From CSI to One Born Every Minute.
My name is Helen Powell, and I’m the owner and photographer of Topetones, Specialist Maternity & Newborn Photography.
I’ve been a professional photographer for nearly 15 years, working in most areas of Photography. In 2006 I landed what I thought was my dream job working for Cheshire Constabulary as a photographer based within Forensic Investigation. I loved it, it was like CSI on the TV but not as sunny. Whilst there I had my first son, Gabriel, now 4, and after returning to, work part time I fell pregnant for the second time, having Luca, now 2, in 2010. On my return from maternity leave this time, the public sector had become a very different place to work. Due to massive cuts made to the police budgets redundancies were being made and I was made redundant in April 2012. I then saw an opportunity to follow a new bigger and brighter dream.
Since becoming a mum I’d really enjoyed taking photographs for pleasure again and not just work. It was and still is my passion not just a job. Like all new parents, I had taken so many pictures of my newborns along with my nieces and nephews, and my friend’s children documenting their little lives through photography that I started to realise this was actually my dream job -photographing and documenting beautiful little lives as they begin and grow. These moments in theirs and the parents lives go by so quickly, parents often forget just how special that newborn time was – especially when they have a boisterous 3 year old running round!
I decided to turn my eye to the growing area of Newborn Photography.
I used some of my small redundancy pay out to attend Newborn, Posing and Safety training courses and began building a portfolio of work. As a mother I have the confidence to handle a newborn with ease and understand the time limits that need to be worked to, with a baby that could be only days old. A newborn session is usually completed during the first two weeks, as baby is more sleepy and easier to calm. The session can last anywhere from 1-4 hours dependent on the baby. I’ve had some who are very easy to work with and it’s all done and dusted within an hour. Others like things their own way. Even at a few days old they have very strong personalities and will only do things on their terms. Being a mother of two very different boys I know just how different and unique each baby is. No two sessions ever produce the same result.
I can do the sessions at the baby’s home, (this means mummy can stay in her pyjamas if she wants!) and I now have a lovely new studio, close to Birkenhead Park, which I opened in the summer.
I never thought my passion for photography would take me from CSI to One Born Every Minute.