A day in the life of… #4 Aimee Belmore at the Saddleworth Independent

a day in the life

A day in the life of… continues with a new guest!

Following on from my third  ‘A day in the life of…’ from Gemma Cooke, I am now pleased to share with you another local story from the Saddleworth Tameside area.  Apologies for not keeping these posts as frequent as I should but it has been non stop!

Aimee has one of those ‘wow’ jobs that I am sure everyone wants to know about so I am going to let her get on and tell you!

A day in the life of… #4 Aimee Belmore at the Saddleworth Independent

So, tell my followers, what do you do?

I am Editor in Chief of Local Communications Limited, running four community newspapers.

What does your typical day look like?

We have a team based in our office from 9am-5pm so I work from there. I do interviews and take pictures for articles, meeting a variety of people in businesses, schools and the community so I can write about their successes and achievements. I also co-ordinate my team of writers, sales staff and designers and organise the content and layouts for each of our papers, as well as updating our websites with stories and pictures.

What is your favourite part of your job?

I love going out and meeting interesting people on a daily basis who have done a huge variety of wonderful things. From young children who are showing off what they have done at school to a 100-year-old celebrating her birthday, it is lovely to get to the heart and soul of the community I live in.

What are you most proud of in your job?

We produce newspapers that are well-loved and widely read by the community, and we have become an important and recognized voice for sharing community news, views and issues.

What or who inspires you?

We have an energetic and enthusiastic team who are eager to provide the best paper they can for the community, and they continue to inspire us with their achievements, campaigns, and successes which deserve to be recognised.

What piece of advice would you give to your future self?

Always work hard but enjoy what you do as well!

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you take with you?

My iphone, Haribo and my cat.

What is your favourite photo of all time?

This is my favourite photo – it is me and my husband outside the church at our wedding in Greenfield in June 2016. Lots of happy memories but also – you can’t tell but just literally out of shot is a load of scaffolding around the church which our photographer was really careful to avoid getting in!

a day in the life of Aimee Belmore


To keep up to date with all things in Saddleworth, visit Saddleworth Independent for more information.


Other blog posts you might find useful:

Celebrating Small Business Saturday

The six biggest lessons that I have learnt as a photographer

A day in the life of…. Rachael Smith from Moorland Holistic, Saddleworth, Tameside


A day in the life of… #3 Gemma Cooke from Business Gem

a day in the life

A day in the life of… continues with a new guest!

Following on from my second ‘A day in the life of…’ from Rachael from Moorland Holistic, I am now pleased to share with you another local story from the Saddleworth Tameside area.  Gemma Cooke from Business Gem is a Virtual Assistant and a fab one at that, I’m talking from experience!!  Gemma is a fantastic asset to Inspired By Joseph and is like my magic fairy!  There are certain things that I just know if I pass them to Gemma, she can work her magic in a way I just can’t!  I cannot recommend her enough.

#3  A day in the life of Gemma Cooke, Virtual Asisstant, Business Gem

So, tell my followers, what do you do?

I am a Virtual Assistant with a HR background.  You may wonder what a Virtual Assistant (or VA) is, well, VA’s are similar to an office assistant, administrator or PA with the main difference being that with today’s technology, VA’s work remotely from their own office and often have multiple clients.  I offer a range of administrative and HR services on a retainer or one off basis and a couple of the great benefits to my clients are that they are not responsible for employee benefits as I am self-employed, plus they only pay for the work I carry out which is useful for when workload has peaks and troughs.  I am there to take administrative burden from my clients supporting them to grow their business.

What does your typical day look like?

In a nutshell, no two days are the same in terms of the work I do.  I try to have some kind of routine to my day as I balance my work with being with my 2 children age 3 and 11 months.  I tend to get up earlier than the children (luckily, they are both relatively good sleepers!), and get myself prepped for the day – check and prioritise work, action anything urgent and have a quick look at my twitter feed.

Then, I get the children up and ready and do an activity with them, whether its playgroup, feeding the ducks, painting or playing football in the back garden.  After lunch, its nap time for the children and that’s when I grab a coffee and start work for my second stint of the day.  I could be doing anything from writing a job description, document preparation, audio or copy typing, website coding or email, calendar and workload management.  I love the fact that I offer such a variety of services and I can be so productive with my time.  

After nap time, it’s more child friendly activities with a spot of housework because 2 small children can certainly make a mess!  Then family dinner, bath and bed for the children and if I have any work to finish, now is the time.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Providing the support to assist my clients in growing their own businesses.  When I take a new client, I take time to understand their needs and their ethos and I manage their work and standards as if their business was my own.  I am often used as a sounding board for decisions and I have picked up many new skills and knowledge working with clients from a variety of industries.

On a personal level, I love the fact that the hours are so flexible so I can spend time watching my  children grow and thrive, plus I have the work life balance that I want.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work and my days can be long, but it is worth it to be able to spend the time with my children which I wouldn’t have been able to do in employment.

What are you most proud of in your job?

I am always proud when my clients achieve, because I believe that I have played a part in that happening, even if just a small part, I still helped.  I’m also proud of actually taking the huge step to go self-employed with this idea I had whilst pregnant with my first born.  Having always been in employment, financially, it was a scary decision to make, but with hard work, passion and determination, I made it work!

What or who inspires you?

I have many things which influence and inspire me for different reasons.  My children inspire me because I want to be able to show them that whatever they want out of life, with hard work, they can make it work.  My husband inspires me to be strong during difficult times. In the world of business, Baroness Karren Brady inspires me in her role in a hugely male dominated industry.

What piece of advice would you give to your future self?

Don’t sweat the small stuff.

If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you take with you?

Easy, and I’m glad its 3!  My husband, my son and my daughter.

What is your favourite photo of all time?

This is so hard because I have thousands of amazing photos of my family and it is so hard to choose just one, so I have gone for something that makes me smile every time I look at it….

This photo is of Parque Monumento Nacional Bariay in Cuba.  The reason why this photo is so special is that it was taken during the trip that I married my husband, plus the photo itself is of where Christopher Columbus first landed in Cuba in 1492.  This photo is displayed on a wall at home and brings back such lovely memories every time I look at it.  The place and the country are absolutely stunning (my photography skills do not do it justice) with fantastic, caring people. It was an amazing trip which I will never forget.

a day in the life of Gemma Cooke

For more information from Gemma, please visit her website or you can follow her on Twitter.


Other blog posts you might find useful:

Celebrating Small Business Saturday

The six biggest lessons that I have learnt as a photographer

A day in the life of…. Rachael Smith from Moorland Holistic, Saddleworth, Tameside


If you don’t remind yourself to do this often, you may regret it later.

Joseph and Victoria having a moment

This is the toughest post I have every written….

I have thought long and hard about this post for many, many months, wondering what the best way to approach it would be.  In addition, I’ve also thought maybe I shouldn’t write it at all.  It’s a difficult and highly emotional topic but I passionately believe it is my duty to write this.  All I can try is to write from the heart and hope that if just one person takes this and puts it into practice, then it’s all been worth it.

Ok, so the subject I am talking about is death.  It’s a certainty that will happen to us all at some point.  Family and friends who leave such a mark on our lives will all experience the same thing too.  In our house, we have had a few significant deaths in the past twelve months which have left a massive hole in our hearts. In reality it has reminded us how precious life is and how important it is to document our lives.  There are various ways of doing this from keeping a journal, telling stories to our children or through the art of photography.

Becoming a Mum has opened my eyes

Now that I’m Mum to Joseph and Victoria, keeping a track of their lives with our family and friends is of enormous importance, particularly with our older generations.  It is so easy to forget to take photos, be too busy or think that a photo opportunity isn’t there when it is right in front of our noses.  Consequently, these simple photos have turned out to be hugely significant for us as we use them with Joseph and Victoria to remind them of the stars that now look down on them with more love and pride then they will ever know…..

Even when death is super close, we have always had the camera out, when the time was right.  Some of these photos we will be unlikely to share but we have them.  And that is the main thing.  In fact, I can tell you something; those photographs mean the world to us.

Please, take one thing away from this post….

Please, take one thing away from this post, keep taking photos in your life.  Don’t regret it….

Other blog posts you might find useful:

The Duchess of Cambridge is spot on!

Welcoming Victoria Grace to the Ridyard family

Goodbye 2016 and hello 2017!


My top three photo tips guaranteed to make you feel more like Beauty, not the Beast!

Tiny foot in parents hands make a heart

Tale as old as time….

The long awaited movie, Beauty and the Beast, hits movie screens today.  I am sure there are several of you, young or old, kids or no kids, who are eagerly awaiting to kick back and enjoy this epic film.  The fond memories of Beauty and the Beast as a child, sat with my sister watching it on video (yes, video!) at weekends as we pranced around the living room singing to our hearts content are ever so vivid.  I also remember when Mum and Dad told me and Nic, aged 18 and 17 respectively, that we were off to Tenerife for a week’s holiday, only to be told when we arrived at the airport that we were in fact going to Disneyland, Florida for three weeks!  You can imagine the giddiness at the parades when the likes of Belle, Garcon, Mrs Potts and Chop headed up the parades!

In fact, I’ve had a dig through the old photo archives and found this!  (PS – organising your photos makes tasks like that super easy, why not give it a go!)

Beauty and the beast


Beauty and the Beast…..

For this reason, I wanted to share with you my three top tips to help you feel more like Beauty and not the Beast!  I understand that most people do not like having their photograph taken, I do.  Surprisingly in this day and age of the selfie, I have numerous clients who feel that way.  Therefore, take these tips on board and observe how it feels!

  1. Take a look in the mirror

It would be easy for me to say “stand like this” or “turn in towards me” but that can sometimes add to the pressure.  If it makes you feel better have a practice looking at yourself in the mirror, turn different ways, think about what you might do with your hands.  What position makes you feel happy, confident and full of life? Only you know that!

  1. Smile, relax and remember to breath!

Be yourself.  When you smile, your shoulders will relax, so will your face and this will show through on the photographs!

  1. It’s ok to be shy in front of the camera

Just remember, it’s not every day that we all embrace the camera, especially if we actively try to avoid it.  Try not to focus on the action of the photo being taken, instead focus on the intention behind the camera and how others may feel about the memories later.

Do you have any useful tips to share?  I would love to hear them!

Other blog posts you might find useful:

8 reasons I love photography

5 Super Quick and Easy Tips For Taking Better Photos 

6 tips for the perfect christmas selfie


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.


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?

Other blog posts you might find useful:

My top 5 tips for taking better photos

The Duchess of Cambridge is spot on!

6 tips for the perfect christmas selfie


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

8 reasons I love photography


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


Three flippin’ must have photo ideas for pancake day plus my favourite pancake recipe

pancake day

Yes its here folks, pancake day.  Are you all organized with ingredients at the ready or have you totally forgot?  If it’s the latter, scroll to the bottom of the page to check out my favourite recipe and hit the shops before dinner for the few simple ingredients needed.  Nevertheless, here are my top three photo ideas for pancake day.

Pre cooking photo.

Gather all of your ingredients together and work creatively!  You could sprinkle flour on a surface and place the ingredients within for that ‘just ready to cook’ feel.  Equally, take an aerial image just as the batter goes into the pan.

Eating pancakes.

Sometimes we become too obsessed with the pancake flipping photo that we forget about the enjoyment of the ‘quick let’s eat it whilst its still warm and we need to get the next pancake on the go’ photo! Consequently, this can beautifully illustrate that in the moment feeling.

The finished article.

Perfect for those of you with children!  Chocolate all around their mouths?  Lemon juice all over the table?  Capture it.  Again, it’s a celebratory story to share when the children are older.

My favourite pancake recipe is lush!

If you aren’t at all prepared for the big day or you are looking for a recipe that is a little different, I can highly recommend these lemon and raisin pancakes.  Or check out my food glorious food page and my egg and banana pancakes which are suitable for weaning onwards.  My kids still ask for them now at the weekend!  In reality, we cook these year round in our house we love them so much.  Consequently, they don’t hang around for long the children love them!

pancake day

If you have a favourite recipe, why not share it below?

Other blog posts you might find useful:

When should we leave the camera alone?

I shop local and support small businesses, do you?

A day in the life of a portrait photographer


If you are organising a birthday party and don’t take this advice, you will hate yourself later

birthday presents

Five super quick tips for taking amazing photos of your little ones birthday party

Put your hand in the air if you have been to a birthday party and either:

  1. Not taken enough photos
  2. Not been in enough photos
  3. Left it to others to take photos on your behalf and perhaps been disappointed

It’s a horrid feeling isn’t it?  You can’t relive that experience so it is vital that you master a plan in order to ensure that you don’t feel like that.  Therefore, here’s my five super quick tips for taking amazing photos of your little ones birthday.

1.  Start early

Don’t wait for the guests to arrive, the story of a birthday party starts way before then.  Get photos of party bags being prepared, balloons being blown up and food being created.   Likewise, at the end of the party take the opportunity to get photos of messy floors, presents collated and anything else you think summarises the party.

2.  Capture everyone

In truth, it’s easy to focus on the birthday girl or boy and centre photographs on them.  Absolutely do this but remember all of the other guests too.  In other words, try some candid shots of people just milling around, chatting and generally having fun.   In reality, this all contributes to the essence of the birthday party.

3.  Get in close

There is so much going on at a party, in order to capture everything going on, get in close!  Keep your eyes peeled for things happening that you can capture great expressions.  In reality, it could be a child’s reaction to opening a layer of pass the parcel, or sneaking a finger into the birthday cake!  Remember the adults too who might be enjoying a beer or two!

4.  Aim for a group shot

How often do the most amazing people in the birthday girl/boys life come into one place at the same time?  If you can find a spot to capture everyone together, do it!  Try climbing some stairs or even just asking everyone to squeeze in.  Trust me, they will be truly grateful you for it when they are older.

5.  Put the camera down

Enjoy the party yourself!  In reality, it’s easy to keep taking photos but rubbish if you can’t enjoy the party.  Plus, you need to be in some photos too so don’t forget that either!  This one was taken by another Mum for Joseph’s second birthday – without this I wouldn’t be in any!!!

I’m very busy right now particularly with my cake smash package.  This is a brilliant way of capturing special memories in the early years of childhood and alot of fun along the way.  If you would like further information or want to have a chat about it, contact me and let’s chat!

Do you want to know four super easy ways to keep costs down on for an event?

As well as loving photography, I’ve over 12 years of marketing and events experience which really does come in handy!  I’ve done everything from opening new branches of Halifax/Bank of Scotland’s to launching new airlines from Manchester Airport so I know a load of short cuts to help.   If you want to check out my super handy guide which I created for a christening but is easily transferable for a birthday party , fill in the form below detailing ‘Birthday Party Guide’ in the subject and I will whizz a copy over to you as quick as you can say ‘Yes Please!’


    My new series. A day in the life of… #2 Rachael Smith from Moorland Holistic, Saddleworth, Tameside

    a day in the life

    Introducing my new series, A day in the life of…

    Following on from my first ‘A day in the life of…’ from Debbie at Confidence Culture, I am now pleased to share with you another local story from Saddleworth Tameside.

    #2  A day in the life of Rachael Smith from Moorland Holistic, Saddleworth Tameside

    Racheael runs a business called Moorland Holistic.  Before I had children, I used to have the odd massage but since I’ve had children I have tried to make appointments with Rachael as one of my regular treats.  Ultimately, one of the few things that I can do just for myself!  As a busy mum, I rarely get a minutes peace let alone a minute to think and relax so having this time to focus on me does the world of good.  I particularly found these sessions very useful after giving birth so I can highly recommend it!  If like me, when you have a massage, you really want to feel the pressure and come away feeling like it has made a difference I can highly recommend Rachael, she is just fabulous!   Read more about Rachael’s story below…..

    So, tell my followers, what is Moorland Holistic

    Moorland Holistic is a complementary therapy practice located in Diggle, Saddleworth. We provide treatments such as Advanced Deep Tissue/Swedish massage, Advanced Aromatherapy, Advanced Reflexology, Hot Stone Massage, Hopi Ear Candling and Indian Head Massage.  We work with a range of different people who can be either struggling with muscular tension, aches/pains, complex conditions, stress, depression or people who are in need to some relaxation and pampering!

    I began practicing complementary therapy in 2008 then opened a home-based treatment room in Greenfield. As the business and client base expanded, I needed bigger premises and more practitioners. I have been located on Sam Road in Diggle for two and half years now which has really taken off and grown into a busy Holistic therapy practice.

    That’s good to hear!  What does a day at Moorland Holistic look like?

    It’s very difficult to say as every day is different but first things first.. Kettle on!  On an average day I can have anything from 6-9 clients with various different treatment durations from 30 minutes to 2 hour appointments.

    What is your favourite part of your job?

    The relaxing nature of providing therapies.

    What are you most proud of in your job?

    The difference the treatments make to a client’s well-being whether this is releasing some muscle tension and easing their discomfort or providing the hour of relaxation and stress relief they just needed that particular week.

    What or who inspires you?

    My parents.

    What piece of advice would you give to your future self?

    No amount of knowledge is too much, just keep going.

    If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you take with you?

    Ray Mears book on survival, a pillow and a saw.

    What is your favourite photo of all time?

    This is a campsite I go to at least once a year in Cornwall.. I have gone here from the age of about 2 years old with my family where we all stayed in a touring caravan.  Me and my partner now take our own caravan and we meet them down there so this picture reminds me of all the wonderful family holidays I have had!

    A day in the life of Rachael Smith, Moorland Holistic, Saddleworth, Tameside


    For more information from Rachael, please visit:



    Leave me a comment below if you are a user of any of the businesses featured as I would love to hear from you.

    Other blog posts you might find useful:

    Celebrating Small Business Saturday

    The six biggest lessons that I have learnt as a 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

    Other blog posts you might find useful:

    A day in the life of a family photographer

    Three quick tips to encourage you to take more photos now

    8 reasons why I love photography


    To post photos of your children on social media, or not?

    In the middle of January, I had a charming session with a family of three, celebrating their little one crawling, sitting and doing all of the things a seven month old usually does.  Such a cheerful little boy.  One of the zillions of reasons I just love my job!

    To post photos of your children on social media, or not?  It’s all about personal preference

    When I work with clients, one of the things I always ask is whether or not I can use a few of their photographs for my marketing. In reality, this could be a blog about our session or an update to my photo library on Facebook.  This is always personal preference as we are all so different when it comes to how we share our photographs with loved ones.

    What do I choose?

    Personally, I do share photos periodically on Facebook.  Photography is an enormous part of both mine and our families life.  It’s usually relates to key milestones such as birthdays or major events in our lives.  Therefore, this is one of the main ways I can share this with close friends and family who are dotted all over the world. My settings are set to the level I am pleased with.  I understand that some people don’t want to share on social media, it’s all about personal preference.  (If you want to read up about Facebook’s latest settings, have a look here)

    How do I decide?

    As a result, I have two practical pieces of advice I tend to consider before posting photos online.
    1.  Would my child (or the one that I am photographing) be happy if they saw this aged 12, 15, 18?  If not, it’s not even a contender
    2.  Does the photo have any other children in it?  Would their parents be happy for this to be posted online?  Have I check in with them?

    Social media is not the only way

    From the day we had our first scan with Joseph back in December 2013, I’ve taken one photo to document our life, every day.  That’s right. Every day.   As much as I have enjoyed it, it’s been hard and at times I have wanted to give up but over 1000 pictures on I’m delighted that I’ve done it.   You can take a look at some of my favourites here…

    The vast majority would never, ever make the cut to go online but why not take a look at the following blog post which showcases some of the ways these photographs are displayed around my home.

    So, back to last week’s photo shoot where this blog originated.  The family decided they didn’t want me to use any of their photos online.  Absolutely fine and decision totally respected. They aren’t the first and they certainly won’t be the last clients to make this request.  What I do know though is that they will enjoy displaying their fabulous memories around their house to share with generations to come.

    Do you have some useful tips? Why not comment below and share them with my community so that we can all help each other?

    Other blog posts you might find useful:

    Three useful photo apps that will help you create better photographs

    My top 5 super quick and easy tips for taking better photos

    A day in the life of a portrait photographer

    When should we leave the camera alone?

    Whatever your opinion of Donald Trump, I am sure that you were unable to avoid the media coverage over the last week regrading his inauguration.  I always tend to watch as much of these things as possible.  After all it is history in the making and it is something I will be able to share with Joseph and Victoria when they are older.

    Watching the inauguration got me thinking…

    With the rise of camera phones in particular, we are never far from a camera.  We can take photographs at the drop of a hat.  Whilst watching the inauguration I noticed that so many people who were attending chose to watch the ceremony through their phone, either videoing or taking photos, rather than watching it, for real, in the flesh.  It got me thinking…  So when is it appropriate, or right, to take photos?  Is there a time and a place?  Or is it just down to personal preference?

    I believe it is about choosing wisely

    For me, if I was at such an important, history making event, I think I would want to savour that moment for real.  I’m not sure I could replicate that moment through my own camera lens. Plus, the worlds media got it covered!  Events and moments pass by us so quickly that it is important to enjoy things as they happen and remember them through our own internal lens.  I think back to concerts I’ve been to, for example, when I’ve recorded so many short videos of my favourite songs.  But if the truth be told, I’ve never done anything with them which makes me wish I had just enjoyed them for what they were.

    As a photographer, this can be difficult to achieve but can be done with practice and a bit of self talk.  I don’t always get it right but I try.  What I will often do, for significant events (like Victoria’s recent 1st birthday party) is to pass the camera to a family member or friend.  This allows me the freedom to enjoy the event and for someone else to record the memories.  Win, win!  Next time, why not give it a go yourself and hand the camera over so you can enjoy the experience yourself?

    What do you think?  Is there a time and a place for a camera?  Comment below as I would love to hear from you.

    Other blog posts you might find useful:

    A day in the life of a portrait photographer

    The 6 biggest lessons that I have learned as a photographer

    Take 5 minutes to read this – you must do it!

    My new series. A day in the life of… #1 Debbie Palmer from Confidence Culture

    a day in the life

    Introducing my new series, A day in the life of…

    Since I own my own small business, I know that I now make more of an effort to shop local and support other local and small businesses.  Keeping money in the local economy benefits local people.  Local businesses can often be more flexible and provide a more personalised service.  Plus a better product range.

    With that in mind, I will be showcasing some of the amazing small businesses that I use through a new series called ‘A day in the life of’.  Until you own your own business I’m not sure that you can imagine how much time, effort and passion owners put in to making their business a success.  Every few weeks, I will be adding to this blogpost so please do come back often, have a read and see if there are any local businesses which float your boat!

    Leave me a comment below if you are a user of any of the businesses featured as I would love to hear from you.

    #1  A day in the life of Debbie Palmer from Confidence Culture

    Debbie Palmer runs a business called Confidence Culture.  I met Debbie back in 2010 when I won a place at the fabulous Marketing Academy which changed my life!  I have worked with Debbie on several occasions since then.  When I’ve needed some support, guidance and coaching, Debbie is one of the people I turn to.  This is something I have done through organisations I have worked for in the past but also personally when I have needed to refocus.  Read more about Debbie’s story below…..

    So, tell my followers, what is Confidence Culture?

    A coaching consultancy working with individuals to create or manage change within their career or business – everything from developing personal leadership and making career choices, to returning to work after cancer or maternity leave. Basically anything which supports personal growth to impact performance at work.

    Powerful stuff!  What does a day at Confidence Culture look like?

    No two days are the same! Some days I might be out working with a team looking at resilience or strengths, another day back at my coaching suite near Huddersfield with leaders who have escaped the pressure of the office for some development time. I also work via SKYPE. Whatever I’m doing it will involve helping people to change their mindset and sharpen their focus.

    What is your favourite part of your job?

    Seeing the immediate impact a session can have as people gain personal insights, shift resistance and get fired up to take action.

    What are you most proud of in your job?

    How working with a single person can impact on the lives of so many others. Knowing the ripple effect that a shift in mindset can have on friends, family and colleagues as well as the client themselves. All contributing to my purpose of helping people enjoy their work more.

    What or who inspires you?

    My daughter. Seeing her grow up and her personality develop, inspires me to be the change I want to see in the world.

    What piece of advice would you give to your future self?

    Always take the time to celebrate what you’ve achieved.

    If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things would you take with you?

    A wind up Kindle (poetic license!), a wind up radio and sun lotion!

    What is your favourite photo of all time?

    Such a hard one but I’ll go for a recent one from Christmas. This shows two very important people in my life and celebrates the close relationship my daughter has with her Grandma. Very special.

    Debbie Palmer, Confidence Culture


    Debbie Palmer is an executive, career and business coach based near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire.  She is currently offering 50% off all personal packages and sessions booked during January 2017 – with the first session to be taken by 31st March 2017. Sessions for new clients are available from £75. Please contact Debbie at debbie@confidenceculture.com for more information.





    Other blog posts you might find useful:

    Celebrating Small Business Saturday

    The six biggest lessons that I have learnt as a photographer


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

    the child who does not like to be photographed looking at the christmas tree

    One of the things I hear frequently is from frustrated Mum’s who are desperate for a delightful family photo but have children who don’t sit still/pull funny faces or quite simply just point blank don’t like the  look of a camera.  I get it.  My Joseph is transitioning through that phase right now.  He will often say ‘I don’t want my picture taken Mamma’ so I just put the camera away.  The first golden rule, don’t push it and fall at the first hurdle.  So, how to photograph the child who doesn’t like to be photographed?  Read on.

    I love a personal mission

    I met Ruby at Delph Tots Playgroup in December during their Christmas Party.  Taking photographs at playgroups is essential for me, a vital part of childhood too important not to document.  Fellow Mum, Lindsay, had the same idea but her daughter Ruby had other ideas.  Similar to Joseph, she does not like to have her photograph taken just now so I made it my personal mission to capture just one photo (my emphasis is on one on this occasion, you don’t need more!) that Mum could frame on the mantelpiece ready for Christmas.

    Challenge accepted.  How did I do?

    Did I pass my challenge?  Yes I did!  Lindsay said:

    I absolutely love the pictures, you have done an amazing job of capturing Ruby.  Thanks again for persevering, you have done a fab job.

    So, here are the four steps I took to photograph the child who doesn’t like to be photographed…

    1.  Put the camera down

    With Joseph, the camera goes away.   Even with Ruby, if she saw me with the camera, I put it away and gave her time to become used to me before seeing the camera. I also let Ruby watch me taking photos of others, like her Mummy!

    2.  No clock watching

    Lindsay hit the nail on the head, perseverance.  Therefore, patience and being super relaxed whilst at the same time being ready to capture that moment is the balance to strive for.  Take the pressure off waiting for ‘that’ photo and just relax and see that whatever photos you end up with are better than none at all.  Furthermore, don’t worry if part of the photo is blurred as the child is moving, these things take practice.

    3.  Educate and inspire

    I’ll often take children through my camera, let them look through the lens and have a go themselves.  With camera phones and a soft surface underneath, it can be a real winner.

    4.  Don’t push for a full on, smiley photograph

    Seriously, it’s not going to happen.  If you are VERY lucky you might muster a half smile but if you change your mindset and discover something else, you never know what you might find. In other words, a loving glance at a parent, a hug for a sibling, playing with a favorite toy?  Have a go and notice what happens.

    To conclude, what frustrates you about photographing your children?  Let me know by commenting below and I promise to come back to you with my hints and tips.

    Other blog posts you might find useful:

    3 quick tips to encourage you to take more photos now

    I love photographing children!

    My top 5 super quick and easy tips for taking better photos


    Celebrating baby Harry’s christening in Saddleworth, Greater Manchester

    Baby Harry's christening

    Celebrating baby Harry’s christening in Saddleworth, Greater Manchester

    Let’s be honest, Christening photography isn’t something that you hear people talk about often.  It’s just the same as a regular birthday party right?

    One of my most recent clients, Claire, embraced the idea of hiring me to capture her second born boy, Harry’s, christening.  Claire wanted to make sure that she got all of the photographs that she felt were missed from her first born, Max’s christening whilst at the same time being able to relax and enjoy their special day without having to think too much about it.

    I know how stressful the ‘getting ready’ for the christening can be!

    As a Mum of two, I know how stressful the run up to the christening can be.  Trying to get everyone ready, be on time and fit in naps/snacks etc in between can be a difficult task.  As part of my christening package, I offer a family shoot before the christening day.  In reality, this allows the family to become used to the camera and ensure that there are some great pre christening photographs whilst in a calm and unhurried environment.  Trust me, on the day, there is not always the time to get these sacred images and this allows everyone the time they need to ensure that there are some fabulous photos to share.  At the same time, we had the benefit of getting some great Christmas themed photographs too.  I just love the of Mum and Son, captured right when they were in the middle of a gorgeous cuddle.

    Harry's christening celebration


    Many memories documented on such a special day that passes so fast!

    The christening was a brilliant event.  Quite surprisingly you might say, the sun shone down on a mild December morning and hit the stained glass windows like a summers day.  The service was as friendly as it was warm and welcoming.  With the weather being so beautiful we managed a group photograph that I am sure will provide countless stories with Harry when he is older.  I mean, how often do you get a group photograph like that for the baby book?

    After the ceremony, I especially enjoyed taking photographs of ‘Harry Robb’ with the two men he was named after – Harry and Rob!  I adore the picture of Claire whispering to her Mum.  It makes me smile.  None of us will ever have any idea what she was saying but I bet it will stay with Claire and her Mum as a special part of their day.

    Then for the client comments and feedback that quite simply made me cry!

    As a result of capturing countless photographs (just shy of 200!!) this left Claire with an extensive range to choose from for family gifts and thank you cards.   The bit I love most of all is the feedback from my clients, either directly or through seeing their friends and families reaction to the memories of a special day.  Claire posted this on her Facebook page with a picture of her Mum and brother outside the church which I will admit, did make me cry!:

    Every photo tells a story….. this tells me that my “little” brother is actually a man (not a pretend one a real one)

    and that he is way cooler than i will ever be. Not enough words to explain just how proud I am of this man who is

    my very first best friend & taught me how to “mother” nearly 25 years ago.

    Claire, Rick, Max and Harry, you are such a special family and the privilege was all mine…..  This is definitely one of my favourite shoots of recent times.

    Do you want to know four super easy ways to keep costs down on your little ones christening day?

    As well as loving photography, I’ve over 12 years of marketing and events experience which really does come in handy!  I’ve done everything from opening new branches of Halifax/Bank of Scotland’s to launching new airlines from Manchester Airport so I know a load of short cuts to help.   If you want to check out my super handy guide, fill in the form below detailing ‘Christening Guide’ in the subject and I will whizz a copy over to you as quick as you can say ‘Yes Please!’


      I shop local and do my bit to support local businesses, do you?

      cake smash

      The benefits of shopping local have a much bigger impact than on larger corporates

      How often do we catch news reports of large, multinational companies dodging tax, treating employees unfairly or bosses taking huge bonuses when perhaps company performance does not correlate?

      Shopping locally is just the opposite!  Keeping money in the local economy benefits local people.  Local businesses can often be more flexible and provide a more personalised service.  Plus a better product range.  Local businesses are known for giving back, for example, Inspired By Joseph donates to it’s chosen charity, 52 Lives.  This is a charity which looks to change someone’s life every week of the year.

      My current, favourite five local businesses to support

      Yesterday the UK celebrated  Small Business Saturday I wanted to share with you just a few of my favourite local businesses  from Saddleworth.


      Moorland Holistic – When I have a massage, I like to know that I have felt a real difference!  That’s exactly how I feel after I have had a treatment with Rachael.  Based in Diggle, Moorland Holisitic offer treatments including deep tissue massage, reflexology, hot and cold stones massage and much more.  Plus I love it when I can grab a bargain when special offers are announced.

      Play! – Play launched in Diggle after Joseph was born and has been a great addition to the local area. Whilst Joseph now loves the ‘big boy area’ (I can never bring him off the yellow slide!), Victoria can use the under three area to her hearts content.  It’s reasonably priced and is a godsend especially in the winter months.

      The Bra Spa – Ladies, we all know that a good fitting bra not only makes us look and feel fabulous but has exceptional  health benefits too.  Sue at the Bra Spa in Uppermill offers a great service.  She ensures your bra is individually made for your size and shape and promotes a balanced posture.     I couldn’t go anywhere else for my underwear now!  (And I can’t wait to take all my Mummy friends for a night of fizz and cupcakes in January!)

      Grandpa Greene’s – We love ice cream in our house so having this on our doorstep is just plain fabulous! Great to explore the canal in the summer but also great to sit inside with a hot chocolate over the winter.  We love it here!  The reward card is great too as we always look forward to our next complementary drink or ice cream!

      Secret Senses – Denise who runs Secret Senses is fabulous!  An ex nurse and health visitor, she now runs baby massage and yoga classes for local mums.  It’s great for baby bonding and meeting new mums locally.  Plus it is great value for money.  Both Joseph and Victoria went through all of her classes and loved them!

      Wherever you are in the world, I’d love to know about your favourite local businesses.  Why not hit reply below and share them with us.  After all, supporting local businesses is so important for scores of reasons….


      A day in the life of a portrait photographer

      baby bump photography

      A day in the life of a portrait photographer

      People often ask what it’s like to be a photographer and what a typical photo shoot looks like so I would like to share a behind the scenes, real life example with you.  Join me below as I meet Christine, Keith, Sam and bump (now Lauren!) for a photography session to celebrate a significant milestone in their lives!

      It’s all in the prep

      There’s a tonne of prep to do before I actually meet Christine, Keith, Sam and bump!  There is all my equipment to check as a starter for ten, batteries to recharge, spare (and empty) memory cards to prep, lenses to clean and props that you see in the final photographs that all need organising.   In addition, I am also obsessed with my weather app which comes in handy for outdoor sessions.  I then spend time working through the types of photographs that I think we can capture using my experience of my clients and also the venue, Alexandra Park in Oldham, which I know really well.

      Arriving ahead of time

      I always arrive early to make sure that I can organise myself!  As well as assessing the light and weather, I take some test shots to ensure that I can achieve the right exposure and composition from our first port of call, which in this case was the Chinese Gardens.  Also, I also have a wander around as I like to find new nooks and crannies that may be great to test.  I am a believer in experimenting with new compositions and having fun along the way – sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t but I am always led by my clients.  For example, we tried to compose a quality image of everyone’s feet but it just didn’t work out so was obviously not meant to be.

      Hello Clients!

      When Christine, Keith and Sam arrive we spend a bit of time chatting through the session – I want everyone to feel 100% relaxed and at ease before we start.  Therefore, we take our time as we explore Alexandra Park and take in some of the things that they enjoy doing, such as capturing Sam on his new trike and stopping to play on the swings.    Regular breaks are important, especially for the little ones and it often surprises clients to know that this can be the best time to capture a moment, such as this one of Sam and Daddy playing with his car.


      sam with his car in alexandra park, oldham

      I always ask along the way how Christine, Keith and Sam feel to make sure that they are still enjoying the session – that’s truly important after all!  We finish up just as Sam is ready for his dinner and this is when my excitement to just get home and upload the photographs really kicks in!

      Time to review

      I feel so excited at this point.  I usually can’t do anything else until all the images are on my PC, there is just something in me that screams ‘quick, just have a look!’  Typically I can take 300-500 images so I go through them first and take out the photographs which haven’t made my cut.  This could be because of eyes blinking, the exposure not being quite right, people moving or quite honestly, it just doesn’t feel right.  I then choose a few images to edit that I feel best sum up our time together.

      Sneak peek

      I enjoy sending my clients that first sneak peek.  It’s hard to explain how it feels whilst you wait in anticipation for their reaction.  On this occasion, it was close to Christmas so I worked really hard to shorten my lead time so the family could use their photographs as soon as possible as I knew that they were keen to use some as Christmas presents.  Surprisingly, literally as soon as I’d sent the email,  Christine replied to explain how much she loved the photographs!  A great feeling to leave me with before bed which really is an incentive to wake up extra early the next day (before the kids wake up!) to crack on with editing the remaining photographs.


      baby bump

      If you want to see what my clients really think of my work, head over to my feedback page for more information:

      If I have inspired you to celebrate your family life through photography, why not get in touch for an informal, complimentary chat to see if I can help.




      My simple four tips for guaranteeing pictures that transform from ok to wow

      Joseph playing

      My top fabulously simple four tips for guaranteeing pictures that transform from ok to wow!

      Photography is a skill that we can all continuously improve.  Do you want to brush up on your photography skills? Discover my top tips to turn the volume of brilliance up on your next set of photographs whether you are using a phone, tablet or camera.

      1. Change your hold stance

        Do you find that you take all of your photographs in portrait mode? Shake it up and discover landscape or angle the camera half way for an edge!  Do you always work at eye level? Get walking up the stairs or down super low floor for a totally new perspective.  Take the same photo in multiple ways and discover the differences.

        2.  Check out the light

        If you are outside taking photographs of people, it is always advisable to avoid the harsh midday sun therefore leaving yourself with unflattering images.  Always consider standing behind the sun so that your subjects are consequently facing the light and capture a few images in case your subjects blink! If you are inside, use as much natural light as possible so head for a window or a door and pull back the blinds or curtains!

        3.  Use the rule of thirds

        When you look at your phone, camera or camera lens, imagine two horizontal and two vertical lines which therefore create nine even blocks.  If you use this frame to position your subjects along any of the intersections, this helps to create more drama in your composition.

        4.  Remove unwanted clutter

        Before you press the shutter, double check what is in the frame. Is there anything that is distracting that could be eliminated?  As a result, can you readjust your frame to remove them?  If people are walking past, just give them a minute to pass.

      As a result of the above, are you not convinced that you should be taking more photos in the first place?  Check out this blog post to find out why you should!


      Three quick tips to encourage you to take more photographs now!



      Did you find these tips useful?  What do you find frustrating about photography?  Hit reply below and let me know and I will do my best to help you out.

      3 Useful Photo Apps that will help you create better photographs

      beautiful Oldham photography

      Three Useful Photo Apps that will help you create better photographs (oh and they are all free!)

      With the explosion of camera phones, the rise of the selfie and the importance of social media to the majority of us, there is a massive range of apps that can, in reality, help turn photos from decent to great. Consequently, these  apps are often a great time saver to more complex editing tools so if you haven’t checked them out, have a look below!


      One of the most popular and well know apps out there, Instagram has a range of filters and editing tools suitable for all phone users to become hooked on instantly. In addition you can sync up with your other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook therefore saving you time!  I love Instagram due the simplicity of the application.


      If you are looking for a fun way to show off a range of photos in collage format, try Diptic. Simply select the layout you prefer, add your photos then change the height and width of inner frames, add text, change border colours or add filters.  You can choose to save to your camera roll or share with your social media platforms.  I use this frequently  to show a montage of photos from one occasion such as a birthday party, Halloween or day out with Joseph and Victoria.

      Pic Collage

      If you fancy being a bit more creative (and arguably more fun!), Pic Collage could be your answer. You choose from a range of backgrounds, then add your photos (which you can position and size as you see fit) before adding a range of super cool stickers (all themed up for ease) and add any additional text you require.  Some backgrounds and stickers carry a reasonable charge but if you have a particular theme in mind, it’s great value for money!  In addition, you can choose to save to your camera roll or share with your social media platforms.

      Generally speaking and whilst we are talking about technology, if you aren’t in the process of regularly backing up your photos, take a look at my blog post for more information:

      Take 5 minutes to read this too!

      Do you have a favourite app that isn’t listed above?  Drop me a comment below as I would love to hear from you.


      Beautiful Saddleworth Photography
      Arguably, the autumn is the best time for Oldham photography sessions given the beauty of our scenery

      The 6 biggest lessons that I have learned as a photographer

      Mamma with baby in a sling looking to the distance

      I remember back in the 1990s receiving  my first camera.  It was metallic blue and I was fascinated popping the film, willing to reach the magic 24 or 36 end of film!  Equally, I took immense pride filling in the details on the Truprint form and posting it off, waiting eagerly for their return.

      Wow, how times  have changed!  We are so lucky to have cameras and phones with us for most of the  day!  In reality, we can capture photographs and add filters in a few taps of a mobile phone.  With that in mind I want to share with you the six biggest lessons that I have learned as a photographer over the years.


      Let’s be honest, time is never going to slow down is it?  There will never be enough hours in the day so embrace the speed of life and capture  those moments.  Ironically, I believe that this helps me to slow time down!  At the end of every week, I love to gaze through all the photographs I have taken as  it reminds me of the amazing things I have done!  With this in mind, do you have a to do list with regular reminders on your mobile phone?  Add taking everyday photos to your list!

      PS – If you want a list of useful to do list apps, check these ones out:

      Great to do list apps


      Who doesn’t wish that they spent less time with technology?  In reality, it’s a daily battle I fight.  Sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t!  From a photography perspective, technology is amazing  in allowing us to store photographs whilst at the same time allowing us to come up with creative ways to showcase them via the various apps and programs on the market.  Just reflect on how far phones have come on since your first mobile phone!!  One of my most significant lessons though is to remember that technology isn’t everything, it cannot replace an experience.  In addition, it is also useful to put the camera down and observe through our own internal camera, our beautiful eyes.


      Most of my clients, especially those with children prefer  to see smiley faces.  Don’t get me wrong, smiles are great but actually some of the best photographs show other emotions.  A baby sleeping reflects  peacefulness, a child gazing into Mum’s eyes illustrates true love.  I have learned to not always shout ‘say cheeeese’ as it’s not always going to produce an amazing image. In addition, not everyone likes having their face photographed.  That’s ok too, there is always another angle and perspective to bear in mind.


      This has been my most impactful lesson.  Hand on heart,  I am actually doing a job that I love, working with fantastic people whilst at the same time inspiring them to become better photographers too.  I’ve 100% positive feedback from all of my clients who say I have educated them in some way along their own photography journey.  For this reason, if you take just one thing from this blog make it this, celebrate what you do in life as it is short so make it count.

      Feedback from my clients


      It’s brilliant to go large but actually sometimes we forget to go small!  In the attractive Saddleworth scenery, it is tempting to go large with landscape photographs rather than to reign in on smaller objects such as a beautiful, fresh flower in the field, a baby duckling following the canal or, one of my favourites, a dry stone wall!  On other words, focus in and watch what occurs.


      I am GUILTY as much as the next and so it is something that I work on constantly.  I don’t  always feel that I want to be in a photograph right now.  For this reason  I’ve learned not to let the moment pass by and I certainly don’t want to be one of those Mums who when their children are older ask why Mummy is not in many photographs.  I’ve heard all of the excuses before.  I’ll just lose some weight, I’ll come after holiday…  Challenge yourself to appear in more photographs and embrace it.  In fact, why not take a look at my selfie tips for a sprinkle of inspiration?

      6 tips for the perfect selfie

      If I have inspired you to celebrate your family life through photography, why not contact me for an informal, complimentary chat to see if I can help.



      Three quick tips to encourage you to take more photographs now!

      First of all, how often do you say to yourself phrases such as:

      • There is always tomorrow…
      • I’m too busy
      • No way can I do it – I hate having my photograph taken
      • I can’t take a decent photograph so consequently I am not in many!

      I get it.  Honestly I do.

      As a busy Mum of two, I have a daily battle with the above excuses but I find time to take at least one photograph every day because I know I will regret it if I don’t.  It is worth it when I create gems like this.  Here are just a few of my personal favourites when it comes to illustrating Victoria’s personality.  She certainly lives up to the meaning of her name – able to analyze, understand and learn.

      It’s about the everyday things not just the big events!

      Do you have children?  It is never too late to capture those special moments that happen every day. Celebrate key milestones and first experiences.  There are many milestone cards you can buy online that may be a good prompt for you.

      Don’t have kids?  Document the many new things in life such as ski lessons,  a trip to a new bar, whatever!

      Rather than just pulling your camera out for the significant events, I challenge you to take photographs on a more regular basis.

      Remember, backing up those photographs and  removing them from phones and tablets is JUST as important.  Also, if you haven’t already read my blog on categorising photos , then take five minutes to read it now!


      Three top tips from Inspired By Joseph Photography!

      So, my top tips for remembering to take photographs are:

      Firstly, find the time on a regular basis – just recall some of the brilliant photographs you have from the past to help!  Look past the excuses and take action now.

      Furthermore, give yourself prompts to help remind you, such as milestone cards.

      Finally, back up and print out your existing photographs to serve as a reminder of the power of photography.

      I am here to help.

      So, to conclude, what’s the biggest challenge you face taking photographs of you and your family?  Reply in the comments section below as I’d love to hear from you and promise to reply to all posts.



      3 simple steps to storing photos and de-cluttering your camera roll!

      Child photography from Oldham photographer

      Picture the scene.

      Your child is doing something for the first time.  It’s amazing!  Proud parent alert!  You grab your phone to take a photo but… oh…. your storage is full!  I don’t think I know anyone that this HASN’T happened to!

      I know that time to clear your camera roll probably goes to the bottom of the to do list BUT I can guarantee that if you get into a good routine and habit, this need not ever happen to you again!

      Yes organising and categorising photos is pretty boring but it is really helpful and can save you lots of time in the future.  If you’ve taken the time to take a photo, take the time to file it correctly so that you can find it in the future.

      Follow my three step process and bingo, never be in that position again!

      1. Get deleting

      At the end of the week, grab your phone and go through your camera roll for that week.  Delete all the rubbish photos and you should have no more than one photo of the same thing (which forces you to pick a favourite and delete the rest!).

      2.  Get saving

      Save these photos on your PC.  I am old school and whilst clouds are good, I like the reassurance of knowing they are on my hard drive.  You can choose to do it any way you fancy as long as it makes sense to you! I file by month, that is it.

      From your PC, did you know that you can also add star ratings to photographs or tags which might help if you have loads of photos and want to find things even quicker?  Simply right click on an image and select priorities for more information. Once you are in an album you can right click anywhere and use view, sort by or group by to find pictures.

      3. Get deleting (again)

      Go back to your phone and only keep your absolute favourites, you can delete the rest safe in the knowledge that you have them saved already.

      I know this seems like a boring task but trust me it’s worth it.  Just think how you will feel if you lost your phone with your hundreds of photos on that you just never got round to putting on your PC.  It’s not worth it….

      Enjoy de-cluttering and creating space to make sure you never miss a photo again!


      Welcoming Victoria Grace Ridyard to the family

      Two weeks ago today, once again my world changed in ways I cannot describe.  The happiness, the feeling of completeness and the utter joy that enveloped me was just indescribable.  And you think that you have shared out all of the love you have with the people already in your life…  Not the case!

      On Tuesday 12th January at 11.27am, we welcomed our second child Victoria Grace, our first daughter and sister to brother Joseph, into the world.  A tiny bundle of joy who is very content but knows her own mind, Victoria has already brought so much joy to us.

      Victoria 6 days old

      Joseph has taken to being a big brother like a duck to water (so far!!) reassigning his toys to Victoria, passing mummy new nappies and generally just making sure that Victoria is always with us.  The only time he forgets about her is when he is playing with his friends!


      And for me, it is true that it’s easier second time around.  You don’t have all of the learning, worry and newness which has provided me with the opportunity to enjoy things a little more… Yes it is still tough, the night time feeds and lack of sleep are really hard (I’m currently surviving on around 4 hours a night but I keep telling myself this is for such a short period of time I’m to enjoy it before it goes!) but having a supportive network, a positive attitude and being organised helps an awful lot!  Every moment I savour as every day brings growth and new developments that resign things to history really quickly.  And because of this, the camera hasn’t really been away from my hands and has found a new, permanent home on the kitchen table!  It has totally reinforced the importance of capturing every moment that passes by – I can’t believe how much Victoria has changed in just 14 days!!  I am so glad that I have been documenting this along the way as I know we won’t get that time back.  It’s important that we therefore celebrate it!

      Victoria's tiny foot

      What the last two weeks has done is to totally reinforce why I set up my photography business in the first place (why not check out my story for more information).  I am so passionate about recording memories for other people that can last for generations.  I love taking photographs that make people smile.  I love it when people say ‘Oh yes do you remember when…’  And I love it when my clients tell me how great they found not only the end product but the experience too.  100% of my customers to date say I have inspired them to take more photographs as well as to display more photographs which makes me one happy lady!

      So in celebration of my beautiful baby Victoria Grace and the bursting of love that continues to envelope me, I am setting up a month long set of promotions for Inspired By Joseph that will take Victoria right through to her six week birthday!  Each Tuesday for the next four weeks I will bring a new promotion to you in the hope that I can make more people feel exactly how I have described my feedback above!  Please check out my Facebook page or Special Offers page on my website each week to see if there is an offer that may suit you, or perhaps a friend or loved one.  There’s also my regular collections that are still popular. As you can imagine I’ve quite a few bookings already in place for the upcoming months so contact me to get your preferred date as soon as you can.  I’d love to help!

      Victoria 6 days old

      7 reasons I love photography

      Unsurprisingly, I  love photography.

      Obviously, Inspired By Joseph is now a huge part of my life.  You can check out my story but in essence, the twelve week scan photo I took when Joseph was in my tummy changed me forever.

      Since then it has been well documented that I have taken a photograph of my life everyday since then, reaching 2,000 photos in November 2019.  So much so I changed careers and now do what I really love!  Meeting new people, understanding their family, their needs and then helping them to record permanent memories that they can share with generations to come.  The best bit though, is when I see clients share their photographs on social media (often with lovely comments from their friends and family) and put the frames up in their home.

      Ordinarily, I am a people person through and through. As a female, a Mum and a person who loves nothing more than to strike up conversation, I make the Inspired By Joseph experience a super enjoyable one that people always remember just as much as the photos themselves.

      Take a look at this video to see things brought to life!

      Here are the seven main reasons I love photography:

      1. I love to capture that moment that in a second is then gone forever. As I say, don’t let life pass you by. The world and our lives moves quickly so taking photos is part of the permanent documentation of life.  We all mean to capture these milestones which come and go in a heartbeat but in reality, that doesn’t happen.  I love taking a snapshot of a story that will mean more to people ten, twenty, thirty years down the line


      2. Recording and telling stories is a huge party of Inspired By Joseph. I love that there is a story behind every photograph. It’s there for people to interpret but I love the fact that sometimes it’s just the people in the picture that know the actual story – What did he whisper in her ear? Why is she really laughing?  What do they know that we don’t?

      Wedding photographer for couples with young children - Oldham photographer


      3.  I love taking photographs that don’t show the perfect smile. Some of my clients favourite photos are with their backs to the camera or looking at each other.  Many tell me that is the one photo that they really want but in reality, it’s often a different photo that becomes the favourite, like this one where James just wouldn’t line his foot up.  The reality is, that’s James and sums up his personality to a tee!







      4. The birthdays, Christmas and formal occasions are all great to photograph but I love the everyday normal events which I believe really matter.  After all, we spend a lot of time doing these things – meal time, a walk in the park…  Our future selves will thank us for these special everyday moments.

      Newborn photographer near me - Oldham photographer







      5. I love helping others to be more confident in front of the camera and to be better photographers themselves. It’s a skill I love to share with others.  If you take one thing from Inspired by Joseph’s website and apply it to your life then I’m a happy lady!  Whether it be through on to one coaching, masterclasses for children or my photo challenges which I often run from my Facebook page or the support I often clients before out time together, it is all part of my legacy

      saving money for professional photography







      6. I have a massive addiction to displaying photographs, there are so many ways to showcase stories! Check out my blog, 5 cheap and creative ways to showcase your photos for a dash of inspiration.

      7. Photography is super creative and helps me focus on other crafts I love.  I make scrabble frames  and I share my go to recipes too.

      Inspired By Joseph photo frames

      If you love photography but would love to get better, hit reply below and drop me a line with how I can help and I shall see what I can do!


      5 cheap and creative ways to display your photos

      where to print photos

      As the helpful Mum and Oldham photographer for families who want to preserve memories before they fade,  I’m super passionate about photos!  It is vital that everyone out there get photos off their phones, laptops and PCs and displays them for the world to see.

      Ordinarily, we all take lots of photos but when was the last time you actually did something with them?  Life passes us by quickly but we should all make it a priority to actually print photos and share the amazing memories.  Therefore, I have  some creative ways to showcase your photos which don’t cost a fortune and don’t take a particularly long time to achieve .  I promise, if you find the time to do this, you won’t regret it!

      Don’t fancy updating your usual frame?  Why not turn your photos into a fun poster?

      You choose the size that works for you and decide if you want just the one picture or a montage of memories.  If you are tight on time, order online and have it posted to you or visit a retailer on the High Street.  Combining the food shop with printing photos is often forgotten!

      Buy a digital frame

      These are a great investment!  Simply pop your SD card in and bingo!  It’s a great talking point, you can theme your pictures as you like (I love theming up for birthdays and Christmas) and you never get bored! This is also ideal if you are tight on space.  The average price is around £30 – take a look at Argos for some inspiration.

      Create a postcard and send it to your loved ones

      What a nice surprise to get through the post?  Use a website such as Touchnote (who also have an app for convenience).  Prices start at 99p – bargain!

      Get creative with a bit of string or coloured ribbon and mini wooden pegs!

      Find a suitable space in your house and off you go!  Like a digital frame, you can update the photos as often as you see fit.  Pinterest has lots of inspiration for you.

      Go multi picture in one space

      Use a number of different frames (have a browse around your local charity shop for some bargains like I did) or buy one large frame to accommodate a number of pictures.  If you fancy, add a slogan to the centre of the wall like I have in my kitchen…

      Life is good

      Got any other ideas?  Why not share them below in the comments for us all to see!