Ancestry and the National Portrait Gallery are collaborating to create a Nations Family Album – the first ever holistic visual representation of the British population in photographic form. So they are inviting the British Public (all ages, backgrounds, cultures) to submit photos of family members (old, recent, together, separate). The winning entries will not only feature in this online Nations Family Album gallery, but also in an exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery when it reopens early next year.
I am honoured to say that I’ve been elected as one of the four judges on the panel of experts, along with the baritone singer Peter Brathwaite, renowned for his series of photographs on Rediscovering Black Portraiture, the National Portrait Gallery’s Chief Curator, Dr Alison Smith and Simon Pearce from Ancestry.
Themes for the photos are: legacy, belonging, connection and identity – all of which reflect the emotions experienced when looking through old family photos or starting a journey on your family history. You can submit up to 3 photographs per person. And the deadline is 11.59pm on 30th June. For more information, visit the Ancestry website.
I’m really looking forward to seeing all your entries.
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.
I’ve been photographing these siblings every two to three years since they were just toddlers – it’s been such a joy to witness them grow into wonderful and fascinating teenagers.
On each shoot, I photographed them within surroundings that are part of their childhood which not only makes the portraits so much more special, but rather nostalgic too. This shelter, in the park next to their house, has seen many different stages of their childhood – be it to shelter from the rain, play hide and seek, skate around, hang out with friends etc.
When I first started out as a children photographer, I found photographing young children so much easier – because they are unselfconscious and spontaneous – but as my children themselves grew into teenagers, I have found photographing teenagers every bit as rewarding. And the added bonus is, when I ‘previsualise’ an image they follow directions, as in this portrait here! This shelter engulfed them when they were little, but now they seemed to own it and the memories within. It also provided a wonderfully graphic frame in which to place them.
One of the many things I love about my job is returning to photograph the same children and families over the course of many years. I have been photographing these siblings every 2-3 years for over 15 years – now with a pretty unbeatable collection of A* A’Levels and GCSEs behind them, they were a far cry from the little rascals I photographed in my studio in London aged 4 and 2 years old!
I love the composition of this image – the sister on the fence smiling down at her younger brother, both looking happy, relaxed and confident, framed within the urban context in which they have grown up.
As a mother of three daughters myself, I love photographing girls.
There was something so special about these two sisters (aside from both being naturally beautiful and photogenic). A combination of their contagiously happy spirit, gentle confidence, humility, kindness, and deep routed love for each other. Whilst I captured a variety of stunning portraits of the two of them together (and individually), this image epitomises their relationship. The subjects don’t have to be looking into the your eye to capture your attention – a moment can be every bit as powerful. This was a moment for me.
I took this portrait earlier this year, on a swelteringly hot day in May. It’s hard, on a dark rainy and cold winter’s night, ever to imagine being hot again!
Along with many other portraits I took during our shoot, this has been kept under wraps until their father’s birthday last Saturday. Happy Birthday Peter!
I wanted to share this photograph as I feel it captures their intimacy, humour and beauty… Something I strive to capture in family & sibling portraiture.
With three daughters of my own, I can but hope that they will be as loving and fond of each other as these three sisters.