I first met Kate back in 2014 when I photographed her beautiful baby daughter at the family home in Winchmore Hill in North London. I was so excited to get a call to arrange a new photo shoot this year, to take some photographs of family life and document Elsa’s favourite things – now two years old Elsa was full of energy and such a joy to photograph. It’s always such fun to visit families again, to see how the children have grown and to catch up on all the news.
We had the most fantastic time. I don’t know Winchmore Hill well even though it’s just up the road. Now, having visited the park there I can see what attracted Kate and Tom to the area, it’s the most amazing place for kids to play. We explored all the different areas of the park, the wonderful woodland, the amazing stream (perfect for Pooh Sticks) and then off to the café for ice cream on the way home. A rainy shot of Kate and Elsa is one of my other favourites from the shoot – it sums up British bank holiday weather so well!
For the second half of the shoot we headed home for some indoor pictures, I often like to do half a session indoors and half outside as this gives lovely variety to the images and allows me to document so many of the different every day activities that children love. Photographing every day things bring back so many memories in future years.
It was such a great shoot and I have so many picture that I love, it’s been really hard to choose a favourite for today’s Just One. In the end though, I kept coming back to this picture as I love the scale of it, the feeling of the majesty of nature and what a wonderful environment this is for a family to play in. I love to incorporate nature and architecture into my pictures and use elements of the environment to create varied and interesting compositions. I love how the tree seems to embrace the family, it’s as if it is reaching down with it’s long spindly arms to hug the family close, a benevolent protector. I love to think that a tree like this, an enormous tree with real personality that has such pride of place in Elsa’s local park will be a tree that will have memories as she grows up. She may play hide and seek around it or eat picnics under it as a child, learn to ride a bike in circles round and round. As a teenager maybe she will sit with her friends and watch the world go by eating ice cream after school. I have trees with memories like this from my childhood hangout in Greenwich Park and I always smile to remember. I hope Elsa will smile when she looks at this picture in years to come and that you will enjoy looking at it today.
and because ice cream in the rain is what bank holidays are all about....