing on her heels?

How choose wedding photographer skylar johnson

Now I personally prefer not to shoot group shots of the old-school kind where everyone and their auntie lined up on the church steps – I think better wedding photos as memories are to document the couple in candid shots with their friends and loved ones. However, sometimes the Bride and Groom really want a large group portrait so at least they know who was there on the day (and sometimes to look back on the huge group they had at their wedding). If you want group shots, does your photographer know how to get a group into position quickly, how to manage that many people in overhead or failing light? Or will you all be standing around for 20 minutes in hot sun (or rain) while she moves people around and waits for errant uncle Randolph to tear himself away from the punch bowl and join the group.

choosing wedding photographer skylar johnson

If you’re a bride thinking about how to choose a wedding photographer based on more than what they charge, ask yourself what kind of group shots you want and then whether your wedding photographer likes and is competent at the style. How the wedding photographer will manage all those socializing butterflies? If you’re a new wedding photographer wondering How to be a Wedding Photographer and whether you have what it takes to manage a large and jovial group on the most important, unrepeatable day of someone’s life – ask not only about your technical ability but also whether you can manage the timing of the day and the crowd. Maybe try out one of our Photo Shootout days to build your portfolio and have fun testing your ability.


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Huge Discount on Wedding Photgraphy Bookings – This week only!

As a special event I am offering a massive and unprecedented (for me) 35% discount on all wedding photography bookings made this week only May 7 – 14th. This takes the investment in your wedding photography back to my 2006 price point but now includes all the goodies that new technology has given us in the interim.

These goodies include :-

The fusion slideshow video. Internet shareable gallery. Personalized Iphone APP. All of my expertise with the Photoshop skinny tool (should you desire)

offer discount wedding photos bath and bristol

PLUS – I am even including the complimentary Bridal Boudoir Beauty photo experience as part of this offer. Imagine sending a petite leather bound book over to your beloved as he’s getting ready on the wedding day. Imagine his surprise as he flips open this album and sees gorgeous fine art images of his bride looking model magazine beautiful. The photographs can be as intimate or romantic as you prefer. Check out this article to read about the experience. And don’t forget to visit the before and after page for a couple of examples of how our make-up artist makes you look on the day of the shoot. Book a big night out after because you will feel amazing!

Why am I making this great offer (I know you’re wondering). Because I am new to the Bath and Bristol area and want to get out there and meet the amazing women lucky enough to live here in these lovely Georgian and country house wedding venues and because I had two huge robberies in South America and lost all – yes all – of my back up drives. Most of all, I love sharing the emotion of the wedding day and capturing real feeling in images. Hopefully you like my work and feel you’d like to trust me with the huge task of creating your wedding day images as fine art photographs. Because what do most people say is the one thing they would save from a house on fire? Their photographs – nothing is more irreplaceable.

Perhaps you have already booked your Bath and Bristol area photographer for your wedding day but would love the experience of the Bridal Boudoir Beauty shoot. I would be more than happy to book a session and work with you to create a fabulous reminder of a time in your life when you look and feel your absolute best. Do please Contact me to set up a chat or meet for tea and cake.

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Serving my Photography Clients

When I first built a photography website back in 2006, it was the last word in cool (or at least I though so) with a split landing page slideshow that linked to the blog set to emotional music. A year or so went by. I was too busy shooting and touring to pay much attention to SEO and social networking and then the worst happened. I had two burglaries one after another in my home in South America and lost not only my most precious lenses but worse, all my hard drives. The multiple backed-up drives of photos from all that work. No insurance in South America as you can pretty much expect to be robbed and the insurance companies know it. So truly this year has been a Restart for me.

Tough but humbling and humbling can be god. First I learned that my website, built on Flash, was next to useless in attracting new clients to be photographed because Google views it as an undesirable. My blog was built in Typepad, when WordPress was the lead platform so instead of using some sort of Star Trek cloaking device, I decided to toss it all in and start anew. Sometimes it can be liberating. Relearning what you think you know as though you’re a complete beginner is a recommended way of keeping the grey matter invigorated. All in their middle years might benefit from going through the steep upward learning curve of new technology. Frustrating but frustrating can be good.

Now there are all sorts of specialty templates and workflow management tools to make a photographer’s life easier and at the same time more complex. What to pick? Each comes at a price so what is most effective? And through this process, I realized what was most important – to keep updating, improving and working on giving the best possible service and product to clients. It’s the same concept I use for my travel company (also now rebranded off Flash/Typepad from and and those attending my photography workshops and portfolio building workshops at and my very important client models here at SJP.

So I am not complaining (at least I’m focused on awareness of when I start to go to the self-pity party) or using all that loss as an excuse, but offering some great deals for wedding photography in Bath, Bristol and London and all the areas in between because heck, I sure know how to travel. And I’m working on packages for photo sessions for beauty glamour photography and for maternity and newborn photography because ohmiGod, women are so beautiful at these most special of moments.

I have been so blessed to share the most beautiful moments in the lives of my clients, beauty self-discovery photo shoots, as a wedding photographer, a maternity and newborn photographer and traveling with couples on their Honeymoon – Love being a photographer for holiday vacations and for the emotions of joy and love that I see and capture in images that clients want to keep forever. I have always believed that it’s the emotion that makes the photo – What more do you want for your wedding photos?

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