A bit about how Smiley Day Photography

Angela Birchall - Smiley Day Photography

Angela Birchall – Smiley Day Photography

Hi I’m Angela

I’m a wife, mum, photographer and colleague to those with whom I’ve worked with in schools for around 10 years.  I’ve always been fascinated by photography and captivated by beautiful scenes, however my own photography took off when I took it up as a hobby when my children were born.  A photographer friend hosted a workshop to learn how to use a DSLR camera when I was in my early 30’s and something inside of me came alive.  She kindly let me use her DSLR for the duration of the 2 day workshop and I that awe and captivation with photography came flooding back.

My husband noticed this glow and bought me my first DSLR camera for my birthday, just before we had our first child.  As a stay-at-home mum, surrounded by incredibly talented stay-at-home mum friends in my church, we filled our days with coffee, cake, playdates, birthday parties, event planning for church teas and church events, babyshowers and there were lots of celebrations.

My favourite part was taking my camera along and photographing the people, the laughter, and all the details the amazing bakers, party planners and foodstylists in the group had created.

Baby showerMessy ChristmasChurch events by Smiley Day PhotographyPre Smiley Day Photography

I know first hand how party hosts don’t always get to take as many photos as they might like –  and that’s such a shame when so many of my incredibly creative friends put so much effort into creating “Pinterest perfect” parties – all round, a treat to photograph!  I used to gift families with discs of photos I’d taken of their party and often their facebook profile pictures were ones I’d taken for them.

From a hobby to a profession

When I was preparing for my firstborn to start school, I began contemplating whether I should start studying again, possibly go back to work for a few hours or how I should use a few extra hours of time on my hands when my children were at Pre-School and Primary School.  I prayed about it and left it at that.

The following week, family friends whose children’s parties, community hog roasts and holiday clubs I’d photographed,  asked me if they could commission me to do a family photo shoot for them for their 10th annivesary, at the venue where they were married. I gleefully accepted, did a pre-shoot location visit beforehand, planned a ton of  shots (and on the day spent 4 hours trying to take almost all of them!) The family must have been exhausted! But I had the time of my life and started to think this was actually something I could offer as a service.  A week or 2 after that, my aunt Carolyn Robb,  who is a chef and the author of The Royal Touch cookery book, asked me if I would like to help her take some photos of cakes and bakes she’d developed using Green Tea, for a PG Tips Green Tea promotion which she’d been commissioned to do for Lever Brothers. The photos accompanied a write up and recipes which were distributed to food bloggers and  were featured  in “The Lady,” “Food 52“Female First”, “Heart Home mag” among others.  It was quite exciting and I had so much fun doing it.  After these 2 “actual photography jobs”, went well, I began to think seriously about offering my photography services.  Starting a business felt quite daunting, nerve-wracking yet exciting at the same time. It would be my first as I had owned and run several businesses in High school. I decided to put the idea out to friends, showed them a few photos of the first photo shoots and with hardly any effort landed up with  3 more photo shoot bookings, before I’d even started the business.  That was the confirmation I needed.  I took the leap and launched Smiley Day Photography on my birthday, the 1st of July in 2016.

Pre Smiley Day Photography Commercial food PhotographyPre Smiley Day Photography Commercial Food PhotographyPre SMiley Day Photography PG TIps Green Tea recipes

Why the name “Smiley Day Photography?”

I had an old e-mail address that I’d initally wanted to be “Have a great day!” but all the combinations were already taken so I changed in to a version of “Have a smiley day!” Smiley Day Photography seemed a fitting name as my vision is that everyone will have a great time being photographed.  Having had my own photos taken before, I know how it can sometimes feel awkward and uncomfortable being in front of a lens, but my aim is to put you at ease and make it fun.  Also, smiling is something you sterotypically do a lot of when you see a camera or have a photo shoot. Those smiles can be artificial when you smile because you have to.  I want you to be smiling because you’re genuinely feeling at ease and enjoying time with your family so those smiles in your photos are the most beautiful, natural and spontaneous because you’ll be smiling a lot.

I thought of calling the family sessions a “Smiley Day” and came up with different versions like “Smiler-on-the-way” for maternity photo shoots, “Tiny Smiley Day” for newborn photo shoots and “Smiley School Days” for school photo days and “Smiliest Day Ever” for wedding photography.

I would also love for you to come and “Have a Smiley Day” session with me so we can capture beautiful moments in time, of you and your family which you can treasure forever!