I first met this lovely family at a Warwick school. They wanted a local Warwickshire photographer who could reflect their rural lifestyle in natural images. We scheduled their photo session on a weekend just before Christmas, at their Warwickshire home. The two boys were great fun. There were some of the usual ups and downs normal for a two year old, but by the end of the session they didn’t want me to leave.
We started indoors. The two boys were dressed in similar outfits, which helps bring a sense of togetherness to the images. Then we did some jumping, turning the conservatory into a soft play area. Outside was even better. I was introduced to all the animals – chickens, goats, donkeys and giant pigs. The boys chased the chickens, stroked the donkeys, hugged the pigs and avoided the goats because there was a seriously bossy and grumpy one ! I loved the location. Lots of fantastic opportunities for family photography in the Warwickshire countryside.
Despite cold December weather and even a little rain, this family now have an unforgettable set of images.
When I deleivered their a few weeks later photos I received lots of hugs from the boys, and the Mums were delighted. As they said “The photos are fabulous, thankyou so much! They look amazing on the wall!”
Children’s photography – in a relaxed style
You know you are going to get some gorgeous family pictures that you will treasure forever. You are also worried that your children (or husband) are going to be a nightmare. I have a saying – “Embrace the chaos”. The photoshoot with children may seem chaotic, but along the way there are always some special moments. The odd tear and grumpiness for a short time is part of childhood. There is always so much more tenderness, togetherness, laughter and smiling that happens naturally – and that’s what I capture. Just try keep calm yourself and all the rest of the family will be fine too.
So here are some fast tricks you can apply at any time you feel a little stressed, not simply at your photoshoot.
Laugh and giggle
If your child is being a little monkey, then pick them up, give them a tickle and tell them in a happy way they are being a little monkey.
Be prepared to be silly.
Maybe both you and your youngsters need the tension breaking. A fast game of piggy back, or walking like a chicken, dancing, singing or spinning might be all it takes to go to the next level.
Don’t get cross.
Really, that is when it is all going to go wrong. I understand that children won’t always co-operate and I’m happy to work round it. If they are not doing what we’ve asked, then we will change tack and shoot something around them.
Don’t tell them to smile, or give too many orders.
I want natural smiles, not the forced ones that can look like grimaces. I’ll get smiles by being silly myself. It’s got to stay fun for the children.
Photography of children
I have photographed a lot of children over the years and I’m told I do it rather well.
One of the things I’ve learned is how to make youngsters feel relaxed (or that’s chilled for teenagers).
Every age is different and every youngster is distinct. Some will come bursting forward looking forward to seeing you, set for anything. Others might be slightly more shy and need some coaxing.
I meet them at their level, chatting with them about what they like, what they have been doing and generally getting them comfortable.
They will often want to show me their toys, their room, talk about their acheivements- whatever they are proud of. I feel it’s important to let children have a say, give them time, and show that they are important too. I want to see different sides of their character. If it means playing about and acting the fool to get them laughing and enjoying themselves, then I’ll do that. If it means taking everything somewhat slower and quieter then I’ll take that approach. I’m always interested in a child’s world. Once they let me enter that world, then creating beautiful images is easy! (not quite, there’s the lighting, the composition, the background, the technical stuff, but I know all that very well).
At the start of the session I may photograph you and the children together. This helps them feel comfortable and understand the procedure. They still have their Mum or Dad for moral support.
Pretty soon they will be happy and chilled and up for the full experience.
I know it’s working because so many children remember me when I come back for their next shoot. Infact, they have often had such a great time that they ask straightaway if I can come back soon. I also quite often find myself walking hand-in-hand with a three year old on the way home from a photo session. I’m their new best friend!
Here are some of my favourite images from 2016 – made with love !
Being a children’s photographer is hugely rewarding. I travel throughout Warwickshire and nearby regions, as well as abroad, and meet some amazing families. I have all sorts of conversations with children and compare parenting notes with adults ! It’s a prvilige to be allowed into the heart of these families for a while and to record all the characters. I create images that will be treasured for years to come, becoming family heirlooms. I would like to thank all of my clients, whether they feature in this short show or not, for all their support. Happy New Year everyone!
What a lovely present from her class! This Mum, a teacher, was given a voucher for my photography by the children in her class at the end of term. (Yes, there was some parental thoughtfulnes behind the idea!). We went to some gardens near Worcester and had a great time chatting and exploring. The children loved it ! The daughter likes to hug her Mum’s arm, even when they are watching TV – it’s just what she does. They are all very close – as reflected in the image. These images are now hanging proudly on the wall in their home.
A great relationship between mother and daughter, hopefully captured a little in my photos. It was such an enjoyable photo session – a fun daughter, mature beyond her years, a very creative and interesting mother, and myself – a photographer – all in Stratford-upon-Avon. We went to some gardens and had a great time chatting and creating images. I love getting to know people, helping them to relax in front of the camera, and open up a little, showing more of themselves and their personalities.