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.
As I wind down for Christmas I just wanted to share some images from a lovely pre-Christmas shoot I did recently. This little boy was an absolute joy to photograph – expressive, happy and chilled out. He also rocks a Christmas jumper better than anyone else I’ve met.
I’ve had a wonderful year meeting and photographing so many fantastic little characters. Really looking forward to continuing in 2016, after a well needed rest and some family time.
If you are looking for a Christmas gift for someone you know who loves photography, or would like to understand more about how to use their camera – may I suggest my 1:1 photography lessons? I send a beautifully designed voucher for you to give to them on Christmas day and they contact me at their convenience to arrange a session.
When I am asked to do a newborn session the new parents usually want to do it in the comfort of their own home, or sometimes they come to my studio. This was the first newborn session I have been asked to do in an outside location.
Location family photography is fantastic because, as well as showing the family, you can show surroundings that are important to them. Perhaps somewhere they go often and spend time together. It also means photographing in ambient light, which I prefer. On this fabulous November day we were very lucky with the weather. The sun came out later but the bright, overcast sky acted as a giant softbox, the ideal light for flattering photos. The bare trees and leaves on the floor placed this momentous event (a new life) in the context of the seasons. Every year when the leaves are on the ground this family will be celebrating their child’s birthday.
We didn’t want the little one to get too cold so didn’t stay out too long but went back to their beautiful flat and made use of the light pouring in through the patio doors and the best bean bag ever. I’m definitely getting one of these for my studio.
I’ve written before about how much I love photographing a newborn baby with their older sibling. It’s an amazing time to record the changing dynamic of a family. Working with this family was extra special as I also got to record the special relationship between the twins. I’m an only child who grew up with twin cousins and very close twin friends, so watching these two interact brought back strong memories from my childhood.
The parents were relaxed and easy to work with, the weather was good so I was able to follow the twins as they picked berries in the garden, the playroom was well lit and photogenic, and the newborn baby was chilled and happy. I also discovered that my son knows the twins from nursery and wants them to come for a sleepover! A really perfect job – I love it when it works out like this.
26th November 2015 Fashion
I’ve finally got my hands on a copy of the In Retrospect magazine issue that features some of the photographs I took of singing group My Favourite Things for Campbell Crafts earlier this year. It’s an interesting magazine with some really beautiful photography and I’m honoured to be included in it.
The shoot was great fun. Photographing sisters who are used to performing together was wonderful as they had genuine energy in their interaction. It also allowed us to show off different versions of the same outfit.
Now that the magazine has been published I’m also finally able to show some of my other favourite images from the shoot.