A look back at 2020

Emily Gregory

2020….what a year!

To say it’s been a bit crazy is somewhat of an understatement. Highs, lows and not a huge amount in between!

Covid-19 has been an absolute nightmare for small businesses like myself so fingers crossed for a better, less rollercoaster-esque 2021!

However, I always like to try and see the funny side of things so, in light of that, I’ve put together a calendar of photos to reflect the different months of 2020 and the various emotions we’ve all experienced living through a pandemic.



“Gosh, I’ve eaten way too much this Christmas. I reallly want to eat this cake but I know I shouldn’t as I promised myself ‘New Year, New Me!’ Humph!”


“It’s Valentine’s month and I’m feeling the looooove”


“Ooooh what’s this Coronavirus thing people are talking about? Is it serious? Will it affect us? I wonder….”


“Oh God, yes we’re affected. Ahhhh what is happening to the world? I don’t like it! Somebody stop this ride, I want to get off!”


“We’re all in this together”


“I really don’t like this now. I am royally fed up. Humph humph HUMPH!”


“Yes!! We’re allowed out again! Things seem to be going back to normal. Wahoo. We’ve got this guys!”


“It’s Summmmmmmmerrrrr! Sun’s out, guns out! Thank goodness we bought that paddling pool in the sale last year – it is hot hot HOT!”


“Eat Out to Help Out…..don’t mind if I do!”


“Oh no, it’s coming back!!!”


“Coronavirus, I see you and I don’t like it! WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?!”


“Officially DONE.WITH.THIS.NOW!”

DECEMBER (the first half anyway):

“Yesssss! We made it – Christmas! Festive greetings to all. I can’t wait to see the back of 2020!”

DECEMBER (second half):

No words needed…

Older newborns | Baby Love Photography

Emily Gregory

Anyone who has enquired or booked a newborn photoshoot with me or any another Hampshire newborn photographer will know that we like to try and get them done within the first 14 days ideally. The reasons behind this is that babies are (generally) still super sleepy and curled up, so getting them into the classic newborn poses is typically more achievable.

However, there can be lots of reasons why parents can’t make it to me in those first two weeks: perhaps mum or baby had to stay in hospital a little longer than planned; mum might not be feeling too good after giving birth – especially if she had a caesarean – so may need a few extra days to recover; or maybe as new parents, mum and dad are just not quite ready to venture out into the big wide world with their precious new addition just yet!

There’s also now another reason why babies may have not been able to get to me as quickly as their parents would have liked…..Coronavirus!

Before we went into lockdown, my diary was full of babies due between March and May. I was so excited to meet and photograph them all…..then Covid-19 hit! The country went into lockdown and I was unable to work. I was devastated, as were the parents who were so desperate for photos of their newborn.

However, all was not lost! There’s nothing to say newborn photoshoots can’t be done outside of the 14 day period!

In fact, I have had babies as old as eight weeks in my Fleet photography studio and have still managed to do a newborn-esque shoot! Obviously there are certain poses e.g. the froggy, that we can’t do with an older newborn. But there’s still plenty we can do – wrapped shots, awake natural shots, and even some posed pics if baby is in a decent sleep routine already!

So if you’ve given birth over the past few months and had given up all hope of getting some photos taken of your new addition, please don’t! Pop me a message or an email and I’m certain I will still be able to get you some treasured photos!

All of the images featured in this blog post are of older babies – from about four weeks up to nearly eight weeks old!!

And even if you’re worried you’ve missed the newborn stage, the 3/4 month milestone is also a super cute one to capture on camera – think tummy time and lots of smiles!

Everyone deserves beautiful photos of their babies and I, for one, refuse to let a little thing like a worldwide pandemic stand in our way of getting them! 😉

E x


Emily Gregory

It turns out lots of you enjoyed reading my last post: Coronavirus – the ups and the downs!

So, with that in mind – and because I’ve since thought of some more positives to come from the pandemic lockdown – I’ve decided to write Part 2 of my Covid-19 experience!

Any of these relevant to my fellow parents (and non-parents) out there?

  1. I’ve been so much more organised with my food shopping! In an attempt to only visit the shop once a week, I’ve been really good with planning meals and making sure we have enough food to last all week! Whereas normally I would send my husband round to the local Sainsburys every few nights to top up the fridge or buy something I fancied, I’ve been buying a full seven days’ worth of food during my weekly visits. As well as saving money (as I haven’t felt the need to splurge on takeaways) it’s also forced me to plan ahead with our meals which is always a good thing!
  2. We’ve sorted out the garden! OK, not entirely as it would literally take us a month of Sundays, but we’ve done things to it that we’ve been saying we’d do for years! Putting the net around the trampoline; fixing the boys’ swing set; getting the paddling pool out when it’s been hot….our normal daily schedules don’t allow much time for extra curricular activities but with me out of work and my husband WFH, we’ve had lunchtimes and evenings to get out and get sh*t done! And it feels goooood!
  3. Talking of the garden, I have spent many hours in it sunbathing! Hasn’t this weather been incredible?! And as a result, my tan is looking pretty good if I may say so myself. I’m not a fan of fake tan – I’d much prefer to wait for the sun and get myself a natural glow! And the lockdown has been perfect for this, whether it be catching some rays whilst my youngest naps or donning a bikini whilst I supervise the kids in the pool!
  4. Money! Unbelievably, we’ve saved some! Obviously we’re down on our usual incomings due to my inability to work during lockdown, but with my husband WFH/not needing a train ticket and the closure of shops, childcare facilities, pubs, restaurants etc, we haven’t needed to spend anything apart from the weekly food shop. Oh, and the odd bit of internet shopping here and there – oops!

5. Roast dinners! OK, so who doesn’t love a roast – and we’ve been having loads of them! Again, thanks to my pre-planning with the food shop but also because we’ve actually had time to make them for once! We haven’t always been the best at timing them – we’ve ended up cooking one in the boiling heat at 5pm on a couple of days when a BBQ would have been far more suitable – but they’re always worth the effort! And you can’t beat a nice chicken and roast spud salad for lunch the next day!

6. I’ve learnt stuff! Yep, whilst homeschooling my eldest I’ve actually picked up on a few things too! Who knew the corners of shapes were called vertices? Or the various differences between evergreen and deciduous trees? It’s true that you learn something new every day….especially whilst homeschooling a five-year-old! haha

7. I’ve always loved reading books but haven’t had time to do so in forever. In fact, I think the last time I actually sat down and read a book in peace was during my maternity leave whilst waiting for my eldest to arrive – six years ago! So far this lockdown I think I’ve finished 4, maybe 5, books and it’s felt so nice to read again! They’ve ranged from thrillers to chick flicks but my fave has to be a beautiful book called Lily & The Octopus. Think Marley & Me but on paper….and yes, you will cry!

8. “True friends are always together in spirit.”

I think we can all agree we’ve missed our friends and family dearly during this time! What I would give to see them all, share hugs and glasses of prosecco and then head out for a carefree boogie on the dancefloor. However, lockdown has forced us to find new ways to communicate! There’s Zoom – seriously, I’ll be amazed if there’s anyone out there who’s survived lockdown this far without at least one zoom chat! And phone calls! OK, so admittedly this isn’t exactly a new thing, but in normal life I rarely pick up the phone for a proper chat! However, I’ve loved catching up with my nearest and dearest on the blower – either whilst sunbathing in the garden at lunch or once the kids have headed to bed in the evening!

Another way I’ve managed to keep in touch with one of my besties is by singing. My normal life includes performing with various local theatre companies but sadly, due to Covid-19, rehearsals and shows have all been halted until it’s safe to open theatres again. Not wanting to give up singing entirely during this break, my friend Dale and I found a way to stay in touch AND continue our love of performing! Our first video, a rendition of ‘Only Us’ from the incredible Dear Evan Hansen, received such lovely comments so we decided to do another one.

This is ‘As Long As You’re Mine’ from the equally amazing Wicked….we hope you enjoy it!

So there you have it! Several more positives to come out of the Coronavirus pandemic! Obviously, there have also been many negatives to the whole experience and my thoughts and best wishes go out to anyone who has lost a family member during this time!

Stay safe, stay positive, and stay in touch with your friends and family on Zoom until we’re given the go ahead to meet in person! Love, Emily x

Coronavirus - the ups and the downs!

Emily Gregory

So, here we are, nearly nine weeks into lockdown thanks to Covid-19! It’s certainly been an experience, that’s for sure! Stuck at home with two children and expected to homeschool, entertain, feed, water, exercise and nurture the pair of them whilst also taking care of the house and trying to keep my beloved little business afloat…. I’ve survived, but only just – and thanks, in most part, to wine….and gin…..and the odd vodka!

But do you know, whilst there have been obvious disadvantages to being stuck in lockdown this whole time – not being able to photograph being the saddest one for me – there have been some real positives to come out of the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ situation.

Nope, not convinced?

Allow me to elaborate….

  1. My boys have become closer than ever! They’ve always gotten on (mostly) but the bond they’ve created over the last few months is truly wonderful and has been lovely to witness. They’ve played far more together than previously – outside on the trampoline and inside with trains and cars – and it’s now clear quite how much my youngest looks up to my eldest. He idolises him and no-one can make him giggle quite as hard. Even when they’re sat on the Kindle they’re playing racing games together….I really hope they don’t miss each other too much when schools/childminders reopen 🙁
  2. My husband has been home! OK, he’s been working mostly during the day, but he’s normally based in London which means leaving the house at about 6am and not getting back until almost 7pm. Currently he starts works at 9am (after having gotten up with my youngest so I can doze for longer) and then finishes at 5pm to help with dinner, bath and bedtime. It’s normally at this point that I crack open a bottle and escape for some peace and quiet in the bath. It’s been lovely to have some help but also for us to be able to eat earlier, cook healthier and just generally tackle things together which I would normally be left to handle on my own until he walks through the door at 6.50pm!
  3. I feel fitter than ever! OK, I know this sounds a bit crazy, but I have been absolutely smashing the virtual workouts. Not only can I exercise from the comfort of my home – I can do so wearing just pants and a sports bra if I like (and remember to turn off the video on Zoom haha). My classes are only half an hour long but that’s 30 minutes for me to focus on myself and work up a sweat before a day of dealing with the kids! I should add, I would probably be even fitter if I hadn’t discovered a love of baking during lockdown….thank God for my exercise classes to balance out all the white chocolate cookies I’ve been demolishing!
  4. I feel positively revitalised. No, not because of the exercising or all the calories in the cookies…..because of sleep!! I actually think I’ve slept more in the past few months than I’ve done for years and years! The reason….my eldest gets himself up, goes downstairs and puts the TV on so we don’t even know he’s awake. Pre-lockdown my youngest would normally wake up about 7ish, at which point I would have to get up anyway to start preparing for the school run. During lockdown, he’s been going to bed a bit later which has meant he’s been sleeping in longer. He generally wakes up about 8am, at which point my husband goes to get him, takes him downstairs, puts him in the high chair with some cheerios and comes back to bed. We then both doze until 8.45am when my alarm goes off ahead of my exercise class at 9am! It’s been absolutely bliss! No stress of school runs, no ‘put your bl**dy shoes on now’ arguments….the laidback lifestyle is certainly something I could get used to! It’s been quite nice not having to run around like a headless chicken in between drop offs, pick ups, after-school clubs, swimming etc. The highlight of our day is a late afternoon scoot down the road….and the lack of cars out means the kids feel safer than ever!
  5. I’ve realised I can go and extra day or two without washing my hair! Being in lockdown means no-one has to see me, so I started pushing the hassle of hair washing from two days to three days….OK, I admit, sometimes I even went to four! And do you know what – it wasn’t even that bad! So from now on, I will wait a minimum of three, meaning less water used and less money spent on shampoo and conditioner. Bonus!

As mentioned, with the positives do come negatives; our house is a tip since the cleaner hasn’t been here; our weekly food bill has sky rocketed with a husband and two growing boys here all day every day eating me out of house and home; our alcohol intake has doubled if not tripled (anyone else finding themselves drinking EVERY DAY?); and the car battery says low every Wednesday when I go food shopping as it’s been used so little over the past few months!

But, in a weird way, I’ve kind of enjoyed lockdown! I’ve missed photographing beautiful babies and fabulous families like you can’t imagine, but I’ve filled the days spending much-needed time with my own family. And that’s time I have cherished and will never forget!

I think a few changes will definitely be made to our lifestyle when we finally get back to normal life. Or should I say, the “new normal” post-Coronavirus pandemic!

* My thoughts, of course, go out to anyone who has been affected by / lost a loved one from Coronavirus. A huge thank you also to anyone who works for the NHS – you’re all amazing! *

It's official, I'm Award-winning!

Emily Gregory

So, you may or may not know, but I received some pretty exciting news a few weeks ago: I was voted ‘Best Photographer in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’ at the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2019. Yippee!!

In case you’ve never heard of them, they bill themselves as ‘the UK’s most prestigious lifestyle awards, championing the very best local businesses across 21 counties.’

750,000 votes were cast across the UK by the public and it kind of blows my mind to think that a significant amount of those were for me…..and chose me to win!

I launched Baby Love Photography 4.5 years ago after being made redundant whilst on maternity leave. It was a massive step for me, but I knew from the get go that it was the right thing to do. I adored taking photos and meeting new families and I wanted a job I could fit around Flynn, then 1.

Since then, I’ve never actually entered any of my photos into competitions. There are lots out there, but they mostly make you pay to enter and I don’t really agree with that – I feel like a certain number of entries will always be graded so as to keep people happy and keep them paying to enter each month.

However, when I heard about the Muddy Stilettos Awards, they felt different. There was no cost to enter and the winners were decided purely on public vote. They’re also genuinely passionate about helping local businesses – and as any small independent business will know, we rely on word of mouth and the support of others to keep going in what is a very competitive business world.

When I found out I had won, I was honestly over the moon. The support I had received from my friends, family and clients had been amazing, but I was up against some amazing photographers so I knew it would be a close call. Even when I saw my name on the website I couldn’t quite believe it….luckily the editor called me shortly afterwards to reassure me that it was all true! haha

So what did I win?! As well as the official title of ‘Best Photographer in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’, I was also invited to an award’s ceremony at Pylewell Park in Lymington to receive my certificate and to meet the team behind Muddy Stilettos Hampshire. It was such a lovely afternoon – there were drinks and nibbles from several local suppliers, including one of the nicest Proseccos I’ve ever drunk by Cottonworth and super tasty (and on brand) biscuits by Gates Bakes (as you can see below, mine didn’t last long once Flynn had set his sights on it!)

As well as using this blog post to shout about my award, I just really wanted to use this opportunity to thank EVERYONE who took the time to vote for me – both to reach the final five and to be crowned the winner. It’s hard for me to put into words quite how grateful I am and I honestly hope my sincerity comes across – genuinely, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!

I couldn’t have won this award without all your support, but more importantly, I couldn’t do what I do without it: To all new clients who put trust in me to take their family photos; To all my returning clients who come back to me time and time again; And to everyone who recommends me to their friends and family and allows me to meet new families on a weekly basis…… THANK YOU!

At Baby Love Photography, we are most definitely feeling the LOVE right now!