Meet Caroline, Lucy and Andrea... {Portrait photography in Leighton Buzzard}

As a former teacher, September is like new year for me; time to make a fresh start, be productive and start actioning the plans that have been swirling around my head all summer. Obviously on the list is to blog more regularly (!) so here goes…

In the Spring I embarked on a personal project to photograph women in my local area who were nominated by other women who thought they were pretty amazing humans. And I was fascinated by the stories that were told and how much is going on in our local community.

Meet Caroline…

leighton buzzard portrait
portrait photography leighton buzzard

Room 9 is a total delight on Leighton Buzzard High Street. It was established by Caroline who saw the opportunity for a small business and created a welcoming shop and cafe which has become a key feature on the high street. Everything is carefully selected and curated by Caroline who has a keen eye for design and seems to know just what her customers are after. But it is not ‘just’ a shop, it has become a thriving part of the community. Caroline and her team offer a friendly face and a chat to the customers. The cafe is a regular meeting spot and always serves up a treat from the fresh menu.

When I spoke to Caroline she recognised that the shop means a lot to people but also that it just part of her full and busy life. Friends and family are so important to Caroline and she has dedicated much time to raising money for charity though big events, as well as supporting others to do the same. No wonder her colleagues nominated her for this project.


Meet Lucy and Andrea…

small business photography leighton buzzard
small business photography

This mother/daughter team are the brilliant duo who run Creighton’s Chocolaterie. It is a unique chocolate company selling the tastiest chocolate bars in creative packaging. The flavour combinations are immense and they are always developing new products. Their bars are sold across the UK and Europe and offer a refreshing alternative to your average chocolate bar. Not only do Lucy and Andrea make a fab team, they support local businesses and run their chocolate factory employing a team of women in the local area. Their ethical approach to running their business includes the connections they have made with charity. On International Women’s Day 2019 the You Can bar was launched in partnership with the Young Women’s Trust to support their work. They were nominated by fellow local entrepreneur Adeline Vining. I’m not sure how they get much work done as they spent much of their time laughing when we were together!

I have been photographing more and more for local businesses recently and I am always inspired by the passion that people have for what they do.

Meet Leanne, Helen and Vivianne... {Portrait photographer in Tring}

If you are lucky enough to live in a place where you feel a real sense of community you will have an idea of what it might be like to live in Tring. It can be hard to define ’sense of community’ as it’s more than about the services and people in your area. It’s about the feeling that you get from being part of a community. These ladies were all introduced to me through the wonderful local network that is Tring Buzz. In a Facebook group I shared the idea of the project and these ladies were nominated straight away. ..

Meet Leanne…


Leanne welcomed me in to her home where she teaches her hypo-birthing courses for parents-to-be. For her, it is not about telling mothers how to give birth but enabling them to have options, to make their own decisions and to feel confident in the decisions that they make along their birth journey. I wish I had know Leanne when I had my children! She is so well thought of in the local community and has established an excellent reputation. She also works with other practitioners offering workshops around birth. For Leanne one of the best moments is meeting the mothers and babies and hearing about their experiences. Nominated by Katy from Tring Buzz who described her as awesome because she has helped so many parents in the local community.

Meet Vivianne…

portrait tring

To many Vivianne epitomises the community of Tring. She is responsible for coordinating the Spring fayre, Summer carnival and Christmas festival in the town and brings together people from all areas of the community. Vivianne has lived in Tring for many years and has also developed Tring Together; a networking group encouraging businesses in the area to work together.

Vivianne was nominated by Georgie who says:

Vivianne runs Tring Together, a local networking group, and numerous things within the church. She is from Tring and is all about promoting Tring and building a community here. She is also tirelessly enthusiastic, kind and thoughtful and has become a great friend over the years.

We met at the war memorial by the church on which Vivianne’s grandfather is named. Her passion for the local made me realise how lucky we are to have people like Vivianne in our local community.

Meet Helen…

portrait tring

Helen was nominated by Kim who says

I met Helen when she joined our sole practitioner network Tring Wellbeing Community. She has been a loyal supporter, always giving of herself, is passionate about her homeopathy and in treating and helping those in need. She is warm loving and kind and has great integrity but modest and always positive. A true unsung hero!

When I met Helen at Ashridge on an unseasonably warm February day she had come straight from nordic walking with friends. She loves the outdoors and had no doubt about where she would like to be photographed as she spends time most days at Ashridge. As soon as I met Helen I felt her warmth and she soon explained the impact that her reiki practice had on others. She was so passionate about it and the power of natural healing. Towards the end of our time together Helen dropped in to the conversation that she loves to fire walk! Seriously! It is good for her soul. There’s no denying that Helen’s generosity of spirit is one of the many reasons why she has such an impact on the lives of others. And just like that she was off to tai chi.

Meet Jean... {Portrait photographer in Buckinghamshire}

From the minute I met Jean I was so pleased that I had been brave enough to start my photography project. This project was to encourage me to get out there and speak to women in my community that I didn’t know and for them to trust me with the privilege of taking their photograph. Jean welcomed me in to her home. I can honestly say it was the most pristine home I have ever been in, she is the first to admit that she is house proud and takes time to keep her house looking spotlessly tidy. She says that is just the way she is.

As we sat and had a cup of tea Jean told me all about her childhood and own children. Her daughter Rachel who nominated her for this project shared the reasons why Jean was a perfect candidate…

“Mum is a strong woman with a big heart. She has the most prodigious inner strength which she has demonstrated unfailingly throughout all the difficulties she has faced in her life. She has some amazing qualities always positive, passionate steadfast, trustworthy and indefatigable. She has struggled on tirelessly with a lung condition, been through kidney failure and dialysis, cardiac arrest and 2 weeks on a life support machine to name but a few and we still haven’t got rid of her! She copes with everything with a smile on her face and ask her how she is the answer is always ‘marvellous’. What you see is what you get with my Mum, she doesn’t pretend to be anything she is not. She is kind and generous and would give anyone the coat of her back. You can usually hear her loud dulcet tones before you see her, always laughing and talking. She has a unique quality to talk to anyone and usually finds out a strangers whole life story in less than five minutes. She has a fantastic sense of humour which is slightly wicked. Once described by a friend as ‘the salt of the earth’ I think that is a fitting description. It’s been said they threw away the mould when they made my Mum... I say thank goodness there is only room for one Jean!”

Jean has always been a regular church goer and believer in God. However she spoke with such passion about her experience with illness and how it was as though she had experienced an awakening or an enlightenment in her faith “It wasn’t like a bolt of lightening though!” but it has had an impact on her life.

She certainly lives her life to the fullest spending time with her family and living between her home in Buckinghamshire and in Hamburg with her husband.

I for one appreciate how lucky I was to meet her and her five grandchildren are lucky to have her in their lives.

portrait jean

Photographs at home... {Family photographer in Leighton Buzzard}

All too often we are quick to discard the idea of having family photographs taken at home, thinking instead that they need to be done outside in beautiful gardens or woodland. That is not the case at all (although these can of course be very beautiful pictures too!). When you think about having family photos done really think about why you are having them done. If it is to capture the memories of how life is now then your home is often the perfect backdrop for your photographs. Please believe me when I say that you really don’t need to worry about having an ‘instaworthy’ house, not many people do. But it is yours and that’s where you are spending these days together as a family so it makes sense to have your family photos done there too. The other good thing is that everyone feels comfortable, there’s no pressure to be a certain way. If one of your kids isn’t feeling in the mood for photos at the start they can go off and play and we can work around it. You also have snacks readily available and outfit changes too if needed. As a photographer it is a total honour to spend time with families in their homes to tell their story of that moment in their lives. To see what I mean take a look at this lovely family spending Saturday at home. (Note outfit changes, snacks and play!)

If you’re still not sure if an in-home family session will work for you and you’d like to know more then do get in touch.

Meeting @mamalinauk {Buckinghamshire Photographer}

Photographing the blogger, Mamalina UK, and her family was a real joy on a Sunday late last year.

Emma is as warm in person as she comes across on her thriving Instagram account @mamalinauk. Her beautiful blog centres on ‘living and parenting slowly and sustainably’ and she embraces that ethos in all that she does. We started our afternoon at her local farmers market and then headed home for some family time followed by a few profile shots. The purpose of the shoot was to create content for Emma’s brilliant Season’s Greetings campaign and for her to use in to the new year- we even photographed her hairy legs!

It was great to work with Emma to create a range of content in one photo session. I also love seeing my images when she uses them online!

To see more or @mamalinauk on Instagram

To talk about ideas for creating content for your business then please get in touch