About me and my own 'Small Prints'
If I was choosing my newborn photographer I'd want to know plenty about them. You will be trusting whoever you choose with the most precious little person on earth to you.
So here is a bit about me.
My name is Donna Marie Gray. I am wife to Derek, and proud Mum to our 6 children aged between 16 and 6 years. I established my business in 2010, re-training into photography since I'd searched locally for a specialist in newborn photography in Aberdeenshire in vain. My vision was to create a studio especially for newborns and master this important skill set rather than be a jack of all trades; I believe newborn photography needs a whole different skill set to any other genre of photography.
My passions to truly specialise in Newborn photography came about because it's a time in my children's lives that I thoroughly cherished. Yet, it passed so quickly; before we knew it we were weaning, learning first words, and potty training! Because this time is so precious, I couldn't understand why anyone wouldn't want to capture it in the very best way possible.
I consider it a privilege to be invited into a couples' journey into parenthood, and I find it very rewarding to record such a fleeting stage for new and growing families. I created a studio based service so that your session won't be interrupted by well-wishers and we can control the temperature, sound and light to give you the best experience possible - without worrying about space in your home and the dishes that may be piled in your sink! I extended the studio space in spring 2013 so we could accommodate siblings more comfortably, as families had begun to return to Small Prints with their second or subsequent babies. So we have a cooler reception area with a larger toy box, story books, smart TV, wifi and a play area where siblings can have a break while we photograph their newest brother or sister - but still, know Mum and Dad are just a whisper away.
My life & career before children
I've always had an interest in photography, I had considered it as a career, but went on to train as a florist initially, another very rewarding and creative industry. The high point in my floristry career was creating wedding flowers and other arrangements for the Royal family while they stayed at Balmoral Castle. When I had my own children, my interest in photography really grew. Floristry shop hours and the cost of childcare meant giving up a creative career I loved to be a full-time mum. My children's unique personalities, expressions, and carefree un-inhibited ways meant that they quickly became my favourite photography subjects. During each pregnancy, I'd searched Aberdeenshire for a photographer to capture their newborn tinyness, in the same way as many inspirational American photographers did, but couldn't find one that truly specialised, trained in safety and was dedicated solely to newborn photography. For most, it's just another string to their bow. So, after the birth of my fifth child, I decided to re-train and embarked on a course to gain a photography qualification. I began training when my son was just 5 months old and was in happy tears when I passed with 94%. If you're a parent you'll know what a juggling act things can be, and it was the first thing I'd really done just for me in years.
Where it began
Small Prints Photography was born on 10th October 2010. I made it my goal to qualify further by the time the business had its first birthday. I gained my Licentiateship (LSWPP) with the Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers by October 2011. By December 2011 I was a nominee for SWPP Family and Groups Photographer of the year!
In 2012, I won the Judges' Choice award in May, and I qualified as an Associate with the Society (ASWPP) just as the business turned 2! It's a qualification held by the top 10% of practitioners and on the way I have won multiple gold awards and numerous highly commended awards. Not to mention meeting many beautiful babies and their siblings.
Still striving for perfection, in October 2013, just as the business turned 3, I was awarded a Craftsmanship award from The Photographers Academy, an accolade which requires submission of a total of ninety six images for scrutiny by the judging panel. I am currently working towards my Master Craftsman award and have been invited by the Academy to give training in newborn photography. Plans to give 1:1 in person training are also in the pipeline for 2014/2015.
Most recently I as awarded a Craftsmanship of the Guild of Newborn & Baby photographers, and I am one of less than ten people in the UK to hold this qualification.
Future plans for Small Prints Photography
In 2013, I trained with 'Baby as Art', who are world class Newborn photographers from America. In summer 2014, my main training will be with Kelley Ryden and Tracey Raver. This is a dream come true for me, as these are the ladies who inspired me so much in the beginning when I had wished for this service with my my own children.
I create images that I’d be happy to hang on my own wall or give to grandparents. I believe in making each session personal to each client, creating timeless images of your new baby, and personalising images with heirloom objects or babies own newest belongings if requested. Images that will be treasured by both you, and your baby in years to come.
As a parent I found restrictive time limits and ‘5-10 minute' photography slots created stress for me and my children; so for this reason, I usually work without time limits, making it as fun, relaxed and unpressurised as possible, even more so if siblings are to be photographed alongside their new sibling. Newborn sessions last 2-4 hours allowing for feeding, posing, & soothing to sleep, all of which I do for you with your permission. You just kick back and relax and enjoy the whole experience.
I work part -time around my family. Generally I don't have time limits on sessions, or on processing and order completion, as family life can be unpredictable. I work as fast as I can, to present you with a large selection of images that are each crafted from start to finish to your individual needs; to give a as much choice as possible.
Donna Marie Gray Cr.PA. ASWPP, CRGBNP.
Small Prints Photography, Aberdeenshire's Dedicated Newborn Studio.
Specialist Newborn Portraiture in Aberdeenshire, AB54 4LA
[email protected] 07729 183 957
PROUD MEMBER OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION OF BABY & NEWBORN PHOTOGRAPHERS ( BANPAS)
Qualified Craftsman of the Guild of Newborn & baby Phototgraphers (CRGNBP)
Qualified Craftsman of The Photographers Academy ( Cr.PA)
Member of THE SOCIETY OF WEDDING & PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHERS (SWPP)