Fail to plan...

This quote, " Fail to plan, plan to fail", often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, is so true. Plans may need to be amended or even completely abandoned but forethought and planning in any activity is vital. 

Today I will be planning for the two shoots I have this week. I will plan the venue, positioning, poses, etc. but remain completely flexible to respond to the needs of the family during their photo shoot. The families are very different and, although I will approach my sessions in a similar way, it is crucial to personalise each one. 

I am always thrilled when a family chooses me to "Capture the Moment" for them, never take it for granted and will plan, plan, plan to ensure they get full value for their investment of time and money. 

I love what I do, enjoy every aspect and consider it a privilege to "Capture the Moment" for each family I work with.

New Photo Shoots Released


Have you ever been to Hitchin Lavender Farm? It really is a beautiful place and provides a lovely backdrop for your family photo shoot, the sunflowers are also out meaning another beautiful setting for your shoot...two for the price of one. Due to the constraints of the farm opening and the flowering times I only have one evening (27th July), with two slots currently available on that evening, although it may be possible to also consider Tuesday 31st.

Secondly, I am offering some mini shoots which are less than half the price of the full shoot - perfect way to occupy the children during the summer holidays and provide presents for grandparents, relatives abroad or as a keepsake. These are available on selected days throughout July and August. I anticipate that these will book up fast so visit my website now to book your preferred date.

#familyphotoshoot #hitchinlavender #hitchinsunflowers #dunstablephotographer #familyphotographer #shirleyhollis #shirleyhollisphotoshoot #minishoot

Behind The Scenes

I am always very grateful for each and every booking I receive and look on it as a huge privilege to be able to do this for your family and so, once I receive your booking, I get to work planning your shoot.

Behind the scenes1-2.jpg

Firstly I will send you a link to a Post Booking Form; here you can give me details about your family group, number of adults, ages of children, any special relationships, any concerns, in fact anything you think will affect the session.

Behind the scenes 2.jpg

I may then visit the venue we have agreed, especially if it the first time I have undertaken a shoot in that particular spot, I also will create a rough schedule of positions and poses, take a few snaps using my little point and shoot camera and, most importantly, I will research where the sun will be to give us the best possible light.

I realise this all sounds very formal but once we are at the shoot we usually deviate from the plan as families start to interact and enjoy their shoot.  The plan simply ensures I don't miss out anything important to you and means that I can create a set of beautiful and meaningful images for to keep forever.

The attached images were take by my husband on his phone and show me scouting out a venue for an upcoming shoot. I am very excited as it looks a lovely spot.

#dunstablephotographer #familyphotography #lifestylephotoshoot #bedfordshirefamilyphotography #bedfordshirephotographer #photoshoot

Why choose me to 'Capture The Moment' for you?

Tarbutton Colour-42.jpg

As a mother and brand new grandmother I am very conscious that families change very quickly and those special moments can be lost forever; I am passionate about preserving memories for future generations. Whilst we take many images on our phones and save them on our hard drives I wonder if these will be accessible for our children’s children. I love browsing through old images and want to ensure that my great grandchildren and beyond can still do that. So Photographs By Shirley was created to “Capture The Moment” for you.

How does this work? Well I would spend approximately 45 minutes with your family, I will use my expertise to ensure that I capture interactions and relationships, this is definitely not about always facing the camera and demanding a smile! We will laugh together and have fun. Once the session is over I will put your images in a password protected gallery, these are now your images to do with as you please, you do not have to select a particular can have them all. You can download them to share with friends and family now, you can print them, making beautiful gifts or I can create a photo book for you...preserving your memories for generations to come.

My summer sessions are running out so why not head over to my website to find out more? If you are ready to book your session now click here to go directly to the booking page and secure your slot.

Marmite Pictures!

I do enjoy editing my images to create a piece of art work. Over the years I have tried using textured layers to add another dimension to my work. Some have been less than successul but recently I have been using some seascape images, taken in Norfolk last summer, and I think these have come out rather well. I suspect there will be those who will hate them...a bit like marmite...but then there will be those who love them. Which side do you fall on?


Let it Snow...Let It Snow...Let it Snow!

I must admit I do rather like the snow...when I don't have to go to work of course :) This year I have seen some stunning images created by my landscape photographer friends, in particular Tony Higginson, Melvin Nicholson and Thomas Heaton. Each of them visit the Lake District or Scotland on a regular basis to add to their portfolio of image. I stayed rather more local, in and around Dunstable and at Ashridge Forest. Below are just a few of the images I created.


Oh laid plans

Following on from my previous post I was keen to get printing...but suddenly there appeared vertical lines on my prints, a sure sign of blocked nozzles. This was very odd as I had been printing successfully only a few days before, however I went through the cleaning process time and time again; whilst I could see a slight improvement it was clear that something was not quite right. I contacted Epson and , after a few conversations they decided to replace my printer. I now have replacement which appears to be working well :)

How Beautiful are Snowflakes

I have often heard about how each snowflake is individually shaped, but I had never seen it. I then learnt abouthow to photograph them and so recently I had a go. These are my very first attempts and I have much to learn, but for about an hour's work I was rather pleased with these.



It's All About The Printing

Whilst I enjoy taking the photograph and creating the image the pinnacle for me is to print the image and mount it to create a final, finished piece. Today I attended a workshop to learn how to get the very best out of my prints, run by Permajet and hosted by Daliah at 42 limited.

It was a very useful day with a few tips to make the printing process just a little more precise.

IMG_20180325_202632 (1).jpg

Busy Month

Well, we are nearing the end of the first month of January and its been a very exciting month for me. Dunstable has a new Art Gallery and I was very pleased to be able to exhibit four of my most popular images there. I was delighted to receive a phone call from the gallery, just a few days later, to say that a customer wished to purchase them and within a few hours the deal had been done and all four were sold. I am told the lady is delighted and they look lovely in her home. Although I don't have any more of these in stock I am very happy to print to order, do contact me if you are interested.

New Image Page - It's all about abstracts

I particularly enjoy creating abstract images, either by focusing on details and close ups or by using many of the techniques available to photographers. I have now added a page dedicated to these images and started off by adding this triptych of images which has proved to be very popular.


Christmas has been and gone!

It's that strange time in between Christmas and New Year, for some it's an opportunity to catch up, relax and think about the year ahead, but many people are continuing to work hard to provide us with all the services we have come to expect. Whichever group you fall into I hope your Christmas was a good time and that the New Year will be prosperous and that you hopes and dreams for  2018 will come to pass.

I have been using a free few days to update my website and consider other avenues for selling my work. It would be great to hear from anybody who is considering the purchase of artwork during 2018. I am happy to discuss commissioned work if you have ideas but cannot see what you want on my pages.

I wish you and your families all the best for the coming year.

New Website

Thank you for popping by and visiting my brand new website. At this stage it is evolving and there will be a lot of additional content added over the coming weeks and months. Those of you who know me know that I am a bit of a butterfly when it comes to photography, flitting about from one genre to another...could say jack of all trades...:) However for me this is part of the joy of photography, the opportunity to experiment and create images. Some of my most successful images have been taken whilst pushing myself to try something new or different. I do hope you will visit on a regular basis and contact me via email, on my Facebook page or through Instagram.