Photoblog: October 2015 Archive

The Love Between Mother and Daughter - Just One

Posted in Just One at 13:45 on 30/10/2015

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I'm always looking at the light. It's a photographer thing, a habit that sometimes involves walking backwards into things if the light is better in the other direction. Light is always on my mind when I want to find the perfect location for a picture as it's such a critical part of any image. I'm always aware of the light - be in natural light from the sun or the available light from ceiling spotlights, angle poised lamps or central chandeliers. It's all there to be used in different ways if the occasion calls for it.

While having a break for a cup of coffee on our walk down the south bank, I was idly looking at the light in the Festival Hall. I noticed this light behind Jill and Sophia and immediately thought it would be worth investigating. Two spotlights shining down cast a very distinct shadow at the top of the wall. I thought it had potential to create an image that would be visually distinctive and interesting, and, if my hunch was right, would work wonderfully to show the love between mother and daughter in more ways than one.

I asked Jill and Sophia to stand under the lights looking at each other and then watched the action unfold. I love the expressions on their faces, Sophia so excited and happy and Jill so proud of her amazing daughter. As they held hands I knew I had got my shot, the angle of their arms providing the bottom of the heart that the shadows created at the top and bringing the image to completion.

It's a picture that is all about love. I'm so pleased with it and I hope you will love it too.

Baby Photography in Sevenoaks - Just One - Olivia

Posted in Just One at 15:07 on 24/10/2015

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What could be better on this grey Saturday than a portrait photograph of an incredibly cute baby to cheer us all up? I can’t help but smile when I see this adorable photograph of Olivia and I hope that you will smile too.

I had been really looking forward to this session as I know Olivia’s little cousins well – I’ve been photographing them for years and so I was thrilled to travel down to Sevenoaks for our first family portrait session.

Olivia was exactly 16 weeks old on the day of our photo shoot and she is incredibly cute with a lovely smile, which made the whole morning such a pleasure. We had a great time. It’s lovely photographing in clients homes as we get to do so many of the usual every day activities, things the babies really enjoy and are comfortable with and things that will be so lovely to have recorded for the parents in years to come.

I love making pictures in every day environments, working out the best angle to photograph from. It’s lovely to know that when everyone looks back on the pictures they will know they have been made at home at this special time.

My favourite picture of the morning, the one that made my heart melt was this incredibly cute portrait of Olivia. Taken while we were preparing Olivia for some tummy time it has captured such a wonderful expression, so happy and so cheeky, it’s just the cutest smile ever.

I love how little she is – it won’t be long now, only a number of weeks probably, until she will be sitting up unaided. So Beth’s hands, supporting her, really add to the picture for me. I love that feeling of safety they give and how Olivia’s hands are themselves clasped, snuggly round her mums. The positioning of the hands gives a lovely sense of scale to the image but most of all speaks to me of the love between mother and daughter.

It’s the smile that does it though, a smile to melt your heart. I hope you like it as much as I do, todays’ just one from our baby photography session in Sevenoaks.

Chelsea children portrait - Just One - Maddy

Posted in Just One at 15:35 on 20/10/2015

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Today on the blog I’m sharing a single image from Maddy’s recent shoot in Chelsea, a picture that I love.

I’ve been photographing children and families for thirteen years now and over that time I’ve built up a huge wealth of experience. One of the best things about this is the ability to get into the right place at the right time, to pre-visualize an image and work towards achieving it.

Children are unpredictable and I never quite know what might happen on a photo shoot. But there are certain things that, in certain environments, I can be fairly sure might occur at some point and that will make a great picture. When presented with a pirate ship to climb on then looking through a porthole is one of these things.

I’m always on the look out for holes – portholes in pirate ships, hand-holes in giant cardboard box houses, peek-holes when playing hide and seek, anything that will result in a great image when a child suddenly released that you are one side and they the other, somewhere they can peek through to laugh and smile with a shared joke. There is something about the clean composition you get on an image like this combined with a great expression that really makes an image sing.

When I saw the pirate ship in the beautiful Chelsea garden square where we had based ourselves for our photo shoot I immediately noticed the portholes and thought to keep an eye out for a photo opportunity, I didn’t need to wait long. Marina was a riot, so full of energy and looking for fun things to do and it felt like only seconds before she was driving her pirate ship across the stormy seas.

I positioned myself for a good angle, moving round to get the image. I took one, it was almost there, I took another, moving slightly to the left and up so as to get more light into Marina’s eyes. Often the process of taking photographs is like this – pre-visualizing an image and then taking one, refining and taking again, making slight adjustments until everything comes together, light, angle, expression and composition.

Sometimes photographing children you get the chance to work an image to perfection, sometimes you grab one shot before they are off, on to the next thing and the moment is lost. It’s this excitement and challenge that makes it such a fun genre to work in and means that even after thirteen years I’m always excited about what challenges a new day will bring.

I’m so thrilled with this picture, I just love the expression and also that it will remind Marina of this square when she is older. I’m sure that there will be many summers spent in this pirate ship, playing with her little brother and it’s lovely to have captured this detail in her portrait.

I do hope you like it, today’s ‘Just One’ from our shoot in Chelsea. If you would like to arrange your own portrait session then do get in touch, I still have few sessions available before Christmas and I’d love to hear from you.

Family Photography in Kensington - Just One - Toby and Jemima

Posted in Just One at 16:20 on 16/10/2015

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One of the things that I love about families, particularly about siblings, is the feeling of being a unit; that special bond of being ‘us’, together through thick and thin, sharing experiences throughout our lives. It’s this bond that I hope I have captured in the photograph I am sharing today, a ‘Just One’ from a recent photo shoot in Kensington Gardens in West London.

I have chosen an image of the children together as I feel it captures something of their incredible bond. They played so incredibly well together I actually thought they were closer in age than the two and a half years between them. Toby and Jemima seemed in perfect harmony, giggling together at shared jokes and running happily through the park.

This shot was taken right at the end of our session. We had spotted the long grass on our way across the park but decided that, while hunting lions was a great idea, it was bound to leave the children cold and wet (it’s October after all and the grass is getting damp). We felt this might have cut short our morning’s activity in dramatically grumpy fashion, nobody likes wet feet for their photos, we knew we'd come back to it.

On our return as we headed for home we detoured for a few shoots and while the children did get a little damp I embraced the quest for a better shot and ended up lying flat out on the ground. It was wet but it was worth it as, shooting through the grass, I was able to frame this lovely moment between the children

It’s the body language and expressions that make this picture for me and I love how the shapes and the tones echo the wider image. I love the hands held and the other arms out to the sides - I’m sure completely subconsciously - in mirror of each other. I love the looks between the children each completely engaged with the other, oblivious to the camera pointing at them from within the grass. I love the shape of their arms mirroring the triangle of light at the top of the image and the light tops/dark trousers reflecting back the light foreground of the dew drenched grass and the dark background of the trees behind. Everything mirrored; light, shape and gesture, it has come together perfectly.

I’d love to know what they are saying but that’s for them; the secrets and plans, the schemes and jokes, the stories and the shared history of siblings the world over. It’s a language entirely unique to each family and one that holds it together through the years. I hope that as adults Toby and Jemima will look at this image and smile and perhaps pick up the phone to call each other for a chat and a giggle, a joke and a laugh. If so, then I will have done my job well.

Family Photography in Greenwich - Just One - Olga

Posted in Just One at 13:40 on 14/10/2015

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One of the things I enjoy most working as a family photographer in London is the challenge of creating something new for my clients each and every week, and this is why I’m so pleased with today’s ‘Just One’ from a recent family photography session in Greenwich.

I’ve been photographing Olga and her family for nine years now, since the twins were babies and I always look forward to our annual photo shoot. Our sessions are always really relaxed and the kids are brilliant so I know I’ll always end up with something really special.

I love to look around with fresh eyes, always alert to new possibilities and so I was excited to notice the reflections in the glass surround of the Cutty Sark in Greenwich. I had been telling the story of the figurehead - the farmer being chased by the witch and only escaping by jumping over the river - I spotted the potential for a picture.

The witch catching the horse’s tail had caught my imagination as a child - From Robert Burns' Tam o' Shanter'

For Nannie, far before the rest,

Hard upon noble Maggie prest,

And flew at Tam wi' furious ettle;

But little wist she Maggie's mettle -

Ae spring brought off her master hale,

But left behind her ain gray tail;

The carlin claught her by the rump,

And left poor Maggie scarce a stump.

I hadn’t known (and I’ve just looked it up because I do love a bit of trivia) that ‘Cutty Sark’ is an archaic Scottish name for a short nightdress which the witch, Nannie, wore in the poem by Robert Burns from which the Cutty Sark got it’s name. I shall add that to my tour guide knowledge for my next family photography session in Greenwich, it’s always fun to have facts to tell the children. For those who are interested there is more about the naming of the Cutty Sark on the Royal Museums Greenwich website

But I digress - I noticed the fabulous reflections and all the incredible shapes and thought I would love to use them as part of a composition. The iron girders of the glass roof, the Cutty Sark’s prow visible with it’s numbers, the ship above and a darker area where I could position the family to create this unusual composition for a family portrait.

I’m so pleased with this, I love the lines and the shapes and how even the roof of the foot tunnel curves continues the line of the girders, it’s own glass roof echoing the shapes. I love how the boat is so majestic towering in the top of the picture and giving such a sense of scale – I wonder if ships boys of a similar age to Juan-Pablo would have climbed the rigging back in the 1900s!

I’m so pleased with this picture from my recent family photography session in Greenwich and I hope you like it too. If you are interested in booking your own family photography session do get in touch, we still have a couple of available dates during half term and in the run up to Christmas.