#capturingcolour • Silver

Last week's #capturingcolour super silver photos knocked my socks off!

I find silver rather tricky. We have lots of brass, copper and gold tones in our house as opposed to chrome and of course silver flowers are hard to find ;)

So I looked for pops of silver everywhere I went. Home and away.

Every week I share a collection of some lovely accounts to follow on my Instagram account. There was some seriously amazing styled shots filling the #capturingcolour gallery this week, making it almost impossible to choose just 9 to feature in this grid!

Capturing Colour

And this photo by Suzanne at myfabulousdesign just and to be my absolute favourite this week! Could there have been a more perfect capture for last week?! 

myfabulousdesign

Go check out her inspiring gallery, but I warn you, you will get lost scrolling through it for at least half an hour!

Now come and check out all the colourful images joining in with a new week of Print and Pattern over in the #capturingcolour gallery.

#capturingcolour is a weekly theme on Instagram. Tag your PRINT & PATTERN photos this week. Favourites will be featured next Monday :)

Me and Mine - A Family Portrait Project February

There are times when I feel like our feet don't touch the ground. This week Rich and I have been like ships that pass in the night, working out who is on what pick and drop off duties and even resorting to having a breakfast "meeting" just to be free of all distractions at home so we can make plans for the week ahead and talk tea. (I'm a little quiet about our tea company on the blog but Rich is doing great things.) 

In one week, our lives have taken us to Devon overnight, London overnight, and this week I will be heading to Edinburgh and Cardiff, enjoying hotel beds and doing what I love. 

And the little ones we love the most have been exceptional. Uniform is clean, packed lunches are the same (Even if there's not a second to photograph them!), Sammy's performance in the school assembly was outstanding. I missed it, on account of working in London yesterday and when I crawled into bed at just gone midnight last night, on account of the A303 being shut, full of cold and feeling exhausted, a little voice said "Hello Mama, come under the covers with me and I'll cuddle you to make you better!"

February looked like this. 

Rich's birthday at the races with my brother who flew back from America for the weekend especially! There were tens of Valentines cards, a sea of wrapping paper and lots of love. Normally I'd take hundreds of photos but the house became struck down with a sick bug so it was all about cuddles on the sofa, playing silly card games from our childhood and just being together, with no pressure to do anything other than sit.

So there was no perfect picture of us this month. The best we could do was a quick selfie in the car as we dropped the boys to school. Sometimes I have to say to myself that it's ok to have given the boys a fun filled month and not have one to frame. I was almost tempted to take a last minute one this morning, but I am currently surrounded by a mountain of tissues, feeling full of a horrid head cold. If it's possible I look even more tired than in our selfie!

I have to confess I can't stand the February weather. I am desperate for less grey skies, for the house to be flooded with sunlight more than once a week and for the garden to come back to life. The boys made a den this week and came in covered in mud! I long for a little warmth on my face, to wear flip flops again! 

I think once a Summer baby, always a Summer baby! March is going to be a month to take a little more care of myself. Eat better, dig out my running shoes again and start looking after my skin. My sister is right, the baby wipe routine has got to go!

My trip to London on Thursday was a fabulous whirlwind. Working with BritMums, Gorkana and meeting the extraordinarily talented Judith Blacklock.

Judith Blacklock

I've come away with a new friend and bursting with ideas. My time in the big smoke ended with smoke, quite literally. A stunning afternoon tea at The Ampersand Hotel with the Mark Warner Ambassador team! I will share more on my crazy 30 hours next week but for now, I am officially starting the countdown to our holiday with Mark Warner!

Can you guess which resort we picked to go to?! Which would you have picked...?

Head over to Fritha's beautiful blog to see what her sweet family have been up to this month. I love Fritha's ability to just capture the moment with such warmth and colour.

Join in and share your family photo this month. Don't forget each month everyone who joins in will automatically be entered to win a gorgeous personalised gift from Photobox! There was an incredible amount of wonderful posts linked up last month, I am still working my way through them, thank you so much for joining in x

Wishes for my eldest son

"Mama!" "Mama!" "Mama!"

Tonight I am home alone with the boys. Rich is away overnight for work and I have two little hot bodies in their fleecy sleep suits in my bed. And whilst I am frantically tapping away on the laptop, catching up after a day out working, I hear a familiar phrase.

Poor Sammy, our big boy, the boy who in the last year has grown 3 inches, challenges his right to independence every day, and brings me to breaking point as often as he melts my heart. Poor Sammy who still suffers from horrible dreams. And the only thing that helps is to be with his Mama.

I can count on one hand the number of nights Rich and I have shared our bed all night without a boy in the last month or so.

It's not about our needs, it's about theirs. And I know some may think we are being soft, we should march them back to their beds and not indulge their behaviour but I just don't agree. They are my babies. They are not going to be crying and asking me to be their hot water bottle when they are fifteen. They won't want to wrap their legs around mine at night, rub their freezing cold feet on my calves and snuggle in, because I am the only one who can make them feel safe. 

It's a privilege to be woken up at 3am. 

It's an honour to have someone depend on you and love you so unconditionally. 

And I realise I may be on borrowed time. How many 6 year old boys call their mother Mama? I am going to hold onto mine for as long as possible. He's smart, he's wickedly funny, he's a sensitive and loving giant, wearing 8 year old clothes. He's challenging, he's feisty, his determination leaves me frustrated and infuriated at times, but I wouldn't change him.

He skips out of school. Yes skips! Runs into my arms shouting "Mama, Mama!" And as long as this period lasts I am going to embrace it. Whether I hear this cry at 3.20pm at the school gates or at 3.20am in the depth of the night. 

They won't be babies for long. They are not really babies now, but they are my babies.

I watched them this afternoon playing frisbee in the garden. I was taking some photos for a photography client outside and I put the camera down to join them. We flung this old plastic frisbee they'd found at the bottom of the garden around and were laughing at how I couldn't throw it as well as them. (Yes that old trick of suddenly forgetting how to do something.) And he stopped the game to pick up a dandelion.

To make a wish. I grabbed the camera and snapped a photo. He said he was wishing really hard, really, really hard. And those cheeks all puffed with air just blew me away. 

I have no idea what he was wishing for, but my baby, I wish I could just freeze time. To the time when you kiss me on the lips, you wrap yourself around me at night like a baby monkey, when you are in awe of my ability to sing in a Minion voice whilst watching Despicable Me, to when missing your assembly on Friday because I am working will make my heart ache. 

I look at my Mum and I think you can't surely see us as your babies, now we have babies of our own. But she must. Because they will always be our babies.

Sleep well my darling. I'll be up in a minute for a big cuddle. And it's a wonderful thing to be your hot water bottle tonight.

I am in no rush for you to grow up just yet.

Wish

#capturingcolour • red

What a bold and beautiful week. Love was hanging in the air after Valentine's Day and all the colours of love filling our feeds!

This was my week...

And the #capturingcolour gallery was bursting with vibrant, romantic, crimsons, scarlets, rusty, brick and every other shade of red you can imagine. 

Here were a few favourites.

But the one that just captured my heart was this soulful image by Murdering Time. Beautiful composition, stunning light. Perfect props!

Murdering Time

Come and join in the new week of SILVER. We want to find all you magpies and embrace the silvery greys, textured metals and shiny shimmers!

#capturingcolour is a weekly theme on Instagram. Tag your silver photos this week. Favourites will be featured next Monday :)

Best Black and White Photoshop Actions

One thing I can't say enough about is learning to edit your photos.

Sometimes I take a photo and it's perfect, I don't want to tweak it or slightly brighten it, or nudge the contrast, but those times are rare!!!!

Editing is not cheating. It doesn't make your photos worth less. It doesn't mean you don't know your camera. Editing is a completely normal part of the photography process.

I love colour but I also love the power a black and white photo can create. 

So I wanted to share my favourite Black and White actions that I use. Actions are amazing! Preset edits that with one click of a button can subtly transform a photo. I use Photoshop to edit my photos and love the ease of actions. I tend to shy away from the very heavy effects but have a set of favourites that are my go to saviours of what I might consider an average photo. (I am my harshest critic and I have a lot to thank these lovely actions for sometimes.)

Let me introduce you to Florabella.

Florabella Actions
Florabella Actions

I don't take a huge amount of portraits and although the focus of the examples on this site are with beautiful children, they work so well with any subject. I feel like these actions are dreamy, they cast a magical light over your image and work really well for Spring and Summer photos. They really enhance the highlights in a subject.

Sarah Gardner's actions are just as beautiful and have such contrast.

The black and white action presets create completely different atmospheres and whilst I still favour the more traditional black and white effects I want to challenge myself and experiment with the colour options within the overall pallete. 

The brown tones evoke a more vintage feel without stripping out the detail of the photo.

Sarah Gardner Actions
Sarah Gardner Actions
Sarah Gardner Actions
Sarah Gardner Actions

I have been a long term fan of the sister blogging force A Beautiful Mess and when they added an action set to their shop I was so happy! I love the pops of colour the more natural filters they use on their blog photos. And their black and white options are just as exciting as their full colour options.

A Beautiful Mess Actions
A Beautiful Mess Actions
A Beautiful Mess Actions
A Beautiful Mess Actions

What strikes me about Elsie and Emma's actions are the ability to create that matt quality. The Willow and Lola actions strip out the shine and evoke a much more wintry and textured effect, whereas the Audrey and Boston filters pick out detail and depth. 

Actions are a great way to enhance your photos with ease. They don't fix everything, but they can add subtle layers to your image they will add contrast, highlight, shadow and light.

I use Aperture as my photo library and the Black and White options are great too. Built into the program and have that little something extra on top of a straight black and white. 

Aperture

Are you a Photoshop fan or do you use a different program to edit your photos?

ps. There's another brilliant company Paint the Moon who specialise in stunning action sets. If you take a lot of portraits check them out!