Coming soon…

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How to Prioritise – Business and Life

For followers of my Instagram and Facebook, you’ll know this week has been a trying one, and it’s only Tuesday! I’d prioritised my plans around family time and business, the same way I do every Sunday, and then everything changed. What I’ve learnt over the last 48hrs is that nothing is impossible to achieve, rearrange, or overcome. The art in this success is knowing how to prioritise.

Dealing with the unexpected

Let me set the scene. 48hrs ago I dropped my Husband at the airport for a work trip. When I left, my plan had been to return home, take Neo for a walk and then cue up my first Journey To You clients welcome email. Instead, I returned home to a puppy who’s face had doubled in size and who was extremely poorly. Beside myself, I balanced calling the emergency vet, getting Neo car safe to travel, all whilst not alerting my Husband before he boarded a flight!

Image by Victoria Murray Photography

The need to prioritise

Thanks to a wonderful friend and neighbour, I pulled myself together to drive to the vets and say yes to all the tests and treatment they needed to give. It was not the best few hours of my life. Yet, strangely, whilst waiting to hear what was going on, I had begun to re-prioristise all the commitments I had for the coming week. I didn’t know whether Neo would have to stay overnight, have surgery, or more tests. Would I need to go back to the vets again? Did I need to monitor his recovery or look for specific signs?

Eventually, I was able to bring Neo home. We had a very restless night but in that time I wrote out all the commitments I absolutely had to keep, identified what I could prioritise (personal training session, networking event), and felt absolutely no shame at all in explaining the reason why.

How to prioritise

You may be thinking I wasn’t as upset as I claim, having been able to prioritise when my focus was on Neo. My focus never left him and neither did I. I was with him 100% of the time but I also knew that to remain that way I had to prioritise my week accordingly. Doing so also brought me a sense of calm and control  in a situation where I had none.

So how did I accomplish this reprioritisation of my week? Did I say no to things or cancel important events? In part, yes, but those which were important or relevant to me. I don’t have any photography sessions until Friday and the rest of my business week was focussed around behind the scenes pieces and personal photography.

The key for me was to review my to-do list and make a ‘must-do’ list, followed by a ‘to-do when possible’ list, and lastly, a ‘to-do’ list. Like everyone I have things I must do on a daily or very regular basis that cannot be missed, or at the very least would need someone else to take over for me. That was list one complete. The second category included things like my accounts, writing this blog ready to be read this morning, and my personal photography. Lastly, came personal training, housework (boo), and catching up on episode 4 of The Bodyguard!

Why you should prioritise regularly

Ok, so my ‘to-do’ list wasn’t really dealing with any ‘big’ problems but its often the little things that cause us the biggest amount of angst. Including the ‘to-do when possible list’ i.e. write and publish this blog.

I’ve always considered myself a very organised and adaptable person, but the last 48hrs really put things into perspective for me. Yes I have my weekly schedule mapped out every Friday evening, or Sunday at the latest. I know whats ahead for me, but are any of these things ever truly prioritised? How can I be making better use of my time to be present with my family and those I work with rather than focussing on what I can get ticked off of a self-created list. Where is my relaxation and replenish time in this schedule and how did that fall off?

My intention

From now on, I will still schedule my weeks, but they will have a very different look. The value and effort I give in my work and life won’t be any less, on the contrary I think it will be even more, because I can truly be in the moments. I’ll know what I can move if I want to spend a little longer on a photography session. There won’t be a compromise on family time. And when the unexpected happens, I’ll be able to respond to it safe in the knowledge that I really do have it all under control.

So there was my change to normal service but I hope you too can benefit from what I have learnt. Until next week, keep capturing those journeys and remember to put you first.

Victoria

 

Journey To You – How To Create The Business You Desire

From the moment I first launched my own business, my mission was clear: to change the world for the better. With Victoria Murray Photography, I achieve this mission one shutter click at a time, and now I am taking that a step further.

Journey To You

Through Journey To You, I am going to give you everything you need to create the business you desire. All that is required of you is an open mind and willingness to work. I already know you have both.

My journey was not straight forward. I knew what I wanted to be. I knew what I wanted to provide. What I didn’t know was how to communicate this. How to stay true to my path when so many people tell you what you ‘should’ be doing. Sound familiar?

Take back your time by outsourcing

Business lessons

Like many of you now, I enjoyed a corporate salary when I decided to launch my own business. It wasn’t the most amazing salary in the world, but it was guaranteed every month. I knew I would be able to pay my bills. Removing this safety net is one of the scariest things about becoming an entrepreneur.

Here is where Journey To You is different. I am NOT going to tell you to quit your day job or else fail. One of the best decisions I made was keeping that job and then slowly reducing my hours. The first few years of business are tough and require money.

I also quickly found I wasn’t as clear about my business as I thought. I had the name, a logo, the ability to take photographs. Social media was gaining pace and I was learning the ropes. Yet, even with VERY low prices, my inbox very much experienced the tumbleweed effect! Then it became clear. My ‘voice’, message and branding were muddy to say the least. What did those three letters stand for (my original business name was VBM Photography)? Who was I wanting to help? How could people find me?

It’s Never Too Late

Whilst quitting was an option, it wasn’t one I was prepared to consider. 18 months after my official ‘launch’, I rebranded. Now, when I say rebrand, I’m not just talking about a new logo design or colours, I went for the works. Things got serious.

The first thing that needed changing was my business name. I am proud of my work and that is my signature, it was only right I should use my own name. Next was a new logo, but this time working with a specialist designer, incorporating what was important to me and what drove my business.

Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Your Business, Your Rules

Using my name was right for me and my business, but it may not be right for you. Choosing a name that will stand the test of time, and weather the evolution that comes with running your own company, is crucial.

There is no right or wrong way to do something. See. Another myth broken. I wasted so much time doing what I thought I should be doing, based on others outside of my industry were telling me, I lost my way. Yes, advice is useful, but you must follow your own path.

One Day or Day One

This really is what being your own boss comes down to. Anyone can have the idea to become self-employed, follow their passion and make a living from it. We are all guilty of saying ‘one day, when…’. Yet, for anything to happen, that ‘one day’ needs to become ‘day one’. Are you ready?

Journey To You isn’t a coaching course, it’s not a business in a box resource. What it is, is a guided process of answering the questions and doing the work needed to start strong. To be able to go to that logo or web designer with clear brand guidelines, for your production company to know the quality needed for your items to match your messaging.

Quite simply, this is your Day One toward achieving everything you desire, by starting strong and clear, and obviously with imagery to match which is how we celebrate the end of this part of your journey.

Are You Ready?

Whilst this will be an ongoing offering, I will only ever work with five people at a time. We will work together on a one-to-one basis with support throughout the six to twelve weeks and for three months after. If you are ready to start the next part of your journey lets get started now. I cannot wait to hear where you are or plan to be and I am looking forward to helping you get there.

Your time is now.

Victoria

 

Photographer Abroad – The Secret To Travelling Light

Destination Photography is fun and exciting but it also brings its own unique challenges. Through it, however, I’ve cracked the secret to travelling light and I’ll share it with you here.

THE CHALLENGE

Like every self-respecting perfectionist, I love a challenge, and travelling light has definitely become one. I began to learn the secrets to travelling light when preparing for family holidays as a child. My Dad would tell us to lay out all the clothes we wanted to take on our bed, complete with shoes etc. When time permitted, I was allowed to ‘pack’ myself, although most times Dad then re-packed, expertly managing to half the amount of space I had taken for the same volume of clothes. I thought this was magic!

Unfortunately, photography equipment can’t be ‘laid-flat’ or ‘rolled’ to save space. It all needs to be adequately protected when in transit, especially when flying. Not wanting to put baggage in the hold for destination photography, I was faced with my biggest challenge yet.

The Road To Travelling Light

Condensing any type of baggage to meet air cabin requirements is a challenge, especially for families. My challenge was to condense my equipment AND clothes to be within cabin baggage requirements! This called for a strategic approach.

Cracking The Code

The first step is to define the essentials. For my photography equipment this is simple. I know the lenses I need, the number of camera bodies, batteries, memory cards etc. The challenge is the personal items and especially toiletries (bless the 100ml rule).

Dad’s ‘lay it on the bed’ theory came back to me. Along with a neatly-written-on-lovely-stationary list of course. What do I actually need to take? For most destination photography shoots the answer is ‘not much’. Light and loose clothes I can move freely in when shooting, nice, ‘me’ clothes for the evenings, and two pairs of shoes – heels of course. The most surprising discovery? Toiletries really can fit in one of those little plastic airport bags.

Victoria Murray Photography

Whilst photography travel is normally only for a few days at most, I have successfully applied this learning to my family life too. Here is how.

How You Can Travel Light

Let’s start with the actual travelling bit. Travel can be tedious, regardless of the destination. Entertainment therefore is key, whether you are 4 years old or 34 years young.

A 4 year old may want to take their whole toy box and every gadget known to man. The question you need to answer is what will bring them most enjoyment during their and your time at the airport? What about when they, and you, are strapped into a 33-inch pitch plane seat?

For the 4 year old, may I suggest:

  • an iPad/Tablet device with their favourite cartoons/films (and headphones)
  • their favourite blanket – it’s guaranteed to be nicer than the aeroplane ones
  • a single toy that you know they won’t settle without on or off the plane

For all of you adults out there, and especially those like myself whose business sometimes travels with them, here are my ‘must have’ travel items you can use for  inspiration:

  • Ipod – music is everything
  • Book/Magazine – flying is the one time I get to ‘switch off’ from social media, emails and phone calls. It doesn’t mean I stop planning though. I also like to read just for me too.
  • Notebook and pen – see point above. Especially if its family travel and I have a guide book!
  • Headphones – for the longer flights as I can never get on with the aeroplane ones.

Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Not So Heavy Baggage

The true secret to travelling light. How heavy a bag are you prepared to carry/wheel through the airport?

This is especially relevant if you are trying to keep away from hold luggage! Do you really need every one of those lipsticks? All three perfumes? And men you are not innocent either. How many shirts or t-shirts are you going to wear on this fourteen night break? For your mini-break do you really need four books, two magazines and your handheld gaming device of choice – not to mention your toiletries!

Packing is also key here (refers back to earlier lay-flat and roll comment). You do not and should not neatly fold your clothes as though they are going in your chest of drawers. Not only will this take up more space but it will also add even more creases to remove at the other end. Personally, I cannot recommend the ‘lay-flat’ option enough. At most fold long items once (one fold = one crease) and remember, ‘smalls’ really can fit in small spaces i.e. around the edge etc.

Happy Holidays

Of course, the point of all of this isn’t for me to say how amazing I am at travelling light. Like every other part of your journey, I want your holidays and work trips to be enjoyable. To be an experience that you gain from rather than dread.

Holidays or even work trips should be something to relish. You are visiting a new or different place to home, you are meeting people who may become new friends, you are engaging with interesting people who will inspire or want to work with you in your business. Whether your suitcase will close shouldn’t be something on your mind.

So there it is. My secret to travelling light. My next trip is this week, a wonderful destination photography project for which I need to travel extremely lightly for. I’ll let you know how I get on.

In the meantime, I’d love to know your top tips for travelling light especially the families among you. Comment below or share them directly with me.

Safe travels and until next time, keep capturing those journeys.

 

Victoria

 

 

 

Advice I Would Give My Younger Self – What You Can Learn

There has been many a post recently about the advice people would give their younger selves. The golden nuggets they have learnt that would have made those early years more bearable, fun. The clarity gained over life and career choices they couldn’t see at the time. This is my own letter to my younger self, but one I hope you will all take and learn something from for the selfs you are now.

YOU ARE ENOUGH

Hello you, yes you hiding behind that hair and in those baggy clothes. I can see you. Put down that book for a minute and just take some time to look outside. Really look. Not there, not down, up. See that sky? See those stars shining brightly enough all those light years away that you can see them from where you are? You are a star too. People can see you. You are enough.

YOU NEVER HAVE TO SETTLE

Why do you think you have to settle? What advice have you been given on this? Are you just going to ignore it? Does your gut tell you that this feels right? How about your heart? These are the two best ‘advice’ ports for you to call on. Never doubt either of these and if they say its not right, its not.

If you have settled there is a way out. Be brave. You can hear your intuition and you should listen to it. Leave now, there are better things and people ahead. Your life can be as beautiful as you dream. You have the power to make it that way. Live freely.

FOLLOW YOUR HEART

Life isn’t a fairy tale. It’s never easy and sometimes you won’t think it is worth it. Keep believing. Know that plans don’t always go accordingly but that this is part of the joy in life. Don’t plan so rigidly, don’t invite disappointment and heartbreak into your life, what you think you ‘want’ must be that – what you want and not what you think others think you should have. You will hurt them more by trying to live up to your preconceived expectations they have of you.

IT HURTS SOMETIMES. A LOT.

There is no easy way to say this. Bad things will happen. Sad things will happen. You will experience pain that you will never be able to describe and share with only a few. It’s ok though. You are a survivor. A warrior. You will take this pain and make something beautiful from it, even if you can’t see it at the time. Have faith. Believe. Use this for good. Change the world with it. You have the power right there within you.

NEVER GIVE UP

I’ve said this already but I am worried you’ve not really listened. Sometimes the easy path isn’t the one you must take. Don’t give up. Not ever. Anything is possible. As one of our favourites said, ‘Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’.

THRIVE AND BRING OTHERS WITH YOU

I want the best for you. The best and nothing less. You do deserve it. You are deserving. I also know that you will bring others with you and do everything you can to see them thrive too. With everything you learn, every experience, you will find the way to bring so much to so many more. You will experience and bring joy and happiness.

MY ADVICE TO YOU

Live. Live every day as though it was the best day of your life. That on any day you can realise your biggest dreams. Reach your highest heights. This isn’t just a letter to my younger self anymore, this is a letter to you, a rallying cry. You will experience pain, struggles, elation and love; all of these will help you. My advice is simple. Live freely. Love completely. Always take that chance and be the version of you that never looks back with a regret.

Life is a very big adventure, make sure experience every second of it.

 

Victoria x

 

 

The Baby Bubble Hub – How to Thrive During Baby’s First Year

You waited patiently to announce you were having a baby. Now baby is finally here. But where in all the books does it tell you how to thrive during baby’s first year?

Its a question almost every parent has asked as their bundle of love sits opposite them at home for the first time. Some of you will have asked this from the moment you saw those two lines appear. Finally, someone has answered these questions for you, the added bonus is that the answers are all in one place.

We’re pregnant

Those glorious words. The dreams that begin the moment this is confirmed. Your family is about to grow, the we becoming an us. Life will undoubtedly change but this needn’t be a time for worry, you can thrive from the get go.

A mother herself, Sophie Griffiths of Mama Buba Bump, asked all of these questions about what pregnancy and the first year of her babies life would be like – for her and her child. Once Sophie’s baby arrived, that’s when the overwhelm kicked in, largely through the absence of reliable information and a community of support. And so Mama Buba Bump was born.

Image by Victoria Murray PhotographyThe first year

Using her own experiences, Sophie created Mama Buba Bump, an online village for pregnant and new mums. This has quickly grown to include The Baby Bubble Hub, which in an age of ‘ask Google, removes the overwhelm, combining information from experts that mums can trust, as well as a community of support from other mums.

Bringing together experts including a breastfeeding consultant, sleep specialist, first aid trainer and sling consultant, there isn’t much that has been left to chance to help you to thrive in your baby’s first year.

Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Why I recommend Mama Buba Bump

As well as being informed about every stage of your baby’s first year, Mama Buba Bump and The Baby Bubble Hub also helps build mums confidence to parent in a way that feels right to you.

This ethos, coupled with expert advice and the community Sophie has created, is exactly why I recommend Mama Buba Bump and The Baby Bubble Hub. With this combination, you truly will thrive in your baby’s first year and beyond. To find out more about the Baby Bubble Hub and let Sophie know that you found her through this blog, visit this website here and enter code VICTORIABUBBLE in the ‘discount code’ box.

Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Making the most of the experts

Whilst this blog has focussed on the amazing work of Mama Buba Bump, my ‘little gold book’ entries don’t stop there. My purpose is to capture your journeys. To do this fully I believe that includes equipping you with all the expertise and assistance I can to help you make your journeys as enjoyable as possible. If you’d like to find out more I’d love to hear from you.

Victoria x

 

*As an affiliate of Mama Buba Bump, I may receive commissions if you sign up to the Baby Bubble Hub. However, this does not impact my opinion or endorsement of the Baby Bubble Hub and I always keep in the mind the best options for you with the experts and services I recommend.

Holiday Time – Achieving the Work, Family, Life Balance

Its officially holiday time in the UK and for once we have summer-like weather to go with it. Whether you’re enjoying an extended break, or just weekends in the sun, there are ways we can all achieve the work-family-life balance on holiday that we desire. Let’s discover how together.

Summer Holidays = No Time

This is something we are all guilty of saying, parents or not, although it doesn’t have to be your reality. If you are packing your bags for a break away, your business can survive if you take a break, you can also achieve a happy family and life balance whilst working away. The key to all of this is planning.

For Business

From a business perspective, if you don’t have anyone to take the reigns whilst you’re away, why not factor in how you can use your break for your business? You can pause your blog posts for a week or two, letting your audience know in advance.

It doesn’t mean you have to be completely silent, what I would suggest instead is to post an inspirational photograph or update about things you have seen or are doing whilst away. You may even want to share what you are reading and how you are balancing family and work. None of this makes you a bad business or brand owner – it does however show you are human and allows your audience to connect with you more.

Achieving Balance

For Family

For families, keeping your children amused can cause so much stress, yet remember the reason you decided to have a holiday in the first place. To have some time together. What is it as a family that you all like doing? Are there different things for you to do whilst you are away and what can you do separately that still makes for interesting dinner conversations? Better still, what opportunities are there for you to capture you and your family together, documenting this part of your journey as you continue to grow?

Holiday time can also be a great way to think about how you can continue the fun and quality time together when you go home. So much time is spent rushing from one thing to another. Work and ‘life-min’ for the adults. School work for the children. What about having even an hour together a week where you have a ‘no schedule/to-do list’ policy but instead do something fun together or even just for yourselves.

Achieving the balance

For business and family holidaymakers, balance is always key. All of us, regardless of the lives we live, need a break. We all need time to take a breath and just listen to our bodies. To switch off from the routine and alarm clocks. The opportunity to just be.

Achieving the Work, Family, Life Balance

What we all need to be better at is making this activity an every week thing, not just something we do once or twice a year. By taking even twenty minutes a week to ourselves we can be so much better for it.

Think of all the things you ‘make’ time to do – watch Love Island, run that errand, scroll through Instagram. What if you started putting some of that time aside for you? Think how much better balanced your life would be.

How to have it all

Mini-Sessions

A great way to set some time aside to ‘just be’ is during a photography mini-session. These 30 minute sessions are scheduled a few weeks in advance at a location which not only promises beautiful photographs, but also the opportunity for you to take some time for you.

Typically thoughts of as family offerings, I provide mini-sessions for families and businesses and brands. Whilst you may be planning a longer family or brand photography session, mini-sessions are a great way of capturing a small moment of you as a family or refreshing your personal imagery so your audience can see the face behind the brand or business.

Keeping the balance

My next series of mini-sessions will be taking place in September when the holidays are over and you are back in business mode – the time when the reminder for balance is most needed. If you’d like to know more about these and to ensure you are the first to hear about the dates, you can let me know here.

Enjoy the sun and see you soon.

Victoria

 

 

How to Take Back Your Time and Still Win

Parent, Business Owner or Brand Creator, time is always something that seems in such short supply.  The demands on our time can feel never ending and ever growing. Before putting your head in your hands for the umpteenth time today, read on for my tried and tested methods of how to take back your time without sacrificing a thing.

TIME TAKERS

No, I don’t mean your children or your work, or the little pixies I am sometimes certain exist. What I mean by time takers are those ‘small things’ that you stop to ‘quickly do’. That ‘five minute task’ that you somehow still find yourself doing some thirty minutes or an hour later. You know the ones – I’ll just put the washing on; I’ll just check if that email has arrived; has that invoice been paid yet? Have I got anything in the fridge for dinner tonight?

Hold your blushes, I am just as guilty. When working from home its all too easy to get distracted. There is an answer though. Its one you know and that costs nothing to apply.

SCHEDULING

Ok, so you probably knew that was coming. My first answer to winning the time war is mastering the art of scheduling. Really planning and prioritising.

I hear your sighs but hear me out. Scheduling needn’t just be writing another list. There will be a list, it can even be on a gorgeous new stationary purchase, but its a list with a difference. This will be a list of the things you ‘must’ do, rather than just ‘need’ to do.

Reading Sarah Knight‘s life-changing book ‘Get Your Sh*t Together’ details this process better than I ever could, but let me know if you’d like to hear how I use this method. If you’ve not read this book, or other titles written by Sarah, I highly recommend you do.

Image by Victoria Murray Photography

OUTSOURCING

Primarily one for all of you entrepreneurs reading this, but there are things parents can outsource too.

When we lived in London, trying to find a time we could get to the supermarket when there was still food on the shelves, let alone being able to cook before 10pm, became a challenge. A quick and easy win was online grocery shopping. It may not sound much but this single task saved us two hours a week (travel to and from supermarket, debate on foodstuffs, self-scan dramas, travel home). A huge family win.

All business owners and brand creators will know the huge amount of time that marketing takes. Its something that fills very few of us with joy, yet we know we have to put as much effort into this as any other area for our businesses to thrive. There are plenty of low-cost and time saving ways to manage this too.

Take newly launched Surrey-business Flourish Retail. Marketing genius Sarah Johnson has created this marvel of a business to take care of all of your marketing needs, empowering you to take control, using her expertise to give you the tools you need to make this as painless and quick as possible.

Take back your time by outsourcing

TAKING TIME BACK AND WINNING

To truly explain how to take time back and win would take longer than just a single blog post. It’s not that I don’t want to share the full story, but I know you are trying to take time back not expend more!

The good news is that, after the summer holidays (its busy for parents and non-parents) I will be announcing a few things that will be guaranteed to help you take time back and win. From savouring those family moments to elevating your business to the levels it deserves, it will be something not to miss.

To make sure you don’t miss this announcement subscribe to my newsletter if you haven’t already. Not only will you be the first to hear this news, but you will also receive regular advice on how to capture your journeys, events that will benefit you and of course some very special offers.

Have a fantastic weekend and see you soon.

 

Victoria

 

Thank You Gifts – Hand Made Chocolate

With schools preparing for the summer break, parents are now searching for a gift for teachers. Instead of the usual mug for coffees or stationary for the new term, what about something bespoke this year?

A box of chocolates is always lovely, but what about a box of hand made chocolates? Chocolate where you choose the flavour. Even a bar of chocolate with a photograph applied. Read on to learn how you can have all of this and more.

Trio Chocolate Bars | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Prescotts Chocolate – the gift creators

I’m not usually one for chocolate, but when photographing the new range of creations by Prescotts Chocolate, I found myself really wanting to try them all. Chocolate cravings aside, what struck me most was the unique gift that the type of chocolate Prescotts offers would make.

With options to create your own flavours, personalise with a photograph, and choose from truffles to shards of bars, this truly makes a unique and much appreciated gift.

 

Chocolate Photography | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Surrey Food Photography | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Photography Gift | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Vicki, the talent behind Prescotts, created the business as she wanted to provide chocolate that was not mass produced, but which could be made to order and to suit all tastes. To give chocolate that missing personal touch. All without compromising on quality.

As Prescotts prepare to launch their new website, there are new flavours on the way and equally pleasing packaging to present your chocolate gift of choice to a lucky recipient.

Product Photographer Surrey | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Flavour combinations

Teachers will obviously be grateful for any chocolate gift received. However, if Prescotts Chocolate appeals to you, lets start talking flavour.

Chocolate | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

From white chocolate raspberry and pistachio, through to caramel and sea salt, there is a flavour to suit every palette. Moving onto truffles there are even some adult varieties with gin and prosecco options – a true test of luxury.

Chocolate Gift | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Chocolate needn’t only be reserved as an end of term gift. Working alongside Vicki to capture her brand I discovered so many additional uses too. When I want to thank someone, I always look for something personal. I want them to know that the gift I have chosen was specially for them.

As a Mum, would you want to give something lovely to the Midwife who went the extra mile for you? For you fellow business owners and brand creators. wouldn’t you like something that reflects your Brand to give to those who choose to work with you?

The power of gifting

Coming down from my chocolate high, I hope this post also makes you see the power of gifting. None of us really ever give to receive, but we all appreciate the sentiment of a gift where the giver has really considered us in choosing it.

Whether you are gifting chocolate, flavoured gins, experience days or something else, I’d love to know how you select your gifts of choice. Is there someone you really struggle to buy for? Perhaps you are the one who is a challenge to buy for. Leave a comment below to let me know, I’d love to help if I can.

Victoria

 

Family Photography – Farnham Park, Surrey

On spring day at Farnham Park, Surrey, I had the pleasure of capturing the journey of a very special family. Having rearranged this session twice owing to the wet weather, the sun shone for us in the sky and smiles.

Farnham Park – a family setting

When choosing the location for a family photography session, I work closely with you to select somewhere with meaning. Wherever you are in your journey, its important that the memories we capture reflect the experiences you share in the places they happen.

Whilst homes and gardens offer a perfect backdrop, with toddlers looking to explore all things new, a park can often provide the perfect setting for your family photography.

Sophie and Pete were quick to suggest the gorgeous Farnham Park for their own Family Journey Photography. On their doorstep and where they often took their little girl, Eliza, to explore, it provided everything we needed.

Farnham Family | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Surrey Family Photography | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Offering wide open spaces, playgrounds and even deer, there was plenty to keep Eliza amused. Sophie and Pete talked with me as I photographed them with Eliza, explaining the significance of park to them.

When Eliza was first born Sophie and Pete would walk through the park with Eliza in her buggy. Sophie would meet other mums there and she and Pete would bring Eliza to the playground and share special first experiences there such as being on a swing or roundabout.

It was clearly somewhere that the now toddling Eliza loved too. As well as the tress and leafs that were still on the ground, running between Mummy and Daddy provided lots of fun and beautiful photographs.

Toddler Fun | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Surrey Family | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Surrey Photographer | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Close to home and easy to reach

The meaning of a location is my first priority, but equally so is how close a location is to you. Getting a family – be that of one or five children, ready to leave the house can sometimes feel like a military operation. Family Photography sessions are not something to induce stress but to provide an enjoyable experience for all of you.

I also don’t want you to worry about parking tickets, toilet facilities or somewhere to get a drink. Farnham Park again had all of these bases covered with free parking, toilets and a coffee shop to stock up on hot drinks and sweet treats.

Whilst Sophie, Pete and Eliza bought their own supply of treats and toys, it was reassuring for all of us to know facilities were on hand if needed. These locations (car park and coffee shop) also provided easy to find meeting points and a chance for Eliza to see me before I introduced the camera.

Nice to meet you | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

With any experience, especially with children, its always more relaxing when you are familiar with your environment. Eliza knew Farnham Park and associated it with being a place of fun. A place where she, Mummy and Daddy often went. You can see here the effect it had on Eliza, her smile never fading.

Surrey Family | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Family Time | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Surrey Photographer | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Family Photography in Farnham

Farnham Park is just one of the many places in the Surrey Hills perfect for Family Photography. If you are in the Surrey area and are thinking of capturing your own family journey I’d love to hear from you. Together we will find the place that means something to your family and creates a lasting record of your journey together.

Victoria

Ethereal London – Brand Journey Collaboration

Capturing Newborn, Family and Brand journeys are where my heart thrives. The creative in me is always seeking to grow and find new challenges too. That’s where collaboration pieces come in.

Why collaborations?

Collaboration means giving your services away for free right? Wrong. All suppliers in a collaboration give their time for free, but its one of the most valuable things you can do.

When Annie of Ethereal London asked if I’d be the Photographer for a styled piece she was planning, I couldn’t say no. I first met Annie in late 2017. At this time, Annie was preparing to welcome her first baby into the world and launch her own business. From our first meeting through to many messages we exchanged, I was keen to work with Annie to capture her brand. I knew our ethics aligned and I wanted to celebrate her launch.

As well as identifying brands that compliment your own, collaborations are a superb networking opportunity. Not only do you get to meet new suppliers and contacts, you get to benefit from and experience their abilities first hand. Within a matter of a few hours you can be certain as to how you could help each other and your audiences, all whilst creating something to demonstrate this.

Shoes | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

What is the benefit of a collaboration?

Networking aside, collaborations also mean content. This can be figuratively, with something to showcase or add to your brand (product loans, features), or literal as in this example.

All of the suppliers on the Ethereal London collaboration left with a suite of imagery they to use. They could promote their products or services as well as show their audiences who they work with.

All of this helps build trust with those you want to serve but who may not have sought your assistance before. Through being visible and validating your brand through others wanting to work with you, a day of your time can pay dividends.

The Arrival | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Come rain or shine | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Earrings and styling | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Raceday Hat | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Increased exposure

Careful and considered timing of your collaboration, as well as any theme, is also key. Designing dresses and jumpsuits from the most delicate silk fabric, with modern detailing, Annie chose the Royal Wedding as the theme for this collaboration. However, it was a Wedding theme with a twist, it was focussed around what the guests would wear.

With not a bridal outfit in sight we captured six different looks that would take a Wedding guest from day to night celebrations.

Whilst the collaboration may have been focused around the Royal Wedding, the looks we captured would not be out of place at a Christening, garden party, day at the races or other special event. Quite simply, with some imagination and fantastic styling, the content created on this collaboration will fill all of our Instagram accounts, blogs and websites for some time to come.

Branding Photography | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Portrait | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Style your brand | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

How do I create my own collaboration?

A question we will all have asked as some point. It really is quite simple, although the key is to choose the right team. With this box ticked the rest will come together perfectly.

My key piece of advice is to trust your gut. Choose suppliers you admire the work of or who have been personally recommended to you. Ask all the questions you would do normally if this was a paid commission. Be clear on what you are seeking to achieve in the collaboration and what others can expect in return. Write everything down and ensure the whole team are aware of and have signed up to this.

I cannot recommend collaborations enough. Whether you are just starting out on your journey, or you are an established brand looking to broaden your network, collaborations are a win-win option.

| Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Headshot | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

Dancing Shoes | Image by Victoria Murray Photography

If I have inspired you to venture into your own collaborative effort, or if you would like to discuss a collaboration with me, why not let me know.

There is space for us all to sparkle and thrive in this world, enjoy your time in it, celebrate each other.

Victoria

With thanks to the wonderful team who made this collaboration possible:

Photography: all by Victoria Murray Photography

Dresses and Jumpsuits: Ethereal London @ethereallondon

Stylist: @thestylenurse 

Makeup: Fiona Mcnicholas MUA @fionafmmakeup 

Models: Venetia Lozovskaya @champersandpacifiers and Karen The Style Nurse @thestylenurse 

Venue: Stoke Place Hotel  @stokeplacehotel  

Car: Cropredy Bridge Cars @cropredybridgecarsltd