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CHRISTMAS NATIVITY WITH A DIFFERENCE

What does a photographer do when they have a crazy idea? Much to their excitement, they carry it out! Being that crazy Photographer with an idea and a vision, I have spent the last few weeks bringing my little project to life. 

I am pleased to announce that it’s finally finished and ready to show! This has, without a doubt been the most fun I’ve had in my studio since I officially opened nearly 3 years ago!

My first task was finding enough babies. Any newborn photographer will tell you, there is always an abundance of babies being born until you realise you need 9 of them all in one day! Some babies went past their due date and some arrived too early, however I am pleased to say that as the shoot date approached, my little handmade props and outfits were ready and waiting. With batteries all charged, an abundance of biscuits (always a must!) and babies all confirmed, I was ready to go! 

I scheduled the babies to arrive at staggered times throughout the day so I could ensure that each one of our little models had the time they needed to get ready and I could also meet each new Mum to explain the image being shot. Each baby was soothed, wrapped and posed and then placed into their position. I had spent the previous days planning the shot so knew exactly where and how I wanted each baby to ensure that the day ran as smoothly as possible.

Anyone who has ever had a session with me will know, that safety is my main priority when working with any of my clients, especially newborns. Each of my babies were supported in situ by my assistant on the day and were never left unattended at any point. Parents were also always in the studio and in full view of the shooting area. It is important to note that the final image is a complete composite of the babies with all their support removed in post processing. 

 A selection of Behind the Scenes images taken on the day @coraliekyriacouphotography

A selection of Behind the Scenes images taken on the day @coraliekyriacouphotography

I started with Mary and Joseph. Not only were they super sweet but they are also twins, which made it even more cute! I used two assistants for this shot to ensure that I had enough help in holding them in position once settled. These babies were originally photographed separately to ensure I could get the background in for the later edit then also photographed together.

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Next up was Baby Jesus who was nice and easy as he lay there fast asleep. Then came the three kings, by this point my little studio was becoming increasingly hot and full of parents and babies…but the image was coming together.

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As the day progressed, my shepherd and lamb arrived too, followed by the super tiny and very sleepy Angel. She was just so sweet!

Once the whole shoot was finished I was very happy as I knew that the day had been everything that I had planned and visualised, so stage one was a huge success. Every baby was fantastic! I couldn’t have wished for better behaved or sleepy babies and each and every parent that chose to take the time to come and be part of it, I can’t thank enough.

Sat in front of my computer with multiple images open I was ready to go. With around 10 images to composite together to make up the final result, the excitement grew. My heart smiled a little more each time I finished an edit and made that baby a part of the composite. My vision was coming alive. 

AND HERE IT IS! THE FINISHED IMAGE!

  Introducing my beautiful Models:  Chrysanthi and Loizos as Mary and Joseph and Elliott as baby Jesus. Zenon, Connor and Lincoln as the Three kings, Louis as the Shepherd, Hallie as the little Lamb and Joanie as the Angel.

Introducing my beautiful Models: Chrysanthi and Loizos as Mary and Joseph and Elliott as baby Jesus. Zenon, Connor and Lincoln as the Three kings, Louis as the Shepherd, Hallie as the little Lamb and Joanie as the Angel.

My initial idea couldn't have become reality without the support of each and every parent, all the beautiful babies and my fantastic assistants. 

The final outcome is just how I imagined it...Now I can’t wait to see what next year brings! 

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MY LITTLE CHRISTMAS PROJECT - SNEAK PEEK

What does a photographer do when they have a crazy idea? Much to their excitement, they carry it out! 

Being that crazy Photographer with an idea and a vision, I have spent the last few weeks bringing my little project to life.

A few months ago I started to plan what would undoubtably be the most fun I have had in my studio since I officially opened nearly 3 years ago this month!

With a trusty hammer, nails, some wood and a willing husband to help, we set to work on the first stage of the project. 

Stage two was planned for the following week where I would need 9 newborn babies to complete my vision....EXCITING!

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Stage 2..

I am so pleased to announce that my                  final image is nearly ready to show!

Keep updated on my social media platforms in the coming days to see how it all came together on the day!

Much love

Coralie K x

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BACK TO SCHOOL MAYHEM!

IT'S BACK TO SCHOOL TIME!

So the kids are starting back at school after a VERY long summer (Yay!) and once again you realise that you are quite probably the most unorganised parent out there! Of course, having now left it so late you find that you are unable to buy all items needed in one shop, (because why would life be that easy) and you punish yourself with the question: Why can’t I be more organised like other Mums!

If you are an organised parent you would already have your children’s uniform sorted. Lists drawn out, multiple items ordered in a range of different sizes to ensure everything fitted just right and delivered with ample time to be washed, ironed and hung up with weeks to spare. If this is you, please ignore all the following points and continue to enjoy your stress free evening. …However, like myself, if you are thinking, Wow this is so not me then welcome to my world! Unlike other organised parents, I only had one thing at the top of my list when the schools broke up and this meant holidays and rest and no such mention of uniform planning.

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So for all the unorganised parents, here are 10 things you can most certainly identify with: 

#1 Having misjudged times that one must buy school uniform it’s off to the shops we go. Of course, you will probably have left it to the last moment and timed to perfection, in that there will be kids running everywhere and mums losing the will to live as they stress about how much easier this could have been if there were more hours in the day and their diary a little more organised!

#2 “I’m terribly sorry we no longer have aged 9-10 years white shirts left in stock. Will 7-8 years old be ok instead?” Ah, yes, I shall just go and find another child that will fit them instead! If looks could kill this would be the moment. Believe me! The idea that anyone would still like a uniform a week BEFORE the start of term seems to have bypassed most major retailers. 

#3 Don’t worry about buying multiples of everything and the latest scuff free shoes and non-iron shirts. Really!? I mean are those items anything more then a marketing gimmick! Those Clarks shoes will be scuffed before you can get back to your car on the first day of school. School uniform should be called 'think disposable clothing!' If your child still has all items of uniform half way through the term you are doing well!

#4 Labelling all items is soul destroying! Grandma will insist. PLEASE DON’T LISTEN TO HER. Your life will be stolen before your eyes as you painstakingly iron or stitch in tiny name labels. Instead, be prepared to have clothing lost and forever disappear into the world of lost property. Hmm, tough call.

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#5 Buy a pen!

Before the week is through you will have more forms to be filled in for day trips, event mornings, lunch money requests and educational visits then you will know what to do with. FACT.

#6 Ah yes. The dreaded stationary. Block out all these requests from your kids. “I need this £20.00 multiple compartment, zipped and pinging in all directions pencil case from Smiggle Mum. I mean, you want me to stay organised and focused, don’t you”? Little do we know that this is to be the start of what will become a multitude of stationary they will never use.

#7 In case you forgot, remember, that once your kids are back at school your weekends are no longer your own. When you are not ferrying around your tribe to an ever growing list of out of school activities and clubs you will be sitting at numerous birthday parties, sometimes on the same day. Introducing your new job; (to add to the list!) Mums Taxi service!

#8 The night before school starts drama. Where are my school shoes!? Who moved my P.E kit and why aren’t my glasses in their case?. Oh the joy this evening brings me…someone please bring me wine!? 

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#9 However organised you think you have been, there will always be something you have forgotten. Note, this will also be the item, however small, that your child insists out of anything else on the list of things to buy, this was 100% required in the first 5 minutes of the start of term.

#10 And…just when you say your final goodbyes at the gate and head off, secretly giggling with delight inside, for what seems like 6 hours of pure heaven, you are reminded of the sheer pain of school morning traffic and the fact that this is now your life once again!

So if you have just finished reading this, the question to ask should be…What’s the school item that you’ve forgotten this year?

 

 

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Value your family time

Throughout our lives, there are places that we visit that resonate with us more than others. Maybe it’s the scenery, the culture and history, the food and drink, or the people you meet along the way. 

For me, this place is Cyprus but until this summer I couldn't quite put my finger on the main reason why I love it so much. Of course, my heart will always be there as we have so many friends and family who live there, however each time I visit Cyprus I leave feeling humbled and very reflective on just how different their way of life can be.

As I spend many moments being welcomed into so many peoples homes I see just how important family is to them. A greek family always creates opportunities for quality time and it is these special moments and memories that are the outcome.

Quality family time is one of the most important elements in a child’s life. In this day and age it is becoming increasingly hard to ensure we provide enough of this. I for one am very aware that we all lead busy lives. When I am not working in the day, I am generally working into the early hours and then there's the running around after the children and trying to keep up with the daily routine of being a parent…or simply just taking a moment to be me. There will always be something that gets in the way, but nonetheless, every family should make time for something which is so important.

I didn’t grow up in a particularly big family and as the years went on not everybody in my family was especially close. When I met my husband however, this all changed and I found myself being welcomed into a huge family that spanned across several continents. Even after 13 years there are still many people that I have yet to meet, however, they are spoken of so fondly it is as if I know them already.

This summer we have been lucky enough to spend real quality time as a family as well as other family members that we don't see as often. It has always been important for my husband and I to raise our girls to know who they are as this is deeply rooted to where they came from and these opportunities to spend time with each other provide them with a first hand insight to learn, embrace and celebrate all of this. 

My girls are so lucky as they have such a vast amount of love, opportunities and people in their lives with so much to offer them. All their grandparents have been there since they were born and have showered them with love, support and guidance to which we will always be grateful for. They also have two cultures to embrace with family spread across different countries and as they have got older the bonds growing with their loved ones in Cyprus is just wonderful to see.  

Watching all the little cousins over the years interact as they have grown is just heart warming. Each year their ability to communicate has developed as the children in Cyprus learn English and our girls learn Greek. The girls also meet so many different people. They visit places that have so much history connected to family members on the island and they experience new things each time we visit. 

As the years go on and children get older family time becomes even harder. Social media is at it’s prime and it is snatching away these valuable years. Most children now have tablets, smart phones and social media accounts and spend many hours with their heads in them or playing computer games.  

My Summer has reminded me to claim back family time.

Spending time as a family effects almost every aspect of a child’s life and helps mould them into the adults they will eventually become. You don’t need to go on holiday or do anything fancy to achieve the same outcome. The reward is the same. 

An ancient Greek philosopher once said, “Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend.”

So make sure you are spending your most valuable resource - your time - on your family.

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Letter to my First Born

Eleni. 

L.O.V.E. How can a word so small mean so much. How can just four letters, once placed together be the description of feelings so strong? Sometimes when I just stop and look at you I am so overwhelmed with such strong positive emotions, love and pride I could cry so many happy tears.

I remember the day you were born and the days that followed, but 11 years ago this love felt so much different. You were born in the evening and before long Dad had to go home and then it was just you and me. If I am completely honest I was terrified. As the days followed I began to realise that life had changed. A good change but also a scary and daunting one. I was responsible for a tiny human and this was very overwhelming for me. We had so many visitors and so many people wanted to meet you. I wondered how I fitted in to all of this. My emotions were sky high and it felt like everyone loved you more then me. I had only just met you and love is such a big word. What if I never felt like that? Would I be a good enough Mum to you?

Nanny was the one that sat me down and reassured me that all these feelings were completely normal. That it was ok to be overwhelmed, and that I was now a Mother and that my love would grow and grow unconditionally. So as you grew and grew we got to know each other and found our way. She was completely right.

The physical demands of looking after a small human were tiring and challenging and there have been many times that all of your grandparents and Dad have come to the rescue when it has just got too much. Every choice and decision I have had to make for you has resulted in endless conversations with Dad, worrying if I have done the right thing, guilty thoughts and tears. Having you, changed the way I viewed life forever. I am your protector and I love you with every thing I have, completely, totally & unconditionally.

Being your Mum is the most wonderful thing that could have happened to me. There have been tough days in the past and I do not dispute that there may lay tough moments ahead. But, these are such minor moments when you think of the amount of joy you bring to my life. 

There are some days when I mutter ‘can my day get any worse’ but just remember that this is a question not a challenge. These are the days where we somehow lose our way and things don't go to plan. Normally there will be tears. These are not our best days and Dad says it is because we are so alike. 

However, there are many good days. Positive days. Happy days. Days where I smile from the inside out as my heart glows. These are the days that I cherish. The day that starts with the bright sun shining, the laughter of you and your sister playing, movie nights or a little note left for me around the house that could be as simple as I love you Mum. Thank you of these moments. 

Every day I feel so proud of you.

Your first words, learning to sit up all on your own, those first wobbly steps, riding a bike, when you wrote your name for the first time and then the moment you waved good bye on your first day at school. We have so many memories and each day my heart grows for you. Having the honour of calling you my daughter is the best gift I could have been blessed with.

When I look back, I don’t really know where all these school years have gone. School trips, friendship group break ups and the dreaded school run! You have had a mixed bag of experiences going through primary school but these harder moments have only strengthened you to become the person you are today. You are a smart kid Eleni, with a great love for English and just the best dry sense of humour for a child. You were head girl at your school this year too. A great honour and one that made everyone extremely proud, especially hearing how highly your teachers spoke of you. 

You have grown up in a world surrounded by love. You are lucky to have all your Grandparents in your life and have the relationship with them all like you do. Them all being here as well as your Dad’s support has meant that I too could follow my path and achieve the opportunities that I too had aimed for. You have grown up watching me work hard and I hope someday you will realise why I did this and learn that anything is achievable if you want it to be. 

Now you stand before me on your last day of Junior school. A young lady with so much ahead of her and all ready to start her next journey to senior school. The last few weeks waiting for this moment has been like watching my heart grow legs, then totter off to a new and independent world. I would do anything to have just one more day with you as a little one, yet I am so excited to see you flourish on your next path ahead. 

You are the best thing that ever happened to me and my heart fills with pride and love when I see what a wonderful young lady you have become.

My wish for you is that as you grow up into a young woman you always remember how much you mean to me. I hope that you always feel loved, protected and I hope that I am always able to offer you the best opportunities, experience, support, guidance and advice that I can. 

Your future is a blank canvas and it is waiting for you to create. You can achieve whatever you set your mind and heart on. 

But please just remember how ever old you get…I will always love you to the moon and back

Mum xXx

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So why are photographs so important?

So Why Are Photographs So Important?

The last few weeks I have been thinking a lot about this question and the reasons why I find my love of photography such a rewarding and valuable profession. 

The older you get the faster it seems to go and the faster it goes the more details seem to get erased. I suppose on reflection this can sometimes be a good thing, however, for the good moments it is hard to let those memories slip so fast from our minds. 

Today I came across old stories waiting to be retold. The photographs were taken on my Nan’s wedding day. I had questions. Who were some of these people in the pictures? Where are they now? And then I looked at my Nan. She looked so much taller then how I knew her. She was very pretty and it looked like such a wonderful day. Prior to being a Mother herself, my Nan was a leading aircraft woman in the WRAF and married her husband, my Grandfather in the early 1950’s. I never met him and unfortunatley my Nan died a few years ago. 


As I grew up my Nan was a big part of my life. She took me on days out, we went blackberry picking in the surrounding fields by her house and spent summer days going to Anchor head to collect pebbles and trips on the Open top ‘Windy’ Bus. If I was good she would let me to sit in her ‘magic’ chair in the lounge and then as I got older we baked her famous chocolate cake and hot sauce together. She collected 20 pence's in a tube that she always asked me to count for her and she always told me my brain would fry if I sat near the microwave!

She was also a big collector of dolls and they were all proudly displayed in a cabinet in her lounge. They were all different and each had their own story but none of the grandchildren were allowed to play with them. 

We each had our favourite but the dancing doll was the most popular with us all. When she got her out, I remember the mechanics being so noisy as she wound her up and then let her free as she danced in circles.

She wore a black, white and red dress, with two plaits in her hair and a little lace bonnet. One arm always hung limp and lower than the other one. I could have watched her dance for hours. 

When my Nan died I was given several photographs of her from the 1950’s from when she was in the WRAF. She was in the P.T. Display team and also the WRAF Netball Team. I always played Netball at school and for Weston as I got older. In all the years that I was growing up she never mentioned that she played for the WRAF Netball team or won competitions yet these memories must have been important for her to have kept them safe for so many years. These images show her happy, youthful and adventurous.

So how am I able to remember and be part of these moments? 

Because somebody cared enough to take and develop pictures like these. Somebody printed on paper the face of this lady I love and because they did, I now have them in my possession, years later, to show my children…so they too can remember her. I have many photographs of her that I was not a part of. Times that were recorded before even her children were born. But she still lives on paper.

When I close my eyes and think of loved ones that are no longer with me I can only see what my mind allows me to remember of them. 

But...I will always remember this wonderful woman. Her good nature and sense of humour, day trips out when I was small and the moment she held my children for the very first time. 

Why?

Because I have these photographs. I'll never forget those moments, and I have the photos to remind me of that.

 

So, please, print what you want to remember.

If you don’t think photographs are important now, wait until they are all you have left.

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London here I come!

My bags are nearly packed, business cards out and another empty notebook ready to be filled with inspiring words, plans and helpful tips of the trade…which means it must be nearly time for the SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) Convention 2017.

I am very privileged to own my own studio and be in a job that I love. As well as working with the best clients I am also aware of how important all the other aspects of my job are like my own professional development as a Photographer. Working on your own allows for independence and creative freedom, however you can also miss other aspects like working in a team, idea generation and business development.

The SWPP Convention is a pyramid of knowledge. Back to back seminars by some of the worlds best UK and International speakers and photographers in the industry, presentations, awards and best of all the opportunity to meet up with other Photographers and friends from around the country.

Over the last 12 months especially, I have immersed myself in the training and social side of the business. I have made some of the best photographer friends via meet ups and training and formed lasting friendships. Our industry can be slightly isolated but these meet ups are invaluable to our development both as a person and as a business owner.

This week I shall be taking classes with two world renowned international Photographers. Ekk! I cannot wait to meet them both. I am just bursting to the brim with excitement and just know that by the end of the week my head will be full of ideas and I cannot wait to share my top highlights of the week with you. 

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