My little girl was 4 recently (HOW!!!???) and as cheesy as it sounds, when she was born, so was the dream of becoming a newborn photographer! I thought now would be the perfect time to share my story of how I got here and tell you a little about the photographer behind Victoria J Photography!
For those who don’t know me, I’m Vicki. A wife to a wonderful husband, Stuart and mummy to two absolutely beautiful children- Emily who is 4 and Edward who is very nearly 2. Those who have been for a shoot with me will know how much I talk about them, they are my whole world! Which is, I guess, why I love capturing images of your little ones, because I know just how important these tiny little people are and the huge, gigantic, incredible impact that they have on our lives!!
Previous to photography I was a full time teacher. I was always interested in photography but hadn’t found the time to pursue it. Any teachers out there will understand that your not left with a great deal of time on your hands once you’re done with the day job.
In 2011 my Bampy sadly passed away. I inherited his film SLR camera. It was as old as me but it was part of Bampy, and I was excited to explore it! It was far from the digital technology which we know today- in fact very recently I found the lists of dates and places which he had photographed in a small pocket in the camera bag. He’d written it all down in order to remember each place when he finally got the images developed (the number of memories captured by that camera was pretty special).
I started taking photos of everything right away- flowers, landscapes, family and I took it on every family day trip! Honestly, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing! Up to that point I had had no experience of using an SLR camera but I just enjoyed playing around with it, getting used to composing an image and trying to imagine the images I was attempting to create. Unfortunately the film I used could never be developed as it had been damaged so I have no idea what the images looked like. I did know, however that I had completely and utterly fallen in love with photography as I knew it. If it wasn’t for that film SLR camera, I very much doubt my journey would have unfolded quite as it has, I’m certainly not sure I would have my little business.
Shortly after I invested in a digital SLR and spent time reading, practising and attending basic photography courses. I completed an online diploma in professional photography, spent a huge amount of time getting used to my camera, lighting, composition and taking many photos, mainly of landscapes at the time. Probably highly annoying for my husband but everywhere we went the camera came with me, as well as the lenses and the tripod (which he often ended up carrying), every day trip, every holiday, everywhere!
In 2013 we got married. I loved planning the wedding and the little details that made our day so special. We had the most amazing day but I wish we had more images of the day, the guests, the reception, the speeches. Completely our fault, we didn’t think we’d need images after the wedding breakfast started and the second photographer couldn’t make it but we thought it would be fine. The result was that, whilst we loved the images that we had, I wasn’t 100% happy that we had perfectly captured our day. This made me realise just how important wedding photography was and inspired me to look into it, research, train and get some experience second shooting. I worked alongside photographers as a second shooter, and I loved it! At the time, it was where my heart lay and I dreamed of having a wedding photography business, or so I thought!
Cue Emily, born 12th January 2015, 1:12am weighing 5lb 15oz. My whole world changed, in ways you never expect. I spent the first few weeks just staring at her in complete disbelief that she was ours and that we had created such a perfect little human! Taking in all the tiny details, her tiny toes, tiny fingers, her array or hilarious faces that she would pull whilst she was asleep.
I couldn’t wait to get photos of Emily. I had had no training at this point and although I’d researched newborn photography I hadn’t realised quite how hard it would be photographing a newborn baby. They just lie there right?!……. If only it was that easy!
At 3 weeks old I finally felt up to the job of taking Emily’s newborn images and she made me work hard!! The photos I took most definitely weren’t technically perfect, and they certainly weren’t posed too well but they are my baby girl and I will treasure them forever regardless. It was hard work but that 20 minute shoot sparked something in me and I didn’t look back. I booked in for newborn training straight away with no business plans and no studio, just a pure desire to learn.
I LOVED it. I must have talked about it for weeks when I got home and I set up plans to launch my business from home a year later. In that time I completed more training (alongside working 3 days a week as a teacher and looking after Emily for the rest of the week), made sure I had all the equipment I needed and sorted out a room to call my studio in the house (although my lovely husband did most of the sorting). Emily was almost 18 months old when I opened for business, on the exact same day that we found out we were expecting Edward.
Needless to say I was more experienced (at photography anyway) when he arrived on March 31st 2017, 9:07pm weighing 7lb 9oz! I still sat there for the first week or so staring him! And I still felt like we were winging the whole parenting thing, even though we had done it all before! But we did his newborn shoot at 3 weeks old in my little studio. He was, however, one of the hardest babies I have photographed and I ended up feeding him for about 90% of the time!
Seeing first hand just how quickly children change and develop, I knew that capturing these incredible milestones was so important. But in times of reflection, I realise it even more! Emily has just turned 4 and a few nights ago I sat down and looked through almost every photo I have taken of her since she was born (there are a lot!!). Despite making me cry LOADS, I realised that actually without these images there is a chance that I would have forgotten huge chunks of time! Now, with Edward too, life is hectic! Fun, but crazy busy at the same time! I look back at photos of Emily and although I remember the moments, I struggle to remember Emily ever looking that tiny, or those cute little bunches, or the funny faces she used to pull, especially when I got the camera out. Edward isn’t even 2 but already I struggle to remember a time when he wasn’t crawling, walking, talking (bossing mummy around!). It’s funny- when your little one starts walking, talking, being a proper little person, it’s hard to remember them ever not being that way. I wouldn’t remember those little details, when everyone is so busy these days, it’s impossible to.
Since opening in 2016 I have had the honour of capturing memories for many families and I honestly believe I have the best job in the world! As my little business grows even more I look forward to meeting many more scrumptious little newborns, beautiful sitters and cheeky toddlers and providing memories that last a lifetime!
If you are interested in a maternity, newborn, sitter or cake smash session please get in contact, I would love to capture some memories for you.