Photoblog: September 2016 Archive

A Portrait of a Girl on the Swings in Kensington - Just One

Posted in Just One at 12:20 on 29/09/2016

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Autumn is a fantastic time of year for family portrait shoots. As the sun sits lower in the sky we are rewarded with beautiful directional light, which can help to create really interesting photographs. I’m so pleased to share a picture with you today, a ‘Just One’ from my recent family photography session in Kensington that really makes a feature of this wonderful autumn light.

I spent the most wonderful morning with Marilena and her family. As seems to be the case for so many shoots at the moment it was a wet and rainy start but we made the most of the time taking some pictures indoor. It’s great to get a mixture of indoor and outdoor pictures as they have such a different feel to them and, as Marilena’s younger daughter was only just learning to sit up, it was great to have some pictures of her on her parent’s bed where she could roll around happily in the warm.

By nap-time the rain had stopped so we headed out to the park to make the most of the day. The light changed as we were out from grey and overcast to a beautiful day with bright sunlight streaming across the park bringing beautiful atmosphere to the pictures. Bright sunlight can be hard to work with as a photographer but it’s fun to rise to the challenge and see how to make a feature of strong directional lighting particularly in a situation where you can’t change the angle of the subject, such as playing on the swings.

I chose to move around to the side of the swings to take a picture where the light picked up Alexia’s features, her fantastic smile and her beautiful fly-away hair while keeping the background dark to give the image a very graphic feel.

I love how all the tones and textures are picked up in this image, the light playing on the leaves in the background, the light brushing across Alexia’s clothes picking up the details of the fabrics but most of al how it picks out the details of her face and hair drawing us into the image. We can see how much fun she is having.

I hope you like it too, this portrait of Alexia, a little girl on the swings in Kensington that uses dramatic light to create a stunning photograph.

Family Photography in Geneva Switzerland

Posted in International at 17:59 on 22/09/2016

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I’m thrilled to be sharing a wider selection of images from a fantastic family photography session in sunny Switzerland today. I first met Helen and her family back in 2009 and this was our fourth photo shoot. Previously we had taken pictures at Helen’s family home in Croydon but when she suggested a trip to Geneva to update the portraits of the children I jumped at the chance. It’s so easy to fly to Switzerland and so much fun to photograph somewhere so different.

EasyJet delivered me on time the night before and I spent a lovely evening with Helen and her husband discussing plans for the morning and eating on the terrace before getting an early night ready for pictures in the morning. I was particularly excited to see my first ever hedgehog happily ambling over their lawn. The iPhone was utilised to record the moment.

After a brilliant nights sleep I woke to a beautiful morning and the girls were really excited to begin their photo shoot. Helen had given a lot of thought to the pictures and had all the girls’ favourite toys ready and waiting so we could do lots of different things over the course of the morning. It’s lovely when we have lots of activities planned as the time flies by and I had lots of wonderful opportunities for pictures as everyone has a brilliant time.

It’s lovely to have a real mix of activities, from those that are planned with everyone interacting together to some that the children play on their own such as Claire’s school which is clearly a favourite, all set up in the kitchen to teach her lessons. I love recording these games that the children play so often, these are images that will bring back so many memories as they get older.

As always on my photo shoots I made sure to get some lovely family group shots and pictures of the children together. While my favourite shots tend to be action pictures I do think it’s important to get good group shots and these are always very popular with clients and make particularly good presents for grandparents. Having a mixture of pictures in a photo shoot means that there is something for everyone, pictures that have everyone in, pictures that capture a moment and show individuals at play, it’s good to capture them all.

We played so many great games from the giant parachute to sack races, the children love a bit of competition and soon moved onto their bikes. It was great to observe that they have a particular course they do, round and round the house and luckily for me the path alongside the house had such good light, it was great for pictures on both the bicycles and the scooters.

We enjoyed an exciting game of Hide and Seek and it was hilarious to find all three girls hidden inside their wardrobe. I couldn’t believe they fitted in the space, although it seemed even smaller when I tried to squeeze in myself when it was my turn to hide!

We finished with some water play, the hot weather making the hose seem a brilliant idea. It was so lovely for the children to run around spraying each other (and their parents). I did end up rather damp for the fight home but that is all part of the fun and fun it was, a brilliant, wonderful day photographing this lovely family in Geneva ins Switzerland. I can’t wait to go back!

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A Boy with Wings of Water - Just One

Posted in Just One at 09:00 on 19/09/2016

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Another day, another water spray and it’s lovely to be sharing this image of Arthur in the swimming pool on the blog today. As regular readers know I love photographing children in the water, it’s such a wonderful environment for photography. Nobody can strike a pose or pull a face when playing in water, the fun and the energy just shines through creating stunning natural photographs.

This shot, which was taken as part of a shoot for my upcoming promo video, was so much fun to do. It was a cold and rather damp day, not quite what we had planned but the kids were keen to get in the pool knowing it would be lots of fun and, I later realised, the water was very warm, probably warmer for them than it was for us. The steam rising off the surface gave such a cool look to the images and the black lining to the pool made the water look incredibly striking, if I ever get a pool (which I admit is unlikely) I’m going for that, it looks amazing.

I wanted a picture of one of the children emerging from the water to capture all the droplets and the way that the water creates almost a second skin in those first seconds out of the water. I think I’d been over excited by al the amazing pictures of olympic swimmers and it’s always nice to have a challenge. I used a very high shutter speed to capture all the individual droplets as Arthur burst up through the surface arms spread high to create these wings of water.

It’s one of my favourite shots of the year and I hope you like it to, today’s just one from my recent promo video photo shoot.

Newborn and Family Photography in Barnes

Posted in Newborn at 17:30 on 17/09/2016

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I’m lucky enough to photograph a lot of newborn babies and I was thrilled when Anne-Marie contacted me to arrange a photographic session for her family in Barnes. Anne-Marie had seen my work on her friend’s walls and had been impressed by my natural style and creative black and white images. It’s always great to meet new clients through referrals, as I always know that friends of lovely people will be equally lovely. I was really looking forward to the session.

We had the most brilliant time. Baby Hugo was incredibly cute and so chilled out, really enjoying his time in front of the camera. His big sister was wonderful, so gentle with her baby brother and I love the pictures of her holding him so carefully. It’s always great fun photographing newborn babies with their older siblings but it isn’t always easy and takes patience and a sense of humour. For toddlers the arrival of a new sibling is a momentous occasion and brings with it mixed feelings as they get to know their new playmate. I’m the youngest of four so I can’t imagine the mix of emotions when a new sibling arrives but I imagine a mix of excitement but also a wariness of this little one who is sharing mummy and daddy’s attention. I’m always very sure to make a big fuss of the older child when photographing newborns with older siblings and I find this approach works really well to get a toddler on my side.

I had a brilliant time playing with Aurelie - she loved jumping on the bed - and the fun we had really helped when taking pictures of the two children together and family shots. I love how toddlers will often be the ones to introduce me to their siblings, keen to stress their role as big sister (or brother) and often already protective of their younger sibling. I love to think how much fun they will have together growing up and I’m lucky that I so often get to go back and visit the family again and see how the children have grown.

Anne-Marie’s house was brilliant for photography and we moved around lots of different rooms to add variety to the pictures. We sought out the good light and we were so lucky that so many rooms had beautiful illumination. I think my favourite images were from the top bedroom where a skylight and a large side window created lovely soft light. I often find that loft conversions have truly fabulous light and windows in the roof work so well, providing beautiful flattering light particularly on a dull day.

I love the images of everyone sitting on the windowsill, the light wrapping around from the big window behind them and fill provided by the skylight. The family all look so happy and the tender moments are wonderful, pictures that will be treasured for years to come.

I always say to people never believe the photographer who says they have taken their last image, certainly never believe me as I always have my camera to the ready pretty much until I walk out the door, just in case a little moment reveals itself that would make a beautiful image. That was definitely the case here. As the shoot finished Anne-Marie settled on the stairs to read a story to Aurelie and I created the beautiful image of mother and daughter sharing this quiet moment. It’s a documentary picture, un-posed and unplanned and all the better for it. A picture that records something that probably happens day in day out, an impromptu story to settle a tired child. It’s one of my favourite pictures from the shoot and shows that it’s important to always be on the look out for that quiet moment that really captures the essence of a relationship.

I hope you like all these pictures, this wider selection from my newborn and family portrait photography session in Barnes. If you would like to arrange your own newborn or family session or you have any questions about how it works then do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you.

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Portrait of Girls Having a Pillow Fight - Just One

Posted in Just One at 18:17 on 16/09/2016

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I always love images that tell a story, pictures that are full of action where we wonder ‘what will happen next’ and I think that is definitely the case with this fabulous shot from my recent family photography session with Emma and her beautiful family in Notting Hill in West London. This was my sixth shoot with Emma and it’s been such a pleasure to watch the girls grow up and getting to know the family as time has gone by.

We always have such a brilliant time and I had been really looking forward to our session. The forecast was terrible so Emma and I had communicated during the week to work out a plan for a wet weather session. It’s not a problem if it rains on photo shoot day but it does slightly alter how we go about things so it’s always good to make sure we have lots of exciting activities to keep us entertained.

As I usually do we started the session with a couple of shots of the children together, it’s always good to get something under our belts early on so we can then see how the morning develops. We had bought the girls upstairs to this amazing window seat and started taking pictures with them looking towards the camera. As always happens games develop and much more interesting pictures take over. It wasn’t long before the girls were having a fantastic time flipping cushions up in the air with their feet and sending them sailing towards each other.

I love how this picture captures them mid-game with the pillow mid-air. Rosalind reminds me of a circus performer, her cushion suspended above her feet in mid flight. Hannah laughs uproariously, finding the game so much fun. It’s a lovely moment, both girls engaged in the game, both having so much fun, and both completely oblivious to me and my camera, recording this moment for posterity.

I love how we aren’t sure what will happen next, which way is the cushion travelling. Will Rosalind kick it up and back towards her younger sister or will it fall, we will never know and that’s the magic of this picture. It’s an image that makes us wonder and also makes us laugh, an image that shows these hilarious and loving sisters engaged in such a fun game, an image that tells us about them as a portrait photograph should.

I hope you like it as much as I do, this recent picture of two sisters from our family portrait photography session in Notting Hill in West London