The embarrassing thing about having photographs taken outdoors direct from an Oldham family photographer!

Does the thought of being photographed outdoors bring you out in a cold sweat?

Being an Oldham family photographer who focuses on authentic photographs of families being families, a lot of my work takes place outside.  As a Mum myself, I know that being outdoors is often a priority for parents so naturally my photography follows the same pattern.  Kids love playing, running, cycling and the like to their hearts content without a care in the world yet it can’t always be said that it is the same for parents.

Inspired By Joseph oldham family photographer Saddleworth adventures

I get it, honestly I do!

I know from experience and insight from prospective and current clients that people can feel quite embarrassed about having their photographs taken outdoors. I get it, I promise you, I do.  There can be loads of numerous things whizzing around your head such as:

  • People will look and say oooo look at them!
  • Oh, I couldn’t do that!
  • Everyone will be staring at us!
  • This is just plain embarrassing!
  • I can’t be myself with people watching me!
  • I don’t fancy an audience peeking into our family time together!

Can I let you into a secret?

The only embarrassing point about having photographs taken outdoors is nothing! Seriously, there is nothing to it and let me tell you why.  People are more interested in what they are doing themselves in their own lives with little time or capacity to do anything other than focus on their own life, challenges, to do lists etc.  Most would not even notice that you were in the middle of a photo shoot.  Consequently, those that might look do so wishing that they had the courage or ability to document their own lives in a similar way.  Then in a heartbeat, once again you would be forgotten as they carried on with their own lives.

rachel out and about mummy

Let me ask you the reverse.

Have you ever been out and about and noticed a family having their photograph taken.  Did you stop and stare, pull up a chair and chomp at the popcorn for half an hour?  I imagine not!

So, don’t let the thought of outdoor family photography put you off.  If you don’t believe me, all of these clients can’t be wrong!

Do you agree? I would love to hear so leave me a reply below….

The seven most common reasons for not having photographs taken professionally from an Oldham photographer

Oldham photogrpaher

For those of you reading this who don’t know me well, I love a bit of feedback.  I love it when people come up to me and tell me how gorgeous my photos are.  It means that, as an Oldham photographer,  the the financial as well as timely efforts to improve is paying off.  When people express their gratitude for My Mum Stories, it makes me happy that 100% of what I achieve through my business is down to the efforts I put in.  Likewise, when I get given an idea for something to try or improve, I love it!

I understand

Photography is a considered purchase that doesn’t usually require specific action by a deadline. I understand that some view it as a luxury whilst others don’t see it as a necessity. On the other hand, others believe it is one of the best investments you can make in documenting your life in a way that just can’t be replicated on a mobile phone camera.  Unless you take the time to consider and use your judgement when it comes to professional photography,  you could be making a huge mistake, either financially in paying more or less than you wish or even the regret of not investing in photography before the moment passes.

Common concern #1 It’s not the right time

With this one I totally acknowledge it. As an Oldham photographer, mum of two, school Trustee and then some, I could certainly do with a few extra hours every day. In reality that’s not going to happen so I know that I need to be wise and use my time more effectively when I need to, which will enable me to do the things that matter. Does that ring a bell with you?  When I overlay that with the fear of regret and how I would feel for NOT doing something, that usually spurs me on to find the time to do what I want or need to do. Personally, I know that the regret of not capturing key milestones in my families life through the art of photography can be a popular one.  I know if I got run over by a bus tomorrow, I literally have no regrets because I find time to do what I need to.

(aka I’m too busy)

Similarly, if you think you don’t have the time, consider how important and how much of a priority having a suite of family photographs is to you just now.  See the time as a chance to connect, make new memories and have fun!  With me, sessions are not timed so I work to your needs and requirements working swiftly and effectively to create fab and fun photos.  I have a knack with kids, all kids. I just do! My big ‘bag of tricks’ to make our time together such an adventure for kids of all ages is always a winner. Of course, I am CRB checked too so you can rest assured that you are in safe hands.  Just to give you an idea, this session with Archie took well over two hours, which is absolutely fine!  Time is a gift.

Newborn baby photography

Common concern #2 Im too thin/fat/my hair need washing/etc etc

This is me everyday! There is always something, usually the fact that I am leaving the house with no make up on! To be fair, it is this concern that has inspired me to take 18 photos of myself in 2018. However, at the heart of Inspired by Joseph is authentic photography, capturing real moments in real life. It’s not about a blemish free face, it’s about an intimate moment between a family. I work with all of my clients on how to be confident in front of the camera before we meet as well as on the day plus I challenge anyone to give me a go and not be pleased not just with the final photos but with the process of getting to those photos too!

Bev Ridyard Oldham photographer

Common concern #3 The weather

Four very different seasons means rain, sun, or anything in between is the norm!   As an Oldham photographer, some of the best photos I have ever taken are in the month of November with a beautifully crisp winter sky and gorgeous sun. Clients often come to me thinking photographs are only for summer, wrong! Harsh sunlight is something that photographers avoid! I always work with my clients in the run up to the big day and we can always reschedule if the weather is not on our side. Saying that, you can do great things with a brolly and a pair of wellies…..  See this photo below?  I cannot tell you how cold it was on this day but you can’t tell, can you?

oldham family photographer

Common concern #4 I can do it myself

I have no doubt that most people can take a decent enough photo, on the go, from their mobile. The problem often lies in that there is always someone who misses out by taking the photograph! Also, it is usually that same person behind the camera time and time again which means they don’t feature in many, if not any, photos. Yes, selfies are great too and have their time and place but for me, it just isn’t the same. You could be really unlucky like I was!  Having climbed to the top of Mount Vesuvius and asking a passer by to take a family photo, this happened, I kid you not.  And because I was so hot and sweaty having carried Victoria the whole way I didn’t notice til we got to the bottom.  Tragic.

Add in a photographers experience and talent, not to mention extensive equipment and investment in training, it makes for an easy decision.

Common concern #5 I can’t afford it

I understand that money is tight when you have a baby and photography can be classed as a luxury.  If I can’t afford something, what I tend to do is flip it on it’s head and ask myself what could I do to make it happen?  Reviewing what I currently spend to calculate what I can ditch usually means I can work through it!  If you want something and put your mind to it, and do it!   Sometimes this may mean a few months of saving but it is totally worth it!  Presently, I also offer a payment plan if you want to spread the cost.  Simply contact me for further information.

Common concern #6 I didn’t like a past experience with a photographer or didn’t like the photos

I’m sorry to hear that!  I’ve been in that boat too so I can totally relate.  Consequently, all I can say is that all photographers are not the same.  It may just be that you didn’t pick the right one last time.  I have 8 top tips for choosing the right photographer which could be really helpful.  Or check out what others have made of the Inspired By Joseph experience.

Common concern #7 I don’t live in Oldham

Not a problem as I can be anywhere you need me to be!  I’ve been as far away as Sorrento so I am here ready and waiting!

Other blog posts you might find useful:

8 top tips for choosing a photographer

What everyone hates talking about… Pricing.  A true story

The Truth:  Why are photographers are so expensive?

Happy Mothers Day – The best gift could be one you do for yourself right now

Happy Mother’s Day from one Mamma to another.

Becoming a Mamma myself radically changed how I see Mother’s Day.  It made me appreciate my own Mum in a whole new way that I didn’t even know was possible.  Consequently, it also made the urge for a lie in (8am will do!) and a peace free morning more than ever!

Mother’s Day is super special so make today your day; hell you deserve it!  If there was ever a day to stop, take some time for yourself and do what you will, it is today.  Life passes by so quickly and before you know it, today will be over.  In three minutes you can read this and pick just one small thing you can do that will make you feel instantly better.  Consequently you could be cementing a moment in time for years to come.  You’re welcome!  😉

Do one thing for yourself today

In reality, the below tasks start easy and each one requires a little more effort so choose wisely!  I’m heading straight to number five to arrange for a mega one to be created whilst I have a child free house and some time on my hands this morning!

1.  Get on your phone

Swipe through the photos on your phone and laugh, smile or cry at the many Mum moments you can reminisce. In reality, how often do we take all of these photos on our phone and do something with them?  At least honour the moment and effort you took to take those photos and appreciate them. However, if the thought of trying to find those special moments is making you feel queasy attempting to find them amongst the sheer weight of thousands of photos held on your phone, then read this).  Here are some of my most recent personal favourites of the two most fabulous people in my life…

2.  Have a wander

Take a few minutes to wander around your house and actually look and admire your photos on the wall or in frames.  In reality, how often do you actually stop and really (I mean really) look at these?  Take yourself back to that moment in time and enjoy it.  Hell, why not grab a cloth and glass cleaner and give them a quick clean whilst you are there?

3.  Get inspired

Grab a cuppa or a glass of fizz and feel inspired by reading a selection of my Mum Stories or read why I’ve taken a photo every day for over four years. Created to inspire other Mums, these are a great read and if you fancy submitting your own story, get in touch!  Being a Mum is super hard and sometimes hearing other people’s stories can be a nice thing to do as we cheer each other on this fabulous but hard journey we are on together.

4.  Start a new tradition

Take a selfie, with your own kids or Mum.  In other words, take a photo with everyone in it! Why not set yourself a new tradition to create a photo on every Mother’s Day going forward?  You can grab a few tips on how to make it the best selfie ever or check out my five super quick and easy tips to take a better photo.

5.  Start shopping

Order a new print of your favourite photo for your home. Consequently, it won’t arrive on Mother’s Day but it’s the action of doing it and not putting it off that will make your Mother’s Day.  I’ve some useful reading on where to print your photo and which type of frame to use.

6.  Take action that your future self will thank you for

Book in for a family session with me. Time passes quickly so don’t put off what you may regret not getting around to.  Investing in professional photography can be daunting but I promise, with the Inspired By Joseph experience, unlimited digital images and loads more, it is definitely worth it.  No one ever said they wished they had spent the money on something else.  Check out the offers section of my Facebook page for further information.

I’d love to know which of the above actions you took on this day reserved for my favourite people, Mum’s!  Comment below and let’s see which Mum’s have done something for themselves today!

Other blog posts you might find useful:

8 top tips for choosing a photographer

What everyone hates talking about… Pricing.  A true story

The Truth:  Why are photographers are so expensive?

4 reasons not to have your photographs taken in winter – not!!

oldham family photographer

If I had a shiny pound coin for every time I heard someone say that winter is not the time to have photographs taken, my piggy bank would be full!! Let me dispel four myths for you that may just get you thinking differently….

Myth: It might rain

Yes it might! You need to decide beforehand if you and your family want to embrace the chance of rain (think colourful macs and funky unmbrellas and wellies) or reschedule, which is absolutely fine.  Personally I think it depends on what type of family you are, there’s no right or wrong. Saying that, weather apps are so predictable these days that often a short spell of rain can pass. Given I usually only offer one shoot a day, we can be flexible with times.

Myth: Weather is bad in winter

Not true! I’ve taken some amazing photos particularly in November and January which could have been taken in spring.  The climate is so unpredictable these days that seasons merge into each other.  Bad weather can strike in summer too.  For example, the heavens absolutely opened before this wedding last August!

oldham wedding photography


Myth: It’s too cold

True, it might be! However, I work quickly and efficiently to avoid lots of standing around and waiting. Once you have decided on your outfit choices (of which I can share useful guides with you to help you decide) you can layer up and wear your big coat in between photos.  Plus, we can always work inside and outside if you prefer. The choice is yours!

Myth: You need a hot sunny day for photos

This is my biggest bug bear! Take a look at this photo taken in South Africa many moons ago.  Harsh shadows cover me and I can’t even open my eyes!  When the sun is at its highest and brightest, harsh shadows and hot spots appear which we don’t want! Not flattering at all! The beauty of winter is that clouds can act as diffuser to the sun which is perfect!

So, what do you think now?

Can you see how winter photography can be a good idea?  I would love to know your thoughts so please comment below…

Other blog posts you might find useful:

I love a November photo session at Alexandra Park, Oldham

Autumn family photos with the amazing Alfie

Autumn family photography makes me smile with the fabulous Faye!

Has this ever happened to you when you check Facebook?

#my18in18 is going to look different!

Picture the scene…

You’ve had a crazy weekend that has come and gone as quick as you can say “I need some peace”.  You wake up Monday morning feeling shattered, grumpy that this morning is hair wash day and remember that you are out of concealer! You log on to Facebook for a quick check of news and see one of your friends has a new Facebook profile picture.

It’s gorgeous; just plain gorgeous

Classy and beautiful in one hit. It’s a “proper”profile picture that’s had no dodgy cropping with half of another persons arms still on show. It’s current and up to date and a true reflection of them. It has 45 likes, 10 loves and more compliments than you have time to read.

It happens to us all

Even though I am a photographer myself taking thousands of photographs a year, Im not a fan of my own profile picture! Hard to believe heh? I can totally empathise with the above story, particularly at this time of year when all social media channels are flooded with photos after the Christmas period.

I understand that getting that “perfect”photograph of yourself is tough. Capturing a moment in time that truly reflects you as a person requires skill. More importantly, it requires you to stop and make an investment in you in two ways. financially and probably more significantly, the time required to do it.

Well let me tell you sister, you deserve it!

You deserve to invest in yourself for this quality photograph that will stand the test of time and leave you feeling amazing! With all of my photography packages, I take the lead from you in terms of the photographs you would like and will use my creative juices and magic to bring them to life. By the end, you could leave with a range of different photographs which can include individual photos to nail that Facebook profile picture.  How will that make you feel?

Other blog posts you might find useful:

Did your #bestofnine2017 photos have the same problems as mine?

What everyone hates talking about… Pricing.  A true story

Reason 4/12:  It’s not just about photography

What it really feels like to become an aunty for the first time!

18th December will always be a special date for me. The day I became an Aunty for the first time will always stay with me. I recall getting the call from my sister and thinking “this is actually it!”

I am actually an Aunty!

I’m one of those people whereby, until something finally happens, it just doesn’t sink in. Obviously I’ve known about this for a while. Seeing my sisters bump grow, hearing all of her plans brought back memories of my own two pregnancies in a heartbeat. Knowing baby was on the way was a given. However, when baby arrived six weeks early, I didn’t feel ready so I can’t even contemplate how Nic and Carl felt.

He is here!

Meeting baby Peter for the first time was an absolute joy but a bit nerve wracking too! Forgetting the tiny-ness of a new baby is easy! Minutes later though and the love for him soon overtook the nerves. Straight away I began my life lessons to him but kept calling his Mummy Aunty Nic instead! I’m still struggling with that a month on!

As you can imagine, I was itching to take photos from the moment I met him, I couldn’t wait! I know how much babies change in such a short time so I’m always keen to get cracking. Acknowledging that getting prepared for photos is usually not at the top of new mums minds, you can imagine that Nic knew that they would be high on the agenda.

No pressure then…

Consequently, I wanted to smash the first photos of my nephew. Greeted with Peter in his first Everton outfit, I knew we would be in for a great session. I mean, just look at those booties!!!


Peter was so content the camera did not bother him at all, he was far too busy sleeping!

Capturing the early Mum and Baby moments are so precious. That lovingly glance or peck on the cheek captures love like no other. It makes any heart melt, especially when it’s your sister and nephew!

Peter, welcome to the world!

You have the best Mum and Dad and are in for a great life ahead! I’ve just got to get used to saying I’ve got a nephew!!

Other blog posts you might find useful:

Welcoming Victoria Grace to the family

The six biggest lessons I have learnt as a photographer

The Truth:  Why are photographers are so expensive?

Why investing in professional photography could be a wise move in 2018

I love Birthday and Christmas time

Precious time with family and friends, gift and cards galore make for happy times. Time comes and goes so fast that such milestones are the pillars of the year that often hold family memories together. I’m lucky enough to often get cash as gifts and always place it in my special money box.  I like to make sure that I actually spend it on something that matters, as opposed to it getting sucked up paying for groceries or bills.

But sometimes I get it horribly wrong

Why? Research tells us that experiences outweigh any physical gift and leave a bigger and longer lasting mark. Just think about gifts you have received or money you have spent in the last twelve months and ask yourself if you are still using them? I’ll never forget I badgered my parents for a sewing machine a few years ago.  I am ashamed to say that I have only used it twice. The guilt and regret gets me every time I see it lying under a dust sheet in our spare room.

Is it time to do things different in 2018?

Instead of making those same mistakes again, think about my four reasons why spending money on family photography could be the best investment you make in 2018.

  1. It lasts and lasts for generations to come.

    A classic, well composed, high quality photo can sit on a mantelpiece for years. Outweighing any fad of a present, it is a piece of history that remains with your family forever.

  2. It’s an investment in you because you deserve it.

    Time passes so quickly that you deserve to take the time to appreciate your family for what it is just now. We all do it, complain, particularly when it comes to little ones, about how quickly they grow and develop. Creating a suite of photographs that document time standing still will ensure there is no regrets of “I wish I had taken that photo…..”  NOTE – Mums, I am talking directly to you as you are often your own worst enemy!

    A Mums Story. Take that photo!

  3. It’s a gift that keeps on giving.

    If you choose an affordable photographer who provides excellent value for money which includes the digital images, you can use the images to create gifts for friends and family. Whether this be a thank you gift to the person who gave you the funds to buy the photos in the first place, to Mother’s and Father’s Day gift, the choice is yours! We are so lucky these days to be able to purchase everything from the usual frames to mugs, t shirts and phone covers.  Here is just one of the creative things my clients have done in the past!

  4. A photographer can take better, higher quality, creative photos which can include everyone in them!

    There is usually at least one person in every family who hates having their photograph taken but a good photographer will always ensure that everyone feels comfortable and relaxed. There’s no denying either that the quality of photographs taken by a professional photographer just can’t be replicated from an iPhone either.

    oldham family photographer

  5. Photographers can also work magic like this!

    Look carefully, how many things can you see that are different and take away distractions?  This takes time and skill to achieve!

Life’s too short for regrets. Don’t let a lack of family photographs be a regret in your life. Regardless, just make sure that, if nothing else, you spend your gift money wisely this year.

Other blog posts you might find useful:

The truth:  Why are photographers SO expensive?

The blog post which brought me to tears!

READ THIS:  For men who hate having their photograph taken

What everyone hates talking about… pricing! A true story.

Saddleworth Tameside cake smash photography

Everyone hates talking about… pricing!

Pricing.  Eeek!  It’s something that most of us hate talking about.  I remember, years back, purchasing a photo shoot for a few quid in exchange for our favourite image being printed as a 7*5 and a set of 5 christmas cards.  Bargain.  I thought it was great value for money.

One experience left me in cold sweats!

Along we went to the session, had our photos taken and  had to wait just half an hour for the photos to be ready for us to view.  We sat with a lovely hot drink waiting before we were ushered into a room to view the photos.  A nice lady demonstrated the range of photos taken, commenting how amazing we looked.  Now, if you read my blogs, you know how fussy I can be about having my own photo taken, I am very self critical.  In reality, I didn’t like any of the photos, bar two or three. Furthermore, as she continued to scroll through the photos, I found my heart was beating faster as I felt the absolute opposite to the complimentary things she was saying.

I felt bad that I didn’t like many and assumed she thought I was being picky.  It was awful.  I gave my other half a look as if to say, ‘what should we do?’ and got a look back as if to say ‘I don’t know!’  Once we picked the one we wanted for our free image, the lady tried to sell us the other two prints (not the digitals!), plus a few extras thrown in for an eye watering £75.  I found myself sweating whilst trying to justify why I didn’t want them. The whole experience was dreadful to say the least and I came away feeling terrible, vowing I could never go through that type of experience again.  Not for me!

There is something for everyone

Like everything in life, if you take a category or item, businesses make a range of products to fill that need.  For example, take cars.  Some people prefer large cars with big boots, some want something that has the highest possible MPG.  For others, price is not important as they want the latest top of the range motor from a particular brand.  Others want every single extra that they can possibly add.  Finally, some want to stay loyal to the car showroom that has looked after them for years.

It is exactly the same with photography.  There is a product and service for everyone.  Some people are fine with the experience that I vowed never to have again.  Others want to know the exact prices upfront and what specifically you get for your money.  These days, you can literally spend from a few pounds to a several hundred pounds on a photography session.  There really is something for every budget, you just need to find the one that is right for you.

There is how I roll….

My approach is simple.  I understand that photography is a considered purchase.  It isn’t a necessity but a bit of a luxury.  I appreciate that it’s a ‘nice to do’ that most people have on their list.  Therefore, I work with your budget to find a collection that works for you and provides excellent value for money.

My style is not to sell to you but to provide a suite of options that may work for you, namely giving you ALL of the edited, digital images for you to use as you wish with all my collections.  I work like this because this is how I would want to pick a photographer myself.

I believe hugely in transparency and I’ve always shared my pricing online but through my experience to date have found that everyone wants something different.  All of my collections have the same core offering, then in comes the mix and match to suit your needs.  (Wedding prices are available on request but follow the same principles!)


My approach to pricing

When I say I love to chat, I really do.  I am so approachable and want to work with new clients to provide what you want at a price that works for you.  A big part of Inspired By Joseph’s mission is to provide affordable photography that offers amazing value for money.  I’m not the cheapest out there, or the most expensive, by a long mile but I know I can offer you something that won’t make you come out in a cold sweat like I did.  The benefits with my pricing structure is that you can print your own canvases, photo books, prints etc to your hearts content.  It really is a cost effective way for you to maximise the use of your photos.

For example, I’ve had a bride come to me for a quote.  We met and she loved my approach.  I put a collection together for her but it was too expensive for her needs.  We worked on a solution that meant we could still work together albeit with a smaller offering.  I did this because having listened to her, I really wanted to help.  She was my type of lady… One happy client.

If you want to know what others think too, you are more than welcome to see their stories!

If I’m not right for you, let me help you find another photographer

If my packages aren’t right for you, please feel free to get in touch and perhaps I can suggest an alternative photographer for you.  I’d be happy to help.

Other blog posts you might find useful:

Eight top tips for choosing a photographer

Answered: Your question on where to print out your own photos

If you don’t remind yourself to do this, you might regret it later


The truth: Why are photographers so expensive?

Valentines Day at Dove Stone Reservoir, Saddleworth, Oldham

Why do photographers cost so much?

Put your hand in the bucket if you’ve ever wondered why photographers are so expensive.. Come on, I know you all have!  I know I used to before I created Inspired By Joseph photography.

But let me give you some home truths.  In reality, photographers aren’t expensive.  And like most things in life, you get what you pay for.

Let me show you

I want to illustrate with a blow by blow account of paying for a session with Inspired By Joseph photography.  And I stress this is absolute minimum from me, you can ask my previous clients if you don’t believe me!  So this is what a typical job, say a family session, looks like.

  •  Emailing back and forth with my client, arranging and organising the session and sharing ideas (1.5 hours +)
  • Preparing my equipment and sourcing/travelling for items or props I may need for the session, travelling to the session plus parking fees if applicable (2.5 hours +)
  • Photo session which includes reassuring my often nervous clients, comfort breaks for children, the actual shooting then return home (3 hours +)
  • Two stages of editing.  Culling through hundreds of photos to pick the very best ones plus editing such as colour correction and slight retouching. I don’t do removing wrinkles, birth marks etc! Clients won’t see the extent of editing that I will go to.  Moreover, take a look below at the many items I have removed from the first image to make it cleaner, focusing the eye on the right things, unlike the second image!  (4 hours+)
  • Uploading photos to my secure, password protected website and creating any further elements of the package such as frames, photo books etc (2 hours +)

So that’s an absolute minimum of 13 hours. Really it is an absolute minimum, I’m definitely not doing myself justice here I know.  As our American friends would say, you do the math…

And there’s more!

Oh, and there’s loads of costs to think about too!  Just absolute top line excluding photography equipment, training and client goods (frames, photo books etc) such as:


Other blog posts you might find useful:

Eight top tips for choosing a photographer

Answered: Your question on where to print out your own photos

If you don’t remind yourself to do this, you might regret it later

My top four tips for keeping smaller children entertained at a wedding

keeping smaller children entertained at a wedding

My top four tips for keeping smaller children entertained at a wedding

Two of my most favourite things are children and weddings. Put the two together and I get a little bit giddy!

Take the last wedding I had the honour of photographing for the lovely Vikki and Jamie.  There were numerous children at their wedding and some of my fondest memories are of photographing the mini people whilst Vikki made her final preparations.  In reality, it felt delightful to know I had given the grown ups some time to focus on their getting ready stage – my role as a photographer includes being a bit of an entertainer too!! Similarly, I also loved the mini family portrait session I held after the wedding breakfast for her brother Michael and his lovely family.  In summary, all part of the Inspired By Joseph experience.

wedding at leverhulme hotel, wirralStop judging and just get on!

This weekend, Pippa Middleton married James Matthews and as you can imagine, a lot of the media headlines have been around Prince George and Princess Charlotte.  How did they behave?  Likewise, did they steal the show?  I say, leave it be and let them get on!!  If you’ve read my latest Huffington Post blog, you will notice a bit of a reoccurring theme for me – stop judging and just focus on your own life.

My top four tips for keeping smaller children entertained at a wedding are:
1.  Have them pack a special, small bag full of goodies for quiet times in the day.  This can be full of their favourite toys and books – minus the noisy ones of course. Maybe throw in a few surprises for them.  Make a point about it, do it together and tell them why they are allowed their special bag with them.

2.  Make them feel special and important.  Make sure they can get a suitable view of what is happening.  Are there any jobs you can give them to do on the day?  Perhaps they could help you take some photos of friends and family after the ceremony?  Have they got their own special tub of confetti ready to throw?
3.  I am a super strong believer that it’s all about positive mindset. If you say your kids will misbehave, not sit still or will scream and shout, they probably will!

4.  Ask the photographer to get a lovely family picture of you all to help you remember the day.  An absolute must!

Is that helpful? I’d love to know of any other tips you find invaluable and I’m sure my readers would appreciate any tips!

Other blog posts you might find useful:

How to photograph the child who doesn’t like to be photographed

8 reasons why I love photography

Three quick tips to encourage you to take more photos now


READ THIS: Men who hate having their photograph taken

Men who hate having their photograph taken

Men who hate having their photograph taken.  I made a massive assumption that was just plain wrong!

Before I began my photography journey here in the Saddleworth Tameside area, I had an assumption that it was always women who hate getting their photographs taken.  In reality, I am one of those women who are constantly saying phrases like ‘my hair is a mess’, ‘I’ve not got any make up on’ or ‘I am carrying a few too many pounds!’  However, over the years I have learnt to embrace this as I remember that there is no such thing as perfect, in fact we should positively celebrate who we are and everything we have achieved!

Why some men hate having their photograph taken by a photographer

Ordinarily, I find that the more men I meet, the more I realise that in fact that for some, they really prefer not to be in photos and through my experience,  I have worked out why.  One if not more of the following usually apply:

  1. The majority of men have not instigated taking the photo (or the booking in my case)
  2. Men usually hate having to dress up or be told what to wear
  3. Sometimes, they are unsure what to do, where to look or whether to smile or not
  4. They often feel like a spare part as Mum starts playing with the baby/child/children without involving them

And here’s why…

The point is, it’s not that awful.  Honestly it’s not.  In reality, it sounds worse than it actually is.  And here’s why:

1.  I give you loads of handy hints and tips beforehand to help you prepare for our time together.
2.  There is no rush on the day. Unlike some photographers, there is no time limit on the session.  I like to make sure that everyone gets warmed up and used to the camera.  So there is no pressure to perform!  Moreover, none of us are performing seals!!
3.  I’ll give you guidance on the day.  In addition I’ll offer you ways to reflect your family in a way that will help.  I’ll also listen to you and any suggestions you have.
4.  It’s just fun. Honestly you’ll just need to trust me on this.  Most of the time you will just be doing what you do.  That’s always the focus on my photos, authenticity.
5.  It is unusual for blokes to be involved in all of the photos anyway. No offence but at the end of the day it’s usually about the children, or your lovely, better half.  So when you are done, you are done. Equally, you can even go and get changed when your bit is finished or even leave the session – I’ve had this happen before it’s fine, honest!
6.  At the end of the day, you’ve got to do it anyway and keep the other half happy so you might as well just crack on and enjoy the experience.  In addition, I guarantee there will be a good few photos where you reflect “I look quite decent actually!!”

These blokes look mighty fine!

Take a look at these photos of some of the fine gents I have had the pleasure of photographing, they look good heh?

Don’t take my word for it!

If you don’t believe me, take a look at these kind words from a lovely bloke who has been through a cake smash session (with a hangover I might add!) and also an engagement session. Now if the truth be known, I imagine that an engagement session is the absolute hardest photo session for a bloke.  The anticipation of knowing what is going to happen I can only imagine is quite tough! Plus, we decided to go for an early morning shoot at 8am on what ended up being a bitterly cold day!  And Suzie quite rightly said coats off, what a trooper!  Here’s what he had to say.  And this is verbatim:

This was Nick’s interpretation:

Before – Urgh!  I hate photo shoots, why am I doing this?

During:  Cold, too numb to feel anything else, why am I doing this!

After:  I’ve warmed up, I’m alright now!

This was Suzie’s interpretation:

Before the shoot I was quite reluctant to be involved in a photo shoot.  They are steretypically a girl thing to do and definitely not my thing.  however, as we are getting married, and because Suzie is so into pictures, she managed to convince me to take part!  Bev made the photo shoot relaxed and fun (although very cold!  8am at the top of a hill in April wearing just a t shirt is not the warmest of times!)  However after seeing the photos, it was worth it!  It was nice to see the finished photos and Bev even got some good pictures me when I don’t feel like a photogenic person.

Guys, honestly I’m dead approachable so if I can help, get in touch.  Moreover, why not make your other halves day by booking a surprise session? I know a bloke who wants to do this in the summer and I believe that it’s just plain fabulous!!

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Have a bit of fun with my top six household props to add to your family photos

baby and teddy love

Time to get the photo props out!

Sometimes we find ourselves in a rut taking the same type of photos, even us photographers.  In reality, it’s easy to do what we have always done without stopping to actually think before we take a photo.  Granted, if you have children this can be difficult but give it a whirl, what’s the worst that can happen?

Here are my top six prop ideas that you can try at home.

Teddies and dolls:

It doesn’t matter how old you are, teddies and dolls can actually help to tell a story.  You can stage a photo with them or else capture children at play with them.  Furthermore, these photos are great to look back on in years to come when they have been made redundant to the bottom of the toy box or the loft!

Teddy and baby love


If you house is anything like ours, books play a major part.  We are encouraged to read to our children no end and so it’s a perfect story to capture.  I love this picture of Mum and Dad reading to their sons and the set up of making them look like a pair of book ends was intentional!

Seasonal items:

This is definitely an easy one to forget but is an important part of childhood.  Try and think out of the box and attempt action shots when you can.  This is one of my favourite photos of Joseph and Victoria and brings back countless, wonderful memories.

Message boards or slogans:

I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but it is definitely mine!  If you have slogans or boards around your house, investigate how creative you can be with them.

Evans family photo shoot, wirral


Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?  An easy prop to forget about but one that we all have, it’s a definite in my book.  Furthermore, it’s also an excellent way to practice selfies!  (Why not take a look at my quick selfie guide here?)

Anything with meaning:

To conclude, I’ve purposefully left this one open.  The only limitations that you have with props is your imagination so have an investigate around your house and experiment to your heart’s content.

I’d love to see how you get on so why not post a comment below and update us all?

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Two things you could do for women on International Women’s Day

oldham photographer

Happy International Women’s Day

As a photographer, I have the pleasure of photographing some amazing women. Mums, sisters, daughter, friends, cousins, nieces; all with their own labels that they carry around day to day.  Life stories that continue to inspire me as I inspire to help them record their amazing lives through the art of photography.

Here are just a few of my favourite female photos that make me smile!

Cake smash photography near me - Oldham photographer


cake smash oldham tameside

Baby photography at home from Oldham photographer

Baby bump pregnancy photography from Oldham photographer



Could you do these two this International Women’s Day?  (You too guys, this isn’t just for women!)

We all know women in our lives who mean the world to us and have a positive effect on our life.  So, this International Women’s Day why not do these two small things which I am sure will have a big impact on the recipient.

Say thank you.

Pick a women who has recently done good  and say thank you.  Not just the usual ‘thanks’ most of us are accustomed to but a well thought out thanks. Maybe a hand written note or even just a short telephone call saying how their support has helped you.  It doesn’t have to cost anything!

Give a little to a women who needs it.

Offer to buy your friend her next coffee, add  a bunch of flowers to the next shopping trip for a relative or make a meal for a friend who is time starved (no pun intended!)  The impact could be much greater than you think.


And the bonus is…

Why not take a look at My Mum Stories or even better, get in touch and share your story with us.  My Mum Stories are a really popular feature of my website and is REALLY relateable!


To all my female readers out there, Happy International Women’s Day, you rock!!

Other blog posts you might find useful:

A day in the life of a portrait photographer

The six biggest lessons I have learned as a photographer

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Check this out when your baby is 11 months old!

Cake smash photography can be the icing on the cake at first birthday time

I’ve had a run of cake smash bookings particularly in the Saddleworth Tameside area recently so thought it useful to talk a little more about them on my blog as it’s still a relatively new concept to the UK market.  It’s a chance to celebrate that significant milestone that has come and gone far quicker than you ever imagined I am sure!  Usually centred around a birthday cake, the child has the chance to explore and play to their hearts content.  Add in a few extra props and you are left with a simply fun session!

Showcasing children’s personalities is sweet!

At Inspired By Joseph photography, the cake however, is not the star of the show! The session is focused 100% on the child and how they react to the cake. After all, for some it may be the first time that they have experienced cake!  Some children dive straight in and there is cake everywhere whilst for others, it’s a more quiet and organised affair.  It’s always fun to watch how the session turns out but either way it is a great way of showing your child’s personality.  There is also the added bonus that I clean up after the session, not you!
Suzie has never looked back having had a cake smash session with her daughter, Olivia.   This is what she had to say…

Bev is amazing and very accommodating. We did a cake smash shoot with her for our little girls first birthday. She made Olivia feel really special and took the time with her to get that perfect photo (all of them were perfect!). I couldn’t recommend Bev highly enough. We have amazing photos to cherish for a lifetime. Thanks Bev

If this sounds like your cup of tea then why not treat yourself and I promise your future self (and child!) will look back and smile at the memories created at this special time.  If you live in the Oldham, Saddleworth or Tameside area and are interested in my latest special offers for cake smash sessions, contact me and let’s have a chat.

Other blog posts you might find useful:

If you are organising a first birthday party, check this out

How to photograph the child who doesn’t like to be photographed

A day in the life of a portrait photographer


Eight top tips for choosing a photographer

Eight top tips for choosing a photographer

If you are thinking about working with a photographer, it can be a nervous thought.  In reality, there are so many photographers out there.  With so many different collections and packages it can be overwhelming to decide which one is right for you and your needs.  Often, just the thought of trying to pick a photographer is enough to put you off even trying! I get it, honestly I do.  However, why not take a look at the below eight top tips that will guarantee you pick the best photographer for your needs.

  1. The photographers style

Every photographer has their own creative style.  At the same time some like to work in black and white, others stay classic whilst others like to modernise through post production editing.  Photography is subjective and is interpreted differently by different people.  Choose a style which closely aligns to your artistic style. Therefore, one of the best way to do this is to check out galleries on their website and ask yourself, is this the type of work that I would like to hang on my wall? If you want to check out my style, take a look here.

  1. The photographers personality

I cannot emphasise this point enough.  Ordinarily, having your photograph taken can be an overwhelming experience.  You need to know that you can build a rapport with your photographer.  Some people might prefer to have a male photographer over a female or vice versa.  For this reason, you might be able to gauge a photographers personality through visiting their website but don’t be afraid to pick up the phone.  I offer a complimentary chat before I take on any new clients just to check that we are compatible and that I can answer any questions ahead of time.

  1. Photographers location and where you would like your photographs taken

Some people like to travel to a studio for their photographs.  Conversely, others like to stay in the comfort of their own home whilst others like to venture into the great outdoors.  Perhaps you want a mix?  Talk this through with your photographer ahead of time so that this can be factored into your package.  I, personally, do not have a studio, opting to work in clients own environments as I find this helps to relax and have fun.  I also work outdoors to capture my clients enjoying the goodness of the fresh air and amazing scenery we have here in the North West.

  1. Value for money

Photography is a considered purchase, it’s not a necessity like a loaf of bread. Therefore, you need to stay realistic with you budget so that costs stay within your limit.  One of the very important questions you need to ask during your research is what is included in the package.  There are a range of fees that could be included in your package such as a studio fee, cost for digital images and cost for prints or framed prints.  This may range from just a few photographs to all of them taken at the session.  Some photographers may offer you a headline fee with say, five prints then you pay extra for more or for them digitally.  As a result, always ask for these costs upfront so that you can budget for them ahead of time.

At Inspired By Joseph my philosophy is simple.  If I’ve taken the time to photograph a client and edit all of the photos, you can have them all digitally.  In reality, they are not useful to me, they aren’t going to hang on my living room wall!  Plus I know from experience that everyone likes different photos, what you like is different to Grandma, Dad, brother etc!  You can see my collections here.

  1. Photographers speed and flexibility

Are you in a rush for your photographs?  Ask how long it will take to receive them.  It may be that you see proofs first online, then may need to narrow down a selection for printing, then wait for the printing and framing.  Or you might just receive all the files digitally in one go.  This is how I work at Inspired By Joseph and I aim to produce all of the photographs to you in super quick time on a secure, password protected website!

  1. Level of personalisation

As I’ve alluded to earlier, photography is subjective.  In reality, some photographers may have quite a fixed way or style of working, whilst others might offer more flexibility.  For example, if you have certain props that you would like to use or a ‘must have’ photo, have that chat beforehand.  In other words, that pre chat is so important!

  1. Your rights to the images

Check out who retains the copyright for your images and always let the photographer know whether or not you consent to them using your photographs in thier marketing material.  You might find this blog post useful.

  1. Recommendations and reviews

I’ve left one of the most important til last.  Ordinarily, you can’t beat asking friends and family for personal recomendations. They will be very honest with you I am sure.  In addition, check out reviews online from google, facebook or other such websites.  As a result, these can often lead to questions too which can be helpful for the pre chat.  You can check out my kind words here.

Is there anything else you think of?  Please let me know by commenting below.  If you have any general questions, please do contact me.  At Inspired By Joseph photography, I am super passionate about making sure I can fit my clients needs before we work together.  I am always happy to direct you to other local photographers who might be more suited to you based on your needs.

 Customer reviews Inspired By Joseph

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