Siblings – May 2016

I’m sharing my Siblings post with a hint of pride in them, especially, but also this time in my improving skills behind the camera.

My new camera arrived last week, my 30th birthday present from hubby.
All of the photography skills I learned from Sara-Jayne were brought to the fore, as I took the photographs I had wanted to take for years.
After so long seeing siblings in fields of yellow.

It will be a long time before I am happy with my photographs, the same problem I had with my Theatre Studies A-Level, the more you learn the more you critique.

But, oh, the fields of yellow.
And these three.

I am learning.

There’s no point in asking these three to look at a camera- no amount of requests for chants of rude words will achieve that.

Ask them to show affection.

That’s what mine were made for.Siblings May 2016 Siblings May 2016 Siblings May 2016

The Me and Mine Project

Living Arrows 19/52

My Living Arrows for this week really does go back to when our little people were just a dream in our eyes.
My 30th birthday, when I was less than 12 weeks pregnant, and we were on a cruise down the Nile.
It seems such a great way to celebrate turning 30 when we booked it, but getting to the 12 week figure was so important to us, and the sweltering temperatures of August in Egypt were too much even for me.
And with all of this, we were on a tight budget. For my 30th Mr J gave me a scarab charm, and as it seems to this day, it was not what he had imagined.

This week an email landed in my inbox ’30th birthday present’.
And the next day it arrived.
And this is what is does:

Living Arrows Ernie

Living Arrows CM

Living Arrows Burt

I had forgotten what wasn’t.

I had held onto what was.

My favourite photos of our trip.

The times of smiles and not hauled up in our cabin rehydrating and napping.

Of my scarab.

Thank you Mr J. xxx
Living Arrows

Photography Weekend with Sara-Jayne Jones

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to attend a Photography Weekend hosted and run by Sara-Jayne Jones from Keep Up With The Jones Family blog.

I truly believe life places people in your path. I met Sara-Jayne some years ago at a blog conference, Cybher. I don’t really know how we came to be chatting beforehand. For some reason I thought she was Welsh, she’s not- although she studies in Wales and I believe her when she tells me she’s an awesome rugby player.

In similar circumstances, I met Ali from We Made This Life, I think at Blog Camp in Birmingham, Ali isn’t Welsh either, but she’s lucky enough to live here.

And along with two others, we all came together in Herefordshire in a beautiful home, to learn about how to use a camera in manual.

I went with low expectations, over the years many have tried and failed, I have accepted my brain copes with two considerations, but with three, it’s lost.Keep Up With The Jones Family Photography WorkshopBut alongside a complete love of Sara-Jayne’s photography, I was willing to take the risk in her confidence in me. In her previous life Sara-Jayne was a primary school teacher, and she studied law- so making false promises is not in her nature, along with having her feet heavily in the reality of learning.

And so, this post is of course me eating humble pie (along with some deliciously edible Nila Holden cookies which were so photogenic!). It’s true that after less than 48 hours in Sara-Jayne’s company I haven’t turned my camera back to ‘Auto’.Keep Up With The Jones Family Photography WorkshopSara-Jayne has an unassuming way, an ability to handle any learner (especially me, who uses all kinds of tactics to detract from taking things seriously), and a way of bringing us together, keeping a pace of learning without anyone getting behind or bored by the pace. She also carefully challenges you, making sure you understand, making you aware of how to create a good photo (think scuffed shoes, dirty knees and elbows!).

Over the two days on the course there was a pace which allowed learning to be understood, practised,  and somehow absorbed into a norm. Bringing each element to life, I wasn’t aware of having to consider the three factors, more to focus on the photo I wanted to create.Keep Up With The Jones Family Photography WorkshopAnd I’m not there yet, by any stretch of the imagination- I know I’m not considering the direction of the light enough in my photos, but I am loving the photos I have taken- I never imagined I would be able to take them and feeling a sense of pride in the photo.Keep Up With The Jones Family Photography WorkshopWe were also placed under no illusion about the benefit of a good edit to any photo, and fortunately with a little pleading from Ali and me, we’re all set to return in the Autumn for a bit more of Sara-Jayne’s tutelage, as we get to grips with Photoshop (in my head my use of PicMonkey is probably the equivalent of using a DSLR on Automatic!).

I’m writing this post because I’ve been out again today with my camera, and as much as I’d like to take all the credit for the photographs I’ve produced, well, my conscience has the better of me… but you’ll have to wait until the 15th for my Siblings post to understand my warm glow!

Living Arrows 17/52

Last weekend I finally managed to attend a photography workshop. Hosted by the wonderful Sara-Jayne from Keep Up With The Jones Family, this was a long time in the waiting for me.

Every now and again I’ll feel confident enough to try different aspects of operating on manual on my DSLR but I always revert back to automatic.

At the workshop everything came together, even so, I thought it was going to take me some time to use my camera on manual for photographs of the little people. Moving targets felt so much more challenging than beautiful flowers and food. But with everything Sara-Jayne has instilled we popped to the beach after school on Monday, and I now have some favourite photos, taken in manual- Go Me (thank you Sara-Jayne!!).

Photography Aberthaw Beach with children

Photography Aberthaw Beach with children Photography Aberthaw Beach with children

Living Arrows

Siblings- April

This month I am riding on the high of our Easter break.

February half term saw me working and a week at home, so we were desperate to make the most of our Easter holidays.

We had our first caravan holiday (thanks to Sun Holidays) and we LOVED it, and we left quite a bit of our hearts in Newquay.
We were lucky enough to follow this up with a camping holiday with the children’s schoolmates in the Brecon Beacons, more sunny by day than we could have dreamed, and more cold by night than we can ever remember experiencing, the children LOVED it, and as a result we did too.

As I didn’t have chance to get my ‘proper’ camera out whilst we were camping, this month’s Siblings are located in Newquay.Siblings 2015 Siblings 2015 Siblings 2015

 Living Arrows week 14 Living Arrows week 14

dear beautiful

Siblings- January

Enjoying Barry IslandI am loving these little people. Our siblings.

January has seen the boys turn 4. I am not quite sure how that one happened.

Now, I get to sit back and spectate.

To enjoy their playtime, to get to join in by request.

It means more than ever I get to enjoy being a mum, without a million things being juggled, and achieving none.

It means I get to watch this amazing bond develop between my three little people.

And I think more than ever they are becoming the Three Musketeers.Overlooking the Bristol Channel

Every moment with them as individuals, every moment enjoying them as a team, 


Enjoying Barry Island Enjoying Barry Island Enjoying Barry Island
Barry Island Seaside funFamily.

dear beautiful

The Gallery – Me

This week’s The Gallery theme made me think, and then stop, and realise I didn’t want to think.

I’ve chosen a photo of me, which is from this week- a rarity from the person who’s permanently behind the camera.

A wonderful mum, and friend, took the time to say “let me take a photo of this moment.”

And yes, it’s my sons’ fourth birthday party, whilst not solely me, it is me.

I am no longer the solo person in the photograph. 

I can be, and I am, as I always was, entirely uncomfortable with being solo in a photograph, I will tolerate, usually for work purposes,

but me, I am many, I am an employee, I am a mummy, I am a wife, I am a friend, I am a daughter, I am a sister, I am a niece.

Some of my characteristics I’ve held since the day I was born.

Others, of friend and wife, I’ve had to learn, to share, to consider others ahead of everything, to prioritise.

Of mummy, this is something which can’t be learnt in isolation, there are elements which are a part of my being.

So, this week’s photo, it really is me, celebrating us all getting here.

I am a mummy.

To gorgeous four-year old boys.

And a five-year old daughter (who may have been having a meltdown at the time of this photo).

It is my life.

There will be more to me in the future, there is so much which has led me to this point.

Right now, there is no where I’d rather be.

Twins 4th birthday

Sticky Fingers Photo Gallery