“I am here. I brought my whole self to you. I am your mother.” Maya Angelou

Apart from a selfie on your phone, when is the last time you were in a photo with your kiddos? Or when someone took a photo of you all together you would be happy to frame?

This photo of me, ‘The Duck’ and her dad was taken ONE YEAR AGO on her confirmation. Of course, I took my camera and took photos of her with my family but nobody thought to take any of me and her together. Being the photographer, I’m always the one with and behind the camera. After all the celebrations as everyone was getting ready to go home; I quickly grabbed my camera, told them to take a seat and asked my brother to take a photo for me. 

Before this photo, I can’t remember the last time someone thought to take a snap of us together. She’s nearly 12. That’s a long, long time to go without a family photo. 

Our ‘normal’ photos together, usually go a little something like this; we’re in our PJs stood in front of a mirror, the camera is in the shot
or I’m holding my phone at arms length. 

Whoops. Ok. So I lied. I forgot about this one. My sister took it on our wee trip to London last September.

But still, had to ask for it to be taken.

lifestyle photography DERRY


Being primarily a documetary photographer, I want to bring that into family photography. No need for awkward, unnatural studio sessions in front of a white backdrop. You don’t have to wear matching jeans or your Sunday best. Whilst studio photography has it’s place, what I want to do is capture the normal, everyday moments you spend together in an environment that makes you feel comfortbale. Ok. So maybe not EVERY day but moments that are true to you and your family; hanging out at home, making pancakes, your trips to the park or your favourite place to hang out on the weekends. 

Lifestyle photography is defined as a style of portrait / people photography which aims to capture and document real-life events, situations, or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday.

In the last couple of years, I have found myself so busy with work that I rarely photograph the natural moments in my home life anymore. My daughter is growing up; she started secondary school this year and with that has come a lot of changes. All those moments that defined her childhood are slowly becoming memories and soon she will be a teenager. There was a time she couldn’t move for me whipping the camera out and annoying her by taking 100 photos a minute.

I don’t even grab her for a portrait anymore when I see a lovely bit of light coming through the window, something she used to just love me doing. *cough*

In recent months, I have made a conscious effort to take more photos again; of the unique, sometimes feral moments in my girl’s life.

What is missing from those photos, is me. It’s got me thinking how much we, as mothers, find ourselves taking the photos but are rarely in them. 

Time is so limited these days. We’re super busy juggling kids, jobs, everything else life throws at us and if we’re lucky; social lives.
So what better way to have a family portrait done than by fitting it in with your normal routine? Maybe you have a day off work coming up and you’re planning a lazy afternoon in the house with the kids; laying back to watch a few cartoons, making a spot of lunch, a trip to the library or your favourite cafe. Whatever it is, I want to be there.

I want to catch you interacting with your kids. You’re a major part of their lives. You ARE their lives. One thing I have noticed; of all the photographs of ‘The Duck’ since she was born, I am in a very small handful of them. The rest, I took myself. I have one photograph of when I was pregnant with her and that was taken on the way to the hospital. My hair is covering my face and I’m carrying a plastic Tesco bag. Styley. Somehow, not quite one for the frame.  

I was lucky enough to have a dad who was into photography. There are many memories of him with a camera hanging around his neck and many more of us waiting for him to get the shot in focus.

There may not be many photographs of us all together over the years but I do have these photos of me as a baby with my mum and dad. Even though they couldn’t look more 80’s if they tried (check those hairdos), I get to see them as young adults; a side to our parents we rarely realise existed as we were growing up. My parents are 19 and 22 here. So damn young! But I always remember them being REALLY old. Haha. I love having the chance to get a glimpse into what they were really like when I was a kid.

local mum in the photograph

I’m on a mission to get mums in the photographs. 

You don’t need to be looking your ultimate best. No, you don’t need to lose weight or get your hair done or wait until you have the money to spend on a pricey studio session. It’s time to document photos of the REAL you. The loving, playful mum your kids will remember and cherish having photos of to show their own kids. 

To celebrate you beautiful women out there, I am giving away three FREE sessions of Family Lifestyle Photography. Each session comes with a free 8 x 10 framed print for you to hang on your wall, stick on the mantle, put in the photo album. Whatever you like.

The session will be in a place of your choice. You can be at home or we can go to the park but most importantly, keep it unique to you as a family. Something you will look back on with fond memories of time you spent together; reading your kids their favourite book, playing a game they love, playing on swings in the garden.

This competion is for an immeditate family lifestyle session. If you were hoping for a family portrait with your own parents involved for example, you can contact me separately about that at


To be in with a chance of winning one of my free lifestyle photography sessions, just fill in the form below. You can nominate your friend or daughter too if you would like! 

Only three of you can win but everyone elso who enters will automatically be given £50 off a family lifestyle session. So you’ve nothing to lose! Let your hair down, forget about looking perfect for that studio portrait session and get your details in. 

To be in with a chance of winning you must…

  • Be a mum
  • Live in Derry, Northen Ireland or be willing to travel to Derry
  • Be happy for your photos to be shown on my blog.