Not All Is Lost My Little Newborns

Today I want to share a blog post on the amazing opportunities I have for baby photography when little ones are 3-4 months old, the window for newborn photography is short, ideally within the first couple of weeks after your baby is born and so, at the moment, is less of an option.

Lockdown restrictions currently prohibit family photography and while, like everyone, I’m hoping for a situation where restrictions can be safely lifted sooner rather than later, I’m aware that it’s not likely to be in the next few weeks. Each day I’m speaking to, or replying to messages from, new parents who are keen to have their babies photographed and who hadn’t considered that photographers would have to close. I wanted to write this blog post for them, to share some of the wonderful opportunities that I will have available for photographing their baby once restrictions are lifted and to reassure them that missing those newborn moments won’t mean they miss out on glorious photographs of their baby.

 

 

 

 

I love photographing newborns, there is something absolutely wonderful about those first weeks as families get to know their new arrival. But I also love it when babies are a little older, are smiling, and their personality is really shining through, so I’m happy to fly the flag for photographing babies at 3-4 months old or beyond.

 

 

 

What can we expect at this point? It’s hard to imagine how the tiny baby in front of you will change and develop, especially in such a short period of time. We know they will be bigger physically, but I think it’s hard to envisage the difference that smiles will make, and at 12 weeks babies are all about the smiles. Big grins, that look of absolute delight as they see their parents, the wide-eyed curiosity as they look at the ‘baby in the mirror’. These expressions will be with them for all of their lives and I’ve found that photo shoots from three months onwards capture those lifelong features to a much greater extent than a newborn session where little ones are often asleep for the majority of the time.

 

I know how popular beautiful details shots are when photographing newborn babies and we can still take these glorious shots when your baby is 3 months old or more. Long eyelashes, tiny fingers clasping your hand, these are all available when your baby is a little older.

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not just three to four months old that is delightful for baby photographs. After about twelve weeks it just gets better and better as your babies grow and develop and discover more about the world around them. By a year then they are obviously bigger and becoming the little people that will soon be toddling about and causing glorious havoc in your home. Before that when they are not yet moving around, they still feel very much your tiny baby and so whether it’s three months or six months or nine months we can take pictures which will transport you back to these early days.

 

 

 

As your baby grows the opportunities for photographs grow with them. I hope that this blog post will fill you with excitement for the pictures we can take together after lockdown ends and will go some way to reassuring you that you haven’t missed out even if you are unable to have professional pictures taken while your baby is newborn. I will go above and beyond to provide you with pictures to treasure whether your baby is 3 months, six months, nine months, a year, or anything in between.

 

 

 

 

For more information contact me on my photography page Beaus & Belles Photography.

Missing you all so much

Joanne x

 

Donegal Has It All

So it was staycations all round this summer for us all. I toyed with the idea of going to Galway, but we left it so late to book, that the hotel that we wanted was booked out.  I did look at other places to go to down the country, but do you know what, its seriously hard to beat what is on our own doorstep and my goodness we were blessed with the most amazing weather the weekend we went on our staycation.

Picture Blog Of Our Staycation In Donegal Summer 2020

ENJOY

Up early on Friday morning to get the 9.40am Ferry from Rathmullan to Buncrana.  We took the car over with us, parked up and headed up on the deck for a seat.  I love to do this every summer, it’s such a novelty for Noah and the perfect way to begin our staycation.

 

 

Straight from the Ferry to Tank & Skinny for the most gorgeous breakfast to set us up for the day.

 

 

Came across the cutest tree ever in Buncrana.

 

DUNREE FORT

This place is just FAB. The weather that Friday too was out of this world, we could of been anywhere in the world. The views were breath taking. We spent about 2 hours here, there are lots of walking trails, a lovely tea room and the cleanest toilets ever.

 

 

Next stop was Glenevin Waterfall. The last time we were here was when Noah was a toot and we pushed him in the buggy. Thankfully he carried his own wee legs up this time.

 

 

We sat like we would do in Spain, outside with our ice creams soaking in the sunshine. Noah is a Mint Choc all the way lol

 

 

First Stop On Saturday morning was Assaranca Waterfall.

 

 

And on to Maghera Beach

 

 

 

 

This buck would of gladly stayed in the sand dunes all day, such fun.

 

 

What a view on the way to our next stop of the day

 

Silver Strand Beach

This was my FAVOURITE part of our staycation. The 166 steps down  and up to this beach was worth it. We spent the afternoon there and I haven’t heard Noah laugh like he did ever, running away from the waves, splashing mammy and daddy, it was just the BEST.

 

Theres only one hotel for us in Donegal and that’s The Millpark.  It holds great sentiment to us. We had our wedding reception here 10 years ago this Christmas. Its even more amazing than ever with a full renovated bar and front reception room and bedrooms.  Im so glad though that they kept the wooden beams in the foyer. It adds so much character and sold it to us for Christmas Wedding.  I love coming back here because they ALWAYS remember your face.

 

 

Salthill Cabin

This little gem, my friend Noreen had told me about.  It’s down at the pier in Mount Charles.  Theres an area to walk around to see some animals and a little coffee shop with thee most amazing carrot cake I have EVER tasted, and the boys said the choc milkshakes were first class.  If I had of been a day later I could of even shared my cake with Tara Makeup. There were 2 little dogs there that wanted to go home with my sister Mari, but Pauric said no lol.

 

 

St. Johns Point

Saving the BEST till last as they say.  This was priceless.  As we sat on the gorgeous beach in St. Johns point, we noticed we had company. ONLY IN DONEGAL

 

We really do have it all in Donegal

Joanne x

 

Christmas at Castle Adventure Open Farm

This place had been recommended to me by so many people so as soon as the bookings opened this year in September, I booked us in and oh my goodness, it was thee most magical experience.

This is a little photo blog of our very magical day yesterday.

Everything is indoors here for the experience, much to our delight, as we travelled to Ballyshannon yesterday in that shocking weather, we were only delighted to leave the wind and rain on the other side of the door.  As you arrive everyone was given a token for a complimentary tea/coffee and mince pie, which you could have before or after your Santa visit while the children have full use of the soft play area.

Our FAB elf came to collect us all and our first stop was Mrs Claus kitchen where she had the table set for hot chocolates and cookies all round.  This Mrs Claus was AMAZING, she sat and spoke to every single Child, there were only 10 children in each party which made it so personal, it was just magical. The upside down Christmas Tree was a big hit in her cosy kitchen and of course Santa’s suit was hanging up to dry for Christmas Eve on the clothes line.

After their wee bellies were filled it was off into the Post office, where Noah got to draw a picture or a letter to Santa and they got to post these in the big red letterbox. There was a HUGE naughty and nice list on the wall, where the kids checked it very carefully lol.

The Reindeers

There was a table set up where we could all make a little bag of reindeer dust and take it home with us to sprinkle in our gardens and Christmas Eve and we got to meet one of Santa’s very friendly reindeers and his buddy wanted to say hello too. Again there was plenty of time for anyone who wanted to give the reindeer a pet.

Next stop was Elf School, here they found out about all the things that the elf’s needed to learn , like how to wrap gifts, how to get the sleigh ready for Christmas Eve and the favourite one was how to check the chimney is clean for Santa.

Off to the elf’s bedroom now, where with a little bit of magic they found the secret door which led into Santa’s worskshop. They all got to help with stuffing some teddies and leaving them over in the wrapping station which would then drop them onto Santa’s sleigh which was just magnificent.  There was loads of time here foe everyone to get family photos in the sleigh and the lovely elf took our family photo for us.

And now it was time, time to meet the main man, Santa. What a magical Santa….Noah’s wee face just made the whole experience for me.

We got back to the tea room where we availed of our gorgeous mince pie and cup fo tea and Noah raced off to the soft play area. This is the most magical Santa trip that we have done and I will be DEF coming back again next year. The detail that went into the all the different rooms….just FAB.  Huge well done to everyone at Castle Adventure Farm, you really have made the place into a very magical winter wonderland.

  1. The friendliest staff EVER, Special shout out to the most amazing Mrs Claus and the Elf, you both were so fab.
  2. Lovely and warm, I must of actually thought I was going to the North Pole, I had so many layers on, which thankfully were not needed.
  3. No pressure to buy the photograph.
  4. Lovely small groups, which makes it very personal.
  5. Never felt rushed at any part of the experience.
  6. The complimentary cuppa and warm mince pie WITH cream.
  7. The Kids being able to have full use of the soft play area and outdoor area where the animals where too.

Noah’s smile says it all…we’ll see you all next year

Merry Christmas

Your Christmas Mini Shoot ’19

So here’s what to expect for your Christmas Mini Shoot 2019. The shoots take place in the Heaney Suite in the Radisson Hotel here in Letterkenny. Each shoot is 20 minutes and suitable for children ONLY. One family per shoot please. I have gone for an outdoor theme this year, and the colour scheme is Maroon/Red/Snowy White and Wood. Get planning them outfits mammy’s!!!!!! Hats/Scarfs would be good to wear for the shoot this year too. So when will your photos be ready for collection? I start the edits straight away on the Monday morning after the weekend shoot, so your digital images will be available and your prints the following weekend, ideal for getting those Christmas Cards ordered. Collection can be arranged with myself on the day of the shoot. So so excited for you all to see this years set, its pretty cute. Any other questions you have, send me a mail joanne@beausandbelleslk.com

Joanne’s 7 Wonders Of Donegal

1. There are NO words for this little treasure.  Hidden just outside Killybegs at the bottom of the Largy View Point. This little adventure is not suitable for young children, there is a lot of jumping up and off rocks, good walking shoes are essential for grip as the rocks are extremely slippy. Huge thank you to one of my mammies Elaine Melly who got me in contact with a local coast guard Shane Mc Crudden who was SPOT on with the tide times. It took about 30 mins to get to the caves from the top and oh my god, I was speechless, never in my life have I saw anything as spectacular as this waterfall.  The trek back up to the car was made easier as I remembered the little tea van at the top, The Pod….lovely wee cuppa and a peanut cluster at the picnic area.

2. Murder Hole Beach, tucked away in the heart of Downings.

3. Assaranca Waterfall in Ardara.

4. Glenveagh

5. Slibah League

6. Hornhead

7. Gibbons Loop, Sliabh Sneacht

I fell in love again, his name is New York

FRIDAY

Its Friday 8th December…..NO MORE SLEEPS!!!!! It was finally our turn.  We arrived at Dublin airport, and already had our boarding cards printed so it was straight to the bag drop and then straight for two glasses of bubbly, who cares its was just 7am, the butterflies were doing somersaults in my tummy and sure I needed something to settle them lol.

We proceeded then through immigration, where the Police officer announced in his lovely American accent “Your gonna freeze your little butt off in that dress in New York City ” Jeepers I didn’t know where to look. I nervously replied “Its just for the flight”

We flew with Aer Lingus, Dublin direct to JFK  and cant recommend this airline enough.  The service was first class, food was gorgeous, plenty wine to get us on our merry way, while we watched The Polar Express and Elf.  I actually didn’t find the 7.5 hours, I was that flipping excited, the flight could of been 24 hours to get there and I wouldn’t of cared.

We arrived in NYC at 2pm, grabbed a yellow taxi from JFK airport to our hotel, The New Yorker. Fab hotel located on 8th Avenue. This hotel was so central, room was perfect, comfy bed, clean bathroom, a full length mirror, tv and a lovely surprise waited for us in the room from our lovely friends, a gorgeous hamper with a bottle of bubbly and 2 champagne flutes.

We checked in and literally threw the cases in the room and out we went to explore “The City That Never Sleeps”

As soon as we stepped out of the hotel I fell in love with New York, the horns blasting, the chitter chatter of people as they made their way through the streets of NYC,  it was exactly what its like in the movies.

Everyone had told us that when we got to Times Square to head straight to the “Red Steps” and soak in the atmosphere and that is exactly what we did. Electric is how I would describe everything about Times Square, the lights, the noise, the atmosphere. We stood for ages just watching the world go by and I remember repeating over and over again to Kevin, ” I cant believe we’re actually here, we are in New York City”   My neck was sore from looking up at all the high buildings.  I was mesmorised.

 

 

And here SHE IS…..The Most AMAZING Christmas Tree in the world at Rockefeller, it was even more spectacular in real life.

SATURDAY

Jet Lag is a bummer….. I was awake from 2.30am most nights.  I eventually gave in at 4am and got up and showered.  The Tick Tock Diner was located beside our hotel and was open 24/7 so we went for breakfast here.  Pancakes, pancakes and more pancakes oh and maple syrup.

First stop today with Top Of  Rock.  The plan was that we would do this during the day, One World Observatory during the day and the Empire State Building at night.

We just arrived as the doors opened at 8am and there was just 5 people in front of us. I def would recommend to get up and at it early, the ques were very minimal. This was very special, my first view of  the NYC skyline. I don’t think I spoke for 10 minutes, I was just memorized with this magical city, and then…….it started to snow.  I kid you not, on Top of the Rock, it had started to snow, there were tears I can tell you.

Central Park was next on today’s itinerary. We grabbed two coffees and off we went for a stroll around the most famous park in the world, with the snow falling, it was quite magical.

 

With Tiffanys just around the corner from Central Park, we had to have a wee look inside and sure then I could’nt leave empty handed lol.  The little blue box and that bow, I remember my hubby muttering while the sales assistant tied that ribbon so elegantly that “she had too much time on her hands” But ladies I could of watched her tying those bows all day.

SUNDAY

This was the BEST day and the pic below is one of my favorites. We again were out of the hotel at silly o clock and off we set with two coffees on the go from the Tick Tock Diner.  We walked through the snowy streets of NYC, my cheeks was sore from smiling….I just couldn’t believe that we were here in New York and that it snowed.

When I think of Brooklyn Bridge I think of Kevin Mc Allister in Home Alone in the yellow taxi going over the bridge with his wee head out the window…..I’m the BIGGEST Home Alone fan ever and going to  Brooklyn Bridge brought the big kid out on me. It didn’t disappoint and was so magical with the snow.

Brooklyn Bridge

 

 

After Brooklyn Bridge, we headed to the One World Obsevatory. Again early morning meant no big ques.  When we got to the top, the blinds were all down and a short video was played and THEN I got the BIGGEST LUMP in my throat and cried….the blinds came up and there it was, New York City like I’ve never seen it before. I was so emotional and didn’t want to leave, the views were just breath taking and I’m so glad that we decided to do this during daylight. I will NEVER forget these views, it was so clear.

As if it couldnt get any better, there he was waiting on me at the top, Santa himself and what a magical Santa he was.  There is a fab restaurant and coffee shop at top, we sat for ages having a coffee and just soaking it all up.  This place was DEF the highlight of our trip.

 

 

 

On Sunday night we headed to Bar 230 5th and met up with friends who were in NYC too.  We headed around 6pm and there were no ques to get in, no ques at the bar and plenty room in the Igloos for a few Irish. The view of the Empire State Building at nigh from here was gorgeous. We were snug as bugs in the igloos where there were heaters and fleecy red blankets.

Monday

On Monday, we got the bus to Woodbury Common and shopped till we dropped. Would definitely recommend a trip here.  Only takes and hour to get there and the bus drops you off at the door and picks you up just outside too.

Our final night in NYC, we went to the Empire State Building, to see the most amazing city at night. Our pass included this, so there was no queuing and we were at the top within 15 minutes.

Tuesday

Our last few hours in New York and there was only one place I wanted to go to and it was The Christmas Cottage.  This shop is the only one in NYC that sells the Turtle Doves ( Any Home Alone fans will know what I mean) This shop was AMAZING….every inch of the shop is covered in Christmas decorations, and there they were my turtle doves.

 

Here are a few more pics from our trip.

 

My Top Tips

  1. Before you go PLAN PLAN PLAN, there is soooooooooooooooooo much to see in New York and you wont want to waste a second.
  2. Buy a pass, we bought ours from Attractions Tickets Direct, it cost us 109 euros each and included 5 attractions.
  3. Get up and get out early, dont waste that jet lag. I found the morning so much quiter to get pics of my fav spots, for example our first stop on the first night was the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller but it was CRAZY busy, we went back the next morning first thing and got all the fab photos youve seen above.
  4. If your thinking about going to the outlets shopping, book before you go to New York, those buses get booked up very fast.
  5. Previous tip I got was to make up little bags and leave for the housekeeping staff, with dollars and some Irish cadburys chocolate.
  6. Forget about the stylish shoes when in NYC, i ditched the fancy boots after day one and spent the rest of my days in my trainers, honest to God my legs were sooooooooooooooooo sore from all the walking.
  7. Don’t pretend its Spring when its Winter. Bring your thermals, hats, scarfs, gloves. I hate the cold but I was so well prepared I never felt it at all.

Huge thank you to Emmet Rushe from Rushe fitness for the AMAZING prize & to Atlantic travel for all your wonderful  help booking our holiday of a lifetime.  I’ve been asked so many times since we have come back would I go back and people are surprised when I say no.  I say no because I don’t think anything could live up to the holiday we just had and seeing everything for real for the first time and we couldn’t have been there at a more magical time. I have memories that will last a lifetime.

“Dream It, Wish It, Do It”

Joanne x.