girl in the lavender field

Putting Dorset on the map: Recent international photography award wins!

International photography award!

As well as keeping busy in my photography studio creating portraits for my clients, I like to enter photographic competitions every now and then to keep me on my toes.

Getting my photography assessed and graded is an important way for me to learn how to keep improving my portrait photography.

Of course, winning a photography award is always lovely (and I’ve won many awards in the past). But that’s honestly not what I expect when I enter.

Award-winning portrait photographer

So, imagine my surprise when I entered the RISE photography awards recently and came away with a Bronze award in the Newborn Photography category and three Silver awards; two in the Children’s Photography category and one in the Maternity Photography category.

girl in the lavender field
girl in hat wondering though a wildflower field

Best of all, I also had an image shortlisted for the Final in the Newborn category. It was selected by the judges as one of the best top 20 images from a total of 1100 entries in its category! OMG!

I was completely bowled over when I heard the news and felt very proud of myself, that’s for sure!

baby photo in awards

International photography awards

The RISE Awards are huge in the portrait photography industry.

They were founded by Australian newborn photographer Kelly Brown, who’s the very best photographer in the newborn industry in my opinion. I had the pleasure of attending one of Kelly’s photography workshops a few years ago, which I wrote about on the blog.)

The RISE international photography award is a competition open to portrait photographers all over the world.

There were over 4000 entries in total by photographers across the nine categories; maternity photography, birth photography, newborn photography, baby photography, children photography, family photography, pet/animal photography, portrait, photography, and wedding photography.

Twins photographer
award winning maternity photographer

Winning these international photography awards for my newborn, child and maternity portraits is a great personal achievement, and I hope gives you some reassurance that my work is of the highest quality.

Over the summer, I also won two Gold awards with the Societies of Photographers for my outdoor newborn portraits, so that was another highlight as well!

If you’d like to book a portrait session with me, get in touch as soon as possible to secure one of the last few slots I have available this year.  

Karen x

Introducing the new collection of Karen Wiltshire Photography backdrops!

If I’ve ever photographed you, your newborn baby or your family here in my photography studio in Poole, you’ll perhaps remember that I use a variety of printed floors and backdrops.

A new photography backdrop collection

Well, up until recently, I’ve always purchased printed backdrops. But, I was beginning to find it a struggle to find designs and colours that I liked.

So now, I’m incredibly excited to reveal that I have designed my very own – the Karen Wiltshire Photography collection!

In collaboration with the brilliant team at Baby Prop Shop, I have created a custom range of my very own, and I’m pleased to tell you that it’s selling really well!

Professional photographers across the UK and abroad are seemingly loving the unique designs, which I created, hand-painted and photographed myself, and are buying it to use in their own studio sessions!

Why photography backdrops?

Photography backdrops are an essential piece of kit in my work as a studio photographer. I use them interchangeably in order to create a variety of photographs during your studio session.

The fabric backdrops are used to create the appearance of a textured or coloured floor and back wall, and they come in thousands of different colours.

They are used by photographers, like me, all around the world. They are a practical and safe way to create a number of different looks for studio portrait sessions.

The photography backdrops I choose for each session depends on the look and feel of the portraits that I’m aiming to create – whether that’s an indoor maternity session, a child portrait session, a cake smash or a family portrait session.

If I’m doing a newborn session, I’ll carefully coordinate my backdrops with my props, blankets and newborn baby hats and outfits.

My clients also sometimes tell me that they want me to incorporate particular colours into their photos. If that’s the case, I’ll select a backdrop that will coordinate with the colour scheme of the room at home where they are planning to display the portraits.

The Karen Wiltshire Photography backdrop collection

The Karen Wiltshire Photography range was something I created using painted, wide wooden planks – a look that I love and is perfect for newborn and baby photography in particular.

And because of the excellent print quality, there are lots of features and textures to make the planks look as realistic as the real thing. But with the additional benefit of the photographer not having to use real wooden boards that could trap tiny fingers and toes or give off splinters.

Ask me about my new photography backdrops when you’re next in the studio!

When I set out as a professional photographer seven years ago, I never dreamt of having my own backdrop collection which would be selling internationally! But, there we are…it’s happened!

If you’re coming to me for a studio portrait session anytime soon and want to know more, be sure to ask me about my collection of photography backdrops and I’ll gladly show you the range.

I have the full collection which includes six coloured designs in my studio, and of course, I love using them in my sessions! Colour-wise, there’s everything from a whitewash colourway to a green-blue teal, through to a muted dark wood.

To view the full collection of Karen Wiltshire Photography backdrops that I’ve designed, do visit the Baby Prop Shop website.

To enquire or to book a studio portrait session with me, whether for yourself, your family or a friend, please complete this contact form. I look forward to hearing from you!

Karen x

Elf on the shelf

Christmas baby portraits: How I created these ‘Elf on the shelf’ images

Christmas baby portraits

With Christmas coming up, naturally, I have been taking lots of themed Christmas baby portraits these past few weeks. I just adore them, and every one goes crazy for the elf on the shelf!

Parents do too! And, why not?! There’s so much to love! They can be used on personalised Christmas cards. And they make great Christmas presents for family and friends when printed and framed, or used in photo gifts.

Christmas baby portraits are lovely both to give, and to receive.

Elf on the Shelf inspired portraits

I have particularly enjoyed working on a new concept this year. A creative setup, inspired by the ‘Elf on the Shelf’ craze.

Elf on the Shelf has increased in popularity, here in the UK, over the past few years. So I thought it would be fun to transform a few gorgeous newborns into little elves and capture them sleeping on their very own ‘shelf’.

I say ‘shelf’ in adverted commas since they were not perched on a shelf, of course. It’s simply a clever optical illusion. If you’d like to know how I safely created these Elf on the Shelf-inspired portraits, read on!

Elf on the shelf

Newborn photography: Tricks of the trade

Now, it’s important for you to realize that I would never balance a baby on a shelf or hang them from a height.

Nor would I position them in a basket that was at risk of toppling over. Or in a way that they were required to support their own head in their hands.

That just wouldn’t be safe.

Composite newborn images

All my portraits are taken in the safe, warm environment of my photography studio and the baby’s parents are always close by as well.

‘Composite’ newborn baby portraits like the one above are actually created after the photoshoot. They are essentially one or more photographs combined together using digital editing techniques.

Although the majority of the work is done in the photography studio, editing is an essential element in the success of this kind of image.

How I created the sleeping ‘Elf on the Shelf’ portrait

For the photo above, I setup the shot of the baby resting her head on the teddy bear, while laying on the shelf. The shelf was balanced and securely positioned on a chair, and the baby was held safely in position by the parent at all times.

The final image was achieved when I combined several photographs together. I removed the parents’ hand and the chair from the photographs during the digital editing process. Clever huh?

(For more of an insight into this process, take a look at how composite newborn images are created here).

Clever Christmas baby portraits

Here’s another Elf on the Shelf portrait. This one was tricky to setup, but was worth it!

Although the baby appears to be sitting on the shelf, he was actually lying, safely and comfortably, on his back on the floor.

I deliberately chose the rustic wooden backdrop which looked like the interior wall of a winter log cabin, and then propped the shelf up against his legs and bottom.

To complete the illusion, the props were also carefully positioned alongside him, and stuck down with tape to stop them from falling to the side. Then I photographed the whole setup from above, with my camera looking directly down to the floor.

Ensuring baby’s safety at all times

Of course, I wanted it to appear as though these babies were really positioned on the shelf.

But, as with any other portraits that I create that appear to put the baby in a position of potential danger, I can assure you that these are all created 100% safely.

Book your photoshoot today!

These are just a couple of examples of creative portraits that I produce for my clients within my signature newborn photography experience.

If you’d like something similar with your newborn baby, whatever the time of year, please contact me today.

Karen x