Photoblog: October 2014 Archive

Just One - Valentina - family and baby portrait photography

Posted in Just One at 17:00 on 31/10/2014

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I absolutely love this beautiful portrait of baby Valentina from my recent family photography session in Wiltshire. I'd not visited the village of Hungerford before, but it's a beautiful part of the country and the prefect setting for our family photography. Last time I visited Clemy and her family, we photographed in London at her beautiful Chelsea home and in the lovely Bolton Gardens. This year's shoot had a much more rural feel, utilising the fantastic gardens of the family's home.

We started our morning inside though, as it was a wet and windy morning. This shot, today's ‘Just One’ preview, is from the beginning of the session when we were playing in the parents' bedroom. Valentina was in such a great mood, crawling around the floor in her beautiful dress before laughing and clapping as she played with her sister on the bed. This shot caught my eye immediately and I love Valentina’s expression; looking up with an enquiring and inquisitive smile. A classic close-up portrait is such a wonderful thing to have - the eyes are truly the windows to the soul.

We had such a great morning together, playing hide and seek inside, exploring the garden and, for Valentina, a wonderful splashy bubble bath. I'm really excited about sharing some more pictures here in due course.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this beautiful baby portrait from our family photography session in Hungerford, Wiltshire.

Just One - children's portrait photography in Wimbledon, London SW19

Posted in Just One at 12:00 on 31/10/2014

I first photographed Lauren and Alex before Julian was even born, back in 2005. It seems an age ago now - back in 2005, the children were toddling around in the Kensington Garden square near their home, chasing bubbles and giggling. And now they are so grown up, Julian is almost at secondary school and we met up again recently for our annual shoot, this time at Cannizaro House in Wimbledon. There were no bubbles this time, but still a fair amount of giggling as we took the annual family photographs.

I've always loved Wimbledon in South West London as a location for family portraits as there is so much variety and depending on the day, we go to either the beautiful Cannizaro House or the wilds of Wimbledon Common, or a combination of the two - both are such lovely spots for family portraits.

For today’s shoot, we focused on Cannizaro House and we spent our morning exploring all the paths to see where things led - taking pictures up trees and balanced on logs, loosing our football (and finding it again) on the lake by the beautiful water garden - there is so much to see and do while capturing photographs of the children.

This image, today’s ‘Just One’ preview and one of my favourites from the day, was taken towards the end of our shoot at the old folly at the top of the park. The light was stunning and I love this shot with its formality of pose combined with the big grins of the children - it’s a moment when everything coming together at once to create a really lovely sibling portrait.

I hope you like it to, today’s Just One preview from our children’s and family photography session at Cannizaro Park in Wimbledon, London SW19.

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Just One - Theo - children's portrait photography in Hyde Park, West London

Posted in Just One at 12:00 on 29/10/2014

Sometimes, magic happens. I have a picture in my viewfinder - my subject is in the right place, there is a great backdrop or environment to hold the eye, my horizon is straight (which is harder than you might think), there is a perfect balance between the secondary elements in the background and I'm ready to take a picture. I do take a picture and then, suddenly, something happens - something brilliant that takes a good image and makes it something really, really special. This happened for this picture of Theo taken during our recent children's and family portrait photo shoot in Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, West London.

Theo and his sister Maia love this statue of the horse - the inscription on the base (just visible) reads 'Physical Energy' and I think it sums them up so well; they are such enthusiastic, energetic children and so much fun to photograph. Theo had climbed onto the base of the statue, which was clearly a much loved activity at the park, and was standing looking out. I had my image ready, loving the bright white sky, the balance of trees and the statue itself surrounding Theo, making him stand out from the background. Everything was in place, and then the birds came. A flock of geese flying over towards the pond. In truth, I wish there were slightly fewer of them so we could really see the shape of their formation but I will settle for this with the fantastic energy brought to the picture by the birds, bringing the image to life and filled with the physical energy of the title.

I absolutely love it, today's ‘Just One’ preview image from our children and family photography session in Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, West London and I hope you will enjoy it too.

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Just One - Oliver - children's and family photography in the Barbican, London

Posted in Just One at 17:00 on 28/10/2014

We were so excited when Sue got in touch recently to arrange a family photo shoot at their home in the Barbican in London, to help mark Oliver's second birthday. As a photographer who loves to incorporate the environment into my pictures, the chance to take family pictures within the incredible architecture of the Barbican was a thrilling prospect. I knew we would have so many opportunities for really interesting compositions to create some incredible, unique family portraits.

The day dawned with torrential rain and then, as we began our morning taking pictures in Sue and Jeremy's incredibly bright and airy apartment, the sun began to peep through the clouds. A fabulous morning followed, with soft grey light when the cloud cover was thick, interspersed with incredible rays of sunlight - low beams that ricocheted around the brutalist architecture of the Barbican, producing fantastically dramatic shadows and beautiful backlit halos.

Today’s ‘Just One’ preview image is one of my absolute favourite pictures from the day. As we turned the corner and I saw these huge concrete pillars with the light streaming in between them, I knew it was the kind of location that would produce something dramatic and memorable, and I wasn't disappointed. We stopped and played here for a while, and this image is my absolute favourite. Oliver is looking up, back lit and standing out from the deep shadows behind him, his upturned face angelic in its childhood happiness. The framing of the building only emphasises how small he is - two years old and the world is his oyster. I love how the stripes of light anchor the image and the balance is perfect - top to bottom, left to right.

It's an image I am thrilled with and I hope you will enjoy it too - today's Just One preview image from our recent family and children’s portrait photography session in the Barbican, London. I look forward to sharing some more images from our wonderful morning together on the blog soon.

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Shortlisted for Professional Photographer of the Year 2014 awards

Posted in Miscellaneous at 16:00 on 28/10/2014

I'm often asked what I do when I'm not taking pictures of the families I'm lucky enough to photograph - and the answer is, taking more photographs for fun! I love photography and it’s a massive part of life, both professionally and also in my spare time.

I've always been a great fan of landscape photography - it’s been a passion since my Dad took me to Iceland on a landscape photography trip when I was nineteen-years-old with the inspirational photographers David Ward and Joe Cornish - photographers who I am now proud to call my friends. My husband Tom and I, along with my parents, my brother Giles and many of our landscape photography friends, have been on numerous trips, armed with tripods and filters to take pictures for fun. It's the most wonderful way to relax.

This year I have discovered a different genre of photography. I've always had an interest in street photography - my Dad's library of photographic books introduced me to masters such as Cartier-Bresson and Elliot Erwitt at a young age. This year I have begun to delve more deeply, watching hours of documentaries on street photography and building up my library of books at a frightening rate. It's a genre that has so much to teach the family portrait photographer - capturing that fraction of a second when everything aligns and makes a picture, working with often challenging light in a busy environment. I've found myself pouring for hours over books and learning new ways to approach things, and new ideas that I can bring to my family portrait photography.

I've also been heading out and about with a camera. When my father died in January, he left a beautiful Leica M9 - a stunning camera that is as far from my usual Canon 1DX as chalk to cheese. It's small, light and manual focus - I find it hard to use, but the results can be beautiful and I have been heading out on my occasional days off to roam the streets of London, seeing where my feet take me, following the light and the action to take pictures - taking pictures for fun, for the sheer joy of looking.

I was thrilled this week to learn that one of these pictures, taken with my father's beloved Leica, has been placed second in the prestigious Professional Photographer of the Year 2014 awards in the Street Photography category. It's a great honour to have an image placed so highly and I am thrilled with this result. I know my Dad would be pleased and proud to know that I am using his favourite camera to continue to produce images and to have so much fun along the way.

This is the image, taken outside the members room at the Tate Modern in London after a day of photography and before visiting the stunning Matisse exhibition. I hope you like it.

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