Check out my beautiful studio!

I love my studio space, it makes me feel happy, calm and creative every day. I have both natural light areas as well as studio lights (for when the British weather is not playing ball)  so I am able to shoot in all weather conditions. With changing room, props, snack station and baby changing facilities. The studio is based at my home in Leamington Spa.

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Family Portraits can boost self esteem

Love this great post from Design Aglow!!

Check out how having great family photos on your walls at home can really boost your kids self esteem.



One of the hidden but powerful aspects of family photography that moms and most photographers rarely consider is how it can help us raise children with stronger confidence in their own worth and abilities. Psychologists and experts have done some work in recent decades exploring the link.

A revealing study was conducted in 1975 with a group of fourth graders at a Tennessee school by Tulane University. During a five week period, the children took Polaroid instant photos of themselves with provided cameras in a variety of assigned poses, compositions and expressing various emotions. The children worked with the printed images of themselves and created scrapbooks once a week over those five weeks. Testing of the students and teachers at the conclusion of study revealed a significant increase of 37 percent in the students’ average self-esteem behaviors. This Murfreesboro Study shows some evidence personal photography of children seen and enjoyed in a specific way can help boost a child’s self-esteem.

But how can family photography, specifically family portraits, help boost a child’s self-esteem?  

David Krauss, a licensed psychologist from Cleveland, Ohio says, “I think it is really important to show a family as a family unit. It is so helpful for children to see themselves as a valued and important part of that family unit. A photographer’s job is to create and make the image look like a safe holding space for kids where they are safe and protected. Kids get it on a really simple level.”

Krauss is one of the earliest pioneers in using people’s personal photography and family albums to assist in mental health counseling and therapy. He co-authored “Photo Therapy and Mental Health” in 1983 that is considered a founding text for the use of photography in therapy.

“It lets children learn who they are and where they fit,” says Judy Weiser. a psychologist, art therapist and author based in Vancouver. “They learn their genealogy and the the uniqueness of their own family and its story. When a child sees a family portrait with them included in the photograph they say to themselves: ‘These people have me as part of what they are, that’s why I belong here. This is where I come from.‘”

Weiser has spent more than 20 years using all manner of personal photography to assist in the treatment process of her clients. She is considered by many to be the foremost authority on these treatment techniques, called PhotoTherapy.

When It Comes To Having The Greatest Positive Impact For Your Child, Which is Better, Digital Images or Paper Prints?

Obviously, rather than print and display family photographs, families are increasingly enjoying their images in a digital form, be it a mobile device, a laptop, or simply on social media. But does an image on a tablet, computer screen or social media site have the same impact for helping families boost a child’s self-esteem?

“My bias is very simple. I think they (family photographs) should be on the wall,” says Krauss.

“I am very conservative about self-esteem and I think placing a family photo someplace in the home where the child can see it every day without having to turn on a device or click around on a computer to find it really hits home for that child this sense of reassurance and comfort. They have a certainty about them and a protecting quality that nurtures a child. It let’s them know where they are in the pecking order and that they are loved and cared for,”says Krauss.

The importance of printed photographs displayed in your living space was echoed by other experts.

“My personal and clinical bias is there is something very powerful in touching your fingers to an actual print,” says Craig Steinberg, a licensed psychologist who works with children ages five through 13 near Eugene, Ore. “Touching the photograph where a face is smiling or the shoulders, it is the same thing as touching a book when you read it. There’s a lot of stimulation of the brain when you have that sensory experience. That is a bit lost in the move to digital. You are touching a keyboard, mouse or a touchscreen but you are not touching the image.

Displaying photos prominently in the home sends the message that our family and those in it are important to one another, and we honor the memories we have experienced,“ says Cathy Lander-Goldberg, a licensed clinical social worker and a professional photographer in St. Louis, Missouri and the director of Photo Explorations, which offers workshops to girls and women using portrait and journaling for self-reflection.

Additionally, Krauss recommends having photographs of that child with their family placed in the child’s bedroom so it can be among the last things they see before sleep and the first thing they may see before beginning their day.

“It says we love you and care about you. You’re important.”

by Chris Cummins, Contributor to Design Aglow, Images by Elizabeth Messina



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How to take holiday pics like a pro

Beach holiday photo tips

Follow these 5 simple tips that will help you to take great family photos this summer holiday!

Tip 1. Place your subject off center. Divide the image into a grid of 3×3 blocks (click here for how to set this up on your mobile phone camera) and then place the main subject onto one of the intersecting points, this is called the Rule of Thirds. This creates a more fun, dynamic and interesting image.

Beach holiday photo tips

Tip 2. Change your Perspective! Move around to find the best position before taking the final shot, sometimes the best position may be low down, high up or behind some rocks (see my photo below)

Beach holiday photo tips

Tip 3. Be ready for anything! Always have your camera at the ready, you never know when your kids are going to do something completely adorable. These candid moments only happen once so get to know your camera well so you can be ready at a moments notice.

Beach holiday photo tips

Tip 4. Capture the details. Not only do these make great shots but they can also make beautiful custom backdrops when you decide to make an album of all your lovely holiday photos.

Beach holiday photo tipsBeach holiday photo tips

Tip 5. Take a family Portrait!! This can be hard to do and they often don’t come out as great as you may have planned, but they are always super special and worth the effort. Put your camera on a timer (this can be done on your iPhone too), find a flat, stable spot and dash back for a great shot of everyone together. No matter how it turns out, these will be some of the most special moments!

Beach holiday photo tips

Carrie Els Photography | Portrait Photography | Baby Photography | Family Photography | Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

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What are folio boxes and why you need one!

I first heard about folio boxes a few years ago and wasn’t entirely sure what they were. Since then, they have become one of my favourite products.

Folio Box Portraits

Folio Boxes are the base product of my great value packages (and each prints comes with the digital back up). Each image from your session is printed on fine art paper so they look beautiful. Professional labs print the images to archival quality, this means that the prints will last over 100 years. In a world where most products don’t last more than a few years, it is amazing to think that these gorgeous portraits will be able to be passed down to your great grandchildren.

The portraits are then individually mounted so they are protected and ready to frame. I love the antique white mounts which look beautiful against the prints and great in most frames. You can store them in the presentation box, frame them and put them on the wall and even give some away as gifts. This is great for those people who love to shop for gorgeous frames at their local antique shop (even charity shops have some great bargains on frames too). Of course, I am happy to do the hard work for you if you would prefer to have the prints already framed.

Folio Box PortraitsFolio Box PortraitsFolio Box Portraits

Carrie Els Photography | Portrait Photography | Baby Photography | Family Photography | Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

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Your I-phone is with you at all times, right? It’s like your right hand — always there, always ready to help you muddle your way through the day and kill boredom when the need arises. But that phone of yours can be oh-so-frustrating when your darling child chooses a particular moment to do something photo-worthy and your phone chooses that time to revolt.

Well, when you learn the inner and secret features of your I-phone camera, your days of being “slow on the draw” will be over. On top of that, your camera skills will improve 10-fold and your images will too, making your memories print and wall worthy.

So let’s look at some of the tricks and features inside your I-phone that will make you shine at the next family get together!


Open your camera app FAST

Don’t miss ANY moment. To get to your camera lickety-split do one of two things depending on if your iPhone is locked or not.


1. Hit the home button

2. Locate the camera icon on the lower right corner of the screen.

3. Swipe up & the camera will open.


1. Swipe Up

2. Tap the camera icon & the camera will open.


Turn on your grid

            Activating the grid will place a “tick-tac-toe” box on your screen as you shoot. What’s the benefit? Where the lines cross is called a “power point.” When you place your subject on of the four points you create images with a little negative space and better, more artistic composition. A little pro tip that will make your images that much prettier!

            TO ACTIVATE:

1. Go to Settings > Photos&Camera > Grid > Turn it On


Adjust Exposure and focus at your will

            Professional photographer know light like the back of your hand, and every lighting situation poses different issues, especially of you camera. A camera cannot see light and adjust the way the human eye can. So, it’s important to be able to tell your camera how to behave when you need it to in order to get a good “exposure.” The classic scenario that may drive you crazy is shooting a darker subject on a bright background. Your camera will want to make the background look good and your subject will be dark and ugly! ARGH! The way mourn this? Use the hidden feature in your iPhone that lets YOU control how bright an image is.


1. Ope the camera

2. Compose your shot

3. Tap and HOLD on the screen where you want to focus. The yellow box will blink and set focus.

4.  Swipe up or down to make the camera brighten or darken the exposure

5. When you’re happy with how it looks, take the shot!

Turn off your Auto Flash

Flash from your camera almost never looks good. It produces a harsh, flat light that doesn’t always need to be there, yet the camera seems to want to use it all the time. Turn it off when you can for more pleasing light in your images.


1.In the camera app, tap the lighting bolt icon in the upper left corner.

2. Choose and tap “Off.”

3. Shoot as you like!


Use Burst Mode For Fast Action

Did you know your I-phone can shoot 10 frames per second in burst mode? WHAT? My iPhone has burst mode? Yes it does! And it’s great for catching your toddler on the run.


1. Press and HOLD the shutter release button on your camera app.

2. Voila! 10 frames per second.

Edit like a pro

Taking the picture is just half the process in the Pro world. Editing and enhancing the image is 50% of the process. Yes, even when you shoot with your I-phone you can make your images stand out even more by using a good editing app.

Here’s a few fun suggestions to try out:




Rhonna Designs



wood camera



after focus

tiltshift generator



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self portrait and the outtakes

So while I was testing a new light set up the other day, I decided to take a quick self portrait. It can’t be that hard…right. WRONG! I have great respect now for self portrait artists, it is definitely harder than it looks. After about an hour, I finally got a shot I am happy with:-)

If you would like a good laugh, you can scroll down to see some of the very funny outtakes!

Carrie Els self portrait

Enjoy x


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Carrie Els Photography | Portrait Photography | Glamour & Beauty Photography | Family Photography | Bumps & Baby Photography | Studio in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

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Portrait Photography Special Offer – Don’t miss out!

Get the deal before it’s gone. For £69, you’ll get a gorgeous custom photography session – perfect for Beauty Portraits, Boudoir and Family sessions. This is your chance to look and feel beautiful.

Your session fee includes a personal consultation to design your session and clothing selections, you will also receive complimentary hair and make-up to make this a day to remember.

With your order you will also receive a gorgeous acrylic desk print (worth £125), additional products may be purchased separately.

For more info, contact me at or call 07922 824786. Please tag your friends who might be interested below as well. Thanks!

women glamour portraits

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