Last month I came straight back from a lovely holiday to this fun, sunny family photo session on Streatham Common. It’s always great to work with families I already know and have photographed before, as everyone is already relaxed with each other and we can just enjoy ourselves.
The session also led me to reflect a little on why I love photographing toddlers and preschoolers. I really enjoy taking honest, natural photographs of people being themselves, and very young children are in a unique position to do this. They have enough autonomy to participate in the photo session and have a say in how they will be represented, but they have not yet built up the layers of social conformity and self-consciousness that often mask adults’ identities – the layers that I attempt to strip away to take interesting photographs. They exhibit individual human personalities at their most raw and immediate. This is what I find so amazing and refreshing about working with them.
The parents of toddlers are also generally very happy to lie on the ground/throw their children in the air/sing in public naturally and without any embarrassment as that is what they would be doing with their toddlers anyway, even if I was not there taking photos. This lack of inhibition on the part of all parties can help make some really special pictures.