Portrait photography

Dame Esther Rantzen, The Guardian

Posted on in Editorial photography, News, Portrait photography

Dame Esther Rantzen for The Guardian

A real honour to spend Mothering Sunday photographing Dame Esther Rantzen at home for the Guardian.  Best known for presenting That’s Life, and starting Childline (and recently Silverline), she is another of the UK’s national treasures.

I eyed up the swing on arrival, but figured that might be a stretch too far for an 80 year old.   So I explored her garden and decided on three other compositions.   The first was on on a bench in honour of her husband Desmond Wilcox who sadly died in 2000.    It was a short climb up a little hill, in a little copse, surrounded by daffodils.  Bingo!  Lovely set up and lovely light.  Sadly a not so lovely gale force wind too so we didnt’ stay up their for long!  The other challenge was to avoid stepping on the daffodils.  I get so wrapped up in what I’m taking I forget what’s around my feet.  But we to captured some beautiful portraits here,  one of which is in my portrait gallery.

The second two were in her garden and I was again very happy with the results.   As I was leaving,  she said she’d be up for a photo on the swing.   Thankfully we nailed it first time.   I think this photo befits her the best.  Indeed the Guardian chose it to accompany the feature, along with her quote “I’ve become one of the funny old ladies I used to talk to in the street”.   Fun, quick witted, energetic, charming, warm and photogenic.   I hope I can be like that when I’m 80.  God willing I should reach it!

As a Dorset based freelance portrait photographer, I travel regularly throughout the South West.   In particular Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire, and Hampshire.   Please visit my publications page on my website for more examples of my work, or please contact me should you wish to discuss a potential commision in more detail.

Teenage Portrait Photography

Posted on in Children photography, Portrait photography

Teenage portrait photography

One of the perks of lockdown has been testing out my new Canon R6 on my teenage daughters.   And practising different techniques and styles for teenage portrait photography.   I find teenagers much more relaxed when they can be doing something they enjoy.

I’ve been considering investing in a mirrorless camera for some time now.   But when Canon launched their R5 and R6 last summer, I felt the time had come for me to bite the bullet.  After extensive research, I concluded that the R6 best suited my requirements.  I also invested in two bespoke RF lenses: the RF 24-70mm f2.8 L IS USM and RF 70-200mm f2.8 L IS USM.   I was quite simply blown away with the camera and both these lenses.  The speed and accuracy to focus were incredible.  And RF 70-200 f2.8 was so light in comparison to my EF equivalent that I could take photos one handed!   And what’s more, the quality is every bit as amazing as my Canon 5D iv.

I have since sold all my old cameras and lenses through a fantastic new 2nd hand camera company called MPB.   They collected all my kit free of charge, offered very fair prices and speedy payment.   An incredibly slick service.   This enabled me to invest in the full shebang of RF lenses, including the RF 85mm f1.2 USM.   Indeed, I took this portrait of Flora with this very lens, at a f1.2.   I love how it throws all the background completely out of focus, despite the fact that this was in fact no further from me than I was to Flora.   I can’t wait to share more images with this incredible new camera and lens.

Please visit my website to see more examples of my teenage portraits.   And please contact me if you’re interested in a family portrait photography session.   Whilst I’m based in Dorset, I travel throughout the UK.

 

Stunning Teenage Portrait photography Berkshire

Posted on in Children photography, Portrait photography

Teenage Portrait Photography shoot in Berkshire

This image from a teenage portrait photography shoot in Berkshire is one of my favourites from last summer. Children portraiture isn’t always about capturing a smile. Indeed many of my favourite portraits are the more serious shots. They eyes are the windows to our souls.  It is a portrait photographer’s role to capture the essence of their models. And no better way to do this than a striking portrait where there is a real connection visible in their expression. This portrait stops me in my tracks every time I look at it.

As with all my children and family photoshoots, I provide a variety of images: striking portraits or them individually and together with their siblings, as well as a range of more candid, fun and spontaneous images which are more story telling images.   Many photographers struggle with teenage portrait photography, providing rather static staged and soulless images.  But as my children have grown up into teenagers themselves, I have found I enjoy photographing older children and teenagers as much as I do young children.  They may not be as spontaneous and unpredictable as the latter, but I have found my connection with them, they are so rewarding to photograph.

Please do explore my website to see more examples of my children, teenage and family photography.  If you are interested in booking a family or children photoshoot, please do get in touch. I’m based in Dorset but travel all over the country.   And I’m also regularly in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, London, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.

young girl on swing

Posted on in Children photography, Family photography, Portrait photography

Outdoor Children Photography

Although many of my photoshoots involve activities indoors and outdoors, there are times when my clients have a specific location in mind.  Somewhere that encapsulates an era in their children’s life.  On this occasion, the family were moving house and school.  So it seemed fitting to have an outdoor children photography shoot in the grounds of Cheam Prep school, Newbury, Berkshire, where the girls had both been at school.

We started the shoot by playing lots of games in the main grounds, using the beautiful avenue and stunning gardens as backdrops.   And then headed to the fabulous outdoor play area, which offers an abundance of entertainment.   We had so much fun.    Playgrounds are perfect locations for outdoor children photography.   I love to capture the children’s adventurous spirit whilst they explore, climb, slide and swing.  Indeed we explored every nook and cranny, climbed every ladder, slid down every slide, and swung high into the skies.   I find static swing shots can look as void of emotion as motion and prefer to capture them moving.  This is obviously more challenging photographically but nothing beats that feeling of wind through your hair as you swing high and low.

This shot was one of my favourites. I absolutely love it.  There is so much joy, energy and movement.   You can feel her excitement at reaching high into the sky.  It’s an image that is full of emotion and spirit.   It can’t help but make you smile when you look at and remind you of those exhilarating feelings of ‘flying high’ when you were little.   This is what I strive to provide in my children photography sessions.

For more examples of my children photography, please do visit my children, teenage and family galleries.   Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss the possibility of me coming to your home and photographing your children and family.

Editorial photoshoot of David Morgan-Hewitt for Country Life Magazine

Posted on in Commercial Headshots, Corporate photography, Editorial photography, Portrait photography

Editorial photoshoot of David Morgan-Hewitt

This editorial photoshoot of David Morgan-Hewitt, Managing Director of the Goring Hotel, was commissioned by Country Life Magazine to accompany a feature on ‘Desert Island Wines’.   I met David almost a decade ago, at the Goring, when I was photographing the Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding!   A very memorable experience for us both so we had lots to talk about.    I love to chat to my models, and hear about their interests and passions.  This enables me to capture ‘real’ portraits, which ooze personality, spirit and genuine emotion.   I am hoping this portrait portrays his charm, wit and kindness.

The shoot took place at his home in Wells, Somerset, with his cellar providing the perfect backdrop.  It also provided another talking point!   I LOVE wine and was in my element learning about all his favourite wines.

We chose a sitting pose to keep it informal and show off his red socks!  I then placed my camera on a tripod to avoid distorting horizontal and vertical lines, and to enable me to engage more freely in conversation.   The room was quite a squish, with barely any room for a light.   So I removed the soft box and bounced the light off the top corner.   This lit the room and his face perfectly.

For more examples of my portrait and editorial photoshoots, please do have a look at my adult, commercial and editorial pages on my website.    Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you be interested in booking a portrait shoot with me.

Children photoshoot near Newbury, Berkshire

Posted on in Animal photography, Children photography, Family photography, Portrait photography

Children photoshoot near Newbury, Berkshire

The saying never work with animals or children would put me almost instantly out of a job!   As a children photographer, I find myself working with both all the time, and thankfully I love it!   In fact I find the spontaneity that comes with pets often results in my favourite photographs from the day.   This portrait from a children photoshoot near Newbury, Berkshire, is a classic example.   The way the girl is rolling her head back exudes pure joy, love and happiness.  I also love the dog’s crossed paws and patient expression.   No doubt this is a result of  years of being smothered with love, poked and prodded.

I often start a shoot with a ‘lightly’ staged group shot of you all together.  I find it best to do this first thing when the children are fresh and most co-operative.   It also provides a fall back if we don’t succeed in capturing a spontaneous family portrait.   But I like to spend the majority of the shoot photographing your children at play, inside and outside.   This might include cuddling their pets, climbing a tree, riding a bike, a game of cards, cooking etc.  Whatever takes their fancy.  These provide wonderful opportunities to capture informal and spontaneous images which best reflect your children’s personalities.   They are also wonderful ‘story telling’ images which will remind you of their childhood.

Many of my clients opt for a photo album which includes all the images from the shoot.    These are lifetime heirlooms which you will treasure forever.   They can be any size, but I usually offer 12″ x 12″ as I find square the best format to display photographs.   They can be embossed on the front and spine, and handbound in either pellaq or leather.   My printer has the royal warrant, so it goes without saying that the paper is lovely and thick and the end result is top notch.

Please do get  in touch if you are are thinking of booking a family or children photoshoot.   I’m based in Dorset but happy to travel all over the country – I’m regularly in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, London, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.   Do also look at some more examples of my children and family photography to give you a more extensive feel of my style of children and portrait photography.

Dorset family photoshoot - siblings in a landrover

Posted on in Children photography, Family photography, Portrait photography, Sibling photography

Children and family photoshoot in Dorset

This portrait is from a children and family photoshoot I did last summer (2020) in Motcombe, Dorset.    I can’t wait to get back out and do more children and family shoots again, I really miss them.   I’m all the more excited as to try out my new and utterly amazing Canon Mirrorless camera system and lenses.

Every parent loves a portrait of their children together.    Whilst many of my favourite images result from spontaneity, a more ‘staged’ approach is sometimes the best way to capture four children and their dogs.   I found the father’s landrover to be the perfect rural backdrop for this portrait.   I love its informality and the way the door frames the siblings.  It also will remind them of their childhood trips.  There is something so special about a landrover.  Rather like a VW campervan epitomises festivals and young travellers, landrovers are about family country life.   I love to incorporate animals in my children and family photoshoots.  They not only keep everyone more relaxed, they often also add spontaneity to the portrait.

Children and family bookings are flowing in for this summer so if you are interested in booking a family or children photoshoot, please do get in touch.  I’m based in Dorset but happy to travel all over the country.  I’m regularly in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, London, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.   Do also look at some more examples of my children, teen and family photography to give you a  more extensive feel of my style of children and family photography.

Candid children photo shoot Gloucestershire

Posted on in Children photography, Family photography, Portrait photography

Candid portrait from a children photoshoot

This is a candid portrait from a children photoshoot near Burford in Gloucestershire.  It also reminds me of the fun we had that day.   We bounced on beds, played hide & seek in the laundry basket and cupboards, choo chooed trains along their train track etc.  And we did all this before we went outside for more games and a lovely walk.  I took this photo during a game of ‘I spy with my little binoculars’.  It makes me laugh out loud every time I look at it.  Perhaps because of the way the younger brother is holding his binoculars in a closed position.  No idea what he saw through them.  But that didn’t matter as he was pretending to be as grown up as his big brother!

I also take beautiful and timeless portraits of the children together and apart during the shoot.   But these candid portraits capture the essence of their personalities.  They also create lasting timeless memories of what they loved to do in the home they grew up in.  And they are often the ones I love the most as they are so rich in nostalgia.

Our childhood memories are often the most mundane – lying on a favourite sofa with the dog, playing lego, hiding behind our parents’ bedroom curtains, reading a book with mummy, helping Daddy in the garden.   So when I’m taking photos at your home, I love to photograph your children both indoors and outside.  I often prefer inside light for portraiture, especially on a sunny day.  So don’t worry if it’s raining.   We can still capture so many wonderful memories inside and there is almost always a dry spell when we can get outside and splash in puddles!

If you are interested in booking a family or children photoshoot, please do get in touch.  I’m based in Dorset but happy to travel all over the country – I’m regularly in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, London, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.   Do also look at some more examples of my children and family photography to give you a more extensive feel of my style of portrait photography.

children photography with pets, Berkshire

Posted on in Animal photography, Children photography, Portrait photography

Children photography with pets

Today I am sharing an example of my children photography with pets.  I took this last summer in between lockdowns for a wonderful family, near Newbury, in Hampshire.   This was my second shoot for them.   We had so much fun and laughter together.   And as a consequence we captured some wonderful, informal, natural and fun portraits which really capture their personalities.

Teenagers can be reluctant starters when it comes to a family photoshoot.  But with 3 teenagers of my own, and 20 years of experience as a leading family portrait photographer, I’m quick to put them at ease.   On arrival, the first thing we do is sit and chat around the kitchen table, so I can hear about what they enjoy doing, what makes them tick.   Or not!  I love to include their interests in the photo shoot.   This could involve playing sport or a musical instrument, or hanging out with the family animals. This results in meaningful portraits which reflect their personalities.  It also makes the shoot fun, which ensures the images are full of spirit and character.

On this visit the children wanted to be photographed with all their favourite pets, which included 3 dogs, 2 cats and lots of chickens.   I love photographing children with their family animals, as they bring spontaneity.   This often results in fun and unpredictable pictures.  I love everything about this image: the light, the composition, the chicken’s tilted head and the boy’s expression.   It is a natural, candid moment which captures his sense of humour, spirit and love of animals.    It’s such a joy to capture those impromptu moments.

If you would like to find out more about my teenager and young children photography, please do take a look at the link.   And if you’d like to book a shoot with your family once lockdown has lifted, please do email me at [email protected] 

 

children photography on a swing

Posted on in Children photography, Portrait photography

Children photography of girl on swing

I started out as a wedding and children portrait photographer in 2000, when I was living in London.   Most of my children shoots in those days were in my studio in Wandsworth – the rage then was for clean white backdrops.   But I quickly found that these were not so appealing for those living in the country, where understandably parents were wanting the photoshoots at home and in their garden.    I have therefore spent the last 12 years, traveling all over the south west photography children in their home environment.  Although this is more time consuming for me, I can honestly say that I haven’t looked back.

This not only makes each shoot unique and personal, but it’s also where the children are most at ease, enabling me to capture the best images of your children.   I capture them at play inside and outside in their garden, in their favourite places, doing what they love most.

This is an old favourite from a lovely family photoshoot in Hampshire.  I love the movement in her skirt and hair, the way she is looking down but flying high, in a world of her own.  A timeless moment of childhood bliss on a favourite swing in her garden.  It’s full of emotion and energy, and makes me smile every time I look at it.  I hope you like it too.

If you are interested in booking a family or children photoshoot, please do get in touch.  I’m based in Dorset but happy to travel all over the country – I’m regularly in Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Berkshire, London, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.   Do also look at some more examples of my children and family photography to give you a more extensive feel of my style of portrait photography.