A Mum in a Million

Leanne and her boys came to meet me at Watermead Country Park in Leicester this weekend for a few photos and a spring walk. Theo, four, clearly adores hid older brother Ellis, but wasn’t hanging about to wait for anyone whilst he had the chance to be off exploring!

Leanne was the deserved winner of my Mother’s Day competition following nominations from two of her friends for her kindness and the amazing way she keeps smiling through the most testing of situations. We are all put to the test as mothers, usually on a daily basis. But Leanne has had to cope with one of the most trying situations that can be thrown at a parent. On meeting her, you wouldn’t know it. She struck me as such a relaxed and happy mum at her location photoshoot.

Leanne and Richard’s eldest son, Ellis, was born with a rare chromosome disorder called MECP2 Duplication Syndrome. A condition so rare, that, although they were aware that Ellis had developmental issues, it went undiagnosed until his 4th birthday.

Discovering Ellis may never walk or talk was quite a blow to his parents. Along with daily epileptic seizures he is very susceptible to chest infections which can be the most dangerous element of his condition. But Leanne and Richard soon found  the 401 Project and a support system within the UK. They adopted a fighting attitude to do everything they can for their son and others in his situation.

The couple have been campaigning and raising awareness of MECP2 conditions since 2013, including Richard and Ellis’ uncles raising a huge amount by cycling to Leicester City football away games for the whole season. Their efforts have gone directly towards funding the research project where there has been a breakthrough in research and it is now hoped that a cure will be able to reverse the symptoms of Ellis’ condition as well as other MECP2 related disorders.

Richard will, this year, once again be cycling with a team of 18 riders to raise money. This year, they cycle from the Watford football ground to LCFC in time for the Leicester v Watford game on Saturday 6 May. Anyone wishing to donate can do so via Just Giving and keep posted with ride updates on the TextEllis facebook page.

Here are a few of the photos of our adventure.


A Wedding Photoshoot

Amy and Chris had a wonderful wedding day in January. However, the rug was pulled from  underneath them a couple of weeks later when their photographer, a family friend, was burgled. His cameras, laptops and hard drives were all taken, leaving Amy and Chris with just the one wedding photo he had sent through to them as a sneak peak.

In a bid to recover them, their story appeared in the Walsall Advertiser and on BBC Midlands Today hoping that someone may know something about the whereabouts of the photos.

In the meantime, I had offered the couple a wedding photoshoot so that although they may not have professional photos from the day itself, they would at least have some keepsake images and something to hang on the wall of their marital home. With most of their family over this way, we decided to do the photoshoot in Leicestershire and were thrilled that the Quorn Grange Hotel allowed us to use their grounds. Thankfully the weather stayed dry, and was somewhat warmer than their wedding day too, so we largely kept to the beautiful grounds.

Chris and his best man hired their suits again from Christopher Scotney in Leicester. Amy’s florist made her bouquet and a buttonhole for Chris again and Serah Eames of The Rural Retreat stood in last minute to do Amy’s hair and make up. With all this preparation, Amy messaged me on the day saying how excited and also nervous she was! It almost felt like the wedding itself was happening all over again.

Well we had a lovely relaxing time in the gardens, I recall a lot of giggling, and captured something really special which they will show to the grandchildren one day whilst recalling the tragic story that preceded it. On behalf of the bride and groom, I’d like to thank all those people that made this photoshoot possible. It really meant the world to them and I was so honoured to be involved.

Girl Power

Oops, I think I just showed my age with that post title! Moving on…

Today is International Women’s Day and I am basically just using it as a total excuse to share some photos of some of the amazing (and amazingly talented) women I have photographed over the past year.

Women are strong, powerful and fight for what is right. Yay, go us!

Mother’s Day Mini Sessions and Competition

Us mum’s work bloomin’ hard don’t we? All day long and often through the night. Well good news, it’s March… Mother’s Day is nigh and we shall be treated with the rewards we deserve!

Ok, maybe not that week in Barbados with cocktails on the beach served by a hottie in… Sorry, I digress!

Well I’m offering all you children out there, whether small enough to need daddy’s help, or old enough to be able to afford to send her to Barbados, the chance of a wonderful treat for mum this year that she will truly treasure forever.

As a special offer, I’m releasing just FOUR Mini Mother’s Day sessions for my studio day this Saturday, 11 March. A mini session will last just 25 minutes in my photography studio in Birstall, Leicester. It’s suitable for photos of just the children (up to 3 children only please, do book a full studio session if you have more), or for photos of mum with her little darling or two. You’ll be able to get printed and framed photos ready for her in time to present on Mother’s Day itself.

You will receive the session and 10 digital images (professionally edited) for just £50. The available sessions are at 1pm, 1.30pm, 2pm and 2.30pm THIS Saturday. So get your skates on, contact me and book it in.

What’s more, I am offering ONE OF THESE SESSIONS FOR FREE to a very special and deserving mum. Make your nominations on my Facebook post, explaining why your mum, partner or friend deserves something very special for Mother’s Day this year.

The winner will be selected on Thursday and must be available this Saturday, 11 March between 1-3pm for their photoshoot in Birstall, Leicester. They must also agree to the images being used for marketing purposes both online and in print.

Get voting, I can’t wait to hear your mum’s story. And good luck. Mostly with the Barbados trip! We can dream, can’t we?

Boss Baby

At 12 days old, Espen was a little fidget for his newborn baby photoshoot so we had a quick rethink on the the planned “posed” shoot and it became more of a lifestyle session!

His mum, Beth, and I, have sung together in a choir since we were children. So she was quite comfortable having me in the house for the whole day as we both tried to settle him. We both had successes during the four-hour session but these were sadly not long lived when we tried to put him down! Like I always say, babies are in charge of their photoshoot. Not me and not mum or dad. They will do what they do and we will adapt the photos to suit them!

Thankfully, whilst the midwives were visiting Espen and he wasn’t a happy boy, I had one of his big brothers, Auden, to photograph. What a little superstar he was! I’m really looking forward to photographing the whole family in my Leicester studio later this year now.

Bridal Preparations

I’ve had a couple of forthcoming brides enquire about photography of the bridal preparations recently. It’s a wonderful addition to your wedding photos, so I thought I’d share the morning of Katie and Krin’s wedding with you to give a little insight into what goes on!

Katie, her two bridesmaids (one, her twin sister, don’t let that confuse you!) and parents, spent the morning of her summer wedding in a beautiful city centre boutique hotel. They were attended to like royalty by a hairdresser and beautician. There was an air of excitement, but it was also a very relaxed, fun and friendly affair.

As a wedding photographer, I love to be involved in this stage of the day. It gives a chance to get to know some of the wedding guests and build up a rapport ready for the main group photographs after the ceremony. But there is also a huge opportunity here to capture some of the small details that make every wedding unique. The dress hanging awaiting its bride. The shoes, jewellery and freshly delivered bouquets. They all add some beautiful incidental images that can later be used as backgrounds in a photo album or just to serve as a timeless reminder for the happy couple.

There are also the key moments that occur during the morning. The giving of gifts. Mum’s tears as she realises her baby is all grown up. Dad’s first sight of his angel, radiant in her bridal gown. All can be captured and immortalised.

Of course, every wedding is different. Every couple has their budget and their own requirements. But if you’re thinking about having a photographer with you for the preparations too, I hope Katie’s images will inspire and convince you it’s a worthy investment.

From a Leicestershire wedding photographer to the future bride and groom, I hope you have a fantastic day.

Rachael x

The Romantic English Countryside

Looking back to last summer, when it was a little warmer than today (!), I loved Shane and Stephen’s English countryside photoshoot. We waited for a sunny day as they really wanted some blue sky in the shots. It was a cracking day. Beautifully warm.

Having got married earlier in the year, Shane and Stephen enjoyed their wedding day mini photoshoot so much that they booked me for a location shoot to give them some variety to adorn their walls!

We certainly got plenty of variety into the photoshoot in the Leicestershire countryside. Shane was fearless battling through the nettles to get to a good spot and I may have done some climbing too!

Well worth it if you ask me.