Welcome to my first ever blog post. I'm Lottie - owner of Lottie Bone Photography. Firstly, thank you for coming to read. Perhaps you are my friend, family member, photographer, past client, current client, thinking about being a client... you get the gist.. either way, I really hope you enjoy and perhaps take something away from reading my blog post.
You can expect my posts to always be - honest, real and funny in places. This first post will be a little insight into who I am. You will be able to delve (slightly) into my world. I also promise to jazz it up with some photos. My other blog posts will be a variety of topics. Some I have thought about, others I'm sure will be inspired by wherever the wind takes me. I would also love to hear if you guys have any ideas.
Where do I begin?
Well firstly I feel like I should mention my two gorgeous girls (Adeline, 4, and Camilla, 2). If you are a parent, you'll know it's just.. well I can't even put it into words... it's everything, mixed with some seriously challenging moments of course. I also have a needy Cocker Spaniel (Bonnie) and a wonderfully supportive husband (Thom) - who without, I'm pretty sure Lottie Bone Photography wouldn't be here.
I'll let you into a little secret - this isn't actually my first Blog. When Adeline was born I decided to create a Motherhood Blog alongside my personal instagram account. I actually won an award for 'Yorkshire Parenting Blogger 2021', how mad is that?
I love blogging, I think it's the sense of helping others, sharing your experiences from being honest and vulnerable. If you are showing the world something that is real, I believe that is where you make a difference and a connection with often total strangers. (I will link my personal blog at the bottom of this post. If you really want to get to know me!)
What else should I share with you? Well, I am also a bit of a Drama Queen - I love to sing - I love musicals, the theatre, music in general. I'm also a huge Harry Potter fan and I could also watch Friends back to back forever.
Some years ago after completing my degrees in Performing Arts at Harrogate and Leeds, I undertook my teaching degree at Bradford College - with some travels along the way including working in the USA (where I met the husband) at a kids summer camp! Since then, I've worked as Head of Drama at a private school in Ilkley for 9+ years. I have the same feeling I do when I teach Drama as I do when I take photos. It's the feeling of happiness, excitement, achievement and I feel my best when i'm doing it.
The Year Of Change.
Through the past few years my confidence and self-belief in myself has suddenly changed - and that's not always been the case. I've previously doubted myself a lot and struggled to put myself out there. One thing I do know is that whatever I put my mind too, I do it 100%. I'm an all or nothing kinda person.
So 2022 was the year of change for me - I built confidence in myself & my ability. I am learning to stop letting imposter syndrome spoil my chances at opportunities. I'm learning that doing things out of your comfort zone is scary- yes, but also essential... especially when you start your own business... and it's also so exciting! I also wanted to show my girls that nothing should hold you back- even if it is sometimes a bit scary.
One example that springs to mind - last year I applied for a job as an event photographer at Yorkshire Tots Fest and firstly I hesitated as it wasn't something I had ever done before. I remember messaging my bestie and saying shall I do it? What if I mess it up? But I knew I had to believe that it was something I could do. And with a little encouragement and a word with myself, I ended up getting the job after sending over my portfolio and I smashed it! I absolutely loved it as well and the result was a repeat booking for this year and another children's festival booking me as well (last year and again this year!).
This is why it is so important to take these opportunities and believe in yourself. If I didn't do that festival I would have never realised that I had the ability to capture photos like that. It showed me that I am capable of so much more. I almost surprised myself! I remember editing the photos and saying to my husband 'Oh I'm good', something I never used to say...
The birth of Lottie Bone Photography
So 2021 the birth of Camilla was the same year I began Lottie Bone Photography. I think I have always had the eye for photography and loved capturing moments. It began with landscape photography, closely followed taking photos of my dog... and then the girls were born and that's when the true essence of photography became very apparent to me. The way it truly made me feel and also how it made others feel. It was true love.
If we go back to the birth of Camilla, I think during my maternity leave I did realise that I had lost sight of who I was, or not being sure what it was that I was good at before I became a parent. It's pretty common. I think I just totally lost myself in the whirlwind of being a mama and at the time there was nothing wrong with that. I love it after all. But, what else was there besides that? I needed something else. Something that was mine. It was time that I found out.
I don't actually remember the precise moment I realised I could do it, but Photography was always there. I'm not going to tell you my life story so I'll keep it brief. But at age 21 my Mum & Dad bought me my first DLSR camera. It was a hobby, my Dads actually! I loved watching him take photos, edit them and bring them to life with just a click of a button - our house was full of his photos on every wall. It was something we bonded over and loved to discuss. So the hobby continued for 10 years. One thing I noticed is that when I began posting my photos on Instagram and Flickr I got so many positive comments. Talk about a boost! I think it was there I began to realise I may be a natural at this.
So I guess you could say that's how it began, It gave me the confidence and I loved it!
When Adeline & Camilla were born, I was obsessed with taken their photos. Who isn't? It was then apparent, Motherhood Photography became my thing. They soon made me realise the importance of capturing the early days, the memories. Because as we all know, and as cliche as it sounds, it goes so fast! Why did I never think of it before?! Capturing my own family on days out, holiday or even just playing - I loved it. Some days, I sit with my girls and we look through our photos and videos of past holidays and days out and laugh, sometimes cry (ok maybe that's just me). But we re-live that memory there and then. Talk about it. It usually ends with Adeline asking if we can go again.
So I think that's when I realised... I realised that I needed to put all my self-doubt aside if I was going to do this. I spent the rest of my maternity leave learning, practising and basically getting better at it. I bought a camera, borrowed my Dad's lenses, and began to see what I could do. Here are some of the first photos I took. Although I know I have improved immensely this still makes me smile. I was working out natural lighting, poses, editing, props and more. One thing I have learned is, you never stop learning and you constantly get better.
In just one year I have managed to establish a brand, some great clients and, truthfully, new friends (and not just my clients but other photographers too - my own personal cheerleaders besides my closest friends & family). It's a wonderful industry to be in and I am so happy that I took the risk to do it because it has certainly paid off.
What is my style of Photography?
I remember when I began creating my website it came to my "about me" section. I knew it was probably important that I talk about my style of Photography. There are so many styles, believe me. From documentary, storytelling etc. And I remember thinking, what is my style? I've never really thought about. Do I already have one?
I have always just seen my photography as a form of expression. I've never put a label on it. I don't think I've ever seen my work as a particular style, it's just me, a reflection of me. How I interpret that moment and that scene that I'm photographing at that time.
Oh the panic! I remember asking my husband of all people (no offence Thom, but you can't take a photo to save your life) but I do trust his judgement and his way of being brutally honest with me. He made it clear that my photography was always natural or in his words "not posed".
I remember then reading about photography styles and an interesting blog came up about how your style is whatever you make it, whatever you create naturally and also it may change over time. Kind of what I was saying above. Perhaps there isn't just one style. Maybe we shouldn't pigeon hole ourselves into one category.
I didn't put any pressure on it and just carried on doing what I love, I tried to not compare myself to other photographers (which is so hard). I just kept on taking photos and creating images I loved. I also played around with different editing (which is another mine field, believe me). I created something that I naturally gravitated towards and that felt most like me. My style then became suddenly more apparent... and feedback from clients also confirmed; Natural, Authentic, Relaxed and Fun.
I want everybody who comes to see me to feel relaxed and be able to be fully themselves. This is when you can truly create the most honest and beautiful photographs. My photography will capture natural moments, it will also be posed in some places. There will be lots of times where the photography is documented. There is one thing I am certain of and that is, my photography is real.
2023- BIGGER AND BETTER
This year I did a thing. I read through all of my reviews- yes I really did do that!- and I picked out the key themes that kept coming up. What my past clients said regularly. And do you know what they were?
'Lottie was very friendly and made us welcome..'
'On arrival we were greeted with the most friendliest face, a lovely environment and was super friendly throughout the shoot which made us all feel so at ease..'
'Lottie is a wonderful Photographer, with the patience of a saint, helpful, funny, compassionate, enthusiastic ..'
'Lottie is amazing, our session was so relaxed and fun - she is just wonderful with the little ones..'
Lottie has captured fabulous photos of our family on two occasions. She puts us all at ease and is brilliant with our little ones..'
'She was so lovely and very engaged with the kids. She made the shoot feel very natural and relaxed as opposed to trying to get two kids to pose!..'
So there we go!
I think I nailed what I wanted to achieve. How I wanted my clients to feel.
This year I want to learn more, push myself more and do everything I can to succeed. It's hard work. But when I'm taking photos, meeting families and editing/delivering your galleries it is seriously the most rewarding feeling. I get a buzz every time.
To know that I have created something that means so much to you. That will live on for decades, is just so special.
“Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever… It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.” Said a wise person!
Let's talk again
I never know how to summarise these things. And I think my last quote sums it up perfectly but I do want to thank you all for every click, like, comment, share and recommendation. If it wasn't for your constant love & support, Lottie Bone wouldn't be where it is today. So I am forever grateful. Please continue to show your support because it means the world to me!
But for now... I bid you farewell - I hope you enjoyed, laughed and maybe even decided to share my details / website with someone you know!
Thanks again for your lovely support here's to an exciting 2023!
You are THE best.
Love Lottie x