Hi, I’m Tina Chisnell - welcome to my blog. If you are a prospective client please take a moment to browse through the studio and location pages for examples of my portrait photography.
I like to think of this blog as my virtual scrap book; it’s the place where I keep the other photos and stories I collect as I go about my days, building my business around my passion.
I won't be offended if you're just here to look at the pretty pictures... :)
This time last year I was organizing the final touches for my wedding. The dress was chosen and I had my fitting, swinging and sashaying my way up and down the store feeling like a princess. I ordered my tiara to complete the fairy tale look and bought some new shimmery make up for my… sorry, our big day.
Fast-forward a year and there’s no feeling like a princess for me… hippo is more accurate! I have recently taken to rolling out of bed, sometimes accompanied by a firm push from Mark to provide me with some momentum. Poor Mark – he’s witnessed quite a transformation over the last 10 months! He’s ever so good though; he’s clearly read all the right books and says the right things 100% of the time – which is more than I can say for the adverts and emails, which have been appearing on my Facebook page and in my inbox. “10 ways to lose that baby weight”… I haven’t had the baby yet! Give me a chance!
Big Brother is definitely watching as you surf the Internet, but clearly not carefully enough! Otherwise, he’d know that I still have 2 months left before I need to get rid of any baby weight. But rest assured Big Brother, as soon as I have squeezed my baby out, I’ll get right down to that gym and get myself looking like a super model! (That last statement was laced with sarcasm – just in case it didn’t come across.)
Anyway, there are a few items, which have been my pregnancy God-sends.
H&M Jersey Dresses. They come in lots of bright, summery colours and stretch as I grow. I have worn them throughout the whole of my pregnancy so far, although apparently I am due another big growth spurt in the coming weeks so we’ll see how the dresses cope.
Leggings. I am so pleased these came back into our lives. They sit perfectly under my bump and are the only original things in my wardrobe that still comfortably fit.
Emma Jane Bump Band. I don’t wear this now, but earlier in my pregnancy these were great. They allowed me to wear my normal tops without having the bottom of my bump sticking out.
Cocoa Butter and Bio Oil. These are great to aid the stretching process and the cocoa butter smells divine!
I haven’t had any cravings during my pregnancy yet – but I got these cupcake bath bombs as a present and each morning I am tempted to take a bite out of them – I’m not sure if that counts as a craving though.
Wishing you a happy Tuesday.
This week I started my maternity leave. Mark and I have a list as long as our arms of things we need to do and time is ticking on furiously. Following my mother’s advice, we recently went baby shopping and bought some super cute baby clothes and also tried to choose between a cot-bed and a crib, various styles of Moses baskets and buggies which looked more like golf carts! It is a whole new world, which we both knew existed but hadn’t really paid a great deal of attention to.
The buggy thing was a total minefield and we were first asked to tell the sales assistant about the type of lifestyle we were going to have with our new baby. I suppose they thought that would be an easy question to lead on, but to be honest I have no idea what kind of lifestyle I am going to have with my baby. Up until now, I have just been focusing on him arriving here safely, and after that I was just hoping that the magic hormone you get during child birth would sort me out with a plan for what I ought to do next. There are so many options and we are too clueless to know which is best. Needless to say, we will be going again, this time armed with a “Which?” review to guide us on our way.
We didn’t want to be caught unprepared like my sister-in-law whose little girl popped out unexpectedly 6 weeks too early. So like a good girl scout, I prepared my hospital bag. Inside I have packed some clothes for the baby and me; I was sensible and have chosen baggy tracksuit bottoms and hoodies for me – pregnancy has really helped me to understand the true meaning of going for comfort over style! I have also packed my kindle – just in case I get time to catch up on my reading in between contractions; my ipod – a good soundtrack is essential to go with any labour and my straightening irons – I don’t want to scare my baby by looking like a scarecrow too early on – I have to ease him into that look!
According to the Baby Centre and the emails they religiously send Mark, he also needs to pack a bag. Apparently, he will need a notebook, a watch with a second hand, a digital camcorder (which I have already vetoed!), painkillers (for him – not me, believe it or not!), comfortable shoes – for all the pacing he’ll be doing and snacks and drinks – I think they are preparing him for a long one!
It’s a very exciting time and we are counting down the days till we meet our little boy.
Saturdays are my favourite day of the week; actually I can even narrow that down to Saturday mornings. The sun always seems to make that little bit more effort on Saturdays and makes the world a little brighter. Last Saturday we had lots of jobs to do; nothing exciting, buying a new memory card for my camera (I am a RAW convert and now need extra memory), a reflector, a set of table and chairs for the office (Mark is currently eating whilst leaning up against the kitchen counter – no good for digestion), a step for Maisy the cat (she can’t reach her cat flap… or so she would have us believe!) and other items not worth getting too excited about. Mark was keen to start our shopping trip in town – meaning he fancied a Starbucks coffee and a gluten free brownie which I was happy to go along with.
On our way back, we came across some young skateboarders, maybe about 15 or 16 years of age. Now, I’ve never been into skateboarding, but I was captured by these young guys’ absence of fear. Here they were, on concrete, leaping over barriers or onto ledges with no consideration for the safety of their ankles, knees or head for that matter, and did I mention that they were skating on concrete?
I asked a few of them if I could take their pictures and they kindly allowed me to. As I took pictures of them, I made teeth-sucking “close call” noises to coincide with their jumps. On occasions they would fall and my instinct was to run over and check whether they were okay… maybe it’s my maternal side creeping in, but they would be up and on their skateboards before I could make a fool of myself… thankfully.
I remembered that once upon a time I was like this; I was no skateboarder but I would toss myself in the air doing forward and back flips; fall on my arse; get back up and try again. Somewhere along the line, I lost that fearlessness of falling and the mentality that I could just pick myself back up and try again. Maybe falling when you’re older hurts more; I’m not sure. Or maybe I have gotten used to playing things safe so that I never have to fall… at least not onto concrete!
I’ve decided that I’m going to get used to the feeling of falling again, not literally – that wouldn’t be sensible right now – and once I’m down, I’m going to try and enjoy getting back up again.
Dream big; be bold.
I have lived in and around Hamble in Hampshire for quite a few years and I will never forget an evening in a local pub called the King and Queen, not long after I first moved here. A guy came up to me and asked me whether I was on holiday in Hamble. I replied that I actually lived here, to which he immediately made the assumption, “Oh, so you sail…” Inside I let out a sigh; hating to disappoint him I informed him that I didn’t sail, I simply lived here. The man’s brow furrowed in confusion and the conversation more or less died right there… much to my relief.
Things have been like that for quite a while in Hamble, if you don’t belong to the sailing community people almost look at you as if you have been misdirected and your intended destination was actually London. One of Mark’s friends asked me if I sailed (it’s a common question around these parts) and upon being told “No” he answered “Don’t you think you should?” So, I think it is fair to say, it’s easy to feel a little out of place in pretty little Hamble. However, slowly but surely that is all changing.
Last year, artist Sandy Curry moved to Hamble and with her she brought a whole new creative vision. Sandy’s got an amazing story, with an MA in Fine Art Painting, she’s won the Windsor and Newton Painting Prize, and was awarded the Fenton Arts Trust Artist in Residence at Watts Gallery. She led workshops at the Gallery and did outreach work in the community, some with disadvantaged and homeless young people. She still works as a freelance artist on the learning programme at Watts Gallery, delivering workshops for young offenders, and women at HMP Send, where she’s the Michael Varah artist in residence.
In Hamble, she opened the Sea Sky Art Studio where she runs art classes; creative writing classes (run by my lovely husband) and sells beautiful affordable art and craft created by local artists. Sea Sky Art Studio will also soon be the home of Tina Chisnell Photography where I will be using some of the space for my portrait studio. So, whether it is hand-made jewellery, paintings, ceramics, sculptures or portrait photography you are interested in, Sandy’s got something you’ll love.
Finally, Hamble has a place where the creative hearts can hang out and fit in.
At school, we are told to give children SMART targets. Meaning, their targets should be Small, Manageable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Up until now, my dreams have also been SMART; nothing too big, nothing too ambitious, nothing unrealistic and nothing that would take a long time (I’m a “want it done yesterday” type of girl).
I was encouraged as a child to have sensible dreams; dream of being a doctor, a lawyer or a scientist, something conventional; respectable, professional and not too flamboyant. Although I am very grateful for and proud of what I have achieved as a result of my small, sensible dreams, my eyes have been opened to another way of dreaming.
Dream big – be bold!
I am no longer embarrassed to share my big dreams and no longer think that they are pie in the sky daydreams; something to be laughed at. Now, I take my own dreams seriously and expect others to do the same. I have learned to be honest about my dreams and accept that maybe I will fail, maybe things won’t work out or…. maybe, just maybe, they will. I invite you to join me in dreaming big and being bold!