Herne Bay Photographer- Guild of Photographers Bronze Bar Winner

I’m here doing a little happy dance so I thought I would share my joy. Really delighted to to say that I won a Bronze Bar in The Guild of Photographer’s monthly competition with this shot below. I was also commended for the two shots below it.

It means a lot to me to be recognised for hard work and I’m always trying to improve so hopefully may have a silver bar award to share with you in the future. Fingers crossed.

Lauren xxGuild bronze bar, Herne Bay, Herne Bay photographer, Herne Bay portrait photographer, Kent portrait photographerHerne Bay baby photographer, Kent baby photographer, Kent newborn photographer, Herne Bay newborn photographer, Canterbury baby photography, Thanet baby photography, Laurenbythesea PhotographyLaurenbythesea Photography, Kent childrens photographer, Herne Bay childrens photographer, Faversham childrens photographer, Kent family photography, Herne Bay family photography

Keep Calm & Go Glamping: 18 photographers and 1 amazing weekend in Oxfordshire

Shooting Sisters, Glamping, Oxford glamping, photography holiday, Kent photographer, Herne Bay photographer

Two weekends ago saw me driving off on a mini adventure to the Oxfordshire countryside. Why you ask? Well, to join my Shooting Sisters for some glamping good times!! I’ve known these ladies for about ten months after we formed an online group of photographers from all over the UK. Formed by Jo of Summer Love Photography and Becky of Becky Male Photography who wanted to create an all female support network, nobody quite knew where it would lead but straight away knew it was something we wanted to be a part of.

We couldn’t all make this trip but 18 of us (eventually) made it together for a weekend to remember. Some of us got lost en route, some of us arrived in the pouring rain, some of us forgot our tooth brushes, and some of us slept in pyjamas, two pairs of socks, a jumper, dressing gown and under two duvets and STILL couldn’t get warm- but- I think I can safely say that regardless of the lack of sleep, or any other obstacle the weekend threw at us, we all took so much away from the weekend (and I’m not just talking about the leftover cider!)

Knowledge was shared, advice was given and friendships were built upon. We brought our online group to life and proved the value of our great support system many times over. Being in a job where we quite often sit alone infront of the computer it is so nice to have the opportunity to share experiences and hopes and dreams with people who are on the same page and understand the hard times from a first hand perspective. I genuinely think our support has contributed to one another’s success and given us the confidence to pursue our dreams. More importantly than succeeding, we have given each other the confidence to fail because now we know that even if something goes wrong, we will all be there to pick each other back up, dust each other down , learn from it and start over.

A quote I think sums up our group perfectly: “Learn from yesterday, live for today and hope for tomorrow”- Albert Einstein

What started as a support network of 26 photographers has transformed into something much, much more than I think any of us had even considered. I’m really excited to see the group continue to grow, not only as a group, but to be a part of everyone’s individual journey and see how we can all help each other to be the best we can be. I feel really honoured to be a part of something so positive and genuinely life-changing.

I have a massive place in my heart for everyone of these ladies and know that each and every one of them will continue to do great things.

Here’s a little slideshow of my photos from the weekend along with a group shot courtesy of Becky Male and our lightpainting collaboration courtesy of Anna Bowkis.

Lauren xxx

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THANK YOU SISTERS!!!! xxxxxxxShooting Sisters, Shooting Sisters UK, Glamping, Oxford glamping, photography holiday, Kent photographer, Herne Bay photographer

Please check out the following links for a different perspective of the weekend and leave some love for my amazingly talented Shooting Sisters on their blog. I’ll be adding more links as they are published so check back for more. It’s always amazing to see the same experience through different eyes and that is the beauty of photography….

Becky Male

Nicola Light

Lel Hurst

Johanna Garlike

Karen Flower

{Brighton Music Promo Shoot} The Victory Dolls Part Four: Working Girls

Well here it is the fourth and final instalment of my shoot with The Victory Dolls.

I have a bit of a door fetish and so I was very excited when we managed to work an amazing yellow door into the shoot! The working girls outfits were my favourite and an opportunity for a bit of fun. Despite the heat the girls were still smiling and looking amazing. We strolled down Brighton streets and the girls sung as they biked along in the sunshine. It was like being in a movie. 

 They really are very talented and now have me listening to 40s and 50s tunes as I edit. It was a fantastic era both for music and fashion which has really inspired me. Thanks Vicky, Emma & Catherine for being such a pleasure to work with. Let’s do it again soon! Wishing you every success and looking forward to seeing The Victory Dolls go far!

Lauren xxx

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{Brighton Music Promo Shoot} Part Three: Tea & Cake at Blackbird with The Victory Dolls

Welcome back to part three of The Victory Dolls shoot!

As if photographing three beautiful girls in gorgeous vintage clothes in Brighton wasn’t enough to my whet my creative appetite, we then had a break from from the blazing sun and took a tea break at Blackbird. (The best tea rooms in Brighton, if not the whole of England!)

The Victory Dolls looked right at home in the old-fashioned interior of the traditional tearooms and I felt as if I had truly gone back in time!

I love looking at old photographs and the walls were covered with them so I was in heaven. You could just picture the people from those photos sat in such a place many years ago enjoying tea and cake. We were looked after well and made to feel very welcome so a big thank you to the lovely staff at Blackbird for your great service and letting us take photos in your lovely shop.

Next time you’re in Brighton, make sure to find Blackbird in the South Lanes and have a cup of tea and very generous slice of yummy cake! Even their ladies’ room is amazing! Blackbird are also on Facebook! Go like ’em up! And laurenbythesea too if you’re not already following, it’s the best place to see what’s going on in Lauren land. Make sure you’ve got a nice cup of tea and at least a biscuit to hand because you’ll definitely want one after this…

Lauren xxx

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{Brighton Music Promo Shoot} The Victory Dolls Part Two: A Kemp Town Audience at Brighton’s Smallest Pub

From the vintage heaven that is To Be Worn Again we made our way to Kemp Town and The Hand in Hand, Brighton’s smallest pub. The girls performed and quite an audience gathered to enjoy their renditions of Under The Apple Tree and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy amongst others. They even started taking requests and one lovely man was so impressed he took the band’s details for future events he organises.  

So the pub was buzzing and the word is spreading about The Victory Dolls and their talents. Have you heard them yet? You can hear some clips here where more tracks will be regularly added.

Here they are with amazing pianist Rich Morson doing their thing. How awesome do they all look? 

Lauren xxx

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{Brighton Music Promo Shoot} Victory Dolls Week Part One: Vintage Prep in the North Laines

Just over a week ago I had the joy of photographing three beautiful Brighton-based ladies collectively known as The Victory Dolls. A 40s harmony group brimming with enthusiasm, you could photograph them all day. So that’s exactly what I did!

Brighton holds a very special place in my heart as I used to live there and it’s full of creative and talented people. This was a shoot of epic proportions and so I knew I wouldn’t be able to fit it all into one blogpost. Just too much vintage yumminess to be shared!  I have broken it down into bitesize portions and I therefore officially proclaim it to be VICTORY DOLLS WEEK at Laurenbythesea HQ.  *Cuts virtual ribbon*

The first instalment includes the pre shoot preparation and choosing clothes from the amazing To Be Worn Again in Brighton’s North Laines. Why not pop along to www.thevictorydolls.com to listen to their lovely harmonies as you browse.

Thanks lovely readers. Check back tomorrow for more!

Lauren xxx

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I’d love your feedback, any favourites or comments, please share below xxx

{You+Me} Maya & Pat

This was definitely one of my favourite shoots of the year so far. I shared the sneak peek with you a while back but I couldn’t resist sharing some more of my favourites, especially now that the sun has officially arrived and I’ve been visiting the beach again after a damp and rainy April.

Maya & Pat had their You+Me shoot in various locations in Herne Bay and we had so much fun. We walked & talked, ate homemade cake & shared bad jokes. It honestly felt like we’d known each other for years and they made it super easy to get some lovely shots of them because they’re always smiling and laughing.

Maya is off to America for the summer so I hope that these photos will remind them of good times while they are oceans apart.I know for sure that Pat will have a huge smile on his face when Maya’s back! Thanks for such an awesome day guys, you rock!

Without further ado, here’s Maya & Pat’s You + Me shoot. Aren’t they just the cutest couple?

Lauren xxx

{The Portrait Diaries} Day 17: Thank you for the music

Everyone has something that they love to do, right? A hobby, passion or past time that they find themselves completely lost in doing. For me, perhaps unsurprisingly, it’s photography. I could never get tired of it.

For the subject of today’s portrait it’s music. Making music to be specific. I can’t play an instrument but I know for sure that I couldn’t live without music. Listening to music is something we can easily take for granted. There’s a song for every mood, for every taste and for every emotion. Music can be shared with people or enjoyed just as much alone. It lifts us up, comforts us and reflects our daily lives. Can you even begin to imagine your life without music? I suspect that when someone can create music, they must have an even deeper connection to music.

I know that much is true for harpist Alex Thomas, who was featured earlier in The Portrait Diaries (here). This portrait of Alex is from a different shoot, where I photographed behind-the-scenes of a music video he was featuring in as a guest musician with the fantastic band A Lily. Check them out as the music is so so beautiful! It was an amazing day that maybe I’ll share more of later but this is one of my favourites. I love the calm but concentrated expression on Alex’s face. He is lost in his element.

What’s your passion? Share in the comments section below.

Thanks for reading,

Lauren xx

{The Portrait Diaries} Day 15: Every face tells a story

Today I thought I’d share with you one of my favourite photos that I’ve ever taken.

Have you ever met somebody and felt like you’ve always known them, even if you’ve met them only moments earlier? Have you ever spoken to someone and felt they would do anything for you even though you’re practically a stranger?

Such experiences are rare but when they happen we remember them because friendliness and compassion are set apart from every day life and from the strangers that pass you by on the street. I took this portrait only 30 minutes after meeting this extraordinary couple. They were so warm and friendly that it radiated from their very being.

Behind them is the door of the garage that they have owned most of their lives and that continues to be run by their sons. There’s something special about a family run business passed down through the generations. And so there’s something special about this photo. It feels like a piece of history.

The years they have spent together running this place provided many happy memories and now they spend many of their afternoons sitting outside the garage taking in their surroundings,  talking to their friends, family and the customers they have come to know.

I didn’t ask them to pose like this they just placed themselves. He was already sitting and his wife automatically stood behind him like this. I like where she put her hands in a protective and proud embrace yet also showing tenderness and some fragility.

On their faces, the story of their lives.

“Age is something impressive, it sums up a life:  maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves.  A man’s age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.”  – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

{The Portrait Diaries} Day 14: To smile or not to smile

Day 14

To smile or not to smile? That is the question.

Well as a general rule of life I definitely choose to smile, always. If you start the day with a smile you start as you mean to go on and it has a positive influence on your day and on the people you come into contact with who will hopefully smile back at you and so it goes on. Spread a little happiness and all that!

When it comes to photography it is a bit more complicated.

When someone takes a photo of us don’t we automatically smile? Most of us do. I love capturing people smiling or laughing naturally but I’m not a big fan of forced smiles. They don’t feel good or look good so they don’t bring out the best in people. When I photograph people on their own, generally I try to make them laugh or just by talking to them can get natural shots.

Sometimes I like to show a different side to them, a more serious side. Looking through my images recently I’ve realised I quite like photographs where the subject isn’t smiling. Our focus doesn’t go straight to their smile and gives us a little longer to take in the rest of the photograph.

What do you think? Do you always smile in photographs?

Lauren xxx