Every so often, I take a picture that captures pure, unadulterated joy. This 'Just One' preview image from Stella's second birthday party in Parsons Green in West London does just that.
Stella's expression is wonderful - she's clearly so completely and utterly thrilled with her cake and her two candles. I've been lucky enough to photograph Stella since she was a baby, and it's wonderful to see what a lovely, beautiful and fun little girl she is now.
I love how everyone in the picture is clearly equally thrilled, too - when do birthday candles ever fail to lift the spirits? - and the fact that you can see such happiness on everyone's faces as they celebrate with Stella and share this moment of excitement.
I'm also thrilled with how this picture captures all the elements of the day. We have Stella with her beautiful party dress, her parents so happy and excited to be there. Her guests, family and friends. Her cake and the candles to show her age (and also the incredible biscuit/macaroon/delicious things of wonder which she likes so much on the cake). These things will bring back so many memories in later years. I also love how you capture stories in pictures and all the visual clues that will remind the people in them of the occasion they were taken, but also so many other things such as many weekends spent visiting the farmers market and buying Stella's favourite biscuits of wonder. These thoughts will be triggered in years to come by this picture, and is one of the things I love about photography - both the memories of the moment captured but also the stories that stem from the picture and the memories of people and places that come with it. It's a magical thing.
As a children and family photographer, I do love a party and this image from Stella's second birthday party in Parsons Green in West London is a real favourite. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to sharing some more pictures from this fun-filled children's London birthday party photography shoot soon.