How I Would Plan My Wedding…

This is not just a boring story of how I would actually plan my wedding day, but after working on so many weddings, I’ve definitely seen some do’s and dont’s of the wedding industry.

Contracts

I would make sure that every professional that had been booked, had a contract in place which includes times of arrival and leaving. I’ve been to a couple of weddings now, where someone has left before they were meant to. Contracts are also important as they give you and the professional legal back ups in the event that you may want to request a refund, or you would like to question their professionalism.

The Venue

When booking your venue, especially in a British summer, make sure the inside is just as lovely as the outside. This won’t affect your photography as such, but may affect your overall mood on the day. You may feel underwhelmed, and this is what will definitely show in your photos. So if I looked at a wedding venue in the British Summertime, I’d look forward to an inside wedding, and an outdoor wedding day would then become an added bonus on the day.

Team Reviews

Always check the reviews on the venues staff. Check how many weddings they have experience in working on. They may be amazing selling you the wedding at their venue, but make sure that they keep in touch regularly, and are up to date with all of your wedding day plans. Things can be easily missed out, and for the expense of a wedding day, you can’t afford for one minor hiccup to hinder the whole day.

Mobile Phones

Now this ones a bit of a taboo. As much as you want your guests to have a relaxing day, and you want them to feel free to photograph your special moments. You also don’t want your final ‘walking down the aisle’ professional photo to have ten mobile phones down the aisle with you. From a photographers point of view, As lovely as the photo is, I wouldn’t upload a picture to social media if it has a mobile phone in it, it just looks awful! You want to see people applauding your marriage, cheering and smiling, and not concentrating on taking a picture that you’ve paid a photographer to take.

The best way to approach this politely is to add a sign on the day, or ask the registrar/humanist to just mention before your ceremony that there is a professional photographer and to refrain from taking photographs until after the ceremony.

Pushchairs

Another thing about those important aisle photos, is if you invite children, which 97% of weddings do, then you’re going to have a pushchair in your aisle shots. There is usually room at the back of the room for any pushchairs. Maybe a sign for this would be useful.

I think I’ve pointed out my main pointers from a photographers point of view. Also when it comes to formal photos, those mantelpiece shots, I’d advise to have the ‘Bride and Groom’ shots a little later on towards early evening when the sun is lower. This will stop the squintage, the frowns and the harsh sunlight and awkward shadows.

My Perfect Wedding

So, finally… my perfect wedding…

Would be far away from home, on a beach or in a cove, with either fresh, white sand or surrounded by rocks. I’m in to all of this green foliage, nudes and corals, whites and ivories.

My dress would be a long, sleek and elegant number, very minimal, off the shoulder, backless and with a medium length train. I’d have no bridesmaids or maid of honour, just my daughter as my flower girl and my son as my page boy. It would be a relaxed day, with a meal in a champagne bar on a cliff side or a bbq on a beach. My perfect end to the evening would be to dance around a fire on a beach while a band play, but I can only dream, as I don’t even know if that’s legal.

I’d also have a donkey or alpaca to walk me down the aisle… I’ve seen these and they’re damn cute!

So that’s it, a few tips on how to keep the wedding day stress to a low, and a little footstep in to my sandy beach dream wedding…

🌹

Losing Mum and Dad – Depression, Mental Health and Grieving

Aged 17 losing Dad to Lung Cancer and aged 21 losing Mum to Alcoholism, there’s no way I thought I’d ever get over the loss of my parents. I always said to myself, if my Mum died, I’d never be able to cope. My Dad tried his hardest to keep me at comfort by telling me everything, and preparing me for the day he finally left us, but with Mum, there was no preparation, so I was in denial that it would even ever happen.

With Dad, I didn’t really have any idea of how to grieve, I suffered with severe depression, I couldn’t hold a job down, the responsibility of taking over everything he had was just too much. I’d drink heavily, self harm, comfort eat, cry myself to sleep most nights and even attempted suicide three times. I had no tactic or way to distract myself from the hurt and the pain. I used to write him letters expressing how hurt I was, then feel bad for writing negative things and rip up the letter and start again and pretend everything was ok to make him proud. I hated myself at the time, he was a proud Dad, and the thought of him seeing me in that way just ate away at me daily.

I’m not sure I have ever got over the loss of my Dad, I’ve not tried, and I still hold his ashes to this day.

With Mum, I was in Birmingham at the time and received a phone call to say that she had been taken in to hospital and was in a bad way, she was an hour away in Wellingborough, so I made my way over to be with her. It was the worst I had ever seen her, she was frail and just looked straight through me, this hurt. It was as if she didn’t know who I was. I didn’t know what to do, wether to comfort her and show my true feelings, give her cuddles and tell her how much I loved her, or be angry and try to make her realise what she was doing to herself and her loved ones. I think I was in denial as much as she was.

Looking back now, I should’ve got help with how to deal with someone addicted to alcohol, I could’ve maybe helped her more.

The last day, she laid there on the hospital bed with a machine keeping her alive, there was nothing more that could’ve been done to save her. I just remember looking at the poor nurses and thinking they could do more and they could save her, but when they asked if we all felt ok with them ‘letting her go’ they just wanted her at peace. We couldn’t keep her in pain forever. I watched her take her last breath, with her sons and family around her. She looked beautiful, just as she always did.

Everything after that was a bit of a blur, I knew I had to distract myself this time and be as strong as I possibly could. There was a funeral to make perfect, I still had bills to pay, a house to run and to not let myself get to the point I did when my Dad passed away. I turned to photography, I bought my first camera, and just went out and photographed anything I could find. It was arty, and my Mum loved art, she’d have been proud.

Every night, it would hit me. When the world goes quiet and your in bed ready to switch off. I’d sob. My partner would comfort me the best he could and tell me to put the telly on to distract me, but I’d always be scared that there’d be something relatable come up and it would make it worse. So we turned to comedy. I’d have four choices that always made everything feel better. Jason Manford, Live at the Manchester Apollo, Michael McIntyre Hello Wembley, The Big Bang Theory or anything Lee Mack related. Anything to make me laugh would just work.

Now 8 years later, I still write Mum and Dad letters. I have two children to be the best Mum I can be to. And to this day I still use comedy to get me through hard times.

If anyone has lost someone they loved and are struggling to grieve, I will always be there to chat with or try my best to help the best I can.

Here’s a few contact details where you can seek help.

MIND – Help with Mental health issues and anyone struggling with addiction and Alcoholism

Sue Ryder – Help with Grieving

Please don’t just sit and hope the feeling will just go away, get as much help and support as possible, and surround yourself with positive people always!

What’s Going Through My Head Right Now!

So, I’m back!

This post is going to be super random, it’s an on the spot one, no planning, no pre shot pictures, literally just rolling out the camera roll.

It’s been a good few months, and Oh My God, things have changed! Let me fill you in before I crack on with my weird thoughts…

As most people know in 2017 I decided to take the plunge in to becoming a MUA. I’d been doing make up now and again since 2010 one shoots anyway, but never really thought about going pro. I did a course in 2015, started doing friends make up and here I am, with a budding and successful new business venture.

I have started having lip fillers by Jo Boyton, as my lips were one of my biggest insecurities. I plan to have another ml or more in June. I’ve had micro blading done by Laura Lou Gray, I went for the ombré style, this means hairstroke to shading .. I think? But on my god, I love my brows, and I hated them so, so much before.

Wedding photography bookings have more than quadrupled in the past 8 months, meaning starting from the end of this month, I’ll be shooting 2-4 weddings per week, and being part of couples biggest days of their lives. I’m happy with that!

What else has happened?! I have a new car! My Mini broke, I bought a dodgy BMW, now I’m in the soft top Audi club.

I have new hair! (Separate blog post coming up) but I’ve gone from black/grey to platinum blonde/grey, and I love it. All thanks to Hair By Jess…

Anyway, on with the thoughts…

I was doing the school run, and was looking around at all of the mums, just thinking ‘I wonder if they overthink things as much as I do’ So as I do, I spoke my thoughts and said to my friend Jess, I wish I wasn’t so weird, why can’t I just be one of these normal Mums’

They all look so normal! I wonder if they lay awake at night tossing and turning because they’re thinking too much and can’t shut down. I wonder if they ‘have’ to sleep on their partners side of the bed when they’re working night shifts because they might sleep better. I wonder if they iron every single piece of clothing in their household, or what if they don’t iron at all? Ya see, things like this bug me, and I find myself odd.

Do they look at me and think the same? Who even is normal these days and what is normal? I’ve had massive insecurity issues, and I’ll admit, I still do now, I still feel massively self conscious, but does everybody? To the extent that I do?

But then how do I feel insecure, if I can go three days out of 7 with wearing no make up at all, go to the shop with no bra on, pyjamas under my coat? Do other Mum’s do this?

I want so many answers to so many things. I want to know how to get rid of certain memories. And how to remember other memories for as long as I possibly can. Do other people struggle holding a full conversation when they have things on their mind, like I’ll just shut down, do a little mumble, agree and change the subject, people must think I’m a right sausage!

I honestly think I have about 4 people in this world that I can express my weird thoughts to, my besties and my fella, I know they’ll never judge, as much as I’m probably telling my readers right now and you’re all judging nine ways to Sunday haha! Maybe I’ll get some answers…

So there you go, I’m sure as soon as I post this I’ll think of more odd thoughts that I could’ve posted. Other than that, I’m happy and content at the moment, no drama, no negativity and no toxic people around me. I’m in happy land right now.

Peace out 💕

Hannah S.C x

Links

Microblading – Laura Lou Gray

Hair – Hair By Jess

Instagram – Hannah Smith Chilton

Wedding Instagram – Weddings By Hannah Smith Chilton

Fat To Flat | My First Week With Forza Supplements

Day 1 – 

Waking up at 6am is never easy for me, but with two under 5’s, a lay in is not an option. I knew today was going to be a big day though, so out of bed, get the children ready for school and settle them down with their Coco Pops. 

7am soon came and it was time for my first Shake It Slim, they honestly taste so good. The vanilla shakes taste just like melted ice cream, better than any meal replacement shake I’ve tasted. I then dropped the children at school, and set out for a run. I knew I was aiming for 3 miles, and thats what I did. It was tough, my chest hurt a little after and I felt like I had ripped all kinds of muscles under my ribs, but oddly my legs felt fine. It was a good run! 

12pm came, and it was time for another shake, this time I chose strawberry. The strawberry taste like those American shakes that taste again all Ice Creamy… Nom Nom Nom…

By 2pm, all the family were home, children playing, and Danny my other half decides to pop on some food/recipe videos on YouTube, you know, the ones that make you drool and froth from the mouth..Haha! After dribbling at the telly for an hour, it was 3pm and time for a small meal. I was feeling lazy today, so an egg and spinach protein pot from Aldi seemed ideal. 

Honestly, I feel amazing! I feel full of energy, chatty, not droopy in the slightest, I feel great. 
Lets see if I still feel the same tomorrow… 
Day 2 – 

Today is a Saturday, and still I am up at 6am!! Not happy… I wake up, jump out of bed, get ready for my day (make up takes an hour!), and make my shake, went for chocolate this morning, delicious! 

A morning of editing some photography for clients while being mum at the same time and I almost forgot to take my second shake on time at 12pm, but I did, and Strawberry it was, my second favourite flavour. 

I didn’t feel too well in the afernoon, so I prepared food for the family for the evening, then taken a long, hot bath and got straight in to my pyjamas at a nice early 4pm. 

No third meal for me today, as I wasn’t very hungry, so I had a third Shake It Slim. I haven’t felt hungry all day today. I will be honest though, I woken up in the middle of last night with major sweet cravings and had myself a little bit of chocolate. I felt awful for it after as I never eat in the night, but it satisfied my cravings, and I was back to sleep. 

So now, It’s 8pm, I’m having myself a white wine spritzer with soda water, and still not hungry but feeling great! 
So far so good!!! 
Day 3 –
I have been dreading today, it’s usually Sunday roast day, whatever shall I do. I’m not gonna lie my Sunday dinners are the best in the land, and I’m going to miss out, but think of those pounds I will shed.

Anyway, enough of dreaming of Yorkshire puddings, I woke up had my first Shake It Slim of the day, did my spring cleaning, some online promoting and a shop trip and before I knew it it was shake no.2 time. 

The rest of the day went on, I cooked Sunday dinner for Danny and the tots, and taken my plate round to my friend Jess who lives round the corner. I suprisingly didn’t miss it that much at all, and had another shake instead. I’m finding my cravings have gone, and knowing I’m getting more nutrients and vitamins with the shakes than what I would out of my usual meals gives me a great feeling.

So a day of three shakes and no meals, and I feel better than ever! I also weighed myself today, and I’m 4lb down from when I started with Forza 3 days ago, thats now 15lbs in total!!! 

Feeling gooooood!
Day 4 – 
Todays the first day of half term, so I have a whole week of being at home with the children. To resist the picking at their chicken dinosaurs and potato letters! I had my usual shake In the morning, followed by another at 2pm. Dinner tonight was chicken breast, asparagus and a handful of mushrooms. 

Today was totally easy, no hunger at all. I worked out to a Joe Wicks Hiit session on YouTube, absolute killer!! 
Day 5 – 

Woke up up at 6am, without any kiddies even waking me up, sat up, had a stretch and woke the children up, oh how different that felt. We went downstairs, I had my first Shake of the day and popped YouTube on to do a dance work out with Keaira LaShae (hope I’ve spelt that right), if you love urban music her dance workouts are the best.

A chocolate shake for my second of the day and soup was my choice for dinner tonight. 

I’ve had quite a down and moody day today, and not felt my best, literally anything would make me sad, but I’m human, and that’s allowed so on with tomorrow, lets hope I’m happier and not ripping people’s head’s off like today.. 

Day 6 –

Today, I was super busy in the morning and didn’t have my first Shake until 10am, this didn’t bother me as I was too busy to even think about eating or even drinking for that matter. Having my first Shake at 10am meant that I didnt really want another shake just a couple of hours later, so I decide to have a super light lunch at around 2.30pm of Tuna and cucumber followed by an apple.

Dinner for the evening was a grilled chicken salad.

There was no workout today as I was way too tired at all times of the day, and just couldn’t wait to jump in to my bed. Even when your trying your best to lose weight, you also need to rest and relax. So as Danny had moved the bedroom around before he went off to work at lunchtime, I thought what a perfect opportunity to relax, up went some fairy lights, on went some music, and I was in my chill zone. 

Day 7 – 

WEIGH DAY!!! 

Well, Forza supplements, you have done me proud, with your amazing tasting shakes, you have helped me lose… 

7LBS IN ONE WEEK!!! (4 inches in total)

I’m so happy, thats a total of 18lbs since 1st January 2017. 

As I have done shake diets before such as the Cambridge diet, I know that I you dont stick to it, and maintain a healthy eating regime afterwards complete with exercise, the weight will pile back on, and I know that from experience. This time around,im doing 3 weeks on,  1 week off, where in my 1 week, I eat regular meals 5 times a day. 

I will continue to keep you guys updated on my progress, and try to post pictures regularly…
Good luck to anyone out there trying to reach their weight goals! 
Thankyou to Forza Supplements 

Contraception! How The Depo Injection Affected Me!

As a teen, I taken my first trip to the Brook clinic in Birmingham to see what contraceptive options were best for me. I was put on Microgynon, my mood and body was completely changing, but with all that was going on in my life at the time, I just supposed that it would be natural to be feeling down. Moving out at 15, losing my nephew to a hit and run, falling out with parents, it wasn’t the best of times. I would cry myself to sleep, I’d rapidly be getting podgy, my boobs had grown in to melons, I had no clue that it was actually the pill that was contributing more than anything. I stayed on this pill for around two years.
I then decided to take myself back to the clinic to question my symptoms, they changed me on to Celeste, this was a little better I suppose, I still had minor depressive times now and again, but only around once a month. I stayed on this until I was around 26-27 and after forgetting to take it now and again, I decided I needed a change to something I wouldn’t forget.


When it comes to contraception, I would never usually think about the effects it would have on my hormones, until the doctor said ‘lets try the Depo injection’ which you have in the arm or butt cheek every three months. I thought this will be great, I can crack on with life, not forgetting to take pills again! Wahooo…

Yeah.. I thought wrong. OMG! The anger and rage episodes, feeling emotional at the smallest things, the paranoia, the anxiety and self insecurities and not to forget the weight gain…again! I also had my first panic attack in 4 years the other day, this was the last straw and got myself straight on the phone to the doctor to see when I was due my next as I just could not wait to get this thing out of my system. So today is the 6th Feb and my next Depo is due on the 15th! Yayyyy …Although I will not be having a top up, time to look for an alternative. I’ve heard so many stories about depression and mental illness that certain contraception can cause, and I think more checks should be carried out on the patient before a pill or injection can be given out. I feel doctors etc don’t look in to the patients past deeply enough. I have plenty of past in my doctors notes that should have questioned them giving out such hormonal contraception.

 

So after this, I’m going to sit down at a clinic with a specialist to talk through every option and talk about my past issues with what I’ve been given instead of a doctor just giving me a fourth option and saying, “Lets see how you get on with this” 😦

I want to hear about your experiences on any sort of contraception, how it affected you and what did you do to change? Are you happy with the option you’re on now?

E-Mail me at Hannah@lsamanagement.com at any time or private message me through any of my social media channels. Lets find out from each other how it affects us, and not just how it’s been researched.

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Learning to love myself, being body positive and defeating negative people.


2017 has been one of the most positive new years for me, I have never had so much ambition for a year ahead. I set a goal, to gain confidence mostly. No matter where I go, who I meet I would say 1 in 7 of the people I meet are super negative, and I used to be one of them. 

I can’t stand bitchyness, people who bodyshame, people who put down others who they barely even know. It seems to be people who have issues of their own, therefore they make out that other people are worse of than them in a way. I suppose it makes them feel better and gives them a boost in life. 

Well this is wrong! If you’re one of those people, you need to re-look at those people, and look at yourself. How are you that different? We aren’t! There are 7.5 billion people in the world, and you and me are just a couple of them. We’re all human, different shapes, sizes, names, genders, sexualities. It doesn’t matter what we have, we should learn to love and support each other, as we are not going to live forever. 
This brings me to my school days. Without knowing, I would say I was minorly bullied, being told more than once a day I looked different because I chose to have short hair. Being called big nose…I’d go home and get stressed out in more ways than one.. Get in to situations I won’t go in to. 

Then along came social media, where you can show yourself to the world in anyway you want to. People love following trends. Those pictures of stunning girls plastered all over Instagram that we follow daily for inspiration. I’m not gonna lie, I can sit and look at Mini Instagram videos for hours, Watching make up tutorials but the majority of the girls have had lip fillers, and this has lowered my confidence even more, so now I feel like I now need fillers…I shouldn’t feel like that but thats my own insecurities. 

My nose has played a big issue in my life since I was 15, I am always conscious about it since it was mentioned to me amd still is…I laugh it off, but the next time I look in the mirror, I’ll be trying to see the size of it from every angle haha! There I go laughing it off again…

Anyway, my point is…I am learning to not give a f### about peoples opinions on myself. They’ll have forgot about what they said less than two seconds later. If they know they have brought you down, they’ll be smiling forever more. No hater will ever get a response from my strong ass self…and I think that goes for everyone. Dont let other peoples bother you. Don’t dampen someone’s success. 
Let’s love ourselves, I am, and I’m loving it! 
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When I’m Not Behind My Blog…

I’m behind my camera… Or ‘Mumming’..

2017.jpg

As a full time photographer, it doesn’t give me that much time to do other things I love. I’m lucky that blogging includes photography, I’m doing all the things I love!

I shoot thing from products to babies, from weddings to randoms off the telly…

I’m thinking about jumping in to shooting more celebrity style stuff throughout 2017, meeting and shooting celebs, having a chat and finding out what styles they love with a more personal approach, finding out what brands they love, and what they love to wear. Yeah, magazines do this every day, but they’re more than likely making some sort of commission from the brand too to advertise. I want a more personal view.

 

When I’m not behind my blog, I’m also being mum to two, well, three if you include my cat 😉

 Lolli[pops.jpg

Any mum will know, that ‘mumming’ over Christmas is a busy job, all of the crafting, wrapping without them seeing, occupying them while they’re not at school, trying your best to keep Christmas as magical as what your own parents did for you. I’m determined to keep them believing until they’re 20, haha!

I’ll be doing a full post on what I want to happen in 2017, career, style and life-wise. I’ve already set my goals, now I just must achieve them.

 

How to take fresh, Blog style images…

I love the fresh, clean look. Greys, whites, silver shades with a splash of colour somewhere…it just works. Sometimes, I like to theme my Instagram feed, and not have a dark image to break up the freshness, but sometimes its needed. 

As I used to work in studios a lot with photography, I loved harsh lighting, I dont know why, I just like the effect of it, and sometimes a hard shadow. Now with my blog and Instagramming, I like natural soft light for food and products, but still like the hard light on a good old selfie..it hides my blemishes well…and any imperfections. So when it comes to selfie time, my speedlight will come out I use my Canon 580ex II flash, there are so many out there that are cheaper so there’s no need to break the bank. 

With either food, flatlays or any other on-the-table bits and bobs, I will try to shoot this in daylight, making sure the shadowing sits right. With food, it’s usually better to shoot with the light at the front, so you can get nice detailing on it too. Side lit shots also work great, it shows depth but still great detail. 

flatlays work great shot right near a window, so the light is mainly above the lay.. I try to have my camera settings on ISO 100, my shutter speed set between 1/80 – 1/125 depending on natural light and how steady my hand is on that day… Then the rest is based mainly on what lens you are using. I use my Canon 50mm 1.8 prime lens, which can usually be found on EBay for around £50-£90…

So with my prime, I will shoot between 1.8-2.8 to get a nice depth in the image and a sharp, crisp focus. 
As my camera doesn’t boast a WiFi function, sometimes I will use my phone to do simple shots for Instagram, I have a Sony Xperia Z5 Premium 

Editing’s great, especially if lighting or croppings been a struggle…

My top editing apps available on Android/IOS –

  1. VSCOCAM 
  2. Afterlight
  3. Moldiv
  4. Facetune
  5. Photo Director
  6. Word Swag (for adding lettering) 
  7. BABYPICS (also for lettering) 

VSCOCAM has amazing filters, easy to create an Instagram theme with, really goit editing tools too…

Afterlight is also a great editing app, but I love this because you can add flame and flares like in the image below…Which has also been flipped using Moldiv as I can only take photographs on the one side of my face, its good to mix it up a little bit. .


Obviously if you’re more advanced, Photoshop and lightroom are great, but not easily uploadable for blogging and uploading to social media. 

If you like my posts and would like to know when the next ones will be going up…

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If you like any of the make up used in the images on this post…shop the look on my shop page… 
 

Mums That Design

So after being in our home for nearly two years, now is the time to start making a house a home. The joys of having children, mean that your time is often taken up elsewhere, and things you could do easily before are no longer so simple. So Friday, while my eldest was at school for the day, Danny, me and little Hunter headed to B&Q. 


  At the minute, I am obsessed with grey, silver and pastel shades, so I thought my luck would be in as this is all the rage right now. I thought wrong. I was so undecided, we couldn’t pick a wallpaper, we couldn’t choose a paint shade. So here I am, looking through Ideal Home magazine looking for more inspiration. 


 Again, instead of looking for paint shades, I’ve become distracted by a few bargains. A deck chair, which would suit my garden perfectly, £20, IKEA. A beautiful large, scented candle, £6.99, H&M. Just little things like that, make me want to head straight
to the stores.


So if you do find your children are holding you back from being stylish, think again, wait until it’s their bedtime, or even let them help, sit back, and inspire yourself with a magazine, shop your favourites online, and let the shopping do itself.


It’s just the decorations you need to get the daddy’s to do.