Sweet Bambini | Newborn Photography By Maria Murray
Maria Murray launched Sweet Bambini to showcase her newborn and maternity photography. Maria has been at the forefront of newborn photography since she won UK photographer of the year in 2006, although she has been photographing babies for nearly 9 years. Maria is regarded by clients and her peers as the leading newborn and baby photographer in the UK.
Working in Chelsea is always a pleasure – and for young families the famous King’s Road offers many delights. From a Sunday stroll to shopping, the King’s Road is home to many fine boutiques for child and baby. For over a year The Baby Cot Shop has graced Chelsea with its delightful range of children and baby’s luxury furniture for bedrooms, nurseries and playrooms. Offering the world’s finest selection of pieces, the boutique also offer an interior design service to create gorgeous interiors, lavishingly decorated and designed by their in house team. In our latest entry of The Sweet Bambini blog, we speak to Founder and Director of The Baby Cot Shop Toks, who offers her top five tips on designing a nursery or bedroom for your child.
Toks, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us. Let’s get started. How did the Baby Cot Shop start?
The Baby Cot Shop first began in the USA in Atlanta. I opened up a very similar concept, high end furniture for nurseries and children’s bedrooms that worked very well in the area. My family and I decided to move to the UK and I wanted to offer our fabulous pieces to UK families. I am proud to say we opened up 10 months ago on the King’s Road and I have never looked back!
What ideas can you give our readers when choosing pieces for their child’s room. I know that it can be slightly overwhelming!
That’s true! Well, starting to look into which pieces can complement and work in your child’s room can be a daunting task as we all know. Luckily, my motto is always the same regardless of the type of room you are choosing for. All of our pieces are bespoke and made to measure meaning that go for what you like! That is the key. Choose something that YOU like and that you know your little one will too. Fabric options, finishes, colour combinations and details all make your choice into something one of a kind and unique. The bespoke nature of our offerings mean that you really can have something made that captures the theme, style and personality of you and your little one. Depending on the room you are designing we always say one thing… try to choose pieces that create harmony and balance and that fit the overall aesthetic of the room.
Once your client has chosen their pieces, how do you help to showcase the designs and styles of the pieces? How does it all fit into the room and come together?
Well, I always seek to understand the type of space that will be worked with in order to achieve something magnificent for each client. Space is one of the most important concepts to consider when purchasing new furniture and it may seem obvious but believe me it can be easily overlooked. When choosing your new furniture or proposing a new design ask yourself these quick questions: Is it a new space or is it an existing design? How can we work with the layout to maximise the area? Is it well lit? Does the room have features that can be worked with or enhanced? By understanding the space we can start designing the interior or using it as a guide to help you find your perfect bedroom furniture.
Speaking to you before, I know that many of my clients look to transform their children’s room and get the most from the space. Increasingly, I have seen bedrooms that double up as other rooms. What do you think about how to make the most of the room you have?
I agree, my clients have said similar things when purchasing our furniture. That they want to use the space for a few different purposes. This may be a straightforward question but again, the use of the room dictates how the space will be used and which design avenues to explore. Firstly, what will the space be mainly used for? Will it be a multipurpose space for work, rest, study and play? Or will it be used for one activity? Not only does the usage matter in terms of the items that will be chosen but also the colour schemes and little flourishes that can be added. A bedroom and study needs to match and balance your child’s natural inclination to want to play but also offer a creative, engaging area where study can be embraced. Indeed, single purposes rooms such as nurseries and playrooms must be designed around their primary purposes with the furniture and colours matching this.
As a photographer (and design lover) aesthetics are important to me and my work. How do you consider colour and tones when offering furniture and design services?
This is one of the parts of my job that I simply love. Colour matching and offering exciting coloured pieces to my clients is always fun for me. I ask my clients: Are you more traditional? Do you go for blues for boys and pinks for girls? Do you want more neutral tones and colours? The choice of colour must naturally start with the walls. Fine wallpapers and special child paints offer a range of colour options and styles that can be used as the base to build out colour schemes in their room. I always suggest when designing a room, and when choosing furniture, that ensure you have a strong sense of the scheme you want before you start to look at the pieces that will inhabit the space. Adding new colours to exiting rooms can rejuvenate and refresh the room but make sure they match the furniture and overall feel! Equal weight must be given to murals, paintings and little touches that add extra depth and persona touch, complementing the overarching colour scheme and theme of course.
Finally, I have seen some of your beautiful bed and room sets! What advice can you give to my clients about choosing a themed nursery or bedroom? Thank you! Yes, our themed furniture certainly creates a special space! Woodland adventures, castles, trains and more abound as themes for bedrooms and nurseries that we love to offer our clients. Both furniture and colour schemes intermingle to create a thematic room that can transport you little ones to another world. In fact, in some of the quieter moments of my work day I browse through our catalogues and never get bored of looking at these themed pieces. I say to my clients “Work with your designer and little one to understand your child’s likes!” A themed nursery and bedroom is so much more than a place to sleep, rest or play they completely encourage imagination and creativity with inspiring decor and pieces. When offering our pieces and our interior design service, we always work with each client to understand their little ones likes and what will delight them on a daily basis making their bedroom or playroom a welcome haven for rest or fun.
So, there we go! A quick masterclass in interior design and how to choose the right pieces for your child’s bedroom, nursery or playroom. We are also delighted to announce that The Baby Cot Shop would like to offer our clients a complimentary embroidered pillow of choice as a gift (terms and conditions apply) to all of our clients. Toks, the director of The Baby Cot Shop, can be reach via email@example.com and do pop in and visit their Chelsea boutique at 408 King’s Road, Chelsea, SW10 0LJ.
As I haven’t blogged for a while , I thought it was time to pop a quick picture on or google will forget all about me! The studio has been incredibly busy as always with lots of spring babies, and I have had so much fun creating different sets – I am hoping to update my website at some point this year so you can see all that newborn goodness. I am taking bookings now for the 3rd and 4th week of September so if you are due around the start of September now is the time to get in touch!
Here is quick picture of beautiful baby Esme, she is such a pretty little lady, and I love all the shades of grey she is snuggled on. She was a great little sleeper and cooperated from the word go, which was fabulous and quite rare – a model in the making!
Sooooo, I feel like this blog post is so long overdue. Ok I admit it, I fell off the blogging bandwagon some time ago. Not intentionally as I have always felt like blogging is imperative to keep Mr Google happy, but mainly due to a lack of time. Between running a super busy studio, trying to be a wife , a mum , and actually getting any sleep there really isn’t much time left for anything else. So I have decided – no more excuses, I will simply blog when I can and stop feeling guilty about – life is just too short – I hope you still check in now and again!
Today’s blog post covers a few things – firstly please check out the images from a recent shoot of this gorgeous boy and his sister. Love the neutral colour palette we used and in love with that first image especially – nothing better than a strong black and white image, my favorite. His big sister was amazing with him, and overall we all had a lovely time.
Now…see those other images? The boat with bunnies and the cute littel fox in the Eucalyptus nest? Let me tell you a secret….this sweet baby boy was never actually in those! Yup, I can see my lovely clients, and clients-to-be looking perplexed. No , its not magic ( ok maybe a little) – but those shots are done post production. So I photographed this little man in the correct lighting, correct pose and on the right kind of background – and popped him in the prop later. You may I ask why? Well there are plenty of reasons for doing that, but in a nutshell it means that your newborn baby has to go through a lot less posing and being moved from prop to prop during the session. Nicer for them, less stressful for you. I can now provide you with so much more variety in regards to image choices and even create sets prior or after the sessions ( although there would be a charge for bespoke set ups). A lot of the sets are created from fresh flowers so they only last a short while and realistically I would never have enough space to store all of these props. I think its amazing how so many new things are possible and it really is great fun – it will never replace beautiful, natural photography but it makes an interesting addition. And if done well, you should never know its a composite image.
The good news, is that I have made my sets available for other photographers to purchase. So if I am too far away from you, unable to accommodate you or simply not in your price range, all is not lost! I have just over 180 backdrops in the shop with more to come. All you need to do is ask your photographer to purchase one or more of your choice (or you can do it on their behalf) et voila! However please ensure that your photographer has got the ability to work with Photoshop and layer masks – the compositing process has to be done well for the image too look realistic. The secret lies in knowing the end result – that way the original shot can be taken with the finished image in mind. I do provide a private Facebook group for photographers who purchase my backdrops, as well as some free tutorials to help them out. However this process is not for beginners and I do not offer composite services ( but I do know someone who does). The shop is located HERE.
If you are a photographer and reading this ( and probably thinking, why would she do that?). Well there are plenty of babies to go around and I love creating those sets – so very happy to share them with the world. From a photographers point of view it opens up so many options – it lets you stand out from the crowd, its amazing when you get a fussy baby and all you can do is take images in a wrap ( as you can still offer your clients plenty of variety) , and of course the space saving & the savings you make by not having to buy new props are fantastic too.
Ok so thats covered – last bit of house keeping – the studio is now closed and reopens on the 19/4. I have also now closed my diary and not taking on any new bookings until the 2nd week of September, the first date available is the 7th September. So if you are due towards the end of August onwards please do make sure you get in touch soon after your 20 week scan to reserve your spot. Take care and have an fantastic Easter!
Read Full Article
Scroll to Top
Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.