Photoblog: July 2015 Archive

Family Photography in Denmark - Just One - Mette

Posted in Just One at 12:00 on 31/07/2015

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This summer has been exciting so far. I have travelled a great deal, both in Europe and the UK, to take children’s and family portrait photographs The one trip that I was really looking forward to, however, was this week in Denmark. I’d never been to Denmark before, so to combine two of my favourite things – travel and children’s photography - was a real treat. I was also really looking forward to seeing Mette and Gareth. I have been lucky enough to have been photographing them since 2009 so couldn’t wait to finally see the summer house I’d heard so much about.

A short hop on EasyJet from Gatwick saw me arriving in Copenhagen where Gareth picked me picked up from the airport. We then drove north to the beautiful area of Klint - a stunning costal area which combines wonderful beaches, fabulous forests and lovely summer houses. The houses, all different, each nestled in their own wonderful garden around beautiful tree covered paths. A family photographer’s dream? Oh yes indeed!

The torrential rain that was forecast for the day of our shoot was not quite so promising but luckily most of the storm blew over in the night. As the day dawned, it was chilly but the light was staggering – clouds loomed but there was a silvery feel to the light that I’ve not seen before. It is completely impossible to describe, but wonderful.

Our first stop of the day was at a local jetty for some crabbing. This provided one of my favourite shots from the day. It was raining as we arrived but we weren’t daunted. Fishing lines and nets to the ready, we immediately got down to business. Mette had promised me we would catch ‘five crabs in ten minutes’. I was sceptical - and I was wrong. Five crabs were caught in double-quick time. I was very impressed indeed!

This shot was taken just before we left the jetty to move our shoot along to the cliffs the children wanted to climb. Before leaving, the children walked to the end of the jetty to look out to sea. I wanted a shot that captured the feeling of this astonishing place - a picture that really showed the expanse of sea and the incredible glittering light made all the more magical by the looming rain clouds. As fate would have it, this is the kind of picture that wouldn’t have worked so well with a clear blue sky. The clouds give needed texture and added interest to the image.

I chose the jetty to really emphasise the scale of the landscape. In fact I spent much of the crab-catching time lying flat considering different ways to use the various shapes of the Jetty. The fabulous leading lines work to create a composition that takes full advantage of this wonderful place. I’m so lucky to get to photograph children in such interesting environments! The challenge is to work out how to make the very best of these glorious locations in my images.

I love the body language of the children – you can tell that Karoline is explaining something to her little brother and how carefully he is listening. Karoline, holding the pole that helps the bathers climb out of the water, looks as if she is holding a walking stick. Somehow, this detail makes the image appear to be the depiction of a journey that needs to be embarked upon. If I was being ‘flowery’, I would say that this journey element along with the expanse of wide-open sea, suggests a metaphor for the journey of life – the children are growing up and looking to the future. There again, it might be that they are trying to spot Sweden. Only they can know. Either way, it adds resonance to the image. This photograph with its graphic shapes and lines, glorious light and texture, is also about two child siblings and friends having the most wonderful summer in a beautiful country.

I love it and I hope you will too, today’s Just One from my recent family photography shoot in Denmark.

Newborn and family photography - Just One - Charlie and Joshua

Posted in Babies at 12:00 on 30/07/2015

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Getting to know families, over the years, is the absolute best part of my job! Visiting families, again and again, allows me to watch them grow, see how children develop their personalities over time and, generally, build important and deeply satisfying relationships. There are not many jobs that afford you such privileges - it is yet another precious aspect of my role as a Family Photographer.

I was absolutely over the moon to hear that John and Stephanie were expecting another baby as I’d had such a brilliant time with them at our two previous sessions - baby Joshua's newborn shoot and a lovely family shoot shoot when Joshua was one. I knew it was going to be wonderful to visit Sutton again and take some newborn pictures, let alone catch up with one of my favourite young subjects, big brother Joshua. Needless to say, I was very keen for Joshua to appear with his new brother in some of the pictures.

In the very early days of a newborn’s life, it can be a real challenge for older siblings to adjust to the new family dynamic and get to know their teeny tiny brothers and sisters, so I was absolutely thrilled with this image of the two boys together. I thought it would be a lovely one to share today as my Just One from the session.

John sat in a chair with baby Charlie on his lap and Joshua was encouraged to come and see his little brother. As Joshua snuggled into his daddy’s arms, I moved quickly to get a good position knowing that this moment would probably not last long. You really need lightning reactions when photographing little ones. At twenty months, Joshua is as fleet of foot and full of energy as the very best of them. As I pointed the camera down, Joshua looked up at me and I clicked the shutter. I absolutely love it!

The expression says it all. Looking right into the camera lens, it was as if he was saying ‘this is me, and this is my brother and look how good I’m being by not waking him up’. It’s a look of control, or one might say, of ownership – a unique feeling that only exists between siblings - ‘This is my brother and together we will take over the world!’.

There’s a small age gap between the boys - twenty months - only fractionally bigger more than the one between me and my next brother. As baby gets older, I know that they will end up having the best relationship. They will play together (and fight as all children do), but most of all they will love each other as only siblings can. I hope that, as they grow, they will look back on this image with love and affection. For me, it captures these first days and the establishment of a brotherly bond in its first tentative moments - a bond they will have for the rest of their lives.

Over time, the boys will discover all the amazing things about being brothers. I’m already looking forward to my next visit and to seeing the boys playing together and having fun as their relationship develops and deepens. In the meantime, though, it’s just lovely to celebrate these early days with teeny tiny Charlie and the family who all love him so very much.

I do hope you like this shot, today’s Just One from my recent newborn and family photography session in Sutton. Do please get in touch if you would like to arrange your own newborn baby or family session - we’d love to hear from you.

Creative children portraiture - Just One - Amy

Posted in Children at 12:00 on 25/07/2015

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The secret to loving my job as much as I do - and I truly believe that photographing children and families is the best job ever - is to keep pushing myself creatively. For me, it is always about discovering new angles, facing new challenges and finding new approaches to photography that work to capture the essence of a child in new and unexpected ways.

I set myself the challenge of doing something new at each and every photo shoot. Besides going out of my way never to take the same photo twice, each day I make an effort to try some new technique. Sometimes my experiments work and sometimes they don’t. Whatever the outcome, I do find I am constantly learning, improving my craft in some way and slowly building up my collection of diverse and creative children’s portraiture and developing a style that I’m proud to be commissioned for.

This portrait of Amy is one of those experiments. I think it works perfectly and I absolutely love it. I’ve always been a massive fan of Norman Parkinson’s fashion photography. I remember being arrested by by Parkinsons 1959 photograph 'After Van Dongen' and wondering how an image like this could be translated into black and white. The subject, purposefully out of focus, grabs and holds the viewer’s attention completely. It is an image that stays in the mind years after viewing. I’ve always wanted to take an image that has that same power. While I am reluctant to compare myself to Parkinson, I feel this image has a bit of that same magic. I love it! (and for those who are interested, here’s a link to the Van Dongen Corn Poppy)

Amy too is deliberately out of focus behind the fronds of the tropical plant and yet eye contact with the camera is absolute. Both eyes are visible behind the leaves and Amy’s expression, serious and utterly compelling, invites immediate attention. As I process the pictures for the shoot, I find myself returning to Amy’s gaze again and again. I know it will find a place in my portfolio when I next update it.

I hope you like it too. This image is a bit different. It challenges expectations and is, I feel, all the better for it. Today’s Just One, ‘Amy - After Norman Parkinson, After Van Dongen’. This is creativity through the ages. Taking an element from both images, it is, a reimagining that is both homage and something completely new, original and exciting. I really love it! Van Dongen Corn Poppy

Holland Park baby photographer - Just One - Elliott

Posted in Babies at 11:00 on 24/07/2015

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I love the creative challenge involved in photographing babies and families. As well as ensuring that I capture the personality of my little clients, each day involves looking for new and exciting compositions. For this reason, I love Holland Park as a location for photographing babies and families. For such a small park it offers a huge variety of photographic options. I love the fact that one moment you can be walking in the trees feeling you could be lost in the countryside, and the next, find yourself in a formal Japanese garden looking at the fish. It is possible to play hide and seek in the rose garden and football on the playing fields. There are play areas for all different ages and swings placed against a lovely clean background. The photographer in me loves these little details making Holland Park truly one of my favourite places for baby and family photography.

I was thrilled when Sylvia booked her photography session with ten month old Elliott and we planned to go to Holland Park for the photos. Arriving early, as is my wont, I took a few pictures of Elliott at home before we set out. Elliott was such fun, immediately interested in the camera and crawling over to see what was going on. I love it when babies and children are really interested in the camera. The way that they look, quizzically, directly at the lens results in such lovely pictures. I think the combination of the reflections in the lens and the satisfying clicking of the shutter helps to focus children’s attention in a fun way.

Today’s Just One is an outdoor shot taken in one of my favourite areas of Holland Park just near the formal garden where the sculpture is (for those of you who don’t know the park, the sculpture is changed regularly). Over the years, I have taken pictures with so many different creations including some particularly cool pieces, including a box with a hole in and mirrored obelisks which made me think of Callanish on the Isle of Lewis for some reason. Today, there was a large marble shape looking sensuous and beautiful in the morning light. The piece, HOLD, by contemporary Norwegian artist, Julia Vance, immediately caught Elliott’s attention.

I love the tactility of marble sculptures. Elliott was so happy exploring, first looking inside and through at Sylvia and me and, later, climbing inside while laughing and giggling with joy. This picture is the one that caught my eye as I feel it captures Elliott’s inquisitive nature. This natural curiosity was such an appealing aspect of Elliot’s personality. It really grabbed me during our photo shoot. Laughing and smiling , he was so keen to explore everything, to crawl around, to look at flowers and to play with the camera. He was consistently alert, his eyes burning with interest What is more, I love the circular shapes in the image as a whole and the way the light moves around inside the structure bringing everything together and forming a really interesting composition.

I do hope you like it too, today’s Just One from our family and baby session in Holland Park.

For another example of my work as a

Baby Photographer in Notting Hill and Holland Park

Natural Newborn Baby Photography

Posted in Newborn at 12:00 on 23/07/2015

I was thrilled to meet baby Alexander at less than a week old for our lovely new born baby and family photo shoot in Cambridge. I've known Emma and Luca for years. We studied for our MPhil's in Medieval History together where we spent many a happy hour discussing grail legends (me), sacred space (Emma) and Mediterranean trade (Luca). I do miss those days although I fear I've forgotten more about Medieval chivalry than most people will ever know! The friendships formed while studying are wonderful and I'm so glad that we've remained friends ever since. I was even more glad to be asked to photograph baby Alexander. It's always such a privilege to photograph tiny babies. There is almost nothing as special as being invited to share in such an emotional time, so full of excitement and joy - unless, of course, it happens to be with friends.

After a night at the Premier Inn, I arrived at the house bright and early ready for a cup of coffee and what I knew would be a brilliant fun photo shoot. Baby Alexander was so chilled. When I arrived, he was sleeping happily and paid no heed to our excited chatter as coffee was made and cameras were prepared for action

However, as soon as we began the shoot, Alexander was wide-awake and anxious not to miss anything interesting going on around him. He's such an alert little thing and I so enjoyed taking lovely pictures of him, Emma and Luca looking so happy.

After a while, it was time for Alexander to have a brief nap which gave us the opportunity to get some wonderful pictures of him snuggled on the bed - One of my favourites from this section was the ‘Just One’ I posted straight after the shoot. A short time snoozing and then he was awake again, keen to chat and make sure his parents weren't getting into mischief. I loved to see how interested he was in everything going on around him and his parents keen intelligence sparkling in his eyes.

After Alexander’s feed and all warm in his cosy baby grow, we finished with a few more snoozing shots.

I'm thrilled with these pictures and I hope you enjoy looking at them. If you would like to arrange your own new born session , we advise you , if possible, to get in touch with us before your baby is born. These lovely snuggly tiny baby pictures are best taken within the first few days and those early weeks can fly by. Having said that, whatever stage your baby is at, please do call us to discuss a photoshoot. We would love to hear from you.

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