I’ve just returned from a short break with family which included visiting my three-day-old niece in Gloucestershire, the daughter of my sister Kirsty. She is yet to be named, but since her grandma was visiting from Australia, there were some official portraits taken with daddy Blair and big sister Matilda Rose. I especially love the photographs of Matilda and the new arrival because my earliest memories were of meeting Kirsty, who is 3.5 years younger, wrapped in a similar cotton baby blanket when she arrived home from hospital.
I photographed Emma and Tim’s wedding six years ago in June. They’re the loveliest couple and we’ve stayed in touch since we lived in Limehouse/Wapping and now I’m in Greenwich and they’re in Herne Hill. We met last week for a London family portrait session with their daughter Beatrice who is about three months old. They’d just returned from 10 days in Venice, where they had honeymooned – and apparently Beatrice was welcomed with open arms across the city by beaming residents, wherever they went.
And Beatrice is very, very cute, especially in this family chair.
And we had some portraits of Emma and Beatrice together, athough missed out on portraits with dad, as tiredness had set in. But that did give me a chance to see Emma & Tim’s photographs from Venice – stored on a lovely wireless server – showing what an IT whizz Tim really is, as well as a reminder of when I went there about a year ago.
I’ve just spoken to a new client, who booked a portrait sitting for his parents’ forthcoming wedding anniversary. One of his big reasons for booking was that a family member had died recently and when going through her things, he’d been struck by how beautiful some of her portrait photographs were. He said it was a lovely to have these as a memory of her.
We also talked about photographs taken within the family – and I believe these are different to professional portraits but can be wonderfully valuable. A client a couple of years ago put together an album for her father’s sixtieth birthday with photographs dating back through their lives. One photograph was of the father and his two daughters with a yellow car – chosen for its colour at the request of one of the daughters. Another was of the father and a daughter at the kitchen sink, washing and drying up together. They really are a reflection of their family life. While I can photograph a ‘Day in the Life’ session with clients – and have – this catching of everyday activity is something that anyone can do – with treasured results. One of the drawbacks of this, however, is that the photographer – a family member – won’t be in the images. So, in an ideal world I believe that we’d have a family camera in a home that anyone can use (certainly adults) so there is no one person always missed from the photographs and complement this with regular professional portraits.
I ran an open studio today for Facebook people wanting a new portrait of themselves – with a hat theme. Everyone totally entered in the spirit of it – and shared – it was such a fun atmosphere. It also let us all off the leash, so to speak.
I’ve just been visiting Felixstowe, doing some product shots for a very talented woman who makes beaded earrings – as well as capturing her and her family. We were on the beach just up the road from her home this afternoon doing some Suffolk beach portraits – this is Lorna & her partner Toby.
Yesterday, we shot some of Lorna’s earrings in the natural environment which inspires her. Every background was tried – I especially like the matt beaded earrings draped on teasel bushes with the beach behind – even attempting to be a mountain goat to get the photograph I wanted. Lorna has especially strong memories of the earrings hanging, almost camouflaged on wooden beach supports; while she was putting them there, a rogue wave tried to wash the earrings away, but only managed to wet her jeans and shoes; there was no way she was letting go of her precious jewellry!
We also had the chance to capture Lorna’s two children, Maya and Johanna at the beach.
Ros, David, Mimi and Dora came into the studio today for their first sitting as a family of four. Dora is four months old and just adorable – she smiles if you get up very close to her face or in a mirror. Mimi is a bundle of fun too – with great dress sense. We started with Ros playing ‘flying baby’, Mimi being tipped upside by her dad, stopped for a break while Dora had an early lunch then Mimi did some drawing. She was wearing brand new pink shoes – the only colour she would even contemplate when in the shoe shop yesterday!