My most recent pet shoot was a complete contrast to the last one.
This was a lovely old dog who was very, very nervous of my photographic equipment. We planned to do a studio style shoot in her house but she didn’t like the look of my backdrop or lights. We took her into the garden to try and get her to relax but the poor thing was still shaking. The cat, however, was showing off and posing for photographs.
It was pictures of the dog we wanted though, so we took her for a walk and she started to get used to me. We took a few pictures in the park and then when we returned home she let me photograph her in the garden, and finally on the backdrop (although with daylight rather than lights).
This session lasted longer than usual because we spent so much time getting the dog relaxed, but this was no problem at all. I only ever book one session a day so a situation like this is never an issue. I would have been happy to carry on longer, but the dog’s owner had another appointment.
Anyway, we got there in the end and got some images that did justice to what a beautiful dog she is.
Over the next month or so I’m going to be working with La La Beads to photograph their new range. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to combine my family and fashion/product photography. For one of the shoots we are looking for mums and babies. Message from La La Beads below:
Are you and your 5-15 month old baby free on Tuesday 24th May?
La La Beads is looking for real mums for a photo shoot in a South East London studio. As a thank you, you get to keep the necklace and the photos.
Don’t worry about a picture perfect appearance, we want mums that are upbeat, fun and feel comfortable being playful in front of a camera. Email a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Almost two years to the day after our first shoot, I found myself back at The Rookery on Streatham Common with one of my favourite families for another gloriously sunny day.
This family is such a pleasure to photograph. The parents are easy going; the kids are confident, relaxed and love exploring. I just have to chase around after them taking pictures.
A photograph of the older girl eating an ice cream that I took last time has been on my postcard and website ever since. It’s a favourite of mine because of the way her amazing eyes draw you in. The best thing about last week’s shoot was seeing how her little sister had grown up. From a babe in arms last time to a walking, talking little person who makes her opinions known.
I really love re-photographing families that I have worked with before; it’s the most interesting and rewarding part of my job. Doing that on a sunny day in a local park makes just about the perfect day for me.
I recently had the easiest newborn session I have ever had. The baby was about ten weeks old, so a bit older than my usual newborns. This makes a massive difference to how relaxed the baby and parents are. It also means that the baby is more alert, can smile, kick its legs with more purpose and hold its head up better. All of these allow more options for posing and positioning.
As the little boy was so relaxed and cheerful we covered all the shots I normally aim to get in a newborn session in the first few minutes so had plenty of time to try other things and different outfits.
The parents clothes really complimented the baby’s clothes and the bright, bold colours made a welcome difference to the whites, creams and pastels that babies are often photographed wearing.
Many parents may not feel ready to do have a photo session when their baby is one to two weeks old, the traditional newborn photography time. I know I wouldn’t have been – I was tired, sore and overwhelmed. Truly newborn photos of a very tiny baby are amazing and special, but waiting a little bit for your photo shoot also produces great results and may be more right for your family.
31st March 2016 Pet photography
Everyone knows the old cliché about never working with children or animals. Since I spend so much time working with the former and enjoy it so much, I thought it was probably about time I had a go at working with the latter.
I was quite nervous about doing my first pet photography session but it was great fun, and I got the most wonderful feedback I’ve ever got from a client about the photos:
“Frankly I am overwhelmed. They are just perfect. Better than I could have dreamed. I need a little time to take them all in. Thank you so much.”
So here is the little (!) puppy in all his glory.
Last weekend I got to do another of my favourite types of shoots – the addition of a new sibling to a family. I enjoy them because there are so many different possibilities for combinations of people in the images and for interaction.
As an only child I am especially fascinated by the way young siblings react to each other and love having the opportunity to capture this. I also love photographing tiny babies and remembering what my son was like when he was so small.
On a practical level as a photographer these sessions are always very busy, because while a parent is feeding or changing one child you are still photographing the others. This makes for a more exciting morning and the opportunity to take lots of great photos. Here are some of my favourites.
There have been a lot of parents in my local area looking for cranial osteopaths for their children recently. My friend Julia offers this service to families, so I asked her to write a guest post about what it is and how it can be beneficial. She writes:
“All osteopathy is about promoting the healthy function of the body. Cranial osteopathy in particular is extremely gentle, using careful light contact to prompt change and allow better health to express. It is based in promoting good anatomical function and references patterns of early development in helping tissues to function as they were designed to do. (more…)
Last weekend I was lucky enough to go and photograph the Big Fish Little Fish event that was part of the Mini Vault festival in Waterloo, and to take my husband and child along. Many years ago, before motherhood, I used to spend a lot of my time photographing raves, clubnights and gigs. It felt great to be back in that environment with a camera in my hand again, and to share the experience with my son.
I hadn’t been in the Vaults space before and it was an amazing venue for it, with surprises in every room.
My son had a go at making music with a variety of Korg machines and tried out some archaeology arranged by the Museum of London. There was a crazy interactive light and video show and a chill-out room with a huge piece of paper on the floor to draw on (one of my son’s favourite things to do – we do this whenever my white background paper gets dirty in a photo shoot and it was the main activity at his birthday party).
Korg workshop at Big Fish Little Fish.
Korg workshop at Big Fish Little Fish.
However, the main attraction was the main room. A huge craft table to make space related headdresses, facepainting, dinosaur temporary tattoos and DJ Food playing. There were bubble cannons, the biggest balloons I’d ever seen and, my son’s highlight of the day, the parachute dance.
Facepainting at Big Fish Little Fish
Making space headdresses
The biggest balloons ever…with DJ Food.
Trying to catch the big balloons
Praying for the big balloon to come to him
We left happy and tired at 2pm, blinking in the sunlight and fresh air. The way we used to leave clubs but much more sober and at the wrong time of day, which felt slightly bizarre. We hadn’t been to anything like this as a family before but certainly plan to again. Many thanks Big Fish Little Fish for a great Saturday morning.
I recently did a lovely photoshoot for a family in East Dulwich. We had hoped to do the session on location but the weather wasn’t great, so we started off in their living room. However, their daughter didn’t seem quite comfortable with the photo shoot at first, so we dodged the showers to nip out to Goose Green and grab a few outdoor shots. She really enjoyed being outside and remained cheerful when we returned home, so the rest of the session went really well.
I only take one booking a day for just this reason. It allows time for the family and I to work together and get to know each other, including a change of location if necessary, which helps everyone relax.
6th January 2016 Child photography
Next Friday 15th January I am honoured to be offering a mini family portrait shoot as a raffle prize for a folk night organised by The Goose is Out to raise money to support the work of Help for Refugees in Calais and Lesbos. This benefit concert starts at 7pm at The Ivy House in Nunhead and there will be five live acts as well as DJs and the raffle. It promises to be a great night for a very important cause, please come and support it if you can.
This is an issue very close to my heart, as my great grandparents came to Greece on a boat as refugees from Turkey in 1922 while Smyrna burned behind them. Had they not survived the crossing, I would not be in the position I am now – living happily and safely in London with my family, following my dream to work as a photographer and able to offer this prize. The current refugee crisis has made me more aware of the debt I owe to my father’s grandparents Calliope and Yiannis, and the journey they were forced to make for the safety of their family. The only way I can start to pay this back is to help those having to make the same journey now, and I’m really grateful that this event is giving me the opportunity to do that.