Why family photos are awesome!!!

I love photographs. Just as well I decided to be a photographer, isn’t it?

Images connect us to our past. They inspire us and show us who we are and where we came from, so not lots of words on this post…but maybe a few of tears.

This is the start of a personal project for me. My mum has asked me to collect all the family photos and scan them in to make them available to everyone in the family. I’m really looking forward to it, because it lets me learn about some amazing people that I never got a chance to meet.

People like my great grandfather, my gran’s father.

He lied to the army so he could sign up for the First War. His is him on his horse when he was between 14-18 years old.

He lied to the army so he could sign up for the First War. This is him on his horse when he was between 14-18 years old.

Or my grandpa’s father and his grandparents.

My great-grandfather and great-great-grandparents in 1918.

My great-grandfather and great-great-grandparents in 1918.

My grandparents wedding (mum’s side).

The joining of the Saddler Noble clans.

The joining of the Saddler Noble clans.

Or my dad’s dad, who died before my parents started dating.

My grandfather on my dad's side.

My grandfather on my dad’s side.

Printing photographs might not seem so important in these days of camera phones and digital files, but they are. Especially because it’s a lot easier to lose digital files than actual prints. Framed family portraits are beautiful things that you will keep forever, so don’t delay, time stops for no one. Do something special for you mum on mother’s day.

It doesn’t have to be with me, but get some beautiful family portraits done. I guarantee you won’t regret it.

Mother's Day Voucher 02.03.2013 onlineTo arrange a shoot or order a voucher give me a call on 07763092221 or email clairewatsonphotography@yahoo.com with your name, the address to send the voucher to and any additional information you would like included, like your mum’s name.
T&Cs available on request.

 

 

 

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Make it a Mother’s Day she will remember…

A man’s work is from sun to sun, but a mother’s work is never done.

Two great offers for mums and mums to be this week. Why not instead of getting your mum chocolates that she doesn’t really want, and that you know you will end up eating anyway, or flowers that will be dead in a week, you get her something that she will love forever. A picture of the people that she loves most in the world.

Mother's Day Voucher 02.03.2013 onlineYou can give her a family photo shoot at a location of her or your choice. You could even arrange it as a surprise. The voucher is £100 and includes an online gallery of all the pictures from the shoot from which she can choose her 3 favourite digital images. She can then get them printed when, where and how she likes.

Or maybe you know a great mum to be and are searching for a fantastic maternity or baby shower gift. So what about getting her a ‘Mother & Baby’ voucher that she can decide to use as she wants. The voucher is £250 and the mum to be can decide how she uses it. She might prefer two shoots, a maternity and a newborn, with 30 credits (£300 equivalent) to spend a beautiful album, or three shoots to mark the first year of their little ones life, at newborn, 6 and 12 months, with 20 spending credits (£200 equivalent) to get a selection of their favourite prints mounted and framed.

Mother & Baby voucher

Mother & Baby voucher

Make it a Mother’s Day she’ll remember.

To order a voucher give me a call on 07763092221 or email clairewatsonphotography@yahoo.com with your name, the address to send the voucher to and any additional information you would like included, like your mum’s name.
T&Cs available on request. Digital vouchers only after Wednesday 6th.

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Valentine’s Winners…how do you get people involved?

Last week I decided to run a wee competition running up to Valentine’s Day to promote my couples…engagement, wedding photography. I was also interested to see what topics people were most engaged with and what days and times were best to post to get the best response. It’s really difficult to tell as you can go off the industry research, but I am never sure how targeted it is. When in doubt…experiment!
The competition was a different question everyday to find out about people’s #MostRomantic things. The questions were as follows:

Day 1. What is the most romantic flower? (Not including roses)

Day 2. Guess. What is the most romantic present I have recieved? (On reflection this was a rubbish question as it was too obscure and didn’t illicit any useful information from people. In addition, to being too long to put on Twitter easily)

Day 3. What is the most romantic quote or poem?

Day 4. What is the most romantic song?

Day 5. What is the most romantic place in Scotland? (I thought this last one would get the most people involved as I targeted lots of tourism and Scottish tweeters, but got very little response. I’m not entirely sure if that is because of how they use their accounts or how I approached then about it. I will have to do a bit of research this week to see how I could have made this work better.)

The winners were: Day 1 Flower = Shirley Coote, Day 2 Present = no one got close, Day 3 Poem = Suzanne Shinnie, Day 4 Song = Saskia MacEachen who all won a location shoot for a couple at a location of there choice, including a online gallery and 3 prints. Valentine’s Day was won by Mhairi McCallum with her most romantic place in Scotland being Coral Beach, Dunvegan, Skye. Mhairi won a £200 voucher towards wedding photography, an engagement shoot and prints. Congratulations to everyone who won and thank you for everyone who entered.
So on reflection was the promotion a success? It’s a little early to say at the moment. Looking at the obvious numbers the interaction with my Facebook page increased more than paying for advertising ever has, so purely on that it has to be counted as a partial success. I’ll have to wait and see if it has any direct impact on bookings, but fingers crossed.
As they say everything in business is a learning process…here’s to keeping learning 😉

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Love in the snow

Good things come to those who wait…I’m not convinced by this most of the time. I have no patience and much prefer to make things happen, but with the weather in Scotland that isn’t really possible.

Sometimes you just have to be patient and waiting for snow has just been one of those things this year (I’m including the end of last year too). I first spoke to Emma and Mike about their engagement shoot just after the summer and at the time we were really keen to do a snowy engagement shoot later in the year…then there was no snow! Then last weekend I got a text from Emma on Saturday morning to say there was lots of snow in Edinburgh, so I jumped out of bed and headed to the Gallery of Modern Art. The plan had been to head down to the Water of Leith to do the shoot, but again we were thwarted as the entrance had been closed because of a landslip!

“The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
Gang aft agley” To a Mouse – Robert Burns

So after a quick rethink we settled on the grounds of the Gallery itself and here was the result.

There is also 5 days left to book your free engagement shoot with my ‘try before you buy’ offer that ends on the 31st of January, so come on what do you have to lose?

 

 

 

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Try before you buy?

So most of us wouldn’t marry someone after looking at their Facebook page and having one or two conversations with them, would we?

Hiring your wedding photographer obviously isn’t the same commitment as spending the rest of your life with someone, but as far as photographers that’s basically what we are asking you to do.

We ask you to trust us based on our previous work and if you like us based on a brief meeting. But what if you could try before you buy?

You could find out…

  • What is it like to work with the photographer?
  • Do they make you feel happy and relaxed or self-conscious and uncomfortable?
  • Do you like their pictures (of you, not someone else)?
  • Would you be happy with them being with you for a big part on your wedding day?

When you’re getting married you can try the food, the cake the dress and pretty much everything else before you buy, so why not the photographer?

I think you should be able to, so for all of January here’s my offer. If you have got engaged over Christmas and New Year and are starting to look for a wedding photographer. I would like to offer you a complimentary engagement photo shoot and a £50 voucher towards a beautiful signing frame*.

To find out more about me as a photographer check me out here or Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and soon to be YouTube or if you need more reasons why you should always have and engagement shoot have a look at Why engagement pictures are important.

Promotion ends 31st January 2013.

A couple embracing on the right with text explaining the free engagement photo shoot on the left.

Try before you buy.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

  1. This offer is only available to those whose proposed wedding date is available and who have not already retained the services of a photographer for their wedding.
  2. The photo shoot must be booked with the photographer before the 31st January 2013.
  3. The photo shoot must take place before the end of the year, 31st December 2013.
  4. Dates of photo shoots are subject to availability.
  5. This offer is not to be used in conjunction with any other offers.
  6. This offer does not include any images, which must be purchased separately.
  7. This offer is not exchangeable for cash.
  8. Locations out with 50miles Stanemuir Wood will be charged at 50p/mile.

*retail price £150

For further information please contact Claire.

www.clairewatson.co.uk

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Rewarding yourself for hard work?

I was just working on my other blog for my challenge for this year which is to complete Celtman, an ironman type distance extreme triathlon (yes I am a wee bit mental…but in a good way, honest!). If you want to find out more about what I’m doing you can check out the blog here or go the the race website here. It’s going to be an amazing challenge and I will be raising money for both The Rock Trust and SAMH, but that’s not why I wanted to put it up here.

As part of my training, blogging process I’m taking regular pictures to see how my body changes. I thought before and after images would be a great way to demonstrate the results of all that hard work. I don’t mean the faked, Photoshopped images you see in magazines and online. I mean true representations of what happens when you start using your body how it’s meant to be used, instead of what it becomes when you live behind a desk and in front of a TV (e.g. what I’ve been doing for the last 4 months).

You know yourselves when you see someone everyday you don’t really notice them losing weight or putting on muscle and we are often even harsher on ourselves.  So my suggestion to you is why not reward yourself, or someone you love, with a photo shoot at the end of your training programme. This is not just about the girls…boys you deserve some rewards too! It can include a makeover and new clothes or maybe you just want to see the difference between you in your workout kit before and after it’s up to you. Think of it as added motivation.

I started this idea rolling with Tracy at Griffen Fitness and Marcus at Combat Ready (both in Edinburgh) back in December, but then got side tracked by other developments with the projects, and obviously Christmas and New Year, so I’m just coming back to it now.

I’d love to hear what you think, if it’s something you would be interested in doing or know someone who does. Also as it’s a new project for me I’m looking for a couple of models (by that I mean normal people to model) so the first couple of people to get in touch and who would be happy to be used in my promotional materials are likely to get their shoots for free. Something to think about.

If you live anywhere in central Scotland including Edinburgh, Glasgow and the surrounding areas and are interested in hearing more email me at clairewatsonphotography@yahoo.com or even better give me a call 07763092221 (and there is always Facebook and Twitter too).

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5 Top Tips for a Positive, Relaxed and Fun Family Photo Experience

I know the standard fare of family photography is everyone gets dressed up and warned or bribed…whatever works for you…to behave. Then you all get in the car and go to some studio where you stand against a pale background or sometimes you take your own stuff and lie on the floor. My memory of it is that it’s neither a fun or relaxing experience and worst of all the pictures you get back never really represent you or your family.

Why not change it? Why not have a laugh? Go somewhere fun. Do something you will all enjoy, so that when you look at the pictures they don’t remind you of something that caused you stress, but of a great day out. It doesn’t have to be far. It could just be your garden or if the weather is abysmal…it has been known to happen…get them done in the house. You’d be amazed what can be achieved with a bit of netting and an inventive photographer. It’s also great for little ones as they have all their stuff so that if they need cheering up or even just a 5 minute play they can have it and come back.

So finally, what are the top tips…

1. LOCATION Get out of the studio and try to choose a location that makes your family feel comfortable. By working with the photographer and choosing somewhere that is special for your family, you can make your shoot a relaxed and positive experience.
2. TIMING Try and pick a time when are your kids at their happiest and talk to the photographer about combining that with the best light opportunities for outdoor shoots.
3. CLOTHES In the end it’s completely up to you but the basics are to try to avoid branding and patterns, as too many intricate patterns detracts from faces. Coordinate from the same colour palette…google ‘weird family photos’ if you want to see looks you‘d probably rather avoid.
4. ATMOSPHERE Keep it relaxed. The best photos are the ones where you’re having fun together, so keep it casual, especially with little ones. Don’t worry if they get a little dirty. Kids will be kids and that’s what Photoshop is for.
5. PERSON Hire a photographer whose work you like and who makes you feel comfortable. Ask friends and family for suggestions or have a look at the information online. Nowadays you can get a pretty good idea from Twitter, Facebook, blogs and websites of how photographers work.

Then get them printed and framed and they’ll look something like this…

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