Photoblog: July 2014 Archive

Just One - Iris - baby and family portrait photography in North London

Posted in Just One at 15:30 on 31/07/2014

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Sometimes, you just know. You can feel it all coming together - the light, the pose, the background, the environment. At times like these, I have to refrain from doing a little dance after I have clicked the shutter. It's a moment when I know that it is something special - a shot that I will absolutely love.

I had that feeling this morning as I lay on the grass in Finsbury Park in North London. Nicholette and Jon were sitting in a patch of perfect light underneath this majestic tree - the shape of the branch was holding the composition together. with the dark trees in the background adding contrast and the wonderful backlighting providing a beautiful halo as Nicholette held baby Iris up in the air. Iris is laughing and giggling at her parents in the early morning sunshine while they look up at her, so happy and so proud of their beautiful daughter. I could feel it all coming together as I shifted my position this way and that to bring it all together perfectly, even down to the little burst of sunlight in the top corner. As you can tell, I am thrilled with this picture and in the words of the immortal Hannibal Smith, 'I love it when a plan comes together!' - all I need is a cigar (and the rest of the A-Team, of course).

We had a wonderful morning in Finsbury Park today - we were up bright and early, and in the park by 8am. It's a lovely time to be in the park, especially in the summer as we get the best of the light and it isn't too hot, which is particularly important for such little babies. It also allowed us lots of time in the park before heading home for Iris's mid-morning nap and the second half of our session. It was such a fantastic morning, I do love the summer.

I look forward to sharing some more photographs from our wonderful baby and family portrait shoot soon, but in the meantime I do hope you enjoy this - today's 'Just One' preview image from our morning in Finsbury Park, North London.

Just One - Julia - children's portrait photography in Fulham

Posted in Just One at 17:00 on 30/07/2014

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I was thrilled to be invited back to visit Julia and her parents in Putney this week to update the family's portrait photographs. I was lucky enough to meet Julia when she was only a few days old, and you can see some pictures from Julia's newborn shoot on the blog here. Putney and Fulham are increasingly popular destinations in London for my children's and family photography, and I love the area with all its fantastic parks that make wonderful locations for family photo shoots.

Julia's portrait session took place at the picturesque Bishops Park in Fulham, and we had such a great time taking family photographs and updating Julia's portraits. Julia's parents are dear friends of mine from our days studying together at Cambridge University and it was so lovely to catch up while we took pictures. It's funny to think back to the time we spent together, pouring over medieval manuscripts in the library - so different to running around the park with a camera and a very excited little girl, working on the perfect portrait photograph. How time flies!

Today's 'Just One' preview image is a beautiful portrait of Julia taken in one of the greenhouses in the walled garden at Fulham Palace. It's a lovely spot in Bishops Park and not one I had been to before - I've photographed in the gardens before, but the greenhouse was new to me and we loved exploring together. Julia enjoyed looking at the tomatoes (and I'm sure she would have loved to eat them, they looked wonderful) and the cucumbers growing in the sunlight. This shot was taken as Julia explored the tomato aisle and I love it.

As soon as we entered the greenhouse, I knew I wanted to take a picture that made use of the wonderful shapes of the leaves. I love how they catch the light and provide a really interesting environment for this portrait. By crouching low, to Julia's eye level, I was able to shoot through the canopy and frame her within the foliage. It looks like she is exploring a jungle, rather than on a family photo shoot in London.

I love how the leave at the top of the image, curling over from the left, echoes Julia's arms with the opposite curve. It's an image that is all about curves and shapes - the curves of leaves, the curves of Julia's arms, the curls of her hair and even the little polka dots on Julia's dress echo this feeling of the circle through which we are looking at Julia as she smiles such a happy smile.

I love this image and I hope you do to, today's Just One preview image from our children's and family photography session in Fulham. I look forward to sharing some more pictures from our morning together on the blog soon, so please do check back.

If you would like to take advantage of the lovely weather during the school holidays to book your own family photo shoot, please do get in touch - we still have a few dates available during the holidays and would be delighted to hear from you.

Family and children's photography in Brockwell Park, South London

Posted in Children at 09:00 on 26/07/2014

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Today on the blog I’m delighted to share with you some more pictures from my wonderful children's and family photo shoot with Lis, Tillmann and Anselm at Brockwell Park on the Brixton, Dulwich and Herne Hill border in South London.

I love Brockwell Park as it’s got such a wonderful variety of interesting areas which are brilliant for family portrait photography. We used so many of them for our pictures, utilising all the different environments for a range of interesting and varied portrait photographs. I love the different moods that we captured over the course of the morning, from exuberant joy playing with mum and dad in the long grass, to a quiet moment with a toy car displaying total concentration and precision driving along a picnic table track. It’s really special to me to photograph all these different moods, and to take pictures that really reflect the complexity of a child’s personality rather than just skimming the surface with a short session and a fixed grin. By spending time and digging deep, by playing and interacting myself for some of the time, but also knowing when to take a step back and watch the action unfold before me, I am able to create a set of images that tell a story and will remind parents and children alike of these precious childhood moments. It’s a privilege and a pleasure, and I’m very lucky indeed to be able to share this with the families that I meet.

As always, it was an early start for me to arrive in Brixton bright and early in the morning, and we had coffee while Anselm finished his breakfast and got ready to go out. It’s lovely to start early as we have so much time to really get to know each other and enjoy our session, and we have the benefit of lovely empty parks, too – Brockwell Park was practically deserted when we arrived with just us, some dog walkers and a variety of exercise classes gearing up for the weekend. It’s always a wonderful time of day to be out and about, and it’s always a pleasure to work with the beautiful morning light.

We started our photo shoot by exploring the formal garden in Brockwell Park - in truth, I’m not sure if it’s a herb garden or a flower garden, but whichever it is, it’s a lovely spot! With its beautiful flowers and a feeling of peace and tranquillity (even when occupied by a game of hide and seek with a delighted two year old), it’s a lovely environment for photographs. We had a great time as Anselm explored - we hid, he laughed - it was wonderful.

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When then found some snails, which were clearly a great favourite with Anselm and this kept us busy for a time. I love photographing children when they are fascinated by something - the concentration, the excitement, and in the case of the snail, the mixture of wonder and squeamishness – it’s so much fun to be two years old!

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Then we were off again – running, hiding behind trees and exploring the long grass. As always, I work hard to take a variety of images, to work with the light and the backgrounds to create interesting and inspiring compositions, images that are unique and exciting and use all my skill as a photographer. I love how young children have no awareness of the camera - they are just off having fun and it’s up to me as a children’s photographer to capture the essence of this childhood joy. I particularly love the photographs of Anselm laughing in his mother’s arms - these are pictures that show the enormous love between them and they make my heart sing to look at them.

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And then on to coffee (for the grown-ups) and a cold drink for Anselm at the café. Anselm enjoyed playing with his car and jumping in puddles as the adults refuelled and then we began to head slowly back, stopping on the way for some lovely family pictures and my favourite shot of Anselm with his Dad that was the Just One preview image from this shoot - a lovely shot of them playing together in the grass, a shot full of joy and love, just perfect.

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By this time, it was almost lunchtime so there was just time for a quick go on the swings and then finishing with an ice cream, the perfect end to a perfect children and family photo shoot. I had such a wonderful time and I can’t wait for our next family photography session sometime in the future. It was a pleasure to take these pictures and I hope you enjoy them, from our wonderful children and family photography session in Brockwell Park on the Brixton, Dulwich and Herne Hill borders in South London, SE24.

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Now and Then - children's portrait photography through the years

Posted in Now and Then at 16:00 on 25/07/2014

I've been lucky enough to photograph Will four times since we first met back in 2009, and each time has been such a pleasure. We first met when the family lived in Clapham in South London, which is one of my regular destinations for children's portrait photography. Since then, our shoots have moved to the family's new home in the beautiful town of Tunbridge Wells in Kent.

I always look forward to my shoots with Will as he enjoys having his picture taken so much - he's always keen to join in a game, or to chat and giggle happily as I snap away. We've always had a lovely time.

What I enjoy so much about seeing families again and again is watching the children grow, and how their personalities shine through. When we first met in Clapham, Will was already a really smiley, joyful toddler and he's now such a fun little boy. The smile is still the same, though - that look of joy in the early pictures as he looks out from behind the vine and plays peek-a-boo on the way home from Clapham Common fits so well with his look of joy as he charges towards me now - finger pointed, laughing out loud as he has found me hidden behind a fence on our most recent shoot. These games are fun throughout childhood, and it's lovely to capture this continuity.

I hope these pictures make you smile, as you see how Will has grown and how lovely it is to have regular children's portrait shoots through the years, creating a wonderful photographic record of childhood.

If you've enjoyed this post, do take a look at other pictures in my 'Now and Then' series on the blog here and if you would like to create a similar record for your own family, please contact us - we would be delighted to hear from you.

Now:

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now and then children photography through the years clapham and tunbridge wells

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and then:

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now and then children photography through the years clapham and tunbridge wells

now and then children photography through the years clapham and tunbridge wells

Just One - family photography in Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Posted in Just One at 11:30 on 23/07/2014

I love really big family portrait shoots with grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins - the more, the merrier! I also love discovering really interesting new locations to take photographs and so when the two combine, as they did for Denise's recent extended family photo shoot in Kent, I was over the moon.

Denise picked me up from the station bright and early in the morning and we headed straight to the magnificent Wellington Rocks on Tunbridge Wells common. I knew immediately that we would have a fantastic time, as the rocks were just incredible - a truly sensational spot for some family portraits. We had a great time capturing some family pictures here along with some shots of the children running around, before heading to nearby Dunorlan Park to meet the other side of the family for the second half of our family photography session (I'll be sharing an extended selection of images on the blog soon).

But today's 'Just One' preview image is from the start of our family photo shoot at the incredible Wellington Rocks, and I couldn't resist posting a big family group shot as I am so pleased with this picture. I love taking family group photographs as I do think it's wonderful to have these records of all the most important people in our lives, all together, looking relaxed and happy. These pictures will be looked at for years to come, evoking memories of the many days spent together, the love and friendships, the family ties that bring everyone together - it's a truly lovely thing to have. I also love the scale of this picture - with the majesty of the rocks and the pattern of the boulder shapes reflected in the family group - and the expressions, with everyone so happy and relaxed, enjoying themselves as a family unit.

I'm sure this picture will feature in an album that will tell the story of the day, along with pictures of the children climbing trees, being chased by uncles and aunts, boating on the lake, swinging in the playground and laughing, so much laughing. I'm sure it will also be printed and framed, hung on the wall, placed on the mantlepiece and stuck to the fridge - a picture that will be looked at and enjoyed every day.

I'm so thrilled to have been able to capture this picture at such a wonderful setting, it's a real favourite of mine. I look forward to being able to share some more pictures from this family photo session soon but in the meantime, I do hope you enjoy this picture - today's Just One preview from our recent family photography session in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

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