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Bumps, Babies and Ana Brandt

Me, with Ana Brandt

Evening all,

I trust this brand, new shiny blogpost finds you all in a state of bodily wellness?

I'm just taking this opportunity to share with you something INCREDIBLY EXCITING that happened last month - something that I'll likely be far more buzzing about than anyone else will be bothered about. But, tough, you're here now so you may as well read on... Besides, it means I can provide images that are even more beautiful and delightful than I could before.. so that must pique your interest just a little..?

So, there's this photographer, Ana Brandt. She's from New York but now lives in Orange County, California. She's a famous newborn and maternity photographer. She teaches all over the world - from Argentina to China. I am mildly obsessed with her work and may or may not have watched every single one of her youtube videos, ever... Just Saying. Well I found out that earlier this year that she was coming to Blackpool in March (goodness only knows why Blackpool.. but thankfully for me, she did!) When asked if she had ever been to the UK before, she replied 'is France in the UK?'... 'No? Well then I haven't been to the UK before!'

As ever on my whirlwind journey of photography, I had this huge, incredible opportunity presented in front of me. Should I go do it??? It was an enormous, slightly scary though equally unmissable decision to make. It took me about 12secs to decide.... and last month at 4.5months pregnant, I packed my bags, flew to Manchester, took the train to Blackpool, the taxi to my hotel and waited for a whole host of photographer friends to join me. It was absolutely wonderful getting to catch up with some of the loveliest, nuttiest, sincerest and helpful people I know.

The next morning we headed over to the NPNE (Northern Portrait and Newborn Expo). It was a veritable sweetie shop of completely delicious props, outfits, headbands... I was in my element, though my business bank account was not! Just have a look at some of the stalls...

"Love Rosalie" with most delightful collection of headbands
Minnie & Morgan Newborn Photo Props with their beautiful bonnets and tutus

"Love Rosalie" with the most delightful collection of headbands

After spending a small fortune on some of the most scrumptious bits and pieces known to mankind it was time to do some training. My day with Ana was so incredible. I learnt so much and picked up some fab hints and tips that'll improve my newborn sessions no end! It was quite awe-inspiring just to be in the same room and watch her work to be honest. Especially if you saw the space she was working in - not like her sparkly, shiny Californian studio one little bit. But she rose to the challenge and knocked it out of the park!

But she didn't let us rest on our laurels. She had each and every one us up assisting, adjusting the lighting, arranging props and everything. She even set aside time for us to take some of our own images - which I was not expecting and was such an amazing treat!! The best bit was that when the baby woke up, it absolutely did not want to go back to sleep - this was great news for us training because we got to see how she handled that type of situation. Having watched, listened and learned, I've came home and entirely reworked the way I do newborn sessions and I'm beyond delighted with the results. I now have this super wee badge to display on our website with pride too- it probably won't mean a lot to a lot of people, but to me it means SO MUCH!!!

Ana was doing a second day's training in Blackpool, in maternity photography. I hadn't booked this and had NO intention of doing it whatsoever. But, of course, I was like a buzzing wee child on Christmas Eve when I left her newborn session and I lay in my hotel bed for hours churning over whether I should or shouldn't. Then at 6.30am I sat up, got out my phone and booked that day's training too! My friends all thought I was a bit crazy, but to be honest I'm so very glad I did. We got to set up, pose and light the most beautiful pregnant mummy and her wee daughter too. I'll share one of the images with you now...

Isn't that just pure beauty? So folks this marks a new chapter in The Schoolhouse Studio - we are now offering bespoke maternity sessions and gaining quite the bump myself I may well be our very first client!

Have a lovely weekend friends and look out for some more of our maternity photos soon,


x x

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