First Trip to Istanbul (Part2) | Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer

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First Trip to Istanbul (Part2) | Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer

This is the Part 2 of 3 blog posts dedicated to our family trip to Istanbul this summer. You can read all about Part1 of our family trip here. Believe me, this was after I was extremely strict with myself in terms of what I am sharing here - else it would have been a 10 part series! Lol:)

After Galata tower, we stopped for lunch at this cafe just by the tower. It was the most yummy food that we had during our stay. If getting here wasn’t difficult - I’m sure we would have ended up here everyday! :)

After the scrumptious lunch, we went looking for this street which was full of umbrellas. It was a tiny little street tucked away in a sweet neighborhood called Karakoy. I loved the little signs, little cafes in this place that gave it a character of its own.

You must be wondering why have I included pictures of so many cats in each series. Because that place was FULL of cats. I don’t think I have seen so many cats roam the streets in my entire life! On more than one occasion, I was taking a picture of the kids and after the shot, when I start to walk - I almost walk over a stretching cat!! It seriously is a must do city for cat lovers! :)

From Karakoy we went to these rainbow steps. Though a little ill-maintained the steps had lovely colors and yours truly had to get snap happy here! Thankfully the crew agreed too :)

After a short rest, one of the most anticipated part of our trip started - the Bosphorus cruise. It was a lovely evening with the sun shining brightly behind us. We chose to sit at the top viewing area (of course!) - it got slightly chilly as the evening progressed - but the views were more than worth it! :)

The next morning I was feeling adventurous so I left on my own, with the kids in their PJs - and took them to one of their favorite places - the fountain between Hagia Sofia and the Blue mosque. Boy! Did these two have fun there!

Thanks for following our journey so far! I will be back with the final part soon! :)

xx

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First Trip to Istanbul | Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer

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First Trip to Istanbul | Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer

This summer our family took a trip to Istanbul. We had been waiting for the last few years to plan a trip here. So you can imagine what the excitement levels were when we finally got to go! :)

Its a beautiful country and there are a number of images that I want to share. Therefore, I have made it into a 3 part series. This is Part 1.

I fell in love with the location of our hotel. We stayed in a very central location which allowed our family to do all the things on our list - two kids in tow! Honestly, I feel that is an achievement in itself! lol :)

We started the trip with the gorgeous Hagia Sophia. There are quite a few pictures of these lamps inside - that were breathtakingly gorgeous! I just couldn’t get enough of them!

The kids were getting a little bored but this little guy kept our older one entertained for a long time!. Can’t thank the crew at Turkish Airlines enough for this! It came as part of the kiddie bag and was just so valuable throughout the trip!

For our younger guy, we were taking turns entertaining and that was just fine for each of us :)

From Hagia Sofia, we took off for the Vast Topkapi Palace. Huge, vast, magnificent are some of the adjectives that come to mind. It was a goegeous day. We couldn’t have chosen a better time to go to this gorgeous location.

On Day 2 we started with the famed Grand Bazaar. Its safe to say that it did not disappoint! It was FULL of amazing finds to touch, feel and taste! Every new corner brought with it a new delight. We had no plans to buy anything….when we entered. The story was quite different when we left! haha :)

Next stop was Basilica Cistern. It was amazing to see such a reservoir from centuries ago. That was one baffling thing about Istanbul. The history of the place just blew us away. Everything we experienced made us conscious that these structures have been in the same place for hundreds of years. That just felt very special.

From the cistern we were off to the Hippodrome. The large open space in the middle of the bustling city was a pleasant surprise!

The final set of pictures in Part 1 are from Galata Tower. One of the landmarks of the city. Getting there was an uphill task…literally! :) It was a long wait but once we were in…it felt like we had been transported into a different world. The views of the city were just breath taking!

That’s all for Part 1. Thanks for being here if you are still with me :)

I will be back with Part 2 of this 3 part series in a few days. xx

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Khan Family | Birmingham UK Family Photography

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Khan Family | Birmingham UK Family Photography

I have known this family for years. That’s why I was so excited when Mum reached out to capture them as a family!

These parents are honestly the epitome of patience when it comes to their kids. They took out time to genuinely listen to the kids each time they were interrupted. We wanted to do few things …but the kids absolutely fell in love with the location and had completely different plans! lol :) This was fine by us.

Both Mum and Dad went with the flow and we let the kids lead the way :) This is what I absolutely adore about Lifestyle Family Photography! It simply feels like I get to hang out with a bunch of amazing kids and parents all the time. I as a Mum, learn so much, every time I meet these awesome family units!

I hope you enjoy this sweet family!

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Tribute to all Fathers | Birmingham Family-Newborn-Maternity Photographer

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Tribute to all Fathers | Birmingham Family-Newborn-Maternity Photographer

This week’s post has to be about Fathers!

Growing up, I was lucky to take my father’s presence for granted. I was a morning person. My father used to like to catch a few extra winks at least in those days. Now he’s a changed man. One of my first morning sights used to be my father sleeping soundly. It was mundane back then. Regular. But now…it fills me with peace :) Kind of the lull before the storm really! :) He would wake up and then be out the door in under 30 mins flat!! Only he knows how he managed that!

My Mum was the disciplinarian in the family. Dad was the good cop - always! I remember after a long day, he would come home, freshen up and we would all sit together and watch some TV. But the best time of the day for me was the hour before bedtime. This was the time when we would play board games or even sing songs. My father loved singing songs. And thankfully he had a singing voice too! lol :) This really is the most precious memory from my childhood…this one hour before bedtime. Mum used to be tired after a long day of running after 4 kids. She would sleep next to all the noises we would make. But then Dad would make some joke about her and she would wake up laughing. This really was precious.

I’m thankful that we got this time together as a family. Times were simpler back then. We didn’t have so many gadgets to distract us. But we can make it as simple or as complex as we want. When I tuck my kids to bed - all they want to do is see one more video or play one more game on their ipads. As I kiss my kids goodnight, I reminisce about those days and always am grateful to my father for giving me those memories. Always thankful that even after his long day, he used to take time out for us and make it a point to spend this quality time with us. He used to genuinely look forward to them and it just wasn’t something that he had to do.

When I see my husband spend time with my two boys - I’m taken right back to those days. Around bedtime, most days I’ve just about had it and am waiting for them to just sleep. But when I see their Dad goofing around with them or reading them one extra story or giving them just slightly longer baths….I take a deep breath and I wait. Because years later, when they are in college …or working towards their own careers…this is the time they will remember with their Dad…this is the time that will bring them home, bring them joy, bring them peace. So I wait. For them to be done playing the giggle game with their Dad…which I hope is never!

So if you’re a Dad, know that each silly thing you do with your child - tickle monsters, making faces…making them fly in the air…running, cycling, …every little hug you give them…every time you patiently listen to them…know that it goes a long way in giving them…the memories they deserve….and in shaping the individual they will become tomorrow. I’m sure you already know this! So we will get right down to celebrating you! :) Three cheers for every father out there who is covered in glitter right now or in bubbles or in play sand….or just has little hands hugging him…Happy Fathers Day to you! You guys Rock! (And because you do - we Mums love you so so much! :))

Leaving you with some images that bring Fatherhood to life for me and give me all the feels!

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FAMILY AT BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS | BIRMINGHAM NEWBORN-FAMILY-MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHER

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FAMILY AT BIRMINGHAM BOTANICAL GARDENS | BIRMINGHAM NEWBORN-FAMILY-MATERNITY PHOTOGRAPHER

I truly believe that there is a reason people come into our lives. We might not ever get to know what that reason is - but I do believe there is a reason for sure.

I was delighted when this sweet family got in touch with me. They wanted me to capture this special time in their lives when the boys were oh-so-perfect in age. The family chose The Birmingham Botanical Gardens in Edgbaston as their location. There really couldn’t have been a better location for them. There were flowers blooming, spring was in the air - we saw roses, tulips, daffodils - you name it and it was there. To add to the perfectness of the location - there were even a couple of peacocks that joined us on our shoot! Bliss!

The weather was challenging to say the least though. Within the space of an hour it seemed we saw it all - harsh sunlight, rain and hail!

Even then, the weather couldn’t dampen their spirits! They all had so much fun! It was clear that this family deeply cared for each other and they genuinely enjoyed each other’s companies. The boys were a delight! Dads were so good with these two that it literally broke my heart when I finally had to say bye to them! :)

I am so thankful that I got to meet them. Photography allows me to meet these beautiful people and for that I couldn’t be more grateful!

Hope you all had a great half term! Thanks for being here! x

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Women in Midlands | A Stay at Home Mum's Story

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Women in Midlands | A Stay at Home Mum's Story

Wow! I can’t believe it is the end of May already! We are almost to the middle of the year and I honestly don’t know where did the time go! Well, thats why I take pictures! So that I can look back and actually see what I did and more importantly, what we did as a family :)

Without much ado, let me introduce you to the lady who represents Midlands this month, Shabana Khan. I have known Shabana for almost a decade now. We have lived in the same cities in different times in our lives. We hang out together when we can. However, this conversation with her proved to me - how little we really know about a person, even when we have known them for years!

I approached Shabana because I was looking for someone to throw some light on a stay at home mum’s story. Each of us can relate to some part of it - growing up, working hard towards a career, doing well in the chosen career, meeting the man of our dreams, living the dream life and then come the kids and some realities :). Life changes for both parents when kids come. But you would agree that it changes more for the primary caretaker. Our days look nothing like they used to. We love our kids with an intensity that we didn’t know possible. Yet, sometimes we want to just shut the door while taking a wee - once in a while…just once in a while! We yearn for that too with equal intensity!

I digress. So I approached Shabana to bring it to life for us. And she did that with so much honesty and heart that she blew me away! In this month’s chat, we discuss a topic that a lot of us hold very dear to our hearts - motherhood. Lots of good discussion on being a mum, being a mum to multiple kids, playing the balancing act and knowing what gives one happiness.

For those who are joining us new, you can find more about Women In Midlands here. You can find last month’s edition here.

Sharing snippets of our afternoon together….enjoy!

Me: Tell us a little about yourself

She: I'm a stay at home mommy of 2 beautiful children, aged 1 and 4. I came to the UK in 2008 to do my masters in clinical research at Cranfield University and met my husband during this time. After I finished my masters I moved to Chicago, US and came back to the UK 9 years ago.

I'm a health and nutrition enthusiast who loves Bikram yoga and kick boxing. I love caring for children, pregnant women and elderly. 

I believe in enjoying life in each and every phase and having no regrets. At the moment, I'm enjoying life with my 2 kids and loving each and every bit, from cooking fresh healthy meals for them to playing with them in our garden, in the trampoline, on the swing, painting, pretend plays, taking them to zoos, parks, safari parks, swimming, reading to them, my 4 year old girl’s school activities – the list goes on. I feel immensely blessed and lucky to be able to relive my childhood with them.

I'm happy that I have chosen this life of fun, laughter and beautiful chaos.

Me: Wow. I understand that you worked before having kids. What was your role?

She: My background is in Clinical research. It is the study of the drug in human beings, after all the trials are done. I started in a contract research organisation where initially I was involved in documentation and data which didn’t excite me much. So I moved to ONO Pharma in central London. There I was working with directors and project managers, managing and overseeing clinical trials. I was working in varied therapeutic areas but working in cancer research always excited me. This was the field I aspired to get into.



I wanted a step up in my career and that’s when I joined Roche. I really liked the environment in Roche. Good work life balance. I went there as a contractor where money was nice and there was flexibility so when I got pregnant I took a break right before having my first child and there was no set time that I had to go back after maternity. It worked out for me because I didn’t want the pressure of going back. I was enjoying motherhood so much. You don’t know the feeling until you become a mother. It increases everyday slowly. The bonding is so special. And plus my daughter had cow’s milk protein allergy which was challenging. For the first 13-14 months I was expressing milk. I was 100% just focused on her and didn’t have any mind space to think about anything else. 



Me: How was expressing milk for you?



She: Honestly, I enjoyed doing it. (Laughs) . I just felt so special. That I’m doing such an amazing thing with so much milk coming out of me.It was like gold. It was providing so much nutrition to my child and she didn’t get sick at all for the first year. This gave me more courage to do it as I could see she was so happy and healthy. Plus, with the allergy, she didn’t like the taste of the dairy free formula. The first time she tried it, she vomited. So then I didn’t offer it again and it motivated me to give her the best.

You need those happy hormones (oxytocin) to produce milk. It’s very important to feel positive about the whole thing. To be honest, the second time I was doing it with my son, I was so worked up already. Because of my daughter, I had to run after her- she was only three. It was a big challenge for my daughter that there was a new person in the family and she just hated him for the first few months. To make that better I couldn’t just sit and pump as much. First seven months I did however much I could, I would hide from her and pump. I’d pump at night. I would do it more when she would be at nursery. So, not much in front of her. She would want it for her self when she would see me pump(laughs).

Again, it works differently for all the mothers, and we all do what's best for us and our families. The child should be well fed, be it breast milk or formula. Mama knows best!

Me: How has the transition been for you from a full time corporate life to a stay at home mum ?

She: 

After I had my daughter, I didn’t want to go back to work. I didn’t think about work. There was nothing I was missing in my life. It’s a very fulfilling thing - motherhood. I really enjoy looking after my children, looking after their nutritional needs, emotional needs, developmental needs - everything. I just don’t want to focus on one thing. I want to develop them overall as an individual. I want them to be very confident when they grow up. I’m content and satisfied so the transition has been good for me. There have been challenges for sure - but being there for them is an accomplishment in itself.

Me: What support do you get from your husband in this?

She: 

He is always supportive of whatever I do. He knows that I’m doing the best for our children. He has seen me giving birth to our children. And then he saw me expressing with such dedication. He is always very supportive of everything. As parents we always try. If there is anything that worries us about our child, then we discuss options. I read Mother.ly on a daily basis. I would talk to my friends who are already mothers. I would talk to my Mum. Basically, I would talk to multiple people and seek advice and then both my husband and I discuss options and decide a way forward. He is letting me do what I want to and that’s a great support in itself. 

Me: You are passionate about Health and Nutrition. How did you get interested in the field?



She: It started when I was in class 10. There was a chapter on nutrition in science. That was the only thing that really excited me. When the teacher would explain how a balanced diet was important, I’d come and tell my parents everything. I’d tell them to start eating things that were really good for us. Since that time I’ve been a very aware and conscious person when it comes to nutrition and health. I love cooking healthy balanced meals so I try to ensure that in my kids meals there is enough protein, fat, carbs, vitamins, minerals.

Me: When you talked about health, I loved that you also talked about mental health. How did that awareness come about in you?

She: When I was working at Roche , they used to have a lot of workshops on mental health. That’s how my awareness increased. Even later, when I was pregnant I realised that there were so many hormones and sometimes I would be angry, sometimes emotional. That really got me thinking that how important it is for pregnant women. 

And from there to children as well. I used to think about what approach is best to make my daughter do what I want her to do. If she is doing something wrong, if she is screaming or running and if I scream, it’s just more scream and she won’t hear me. I really believe in Time Ins rather than Time Outs. Rather than keeping the child away from you for those five minutes- because they are so little. They don’t know what they’ve done.  So you have to make them sit with you. 

What I do is I’m very nice to her and what happens is as soon as I ask her what happened baby, what’s going on...she starts crying. Because that stress is coming out. I feel good that she is able to take it out instead of creating that anger in her, keeping her away from me for those minutes. A two year old cannot understand how they are supposed to behave. We have to lead them. We have to be positive around them. We have to be calm. We need to use these tools which make them calmer. They need to feel the love. And that’s how they open up - at least that’s how its been in my experience. I believe when I take care of what’s going on in their minds (as best I can) as well as their physical needs , that’s what will make them stronger. They will be more confident. 

Me: You said one of your biggest challenges has been being a mom to two kids. What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?



She: When I had the baby bump in my second pregnancy, my then two year old daughter would have questions about it. I would tell her that there is a baby inside. It’s your little brother or sister. She would get really excited and be happy. Till the time I gave birth, she was very excited. Every day she would kiss the bump. And that really gave me hope that my daughter is prepared. She will welcome her sibling. 



But as soon as my son was born, she didn't know how to express her feelings. We didn’t take her to the hospital with us and she didn’t like that. We used to co-sleep. And the first night she saw me taking care of the baby, feeding the baby, she freaked out. She was just up the whole night. She was anxious. She was shocked. Then the second night, then during the day she saw me feeding. She was going through something bad and I could see that. She wasn’t the same happy laughing Mehr. That actually made me so sad. 



After a few days she just refused to sleep with me and wanted to sleep with her Granny. This was hard for me because we had slept together since she had been born. I felt good that my Mum was there to take care of her. But I was sad for myself. 

For a month I fed my son and then started expressing when my daughter wasn’t around. The little baby doesn’t understand anything yet - but she understood so I had to take care of her mentally and emotionally. 



Even later, her way of showing love was very different. So I had to take her hand and show her what gentle touch was. I had to use all the tools for her mental happiness to make her fall in love with her brother. The first year after my son born was difficult. Not physically. That was the easy part. More emotionally and mentally, it was a big challenge keeping Mehr happy and then the baby was also growing so he needed love. It was a lot to cope up with. Now, thankfully she’s a very good big sister. Challenges continue but now the intensity is manageable.

Me: Do you miss the corporate life? Any aspect of it?



She: No (laughs heartily) 



Me: Do you ever see yourself going back to it?



She: You never know. Maybe when Faris starts school. Corporate life needs long term commitment. If I want to commit 9-5 for my job then I will be unavailable from 8-6 for my kids. I have to weigh that out. This year is going to be my deciding year. I’ve given myself 6-8 months where I decide what to do. I need to do something. I can’t sit idle - especially when the kids are at school.

I need to decide what will give me happiness and what will work for my family. I don’t want anyone suffering because of my tough decisions. So it needs to work out for all of us. 

I’ve been thinking of getting back to school to get a degree in health and nutrition. As I said, it is a passion of mine and I’d love to be a consultant in the field. So who knows? I might start something of my own. Fingers crossed!

Me: I always ask for a message for my readers

She: Life is a journey. We adults cope up with difficult situations in our own ways, positive or negative, that really depends on our own life experiences, our parents, childhood, family, relationships. Let's try and create a healthy environment for our children where they are less anxious, less stressed, more happy, more open. Let's try and understand what they might be going through. Children absorb a lot from their surrounding environment. Happy and confident children are made at home.

I would also add that these are the choices I have made for myself and my family and they work for us. But they may not work for everyone and that's okay. Everyone's family dynamics work differently. You do what's best for you, there's no one size fits all. I respect all the mothers, whether they have decided to stay at home and look after their kids, whether they are going to work and looking after their kids, women who do not want to have kids, these are the choices we make for ourselves and there's no right and wrong in this. 

Lastly, I would also say, we as a community should support each other, just a nice smile sometimes helps :) let's smile more and judge less, we never know what the other person might be going through!

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the Q&A section of the text belong solely to the interviewee, and not necessarily to the author or Candid You Photography.

Earlier editions of Women In Midlands -

March

April

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Baby Penelope | Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer

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Baby Penelope | Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer

Newborn photography is a big passion of mine. These moments are so fleeting and need to be documented. I am honored when my families invite me into their homes to capture this special time for them.

If I had to describe what my newborn sessions feel like, I would say they feel like an easy Sunday morning. 

I always schedule my sessions around 9:30 am. The reason is that I have learned over the years from being a mum to my babies that they tend to be calmer in the morning. Also, light indoor is typically better in the am. 

So when I arrived in this house, the house was just getting going. Mum had got ready, perhaps for the first time since having the baby, and was feeding the little one. Dad was entertaining the older brother who was full of energy . Tea was brewing. It was just perfect :)

The love in this house was palpable. Big brother didn't have a bit of jealousy for his little sister, only love and complete adoration! It literally made my heart melt. 

I never ask my families to do any strange or uncomfortable poses and I allow the baby to lead the session 100%. And lead Baby Penelope did! She didn’t sleep a wink for the whole session!! Which is such a rare thing! :) I totally loved her energy and something tells me that she is just going to love being photographed as she grows up! Bless! :)

Well without further ado, enjoy!

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Whiting Family | Birmingham UK Family Photography

Whiting Family | Birmingham UK Family Photography

Oh how I absolutely love photographing my families !! Truly.

This was my first time photographing The Whiting family. We met on a typical not-so-sunny afternoon :) The boys were full of energy! Mum and Dad gave them a little time in the playground and then off we went to explore the larger park.

We danced a little…well, everyone danced and Dad tried! :) We walked on slightly muddy grass, the boys ran around a lot and then played with bubbles :)

It was an amazing afternoon spent with even more amazing people! I had so much fun at this shoot that I literally didn’t want to stop shooting! Mum and Dad both will attest to that! lol :)

Dad had also prepared me that the younger one will not directly look at the camera. I took this as a challenge and am so happy with the results! We succeeded in getting some amazing shots of him having fun, directly looking at the camera too - without being asked to do that even once! That tells me that my family really had fun and thats all that matters :)

Enjoy this beautiful family and take a peak at all the fun we had that afternoon!

Women In Midlands | 12 Months | 12 Women | 12 Stories

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Women In Midlands | 12 Months | 12 Women | 12 Stories

Hi All! I’m back with the April Edition of Women in Midlands. I know I know…we are in May so what am I doing posting my April edition today ? Well, I was travelling all of April with very patchy access to the internet. Which made it difficult to post anything during that time. Therefore, this post has been delayed. But I can assure you that when you read through this edition, you will know that it was definitely worth the wait :)

For those who are joining us new, you can find more about Women In Midlands here.

This month, I’d like you to meet a very dear friend, Ilona Pitt. Ilona is the Director of Made In Midlands and Made in Yorkshire. When I first approached Ilona for WIM, she was super excited. We started exchanging ideas for the shoot and we both kept getting even more excited! lol :) But honestly, it was really the conversation with her that took me by surprise. I had known her for a little while even then I was blown away by the different array of topics we discussed - from life to politics to time management to sustainability …health..fitness…you name it and we talked about it :) I came away super impressed that at a young age - she has the wisdom to give importance to the things that matter - something I have to force myself to do till this day.

One question I always ask the person I’m featuring, is to give a message for the readers. This is generally the last question so you would expect that I would be tired by this time. But her answer to even this question made me stand up and take notice of just how different, how driven..how amazing her journey has been so far ..and I’m sure this is just a start as she has miles to go before she stops! :)

Sharing some snippets from our conversation and some pictures from the day -

Me: Tell me a little about yourself

She: I’m a 31 year old female, wife and mother of one, businesswoman, and amateur science, and technology geek. You can talk to me about anything from entertainment, fashion and celebrity gossip to politics , business and black holes, quantum physics, string theory or electric cars! I’ve lived in the UK and the Midlands for nearly 13 years. I’m a very positive individual , always trying to look on the bright side of life and any challenges I face , so expect to laugh while you are around me. I get on well with people and want to see the best in them. 

Me: When and why did you move to the Midlands?

She: I moved in September 2006. I'm still more Polish than English though as I lived in Poland for 19 years and in UK only for 13. So once I cross over - I'll be more English than Polish! (laughs) . I  moved here to join the University at the time. It was a big step for me. It wasn't something I first envisioned for myself. I had the credentials to get into any university that I wanted in Poland but somehow I landed in Wolverhampton! (laughs)

Me: You mentioned that settling here, making this place your own was one of the toughest things you did. Why did you say that?

She: Because imagine coming to live in a different country, not knowing the language completely, establishing yourself from scratch, I didn't know anyone and that was extremely challenging. It's just strange, you initially have no family or friends around you. You have to make new friends, new relationships. I had to work. My mum was supporting me but it wasn't enough.So, I had to work every weekend. At that time, I could understand English. My grammar and written English was good but my spoken English wasn't that good. So communication was a huge challenge in the first 6 months. I was just making it up with my smile! (laughs) 

Me: What are some of the differences you noticed here vs. the town/city where you were moving from?

She: It was so different that literally it was a total culture shock. First of all, there are so many different nationalities and people you meet here. Where I am from, everyone is Caucasian, white, speaking Polish. We used to have these big sports events in my city, Bydgoszcz. At those events, sometimes, we would come across some people who were different. But it was still so much of the same. And then you come here and you meet people like yourself - from India, America, Jamaica, Pakistan - like any country you can think of...is here. I've had some really amazing friends who are not 'Polish, white, from Poland'. I've met a lot of great people. I think that's the main difference. Its more cosmopolitan. Although, when I go back now, it's changed a lot in Poland too in the 13 years that I've been away. There are a lot of tourists from different nationalities who are visiting Poland now. Lots of Polish women are now marrying men from different cultures and nationalities and then going back. But when I was growing up there, think about it, it was post communist era...90s and 2000s..it was just a different world. 

Me: You described meeting your now husband as a turning point in your life. Why do you say that?

She: I was a happy girl and had a good life. But meeting Jason was a new chapter for me that I really enjoy to this day. Probably meeting him has kept me in this region as well. I had plans to leave to be honest with you. If it was't for meeting him, I'd be living somewhere else. I was just looking for the right opportunity to move. But then I met Jason and decided to stay here instead. I've learnt a lot from him. He's changed my life on so many levels. We are partners in every level..family...business...every level really has changed completely since meeting him. 

Me: How did you get started with 'Made In Midlands'? What is your role there?

She: Made in Midlands is a social network for Midlands manufacturing and engineering companies. It started from a small business publication which I joined in 2010 and basically we've grown it from a newspaper, selling advertisements - really tough job as you can see publishing is dying - and turned it around into a completely different platform for building a social network for manufacturing companies. It's come about organically over nearly 10 years. If you need to know more, we have a great website at www.madeinthemidlands.com.

I've pretty much done everything in this company. I started from sales. I did membership sales for 2-3 years. Then I was involved more on the finance side. I've recruited people. So Sales, Marketing, Finance, HR - everything. Now, I have a really good idea bout how a business works. I've learnt a lot from Jason as he is a born entrepreneur. Its so easy for him to just have an idea, set it up, get it going. I see a lot of people who would just see the barrier. Whereas he just gets on with it. I've learnt a lot from him. Thats another reason why meeting him was a turning point for me. We have also launched a new region three years ago, Made in Yorkshire and our business model proves to be successful there as well. I am currently Director of both Made in the Midlands and Made in Yorkshire.

Me: You've visited the EU parliament and you've also been a frequent visitor to the UK Parliament (wow!).How did those come about? What were those experiences like?

She: Those are very interesting experiences for me, getting to know the works of the government. The Brussels trip, back in 2015, came about with 20 of our customers. We went to talk about Brexit back then, basically educate our members and our network about what it would mean for Britain to leave the EU. To understand more about Brexit and see how EU parliament works. To see it with our own eyes what this organisation is. We went there for 3 days and we had various meetings, with various Members of European Parliament. What I found post-Brexit is that people are uneducated about what European Union is, why its there, what it does. They just don't have the general knowledge about workings of it. So we thought it would be a great idea to go there and see it with our own eyes. Its a massive institution. It was good to talk to representatives of different UK parties from Conservatives to Labour to UKIP - we had meetings with different EU MEP's and we had these debates about what is going to happen. Do you have a plan if scenario A happens. Whats the plan if Scenario B happens. 

We met Nigel Farage and he was campaigning for leave. Back in the Midlands, I took a part in the Brexit debate where I was in the Remain side. I was trying to convince people that why we should Remain. I was talking from the standpoint of a Polish immigrant in this country. I can't vote but I was hoping my story would inspire people to vote Remain. Without European Union, I could never be here. My parents who lived through  the communist era couldn't even dream of the life that I have here. You couldn't just visit any other country without being followed by the regime let alone go and live in the Western Europe. So I felt very privileged that I could live here, I could study and made my life here. I share that story with people. 

I understand that EU is huge and its bureaucratic - massive bureaucratic machine. But I believe we either have that and try to improve it rather than it all breaks up and a few years down the line we have a war again or something really bad happens. At least there has been a long period of peace in Europe. We had horrible two world wars in just last century.  So, I think European Union gives the sense of stability that everybody is living in peace and harmony. If they have a difference of opinion or need to argue  - they will do it in that building rather than fight in reality.  I'm sure there is  a better way of doing things but you have to be there to change it. Leaving like UK is leaving now, they won't be able to make any changes. I hope it doesn't create a domino effect with the EU falling apart.

UK parliament - we do a lot of events for Made in The Midlands and Made in Yorkshire. Our Chairman is the former Birmingham City Council leader, Lord Mike Whitby. We spend a lot of time with him and I have learnt a lot from him about politics. We take our customers to London on regular basis. We've worked with Baroness Lorely Burt of Solihull for our Inclusivity Campaign. We also take our customers to the Parliament for various tours, events, Private Dining. It definitely feels special to walk down these corridors of power!

Me: So do you see yourself entering Politics? 

She: Who knows (laughs). 

Me: Family clearly is important to you. Running a business is an all consuming job. How do you maintain your work life balance?

She: There's time to work...there's time to play...Time to rest and time to party .... it's most important to find time for everything and not just get consumed by your work. You have to have balance of different things - to make sure you meet your friends, make sure you spend time with your child and read him that book at night (laughs)...make sure you look after your relationship and your love life, make sure stuff at work is going well. It's just being aware of the concept of time. Being aware of different pots, different needs of different people in my life...also myself as well - it's me that I have to look after. 

Time ....it's scarce and one thing we can not get more of. Everyone has the same amount of it and it fascinates me how we all achieve different results. How you use it now influences future outcomes and that's in everything from your health and well being to love of your child or bank balance. Time is really everything. 

Remember what's important. There are many un-important things in our life that should not get our time. To give you an example, I recently deleted the Facebook App from my phone as I was giving it too much time. Now its not there and I don't miss it. So its about being aware of stuff like that that eat your time because we only have those 24 hours. So, what are you going to do with it? How are you going to make it count? 

Me: Health is also super important to you. What do you do to be healthy?

She: I've seen people in my family who lost their good health and passed away. Just looking at that - thats when you realize how important health is. Because without that you cant enjoy anything have or anything you have worked so hard towards. Health is everything. I must admit I have had moments when I am super health conscious and then some other times when you have some more than usual stress in your lives you find comfort in food or when you don't do the right things....like right now I'm going through the period of giving it a lot more notice. I've bought a water distiller. It makes pure H2O. Its just an extreme thing though as I wanted to feed my plants fresh distilled water because they will grow better. In general though, health is important. I do look after myself. I need to get myself back to the gym though. When I'm in the gym - I can tell you I'm on fire! (Laughs). I just need motivation to kick-start it. 

Me: You mentioned that when you talk health, you are concerned about the health of the planet also. What do you do about that?

When people think about time, they generally think about the immediate time or maybe tomorrow. But I think about 10..15..20..maybe 100 years from now...beyond my lifetime and look at things to come....where are we heading as a civilisation...as humanity...where are we heading and what I'm seeing at the moment its quite scary. What's happening at the moment is not sustainable. The consumption and the consumerism - which I also enjoy...we all do...we like things that are convenient - but then when you step back and look at how much waste there is ...especially when we talk about plastic - I just get disgusted that we use something for one time and then we just throw it away...I feel guilty you know. To think that it will take 500 years for this plastic to disappear ...that's huge! So next time you have your yogurt and you throw away that yogurt cup - think about it...that it's going to take 500 years for that little cup to disappear. It's scary and it's disgusting. 

But obviously, before you change anything, you have to change yourself. So first of all, I just make sure that I recycle everything I can. I am almost obsessive about recycling. I try and make better choices  and shop for products that are more sustainable, with less packaging. I've recently made a commitment that I will never buy water in a plastic bottle ever again. I'm going to use glass bottles where I can. I've recently bought the Soda Stream and I'm going to sparkle my own water. I really believe that little changes like that will really make an impact going forward. 

I always wanted an electric car and I'm driving a Tesla X now. I love the vision of the Tesla company : “To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy”. I am very inspired by Elon Musk. I find him a very inspiring and influential figure. He looks at sustainability. One of his companies is called SpaceX. And he talks about taking people to Mars....making sure that we as human beings...our civilization continues. Sustainability is really huge for me. I think I'm looking for something that I can contribute to this trend. Going on a different planet, will be good for the planet...for humanity...and I'm sure we can make some money there too (laughs).

Honestly though, I get excited to see developments in our exploration of space, I can’t wait for people to land on Mars. I have been fascinated by our place in the universe - this started when I first saw a Milky Way and a night sky in south of Poland when on vacation at my grandparents. It has been the most breathtaking experience for me, thousands of stars in the sky I had never seen living in the city. I would love to go to Atacama desert Observatory one day and experience the view of one of the cleanest skies on the planet.

My dream is to go to orbit before I hit 50 - I truly believe this will happen. Think this would be the most amazing experience to see the planet and our sun suspended in the darkness of the universe, this would really put things into perspective for me.

Me: A message for the readers -

She: Believe in yourself. Go for it. Never stop dreaming and never stop envisioning what your life can be. It's really my mantra. Look for mentors and people to inspire you. Google Elena Cardone, she's my role model!  I don't want to stay still. There's a lot of things I'd like to do in my life. I like to envision that and that's why I have a vision board. I make this vision board every few years. It's just a simple exercise but it's good for your mind. To make a vision board - you just take a blank poster and you just think of where you want your life to go, you print pictures of things that represent a few things in the future and then you stick them on this poster. And then you just look at it from time to time so that it stays with you and subconsciously you keep moving towards them. There are a lot of things that have happened in my life. I'm not saying that this is the reason they've happened. But it's all about training your mind to focus on the things that you want and work hard towards them. 

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the Q&A section of the text belong solely to the interviewee, and not necessarily to the author or Candid You Photography.

Earlier editions of Women In Midlands -

March

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International Women's Day | 2019

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International Women's Day | 2019

On this special day, I want to share the words of a song that resonate with me..a lot. I follow these up with one of the scariest things for me - sharing my own pictures! Yes - I’m a photographer and it still scares me! :)

But today, I choose to conquer that fear….today, I choose to not care about my weight, dark circles or those imperfections on my face …today, I choose to embrace myself….today, I refuse to hide and choose to be unapologetically me - that’s the skin I’m most comfortable in anyways...

Here’s to being ourselves…embracing ourselves…loving ourselves...everyday.

I am not a stranger to the dark
"Hide away," they say
"'Cause we don't want your broken parts"
I've learned to be ashamed of all my scars
"Run away," they say
"No one'll love you as you are"

But I won't let them break me down to dust
I know that there's a place for us
For we are glorious

When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I'm gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I'm meant to be, this is me
Look out 'cause here I come
And I'm marching on to the beat I drum
I'm not scared to be seen
I make no apologies, this is me

- This Is Me, Keala Settle, The Greatest Showman

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Women In Midlands - 12 Months | 12 Women | 12 Stories

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Women In Midlands - 12 Months | 12 Women | 12 Stories

For a long time I have wanted to start a series about Women In Midlands. I’ve come across such a rich variety of women here that I wanted to capture and share some of their stories. The idea is to get to know each of these exceptional yet everyday women, one layer at a time. It is a celebration of each of them. The hope is that in their stories, each one of us finds a little sliver of ourselves and takes the opportunity to celebrate ourselves too! I’m super happy that this series is finally taking off, so close to International Women’s Day - just perfect! :)

In this inaugural month, I’d like everybody to meet Pallavi Sridhara. I knew Pallavi as the admin for a very popular FB and Whatsapp Group - ‘Indian Mums In Midlands’. Ever since I became a part of that group, I’ve been awed by how much time, energy and herself she devotes to the group. I had always been intrigued about how she does it all with two kids and a job with NHS! Therefore, I reached out to her and shared my vision for this series. She was a complete sport and came on board immediately. We met at one of my favorite cafes - Boston Tea Party in Harborne. It provided the perfect setting for our discussion. Sharing some snippets from our conversation and some pictures from the day -

Me - Tell me a little about yourself 

She - I grew up in Bangalore, did my primary schooling there. Then I spent my secondary school years in Delhi. When I was completing my final year of medicine, I met Nithin (my husband)'s family. I got married in my internship year which was just after I graduated. My Dad had put out ads for my marriage. I did not even know it was out. So randomly one day they tell me they'd met Nithin who'd flown down from UK. My parents asked me if I would like to meet him. I think I was so surprised, I said there was no harm in meeting someone so I said yes. They came to our place and we just talked. So I don't know what happened. We barely knew each other. But somehow we clicked. He's really brought out the best in me. I think I've really grown as a person with him. But, when I'm angry and have a fight, I don’t hesitate to tell my parents that you spend a week selecting your washing machine and dryer and you conned me into this marriage where we agreed the next day! (laughs)

Me - You believe life in UK has changed you for the better. What are some changes that life here has brought about in you ?

She -  Coming to this country has given me a lot of independence. I've been in a much protected environment. I never had that life where I've made my own choices. So I felt almost that there was a rebel in me that needed to be let out. I felt the decisions that I was making, even though they were mine, they were influenced a lot by people around me. I think India does that to you with the family and the societal expectations. I see that here people are a lot more carefree about making their decisions like say quitting their jobs or ending relationships and not having to think too much about it. Or maybe they do think but they are able to decide and live with that decision. 

Me - Tell me a little about what you do. How and why did you get started in your field ? 

She - I am a Psychiatrist. Initially I was going to be in a very grilling job in Obstetrics. Because that was 'approved' in India. Whereas Psychiatry is looked down upon. In Psychiatry you are primarily using your communication skills. And the attitude is that one doesn’t need to go to medical school for that. And to an extent I agree. We are a bit more deskilled than other specialties but I really like it. And when I made that decision I know my Granddad laughed and smirked. Recently I was trying to tell my Dad to be healthier and he would say, what do you know you are just a Psychiatrist. But they turned to me when he was really unwell when he flew to US to see my brother. Because I had to challenge the doctor there and convince him to do the most essential investigation to rule out some of the commonest things you'd expect somebody to have, when they've had a long haul flight. And it turned out that he did have a clot in his chest and they'd not done a CTPA of the chest. And when they did do it and find the clot, it somehow re instilled some hope in my Dad that this daughter of mine still has some basic medical knowledge even though she may not be able to do surgery.

I think in that generation the idea was that if your kid is studying their aim should be to become either an Engineer or a Doctor. Dad wanted to be a doctor but he couldn’t be. So, it was his unfulfilled dream and desire that I was fulfilling. You can feel it. The pressure on you. I think you somehow start living that dream yourself. It becomes your dream.

When I finished Obstetrics I knew for sure I'm not doing Obstetrics. I got through into GP training and Psychiatry. So, I could have gone either way. I saw my husband who's a GP. I said, well, I don’t want competition within the family like Abhimaan (laughs heartily) (Abhimaan is an Indian movie about jealousy between a couple who belong to the same profession) . That was really my thought process. Now I'm really glad I made that choice because I get to talk a lot with people and it is draining at times because you have to show empathy and sympathy even when you are not feeling it. But I like that you are almost let into their world. At least their own version of their world. And they share a lot of personal things that you won’t expect somebody to do. So its perfect for me. I really enjoy being a Psychiatrist.

Me - You describe parenting as one of your biggest challenges that you’ve overcome. Why is that ?

She - I think its difficult. Because you don’t know whether you are doing the right thing. You only know of the outcome of your parenting 2 - 3 decades from now. Its too late to rectify then (laughs).

For me from day 1 I’ve been clear - having had working parents - at least one parent in the family will be there for my children. My mother is a fantastic role model. She worked full time. She did her MA while being alone looking after both her kids. The memory I have is that we were all slogging with her. For me, I know I can get extra degrees when I'm 40, 50, 60. But I can’t see my child go back to their 2nd birthday or 3rd year of their life or 1st school day. Those are things I won’t get back. I wanted to ensure I am there through these milestones. For most performances, random things, even if I'm thinking that for this trivial event I have used half a day from my annual leave! But its worth it. They may not remember it. But I’ve been there.

Nithin helps when I lose it. He is a very mature person. I used to study the day before exams. Pull an all nighter and then pray to God. Whereas he has been a meticulous, responsible parent. His theory is that let the kids study for half an hour everyday. Doesn't have to be intense work but let them get into the routine of doing some work everyday. I think for that side of parenting he is really good. I am the giver. Whereas he is always like why...if there’s no reason for it then they shouldn't get it. There’s a balance. Its not rigid. Its fluid and we are making it work...I hope! The biggest challenge is that you know you've created individuals who are happy at the end of the day and can look after themselves. 

Me - Post natal period was difficult for you like it is with so many of us. What did you find challenging during that time ? 

She - It can be very isolating and it’s very confusing with all the hormones. We don’t know what’s going on. When I think back, I think why was I so fussed about sleeping routines or feeding routines or doing certain things a certain way. Why didn't I just let it be and relax? But those days we are just consumed with guilt.

I think it’s the impression of that stage...there’s a certain expectation and a certain template of a pregnant lady and post - partum mother that people just assume that you will fit into and you are not even made aware of that things can go differently. I am thankful , fortunate that at the end of all this I've got two healthy babies (touches wood) and many people don’t.

But the whole pregnancy I'm not the typical pregnant glowing woman. I am constantly uncomfortable from day 1. In fact I know I'm pregnant even before the test shows it. Its because I can feel the nausea. I can feel the pimples and everything else. Up until almost a year after the post natal period, I'm not myself. I can't explain it. I'm not that naturally happy and glowing pregnant woman. And even in the post natal period you find women ready to conquer the world and I think that is where the misconception is and I'm glad there are more people coming out and saying its OK. Its OK if you don't take a shower on a particularly bad day. Its OK if you just use some dry shampoo on your hair and carry on with life. You don't have to be running marathons daily.

During my time, I don't know whether it was depression, maybe it was. I remember going to the GP and crying all the time about Viren’s (my son’s) reflux and they would say Oh I can see how difficult it is... seems like you've got a lot on your plate. I got nothing more than sympathy which would leave me just angry. It is real and I just feel we need more support which we don't have here. I do want to do a bit of training in that area to see if there is something I can help with. 

Me - What helped you during that time?

She - The fact that I got out of it alive! (laughs) It felt like such a dark cloud. I didn't know when or how I managed to get out of it. 

Me -  You’ve lost 3 stones. How did you motivate yourself to do it and more importantly, how did you do it?

She - Every stage of my life I've been overweight. From even before I can remember. So I've always felt I needed to lose the weight. It started off as another fad thing two Novembers ago. I thought I'll just do a few kgs. Maybe just lose a bit of holiday weight. I somehow stuck to it though. I was seeing results so I was able to motivate myself and push myself to do a little bit more.

I followed the Cambridge Weight Plan. For me the main problem was that I can't pre-plan and pre-cook. What really helped me is that they come in sachets, bar or shake form that you can mix it up and its ready. As soon as you knew you are about to have your meal, you didn’t have to think or cook. It was there for you. I followed this plan for 6 months. Even now, if I gain a pound or two, I go back to it. I carry a few bars. They are supposed to be low calorie high protein. With this I also intermittent fast. That’s when you don't eat for 16 hours. All you eat is within a 8 hour window. In the 16 hours you can have water, black coffee etc. but nothing sugary. 

I am very proud that I've lost the weight. But the challenge now is to maintain it. So I'm very mindful of what I eat now. 

Me - Apart from work and family, your friends are also really important to you. What role do your friends play in your life. How do you make time for your friends.

She - After the kids have become a little older, I've told myself that I need time for myself. Almost on a weekly basis, I need to reconnect with people. I need to be myself for a bit. Where I am just not somebody's wife or mother or doctor or anything. I just want to be me. I think I've got a few friends who ground me. Who tell me off. They are able to point out that 'Bhaiya tum paagal ho rahi ho, thora relax ho jao' (Girl, you are going crazy. Please relax). They say it as it is. I will make sure that there is some time for them always.

Me - A message for the readers

She - I 'd say to people to believe in themselves - because I've had a lot of self doubt and confidence issues. If you put your 100% into something and believe you can do it, I do feel you can achieve anything.

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the Q&A section of the text belong solely to the interviewee, and not necessarily to the author or Candid You Photography.

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Afternoon with a friend | West Midlands Family Photographer

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Afternoon with a friend | West Midlands Family Photographer

She’s a young lady. He’s a boy.

She’s sensible. He’s playful.

She’s 18. He’s 7.

Seriously. But when these two meet - that difference just disappears. From the first moment these two met, he took to her like a fish to water. As anyone who knows a 7 year old, knows that they need to like someone for them to spend any time with them. Same for a teenager too! Therefore it makes me so happy to see them enjoying each other’s companies, even though they are worlds apart.

When we visited her in Warwick University, it was like any other Sunday afternoon. An ordinary time that became extraordinary, thanks to these two having so much fun and of course….me, capturing all the fun and being click happy :)

These pictures truly speak a thousand words…therefore I will stop talking now! :)

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January Favourites | Birmingham-UK-Newborn-Family-Maternity-Photographer

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January Favourites | Birmingham-UK-Newborn-Family-Maternity-Photographer

I wanted to commit to a 365 for a LONG time. You ask what is a 365. Its committing to taking a photograph a day. The subject can be anything that captures your eye, anything that motivates you…makes your heart sing :) You would think thats an easy job for a photographer, right? :) Not really. When it comes to taking pictures of families that hire me - its far easier for me as I am committed to my families having a stellar experience. Which means I keep myself to a schedule - I shoot, upload, edit and deliver - all at pre agreed timelines and it gets done accordingly.

But when it comes to personal stuff, I’ve been known to drag my feet - specially where editing is concerned! I love the process of editing as it brings my vision to life - but actually ‘getting to it’ is a major task given my two littles :) Well, I’ve finally committed to a 365 with the hope that this knowledge about myself will help me not falter. I’m happy to report that I made it through January - yayy! :) Let me see how long the streak lasts!

Sharing my favourites from January - enjoy!

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Delplace Family | Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer

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Delplace Family | Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer

Oh how I love meeting new families and capturing some moments for them that years from now….. will take them back in time!

This was the first time I was photographing this sweet family. They were planning to live in Birmingham only for a short while. Therefore, Mum wanted a location that was quintessential Birmingham. Well, what better place than the canals to fit that description!

This family loved the location. The kids had a lovely time. Parents had a good time seeing them run and laugh and just enjoy each other’s companies! I really wanted to capture the love and connection between each member of the family - which was so apparent! Hope you can see it in the pictures as well! :)

Enjoy this beautiful family and this ‘quintessential Birmingham’ location.

Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
Birmingham Newborn-Maternity-Family Photographer
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Introducing Baby Krish | Birmingham UK Newborn Photographer

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Introducing Baby Krish | Birmingham UK Newborn Photographer

It’s been a LONG time since I blogged. There was good reason to stay away though. After a long wait, we were finally blessed with our little one and our family is now complete. ️ First days with this little guy were just so amazing - challenging… as we all adjusted to the new normal - but so amazing :) It was delightful to see elder brother doting on his little bro and showering him with love :) there was jealousy as well - as I think is only normal. But thankfully big brotherly love overpowered the negative emotion :) I had been meaning to share our first days with you all for a long time - but when this little bubba turned 6 months - I realized that its about time I shared!! And I decided to share it in a slightly different format this time! Sharing a film for the first time ever! Enjoy! :)

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Neetha | Birmingham UK Maternity Photography

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Neetha | Birmingham UK Maternity Photography

I am so excited to share one of my maternity sessions with my favorite family in Birmingham. Neetha and I had been discussing for weeks by this time and it was such a delight to see that our ideas about this pregnancy shoot aligned.

One thing Neetha was very clear about from the start was that she wanted a bright sunny day to capture these images. We waited for the perfect day - and you can see in the images just how perfect this day was!

S and A were also in great moods - which set the tone for the whole session! It was such an amazing evening, I am so honored that they chose me to be part of this special time in their journey!

We warmed up with these sweet images - I was checking for light at this time - but this family was just so together from the word go - that I ended up loving these images and just had to share with them.

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I had rushed them to catch the amazing evening light. I was worried that we would lose the light as we got slightly delayed in reaching our spot. I was feeling guilty for rushing the family but they were all pumped up! Bless them :) They sat for a little while and these are some snapshots from there.

Our little boy - but soon to be proud big brother - A, was just brimming with energy! His mum had told me that he LOVES to run and I had to capture some of his running energy in the lush green fields of this location! His mum wasn't kidding - he just didn't tire from all the running! It felt so free to see him running boundlessly and exploring this open space!

Our little boy - but soon to be proud big brother - A, was just brimming with energy! His mum had told me that he LOVES to run and I had to capture some of his running energy in the lush green fields of this location! His mum wasn't kidding - he just didn't tire from all the running! It felt so free to see him running boundlessly and exploring this open space!

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Even though A was in his energetic mode, I managed to capture some quiet moments between Mum and son 

I had rushed them to catch the amazing evening light. I was worried that we would lose the light as we got slightly delayed in meeting each other. I was feeling guilty for rushing the family but they were all pumped up! Bless them :) They sat for a little while and these are some snapshots from there.

Why should we leave Dad behind? :) Captured some sweet moments between Father and son as well.

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In the hurry of everyday lives, we forget the journey the couple is going through together. In this pregnancy session, I really wanted to capture the fun times this couple were sharing.

Neetha and Srinidhi were in the perfect mood and I was so glad to capture these priceless moments for them! Here's soaking up some fun and anticipation that they so clearly felt on this day!

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And I love A in the background in these pictures! Thats just so true of a family and specially of a couple with kids. The couples have to almost steal their quiet moments from their time with kids - but the child is always in the background - either in reality or in their minds :)

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If you are with me this far - thanks for visiting my blog. Hope you enjoyed going through the pictures as much as we enjoyed that day! 

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Gould Family | Priory School, Edgbaston, Birmingham

Hi Everybody! Hope you are enjoying the summer sunshine!

Priory School had their Summer Fayre a few weeks ago. I offered 10 minute mini sessions at the fayre to raise funds for Friends of Priory. Today, I am sharing a beautiful shoot from one of those sessions.

I had the opportunity to photograph Heather's beautiful family in the gorgeous Priory School grounds. Even though the session was only for 10 minutes, I just couldn't stop clicking! The pictures themselves will give you an idea of the fun we had. Our lil man was a little tired but he was such a trooper during the shoot! He smiled everytime he said bye to me! haha :) We did end up saying bye a few extra times - just to get his priceless expressions :) Below is just a glimpse..

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Priyanka Family | Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham Family Photography

I had the opportunity to capture this amazing mum and her beautiful kids. They chose Cannon Hill Park for their shoot. It was a beautiful day and the sun was out in its full glory - which meant the park was full of people.

Even then, we managed to find this private cove and these guys totally made it their own! We spent an amazing hour or more there - they were just being themselves and I was happy capturing them and their natural selves! Below is a snapshot of that beautiful hour. 

Letter to my son | Our days around Birmingham Parks and Playgrounds

In the gorgeous spring weather, our walks to the playgrounds have become quite regular. Doesn't matter near or far, you and I want to sample them all! :) I really like these moments between us. They are special. I break out of the disciplining mum, the serious mum, the homework mum, the no ice cream mum, the non holiday mum - that I feel I've become in our daily lives. These times of ours in the playground, they just let me break out of all these shackles and let me see you from afar - enjoying yourself, enjoying your childhood. Me at a distance, just observing you being a child, letting you be. I just love watching you. These times of ours - they remind me that things are so fleeting and you are growing up so fast that it scares me sometimes. But what gives me peace is that I have these pictures of you to hold on to and remember you like this - always. That I have you to hold on to even tighter - no matter how 'grown up' you become each day! Love you, Mum. xoxo.

Ebe Family | Birmingham Family Photographer

Ann and I became friends in a flash. It was one of those effortless friendships that are just meant to be. 

I was super excited to shoot her family in a location that meant so much to them. Ann and I had discussed what the kids will wear and they looked amazing. They were super energetic when they joined me in her garden and I couldn't wait to capture some of that boundless energy!

With every share I try and choose one of my favourite images from the gallery. Its impossible to choose one favourite image as it will be like choosing a favorite child! But with each share I try to choose that one image that speaks to me most. 

The image below spoke to me. Ale climbing up his father like this is just priceless to me. He won't be able to do that for long. The kids will grow up, the parents will forget some of these things probably. But when they come back to this one picture - it will bring back the craziness and the headiness of these days.

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Sharing a sliver from the day.