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Win a modelling contract for your little star

modelling faceAll parents think that their child is the most beautiful of them all, but does your little one have what it takes to be a model and smile from the glossy pages of a magazine? If your child loves striking poses like the models on the front cover of Vogue or you could picture them selling yoghurt, washing powder and Co in a commercial, then this might be the opportunity you’ve been waiting for.

Venture Photography have teamed up with top agency MOT Models to give the lucky winner of this year’s Little Face of Venture competition the chance to win a one year professional modelling contract. What an amazing opportunity is that? During this time, MOT Models will promote and market the winner for an array of modelling assignments. And that’s not all, Start-rite and LEGO are throwing in a year’s supplies of shoes and an amazing prize for little construction fans.

All you have to do is purchase a full family photography voucher and enjoy your Venture Photography experience. Your photographer will then pick the best photo of your little one and upload it here on the Little Face of Venture website, where all your friends and family can vote! Entries close on 23rd May 2014 and voting closes at midnight on 6th June 2014.

Each studio will then name their regional winner, the child whose photograph has received the most votes on the Little Face of Venture website. All 27 regional winners are then invited back to studio to film a short video which will help the judging panel to find the overall winner, Venture Photography’s Little Face of Venture 2014.

The 2014 panel of judges are Richard Mayfield, Venture Photography Creative Director, Kathryn Bristow and Georgie Mann, Junior Division of MOT Models.

The regional winner from each studio will receive their winning image in a hand made Venture frame worth £350, a pair of Start-rite shoes and a set of LEGO. So what are you waiting for? It’s worth entering just for that, don’t you think? Venture Photography will also donate £1 to Wellchild for every child who enters the competition.

Little Face of Venture modelling contest for childrenThis is a promotional post

 

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How to dress your child for a professional photo shoot

How to dress your child for a professional photo shoot

Getting a photo shoot of your young ones is the perfect way of building an everlasting memory of how he looked when he was at his most cute! It’s also a really fun experience for them, they can play around the studio with their favourite toys, a football, and you could even bring your dog along and get them in a picture together.

The one rule that this website: http://www.venturephotography.com/children-and-toddlers/ recommends to get the perfect shoot is to make sure that your child feels comfortable and is happy with how the photographs are turning out. The happier the kid, the better the shoot will go. I just wish that these poor children had kinder parents.

Smart

Some children really love having the excuse to showcase their adorable, smart attire and copy how their mums and dads dress for work. So help your little ones don waistcoats, bow ties or a beautiful smart dress to add a formal yet sweet feel to your photos. You could even go in matching outfits which would make for some truly memorable photos! Try and keep their hair relatively tidy too to stick with the whole image.

Smart Casual

If dressing your child up in a mini suit seems like an impossible task, you don’t have to go to those extremes to make them look lovely and presentable. Choose some of their plainer, smart clothes that they love and feel comfortable with. Avoid t-shirts with extravagant labels or motifs to keep attention on their smiling faces, and to avoid any clashes. They’ll also make the photos a bit more timeless too as your kids are less likely to have a problem with the plainer clothes in a few years time than the labels they thought were so cool!

The dress-up option

If your little one won’t go anywhere unless they’re in their favourite football strip, or sometimes has the urge to strut around the house in their favourite fairy princess outfit, don’t be afraid to just go for it and have them wear their favourite outfits. You’re also more likely to get really lovely photos if your kids are wearing something they absolutely love, as they will feel more confident, comfortable and more happy overall. If the ‘onesie’ craze has taken hold of your little ones, these can also make for some really cute and funny photos, too.

This is a promotional post, but I do hope you find it helpful! 

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SatCap

Satcap toddler headphones earphones

Mammasaurus is taking a well-deserved break this weekend, so SatCap will party over on Mummy Alarm today. I’ve even brought a DJ ;)
Mammasaurus



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Day 23 Blogger Advent Calendar: 5 New Year Blog Photography Resolutions

Hello – I am thrilled to guest post on Mummy Alarm today.

I know the obvious choice of post related to photography would be around the festive delights we are all surrounded by, but then that may only be useful for a few days this year!

I don’t think any of your readers will care if your photos over the festive period are a little blurry, captured on a mobile phone or taken in the moment, rather than carefully composed – it’s Christmas!! The time to be merry!

But I hope these hints and tips may help you or inspire your blog photography in the new year. Don’t beat yourself up if you have a DSLR but shoot on Auto. Let your natural photography style evolve, and if along the way you decide to learn how to shoot on Manual great. And if not – who cares! Just enjoy. For me, photography is about visually documenting a moment in time and I don’t mind how you document it, I just want to get you excited about doing it behind a lens!

I feel surgically attached to my camera. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but sometimes I can be so busy trying to capture a moment, I miss enjoying the actual moment. My blog has become my living photography cv, so I adore being able to use a DSLR to snap every day moments, even if I look like a tourist on a bus or a train!

These are some general tips rather than technical pointers. We can do that another time :)

Resolution 1
Snap away!

Keeping up with a regular blog schedule is demanding! I see lots of bloggers openly discussing their times of writer’s block, but when you have a bank of photos, you always have blog material.

When life gets super busy and I am struggling to create, photograph, edit and write up a time consuming craft or recipe idea, I will always post a “week in pictures”. They don’t have to be the most incredible photos, the reason your readers come back again and again is because they are falling in love with you. So let them into your life! I guarantee in one week you will have snapped enough photos on your phone for 3 posts, so share your favourites. I put mine in a collage so if they are a little out of focus it’s less obvious.
Week in Photos Capture by Lucy

Resolution 2
Perfect your Presentation

This is so simple but it can make a huge difference. Make sure your photos align with one and other. So if you upload portrait and landscape pictures in the same post, make sure they are the same width.

I see so many wonderful photos, but the impact of them is lost as they are really small. There is an option on your phone to send high quality images – so use it!

Mix things up too. I love that I’ve built up a base of loyal readers but I don’t want them to get bored. My style is in my photographs but it doesn’t have to be in the way I present them.

I use all sorts of free collage apps including my favourite PicFrame, and I use Photoshop to create vertical collages. If you feel in a blog rut – change it up!

Week-in-Photos

PS.: Whilst we are on presentation, if you want your content to be more likely to be shared on mediums like Pinterest, post a portrait photo. The majority of users read their feeds on their mobile phones in a portrait way, so your landscape or square photos are more likely to get lost! I will always annotate one portrait photo for a craft or recipe post and those are the ones that are repined more widely. I also post a lot of picture like this…. which has become one of my signature style photos. Thanks to Sammy, what a helpful assistant!

Savoury Madeleines 13

Resolution 3
Use the light!

Look around your house and find the light.

I try and take almost all my photos in the garden, and best of all, on a nice overcast day when the natural light is even. This photo was taken in the Summer on the garden table, in the shade. An equal amount of light was cast over the subject resulting in a perfectly balanced shot. I boosted the colours slightly and sharpened the image, just a touch.

Summer Berry Mess

In our home, the bedroom windows cast a lovely soft light on the floor and if I use a white piece of card on the opposite side to the window, I can create an even light on the floor. You can buy a £10 reflector on the internet but that’s as fancy as I get. I am not a fan of harsh studio lighting! If you are taking a picture of your little one, pop them next to the window!

But remember if you take your photos in the garden, stay out of the sunlight. Sun rays can create hard shadows, so go into the shade.

Resolution 4
Edit, edit edit!

I would guarantee that all of the top photography bloggers edit their photos. And I think there is nothing wrong with that. Some use the same editing steps and workflows, which for example, gives their photos a distinct colour saturation or contrast, and there are times when it’s almost impossible to see how they have managed to get their photos to have that extra special something. There are some amazing filter apps you can download for free or buy. I use a set of Photoshop actions which make subtle changes to my raw image. No blanket “vintage” effect but minute changes that have been carefully created to enhance your photographs at the click of a button. Don’t be afraid or embarrassed to use them!

Winter mid afternoon lighting can be tricky, but with a few simple corrections this photo was transformed! Adjusting the white balance, boosting the exposure and colour saturation made this a perfect Christmas photo.

Before and After example

Take those extra few minutes and give them a little tweak here and there. You will notice a huge difference. I look back at some of my early posts and cringe! And I am sure I am not the only one! Bad lighting, lazy file names and captions and not making more use of the camera’s image processing settings available. It only takes a second to hit the auto enhance on your phone and how many of us own a lovely camera, but have never sat down and fully read the manual?

Resolution 5
Consider your Composition

I find there is nothing more more wonderful than arranging props and dreaming up new backdrop ideas for my blog photography! I love telling stories through my photos and using flowers to add interest and depth. I use all sorts of backdrops from straw, to napkins, wallpaper to my Granny’s faux fur coat!

Collecting props has now become second nature, I can’t resist an old pewter jug (ooh that would be fab for a series of soup posts in the Autumn) in a charity shop and I have jars full of crafting supplies, that one day I will get round to using!

If you use a DSLR, using your phone to take a quick photo is a great way to critique your composition before you start snapping away. I like posting lots of photos, especially when I have gone to great lengths to make something. I am all for showing off your creations but take the photos from different angles, use different props, show the stages of the DIY tutorial. Try and avoid posting the exact same picture 15 times! Before and after shots are helpful, as is ingredient shots. I recently posted a simple festive ice cube idea and annotated a photo of the ingredients. I laid them all on an old baking tray and used the space in between for the words. Simple but really effective.

fruit ice cubes

I hope these have been helpful, please leave a comment if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them.

And if any of Mummy Alarm’s readers voted for me in the 2013 MAD Blog Best Photography category, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Merry Christmas everyone and thank you Carolin, what an honour.

Day 23 of the Blogger Advent Calendar was brought to you by Lucy from Capture by Lucy. Lucy sees her blog as her creative escape and uses it to feature her daily life, special occasions, favourite things and happy family times. She’s also in the middle of moving home right now, so I just want to say a massive thank you to her for taking the time to write this fabulous post for you guys. Have a merry Christmas, Lucy and family x

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12 Days of Christmas Day 4: Win 4 Albelli photo books

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Ho ho ho and welcome to day 4 of Mummy Alarm’s 12 Days of Christmas giveaway. On top of today’s prize, you can still win a Filofax Springboard and a £25 gift card for Spoilt Rotten Gifts. Both prizes are still available until midnight today and tomorrow, so do make sure to enter and tweet for an extra daily entry.

Over the next 9 days, you will be able to win fabulous prizes for all the family and with surprises ranging from gadgets to homeware, you will be sure to find the perfect Christmas present for everyone, so make sure you come back each day and enter to win one of 12 fantastic prizes.

Day 4: Win 4 vouchers for a 24-page Albelli photo book 

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Today, you can win 4 vouchers for a 24-page Albelli photo book. Albelli’s pre-designed photo books have been created to suit a wide range of styles and occasions. They bring together professionally designed backgrounds, text labels and clip art in coordinated styles All pre-designed photo books include a photo cover and are printed in the Landscape L format (28x21cm). All you have to do is select the design you like and add your pics. Simple!

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