About the author: Jane Burkinshaw is a professional photographer and passionate about all things photography related. Jane specialises in portrait photography and runs photography courses.

Kids portraits are helping me get to Kenya!

The children I've photographed so far to fundraise for Kenya.
Towards the end of May 2015 I am going to Kenya with other volunteers to work in three schools in one of the poorest regions of Nakuru, near the Great Rift Valley. The trip has been organised by Derby County Community Trust and African Adventures, both of whom have been sending volunteers to the region for several years.

I am with a group of 45 volunteers, including my sister-in-law Debbie and her sister, Caroline. As a latecomer to the party I had to raise £1400 very quickly to fund the trip. I decided to offer some mini portrait shoots at a specially discounted price and give 80% of the total made to the charity. I'm really pleased to say that there was such a great take up on the mini shoots that I reached my target in just 4 weeks, with some generous donations from my brothers too.

It's been a real joy to photograph so many children in such a short space of time and it made a really nice change to photograph indoors, using my new natural daylight studio.

Special thanks have to go to my niece, Lucy, who was the first to take me up on the offer and then shamelessly promoted it to her friends! These are Lucy's lovely kids - my great niece Bella and nephew Joe (I'm feeling very old now!).


Bella and Joe

I'm going to post about my adventures in Kenya, obviously with lots of photographs, so I hope you'll follow the blog.

I am a natural light photographer, specialising in children's and family portraits and commercial photography. I have a purpose built natural light studio in the heart of rural Cheshire and I also work on location. Take a look at my portfolios and if you'd like to have an informal chat about booking a shoot please get in touch.
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Organised chaos on a family photo shoot! By Cheshire Children's Photographer Jane Burkinshaw


This was the most demanding shoot that I've ever done and I have to admit to feeling absolutely shattered as I headed home. Family shoots with several young children are always a challenge and call into play a range of skills from both photographer and parents, along with a huge dollop of patience.

I'm not usually thrown when faced with three boys, in this case 4 months through to 6 years, but I also had to factor in five adults whose first (and in three cases only) language was Chinese. I can't claim to have been in control of this shoot at any one time, with older siblings getting in on the act when I was photographing the baby and then grandparents deciding it was their turn. This isn't unusual and I normally manage it with a few distracting techniques or explaining to everyone what was happening. This wasn't so easy with exaggerated gestures and smiles!



However, despite a huge amount of chaos and chasing around, there are a beautiful set of images of which I'm extra proud, because I know how hard I worked to get them. Baby Eric is stunning and so quick to smile and I'm so pleased I managed to photograph him with his older brothers. The look of pride on Eric's grandfather's face is priceless and I just wish I could have seen his face when he got to see the images.







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Capturing those precious moments by Cheshire Baby Photographer Jane Burkinshaw

I've had the very special experience of photographing two babies in recent weeks and both sets of parents have kindly agreed to let me share the photographs. (Click on any image to see a larger version).
This is 2 week old Emelie, a very precious first baby for her mummy and daddy. I encourage parents to let me take natural, unposed pictures of them bonding with the new baby, as these moments are so unique, personal and special and often go unrecorded.
It's so important to get all those tiny new details too - tiny fingers and toes, barely unfurled ears and swirls of hair on the crown of the head. Expressions unique to each baby, the positions they sleep in. I love Emelie's hands thrown up over her head!
Photographing baby's bath time is becoming a bit of a trademark of my newborn shoots, as it's perfect for relaxing a grizzly baby and for capturing some very special bonding moments. Baby's modesty is preserved by using a few bubbles in the bath water.
It's still important to get those slightly more posed photographs that will be displayed on the walls, but I'm a firm believer in keeping it simple and natural. A few simple props are all that's necessary as the baby is the star of the show.

If you can cope with some more cuteness, here's seven month old Callum with his older sister. Photographing very young siblings can be a challenge and my secret is to keep it fun and natural, encouraging play, making it fun and not directing them into difficult poses.
These photos were all taken around the family home, with no need for backdrops or studio lights. Simplicity and speed are the key. (Check out that gorgeous tuft of hair!)
Things don't always go to plan and babies get tired and fed up quite quickly. I keep shooting as this is the time when I can get some fantastic expressions that mum and dad will say: "That is so Callum!"

Callum has reached the end of his patience in this last image, but he looks so adorable and his sister's facial expression and eyes are beautiful!


If you're looking for simply beautiful photographs of your children get in touch. Full details are on the website. Shoots can also take place outdoors in favourite family locations. If you have any questions about how a shoot works and what to expect give me a call.






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