I like you, just as you are.
Not only Mark Darcy’s unforgettable declaration to Bridget Jones, but also how I feel about every single family I photograph. Of course, you’ll put your best gear on and sweep the dirty dishes out of the way, but my advice is to simply be yourselves. All I want to do is to create heart stopping images that capture you just as you are.
This gorgeous family were a joy to photograph last autumn. A windswept stroll across the common near their home in south London, where the children ran and climbed with such energy… and then back home for warming tea and treats. When I photograph a family, I often do so with a photobook in mind. As well as classic portraits of the whole family smiling, or the children sitting together on a tree trunk, I’ll also zoom in on little details that help to tell the story of the day. Sometimes, mother and son walking off hand in hand can end up being a much cherished image, more so even than straightforward smiles to camera.
The photobook is then designed to reflect the character and energy of the day – I’ll fill the pages with a set of photographs from the shoot, some in colour and some in black and white. On this occasion, I ended up displaying all the outdoor scenes in colour, but the interior shots in black and white. It just worked out that way.
I’m always pleased when the energy level changes, so on this particular shoot, after coming in from the cold, kicking off their wellies, and taking a little breather, there was suddenly a new lease of life and playfulness, and we ended up with this sweet series of the kids lazing around in the bedroom.
So, please don’t feel you have to wait until you’re in better shape, or the kids’ teeth are looking perfect, or the weather is beautifully sunny – believe me, that is never guaranteed. What I’ve learned is that there is simply no such thing as the perfect time. Just choose a date and get ready to enjoy it. So if you’ve been considering a family portrait shoot but keep putting it off, please do get in touch.
Or, if you’d like to view more family photography, take a look at my portfolio.