My journey: Being a mother of four children under 6 years old I understand the power of stories. I believe children stories allow kids
(and adults) to connect with our own lives and navigate through life. My background was actually in investment banking but after
15 years I had to break free and let my creativity run wild. I completed some photography courses at Kensington and Chelsea College, but I am pretty much self-taught.
I continued to snap away and over time my passion grew for staged photography.
How I Perfected My Craft: I started testing ideas using backdrops and costumes on my own children. I then moved onto the children of friends and slowly built up a portfolio of princesses, pirates, super heroes and fairy tale characters. In 2014, I organised my first “story” shoot of Red Riding Hood and Snow White in Holland Park. I made a storybook out of one and a photo collage out of the other. The children (and parents) loved it.
Joining Forces: However, working in the park was hard due to the temperamental weather, so it made me think if setting up a studio may be the solution. I approached Julia Flit, an experienced fashion photographer, whom I met through mutual friends, to discuss my ideas. She thought it was a unique idea and suggested using illustrations instead of real background props.Together we developed our first three
stories under a joint venture called FotoFables. Shortly after Anastasiia Nikitina, a talented
graphic illustrator, joined forces and she's been amazing creating a collection of beautiful
illustrations for various storybooks; some are re-tellings of old classics, others are original stories. Working with children to create these books is just incredible. It's creative and exciting and I can't wait to continue on developing many more.
My name is Cornelia Colonius and I am a creator/writer/photographer of bespoke children's book. Sounds odd? Let me explain!
Your experience: I offer a unique photography experience for families just like yours throughout the UK. I bring classic tales
to life by integrating your children's stunning and artistic photos into beautifully illustrated storybooks. Get ready to act in costumes and props and step inside my studio to enter a magical world of fairy tales and adventure stories.
My vision: What started out as a fun photo project with my kids’ favourite characters, has grown into something much
bigger that I want to share with other moms and dads. My vision is to create an experience that families will never forget
– an imaginative adventure for your children, and for you, the lasting memory of a beautifully illustrated photo storybook.
And to share the message with your children that fairy tale dreams really can come true.
My name is Anastasiia Nikitina and I am the creator of all the illustrations at Once Upon a Photo.
I am originally from the Ukraine, but I live with my Italian husband in Ravello- one of the most beautiful places on the Amalfi Coast. Since I was a child I have had a passion for drawing almost anything you can think of. Structures, animals, cartoons, crazy imaginative designs.
Cornelia and I have been working on 6 different books already using various different styles of illustrations. We wanted to create the right "mood" for each book. For example, we decided that Little Red Riding Hood is better for younger children so we kept the illustrations in bright and cheerful colours. Pirates, on the other hand, needed to be a unisex book for young and old; a rougher sketch style did the trick. Superhero Kidastic had to be a comic! So, no better pop artist than Roy Lichtenstein to use as inspiration. Alice in Wonderland, on the other hand, is such a sweet yet sophisticated book that needed illustrations to honour it's 150-year timeless journey. My favourite one is my "baby" dragon. It is very complex to draw, but what a wonderful, almost realistic "beast" that I am sure every child will fall in love with.