Photoblog: June 2014 Archive

Family portrait photographer in South London

Posted in Family at 12:00 on 27/06/2014

Today on the blog, I'm delighted to share some more images from Alex's recent family photography shoot in South London. It was a great morning taking in both Sydenham Woods and Dulwich Park, two fabulous - and very different locations - for family photography. It was my second shoot with the family and I was so thrilled to be invited back - we'd had such a lovely time on our first shoot (do take a look at some of the pictures on the blog here) and it was great to catch-up with everyone.

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It was a damp morning when I arrived in South London but we headed out regardless; I'm a firm believer in ignoring drizzle and hoping it will go away, which it usually does and certainly did for this photo shoot. We headed to Sydenham Woods, which I had never been to before and it was just amazing - really beautiful, mature woodland right in the middle of South London. Growing up in nearby Blackheath, I'm surprised that my parents never took us there as children and it was a wonderful discovery to make with Alex and her family.

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Woodland is perfect for photography if it is a drizzly day, as the soft light when it is a bit damp works so well in the trees. Trees also provide that bit of cover needed to hold-off the dampness and I love that feeling of wandering through the woods with the quiet pitter-patter of occasional raindrops up above, the soft light, and that feeling of the world washed clean. Just wonderful.

I love the variety of things we can capture in the woods, too - there are always trees to climb, sticks to wield, dens to build and - in the case of Sydenham Woods - the amazing old ruined building to climb on. We had a wonderful time and did a full circuit of the woods.

Then we decided that, as the rain was drying-up, a different location would be good. I'm always happy to go to more than one place on a photo shoot as it's fun for the children to mix things up a bit - it always keeps them interested and enjoying themselves, and it also provides great variety to the images which I like.

For the second part of our shoot, we jumped into the car and went to Dulwich Park for some more family photographs. It's been a while since I've visited Dulwich Park for a photo shoot, but I do love it as a location - not least because it seems to have the tamest wildlife. The ducks always seem keen to chat on the bridge, and the squirrels were coming right up to us in a quest for food. We had a great time exploring the undergrowth, feeding the squirrels, climbing trees and eating ice cream - all the ingredients for a perfect family photography shoot.

Here are some of my favourite pictures from the day, I do hope you will enjoy them. If you would be interested in arraigning a photo shoot for your own family, do get in touch - it would lovely to hear from you.

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Just One - Ollie - baby photographer in Blackheath, South London

Posted in Just One at 12:00 on 26/06/2014

Today I'm thrilled to be sharing a picture of Ollie on the blog, the third baby of one of my best friends in the whole world. I've been lucky enough to photograph all three of Helen's boys at about four months old, which is no mean feat as the family lives the other side of the world. We have always managed to schedule our baby and family photography sessions for when Helen has been visiting her parents in Blackheath in South London, and it was wonderful to meet baby Ollie last week.

Ollie is such a sweet baby, and so expressive. I love this portrait as it's such an inquisitive look - I can imagine this may be characteristic as he gets older and finds hobbies that fascinate him. He's so completely absorbed in what is going on behind me, and I have to say that old CDs strung over the garden to deter squirrels is a spectacular way to entertain a baby on a photography session - it's amazing what you discover by chance!

We had a wonderful time capturing family photographs and beautiful portrait photos of Ollie as we chatted, laughed and caught-up. These sessions during which I photograph the children of those I love are a real perk of the job.

I'll share some more pictures soon, including pictures of the whole family, individual portraits of baby Ollie, and also with his grandparents. But for today's 'Just One', here is a single image - a beautiful portrait of baby Ollie taken on location at his grandparent's home in Blackheath, London SE3.

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Children's and family photography in Herne Hill, South London

Posted in Children at 16:00 on 24/06/2014

The May half-term holiday was beset by bad weather this year, but it didn't make a difference to the fun we had on our family photography sessions. Rain on the morning of a shoot can often make people's hearts sink, but I find that rain brings new opportunities and often results in some of my favourite photography sessions. On a rainy day, it's important to think quickly and laterally, often moving the children on fairly quickly from one immersive activity to another - such as enjoying the energy and excitement of fun games like jumping on the bed or couch-surfing, but changing to something calmer like a book before any heads get bumped.

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It was pouring when I arrived in Herne Hill in South London for Mette's photo shoot, but I wasn't the least bit worried - I have been lucky enough to visit Mette and her family for six photo shoots now, and this wasn't the first time it has rained. Mette has the most fantastic home with wonderful interior design and beautiful, beautiful light. The children are also such good fun that I was sure we would come up with lots of fun activities to keep us entertained, and keep the supply of great photographs coming throughout the morning.

As soon as I arrived the children were raring to go, with Karoline wanting to show me how good she was at couch-surfing. I love this kind of thing - an opportunity to capture the joy of jumping around which children get to enjoy and which, as adults, we hardly ever get to do. Karoline and Jacob had a few goes on the sofa before we decided to quit while we were ahead and move on to a different activity.

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We then baked some incredible Danish flatbreads, which I can't wait to try baking at home. They were just delicious and the children made them so quickly, having fun along the way including the picture which became our ''Just One' preview image of Karoline practicing her rolling-out technique on her brother Jacob. I'd never have thought to roll flatbreads onto greaseproof paper with another layer on top - now I've seen it done, it makes perfect sense. I love this about my job, cooking tips as well as photography!

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We continued our morning with some reading and fun in the drawing room, before deciding it wasn't really raining 'that hard' and if we put the kids in waterproofs, it would be lovely to visit and take pictures at the family allotment in Herne Hill. As Mette said to me, you can't be a fair weather gardener, and the family visit the allotment come rain or shine so visiting in the rain really reflected everyday family life. The children, wrapped-up warm and carrying umbrellas, were proud to show me the allotments - most particularly the trails from dead slugs -and then we went on a quest through the allotment to see the frogspawn. Sadly it wasn't in evidence, but we did find 'Pedro' the ladybird so all was not lost. It's lovely visiting places with children - the possibilities are endless and excitement can come from the most unexpected quarters.

When we decided that we were really quite wet, we headed home and the children were bundled into a hot bubble bath for our last bit of photography before lunch. We had packed so much into our morning, which is so often the case on a rainy morning. The results are - I hope you agree - wonderful, and I'm so pleased to share some favourites from our family photo shoot the blog today.

If you would be interested in arranging a shoot for your own family in London or further afield, do get in touch - we would be delighted to hear from you.

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Just One - Arthur's go-karting birthday party

Posted in Just One at 13:00 on 23/06/2014

I've been a professional children's photographer for eleven years now, and the children I started photographing as babies are getting so big. Many children are at secondary school now and thoughts of GCSEs are approaching, whether it be which language to choose, or the merits of studying history over geography (history always wins, of course). These are becoming as frequent topics of conversation on my photo shoots as the relative merits of Peppa Pig and Fix-it Duck.

Children's birthday parties are changing, too - pass the parcel and musical statues are becoming things of the past, and now it's football, Go-Ape and go-karting. I'll be photographing two go-karting parties this June; I do wonder what will be the party activity of choice next year (personally I'm hoping for laser quest so I can pretend I'm a photojournalist - paint ball might be rather less appealing!)

Go-karting is great fun and very challenging to photograph. The children are only in the cars for a very short period - two ten-minute races in this case - and so the opportunities are limited, as are the viewpoints as safety required me to stay behind all the barriers which haven't been designed with photography in mind. I love a challenge though, and I was thrilled with this picture from Arthur's party at the weekend. I've shot with a slow shutter speed and panned the camera, moving it to follow the motion of the car as the shutter is open, so the car remains sharp while the background blurs to capture the feeling of speed.

I've also added a second picture to this blog post - this took place away from the birthday party (I took it as the boys were just washing their hands after the karting before loading back into their cars to go home). The go-karting track was next to a track for dirt bikes and, well, what photographer could resist taking one or two shots…. I thought I'd share it too, just because I think it's rather cool.

So today on the blog, we have two motorsports pictures from Arthur's eleventh birthday party. I wonder what I'll be photographing next year…

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Children's photography in Victoria Park, London

Posted in Children at 12:00 on 20/06/2014

The wonderful Victoria Park in East London was the location for today's family photography session, and with slightly older children than usual. I photograph children of all ages - from newborn babies upwards - and I'm always so pleased to photograph older children and teenagers as they are such interesting subjects for the camera, and so fun to chat to. I don't think I was nearly as articulate, confident and charming as Harriet and Joseph when I was their age.

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One of the things I find fascinating about siblings are the little differences and the individual personalities that really come across when taking pictures. I often find, for example, that one child will have a more dare-devil attitude than the other - it's often the younger of two children being the one to climb highest in a tree, or jump higher off a log. Being the youngest of four children myself, I was always the one that tried to do the cool stuff and hurt myself, and my parents must have had the patience of saints as I fell out of yet another tree. I also love seeing how siblings interact and how they can make each other laugh, whatever the circumstances - that bond of love and laughter is a wonderful thing.

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We had a great time exploring the park and I can't wait to visit again as I'd not visited Victoria Park before. It was a fabulous spot for a photo shoot and it reminded me of Battersea Park with all the different things to do, with a beautiful pagoda, logs to climb on, a pond complete with sculptures, lovely avenues of trees, two - yes, TWO! - adventure playgrounds and a plethora of beautifully landscaped areas of grassland. It's everything that a London-based family photographer could dream of for a shoot location.

We explored everywhere in the park, capturing pictures at the pagoda, whilst playing in the playground, and climbing on the rocks (which reminded me of various enclosures at London Zoo, I must look into when that area of the park was created). It was such a fun morning and Joseph, Harriet and Dan were great company - really great to photograph and fun to chat to, too.

I do hope you enjoy these pictures from our morning in Victoria Park in London, and please contact us if you would like to arrange a photo shoot for your own family - we would be delighted to hear from you.

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