Summer 2020

Well, life as we know it is all a bit different these days hey?

It's been the strangest of years, just before Christmas we had a beautiful baby girl, to add to our lovely tribe, we were on cloud nine, but at the start of the year we began it with a little scare when our beautiful new arrival got very poorly very quickly & at just twelve days old we had to rush her to hospital (on her due date).

On New Year's day Penny started struggling to breathe, she'd caught a nasty virus and her little body was just too small to fight it on her own, so she was hooked up to an oxygen machine and fed through a tube… days turned into nights as we obsessively watched a beeping monitor, praying to a God, that I’m not sure that I believed in or not, that she would make it through, while the amazing angles masquerading as doctors and nurses began to slowly bring her back to health.

We were in hospital with her for almost two weeks, it was by far one of the scariest experiences of my life, thankfully she made a full recovery and I will forever be grateful to our amazing NHS.

So as we began the year in quarantine in hospital (her virus was very contagious), who could have predicted that soon the whole world would be in a quarantine of sorts? and well, life as knew it seemingly changed somehow forever? I've decided to write a journal to Penny to tell her all about her surreal first year.

With her older brothers still off school, and the summer holidays about to begin, life is pretty full. I’ve found myself documenting our life at home in a series of pictures; our Lockdown Diaries, because I do believe in years to come this is a year that they will look back upon, the year we all stayed home.

And in between the joys of home schooling, and juggling some work around the little monkeys there have been some lovely parts too, in the peak of lockdown we'd stretch out our lovely sun soaked daily walks - have you ever appreciated the outdoors so much? The boys have learnt to become allies too, don't get me wrong they still fight like cat & dog but they also are so close that we often find them curled up together having a sleepy cuddle at the end of the day.

And well, Penny has enjoyed having her immediate family all around her for the first six months of her life. A little lockdown baby, she's now started little zoom music classes having never yet met a fellow baby in real life, though now she can finally see relatives again which is so nice!

So yes this has been an incredibly surreal year, and I appreciate everyone's situation during lockdown has no doubt been incredibly different, and my heart goes out to anyone who has suffered directly from this horrendous virus, but in between the worry and the stresses of day to day life and the joys of home schooling, I do think when we come out of this, well I hope, that we'll all have a new found love for the little things in life, like being together as a family, feeling the sunlight on our face, enjoying a home cooked meal, and just slowing down - aren't we always in a rush, so busy to climb the ladder, so busy being busy, and what for?

Surely if this crazy year has taught us anything it’s that the things that truly matter are right in front of us? I do hope that once we're truly out of this lockdown limbo life and this nasty virus has buggered off for good, we will appreciate those little things in life so much more, our walks in the park will be that little bit sweeter, our homes that little bit more loved, our hugs will be that little bit tighter, our conversations that little bit longer, our smiles that little bit wider, a walk in the park that little bit more joyful, and our appreciation of all the little things in life, the real things in life, we will all appreciate them so much more.

Wishing you & your loved ones health & happiness this summer x

Lockdown Diaries

April 2019

Once; When I was Little

Sometimes I get so busy I completely forget to update my little space here, I feel like I've been a little non stop since the winter but so nice that Spring has finally arrived, & we're about to have a lovely little break & a chance to recharge over Easter.

So to fill you in, I've been busy these past couple of months working on a nice mix of commercial work and private sessions. In fact I've been in my little studio space working with the lovely Little Baby Boutique & our gorgeous little models on their up & coming collections, we even shot their Christmas campaign the other week which was great fun, if not a little bizarre having a full on Christmas set in the middle of March :) In addition I've also been shooting some personal branding & gorgeous lifestyle sessions. And sourcing some very lovely new products for my beautiful clients.

And I've been flexing my teaching muscles and have hosted a few private tutorials, including a few with some super  eager pre-teens so I may well hold an inspiring workshop soon, watch this space.

I also had the pleasure of having the lovely Lauren from Digital Camera magazine shadow me on a children's lifestyle shoot at Wrest Park at the end of last year for their masterclass series, they included a lovely six page article in the magazine filled with some of my top tips, pictures, and tricks for capturing those special images.

It was an absolute joy having them with me, and really hope that the article is helpful for photographers keen to develop their photography of children.

Earlier in the year I was busy putting together my first ever exhibition; Once; When I was Little, it's up at the Bluebells Gallery in Bedford Hospital, such a lovely feeling seeing all the artwork up.

My exhibition depicts the wonder, adventure and innocence of childhood, a celebration of this magical fleeting time, I really hope it transports the viewer back to experience a little nostalgia of their own childhood, if only for a moment.

It's widely thought that having art in hospitals helps lift the spirits and has a therapeutic effect on patients & visitors alike.

Fingers crossed it helps spread a little joy, it's running until the 22nd April so if you do get a chance to check it out do let me know what you think.

In the meantime wishing you all a very happy Easter break xxx

November 2018

Less is more.

Not entirely sure how it is suddenly November already, my children keep asking me how many numbers it is until Christmas?... only 35, 35 numbers until Christmas, crazy. Time needs to slow down a little bit. Remember that line from Ferris Bueller's Day Off;

'Life goes pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it.'

Well I think as we hit the season where everyone seems to work themselves into a frenzy getting ready for Christmas, maybe we should take a leaf out of Ferris's book & slow down & really appreciate what we have, because when all is said & done, it's the simple things & the people around us that matter the most.

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Pictured above; Baby Cowboy, Published by Vogue Italia

Summer 2018

Oh my goodness what a busy couple of months it's been, and a hot few months at that! Though I can't complain I'm most defintely a summer girl... I've absolutely loved working with Little Baby Boutique recently who have the most gorgeous collection of bespoke personalised outfits for little ones.

I've worked with the loveliest team of little models who really have made my job a complete joy, we had the most fun shooting everything from their Christmas collection through to a super enjoyable outdoors shoot complete with den building, and adventures galore - their gorgeous range is just perfect for little ones, made with 100% cotton suitable for babies up to 7 years.

I've also enjoyed venturing down to sunny Cornwall for a family shoot on the beach with the cutest little sisters and the loveliest family - I just love some of the pictures, some of my absolute favourite shoots.

And these past few days have been action packed too with a lovely tutorial & a family shoot at Wrest Park, now busy editing & getting ready for my holiday.

Wishing you a beautifully relaxing & adventure filled summer in equal measure! xx

Spring 2018

So I've been doing my sunshine dance but alas it appears not to be working at the moment... oh well fingers crossed we'll have a beautiful summer to make up for all the rain & snow :) looked very odd in my garden the other week with the cherry blossom poking out through the layer of powdery white snow. :)

On a brighter note I was absolutely honoured to be invited on as a guest to the 'Be Inspired' Photography Podcast for Seamless Photo.

I love listening to this podcast myself so it was especially lovely to be on it chatting about the lifestyle portraiture and my love of photographing families and kids.

Seamless also are also a beautiful supplier of great quality photography equipment, I have several of their gorgeous backdrops.

As well as shoots coming up I'm also looking to launch a few more workshops soon and have a couple of exciting projects in the pipeline. 

Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter, it's such a lovely time of year to just pause, and reconnect with family and what's important in life. Although that said,  I do feel the sudden need to embark on a very healthy lifestyle! x

Click if you'd like to listen to interview on the Be Inspired Podcast with Seamless Photo.

February 2018

The last few months have been a little crazy busy so much so I'm just about catching my breath... last year it was a bit of a whirlwind of excitement when I won the Gold Award for Best Photography at the prestigious Smallish Magazine Design Awards 2017... It was so exciting to have won, I could hardly believe it, & we (me, my hubby & my eldest son) went down to London to the awards ceremony held at Kensington Gardens Orangery in London for a very special evening, and afterwards my little man was super excited as we got to go around the glittering Christmas trail before it opened to the public, & he got to meet Santa so may have been his best night ever... an amazing evening... and I managed to get the award home without breaking it too!

I also wrote a magazine article for Professional Photo magazine which was published alongside a collection of my images about how to build rapport with your subject, so lovely to see my work in print.... and funnily enough both Smallish magazine & Professional Photo landed on my doorstep on the same day which was super special... & had to pinch myself a little bit.

We had a bit of a poorly household over Christmas, & then quite a busy January including lifestyle & commercial shoots along with running my second photography workshop which was such good fun, and now I'm looking forward to dusting off the cobwebs and opening our doors to Spring, I've just about had enough of the cold weather now... I have some super exciting ideas in the pipeline... Wishing you a belated but fabulous 2018! x

September 2017

Wow, I can't believe it's September already, where has the summer gone? I've had some lovely shoots over the summer, including some beautiful lifestyle sessions, I was in heaven shooting up at the breathtaking Lavender Fields in Hitchin, so gorgeous! And I loved working with the beautiful Cocoon Child family, if like me you have little ones, do check out their gorgeous collection of outfits - perfect for little adventure seekers!

On a personal note my own little people have gone back to school, well I say back to school, my littlest has started school for the first time, his first day wasn't quite so idyllic after deciding he wanted to be four forever he didn't want to go, and ended up having to be carried in whilst crying his little eyes out by the teacher, fingers crossed this doesn't happen for the next twelve years! :) I'm not sure my heart can take it, can't believe how fast they are growing up... wish I could slow time down a little.

On a brighter note I've also been working with some great suppliers to bring some gorgeous new artwork products to my clients. Slightly in love with them. In fact may be time to give my own home a little artwork refresh.

September always feels like that time of year when change is coming (perhaps it's a flashback to school days), I have a fresh new diary, and I'm super excited about collaborating with some beautiful clients, and I for one am hoping for an Indian summer... I've also been working on my new lifestyle studio - coming very soon! And am super honoured to have been asked to be an ambassador for Fashion Show Live - a wonderful organisation helping boost self esteem and confidence.

Have a beautiful September! x

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July 2017

What an inspiring weekend at Fashion Show Live, amazing to see such talent on the catwalk and lovely to meet the young talent Amy Nichols who's collection I'd sponsored.

This show is about so much more than just fashion (although the showcased designs were amazing too!) this unique project that builds self esteem and confidence in young people is invaluable!

So pleased to be involved, and such good fun to shoot the models, VIPs and team on my exclusive FSL set too!

#fashionshowlive #knowyourworth #confidence #selfbelieve

Evening gowns by Dynasy London.

On Set with Fashion Show Live

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April 2017

Lovely to be featured/ interviewed about my motherhood journey and the elusive work/ life balance on the Inspiring Mummy Club blog recently.... x

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March 2017

Busy couple of weeks shooting some beautiful lifestyle portraiture for private commissions, plus a few commercial shoots, including photographing some gorgeous souls for the The Salt Cave, which is such a gorgeous restorative venue.

I'm also really pleased to be sponsoring a talented young designer to showcase their work on the catwalk for Fashion Show Live this summer, which is a really special programme that helps install self belief and confidence in young people. 

And on a personal note I was super excited to have one of my pictures published on Vogue Italia recently. 

Wishing everyone a beautiful month, Spring is on its way, hurrah, now where are my flip-flops?! x 

'Photography is the story I fail to put into words.' Destin Sparks

January 2017

Excited to be hosting an exclusive beginners photography workshop this Spring with a focus on children's portraiture. 

Please get in touch if you'd like to find out more or book your place. Limited spaces available.

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Happy New Year!

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Have yourself a merry little Christmas...

20th Dec 2016

After witnessing my son's fabulous festive debut as a singing sheep in his nativity carol service at our local church last week, the spirit of Christmas has well & truly arrived in the The O'Donnell household!

This truly is such a magical time of year for our little monkeys, they are counting down the sleeps until Christmas eve, & desperately hoping that they've made it onto Father Christmas's good list! (despite the threatening calls to the big man himself when they've had their, how shall I say - not quite so angelic moments).

I have also been busy feeling a bit like one of Santa's elves myself these past few weeks rushing around delivering pictures in time for Christmas! So I am really looking forward to some lovely festive family time soon... Almost time to crack open the fizzy stuff & dust off the Monopoly board!

And although I'll no doubt be getting my camera out to take a few pictures over the Christmas period too! - I can't seem to help myself - I know I should try & have a little break & make sure I'm actually in one or two pictures myself this year! ...

I love this quote by the amazingly talented photographer Annie Leibovitz; 

'One doesn't stop seeing. One doesn't stop framing. It doesn't turn off and turn on. It's on all the time' - which is so very true! 

I am 'always' thinking, framing, & wanting to take pictures wherever I am, although I really must try & stop & pass the reigns to my hubby for a while this Christmas, so I can actually exist in one or two of our own family pictures for a change!

Anyway I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who has supported me on my photography journey, and to all my wonderful clients & everyone who I've worked with, it's been a pleasure to photograph you... wishing you all a wonderful Christmas & a very happy fizz-filled new year!

Catherine x

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Oct 2016

Oh boy

Excited to see this one on the front cover of Raring 2 Go on their autumn Beds issue! If you've got little ones check it out it's full of ideas of what to do.

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La Dolce Vita...

11th August 2016

I have had such a busy, but enjoyable summer so far with a family break to Cyprus and a recent trip to Italy thrown in for good measure I can't complain...

I've also had the pleasure of shooting some beautiful souls recently including a new to the world one week old and her very proud big sister.

As well as taking some gorgeous portraits of women, families, some super cute little people, and a couple of commercial shoots too; including a beautiful fashion shoot for a future campaign for Bridal Adornments to launch their latest collection of stunning accessories (coming soon). So much fun working with three gorgeous little model bridesmaids too! 

I've also been working on some new samples for my bespoke artwork range & collections which is super exciting.

Anyway in between shoots I'm busy enjoying some quality time with my boys, my hubby & our dog, so could well be spotted chasing after them all in the local park :)

I need to make sure we have a summer of fun before my eldest heads off to school for the first time in September, eek! It's going way too fast!

Anyway hope everyone's having a fab summer, when the sun shines in England, it truly is the happiest place to be! x

Summer has arrived!

June 2016

Summer has finally arrived, woo hoo! & I've just returned from a week's break in Cyprus, refreshed, relaxed & re-energised & really hoping I've brought the sunshine back with me. 

The past month or so has been crazy busy for me with a number of shoots; from gorgeous commercial fashion shoots, lifestyle shoots, to commercial head shots, as well as a beautiful charity shoot for a very special boy & his family, & I've also been working on my personal project for my 'Oh Mama!' series celebrating mummy-hood in all its messy, colourful glory! Plus I have lots more coming up the rest of the summer too. 

However going away for a week has reminded me of the importance of taking care of ourselves, & of spending quality time with family & friends. Sometimes, especially when we get busy, having a rest is just what we need to bring us back to life! So whether you're planning a holiday this summer or just hoping to have a holiday at home - I really hope you can take time to relax & enjoy the beauty of summer & enjoy spending time with those close to you, after all the best things in life really are quite simple really! x

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Summer Lifestyle Sessions to help raise money for Supershoes!

For every lifestyle session booked this summer £5.00 will go to Supershoes to help fund shoes for some incredibly brave little superheroes fighting things children simply shouldn't have to fight! I'm very proud to be involved with Supershoes, they are a truly wonderful charity that bring hope & smiles to so many children.

Find out more about their amazing work here; Supershoes

If you'd like to book a summer lifestyle shoot for yourself or your family please get in touch, bookings are subject to availability.

07816 527031

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23rd April 2016

It's been a busy week, three photoshoots, lots of editing, and an exciting shoot coming up next weekend at a gorgeous Apple Orchard, can't wait! 

Hello April.

16th April 2016

This week marks my two year anniversary since I set up my little photography business, & I am so honoured to have photographed so many beautiful souls along the way. Thank you to everyone I've had the pleasure of photographing, & everyone who has liked my my work & encouraged me, I am so appreciative. It's an exciting journey, thanks for joining me. 

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Win a Lifestyle Photoshoot

To celebrate my two year birthday I'm running an exclusive competition to win a lifestyle photoshoot with me this summer! check out my Facebook page to enter. (a winner will be selected on Sunday 24th April.) Good luck x

Competition closed.

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