Amanda Collins Photography: Blog en-us (C) Amanda Collins Photography (Amanda Collins Photography) Sat, 06 Sep 2014 13:53:00 GMT Sat, 06 Sep 2014 13:53:00 GMT Let It Go! So, the dresses are packed and green screen down, we say goodbye to some wonderful little Ice Queen Elsa's and what a week that was!

If you missed the session, don't worry you will have the opportunity to do it again very soon and we are not restricting it to Elsa's so keep an eye on Facebook and our special offers page for our next sessions with some very good packages for (dare I say it…) Christmas!

Thank you to all my little visitors, over the week who dressed up and became Elsa for a little time, thank you for taking part and becoming the part you all were brilliant.

Here's a small selection of many many photographs taken over the week.

]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) Portraiture Sat, 06 Sep 2014 13:52:40 GMT
Jenny and Stuart Friern Manor Country House Hotel Being a photographer for someone's wedding day is just a small part we play in the day and in the lead up to Jenny and Stuart's wedding, I spent a lot of time on the phone with Jenny as she bounced ideas off me for her special day and just to sound off about her worries..all part of the service!  So when her day finally came around in May, it was like I'd known her for years and I felt honoured that she valued our opinions.

With a lovely day in May, the venue Friern Manor Country House the marquee decked in a beautiful sunshine yellow and white and while Jenny was getting ready inside the house, Stuart arrived is what can only be described as my dream car..Audi R8 (maybe one day!).

Jenny and Stuart said their vows in front of their four wonderful children, family and friends.  Now, not all wedding photography runs to plan on the day, and as their son fell ill just a few days before, he braved the ceremony and then needed to rest, so family shots were left until after the wedding breakfast, but with the extended daylight, and son well rested, we all popped outside to finish the family shots.

Congratulations Jenny and Stuart! 



]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) Friern Manor Wedding Tue, 15 Jul 2014 15:07:37 GMT
Essex Baby Competition Winner Freddy Rae I was recently the sponsor of the Essex Baby Facebook page, Baby Day photography competition.  For those of you who aren't familiar with this wonderful organisation, Essex Baby is an essential online resource for parenting advice and support, local classes, fun days out, baby and toddler groups and product reviews.

Each contestant had to enter their favourite photo of their child and I was overwhelmed to see all the lovely entries! In the competition, people had to vote for their favourite photo and the winning entry won a sitting and a 20x16 fine art wrap with me.  Little Freddy-Rae was the overall winner with over 90 votes!

Freddie-Rae's sitting took place at the end of May and what a lovely little boy he is! Mum and Dad made their selection for their wrap, which is the one below, but I thought I'd share a couple more too.



]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) Portraiture Sun, 15 Jun 2014 19:25:45 GMT
Fleur and Dan The Lawn The Lawn, one of my favourite venues in Essex.  There is a warmth and friendliness about this venue I love, along with the style and layout of this Georgian mansion means there are opportunities in abundance for me to get some beautiful photos too.

So when I was contacted by Fleur's Mum last year after meeting at a wedding fair, I was pleased to say their date was free.  

So on the 18th May, Brian and I took the drive to Rochford on a beautiful sunny day to cover their wedding.  Meeting Fleur in the Bridal room, I couldn't help notice how relaxed and calm she was and then went in to meet the bridesmaids in another room and realised all the hyper-energy was happening in there! But what an amazing job all the girls did for their Bride.  And as Fleur slipped in to her beautiful delicate lace Justin Alexander tea length dress, her nerves never really showed through and her wonderful smile never left her face all day.

Meanwhile…Dan was a little more nervous, but as Fleur walked down the isle to meet her new husband, you could physically see a wave of calm wash over him. Standing by Dan's side was his Best Man, Lewis (his son) and at 14 he was equally as nervous as his Dad. Lewis, the youngest Best Man I have had the pleasure to photograph, did an amazing job! Being a Mum myself, my heart went out to him and as he gave his speech, it brought a lump to my throat, I was proud for him that he delivered it so well.

A truly wonderful day unfolded but I had to keep myself in check, I could have had the Bride and Groom out in the grounds for hours photographing them!  So I would like to share with you just a little of their wonderful day.

Congratulations Fleur and Dan! 


]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) The Lawn Wedding Sun, 15 Jun 2014 12:25:10 GMT
Lianne and Ian Royal Corinthian Yacht Club A bright sunny day in May, a small gathering of family and friends and a couple about to embark of a life together as husband and wife.  Thats how Lianne and Ian saw their wonderful wedding day being celebrated and did just that at the lovely Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Burham-on-Crouch. Situated on the bank over looking the River Crouch, the setting for this intimate wedding couldn't have been better. After the ceremony we wandered down on to the landing pier to take the family shots, a great challenge for me as a photographer, with the afternoon sun bouncing off the water and the bleached wood of the pier, but we really couldn't have asked for a more perfect setting! 

With coverage only required for a couple of hours, the time sailed by (excuse the pun!) and it was time to leave the happy couple to share the rest of the day with their family and friends.

Congratulations Lianne and Ian! 

]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) Wedding Fri, 13 Jun 2014 21:20:49 GMT
Blog update fail! So the promise to myself that I would update my blog on a weekly basis has miserably failed, but for some very good reasons.  

Back in March I slipped a disc in my back, a painful experience I do not want to repeat, so I heeded the advice of my Doctor and Chiropractor and stopped everything I was doing for a minimum of 2 weeks.  It was such a painful experience that I couldn't even sit at my desk for more than 5 minutes at time so EVERYTHING stopped!  With weddings fast looming, I knew I had to let my body repair itself and that what it did.  Now 2 months on, its much better, but I am still being cautious especially with a good number of weddings over the summer months.

Once back into work, it has been non-stop! So thats the other excuse too :)  with weddings, newborn sittings, pre-wedding shoots and promotional work for up coming offers (to follow!), its been hectic.  So I make myself a new promise and thats to work like mad this weekend (whilst I have a little bit of time to do it) and update the blog with it all!

Amanda x


]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) General Fri, 13 Jun 2014 19:22:10 GMT
the Photographer Magazine Becoming a member and qualifying with a professional organisation was something of a personal aim since the time I turned to photography.  I chose the  BIPP (British Institute of Professional Photography) because of what they offered their members, their professionalism and the recognition amongst some of the best photographers out there.  I joined as a qualifying member back in 2012 and  started working on attaining my qualification and in 2013 I achieved my Licentiate.  

I was approached by the editor of the Photographer Magazine (a quarterly magazine which goes out to all BIPP members) earlier this year, who told me he was looking to do a small series of articles on photographers about how they started with the BIPP and about how the benefits within the organisation has changed their career.  I was a little taken aback by this, as I have been reading the Photographer since joining and some of the most inspiring photographers have been featured in it!  So I met with the editor Jonathan and we chatted for a couple of hours about the start of my journey with the BIPP and my professional and personal aspirations and a few weeks later he sent through the draft of the first part of the article.  

Yesterday, I received this in print, and could not have been more proud than to see samples of my photography from my Licentiate panel on the pages! It was then, when looking at them, I realised just how much my style and perception of photography has changed!  It just goes to show, that in joining a professional organisation such as the BIPP doesn't just give you members benefits and a qualification….it gives you growth.

The printed article - part 1! :)

]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) General Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:26:50 GMT
Jackie and Don, Pontlands Park Its been a little while since I last photographed a full wedding at the lovely Pontlands Park Hotel.  Last year I was there a number of times covering brides getting ready before going to their chosen venue, so it was lovely to stay put at this Victorian hotel.

No matter how big or small the wedding, this is a time for families to get together and enjoy the celebration of two loved ones becoming husband and wife and this was exactly what Jackie and Don wanted, to celebrate with their family.  With just 26 of their immediate family sharing their ceremony, with their children and grand children coming home from as far as the USA and China.  It was a very relaxed and informal affair, leading into a great party atmosphere for the evening reception with over 100 additional guests.

Jackie and Don wanted coverage from the start of the ceremony and into their evening reception and although no bridal preparation photos were required, I still managed to sneak up to Jackie in the Bridal Suite and got a few of her just as she was finishing her final touches.  The rest of the day was easy and laid back, just full of love, fun and happiness and it was a privilege to be able to capture that for them.

Congratulations Jackie and Don!


]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) Wedding Wed, 26 Mar 2014 08:14:17 GMT
Kara and Jamie, Gosfield Hall Gosfield Hall is a place special to me, as this was the very first venue and my very first experience in the life of a wedding photographer.  It was about 6 years ago that a lovely photographer happily agreed to let me shadow him and get some insight into the workings of a wedding photographer.  It was tiring, daunting, but it left me wanting to do more and what a fantastic venue to dip your toe into the water!  

So when Kara and Jamie contacted me about covering their wedding, I was over the moon, I was going to go back there for the first time in 6 years.  As they lived in Southampton, all our correspondence was through email or phone and I would be meeting them for the first time on the day.  This was a first for me too as I normally meet with the bride and groom at least twice before their big day.  After discussing their requirements, they requested that they wanted simple photography and just a record of the day, with minimal fuss and to just take the day as it unfolds.

The weather forecast wasn't an issue for me for this wedding (especially how wet it had been on the lead up to it) as both Kara and Jamie had expressed that they didn't want to go outside for any shots during the day, but with a venue as beautiful as this, it was never a problem.  As it turned out, we were graced with the sun virtually all day, which kept it just dry enough to sneak out of some late evening fireworks after their first dance.

Congratulations Kara and Jamie!

]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) Wedding Thu, 20 Mar 2014 17:53:53 GMT
Milestones in pictures, The Eccles Family A part of my job I love the most (as frequently been put on my Facebook status!) is growing with a family, capturing a happy couple on their wedding day and then the joyous occasion of an addition to the family.  This is the very same for Louise and Steve, from their wonderful wedding in Leeds back in 2012 up to the birth of their beautiful daughter Grace.  

Steve and I have known each other for some time, both working in previous lives for the same company, so when I was contacted to cover their wedding, it was a firm yes, I wouldn't have missed it for the world.  A beautiful hotel just outside Leeds, on a cold but sunny February day, (I remember having to edit Louise's hands quite drastically as they were so blue from being outside!) I enjoyed capturing every moment as they became husband and wife.

Late last year, they announced that they were expecting and I was given the opportunity to do some maternity photography for them.  So at 36 weeks (the perfect time for this kind of session), they arrived at the studio with Louise carrying what can only be described as the perfect bump! I must admit, that despite having such a cute bump, I struggled when posing her, too much of her back and you would have never known she was pregnant, too much front had the same problem! She was, as the saying goes, all baby!  

And then on the 20th February, almost 2 years to the date of their wedding, little baby Grace arrived into this world.  I had the privilege of meeting her for the first time just 8 days later.  Louise (who looked amazing I might add after just giving birth 8 days ago!) and Steve (who looked ok for a new sleep deprived Dad ;) )set in for the day at the studio, at 10.30am and we finally finished around 3pm.  A newborn session can't be hurried, so I always book out the whole day for this, the baby determines the day and if we need to stop for feeds, burps, nappy changes, feeds, nappy changes, nappy changes (you get the picture), then thats what we do.  Once Grace was settled enough to go into a lovely long sleep, she didn't mind the moving about and posing I was doing with her.  This is one of the benefits of an early days session, which I normally recommend at around 3 -12 days old, the baby will still happily curl up to what feels natural to them and it makes for a wonderful picture.  So here she is, presenting baby Grace!

]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) Maternity Newborn Wedding Sat, 15 Mar 2014 12:26:03 GMT
Scott I have done a lot of head shots in the past for business websites, authors books and a few actors portfolios, but when I had a phone call from a photographer asking me if I could help with some new head shots for their website, this made me feel both delight and trepidation!  Delighted that a fellow photographer wanted to appoint me to do their portrait shots and trepidation because I would be photographing someone who is a highly awarded wedding photographer, (his work is pretty darn good itself ;) ) I can tell you I was nervous about doing it!

I found this session a little harder than usual, because having worked with Scott on a few occasions as a second shooter for him, I have got to know him well (still didn't calm the nerves about doing it though!) What was needed was to capture the essence of him for a montage and unlike a corporate shoot, knowing Scott on both a professional and personal level it was hard to separate the two and when I uploaded the images after the session, I sat there looking at them and realised that there was something was amiss, some of the pictures were too business like!  It was then I remembered a quote; "Its one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, its another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul was Scott we needed to capture and just that! So I called him back for a few more.

Working with both natural lighting from my lovely big windows in the studio and studio lighting but we finally got there! 





]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) Portraiture Sun, 16 Feb 2014 08:24:02 GMT
The beautiful Imogen Beatrice A couple of weeks ago I had the wonderful privilege of capturing the beautiful and very special little "Immy" at just 6 weeks old.  

I met Mum and Dad (Michelle and Will) at a wedding I was covering for friends in Leeds (watch this space for a blog on the two of them too!) Will was the Best Man and as I was with them the evening before and the day of the wedding, we got to know each other well.  So when I found out that they were expecting Immy, I was over the moon for them and a little disappointed - disappointed because I really would have loved to have captured Immy's first days, but being a 4 hour drive away and life logistics it wasn't to be.  

Then at the beginning of January this year, I received a message via Facebook asking if I was free to do a shoot, needless to say I cleared my diary!  Michelle and Will were coming south to visit with friends and would they would be staying for about a week. As the shoot went, I was glad that they were here for the week! The first shoot, Immy gave me just a very short window in the 5 hour sitting for photos, (she had been suffering a touch of colic the past few days leading up to our shoot) and she was struggling to settle, but when she did, we managed to get a few shots.  So a couple of days later they all popped back and it was a lot more successful and we got some wonderful photos.

Here are just a few of those moments captured.


]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) Newborn Fri, 14 Feb 2014 21:46:52 GMT
Little Thomas is One! One of the best parts of my job is capturing little ones as they grow and I have been photographing Thomas since he was but a bump and last week we celebrated his final session of his Watch me Grow package with a cake smash.  

I met Mum and Dad whilst covering his Aunty Jenny and Uncles Ray's wedding in 2012 and getting the opportunity to watch him grow into this cute little man was such a pleasure! The final session alway holds mixed emotions for me, its lovely to get to know Thomas over the year and be there to celebrate his birthday and at the same time a little sad that our sessions in this chapter are now finished.

So here is a small selection of the lovely little Thomas and his first year.  

For more information on the Watch me Grow packages, please contact us


]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) Portraiture Mon, 27 Jan 2014 21:15:38 GMT
Joanna Joanna - A kind, loving, warm, determined, strong, clever, beautiful young lady with a wonderful heart...but then I am bias, for Joanna is my youngest daughter! As she moves into her final year this year at University where she is studying for her Masters in Chemistry, my little girl is not so little anymore as she turns 21 in less than a month.  I am proud to call her my daughter.  

In the years the studio has been running, I have asked her to sit for me on a number of occasions and I personally wanted to mark her 21st Birthday with something for the wall at home. So she finally gave in and let me take her photos and now comes the hard task of deciding which one I want on the wall!

If you have a daughter or son about to celebrate a milestone birthday, or if you are yourself, why not get in touch

]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) Portraiture Sat, 18 Jan 2014 08:26:26 GMT
Louise I have known Louise since she was about 11 years old, one of my daughters school friends and watched her grow into the beautiful young lady she is today.

Just before Christmas, I had Louise and her sisters in for a photo session as a surprise present for their Mum, Dad and Grandparents. Once I started editing the pictures, I knew that I would dearly love for Louise to come back into the studio to create something a little more than her family portraits.  I was over the moon when she agreed to pop back in one evening over her Christmas break from Uni.  As this was the second time with me in just over a week, she relaxed just that little bit more and we got some truly beautiful images.  

Here is just a small sample of both our favourites!  

Amanda x



]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) Portraiture Wed, 08 Jan 2014 09:00:33 GMT
And Welcome.... It has been about 9 months in the making (in between a studio move, weddings and sittings), but its finally finished!  The new website, with a much improved viewing gallery for customers, blog page, offers page and guest book.  

Its going to be a personal goal of mine to keep the blog updated at least once a week, showcasing my personal favourites from portrait sittings, weddings and personal projects.

So welcome to the new site and I hope you enjoy just a little insight into my working (and maybe personal too!) life.  

Amanda x




]]> (Amanda Collins Photography) General Tue, 07 Jan 2014 21:51:23 GMT