Photoblog: December 2015 Archive

Queens Park Family Photography NW6

Posted in Children at 09:00 on 30/12/2015

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One of the best things about autumn shoots, and spring photography sessions too, is the amazing quality of light and this is beautifully demonstrated in this lovely set of images from a recent children’s portrait photography session in Queens Park in North London.

Cold autumnal days with the low sun streaming through are absolute magic to the photographer and when combined with some wonderfully sweet and fun children to photograph – well, I honestly couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my time. I’m the luckiest girl in the world to do this for a living.

I could tell it was going to be a beautiful day as I made my way to Queens Park bright and early one morning. We were in the park by quarter past eight and we had the place to ourselves. It was wonderful.

We started in the playground as the girls were a little shy and I wanted to make sure they relaxed and enjoyed themselves without worrying about having their pictures taken. Often I’ll do family shots first but I always work around the children and on this occasion it was definitely the best thing to let the girls play first as by the time we finished in the playground they were completely happy with the camera and laughing and playing and happily enjoying themselves while I took pictures.

The playground in Queens Park is a particularly good one, in fact it’s a brilliant park for it’s size, with a huge amount of variety in quite a small space. The girls were particularly keen on the zip wire and I have a great time photographing them, I really enjoy activities like this where I can experiment with different techniques and I love the panned shots with slow shutter speed that really capture the movement and speed at which they were going.

It’s one of those shoots where I have so many favourite images its really hard to pick a favourite – I chose the leaf throwing shot for my Just One but I love the shot of the girls holding hands and laughing too, it’s such a special moment and also the shots which really make the best of the light. I love the little moments the laughter and the interaction with the girls beloved grandparents who had arranged this shoot for when they visited from Australia. I know these memories will be treasured forever.

I do hope you like today’s images and that you are all having a fabulous time over these wonderful Christmas holidays.

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Family Photography in Kensington Garden Square

Posted in Family at 09:00 on 26/12/2015

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Today on the blog a lovely autumnal family photo shoot in Kensington. This is the fifth year I have been lucky enough to photograph Emma and her beautiful family and it’s been such a pleasure getting to know them and watching the girls grow up. They are such great fun and we always have such a lovely time on our annual photo shoot.

This year we spent the morning in the local garden square – I love these squares in West London, they provide such fabulous locations for family photography and I believe this one is one of the best as there is so much to do; it’s the size of a small park!

We had a great morning and I’m always pleased with the number of little games and activities we can pack into a photo shoot even if it’s all in the same general location. We have football playing and gate swinging, hobbyhorse riding and playground fun, hide and seek and swings the list goes on.

I love the imagination of small children and how seriously they take things – you can’t just ride a hobbyhorse, you need to be mindful of it’s welfare too and make sure it’s regularly fed so it can win the race. It’s so incredibly cute watching a little one feeding grass to their toy; the power of imagination is a wonderful thing.

As always in a playground I look for a different angle and one of my favourite images from the shoot is the picture taken from the vantage point of the climbing tower of the family playing on the swings. I love the frame provided by the pointed roof and how that focuses the attention on the subject of my shot. I love the detail of the hobby horse ‘Sparkles’ waiting patiently propped against the wooden swing stand, it really makes me smile. I love finding different angles like this and always strive on each and every photo shoot to ensure that I take the very best pictures and and find the most interesting compositions for my clients.

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We had a fantastic time and I’m thrilled with the pictures, I hope you enjoy them too. Do get in touch if you would like to arrange your own photo shoot for the coming year, it would be lovely to hear from you.

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Christmas in Crouch End - a Beautiful Baby Photograph

Posted in Babies at 16:00 on 24/12/2015

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A Christmas shot on the blog today from a recent family portrait session in Crouch End with beautiful baby Will. I love photographing babies at this time of year as it’s always so warm and snug indoors and this works so well with the little ones, all cosy and cute. We spent a lovely morning photographing in different rooms of the beautiful flat, utilizing the lovely light to get a really wonderful selection of images.

This picture is a real favourite. Kate has always had the most incredible interior design sense and I knew that they would have fabulous Christmas decorations, which I had been hoping to incorporate into my pictures – images that they can look back on and remember Will’s first Christmas.

I wasn’t disappointed when I entered the living room and saw these fabulous paper snowflakes on the wall, they looked wonderful and I knew I wanted to use them in a picture. Asking Kate to hold Will I worked to get an angle where I would fit them within the pattern of the decorations to provide a beautiful balanced image.

Will is such an alert baby and so much fun to photograph, he is mesmerized by the camera and I love his expressions. Here he looks quizzically at the camera as he wonders what is going on and so snug with his mummy, a look of such boundless love on her face. It’s a beautiful moment and one that makes me smile each time I look at it.

I wonder if these decorations will be kept over the years and we will have pictures of Will playing with them year on year as they become part of family tradition. I love how Christmas decorations do that, coming out once a year and reminding us of times past – my mum still hangs the painted egg box mobiles that we made at primary school, my eldest brother’s masterpiece must be about 43 years old and yet, every Christmas, it comes out and is proudly displayed. Maybe next year Will will be making some of the decorations himself, I look forward to finding out!

I hope you enjoy this festive family photograph from our recent Crouch End baby photography session.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a very happy New Year!

Family portrait work shown on the Canon blog

Posted in In the press at 14:28 on 22/12/2015

As a photographer there are always places you dream of having your work shown – the National Portrait Gallery is right up at the top for me, or maybe MOMA in New York, I haven’t got there… yet

However, this week I have been lucky enough to be featured on the prestigious Canon blog, which is very exciting indeed, and I’m thrilled to share the link with you on Canon's website..

I’ve been a Canon user since I started my professional career, starting with a 10D back in 2003 and working through the systems, 20D, 30D, 1Dmk3, 1Dmk4 before the pair of 1DX’s which are my current cameras of choice, phenomenal pieces of equipment that feel like an extension of my eye after years of use.

I’m thrilled to be showing my work alongside many of my own photographic heroes – it’s such an honor to be featured - and it’s lovely to have the opportunity to share some tips for festive photographic fun.

Do take a look and I hope you enjoy the article

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How to take Great Photographs

Posted in In the press at 15:23 on 17/12/2015

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I’m an avid reader - last time we moved house the removal team suggested that my husband should buy me a kindle as they loaded up yet another box from the bookshelves. I read all kinds of things from classic detective fiction to biographies, history and I also read a lot of photography books. It’s a pleasure to have a night in, curled up on the sofa with a glass of wine and a pile of books. I love to study other photographers work, to see how they have constructed their images and to learn from them. I look at all genres of photography and learn from them all.

And so I was thrilled to be contacted earlier this year and be asked to participate in a book ‘How to take Great Photographs’. The book is a collaboration from a number of photographers, many of whose books are on my shelves. I’m thrilled to have my work shown alongside such hero of mine as Paul Nicklen the wildlife photographer (whose TED talk I recommend you watch, it’s twenty minutes of wonder), incredible photojournalists such as Marcus Beasdales and Tom Stoddart and also alongside two landscape photographers Joe Cornish and David Ward who I am lucky enough to call friends and whose work, friendship and mentoring have played a huge part in my career. It’s wonderful to be part of such a great book and among such prestigious company.

My piece was about an image I took a couple of years ago now - Issy on the roundabout - which is one of my favourite pictures. I talk about the process of taking the image and the thoughts behind it and also offer advice for those photographing families themselves. I won’t tell you everything as you should buy the book, it’s a great read and would make the perfect stocking filler for a keen photographer. I’m looking forward to reading it cover to cover over Christmas.

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