Ashbrook Court Care Home

Ashbrook Court Care Home - Tovertafel "Magic Table" Event

Hatfield, Herfordshire Event Photographer

In January, I went to Ashbrook Court Care Home, where I photographed their Tovertafel "magic table" event.  The table has the ability to transform the lives of people living with dementia and was launched by Mayor, Councillar Jeane Lea at Ashbrook Court Care Home in Waltham Abbey on January 24th. It is most likely the first such "table" in Essex.

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.The ‘table’ – known as Tovertafel – is widely established in the Netherlands where it was developed – but is not as yet so well established in the UK.

The name ‘Magic Table’ was coined by someone living with dementia who said, when trying it - “this is a magic table”.

It consists of a projector hung from the ceiling that throws interactive, colourful, moving light games on to a table below that people can interact and play with.

Click here to watch a video that really shows you what the table is about.

The light games encourage players to reach out towards them and the lights subsequently respond to their hand and arm movements, allowing residents to play with light.

It was developed by PhD student Hester Le Riche, who wanted to create something to stimulate activity – physical, mental and social – in people living with moderate to severe dementia to motivate the mind and inspire people to be active.

The games can also inspire people living with dementia to play and interact with their grandchildren with whom they might otherwise be unable to communicate.

Nicola Coveney, MD of Ashbrook Court, says: “We’ve been trialling this with our residents for a couple of weeks and it is quite astonishing the impact it is having.  Our residents love it and it brings them together in a way no other activity can.  Some of our residents who decline to be involved in other activities are really enjoying the Magic Table.”

Bramley Court Care Home

Bramley Court Care Home - Christmas Fair 

Hatfield, Hertfordshire Event Photographer

Last December, I was invited by Bramley Court Care Home to photograph their Winter Wonderland Christmas fair event. The lovely Christmas fair is held for the elderly residents of the care home and their families to enjoy. The fair was mainly outside and this incorporated the launch of the care home's Bramley Village.

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On the day, we were challenged by the weather, it was a very cold December afternoon/evening and added in to the mix we had our fair bit of rain. The residents and their families were in great spirits, even braving the cold and rain to come out and enjoy the new Bramley Village, where there were a mixture of stalls, including tea and coffee, a bbq, arts and crafts and of course, Santa!

As the evening grew colder and wetter, the residents moved inside the care home to enjoy the entertainment, a brass band and afterwards carols were song by a local choir. Children played and everyone smiled, really getting in to the Christmas spirit! It really was a lovely evening, the connection between the residents and the staff is clear to be seen. Take a look below at some of the photographs I took during this event.

Get to know your photographer

A bit about me

Hi i'm Leela

I'm a mum and full time Hatfield photographer.


You may be feeling a little apprehensive about coming for your photography session, who will be taking your photographs? I know, it's not easy to feel relaxed when someone is pointing a lens in your face, it's hard to really forget about it and just let yourself laugh and smile naturally. For this reason, I thought I would share a little more about myself, so you can get to know me before you get here.

I am a pretty chilled photographer, in fact my mum used to always comment on how laid back I was as a child. During your session you'll find that I always have a smile on my face and i'm happy to be a bit silly - anything for that lovely smile of yours to come out! Actually sometimes I really struggle to keep a strait face anyway, feel free to have a laugh at my expence!

As a mother myself, I understand how precious your children are. I've been through the newborn stage myself, it is hard, theres no denying it! My little girl, Rosanna is almost 2 now (HOW?!) it really does seem as though she was born just a few short months ago, my gosh, I can't even begin to explain how fast those almost 2 years have flown by. But now she's walking and talking and I can't help but melt with pride when I see her confidant personality shining through.

My photography journey started in 2010

I'd love to be able to say that I got my first camera aged 5 and I always knew that I wanted to be a photographer, but for me that really is not the case. When I was younger, I like many other teenagers did not know what I wanted to do with my life and I ended up working stuck in an office for 7 years working in accounts. Not really my idea of fun, actually I hated it, the 9-5 life just isn't for me.

I had however always been quite artistic and had loved arts and crafts at school so when my mum suggested I took a evening photography course I thought why not, it could be fun. It was at this moment that something just clicked for me, that was what I wanted to do! I wanted to be a photographer. I met my best friend Phil (also a photographer) at a shoot in 2010 and after that I basically just tagged along with him and he really has thought be so much about photography. Phil was really in to motorsports so I ended up going with him to many drifting events and photographing suped up cars skidding around various tracks around the uk and Europe, I mean, this was a pretty cool life I have to admit, the social aspect was awesome, the parties and the people I met; but there was one problem, photographing motorsports doesn't really pay very well.

I was lucky enough to be able to go back to college full time when I was 24, I studied the Level 3 Extended Diploma in Photography, it was here that I really excelled and found my love in portraiture and my fascination with people's faces. I left the course with a Triple Distinction Plus, a grade the college up until then did not even know was achievable. I can not explain how proud I am of myself for achieving this, this was by far the highest grade I had ever achieved after being a grade C student at school.

Here are some of my photographs from my final major project, I took these images using a large format film camera, I developed the film myself in the dark room and then scanned the film and edited them using photoshop.

What next?

After college, I tried out university but I got really frustrated as it wasnt hands on enough for me. Who needs to be able to write 10,000 word essays to be a self employed photographer? Na, not for me. I left and started exploring my options. I was already working alongside a couple of very talented wedding photographers but I knew that really I wanted to be working on my own, for myself. When I met my boyrfiend, he really pushed me and made me believe that I could do it. I began my newborn training in 2014, this is an area of photography that requires training. At this point I didnt have any children of my own and as a single child I had never really been around small children. Safety is the upmost most important aspect of newborn photography and not something that anyone should attempt without professional training. I have undertaken various training courses with some of the Uk's best newborn photographers, Tracey Willis and Emma Jane from Little Love Photography, I tuely believe that you can never stop learning which is why I continue to book myself in for extended training. I am due to train with Russ Jackson and Lisa McCormick later on this year.

I have an unhealthy obsession for props, which I think if you ask most newborn photographers it is a common problem! Although I have experimented with my style and I finally feel as though I have found my niche, simplicity. I always just love the simplest photographs.

I now photograph newborns, families, children and dogs and I have my very own garden studio, I couldn't ask for more. I love my job!

My very own little family

My boyfriend and I weren't inseparable at the beginning, it took 7 months before I finally said yes to a date, I thought he was too young, gorgeous, but young. I'm two years older than him. But I soon learnt that I was just being (really) silly as in reality I'm the youngster in the relationship. I bagged myself a toy boy and our love grew stronger everyday. I'll alwasy remember our first real date where he picked me up in a land rover - yep, thats my Charles! We rescued our beloved dog Ruby in 2015. Ruby is a Dogue De Bordeux cross (we think with a German Shepherd), her mum had been dumped at the RSPCA pregnant. Ruby is now 4 and you may get to meet her gorgeous face if you come in to my Hatfield studio for your session. I had been living in London when we met but we soon found this was hard due to his long working hours. Soon after we got Ruby we bought our house and settled in Hatfield. In 2016 we found out we were expecting and in March 2017 we welcomed our baby girl, she was of course two weeks late and we had to have an emergency C section (but thats another story i'll keep for later on). But she was healthy although small, only 6lb 3 at 42 weeks. Having the baby has pushed me more to be able to give her everything she needs, having a child has not stopped my work at all, if anything it has just opened my eyes to the unconditional love that a parent has for their child.

5 random facts about me

I'm half dutch and actually have more family in Holland than I do in the UK.

I LOVE pizza.

I have currently also got 10 chickens and a cockerel, many of which we have bread ourselves - let me know if you fancy some eggs.

My boyfriend, I and a small group of us drove from London to Gambia for charity in 2015, it took us 3 weeks.

I have never broken a bone in my body.

Welcome to Photography By Leela

Happy New Year Everyone!

Out with the old! In with the new!

I have some really exciting news to share with you all! From now on I will be trading under the name Photography By Leela.

This is mainly because New Life Photography is evolving and really I want to put my own name to my work, it just makes it feel a little bit more personal and honestly this business really is my baby.

You will notice the new Photography By Leela logo and the website is also finally here.

I will be able to offer more to you with the introduction of my outdoor lifestyle family sessions and dog portraiture sessions, I really am SO excited for the future!

Keep a look out for some special offers coming this way soon!


Hatfield’s Award Winning Newborn Photographer

Well well well! This is a lovely surprise!

 I am delighted and honoured to have been awarded a Highly Commended award from the Societies of Photographers for one of my newborn photographs of Archer! This award is highly sought after and very difficult to achieve in the newborn category. This is my first nationally recognised award so I am mega chuffed to say the least! I can now say I am a award winning photographer! Woohoo!

award winning hatfield newborn photographer

Maternity Photography Sessions – What to expect

Maternity Photography Sessions

What to expect from your pregnancy photography session with New Life Photography

Hatfield Maternity Photographer

Hatfield Maternity Photographer 01.09.18

You know what? Pregnancy is hard!

You are probably feeling as though you want this time to be done and dusted with by now and to be cradling your precious little baby. Those hot summer days are difficult, especially if you are in your third trimester and the thought of a glass of wine in the sun seems so far away. Whatever struggles you may be facing and let’s face it, pregnancy does take its toll, this time in your life is pretty amazing; you are creating life! You are making a mini human! Congratulations are most definitely in order.

There will be moments during your pregnancy where you can feel your baby’s movements, you will sit down and wonder what your little creation will look like, will they be a boy or a girl? You will feel happy to feel this and the feeling literally melts your heart. The pregnancy glow is a thing, really. Not because of your swollen legs and growing abdomen, not because it takes you twice as long to get your socks and shoes on or because it takes you half the time to work up a sweat, just climbing the stairs. It is because of the new life that you are creating inside of you, these are your little baby’s first moments. Why not capture them with a maternity photography session? Once your baby is born, your bump is gone, you wont get this time back. As much as you may be feeling rough, these are your baby’s first months and they are definitely worth remembering.

When to book your maternity photography session:

You can book your maternity photography session as early as after your first scan, once you've seen your little bean for the first time! The best time to book your pregnancy photography session is within your third trimester, usually between 32 and 36 weeks. At this point you will still be able to move around and your bump will be a good size.

What to expect during your maternity photography session:

I usually shoot maternity in the studio, although upon request and providing the weather is ok we can do part of the shoot outdoors. I provide the gowns and materials for your photo session but please feel free to bring in your own too if you have something specific you would like to use. Most of my mummy’s to be have some classic, nude images taken too, of course this is not mandatory and I am happy to retouch any stretch marks should you wish me to. These images will be taken in privacy of the studio. The maternity photography session usually lasts around an hour, maybe a little longer if we head outside.

Your children and partners are always welcome during the session and I encourage them to get involved.

Maternity photography sessions at New Life Photography are the beginning of your baby’s journey. Capture those memories for treasure forever.

More information on my maternity & pregnancy photography sessions can be found here. Pricing starts at £175.

Alternatively, contact me to book or ask any further questions.

Bump Photography

My Current Availability

Hatfield Photography Availability. Newborn, Maternity, Baby & Child photographer available in September 2018 for fine art personalised photography sessions.


Here is are my current availability for newborn, baby, child and maternity photography sessions in Hatfield, Hertfordshire-


September - 2 available

October - 4 available

November - 5 available


Get in touch asap to secure your booking! Contact Leela here

Mothers Day Maternity Mini Sessions


Maternity Mini Photography Sessions £99

Pregnancy can take its toll, by the time you’ve reached 30 weeks pregnant; well, I can remember how fed up I felt.

But in spite of this, pregnancy is beautiful and what other way to remember your pregnancy than with a maternity photography session.

Yes, you deserve a little gift

And yes, I will give it to you,

Spoil yourself.

Photographs will always remind you of what a gift you are, and how incredible our bodies can be, you’re creating life!

  To celebrate Mothers Day this year (Sunday March 11th), New Life Photography is offering Maternity Photography Mini Sessions!

This offer includes a 45 minute session and 5 high resolution digital photographs delivered to you by digital download.

I have limited spaces although the offer will run throughout March 2018. Sessions are held in my Hatfield studio.

To book your session please contact me here

Treat yourself this Mothers Day




New Life Photography features on Vogue

Vogue Logo New Life Photography


Yesterday was a very exciting day for me, after many many, many attempts New Life Photography finally had a photograph featured on Vogue Italia in Photovogue

I took this photograph while I was away travelling, I was taking part in a charity drive with my boyfriend and some friends. We drove from London to Gambia in aid of Orchid, The South Mimms Youth Club and The Samaritans

This particular photograph was taken while we were in Mauritania, in a remote fishing village called Iwik. Poverty engrossed the village, it sure was an experience to witness this first hand.

You can take a look at our journey here:


New Life Photography features on Vogue